The Great, Big Bead&Button Book Giveaway!

May 20, 2013, 06:07 am  Posted by Nathalie Mornu

If you’ve been to Bead&Button, you know how amazing this event is: beading royalty around every corner, exciting classes, happy crowds, funky hair color, zillions of products to choose from. (Oh, and miles of corridors to walk…grin!)

So many Lark Jewelry & Beading authors are going to be at the show! In celebration, we’re giving away one great big set of 20 books—all of these were written by Lark authors attending B&B 2013. Here’s what one lucky winner will receive:

To enter for a chance to win these 20 books, simply leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 27, 2013. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries on May 28, 2013. Click here for the official rules.

The 20 books are:


Anneta Valious

We’re celebrating the release of the new book Soutache, written by Anneta Valious, with a fabulous giveaway! Three lucky winners will each receive a copy of the book, still hot off the presses. And—drum roll, please—one extra-lucky person will win a copy of the book PLUS a piece of jewelry made by the author and featured in the book, the gorgeous Zenith Bracelet shown below!


To enter for a chance to win one of the four prizes described above, simply leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 23, 2013. The winners will be selected at random from among all eligible entries on May 24, 2013. Click here for the official rules.



Releasing Soon: Soutache, by Anneta Valious

May 13, 2013, 06:21 am  Posted by Nathalie Mornu

If you haven’t yet discovered jewelry made with soutache, you’re in for a treat. And if you have seen this type of jewelry before, you’ve probably been wondering how to make it. Mystery solved! Be on the lookout for the new book by Anneta Valious (the first ever covering this technique in the English language), releasing next month!

Soutache is a type of braid or trim that’s been around for centuries. For a long time, it was used to embellish garments, but check out this wee sneak peek of projects taught in Anneta’s book to see what beautiful things it can do for jewelry!

Pretty dazzling, huh?

Check Lark’s blog again on May 15, 2013, for a chance to win not only a copy of Soutache, but a project from it!


Suzanne Golden, Just for Kicks

March 28, 2013, 15:45 pm  Posted by Nathalie Mornu

Pretty early in the process of producing Suzanne Golden Presents, I learned that Suzanne is kuh-razy about footwear. (No surprise, you’ll spot bead-encrusted shoes in the book—those would be by artists Nick Cave, Tom and Kathy Wegman, and Marina Dempster, who all make other types of art as well.) To celebrate the book’s release, I asked Suzanne to share with us 4 or 5 pairs of her current favorite kicks. (All photos courtesy of Suzanne herself.)

Shoe by Simone Rochas

Shoe by Givenchy

Shoe by Prada

Shoes by Calvin Klein

Another shoe by Simone Rochas

Click here to check out Suzanne Golden’s website and view her extraordinary beadwork.

Read my previous post about Suzanne here.

Suzanne Golden Presents features artwork by, and interviews with, 36 trailblazing bead artists from around the globe, with all content curated by Suzanne Golden. It’s currently on deep, deep discount online at a ridiculously low price—less than $5!—so order your copy before the price goes back up.


Suzanne Golden Works It!

March 21, 2013, 13:27 pm  Posted by Nathalie Mornu

You probably know that the incredibly cool book Suzanne Golden Presents releases in stores in roughly 10 days. Yaaaaay! In honor of Suzanne and her book, I’ll be posting Q&As with her for the next few weeks.


Nathalie We’ve worked together on this book for more than a year, and between all our emails and phone calls, I’ve gotten to know you a little bit. So I’m aware that you work out with some frequency and that your gym is currently featuring you in its advertisements, which are appearing both in magazines and across New York City. What, currently, are your favorite songs to work out to?

Suzanne I don’t work out by myself—I’m always in a class and listen to what the teacher plays.

  • Give Me Everything, by Pitt Bull with Ne-Yo

    Double vision: Suzanne next to a phone booth displaying an advertisement for her gym.

  • Crazy In Love, by Beyonce
  • Just Can’t Get Enough, by The Black Eyed Peas
  • Rolling in the Deep, by Adele
  • Knock on Wood, by Ami Stewart
  • Rain Over Me, by Pitt Bull featuring Marc Anthony
  • Take It Off, by Ke$ha
  • Grenade, by Bruno Mars
  • S&M, by Rihanna
  • New Divide, by Linkin Park


Click here to check out Suzanne Golden’s website and view her extraordinary beadwork.


Suzanne Golden Presents features artwork by, and interviews with, 36 trailblazing bead artists from around the globe, with all content curated by Suzanne Golden. It’s currently on deep, deep discount online at a ridiculously low price—less than $5!—so order your copy before the price goes back up.


An Interview with Zoya Gutina: My Lovely Beads

October 18, 2012, 16:14 pm  Posted by Nathalie Mornu

Zoya Gutina has a lot on her bead tray: she hosts a popular website (www.mylovelybeads.com), a bilingual monthly illustrated newsletter with more than 7,700 international subscribers, and an annual juried online bead contest, the International Fashion Colorworks Beading Contest.

Zoya grew up in the USSR and has lived in the United States for more than 15 years—first in NYC and now in Alexandria, VA. She has a studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center (www.torpedofactory.org), artist studios and galleries in the D.C. suburbs, and she is the only beaded jewelry artist who’s had a studio there in 38 years.

In January 2007, Zoya started www.mylovelybeads.com, and that June, she began sending out her English and Russian newsletter. The content of Zoya’s newsletters (you can find the archive here) ranges from features on certain gemstones and minerals, interviews with bead artists, upcoming events, coverage of bead fests and fairs, and much more.

In 2010, My Lovely Beads began hosting an annual juried online bead contest, Fashion Colorworks. This year, 125 bead artists from 28 countries competed, submitting 191 pieces. You can view the full gallery of entries here and see the winners here.

Bridal Flowers Necklace

What inspired you to launch Fashion Colorworks?

I noticed that among the few bead competitions, there are no truly international contests accessible to artists around the world. I love working with color, and I saw that for many artists, choosing color combinations is quite a challenge. That’s why I decided to launch the Fashion Colorworks Beading Contest, which has a qualified jury, online coverage, and nice prizes. As an organizer, my favorite stage of the contest is the preliminary round when I get submissions. It’s so exciting to see how different artists bring their design ideas to life and solve problems associated with the specified color triads!


You and your husband moved to Alexandria in 2006. You said you chose it partly because it’s “a city rich in arts and history, and it has an amazing artist venue: TFAC What are your favorite places to visit for inspiration?

I love Alexandria. It’s a very vibrant city with an abundance of flowers and colors. I don’t have to look far for inspiration; an abundance of ideas comes to me on the fly from the world around me and overwhelms me. I sometimes share my ideas, images, and color combinations with my artist friends, and they use them in their works too. I love all of nature and the whole world surrounding me—it helps me a lot in my work, an endless source of inspiration.

Golden Bells Necklace

How does it feel to be the only bead jewelry artist in the TFAC in 38 years? How do TFAC visitors react to your work?

Beading is traditionally considered a type of craft, and I understand that in 2008 the authoritative jury granted me a great credit and I had the honor to be juried into the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association. Of course, this is a great responsibility and I need to confirm by my creativity and designs that the selection of the judges was correct. I take this with calm but with pride.

Every day I hear many pleasant words and compliments from visitors. Visitors often bring their family members into my studio just to show my jewelry. It’s a great honor for me. They leave fantastic reviews in my guestbook, ask many different questions, and just stand and watch me work. It is especially touching to see men or young boys stay in the studio for a long time, thoroughly looking at the details and expressing admiration of my work.

Very often I hear, “This jewelry should be worn only by the queens or Hollywood stars!” and I gratefully smile and tell them that I would be glad if this ever happens. I consider myself a very lucky person because wonderful people for whom I create my work surround me.

Art Nouveau Restored Necklace

Describe your beadwork’s style and aesthetic.

My bead artwork is romantic in style, and my main theme is nature. I’m getting closer and closer to the aesthetics of art nouveau. I’m moving in that direction.

What are your favorite materials to use?

Some of my favorite materials are seed beads from 11/0 and smaller (especially the Czech charlotte beads), as well as all Swarovski elements, including pearls; I’d also list Czech fire-polished glass beads. I like experimenting and I try to use various materials in my work—from wood and metal to silk and brocade.

What is one of your favorite pieces that you’ve created?

A work of art for the artist is like a child to the mother, so I hope I do not hurt my other work if I say that I have at least two I distinguish from the others and that visitors show a special interest in. They are Art Nouveau Restored and Poppy Field. When I was granted membership to the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association, the first artist who shared a studio with me was the well-known Nancy Reinke, who passed away two years ago.

Poppy Field

A short time before her death, Nancy made a priceless and beloved gift for me—a few samples of antique passementeries [ornamental trimming made of cord, braid, etc.] she found in her trunk. The sparkling passementeries were made using original antique Czech charlotte beads that were more than 100 years old, and the idea of my future beadwork came to me immediately: it should feature the fashion and art trends of that time—art nouveau. So, I dedicated the Art Nouveau Restored Necklace to the beloved memory of Nancy Reinke.


These Are Your Favorite Bead Stores!

March 19, 2012, 16:15 pm  Posted by Nathalie Mornu

You may recall that around Valentine’s day, I put up a blogpost in which I asked you which bead store you love.

Here are the results I promised you. 145 readers commented on the blogpost, and roughly 10 people responded on Facebook or emailed me directly. Huge thanks to all who participated!

The hands-down winner was Ornamentea in Raleigh, North Carolina, with 36 commenters raving about it! Congrats!

The Bead Place in Fairview Heights, Illinois, took second place, with 23 readers writing in to give it kudos.

Third place goes to Stony Creek Bead Shop in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with 9 comments.

The Bead and Glass Boutique in Pitman, New Jersey, and That Bead Lady in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, tied for fourth with 7 comments apiece. 



Mhai O Mhai Beads Bauble & Bling in Barrie, Ontario, Canada



Fire Mountain Gems and Beads



Dancing Beads in Medford, Oregon

ShipWreck Beads in Lacey, Washington

Beyond Beadery



Sparkle Spot Bead Shop in St. Petersburg, Florida

Bello Modo



French General in Los Angeles, California

The Spirited Bead and Klew’s Gallery in Tehachapi, California

Studio Beads in Deerfield, Ilinois

Whim Beads in Cotati, California

Chevron Trading Post & Bead Co. in Asheville, North Carolina


New York City’s garment district

General Bead in San Francisco, California

Fusion Beads in Seattle, Washington


Grand River Beads in Rocky River, Ohio

1 comment, in no particular order

Your Beading Heart in Irwin, Pennsylvania, which gets my vote for the cleverest shop name of all!

Das Perlament in Bonn, Germany. This is another ingenious name…I couldn’t find a website for them.

The Beadin’ Path in Freeport, Maine. Another punny one!

Bead It in Santa Cruz, California. Dang it, now I have Michael Jackson on permanent shuffle in my head!

Bead Junction in Toronto, Canada

Artful Beads and Studio in Pennington, New Jersey


Bead Cellar in Pennsauken, New Jersey

The Artful Bead in Carrollton, Texas

A Grain of Sand

Bodacious Beads in Des Plaines, Illinois

Beyond Beadery

Blue Santa Beads in Media, Pennsylvania

Pam’s Bead Garden in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Beads of Contentment in Modesto, California


Gifts of Avalon in Gainesville, Florida

Crystal Beads of Boston in Franklin, Massachusetts

Bead Need in Davie, Florida

National Supply in St. Louis, Missouri

Wolf E. Myrow in Providence, Rhode Island

Sandy Schorr in Fort Worth, Texas

Knot Just Beads in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Caravan Beads. No city was listed, and there are at least two shops by this name: Caravan Beads in Portland, Maine OR Caravan Beads Chicago

For those of you who parlez français, there’s Perles and Co.

Alaska Bead Company in Anchorage, Alaska

Mariposa Bead Company in Barrie, Ontario, Canada

The Bead Garden in Sedona, Arizona

Beads by Blanche in Bergenfield, New Jersey

Creative Castle in Newbury Park, California

Elliot, Greene and Co. in New York City

CJS Sales in New York City

Mana Beads in Nevada City, California

Beadfx in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Buffy’s Beads in London, United Kingdom

I Love You Beads in Sydney, Australia





San Gabriel Bead in Arcadia, California

4 Sirius Beaders in Paris, Ontario, Canada

The Beading Frenzy in San Mateo, California

The Bead Shop in New Orleans, Louisiana

Awright, yawl: laissez les bons temps rouler!


Here’s a new monthly featurette–a write-up by any and all of you about your local bead store. It’s useful information for anybody visiting a new town and wanting to check out the bead stores. I invite you to send in your own dispatch about a bead purveyor in your hometown. For more information about submitting, see the italicized section at the bottom of this post.


My Local Bead Store, Chevron Trading Post & Bead Company

By Nathalie Mornu

Here in Asheville, we’re lucky enough to have three bead stores plus a couple of craft chains, so there’s no shortage of beadiness. Beads & Beyond and Chevron Trading Post & Bead Co. are downtown, and Silver Armadillo is a mile or two from the center of town. I chose Chevron for this “report” because it’s only a block from my office.

Chevron has beautiful paper stars in its windows to entice customers in---these lanterns are for sale inside.

So, what’s great about Chevron? Plenty.

The bead selection is outrageous! Bali silver, African trade, crystals, Indian glass, vintage, seed beads and more seed beads, art glass, gemstones, pearls, cabochons, carved wood, Czech glass, bone. And that’s just the major sections of the store! You can buy most beads by the piece, rather than in strands or prepackaged in baggies. (Seed beads are sold by the tube, of course.) My only suggestion for improvement would be to beef up the filigree department. Chevron carries findings galore in every finish of metal, nearly 100 different sorts of chain, silk ribbon and other stringing materials, feathers, minerals, tools, and wire. You’ll find the latest magazines and a good selection of books. There’s some nice jewelry for sale. They also offer classes. And if you hunt around, you’ll find all kinds of unexpected oddities. Today I noticed replica Tibetan locks and keys for sale. Too cool.

The staff is knowledgeable, friendly, and definitely interested in what you’re making. Every time I go in there, an employee comments positively on my project or asks what I’m going to do with my purchase. They’re all so sweet!

Here's Angela, at your service!

After a hard day of peyote stitching, Kitty can't bother to pose for the camera.

A gorgeous saltwater aquarium harmonizes nicely with the hues of the beads around it. There’s a store dog–a big ole sweet lab named Millie–and a store cat. I just love a shop that keeps pets around, don’t you?  Once you’ve shopped til you’ve dropped, go across the street to the Lab, a restaurant/brewery. After recharging with a little snack and a drink, you’re ready to walk up the block to Tops for Shoes. You did bring your charge card with the highest limit, didn’t you?



We encourage you to submit a post about your local bead store! It can be anywhere on the planet. Simply write a few paragraphs about the shop, making sure to include the town it’s in, and your name. Take a digital picture or two of the exterior. Only take interior shots and photos of people if they give you explicit permission to use them on larkcrafts.com’s blog post. Email text, store photos and a picture of yourself, too, to mylocalbeadstore@sterlingpublishing.com. Once a month, I’ll pick a submission at random and post it, giving you full credit for writing it, of course. (Lark reserves the right to edit your writing so you’ll sound your best!) In exchange for your trouble, if your review gets chosen for posting, I’ll send you a copy of any single Lark book you want, as long as it’s in print and available in our North Carolina offices.


What’s Your Fave Bead Store?

February 10, 2012, 15:43 pm  Posted by Nathalie Mornu

Yesterday, a colleague asked me where to buy some specific beads. I’m so used to going to the bead store 2 blocks away that I couldn’t really suggest the best place for her to look.

That made me wonder where you shop. What’s your favorite bead shop ever, the one you could spend hours in and blow your entire bank account on?

 Share your opinion by leaving a comment. The store can be online (give us the website address) or anyplace in the world (tell us the name, city and country; website if you wish). In a month, I’ll collate and count all the responses and post a list of everyone’s votes in order of preference. That’s bead democracy!



Joyce Scott Exhibit

November 16, 2011, 13:06 pm  Posted by Nathalie Mornu

If you’re in New Orleans, be sure to check out a new exhibit of jewelry by legendary beader Joyce Scott, some of it in collaboration with jewelers Shana Kroiz and Lauren Schott. The show is at Thomas Mann‘s Gallery I/O.