Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Future Unfolds

Designed by Jessy Petit Bijoux
Beaded by Julia

Sometime after I opened the shop in 2011, I had the fortune of dining with a well-known bead master.  She developed her reputation in the '90s, during the bead resurgence that heralded the current wave of seed beading.   She shared with me her view that the seed bead wave had crested, and we were now beginning the decline of seed beading in America.  Sort of disconcerting "news" for me as new seed bead shop owner.  Today, I am absolutely certain, that this famous smart person was WRONG!  

Thanks to the internet and information exchange, ideas are moving at the speed of broadband.  Amazing European beaders and their stunning creative works are in my home everyday...via my little laptop.  While our American beaders, the pioneers of the '90's Bead Renaissance, continue to stitch wonders, Europe is exploding.  Lately,  I have been "traveling" to Hungary, the Netherlands, Germany, Russia and Italy, all with my cat on my lap.  The newest beads originate in Europe and you can see what's possible with Rullas and Rizos (our newest items) from European beaders who've been using them while they were still an ocean away from American bead shops.  The rising popularity of Perlen Poesie, the German beading magazine, here in America, is just another sign.  

One of the easiest ways to plug in to this world is through Pinterest.  At Pinterest individuals from all over the world are posting photos.  You can search a word like "beadwork" or "rullas" and suddenly scores of beautiful photos are sent to your screen.  You can collect your favorites on a "Board" that you set up, or not.  If you set up a board (and it's easy to do), your favorite photos (and links to where they originated) will always be there when you sign back on.  If you want to let others do the searching for you, you can follow others' Boards.  Pinterest is great for  inspiration and gawking at some jaw-dropping creations.  It is also a source for FREE patterns.  

I have set up 2 boards of free patterns - FREE Beadwork Tutorials and FREE Wirework Tutorials.  This means you can sign onto Pinterest and search Julia Hecht.  You will come to my page and you can click on one of my Boards to look around.  If you want, you can "Follow" me or one or more of my Boards.  That way, when you sign on you will see the newest "pins" I've collected. 

Right now, I'm very taken with a young lady from Rome named Jessy who goes by the name "Petit Bijoux".  She posts FREE, in-depth tutorials on "you tube".  They are in Italian, but I find that I can follow them anyway.  I made this Friday night using a 14 mm rivoli, Super Duo's, 4 mm Fire Polish, 11/0's and 8/0's.  It is ingenious, but not difficult.   For me, decoding these tutorials from far away lands, whether spoken or written, is like finding the key to hidden treasure.  But if foreign languages makes you cringe, don't despair.  There are plenty of  "photo tutorials" and many people know English and will post in our tongue.  

There's a whole big beady world out there, just waiting for YOU to explore.  Come see us if you have difficulty, and we'll be happy to help.  


15/0 Delicas
Two hole tile beads from Czech Republic
3.4 mm Drops / Magatamas in lots of new colors
4 x 7 mm Long Magatamas in lots of new colors

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Letting Go and Beading On

 My Aloe Vera Ring

It has been a rough week for me physically and emotionally.  But it was also a spiritual adventure.  I have lived with mental illness since the age of 10.  In surviving such a thing, I've come to respect this part of myself.   It came for me this week, and out of such respect, I honorably opened the door to welcome it.   I leaned into the calling of my dis-ease and turned inward.  So, my friends,  I have been mysteriously absent from my beautiful bead shop and the online social sphere.  On the physical plane, I took good care of myself in the way I've learned.  On a strangely parallel spiritual plane, I tried something new:  I let go. I allowed myself to be carried to wherever I needed to go.  For me, all existence is like a tapestry of woven interconnection that goes beyond our wildest imaginations.  Instead of resisting and clawing my way out, I trusted the Weaver, the threads, and the mystery to bring me back to myself.  And here I am, alive, well and in the present with a new peace, and a new strength.   Ahhh, to just be who I am, to breathe in fresh air, and to be able to shift to the joy of connection with all of you.  I am exhilarated by simple well-being.  

Where does beading fit in? Beading is the touchstone for my healing. It grounds me in my own spirit when I am unable to connect to the rest of the world.  It helps me find my way back to myself as I wait patiently for time and willingness to take care of the rest.   During the past week, I have been able to learn some new techniques from Kate McKinnon's book Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Vol 1. 

 I made my Aloe Vera ring (see 1st pic, above) by following Kate's instructions for a removable belly band, wings, and horns.  It is spiky, beautiful and powerful.  Below is my latest plaything, an unnamed work in progress in which I am modifying the techniques to my own design.  

Spiky Work in Progress - Just for fun!

This book has an amazing new stitch, Modified RAW. Kate says it is not a new stitch, but I feel like it is.  It is a new and different way to create the bead pattern of RAW using a different, simpler, thread path.  The book is the work of a number of bead artists who put their heads and hearts together. Some names you will recognize, like Dustin Wedekind and Jean Power, and others you might not. But from now on you will.  This a book to make you think about beading.  It is alluring and persuasive. So much so, that I am even using Nymo again.  Something I thought I'd NEVER do.  What's more, I am enjoying Nymo - I've learned to appreciate it for what it can do and accept its limitations.  Get this book and let it take you into a parallel beady universe! We've got it, so come and make it YOURS.

Perlen Poesie is Here

 Europe's leading bead magazine, Perlen Poesie (translation: Bead Poetry) is now at Poppyfield Bead Company.  Don't be intimidated by all those big capitalized German words.  There's an English insert with a full translation.  The last 3 issues are at the shop and are now available at a special introductory price of $20.  This is actually less than the European newsstand price of 15 Euros.  I will ship to long distance customers. Just shoot me an email at or talk to me on Facebook on the Poppyfield Bead Company page.  Featured artists from these 3 issues are  Sabine Lippert, Maggie Meister, and Jean Power.

Take the Plunge - Beginner Classes 
Specially Designed for the Confused and 
Never-Ever-Beaded Amongst Us

June's Peyote Premiere in an Earthy colorway  

We have some intro level classes coming up very soon.  If you worry that you can't do it... these classes are for you.  Wendy is teaching Intro to Kumihimo - the basics of braiding using satin cord.  This is the foundation for all amazing Kumihimo beading.  It really isn't difficult to do and Wendy is an excellent teacher.  There is a class tomorrow night, Monday 3/18 6-8 PM and again on Saturday, 3/30 10-noon, if that suits you better.  With these skills under your belt, you will be able to do the Kumi Bangles, Blooming Braids, and brand new Dancing Diamonds patterns.  You will even be able to invent your own patterns.

June is teaching a wonderful peyote stitch skills workshop in her Peyote Premiere Class on 4/6 10 AM-1PM.  You will learn odd and even count flat peyote, following a peyote pattern and how to decrease.  These skills will take you far.  If you've met June, you've probably met one of her peyote masterpieces. (You won't be surprised that she was a Bead Dreams finalist).  Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn from a passionate, yet humble, peyote stitch master.

Click here to see details about classes.

Open for Registration

Wendy's Dancing Diamond kumihimo beaded necklace and original 3-D star pendant has places available in the April classes.

We still have some places in my Hollywood Sparkle Class.  There's a series on Mondays in April and another on Saturdays in May.  Learn new ways to create an explosion of crystals and pearls, herringbone rope with built-in beaded beads, the peyote stitch bezel made famous by Laura McCabe, and a beautiful hidden clasp.

More Classes Coming Soon... stay tuned!

New and Amazing Beads

Rullas and Rizos have been flying off the hooks.  These beautiful 2-holed beads begged to be explored. 
We have new displays that we are loading up Super Duo's, Twins, Rullas and Rizos.  

New Products Page
Wondering what we have in the shop?  Click on the Products for Sale page in the header and see a list. 
Call or email us if you have further questions. I am happy to ship for minimum orders of $25.  

Monday is late night and we are open til 8 PM
Tuesday is a free Wirework Meet-Up 1-3 PM

Hope to see you soon!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Endless Possibilities

Rizos in Action in
Daisies by Sabine Lippert

Welcome to the resurgence!  Lots of brand new bead shapes are just hitting the shelves at Poppyfield Bead Company. I've been out scouring the internet and my European sources to see what's at the cutting edge of the bead world.  I am happy to report that there are now exciting new beads in fabulous colors and finishes that can be used to complement seed beads.  We have just gotten RIZO beads and RULLA beads in all available colors.   Rizo beads are one holed beads that are something between a drop and a dagger.  Rullas are two-holed barrel shaped beads.  There are already lots of pics of amazing beadwork out there using Rizos....especially by Sabine Lippert, who designed them.  If you want to see more, go to and type in "rizo beads" and you won't be disappointed.  

Starburst Earrings by Deborah Roberti
Click here for a free tutorial for these earrings

Rulla beads are little 2 holed barrel shaped beads.  Both RIZO's and RULLA's come in the same colors as the Super-Duo's so they will work up in wonderful color combinations when you mix the types together.  This gives you endless possibilities.  Another interesting new bead is the "stud" - a 4 sided pyramid.  It is so new that I can't even find project examples, so you'll have to see what we come up with.  


Dancing Diamonds by Wendy Speare

Wendy has done it again!   This beaded kumihimo pattern will delight and mystify you.  The elegant rope uses size 8 seed beads and 3.4 mm magatamas (drops) to create a spiraling pattern of diamonds.  The pattern is Wendy's to share, and I dare anyone else to try to figure it out.  Hanging from a netted bail is a lovely double decker star pendant comprised of twin beads.  The Dancing Diamonds Necklace class meets on Saturdays 4/13 and 4/20 from 10 AM -1 PM.  The cost is $55 for the class (beads sold separately).  If you don't know how to braid with the kumihimo disk, you can take an Intro to Kumihimo class with Wendy on either Monday 3/18 6-8 PM, or 3/30 10 AM - Noon.  

We have places available in Hollywood Sparkle Necklace with me (Julia Hecht) and in June Malone's Peyote Premiere.  Click here to go the classes page for more details.  

Our dear friend, Sylvia Abeyta was injured in a car accident and will not be leading the Tuesday Wire Meet-up for some time.  I will be filling in for her while she recovers.  Sylvia is in good spirits, is glad to be alive,  and hopes to make a full recovery.  She has several broken bones, and it will be a while before she's back at Poppyfield.  We send all our love and wishes for a speedy recovery out to Sylvia.  

The Tuesday Free Wire Meet-Up is open to all.  The only requirement is "a desire to twist wire".  The atmosphere is casual and light.  Bring your tools, wire, and beads, or purchase at Poppyfield.  It's a fun and low-key, friendly way to learn new wire skills. All levels are welcome, including those who have NEVER EVER worked with wire.  

Remember.... Monday night is late night at Poppyfield Bead Company. We are open until 8 PM.  

Hope to see you soon.