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Making Mini Beaded Chairs

April 18th, 2016 · No Comments

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

Artbeads Customers Speak Up!

August 25th, 2015 · 2 Comments

We love it when customers let us know how we’re doing! Vicki W. recently wrote a review of our company and here’s what she had to say:

Out of all the bead suppliers I deal with there are only 2 that provide exceptional service and products and 1 of them is Artbeads.com.

Artbeads offers one of the best selections of hard-to-find beads, charms and findings that I have seen.

Vicki’s right when she says we have a lot of beads, charms and findings! We’re constantly on the hunt for new products to add to the website and we bring you new goodies every week. We also like to make sure our components are available in a variety of finishes and colors, so everyone can find something they love. Just look at some of our favorites below:

beadscharmsfindings-artbeads

Vicki also has this to say: Artbeads has provided customer service to the level where I can be contacted as soon as merchandise which was out of stock becomes available. This has been very helpful in planning and completing projects.

If you want to be alerted when out-of-stock products become available again, like Vicki, all you have to do is press the “E-mail me when available” button on the item you want.

8-21-2015 8-28-55 AM

Then, all you have to do is enter your e-mail address and we’ll let you know as soon as the item is back in stock! Our Customer Service team is always happy to help, so make sure to contact them if you need to. You can reach Artbeads.com Customer Service from 7:30am to 5:15pm (Pacific Time) every weekday, except for holidays. Call the at 1.866.715.2323 or e-mail them: support@artbeads.com.

Ordering was another impressive point to Vicki: Artbeads provides quick turn-around on my orders. I usually get them within 3 to 4 days after completing an order. The Artbeads website is set up for ease of use and it really is easy. Ordering is simple, they are set up for check, credit and paypal and they keep shipping information for your convenience for future orders.

Ordering items is a breeze at Artbeads and you can learn more about it on our Ordering Info page. Set up an account with us and ordering will be even easier. You’ll be able to access your order history as well as save a list of your favorite items and more.

8-21-2015 8-38-40 AM

Vicki finishes her review with this: I could go on and on but I really do enjoy dealing with Artbeads and look forward to a continued business relationship with them.

Thanks for your feedback, Vicki! Do you have something to say about Artbeads? Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page. You can also leave a review on items you have received from us or review us after your next order. We love hearing from you, so don’t be shy!

 

 

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Tags: Company News · Share Your Stories

Keeping Customers Happy

October 29th, 2014 · 3 Comments

It’s always good to hear when we are doing something right. We recently heard from Eva K., one of our customers, who had lots of lovely things to say about us:

I wanted to drop a note to just say how much I appreciate your company. As a new small business just starting up, I have run into my share of bad customer service and getting “taken to the cleaners”…and only in the last few months!

I have come to trust your company for CONSISTENT quality in products. CONSISTENT speed in shipping. CONSISTENT low prices and then coupons that customers can actually use WITH sales! (How amazing is THAT?) Then, a Crystal Rewards Program (FREE) where customers earn FREE credits to use to purchase more products in the future as they make their regular purchases! It can get almost addicting…;-)

I actually had to return some items (which I hate to do and so rarely attempt), but only because I realized I couldn’t use them. I called your customer service line and got a very friendly and professional lady on the phone. Her name was Mariah. Instead of what I get from other companies; “Well, there is a ‘restocking’ fee and we won’t pay for shipping,” I got “How would you like your refund?” and “Oh, why do you need our address? It should be on the label you print out for the shipping.” What? “Oh, no, we certainly wouldn’t expect our customers to pay for a return! And we try to keep our shipping costs as low as possible as well.” Well, duh. I DID know that part. I order enough from your site!

 I should not have been surprised by all of this as it is all just basic good customer service. It’s just that it’s so RARE. That’s sad, I know.  HOWEVER, Artbeads is doing it right, doing it WELL, and doing it CONSISTENTLY! That makes me a loyal customer and strong supporter of your company. Thank you!”

Thanks for the excellent feedback, Eva! What do you have to say? Check the box on your next order to review our store or add your comments to our Facebook page. You can also email us with your feedback at support@artbeads.com. You might just be featured right here on our blog!

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Tags: Share Your Stories · Top Rated Products & Reviews

What Do You Love About Artbeads?

October 14th, 2014 · 3 Comments

We receive lots of feedback from our customers every day! It’s a joy to hear about what people most enjoy about our site. Here’s what Karen V. had to say about us:

“I’ve very much appreciated the excellent quality of Artbeads.com’s merchandise and service. I’ll continue to purchase my jewelry-making supplies from this company because of the discounts, free shipping & handling policy, efficient processing and delivery, and the user-friendly web site of this company. I have no complaints or suggestions for better customer service. And the Artbeads Cafe sessions are EXCELLENT! I learn something from each new episode. THANK YOU FOR A JOB WELL DONE!!!!”

Thank you, Karen, for the excellent review! What’s your opinion? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a review on our Facebook page or our website. You can also leave a comment right here on our blog. If you haven’t discovered Artbeads Cafe like Karen has, be sure to check it out on our YouTube channel.

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Tags: Share Your Stories

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…

Yvette

“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…

Brittany

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…

Cynthia

“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.”

Marissa

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.

-Marissa

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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.

-Marissa

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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 artbeadsblog@gmail.com.

Happy Friday!

-Marissa

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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?

-Marissa

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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?

-Marissa

Source: About.com.

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Tags: Company News · Share Your Stories

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