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  • 7/30/2019 618156 Great Beading Tips

    1/13

    A supplement to Bead&Button magazine

    2010

    618156

    BeadingTips

    Great

    PLUS Reference guides to Thread Wire Crimp Metal beads Finding

    Needle threadin Healthy beadin

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    Wire comes in a variety of materials and

    finishes, including brass, gold, gold-

    filled, gold-plated, fine silver, sterling

    silver, silver-plated, German wire

    (sterling over a copper core), anodized

    niobium (chemically colored wire),

    copper, and color-coated copper (craftwire). Brass, copper, and craft wire are

    packaged in 10- to 40-yd. spools, while

    gold, silver, and niobium are sold by the

    foot or ounce. Practice your wire skills

    using brass or copper, which are soft,

    easy to manipulate, and inexpensive.

    HardnessHardness describes wires temper or

    malleability. When you work with

    sterling silver wire, you have a choice

    between two categories of hardness:dead-soft and half-hard. Dead-soft wire is

    easy to bend with your fingers. Half-hard

    wire is slightly stiffer, so it holds its shape

    well. Any wire will harden as you work

    with it, but for more rigidity, you can

    hammer it on a steel block or anvil.

    Hammering will flatten the wires shape.

    ShapeWire is available in many different

    shapes, but the most common are round,

    half-round, square, triangle, and twisted,

    as shown above right. Each of theseshapes is available in a range of gauges.

    GaugeGauge is the measure of a wires

    diameter or thickness. The chart at

    right lists the most common gauges

    used for making wire and beaded

    jewelry. The lower the gauge number,

    the larger the diameter.

    12- nd 14-gg ws are used forneck wires, bangle bracelets, and other

    unsupported wire shapes. These gauges

    are only available as dead-soft.

    16- nd 18-gg ws are sturdy,

    medium-thickness wires used for

    making clasps, large jump rings, and

    chain maille.

    20- nd 22-gg ws are all-purpose

    sizes for loops, jump rings, head pins,

    eye pins, and other findings. These are

    easy to bend, so you can use eitherhalf-hard or dead-soft. Most standard

    head pins and earring wires are made in

    20- or 22-gauge wire.

    24- nd 26-gg ws are considered

    ultrafine. Use these with small pearls

    and gemstones as well as for decorative

    wire wrapping, wire crochet, and

    beaded flowers.

    28-gg and thinner wires are excellent

    for crochet, beaded flowers, twining,

    and other delicate applications. Some

    pearls and gemstones with tiny holes

    may require these gauges as well.

    Our thanks to Thunderbird Supply Co.,

    (800) 545-7968, thunderbirdsupply.com,

    for their information and assistance.

    S

    H

    A

    P

    E

    S

    Wire

    GauGe Diaeter

    12 2.00 mm

    14 1.50 mm

    16 1.25 mm

    18 1.00 mm

    20 0.75 mm

    22 0.64 mm

    24 0.50 mm

    26 0.40 mm

    28 0.30 mm

    The readers ofBead&Button share their tips and techniques with all of us in each issue of the magazine.In this booklet were passing along some of our favorites. If youd like to bead a little faster, neater, oreasier, or become better organized, the tips on the following pages will help you.

    Weve also included full-page reference guides to wire, crimps, thread and cord, needle threading, and metalbeads and findings, plus exercises for healthy beading.

    Enjoy!The Editors ofBead&Button

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    Kudos for Bead StoppersIve had more strung projects come

    apart while Im finishing them than

    I care to count. Ive tried tape, but it

    leaves a sticky residue and doesnt

    always hold. Hemostats and alligator

    clips hold, but their teeth kink the wire.

    Now I use a product called the BeadStopper. Its a small spring that clamps

    onto thread and beading wire. It holds

    without damaging the material its on.

    Visit beadstopper.com for more

    information. Susan Helmer,

    Newark, California

    I like to use the Bead Stopper when

    working with elastic. I can isolate a

    knot in the coil and apply glue without

    getting it on the beads. Rebecca

    Buckner, Huntsville, Alabama

    All wound upAs an avid bead crocheter, I used to

    struggle with keeping the extremely

    long strand of strung beads on a bob-

    bin. Now I use Bryson E-Z Bobs. These

    are round, plastic, donutlike bobbins

    with a curved top that flips down. Sim-

    ply string your beads, wind the thread

    onto the bobbin, then flip the top down.

    Your project will be easy to transport,

    the strung beads wont fall off,

    and the thread stays clean.E-Z Bobs are available in

    three sizes and can be

    found in your local

    yarn shop. Susan

    Helmer, Newark,

    California

    Get thekinks outHeres a quick

    and easy way to

    remove kinks

    and curls from

    leather cord. Cut a piece of cord 1 in.

    (2.5 cm) longer than the desired length

    of your finished piece. Thoroughly

    soak the cord in water. Attach a heavy

    C-clamp on each end of the cord.

    Hook one clamp on a clothes hanger

    with the other hanging freely. Once

    the cord is completely dry, remove theclamps, and you will have a nice, flat

    piece of leather cord. Sandy Bowlin,

    Twin Falls, Idaho

    Tool embellishmentsIf you take beading classes or bead with

    friends, this is a great way to mark your

    pliers, crimpers, and scissors to ensure

    that your tools dont get accidentally

    mistaken for someone elses. Glue a

    small rhinestone with a flat back on the

    hinge of your tools with Super Glue.

    Tiny buttons, small spacers, and sequins

    also work well. Mary Valleau, Garden

    Grove, California

    Fixing mistakesI use crimping pliers to break the occa-

    sional extra seed bead in my stitches

    when I miscount or pick up an extra

    bead. With chainnose pliers, I found

    that I was breaking beads and cutting

    threads. Now when I use a crimping

    tool, I only break beads. Diane

    Dennis, Nokesville, Virginia

    Breaking beadsI use a T-pin to break the occasional

    extra seed bead that accidentally finds

    its way into my beadwork. Since the

    T-pin is larger than the seed bead hole,

    it breaks the bead from the inside out.

    This way, you wont cut your working

    thread as you can when using pliers tobreak a bead. Simply place the bead on

    a pin cushion, insert the T-pin in the

    bead hole, and apply pressure to the

    T-pin until the bead pops. Rosemarie

    Novotny, Roanoke, Virginia

    Works like clockworkMy blind grandfather accomplished his

    tasks easily by laying out his tools in a

    preplanned order. I use this approach

    with my beading tools. By placing them

    in a circle as if they were clock numbers,I always pick up the

    right tool without

    looking. Its effi-

    cient and easy to

    learn. Bonnie

    Elliott,

    Columbus,

    Ohio

    Tools

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    standardcrimpingpliers

    mightycrimpinpliers

    Crimp beads are available in three

    shapes round, twisted crimps, and

    tubes. All three can be flattened with

    chainnose pliers; use either chainnose

    or crimping pliers on tube crimps.

    Round crimp beads are usually

    23 mm in size and come in silver-or gold-plated finishes.

    Twisted crimps (also known as Twisted

    Tornado crimps) are, as the name

    implies, tube crimps with a slight twist.

    They are available in sterling silver and

    gold-filled. The twist helps secure the

    beading wire, and it lends a decorative

    look to the finished crimp.

    Tube crimp beads come in several

    lengths and diameters, and in sterlingsilver, gold-filled, and copper. Here are

    a few basic points to consider when

    choosing tube crimps for your

    jewelry projects.

    a1 x 1 mm micro crimps are the

    smallest of the crimp beads. Use

    them with size .010 flexible bead-

    ing wire and micro crimping pliers.

    bUse 1 x 2 mm crimp beads for illu-

    sion necklaces and with .012.019

    flexible beading wire and standardcrimping pliers.

    c2 x 2 mm crimp beads are the most

    common size for jewelry making. Use

    them with .012.024 flexible beading

    wire and standard crimping pliers.

    d3 x 2 mm crimp beads are interchange-

    able with 2 x 2 mm crimps. Use them

    with .012.024 flexible beading wire and

    standard crimping pliers.

    e3 x 3 mm crimp beads are the largest

    crimps. Use them with ribbon or

    multiple strands of flexible

    beading wire and mighty

    crimping pliers.chainnose pliers

    A crimp cover is an open, round bead that slides

    over a crimped crimp bead and is squeezed

    closed with chainnose or mighty crimping pliers.

    various

    shapes

    round twisted tube

    various

    sizes

    a b c d e

    To finish a round or flat leather cord,use a crimp end designed for thatpurpose. Here are a few popular

    styles, shown before and after

    crimping. Some crimp endsrequire a drop of adhesive

    for a stronger hold.

    twisted

    tube

    round

    microcrimpingpliers

    Crimps

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    Pattern markersI love beading with a charted pattern,

    but Ive never been crazy about using a

    ruler to mark my progress. While doing

    a square stitch pattern at work one day,

    I stumbled upon the answer stickynotes. They are inexpensive and easy to

    move, they keep their stickiness for a

    long time, they dont leave any residue

    on the page, and you can make notes to

    yourself right on them about any

    changes you want to make to the pat-

    tern. The best part is that they stay in

    place when you have to pack up your

    project. So, when you open your pattern

    book again, your place is still marked.

    Jennifer Howe, Carson City, Nevada

    Separate componentsOne of the best beading tips I ever

    received was from a beading instructor

    who does restoration and repair work.

    She recommended that I use a separate

    piece of thread for each component of

    my work. For example, if making a

    bracelet, use one thread to make the

    base, a second thread for embellish-

    ments, a third for one clasp half, and a

    fourth for the other clasp half. If any of

    these components break, the break is

    confined to that segment and is easy torepair. S.J. Sanchez, Albuquerque,

    New Mexico

    Thread on the goTo make my thread collection quickly

    accessible and portable, I string my

    spools, sorted by size, onto 8-in. (20 cm)

    ball chains. Then, I string an alphabet

    bead to indicate the thread size. This

    handy method allows me to cut the

    desired length of thread off the spool

    without removing it from the chain.

    If you cant find 8-in. (20 cm) chains,

    connect two 4-in. (10 cm) chains. Rhonda M. Guy, Lexington, Kentucky

    Counting rowsTo keep track of your progress while

    loom weaving, slide a beading needle

    through the 10th row of beads; then,

    after weaving 10 more rows, move the

    needle to the 20th row, and so on. If you

    keep track of how many times you move

    the needle, youll never need to count

    more than a few rows of beads at a time.

    Seena Friedenberg, Scotch Plains,

    New Jersey

    beadingneedle

    Patterns and thread

    FringebenefitTo plan fringe, use a piece of wide-wale

    corduroy with grooves wide enough to

    hold your beads. Lay the fringe beads out

    in rows so you can easily make design or

    bead changes as you see the patternunfold. Stringing becomes very easy, since

    all you have to do is go down one groove

    to the end bead, turn around, and go back

    up again. This works especially well for

    geometric patterns. Marilyn Peters,

    Vallejo, California

    Fringe from the centerWhen adding fringe, cut a length of

    thread twice as long as normal and start

    in the middle of the fringe section.

    Leave half the thread as your tail. Do

    the center fringe first and work out toone side. Then thread your needle on

    the tail end and work to the other side.

    This has two advantages. First, you have

    fewer knots, since you wont have to

    add a new piece of thread. Second, most

    fringe is longer in the center, so by start-

    ing there you use up the long thread

    quickly, making the rest of the fringes

    easier to manage. Jamie Cloud Eakin,

    Modesto, California

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    Beaders have access to more threads and

    cords than ever before. The majority of

    them fall into one of two camps

    nylon and gel-spun polyethylene (GSP,

    Dyneema, and Spectra Fiber are some

    names this product is marketed under).

    Some other products, notably aramid

    and polyester, are available as well.

    No thread is perfect for all beading

    projects. Each product has its strengths

    and weaknesses, and some are better

    than others for certain applications.

    The chart below describes the general

    characteristics of many of the available

    products. Note the different methods

    used to describe the size, weight, orstrength of these threads. The chart at

    right shows approximate equivalents in

    diameter between the various products.

    Our thanks to Sylvia Sur, Carol

    Perrenoud, Sherry Serafini, and

    Heidi Kummli for their input.

    Type Names Sizes Colors Description Strengths Weaknesses BestUses

    Parallel

    filament

    nylon

    Thin nylon fibers areextruded, bundled,and heat-set to form asingle-ply thread.

    Durable; easy tothread on a bead-ing needle; greatcolor selection.

    Stretchy; some proneto fraying; will breakunder stress; unevenquality on market.

    Best in on- and off-loombead weaving and for beadembroidery. Not good forstringing or twisted fringe.

    Pliednylon

    Two or more extrudednylon threads aretwisted together andcoated or bonded toenhance ply security.

    Strong anddurable; somehave had stretchremoved; moreresistant to frayingthan parallelfilaments.

    Difficult to thread ona beading needle dueto round profile andthicker diameter.

    Good for twisted fringe,bead crochet, and bead-work that should have a lotof body. Upholstery threadis best for bead crochet.

    Pliedgel-spunpolyeth-ylene(GSP)

    Polyethylene fibers arespun to form thread.Two or more threadsare braided or twistedtogether.

    Almost unbreak-able; doesntstretch; resistsfraying.

    Limited color palette;most are too thick formultiple passes througha single bead.

    Use for stitching with largerbeads, such as pressedglass and crystals, or forbeadwork that should havea lot of body.

    ParallelfilamentGSP

    Fireline 230+ lb.test

    smoke, crystal,green

    Polyethylene fibers arespun and then bondedto form a single-plythread.

    Extremely strongand thin; doesntstretch; resistsfraying.

    Limited color palette;crystals can cut it; cordis rather stiff.

    Great for bead stitching.Not great for fringe orstringing.

    Polyester Polyester fibers arespun into single yarnsand then twisted intoplied thread.

    Lots of colors;doesnt stretch.

    Gets linty fromabrasion.

    Best for bead crochet. Alsofor bead embroidery whenthread must match fabric.

    Aramid Kevlar O 6 Spun poly-aramidfibers are extrudedand gathered to forma single-ply thread.

    Extremely strongand thin; bullet-proof and fire-retardant.

    Thread will cut itself;negative reaction to skinand UV light; doesntabsorb dyes well.

    Works well with beads withsharp edges.

    NymoC-LonSoNoOne-G

    K.O.

    OOFFDAB

    B, D

    many36512

    12

    SilamideHastings BondedBead Cord

    StringthWildfireupholstery thread

    A2/0 (00),1/0 (0),250710 lb. testvaries

    21white

    14black, white, greenmany

    Power Pro

    DandyLine

    SpiderLine Braid

    Tuf-Line

    530+ lb.test1050 lb.test2040 lb.test1530+ lb.test

    green, white, yellow

    black, white

    green

    green

    YLI JeansGutermann top-stitching

    30E (equiv.)

    25many

    Thread Cord GSP 00 6 lb. parallel

    A/0 8 lb. parallelB 10 lb. parallelD 0 1015 lb. pliedE 1 20 lb. pliedF 2 30 lb. pliedFF 3

    Sizeequivalents

    Thread and cord

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    1Start with stretches: Cut the

    thread, hold one end in each hand,

    and pull. If youre working with Nymo,

    condition it. This relaxes the threads

    kinks and curls, making it easier to use.

    3Sink your teeth into it: Flatten the

    threads cut edge to its thinnest

    profile by pressing it with your finger-

    nails, squeezing it with pliers, or biting

    it gently with your teeth.

    2Shear the edge: Trim the end of

    your thread on an angle using very

    sharp scissors. A tapered edge free of

    stray fibers will slide gracefully

    through the needles eye.

    5If all else fails: Pass the wire loop

    of a needle threader through the eye

    of your needle. Put your thread through

    the loop, then pull the loop out of the

    needle. Success!

    Big Eye:Use for

    loomwork,

    macram,

    and trans-

    ferring

    beads

    Small

    Big Eye:Use for

    off-loom

    stitches

    and tight

    spots

    #12 l

    Us

    loomw

    off-l

    stitches,

    transfe

    be

    Twisted wire:Usefor stringing and

    tight spots

    Beading needles(Use for off-loom stitches and loomwork): the smaller the needle,the bigger the number.

    4Bring needle to thread: Hold the

    needle in your dominant hand, and

    grab the thread close to the cut edge

    with your other hand. Move the needle

    to the thread, sliding the eye over the

    threads end.

    5 steps for easier needle threading

    #16Use with

    160 to 240seed beads

    #12

    Use with

    80 to 130

    seed beads

    #10

    Use with

    60to 110seed beads

    #13Use with

    110 to 150

    seed beads

    Get the pointTo choose a needle, consider your bead

    and thread sizes, the number of passes

    youll make through the beads, and thebeading technique.

    A Hacky

    Sack, or footb

    makes a colo

    pin cushion.

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    Project organizersI like to store my beading projects in

    canvas notebook pencil cases with a

    clear plastic front panel. These cases

    are inexpensive and sturdy enough towithstand needle piercings. Theyre

    large enough to hold all the materials

    needed for a project, and the clear panel

    makes it easy for me to find the project

    I want to work on. Jill S. Banning,

    Newberry, Florida

    Keep em containedRecently, I decided to organize my seed

    bead collection. I put the beads in a

    64-drawer cabinet and labeled the

    drawers with the size and color of the

    beads. I chose to store most of the beads

    loose because the tubes didnt fit in the

    drawers. Then one day, my husband

    accidentally kicked over the cabinet and64 drawers of seed beads spilled onto

    the floor. (He felt so bad; I just

    laughed.) So, unless you want unique

    color mixes like I have, if you decide to

    store your beads this way, secure them

    in little plastic zip bags first. Heidi

    Inskeep, Scottsdale, Arizona

    Design platformsI found that the little racks used in

    Scrabble are approximately 7 in. (18 cm)

    long perfect for designing a bracelet.

    The beads rest in an upright position

    a better perspective than on a flat

    bead board. Three or four racks can

    be positioned side by side for necklacesalso. Louise Lessing, Drexel Hill,

    Pennsylvania

    Inexpensive bead boardsLike most beaders, I often have more

    than one project going at a time. Since

    I only have one bead design board but

    still want to see my designs as I lay

    them out, I have found a way to make

    my own disposable boards. These are

    portable, inexpensive, and great to have

    on hand for a jewelry-making party.To make one, cut an 812 x 11-in.

    (21.6 x 28 cm) piece of cardstock in

    half so you have two 414 x 11-in.

    (10.8 x 28 cm) pieces. Fold one piece

    in half lengthwise. Then fold the edges

    back toward the center fold, making an

    M shape. Mark the center with a 0 and,

    using a ruler, mark 12-in. (1.3 cm) and

    1-in. (2.5 cm) increments in each direc-

    tion. Place your beads in the channel,

    using 0 as the center, as on a commer-

    cial design board. Make another board

    with the other piece of cardstock. Tracey Kirk, Clarksville, Tennessee

    Bead travelerEmpty travel-sized baby-wipe

    containers make great storage for

    bead projects. Theyre lightweight,

    the right depth to hold tubes of beads

    and projects, and they fit easily into a

    purse or carry-on. Best of all, you can

    recycle something that would otherwise

    end up in the garbage. I line mine with

    a beading surface cut to fit. In fact, the

    container seals so tightly, you dont

    have to put the beads back in the tubesif youre in a rush to close up your

    beading. You wont lose anything.

    Sherry Magid, Skokie, Illinois

    Bead storage and organization

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    Many styles of beads look likemetal but arent. These include

    metallic-finished glass, plastic, andstone (pyrite and hematite). These are

    all good alternatives to metal forsome uses, but its important toknow what youre using.

    Metallook-alikes

    Metal beads and findings are great for

    adding character and durability to jewelry

    designs. A wide array of metal products

    is available, ranging from 24k gold and

    fine silver to pewter and brass, and it can

    be a challenge knowing whats what.

    Below is a brief description of the metals

    that are commonly available at stores and

    online merchants. Be aware that unscru-

    pulous dealers sometimes misrepresent

    products. If a price seems too good to be

    true, the item may not be genuine.

    Our thanks to Keith Seib of Planet Bead

    and Sylvia Sur for their assistance.

    Metal Composition Characteristics Comments

    Fine silver 99.9% silver Lustrous white, soft, and malleable; the most

    inexpensive and accessible precious metal

    Too soft to be made into beads; available as wire

    and is the resulting material in metal clay silver

    Sterling

    silver

    92.5% silver, 7.5% other, usually cop-

    per; 92.5% is minimum silver content

    for an item labeled silver in the U.S.

    The addition of copper or other base metal makes

    sterling silver harder and more prone to tarnishing

    than fine silver

    Items sold as sterling should be stamped 925,

    sterling, or ster; however, no international

    agency exists to enforce this policy

    Silver plate Thin layer of pure silver over base metal Looks much like sterling Silver plating wears of f over time

    Bali silver Sterling silver Handmade in Bali; characterized by surface

    granulation and fine detail

    Items labeled Bali-style are usually not made in

    Bali and are often not sterling

    Hill Tribessilver 95%98% pure silver Handmade in Thailand; no two pieces areexactly alike Natural themes, such as flora and fauna,predominate

    Turkish silver Sterling silver Handmade in Turkey; characterized by surface

    granulation and filigree

    Often lightweight and ornate

    East Indiansilver

    Sterling silver, various alloys Wide array of styles Many Bali-style beads are made in India

    Israeli silver Sterling silver Often smooth, sleek, and modern-looking Usually high quality and relatively inexpensive

    Mexican silver Sterling silver Often inlaid with stones Vintage items may have lower silver content

    Karated gold 24k = 99.9% gold; 22k = 91.3% gold;

    18k = 75% gold; 14k = 58.5% gold;

    12k = 50% gold; 10k = 41.7% gold

    Bright yellow metal that does not tarnish or

    corrode; one of the most prized precious metals

    All items sold as gold should be labeled with a

    karat designation; 10k is the minimum standard

    for gold in the U.S.

    Gold-filled 10k or higher over base metal Gold layer will wear of f over time Gold must account for at least 1/20 the weight of

    the piece to be called gold-filled

    Gold plate 10k or higher over base metal Gold layer will wear of f over time Gold layer is thinner than in gold-filled itemsGold vermeil 14k or higher over sterling silver Gold layer will wear of f over time Nice, relatively inexpensive alternative to pure gold

    Copper 100% copper Reddish-gold metal that ages to warm brown Develops green patina and can turn skin green

    Brass Copper and zinc alloy Inexpensive gold-colored metal Tarnishes and turns brown over time

    Nickel 100% nickel White metal that looks like silver Many people are allergic to nickel

    Pewter Tin alloyed with various other metals Soft, grayish-silver metal Vintage pewter may contain lead

    Niobium 100% niobium Very strong and hard inert gray metal, usually

    anodized to various attractive colors

    Hypoallergenic; great as earring findings

    Surgical

    steel

    Iron, carbon, chromium, and various

    other base metals

    Has a smooth surface that prevents germs

    from attaching

    Because it sometimes contains nickel, its not a

    good choice for people with nickel allergies

    German silver Copper, zinc, and nickel Looks like sterling, but contains no silver Also known as nickel silver and Alpaca silver

    Hill Tribessilver beads

    East silver

    Vermeil beadand clasp

    Copper disk with

    inlaid sterling

    Gold-platedcone

    Bali silver spacer

    Turkish silver beads

    Israeli silver beads and clasp

    Niobium earring wire

    base

    m

    etal

    si

    lver

    gold

    Metal beads and findings

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    Easy sizing for braceletsIve made many bracelets that are the

    same length, yet each one fits differently

    because the size of the beads affects the

    bracelets inside diameter. Heres an easy

    way to make sure the bracelet is the

    right length for the size of your beads.First, find the inside diameter of a

    bracelet that fits you. Then, turn a

    Styrofoam cup upside down, slide the

    bracelet onto the cup, and mark the cup

    where the bracelet sits. Use the cup as a

    form to make another bracelet of the

    same size. This also lets you determine

    the lengths for bracelets slightly smaller

    or larger in diameter. Pearl Hresil,

    Chicago, Illinois

    Pin orpendantI have a favor-

    ite ladybug pin

    that I wanted

    to use as a

    pendant. So, Idesigned a neck

    strap and fin-

    ished both ends with lobster claw

    clasps. Then, I attached the lobster

    claws to the pin back. Merle

    Berelowitz, New York, New York

    If youve been searching for fast, easy earring ideas,

    try this great-looking pair. On a 4-in. (10 cm) piece

    of .012 or .014 flexible beading wire, center your

    choice of beads and two four-loop components, as

    shown. Cross the wires ends through the loop on

    an earring finding, then bring each wire through the

    corresponding loop on the top silver component.

    Slide a crimp bead over both wire ends. Adjust the

    tension of the wires, flatten the crimp bead withchainnose pliers, and trim the excess wire. Make a

    second earring to match the first. Helene Tsigistras,

    Brookfield,

    Wisconsin

    Earrings in a flash

    Back pain remedyI discovered a marvelous item to sooth

    the constant pain under my shoulder

    blades caused by working in front of

    a computer screen all day. Its called

    Body-Rite and features two straps that

    slip over your shoulders and a 3-lb.

    counterbalance weight at the base

    of your back. Wearing it is supposed

    to prevent lower back, neck, and

    shoulder strain and encourages good

    posture. I recommend this to my

    beading students with positive results.

    Mine is from Nancys Notions

    (nancysnotions.com), but I have

    also seen them in fabric stores.

    Terry Leming, Houston, Texas

    Beading stretchesI work with 150 beads in a painterly

    fashion and spend many weeks and

    months on my pieces. Of course,

    spending hours in one position leaves

    my neck and upper-back muscles

    strained, and causes pain from poor

    circulation in my legs. Now, I set

    my kitchen timer to go off every

    30 minutes to remind myself to move

    my legs and neck. My chiropractorsuggests getting a 6-in. ball, putting

    it between my head and the wall, and

    pressing to strengthen the neck mus-

    cles. Maxine Hull, Atlanta, Georgia

    Eye exercisesRecently, a guest of my beading group

    taught us many exercises to use while

    sitting and beading for long periods of

    time. We had the most fun with an eye

    exercise writing the letters of the

    alphabet with our eyes. It is easy

    enough and elicits a lot of laughs ifyou happen to meet someone elses eye

    mid-letter. Lynda Pedersen, Adelaide,

    Australia

    Wire and finishing Bead healthy

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    >4. Thumb stretchPlace your hand sideways on your work surface with the thumb

    facing upward. With your other hand, grasp the thumb, and

    gently pull backward. Hold for 20 seconds. Release, and repeat.

    Repeat on the other hand. For additional stretch, angle the

    thumb toward the back of the hand, and pull.

    6. Backward bendSit on the edge of your chair, and place your hands on your waist.

    Angling your elbows behind you and looking up, arch your back.

    Hold for five seconds. Release. Do a total of five repetitions.

    If desired, do this stretch while standing instead of sitting.

    Although beading

    isnt generally viewed as a

    physically demanding activity,

    holding the body in stiff or unnatural

    positions for extended periods of time can

    cause long-term damage to the musculo-

    skeletal system. Cindy Marti, a physical

    therapist with Spinal Dynamics of Wisconsin

    ([email protected]), showed us a handful

    of fast and simple exercises designed for

    healthy beading. She suggests interrupt-

    ing your work at least once every

    30 to 60 minutes to do the

    following exercises.

    >2. Upper shoulder stretchTo loosen the shoulder muscle, place your left hand under your posterior.

    With your right hand, hold the left side of your head, and gently tilt it to the

    right, creating a stretch in the trapezius muscle. Hold for 20 seconds, release,

    and repeat. For additional stretch, pull slightly back and over or slightly

    forward and over. Repeat on the other side.

    >> 1. Chin tuckWhen we bead, we usually extend our necks forward and

    down. This puts sustained pressure on the cervical discs

    and also overloads the cervical muscles. To relieve these

    pressures, raise the head so youre looking forward and your

    neck is straight. Put your hand on your chin, and gently push

    backward. Hold this stretch for about 5 seconds. Release.

    Do a total of five repetitions.

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    Bead dish coverI am a busy sports mom, and I like totake my bead projects with me. SinceI use a porcelain bead dish, I normallyscoop the beads into their originalcontainers when its time to go to thenext event. I have tried using plastic lidsfrom various containers and have yet tofind one that fits snugly around thepetal shape of the dish. The kitchen

    wrap Press n Seal by Glad has anadhesive on one side, and it sticks tosmooth surfaces. Now, I simply covermy bead dish with a piece of Press nSeal and secure it by running my fingerover the outer edge and divisions inthe dish. Then I pull the excess wraparound the sides to the bottom.The beads stay in their individualcompartments, and I can toss the trayin my bag and not worry about it.Occasionally, some beads stick to thewrap, but they dont pick up any

    residue from it. Cindy Vaughn,Teague, Texas

    Quick color clipColor cards are a nice way to keep trackof your beads, but theyre inconvenientto carry. I also love the concept ofbeaded swatch samples, but that meanshaving the time to bead them. So hereis my solution. String a single color ofbeads on a 1-in. (2.5 cm) safety pin.(I used Dritz brand pins.) Make a smalllabel for the color number and attach

    it to the other side of the pin. Slide theloop on the end of the safety pin ontoa loose-leaf ring or split ring. Carry itin your purse or attach a chain or cordand wear it around your neck to keepyour hands free as you shop. I alsomade one for my crystals. Rafannette Dooley, Franklin, Texas

    Spiraling beadsI use beading and scrapbooking tech-niques to transform spiral notebooksinto custom keepsakes. Select a bookwith a colorful cover design or adheredecorative paper to the front usingdouble-sided tape. Add a layer of stampsor stickers. Sew beads and sequins ontothe cover using an embroidery needleand conditioned Nymo. Cover exposed

    threads by taping decorative paper tothe inside cover. Remove the wire spiral.Wind the spiral back into the book,adding a few beads to the wire eachtime it exits one of the bindings holes. Althea Church, Oxford, Mississippi

    Photo backgroundsFor about $1 each, I can buy a varietyof professional-looking backgrounds tophotograph my beadwork on. Scrap-book papers (12 x 12 in./31 x 31 cm)come in a variety of colors and textures

    at most craft stores, and they are easy tostore in a folder. When it comes to light-ing my beadwork, I find that naturallight works the best. KimberlySzalkiewicz, Escondido, California

    More great tips

    2010, Kalmbach Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Bead&Button is a registered trademark. This bookmay not be reproduced in part or in whole without written permission from the publisher. Published byKalmbach Publishing Co., 21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187. Printed in U.S.A.