Monday, March 14, 2011

Etsy Supply Street Team - Team ESST - March Madness Event - March 16 - 19, 2011!

Search TEAM ESST For Your Crafting Supplies!
Come & be a winner with us!  During this event many of the supply shops of Etsy Supply Street Team - Team ESST - will have special offerings just for you!  Look for incentives such as sales, shipping specials or perhaps even a gift with purchase.  Offerings will vary by shop and the list can be found on our team blog beginning March 16th.   See you there!

Our Etsy shop Beadbrats Vintage Beads will be including a free gift of vintage glass flower beads with every purchase of $25.00 or more.  Don't forget our every day shipping specials:  U.S. Domestic - orders of $25.00 and up get FREE 1st class shipping & International - orders of $60.00 and up get a 50% DISCOUNT on 1st class shipping cost.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Vintage Adventure - Nailheads Unwrapped!

This little photo essay shows a brick of vintage Czech nail head beads from start to finish.  The beads measure 11mm, are jet black & have 2 sets of holes (aka "double drilled").  Before I unwrapped them I made sure to photograph the package from different sides and then I went on to it's contents.  The beads inside were in very good condition but not all were neatly strung as I had hoped so there were a number of broken red threads.  They were also really dirty, something not unusual in beads left wrapped for so many years.  The paper wrapping dries out, starts to break down and becomes brittle so when it's disturbed it often crumbles and makes a mess.  I will start with a loose strand and work my way backwards:

Front side showing the pressed facets.

Back side showing that it's plain & smooth.

A large master hank of nailhead beads.

The side of the package with some of the nailhead beads peeking through.

The end of the package showing the original label.  "Jais" means "Jet" as in black.

The front of the package.  I've always loved the brown paper & string packages -
there's something very "old world" about them.
The interpretation of "vintage" (where beads are concerned) has become somewhat fast and loose over the years.   Due to the miracle of technology there is a wealth of images and information at our fingertips.   What is lacking, however, is the ability to examine the beads to determine whether or not they are what they are supposed to be.  This is not to say that beads are being misrepresented - that's a whole other blog in itself.  The problem is that often times when beads have changed hands over and over again their provenance gets kind of muddled.  It's a treat to have them in their original wrapper and there is no doubt that they are vintage Czech.  I've enjoyed sharing this with you.  Any questions?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day - November 11, 2010

Remember  -  Honor  -  Support

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  

~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Friday, October 1, 2010

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Knowledge is power!  I urge you to take a moment to learn about how important early detection is in the treatment of breast cancer.  If you have ever been touched by this disease you will understand the devastating effects it can have.  Early detection does save lives and the best way to fight breast cancer is in it's early stages.  Please don't think that it can never happen to you - it has affected far too many lives and needs to be stopped.

There are many web sites that will inform and inspire you.  Here's just a few where you will find facts, chat forums and peer support:

Of course a Google search will turn up lots more.  It doesn't matter where you look - just please look!  For your sake and that of your loved ones.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...Hey...Wait A Minute!

OK, so now it's official, the holiday season has begun.   What holiday you ask?   Well, here's the thing.  It's Saturday and I am sitting here enjoying a cool breeze from my window fan while listening to the radio and yet another commercial comes on.  Although I've got it mostly tuned out a familiar refrain breaks in ... "Never was there ever such a Christmas Show..."  Say what???  Oh man, I guess it's time to get ready for Christmas since Radio City Music Hall is already advertising their Christmas Show on the radio.   Can TV spots be far behind?  

Seriously folks, it's still Summer.  I winced when someone recently mentioned on Etsy that it was "only 93 days 'til Christmas" or some such nonsense.  That is just so wrong!  It's actually more like 98 or 99 (what a relief - more time to shop).  Now look, Autumn doesn't start for a couple of days, the neighborhood brats have finally gone back to school and I'm not having to keep ConEd in business running my air conditioner ever night.  Could you give us just one itty bitty break and can the Christmas stuff for a while.  Please?

Every year it's earlier & earlier.  I am predicting that next year we will have combined Labor Day & Christmas 4:00 am door buster sales all over the place.  Oh well, guess I'm gonna go order my Claxton fruitcakes & hang my lights.  I just hope they don't get caught in the fan! 

October 14, 2010 Update:  Well, at least they let us get past Columbus Day before slamming us with TV ads!  Yup, I just saw a TV commercial for Radio City's Christmas Show.  Man, I gotta get those lights up...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Memoriam

In memory of all who perished and in support of
who survived.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How To Buy Vintage Beads On Etsy

Part I:  The Basics - There are no simple hard and fast rules to follow but as a vintage bead seller I would like to offer some common sense advice.  Buying beads, especially vintage ones, can be an emotional experience.  Beads are beautiful little pieces of art and the old ones have a sense of history that doubles their appeal.  Such a divine feast of unusual beads await us and  inspiration can be spontaneous!  The artist in each of us responds to their color and texture while the designer in us processes their size and shape.  With such a variety of beads to choose from at what point does the price conscious shopper in us kick in?  Sometimes not soon enough.

Part II:  Caveat A Lot - This part is where the reality of the transaction has to be considered.  Since the advent of internet sales we have all gotten a little lazy when it comes to doing our homework.  If no one has told you this before then let me be the first - just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it's accurate.  OK, there now, it's all out in the open.  The internet is awash with beady inaccuracies.  Like old wives' tales bead lore often get handed down without benefit of a little fact checking.  If you are buying vintage because their provenance calls to you then I urge you to do a little research and reading.  C'mon, it's fun and you will enjoy it!  If you could care less then skip this part but remember that age often equals higher prices so maybe you'll reconsider your position. 

Part III:  How Much Do They Really Cost? - My intention here is not to comment on bead prices but I will urge you to consider the "how much for how many" rule.  If seller A has a lot of 50 beads listed for $7.00 & seller B has the same exact beads listed at 12 for $3.25 then which is the better buy?  Now side by side like this the answer is obvious that seller B's beads are actually twice the price of seller A's beads.  However, when you are looking at numerous listings will you take the time to comparison shop this bead?  Probably not.  Here's my suggestion - take your Etsy surfing one step further and check prices.  Search the description of the bead you are looking at in the "supplies" category of the search bar and see what you get.  It might surprise you.  Now there is always the possibility that you don't need or want 50 beads.  If this is the case then take a moment & send a convo to seller A and ask for a half lot.  You'll be surprised how many sellers will make reserved listing just for you with the quantities that you want.  It never hurts to ask.

I will continue this series with more vintage bead information in the near future.  In the meantime please feel free to email me at: or send a convo through Etsy at: with any questions.  Oh and by the way, we are seller A & with rare exceptions we will be happy to list smaller lots of our beads for you.  We love questions and we answer them pretty promptly!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Good Beads Come In Funky Packages - A Great New Etsy Listing

Follow this link to see the listing on Etsy
One of the most important things you discover in the quest for vintage beads is that they can be hidden by funky and sometimes even nasty packaging!  Dirty boxes and filmy looking plastic packaging can hide absolute treasures and a far from pristine outside can often conceal the most perfect vintage glass beads inside.  Case in point are these just listed on Etsy vintage Japanese glass beads.  They were still sealed, well stapled, in a rather cloudy looking plastic bag.  These beads were handmade and still held some release powder in their holes making them look even less appetizing.  Opening the package I discovered what gorgeous beads these actually were.  Snow white rounds with rich emerald green spots and sparkly aventurina trailings.  Follow the above link to see them up close!  Just goes to show that the expression "You can't judge a book by it's cover" applies even when it comes to beads!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two Fun New Etsy Vintage Bead Listings - Autumn Leaves On Wire & Black Diamond Crystal Mix

I couldn't narrow down my favorite Etsy listing for today so I am previewing two different ones.  I have been saving these lovely vintage leaf beads with wire stems until it got closer to fall.  A welcome break in the weather today brought hope that summer will in fact end and autumn will arrive.  These are just delicious!

The next selection is a mix of vintage Swarovski Black Diamond crystal beads that just about scream "Make me into earrings!"  I hope you will, too.

Select you favorite in my Etsy shop & enjoy!