Thursday, March 28, 2013

New In My Etsy Store March 28, 2013

This week I added three new pieces to my store.

I made another wedding necklace set for the wedding section of my store.  I love this rose gold Swarovski pearl with silk Swarovski crystal!  I think this one is my favorite of the wedding sets!

I also added two more wire wrapped rings to my store.  I love how they both came out!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Product Review: The Bracelet Valet

As I mentioned in Monday's blog, I had the pleasure to meet Maureen Oliveto at the Whole Bead show this past weekend.  Maureen is the creator of the Easy Knotter, and now she has a new invention called the Bracelet Valet.
I always find it difficult getting my bracelets on alone. I am always looking for my husband or children to help.  With the bracelet valet, you can put it on without the help of someone else.  Maureen showed me how to do this with a bracelet with jump rings.  Her steps were to; 
1. Place jump ring from the bracelet on the post
2. Put your wrist inside loop of bracelet, open the clasp, and attach it to the jump ring
3. Lift off the post

I usually have trouble putting on toggle clasp, so I put the Bracelet Valet to the test to see if it would make putting on a toggle clasp alone totally worked!

Here are the pics!
Place open toggle part on Bracelet Valet hook.
Place wrist in bracelet
insert stem into toggle hole
Pull through toggle
Slide off hook, and that bracelet is on!!!

You can purchase  the bracelet valet at the Designs by Reenie Etsy store--

Happy Beading!!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to Choose Seed Beads

As some of you may know there are many difference in seed beads.  For those of you who are just starting to bead or craft, you may find that when choosing seed beads randomly may result in a project that may not go as it should.  

Last week I wrote an article for Crave Handmade, an online site for those in the crafting community, on the many choices of seed beads and where they come from.

Here is the link to it--

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Happy Beading!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Whole Bead Show Came To New York!!!

This past weekend is one I looked forward to all year.  The Whole Bead Show visits New York City! Those of you in other states seem to always get these wonderful bead shows, but for us bead lovers in New York they only come twice a year.

I was unable to attend the one in October, so it was important for me not to miss this one!  I grabbed my gal pal, and fellow bead lover Lori, and we were on our way!

Notice the overly happy grin on my face!!!!

Every year the Whole Bead Show is held in lower Manhattan at the Metropolitan Pavilion on west 18th street.  The Pavilion is a huge facility and the bead show can be overwhelming because of the size of this place. I usually show up on opening day early so that I can receive my wholesale tag and get my shop on, before the heavy crowds begin to fill the place. My tag allows me access to the show for the full weekend!

When the doors are finally opened what greets you is rows and rows of beads!!!  At this point I have to remind myself to breathe!

This year I had a special treat.  I was able to meet Maureen Oliveto, the inventor of the Easy Knotter! Last week I did a product review on the Easy Knotter (, so this was a real treat to meet her!

Maureen or Reenie, as everyone calls her, not only had her product available for purchase, but was giving tutorials of how to use it!  It was so great to meet her, and have her show me personally how to use the product! You can purchase the Easy Knotter at her website on    Maureen also has a new product called the Bracelet Valet.  I will give a product review on that this Wednesday!  

My friend Lori and I really had a good time meeting other vendors as well! We also put a small hurting on our wallets, but it was well worth the discounted purchases we received.
a small sample of what we purchased!

  If the Whole Bead Show ever comes to your town I highly recommend you attending.

Happy Beading!!!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

New In My Etsy Store This Week 3/22/2013

So I decided to add another wedding set to my store.  I got my hands on some creamy Swarovski pearls and Golden Shadow Swarovski Crystals.  I love the look of this with the matching earrings.

I also added one more ring to my etsy store.  This green is so pretty!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Review: Teach Yourself Visually Beadwork by Chris Franchetti Michaels

When it comes to bead work I am a visual learner.  Once I see how a stitch is done then I know how to do it.  I need either a video or pictures to teach me.  A few years ago I wanted to learn a few of the basic stitches which I had never used to add some variety to my work.  Teach Yourself Visually was the perfect book for those lessons.

Teach yourself visually is a good book to have if you are not familiar with a stitch and need to see how it is done.  It is perfect for the first time learner, or for those who are trying to brush up on a stitch they have not done in awhile.  Below is a sample page on how to execute a brick stitch.

After you go through the book and learn all the stitches there are two chapters with beginner and intermediate projects you can try.  I also love the fact that there is a chapter on jewelry finishing techniques. For someone who is always trying to figure out a creative way to end a project this came in handy.  

I recommend this book to anyone who has started beading or just wants to add a few new stitches under their belt and experiment with a new technique.

Happy Beading!

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Etsy Store This Week: Rings and a Swarovski Wedding Set!

This past week I truly got into ring making.  It has become my new passion in beading! Who would have thought that I would love doing wire work!!! I used Swarovski Crystal and all the silver rings are sterling silver filled.

I also added a new necklace set to the wedding section of my store.  The necklace is made with silver shade Swarovski crystal and silver lined delica beads.  I love the antiqued silver heart clasp.  The matching earrings are made with sterling silver wire.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Netting Tutorial

A few weeks ago I did an article for an online magazine called Crave Handmade.  Crave Handmade is a site dedicated to promoting and exploring the handmade community, which I consider myself to be a part of.

The article was a tutorial and brief history on basic netting.  You can find it at the link below.  Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Product Review: Easy Knotter

One summer I got really into knotted jewelry.  I loved the look it gave and it worked well with my paper beads, but it was time consuming to do the knots.  It was hard measuring between beads to make sure that it was accurately spaced and I hated it when the knot was not tight enough next to the bead.  I found the Easy Knotter to be a wonderful tool which made making knotted necklaces faster to make, and ensured tight, and evenly spaced knots each time!

What I love about this tool is that is left hand friendly. I'm a southpaw, and this tool has a left hand side and a right hand side.

When you lift the knob in the middle, there is a small pole which you can place your knots on.
You use this and the surrounding measurements to evenly space your beads.

Below is a video by done by Easy Knotter's inventor, Maureen Oliveto.  It is as easy as it looks and necklaces work up faster with this tool!
Happy Beading!!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pantone Color Fashion Report for Spring 2013

Following the color trends is easy when you know what colors designers are using to create their clothes for a season.  To do this one only has to look at the Pantone Color Report and they will know what direction to follow when creating accessories. The Pantone report was created to represent the prominent colors designers are using on the catwalks around the world, and which direction color trends are heading.

I usually follow the Pantone report to get a sense of what colors I want to focus more on for each season.  Pantone has already reported that Emerald Green will be the color of the year.  Last years color was Tangerine Tango.  Green is not a color that I work with often so I will be challenging myself to work with that color.

Here is a chart of the Spring 2013 colors;
As you can see the colors are very light and bright!  These colors are easy to combine as well, and we still have some hints of orange, just not as bright as last years tangerine.

Below is a very informative video by Lee Eiseman, Pantone's executive director, where she talks about the Spring 2013 color trends

Happy Beading!!!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

This Week In My Etsy Store- Wedding Cuff and Necklace Sets!

I'm still building the wedding section of my Etsy store and love working with Swarovski crystal.  This week I added a flat spiral wedding cuff.  I used opal swarovski with crystal aurora borealis swarovski and love how it came out!

I found some extra coin beads in my stash and came up with the idea to make a couple of necklace sets.  I love the hematite set and the pink reminds me of Easter and Spring!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Product Review: 1 Step Lopper by Beadsmith

As most of you know I am a big fan of tools!!!!  I especially love tools which make beading easy, and give me more time for creativity.  I heard about this tool a few weeks ago and was very anxious to try it out to see if it really worked.  I am not a fan of wire work, but I love making things with wire (go figure!).  Loops on earrings and connectors is something I have always had a problem with.  Just getting them to be uniform and 1 size is always a problem.  to remedy this Bead Smith has created a tool called the 1 step looper.  In 1 swift motion you can cut and create the perfect loop.

After watching the video, I was anxious to give it a try, but it was extremely expensive...$50 and upwards in some online stores.  So I went down to the bead district where my husband gifted it to me for around $28 dollars.  To date it is still one of my most expensive tool, so I expect to get some use out of it!!!

I expected it to be much bigger, because the ads make it look huge and heavy!!! But as you can see from me holding it, it is about the size of a normal handheld tool.  It is the same size as my needle nose pliers.  According to my husband I have child size hands, so you can see from the pic below its not as large as the ads portray it to be, which is great!

This tool can....

Trim and Loop in One Step

• Create & trim eye pins in one motion!
• Works with dead-soft or half-hard precious metal wire; craft wire; and copper or brass core wire
• Consistent size loops every time
• Bends & trims wire between 26-18 gauge
• Customize the length of eye pins

I began using it right away and I have mixed reviews on it.

  • The loops come out perfect every time.  
  • It is very easy to use and the tool is light weight
  • After it is sized, it cuts the loop perfectly
  • used it with 20 gauge wire , which is pretty thick and it worked with no problem.
  • loops have to be pinched closed after you make them.  
  • I know I am still working and learning the tool, but the loops did not come close to the bead like I want them to, and there was a little space ( see pic below).  This can probably be adjusted in its use after I play with it for awhile
  • As with anything, there is a learning curve.
Overall, I would suggest this to be a good buy for all of you serious beaders.  It will save time, especially if your project involves a lot of loop making.  

Below are 2 videos which will give you more insight as to how to use it.  Please feel free to SEND ME YOUR FEED BACK and let me know how it is working for you as well.  I would like to hear from you out there!

Happy Beading!!!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Book Review: Color Sense: Creative color Combinations for Crafters by Susan Levin

Color Sense is a wonderful book when you want to experiment with colors and add new combinations to your palate.  As a beader you can sometimes get into a rut and fall into using the same color schemes over and over again.  In steps this books so you can make your work exciting! 

This book not only includes a color wheel (see below), but has hundreds of pages of color combinations you can choose from as well.  If you have a color you don't know how to match up, thumbing through the pages of this book will give you many suggestions on how to combine it to make it pop.

The book is sectioned into monochromatic combinations, two-color combinations, three-color combinations, and four color combinations. There is also a section of color swatches you can tear out and play with to create different combinations before you buy.  If you want to experiment with color or just shake things up a bit in your work, then this book is definitely for you.

If your still confused about how to use the color wheel, then check out this quick tutorial by Auntie's Bead designer, Karla Schafer.

Happy Beading!

Friday, March 1, 2013

New In My Etsy Store: GOLD!!

This week I went through my bead stash and found some unique shades of gold to bead with.  I created these two pieces below;