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.

Handmade Chain close-ups

Posted by Steve on April 16 at 10:11 am

Yesterday, we officially announced our exclusive line of Handmade Chain. It’s a collection of big, funky chain styles that will be available in several metals (starting with antique copper). It’s awesome in person, and we know that sometimes it’s hard to get a feel for a product when you’re just looking at pictures online. So, I wanted to tell you about 2 things that we’re doing that we hope will make this experience better and more enjoyable!

1. We’re going to start showing all chain using wide pictures that let you see the pattern better. Right now, all the Handmade Chain pictures are like this, and we’re going to be transitioning all our chain pictures shortly to this new format. We think it’s going to be a whole lot easier to get an idea of what the chain will look like in your hands (or on your neck!)

chain zoom

2. We’ve added a cool zoom feature that allows you to get a close-up on the chain when you’re shopping. Just move your mouse over the Handmade Chain pictures and you’ll get a close-up that moves along with your mouse. Right now, this is only available for the Handmade Chain, but will soon be available for the other chain, too!

That’s it! We hope these small things making shopping a whole lot better. Check it out, and let us know your feedback in the comments!

And the Grand Prize goes to…

Posted by Steve on April 06 at 09:12 am

… let’s get right down to business. Elaine aka Belly Chick is the winner of the 2010 Easter Egg Hunt Grand Prize, a $250 Gift Certificate to Lima Beads! Elaine found a total of 86 eggs, which qualified her for the Top 10 on the leaderboard and a chance to win the big prize. Congratulations, Elaine!

The Second Prize is a $100 Gift Certificate, awarded to Lara G, who finished tied for 61st on the leaderboard with a very respectable 76 eggs found. Congrats, Lara! We’ll be contacting both winners via e-mail.

We hope everyone had a great time during the hunt! A total of 97,553 eggs were found, and over 2,000 people found more than 20 eggs! Stay tuned for fun promotions in the future… we love having fun here!

Easter Egg Hunt 2010

Posted by Kevin on March 25 at 02:27 pm

EEH2010The 2010 Easter egg hunt is here! We were blown away by the popularity of last year’s hunt and by the amount of fun everyone had with it! This year, we wanted to make it bigger and better!

100 Easter Eggs

That’s right, there are 100 eggs hidden on the web site RIGHT NOW. They’re all over the place – no page is off limits! As you find eggs, you’ll see this status bar:

EEH Meter

We don’t want anyone to go crazy, so we should tell you up front: finding all 100 Easter eggs will be difficult. Some of them are very well hidden. It’s not really about find ALL of the eggs this year, it’s about finding the most :)

The Leaderboard

For this year’s hunt, there’s a leaderboard that shows the top 100 hunters. It will show the position of each person, but not the number of eggs they’ve found — we’ll reveal those at the end. See the Leaderboard.

Prizes

The more eggs you find, the more prizes you get. When you reach 10, 25, 50, and 75 eggs a new set of prizes will be unlocked. You can choose from a variety of FREE beads and even a 15% discount on a future order. There are also prizes associated with the Leaderboard. At the end of the Easter Egg Hunt, the top 10 people on the leaderboard will be entered to win The Grand Prize, a $250 Lima Beads Gift Certificate. Everyone else on the leaderboard will be entered to win second prize, a $100 Lima Beads gift certificate. See all the prizes.

Rules

  • The contest ends at 11:59pm on April 4 (Easter). This means you need to make sure and do the following by this time:
    • Collect all the eggs you can find.
    • If you unlocked any prizes, add them to your shopping bag and place your order—all prizes (except the discount code explained below) must be redeemed by the end of the contest.
    • If you unlocked the 15% discount prize, write down your coupon code (you can use it any time until the end of 2010)
    • Watch the blog for an announcement about the $250 drawing
  • There are a total of 100 Easter eggs that we’ve hidden for you to collect. Those are the only ones that count toward the prizes, and you must click on them to collect them. You might see some picture of eggs in promotional materials (like the ones in the grass at the top of this page)… those don’t count toward your total.
  • We can’t offer rain checks on the prizes, so make sure to place your order when you’ve unlocked the prizes, because they’re only available while supplies last!
  • We think we have enough free beads to go around… but in case we run short, we reserve the right to substitute a product of equal value as your prize (hey, it’s free, right? :) . We can’t offer rain checks on unavailable prizes. We also reserve the right to update this list of rules if it needs clarification later.
  • Please don’t share the locations of the eggs. This ruins the fun for everyone :) Location sharers will be disqualified from winning prizes!
  • The most important rule: have fun!

Spring Cleaning 2010

Posted by Kevin on March 04 at 01:40 pm

spring cleaning 2010The Lima Beads Spring Cleaning has begun! Each year, we accumulate a lot of beads that never end up for sale in the shop. There are many reasons. Sometimes, we receive something and we’re not sure what to call it. Other times, it looks too similar to something we already sell or we didn’t receive enough quantity to add it as a regular item. Some things we return to the factory and others we hold on to because we like them :)

In an effort to keep ourselves from being overrun by beads, we do spring cleaning! Over the next couple weeks, we’ll have items that we would like to get out of here, so we’ll be offering them at or below our cost. These items will be sold on a First Come, First Served basis. We’ve done this a few times before, so you may already know how it works. If not, check out the notes below. Some of these items will sell out in 3 minutes, while others may stick around for a few days. If you see something you like, don’t wait! We just finished counting everything and I can tell you that we have fewer than 10 strands of many items. Finally, I want to make it clear that these are not items of bad quality, color, or consistency. Anything that doesn’t meet our quality standards gets returned to the factory immediately. These are just items, that for one reason or another, we can’t sell in the shop.

Week 2 (starting March 11)

Lapis, African Turquoise, Pyrite, Hematite (lots!), Pearls, Petrified Green Opal & more!

SHOP Week 2 now.

Important First Come, First Served Notes

  • In order to secure these items, you need to place your order and complete the transaction. If they sell out before you do that, they will be removed from your shopping bag.
  • These items are all FINAL SALE, so we can’t accept returns for them
  • We can’t offer rain checks–when they’re gone, they’re gone! :)

January / February Favorites

Posted by Ali on February 28 at 04:45 pm

Top 15 Favorited Design Gallery Pieces

We welcomed a lot of new designers to the Design Gallery in the last two months! They include (newest first): Monkeykat Chick-let Rhi, P Beal, Crissy G, Jade, Celticcrossing, Carole S, Kera D, stormy chic aka D Snyder, Carole C, Penny N, indigo, Reclaimed Vintage, D Dupree, Swedish Chick, Mera C, Firespryte, Connie W, Ms Dear Crazy Chick Fr, valleygirl, Joyce M, Emma Bella, Dionisia, Melanie L, Mary Magdalene, MTDesigns, JunQueJules, Rosie, Karri n, LeighAnn F, ShadesofVictoriana, Copper Dog, Dizzy Chick Lori Z, B Stafford, IzzyBella D, Cathy, JPeg Peggy, The Artful Healer, CIZACO, Harmony on Strings, Goldie H, Jameth, 4HisGloryCreationsbyCJ, N2Beading, Shawn l, D Cauley, GreedieBeadie, Science Chick Runs Sibes, Malina B, KittyMom Linda, Arja A, Eeka Mouse aka MERchick, M martinez, Vampire Chickie Ravin, and Cindy V.

Here are the “most favorited” pieces:

  1. Calsilica Dragonfly by Diane Cauley
  2. Ebony & Ivory by Chippy Chick aka Lindys
  3. not your stepping stone by doktordesigns
  4. Tutorial For My Girls by Lynn g
  5. The Turritella Challenge by Wemai Coffee Chick
  6. Vintage Hummingbirds by Dizzy Chick Lori Z
  7. Katri by Arja A
  8. Seahorse by Gunilla B
  9. IBD*Izzy Bella Designs by IzzyBella D
  10. Stormy Sky Bracelet by trinkets
  11. Ocean Swirl by Leigh D
  12. Cherry Blossom by LeighAnn F
  13. Softly Sparkle by Kathryn Lobert

I love all the great focal pieces in your designs. Wonderful uses for metal this time around. Keep creating and sharing!

Top 15 Favorited Fresh Picks

  1. Sweet As Lilies by Cuban Queen Crazy Chick
  2. Lavender Scents by Chicky Zee aka Alice
  3. Faces of Love by KarenDe-Challenge Chick
  4. Porcelain Beauty by FaeryGoth Chick
  5. For All The Garnet Gals!!!!! by Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
  6. sugared citrus by Shawn l
  7. Violet Delights by Breezy Chick aka Bree
  8. Bronzed Flight by Leigh D
  9. Happiness is a Blue Boat by Mirjam E
  10. Dream in Green by AllureofGemsGlamJulia
  11. ChampagneAndLemonChrysoprase by ChickyD aka Debra
  12. Dance of the Crane by Mommykat Bubbly Chick
  13. Sublime by Vampire Chickie Ravin
  14. Lime In The Coconut by JohnDeereBabe
  15. Navy-Green by Anita QoG Funny Chick

Welcome New Fresh Pickers…

Get ready for a long list, because there were a LOT of new Fresh Pickers in January and February. Here goes!

Design Gallery Feature: Arja A

Posted by Steve on February 23 at 09:51 am
Arja and Rapsu

Arja and Rapsu

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 8 months since we launched the Design Gallery at Lima Beads. The creativity you have all shown is truly astounding! It’s always fascinating to get a glimpse into the mind of a designer, and I was lucky enough to talk with our customer Arja A yesterday about some of the work she’s been designing lately. That’s her on the right, with her dog Rapsu in a red helmet designed and made by Arja herself.

Arja has been beading for only about 8 months, and she’s made quite an assortment of wonderful pieces! I personally love the series she posted that was inspired by a “found” piece of metal she brought home from work.

From "found" to finished

From "found" to finished

Arja collageArja has recently been working with leather, and she told me that she’s interested in working with resin but hasn’t been able to try it yet. Here’s a piece she sent me that she’s still working on (she’s trying to make it less shiny–any ideas?):

Arja's Unfinished Piece

… and here’s her first Full Persian Chain Maille project:

Arja's Full Persian Chain Maille

I asked Arja to tell me a little more about her background. Here’s a note from her, translated from Finnish to English by her daughter.

I’m an emerging jeweler from Tampere, Finland – where I live, work and play with my wonderful supportive husband, two lively Jack Russels and a warmhearted, yet timid cat. Our only daughter Tanja has left the coop years ago, and now lives down under in Sydney, Australia.

During office hours I function as a production developer in the technical textile industry. However, any freetime available has always been consumed by a wide range of creative projects, and I have always been very crafty person dappling in every possible medium from fabrics to wood, glass and metal works.The alluring world of jewelry consumed me less than a year ago, after injuring my hand and not being able to tackle any of my usual bulkier projects. Making jewelry as a hobby has proved an invaluable source of relaxation to balance off a career that can be stressful at times.

I prefer working with silver, bronze and copper clay, Tiffany and fused glass as well as experiment with wireworks, chainmaille, wrapped and coiled techniques. I have also occasionally used gemstones and pearls in some of my creations. Recycling and salvaging readymade objects, as well as fusing unusual materials together into unlikely compositions seems to be forming as my signature.

I am only at the very beginning of a long and enchanting road ahead of me, and there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to act out all the inspirations that keep bubbling up!

You can see all of Arja’s pieces in our gallery here. To see more inspiring work from designers from around the world, check out the Design Gallery!

Valentine’s Day Challenge Results!

Posted by Matt on February 15 at 03:06 pm

I’d say our first-ever official Fresh Pick challenge was an overwhelming success with almost 100 entries in 4 days! A big “thank you” to everyone who participated in the contest.

Before I announce the winners, I’d just like to say that we had a really hard time picking just one pick for each of the categories. It was obvious that a lot of time, reflection and love were put into every one.

Here are the winners of the $25 Gift Certificates:
25152

Best Composition: Mirjam E’s “Happiness is a Blue Boat

When you look at this pick, it’s hard to break down why it’s so nice to look at. That’s one of the keys to a great composition. What we really liked about this pick is the way the wide range of stones were arranged to make a cohesive, visually-appealing piece. Beautiful pick!

25182

Best Use of Color: Wemai Coffee Chick’s “Once Upon a Time

Using Ruby Impression Jasper and Apatite together is a pretty bold move. Doing it alongside the pairing of Ammonite and Shibuichi and a great supporting cast of pinks and aquas is brilliant. Great work!

25087

Most Creative Title: CAS’s “Your Heart is My Home

Not only does the title embody Valentine’s Day, this is a great looking pick! We love the subtle use of metal charms to tell the story.

25214

Best Story: KarenDe-Challenge Chick’s “Faces of Love

One line in the description says it all: “a grandmother and grandfather in sepia wedding day splendor – a celebration of love.” But, we’re also blown away by the vintage look and feel of the pick.

25014

People’s Choice: Cuban Queen Crazy Chick’s “Sweet as Lilies

It’s the pick with the most favorites, but I think all of us here agree with our little community on this one. The colors, the composition, the title, and the story are all top-notch. It feels like there’s an organic color progression between the Champagne pearls, Rutilated Quartz, multi Moonstone, and Peach Jade. Finally, the addition of the onyx CZ is very clever. Truly inspiring!

The winners will receive their Gift Certificate code in a message from me in The Garden. If for some reason you didn’t get the message, just let me know in the comments.

Again, we really appreciate everyone who contributed to make this contest so successful. Hopefully, we’ll have another one of these up our sleeve in the coming months. With the baby boom coming up soon, who knows what’s going to happen next…

Fresh Pick Challenge: Valentine’s Day

Posted by Matt on February 11 at 11:16 am

heartWe love Valentine’s Day so much around here, that we wanted to give you all a special Valentine surprise. We’re introducing the first ever, official Fresh Pick Challenge! Some dedicated Lima Beaders came up with this idea last year and we thought it looked like lots of fun. The theme for this contest is Valentine’s Day!

We’re giving away $25 gift certificates to the winners of each of the following categories:

  • Best Composition: The overall composition is one of the most important qualities of a beautiful Fresh Pick. It’s what makes our Fresh Picks so unique. Creating the best possible product arrangement is key to winning this category.
  • Best Use of Color: When it comes to beading, is there anything more important than color? It doesn’t necessarily have to be all pinks, reds and purples. Maybe your favorite romantic movie, love song, or the restaurant of your first date inspires you!
  • Most Creative Title: Some of the names you all come up with are truly amazing! Although we’re focusing on the title in this category, it’s important that your picks suit the name.
  • Best Story: We know how you love to write stories to go along with your Fresh Picks. That’s why we’re going to read each and every description that you take the time to write. But please, try to keep it as short as you can! I have the feeling that we’re going to have a lot of story-tellers submitting their picks.
  • People’s Choice: We want our Pickers to make the call! The Fresh Pick with the most favorites will win this prize. Even if you’re not submitting a pick, be sure to add your favorite fresh picks to, well, your favorites!

It’s now easier than ever to add one of your Fresh Picks to your blog comments! When you’re ready to submit your Pick, just select it from the drop-down menu in the comment form below. You’ll see your 10 most recent picks. Chose the one that you’d like to submit to the contest and “Voila!” Not sure what a Fresh Pick is? Find out on the Design Your Own Fresh Picks page!

Let me lay down a few ground rules before you get started:

  • Only one (1) submision allowed per person. If you make multiple submissions, only your most recent one will be counted.
  • You must create a pick specifically for this contest. We all love recycling too, but we want to see some awesome new picks!
  • All Picks must be submitted as a comment on this blog post by Sunday, February 14th at midnight.

Here’s the Tricky Part

You have to use at least one product from ANY of these stones:

Impression Jasper Beads Impression Jasper
China Chrysoprase Beads China Chyrsoprase
Bronzite Beads Bronzite

IMPORTANT: You DO NOT have to include one product of each stone! We’re not that cruel. :)

All you have to do is create a new Fresh Pick and upload it in your comment below. Now, get Picking!

Lima 2010 Goals

Posted by Kevin on February 09 at 08:47 pm

Each year, we try and think of a few major things we could do to improve Lima Beads. Fresh Picks, our new & improved shopping cart, The Garden, and The Design Gallery are all results of this annual goal setting.

This year, we want to do some things to improve the core of Lima Beads. The last few years have been crazy. We’ve grown a lot and to be honest, we’ve outgrown a lot of things that we put in place when it was just Ali, Steve, and me. We want to go back and fix a few things that will make us more efficient, more accurate, and able to continue our growth. I’ve come up with three goals for 2010 that would help push us in this direction.

Goal 1: Reduce “out of stock” items

We answer a lot of phone calls and emails from beaders asking when items will be back in stock. Having items out of stock in our shop is frustrating for them and it’s frustrating for us — if we don’t have it, we can’t sell it! We have completely redesigned the system we use to communicate with our suppliers. Last week, Matt began building new software that will allow factories around the world to assess our needs and help us keep things in stock. It’s our #1 2010 goal to make sure that you can get your beads and supplies when you need them.

Goal 2: Continue to extend our product lines

It’s hard to believe that as recently as 2008, Lima only sold gemstone beads, freshwater pearls, and cubic zirconia. In the past 2 years, we’ve pushed hard to add great lines like Vintaj, Green Girl Studios, TierraCast, Stampt Metal, as well as lines of chain and findings. In 2010, we want to continue this trend. In the next couple of months we’ll be adding lockets and a line of big, funky chain that I think you’ll love. Next, we hope to add some great Murano glass. We’ll also have an exciting announcement about riveting — what many are predicting to be the hottest beading trend of 2010. We’ve been working hard to become a one-stop-shop and we’re not going to quit anytime soon!

Goal 3: Make The Garden even better

A wonderful, interactive beading community has developed around Fresh Picks, The Design Gallery, and The Garden. When we launched these features, we weren’t sure if anyone would like them. We’re thrilled to see beaders from around the world building friendships and inspiring each other right here at Lima Beads. We want to make some major enhancements to The Garden in 2010 to make it one of the best beading communities anywhere.

That should keep us busy for awhile :)

If you have any suggestions for us, please tell us by using the feedback page. We would truly love to hear from you.

Thanks!

Spring Trends 2010

Posted by Ali on February 04 at 12:38 pm

As I sat down last week to start designing some spring pieces, I realized that I needed to do a little research on the trends. I tried to find points on style or color where there seems to be a consensus. As designers, we all take suggested trends with a grain of salt. It’s our job to do our own thing, but if you’re looking to sell your creations, it can’t hurt to know what’s popular :) Here is what I found:

I couldn’t find a “great new trend” like large rough stones, filigree, or chain from the past few years. From what I can tell, it seems like trends from last year remain strong, although I pray that the 80s resurgence will pass soon! More and more women are looking to Michelle Obama as a fashion icon, much like my mother and grandmother looked to Jackie O.

orange-necklace

Kingii Necklace at Anthropologie

In terms of style of jewelry and components, I noticed an increased use of feathers, leather, and chain. I also found a lot of cuff bracelets, big earrings, and bold necklaces. Not that delicate pieces are under appreciated, but even they are getting some zing to be bold without needing to be chunky. Art, especially “pop art” has inspired many designers this season in their choices of color and lines. If art is going to inspire me, I’d like to stick to the impressionists.

Memory jewelry and charm jewelry are being created by more and more designers. I think this is because designs with more of a “handmade touch” seem to be very popular. I asked Matt if Deidra would get a charm bracelet when their baby is born and he said she doesn’t wear bracelets. Hmmm, how about a charm necklace?

Pantone colorsColor is playing an important role again this season. Based on what I’ve read, the most important thing in your color choice is to be very deliberate in your choices. Gold metals (both matte and antiqued) continue to rise in popularity. I used to tell my mom when I was little, that I’d never wear gold, but here I am starting to work bits and pieces into my designs. I try to avoid being trendy at all costs, but I have to admit, I’m drawn to the warmth provided by gold, especially in filigree and chain. Pantone has named *turquoise* the color of the year for 2010. They state that turquoise “evokes thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a languorous, effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of well being.” Wow! Turquoise can do all that? It sounds ideal, because we want our designs to carry people away and make them feel great. I’m glad I found that stash of huge Chinese turquoise nuggets under my beading table the other day :)

Pantone also selected green yellow, tomato red (one of my favs), champagne, dove gray, Mediterranean blue, and violet. This is starting to get exciting! What a great bunch of colors.

I’ll most likely keep these color suggestions in mind as I create my spring pieces. Good luck to everyone finding your style and theme for spring and summer! I think we’re going to see a lot of interesting things as people continue to mix their components, metals, and methods.

Lima Cares 2010

Posted by Ali on January 13 at 03:50 pm

Lima Beads customers have been helping us support charities since 2004. When you place an order at Lima Beads, you’ll notice the option to choose a charity at the bottom of your shopping cart. Lima Beads will donate a portion of the profit from your order to the charity you select. This does not add any cost to your order — we just like to let our customers decide where our charitable donations should go. You are the reason we’re here and the reason we’re in a position to help others. Thank You!

It’s that time of year again to choose the charities we’ll be supporting in 2010. This year we have some wonderful causes we’d like to support. Voting will be based on category. Choose your favorite charity from each category below. We’ll be supporting a total of 6 this year. Voting will be open through January 21, 2010, so get your votes in soon!

Environmental Organizations

GreenpeaceGreenpeace

Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful direct action and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. (more…)

Beyond PesticidesBeyond Pesticides

Beyond Pesticides seeks safe air, water, land and food for ourselves and future generations. Beyond Pesticides works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides. (more…)

Animal Organizations

World Wildlife FederationWorld Wildlife Federation

We seek to be the voice for those creatures whom have no voice. We speak for their future. We seek to apply the wealth of our talents, knowledge, and passion to making the world wealthier in life, in spirit, and in living wonder of nature. (more…)

ASPCAASPCA

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was the first humane organization to be granted legal authority to investigate and make arrests for crimes against animals. Our organization provides local and national leadership in three key areas: caring for pet parents and pets, providing positive outcomes for at-risk animals and serving victims of animal cruelty. (more…)

Humane Society of Huron ValleyHumane Society of Huron Valley

Our mission is to support the loving, responsible care of all animals in our community by ensuring proper, nurturing care, for the animals in our shelter; placing all adoptable animals in loving homes; reducing pet overpopulation; providing education and outreach; and stopping animal cruelty. (more…)

Children’s Organizations

BGCSMBoys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan

Since 1926, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan has provided high quality youth development programs, sporting activities, events and a safe haven for children from all walks of life. (more…)

Eastern Michigan Food BankThe BackPack Program

The Backpack Program is an undertaking of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan which attempts to reduce child hunger, educate students on proper nutrition and promote healthy lifestyles. (more…)

Women/Mothers Organizations

One HEARTOne HEART

The mission of One HEART is to save the lives of women and children, one birth at a time. Saving the lives of Tibetan women and their children is of utmost urgency for the survival of the Tibetan people and culture. (more…)

Women Thrive WorldwideWomen Thrive Worldwide

Women Thrive develops, shapes, and advocates for policies that foster economic opportunity for women living in poverty. They focus on making U.S. international assistance and trade programs prioritize women. (more…)

Grameen FoundationThe Grameen Foundation

At Grameen Foundation our goal is simple – we want to see poor people, especially the poorest and those living in harder to reach areas, have access to microfinance and technology and as a result of access to these services, move themselves out of poverty. (more…)

Food Organizations

Food GatherersFood Gatherers

Food Gatherers exists to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in our community by: reducing food waste through the rescue and distribution of perishable and non perishable food; coordinating with other hunger relief providers; educating the public about hunger; and developing new food resources. (more…)

Oxfam AmericaOxfam America

Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. Together with individuals and local groups in more than 100 countries, Oxfam saves lives, helps people overcome poverty, and fights for social justice. (more…)

Health Organizations

The Michigan DifferenceThe Michigan Difference

The Michigan Difference as it relates to medicine in the 21st century is about ideas, about people intensely dedicated to using those ideas to make the world a better place. (more…)

Susan G. Komen for the CureSusan G. Komen for the Cure

At Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, we are committed to ending breast cancer forever by energizing science to find the cures and ensuring quality care for all people, everywhere. (more…)

DMC Children's HospitalDMC Children’s Hospital

With more than 40 specialties, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan sees more kids and trains more pediatric medical and surgical experts than any other hospital in the state. (more…)

Thanks!

Thanks for taking the time to help us pick the organizations we’ll support together in 2010. For more details and to see the charities we supported in 2009, please visit the Lima Cares page.

Update: Haiti Relief Effort

In response to the tragic series of earthquakes on January 12 that devastated Haiti, Lima Beads will be redirecting our giving for the entire month of January to the American Red Cross to assist in emergency relief and recovery efforts. For those who’ve placed an order in January and are curious, we’ll still factor in the charity you selected for our end of year giving.

Soft and Snowy for December

Posted by Ali on January 12 at 08:03 pm

2009 certainly was a year full of inspiration. Check out some of the favorites from December below…

Welcome New Pickers!

The following beaders picked up a new hobby at the end of 2009: creating Fresh Picks!

Top 15 Favorited Design Gallery Pieces

  1. motherless child by doktordesigns
  2. SANTA FE BRACELET by cdpatricketsycom
  3. velvet pine by Jeannes Gems - Gem Chick
  4. Leapordskin Jasper Pendant Necklace by knjns0
  5. Metallic Blue by Leigh D
  6. Aventurine Dream by Breezy Chick aka Bree
  7. Sugilite Jasper & Silver by Wemai Coffee Chick
  8. Rose and Copper Cuff by ChickyD aka Debra
  9. Beads and Chain by Fine Designs Jewelry
  10. Twilight Inspired by Nicki - Taylored Designs
  11. Midnight Blue by Little Round Chick
  12. Vintage Rose Rememberance by Lynette O

There are some very cool bracelets in the top 15 this past month. None of your pieces look the same, which really makes your unique talents stand out. Great mixing of bead types and chain/metal. Awesome stuff!

Top 15 Favorited Picks

  1. Sweet Fairy Tales by Breezy Chick aka Bree
  2. Eskimo Kisses by Cuban Queen Crazy Chick
  3. Russian Roulette by Chicky Zee aka Alice
  4. Christmas Wreath by Elaine aka Belly Chick
  5. Lima Beans Lima Beads by Lady of Beads
  6. Aunt Fern by Atomic Toad
  7. Ice Skating by Luv2bead - Little Chick
  8. White Christmas by FaeryGoth Chick
  9. Fly, Fly Away by Anita QoG Funny Chick
  10. Bead Therapy by Purple Chick aka Violet
  11. Candy Canes by Faithful Chick aka Faith
  12. Blue Man Group by Jeannes Gems - Gem Chick
  13. Bronzed Garden Gateway by Leigh D
  14. Cuivre Elegante by Chicky ChaCha

It looks like maybe the snow is softening your choices in color or you are dreaming of warmer days, either way they are beautiful. The subtle greens, pinks and purples that were chosen go great with winter whites. What would you design with these picks? In the words of one of Payton’s favorite stories – “What could I be, what do you see?”

The Crossword Sale

Posted by Steve on January 01 at 01:32 am

crossword saleHappy New Year, everyone! To start off 2010 with a bang, we’d like to announce the Crossword Sale–a new sale every day in January! We’ve put together a crossword puzzle with 31 hints, one for each day in January. The answers indicate which items are on sale for that day. We think it’s going to be a blast!

The sales last 24 hours each, so you need to add the items to your shopping bag that day in order to get the reduced prices. Once they’re in your bag, you have 7 days to complete your purchase (all the details are available on the Shopping Bag page).

The Bonus…

lima with pencilAs a bonus, if you complete the crossword puzzle early, you have the chance to unscramble a secret series of letters to reveal a hidden message. If you guess right, you’ll get a prize! So head on over to the crossword page, and check back daily to see what’s on sale!

Free Gift Reminder

Posted by Steve on December 28 at 03:33 pm

gift giveawayHi, happy beaders! I have a quick announcement… the annual Lima Beads Gift Giveaway is winding down, and there are only 3 more days to get a free gift with every order! So hurry and place your order by midnight (US eastern time) on December 31, and remember to choose your free gift. We’ve got a wide variety of gifts to choose from–and we added even more last Thursday, so check them out and choose YOUR gift!

Here’s to the last week of 2009! We know that 2010 is going to bring new challenges and opportunities. We want to make the most of it with you! Be sure to sign up for our e-mail list if you’re not already… we may or may not have a fun little announcement this week! :)

Top Picks of November

Posted by Ali on December 17 at 10:03 am

Without further ado, here’s a wrap-up of the inspiring work our customers have been up to!

New Pickers for November

Our Fresh Picks section keeps growing and growing… here’s a list of the newest pickers from November. Feeling inspired? It’s easy to design your own!

Top 15 Favorited Picks

  1. Uluru Ayers Rock by Breezy Chick aka Bree
  2. Brass Menagerie by Chicky ChaCha
  3. his eyes by M mccallister mrs chick
  4. A Winter Iris by Cotopaxi Chickie Sue
  5. Orange Delight by Anita QoG Funny Chick
  6. Septaria Sensations by Luv2bead - Little Chick
  7. Snow Falling on Cedars by J Yee smart chick
  8. Roast Chestnut by Chicky Zee aka Alice
  9. walk on the beach by Shelly m
  10. Silvery Red by FaeryGoth Chick
  11. Winter Winds - MPS by Smoky Rose
  12. Grapevine by Cuban Queen Crazy Chick
  13. Simon, Do Something! by Little Round Chick

I love the combination of subtle and calm fresh picks with the zippy ones with splashes of color such as chartreuse, orange, red, and purple. Great work choosing less obvious stones for your picks – septaria, Mexican painting stone, agua nueva agate, Monaco agate, … I could keep going on and on…

Top 15 Favorited Design Gallery Pieces

  1. Broken Glass by Luv2bead - Little Chick
  2. For the Love of Dragons by Nicki - Taylored Designs
  3. The Beauty of Septaria by Wemai Coffee Chick
  4. Pearly Dewdrops by Starsparkle Spiral Chick
  5. two autumn improvisations by doktordesigns
  6. Crowned Jewel by Wickwire Jewelry
  7. In Love with Amazonite by Froggy Chick aka Wendy F
  8. All the leaves are brown by Brenda H
  9. The Bronze Age by K H
  10. Blue Sky Chalcedony ring by Jewelrybyirina
  11. Ocean Jasper by Little Round Chick
  12. Sandy Waters by Gemme Designs
  13. Mediterranean Sea by Dutchy Madelon
  14. opal spirals by Jeannes Gems - Gem Chick

There seems to be quite a bit of crossover in colors and themes used in Fresh Picks and Design Gallery pieces this time around. I’m not sure if it’s just a coincidence or if they are inspiring each other. I hope it’s the latter.

There was a lot of beautiful wire-work this past month. Personally, I do so much stringing with some basic wire wrapping (when Payton is napping and the little boy in my belly isn’t kicking me… really, it’s the “perfect storm”) that it’s nice to see interesting styles like the What a Whopper Cuff Bracelet and the Blue Sky Chalcedony ring. But it doesn’t stop there… all of the designs posted in the Design Gallery have been wonderful, and I’m pretty sure tons of people have been inspired by the pieces they get to see. We talk to customers all the time on the phone who mention it!

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Bead Star 2009 yet, you should Check Out our ad towards the front to see who was featured. I wish we could have fit everyone… You are all great!

Lima Beads Holiday Dance-Off

Posted by Andrew M on December 14 at 04:20 pm

The Lima Beads holiday parties are always fun, but this year’s gathering ended with a challenge. I won’t say who, but somebody suggested a “Dance-Off” between the office staff and the distribution team.

We would have laid down some cardboard and settled it the old fashioned way but nobody wanted to get hurt. Instead, we decided that each team would create a dancing elf video on ElfYourself.com and let you vote on which team wins.

Watch the videos and cast your vote below. Which team of dancing elves do you think wins the First Annual Lima Beads Holiday Dance-Off?

The Jingle Bell Jammers

Ho Ho Do-Si-Do

Send your own ElfYourself eCards



Thanks for voting, and happy holidays!

Three Lima Babies On The Way!

Posted by Kevin on December 10 at 11:04 am

They say good news comes in threes. They couldn’t be more right! Imagine our surprise not too long ago when we found out that not one, not two, but THREE Lima Beads babies are due in the spring.

Andrew’s wife Elizabeth, Matt’s wife Deidra, and Ali are expecting little Limas on March 27th, March 30th, and April 11th respectively. And guess what? They’re all boys!

The newborns will be the first for Matt and Andrew, and of course Payton is excited about having a baby brother. So far, everything is looking good and we are all excited as can be. Stay tuned for more updates and if you have any boy name ideas, we’re all ears.

Also, if you want any beads, make sure you get them before the 3rd week of March. Things are going to get crazy around here!

Lima Gives Back in 2009

Posted by Andrew M on December 04 at 09:41 am

Lima Beads is a big believer in giving back to the communities that we inhabit. It’s never been a better time to contribute to worthy organizations that help others in need.

We are supporting the following 5 charities in 2009 by donating a portion of our profits based on your votes. This does not increase the cost of your order because the donations are taken from our profits. To select a charity, all you have to do is remember to choose one in the menu on the bottom of your shopping bag. We’ll take care of the rest!

Next to each name is the percentage of “votes” each has received so far. It’s not too late to help these wonderful organizations by choosing your favorite the next time you place an order.

C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital (Ann Arbor, MI) – 29%
Every day, University of Michigan scientists are developing the next generation of therapies for children…and Mott patients are among the first to benefit from these discoveries.

Food Gatherers (Ann Arbor, MI) – 13%
Works to reduce food waste through the rescue and distribution of perishable and non perishable food; coordinating with other hunger relief providers; educating the public about hunger; and developing new food resources.

Hope Clinic (Ypsilanti, MI) – 8%
Offers medical care and dental care to the uninsured, plus a variety of social services to minister to the whole person.

Sasha Farm (Manchester, MI) – 23%
Provides a safe and secure environment, lifetime care and medical treatment for unwanted, neglected, misused, and abused farmed and domestic animals, as well as fostering through education a better understanding of these animals.

Women Thrive (Worldwide) – 27%
Develops, shapes, and advocates for policies that foster economic opportunity for women living in poverty.

To see more details about each charity and links to their websites, visit our Lima Gives Back page.

Charities for 2010

We will select 5 new charities for 2010 in January. Look for a blog post from Ali next month about choosing the new recipients.

Thanks for helping us improve the lives of others!

Leftovers

Posted by Ali on December 03 at 09:42 am

It’s officially “the holiday season” and a lot of us will no doubt be eating a lot of leftovers. This post is about a different kind of leftovers – leftover beads.

My definition of leftovers is (a) beads that are remaining after a planned project has been completed, or (b) components that didn’t get used or are from an item that is broken or lost. I never seem to use all of the beads I buy for making a birthday or Christmas gift, I always seem to lose one earring out of the pair and I also have a habit of buying funky pieces that don’t end up getting used. All of that is about to change…. I hope.

Here are some great ideas (I think) that I have come up with so that these treasures don’t go to waste:

  • Share your beads with friends or a group.
  • Create a simple (or difficult depending on the recipient’s experience) project and put together a homemade bead kit to give as a present.
  • Make a funky/unexpected piece of jewelry – throw everything leftover in a baggie, shake it up and start stringing.
  • Make a charm bracelet out of those lone earrings. I recommend a heavier duty chain, like the Tiffany chain bracelets that were so popular when I was in college. Also, I would go with an antique finish on the chain, with all of the different metals and stones that could be in your lost earrings you probably don’t want to use a chain that will look shiny and new when the earrings or other parts probably don’t.
  • Make bead chain.  If you are familiar with rosaries, then you know what I am talking about. A couple different ways this could be done:
  1. Just use your leftover beads along with a decent gauge wire (not too thin or your chain will break). If the beads won’t fit on the wire, I would recommend not using them in the piece rather than using a thin wire that could potentially break on you.
  2. Use a combination of your leftover beads as described above, but instead of linking each bead together using wire, add in leftover bits of chain in random or consistent lengths in between the beads.  This will add great movement and interest to the strand.

How do you use leftover beads? What would you think of an easy way to swap beads & supplies online?

Cyber Monday Deals

Posted by Kevin on November 30 at 08:53 am

First Come, First Served!

It’s time for another round of First Come, First Served deals!

golden picture jasperThe past two times we’ve done this, the majority of the items have sold out within hours, so if you see something you like, get it fast! This particular batch of items could be considered a sample sale. These are all items that we’ve purchased as samples over the past couple of years and decided not to carry for various reasons. The most common reasons are price (too expensive) and material availability (we can’t reliably stock them). None of these items have quality issues. Because they were ordered as samples, most of the quantities are very low. We have an average of 10 strands of the gemstone beads and about 20 pieces of each CZ item. See all of the items now!

salsa triangleYou’ll find some interesting stones that you’ve never seen at Lima Beads and also some funky CZ cuts that we’ve decided not to carry on a regular basis. Good luck!

About First Come, First Served items

Before you add these deals to your shopping bag, you should know that all of these items are FINAL SALE. So take a good look at the photos! If you like what you see, we’re confident that you’ll love the beads. Here are a few more guidelines to read over before you place your orders:

  • There are extremely limited quantities of these items, in some cases we have a couple available. The items are not secured until you place your order and complete the transaction. If they sell out before you’re able to do that, the items will be removed from your cart.
  • These items are all FINAL SALE. We won’t be able to accept returns on them, because the point is to get them out of here!
  • We can’t offer rain checks–when they’re gone, they’re gone! :)

Good luck shopping!


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