Blog for Beaders

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

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Entries from December 2012

New Year Resolution Giveaway

December 27th, 2012 · 140 Comments

**This contest is now closed. Thank you all for participating and congratulations to our winner, Ruth T!You can read her winning comment below.

Eat better, exercise more…it’s time to come up with a better New Year resolution for 2013! We already shared our employees’ New Year resolutions for better beading in the future, so now we want to hear from you. Enter our New Year Resolution Giveaway by leaving a comment below sharing what you plan to do in 2013. One winner will be randomly selected to win a $75 Artbeads email gift certificate to help them reach their beading resolution. Share yours and you might just encourage others to do the same!

Hurry, this contest ends Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 11:59pm (PST). One entry per person, please. For our official contest rules, please click here.

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Tags: Just For Fun!

Artbeads Employees’ New Year Resolutions

December 26th, 2012 · 7 Comments

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start thinking about changes in the coming year. We asked around to find out what some of the Artbeads staff have planned in 2013, and here are their goals:

“Flatback my world using the new pick-it-up tool!” —Yvette, Manager

“To learn more about bead embroidery using uncommon objects (I plan to go to antique stores) and bead around them.” —Cynthia, Co-Owner and Chief Jewelry Designer

“Organize my home studio. Organize to the point the workbench is visible. Make it so my cat doesn’t send product flying when he wishes to warm himself under my Ott light. That and make something every day.” —Teri, Jewelry Designer

“Start and complete the many ideas I have planned and not followed through with.” —Norma, Customer Service

“Get back to my watercolors” —Pat, Graphic Artist/Photo Editor

“Become more involved in activities outside of my house.” —Sherri, Product Coordinator

“I’ve been working on an ocean-themed lap quilt using colorful batik fabrics to create jellyfish and kelp. My New Year’s resolution is to finish sewing and embroidering the quilt so that I can start adding seed bead and crystal embellishments to it.” —Katie, Email Marketing Specialist

What’s your resolution for the new year?

-Marissa

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Tags: Just For Fun!

Artbeads Ugly Sweater Party 2012

December 25th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Happy Holidays from all of us at Artbeads. We hope everyone has a fun and safe celebration. In honor of this joyful time, we thought we’d share what happened around here for the holidays. The Artbeads crew got into the spirit a bit early with an ugly sweater party! Below are some of the best participants from this year.

Manager Val showed off her jingle bell Santa sweater so we could snap these pictures, but quickly realized her festive outfit a little too noisy.


Hilliary in shipping donned this so-cute-it’s-ugly Christmas sweater for us. It was definitely put a smile on everyone’s face.


Kinzi, another shipper, looked as cute as a button in her ugly sweater, complete with an obnoxious bow and fancy feathered detail.


Alanna, who works in distributing and special projects, went all out for hers. She sewed all of those pearls onto her sweater for added dimension—ugly in 3-D!


Tammy in receiving got into the holiday spirit with this ugly winter solstice sweater. It has an early 1990s ugliness feel going on, for sure.


Everyone had fun for the ugly sweater party, and we hope you all take the holiday spirit into 2013.

Merry Christmas!

-Marissa

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Tags: Just For Fun!

An Early Christmas Present

December 24th, 2012 · No Comments

Happy Christmas Eve! Today we’re spotlighting a fun winter craft project to prepare you for the holidays. You can switch the jolly Jack Frost picture with your favorite symbol of winter and match it with colorful Swarovski crystals. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can complete this idea! Read the instructions to make a holiday ring and give it as a gift or keep for yourself.

We wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas!

-Marissa

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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Welcome Winter

December 21st, 2012 · 1 Comment

Today is the official first day of winter, so it’s time to celebrate snowfall and freezing temperatures. Take advantage of the changing weather and stay inside this weekend making jewelry to match your winter wardrobe. This season our trend researchers discovered that black & white color schemes and looks with a military feel are hot for winter. Choose your favorite as inspiration to create something new, or check out all of our winter-themed jewelry designs available FREE in the Learning Center.

Happy winter!

-Marissa

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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Holidays from the Heart – Family Projects and Get Togethers

December 19th, 2012 · No Comments

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has made many people lose sight of what’s special about this time of the year. This year, instead of a gift purchased on impulse, give a gift from the heart: one made by loving hands that embraces its recipient in thoughtfulness and creates a lasting memory. We want to take you back to a time when gifts were more meaningful, when holiday family traditions were as much a gift as the box with the shiny bow. Our Holidays from the Heart series will provide you with gift ideas, decoration tips and more to prepare you for the most wonderful time of the year—full of good cheer and heartfelt traditions you can pass on to future generations. Each week until the end of December we will bring you inspiration for heartfelt gifts, fun family projects and party hosting.


Photo Source: A Christmas Story House and Museum.

This week is our final installment of Holidays from the Heart for 2012. We hope you’ve enjoyed our handmade projects and that they have inspired you to create your very own treasures filled with meaning and love. Use this time of holiday celebrations as an opportunity to sit down with your family and reflect on good times from the past year and beyond. Like a handmade gift, families aren’t supposed to be perfect. It’s these small imperfections that make them genuine, that give them character and heart. No one’s family is perfect, and there are always stories to illustrate this truth—but it’s those same stories that make us closer, and remind us why we wouldn’t want our family to be any other way. While you and your family work together on handmade projects, reflect on each of your favorite holiday memories. A Christmas Story would not be a favorite holiday movie if not for the lovable imperfections of each member, from the Old Man and his leg lamp to Mom’s persistence for Ralphie to wear his pink bunny PJ’s. Propose a toast to your aunt’s lumpy mashed potatoes, or the time your cousin started a snowball fight (and then abruptly ended it when she got pelted first). Prolong your family time with shared stories and one fun project each member can help with. This year be proud of the family you have—you only get one.

For a fun indoor winter project or holiday get together activity create your own snow globe! To make your own snow globe, first determine what kind of figurines you want to display inside. Check out our collection of Christmas jewelry supplies to find a cute addition for your snow globe! Next, find an old glass jar that will fit over your pieces. We used everything from baby food jars to mason jars for ours. Set epoxy clay on the inside of the jar lid and press your figures into the clay, and then allow the clay to cure. Fill the jar with distilled water and a few drops of glycerin. Add your favorite fake snow and a sprinkle of glitter and then glue the lid shut. Once the glue is dry you’re ready to display your new snow globe! Spend hours of fun making all sorts of unique creations that others can take home.

Happy Holidays from Artbeads!

-Marissa

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Tags: Holidays from the Heart

3-Day Earring Spectacular – Day 3

December 19th, 2012 · 1 Comment

It’s the last day of our 3-day earring spectacular and we’ve saved the best for last! Although there’s only one fast and free earring idea for today, we saved the most fanciful for last. Artbeads co-owner and chief jewelry designer Cynthia created these earrings using some of her favorite jewelry components, embellishments and epoxy clay for a romantic look. Read our simple instructions to recreate yours just in time for the next holiday party!

Floral Romantic Earrings

Repeat these steps for a second earring to complete the design! You may prepare the clay embellishments for both earrings at the same time in order to let them cure at the same time.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our fast and fun earring ideas this week! Remember, you can find hundreds more free earring ideas in our Learning Center!

-Marissa

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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

3-Day Earring Spectacular – Day 2

December 18th, 2012 · No Comments

We thought today we’d focus on some of the great découpage beads offered on our site. These beautiful, lightweight focal beads are perfect for making earrings. Cynthia, our chief jewelry designer, saw the potential of these and she had a blast coming up with different designs and color combinations to match all sorts of different découpage beads. Check out our collection and choose your favorite rounds to use. Then, follow our simple steps for either the fancy peacock earrings or cute owl earrings.

Peacock Earrings

Complete these steps again for a second earring and that’s it!

Owl Earrings

For these earrings, find your favorite 4mm and 6mm Swarovski bicone beads and spacers to accent the découpage bead.

  • Thread one 1-inch sterling silver head pin with one 6mm Swarovski bicone bead and finish it with a simple loop.
  • Thread one 2-inch eye pin with one 4mm bicone, one spacer, one découpage bead, another spacer and one more 4mm bicone bead. Finish this with a simple loop.
  • Attach the 6mm bicone simple loop to the ‘eye’ portion of your eye pin.
  • Connect the simple loop of the eye pin to one earwire.
  • Repeat these steps to create a second earring. You’re now ready to show off your beautiful new design!

    If you need more help making earrings, be sure to visit our Learning Center for more helpful tips. Stay tuned tomorrow for the final idea of our 3-day earring spectacular!

    -Marissa

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    Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

    3 Day Earring Spectacular – Day 1

    December 17th, 2012 · No Comments

    We’re back with another installment of our earring idea a day! Over the next three days we’ll showcase a simple earring idea you can make in no time, plus we’ll list the components and give you quick instructions. Artbeads co-owner and chief jewelry designer Cynthia put together each design with some of her favorite products from the past year.

    Today’s earring idea is a double dose for the holidays! Create each festive design or choose one to make as a quick gift.

    Christmas Tree Earrings

    Repeat these steps to create a second earring and you’re done!

    Candy Cane Earrings

    Repeat these steps to create a second earring and you’re done!

    Happy Holidays from Artbeads, and be sure to come back tomorrow for another easy earring idea!

    -Marissa

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    Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

    Artbeads Employee Spotlight – Meet Teri!

    December 14th, 2012 · 1 Comment

    The Artbeads team sure is an amazing crew. 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.

    Teri McCamish shines bright as one of our superstar jewelry designers in the Craft Room. Co-Owner and Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia had always admired Teri’s jewelry, and loved the unique ways Teri used some of the newest Artbeads products. When the Craft Room was in need of a new designer, Cynthia knew without a doubt that Teri would be a perfect choice. “Not only is she a great designer, but she is also a wonderful and sweet person. She is always smiling, caring and everyone in the company knows her.”

    Here’s what Teri had to say about the journey of jewelry making:

    “I really think the most interesting thing about my beading life is that I didn’t know anything about beading before I came to Artbeads in 2008. I loved beads. I shopped for them, hoarded them, but didn’t make anything with them. I’ve always loved jewelry and collecting beaded pieces. I applied [for Artbeads] at a temp agency not knowing what the job was, and when they told me I got it and it was for a bead company I was thrilled! To find a job in a creative field after doing many things that weren’t meant the world to me. It’s every bit as wonderful as you imagine to be surrounded by beautiful and shiny things.

    I learned everything I know from the Learning Center and my favorite TV show, Beads, Baubles and Jewels. While filling orders, my head would be swimming with ideas of things to make. My interest was so intense that I’d go home and pour over the web site, so when the other fulfillment folks would ask ‘What the heck do you do with this?’ I could tell them how it was used. For three years I worked in fulfillment and shipping before I was asked to join the design team in the Craft Room. Every night when I get home I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. I love helping people, learning new techniques, working with new products and creating all the lovely shiny things!”

    So what is Teri’s favorite tool?

    “It has to be my Tronex round nose pliers. The taper is so small on the ends I can make any size loop I need. That’s my only fancy tool everything else is fairly basic. One very basic tool that I have mad love for is the narrow bead scoop. So simple and yet so perfect for getting tiny things back into their bag. I may not have a pen handy but my bead scoop is always in my back pocket.”

    Besides beading, Teri is also very interested in plants and organic gardening. She hopes to one day become a Master Gardener and be able to devote time to teaching others what she has learned. She claims that music has a huge influence on your creativity, too: “It can really set a mood. I listen to all kinds but prefer instrumentals while I’m working so the words don’t occupy my brain. Plus, I tend to sing along—which is bad form in an office setting.”

    What does Teri advise for new beaders?

    “Practice. Don’t be afraid to take things apart and start over—just chalk it up to a learning experience. It’s a common tendency to think what you’ve made is going to make a wonderful gift but if that strand falls apart while your friend is in church, you won’t be remembered fondly for your great design. Wear test things, too. Better it break while you’re wearing it [than whomever you give it to]. That and be patient. It’s a relaxing craft, so don’t become frustrated and spoil the fun. Put it aside and start over!”

    We think that’s great advice for beginners and professionals alike! Teri admits that there are a few things she has been intimidated by: “I’m learning different bead weaving stitches now and really enjoying conquering what I’d previously thought was so hard. Honestly, I feel that anyone can do this at some level and that’s what makes working in the Learning Center such fun. Not everyone is going to take to bead embroidery like the work of Sherry Serafini. Not everyone has the budget to layer strands of precious metal and Swarovski beads. It’s our mission to inspire people to make what pleases them and help them with the details to make that happen.”

    The next time you see a beautiful new jewelry or craft idea displayed in our Learning Center, that piece may have come from the skillful hands of Teri. Remember that she and so many others at Artbeads are always keeping a keen eye on 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.

    -Marissa

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    Tags: Employee Gallery of Designs

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