Inventory Shows – Or Notify when Available?

Well after months of telling everyone we were going to implement Inventory on we DID it!

It may not be pretty for a short while as we sort out any inaccurate stock counts here in our warehouse. But it just gets better as we work on it. So ever so often, a product may say it has inventory – but alas when we get to that bin, well it either as miraculously gotten legs and climbed into another bin or we just do not have it.

Inventory Shows on the Product Page

Inventory Shows How Many Are Available

But What happens when we are out of stock?

Well there are 2 things. It we never expect to get it again, it simply disappears from the site. This happens for many reasons, all having to do with suppliers. Sometimes a supplier simply retires or worse! Sometimes the quality of the supplier or delivery is unreliable and just working with them is too hard, so we move on!  But it we are only temporarily out of stock. Here’s how it looks!

Out of Stock Items – Add Me to Waiting List

What happens when stock arrives?

When new stock arrives and is received into our inventory, you will automatically be notified that it is available. You will get an email notifying you. Then it’s 1st come 1st served! Inventory is adjusted daily.


Adding an item to your Basket or Wish List or Saved Basket does NOT reserve the item for you. It is only yours when you place the order. Up until then, someone else can swoop in and buy all we have!

The Small Print

Occasionally, even when we say we have stock, there are circumstances where we will not have the quantity. Sometimes when we are picking, we discover defects in the beads, or if we are matching sizes for you. we may not have the quantity in matched sizing. Since our items are all handmade, there will always be little issues. 

Where is My Order?

We get this question a lot. And we are always happy to answer, but sometimes if you live on the other side of the world or even across the country, our hours and yours may not sync and you are feeling neglected.

So here’s how you can see if your package has shipped. And you can see the tracking number, and track just follow the directions below.

If it has not been shipped, the Status will say “Processing” meaning we are working hard to pick your order. If you just submitted the order it will say “New” meaning we have not yet begun picking the order.

First Step: Log Into your Account:

List of Your Orders

US Customers:

US Customers Tracking

International Customer:  It is slightly different if you are an international customer. We ship with a freight consolidator, which saves you and us a bundle of money. But the tracking is not directly from our website (like the US is). You will need to go directly to this link and put in the tracking number you found on the order.

International Tracking

Other Useful Tools in “My Account”

  • Re Order from a Prior Order
  • Save a Basket, Save Multiple Baskets, just name them so you remember
  • Change your Password
  • Add a different address for packages to go – like your vacation home, or mom’s
  • Check on any Customer Requests  (CRM) and our replies. This is the quickest way to ask a question and get an answer, plus both of us can view what we said.
  • View/Check your Wish List
  • Check the Balance on your Gift Certificate

Creating Your Account is easy and gives you so many tools.

Tucson In My Rear View Mirror!

We have closed the show on 8 days of fun and meeting so many new people, putting faces to our online customers. So here’s my wrap on the show.

The preparations start immediately after the Christmas rush and trays of beads must be prepared, filled and labeled correctly (we hope). We operate on a bar code system so making sure that technology is on spot is essential. We’ve always thought it was important for our customers to know what they bought, what they paid and more significantly, how to re-order it. In my days before exhibiting at the shows, I always found it exasperating that I got home with a piece of paper with scribbles on it and couldn’t identify a single bead back to it’s price.

Technology has not kept up in any exhibiting arena we’ve ever worked. There is always the frantic attempt to get the internet, the wifi, the card processing up and running. It is enough to give you a case of hyper ventilation!

So Checklist: Barcodes working, Paypal Here working. Nothing lost on the 12 hour trip from the San Francisco bay area to Tucson, just a little sleep and a sore back from sitting in the van. A few pictures of the trip down and us getting set up.

The Cactus and view are amazing!

The Cactus and view are amazing!

Our neighbors in the show are familiar faces despite our hiatus from Tucson. We love the area, and each morning heading to the show I detour so I can catch a glimpse of those amazing sagauro cactus. I even drive a detour (a long cut) getting to Tucson which takes me through a desert land of these armed monsters. Ageless, they don’t even get their arms until they approach 75-100 years. They are native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, the Mexican State of Sonora, and the Whipple Mountains and Imperial County areas of California. They can grow to 70 feet tall and are home to dozens of desert critters.

Our Neighbors at the show, That's Carter

Our Neighbors at the show, That’s Carter – Experienced Show Vendor at 15 months.

When we arrive we have tables and nothing else. About 6 hours later, we have everything unpacked and ready for our customers.

Ready for Shoppers

Ready for Shoppers

Well setup went perfectly until we got to the hotel. A slip on the pebbles used everywhere in place of grass sent me tumbling. A quick assessment of working parts, I decided the arm was not working. It was about 8 pm and the show opened at 10 the following morning. Plenty of time for a visit to the Emergency Room where 6 hours later I emerged with a cast large enough to make sure I couldn’t move, but still able to man the booth and didn’t impair my talking ;>) It did, however, require me cutting the right sleeve of my tops. Thanks so much to Janice a long time Tucson customer for helping us…we were a little short-handed (pun intended)!

First Cast is scary!

First Cast is scary!

By the end of the show I get a new streamlined cast and have a new respect for using my left hand.

This is an improvement?

This is an improvement?

We got up super early to visit some of the rock and fossil shows. It is worth a trip just to see the staggering amount of goods shipped from around the world. Rock Hounds – put this on your list!

Mel checking out the fossilized fish - a bit creepy

Mel checking out the fossilized fish – a bit creepy

Fossils Anyone

Fossils Anyone

Tons of Malachite, Amethyst, Lamar, Hematite, Obsidian, Quartz, Opals, Pearls by the kilo – it is all here.

Every stone under the sun!!!!

Every stone under the sun!!!!

Lapis at the Gem Show

Lapis at the Gem Show

It is impossible for us to take all our bead styles/colors. But we did take about 1200 different beads. Here are a couple of pictures of our bead trays, all bar-coded.

VenetianBeads arranged in color waves

VenetianBeads arranged in color waves

More Venetian Beads

More Venetian Beads

Well we had so much fun, we have signed up to exhibit at the upcoming ToBeadTrueBlue in Santa Clara, CA March 24-26, 2017

We are looking at the ToBeadTrueBlue show dates for Tucson 2018, but we have to double check the Carnevale Venezia dates – have to do the important things.

Converting Fractions to Inches and Millimeters

Fractions – Hieroglyphics

It is said that the Egyptians were using fractions in 1800 B.C. writing in hieroglyphics, using them in their payments and taxes.

Egyptian Hieroglyphics first used fractions in 1800BC

Inches, Yards

The inch was originally the width of a man’s thumb. In the 14th century King Edward II of England ruled that 1 inch equaled 3 grains of barley placed end to end lengthwise. The yard was the length of a man’s belt (you can see how this varied) until King Henry I of England fixed the “yard” as the distance from his nose to the thumb. That was 36 Inches (or 108 grains of barley)?

Meters – Millimeters

And the meter, which gives us the millimeter has an even more convoluted history surrounding a decimal based system which was derived from the distance a pendulum with a one-second period swung. After the French Revolution, the French Academy of Sciences defined the adoption of a decimal system with the term mètre as a basic unit which was described as equal to one ten-millionth of the distance between the North Pole and the Equator. Though how they knew this exact measurement is a mystery to me.

Converting Meters to Yards,Converting Inches to Meters

And so the debate went on for another century. Is there any wonder we have trouble converting fractions to inches and millimeters. So we’ve done the math for you. Just print it out and never mind that 1 meter is actually 39.370 Inches. We’ll just go with 39!

Easy Way to Convert: Repurpose 2 Rulers

Since we are constantly converting millimeters and centimeters to Inches (forget the fractions) there is an easy way. It does take a visit to an Ikea store, but the little paper rulers they give you to measure in the store are perfect. You can take 2 of them, one side has millimeters and other inches. Just match them up and tape them together. Right on your beading table is the perfect place. Good for measuring necklaces too.

Easy way to convert millimeters to inches

Combine our taped ruler with our conversion chart below and you have a simple way to make your conversions!

Handy Chart for Converting Fractions, Inches and Millimeters

Handy Chart for Converting Fractions, Inches and Millimeters

And if you wish to download and print, here’s the PDF

Using a Bead Gauge

We measure our beads in millimeters because that’s how our bead makers work. Millimeters are also how pearls are measured. So most women are slightly familiar with the concept, just ask one if she prefers a 10mm pearl or an 8mm pearl.

A handy thing to remember is that 1 inch = ~25mm


You need to be a bit careful using the brass gauges. The electronic ones will give you a digital readout. They are more expensive and must be handled more carefully.

The brass gauge is inexpensive, easy to put in your pocket to take to bead shows or bead stores to be sure you are buying the right size.


We recently had a customer who was very unhappy because his 8mm beads were only 6mm. His exact words were

“I bought 8 mm glass beads from you. Measured on a gapper, these beads are 6 mm. What am I suppose to do? I need 8 mm not 6 mm. I am very disappointed. How could you so consistently mess this order up?

Well it turns out he was misreading the gauge. But we can learn from his mistake.

Cheap Rates from China – Dianne Feinstein Answer? or Non-Answer?

Since I believe that our elected officials should hear what concerns us, I wrote both Mike Honda and Dianne Feinstein. (As normal I get a nothing response….but eventually they do respond.)

So that you can all see exactly her response I have copied it EXACTLY here. It is not a surprise. Basically Honda and Feinstein both stated how it is the responsibility of the UPU to negotiate these rates.

Fortunately ever so many years we get to show our approval or disapproval of how these people have performed in their jobs for the American people. We get to vote!

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message

Tue, Nov <> 8, 2016 at 6:10 AM
To: VenetianBeadShop
November 7, 2016
3263 Kifer Road
Santa Clara, California 95051

Thank you for contacting me regarding United States trade with China. I appreciate the time you took to write,
and I sincerely apologize for the delay in my response.
As you may know, in May 2010, the United States Postal Service (USPS) signed the TriLateral Shipping Alliance with eBay Greater China & Southeast Asia and China Post Express & Logistics Corporation. Under the terms of this agreement, USPS provides delivery confirmation and expedited shipping to lightweight goods shipped
from China to the U.S. in exchange for a fee from China Post. The postal services of Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea also have signed similar agreements with USPS.
I understand that you believe this agreement gives Chinese merchants an unfair advantage over U.S.merchants. According to USPS, the Universal Postal Union—a specialized agency of the United Nations—sets global postal policies and rates. The U.S. State Department, in conjunction with USPS, speaks on behalf of the
United States at Universal Postal Union gatherings. You may be interested to know that the Universal Postal Union has currently designated China as a
“developing country,” which explains why postal rates from that country are so low. According to USPS, at the next Universal Postal Union meeting later this year, China is expected to graduate from a “developing country” to an “industrialized country,” which will trigger a higher postal rate. That rate, however, will not come into effect until
Please be assured that I have carefully noted your thoughts on this issue, and I will keep your views in mind should related legislation come before me in the Senate.
Once again, thank you for writing. I hope that you will continue to keep me informed about issues of importance to you. Should you have any further comments or questions, please feel free to contact my Washington,
D.C., office at (202) 2243841
or visit my website at Best regards.
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator
Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the nation are available at my website, And please visit my YouTube, Facebook and Twitter for more ways to communicate with me.

Show Time

Well a few years ago we quit doing shows. The travel, shipping 800-1200 pounds of beads to far away places and night flights had lost their appeal.

Setting Up Day ! Just tables and space.

Setting Up Day ! Just tables and space.

But this weekend, we did our first show. It was very close, only 2 miles from our shop. If we had a lot of time to think about it, we might have talked ourselves out of doing the show. But we were offered a booth 3 days before the show opened.

We packed up some 70 trays of Venetian Beads, leaving our warehouse intact for shipping our online orders.

Trays, Bar Codes, Computer? Check!

Trays, Bar Codes, Computer? Check!

Jocelyn and Melanie took turns working the show, a first for both of them. And the the first time we have seen the faces of many of our customers who usually order online. Setting up was like ‘old home week, so many of the vendors are still there, many whom we have known for 20 years. We all just look a little older.

Jocelyn ready to Open

Jocelyn ready to Open

Thanks to all our customers who stopped by, some who had been our customers since we started in our garage in 1993! We enjoyed seeing everyone and meeting new faces.


And Melanie whom many of you know from the cheerful voice on our phone.

Melanie Ready for Opening

Melanie Ready for Opening

And the next generation of bead show workers, our very own Marcella, whom many of you know as our ‘CellaBella who has really been working here since she was 2 and would pick her favorite beads every day. In those days she could only reach 2 drawers up so she had no idea what else was here. Now she can process your order!

The lovely 'CellaBella

The lovely ‘CellaBella

Thanks to all of you! And maybe we’ll do another one in the future. Just don’t look for us in New York just yet!

If you couldn’t make it, you can still buy all these beautiful beads at VenetianBeadShop

23 Years and Counting – Happy Anniversary to Us!

Murano Canal,Murano Island,Murano Glass,Venetian Glass,Venice,Murano

This August marks 23 years that we have been working in Murano and Venice with our wonderful bead makers. It started as a hobby, well not even that, friends wanted the beautiful necklaces that I had bought in Murano. Little did I know that loading my bags with goodies for friends would lead 1)a change of careers 2)the adoption of entire families 3)a love affair with the magical city of Venice!


We already had the famous Vincenzo. Famous for getting on an airplane, speaking not a word of English, to come to the US to study helicopter repair (which he never did). Famous for sweeping Bob’s daughter off her feet and marrying her (and us) within months, still speaking only a few phrases of English. (And us less Italian!) As part of Vince joining our family, we also inherited a full fledged Italian family, complete with a fabulous sorella (sister), 3 amazing Zia (aunts), cugini (cousins), baby gemelli (twins) and one very grumpy fratello (brother), all of whom arrived here for August holidays.

Vince at home in Italy.

Vince at home in Italy.

His family introduced us to amazing family dinners, which we thought needed either a referee or the police as with our limited Italian, we were sure that some one was going to die! Did I mention that the sorella was a graduate of the Largo Garda Hotel Restaurant & School and also a sommelier? Need I say more about the food? Everything hand made in a kitchen the size of a Volkswagon Bus, served exquisitely, in courses so many I couldn’t count, much less eat it all!

But Why? We had though a little about something to do outside of high tech. I was working for a company building satellites. We also though it would be a good idea to write-off our frequent trips to Italy. Sounded good? And the glass of Murano, well, we had fallen in love with it. Though early on, we researched glass in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic – these places just didn’t hold our attention like Murano.

So in August 1993, we headed to Murano with a few thousand in our pockets. Now why Vince or his family never thought to tell us that the entire islands of Venice and Murano would be deserted – Ferragosto! Everyone having fun on a beach somewhere, but definitely NOT working. The sun was amazingly hot and I think we could have made glass on the sidewalks of Fondamenta Manin. We had a list from the Italian Trade Commission with names of furnaces. (At this point, we were not buying beads, rather vases, bowls, bottles – the beads came along later. But we still managed to buy some beads as they were, then and still today, impossible for me to resist.)

Murano in August - Where are the People

Murano – Where are the People

Bob had cross-referenced the list of furnaces with “street” addresses. The street is in quotes, because addresses were based on the way the postman delivers the mail – nothing to do with where the furnace is located! Remember this is 1993, there is NO internet, no google maps, just us in 95+ degree heat, 100% humidity walking miles and miles, knocking on doors sadly closed until September. We did, however, meet a few who were working. They became our immediate friends and we worked with them for years. We had no idea of wholesale pricing, so before visiting a firm, we would visit all the retail stores and see what the retail prices were. (Not so far documented at any business school as a good idea!)

Windows Shuttered - On Vacation

Windows Shuttered – On Vacation

We made our few purchases, and knew we’d be back as soon as possible. Of course Christmas would be coming and we’d need to visit the family. Funny thing, the furnaces are also closed at Christmas! We soon discovered that Italy is closed a good bit of the year!

But now that we had this Murano Glass, we had to sell it. We signed up for school fairs, flea markets and learned a lot about selling the glass, well a lot about packing and unpacking glass and standing in the hot sun! We read in the paper (yes Dorothy, papers were once read) that the International Gem and Jewelry Show was opening in San Mateo. (We read this on Friday a.m.) We decided to go and see what people sold. So Friday afternoon we went to the show, looked around and inquired with the show management about exhibiting, with our thoughts on some nebulous future show date. Danny Duke, from the family that owned the show, said great, they had nothing like our goods and by the way, a vendor had cancelled and he could make us a good price if we could show up on Saturday but no commitment to future shows. We headed home to work our excel spreadsheets to price and pack our glass.

We were like the proverbial “deer in the headlights” but we sold almost all our goods even though we were in the wholesale area. Danny was encouraged and thought we would do better in the retail area for the next show, so he offered us a contract. We had a few beads and discovered that many people wanted to buy the loose beads. Who knew? Our first show we were in a booth beside the famous Picard Beads, who clearly understood we knew nothing about the treasures from Murano that we were selling.

This was the beginning of some 10+ years of exhibiting with the show.

But what threw us into this as a real career? Well it’s now 1998, and there is indeed an internet and the start-up internet over satellite where I worked as Director of Marketing – well it crashed, thanks to the thieving founder who relieved us and our investors of a couple million dollars. But the technology was still valuable and while I worked to sell it out of Chapter 13 to new owners, I began shooting pictures, you know the kind you take to the store and have put on CDs. We opened our first store on Yahoo. Well miracle of miracles within 24 hours of opening the store, we had our first order. And it was from Brazil! We were now hooked on online shopping!

Our Original Logo - A Gondola made by a Lampworker in Murano

Our Original Logo – A glass Gondola made by a Lampworker in Murano

Early on we worked with the Apple QuickTake Camera, which held only 8 photos, had the battery life of a twinkling star and the resolution was miniscule by today’s comparisons. Eight pictures and then you had to download! But it was a start!

Apple Quicktake 100

Since we needed more products for the store, I began shooting pictures of the few loose beads we had on hand. They sold immediately and customers asked for more. Fortunately this was just before Christmas and we had already planned to go back to Venice in January. This time we bought BEADS! and lots of them along with our blown glass.

Why I Work!

Why I Work!

So If I am Here, is it really Work?

So If I am Here, Is it really Work?

Our amazing selection of Venetian/Murano Glass Beads, you can find on our webstore at: VenetianBeadShop

You can find our blown glass on our sister webstore: VenetianGlassArt

Making of a Millefiori Bead

Millefiori Beads,Mosaic Beads,Murano Glass Beads,Making Beads,Millefiori Canes

What goes into making a millefiori bead? What are they always different? What makes them smooth? and other questions you’ve always wanted to know about millefiori!

First the canes must be made. And since there are many different opaque millefiori slices of canes used in this particular millefiori bead, well there are about 120 opaque canes that must be made by Effetre (and known as Moretti Canes) in Murano. In the picture below, friends at another furnace are making cane glass for us.


Then the canes must be chopped into small pieces. For our bead makers, Effetre does the chopping resulting in large wheel barrows of these slices. Our bead makers buy in 10 kilo (~22 pound) bags. The slices are random, and sometimes they have more of one cane than another, because at Effetre, there is a schedule for the production of canes, and no cane will be made before that scheduled time. (This comes under the heading of, “It’s how we’ve always done it and we see no need to change.” If you truly want the canes out of cycle, then you will need to buy 500 kilo ~1200 pounds.)

Millefiori Beads,Mosaic Beads,Murano Glass Beads,Making Beads,Millefiori Canes

So now to the bead making

The slices of canes must be warmed or the bead will crack. This is done by laying them on a small tray beside the torch as the bead maker deftly wraps the melting cane which creates the base of the bead. Then carefully, using tweezers, they place the canes one by one onto the base of molten glass.

Millefiori Beads,Mosaic Beads,Murano Glass Beads,Making Beads,Millefiori Canes

In the picture you see first the base and next to it, the base with slices applied, and already you can tell they have put it back into the flame, as the straight sides of the canes have begun to become slightly round. In the third, you see that by holding the bead in the fire, the canes begin to meld together. There is surely a technical term, but you just need to know that the glass flows toward the heat.

Millefiori Beads,Mosaic Beads,Murano Glass Beads,Making Beads,Millefiori Canes

At this point, there will still be slight bumps or separations and the bead is not smooth. Here’s where the last secret come in.

The Secret of the Finishing

The Moretti brothers are credited with inventing a technique of “burattatura” a name that came from the use of a wooden barren (buratto) which they turned to smooth and polish the beads – a departure from the time consuming task of polishing with a cork wheel and water which was also expensive and impossible for small beads. They put the beads in the barrel along with sand and water. The sand becomes more sottile (fine) in the process which takes about 7 days and with the final time devoted to the polishing, part of the secret! Even today no one outside the Moretti company knows the exact process they use.

Thanks to our good friend Gianni Moretti for his research and writings as well as his exhibits at the Museo del Vetro in Murano.

Shop our great selection of Millefiori Beads.

How to Use a Safety Chain on PerlaVita Bracelet

This is one of my new favorite products, the safety chain for our PerlaVita Bracelets. Most of us have a little trouble putting on a bracelet and taking it off. There are “bracelet buddy” tools, someone in your household who helps you or your co-worker who comes to your aid but this little Safety Chain will make your life easier.

Here’s an easy way to be sure your bracelet doesn’t go rolling across the floor when you are trying that tricky maneuver, no matter how rushed you are. And you’ll want one for all your large hole bead bracelets.

This is a simple trick that works and makes it easy to prevent loosing your favorite bracelet/beads.

For our Perlavita Beads

PerlaVita Beads, Exclusive Venetian bead Shop Large Hole Beads

Our Handmade Venetian Beads

For our PerlaVita Bracelets & Safety Chain

Shop for our PerlaVita Bracelets and Safety Chain

PerlaVita Bracelets and Safety Chain



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