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Archive: October ’08 on The Blog

Is My Apartment Haunted?

Posted by rachel on October 31 at 10:15 am

This past weekend, I finally moved into my new apartment! When I first decided to move to Ann Arbor, I tried to find a place really quickly and ended up in a generic, stale apartment complex. For the entire past year, I have been waiting to find a new place that had more charm and a better location. Well, I found it about a month ago and snatched it up immediately because the price was amazing and the location is perfect. I was so excited!  

It’s an older building, but maybe only from the 1920′s or 30′s, which, in the grand scheme of things, is not ancient. I believe the landlord said it was originally a single-family home, but has been has been apartments since at least the 1960′s. The reason I know this is because he also mentioned that woman had just moved out recently that had been in the same apartment since 1964! I can’t imagine staying in the same apartment all those years! Needless to say, the place has a bit of history.

The first day I started to move in, a strange thing happened. My mother was helping me move in and just as she was leaving my apartment a woman with a couple of little girls came out of their apartment. One of the little girls, skipping down the hall, stopped in front of my mom, pointed at my door and said “There’s ghost-tss in there.” What?! What would make a five year old girl say such things to a stranger? When my mom told me, all I could think was “Oh boy.” The next day, it came time to move my cats. These cats have moved a few times and while it takes them a bit to adjust, they are always pretty calm about it. However, in this place, it seems to be quite the opposite. They have never acted this frantic! They have been staring at nothing with eyes wide and running around screaming and crying like they don’t know what is happening. Now I know people say that cats are extra-sensitive and are often a good meter of paranormal activity, but I don’t want to believe that at this point!

Have I really rented a haunted apartment?  Just in time for Halloween.  Perfect!

Dogtooth Amethyst Love Affair

Posted by Ali on October 30 at 02:09 pm

I love dogtooth amethyst. Lima Beads first started carrying this stone a couple of months ago, but we were only able to get 2 shapes to start. This week, we’ve added a full line of it and I’m so excited. I must admit, I already took out a few strands for myself :)

Amethyst with Calcite

Amethyst with Calcite

When we initially added it to our shop, it wasn’t as popular as I thought it would be. I think the fact that we only had 2 shapes to offer made it more difficult for all of you to use. I think it’s going to turn into one of our most popular stones. It’s a natural purple stone that isn’t very expensive and that’s not an easy combination to find. It has the same gorgeous purple tones of amethyst that we all love, but also introduces white banding. This white banding is caused by a growth of calcite on the amethyst. This is commonly referred to as “dogtooth calcite” — which is where the name for this stone comes from.

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Is Customer Service Dead?

Posted by Kevin on October 29 at 04:41 pm

The Lima team has been experiencing a string of terrible customer service lately. From restaurants to coffee shops to lumber yards, we’ve seen some shockingly bad service over the past few weeks. It’s strange – we’ve all experienced bad service here and there, but lately it has been much more frequent and much, much worse!

Here are some examples:

Rachel and Riki went to a bar and grill (national chain) for dinner. At the end of their meal, they politely asked if the server could just split the check in two, so they could pay separately. He acted annoyed and told them that he couldn’t split their onion rings onto two checks. He said he would put the onion rings on their own check, which of course didn’t really help Rachel and Riki, but not wanting to cause trouble, they agreed. Now, the funny part – when the server returned to the table, he presented the checks and said “Here’s the $9.00 one for the onion rings, that’s $4.50 each in case you didn’t take high school math.” Wow.

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Some Much Needed Planning

Posted by Kevin on October 27 at 05:08 pm

The Lima team spent most of today planning out the next few months. It was cold and crisp in Michigan this morning. That late-fall kind of cold that you’re not prepared for and takes you by surprise when you step out the door to start your day. After getting our (essential) morning coffee, we all crowded around the conference room table at 9:00am, and started talking. Depending on our role here at Lima Beads, we all have different priorities and concerns to talk about.

The conference room

The conference room

Ali wanted to talk about our winter advertising campaign.  With each new season, we try to come up with a new look for our BeadStyle, Bead&Button, and Stringing ads. The next round of ads will come out in late December, which means it’s too early to start talking spring, but too late for a holiday theme. We’re thinking of focusing on silver (and metal in general) because we plan to have our line of silver available by then :) What do you like to see in bead magazine ads? What catches your eye and makes you want to visit a web site?

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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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I Found My Vintage Buttons!

Posted by Ali on October 22 at 08:41 pm

I have always enjoyed using offbeat parts in my jewelry — found objects, costume jewelry from my grandma, sparkly vintage buttons, or “hippie beads” from my Aunt Jackie. I feel like using these kinds of pieces in my jewelry adds a special touch to the already cool combinations of stones.

My Vintage Buttons

My Vintage Buttons

In my college days, I could be found selling my jewelry each summer at the Ann Arbor art fair. I always tried to have a variety of pieces available from low to high prices and from simple to super fancy :) Some of my most interesting pieces contained vintage buttons or other random things that I came across as a thrifty college student. These were always my favorite pieces, but they didn’t seem to sell very well. It may have something to do with the fact that I priced them really high — maybe I wanted to keep them for myself :)

I recently found my box of vintage buttons and I was so happy. We moved last year and for the life of me, I couldn’t find them. I started to get inspired immediately!

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Fall Beads Check-up

Posted by Steve on October 20 at 05:00 pm

Staying stocked!

Hi beaders! I just wanted to make sure you had your fingers on our pulse at Lima Beads for the Fall season… Here’s a quick list of the autumn happenings here at Lima.

New Fall Beads

We’ve been busy adding new beads during our Fall Bead Harvest (see the stack of boxes on the right!):

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Reinventing Vintage Jewelry Finds

Posted by rachel on October 18 at 08:32 pm

Not only am I a new Lima Beads team member, but I am also a novice in the jewelry and beading worlds.  When I was much younger, I dabbled in beading, making bracelets and necklaces for all my friends with those microscopic seed beads, little charms and found objects like shells and sea glass that I had, albeit very poorly, wire wrapped and formed into pendants.  That little hobby eventually dwindled away.

Vintage Owl Necklace

Vintage Owl Necklace

When I got older and became interested in shopping for vintage clothing, my attention was quickly focused on all of the great jewelry I could find. Not only was it affordable, but it was a practical guarantee that others would not be found wearing the same thing! Let it be known that I am not now, nor ever have been, searching for those valuable family heirlooms. My taste has always been quite the opposite.  I adore the things most people refer to as “tacky” and “garish.” If shopping with a friend, I usually hear “I wouldn’t wear it, but you could pull it off.” I’m okay with that.

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Week 4 of New Fall Beads

Posted by Steve on October 16 at 12:23 pm

Fall colors, popping patterns, and old favorites: that sums up the new gemstone beads we just added to our store–a total of 24 brand new beads! You can see them all (with photos) on the new beads page. I’ll cherry-pick a few of my favorites and tell you about them below. Read on (and don’t miss Kevin’s post about last week’s fall beads)….

Labradorite facets = sparkly

Labradorite facets = sparkly

First, we’re adding 8 (!!!) new labradorite shapes, including freeform drops, a horse eye, rondelles, and some ultra-sparkly faceted shapes. It’s hard to capture the wonderful blue “flash” with a camera–but these cuts really show it when you’re holding them (or wearing them!). The faceted labradorite shapes have more facets than normal, which means more sparkle!

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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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Sterling at Lima Beads?

Posted by Kevin on October 13 at 07:10 pm

Here at Lima Beads, we’ve been getting a lot of requests lately to carry sterling silver. This is something we’ve been considering for a long time, but we need your help!

What kind of silver would you like to see at Lima Beads?  We’re thinking of carrying the following:

  • Head pins
  • Wire
  • Chain
  • Clasps
  • Ear wires

What are we missing? We would like to start of with a full line of standard items in standard sizes and branch out from there. Our goal is to allow our customers to get as much as they can in one place to save on shipping and time!

We’re especially excited about the wire — it will go nicely with our upcoming line of Cabochons.

Please let me know what you think.  If you’d like to see a certain item in sterling or even a specific brand of silver, tell me in the comments.

We want to do this soon!

Pumpkin Carving and Curry

Posted by rachel on October 10 at 07:09 pm
 Let the fun begin! 

Let the fun begin!

As I mentioned before, autumn is definitely my favorite season.  The weather allows for sweaters and layered clothing, the leaves transform the landscape with their fiery hues, and there’s Halloween fun to be had!

I suppose then, that you have figured out Halloween is my favorite holiday!  I love the kitschy spookiness: the ghost stories, the decorations, and the costumes, especially.  I always take time to dress up in a costume at least once per year, maybe more if I should be so lucky.  Another great thing about Halloween is the carving of the Jack-o-Lantern.  I never miss an opportunity to carve a pumpkin!  Better still are the tasty roasted seeds you get to eat when all the artistry is through. There is a recipe for curried pumpkin seeds at the bottom – they are tasty, so be sure to check it out!

Outlining my design

Outlining my design

Riki, our newest Lima team member, and I decided to get our hands dirty and carve up some squash. We got the pumpkins from a local flower and produce store that has been in business for ages. Luckily, Riki and her roommate have a huge porch at their apartment so we didn’t have to worry about the inevitable mess of pumpkin slime.  We spread out some newspaper and got down to business.  Riki decided to try one of the patterns that come with the carving set.  That seemed a bit too regimented for me, so I set out to make a creepy little face on my own.  After the tops came off, we carefully got all of the precious seeds set aside in a bowl for later; our stomachs were growling!

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My Last Post as a Single Guy

Posted by Matt on October 09 at 09:22 pm

It’s 8 PM on Thursday and I’m leaving for Frankenmuth (and my wedding!) in just a few hours. After being engaged for a year and a half, I honestly can’t believe that it’s already here.

I hope that after the wedding, things will slow down a bit. This past week has been the most hectic week of my life. The only thing keeping me sane is the thought of what comes after this Saturday. Not only do I get to spend every minute with my best friend, but we’re spending next week in Costa Rica.

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New Gemstones in Fall Colors

Posted by Kevin on October 09 at 01:33 pm
Mystic Blue Feldspath

Mystic Blue Feldspath

We’re adding 20 new gemstone beads to the Lima Beads shop today. These beads are great for fall – they range from bold reds to earthy browns and greens. You can find them all on the new beads page

The first addition is to mystic blue feldspath. We’ve added a standard 20x15mm thin pillow and 3 funky shapes: a cool little pendant, large 18x13mm rice and an awesome little 10x8mm barrel.

Copper Green Opal

Copper Green Opal

Next, we’ve added 10 new beads to copper green opal. There couldn’t be a more perfect stone for fall. It’s extremely popular and we’ve been waiting forever to get more shapes in stock. Today, we’ve added a teardrop, puff coins, rice, rondelles, rounds and one very cool tumbled nugget.

My favorite addition this week is the red jasper. The boldness of its red coloring is absolutely gorgeous! There is just enough pattern to keep it interesting without taking away from the color. We’ve added an oval, a rice, a thin pillow and a large puff square (30mm!).

Red Jasper

Red Jasper

You can also find a small apatite tumbled nugget and a citrine freeform slab in the new beads. The apatite tumbled nugget is a great little accent bead.

Let us know what you think!


Whole Foods Hot Bar – Good or Evil?

Posted by Kevin on October 08 at 01:13 pm

Our office (The Lima Loft) is downtown. This means that we frequent the same places (see our favorites) for lunch each day. Occasionally though, I have to run errands that aren’t downtown. On these days, I bring my car and my choices for lunch are virtually limitless! Yesterday, I had finished my errands and it was time to start thinking about lunch.  I was near the new Whole Foods that everyone has been talking about, so I decided to check it out and try the hot bar. I’ve been trying to eat healthier lately and I knew they would have some great stuff.

For people that love food, walking into Whole Foods is like being a kid again and walking into Toys R Us. I think they arrange the fruits and vegetables by color – it’s like a work of art! My nose led me straight to the hot bar near the back of the store. I couldn’t believe the enormous selection. I’d be able to put a healthy, tasty lunch together for sure…

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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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Metal Madness: All metal 20% off!

Posted by Steve on October 02 at 01:31 pm

All metal at Lima Beads, including Vintaj brass, Green Girl pewter, Stampt, gold, copper, pewter is 20% off until midnight Sunday (Oct. 5).  There are no exceptions, if it is made of metal and it’s available at Lima Beads — it is 20% off! Shop the metal on sale here:

 Brass – 20% off!    

 Copper – 20% off!

 Gold – 20% off!

 Pewter – 20% off!

Remember, the sale ends Sunday night (Oct. 5). Don’t miss out on the fantastic savings!

Cabs on the Way

Posted by Kevin on October 01 at 12:08 pm
Larimar Blue Crazy Lace Agate

Larimar Blue Crazy Lace Agate

Wire wrappers rejoice – Lima Beads has a full line of cabochons coming soon! We’re very excited about this line. We’ve taken some of our most popular stones and had them cut into cabs by a marvelous factory. The cut and polish are unbelievable!

Matt & Steve are currently designing and building a new section of our web site for the cabs. You’ll be able to shop them by stone or size. Most of them will be a standard oval cut with one flat side, but a few of the stones will have really funky cuts! We’ve only received about half of the shipment thus far, but I know that some of the stones are:

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