'Martha Stewart Catalog'.

Q: Did anyone else get one of these? They have a very expensive kit for making glass wire & bead snowflakes. Good lord! I have the wire, and have enough beads to support the third world - does anyone out there know how to make these babies?

A: I think that 'Martha's' kits are a fabulous deal for someone who has not yet accumulated a lot of beads - all the supplies are gathered together for you - you don't have to run around looking for all the supplies, and if you average out the cost per flake (which I did about a year ago), it seems to me that the kit is rather large (doesn't it make 18-20 flakes?) and the price per flake is only $1.50 - $2.00 - a VERY reasonable price!! I used 20 gauge silver floral wire cut into 9" lengths for the "spokes." I found a silver filigree bead to use as the center, and poked the spokes through the center bead. You could use many differing methods for the center of the flake - gluing a flat-backed rhinestone to each side of the center of the flake, silver wire wrap, creating a fimo center, and baking the flake (including the spokes ), etc. After securing your 6 spokes in whatever type of center you decide to use, simply start loading beads onto one spoke. Load beads until you come to the place where you want a cross-piece, then hold the beads in place with a small piece of masking tape, or Fimo. Finish all 6 spokes to the same point, then on one of the spokes, remove your masking tape and wrap a piece of 24 gauge wire for the cross piece and load beads on it until you have enough beads to make it to the next spoke, remove the masking tape, and wrap the 24 gauge wire once around that next spoke, and start loading beads. Repeat this process until you are done with the cross-piece, then wrap your 24-gauge wire around the final spoke a couple of times, and trim. Then, load beads on each spoke to the end of the spoke and secure the beads by creating a round eye with needle-nose pliers. You can make flakes w/o cross-pieces, but I found that the flakes are a little wobbly when cross-pieces are not used. The cross-pieces tend to stabilize the flakes - but they do take a little longer to make. If you are interested in what 'Martha' is offering, go to www.marthastewart.com, and using the mail order product, search for the beaded ornaments. There are two different ones, prices ranging from 48 to 58 dollars.