Blog for Beaders

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

beads

Holidays from the Heart

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


Holidays from the Heart – Family Projects and Get Togethers

December 19th, 2012 · No Comments

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


Photo Source: A Christmas Story House and Museum.

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

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

Happy Holidays from Artbeads!

-Marissa

[Read more →]

Tags: Holidays from the Heart

Holidays from the Heart – All That Glitters…

December 12th, 2012 · No Comments

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

Have you thought of what to give for the holidays yet? Your last minute gifts can sparkle with rich, holiday cheer when you incorporate gold. Warm, golden tones are always an excellent choice to create a rich feel. It’s no wonder why gold is a precious metal—it exudes warmth, power and sophistication. With gold-plated pieces you can emphasize this feeling through bright shimmer and economic charm. This week you’ll learn how the golden touch can elevate any gift, including simple jewelry designs.

Understated Elegance with Earrings

Any ordinary day can get a boost of excellence with just the right amount of elegant glow. Create cute earrings that can be worn any day of the year and take just a few minutes to make! Our Lucky in Love earrings would be perfect for a good friend and aren’t overpowering in their appearance. Or, you could recreate a pair of our Desert Dandelion earrings for a special someone to wear and help brighten their day. For a more feminine idea, try making our Gossamer Butterfly earrings. This idea includes a cute gold vermeil butterfly accented with blues and greens, but you could switch the tones with other shades like purple and pink. Any of these ideas would be perfect to slip into a stocking or place atop a bigger present—and with their glimmer of gold they’ll be hard to miss!

Turn Ordinary into Extraordinary

If you have someone on your holiday list with a knack for fashion, or someone who just needs some fancy office accessories, try one of our more chic earring ideas. Take a look at our stylish inspiration idea, Disco Diva earrings, if you need help on where to start. Our Bead Orbit earrings are a trendy display of knitted wire encapsulating a single, colorful bead. They’re ideal for an outfit that goes straight from the office to a night out. If the fashionista on your list likes things a bit more refined, try making our Classic Bridal Earrings that she can wear for any occasion. These chandelier style earrings feature lovely pink components accented with gold for a timeless, beautiful feel. All three of our extraordinary earring ideas use just enough gold to create a sense of chic style worthy of both catwalks and sidewalks.

Take Necklaces to the Next Level

You can always pair the chic earrings with a golden tone necklace! Because gold is such a complementing finish, you can add it to any color palette for unique new designs. In our Bristol Belle necklace, we used vintage gold components to accent a colorful focal bead for an idea with both casual and formal appeal. Ramp up the dimension in your gift idea and you can recreate something like our Bold Heart necklace. The bold golden chain works perfectly with the delicate silk string and colorful glass pieces for a fun look that makes a wonderful present. Contrasting tones is another great way to design, and there’s no better example than our Golden Glimmer Choker. The brilliant gold-filled pieces paired with intense, deep colored crystals create an impactful display that’s perfect for an evening look. Use your favorite dark colors to make it unique to you. Each necklace will take mere minutes to create so you can give a great last-minute gift! With their brilliant golden glow these ideas will exude professional polish, so you’ll be proud to give one away. Try making one of these necklace ideas and wrapping it around a second present as a little surprise.

Be Bold with Gold

Incorporate gold into fast and fashionable designs using components with golden tones. Our Amber Memories bracelet uses large-hole beads with golden coloring for a glamorous look. Choose your favorite large-hole beads from both our collection from Caspia™ or Lassero for a style to match your recipient. Go all out for your golden gift and recreate our Cheetah Chain Belt! This stylish accessory is made from nothing more than heavy duty chain and a few glass beads, but emphasizes attractive style with its rich feel.

A Golden Eye Catcher

Make a special pendant as your handmade gift to inspire the journey of your loved one’s next designing project! You can never go wrong with gold toned components, so use gold to highlight their favorite color for a pendant that epitomizes their personality. Seed beads are the easiest route to take because they’re offered in a wide variety of colors and finishes, so you’re sure to find the perfect style for your idea. Take advantage of what’s trending now if you’re not sure where to start. Owls are hot in fashion right now, and their versatile symbolisms make them an ideal focal point for jewelry. You can use the pendant in our After Midnight necklace idea for inspiration.

Never think that because you make your gifts that they can’t shine just as brightly as a store bought present. All it takes is a little golden glow and dedication. Explore the variety of gold components from TierraCast, and take advantage of our TierraCast sale happening this week at Artbeads!

-Marissa

[Read more →]

Tags: Holidays from the Heart

Holidays from the Heart – It’s All in the Presentation

December 5th, 2012 · No Comments

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


Photo Source: Tesco Magazine

The presentation of a package can hold just as much meaning as the treasure inside. Make sure this year you wrap each gift in something that tells the recipient how special he or she is before the gift is even opened. This week we’ll show you how to wrap up your holiday presents and make gift wrapping fun for different occasions, too. Save your tape and save a couple of trees by trying these unique new ways to present your present.

Holiday Bags

Many gifts are exchanged during this time of the year, across borders and state lines, before reaching their final destination under the tree. With a collection of colorful ribbons, paper and boxes, ensure your gift doesn’t get missed with simple additions. Take a simple organza gift bag (which already ups the fancy factor for a gift!) and tie beads or charms to the drawstring. These components could be a “clue” as to what’s inside or follow a color scheme to match the gift. Simply by putting forth a little extra effort demonstrates to your loved ones how much you care.

If you would prefer not to have dangling components, you can still embellish a bag in different ways. Glue Swarovski flatbacks in cute patterns along the edge like we did in our Holiday Sparkle gift bag idea for the same effect. Thread seed beads into the drawstring of a gift bag like we did in the picture above to help make your present stand out, too.

Wrap up Yourself with Accessories

You’re the best gift of all! Present yourself in elegant attire so you sparkle from head to toe. New Year’s Eve is just around the corner—do you have your outfit picked out? If you’re still looking for what to wear you can instantly add some sparkle to your plain shoes with nothing more than Swarovski flatbacks, like we did in our Pretty Party Shoes and Brilliant Night strassed heel ideas. Your little black dress can get a glamorous uplift from simply adding an elegant belt, too. Try recreating our Sparkling Chain Belt that will take just minutes to make.

A Girl’s Best Gift Wrap

Don’t forget to treat yourself! Put the finishing touch on your hand bag and carry it proudly. If you like understated elegance, take a single component and glue it the front of a bag and surround it with small touches. Get inspired on what to use with our Roman Holiday purse. If you plan to make a bigger statement, use sew-on crystals to embellish your accessories like we did for our Night on the Town designer purse idea. Traditional Swarovski flatbacks can add sophistication too! Incorporate your favorite colors and shapes to put a twist on our hand bag idea, the Golightly Purse. Add a fab touch in less time with our new Pick It Up Vacuum Tool that makes flatbacking easier!

Wrap it up Artbeads Style!

I hate throwing away tons of wrapping paper, so I try to wrap gifts in things like towels or scarves, which can be a little present themselves…” – Pat, Artbeads Graphic Artist/Photo Editor.

The Artbeads team is always looking for new ways to put twists on traditions. You don’t have to forgo paper altogether this year, but you can try going green with these fun tips:

  • Wrap your gifts in paper grocery bags and add a meaningful charm instead of a bow
  • Use newspaper for wrapping paper and finish it with a fancy bow. What’s even better is to pick the section of the newspaper that the recipient would enjoy reading!
  • If you plan to use paper, omit the ribbon and draw one on with a colored pen or crayon. This is a fun project for kids to help with, too!
  • Add natural elements like pine cones or pine branches to the outside of a present to stimulate the senses.
  • Wrap your gift in a blanket or a scarf for two gifts in one!

“Last year I wrapped all my gifts in recycled grocery bags and picked up a couple of holiday-themed stamps and green and red ink pads. It was a lot more work than I expected, but in the end those piles of gifts looked gorgeous under the tree and everyone commented on how beautiful they looked.” Yvette, Manager.

No matter how you decide to add a little extra to your wrapping, stock up on everything to make your gifts special and to make yourself sparkle with our site-wide sale happening this week! Save and be ready to wrap up your holiday season.

-Marissa

[Read more →]

Tags: Holidays from the Heart

Holidays from the Heart – Cards

November 28th, 2012 · No Comments

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

Tidings of comfort and joy wouldn’t be complete without at least a few holiday cards waiting for you in the mail box. In this digital age of e-cards, it’s nice to discover a paper card that you can hold in your hands. Make your holiday greetings more personal with handmade paper crafts, like Christmas cards and gift tags. This week we’ll show you inventive new ways to make paper cool again.

Holiday Cards

When you opt out of store-bought cards, you open up the creativity of what kind of message you want to send. Gather up your various scrap papers to design unique new cards for everyone this year! Coordinate the pieces to put together cool patterns, and then add some Christmas components like charms and links. You might just get an idea from a special piece! Another fun idea for your cards, which is even great for after the holidays, is to slip a piece of jewelry inside. We did this for our Maid of Honor card idea by adding a bracelet with a cute “Maid of Honor” charm.

Artbeads Co-Owner Devin recently discovered a holiday card his mother made in 1987. Give new life to old keepsakes like this for contemporary cards with a fun retro feel! It’s always fun to reminisce over trinkets from childhood, so why not add nostalgic pieces in your cards for a theme this year? If you’ve never sent out holiday cards, this year is the perfect time to start!

Paper Craft Idea – Gift Tags

If you’re in search of more ways to incorporate handmade appeal in your crafts, try making your own gift tags. Use the small pieces of scrap paper you couldn’t use for cards and shape them into gift tags, and then decorate them with different elements. This is a fun mixed media project you can do with older kids or for your next party. Play with different fibers like organza ribbon to thread through the tag holes and drape it in front with a festive bow. Then, use color coordinated beads, charms and rhinestones to complete a theme. The presentation on the outside will demonstrate your creativity and dedication to ensuring everyone on your list gets a little extra with their gift.

Help Build Memories

Give a scrap book as a gift so your friends and family can cherish special moments in their lives. Have a new addition to your extended family? Create a baby scrap book for Mommy to fill with pictures and keepsakes as her child grows. Fill the cover with Swarovski flatbacks in birthstone colors, or if you don’t know the due date, decorate it with fun patterns with help from Swarovski crystal transfers. Put together an album for a newlywed couple or a book to hold pictures from summer vacation. You provide the starting point with handmade touches, filling the recipient with ideas and maybe a little inspiration on how to finish.

Complete your craft ideas, like scrapbooks, cards and more with the right tools. Explore our craft supplies section to find the best tools and components for completing exciting new projects, like the BeJeweler Pro Tool for setting your Hotfix flatbacks.

-Marissa

[Read more →]

Tags: Holidays from the Heart

Holidays from the Heart – Holiday Hosting

November 21st, 2012 · No Comments

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

Well, we have officially made it to the holiday season. Thanksgiving is here, and if your household is in charge of hosting during the holiday season, you can make this year one to remember with a few handmade touches. This week we’ll show you how to keep your guests smiling from the front door to the dinner table, whether you’re hosting a big family get together or are inviting friends over for a winter cocktail party.

Greet Guests with Cozy Decorations

Everyone loves to feel like they’re family during the holidays. When you include handmade touches throughout your house, it will make your guests feel like they’re home. This feeling is easy to achieve with just the smallest of details, like a mini Christmas tree centerpiece. For ours, we used picture frame pendants and Swarovski crystals in various colors and shapes. Adding family photos always enhances the warmth of a home, while the elegant crystals help it twinkle without the need for strands of lights. Recreate our Starlight Candle Holder with different holiday charms that fit into the rest of your décor. Try swapping the Christmas light charms with candy canes or snowflakes!

Take the Table to Christmas Mode

The focus of any holiday party is, of course, the food. Delight everyone with your talent when you set the table with hand-crafted pieces. Everyone will be amazed at how festive and refined your table looks—and they won’t believe you made the pieces yourself! Start with the utensils. Establish a fancy dinnerware set with nothing more than artistic wire and some of your favorite Christmas colored beads. Recreate our Christmas Serving Utensils idea with the same glass beads, or pick a different theme to reflect the holiday colors in your home. Serve guests a special drink in wire-wrapped wine glasses, accented with any collection of small beads. The best part about this little embellishment is that you don’t have to spend money on fancy glasses—just use whatever is on hand and decorate. Again, all you’ll need is colorful artistic wire and an assortment of small beads that match your theme. Indulge every detail by recreating some of our other handmade table setting ideas, like our Holiday Napkin Rings and Elegant Touch Candle Holder.

Little Things Make the Biggest Difference

When you greet your guests with a drink, offer them a wine glass charm so everyone can keep an eye on their glass. These cute little decorations make great gifts, too! You can also use them as mug charms when you host sporting events. Just use some of our sparkling football charms in your team’s colors to make the guys and gals both feel included in the festivities. These ideas make wonderful conversation starters.

A Gift from the Guest

If you’re going to be the guest at a holiday party this year, don’t forget to bring a gift for your hostess. A popular gift to bring is a bottle of wine, and your expression of appreciation can be even more special by adding a piece of jewelry. Pick a style that your host would like and wrap it around the bottle neck. It’s like two gifts in one! This is also a cute idea for even more casual occasions just to show your giving spirit. We’ve featured a few ideas you could recreate, but be sure to view all of our free bracelet ideas for more inspiration.

Ardennes Bracelet

Soiree Bracelet

Little Bit Country Bracelet

No matter what your style is, you can save big on everything on our site this week with the 20% Site-Wide Sale! Stock up on everything you need to make your holiday hosting duties a beautiful success.

-Marissa

[Read more →]

Tags: Holidays from the Heart

Holidays from the Heart – Gift Baskets

November 14th, 2012 · 1 Comment

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

Sometimes one gift is just not enough. In the spirit of giving, you can put together a thoughtful basket full of individual goodies that will warm the heart of your loved ones. You can be sure that your gift basket will stand out in many ways, set amongst all of the wrapped presents, uniformly placed together under the tree. The time and effort you dedicated to one person’s gift really will make a difference to that special someone. This week we’ll offer different gift basket ideas so you can ensure everyone on your list can feel your love.

No Bones About It!

Do you have an animal lover on your list this year, or someone who’s bringing home a new addition to their family this holiday? Our Pet Gift Basket idea is perfect! Gather some basic pet essentials and then make them unique with Swarovski flatbacks. Use our ideas as inspiration to choose appropriate colors, shapes and sizes to complement the pieces. Sneak a little extra treat in the basket for the pet parent, too! Make a necklace that will remind them of their pet, like we did with our Santa Claws necklace. Czech glass druk beads were the ideal accent to our stoneware pendant, but you can explore different beads for the same effect.

New Growth to Come in the Following Year

When winter comes to an end, your green thumb pal will be jumping at the chance to get back in the garden. Give them something to make the anticipation a little sweeter, like our Emma’s Garden Gift Basket. The basket is actually a planter box that holds small gardening tools, including a watering can and small flower pot decorated with jewelry components following a nature-inspired theme. Earth tone cabochons, gorgeous filigree butterflies and rustic base metal chain are all it takes to make an ordinary garden tool extraordinary. We even made a sweet multi-stranded bracelet with floral accents to place in the gift basket, our Sunflower Sunrise bracelet.

Silver Screen Aficionado

What better gift for a film buff than a gift basket? Use a plastic popcorn bucket to hold all of the individual presents and pick a theme that fits your recipient. Work around a favorite movie, or choose an era from the industry, like the silent film era or the golden era of film. Our Movie Gift Basket is centered around the Twilight saga with components like the Forever T-Shirt and our Bella’s Journey bracelet, but other additions like our Moon and Stars Gift Tins are suitable for any move-themed present. Fill them with Junior Mints or Jujubes for the full theater experience! Each of our ideas can be made with alternate components that best match the theme you’re going for, so use them to inspire yourself to make each one unique.

Beginning Beader Basket

If you know someone who’s starting to get into jewelry designing, a gift basket is a great way to get them started! The expert designers from our Learning Center put together a wonderful gift basket with tools and components any beginning jewelry designer would love. It includes components for making a simple design, with things like jewelry wire, the nipper tool and bead crimper tool, and beads & findings. Fire-polished Czech glass beads are a nice choice when starting out, and a simple toggle clasp with some spacers and crimp tubes are just enough to make an easy design. You can switch up our suggestions and personalize it with things the beginning beader in your life would like. We put ours together in a tote bag that the recipient will appreciate when their collection grows.

A Special Gift for Seed Beaders

If you know someone who loves designing with fine detail, like seed beads, here are some great suggestions on how to make a gift basket just for them. Our expert designers carefully selected what to put in their basket, which includes a Wildly Bohemian seed bead kit, seed bead DVD, a bead scoop and Thread Heaven. If you need more ideas for gift basket components, check out our seed bead supplies section. Find a nice wicker basket to present the items in and line it with beautiful silk or other elegant material.

Take advantage of our new arrivals of seed beads, buttons and more this week to complete your gift baskets before the holidays!

-Marissa

[Read more →]

Tags: Holidays from the Heart

Holidays from the Heart – Christmas Ornaments

November 7th, 2012 · 1 Comment

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


Photo Source: A Victorian Affair.

The Christmas ornament—a timeless symbol of the holidays. The shiny surface reflects the warm glow of tree lights and the lit-up faces of children on Christmas morning. This small, colorful trinket has become such a tradition that we often pass down our favorites to future generations. These treasures are more than just decorations; they have wrapped within them our memories of family and good cheer. Revisiting ornaments year after year is like looking into the past at all of those magical times. What better way to keep the spirit of Christmas alive than with a handmade ornament, one made with caring hands and fingers that pass the maker’s joy into the details. This week we’ll show you different ways to make ornaments that can tell the story of your Christmas.

A Victorian Christmas Story

If you want to preserve the nostalgia of the holidays, make an ornament with vintage themes. Antique brass finishes are a perfect way to achieve this look, and when paired with regal colors, you get the perfect decoration. Our Ruby Jubilee Ornament idea precisely reflects this feeling. Replace the Ruby crystals with Jet black or sparkling Crystal AB to keep the dramatic feel. If you have an old-fashioned image you want to preserve in the holiday spirit, recreate our Victorian Skater or Old World Santa ornaments with your own special touch. Each one follows the vintage brass theme, which will add antiquity to any picture.

A Modern Day Christmas Tale

Tell the story of your family with a handmade ornament that symbolizes your youth. Maybe your family celebrated the holiday with non-traditional colors like pink or lime green, or maybe Christmas was the one day a year your mom made her famous sticky buns for breakfast. Whatever reminds you of Christmas, capture it in an ornament with different colors and components to tell your story. Let our collection of different ornament ideas be your inspiration, like the Princess Pink Ornament, Ice Blue Ornament or Poinsettia Nouveau Ornament. Our Christmas Flower Ornament idea is another great starting point.

Blending the Past and the Present

Our designer Teri made these beautiful ornaments by sliding stitches over traditional baubles. These homemade masterpieces are easy to make, and you’ll be proud to pass down these pieces as tokens of precious memories. The story you tell through this small decoration can grow into a future tradition and a new beginning. Learn how to make beaded ornament covers with instructional books, full of great inspiration.

Spread the Cheer

For a last-minute gift idea, turn a pendant into an ornament! All it takes is an amazing focal and some organza ribbon or even satin cord. You’ll make a lasting impression on good friends by choosing a pendant that represents them on Christmas! We have an incredible collection of Christmas pendants, and any of them would make a wonderful adornment on a tree. Get your friends in on the fun and start an ornament exchange every year. Any handmade present, like a Christmas ornament, makes a lovely Secret Santa gift too. There are a number of ways to spread the holiday cheer through a Christmas ornament. You just have to decide which path you want to take.

Our Unicorne Beads lampwork pendants are full of such color and life that they would make perfect ornaments as well. Take advantage of our sale on Unicorne Beads this week and start your own holiday tradition.

-Marissa

[Read more →]

Tags: Holidays from the Heart

Holidays from the Heart – Party Bling

October 31st, 2012 · 3 Comments

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

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and you can make it even more wonderful with blingtastic additions for your home, your friends & family and even yourself! Bling: term for any piece of jewelry or flair accented with eye-catching shimmer, derived from the Jamaican slang ‘bling bling’ which references the imaginary sound that is produced when light catches a bright diamond. This week you’ll learn how to add bling to everything, including your home décor and homemade gifts.

Bring Home the Bling

Add a bit of shimmer and sparkle to your home with small touches, like adding decorative beads to candle holders. Your guests will appreciate your creativity and effort to ensure everything in your home lights up as bright as your tree, but won’t feel bombarded with glitz at every turn. This sophisticated bling could be as simple as our Christmas Star Candle Holder idea (you can use any fire-polished bead with an AB finish). Place it on your dinner table next to sparkling cider and wine, or set it on the mantle to catch reflections from the fire.

Blingy Tree

A holiday ornament is a traditional and decorative way to add your own amount of sparkle to the home. For an extravagant accent, recreate our Gloria Christmas Ornament idea with beautiful garland chain. You’ll be piling on the elegance with a wide array of Swarovski crystals and base metal buttons! If you’d like a simpler sparkling touch, take a plain ball ornament and glue on your favorite components. We featured some of our favorite ways to decorate in our Sugar Cookie Ornament instructions. Make one for yourself and a few extra for the annual ornament exchange. Your originality is sure to stir memories for years to come.

Bling Yourself

Don’t forget to make sure you’ve got your own bling! The classic black and white color scheme is the perfect way to add icy crystal sparkle, like in our Manhattan and Evening Elegance necklace ideas. Manhattan is more elaborate with multiple strands and a large focal pendant while Evening Elegance adds the right touch of sophistication to make you stand out at the holiday party. If you want a pop of color in your blinged out wardrobe, experiment with shapes and dimension, too! Our classy and colorful Avante Garde Earrings are a great way to add color but still stay elegant. Or, if you want more shape, recreate our Vogue Earrings to light up our face while your ears jingle with bling.

Blinged Out Jewelry Set Gifts

There’s no better way to tell someone how much they shine like a shimmering set of jewelry hand made by you. Match your friend’s personality with crystals and beads in different colors and shapes. Our Emerald set includes a royal necklace and bracelet laced in crystals and glass with gold, red and emerald green tones. It’s perfect for Christmas! Make the Jonquil Mist necklace and earring set for your friend or family member with a sunny yet sophisticated style. The bold gunmetal contrasted with soft yellow crystals makes for a wonderful accent to an evening outfit. Or, if you are in need of a great winter gift to last throughout the year, our Evening Frost set is ideal. Both the bracelet and the necklace include sleek silver findings to complement their black and white patterns. Your gift will be the gift as cool as frosted glass windows.

Dress up your collection of beads and supplies with our boutique sale, focusing in on some of our most beautiful components.

-Marissa

[Read more →]

Tags: Holidays from the Heart

Holidays from the Heart – Gifts Inspired by Mother Nature

October 24th, 2012 · 1 Comment

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

Let’s not forget the reason for our Holidays from the Heart series—to get back to the times of homemade gifts and passing along traditions. What better inspiration for homemade gifts than Mother Nature? This week we’ll focus on how you can turn to the beauty of natural elements for inspiration when making your holiday gifts.

Winter Whispers that Christmas is in the Air

Add your favorite natural elements to our Christmas Tableau bracelet for a festive design you’ll cherish all season long. Make this for the nature lover in your life by adding flower accents made from glass beads, too! This idea can also be adorned with thematic pieces like Christmas Charms for a thoughtful and heartwarming gift. Such a simple design can hold such beauty, much like the branch on a tree or blooming bud sprouting from the earth.

Pearls—Nature’s Gift to Classic Beauty

Turn any design into an elegant gift with the help of pearls! Use natural freshwater pearls in various shapes and colors or be inspired by Mother Nature and use brilliant Swarovski crystal pearls. Our Royal Suburbs Three-Strand Necklace fuses both types of pearls together in a design that is simply stunning and will make anyone feel like a star. If you’re looking to make a classy necklace with a modern twist, recreate our asymmetrical Copper Couture necklace idea. With elegant filigree flowers and a nod to 1940s style, this necklace would make a wonderful gift. Browse our collection of Swarovski crystal pearls to play with color and make it match your recipient’s style. If you desire a simpler layout, make our Amber Empress necklace. Its stylish pearls complement the cluster of sophisticated crystals in the center, and the overall richness of gold and amber elements finish off its royal look.

Let Nothing Go To Waste

Take this go-green attitude to your gift ideas this season! Both practical and unique, our Seed Bead Trinket Jar is perfect for your best beading buddy and is the perfect project to do with kids. You’ll be using loose beads and scrap designs to give them a new purpose and create an irreplaceable gift. Our Fiber Trinket jar follows this same logic but allows you to make a great gift for a crafter or teacher using leftover fibers and components from past projects. Recycling is one of the best things we can do to preserve the beauty of nature, and when we help the environment we help ourselves. Give gifts with a deeper meaning this year by renewing your favorite jewelry components.

Breathe in the Beauty of Nature

It’s easy to incorporate natural elements in your jewelry with the simplest touch, like a leaf pendant or earth-toned colors. Celebrate the holidays with nature by making our Harvest Splendor Necklace with festive colors, or swap out the maple leaves with more wintery components like pinecones and fir tree branches. Instead of using sterling silver try brass or pewter jewelry components for a fresh, organic feel! Try putting your own twist on our Branching Out Necklace with your friend’s favorite outdoor elements for a terrific gift. The multiple strands of fiber and chain work together to reflect a feel of how nature and industry can coexist in a beautiful way.

Replace the sterling silver JBB jewelry supplies in these ideas with brass and pewter components for an economical alternative! Choose to go for more of a natural feel and use ones with a brass or copper finish now during our sale! Get 30% off JBB brass and pewter components this week.

-Marissa

[Read more →]

Tags: Holidays from the Heart

Holidays from the Heart – The Northern Lights

October 17th, 2012 · No Comments

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


Photo Source: away.com.

The AB crystals are meant to capture the beauty of the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights that paint a rainbow of colors across the night sky. You can bring the Northern Lights into your home—or even wrap them up in a gift—with Swarovski crystals in an AB finish. We’ll show you how to make their beauty last through the winter and brighten up handmade gifts.

Keep the Magic of Christmas Alive

You can ring in the New Year after adorning your tree with these stunning ornament ideas. Our Retro Ice Ornaments can dangle from your window like indoor icicles or dance on Christmas tree branches and play with the twinkling lights. If you’re looking to add a bigger and bolder crystallized impression, try recreating our Prismatic Christmas Ornament idea! The list of alternative components includes crystals with an AB finish for an amazing holiday display.

A Sparkling Tweet for Bird Lovers

To all of the bird lovers out there (you know “hoo” you are!) we offer fun gift ideas that incorporate eye-catching color and the beauty of nature. Read the instructions for our Hoo’s Watching for a fashionable piece that’s sure to be a conversation starter. The 4mm AB bicones surrounding the owl pendant really help it stand out!

Full of feminine colors, our Renewal Bracelet makes a great gift not only for the holiday season but for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. Punch up the excitement by swapping out the 6mm Swarovski bicones in Padparadscha with the color Amethyst AB (or Amethyst AB 2X). This would make a wonderful gift for little girls and little girls at heart.

Our Tweet Necklace was actually a gift to our designer Cheri on her birthday! If you’re stumped on what to get for the bird lover in your life, this idea is an outstanding choice. Again, your AB touches don’t have to always be crystal clear—the Sapphire AB crystals in this necklace are what bring all of the elements together. Recreate it with personal touches, like colors that reflect the recipient’s personality.

A Gift Too Good to Give

You can keep this one for yourself! This Aurora Necklace epitomizes the Northern Lights with its large, sparkling focal points and simple display. Wear at a formal outing or keep it for a more casual event—either way you will be catching everyone’s eye.

Don’t wait to make great gifts with Swarovski AB Crystals! They’re all on sale this week, so stock up now for the holidays.

-Marissa

[Read more →]

Tags: Holidays from the Heart

Add to Technorati Favorites