One of my favorite sources for beads is Fire Mountain Gems. They have an enormous selection of stuff, a HUGE catalog (over 400 pages), and so many things to spark ideas that you can use in your needlepoint.
Here’s an assortment of some from my recent thinking with links to the products.
A new product for them is clear glass cabochons. If you don’t know a cabochon has a rounded face and a flat back. That means they will lie flat on your needlepoint. They suggest using paper behind them, but why not use them for 3-D eyes? Or use a pretty paper behind it and make it the center of a flower. The cabochons come in a variety of sizes in round or oval shapes.
They also have some stunning buttons made from Czech pressed glass. There are different styles and sizes with shanks. As we know from the embellished Christmas tree, pull the shank through a hole in the canvas and secure it on the back. Some of the designs could make great flowers and I could see my favorite, the iridescent dragonflies as a lovely focal point in some geometric borders.
I also found some cool square mini-donut beads. They are flat and have large holes in the center. You could pick a strong perle cotton and sew them on decoratively. Their bright colors and smooth surface would be a nice accent to your stitching.
For regular beads they have wonderful selections of pressed glass Czech beads, Swarovski crystals, and more kinds of seed beads than you thought possible. Among the most intriguing are Tila beads, two-hole seed beads from Miyuki (makers of Delica beads). I find their wide flat shape fascinating and I keep thinking about ways to use them.
I often find stitching flowers challenging and so I really loved the flower beads in polymer clay (scroll down to see them). There are several types of flowers in many colors. The wouldn’t work for a floral focal point, but what if you had a small bouquet in your piece, or a garland of roses, or some scattered flowers. I have a piece in my stash that has flowers on it and I’m using the yellow roses for it.
There are also some great ideas for finishing as well. I just love the hook style book marks. Instead of a bead at the end, put a needlepoint Inchie or other small bit of stitching.
There’s lots more where these came from so, go visit and think beyond the usuual.