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The Tucson Ten

April 5th, 2013 · 73 Comments

The Tucson Ten

We picked up these fab finds back in February during our adventures at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. These beads are full of life, shine and spice – the perfect combination to spark the imagination. Now you have a chance to win these beads and more in our incredible Tucson Ten Giveaway!

Ten lucky fans will win the three strands plus one of the bold black and white polymer clay beads. All of these beads are super exclusive, so you won’t find them anywhere on our site. It’s enough to get any beader excited, delighted and inspired! All you have to do is tell us a story about these beads by leaving a comment below. What do these beads make you think of? What would you do with them? Do they inspire you? Do they remind you of anyone you know? Get creative with your story, because we’ll be picking our faves to win!

But this contest doesn’t end here. That’s right, this one’s a two-parter! If you win the beads, you have another chance to win. We’ll be asking the winners to design a piece of jewelry or even a set with these beads for another chance to win, this time a $50 gift certificate! If you don’t win, you have the chance to vote on the designs and we have some surprises in store for voters, too. More details will follow once we’ve announced our ten winners.

You have from today, April 5 until Thursday April 11, 2013 at 11:59pm PST to enter to win a set of these beads. One entry per person, please. See our official contest rules for more details. Once we announce the winners on April 12, we will have more details about the next round. We can’t wait to read your story, so enter now!

Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

73 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carolyn Cason // Apr 5, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Would love to win these beads.

  • 2 Juliana Taper // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Thinking of the polymer bead with some of my hematite and white rounds for a cool summer look.

  • 3 Maxine Booth // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

    these would be fabulous to win

  • 4 Pam Barnes // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Love the beads. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • 5 Natalie J // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:21 am

    So beautiful! The clay beads are really unique and really remind me of the rock carvings in AZ. I think they would stand out so strongly in any piece!

  • 6 Shannon Rutt // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I would love to design a “boho” chic set of jewelry with these beads! I have a ’69 VW Bus that we’ve converted to a pop-up bead shop! We’re just entering “market” season and love to go to all the indie fairs and farmers markets during the summer! I’m thinking boho, layers, brown leather, and of course a little bling with these beads….haute hippie!!!

  • 7 Barbara Shaw // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Im thinking a safari type theme

  • 8 Tammy // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

    love love the black & white beads!

  • 9 Ana kast // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:28 am

    These coloring of these beads remind me of a frothy iced tea with a lime on the side :o )

  • 10 renee // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:29 am

    So very very pretty!

  • 11 Anissa Gahagan // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I love them all but I especially LOVE the B&W beads! They remind me of the Art Bra I just created for the Austin Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) fundraiser. What’s an Art Bra? A bra designed and decorated, to be modeled by a breast cancer patient, and later auctioned off, during their annual fundraiser in May. This year, my design is based on the glamour of 1940′s Hollywood. I handmade a dozen or so black ribbon flowers, and sewed them on a white bra, along with black and white trims. I finished by scattered black crystals across the front of the bra. The cancer patient/survivor who was selected to model it is going to dress as Audrey Hepburn for the event. Can’t get much more iconic than that! I am fortunate to not be a BCRC client but I have friends who are so I support this very worthy organization for them and the other clients of BCRC.

  • 12 Jennifer Causley // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:36 am

    The colors remind me of a dusty thrift/junk shop I was in on a stop through Oatman, AZ on our way to the Grand Canyon last fall. I took a picture there of an old teddy bear sitting on an old rusty milk jug. Also April 11 is my Birthday!! :)

  • 13 Billie Jackson // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Do you sell beads? Would like to order from Artbeads. Thanks

  • 14 Maria // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Reminds me of my hubby an the adventures we took together. He loves the b&w combination. And we love to go nature trippin’. Would love to make somethig for myself in time for our wedding anniversary.

  • 15 Merle UNoki // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:40 am


  • 16 Susan M // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Majik, my spotted bengal cat and I went camping this Easter weekend. We spent time walking in the moss covered woods where the colors of green, brown and gold were amazing. The night was so dark and the stars so bright. A bracelet of these beads would be a perfect reminder with the white and black bead as a dangly off the clasp

  • 17 Deb // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Reminds me of old west jewelry for men and women. I would make a bolero sort of thing with the black and white clay bead as the focal point. Hhhmmm, I can picture it with a casual white button down shirt and jeans, or maybe leggins!!!

  • 18 Smpetersen // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I’m picturing an African Safari. Lots of animal tones. Will inspire me to get back into designing some new pieces!

  • 19 Mary // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Love all the colors but especially the black and white ones…they are stark and pretty all at the same time. The other beads look more like the colors of nature…sand and forest combined. All lovely.

  • 20 Marilyn McAllister // Apr 5, 2013 at 10:53 am

    The black and white beads are so pretty, they remind me of sea urchins in their shape and to combine them with different colors of sea glass would be awesome. A necklace or bracelet, or both. They would be striking together. I hope I get the opportunity to do just that because I would love to be able to work them into something beautiful.

  • 21 Mary Moody // Apr 5, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I just (not 10 minutes ago) finished watching the very first episode of the Lone Ranger. I’ve wanted to watch it for years and found it on youtube today. That was the first thing I thought of when I saw these beads. The six beads in the center are the six Texas Rangers who were looking for the Cavendish gang. The one on the top is the one survivor — the Lone Ranger, and the designs on them remind me of Tonto. The rest of the beads remind me of the color of a canyon – and a canyon is where the ambush took place. I’d love to make a necklace from them to honor one of my childhood heroes.

  • 22 Sarah // Apr 5, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I want to thank you for the opportunity to enter the Tucson Ten Giveaway. The beads gets your imagination flowning. I am excited about this giveaway. I would love to have the chance to create something beautiful and magical with these awesome beads.

  • 23 Michele Smith // Apr 5, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Those beads would inspire maybe for an safari type style necklace, bracelet and/ or earring set. I would definitely try to make my own glass beads to give it a more bolder chunky look to it.

  • 24 BJ Cloouston // Apr 5, 2013 at 11:30 am

    The black and white beads make me think of little Indian baskets. They would make a lovely necklace accented with a splash of color – ruby crystals.

  • 25 R.A.Shoaf // Apr 5, 2013 at 11:40 am


  • 26 Nan Gilbert // Apr 5, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I need to hold them in my hands to be fully inspired by their possibilities; however, they look like a true “Nan” piece of jewelry-one made by me and worn by me-one not for re-sale. Sorry, folks who covet my designs.

  • 27 Heather Key // Apr 5, 2013 at 11:50 am

    The combination of the polymer clay and the brown ‘marbled’ beads remind me of Georgia O’Keefe – her many paintings of both flowers of all kinds, and the New Mexico landscape that she loved so much. I would definitely use those beads in a necklace or set to commemorate her, and possibly the small black beads as well.

    The white and brown spotted beads I might mix with some shell beads I have in a ‘land and sea’ animal theme.

  • 28 Jennifer // Apr 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Oh. My. There are SOOOOOO many amazing pieces that could be made with these!!! I agree with those who have said ‘safari’ or ‘carved rock’. There’s something very “earthy” about these beads.

    And then one of my cats jumped on my desk. She’s a seal point Birman (like a Siamese, but long fur & white paws). These beads remind me of her. Beautiful. Exotic. And playful!!!

  • 29 Christine // Apr 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    These beads are so incredible. I feel inspired looking at the photos – dreaming of the beautiful pieces I could create with these lovelies.

  • 30 Darlene // Apr 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    These beads remind me of my heritage. I am Cherokee and think these could do something native american.

  • 31 Laura // Apr 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Those brown and white beads look just like the pattern on a giraffe. They look so playful. My favorites though are the small round beads on the left of the picture at the top of the page. They look so versatile and I would use them in everything.

  • 32 Peggy Russell // Apr 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    My grandmother was very conservative in all she did, except her jewelry! She would be in basic navy, head to toe, but would throw on a few strands of marble painted wood beads and couple of rows of ‘wild’ bracelets. I would make a few pieces in her honor with these beads.

  • 33 Julie // Apr 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    All are gorgeous but the brown and white beads remind me of the beautiful spotted pattern on a giraffe. I would love to use them to create some jewelry inspired by the savannah.

  • 34 Karen // Apr 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I had a beautiful red brindle greyhound, Daisy, that I lost to cancer last fall. The gorgeous flowered black and white bead immediately made me think of her. I have started making beaded tag collars for those graceful long greyhound necks and these beads would be wonderful for this.

  • 35 Amanda T. // Apr 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    These beads remind me of the wild wild west, of cowboy hats, jean jackets and rope. Boots and spurs and stars, oh my. I think of the spots on the wild animals running free; reminds me of being in the country on a ranch and of sunny skies. You could also go the other way and make something African inspired. Giraffes come to mind. I would love to get creative with these beads.

    The black and white beads remind me of zebras, weddings, even dessert. Lots of ideas swirling for these.

    The other two types of beads remind me of Crocodile Dundee or the jungle. Silly, I know, but I think of pyramids, crocs, gold treasure chests, palms and swamps when I look at these. Beautiful beads.

    I would most likely make some awesome theme-d earrings with them. I’d pair them with some findings I currently have. Yes, definitely excited to make some earrings with these beads!!!

  • 36 Pattie // Apr 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    These beads remind me of time spent in Arizona with my in laws. I would make a set of jewelry to honor my Mother-in-law.

  • 37 liz crafton // Apr 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    These beads inspire me in many different ways. With the ones on the left, I would make a rosary for my friend Cathy. the ones in the back would make a cute safari necklace featuring a lion pendant that I just picked up – I’d give that one to my sister…the beads on the right would make a perfect necklace and bracelet set for my mom. And, finally, I’d use the black and white bead with some turquoise rounds and make a bracelet – a little somethin’ somethin’ for myself! ;)

  • 38 Pamela Jopson // Apr 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I smell leather and painted ponies skittering from a rattlesnake. Black and white sombrero sea biscuits rise like Kitt Peak tagged by artistic aliens. Tucson at night! Let me at ‘em.

  • 39 Dorothy Newkirk // Apr 5, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    How do you enter, where is the form?????

  • 40 Cathy Williams // Apr 6, 2013 at 6:53 am

    I practically live in your store & you never disappoint! Your new Tucson beads are simply gorgeous. I love the greeny-bronze beads; the colors are among my favorites. The black & white beads remind me of Russian Imperial Faberge eggs. I’m thinking of making a necklace with silver accents & a focal black gemstone bead.

  • 41 Annie // Apr 6, 2013 at 7:50 am

    I have a pendant just waiting for those ‘giraffe’ looking beads!

  • 42 Vandy // Apr 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Love these!

  • 43 Pat Nathan // Apr 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I was immediately reminded of my 2nd grade outing to the zoo! Reason being…the giraffe spotted kinda beads…the polymer ones reminding me of the buttons on my favorite dress that I wore, the sparkly ones put me in mind of the lil snacks you used to could buy to feed the giraffes. They were dispensed from a gumball machine, a handful in exchange for a penny. In my penny went, out came the handful of snacks! I looked up just in time to see a giraffe extending a four foot long spit drenched tongue directly over me, it ignored the small hands holding out snacks and wrapped around my bright red hair and actually lifted me off the ground before keepers and various adults came running and shouting :) I’ve had this curious love affair with giraffes ever since, and would certainly be that 2nd grader all over again wearing these fabulous beads!!

  • 44 Leigh-Anne // Apr 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Ooh, these beads remind me of my one and only trip I took to Tucson, on business (I was in sales, not for beading at the time). I would add some sky blue beads and maybe a hint of red – which reminds me of the lovely cardinal I saw in a tree while I was there!

  • 45 samantha kocsis // Apr 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    I would love love love to win this pieces!

  • 46 Judy J // Apr 6, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I can think of many creative ways to use these special beads. Thanks!

  • 47 Pamela // Apr 6, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    As our hero trudged through the desert in search of the rare black round-flower (known for its magical powers) she suddenly stopped in her tracks as a brown and white snake slithered across her path. It was not fear that arrested her though. The undulating light reflecting off the creature mesmerized her and drew her along behind it. She followed the creature deeper into the green ochre canyon and gasped when she rounded a corner. There loomed an ancient statue of pure gold! “It’s the guardian of the round-flower!” I’m close!” She followed the direction of light shining off the gold. But her adventure was just beginning as she ended up in a mysterious maze of obsidian walls. She followed every twist and turn, deeper and deeper into the maze. She fell into a hypnotic trance thinking of nothing but the round flower. Then suddenly she awoke, with the impression of a round polymer bead on her cheek, and she reminded herself that she shouldn’t sleep in her jewelry.

  • 48 Mary Jo // Apr 6, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I think the black and white beads are really interesting – nice contrast and design

  • 49 jenny holt // Apr 7, 2013 at 9:39 am

    wooooooooooooooohooooo sound like fun

  • 50 KarenLF // Apr 8, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Beautiful beads. Would love to win this. :)

  • 51 Patty // Apr 8, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Love, love, LOVE these!!! ALL of them – so beautiful, and so so many possibilities!!!

  • 52 Audrey Allen // Apr 8, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I love the beads. Love the earthy tones The black and white focal beads remind me of native American pottery. I could see designing something with a desert fill.

  • 53 Susan Wilder // Apr 8, 2013 at 9:05 am

    These beautiful beads definitely inspire me to make something different then I normally would….they remind me of my childhood friend who passed away way before her time, actually 25 yrs ago…..the white w/black florals definitely remind me of the “sixtie’s”. Would love to Win these and create something neat!~Thanks for the chance!

  • 54 Ramona Moreland // Apr 8, 2013 at 9:22 am

    These beads just reinforce the knowledge that I have about the American Southwest: if I ever visited, I would never return to the East Coast. I love everything about the west – the mountains, the deserts, the architecture, the people, wild horses, EVERYTHING! I just know deep down inside that is where I was meant to be, although I have never had the privilege to going – YET!

  • 55 Pamela S Orians // Apr 8, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I have family in Tucson. I visited my snow-bird grandparents several times. My grandfather took me to the Gem & Mineral show about 30 years ago. I still have the little mint green earrings (aventurine) I purchased. My aunt gave me several Degrazia (raised relief pendant) necklaces that were given away at her sorority sister events. I love the Gallery in the Sun. I hope I win these beads…… I intend to take one of the Degrazia pendants off their leather strap home and create a memory/legacy to my grandfather’s love of gems and minerals, my fun trips to Tucson, and precious hand-me-down gifts from my Auntie :)

  • 56 Crystal // Apr 8, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Omg wow I’d love to win these and they inspire me to make a beautiful necklace set using wire and Swarovski crystals aswell and well so many projects run threw my mind when I look at these beautiful beads ooh I’d have so much fun with these that’s for sure but whoever wins these will be lucky that’s for sure so good luck all

  • 57 Allegra Wilson // Apr 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    When I saw this it immediately inspired me to think of creating a Good Luck Necklace for our BBQ Competition team.! I have been trying to find something that would be the perfect combination for a good luck necklace so I can look good if we get photo’d when we win an award! LOL…sounds vain but when you are up for over 24 hours cooking you need all the help you can get to look good! I could easily makes something matching for husband as well! Cheers!

  • 58 Joanne // Apr 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    love the beads especially the black and whites one they remind of my Ragdoll who is sealpoint mitted….. I could make something really pretty with those. need to see them for more inspiration ,im sure they are even pretty in person.

  • 59 kim e miles // Apr 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Love Tucson! Love this!

  • 60 Linda M // Apr 10, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    These earthy beads deserve the elegance of wrapped wire and slim lines. Perhaps simple bead and wire links with custom swirled wire clasp. The bead tones also bring a natural feel of desert and canyon and would accent well with hemp cord. Every time I look at these beads something else dances in my head and begs to be born. Ah, so many beads, so little time.

  • 61 Megan Klein // Apr 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I’m reminded of the beach – the PC beads look like sand dollars and the brown and white look like sea turtle shells.

  • 62 Nat Mathews // Apr 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    They remind me of Mimbres pottery, shotgun pellets, broken shards of beer and liquor bottles, and insect larvae; everything southern New Mexico. I lived there for over a year and met my husband there. There is a feeling of vast loneliness and violence sometimes mixed with the soft buzz of small things flitting about, very much alive.

  • 63 Alisa Murphy // Apr 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    These lovely beads remind me of the time I lived and Texas and our military moves and travels across the southwest. What a memory piece I could make with these percious finds pictured here along with tiny treasures I have collected over the years.

  • 64 Wendy Howerter // Apr 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Would love to create something new with these beads!

  • 65 Tammy Mundy // Apr 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!!! They remind me of a safari! Or even a weekend on the ranch…Leather would look FABULOUS mixed with them!

  • 66 Susie Hall // Apr 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    The beautiful earth tones made me think of the Grand Canyon and all it’s splendor!

  • 67 Dhea // Apr 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I’d love to win these beads!!! I love the colors and textures. I think I’d like to make one of my multiple strand bracelets with them. :) My husband and I dream of having a working ranch someday. One that we can run a food pantry on for our community, among other things. And these beads make me think of that. Add in that they are earthy and rustic… and I love everything about them! What a pretty collection. I pray I’ll get a chance to be one of the winners. Thank you for this chance!! :)

  • 68 Susan Hedberg // Apr 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Mother Earth-These beads are organic and lovely. Yesterday we went up to our cabin in the woods and the colors there were similar to these. Looking down at the ground we saw damp, dark rotting leaves that soon would return to being earth. The gray bark of the naked trees had the black, and gray colors of the polymer beads and the smokey quartz. We didn’t see any animals that had the colors of agates (no giraffes…) but did see a ground hog that had the subtle grays and browns of the beads. I found a turkey feather and that too echoed the colors of this assemblage of beads. As Spring is trying to burst out, we did see a few green sprouts but it was still mainly the earthy tones.

  • 69 Tracy // Apr 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    The black and white beads make my mouth water! Crazy right? But they remind me of my favorite sinful dessert…..Oreo balls. I love them all but the black and white one would make lovely earrings.

  • 70 Jennifer // Apr 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    All of these beautiful beads remind me of the outdoors. The black and white flower beads are so pretty and would make great earrings or a focal bead on a bracelet!

  • 71 Betty Winslow // Apr 11, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I’d use the clay beads with copper and leather to make a desert-inspired necklace. Then I’d use the strands on the left to make a lovely layered bracelet.

  • 72 Heather tang // Apr 11, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    These beads remind me of my grandparents and all the wonderful times we spend together when I was a child. My grandfather was a rugged man who was a farmer and had a real love for the desert. I remember his bolo ties and that he was a real smart dresser. My grandmother was a petite woman with the most beautiful white hair. Somehow the color combonation of these beads reminds me of our times together, especially the decor of their house. I see a multicolor, multistrand necklace, and earrings utilizing the black n white beads.

  • 73 The Tucson Ten – Round Two…You Vote & You Could Win! // May 13, 2013 at 10:13 am

    [...] Tucson Ten jewelry designs are in and ready and waiting for your vote! We asked the winners of our Tucson Ten Giveaway to create designs with the beads they won and gave them a month to create. Now, their designs are [...]

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