Dystonia & Beading 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 project was...

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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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Chile Fire Relief UPDATE! I am sure that the devastating hill fire that struck Valparaiso, Chile in April is still very fresh on many minds around the globe, especially those living in the burned region. On June 25th, Happy Mango Beads sent $500 to a trusted friend in Valparaiso, and here is Samuel's most recent report: "The...

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Crayola ain't got nothin' on us Contrary to popular belief, coming up with the color name of beads is hard work. It is especially hard when you're working on a whole bunch of similar beads at one time! How does one even decide what is butterscotch, creme brulee, or tapioca? (It just makes me want a snack.) You can now search all of...

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The Cure to “Beader’s Block”

“Beader’s Block”…we all get it from time to time. You can sit and stare at your massive collection of beads for hours and just not know what to do with them. Sometimes all it takes is a little inspiration. Try looking at your favorite painting! It will have an awesome color palette, as well as convey a certain emotion that you can base your next project off of. Here are just a few ideas I’ve come up with while trolling around the bead warehouse…

“Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh paired with Javanese Glass Beads.








“Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci paired with Roman glass beads and bronzite gemstone beads.













“Guernica” by Pablo Picasso paired with bone beads and a glass focal bead.








“Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer paired with pearl beads.












“The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli paired with shell beads and recycled glass beads.


Category : Jewelry Inspiration

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Put a BIKE on It!

So, here in Colorado, bikes are a pretty big deal. Going for a ride is a great way to get exercise, enjoy the gorgeous weather and scenery, and get a little wind flowing through your hair. I recently blogged about the bead-dazzled bicycle for “bike-month” at Trimble Court Artisans…but I also made several other bike-themed pieces for this display. And most of them use items purchased from Happy Mango Beads!

I acquired a few pewter bike and gear charms, an enameled copper pendant with a bicycle on it, and some Czech glass beads for a pop of color… I think the end-result is pretty fantastic.

Sometimes, themed jewelry can be over-looked, as it’s so specific. BUT just like you can “put a bird on it”, you can put a BIKE on it! What’s your favorite theme of jewelry??

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Category : Beads, Beads, Beads, Jewelry Inspiration

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Where in the World is Lapis Lazuli?

The beautiful blue stone of Lapis Lazuli is primarily mined in four places around the globe (actually it is only currently mined in three places): the northeast region of Afghanistan, Siberia, and in the Andes mountains of Chile. The fourth location where the stone used to be mined is actually just outside of Crested Butte, Colorado on North Italian Mountain. I had always known about the current mines, but I was unaware of the abandoned mine outside of Crested Butte until a recent visit to the area. With mines dotted all over the western slope of Colorado, this was not a surprise. There are additional locations around the globe where this stone may have been mined including Burma and Mauritania, though the stone from these areas is not thought to be gem quality.

Another fun fact about Lapis? Sure! The stone prompted the term ‘royal blue’ because the deep blue hues were so highly regarded by royalty in ancient times.

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Category : Beads, Beads, Beads

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Kittens, Beads and Pantyhose


As I have stated before I am not a beader, but as an update, I’m learning! In my recent ventures into jewelry making I’ve improvised a few tricks that I felt were blog-worthy. First thing is that a new kitten and an exposed beading project do not mix well. Add to that scenario a carpeted craft room and I thought for sure I would lose at least half of my precious beads to the vacuum. But the resourceful problem-solving skills of an all around crafter kicked in and I found a genius (if I say so myself) solution. Using some knee high panty hose I had for home-made fairy wings (see Merle wearing said fairy wings) I fitted one over the end of the vacuum wand and waved it over the carpet. It conveniently sucked up, but not sucked in, all the kitten casualties trapped in my carpeting.

Beader 1 : Kitten 0.

Having worked in the Happy Mango Beads warehouse for a few years now, I have seen a fair share of vacuums crack under the pressure of too many beads and strings for an appliance to handle. Save your vacuums and beads by repurposing old panty hose!

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

Comments (2)

Great idea for beads mixed into the carpet!! And the kitty – it’s just too cute for words. What a sweetie!

I’ve got an old kitten (~1 yr) that looks just like your kitten! The beads are in a different room…with a door.

Thanks for the genius vacuum tip–it’ll get used ;-)

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So Fresh and So Clean

We have received an email or two over time about how some of our African vinyl beads are authentically gritty (ahem: dirty). As they are one of my favorite materials to work with right now, I decided to test out a few different cleaning methods and determine which works best.

First up was a good ol’ soaking in warm water and dish soap followed by a rinse in a strainer. It removed a lot of  dirt but still left the beads looking a bit dull.

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Second I tried a few in the utensil bin of my dishwasher. Unfortunately the extreme heat warped them after drying for the full cycle.

Thirdly I constructed a pouch out of cheese cloth and a rubber band and threw them in the front-loader with a load of laundry. This worked pretty well but for the smaller vinyl discs I can see them working a hole into the cheese cloth and escaping.

Finally, and the winner in my book, is to put them in an air tight container with warm water, a small amount of dish soap, a drop or two of essential oils (I use grapefruit oil), some lemon juice and a generous amount of table salt. Just shake vigorously and rinse and repeat until the water stays clear and the beads shine.

Does anyone else have any tips or tricks for cleaning and polishing your most-loved beads?

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Category : Beads, Beads, Beads, Ideas & Tutorials

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