Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Spotlight on American Made Beading Components and Findings

dorabeth designs pewter findingsAntelope Beads is proud to carry a selection of beads, leather, and findings from companies and groups all around the globe. We’ve been able to support groups like Kazuri Beads and Samunnat Beads from abroad, but we love to support manufacturers of beading products based right here in the United States.

Colorado based Dorabeth Designs, founded by Laurra Fitzgerald and Elaine Teevens, dove head first into associating themselves with employment programs for people in need. Specifically, Dorabeth Designs has been able to employ adults with developmental disabilities so they can learn important job skills, earn an income, and take pride in their work. They also donate some of their components to employment programs to help other groups improve the quality of their creations so they have a higher chance of being sold. Made of pewter, Dorabeth Designs jewelry components are an affordable alternative to expensive, silver jewelry findings, and are able to take on any shape or texture.

clay river beadsClay River, also based in Colorado, was the brainchild of husband and wife team Fred and Deb Becker back in the 1970s. After studying refined clay techniques, Fred was able to take some color and design cues from Deb to create beautiful, earth-toned, and rustic beads that go wonderfully with our selection of Regaliz and euro leather. Take a look at some of their beautiful creations from Clay River right here, and infuse your creations with a bit of beautiful Northern Colorado.

c-koop beadsC-Koop, based in Minnesota, got its name after it was born out of a chicken coop. By fusing glass to metal with a propane torch, C-Koop creator Sara Lukkonen was able to develop a faster method of creating beads that made no two beads look exactly alike. Click here to see for yourself all of the ways Sara has been able to create unique, beautiful enamel beads.

Supporting United States-based companies is a great way to get to know people in your community, and influence the economic health of your towns, cities, and regions. What are some local businesses (maybe even beading businesses) you love to support? Share them with us!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Gift Giving Guide for the Jewelry Maker

This holiday season, give your friends and loved ones gifts that will spark their creativity.  A handful of our handmade, artisan beads for them to use in their own creation along with some leather cord make a great gift.  Don’t forget the essential tools to go along with them so they can make new creations time and time again.
  • Chain nose and round nose pliers are some great beginner tools. They’re great for modifying the length of chain and make adding components and findings like jump rings a breeze. Wire cutters are also fantastic if your favorite DIY-er is fond of soft flex beading wire.
  • If your gift recipient is big on earrings, consider getting them a selection of eye pins or bead pins. Easy to manipulate into different shapes and sold in packs of 20, you can give them the parts they need to make pair after pair of unique earrings! 
  • Above all, glue is an absolute must. It works on several types of components and beads, and we highly recommend if the crafter intends on using Regaliz clasps and components. Double check the glue’s usability with other components like Pave or 5mm round clasps before buying!
Are you a parent, grandparent, or an aunt or uncle? Consider passing down the art of jewelry making to the next generation of your family by giving an Antelope Beads gift certificate. Available in any dollar amount, these certificates can be sent via mail or e-mail. They are a perfect way to let your loved ones find their own creative inspiration and make a piece of jewelry completely unique to them.

What are some ways you plan to use Antelope Beads for your gift giving this holiday season? We’d love to hear the ideas you’ve come up with so be sure to contact us and let us know how Antelope Beads will be part of your holidays this year!