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!

 

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!

The Tiny, Mighty Bead Bumper

Bead Bumpers

Bead Bumpers

We just wrapped up a great Facebook Live Event for Beadalon about proper crimping techniques. Missed it? You can watch it here. One of the surprise stars of the video was the tiny, yet mighty Bead Bumpers! Here’s a recap on my top 3 reasons why I LOVE Bead Bumpers.

1. They act like a Bead Stopper at the end of Memory Wire so your beads don’t fall off as you are designing.

memory wire bead bumper

Use a Square Bead Stopper on either side of your clasp to hide extra wire.

2. They take up the slack when you are adding a Magnetic Tube Clasp to finish your memory wire. You’ll need a little extra room to get the loop turned over and hidden in the clasp. Use a Square Bead Bumper on each end, and they’ll squeeze and release to minimize the exposed wire.

3. We all know that we should leave some “wiggle room” in our designs to minimize the beads from rubbing against the wire, but who likes exposed wire at the ends of our designs? Here’s where Bead Bumpers really shine. Add a few on each end, and their elastic properties will allow you to build in the “wiggle room” without the wire gaps.

I like to think of them like a little magical tool to tighten up spaces at the ends of your designs.

Stay tuned for more Beadalon Facebook Live Events soon! Be sure to *like* the Beadalon Facebook Page and the Meredith Joy Designs Facebook page to stay up to date!

And…if you missed the original Facebook event, you can watch it right here!

Make it Monday – Earring Jackets now with a video!

earring_jackets_lEvery time I wear Earring Jackets that I made with the Artistic Wire Findings Forms Connector Jig, they get noticed – the ultimate compliment! You can read my original post with instructions and materials to make the components here, and now there’s a quick and dirty YouTube Video to follow along with, too!

I think these would make great holiday gifts – I hope my friends and family will agree! The next fun part is designing some packaging so people will get that they are supposed to be used with existing stud earrings. Any ideas for me?

 

French Beaded Flowers Made with Artistic Wire From Beadalon – Coming Full Circle

 

As my good friend Angela can attest, my serious beading started 16 years ago when I became obsessed with making French Beaded Flowers. This led to a circuit of bead shows which led to a frenzy of bead buying which led to a major career change, and here I am today to share a video for Beadalon/Artistic Wire on how to make a basic French Beaded Flower using the Continuous Circle Technique.

These little guys are easy to make, take a minimal amount of seed beads, and are a great gateway into the wonderful world of beading. Enjoy!

Make it Monday: Wine Charms


The grown-up version of a Sharpie on a Solo Cup, these Wine Glass Charms are a great way to keep track of your drink at a party!

Materials:
JTMEMCUT2 Memory Wire Shears
347B-010 – Memory Wire Ring
201A-250 – Memory Wire Finishing Pliers
AWD-24S-10-10YD        Artistic Wire, 24 Gauge (.51mm), Silver Plated, Tarnish Resistant Silver, 10 yd (9.1 m)
JTNJ1   Nylon Jaw Pliers
201A-101          Sparkle Chain Nose Pliers
201A-104          Sparkle Round Nose Pliers
202E-001          Designer Flush Cutter

 

Birthstone Necklace with Beadalon Quicklinks and Swarovski Crystals


I love a good collaborative effort, and Beadalon’s newest employee extraordinaire, Caroline Dunaway, is a wonderful Yin to my Yang! She challenged me to design a Mothers’ Day Birthstone Necklace with joined circles, and here is the result!

Materials:
314B-320 Quick Links
326B-414 Quick Links Connectors
AWD-22S-10-08YD  22 Gauge Tarnish Resistant Silver Plated Artistic Wire
A314-20S-10-02 20 Gauge Artistic Wire Chain Maille Rings
340B-060 Diamond Cut Ball Chain
338B-201 Ball Chain Ends
322B-012 Tag
315B-032 Lobster Clasp
Beads of your choice

Wrap the beads onto the Quick Links using the 22 Gauge Artistic Wire and link them together with the Quick Link Connectors. Attach the Ball Chain Ends to the Ball Chain with Chain Nose Pliers, then use Jump Rings to attach one end of the Chain to the rings and the other to the Tag and Clasp.

And here is a handy chart of Swarovski Birthstone colors from my friends at Har Man Importing.

Wishing my mommy and all the mommies a HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!!! xoxo

Beads, Baubles and Jewels Series 2400

BBJ Mer and Katy

Last November, I had the honor of being one of the guests for the critically acclaimed PBS Series, Beads, Baubles & Jewels with host Katie Hacker. My episode – 2405 Make These Tonight –  is now on-line!

In my show, Katie and I make 3 different styles of bracelets with some of my favorite findings and techniques. Special thanks to TierraCast for providing the cute charms and the 2mm Taj Cord End (01-0210-61) that fit perfectly on Artistic Wire Braid. Click through to watch the episode and check out the tutorials for the Artistic Wire Braid Bangle Bracelet, the Flat Memory Wire Tennis Bracelet, and the Illusion Tube Bracelet.

As always, feel free to post what you make on the Beadalon Facebook page.

Happy Beading!

Make it Monday: Use 5mm Flat Artistic Wire from Beadalon to make a GPS Coordinates Necklace


I love personalized jewelry, and this GPS necklace is a great way to celebrate a special place. Find your wedding site, birthplace, favorite vacation spot, house, or other memorable place at GPS Coordinates, and use 5mm Flat Artistic Wire and metal stamps (my faves are from ImpressArt) to stamp your coordinates for a one-of-a-kind celebration necklace or bracelet.

Materials List:

21 Gauge 5mm Flat Artistic Wire
Hole Punch Pliers
Designer Flush Cutter
File
Steel Bench Block and Hammer
Leather Pad
Polishing Cloth
Jump Rings
Ball Chain
Ball Chain Ends
Lobster Claw and Tag
Permanent Marker

Don’t forget to post your creations on the Beadalon Facebook Page!

Happy Creating!