ODDS & ENDS
I often get asked what clasps are best to use use and where I get the clasps I use on bracelets in my patterns. I think everyone has different tastes when it comes to clasps. Some people prefer toggles and some hook and eye clasps. I don't have any set rules for selecting clasps. I usually have a good selection on hand and make a decision based on what I think looks good to me, or if the bracelet is a gift, what type of clasp I know the giftee prefers.
I do, however, have my favorite places to buy clasps:
In addition, you can make your own clasps out of beads:
Just remember that there is no right or wrong when it comes to selecting a clasp. It's all a matter of personal preference so just go with your gut. For years, I only used hook and eye clasps but now I use a lot more toggle clasps. You'll find that your tastes change over time.
Beaders often email and ask what beading software I use to create my patterns.
I don't use any "beading software" because what is out there is really for peyote, loom or brick stitch patterns (graphs), which I don't really do. I'm a freelance desktop publisher/graphic designer by day so I use the same software that I use for book and magazine work to create my patterns: QuarkXPress
or Adobe InDesign
(for layout of text and illustrations), Adobe Illustrator
(for creating the individual step by step illustrations), Adobe Photoshop
(for cleaning up photos I take of finished pieces with my digital camera) and Adobe Acrobat Professional
to make the PDF.
These apps are expensive and not all that easy to learn but I use them all the time for work and have already made the investment in time and money so I stick with them, but moreso, I just don't know of any other apps that do the job as well. If you find any, please let me know because my method is very time-consuming. Each drawing is hand-drawn in Illustrator.