Sarcasm Reviews a Dilly of a Bead Board!


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Welcome back to another fun-filled week of sarcasm, beads, my life (or lack thereof – Ha!), and yet another installment in my reviews of that wonderful tool we beaders love – the bead board! I took a week off from blogging to deal with some crapola going on in my personal life, but also to try out the board I will be reviewing here today.

I also spent the week car shopping, and have mercy, I absolutely despise that whole, sitting in the little plastic chair, waiting on the finance people to work their magic with the numbers thing that takes pretty much all freaking afternoon/morning/evening – just pick one, cuz they are all pretty much the same! But anyhow, I found what I wanted, so at least there’s that!

I owe you all (and Ruth Ann Miller too!) an apology, as in my last installment about  The Bead Pad, I neglected to give you all the details about prices and sizes. For starters, her 6 inch mini-round board is $22.50 and her 11 inch round is $50.00. Her oval 11×14 board is $55.00, and is the one I actually have and reviewed. Her rectangle boards come in two sizes. There is the standard 9×12 for $50.00, and then she has a table sized one, the “Big Mama” that runs $125.00. She has 18 border colors to choose from and her shipping runs from $7.50 – $19.50, depending on board size. The Bead Corrals that she has to keep your beads in place on the boards are $14.99, and shipping for those is $5.50.

The Bead Pad

The Bead Pad

Now, on to this week’s installment! A couple of weeks ago I came home from volunteering at my grandson’s school and found where my hubby had left a package in my chair on his way to work that was marked as coming air freight from across the pond in the U.K. Upon opening it, I found the Curved Mega Tray version of Silaba Crafts beading board, a “Gilly,” a set of “Dilly Pads,” and “Dilly Dots.” To say the folks at Silaba were generous would be a serious overstatement, and buh-leeve me it was an overstatement, because as soon as they found out that another business in the U.S. was making them (which was in process LONG before my review came out) they demanded I ship their things back to them ASAP (despite INSISTING in an email that I keep them with their compliments to avoid the cost of returning them, which was nearly $80). They were NOT nice about it, either, even going as far as to slander me personally on social media and some other private messaging.

So what is a curved bead board? It is a 12×18 beading board that is shaped kind of like an upside down boomerang. It is very lightweight, lighter than any bead board I have had so far, (probably because it is much thinner as it had nearly NO padding) fits around your waist while you are sitting in your favorite recliner, on the sofa, etc. The surface mat is a light-colored blanket material, and the border material is a stretch fabric that although not waterproof, when the sweat from my glass dripped on it the other night, it beaded up instead of soaking in and leaving a stain. There is no problem with any beads getting stuck in the crevices between the bumper and the surface either. If they roll down, just push down on the mat and they pop back up on the board again, just as with the Bead Wrangler boards.

I have been using this bead board/craft tray at night while watching TV, as it fits perfectly around my waist, with room for all of my beads and tools on it because I don’t have to worry about either beads or tools going anywhere if I shift around because of the “Dilly Pads and Dots” that came with the board. They are basically little teeny-weeny bead mats with a ring inside to keep your beads in place – on ONE side. The other side is backed in felt to hold your tools in place. The “Dilly Dots” are just a smaller version of the pads. They are all cut to fit in the curve of your bead board. Forget it if you have a square or rectangular board – they just don’t fit. Another problem is they get SO dirty so quickly!

So, in addition to all of that, I received the “Gilly,” a small 8×5 board. What is so cool about it? Not all that much. It comes with its own padded cover with built-in double-sectioned Dilly pads on the inside of it, and sewn on very thin (and will eventually rip) elastic straps that hook together to keep it closed. It is the perfect size for those really large purses. It still has the wooden base though (making your purse quite bulky and much heavier), but it also has a rim to it to keep those beads from going too far. It is ok for travel beading unless you are in the car and the rim is so small that the beads go flying with the first bump in the road or an airplane and hit any turbulence. I still love and MUCH prefer my Bead Wrangler 8 inch board better because there is more surface room to bead and a larger rim for those pesky bumps in the road!

Both the large board and the Gilly offer a slight (and I mean SLIGHT) amount of padding for your wrists and to stick your needles when not in use without fear of breaking them, though they will bend them. They are easily cleaned with one of those masking tape type lint rollers or lightly dampened cloth, just as the Bead Wrangler is.

Silaba’s boards are available in square, oval, oblong, round, rectangle, and the curved shapes, ranging in sizes from 7 1/2×12 to 12×18. They offer 40 choices in border fabric selections (far too many to choose from IMO). Prices range from $36.42 – $101.45, depending on size/shape, and shipping ranges from $9.10 – $19.51 which is via Airmail, which takes a couple of weeks (mine took nearly three weeks to get here), while the Bead Wrangler is usually just a couple of days. The “Gilly” is available in nine color selections and is $36.42 plus $9.10 shipping. (All amounts are in USD). All in all, not bad pricewise, but shipping time kinda stinks, considering it’s coming from across the pond, however I do believe in American-made and supporting OUR small businesses!

And speaking of great bead boards, The Bead Wrangler has added two new products to her line. The first one is a mini board that’s 7×12 inches. Several customers wanted one that would fit into a bag and take up less space. It is available in all 16 trim choices. The second new product is the ONLY one of its kind, and is just freaking AWESOME! It is a TWO-sided bead board!

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The Double-Sided Bead Wrangler Bead Board

Many beaders prefer a lighter beading surface but occasionally, they will have a pattern or design using all light beads which may be more difficult to see on the lighter surface. This “reversible” board is the only one of its kind! You’ll have the lighter surface AND the darker surface on the same board! The best part? It is only $10 more ($60) for the double-sided board! Now if you think this is awesome, just wait until you see what else she has coming out!

So far I have reviewed the Bead On It Boards,  The Bead PadSilaba Crafts curved craft tray, and my personal favorite (and the least expensive and best made)  The Bead Wrangler. I have reached out to one more seller on Etsy, and Ruby Lockwood, if you are reading this, please get in touch! ALL of the boards that I have reviewed thus far are significantly less expensive than the Bead On It boards. In a side by side comparison The Bead Wrangler wins, hands down in my book, especially with the free monogram! Moral of these reviews: Bead On It Boards are made by Canadians, Silaba in the UK. If you ARE an American then BUY American! Support your home country’s businesses when at all possible!

So, if you are wondering if I have any beading to show you this week, I do not. But only because I am keeping it under wraps for a wee bit longer annnndddddd so I can tease you now about it. Ha! As it stands right now, I am headed to beautiful Stone Mountain, Georgia this week to not only bead with a wonderful friend, but to see some of the great new things Ree Stanley, The Bead Wrangler lady has under wraps! ROAD TRIP!!!!! Wheeeeeee!!!

For those of you kind enough to send me information about grandparents rights, advocacy groups, and legal intervention, and for those of you keeping my grandbabies in your prayers and thoughts, I can’t thank you enough, and ask that you continue to do so in the prayer department. You all have been VERY resourceful! I did get a couple of hours with them last Sunday night, but nothing since, except seeing my grandson for a few minutes while I was at his school the other day.

I want to welcome my newest advertiser, Red Door Beads and Gallery! You will find their ad  with a 15% off your ENTIRE purchase over on the left side of the page if you are on a desktop, and down below the comment section on mobile. It’s always nice to find an advertiser with as snarky an attitude as mine! Ha! Seriously though, I consider Viki at Red Door a friend, and everyone knows you can’t be snarky with a straight face with friends! Seriously though, she saved this blog from oblivion, though it is still not out of the woods financially yet, sooooo you know the drill. Hit the Paypal button and please oh please, help me out where and when you can.

That about wraps it up for this week. So, until next time, stay smart or stay smart sassy!

Becca

Sarcasm does a Beaded Bezel Tutorial


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Welcome back to another fun-filled week of snark, honorable mentions from the Challenge, some of my beadwork (yes, I have found some time to bead, despite everything that has been going on!), and a tutorial! This is going to be a long one, boys and girls, so grab on to your nearest glass of wine (or whatever else lifts your spirits) and hang on!

First, let me apologize about the tone of last week’s posting. I know it was down and depressing, and I apologize. Sometimes though, you just need an outlet for your emotions, and since my family was center stage in the cause of mine, it fell to writing about it here. Not fair to you. No more, I promise.

Believe it or not, I not only have been beading, but actually won a little something in a challenge myself. Bello Modo held their Crescent Design Challenge, where original submissions had to be made using the Czech mates Crescent beads as the primary design bead. I was proud that my design “Eclipse” was selected as one of their runner-ups. I am currently writing a tutorial to it, and it will be available for sale on my website in the next couple of weeks!

"Eclipse"

“Eclipse”

"Eclipse"

“Eclipse”

This week, I had a lot of fun trying out the new Es-O and Tipp beads I got from Potomac Bead Company in the “Tipp Topp” bracelet by Akke Jonhof.  You can find the pattern in the April/May edition of Beadwork Magazine.  Did I follow the pattern as written? Well geez, do I ever??? Seriously though, the only changes I made, were in attaching the clasp. I used a 2-holed bar and a few seed beads before attaching my magnetic clasp instead of how Akke did it. I just liked the structure and strength of it a little better.

In my version I also played with some of the newer bead colors too. I used pastel light grey Tipp beads (though I have to warn you they are considerably darker than on the website photo), bordeaux Es-O beads, pastel light grey O-beads, and 6mm faceted rounds in white grey luster. As I mentioned before, I did use a couple of 2-hole bar bead in hematite on each end with some seed beads in silver lined grey to attach my magnetic clasp.

"Madeira"

“Madeira”

This week I bring you a tutorial for an easy beaded bezel for a cabochon, courtesy of Leslie Rogalski, Creative Director for the Beadsmith Inspiration Squad. Though this one is for a 24mm cabochon, it can easily be adapted for any size.

Easy Beaded Cabochon Pendant © by Leslie Rogalski, Designs by Leslie Rogalski – www.sleeplessbeader.com

Easy beaded cab

Easy beaded cab

What you will need:

  • 1 – 24mm cabochon (glass/stone/crystal, etc.)
  • 1 gm 11/0 seed beads (galvanized muscat shown)
  • 20 size 11 delica color B (violet sparkle lined DB-0610 shown)
  • 40 – 2mm round or Firepolish crystals (jet sliperit shown)
  • 1 – 6mm round or Firepolish crystal
  • Cord and clasp of choice
  • Fireline/Wildfire/One-G/KO Beading thread
  • Size 11 or 12 beading needle – (note: I personally recommend Tulip needles – Becca)
  • Scissors or a thread burner (note: I personally recommend the Berkley Hot Line Cutter – the tip is retractable, it comes with the batteries and an extra tip, can be found in most sporting goods stores in the fishing department, and costs less than $10!)
  1. On a 1 yd (.9m) piece of thread pick up 1A and 1B ten times for a total of 20 beads. Sew through all the beads again and pull into a ring; leave slight ease in order to sew through these beads in subsequent steps. Knot tail to working thread. Exit the first A strung. Pick up 8A, 1 crystal, and 8A. Skip the B in the ring and sew through the next A, making a loop.
  2. Repeat around the ring for ten loops. The last loop sews through the first A in the ring. Exit through the first 8A and the crystal in the first loop strung. p1
  3. String 3 crystals. Sew through the crystal exited in the loop forming a loop of 4 crystals. Exit the crystal in the loop.
  4. String 1A, 1B and 1A. Sew through the next loop’s crystal. Make sure the loop is flat, not twisted, before sewing through the crystal. Repeat Steps 3 and 4, pulling the beads close, to add 4-­‐crystal loops at the top of each loop. Sew through the first loop’s crystal, and circle through the crystal picot to exit the top crystal. Make sure the three beads between crystals are pulled up snugly, without gaps. The beadwork will cup as you work.p2
  5. Place cab face up in the beadwork. String 2A and pass through the top crystal in the next loop. Continue around the ring, pulling the beads snugly to capture the cab. Sew again through the circle just formed of A beads and crystals.
  6. Sew through the beads to meet the tail on the underside, knot, weave in the ends, and trim.p3

BAIL

  1. Customize the size of the bail to fit over your rope or cord by adding or subtracting A and B beads in the next steps.String a stop bead on 18″ (46 cm) of thread. Leaving a 6″ (15 cm) tail sew through the second, third, and fourth A beads in one strand of one of the loops (counting from the front of the cab). String a 2mm crystal, 1A, 1B, 1A, 1B, 1A a(or more for a larger bail space) and a 2mm crystal. String one 6mm round, a 2mm crystal, 1A, 1B, 1A, 1B, 1A (or however many you just strung,) and a 2mm crystal. Sew through all the beads again one and a half times, to exit the 6mm bead. Remove the stop bead.
  2.  String a 2mm crystal, 1A, 1B, 1A, 1B, 1A (or however many you just strung) and a 2mm crystal. Skip one strand and sew through the second and third A beads in the next strand of A beads. String a 2mm crystal, however many A and B beads you just strung) and a 2mm crystal. Sew through the 6mm bead and through all the beads in this step. Weave in the thread ends to secure and trim.p4

So, to wrap up the Sarcastic Beads and Yarn Challenge Challenge Spring 2016, I wanted to bring you just a few more Honorable Mentions! These are a few that stood out to me  and the judges as simply amazing for various reasons about to be explained.

CRAW, or in layman’s terms, Cubic Right Angle Weave, is as about as difficult a stitch as a beader will ever run across. It requires time, patience, and did I mention time and patience? Oh yeah, I think I did! Girija Kuppaswamy’s 21 inch version of Jill Wiseman’s CRAW rope tutorial, (yes – TWENTY-ONE INCHES!) obviously took a LOT of time and patience, and was simply beautiful too!

Girija Kuppaswamy - Jill Wiseman's CRAW rope necklace

Girija Kuppaswamy – Jill Wiseman’s CRAW rope necklace

JR An Carol Carnes submitted a LOT of entries, but the one that really took my breath away was the Superduo bezel (tutorial by Allie Buchman of Potomac Bead Company), using the reversible angle and such vibrant shades of the Challenge colors!

JR An Carol Carnes - Allies Super Duo Bezel

JR An Carol Carnes – Allies Super Duo Bezel

JR An Carol Carnes Allies Super Duo Bezel2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Kearney is someone I see in a lot of the beading groups on Facebook, as well as the Dry Gulch Beads & Jewelry monthly color challenges, and she certainly did not disappoint in my Challenge with her Jill Wiseman Cellini spiral, which used nearly every Challenge color there was to use! Simply a gorgeous piece of beadwork!

Mary Kearney Jill Wiseman Cellini Spiral

Mary Kearney Jill Wiseman Cellini Spiral

And then there was the one thing that surprised me in just how much I loved it, because I have never really been a fan of beaded beads. However, both of Sherry Palmer-Zieman’s entries, “Frill-Seeker,” a Trendsetters by Yumiko Watanabe, and Allie Buchman’s “Moon Lantern” bracelet both contained beaded beads, and I simply adored them!

Sherry Palmer -Zieman - Allie's "Moon Lantern" bracelet

Sherry Palmer -Zieman – Allie’s “Moon Lantern” bracelet

Sherry Palmer-Zieman - Trendsetters by Yumiko Watanabe "Frill Seeker"

Sherry Palmer-Zieman – Trendsetters by Yumiko Watanabe “Frill Seeker”

 

 

Going to wrap up this late edition of Sarcastic Beads and Yarn for the week, BUT, that does NOT mean I do not want to hear that little “ding” on my phone that means I have a comment from you fine folks! Also, if you read my plea for help last week, well, the song remains the same. I need all the help I can get with keeping this site up and running and there is a handy little Paypal donation button on the side if you would be so kind. I want to thank Sheila P. and Linda N. for helping me out with their kind generosity this past week, and Dorothy F. before that.

 

Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!

Becca

Coming Next Week: Spotlight on some cool bead artisans from around the globe!

Sarcasm does CRAW…..


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This week has been a doozy! I won’t bore you with the long version, but short version is I had to get two crowns on Thursday due to a broken filling from over the holidays, and in the same day was scheduled for surgery this upcoming Tuesday with an Oral Surgeon, for a totally different tooth that abscessed over the holidays. Apparently it now has so much infection that it has spread into my jawbone. He’s removing the tooth, the roots, parts of the jawbone that are infected, and putting bone grafts in to replace them. Have I completely grossed you out yet? All I know is I am SO glad he’s putting me under general anesthesia, because there is no way I’m listening to him chisel away at my jawbone awake! And how was YOUR week?

I want to thank you all for being such awesome and loyal and devoted readers, and well, you get the idea. As of this week, I have almost 12 THOUSAND views on my little ole blog! Advertisers and bead companies have taken notice, as well, and I just can not thank you ALL enough! I have some really cool news that I will be sharing with you over the course of the next few weeks too. All I can say right now is that it involves brand spanking new beads that are just being introduced on the market, and with it comes new patterns!

So, even though I said I didn’t make New Year resolutions, I did make a beading resolution, and that was to learn CRAW, or as most of you know, Cubic Right Angle Weave. There are so many tutorials out there, and weeding through them to find the one that best suited my learning style took some time, but as a faithful Beading Daily reader, I knew I would find exactly what I needed there. This tutorial was written for BD by Jennifer VanBenschoten and she explains it simple and concise steps.

Basic Tutorial for Cubic Right-angle Weave

Pick up 4 beads, leaving a 6″ tail. Pass through all 4 beads a second time, and then through the first bead picked up.
Pick up 3 beads, and pass through the bead you exited at the beginning of this step, and through the first bead of the second unit.
Pick up 2 beads, pass through the next empty bead in the base, the side bead from the second unit, and the 2 (brown) beads just added. Pass through the next empty bead in the base.
Pick up 2 beads and pass through the nearest (brown) bead from the previous unit, the bead in the base that you exited at the beginning of this step, and the first (blue) bead that you added in this step.
You’re ready to close up that last side unit of cubic right-angle weave! Pick up 1 bead, pass through the third (grey) bead from the second unit, the last empty bead in the base unit, and the (blue) bead that you exited at the beginning of this step. Give your beading thread a little tug, and your right-angle weave will zip together in a neat little cube.
Work your thread up to the top of the unit, and pass through the four beads at the top, connecting them. You can make more than one thread pass if you’d like to strengthen the cube, or leave it with just one pass for a more supple piece of cubic right-angle weave.
You can start to add another unit by picking up 3 beads, and starting all over, adding 2 beads for each additional unit, and then closing the side with a single bead.
Once you get the hang of the thread path and work a couple of inches of cubic right-angle weave, you can experiment with shaping it by adding beads between units using stitch-in-the-ditch, or try layering your cubic right-angle weave by using different types of beads in each new unit. The benefit of using cubic right-angle weave is that it creates a very solid structure with a lot of flexibility for shaping beadwork.

Another great tutorial can be found on Bead & Button’s site, by Marcia DeCoster here. There are so many tutorials available online now, but I found these the most helpful, and easy to understand. You see, I am a CRAW virgin myself! Yup, that was my beading New Year resolution – to learn CRAW. Did you have a beading resolution, and if so, what was it? Tell me in the comment section below!

I promised you more tutorials in 2016, and this is the first of many. There won’t be one every week, but I promise you one at least 1-2 times a month, both in techniques and in patterns. So, if you haven’t already, find that magic box where you subscribe to my snarky little blog, so you can get it first in your inbox! You won’t be sorry! Well, maybe a litte…..but I aim to please!

Also, don’t forget for all your beading needs, head over to Eureka Crystal Beads and use code A10SAVE20R and receive 20% off your first order! Super fast shipping, great customer service, and best of all, 20 gram Toho seed beads and 25 gram superduos at awesome prices! Not to mention that they have all the latest Czech mate beads! You simply can’t go wrong with them!

Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!

Becca