Beadwork has come a long way in the last 20 years! I know, because I have been beading over 25 of them. The day my 'magical' package of beads arrived from Artbeads.com was a day full of inspiration. Enclosed were their 3mm and 4mm silver plate round beads. My choice were the small hole 'seamless', but artbeads has large hole silver beads as well in larger sizes. Silver beads have been around quite a while and in the southwestern U.S. they are used pretty much as a staple for beadworkers. But now thanks to Artbeads.com there are many more sizes and finishes. Now you can pick between large and small hole sizes...so many beads so little time..sigh. The quality of silver and the quantity of different sizes is what has changed in silver beads. There are much more to choose from now and Artbeads has a great assortment of these beautiful little beads. American Indian beadwork uses silver in many of their pieces. As a member of the Artbeads blogging program, I jumped at the chance to use some of my favorite beads to create some designs for them. The reason I like using silver beads is, although inexpensive, they have a way of making a piece look and feel more like a piece of metalwork when actually ithas been woven of fine beads. The silver beads have a nice weight to them.
In addition to the silver beads was one little masterpiece of a bead frame. I love the sterling silver 4mm Spiral Bead Frame with garnets. I used it for the center of the "Garnet Scroll Bracelet". I originally planned to make a lariat using the frame, as the center, but it began to 'call' to me to be used as a bracelet center. All I needed to add a dash of color for the center of the frame was a 4mm swarovski crystal. I also used the 4mm silver beads from artbeads and wove them in a favorite pattern on either side of the frame. Voila...a metallic looking bracelet is born. These frames are so pretty and I thought they could be used in bookmarks, necklaces or bracelets. They come in 8mm size as well. I continued my use of silver in the southwestern looking cuff with the turquoise and black seed bead accents. I think it looks a bit expensive but the cost was minimal! It also has a nice weight to it which also gives the illusion of expense.
One other choice were Czech fire polish glass facets . I decided to make a spiral rope necklace using the firepolish on the spiral as well as in the petals of the three medallion center pieces. I used black, and clarit for my color pallet. Clarit is a pretty golden color which lends itself to olive tones. The reason I love Czech firepolish beads is because they come in an amazing array of colors and the sparkle in undeniable. Czech firepolish is a cost effective alternative to Swarovski crystal and you get lots of sparkle for your buck. They come in ab finishes, metallics, pearlized, transparent colors and more! They are so easy to work with and fit into all my beadwork designs. I can always find a color perfect to use with my seed beads. I love getting these 'magical' packages from Artbeads and they have free shipping too!!!
As a reviewer of products at artbeads.com, I received the silver beads, czech facets, and silver frame free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of these products positive or negative. I am not being compensated by artbeads for my endorsement as it pertains to the products being received and reviewed.