Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Step into the new year with extreme elegance....(GIVEAWAY)


It has been an action packed year of spreading new ideas and color. The Soft Flex Beading Wire Trio Variety Packs are about to have their first anniversary. Time sure does fly when you are having fun. Our Extreme Beading Wire is available in Trio packages for each diameter: .014 Fine, .019 Medium and .024 Heavy.

Let's celebrate the new year with a giveaway!
Win all 3 diameter packages of Soft Flex Extreme Beading Wire Trio Variety Packs.

To simply enter to win once, leave a comment with your name and contact email. If you don't want to leave your email on the blog, please leave a comment and then email your contact details to Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com.

To enter more than once:
1. Click to follow this blog. See the follow tool on the right side. Note in your comment that you are a blog follower.
3. Click to follow @SoftFlexCompany on twitter. Note in your comment that you are a twitter follower.
4. Click to befriend Soft Flex Wire on facebook. Note in your comment that you are a facebook friend.
5. Click to subscribe to the SoftFlexGirl youtube channel. And again, note in your comment that you are a youtube subscriber.
6. Use the share feature to share this giveaway. See the little icon below - choose your favorite social network and share our giveaway. Please note where you shared our giveaway in your comment. I will enter you as many times as you share this blog post with your social network!

If you already follow or have befriended us on one or several of the listed options, please note that in your comment. You will still be entered more than once.

Winner will be announced January 6th, 2010 around noon (PST). Anyone can enter except current and former Soft Flex employees. Please, please, please share this giveaway with your bead loving friends. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com. Good Luck!

I'll be taking a blogging break over the holidays. I'll be back full time at the beginning of January! Happy holidays to all! I hope that you and yours are happy, healthy and safe.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Experimenting with New Chain


Guest Blogger: Jamie Hogsett

New Chain Equals New Projects!


Soft Flex Company's new chain is giving me all sorts of ideas to play around with. The chain comes in three colors: copper, gold plated, and silver plated, with lots of different designs in each color. Each chain comes in a length of 34 inches and comes with a hook clasp already attached. You can instantly wear it as is, or try out many other options.


To make the bracelet below, I cut just under 7 inches of oval and round textured copper chain, making sure to use heavy duty cutters, as the chain is pretty thick. I used my Serenity Trios wire set to embellish the chain and add a little bit of color. I cut wire into two inch sections and used a copper crimp tube to crimp the very ends of the wire. I covered the crimp tube with a crimp cover and wove the wires through the round links, with two wires above the link and one below. I then placed another crimp tube on all three wires, as close to the chain link as possible, crimped it, trimmed the wire ends, and covered it with a crimp cover. To finish the bracelet, I used small pieces of Fluorite wire from the Trios set to attach a copper toggle clasp. All in all, a quick and fun project!


Earrings are a great way to use this chain too. I simply cut a few links for each earring and attached ear wires - very easy. The best part is, there is still 22 inches of chain remaining, the perfect length for a necklace!


Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at
Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com or via her blog at jamiehogsett.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top Secret Giveaway

It has been an action packed year of spreading new ideas and color. The Soft Flex Beading Wire Trio Variety Packs are about to have their first anniversary. Time sure does fly when you are having fun. We have new Trios color palettes being packaged right now for a 2010 release. Our distributors are placing their orders and they will soon be available to a bead store near you. I think that you will all be very pleased!

Let's celebrate with a giveaway!
4 entrants will win 1 of the 8 new Soft Flex Beading Wire Trio Variety Packs in our new 2010 color palettes. These aren't available anywhere yet. This is a special sneak-a-peak offer!

To simply enter to win once, leave a comment with your name and contact email. If you don't want to leave your email on the blog, please leave a comment and then email your contact details to Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com.

To enter more than once:
1. Click to follow this blog. See the follow tool on the right side. Note in your comment that you are a blog follower.
3. Click to follow @SoftFlexCompany on twitter. Note in your comment that you are a twitter follower.
4. Click to befriend Soft Flex Wire on facebook. Note in your comment that you are a facebook friend.
5. Click to subscribe to the SoftFlexGirl youtube channel. And again, note in your comment that you are a youtube subscriber.
6. Use the share feature to share this giveaway. See the little icon below - choose your favorite social network and share our giveaway. Please note where you shared our giveaway in your comment. I will enter you as many times as you share this blog post with your social network!

If you already follow or have befriended us on one or several of the listed options, please note that in your comment. You will still be entered more than once.

Winner will be announced December 30th, 2009 around noon (PST). Anyone can enter except current and former Soft Flex employees. Please, please, please share this giveaway with your bead loving friends. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com. Good Luck!

I'll be taking a blogging break over the holidays but will post an all new giveaway next Wednesday when I announce the winners. I'll be back full time at the beginning of January! Happy holidays to all! I hope that you and yours are happy, healthy and safe.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Last Minute Gift Ideas in The School of Design


Guest Blogger: Jamie Hogsett

Still trying to complete your Christmas list? Shop for Free Project Ideas in the School of Design!


There are only a few days left. I think I can safely say that the only gifts I'm still needing are the ones I can make. I'm thrilled that I don't need to fight the crowds in the stores. I always look at projects in The School of Design to inspire me when I'm looking for last minute gifts. The project that caught my eye most recently is the Mixed Metals Bracelet. It's a great project that can be completed in under an hour and there are many ways to vary the original instructions.

The first variation was made with the Vitality Trios set. I cut six strands of each of the three colors. I blended the colors a little bit by using four strands of one color and one strand of each of the other colors per braid. This way, there is still a dominant color to each braid, but the other two colors are present, which makes for a gorgeous effect.


For the second variation, I decided to add some crystal bicones to each braid. I cut four strands of wire and strung about thirty bicones to the wire on the spool for the fifth strand. As I was braiding, I placed a crystal on the fifth strand in between each of the crossovers from the other wires. Rather than using a Trios set for this piece, I created a customized set of .019 diameter wire specifically for my cousin. With the Spinel wire, I used Padparadscha Satin bicones; with the Purple Amethyst wire, I used Violet Satin bicones; and with the Black Onyx wire, I used Crystal Satin bicones. I love the way the braid looks with the bicones included. I hope my cousin likes it as much as I do.

Happy Holidays to you all. I hope you enjoy lots of wonderful time with your friends and families.

Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com or via her blog at jamiehogsett.blogspot.com.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Long Wrap Necklace from by C boutique

by C boutique photo & design

"Wear it long or wrap it twice for a double strand necklace." Pay a visit to by C boutique for the recipe to this easy to wear design strung on Soft Flex Beading Wire. "I am a very devoted Soft Flex user--sold it exclusively when I had my bricks and mortar bead shop."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays Bracelet from A Bead A Day Blog

Lisa Crone Photo and Design

I love this fun design posted by Lisa Crone on A Bead A Day blog. Jamie's decorative packages inspired Lisa to get out her Econoflex in colors. The next thing she knew, she had a jingly design for her wrist to make her smile throughout this holiday season. Yay!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Onyx and Sterling Silver Necklace from Beadwork Gallery

Beadwork Gallery Photo & Design

The Beadwork Gallery showed this Onyx and Sterling Silver Necklace strung on Soft Flex Beading Wire. This classy little number is made with sterling silver soft flex wire to withstand abrasion, sterling silver spacer beads and lobster claw clasp. I have one word - GORGEOUS!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Santa's Little Workshop

Santa's Little Workshop is moving full speed ahead here in my humble abode. I've made pendants, bracelets and earrings, knitted scarves, baked cookies, made out cards, decorated packages etc! Our Christmas tree is quite lovely despite the fact that it does happen to be leaning like the Tower of Pesa. Josh said that it is the flaws that can sometimes make something special. So I've accepted our flawed tree with open arms. On Sunday, I am going to learn how to make Josh's family Christmas cookies - Pepparkakors from his Grandmother. Just what we need - more cookies! Oh well - 'tis the season. How are your holiday efforts coming along? I make or bake about 80% of my gifts. Do you make a lot of your gifts too?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gift Wrapping

Low-Cost Gift Wrap ideas from
Martha Stewart

Another page full of fun ideas from Martha - Eco Gift Wrap.

Our Soft Flex elves have been busy coming up with some really neat ideas for custom gift wrapping too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tree Bling Ornaments in The School of Design


Guest Blogger: Jamie Hogsett

Free instructions for sparkly ornaments in The School of Design.


Last year I created these CZ ornaments using my Wig Jig and lots of CZ rondelles. I recently received a package of my designs from the main office and these ornaments were in in. Just in time to add them to my tree!



Find free step-by-step instructions for making your very own ornaments in Soft Flex Company's School of Design. Even if you don't make the ornaments, you can use the instructions to braid Soft Flex Wire to hang other ornaments. I don't know about you, but I always seem to have a new ornament that needs something to hang from and I think colored beading wire is so much prettier than fishing line. It adds an extra bit of festive color to the tree.


Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com or via her blog at jamiehogsett.blogspot.com.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pantone's 2010 Color of the Year!

Pantone is pleased to announce PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise, an inviting, luminous hue, as the Color of the Year for 2010. Combining the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green, Turquoise inspires thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a comforting escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing.

Learn more about the 2010 Color of the Year, its significance and its uses on our PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise page.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spotlight on..."Elegant Holiday Trios" by Margie Deeb

by Margie Deeb

Holiday jewelry calls for two kinds of texture that, when combined, create sumptuous elegance.

In other news, Margie's book The Beader's Color Palette has been named by the prestigious Library Journal as the "Best How-To Craft Book of 2009." The "How-To Craft" category includes books about knitting, crocheting, beading, wireworking, and scrapbooking. Out of the hundreds of crafts books published in 2009, Margie's was singled out. Congratulations Margie Deeb!
NEW Color by Margie Deeb - Elegant Holiday Treasure
Designer - Jenn Parsons
NEW Free Art - Printable bookmarks, gift tags, etc
Good Book - Seed Bead Fusion
Bead Seller - Byzantium

SEE ALL HERE!

Don't miss the archives. We have years of monthly posts archived.
Article Archive
Color Archive
Designer Archive
Book Archive
Store Archive

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Haute Couture Beading Contest

I came across a really neat contest this past week. It is the 2nd annual Haute Couture Beading Contest. Contestants use runway fashion to inspire their next beading design. I am proud to announce that we will be participating by donating to the grand prize.

Click here to learn more!

I sure do see a lot of colorful fashion designs being offered for inspiration. You know where to go to find colorful beading wire for your entry! Hurry up - and go get to designing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bead Style Magazine Giveaway!

Don't forget to stop by and enter for a chance to win a prize pack of Soft Flex products. 27 packages/spools of colorful beading wire. Soft Flex Company has the largest and best color assortment in beading wire. Entries must be received by December 31, 2009.

Ask for Soft Flex products by name at a local bead or craft store near you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Bead Shoppe celebrates "Creativity Flexed"!


Hop on over to The Bead Shoppe blog to see their entry about the Flex Your Creativity Beading Contest. Also, see 1st place winner Zoya Gutina's blog. Congrats again Zoya! I'm so glad that so many people could get involved in this process. From the stores to the bloggers to the designers to the voters and admirers, thousands of people contributed time and energy to make this contest an amazing experience. We are already discussing a new contest for 2010 that will be sure to flex your creativity again. Here are a few fun comments from facebook.

1st place winner Zoya Gutina via facebook: "Nice view! Thank you! My warmest congratulations to all winners, finalists and participants! :)"

Runner up Diana Shiraishi via facebook: "This was my first time entering something like this and I thought it was a lot of fun ~ I'm a big fan of the 'Extreme' Trios and love the color Trios too ~ great product with endless possibilities. Congratulations to everyone that entered their work!"

Beverly Thrift Kilpatrick via facebook: "beautiful stuff! Congrats to the winners!"

Jennifer Wilson via facebook: "great looking pieces!"

Diane Whiting via facebook: "Congratulations Zoya...and everyone else. Wonderful, wonderful pieces!"

Jamie North via facebook: "Congratulations to all; lovely work!"

June Cavnor Beach via facebook: "They were all so unique and beautiful! Congrats to all!"

Dawn Lamb via facebook: "Congratulations to the winners - it was a fun contest and showcased lovely work."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Embellish your Holiday Gift Wrap with Econoflex


Guest Blogger: Jamie Hogsett

Use Econoflex in place of ribbon to decorate your holiday packages.



Now that you've made boxes for your presents, you can make each one unique using Econoflex beading wire and beads. Econoflex is a fabulous alternative to curling ribbon - it comes in eight great colors and at $2.99 a spool, you can't beat the price. To curl the wire, run it along one edge of a pair of scissors, just as you would with ribbon.

The nice folks at Rings & Things sent me some great holiday-themed beads that worked out perfectly for these two packages. For the red package, I used lampworked glass mint candy beads and Econoflex in Cinnamon Red and Spring Green. The craft wire is easily secured with gold-filled crimp tubes and crimp covers.
The pastel blue package is adorned with wire in Plum, Snow White, and Steel Blue. Crimped to the end of each wire with a sterling silver crimp tube is a tiny jingle bell in blue, purple, or pink.


The Snow White wire is aptly named. We've received about eight inches of snow in the last day, with at least twelve more expected in the next two days. I braved eight degree weather to photograph the gift packages on the snow, but it's so pretty it was worth it. Weather like this is the perfect excuse to stay inside and keep making holiday presents!
Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com or via her blog at jamiehogsett.blogspot.com.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Soft Flex Beading Wire is Perfect for Rosaries!

This past week I stumbled upon a rosary artist from Australia, using Soft Flex Beading Wire. Her rosaries are stunning and for sale. I see Soft Flex Beading Wire used in rosaries often because our wire has the perfect marriage of strength and flexibility. Check out Tota Pulchra Beads! She offers international shipping options.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Spotlight on...."Writing for Bead Publications" by Lisa Kan

Writing for Bead Publications
Written by: Lisa Kan

Do you have ideas to share with the bead community and want to see your designs in print? Perhaps it is the fear of the "R" word that keeps you from taking the first step or jumping that last hurdle. The "R" word, you ask is what we all fear and it is quite normal to have these feelings. It's "REJECTION" in capital letters. Capital letters because it strikes our egos and beats down our spirits. As it is said "when the going gets tough, the tough gets going". And to tell you the truth, rejection happens to all writers and designers, we just don't talk about it much.

Rejection is GOOD for us because it makes us persevere and become better artists. There is always room for improvement. Challenges allow us to grow internally and externally. And there is always more to learn, to write, to design, to create, etc... as the journey is never ending, so never give up. Positive or negative critique, we should all aim to please the most important person, ourselves. So, I am here to cheer you on and give you some tips on how to submit your first article to a prospective bead magazine.

See Entire Article Here!

VAharoni wrote a thought provoking post about the current beading magazines on the market and the choices that they make. As an advertiser in most of the magazines named, it was nice for me to see an honest portrayal of what she does or doesn't like.

NEW Color by Margie Deeb - Elegant Holiday Treasure
Designer - Jenn Parsons
NEW Free Art - Printable bookmarks, gift tags, etc
Good Book - Seed Bead Fusion
Bead Seller - Byzantium

SEE ALL HERE!

Don't miss the archives. We have years of monthly posts archived.
Article Archive
Color Archive
Designer Archive
Book Archive
Store Archive

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Flex Your Creativity Beading Contest - Winners Announced!

Grand Prize - First Place Winner
Extreme Trios: Bridal Flowers Necklace by Zoya Gutina

Runner Up - Second Place Winner
Extreme Trios: Extreme Beauty Necklace by Diana Shiraishi
using materials from The Bead Shoppe

Honorable Mention - Third Place Winner
Elegant Trios: Kazuri Links Necklace By Melissa Cable
using materials from Bead Club

Click to see all 10 winners of our Flex Your Creativity Contest. I was really impressed by all of the entries! I'm so glad that we had such a nice turn out of voters - almost 4,000 people voted to pick the winners! I received a few emails from participants saying that they really enjoyed expanding their beading arsenal by using color as part of the design. It is always a worthwhile venture if we can inspire someone to step out of their design box and try something new and different. A big thank you goes out to each and every designer that submitted. Like I said, all of the designs were wonderful.

Any ideas for our 2010 contest?

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Chain!



Chain is a wonderful design element. It's simplicity allows for a wide variety of design ideas - weave ribbon through the links, add charms and dangles or simply wear it unadorned. Chain is great for chokers, bracelets, necklaces, lariats and can be worn as a single chain or doubled up for a chunkier look.

The chain we sell is designed by hand. Each link is joined individually and not machined. The personal attention to the manufacturing ensures this chain is solid and durable. The finished chain is treated with an anti-tarnish so it keeps its luster. It is available in copper, gold and silver tones.

Wear this chain as is or add a new clasp and some charms. Get creative!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mica Shift Polymer Clay Beads and Soft Flex Trios Beading Wire Variety Packs


Cindy Lietz Photos and Designs

At Polymer Clay Tutor, you can check out the designs show above using our Soft Flex Trios Beading Wire Variety Packs. Very sophisticated & elegant! Accentuate your beads with a complimentary color of wire. Soft Flex Company has the largest color selection of any beading wire manufacturer.

Because the Trios wire comes in such beautiful colors, I wanted to make sure the wire itself was featured. So I have large loops of it in each color crisscrossing throughout the choker, accented by golden colored glass beads. - Cindy Lietz

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Soft Flex Wire Napkin Rings for Your Holiday Table


Guest Blogger: Jamie Hogsett

Make Personalized Napkin Rings/Place Cards using Wire and Artwork from Soft Flex Company!


I've been thinking of all sorts of applications for using Kristen's free artwork for Soft Flex Company and Shrinky-Dinks to make fun holiday decorations. I used one of her Elegant Leaves gift tag designs to make these name cards. I traced her design onto the Shrinky-Dink paper, leaving out the "to" and "from" in her original, and filled in the names of the people I'm having over for dinner.


My brother happened to stop by just before I was going to bake the name cards. He was fascinated at how Shrinky-Dinks work, so I threatened to make all of his gifts using Shrinky-Dinks. He wasn't so excited by that.

Several months ago, I made a napkin ring project for the School of Design and I referred to those instructions to finish off my napkin rings. The only changes I made to the original instructions was to use two pieces each of three colors of wire and only using two crimp tubes to attach the wires to the name plate pieces.

I used Medium .019 diameter wire in Champagne, Red Jasper, and Green Emerald, along with Sterling Silver Mighty Crimp Tubes. The napkin rings will add a nice festive touch to the dinner table and will get us into the holiday spirit to go see The Nutcracker after we eat. I can't wait!

Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com or via her blog at jamiehogsett.blogspot.com.
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