Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Thanks for reading and following my blog.
I'll be back in the New Year.



Going a little bit off topic here, but these are so cute!
Glitter and 'Flitter' - I love it!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

My Beading Diary

This is a 'live' diary post as I have just finished making this necklace!   
Using semi precious turquoise pear shapes
 and simply stringing them together with some small brown 'wooden look' beads. 

I am really pleased because the brown beads 
were part of my free gift from Bead Magazine and 
the turquoise has been a difficult little bead
 to find complimentary colours for.   

I think the 'wood look' beads go quite nicely with the natural brown lines found on the turquoise. 

 I am so glad to have found some playmates for my little  turquoise! 

Bead Radar - Discount Code

Bead Magazine are currently sending out goodie bags with every subscription.  

In my experience  'free gifts' are usually proof of the saying ' you get what you pay for', 
i.e a load of rubbish,  BUT on this occasion I was utterly suprised and delighted with the free fare.  

Just take a look at this little lot: 

You receive an actual gift bag 
jam packed full of beading goodies!

The organza gift bag contains:

20 Gold plated ear wires
20 Gold plated ribbon ends
3 x Ribbons 
Pack of mixed glass leaves/hearts ready looped
Test tube of Autumn Glow bead mix
Test tube of brown round beads 
Russet red beading thread  
An enourmous string of glass hearts.
A big eye beading needle ....
and  a discount at Beads Direct!  

-Phew, I'm glad typing that little list is over!

Here's a few pics of some of my favourites: 

Thought I would share the discount voucher with you all !

I couldn't believe a 'free gift' could be this good!

If you are thinking of subscribing to Bead Magazine now is a good time to do so!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Snowball Earrings

Glass lamp work earrings with pearl drops

Another snow inspired name here! 
Using the same ingredients of creamy freshwater pearls, 'white opal' Swarovski crystals and sterling silver with the addition of two large silver foiled lamp work lovelies!


Sunday, 5 December 2010


The snowy weather has provided the perfect inspiration for the naming of these earrings.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Bead Radar - Discount Code

Beads Unlimited are offering 20% off their range of packaging.  

If it is your first order with them 
you will receive an extra 10%
off the rest of your purchase. 

Enter code: BM1012 
at the checkout. 

Offer ends 23rd January 2011
one offer per customer
Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Frosted Smoke Necklace


'White Opal' and 'Silver' Swarovski Crystals nestle
 in between smoked and frosted glass  

Monday, 22 November 2010

Bead Radar -Discount Code

Wire is an essential item in any crafter’s creative stash.
For top quality and a fabulous range, Beads Unlimited is your first and last stop.
Whatever your needs they have the wire to suit.

Bend and twirl to your heart’s content with their extensive array of metal based wire in various handy gauges.
All your favourite finishes are included – silver plated, gold plated, brass and copper plus a bright and beautiful selection of colours.

Enter code MS1011C
in the promotional box at the checkout for 10% off their range of metal based wire.
Valid until 5th December 2010.
One offer per customer.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Bead Radar - Discount Code

Happy 90th anniversary to Creative Bead Craft -
who are offering 10% off  to celebrate the occasion.

Quote code: BD1110 

Offer ends 23rd November 2010.
One offer per customer.
Not to be used in conjunction with any other offers.

Monday, 15 November 2010

My Beading Diary

Check out these gorgeous beads and Swarovski crystals!    
All lined up and ready to be used on a Christmas present project. 
It's going to be my first attempt at making a piece from a magazine. 
The project uses double St. Petersburg chain and a round circular peyote fringed clasp.
Now I know how to do the single St.Petersburg chain but the double version and the fringed clasp are totally new to me!  

Click over the break to see the extent of the challenge!! 

Welcome to the blog!

A very warm welcome to my fourth follower 'Naviguesser'. 
Thanks for following my blog - I hope you enjoy it.  :-) x

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Cosy Cocoa Necklace

Chunky Indian glass beads in Autumnal tones

This cosy necklace has a little secret,
click over the break to discover what it is ....

Thursday, 4 November 2010

It's Vintageous!

The passion for vintage things is spreading!
These cute little earrings aren't old, but they channel a certain vintage vibe with their pretty polka dots!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Bead Radar - Discount Code

GJ Beads are offering 10% off online purchases.
Or, if you are lucky enough to go to the Hobbycrafts &Art Materials Live show at the Birmingham NEC, you can print off this voucher to get 10% off in person!

Enter this WebStore Coupon Code at the Checkout to receive
10% discount on all your web orders until
3rd December 2010

                                             Offer Expires: 3rd December 2010
G J Beads Logo
10% Discount

G J Beads
The Big Bead Show
Sandown Park

Present this voucher at the checkout on 
G J Beads stand F20

at Hobbycrafts, NEC
4th - 7th November 2010

D12 - 10% Discount

Offer Valid: 4th - 7th November 2010 -4 Days Only

Bead Radar - Discount Code

Beads Direct are offering 15% off your order 
with code: 


Use at the online checkout.
1 use per customer only, not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. 
Expires 28/02/11 

Yes thats 28th of Feb 2011!!  Well worth keeping in mind for orders now until next year!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Inspire Me


For such a straight forward colour black has a bit of a dual personality. 

On the one hand it is dark and brooding, moody and mysterious, 
lending an air of melancholy to all who chose to wear it. 
From black cats to black magic this colour has esoteric connotations. 

Yet on the other hand it is the colour of high style.  
With glossy magazines touting ''X is the new black''.
Being stylish and slimming a girl can't go wrong with that little black dress! 

Black lists are bad and lists in little black books have all the fun! 

Black sheep, black widow, blackmail.  
Makes me think of the 'femme fatale' as famed in the old black and white movies. 

' The mysterious and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous and even deadly situations.'

She tries to achieve her hidden purpose by using her feminine wiles,  
and to me the femme fatale sums up the dual nature of the colour black nicely
 - stylish yet sinister! 

Don't look behind you...... 

1944's 'Double Indemnity' is a great film to watch for femme fatale inspiration. 
Watch Phyllis Dietrichson, as portrayed here by Barbara Stanwyck,  convincing this insurance salesman to murder her husband so that they  she can inherit an enormous life insurance payout. 

Will it all go her wily way? Watch and find out..... 

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Saturday, 30 October 2010

A Walk In The Woods

It's autumn time. The leaves are falling from the trees and covering everything in  beautiful coppery layers of brown, amber, and russet red. 

Friday, 29 October 2010

Snow Drop Earrings

These earrings are so feminine and soft, almost fragile in essence.   They remind me of snowdrops.
A delicate snowy white pearl sits atop of the tiniest sparkly crystal.
They would a give a magical  twinkle to any Autumn/Winter outfit!  

Bead Radar - Discount Code

 New GJ Beads discount code: 

Enter this WebStore Coupon Code at the Checkout to receive
10% discount on all your web orders until
30th November 2010

   Offer Expires: 30th November 2010

Welcome to my blog

Big *hello* and warm welcome to my third follower 'sammi_tenn'. Thanks for following my blog I hope you enjoy it :-) x

Bead Radar - Discount Code

'Brighten up the gloomy Autumn days with gorgeous floral and stripy cotton beads from Beads Unlimited.'

Enter code MS1010B  
in the promotional box at the checkout for 10% 
off their range of cotton beads. 
Valid until 14th November 2010. 
One offer per customer.

Hooray and Welcome!

I would like to say a big *hello* and give a warm welcome to my first two followers!  Nice to meet you.
I  hope you enjoy the blog :-) x

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Murano Mothers Day Bracelet

This post is a bit of a family collaboration.

I made the bracelet, 
Mum wears it,
and  Dad photographed it.
(With Mum styling the shots - obviously!) 

I used a Murano glass heart that has blues, purples and silvers all mottled through it in layers which give a lovely depth of colour. 
Here's a close up of the heart so you can see just how yummy it is....

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

They're Deco, Darling

Freshwater pearls with glass beads and tiny Swarovski crystals
These earrings remind me of Art Deco style, (for some reason!) so I've called them my 'Deco Darling' earrings!
All  one needs now is a flapper style dress, long gloves and cocktails at Claridges!!
Fabulous dahrling!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Bead Radar - Discount Code

Beads Unlimited discount code: 

Enter BM1011 at the checkout 
All customers 20% off  metal charms 
New to them? 
A further 10% off the rest of your order. 
Offer ends 21st November 2010
One offer per customer, not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

It's a new look for The Need To Bead Blog

Today has seen a little bit of a makeover for the blog.
We've gone 'vintage' style darlings!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Bead Radar - Discount Code

Enter this WebStore Coupon Code at the Checkout to receive
10% discount on all your web orders until
20th November 2010
                                             Offer Expires: 20th November 2010

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

How To Make Earrings

 'Love to Shine' Earrings 

For this project you will need:

2 Head pins  - Silver plated or sterling silver it's up to you.
2 Ear wires - '' ''
2 Swarovski crystals size 8mm in colour 'Crystal AB'
4 Swarovski crystals size 6mm in colour ' Crystal AB'
2 Swarovski crystals size 4mm in colour 'Crystal AB'

Round nose pliers

Chain nose pliers 
Wire cutters
Safety glasses (Don't stick metal items into electric sockets, jump off high buildings or put your cat in the microwave either!)

Monday, 18 October 2010

Autumnal Sparkle

Light Colordao Topaz
Swarovski crystals in 'Light Colorado Topaz' - Gorgeous!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Chic Or Unique?

Eclectic glass lampwork creation!
I can't decide if this necklace is funky and chic or just a little bit 'unique'!?

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

My Beading Diary

St. Petersburg chain 
My second go at St. Petersburg chain.  This time with embellishment!  The 'beady eyed' among you may notice a tiny mistake here, but hey that's what learning is all about!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Beading Basics

20 gauge (0.8mm)  and 26 gauge (0.4mm)  wire  
Metal Wire

Gold plated, sterling silver, silver plated, copper, coloured - the list of the types of wire available is long!

Different thickness of wire is good for different things.

A 20 gauge wire (0.8mm diameter) is a thicker wire and is good for making findings, spirals, and ornamental designs.

The higher the gauge number the thinner the wire becomes.

A 26 gauge wire (0.4mm diameter) is a thinner wire and good for twisting and tiara making.

I suggest these two gauges as a starting point.

Wire is sold in 'spools'.  What a  great word 'spool'!

Follow this link to see the different gauges available at Beads Unlimited:

Saturday, 4 September 2010

My Beading Diary

St. Petersburg chain - Done!! 
Here it is - and I can't quite believe it!  St.Petersburg chain completed!!   I am pretty chuffed with my first attempt.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

My Beading Diary

I have never, ever, attempted any kind of 'sewing' beading before.

I saw a free video over at Bead TV on how to make St. Petersburg chain
and thought I'd give it a try.... wish me luck!!
St. Petersburg chain in the making!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Inspire Me


Cool calm and collected, blue is a beautiful colour.

Think blue skies, sunny days and tranquil waters. 

Blue is a spiritual colour of insight and clarity.

Astrological Water signs - Cancer, Scorpio & Piesces - are said to be attracted to a cool colour palette.

In Greek mythology Zeus, the king of the gods, would make a storm when he was angry and make rain when he was crying .  The connection between sadness and blue of the raindrops may be where the saying someone is 'feeling blue' may originate from.

 With a 'blue' sense of humour blue can even be a little risque! 


Monday, 30 August 2010

Bead Radar - Discount code

Beads Unlimited are giving all customers 20% off their Millefiori glass.
New customers recieve a further 10% off the rest of their order. 

Enter code: BB1009
at the online checkout.

Offer ends 12th September
One offer per customer.

Vintage rose set

Made with love! 

Earrings to match
Freshwater pearls complement 'vintage rose' Swarovski crystals in this lovely matching set.

Made for a birthday present the recipient had no idea at all that I made them, and thought I had bought them from a shop! Which was a great compliment.

Beading Basics - Findings

'Findings' - the term for all the little components that you can use to make your jewellery.

Silver plated Findings 

  If I had to whittle it down to what would be useful and the 'basics' for a starter findings  kit it would be these things:
(As featured in the pic in a clockwise direction)

Extender chain
Beadalon stringing wire 0.20 (comes in many different colours the one in the pic is 'Bright')
Ear wires 
Eye pins -  thin straight metal rod with an open round at the bottom
Head pins -  thin metal rod with a flat bottom
Crimps -  tiny hollow round  metal beads to be crushed onto stringing wire to seal the ends and stop the beads fallling off.   (Pictured next to the heapin)
Jump rings - round metal rings that open up to join things together these are 6mm. 
Round clasp -delicate clasp
Lobster clasp - named as it resembles a lobsters claw!
Callottes - round clam like items with a loop on the top. Used to cover the crimped ends of wire and allow you to attach jumprings then clasp and chain to finish your piece.

There are so many different findings out there that for a new beader it can all become a little confusing!
I would reccomend sticking to one finish i.e silver or gold plate to begin with.

I prefer sterling silver jewellery but to learn with it is far more economical to use plated to start off with and once you know wht you're doing start building up your sterling silver kit.

My silver plated findings starter kit came from Blue Streak Beads and it contains  all the findings in the picture and many more (except for the stringing wire which you will have to buy seperately).

Here's a link to all the findings kits that they do. You will see that some of them do come with stringing wire.

You will also need tools - see my beading basics article on tool kit - and of course the beads! 

There are so may kits out there, many with tools and beads included, choose the set that you like the most!

Have fun shopping!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Bead Radar

This unusual 'acorn' bead  from the Autumn Selection at Bijoux Beads
really caught my attention.

With autumn just around the corner this is a stylish seasonal signifier
- but for now I'm clinging onto what's left of the summer!!

Beading Basics - Tool Kit

My much used and loved sparkly tool kit.

Tools are one of  the first things to buy on your beading adventure.
I admit that I did buy these because of the colour of the case, but the tools inside are superb.

I wondered at first quite what I would use tweezers and a scoop for but as you advance through beading projects these items do come in handy.

 The tools that you will need to start out with;

Round nose pliers

Chain nose (sometimes called Snipe nose) pliers

Flat nose pliers

Wire cuttters

This set, as you can see from the branding on the tools,  comes from Spoilt Rotten Beads and is great value for money at £18.95

The sparkly finish is wonderfully subtle and equally fab!  

Sparkle magpies click on the link below to get yours:

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Sweet heart

'Sunset' clear round beads with silver foiled heart focal 

A cute bracelet. There's something about heart shapes and sparkle that makes me think 'bridesmaid'.  This bracelet would make a great accessory for those all important ladies in waiting.

The pair that got away...

Silver foiled lampwork beads

These were made as a Christmas gift for my brothers girlfriend.  I loved them so much she nearly didn't recieve them!!

Love to sparkle

Graduated Swarovski Crystals
A pair of earrings I made as a Christmas prezzie.   The AB coated Swarovski crystals have an amazing shine to them and really catch the light. They have the kind of ''fire'' to them you see in a really well cut diamond, with all the beautiful colours reflecting out of the stone.  So if you don't have the big budget for diamonds, Swarovski crystals are your new best friend!