Blog for Beaders

A creative place to share jewelry making information, ideas, and inspiration! Hosted by Artbeads

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Entries from July 2011

The Answer Box: Your Treasure Chest of Knowledge

July 29th, 2011 · 4 Comments

We’re always here to help you out with questions or concerns about a product, but sometimes it’s nice to hear the opinion of a fellow Artbeads customer. The Artbeads’ Answer Box is your place to ask questions of your fellow beaders, jewelry designers and crafters. Ask for product suggestions or get feedback on a design you have been working on. You can even provide a photo or video with your question. You’ll be able to get answers with real-world experience behind them. Start up a chat with other people who love Artbeads and get great, honest feedback.

Find the Answer Box at the bottom of product category pages with relative questions. Some have been answered and others are waiting for you to supply them with your knowledge. See if you can answer any of the Answer Box questions!

You can also read product reviews to find out which items others have found helpful or which ones didn’t work for their designs. Write your own review too! We value everyone’s opinion, whether it’s good or bad. Tell us and other beaders what you think!

-Marissa

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Tags: Beader's Resource

Christmas in July Learning Center Idea: Old World Santa Ornament

July 28th, 2011 · No Comments

It’s never too early to start thinking about the most wonderful time of the year! Here’s one of our newest craft ideas from the Learning Center. Read the free instructions on how to make this darling ornament and be ready to celebrate. Start making it now and you could create gifts for everybody and not have to shop at the last minute! The bright red color in the Swarovski crystals and soft satin ribbon is the perfect complementing shade for any decorating style you have. Make it now and decorate a palm tree, too!

-Marissa

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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Ask Bailey Beader: How is Jewelry Wire Measured?

July 27th, 2011 · 6 Comments

For all of your jewelry making questions, Bailey Beader is here to help. We want you to be able to ask us anything, no matter if you’re a beginner or professional. We all get stuck sometimes when we’re being creative. Here’s a good question one of our customers asked a while back about jewelry wire:

Question:

I am looking for a particular chain and not sure how to measure gauge. Is 20 gauge thicker than 15 gauge or the other way around?

Answer:

The higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire. A 20 gauge wire is thinner than a 15 gauge wire. This chart might help you as you look at gauges.

If you’re ordering chain on our website, the listed measurements should also include the size of the links so that you know if the diameter is right for your designs.

I hope this helps. Happy beading!
-Bailey Beader

Here’s some more helpful information about jewelry wire others have asked our customer service via e-mail:

Question:

What type of jewelry wire do I use?

Answer:

There are four key points to consider when purchasing stringing wire.

First is the thickness of the wire. We suggest purchasing the thickest available that will still string through the beads. You will find the .018 to .019 as a nice average.

Second is to consider the amount of strands of wire woven into one thickness. You will often find 7, 19 and 49 strands as options. The more strands the more flexible and stronger the wire. We suggest using 49 with all heavy jewelry designs, as you will not have the risk of the wire breaking.

Third is the finish of the wire. Some wires will offer a color choice and some may only have a dark grey finish. If you are doing a design that shows the wire or has light colored beads, you may want to use a wire that has more of a silver tone than grey.

Fourth is the brand. Each beader will tell you one wire is better than the other. However most of the difference is based on the feel of the wire. Our designers use ZambaPro™. Not only does this wire come in 49 strands, offers various wire thickness but it also feels soft and doesn’t kink.

Types of Jewelry Wires
.010 to .012 – Seed Beads, Freshwater Pearls, Smaller Gemstones.
.012 to .013 – Crystal Beads, Seed Beads, Freshwater Pearls.
.014 to .015 – Medium Beads, Crystals, Glass Beads, Metal Beads.
.018 to .019- Medium to Heavy Beads, Gemstones, Crystals, Seed Beads, Glass Beads, Metal Beads. This is the most common size used in jewelry.
.024 – Large heavy beads, Gemstones, Beads with large holes.

Question:

What are “gauge” and “hardness”?

Answer:

Gauge is a measurement of thickness, with 4 gauge being the thickest and 34 gauge being extremely fine. Hardness refers to malleability or stiffness.

Perhaps the following information would be of help:

30 gauge is very fine and often used in wire crochet.

26 and 28 gauge are best used for wire wrapping and delicate wire work.

24 gauge is intended for beads with smaller holes, such as garnet stones and pearls (best used in half-hard to retain some shape)

22 gauge is fairly thick and good for stone and crystals. It can also be used for making your own findings such as eye pins and jump rings. (Can be either dead-soft if you need to manipulate it, especially with your hands, or half-hard if you are looking for more rigidity.)

20 gauge is very thick and good for making clasps. (Perhaps dead-soft would be best, as this gauge can be difficult to manipulate due to its thickness.)

18 gauge is good for chainmaille or for your heavier-looking pieces.

Dead-soft is the easiest to manipulate with or without tools, but it does not hold its shape well. In the thinner gauges it is used for bead wrapping.

Half-hard will retain its shape better for jump rings and findings, but is not as easy to manipulate, especially in the heavier gauges.

If you have a question you’d like to ask Bailey Beader, e-mail us at artbeadsblog@gmail.com or leave a comment on our blog. You can also e-mail us jewelry and craft ideas you’ve designed and be featured on our blog as one of our customer creations. Share your ideas and inspire others to get creative!

-Marissa

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Tags: Ask The Experts · Beader's Resource

Adopt a Seahorse Giveaway

July 26th, 2011 · 359 Comments

This contest is now closed.
We’ve found 10 lonely little seahorse pendants in need of a good home! These pendants from Unicorne Beads are part of a special collection, so you won’t find them anywhere on our site! That’s why we need to make sure we give these little guys a nice permanent place to live. Each one is created using a traditional lampwork technique, where they are made by hand out of borosilicate and dichroic glass. To enter the contest, leave us a comment below telling us what you would name your seahorse and how you would give it a good home. 10 winners will be randomly selected to each receive one seahorse pendant. This contest runs from Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 12:01AM PT until Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 11:59PM PT. Winners will be announced on Monday, August 1, 2011. We will notify our winners via e-mail, so make sure to enter before the contest ends for your chance to win!

No purchase necessary. Must be 18 or older to enter, one entry per person. Void where prohibited by law. Prizes valued at approximately $6 each. Odds of winning depend on number of entries. Open to US and Canada residents only excluding Quebec.

-Marissa

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Just For Fun!

Beat the Heat ICE Resin® Winners!

July 25th, 2011 · No Comments

Congratulations to our two winners, Doris and Mary M! They’ve each won an ICE Resin® kit and will be able to choose up to $25 worth of mixed media components. We hope to see their creations when they’re finished. Thank you to all of our entries for sharing your cool ideas! We were so amazed at how creative your ideas were.

Our winners were chosen using Random.org, and we hope they enjoy their prizes. Here’s what our winners told us they would use with ICE Resin®:

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Tags: Just For Fun!

Jessica’s Story – Preparing for Parenthood

July 22nd, 2011 · 3 Comments

We love to hear how our customers have become successful in their jewelry making hobby, and here’s a great story about how Jessica Sebastian got her start in jewelry making, in her own words:

When my daughter Ellie was born, I was so horribly underprepared for the challenges of nursing her that it was truthfully the single worst element of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and early care of her. I cried, I got angry, I complained, I was miserable. I needed something to make me feel normal again. Keeping track of feeding times on top of everything else was almost impossible. I had heard of nursing bracelets but couldn’t find one I really liked and didn’t want to pay a lot of money for something that was only so-so.

I got on artbeads.com and found the square number beads. Bingo! I was able to create my own bracelets that had tons of sparkle and style and an amazing thing happened…I began to feel slightly better! I could keep track of feeding times and sides and I looked pretty cute doing it. I started talking with other moms who also thought it was a great idea because it would help them through the difficult first months of newborn care and feeding. This also filled a need I had to be engaged in something other than daily routine.

A month before Ellie was born I was attending school full time and working. A month after she was born, I had graduated and left my job to stay home with her; life changed. Making nursing bracelets helped me get back to feeling great and enjoying feeding time with Ellie. Since then, it has been my mission to provide stylish, truly affordable jewelry. I sell my feeding bracelets as close to cost as possible because it is something I love to do and I think everyone should be able to afford to have something that makes the hard times slightly easier. Women and their babies around the country have benefited from my creations and knowing that I have helped them even a little is the best feeling of all!

Thanks to Jessica for sharing her story with us! We’re proud to be able to supply beads to her company Jewelry by Sebastian Designs. If you would like to check out her designs, visit her Jewelry by Sebastian Designs website.

We want to hear your story, too! Send us your jewelry design to our blog for beaders e-mail to be featured as one of our customer success stories. Share your stories and inspire others to get creative! Mail them to artbeadsblog@gmail.com.

If you’re just starting out and looking for a way to sell your designs, check out our Seller’s Secrets page where we share helpful ways to develop your jewelry-making business.

-Marissa

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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs · Share Your Stories

Poet’s Darling Necklace

July 21st, 2011 · No Comments

Pewter is a hot trend in jewelry right now. It’s the right economic choice for fashion and comes in all sorts of different finishes. This necklace features a cool color finish called gunmetal—a bold, dark color that creates dramatic style when paired with light colors like the sky blue hue of the stoneware pendant. Take advantage of our pewter sale happening right now to nab your favorite lead-free pewter jewelry components and save 20% on our selected items. Be sure to stop by the Learning Center to find this cool necklace idea as well as other free jewelry ideas and free craft ideas.

-Marissa

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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Different Types of Chain

July 20th, 2011 · 4 Comments

Every so often it’s important to remind ourselves of the basic elements of jewelry making. We can sometimes forget simple vocabulary and make up our own words and descriptions. If you’re a beginning beader, you might also feel overwhelmed with all of the new terminology you have to learn to become part of the “beading world.” I know I sometimes am not sure how to best describe a product or idea, so I’m constantly checking my resources. With all of the different chain out there, it might be hard to know what each name means and which ones you think would work best for your designs. Below are the different types of chain commonly used in jewelry so you’ll know the difference next time you’re shopping for supplies.

Box Chain
This chain is made up of wide square-shaped links and creates a smooth appearance.

Cable Chain
Also known as a link chain, this chain is comprised of oval or round links of the same size. It’s the most common chain used.

Curb Chain
Curb chain is made of flattened round links which are all the same size.

Figaro Chain
Like the curb chain, a Figaro chain is comprised of flattened round links; however, Figaro chains display links of different sizes. It commonly features a pattern of two or three small links and then a larger link.

Infinity Link Chain
The links in this chain are shaped into the infinity symbol, or figure eight loops.

Rollo Chain
Similar to a cable chain, a rollo chain also features round or oval links with symmetrical sizes, though these are usually bulkier to hold pendants and dangles.

Rope Chain
This chain’s oval links twist and spiral to create the appearance of woven rope. Its style is popular for versatile looks.

Remember, some manufacturers may label their products differently. This is a basic guide to help you with well-known terms to get you started. You can browse all of our jewelry chains to find the one that’s best for your next design.

-Marissa

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Tags: Beader's Resource

Beat the Heat ICE Resin® Giveaway

July 19th, 2011 · 576 Comments

ICE Resin® is a cool way to capture unique elements inside a pendant or charm for a focal piece with your own added flair. What cool design would you make with ICE Resin®? We want to give you the chance to win a cool kit so you can create your designs. Two winners will be chosen to win an ICE Resin® kit featuring a 4 oz. bottle of resin, a 4 oz. bottle of hardener, eight cups and eight sticks. Each winner will also choose up to $25 worth of collage and mixed media components to include in his or her individual kit, like transfer sheets, picture frame pendants and much more. To enter the contest, leave a comment below telling us what you would make and with what components for a chance to win. Two winners will be chosen at random and will be notified by e-mail. Visit our mixed media collage page to view what you can choose if you win. Check out our how to use ICE Resin® Handy Tip in the Learning Center to explore ways to use this delightful tool, too.

One entry per person, must be 18 or older to enter. This contest runs from Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 12:01AM and ends on Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 11:59PM PT. Winners will be announced Monday, July 25, 2011. No purchase necessary to enter. Open to U.S. and Canada Residents excluding Quebec. Prizes valued at approximately $50 each.

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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

A Day at the Beach Learning Center Idea

July 18th, 2011 · 2 Comments


Find a place for all of your summer memories with this charming necklace idea. Gather your favorite mementos from your trip to the beach and make them last forever in your jewelry. This free idea from the Learning Center is comprised of not much more than a blank pendant, your favorite collage elements and some craft resin. Follow instructions to make a necklace that you will cherish forever, or browse through hundreds of other free jewelry and craft ideas at the Learning Center.

-Marissa

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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

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