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Archive: March ’09 on The Blog

Beating Creative Block

Posted by Steve on March 26 at 10:08 am

Anyone who’s reading this right now has probably experienced “creative block.” If you haven’t, you’re either lying or I really want to meet you! :) No matter what you’re designing–a necklace, Lima line drawinga bedroom, a dessert platter, or lesson plans for an 8th grade literature class–chances are, you’ll have to get un-stuck some point.

This happens to me all the time while I’m working on the Lima Beads web site. I mean, there are only so many times I can draw the Lima Guy before I start running out of ideas! There are creative minds all around me, but sometimes I just need to bear down and beat the block.

Here are five tips from my experience.

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Garden of Fresh Picks

Posted by Ali on March 25 at 04:58 pm

I was reading The Garden to Payton yesterday and for some reason I started thinking about Fresh Picks and how they are used.

The Garden by Shel Silverstein

(from Where the Sidewalk Ends pg 61)

Ol’ man Simon, planted a diamond,
Grew hisself a garden the likes of none.
Sprouts all growin’, comin’ up glowin’,
Fruit of jewels all shinin’ in the sun.
Colors of the rainbow,
See the sun and rain grow
Sapphires and rubies on ivory vines,
Grapes of jade, just
Ready for the squeezin’ into green jade wine.
Pure gold corn there,
Blowin’ in the warm air,
Ol’ crow nibblin’ on the amnythyst seeds.
In between the diamonds, ol’ man Simon
Crawls about pullin’ out platinum weeds.
Pink pearl berries,
All you can carry,
Put ‘em in a bushel and
Haul ‘em into town.
Up in the tree there’s
Opal nuts and gold pears–
Hurry quick, grab a stick
And shake some down.
Take a silver tater,
Emerald tomater,
Fresh plump coral melons
Hangin’ in reach.
Ol’ man Simon,
Diggin’ in his diamonds,
Stops and rests and dreams about
One…real…peach.

This past week, a lot of the picks have palettes centered around a color theme with a splash of this or that.  Great job, I can’t wait to see how people use them (hint: check out my “Getting Some INK” Blog post)

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Shopping for Space

Posted by Kevin on March 23 at 02:28 pm

Ann Arbor is an old college town. Most of the buildings downtown (including ours) were built in the mid to late 1800s. This means: narrow hallways, steep staircases, no elevators, and lots of character. The character part is what keeps us downtown. Most companies that do any significant amount of shipping and receiving have moved into one of the industrial zones that are 4 to 5 miles outside of the city. Downtown is full of galleries, jewelry stores, musicians, coffee and book shops, students, and any kind of food you want. The Lima team thrives on this energy, so we’d like to stay downtown if we can.

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Getting some Ink

Posted by Ali on March 19 at 02:39 pm

How to submit your designs to magazines

If you are anything like me, you have browsed the beading magazines. My personal favorites are Stringing and BeadStyle. I am more drawn to these 2 mags because the featured designs usually have a nice fashion focus and aren’t too technical. Both Stringing and BeadStyle have projects geared toward the beginning beader as well as longtime beaders interested in stringing and wire wrapping. The projects in either of these mags shouldn’t take more than a few hours for someone to complete. Most of them are from people like you and me that submit their designs in the hopes of being published and inspiring other beaders. Occasionally, the editors and staff at these magazines end up creating pieces to be published because they need something in particular that they weren’t able to find in the submissions. Plus, isn’t it nice to see the editors and staff can design too?

At Lima Beads we get constant requests from people asking how to get their names and designs out there. Hopefully the information we provide today will be helpful.

I spoke with Danielle Fox (editor of Stringing, Beads 2008, & Bead Star magazines), Erin Dolan (editorial assistant at Bead Style Magazine), and Cynthia Thornton (Green Girl Studios & well known jewelry design contributor to magazines). Pooling the knowledge from these 3 was very helpful. I have read the submission guidelines for the magazines in the past and have felt a bit hesitant about sending in my pieces. Do they keep my design forever, will I be rejected, do I get paid, how do I know what they want?
These are all questions I have asked myself and I’m pretty sure you have wondered as well. I am hoping to put all those questions and hesitations to bed.

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Lima Beads on Facebook

Posted by Matt on March 18 at 04:57 pm

lima1

The Lima Beads community just got a whole lot bigger.

We’re so proud of the community that you’ve help us build here at Lima Beads. That’s why we want to share it with the world! What better way to expand our community than on Facebook? It’s the world’s largest social network and the first place people go when they’re trying to find others with similar interests.

Chances are, some of you are already on Facebook. For those of you who aren’t, it’s free and easy to sign up. All you have to do is provide some information about yourself and BAM! you’re ready to start communicating with the world. I have to warn you though, once you sign up, it’s hard to stay away.

To become a fan of Lima Beads, just search for “Lima Beads” on Facebook or follow this link. Click on the link that says “Become a Fan.”

Why Become a Fan?

  • Sneak peeks of new products
  • Never miss a deal
  • Exclusive feature previews
  • New contest announcements
  • Keep up with the Lima Team

If you have any suggestions on other things that you might like to see on our Facebook Page, let us know in the comments below.

Water, Sunsets, Stars, the Woods and Raspberries

Posted by Ali on March 16 at 11:57 am

These are the latest “most popular” Fresh Picks.

Water, Sunsets, Stars, the Woods and Raspberries… Am I missing anything?

Top 10 Favorite Fresh Picks:

  1. Flamingo Green by seashellsally
  2. Bali by Gabrielle L
  3. My Daughter the Mermaid by Cuban Queen
  4. antique green by kcdesigns
  5. Raspberry Delight by Luv2Bead
  6. Fallen by CAS
  7. Camping in the Woods by Ambo
  8. Seaside Starlight by chloe the congo
  9. Perky in Pink by A Golke
  10. Haze Over Sea Waters… by Allure of Gems by Julia
Flamingo Green by seashellsally

Flamingo Green by seashellsally

Flamingo Green – The picture you uploaded is amazing. The peridot tumbled nuggets and the pistachio pearls caught my eye right away and the 2 rhodochrosite beads you chose are just the right amount of flamingo.  I think you really captured the moment in the photo. Maybe a good project/fresh pick inspiration for everyone would be to follow suit and take a favorite moment captured in film and recreate it with beads. HMMMMM I feel a contest coming on.

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Introducing – Fresh Daily Deals

Posted by Kevin on March 12 at 02:18 pm

Introducing Fresh Daily Deals! There are great deals on Brazil sodalite beads at the bottom.

With a handful of our suppliers, it seems that our requested strand quantities are regarded only as suggestions. We request 50 or 100 strands at a time and when the order shows up at The Lima Loft, there might be 500 strands! When this happens, we have a decision to make. Do we keep these extra strands or do we send them back? Often, sending the strands back means shipping them all the way to a factory in China or somewhere else in the world. Since the cost of that is great, many times we decide to keep them all.

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Update: My New Year’s Resolution

Posted by Steve on March 09 at 11:23 am

Hands holding a screenBack in January, the Lima Team declared our resolutions for 2009. Like every year, mine was filled with good intentions: to find something creative, handy, or fun to focus on in my off time. After two months and a lot of television, I finally did something about it, and I thought I’d share the results. The “HGTV Queen” (what I affectionately call Shannon, my girlfriend) wanted to make a 3-panel room divider, so I strapped on my funny looking safety glasses and we got to work.

Cutting the woodAfter a quick sketch and some measurements, we bought the lumber (6-foot pine boards) and began planning the three frames. The 45-degree cuts went fairly well after I ruined the first couple pieces (note to self: check after the first cut next time). We fastened the frames with wood glue, then used screws to reinforce the joints.

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Ann Arbor Fairy Doors

Posted by Ali on March 05 at 12:17 pm
At The Ark

At The Ark

At Lima Beads we love being in downtown Ann Arbor, MI. We love the quirks and artsiness — the things that make us different.  Apparently, so do our neighbors, the friendly neighborhood fairies. No I’m not crazy, the stress of Lima Beads hasn’t done me in, but rather brought back a bit of that childhood creativity and the ability to see…beyond :)

Ann Arbor hasn’t lost its imagination, having welcomed with open eyes and storefronts our resident fairies – The Urban Fairies.

At Sweetwaters

At Sweetwaters

Throughout Ann Arbor’s downtown, children and adults alike can spot miniature doors. These doors are built into the front of buildings, the sides of bookshelves, and even business entry doors. Even Google, upon moving into downtown Ann Arbor last year, installed a fairy door at their office.  A local “non-certified fairyologist”, Jonathan B. Wright and his children first “discovered” a fairy door in their west side home in 1993.  Since the fairies (and local children) liked it so much, the word spread and fairies began taking up residence at local shops and businesses all over downtown.

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And The Winners Are…

Posted by Matt on March 02 at 07:13 pm

We have our winners in the How Many Strands in the Bin contest.

winner

Although no one guessed the exact number of strands in the bin, there were a lot of you that were very close. The correct number of strands in the bin was 592. Now, let’s see who the winners are!

First Place: Brandy B with 591

The winner of the $25 Lima Beads Gift Certificate and the “Crystal Cavern” Geode is Brandy B! She was only one strand away from the correct answer! Congratulations Brandy B!

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An Earthy Palette

Posted by Ali on March 02 at 02:09 pm

Top 10 most visited Fresh Picks:

Illuminated Forest by Cuban Queen

Illuminated Forest – Bright zesty green paired with golden hues, so vibrant and sparkly, shimmering and springy. I like your selection of tiger eye for the gold gemstone, not usually a stone I would pick for a piece of jewelry, but I think you made me have a change of heart.  The gold pieces that you added to this pick are great showstoppers. I can see something made of this combination worn at The Oscars. Love it!

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