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Never break a needle again

When you find yourself putting too much force on your needle, grab your needle-nose pliers! Hold the needle with the pliers about 1/2" from the tip. Put the needle through the bead or material back...
Beading Articles
Fair Trade Beads, a 300-year Old Concept PDF  | Print |  E-mail

 

300 years ago, women in a small African county called Mauritania wanted to replicate the intricate designs of hand crafted glass beads made in Italy and often traded in the African countries. What they came up with has been called the Kiffa bead, a work of art so brilliant in its use of color and intricate designs that it can scarcely be imitated today.
 
The concept of ‘fair trade,’ paying living wages for hand-crafted and often old-world techniques in developing countries, is not a new concept. Bead makers have been making a handsome living creating works of art, either in the bead itself or in the exotic and delicate jewelry fashioned from the beads. And they’ve been doing so for hundreds of years.
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Don’t Get Ripped off on your Turquoise Jewelry, Read This! PDF  | Print |  E-mail

 

I live in Southern New Mexico so I get friends all the time making road trips through Santa Fe to visit me. A friend of mine came down to see me last month and was thrilled to show me her new turquoise necklace draped around her neck. It was utterly amazing with big blue turquoise nuggets with spider web-like veins running through it. Only problem was it was fake.
 
The necklace she just got off of a street vendor were probably either dyed howlite or magnesite, two completely different minerals that in their natural state are white but which polish like turquoise. Either can be died to any color under the rainbow and can make a very convincing turquoise. Magnesite especially because it includes the black veining that is often found in the most sought after turquoise beads and nuggets mined in the southwest.
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You Pay How Much for Costume Jewelry? Make it Instead! PDF  | Print |  E-mail

 

So I was at a local department store with a girlfriend of mine (I won’t say which one, but it’s typically a classier alternative to Walmart), when we happened into the jewelry aisle. I say jewelry but what I mean is costume jewelry: the large, plastic, glass and metal-beaded bracelets, earrings and necklaces that women buy and then lose, break or forget about in a matter of months.
 
There’s something about that jewelry that’s addictive. It could be the old-world beauty of turquoise beads and chip mixed with antiqued silver beads, or maybe the warm look of amber roundels mixed with the glass lampwork beads. In any case I know many women who are “hooked.”
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Make an Inexpensive Pearl Choker for Your Bridesmaids PDF  | Print |  E-mail

 

In this economy everybody is looking to cut back somehow, and it’s no different for brides. Many young women are looking for ways to cut costs in their wedding, but it’s so hard to do that without looking tacky and cheap. However, one smart way to save a bit of money without sacrificing class is to make your own bridesmaid gifts instead of buying them outright.
 
I know what you’re thinking: you want something elegant, not something that looks cheap. But with the right materials you can create something that just oozes elegance and looks like you spent a heap of money on your bridesmaids: a string of pearls.
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Recycled Glass Beads—Helping the Planet and Looking Fabulous! PDF  | Print |  E-mail

 

Recycled glass can be used for much more than for just making new glass containers. When we think of recycling glass we typically think of turning in our old beer bottles to make…more beer bottles! And why not? This is something that we should all be doing to try to help cut down on wasted resources. Yet, recycling to make more of the same seems awfully boring, doesn’t it?
 
Luckily, for those of us who are slaves to fashion, there is a much more hip second-life for our old beer bottles and various glass objects: beads! Not only can we fight to save the planet, but we can look good doing it!
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