Specializing in Japanese Seed Beads & Miyuki Delicas

124 S. 9th Street # 3

Lincoln, Nebraska 68508

Located: 1/2 block south of "O" Street on the East side of 9th Street

in the Mission Arts Building where Gallery 9 is also located

Open Thursdays & Fridays & Saturdays - Noon-ish to 4 pm
By Appointment all other days

Closed for Major Holidays, Major Storms and Home Football Game Days



This is another one of those experiments. Even if there is only one beading stitch that you know or are really proficient in working, you can use graduating sizes beads to make it more organic looking. For example in graduating order:  One or two rows of Delica, 11/0, two 15/0, 8/0, two 15/0, 11/0, and Delica. OR One or two rows of 15/0, Delica, 11/0, 10/0 Triangle, 8/0, 6/0, 8/0, 10/0 Triangle, 11/0, Delica, 15/0. You can put a graduating series like these right in the middle of a project to give it a little emphasis. In other words, experiment with the uses of various sizes of beads in your beading projects!


One of the neatest little tricks for blending beads in various colors is to use AB (Rainbow) finished beads between the colors that are being blended together. For example: Opaque Red, then Opaque Red AB, then Orange AB, then Orange. Another tip for blending colors of beads is to string onto a small length of thread, about five beads of each color to test if they blend together. This is what I did for the recent Cube Bracelets that I made; one in shades of red to pink and the other one in shades of cream to black. It is really surprising to see what actually does not blend together well and what actually Blends In perfectly!


Fireline is a product that is showing up in more and more instructions. It is a very stable product that does not stretch or fray. It is a pre-waxed braided bead thread made from gel spun polyethylene. (Don't ask me to pronounce that word; my tongue twists around it!) Using Fireline eliminates the problem of thread being cut by bugles or Swarovski or other sharp beads. This is the main reason why a lot of beaders are using this thread.
More common threads, like Nymo or Silamide or S-Lon, are a nylon product. They can very easily be used for beadwork that consists of seed beads or any of the other Japanese made glass beads. With a little conditioning with bees wax or synthetic wax, any beading project can be made, even ones that use just a few of the bugles or Swarovski or other sharp beads.
Which to use? Use the product that YOU like using! Even if an article says to use "Fireline" or says to use "Thread", pick the one that best fits the project and best fits your own personal style of beading. The most important thing to remember is to bead with the products that making Beading Fun For You!


I made a discovery recently! I wasn't sure this could be done. But it can be! I talked one of my customers into doing a bead crochet rope with Drop Beads! Yes, those little tiny drop beads! At first she was using the very thin Super-lon nylon thread. Then she switched to Bead Cord! It worked for her. She brought it in and showed me! Well, I just HAD to do it too! And it works! And it is not as difficult to do as I had heard it would be! One of the things that is nice about using the drop beads is when you use the clear drop beads, whatever color thread you use, that is the color that shows through the beads! It is really "cool" looking! So the Bead Bit for this month is:  Experiment! Have Fun with your Beads! Try your ideas out! You never know what will work and come out really nice unless you at least TRY!


Recently I was reminded of this little Bead Bit by one of my customers, Lynn. I was working on an ornament with all Transparent White beads. She reminded me that I can change the color just a bit by using Blue Thread instead of White Thread! This is true of all beading projects! When someone is new to beading I recommend getting Black, White and Ash Grey as a basic stash for threads. Then as you do various beading projects, you collect the various colors of thread. Now take that suggestion a step further and try those various beading projects with various colors of threads! You can change a bright red bead to look a shade or two darker just by using a darker thread or even brighter by using a lighter thread. It's one of those fun experiments with Beading to make Just a Shade Difference!


Often I hear: "I just don't know what size I should make this necklace?"
Well there are some standard sizes. They are:
Choker: 14" to 16"
Princess: 16" to 18"
Matinee: 20" to 25"
Opera: 28" to 34"
Rope: 40" to 48"
Lariat: 48"
Eyeglass or Sunglass Leash: 20" to 30"
Name tag Lanyard: 32" to 36"

These are the names given to the various lengths. But, it is really your choice and how the necklace fits on YOU that matters the most.


You know how to do the Peyote Stitch BUT the pattern you want to make in Brick Stitch.
What do you do then?
You know how to do the Herringbone Stitch
BUT the pattern you want to do is Square Stitch OR Loom Stitch. What do you do then?
For a Brick Stitch pattern, all you have to do is turn it on its side and work it in Peyote Stitch! The same holds true if you like doing Brick Stitch and you have a Peyote Stitch pattern. Turn it on its side and work it in Brick Stitch.
For a Square Stitch/Loom Stitch pattern, you can work it in the Herringbone Stitch as long as there are an even number of beads in the base rose. (There is a way of working an odd number of beads in the base row: either eliminate one bead OR add a bead between the two beads added in each Herringbone Stitch!) .


When it comes to peyote stitch there are so many variations.
Here are a few:
Even Count Flat - the number of beads in the first 2 rows is an even number
Odd Count Flat - the number of beads in the first 2 rows is an odd number
Tubular - with a step-up for each round or with no step up which makes it continuous
Round - beginning is from the center outwards with increases on specific rounds  BEAD BITS:
When it comes to peyote stitch there are so many variations. Here are a few:
Even Count Flat - the number of beads in the first 2 rows is an even number
Odd Count Flat - the number of beads in the first 2 rows is an odd number
Tubular - with a step-up for each round or with no step up which makes it continuous
Round - beginning is from the center outwards with increases on specific round.


When you know the basic beading stitches, you can accomplish just about every beading design. Some times these basic stitches are called "Off-Loom Stitches" since a loom is not used to create them. Here is a list of some of the basic beading stitches:

    Ogallala Butterfly Stitch is a form of netting
Peyote/Gourd/one-drop netting - 3 names for the same basic stitch
    Dutch Spiral - Cellini Spiral are both forms of tubular peyote stitch
Right Angle Weave/RAW
    Daisy Chain is a form of RAW!
    Many of the Beaded Bead patterns and many of the more elaborate beadwork pieces
    are done using this stitch.
Brick/Comanche - 2 names for the same basic stitch
    The African Helix stitch is a form of brick and netting in the round.
Herringbone (some call it the Ndebele stitch)
    This stitch is done using a form of brick stitch
    but looks like loom work with beads on top of beads
    Thus, you can use loom/square stitch patterns with this stitch.
Square Stitch
    Is a way of doing Bead Loom patterns without the loom!
    Square Stitch is the most secure beading stitch.

Each of these stitches can be done flat, in the round, in a tube and can be increased or decreased. It is all a matter of learning the basics!


Following is a list of most of the types of Japanese Beads at 5Z'S along with the approximate amounts in grams and approximate number of beads: (Note:  This symbol "~" means "approximate")

Delicas - 
~8.3 grams/1,660 beads Fliptop containers

Delicas (higher priced ones) - 
~5 grams/900 beads Fliptop containers

Size 15/0 Seed Beads - 
~12.5 grams/3,500 beads - 3"x9/16" Round Tubes

Size 11/0 Seed Beads - 
~27-28 grams/3,100 beads - 6"x9/16" Round Tubes

Size 8/0 Seed Beads - 
~27-28 grams/800 beads - 6"x9/16" Round Tubes

Size 6/0 Seed Beads - 
~25 grams/300 beads - 6"x9/16" Round Tubes

Size 10/0 Triangle Beads - 
~10 grams/500 beads - 1.5"x2" Plastic Bag

4mm Cube Beads - 
~10 grams/100 beads - 1.5"x2" Plastic Bag

3mm Cube Beads - 
~10 grams/200 beads - 1.5"x2" Plastic Bag

1.5 Cube Beads - 
~10 grams/700 beads - 1.5"x2" Plastic Bag

3.3 Drop Beads - 
~10 grams or 200 beads - 1.5"x2" Plastic Bag

Magnatama's - 
~10 grams/100 beads - 1.5"x2" Plastic Bag

Size #1-3mm Bugles - 
~10 grams/950 beads - 1.5"x2" Plastic Bag

Size #2-6mm Bugles - 
~10 grams/360 beads - 1.5"x2" Plastic Bag

Size #3-9mm Bugles - 
~10 grams/200 beads - 1.5"x2" Plastic Bag


In order to make blue glass, silver has to be used.
In order to make red glass, gold has to be used.
Red seed beads oftentimes cost a tad bit more because of the gold in them.
Pink and Purple seed beads are very popular colors.
But, these two colors are very unstable and fade the fastest.
Black seed beads are oftentimes actually the deepest darkest purple that you can only see through direct sunlight on them after they are beaded up.


What to do with Drop Beads? Drop beads are little drops of colored glass that add just the right amount of sparkle to any beaded project. Most know of the use of drop beads as the turn bead on fringe. Yet, they can also be used as embellishments on any bead project as well. They can add just the right amount of texture to your project. Experiment and see how they truly can turn your project in a beaded masterpiece!


What to do with Cube Beads? Cube beads are really fun to work with! Basically any beading stitch can be done with cube beads. For example: Make a 4 bead wide strip of 4mm cube beads in a ladder stitch, brick stitch, peyote stitch, herringbone stitch or even a RAW stitch then embellish the top with seed beads, drop beads (even stone chip beads) done in criss-cross sections, attach a slider bar clasp to each end and then you have a lovely bracelet! Cube bead projects work up fast and are FUN to work with.


THINK Green! Think Spring Flowers! Think Warm Summer Nights!


With the Holidays here, the main colors that we see around us are Red and Green and Blue. In February we see Red and in March we see Green. But there is a world of colors all around us that can give us inspirations for own color combinations. One of the things I like doing is picking up little quilt squares from the fabric stores and then trying to match the colors that are used in those pieces. Another one is to pick up various pieces of scrapbook paper. Nature is a great inspirer! If you see two colors together in nature, they will look good together in beads. For example: White with a touch of red (the typical winter scene of snow and the male Cardinal). Another great place to find inspiration is on the web by doing a search of various glass or other medium artists. The inspiration link below is of Elise Winters, a polymer artist whose work is full of vibrancy and inspiration.


One of the questions that I often get at the shop is how to figure out the size of bracelet to make or rather "How come this bracelet is too small or too big?" Here are a few tidbits to help you:

1) Men's wrists - 7 to 10 inches
2) Women's wrists - 5 to 8 inches
3) Subtract at least 1 inch for the clasp in the length
4) Include 3 times the diameter (how wide the beads are) in the length
5) For Bangles: Add at least 2 inches to the wrist measurement to compensation for going over the hand
6) Pick up an EZ-Bracelet (It's a cone with wrist measurements on it.)


Japanese Seed Beads are manufactured by 3 main Japanese Companies:  Miyuki, Toho, and Matsuno.  They come in various sizes, shapes, finishes and colors. The process of making seed beads consists of Silica ash, soda ash and charcoal mixed and melted together. Then it is extruded and made into round canes. These canes are either opaque or transparent. Then these canes go through a process to create various shapes, finishes and sizes. Depending upon the cut or finish, it can take anywhere from 3 to 7 weeks to produce a particular bead.

The next time you pick up that little tiny seed bead, just think that it took 3 to 7 weeks just to be made and that it went through all kinds of "processes" just to be ready to be made into that pretty beaded piece for you.


The Larger the Number the Smaller the Bead. When it comes to beads the sizing is determined by the diameter of the bead where the hole is located. So if you line up a set of size 11 beads (for example) so that you can measure all the diameters together, you will come up with 11 of them almost equaling an inch. The same applies to any size seed bead. Beading Needles are the same way too: the larger the number the smaller the needle.


Taking It a Step Beyond!
Have you ever wondered how some of the "new" beadwork has "come about"? I call it taking it a step beyond. Let's say you know how to do a simply peyote stitched tube with Delicas or size 11/0 Seed Beads. Now take it a step beyond that and use various sizes of beads and bugle beads and cubes and triangles and fire polish round beads and just about any bead. Then, take it another step beyond and make it bigger either longer and/or wider. All of a sudden that simple peyote stitched tube explodes into a creative piece. The next time you have your beads out think about "Taking It A Step Beyond" and see what you come up with.


Needle This and Needle That
If you are having a difficult time threading your needle (or needling your thread), try running the end through beeswax or synthetic beeswax a number of times. Then take a pair of pliers and flatten the tip. The wax will keep the end fibers together and also help to keep them flattened so they are easier to "thread a needle" or "needle a thread". (psssssssssst By The Way: a pair of magnifying glasses can help too!)


Wax On Wax Off
5Z'S offers two main thread conditioners:  Bees Wax and Synthetic Bees Wax. Both of these products can be used on the various nylon threads to Condition the Thread so that it glides more smoothly through the beads. When beading with bugles it is very wise to use doubled thread and Beeswax. Beeswax helps to fill the hole of the bugles and thus helps to keep the thread from being cut by the sharp edge of the bugles. Doubling your thread and conditioning it not only helps when making more structural pieces, but it helps to keep the doubled threads together. Conditioning your thread also helps you to pre-stretch your thread when you pull the thread through the conditioner. One of the nice aspects of Synthetic Bees Wax is that it is much easier to get off your beadwork when excess shows up on the outsides of your thread. Whether you use Bees Wax or Synthetic Bees Wax or nothing is your personal preference. If one doesn't work then try the other kind.

The most important thing to remember is do use what you like so that Beading is FUN for you!


Have you ever tried to follow a diagram of a woven pattern and found yourself totally frustrated by the whole experience? Well, stop pulling your hair out! It is not you! It's the diagram!

An interesting little "tidbit" about beading is this:  If you are right handed you will "bead" from right to left. If you are left-handed you will bead from left to right. Almost all diagrams in the various beading magazines are set up for beading left to right. (It really surprised me when I recently pulled out a couple of my beading magazines and saw this.) So the diagrams are set up for a left handed beader. I asked myself why did they do that? Answer: Because with the English language we read left to right. It is easier on our eyes to read a diagram from left to right. So, if you are having difficulty following a diagram, make yourself up a reverse image of it and try it again. It might solve the mystery of beading patterns.


Pre-stretching your beading thread helps to prevent loose threads and holes later on in the life of your beadwork! Using a thread conditioner such as bees wax or synthetic wax helps in pre-stretching your thread. You can tell that your thread is properly "pre-stretched" when you can no longer see a "curl" or "bends" in your thread.


This is a new feature of the 5Z'S email newsletter!
Did you know that 5Z'S carries:
Over 550 colors of Delicas
Over 500 colors of size 11 Seed Beads
Over 250 colors of size 8 Seed Beads
Over 200 colors of size 6 Seed Beads
Over 150 colors of size 4mm Cube Beads
Over 100 colors of Drop Beads & Magnatamas
Over 700 items of Findings (most are in Silver)!!!