November 20, 2014

Make It a Handmade Holiday!

'Tis the season my friends. Time to shower your friends, family, teachers, coworkers, dog walker and babysitter with handmade gifts! For simple, quick and satisfying gift ideas we've got you covered. Lisa has put together a list of quick and easy yet impressive projects for you. So get your pencil out and let's start checking off some boxes on your gift list!

 SISTER-IN-LAW
Briolette Earrings! 
Your sister-in-law is classy, loves color, and has been begging you to make her jewelry for years. This gal needs Briolette Earrings in her favorite color! Two pair of chain or flat nose pliers are the only tools you need to assemble these. Make them as long or as short as you like, simply by adding more jump rings and crystals. She is going to love these!



TEACHER GIFTS
Spiro Pendants!
Let's face it, teachers are the hardest working people on the planet. They deserve to be blown away. This show-stopper Spiro Pendant is easy to wear and easy to make. These can take as little as 10 minutes to construct...but shhhhh, no one needs to know that. Be prepared for screams and hugs when the teacher in your life opens this gift. Is your teacher a dude who doesn't wear pendants? How about a personalized money clip? Equally as awesome!



BOOK CLUB SECRET SANTA GIFT
Wine Charms!
You gave them personalized stamped jewelry last year and they couldn't stop talking about it. Winning! This year, take your Secret Santa gift giving one step further with some stamped wine charms. 'Fess up, you don't really talk about the book, you just sit around and drink wine! Well, you might as well make it easier to keep track of your glass. Our nickel 1/2" circle blanks are just $0.45 each. If you make a set of 8 wine charms, you're looking at the low cost of $3.60 for materials plus the cost of a pretty ribbon to tie them on (but you already have tons of ribbon hangin' around). It will take you less time to make these than it would for you to drive to Nordstrom to get a boring old scarf. Boom, you win "best gift" two years in a row! Every club has a rule-follower who actually reads the book. Impress her (ha!) by stamping her favorite passage on a bookmark!



FOR EVERYONE ELSE ON YOUR LIST
Stamped Jewelry

Boy, aren't you glad you have mad stamping skills! You can easily create a meaningful gift for everyone on your list. Personalize each piece with a font that shows their personality and a design stamp that highlights their hobby. Pick from a variety of metals, choosing one to match their personal style. The options are truly endless!


I hope this helps you get started on the holiday shopping rush. Stay home, avoid the crowds and wow them with handmade goodness! Check out our DIY Design section or our free online classes for even more inspiration. 

Happy Making!

November 13, 2014

More pewter to love!

Our pewter blanks are flying off the shelves and we have four new designs that you are going to love!


Why do we love pewter so much? There are a lot of reasons, including ones you might not have thought of:

  • Pewter is cadmium- and lead-free. This means it's suitable for people who are allergic to other metals. 
  • These blanks are made in the USA!
  • Pewter stamps so easily! You won't need to wield much force with your 1-pound hammer to make a nice impression in this metal. That means it's great for beginners and advanced stampers alike!
  • We designed these blanks in-house and you won't find them anywhere else. They are true originals!
We are smitten with the individual touches on each of these blanks, including the raised paw print and awareness ribbon, the stamped stitching, and the trendy oval shape.

If you have fallen in love with pewter, don't miss the stitched pewter series we introduced a few weeks ago!


Have you worked with pewter yet? What are your favorite attributes?

November 6, 2014

Starting from Scratch with Aluminum

Aluminum blank with initial deep scratches.
Our Customer Service Lead, Lora, gets questions quite frequently about working with aluminum. Sometimes folks are downright shocked when they receive their blanks, because their surfaces are scratched. The important thing to know is that this is completely normal and easy to remedy. By following a few quick steps, they will not remain scratched up for very long!
 
Aluminum is such an amazing metal because few people are allergic to it, it doesn't tarnish, and it is as light as a feather. It is a fraction of the cost of silver and very easy to stamp. You can use your one pound brass hammer and hardly any muscle to get some great impressions with your stamps.

The one initial drawback to aluminum is the superficial scratches that occur during shipping. The more complex shaped blanks tend to scratch more easily because the edges can be sharp and rub up against one another when they are in transit. The best way to get rid of these scratches is to get abrasive!!


If you like a modern matte finish, grab your coarse sand paper and give it a good polish. That's it! If you prefer a more glassy finish, start with a coarse grit sand paper or sanding sponge and continue polishing with finer and finer grits to bring up the shine. Finishing with a Pro Polish Pad will really create a nice shine on your aluminum.

Lora took one of our Aluminum Plaques back to the design space to demonstrate how your blank might look when you first see it. She added some additional scratches across the blank to really show you how you can get scratches out. These gouges are mighty deep! She simply used a few different grits of from our sanding sponges pack and a little elbow grease. She found that the spongy backing makes them easier to hold. Her final polish was with a Pro Polish pad.


Creating a slightly matte finish with these blanks makes a more sustainable product because it will not look scratched with wear. Instead, it will look beautiful and modern and scratch free!

October 30, 2014

A new shopping experience at Beaducation.com!

Things have been very busy around the Beaducation offices. Not only have we been delivering new products and making beautiful designs to inspire you, we have been working behind the scenes on a brand new shopping experience for you!

Our new shopping cart and improved online store will make it quicker and easier for you to find what you're looking for and purchase your items. We are delighted to make these improvements before the busy holiday season, knowing how valuable everyone's time is.


These updates are live NOW! Take a look! Please do us a favor and email us with any feedback you have or if we can help you find what you need. We appreciate your patience and understanding!


We are so excited about these changes! Here are a few of our favorite updates:


Product Listing Page
We have made it easier to see more products at a glance and add multiple products to your cart without being directed to the View Cart page each time. 






Product Detail Page
All of the information about a product is provided in a more consistent format. We have also included a Videos tab that shows the relevant online classes and product videos. 



My Account Information
Access all of your account information in one handy place: your address book, a new Favorites section (formerly Wish List), Product Notifications, and Gift Certificates you have purchased and redeemed. You can also see your current order status and entire order history on this page.




Checkout
We have made checking out easier than ever -- everything happens on one page!



We've left the homepage and navigation menus the same (for now), so you can still find everything the same way as before. Our goal is to make it easy -- and pretty -- for you!
We hope you enjoy the new shopping experience at Beaducation! As always, we welcome your feedback!

October 16, 2014

SALE! Save 25% on Letter Sets and Design Stamps

Our stamping sale comes around just once a year, and that time is NOW! Save 25% on all letter sets and design stamps!


If you have been waiting to invest in some our newest stamps, now is the time! This is the first time we have discounted our new 7mm Kismet font, which is available in individual letters as well as the full set.


We also have so many new designs added to our Beaducation Originals design stamps collection. Here are a few of our favorites! Get them now while they're in stock!

October 9, 2014

{REPOST} Choosing a Chain Length

This post was originally published back in April and we've had so many people thank us for it that we wanted to post it again. Heading into the holidays, you are likely making a lot of pendants and will be fielding questions from your customers about what size chain they should purchase. We can help!

You've worked hard on creating the perfect pendant, now it's time to show it off as a necklace. What size chain should you choose? The answer to this question largely depends on what kind of look you're going for, but you should also consider the size of the wearer as well. Our very own Lora Curran is modeling a group of necklaces to give you an idea of the different chain lengths.



Keep in mind that Lora is 5'5" tall and has an average/slim build. That said, a person who is more petite might have a wider neck and a 16" chain will be too short and a tall person with a short torso might find that 36" is too long on her. The best way to get the exact size is to take a measurement, either with a tape measure or a string and ruler. Custom lengths are easy to accommodate when you're buying chain by the inch and adding your own clasp -- it's a perfect fit every time!

October 2, 2014

{NEW PRODUCTS} Our Product Manager Picks Her Faves

Beaducation adds so many new products each month that I often wonder if folks are able to see them all! As Product Manager, I'm lucky that each one crosses my desk and I get to experiment before they are available for you to purchase. I love my job!

It's not fair to play favorites, but I'm going to call out a few new products that really stand out. One is the spin off (ha!) from our classic Four Sided Swivel Pendant -- introducing the Double Swivel Four Sided Pendant. Folks have always adored our classic swivel, but with so many people now wearing their rectangles horizontally, it makes for an awesome twist that is very current.

 

The pendant swivels 360 degrees, is made of solid sterling silver, and is easiest to stamp by hanging both of the swivels off the corner edges of your bench block so you don't alter the shape of your swivels.

Best of all, this pendant is incredibly comfortable to wear and is versatile enough that you can wear it with a cocktail dress or just a T-shirt and jeans. Because it is a Beaducation Original, you won't see it anywhere else. One more reason that this makes a perfect gift for the holidays for those friends who already love their vertical swivel.






Another favorite new blank (also a Beaducation Original) is our Leaf Blank that comes in Sterling, Silver Filled, Gold Filled, Brass, Copper and Nickel Silver. A leaf shape never really goes out of style and we were not able to find a classic leaf for years, so we decided to make our own. We are so pleased with how it turned out!

It is the perfect size at 13mm x 25mm. It's small enough to create earrings or make a statement necklace by riveting several leaves of different metals together, as Lisa Niven Kelly did in our Spring Leaves Design Idea (shown at left). We have seen designers stamp it both horizontally and vertically and both ways look smashing!

The most exciting sparkling addition to our Beaducation inventory has to be our Foiled Rivolis. We added in Crystal Rose Gold Foiled and Iridescent Green Foiled Rivolis to our Swarovski crystal collection. The shine is so sleek and modern that wearing a pair of these earrings or a Spiro Necklace will have people mistaking you as a glistening creature of beauty from the future.