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.
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:
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!
If you’re new to bead weaving, a great place to start is with the spiral stitch. This simple stitch comes together quickly and looks great. You don’t have to be a beginner to enjoy it, either! Anyone can have fun making spiral stitch jewelry. Just ask Artbeads Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura. Cynthia is a pro when it comes to bead weaving and she has fallen in love with this stitch. Just look at some of the creations she’s made!
Cynthia used seed beads and Swarovski pearls in the spiral stitch to create these Berry Bunches bracelets. The larger pearls stand out among the colorful seed beads. Of course, Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends are a great option for this stitch. They give you the perfect color palettes to work with, so you can focus on the fun stitch.
These Corsica bracelets feature the same spiral stitch with smaller seed beads. That’s the cool part about this stitch: changing up the beads completely transforms the look of your designs! No wonder Cynthia is having a blast with this technique. Here’s what the stitch looks like with crystal bicones in her Grape Trellis bracelet:
Cynthia used an Artbeads Designer Blend featuring Swarovski bicones in the perfect colors to match her seed beads. The beads and look may change, but the stitch stays the same and it couldn’t be easier. Check out our Artbeads Mini Tutorial video and Cynthia will teach you the technique:
Now that you’ve learned this fun and simple stitch, it’s time to check out the variation on this technique: the flat spiral stitch.
This stitch is quick to complete and looks stunning! As with the spiral stitch, switching up the beads really changes the look. These three Marceline bracelets are so distinct thanks to the different colors and beads used. You can create two rows of flat spiral stitch for an even more astounding look. Cynthia shows off this technique in her Cora bracelet:
The seed beads framing the pearls create a regal look we love. You can see the flat spiral stitch technique in action in the Mini Tutorial video below:
After Cynthia made all of these fantastic jewelry pieces, she was ready to teach a bunch of us here at Artbeads just how easy it is to make spiral stitch designs!
We gathered in the craft room and Cynthia helped us out with our own spiral stitch creations. We all had fun choosing different combinations of beads. Check out how the double flat spiral stitch changes when you use Miyuki baroque pearl beads:
You can also use fire-polished beads to great effect in this stitch, as well. These economical options are available in a variety of colors, so you’re sure to find something to suit your style. We used golden fire-polished beads with coppery seed beads for a modern look:
We had fun learning this technique from Cynthia and with the Mini Tutorials above, you will too! Whether you are a beginner or an experienced beader, you’re sure to fall in love with this addicting stitch. We haven’t stopped making new designs. Make sure to share your spiral stitch creations with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
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
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
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.
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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?
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
High school was a time when we believed friendships would last forever and prom was the most anticipated event of the year. If you have a graduate this year, remind them that one day they’ll be able to look back at their time in school and smile—even if they don’t enjoy it right now. They’ll be able to pull out old photos, relive the moment in their minds and smile. To celebrate the graduation (and prom) season coming soon, here are some Artbeads employee high school stories!
“This was my senior year; I was a homecoming “princess.” For seniors, there were princesses and princes and a king and queen. During the homecoming game we got to ride in convertibles around the track and wave to the crowd! It was the only day that it was acceptable for me to wear a sparkly tiara everywhere I went.” – Becky, Copywriter
Cortney, Vice President, wore this gorgeous, handmade green dress to her prom. Her husband was her date back then!
Sherri, our New Product Coordinator, was 17 when she graduated from high school…and is glad that the feathered hair style has passed.
Jewelry Designer Teri McCamish back in the day, sporting her “preppy LL Bean oxford cloth shirt and ribbon head band.”
Brittany, our Web Content Publisher on the right, kept it real with her besties in high school and even after graduation. All three still keep in touch and reminisce about when they were teens when they get together.
Read about my prom story in a previous post—Swarovski crystals make an appearance!
Help your graduate remember this year with a memorable jewelry design, or create a customizable memento. Here are a few ideas from our Learning Center to inspire you.
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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!
We have an amazing group of people here at Artbeads, and we know they would have never become the people they are today without the influences of a mother figure in their lives. Today, we’re letting our employees share some love for their mom through pictures and stories.
Yvette T, Manager
Yvette shared this touching ode to her mom…
“My mom has the best belly laugh you’ve ever heard and when she gets going you can’t help but laugh with her. She has the kindest heart and she’s a total worry wart! I could sneeze and she’d be calling me every day for a couple weeks to make sure I didn’t have pneumonia! I am so blessed to have my mom. I love her tenacity for exploring herself and her life in pursuit of being the best person she can be. Her life-long soul excavation has inspired me and is the bedrock upon which I create my life. I am so proud of her and blessed to have had the gift of walking through this life hand in hand with her. I don’t have children so I will just have to share what she has given me with the whole world. Thank you Mamma! I love you!”
Brittany I, Web Content Publisher
Brittany shared this cute pic of her and her mom…
Cynthia Kimura, Co-Owner and Chief Jewelry Designer
Cynthia, who grew up on the tiny island of New Caledonia, explained how grateful she is for technology and its ability to help her and her mother stay in touch…
“I can only see my mom every 2 or 3 years, but fortunately we can communicate easily and more often than before, back when we wrote letters to each other. Thanks to emails, we can tell each other what is happening in our lives and she also keeps me in the loop with the rest of the family. I love Skype!!! Making a phone call to New Caledonia is very expensive but we can Skype. We don’t Skype very often because of the time difference, but when we do, we spend an hour or two talking about everything—and we can see each other.
My mom is the link that keeps me close to my country and family.”
Read my mom story here, and we would love to hear your own mom story!
Your mom deserves the perfect gift, so make sure to create something spectacular that comes from the heart. You can find ideas for designs, products perfect for moms and more in our Mother’s Day theme page, too.
Congratulations to Tammy M, Nat M, Jennifer, Ana K, Shannon R, Juliana T, Natalie J, Betty W, Dhea and Jennifer C! They’ve won our phenomenal sets of Tucson beads and now we’re giving them a month to create designs that you, our fans and followers, will vote on. The design with the highest votes will win a $50 gift certificate and we’ve even got surprises planned for some lucky voters, too. Check back here Monday, May 13, 2013 to start voting on the designs and maybe even win a little something for yourself.
Until then, check out the ten winners’ stories about what these beads made them think of. Happy Beading!
Tammy M: “LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!!! They remind me of a safari! Or even a weekend on the ranch…Leather would look FABULOUS mixed with them!”
Nat M: “They remind me of Mimbres pottery, shotgun pellets, broken shards of beer and liquor bottles, and insect larvae; everything southern New Mexico. I lived there for over a year and met my husband there. There is a feeling of vast loneliness and violence sometimes mixed with the soft buzz of small things flitting about, very much alive.”
Jennifer: “Oh. My. There are SOOOOOO many amazing pieces that could be made with these!!! I agree with those who have said ‘safari’ or ‘carved rock’. There’s something very “earthy” about these beads.
And then one of my cats jumped on my desk. She’s a seal point Birman (like a Siamese, but long fur & white paws). These beads remind me of her. Beautiful. Exotic. And playful!!!”
Ana K: “These coloring of these beads remind me of a frothy iced tea with a lime on the side ”
Shannon Rutt: “I would love to design a ‘boho’ chic set of jewelry with these beads! I have a ’69 VW Bus that we’ve converted to a pop-up bead shop! We’re just entering “market” season and love to go to all the indie fairs and farmers markets during the summer! I’m thinking boho, layers, brown leather, and of course a little bling with these beads….haute hippie!!!”
Juliana T: “Thinking of the polymer bead with some of my hematite and white rounds for a cool summer look.”
Natalie J: “So beautiful! The clay beads are really unique and really remind me of the rock carvings in AZ. I think they would stand out so strongly in any piece!”
Betty W: “I’d use the clay beads with copper and leather to make a desert-inspired necklace. Then I’d use the strands on the left to make a lovely layered bracelet.”
Dhea: “I’d love to win these beads!!! I love the colors and textures. I think I’d like to make one of my multiple strand bracelets with them. My husband and I dream of having a working ranch someday. One that we can run a food pantry on for our community, among other things. And these beads make me think of that. Add in that they are earthy and rustic… and I love everything about them! What a pretty collection. I pray I’ll get a chance to be one of the winners. Thank you for this chance!! ”
Jennifer C: “The colors remind me of a dusty thrift/junk shop I was in on a stop through Oatman, AZ on our way to the Grand Canyon last fall. I took a picture there of an old teddy bear sitting on an old rusty milk jug. Also April 11 is my Birthday!! ”