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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Downloadable Patterns

As of August 1 you will be able to purchase a selection of Rypan Designs patterns for instant download. Available here are 15 patterns for $8.95 (CDN) and 1 pattern (neckace & bracelet) for $12.95 (CDN).

Select the pattern you would like, add it to your cart, accept the license agreement and either continue on to pay with PayPal or continue shopping. Once you have made your payment a confirmation email will be sent to you with instructions on downloading the PDF pattern. It is important to know that the link for the download will expire after 24 hours.

Once you have your pattern, print and start creating. You will have a beautiful handcrafted piece of jewelry before you know it!

Here is a look at some of the patterns that are available.
Twig Chip Cascade & Chicklet Bracelet
Chicklet Bracelets

Textured Net
Egyptian Net

Triple 'V' Jeweled
Netted Zig Zag

Twig Willow Twist
Please let us know what you think about having access to downloadable patterns.

A big thanks to John Fusco and the team at A Needle Pulling Thread for getting this up and running!

Happy Beading!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

ABC's of Creativity - O is Online Learning

Back in May we covered I is Internet and looked a number of inspiration sources on the web. There were some links that were instructional as well.

This post will focus specifically on many of the resource free and fee based that are available online.

I know that many fellow beaders started by taking a class at a show or bead store with a designer or bead artist. But I know that sometimes you can't get the class schedule to work with your schedule. Online classes help with this problem. Here are two site for online classes.

Maria has recently become an instructor at CraftArtEdu with her Netting Primer. The online classes here are a series of narrated images that take step by step through a project. There are classes available for more that just beading. Well most of the classes have a fee attached to them, you are able to go back and review the class at your leisure. There are a number of free classes.

If you are looking for more jewelry making lesson, then take a look at Beaducation. Here the classes are video presentation. You are able to view and review at any time. Written instructions come with all but the free classes.

Of course in addition the these class specific websites you can find many how to videos on Youtube. Here is Maria's video for her Diagonal Weave bracelet.

Here is Cathy Lampole demonstrating how to finish a strung bracelet.

I am recently come across Like wikipedia it combines the knowledge of many people to be shared with the world. Wikihow looks to create step by step instructions for everything. I used it recently to learn how to make Chinese sliding knots to finish a necklace. The animated step by step instruction are accompanied by written instructions. The great thing... it is all free!

Back in I is Internet, I mentioned following designers' blogs for inspiration. Many of your favorite designers sell kits and/or patterns for their designs. Some with use a site such as to sell their patterns but also check their individual websites. Some even have some free patterns, tips or tutorials to share with you.

Here are some of my favorites - Jean Power, Diane Fitzgerald, Cindy Holsclaw, Kerrie Slade, Cathy Lampole and Julia Pretl. And starting on August 1, 2013 you will be able to purchase downloadable patterns from Rypan Designs!!!

Your favourite bead magazine likely has patterns from past issues for sale on their sites as well.  Here are Bead and Button, Beading Daily and Bead (UK).

I hope that you finding a new source of instruction on the web!

Happy Beading!

Monday, July 15, 2013

ABC's of Creativity - N is Netting

Netting is a beadweaving technique used in cultures around the world and for many centuries.

Here is a piece from 680-670 BCE, it uses blue faience beads to make a beaded shroud. The arms of the net are tubular faience beads.
Bead Shroud of Tabakenkhonsu @ Met

The mesh like structure of beads makes it this an easy to identify beading technique. The challenge is to know if it is horizontal or vertical netting. 

diagram of horizontal netting (from

diagram of vertical netting worked from a base row of beads (from

This Lemko collar was made by the bride for her wedding. Anna Harhay Kryza used a bead loomwoven band as the base for the vertical lower netting.
from the collection of Diane Melnyk

a selection for vertical netted collars with geometric designs

This vertical netted collar is Maria's version of the traditional Ukrainian netted collars with their geometric patterns, appeared in the Jan/Feb 2006 issue of Step by Step Beads.
Rypan Designs Netted Diamonds Collar

When commissioned by Vesniwka, a renown Ukrainian women's choir in Toronto, to make collars  for the singers she used red, gunmetal and gold.
Vesniwka collar protype

The depth and style of the design reminded many people of the beaded collars from ancient Egypt. So Maria reworked the colors to turquoise and gold.
Rypan Designs Egyptian Collar

This netted collar is not a deep as the Egyptian but the placement of the beads creates a beautiful zigzag pattern. Here Maria has used just simple size 10 seed beads.
Rypan Design Netted ZigZag

Taking the netted zigzag collar, changing some of the seed beads to mini rondelles, hi-lighting the zigzag with silver seed beads and adding large rondelles to some of the picots has changed the traditional collar into a fashion forward design. This design is in the current (Aug/Sep 2013) issue of Beadwork.
Rypan Designs Chic Chevron Collar

Here again in the zigzag pattern, but deeper and some of the seed beads have been replaced with bugle beads. A few rows of netting are worked into matching earrings.
Rosey's Zigzag

These next two netted items are very different from the collar style of beadwork. Here the netting forms a rectangle with is connect to a long netted band with stringers of beads and bugle. The Indigo Kilim appeared in the Jun 2003 issue of Bead & Button.
Rypan Designs Indigo Kilim
The Sedona Kilim below was made for the Toronto Bead Society Bag of Beads challenge 2000. It appears in the gallery in Diane Fitzgerald's book Netted Beadwork.
Sedona Kilim, beaded by M. Rypan

For most of the previous projects the main netting was done with seed beads, here twist bugle for the major part of the netted design. Seed beads are used for the fringing.
Rypan Designs Twig Willow Twist

Netting can also be used for projects other that necklaces. Here are some beaded pysanky. Many different techniques are used for beaded pysanky. The two front eggs are done using netting. Maria's article about bead pysanky appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of A Needle Pulling Thread.

From pysanky,info

I have also used netting to make small circular netted snowflakes. Here seed bead and Swarovski crystals create a sparkly snowflake ornament.
Winter Wonderland Snowflake, designed and beaded by J. Woolverton
I hope that you will try the easy and versatile stitch to create something wonderful.

Happy Beading!

Monday, July 1, 2013

ABC's of Creativity - M is Metals

For most beaders metal appears in your design as the closure or finding. 

But metal beads, spacers, connectors can also be a design elements.

To help you work them into your design here is some helpful information.

Gold's purity is noted by its karat weigth. 24kt is 99.9% pure down to 10kt which is 41.7% pure. Its alloys are copper and zinc. In addition to karat weight gold you will also find the following: vermeil which is gold-plated sterling silver, gold-filled which is a base metal (copper or brass) mechanically bonded to sheets of gold, and gold-plated which is a base metal (steel or brass) electroplated with gold.

Silver like gold is alloyed with copper. This is noted as a percentage rather that karat weight. Fine silver is 99.9% pure silver. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver. Silver-plated like gold-plated is a base metal electroplated with silver.

Lower costing metals include copper, brass (copper and zinc alloy), bronze (copper and tin alloy), pewter (tin alloyed with various other metals), nickel and surgical steel.

For more information check this article by Lisa Kan.

How to decide which to use can be a matter of budget, available and design.

For design you may be inspired by the shape and styling of the bead or finding. But have you ever created a design based on the color of the metal? This wonderful article from the Art Bead Scene Blog about The Color of Metal. From the oranges and brown of copper and bronze to neutral greys of silver and pewter.

It got me think about pieces I have made with metal as strong design element.

I received some wonderful copper findings as part of a bead soup. To the warm brown copper closure I added  more copper, blues and purples.
Bead Soup 7 Bracelet, beaded by J. Woolverton

For this piece it is the contrast of the bright copper against the green lampwork beads that works well.
Dragon's egg necklace, beaded by J. Woolverton

These beaded beads have gold colored seed beads triangle beads. The yellow of the gold gives a lovely spark to the palette of green beads in the base.
Bellisimo beads, beaded by J. Woolverton

For this necklace the copper veining in the turquoise lead to the addition of copper spaces, copper colored Swarovski pearl and crysal copper Swarovski cyrstals. It is a classic combination.
Turquoise Copper necklace, beaded by J. Woolverton

I have only scratch the surface of metals in beadwork. I hope that you will be inspired to look at your metal components as more that just a finding.

Happy Beading!