Flat Memory Wire Findings Facebook Live Recap

This week, I continued our series on Facebook Live on Memory Wire. The first installation was back in December when I talked generally about Memory Wire, including how to use my favorite Magnetic Claps, but today I focused specifically on FLAT Memory Wire. The fun thing about the Flat Memory Wire is that there is a whole program of findings and components that go along with it.

There are definitely benefits to using Flat Memory Wire including when you string up the components, because the Wire is flat, the components won’t spin around. The tops are always on top! There are three glue on components – a circle, an oval and a rectangle in Silver Plated and Gold Color. These are perfect for gluing all of the flat backed crystal and cab components that you have in your beading stash. The best glue to use is the Bead Fix 2-Part Epoxy, but a good alternative is Bead Fix Gel. In the video, I show how to glue size ss29 crystals and a really pretty square checkerboard crystal to the findings. 

The Head Pin Holder and Built-in Pin Flat Memory Wire Findings are a unique way to make your designs sit on top of the Memory Wire rather than strung onto the wire. I definitely want to use some pyramid beads to make an on-trend spiky bracelet. Make sure you leave more of the head pin than I did in the video if you want a bigger spiral!

As much as I love the glue on and head pin components, the Cup Findings are my favorite part of this program! The ss29 Swarovski Crystal Flat Backs and Pointy Backs fit perfectly into the cup, and the Beadalon CZs in 6mm make for an outrageously sparkly faux tennis bracelet which would be perfect for a Bride….or another special occasion. 

Don’t forget – always use Memory Wire Shears to cut your Memory Wire! And the Memory Wire Finishing Pliers are a great way to turn loops on the end of the Memory Wire. You can also use Glue On End Cap made especially for the Flat Memory Wire to end your design.

We just went over the schedule for the Facebook Live Videos for the next few months, and we have some really cool projects, tips, and tricks coming up! I hope you’ll continue to join us live, but you can always catch up on the Beadalon Facebook Page.

See you next time and happy beading!

Soumak Wire Weaving Technique with Wyatt White

soumak wire weaveThere is always something new to learn here in the Beadalon offices – part of the reason why I am so grateful to be in the position that I am in! Today, I learned more about the Soumak Technique of Wire Weaving. Wyatt White demonstrated this interesting technique with Beadalon German Style Wire and Artistic Wires in yesterday’s Facebook Live Video presentation.

He showed the basics here, and if you’re interested in kicking it up a notch, this is a great video that Wyatt did for Beadaholiqe that will take you through step by step. Wyatt mentions many different combinations of Wire to use for this technique, but a good place to start is with 16 gauge German Style Wire as the base wire and 24 Gauge Artistic Wire for the wrapping. After you’ve mastered the basics, you can switch it up as you’d like. Try using half round wire to wrap, use contrasting colors, even try to wrap with a thicker gauge wire over a thinner one! Try a single wrap, a double wrap, or a triple wrap. After you’ve prepared your straight wire, then you can use it to make a ring, a bracelet, or wrap a stone and make a pendant.

Wyatt White is a treasure trove of information, and we are so lucky that he shares his techniques and amazing designs with us. Check out the video for a quick and dirty demonstration of the Soumak Wire Weaving Technique, then practice and practice some more! I resolved to do more wire working in 2017, and this is definitely a technique that I’m going to try more of this year!

 

 

 

Beadalon Spin-n-Bead Quick Change Trays

Spin N Bead Quick Change Trays

Every once in a while, a product comes along that is truly a game changer. Most recently for me, that’s the Beadalon Spin-n-Bead Quick Change Trays. Adrienne Gaskell came up with the idea as a way to make it easier to string up beads for making Kumohimo Braided Ropes, but I immediately jumped on the bandwagon for another use – making French Beaded Flowers. Some of you may know that my love of beading was reignited almost 20 years ago (gasp!) when I started making these gorgeous flowers out of tiny seed beads. It’s amazing the difference a few decades makes in the abundance of information. Back then, there was no Pinterest, no Instagram, but a small community of incredibly talented and generous people who shared their knowledge and resources. Fast forward these many years, and I get to have a hand in creating a tool that makes switching out beads for designing in different colors immediate. Ah.Maze.Ing!

Whatever you use them for, I think you’ll agree that the Quick Change Trays are are as ingenious as they are simple to use. Simply pour your beads in the bowl of either the Spin-n-Bead or the Spin-n-Bead Jr., then use a curved needle with thread, or 22 or 24 gauge Artistic Wire, to load your beads. When you want to change colors, just add the beads to a Quick Change Tray and place it over the spoke in the center of the Spin-n-Bead Tool. When you want to switch colors back, just take it off again. Voila!

A few weeks ago, I featured the Quick Change Trays on Beadalon’s weekly Facebook Live Video. I take you through a few different uses, and even show how to make a simple flower. There are a ton of resources and inspiration out there now on making the flowers. It’s a technique with a rich history and hopefully a future made even brighter with the introduction of this new tool!

 

Artistic Wire Adjustable Ring Findings Forms

We are continuing our debut of new products on Facebook Live with today’s video of the Artistic Wire Adjustable Rings Findings Forms. Wyatt did a great job demonstrating how you can use just 4 inches of 24 Gauge Silver Filled Wire to make an adjustable ring in minutes using the Findings Forms made specifically for rings! Use the larger circle for soft wires like Artistic Wire and the smaller circle for harder wires like German Style and Silver Filled. The tool can make 4 different adjustable sizes to fit almost anyone’s fingers. Don’t forget to rotate the Jig to make the bends; don’t try to wrap the wire around it!

Wyatt also uses the new MultiPliers – a patent pending, double headed pliers that eliminates the need to constantly pick up and put down your tools while you are working. I love watching Wyatt use it. He just moves his wrist back and forth to switch between the round and chain nose pliers. An amazing time saver for production work, for sure!

You can leave the adjustable rings plain, but we’re all about the embellishment here! Wyatt also showed how to add beads onto the rings, and don’t forget the Bead Bumpers are great for holding beads in place. I just re-watched the video, and it’s amazing how much helpful information Wyatt packed into 15 minutes!

Join us next Wednesday for another video, or check out the archives at your leisure on Beadalon’s website or Facebook Page. Thanks for joining us!

 

Beadalon Elastic Cord Needle makes Stretchy Bracelets super easy!

Beaded shish kabobsYesterday’s Facebook Live over on the Beadalon Page featured another new product demonstration – the Elastic Cord Needle. This needle is perfect for stringing up beaded designs on .5 and .8 mm Elasticity Stretchy Cord. There is a loop on one end to keep your beads in place, and a hook on the other end to hook your stretchy cord into.

In preparing for the video, and playing around with different stringing materials, I rediscovered the Elonga stretch cord. In the video, I talk about all the reasons that I really like this stringing material including:

  1. It knots up really well – use a surgeon’s knot.
  2. It’s flat so the 1.0mm will fit through the eye of the needle (the 1.0mm elasticity is too thick, but it’s ok because you can string up beads really easily on that material).
  3. Since it’s a fibrous material, if sharp edged beads start cutting through it, you’ll know in plenty of time before it snaps – the threads will start whispering out and you’ll know it’s time to restring.

Since we only have so much space on the packaging, these videos really help flesh out how to use these products. For example, on the Elasticity Package, we recommend finishing off with a Figure 8 Knot. Another great technique that I use when I make my stretchy bracelets I learned from a Beading Daily Blog Post by Jen VanBenschoten. I couldn’t get a link to the original post anymore, but she suggests using a double strand of stretchy material and knotting through the loop on the end. This technique is perfect for using with the Elastic Cord Needle! I demonstrate it a couple of times in the video. I like it because it doubles the strength of your bracelet, and I think the knot is more secure around the loop.

I love the interactivity of the Facebook Live – you guys always chime in with such great ideas and suggestions! Check out the archived video and let me know what you think of the new Elastic Cord Needle. Have you tried the looped technique? Or do you have another tip for me? We’re trying to keep to a schedule of videos on Wednesdays at 3:00pm EST, but you can always watch the archived videos at your convenience!

New Beadalon Beadweaving Threads! WildFire Colors, B-lon & Nymo

Check out my ThreadsWhen I first started at Beadalon 10 years ago, we offered many different stringing materials that worked great in many different applications. However, the one thing I though would be a good addition to our line was a super strong, waterproof, easily knotted, not easily pierced, thread for beadweaving with a color coating that does not come off as you are working on it. It was a tall order, but after over a year of development, we had WildFire Beadweaving Thread! It soon became a favorite stringing material for beadweavers all over the globe, but the one request we got over and over again (including from me) was MORE COLORS! So, at long last, we are so happy to be able to announce that there are now 3 additional colors in the WildFire family – Red, Blue and Grey. Currently, they are available in .006 diameter, but very soon, we will have in stock the whole product line extension including 20, 50 and 125 yard spool and .006 and .008 diameters in all 6 colors of WildFire.

The WildFire Needle is my favorite needle to do beadweaving with WildFire. It is very thin, to accommodate multiple passes through seed beads and short, to easily maneuver. Pro tips: flatten the end of the WildFire with a pair of chain nose pliers to make it easier to thread through the needle. Always use a designated, super sharp pair of scissors to cut it, or burn the ends with the WildFire Cord Cutter.

And if that wasn’t reason enough for celebration, we have also added the new B-lon Tex 210 Bead Thread in 3 color assortments – 9 colors in all (black, white & grey; silver, gold & copper; light brown, medium brown & dark brown). I love using the B-lon with the Tying Station, the new Katie Knotter Tool, and the Tassel Maker.

Last, but certainly not least, is the workhorse of the bead weaving world – Nymo Thread. We have added 6 more colors – lilac, olive, turquoise, dark blue, amethyst, and dusty mauve – and 2 new variety packs – to the already ample variety of colors and diameters that we already carry. But shhhh…… they’re so new, they’re not even on the Beadalon website yet!

Last week’s Facebook Live Video featured information about all three of these families of stringing materials. You can catch up on all of the info by watching the recap below, or on the Beadalon Facebook Page.

Please like, share, and post your creations! As always, feel free to give me a shout with any questions that you have.

Happy beading!

Memory Wire

memory-wire-fb-promoMy name is Meredith, and I love Memory Wire. Seriously. I’m constantly finding new ways to use it and incorporate it into designs. Today’s Facebook Live video highlighted a few of those ways and featured some of my favorite and most helpful tools and findings.

The Memory Wire Shears are the absolute most necessary tool for working with Memory Wire. If you cut it with your regular cutters, not only will the Memory Wire not cut, but you will ruin your cutters. One very easy way to finish off the ends of the Memory Wire that I demonstrated is turning a loop with either Round Nose Pliers or Memory Wire Finishing Pliers. I also explained my very favorite technique for finishing off the ends of Memory Wire using the MagnaTube Clasps and Bead Bumpers. (You can read a previous post with me gushing over the Bead Bumpers here.)

Beadalon has lots of different sizes of Memory Wire to make many different sizes of rings (including toe rings), bracelets, necklaces and more – including the perfect size to make Wine Glass Charms. You can watch a quick and dirty video on making wine charms here.

Hopefully, you made it to the end of the video to see me talk about the Flat Memory Wire and the Flat Memory Wire Findings. You can make a really beautiful Tennis Style Bracelet using Flat Memory Wire, Findings and the Cubic Zirconias from our StoneSett Program.

Whew! That’s a LOT of memory wire information, and I think I could easily have another few Facebook Live Event’s worth of tips, tricks and design ideas. Let me know in the comments, or on Beadalon’s Facebook page what you’d like to find out more about in future episodes.

Thanks for learning with me! All of us at Beadalon wish you very Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and see you in 2017!

 

StoneSett to the Rescue for last minute holiday gifts!

StoneSettI don’t know about you all, but I’m feeling the holiday crunch. So many people that I want to make something special for, so little time! That’s why I’m so glad that Beadalon has the StoneSett Program. Today’s on Beadalon’s Facebook Live video, I made necklaces, earrings and even rings with the components using Cubic Zirconia Round Stones and Swarovski pointed back stones. So. Fast. So. Pretty!

The key to using the StoneSett components is to be as GENTLE as possible. No death grips on the pliers in this technique.

After the video, I was able to whip up a few earrings and a pendant for our lovely videographer, Caroline, in just moments. Try it! I’m pretty sure you’ll love setting stones in a jiffy with the Beadalon StoneSett Program, too. As always, please be sure to post your creations on the Beadalon Facebook Page. Let us know if there are any topics that you’d like to see us cover in future FB Live events!

Products Mentioned in the Video:

StoneSett Program and Cubic Zirconia Stones
Ball Chain, Necklace Bails and video for making a necklace with the Ball Chain
Sparkle Pliers
Storage Container
Storage Ring
Really Big Jig

Missed the Live Event? You can watch it again and again right here!

 

Quick and Easy Bracelets for Holiday Gifts

Quick Bracelet Gifts with the 3D Bracelet Jig

The holidays are approaching quickly – can you say Peppermint Mocha? I’m trying to get ahead of the game by making up a supply of quick, easy, and beautiful bracelets for gifting to all of the wonderful women who make my life run smoothly – my kid’s teacher, the bus driver, my hairdresser, my wonderful house cleaner, and everyone else who keeps this hot mess mama in check!

Beadalon’s 3D Bracelet Jig won the Craft and Hobby Association’s Hot Product Award in 2015 for good reason! This versatile Jig is a great base for making bangle bracelets, and is the perfect tool for making the popular adjustable bangles that everyone is stacking these days. Today’s Facebook Live over on the Beadalon Page focused on making these two designs. Missed the live feed? No problem, you can watch it archived here!

And if you’re more of a save-the-instructions-for-reference kind of person (I know I am!), here are the instructions for the Simple Bangle with Artistic Wire Crimp Connectors:

Artistic Wire Crimp Connectors for Large Gauge Wires

Materials Needed:
3D Bracelet Jig
3D Bracelet Jig Sizer Drums
Bracelet Bending Pliers
Mighty Crimping Pliers
Artistic Wire Large Wire Crimps
Wire Wrapping Wire

Here’s another graphic that shows you exactly how to get the Artistic Wire Large Wire Crimps placed over the wire:

Artistic Wire Crimp Connectors Graphic

And finally, instructions for making the Adjustable Bangle Bracelet.

Adjustable Bracelet made with the Artistic Wire 3D Bracelet Jig

There is a YouTube Video on the Adjustable Bangle Bracelet here, and you can find instructions for both the Simple Bangle with Artistic Wire Crimp Connector and the Adjustable Bangle Bracelet as well as many other gorgeous designs in the Beadalon Design Workshop.

Post your finished designs on the Beadalon Facebook Page, and be sure to follow me at Meredith Joy Designs to stay up to date on what’s happening!

New Product Spotlight: Supplemax 0.70 mm in 6 colors!

Supplemax .070 mm Family Portrait

Supplemax 0.70 mm Family Portrait

When Kleshna suggested we at Beadalon add thicker Supplemax 0.70 mm (0.03 in) to use with the Award Winning Kleshna Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool, we jumped on the idea!  Supplemax is a soft, supple, nylon stringing material that has been used for years to make “illusion” style floating designs. This new, thicker material gives designs woven on the Kleshna Tool more structure and rigidity.

I played around with a few designs using the Blueberry and Tutti Fruitti colors. I love how the Supplemax looks so transparent as you are using it, then emerges as a really nice pastel palette once it’s woven. Click here to learn more about the Kleshna Tool and how to use it to weave bangle bracelets. We’re just scratching the surface on designs to make with this tool. Have you come up with any breakthrough designs? Be sure to post them on the Beadalon Facebook Page!