The Lima Beads Blog News, Contests, Fun & More

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Stay up to date with the latest Lima news, contests, announcements, promotions, and more—all on the blog.

Easter Egg Hunt 2014 Winners

Posted by Kevin on April 23 at 12:09 pm

Easter Egg Hunt Wrapup

WOW, what a week! The 6th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Lima Beads was egg-citing, eggs-hausting, and egg-ceptionally big. More eggs than ever were found by a record number of hunters, and we enjoyed all of the hilarious comments, e-mails, and facebook posts that poured in. And now, onto the important stuff… :)

Leaderboard Gift Certificates

Everyone that was on the Leaderboard at the end of the hunt gets a $20 Gift Certificate. Steve is sending out those e-mails today… if you’re on the Leaderboard, you’ll be getting yours in the next couple hours. It took a LOT of persistence to stay in the Top 100, and we admire you all!

The Grand Prize

The Grand Prize for a $250 Gift Certificate is awarded to one of the hunters in the Top 10 at the end of the contest by a random drawing. This year’s grand prize winner is…. Cynthia C! We drew her name out of a Twizzler container (we have a lot of those around here)… and you can check out the video on our facebook page. Congratulations, Cynthia! She hunted through thousands of pages from April 14th all the way up until the very end of the contest on Easter.

2014 Easter Egg Hunt Drawing

Joe draws the winner...

Fun Facts

This year, we had a record number of hunters searching for those little diabolical eggs all over our website. The first egg was found 4 minutes after the contest officially launched, and the very last egg was found at 11:59am Pacific time with only 10 seconds left before the contest ended. Talk about hunting until the last minute! The egg that was discovered the most was the one right on the home page (of course)… and all of the eggs were found at least once.

Thank You

We want to extend a sincere “Thank You” to everyone who hunted for eggs this year. We have a lot of fun putting it together, but you are the ones who make it all worth it. We know as well as anyone that time is very precious, and we’re honored that you chose to spend some of it (or, in many cases, a LOT of it) with us this week. THANK YOU!

 

Easter Egg Hunt 2014

Posted by Kevin on April 14 at 03:08 am

The time has come for the 6th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Lima Beads! We’ve scoured our shelves this year, looking for great prizes to offer… and we have more than ever this year. And that doesn’t even include over $2,000 in gift certificates that we’re giving away to the top hunters! :) Read more about the hunt below, or check out the Hunt Page to get started!

The Basics

We’ve scattered 200 Easter eggs all over our website. The more eggs you find, the more prizes you get! We have a leaderboard to track the progress of all the egg hunters, and the top 100 hunters will all get gift certificates! The hunt lasts all week, and ends at 11:59pm Pacific time on Easter (April 20).

The Prizes

We have 5 different levels of prizes this year! You have to find at least 10 eggs to get your first prize, and you can unlock additional prizes after finding 25, 50, 75, and 100 eggs (for seriously insane egg hunters only) :) PLUS, we’re giving away a $20 gift certificate to every single hunter on the leaderboard when the hunt ends–just lke last year! Keep an eye on the leaderboard and read more about the prizes on the Hunt page.

The Rules

We have detailed rules and some FAQs on the hunt page, so we suggest you check those out. There are a few things we want you to know, however. When you place an order to redeem your prizes, normal shipping rates apply (as low as $2 for U.S. customers). We have lots of great gifts this year, but we can’t guarantee they will all be available when the hunt ends on Sunday. So place your orders early to make sure you get the gifts you want!

What are you waiting for? Start hunting!

UPDATE, April 15th at 12pm:

We want to make a clarification about the rules, and admit a mistake that we made placing eggs. In the FAQ on the Hunt Page, it states that you “never find eggs on ‘view all’ pages”. Last year, that was true. This year, we forgot about that rule, and we hid some eggs on those pages. This is our mistake, and we want to make it fair for everyone. So, here’s what we’re going to do. For the first time ever, we’re going to post the location of those eggs so everyone can find them :) Egg 1Egg 2Egg 3Egg 4Egg 5Egg 6. Make sure you’re logged into your account to see them.

We know that there are some people that found these eggs fair and square, and might feel that their hard work went to waste. We understand that. But this is the only way to keep it fair for everyone that followed our rules and ignored those pages. It’s not perfect, but it’s as fair as we can be. To clarify, those eggs above are the only ones on “view all” pages. There aren’t any more (so you can skip other “view all” pages while hunting). Hopefully, this saves everyone a little time :) We apologize! If you have any questions about this, please use the “Contact Our Team” button under the Customer Service menu at the top. We’ll be able to respond to you personally.

Scream Week 2013: Fresh Pick Contest

Posted by Kevin on October 24 at 03:14 pm

UPDATE: The winners have been announced!

We had another great Scream Week this year, and we hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did! We had to put some extra hours in the warehouse to pack up all the orders with free gifts… but it was all worth it. The last order of business for Scream Week 2013 was to tally up the votes for the Fresh Pick contest. Each winner will receive a $25 Lima Beads Gift Certificate, and we’ll be sending those out within 24 hours. Congratulations to all the winners! Without further adieu:

Best Composition Winner: Hocus Pocus by SaruHime. We loved the colors, variety, and overall balance of this spooky & sparkly pick. It cast a spell on us!

Coolest Costume Winner: Gypsy Queen by Gail Layne. This costume is nothing short of mesmerizing in our minds. The gold and glass, along with the ribbon and chain, really paint the picture of a gypsy queen.

Story or Poem Winner: Twas the night of Halloween by Beadzilla aka Wanda. We loved the spooky twist on this classic poem, and the irony of the bat being the good guy! And I’m sure all the parents out there have had a good scare when thinking about unwrapped treats or chaos in the streets.

People’s Choice Winner: Jack’O by Gina P – Delta Chick. This take on the classic Halloween symbol won over the hearts (and favorites) of beaders around the world. It’s no surprise to us–we love it, too!

Congrats again, and thanks so much to all the pickers out there who made this possible! Until next year… ;)

Below is the original text announcing the contest…

Happy Pumpkin DayThe Halloween Fresh Pick contest was a lot of fun last year, so we’re doing it again! Read below for details or check out last year’s contest for ideas!

Part of the fun of Halloween is to show off your creepy, creative ideas… from decorations to costumes to jewelry. If you’re feeling extra creepy this year, then this contest is for you! The rules are simple, and the prizes are sweet (even sweeter than Twizzlers).

Make a Fresh Pick and Win

Conjure up those ghost stories, costumes, and creepy color combos… and make a Fresh Pick to share them with everyone! We’ll pick 4 winners from the Fresh Picks submitted as a comment to this blog post (instructions are below). One winner will be chosen for each of these four themes:

  • Best Composition: The overall composition is one of the most important qualities of a beautiful Fresh Pick. Creating the best possible color & texture arrangement (with a Halloween theme, of course) is key to winning this category.
  • Coolest Costume: Were you a crayon? A princess? A robot? A superhero? Show off by making a Fresh Pick inspired by your costume idea. Sure, colors are important… but try and tell more about the costume through the items you choose.
  • Scariest Story or Poem: Everyone loves a good ghost story (*ahem* most of the time). We’ll read your description that you add to your Fresh Pick. It could be a scary story, a tale about your favorite childhood Halloween memory, a poem (that you write yourself), or pretty much any type of Halloween prose.
  • People’s Choice: We’ll total up the number of favorites that each Fresh Pick entry receives… and the one with the most favorites will be the People’s Choice winner! Make sure your vote is counted by going to the Fresh Pick and marking your favorites.

Now, for the important part… :)

Boo!The Prizes

The winner of each theme will receive a $25 Lima Beads gift certificate. You can use it to buy anything from our shop!

When you’re ready to submit your Pick, just select it from the drop-down menu in the comment form below. You’ll be able to choose from your 10 most recent picks. Choose the one that you’d like to submit to the contest and “Voila!” Not sure what a Fresh Pick is? Find out how to Design Your Own Fresh Picks!

Here are a few final ground rules before you get started:

  • There will be 3 submissions allowed per person. If you make more than that, only your most recent 3 will be counted. You don’t have to match your picks with the themes above–you can do all costumes, all stories, or a mix of everything. Just remember, 3 is the limit!
  • All Picks must be submitted as a comment on this blog post by Thursday, October 31st at midnight.
  • You can win up to one gift certificate per person.
  • The Lima Beads team will pick the winners on Friday, November 1. The People’s Choice winner will be selected by the number of favorites received. The winners will be announced here on the blog.

OK, get picking! Good luck!

Vintaj Stained Glass Window Contest

Posted by Matt on August 22 at 03:09 pm

Update: We have our winners!

Wow, what an amazing collection of Stained Glass Window designs we had! We want to take a moment and thank everyone who participated by making jewelry, marking their favorites, or just following along. With busy schedules and the start of Fall, we know things can get crazy… so we really appreciate you taking the time to have fun on our website!

We tallied up the votes, and first place for the most popular design goes to… Elis Mom for the design Stained Glass Dragonfly Love! We’ve been loving the sari silk lately, and we’re glad the voters agreed! Second prize goes to puppychick labratbecky for the design Centuries of Worship. We love the story behind the inspiration–it really shines through the design! We have a bit of a surprise for third place… a tie! Congrats to Katelynn L for her Layered Glass Drop Earrings, and to dragonflyvine for the design Vineyard Harvest. They were loved equally by beaders from around the world, and we’re thrilled for both of them. They’ll each get the third place prize.

We’ll be sending out the gift certificates via e-mail to the winners shortly. Congratulations again, and thanks so much for designing and voting! We have some more fun planned in October, so stay tuned :)

Original post follows…

In the spring of 2012, we worked with Vintaj on a “Spring Rain” inspired promotion that resulted in some beautiful designs from our beading community. We’re partnering up with them again this month, and they’ve chosen use “Stained Glass Window” as the inspiration for their designs. Plus, we’re having a fun contest to get your spin on these mosaics of color.

We’ve packaged the beads used by Vintaj into a kit that you can purchase below. Here’s how it works: purchase a kit, add other components, design some jewelry, and add it to our Design Gallery. The people with the 3 most popular designs will each win a Lima Beads gift certificate. Full details are available below. Happy designing!

Get the Bead Kit

Stained Glass Window Bead Mix

Stained Glass Window Bead Mix

Bead Mix: $16.70

This deal is sold out! Watch for more deals soon...


Add Components to Finish it Off

After you purchase your bead kit, you’ll want to finish it off with other components. We’ve got a list of official components to use in your designs over on the contest page. The majority of your design (about 75%) should be made up from items in the bead kit and/or these additional components. The rest of your design is up to you… anything goes!

Enter Your Design to Win

Once you finish making your design, just add it to our Design Gallery. When you are uploading your photos and entering the information, remember to select “Vintaj Stained Glass 2013″ for the seasonal promo option. When you’re finished, your design will show up alongside all the other Stained Glass Window designs. Click the button below to begin!

See the Designs

To start us off, the designers at Vintaj sent us over the following designs inspired by the “Stained Glass Window” theme. Follow along on the contest page to see ALL the designs uploaded by beaders from all around the world. Make sure to add the ones you love to your Favorites… and remember, the contest ends on September 20!

Stained Glass Window Necklace
Mosaic Layers Earrings
Petite Opulence Earrings
Glimmering Glass Bracelet

Official Contest Rules

  1. You can make anything you want–a necklace, bracelet, earrings, or anything else.
  2. The majority of the components in your design (about 75%) must be from the bead kit and/or the additional components listed on the contest page. It’s OK to use your own components, but they should accent your design–not be the focus.
  3. To submit your design to win, you need to add it to our Design Gallery. Make sure to choose “Vintaj Stained Glass 2013″ from the seasonal options when you upload your design–that’s important! When you’re finished, your design should show up with all the other Stained Glass Window designs.
  4. There will be three winners. First prize is a $100 Lima Beads gift certificate. Second prize is a $50 gift certificate. Third prize (you guessed it) is a $25 gift certificate.
  5. Winners will be chosen based on a combination of how many times their design was viewed and favorited–the most popular designs win!
  6. All designs must be submitted to the gallery by 11:59pm US Eastern time on September 20th, 2013. The winners will be announced a week later.
  7. The MOST IMPORTANT rule is this: Be yourself, get inspired, and have fun!

Give us YOUR take with Fresh Picks

During the contest (now through 9/20), you can also create Fresh Picks with the Stained Glass window theme. Just select the “Vintaj Stained Glass 2013″ seasonal promo for the picks you create, and they’ll show up on the contest page. If you’ve never made a Fresh Pick before, don’t worry… it’s easy! To make it even better, Vintaj is holding their own contest centered around Stained Glass Fresh Picks. Head over to the Vintaj blog and submit one of your picks for the chance to win!

Thanks and Good Luck!

We want to thank all the beaders out there that make these contests fun. And, of course, we want to thank Vintaj for partnering up with us. You can leave any questions

Craft Nite (round 2) With Chain Maille!

Posted by Kate on May 23 at 02:47 pm

The two things that stress me out the most here in bead-land are probably the mere mention of seed beads (we carry over 1100!) and/or chain maille. There’s so many LITTLE pieces! My fine motor skills have never been stellar (though I can type 75 wpm, does that count?) and all these little rings and beads can feel overwhelming. Anyone else get anxiety like that??

So when Kadie told me we were launching Weave Got Maille kits and suggested we try it out for another craft night, I was a little dubious. But as I considered her proposal, I figured this was something I could handle. After all, a kit has all the materials you’d need to make the picture on the box AND it has step by step instructions. (Also, they are bracelet-making kits, so I hoped to have a finished product in no time. It helps to have that positive sense of accomplishment early on when pursuing something new).

 

Challenge Accepted

Craft Night supplies

*Note: do not wreck your chain nose pliers by trying to pry off a bottle cap, please use a bottle opener for safety ;-)

Kadie and I gathered our materials and because of the SUPER nice Michigan weather we’ve been having, we sat out on my front porch. People watching, pizza eating, and chain-mailling ensued. :) We noticed there was no warning on the kits for Beginner, Advanced, or Expert– so we had no choice but to jump right in and select a kit based solely on looks. Kadie chose the Byzantine bracelet because she liked the intricacies of the rings connecting. I chose the Shaggy Loop bracelet because it had seed beads in it (kill two birds with one stone right!?).

 

Jump Rings!Now, I must admit, beading outside was THE BEST. Fresh air, friendly folks, birds singing, and being so close to the green grass helped me totally forget how crazy all these tiny pieces make me. I know, I know, folks often feel most comfortable in their little beading den, which is fine. But have you ever been outside? It’s great. I took a tip from one of our customers and brought out an old cookie sheet. Because my kit had the seed beads, I also brought out a dishtowel to serve as my beading mat (pretty inventive, right?). Being overwhelmed by the sizes, gauges, and types of jump rings was totally cut out of the picture with these kits. Upon opening, we found each type of ring in its own separate bag– made organization so easy! Then, my favorite part…the directions!! All we had to provide were the pliers. Kadie and I found ourselves using a mish-mash of different types of pliers, but decided using chain nose pliers without ridges was the best. It seriously cut down on ‘marring’ the rings. (At one point I started in with a pair of pliers from my travel tool box– thanks, Dad!– and while they held the rings well, the “grips” on there really dug into the jump rings).

Down to Business

Kadie's off to a great start!Kadie got off to a great start. With over 200 rings before her and a first instruction of “open all your jump rings,” she was a little exasperated. But WOW. Be sure to listen to that first instruction! It makes it so much easier to get into a groove while chain maille-ing! It seemed like a silly instruction– and why not open while you go?– trust us, these Weave Got Maille people know what they’re doing! My kit didn’t have nearly as many rings as Kadie’s, but it did have the seed beads. I actually snatched a few other colors from Lima Beads’ stash because I wanted to make a Michigan State themed bracelet…so I needed some greens to go with the included whites. :-D

After about an hour, we had definitely made some progress: all our jump rings had been opened, we started in on the patterns given us, AND we had nearly polished off a whole pizza (mmmm!). Alas, the sun was setting so we had to move the operation indoors. My living room coffee table hosted our very portable cookie sheet cum beading tray and we were back at the assembly.

Using pliers

Kate, trying not to go cross-eyed and facing her fears!

 Wrap Up

All in all, these little kits were great. It provided all materials (except pliers). It explained things clearly. And it made some pretty fancy looking jewelry! A mere three hours and what an accomplishment! Kadie thinks her bracelet was a little more difficult than mine… because it involved a little extra ‘weaving’ rather than just open/close of the jump rings. However, the instructions taught her how to do it. If a couple of novices could handle it, I think you can too! If you’ve ever been curious about chain maille, but overwhelmed by where to start, these little kits will set you up right and get you on the path to making your own tie-dyed-t-shirt (thanks, Pinterest!) in no time!! (No joke- we’ve got tons of multi-colored rings, perfect for a tie-dye project!)

Craft Nite Success!

Happy crafting!

Easter Egg Hunt Winners

Posted by Matt on April 01 at 01:55 pm

We’ve been thrilled with the response to this year’s Easter Egg Hunt. Looking back, adding 100 more eggs made hunting more fun given the enormity of our site. If we keep growing, who knows, you could be looking for even more eggs in years to come! I think we’ll have to start hiding them in January if that’s ever the case. :)

We truly enjoy doing fun things like this on our site. Whether it’s the Crossword Sale in January, weekly Lunch Specials or the Big Green Bead Machine, there are lots of unique and interesting ways for you to save on beads. Stay tuned to see what we’re cooking up for the future.

Fun Facts

This year's most clicked egg

All of the eggs were found at least once. The hardest egg was only found once. I’d tell you where it was, but I think we’ll save that one for next year. :)

The egg clicked by the most hunters was the one on the main beads page. We were a little surprised that the giant egg on the home page that said “Click me to begin” wasn’t the most clicked…

The most talked about egg was the one hidden in the search engine. All you had to do was search for “Egg.” 702 of you found this one.

Is it an understatement to say that the check marks were a welcomed addition?

Here are a few more locations I had a lot of fun hiding.

This Year’s Winners

Congratulations to everyone who ended the hunt on the Leaderboard. As promised, we’ll be sending all of you a $20 gift certificate to Lima Beads.

We were watching the top ten intently throughout the hunt. It goes without saying that those hunters were determined to have their name in the hat for the grand prize. Speaking of, the winner of the $250 Grand Prize is… Hilda M! You can see a video of Kadie drawing her name out of an empty Twizzlers box on our Facebook page.

Gift certificate winners, keep your eyes peeled for an email from us in the next 24 hours!

Thanks for participating in this year’s Easter Egg Hunt. It’s going to be hard to beat, but we’ll give it our best in 2014. I love playing the Easter Bunny and look forward to stumping you all again.

Easter Egg Hunt 2013

Posted by Matt on March 25 at 07:57 am

Easter Egg Hunt 2013

The time has come for the 5th annual Easter Egg Hunt at Lima Beads! There are more prizes than ever, including more than $2,000 in gift certificates. We’ve also made the hunt a little easier and more fun by scattering double the number of eggs across our site. Read more about the hunt below, or check out the Hunt Page to get started!

The Basics

We’ve scattered 200 eggs across all corners of our website. The more eggs you find, the more prizes you get! We have a leaderboard to track the progress of hunters from all over the world, and the top hunters will all get gift certificates this year! The hunt lasts all week, and ends at 11:59pm Pacific time on Easter (March 31).

The Prizes

We have 5 different levels of prizes this year, including some great bonus prizes. You have to find at least 10 eggs to get your first prize, and you can unlock additional prizes after finding 25, 50, 75, and 100 eggs (for seriously insane egg hunters only) :) As a bonus this year, we’re giving away a $20 gift certificate to every single hunter on the leaderboard when the hunt ends. This means we’re giving away at least 100 gift certificates! Keep an eye on the leaderboard and read more about the prizes on the Hunt page.

The Rules

We have detailed rules and some FAQs on the hunt page, so we suggest you check those out. There are a few things we want you to know, however. When you place an order to redeem your prizes, normal shipping rates apply (as low as $2 for U.S. customers). We have lots of great gifts this year, but we can’t guarantee they will all be available when the hunt ends on Sunday. So place your orders early to make sure you get the gifts you want!

What are you waiting for? Start hunting!

Introducing: WoolyWire!

Posted by Ali on February 28 at 02:32 pm

Nellie ThomasNew to our Artists line up, from a little fiber arts studio in Lexington, Kentucky, comes Nellie Thomas and WoolyWire. When I first saw these creations, I was immediately drawn to the vibrant colors and funky style of this 24-gauge fiber-wrapped wire. So many ideas swimming in my head on how to use this and incorporate into my design work! Spin-Culture studios sources the raw-wool, freshly sheared, and washes, cards, dyes, and spins it into the most delicious looking yarns. The genius behind all this is felting the yarn to a length of 24 gauge craft wire. Beautiful color throughout a project or as accents along the way. I am swooning.

Thanks to technology, we were able to conduct a long-distance interview from Ann Arbor to Lexington to get the scoop on Nellie the artist and her world of fiber arts.

Q. What drew you to spinning?

A. One reason I love spinning is because I enjoy playing with all of the different textures. There are so many different types of textures to play with when using a number of different breeds of sheep and other various textiles.  I also enjoy how the experience while spinning can be somewhat versatile; I can either relax and have a zen like experience of just making the same motions with my hands while not really having to focus on anything specific, basically enjoying it for the pure pleasure of spinning…and yet I can also be creative with it and let my mind run in different directions with ideas of how to create new types of yarn and spinning methods.

 

Q. What are your favorite colors? least favorite colors?

A. I would say my fave colors are within the blue/green spectrum…my least fave is pastel/cotton candy pink.

Q.  Do you have any pets we should know about?

A. I have one cat named Chloe and is all black and she is my cat pretty much. There is also a dog here in the house which is my mom’s named Casey…she’s a German Shepard.

spinning wheel and dog

Casey supervises the day's work

 

Q. What is your favorite hobby besides the fiber arts?

A. I haven’t had a chance to do this much recently, but I really enjoy playing pool (billiards)

 

Q. Where do you find your inspiration?

A. I would have to say helping people to find their creative outlet inspires me. When people tell me they are learning how to spin, or how to do something particular with fiber prep, or learn how to knit– that sort of stuff really makes me happy to help them to be able to accomplish their creative endeavor. I’m not really sure why..I guess I have just found spinning/finding my creative outlet has affected my life in so many good ways that I’m happy to see it might do the same for others.

 

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to talk to a passionate person about their passion…read Nellie’s final comments to our Q&A session:

“My enjoyment isn’t only derived from spinning/knitting. I really love doing what I need to do to prep the fiber also.  I love dyeing because it gives me a chance to play with a bunch of different colors and see the effects the dye takes on different fibers and mixing with different colors. I also love making the batts because I feel like I can get really creative playing with the different colors and fibers when I apply them onto the carder.  I even like getting the raw fleeces and washing them and seeing how beautiful the fiber comes out– especially the really nice fleeces like the long teeswater locks which reach up to 12″+! It’s a real treat to see this amazing fiber in person which is actually quite rare and hard to find in the U.S.  It is also a treat to be able to use that fleece to spin with and to create special yarns you normally can’t make with any other fleece (like the extreme tailspinning).  Something about doing everything from scratch (i.e. getting the raw fleece and processing it) is just exciting to me because first I really enjoy just the naturalness of it all to begin with, and then to turn that into something that is so different from what it started out as and knowing that you were a part of that…I just really love that.”

We just really love WoolyWire! Check it out and let us know what you think. Can’t wait to start seeing pieces pop up in the Design Gallery… In fact, I was so excited about this particular launch, I posted a few ideas, to get your creative juices flowing (earrings & bracelet). Check ‘em out. Tell me what you think!

Crossword Puzzle Wrap-Up

Posted by Steve on February 04 at 02:28 pm

Another January has finally passed us by, meaning only one thing. We’re just that much closer to Spring! I can hope, can’t I? :) That’s probably not why you’re reading thing post, though… So I’ll get right to the point.

Winners Announced

Announcing the Winners…

Bonus!We had lots and lots of people take time to solve this year’s Crossword Puzzle, and we’ve shipped out tons of free gifts. But there are only 3 $50 Gift Certificates to hand out, and I want to announce the winners here. The winners were selected at random from the entire list of people who solved the puzzle. And the winners are…

  • Lee from Reno, NV
  • Nancy from Port Hadlock, WA
  • Cheryl from Cascade, WI

I’ll be e-mailing you the gift certificates personally today. So keep an eye on your inbox!

A Big Thanks…

We are always surprised by how many people take time out of their busy lives to fill out a crossword puzzle about beads. We want you to know that it would be impossible for us to have fun promotions like this without beaders like you. So, from the bottom of our Lima Hearts, thank you!

We’ve got some more fun on the horizon, too. You have all probably noticed that we have Free Shipping February going on… And I just looked at the calendar, and noticed that Easter is really early this year. You know what that means :)

Kate & Kadie Craft Nite

Posted by Kate on January 31 at 01:45 pm

I think it’s fair to say that Ali has earned her position as “Creative Director” here at Lima Beads, right? We’re all pretty enamored with the designs, concepts, and color pairings she comes up with. Sometimes, though, I look out into our warehouse at all these components, just begging to be made into a beautiful piece of jewelry and I think, “What can I make outta this?!” I tend to be all thumbs when it comes to the fine-motor skills of jewelry making. Not to mention (ask Kadie) my attention span is somewhat lacking in the length department.

A Craft Nite is born

Kadie and I decided it was time to put some of these tips, techniques and design inspirations to the test by holding our own crafting night to see if a) we could follow directions enough to make something someone might actually want to wear; and b) see if Kate could actually finish a project instead of hiding one more half-finished project under the living room coffee table…

We started by picking a project: the Anchor Bracelet. Nautically themed & classy. Our friends at TierraCast had posted a video to YouTube teaching us how to make a couple knots and voila! An easy 5-minute bracelet! (In actuality it took Kadie the prescribed 5 minutes, while Kate spent most of the time trying to select which color leather cord to use…her total time came to approx 13-minutes. But no crying! So that’s good :) ).

It just feels good to actually get a project completed, doesn’t it? Sometimes I feel like we all need a little “quick and easy” project to re-calibrate our creativity and talents. To get us over any lingering “winter-blahs”. Or to simply have a starting point from which to embellish and re-invent. So, I know it’s a little late (the first month, nearly over), but Kate & Kadie craft nights are going to be our New Year’s resolution. To try to carve out time from our busy day-jobs and get crafty ;) What’s your favorite Q&E project? Or is that asking to reveal too great of secret?

Here’s the video from TierraCast on how to make the soon-to-be-very famous Anchor Bracelet:

And here’s Kadie following instructions like a pro:

Our finished products:

 

What you’ll need to make the bracelet:

1.5mm leather cord

 
A TierraCast Anchor pendant (antique brass, gunmetal, antique silver)


A large hole bead (we found the bead used in the video to be a little too small). Here’s our suggestion:

 

A dab of Hypo Cement (or any other adhesive)

 

The Crossword Sale is Back

Posted by Steve on January 03 at 12:48 pm

The 4th Annual Crossword Sale at Lima Beads is back… so get ready for a new sale every day in January!

Crossword Sale

The Details

We’ve built a crossword puzzle with 31 hints, one for each day of the month. Every day, we’ll reveal a new answer that tells you which products are on sale that day (if the answer is “purple,” you’ll save on all purple beads!) If you print the puzzle and solve it ahead of time, you’ll have a preview of all the remaining sales. The sales only last 24 hours each, but as long as you add an item to your shopping bag on the day of the sale, you’ll have 7 days to complete your purchase and get the reduced price. But don’t wait too long–these prices are while supplies last!

The Bonus…

There’s also a bonus for solving the entire puzzle, just like last year. Unscramble a hidden message in the puzzle and get a prize! You’ll have to solve the puzzle to see what’s behind the curtain though, so grab your pencil and check it out.

Bonus!The BONUS Bonus…

Just like last year, we have an extra bonus. Every beader who unscrambles the secret hidden message mentioned above will be entered to win one of three $50 Gift Certificates to our shop. Just enter the correct answer on the Crossword page, and you’re automatically entered to win.

Follow Along!

You can follow along with all the sales over on the Crossword Puzzle page. And if you have questions or comments, just leave them below!

Introducing: Liz Chumtong, of Saki Silver

Posted by Kate on November 15 at 01:57 pm

Saki SilverHear Ye, Here Ye

Today is a big day. We’re introducing a new Artist to our line-up and she’s got a suitcase full of really cool metal pieces with her. You may have heard of Saki Silver by name before, but you’re in luck today because we’ve got an exclusive interview with the Sultina of Silver, all the way from Thailand: Liz Chumtong.

The Meat & Potatoes

Q. What sort of pieces/offerings should we be expecting from the Saki line?

A. White bronze is our new feature! It looks a lot like silver but is half the price. It blends well with other metals, so people are really enjoying it’s versatility. And we are always working on new designs. This spring we’ll bring out a new line of charms, as well as some fun new earring findings.

 

Q. What exactly does “metal working” (“silver smith-ing”?) entail?

A. There are many facets to what we do. The first step is to design a piece and get a master made. This can entail hours, even days working on one piece by hand, getting it just right. There are 3 of us who design and often times we collaborate. Sometimes the process is as simple as drawing a design and getting a wax mold carved, and we just cast from that. Most of our findings are made using lost wax casting, and then hand finished. The earwires are made by hand so that requires our silversmiths to do a lot of tedious work, as they make each tiny ball one by one, and solder them to the wire. My sister-in-law, P Boo, makes the majority of the earwires.

 

Q. We’ve been seeing the word “Shibuichi” more and more in our jewelry world. What’s the big deal??

A. Shibuichi is a copper/silver alloy that has been used in Japan since the 8th century for jewelry making. It has become popular in the art jewelry world because it is so unusual in color, and the finish can vary depending on how it’s made. I think most of us learned from artist Bob Burkett, who has been making shibuichi for many years, and he’s always very generous in sharing his expertise. At our studio, Nui is the shibu master, and no one touches it but him.

 

Q. Waking up every day facing mounds of metal, what things keep you inspired and fresh in your designs?

A. My inspiration comes from all over. Sometimes  I awake at 3AM and have a design I need to sketch. Sometimes I get architectural books, or other design books for reference. And sometimes designs pop in my head, like one day I was at the beach with the kids, and I ended up designing a line inspired by water and bubbles and waves.

Sometimes I ask my head silversmith to come up with something new and interesting, and the things he comes up with!!!! He’s very creative and isn’t exposed much to the US bead market, so his perspective is fresh and very unique.

 

Q. OK, quick! The first three things that come to mind when you hear the word “SILVER”:

A. This is a tough one. But honestly: Saki, Family, Life

This word is very powerful for me. It’s how I met my husband, Sak, selling silver on the street. It’s how I raised my children, and it’s my passion. I remember the first time I walked into a wholesale silver shop in Bangkok as a teenager. I thought, “This is what I want to do”. I remember how inspired I was by all the beautiful designs, as well as by the sheer magnitude of the shop itself. It’s still how I feel when I walk down the aisle at a bead show, and I’m just thankful to be a part of it.

 

Q. If you weren’t in the business you’re in, what would you do? (AKA what are your other hobbies & passions)

A. Sak has had a life long dream of creating a “chill lounge” on the beach in Thailand, and he has, in fact, just opened one on a small island in southern Thailand. So for now I’m here running the business, but once the kids are grown, you just might find me on that same beach, and if it had to be something other than jewelry, I’d probably have a restaurant with lots of organic, homegrown veggies and home-raised chicken, and fresh seafood right from the ocean.

 

Last but not least,

Q. If you played Major League Baseball, what would your “coming up to bat” song be?

A. Here’s where you’ve got me! I don’t know what that means but I’m guessing it means what song pumps me up and inspires me. Ohhh so many. Sak loves music so we have a massive music library, with lots of world music and every other kind you can think of! Here are a few that have always made me want to get up and conquer the world!

  • Boom Boom Pow
  • Eye of the Tiger
  • I Did it My Way

And there you have it, folks.

Complete with a mini iPod playlist– if you’ve ever wondered what makes the Saki world go round, you’ve heard it here first. And don’t forget to check out our selection of Saki Silver!

Signing off,

Kate, World-Wide-Reporter-Extraordinare

Scream Week 2012 Wrap-Up

Posted by Steve on November 01 at 02:56 pm

After a week of free gifts, a Fresh Pick contest, super scary deals, and too much candy, I think we all had a fun Scream Week. Agreed? But before we jump into the next season, we want to thank you for creating those freaky Fresh Picks and uploading your Halloween designs that were on parade all week. They were awesome!

Fresh Pick Contest Winners

We had a TON of entries in the Fresh Pick contest this year, and the winning entries are in… drum roll, please!

Best Composition: “Wolfen” by Gina P – Delta Chick

We love this shimmering pick by Gina P – Delta Chick! The cool colors of the night aren’t traditional Halloween colors, but definitely speak to the spooky feel of October. There’s an eerie balance to this pick that ties everything together. Love it!

Best Costume: “Iron Man” by Lady425 aka Beth

I’ve seen the Iron Man movies, and I even know one 4-year-old that dressed up as Iron Man for Halloween yesterday. But I definitely didn’t see this one coming… Lady425 aka Beth really built a crime-fighting superhero robot here! Her meticulous choices and vision for the pick led the Lima Team to nominate Iron Man for Best Costume.


Scariest Story or Poem: “Spiders Lair” by Daisy Chick – Dawn

Let’s face it, poetry is hard to write… but Daisy Chick – Dawn makes it look easy. We loved the spooky rhythm of the poem that accompanied her pick… and the beads as well! Our favorite thing about the poem was the personification of the spider–it brings her deceptive face to life!


People’s Choice: “Headless Horseman” by J Shane

The people have spoken… and J Shane’s Headless Horseman pick is the winner of the People’s Choice award! We have to agree… this is a beautiful pick! If it hadn’t won People’s Choice, I have to admit I would have voted it for the Best Composition prize. Lovely colors, theme & arrangement.

The winners will receive their $25 Gift Certificate code in an email from me within the next few hours. Thanks for playing along this year! We can’t stress enough that you all are the ones that make this possible. Thank you!

Onward to November

The Lima Team took a short lunch yesterday to share some homemade (and some store-bought) spooky treats with each other. There were some graveyards, pumpkins, severed fingers, orange & black spreads, and more. We got to talking about dressing up when we were kids, and we dug up a few pictures to share. Enjoy! And thanks for another fun Scream Week!

Matt dressed up Frankenstein

Matt dressed up Frankenstein

Kate as Peter Pan

Kate as Peter Pan... she never wants to grow up!

Steve as He-Man

Steve as He-Man

Scream Week: Fresh Pick Contest

Posted by Steve on October 25 at 01:56 pm

Hulk SmashPart of the fun of Halloween is to show off your creepy, creative ideas… from decorations to costumes to jewelry. If you’re feeling extra creepy this year, then this contest is for you! The rules are simple, and the prizes are sweet (even sweeter than junior’s Halloween candy).

Make a Fresh Pick and Win

Conjure up those ghost stories, costumes, and creepy color combos… and make a Fresh Pick to share them with everyone! We’ll pick 4 winners from the Fresh Picks submitted as a comment to this blog post (instructions are below). One winner will be chosen for each of these four themes:

  • Best Composition: The overall composition is one of the most important qualities of a beautiful Fresh Pick. Creating the best possible color & texture arrangement (with a Halloween theme, of course) is key to winning this category.
  • Coolest Costume: Were you a crayon? A princess? A robot? A superhero? Show off by making a Fresh Pick inspired by your costume idea. Sure, colors are important… but try and tell more about the costume through the items you choose.
  • Scariest Story or Poem: Everyone loves a good ghost story (*ahem* most of the time). We’ll read your description that you add to your Fresh Pick. It could be a scary story, a tale about your favorite childhood Halloween memory, a poem (that you write yourself), or pretty much any type of Halloween prose.
  • People’s Choice: We’ll total up the number of favorites that each Fresh Pick entry receives… and the one with the most favorites will be the People’s Choice winner! Make sure your vote is counted by going to the Fresh Pick and marking your favorites.

Now, for the important part… :)

Annie OakleyThe Prizes

The winner of each theme will receive a $25 Lima Beads gift certificate. You can use it to buy anything from our shop!

When you’re ready to submit your Pick, just select it from the drop-down menu in the comment form below. You’ll be able to choose from your 10 most recent picks. Choose the one that you’d like to submit to the contest and “Voila!” Not sure what a Fresh Pick is? Find out how to Design Your Own Fresh Picks!

Here are a few final ground rules before you get started:

  • There will be 3 submissions allowed per person. If you make more than that, only your most recent 3 will be counted. You don’t have to match your picks with the themes above–you can do all costumes, all stories, or a mix of everything. Just remember, 3 is the limit!
  • All Picks must be submitted as a comment on this blog post by Wednesday, October 31st at midnight.
  • You can win up to one gift certificate per person.
  • The Lima Beads team will pick the winners on Thursday, November 1. The People’s Choice winner will be selected by the number of favorites received. The winners will be announced here on the blog.

OK, get picking! Good luck!

Calling All Spooky Designs & Picks!

Posted by Kevin on October 18 at 02:31 pm

Halloween is almost here, which means that Scream Week will be starting soon at Lima Beads. As usual, we’ll have some fun & spooky things planned, but we need your help! We want to showcase Halloween themed designs and fresh picks and maybe even have a little contest…

We need your designs!

When you’re ready, upload your Halloween-themed jewelry designs to the Design Gallery and/or create your spooky Fresh Picks. Be sure to select “Halloween 2012″ during the process so we know to include it in the Scream Week festivities :) If you’ve never done this before, don’t worry–it’s super easy. You can make sure your Fresh Pick is part of the “Halloween 2012″ promo right from the My Fresh Picks page. And for designs in the Design Gallery, you’ll see that choice right on the form you fill out to upload your design.

I’ll leave you with a picture of a few spooky designs and picks from last year… and get ready for another fun week!

Spooky 2011 Designs and Fresh Picks

Fossil Day 2012 Sale

Posted by Steve on October 17 at 08:00 am

I was seven years old when I went to school and told my second grade teacher that I wanted to be a paleontologist. I don’t know if it was the books, the movies, the Discovery Channel, or the inflatable pterodactyl in my bedroom… but something about fossils and dinosaurs was fascinating to me.

So, I didn’t become a paleontologist, but that doesn’t mean I can’t work with fossils every day :) And there is no excuse not to celebrate National Fossil Day on October 17th here in the US. For three days only, we’re putting all fossils and fossil-like items on sale! This includes a bunch of fossil coral, turritella agate, ammonite, and more up to 20% off. Fossils might last, but these prices won’t! The sale ends Friday night (Oct 19) at midnight.

Check out the items on sale!

Fossil Day 2012

Encourage Curiosity and Creativity!

Resin or Dinosaur Eggs?

Leftover resin? Or dinosaur eggs??

For me, it started with curiosity about T-Rex and his pal Stegosaurus. For someone else, a passion might be sparked by an art exhibit, film festival, math problem, or a mountain range. The other day, I found some leftover resin from Kate’s Wine Party project and it reminded me of dinosaur eggs captured in time. You never know what will inspire you! Head over to the National Fossil Day website to learn more, and check out the items on sale today thru Friday.

The Re-Purposeful Life

Posted by Kate on October 04 at 01:12 pm

I’m not one to go out and buy the latest and greatest. My friends are amazed I still don’t have a “smartphone” (at least not quite yet!) because my old flip phone still works, why would I need a new one? And I tend to wear the same sneakers until the sole comes apart. And I’m driving an old 1997 Honda Accord (because “Hondas can go til 250K at least!”). Using things until they don’t work any longer is something I inherited from my father (thanks, Dad!). My mother has taken my desire for usefulness to another level, however, and tapped into the other side of the coin: re-purposing.

Re-purposed items

Mom recently sent me an email with some creative ideas on how to re-purpose things that may have fallen out of use the way they were originally intended. I thought I’d share some of them with you here, since we’re of the creative “think outside the box ” type. See anything you might find re-useful? :-)

sink extender pancakes


bagel totecan opener


noodle

vacuum

This will come in handy for our craft, right?!

Lima Outside-the-Box

All this re-purposing got me thinking. How can we re-purpose some of our left over beads that didn’t make it into a project? Ali took some of her odds n’ ends beads, strung them up to create a multi-layer bracelet with that new McLees clasp and she did it again using orphan beads in her leather cuff charm bracelet. What about ways to use beads in other non-jewelry ways? (Gasp?) I asked some of our warehouse packers what they would use our pave collection for, if they weren’t beaders. Here’s a few of their ideas:

  • center piece — fill a small vase as a sparkly centerpiece to come home to on your kitchen table! Buffer tea light candles with pave beads to catch more sparkle during dinner.
  • ponytail holder — tie two pave beads into an elastic (Boston way of saying hair tie/ponytail holder/rubber band) for the Punky-Brewster-style look. A chandelier-like throwback to the 80s!
  • flower pot sparkle — toss a few pave beads into your potted plants so when they catch a bit of sun for photosynthesis, they’ll also catch a little additional sparkle. Match ‘em to the bloom or pick a contrasting color for a little more zing.
  • pen topper — I’ve seen folks create beautiful flower petals out of feathers or even scrap quilting material and then adorn the top of a pen or pencil with the topper. Ever thought of using a pave bead for the “pollen center” of your flower design?
  • charm & ring set

    see, I even re-purposed the chip clip into a vice! Click to see in the Design Gallery!

    wine charms — Little charms like this have been all the rage lately. The problem I tend to experience (and several of my co-workers agree): who can remember what their charm was after all that wine drinking?! So warehouse-picker-extraordinares, Kathleen and Kat, came up with this idea… Take one of our little bezeled adjustable rings and sprinkle some matching glitter in that bezel with some resin. Volia! Just look down at your finger to remember which charmed glass matches!

I guess the famous Shamballa bracelet isn’t the only way to put those paves to work, eh? What’s your favorite “re-purposed” invention?

If you’re feeling sinister…

Posted by Kate on September 27 at 12:04 pm

Truth Time

Halloween is not my favorite holiday. I liked it alright as a child, but I was clearly just in it for the excitement of being allowed to stay up after sundown and collecting FREE Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Now that I can stay up as long as I want any day of the week and I can buy those little magical PB cups during my weekly grocery trips… the holiday has lost some allure for me. But the rest of the Lima Team seems to like the theme quite a bit and I’ve been told I better gear up for something called “Scream Week” (coming soon). I can get pretty jumpy around haunted houses, cemeteries, dark basements… so Scream Week is making me nervous!!

Scary Movies

As you probably can guess after that paragraph, I do not care for scary movies much either. I’ve always considered this a consequence of getting very wrapped up in the story the filmmaker is trying to tell, and when you mix suspenseful scenes with suspenseful music, I’m definitely going to jump a mile when the surprise comes! I know that’s what the filmmaker intends, but I like popcorn too much to keep spilling it all over my couch! However, I can get on board with at least one Halloween-themed movie. My favorite is Hocus Pocus. Bette Midler? Love it. Sarah Jessica Parker in her early days? Refreshing. Talking cat? Wonderful. Set in historical Salem, Massachusetts? Count me in for a nostalgic 90-minute trip to Spookytown. But when it comes down to it, I’m sure I only like the movie because there is some Disney-like musical numbers, including a great rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “I Put A Spell On You.”

 

Scary Beads and Charms

If You're Feeling Sinister Fresh Pick

Click here to see Kate's Fresh Pick

While I’m not always on board for the jump-out-at-you scary, I can appreciate a spooky mood. I created this little Fresh Pick to kick off the “Halloween shopping season.” I like the deep reds and blacks paired with a little hint of lighter blue and white hues– the lighter colors remind us that there is good out there, even in the midst of threatening wickedness. [insert count dracula laugh here]. This fresh pick is intended to inspire you all to start thinkin’ spooky in preparation for Scream Week 2012! Word on the street is that the residents in your favorite trick-or-treating neighborhood have been stocking up. Here are some spooky beads and charms to whet your appetite. Stay tuned!

Guess the Beads Winners Announced…

Posted by Matt on September 14 at 10:35 am

We have our winners for the How Many Beads in the Jar? contest! R Rushka has just won all of the beads in the jar! We didn’t realize it when she first added her comment, but her guess of 1534 was exactly right!

The winner of the $25 Gift Certificate is SCW Designs with 1531! Just over an hour and a half after we posted the contest, I thought for sure her guess would last through the weekend and that she would be the winner of the beads on Monday.

We’re hoping to do more contests in the future, so stay tuned to the blog and our email newsletter for announcements. Thanks so much to everyone who participated and congratulations to our winners.

How Many Beads in the Jar?

Posted by Matt on September 13 at 12:01 pm

If you guess exactly how many beads are in the jar, we’ll give you the entire contents of the jar!

 

The rules are simple:

  • You have until 12pm Eastern Time on Monday, September 17th, 2012 to make your guess(es).
  • Guesses can only be submitted in the comments of this post.
  • The winner will be the closest guess (without going over).
  • If there’s a tie, the earliest entry will be the winner.
  • You can guess up to once per day. At the end of the contest, only your most recent guess will be considered.

The Prize

The winner will receive the entire contents of the jar. There’s no way of knowing the exact dollar value, but guesses around the office have been between $200-$350! Just look at the photo and you’ll see just how much cool stuff is in there! There are agate slabs, pearls, crystal, coral roses, cubic zirconia, lapis, pyrite, fire agate, and much, much more. The winner will also be announced here on our blog by the end of the day on Monday, September 17th.

Also, the first person to guess within 25 beads of the actual amount (either over or under) will receive a $25 gift certificate, so hurry and start guessing, but remember — you only get 1 guess per day!

This entry continues: Read the rest…


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