Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vintage Challenge - The Opinions Are In!

A few weeks ago I put up a Vintage Challenge in which the first 5 people to email me would receive $10.00 worth of their choice of our new Vintage Charms and Findings (they could of course purchase more if they wanted to). I had 5 folks respond and out their goodies went. Regrettably one who was supposed to be in the challenge, Brooke, received her items but never got back to me, so we won't get to see her creations or get her opinion of the products, but I think you're going to love what the other 4 came up with! Click on the small picture below to see what each person created. Gorgeous work all around!

Carolyn White from Wartrace, Tennessee
Carolyn used all pieces and beads from eebeads.com.
Carolyn's Woodland Fairy Earrings are an idea you can make at eebeads.com

"This was my first time working with Vintage pieces and I loved it! I've wanted to use the pieces before now, but they were too expensive for my beading budget. (I had searched the Internet for prices at other bead sites.) I was so excited when eebeads added Vintage to the site at such great prices.

When I received my pieces, I was very impressed with the quality and color. I spread the pieces out on my work table and realized how versatile they could be. You can turn them in different directions, layer them, or put the different shapes together. The possibilities are endless.

I used the medium diamond shapes, long diamond shape, the fairy charms, amethyst and peridot crystals along with Indian glass flowers to create my Fairy Garden earrings and matching ring. The dragonfly piece, rose crystals, pink baby bells, and Czech leaves made a whimsical Dragonfly Journey bracelet. I used small diamond shapes, red hearts,siam crystals and red seed beads to create Heart Fantasy Valentine earrings. The last piece I made was a really easy Oval Delight ring with amethyst and peridot crystals and a white flat oval Czech bead.( If you aren't happy with a piece you've bent for a ring, you can flatten it and start over. You can even remove G-S Hypo cement with your fingernail without marring the finish.)"

Heather East from Hazard, Kentucky
Heather used all pieces and beads from eebeads.com.

"I've not bought vintage pieces before now. No complaints about color or price, nor quality. I prefer cast charms as apposed to stamped, so it was a challenge to work with stamped pieces on a bracelet due to concerns for chaffing. To assure a smooth wear, I paired the stamped vintage pieces back-to-back against each other - yeah it used twice as many I anticipated, but it was worth it.

Other materials I used were copper and other metals, and Glass, red rondelles and purple with AB finish - not a combo I planned, however it fell together beautifully.

I typically create shiny, sparkly, brights or sharp contrasts, so this was a slight departure. I enjoyed stretching my brain a bit because I'll rule out nothing in creative pursuit...except lack of imagination. I don't think I would have ordered vintage pieces on my own, so it was good to try the vintage beads through your challenge. I will order more in the future - they are worth keeping in my collection.

I planned to make a bracelet and had an idea of what colors and beads to use. However, my idea didn't come together as I originally envisioned. Oh yeah - I had hoped to make matching earrings, but I ordered too much variety and not enough matching pieces. best laid plans.... and so the story goes. The rich color of the vintage pieces was a great backdrop for the metallics and red rondelles. I already enjoy mixing metallic finishes together, especially copper, so it was nice to find a new way to use these favorites. All said and done - I am pleased with my creation. The bracelet wears well (which I did for a few days) and I got compliments. I expect that as it wears and weathers, it will achieve a more authentic vintage look. Additionally, the textures added visual and tactile complexity that appeals to me. "

Joyce Davies from Houston, Texas
Joyce used our pieces from eebeads.com and other suppliers.

"Making jewelry from metal pieces and chain was a new experience for me. I never thought I'd use filigree pieces because they are so Victorian and my jewelry is pretty eclectic. I string beads and make wire bangles. But I couldn't resist the Challenge and getting free stuff to play with. Almost all that I ordered has been used. The findings, odd charms and some of the beads are from sources other than eebeads.com. I enjoyed stepping outside my comfort zone and making pretty, feminine jewelry and I will probably use vintage pieces again. I thought they were beautiful and for all their delicacy, they were strong when I tried to curl a square into a cone. The hard part was getting things to lay right and getting the dangles to show right."

Jenni Kinney from Ogden, Utah
Jenni used our pieces from eebeads.com and other suppliers.

"I haven't bought vintage pieces like these before. I loved their color, I'm always searching for colors like this. The quality was great, and really well made. And the price was great. In my piece I used a chain I had to a gypsy belt, and random beads I have collected over time. And a small jewel I had picked up for another project. Black cord from a necklace to tie the pieces together, and a toggle and clasp to be able to wear it. Ihave wanted to try the dark antique look for a long time I could just never find the middle pieces until now! The circlet was inspired by medieval/ Renaissance/ Fantasy Faire wear. I had always wanted to make a circlet, but could never find colors that fit well with each other until now. I was finally able to complete a project I had in mind for a long time! yay! The way the piece was made I tried to make it as "natural" as possible, trying to figure out ways on how it would have been made way back when. Of course I had to improvise on some areas, like the glue."

Thanks everyone! You did a fantastic job! Leave a comment below and let the Challengers know what you think of their pieces!

Look for another Challenge open to everyone coming really soon!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sick of the "Going Green" thing?

At the start of the year, I read an article about a university in the Midwest. Apparantly each year they put out a list of phrases or words that should be banned from the universe from the past year. In 2008 "go green" was number 1 on their list. In fact, one professor stated that if he heard about one more company "going green" he was going to start burning tires in his back yard.

When I started eebeads.com in 1994 our homepage had a "We reuse and recycle" banner on the home page (shown on the top graphic) which got a fair amount of hits, but nothing spectacular. I've always been nuts about recycling and saving resources here at eebeads, so last year I decided to make a new page about our efforts (much snazzier graphic this time shown below). But then I pulled it because I was starting to get sick of hearing about the "go green" thing too. In fact, after our page went up, three of our competitors put one up.

If you want to learn about our recycling and conservation habits, click here.

Anyway, are you sick of hearing about companies "going green"? Leave me a comment below (it can be anonymous) or send me an email to blog@eebeads.com I'd love to hear from you!