Blog for Beaders

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

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Customer Gallery of Designs



Do you want to show the world a piece of jewelry or craft project you’ve made using Artbeads.com products? Submit a photo of your design along with your name and a small description of the product to artbeadsblog@gmail.com. We’ll review all submissions and you just might see your design show up here!


Customer Story – Emily’s Seed Bead Masterpieces

November 9th, 2012 · 4 Comments

We love hearing from our customers about the success they have had turning their passion for jewelry making into a successful business. When Emily K. sent us pictures of her amazing seed bead artwork, I knew we needed to share her talent. In an Artbeads Blog for Beaders interview, Emily shares her journey of working with seed beads:

When did you first become interested in working with seed beads?

I first became interested in working with seed beads about 3 years ago. At the time I was working as a camp counselor and was teaching a class on how to make felt puppets. I had made a few puppets for my class as examples and was trying to figure out how best to execute certain details such as jewelry. I made the decision to create the details out of beads.

A few months passed, and the beginning of my senior year of college began. I was attending Mills College in Oakland, CA, and was a Studio Art major. At my school all Studio Art majors in their senior year are required to work on developing a cohesive series of works that will go on display at the annual senior show. I wasn’t sure what to do for my show. I had been joking around with my friends about how I should make a giant series of puppets for the senior show (since I enjoyed working on puppets), but I knew that puppets probably wouldn’t be approved by my professors. It was while joking about the puppets, however, that I remembered the beading I did on one puppet in particular. Suddenly something clicked in my head: If people could use beads to make designs on clothing and fashion accessories, why not use them to create art pieces? Georges Seurat used thousands of tiny dots to create his famous works of art, and beads are essentially tiny dots. Why not use beads to make art? Canvas is a type of fabric after all, so all I would have to do was sew them to canvas instead of felt. I chose seed beads instead of other sorts of beads because they are small and allow for more detail, and seem to come in the widest variety of colors.

How did it feel the first time you made a piece?

The process of working on my first piece was a bit frustrating because I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing and I expected it to go faster than in did. I was also nervous as to how my class would react to the work because it was a project for my drawing class and I wasn’t exactly drawing. However, when I saw the reactions of my teachers and classmates to the finished piece, I was really amazed. The lighting in the studio was a bit dim that day for reasons I can’t really remember, and it caused the beads to sparkle in a way I had never seen before. Everyone seemed blown away. They offered a few tips on how to draw the portrait part of the piece better, but they were really encouraging of the work in general and told me to keep it up. I wasn’t really used to getting such a strong, positive reaction about my work (at least not since coming to college), so I knew I was onto something special and wanted to keep going. It was a really great feeling.

How long does it take you to complete a project (from concept to completion) and what’s your process?

On average it takes me between a month and a month and a half to complete a piece. For my process, I first start out looking though theater programs and magazines that I have to see if there are any images that look like they would be fun to draw. Once I select an image I sketch it out in illustration marker (either directly on the canvas or on paper which I will later glue down on top of an additional fabric layer). Since my sketches are done in color, once they’re done it’s simply a matter of figuring out which beads best match the colors on the sketch and then sewing them on.

You can watch Emily’s process as she details the activity on her blog. It’s truly amazing!

Where do you find inspiration?

My inspiration comes from historical fashion and musical theater. For as long as I can remember I have loved both. Aesthetically, I tend to be drawn towards the ornate and the theatrical, (which really makes sense with what inspires me).

I have also always loved performing, but due my shy nature, have rarely had the opportunity to do so. I think that when I portray something theatrical in my art it makes me feel almost as if I too am performing on stage. My beaded pieces are all of actresses from an all-female theater in Japan, known as the Takarazuka Revue. I first found out about the Takarazuka Revue in high school, through my interest in anime and manga.

It is very possible that I will move on to depicting other subjects in my work in the near future (perhaps other sorts of theater or movies, or maybe something completely different altogether), but this is what I’ve been interested in lately, so this is what I like drawing.

Do you sell your finished pieces?

I would like to. So far I haven’t had anyone express interest in buying any of my works, but if someone wanted to buy one I would definitely be interested in selling. I’d be willing to sell most of the finished works (the word “most” is because there are a few that I’d like to keep.)

If you’re just starting out and looking for a way to sell your designs, check out our Seller’s Secrets page where we share helpful ways to develop your jewelry-making business. Also be sure to sign up to be a part of Shop Handmade, a free site dedicated to helping you sell your ideas!

We want to hear your story, too! Send us your jewelry design to our Blog for Beaders e-mail to be featured as one of our customer success stories. Share your stories and inspire others to get creative! Mail them to artbeadsblog@gmail.com.

-Marissa

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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs

Thank You for Your Reviews!

October 3rd, 2012 · No Comments

We appreciate the time our customers take to leave us a review on their favorite products. We love it even more when we get to see what they make with their favorite products! Below are some customer reviews people left on the products detail pages. This is a great place to let other shoppers know how much you liked a particular product and what it can be used for. These reviews are how we determine what our best rated products are, so don’t be afraid to let your opinion be heard. If you want to write a review on our site, it’s easy! Our Artbeads.com Facebook page is another great place to share your designs with beaders like you. Whether you’re a beginning beader or an experienced artisan, you’re sure to learn something new from fellow Artbeaders!

“Without a doubt, these Miyuki Delica 11/0 seed beads are the best that I have used. The imperfections are minimal compared to another brand (20% waste) and every color imaginable.” – pearlweaver, Tampla, FL

“The title says it all, I love this bead. Absolutly adorable – Great for St Patty’s Day~” – pumpkinheadbows, Ripley, WV

“It is a perfect post earring with small and delicate earrings dangle.
It is preferable to choose these post earring on a small ear lobe.”
– Artemis, Laval, QC

“I love this black rubber cord. It is a perfectly elegant design solution for my jewelry. Its simplicity and velvety black color give a classy, elegant look to my colorful polymer clay pieces. It is strong and stretchy and super glue can make a seemingly unbreakable bond when the cord is glued to itself. I use this method to make a loop for a simple button bead clasp. Waaah-lah! Perfect and simple. I have purchased both the white and clear-frosted cord that I am planning to use in designing a summery rose necklace.” – jaxilyn, San Jose, CA

“These cube posts are a nice change from the traditional ball post. I use them in one of my best selling designs (pictured below). They are very easy to work with – the ring is open for easy attachment of anything you wish. The posts are sturdy, not flimsy like some which can tend to bend even with the lightest touch. These are high quality and I would reccommend to anyone comtemplating buying them.” – Robin, Los Angeles, CA

Keep the reviews coming!

-Marissa

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Tags: Artbeads.com Customer Product Reviews · Customer Gallery of Designs

End of Summer Love for Customer Designs

September 14th, 2012 · No Comments

It’s been a while, but we’re excited to bring you a new collection of customer designs as we wrap up summer. Check out some amazing jewelry from some truly talented Artbeads customers. Happy Friday!


Cheryl M made this amazing hummingbird jewelry set that is so simple and yet delivers a powerful showcase.


Laurel K sent us this design, featured in her blog Thiamiren an Tawariell. It incorporates dyed freshwater pearls and darling flower links.


This Golden Shadow stars ring by Sunny Triana Designs makes for one eye-catching conversation starter! We love that the hobby she’s had since she was a little girl has turned into an online shopping site.


Inspired by the copper leaf charm, this Grapevine Pendant by Donna R. is perfect for a fall.


Beverly A. made this cute love charm bracelet out of Swarovski crystals, making this piece a sparkling addition to her wardrobe!


Shagg Carpet emailed us this Calypso Necklace that we thought was absolutely stunning. The choice of colors and the way it catches the light definitely caught our eye.


Joan P made these fun floral lampwork beads for her Etsy shop Sand and Surf Beads. We think they are just incredible!

We love seeing what our customers can make with our beads! If you have a design you’d like to share, email artbeadsblog@gmail.com.

-Marissa

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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs

Jewelry Design Star – Round 5

August 30th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Congratulations to our Jewelry Design Star, Allison Hink! You can learn more about our latest star and her inspiring design on our Jewelry Design Star Spotlight page or view other great designs from our honorable mentions over on the Showcase page.

Do you have an eye for amazing designs and want to share them with the world? Enter our next Jewelry Design Star contest for your chance to be the next winner!

-Marissa

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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs

Jewelry Design Star Round 4 Winner!

August 2nd, 2012 · 3 Comments

Congratulations to our Jewelry Design Star, Miss M Turner! You can learn more about our latest star and her inspiring design on our Jewelry Design Star Spotlight page or view other great designs from our honorable mentions over on the Showcase page. Do you have an eye for amazing designs and want to share them with the world? Enter our next Jewelry Design Star contest for your chance to be the next winner!

-Marissa

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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs

Jewelry Design Star Entries – Round Two

May 18th, 2012 · No Comments

Don’t forget to enter to be our next Jewelry Design Star! Our second round of Jewelry Design Star entries is happening right now, so be sure to submit your idea before Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 11:59pm PST. Voting will open the next day and will run until Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm PST. We’ve got a lot of beautiful designs already but are still searching for more. Do you have a jewelry idea you want to show off with the world? Enter it in our contest! We will select a few honorable mentions to feature in our gallery along with the winner also. So go on and share your creative side!

Enter the Jewelry Design Star Contest or learn more on our site.

-Marissa

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Tags: Company News · Customer Gallery of Designs

Looking Forward to More Customer Creations!

March 9th, 2012 · 4 Comments

Check out some of these lovely creations designed by fellow Artbeads.com customers! If you have a design that you’d like to share, send a picture to our Artbeads Blog e-mail at artbeadsblog@gmail.com. Happy Friday! Get inspired to create something new this weekend and don’t forget that Daylight Savings happens on Sunday!


This design by Sydney called “Spring Bloom” is made from over 200 stones, pearls and crystals to create its cute cluster shape.


Lisa Wan created these fun feminine earrings with Artbeads products, including the carved wood pendants.


Alice’s cute charm bracelet and earrings have a fun garden feel, complete with copper-plated charms on a lovely rollo chain.


Kristine has been designing handmade jewelry since 2006, and we are delighted to share her stunning sea life piece with you!


This collection of fun jewelry features earrings made by Monalisa, who used Artbeads products like Czech glass beads.


Kathleen created this beautiful kumihimo-style design with beautiful beads with a metallic shine.


Raina made this single strand necklace using freshwater pearls and lavender colored crystals, creating a lovely feminine look.


Karin made this three-strand mother’s bracelet for a friend, using her name and her children’s names with each of their birthstones.

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.

-Marissa

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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs

Lisette’s Lovely Lampwork Creations

January 13th, 2012 · 2 Comments

We love hearing from our customers about the success they have had turning their passion for jewelry making into a successful business. I was blown away by the detailed lampwork beads sent to me from Lisette Root, who e-mailed us photos of some lampwork beads she designed. When I asked if she would like to tell her story, she once again amazed me with her incredible story. Here, in her own words, is Lisette’s tale of turning her creative talents into a successful business:

You know, I had an unusual childhood because I was a Navy Brat and traveled a lot. When I was a young child, I lived in Morocco Africa for several years, and I was exposed to the vibrant colors and intricate patterns woven into the architecture and clothing there. I was entranced with repeating patterns and lush colors as a result, which have carried throughout my artistic life. My husband was a radio engineer and flight instructor during the year, and through the summers, we lived remotely [in Alaska] in the bush and mined gold, and aquired lots of interesting memories!

It was in 1992 when we moved to Arizona where my husband and I ran a flight school, where he taught private pilots and aerobatics, and I was still home schooling my youngest daughter. [My daughter and I] discovered seed beads and jewelry together, and we had to learn how to make the beautiful beadworks we saw, particularly from the Native Americans in our State! I was really into the needle arts such as cross stitch, but my daughter really worked hard learning beadwork, and then she taught me! That started a wave of art. In 1996 we moved to Washington State and started using the public library there, where there were books on every art form you could imagine. Glass beadwork was so amazing we had to do that [too]! From the first bead, it was totally wonderful!

The first bead I made was around 1998, I do believe. I felt like a wizard! I felt magical, and I overcame my fear of bottled gas (which is funny I know)! I have mainly given my beadwork as gifts to my friends and family. I’m the type of person who has to try whatever interests me, but I want it to be really as close to perfect as I can make it. My main motivation for beading and bead making, and the needle works and other art, is basically so I can learn and share as much beauty as possible!

When asked what her favorite piece is that she has made so far, Lisette answered,

My daughter Silver and I were reading the Clan of the Cave Bear series at the time, and I decided to make a Doni bead, which is a faceless female figure with exaggerated body features. I love that bead, and I will never sell it. It has a little piece of me inside it.

To capture Lisette’s style and personality in one line, she put it best when she told me, Life is full of beauty, just waiting to be shared.

We enjoyed browsing Lisette’s pieces and know you will, too! If you want to shop Lisette’s collection of lampwork beads and jewelry designs, check out her Etsy jewelry store and Facebook page.

If you’re just starting out and looking for a way to sell your designs, check out our Seller’s Secrets page where we share helpful ways to develop your jewelry-making business. Also be sure to sign up to be a part of Shop Handmade, a free site dedicated to helping you sell your ideas!

We want to hear your story, too! Send us your jewelry design to our blog for beaders e-mail to be featured as one of our customer success stories. Share your stories and inspire others to get creative! Mail them to artbeadsblog@gmail.com.

-Marissa

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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs

Jean Yates – The Dame of Dolls and Decadent Jewelry

December 16th, 2011 · 6 Comments

Jean Yates is one of our amazing design partners, and always delivers us incredible pieces. Her charisma and upbeat personality flow through into her designs, bringing to life rich color combinations and twists on classic beauty. This is not a customer success story. It’s a Design Partner story. It’s an explanation into why we work with some of the most talented designers out there. In an interview she did with me, Jean explained where her inspiration comes from, how she became interested in designing and the various routes in which she expresses her creativity. Even in writing it is easy to spot her charismatic spirit between every keyboard stroke and blinking cursor.

So what first got you interested in jewelry making?

I have five sons. Three with my husband Jim! My two eldest boys are grown and have families of their own. My family with Jim consists of our twenty year old and our two youngest boys, who have severe autism and epilepsy. I have been occupied raising my children and participating in the Special Education arena of our school district for years. As a side interest, when the kids were young, I began watching the jewelry home shopping shows on cable TV. I am nothing if not a classy dame! I actually learned a LOT from the cable shows, specifically about types of gems, exotic gemstones, and what they measured on the Mohs scale of hardness. It was a good education on design, color and placement, while I stayed at home and cared for my children. Then I joined the Yahoo group run by fantastic teacher Tammy Powley online. I was fascinated by the diverse methods of jewelry making she was teaching, and also interested in the group’s forum conversations. I began participating online and at the same time learning how to make chain maille. When I learned how to wire wrap I was off to the races!

What happened the first time you tried to make something?

When I first tried to make something I would occasionally misstep. In chain maille, you really want it to be perfect. You don’t really have a choice. It is just a pile of bent-up jump rings if you don’t. Therefore, while learning the basics of that particular jewelry art, I would have to repeat my steps over and over until I got something right. We are talking things that other people learn in a flash! On the other hand, I had a good eye for color and a great desire to make my pieces unique, so I would persevere and get that base bracelet or necklace right, and then add absolutely knockout focals and dangling charms and all sorts of fanciful things to my creations. That was my reward for all the hard work I had put in to begin with!

I found this to be great fun as I stayed at home, looking for beautiful beads and components (at places like Artbeads!), and taking care of our kids. I started submitting to countless beading magazines. I even ended up writing my own jewelry design book, Links, by Jean Yates. There are so many beads from your store in my book, and for good reason. You offer some of the most unique and lovely beads I have ever seen.

Is there anything in particular that inspires your creations?

Music always inspires me! I love classic rock and roll and R&B. I also love my son’s band, The Ruse. It’s right up there with my favorites. My next submission to a magazine (Jan. 2012) is inspired by music.

Additionally, really beautiful focal beads inspire me…it is as if, at times, I can get inside the bead’s artist and see his or her intentions when the bead was created. I have been told by a few bead artists that I made the designer piece they have always hoped would be made with their beads. This makes me so proud I can hardly express it!

Other inspirations are words (really long weird words–don’t ask why), colors (I love to dive into color, especially its subtle tonal permutations), crystals, and pearls! I just go my own way when I make jewelry. I am incredibly curious and love to research any and everything. I am, to be honest, a complete nerd.


Photo by Rose Mottl

I love your Blythe doll fashion. When did you first start incorporating them into your designs and why?

Thank you so much for liking my Blythes! I write a regular column, “Our Beading World,” for a super glossy beading magazine located in Australia. It is Australia’s number one favorite jewelry design magazine. It’s called, not surprisingly, Australian Beading magazine. My editor and I have grown to be dear friends. We exchange photos as well as chatty emails. Of course I have sent her photos of my Blythes. It was her idea to use them in my column, wearing jewelry. I LOVE doing this, and it gives me one other way to display my dolls, practice my photography, and design fun jewelry! The pieces I made with your components will be showcased in the December issue (That is Australian Beading‘s biggest issue of the year) on a different Blythe of mine, in a special story about friendship. My editor said when she read the story it made her cry. I dedicated it to her.

I wish to add that I have made lots of earrings for Blythes which ended up being worn by people–they often convert easily to the same size which people like wearing. Also, I have made period jewelry for my dolls. Once I made a whole Egyptian set which came out really well. Another Blythe lover made the costume for my doll, [then] I took the photos, and presto: we had “Nefertiti”!

Jean, along with all of our design partners, has that special eye for style and sparks inspiration in all of us to explore new routes in jewelry making. Every idea she comes up with is a true reflection of her, in one way or another. We’re happy to support Jean in her creations, and glad to have her on the Artbeads team. You can check out her blog to view more cool looks and fun stories at Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!

All photos were courtesy of Jean Yates.

-Marissa

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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs · Share Your Stories

Kirsten Ann’s Story – A Feminine Statement

November 18th, 2011 · No Comments

We love hearing from our customers about the success they have had turning their passion for jewelry making into a successful business. Kirsten Ann Ryan e-mailed us a photo of a necklace she designed, and was pleased to share her story about getting into beading, and how she’s turned her passion into profit. This passion has been a lifelong hobby for Kirsten, sparking from her creative imagination as a child. Here’s her story:

From a young age I had always been creative and interested in making things with my hands. I loved anything that was pretty and caught my eye! I grew up near the beach and I loved collecting shells and admiring all their beautiful colours and patterns. I studied all the arty subjects at school –studio arts, fashion, visual design etc and also business management. I had always wanted to run my own business.


When I was about 14 I started experimenting with jewellery making, using little tiny seed beads to make small earrings and then progressed to tigertail necklaces. I just continued through trial and error over the years and developed my own personal style.

Over the years, Kirsten had created many glamorous designs that kept her collection growing. She soon made the decision to begin selling her jewelry so that others could take advantage of her talent. In 2009 Kirsten starting selling online, and has since sold to customers all over the world. In describing her style, Kirsten writes:

My designs are mostly statement pieces with a modern, vintage style—they are feminine and dramatic but also have a softness and strength about them. Most of my designs are one-off pieces, [but] I also do custom designs. I have an interest in fashion and design so I love to use fabrics in my designs such as laces, ribbons and tulle. I love working with pearls as I think they are timeless and elegant but can also be very modern when put with layers of chains.

We love Kirsten’s pieces and know you will, too! If you want to shop Kristy’s collection, check out her Etsy jewelry store and her label, Kirsten Ann Design. If you’re just starting out and looking for a way to sell your designs, check out our Seller’s Secrets page where we share helpful ways to develop your jewelry-making business.

We want to hear your story, too! Send us your jewelry design to our blog for beaders e-mail to be featured as one of our customer success stories. Share your stories and inspire others to get creative! Mail them to artbeadsblog@gmail.com.

-Marissa

[Read more →]

Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs

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