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Bead of the Week

red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.


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bead boardIt happens to the best of us, whether we like to admit it or not. You're staring at the world's greatest collection of beads (in your closet, of course) and you just don't have any idea what to do with them. Or you get something started but the shapes aren't working, or the colors, or no pattern is emerging at all and the thing on your bead board looks like some random and meaningless jumble of scraps and doodads.

So what's the answer? It depends! Sometimes you have to just walk away and leave the project alone until it comes back to you in day or night dreams. Sometimes you can look for inspiration outside -- in nature -- the garden, the mountains, ocean, desert, or whatever you can find in real life or pictures ( is a great tool for virtual travel and sightseeing, I find...)

You can find inspiration in books and other publications -- and not necessarily beading magazines. Look to fashion magazines, the Sunday newspaper, art books, and advertisements. It's okay to get an idea from someone else's combination of colors, designs and materials.

You can look to your closet. How many times have you put on an outfit, just to find you don't have the right necklace or earrings to compliment it? Or just admit that you MUST HAVE even MORE beads to inspire a new piece, and get over to your favorite on-ground or online bead shop.

Pick up some colored pencils and some paper. Doodle until you come up with something that pleases you -- try on different colors and shapes -- until something clicks.
Switch to a different technique. If you're a beadweaver, try some chain maille. If you don't know how, search out some awesome video tutorials on the net and try something new!
Tap into your social network. Especially if you usually design alone, it can help to work on a project with a friend or in a group. The support and ideas of your fellow beaders can get your creative juices flowing --

The most important thing is -- work through it however you need to and at your own pace. Don't get frustrated and don't give up. You will get through it if you keep trying. Especially when you get to the point where you want to throw beads across the room, don't -- (unless you think it will help...) Just try some of the ideas here, or whatever works for you -- and above all, believe in yourself and your best instincts. That balance of patience, creativity, and logic will return to you sooner or later -- and you will produce your next gorgeous piece before you know it.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our previous posts on Jewelry Making Tutorials, The Basics of Jewelry Design and Great Books on Jewelry Design.


0 # Ellen W Gonchar 2015-08-10 18:51
Such great advice Sheila!! Have hit this bump in the road many, many times!!
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