Thursday, October 28, 2010

Andrew Thornton Thursday Giveaway!

Win This!
(driftwood not included)
We here at Beadaholique are always keeping an eye on the wonderful world of bead blogging. We do this in order to keep up with the latest trends in jewelry making, so that we can better supply our customers with all of the new nifty bits, baubles, and beads that you can use to create your beading masterpieces. Plus (let's just be real here) it is really, really fun to surf the web, drooling over any number of various artists' luscious beading creations.
Andrew Thornton

One of our very top, most favorite beading (and art, and, photography, and philosophical musings) blogs has always been Andrew Thornton's. Really, if you haven't already joined the ever expanding ranks of Thornton-ites, you must check out his blog. He creates beautiful, artful, and truly inspirational things. Also, he's just an all-around nice guy.

If you need more reasons to love Andrew, here's a big one: every Thursday he has a big giveaway on his blog, where various individuals, bead artists, vendors or Andrew himself supplies goodies to be awarded to one very lucky blog reader.

Beadaholique is proud to announce that we have provided the stash for this Thursday's (today!!) Giveaway, and folks, it is the MOTHERLODE. The stash includes tons of gorgeous, leafy, fall-inspired goodies from us, your humble bead-addiction enablers. This is a lot of stuff. A lot of really pretty stuff. We had so much fun putting this kit together, and we hope one of our loyal customers will be the lucky individual to win this treasure-filled kit! So, visit Andrew's blog today and leave a comment to be in the running. You have six days left to enter.  What are you waiting for?

p.s. Good Luck!

Metal Findings, Charms & Pendants
Gemstone Beads & Pendants
Colorful Filigree Leaves
Hand-Dyed Silk Ribbon

All Photographs Copyright Andrew Thornton

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Beadaholique Announces ArtFire Contest Winners

We want to sincerely thank all of the entrants in our Artfire-For-Life Contest. There were more than 300 projects to choose from and all them were great.

Having to go through this many submissions but only choosing 10 was a difficult process. We judged based on the appeal and marketability of the projects, and the design and skill level.   All winners received unanimous 'yes' votes on all points from our design and executive teams.   There were many of you who came very close to winning, so do not be disappointed if you didn't make it this time!   We plan to have many more design contests, and lots of opportunities to win goodies from Beadaholique.

Without further ado, here are our winners, and their brand-new Artfire Pro Stores!
Click Below to Visit Their Artfire Studio
Apryl Mott - Artfire contest winner | Beadaholique
Apryl Mott
Xmichra Krawchuk - Artfire contest winner | Beadaholique
Xmichra Krawchuk
OhFaro - Artfire contest winner | Beadaholique
Joanne Zammit - Artfire contest winner | Beadaholique
Joanne Zammit
Nathalie Girard - Artfire contest winner | Beadaholique
Nathalie Girard
Pat Chauvin - Artfire contest winner | Beadaholique
Pat Chauvin
Heidi Sears - Artfire contest winner | Beadaholique
Heidi Sears
Stacy Farnsworth - Artfire contest winner | Beadaholique
Stacy Farnsworth
Catharine Pruitt - Artfire contest winner | Beadaholique
Catharine Pruitt
Paula Meyncke - Artfire contest winner | Beadaholique
Paula Meyncke

Thanks and keep an eye out for future contests hosted by

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Creating Jewelry Out of Meaningful Objects, or How I Learned to Shoot a Gun and Like It

By: Andrea Morici
Senior Designer at

I am a peaceful person, for the most part.  I love tranquility. Being in nature, curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea, spending time with friends and family, visiting museums, making beautiful jewelry, and listening to music are just some of the things that make me feel truly blissful.  I despise violence and I am terrified of guns.

So, how did I find myself having the time of my life blasting giant holes though a simulated "bad guy" target with a Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun? Allow me to explain:

Let me first just reiterate: I really am a peaceful person, honest to goodness!   I also happen to be a faithful student of Krav Maga, a brutal form of hand-to-hand combat.  It literally translates as "Contact Combat." I began studying Krav Maga because I believe it is important for women to be able to defend themselves.  Krav taught me how to finely tune my reflexes to my advantage.  It showed me that even someone as little as myself can put up a fight if need be.

Part of my training includes learning how to defend against attacks by various weapons, such as knives, sticks, guns, and even hand grenades!  We practice with fake weapons, of course, but we always treat them as though they were the real deal in order to make the attack as true to life as possible.  Even though I had had many hours of practicing gun defense with the fake guns, the fact remained that I was still terrified of the real thing.  I finally decided to face my fear.

A few of the other Krav Maga ladies and myself approached one of our instructors one night after class.  Would he please take us to the shooting range where he practiced and teach us how to properly handle, load, and shoot a variety of real firearms?  He very kindly obliged.  We picked an evening, met up at the training center, piled into our instructor's car, and off we went.

The shooting range reminded me, strangely, of a bowling alley.  There were numbered lanes, and a kind of stale smell in the air.  The big difference was that you rented deadly weapons instead of shoes. We bought our ammo and targets, grabbed a pair of safety glasses and some ear protection, rented a Glock in addition to the 9mm and shotgun that my instructor had brought, and made our way from the lobby into the shooting gallery.

After a brief tutorial on the basics, the instructor looked around.  "Who wants to go first?" he asked.  Nobody said anything or made a move at all.  Finally, (I don't know what possessed me!) I stepped forward.  "I'll go!"

I was shaking fiercely as a grasped the weapon.  I heard the words, "Nice and easy..." spoken from somewhere nearby.  I took aim directly for the middle of the target's paper chest.  I slowed my breathing...gently and steadily squeezed the trigger... "BOOM!!"  It was so incredibly loud.  

I surveyed the damage.  My aim was true.  The bullet had torn a hole in the target, dead center.  I heard my friends clap and congratulate me.  "Wow!  Great shot!!"  Still shaking, I carefully set the gun down and stepped away.  After that, everybody else had a turn shooting the handguns, and then we tried a few rounds on the shotgun.  I couldn't believe it...  I was enjoying myself!

Dead Center Shot
One thing you immediately notice at the shooting range is the massive amount of empty bullet shells littering the floor.  The drifts of brass shells kicked my jewelry designer's brain into high gear.  I discretely picked up a few of them and put them into my purse.  I made sure my Krav buddies didn't notice, because I was pretty sure they wouldn't understand why I would want to collect little pieces of gunpowder covered garbage.

We all left the gun range happy and excited to have done what we just did.  The next day at work, I fished the shells out of my purse.  I picked out a smaller casing (a .22) and made sure it was relatively clean of residue and had no dents.  I chose two lovely spikey green Kyanite beads, and using E6000 glue, I glued them securely in the shell.  I used 22 gauge (appropriately enough) gold colored Artistic wire to wire-wrap a bail onto the top of the bullet.  For the chain, I scavenged all of the bits and pieces of bulk chain left over from other projects and joined them together, creating one 30 inch long chain. Some pieces were gold plated, others brass.  They were all different lengths.

I love the overall effect.  I love that people will compliment me on my necklace without even realizing what the pendant is made of.  I'm still afraid of guns, but I love that when I look at my necklace, I am reminded of the time I faced my fear... and had fun doing it.

Now it's your turn, dear beader-reader.  Tell me about jewelry that you have made to commemorate special moments in your life using found objects or treasured artifacts.

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