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Red Rose Hair Slide Photos & Review

A client shared these gorgeous photos over the weekend, along with this stellar review:

“I have a LOT of hair. Because of this, it’s really difficult for me to find a hair slide that does the job and does it durably. The ones that Andrea makes at Beadmask are my go-to when I need something pretty that will also hold up all day. I have been able to use these hair-slides for all-day style without hair gels or sprays. Most other hair accessories I’ve tried break under the tension, or cause my bun to collapse. Not so with Beadmask! I recommend the longer sticks for long hair like mine.” 

My heartfelt thanks to  @thegurlwhodoesboth (model) and  @andrewjosiah206 (photographer)  for sharing these wonderful images & review of my red rose hair slides!

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Healing Heart

Here’s a happy customer, wearing the “Healing Heart” druzy amethyst necklace that I shared a few weeks back. It features a gorgeous amethyst cluster heart, similar to (but smaller than) the larger palm sized stones that I posted the other day.

Sometimes a piece of jewelry goes to the exact right person – as if it was made just for them, and I didn’t even know it. It’s an honor when that happens, as is the case here. 

Thank you, my friend. Wear it in joy and good health!

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Birch Leaf Hair Slide Review

birch leaf hair slide

“I am completely obsessed with the olive birch leaf hair slide! It is extremely well made and sturdy enough to hold 3ft worth of thick hair. The packaging was carefully and thoughtfully done. I will absolutely be purchasing more of these! If you are thinking about ordering, you will not be disappointed! Thank you!!!”

^This sweet review  made me smile. It means so much to see that people are enjoying my work!

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A Rave Review

interleaf leather hair slide

Just received this rave review! I love that they took the time to create a collage with before and after photos of their new hair cut.

✩✩✩✩✩ “I love my custom order! I previously bought some gorgeous fall leaf slides that I wore every day, but then as the weather started to turn I knew I needed an icy winter leaf as well. Andrea was very helpful throughout the process, finding pics of other fantasy style leaves she’d made to help me decide what I wanted, offering me options for designs, informing me about stick options. She’s wonderful to work with. And the quality is excellent! I could not be more enchanted with this piece.”

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Review of

A few months back, I invited to participate in the “Beaders Who Blog” program. I was hesitant because I don’t blog very frequently and also because I didn’t want to feel like some sort of phony spokesperson. I was encouraged to be 100% honest about my experience, and to write the review in my own time. This made me feel a lot more comfortable, so I agreed to try it.

First, they asked me to select up to $35 worth of beads. As I made my choices, it occurred to me that since I focus primarily on vintage crystal, I haven’t seen or tried many of the newer styles of Swarovski crystals (and man, have I been missing out!). In addition, I was thrilled by how far that $35 went – I got an excellent variety of new sparklies to play with! One of my favorite items was this Swarovski filigree piece (I actually picked two – the gold toned piece, and one in rhodium plate/Montana blue that it is equally stunning) and I was eager to see how it would play in a mask design.

My elaborately beaded masks have always been some of my most popular styles, but all of that seed beadwork is extremely time consuming so those are also some of my most expensive masks. I’ve spent years trying to come up with a more affordable version that will maintain the same level of opulence and quality. I think the filigree – along with these graduated pendants – provided just that. It might be a touch simpler than I was going for, but it’s a good starting point. What do you think? I’ll be using the other filigree on a slightly more elaborate mask, and the stunning crystal beads below have been set aside for a very intricate mask (which I’ll post pictures of, when and if I ever complete it!)

All in all, I was very pleased with the products, and with the opportunity to experiment with materials that I might not have tried otherwise. I did not pay for the crystals that I’ve reviewed here (nor was I paid to write this review) but based on this experience, I was happy to place a “real” order with Artbeads.

Last but not least, I was given a discount card to share with my readers. To take advantage of this, simply place and order with them before New Year’s Eve and enter the coupon code: SCF10P-ARTBEADS-0424 at checkout and you will receive 10% off of your order .


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Little boxes, on a hillside…

The final assignment for my writing class was to do a book review. I opted to review a beading book – a choice that was strongly influenced by the fact that I haven’t had very much time to play with my beads since school began, and I’m really starting to miss them!

Despite my interest (ok, obsession) with beads and beadwork, I don’t own very many bead books. I think that’s because most of the beading books I’ve seen are pattern oriented, and I typically work freeform or design my own patterns. Because of this, most “how to” bead books hold little appeal for me. One exception to this is Little Boxes by Julia S. Pretl, which is one of my all time favorite beading books.

I’ll admit that I am probably somewhat biased, because the author is my friend (full disclosure here, people!). I’ve had the pleasure of watching her go from a nervous first time author, publishing – and printing, and binding – out of her basement, to a full time/professional author and illustrator with several successful books under her belt. However, I would love this book even if I didn’t love Julia. Here’s why:

Julia S. Pretl published her first book, “Little Boxes” in 2002. The book showcases her original methods for creating beaded boxes using variations of “peyote stitch”, a traditional bead weaving technique which utilizes only beads, needle and thread. She features a variety of projects for three dimensional vessels, ranging from simple squares and triangles to more advanced polygonal shapes. The detailed directions include excellent diagrams, pattern graphs and beautiful color photos to guide crafters of all skill levels through the process of creating these adorable boxes.

One of the most notable aspects of this book is the high quality diagrams. I have often fumbled to understand clumsy illustrations that don’t convey where the needle goes or how the project should look during construction. Thankfully, Pretl’s ample diagrams are distinct and easy to read. The large 3-D images provide optimal clarity, the bead rows are well marked to help you keep your place as you follow along, and the thread path is always visible. It is no wonder that the author has been commissioned to illustrate so many popular beading books since writing this one!

The written instructions are equally clear. While the methods used are somewhat advanced, and working knowledge of peyote stitch is advised, the directions are so precise that a beginner could follow them. The intricate projects are broken down into simple steps, with the text placed adjacent to the corresponding diagram. This easy reference makes these techniques very comprehensive, despite their complexity.

Following these thorough instructions are a series of color graphs which will enable readers to duplicate the color schemes shown in the samples. For those who prefer to design their own patterns, there are blank graphs for each box shape. This is yet another example of how the author makes this book interesting and accessible to beginners and advanced bead workers alike.

If you bought the first edition of the book, you may be disappointed by the lack of color photos. In fact, the only photos included in the original printing are the samples on the cover. This is understandable, given that the first edition books were published, printed and bound by the author. Still, it was a sad omission as Julia Pretl is an award winning bead artist, and her work is exceptionally beautiful. Fortunately, this book was republished by Creative Publishing in 2006 under the title “Little Bead Boxes”. The second edition includes additional box designs, updated techniques and gorgeous color photos for each project.

This classic book has taught bead enthusiasts around the world how to create these adorable little boxes. It has also served as a springboard for some of the more advanced geometric bead designs taught by nationally known designers. Whether you consider yourself an amateur or professional beader, it is a must-have for your collection! It is competitively priced at $21.95, and is available at most major book retailers or at the author’s website.