Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Why You Need Magical Crimping Pliers


Hello Beautiful Beader,

These wonderful crimping pliers will change the way that you bead! They take a tubular shaped crimp tube and make it into a bead while cinching it down onto the nylon coating of the wire. I highly suggest that you stick to using Soft Flex crimps and beading wire for the best connection. Our crimps have double the wall thickness of most and therefore work very well with these pliers. Our beading wire has a premium nylon coating that allows the crimp to cinch down tightly. Some of the other brands use a nylon that is too slick to get a really good and strong connection.

~ Sara, Sales and Marketing Manager



Blog contributor Sara Oehler (the original SoftFlexGirl) is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Soft Flex Company. Find her on facebook or her blog.  She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Shelley's 10 Favorite Items Under $10 - Tool Magic

You don't have to break the bank to get good quality items from us. We have lots and lots of items that are less than $10. If you have called into our office, you have probably gotten an opportunity to chat with Shelley Richey. She is a wealth of information and has been making jewelry for years too. Recently, she listed 10 of her favorite items that are under $10

"Tool Magic is one of my favorite supplies. I don't know what I did before Tool Magic! Dipping my tools in this stuff has made wire working more pleasurable as I no longer worry about harming my wire." ~ Shelley, Customer Account Representative







 




 




Tuesday, April 19, 2016

3 Reasons that Beading is my Passion Hobby


Why do you love beading?

I started making jewelry sometime in late middle school or early high school. I found a bead store in downtown Billings, MT that fed my new found hobby. It is called the Bead Depot and is still there. If ever in Billings, you should stop in and check it out. When I moved to Tempe, Arizona at the age of 18, I quickly located Beads Galore. I may have even applied to work there, but never did. Within the following two years, I became friends with a girl who's mom was a well-known lampwork artist. We met by chance, but at this point, I think it may be more closely described as destiny. Amber had taken a job with Soft Flex Company, the owners were friends with her mom. Eventually, she invited me to join her. Little did I know that I was embarking on a 17 year (and counting) career with Soft Flex Company.

Over the years I have not lost my passion for beading, which I find somewhat incredible. Nearly 25 years of beading, and I still love it. Why is that?

1. There is so much to learn and I love to try new things! Jewelry making options are endless and there is always something new to learn. There are a zillion different bead stitches, braids, weaves, etc. It simply never gets boring because I can always try something new. Plus, people are always inventing new wires, tools and beads. Sometimes old tools are introduced into the industry and used in new and interesting ways. You will see my love of trying new things in the wide variety of designs that I create. One day, I might use a kumihimo disc. The next day, I might weave a beaded bracelet using .014 Soft Flex beading wire.

2. I love the beading community and my Soft Flex family. Over the years, I have made a long list of wonderful and talented friends who live around the world. Many of these people are inspiring and motivate me to work hard and create recklessly. Now with facebook, I can keep up with all of them even though I see them less and less in person.

3. Beads have been around for at least 40,000 years and I feel connected to history when I bead. Robert Lieu noted in The History of Beads, "Beads were probably the first durable ornaments humans possessed, and the intimate relationship they had to their owners is reflected in the fact that they are among the most common items unearthed from ancient graves." Isn't that amazing to think about? I am continuing a tradition that dates back not just thousands of years but tens of thousands of years. I love that I am adding my little perspective to that long history.

I feel so fortunate that I found beading (or that beading found me). No matter how you look at it, beading has provided so much for me through the years and I know that it will be a part of my life for the rest of my life. I look forward to teaching my two young daughters how to bead and watching them explore beading in ways that I cannot even imagine at this moment. 

So, why do you love beading? 


Blog contributor Sara Oehler (the original SoftFlexGirl) is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Soft Flex Company. Find her on facebook or her blog.  She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com.













Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Like and Share! We are giving away FREE beads (valued up to $40)!


Who doesn't love and want free beads? These aren't just any beads either, they are our high quality gemstone beads.  And there are over 200 items to choose from for your free gift. Options include jaspers, green amethyst, aquamarine, kyanite, swiss blue topaz....to just name a few. Most items are limited in quantity or even only available in one strand, so choose your free item soon!

Purchase $100+ now only $50+ (changed as of 4/14/16) of jewelry supplies and get your choice of one free strand of beads or bead item from the $10-20 Beads Category, originally $20-40! 



Must order $100 $50 worth of full price retail items to qualify for your choice of one free strand of beads or bead item. Excludes Extreme, closeouts, wubbers and bulk. No other discounts apply. No cash alternative. Offer ends April 19th at midnight PST. While supplies last.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Phoenix Ultimate Women's Expo - April 23-24

Don't miss Soft Flex Company at the upcoming
Arizona's Ultimate Women's Expo!
 
April 23-24, 2016
Saturday 10am - 5pm • Sunday 11am - 5pm

Phoenix Convention Center
South Building - 3rd Street and Jefferson
33 South 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Visit us in booth
1413, 1415 and 1417


Our booth will be open for retail sales and
FREE make-it-take-its.
We are going to teach beginners and beaders
of all skill levels how to design a beautiful pair
of earrings - best of all, they are yours to keep!

Meet our beading guru -
employee and author Sara Oehler.
She can answer any questions you might have
about jewelry design and bead stringing.

Enter our special show giveaways.
We are going to draw names for gift certificates.
There are six chances to win at the show and
another opportunity to win a Facebook giveaway.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Kansas City Hospice Partnership

We love to give back to give a helping hand when we can. We've been working with a volunteer from the Kansas City Hospice for a few years now. Here is a little information about how they use our beading wire.  ~Sara

Dear Sara,

I would like to thank the Soft Flex Company once again for another great donation!  I thought I would share with your readers what we have been doing with the Soft Flex Wire…..my absolute favorite beading wire!

I have been volunteering at Kansas City Hospice for about three years. A little over a year ago I decided to start a “Jewelry for Hospice” project.  I invested my own money to purchase beads and supplies and started making jewelry.  I donate the finished pieces to Hospice where they are sold in their resale shop which is run by all volunteers.  All of the proceeds from the sales go back to Kansas City Hospice.

The project became very popular and I could no longer personally supply the materials myself to keep up with the demand.  I began contacting suppliers in the bead business and the response has been amazing!  Everyone wanted to help!

On several occasions Soft Flex Company has very generously donated to our project.  We could not have made all the jewelry without the crucial beading wire that you have given us.
We have sold thousands of dollars worth of jewelry which enables us to give back to those who need to utilize the benefits of Kansas City Hospice.

I have made hundreds of pieces but here are just a few samples….made, of course, with Soft Flex Wire.





The last picture is an example of how we use broken jewelry that has been donated to Kansas City Hospice.  We use broken earrings, brooches, etc and turn them into new jewelry such as a pendant or a new necklace. 





This last picture is my first attempt at this design.  It’s great to use up left-over beads.  You want to use a 12 gauge aluminum wire for the frame and then wrap the beads onto the frame with soft flex 22 gauge craft wire. You can wrap anything onto the frame including buttons, brooches, cabochons, or beads.  I plan to make a lot of these to use up all the miscellaneous pieces.  This one sold the first day and I wasn’t even happy with my first try. I used the wire I had on hand which was not the ideal gauge. You really need to use aluminum so you can easily bend the frame into the design you want.  Aluminum is also light weight and comes in lots of colors. You can compliment the frame color with any color of Soft Flex Craft Wire that you like.

Kansas City Hospice can always use donations of finished jewelry or beads and supplies.  The finished jewelry donations keep our jewelry cases stocked while I am making new pieces. All jewelry donations are used in one form or another.  If an item isn’t salable, it is either cleaned and repaired or taken apart to re-purpose.  It’s a great way to recycle.

If you would like to make a donation, please send it to Top Drawer, 9433 Mission Road, Leawood, KS  66206.  You can fit a lot into a flat rate box.  We are happy to email you a tax donation form after we receive it.  You can always email me at kckancie@icloud.com if you have any questions.

Thank you Sara and the Soft Flex Company for your care and concern for people in need!

Kathy Corbin



Blog contributor Sara Oehler (the original SoftFlexGirl) is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Soft Flex Company. Find her on facebook or her blog.  She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Jewelry Affaire - Spring 2016

Spring 2016

Hey folks, my latest design is being published in Jewelry Affaire, the Spring issue.  I knitted Soft Flex beading wire on a knitting spool to create this fun and funky look. I also did a little metal stamping on some Vintaj blanks and tied in some beautiful Swarovski pearls in various colors. If you'd like to learn how to make this necklace, please pick up a copy of this magazine!


Blog contributor Sara Oehler (the original SoftFlexGirl) is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Soft Flex Company. Find her on facebook or her blog.  She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

3 New Beading Books To Check Out

Hey-hey, how are you all doing? Here at Soft Flex, we have been busy, busy, busy and we haven't had as much time to blog.

Personally, I have a new baby on my hands and she is keeping me on my toes day and night. She is just 6 weeks now and growing like crazy. We are finally finding our new normal as a family of 4 plus one rowdy dog. Here is a picture of our sweet baby girl.


 In the mean time, Soft Flex has added three new books to our line up that you should order and enjoy!

by Rebecca Ann Combs

This second book by Rebecca Ann Combs has 24 interesting projects focused on learning how to braid with a kumihimo disk. In fact, one of them even uses Soft Flex beading wire. Check this out!

Isn't that awesome?! She also uses satin cord, leather, ribbon and more. Each design is really unique but easy enough for a beginner to handle. 

by Nealay Patel

It is no secret, we love Nealay. Not only because he uses our wire in many of his designs but also because he is a really, really, really nice person with an astonishing amount of creativity. This book did not disappoint with 32 projects exploring possibilities with knitted wire. Here are a few designs from the book that use Soft Flex beading wire. There are several more not shown here.




Nealay's work is gorgeous. For a limited time, we have signed copies of his book available in our store. Just go here!

by Sara Oehler and Kristen Fagan

Kristen and I are quite proud of this booklet. It offers 8 projects using several different tools and techniques - crimping, knitting, braiding, weaving and knotting. It was a lot of fun to work on I think that the final product is quite special! 


Blog contributor Sara Oehler (the original SoftFlexGirl) is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Soft Flex Company. Find her on facebook or her blog.  She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Bead and Button Show Classes by Nealay Patel

Our good friend Nealay Patel is offering several classes at the Bead and Button Show, June 2016. Typically, he uses Soft Flex beading wire and craft wire in his designs. Registration opened today, so we urge you to check out and register for these classes if you plan to be in Milwaukee in June.


 



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