Saturday, 10 June 2017

BLOG-Design sometimes small is the best.

DESIGN!!!!, well I can write 50 blogs just on design, as I find that my idea of design strays from a simple pair of earrings for $25.00 to a necklace worth many hundreds, having a whole bead shop at my disposal is like putting an Alcoholic behind the bar!
One of the most important size beads you will have in your collection are small spacer beads. Sometimes the difference between a good design and a great design can be the way it sits, placing a small bead in-between every bead can do the following things
·       Help the beads sit better beside each other.
·       Stop beads from rubbing against each other.
·       Stop the sharp edges of beads cutting the jewellery wire.
·       Highlight the beads, and add additional colours to the design
·       Make the design look like it has been hand knotted.

I bet you didn’t think that one of the cheapest beads can also be one of your most important beads; so, that is why I suggest you store them well. Bead Them Up has many small beads to choose from and here are a few of my favs.

2mm Howlite  or gemstone strands, the cost of these strands start at $10.00 and as you are getting around 165 beads this makes them very cheap per bead.

Coated hematite, these are available in both Gold and Silver colour and are electroplated, they make a great addition, if your design needs a metallic highlight but you don’t want to spend the money on Sterling Silver or Gold Filled (they also don’t tarnish and as they are a hematite base are very strong and durable and CHEAP!!). 
Chinese Crystal beads also make a perfect spacer and are available in many colours.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

BLOG-Get Organized

Holidays, weekends and quiet nights are a perfect time to organize your beads. You may not have enough time to start a creation or be in a creative mood but a quick tidy up…or a ‘getting organized’ start is never a bad idea. Who knows, after playing with your beads for a little while, inspiration may strike!

I like to store my beads individually in storage containers, they are cheap and easy to find in shops like  Bunnings, Howard Storage and fishing shops. 

This tray is unorganized and needs a good tidy up
This is an ideal storage box they stack and the beads don't mix if it is closed and dropped

I usually store them by stone/colour and add a label with the following information I need to re-order and/or price my design.
Cost per strand
Cost per bead
While this this is great for more expensive beads/findings it does get a little tedious for all the cheaper strands; those I store in a box and have them by colour. 
Mass storage boxes still shouldn’t be unorganized because you will still need to know how much a strand/bead costs and how to get more of them if you want; keeping them in individual bags or on the strand helps.

Storing beads in a logical and neat way helps enormously when designing and creating and can save loads of time when you are looking for that special bead you need to complete your project.

When working at home or on holiday I always work on a tray with a bead mat on top; the bead mat stops beads from rolling around everywhere and I find that working on a tray will restrict my mess and make it easy to put away if visitors or little fingers decide to arrive, or my special other half decides there something very exciting we must do! Hiding the tray on top of the fridge or in a special drawer or cupboard ensures that works in progress can’t get knocked or spilled. I will also come clean now and say my tray is never neat and always has a work in progress or design I am trying to work out.

Tool storage and organizing is also important, keeping your tools away from water and dust will save them from rust and damage, this can be achieved by simply placing them in a pencil case, this will also help if you are a travel beader and want to know you are not leaving any tools behind.

Finding a small cup/takeout/glass container is also an ideal to capture and store your metal cuttings. Sterling Silver and Gold scraps are worth money. Place a small amount of blutac on the base of your container so you do not spill your cuttings, they are sharp and not pleasant to step on if spilled all over the floor. Store them until you have enough to take to a metal refiner, they may not be worth much but I always like to recycle where I can for future generations.

Well that’s it from me for now happy organizing…and happy beading I am off to make a few more kits and inspirations, after all making and being creative is one of the best foods your soul.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Designing, the trials and tribulations.

Design Basics
We recently held a designing class at our Ramsgate and I spoke about the basics listed below that are on our website as well some very useful construction tips . I asked the students to choose one or more beads and them we designed a necklace to suit those beads and the student. All the necklaces are very different...what do you think? If you wish to join a Design class cost $20.00 as well as your beads usedplease email or call us on 0295299982

Designing beaded jewellery is fun and easy. It allows your own personal style to emerge, or adds an individual touch to designs that have been inspired or copied. When making jewellery designs for other people, always try to include their own personal style and length preference.
Always be open to inspiration from shapes and patterns, either ancient or modern.
Colour combinations can be inspired by nature; look at the colours found together in trees, bark, fish, and animals.
No rules apply. Your beading palette can range from tonal to rainbow creating exceptional beaded jewellery.
Don’t forget if you are going to wear it, only you need to love it!

Jewellery designs can be strung in the following pattern types:


All of the above pattern types can incorporate a pendant or drop/s if required.
Beaded jewellery designs are also governed by the following considerations:
- Length
- Weight
- Shape

The length of a jewellery design is usually influenced by current fashion trends, personal taste or specific design requirements; be aware that long necklaces can more easily get caught and broken. 

The weight of a jewellery design is the preference of the individual wearer; be aware if you wish to wear a design continually, a heavy necklace can be tiring. 

The shape of beads in a jewellery design is governed by the initial choice of beads and the compatibility of other beads to the shape of the original beads. Long elongated beads work well when spaced with smaller round, roundel or oval shaped beads. Spacer beads will also prevent the larger beads from chipping and make them sit neater beside each other

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Every Bead is Precious

Never throw out a bead no matter how small it is as one day they will come in useful. I have just finished this beautiful Amethyst, Citrine and Prehnite gemstone necklace using beads I have had in my collection for over 12 years.  This is what I would call random design necklace, but as I threaded each strand I made sure that the larger accent beads were evenly spaced along the strands so there were no "heavy" or "Empty" areas.
Happy Beading
Bead Them Up

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Beading, boating and Barry
My 3 favourite B's
First "B" my husband is definitely my favourite B, married for 34 years, with 3 wonderful children about to become first time grandparents this June, still happy enough said.
Boating, what can I say everyone loves boating, and as we venture off on our annual holiday I am looking forward to seeing all the wonderful friends we have made on the water.
So enough of my other loves, this after all a beading blog, but beading on the boat is the best as I always seam to able to create better designs and come up with some nice ideas.
Boat beading also allows me the time to review and revise the website as when I am in the showroom my time is all about stock count, stock ordering, stock pricing and looking after our wonderful customers. This Christmas break I am working on our class format, after the massive response to teaching a knotting class Bead Them Up has decided to ramp up our class schedule and add a whole lot of extra specialty classes. Our FREE CLASSES will remain no charge for tutorials but we will be creating some exciting kits for students to use as sometimes it is very overwhelming when students are expected to create their own design in the first class.
So I am about to embark for 2 lovely weeks with my favorite B's and thought I would share with you.
Happy beading and Merry Christmas from Julie and the team at Bead Them Up

Thursday, 10 December 2015

My designing tips

Welcome beaders,
I love designing jewellery from simple earrings to complicated creations, I love creating them all. To  me, I think the most important elements when designing is colour, shape and texture. I also feel if you hold a few different beads in your hand and are happy with the look of them in the palm of your hand, they can be made up into something this will work well if they are all different shapes but if they are all the same shapes but different colors, that is when you are going to have to add another element to make the design sing. By adding another element it can be as simple as a small spacer bead to emphasize the colours or a larger bead that spaces the beads to better show them.
When I designed this set I had a very clear idea on how I wanted it to look but could not get the beads to sit the way I liked, I wanted the strong golden resin beads to be highlighted by a gold cap. My dilemma was the cap was not quite large enough or the right shape to fit either side of the barrel shape solution was to turn the cap around so that it sat in a way I was happy with, without compromising the look I was going for. This set had so many redesigns I thought at one time it was just not going to happen. When I have this much trouble with a design, and usually this only happens with a symmetrical design, I start threading from the center as I get less frustrated if I don't waste slot of time retreading the same beads over and over.
Asymmetric designing I find usually comes together quicker like this coral, pearl, onyx and banded agate set, which just went together with out any re-threads.
Another helpful place I find inspiration is from images on the web. Try typing different search wording and download what ever takes your fancy, think of these images as an inspiration don't just copy (which is most of the time impossible anyway) they may inspire colour combinations or use of a particular bead, just download what ever grabs you. if you do this on your phone you will always have the inspiration with you.
Once you start making jewellery I don't think it is at all possible to look at another commercially mass produced jewellery item without analysing how it was made, can I make it better, AND thinking "They are charging that!!!". 
To sum it up get your inspiration from where ever you can, seeing something in a shop, on another person, the TV (I have been known to stop a show and draw a picture of something that caught my eye) and don't forget very few designs are truly unique, jewellery designs have been being copied since the Egyptians.

My Favourite Stone

Welcome fellow beaders,
I am asked frequently what is my favourite stone? answer is I don't have one, but what I have is a favourite stone that I am working with at the moment. Whether I am purchasing, pricing, labelling or designing what I have in front of me at the moment is definitely my favourite.
When I am designing I tend to start working with just one strand or stone and then the design just sort of grows on its own, quite often on its own due to the fact that my work area can have a few different stones just laying around.. I recently had the opportunity to be in a position to being able to spend days designing with very few interruptions and I started with a relatively expensive strand of beautiful blue chalcedony and these were the final results. I loved this colour combination so much I made four different necklaces with the same colours.

One thing I find a great asset when designing is to have all my beads in boxes (1 level fishing tackle boxes are best) stored by stone/colour. I also like to have my beads priced, by strand and by per bead, supplier codes are also helpful if you wish to re-order.