Blog for Beaders

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

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Having Fun with the Spiral Stitch

April 11th, 2015 · 3 Comments

spiral stitch jewelry

If you’re new to bead weaving, a great place to start is with the spiral stitch. This simple stitch comes together quickly and looks great. You don’t have to be a beginner to enjoy it, either! Anyone can have fun making spiral stitch jewelry. Just ask Artbeads Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura. Cynthia is a pro when it comes to bead weaving and she has fallen in love with this stitch. Just look at some of the creations she’s made!

Berry Bunches

Cynthia used seed beads and Swarovski pearls in the spiral stitch to create these Berry Bunches bracelets. The larger pearls stand out among the colorful seed beads. Of course, Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends are a great option for this stitch. They give you the perfect color palettes to work with, so you can focus on the fun stitch.

Corsica

These Corsica bracelets feature the same spiral stitch with smaller seed beads. That’s the cool part about this stitch: changing up the beads completely transforms the look of your designs! No wonder Cynthia is having a blast with this technique. Here’s what the stitch looks like with crystal bicones in her Grape Trellis bracelet:

Grape Trellis

Cynthia used an Artbeads Designer Blend featuring Swarovski bicones in the perfect colors to match her seed beads. The beads and look may change, but the stitch stays the same and it couldn’t be easier. Check out our Artbeads Mini Tutorial video and Cynthia will teach you the technique:

Now that you’ve learned this fun and simple stitch, it’s time to check out the variation on this technique: the flat spiral stitch.

Marceline Bracelets

This stitch is quick to complete and looks stunning! As with the spiral stitch, switching up the beads really changes the look. These three Marceline bracelets are so distinct thanks to the different colors and beads used. You can create two rows of flat spiral stitch for an even more astounding look. Cynthia shows off this technique in her Cora bracelet:

Cora

The seed beads framing the pearls create a regal look we love. You can see the flat spiral stitch technique in action in the Mini Tutorial video below:

After Cynthia made all of these fantastic jewelry pieces, she was ready to teach a bunch of us here at Artbeads just how easy it is to make spiral stitch designs!

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We gathered in the craft room and Cynthia helped us out with our own spiral stitch creations. We all had fun choosing different combinations of beads. Check out how the double flat spiral stitch changes when you use Miyuki baroque pearl beads:

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You can also use fire-polished beads to great effect in this stitch, as well. These economical options are available in a variety of colors, so you’re sure to find something to suit your style. We used golden fire-polished beads with coppery seed beads for a modern look:

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We had fun learning this technique from Cynthia and with the Mini Tutorials above, you will too! Whether you are a beginner or an experienced beader, you’re sure to fall in love with this addicting stitch. We haven’t stopped making new designs. Make sure to share your spiral stitch creations with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Beader's Resource · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

The Beauty of Spring

March 7th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Spring Jewelry at Artbeads.com

It seems like everyone is just about ready for spring to arrive! Whether you’re planning gardens, updating your fall wardrobe, getting ready for spring cleaning, starting new jewelry projects, or just wanting to shake the cold weather, spring is a season everyone looks forward to. This season, pastels and florals are making a modern comeback and we have some fabulous ideas for spring jewelry-making to get you inspired!

Pocket Full of Posies Bracelet

Pocket Full of Posies Bracelet

It’s always exciting to see flowers poke up out of the ground when spring arrives. This Pocket Full of Posies bracelet celebrates the excitement and colorful beauty of fresh spring flowers. Acrylic flowers paired with Swarovski crystal beads make a can’t-miss statement in this design. You could easily make matching earrings to go along with this bracelet.

First Bloom Bracelet

First Bloom Bracelet

A softer take on the celebration of fresh flowers, our First Bloom bracelet showcases a Grace Lampwork bead decorated with pink and blue flowers. It’s a perfect representation of the first spring flowers opening up on a crisp and sunny day. The spring look is so subtle, you could wear this design year round!

Spring Lotus Ring

Spring Lotus Ring

Our Spring Lotus ring is another subtle spring look. This simple design uses wire-wrapping to create the highly professional look. Because the ring is made from wrapped wire, you can easily adjust the design to fit your finger. Switch out the crystals for Pacific Opal and Rose Water Opal colors for a pastel version of this ring.

Sugar Bowl Bracelet

Sugar Bowl Bracelet

Let’s not forget that spring is a bright and colorful season, just like this bracelet! Furnace glass dangles create pops of juicy color in this playful Sugar Bowl design. It’s just like a fresh bouquet of picked flowers: thoughtful, vibrant and sweet!

Our customers have also created some fabulous spring jewelry! Check out Artbeader Linda’s bracelet design:

Linda's Spring Bracelet

Linda’s Spring Bracelet

Linda used some of our grass green TOHO seed beads in this sweet beaded bracelet. They make a beautiful accent of color to the pastel tones. Linda liked the fact that she was able to go through these beads several times with her beading thread.

You’ve seen some fabulous jewelry designs to get you inspired, and now it’s time to take a look at some beads you could use in your very own spring designs! Beautiful beads are the foundation for any design and these spring-themed treasures are sure to spark your imagination.

Pastel Beads!

Pastel Beads!

Spring is always a good time to incorporate pastels into your designs and Swarovski has created beautiful pearls and crystals featuring Crystal Powder effects in pastel colors. These delicious pastels are a more contemporary version of the classic take on pastel color. The trendy powder colors offer a softer, subtle elegance with a hint of nostalgia in a modern interpretation. To go along with new Swarovski pastel colors, our designers have created some pastel Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends. Use the seed beads and crystals together for unforgettable spring style!

Floral Lampwork Beads

Floral Lampwork Beads

Finally, these lampwork beads are a great way to kick off any spring design. You can use them together in a jewelry set or try them in different ideas for a pop of fresh color. We love the floral details on each one.

After all of these beads and jewelry designs, spring has definitely sprung on the Artbeads Blog for Beaders. Now the weather just needs to catch up! While we wait for the arrival of spring, let us know what you’re planning for the season. Share your jewelry ideas in the comments below, or post a picture on our Facebook page. Then, make sure to take a look at all of our spring jewelry ideas right here.

→ 1 CommentTags: Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

A Knitting Giveaway – Featuring Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends

January 22nd, 2015 · 5 Comments

Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends

Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends are full of fun colors that work perfectly in all kinds of designs. Laura Nelkin, knitwear designer, blogger, author and Artbeader recently used one of our Blends to embellish her knitted bulb cuff design featured in a segment of the show Knitting Daily TV!

Photo courtesy of nelkindesigns.blogspot.com

Photo courtesy of nelkindesigns.blogspot.com

You can learn all about her experience on the show over on her blog. You’ll also find a fun giveaway where you could win one FULL DVD set of the entire 1400 season of Knitting Daily TV, along with some Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends and yarn to knit your own bulb cuff just like Laura’s!

Photo courtesy of nelkindesigns.blogspot.com

Photo courtesy of nelkindesigns.blogspot.com

To enter, head over to Laura’s blog post about her KDTV experience and leave a comment on the post by 11pm (EST) on January 25th, 2015. What are you waiting for? Enter now! Once you’ve entered, tell us about your favorite Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends and how you use them in the comments below, or share with us on Facebook.

→ 5 CommentsTags: Just For Fun!

Swarovski Rivolis

January 9th, 2015 · 3 Comments

rivolimagic

Swarovski rivoli crystals are beautiful stones that make a sparkling impact on any design. Their unique facets refract light in a dazzling display. These stones don’t have stringing holes, so they work best as embellishments in bead embroidery or even in beaded bezels. Artbeader Linda made some very cool bezels for her rivolis. Linda's Bezels for Rivolis

Linda made a black cat bezel and a peppermint candy bezel for her rivoli components. By modifying the same technique to suit different styles, she created two very different looks!

Rivoli Bezels

You can learn to make an open back bezel for your rivolis with this Handy Tip. Tubular peyote stitch helps seed beads fit snugly around these circular stones. The completed bezels are easy to incorporate into designs, too.

Blooming Stars

Artbeads.com’s chief jewelry designer Cynthia Kimura embellished her beaded bezels with bicones in her Blooming Stars necklace. Then, she attached them to each other using links she made with an Artbeads Designer Wire Blend in perfectly coordinated colors.

If you’re pressed for time when designing, there are quick ways to use rivolis, too!

Ring Around the Rivoli

These Ring Around the Rivoli rings come together in minutes! All you have to do is glue the rivoli into the ring setting and allow to dry. The result is a fabulous ring with professional style.

Luminous Gypsy

TierraCast also offers rivoli settings you can use to display some sparkle in your projects! Earring chandeliers, like the ones featured in this Luminous Gypsy design, charms and links are all available in a variety of finishes. Once again, just glue the rivoli in place and allow to dry.

As you can see, there are many ways to incorporate the magic of rivoli crystals into your designs. What are some ways you have used them in your projects? We would love to see your designs. Share with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Remember, you can also add pictures of your designs when leaving product reviews on our website, like Linda did. You just might be featured on a future blog post, Facebook or Pinterest!

→ 3 CommentsTags: Beader's Resource · Customer Gallery of Designs · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Enter to Win an Artbeads.com Shopping Spree!

December 29th, 2014 · 10 Comments

Artbeads Shopping Spree

Now is your chance to win a $500 shopping spree at Artbeads.com! One lucky winner will be chosen to receive a $500 gift certificate for Artbeads.com. Just think of all the beads you could buy! From Swarovski crystal and Russian artist pendants, to the latest leather jewelry supplies or other great beads, it can all be yours with $500 to spend. To enter, click here and follow the instructions. Enter your email address for your chance to win – you can even gain additional entries by visiting our social media outlets. Hurry, as this contest ends on December 31st, 2014.

So, what jewelry supplies would you buy with $500? Leave a comment below and share with us!

→ 10 CommentsTags: New Product Introductions

Using Large-Hole Beads in New Ways

November 22nd, 2014 · 2 Comments

Large-Hole Bead Ideas

We love the way large-hole beads add character to designs. These fun components are easy to add to lots of designs and come in a variety of styles. The example above, our Royal Vanguard necklace, shows Swarovski BeCharmed beads and large-hole TierraCast spacers strung onto SilverSilk. This is just one of the many ways you can use large-hole beads in your designs. Their wide stringing holes allow you to explore options you may have never thought of before. The Artbeads Learning Center is filled with examples for using these goodies in unique ways.

Blue Note Necklace

Our At the Blue Note necklace is a simple idea to start with. This necklace features beautiful Grace Lampwork beads and large-hole bead caps strung onto silk ribbon. The ends of the necklace are knotted. Large-hole beads are always a great complement to silk ribbon and even simple stringing techniques like this look stunning.

Bailee

This next silk ribbon idea, one of our Bailee necklaces, incorporates large-hole beads in a completely different way. After stringing a donut pendant onto the center of the ribbon, Artbeads Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura strung Swarovski BeCharmed beads onto both ends of the ribbon. The BeCharmed beads act as a bail that keeps the donut pendant in place. A simple knot at the top of the beads makes sure everything stays put!

DIY Shamballa Bracelets

Large-hole beads are also a great option for shamballa style bracelets. These bracelets are fun and easy to make and look great! Use Chinese knotting cord or leather cord to complement the colors of the beads you choose.

Our Learning Center is full of ideas for large-hole beads, but that’s not the only place to find inspiration. Our customers also come up with great ideas! Take a look at what Artbeads user “corvettekat” made with our large-hole JBB dotted spacer bead:

Artbeads Customer Design

This Artbeader used these spacers in a multi-strand fiber necklace and says, “These were perfect for stabilizing and adding some balance to the yarn used in this necklace.” The sliders really do bring the piece together.

Have you used large-hole beads in your designs lately? What’s your favorite way to incorporate them into your designs? We would love to hear from you in the comments below, or share a picture of your projects on our Facebook page. Your designs and ideas might just inspire others to start creating with large-hole beads!

 

→ 2 CommentsTags: Artbeads.com Customer Product Reviews · Customer Gallery of Designs · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Beautiful Bicones

November 15th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Ideas for Bicones

Swarovski Bicones can be used in so many ways. They’re excellent accents of sparkle for necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The unique rhombus shape can be paired with pearls, chain and lots of other beads.

Artbeader Lynn P. used her bicones to make a very special necklace:

Lynn P.'s Bicone Necklace

Lynn says, “I wanted to make some bling for a cancer survivor friend in Canada. Her favorite color is blue and I LOVE Swarovski, so this creation was born. Turned out pretty good if I say so myself.”

We have to agree, Lynn! We love the innovative way she wove the bicones together. They fit so nicely together.

Are you looking for more innovative ways to use your bicones?

Shimmering Winds RAW Bracelet

Shimmering Winds

Artbeads.com’s Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura used bicones to create a Right Angle Weave bracelet, Shimmering Winds. Once again, the unique shape of the bicone works perfectly in this technique. Cynthia used one of our Artbeads Swarovski Designer Blends to make this bracelet.

Artbeads Swarovski Designer Blends

These Blends feature Swarovski bicones in perfectly coordinated colors, so you don’t have to worry about choosing the right colors – they’re already picked out for you!

Fairy Lanterns

Bicones are also perfect for our Fairy Lantern idea. To make these cute little dangles, you string two bicones onto a head pin or eye pin and wrap bugle beads that have been stitched together around the two bicones. These dangles are great in earrings or as pendants and charms. Choose your favorite colors to customize this look to suit your tastes.

So what’s your favorite way to use bicones? Share with us in the comments below or leave a picture of your best bicone ideas on our Facebook page. We always love seeing what you’ve created with our products!

 

→ 4 CommentsTags: Artbeads.com Customer Product Reviews · Customer Gallery of Designs · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

The Wonders of Kumihimo

November 8th, 2014 · 6 Comments

Kumihimo at Artbeads

At Artbeads, we love creating beautiful kumihimo braids for our jewelry. This ancient Japanese art form is a relaxing way to pass the time and the results are always fabulous. As the ideas above showcase, we’ve experimented with adding animal print patterns, beads and even SilverSilk to our kumihimo designs.

Our customers are just as adventurous as us when it comes to kumihimo. Take a look at the bracelet Artbeads user Holly made.

Holly's Kumihimo Bracelet

Holly used Miyuki Long Magatamas in her kumihimo bracelet. Magatamas add interesting dimension to kumihimo designs, thanks to their feathered or scale-like look. Holly loves the “beautiful, subtle finish” of these particular Magatamas and we have to agree!

You can learn how to make a similar bracelet with the free instructions for our Monterey Pop bracelet.

Monterey Pop

We used a colorful pattern of different Magatamas for our bracelet, but you can pick your favorite beads and start adding them to your kumihimo designs today! Have you already experimented with kumihimo in your jewelry? Share your favorite kumihimo designs with us in the comments below, post a picture to our Facebook page, or add a picture of your design to a product review on our website. Your design might just be featured in a blog post, on Facebook or even on our Customer Designs Pinterest Board!

→ 6 CommentsTags: Artbeads.com Customer Product Reviews · Customer Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Artbeads is Addicting!

November 3rd, 2014 · 1 Comment

It’s always great to hear from a satisfied customer who can’t get enough of our stuff! Dawn W. recently started buying from us and now she can’t stop:

“We stumbled across Artbeads.com while looking for jewelry findings.  The free shipping, 100% satisfaction guarantee and return policy plus all the secure icons led us to sign up for the emails/newsletters and then we got the email about the sterling silver sale.  That was our first purchase and when the order arrived within a week we were VERY pleased with the items we purchased.  So pleased, in fact, I turned around and ordered more beads, gemstones and sterling silver within days of receiving that first order that were on sale.  Within days of that 2nd order I placed our 3rd order for even more beads, gemstones and sterling silver! 

 We are ECSTATIC with not only our purchases, but the quality of the items and the customer service received during these purchases.  Prices are good – and when there is a sale – they are even better!  The variety of merchandise available at one online store is fantastic! 

 My husband makes Native American themed jewelry so we shop online at various sites and I am always comparing prices, but along with getting the best price I look for security, customer service, shipping and return policies and we have found all of that and more at Arbeads.com!  We have told artisan friends of ours about this site and how pleased we are with the entire buying experience.

 My only problem is that each time we get a sale email I want to go buy more stuff!  LOL  Needless to say, Artbeads.com will definitely be one of our main ‘go-to’ places to buy our supplies!”

So, what can’t you get enough of at Artbeads.com? Leave a comment below, write a product review on our website, or leave a post on our Facebook page. You can also check the box on your next order to review our store. We love hearing from you!

→ 1 CommentTags: New Product Introductions

Keeping Customers Happy

October 29th, 2014 · 1 Comment

It’s always good to hear when we are doing something right. We recently heard from Eva K., one of our customers, who had lots of lovely things to say about us:

I wanted to drop a note to just say how much I appreciate your company. As a new small business just starting up, I have run into my share of bad customer service and getting “taken to the cleaners”…and only in the last few months!

I have come to trust your company for CONSISTENT quality in products. CONSISTENT speed in shipping. CONSISTENT low prices and then coupons that customers can actually use WITH sales! (How amazing is THAT?) Then, a Crystal Rewards Program (FREE) where customers earn FREE credits to use to purchase more products in the future as they make their regular purchases! It can get almost addicting…;-)

I actually had to return some items (which I hate to do and so rarely attempt), but only because I realized I couldn’t use them. I called your customer service line and got a very friendly and professional lady on the phone. Her name was Mariah. Instead of what I get from other companies; “Well, there is a ‘restocking’ fee and we won’t pay for shipping,” I got “How would you like your refund?” and “Oh, why do you need our address? It should be on the label you print out for the shipping.” What? “Oh, no, we certainly wouldn’t expect our customers to pay for a return! And we try to keep our shipping costs as low as possible as well.” Well, duh. I DID know that part. I order enough from your site!

 I should not have been surprised by all of this as it is all just basic good customer service. It’s just that it’s so RARE. That’s sad, I know.  HOWEVER, Artbeads is doing it right, doing it WELL, and doing it CONSISTENTLY! That makes me a loyal customer and strong supporter of your company. Thank you!”

Thanks for the excellent feedback, Eva! What do you have to say? Check the box on your next order to review our store or add your comments to our Facebook page. You can also email us with your feedback at support@artbeads.com. You might just be featured right here on our blog!

→ 1 CommentTags: Share Your Stories · Top Rated Products & Reviews

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