Blog for Beaders

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


Entries from May 2012

Artbeads Employee Spotlight – Colleen the Component Queen!

May 31st, 2012 · 2 Comments

Artbeads employees are passionate about ensuring your selection of beads and jewelry supplies are sufficient. Each person, from the inventory team to product fillers and customer service members, all contribute to the ultimate goal of providing high-quality pieces to our customers. We want to introduce you to one of our star employees.

You may remember reading a little bit about Colleen in our last Employee Spotlight with Ryan. Colleen is Ryan’s roommate who makes wind chimes out of found objects and driftwood. What you don’t know is that she makes other colorful, creative things that serve a purpose.

Colleen Sly rocks as one of our order fillers in fulfillment, double-checking what gets put inside those individually-packaged products. When she finds cool beads to use with her collection of cute knick-knacks they always turn in to amazing displays.

One of Colleen’s most elaborate wind chimes is hanging in our building, helping to brighten up the day!

Another special project Colleen has is making bead gardens for her sister. The bright displays are an assortment of her favorite pieces that would put a smile on anyone’s face. This is precisely why she makes them!

Colleen started making them to help cheer up her sister when she’s sad, and they have now blossomed into sources of inspiration for everyone. Her eye for beauty in every tiny piece is what makes Colleen such a joy to have at Artbeads!


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Tags: Employee Gallery of Designs

Happy Survivor Day

May 31st, 2012 · No Comments

On this date in the year 2000, the popular reality TV game show Survivor aired on CBS. Contestants are grouped into different “tribes” and must compete in the isolated wilderness through a series of challenges. All of the contestants then meet weekly to vote one member off the island. The sole survivor is crowned the winner! One of the cool concepts in the show is the hidden immunity idol, a piece of jewelry that allows players to save others from exile. To celebrate the anniversary of this game-changing reality show, try making your own immunity idol! A really simple idea is to wrap a large donut pendant onto a leather cord. You could even be more elaborate and try a design like our Tribal Roots Necklace featured above.


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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

Escape to an Exotic Place

May 30th, 2012 · No Comments

Create a pair of earrings that will take you to another world with nothing more than epoxy clay and a single crystal. This simple style is perfect for a hot summer night and takes just minutes to make. Put your own twist on this design by using a different color of clay and a coordinating crystal to match your personality! You can read the free earring instructions in our Learning Center, where you’ll find thousands more jewelry and craft ideas.


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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

TierraCast Bails that fit Swarovski Pendants

May 29th, 2012 · 3 Comments

If you’re in search of compatible components to finish your next jewelry idea you’re in luck! We’ve put together a list of jewelry bails from TierraCast that are compatible with some of your favorite pendants from SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. Bails are an excellent way to display pendants easily in a design, and with TierraCast you’ll get great lead-free components that are safe for anyone to wear. View our compatibility PDF file now to start creating your next piece.


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Tags: Beader's Resource

Artbeads Employee Spotlight – Meet Ryan!

May 25th, 2012 · 17 Comments

The Artbeads crew is an amazing cast of characters. Each person, from the inventory team to product fillers and customer service members, all contribute to the ultimate goal of providing high-quality pieces to our customers. We want to introduce you to one of our star employees.

Ryan Messinger is one of the outstanding employees at Artbeads who has discovered a passion for jewelry making since being here. Ryan, who has helped in filling orders and in shipping for four years, caught the eye of co-owner Cynthia when she noticed other employees wearing his amazing designs. When she asked them who made their jewelry they told her it was Ryan. His raw talent has blossomed from a chance experience at a beading party into intricate, detailed designs. We recently had the chance to ask Ryan about his jewelry-making journey and what he has planned for the future.

When did you first start beading?
Two years ago I went to my first beading party. Cynthia taught me how to wire wrap earrings and how to make bails. It was nice to have her teach me right away…the right way. I like the wire wrap. On my first day of the beading party I picked all the dichroic out of the boxes and a lot of Swarovski. I made 7 pairs of earrings and saved them until Christmas time, and then gave them to my best girl friends at work. I also made one-strand bracelets with TOHO [seed beads] and gave them as Christmas gifts to the rest of the girls I work with. I never thought that I would enjoy beading as much as I did. And since [the beading party], I look at the beads a lot closer when I’m filling orders.

Where do you go to bead?
At home I have my own beading table, like a dining room table. My roommate Colleen and I have a ton of beads and we just add it together and now after work we sit and bead together. The dining room table is now covered in beads! I use a tray to put my beads in when I sit and watch TV.

Where do you eat?
On our laps!

Do you sell your jewelry anywhere?
I sold some of it to a consignment store in Ocean Shores. But I recently went back and got the rest of my stuff because they have a time limit of [how long you can keep your stuff there.] Whatever of yours they don’t sell they donate it so I got my stuff before they donated it. I’m gearing up to start selling online using ShopHandmade.

So would you and Colleen sell online together?
We make our own things, but if we ever did get a store we’d probably do it together. She makes wind chimes. She takes old driftwood to use for the tops, and puts floating beads on clear fishing line…the Venetian glass beads that look really nice. She also uses old brooches with broken backs in the wind chimes.

What are your favorite beads?
Dichroic beads. NASA invented it for the reflection on their satellites and now they’re beads. Dichroic beads are popular. I love TOHO’s, too. The silver-lined or color-lined especially.

I really like Swarovski—pretty much all Swarovski! I love the sew-on ones. I want to try and make a top with sew-on crystals. I’m actually supposed to make a veil for a friend and I was thinking of using Swarovski flatbacks. I’m also supposed to make a couple of wedding gifts for friends.

I got my ears pierced about 6 months ago, and ever since we got those glue-on earring posts I’ve made earrings [for myself]. I use the Swarovski enhanced flatbacks.

What are your favorite colors of flatbacks?
My favorite color for flatbacks is Bermuda Blue. I like the ones that change colors, like Crystal Volcano and Tabac.

Do you have any summer projects planned?
I want to get some leather and get something that a guy would wear that would go with leather. Eventually I’ll be able to learn make more elaborate stuff and make more guy stuff.

You can see the newest bracelets Ryan made in the image above. These beautiful pieces were made with TOHO seed beads and Swarovski sew-on crystals.

Anything you want to add?
I never thought I’d have so much fun with jewelry and it’s a great hobby; it helps calm me. It helped me bond with everyone I work with, too. I love working at, my favorite place to shop. Their great selection is helping to feed my hobby!

The next time you open up your Artbeads order, unwrap the purple tissue paper to reveal your delicately wrapped beads, remember that Ryan was there. Each shipper signs the invoice so you know your order was checked. Look to see if Ryan’s signature is on your next order! Remember that he and so many others at Artbeads are always keeping a keen eye what cool new ideas can be created, and dedicate their time to ensuring your products are the best—they know what a designer wants because they’re designers themselves.


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Tags: Employee Gallery of Designs

Ocean Dreams Giveaway Winners!

May 25th, 2012 · 3 Comments

Congratulations to the winners of our Ocean Dreams Giveaway. Ten lucky winners will each receive a cute sea-themed prize with enough components to create a beautiful bracelet and a necklace. Here’s a list of all our winners:
Linda from AZ
Irene from AK
Lindsay from NY
Cara W. from AB
Marcela B. from FL
Barbara S. from OH
Sue from FL
Debbie from CA
Anne from WI
Susan from OH

Thanks to everyone who entered. This was one of our most successful giveaways yet! Stay tuned for our next contest coming soon.

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Tags: Just For Fun!

Made in the USA

May 24th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Get patriotic this Memorial Day weekend and stock up on jewelry supplies made in the USA! All of these items are created in the United States, including gorgeous beads and high-quality tools. You can search by product or brand, but either way you’ll find amazing quality pieces. Don’t forget right now you can get 20% off your no-minimum, site-wide purchase with coupon code ZZMY20. Shop for American-made jewelry supplies now!

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Tags: Company News

When to use Links

May 23rd, 2012 · 2 Comments

Jewelry links are an excellent way to create a multi-stranded design or to make a dangling focal for an elaborate piece. There are so many ways to use links it often becomes overwhelming and beginning beaders shy away from exploring new options. The simplest way to use a link is to create two separate strands and then connect them to a link with jump rings. This will add length to your looks and create more dimension! Here are few more ways you can add links to your next idea:

  • Set off a focal point in a necklace
  • Create an asymmetric look with one side single strand and the other side multi-strand
  • Embellish with flatbacks to create a unique pendant
  • Add a dangling charm to an earring idea

Discover what fun new creations you come up with when you work links into your designs. Check out some free jewelry ideas below to incorporate links for some inspiration!

Urban Poppy Bracelet

Copper Couture Necklace

Nesting Necklace

Celtic Tale Earrings


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Tags: Ask The Experts · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Shop Our Memorial Day Sale!

May 22nd, 2012 · No Comments

Get ready to shop and save big during our Memorial Day Sale! Right now you can save 20% store-wide, with no minimum purchase. Stock up on your basic essentials or buy that beautiful pendant you’ve had your eye on for a while. Just use the coupon code ZZMY20 when you check out to score this amazing deal. Hurry! This sale ends Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 so find your favorite beads and jewelry supplies now!

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Tags: Company News

Catch Dad a Great Handmade Gift!

May 21st, 2012 · No Comments

Looking for something to make for your father before it’s too late? Make a quick keychain that reflects his interests. Our Catch of the Day Keychain was made for Artbeads CEO and Co-Owner Devin to reflect his love of fishing and to display three of his handmade flies. You can learn how to create a Father’s Day keychain by reading the free instructions in our Learning Center and then personalize it with things that your dad likes!


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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

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