Blog for Beaders

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


Entries from October 2011

Hootin’ Howlin’ Halloween Giveaway Winner!

October 31st, 2011 · No Comments

Congratulations to Pamela S. for winning our Hootin’ Howlin’ Halloween Giveaway! Her story was randomly selected, and is pretty funny! You can read her comment below. Thanks to all of our entries for sharing your stories with us. They were all great. Be sure to check back here tomorrow to enter our next exciting contest!

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Tags: Just For Fun!

Halloween at Artbeads!

October 28th, 2011 · 9 Comments

Happy early Halloween! We wanted to let you in on the fun that we’ve had in the past here around the building. Take a look and get some fun costume ideas for your party this year!

Every year we have a costume contest for Halloween, and some people get pretty creative!

Some Artbeads employees even dress up their dogs and bring them in to join the fun!

We can’t wait to see who wears what on Monday! Stay tuned to find out who wins our contest this year, and don’t forget to enter our Hootin’ Howlin’ Halloween Giveaway!


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Tags: Just For Fun!

A Haunting Good Time!

October 27th, 2011 · 4 Comments

This creepy-crawly necklace was inspired by the classic television show Dark Shadows, soon to be released as a major movie, as a representation of the mansion inhabited by the mysterious and cursed Collins family. Full of multi-stranded tricks and fun glow-in-the-dark treats, this design is perfect for your next elegant Halloween party. Learn how to make a Halloween statement necklace complete with cool seed bead spiders, inventive capsules and gothic-inspired chain.


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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

How Does Niobium Earwire Get Its Color?

October 26th, 2011 · 7 Comments

Niobium is a hypo-allergenic material that is great to use in jewelry designs because it is safe for anyone to wear, especially those with metal allergies. With advancements in technology, we can create colorful earwires for fun elements instead of plain, grey components that need dressing up. How niobium earwires get painted with color is actually a surprising process, because they aren’t actually “colored” in the way you would think. Let’s take a look at the process.

First off, it’s important to know the components of niobium. Much like precious metals, niobium is very flexible and slowly hardens. It can be easily manipulated with a jeweler’s saw and has about twice the density of titanium, but is only about a third as dense as gold. At room temperatures, a thin, transparent and adherent oxide film forms on the metal’s surface. This protects the metal from corrosion and also protects the wearer from the metal. Niobium reacts with atmospheric oxygen and other gases at certain temperatures, making it a reactive metal. This element of the niobium is what aids in the coloring process. The color coating on niobium goes through a similar process like gold plating, but is extremely different. The color is anodized to the niobium, not plated.

The anodizing process works to increase the natural oxide layer of the metal by manipulating the electrodes found in niobium with an electric current. For this, wrought alloys are cleaned in either a hot soak cleaner or in a solvent bath mixed with sodium hydroxide or other acidic chemicals. The layer on the metal is increased by placing the metal in the electrolytic solution, with the metal acting as the anode (positive electrode) to complete the electric current.

Changing the voltage on the electrolytic solution is what determines the color of the niobium when it is submerged. This is because the voltage directly correlates to the thickness of the oxide layer. The oxide layer interferes with the light reflecting off its surface and then traveling through the underlying metal surface, thus determining the color you will see.

Since niobium starts out as a pewter grey color, it takes a higher voltage to create bright colors like hot pink and neon green as opposed to base metal colors like gold or copper. For example, it takes about 100 volts to create a purple-pink effect on niobium but only about 10 volts for a golden copper color. This process makes it possible to make a variety of different colors, although base metal tones are still the most popular in fashion trends. Check out our collection of niobium earwires available to use in designing decorative ideas.

Sources for all Photos: YouTube.


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Tags: Ask The Experts · Beader's Resource

Hootin’ Howlin’ Halloween Giveaway

October 25th, 2011 · 246 Comments

A Hootin' Howlin' Halloween Giveaway

With all the fun and mischief happening around Halloween, we’re sure you have a great story to share about past Halloween adventures. Maybe it’s about a good costume gone wrong or a trick that was pulled to perfection (you can laugh about that now, right?). Help us all have a Hootin’ Howlin’ Halloween by leaving a comment below telling us your favorite Halloween story. Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered to win a prize package with a variety of goodies, including two adorable owls, a gorgeous hand-painted Russian artist pendant picturing a wolf, a hand-dyed silk ribbon and complementary Czech glass beads. Enter by October 30 at 11:59pm (PT). The winner will be announced on Halloween.

No purchase necessary, must be 18 or older to enter, one entry per person. Odds of winning depend on number of entries. Prize valued at $100, void where prohibited by law. Contest valid in the US and Canada only excluding Quebec.


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Tags: Company News · Just For Fun!

Spooky Seed Bead Sweepstakes Winners!

October 24th, 2011 · 5 Comments

Winners for the Spooky Seed Bead Sweepstakes Contest

Congratulations to our big list of spooky seed bead winners! Here’s a complete list of the winners. Each of these lucky participants has won a goody bag full of Halloween-themed seed beads with a few tricks and treats hidden inside.

1. Ann B. from Michigan
2. Antonia C. from Illinois
3. Atiya K from Kentucky
4. Betty C. from Connecticut
5. Beverly F. from Delaware
6. Beverly T. from California
7. Candice L. from Idaho
8. Cathy V. from Ontario
9. Christine R. from Oregon
10. DeeAnn S. from Pennsylvania
11. Jamie L. from British columbia
12. Jaydee D. from Oregon
13. Josefa A. from Georgia
14. Judith M. from Kansas
15. Kristine C. from Florida
16. Lamar R. from Florida
17. Marge S. from Minnesota
18. Michelle C. from South Carolina
19. Mindee L. from Utah
20. Monique V. from Minnesota
21. Renetha S. from Ohio
22. Robin T. from California
23. Rose L. from Washington
24. Sandra T. from Iowa
25. Sarah C. from Colorado
26. Sherry B. from Hawaii
27. Sheryl S. from Ohio
28. Tashia G. from Mississippi
29. Terri M. from New York
30. Trudy W. from California
31. Zoe L. from New York

Thanks to all of you who participated in this contest, and make sure to check in tomorrow to see what’s coming next. Our upcoming contest is destined to provide a howlin’ good time for all.

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Tags: Company News · Just For Fun!

Falling in Love with Our Customer Designs!

October 21st, 2011 · 3 Comments

Check out some of these lovely creations designed by fellow customers! If you have a design that you’d like to share, send a picture to our Artbeads Blog e-mail at Happy Friday! Get inspired to create something new this weekend!

Helen made this lovely purple necklace and earring set using several beadweaving stitches with glass beads, Lucite and resin beads. Just gorgeous! Artbeads would like to wish Helen a happy birthday, too!

After Lynn purchased her peacock Russian artist pendant, it inspired her to create this incredible necklace. Surrounding the hand-painted focal are peach moonstone beads, potato pearls and glass tube beads, as well as some gold links. Lynn made this for her sister’s birthday, so hopefully she makes another one for herself!

Artbeads customer Melissa made this stunning necklace she calls “Butterfly Wishes.” Designed with 4mm and 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads, the top strand of her necklace can also be worn as a bracelet. What awesome versatility!

We love to see what you can create with our beads, so keep your designs coming! You next design just might inspire someone to start jewelry making.


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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs

New Wildly Bohemian Seed Bead Kits!

October 20th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Be prepared to explore your deepest seed bead desires with our new collection of Wildly Bohemian seed bead kits. These small kits have just the right amount of seed beads to get you started, perfect for beginners or beaders on the go. Choose from a variety of different colorful kits, including a holiday-themed kit and one packed with only blue and brown tones. Each kit includes ten plastic tubes filled with various seed bead sizes, shapes and colors and an extra handful of bigger seed beads at the bottom in coordinating colors with less traditional shapes. Use this Czech glass seed bead kit to create jewelry with a magical touch or use them to create the perfect nature-themed design. Don’t be afraid to experiment with seed beads! These kits are the perfect way to get started.


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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas · New Product Introductions

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October 19th, 2011 · 3 Comments

Do what you can to help support local animal shelters in finding loving homes for dogs. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, a time dedicated to finding a furry companion in need of rescue. If your heart has already welcomed an adopted pet, browse some of our dog jewelry supplies and ideas that you can make and share. This is a great way to help raise awareness about the many animals in need of a good home.

You can visit to learn more about this holiday and to search for adoptable animals in your area. We know there are many cute kitties in need of homes, too, so you can start making jewelry for Adopt a Shelter Cat Month when it comes this June. said it best when they wrote

… “when you adopt from a shelter or rescue group, you save a life — and un-break the heart of a dog looking for someone to love for a lifetime.”


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

Learning Center Idea – A Woman’s Fight

October 18th, 2011 · 3 Comments

In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, here’s a lovely jewelry idea for you to try. This pink and white bracelet features a cool multi-strand design made from bright fire-polished beads and lead-free TierraCast® pewter components. It takes less than an hour to create but will look like it was done by a professional. Make one today to help raise awareness for a good cause. You can also view our Breast Cancer Awareness page for more inspiration. To help raise awareness for other causes, check out our Awareness Jewelry section of the Learning Center and browse more free ideas.


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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

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