Designer Spotlight: Erin Strother

This week's featured designer is Erin Strother. She recently won best in show in the 2010 Bead Star competition! Congratulations, Erin!!!

Erin Strother works full time as a graphic designer at her home in North San Diego County, California, where she lives happily with her very supportive husband, George and their disobedient dog, Swiffer.

Erin has always been interested in all things artistic, but she didn’t start designing jewelry until a few years ago. While looking through an expensive jewelry catalog, she became intrigued with the idea of making her own jewelry. After doing some web research, Erin bought some basic tools, findings and beads and dived in. She began subscribing to jewelry magazines to get ideas and learn new techniques. It didn’t take long for her to realize she wanted to become part of that world. She began submitting her own pieces for publication in 2008, and has since had many designs published in various jewelry magazines and books. Her long-term goal is to publish a book of her own.

Erin likes to create in many different styles, but her favorite is contemporary, geometric shapes in mixed metals with multiple connected elements. She likes organic materials such as stone, pearls and leather, and often combines them with industrial components and wire-work to create unexpected, unique pieces.

“I basically have a short attention span, and new ideas tend to explode into my head before I finish the piece I am working on, Erin says. “I love to experiment, and my work is always evolving. I feel I have just scratched the surface.”

 To see more of Erin’s work, check out her etsy store at or her website at   

We asked Erin a few questions about working with cording and fibers in her jewelry and here's what she had to say!

What's your favorite type of cording or fiber to work with in jewelry?

Erin: Leather. It has a wonderful organic earthy quality I love, plus the neutral color goes with everything. I’ve also recently started working with recycled sari silk, which is really cool when you want the fiber to be a starring element of the design.

Why do you like working with cords and fibers in your designs? What quality draws you to these materials?

Erin:  I like the contrast between beads and fiber. Leather is soft and fluid in contrast to the hardness of metal or stone. And the frayed edges of recycled silk ribbon add instant dimension and texture to a piece of jewelry.

Thanks so much, Erin!



Findings Friday: Crimp-Style Cord Ends

Crimp-style cords ends are tubes with a center "crimp" area and a loop at the top for attaching a clasp. These are my favorite findings to use for cording! They are excellent for round leather and cotton cords. They also work well for some types of ribbon and other cords. Crimp-style cord ends are very easy to use but, it may not be obvious how to use them correctly at first glance.

To use, simply insert the cord's end into the finding until it is almost peaking out the other side.

With chain nose pliers, grip the cord end finding in the middle and ONLY crimp the CENTER area. Squeeze until the center portion of the cord end is flattened  and the cord is secure. Also, be sure to postion the cord end so that the finding's loop is HORIZONTAL, not vertical or your finding will break when you crimp down on it. See pictures below.

 There you have it! The finished cord end. Repeat for the second side and attach your clasp or beading to the loops. You can easily find these types of crimp-style cord ends at most bead suppliers. has a nice selection of these in different sizes and metal finishes.

Designer Spotlight: Heather Trudeau

This week's featured designer is Heather Trudeau , a.k.a. The Peacock Fairy!

So Heather, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Heather:  By day, I count money (unfortunately, it's not mine). By night, I count beads. I LOVE peacocks, and I have a 6th sense to seek out peacock items. Second to peacocks, I like owls. My husband puts up with my hoarding because I put up with him! All joking aside, we are very much in love with each other and our two chihuahuas. And we are now expecting our first child! I serve as Secretary on the Board of my local Art Center and sit on various other committees there. My jewelry can be found for sale on Etsy, the Art Center of Battle Creek, and other local art fairs and stores. Oh, and Halloween is my favorite holiday!


What's your favorite type of cording or fiber to work with in jewelry? 

Heather: Leather. I love the smooth texture of it, and the smell! I love the natural quality it adds to a piece of jewelry.

Why do you like working with cords and fibers in your designs? What quality draws you to these materials? 

Heather: They can soften up the look of a piece, and it's nice to have a different type of stringing material other than the usual standard wire or metal. 

Thanks, Heather!

You can find Heather at her blog: The Peacock Fairy ,
find more of Heather's jewelry in her Etsy Shop
her wood burned beads and components in her Loose Feathers Shop!

Materials Monday: Waxed Linen Cord

Waxed linen is a strong, consistent material that works great for knotting. The wax coating on these cords makes well defined, crisp knots and holds the knots well in place. It comes in a wide variety of colors and thicknesses referred to as "ply". I use a 4-ply in most of my jewelry and that seems to be the standard medium size. A single strand of 4-ply will fit most beads. I tend to use multiple strands of it in my designs if I'm using larger beads. Plus, more strands gives me more design options when I'm beading and I also like the texture and fullness of the multiple cords.

Irish waxed linen cord is the best you can buy. You can find Irish waxed linen online at Bello Modo, Ornamentea and Royalwood, Ltd. Also, please visit our contributor, Tracy Statler's blog for more information about using Irish waxed linen cord. She also has some great jewelry ideas and tutorials! Check her out!

Artist's Spotlight: Genea Beads

This week's featured artist is Genea of Genea Beads! 
Her work can be seen in upcoming Spring issues of Bead and Button and Stringing Magazines! 
Congratulations, Genea!
Genea's Jewelry incorporating fairy silk ribbons

Genea Beads specialized in the creation of handmade lampwork glass beads and finished jewelry. Each glass bead is made on an oxygen and propane torch and then put into a kiln to anneal. When the beads have  finished their annealing cycle they are cleaned and masterfully assembled into breath taking pieces of art to be worn and enjoyed for years to come.

Genea has been creating lampwork beads for the last seven years and loving every moment of it. Being a creative spirit, her artistic voice has come out in many mediums before being smitten with glass. Genea enjoys creating in a mixed-media style using her handmade glass beads, soldered charms using recycled materials, and beads she has been collecting over the years while living in many cities across the US.

Genea currently  resides in the northern part of Kansas City, Missouri, but  plans to move to the Pacific North West in the summer of 2011 to further her glass career. There she will study under many knowledgeable artists and get immersed in the areas art and green living culture. 

Genea's Jewelry incorporating colored leather cords

Genea loves to incorporate ribbons, leather and fibers in her jewelry creations in inventive ways! We asked her a few questions about working with cording and fibers in her jewelry and here's what she had to say!

A Jewelry Accord: What's your favorite type of cording or fiber to work with in jewelry?

Genea: Lately I am ALL about this .05 colored leather. As you can see from the attached designs it is just fantastic for all styles from a crimped loop for earrings to a cord where beads can slide over the top to knotting inbetween my lampwork spacer beads! I am also totally addicted to hand-dyed fairy silk. I think the gorgeous variegated colors of the silk are a wonderful compliment to lampwork glass. I also love using c-lon, nylon cording for knotting and macrame. I love to incorporate color for components anywhere I can fit it in so the cording and leather are just fantastic.

A Jewelry Accord: Why do you like working with cords and fibers in your designs? What quality draws you to these materials?

Genea: I have always loved fibers. I love the natural feel and look of them. I think they compliment the glass and add wonderful texture to pieces. I love using the leather to add my "floating" beads over the top. I love to create pieces with movement, texture, and visual interest, and sometimes even sound with things like bells. 

Thanks, Genea!  
Please visit Genea's 
Etsy Shop:

Introducing: Denise Yezbak Moore


Denise Yezbak Moore. Probably the hardest working jewelry designer in the beading world today....Certainly one of the most TALENTED!!! 

Denise's designs have been seen among countless magazine pages and covers. Recently, she placed in 7 of the 9 categories in the BEAD STAR competition. Way to go, Denise! We are so proud and honored to have this accomplished designer as one of our contributors!!!! 

Jewelry by Denise Yezbak Moore

We asked Denise a few questions about working with cording and fibers in her jewelry and here's what she had to say!

Q: What's your favorite type of cording or fiber to work with in jewelry?

A: My favorite type of fiber to work with is recycled Sari silk and leather cording.

Q: Why do you like working with cords and fibers in your designs?

A: Cords and fibers add an earthy natural feel to one's jewelry designs.  They also add texture.  Whether you are going for an edgy look or a soft romantic feel, these materials can help bring your design aesthetic to fruition.  Cords and fibers can be manipulated in any number of ways.  The design possibilities are endless.  These materials also offer a cheaper alternative to the more expensive metal findings.

Q: What quality draws you to these materials?

A: I am drawn to Sari silk because of the fantastic color pallet.  A single ream of Sari silk contains a multitude of colors that can be used in a variety ofjewelry designs.  Purchasing one ream can provide material for an abundance of creations.  Sari silk is a recycled product which is good for the planet.  It can also be used in other craft projects such as knitting or crochet. I tend to lean toward the romantic and vintage jewelry design styles.  Cording and threads appeal to my minimalist side of design. These materials make me think out of
the box and design outside of my comfort zone. They are easy to use and the only knowledge needed is how to complete a simple knot.  

Thanks, Denise!

Denise Yezbak Moore, is a self-taught artisan who incorporates romantic, sophisticated and even whimsical overtones into her pieces. One of Denise’s favorite mediums to work with is Vintaj Natural Brass. She enjoys dabbling in Art Clay Silver, resin and wirework.

Her designs have appeared in a wide variety of publications including Bead Trends, Stringing, Best of Stringing, Bead Star, Bead Unique, Bead Style, Jewelry Affaire and Belle Armoire Jewelry.  She will also be featured in an upcoming issue of Australian Beading Magazine.

Over the years, she’s explored many hobbies and obsessions--heirloom sewing and quilting, antiques, floral designing, painting, creating porcelain dolls and crafting dollhouses. Each of these guilty pleasures provided another step along Denise’s path to becoming a jewelry designer. Denise nurtured her long-time fascination with antique jewelry, by becoming a certified antique appraiser. She also holds a B.A. in Psychology.

For more information about Denise please visit her blog,, or her Etsy shop  To contact her please email at:

And the Winner is...

The randomly selected number from the number generator was...#11
Lucky number 11 for 2011! 
That means Cheryl of Once Upon A Cookbook, you are the winner! You were the 11th commenter!

Congratulations, Cheryl!!!
 Please email me your mailing address and I'll get your package right out to you. You can find my email in my profile. Thank you and happy beading in the new year!

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