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Archive: February ’10 on The Blog

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 DavidLettermansGirl
  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:

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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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