Thursday, March 31, 2011

News Alert: Sara and Jamie to author a book!


Woooohooo! I am terrible with secrets and so incredibly happy to finally be able to announce that Jamie Hogsett and I are set to co-author a book. Yay! This will be Jamie's 6th book and my very 1st book. I'm so thankful to have a knowledgeable and talented co-author.  The book will be published by Kalmbach, the home of Bead and Button Magazine as well as Bead Style Magazine. It is due out in February 2012!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spotlight on...Bead Seller Shipwreck Beads


Our featured online bead store for this month is Shipwreck Beads.

Owned and operated by the same family since its founding in 1969, Shipwreck Beads was first located in a modest 750 square foot building on the shores of Mud Bay in Olympia, Washington. Originally called "Shipwreck", it began life as a nautical themed antique store that just happened to keep a few trade beads in stock. When Shipwreck's original owners sold the store to their children in 1982, the beads quickly took center stage, and Shipwreck Beads was born!

Article - Bead Cruise 2011 by Heather Powers
Color by Margie Deeb - The Process of Color Forecasting
Jewelry Designer - Lorelei Eurto
Good Book - Handmade Weddings
Bead Seller - Shipwreck Beads

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bright Star by Jamie Hogsett

The 5mm smokey quartz faceted discs and 12mm septarium coins in this necklace were great finds in the Soft Flex booth at the Santa Fe show a few weeks back. By simply adding a moss green size 15 seed bead between after each bead strung, the gradation of the smokey quartz discs really stands out. This is a great necklace for getting the popular layered look - I can picture it stacked up with my diamond pendant and my long dog-tag/charm necklace.

I especially love the little box clasp with the star on it. It's a clasp that will likely slide down to the side or front of the piece, which is perfectly okay in this case. Soft Flex Extreme wire in 925 Sterling Silver, 2mm crimp tubes, and 3mm crimp covers are the only other materials needed to make this simple piece.


Guest blogger Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Walking on Sunshine" earrings by Claire Goverts


Look at these lovely earrings by Claire. I love yellow and recently I've been dabbling with the idea of using yellow Soft Flex in a few designs. It is such a bright and happy color. Check out Claire Govert's blog.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Natural ways to clean, protect and patina various metals



Your jewelry is taking a beating. After weeks of wear, the metal is bombarded with dirt, water stain, soap grime and organic material from skin contact. It isn't hard to understand why that cherished sterling is now a dark ghost of it's former glory.

The good news is that it is not difficult to clean your favorite jewelry pieces and you can do it with  natural remedies instead of using harsh chemicals and solvents. You can even patina metal for an antique look with products you probably already have at home.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Donate beads to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami


The Kobe Lampwork Glass Museum in Japan has drawn up a plan to raise money to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in North and Eastern Japan. The Museum was in an area that was less affected by the natural disaster and wants to do something to help. You can donate your handmade beads to either be auctioned, for a commemorative exhibit or both. 100% of the proceeds will be donated directly those most in need. They will be accepting beads from April 1st though March 11, 2012 (first anniversary).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spotlight on...Good Book - Handmade Weddings


Our featured book this month is
by Eunice Moyle, Sabrina Moyle and Shana Faust

It is 8 months until my wedding and I've been enjoying lots and lots of wedding literature. Handmade Weddings by Eunice Moyle, Sabrina Moyle and Shana Faust is a wonderful find. I have been somewhat disappointed in most bridal magazines and bridal shows because they only offer traditional, cookie cutter ideas and options. I am very pleased to have a book offering such nice diy ideas for my upcoming wedding. The projects are fresh and in some cases very applicable to our wedding.

Article - Bead Cruise 2011 by Heather Powers
Color by Margie Deeb - The Process of Color Forecasting
Jewelry Designer - Lorelei Eurto
Good Book - Handmade Weddings
Bead Seller - Shipwreck Beads

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Turquoise Trio by Jamie Hogsett

Several strands of gemstones called out to me from our booth at the Santa Fe show, so I brought some home to create with. Included in my findings were a strand of 14mm African Turquoise coins and a trio of Lemon Chrysoprase rounds. By adding findings and just a few other types of beads, I was able to make these three bracelets and still have two turquoise coins leftover for earrings.

I used
platinum metallic electroplate size 11 seed beads from Beyond Beadery, Soft Flex Beading Wire in Chrysoprase, 2mm crimp tubes, and 3mm crimp covers for all three bracelets. To the top bracelet I added five polymer clay disk beads from Humblebeads and a sterling silver toggle clasp from Saki Silver. For the bracelet on the bottom left I used 6mm silver-plated olivine crystal squaredelles with a matching toggle clasp. And I used a sterling silver elegant swirls toggle from Star's Clasps for the bracelet on the bottom right.

These three bracelets are all piled on my wrist right now and I'm loving how they look stacked together. I'm a huge fan of turquoise and wear a piece of it nearly every day, so these bracelets are going to fit into my jewelry stash just fine.


Guest blogger Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Did you know that the original color that was associated with St. Patrick's Day was blue? Can you picture a blue St. Patrick's Day? No way! I picked a few of my favorite green items to share. 

Reg Price: $2.60 
Your Price: $1.04 
You Save: $1.56


Price: $16.95 



Price: $8.00 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wedding advice?


With less than 8 months until our wedding on November 5th, I'm starting to think more and more seriously about the details. I stopped and wondered if you might have a story or two to share. Yes, you! Are you married? Have you been a bridesmaid? Do you have any advice for Joshua and I in planning our big day?

Spotlight on...Designer Lorelei Eurto



Our featured designer for this month is Lorelei Eurto.

Lorelei Eurto has always loved incorporating metal and wire into her beaded designs, since she started creating jewelry in 2007. She just started creating her own jewelry components in 2009 and is excited to learn and share different techniques with her peers. Pairing art beads with other techniques, creates collaborative efforts between sometimes 5-6 different artists in one design. Lorelei feeds off these collaborations, creating simple and contemporary designs that are wearable and unique.

Article - Bead Cruise 2011 by Heather Powers
Color by Margie Deeb - The Process of Color Forecasting
Jewelry Designer - Lorelei Eurto
Good Book - Handmade Weddings
Bead Seller - Shipwreck Beads

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Step Up and Step Out Earrings by Jamie Hogsett

Here's a great pair of earrings perfect for a night out on the town! They're long and have great movement, with just a small amount of sparkle. Fire Agate 8mm rounds, 4mm Sqaredelles and Round Charms in Silver Finish with Topaz crystals, Non-Tarnish Silver Craft Wire in 22-gauge and 18-gauge, a WigJig Olympus Lite, the Premium Peg Set and the Wonderful, Wearable Wire book were used to make these earrings. I used the Step Up pattern on page 14 of the book to make the dangles, which I really love in an earring design. 

One of the great things about the WigJig is you can sit down and make a bunch of ear wires and other components to have on hand for whenever you feel like making jewelry. I plan to make a bunch of the Step Up links as I can envision using it in many pairs of earrings...

 
Guest blogger Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Top 10 Most Viewed Free Project Ideas - 2011

#1 Most Viewed Design Idea
Designed by: Martina Valdivia

#2 Most Viewed Design Idea
Designed by: Sara Hardin
(project instructions no longer available)

#3 Most Viewed Design Idea
Designed by: Jamie Hogsett 
Project materials provided by Beadfx

#4 Most Viewed Design Idea
Designed by: Sara Hardin

#5 Most Viewed Design Idea
Designed by: Jamie Hogsett 

#6 Most Viewed Design Idea
Designed by: Jamie Hogsett 

#7 Most Viewed Design Idea
Designed by: Jamie Hogsett 
Project materials provided by Art Beads

 #8 Most Viewed Design Idea
End of Summer Necklace
Designed by: Jamie Hogsett 

#9 Most Viewed Design Idea
Designed by: Jamie Hogsett
Project materials provided by: Art Beads



#10 Most Viewed Design Idea
Designed by: Sara Hardin 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wish Lists


Did you know that you can add items to a wish list on our website? The Tahitian Pearls shown above are on my wish list. I've been eying these babies for weeks. It might be time to bite the bullet and buy them! I digress....if you didn't know about our wish list feature, you should check out this easy-to-follow tutorial about how they work. If you are the type of shopper that doesn't have time to sit down and complete an order in one sitting, this is a great way to save items and easily check out at a later time.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Scheduling Spotlight on...beading societies, groups, clubs and meetups


It is hard for me to believe that we have been spotlighting for over 5 years now. We decided to add a new feature starting in April 2011. We want to shine a spotlight on the bead societies, groups, guilds, clubs and meetups that are out there. So, if you are a member of a beading group and would like to be featured, please email me so that I can get you on our upcoming schedule.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Crystal Findings Set - Winner Announced


I thought that I'd share a little piece of Spring with you today. Here in Arizona, Spring has sprung. Leaves are budding. My new fruit trees are full of ripe citrus and I even spied our first Spring rose bloom. I know that many of you are still knee deep in snow or slinging on your rain galoshes to keep dry. Hang in there, I'm sending a little bit of Spring your way! To see more of my Spring photos, click here!

I knew that you'd all love the crystal findings set, but I had no idea that we'd get such wonderful and thorough feedback about your feelings on shipping prices. I can't thank each and every one of you enough for your sharing your thoughts on such an important subject. Your feedback is priceless!

Without further ado, our winner is..........(drum roll please)........................................................................ Erin Prais-Hintz at Tesori Trovati Jewelry

If you like the crystal spacer bars, please note that they are on sale this month!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

See Soft Flex at Beadfest in Santa Fe, New Mexico


March 10-13, 2011
Santa Fe Community Convention Center
201 W. Marcy St
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Hours: (for Convention Center booths)
Friday 10am - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 6pm
Sunday 11am - 5pm
Admission: $12 a day; $14/two day; $16/three day 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spotlight on...Color by Margie Deeb - The Process of Color Forecasting


The Process of Color Forecasting
by Margie Deeb

Twice a year I create the Color Report for Bead & Jewelry Designers. Within it's digital pages, by way of instructions, examples, proportion-specific palettes, and beadwork, I demonstrate how to work with the 10 specific colors that Pantone has forecasted for the current season.

How do the color forecasters at Pantone choose the seasonal colors? There's a lot more to it than you might think.

One of my readers in Canada directed me to "Q," a national arts and culture interview program on CBC Radio in Canada. I listened to a fascinating interview with color forecaster Keith Recker, who forecasts for Pantone and WGSN (an online trend forecasting firm).

Recker says "In forecasting we try to sniff out what people are thinking about, what they will be needing, what they are lacking in terms of psychology, spirituality, sociology, their economy, then we start to find our way into color."



Article - Bead Cruise 2011 by Heather Powers
Color by Margie Deeb - The Process of Color Forecasting
Jewelry Designer - Lorelei Eurto
Good Book - Handmade Weddings
Bead Seller - Shipwreck Beads

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Subtle Silver by Jamie Hogsett

After last week's monster wire-wrapping project, I was ready for something much faster and simpler, and this bracelet is the result. Made using lampwork from Cindybeads, Czech glass rondelles from Raven's Journey, and Thai silver from Kamol, this bracelet is strung using 925 Sterling Silver Extreme Flex Wire in .019 diameter. I wrapped the wire around each Czech rondelle and passed through it again in order to add a little extra touch of silver to the bracelet. It's amazing the difference this small step makes - I love it!




Guest blogger Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company and a Swarovski Elements Ambassador. Contact her at Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com.

Friday, March 4, 2011

First Friday Giveaway - Selection of Crystal Squaredelle Items

Total Retail Value = $84.50
You can choose your favorite color!

Retail = $21.00


Retail = $17.50

Retail = $20.00

Retail = $36.00

Each month of 2011, on the First Friday, I'll post an item or an array of items that I'm going to giveaway. In order to enter, you answer a question by clicking on the link below that reads "need your opinion" or "post a comment".

Question: In general, do you ever reconsider buying online once you see the shipping cost? If yes, what is the tipping point for you?

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.
2. 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!

Responses will be collected through Thursday, March 10th. The winner will be announced on Friday, March 11th. Don't forget to leave a way for me to contact you or you may not get your prize. If you have questions or are uneasy about sharing your email as a comment, you can email me at Sara [@] SoftFlexCompany.com.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spotlight on...Bead Cruise 2011 by Heather Powers



Bead Cruise 2011
Written by: Heather Powers

As I write this, it is just over a month before we sail for Bead Cruise 2011. On March 27th a group of sixty bead enthusiasts will join me on my 6th annual Bead Cruise. We are sailing to Cozumel, Jamaica and Grand Cayman while we bead and play!

This year we are heading out of Galveston, Texas where the stars shine bright above our heads and in our classrooms. Luminary instructors include Jean Campbell, Dallas Lovett, Tracy Stanley, Beverly Herman, Marcia DeCoster and myself. Classes cover off-loom beadweaving projects, wire and metal work, polymer clay beadmaking and stringing designs. There is something for everyone.



Article - Bead Cruise 2011 by Heather Powers
Color by Margie Deeb - The Process of Color Forecasting
Jewelry Designer - Lorelei Eurto
Good Book - Handmade Weddings
Bead Seller - Shipwreck Beads

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Inspiration: Winter by Jamie Hogsett

People think that Colorado gets a ton of snow in the winter. There is definitely a lot of the powdery white in the mountains, but in the foothills, where I live, we've had very little snow this season. It's been cold though - extremely cold - so when we do get snow, there's lots of lingering ice to go along with it. Driving and walking on the ice always makes me nervous, but as long as the ice takes the form of sparkling icicles, I'm a happy girl.

As part of their blogger program, Artbeads.com invited me to create a piece about "Winter Enchantment," something that expresses what I find beautiful about this season. To me, winter in Colorado means bright blue skies, dark evergreen trees, and ice. And what better to represent ice than clear Swarovski Elements?! Polygon drop and teardrop pendants make perfect icicles in this necklace. Simplicity crystal beads work well as spacers in addition. The sharp facets of all of the Swarovski Elements reflect sun the same way icicles would, only the beads won't melt.

I used 24-gauge Soft Flex Craft Wire in green, baby blue, and non-tarnish silver for the wirework. The messy, uneven wraps help illustrate the icicle idea in the front part of the necklace. For the chain at the back of the piece, I used the smallest tool in the Twist N Curl Mini Set to make little wire beads, then wrapped them all together. Sterling silver 4mm jump rings and a pretty sterling silver filigree clasp finish the piece.

Now that it's March, we only have a few weeks of winter left until spring rolls in with its blossoming of life. With this necklace, I'll be able to enjoy my favorite parts of the coldest season even as temperatures warm up in a warmer one!


Guest blogger Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company and a Swarovski Elements Ambassador. Contact her at Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com.
 
Disclaimer: The crystal pendant and beads and jump rings were gifted to me by Artbeads.com as part of their blogging program. I am not compensated by them for my review of their products.

More Closeout - Beading Pliers, Needles, Pleather, Power Pro, Pendant Thread Cutter

We have been doing a little online house cleaning! Here are some items that were recently moved to our closeout section at 60% off. Check it out! We only have limited quantities in these items, so if you like something or need something, buy it now. Supplies will run out.


Reg Price: $7.95 
Your Price: $3.18 
You Save: $4.77


Reg Price: $1.20 
Your Price: $0.48 
You Save: $.72


Reg Price: $4.00 
Your Price: $1.60 
You Save: $2.40




Reg Price: $9.95 
Your Price: $3.98 
You Save: $5.97


Reg Price: $29.95 
Your Price: $11.98 
You Save: $17.97

Reg Price: $1.95 
Your Price: $0.78 
You Save: $1.17


Reg Price: $5.99 
Your Price: $2.40 
You Save: $3.59


Reg Price: $5.99 
Your Price: $2.40 
You Save: $3.59



Reg Price: $5.99 
Your Price: $2.40 
You Save: $3.59



Reg Price: $6.50 
Your Price: $2.60 
You Save: $3.90
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