March 2, 2015

{GIVEAWAY} I'm So Crafty - week 1

It's that time again -- March is here! And you know what that means, right?


For so many people, making jewelry started as an evening or weekend craft project and we want to embrace those roots for hobbyists and professional jewelry designers alike. We couldn't think of a better way to do that than with a month full of giveaways!

The winner from Week 1 will receive Lisa Niven Kelly's bestselling book, Stamped Metal Jewelry.
AND our all-in-one Stamping on Metal Starter Kit. This popular kit includes:
This prize pack is worth $80.95!

Let's get the party started! Each task gets you one entry; do them all and your name is in the proverbial hat three times!

1 - Leave a comment on this blog post letting us know what was the first piece of jewelry you made. 
2 - Leave a comment on the giveaway post on our Facebook page. 
3 - Follow us on Instagram and repost the picture, tagging #BeaducationGiveaway

The winner will be announced on the blog on Monday March 9. We will also be introducing our next giveaway that day, so be sure to check back! 

February 26, 2015

** TEASER ALERT ** This is not a real post!

** UPDATED! ** Sharon is our winner! She counted 9 uses of the word "post" and won! Sharon, please email us with your mailing address and we'll get your sweet surprise in the ... post. (ha!)

This isn't a real blog post. This is a post to let you know that the real post will be posted on Monday March 2.

That post is one you don't want to miss. So mark your calendars. Mark them also for March 9, March 16, March 23, and March 30. There will be good posts on those days as well.

I will leave you now with this:

This is a real post. A fence post.

Have a great weekend! :)

P.S. The first person who leaves a comment with the correct number of times I use the word "post" in this fake blog post, I'll put a sweet surprise in the mail for you. We use the US Postal Service, so it's sure to get to you quickly!

February 17, 2015

Let's Play With Fire!

Do you like playing with fire? 

If you said yes, you're going to love our torch enameling sale!

Torch enameling is a great way to add color and depth to your copper blanks. There are so many ways to customize your enameled pieces, including letterpress stamps and adding solderable accents. It's a fun technique that takes just a little bit of practice before you're as fired up as we are. 

If you haven't tried torch enameling, head over to our FREE ONLINE CLASSES page and start learning! Steven James teaches three classes that will have you enameling like a pro. His latest class is Torch Enameling Tips & Tricks. Learn the lingo, avoid some common mistakes, and have fun with your projects! 

Our sale features all of our enameling supplies, including torches. If you've had your eye on a new torch for enameling or soldering, now is the time to act! We also have 200+ copper blanks on sale. Stock up on the copper blanks you use in all of your projects! 

Check out all the pretty things you can make with copper! The below projects are DIY Designs that we made to inspire you. Click on an image to be taken to the project page. 






February 12, 2015

Common Mistakes (and how to avoid them)!

We recently put these questions out to our Facebook and Instagram followers:
What mistakes have you made in your jewelry making?
Got any advice to avoid these mistakes in the future?
Check out our mistake below. You can see that we did not plan our letter spacing appropriately and we ran out of room in stamping the word STRENGTH on this pewter blank

We could have avoided this mistake by tracing the blank on a piece of paper or sheet metal to make sure this word would fit. 

We were happy to learn we are not the only ones who are making mistakes! Here are some of the responses we got from our followers.

Here are the common mistakes people shared:

I sometimes forget to check the orientation of my stamps so my letters end up sideways or upside down.

One mistake I recently made on a gold bar: I measured so the letters would fit on the blank, but I forgot I needed room to punch holes. Oops!

Trying to fix a "too light" stamp and making it worse.

Stamped upside-down, or sideways, and just plain out of order!

I use a lot of rivets in my jewelry, and cutting the rivet to just the right length has been a process!

Not hammering hard enough OR too hard.

Spelled something wrong because I wasn't paying attention.

And some handy tips to avoid them!

Use an art line pen the same thickness as the stamp, draw onto the blank, stamp over, wipe off pen marks. This works better with slightly larger stamps. 

I trace on paper and stamp on the paper before stamping on metal.

Measure twice, cut once.

We can all learn from each other, so feel free to share your mistakes and/or tips!

February 5, 2015

A Great Stamp Storage Solution!

For the last few years, this is what my design stamp collection has looked like: all of my regular size stamps in a handy design stamp holder and then all of my awesome large stamps stacked on the side because they don't fit in the holder. Can you relate?

We bring good news in this blog post! Now we have Jumbo Design Stamp Holders! Now your stellar stamp collection can look like this! It is so much easier to find the stamp I'm looking for with this solution!

Even more exciting is that a second stamp holder fits perfectly on top as a lid. This works for both our regular and jumbo holders. When I travel to teach a class or head to a friends house for craft night, I simply toss a rubber band around both holders so my stamps won't dump all over my bag. Problem solving at its finest!

What solution have you come up with to store your stamps? Is it working for you?

January 29, 2015

Trendy Bracelets for You to Personalize!

Charm bangles are popping up everywhere and we want to make it easy for you to get in on the trend. We are excited to supply these expandable bracelets that are perfect because you can personalize them with your own hand-stamped charms!

Made from hardened wire, we offer this bracelet in four plated finishes: silver, gold, antique brass, and antique silver. These look great layered up, especially if you mix and match your metals.

Have you jumped on this look yet? Are your customers asking for it? Tell us -- and show us -- what you are creating!

January 22, 2015

Instructor Spotlight - Colin Mahler

Welcome to the first post in our Instructor Spotlight series! For each post in this series, Lisa will highlight one of our Online Class instructors, giving you a look into how they got started, what they are doing today and what inspires them.

To kick things off, I have chosen to chat with our chainmail instructor, Colin Mahler. Chainmail is one of the first techniques we started teach on, and it is still as popular as ever.

A little bit of trivia for you: Colin was Beaducation's second employee and we are lucky enough to still have her in-house. Since Colin's office is just down the hall from mine, I walked down there to visit with her and ask some questions. Even I learned something new!

How long have you been doing chainmail?
I first learned chainmail in 2003 and I started teaching in 2004.

What is it about chainmail that attracts you?
I like the math, that it involves formulas. I love the zen quality of either just opening and closing the rings or flowing through a pattern. I also love the endless possibilities with this technique.

If someone is brand new to chainmail, which of your classes should they start with?
Well, first of all, the most important part of chainmail is properly opening and closing your rings, so I would suggest starting with Intro to Chainmail, where I spend quite a bit of time teaching how to work with rings. Then I lead you through four very basic chains. After mastering that, I would suggest moving on to the Byzantine Chain.

Speaking of properly opening and closing jump rings, what are you favorite pliers?
Absolutely the RX series from Lindstrom! I predominantly use the Chain Nose in my right hand (where I do most of the opening and closing) and Bent Chain Nose in my left hand (the passive hand that does most of the holding and bracing). I prefer Lindstrom because they are lightweight and the handles are narrow, which fit well in my hands and cause less fatigue.

How do you stay inspired?
I love the history of chainmail and I want to help keep the art alive and well by teaching what I know. That said, I am inspired by the new directions and uses of modern chainmail.

You teach all 13 chainmail classes on Wow! How can students see more of your work?
On my Etsy page, Wolfstone Jewelry!

We love hearing feedback about our classes, and we are delighted with the number of students who take the time to let us know how much they enjoy Colin's classes. Here is what folks are saying about Colin and her teaching:
A big THANK YOU to Colin Mahler! I just completed her class for the European 4in1 earrings with beads and it was fantastic! I have this pattern in a book and for the life of me could not master it. The way Colin taught it makes it so much easier and fun! I highly recommend the class and Colin! Cheers, M.
I loved Colin's video showing how to make the elf chain bracelet with clear and explained so well....even showing common mistakes and how to correct them....she's a great teacher and I will be trying this one!
Love Colin's instruction!!! I took a chainmail class a tradeshow one year and hated it!! Now I wish I could find it and finish it!!
Great video. Colin explains every step very well and always make sure you have a good view of every movement made. Colin takes her time doesnt get flustered and is very pleasant to listen to. I have been a fan of chain maille for years and it is because of Colin that I have now taken the plunge and started to make jewellery items. I am very pleased with the bracelet and matching pair of earrings that I have been able to make by following Colin and her instructional videos.
I absolutely love the online classes! I just watched the Full Persian Chain Online Class with Colin Mahler and, as usual, I wasn't disappointed. Colin is a great teacher; she's so easy to follow along with. The great thing about the online classes is you can always go back and re-watch them, even in your pj's! I'm looking forward to watching more classes to learn additional chainmail techniques for beautiful jewelry I can make myself.
So, are you ready to give chainmail a try? What are you waiting for? With 13 free classes -- and more slotted for 2015 -- it's time to add chainmail into your designs!