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Beads, Candles & Smells In the fall and winter I really go crazy for candles that smell like baking, sweets and all other warm, 'hibernating-like' good smells. As I walked around my house last night lighting all of my candles I passed by my favorite candle holder and realized, 'Hey! Those are beads on there!". I have had this...

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Happy (beaded) Slipper Day! Well...it’s one of “those” days...a slipper day. Yes, I brought my house-slippers to the Happy Mango Beads warehouse, making it a warehouse-slipper-day. I’m not sure you all realize how wonderful it is to work for this company. We have all heard the phrase, “no shirt, no shoes, no service,”...

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Dystonia & Beading UPDATE: A few years ago Happy Mango Beads got involved in 7,000 Bracelets for Hope. The goal was to raise awareness and funds for over 7,000 rare diseases. All of which lacked awareness and the necessary funding for research, translating to no cures for most of these obscure diseases. The bracelet...

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Milagro Charms Now that we know more about Native American fetishes, let's take a look at these Latin American religious charms! Historically, Milagros accompanied the Spanish to Latin America. Milagros, translating to "miracles", are a Latin American religious folk tradition that are offered as a tool for healing....

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What is a Fetish? First a '50 Shades of Gray' reference and now we're bringing up fetishes?? You might think we're getting a little wild this week here at Happy Mango Beads, but don't be fooled. We're always a little crazy! A fetish is a carving that is believed to have power. Fetishes have been used by all southwestern...

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Not your average Christmas ornament…

The holiday season is wonderful, for so many reasons. One of my personal favorites, though, has always been decorating the tree. My mom has collected so many ornaments over the years that we generally end up having to select a theme for the tree each year and only adorn it with ornaments following that theme. For instance, one year it was all horses and apples, then pinecones and birds, and the next year, bows and angels. I tend to love the simplicity of the classic round bauble ornament, though. It’s timeless, and goes with everything!

Modern-day glass bauble ornaments were invented in the small town of Lauscha, Germany in the late 1500’s, but didn’t gain popularity until the mid-1800’s. Once it was known that this was a lucrative industry, more ornament-producers started popping up in Germany, and exporting all through Europe. While the first U.S.-produced baubles were created around 1870, in the 1880’s, an American by the name of F. W. Woolworth discovered the gorgeous Lauscha baubles and made a fortune by importing them to the United States. After World War II, however, production of Lauscha baubles ceased as most of the glass companies became state-owned entities, and only re-opened as private businesses after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989.

Now, bauble ornaments are made and shipped all over the world. They come in almost every size, shape, and color, some just plain, while some intricately decorated.

I took it upon myself to decorate some plain ones this year…

Using seed beads, and either Czech glass or China crystal glass beads, I used instructions from my favorite beading book to create these ornament “covers” (or as Emily said, “sweaters”). The top ring is a simple peyote stitch that I fitted around the metal hanger, and then I created 5 star shapes which I attached both to the peyote ring, as well as each other. A few tassels hanging from below and you have a beautiful, “hand-made”, ornament that you can fancy up your tree with, or gift to a friend or loved one. I’ve even had people tell me that they just want to hang them up in their window year-round!

Another, more simple, approach to beaded ornaments, is to find some large round beads of your choosing, and create a beaded bead with them for a chunky round ornament that will allow the twinkle of your Christmas lights to shine through.

Needless to say, there are hundreds of ways you can make or decorate ornaments. And it doesn’t matter how glitzy and beautifully beaded they are, or how many bottles of Elmer’s glue, pom-poms, finger paints, googly eyes, popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners it took, it is the sentiment behind the ornament that lasts for years and years to come.

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Category : Beads, Beads, Beads, Ideas & Tutorials

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Tips for Tuesday

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Today’s beading tips were provided by Elizabeth, Lisa and Samantha! Thank you for your wisdom, friends!copticcrosses# - Happy Mango Beads

1) Get a stand-up book holder (office supply store) and use magnets to keep your beading instructions upright and in front of you while beading. Saves the ‘bendy’ neck syndrome from bending over instructions.

2) When I have a lot of projects that I need to get through, I use a muffin tin and put all my necklace or earring elements in the muffin cup in order to sort things out and lay out what I want to assemble.

3)When designing a necklace, hold a few beads aside for matching earring!

Do you have 3 beading tips you’d like to share?

Email us at: tips@happymangobeads.com along with a link to your Facebook page, Etsy store or jewelry website and we might post it here! And don’t forget to visit Happy Mango Beads for your next inspiration!

Category : Beading Tips, Beads, Beads, Beads, Ideas & Tutorials

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I only have one tip for you. When you loop your wire or thread back down through the crimp and through a few beads when attaching a clasp, put some glue on the wire or thread that will be inside the beads you are going back through. This will not only secure the wire inside the crimp (sometimes it can pull out with enough force) it will also keep the end of the wire from popping out between the beads if they shift a little bit on the strand. I’ve never had the wire slip out of the crimp or the end pop through between beads with this method!

Thanks, Margo! That’s great!

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(a)symmetry

I am an avid jewelry-maker, and it was brought to my attention, recently, that I am somewhat predictable. Emily, the MIC (Mango In Charge), asked me, “Sarah, do you always make all of your pieces symmetrical?” It got me thinking…and yes…yes, I mostly make everything symmetrical. I have an odd balance of left- and right-brain, where I am very methodical and organized, yet still very creative; most of my jewelry comes out very even and balanced, but with interesting color and texture combinations.

However, I was asked last week to create some bracelets with beads from Happy Mango Beads to be put up for auction for the National Mill Dog Rescue, and took the opportunity to be ASYMMETRICAL! I actually had a lot of fun with it…and I learned that there can still be balance in asymmetry.

The word “symmetry” refers to a sense of harmonious and beautiful proportion and balance, whereas “asymmetry” is the violation of such. Yet, asymmetry can be deemed just as beautiful. So where do you draw the line? Do you prefer one center bead with equal amounts and patterns of beads to each side? Or do you like when things are a little off-kilter…more unpredictable and spontaneous?

Neither strategy is right or wrong, and I’ve learned that I should let my beads speak to me and let me know what they would prefer, rather than going into a project with a plan of how it will turn out.

What are your thoughts? Send us pictures of your symmetrical and asymmetrical jewelry!!

Happy Mango Beads

Category : Jewelry Inspiration

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Beads, Bows or Both?

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Here’s something you don’t hear often, one of my absolute favorite things about the holidays is wrapping presents! I believe if a recipient sees my gift and doesn’t say, “it’s too pretty to unwrap”, I’ve stolen half the magic of opening a present. Perfectly creased edges of unique wrapping paper adorned with coordinating ribbon twisted and fluffed into a crowning bow are of joy and good tidings to me. I love coming up with new ways of stacking related presents in complimentary papers and using unusual items for ribbons and bows. Some of my go-to’s are ric-rac ribbon trim and hot-glued pompoms that create a bow of snowballs.

After we at Happy Mango Beads added so many fun and one of a kind pendants this year, I’ve been itching to play with how some would look on gift-wrapped packages. I paired the sparkle and class of the plated leaf pendants, a large pewter skeleton key and Tibetan amulet with simple papers and ribbon to really make them pop. To adorn a more masculine wrapping style I paired an iron initial pendant with natural colors and raffia. For the more colorful and festive papers I used ric-rac ribbon and assorted resin beads as focal points and painted a rustic iron snowflake pendant in matching colors to add sparkle. Most were tied on with the ribbon but some had to be sewn onto the ribbon to create the perfect hang and sway. Let’s be honest, we all have extra beads, why not use them!

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Category : Beads, Beads, Beads, Ideas & Tutorials

Comments (2)

Those are definitely too pretty to unwrap! Wow, your gift recipients must love getting presents from you, Courtney! Gorgeous work.

Thank you! Gift giving is the best part of the holidays, this just takes it to a new level!

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Tips for Tuesday

Today’s beading tips were provided by Claire of Elderberry Arts. You can find her on facebook and on her website here!

1) Use nail clippers to cut wire. They are easy to hold and handle and are inexpensive to replace. I started doing this a few years ago and now rarely use wire cutters.Earrings

2) Keep a sketch book for ideas for times when inspiration hits but you’re not around your supplies!

3) Think outside the box when using beads and other materials. Wire can be made into beads, small beads can be used to make beaded beads and a flower bead could be an angels robe. This goes the same for techniques. Two of my favorite pieces to make include a spiral rope with a bead soup rather than using all the same sized beads or shaggy loops chainmaille with added beads.

Do you have 3 beading tips you’d like to share?

Email them to: tips@happymangobeads.com along with a link to your Facebook page, Etsy store or jewelry website and we might post it here! And don’t forget to visit Happy Mango Beads!

Category : Beading Tips, Beads, Beads, Beads, Ideas & Tutorials

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