Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Bead and Button Show Classes by Nealay Patel

Our good friend Nealay Patel is offering several classes at the Bead and Button Show, June 2016. Typically, he uses Soft Flex beading wire and craft wire in his designs. Registration opened today, so we urge you to check out and register for these classes if you plan to be in Milwaukee in June.


 



Buy Three 10ft Spools, Get a Bracelet Booklet FREE!



This week, If you buy three 10ft spools of Soft Flex, you will get a free copy of our new Soft Flex Bracelet Projects Booklet! Check it out the sale details here >> http://tinyurl.com/braceletbooklet




Sara Oehler and I co-authored a new DIY booklet with 8 bracelet design projects using using Soft Flex beading wire in all sorts of different ways - crimping using various sized crimps, braiding on both round and square kumihimo boards, knotting and weaving on a macrame board and knitting on a knitting spool.  For a little booklet, we think that it offers a powerful amount of information! 



Blog contributor Kristen Fagan is the Website Graphic Designer for Soft Flex Company. Find her on facebook, etsy or her blog.  She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at Kristen@SoftFlexCompany.com.
  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

DIY: Free Beaded Holiday Wire Snowman Ornament Pattern

 

Living in Phoenix, we miss out on one very important element of Christmas - snow. So, this little ornament is my ode to many Christmas days enjoyed in Montana with snow on the ground when I was little. I miss it (sometimes). Enjoy!

Materials:
18g Soft Flex Craft Wire -15 inches
28g Soft Flex Craft Wire - 8 inches
Ribbon - 6 inches

Tools:
WigJig Olympus-Lite (perfect for making lots of different ornaments!)
WigJig Olympus Deluxe Super Pegs
Nylon jaw pliers
Cutters
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers

Instructions:

1. First, I like to run my nylon jaw pliers over the craft wire to start working the wire to make it more stiff but also to get rid of any bends or kinks as it comes off of the spool. Place the pegs in your WigJig as shown above. Using 15 inches of 18g craft wire, make a loop with round nose pliers. Place the loop on a small metal peg. Guide the wire around the super peg as you spin the WigJig. When you turn the jig and guide the wire, the jig will make lovely and fluid lines that can be repeated time and time again. Continue winding the wire around the pegs until you complete the snowman shape.






 2. Pop the design off of the pegs. It will look a little wonky.


 3. Using 8 inches of 28g craft wire, wrap the bottom and middle circles together to create the bottom of the snowman.


4. Using 8 inches of 28g craft wire, wrap the top and middle circles together to create the top of the snowman.


 5. Using chain nose pliers, tuck the excess 18g wire behind the wire wrapping.


6. Trim the 18g wire and wrap using the 28g wire a few more times. Twist the two ends of the 28g wire on top and bottom, trim excess wire.


7. Using 6 inches of ribbon, tie a single knot between the top and middle circles to create a scarf. Trim for the best look.


Blog contributor Sara Oehler (the original SoftFlexGirl) is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Soft Flex Company. Find her on facebook or her blog.  She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Soft Flex Bracelet Project Booklet - Make Each Project Your Own


My co-worker, Kristen Fagan, and I put together a new booklet that is now for sale - Soft Flex Bracelet Projects. It offers 8 projects that cover using Soft Flex beading wire in all sorts of different ways - crimping using various sized crimps, braiding on both round and square kumihimo boards, knotting and weaving on a macrame board and knitting on a knitting spool.  For a little booklet, I think that it offers a powerful amount of information!


Shown above is a variation on one of my designs in the booklet. It is a neat design because you can use different shapes, sizes and colors of beads to make it your own. It is very strong because it is created with Soft Flex beading wire in .010 and .024 (no thread). I am making several of these as Christmas presents this year because they work up fairly quickly and can be individualized for each person by changing out the beads or wire colors.


Right now, it is available at an introductory price of $9.56. This price is good until the end of 2015. I hope that you'll pick up a copy and enjoy it!


Blog contributor Sara Oehler (the original SoftFlexGirl) is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Soft Flex Company. Find her on facebook or her blog.  She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

DIY: Free Beaded Holiday Wire Tree Ornament Pattern


For several years, I have been creating a new Christmas tree ornament (sometimes a few) in the shape of an actual Christmas tree. I love how this one turned out and it will be quick and easy to replicate.

15/0 transparent mint AB round Japanese seed beads- 60
4mm chrysolite opal Swarovski crystal beads - 2
6mm chrysolite opal Swarovski crystal beads -6
8mm chrysolite opal Swarovski crystal beads - 2

Tools:
Instructions:



1. First, I like to run my nylon jaw pliers over the craft wire to start working the wire to make it more stiff but also to get rid of any bends or kinks as it comes off of the spool. Place the pegs in your WigJig as shown above. Using 4 inches of craft wire, make a loop with round nose pliers. Place the loop on a small metal peg. Guide the wire around the super peg as you spin the WigJig. When you turn the jig and guide the wire, the jig will make lovely and fluid lines that can be repeated time and time again. Finish the shape by guiding the wire around the other small metal peg.


2. Don't forget the importance of work hardening a design after you pop it off of the WigJig. Work hardening your wire actually changes the molecular structure inside the wire. It is the process of manipulating the wire to lock in the design and stiffen the wire so that your design will stay in place. To use the wire whacker, lay your design flat on one of the nylon slabs. Use the other to whack the design 3-4 times. Sound silly? It totally works and makes work hardening quick and easy!

3. Using 8 inches of beading wire, string one crimp tube. Pass the wire back through the tube and snug it to the middle of the wire to create a small loop. Crimp the tube and cover it with a crimp cover.

4. Using one wire, string ten seed beads, a 4mm bead, five seed beads, a 6mm bead, five seed beads, a 6mm bead, five seed beads, a 6mm bead, five seed beads, an 8mm bead, a crimp tube and one ring on the WigJig component. Pass the wire back through the tube and crimp. Cover it with a crimp cover.

5. Using the second wire to repeat Step 4.

6. Attach an ornament hook to the top. You can make that yourself too - click for instructions.


Blog contributor Sara Oehler (the original SoftFlexGirl) is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Soft Flex Company. Find her on facebook or her blog.  She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Free Pattern - DIY Holiday Jewelry - Silver Star Beaded Pendant and Earrings

 

Although it is Halloween weekend, I've set my sights on the upcoming winter holiday season, especially with Soft Touch on sale over the coming weekend! Use coupon code HALLOWEEN at www.SoftFlexCompany.com to get 20% off of Soft Touch beading wire. Sales ends November 3rd, 2015.

These little stars are super cute. I will warn you that they aren't perfectly flat. I happen to like that but if you like your beadwork to be perfectly flat, this may not be the project for you or you can try this project with a favorite beading thread.

Offering a seed bead project without illustrations can be tough, but I tried to take several pictures to help you along in the process. Hopefully, it will be easy enough to understand. If not, please leave a comment and I can try to help you through any difficulties.

Let's begin with the earrings first!


Instructions:


1. Using 12 inches of beading wire, string a seed bead and a superduo until you have five of each. Pass the wire back through the first seed bead creating a circle. Tie a square knot and trim the excess wire.




2. String the wire through the open hole in the first superduo of the circle. Then, string a superduo, seed bead, a superduo and the open hole in the second superduo of the circle. Continue in this pattern until you have completed a full, second circle.





3. String the wire through the open hole in the first superduo of the second circle. String a seed bead, a superduo, a seed bead and the open hole in the second superduo of the second circle. Continue this pattern until you have completed a full, third circle.

4. Tie a square knot and trim the excess wire.


5. Using chain nose pliers open a jump ring and attach to an open hole in a superduo. Attach the jump ring to an ear wire.

6. Repeat Steps 1-5 for a second earring.

Now onto the lovely pendant. I received a gorgeous chain from Halstead recently and was excited to see just how nice this pendant looked on it.


Instructions (refer to the pictures above - similar pattern):


1. Using 15 inches of beading wire, string an 8 seed bead and a superduo until you have five of each. Pass the wire back through the first seed bead creating a circle. Tie a square knot and trim the excess wire.

2. String the wire through the open hole in the first superduo of the circle. Then, string a superduo, an 8 seed bead, a superduo and the open hole in the second superduo of the first circle. Continue in this pattern until you have completed a full, second circle.


3. String the wire through the open hole in the first superduo of the circle. Then, string a superduo, an 8 seed bead, a superduo and the open hole in the second superduo of the second circle. String an 8 seed bead and then the open hole in the third superduo of the circle. Continue in this pattern until you have completed a full, third circle.

4. String the wire through the open hole in the first superduo of the circle. String an 8 seed bead, a superduo, an 8 seed bead and the open hole in the second superduo of the third circle.String a 15 seed bead, pass through the 8 in the third circle and then string a 15 seed bead and the open hole in the third superduo of the circle. Continue this pattern until you have completed a full, fourth circle.

5. Using chain nose pliers open a jump ring and attach to an open hole in a superduo and a closed jump ring. By using two jump rings, the pendant will be oriented in the correct direction. Slip the chain through the last jump ring.





Blog contributor Sara Oehler (the original SoftFlexGirl) is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Soft Flex Company. Find her on facebook or her blog.  She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com.
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