Purple Rain Design Contest Winner!

The winner of our Purple Rain Design Competition is Kaitlyn Kliman who created the beautiful “Purple Rain on the Beach”.


The voting was VERY tight.  Our very, very close second place winner is Audreyanne Covarrubias, designer of “Diamonds and Pearls in the Purple Rain”.

Both of these talented artists were awarded $50 Gift Certificates for use on anything in our store.  Congratulations to Kaitlyn and Audreyanne!
We would also like to give honorable mention to all of the artists that participated and shared their work with us.
Roberta Miller for Early Morning in the Purple Rain
Wendy George for Purple Rain with a Passion
Marlene Ma for With Love
Alma Owens for Purple Wraps
Janet Kornegay for Purple Cascade
Alane Friedrich for Purple Rainpurplerain-all_500w
Join our email list to be notified of the next design challenge, to get store coupons, and new class updates.
If you love what you see and are interested in learning new techniques, check out our exciting classes.
Do you like the With Love wrap bracelet (bottom right)?  Sign up for our Wrap Bracelet Class
Do you like the Early Morning Purple Rain (bottom 2nd image from left)?  Sign up for our Coiling, Weaving and Wrapping Class
A great introductory class  is the Basic Necklace, Bracelet, and Earring Class which is very popular.
If you like the Purple Cascade, look for the Herringbone Weave class in our next class schedule.  (Join our email list to stay informed of the current offerings.)
 Love purple?  Check out our Purple Rain Bead Collection.

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Purple Rain Design Challenge Now Open for Voting!

We are excited to unveil the submissions for our customer jewelry design challenge! Vote now for your favorite interpretation of “Purple Rain Design Challenge”! Customers were required to use purple beads purchased from Bead Inspirations. Please vote for your favorite jewelry submission at the bottom of this page! Votes will be accepted online now through midnight July 7 2016. Challenge Winner will be posted on Friday, July 8. Winner will receive a $50 gift certificate for the Bead Inspirations webstore. We LOVE all of these designs and know it will be difficult to make a choice. Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page with any encouraging feedback, comments, or acknowledgement about these amazing designs.



“Purple Rain on the Beach”

Artists Inspiration:

I spent a year living on the Oregon Coast, and rain often conjures up memories of drizzly days on the beach. Those memories inspired my use of the sea star bead and purple drop charm. The beads are strung on hemp cord, which I love for its grounded, earthy vibe. I used one of my other passions, crochet, by utilizing a tiny crochet hook to chain stitch in the beads. Lastly, I wanted this piece to be versatile, so it can be worn as either a wrap bracelet or long necklace.

Bead Inspiration Notes: We love how this artist built her design around her memories on the beach using the Lentil Lampwork Glass Bead: Starfish You can also find a lovely assortment of Czech Glass beads and stringing options including Hemp Cord in the shop!




“Early Morning Purple Rain”

Artists Inspiration: It was inspired by early morning rain drops rolling down my window.

Bead Inspiration Notes: We love that this artist uses a mix of sizes of Swarovski Pearls and uses a wire coiling technique taught in our Coiling, Weaving and Wrapping Class. Bravo!




“Purple Rain Passion”

Artists Inspiration: Prince to me was a man of many passions; his music, flair, and fashion. These Swarovski iridescent purple pearls and bicons with their changing colors and gold plated melody links, reflect this passion to which we were all drawn. Purple Rain Passion is my tribute to a legend – brilliant, colorful, unique.

Bead Inspirations Notes: We love how this artist uses the Swarovski iridescent purple pearls and bicones, plated melody links, with our bead caps to create a simple yet elegant design.




“With love”

Artists Inspiration: I made this bracelet for my daughter who would be spending the summer away so that it would remind her of me when she wore it. It is not made with colors that she typically wears, but includes some of my favorite colors and gemstones. I hope it gives her a warm feeling and makes her smile when she wears it.

Bead Inspirations Notes: We love the ombre effect of color this artist created using several of our gemstone beads.. We also applaud the choice of natural leather with these lovely stones using the techniques she learned in our Wrap Bracelet Class.




“Purple Wraps”

Artists Inspiration:  I really like working with wire and had been perusing the beading magazines at Bead Inspirations and a necklace design I saw in one of them. I thought it would be good practice to make a single link to get the technique. I decided to use the colored wire 20 gauge. I really loved the way it looked so I made another link. I like rustic Jewlery and did not need the earrings to match perfectly.

Bead Inspiration Notes:We love the very creative and intricate earrings. The artist uses creative wire and seed beads from Bead Inspirations to create these striking and inspired earrings.




“Diamonds and Pearls in the Purple Rain.”

Artists Inspiration: I have always loved the color purple, and I am a fan of Prince so this challenge really resonated with me. I took into consideration Prince as an artist as well as his body of work when I was choosing the beads: Purple Swarovski Pearls, and Black Swarovski bicones with black seed beads. The pearls have a green hue to them when viewed in bright light, which speaks to the depth of Prince as an artist: more than meets the eye at first glance. I also liked the sparkle of the bicones which represents the charisma and flare of Prince, the seed beads represent the many songs Prince wrote. He was a prolific writer not just for himself but his songs worked well for so many other recording artists. In these earrings I see Purple Rain as well as Diamonds and Pearls.

Bead Inspiration Notes: We love the way this artist uses Swarovski iridescent purple pearls and bicones along with seed beads from our shop to create an amazing pair of earrings.




“Purple Cascade”

Artists Inspiration: Prince and his music were a big part of growing up for me, in a very rainy climate near Portland, Oregon. I remember humming along to the song Purple Rain as it was playing in my head, walking to class in the constant Oregon mist and thinking it was just perfect. My concept for this piece started with water and rain, and I envisioned a sort of cascade effect, using chain and purple beaded rungs to evoke that feeling. The design took a few different tries to get right, but I’m so happy with the result. The wordplay with rain and cascades of water and the Cascade mountains of Oregon appeal to me and make me smile. I used the flat round stones with a herringbone wrap because they remind me of beautiful purple eyes. Prince had such beautiful eyes, and I hope that his view now, wherever he may be, is broader than in his (too short) earthly life here with us.

Bead Inspiration Notes: We love choice of materials and techniques chosen by this artist to create this inspired design. The herringbone wrap (taught at Bead Inspirations) truly brings out the uniqueness of each of the Lavendar Jasper Coin Beads. We also love the thoughtfulness in selecting various Swarovski Pearls chain, crystal bicones and other components from our shop.




“Purple Rain”

Artists Inspiration: “Purple Rain” was inspired by the photograph, I used Keshi pearls to resemble his white stand up landau collar, and nesting floral breads to pick the folded pleates of the guitar band holder. Classic Purples colored stones in verying sizes to add dimension and richness. The dark Purple Rain symtobol is an symbol of all of his musical achievements and with music of his guitar. I backed the photograph Lacy’s Stiff Stuff, then did a simple peyote stitch border stitch around the base and finished with 8/0 beads. I hung the picture with chain from the pearl strand. The intent is to remember Prince with the laughter and joy that his music gave and the moments of happiness that he brought into your life.

Bead Inspiration Notes: We love the way that this artist was able to reflect a true tribute piece balancing the Glass Bell Flower Beads with White Keishi Pearls and a mix of Amethyst Beads with her treasured photo and Symbol charm.


Thank you to all of our customers who entered their inspiring designs! If any of these designs inspire your creative juices, check out our selection of “Purple Rain Beads and Components” Want to know when the next design challenge is happening? Join our email list!

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Purple Rain Design Challenge

Winner will receive a $50 Bead Inspirations gift certificate!
Submissions are due by noon (PST), Thursday, June 30, 2016.

Our inspiration for this challenge is also a tribute to the artist known as Prince (1958-2016). Whether you would also like to pay tribute to Prince, just love the color purple, or are intrigued by a challenge, here’s your chance to show your creative spirit with inspiring jewelry of your own design. Using ANY purple or garnet colored beads from Bead Inspirations including Amethyst, Ametrine, Garnet, Czech glass, Swarovski Pearls, Fresh Water Pearls, and Crystals. You may also be inspired by other purple components or supplies like purple leather or purple patina paint! We challenge you to design your own piece of jewelry to enter into our contest. Grab your bead tray, tools, and findings, because it’s time to start creating!

To enter our Design Challenge: Email submissions to create@beadinspirations.com and include the challenge name in the subject line.

Read our contest rules for more info.  Shop our purple beads online!

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Memorial Day Weekend Classes in Alameda

We’ve got something fun happening every day this weekend. Check these out &
sign up to reserve your spot!

Saturday: Flat Strap Bracelet, with riveting, eyelet-setting, leather stamping

Flat Strap Bracelet & Earrings
Flat Strap Bracelets
leather stamping
Design your own unique bracelet using leather, cork, or cotton flat straps.
Learn to rivet, and make eyelets in any of the flat straps. Learn to stamp leather!
No previous experience needed. Taught by Suzy Schuman.

Sunday: Coiling, Weaving and Wrapping Class

Learn how to beautifully coil, weave, and wire wrap stones to create your own
beautiful, unique pendants. With these techniques, you will take your wire wrapping
skills to the next level and be amazed at the professional pieces you create!
Prerequisite: Student must be very comfortable with the basic wire wrap. Taught by Roberta Miller

Monday: Tin Cup Necklace Class

Make the “Tin Cup” necklace sported by Rene Russo in the movie Tin Cup! In this new exciting class, you will use silk thread bead cord with beads and crystal beads to create the illusion of a floating bead necklace. The possibilities are endless and the result is amazing! Taught by Dona Fisher.

Where: Bead Inspirations
1544 Park Street
Alameda, CA 94501

Sign up today to reserve your spot!

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Design Tip: Use Bead Caps!

If you’ve you are designing jewelry and want to make your design really pop: use bead caps! If you peruse
our necklace design ideas, bracelet design ideas, and earring design ideas, you will notice a lot of bead caps and spacers. My favorite designs use a lot of bead caps. Below are some samples of some jewelry designs
using bead caps.

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Beautiful Zipper Pulls

Robbie came into my Alameda bead shop with 3 dresses with zippers down the back.  With her arthritic hands, she finds them difficult to pull up and down with the tiny little zipper pull that comes standard on the zipper.  She talked with a friend about a possible solution and they thought that putting a loop of some type on the zipper instead of the standard zipper pull would be better, and that Bead Inspirations might have just the thing.  Then she could use a hook to pull it up and down.  So we looked through our toggle clasps and Vintaj components section to find some things that were decorative enough for the dresses.

I attached them with a jump ring over the existing zipper pull.  For the silver toggle ring, we used the nice heavy rhodium-plated jump ring.  With the Vintaj components, we used the Vintaj 7.25mm brass jump ring.

On one of the dresses, the neckline had a lot going on, so she didn’t expect to wear jewelry with it.  So we added a little decoration to the zipper pull.  We used the Vintaj Waterlily Pendant, added Vintaj Brass Fine Ornate Chain and crystals.
It was fun to help her with this creative solution. Robbie’s going to look great in her new dresses at her upcoming events!

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Vintaj Arte Metal Jewelry Designs

Vintaj Arte Metal is a ferrite-based alloy.  It is 100% nickel and lead free compliant just like the Vintaj Natural Brass line.  Eco-friendly, “green” processes are used to age both metals which include rubbing with natural oils to achieve their unique color and luster.  No environmentally harmful chemicals are used in our process.   These are not plated in any way, but left in their natural state.
Key to My Heart Necklace
Violet Garden Necklace
The necklace above features the following Vintaj products: ADP0007, ADP0023, AP0018, C4H10, CH30, CL45.

Altered Daisies

Antique Coin Bracelet – Designer: Mackie Mullane. Components include: Ancient Chinese Coin, AHW018, ADP0025, CL0004, JR60, JRD10. The Antique Coin can be secured with Vintaj Bronze 24g wire or Artistic
Wire Gun Metal 24g wire
. Use an embossing die or embossing folder to create the embossed effect.

Sweet Lovin Necklace – Designer: Rose Noble. Components include: AHW018, ACL50, CHW0008, VPK34827,
CHW0004, Petite Etched Cable Chain, DP0005, P290. Use the 1/8″ metal letter stamps or select another cool font!

The necklace above, designed by Wendy Mullane, uses the following Vintaj Brass and Arte Metal components:
Bamboo Bezel Large Pendant, model no. 9317
, Deco Vines Filigree – wrap, model no. 6971, Bird Charm, model no. 6938, Nail Head Rivet 1/4″, model no. RV010, Round Keyhole Decorivet, model no. 13040, Crimp End 8mm, model no. 7856, Suede Cord – Dark Brown, model no. 5226, Jump Ring – 7.25mm, model no. 5638.

Copper Fields
Vintaj Jewelry Design - Purple Pansy
The necklace above, designed by Mackie Mullane, uses Vintaj Patina Kit – Antique Window, Vintaj
Arte Metal Nouveau Floret ADP0002
, Vintaj Scrolled Filigree Ring, Vintaj Delicate Crest Filigree.

Rock On

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