Tuesday, November 20, 2012


When I think about beads, I think bracelets, necklaces, earrings.  This woman thinks purses.   I met Nancy at a bead show, and when she told me what she does, I said, "oh, okay, that is nice".  Well, little did I know or understand what she really did.  We have since become friends (we are both from Michigan), and she let me take some photos of her work.  I just HAD to share a few of them.

These are all handmade using thousands of beads.  Each purse has a beautiful lining and many of them have vintage frames.  The photos do not do justice as these are exquisite in person.  Many of them are for sale and she can be contacted at nancydew@comcast.net

There are so many lost arts that require so much time and talent to produce, that we just seem to let them go.  When was the last time you received a letter (yes, in the mail) written on beautiful stationary?  Remember going through your grandmother's button jar and finding all kinds of treasures that are no longer produced?  What about those intricate napkins, hankies or doilies?  Modern/new things are wonderful, and I have seen jewelry that is stunning beyond words, but it is refreshing to see someone keeping some of the older crafts still alive.  Great job, Nancy!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Be Thankful

I have been thinking about what to write...what clever information I may have for you all and I wasn't coming up with any great ideas until I spoke to a friend of mine.

We bead together and I was telling her that I stopped into a local bead store to purchase some beads that I needed for an upcoming class. She asked me if I saw all the beautiful pieces they had made up on display? I said I couldn't look at too much of that as I started to question my own ability, gifts and reasons for beading...she offered me words of wisdom that caused me to reflect on the following:

God has given each and everyone of us gifts and talents. Sometimes we forget what they are or wish they were something else.  I know as beaders we so often look at other artist's work and think, "oh, they are so much better than me", or they just are so creative.  That may be the case, but what are YOUR gifts and talents?  Most of us are never going to publish a beading book, or any book for that matter, but think back in your memory bank, and I am positive you will find a time that you have used beads/beading to bring joy to someone.  Have you taught an elderly person to bead?  Have you spent time with a cancer friend or patient beading and talking?  Have you donated your time to teach children or the disabled to bead?  How many smiles have you and your beads caused?

Let's give thanks!  Give thanks for the opportunities you have had, for the ability you have, for the friends and family you have.  I am so very thankful for the  talent God has given me  and thankful I have so many to share it with.  Find that silver lining this Thanksgiving and give thanks. Spend a few extra moments while beading over this holiday to reflect on all your blessings, gifts and talents.  Remember that smile you created and share it with us.  Have a rich and blessed Thanksgiving !

Saturday, November 10, 2012


WEDNESDAY, November 14 @ 6:30 PM

Russian Leaves....this is for the leaves ONLY
in the photograph.  Not the toggle or the
rope the leaves are attached to.  Russian
Leaves are so awesome and you can do some of the neatest things with them.

Knowledge and comfort with peyote is required.

Class space is very limited on this, so contact me early.  Fee for the class is $25 and respond by post or email kimleahy@estherbeadwork.com

It will be well worth your time.


Elongated Beaded Bead.  This bead rocks.  It is a great way to use up odds and ends in the bead world.  As you can see from the photo, the two pieces do not match, but go together.  You can make earrings, necklaces, dangles, key charms...etc.  These were made into earrings.

You will need to know Right Angle Weave to take this class.

Fee is $25 also and the contact information is above.  I do have a bit more space available in this class, but book early.

Monday, November 5, 2012

WHO are you going to VOTE for...

...Myuki or Toho?   Do you really think I would discuss politics? I am having a great day! When I do bead shows or sell my jewelry, I get asked so often what I prefer, Myuki or Toho.  Let me just say right off the bat they both are Japanese seed beads and they both are  wonderful products.

If you are new to the beading world, the bead language may seem strange to you.  We have so much beautiful product to choose from that it does get confusing sometimes.  For the purpose of this paragraph, let's talk size 11/0 seed beads.  The difference between Myuki and Toho  is Toho's have a larger hole.  If you do a lot of bead weaving where the thread passes through a bead more than 2 times, you will certainly enjoy this feature in the bead.  Also, by having this larger hole, the bead weighs less and you get more for the weight.

Both companies carry a permanent bead finish.  Toho's is called permanent finish and if this is the bead you are looking for, it will have a PF in the number.  Myuki calls theirs Duracoat.  This applies to galvanized and gilt lined beads.  They tend to be a bit more pricey, but if you have ever spent hours upon hours making a piece only to have the color rub off, you will gladly pay the difference.  Many of the other beads do not require a permanent finish as it is in the bead itself and not a coating.  So don't feel that every bead you purchase needs to be a permanent finish.

If you buy beads from Esther Beadwork, you will find most of my beads are Toho.  I was introduced to Toho beads about 7 years ago, and since I do a lot of bead weaving, I love the larger hole.  It is also easier for me to order one type of bead as I get to know the colors and the numbers.

A few other differences to aid your understanding.  Tila, Delica and Berry Beads are Myuki.
Treasures are Toho (their version of Delica).  This list is simplified and obviously both companies make much more to satiate your appetite.

So, who do you vote for?  Me, I am glad I can pick both!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stitch Stump

What do YOU do when you are completely stumped by a stitch or pattern?  I think we all do things we would rather not tell anyone about, but what avenues do you use when you just can't get it?  I know for myself many times I just put it away and in a few days, week, month, sometimes even a year later, I get back to it hoping I have either learned more and can figure it out, or see it from a different perspective.

I just figured out a beaded piece that I have been stewing over since this summer.  It's basic peyote, but the shape and the edging made encasing it in peyote difficult.  I must have tried it 15 times using different beads, different stitches and different attitudes!  Persistence paid off.

A customer of mine emailed me a pattern a few days ago asking me to figure it out and then teach it to her and she was stumped...so, asking someone to help you is a great avenue.  Also, getting together with other beaders and having them explain it to you in different language or sometimes just talking about something you figure it out.

The best advice I can give is to NOT give up.  Use the knowledge of friends, instructors, bead store owners, tutorials and books.  You will be so proud when you do get it and the finished product will mean much more to you.  So...what do you do?  Please post your response and help all of us get un-stumped!