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From pet videos and designer interviews to fun facts and beading contests, these posts show the fun side of life at Artbeads.com.


Making Mini Beaded Chairs

April 18th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Mini Beaded Chairs

Beads are fun to play with, whether you are making jewelry, home decor or some other kind of craft. Artbeads recently discovered the art of making miniature chairs with beads thanks to Noreen M, an Artbeads.com customer. Noreen has made many beaded chairs over the years and now her goal is to revive miniature beaded chair art by sharing the instructions and diagrams she has spent hours and hours creating. Here is Noreen’s story on how she got started making these cute little chairs:

In the 1950s, when I was a child, my mother made miniature chairs about 3 inches tall using seed beads and thin wire. I still own a few chairs and a sofa she made. There’s no way of knowing how she learned to make them, but my guess is she found instructions in a crafting magazine. She used to buy magazines with instructions for crochet and embroidery items and I remember many, many issues of McCall’s magazine. I still remember cutting out the Betsy McCall paper dolls out of every issue. My grandmother did a lot of crafts, so it’s possible my mom found instructions in a magazine that was published before the 50s.

After making many beaded bracelets and necklaces, I looked at my mom’s beaded chairs and thought it would be fun to give it a try. But, I had no instructions. I love a challenge. I love puzzles. And, what a challenge it would be to solve the little beaded puzzles. I made a drawing of one of her chairs. Then I tried to duplicate the drawing using a continuous line. After working on it for hours, starting over and over, I gave up and went to bed. The next morning, I woke up and my brain instantly resumed working on the puzzle. I laid there imagining where I left off the previous night, when all of a sudden I realized that at one point I needed to go in a different direction. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my puzzle and bam! I was right!!

Using the drawing, over 4 feet of continuous wire and about 500 beads, I successfully completed my first chair…I’ve made many chairs, given them to friends and enjoyed the smiles of surprise. Two of my friends are now making chairs and one of them is going to teach the art to her daughter.

Today on the Artbeads blog, we are sharing Noreen’s instructions and diagrams with you, so you can start making these chairs for yourself. They make wonderful accents in doll houses and would even look cute in a fairy garden. Use the instructions below to get started!

Free Instructions: Mini Beaded Chairs

Chair 1 Instructions

Materials Needed:

25 Large 6/0 Beads

592 Small 11/0 Seed Beads

4 feet of 26 gauge stainless steel wire

Wire Cutters

Needle-Nose PliersCHAIR 1 Diagram

 

Refer to the Chair 1 Diagram to complete the design. On the diagram, large beads are marked with a letter. It is important to enter and exit large beads as shown.

Steps are indicated on the diagram by a number followed by a second number, which indicates the number of small beads used in that step. Example: 1-6 on the diagram means, “Step One – Add 6 small beads to the wire.”

Note: The first bead to be added to the wire is referred to as “large bead A”. The wire will pass through this bead five times. Therefore, it is wise to text the bead you choose. Cut five short pieces of wire (1-1 1/2″ will do). Put all five pieces of wire through the bead hole. If they are tight or don’t fit, pick another bead to start with.

To make the seat of the chair:

About a half of an inch from one end of the wire, make a small curl or simple loop to keep your beads from falling off. At the other end of the wire, begin adding beads. Add large bead A. Then, follow these steps:

Step 1: add 6 small beads (referred to as small). Add large bead B.

Step 2: Add 4 small. Add large bead C.

Step 3: Add 4 small. Add large bead D.

Step 4: Add 4 small. Add large bead E.

Step 5: Add 4 small. Go through large bead B. The beads from step 1 and large bead A will now hang loose until you get to step 12.

Step 6: Add 6 small. Add large bead F.

Step 7: Add 6 small. Go through large bead C.

Step 8: Add 6 small. Add large bead G.

Step 9: Add 6 small. Go through large bead D.

Step 10: Add 6 small. Add large bead H.

Step 11: Add 6 small. Go through large bead E.

Step 12: Add 6 small. Go through large bead A.

Step 13: Add 4 small. Add large bead I.

Step 14: Add 4 small. Add large bead J.

Step 15: Add 4 small. Go through large bead H.

Step 16: Add 6 small. Add large bead K.

Step 17: Add 6 small. Go through large bead G.

Step 18: Add 14 small. Go through large bead H.

Step 19: Add 6 small. Add large bead L.

Step 20: Add six small. Go through large bead A.

To make the back and arms of the chair:

Note: Before proceeding, make sure you are holding the chair in the same direction as the diagram shows. If you don’t pay attention, you might end up with the seat of the chair upside down, which will cause problems in future steps.

Step 1: Add 3 small. Add large bead M.

Step 2: Add 16 small. Add large bead N.

Step 3: Add 10 small. Go through large bead H.

Step 4: Add 4 small. Go through large bead N.

Step 5: Add 4 small. Go through large bead L.

Step 6: Add 5 small. Go through large bead M.

Step 7: Add 6 small. Add large bead O.

Step 8: Add 12 small. Add large bead P.

Step 9: Add 18 small. Add large bead Q.

Step 10: Add 18 small. Add large bead R.

Step 11: Add 12 small. Add large bead S.

Step 12: Add 6 small. Add large bead T.

Step 13: Add 16 small. Add large bead U.

Step 14: Add 10 small. Go through large bead G.

Step 15: Add 4 small. Go through large bead U.

Step 16: Add 4 small. Go through large bead K.

Step 17: Add 5 small. Go through large bead T.

Step 18: Add 3 small. Go through large bead F.

Step 19: Add 8 small. Go through large bead S.

Step 20: Add 6 small. Go through large bead R.

Step 21: Add 21 small. Go through large bead P.

Step 22: Add 22 small. Go through large bead Q.

Step 23: Add 22 small. Go through large bead I.

Step 24: Add 21 small. Go through large bead P.

Step 25: Add 6 small. Go through large bead O.

Step 26: Add 8 small.

Now you can loosen your original stopper loop by large bead A. Bring the end of the wire through to the underside of large bead A to create the legs.

LEGS A

 

To make the legs of the chair:

Refer to the diagram for Legs A to complete these steps.

Step 1: Add 10 small. Add a large bead

Step 2: Add 18 small. Go through the last large bead added.

Step 3: Add 14 small. Add a large bead.

Step 4: Add 18 small. Go through the last large bead added.

Step 5: Add 10 small. Go through large bead F, which was added while making the seat.

Step 6: Add 10 small. Go through the large bead added in step 4.

Step 7: Add 14 small. Add a large bead.

Step 8: Add 10 small. Go through large bead G in the seat.

Step 9: Add 10 small. Go through the large bead added in step 7.

Step 10: Add 18 small. Go through the large bead added in step 7.

Step 11: Add 14 small. Add a large bead.

Step 12: Add 18 small. Go through the last large bead added.

Step 13: Add 10 small. Go through large bead H in the seat.

Step 14: Add 10 small. Go through the large bead added in step 11.

Step 15: Add 14 small. Go through the large bead that was added in step 1.

Step 16: Add 10 small. Go through large bead A in the seat. If you find it difficult to bring the end of the wire through the bead because the end is bent out of shape, trim the end. This will make it easier to pass it through the bead.

To finish your chair, trim the end of the wire, leaving only a couple of inches. Straighten the loop at the other end of the wire. Pull tightly on both ends of the wire and twist the two ends together using needle nose pliers. Trim the twisted wire, leaving approximately 1/4 of an inch. Bend the wire end under large bead A to hide it.

If you want to make another style of beaded chair, try the one below!

Chair 2

Chair 2 Instructions

Materials Needed:

25 large 6/0 beads

553 Small 11/0 seed beads

3 feet and 9 inches of 26 gauge stainless steel wire

Wire Cutters

Needle-Nose Pliers

CHAIR 2 Diagram

To make the seat of the chair:

About a half of an inch from one end of the wire, make a small curl or simple loop to keep your beads from falling off. At the other end of the wire, begin adding beads. Add large bead A. Then, follow these steps:

Step 1: add 6 small. Add large bead B.

Step 2: add 4 small. Add large bead C.

Step 3: Add 4 small. Add large bead D.

Step 4: Add 4 small. Add large bead E.

Step 5: Add 4 small. Go through large bead B. The beads added in step 1 and large bead A will now hang loose until you complete step 12.

Step 6: Add 6 small. Add large bead F.

Step 7: Add 6 small. Go through large bead C.

Step 8: Add 6 small. Add large bead G.

Step 9: Add 6 small. Go through large bead D.

Step 10: Add 6 small. Add large bead H.

Step 11: Add 6 small. Go through large bead E.

Step 12: Add 6 small. Go through large bead A.

Step 13: Add 4 small. Add large bead I.

Step 14: Add 4 small. Add large bead J.

Step 15: Add 4 small. Go through large bead F.

Step 16: Add 9 small. Add large bead K.

Step 17: Add 4 small. Go through large bead G.

Step 18: Add 14 small. Go through large bead H.

Step 19: Add 4 small. Add large bead L.

Step 20: Add 9 small. Go through large bead A.

To make the back and arms of the chair:

Note: Before proceeding, make sure you are holding the chair in the same direction as the diagram shows. If you don’t pay attention, you might end up with the seat of the chair upside down, which will cause problems in future steps.

Step 21: Add 14 small. Add large bead M.

Step 22: Add 6 small. Add large bead N.

Step 23: Add 6 small. Add large bead O.

Step 24: Add 6 small. Add large bead P.

Step 25: Add 6 small. Go through large bead M.

Step 26: Add 12 small. Go through large bead I.

Step 27: Add 9 small. Go through large bead J.

Step 28: Add 12 small. Add large bead Q.

Step 29: Add 6 small. Add large bead R.

Step 30: Add 6 small. Add large bead S.

Step 31: Add 6 small. Go through large bead N.

Step 32: Add 6 small. Go through large bead Q.

Step 33: Add 14 small. Go through large bead F.

Step 34: Add 3 small. Add large bead T.

Step 35: Add 7 small. Go through large bead K.

Step 36: Add 13 small. Go through large bead T.

Step 37: Add 17 small. Go through large bead R.

Step 38: Add 12 small. Go through large bead S.

Step 39: Add 16 small. Go through large bead O.

Step 40: Add 12 small. Go through large bead P.

Step 41: Add 17 small. Add large bead U.

Step 42: Add 13 small. Go through large bead L.

Step 43: Add 7 small. Go through large bead U.

Step 44: Add 3 small.

Now you can loosen your original stopper loop by large bead A. Bring the end of the wire through to the underside of large bead A to create the legs.

LEGS B

To make the legs of the chair:

Refer to the diagram for Legs B to complete these steps.

Step 1: Add 10 small. Add a large bead.

Step 2: Add 14 small. Add a large bead.

Step 3: Add 10 small. Go through large bead H in the chair seat.

Step 4: Add 10 small. Go through the large bead added in step 2.

Step 5: Add 18 small. Go through the large bead added in step 2.

Step 6: Add 14 small. Add a large bead.

Step 7: Add 18 small. Go through the last large bead added.

Step 8: Add 10 small. Go through large bead G in the seat.

Step 9: Add 10 small. Go through the large bead added in step 6.

Step 10: Add 14 small. Add a large bead.

Step 11: Add 10 small. Go through large bead F in the seat.

Step 12: Add 10 small. Go through the large bead added in step 10.

Step 13: Add 18 small. Go through the large bead added in step 10.

Step 14: Add 14 small. Go through the large bead added in step 1.

Step 15: Add 18 small. Go through the large bead added in step 1.

Step 16: Add 10 small. Go through large bead A in the seat. If you find it difficult to bring the end of the wire through the bead because the end is bent out of shape, trim the end. This will make it easier to pass it through the bead.

To finish your chair, trim the end of the wire, leaving only a couple of inches. Straighten the loop at the other end of the wire. Pull tightly on both ends of the wire and twist the two ends together using needle nose pliers. Trim the twisted wire, leaving approximately 1/4 of an inch. Bend the wire end under large bead A to hide it.

 

These are just two examples of the patterns for beaded chairs Noreen wants to share with the world. You can find even more pictures, diagrams, instructions and tips on her website: minibeadedchairs.myfreesites.net. She even has instructions for making beaded sofas and ottomans!

Finally, we leave you with some more tips for making these beaded chairs and other miniature furniture:

Wire Tips:

Stainless steel wire is the best choice for these chairs, as it is sturdy and offers good support. Beading wire is too soft to support your project and will cause the chair to be floppy. Brass wire will break if you get a bad kink or when twisting ends together. If you use colored or coated wire, the coating comes off as you are working with it.

Our wire straightening tool is very helpful when making beaded chairs, as kinks can develop in the wire while working with it.

Bead Tips:

A bead mat is very helpful, as it ensures your beads don’t roll around while working.

An 8g package of size 11/0 beads contains approximately 850 beads, plenty to create one chair.

Noreen prefers using TOHO seed beads for her chairs. Miyuki also makes 11/0 round seed beads. Try not to mix the two brands, as sizing could vary slightly between brands.

You can try Czech glass beads that are the same size as 6/0 beads, just make sure to check the hole size. You can use Czech glass beads on your chair in places where the wire passes through 3 times or less.

In any spot on any pattern where the wire only passes through the large bead twice, you can use size 8/0 seed beads. This can provide a more delicate look to your chair.

Chairs can be made smaller by reducing the number of beads used in each step of the diagrams. If you’d like a larger chair, Noreen doesn’t recommend increasing the number of beads, as this can cause the chair to be floppy. She has made larger chairs by using larger beads and 24 gauge wire.

When the chair is complete:

Your chair will need to be straightened and shaped by gently pulling on it. If you have a kink in a section of beaded wire which should be straight, you can lightly squeeze it with wooden kitchen tongs or between two popsicle sticks. Do not use metal tools for this, as they can easily break beads.

 

If you’ve made beaded chairs or have found another way to incorporate beads into your crafts, let us know in the comments below, or share a picture with us on our Facebook Page.

 

 

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Customer Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun! · Share Your Stories

Beads in Crafting – A Royal Beauty Contest for Embellished Trinkets!

January 16th, 2016 · 4 Comments

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:

Swarovski flatbacks and seed beads make a stunning display on each petal! We also love the eclectic assortment of colors.

Cindy created a loving look with this heart:

Again, flatbacks create a sparkling and sweet style. We especially love the chessboard flatback at the center of the heart!

A turtle, decorated by Tina, looks totally fun:

His cute little hat adds character and we adore the lampwork turtle from Unicorne Beads hitching a ride on his back. Don’t miss the cute TierraCast dragonfly charm worn as a necklace!

Hilary’s star design certainly shines:

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.

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

Why Artbeads is Excellent

November 22nd, 2015 · 3 Comments

At Artbeads.com, we love hearing from our customers. It’s always good to hear what we’re doing right and what you, as customers, love. Here’s what Artbeader Cathryn C. has to say about us:

I use Artbeads for 90% of my Christmas, birthday and ‘other’ gifts, because Artbeads provides me with all of the implements I need.

On-line ordering is a breeze, because the Artbeads web site has an excellent Search engine.

Delivery is *extremely* swift.

Packaging is superb, with Artbeads supplies securely cocooned in multiple wrappings and surrounded by a weather-proof box.

Opening an Artbeads package is such joy! I unwrap the pretty purple gift wrap, to find not only my ordered elements, but a ‘mystery gift.’ And the ‘mystery gift’ is invaraibly *Beautiful.*

Every step of my transaction is sheer pleasure, so I remain an enchanted repeat customer.

100/100 for Artbeads!

Thanks for those kind words, Cathryn!

If you’re looking for gift ideas like Cathryn, check out our Learning Center, where we have thousands of jewelry and craft ideas with free instructions. We have ideas for every budget, style and experience level.

You can also give a kit as a gift!

Artbeads DIY Jewelry Kits

Our DIY Jewelry Kits are perfect for gift-giving. They are easy-to-make and come in pretty packaging. Make them as gifts or just give the kit as a gift to a beginning beader in your life. There are lots of styles to choose from!

Like Cathryn said, every order comes wrapped in pretty purple tissue. Artbeader Lori B. shared this picture of her purple package on our Facebook page:

Artbeads Purple Package

So, what do you have to say about Artbeads.com? The next time you order, make sure to leave a review after check-out! Or, leave a review on our Facebook page. Just click the “Reviews” tab on our Timeline. You can also leave a comment below. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Tags: Just For Fun!

Having Fun with the Spiral Stitch

April 11th, 2015 · 8 Comments

spiral stitch jewelry

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

Berry Bunches

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

Corsica

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

Grape Trellis

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

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

Marceline Bracelets

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

Cora

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

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

image5

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:

image2

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:

image1

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.

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

A Knitting Giveaway – Featuring Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends

January 22nd, 2015 · 5 Comments

Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends

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

Photo courtesy of nelkindesigns.blogspot.com

Photo courtesy of nelkindesigns.blogspot.com

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

Photo courtesy of nelkindesigns.blogspot.com

Photo courtesy of nelkindesigns.blogspot.com

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

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Tags: Just For Fun!

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!

Legendary Style

April 29th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Some styles are simply timeless, while other styles were so bad we wish we could go back in time and erase. Nevertheless, both types of styles are legendary in their own right. Today, we’re paying tribute to three legendary style icons and three fashion faux pas trends that were truly legend—wait for it—dary.

Legendary Style Icon: Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren
Photo Source: HowRetro.com.

This Italian beauty stunned Hollywood by embracing her luscious curves and impeccable acting ability. With hip-hugging gowns and necklines that showcased her lovely décolletage, Sophia had success from her signature seductive look. Large statement necklaces were a favorite of hers, so you can capture the essence of Sophia Loren with a bold choker or bib-style design. Just make sure to pair your necklace with some sultry eyes, too.

Legendary Fashion Faux Pas: Shoulder Pads

Shoulder Pads
Photo Source: Enemy of the Average Blog.

Although Lady GaGa is trying to bring this trend back to light (and to extreme measures), the shoulder pad is an unnecessary part of women’s attire. Designed to help define the silhouette, these foam pads were popular throughout the decades. However, women are more apt to embrace the body they’re given! The resurgence of the shoulder pad is due to an admiration for the retro fashion rather than because of a need to complete an outfit.

Legendary Style Icon: David Bowie

David Bowie
Photo Source: Newstalgia.com.

Overindulgence. Androgyny. Attitude. David Bowie was a true performer because he could control a stage with charisma, partially due to his eccentric style. He took on new personas with each new album and dedicated himself to immersing every aspect of his life into the new character. Try embracing David Bowie’s glitter rock style by adding bright colors and shimmering elements to your own style, but find a sense of balance and meaning behind how you pull it off. Swarovski AB crystals are a perfect example of how to blend sparkle and sophistication harmoniously.

Legendary Fashion Faux Pas: Trucker Hats

Trucker Hats
Photo Source: SheKnows.com.

If your daily driver has at least 18 wheels, then sure, go ahead and keep on truckin’ with this look. However, if your driver’s license is not CDL endorsed, please stop wearing trucker hats. Ashton Kutcher made them cool, but soon everyone hopped on and killed it. Plus, Ashton Kutcher doesn’t even wear them anymore. If you’re having a bad hair day, opt for a normal baseball cap (you can support your favorite team and not look like you’re trying too hard to be cool).

Legendary Style Icon: Twiggy

Twiggy
Photo Source: Vervejewelry.com.

AKA Lesley Lawson, Twiggy became famous for her mod hair cut and swinging style in the 1960s. Her thin frame helped elevate her to legendary style, along with big doe eyes and pouty lips. In her prime, Twiggy captivated the globe by gracing the cover of fashion magazines. She was able to pull off innocent femininity despite her boyish hairstyle and bold choices in apparel. Want to emulate Twiggy’s style? Just sprinkle in some mod –tacular touches to your wardrobe, like black and white earrings or large, floral accents.

Legendary Fashion Faux Pas: Fancy Tracksuits

Fancy Tracksuits
Photo Source: MyDaily.

No matter how comfy they may look, matching sweat pants and a jacket (especially if they’re made of suede or terrycloth) is just a no-no anymore. If you’re going to work out, you don’t need to advertise for a high-end clothing company—or depict to the world that you’re “juicy.” Stick to cotton for your workout clothes. They’re more lightweight and breathe easier.

Yes, there are numerous other bad fashion trends, but we just couldn’t name them all today. And yes, we know that there are more timeless Hollywood style icons that we didn’t touch on. Who do you think has legendary style….or which fashion faux pas are you guilty of?

-Marissa

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Tags: Just For Fun!

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 · 3 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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