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Entries from May 2011

The Journey of a Bead – Czech Glass

May 31st, 2011 · 2 Comments


Czech glass beads are beautiful additions to jewelry designs, but not too many people know how a bead comes into being. These beads are still made in the Czech Republic the same way they have been for hundreds of years. Take a journey into the makings of one special bead.


Early Years (250 B.C.) :
A piece of glass originally was created by lampworking. An oil lamp is used to melt glass around a mandrel, a thin metal rod around which a glass bead is shaped. When the mandrel is removed, it forms the hole in the bead. Starting in 900 A.D., these handmade beads were placed in graves.


Middle Years (1500s):
Cottage industries began showing up in Jablonec, Stanovsko and Bedrichov— the present-day Czech Republic. These industries made beads for larger jewelry factories. Beginning in the 1800s, manufacturers developed special molds and machines to produce pressed glass beads. Pressed glass beads are made with hot softened glass being pressed into a hand-operated or mechanized mold. As for fire-polished beads, these are faceted beads that have been re-fired. This produces a bead with the fire and sparkle of crystal, but for a much cheaper price.


Today:
Jablonec nad Nisou, where the earliest industries began, is now the center of the Czech bead industry. Although Czech bead making suffered setbacks during the two World Wars, the Great Depression and Communist rule, the industry has since been revived. Czech bead makers are now among the world leaders in bead manufacturing and exports.
Check out all of our wonderful Czech beads and get inspired to make one-of-a-kind jewelry!

Information from ehow.com. Read more about the history of manufacturing glass beads here.

-Marissa

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Tags: Just For Fun!

Memorial Day Special

May 27th, 2011 · No Comments

Artbeads.com wishes you a happy and safe Memorial Day holiday! To celebrate the upcoming holiday and to remember all of our heroes, we’ve compiled a list of great jewelry ideas from the Learning Center you can make this weekend to celebrate. Information on our newest Memorial Day inspiration, “A Hero’s Place,” can be found in our previous blog post. Read the incredible story behind our designer’s idea for this necklace, and scroll down to find more fun ways to make a bracelet or necklace to pay tribute to those who fight to protect your freedom! Don’t forget to take advantage of our Memorial Day sale going on right now until Monday, too! Right now you can save 20% when you spend $60 or more storewide.
Memorial Day Charm Bracelet
Patriotic Necklace
Fireworks Ring
Freedom Bracelet
America Sparkles Bracelet
A Hero’s Place Necklace

-Marissa

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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

Summer 2011 Jewelry Trends

May 26th, 2011 · 1 Comment


Photo Source: Salealertshopping.

Summer is just around the corner, so be ahead of the game by being in the know about what’s next! There are a few different avenues to take depending on your personal style, although bright colors are appearing to dominate. We’ll be seeing a lot of throwbacks to the 80s with loud colors in patterns ranging from checkered to stripes, even polka-dots. We have a great collection of acrylic beads in a variety of colors that would work great in creating your colorful summer jewelry. Summer seems to be the time to experiment.


Photo Source: The Cookie Connection.

The other big trend for summer is a natural, earthy look. Materials like wood and shell are growing in popularity, and will spill into the summer season. Wood beads, shells, and gemstones are the right choices!  The idea is to imitate elements found in nature—finding things without structure. Chunky stones are your best bet. Take a look at our collection of gemstones, shell beads and wood components to put together your own fashion trend. Below are a few ideas from the learning center to help you get inspired!

Summer Carnival Bracelet
Tree of Doors Necklace

-Marissa

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun! · Top Rated Products · Top Rated Products & Reviews

Gold-Inspired Learning Center Idea – “San Pedro’s Butterflies”

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments

What a bright and sunny necklace idea to welcome summer! This necklace features wonderfully rich gold components and a beautiful Russian artist pendant, complete with lovely summer colors. Save now on some of the components for this simple and sophisticated idea. You’ll love the slightly asymmetrical design and natural feel, perfect for long summer nights filled with pool sides and barbecues.

-Marissa

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

Get to the Gold Rush!

May 24th, 2011 · No Comments

Today and tomorrow only you can save big on this precious metal! Save up to 40% off on gold-filled and gold-plated components. The warm look of gold goes great in necklaces, bracelets and earring designs when matched with rich jewel tones like emerald and sapphire. We offer a number of different gold components like gold beads, charms and pendants and gold chains among others, and want you to stock up and save now! You can’t go wrong in jewelry designs when you use gold to create timeless looks that are perfect for any occasion. Get inspired with this rich metal to come up with new ideas!

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Company News

Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements Winners

May 23rd, 2011 · No Comments

Congratulations to our two winners, Kathryn and Susan! They were selected at random and both will receive a copy of the book, Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements by Jean Campbell. Her book is filled with gorgeous designs inspired by actresses from Old Hollywood, all made with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. There are detailed instructions so you can make them yourself!

We asked the question, “which Old Hollywood actress do you think had the most inspiring and glamorous jewelry?” Read below to see who our winners chose!

Joan Crawford

Thank you to everyone that participated in the giveaway! It was fun to read about your favorite glamorous actresses. Stay tuned for more fun giveaways here on the blog and on our Facebook page. Be sure to get your own copy of this fabulous book!

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Tags: Just For Fun!

Gold Prices – The Constant Rise and Fall of a Precious Metal

May 20th, 2011 · No Comments

As with silver, gold has been up and down in the stock market for a number of years. Currently, silver is steadily dropping in price. Gold is slowly following this trend. The chart below shows a six-month history of the gold market, to give you a better understanding of what has happened to gold.

Though the price of gold has risen significantly in the last three years, a quick drop recently has shareholders concerned the price will continue to go down. What this means for jewelers is the chance to purchase gold without taking such a swift blow to their wallets. No one knows for sure what the trend will be, but hopefully for us gold at least comes to sell at a reasonable price! Here is the pattern of gold prices from the 2009 to 2011. Artbeads always works to bring you great prices so you can shop freely. Check out our gold beads and other gold findings and jewelry components to stock up now and save.

Source: Kitco.com.

-Marissa

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Company News

Gold-Filled Vs. Gold-Plated Jewelry

May 19th, 2011 · 1 Comment

There are big differences between gold-filled and gold-plated jewelry, mostly the actual amount of gold in each product. Here I will debunk the rumors and let you know that the differences are. You can also find this information on our resources page in the learning center.

What is gold-filled?
Gold-filled jewelry is made from components that have a layer of gold that is mechanically bonded with heat and pressure to another material, usually a base metal which is most commonly brass. Gold-filled products are resistant to tarnishing because the outside layer is actually gold and is thick enough to prevent oxidation of the inner material. The gold content must be at least 1/20th of the total weight, where the gold itself is no less than 10 karat in purity. Under FTC regulations, the purity (karat) of the gold content must be part of the marking or designation. As an example, a piece of gold-filled jewelry made with 14 karat gold filled could be stamped “14/20 GF”.

What’s the difference between gold-filled and gold-plated?
Gold-plated jewelry has a smaller percentage of gold and goes through a different manufacturing process than gold-filled jewelry. To create gold-plated jewelry, a base metal goes through a series of processes and is eventually dipped into a bath of electroplating solution which contains gold. When an electric current is applied, an electrochemical reaction occurs and a thin layer of gold is deposited onto the metal. This layer is much thinner than the coating of gold that covers gold-filled jewelry, which goes through a process of mechanically bonding and heating the gold to the base metal.

While gold-filled components must include gold that is at least 1/20th the weight of the entire piece, gold-plated components can have gold that only makes up a very tiny percentage. As such, gold-plated jewelry items are more prone to tarnishing as well as having the thin layer of gold eventually rubbing off than similar products made from gold-filled. Because of the lower gold content, gold-plated items are generally less expensive than similar gold-filled products.

What is gold-filled wire?
Gold-filled wire is made by having a layer of gold that is mechanically bonded with heat and pressure to another material, usually a base metal which is most commonly brass, which is then drawn through a series of tools and dies, until the final desired diameter of the wire is attained. Gold-filled wire is resistant to tarnishing because the outside layer is actually gold and is thick enough to prevent oxidation of the inner material. The gold content must be at least 1/20th of the total weight, where the gold itself is no less than 10 karat in purity.

Hopefully this answers any questions you may have had pertaining to gold components. You can browse all of our gold and feel better knowing you now know how to shop for it!

-Marissa

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Tags: Beader's Resource

Prom 2011 Jewelry Trends

May 18th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Looking for the right accessories to make prom a night to remember? We’ve got a great collection of jewelry supplies so you can create your own unique look without spending a fortune. I’ve searched for the hottest trends coming up for this year’s prom, and depending on the cut of the dress and how hair is worn, the choice in jewelry may differ. However, the most popular looks include drop pendant necklaces, cuff bracelets and chandelier earrings.

Purple and black are the two hottest colors this year, if you’re still shopping around for a dress. Our pendants come in lovely amethyst tones and black hues and will make your special princess sparkle.


Photo Source: yusrablog.com.

If a necklace with a drop pendant is not the right style, another trendy look is layered necklaces that rest on the décolleté (the collar bone area).  


Photo Source: y98 radio.

Just had to add this fun look! This teen wore a prom dress made completely out of Starburst candy wrappers! It took her mom 6 years and many failed attempts at style designs to make the finished product. She even made her daughter matching shoes and a handbag. Have fun with the prom and create great memories with originality! Find your favorite pieces here and make something that no one else will have.
You don’t need to spend tons of money to stand out. Our learning center ideas offer free inspiration, and we offer great prices on incredible supplies.

-Marissa

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Top Rated Products & Reviews

Win a Copy of Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements

May 17th, 2011 · 236 Comments

Jean Campbell’s new book, Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements, is inspired by the glamorous actresses of Old Hollywood. Jean created her own designs based on the jewelry these actresses wore using SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. There are 26 stunning projects inspired by actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, plus there are detailed instructions for you to make yourself! Whenever you wear them, you will be red carpet ready!

We have two copies of this book we want to give you! To enter, leave your name, email address and a comment to this post answering the following question:

Which Old Hollywood actress do you think had the most inspiring and glamorous jewelry?

This giveaway ends on Monday, May 23, 2011, at 9AM Pacific Time. One entry per person. Winners will be selected at random and will be notified via email.

Be sure to get your own copy of this fabulous book!

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Tags: Just For Fun!

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