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20/05/2016

Containing Your Beaded Flowers



Creating beaded flowers, especially French beaded flowers, is quite popular among crafters today. There's information to be found everywhere on how to make these stunning blooms, so let's take it to the next step and assume you've just completed your first beaded flower. You want to make it into an item to be displayed and enjoyed, and for many crafters a floral arrangement in a container works well, whether it's a single stem or a huge bouquet of flowers and foliage. Putting this together can be accomplished in a number of ways.

Remember, though, you are working with beaded flowers which are quite heavy due to all those lovely little beads, and you want to be certain you have plenty of weight in your container so your arrangement won't tip over!

A popular mounting material for beaded flowers is modeling clay, particularly if your container is made from pottery or opaque glass. This clay comes in blocks and doesn't harden. Heat a small chunk of the clay in your microwave at 10-second intervals to soften it to a workable state, then press it into the container. Place your stems into the clay, and it will hold your flowers upright. There is a good bit of weight to this material, so it will also anchor the container and prevent tipping. Now cover the surface with some pretty dried moss.

A lovely way to anchor your container, especially if made from clear glass, is to partially fill it with glass marbles or pretty stones. These can be purchased inexpensively and will also hold your beaded flowers upright while anchoring your vessel. Just be sure not to tip it over and have all those marbles rolling onto the floor! (Don't ask me how I know this.)

If you're feeling particularly brave, try the 'fake water' preparations. I love the look of this, but have to admit I find it difficult to work with. I believe most of these preparations are a type of resin, and they will come to you as two separate formulas that need to be mixed together prior to use. The mixture is thick and very sticky, and somehow I usually manage to get it all over myself and my work surface. But the end result is wonderful, and to me it's worth the mess.

Some tips for using these ...

    Follow the package directions carefully, mixing slowly to avoid bubbles.
    After mixing, pour into a plastic bag and snip a corner of the bag, creating a hole from which to pour the mixture down the center of the vase opening - try to avoid getting the 'water' on the sides of your vessel.
    Before pouring, place some glass marbles inside the vase and pour the mixture over these. This allows you to fill several vases with a single package of the rather pricey mixture.
    Allow to cure the required length of time before moving the vase or components within.

You'll find many ways to contain your beaded flowers; I've given you only a few ideas here. However you decide to mount them, though, you are certain to enjoy your arrangement for years to come!

 

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16/05/2016

Tips On Buying Wholesale Lampwork Beads



Lampwork beads are among the few exclusive types of beads that you can use in jewelry making. If you are into jewelry making then you will know that they can give a unique look to your jewelry. These are made using a very interesting technique, by only expert and experienced artisans. In order to make these different, colored glass rods are heated and melted; the molten glass is then wrapped around a steel rod to form the basic glass bead. If these beads need to be embellished with other different materials, it has to be done while the bead is still hot. This technique is similar to that used in glassblowing.

If you need these beads in large quantities for your jewelry making then it makes sense to buy them in bulk from wholesale suppliers. However, there are a couple of things that you have to keep in mind when buying wholesale lampwork beads to ensure that you are spending your money wisely.

    The first thing that you need to understand is that all lampwork beads are not equal in terms of quality. So, make sure that you check the physical characteristics of the these before making a purchase. You must also check that the beads do not have sharp bead holes; their edges should be soft and rounded. Those beads having sharp edges may cut the thread onto which they are beaded; hence the jewelry made from them is not durable. Also, the edges of the beads should be rounded or they may cut your skin.

    Ensure that you buy these from an expert artisan. Since they are experienced in making the beads, the quality should be better.

    You will often notice that some lampwork beads have bubbles in them. While some people feel that they enhance the look, it is actually a sign of poor workmanship. Bubbles can weaken the structural integrity of the beads. However, if you like to have bubbles in your beads choose those beads in which the bubbles are not too close to the surface.

    Another important thing to take note of when buying wholesale lampwork beads is that the lampwork beads you purchase are kiln annealed. Annealing is the process that strengthens the beads and prevents them from cracking suddenly. This process is very important for the durability of the beads.

    In some beads you may also find chill marks, which are caused due to thermal shocks that can happen when the bead is pressed in a mold. Chill marks appear as tiny rings on the surface and occur when the bead is subjected to uneven heat. Such a process can also cause internal stress on the glass, thereby making them fragile.

 

 


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10/05/2016

Some Fascinating Uses of Glass Beads



 For many people collecting glass beads is a hobby. This is because glass beads are quite different from the rest of the beads and they can be used in a variety of applications. These beads are fashionable, beautiful and they can be used in the creation of elegant and sophisticated jewelry items. Glass beads have a long and interesting history. They have been used since ages to create adornments for the body. The only difference is that in those days, they were hand made and today they can be mass produced in factories. There are still some places in this world where they are crafted by skilled artisans. Some of them include lampwork, blown glass, millefiori, etc.

With so many styles, shapes and sizes available today, it is not difficult to find those which can complement your project designs. The best part is that aside from jewelry making, there are many more fascinating uses of glass beads which we will take a look at in this article.

Coasters

Glass beads can be used in the creation of stylish and interesting coasters for your beverages. It is easy to make coasters using these elements. Since most of them are regular in shape, they can be strung together and wrapped in a circular fashion to form the shape of a coaster. You can also use a solid base such as a cardboard or a thick round plastic film and stick them all over it to form a coaster. There are many designs and shapes you can create using them.

Hangings for the curtains

These are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The smallest ones range from few millimetres and the largest ones to few inches. You can string these beads together to make hangings for your curtains. To finish the look, you can also use satin or silk tassels at the end.

Decorate flower pots

Making use of small and colorful glass beads, you can decorate your flower pots, vases and any other ornament that you have in your home. You can use adhesive to secure the beads to the pots and vases. It is also possible to draw shapes such as flowers and outline them with these beads.

Chandelier

You can even design and decorate a faux no light chandelier using medium sized glass beads. Try different colors or you can use faceted colorless ones as this will reflect the most light. You can use wire as the frame of the chandelier and hang strings of beads onto the wire in any pattern that you want.

 

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