Glass Beads to Look Out For in Tucson

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My new stash of two-hole Twin beads has me pretty smitten with their shape and all their design possibilities!

In just a few days, bead lovers from all over the world will be descending on the city of Tucson, Arizona for some of the world's best gem, mineral, and bead shows! From my little corner of the world, it looks like the big trend at this year's bead shows will be Czech glass beads.

Ever since the first two-hole Twin seed beads came out two years ago, we've seen an explosion in new Czech glass bead shapes and styles. For seed beaders and jewelry stringers alike, this is great news: more variety means more possibilities to play with your glass beads and jewelry design ideas!

If you're going to the Tucson bead shows this year, I've got the scoop on what two of my favorite bead pushers, er, bead sellers will have available. "Czech" it out!

Two-Hole Czech Bead System from Czechmates

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If you're looking for a full range of two-hole glass beads, Whimbeads will have you covered in Tucson!

Beki Haley of Whimbeads has announced that they'll be launching a new series of two-hole glass beads from CzechMates that includes lentil, brick, dagger, and tile shapes. Why is she so excited by these new glass beads? Beki answers:

"I love them mostly because they are new, and what beader doesn't love new beads? There is always a level of excitement around a new bead, both my own excitement and that generated by the beading community. For me excitement fuels creativity, so I welcome it with open arms.

"In addition, the two-hole glass beads create so many opportunities for new design ideas. When the SuperDuos hit the bead scene it was only a matter of weeks before beaders were posting innovative beaded projects using them. The ease of turning corners and creating concentric elements allowed for some really beautiful items. I think these new two-hole beads in the CzechMate system will inspire even more creativity among beaders.

"What I like best about these glass beads is that regardless of their size or shape, the distance between the holes remains consistent so that they can be used together in one piece. I've found myself daydreaming about design ideas with them — now to make some time to actually play with them!" 

Decadent Glass Dagger Beads

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Animal print Czech glass dagger beads from York Beads? Yes, please!

My other favorite bead nut, Perry Bookstein, the owner of York Beads in New York City, will have a fabulous selection of my favorite decadent dagger beads! While glass dagger beads have been around for years, Perry has the best selection of fun and innovative colors, finishes, and coatings anywhere.

What's awesome about these glass beads? First of all, Perry was inspired to work with the Czech bead makers to create new coatings and colors after the peacock craze hit the fashion world. Everywhere you looked, there were men's neckties with bright, colorful, and wild designs. Perry thought those patterns and colors would translate well to glass dagger beads, and thankfully for all of us who love to bead, he was right.

The colors of these glass dagger beads come from different kinds of coatings applied after the bead is made, or even through the use of several different colors of glass rods during the process of pressing them in a mold. Chances are, you'll find a glass dagger bead in a color and size to meet your bead need! (And, yes, some of these beads even come in two-hole shapes, too!)

How Do You Use Your Czech Beads?

When it comes to versatility, there's no better bead for your money than Czech glass beads. Bead weavers can use them in all kinds of beaded jewelry designs using their favorite off-loom bead-weaving stitches, and stringers can use them to add a splash of unexpected color and shape to their designs.

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If you're looking for new ideas for using your Czech glass beads, take a look at Jewelry Stringing magazine. Each issue is full of gorgeous beaded jewelry design ideas, complete with all the basic techniques you'll need to make each project. You'll find great beading projects for those of us on a budget, product and book reviews, and all the news on the latest and greatest in glass beads and tools from your favorite bead supply companies. Fulfill your need to bead and subscribe to Jewelry Stringing magazine today!

Are you excited by the new Czech glass beads available these days? What's your favorite type of Czech glass bead, and how do you use them? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and let's get inspired to dream up some new designs with these fantastic glass beads!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

P.S. If you'll be in Tucson this year, you can find Beki Haley and all of her fun friends at Whimbeads at the following shows: February 3 – 8, 2013 at To Bead True Blue, Booth GP 305; February 6 – 10, 2013 at The Best Bead Show, in the front patio; and February 9 – 11, 2013 at The Tucson Bead Show, Booth GP 305.

You can find Perry Bookstein and all his fantastic glass beads (including glass spikes and gumdrops) from February 3 – 8, 2013 at To Bead True Blue, Booths GP 239 and 240.

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