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Tuesday, September 16, 2014


      Those of us who use Fireline for our beading projects have heard some disturbing stories about Berkley, the manufacturer, changing the formula to make the fishing line biodegradable and less able to stand up to those crystals and heavy beads.
     Beadsmith, the distributor of Fireline to the beading community, has posted a whole page of questions and answers to clear up our confusion.  In a nutshell, the formula for Fireline has not changed and there are no EPA regulations that would require it to be biodegradable.  The stories may have come from a defective batch of Fireline Crystal that was manufactured about 18 months ago; those rolls have been replaced or money refunded.
     To read the whole set of questions and answers, visit Beadsmith.  I want to thank Stephanie Eddy for alerting me to the information from Beadsmith.  I am so thrilled that I don't have to hunt down and stockpile massive amounts of our favorite thread!

UPDATE:  Beki Haley (of the popular Whim Beads) has been in touch with the Senior Brand Marketing Manager at Berkley about our recent concerns with Fireline.  You can read about the conversation at Beki's Bead Blog.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


     I fell in love with the new etched farfalle beads from York Beads the moment I saw Maggie Roschyk demonstrating what to do with them in the York Booth at Bead and Button.   Now I have finally had a few minutes to play with them.
     Following Maggie's lead, I made a bracelet of etched farfalle beads in peyote stitch and finished it with a great magnetic clasp from York Beads.

     I was partly inspired by Shelley Nybakke's similar bracelet using the Right Angle Weave stitch and really appreciated the knowledge she shared about working with these beads.

     Notice that Shelley used size 8/0 seed beads at each end of the bracelet to make the ends fit into the magnetic clasps.  I would also heartily recommend that you use doubled 14 lb Fireline to stitch a bracelet of these etched farfalle beads because they need the support.  I also ran the doubled thread through microcrystalline wax to protect it;yes I know that it is Fireline, but the wax helped keep the thread intact longer.
     For another view of etched farfalles done in 3 different stitches, check out Jennifer VanBenschoten's Beading Daily blog.

     For me, one bracelet was not enough.  I also snagged some of the etched melons when I visited York beads, so I combined both in a bead crochet bracelet.

bead crochet with etched farfalles and melons

Then, I played with more bead crochet techniques.

various bead crochet stitches

I took a moment to play with the Turkish flat Bead Crochet Stitch that I learned in Turkey with some melon beads and seed beads.

Then, I had one more idea for the farfalles: a version of Right Angle Weave with seed beads.  It looks very nice on it's own but I wonder what would happen if I filled in the holes with another bead?
A version of Right Angle Weave
I seem to be in York Bead mode as I made a bracelet in June using a pattern by  Kerrie Slade, Modern Antique Cut Glass Beads from York, and a clasp made from a vintage 1939 World's Fair cabochon from A Grain of Sand.
Now, while I wait for York to get the next shipment of etched farfalle beads, I have their new 9x7 mm Old Copper Nuts to play with.
9 x 7 mm Old Copper Nuts 

Thursday, August 21, 2014



If you are visiting Bead Fest Philadelphia on Saturday (August 23), stop by the Parawire  booths (236 and 238) to say hello because I will be demonstrating wire crochet from 12N-1:30 pm. 

Here is the whole wire demonstration schedule:

Friday, August 22 :
     10 am-11:30 am:  Jennifer VanBenschoten
     1:30 pm-3 pm Cindy Holcslaw

Saturday, August 23:
     12N-1:30 pm:  Adele Rogers Recklies
      3 pm-4:30:   Debra Saucier

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


 I am participating in another group challenge and this year's theme was embellished found objects.  The parameters were a found object embellished in metallic colors other than gold with a finished size of 1 1/4 inches or less, plus a 1/4-inch loop for attachment. 

I had this great idea of combining crystal clay, some cute filigree hearts (above) that I found at CJS Sales, and beads until I remembered "oh yeah-no gold color allowed." what?

After leafing through Break the Rules Bead Embroidery by Diane Hyde for inspiration, I decided to follow her suggestion to look for items in the scrapbooking section of a craft store.  As I picked up my keys to walk out the door, my brain said "Buttons-you have lots of buttons left over from projects."

My 22 embellished found objects using buttons

So I got out my button box and started playing.  Stacking the buttons appealed to me so I used 20 gauge wire, silver size 8 seed beads, and buttons of various size to make 22 "charms."  There is more skill in putting together buttons than you might think!  I threaded the buttons on the wire with the seed beads at the bottom, in between the buttons, and at the top.  A loop wire loop finished the "charm."

I had such fun that I also made myself a pair of earrings.

My new earrings


Making the ear wires allowed me to use my new Wubbers pliers.  I know that wire people say you should just use your round-nose pliers and a Sharpie pen to make the ear wires, but the Medium Bail Making pliers and Large Bail Making pliers make the job so much easier and give you consistent results.

My found objects are now winging their way via USPS to the organizer.  Now to wait to see what everyone else in the challenge has done.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


gold rush
An example of silicone and fabric work by Janet Bloor

Just a reminder that my friend Janet Bloor of Euroco Costumes will teach a 2-day workshop on silicon effects on fabric in New York City on July 12 and 13, 2014.  Janet has been exploring rubber and fabric for 30 years and her work can be seen on costumes for film, theater, and other entertainment venues.  If you are interested in this fabric treatment, this is your chance to learn how to do it.  The cost is $120/day (including materials).

For more information, visit Euroco Costumes Workshops.  If you can't make the New York City workshop, Janet is offering a longer workshop in Mexico at the end of October.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Here is the post that many of you have been waiting for: the Bead Dreams 2014 entries that caught my eye in Milwaukee. 


ribbon work
Artist: Juanita Finger

Yukiko Yamamoto

Andrea Grzabka
Diane Hyde
Sherry Sarafini and Wayne Robbins

Robin Butke

Kathy King

Anneta Valious
Vladislav and Kremena Ivanova

Joan Miller

Amy Waldman-Smith

Barbara Caraway

Christi Friesen
Tina Hauer

Antonina Shakina

Svetlana Karimova
Stephanie Eddy

Best of show:  Sarah Thompson

Close up

Tatiana Fitzpatrick

Jayashree Paramesh

Marcia Cummings

Hannah Rosner

Yumiko Watanabe

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Suzanne Rickrack
The Bead Society of Greater New York Presents

Share the excitement, passion, and beauty
of this timeless art form.
June 20-22, 2014
Fashion Institute of Technology
John E. Reeves Great Hall
West 28th St. (bet. 7th & 8th Aves.), New York City
Masami VeggieFriday: Noon-8pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Sunday: 10am-4pm

• Juried Exhibit of Award Winning Beadwork
• Free Mini-Workshops and Demos
• Vendors
• Raffles and Silent Auction
• Children’s Beading Table
$5 General Admission
$1 off with this flyer. Free for BSGNY members and FIT faculty/students with a current ID.

For more information, visit
Patron and Supporter Sponsors: Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation, Inc.;

Robert M. Kaufman; MIYUKI Co., Ltd.; Executive Printing and Direct Mail, Inc.; Soft Flex Company;
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads; Theresa Gesuele; Carole Horn; Helen Weinberg; Yoshie Marubashi
© 2014 The Bead Society of Greater New York. All Rights Reserved.
Artists: Suzanne Golden, Dolores Rizzo Tesch, Masami Sato, Hedy Becker, Fabienne Schaller


Fabienne Multibead

I hope to see you there.