Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Inspiration ...

Hi there beading family - guest blogger Jill is back again!  You have not run me out of town yet with the flames and pitchforks!!!!  So, while I am still acceptable, I decided to write up an entry for you!

Today we have a topic that is used by everyone, talks to some but not others, moves some and freezes others.  What could it be??


Inspiration is one of those intangible concepts that is a huge mystery, but when it works there is no questioning it!  I have decided to include the official definitions of the term, hopefully this will help us a little in our discussion.

So- according to Google Dictionary, 
Inspiration is a noun
  1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
    • the quality of being inspired, especially when evident in something.
    • a person or thing that inspires.
    • a sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea.
    • the divine influence believed to have led to the writing of the Bible.

  2. I really want to think of this in it's simplest definition - as something that moves me to be creative and allow something that is inside of me to come out in some manner.  Most times with me, it is usually a photograph or painting, flowers, and color schemes.  

Let me show some of my personal examples:

2/7/2012- I love the photo composition as well as the play of the black and white.

I love this photo.  From the composition to the design of the clothing, it makes me want to work in contrasting colors.  It does not have to be black and white, but I want it to include a "POP" of color or pattern, similar to how the print is something that you are not expecting.

Blue Morpho Butterflies

Fly Fly Butterfly!!!  This photo makes me think of an ombre project.  I want to do it in the blues and greens the same as in the photo.  Maybe an ombre beaded bracelet that everyone is trying.  And  copper findings - I like how it looks on that one upper right hand wing.

And the final one.....

I have to totally admit this - I adore Monet.  The painting above is actually not one of my favorites, but I wanted to show how you can be inspired by surprising things.  I find it a little heavy and clunky.  But if you look beyond that, I am fascinated by the color combinations used.  I probably would never combine some of those colors in the same project.  But when you look at them in combination - they work to create a beautifully colored item.  

Let's try to sum this up.  Inspiration can come from any direction, from anything, and may not be a instant feeling of "I have to use that!".  Basically you need to be open to influences around you.  You may be moved by something you would never imagine, so do not dismiss something because it is not your normal. You may be surprised.

Thanks for visiting, now go bead something!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Quickie Guide to a Successful Bead Show!

It is the most wonderful time of year!!!  Christmas?  My Birthday?  Your Birthday?  No!  No!  No!!

It is Bead Fest Philadelphia 2017 Time!!!!

This weekend is Bead Fest Philadelphia.  It is a show that cannot be missed if you do anything with or love beads and jewelry.  In case you have been under a rock - here is the link to the main website-Bead Fest Philadelphia.   There are classes, demos, and of course the expo - also known as SHOPPING!!!!!!  

Last year Leslie wrote a blog post listing her Top 10 Things to Do to Enjoy and Survive a Bead Show.  Her entry can be found here:  Top 10 Things to do.......    I decided that this year, being the guest blogger, I can give my list.  It is not as formal or explained, it may be humorous and more sarcastic!  All I want is to give you a smile, and maybe give you at least one tip to add to your enjoyment of Bead Fest!!

Here we go:
1.  If you are scheduling a certain period of time for the expo - you might as well forget it!  The place is HUGE!!  And there are more vendors than you can imagine.  It is going to take you longer to make a lap, let alone stop and look at all of the pretty things!!

2.  Be sure to bring water with you.  The hall is dry and can get warm, and we do not want you fainting in the middle of the aisles - it slows the other shoppers down!!  (insert laugh here!)

3.  Comfort is the word of the day.  Comfy shoes that will allow you to wander for hours on end. Comfy clothes that will allow you to move and shop freely while still allowing you to be comfortable temperature wise.  

4.  Be sure to bring a tote bag or wheelie bag with you to carry your purchases.  You may be buying only one or two things, but multiply that by the number of vendors and your haul starts to get unruly and heavy.  This way you can also help with the environment by not needing a bag for each purchase.

5.  Shopping is so much better with two!  Bring a friend with you - they do not have to be a beader or jewelry maker - although some sort of artist is helpful.  They will be fascinated.  Also, their opinion on color combos may assist you in your choices.  You may think something looks good together - but we all have those times where we are so wrong.  They may be able to help us avoid this issue.

6.  In these days before the expo, go through your stash at home, or patterns that you have directions for but no supplies.  Make yourself a list of supplies needed or parts required for a new project.  In my mind, if I get something for an older project, I am then allowed to buy myself a new project!!  (Yes, I regularly bargain with myself!)

7.  What is the most important thing to bring with you?  A pen.  How else are you going to cross  supplies off your list, sign up for email lists with vendors, write down wish lists at vendors, or even get emails from fellow beaders with whom you have bonded.  Or the biggest reason - which will make more sense after the next tip- marking up the expo list and map.

8.  This is actually my favorite tip - I follow it religiously.  When you enter the expo - grab a booklet, grab your pen and figure out how to look at all that is offered.  The first lap should be like a drive by - no purchases on this lap.  I use it to find the vendors I want to go back to, which ones I do not need to look at, see something quickly that I want to look at more closely.  Once that lap is done, you can go through your list and go back and shop for real.  I find this helps in lowering the sensory overload that these shows provide.

9.  There will be many demonstrations, make and takes, and workstations available in the hall.  Do not be afraid to try something new.  These education areas allow you to try something quick and easy without having to become seriously invested.  And who knows - it may become your next love!!

10.  And our last one.  Talk to people!  Say hi to the vendors, talk to them about their products.  Ask other customers their opinions.  Compliment someone on their work.  This may be all about the shopping - but it is also a fashion show!  People wear their prized creations and love it when someone asks about them.  Basically we are all one big family at this event and we talk to everyone!

I really didn't think I had that much to say.  Oh well, if you made it this far into the post you only have a little more to go.  

Prep well my friends.  Make sure that you come and see us in Booths 267 and 366 - on the right hand-side when you enter back towards Artisan's Alley.  I will be running the register most of the weekend - please come and say "Hi!" and show me all of your pretty things!

See you at Bead Fest!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Guest Blogger

It has been a while, but guess what?  We are back!!!!

As many of you know, Leslie is adapting new responsibilities into her already hectic life.  In order to help her with this, we came up with this:  A Guest Blogger.  Who would do such a thing?  Well, that would be me - Jill!

Many of you may know me already.  When Leslie first started out with her business, I was transportation and helper at all of the shows.  We would pack my little sports car full of heavy beads and cording, tables, lights - everything but the kitchen sink!  She had to hold her suitcases on some of the trips because we had no more room in the back!  We were so happy coming home because we sold things and we could actually move in the car!!

In the many years since then, I have taken a step back at shows.  I am now demoted to a partial Twisted Sistah.  Now I just help out at the bigger shows - like Beadfest.  I am the woman demoing bead crochet with the yarn and pony beads in Leslie's booth.  I also work the register, so if you have bought anything at the big shows you have probably spoken to me!

I may not have the knowledge and experience that Leslie has, but I hope that my entries keep you coming back for more! I am not overly technical about the beads, I will usually be "oohh look at the pretty beads" before I would ask how it is accomplished.

So let me end this by saying "Hi!!!" and I hope that you continue to come to Twisted Sistah Beads' Musings.  I would love some feedback - good or bad - just please do not make it too harsh!

Go Bead Something!!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Czech 1-hole beads

It is time for the next installment of seed bead education.  I'm  going to change the focus to Czech beads.  There are a couple of different categories to cover, so stay tuned for as I cover a couple of different entries.  Curious?  Okay - I have divided them into  1-hole, 2-hole, and "other"- which cover an assortment of beads not included in the 1- or 2-hole categories.  As I have stated before, Czech beads are known for their unique shapes and unusual finishes. So let us start with 1-hole beads.

Dragon Scales

Dragon Scales
Dragon Scales are semi-diamond shaped flat beads that are made from pressed glass and measure 1.5x5mm.  When they are strung with other beads, they add a little extra dimension to your work and also dangle nicely as fringe. 

Farfalle Beads

Farfalle Beads
Farfalle beads are pressed glass beads that are rectangle shaped with a hole in the center.  The ends are slightly wider than the center - almost like a peanut.  They measure 3.2x6.5mm.  This allows them to lay nicely against each other when placed perpendicular to each other.

Lily Petals

Lily Petals
Lily Petal Beads are exactly what you think they would be - petal shaped beads with a hole going through the thinner top portion of the bead with a slight curve to one side - a very slight kidney shape.  They measure 4x6mm and make great accents to fringe.

Minos Par Puca

Minos Par Puca
Minos Par Puca beads are cylindrical shaped beads with a hole that runs horizontally through the middle of the bead.  They measure 2.5x3mm and work well in conjunction with the Arcos Par Puca beads, which will be discussed in a later post.

O Beads

O Beads
O beads are round doughnut shaped beads with a center hole.  These little slivers of glass measure 3.8x1mm and can be used in multiple designs.  They can add a touch of a different color, provide contrast, or be used as spacers.  

Pellet Beads

Pellet Beads 

Pellet beads are cylindrical shaped with a hourglass shape. Their slight center indentation allows them snug up against each other when strung. They measure 4x6mm and have a single hole running through the center of the bead horizontally.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Beader's Wish List

Tis the Season!!  Time to dream a little and remember what it was like to make your list for Santa as a child.  But now that we are a little wiser, we have more modest wishes -
  • A few pretty beads
  • A good light to see by
  • A good work space 
  • A comfy chair
  • A little free time to bead
I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa with family and friends. Enjoy yourself, don't put any undue pressure on yourself, and immerse yourself in whatever makes you happy! [Hopefully that will include a little beading as well - LOL] 

Thank you all for your continued support and I look forward to seeing what the new year will bring!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Part 2: Japanese Bead Shapes

Everything you wanted to know about seed beads ...
In Part 1 of this series, I covered a few beading basics - focusing on general information and the various materials. This blog will delve a little deeper into shaped Japanese seed beads. Since there are a lot of them, I'm going to stick to the shapes that I currently carry.

Bugle Beads:
Straight Bugles
Twisted Bugles
Bugle beads are tube shaped. Just imagine a straight plumbing pipe - a long, hollow tube with flat ends - that's the basic shape of a bugle bead. Bugles come in 3mm, 6mm, 9mm and 12mm lengths, to name a few. There is also a twisted variety (6mm and 12mm); the outside is rotated so that it looks more like a spiral tube, but the inner hole is still straight.

4mm Cubes
Cube beads are exactly what you think they are - square beads that are very close to being the same measurement on each side.  They have a single hole going through them, and can give a chunkier look to a project depending on what size is used. Cubes are also very easy to stitch with because of their flat sides. Currently, cubes are available in 1.5mm, 1.8mm, 2mm, 3mm, and 4mm; depending on the manufacturer.

Drops and Magatamas:
Long drop
3.4mm Drop
Drop beads are teardrop shaped, with the hole located in the top, thin area of the drop. This allows the larger "drop" end to stick out a little further generally than other traditionally seed beads and adds texture. There are two varieties of drop beads - regular (2.8mm or 3.4mm) and long (3x5.5mm). Regular drop beads are the normal teardrop shape, while long drops are exaggerated, with a larger drop area.  They give the same effect, just with a little more oomph!!

Long magatamas
Magatamas are a variety of drop beads. Regular magatamas, measuring 4mm, are a slightly larger teardrop shape. While long magatamas, measuring 4x7mm, are more comma shaped as opposed to teardrop shape with a slightly off center hole. You may also hear them called fringe beads because they are frequently used in fringe and other edge work techniques.

Berry Beads:

Berry Beads

 Berry and/or Peanut beads (depending on the manufacturer) beads are both the dumb bell shaped beads with a hole in the narrow center section of the bead, and measure 2.5x4.5mm.  When strung they nest together; they are also ideal for making beaded beads because they lay flat against each other

Tila and Half- Tilas:
Tila Beads
Half-Tila Beads
Tilas and half-Tilas are very unique Japanese seed beads. They are tile shaped and have two parallel holes with a slightly domed side and a flat side. Tila beads measure 5x5x1.9mm, while half-Tilas measure 5x2.3x1.9mm - half the size of a regular Tila. These beads have flat ends and lay nicely against each other.

Sharp Triangles
Triangle are three-sided beads that have a single center hole. They are available in two varieties - either regular or sharp. Regular triangles have slightly rounded or softer edges while sharp triangles have a pointed, more defined edge. Both triangle varieties are available in size 11, 10, 8 and 5.

I hope that you find this informative and hopefully not too overwhelming as you continue your seed bead adventures.  Please stay tune for the next installment on Czech bead shapes that have one hole.

Happy Beading!!!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Everything you wanted to know about seed beads but were afraid to ask! (Part 1)

You are hooked - you caught the beading bug and you just cannot stop.  You make beautiful items, follow patterns, make up your own, or a combination of the two.  But there are some beading terms and topics that you are just not sure what they actually mean.  Today's blog and the next will hopefully clear some of these questions up for you.

Why does the manufacturer matter?  Who are they?
Each manufacturer has distinct characteristics associated with them.  There are two main countries of origin - usually either Japan or the Czech Republic.  Japanese seed beads are known for being uniform in size, shape and color.  There are two primary manufacturers - Miyuki (the oldest manufacturer of seed beads) and Matsuno, and a third is becoming increasingly popular called Toho.  Czech seed beads are known more for their finishes and shapes rather than the uniformity of their beads.  They have some incredibly beautiful finishes, but you need to be wary of a galvanized finish ...  it may rub off with normal wear and tear. 

As an added bonus, there has recently been an agreement to have Japanese manufactured seed beads sent to the Czech manufacturers to be treated with some of their unique finishes.  This will create the best of both worlds - uniformity in size and shape plus incredible colors.

What is a Delica bead?
A Delica bead (also called a cylinder bead) is a seed bead manufactured by Miyuki.  It is considered extremely consistent in size and shape.  It does have a more cylindrical shape than a regular round seed bead; and creates a more flat beaded piece.  The other characteristic that is notable is the larger hole which always more thread passes than other seed beads.

What do the sizes mean in round seed beads?
Round seed beads come in different sizes (6/0, 8/0, 11/0, 15/0) and many people wonder what they mean.  It is actually much easier than you think.  Each number is the quantity of beads that fit on one inch of beading thread.  Size 6/0 have 6 beads, size 8/0 have eight and 11/0 have 11 beads.  

You will also discover beads, mostly shapes other than rounds, that will be listed as 1.8mm or 3mm.  This will be the actual circumference of the bead. But do not be afraid, you can also use them in all of your beadweaving techniques.
What size needle should I use?

There are as many different sizes of needles as there are beads. The general rule is to use the size needle that is closest to the size of the bead. For example, when using size 11 seed beads, use a size 11 needle. This allows your tension to be consistent as well as easy multiple thread passes. 

That ends our mini lesson for today.  I hope you will find these information useful in your continuing beading adventure. Next time I will discuss different shaped beads as well as  beads with multiple holes.

Happy Beading!!!