Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Serena and Medici Drop Earring

I hope all of you had a great holiday weekend. Other than eating, (right?), I spent some time catching up on my bead work. I'm happy to report that I was able to finish my version of  Marcia DeCoster's bracelet, Serena - a beautiful built-up RAW cuff. The pattern is in Marcia's awesome Beaded Opulence book. Marcia used a 3-strand slide clasp in her sample and my bracelet is on an 8-strand slide clasp. Yikes! It is absolutely yummy, measuring almost 2" wide!! I used over 200 3mm 5328 Crystal Dorado 2x Swarovski Elements, but what's a little sparkle among friends! The Dorado 2x totally popped the base color. I used a matte metallic olive ab Japanese seed bead in size 11/0. It's hard to recognize from my picture, but you seed bead gals will remember it from Interweave's Best of Beadwork. Pharaoh's Daughter is on the cover. This beautiful necklace, designed by my BFF Marcia, used three sizes of that beautiful matte metallic seed bead.

Of course, now that I've finished my bracelet what do I wear for my earrings? The Medici Drop: a fabulous earring that you can make in under 30 minutes. I'm not usually one for matching jewelry, but in this case I'm making an exception and I love it. If you haven't made one yet, you really should!. The pattern is in Beaded Opulence too.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

The entire Beading Frenzy family would like to take a moment to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy holiday season filled with love and peace.

We are very grateful for your continued loyalty and support this past year. We are blessed to have you as a customer and as a friend.

Thank you and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2011 from the entire Beading Frenzy team! 
Susan, Peita, Barbara, Becky, Chris and Susan S.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Val's Art Studio

I was recently gifted this absolutely adorable creative pincushion. I actually coveted one from afar and was so excited to receive one. I do love to weave with my favorite seed beads and now my needles have a great resting place in between projects. Oh, I know you are going to tell me that you have a beaded needle case so you don't really need a pincushion. Wrong! My beaded needle case is in my bead bag along with beads that are mobile. My beautiful felted pincushion by Val's Art Studio - felt art with a flair, out of Coronado, CA rests on my bead table. Functional and pretty to look at. I just need to keep my furry felines away! Remember your fellow beady friends, they make a lovely gift too!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Beading Frenzy is turning Sweet 16!

Free Kits at Beading By the Bay? Where, how?

If you register to attend Beading by the Bay by January 5th, your name will be entered to win one kit of each design being taught valued at over $200. WOW! Of course, all students who have previously registered will be included in the drawing as well. The lucky recipient's name will be drawn on Thursday evening at our Meet and Greet. 

Space is becoming limited, so if you would like to join myself and three fantastic instructors for a great weekend don't delay. Marcia and I promise lots of laughs, fun, surprises, great food and three awesome projects. Join us!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Urban DiDi

One of my customers Dorothee, aka Urban Didi, has created a line of jewelry using our childhood favorites - LEGOs. Didi hand drills and bezel sets each Swarovski crystal as well as creating the innovative tube bail across the top. Her 'bubble gum' designs have floating crystals or seeds in them reminiscent of a bubble gum machine.
     Dorothee is a 28 year old mom who enjoys creating and exploring new designs in between taking care of her three young children. 
     "Right now, I love working with LEGOs. It is fun to mix colors and to add some shine to it. I design and make by hand all the pieces, says Dorothee. I love the idea of giving a LEGO brick a second life and a different feel."     
     These really are cool and different! Please come by and check them out. Prices begin at $20. Straps sold separately. These pendants will make a very unique gift!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Beading by the Bay, March 2011

Beading by the Bay is proud to announce that our Thursday evening Meet and Greet will be hosted exclusively by Swarovski Elements. If you came to our inaugural event last year , you know what a blast it was. Marcia DeCoster and I are promising another inspiring evening and weekend this time too. 

Along with many yummy treats and beverages to enjoy, my friend Ron Rock, Key Account Manager for Swarovski North America will be presenting his, now infamous, Trends Presentation. Students and Instructors alike will be treated to the latest Swarovski innovations that will be launched February 2011. 

We still have space available so if you can make it, come and join us. More news to come, so stay tuned!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Celebration of Craftswomen

One of my BFF's Bea Sharp, an awesome fused glass artist, created this beautiful necklace. It won first place in it's division at this year's San Mateo County Fair and will be on display at the Celebration of Craftswomen event at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco this weekend. If any of you live in the greater Bay Area and do not mind a trip to the City, you should go. The level of 'craft' by these women is amazing. And it wouldn't hurt to do a little Christmas/Holiday shopping for that someone special. It's always rewarding to support our sisters in their particular craft.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Additional Information about the Zulu Baskets

These incredible baskets have taken traditional weaving to the next level! The weavers weave these baskets from the top down instead of bottom up around a form. All the other baskets from Africa are woven free form. They use copper coated telephone wire to make these beautiful art baskets. They can be washed gently with soap and water since the wire is coated. These baskets not only can be used but they also look great on a wall, on a table or anywhere you want to display its beauty.

These baskets come from the Zulu Tribe in South Africa and will be available for purchase at TBF on Saturday, December 11th from 11am-6pm. Hope to see you all there!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kazuri Beads, Trunk Show and Sale

Join us on Saturday, December 11th, from 11am - 6pm for a trunk show and sale hosted by Kazuri Beads. 
     The mission of Kazuri is to provide and sustain employment opportunities for disadvantaged members of Kenyan society. In order to achieve this, Kazuri produces top quality Hand-made and Hand-painted Ceramic Jewelery and Pottery. This ensures that the women are well equipped to compete in both the international and local market place. The Kazuri workshop in Karen employs over 340 women, mostly single mothers. It is equipped with a Clinic, providing free medical care for the employees and their immediate family. Kazuri also absorbs 80% of the medical bills outside the Factory Clinic. 
      Kazuri produces handmade, hand-painted ceramic beads and jewelry in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa. Each bead is shaped by hand, without the aid of moulds or forms, by one of the 340 local women employed by Kazuri. The beads are then polished and kiln fired, painted and fired again. Kazuri is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.
     We will also have available paper beads made in Uganda.
      If you are looking for a special gift for that hard-to-buy-for person, please come by and check out these cool Zulu baskets made entirely out of copper telephone wire.

(Pictured from top are Ugandan paper beads, Zulu basket and Kazuri beads)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Small Business Saturday - November 27th

In honor of Small Business Saturday, TBF will have all Swarovski cubes on sale beginning Saturday! All sizes of Article 5601 will be 50% off. All 4mm, 6mm and 8mm cubes in all finishes and colors. Stock up, in time for your holiday gift-making.

If you spend $100 or more on Saturday, Nov. 27th you will receive a Swarovski gift, while supplies last.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Small Business Saturday - November 27th

First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. This year, November 27th is the first ever Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday is a national movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S.

More than a dozen advocacy, public and private organizations have already joined American Express OPEN, the company’s small business unit, in declaring the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday.
Join the movement, spread the word!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Miyuki Tila Beads are here!

We just received in stock Miyuki's  Tila beads in five colors. If you go to their website, Miyuki has great ideas on how to stitch these beads together along with some how-to (not-so-detailed) instructions to follow. Our picture shows one of the bracelets on their website. We have started to see how-to articles with Tila beads offered in some beading publications. I would go to your favorite bookstore and see which ones interest you. Have fun with these beads and let me know how you like them!

Monday, November 8, 2010


My friend and one of my favorite customers, Becky, is an awesome seed beader. She has made most of the projects from Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence than anyone I know. Above is a picture of Serena, Becky's version of Marcia's 3-dimensional Right Angle Weave bracelet done in her favorite silver seed beads, turquoise Swarovski crystals and small black faceted Spinels.What a stunning cuff! I just love it when customers bring in their "show and tell".

Saturday, November 6, 2010


My new friend, from Beading by the Bay, Jean Campbell gifted me with a kit of the class she taught that weekend called Lilium. Here is a picture of my finished piece. Thank you Jean! If you are interested in seeing the projects for 2011 go to Beading by the Bay.

Gemini Gems Trunk Show and Sale

Bennie is here today and tomorrow from Gemini Gems with an awesome collection of fabulous stones. Sleeping Beauty turquoise, Emerald nuggets from Africa and beautiful faceted Lapis Lazuli pendants from Afghanistan, just to name a few. If you don't like wire wrapping stones together, Bennie has a great selection of stone wraps by the foot in sterling silver and gold plated wire and the prices are unbelievable!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Miyuki Tila Beads

Whichever way you wish to pronounce it, Miyuki's Tila beads are sure to add another dimension to your bead weaving designs. These flat, square two-holed beads measure about 5mm x 5mm x 2mm. Miyuki has currently launched this new bead shape in 25 of it's more popular colors. I have ordered some for the store and will let you know as soon as they arrive.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sparkling Make and Takes in Tucson, AZ

It's hard to believe that I'm blogging about Tucson already, but February is just around the corner. I will be there teaching two brand-new earring designs, Crystal Cascade and Tearful Hearts for Swarovski Elements at their new "Make and Takes". Each earring will be taught twice and is sponsored by my friends at Blue Mud. Students pay only $10 for a 45 minute lesson in which you make and then take or in this case wear your project! Swarovski is donating all the proceeds from the Make and Takes to the YWCA, which is their venue in Tucson. I don't have pictures yet of my two earring designs, but as soon as I do I will share them with you. I have attached the link to Swarovski's Create-Your-Style so that you can view all of the wonderful classes that are being taught in Tucson in February. http://www.create-your-style.com/Content.Node/events-and-stores/events/TUCSON-2011.en.php

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Animal Instincts - Swarovski Elements Inspirations Autumn/Winter 2011/2012

CITY/Horse Adaptation and endurance is key to surviving the urban jungle. Emulating the sophisticated power and grace of a thoroughbred horse, sure-footed once again a strong, sleek silhouette dominates the city streets, boldly proclaiming we are back in business! Shoulders are emphasized with large crystals in monochromatic 3D palettes and body chains of crystal mesh appear. Mesmerizing combinations of darkened crystals meld together in geometric forms to adorn tailored jackets, whilst sexy suiting, in a deeply powerful palette, allows us to blend into the slick city architecture. Unity and strength is the overriding theme.
COLOURS Deeper blue tones hovering between black and midnight blue are off-set by a smoky purple. The refractions of the colours are reminiscent of an iridescent oil slick on a city street.
JEWELLERY Horse hair and black enamel create contrast. Body chains and head-pieces resembling harnesses are key items. Plaiting appears in pendants and earrings. Gunmetal, highly polished silver and antique brass are used for bases.
FASHION Sleek, sexy suiting and trendy tailoring in lightweight and velvet dominate both business and evening attire. A new silhouette is apparent with long trains on dresses and the reappearance of the tailcoat. Shoulders are emphasized but not exaggerated. Elongated funnel necklines and geometric cuts make a statement.
FABRICS A mix of sheen and matte in materials creates subtle opulence. Velvets, fine wool for suiting and satins abound. Extra texture and shine is added to wardrobes.
ACCESSORIES Box-like bags and clutches. Wide belts with horse-influenced hardware and patent leather heels. High-wrapped headwear, hard hats and leather encased glasses, emulating horse blinkers, are employed as accents.
INTERIOR Sleek, contemporary and graphic silhouettes dominate. Furniture is modern and minimal. Flooring is polished concrete and ultra-modern materials. High shine and matte surfaces marry together.
CRYSTAL COLOURS Amethyst, Crystal Night Blue Pearl, Montana, Crystal Silver Night, Dark Indigo, Jet       

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Animal Instincts - Swarovski Elements Inspirations Autumn/Winter 2011/2012

COUNTRYSIDE/Kingfisher Like the brilliantly-hued Kingfisher taking flight, imagination is set to soar as fantasy and whimsy take hole of the design world. Emerging from the darkness of former fashion palettes, fabulous fuchsias, sunflower yellows and burnt orange marry in poetic songs of colour. Beautifully bejewelled belts draw in coloured cashmere cardigans, layered crystals drape over decadently ruffled bloused and smatterings of crystal droplets, like water flying off feathered wings, splash over exquisitely embroidered coats and dresses. Tired of being grounded, we set our sights on the soaring spontaneity of decadent dress and abundant accessories. We are ready to fly, to stretch our wings and usher in a new era filled with passion, romance and intrigue.
COLOURS A sudden melody of brights lights up the winter palette in luscious, luxurious, clashing colour from deepest fuchsias to olive greens and inky blues. Bursts of sunflower yellow are the accent.
JEWELLERY Bracelets, layered and stacked, create magical musical jewellery. Brass and silver are found in finishes. Chandelier earrings, bejewelled brooches and lace collars are interspersed with crystals and pearls. Clusters of cocktail rings adorn fingers.
FASHION Offering an opulent, eccentric and slightly bohemian take, the look has a 1920's flapper feel mixed with a touch of 1950's grace. Feathers and ruffled edges are focal points. Elegant combinations of prints and embroideries dominate. Long silk-printed coats create kimono effects.
FABRICS Ornate embroideries and elaborate decoration - brocades, stitched and printed fabrics and raw silks appear. Feathers and ruffles adorn sumptuous textiles. Texture and pattern abounds.
ACCESSORIES Hats and headscarves claim center stage. Coloured gloves dotted with crystals and brightly hued handbags and belts flash colour and confidence.
INTERIOR Fun and fanciful - ceiling decoration and hanging lights are the focus. Chinoiserie-inspired prints, patterned carpets and opulently printed wallpaper make a strong statement.   
CRYSTAL COLOURS - Topaz, Olivine, Rose, Indicolite, Sunflower, Crystal Silver Night  

Monday, October 18, 2010

Animal Instincts - Swarovski Elements Inspirations Autumn/Winter 2011/2012

FARMLAND/Fox Never before has the need for survival been so prevalent. The past few years have shown the young that the world is not merely a frivolous playground. Like the wily fox they have discovered that to exist they need to outsmart and, in a truly progressive move, they turn to the past to arm themselves for their battle with the future. Enduring textiles are off-set by the gorgeous glint of crystal, small random sparkles create an honest and authentic effect, like glittering gems found at the bottom of Grandma's treasure box. Finer-than-fine chains embellished with crystal charms dangle around wrists, mementos of more trustworthy times. Innocent Peter Pan collars and vintage aprons are peppered with subtle shine. Nostalgia and the perpetual charm of tradition is calling - Conservatism is now the new Radical.
COLOURS Pigmented earthy browns and olive greens, the colours of ever-changing nature, are complemented by bright bursts of vibrant red.
JEWELLERY Traditional elements and motif-driven jewellery are the core focus. Cameos, lockets and filigree showcase nostalgic elements. Pearls are a subtle inclusion. Delicate, refined chains are strung with tiny crystals making a sweet statement.
FASHION Fashion stays on the farm this season with garments showing a sense of responsibility and reliability. A pastoral style is prevalent Winter cottons and woolens from sturdy coats. Layering of patterns, Liberty-print blouses and fine-knit weaves create a mismatched effect. 
FABRICS Traditional textiles of proven qualities, the tweeds of yesteryear, are a core focus. Cord, knitted materials and traditional patchwork, silk scarves, faded vintage poplins and Liberty floral prints as well as shirting take pride of place.
ACCESSORIES Functional and traditional rural elements such as aprons, headscarves, hobnailed boots and thick winter stockings are core components. Cane baskets and Amish-style head-wear are eccentric accents. 
INTERIOR A home-spun, rural aspect dominates interior design; particularly relevant to the kitchen and living areas. Functional, versatile pieces in untreated and raw-edged wood dominate. Rough-hewn pottery, copper pans and traditional storage containers are used as elements of decoration.
CRYSTAL COLOURS Crystal Silver Night, Siam, Dark Indigo, Khaki, Sunflower, Crystal Red Magma, Jet Nut       

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Animal Instincts - Swarovski Elements Inspirations Autumn/Winter 2011/2012

WINTER LANDSCAPE/Snow Rabbit  Indulging in the blissful pleasure of touch, the design world is finally breathing a sigh of relief and taking comfort in a sense of rediscovered safety. Like the snow rabbit amidst its icy winter landscape, a paler-than-pale palette sees crystal melding into its surroundings - integration and camouflage is key. Softly cocooned in whisper-soft cashmere and the comforting, downy texture of mohair, dustings of fine crystals are interwoven into clothing and accessories. Tiny pave-set crystals adorn jewellery and "loungerie" in sensuous supple satins are trimmed with light-as-air lace. Nurture, nourishment and the need to be still are the catch-cries of this theme.
COLORS A sublimely simple canvas of hazy winter pastels and creamy neutrals punctuated with softer-than-soft blues and pale off-greys.
JEWELLERY Charming, intricate pieces that encapsulate a sense of cocooning. Almost translucent,  woven and knitted elements in ethereal forms are sprinkled with crystal. Bold ice crystal rings and necklaces are finished in matte or beaten metals.
FASHION  A 'loungerie' aspect is the prime focus. Soft body suits in jersey and elasticized dance pants offer comfortable elegance. Cobweb fine knits embrace shapes, whilst over-sized woolen jumpers swathe forms. Silhouettes are loose and relaxed. 
FABRICS Powder-fine luxurious yarns, ultra-soft felted wools, fluffy yarns and ruffled tulle, mohair alpaca, crochet and lace as well as sensuous silks and satins.
ACCESSORIES Loosely woven knitted hoods and fine mohair scarves and gloves appear. Satin bows and belts are used for delicate detailing.
INTERIOR A theme tailor-made for bedrooms and luscious living areas. Faded print rugs in pastel palettes, cocooning, ultra-comfortable chairs and billowing ice-inspired structures for lighting.
CRYSTAL COLORS Crystal, Light Azore, Sand Opal, Silk, Light Grey Opal

Friday, October 15, 2010

Animal Instincts - Swarovski Elements Inspirations Autumn/Winter 2011/2012

FOREST BROWN BEAR Classic     Like the bear we have woken from a deep, restorative slumber to a world of new elements. Seeking to re-connect with our natural habitat, we covet fashion and design that respects and intones the environment. We crave sustainability and enduring organic forms. Designs are strong and sturdy and almost predictable like the bear itself. Amber-coloured crystals, like natural sap, collect in a conglomeration of brooches on tweed jackets. Intertwined, branch-inspired blackened silvers and metals are adorned with tone-on-tone crystal drops, large Ceramics in natural forms drape down necklines.
COLOURS The reassuring traditional earthy palettes of chocolate and tan are made over with punctuations of bright pumpkin and sunflower yellow. Amber and tortoiseshell tones infiltrate.
JEWELLERYTarnished metallics and pewters predominate. Root, twig and branch-like structures are incorporated into bracelets and necklaces. Amber, yellow and topax tones are mixed with horn and wood. Brooches are a surprise element.
FASHION Ribbing, pleats and graphic elements underline and enhance silhouettes. Classic forms and textured materials are offered freedom and movement. A slightly androgynous element creeps in with sublimely pale pin-stripes and woven checks showcasing simplicity. FABRICS There is faux real element. Rugged waterproof cloth, lightweight fine-checked wools and sturdy knit weaves are the basics.
ACCESSORIES Leather appears in accessories and as an embellishment to clothing. Rugged, knitted socks and stockings, over-sized sunglasses and reading glasses, representing owl-like intensity, are statement pieces.
INTERIOR Amber or golden honey accents are found in vases, objets d'art and lighting forms. Branch-inspired furniture as well as overhead beams and wooden walls proliferate. Woven fibers stand out.
CRYSTAL COLOURS   Crystal Silver Night, Topaz, Sunflower, Light Smoked Topaz, Smoked Topaz, Jet Nut

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Beading Frenzy is blogging!!

With our blog we hope to keep you informed of the latest products, events and classes happening in the shop as well as inspiring you with new designs and color trends. 

As we enter the tenth month of the year, it is all about Fall; the season, falling leaves, changes in color, pumpkins, decorations and small children in Halloween costumes knocking on your door looking for a treat. Ghosts, witches and bats, oh my!These adorable earrings are made with Swarovski Elements. Okay so it's no surprise that we used our favorite product to create these designs! What's a little sparkle among friends...