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Archive: September ’08 on The Blog

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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Fall Beads Upon Us!

Posted by Kevin on September 25 at 01:21 pm
Matt hauling a box of beads up the stairs

Matt hauling a box of beads up the stairs

Each year about this time, our fall lineup of beads starts to trickle in. Don the UPS guy pulls up in his truck and beeps the horn. We all run down to help him unload the boxes. In the past week, we’ve unloaded about 50 boxes that average 60 pounds each. Steve, Matt, and I carry all the boxes up the stairs (22 stairs to be exact!) and line them up in the hallway.

Once the boxes are upstairs, we can’t wait to tear them open and see all the new stones! This fall is going to be awesome. We’ve got a lot of gorgeous new beads that are brand new to the market. We also have additions to some popular stones, including high quality fluorite, labradorite, garnet, rhodochrosite and more.

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Beads in the Animal Kingdom

Posted by Steve on September 23 at 11:08 pm

We’ve got literally thousands of beads here at Lima, and they each have defining characteristics that make up a unique personality. Some beads roar, some blend in with their surroundings, some are rare, but they all have one thing in common: they’re all beautiful in their own way. The animal kingdom is the same way, and if you look closely at our gemstone beads, you’ll begin to see the same colors and patterns living in nature. Here are a few animals that remind me of specific stones:

The Chinook Salmon

The scaly appearance of Green Snakeskin beads would make a great reptile, but it also makes a good fish! The silvery green base and black markings remind me of the Chinook Salmon (also known as the King Salmon), whose natural habitat is the northern Pacific waters. They were also planted in the Great Lakes, which surround our home state of Michigan.

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The Bead Machine gets a tune-up

Posted by Steve on September 17 at 09:47 am

The Big Green Bead Machine was getting a little greedy recently, and needed a tune-up! Normally, the bead machine churns out 9 products and drops the prices every 5 minutes to give you crazy-good deals. But we received several reports over the last few weeks that the bead machine was actually increasing prices every 5 minutes for a few items. We didn’t believe it at first, but with a little detective work, we were able to track down and fix the problem that was causing the machine to flip out.

So everything’s back to normal now, and the deals are as good as ever! If you’ve never tried the Big Green Bead Machine, make sure to check it out. Be careful though, it’s addicting! And thanks to our customers for reporting the hiccups!

Lunch at Lima

Posted by Matt on September 16 at 12:36 pm

We love food here at Lima Beads. Who doesn’t? Arguably, the best part of working downtown is the food. The restaurants in Ann Arbor are an eclectic mix of the greatest tastes from around the world. You could easily eat Cuban for breakfast, Middle-Eastern for lunch, and Chinese for dinner all in the same day. The best part is, you’d only have to walk a couple of blocks. Since were sending out new lunch specials today, I’d like to share a little about lunch here at Lima Beads.

For the people who live or have visited Ann Arbor, the restaurants that stand out in their mind are Palio, Real Seafood Co., The Chop House, Gratzi or The Earle. While these are all fine establishments, they’re not exactly “Quick Lunch” material. We love going out to lunch, so while our taste buds may be happier with those restaurants, our bank account wouldn’t.

Lunch at Lima usually takes place at one of the following:

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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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Stampt Metal — We Love It!

Posted by Kevin on September 11 at 12:28 pm

“Could you check your spelling on Stampt? Should it be Stamped?”

Copper Connector

Copper Connector

I received that email from a customer shortly after we unveiled the new line of Stampt metal. To clear up any confusion – Stampt is the correct spelling. It is actually the brand name of this gorgeous new line of beads. If you follow the beading industry, you’re surely aware of the immense growth and popularity of brass beads and stampings over the past couple of years.

Gold Pendant

Gold Pendant

Stampt has taken these marvelous items and plated them in high quality metals. The stamping and plating are both done by small companies in the U.S. that have been doing this work since before I was born! The quality is impressive.

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Hope you didn’t miss ‘em!

Posted by Kevin on September 10 at 08:56 am

It looks like the Lima Lunch Specials released yesterday are going to be another big hit. There were 2 shapes of the popular Fire Pink Freshwater Pearls, along with gemstones and 3 different metal beads. So far the Amethyst is the hottest seller!

There’s no reason to miss out on these awesome once-per-week bead deals! If you’re not getting the Lunch Special emails – sign up now and you’ll get them next Tuesday. It’s too late to get the deals below, but there will be 9 more next week, so don’t miss out again!

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Adventures in Painting

Posted by Steve on September 08 at 11:01 am
Office Colors

Office Colors

Picking a color palette for your office can be fun–but doing all the painting is a pain! When we were looking for an office, we picked a space with big walls suited for bold colors. We spoke with an architect, consulted with a color coordinator, buried ourselves in swatches, and selected a palette that felt like Lima. Check out the colors on the right.

That was the easy part… now we had to fight with the existing wall colors, fake wood paneling, rotting ceilings, and still work on 8-hour day. We thought the easiest way to deal with that was…. a commercial-grade paint sprayer!!!!

How NOT to use a paint sprayer

How NOT to use a paint sprayer

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Help Make Lima Even Greener

Posted by Kevin on September 03 at 08:13 pm

Ali & I have always tried to make environmentally friendly decisions at home and at work. I asked our landlord if he’d consider installing solar panels on the roof of our building and he just laughed at me. Oh well – there’s plenty we can do on our own.

Feed Me

Feed Me

A few years ago, we replaced all the light bulbs in our office with new energy efficient compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. We went from 27 regular bulbs at 75 watts to 27 energy efficient bulbs at 9 watts. That’s asavings of 1782 watts! To put that in perspective, most toaster ovens draw about 900 watts, so the energy we’re saving could power 2 toaster ovens all day long – that’s a lot of toast. One note, be sure to recycle these bulbs properly, they contain mercury! Some stores, like Ikea, now offer drop-off stations.

We recycle everything. Boxes, paper, containers, plastics, everything! Recycling is a big deal in our city. “Recycle Ann Arbor,” started in 1978 as Michigan’s first curbside recycling service. We’re a really small business, but the amount of waste we generate is amazing. If we didn’t recycle, I can’t believe how much we’d be contributing to landfills. Because of all the recycling, we’re usually able to limit our trash to one (very full) bag per week.

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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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