Funky Friday - Mala Counters *phew!* It's Friday! And *whew!* You wouldn't believe all the information I just gathered about these fine mala counters. I have to admit, even though I have worked at Happy Mango Beads for over a year, I am still learning new things about some of our ethnic beads. I suppose that is one of the best...

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What's in your Bead Burrito? If you are a Happy Mango Beads customer, I'm sure you are familiar with what a "bead burrito" looks like. You also probably prefer it to an edible burrito! There's no greater feeling than finally receiving that burrito in the mail and getting to unveil it's contents. As one of the shipping specialists...

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Beetle Scarab With all of the traveling that our beads have done it is no wonder there are stories galore to be learned, heard and shared. On this occasion, I was interested in learning more about why these certain pendants were called scarabs and why do they have a beetle on them? Scarabs were first created and...

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Your Thoughts on our 'Throwback Thursday'! We ran a promotion recently where YOU had to tell us your best 'Remember When' story. Emily's 'Remember When' story was, "Remember when snake was the only game you could play on your phone?" Well, we asked for it and you guys delivered - Read through, reminisce and have a little chuckle! 1) Remember...

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THANK YOU for Supporting Fire Victims in Chile! Happy Mango Beads launched a fundraiser almost a year ago (last April) to support fire victims in Valparaiso, Chile. With your help, we raised $500.00 selling little "chanchitos" through our website. The money that we sent down was used to purchase coats and blankets for those who were displaced during...

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Funky Friday – Mala Counters

*phew!* It’s Friday! And *whew!* You wouldn’t believe all the information I just gathered about these fine mala counters.

I have to admit, even though I have worked at Happy Mango Beads for over a year, I am still learning new things about some of our ethnic beads. I suppose that is one of the best things about my job, though – “you learn something new every day.”

Mala CountersMalas are strands of Tibetan beads used by Buddhists as a way of counting mantra recitations. Mantras include “om mani padme hum” and “om tare tuttare ture soha”, among others, and can be said mentally, or out loud. A common part of Tibetan Buddhist practice is to recite mantras thousands of times, so malas aid in keeping track of just how many mantras have been recited – a “spritiual abacus”, if you will. Typically, a mala has 108 beads, accompanied by a “guru bead”. The guru bead is not counted, but acts as a stopping point where one then turns back around to continue counting more mantras. A normal round accounts for 100 prayers, and the extra 8 beads allow for mistakes. Many malas have mala counters on them, usually placed 27 beads apart, so that you would know you are a quarter, half way, or three-quarters done with one round, however the counters can be placed and moved anywhere on the mala strand.Mala

Mala counters each contain 10 beads. After each round of mantra recitations, one bead is moved to the end of the counter. Once all 10 beads have been moved, that indicates that 1,000 mantras have been said. To keep track even further, a counter could be originally placed before the first bead on a mala, next to the guru bead. Then, once 1,000 prayers had been said, the counter could be moved to the next bead, and eventually, after it got all the way to the other end and next to the guru bead again, 100,000 mantras would have been said (well, technically 116,640 if you factor in those 8 extra beads, but you get the point).

I have to say, all of this information was riveting to me, and I have a much greater appreciation for some of the wonderful malas that we sell here at Happy Mango Beads. I never knew what these mala counters were all about, and now I know!!

I hope this was helpful, and maybe now you will be intrigued to get some mala counters of your very own.

Happy Funky Friday!

Category : Beads, Beads, Beads, Meanderings

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What’s in your Bead Burrito?


If you aBeads from Happy Mango Beadsre a Happy Mango Beads customer, I’m sure you are familiar with what a “bead burrito” looks like. You also probably prefer it to an edible burrito! There’s no greater feeling than finally receiving that burrito in the mail and getting to unveil it’s contents. As one of the shipping specialists here at Happy Mango Beads, I try to put great care into wrapping your beads. I imagine what it would be like to unwrap each order while I pack it, and strategically place the beads in the paper so it will be fun for you.  Which got me wondering…

…how do YOU open a bead burrito?

Do you just rip the paper off in a flurry and dump out the contents?

Do you carefully start at the corner and unfold each layer as you go?

Inquiring minds must know!Beads at Happy Mango Beads

Category : Beads, Beads, Beads, Meanderings

Comments (2)

I very carefully start at the corner and unroll the layers. I love that bit of anticipation …. even though I know what’s coming, it’s still a thrill to unwrap that package every single time.

That’s how I would do it, Linda! It’s like Christmas with each fold. :] Thanks for commenting! <3

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Bead Organization: A Never-Ending Battle

It’s time for Spring-cleaning!

As a beader, I’m sure you all understand the importance of bead organization.  Keeping your beads and supplies organized so that they are easy to access and approach is crucial – and we can all use a second opinion or some advice!  I just did a complete re-organization of all my beads and equipment this past week, and it was definitely a large endeavor…but it was so rewarding when I was done!

I’m using several small plastic containers that I picked up at Target to keep my beads organized by color or type.  Within those containers, I have each type of bead in it’s own small baggie.  I even used my dad’s ancient label-maker to label each box.  As for the rest of my stringing material, wire, packing supplies, and labeling necessities, I have everything organized into separate bins.  I found some gigantic paperclips and used a few note-cards to attach a tag on each bin, saying what it’s contents are.

For me, this works.  I don’t have a lot of room to store things, so it is efficient and easy to access.  Everything has its own home and I can clearly see what each bin has to offer.

I use a mason jar to keep my pliers and nippers in line, along with scissors and a small ruler.  I found a cute little dumpster container that I use for putting my jewelry “trash” in while I’m working.  My small findings are sorted into a “pill box” which makes it easy to open one compartment and dump out what I need. I also used some small paper bags to sort random items into, including my “Let’s DO This!” bag which includes projects that I’m not motivated for, but need to get done!

How do you organize your beads?  Any tips or tricks of the trade to share?

Please send us pictures and any comments you may have!

Bead Organization

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

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50 Shades of Gary – Part 8


Gary, one of the warehouse dogs here at Happy Mango Beads, has become quite the fashionista. With a growing wardrobe of bandanas, Gary loves to surprise all the Mangoes with his favorite color of the day. I knew he was on to something when I would pull orders that matched his “outfit” and I have taken inspiration from Gary’s choices. Enjoy!

Part 8
Scarlet Red:

Scarlet is a very bright red with a slight presence of orange and is associated with courage, passion, and heat. It is a controversial color, having to do with sin and adultery, and there is a passage in the Bible saying “the great harlot…dressed in purple and scarlet.” The finest scarlet colors produced in ancient times were made from using the tiny scale insect called kermes, which fed on certain oak trees. In the Star Wars universe, during the Old Republic, scarlet starships were known to carry diplomatic personnel on special missions and their coloring prevented them from being attacked.

Hey, Gary! How’s this color make you feel?
Wow!  I look bold wearing red!  It makes me feel powerful…like I could do just about anything!  Throw that ball and I’ll show you how high I can jump!

50 Shades of Gary

Is this red too bold for you?  How do you incorporate red into your jewelry?

Stay tuned for more “50 shades of Gary!” And if you missed the last one, check it out here!

Beads and materials pictured include a Tibetan pendant, a bottle cap bead, an Afghani beaded felt bead, red silk cord and ribbon, recycled glass beads, peace sign howlite beads, bone beads, resin beads, and red bamboo coral beads.

Category : Beads, Beads, Beads, Jewelry Inspiration

Comments (2)

I love this series. Gary is adorable and terribly creative. Thank you!

I told Gary about your compliment. He smiled and said, “ruff!”. Thanks for your comment, Wynn!

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Jewelry Collection (a tiny one)

I dressed myself this morning in green, chartreuse, gray and black.  In search of jewelry that would coordinate with what I was wearing, I decided to go through my jewelry collection that isn’t currently on display for sale. I was able to find a necklace, earrings AND a bracelet that all worked together! Even though I had made these pieces over the course of a year or two, separately, they all flowed well together in my jewelry collection. What do you think??

I mixed metals. I incorporated sandalwood, pewter, crystal and agate beads from Happy Mango Beads, as well as some tiny seed beads of my own.  Plus, with these new clustered pendants I’ve been experimenting with, the black leather cord works perfectly!

Jewelry Collection


Category : Beads, Beads, Beads, Ideas & Tutorials, Jewelry Inspiration

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