Category Archives: News & Announcements

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.

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“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!

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B

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“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!

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C

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“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.

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D

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“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.

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E

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“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.

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F

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“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.

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G

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“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.

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H

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“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.

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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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Leather Debut!

We’ve been enjoying making creative new leather bracelets at the Leather Debut Free Make & Take! There are more chances to make leather bracelets for Sunday & Monday.

Setsuko hammering leather bracelet
Leather Bracelets by Setsuko and Shino
Setsuko and Shino added personal touches.
Leather Bracelets by Vicki and Cindy
Cindy added some unique embellishments on the red bracelet. Vicki added some decorivets.

Leather Charm keeper Necklace by Judi
Judi created the charm keeper in red leather with gold findings.
Leather Bracelets by Zanella and Ainsley
Zanella is working on a Lazy Zig-Zag Bracelet with gold and brass oxide findings.
Ainsley showed what to do with the D-ring sets.

Leather Bracelets by Gypsy & friends
Gypsy & friends made these three bracelets above.

Check out our new selection of leather straps and leather findings, with an introductory sale of 10% off our already low prices! Saturday, Sunday, Monday August 31, Sept 1 and 2, 2013 in our retail & webstore.
Frequent Beaders get up to an additional 5% off. No further discounts.

Times for Free Make & Take

Saturday 12-2pm
Sunday 1-4pm
Monday 2-5pm

The first 20 people on each day will get a free make & take project! Choose from either the necklace or the bracelet. The free make & take project includes the leather, rivets and clasp to complete the project shown. However, it does not include embellishments or charms. If you arrive after the free make & take projects have been claimed, you can still participated, but will need to pay for the materials, which are just over $7 and on sale!

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Announcing the Summer Heat Design Challenge Winner!

We received a lot of fantastic entries for the Summer Heat Glazed Clay Design Challenge contest, and today we’re excited to announce the contest winner.  Thanks to everyone who submitted entries and voted in this challenge.  Drumroll, please…

The winner is John Salinas with his Silver Blue Jeans Dangle Earrings!

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Silver Blue Jeans Dangle Earrings “After taking the earring making how to class at Bead Inspirations, I’ve had fun making them. Silver Blue Jeans was created because I like the look of the clay beads, the color and spotted pattern reminds me of well washed jean pants. Silver beads were added for a sparkle. The versatility of jean pants for casual to casual dressy, I feel that I’ve also shown in the earrings. Adding the chain, to make them dangle, is something new in creating earrings that I’m currently trying out!”

With the elegant combination of blue glazed clay beads and silver chain, it’s easy to see why John’s earrings were the popular favorite.  It’s great to hear that our Basic Earring and Wire class gave him the skills he needed to start making beautiful earrings like these, and that he’s still experimenting with new materials and techniques like adding chain to make elegant dangles.  Congratulations, John!  We look forward to seeing more of your creations in the future.  Enjoy your $50 Bead Inspirations webstore gift certificate.

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Summer Heat 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 “Summer Heat”!  Customers were required to use glazed clay beads purchased from Bead Inspirations, and expand their design ideas using other beads and materials. Please vote for your favorite jewelry submission at the bottom of this page! Votes will be accepted online now through midnight July 28, 2013.  Challenge Winner will be posted on Wednesday, July 31.  Winner will receive a $50 gift certificate for the Bead Inspirations webstore.

Silver Blue Jeans Dangle Earrings

Silver Blue Jeans Dangle Earrings “After taking the earring making how to class at Bead Inspirations, I’ve had fun making them. Silver Blue Jeans was created because I like the look of the clay beads, the color and spotted pattern reminds me of well washed jean pants. Silver beads were added for a sparkle. The versatility of jean pants for casual to casual dressy, I feel that I’ve also shown in the earrings. Adding the chain, to make them dangle, is something new in creating earrings that I’m currently trying out!”

Moon Goddess Necklace

Moon Goddess “As soon as I saw those giant greenish blue beads I felt called to make a piece with them. I love their largeness, round shape and vivid turquoise-like color and I wanted to make a necklace that provided a ” setting” to showcase these beads. The necklace is designed to focus the eye on the 3 big round beads so that the viewer can appreciate them without being distracted by anything else.”

Days on the Beach Necklace

Days on the Beach “The glazed clay heart anchors the necklace and symbolizes my love of summertime at the ocean’s edge. Yellow glazed beads represent rays of sunshine; crystals represent the water’s sparkle; pewter fish, abalone, freshwater pearls, and sea glass beads are treasures from the ocean.”

Sunrise over the Water Necklace

Sunrise Over the Water “I’ve always been inspired by water, and I like to make “bohemian-style everyday wear” to reflect that. The colors of these beads felt like sunrise, and I spiraled the knots in the cord to make my waves. I picture this as a fun necklace to wear walking along the beach.”

Twist of Lime Necklace

Twist of Lime Necklace “As soon as I read “Summer Heat” I was transported to summer’s past visiting my grandmother in the 1950’s. The corner drug store had a soda fountain where they made the most delicious lime rickies, and my friends and I spent many sweltering afternoons there. When I saw the green beads, everything came together, memories filled with lots of ice and refreshing green limes for my “Twist of Lime” necklace !!!!!”

Earthly Delight Necklace

Earthly Delight Necklace “The clay bead pieces I selected are very organic and playful. When designing the necklace I felt that the findings should have those qualities, too. Hence, leaves, hearts, kitty cat findings and flower clasp. The colors within these beads are deep aqua and pale mint, and I wanted to make a fuller feel to the necklace with three strands. I felt the coloring of the clay beads, pearls and multi-colored seed beads called for warm copper beads and findings.”

Glazed Beads with Tree Pendant

Glazed Beads with Tree Pendant “My original idea was a necklace with a goddess pendant, as though it was found at some Goddess site of long ago. However, the goddess pendant looked too big on this short necklace so I substituted the bronze tree pendant, as I have a strong affinity for trees.”

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 glazed clay beads.  Want to know when the next design challenge is happening?  Join our email list!

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Lucite Beads 30% off! Get inspired by these great designs.

Our beautiful lucite beads are 30% off!

Frequent Beaders can save 35%!*

These
colorful, lightweight lucite flower and leaf beads can add a whimsical touch to your jewelry projects. Check out our great selection online or stop by our Alameda store!

The sale will go through Wednesday, March 27th at 7:00pm in our retail store and in our webstore. Out of stock items will not be shipped later (no backorders).
No further discounts.

*Frequent Beaders receive 5% back in Bead Bucks when they spend $100 or more on qualifying in-store purchases within a scheduled 3-month period.

Here are just a few of the endless number of designs you can create using lucite beads.

Check out our full selection of beading and jewelry-making classes and
learn to make pieces like the ones you see here! We also have lots of jewelry
design ideas, free videos and technique sheets
on at beadinspirations.com.

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New Simple Soldering Class Added

Simple Soldering
New class added!
Sun, Feb. 3, 2012 10:30am-5:30pm

This class teaches the basics of simple soldering techniques
that will start you on your way to making your own metal jewelry designs. Using a simple set up that can be easily duplicated at home, students will learn to fabricate three jewelry basics: a set of stack rings, a pendant and a pair of earrings. Kate Richbourg teaches all levels.

Sign up now!

  • Sign up online at www.BeadInspirations.com
  • Call Bead Inspirations at (510) 337-1203 during business hours (see below) and give
    your credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express) information
    to our staff on the phone.
  • Come into the store at 1544 Park Street in Alameda, CA, and pay with check, cash, or
    credit card.
Below are some of our upcoming classes,
or take a look at our full calendar HERE!

Class Schedule now available through March.

Fused Pendants and Stackable Rings
Sat, Feb 2, 11:00-3:00pm

Learn or further your fire-manipulation skills to make two different styles of rings… those that can be worn on your fingers and those that can be multi-layered as pendants. In class Iris Sandkuhler will teach you to add embellishments, including hammering, surface texturing, stamping, polishing, and wire-wrapping beads. You
will also learn to size finger rings for proper fit.

Simple Jewelry Techniques
Sunday, Feb. 10, 1:00-3:00pm

Only $20 + materials. Great for the young & the seasoned!

Design & make gorgeous jewelry and other gifts for the special people
in your life, guys or gals! There are some super simple techniques
that don’t require special tools or advanced skills and can be easily
learned. Make fun and elegant earrings without bending wire into wire
wraps or loops. Make a matching necklace or bracelet easily in almost
no time at all! Make custom cell phone charms and bookmarks. This
is a great class for people who like instant gratification, with or
without good hand-eye coordination. You’ll design your own jewelry
in class (with the help of the instructor, if needed) and leave with
it finished. Ages 7-11 may attend with an adult supervising. Ages
12 and up may attend with no supervision.

Jewelry Recycling
Sun, Feb. 17, 1:00-4:30pm

Bring your out-of-style and/or broken jewelry and turn them into new creations! In this jewelry designing class, JR Nuerge will guide you in refashioning your old jewelry into new, gorgeous pieces! (Pre-requisite: Basic
Necklace & Bracelet
and Basic
Earring & Wire
, or equivalent.) Watch the video above to see the possibilities!

Beaded Cabochon

Sunday,
Feb. 24, 2013, 1:00-5:00pm

Learn to create a beaded bezel around a cabochon! Embellish your favorite
gemstone, shell or glass cabochon using an elegant seed bead weave.
Marilyn Peters will show you the ins and outs of weaving with seed
beads, then how to create a beaded bezel around cabochons.

Simple, elegant and so easy to make! This bracelet combines ancient handwrought techniques
with modern technology. Iris Sandkuhler teaches metalsmithing techniques include wire manipulation, hammering, filing and polishing. Create shimmering “moonbeam” segments out of wire and keep it simply silver or copper, or embellish with beads.

Intermediate Wire Class: Lariats, Briolettes, Cages, Herringbone
Sun., Jan. 27, 1:00-5:00pm

Go beyond the basic wire-wrapped loop! Learn the briolette wrap to work with beads that are top-drilled, and wire cages to add an extra piazazz! Explore concepts of design, while using of the wire for linking & dangling in necklaces, bracelets, earrings & lariats. In this 4-hour class, Carol Bernau will show you how and
give you time to practice the techniques, but you will also master the techniques and leave with finished pieces! Learn to create beautiful components for bracelets,
necklaces, or earrings. You can create organic or sleek designs, depending on
beads used.

Metal Works of Art
Sat, Feb 16, 11:00-4:00pm
Only $69 for a 5-hour class!

Create treasures using four metalsmithing techniques: riveting, punching, stamping, and
texturing. Iris Sandkuhler will also show you how to emboss metal, then use alcohol inks to add splashes of color to your pieces! See the “More Samples” page for inspiration. Students also need to purchase a $6 kit. All levels.

Basic Necklace & Bracelet
Saturday, Jan. 26

Take this class with a friend
& save 20%!

In this introductory workshop, you will learn techniques to make professional-quality necklaces and bracelets. Make a practice piece using these techniques, then design your own project out of beads and materials that you select. Class is designed so that you will leave with at least one gorgeous finished necklace or bracelet. We provide the tools, guidance, and encouragement. You’ll be amazed by what you can create!

Basic Earring & Wire
Saturday, Jan. 19


Take this class with a friend
& save 20%!

You’ll learn techniques to make professional-quality earrings. The wire wrap is a basic component of many different types of wire jewelry, including earrings, as well as pendants. We break down the steps so that you are guaranteed to succeed! There is plenty of opportunity to practice in class with caring, supportive feedback from the instructor. This is a technique that we recommend you take a class to really learn it well. You’ll design your earrings out of beads and materials that you select and leave with them finished. Most people take home 2-4 pairs of earrings. We provide the tools, guidance, and encouragement. You will love to show off your gorgeous earrings that you designed and made!

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