Beads on the Kennebec

Beads on the Kennebec, located in Augusta, Maine is a premier beading store, conventiently located, offering a huge variety of beads, beading supplies, and classes for the beginning, as well as advanced, beader.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Crimpers and Knotter and Knitters....Oh Joy!!!

SANTA paid a visit to the shop over the weekend and brought some brand new toys for all your beading joys. Check out these hot, new tools that are designed to make your beading experience easier and therefore even more FUN!!

First up is the newest innovation in crimping. The 1 STEP CRIMPER. Just position your crimp tube, squeeze once and you have a perfectly formed and tightly fastened crimp. No more squeezing, turning, squeezing and slipping off the crimp and making several passes before you get it right! One squeeze and you are done!
 Next up, the brand new EASYKNOTTER!, And this is the easiest knotter, this beader has ever seen!  I’ve been asked on more than one occasion to teach a class on KNOTTING.  I admit, I’ve been putting it off because, well, everyone has their forte and knotting has never been one of mine.  Some people can make perfect, consistent knots every time.  I may go along fine for a few and then one isn’t snug enough or is too tight and slips inside the bead.  Wanting perfection, I usually start all over again until I get it right.  What a waste of cord (and time).  Well, wait until you try the newest and easiest knotter to come along.  Even I have fun knotting now!  Just make a very loose knot, pass your end beads through the loop, place the loose knot on the pin in the center of the board and slide the knot to the previous bead.  You can knot one bead after the other as with pearls or, use the hand measures on the board to space your knotted beads out along the piece.  Sooooooooooooooo easy and actually fun to do.  Check it out.  you’ll never go back to other methods.
Last but certainly not least is the LAZEE DAIZE VIKING KNITTER. If you love doing Viking Knit or would like to try it but think it’s complicated and time consuming, you must try this new Viking Knitter. No more taping a starter piece to a dowel and struggling to get the end of the wire under the next loop. This knitter gets you started in a snap, expands as the chain does and finishing is a breeze!

All three of these innovative tools are in house for you to try. All will make your beading experience even more enjoyable! And, let’s face it, that’s why we bead. To enjoy the creative experience.

Take a break from shopping, wrapping and traffic! Stop in and have some fun with these super new tools.

There are also plenty of earring kit and quick supplies to make last minute gifts (or something to go with that new holiday sweater you got for yourself) and you can still earn BEAD BUCKS, through Friday, Christmas Eve.

Reminder of HOLIDAY HOURS:
I’ll be open TUESDAY – THURSDAY FROM 10-5, and FRIDAY, (CHRISTMAS EVE) FROM 10-2. CLOSED CHRISTMAS DAY! I will be closed next week for inventory and will reopen on Tuesday, January 4th for regular business hours.

If I don’t see you have a wonderful Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year.

Happy Beading,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Hours and BEAD BUCKS!!!

For the past several years I’ve put together a Basket Full of Beads and Beading supplies worth over $250 and you were able to earn chances toward winning it.  Everyone had fun earning chances and dreaming of winning that big, beautiful basket.  There was just one problem.  There was only one winner.  This year I’ve decided to share the wealth and the fun for everyone!  Instead of a “Beading Basket Give-a-way, You can earn BEAD BUCKS which equal money in your pocket to spend later.   From now through Christmas Eve, for every $25 you spend, you will receive $5 in BEAD BUCKS which you can redeem just like cash in January.  Redemption will be the last week of January 2011 and there is no minimum purchase required in order to redeem them.   It’s a win-win for you.  Buy the items you need now to finish up your Holiday Gifts and earn money to spend next year on something new and wonderful for yourself.  (Incidentally, the timing on redemption will put you in good shape for Valentine’s Day items and gifts).  So, come on in and earn for next year, while you finish up this year! 

The shop will be open for normal hours (Tuesday – Friday 10-5 and Saturday 10-3) for this week.
The shop will be open for normal hours Tuesday, December 21st – Thursday, December 23rd.
The shop will be open from 10:00 AM to 2:00 pm on Friday, December 24th (Christmas Eve). (Make sure those getting gift certificates know about the early closing)
The shop will be CLOSED SATURDAY, DECEMBER 25TH (Christmas Day), and Closed for the following week for INVENTORY.
We will reopen January 3rd and resume normal business hours.
So, take advantage of BEAD BUCKS and stock up to hold you over until January.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Big Sale November 10th through November 14th!!!

Hello to all of my wonderful customers. I can’t thank you enough for your loyalty and support over the past three years since I’ve owned the shop. You are why I am here doing what I do, and by continuing your support and patronage, you are the reason I will continue to be able to provide quality product and services to the beading community. The current economy has exerted pressures on local brick and mortar stores, over and above the usual day to day demands on our creativity and pocket books. Those of you who (like me) are of an age to subscribe to AARP, may have seen a recent article about how buying locally can help support your local economy and ensure that our cities and towns maintain their uniqueness. The article, “Livin’ La Vida Local” states in part, “We're finally getting the point across that if you spend $100 at a local business, $45 stays within the community," says Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher with the nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance. "Spend $100 at a national chain and only about $14 recirculates." Buying local is also about trading superstore sterility — and packed parking lots — for something more unique”. "……. it's all about the experience," says Mitchell. "You enjoy walking to the bookstore during the day and to a restaurant in the evening. It's about choosing the quality of the experience over the cheapest option." (Click here for full article.)

I’m happy to be one of those small shops who provide a unique experience. Many customers have told me that this shop is charming, cozy and relaxing to spend time in. And, those who comparison shop, have commented that the merchandise is top quality, the selection is outstanding and the pricing on most items is much lower than many other shops. As for service, if I don’t have what you need in stock, I’ll do my best to find it for you. I’ve expanded the inventory to include more pearls, strands, tools, kits, wire supplies and crystal. So, if you haven’t been in for a while, stop in and check out all the new goodies. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you’ve been missing.

To thank all of my loyal customers, welcome back those who have been away for a while and really kickoff the “creating and crafting for the holidays” season, I’m offering BIG SAVINGS on many items in stock. This week starting Wednesday, November 10th thru Saturday, November 13th, take 25% off the already low prices for CZECH and CHINESE CRYSTAL STRANDS, reg. $2-$8.10, now $1.50-$6.08

40% off all SWAROVSKI PENDANTS (An easy gift with magnificent bling, just add a jump ring or bail and a cord or chain. Done), Reg. $1.5-$21.25, now .90-$12.75

40% off all MIYUKI BEADING KITS (make them up yourself or pop them into a stocking),

Reg. $7.95-$25.60, now $4.77-$15.35
40% off all POLYMER CLAY BEADS- Including Butterfly Strands (light weight and one of a kind), Reg. .50-$32.50, now .30-$19.50

and 50% off all LAMPWORK BEADS and all PANDORA STYLE  BEADS AND BRACELETS in stock.  (Choose from crystal, stone, Murano glass, cat’s eye, Mille Flore, venetian and more) Reg. $5.50-$30.00, Now: $2.75-$15.00
Don’t miss this first ever 4 day event! 

There are still a few seats available in the classes scheduled for this week.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11TH from 6-8 PM, CUBES AND PEARLS BRACELET will be a hit with your BFFs when they receive one this holiday season and with you when you see how easy they are to make. And they’re oh, so comfortable to wear. Skill Level: Beginner. Fee: $25

MIG IS BACK this Saturday, November 13th with more wonderful wire projects for you and for holiday giving.  The morning class starting at 10:30 is for the “CAGED PENDANT”.  This is such a striking piece that you’ll receive raves where ever you wear it. It will be the favorite gift of anyone lucky enough to receive one.  Call to register today.  This class won’t be offered again until spring.  Skill Level: Novice (some wire experience recommended)  Fee: $65

Back by popular demand, the ARROWS BRACELET class will be reprised Saturday afternoon from 1-3 PM.  This intriguing little bracelet always gets a lot of attention.  Do it up in sterling silver or copper with your choice of 3mm accent beads.  A wonderful way to express yourself.  A great gift idea, too.  Skill level: Intermediate.  Fee: $65.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn to create the fabulous VICTORIAN CRYSTAL HEIRLOOM ORNAMENT in time for this holiday season.  They are deceptively simple to create yet so stunningly beautiful.  They amaze anyone who receives one and will be a treasured keepsake for generations to come.  This is a two part class.  Part One, on Thursday, November18th, will get you started on the basic netting for the body of the piece.  Part Two on Tuesday, November 23rd, will show you how to  secure the netting over the orb and begin embellishing with crystal drops.  These ornaments are one of my favorite pieces to make.  I always get an olde fashioned holiday feeling while working on one.  Start your family tradition by reserving your seat today!  Skill Level: Beginner.  Fee: $45 (includes both classes)

The shop is also stocked with everything you need to create fabulous jewelry fashions and gifts for the holiday season.  Supplies are in for all of your favorite holiday earrings (Crystal trees, snowmen, angels, etc.), charms to create necklaces and bracelets or dangle off a special bookmark, snowflake forms to create your own special ornaments and much more.  Stop in today.  We have everything you need to make your holidays “sparkle”.

On behalf of myself and my fellow Downtown Merchants, THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING LOCALLY! (Be sure to check out the other wonderful shops in town for items you won’t be making yourself. You’ll be amazed at what they have in store!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bead Bucks!

The weather may have been damp the past couple of days, but the foliage is still breathtaking! And lasting far longer than usual. The next time you are in the shop, take a look out the classroom window (but do it soon). The trees along the river and around the band stand are amazing! Bring a coffee (or I’ll make you a cup of tea) and relax and take in the beauty for a while. The rush of preparing for the holidays will soon be upon us. So, take a few moments to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. One of my favorite sayings came to mind as I was taking in the view yesterday. I should make it my mantra and say it every day to remind me of what is really important. You’ve probably heard it, but it’s worth repeating. It goes, “Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.” Enjoy this beautiful season while we have it. It will give you stamina for the rush ahead.

When you stop in to enjoy the foliage, don’t forget to bring in and redeem the Bead Bucks you earned during the trunk show a couple of weeks ago! The walls and bins are full of beautiful new stones, crystal and more to give you inspiration for holiday jewelry, gifts and d├ęcor.

Check out the class schedule on line and delight in learning a new trick or two, or, stop in to pick up a flyer. Speaking of classes there’s a new one in the lineup. We’ve had a high demand to repeat the awesome ARROWS BRACELET class. So, don’t wait to reserve your seat for Saturday, November 13th, from 1-3 PM, with Mig.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bead Sale and some Class Pictures

BLACK AND ORANGE SALE: With Halloween just around the corner, we’re having a BLACK AND ORANGE SALE!! This Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 21st-23rd, ALL BLACK AND ORANGE BEADS WILL BE 25% OFF AND ALL HALLOWEEN KITS WILL BE 40% OFF.

I just wanted to share some of the fun we’ve had lately. These two beautiful necklaces are first time projects from our last BEADING BASICS class with Marie Alexander. This set is a design by Debbie Fischer done in Wood Jasper chips and red malachite focal pieces.

The set below is by Laura Gill in Mother of Pearl chips, beach glass donut beads and furnace glass. Great Job, first timers!! (next Beading Basics class is scheduled for Saturday, December 18 10:30-12:30 - just in time to create a last minute Christmas gift)

Happy Beading,


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Keith O'Connor Trunk Show October 9th - and NEW BEADS!!!

REMEMBER: KEITH O’CONNOR will be here this Saturday, October 9th starting at 10:30, with trays and trays of beautiful and unique Raku (an ancient Japanese technique), Porcelain and Pottery Beads.  Each bead is lovingly shaped, fired and glazed by hand.   Keith will be happy to chat with you about the process and his wife Laurie is a font of ideas on how to use the beads.  She will be glad to demonstrate techniques for stringing and finishing jewelry pieces using these wonderful works of art.  Don’t miss out on fun, food and fabulous handmade beads and a chat with the artist himself.  Pictured below are samples of Keith’s work.

The days and nights are getting cooler (and darker) and the new stock in house has me really wanting to spend my evenings beading up holiday goodies.  Check out the uber bling below.  You must see  them in person.  The photos do not do them justice.
These are 8X10 mm faceted rondells in the most amazing and rich multi-colors.  Pictured are plum/gold, royal blue/plum, aqua/plum/gold.  (Not pictured gold, bronze and silver).  These come 25 beads per strand for UNDER $5.  Get ‘em while they’re hot!

Again, seeing in person is everything, but these 6mm rondell crystals are gorgeous.  They come in royal, aqua, (perfect holiday) red and green, champagne and topaz.

Pearls, pearls, pearls, in addition to the glass pearls that I showed you last week, there are fresh water pearls in many sizes, shapes and colors, from tiny seed pearls to keshi. 

FIRE AGATE is back in stock in new colors, sizes and shapes. This is just a sample.

BEAD BUCKS ARE BACK!!  Come in this Saturday, October 9th, and earn BEAD BUCKS.  For every $25 spent on merchandise, you will receive a $5 BEAD BUCK coupon to redeem at a later date.  So, stock up on Keith’s beads and get a jump on your holiday beading supplies and have FREE MONEY to spend later.  (Promotion does not include classes, gift certificates, books and magazines).

Happy Beading,


Friday, October 1, 2010

New Items in Stock!!!!

The arrival of Fall makes me want to space, my time, my beading projects. I sort through my bead tray(s), find the UFOs (unfinished objects), separate them into baggies and number them according to how involved they are to finish or fix. “Easy” being, this item needs a clasp or a jump ring. “Involved” meaning, this needs to be completely reworked or started over. Then when I have a little time I finish up one or two of the UFOs before I begin an exciting new project. BEADER’S NIGHT OUT is an excellent time to tackle those UFOs. The first Tuesday of each month (next Tuesday, October 5th for this month), is when we meet. There is NO FEE for the time. Just come on in and bring whatever project you are working on. If you need a certain finding, you have the shop stock right here to find what you are looking for. Plus, it’s a great way to meet and commune with other beaders, see what they are working on and maybe share or pick up a new trick. Call and let me know you will be coming as seating is limited.

TRUNK SHOW: Pottery artist KEITH O’CONNOR will be here next Saturday, October 9th, with a trunk full of his amazing RAKU, PORCELAIN and POTTERY BEADS. Keith’s beads have been featured in national beading magazines, including the popular “STRINGING” magazine. You will be able to see what’s new and shop his wonderful selection at a special “show price” for that day. This will be our THIRD ANNUAL Show with Keith and his wife Laurie who will be on hand to demonstrate some techniques for stringing the beads and creating closures from waxed linen and other materials. There will be munchies to pick on, great conversation, new tricks to learn, and of course, beautiful beads! Don’t miss it!


Here are a few items that have arrived this week. Stop in frequently as new beads and things arrive daily.

Beautiful Mother of Pearl Chips......................................................and look what you can do with these creamy chips and the NEW Beach Glass pendant and earring DONUTS!
Looking for something different?  These HELIX crystals are Chinese made but have all of the shimmer of the “famous” brand at a fraction of the price.  Must see in person to really appreciate their beauty and unique shape. 

Rich Ruby jade and royal blue quartz:

Glass pearls in wonderful colors for fall, (super luster):

Dragon Blood Jasper in all sizes and shapes:

And for HALLOWEEN: Skeletons carved in real bone.  Spooky.

Don’t forget, we have beading KITS now available in ghosts, witches, bats and other fun Halloween themes.

Happy Beading,


Monday, August 9, 2010

Trunk Show Saturday August 14!!!!

On this Saturday, August 14th, world renown Maine wire artist, Mig Lemire, will be presenting her first ever Trunk Show here at Beads on the Kennebec. Many of you who have taken her classes here at the shop are already familiar with her work and know what a talented artist and teacher she is. Now is your chance to see the full scope of her work up close and personal. And for those of you who have admired the photos of her class projects, but haven’t yet mustered the courage (or found the time) to attempt one of her classes, this is your chance to purchase one of her unique wire wrapped creations. She’ll have a full sampling of her work with an emphasis on beach glass harvested here on the coast of Maine. The show will run from 10:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. This is just a sampling of some of Mig’s creations in beach glass and vintage Swarovski:

The other event going on this Saturday, takes place down the street at Stacy’s Hallmark Store. Stacy’s is one of only16 Hallmark Gold Crown stores in the country to have been awarded a prestigious Signing Event this year. For those of you who are collectors of Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, the name Tammy Haddix may be familiar to you. Ms. Haddix is one of the most beloved members of the Hallmark Ornament community and she will be signing ornaments at Stacy’s this Saturday, August 14th. This event is expected to draw a large number of Hallmark Ornament fans from all over the country. If you would like to know more about this event, please contact Stacy’s Hallmark Gold Crown Store at 623-3781 or go to

In honor of this special event, Beads on the Kennebec will be offering a 25% off sale on hand beaded ornaments. For those of you who haven’t been able to take the ornament classes, (or hand beading is not your forte), this is your chance own a very special beaded ornament at a very special price. Also, receive a free PhotoBead from the Netherlands with a purchase of $40 or more.
Other merchants here on Water Street will be offering specials and events of their own. Chase Farm Bakery in the Old Federal Building will be offering a trunk show of their own by local artisans. Visage and Downtown Gifts and Crafts will also be offering specials. So, plan to make a day of it. Tour the street, stop for coffee and something sweet (find a lovely spot on the river to sit and enjoy it), and see what your talented neighbors are up to.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Cinderella Project

Perhaps you've heard about it already, but, I've just become aware of "The Cinderella Project". It's a wonderful program where formal dresses and accessories are collected and made available to young women across the state to make their prom night, "a night to remember".
Prom time can be a wonderful experience for teens, but, it can also be wrought with feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt. Prom attire can be costly and many families, feeling the economic pinch of these times, can barely afford necessities let alone formal attire for one night.

The Cinderella Project allows us to be "Fairy Godmothers" to teens who may not be able to afford the transforming feeling of belonging as an equal, on one very special night of their young lives.

This is the 4th year of the project here in Maine. Gowns and other attire will be given away to any young lady from the State of Maine with the one stipulation that the girl must do a good deed for someone else.

This year's event will be held from 10am-6pm at Reny's Plaza in Belfast, Maine on Saturday, April 10th, 2010. It is first come, first served.

Sought after items include: "Gently" used Gowns or Dresses, Accessories, Jewelry (of course), Shoes, and unopened Make-up.

Many of you have commented to me that you love beading so much that you have a surplus of finished jewelry and don't know what to do with it all. Well, here's a chance to put it to good use and make a young lady feel like a fairy princess for one night. (And you'll feel so good that your own glow will outshine the bling that you bring).

I have volunteered to be the drop spot for the Central Maine area. Items need to be dropped off here at the shop, no later than 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 8th. If you wish to make the trip to Belfast yourself, donations will even be taken at the door on the day of the event. If you wish to volunteer, you may contact: Mandie Sawyer at: .

Here are some other links for additional information: , .

Thank you in advance to any of you who are willing to "Wave Your Magic Wands" (dig in yours or your daughter's closets) and help create a magical evening for a budding princess.

Come on fellow Godmother's, I know we can do it!

Thank You,


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Non-fat Donuts - and New Items in Stock

The skies have been brilliant blue the past couple of days. Enjoy it while you can, this weekend will not be quite as nice. What ever the weather outside, you can create your own Dazzling Day by coming in and creating some beautiful bling with Mig Lemire. Our own wire guru is back this Saturday, March 13th, with two amazing classes. Starting at 10:30 in the morning, you will learn Border Wrapping on flat backed stones. This is a technique you'll use over and over again. This is one of the Basic Wire classes so even if you've never worked with wire before, you'll come away with an amazing piece and a new skill to add to your repertoire.

Over the past several months I've had a number of people comment on "Donut Beads". They have been featured in a number of beading magazines lately. The unusual round flat gemstone beads with a hole in the center are intriguing, but not many people have a clear vision of what to do with them. I've been asked to have a class to show what you can do with these beautiful gems. Here again, Mig is truly amazing. Ask her to create a design for "Donut" beads and you'll get not one, but three amazing designs. "Gemstone Donuts" will be held Saturday, March 13th at 1:00 P.M.. Bring Donuts you already have or choose from the selection here in shop. Either way, learn what beauty you can create with donuts. Don'(u)t delay! Call and reserve your seat for either of these great classes, today!

This is certainly the week for wire. The newest Step by Step Wire magazine just came in and is chock full of lovely new designs. And, Don't miss the special edition of Wirework. This is a one time publication and won't be out for long. Get it while it lasts.

With spring approaching, crosses are in demand whether you're making a rosary, or a necklace for Easter, First Communion, Confirmation or Wedding. There is a new selection of crosses and rosary center in stock in both sterling silver, pewter and plate and more coming in. Check back frequently.

WIRE RESTOCK!! The Artistic Wire has been restocked. There is plenty on hand.
Mig and I hope to see you all this weekend.
Till then, Happy Beading!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cabin Fever 2010 Contest

Over the past couple of week, I've heard customers saying things such as, "I'm so over winter, I can't wait for spring". And, "I have no energy, I need someting to motivate me". Well, thanks to the inspiration of Basics Instructor, Marie Alexander, I am please to announce THE FIRST EVER:


Winter in Maine. What does that make you think of?
a.. Skiing?
b.. Snowmobiling?
c.. Admiring the sparkling white beauty of our State?
d.. Crocus peeking out of the snow?
e.. Maybe it's hopping a plane and flying off to a tropical paradise!

Beat those winter doldrums by participating in BOTKs Cabin Fever 2010 Contest!


1.. Deadline to submit designs: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, by close of store.
2.. All designs must be submitted with complete entry form (see Linda)
3.. Designs must be original and must fall into one of the following wearable categories - Necklace, bracelet, brooch or earrings.
4.. Entries must be submitted with complete materials list. 80% of materials must come from BOTK.
5.. Designs may be by a single person or a collaboration.
6.. All designs will be returned to their owners on or around April 30, 2010.


Grand Prize: Best of Show will receive a Gift Certificate for $100.00 to Beads on the Kennebec
First Runner up will receive a Gift Certificate for $50.00 to Beads on the Kennebec
Second Runner up will receive a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Beads on the Kennebec

So, think about what winter in Maine means to you. Here's a look at some inspiration from Marie entitled "Ice Forming on a Maine Pond".

Call or stop in if you have any questions. Just, HAVE FUN!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Beads and Bridal Charms

When you think of spring your thoughts also turn to brides. If there is a wedding in your spring or summer plans, there are new charms in house to enhance the bridal party's jewelry.
There's a beautiful heart in sterling silver for the Bride, Bride's Mom, Groom's Mom, Maid of Honor and Flower Girl. Use them on a charm bracelet or as a hang tag on the back of a necklace. However you choose to use them, they will be a wonderful keepsake from your special day. These pieces will need to be special ordered, so come in early to check them out.

Do you have a special someone in the armed forces? Here is a wonderful way to keep them close to your heart. This is a sterling silver Dog Tag Locket and is available for each branch of the military. Stop in to see them and to order one for yourself or someone you love.

Last week I told you that the beautiful multi-colored crystal was back. Well I now have it in three more sizes. There is the original 12x10 and now 10x8, 8x6 and 6x4. One of each size will give you a fabulous graduated necklace, bracelet and earring set.

Come on in and see the cool new beads and colors. It will help chase the end of winter blahs away.

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Items in the Store

For those of you who missed the opportunity of getting (or didn't get enough of) these gorgeous crystals, they are back! 10mmX12mm they are fabulous bling!
Gold flecked Murano beads in a variety of colors
Tiara frames,combs and hairclips in gold and silvertone to embellish with pearl, crystals, seed beads or whatever inspires you to create gorgeous hair ornaments

Saturdays' Wire Class with Mig

Saturday's wire class with Mig:
Everybody getting down to business
Taking a moment to 'smile' for the camera!
Tools, wire and (oh so dazzling) beads at the ready
Mig, showing the finer points of working with wire