The Envelope, Please!

Hey Kids,
Here I am in the wee hours of the morning writing this quick post! There’s a major snow storm heading our way and I want to be sure to announce the winner of the GIVEAWAY – while I still can. You see, this weather system is threatening to deliver high winds, widespread power outages, and up to 2 feet of snow!

And the winner is . . .

I love giveaways because it’s so much fun to make someone happy!

I don’t like giveaways because I hate disappointing everyone who didn’t win. 🙁

Well, ok, here goes . . .

The winner, chosen at random, of the Evening in Paris Earrings is Kelly! 😀

Congratulations Kelly, and a big thank you to all who entered and offered their suggestions for future posts.

Have a relaxing weekend and please cross your fingers that we don’t lose our power, won’t you?

I’ll be back with a new post early (hopefully!) next week.

Hugs,

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Make somethin’ Monday

New feature beginning today!
It was inspired by a little daydream I had this week . . .

I was remembering how years ago (when I was a new bride and then a new mother), it was very tough to find time to work on a craft project with any regularity. One day, a neighbor suggested I sign up for a Fall class on Floral Décor. She had gone the previous year and was excited to return. The class met one evening a week for 6-weeks. Sir Beads cheerfully offered to baby-sit.

Each week, we completed a project designed to be finished in a couple of hours. When the series ended I had six beautiful decorations. That class was truly a revelation to me. I realized that the secret to being creative in the midst of a very busy life was to “schedule” something – on the calendar!

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In the years that followed, my friends (who were also busy mothers) and I came up with the idea of holding a weekly “craft night” in our homes. We would take turns hosting the group and providing the refreshments. Sometimes we all worked on the same project. Other times we did our own thing, which was actually even better. It was amazing how enthused and inspired we became as we shared our designs and ideas.

Lately, I’m feeling the creative time crunch as much as I ever have. Why would that be? I mean the kids are grown and I’m no longer a new bride . . .

Of course, I do have a bead shop to run and then there’s a certain retired husband with whom I like to spend some quality time. The thing is, if I’m not creative – I begin to miss it quite a lot. So, the other day, during a light bulb moment, I remembered the “schedule” method and figured the blog could help me out!

“Yikes, Crystal, that was a pretty long-winded explanation to introduce the new feature: “Make somethin’ Monday

What can I say? You’re right. 😉

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To begin the series, I have a pair of earrings – just finished them!

Now, you’re probably saying,

“Who are you and what have you done with Crystal!?!? Those earrings are more earthy and organic than Crystal usually makes – and they’re not even purple!”

They definitely are a departure… and I love them!

Maybe this scheduling thing is inspiring me already.

(The pear-shaped stones are vintage, made in Czechoslovakia. In order to make the earrings, I found suitable settings and then “set” the stones, myself. Fun! I will soon be carrying the vintage stones, in several colors, in my etsy shop.

Hugs,

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Results Day – Design Challenge Spring 2012

It’s “Results Day” for our Spring 2012 – Bead Design Challenge!

I’m so excited to show you the spectacular designs that were created to jazz up our bling-less Lady!

Spring can be a busy season and several of you, who signed up, were not able to meet the deadline. I totally understand – life happens – but you are more than welcome to join us next time!

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On to the results!

Here are the beads and findings that were magically turned into the eye candy you are about to view!

Please note! You can click on photos to make them larger. Also, be sure to use the links provided to visit each artist’s shop! 😀

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From Annia.

Visit her shop here.

Annia says:

“I see this Lady more bohemian and of course she loves bright colors especially in a summer day while walking around town with a long dress admiring the new flowers and gardens.”

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From Caro

Visit her shop here.

Caro says:

“Well, here’s my bling. A black and baby blue necklace to match her head band and complement the subtle blues in her dress.

In case you didn’t already know, this lady’s ready to put her Victorian past behind her. No pink cameos for her! Instead, she’s stepping out in something that’s gonna blow the stockings off her demure friends and grab her knight in shining armor by the eyeballs!”

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From Donna

Visit her shop here

Donna says:

“Bead Cap Inspiration: As soon as I saw Crystal’s Bead Caps in her Etsy Shop, I knew what I would make. I loved working with them!! So flexible.”

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From Brenda

Visit her shop here

Here’s Brenda’s lovely pendant necklace and earrings!

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From Deb

Visit her shop here

Deb designed this romantic pair of dangle earrings!

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From Joyce

Visit her shop here

Joyce says:
“Can’t wait for the next one (challenge)!!!! Thanks bunches – it was great fun!” 🙂

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Well, I thought that was the end of the entries… but just before Cinderella’s coach turned back into a pumpkin… Donna finished one more pretty design.

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Congratulations and many thanks to all. At the end of each challenge, I always think it just can’t get any better, but then you amaze me… all over again. 😀

As you know, there are three chances for a prize this time. The names, drawn at random, are:

1st prize, BeadHappilyEverAfter Cache of Vintage Treasures goes to Donna

2nd prize, $30 Shopping Spree in our Bead Shop goes to Joyce

3rd prize, $20 Shopping Spree in our Bead Shop goes to Caro

ALL participants who did not win one of the above prizes will receive a coupon code for 30% off any purchase during June 2012 in our Bead Shop.

Watch your emails! In the next 24 hours, you’ll be receiving either instructions on how to redeem your prize, or your coupon code!

And remember to visit the shops of each participant! Just click on the link next to their names, above. You’ve only just begun to see their talent!!!
Hugs,

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For the Love of Beads

Before I became a bead seller, I was a bead customer! 🙂

As a customer, I’d occasionally receive free beads with my order but – more often than not – they were disappointing.

It usually seemed obvious that these “free” beads were “seconds”, or were the leftover styles and colors that hadn’t sold.

I used to think: “Why bother? I don’t need the rejects. It would be so much nicer to receive a little gift I could actually use.”

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Once I became a bead seller, myself, those early experiences served me well. They helped me to formulate my own policies for appreciating my customers.

If you’ve ever shopped with me, you know I LOVE to include a sample of our beads with every order. It’s fun for me to select something I think you might enjoy!

How do I decide which beads? Well, sometimes, I have a new item in stock that I am excited for you to see. Other times, I look for a clue to your preferences in the beads you’ve just purchased! 🙂

It’s always a special treat for me to see what you eventually create with our beads. Recently, a customer sent me photos of jewelry she made with a sample of these beads, which I had tucked inside her order. . .

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Look at the pretty set she designed!

Earrings

Necklace

She tells me that she has fallen in in love with Vintage Lucite Beads and I can totally understand . . .

In her own words:

“I love vintage plastic beads because they are lightweight and durable. The designs are striking and the colors are vibrant, which makes these 40+-year-old beads a pleasure to work with. I have to hide them from my kids (ages 1.5 and 3.5) because they are convinced I have boxes full of candy!”

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Be sure to stop by and take a peek at AvocadoEggroll’s delightful jewelry shop!

You can find it by clicking here.

Hugs,

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Earrings for a Wordless Wednesday

It’s too hot to speak!

(Our weather guy says the “feels-like” temperature is 100 degrees! I would have been perfectly happy not knowing that.) 😉

No matter! I’m going to distract myself with a bit of bling . . .

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This first pair is made with Vintage Swarovski components and petal-shaped, 14K gold-filled earwires.

And this pair in sterling silver features a color scheme with the soothing coolness of an aqua blue sea . . .

Both pairs now available in my shop! 🙂

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Stay cool today – wherever you are!

Hugs,

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