Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Back To My Beading Blog After A Nearly 4 ½ Months Leave Of Absence

After my post regarding my bracelet collection, I took a long hiatus from blogging. Even though I have sold several bracelets (customized bracelets and a couple of pairs of earrings too) since my last post, I also decided to cut back on beading in favor of devoting more time and attention to other aspects of my life, being the most important aspect, my autistic daughter, Angelina.

Angelina is the light of my life and the center of my world. And, even though she is autistic, Angelina is very loving and very funny. I spent much of the summer months going places with her, playing with her, and just taking the time to get to know her better. Our time together also renewed my appreciation for her and the struggles that she has in her life.

Our summer together flew by very fast. Angelina loves school. She was very excited to be going back. She had missed her friends and her school day routine. I, on the other hand, was not as excited about school resuming for Angelina. I have to admit that it was with some sadness that I put her on the bus and waved good-bye to her on her first day back at school.

So, now she is back in school and I am back to beading nearly every day. I have created several beautiful necklaces and chokers. I am also in the process of learning how to use my new digital camera. I hope to have pictures of my latest creations posted on my picturetrail site very soon. I have also been working on creating a website and will soon have a Blujay store.

I must admit, over the past several months I have come to see that my life is truly blessed. I have a beautiful daughter that I love with all my heart, and I have been blessed with the ability to express myself through my beadwork.

I invite you to visit my picturetrails website, “Bead Between The Lines.” You just might find something that you like, or something that inspires you!! And while you are there, please, take a moment to sign my guestbook

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"BeadWitching Bracelets" For Sale!!

I have really been neglecting my blog writing in favor of spending my spare time beading. I have been bead-weaving some bracelets. Bead-weaving stitches are much more time consuming than bead stringing and bead-weaving also takes a lot more patience. So with this in mind, after four months of diligent effort, I am please to announce “Bead Between The Lines,” “BeadWitching Bracelet Collection!”

Bracelets are one of my favorite beading items to make and wear. In my opinion, bracelets are an accessory which transforms a great outfit into a fabulous outfit. However, often times in the past when I have gone shopping for a bracelet, I can’t find a bracelet that will fit my wrist. They are usually all too big. This is the main reason I started making bracelets for myself. My wrist circumference is 6”.

Average bracelet sizes are between 7-7 ½” including the clasp (this is because most women’s wrist circumference falls between the 7-7 ½” range). This is why the bracelets I have created are also these lengths. However, I do not feel that if anyone’s wrist measurement does not meet the, so called, “average” range, that they should be penalized for this by paying more for bracelets. With this in mind, I am more than happy to accommodate customers with larger or smaller wrist and custom create a bracelet (or bracelets) in their chosen style (or styles) at no extra charge!!!!

So, I invite you to stop by my website “Bead Between The Lines” and have a look at the new “BeadWitching Bracelet Collection” and all of my other beadwork too. You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you. And, please, take a moment to sign my guestbook

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bead Soup

One day Angelina was quietly playing in her bedroom. So, I decided to take advantage of the fact that she was entertaining herself and use this as an opportunity to sit down and do some beading. I went over to the table to pick up my latest project and the craft box that held the beads that I had been using; however, the craft box that held my beads was missing. I was positive that I had left the box on the dining room table. I check the kitchen, my bedroom, and the hallway, but it was not in any of those places. I could not understand how or where I had missed placed the bead box.

I walked towards Angie’s room and opened the door. But, before I could even ask her if she had seen my box of beads, she looked up at me with an angelic smile on her face and said, “Look Mother, I’m making soup!” I looked down into the bowl. To my utter horror she had taken and dumped my entire box filled with seed beads into the bowl and was stirring them with the spoon. The tiny beautiful transparent seed beads that had been so carefully sorted into their own respective color compartments were now being gleefully mixed together into bead soup!

I had to leave the room in order to get control of my emotions. When I had my emotions under control, I went back into Angelina’s bedroom. While I was gone, she abandoned the bead soup that she was making and was now sitting on her bed reading a book. I looked forlornly at the bowl that was holding the bead soup mixture. I realized that there was no way that I was ever going to get all those mixed up seed beads sorted. But, I could not bear the idea of throwing all those lovely little beads into the garbage either. I poured them from the bowl into a decorative glass jar. There they sat on top of my desk unused for a very long time.

On a sunny day when the sun was shining on the jar of beads making the multitude of colors sparkle like little jewels, I got the idea to use a portion of the beads to create a “Bead Soup Bracelet.” I poured some of the bead soup mixture into a dish. Then I beaded the ladder stitch foundation row using gold seed beads. (I also used gold seed beads for the side edges and top row of the bracelet.) I created the rest of the bracelet using the brick stitch beading technique. Instead of designing a pattern and using it to create my bracelet, I let the beads jump up onto my needle at random. I made a beaded bead ball on one edge of the bracelet and a beaded loop on the other edge of the bracelet for the closure.

The bracelet turned out very pretty and it reminds me of stained glass. One of the great things about this bracelet is that because it has such a variety of colors in it, I can wear it with any solid color shirt or dress. It really brightens up the outfit that I am wearing. It is one of my favorite bracelets. And, every time I wear it, I receive compliments from strangers. (There is a picture of this bracelet in my 2007 beadwork photo album on my picturetrails site).

So, in retrospect I now can give thanks to Angelina for making “bead soup”. Without her help I never would have been inspired to create this beautiful bracelet.

When you have the chance, stop by and visit my website, "Bead Between The Lines." You just might find something that you like, or something that will inspire you.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Potawatomi Weave Bracelets

I have been currently working on bracelets using the Potawatomi bead weaving stitch. This bead weaving stitch was developed by the Potawatomi Nation. The Potawatomi Nation is well known for their beautiful woven basketry, quill embroidery, and of course beadwork.

The Potawatomi weave is a bead weaving stitch which is commonly used to make beaded friendship bracelets. The width of the bracelet depends on how many beads are woven together for each row. The rows are woven diagonally, not horizontally or vertically. I have made 3 bracelets using this technique.

The first bracelet is a “7 bead weave”. I used size 11/0 seed beads in the colors of silver and gold. This made a lovely tennis bracelet with a gold and silver diagonal pattern. This bracelet is a great accessory to wear for a formal or informal occasion.

The second bracelet was also made using a "7 bead weave." For this bracelet I used size 8/0 seed beads. These beads are larger than size 11/0 seed beads. Metallic hematite black and metallic teal colored beads created the diagonal pattern. Since this bracelet was made using larger beads, it is not as dainty as the first and would look great on either a woman or a man. (A picture of this bracelet is posted. Unfortunately my scanner does not do justice to the actual beauty of this bracelet.)

Unlike the previous 2 bracelets that used a "7 bead weave", the last bracelet was made using a "5 bead weave". I used only one color of size 11/0 seed beads and created a lovely monochromatic pink bracelet. I also added a scalloped edging to this bracelet that I did not add to the other two bracelets.

The Potawatomi weave is a real fun beading stitch. I really enjoyed making these bracelets. I also plan to make a necklace or two using this technique. If you are interested in learning more about the Potawatomi Nation check out this website;

When you have the chance, I invite you to visit my website, “Bead Between The Lines.”
You just might find something that you like or something that inspires you. And, please, take a moment to sign my guest book.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Giving Angelina The "Very Pink Heart" Pendant

Well it took me longer than I thought to finish Angie’s ‘Very Pink Heart’ pendant. I didn’t realize when I chose the white beads, just how small the holes were. I had to really cull the beads and find ones with holes that were large enough to make more than one thread pass. But, I finally finished her necklace the day before her birthday.

The expression on her face was priceless when she unwrapped her necklace. Her eyes widen, her mouth opened forming a big “oh”. Then she carefully pulled her necklace out of the box and held it up. A beautiful smile emerged across her face. She began to jump up and down as he handed me her ‘Very Pink Heart’ pendant and cried, “On, on, please.”

I put the pendant on her and she ran to the mirror in her bedroom. She must have stood there for at least 5 minutes preening and admiring herself wearing her necklace. As she stood in front of the mirror I bent down and told her, “Mother made this heart for you so that you would always know just how very much I love you.” Then I gave her a big hug and we went back into the living room to open the rest of her presents.

The next day Angelina insisted on wearing her 'Very Pink Heart' pendant to school. It was reported to me by her teacher that both friends and faculty all day long were telling Angie how much they liked her necklace and how pretty she looked wearing it. The principal of the school came into Angelina’s classroom for a visit. She noticed Angie’s necklace. Her teacher explained to the principal that the necklace was made by Angie’s mommy and it was given to Angie for her birthday.

The principal said to Angie, “Your look very pretty wearing your birthday necklace. But, maybe you should take it off and give it to your teacher for safe keeping until the end of the day. We wouldn’t want you to break it or lose it.”

Angelina looked at her as she laid her hand on the beaded heart and said, “No, this is Mothers love.” The principal and teacher both smiled at her. There was no more mention of Angelina taking of her necklace. So, I believe, Angelina does understand what I was trying to convey to her when I gave her the 'Very Pink Heart' pendant.

If you get the chance, visit my website, "Bead Between The Lines." You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Angelina's Very "Pink" Heart

On March 20th my daughter, Angelina, will be 10 yrs. old. Hard to believe how fast the time has flown. She is such a terrific kid. Last year, for her 9th birthday, I made her a little daisy flower bracelet. She loved it and still wears it a lot. So this year, for the big number 10 I wanted to make her something really special, something that would show her just how much I love her.

Angelina loves pink. To say that it is her favorite color would be an understatement. The “Barbie” doll has nothing on this girl when it comes to the color pink. So I went to my beads stash and pick out the most outrageously pinky pink beads I have. Now I just needed to figure out what I was going to make her.

So I went to my computer, opened up my beadesigner program and inspiration hit. I decided to make her a heart shaped pendant necklace. I chose my graph, and colors, pink and white, and then created the heart design that would, when beaded, become the pendant.

I am not quite finished with her necklace but am confident it will be done by her birthday. The necklace is coming along nicely. It is turning out even better than I had imagined it to be. If luck is with me I will be able to finish it today. If not, then I will have it done no later than tomorrow. I will post a picture of the pendant when it is finished.

My sweet little Angie has autism. And even though she does very well in school and is verbal, I am not always sure how much of life she comprehends. My hope is that when she opens her “very pink heart pendant”, she will understand just how much I love her and how very proud of her I am.

If you get the chance, stop by my website, "Bead Between The Lines". You just might find something there that you like or something that inspires you.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Free Beading Programs

When I started to get the hang of the different bead weaving stitches, I decided that I wanted to try to design and create my own patterns instead of beading and re-creating someone else’s designs. I went to some sites that offered free graph paper for the different bead weaving stitches. I printed up the graph paper, purchased a set of colored pencils and began filling in the little squares with my own design ideas.

This method of designing works, but is rather time consuming. If I made a mistake or simply didn’t like my color choice, I would end up starting the design over. For some reason colored pencil marks do not erase easily or cleanly. I knew that there had to be a more efficient way of graphing my own bead weaving stitch designs.

So with this in mind, I took my search once again to the internet. I typed ‘free bead pattern software’ into the ‘google’ search engine. Since I was still fairly new to beading and designing bead weaving stitch graph patterns, I wasn’t, as yet, ready to pay for any expensive bead pattern design software. I found 3 free programs. Easy Bead Patterns, and Beadesigner.

Easy Bead Pattern is a free program. The particulars regarding the program can be obtained at this website;
A copy of the program can be downloaded from the site as well.

At bead patterns can be designed directly from the website. The pattern designer is not downloadable to a personal computer. However, patterns that are created are printable, but as far as I know, not savable to a personal computer. The website is:

Beadesigner is a program created by Leah Kramer. Leah offers this program free from her website is;
And, this is the program that I downloaded and still use to design graph patterns for bead weaving stitches. With Beadesigner I can design graph patterns for loom/square, peyote, 2 drop peyote, brick, and commanche bead weaving stitches. I can also choose to design with the traditional square graph spaces or choose circular graph spaces. After I choose my graph, I use the color palette to select the color that I want to use in my design. I can even create custom colors. When I am finished with my pattern, I save it as a ‘bitmap’ image and then close the program. I reopen the saved “image” using ‘Paint.’ Then, from ‘Paint’, I can print up my pattern. (I have also used this program to create and print cross stitch patterns for my daughter, Charlotte.)

Beadesigner is an older software application. It is at times a little glitchy. I do have to refresh my graphs, when designing every now and then. I also save my work often when designing a new pattern. It does not have any drawing tools for free style designing. I have been doing some limited free style pattern designing in using ‘PowerPoint’ but I would like to have all my designs located in one program. This is one of the reasons why I am looking to purchase a professional bead pattern design software program. The other reason is that a professional software program will give my designs a more sophisticated, polished, finished look to them.

I did actually purchase Bead Creator (a professional pattern design program), a while back ago but that is another post entirely.

Currently, I am researching professional pattern design software programs. But, I must say, that I have been very grateful for my free copy of ‘Beadesigner.’ I have created some truly lovely patterns with it. And, I have no plans of deleting the program once I choose which commercial program that I want to purchase. I am sure I will still have occasions to use ‘Beadesigner.'

If you get the chance, please stop by my website, "Bead Between The Lines." You just might find something there that you like or something that inspires you. And, please, take a moment to sign my guest book.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Welcome Ladies

Welcome to my Beading Party!!!! My name is Brenda. I have 3 of my most favorite things just waiting for you on the side board. There are Margarita's ready for you to drink. There is a box of Chocolates with your name on them for you to eat. And there are Beads so that you can create a beautiful, fabulous bracelet and/or necklace to wear. So lets sit back relax and get to know one another.
Let the bead times roll!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

List Of Some Of My Favorite Bead-Related Websites.

If you are intested in learning how to bead or know how to bead and just need some inspiration, here is a list of some of my favorite beading-related websites.

1. About Beadwork: This is a great website. If is chock full of free tutorials, instructions and patterns. This was one of the principle websites I used, and still used, when I was teaching myself how to bead weave.

2. About Beadwork Forum: Membership into this forum is open to anyone. The beaders who are members of this group are kind, positive, uplifting and always willing to help. It is also a great place to show off the beadwork that you have created and to be able to gain some valuable feedback.

3. Ruby’s Beadwork: Ruby Fischer is an amazing and wonderful beader. On her website you will find many free tutorials that she has created and generously shares free of charge. She loves to hear from people who have created something using one of her tutorial. And if you have any problems creating one of her designs, she provides her email address so that you can email her for help. She is always pleasant and responds back very quickly. She also has a link to her picturetrail site where you can view her beautiful beaded eye candy.

4. Alexis (beader from Germany): Alexis is another very talented beader. Her website offers a variety of free tutorials and instructions. If you have problems with creating one of her designs, just send her and e-mail and she will do what she can to help you.

5. Maria Oldring (beader from Russia): A very talented beader from Russia. Her website also offers free tutorials.

6. Sova Enterprizes: This site is owned by Rita Sova and her husband. They sell a variety of bead patterns designed by various artists. They also have many free patterns available too.

7. Shipwreck Beads: Their physical location is in Lacey, Washington…approximately 30 miles from my home town of Tacoma, Washington. The actual store is huge. It is literally a giant beading warehouse. Their website is pretty awesome too. The store and the website really have all of your beading needs. The website also has a gallery which features beadwork designed and created by various different beaders. I have a bracelet and a necklace in their gallery.

8. Firemountain Gems: Another great website for purchasing all your beading and jewelry-related materials. They also have tutorials. And unlike many beadstores, you can get a free printed catalog of their merchandise sent to you through the postal mail. They update their catalog about twice a year and the updates are also sent to you free. They also offer tips and tutorials on their website.

9. Aunt Molly's Bead Street: Owned by beader artist Mary Tafoya. This site has free patterns and links to her other websites and gallery of her beadwork.

10. Art Attacks and Strokes: Owned by Chadd Pitts. He sells his own handcrafted, beautiful blown glass work and beads.

11. Bead Between The lines: Owned by me, Brenda Federighi. I sell beautiful bead-woven jewelry that I have designed and created. I am currently busy designing and creating bracelets that will soon be ready and posted for sale. I also have pictures of some of the beadwork that I have made and kept over the years.
So stop by my website and have a look around. You just might find something that you like, or something that inspires you.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Bead Shopping Part 2: Purchasing Larger Beads

I am a bargain shopper. I am always looking for a deal and beads are no exception to this rule. If you go into a craft store or a bead shop you will realize that beads are not cheap. Depending on the beads, you can spend $50.00 on beads and come out of the store with a very small bag of beads and wonder, “Where did my money go?” This is why it is important to know where and how to shop in order to get your best beading dollar value, without compromising quality.

Just like seed beads, there are many types and sizes of larger beads, swarovski crystals, pearls, glass beads, and Czech crystals to name a few. And depending on the beads, they can be rather pricey. Since most of my beaded jewelry is created using bead weaving techniques, rather than bead stringing, I mainly use larger beads as accent beads. The larger beads that I favor are size 6/0 and size 8/0 seed beads. I also like to work with high-end glass beads in sizes 2,4,6,and 8 mm. Occasionally I will use pearls or glass pearls and Czech crystals.

I can usually buy large tubes of size 6/0 and size 8/0 Czech seed beads for under $3.00 a tube at bead stores or craft stores. However I usually purchase them from a bead store because bead stores have a much better selection than craft stores. I have seen hanks of the larger seed beads sold on e-bay but not in any of the bead stores or craft stores that I frequent. And, I also prefer to by my larger beads in volume too. Both the bead and craft stores where I shop sell larger beads strung on a strand of monofilament. The craft stores have almost as good a selection as the bead stores but the prices are about 25% less than the bead stores. Bead stores also sell individual beads. I have found it is less expensive to buy a stand of beads than to purchase them individually. I buy individual beads if I only need a few for a project, or if I am making something special.

Swarovski crystals are very beautiful, very sparkly, and very expensive. I have not used them yet in any of my beading projects. Both the bead and craft stores I patronize sell swarovski crystals. The craft stores do not have as good a selection of crystals as the bead stores. Also, the bead stores have better prices on the crystals. I have not as yet priced swarovski crystals on E-bay or Internet bead stores, because like I stated previously, I have not had occasion to use them.

This all of course is my own personal bead shopping experiences. Depending on where you live, and what kind of beading you do, prices for beads may be different. It is just important to know where and how to get the best value for your beading dollar without compromising quality.

If you get the chance, visit my website, “Bead Between The Lines.” You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you. And, please, take a moment to sign my guest book.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

My Bead Shopping Part 1: Purchasing Seed Beads

I am a bargain shopper. I am always looking for a deal and beads are no exception to this rule. If you go into a craft store or a bead shop you will realize that beads are not cheap. Depending on the beads, you can spend $50.00 on beads and come out of the store with a very small bag of beads and wonder, “Where did my money go?” This is why it is important to know where and how to shop in order to get your best beading dollar value without compromising quality.

There are many types of seed beads such as, Myuki, Toho, Mill Hill, Czech, Delica etc…
My personal preference is Czech seed beads. I prefer to buy size 10/0 and 11/0 seed bead by the hank. At my favorite bead store the average price of a hank of beads in about $3.00. The average size11/0 seed bead hank has 12 stands. Each strand is comprised of about 410 beads per strand, equaling approximately 5,022 beads per hank. The average size of 10/0 seed bead hank also has 12 strands. Each strand is comprised of about 328 beads per strand, equaling approximately 3928 beads per hank. These are great values and the standard I use for comparing prices when shopping for seed beads in craft stores, bead stores, or on the Internet.

I also take into account the price of gasoline and the amount of gas it take me to drive to my favorite bead store, verses shipping cost when shopping for beads on line. The driving distance from home to my favorite bead store and back is about 21 miles. Gas prices are at an average of $3.00 per gallon in my area. My car gets about 25 miles per gallon of gas. So driving to my favorite bead store costs me an additional $3.00 per trip. Even though many Internet bead stores will have prices that are lower than $3.00 per hank, their shipping costs are more than what it will cost me to drive to my favorite bead store. And, some Internet bead stores have a per hank shipping fee rather than a flat rate shipping fee. So these are important factors to take into account when trying to get my best bead dollar value.

I have found some great seed bead bargains through bead sellers on E-bay. E-bay has been great for purchasing large volume lots both “buy now” purchases and “winning bid” purchases. One of my best purchases was 22 hanks of seed beads in a variety rainbow colors for the price $35.00 and this included shipping!!! Another great E-bay purchase was 50 hanks of seed beads in a variety of color for the price of $65.00 and this also included shipping!!! Both purchases were much less than what I would have paid from my favorite bead store.

I also take advantage of any sales or discounts that I may find when bead shopping. My favorite bead store has a customer incentive card program. They give you a card and total up your card after each purchase. Once you have reached $100.00 in purchases, the next $10.00 is free. This is a great marketing technique for both the store and the store’s patrons.

So by being price conscience and doing a little market research I am able to get more seed beads for my money without sacrificing quality.

If you get the chance, stop by my website. You just might find something that you like or something that inspires you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Beading With A Cat

I have heard it said that the people do not own a cat but a cat owns the people. Well that is certainly true in my household. We have a beautiful calico/Siamese female cat. Her name is “Patches.” She came with the name; if I had named her she would have a more exotic name, more befitting with her kitty status, like “Sheharazadde.” And, she is definitely a mans’ cat. She prefers Stan to Angelina and me except when it comes to feeding time. She knows that I am the one who feeds her every morning. If I am not up when she is ready to eat, Patches will gently rub her paws in my hair and “meow” in my ear until I do get up and feed her. The other time she prefers me to Stan is when I am beading.

As soon as Patches notices that I have sat down to bead, she is right there beside me. She bats at the thread with her paws while the needle travels through the holes in the beads. I scold her and say, “Patches, no!” She will then look up at me with those innocent blue kitty eyes and start rubbing her face against my arm as if to apologize. But I know her kitty wiles and I do not fall for her tricks. As soon I pick up my needle and begin to bead again, Patches tries once again to attack the thread. Of course I know she is not being malicious. She is just doing what comes natural to her as a cat.

Patches also loves the beads on my beading tray. When I am not looking, one of her favorite things to do is to pounce on my beading tray and watch the beads scatter. If by chance she happens to find a larger bead on the floor, Patches will roll the bead back and forth between her paws. She will hit the bead with her paw so hard that the bead will zing across the room, hit the wall, and ricochet back to her. Patches will hit the bead again as though she is playing in a kitty handball tournament.

If given the opportunity, Patches likes to steal and hide whatever project I am currently working on. There have been times that Patches has hidden a beading project so well that I have not been able to find it. So, I sit down and start the project over. Sometime later, I may discover her with the beading project between her paws, carefully biting at the threads in order to release the captive beads. Consequently, I am learning not to leave my beads and beading supplies unguarded and out in the open where they are fair kitty game.

But most of all, Patches is a very sweet kitty. And, being a bead-lover myself, I totally understand Patches’ attraction to my beads. It is one of the things that we have in common.

If you get the chance, visit my website. You just might find something that you like, or something that inspires you. And, please take a moment to sign my guest book.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Peyote: The Beading Stitch Not The Other Kind, Pt.2

For many people, including myself, learning how to do the “peyote” bead weaving stitch has been a difficult, if not traumatic, experience. So I am going to share a few tips with you regarding little things that helped me learn how to do this bead weaving stitch.

First of all, this is not a stitch that you should work on learning when you are tired, stressed, or do not have much time or patience. You really need to be in a calm relaxed state of mind and have no distractions. If you have children, wait until they go to bed or until you have a fair amount of time to yourself before picking up your beads and beading tray, needles, threads, and tutorial. Shut off the phone, or let the answering machine answer the phone and find a place to sit to bead. Because, you really want to be in a place where there is the least amount of distractions.

Make sure you have a good tutorial, one with clear easily understandable instructions and good graphics. Before you attempt to actually bead, you need to read through the tutorial. If the instructions are good and clear, you will be able to visualize in your head the bead weaving process. If you cannot visualize yourself peyote bead weaving, then you need to find a different tutorial, one with clearer instructions. My personal recommendation is Ann Benson’s peyote stitch tutorial. You can get it free from her website.

So with all of this accomplished you are ready to start learning peyote stitch. I recommend that you start with the easiest peyote variation; “flat even-count” peyote.
To distinguish even-count and odd count patterns, count the number of columns in the pattern. Even-count peyote will have and even number of columns, where as flat-count odd peyote will have an odd number of columns.

Tie on a stopper bead to your thread leaving about a six inch tail of thread. If possible, your stopper bead should be a different color from the beads you have chosen to work with and at least one size larger. String the first two rows of beads on to your thread. Remember that unlike brick stitch and square stitch, the rows are not straight across. Because the way the rows look like they are staggering, one bead up, one bead down, etc…, you read string on every other bead across the row for the third row as well as the remainder of rows..

One of the most important things that I have learned is, after stringing your first two rows of beads on to your thread, and you are ready to start the all frustrating third row, is to keep your tension as tight as possible. After stringing on each bead into the row, your tension will loosen up. So before going on to the next bead in the row, tighten your tension. To do this, push your stopper bead into your beaded row so the stopper bead is touching the bead it sits next to this. Keeping your tension tight is the key in being able to create your first three rows. Peyote stitch gets much easier after you have managed to get past your first three rows. I do recommend tightening up tension for at least the first five rows. After the fifth row you won’t need to tighten your tension as often.

Using the small size 10/0 and size 11/0 seed beads can be extremely frustrating while trying to learn peyote stitch. So, I recommend that during the initial learning process, you use size 6/0 seed bead or pony beads. These beads are larger. The larger beads are easier to hold in your hand and have larger holes. Because the holes are larger, you will want to use a heavier weight of thread. Nymo size D is a good thread for your practice piece. After you have practiced with the larger beads and get the feel for the stitch, then you are ready to use the smaller size 10/0 and 11/0 seed beads.

For your practice pieces, I recommend that limit your bead color choice to one or two colors of beads. The way the rows look like they are staggering on the pattern makes it easy for you to get confused. The goal is to learn to do the stitch, not make your practice pieces look fancy.

Once you have mastered your first peyote variation, you are ready to start your first peyote project. Pick a project that looks easy with a simple design. Remember that patience and tranquility are necessary elements. And believe me, once you have mastered the stitch and have completed your first peyote project, you will feel a real sense of pride and accomplishment. You just might even be brave and confident enough to tackle another peyote stitch variation such as “odd-flat count” peyote stitch.

If you get the chance, visit my website; “Bead Between The Lines.” You just might find something that you like or something that inspires you. And please, take a moment to sign my guestbook.

Ann Bensons’ website;

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Peyote: The Beading Stitch Not The Other Kind

Yes, there is really a beading stitch called “Peyote.” First of all there are several peyote stitch variations. There is tubular peyote, even count peyote, odd count peyote, two drop peyote, circular peyote, and probably 2 or 3 more other variations of the stitch that I have forgotten.

Peyote stitch is probably the most popular of all the beading stitches. Two of the most popular beaders in the beading community Charlene Hughes, a.k.a BeadyBoop, and Suzanne Cooper have many lovely peyote patterns for sale on their websites. And there are many more beaders who sell peyote patterns that they have created. You can also find many, many, free peyote patterns on the internet.

Although peyote stitch is very popular, when I first learning how to bead, it was the bane of my existence. For about 3 years off and on I struggled to learn peyote stitch. For some unexplainable reason, peyote stitch just seemed to elude me. I must have downloaded every free tutorial on the internet that was available. But, I still could not make the beads come together, but instead I created a tangled mess of thread and beads. The needle too would end up looking like a twisted mangled piece of wire.

One day after a particular frustrating day trying to learn peyote stitch, I logged on to the beadwork forum and vented out all of my frustration with the stitch. On that day, I was ready to give up beading forever. But the kind and wonderful beaders on the forum gave me encouragement and much needed solace. I was directed to “Ann Benson’s” website and her peyote stitch tutorial. So with some trepidation, I downloaded her tutorial and put it in my beading bible were it stayed untouched and unlooked at.

Shortly afterward, Charlene Hughes created her own peyote stitch beading tutorial. She offered it free on her website. The title of the tutorial was called “Peyote Kindergarten.” I thought it was a perfect title for me and took it as a sign that this was a tutorial worth looking at. After all, some of the most important things that we learn in life, we have learned in Kindergarten. So I downloaded this tutorial also. And I am happy to report that between Ann Benson’s peyote tutorial and Charlene Hughes’ Peyote Kindergarten tutorial; I can now manipulate my beads and thread to form the peyote bead weaving stitch.

Ann Benson still has her peyote stitch tutorial on her website and it is still free. Unfortunately, Charlene Hughes no longer offers the Peyote Kindergarten tutorial on her website. So my copy of that tutorial is in my beading bible where it is kept safe and secure incase I need to refer to it. And even though I do not design or create my jewelry with peyote stitch very often, I owe a debt of thanks to these women for creating these tutorials. Without these tutorials, I probably would have given up learning how to bead entirely.

Please visit my website, "Bead Between The Lines." You just might find something that you like or something that inspires you.

Charlene Hughes a.ka. BeadyBoop;
Ann Benson;
Suzanne Cooper;

Monday, January 14, 2008

When Life Gets In The Way Of Beading

One thing that annoys me is when I sit down to bead; my life gets in the way. I have been working on this r.a.w. cuff bracelet for a week now and still haven’t gotten it finished.

I sit down to bead; I discover that my autistic 10 year old daughter, Angelina, took the scissors to the bracelet. So, I compliment her on how well she has learned to use the scissors. I now have to start over from scratch. I make a mental note to hide the scissors.

I sit down to bead; the phone rings. Normally, I would let the answering machine get it, however; my significant other has just quit working from our home and has now established himself in a storefront. He is an all service computer technician. In order for him not to lose the customer base he has established, I am playing receptionist and redirecting all of his calls to the store.

I sit down to bead; my significant other rushes in through the door asking me to make him some lunch to go. I get up, and make a couple of turkey and cheese sandwiches. He thanks me for making his lunch and rushes out the door.

I sit down to bead; Angelina comes into the room carrying a dvd. She is upset because the dvd won’t play. I take a look at the dvd. It needs to be cleaned. I get a soft cloth and some rubbing alcohol and clean the dvd for her. I put the dvd into the machine. The dvd is playing. She smiles and says, “Thank you mother.”

I sit down to bead; the cat is meowing. She has managed to tip over both her food and water dishes. I wipe the water off the linoleum. I sweep the cat food up off the floor and empty the dustpan into the trash can. I pour new cat food into one bowl and fill the other bowl with water. Then I place them on the floor so the cat can eat.

I sit down to bead; the dryer buzzes. I get up, take the clean dry clothes out of the dryer and put them into the laundry basket. I then empty the wet clothes out of the washing machine and place them into the dryer and turn dryer on. I fill the washing machine with a load of dirty clothes, add the soap and turn the machine on. I bring the basket of clean clothes into the living room sort, fold and put them away, making sure that Angelina’s school uniform is laid out for school the next day.

I sit down to bead; I look at the clock and realize that is time to start dinner. I prepare the pork chops with some Johnny’s seasoning salt, pepper, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce and put them in the oven at 325 degrees. I peel and cut potatoes. The potatoes are put into a pot of water and placed on the stove. The stove is turned on.

I sit down to bead as dinner is cooking. My significant other walks into the door. He comments on how nice dinner smells. He then looks at me and says, “You have been beading all afternoon. When are you going to get that bracelet finished?”

I place bracelet and tray with beads and needles on my desk. I pick up scissors, look at the scissors, and then look at him. I smile and walk towards him. I put scissors into the cabinet that he is standing next to, and then give him a ‘hello kiss’. I remind myself that tomorrow is another

If you get the chance, stop by my website, “Bead Between The Lines.” You just might find something that you like or something that inspires you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Beading on a Chilly Day

I can't think of a better way to spend a chilly day than to be wrapped up in my favorite quilt, a pot of peppermint tea on the table beside me, a favorite old movie on the t.v. screen, and of course my current beading project in my lap.

I won a huge lot of seed beads from an eBay auction a few weeks ago. I received 22 hanks of seed beads for only $35.00!!!! Whooo hoo, what a score. However, I was still missing some colors that I wanted so, I took a trip to my favorite bead store and bought 8 more hanks for $25.00. Not as good as a score as eBay, but it was worth it for the instant gratification of having my beads in my hand vs having to wait a week for them to come thru the mail. And, I love this store for seed beads. They have a fantastic variety of colors and sizes of beads.

So from both these purchases, my current project on this chilly day is a raw cuff bracelet. The inner portion of the bracelet is made with beads that remind me of variegated green/blue yarn. The beads on the hank are all in different shades of blue and green. So I just slid a strand off the string into a bowl, and the bead jump up onto my needle in what ever order they choose. The edges of the bracelet are green. They are made from the eBay purchase. I am planning to make a peyote toggle clasp. So far this bracelet is looking great. I can hardly wait to see the end results.

If you get the chance stop by my website. "Bead Between The Lines." You just might find something that you like or something that inspires you. And, please, take a moment to sign my guestbook.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Birth Of "Bead Between The Lines"

My love affair with beads began when I was 12 yrs old. For my birthday, I was given a small beading craft loom. I have been loom beading on and off ever since. Then in my thirties I was hit by a car. During my long recuperation I took up bead stringing as a way to relieve boredom and help me refocus my mind on something other than the pain I was in.

But, I have always wanted to learn off loom bead weaving. I searched the library and bookstores but, at the time, only a few books were available on these techniques and they didn't offer very clear or detailed instructions. When my computer became Internet accessible, I then took my search to the Internet. I found a plethora of information and began the daunting task of sifting through all the beading Internet sites. From many sites that offered free beading tutorials, I printed up instructions and created (for personal use only) what I call my beading bible. I also printed many free patterns (for personal use, and inspiration). From these tutorials and patterns, I taught myself (and am still learning) many bead weaving techniques. I still use my beading bible as a referral and reference book.

However, after learning how to bead, I wasn't satisfied with just recreating someone else's patterns. I wanted to make my bead work completely my own. So thanks to Leah Kramer, who created a bead graphing program, BeadDesigner, that I found on the Internet for free, I began creating my own patterns and designs.

I have been beading for several years, and family, friends, and strangers alike have been telling me that I should be selling my bead work. But it wasn't until my sister, Patty, asked me to create a few beaded jewelry pieces for a fundraiser that I actually believed that my bead work would sell. She sold every piece that I gave her for a huge amount of money. Much more money than I would have ever thought to charge!!!

I had secretly always wanted to try to sell my bead work, but didn't think I could do it. Well, my sister's fundraiser gave me the confidence, incentive, and courage that I needed. In about 6 weeks I designed and made 20 pairs of bead-woven earrings. I created a picturetrail website, and posted the earrings for sale on my site. I am currently working on bracelets to add to my inventory. Then I will add necklaces, jewelry sets, and accessories.

My business is called,

"Bead Between The Lines"

My web address is,

One of my goals is to have, in the near future, a real commercial website where in addition the the jewelry I have for sale, I will have for sale original beading graph patterns, kits and tutorials.

I hope you will take the time to stop by and visit my site. You just might find something that you like or something that inspires you.