ru beading daily?Interweave Press recently announced the launch of its new “online community” site, Beading Daily, so I paid it a visit.

It’s a really nice-looking site, full of a lot of free projects and ideas. In order to access the project instructions, you need to register on the site with your email address. This makes you a Beading Daily charter member.

beadingdaily.jpgUnless you opt out of emails, you will also receive a daily email newsletter that contains blog posts on three days of the week. On the other two days, you’ll receive “cool information about Interweave books, magazines, and events that may be of interest to you” (according to the Beading Daily FAQ page).

For now, all the projects are free of charge, but in the future some will be available for purchase. The project library is a combination of tutorials previously published in Interweave magazines and brand-new projects.

I know that a lot of beaders are always looking for new projects to try (especially free ones!), so I suspect that Beading Daily will become a popular site.

If you knit, you may also be interested in Interweave’s similar site, Knitting Daily, which launched earlier this summer.

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I just returned from my trip to Las Vegas, and I thought I’d jot down my impressions of the current jewelry trends on The Strip. I found them to be typical of the trends we’ve seen over the past few years in other parts of the country, with just a touch of extra Las Vegas bling.

First, not surprisingly, glitter and sparkles are everywhere. I saw crystal rhinestone jewelry on display in lots of shops, as well as rhinestone-encrusted other-things, like little boxes and handbags. I didn’t, however, notice too many women actually wearing rhinestone jewelry. (One notable exception was a pop singer performing onstage.)

Big, chunky, faceted, translucent faux-gemstones linked into chains were displayed in most of the boutiques. To me, as a jewelry artisan, most of them (even the expensive ones) looked to be lower quality than necessary.

charmneck.jpgThe most common metals were gold and bronze-tone, although I also noticed some interesting copper-tone pieces and a decent amount of silver-tone.

Layered necklaces and multi-strand beaded bracelets were everywhere, as were multiple, eclectic charms and drops.

Earrings were mostly large and bold, and very-large hoops were especially prominent. I noticed them both in the boutiques and being worn by many of the women wandering The Strip.

Most finger rings featured over-sized, faceted jewels – another trend we’ve seen a lot of in past years.

As for other accessories, I’d say that flip-flops (some with rhinestones, of course!) and over-sized, high-end sunglasses were the biggest must-haves.

By the way, The Strip itself has undergone significant changes in recent years, with big, new, clean casinos and lots of fun boutiques and shops. If you haven’t been there for a while, consider paying a visit. I’m not a big gambler, but I really had fun (and the food was fantastic).

Just a note that I have listed a big lot of 444 of my favorite Czech glass (with some Japanese glass) beads on eBay. (I love these beads, but I’m at a point where they need to find a new home).

Many of these were pretty pricey; I’m guessing I paid at least $80 for them all together. I’m starting bids at just $9.95 (shipping just $2.99), with a buyout price of $45.95.

If you’re looking for some groovy, quality glass beads, please check them out.

I’m also in the process of listing lots of other overstock-madness this week, which you can keep an eye on in my eBay store, if you feel like browsing.

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I just published the third article in my series on pearl on BellaOnline. For this one, I focused on the most common terminology used for pearl beads, including pearl grading and popular bead shapes. If you can think of anything to add, or if you have comments or questions, please post ’em!

For next week, I’m planning to publish a new free project involving crochet of jeweler’s hemp. I’ve gotten back into crochet lately after a long hiatus, and I’m really liking the zen-like activity of weaving away with a crochet hook, watching TV or listening to music, or listening to nothing at all. I find it much more relaxing than most of my wire-jewelry making activities, so I think I’m going to find more ways to incorporate crochet into my designs.

The book I’m using for basic crochet instructions is an earlier book in the series that my upcoming book belongs to (Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting). The simple organization and color photographs have been a big help. I’ve also found the Crochet Me Magazine site (founded by one of the book’s authors) to be a big help.

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