Archive for March, 2010

Fern green & provence lavender

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

These are the new Swarovski colors!

fern-green_province_lav

Fern green (color #193) sprouts up with an organic, woodsy tinge, making a great springtime addition!  Puts me in mind of our coastal rainforests here in the Northwest.

Provence lavender (color #194) evokes an impression of peaceful fields in the south of France.  You can practically inhale the bucolic bliss :)

While they each have a very different feel, both colors are offered in a similarly broad range of shapes: butterfly beads, cube beads, bicones (rondelle beads), faceted rounds, bicone drops, briolettes, heart pendants and rivoli pendants.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

“…stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”

Here’s a clue to what the R&T BeadTour crew willingly goes through, to bring beads to your town!

Yesterday’s bead show in Denver was up against a major snowstorm.  Our bead-truck driver and road crew, coming from Omaha, squeaked in ahead of the blizzard.

denver_bead_show_truck

Photos by Sky N.

2 of us flying in from Spokane had a rougher time, though…

√ Delayed in Spokane

√ Unexpected plane change in SLC

√ Lightning strike on their plane over Denver

√ Baggage unloaded and left on the tarmac (as the handlers were called in to avoid lightning), so baggage was soaked

√ Rental car couldn’t drive in the blizzard so they had to upgrade to a 4 wheel drive

√  They finally arrived at the hotel at 9 pm instead of the 4:30 they expected!

On the bright side, we safely unloaded the beads through the snow, and had a great Denver show…

denver_bead_show_unloading_the_beads

More photos at R&T's Facebook 'Bead Fans' page

And the roads look clear to Salt Lake City for tomorrow’s bead show!

The key to etching

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

As seen in…

The key to etching

The key to etching

Belle Armoire‘s Spring 2010 issue (Vol 6, Issue 1 — pp 60-65).

Explore the symbolism of keys and the versatile design options offered by choker cables from Rings & Things.

Our chokers are available in base and precious metals, velveteen, leather and more!

Also in the spirit of this Belle Armoire article, Rings & Things carries a variety of African heishi spacers and key charms.

Thanks to designer Riki Schumacher for this shout out to R&T!

Another way to score great beads

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

We’re always working hard to bring you wonderful beads.  Here’s a hint you won’t get from any other bead supplier:

Cost: $0

Cost: $0

Dig the beads!

Literally.  Most towns have older areas where nobody lives (anymore).  You may spot old trash or bottles on a hillside, etc.  Take your shovel there, and see what you find:

۰ I found the 1930s-40s Czech glass bead above, near my home.  Gotta go back to see if there are any more :) But even one is a fun, vintage, conversation piece.

۰ A friend of mine once found an early 1800s Hudson Bay Company trade bead while walking along a river bank.

۰ Some people in Georgia found a whole treasure trove of 400-year-old beads!

Ever found old beads in the ground?  Share your story!

Featured totally obscure item: necklace extenders

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

There are so many kinds of jewelry findings, we figured we should feature some just to let you know they exist — like necklace extenders!

Necklace-extender findings are a big help to anyone who owns jewelry.

There's adjustable ones of them

There's adjustable ones of them

Add just one of these to your jewelry box, and double the number of necklaces at your disposal.

How can that be?

There's sterling ones of them

There's sterling ones of them

A necklace extender lengthens your necklace chain.  Pair it up with a lobster clasp (or with a spring ring), letting your necklace adapt to whatever style you’re wearing today!

There's toggle ones of them

There's toggle ones of them

Do you have a favorite obscure jewelry component?  Now’s your chance to share it with others…

And there's other great uses for them!

And there's other great uses for them!

A peek inside: judging R&T’s contest

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Some of you have been curious to know more about the inner workings of R&T’s yearly contest, so our Melissa kindly provides a glimpse…

A peek...

A peek...

Contest Judging Is Under Way

We always love to watch the entries roll in for our annual Your Designs Rock! Contest, and this year has been no different! We enjoy seeing familiar names, and we’re equally excited to have a large number of first-time contestants this year. New contestants will be entered into a drawing for a free goodie bag (winner announced the first week of June). We’re also excited to see entries from across the US (Florida to California, Texas to New Hampshire), and from Canada, Australia, Sweden, Singapore, Norway, Spain, India and Russia — a nice reminder of how far from humble Spokane, WA, Rings & Things’ circle of friends extends.

While the deadline to enter this year’s contest has passed, the work is far from over. This year’s winners will be chosen by six judges, all busy at work scoring a huge variety of creations. Our judges are all active in the arts-&-crafts community. They are required to have experience with both jewelry-making and with submitting their creations to competitive juries. So, for those of you contestants anxiously awaiting results, our judges can sympathize!

...behind the scenes

...behind the scenes

The judges individually score designs for each of the three advertised criteria: originality of design, quality of craftsmanship and overall aesthetics. Scores remain secret, so please do not waste time calling to inquire — we just find that things work better that way. In the end, the combined score is what counts! In other words, winners will be strong in all three criteria. Once tallies are complete, the judges meet to confirm the winners. After that, a flurry of work begins to create gift certificates, prepare announcements, and display winning entries in our online Design Gallery.

Winners will be announced the first week of June. We know it’s a long wait, but good things often take time!  :)  Thanks to all of our 2010 contestants for another great year of exciting designs. Best of luck to you all!

R&T style — it’s not just the beads

Friday, March 19th, 2010

One of our crew discovered that safety glasses can be as stylish as beads any day…

Josh models safety-glasses chic

Josh models safety-glasses chic

* PS, congratulations on the birth of your kid, Josh!

Design Gallery tip 2: “Only at our bead shows”

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

This week’s second post about R&T’s Design Gallery:

A new category shows off designs made with stuff you’ll find Only at our bead shows.

onlyatourbeadshows_normal_crack_the_sky_necklace

Keep your eye on this one.  It’s fun to have a glimpse at the unique beads we take ‘on the road’.

onlyatourbeadshows_memory_key_necklace

Kind of makes you want to make sure you’re at our next bead show in your town… :)