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Topic Archive: Fresh Picks on The Blog

First Fresh Pick Favorites of 2009

Posted by Ali on January 14 at 05:32 pm

I hope everyone enjoyed time with family and friends this past holiday season. Unfortunately, it had to end and we find ourselves in the middle of January already. Luckily we have Fresh Picks to save us. I need to apologize to everyone for not staying on top of the Favorite Fresh Picks posts. I am very excited to see how much everyone is using the fresh pick comments. Now all we need are more images of our customers’ work to get uploaded in the Fresh Pick comments – we love seeing the creativity!

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

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Fresh Pick Comments and more!

Posted by Steve on January 08 at 11:49 am

Today we’re making the official announcement about some things that have been in the works for the past month at Lima Beads. Some of you have already discovered (and used!) a few of these features, but there’s more to announce, and I hope you’ll read on.

Commenting on Fresh Picks

Speech bubblesToday is the official launch of Fresh Pick Comments. When you’re browsing any of the Fresh Picks on Lima Beads, you can add your comments and questions at the bottom of the page. Already we’ve seen conversations flourish about design ideas, color usage, our pets, the weather, and just about everything else! You can even upload pics of finished jewelry that was inspired by the Fresh Pick. To quickly browse all the conversations, just click the Fresh Pick Chat topic on the right side here in the blog. Or, follow along under “Recent Chatter” on the main Fresh Picks page. We hope you like it!

New Snapshots page

Who is picking?With our growing collection of Fresh Picks (thanks to YOU!), we knew we needed a better Snapshots page to browse the picks. We’ve organized it with tabs to make it easy to see the latest picks from the past few weeks. And we added the “Who’s Picking” area to feature the designers that create all these great ideas! Check it out, and let us know what you think!

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Nostalgic Winter Fresh Picks

Posted by Ali on November 25 at 05:26 pm

The Fresh Picks this past week could have been inspired by travel magazines, holiday cooking, memories of vacations, or winter. These are great ways to trigger your creative energy. While shopping downtown this week, I was inspired by a rose bush covered in snow – with the pink roses still in bloom! It was too odd not to notice, yet people walked past this bush all day long without stopping . . . to smell the roses.

This time of year we all seem to be in such a rush to do everything – drive, shop, cook, eat, create – try to take a moment in the midst of all your rushing around to notice obscure moments around you. You’ll be surprised by what might influence your next design.

This week’s Top 10


Cardinals Nest

Cardinal's Nest

Cardinal’s Nest by Cuban Queen - I love Cardinals. We have one in the tree out side our kitchen window all winter, but he just never seems to sit still long enough for me to take a picture of him :-) This pick does a great job of creating this image for us. The coral chosen is the perfect red. I like how one may not immediately think of combining the coral with mica quartz, bronzite, Chinese ocean jasper, and turritella agate, just to name a few. I really like the use of the copper wire wrapped triangle, it adds that “Je ne sais quoi”. If I were going to make a piece with this pick, I might add a few CZ salsa or poppy faceted fans, I can’t resist a touch of sparkle.

Mint Chocolate Cocoa

Mint Chocolate Cocoa

Mint Chocolate Chip by Lisa S - This is a delicious combination. As it so happens I am drinking a Mint Cocoa from one of my favorite grocery stores, Trader Joe’s, with Dakota (my dog) in a deep sleep at me feet. The brown stones chosen seem to swirl around each other while minty greens are tossed in for the finishing flavor. This pick would definitely make a statement if designed into a necklace… there are some pretty big and bold shapes. The silver green dancing button does a fantastic job of softening this design.

Icicles and Peppermints

Icicles and Peppermints

Icicles and Peppermint by Snickers - I took one look at this pick and said to myself… “I have to make something out of this!” I love how its holiday and winter and sparkle and snow all wrapped up without being kitschy. Excellent choices in pearls, the colors – fire pink, gold, pepper red, silver peacock and pearly whites, and the biwa sticks really make this piece pop. The Australian chrysoprase adds a breath of refreshing green while the crystal clear CZ and the Stampt pewter poinsettia filigree are the icing. I feel like getting my tree or going to Chicago to see all the beautiful lights and decorations. Just wonderful!

Favorite Fresh Pick Variety

Posted by Ali on November 13 at 01:58 pm

We’ve got lots of different inspiration here this week! Chocolate (always awesome), fall in the Southwest, aloe, snow and rain (not sure how I feel about these two), starry skies, marine life, flowers, and one of the most popular songs of all time.  For those of us in the northern parts of the country – winter is coming and there’s nothing we can do to stop it, so we might as well make picks and design lots of pretty things.

This week’s Top 10:

  1. Chocolate on a Blue Day by CAS
  2. SouthWest Fall Garden by Haute Rawx
  3. Aloe by Tab
  4. Snow Bunnies by Jyll P
  5. November Rain by Cuban Queen
  6. Snow Falling on Cedars by Beadaholchick
  7. Night of a 1000 Stars by Lima
  8. Dolphins And Sharks by Perlemamma
  9. tulips and daffodils by Julie v
  10. Amazing Grace by Sandy S

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Matt Needs Help Beading

Posted by Matt on November 11 at 01:29 pm

Purpleheart Tree

I’m in need of some expert advice! Since Deidra and I are newlyweds and saving for a house, we decided that instead of buying expensive gifts, we would make something for each other this year. Naturally, the first thing that popped into my head was jewelry. The only problem is, even though I work at Lima Beads, I’ve never even held a beading tool or cracked open a beading magazine.

That’s where you come in. Ali has already agreed to teach me a few beading techniques, but I’m not sure what beads I should be using. So as my first step, I want to choose a Fresh Pick that will be the inspiration for my design.

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Cozy Favorite Fresh Picks

Posted by Ali on November 04 at 10:54 pm

The favorite Fresh Picks this week make me want to start a fire and find a blanket to get under. You can tell that winter is starting to make it into our minds and what could be better than being beside a fire with a great book (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), wearing a cozy cashmere sweater, drinking a hot coffee (or green tea) while a chilly nor’easter wind is blowing outside (Brrrrr!)?

I was curious about “Birch Beer” so I looked it up. Apparently it is a carbonated soft drink made from herbal extracts (usually from birch bark) with a taste similar to root beer, but mintier – sounds interesting!

These are the TOP 10 this week

A Midsummer Nights Dream

A Midsummer Nights Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Cuban Queen

I Love the dark and luxurious night effect when the black and purple stones are combined with gold pearls and Stampt antique gold filigree balls. The touch of olive green pearls and fern cz adds that summery leafy feel. Just like Shakespeare’s play, there is that special touch of fantasy thanks to Green Girl’s pewter butterfly faery and romance thanks to the use of the filigree pieces in gold and pewter. Great contrast in shape and texture, love the splashes of sparkle! This pick definitely creates the right mood, I might actually have to go and read A Midsummer Night’s Dream now rather than the cliff notes like I did in school (sorry Mrs. V.).

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Changing Seasons Fresh Picks

Posted by Ali on October 25 at 01:24 pm

This past week’s top picks are a great example of seasons changing.  Almost all of these picks are inspired by something outdoors – events, moments, favorite places, the weather, etc… 

The top 10:

Lunar Eclipse by Phyllis R

Lunar Eclipse by Phyllis R

Lunar Eclipse – This pick reminds me of midnight.  I love the addition of the chryscolla diamond. The turquoise-green color adds a bit of zip to the deep purples and blues. The blue rainbow fluorite is an excellent choice if you are looking for blues, purples and greens – very economical :) The Stampt Pewter Filigree Beads add a beautiful “mist” to the pick.

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Treasure Trove of Earthy Tones

Posted by Ali on October 15 at 05:45 pm

These are last week’s top 10 favorite Fresh Picks! Some new Fresh Pickers made the list – congratulations everyone!

  1. Gold Infinity by Starsparkle
  2. Siren’s Transformartion by Sandy S
  3. The Virtues: Temperance by CAS
  4. Copper Mountain by Victoria M
  5. El Dia de los Muertos by Cuban Queen
  6. Night of a 1000 Stars from Lima’s Picks
  7. Gothic by Perlemamma
  8. Turquoise and Lime by Phyllis R
  9. Raindrops on Roses by Katrina A
  10. Black Cherry Tree by Kitty

What I think about the top 3:

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Subtle and Scary Fresh Picks

Posted by Ali on October 06 at 04:03 pm

It appears as though music and food have played a big part in the inspiration for the favorite Fresh Picks and their titles this week.

I can tell that the upcoming holiday is on the minds of the Lima Fresh Pickers with titles like Halloween Party, Masked Ball, Black Cat, BOO!, Hallow’s Eve, Candy Corn, Midnight Mistress and Samhain. These all offer great ideas for combinations of beads – possibly incorporating items you wouldn’t normally choose, but it’s OK – it’s Halloween :) I think that most of these would be great to make into pieces to be worn year round. Holidays give us great inspiration for jewelry designs.

This week’s Top 10 is a bit of a surprise to me. Not because the picks aren’t fabulous – because they are – but because of the colors and subtleness of the arrangements. There is something very calm about this week’s top picks.

This week’s top 10:

  1. Jazz at the Blue Note by Cuban Queen
  2. Spinner’s Lace by Sandy S
  3. Snow White by Perlemamma
  4. Vanilla Bean from Lima’s Picks
  5. Raindrops on Roses by Katrina A
  6. Gypsy Winds by Steph
  7. Birds of a Feather from Lima’s Picks
  8. Calmed Passions by Lily A
  9. Gothic by Perlemamma
  10. Black Cherry Tree by Kitty

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Fantasy Fresh Picks

Posted by Ali on September 29 at 04:02 pm

There were some great Fresh Picks last week! It looks like Cuban Queen and WLB created true classics with Apple Picking and Arizona Sky.  Not only were they in the top 3 last week, but they were #5 and #6 this week! We have 3 new favorites this week and I love them all.

If you create Fresh Picks that you’re proud of – be sure to add them to the comments below so we can all check them out. Maybe we’ll even add you to our favorites. :)

The top 11 this week:

  1. Merlot & Moonlight
  2. Pacific Coast
  3. Old Stories
  4. Mojito
  5. Arizona Sky
  6. Apple Picking
  7. Coffee Beans
  8. Ariel
  9. American Nightshade
  10. Blue Jean Baby
  11. Harvest Wheat

What I love about the top 3 favorites:

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Crisp Picks — Inspired by Fall

Posted by Ali on September 13 at 03:38 pm

I was out walking around town with Payton today.  What a perfect day to get into the fall mood.  Bright blue sky, temp in the 60’s, fresh air, light breeze – these things make me feel refreshed.  So refreshed that I started thinking about Fresh Picks. In the coming weeks, you can expect to see picks inspired by the following things in the Lima’s Picks section of Fresh Picks:

  • Trees
  • Bark
  • Wind Whistling
  • Sugar Maples
  • The leafy forest smell in Miller Park.
  • The excitement I felt at the football games on Saturdays in my college years.
  • Wearing a sweater

What do you think of this time of year? What inspires you?  If you create Fresh Picks inspired by the season – add comments about them here so we can all check them out!

I can tell that fall is on the minds of our customers from the picks that made it to the top 10 this past week.

  1. Willow Whisps
  2. Arizona Sky
  3. Apple Picking
  4. Harvest Wheat
  5. Chocolate Milk
  6. Rainy Days
  7. Yakima in September
  8. Fairy Tales
  9. Fall Is In the Air
  10. American Nightshade


Here’s my take on the top 3 this week:

Willow Whisps by Sandy S

Willow Whisps by Sandy S

Willow Whisps – The name makes this pick feel green, and whispy before even having looked at it.  Once I took a peek I wasn’t disappointed.  Beautiful natural faceted nuggets and chips combined with the sparkle in bronzite and rainbow aventurine.  I love the mix of greens that will surely give depth to any finished piece.  The wavy coin petals are a perfect addition to this pick, however I’ve had a difficult time using them in anything other than earrings.  Does anyone have ideas for those?

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Coming Clean.

Posted by Matt on September 02 at 10:55 am

As a member of the Lima Web Team, I’m one of the only people at Lima Beads that has never really been a beader. It’s not that I’m not interested in the art of beading, I just can’t see myself wearing a beaded necklace or a set of earrings. Despite the fact that I’ve never had the desire to design anything for myself, I’ve been a closet “Fresh Picker” since the inception of the Design Your Own Fresh Picks (DYOFP) feature on Lima Beads. However, you won’t find a “Fresh Picks by Matt” page anywhere on the site because I’ve been creating them under a pseudonym. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it later on in the post.

The Life Aquatic

The Life Aquatic

It all started when we were testing the new feature internally. Since then, it’s been hard to keep myself from creating a Fresh Pick every now and then. At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to publish them under my own name, just in case everyone thought they were terrible. So, I created a pseudonym that would allow me to continue picking. Even when I’m not picking, I really enjoy looking through the snapshots to find color schemes and texture combinations that I never thought possible. Being an artist, I’ve always been pretty good with color, texture and composition. It’s easy for me to look at some of our more popular Picks and tell you why people like them.

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I Need A Bigger Closet!

Posted by rachel on August 29 at 10:47 am
Rachels Fall Favorites

Rachel's Fall Favorites

Well, it’s about that time of year again; school is almost back in session and the nights are made of a crisp, damp breeze. Personally, autumn is my favorite season. Although I’m usually a bit reluctant to believe that summer has basically passed, the thought of sweaters and boots makes it all worthwhile. Here in Michigan, autumn is sometimes far too short of a season, chilling the air enough for our first snow before Halloween! It’s just enough time to break in your fall wardrobe, but leave you longing for it again the next year. With the first peeks of fall fashion on the newsstands, I thought it would be fun to tell you what I’m excited about this year!

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1000 Customer Fresh Picks!

Posted by Kevin on August 27 at 12:42 pm
Purple Passion

Purple Passion

Judy M. from Clarksville, TN designed the 1000th customer Fresh Pick yesterday! The Lima Team is so excited about this, we’re sending Judy a $50 Lima Beads Gift Certificate.

Judy’s Fresh Pick is called “Purple Passion”.  See all 6 of Judy’s picks.

What are Lima Beads Fresh Picks?

Fresh Picks are arrangements of beads created by members of The Lima Team and customers like you. They’re good for generating endless ideas for color and texture arrangements and are meant to be a launch pad for your designs. You can Design Your Own Fresh Picks just like Judy did. Click here to learn more.

For even more information, check out Ali’s blog post about the history of Fresh Picks!

Thank you to Judy and all of the other great Lima customers who have been designing Fresh Picks. We have some exciting things planned for them! If you want to get lost in design ideas — you can view all 1023 customer-designed Fresh Picks now!

Fresh Picks. Design ideas without boundaries.

Posted by Ali on August 21 at 01:11 pm

I had the idea for Fresh Picks about 3 years ago. We were still a very small company, but even then, customers were asking us for projects and ideas. I’m not a very technical beader, my designs are usually very simple. It’s the interesting combinations of colors and textures that make them great. To start designing a piece, I just dump a bunch of beads onto my beading table and start grouping them together. My husband thinks I’ve made a giant mess, but after a few minutes (or hours) I have some interesting combinations. After that, it’s just a matter of stringing the beads together, which to be honest, is my least favorite part of the process. I like seeing the beads and visualizing finished pieces in my head – that’s what really gets my creative juices flowing. Like most beaders – my beading table is a disaster when I’m finished. Each time Kevin gets a little piece of wire jammed into the bottom of his foot, he says I have to move it into the basement, but we all know that will never happen!

My Beading Desk

I really wanted to create something that would help our customers get those creative juices flowing, without giving them step-by-step instructions.

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