Blog for Beaders

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


We Want Your Stories & Comments

Do you have a funny beading story? What about a great tip for all of the other beaders out there? We want to hear what you’ve got to say. Send us your stories at

Artbeads Mom Stories

April 15th, 2013 · 1 Comment

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!

Mothers Day Ideas and Beads

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.


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Tags: Just For Fun! · Share Your Stories

Mom and I Make a Perfect Pair Giveaway

April 10th, 2013 · 59 Comments

Mom and I make a perfect pair giveaway

This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner Aubrey M.

Mother’s Day is coming up and it’s time to honor that special woman in your life with a heartfelt gift. It is often gifts made with love that show her you really care, so why not make her a beautiful piece of jewelry, along with a little something for yourself! We’re giving away the components to our Snow Leopard and Cosmopolitan earrings, so you can make a pair of earrings for the mother figure in your life and a pair for yourself. These earrings feature Venetian beads with the same pattern in different colors, so you and mom can wear them together and complement each other’s style in a subtle yet sweet way. To enter this giveaway, share a story about the mother figure in your life that completes you in the comments below. One lucky commenter will win these earring components, just in time for Mother’s Day!

This contest runs from today until Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 11:59pm PST. Please see our official contest rules for more details. Make sure to enter soon and have fun sharing your stories!

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Tags: Just For Fun! · Share Your Stories

My First Design Giveaway

December 11th, 2012 · 61 Comments

This contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations to our winner, Betty W! Read her story below

Do you remember the first time you sat down to create your first piece of jewelry? We’ve already shared some of our first jewelry designs, and now we want to hear from you! Enter the Artbeads My First Design Giveaway and you could win some basic jewelry making essentials so you’re always ready to create. One winner will be randomly selected to receive a prize package that includes two spools of high-quality jewelry wire from ZambaPro® (medium and heavy gauge) and one pair of German ergonomic side cutters. This makes a great gift for a budding designer or to keep an advanced jewelry maker well prepared.

To enter, fill out the short entry form and then leave a comment with the story of your first design. This contest runs from today, December 11, 2012 until Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 11:59pm. We will notify the winner and announce it the next day. Enter now and share your first design! You never know who you may inspire with your story.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

No purchase necessary, must be 18 or older to enter. Please one comment per person. Odds of winning depend on number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Contest valid in the US and Canada only excluding Quebec.

By submitting a comment on the Blog for Beaders, you agree to its terms and conditions.


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Tags: Share Your Stories

Turning Negativity into Creativity

November 16th, 2012 · 3 Comments

Talk about turning a negative into a positive! One of our customers shared this fun story with our customer service team, and we wanted to share it with you!

I thought I would share with you what happened to my favorite outfit after I had only worn it ONCE. I had paid over $200 for a matching pants and sweater and just loved them. I was wearing them when I decided to do some laundry using bleach……….well you know what happened…….bleach blobs all over my new outfit.

I decided instead of throwing it out ………never to be worn again……… to make a design on the blobs. I put plastic bags in the clothing and just got a paint brush and a cup of the same bleach that caused all the problems. I made all the blobs into flowers by adding petals in bleach and after it was all dry – added about 50 flat back swarovski’s in the centre of the flowers. Every time I wear it – people comment on my wonderful outfit!! I also did this for a friend who had the same problem but on her “blue jean” jacket….I made her blobs into rose petals around the blobs and added more Swarovski’s and its now her favorite jacket. So I thank you for all your hard work dealing with customers like me :-) . Thanks for everything, you guys are GREAT.

If you have a fun story you’d like to share, you can always share it with our customer service team or email our Blog at

Happy Friday!


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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs · Share Your Stories

Family Traditions

October 24th, 2012 · No Comments

Traditions give our lives a deeper meaning; they give us a sense of time and an anchor to our history. The holiday season is the most common time to see our family traditions in action, whether it be what we cook for dinner or who is sitting around the table. When you start your own family, you often hold on to traditions you cherished when you were younger—but give them your own twist or start brand new ones all together. Maybe you try making your grandmother’s amazing pumpkin pie but add extra spices to give it a modern flavor kick. Some of the Artbeads staff shared what their family traditions are:

My family has a Christmas craft day every year. We each bring a craft or two to teach everyone else, along with enough supplies for everyone to make the craft and at the end of the day we all have cute holiday decorations, gifts or cards to give away. I still have a lot of the crafts we’ve made over the years.” – Becky, Copywriter.

I hate throwing away tons of wrapping paper, so I try to wrap gifts in things like towels or scarves, which can be a little present themselves. Ikea is great for picking up inexpensive kitchen towels to wrap with.” – Pat, Graphic Artist/Photo Editor.

I’m Hispanic and in my family we always have tamales for Christmas. A bunch of us get together and make batches and batches of both chili and sweet tamales. I try to fly home as often as I can to be a part of this wonderful tradition.” – Yvette, Manager.

We would always purchase a Christmas tree permit and take a trip into the mountains to search for the perfect tree. We liked the Charlie Brown types with plenty of open branches for displaying our favorite ornaments. Back then, you could bring sleds along and slide down the slopes on virgin snow. Since we lived in the Pacific Northwest, that was sometimes the only snow we saw that year. It made for a great adventure, and at the end of it we had something to bring back with us to remember the day.” – Katie, Email Marketing Specialist.

“There is a tradition that we keep doing every year: it is the Christmas for the birds. We don’t throw away our tree after Christmas; we put it in the garden, in front of the kitchen. I buy big jars of peanut butter, we collect pine cones and I buy big bags of bird seed. We put peanut butter on the pinecones and roll them in a box filled with bird seed. Then, we attach the pinecones on the tree. We even put peanut butter directly on the tree branches and throw bird seeds on them. The birds love that tree! Not only does this give them protection while they are eating (they hide in the branches) but we keep doing this until February/March and get to see so many birds on that tree.” – Cynthia, Co-Owner and Chief Jewelry Designer.

What keeps traditions running is their ability to appeal to everyone—sustainability through the generations. We rely on traditions to progress our lives. We find something we enjoy and continue to do it. In a way, we practice tradition in our designing. You find a certain style or technique that you find yourself going back to. Designers like to experiment and try new things, but oftentimes you can find a familiar style, a signature if you will, in each piece.

The Artbeads family traditions include designs with influences from nature, like birds, and focal pieces full of color and life. Here are some more designing traditions from our family:

I always turn to nature and architecture for inspiration when I create. Looking back on some of my designs, this is apparent in the shape and structure.” – Cheri, Product Team Manager.

I love the colors blue and green. Whenever I can get away with adding these colors into something I create, I do it…it’s pretty much the dominating color palette in my beading boxes. Oh…. And stones! I love using this natural element, with brown accents to follow that organic look– I guess it’s me missing the New Mexico desert.” – Yvette, Manager.

Since we live in the woods, decorating with greens is a natural choice. The rural post box gets the full treatment with cedar boughs, holly and fir. The wood fence gets swaged with cedar, all cut from our trees. Being a bead fan, our tree gets garlands of beads that have been strung over the years. I make a loop on each end to hook on a branch and make them as long as I can. Some have crystals but they are all shiny and wonderful!” – Teri, Jewelry Designer.

Can you spot a signature technique in your pieces?


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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Share Your Stories

9/11 Special

September 11th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Last year on September 11, I wrote a blog about Patriot Day and what it stands for. I also highlighted the new 9/11 Memorial erected in New York, which opened last year. I don’t think I need to remind all of us what happened September 11, 2001, nor remind readers that this has become a national holiday. This year, instead, I’d like to share inserts from the Patriot Day Proclamation, given by former President George W. Bush. No matter your political standing, these words will resonate with everyone today:

Inspired by the heroic sacrifices of our firefighters, rescue and law enforcement personnel, military service members, and other citizens, our Nation found unity, focus, and strength. We found healing in the national outpouring of compassion for those lost, as tens of millions of Americans participated in moments of silence, candlelight vigils, and religious services. From the tragedy of September 11 emerged a stronger Nation, renewed by a spirit of national pride and a true love of country.

Americans also have fought back against terror by choosing to overcome evil with good. By loving their neighbors as they would like to be loved, countless citizens have answered the call to help others. They have contributed to relief efforts, improved homeland security in their communities, and volunteered their time to aid those in need.

Community isn’t defined as the neighborhood you live in—your community could be a support group, a Facebook page or even this blog. How did you strengthen your community?



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Tags: Company News · Share Your Stories

Fabulous Moms

May 2nd, 2012 · 3 Comments

Whether your mom is still with you or lives through your precious memories, the relationship we share with our mothers is definitely a special one. Sometimes it’s not even your biological mother who brings to mind what this upcoming holiday is all about. Today’s blog is about sharing your story of fabulous moms, the ones who exist in all forms.

I’m blessed to have two fabulous moms in my life—my biological mother and my stepmother. Both have been in my life for a very long time, and both have definitely helped mold me into the person I am today. From my mom’s encouraging words in supporting my passion to write to my stepmom’s wise words about dealing with boys and fashion. As a budding jewelry designer myself, last year for Mother’s Day I made them each a unique bracelet that matched their personalities. This project was my first attempt at making jewelry. I still have a long way before my designs look professional, but those bracelets will always be special.

The bubbly personality of my biological mother inspired me to work with rainbow kitty beads, and the stylish flair of my stepmother sparked me to use a collection of rich amethyst beads paired with a copper clasp.

Do you have a story about your fabulous mom? Tell us!


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Tags: Share Your Stories

Prom Stories

April 3rd, 2012 · 3 Comments

With the spring season upon us, it’s time to start thinking about prom! We’ve already informed you on the 2012 prom jewelry trends so you can help style your daughter or granddaughter, but we want to hear what was trending for you in high school. I’ll get the ball rolling with my own prom story.

My junior prom was the first time I actually spent money on a decent dress. I found this little boutique an hour away from my home town and was sure I would pick out something casual. I had my eye on the color yellow, thinking that would be a fun springtime color to sport. Walking in to the overstuffed store, I browsed through hangers upon hangers of form-fitting styles. It wasn’t until my stepmom asked me to try on a ball gown style just to humor her that I felt special. The dress was bright yellow with colorful crystal accents. With a corset-style top and flowing ball-gown bottom, I left feeling like a princess.

This excitement spilled over into the jewelry my stepmom surprised me with. I had planned to wear some formal crystal jewelry that night—nothing too colorful. My stepmom slipped me this sparkling ankle bracelet that night to match the springtime crystal accents in my dress. She had even included the name of my date and finished it with a silver heart-shaped clasp. My night was definitely memorable, and I wore that ankle bracelet every day until it eventually broke and I was left with just a handful of beads.

Looking back now I realize how much my stepmom cared for me by creating an ankle bracelet out of Swarovski crystal bicone beads, faceted cube beads and sterling silver components. I really think that anklet helped make my night memorable.

So what’s your story? Tell us what fun fashionable prom tales you have!


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Tags: Share Your Stories

What’s Your Story?

March 14th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Our Caspia™ collection of large-hole beads and jewelry supplies is a wonderful way to create personalized jewelry that reflects every moment in your life. If you love Pandora bracelets and Trollbeads, you’ll adore these beautiful products. You’ll find finished silver necklaces and bracelets as well as dozens of large-hole beads to fit onto them.

Explore our selection to find charms, beads, and other components to help send a special message. Maybe you want to give a Mother’s Day bracelet to your mom that tells her story, with her initials spelled out in alphabet blocks and a crystal bead that looks like her birthstone.

So what’s your story? We want to know.

Share pictures of your designs or just tell us how you would write a story on a strand. You might just inspire someone’s next jewelry idea or spark some inspiration in our craft room. No matter who you want to share it with, let your story be known through the beautiful art of jewelry.


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Tags: Share Your Stories

Jean Yates – The Dame of Dolls and Decadent Jewelry

December 16th, 2011 · 6 Comments

Jean Yates is one of our amazing design partners, and always delivers us incredible pieces. Her charisma and upbeat personality flow through into her designs, bringing to life rich color combinations and twists on classic beauty. This is not a customer success story. It’s a Design Partner story. It’s an explanation into why we work with some of the most talented designers out there. In an interview she did with me, Jean explained where her inspiration comes from, how she became interested in designing and the various routes in which she expresses her creativity. Even in writing it is easy to spot her charismatic spirit between every keyboard stroke and blinking cursor.

So what first got you interested in jewelry making?

I have five sons. Three with my husband Jim! My two eldest boys are grown and have families of their own. My family with Jim consists of our twenty year old and our two youngest boys, who have severe autism and epilepsy. I have been occupied raising my children and participating in the Special Education arena of our school district for years. As a side interest, when the kids were young, I began watching the jewelry home shopping shows on cable TV. I am nothing if not a classy dame! I actually learned a LOT from the cable shows, specifically about types of gems, exotic gemstones, and what they measured on the Mohs scale of hardness. It was a good education on design, color and placement, while I stayed at home and cared for my children. Then I joined the Yahoo group run by fantastic teacher Tammy Powley online. I was fascinated by the diverse methods of jewelry making she was teaching, and also interested in the group’s forum conversations. I began participating online and at the same time learning how to make chain maille. When I learned how to wire wrap I was off to the races!

What happened the first time you tried to make something?

When I first tried to make something I would occasionally misstep. In chain maille, you really want it to be perfect. You don’t really have a choice. It is just a pile of bent-up jump rings if you don’t. Therefore, while learning the basics of that particular jewelry art, I would have to repeat my steps over and over until I got something right. We are talking things that other people learn in a flash! On the other hand, I had a good eye for color and a great desire to make my pieces unique, so I would persevere and get that base bracelet or necklace right, and then add absolutely knockout focals and dangling charms and all sorts of fanciful things to my creations. That was my reward for all the hard work I had put in to begin with!

I found this to be great fun as I stayed at home, looking for beautiful beads and components (at places like Artbeads!), and taking care of our kids. I started submitting to countless beading magazines. I even ended up writing my own jewelry design book, Links, by Jean Yates. There are so many beads from your store in my book, and for good reason. You offer some of the most unique and lovely beads I have ever seen.

Is there anything in particular that inspires your creations?

Music always inspires me! I love classic rock and roll and R&B. I also love my son’s band, The Ruse. It’s right up there with my favorites. My next submission to a magazine (Jan. 2012) is inspired by music.

Additionally, really beautiful focal beads inspire me…it is as if, at times, I can get inside the bead’s artist and see his or her intentions when the bead was created. I have been told by a few bead artists that I made the designer piece they have always hoped would be made with their beads. This makes me so proud I can hardly express it!

Other inspirations are words (really long weird words–don’t ask why), colors (I love to dive into color, especially its subtle tonal permutations), crystals, and pearls! I just go my own way when I make jewelry. I am incredibly curious and love to research any and everything. I am, to be honest, a complete nerd.

Photo by Rose Mottl

I love your Blythe doll fashion. When did you first start incorporating them into your designs and why?

Thank you so much for liking my Blythes! I write a regular column, “Our Beading World,” for a super glossy beading magazine located in Australia. It is Australia’s number one favorite jewelry design magazine. It’s called, not surprisingly, Australian Beading magazine. My editor and I have grown to be dear friends. We exchange photos as well as chatty emails. Of course I have sent her photos of my Blythes. It was her idea to use them in my column, wearing jewelry. I LOVE doing this, and it gives me one other way to display my dolls, practice my photography, and design fun jewelry! The pieces I made with your components will be showcased in the December issue (That is Australian Beading‘s biggest issue of the year) on a different Blythe of mine, in a special story about friendship. My editor said when she read the story it made her cry. I dedicated it to her.

I wish to add that I have made lots of earrings for Blythes which ended up being worn by people–they often convert easily to the same size which people like wearing. Also, I have made period jewelry for my dolls. Once I made a whole Egyptian set which came out really well. Another Blythe lover made the costume for my doll, [then] I took the photos, and presto: we had “Nefertiti”!

Jean, along with all of our design partners, has that special eye for style and sparks inspiration in all of us to explore new routes in jewelry making. Every idea she comes up with is a true reflection of her, in one way or another. We’re happy to support Jean in her creations, and glad to have her on the Artbeads team. You can check out her blog to view more cool looks and fun stories at Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!

All photos were courtesy of Jean Yates.


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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs · Share Your Stories

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