The goal of Legendary Beads has always been to be your link to the beautiful colors and materials, the legend, lore, and mystique of beads around the globe, and through the ages. We also want to inspire! Beads are not just just for stringing and inspiration can come from anywhere these days. New trends are popping up all the time and old favorites will never fade. What inspires you?
We like this…How to Etch Glass Beads from Icarus Beads
We love frosted beads, they always have a great antique feeling to them even if they are not. A while back we came across this great “how to” by Icarus Beads on how to etch glass beads, giving them an antique or sea glass feeling. Follow this link for the full tutorial
We like this too…How to Build a Crooked House Pendant from Mich L. in L.A.
Coulda fooled us…This house pendant is crafted out of tissue box and metal duct tape! Very cool and super cute. If you make one come in and show us, we just got a shipment of chain in to choose from for the necklace portion of the project. Check out the full tutorial here
More and more these days we are noticing wreaths going up on doors around town. Some
are simple and others are quite extravagant but all of them are pretty cool. We decided to
draw inspiration from the festivity and make some ‘wearable’ wreaths. What is your
wreath style this year?
Eye Like It…Glass beads from Blow and Behold
Take a look at the new shipment of glass eyes from Blow and Behold Glass Studios by local artist
Ryan Fit. We love showcasing the work of local artists and these eyes are really something!
check our Facebook page for more pics of Ryan’s eye beads.
Before and After…More Vintage Earrings
More fab finds from our pile of “junk” jewelry. We saw these earrings and instantly fell in love with them but knew that they could be even sweeter with a little something extra. We added chain for more dangle and crystals for some bling and now we love them even more!
Holiday Kits…So Simple and So Fun!
These earring kits are simple and sweet. The angels are made using Tierracast lead free pewter
beads and are available in three different finishes. The Christmas trees are made using
Swarovski crystal and are available in four different colors. Each kit comes with everything
that you need to make them and are available in the store and in our Etsy shop as well
Tutorials…Something Cute, Something Fun
We found this necklace on craft gossip and think it is charming. For a simple tutorial follow this link.
We found this great tutorial by Lyric Art for adding beaded fringe to….well, anything really. Click here for the full how to
Before and After…Danielle’s Vintage Earrings
There was just a great article put out by those inspiring folks over at Etsy about finding what works for you. One of the ideas that was in the article concerned taking old jewelry parts and turning them into great new pieces. Vintage jewelry is always in style, and with a little of creativity you too can turn your (or your grandma’s) junk jewelry into real gems! Danielle took something old and made it bold. We can’t wait to see what other treasures will come out of this pile!
To view the full Etsy article follow this link
And speaking of upcycled jewelry…
We love these spiders! A while back Design Sponge featured this project for Halloween crafts, we think that this project can definitely outlast Halloween. They are so cute! For a full how to check out the article here
We Love this Jeweled Jet Black and Copper Crystal Chandelier with Shades that was just showcased on Etsy. How many times have you been in a junk store or at the flea market and seen funky old chandeliers laying around that would be great if only they had that little something extra going on. Or perhaps you have a light fixture at home that is feeling a little under dressed. One of the easiest ways to spruce up a simple light is to drape it with beads. You can either spend time and get fancy with it or just simply drape existing strands. Either way, we love this effect!
Tip: Silver Patina With Eggs
Have you ever wanted to antique a silver piece that you own but never knew how. Or maybe you do know how but are not interested in using heat or chemicals to add patina to your silver. If you are looking for an all natural way to add some color to your piece by giving it an antique look then consider using eggs. Yes that’s right we said eggs! The sulfur in the yolk of eggs reacts chemically with sterling silver and will make it look aged. T achieve this simply take your silver piece and stick it completely into the yolk of a hard boiled egg. Place the egg yolk in a zip lock back and leave in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning you will have an antique patina on your silver!
Tutorial…Leather and Chain Bracelet
2 Feet of leather cord
1 1/2 feet rolo chain
1 large jump ring
1 large holed bead
1.Cut chain into two equal pieces
2. Lay pieces of chain down parallel to one another and pin down to secure the
two pieces. (a velvet board works well for this)
3. Take your piece of leather and thread it through the first links in both pieces
of chain. (the links should be standing up, not lying flat)
4. Take both ends of the leather and thread them through the third set of links
skipping the second set but going around them. (think of like lacing up shoes.
5. Continue this process until you have finished. You should be at the end of the
chain bus still have cord left over.
6. Attach a large jump ring to the two links that you started with.
7. On the side with the leftover leather, thread both pieces of leather through a
large holed bead (we used a ‘Pandora’ style bead) then through the large jump
ring which you attached in the last step, and then back through the bead.
8. Tie a knot at the end of each piece of leather.
9. Wear and love your new bracelet!
In Style…Charmed I’m Sure
Charm (deffinition)1. The power or quality of pleasing or delighting; attractiveness: a breezy tropical setting of great charm. 2. A particular quality that attracts; a delightful characteristic. 3. A small ornament, such as one worn on a bracelet. 4. An item worn for its supposed magical benefit, as in warding off evil; an amulet. 5. An action or formula thought to have magical power.
v. charmed, charm·ing, charms v.tr.
No matter what the use or definition, it is fair to say that charms are charming and we are charmed for sure to have such an extensive collection of Tierracast charms. From fairies, to frogs…cowboys to skeletons, and so much more…!
We like it….Wire Jewelry
The new edition of Step By Step Wire Jewelry is in and every page is filled with great projects and easy to follow tutorials! Wire is one of the easiest and most versatile materials to work with, but at the same time can be extremely frustrating and and complicated….it is just wonderful! Once you get the hang of wire wrapping the project possibilities are endless. Here are a few of our favorite projects and one of our store samples which reminded us of one of the projects in the mag. We also have a wire wrapping class every month if you feel like you need a little more help in this area.
We Like It…Faux Forged Foil Bracelet
We found this tutorial on CraftGossip and love the idea of using cabochons to add accent to this Faux forged foil bracelet. We Have quite a few cabochons in stock now to choose from and for those of you who prefer glue to beading around the cabochon this should be right up your alley!
It’s that time of year again…Jacket Season! It is easy to show off all your lovely jewels in the summer months when all need fr a fab outfit is a T shirt and a killer necklace, but what to do when all our bling is buried under coats and sweaters? The answer is simple…Broaches! One of the easiest way to restyle last years jacket or hat is to pin on a sweet new broach. Here are some examples made by the girls here at the bead store: From punk to floral, and retro rock and roll…what’s your broach style.
Before & After…Game Piece Earrings
A while back we found these cool game pieces from an old Scrabble sentence cube game. Using a small drill bit and a few crystals we were able to make a very smart pair of earrings…. now that’s using your head!
Tips and Tricks…The perfect Loop
One of the most commonly used techniques in jewelry making is turning a loop at the end of a head pin. For long time beaders this a skill which you have most likely mastered, but for newbees, this can lead to frustration. We know that when we started it was often difficult to determine exactly how large the loop would turn out and often ended up with loops in various sizes. Sue shares her tip on how to get the perfect size loop every time!
Turn a loop at the end of a headpin (we turned a large loop for this larger bead). Insert the end of your round nosed pliers into the loop to measure where on the pliers you will be turning your next one. Using a sharpie, make a mark on the pliers. Uncurl your loop and measure the length then mark your ruler. Now you are all set to go, using the marks you made on the ruler and pliers you will be able to make the same sized loops time and again. Simply put your bead on the head pin and using your marked ruler, cut of the excess. Place the end of the cut head pin at the mark on your pliers and turn your loop!
We Love these simple chain and sparklers earrings that Jennifer Lopez is wearing but don’t want to spend a small fortune on them. With two glass beads, 2 head pins, two earwires, and a bit of chain we made our own pair!
We absolutely LOVE this circular peyote stitch bangle. It is a basic peyote stitch (similar to the one we teach here in the store) only this one uses different size beads to achieve the spiral effect. Look out for this one on next months class schedule!
We are starting a new section called hot off the pages. For our first project we chose this cool chain, pearl and crystal bracelet. This is what we live for here at the store, finding that really cool, yet expensive piece of jewelry and recreating it to fit in our price range. The most important thing when choosing to use a magazine clipping for inspiration is to let go of the expectation that your finished product will look exactly the same as what is in the mag. In fact, that is half the fun, the changes that you make with the supplies that are at hand is what takes the piece off the page and makes it your own!
As we were taking a walk the other day we happened to look up and all of a sudden it hit us…it is that time of year again…finally! With cold weather approaching, the vineyard workers are abuzz trying to get the grapes harvested in time. As the leaf canopy is trimmed back beautiful big grapes are bursting into view. Reds, greens, golds, purples…this is truly one of the most beautiful seasons in Sonoma County. With Fall in full swing we thought it only appropriate to celebrate this time of year with a selection of seasonal colored jewelry inspired by the grape harvest….what inspires you…?
Tips…To Knot Or Not To Knot
If there is one thing that dives us crazy more than anything else it is any sentence that starts with the words “It has to be done this way..” or “you have to do it like this…” Sure there are recommended techniques and styles in jewelry making; however, one of the greatest things about creating your own jewelry is that you can do it your own way. You are in charge of what your piece will look like and sometimes a break with tradition can turn into something wonderful. There is almost nothing more traditional than a strand of pearls; they are elegant and beautifully simple. Unfortunately, many people often shy away from these wonderful beads as some people will tell you that “pearls need to be knotted”… and yes…there still are some of us out there who either never learned to knot or don’t want to take the time to do it. If this sounds like you then never fear, the solution is here. We used hishi spacers in between these pearls to create a unique take on a traditional pearl necklace and finished it off with a decorative clasp. Stringing a pearl necklace has never been easier! For those who like the traditional look of a knotted pearl necklace, our Knotting For Beginners class is coming up on October 9th.
Tutorial…Simple Wire Wrapped Ring
It seems as though whenever I finish a beading project I always find myself with random beads which are left over. More often than not these beads get tossed into my “someday I will use these” bucket. Here is a quck and easy wire wrapped ring tutorial that will help you find a home for all those lonely leftovers!
1 large bead
about 1.5 ft. of 20 gage half hard sterling wire
1. In choosing your bead, make sure that the wire will fit through the hole. TIP – If the hole is too small you may want to use a larger gage wire and double up on the wrapping. Thread the wire through the bead so it sits in the middle of the wire.
4. wrap the wire around the side of the loop to finish the ring on one side, do the same on the other side to finish the ring. TIP – we recommend using needle nose or chain nose pliers to pull the wire through for a tight wrap.
5. Wear and love your new ring!
There are an incredible number of ways in which to make rings from beads. We added a new Bling Ring class this month for those of you interested in taking it up a notch. Or just stop by and check out our selection of store samples!
From hippie chic to steam punk to beaded brilliance…cuffs are in in a big way these days. One of the great thing about cuffs is that they have such a wide range in style that you pretty much can’t go wrong. Check out some styles we found on Etsy and some made by the girls at the bead store. We love the red cuff and are teaching a class later this month on beading a cabachon. Once you learn to do this you will be able to apply the skills which you learned in class to making your own similar version of this cuff.
There is also a great article on making cuffs in the fall issue of Jewelry Affair, now available for purchase in the store.
Treasury …Halloween is upon us, are you prepared…
Before and After…Jewelry Storage
Design Sponge did it again. If there is one thing that everyone can never get enough of (besides beads of course) is jewelry storage for all those wonderful new creations everyone is whipping out. For all those crafty folks out there who like DIY projects, this one is right up your alley! Check out the full post here
Projects…Flying Sparrows Necklace
We found this cool anchor charm and chain necklace ad decided to use it as inspiration for one of our own. This example is just one of the many possibilities for making your own super quick and super cool necklaces with chain and charms!
In Style…Chain Chandelier
Chain chain chain, we know we’ve gone on about it quite a bit lately…but check this out! We love this chandelier made from recycled bike parts.
Carolina Fontoura Alzaga, a Mexican multidisciplinary artist, takes old bike parts and turns them into shimmering chandeliers. Her series of Victorian-era chandelier sculptures is called “Connect,” and they exemplify how mundane objects can be transformed into magnificent masterpieces! Read the full story here…
Tips and Tricks…twisted earwires quick fix
Have you ever gone to make a pair of earrings only to realize that the earring is hanging the wrong way off the earwire. Rather than add a jump ring to the design, a quick way to fix the issue is to simply twist the loop on the earwire! To do this: use one pair of pliers to hold the earwire and use a second pair of pliers to twist the loop at the bottom. Youe won’t believe how many times we have used this trick to correct how our earrings hang!
1. 2. 3.
Chain jewelry has been in style for quite some time now, however, it is finally being recognized as a trend in itself. This fall fashion season chain jewelry is everywhere you look. Weather you are using it as an accent to stones and jewels, or using it on its own to create stylish bracelets or necklaces, chain is a great way to get noticed this fall!
Tutorial…The outfit maker chain necklace
· 1 x 19 inch chain (we used heavy gold big linked)
· 2 x 3 foot colored ribbons. (if the ribbons are solid you can use one. The ribbons we used were semi transparent so we doubled them up)
· 2 x fold over crimps
· 2 x 8mm gold jump rings
· 5 x large beads (we used turquoise)
· 5 x gold head eye pins
· 2 ft of smaller chain (we chose a smaller version of the original gold chain)
· 16 x 6mm gold jump rings
· 1 x clasp
· 1x big eye needle
1. Thread your big eye needle with the ribbon. (If you are doubling up on the ribbon use both)
2. Starting at one end, weave the ribbon through the links in the chain. (We did not have a specific pattern to the weaving, but rather just did it haphazardly). Do not pull the ribbon tight as this will cause the chain to bunch up.
3. Weave until the ribbon is done. When you are finished weaving the ribbon through the chain, cut off extra chain leaving one extra link past the ribbon on both sides.
4. Use the fold over crimps to finish off the end of the ribbon. The ends of the ribbon should now be the same length as the ends of the chain.
5. Using a 8mm jump ring, attach fold over crimp and chain to one side of the clasp. Repeat for the other side. You should now have the completed chain with ribbon (we will call this chain#1).
9. Repeat for all five beads. (you should now have 5 pieces of chain #2)
10. Open the top of the eye pin and attach both ends of chain #2 to the bead and to chain #1 using one of the 6 mm jump rings.
11. Open the eye pin on the bottom of the bead and attach chain#2 to the bottom of the bead.
12. Repeat this for all 5 beads. When you are done, all 5 beads should now be hanging from the chain#1 with chain#2 attached at the top and the bottom of each bead.
14. Using 6mm jump rings attach chain#2 to the piece next to it in between the 5 beads, connecting all 5 together.
15. Use remaining jump rings to attach chain#2 to chain#1 on either side of the first and last bead.
16. wear and love your new FAB chain necklace!
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Musée d’Orsay are proud to present the second installment of paintings by Van Gogh. As such , we decided to use him for our inspiration this week. Color was the chief symbol of Van Gogh’s expression and living in Sonoma county we too are surrounded by colorful vistas. All too often, we pass through the scenery which surrounds us: the rolling hillsides, the vineyards and orchards, and don’t stop to take it all in. This week We are inspired by Van Gogh’s work and his ability to capture what he saw. We invite you to stop, take a moment and perhaps you too will find your creativity among your surroundings. Happy Beading!
Treasure Chest…This week we like Raku Ceramics!
A new shipment of all kinds of Peruvian ceramic beads, bottles, and pendants is in. We have some brand new items and some of your original favorites. Check out the skulls…Halloween is right around the corner!
Before and After… Lily’s Halloween Earrings
It seems like every time I am at the flea market or out thrift shopping I always seem to run across these old ugly silk flowers. This time I decided to give myself a challenge and try to make something fab from something drab. I found this silk flower and grass clump and decided that the colors were right for fall. With a 2 large crimp beads, headpins, some copper chain, and a few crystals, I now have a great pair of Halloween Earrings!
Projects… Katie’s ‘Eat Pray Love’ inspired jewelry
Dogeared Jewels and gifts was inspired by Eat Pray Love, the latest movie du jour, to create an entire line of jewelry…and we have been inspired by Dogeared!
Images from Open studio
In Style…Ecouterre & My Sisters Art
We are continuing this week in looking into “Eco” or “Upcycled” jewelry and ran across these two great pages:
Ecouterre is a website devoted to the future of sustainable fashion design. They’re dedicated to showcasing and supporting designers who not only contemplate cut, form, and drape, but also a garment’s social and environmental impact, from the cultivation of its fibers to its use and disposal. Check out some of their featured designers below.
Meanwhile… Over at mysistersart , Atmore artist Kathleen Nowak Tucci says she was astonished when her recycled rubber necklace wound up on the slender neck of an haute-couture model posing for what would become a controversial cover for the high-fashion magazine Vogue Italia…. check out the rest of the story here
Chain jewelry seems to be everywhere you look these days, stay tuned for tutorials on how to get the latest looks!
All of us over here at the bead shop love the Sundance catalog. It seems like every time a new one comes out a flurry of inspiration follows. However, this week we found our inspiration not from their jewelry section, but from their home section. We love this Gypsy Chandelier! What inspires you?
We Like this upcycled plastic bag tutorial from
Neon Green Tree Branch Earrings
So I went to Saudi Arabia and the shopping bags there were all plastic–but of beautiful greens and blues and reds. And when I saw these beautiful bags lying in the trash (or worse–not in the trash), it made me think of what beautiful stuff I could make if I fused the plastic bags together. So here’s how I made these earrings.
- 2 plastic bags (one green and one black)
- earring thingies (you know what I mean)
- 2 pieces of parchment paper, wax paper, or newspaper
- an iron
- 2 small pieces of sea-glass
- hot glue gun (and the glue to go with it)
*NOTE* Make sure you iron in a well-ventilated room.
1)Take the first plastic bag and cut off the handles and bottom. Turn it inside out and fold into fourths.
2) Place between the 2 pieces of paper and turn the iron to a low setting. If it’s too hot you’ll burn a hole through the plastic
3)iron for about 30 seconds on either side of the plastic bag sandwich. You’ll know you’re done when the plastic has become one fused sheet.
4)repeat with other bag
5) cut the black fused sheet into 2 1″ squares (I rotated them a bit and used them as diamonds), cut part of the green one into little strips
6)arrange the green strips into the shape of a tree branch on the black diamonds, place between paper and iron until finished
7)fuse little green rectangle to top as holder for earring thingy
8)hot-glue the pieces of sea glass to the backs of the earrings (they provide weight so the earrings dangle properly: a flat bead would work, too)
Mens Leather Bracelet Tutorial By Legendary Beads
2 x 14 inches of 2mm leather cord (one of each color)
2 Bead caps or cones
2 inches of 24 gage silver wire
2 x 6mm jump rings
Tierracast toggle clasp
1. Cut leather into four 7 inch pieces
2. Combine two pieces (one of each color) and fold them in half creating a 1 inch loop.
3. Wrap the leather with wire to secure the loop
4. Take the other two pieces of leather and repeat step 2 but before wrapping it with the wire, loop it through the first side to connect the center of the bracelet
5. Wrap the end of the leather and pull it into caps to finish the ends and make a wire wrapped loop outside the cap to attach your clasp
6. Use jump rings to attach the clasp.
Check out what was made in last weekends classes. Every time we put on a class new and wonderful projects are created! Thank you everyone who turned out and we hope to see you again soon.
Soldered Glass Pendant
All About Earrings
Tips and tricks:
Cleaning is not just for the spring…Sue’ s tips to brighten up your bling.
People ask all the time how to clean silver. A very quick and easy way is Windex….no kidding. Because has some amonia in it, it’s a GENTLE cleaner. It won’t hurt finish on pearls and it will make you gems sparkle! For heavier tarnish cleaning we carry an excellent silver spray cleaner in the store.
Our Favorite Things:
More and more these days art is going green. As much as we love traditional beaded jewelry, we also always love finding unique ideas which incorperate recycled materials into beautiful jewelry. We found this necklace on Craftgossip and think it is fun and chic!
How to Honor Pregnancy
Creating a Birth Necklace
Creating a birthing necklace is a beautiful way to honor yourself and Baby during pregnancy. There are so many ways and of course no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of designing a piece of art to symbolize what is most important to you. I like to encourage mothers to create their own piece or to take part if they choose to have an artisan make the jewelry for them. Maybe there is a particular color you have been drawn to during your pregnancy or a color that represents this child to you which could be the color focus of the necklace. Maybe you have a pendant you would like to have as your focus. There are stones that can help strengthen or support you and have significant meanings as you journey through pregnancy.
Summer is winding down and Halloween is right around the corner! We are stocking up on all kinds of festive beads. This week We Like Skulls!
got the Back to School Blues…
…we’ve got the blues for you to use!
Riveted jewelry can be so much fun and also can be such a pain if it is not done right. Here is an article from Jewelry Making Daily which offers some handy tips on getting perfect rivets every time!
Our new stone shipment has arrived!
Pearls, hematite, labradorite, chalcedony, agate, crystal, jasper, turquoise, onyx, tiger eye, chips, pendants, rounds…..the list goes on and on!
Classes Coming up This Week
Friday August 20
Open Studio…IT’S FREE!
If you have questions about a technique, a design, or your own piece, bring it in and get tips and advice from our instructors. Start or finish a project, or browse our design library.
Saturday August 21st 11:00-2:00
African Helix $25
Using seed beads, beading thread and a needle, create a modern version of an age-old pattern. You’ll finish with an original closure by Sudahlia.
(Materials list available upon registration.)
Saturday August 21st 3:00-5:00
Wire Wrapped Melon $25
Learn the essential skill of wire working while making a fun, cool summer necklace.
(Materials list available upon registration)
Sunday August 22st 12:00-2:00
Knotting for Beginners $25
Knotting is an essential technique when working with beads, especially pearls. This class will teach you about materials and knotting tweezers and we’ll complete a knotted bracelet in class.
(material list available upon registration)
Sunday August 22nd 3:00-5:00
Sawed Pendant $40
In this two hour class we will begin by covering the basics of sawing metal using a jewelry saw. The final result will be a beautiful copper pendant. (You may also purchase a silver blank from the store and make a silver pendant!) This class is suitable for beginners and beaders who are beginning to experiment with metalsmithing.
For a full list of classes as well as more class information check out our
All Wired Up!
Three different ways
Wire jewelry is fun and very hip these days…plus you can let your creativity run wild!
Danielle, Lily, and Katy each took a different type of wire and made three quick and easy pendants.
What can you do with wire…?
We want to hear from you
As many of you know, Legendary Beads is on Facebook. There you will find updates on classes, fun projects, and inspiration. It also allows you to share your comments, ideas and work. We are always looking for local artists to promote…and it just could be you!
Class this weekend
Saturday July 31st 11:00-1:00
Herringbone Chain Project $30
Learn and practice the beautiful stitch that is herringbone. This necklace can stand on its own or be used as a base for a special focal bead. (Materials list available upon registration)
We like it
Rundraksha Prayer Beads – 108 beads per strand $9.95
The Story goes …When the great God Shiva looked down on the earth and saw the cruelty of humanity, he cried. Where God’s tears fell, trees grew and the seeds from those trees are called Rudraksha beads or the “Tears of God.” Anyone could gather these beads and make a strand of prayer beads…even the most humble, and it is said that wearing these beads, which embody the essence of Shakti (spiritual energy), is a constant reminder to persevere through all challenges.
Steven James is coming in August!
Three new classes will be held August 14th & 15th
Steven James has appeared on both the HGTV and DIY networks and his work has been featured in many publications including BeadStyle, BeadUnique, Budget Living, Pack-o-Fun and ReadyMade, as well as several books from Lark and Kalmbach. These classes will most likely sell out so reserve your spot early.
Saturday July 24th 11:00-2:00
Viking Weave Chain Bracelet $30
Learn the ancient art of Viking chain making. We start with wire and create a mesh-like chain, then finish it off with cones and a handmade clasp. .
Sunday July 25th 12:00-2:00
Spiral Disc Chain Bracelet $30
Handmade chain doesn’t have to involve soldering equipment and advanced skills. Master this sturdy and versatile chain in one class!
Lily’s Pick: Kidney shaped ear wires
Kidney shaped ear wires are so much fun! We made these three super fast easy earrings in under 5 min. Lily, Sue, and Danielle took a pair of kidney ear wires and each made a different pair of earrings. So simple and so in style right now!
July 10th 1:00 until …supplies run out!