A New Look, Same Great Service

We are pleased to announce the launch of our brand new website!

Among the new features, the site contains integrated social media buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to foster improved communication with the clients. We will be constantly updating our content with helpful information, articles, blogs, newsletters, company announcements in the News section.

We hope you find the new website with a fresh look, easy to access information and we also wish to establish this as a source of information for those who visit our site.

We are getting all wound up for Tucson again

And this year most of the updates will be on Facebook. Not here on the blog first.

Because I’m a masochist and love doing things 5 times screaming “WHY??? You dealt with its yesterday!!!” No, that sounds bad.

Because we are on the cutting edge, I tell you!! Naaahh. Nobody really believes that I can say that with a straight face.

Because Lindsay told me to. OK, perfectly true.

We leave next Monday.

It’s a Yarn Crawl, Y’all!

Yep! Even though I didn’t find out about the Jacob’s Reward Farm DFW Yarn Crawl until the day before it started, after a lot of begging and whining, they let us join. OK, that’s just for dramatic effect. Actually, I emailed them and said “can we play too? PleasePleasePlease?” And immediately got a “Yes!” back. Which was *Awesome*!

Because we didn’t get included until after everything was printed, we aren’t on the posters or passport, but bring in your official Crawl passport and we will stamp it, no purchase necessary. You can do either store, or even shop in both, but we can only give you one stamp. (because we are only signed up as one store, see?? Sorry. We will be more organized next time.) (I just heard Mary snort “yeah, right” in my head.)

To all Crawlers, we are offering 20% off all base metal beads and findings, and all glass and stone beads, including all seed beads. (Unless you buy 30 or more assorted tubes, and then you get our standard 30% discount. If you buy 40 or more, the discount goes to 40%!)

And remember, most of us in the Carrollton store knit, and we all love petting yarn.

Go to Jacob’s Reward for all the details. Including the fabulous prize your passport stamps go toward. ( yes, that is a horrible sentence but I got dazed by second-hand yarn fumes looking at the latest post, and that is the best I can do.).

Notice the last store on the Oct. 5th post? That’s us!!!! Right there with the cool yarny people! EEEEE!!!

And thank you for supporting this fantastic group of local business!

Spike Beads, OH MY!

We now have the Czech glass spike beads in stock that came out late last year. Created with the input of acclaimed beading artist Laura McCabe, these beads come in three different sizes and a multitude of colors and finishes.

Czech Spike Bead Assortment

The baby spikes are perfect for adding just a little bit of texture or if you’re not so sure if they’re your thing, ease into it.

Czech Spike Beads

They make AMAZING wrap bracelets that have been seen gracing the covers of fashion mags this Fall. Yes, stack bracelets are still in!

Czech Spike Wrap Bracelet Class

If you’re up for a new look, check out our class (with more dates to come) on how to embellish these rock star beauties in so many ways! Whether you’re weaving or stringing, we can’t wait to see how you work them into your favorite beading projects.

Beaded Czech Spikes Class

Matte glass and crystal bitties

Guess what came in at the Carrollton store? Itty bitty (3mm!!!) crystal rondells and bicones!  Lucious ickle-witty adorables!  See?  Look how big the penny is!20120717-100732.jpg

They are even CUTER in person!  Plus more cubes, rondells, and bicones in amazing colors

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And if you aren’t in the mood for sparkly, lookit these sweet babies!  Yep, Matte iridescent 4mm, 6mm, and 8mm rounds, all soft and glowy and REAL GLASS!


I think we are in a beaded bead mood around here!

How to “DO” a Bead Show – A Buyer’s Guide

If you’ve never been to a bead show, or if you haven’t been to very many, here’s what to expect:

1. Waiting almost breathless with anticipation in line for the door to open.
2. Seeing the overwhelming sparkle of bright lights on thousands of sparkly beads.
3. Grabbing something shiny and shoving money at the vendor.
4. Repeating step 3 until something makes you stop.

And then you get home and realize that some of your treasures are not so much. And that sales at shows are All Sales Final, no refunds or exchanges.

So from our expert long-time professional Show Shoppers, here’s how to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

1. Plan Ahead

-If you plan to buy stones and glass, educate yourself before time. Many bead stores offer classes or tutorials in identification. The Artful Bead does!

-Check your stash the night before to make sure you don’t buy more of the exact same thing you bought the last two years. (Because you love it. I know, been there.)

-Pack a large water bottle and granola bar, fruit snacks or nuts in your tote bag. If you plan to be there all day, think about taking a small rolly-suitcase AND a tote bag. And maybe a sandwich. Sometimes food is available, sometimes it’s only a food-like substances.

-If you have a sales tax number and plan to buy wholesale, pack a copy of your official license and print labels with your name, your busines name, address, phone, and resale number on them. This will save you and the vendors a lot of time. 20-to-a-page address labels are perfect. No fancy fonts, please.

-Take a few white paper towels or washcloths, packed where you can easily reach them.

-Check online for entrance fees, parking, and other information. Many shows are “no strollers allowed” and very few are child-friendly.

-Take something to take notes on – phone app or paper and pen.

-Take some kind of wet wipes for cleaning your hands if it bothers you when they get stinky.
If budget is a concern, take only that much cash. And maybe one credit card, because you never know when you’ll fall in love.

2. That Morning

-Wear comfortable shoes. The floors are hard and you will walk a lot.

-Wear a light shirt, with a sweater. Temprature can fluctuate wildly, depending on the crowds. Don’t wear “nice” clothes, though. Stones are dirty and the line used to string them causes snags in fragile fabrics.

-EAT BREAKFAST! Shows don’t open at the crack of dawn, and you need energy to make decisions.

-Lock you car, don’t leave anything valuable visible.

-If there’s an entrance fee, have it ready in your hand when you get to the door. If you’re supposed to fill out a card, have it ready.

3. In The Show

-Do a flyby first! Start at one side of the room and quickly scan what every booth has. Make notes of things you want to come back to, especially prices. Don’t let yourself be caught by something without checking it all out!

-Keep track of your purse or rolly, keep them out of the way of other shoppers, and don’t set them on the beads.

-Drink your water, and nibble on your snacks before you get really hungry. Low blood sugar + dehydration + hot lights + sparkles = poor decisions.

-If your totebag gets heavy, go to the car and unload it. It weighs you down and makes breakage nearly inevitable.

4. SHOP CAREFULLY! – We Can’t Stress This Enough

-Those extremely bright lights aren’t there to help you, they blind you to the flaws and scratches on the beads! Use your white paper towels and rub a shiny stone to make sure the shine isn’t ArmorAll on the surface. Look carefully at the entire strand for scratches, cracks, and chips.

-Many stones are dyed or treated. Rubbing them with your towel will remove some of the dye. How much dye comes off and how it looks where you rubbed it should guide your decision.

-Some stones hold color modification very well, like jaspers and agates. Chalcedony doesn’t, and will often fade in a dark closet. It’s not as common now as it was 5 years ago for that reason.

-Sometimes stone has been dipped in varnish or coated with something to make it shiny, so be aware of how the holes look on the beads in the middle of the strand.

-“Buffalo Turquoise” and all of the other bright colors (except for a certain color of purple, which is pressure dyed and pricey) are NOT turquoise. They are dyed magnasite or howlite. African turquoise is one of the jaspers. They’re not bad stones, if they are dyed well, but they aren’t turquoise.

-Remember that if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Nobody can afford to sell real sterling for 30% less per gram than everybody else is. Real turquoise won’t be $2.00 a strand unless it’s tiny and lousy quality. Having a stamp of “92.5” or “18K” is NOT a guarantee of the metal content. (No, customs does NOT verify that on imports, they just make sure it isn’t coated with poison or radioactive.)

-Don’t tell the vendor you are buying wholesale and then buy one $10 strand and expect a discount. Discounts usually start at $500 or higher. And they remember faces very well.

-If you have a large purchase at one booth, ask if you can come by later and pick it up. Leave a cell phone number or a specific time, but realize that if they are very busy, it might not be ready when expected. Take one of their cards and remember to go back and pick it up BEFORE you leave.

-If the entire table says “all strands half off!” then they are priced double what they really sell for. Would you still want it if it wasn’t labeled “half off” – probably not.

-Of course, the best deals are on the afternoon of the last day, along with the worst selection. Nobody wants to pack it all up for the next show. But don’t offer half of what something is marked unless it’s damaged, or you will insult the vendor. Who has been standing there all day long for 3 days or more, and has to pack it all up and load the truck before he can leave. And selling even 20 strands won’t make it easier to load up, so you’re not doing any favors here.

Glass and Other New Stuff!,,

We are getting in TONS of new stuff in Carrollton lately. We got a lot of glass from the trunk show last week. (And no, you didn’t see it all! Remember that I got there 2 hours before we opened. Yep, I spent that time grabbing all kinds of awesome and putting it aside. Most of it didn’t make it to his displays.).

And then a dozen new colors and sizes of leather, new waxed linen colors, and more C-Lon cord. And a bunch of new books on kumihimo, seed beading, and knots.

And early next week we get EVEN MORE glass and crystal. Followed by more glass and seed beads! Officially we will have 3.87 MBT of new glass.

And Mary is off “shopping” in the south, looking for new fun and exciting stuff for Fort Worth. Ok, she really is shopping, and I’m just miffed that I couldn’t go too.

We are stocking up for our Big Birthday, but the Amazing Awesome ones may not last that long.

AND this weekend is National Gummi Worm Day! But Michell and Lindsay wussed out on the worms and instead made a “guess how many Gummi Bears” jar instead. I was so taken with the colors that I completely forgot what the prize is. Sorry.

Pix tomorrow.