Friday, December 27, 2013


This month's free tutorial comes from Aurelio :)
Please respect copyright and do not share this tutorial....feel free to tell your friends to visit the blog.

For a downloadable copy go here.

By Aurelio CastaƱo

This bracelet will be one half inch thick, 8.5 inch long when finished; it would fit a 7.5 inch wrist.

-11/0 Toho seed beads, 10 Gr.
-7mm pressed button flowers, Approx. 150 Beads.
-4.8 mm thick cord, I used one foot for this project.
-Magnetic clasp, Brass Magnetic Swivel Clasps, Silver, Size: about 10mm in diameter, 18mm long, hole: 8mm.
-Size 10 or 12 beading needle
- Fire line tread, White 6 Lbs
-Beading mat

Step 1
On a comfortable length of thread, insert three sets of Three size 11/0 + one flower.

keep a tight, uniform tension throughout the piece.

Step 2
Tie the beads securely with a square knot; I usually tie three knots on top of each other to secure the stitch.

Step 3
Going from right to left, go through the flower next to the knot and the first size 11/0 bead next to the flower.

Step 4
To start the second round, pick up one size 11/0 bead + one flower+ two size 11/0 beads, go through the first size 11/0 bead on the next set of beads continuing right to left motion.

Step 5
Repeat as in Step 4.

Step 6
This is the Step Up if you will, once you finish with step 5, pick up one set and go through the first 11/0 bead on the first set on the second row as I explain on the graphic.

Repeat steps 4 to 6 until you reach the desired length.

Step 7
Diagram shows how the cord goes all the way through
the beaded work after the beaded work is done.

Step 8
Sew the edge of the beaded work to the inside cord. Calculate how much cord will be enough to put inside the clasp cavity, cut the excess.

Step 9
Using E-600 or Epoxy, glue the cord into the clasp cavity, let it cure for at least 12 hours.


Friday, December 20, 2013

ATTENTION to Tension

Recently I followed a pattern to make an item that other people had also made. When I had finished making my piece, I noticed how my item looked in comparison to the ones made by others.

What were the differences in mine to the others?  Tension, tension, tension

How do you get good tension?
It is all in the way you hold your thread when beading. I notice with beginners they have a tendency to sit the work on their bead mat, place the bead on their needle with their left hand and then pull the thread through the beads. There is absolutely no tension kept on the work at all.

I immediately tell them to pick it up and I show them how to hold the work, hold the tension and  pick up beads with the needle.

I hold the needle in my right hand and the work between my thumb and index finger in my left hand with the thread placed over the index finger. The image shows how the thread is draped over my index finger and the middle finger is holding that in place and keeping the thread firm.

As I place new beads and pull the thread through the work my middle finger lifts up then comes back down to my index finger to hold the tension in the thread. Not keeping that tension makes your work loose.

Sometimes I want a very firm tension so I give the thread a good tug and the middle finger lifts and drops into play to hold that tension in place. It becomes all automatic like machine parts doing their job.

Drawbacks in too tight a tension
There are beaders who are unbelievably tight in their tension, how they do that is beyond me. I often wonder if the thread is hurting their hands. The difficulty with super-tight tension is
* you have problems getting the needle through the beads as there is no room for movement
your work can end up looking stiff and not move nor curve how you want.
* too stiff causes threads, or beads, to break and the work may come undone.

Personally, I achieve good tension by sewing my work twice. It is just what I do. I found early in bead-weaving that with sewing twice:
* beads sit better
* you can see the bead pattern
* the work feels better
* less chance my work gets pulled out of shape if I snag my thread
* added strength to my creations, they won’t fall apart
* an overall better look and presentation of the finished product.

To the right is an image of two right angle weaves. One has been sewn once each step and one has been sewn twice each step.  Both are an  8 rows wide x 4 rows high RAW.
Just by looking at the samples it is clear which sample has been sewn twice. You can see the lay of the beads very ordered and firmly in place. If you were embellishing the twice sewn sample you would know exactly which beads to embellish into as the pattern is obvious. Less risk of your work going out-of-shape because everything is firmly in place and has two threads keeping it that way.
But it goes further than that, picking these samples up and comparing the feel you notice the twice sewn sample is more substantial and how the once sewn sample is floppy/flimsy. If you were a customer buying, I am sure you would take the one that felt stronger and the most substantial.

Exceptions to the to rule
If I am making a spiral rope, a peyote band, netting etc  I don't sew these twice so there are exceptions.
Recently Mikki Ferrugiaro posted her video on her rolled peyote edges bangle. In this video Mikki shows how soft tension is necessary when doing her pattern for her bangles. Click on the link to see her sew with a loose tension and get the idea. Also take note on how Mikki holds her work and thread.

Another time you need soft tension is with fringing. Fringing needs to swing and sway in the jewellery design so a soft tension is required. I have found FireLine too hard for a soft fringe and I recommend Nymo for fringing as it is much softer. I am sure there are other products but not being much of a fringing person I have not tried them.

I do not wish to give the idea that tight/firm tension is the 'rule' for beading but rather a 'guide'. Learning how to do all types of tensions and knowing when to use them is important. Often the tension relates to the design. For instance when sculpting with beads multiple sewings and tight tension is definitely required.

I urge you to experiment with tensions to discover what works for you, along with seeing how your finished items appear with a firm tension. If your fingers have difficulty holding the thread firmly then get into the habit of sewing twice. Also, I urge you to know when to use the varying tension types to achieve the look you desire in your work. When you have these skills and know what works for you, then be surprised at how much better your work looks and feels.  The difference in your finished creations will also be noticed by others. 

Happy Beading.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Guest post- Ralonda G. Patterson

Wild and whacky sporting red pigtails and a chicken shirt is the picture that comes to mind of today's guest blogger, such a fun personality that also shows in her work. From her adorable fishies to her amazing dolls it's all about personality and story. I am thrilled that she accepted my invite to guest blog so you can all meet her and her characters and also know about the amazing opportunity to create your own with her at next year's Bead Fest Texas. So here is 

Ralonda G. Patterson

"Hook, Line, and Sinker"
Click on the name to buy a kit or tutorial for the fishies

How it all began:
The love of beads began for me many years ago when I discovered that a doll could be covered with beads. Because my beading journey began with dolls and not jewelry, there was always a question in my mind if they were enough, if they were qualified or were as good as all the intrinsic beaded jewelry that I saw around me. All of those beautiful pieces had a definite purpose as wearable art. Seeing pages of jewelry in magazines made me really wonder if my dolls had a place in the beading community. Intimidation did not get the better of me.

I later learned that each doll had a purpose too and it was different for each artist and sometimes even different for each doll. Some of the dolls are beaded to express a love of someone who has passed on, or to tell the stories of our deepest or most sacred beliefs or visions. Because the function of each doll is so different, the boundaries of function are blown off the roof. They do not have to be practical, pretty, functional, or balanced. To me, dolls are story tellers and a beaded doll shares his/her story with the added dimension of beads. The beads lend more detail when they are beaded as thoughtfully as a good book is written.

Freedom of Expression:
Starting to bead on a project that has few boundaries really allows you to gain skill and confidence in bead artistry, and come to know it as an art. Problem solving and creative solutions become a new skill set that aids in creation and design. Because each solution comes from a unique you, the story becomes entirely your own. There is no wrong way to bead a doll. You can take whatever beading or sewing skills you have and express your very own story with your own voice.

“Willow” Bead Dreams Finalist 2010
Published in the Gallery of “The Spirit of Bead Embroidery” by Heidi Kummli

Other Beadwork:
While creating dolls, my knowledge of many stitches grew and new designs with challenging structures began to emerge. The dolls always posed structural challenges, but beading without a form was another challenge that was quickly explored. Many of my most recent designs have nothing to do with dolls, but the structure of each piece is what led me to think of myself as a creative engineer. Pieces that have self supporting structure and movement make me giddy. It is most often these classes that are chosen by different venues, so teaching a doll class is still a great treat.

Classes are still being scheduled!
Getting Started:
Choosing or creating a doll form may be the most logical place to start but I begin even earlier in my process. In order to stick to beading the entire doll without losing focus. I suggest beginning with an intention or vision of what you hope your doll will become. The form will grow from this direction. For example, if you intend to create a doll to heal the wound of a beloved fur-baby’s passing, then you would search out a form in his or her shape, i.e. a cat or dog. Forms should be made of a stitch-able fabric and should be very firm. If you find a form you love but is not ideal you can make alterations to it. If it is too soft, you can stuff it more firmly; Or, if the form has long “fur”, you could trim it. Pre-made forms by toy companies are acceptable but lack the finer qualities of a good handmade form.

Human doll form

Inanimate object form

Lady Bird, Pearl, SteamSqueak, and Effy
Each doll represents a time and story from my life and they all
represent more than one now that time has passed since their birth.
Work with me:
Ever since creating my first doll “Nite” for the Land of Odds  All Dolled Up Beaded Art Doll Competition in 2004, I have been creating doll forms and beading art dolls. Learning how to combine contemporary beading stitches with the age old art of doll making has become the foundation of a class that includes artistic expression. Now, all my knowledge had been combined and organized into a two day workshop to give beaders the opportunity to really dig deep with me. Having taught shorter Beaded Art Doll classes, I am looking forward to having more time to encourage students to express their artistic visions through the magical story telling dolls possess at Bead Fest Texas 2014. A work of art will be born. Won’t you join me?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Val's Beady Gift Ideas

What gifts do you buy for a beader?  For non-beaders, it's a mystery!  What is it about those tiny orbs that fascinates us so?  How does one little project explode  into an all-consuming obsession with tiny bits of glass and crystal?

It would appear to the casual eye that most beaders have all they could ever need and want where beads are concerned but it's an insidious obsession.  We don't just need beads!  We need beady supplies!  Gear!  Inspiration!  If you ask a beader what they really want for the Holidays, he or she will almost always answer that they want more beads or this new beady accessory or this cool tool or something bead related.

I've compiled a dream wish list of things I'd like to have, from the extravagant to something simple.  Here are a few traditional and also a few unconventional gift suggestions if you're stuck for ideas:

Gift certificates!  I love, love to receive gift certificates!  Free beads, here I come!  I'm not just talking bead stores, neither!  There are so many possibilities.  Here are a few places I wouldn't mind having gift certificates for:   Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and  

Books!  I love books to the umpteenth degree!  Other beaders love books, too!  There are so many fabu books full of beady inspiration and a gift certificate to a book store lets your favorite beader choose the books they'd like!  You can also gift magazines!  Who wouldn't love a subscription to Bead and Button or Beadwork?  

What book is on my wish list?  Well, there are so many books out there but I'd like to have Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes .  I so love the rope on the cover!  I'd wear this one for sure!

Beads!  Well, that's a given.  Even with a whole room full of beads, we never have enough!  Gift certificates to bead stores are among my favorite gifts.  This is a great chance to shop local!  I've received and happily spent gift certificates to my local bead store and I tell you, it's a thrill!  I get so excited over those shiny orbs of perfection!  

If you can't shop local, hey!  That's ok!  One of my favorite places to buy square hole seed beads and Swarovski crystals is Fire Mountain Gems.  My favorite place to buy druks, seed beads and glass pearls is Shipwreck Beads.  They sell gift cards!  I'll bet most retailers offer some sort of gift card/certificate option.  There are also smaller, independently owned retail sites like - so many to choose from!  

Patterns!  Many beaders love to purchase tutorials, patterns and kits.  Some great resources for patterns are, of course, Etsy and ArtFire.  Among my personal favorite shops are, of course, the shops of my fellow Mavens.  (our links are in the blog sidebars, hint hint).  :)  A few of my personal favorite independent sites are Good Quill Hunting and The Beading Butterfly.  There are so many wonderful sites by my beady friends and colleagues but I can't list them all.  :)  

Kits!  This is what I'm gifting to my beady ladies this year.  I've designed a project, I'm writing the tutorial, and I bought Christmas themed tins.  I'm putting the beads and supplies they'll need for the project, along with a printed tutorial, in the tins and we will work on them together during our annual gathering.  Another idea for kit containers are those plastic pencil boxes.  They're the perfect size!  Trim a  bead mat to fit et voila!

If you're working with a more generous budget, here are some dreamy items:

Bead On It Boards!  I have yet to try one of these very popular little beading boards but some of my friends have them.  Some of the Mavens use them and they look pretty neat!  You can find them here.  They have little padded bumpers so your beads don't escape and a soft liner that keeps beads from rolling all around.  One day I'd like to try one!

Mirrix Looms!  Ah, if you've ever dreamed of a fantasy loom, Mirrix is the loom for you!  I personally have one of these (I have the 12" Little Guy loom) and I want another one already!  Seriously, these are the Cadillac of looms.  I've tried many styles of looms in my day and these are phenomenal.  They have ultra adjustable tension and that's so hard to find with other looms.  They have a shedding device available with most models and oh, I love it! They also have an accessory kit for no-warp-ends weaving.  They work double duty as tapestry looms and beading looms, they're made in the USA and they have all sorts of accessories and sizes to choose from!  When you buy a loom, you become part of their community and can participate in weave-alongs and group forums and you have access to classes and videos.  Seriously, love!  You can find them here

This is the one I have:  12" Little Guy with Shedding Device

A Tablet!  For those with a healthy budget:  This is the information age and tablets and e-readers are wonderful tools for beaders!  One of my students brings her Ipad to my classes with my tutorials on it.  

I have a Nook tablet and I love it!  It holds my .pdf tutorials so if I wanted to take one to a class I'm saving paper.  I have several years worth of beading magazines that were converted to digital format on my Nook.  

Interweave sells whole year compendium volumes of magazines like Beadwork and they work wonderfully on my Nook.  You can also buy digital subscriptions to Bead and Button (at a lower price than print, too!) from Barnes & Noble's website.   Remember those aforementioned gift certificates?  You can buy beady Nook books, too!  Amazon offers many of the same books and magazines for their Kindle.  I'm seeing a lot of lower cost tablets and many look really nice!  You can download Nook formatting software so your Nook books will work on laptops.  I'm theorizing it would work on these other tablets, too.  

A Book Stand!  Yes, I seriously want a great book stand, preferably one in wood.  It's a great prop for my Nook or for a beading magazine, too!  Some stands have page holders so your books don't close up.  It's something you don't think about but think how much of a help this could be while beading!  It's definitely a "want" for me.  Look at the variety I found on an Amazon search for book stands!

This post is getting very wordy so I think I'll leave with one final suggestion, something that all beaders want and need and love:

Storage!  Bead storage is something that we all inevitably get obsessed with.  I get so excited when I stumble upon a new storage system!  My fellow Maven, Mikki recently purchased a new system and she loves it!  She found her bead storage system from Bead Storage Solutions here.  There are more accessories that go with this system, too!  Whichever system you find, I'm sure you will make your beader very happy. 

If all else fails, cash is always widely appreciated, hah!  :)  I hope I've given you some great ideas here.  

If you have any gift ideas I'd love to hear them!  I wish you and yours the very happiest of Holiday seasons!  ~Val

I've not been compensated in any way by any company or product that I've listed here.  This post represents my own personal opinions.  :)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Winter Wonderland Bracelet Tutorial ~ Mandi

I am so excited about sharing this tutorial with you! Last week everyone was all worked up about the snow in the forecast here in Dallas. We got the cold, and the rain, but no snow...Bummer!

So, I decided to create my own Winter Wonderland with this free bracelet tutorial. It is two rows of chevron chain, embellished with snowflake sequins.

For a downloadable version of 
this tutorial click here.

This is a small preview to give you an idea of what to expect, but why squint when you can download ;)

Variations and More

Colorful sequin variation- perfect to go with my "tacky" Christmas sweater.

I love this design because it's kind of a blank canvas for your creativity. I used round colorful sequins in each intersection to make a bracelet that goes perfectly with my outfit for the Tacky Christmas Sweater Party! To uplevel the sophistication, you can embellish with loch rosens, rose montees, or Swarovski margaritas.

Big thanks to my PIC, Ralonda Patterson, for creating the graphics. I have never had so much fun with a kit until I made her Hook, Line, and Sinker fish kit found here. She has so many fun color options it may be hard to choose! Glub, Glub :)

Hope you enjoy the tutorial!

Peace & Love,


Friday, November 22, 2013

Creating a Bezel with RAW & Peyote ~ Mikki

An early work  from 2010 when I was just starting beadweaving
By far the most common component in beading seems to be a 'bezelled' something or other, it can be a simple pendant, part of a larger necklace or bracelet or be a feature of earrings and rings.  It's a 'must-have' technique in any beader's arsenal.

There are many ways to create a bezel but this is my tried and true version.
You can get a downloadable copy here.

Tips on Bezels

· When working on smaller stones omit the overlap. The larger stones need a little give as the peyote rows ‘snug’ the bezel around the stone.
· With smaller stones work less rows of one row in B beads and one row in C beads.
· If the bezel is too loose add another row of C beads to each side.
· For thin stones or flat back stones you may need to omit the peyote row of A beads. 

My polymer butterfly wings had holes to anchor the bezel where the wings dipped in.

Formula for Circular bezels

When working with circular stones there is a formula for working out how many RAW stitches you will need.  You will need to know the diameter of the stone.

Diameter of stone x 2.5  divided by 2 = number of RAW stitches

This means for a 12mm stone:
12 x 2.5 = 30  30 divided by 2 = 15 So you will need 15 stitches.

This means for a 14mm stone:
14 x 2.5 = 35  Round up to 36.   36 divided by 2 = 18 So you will need 18 stitches.

This means for an 18mm stone:
18 x 2.5 = 45  Round up to 46.  46 divided by 2 = 23 So you will need 23 stitches.

NOTE: If you are embellishing the edge of the bezel it’s easier to work with
an even number of stitches so you would round up to 16 stitches
for a 12mm and 24 stitches for an 18mm.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Business V Hobby ~ Neva

busi·ness  (bzns)
1. an occupation, profession, or trade.
2. the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit.
3. a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service.
4. volume of trade; patronage or custom.
5. a store, office, factory, etc., where commerce is carried on.
6. that with which a person is principally and seriously concerned: 

hob·by 1  (hb)
n. pl. hob·bies
An activity or interest pursued outside one's regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure.

Most of us start our beading journey as youngsters making items for our school friends, or as adults, making things we would like to wear. Mostly with bounding enthusiasm and a lot of trepidation. Enthusiasm because we can create something from these little components and trepidation because of the uncertainty of what others will think of it, or if it will be strong enough when worn, among other reasons we may think of. 

We usually start out by creating simple items and often gift them to family and friends. As we become more confident with what we create, and delve into more complex pieces, our collection grows and we find it harder to part with pieces that have taken so much time and effort, used so many beads and materials, and has extracted some of our own essence into it.

We continue to learn new techniques, create more complex pieces, and before we know it, we have accumulated quite a collection. At this point we start to run out of storage space, and also of people we can gift to..... What now?

We have 2 options: 
*1 - Stop creating.... not really an option if you're a devout beader.

*2 - Start selling. Probably the better option because it will give us back some dollars to justify buying more beads..... LOL... how many of you have thought that?

OK... so where do we sell though? What do we sell? How many items do we need to display? Where will the people come from? How much do we charge? How do we set up? And the questions go on and on.

Firstly though, we need to decide whether we will be selling as a hobby or a business. This is an important decision, because it will determine how much effort and detail you need to go into. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether your activities constitute a hobby or a business. It’s important though, to understand and know the difference between the two because of the various tax, insurance, and legal implications.

What is the difference between a hobby and a business?

The easiest way to find out if you are running a business or a hobby is to ask yourself a few simple questions. Here’s a quick test:
  • Is the activity being undertaken for commercial reasons?
  • Do you have the purpose and prospect of making a profit?
  • Are you regularly and repetitively undertaking the activities?
  • Is your activity planned, organised and carried on in a business-like manner?
If you've answered yes to at least 2 of the above, then its most likely that you want to sell like a business. Later in this article, I'll outline some of the most important steps, that will make business life a little easier.

There are various ways to sell your jewellery. Party Plan, Consignment, Markets, Retail (bricks and mortar shop), and Retail (web based). In this article we will look at these in a little detail.

Party Plan:  The party plan is a direct sales method of marketing products through social events allowing you to start your own business for a very small investment. Party plan selling offers unlimited income potential and you can easily start part-time from your home without the risk of losing your present income. 

One of the easiest ways to start, is to host a jewellery party. Invite your family, friends, work colleagues, neighbours... anyone you wish to tell really.

Hosting parties like this is relatively easy and has no ongoing overheads, apart from the initial set up costs of display items such as busts, bracelet displays etc, and maybe some refreshments. You need to keep in mind though, that only doing it this way, will eventually exhaust your immediate market, unless you have a system in place where guests can book you for subsequent parties, inviting their social networks, and so on. Offering hostess incentives will almost guarantee future parties. 

Consignment: To sell your goods on consignment means that you get paid by the shop or gallery only upon the sale of your items - essentially, you retain ownership of your items until they sell, the store does not buy them outright. This is often the easiest way to get your products into a store and is a good first step if you're just starting out.
Consignment is beneficial for shop owners and designers alike: it allows shop owners to fill their shops with items at no upfront cost to them and lets them test out the saleability of your goods to their customers. For you, it's beneficial as you retain a higher percentage of the sales price on your items than you would selling via wholesale (or, you should!) while also testing your saleability in different markets, and getting exposure in retail shops.
You pay the shop a commission on the sale of your items, as they are working to help market, display and sell your items in the best way possible. You must be mindful though, to choose a store and its location, that suits your product, otherwise you'd be wasting your time and tying your stock up.

Galleries: Another way of giving yourself, your business and products exposure is to find galleries that have seasonal showings, and see if your product is in line with their artworks and vice versa. The general costs involved are relatively low - usually for the hire of the table. Most of these venues will take a commission of your sales, but generally it is a low cost, and very effective way of not only selling your product, but creating public awareness, and a following. I have been doing this type of show for a couple of years now, and find it very profitable. I am humbled that they ask me to be involved in their seasonal art shows.

Remember, it is still important that your customers experience the whole package though. When they go home to open their purchases, they should be reminded of how special they were made to feel, just by opening up their parcels.

Markets: Selling your wares at craft markets is completely brilliant... you are surrounded by handmade goodness all day, you chat to like-minded people, meet customers face to face and hopefully make a little money too. 
Every market is also about you advertising and marketing your business, getting your name and products in front of people's eyes. You never know who will pick up a business card and contact you later. Many shop-owners go to markets to seek out new and original wares for their store and may contact you about becoming a stockist. There's a lot more to your stall on market day than the sales you get. So when you don't think you've had a good day, count how many business cards have been taken.

Retail Sales (bricks and mortar):
If you want to enter the world of owning a shop, then this is for you. If you like the idea of having a shopfront where your customers come to you, and you have this face to face interaction, then this is perfect..... but it does have some drawbacks. Having the right customers who are cashed up and ready to spend in your store, is not always easy. There are overheads to meet, such as rent, electricity, wages, insurance... just to name a few. You have to make sure that the stock you carry suits the location of the shop or its demographic. You need to ensure that you display different stock regularly to keep prospective customers interested. You need to maintain marketing and advertising. 

If your shop is in a shopping center (mall), then there are the added costs that are determined by center management.

Retail Sales (Web Based): Selling online seems to be the way a lot of people and companies are doing business these days. Although there are a lot of benefits there are also some pitfalls that can consume your time and in some cases some funds. It is important though to analyse your business, to see if selling online could work for you.

Most people jump in feet first into an online selling avenue without doing too much research. Just because it's online, doesn't mean it will automatically work. You still have to research the market to see if your product will sell, and also to find out who else is selling a similar product. 

Four points to consider when starting your online store
  • Do your research. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into and exactly what you want. 
  • Carry out an online transaction at a store that has inspired you, detail their pros and cons and pass on an even better experience to your customers.

  •  Have a marketing plan to get people to visit your site, whether it be new or current customers.

  • Make sure your website design matches what you are actually selling. 

Some of the many benefits to online selling:
  • Reduced overheads in general, as an online shop costs less to set up and run than a physical store, although it's important to recognize that making eCommerce work requires continuing investment, not only in upgrades but also in your time.
  • Lower marketing costs with better targeting: online promotion can be more precisely aimed at potential customers than using conventional media. It's also much cheaper, for example, to send a marketing message by e-mail to 1,000 customers than it is to send 1,000 newsletters by post.
  • Expanded geographical reach: a local business can become nationwide or even international, just through having an effective eCommerce strategy. 
  • Being open for business 24/7: with automated order and payment processing, sales can be made at any time, and customers can buy when it suits them.
  • Greater flexibility: an online store can be updated instantly and as often as you like, for example, to promote a 'deal of the day' on your front page, without the need for expensive printed display material.
  • Broader potential customer base: an eCommerce business is an additional buying channel, capable of attracting customers who have not bought before.
  • Improved customer profiling, with the opportunity to target products and services at specific groups based on buying data.
  • Increased visibility for your business: with investment in search engine optimisation and online promotion, an online shop becomes more accessible to customers searching for your products.
(Information readily available on the internet)

Other avenues for selling online are sites like EBay, Etsy, MadeIT, Amazon, Artfire, to name a few. These sites are relatively easy to navigate and even easier to set up your online presence to start listing things. All you have to do is register your name or trading name with them (provided it hasn't already been used), and start uploading your product. Make sure though, that you have accurate descriptions and sizes, including postage. You will have to maintain this site as well.

Stock Photo - my hobby. fotosearch 
- search stock 
photos, pictures, 
wall murals, images, 
and photo clipartHobby: If we decide that business is not for us... that's OK... business is not for everyone, and don't let anyone make you feel like you should be doing it.

Creating for the sheer pleasure, or to gift, or to sometimes sell to recoup materials cost is very heart warming. It keeps our minds and hands active, and tends to connect us to many people around the world with a shared passion. Many friendships are made this way. Hobbyists still go through the learning curves of their art, just like someone in business. they just don't focus on the profit side.

I have been asked on numerous occasions how I get my commissions and also the shows I do. One simple yet complex answer I guess..... You need to put yourself in the market place.... you need to show your wares to people who can either buy from you, or most importantly guide you to a selling venue. You need to create a following. You need to wear your own product, that way it evokes conversation from people you meet. You need to be prepared to donate items. You need to market yourself, your goods and your passion. You need to remain humble, because always talking about yourself doesn't make people want to be in your energy field. You need to learn to listen, for in listening will you understand what people are wanting, even if they don't say the words.

I have had many students in my classes think that to market themselves, they just needed to advertise. Marketing is so much more than just advertising. It is one of the biggest players in this thing we call commerce. It is a branding. Whether it be online or bricks and mortar. Without marketing it would be an uphill battle and a very expensive one. Although you will have to invest time and also some dollars in marketing, it will almost guarantee you ongoing success, alongside hard work and tenacity. It is the promotion and selling of products or services which includes market research and advertising with a view of helping reach a wider customer base. It also involves the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development.

You are building a brand and every contact must reinforce what you want to say about you, your business and its product. This includes everything from how you answer the phone to how you use promotional materials. Business owners who have little experience of marketing do not always take this broad a view of marketing.Typically they think that advertising equates to marketing. But it involves a whole lot more than that.

If marketing is not your strong suit, find a small business coach that specialises in marketing. It's easy to learn about marketing from a book, but it takes years to master, so it may pay to initially invest in professional help. 

This is by no means a conclusive body of information. I could sit and write more information for you, sadly space is limited. But I hope I have given you enough to enable you to research these components of business, as well as much more for yourself. To help you grow your businesses, and to become profitable. Whatever that may mean to you.

And finally, however you wish to pursue your creative endeavors, remember one thing - enjoy it. Enjoy the process of learning and doing. You may not like it at the time, but learn to embrace it, because it will not only give you knowledge, but it will give you strength and freedom.

Happy Beading!