Retro Blooming Necklace

RETRO BLOOMING Necklace for CHA 2016

RETRO BLOOMING Necklace Workshop Created for CHA 2016

“Make a cutting edge leather necklace using components from the Tropical Punch line by John Bead Corp in association with Sizzix machines and brand new dies created by Jill MacKay.   Mixed media has never been this hip…until now!   A workshop literally to die for.”  Workshop by Carmi Cimicata

Soft Leather

This workshop was created to showcase our soft leather sheets and some of the unique components in the Tropical Punch jewelry making collection.  Since the workshop techniques were demonstrated in person, these pictures are a good summary of what you need to do in order to create something similiar.

cut1  RETRO BLOOMING Necklace for CHA 2016

The Retro Blooming Necklace stands out because of the layered leather blooms.  We were able to create and cut the flowers with special dies from the Jill Mackay collection. Thank you Sizzix for allowing us to use your new “Movers and Shapers” dies for workshop.

Tip – You will be able to die cut more flowers if you cut your leather into smaller shapes. There will be less waste. (see picture above)

RETRO BLOOMING Necklace for CHA 2016

You can cut as many flower shapes as you may want for your necklace. Some of my pieces are over the top with more than three layers. You may prefer far fewer flowers on your necklace.  Simply cut and build layers until you are satisfied with the groupings.


I used a tiny dab of glue between each flower layer to secure it in place.  For the layer on top I added the special circular bead.

RETRO BLOOMING Necklace for CHA 2016

The bead I used as the flower centre is a Preciosa Ripple™. I sewed mine with a tiny bead anchor to give my necklace more of a hand-finished appearance. RETRO BLOOMING Necklace

I only sewed through a single layer of leather.


One good stitch with a knot holds the bead in place. Then I glued the layers of leather together. The Ripple bead covers the tiny hole in each flower and any possible glue seepage. (Notice where I added glue.)

NOTE: If you do not enjoy sewing, you can glue the bead in place too.


I worked on a non-stick surface so I did not accidentally glue my leather flower to my table/work surface.


I always let glue dry overnight if I can.  In a classroom setting, we are on the clock, so it was great to be able to use a fast glue such as Quick Grip for this project.



To make the flowers wearable I used Tropical Punch polyester pipe for my necklace.


I created the tiered look by cutting my pipe to the length I liked and taping it in place to maintain its shape.



I added a pendant bail slider to my last polyester pipe cord before gluing on my end caps.


The bail slider allowed me to add this special lucite Tropical Punch flower to the necklace. Then I glued my leather blooms to the polyester pipe necklace so that the lucite flower was perfectly framed.


If you do not like working with frayed ends (1),  you can tape your polyester pipe before cutting it (2)  or use a flame to seal the edges (3).


The Tropical Punch endcap I picked has a deeper center, so I cut my cords into a triangular shape so that I could glue them properly into the cap.  This allowed the cords to sit side by side snuggly in the cap with glue.


If you are working on a beading board, place a little masking tape under any area where you apply glue.  This way your project won’t accidently stick to the board if glue seeps out.

Your last step is to add a clasp.

Retro Blooming Necklace

I used these products from John Bead Corp.

Soft leather sheets – Retro Pink and Black Suede   75103102-05 + 75103100-00

Tropical Punch Polyester Pipe   75001000-01 (available in many colors)

Tropical Punch Findings   26002001-03

Tropical Punch Lucite Flowers   28400684-04

Pendant Bail Sliders   26002053-01

Bead Design Board   74530132

Quick Grip Glue

Czech Preciosa Ripple Beads  27800957-01s5

Global Chic Tapestry and Crystal

Global Chic Tapestry Cord Necklace by Carmi Cimicata and Nancy Donaldson

Global Chic Tapestry and Crystal Necklace for John Bead by CHA Designer Member: Carmi Cimicata

This week we are participating in a special blog hop with nearly 60 Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) members from around the world who are coming together to help us celebrate the CHA MEGA Show 75th anniversary.


Welcome to the John Bead blog if you are a new reader.  Our blog hop showcase will feature a unique new stringing material we recently released called Global Chic Tapestry Cord.  This wonderful cotton cord is filled with fiber allowing designers to sew it with ease.

Global Chic Tapestry Cord

I asked CHA designer Nancy Donaldson to play with the cord during a session in my studio.  She pinned the cord into marvelous shapes and twists.  She could see many wonderful designs from the moment she began to manipulate the cord.

DSC03064 copy

A few strategic stitches with a needle and thread held her curves in place permanently.


Our unique findings sets at John Bead include these endcaps.  Two tapestry cords can be glued snugly into the cap and the ends look professionally finished now.

Hot Fix Crystals

When the necklace was secure it was time to bring out some crystals.  John Bead has a very large assortment of hot fix crystals.  These gems have a special glue on their backside that need to be heated before the crystal is applied.


Some locations on my necklace allowed for a bigger crystal.  In other areas I wanted just a tiny glittery highlight.


I used a Hot Fix Applicator which comes with different tips to apply different sized crystals.


The crystals catch the light when you wear this necklace.  I love the contrast between the cotton fiber cord and the glittery crystal.

The entire Global Chic collection will be presented at the CHA show in January.  Stop by our booth to see it and our other finished jewelry samples.



Nearly 60 CHA members from around the world are coming together to help us celebrate the CHA MEGA Show’s 75th anniversary for a whole week – Monday, December 7 through Friday, December 11.  You’ll have plenty of chances to enter to win the $500 Visa gift card each day of the hop, on any of the participating blogs. Everyone is eligible to win, whether you’re in the U.S. or international.  Learn more and enter to win $500 by reading more here.

Their are just three entry options to win our $500+ Visa gift card:

1.  Leave a comment on your blog (mandatory) answering the question – “What is your favorite “can’t live without” craft supply or tool?”

2.  Tweet about the giveaway  (tweet text includes #CHAshow hashtag; can tweet daily for extra entries)
3.  Answer a multiple-choice poll about how often you “cre8time” for crafting  (double entry value)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

John Bead Workshops in California for CHA

W702 (300dpi)

Friday January 8, 2016  6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Join free-spirited designer Suze Weinberg and learn how to mix bright colors to design an asymmetrical necklace created with high-tech components from the Tropical Punch collection by John Bead.

W808 (300dpi)

Saturday January 9, 2016  –  6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Make a cutting edge leather necklace using components from the Tropical Punch line by John Bead in association with Sizzix machines and brand new dies created by Jill MacKay. Mixed media has never been this hip…until now! A workshop literally to die for.


W1007 (300dpi)

Monday January 11, 2016  – 8:00AM – 11:00AM
Fernando DaSilva, John Bead’s head designer will show you how to glamorize soft leather and well-made Lucite components. Leave the room wearing a girlie and ultra trendy cuff that combines products by John Bead’s coolest product lines: LeatherWorks and Tropical Punch.

The Midnight Leaves Soutache Statement Necklace

Midnight Leaves

This soutache statement necklace by Nancy Donaldson was commissioned to showcase our fabulous line of soutache cords.  The necklace was displayed in our “New Innovations” booth at the Craft and Hobby show earlier this month.

In our It’s Soutache manual written by Fernando DaSilva (released in the fall of 2014) Soutache was described “as one of those materials that defines not only a look but also a whole technique.  Recently, Soutache has become popular among many European designers excited by the endless possibilities this material provides to their creations.  The technique requires a lot of precision and a certain finesse to handle and stitch trims together.”  There are many applications for this fantastic trim and the main rule is that you must insert your needle in the centre of the soutache groove with every stitch.  That can be challenging and requires practice.

When we released our Soutache manual, Nancy was given an early copy along with some of our cords to experiment.   (she is a regular contributor of projects on this blog)  We assumed that she might make a few of the projects in the book.  We never imagined she would immerse herself into soutache, teaching herself new and unorthodox ways to use the cord.  Our Creative Director Fernando DaSilva recognized her talent immediately and met with her to select a color palette and theme for this necklace.

Many recognized soutache jewellers pre-plan their designs with mathematical precision.  Nancy is much more free with her designs.   She creates individual pieces that are collaged together.  She does not glue her sections into one single backing pad.

Her piece is also unique because some sections are left open.  The sections that are padded showcase our fish leather in a way that sets Nancy apart from other soutache designers.  Our fabulous tilapia leather created the perfect texture when paired with soutache trims and beads.   Her finished necklace is not stiff.  It conforms to curves on the body beautifully.  She also created matching cuffs that sit perfectly on a wrist.

The cabochons used by her in this necklace are “JB Vintage Atelier.”  Selected by Fernando just for this design they are incorporated in a way that is fresh and appealing.  We are proud to showcase this new soutache designer’s masterpiece.

What Nancy Used To Create Her Necklace


Dazzle-it Soutache Cords

75000900-11   Wine Soutache Cord

75000900-46  Acai Soutache Cord

75000900-45   Alloy Soutache Cord

Fish Leather

751-35101-02  Light Grey Suede Fish Leather

751-35101-03   Plum Suede Fish Leather

751-35101-01   Black Suede Fish Leather


27758101096 313  Swarovski 6mm Lavender Pearl

27758101245 001  Swarovski 12mm Light Grey Pearl

27758101160 328  Swarovski 8mm Blackberry Pearl


45s 1960206004700 Preciosa Siam 6mm

45s 1960204004700 Preciosa Siam 4mm

27004139 Czech Fire Polished Garnet 6mm

27004137 Czech Fire Polish Garnet 4mm

27290000-41 Ori Crystal Donut Amethyst 4x6mm

680-02069  Czech Square Metallic Mix 3.4mm

45s1960203003600 Preciosa Round Jet 3mm

45s1960204003307 Preciosa Round Jet 4mm

45s6930205003600 Preciosa Round Jet 5mm

JB Vintage Atelier

Black Cabochons


Czech Rhinestone Cup Chain

Tropical Muse by Brandi Jasmine

Tropical Muse by artisan Brandi Jasmine was commissioned by us for our 2015 events.  It was exciting to unveil her at the Craft and Hobby show this past weekend along with our brand new show booth.

The theme was selected by our Creative Director Fernando DaSilva who wished to see images incorporated such as slices of tropical fruit, birds, feathers and bugs.

Brandi is using Czech glass seed beads and Czech flat back crystal stones exclusively.  She has her own application technique for this mannequin makeover.

“Jade” is the name of our muse and she is a work in progress.  The bottom half of the mannequin will be completed in 2015.

The Latest from John Bead – Introducing Tropical Punch!

We at John Bead are stepping into the New Year by inviting you to take an imaginary trip to a faraway land that has been in the American spotlight for almost two decades. We are excited to introduce our new program inspired by the colors and flavors of Brazil under our house brand Dazzle-it! – Make it shine.

 Inspired by the colors and rhythms of Brazil, John Bead & Dazzle-it™ invite you to turn your life into an endless Summer.

Transform your DIY section into the most colorful and fun creative space on earth.   Talk to one of our sales associates and add Tropical Punch to your design creations and blame it on Rio!

The Tropical Punch Package Design

Tropicalismo is the artistic inspiration behind our product line.

It was an art movement that exploded in Brazil in the late 60’s and early 70’s and crossed many artistic disciplines, like music, poetry, dance and writing.  It critiqued and challenged cultural norms. The followers of the movement were intellectuals from different cultural backgrounds but who had in common the ideal of a cultural melting pot,  i.e. the musicians who like to mix samba drums with electric guitar and were huge fans of American pop culture.

Influenced by this art movement, our creative manager, Fernando DaSilva (who is Brazilian) hand drew the artwork for our package which summarizes all the elements that were the main sources for movement.

 There are over 100 products in the complete Tropical Punch Collection.

We are launching our Tropical Punch collection this Saturday in California at the Craft and Hobby Show.  

The ordinary becomes extraordinary with this exciting new program.

Editorial photo taken to promote the latest product line by John Bead & Dazzle-it!
It’s all about Lucite, Plexiglas or acrylic components to create fun and vibrant Jewelry inspired by the colors of Brazil.
Designs by Fernando DaSilva
Photo by John Bead Corp.
All rights reserved. 2015

The Latest from John Bead

The New Year is here and by the time you receive this message we will be well on our way to exhibiting at our first trade show of 2015.  We are unveiling a brand new show booth with all new jewelry samples commissioned exclusively for us. 

In this, our 61th year, we note that we had the opportunity to reminisce in 2014 about the “good old days” in 1954 when our family used to sell Czech seed beads out of our home.

Going into 2015 we have so much more to offer.  To begin, allow us to share our brand new magazine; ‘the Latest – John Bead.”  It contains most of our new catalog additions except for a few soon to be released product extensions and new programs.

The new catalog is organized so you can find the latest, hottest and freshest items from our Dazzle-it!™ & Metal Complex™ house brands and from the other brands we represent as well.  We are excited about giving you an inspirational tool with a fantastic range of jewelry making components that will be a feast for the eyes of hobbyists, designers and crafters.

On January 10, at the Craft and Hobby Show in California, we are launching a top secret and brand new DIY jewelry making collection we call Tropical Punch.  The ordinary becomes extraordinary with this exciting new program.

We are releasing a brand new booklet; Rings by Giovanna.  This step-by-step project booklet features original Czech seed bead rings created by American designer Giovanna Fiume exclusively for John Bead.

As a leader worldwide in seed bead sales we have commissioned new artwork that celebrates this special bead.  The seed bead will be showcased in an amazing new technique in our new show booth.  We expect this project to garner social media attention through photo opportunities in our booth. 

Soutache also continues to grow in popularity.  We have a show stopping new statement necklace and maker to reveal at CHA this weekend.

Metal Complex™ has a bigger catalog.  In 2015 we continue to see leather strengthening in couture fashion, so we have added more leather items to our Leather Works program.  We also have an interchangeable jewelry range named KLIK.   Create, klik, & repeat is a new twist on customizing jewelry without compromising style.  It was created for the avid DIY designer who wants to make the most of their investment without compromising style nor trendiness.

Our Dazzle-it!™ line keeps growing and we are excited about releasing a nice variety of products that will make your customers eager to create.  Due to many requests in 2014 for embellishing and bead embroidering, we have added more sew on stones to our collections.  Just wait until you see them all together in one glittering display!

Some additional special items you can expect to see and learn more about in both our new publication and in our new show booth include:

  • New leather crafting tools, findings, cords, faux suede sheets and more
  • Cotton Wax Cords in new colours and sizes.
  • Soutache cords in a wide colour palette
  • Rose Gold Findings
  • Czech Piggy Beads
  • Preciosa® Pellet™ collection expanded to now 45 colors
  • Preciosa® Pip™ collection expanded to now 45 colors
  • Preciosa® Thorn™
  • Preciosa© Villa™
  • New Swarovski 3 New Season Launches
  • Miyuki® Delica Opaque Duracoat pastels

We look forward to meeting you in person and online this year!


Are You Going to The Craft and Hobby Show?

John Bead will be there and we have two great workshops you can sign up for.  The conference registration begins tomorrow!

Mega Show 2015: Conference & Education Artisan Workshop: Tropical Sensation Bracelet

Friday January 9, 2015    3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Soutache, used in the 16th century to make a wide range of trims and tassels as well as in bookbinding, is now one of the hottest trends in jewelery making. Lengths of soutache are stacked to create a visual element and stable base for crystals. It can be curved and shaped into many patterns.  Fernando DaSilva takes soutache to a playground where style merges into attitude with pizzazz. Class  sponsored by Dazzle-it! – a house brand of John Bead Corporation.  Instructor: Fernando DaSilva

Mega Show 2015: Conference & Education Artisan Workshop: Create, Klik© Repeat

Sunday January 11, 2015     11:30 AM – 1:30 

Your personal touch is “just a klik away” with the Metal Complex’s new product range cleverly titled “klik©.” Sensational new looks can be created and then modified with interchangeable jewelry. In this workshop, resin diva and designer Carmi Cimicata will teach how to add your own flair to blank bezel snaps, which can be filled with resin, epoxy, beads and more. Create unique and coordinated jewelry that’s trendy and versatile with an incredible added value.   Instructor: Carmi Cimicata