Friday, April 8, 2011

A gift certificate for you....

This has happened to me a few times lately and I guess it's a sign of something - increasing readership, I guess.  Some businesses have approached me with the idea of advertising or promoting on my blog.  It's all a bit weird as what they are selling has nothing to do with what I'm interested in or talking about, so I guess they are homing in on a certain demographic that they feel must be reading my blog.  After all, I make no pretence at youth myself - although in my head I feel young and full of ideas - funny, that!

Then last week, an online bead business called The Bead Chest asked me if I'd be interested in promoting their shop a little for a gift certificate.  Now, I make beads, and since I'm just starting this business, I try really hard not to buy beads - and this is despite the sore temptation that I experience in this area every day on Etsy.  There is so much beautiful work out there...but at this point, I'm better focusing on the task at hand:  that is, learning to make beads, learning to sell beads and learning to make jewelry with my beads/components.

But I did think about all of you out there in my weeny bead universe and I said 'Yes' to the gentleman who asked me - 'Yes, I'd like to do a giveaway on my blog and use your gift certificate!'.  And the lovely gentleman said, 'That's great!  So now I have a lovely 30$ gift certificate for The Bead Chest, and I went over to the store and found some wonderful images of  beads that are wonderful and classic.  Like looking through Lois Sherr Dubin's book 'The History of Beads'.

The Bead Chest carries a wide variety of trade beads, some modern, some older, and a wide selection of contemporary African beads.  The lovely gentleman (Isaac, by name) who dispensed the gift certificate told me: 

"Regarding our business, we are a small family-run business and have been selling beads for several decades. Our favorite part of being in the bead business is seeing what our customers are able to make out of the beads we sell. We are always impressed by their beautiful creations :) As far as acquiring the beads, we work with bead traders in Africa. We travel to Ghana regularly. We always do our best to ensure the beads are fair trade, and are committed to supporting developing communities and economies in Western Africa. We also focus on African beads because they tend to be more eco-friendly than beads that are mass-produced in China and India. We do not have a brick and mortar store, but we sell online 24/7, and have done gem & jewelry shows in the past."
If you click on any of the pictures, you'll go straight to their listings!
I am in love with these gorgeous red simple glass beads, and as an ex-glass person, I can tell you that reds like this are the Holy Grail for glass blowers!

These are probably made from old 45 records...
Beautiful bone beads..



You could do a lot of things with this brass filigree, just think of Gilder's paste...


Classic beads..



Given a chance, I would buy a ton of these snake beads, they are so beautiful and useful...



Well, there you have it!  If you'd like a chance to win a 30$ gift certificate from The Bead Chest, just comment on my blog about the first beads you ever really loved - something given to you, the first (momentous) bead purchase you made, the 'aha' moment from making something that really worked - anything at all!  I've been thinking a lot about my creative progression recently, so I 'd like to hear something about yours.

I'll be drawing for this next Wednesday, April 13!  Have a lovely spring weekend!

12 comments:

Jenni C said...

I have always loved interesting"ethnic" beads. The African trade beads remind me of a bracelet I had when I was about 13 or 14 , purchased with hard earned baby-sitting money, it too was African millefiore trade beads strung simply on black leather Unfortunately it was lost over the years, but it was a start of my love for beads of a difference.
Thanks for the interesting write up Claire.

Doreen said...

Wow! Those are some pretty beads! The first momentous bead purchase I ever made was of a few of Karen Lewis' (KLEW) wonderful polymer clay beads. Her beads are what made me want to make stuff out of polymer clay. Her website is here: http://klewexpressions.com/index.htm
I still love her beads after all these years!

TesoriTrovati said...

Thanks for introducing me to The Bead Chest. I will check them out!
I remember the first beads I ever purchased in a little bead shop on State Street in Madison, WI. It was a tiny shop but I was overhwelmed by the possibilities and the prices on these tiny things! I bought some inexpensive beads that were pricey to me, cloissone. I recall them vividly. Today I think nothing of spending up to as much as $100 for one bead (that is an aberration though!). I do like to be able to sell things reasonably! I love all the art beads that I find now and so glad that I did! I think they lend a timelessness to a piece when I can include something so precious.
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Jane Perala said...

I love those phonograph record beads!
My first introduction into lampworking (glass beads) was at a craft fair - I must have spent hours at her booth admiring her work. I ended up ordering a necklace from a very talented lady which I still wear today. I now make my own glass beads, and love the process of melting glass into little pieces of art.

Malin de Koning said...

I checked out the BeadChest. And I like!
I am very fond of African Trade beads, or just African beads in general.

I have many memories about beads throughout my life. One early one - I am 4 years old - mum is having a meeting with somebody. I get to sit by a table a bit away from them, and put these plastic cylinder beads called Hama on a for the purpose made board with pegs on. The idea is that once the board is filled you iron it and the plastic beads melt together and create a "sheet". I just remember I loved it. It was so contemplating to sit there and combine colours and create a pattern that I myself decided what it would look like. What happens if I put this colour here instead? Or these two, do they go nicely together? Well, guess who has a B I G stash of Hama beads today. And l still love to do this. With my children preferably nowadays. Easter is coming up, and we do egg shaped ones every year. We hang them in the kitchen window. When the sun shines through them it is beautiful.

artybecca said...

In 1971 I made bracelets out of many multicolored "love" beads and wore them with my long fringed white faux-leather vest. Peace, man! Age of Aquarius!

Marie S said...

I would love a chance!
What a great giveaway.
Thank you!

Its All About Creating said...

Count me in! Thanks.

Norma's Clay said...

Who wouldn't want beautiful beads? I'll like to win. Thanks.

Fiona said...

Oooh I hope I'm not too late. I would love a voucher. The beads that I really love are always the ones I have just bought!

Sharon P said...

The very first beads I purchased were actual seeds strung by a lovely Native American woman. I bought the necklace in Tucson in (gasp!) 1970 and wore them with my favorite "granny" dress and Birkies!

Christine Damm said...

The first beads I loved were in an African necklace-- teeny tangerine seed beads, shell beads, red and white seed beads, all very delicate and layered-- most expensive piece of jewelry I had ever bought, at the time. Thanks for the link to the the Bead Chest!