Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The 12 Giveaways of Christmas: How To Win!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.......

In the spirit of giving and with the love of beads in our hearts, we are very excited to present the 12 Giveaways of Christmas. We have hand-picked items which we hope will feed your creativity and maybe even take your art in a new direction. This is one of the most exciting events we have ever hosted--we hope you have fun with it too! 

Each giveaway is valued at a minimum of $50 and many are worth much more than that. We will be revealing the details of each prize on the day the giveaway starts in the form of a post on this blog. To enter, simply leave a comment on the giveaway's blog post. The duration of the giveaway and your time to enter will be clearly listed in the post. When the giveaway ends, we will not allow further comments, we will mark the post as "This Giveaway is Now CLOSED", and we will draw a winner at random. 

There will sometimes be several giveaways active at the same time. To help you keep track of all the happenings, a schedule is below (complete with hints as to what the giveaway is). We have also created a special page on the Beadaholique website just for the 12 Giveaways of ChristmasPlease note, each giveaway will start at 12:01am PST and end at 4pm PST on the dates listed. 

Giveaway #1: Dec. 2nd -   Everyone's got to start somewhere.....let us help! Ends Dec. 5th
Giveaway #2: Dec. 5th -  Time to cast your thoughts towards the holidays. Ends Dec.  7th
Giveaway #3: Dec. 6th -  Czech your list twice.......... Ends Dec. 8th
Giveaway #4: Dec. 7th -  Ho ho ho, you're going to be fit to be tied..... Ends Dec. 9th
Giveaway #5: Dec. 8th - Holidays are the time to stick together....... Ends Dec. 12th
Giveaway #6: Dec. 9th - Nunn does it better....... Ends Dec. 12th
Giveaway #7: Dec. 12th -  What a Lark! Keep a stiff upper lip and lace up tight! Ends Dec. 14th
Giveaway #8: Dec. 13th - Precious treasures, for colorful holidays. Ends Dec. 15th
Giveaway #9: Dec. 14th - Ice and snow are elements that frame the season....... Ends Dec. 16th
Giveaway #10: Dec. 15th - Our favorite Christmas vintage! Ends Dec. 19th
Giveaway #11: Dec. 16th - We've come far and we're worth it. Ends Dec. 19th
Giveaway #12: Dec. 19th -  All the Elements come together for a dazzling finish! Ends Dec. 21st

* To enter a giveaway, leave a comment on the giveaway's blog post.  You can comment on as many giveaways as you like, but you can only win once.  Please only comment once per individual giveaway.  Multiple comments by the same person on the same giveaway will result in that person being disqualified for that giveaway.

* The duration during which comments (entries) for each contest will be accepted will vary and will be stated for each contest individually. For instance, there might be a longer comment period for a giveaway started on a Friday vs. a Tuesday.

* Winner for each giveaway will be drawn at random from our black bag of hand-numbered Scrabble tiles.

* Please do not comment anonymously; we must have a way to notify the winner.  If you comment using your Facebook profile, make sure that your privacy settings will allow us to contact you.

* We will send a notification email and/or Facebook message (when applicable) to the winner. Winner must respond within 2 business days or a new winner will be randomly selected.

* We are sorry, but we are unable to ship prizes to addresses in Africa, South America, or the Middle East.

* By entering this contest, you give Beadaholique, Inc. permission to use your name for promotional purposes.

* The terms & conditions that apply to all Beadaholique contests and giveaways also apply here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beading Gossip: Artists Wanted For Nunn Design's Innovation Team

Are you super creative?  Do you want to be part of a team of artists creating designs with some of the hottest jewelry making supplies out there? Nunn Design is putting together an Innovation Team of talented individuals to help create original jewelry designs using their products. 

This is a great opportunity for jewelry designers to gain valuable exposure and be part of an inspiring group of individuals. Last day to apply is November 28th, 2011. To learn more about the Innovation Team and what it involves, please click HERE

To apply to the Innovation Team, please click HERE

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Nunn Design

Monday, November 21, 2011

Inspiration Monday Book Review: Sherry Serafini's Sensational Bead Embroidery

Have you ever had an AH-HA! moment?  I had one this past weekend when reading Sherry Serafini's Sensational Bead Embroidery.  I am almost speechless over this book but I must write something since this is a book review.  Wow!  Amazing!  Fantastic!  Woohooo!  You probably still want to hear a little more detail then just those excited words of exclamation: I will try my best. 

I picked up this book for the first time on Friday night; having never, not once, bead embroidered before. The first thing that struck me about this book was the awesome photography. Sherry's sense of design and color combinations are simply scrumptious, a feast for the eyes. Instead of setting the designs against a white background, they were instead placed against a color, making them look even more impressive. So before even reading one word of this book, I was already drooling over the visuals. 

Because these projects look so amazing, and look very complicated at first glance, I will admit to having been intimidated and thinking "there is no way I can do that." Also, the instructions looked rather short for each project considering how elaborate they were, so I did go into this book a bit skeptically. However, I quickly learned otherwise.

When you first open this book, there is a good overview of the materials you will need and helpful tips about how to use them and what to choose. For instance, when talking about beading foundation, Sherry tells us to use Lacy's Stiff Stuff but she also shares that this can be dyed to match your beads and even washed. This is such a simple tip but hugely helpful. 

Sherry imparts other words of wisdom like this throughout the book, which I find to be just as valuable as the projects themselves. After the overview of materials, there are very clear instructions on how to do the common stitches in bead embroidery. Diagrams are also provided to make learning easier. Even though I had never bead embroidered before, it became quite clear that the basic stitches were really not that hard (thank goodness!) and that the designs looked so amazing because of the artist's placement of the stitches, and her choice of colors and the design and proportion of the larger focal beads. Now it made sense to me why the directions in the projects looked so short; it is because you learn the basic skills and then repeat them in various combinations. For the projects that have skills not covered in the beginning pages, there are additional diagrams and more detailed instructions.

my first attempt at bead embroidery! 
After reviewing all the projects, I decided to pick the one I thought looked relatively simple, and give this bead embroidery thing a try. The Sweet Simplicity Necklace on page 35 is lovely necklace that has a stunning focal cabochon, several rows of two-bead backstitch, and then an outer single-bead edging. If this does not make sense to you, do not worry, all these terms are explained in the beginning of the book. Following Sherry's instructions, I glued an antique button (sans shank) on Lacy's Stiff Stuff and then followed her directions to make my rows. When I got to the edge, I decided to add a picot edge (again, I learned how to do this in the beginning of the book) and finished off my round. I felt completely confident deviating from the pattern, because early on in the book, Sherry tells us "my advice on some of the projects is to let the beads take "road trips", meaning the beads will literally tell you where to go - in a nice way!" When I finished I was SO pleased with how my first bead embroidery project turned out. I have yet to finish the necklace portion of it, but my focal is done and I love it! I even made another little focal. I also now feel completely confident to try the other projects in this book.

In a nutshell, I am so very, very excited about bead embroidery and developing my skills. If you are looking for a new beading path to try, I would whole-heartily recommend this book. I feel that beaders of all skill levels can learn from Sherry's instructions and even more advanced bead embroiderers will be inspired by her designs. Do not be intimidated by this art form, it is not as difficult as it looks. If you start at the beginning, go step by step, you will see that you can definitely do this. Whereas learning a new skill is usually frustrating, I found learning bead embroidery through this book to be incredibly relaxing and soothing. I hope you give it a try and find it as enjoyable as I do.  A huge thank you to Sherry Serafini, her teaching skills, and this book - you have created one very happy, and one very inspired, bead embroiderer over here.

- Julie 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Product Spotlight: Epoxy Stickers

If you enjoy making mixed media jewelry with graphics and images, then you are going to love epoxy stickers. Epoxy stickers create a clear, domed, glass-like appearance over an image. Because they have sticky backs, all you need to do is peel off the protective back sheet and place the sticker directly on top of your image. Then just glue your image (with clear sticker on top) onto your mixed media item, using Crafter's Pick Glue or Nunn Design Glue

Epoxy stickers mimic the look of resin and glass but at a fraction of the cost and without all the work!

Here at Beadaholique we offer epoxy stickers to custom fit scrabble tiles, mini dominos, bottle caps, and even bracelets. These perfectly sized stickers have a soft dome shape to them, tapering down at the sides. They really are so easy to use; you will be pleasantly surprised with the number of finished projects you can complete in a short amount of time. They are great for kids too (with adult supervision of course). 

If looking for some inspiration, you can visit our free projects page for bracelets, earrings, and necklaces which have been made using epoxy stickers. 

Also, check out some of our videos showing how to use them: 


One final thought: with the holidays quickly approaching, projects using epoxy stickers make excellent and inexpensive gifts!

- Julie 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Congratulations Kathy, Winner of the Nunn Design Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered our Nunn Design Giveaway. We had almost 80 entries! We were actually thankful that this was a random drawing because many of your stories were very touching and your ideas very inspiring - it would have been impossible for us to pick!

Our random drawing!
The lucky winner is Kathy Kurke! She will be receiving her prize soon, directly from Becky Nunn at Nunn Designs. Please keep keep an eye on this blog as we have lots of exciting giveaways and contests planned. We also have a new page to our website, aptly titled "Contests and Giveaways". Check out this page often to see what is currently going on. 

BTW: Bead Table Wednesday 11/16/11

Julie's Table
Experimenting! My table is an absolute mess this week and I love it! We are always looking for new products to offer here at Beadaholique and I have the fun job of trying them out first. There are at least 10 different projects and product tests going on on my table right now. I definitely have my favorites, I hope you like what we choose! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Giveaway! Nunn Design Elements of Inspiration

We have a special treat for all our friends and fans. Nunn Design, the company who produces the Patera, Accenti & Adorna lines of findings, bezels, charms, chain, clasps, multimedia components and more, has been gracious enough to sponsor a wonderful giveaway just for you. 

One lucky winner will receive this fantastic assortment of jewelry findings and collage sheets worth over $90:

We especially love those glass apothecary bottles and the deep bezels with ornate engraving on the sides! 

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post telling us why you would like to win, maybe even share with us what you would make with these elements if you win them!  Winner will be chosen at random from all the entries this coming Monday November 14th!  The winner will be notified and announced on Tuesday November 15th. 

Please note: When commenting, make sure to use your contact information so we can notify you if you win! Anonymous entries will not be entered into the drawing. 

Feeling inspired? Check out the wide selection of Nunn Design elements, the folks who bring you Patera, available at Beadaholique!

Here are some designs to spark your creativity: 

Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BTW: Bead Table Wednesday 11/9/11

Julie's Table
The holiday theme continues on my work table this week. We have started making a new series of videos called "Just Bead It!" where each video will focus on a simple jewelry making technique with a wide range of applications and pretty instant results. On Monday I taped the "charms" one, and then yesterday I realized that I forgot to show a charm bracelet! What was I thinking! So today on my table I am making a holiday inspired charm bracelet using TierraCast charms which I am connecting using our new lock-in jump rings (available soon). When this project is done, time to re-tape the video - again, what was I thinking! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Beading Gossip! Soft Flex Company's 2011 "Flex Your Creativity" Beading Contest

Psssttt.... we have some gossip to share! 

Soft Flex is in the midst of their 3rd annual Flex Your Creativity Beading Contest. They have already narrowed it down to 10 finalists, all of whom have amazing and inspiring designs. From now until December 1st they are asking the public to go vote for their favorite design. The first, second, and third place winners will be announced on December 5th. 

You can view all the entries and enter your vote HERE. Have fun looking at the designs, we were sure inspired by their creativity and hope you will be too! 

- Julie 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Inspiration Monday Book Review: Steel Wire Jewelry by Brenda Schweder

Review by Julie Bean

We love jewelry making books here at Beadaholique. Not only are they indispensable in terms of teaching us designers new techniques, but they are also amazing sources of inspiration.  We have teamed up with Lark Books to bring you a series of book reviews of some of the hottest jewelry making books on the market today. This week I had the good fortune to review the new book Steel Wire Jewelry by Brenda Schweder. 

If you have followed my blog posts before, you know that I love mixed media designs and found objects. I have even trained my husband to keep his eyes glued on the sidewalk as he walks to the coffee shop each morning so that he can pick up old rusted gears, shards of glass, and odd springs which have come off cars. Most men bring their wives flowers, mine brings me dirty and broken metal objects - and I love it!

This book hooked me right away with a forward by Keith Lo Bue and his almost sexy writing about steel wire - who knew? In the following pages Brenda introduces us to steel wire, its appeal, workability, affordability, and versatility--"In the raw, it's dirty, it's heavy, and it's most certainly lack-luster. It's the proverbial lump of clay (but not clay at all). I guess it's just that - that diamond in the rough quaility - that's so gripping."

Throughout the beginning of the book there are highlights of other artists' work showing the wide range of projects which can be made with steel wire. The layout of this book makes sense, first introducing you to the medium and its properties, next teaching about tools needed, general working tips, and fundamental skills to get started. Because steel wire is so affordable (we are talking about the steel wire from a hardware store for around $3 or $4, not shiny and fancy "jewelry making" steel wire) it is an attractive avenue to explore without having to make a big investment. I like the idea of taking the wire, twisting it, bending it, and seeing what happens. I agree with Brenda that it is very much like a lump of clay, something you can mold to your own designs and really just play with and see what happens. There is a sense of freedom with steel wire because it is not "supposed" to look like anything, there is no right or wrong way of doing it, and your only limitation is your own imagination. 

Brenda's projects in this book are not what I would call "soft" or "feminine", and for me, there is a definite appeal in that. They are more structural, industrial, and architectural in nature. They have an edge to them, like pieces you might find at a modern art gallery. What I like best about the projects is how I see certain elements in them that I want to take and apply to other applications. For instance, in the "Flies Have Dreams, Too" cuff bracelet project, I can see using this same cuff pattern and then wire wrapping gears and cogs to turn this into a Steampunk piece. I love it when the projects in books are spring boards for new designs of my own. 

I would recommend this book if you are looking for a new challenge in jewelry making. Perhaps you love wire wrapping and want to expand your skills and range. Or maybe you have been working with more traditional jewelry making elements and have been craving that new medium to try. If this sounds like you, then find your hammer and bench block and grab some steel wire and give this book a try!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Beadaholique Beading Contest: November Nights!

You could win a $100 gift certificate and tons of internet publicity in our November beading contest!  Just submit a photo of your piece, using at least one Beadaholique product, inspired by the theme "November Nights."

Just a little inspiration...
Whether it’s putting on a slinky black dress and hitting the town or staying in with a warm blanket and a favorite book, we want you to show us what “November Nights” mean to you. 
We will select 10 finalists from the contest entries, all of whom will have their work published on our Beader’s Blog and on the Beadaholique Facebook page, for public voting. The winner will receive a $100 Beadaholique gift certificate and further exposure on our blog and Facebook page!

Important Dates:
  • Monday, November 21 @ 4 PM PDT: Last day to submit
  • Wednesday, November 23: Top 10 will be posted on our Facebook and notified via email. Public voting starts.
  • Tuesday, November 29 @ 4 PM PDT: Public voting closes
  • Thursday, December 1: Winner is announced in the next issue of The Beading Wire and notified via email.

For a complete list of rules, how to enter, and tips for a successful entry, click HERE.

Profile of Nancy Dale - Bead Artist and October Contest Winner

Beadaholique's first publicly-voted beading contest has come to a close, and out of all of the wonderful finalist entries, a clear favorite emerged. Nancy Dale wowed hundreds of voters with her fantastically ornamented piece "October's Goddess," featuring a bead embroidered pendant of mahogany obsidian, and also including freshwater pearls, Swarovski Crystals, seed beads, garnets, and many other beads. More leaves were embroidered with seed beads in Russian Leaf variations .

We had to know more about the artist behind the piece, so we subjected Nancy to a short interrogation!

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Nancy Dale and I have been beading for over 20 years. I dearly love putting beads together in any form imaginable; I never stop loving their versatality. I live in Vermont with my husband and my four dogs, and spend a whole lot of time in the dining room with huge piles of delicious shiny beads.


How did you get interested in beading/jewelry making?

I became interested in beading as a form of therapy, a calming, meditative pursuit that helped me with many things in my life.

What are your favorite materials to use in jewelry making?

My absolute favorite materials are seed beads and Fireline beading thread - there are no limits to what can be created with these.

Who or what inspires your creative process?

I am mostly inspired by nature, and very very much by trees and leaves. I also like to just let colors and bead sizes inspire me themselves and to let them do all the work.

Is there somewhere we can see or purchase your work?

My website is if anyone would like to see more of my pieces.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

BTW: Bead Table Wednesday 11/2/11

Julie's Table

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Ok, so I am in Los Angeles and that is not likely to happen, but my mind is filled with Winter scenes of snow covered tree tops, holiday lights, and brightly colored ornaments as I begin to make jewelry for the holidays. It is such fun to play with TierraCast charms in shapes of rocking horses, nutcrackers, and angels. The colors of the season are so cheerful that I can't help but smile when working with bright golds, antique brasses, reds, and greens. My next project is to make an ornament using a Swarovski pendant; I can already envision how pretty it will look hanging on a tree! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vintaj and Beadaholique Giveaway!

The excitement just keeps on rolling here at Beadaholique! In celebration of Beadaholique being Vintaj's Online Bead Partner for November, we have teamed up with them to offer a great giveaway of an assortment of Vintaj Artisan Copper, copper findings and Swarovski Elements in Crystal Copper! 

Just think of everything you can make with these!

For a complete list of details and how to enter, visit the Vintaj blog HERE.  Hurry though, this contest is on NOW and ends on November 3rd! 

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