New links for Gluten Free information

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I just received a request for information on Gluten free sites. I have started a linked list on the left side of the page for web sources. Please feel free to send me information on any that you would like to be added to the listing.

Whole Foods and Glueten Free products

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I just recently had the opportunity to vist the new Whole Foods market that opened in our area. What a treasure trove of goodies, if you need Gluten Free products! Did you know that they even have gluten free baked goods in their fresh made bakery? I found bread, that actually tastes like bread, several kinds of cookies that are just yummy, pretezls that you can't tell from the regular kind, and all of the various flour substitutes for mixing my own Gluten free flours. I was amazed to find that they even carried Xanthum Gum, which I haven't found outside of the internet!

Now....I need to make my shopping list and go shopping. I want to experiment with making my own breads that don't need a forklift to carry them! I'll keep you posted and I go.

Handmade gifts...can it get any better??

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I just love! You haven't heard of it?'s the newest thing in the handmade market! It started back in November, 2008, and has been growing by leaps and bounds. It has a great support staff that is extremely responsive, and is constantly striving to provide more benefits to its artists. The best part is there is no sales commission on items you sell. It also has active, friendly forums and Guilds/teams that afford helpful advice. The guilds are a good place to find artisians with like interests. Many are actively promoting their members and skill sets. If you are looking for a place to sell your handmade items, you should check out

I was recently browsing member artisians in the Artfire Artisian Jeweler Guild that I belong to. I'd like to share a few of the artisians that I was most drawn to.

AAE-artglass has beautiful dichroic glass pendants, complete with supporting necklaces. They also have earrings available. She says of herself "I am always educating myself and attending classes and seminars about the art to keep up with cutting edge techniques and new and exciting products from the glass world. Currently, we are in the process of developing a line of glass fusing images that will be copywrited by us for re-sale to other glass artisans."

I'm going to have to invest in a couple of pendants to incorporate into my beadwork. They are so lovely that I just can't resist. Here's one that I especially liked:

Another outstanding artist is Gravelroadjewelry This artist has gorgeous wire worked jewelry that in many cases incorporates stones and/or glass. The designs are original and beautiful.
Here is an excerpt from the site: "Currently I am focused on wire wrapped jewelry in sterling silver and go to great lengths to provide beautiful and interesting items that are sturdy and durable to my customers. I use only quality materials in the jewelry I create and I hope you can find a piece in my shop that you will enjoy wearing as much as I enjoyed creating."

--These are the types of items you just can't find in traditional stores. If you are like me, and don't like to see everyone else wearing the same thing you are, check out the artists at There are many other types of artists on the site besides jewelry artist. These are just the ones I viewed today.

Basic Beaded Crochet rope

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After seeing many questions on Facebook about bead crochet, I created this video for beginning a bead crochet rope. I hope it is helpful for some of you.

Bead Crochet Ropes

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I've seen several posts about bead crochet ropes on Facebook groups that I belong to. I wanted to post info on two books that I have found useful in learning to do bead crochet ropes. This is a tough technique to learn from books, and is best learned from taking an actual class. I have taught this class before, and it seems that people who have previous crochet experience do NOT really have an advantage. The only advantage they may have is being more comfortable with holding and maneuvering the thread.

The first book is a hard bound book by Ann Benson. It's titled "Beaded Crochet Designs". This book explains the types of cords, hooks, beads, reading a graph, invisible joins, and has good diagrams. It also has a beautiful variety of designs and instructions. This is a book that I refer to frequently for ideas. The list price when I purchased it was $24.95.

The second book is a soft bound book, about twenty pages worth, and lists for $22.95. Even though it is lean on pages, it packs a lot of information and photos between its covers! The photos are very clear, and it too covers a wealth of information. This book is "Bead Crochet Ropes" by Judith Bertoglio-Giffin

I also came across a link that provides very basic instructions by this same author.

I would suggest using slightly larger beads, 6o seeds rather than 8o seeds, and a heavier cord than jeans stitch cord. I personally like to work with upholstery weight thread, but suggest CLon cord when you are first learning. If you work with a stiffer, heavier cord to begin, you will experience less dropped stitches and it will be easier to see the loops of the stitches. You can think of bead crochet ropes as an inside-out crochet. The crochet sits on the inside of the tube, and the beads cover the stitches on the outside of the tube.

After you master the basics of the technique, the types of bead combinations is unlimited. You can see several types of crocheted ropes in my store at Artfire: If you type "crochet" into the studio search box, you can view only the crochet rope items.