What ever happened to? Fads or passing fancies?

Have you ever considered what ever happened to some of your favourite beads, and jewelery techniques? Did the faeries steal them, or did they simply fall out of fashion?

I blame an awful lot on magazines, because they need to keep flogging trends. New products and techniques, sell magazines!!! There is nothing wrong with that, but what’s wrong with the older products and techniques? What’s up with Soutache Embroidery? What is Soutache braid? According to Interweave, “it’s basically a flat decorative trim or ribbon that’s traditionally used for concealing a seam on clothing”, but it could also be used to decorate clothing. My grandmother made my mother’s wedding dress.? It was heavily decorated with looping swirls of Soutache braid. Simple, beautiful, and elegant!

While still used in clothing, Soutache is also used, in combination with beads, to make jewelery. According to makezine.com, “lengths of Soutache are stacked to create a more solid visual element and a stable base for the addition of beads.” I’ve tried this technique! You use fairly simple stitches, but then I needed to wrestle the beads in place. It isn’t as easy as it looks! Like everything else, it requires patience, instruction, and practice! It’s also colourful, and just plain fun!

While browsing through a book by Amee K. Sweet-McNamara (she even taught at BeadFX), I realized that Soutache will never be in my bailiwick! Angela Peace taught classes at BeadFX, but I haven’t seen any scheduled for a while. Has the fad passed? Should it be revived?

what ever happened to

what ever happened to

Then, what ever happened to Toho, Triangle beads? They sat on the shelf, until Jill Wiseman (she taught at BeadFX as well), released a video! They flew off the shelves, but now they’re quiet again. Sigh!

What about Shibori Ribbon? It was heavily used in bead embroidery for a few years, but I haven’t seen anything about it recently (and BeadFX never stocked it). Based on past experience, I always wondered how someone would ever clean jewelery, made out of hand dyed, and pleated silk. Was it a passing fancy, or perhaps it just did not stand up to normal wear-and-tear! Sherri Serafini, certainly didn’t think so! But then rock stars buy her jewelery!!

what ever happened to

what ever happened to

what ever happened to

What ever happened to this blog writer, figuring out how to best organize her stash? Also, why does she wander off, every which way, exploring new products, and techniques? Do you have any, what ever happened to questions, dear readers? Do you want me to research anything for you?


  1. Lori

    I don’t know if you’re the website maintainer or whatever but, Thank You, you Bead Goddess (God?) You, for making my face smile every time I read one of your newsletter emails, or the mini blog on your webpage. Love your sense of bead humour! Live long and prosper!!

    1. Anne Marie

      Nope, not me! I work and teach at the store, but Dwyn is our website guru, newsletter writer, and the bead humorist extraordinaire!!! I like to think that I’m a little funny too (LOL!), but restrict myself to writing a beady musings blog post every Tuesday.

  2. Patricia Hood

    Such a timely post for me. I have been gathering inspirational examples (aka “pinning”) soutache, shibori and bead embroidery lately. I want to try these techniques at least once (I have all the soutache supplies just need to get started). There are tons of amazing pieces from Russia, Europe, but not much from North America. Many of the pieces require a lot of flare and courage to wear, so is it a cultural thing, only for N.A. rock stars? I’ve also seen that in Australia and Britain, macrame has been a returned trend for a while, one that is becoming more prominent in Canada. As for figuring out how to organize your stash – I fit mine in a variety of storage containers put into a sewer’s travel cart – the kind that fits a sewing machine on the bottom and a serger on the top. The two pieces stack. The top section is removable with a carry strap and the bottom section has wheels and an extendable handle. If I am teaching a class, I can take everything with me. Beading supplies can be heavy, so it’s great to be able to load each section separately into the car, then stack and roll at my destination. At home, the two sections store in a cupboard, either empty or full, depending on how much jewellry work I am doing and I have a full range of supplies at hand. Extras stay in the cupboard until I need them.

    1. Anne Marie

      Hi Patricia,

      Thanks for your comment! You don’t mention where you’re from. If anywhere in Toronto, I do teach an Intuitive Bead Embroidery Class, and the next one is mid-April. Angela Peace is another one of our instructors, and she teaches micro-macram, and Chinese knotting. If you’re looking for bead embroidery in North America, check out the work of both Sherri Serafini, and Heidi Kummli. Both amazing artists!

      Your bead-storage sounds ideal! If only I could carry mine with me! LOL! That’s quite impossible!

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