Monday, March 12, 2018

The Cost of Free Shipping

The cost of free shipping isn’t a topic I would have originally thought of to write about; especially since we all pretty much realize that shipping charges are buried somewhere in the price of whatever we are purchasing; however, the following information was a huge eye-opener for me. 

Perhaps there are other blog posts about this topic, but I really needed to share my revelation with others, especially since the business that I’m in, I believe most customers would prefer to buy more beads and jewelry making supplies than pay exorbitant FREE shipping charges.

Let me explain.

We all love free shipping and Amazon has pretty much forced large and small businesses to offer free shipping regardless of the cost to business margins or the customer's wallet.

The customer's wallet, how could that be, isn't free shipping is supposed to save us so much money?

Okay, so I mentioned that I sell beads and jewelry making supplies, which for the most part are very light-weight.

This year, and it looks like next year the lovely trend of making silk tassels will continue;

I sell tons of silk cord one is available on spools, and the other is carded, Griffin Silk Cord, and extremely light-weight; so when I saw on Amazon Prime the purchase price so much more than what I was selling the same Griffin Silk for I thought, seriously?

Amazon Prime sellers prices are ranging from $4.49 - $4.98 per item, compared to what I’m selling it for $1.79 - $ 2.21 + $3.93 (shipping & handling) and then $0.15 (on Etsy only, flat rate on my website) for each additional Griffin Silk Cord.

Okay, so if you’re purchasing just ONE carded Griffin Silk Cord you’ll come out a bit cheaper buying from the Amazon Prime seller - but recall that I stated I sell lots and lots of silk cord - and although the average order size varies, most often people purchase 10+ colors (usually more than one color) and in various sizes (sizes range from 0-16).

Now YOU do the math!

This same scenario holds true for other lightweight bead related tools and supplies used by bead art jewelry designers and offered on Amazon Prime.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Amazon Prime and use it maybe more often than I should - it’s just so convenient, but I must admit that after this revelation I have been comparison shopping more often - recently purchased in-store an item priced at $3.24 vs. $9.34 on Amazon Prime- since making this discovery about the cost of free shipping.

Hope you find this information useful and would love to read your comments.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

National Craft Month March 2018

Cat House Beads on Etsy 

March is National Craft Month and for me a great way to celebrate my 1-Year Etsy Anniversary
and to say Thank You for my 300+ 5 Star Rating on Etsy...!


Friday, March 9, 2018

How To Help International Customers Get The Best Shipping Rates

How to Save on International Shipping Costs

International shipping charges are crazy compared to when I first started selling online and I use to ship Internationally on a regular basis, but now I may get one International order every few months and it’s only for one item weighing less than an ounce and paying almost $13 to ship!

I recently received a question about a cheaper shipping rate to another country. I mentioned, reluctantly - as even though what I was telling the customer was accurate I just didn't want them to think I just wanted them to order more items - , that ordering additional items up to 8 oz., (8 ounces shipment cost the same as 1-ounce shipment) was the only way that I knew to save on International shipping.

And although this step I'm mentioning does'nt save on shipping necessarily it helps with overcharging for International shipments.

On my website, International orders are typically much larger so I don’t charge shipping at time of order, but bill separately once I know the exact weight so I don’t overcharge / undercharge.

NOTE: This website https://brittanysbest.com/2017/01/usps-2017-shipping-calculator/ is a terrific resource and saved me tons of time searching for all the necessary postage informational regarding weight and cost by country so I wasn’t overcharging my customers.

The bottom line for international customers find a seller that you want several items from that weight less than 8 ounces because the rate is the same to ship 1 ounce or 8 ounces.

I hope you find this information useful; and please add your comments, and suggestions which are much appreciated.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Beadslide Bead Clasps for Bead Woven Beaded Jewelry: Which size BeadSlide Clasp do I need for my beaded bracelet?


Which size BeadSlide clasp do I need for my beaded bracelet?

Elegant Elements beadslide bead clasps a1beadartjewelrysupply.com
BeadSlide Bead Clasp
The following chart is a general guide to selecting which size BeadSlide clasp to use for your beaded bracelet designs.  

The BeadSlide clasp was designed to accommodate various seed beads and seed bead sizes; however, this guide is to be used as just that, a guide.

Lets take the first row:  It's advising that for size 15/0 seed beads (Japanese Miyuki or Toho) should be no more than 18 beads per row if using the 18mm BeadSlide; no more than 23 beads per row if using the 24mm Beadslide and no more than 29 beads per row when using the 29mm BeadSlide.

Approximate Beads Per Row with BeadSlides
Length of Tube (that beads slide into)
18mm
24mm
29mm
15/0 Round Japanese
17 - 18
22 - 23
29
11/0 Round Japanese
12
16
21
11/0 Round Czech
13
18
21
8/0 Round Japanese
9
11 - 12
15
8/0 Matubo Round
8
9 - 10
12
11/0 Delica
12
18
23
Bead sizes vary dramatically from brand to brand. Test them by stringing beads on a needle and inserting into the tube. Ends should close without pushing against beads

The following PDF shows the new Squiggle BeadSlide Design - the rest can be viewed here.

The top illustration gives you an idea of how to attach the BeadSlide Clasp to your finished beadwoven bracelet.
BeadSlide Bead Clasp For Bead Woven Beaded Bracelets
BeadSlide Bead Slide Bead Clasp

Monday, June 12, 2017

Silk Cord Thread for Bead Stringing Making Tassels, Pearl Knotting and Beaded Jewelry: My bead hole size is 0.8mm what size silk cord should I use?

spools of silk cord for tassels pearl knotting mala designs
Silk Cord Spools for Making Tassels and Bead Stringing Mala Necklaces
Silk Thread Cord Spools

100% Silk Cord for Bead Stringing, Tassel Making, Pearl Knotting, Macrame

Silk fact sheet based on the most common questions asked when purchasing this particular silk cord on spools.


100% Silk bead stringing cord information:  

  • 100% Silk Cord in 1/2 oz. Spools.
  • 3-Ply 100% Silk Bead Stringing Cord Thread
  • Plied from 100% Pure Silk, new Twisted Three Ply Silk Cord is luxuriously soft, smooth and supple; yet durable and stretch resistant.
  • Ideal for knotting Pearls, Gemstones, and Crystal beads; Bead embroidery, embellishing, bead stringing, sewing with beads.
  • 18 colors & 10 sizes:
Size Oo is the (thinnest) in diameter. No Cord thicker than 1mm and are only available in Black & White.

NOTE: Black & White Silk Cords are the only ones available in size OO - FFF; Colors are ONLY  available in sizes E - FFF

  • Size O - 600 Yard Spool Thickness / Diameter = 0.006 inches / 0.1524mm


  • Size Oo -  695 Yard Spool Thickness / Diameter = 0.005 inches / 0.0127mm


  • Size A - 425  Yard Spool Thickness / Diameter = 0.007 inches / 0.01778mm


  • Size B -  390 Yard Spool Thickness / Diameter = 0.008 inches / 0.02032mm


  • Size C - 310 Yard Spool Thickness / Diameter = 0.0108 inches / 0.03048mm


  • Size D - 260 Yard Spool Thickness / Diameter = 0.012 inches / 0.0325mm


  • Size E - 200 Yard Spool   Thickness / Diameter = 0.0128 inches / 0.0325mm


  • Size F - 140 Yard Spool   Thickness / Diameter = 0.0137 inches / 0.0347mm


  • Size FF - 115 Yard Spool   Thickness / Diameter = 0.015 inches / 0.0381mm


  • Size FFF - 92 Yard Spool   Thickness / Diameter = 0.0165 inches / 0.0419mm

The thickest size FFF, of the 100% Silk cord is equivalent to Griffin 100% Silk Cord size 7 (0.75mm in diameter/thickness).

Questions Answered

QUESTIONS: What size / thickness / diameter silk cord do I use to make / string my necklace using this size bead? Best size for making tassels?

Broad questions answered with a pretty simple observation on your part, and knowledge of what type of bead art jewelry design necklace & tassels you're looking to make.

For necklaces, whatever you want to call them mala, or whatever, the decision starts with the /size / type of beads you are using to create your necklace.

The thinnest in diameter, or mm in 100% silk cord spools is size 00 (zero)

The thinnest is basically a thread and can be used for stringing, but even on the smallest beads, due to the light-weight nature of the silk cord would probably be a bit flimsy and your necklace won't hang nicely.

For tassels, the thinnest could make a lovely tassel with a beautiful flow, but you would really have to use an awful lot to get the look and feel you're going for.

#1  (Remember this information is for stringing, not bead or loom weaving).  Select the silk cord size which will fit your bead hole size.

Example: 4mm size beads, gemstones would typically have a .9 -1mm hole size, so you'll probably want to go with a bit smaller diameter silk cord (E - F if you want color, A-D only available in black & white)  to get a nice fluid feel and look, also you don't want - or perhaps you do - the knots in between the beads to be visible.   Larger bead sizes 8mm - 12mm size FFF = thickness / diameter = 0.0165 inches / 0.0419mm, (but if you want a thicker cord you will have to go to Griffin Silk)

#2  Flexible beading needles work best with the silk cord, Griffin silk has them built in, but you’ll have to purchase separately for this 100% silk spool. The needles are weighted from Fine to Heavy depending on size of beads you’re threading.

#3  If knotting between beads, recommended, especially for heavier gemstones and larger pearls, be sure to create consistent knot sizes before proceeding to complete your necklace: otherwise, the finished look will be a bit uneven, but hey, that could be the organic look you're going for.

#4  Use a beadboard, they really to help in creating your bead art jewelry designs.

#5  Tassels, typically the same size cord used to string your necklace will create a tassel size that will compliment the overall bead size. But of course going up or down a few sizes could also give you the look you want in your beaded tasseled necklace.  Just remember the thinner the cord, the more you'll have to use and it might not flow the way you would like.  

Information provided by KD Bead...The Bead Stylist (2017)


Friday, June 9, 2017

Griffin Carded Bead Stringing Silk Cord for Making Tassels, Pearl Knotting and Beaded Jewelry: Which size silk cord thread do I need?

Griffin Silk Cord Thread for bead stringing, knotting, tassels, mala supplies
Griffin Silk Bead Stringing Tassel Making Cord
Answers to the most commonly asked questions about Griffin silk cord for bead stringing, making tassels and knotting beads and pearls.

Refer to size chart pictured (below) to see the size (diameter aka thickness) of the silk cord you need.

Approx. 79" (2 meters) of thread per card.

This link Griffin Silk Cord will take you to all sizes and colors available.

100% Pure Silk Bead Cord with attached Needle by Griffin There is no simpler, quicker, or better way to thread beads.

Excellent for creating quality tassels, knotting between beads, mala necklaces, macrame knots and beaded tassels.

The twisted stainless steel needle at the end of the cord which allows you can knot the cord easily because the thread has the correct twist.

QUESTIONS: What size / thickness / diameter silk cord do I use to make / string my necklace using this size bead? Best size for making tassels?

Broad questions answered with a pretty simple observation on your part, and knowledge of what type of bead art jewelry design necklace & tassels you're looking to make.

For necklaces, whatever you want to call them mala, or whatever, the decision starts with the /size / type of beads you are using to create your necklace.

The thinnest in diameter, or mm in Griffin 100% silk is size 0 (zero - all of their cords are numbered 0 - 16 thickest at 1.05mm) which is basically a thread and can be used for stringing, but even on the smallest beads, due to the light-weight nature of the silk cord would probably be a bit flimsy and your necklace won't hang nicely.

For tassels, the thinnest could make a lovely tassel with a beautiful flow, and although ideal for smaller tassels on earrings and bracelets, you may have use an awful lot to get the look and feel you're going for with much larger bead art jewelry designs.

#1  (Remember this information is for stringing, not bead or loom weaving).  Select the silk cord size which will fit your bead hole size.

Example: 4mm size beads or gemstones would typically have a .9 -1mm hole size, so you'll want to use a bit smaller diameter silk cord (Griffin #5,6)  to get a nice fluid feel and look, also you don't want - or perhaps you do - the knots in between the beads to be visible.   Larger bead sizes 8mm - 12mm have larger holes and, especially size 12mm, could use size #14-16, but sizes 10 & 12 Griffin silk cords would work nicely too.

#2  Needles are already attached to Griffin silk cord so no need to worry about which needle size you need to get the silk cord through the beads.

#3  If knotting between beads, recommended, especially for heavier gemstones and larger pearls, be sure to create consistent knot sizes before proceeding to complete your necklace: otherwise, the finished look will be a bit uneven, but hey, that could be the organic look you're going for. Practice, practice practice.

#4  Use a beadboard, they really to help with the visualizing the end result when creating your bead art jewelry designs.

#5  Tassels, typically the same size cord used to string your necklace will create a tassel size that will compliment the overall bead size. But of course going up or down a few sizes could also give you the look you want in your beaded tasseled necklace.  Just remember the thinner the cord, the more you'll have to use and it might not flow the way you would like.

Please comment if you have any other terrific tips and tricks for using silk cord. Thank you...!



Griffin Silk Cord Thread Size Chart
Silk Cord size Chart






















Sunday, February 19, 2017

B-Fashion Trends: How Fashion Design Helped Define my Handmade Bead Woven Earring Niche

Handmade Bead Woven Earrings with Czech Glass & Miyuki Beads

Early inspiration for my earring designs came from fashion shows, Pantone Color Trends reports, and inspired me to start B-Fashion Trends.

I'm certainly no earring designer by nature - even penned myself The Accidental Artist - selling beads and all things bead related was a more natural fit.

Anyway, there was a time, due to complications from injuries sustained in a very bad auto accident, that I thought I'd have to reconsider the bead business.The down-time in front of the computer was taking a serious toll on my bead business.

So, thought if I could use a different part of my brain while trying to figure things out it might help in the decision-making process.

The only thing I could think of was to learn to use the many beads that bead art jewelry designers were buying from me - especially, if I could figure out some of the stitches like peyote & brick- which always fascinated me but I just never had time to really figure them out;  so I started with learning all aspects of Brick Stitch.

Apparently, it was just the challenge I needed, because not only was it a terrific outlet, but it helped me learn so much more about the beads and their relationship with other beads, findings, jewelry components and bead stringing materials - I got hooked!

I totally understood how others just totally fell in love with seed beads, Delica beads, Charlotte cut beads, and bugle beads.  I started to understand how Czech glass fire polished beads, druk/pressed beads worked together with the various seed bead types I was experimenting with.

But I still was not an earring designer!

I wouldn't wear them, but when friends saw them they offered terrific feedback and made requests to purchase, but I refused,  I just didn't think they were good enough.

I always loved fashion, especially high end, even though I didn't wear I loved the craftsmanship and attention to detail, so I studied the fashion week via The New York Times fashion section paying close attention to the accessories.

Then I happened onto Pantone's bi-annual color trend report which helped me to better balance my colors (not sure if that's a fashion/jewelry term).

Seeing the long flowing gowns, sparsely accessorized - which I can understand as even on the runway you can have much of a good thing - so I started thinking of my earrings as a type of fashion design - shirt... waist/belt... skirt/dress.


And that's when I started liking my handmade earrings. even though I used the same basic stitch, the variation of beads made all the difference; which is why I like my tag-line:

... It's All About The Beads!

I made a pair for a special gala event and I immediately started getting orders!

I took them to my hair appointment and sold four pairs while waiting to get my hair done. The salon owner asked me to bring more and display them or set up a table to sell the earrings.

Most designs pictured are about four years old and I still not only get compliments but requests to purchase.

Still loving the bead business with all its challenges, but I'm so looking forward to getting back to creating new beaded earring designs!

KD_Bead The Bead Stylist

http://a1beadsbeadartjewelrysupplies.com/

Friday, February 17, 2017

Bead Stringing Basics: Nymo Bead Thread for Bead Weaving Bead Stringing

Nymo Thread for Bead Stringing & Bead Weaving & Bead Art Jewelry
So earlier this week during a lovely phone conversation with an obviously seasoned bead artists, she mentioned that in all her years she has never used or even heard of Nymo thread for bead stringing and bead weaving.

Although her initial reason for calling was to locate an item she had purchased from me years ago, the conversation led me to kinda picking her brain about her beading preferences during her many years as a bead artist.

Both she and her sister are recently taking up bead looming, but it sounds like they specialize in wedding jewelry and sparing no expense use only Swarovski crystals and pearls and are fastidious with regard to the jewelry findings, spacer beads and bead stringing materials they use in their wedding jewelry.

The main concern they have, as most beaders do when using crystals or any sharp objects with thread, is the shredding and cutting of the thread by sharp edges on crystal beads.  Swarovski and most crystals, along with multi-pass throughs with needles when bead weaving, can cause even the toughest thread or cord to shred and even though it may not be visible it weakens the overall construction of the beaded piece thus making it come apart quite easily.

Nymo thread is not recommended for use with crystals.

But based on my customers level of experience and then commenting that she never heard of, or used Nymo thread I felt that I should pay homage to Nymo bead stringing, bead weaving thread; especially since the Nymo brand has staying power despite the advent of many other amazing bead stringing threads and cords.

So I started thinking, what could possibly be the reason why she had never heard of Nymo.  And I believe it may be tied to what bead instructions/patterns and beading instructors prefer thus passing on their preferences to the student; which understandably they do not have the exposure to the plethora of not only bead stringing materials, but beads and beading tools.

And of course, there's nothing wrong with that as kits are easier than searching for all the tools and supplies for a pattern. I personally prefer to follow a pattern with the exact supplies listed and then once I get a feel for the beading technique I will voyeur out into other options.

Too, with so many local bead stores (LBS) closing, it's getting to be quite the challenge to find someone to explain the differences and purpose for all the many offerings.

Here's some information about Nymo Thread:
  • Available in over 23 rich colors and 5 sizes - OO (thinnest), O, B, D, and F
  • The smaller bobbins offer the most variety of colors; while the larger bobbins and cones are available only in black & white - the most popular colors.
  • Know your needles (I think I'll have to do another post on that very important subject).  The needles used for threading size OO, O and maybe size B, will probably not accommodate the thickness of sizes D & F. The wrong size needle will cause your thread to shred and make it very difficult to pass-through your beaded project. 
  • TIP: When threading your needle cut your beading thread on an angle and then use a bit of beeswax or thread heaven to coat the end - just a touch you don't want to much to clog the needle hole.  And again, make sure you're using the correct needle size.
  • Stretch your Nymo before using in your project, especially if it's an item that because of use may loosen up over time.  Probably not needed so much for earrings or smaller objects,  but you'll want to stretch before using for bracelets and necklaces.
Some specifics:

Nymo Thread Slightly waxed and lightly twisted, this nylon thread is the thread of choice for bead working & bead weaving. Bobbins come in up to 5 thread sizes. Yardage varies by size:

REGULAR Bobbins
  • Size OO = 140 Yards
  • Size O = 115 Yards
  • Size B = 72 Yards
  • Size D = 64 Yards
  • Size F = 43 Yards
Nymo Thread also available in Large Bobbins & Cones Yardage varies by size:
  • Large Bobbins available in only BLACK & WHITE; Sizes O, B & D
  • Large Bobbin Size B = 2502 Yards
  • Large Bobbin Size D = 1584 Yards
  • Large Bobbin Size O = 2894 Yards and only in WHITE
  • Large Bobbins available in only BLACK & WHITE; Sizes O, B & D
  • CONES Size OO = 4852 Yards WHITE ONLY
  • CONES Size O = 2894 Yards
  • CONES Size B = 2505 Yards
  • CONES Size D = 1584 Yards
  • CONES Size F = 1049 Yards
Well, I think that's it for now; if I think of anything else I will update the post. If you have any question feel free to contact me.

I hope you found this information useful...KD_Bead

http://a1beadsbeadartjewelrysupplies.com/nymo.html









http://a1beadsbeadartjewelrysupplies.com/nymo.html

Beads In Fashion Trends 2017: Stars

Star Beads & Pendants 2017 Fashion Trend


It's fun to see what's trending on the runway for the Seasons and watch how bead art jewelry designers are inspired to interpret into their own style. This Star trend was spotted on Pinterest Board name 2017 On Trend and is working its way onto jeans, studs in leather, and of course jewelry. The beads & pendants pictured are Swarovski crystal Star beads available size range 8mm - 12mm (#5714 & 5914 large hole, 14mm only) pendants (#6714) 20mm, 28mm & 40mm.  I don't currently carry on my website; but if your local or online bead store doesn't have what you need I'll be more than happy to order any Swarovski product for you ( minimums do apply).

Monday, February 6, 2017

Vintage Beads: How can I tell?

It may not matter to you much if just a hobbyist, but when reselling, especially filling a custom request, to include vintage beads, you might want to know what to look for.

Vintage is vintage which means an item 20 years old or older - not sure when it turns into an antique - anyway; manufacturing processes, packaging, raw materials change with time which is one of the best ways to tell time period.

Swarovski crystal is a good example. The packaging on their vintage beads tells whether or not their beads, crystals, rhinestones are vintage.

Packaging is not so much the tell for Czech glass beads, but it has more to do with color saturation and consistency in bead size.  The way Czech beads are strung also tell time period; for example some of the beads pictured are strung in a way that hasn't been practiced in decades.

Also when you have the beads in front of you you can clearly see the inconsistencies in color saturation and bead size. Some are just a tad bit bigger than the others coming from the same bead lot (production).

Many of the Czech beads were obviously made for sewing, bead embroidery and embellishing.  They have flat bottoms and dome shaped faceted tops - looks like the precursor to flat back crystals; and they're quite small too 3x2mm, 3mm some with 2 holes (not pictured, but available).

And the red and white striped ones (pictured) with a domed pebbled top must have been a nightmare to produce!



Even though it can be more challenging to authenticate a single bead or loose beads - it's easier if in original packaging, multi-strand hank or string - know that vintage beads can be authenticated in the sense that a bead seller in the know' (meaning that they will let you know if they have knowledge in this area) may be able to tell from the look and feel.

If purchasing from an estate sale or open market try to get some history about the seller or estate. Even if it's already a piece of jewelry depending on the condition you can always rework into a new piece.

Remember we're talking beads, and although vintage beads can have high resale value they're not fine, estate jewelry.

Many years ago there was a vintage only bead seller online and their website helped me identify and gain knowledge of the beads I have but the website seems to no longer be available.

I hope you find this information useful.

Oops almost forgot this important note.

Czech glass bead manufacturers have something they call Job Lots; I'm note sure why they make them but they are like one-time production bead runs and often in odd-sizes, odd-shapes and odd-types.  Because of this they can be confused for vintage beads.

The Cost of Free Shipping

The cost of free shipping isn’t a topic I would have originally thought of to write about; especially since we all pretty much realize th...