Blog for Beaders

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Entries from September 2008

My Inspiration

September 30th, 2008 · No Comments

As a beader I know it’s not always easy to come up with a new design idea for making jewelry. So to help you with your designs I’d like to share with you where I get my inspiration.

I always carry a little note book in my bag. An idea can come suddenly and I don’t want to lose it. I can’t draw very well but I can sketch something quickly. I also like to read a lot of fashion magazines. Well, not really reading but more looking at the pretty pictures! I like to see the jewelry Hollywood stars are wearing and I am always inspired by the colors in the photos. Ideas could come to me from any advertisement, a fashion article or even from a cooking or a gardening magazine. I like to cut out the pictures I find and have them on a wall or at my desk. Quilt books are another great source for finding color combinations.

I come from a French tropical island called New Caledonia, situated east of Australia. I must say that the colors I choose for my projects have been greatly influenced by the brightness of the flowers, the birds, the clothes and the beaches from my home country. A good example of this can be seen in the pieces I made for Maggie’s wedding. The orange and red were for the coral and shell, the green for the coconut trees on the beach, the peach reminds me of the sand. To soften all those bright colors I added some pink and amethyst. A lot of my jewelry has a mixture of colors together, I guess it’s because I was surrounded by a variety of different tones.

Often my inspiration comes directly from a beautiful bead or a pendant I’ve found. The design or the colors in the bead brings an idea or a feeling, like a season or a memory. The porcelain pendant with the green plum blossoms (PB-40PR40) really inspired me for spring. I looked very closely at all the colors in the pendant to help me select the other beads for my design. You can check the piece that I made called Blossom necklace in our Learning Center. When I saw the small glazed washer (CRD-ETC), I thought of a puzzle. So I had to find a way to connect different colors together because I couldn’t choose only one which led to the Fire and Ice necklace.

Part of my inspiration also comes from paying attention to my surroundings. The Hill Tribe Jasper necklace idea came to me when I was watching my kids playing with blocks, I really wanted to work with square beads after that.

Inspiration comes in many different forms. As for me, I am inspired the most by colors that I see in magazines, in nature, in stores and even in the fishing flies that my husband ties.

- Cynthia Kimura, Co-Owner and President

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Tags: Company News

My Top Ten Artbeads.com Products

September 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment

My name is Rebecca Gilbert and I am the Vice President of Product Marketing at Artbeads.com. I get to see all of the new items long before they hit the website and simply love each and every one of them. So when I was asked to produce a top ten list I cringed. Top 10,000 I may be able to handle. This week I am all about focal pieces so I narrowed it down to some of my favorite pendants. In any case, here are a few of my personal favorites this week, but remember, I am a Gemini and a woman so I reserve the right to pick a whole new set of favorites tomorrow!

1. Light Olive Blossoms – I just love anything by Lillypilly Designs! I could never possibly choose just one, but I believe this bold piece gets me the most compliments when I wear it out. It is simultaneously bold and delicate. The large size gets attention every time, and the intricate design just can’t be beat. I simply strung this gorgeous pendant on a silk ribbon, and let it speak for itself.

2. Dichroic Filigree Heart Pendant – This striking dichroic heart pendant is another that I can’t get enough of. I love to give it as gifts for my beader friends or wear it with Swarovski crystals for a night out on the town.

3. Lime with Fir Tree – Taina Hartman pendants are another I just can’t keep to myself. I buy one and make something then have to give it away. These beautiful handmade designs are meant to be shared with friends! But to pick a favorite, oh this is hard. . . let’s go with. . . it reminds me of a tree on the farm I grew up on in Vermont that we called “the old crooked tree”. I love the unique shape and size of this delicate pendant as well. It really lends itself to our leather and rubber necklaces.

4. Lime Green/Red with Gold Bamboo – I call this one my yin yang or Gemini pendant: the two sides make for double the jewelry and when strung with complimentary beads bring a lot of comments on the bold color combination! Some days I can’t go an entire day with flipping the pendant around for a change!

5. Handpainted Porcelain and Sterling Pendant 3D Peek-a-Boo – Do you ever find yourself making the jewelry then buying the clothes to go with it? THIS was the pendant that inspired that. The moment I saw it I knew I had to have it. Not only is the pattern and color mesmerizing, but it actually has texture and there is nothing I love more than mixing textures in my jewelry designs.

6. Garden and Snail – Are you kidding me with this?! These pendant make me feel like I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. These are so unbelievably modern retro-cool I want them ALL! Calling all children of the 70’s and 80’s (uh oh I am officially a 30-something) you have to have these! You know you had the t-shirt when you were a kid!

7. Black Onyx Mucha Portrait – Another nearly impossible category for me to choose from is the hand-painted Russian artist pendants. I think this one is my favorite simply due to the breathtaking replication of the Mucha portrait. You can almost hear her thoughts in the detail of that far-off look. I want to make a necklace with one of these pendants for my mom for Christmas, but how do you choose. Seriously, if you know my mom, help me out here.

8. Copper Oak Leaf Pendant – Wow – I must be homesick because I am writing this in autumn, but here is another that reminds me of home. I just can’t get enough copper and other base metals into my jewelry designs these days and these pieces are always my focal points.

9. Large Thai Silver Picture Pendant – I certainly love my Hill Tribe silver. I have used Thai silver for over 7 years as a designer. The perfection of the handmade imperfections is just amazing. I have now had the opportunity to visit the artists and I am even more awed. They work with basic tools and produce amazing work. I am happy to report that all of the workers are happy and proud of their art! The picture pendants are definitely my favorite of the line, but this one always stands out to me.

10. Northern Lights Swirl Heart Pendant, Shamrock, Large Oval Fish Pendant – Oh no – I am down to one more choice – well I pick for my last pick the for it’s inner glow and stunning use of color, the for my Irish ancestry (and makes great jewelry for men or women alike), and the for the color and exquisite detail – oh and did I forget to mention the sterling dragon slider and Swarovski. . .

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Tags: Top Rated Products & Reviews

Earthy Silver and Czech Glass Jewelry Set

September 25th, 2008 · No Comments

Organic Silver and Czech Glass Jewelry Set

Organic Silver and Czech Glass Jewelry Set

“The beautiful sterling silver Hill Tribe bead in this bracelet was my inspiration. I love the texture and organic feel of it. The warm, earthy tones of the Czech glass and cat’s eye bead emphasize the natural look. And the Hill Tribe toggle clasp echo’s the look for a nice finish. I wanted to keep the earrings simple, pulling the Czech glass and cat’s eye from the bracelet as the focus, with a touch of silver to tie it all together.”

- Artbeads.com Jewelry Designer

visit our learning center for this and other jewelry making ideas

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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Polyester Black Chain and Pearls Larriette

September 18th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Black Chain and Pearls Larriette
Black Chain and Pearls Larriette

The polyester chain used in this necklace is a great alternative to metal chain. It is light weight and combined with the pearls and beads, hangs beautifully. We used the black chain in our piece; however it comes in a variety of other colors for endless possibilities.  Visit our site for step by step directions on making your own Polyester Chain and Pearls Larriette.

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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

What’s the difference between gold-filled and gold-plated?

September 18th, 2008 · No Comments

Q: What’s the difference between gold-filled and gold-plated?

A: The difference is in the amount of gold. Gold-plated products have a very thin layer (seven-millionths of an inch) of gold, while 14K/20 gold-filled products must have at least one-twentieth of their entire weight in 14K gold. What this means for you as a beader is that gold-plated items, while cheaper, will not last as long. Eventually the thin gold layer will rub off. Gold-filled items, however, will remain gold for a lifetime if cared for properly. The occasional silver spot is from solder holding joints together. Unless you are using harsh chemicals or abrasives, the gold layer will stay gold for years to come!

Have a question you’d like to ask Bailey?  Email her at artbeadsblog@gmail.com or post your comment to our blog.

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Tags: Ask The Experts

A Mother’s Day Gift

September 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Flag and certificate given to Norma

Flag and certificate given to Norma

Norma Butler in Customer Service received a gift from her son, Major Sean Kevin Butler Commanding Officer Task Force Hit.  Major Butler was honored with a request from his men to have the American Flag flown over the Command Post Task Force Hit of Third Battalion, Fourth Marines at Camp Hit, Al Anbar, Iraq, during the Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.2, on Mothers Day 2008 . 
 
“As a Mom supporting her Marine for the past 17 years, it brought tears to my heart to know his men respect and support his leadership”  says Norma. “ Please stop by my desk to view the certificate and the flag that was raised for Mom’s unwavering support of the forward deployed forces of the United States Marine Corps, “Happy Mother’s Day, From The Edge of The Empire”

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Tags: Company News

Why do my crimp tubes slide off?

September 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Q: Why do my crimp tubes slide off?

A: It’s important to use the right tool and the right crimps. We recommend the sterling silver and the gold-filled crimp tubes for the best results. You can use a flat-nose pliers to squeeze your crimp tubes, but a specialized bead crimping tool is the best to use. Remember, it is not necessary to squeeze too hard on the crimp tube when attaching it to the wire. The crimp tube is secured when there is no space between the wire and the inside of the tube. Squeezing too hard weakens the crimp. You can find more detailed information on crimping and the use of tools on the back of the package of our tools. Find them in our Tools and Supplies section of our web site.

For detailed instructions on the proper use of a crimp tube, please visit the Handy Tips section of the Learning Center and click on how to use a crimp tool

Have a question you’d like to ask Bailey?  Email her at artbeadsblog@gmail.com or post your comment to our blog.

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Tags: Ask The Experts

Artbeads.com Participates in Making Strides against Breast Cancer®

September 12th, 2008 · No Comments

Artbeads.com employees and friends walk for the Cure, Oct 13th 2007

Artbeads.com employees and friends walk for the Cure, Oct. 13th, 2007

On Saturday, October 13th 2007, a group of us gathered at Point Defiance Park to participate in a walk against breast cancer. My nurse, Shelly, at the breast center in Covington had told me about this walk that she and a few friends were participating in. Shelly and her friends are beaders and she was making bracelets as a fund raiser for the cause. I immediately whipped an Artbeads.com business card in front of her and promised her she would not be sorry once she checked us out. The following week, Shelly informed me that I had cost her $200 by telling her about Artbeads. She was so impressed by the quality and selection of beads and very impressed by our Customer Service Dept. and how “everyone is so nice!”

We participated in the walk and even with the short notice we were able to raise $1150.00! How awesome is that!

My friends, family, and the American Cancer Society helped me get through my battle with breast cancer, twice. Making Strides against Breast Cancer is my way of giving back.

On October 11th, 2008 we will be walking for the cure again this time at Stadium High School Courtyard in Tacoma.

By Kathy Ward, Artbeads.com

 

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Tags: Company News

New Stoneware Beads and Pendants

September 11th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Handmade Stoneware Beads and Pendants

Handmade Stoneware Beads and Pendants

We have expanded our popular line of stoneware beads and pendants. Designed in the USA, each bead is hand painted with exquisitely detailed patterns.

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Tags: New Product Introductions

Introducing Our Brand New Line of Carved Bone Pendants

September 4th, 2008 · No Comments

New Carved Bone Pendants

New Carved Bone Pendants

This week we are introducing a brand new line of pendants to Artbeads.com. Carved from bone and embellished with gorgeous Celtic designs our new pendants are sure to catch your eye!

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Tags: New Product Introductions

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