Sunday, December 23, 2012

A wish for you in 2013

Monday, December 17, 2012

Packaging is everything

Well, if you just spent an entire week-end laboring over a special beady item, you would probably disagree that packaging is everything but I used to have a boss who made that statement frequently when someone would turn in a sloppy bit of work.

And, after receiving beady items that were packed haphazardly and other that took my breath away upon opening, I must say that the extra TLC taken with packaging makes an impression that will serve your business well -- or even create that extra element of delight in gift-giving.

I rely on a couple packaging staples to help add that little something extra to my beady packages:
  • Stickers
  • Custom tags
  • Heart-shaped necklace boxes
  • Hand-printed earring/ornament cards
I ordered the below stickers on but in a recent trip to Joanne Fabrics, found a do-it-yourself sticker kit. They only had the templates for ones smaller than this one but they were less costly than ordering online.

Custom Stickers from
Below you see the smaller do-it-yourself sticker on a glassine envelope puchased in the wedding favor section. This is a  great solution for earrings or other smaller items. At the lower right, you see the custom tags purchased from Girlsfever on They come in batches of 100 tags for $23 which I think is pretty reasonable at $.23 per tag. Off to the right in the below picture, you see my easy-peasy earring or ornament cards. I just bought some heavier card stock and came up with a design with my information included at the bottom. An earring punch turns this into a great custom earring card or a single punch in the middle makes it a nice display for a flat ornament. I just print these as I need them.

Custom tags from Girlsfever on
I don't buy wholesale quantities but still like a good bargain and have come to rely on Nile Corp for very reasonably-priced packaging. Below is one of my favorite items from the site. I buy these heart-shaped necklace boxes in black and they come in packages of 12 boxes. The current price as shown below is about $30 for 12 or $2.50 per box.

Heart Boxes from Nile Corp 
These are great not only for necklaces but below you see that I have used them for some fabulous earrings. I glue my business card to the top underside and voila - customized packaging!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Snowflakes in Future Floor Wax?

If you have made any of Sandra D. Halpenny's snowflake patterns, you won't think the title of this post is strange. But if you haven't, you are probably shaking your head and wondering if I have completely lost my marbles.

Sandra D. Halpenny was one of my first introductions to bead weaving. I was introduced to her designs on the now defunct Ready to Bead web site which kitted and sold designs from many well-known bead artists. All of Sandra's patterns are available from her web site and she is also an active Facebook poster. These kits were a great way to learn bead weaving because everything I needed was in one place (even the thread) and the directions were usually super-clear.

One of my first purchases was Sandra's 2006 Snowflake Collection:

Sandra D. Halpenny's 2006 Snowflake Collection

My all-time favorite was ornament #11 and everyone on my gift list received one of these beautiful ornaments that year.

Sandra D. Halpenny Snowflake #11


Imagine my surprise as a rookie beader to read Sandra's instructions to dip the snowflakes in Future floor wax to stiffen them. And it worked beautifully.

Sandra consistently updates and offers new patterns and it has become my yearly holiday tradition to try one of her new snowflake patterns. This year it was Snowflake # 79:

Snowflake #79 Pattern
You can make the pattern with Tila beads or bugles and I did one of each, shown below with one snowflake of pattern #11 which I made with turquoise chips for a Southwest flair. For packaging, I use earring cards but instead of punching them for earrings, I make a single punch in the middle and pull the string through the hole with a little tape to hold it in place.

And below you see the work-in-progress when I had dipped them in Future Floor wax. Who'da thunk it?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Holiday Activity

Yikes! How is it possible that it is December 2nd?  I'm making fewer beady gifts this year due to lack of time but did make one consignment gift and one special necklace for our dear auntie.

Here is Aunt Dee's necklace. She had commissioned a piece earlier this year and this was one of the possible designs that she liked. I stored that away in my cranium and, lucky for me, this was a much easier piece than the one she requested for her sister's birthday gift! This design is called Zig Zag Scallops, by Sheryl Yanagi from the December 2011 Bead&Button. It's a very delicate look and I used a magnetic clasp which I figured would be an easier clasp to manage.

My consignment piece was (what else) Steeler jewelry! Unfortunately, I don't think we will be wearing it to any playoff games this year.

Hope you are having fun preparing for the holidays! Now I need to go dip my beaded ornaments in Future floor wax. More about that on the next post!
© Cave Creek Beads