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

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Jewelry and Craft Ideas



Both experienced and beginning jewelry makers need help sometimes coming up with creative and innovative ideas. Whether you need to entertain the kids on a rainy day or need to create a piece of jewelry for a special occasion, this section is sure to help!


Using Large-Hole Beads in New Ways

November 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

Large-Hole Bead Ideas

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

Blue Note Necklace

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

Bailee

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

DIY Shamballa Bracelets

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

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

Artbeads Customer Design

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

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

 

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

Beautiful Bicones

November 15th, 2014 · 3 Comments

Ideas for Bicones

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

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

Lynn P.'s Bicone Necklace

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

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

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

Shimmering Winds RAW Bracelet

Shimmering Winds

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

Artbeads Swarovski Designer Blends

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

Fairy Lanterns

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

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

 

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

The Wonders of Kumihimo

November 8th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Kumihimo at Artbeads

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

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

Holly's Kumihimo Bracelet

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

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

Monterey Pop

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

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Tags: Artbeads.com Customer Product Reviews · Customer Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Dried Out Gilders Paste? No Problem!

October 17th, 2014 · No Comments

Gilders Paste is a great way to add new color to metal, wood, polymer clay, ceramic, wax and resin surfaces. It comes in lots colors and each container provides enough paste for many, many projects. We’ve used Gilders Paste in some of our Learning Center ideas and they all turned out fabulous!

A little Gilders Paste goes a long way in projects like these, so you’ll have your Gilders Paste on hand for a long time. After a while, you might notice it start to dry out. Don’t worry, you don’t have to throw it out! You can refresh dried out Gilders Paste so it is as good as new and ready to use on any project!

How to Refresh Dried Gilders Paste

Take a look at our How to Refresh Dried Out Gilders Paste Handy Tip to learn the techniques for rejuvenating this amazing paste. Or, if you’re new to using Gilders Paste, learn the basics with our How to Use Gilders Paste Handy Tip.

Now that you know all the tricks to using Gilders Paste, we want to know: What will you make? Leave us a comment below with your plans, or share a picture of your Gilders Paste creations on our Facebook Page!

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Hot Chocolate Fashion

May 14th, 2013 · 2 Comments

So many ooey, gooey, delicious things come in brown, and today we want to celebrate the tasty power of this color in fashion. The perfect shade of chocolate brown is a cool complement to other shades and even looks good on its own. Learn how you can add a taste of brown to your jewelry box as either the backbone of a design or in a supporting role.

A Neutral Foundation

Iris Necklace

Neutrals are appropriate for any occasion, although most people immediately opt for black, grey or white. Brown is a fun twist on the traditional neutral hue, and it enriches any other color it’s paired with. Let it guide the feel of your design, helping build the overall look. This could be in the form of antique brass findings or an awesome chocolate focal. Next, layer on your colors! Beads in robin egg blue or pale pink are just a couple of ideas. In our Iris necklace design, we used a combination of brown and purple for a sweet and simple look. Mint green is another refreshing accent. Try a silk ribbon in this shade to complement a choco-pendant. Gold always looks nice with deep browns, too.

A Sugary Accessory

Cosmopolitan Earrings

If your style is more colorful, use a soothing brown to help tie different elements together. Dangle some chocolate drops from your ears (like our chocolate glaze pavé beads) to complete a blue and white polka dot dress. Or, recreate the beauty in our Cosmopolitan Earrings for jewelry with just a lick of chocolate brown goodness. Wherever your imagination takes your fashion, add some tasteful brown tones for a truly sweet look!

Just for fun, we’ll leave you with some extreme chocolate fashion. These are from the NYC Chocolate Fashion Show, where models ruled the runway in chocolate couture…yes, it’s real chocolate. Enjoy!

Chocolate Mermaid Fairy

Double Chocolate Couture

Bon Bon Necklace

Galactic Chocolate Skirt

Photo Source: nydailynews.com.

What’s your favorite way to wear chocolate?

-Marissa

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

Smashing Summer Jewelry Fashion from Downton Abbey

May 7th, 2013 · 7 Comments

Downton Abbey Regal Colors

We’re excited that the American 1920s lavish fashion is sweeping the runways and fashion mags due to the release of the new Great Gatsby film, but this film isn’t creating the trend all on its own. We’re tickled that another on-screen powerhouse from across the pond has been making headway as well. The British television series Downton Abbey, set in the Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey during the Post-Edwardian era, is influencing fashion for 2013 too. This show follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants, and depicts how historical events affect their lives and the British hierarchy. In fact, the show begins after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, and the tragic loss of the family heir aboard the fateful ship impacts the rest of the members.

Rose MacClare

Just like the popular flapper flair of Gatsby, the luxurious wardrobe from this show is captivating fashion designers, and has been this whole year. The vintage colors, cuts and accessories have just the right amount of excessiveness to be appealing for modern looks. Bold colors like regal red and rich finishes like gold are a reflection of the popular Art Deco style, but can be a nostalgic nod if worn in clothing or a trendy twist when used in jewelry designs.

Headpiece

Floral and Beaded Accents

Headpieces, floral accents and beaded embellishments are just a few of the ways the costumes of Downton Abbey have helped sway the runway—and we absolutely love it! To recreate some of these luxurious necklaces, check out our Swarovski cuplink chain and our fire-polished linked chain. Long, dangling earrings are a breeze to make using Swarovski Column Pendants or Ellipse Pendants.

Downton Abbey Floral Lace and Pearls

If you want to replicate the richness of the era, simple touches like long pearls or feminine lace are a great way to get started. Filigree components in vintage finishes like antique brass would be perfect in jewelry designs as well. Here are some fun Learning Center ideas that showcase the decadence of Downton Abbey:

Syncopated Rhytm Necklace
Syncopated Rhythm

Chicago Loop Necklace
Chicago Loop

Vintage Romance Necklace
Vintage Romance

What are some of your ideas for bringing a little British charm to your designs?

-Marissa

Downton Abbey Photo Credits: IMDB.com, PBS.org and Booktalk and More Blog.

Fashion Photo Credits: style.com.

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Great Gatsby and the Real Flapper Girl

May 2nd, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Great Gtasby

This year’s hottest fashion craze is all about 1920s fashion, thanks in large part to the highly anticipated 2013 release of the film, The Great Gatsby. This variation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel has been getting a lot of buzz since the start of its filming, which in turn has influenced the fashion world to go Gatsby. Although we expect the movie to have a modern twist on the fashion from the era, we wondered just how accurate the film was. And, moreover, was the 1974 film version just as accurate? Who nailed the flapper look the best? We’ll break down the flapper fashion first, and then move through each film.

Real Flapper Style

1920s Flapper Fashion

This shocking new look for the times evolved from the rise of the jazz age, music that required dancers to move freely. This meant that women needed to hem their skits and dress in lightweight material. The term Flapper originally referred to the mindset of these women, or young girls rather, who were just learning to make their way into the world—in a sense, first starting to “flap” their wings after leaving the home nest. Later, the term would associate with their fringe-style clothing. Flappers celebrated decadence and indulgence with flashy jewelry and short hairstyles. CoCo Chanel instigated the boyish look of the flapper by dropping the waistline to the hips and ditching the figure-defining corsets. Long strands of pearls allowed the women to sway to the jazzy rhythm, and vibrant colors reflected its exotic melodies. This type of jewelry also worked to accent the straight, defined lines of their dresses.

1920s Flapper Fashion

The Great Gatsby, 1974

1974 Great Gatsby

It seems that the female characters in this movie wanted to live a lavish flapper lifestyle without leaving their femininity behind. Mia Farrow is delightful as Daisy Buchannan, with long layers of pearls, but that seemed to be where the 1920s nod stopped. The cut of her dresses didn’t angle sharply for the Art Deco feel, and their flowy fit didn’t reflect the curve-hugging, boyish trend of the time. Her large sun hat didn’t fit into the flapper look, either. Maybe if she had kept the haircut from Rosemary’s Baby, it would have helped. Overall, the 1974 rendition kept close to the book in terms of storyline (though critics feel this made it lose the spirit of the novel), but lacked in fully capturing the jazz-age feel in its wardrobe choices. It paid homage to the era, but chose to command with popular fashion of the current time.

1974 Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby, 2013

2013 Great Gatsby

From the cut of Carey Mulligan’s dress to her pixie bob hair, the 2013 version appears to pay more attention at getting the style from the time right. The “new” Daisy Buchannan dresses in clothing cut to fit her thin frame. Her hair accessories kept it vintage with sharp, angled lines with bursts of color and sparkle as well. Though she wears her pearls tightly around her wrist rather than loosely around her neck, Carey’s version of Daisy is still immersed in an over-the-top lifestyle in true flapper fashion. We’ll have to wait and see what more is revealed when the film is released May 10th, 2013. From what we’ve seen so far, though, it seems like the 1920s fashion was not forgotten.

2013 Great Gatsby

Flip through the pages of any fashion magazine for 2013 and you’ll spot some sort of 1920s influence. Whether it’s finger waves, drop waistlines or the addition of fringe, the Roaring Twenties era is one of the hottest trends. Things are heating up even more for summer, with the movie’s release sure to inspire more designers soon. You can get a head start on what to make by checking out our Platinum Flapper fashion trend here in the Learning Center or browsing through or Pinterest board by the same name. We’re crazy about this style!

-Marissa

Information Source: About.com.
Actual 1920s Photo Credit: TheFashionSpot.com.
1974 Film Photo Credit: imdb.com.
2013 Film Photo Credit: WarnerBrothers.

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Legendary Giveaway

April 24th, 2013 · 6 Comments

Legendary Giveaway

Once upon a time, mythical creatures roamed the land. In the days of unicorns, fairies and dragons, magic was easy to come by. Now all that exists of these creatures and others like them are legends and myth. You can bring them back to life on Pinterest with our Legendary Giveaway. Artbeads.com is currently featuring a fantastic sale on lampwork beads, including Unicorne Beads. Unicorne Beads offers spectacular beads, many of which are inspired by mythical creatures. We want you to create a Pinterest board for your favorite mythical being and pin pictures inspired by that creature. The things you pin can be fashion inspired by your favorite mythical being, color palettes or something else!

Guidelines:

  • Follow us on Pinterest
  • Pin this image to the board you will use for your legendary creature inspirations
  • Find one product from Unicorne Beads that inspires you and pin that item first.
  • You must pin at least ten (10) products from Artbeads.com. The rest of your board is up to you. Fill it with fashion, colors, places – anything inspired by your legendary creature. Use the hashtag #legendaryinspiration in the description for each item you pin.
  • Once you have created your board, email a link to your Pinterest board to giveaways@artbeads.com with “Legendary Style Giveaway” as the subject line in order to be entered into the contest.

The winner will receive magical Unicorne Beads including a strand of round beads and a colorful owl, along with a $25 gift certificate to Artbeads.com! Enter by Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 11:59pm PST for your chance to win! Check out our official contest rules for more details.

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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

High School Stories

April 23rd, 2013 · 1 Comment

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!

Becky

“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

Cortney, Vice President, wore this gorgeous, handmade green dress to her prom. Her husband was her date back then!

Sherri

Sherri, our New Product Coordinator, was 17 when she graduated from high school…and is glad that the feathered hair style has passed.

Teri

Jewelry Designer Teri McCamish back in the day, sporting her “preppy LL Bean oxford cloth shirt and ribbon head band.”

Brittany

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.

Marissa

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.

Dream First Grad Cap

Dream First LC Idea

Unlock Your Future Necklace

Unlock Your Future LC Idea

Wherever You Go Necklace

Wherever You Go LC Idea

Happy memories!

-Marissa

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

High School Fashion

April 19th, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Breakfast Club
Photo Source: Windsore-Store Blog.

Preppy, Athletic, Goth—our style in school often defined who we were as teenagers. High school cliques may have changed over generations, but continue to be part of the public high school experience. The click-clacking of high heels, the jingling of chain wallets, and the screeching of sneakers were the soundtrack to a typical day of school, featuring all of your favorite (and not so favorite) cliques. Graduations are right around the corner and as we move closer to summer vacation (anybody remember that?!?), dorm room shopping and packing up your graduate for college, we thought we’d lean up against a locker and pay homage to these cliques. We’ll break down some of the most common cliques and show you ways to add a little of their flair into your designs. When you walked down the halls to your next class, or meandered about the cafeteria for a place to sit, could you tell who ran with who?

The Preps and the Rich Kids

Prep-Bubble Pearls Necklace

This clique had a lot of names (prep, soc, mean girl) but it all represented the chic, stylish popular people in school. They had money and class and threw the best house parties—but you’d only know that if you were invited. The preppy uniform included flirty skirts and fitted sweaters, as long as it was name brand. It was a safe but stylish look, which is why it continues to make appearances in magazines. Pull off preppy with a strand of pearls in safe neutral colors. Our Bubble Pearls necklace idea is a nice example.

The Jocks

Jock-Alma Mater Bracelet

The jock (or cheerleader) had school spirit and preferred comfort over style. You could find a jock walking the halls in a team jersey, lettermen’s jacket or just in sweats and a ponytail. Running shoes won over heels most often and minimal accessory was key —you can’t wear a lot of jewelry when you’re running around the field! If you want to add a touch of sporty style, rock your school colors or opt for simple post earrings. To show their school pride, we can picture a high school jock sporting our Alma Mater bracelet at the pep rally.

Surfer and Skater Dudes

Hippie-Catch a Wave Necklace

Hey bud! The laid-back style of the surfer, or skater in later generations, continues to reflect a goal to live effortlessly. Long hair and tattered clothes were common. Beach wave curls and a slight Rastafarian flair would make up the typical surfer girl style too. To bring this look to your style, try incorporating a blend of earth tones with bright colors. Our Catch a Wave necklace captures this feel nicely.

The Hippies and The Hipsters

Hipster-Metamorphosis Necklace

The predecessor to hippies, hipsters have emerged to form one of the newest cliques for high school. Their style expresses a carefree attitude, though every detail of their outfit has been carefully planned. Taking influences from the Beatnik generation, both hippies and hipsters valued fashion and fighting for a cause. They could harmoniously pair mismatched elements (i.e. flannel shirts with tight, fashionable jeans and thick framed glasses) with ease, all the while sharing their opinions on world hunger or global warming. If you want to get the hipster style, incorporate vintage components like our retro coins. See them in use in our Metamorphosis necklace idea.

The Nerds and AP Kids

Nerd-Matrix Necklace

The nerds were the smart kids in class, most of the time sitting front and center to answer every question before anyone else had a chance to. Time Magazine stated that one day that geeks would inherit the earth, and it seems that time has come. Although fashionable style was not a concern for the nerd/super smart kid, their love of comics and math is gaining appeal in the fashion world now. Video game paraphernalia or sci-fi accessories, once thought of as lame, are now mainstream. Channel your inner nerd by creating something dedicated to your obsession, no matter what it is. Our Matrix necklace idea embodies the complete nerdiness of both the math and film interpretation of this word, with a mesmerizing pendant and precise symmetry throughout the design.

The Drama Kids

Drama-Forbidden Romance

They lived for the theater. In fact, they may have moved on to become one of your favorite stars on screen or on stage! The drama kid’s passion for theatrical costumes and makeup meant their clique uniform was bold but comfy (in order to move about the stage during performance practice, of course). You could have spotted a drama club member roaming around in jeans paired with a top depicting their favorite play or film. Add more drama to your life with eye-catching accessories, like a bold statement pendant or a mixture of colors and materials, like our Forbidden Romance necklace idea does.

The Band Geeks

Band-Tanagers Song

While drama kids lived for theater, band geeks lived for the music. If they weren’t wearing their marching band uniform, you may have seen the band geek representing their favorite band via t-shirt. Fashion wasn’t a priority for band geeks, but as long as they could play their hearts out it didn’t matter how they dressed. Show your appreciation for music with little elements in your jewelry by capturing old band paraphernalia in a bezel setting for a customized pendant, or add just a touch with a simple treble cleft charm. Our Tanager’s Song necklace idea is simple and sweet, like the little song bird that shares its name.

The Goths

Goth-Gothic Collar

Dark clothes, dark makeup and a dark attitude were common for the Goths. This clique is typically easy to spot in the halls. Black was the staple color, but could be mixed with dramatic reds or white for a monochromatic design. Their slightly morbid outlook on fashion was an eclectic mixture of Victorian, Elizabethan and punk. Our Gothic Collar idea is the epitome of gothic style.

The Punks

Punk-Miss Magma

Their rise against mainstream and refusal to be controlled was expressed partially through what punks wore to school. Their fashion was an expression of attitude, so it wasn’t so much about being on trend as it was about being an individual. The punk kids experimented with colorful hair, safety pins in clothes and just about anything else out of the ordinary. Get some punk rock influence with metallic elements, black accessories or anything that rebels against the norm. The wild colors and crazy patterns in our Miss Magma bracelet express this style well.

Do you remember which clique you fit into when you were in high school? Reminisce about what you rocked in high school with familiar elements in your fashion today!

-Marissa

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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

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