Beads Unseen

Blue Door Beads is a boutique shop submerged in a collection of well-crafted and ethically sourced beads. Eight years in counting and the collection has only grown with volume and pigmentation. To newcomers it is rightfully overwhelming. To veterans it is an experience comprised mostly of habit and memory. And for staff, it is merely a combination of the two; we are repeatedly diving into the waters of quantity, versed in our surroundings, with memory of past and present goodies.

If you follow us on Instagram, you may have noticed an introduction to a new weekly post tagged Beads Unseen. It is a campaign propelled by a compilation of seemingly random beads, with one thing in common—they’re in need of a little love and appreciation. These are not new beads, but beads that may have gotten lost, or looked over, in the masses of sorted goodies stowed in our eclectic dishes and drawers.

How to spot the crystal in the glass jar:

Once a week, we will upload a post to Instagram, as an ode, to some beads we treasure. Each post will have a search bar perfectly placed in the left corner of the photo, a caption leading with “Have you seen these?” & a number of beads/strands of our choosing featured.**

A sample Instagram post

Follow us on Instagram & look for posts such as this to keep up-to-date with the campaign. Featuring pleated metals, tanzanite chips, and ebony rounds.

The next month following the posts, an in-store display will be created and, to help spread the love, the treasures displayed will be discounted by 15%. Currently, for the month of September, we have August’s selected beads/strands showcased.

 

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AUGUST

Week 1: Indonesian glass strands & Soochow jade carved Buddha beads

  • Many may not know, but Soochow Jade is not jade; it is part of the serpentine family, a magnesium silicate. Though serpentine can be found on every continent, Soochow Jade is specific to China. As a type of serpentine, Soochow Jade is said to promote clearing the mind and meditation.

Week 2: Glass nuggets & laser-cut bamboo pieces

  • Did you know bamboo is part of the grass family? Lucky Tree Studio picked it as their medium because it is light weight, earth friendly, and pairs well with essential oils.

Week 3: Moss green opal & papier mâché sunflower beads

  • Did you know…Masks have been made from papier mache since Paleolithic times. Click here to learn 9 more interesting facts about Papier Mache.

Week 4: Kazuri & Vintage ceramic beads with tiny brass tubes

  • In 1975, a tiny workshop was founded on ceramic hand-made & -painted beads. It was given the name “Kazuri”, Swahili for small and beautiful. To help its community, the workshop gave jobs to members of the community, predominantly disadvantaged women in need of a regular income.
  • To read more about Kazuri West & its beads, visit https://www.kazuriwest.com/the-kazuri-story/

 

**a note: in the past, our posts’ format have not been so consistent, we will do better.

Lucky Tree Studio Trunk Show

fullsizeoutput_1d57Lucky Tree Studio Trunk Show –  Laser-Cut Bamboo Jewelry Components
Sept. 7th through Sept. 16th

   In the world of beads, there are categories with which practically every jewelry-maker is familiar: Czech glass, gemstones, Hill Tribe silver, etc. Although Blue Door Beads has always enjoyed hosting trunk shows featuring “the classics,” we recently decided we wanted to take a bit of a risk and reach out to vendors whose work was unusual, and maybe even a little funky. After scouring the wide world of Etsy, we finally came across an innovative little company that absolutely fits the bill: Lucky Tree Studio.

Based in Western Colorado, Lucky Tree came to be after the company’s hip husband and wife team decided they wanted to create a business that would pull from their backgrounds in graphic design and illustration, as well as their love for cycling, nature, and contemporary design. Lucky Tree’s laser-cut pendants, charms, and components are not only beautiful and lightweight, but also strong and sustainable. Each piece is made from eco-friendly bamboo, which is fast-growing, needs little water, and has a minimal impact on the environment. Each piece starts as a sketch, and is then uploaded to a computer and converted into a design file. The design file is then imported into a laser-cutting machine, which then works its magic onto the bamboo! Each piece is then hand-sanded and finished with a food-grade mineral oil/beeswax mixture.  Designers can choose from a plethora of designs, including animals, spiritual symbols, geometric shapes, and tons more!

Blue Door Beads is excited to be hosting Lucky Tree Studios for TEN WHOLE DAYS, allowing customers the chance to pick up loads of new and unique pieces to be used in their upcoming jewelry projects. This is Lucky Tree’s first trunk show — and we’re positive it won’t be their last!
The trunk show starts at 11am sharp on Friday Sept. 7th and ends Sunday, Sept. 16th at closing. If you can’t make it to the trunk show at BDB, support Lucky Tree by buying something online! Check out their creations at www.luckytree.studio.com.

~ Follow Blue Door Beads at instagram.com/bluedoorbeads for more sneak peeks at the Lucky Tree Studio collection all week long ~

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About SoftFlex

Although the jewelry-making “family tree” has dozens of branches (including soldering, fusing, and PMC, just to name a few), probably the most well-known jewelry-making branch would be the one of stringing beads into necklaces and bracelets. Bead stringing is relatively quick & easy — it’s the designing that can be tricky! — but what really makes it pleasurable is working with the right materials. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours designing and constructing a necklace or bracelet, only to have it break after a few wears due to inferior-quality stringing material. Luckily, there is a product whose quality we have relied not just since we opened Blue Door Beads, but since we started beading over 20 years ago: SoftFlex Beading Wire.

SoftFlex is one of those products that is ubiquitous in the beading industry, and for good reason. Their patented cord, comprised of woven stainless steel wires coated with heavy-duty nylon, is one of the most durable materials a beader can string with. However, there are so many variations that it can be hard for beaders to know which variety is best for each of their jewelry projects. We have always told our customers and students in our Basic Stringing class that the general rule of thumb is to use the thickest SoftFlex cord that can fit all of the beads in their jewelry piece. Although this is true, there are quite a few factors you may want to consider the next time you sit down to string up a beading design.

Fortunately for you — and us! — SoftFlex recently posted a series of incredibly helpful and informative YouTube videos to help beaders feel confident in their SoftFlex decision-making! Posted below are links to their videos; the first few are the ones we felt were the best “crash courses” in basic SoftFlex facts, with some additional design inspiration. The last link is the longest video; it bundles all of the shorter videos together, including a few not linked here, in case you’d like to absorb all of the SoftFlex info all at once!

Crash Courses & Inspiration:

Choosing The Right Diameter Of Soft Flex Beading Wire

Choosing The Right Brand Of Soft Flex Beading Wire

Various Ways To Use Soft Flex Beading Wire

The full-length video (approximately 40 minutes):

Beading Basics With Soft Flex Company

The SoftFlex Company is based in Sonoma, California, and we are proud to support a local business. SoftFlex helps our customers bead happily and boldly — thanks SoftFlex!