Our employees love our products just as much as you do, and they’re always coming up with new and creative ways to use them. Here you’ll find some of their brilliant creations to inspire creative designs!
We here at Artbeads had some fun over the holidays! We found some fun little animal statues and handed them out to employees with the challenge of decorating them with flatbacks, beads and other embellishments. The results are absolutely superb. First, take a look at Princess Kitty, decorated by Artbeads employee Sheryl:
Princess Kitty also came with a royal decree:
Hear Ye, Hear Ye, to this royal decree!
Artisans and craftsmen from across the entire royal kingdom were commissioned to provide elegance in attire for both Princess Kitty and her royal steed, Beauty.
Princess Kitty’s body art and clothing were specifically designed and crafted to accentuate the royal glow of her perfectly round royal cheeks.
Beauty’s bridle and saddle, underneath the royal blanket, were masterfully crafted to coincide with Princess Kitty’s perfect choice of flowers to adorn her royal steed, Beauty.
No expense, craftsman, or resource was spared to enhance the already beautiful Princess Kitty and her royal steed, Beauty.
In addition, it was made perfectly clear to all artisans and craftsmen involved that their reward of keeping their head firmly attached to their neck depended solely on the outcome of this royal beauty contest.
May the kingdom prosper with the reading of this royal decree!
Our employees made sure the other trinkets were also bedazzled and bejeweled properly for the royal beauty contest. Take a look at Jen M’s flower:
We love the glitter in an Artbeads Purple color, along with all of the other cute embellishments.
Terri got spirited when decorating her rabbit:
It’s a Seahawks Bunny! Artbeads.com is located in Washington state, so of course we love supporting Seattle’s favorite football team. It looks like this bunny is sporting a seed bead vest and hat, made with our Go Team Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends.
Christina M. decided to decorate an exotic elephant:
Tiny golden seed beads add detail to the saddle and bridle, while focal beads hang majestically from the elephant’s trunk. It looks like this elephant is carrying a treasure of Czech glass on its back!
Everyone at Artbeads was absolutely charmed by these creations! But we absolutely fell in love when it was revealed that each one lights up:
Isn’t that incredible? The colors can even change! Now these unforgettable cuties are sure to stand out, day and night!
We definitely had fun decorating these trinkets and they are going to look great around the office. So, which ones are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below and if you have a trinket that you’ve made or decorated with beads, share it with us here or on our Facebook page.
December is well underway and holiday festivities have already begun! The weather has turned colder, Christmas decorations have sprung up and holiday cheer is in the air. There’s still time to make the season even merrier with jewelry and crafts you can make yourself! Let’s take a look at some of the holiday ideas you can find at Artbeads.com.
If you’re looking for something simple to start with, our Sugar Plum Dreams ornaments are so easy to make! All you have to do is find some cardboard ornaments at your local craft store (or maybe you have some already stashed away) and decorate them with your favorite beads. Put them in place using adhesive. Artbeads Designer Cheri used seed beads and O beads for a festive display. If you want to make this idea really kid-friendly, lay out some seed beads, brush your ornament with glue and roll it around in the beads.
Here are some more fabulous ornaments featuring seed beads! These beauties feature a netted weave of seed beads around them. A few Swarovski beads here and there really up the bling factor! The great thing about this idea is that you can easily customize the color palette to match ornaments you already have.
Our Forest Frost necklace displays a more subtle Christmas color palette, one that can be worn throughout the winter. The Edelweiss focal and green triangle beads create a look of Christmas trees lining a frozen pond. It’s such a fun take on bead embroidery!
We also have a great selection of holiday jewelry kits, ready for you to start creating! These kits come with everything you need to make festive jewelry for the season. They’re great ideas for any craft parties you might be going to and always make wonderful stocking stuffers. These Artemis Christmas Tree earrings are a great way to get started.
Now that you have so much craft and jewelry inspiration for the holiday season, what will you be making? Maybe you’ve already started some seasonal projects. Let us know in the comments below or share with us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget, you can find even more inspiration on our Home for the Holidays Pinterest board.
Crocheting with beads is a great way to add new fibers to your jewelry designs! From the very simple to beautifully complex, this technique is sure to keep you coming back for more. Take a look at what our designers have come up with and add this technique to your repertoire.
Let’s start with this Artbeads MiniVid demonstrating how to make a simple crochet chain with beads. This technique is so easy! Start by loading up your chosen beads onto the thread you want to use. We like using seed beads from our Artbeads Designer Blends because the color palettes are ready to go and fabulous. We also love Czech glass beads. You can use virtually any kind of bead you prefer, so long as it fits on the thread you are using. Our designer Cheri likes to use size 10 crochet thread and a size E (3.50mm) crochet hook. We also offer Miyuki crochet thread. These threads come in beautiful color waves that will inspire the colors of beads you use. Once you have your thread and beads picked out, follow the technique illustrated in the video above!
Once you have the technique mastered, there are many ways you can incorporate it into your jewelry designs.
Artbeads Designer Cheri Carlson’s simple Rosalie necklace features a single beaded crochet chain embellished with Swarovski pearls and bicones. This is a great look for a wedding and comes together so quickly. The soft crochet thread is comfortable to wear and flexible, too. Of course, you can customize the color palette for any occasion! Cheri’s Forest Path bracelet employs the same technique: she made a long beaded crochet chain and finished the end with a TierraCast button. The long strand can be wrapped around your wrist as a bracelet!
You can really make this technique shine with a multi-strand necklace! Cheri created her Esmeralda necklace with five strands of beaded crochet chains. She mixed in Swarovski beads, seed beads and even some SuperUno beads for an unforgettable boho look. End caps make a nice finishing touch for this design. Try using end tubes, too!
You don’t have to stick to just threads when crocheting with beads. You can also experiment with wire! This method employs the same technique as above, but swaps out wire for crochet thread. Artbeads Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura likes to use 26 gauge Artbeads Designer Wire, as it is flexible, easy to work with and available in a variety of colors. She used this wire in her Boardwalk Magic bracelet and her Sock Hop bracelets. As you can see, the look is totally different than when using crochet thread!
So, you’ve mastered making crochet chains with thread and wire. What’s next? It’s time to try beaded crochet ropes! This technique starts out like the ones above, but quickly becomes tubular to form the rope. When starting out, it’s wise to practice with thicker yarn and big beads in different colors, so it’s easier to see what you’re doing. Once you’ve got this technique down pat, try making Cynthia’s Long Ago and Far Far Away necklace. She used 8/0 seed beads with S-Lon bead cord. Once again, end caps make it easy to turn a beaded crochet rope into fabulous jewelry!
If you’re looking for even more inspiration for adding crochet to jewelry, why not try a more traditional approach. These Colorful Crochet Jewelry ideas feature basic crochet bands as the focus. Some have been embellished with beads and others feature buttons as closures. This is a great idea for making chokers, bracelets and even bookmarks!
As you can see, there are so many ways to incorporate crochet into your jewelry designs. How have you used crochet in your creations? Share with us in the comments below or visit our Facebook page and share a picture of your designs.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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:
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!
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:
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:
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.
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
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
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
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
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 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.
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
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.
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 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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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:
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!
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 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?
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.
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!
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!
“I’ll never take for granted the air I breathe.” How many of us can say the same thing? Ryan Messinger, one of the amazing employees we have here at Artbeads, lives by the phrase, “Just breathe.” It’s what he and his family kept telling his sister, Amanda, when she was dying in the hospital. Just breathing was all she could concentrate on during those final days. Those two words were so important that Amanda even got a tattoo of the phrase. Amanda had Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening and chronic disease that causes mucus to build up and clog the lungs and airways of the body. This genetic disease affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. Two of those people were Amanda and Jessica Messinger. Here’s Ryan’s story of his two sisters:
Jessica Messinger was born on July 21, 1989 and Amanda Messinger was born July 21, 1990. Jessica was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was three years old. Amanda was diagnosed when she was four. Jessica and Amanda both had totally different personalities and it was Amanda who inspired everyone she met…Amanda had to see her sister Jessica die from a disease she had. Sharing birthdays just one year apart, they were like twins—best friends—and they shared everything together. They both helped each other emotionally, physically and spiritually. When Jessica’s CF got worse, Amanda adopted the role of older sister and spent most of her life caring for Jessica. Amanda really helped Jessica with everything: homework, meds, breathing treatments, getting dressed, cooking meals and helping her with her chores. Amanda always stood up for her sister when she was bullied at school for being different and obviously sick with CF. Even though Jessica was not as popular as Amanda they were both a little jealous of each other, but in a good way, just like twins are. Jessica passed away two months after her 16th birthday in 2005 from Cystic Fibrosis. The loss of Jessica took a great toll on my mom and she passed away at the age of 46 in 2010. Amanda passed away on New Year’s Day 2013 from Cystic Fibrosis. Family and friends who knew them will miss them dearly. Jessica, Amanda and Mom are no longer suffering. They sing and laugh in Heaven until we all can be together again. Before Amanda passed away, she asked her best friends and family members to continue to fight for her after her death by helping to find a cure. It was Amanda’s drive [that] pushed us to fight against Cystic Fibrosis.
Now, after suffering from personal loss and spending countless nights in hospital rooms, Ryan and the Pandamanda Foundation his family and friends started are fighting to make his sister’s dreams a reality and to make hospital experiences easier for the families and patients involved. “Spending the night in the hospital can be draining. Lights are turning on and off at all hours, it’s uncomfortable, [and it has] bad food,” Ryan explained. He and his father really needed a place to stay that was close to the hospital but that could also be their safe haven. The better their experience was, the higher their spirits would be, and in turn they could lift the spirits of their family members in the hospital. If they could rejuvenate their own souls they could be the rock for their loved ones.
The Pandamanda Foundation is dedicated to spreading awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and creating a home away from home for families affected by CF and other terminal diseases. Ryan and his team hope to raise enough money to buy a house close to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, WA. The house would be a place where families could stay without having to stay in the hospital. They could cook their own food, sleep in a bed and enjoy the other comforts of home while still being close to their ailing loved ones. This house would be open to families with loved ones in the hospital for any reason, not just those affected by CF like Amanda and Jessica. Although they’re still in the beginning steps, the Pandamanda Foundation has found unique ways of raising money to achieve their goals.
Ryan has been making jewelry to auction off in an effort to raise more money. We’ve showcased Ryan’s astounding jewelry design skills in a previous blog post—so you may already know that he’s a natural designer. Ryan’s pieces are mainly seed bead designs, but he also likes to mix in Swarovski components when he can. Other team members are pitching in with jewelry designs, as well. Jade, a member of the foundation, is making jewelry with a little more bling, and foundation member Jolene has been creating jewelry with more earthy, natural elements. Artbeads Co-Owner and Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura recently donated over $300 worth of beads so Pandamanda members can make more jewelry.
The pieces they’ve been making for this cause are now part of a collection—Just Breathe Designs. These designs will be available for purchase on the Pandamanda Foundation website (coming soon). “For a while, I never thought about why I made jewelry,” Ryan says. “Now I know. I now have a purpose for making jewelry.”
Every member of the Artbeads family wishes Ryan and the foundation the best of luck in their fight. We are certainly proud of him for his bravery and tenacity in fighting for a cure and the welfare of other families battling terminal illness. You can visit the Pandamanda Foundation on Facebook to purchase merchandise and learn more about their story.
High school was a time when we believed friendships would last forever and prom was the most anticipated event of the year. If you have a graduate this year, remind them that one day they’ll be able to look back at their time in school and smile—even if they don’t enjoy it right now. They’ll be able to pull out old photos, relive the moment in their minds and smile. To celebrate the graduation (and prom) season coming soon, here are some Artbeads employee high school stories!
“This was my senior year; I was a homecoming “princess.” For seniors, there were princesses and princes and a king and queen. During the homecoming game we got to ride in convertibles around the track and wave to the crowd! It was the only day that it was acceptable for me to wear a sparkly tiara everywhere I went.” – Becky, Copywriter
Cortney, Vice President, wore this gorgeous, handmade green dress to her prom. Her husband was her date back then!
Sherri, our New Product Coordinator, was 17 when she graduated from high school…and is glad that the feathered hair style has passed.
Jewelry Designer Teri McCamish back in the day, sporting her “preppy LL Bean oxford cloth shirt and ribbon head band.”
Brittany, our Web Content Publisher on the right, kept it real with her besties in high school and even after graduation. All three still keep in touch and reminisce about when they were teens when they get together.
Read about my prom story in a previous post—Swarovski crystals make an appearance!
Help your graduate remember this year with a memorable jewelry design, or create a customizable memento. Here are a few ideas from our Learning Center to inspire you.