Posts filed under ‘Beads’

Eye Beads – Not EVIL!

eyenecklacewithcathair.jpgYou’ve probably seen “eye beads” many times – beads, usually glass, which have the image of an eye – sometimes crudely rendered, and other times scarily realistic. In many parts of the world, these are worn to protect the wearer from the “evil eye.” They are quite common in Greece, Turkey, Israel and many other parts of Europe and the Middle East.

While I do not fear the “evil eye” (after all, I have faced down my mother-in-law many times without use any sort of protection), I do really like eye beads, and had been collecting them for many years. One day I mentioned this around Ronnie Lambrou, and found out she too had been collecting eye beads. We set a date to get together and share eye beads and make something from them.

Between us, Ronnie & I had enough eye beads to ward off the evil eye for the entire third world. We shared our beads, and even though we used many of the same beads, our completed necklaces couldn’t have been more different. Perhaps Ronnie & I will show off our creations on the show and tell table in the future.

Now, I will not admit to reading the National Enquirer, but I will admit to picking one out of a trash can at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Inside was an article titled, “Trendology 101”, accompanied by a picture of a bracelet made of silver beads, blue glass pony beads, and eye beads, as well as a picture of Jessica Simpson flashing her evil eye bracelet (made with red beads.) The article reads: “Let’s be real – that silly red Kabbalah string is really not that fashionable and kind of weird. So in comes Hollywood‘s newest and much cuter craze, the ‘evil eye’ bracelet!” The article goes on to suggest this website:

The point is…it is Ronnie and I who are setting the trends for all of Hollywood. You may want to check with us to learn what’s “in” and for grooming and fashion tips.



October 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm 1 comment

Antiqueing or Coloring Bone Beads

Make your bone beads go from bland and boring to colorful.  Bone beads are lightweight and can add a lot to your design without adding weight, but they are usually a plain white color.

Bone beads or pendants can be antiqued in hot tea or coffee, or sauteed in oil Sauteeing produces a rich, golden color, but the smell of the oil will be retained in beads. The tea or coffee method can produce gray areas where the bone is not entirely white.

You can use Rit dyes for adding color to bone beads: Use a teacup and boiling water, add grains of dye until the desired strength has been reached. Leave your bone beads in there until they are the color you wish, then rinse well.


September 27, 2009 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment

Gem Lore: Black Onyx

Black Onyx

Onyx is a type of opaque chalcedony that comes in various colors.   Black onyx is one of the most popular stones in bead designing. Although it does occur naturally in black, it is generally dyed to achieve a more uniform color.

As to the lore of black onyx, among those who assign special powers to gemstones, it is believed that black onyx defends against negativity, boosts confidence, and sharpens your senses.

Black Onyx and Cinnabar Knotted Necklace

Black Onyx and Cinnabar Knotted Necklace

August 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

Swarovski Crystal Birthstone Equivalent Chart

Let’s face it – you can’t ALWAYS use diamonds in your work, but you want to do something with a birthstone theme. Here is a chart of Austrian crystal equivalents to use in place of real gemstones.

January – Garnet

February – Amethyst

March – Aqua

April – Clear Crystal

May – Emerald

June – Light Amethyst

July – Ruby

August – Peridot

September – Sapphire

October – Rose

November – Topaz

December – Blue Zircon or Light Sapphire or Montana

Swarovski Crystals

February 10, 2009 at 1:19 am Leave a comment

How Many Beads Are In That Tube?

So…your directions say, “approximately 1500 size 11 seed beads.” But your bead store sells them by the tube, and can’t tell you how many are in the there – what now? This handy dandy list will help you find the right number of beads.

In a 6″ tube:
Size 8/0 – approximately 1120
Size 6/0 – approximately 315
Size 11/0 – approximately 3080
Size 10/0 Twisted Hex Cut – approximately 2319
#1 Bugles – approximately 2500
#2 Bugles – approximately 1000
10/0 Triangles – approximately 1680
8/0 Triangles – approximately 1100
5/0 Triangles – approximately 390
11/0 triangles – apprx 29.5 grams (about 2105 beads)
8/0 triangles – apprx 28.0 grams (about 714 beads)
4mm Cubes – approximately 336
3mm Cubes – approximately 440
Magatamas – approximately 308
Mini Fringe Drops – approximately 560

3 inch tube:
15/0 approximately 3500

10 Gram Tube:
11/0 Delicas – approximately 1900 delica beads in a 10 gram tube.

October 8, 2008 at 5:15 pm 2 comments

Rose Petal Clay for Interesting, Fragrant Beads

Did you know you can actually make beads out of rose petals? Rose petals have been used for centuries to make beautiful, fragrant beads.  Collect the most fragrant petals, follow the recipe below and once they are formed into a paste and made into beads, you will have beads that will release their fragrance when worn or handled. For this reason, rose petal beads have traditionally been used in rosaries.

A great webpage with pictures can be found at

Here are some more links:

Rose Petal Clay


  • 1/3 cup non-self rising wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 cups of rose petals
Method: Mix flour, salt, and water to make a stiff dough. Cut rose petals into tiny pieces and then crush by rolling them between your palms. Knead enough petals to the dough without making it crumbly.
Rose Petal Bead Rosary

Rose Petal Bead Rosary

October 7, 2008 at 4:27 pm Leave a comment

What’s an “E Bead?”

Larger seed beads, such as 6/os and 5/os are often referred to as “E” Beads. An E Bead is approximately 4mm in size.


March 31, 2008 at 4:48 pm Leave a comment

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