Yeesh, why does everybody have so many questions??? Lemme try to answer a few here and save both of us some grief....
What's the difference between Silver Plated, Sterling Silver & Fine Silver?  
Okay, let's make this easy....

Silver Plated - means that a base metal, usually copper, is coated (electroplated) with a very thin layer of silver. You still get the bling, but without the high price.

Sterling VS Fine Silver - Think of silver as being comprised of 1000 different parts. In sterling, 925 of those parts are actual silver and the other 75 are an alloy (again, usually copper). This is why you see some sterling pieces stamped with a ".925". Fine silver works the same way, only it is comprised of 999 parts silver and 1 part alloy. Fine silver is reeeally soft due to the lack of copper for strength.

Make sense?
What Are Base Metals?  
High school chemistry says that it's "any of the metals on the lower end of the electrochemical series, or the principal metal of an alloy".

I use the base metals brass & copper for some of my pieces. And while copper isn't really a base metal (its a pure metal & contains nothing but...well, copper) these are the ones that will turn your skin green if you experience metal allergies. This happens when you perspire or get your jewelry wet. No worries though...they can be coated with a few layers of clear nail polish so that you don't look like you have gangrene.

Don't shy away from jewelry made from these metals. They are very cool and are a great choice as a step away from all the bling of silver or gold,
What's The Difference Between Seed Beads And Cylinder Beads?  
Beads are beads are beads....right? Wrong!

Czech seed beads are shaped like a slightly flattened ball with a hole through the center. The center holes are small and the side wall of the beads are thick, not allowing or many thread passes. This makes for broken needles, frustration & a general state of screw this-ness.

Japanese seed beads are shaped the same. Round with a hole in the center, but they have larger centers and thinner side walls, making for a better/larger workspace "inside" the bead.

Japanese cylinder beads (my personal fave, with good reason)....these are the sweetest beads you will ever get your hands on. They are precision cut, very thin side walls and huge centers. Instead of being round they are shaped like a soup can with the ends cut out. They can accommodate up to 15-16 thread passes, and they come in a ton of insane colors!
What's Lampworking?  
It's hot as hell, that's what it is! Blow torch, melting glass. Hot! The process, in short: glass rods heated to melting point in an insanely hot flame. The glass is then wound around a steel mandrel to make a bead. It's then embellished with different colors of glass, frit, metals or other chemical processes. Then it's made into something ridiculous and sold to you.
How Do I Care For My Seed Bead Jewelry Pieces?  
I wish more people asked me this question. Some people just come to me after they've ruined their pieces and wonder what went wrong. Pay attention, my friends....I make them with a needle and thread. Hence, NOT WATERPROOF! Not stretchproof, not vodka proof (trust me on this one), and not dog or cat proof.

It takes lots of time to weave the pieces you see here, one bead at a time. All you need to do is wear them and love them. But here are a few reminders for everyday care....

1. If you wear perfume on a regular basis, spritz yourself and allow it to dry completely before you put on your seed bead pieces. If you spray after you have it on, the alcohol in the perfume base will damage the threads, weakening them. It can also jack up the color of the beads. Not to mention, after a few months and a few different scents, you'll smell like a hooker. There's a deterrent, huh?

2. If, by chance, you get caught in a rainstorm or thrown into a swimming pool, or get an entire bottle of vodka spilled on you (again, trust me here) while wearing your seed beaded piece, just take it off. Yep, that's right. Take it off as gently as possible without stretching it or pulling at it and lie it as flat as possible. Let it dry so the threads don't stretch & the piece doesn't become out of shape.

Basically, treat these pieces as you would treat any piece of fine jewelry that you own. Its just as delicate, if not more so. Following these tips will keep your beaded jewelry in tact for years to come.

Got it? .... Good!


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