Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Following the Inspiration: Part 8

Part 8:  The Beads

This fall contacted me about their blogging for beads program. Every few months they send me products to sample and ask that I review them on my blog.  Last time it was Swarovski Crystals this time it was Silver and/or Glass beads.  Since I am at heart a seed bead lover and I had been spending the last month or two working on ideas for my 2010 BJP I thought I would combine two different things and get beads that I could use on my BJP project.

Since I went with glass beads and seed beads I got a fair number of different goodies to play with but even then I couldn’t just stick with what they were sending me so I had to add an order of my own to get more.  I am sure that the artists and beaders out there will understand you can never have enough.  The joy for me is that I had two orders to open up and play with.

Since I got so many goodies I will mention the ones in this review that I loved the most and review more of them as I use them on my Zentangle BJP.  All  the beads were wonderful and my only complaint would be that the packages of seed beads were not big enough ( I don't think they could be ; > ).  They do have the advantage of if you don’t need a lot you don’t have to order a big tube and use only a hundred or so and have tons left over and you can always order more packages if you want more.  Most of the non seed bead glass beads were available individually so you could order as many as you needed and ordering more means more discounts.

I admit I was really struck with some of the finishes on the Czech beads.  I ended up ordering more than one size/shape in Picasso, Picasso Brick, and Blue silk.  I really like the variety you get in the beads so although they are the same size and color the finish makes them just enough different to lend them some wonderful uniqueness.  I ended up with squares, daggers and lentils in Jet with Picasso and even some matte lentils and I love them all.  The matte ones have a really old earthy feel to them like they could have been around for a long time. I may have to order some more of some of these beads since I can see them as really cool bracelets and other jewelry.

Since I wanted to use the beads I got for my BJP project I chose seed beads that I thought that would go well with the zentangles that I am doing for my 2010 BJP.  I thought some 3 mm and 9 mm Toho bugle beads might be “just the ticket” since there are quite a few zentangles with straight lines. The Metallic Blue/Purple Iris are my favorites with the Dark Rainbow Iris coming in closely behind.  I must admit I do love metallic beads and choosing from the many colors was really hard for me.

I realized that the easiest way to give myself more of a selection without getting a lot more beads was to buy a couple of Toho Seed Bead Mixes.  I tend to love mixes anyway and when I don’t buy them will often make my own mixes for certain projects.  I ordered 4 different mixes and was quite pleased with them.  They included bugles, cubes and a range of different sizes of round seed beads.  Each mix was in a theme ( I chose Amber Blues, Blue Water, Grays and Blacks/Crystals). I could really see some of these mixes as really cool freeform peyote bracelets or something.  These will definitely come in to play a fair amount on my different blocks for 2010.

My other favorite beads (from both orders) were:

The Toho 8/0 round hybrid Jet Picasso; like the larger Czech bead these had the same finish in a smaller size and were really cool, need more of these beauties.

The Toho 1.5 mm cube Metallic Amethyst Gunmetal; it’s like they mixed gunmetal and purple and wow if you love purple these are a “must have.”  These baby cubes also make really cool bead embroidery to fill in an area. The other colors are almost as cool.

The Toho 11/0 round Matte Nickel-Plated Plum/Teal Iris and the 8/0 Matte Raku Nickel-Plated Plum/Teal Iris;  not sure what the difference is with the raku on the 8/0’s is but this is a color bomb that has lots of Wow to it.  It is a mix of fuchsia, teals, purples, and copper like colors in it.  Will have to make sure to pepper these around here and there for some fun sassy color.
 After receiving my orders and after I had my sketch for my Zentangle BJP done I decided to lay the larger beads out on the sketch so that I could make sure that I had them spread out on the piece.  I didn't want to end up with all of the larger beads in one block or one area.  I still have all of the seed beads that will be spread throughout the piece as well.

I am including more photos of the beads in my Zentangle BJP album on my web gallery.  If you are interested in knowing more about a specific bead leave a comment here I will get you the item number.  I will also have more photos of all  the beads in use every month in my Zentangle BJP.

Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at, I received the glass beads above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

1 comment:

Plays with Needles said...

Wow Angela! I think I have just spent the past hour reading through your inspiration posts, exploring zentangles (love them!) and reading about your approach for 2010. I am so incredibly impressed. You are truly an artist and it is delightful to read you art "story"...I especially liked the dragonfly...

You have me hooked. Can't wait to see what comes next and I MUST try zentangles!