Fabulous bead project ideas that don't take forever to complete. Our favorite styles are the trendy, classic, adventurous, the colorful and sophisticated. Most projects can be completed in 1-2 hours, a short afternoon or evening. You will also find information about beading techniques and helpful tips. We offer convenient online shopping at www.BeadBee.com.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chili Pepper Baroque Pendants - Bead of the Week

The gorgeous coupling of the fiery chili pepper color and the exquisite baroque pendant is sure to inspire those who are in search for color and style without overdoing it. Perfect for earrings, pendants and sparkly charm bracelets.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Swarovski Twist Bead - Bead of the Week

If you are going for a modern, stylish look, the Swarovski twist bead is a certain way to go. The perfectly symmetrical shape and unique facets definitely lend an edgier look to your designs. I love combining these beads with color coordinated Swarovski pearls and sterling silver chain.

Take a look in our bead projects featuring the Swarovski Twist bead.

25% off Swarovski Twist Beads until April 26, 2009.

Which is your favorite Swarovski bead?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lemon Buttercream - Color of the Month

This month's color features vibrant yellows, elegantly combined with Swarovski Crystals and freshwater pearls.

Don't be intimidated by the intense color, add other bright tones such as fuchsia, aqua & green, or tone it down with silver beads & chain.

This mix and other colors are featured in our pre-packaged Designer Bead Mixes.

Share your favorite color combos by posting a comment.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Designer Bead Mixes

We spent a lot of time finding the right blend color & shape to create gorgeous monochromatic bead mixes inspired by Pantone's Spring 2009 Color Report. These beads mixes will add instant glamour to any jewelry design. My favorite is the Lucite Green which I used to create dazzling earrings. Which one is your favorite Designer Bead Mix?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crystal Bicones - Bead of the Week

Even though we have so many Swarovski shapes to choose from, bicones remain the most popular choice of all. We love the versatility of the perfect bicone shape and the breathtaking colors. They are perfect for wire wrapping, stringing and weaving. Our example features an elegant combination of padparadscha, pacific opal and light colorado topaz wire wrapped onto sterling silver chain.

Tell us about your great design ideas featuring the classic bicone. (Leave your comments)

Next week's Bead of the Week will be featured in our monthly newsletter. Don't miss out on great design ideas and helpful hints - sign up for our newsletter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Soft Flex or Flex-Rite?

Bead Smith recently launched their own line of flexible beading wire. Many of us have been loyal to the same brand for years, however, when faced with so many options and brands, it may be difficult to know the difference.

A bit of background for beginners who may be unfamiliar with flexible beading wire - it is basically stainless steel "mini" cable coated with nylon. There are many thicknesses and colors offered by several brands such as Soft Flex, Flex-Rite and Beadalon. The flexibility and strength increases with a higher strand count. Strand count ranges from 7-49 strands.

After trying Bead Smith's new Flex-Rite product, it is now my stringing material of choice. The 49 strand Flex-Rite is a 24lb test strength (the comparable Soft Flex product has 26lb test strength) and is .018" thick, slightly thinner than Soft Flex which is .019". While this may seem to be a negligible difference, those who work a lot with gemstones and pearls, like me, will appreciate this .001" difference, which is often the difference between stringing your pearls or not, or doubling back when crimping. For sterling silver beading wire, I am loyal to the Soft Flex's Extreme 925 Flex (medium) which is the best value for its strength and flexibility.

Which product do you prefer? Let us know!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Designer's Space

I am lucky enough to have a dedicated design studio where I can have my mess, where no one will bother it, and it won't bother them. If you are serious about jewelry design, make sure you have your own dedicated space for creativity. If you don't have a lot of room, strive for quality, atmosphere, and lots of organization! You will be surprised what a nice spot you can create for yourself with a nice chair and great organizers.

I have found that using the stackable drawers (the size that fits 8 1/2 x11" paper) work well to organize my many works in progress. Simply line the bottom of each drawer with a bead mat (cut to size). Each unfinished project then goes in its own drawer. I also place a note or drawing in the drawer to serve as a reminder of my design idea.

I would love to hear how you have designed and organized your work space!