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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.


Saturday, June 14, 2014


I had such a great time at Bead and Button that I didn't take many photos, but I have cobbled together the story of my stay in Milwaukee with some of my photos and photos taken by friends.

                                                           MONDAY, JUNE 2

      I flew into Milwaukee on Monday in order to take Cindy Holsclaw's Sakura Bouquet necklace that night.  I was happy to stretch my legs by taking a walk along the Riverwalk. 
Polka dot rocks that I discovered on my walk


One of the plaques set in the walk


A view of Bead Central, otherwise known as the Hyatt Hotel

The start of the Sakura Bouquet necklace
Tuesday was a full class with 1 long class and 1 short session.  The long class was Making an Impression with Marti Brown, where I learned a lot about coloring niobium metal.  I have been curious about niobium and I was not disappointed with the amount of knowledge and experience that I gained in class.
Some of my textured, impressed, formed and colored niobium pieces.  The circles in the middle are going to be earrings as soon as I practice riveting.
Then it was on to the Frida Flower Brooch with Stepahnie Sersich.  This was a Miriam Haskell style of pin incorporating one of Stephanie's own lamp work bead.
 My finished brooch.
I had 2 short classes on this day but the first one was at 8:00 am, not my best time of day.  The early class was Torch Enameling: Back to Basics with Steven James.  Since Steven is an elementary school teacher, it was just the right level for me.
My finished pieces; the round ones are about the size of a penny.
I had a chance to hang around with friends at the meeting place in the Hyatt Hotel. 
From left: Patty McCourt, Jayashree Paramesh, and the incomparable Suzanne Golding closing her light.
It was on to the Rivet Me This class with Gwen Youngblood.  I learned to do wire rivets in this class--I would have learned more if I wasn't so tired, but I got the basics.
The start of a pair of earrings.  Gwen has developed a new system that takes a lot of the guesswork out of wire rivets.
After a quick dinner, it was time for Meet the Teachers.  I didn't buy a thing but had a lot of fun visiting with old friends.
Here I am with Teri Kirby Lawson, a new friend.
Meeting Sharon Wagner on my wanderings.
I had a leisurely breakfast with friends and then tagged along to the TierraCast suite to see what new things they are offering.  We had a lot of fun making a pair of earring with leather flowers and rivets using their new riveting system.
My new earring courtesy of TierraCast
Then it was time for the Twisted Wire Floral Necklace class with Melody MacDuffee.
My almost-finished necklace.
The shopping preview started at 4:00 pm, so I was busy looking, shopping, and visiting with friends.  When the show ended at 9:00, I went on a dinner adventure with friends to the The Comet CafĂ©, where the theme is bacon.  We shared cheese fries topped with bacon and I had bacon-wrapped meatloaf with bacon and chive mashed potatoes...oh yes, there were a few asparagus spears on the plate. 
Since my class had been cancelled, this turned into a free day.  I went  back to the shopping floor to do some serious shopping.  As I was wandering around, I ran across 2 of my favorite people: Kelly Stevenson and Cindy Holsclaw.
Kelly (left) and Cindy.  Kelly is fondling Cindy's balls (beaded, of course)
My friend Nikia Angel was having tinsel added to her hair by Taija of Hair Tinsel by Taija and I decided that it was just the thing to make my hair less boring.  
  Nikia getting sparkles in her hair
Me too!
Here are some of the entries in York Beads Bead For a Man Contest waiting for votes.  My Manny the Snake is in the center back.
After the hair fun, I shopped for some new projects: seed beads, ceramic beads from Golem Design Studio, wire, Crystalettes, o beads, cup chain, enamel frogs from Gardanne, a boulder opal pendant, and a cow bell key chain for my mom.
Part of my purchases
I couldn't pass up this lovely hand-painted, silk scarf
My big purchase was Gwen Youngblood's system for wire rivets, a number of wire-working pliers, and a pair of metal shears.  I have gotten to the point in metal work where I need some more decent tools to upgrade my efforts.
Friday night was reserved for drinks with a fabulous group of beaders.  After a few drinks, we turned the gathering into a henna party.
Here is Jayashree decorating my hand with henna while Betty Stephan looks on.
Liz Thompson (top hand) and I show off the drying designs. 
The day started bright and early with the Tzarina Pendant bead embroidery class taught by Liz Thompson (aka the Bad Liz).  I have wanted to take a class from Liz for a while because her style of bead embroidery is different than mine.  I was not disappointed with the class.  First, though, we had to admire our completed henna designs.
Top: the hand of Liz, bottom: my hand
The partially-completed Tzarina Pendant
I took advantage of the lunch break to find Niki Berelowitz Best, Merle Berelowitz's daughter, who had a booth on the show floor to introduce attendees to her mother's beadwork.  Merle, a talented beadwork artist who specialized in jewelry made with acrylic flowers, died last year.  You can see more of Merle's work at Ms. Maddie's Beads.
Suzanne Golden (left, like I need to point that out) and Niki Berelowitz Best.
A framed photo of the young Merle.
One of Merle's necklaces.
After dinner with friends at the local Thai restaurant, it was time to pack for my flight home on Sunday morning.
The night view of Milwaukee from my window.
Then it was home to New York City.  Goodbye, Milwaukee--until next year.