Gemstone News:

How to Stiffen Beadwork to Hold Shape Better

Many beadwork designs benefit from being flexible that can make them drape like fabric. Beaded ropes and fringe need to curve and move as part of their design. But sometimes, the flexibility of woven beads is not an asset. It can cause edges to curl or designs to lose their shape.Circular brick stitch and circular netting, along with Russian leaves are designs that don't always stay flat for me. I've tried several different methods to have them hold their shape, but only one has worked ...


Re-using Beads and Cleaning Bead Holes

If an article about cleaning bead holes doesn't make you excited for the new year, what doesI realize it's not that catchy, but I've started the year with the intent to 'Do more, and buy less', so the topic is on point. Of the two wire wrapped rosary chain bracelets below, the top one has beads in desperate need of a cleaning. They are peach moonstone just like the new bracelet underneath it. I guess when you wear a bracelet every day without taking it off, it can get a bit ...


Beginner Metal Polishing - Tumbling and Polishing Papers

You would think I would have looked into polishing my metal components before now - but I've always thought tumbling was enough. And tumbling is definitely better than not tumbling, but I'm coming to the conclusion that tumbling is definitely not the same as polishing.Here's a before and after photo that I hope will help illustrate the difference.The bottom paddle was 'polished' using a rotary rock tumbler. The top paddle has been polished to a mirror like shine using polishi...


Fancy Beaded Mandala Pendant with Circular Netting Stitch

Circular netting is a versatile beadwork stitch that can be used to make everything from small beaded pendants to beaded drink coasters and place mats. All it takes is time and beads. Ok - and you'll need to know technique too.The basic circular netting stitch can be found in my previous article. Today is a promised followup to take your circular netting to the next step and make mandala style pendants.CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ...


Easy Bead Stringing - How to Make a Glue Needle

Stringing beads onto floppy thread or cord can be maddening, if not downright impossible. Several solutions exist to this problem. There are big eye or collapsible eye needles, both of which work fabulously, but only if your thread or cord can fit through the bead doubled over. I have run into this problem several times recently making macrame bracelets.The charm on this bracelet sat unused for the longest time because I couldn't get a cord through the small holes. When I tried, the cord w...


Dapping a Domed Spiral Wire Ring - Free Tutorial

This is a new spiral wire ring design for me. I have made spiral wire rings before, but this one is slightly different - one that I like a bit better for a number of reasons.First, the ring is larger and more substantial than the others I've made. This is due to using a thicker (smaller gauge) wire. I also like the ring band, which has no extra wraps or fuss, is more comfortable to wear. Last, the domed top allowed me to dust off another tool I haven't used in a while, and that's alw...


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