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Archive: October ’09 on The Blog

Happy Halloween

Posted by Kevin on October 31 at 08:48 pm

leavesAli and I just got back from trick-or-treating with Payton. It was a perfect Halloween. Cool, crisp air. Orange, red, and yellow leaves strewn about and a couple of neighbors that are really into Halloween. Payton was Snow White this year and I might be biased, but she definitely achieved maximum cuteness. We got all of the usual goodies: M&Ms, Snickers, Twix, Licorice, Milk Duds, and my personal favorite, NERDS. Lucky for me, at only 17 months, she’s not allowed to have much candy.

trickortreating

Our first trick-or-treating

I hope you all had a great Halloween. Now, onward to Thanksgiving…

Halloween Pet Costumes

Posted by Ali on October 30 at 10:44 am

At Lima Beads we thought it might be fun to share our pets’ Halloween costume pictures.

Dakota

Dakota

I can honestly say that we’ve never dressed Dakota up in anything. We’ve tried our T-shirts, bandanas, and booties, but he is never very excited. So when it came time to shop for a costume, I headed to Target. I know a homemade costume would be much cuter, but I barely have time to make a pair of earrings :) I enlisted the help of Payton (17 months old) to choose the right costume. She loves Dakota and loved nothing more than the idea of dressing him up to make him even more furry and cuddly. It came down to a chicken or a squirrel and as you can see, Payton chose the squirrel.

After putting Dakota through all of this without being able to enjoy his candy, I am feeling a little guilty so I was thinking about baking him some fresh doggie treats (recipe courtesy of The Martha Stewart Show October 2009)

Izzy’s Apple Cheddar Dog Biscuits

  • 2 cups barley flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients and about 3 tablespoons water to form a dough. Roll out mixture between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thick; remove plastic wrap and cut out biscuits with a 3 1/2-inch bone-shaped cookie cutter. Reroll scraps and continue cutting out biscuits.
  3. Space biscuits 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until nicely browned and firm.
  4. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack. Turn off oven and place biscuits on wire rack in oven overnight. Remove from oven and store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

The rest of the Lima staff also got in on the action:

Andrew

Sammy

Sammy

This is Sammy, our 5-year old Yorkie. He’s not really the costume type and I couldn’t get anything else on him. Just getting these pics cost me 2 milk bones. I’ve had this candy corn tie forever, which apparently he didn’t mind wearing because it’s similar to a collar. He’s all set for a night on the town.

Matt

Minnie Bunnie

Minnie

Here’s our bunny Minnie! I mean our dog Minnie. Which I think most of you have already met in our “We Love Our Pets” post. She’s generally pretty easy going, so dressing her up in ridiculous costumes is loads of fun. The ashamed look on her face is the only reason we don’t dress her up more often. If she only knew how cute she was…

Steve

Reesey

Reesey

This year, Reesey wanted to have a little more bite with her bark, so we fashioned a tiger dog coat and booties. It was a tight fit, but I think she appreciated the ferocious twist on her typically laid-back personality! That is, until she shook the whole thing off.

You!

Do you have a photo of your pet all dressed up? Submit it in the comments below!

Lima’s Haunted Warehouse

Posted by Andrew M on October 28 at 05:39 pm

Scream Video Just our luck. It’s only been a few months since we moved into our new warehouse and we are already getting calls from our neighbors and the alarm company about strange things happening after dark. As if Scream Week weren’t spooky enough, now we have a potentially haunted warehouse to deal with.

Last night, Steve, Matt and I decided to investigate the disturbances. For the record, I was opposed from the beginning. Ghosts, goblins and ghouls don’t like to be annoyed! Matt brought his video camera to record the evidence and we have posted it below. Just a warning, it’s a little scary!

Trick or Treat? Win a $250 Gift Certificate!

Now it’s YOUR turn to help us investigate. Click the button below to watch the video. At the end, we’ll ask a question about what you saw (or thought you saw). If you get the right answer, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $250 Lima Beads Gift Certificate. Don’t worry if you get it wrong, we’ll give you one more chance to watch the video and look for the answer.

watch scary video

Scream Week is Here!

Posted by Matt on October 26 at 11:01 am

scream-week-banner

Welcome to Scream Week at Lima Beads. All week long, we’ll be handing out deals, steals, and screams right here from the blog. So, stay tuned to the blog all week!

A Sale of Ghastly Proportions!

We’re kicking off the week with a SALE on cubic zirconia, pearls, chain, findings and metal beads! You get 20% off of CZ and pearls and 15% off all chain, findings, and metal beads!

Dare to enter the Scream Machine

Scary DealsOn top of the scary good deals already available, you’ll find that your favorite price-slashing machine has seen a maniacal tune-up by Dr. Steve! That crazy evil scientist has turned our loving little deal creator into the Big Green Scream Machine!

It’s the same machine that we all know and love, with an insane twist: you have only 3 minutes before the timer runs out, instead of the normal 5:00! Also, Dr. Steve has added hundreds of new products to be devoured, I mean delivered, right to your computer. So hurry, the Big Green Scream Machine is set to transform back to its old self at the end of Scream Week.

Crazy Cooking by Chef Lima

Tomorrow, we’re cooking up a frightening menu of Lunch Specials that are sure to make you scream! I don’t want to give anything away, but I can think of a couple of reasons to check out the Lunch Specials this week. If you’re not signed up to receive Lunch Special emails from us, you can sign up here.

And more!

halloween video clipIf by Wednesday you’re ready for more, you won’t want to miss the special halloween video we’ve produced! You’ll have to put your detective hat on to help us find some clues and figure out who, or what, is causing a stir in our warehouse almost every night. And there’s a special twist that you’re sure to love!

Thursdays are always special at Lima, and this Thursday is no exception! Check back for the regular additions (and maybe even some old favorites).

On Friday, Ali’s brewing a fun post that will be sure to have you and your little furry ones howling (or meowing) with laughter. Don’t miss the chance to show off your pets… in costume! Get your photos ready.

candyAnd finally, we’ll be shipping a little “treat” with every order this week. Don’t worry, it won’t bite… it’s just our way of saying THANKS for being a Lima customer!

Enjoy, if you dare!!!!!

Meet the $500 Shopping Spree Winner

Posted by Steve on October 22 at 10:00 am

Shopping Spree for TraciEver since the early days at Lima Beads, we’ve had a $500 shopping spree that we award to a very lucky beader every few months. Last time around, we had the pleasure of calling Traci from Dayton, Ohio to tell her that she was the winner of the shopping spree–and boy, was she surprised! We caught up with Traci over e-mail and she told us a little more about herself. We thought it would be fun to share a few facts about our latest winner…

Traci makes Fresh Picks, too!

Traci makes Fresh Picks!

Traci has been a part of the Lima Beads community for almost a year, and her mother in law told her about the web site. She makes mostly necklaces, but really wants to learn how to make earrings. (Note to Traci: check out the earrings in the Design Gallery!) With the $500 winnings, she plans to buy a lot of beads–like many of you, she’s planning on making necklaces for Christmas presents this year. But she’s not going to give everything away… she plans on keeping some for herself, too :)

The next $500 shopping spree contest is on December 31, 2009. So make sure to get signed up if you haven’t already!

Now for some daydreaming…what would you buy with the $500 if you are our next winner? Which lucky people would you make jewelry for?

5 Amazing Beading World Records

Posted by Andrew M on October 15 at 04:11 pm

Just when you think you’ve seen it all! I found some really cool beading world records that might be enough to make any hobbyist question their dedication to the craft. ;)

1. World’s Largest Bead Flag

World's Largest Bead Flag

World's Largest Bead Flag

Measuring nearly 9′ x 4’6″, the world’s largest beaded flag contains 288,400 beads and weighs over 22 pounds! The flag represents the United Arab Emirates and is was completed during many sleepless nights by Jeyaraman Ravi. Photo: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

2. World’s Longest Chain of Beads

World's Longest Bead Chain

World Record Bead Chain

Alayna Salter of the UK strung together 80 meters of beads to create the world’s longest bead chain. That’s over 260 feet, more than enough to wrap around the outer lines of a tennis court! Her efforts began at her kitchen table but soon took over an entire room. Sound familiar?

Ms. Salter creates her own jewelry and got the idea to string this piece when audience members at her musical gigs asked her where she got her unique necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

3. World’s Largest Bead Mosaic

World Record Bead Mosaic

World Record Bead Mosaic

What do you get when you combine 372,000 beads and 1,000 fourth graders? Besides a migraine, of course…

If you answered “The World’s Largest Bead Mosaic”, you’re right! The kids chipped in to pay tribute to President Obama by creating the giant piece of art which is now housed in New York City. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

4. World’s Largest Pearl

World's Largest Pearl

World's Largest Pearl

Okay, it’s not really a beading world record, but it’s still a huge pearl that would make one heckuva pendant. It’s known as the Pearl of Lao Tzu and weighs in at 14.1 pounds!

The pearl’s history is shrouded in secrecy and mystery. Some legends even trace it back to the rise of one of China’s ancient dynasties.

We may never know the full story behind the Pearl of Lao Tzu, but it’s an amazing piece of natural beauty no matter who you believe!

5. World’s Longest Strand of Prayer Beads

World Record Prayer Beads

World Record Prayer Beads

Mustafa Kara of India carved 999 wooden beads to create his record-breaking 25 meter strand of prayer beads. When fully assembled, it weighs over 130 pounds and requires 3 men to move.

Kara’s prayer beads are primarily used for decoration and he has since created many (smaller) copies that have been sold all over the world.

Are You Next?

You never know what might happen the next time you start getting carried away with a beading project. You might just end up in the kooky list of beading world records!

Fall Weekend Fun

Posted by Steve on October 12 at 09:26 am

battle creekI think everyone around here agrees with Matt that autumn is a great season–and the colors are beginning to change now! This weekend I was fortunate enough to enjoy the outdoors with some friends and I wanted to share some photos. We stayed at Fort Custer State Recreation Area and hiked, biked, and “geocached” (read on if you don’t know what that is!).

Battle Creek Linear Park

linear park ridingOne of the reasons we chose the location is the bike path in Battle Creek, MI called Linear Park. It’s a network of over 17 miles of scenic paths that travel through downtown, parks, residential areas, and along the river. After a few wrong turns and some unplanned detours, we rode about 26 miles (note to self: next time, don’t print the color-coded map in black & white). I was feeling it the next day!

Geo-what?

On Sunday morning we hit the trails again, this time on foot. Equipped with a GPS unit, we went geocaching, which is basically a mini-treasure hunt. The goal is to find a “cache” (a box with stuff in it) that was hidden there by someone before you. The GPS unit helps you find the cache, and sometimes there are hints when it’s hidden especially well. I’ve only done it twice, but both times I discovered new paths and places that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.

Eagle Lake at Fort Custer State Rec Area

Eagle Lake at Fort Custer State Rec Area

Next off on my fall checklist: pumpkin carving and candy! Keep your eyes on this blog in the next couple weeks… I have a hunch that there might be some treats (and maybe a trick or two). In the meantime, what’s keeping you busy this fall?

New Gemstones and More Chain

Posted by Kevin on October 08 at 01:03 pm

Today, we’re back to adding new gemstone beads AND we’ve continued to expand our chain and findings sections!

rbfl

Huge Rainbow Fluorite

“HUGE” seems to be the theme of the gemstones Ali has chosen to add this week. There are quite a few large rondelles and rounds. There’s also some good focal material like new jade carved pendants, lapis off-center donuts, and a yellow turquoise carved oval pendant. If you’re looking for an inexpensive accent bead, we’ve also added a couple of rounds in the $3 range that should do the trick!

16mm etched jump rings

16mm etched jump rings

If you’re lucky enough to have been on vacation for the past two weeks, you’ve missed the biggest expansion in Lima Beads history. For the first time ever, we added chain, findings, and a huge selection of metal beads to our site. This week, we’ve continued the expansion with new styles of chain, crimp beads, and some cool jump rings (check out the 16mm etched ones!).

We’ve got more to come! Between now and the end of 2009, you’ll be seeing new gemstone beads almost every week, lots of new chain (especially sterling), more metal beads, more findings, and…. wire!   Stay tuned :)

Garden Update September 09

Posted by Ali on October 06 at 01:39 pm

New Fresh Pickers for September

  1. Lis G
  2. P Canales
  3. gitksanfire
  4. Marlene f
  5. Shelly m
  6. Studio989
  7. Nancepants
  8. Breezey
  9. The Dud
  10. cdbetty
  11. Lauri B
  12. Simone B
  13. Gemme Designs by Johanne
  14. Camden p
  15. Castalia
  16. Jbeadz
  17. Doktordesigns
  18. Chicky ChaCha aka Mary L
  19. Cherie D
  20. Jennifer Vance
  21. M rollins

19506Top 15 Fresh Picks

  1. Cowgirl Up by D D Mystic Chick
  2. Patience by Leigh D
  3. Roman Baths by Cuban Queen Crazy Chick
  4. Open The Window by Valentine Chick
  5. Asian Wisdom by FaeryGoth Chick
  6. A Golden Heart by Wemai Coffee Chick
  7. Sunflowers by Breezey
  8. Hello, Friends! by Smoky Rose
  9. Apatite For Pink by Elaine aka Belly Chick
  10. Crazy Lace Wednesday by Alice t
  11. jewels by Kristina b
  12. Blue Lagoon, Iceland by Chippy Chick aka Lindys
  13. Copper Pistachio by Luv2bead – Little Chick
  14. The Moody Blues by Chicky ChaCha aka Mary L
  15. Colorful Days Ahead by Little Round Chick

I noticed when looking at all of these wonderful picks together that green and brown seem to be hugely popular this past month with a few showcasing soft pinks and yellows. The never-ending creativity is truly amazing. If you’re making pieces inspired by fresh picks, be sure to upload them in the design gallery!

508246006-mediumTop 15 Designs from the Gallery

These 15 designs were the “most favorited” in the design gallery for September and I can see why…

  1. Mosaic Magic by Starsparkle Spiral Chick
  2. Lovely Lima Stuff by Jazz
  3. Storm by Sali Jo GemsChica Chick
  4. Calypso by Gemme Designs by Johanne
  5. Green kyanite and porcelain by Gunilla B
  6. Rub the Buddha for luck by Judith Ann Boyer
  7. Smoky Quartz gets in your Eyes by FaeryGoth Chick
  8. Copper Spiral Pendant Necklace by Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
  9. Mixed Metal Magic by Cotopaxi Chickie Sue
  10. Verdigris Gingko Leaves on Antique Copper by Lynda aka DivaChick
  11. Makeover by Reet
  12. Coming up Roses by Michelle
  13. Brown lace agate by Bead Buzz chick
  14. Silky Shimmer by Leigh D
  15. Antique Brass Moonface Dragonfly, and Beaded Hanging Earrings by Beadylady5

In your designs I see a very eclectic mix of styles. One commonality is the use of gemstone beads. I also see a lot more wire wrappers than I used to. Are beaders getting bored with basic stringing? Has stringing become too heavy (I love heavy pieces but maybe it isn’t for everyone or isn’t the trend) for the end wearer? Is stringing still popular, but maybe beaders have evolved and like to challenge themselves (time permitting) with projects involving more chain and wire wrapping?

Just for fun I’ve put together a few categories to see what type of beader all of you are.  Check it out, the results might be very surprising :)

Beading Search Trends

Posted by Andrew M on October 02 at 01:57 pm

Do you ever wonder what other beaders around the world are thinking about at any given moment?

It’s a tall order to capture and process the moment-by-moment intentions, feelings, desires, and thoughts of the worldwide beading community. Luckily, there are already people working on it. Perhaps you’ve heard of Google? ;)

One of the great things about search engines is that they can provide instant answers and helpful links for any search query. For example, if you want to know the temperature in Boise or even some funny Groundhog Day movie quotes, just type it in and click “Search”!

Not to creep anybody out, but Google also stores and saves those searches (don’t worry, your personal information is not tied to your search history). Now consider that Google processes about 300 million searches per day. That’s a lot of thoughts, and researchers can use that data to track trends and look for patterns.

Using Google’s Insights for Search tool, I can see that over the past 20 months or so, worldwide search volume for the word “necklace” (in red) has surpassed search volume for “beads” (in blue):

KWs

Notice the prominent spikes in “necklace” searches just before the holidays each year!

In addition to the number of searches for each keyword, Google tells us which countries are searching for particular keywords more often. Take a look at this 2004 world map of relative search volume for the word “beads”:

January 2004 "Beads"

Compare that to “beads” searches in 2009 and note the higher concentrations in places like South Africa (hallo!), China (nǐ hǎo!), and different European countries (hola and ciao!):
September 2009 "Beads"

Using information like this, we can tailor our advertising and create new, useful features on our website that appeal to all types of beaders. For example, we obviously sell gemstone beads, but now we have an entire Design Gallery category just for necklaces!

I’ll admit I’m a big numbers and statistics geek, but with insights like these it’s easy to appreciate the diversity of the beading community. How do you use search engines to find what you need? Do you find the results useful or is it information overload?


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