TierraCast Visits Shipwreck Beads

Last spring, while on their yearly trip to the Tucson Bead and Gem Show, our owners and buyers met up with the folks from TierraCast.  They got to talking and everyone thought it would be a great idea for us to get them up to our store to do some promotions for our customers. As we entered the planning stages for our Annual Summer Artisan Market, we decided that would be the perfect opportunity to have TierraCast for a visit.  Lucky for us, it all worked out perfectly!!

Julie and Tracey flew up from California, where TierraCast is based and Kelli, who lives in the Seattle area drove on down.  They stopped into the store on Thursday to meet us and to get their display set up.  Several of us took them out to dinner and we got to chat and see some of their super secret upcoming product launches.  I can’t tell you anything about them but I can tell you how excited I am!  The samples and prototypes that I got a chance to see are pretty amazing and I can’t wait for you to see them too!
On Friday, we had all three of the wonderful ladies, Julie, Tracey and Kelli in store doing their free make-n-take and perfecting their display.  There was a steady flow of interested customers at the work table all day long.  The first project that they demoed was a was a stacked flower on a metal blank.  Crafters were taught how to use the TierraCast  2-part  rivets and how to use eyelets.
Saturday was the big day! The Julie and Kellie showed up bright and early the day of the Artisan Market ready to go.  And good thing too, since there was a steady stream of people coming in the door all day long.  Some came to do their normal bead shopping, some came for the market and some came just to see TierraCast! One customer event told me that she closed her own shop down early that day so she could come to do the make-n-take.  She makes beautiful micro-macrame bracelets using the TierraCast findings. See a pic of her work here.
On Saturday morning, the ladies made the same flower and metal focal that they did on Friday.  Then, in the afternoon, they made a riveted stacked leather flower pendant.  It was fun for the whole family!  There were crafters young and old who stopped by the work table to take advantage of the lovely things TierraCast has to offer.  In the middle of running around all day, I even got a chance to make each of the make-n-takes.  You can see what I made in the picture below! Super fun and cute too!
Not only did we love having the TierraCast ladies in our store, but they had a great time as well.  We hope they will be able to join us next year for our Artisan Market.  The make-n-take was so well received I think it just has to become an annual thing!  And in exciting news, Shipwreck Beads has expanded our inventory of TierraCast products.  With thousands of items in stock, including the all new Maker’s Collection (see my recent blog post using their new line here,) you will be sure to find the perfect TierraCast item for your project.  I have my eyes on quite a few items that will be coming home with me very soon!


2nd Annual Summer Artisan Market

The 2nd Annual Shipwreck Beads Artisan Market was August 9th and let me tell you, it was an incredible event! With 70 vendors selling a variety of handcrafted goods, food from Heavenly Hog BBQ and a live radio remote from our friends at 94.5 ROXY radio! We also were lucky enough to have the wonderful and talented ladies from TierraCast in our store doing free demos! (More on that in a separate post later.)
The market ran from 10-5 all day long and shoppers were able to enjoy the sunshine with the vendors set up in our parking lot.  Parking spots were a little scarce but customers didn’t mind the short walk to check out all the amazing vendors.
We hosted a special Vendor Passport contest in which we asked customers to pick up a map and get it signed by any 15 vendors at the event.  Completed maps were turned into the Shipwreck Beads booth and participants were entered in a raffle to win a $250 gift card to our store.  There was also a “secret” vendor that changed every hour.  If a shopper found the secret vendor they received a bonus entry to the contest!Roxy
Just as we did for our Winter Artisan Market last November, we held a food drive and raffle to benefit the Thurston County Food Bank.  Hunger is a year round problem and we were happy to contribute to our local community.  Customers were asked to bring 2 non-perishable food items to be entered into the raffle.  Raffle tickets could also be purchased for $1 each.  Two of our employees, Tara and Sevanna manned the Shipwreck Beads booth, also selling cold beverages and cookies with the proceeds going directly to the food bank.  Check out the picture above to see all the great prizes that were donated by our generous vendors!
I took a climb up to our roof to take some pictures of the event with a birds-eye view! It was certainly a different perspective and was great to see how full our parking lot looked filled with vendors booths and happy customers!
Our company CEO and vice-president Glenn and Lisa Vincent came out to meet our vendors and enjoy the day!  Douglas Boling, our General Manager also spent his Saturday at the store meeting and greeting and hanging out.  Our entire staff got these really fun tie dye event shirts.  The bright shirts made us stand out and easy to spot.  Our entire Shipwreck Beads team were rock stars!  This was one of the busiest days our showroom has ever had and our staff really came together.  The event was so lively and the energy in the store, from both staff and customers, felt great to be a part of.
Here is the list of all the vendors who joined us for the 2nd Annual Summer Artisan Market!

  1. Lunaversoul
  2. Pigtail Creations
  3. BeJewelled by Theri
  4. Beyer Beads
  5. Sandra Designs
  6. T&D Brothers Construction Inc.
  7. Tammy’s Unique Designs
  8. Gemstone Knobs by Whimsy
  9. Lindsey Czerwinski
  10. Unique Chique / Glass with Grace
  11. Lynne’s Loops / Handily Beaded 
  12. 2 Gifted Women
  13. Denise Mucha
  14. Larry Bender
  15. SCS Designs
  16. Retail Therapy Jewelry
  17. Bling! Bling!
  18. Paper and Pearls
  19. Tipsy Owl Studio / Geeked Out
  20. Unique Creations by Margie
  21. Flash Glass Tacoma
  22. Ruth Greening Designs
  23. Fancee That / Stone Designs
  24. Rockshanks Repurposed Art Jewelry 
  25. Nicolette Designs
  26. Painted Sky Soap
  27. Susie’s Shards
  28. Fenton Studios
  29. Rainbow Beads
  30. DePaolo Design
  31. Mo Grins
  32. Makarios Creations
  33. Sally Penley Caligraphics
  34. Stones of Glory
  35. Arora Studios
  36. Sherry’s Treasure Trove
  37. Joyful Heart – Sassy Art
  38. Hand Beaded Masks
  39. Jewelry by Jenness
  40. Picky Vicki
  41. Sisters
  42. Around Your Wrist
  43. Freebird Studios
  44. Watkins Merchandising
  45. Dragons Fire Designs
  46. Christina Miller
  47. Martha’s Attic Handmade Jewelry
  48. Patrick’s Creations
  49. JDK Wallets
  50. Kolibrie Jewelry 
  51. Simple Treasures
  52. Glenna Gibson Creations
  53. Raney Daze Jewelry
  54. Connie’s Creations
  55. Rock’n Gems by pao
  56. Draxton Designs
  57. Cece’s Creations
  58. Totally Twisted
  59. K-N-M Hobbies
  60. Susanne Randolph
  61. Kaleidescope Glass
  62. DeVan Designs
  63. Relay for Life
  64. Las Calaveras and Things
  65. Ravishing Reds Jewelry & Gifts
  66. An Ardent Life
  67. Rosebridge Artisans 
  68. Above and Beyond
  69. String a Theme
  70. Harold & Rose Kennedy
  71. Kreative Kettlecorn LLC
  72. Heavenly Hog BBQ

If you missed out on this summer’s market, not to worry.  We will be holding another Artisan Market this holiday season.  It will be held on Small Business Saturday (that’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving folks!) in the upstairs half of our store.  I hope you will take the time to check out all the websites of our talented vendors and mark your calendar for the Winter Market!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a post devoted to the great people from TierraCast, who were in store on both August 8th and 9th to do a couple of really fun and FREE make-n-takes for our customers!


Leather Tassels with the Makers Collection by TierraCast

1ThreeBone- Title
TierraCast is one of my favorite brands to work with. Made with high quality materials, it’s hard to compare. Their new Makers Collection is no exemption. Not just limited to an awesome selection of large caps and cord ends, this collection also features some really cool toggle clasps as well.

Let me tell you, this collection is gorgeous.  The caps are beautifully crafted and extremely usable.  They work perfectly to make leather tassels!  I whipped up several different colors and used them to make some simple long necklaces.  I find myself gravitating towards longer necklaces this season and pairing a tassel with a strand of size 8/0 seed beads makes an easy every day piece.

Large TierraCast Cord Ends
Leather Lace
Scrap Wire
Glue (I love Crafters Pick The Ultimate Craft Glue)
1) Cut a scrap of cardboard the size you wish your tassel to be.  You can also just wrap the leather around your fingers. (Image 1)
2) Wrap the leather around the cardboard 12 times.  6 strands should be visible on each side. (Image 2)
3) Holding tightly on one end, cut the leather cord on the opposite side. (Image 3)
4) Wrap a piece of scrap wire around the leather to hold it together. (Image 4)
5) Trim the looped end of the tassel straight across. (Image 5)
6) Apply glue to the inside of the cap. (Image 6)
7) Insert leather into the cap.  Remove the scrap wire and trim the ends of the tassel to the desired length.  Set aside to allow glue to dry (Images 7-8)

Embellishing the tassel:
1) Cut a 20 inch piece of copper wire.  Make a loop and attach the tassel. (Images 9-10)
2) String desired bead onto the wire.  Make a wrapped loop with a large enough opening to string a piece of leather cord through.  (Images 11-12)
I wanted to experiment with a few different ways to use the tassels. They really are a versatile piece that can be used on necklaces, bracelets or even earrings!
In the picture above, I used both the Taj and the Pagoda style caps.  The Taj style is smooth and elegant while the Pagoda style has a channel around the cap.  The great thing about the Pagoda style caps is that they can be used as-is or they can be further embellished with bead word or crystal clay! The above necklaces were paired with some fun bone beads and strung on leather cording.  Three
 For the two outer necklaces, I opted against embellishing them with a bone bead.  I decided to leave them just as they were and string them onto a strand of seed beads.  I find the size 8/0 seed beads to be the perfect side for a project like this.  Not too small and not too big… just right!

I also experimented with the Cupola style cord ends.  The Cupola caps do not come with a pre-done loop but have a hole in the top making them perfect for a seed bead tassel.  For instructions on your to make your own beaded tassel, check out this tutorial for a Tiffany’s Inspired Necklace.

I also have some great news for upcoming events in our store.  The folks from TierraCast will be in our showroom this Friday and Saturday, August 8th and 9th to do some awesome make-n-takes.  This Saturday, we will be hosting our second annual Summer Artisan Market.  If you are in the area, I hope you will join us! Last year was a great success and I’m happy to announce that this year will be bigger and better.


As Seen In: Create Jewelry Magazine

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I was recently published for the first time in this summer’s edition of Create Jewelry from the publishers of Beadwork magazine.  Okay, technically I have had my work published in Shipwreck Beads’ print ads but this is the first time I have been independently published.  It was actually the first time I ever even submitted anything for publishing.  I am super honored to announce that not only was my work published but they actually accepted THREE pieces!!

Included in this issue are 101 all new bracelet, necklace and earring designs to inspire you to make incredible jewelry.  I am honored to be included in this issue with so many jewelry designers that I admire! Get your copy at your local retailer or download one from the Inteweave store now!


Introducing – PIPS by Preciosa Ornela

Every once in a while someone brings me a bead and says “what do you use THIS for?” with a puzzled look on their face. And most of the time, I can usually come up with something. The other day, however, when someone brought me the all new Pips by Preciosa Ornela I was completely stumped.  Resembling watermelon seeds, this tiny drop bead is a completely unique new shape.  After a pondering it for a few moments, earrings came to mind.  Several different styles of earrings in fact!  Using a handful of basic supplies, I was able to come up with 8 different pairs of earrings!

To make these earrings, you will need to know some basic wire wrapping techniques such as how to make wrapped loops and how to wrap a briolette/drop.  You will also need to know how to open/close a jump ring.

Cobalt Pip Beads57DP278
24 Gauge Non-Tarnish Brass Craft Wire - 24CW854-1
2mm Fluted Gold Metal Rounds – 2MR854-F
1x12mm Gold Curved Metal Tube – 12FI323-G1
1X20mm Hamilton Gold Curved Metal Tube – 20FI323-HG
4mm Gold Jump Ring - 4FI221-G
Liquid Gold Tubes – ME40-G
Gold Ear Wires – FI54-G, FI57-G, or FI45-G
Pair A -  Cut about 10 inches of craft wire.  String on one 20mm long gold tube, then alternate 2mm gold rounds (6 pieces) and pip beads (5 pieces) followed by another gold tube.  Make a wrapped loop and finish by attaching to a gold ear wire.
Pair B - Cut about 10 inches of craft wire.  String on one 20mm long gold tune, a pip bead, one 12mm long gold tube, pip bead, 12mm gold tube, pip bead, and another 20mm gold tube.  Make a wrapped loop and attach to a gold ear wire.
Pair C - Cut about 10 inches of craft wire.  String on a single pip bead.  Thread the wire through one side of a 20mm gold tube, then string through the opposite side of the bead.  Fold the wire over the top of the tube and make a wrapped loop in the center of the tube.  Connect to a jump ring, then an ear wire to complete the earring.
Pair D - With a 6-step looping tool, make 12 6mm jump rings with the craft wire.  Connect 10 4mm jump rings together and attach to an ear wire.  Thread a pip bead onto a craft wire ring and attach to every other jump ring.  The last pip+ring will connect to the loop on the ear wire.  Repeat for the second earring.
Pair E - Make a wrapped loop onto a 6 inch piece of craft wire.  String on 5 2mm round beads, a pip bead, a round bead, a pip bead, round bead, pip bead, then 5 more round bead.  Make another wrapped loop on the opposite end.  Curve into a circle and connect the ends together with a jump ring.  Use another jump ring to connect the hoop to an ear wire.
Pair F - Make a wrapped loop onto a 10 inch piece of craft wire.  String on 15 pieces of liquid gold tubes and make a wrapped loop on the opposite end.  Connect with a  jump ring and set aside. Using 6 inches of craft wire each, wrap 6 pip beads.  Connect the pip beads to the jump ring at the center of the hoop, using one jump ring for the outer pips and 3 for the center dangle.  Attach an ear wire with an additional ear wire and repeat to complete the pair.
Pair G - Cut 6 pieces of craft wire, 6 inches each.  String a pip onto each wire and make a wrapped loop.  On two of the pieces, string on a 20mm tube.  On two more, string on a 12mm tube.  On the last two, string on a liquid gold tube.  Finish off the wire pieces with a wrapped loop.  Connect a jump ring to each dangle.  Attach the dangles together with an additional jump ring. To finish the pair, connect another jump ring to an ear wire.
Pair H –  Wrap the top of two pip beads, trimming only one end of the wire.  String on a 2mm gold bead and complete the drop with a wrapped loop.  String a liquid gold tube onto the craft wire and make a wrapped loop.  Connect one end to the precious link before completing the loop.  Repeat until you have 3 liquid gold links on each earring.  Attach to an ear wire to finish.

Isn’t this a fun little bead?  I’d love to see what other people can come up with.  Since they are so brand spanking new, I haven’t seen them used yet.  Shipwreck Beads has 28 different colors of the pip bead in stock right now.  Hurry up and pick up a strand in every shade before they sell out.  If you come up with something great, hop on over to Facebook and share it on our page!


Desert Diamond Bracelet

Have you seen the brand new pellet beads from Preciosa Ornela?  We just got them in stock in over 50 colors and finishes!  They are such a fun little bead.  When trying to come up with a new project to feature them, a co-worker suggested I try something on the Ricks Beading Loom.  I hadn’t used it since taking Paul Ricks’ class in early May, so I decided to get out my supplies and give it a shot.

I tried it one way, and the pattern didn’t quite work out as planned.  After re-drafting my pattern, I was able to come up with a design I love and I hope you love it too!  I also used KO thread for the first time.  When Paul was here, he suggested that we carry this thread, as he feels it’s far superior to anything on the market.  I completely agree!  Other threads are prone to tangling and fraying, but not KO! It’s really heavy-duty and working with it is a breeze.

There are a lot of steps to this tutorial, so I have broken it up into three parts.  The first part will show you how to set up your loom.  In the second part, I will discuss the looming process and the bracelet pattern.  The third part will show you how to finish off your loomed piece with a toggle clasp.  I tried to make it as easy to follow as possible.

Ricks Beading Loom
White KO Beading Thread
Mary Arden Size 10 Beading Needles
120pc – Color A, 4mm Czech Faceted Round Beads - Silk Light Gold
61pc – Color B, 4mm Czech Faceted Round Beads – Satin Light Brown
60pc – Color C, 4mm Czech Faceted Round Beads – Luster Turquoise Green
60pc – Color D, 4x6mm Czech Pellet Beads - Pink Stone Finish
5pc – Color E, 4x6mm Czech Pellet Beads – Metallic Copper
1pc – Floral Copper Toggle Clasp

Steps: How to Set Up the Loom (Instructions from the Ricks Beading Loom Site HERE)
1) Set your loom to 6.5 inches by measuring from rod to rod. (Image 1)
2) Pull several inches off of the spool of thread and wrap one end around the wooden peg and secure it in the slot.  Place the peg into the second opening from the left. (Images 2-3)
3) With the thread still on the spool, you will begin to set  your warp threads. Bring the spool over the top of the headstock rod. (Image 4)
4) Bring your spool OVER and around the tailstock rod. (Image 5)
5) Bring your spool UNDER the headstock rod and continue this process until you get to your last warp thread. (Images 6-7)
6) You must have one more thread than beads in your row.  Since this pattern calls for 7 beads across, you will need 8 threads.  Be sure to end your warps with your thread OVER the rod. (Image 8)
7) Wrap the thread around the peg and secure it in the slot before snipping it from the spool.  Insert the peg into the second hole from the right. (Image 9)
8) Tighten the threads evenly.  You can do this by twisting the pegs.  It’s easiest to tighten the outside threads and then gently pull on the center ones to even out the tension.  (Image 10)
9) Pull off a length of thread in a workable length (about a yard) and secure one end in a wooden peg.  Put the peg into the left-most hole.  Thread the other end into your needle. (Image 11)
10) Using the warp separator card (included w/ the loom) or a business card, separate the warp threads.  The threads should be over and under the card as shown. (Image 12)
Steps: Building the Bracelet
11) Bring your threaded needle under the warp threads and string on 7 beads in color B. (Image 14) Tip: Keep your beads to the left of the loom to easily thread the needle.
12) From underneath your warp threads, put one bead in between each thread.  Thread the needle back through the beads and pull tight.  It’s a good idea, when threading the first several rows, to thread the needle into the beads backwards, to avoid piercing the threads with the needle.
13) Bring your needle underneath the warp threads and string on 3 beads in color A, one pellet bead in color D and three more beads in color A.  Thread the needle back through the row and pull tight.(Image 13)
14) String row three in the same process above in this order: 2 pieces color A, 1 piece color D, 1 piece color C, 1 piece color D, and 2 pieces color A.  (Image 15)
15) Remove the warp separator card and slide the beads down the warp threads until you come to the headstock rod.  (Image 16-17)
16) Continue adding beads in the same process outlined above in this order: 1 piece color A, 1 piece color D, 3 pieces color C, 1 piece color D, and 1 piece color A.  (Image 18)
17) Row 5: 1 piece color D, 2 pieces color C, 1 piece color E, 2 pieces color C, and 1 piece color D.
19) Row 6: 1 piece color A, 1 piece color D, 3 pieces color C, 1 piece color D, and 1 piece color A. (Image 19)
20) Row 7: 2 pieces color A, 1 piece color D, 1 piece color C, 1 piece color D, and 2 pieces color A.
21) Row 8: 3 pieces color A, 1 piece color D, and 3 pieces color A. (Image 20)
22) Row 9: 7 pieces color B.
23) When you run out of thread, bring your needle back through several rows and secure with surgeon’s knots in between several different beads.  I will usually make 3 separate knots.  (Images 22-24)
24) Thread a new piece of string onto the needle and string through the beads, several rows back.  Tie several surgeon’s knots in different places and continue on beading the pattern. (Images 26-28)
Steps: Finishing the Bracelet
25) Continue the above pattern until you run out of space.  The diamond pattern should repeat 5 times.
26) Squish the beads down the warp threads, toward the head stock.  The beads may “wrinkle” a little bit.  Complete the last row, it will be snug.  (Image 29)
27) Remove the bracelet from the warp rods. (Images 30-31)
28) On the end of the bracelet with only one string (the opposite end will have 3 strings) thread your needle onto the string.
29) String on 5 beads in color B. (Image 32)
30) Thread the needle through the loop on the hoop end of the toggle clasp. (Image 33)
31) Bring the needle back through the first bead, then add 4 more beads in color B. (Images 34-35)
32) String the needle through the first row of beads and pull snug. (Images 36-37)
33) Thread the needle through the clasp section several more times to reinforce the connection.
34) After reinforcing the clasp, bead through the next several rows and tie surgeon’s knots in several different areas.  Trim excess. (Image 38)
35) Thread the excess warp thread onto the needle, bead through the rows and tie off with surgeon’s knots.  Repeat with the second warp thread.  Trim excess.
36) Thread the needle with the remaining thread and string on 6 beads in color B.
37) Thread the needle through the loop on the bar end of the toggle clasp. (Image 42)
38) Bring the needle back through the first two beads, then add 4 more beads in color B. (Images 43-44)
39) Finish off the bracelet as outlined in steps 32-34 above.
WHEW! Did you get all of that? I know it seems complicated, but really, the Ricks Beading Loom makes it easy.  And the project only takes 1-2 hours to complete.  Since I am now comfortable using the loom, it took me a little over an hour to finish the second bracelet.
I just love the way the pellet beads look inside the pattern.  With so many colors available, this bracelet is really easy to customize.  I’m sort of in love with this color combination though, isn’t it just dreamy?  The colors just blend and flow nicely and the copper clasp brings it all together.
The finished bracelet measures 8 inches, so it is a little loose for my taste . Any adjustment in size however, would alter the pattern and it wouldn’t finish up so evenly.  I’m willing to wear a bracelet that’s a little on the big side with a pattern that pretty? Aren’t you?  I think I may need to make another version of this bracelet with silver and black beads or maybe a blue one?  The possibilities are limitless!

Right now, until July 3rd all of our BRAND NEW Czech products are on sale for 10%.  That means you can get the pellet beads used in this tutorial for a special introductory price.  You can also find thorns and spikes and daggers and new styles of neon beads!


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