Archive for October, 2009

Friends in High Places

I am so excited that my dear friends,  the lampworker Jeri Warhaftig (author of The Glass Bead Workshop) and the designer Ronnie Lambrou are finalists in the joint jewelry competition sponsored by the International Society of Glass Beadmakers and Bead & Button Magazine.   Their piece, “Santorini Eruption,” is pictured here:

ConvergenceThe necklace was designed and made by Ronnie with Jeri’s lampworked beads.  I was actually with Jeri in Ronnie’s studio one day when she was working on it, so I got to see the creative process (that particular day the creative process was being helped along by good food and drink.)

Even more exciting, the piece, along with step-by-step instructions, is in Bead & Button’s newest special issue, “Jewelry Designs with Art Glass Beads.”  Can’t wait to get my copy!



October 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment

NEEDLE THE THREAD (don’t thread the needle)

One of the reasons I don’t work much with seed beads is that I HATE to thread a needle!  Whenever possible, I use the wonderful “Big Eye” needle, which, if you have never seen one, has an “eye” running the entire length of the needle.  The only problem with the Big Eye is that it is not thin enough to use with your smaller seed beads.

So…I set out to find all the best tips and tricks to threading a needle, and here they are!

1.         Good light…and dollar store glasses!  These are my most important tools when I thread a needle.   I use my portable, rechargeable Ott Light, and the strongest over-the-counter reading glasses I can get, usually from the dollar store.  They work for simple magnification.

2.         Wax the thread with bee’s wax or Thread Heaven.  Cut at an angle.

3.         Check which side of the needle’s eye is larger.  Because needles are stamped, one side of the eye is larger than the other side.  If you’re having problems with one side, turn it over and try the other.

4.         “Needle the thread,” instead of threading the needle:   Hold the thread in your non-dominant hand between your thumb and forefinger and pull it down until just the very tip of the thread shows.  Take the needle in your dominant hand and slide it down between your thumb & forefinger onto the tip, then pull that tip up and further through.

5.         If the eye of your needle gets clogged with wax, dip it in rubbing alcohol.

6.         If all else fails, use a “Super-fine Needle Threader” available at in my eBay store, along with regular needle threaders, needles, wax, Big Eye needles and more.

7.         In a pinch, you can make your own needle, which means you don’t even have to thread it!  Use 34 gauge wire.  Fold about 4-5 inches of wire over the center of your thread and twist the wire tightly.  Trim the ends to get a nice point.  This will not work for bead weaving, but is fine for simple stringing.



October 8, 2009 at 2:43 pm Leave a comment


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