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Archive: February ’09 on The Blog

How Many Strands in the Bin?

Posted by Matt on February 26 at 12:38 pm

If you guess how many strands are in the bin, we’ll give you a $25 Lima Beads Gift Certificate and a cool rock! Ok, I know a rock doesn’t sound very cool, so I’m going to call it the “Crystal Cavern Geode”. Check out the photo in the prizes section below.

winner

Check out the New Beads!

Check out the New Beads!

The rules are simple:

  • You have until 2pm EST on Monday, March 2, 2009 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.
  • If someone guesses the exact amount, we will announce it immediately. That person will automatically be the winner and the contest will end.

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10 Random Facts

Posted by Kevin on February 23 at 11:31 pm

If you participate in any of the internet social networks, you’ve no doubt see everyone makings lists of random facts about themselves lately . The fun thing about these random facts is that these are usually things about yourself that your co-workers and friends wouldn’t even know. In my case, I had forgotten about most of these things until I actually started to think of random facts about myself. We thought this was fun, so below, you’ll find 10 random things about all of the Lima Team Leaders. Add your 10 random facts in the comments!

Kevin

  1. My first job was “Kevin’s Lawn Service” when I was 10.
  2. In the 7th grade, I trained all summer for a US/Canada swim meet and then broke my arm on the monkey bars the week before the meet.
  3. I love Karate Kid and Back to The Future. A lot.
  4. I tried to break up with Ali in high school and she wouldn’t let me. Thank God. I was such an idiot.
  5. My favorite sport to play is hockey, but I don’t skate very well.
  6. When I was 9 I lost my wallet with $2 in it. I was devastated for weeks.
  7. On my very first day as a lifeguard when I was 15, I almost drowned saving someone.
  8. I know all there is to know about both grandfather and cuckoo clocks.
  9. When I was little, I built an alarm for my closet out of string, wire, tape, a Sony walkman, tin foil, and some old speakers.
  10. I had to write an interview paper in college, but I didn’t have time to interview someone, so I made up a fictional person. I got an A.

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India-cut Stones

Posted by Kevin on February 19 at 02:43 pm

For the next 2 weeks, we’ll be adding awesome India-cut stones to our shop. Some of you will know exactly what to expect when I say India-cut, because there are specific stones that are typically cut in India and they are cut in a distinctive way. For those of you that aren’t familiar with these stones, I wanted to write a bit about them, because we love stones cut in India!

The Gemstones

multi-color moonstone

multi-color moonstone

India factories cut many gemstones, but the ones you see most often are the “premium stones” — stones like: labradorite, peridot, ruby, garnet, emerald, moonstone, fluorite, opal, iolite, and tanzanite. These factories cut these stones to give them an awesome, unique look that you just can’t get anywhere else.

labradorite faceted rondelle

labradorite faceted rondelle

The Cuts

Many of the premium stones above are now being cut in China as well, but you can always tell when a strand has come from India. The factories there have a distinctive cutting style. Many of the stones are hand-cut rather than machine cut. This results in varying shapes and sizes rather than a perfectly uniform strand of beads. If you ask us, it adds a little character to the beads :)

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2009 by the numbers

Posted by Steve on February 17 at 12:00 pm

Last week we had a typical Michigan “heat wave” in the middle of winter… 60 degrees!!! Don’t worry, we’re back to freezing temperatures. But the reminder that Spring is just around the corner got me thinking of what’s been going on at Lima since the new year. Here’s a breakdown!

1700 commentsblue speech bubbleBeaders are a talkative bunch, and we love it! You’ve started hundreds of conversations with our staff and other customers. Are you a long-time listener and first-time caller? :) Let us know what you think and add a comment of your own!

1300 fresh picks created — WOW! We never dreamed that designing your own Fresh Picks fresh pick flowerwould be this big of a hit. This year alone we’ve had over a thousand picks crafted by customers just like you. Thank you!

270 new products — Thursdays have been busy around here with all the new additions to our store. Weeks 1, 3, and 5 were all about gemstone beads. We added some striking new Freshwater Pearls colors in week 2, and some BIG gemstone pendants in week 4.

150 Stampt Metal piecesStampt Butterfly Charmthey’re brand new to the market, and they come in copper, pewter and gold finishes. Don’t miss the cute charms and filigree pieces! See them all!

54 Lunch Specials — every week, 9 new items are on special for Tuesday only. These are fantastic deals on awesome products, Chefs Hatand we even offer FREE beads sometimes! It’s been a huge hit, but you need to sign up to receive the e-mail at your lunchtime on Tuesday!

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Valentine’s Day – Love It or Not?

Posted by Kevin on February 13 at 09:35 pm

Ali and I had our first date on February 3, 1996. We were in high school together, I was a senior, she was a junior. We had a nice date, said goodnight and I went home. The next school week passed without my calling her and we rarely crossed paths in school during the day. The following weekend passed, still I didn’t call her. It’s already been discussed many times that this was STUPID on my part, so trust me, I know what you’re thinking…

Bead Mine!By the time February 13 arrived, I finally realized how dumb I was and redeemed myself by asking her out for Valentine’s Day. She said yes and well, the rest is history. I found out later that in the time between our first date and my eventual call, she told all her friends I was a big jerk and that she’d never go out with me again even if I did call. She must be all talk because it only took her about 3 seconds to say yes to a second date :)

Ever since this first Valentine’s day redemption date, we’ve always celebrated the day. I’ve always liked Valentine’s day. I remember in elementary school, for the first 2 weeks of February, the students ran a “post office” to deliver valentines between the classes. I wasn’t exactly a ladies man in elementary school, so I never got many valentines, but my mom always came up to school and sent me one through the post office to make sure I had at least one to open.

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Favorite Fresh Picks – Feb. 11, 2009

Posted by Ali on February 11 at 03:45 pm

Lots of green this time! Check out the top 10 most visited Fresh Picks from the past 2 weeks below. We’ve added the number of comments for each Fresh Pick to the list. Click on them to check out the conversation! Also, don’t forget to vote for your favorite.

These are the most visited Fresh Picks from the past 2 weeks:

Sea Spray by kcdesigns

Sea Spray by kcdesigns

Sea Spray by kcdesigns – I love how you chose to mix up the pattern, transparency, and shape/size of stones rather than the color. Our green fluorite and variscite are 2 of my favs for spring.  They remind me of a vacation at the beach, which is probably why everyone is so drawn to this pick.  The Vintaj pieces that you chose are the perfect complement for this combination.  I think if I were to make a necklace or bracelet with this fresh pick I would need to add some biwa pearls for “spray”.

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Why I Love the Bus

Posted by Matt on February 09 at 10:57 am
The Bus Stop

The Bus Stop

When I first started at Lima Beads, I would drive about 45 minutes to work, then park at the closest parking ramp. It was only about a 15-mile drive, but with rush hour traffic, it would end up being about an hour from when I got into my car to when I sat down at my desk. Not only was I wasting two hours every day trying to get to and from work, it was costing me about $10 a day for gas and parking. 

I bet a good majority of you are shaking your heads right now. Either you’re shaking it side to side in disbelief or up and down in a “I can totally relate” kind of way. Chances are, most of you can relate to my situation in some way.

I wouldn’t say that I’m a penny pincher, but most of my co-workers would agree that I don’t like to spend my money on silly things like six-dollar mochas or twelve-dollar lunches. So, when I was spending close to eight dollars a day to park my car, I knew I had to figure out some other way to get downtown.

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And the Oscar goes to… Lima!

Posted by Steve on February 06 at 12:38 pm

For all the movie fans out there, February is Oscars month. And we thought we’d have a little fun by putting Lima on the red carpet! Try and solve the puzzle below by dragging and rearranging the squares to reveal the hidden scene… there’s a prize waiting for you if you succeed! UPDATE: The prize expired on 2/9/09, but you can still have fun solving the puzzle!

Number of tries: 0

Did you solve it? How many tries did it take? :)

Bonus question: what’s your vote for Best Picture this year? Tell us in the comments!

Spring Trends – To Follow or Not

Posted by Ali on February 04 at 07:51 pm

I like fashion and funky patterns and bright colors. I love John Galliano and Betsy Johnson. I like making something unexpected out of something expected. I love surprises in designs that you don’t notice right away but when you do, it’s special. I enjoy reading blogs and articles related to the fashion industry.  These things definitely affect my designs, but do I follow what I see and read or do I take my own path?

Let’s talk about what’s hot for Spring 2009:

  • chunky drop earrings
  • structured necklaces close to the neckline – almost like chokers, but not. Some call these bib necklaces.
  • colored stones – mixing colors, going bold and bright with your selections.
  • yellow gold – Not something I’ve ever used a lot of, but I think I’m going to order some gold findings and see what happens.
  • oversized necklaces
  • geometric shapes
  • multi everything – multi layered, multi textured, multi strand
  • clusters of pendants or charms or filigree – this is very open to interpretation (this is my favorite, I made a necklace in October knotting different pieces to chain)
  • Renaissance style carvings – cameos, intaglios.  Sounds like it’s time to go antiquing, yeah!
Mimosa Tree

Mimosa Tree

Pantone has named Mimosa as the color for 2009.  It is a fun energizing shade of yellow – this color could make anyone happy.

They have also named the colors for Spring 2009.  They remind me a mix of crocuses, hyacinths, grass, daisies and hope – for the cold to be gone.

As beaders, we have to balance an awareness of color and style trends with our own creativity. If we follow the trends too closely, we risk not being unique. If we ignore them completely, we risk reduced sales of our jewelry to fashion conscious buyers :)

Pantone Spring Trend Colors

Pantone Spring Trend Colors

I’ve always tried to use fashion trends as loose guidelines and put them in the back of my mind. I let them help me make design decisions, but I don’t allow them to define my direction.

We’d love to hear what you have to say about Spring 2009:

  • What will your inspiration be?
  • Which spring colors will you be loving?
  • Will you focus on necklaces, bracelets, earrings….? We’ve noticed a lot of people making more earrings.
  • What do you think of the direction of fashion right now? Too many 80s flashbacks to handle?
  • Have you started on spring designs? Show us photos!

Favorite Vacation Spots?

Posted by Kevin on February 02 at 04:03 pm

I need a vacation. Not just a weekend getaway — a no cell phone, no laptop, no worries, walking on the beach, napping in a hammock, sipping a less-than-manly tropical cocktail kind of vacation.

On the ferris wheel, Navy Pier, Chicago, 2004.

On the ferris wheel, Navy Pier, Chicago, 2004.

5 years ago this June, Ali and I were married. Our wedding was in northern Michigan in a town called Sutton’s Bay. We only had time for a short 4 day honeymoon in nearby Chicago. On the way from our wedding to Chicago, we came through Ann Arbor to stop by our apartment and pack up the few Lima Beads orders that had come in over the previous 2 days. We drove them to Chicago with us and mailed them from a downtown post office. This was our last real vacation and we feel like we still need to go on a proper honeymoon.

We haven’t taken a vacation since then. It’s been 5 long years filled with hard work, home remodeling, and having a baby. All of those things are wonderful and we’re very thankful for them, but now we’re ready for a nice vacation! I don’t even know where to begin. Lima Beads is still a pretty small company, so we can’t be away for too long, but I think we could manage 10-12 days. Living in Michigan, we would love to go somewhere tropical during the winter months. During the summer months, we’d like to visit a place where we can be surrounded by nature and hike, camp, and bike.

What are you favorite vacation spots? Any suggestions for us? Photos to share?

We haven’t made any solid plans yet, but we need to do something in the next year or I think we just might go a bit crazy.


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