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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. So, Fresh Picks were born — a virtual way for people to “dump” beads onto a palette and arrange them until they’re able to visualize great designs. I’m really happy with the way they’ve turned out. We’re not giving people an instruction manual that takes away from their own creative process — we’re giving them a launch pad for thousands of possible ideas. Since we added the ability for customers to design their own Fresh Picks we’ve climbed to over 1100 great combinations and a virtually unlimited number of design ideas. You can find all of the Fresh Picks designed by customers in the Snapshots section and all of my Fresh Picks in the Lima’s Picks section. If you want to design some Fresh Picks — Click here to join the fun! I’ll tell you, we’ve got some pretty amazing customers. Some of the combinations are awesome. I love seeing arrangements that I never would have thought to create – and they work really well!

Each week, I want to take a look at the 3 most popular Fresh Picks from the previous week and see what we like about them. I hope you’ll chime in with your own comments! If you’ve ever designed anything from a Fresh Pick – please send us photos and let us know which Fresh Pick inspired the piece – there’s a good chance we’ll put your photos on the Lima Fresh Daily blog!

Most popular last week:

Frozen Lake – this is a great example of the inspiration being reflected in the combination of beads. You can look at this pick and get chills… it looks like ice. Great use of sparkle, pattern, shape and opacity. I would love to see what designs come from this pick!


Mexican Hot Chocolate – There is a great cake shop in Ann Arbor that makes to-die-for cupcakes. A flavor that I fell in love with this past winter is Mexican Hot Chocolate (the flavor is hot chocolate with a spicy kick! Mmm…). This pick is a great example of using lots of textures to accentuate the design. Textures – salsa & poppy cz, red gemstone beads with intense pattern, spicy freshwater pearls and great intrigue with the Vintaj and copper beads. It’s a good thing Cake Nouveau only makes these cupcakes in the winter :)

Contented Frog – The name is great… very “hohum”. I love Green Girl Studios pewter with the combination of earthy tones and watery colors. The addition of the Vintaj Natural Brass Woodland Leaf Pendant works with the pewter because of the tone of the stones chosen. Don’t you just love the Golden Pyrite Rough Nuggets?! Great job Denise M., I can look at your pick and feel the inspiration in your bead selections.

What do you think? You can enter a comment below!

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Steve
    Steve says:

    Hey, that’s even messier than my desk at work! :)

  2. Bead-itudes
    Bead-itudes says:

    I Love the idea of the blog. Hopefully Lima Beads customers would use the blog to show off some of the jewelry, etc they have made with beads purchased from Lima Beads. Not only would we have the “Fresh Picks” – but some actual jewelry made using the beads shown in the “Fresh Picks”.

    Lima Beads is the first on-line place I go to – when I’m looking for a paticular stone for a project. Sometimes you don’t have the shape or stone I’m looking for – but most of the time you have just what I need. I have never been disappointed with any product I have purchased.


  3. KittyKatKaren
    KittyKatKaren says:

    I really like “Contented Frog”. I love the name. I never would have thought to use brass and pewter in the same piece, but they look good here.

  4. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    I can confirm that I get a lot of wire stuck in the bottom of my foot. It really hurts. I can’t wait until Payton starts walking because then.. maybe then, Ali will actually care!

  5. Cindy D
    Cindy D says:

    I agree with the comment above………….would love to see a spot for creative designs made by your customers. Looking at web site “beading inspirations” is where I get some of my best ideas.
    Keep up the great work, love your store!!!!

  6. Matt
    Matt says:

    @Cindy D & @Be-additudes, I totally agree with both of you. Our customers should always feel free to send us their designs. We’d love to blog about how you are inspired by our website.

    BTW – I’m really excited about how many people are posting comments. Keep it up!

  7. No Photo
    Tammy B says:

    It was the fresh picks advertised in a bead magazine that first got my attention. I love everything about Lima Beads! I can always count on excellent service and quality. Keep up the outstanding job.

  8. LoriEllen
    LoriEllen says:

    I love the new blog! It give the site even more of a community feel, and I love that. I’ll definitely be sending some photos of things I’ve made from my fresh pics.
    I also like being able to put a face to the people that run Limabeads. :)

  9. Steve
    Steve says:

    @Tab, your “Dracula’s Girlfriend” Fresh Pick is still one of my all-time favorites by our customers!

  10. No Photo
    Sara Jane says:

    Ya’ll rock!!!!!!!! You have the best selection of gemstones on the web! I love your website, too! Kevin, you are not alone, my husband is constantly pulling wire out of his feet… Ali, I am so glad that your beading desk is as messy as mine! I don’t feel alone!

  11. No Photo
    Dimplex101 says:

    I’m new to beading and am having a great time learning. A friend sent me a link to this site and I have been enjoying the Fresh Picks. I can’t wait to see some of the finished pieces!
    Congratulations everyone!!!

  12. Ali
    Ali says:

    Thanks Christine & Sara Jane! I told Kevin that I wasn’t the only one :-)
    Maybe we should all take a picture of our desk before a completed design and then take a picture of the completed design that came out of the mess.

  13. No Photo
    Rachel says:

    I am so fascinated by all the Fresh Picks! The color combinations give me inspiration for everything from picking out my clothes in the morning to floral arrangements!

  14. No Photo
    Kelly L says:

    Yay for messy! My to-do for today was going to be to clean up my workplace(it’s really bad). It’s great to find I am not alone! Love the site and love that I now feel I know all of you!
    You all are living the dream! Keep it up, it’s great!

  15. No Photo
    Catherine c says:

    I love the blog! But then I love your site. Lima Beads is the only site where I buy stones sight unseen knowing that the beads I will recieve will be of the best quality. I love the photography, love the size charts and the pictures showing varriations in color and pattern of the stones. The other thing that I think is cool is the way you mark the packages to correspond with the packing slip. I’m also pleased learn more about your company and see pics of your employees. It makes me feel more like I’m shopping at a friendly little bead store down the street. You rock!

  16. LoriEllen
    LoriEllen says:

    Thanks! Maybe I should get around to making it a necklace some time soon. :)

  17. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Tab, I definitely think you should — and you should do it in time for halloween! By the way, we received the photos of your finished pieces and they were awesome. We’re working on a way to have them show up in the blog, but it’s not ready yet. Stay tuned. Thanks for sending them!

  18. No Photo
    Mama Yogi says:

    Oh Boy! this is tough. I found 14 eggs and run out of ideas to find the rest. But… this is a great way to see the entire collection of beads available and I really, really want to go back to beading and come up with a cool spring design.

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