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!
With the school year winding down, don’t forget to say thank you to the teacher! It takes a lot of energy to teach—and it takes a lot more to teach well. Show your appreciation with a handmade gift that they can enjoy in the summer, and let your little ones help pick the gift. Here are some fun ideas to do that you can start on now before June arrives.
Teachers get summers off from the classroom, but more often than not they’re still working on school projects for part of their vacation. You and your kid can think of a creative care package that the teacher would enjoy in the summer, whenever they get a moment to take a break. Find out what the teacher likes and play off that.
Is your kid’s teacher an avid gardener? If she has helped your student grow, put together this cute planter box gift basket! You can use a variety of beads, chain and other components to personalize it for her. Decorate a watering can, flower pot and planter box with beads to fit the teacher’s style, and put together a nice bracelet for her to wear on summer vacation. See what we put in our garden gift basket for inspiration.
If you’re not sure of teacher’s hobbies, you can always give her a sweet treat. Find some chocolate wrapped in gold and silver (you could even use gold and silver chocolate coins!) and place them inside a cutout treasure chest. It’s fun, fast and thoughtful. You could even add a simple necklace with a sterling silver charm that she could wear every day—like an apple strung on some thin chain. Add a fancy touch with a handmade jewelry design using school colors, mascot charms or letter charms to spell out her name. This would be a nice surprise to top off a box of chocolate!
Gifts that send a message
The simplest gestures can also be some of the most kind. Have your child write a letter to the teacher, thanking him for a wonderful year and expressing how much your kid learned. The best recognition for being a teacher comes from the student, so make an extra copy to put in the principal’s file, too. Use cardstock for the letter and add some colorful flatbacks so it can catch everyone’s eye when he posts it on his wall. The bookmark idea featured above would be a sweet and simple gift idea as well. Find your favorite pattern to follow or use a transfer sheet like we did.
Make a donation in the teacher’s name related to their subject or to reflect an interest or hobby. If he has a pet, give to the local shelter or adopt-a-pet program. If she teaches science, donate to an environmental study. Name a star after her, too! You could even donate to her—give her a gift card to an office supply store so she’s ready for next year. Let your child help you determine where to make a donation so they feel like part of the project, and teach them how to think about others.
Even though their students are a little older, middle school and high school teachers appreciate a thank-you too. Have your teen (or pre-teen) sit down with you to complete any of these projects. Think of it as an opportunity to spend some time with your teen, a chance to talk and find out what’s going on before they cruise off with friends. Any teacher, and any student, at any grade level, deserves a small thanks. Take the time you have before school ends to try one of these ideas at home, and thank the person who’s helping to mold the minds of our future.
As the wife of a high school teacher, I have observed the power behind a simple token of appreciation. My go-getter guy thought for sure he would get the rookie teacher of the year award in his district, but it ended up going to someone else. He was pretty bummed. A few days later he found a note in the trash can in his classroom. It was a crumpled up piece of notebook paper written by one of his students, addressed to the principal. The student wrote about how my husband was one of the best teachers at the school, and how he was always there to stay after and listen to their problems. This student thought my husband was getting fired since he didn’t get the award, and had attempted to write a letter to prevent it. Reading this made my husband feel so good that he forgot all about losing out on the award. That letter is now on our fridge, and it means more to him than any plaque or certificate ever could.
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!! ”
Remember coming home and planting yourself in front of the TV to watch your favorite characters get into crazy situations, all which could be solved in 30 minutes? (If only all our problems took 30 minutes or less to solve—it’d be easier than ordering a pizza!) The main characters could always depend on their mom to be there at the end of the day, to help pry them out of their predicaments. We grew up watching TV moms dispense a mother load of advice to their kids, and we listened contently from the other side of the tube. They played such a big role on the small screen that we decided that if they were real, they deserve a gift for Mother’s Day too. Moms always like homemade gifts the most, so the best way Artbeads could show its appreciation to these moms was to make them jewelry—and not just the macaroni kind! We’ll spotlight our top ten television moms and which of our Learning Center ideas we would make for them this Mother’s Day.
June Cleaver—Leave it to Beaver
The “All American” mom of the late 1950s and 1960s was a caring stay-at-home mom, who was always there to greet her husband at the front door and always ready to dispense words of wisdom to her two sons. While we might scoff now at her pristine image of high heels and pearls, this mom knew how to keep her kids in line. With one stern look, that unforgettable ‘mom glare’, and a few carefully chosen words, Wally and Beaver straightened up quickly. We would like to present June Cleaver with our Kissing Birds necklace idea. Its fresh white pearls and romantic rose touches will complement her signature style of dresses and aprons.
Laura Petrie—The Dick Van Dyke Show
This suburban housewife showed viewers that it was okay to be feminine and strong at the same time. With her Capri pants and sweet disposition, Laura faced the challenges most American mothers could relate to—mostly how to discipline the kids and getting along with the in-laws. While she was viewed as a very feminine character, Laura was very much articulate and wasn’t afraid to voice her opinion. For Laura Petrie, we would make our Miriam necklace. It’s bold but still feminine, and we think she would like it.
Marion Cunningham—Happy Days
Mrs. C. was everybody’s mom. She kept an eye on her two kids, and bad boy ‘The Fonz’ while maintaining a clean house. Her witty comments kept the kids of the show out of trouble and kept her husband in check, too. She was a devoted mother and loving wife, and lived in the house everyone wanted to hang at. We would make Lisa’s Gift Bracelet for Marion Cunningham because it’s got a classic look with just the right amount of flavor.
Joan Harris/Holloway—Mad Men
A fairly new TV mom, Joan is another icon for the 1960s. She knows how to use her beauty and wit to get what she wants. Joan enjoys working hard and maintains a strong presence in the advertising agency she works for, progressively gaining power with a femme fatale attitude. As a mother, though, Joan is devoted to ensuring security for the well being of her son. For this new mom, we would make our Syncopated Rhythm necklace to match her unconventional charisma and stunning beauty.
Carol Brady—The Brady Bunch
Carol Brady really was an untraditional mom for the times. She headed a blended family (a big one at that!) and managed to keep it all under control. Not only did this show help influence how society viewed blended families, but mom Carol had a big job spearheading the effort. She had to be in control of her children and her stepchildren and emphasize the importance of support and love. For Carol Brady we’d make our Blossom necklace. This sweet design symbolizes the blossoming future of a new beginning, like her new family.
Mabel Thomas—What’s Happening
Mama Mabel was another one of those mothers who watched over all the kids in the neighborhood. With her big heart and sharp tongue, she executed the perfect blend of discipline and affection. Her words were always wise and should always be heard. For this superstar single mom, we’d make Mabel our Camelot Chains necklace design. This beautiful balance of bold, gunmetal chain and elegant Swarovski crystal is ideal for her.
Elyse Keaton—Family Ties
The role of working mom was on the rise, and Elyse Keaton helped bring to life the challenges and joys of this double role. Though she made it look effortless, we looked up to her for being able to support her family both financially and emotionally. Lest we not forget: she had a heck of a time raising a young yuppie son when she herself was a bohemian babe turned white collar mom. Elyse managed to stay on top of domestic duties and played teammate to her husband in taking care of their kids..all on top of being self employed. To capture her hippie spirit and working mom style, we would make Elyse Keaton our Bead Orbit earrings.
Clair Huxtable—The Cosby Show
This was another mom who seemed to be able to do it all. Clair Huxtable was a beautiful mother, lawyer—and nutritionist for her husband. It’s been said that behind every strong man is even stronger woman, and this is no more true than for the Huxtable family. While Cliff could lay down the law with the kids, it was clear that Clair had a firm and tender hold on everyone in the household. For being able to hold down a powerful career and keep her kids (and husband) in line, all the while with a patient and kind spirit, we actually made Clair her own bracelet—The Huxtables bracelet.
Marge Simpson—The Simpsons
She may only be two-dimensional, but Marge Simpson can hold her own against other incredible moms on TV. Who else could tend to the antics of a dimwitted husband, trouble-making son, super smart daughter and a toddler, all the while maintaining some fabulous blue hair? Although she’s tried her hand at various careers, the best job for her is that of homemaker. Her patience is saint-worthy and her kind personality is recognized through her town of Springfield. She knew just when to wrangle her family in from their antics, but also wasn’t afraid to join them on occasion. To match her ‘animated’ lifestyle, we’d make Marge Simpson our Cosmos Sorbet earrings.
Debra Barone—Everybody Loves Raymond
Debra Barone endured what most of us dread: living next to your in-laws. She was able to hold her own, though, and wasn’t afraid to tell her overbearing mother-in-law when she stepped out of line. Debra was a devoted wife and whole-heartedly supported her husband. When she’s not playing ringleader to in-laws who show up unannounced, Debra takes care of the couple’s three children. She teaches them important lessons and proves that she can stand toe to toe with the old-school style of mother-in-law Marie. For being able to keep her cool (most of the time) with grace, we present Debra Barone with our Night on the Pier necklace design.
There are a lot of wonderful TV moms that graced our television screens over the years, and we think they all deserve a great gift this year for the holiday. In a way, these mothers helped mold us into who we became. We chose to watch them raise their own children, and we respected their approach to life. So, to all moms real and fictional, we say Happy Mother’s Day!
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!
Pavé beads are so sparkly that they can light up and shine at any angle—like a disco ball! No wonder why they’re often referred to as disco beads. In honor of our disco-themed pavé sale this week, we thought it’d be fun to take a funky trip back to the height of the disco era and relive some of the best fashion trends.
The disco dance club was an escape from the hustle and bustle of the real world; it was a chance to get away and just dance. This fantasy feeling was amplified by the elaborate outfits found on the dance floor for both women and men. The shiny, lightweight material was perfect for being seen under the bright lights and busting out moves effortlessly.
Disco women flocked to different looks, but they all opted for lightweight material to keep their dance moves fluid. The cosmic appeal of shiny silver played off the other-worldly feel of disco. Sequined tube tops, wrap dresses and high-waist jeans were the way to go. Clothes were form fitting to keep a sensual vibe in the dance studio, but still comfortable so could dance all night long.
Platform shoes were made for disco! These cool kicks elevated the dancer so everyone would take notice and were as varied in style as the dancers who wore them. The heavy center inside the thick heels made for sluggish dancing, so designers started to hollow them out. This is what sparked the idea for some to start filling their shoes with objects—like goldfish—for added flash in their flair.
Candies was the brand of shoe you wanted if you were looking to dance the night away. The high heel style, with one strap in the front, was the best.
You musn’t forget about the hair! The way you styled your hair for disco had to emphasize your passion for dancing, so it had to be something that made you to look glamorous as you danced. Some of the most popular looks were the afro and the feathered look.
Gold ruled the 1970s! Large chains and gold pendants were ideal for men because they captured the edgy side of a guy but were just flashy enough for the studio. Women wore thin gold chains layered across their neck and were also fond of big hoop earrings, lucite beads and bangles.
Want more retro? Take a look at our Disco Diva fashion trend and find beads and other jewelry supplies to make divine disco designs! If you need a little extra glimmer, don’t forget about our pavé style beads—on sale now. See them all here.
Creative juices seem to flow a little easier with help from music. Heck, I’m plugged in to some my favorite tunes while I write this! Jewelry designing, or any form of art for that matter, is all about creativity. To get the fingers flowing at just the right angle, or to place the right beads into the perfect position, is all about one’s mindset.
Our jewelry designer Teri McCamish turns out beautiful, breathtaking ideas—and she admits that there are certain songs that get her into the jewelry groove. Teri shared her beading playlist with us, which is an eclectic array of jazz and blues. For Teri, these styles of music help stimulate the creativity but keep her mind mellow. The funky melodies are enough to keep her hands swinging to the stereo without moving too fast or too slow. Our idea Twist and Sprout is a wonderful example of how influential music can be to an artist. You can tell by the explosive colors, tiny twists, and branches that curl every which way that Teri’s music player was on shuffle when she created this piece!
We picked up these fab finds back in February during our adventures at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. These beads are full of life, shine and spice – the perfect combination to spark the imagination. Now you have a chance to win these beads and more in our incredible Tucson Ten Giveaway!
Ten lucky fans will win the three strands plus one of the bold black and white polymer clay beads. All of these beads are super exclusive, so you won’t find them anywhere on our site. It’s enough to get any beader excited, delighted and inspired! All you have to do is tell us a story about these beads by leaving a comment below. What do these beads make you think of? What would you do with them? Do they inspire you? Do they remind you of anyone you know? Get creative with your story, because we’ll be picking our faves to win!
But this contest doesn’t end here. That’s right, this one’s a two-parter! If you win the beads, you have another chance to win. We’ll be asking the winners to design a piece of jewelry or even a set with these beads for another chance to win, this time a $50 gift certificate! If you don’t win, you have the chance to vote on the designs and we have some surprises in store for voters, too. More details will follow once we’ve announced our ten winners.
You have from today, April 5 until Thursday April 11, 2013 at 11:59pm PST to enter to win a set of these beads. One entry per person, please. See our official contest rules for more details. Once we announce the winners on April 12, we will have more details about the next round. We can’t wait to read your story, so enter now!
It’s officially time to start expecting the rain to fall. Spring is here, but not without the necessary drops of water that quench the thirst of the soil. Each tiny drop helps to bring the beauty of spring to life—and be honest—when the scorching summer days hit, you kind of miss the rain…just a little. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we get our fair share (some would say MORE than our fair share) of rain. It’s okay, though. We’ve learned to love the rain. Here are some of the reasons we should all love the rain!
It makes being inside feel cozy
If you got your heart stomped on a sunny day, it just wouldn’t have the same effect.
It keeps your lawn nice and green
Rainy days are a great excuse to spend time together as a family
It brings rainbows—sometimes double rainbows
It’s better for kissing in
It’s better for singing in
It makes for more dramatic shirtless moments
Without April showers, we wouldn’t have May flowers!
Have you ever been inspired by the rain? How about using resin to envelop a picturesque scene inside a rain drop? Or, find a creative way to interpret the scent of a fresh rain shower—maybe some grass green hues sparkling with clear crystal accents. Try playing with slate blues, smoky grays and one bright pop like red or yellow to symbolize getting caught in a downpour with your rubber boots. Don’t get upset when the clouds roll in—use this as a sign to challenge your mind, to delve into your creativity and find a way to capture what’s going on outside.