Bombona: Tagua’s Spunky Cousin

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Bombona also known as Pambil, comes from the Iriartea palms in South and Central America. A cousin to Tagua, Pambil seeds also come from palm trees in the rain-forests of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia. In fact, native tribes of the Amazon basin manufacture lances, bows and even blowpipes from pambil.

Iriartea

You can also eat the palm heart of this species. The palm heart is the soft section at the bottom of a new leaf. The fruit of this species feeds many animal species which contributes to spread the seeds. Furthermore, Bombona harvesting is a source of industry for the many of the indigenous people of South America, providing a source of income for many families.

Harvesting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like Tagua nuts but smaller, Bombona resemble brains, with color and texture variations that add visual interest and depth, especially when dyed. Additionally, Bombona or Pambil are super light weight, despite how dense they appear.

One of the most interesting features of this seed bead is it’s unique texture and shape. In fact, no two beads are exactly alike, as each seed displays subtle variations in size, texture, and color, creating pieces as unique as the wearer.

 

Hot Pink Bombona BeadsNatural White Bombona Beads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These beads are great for statement necklaces that show your beauty and “brains.” Not to mention the ecological savvy that comes from knowing where your jewelry comes from and how it’s made. So, be bold, be different, ‘bead’ you!

Pachiuba necklace

 


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Artist: Nataly Uhryn

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We’re always on the look out for great jewelry artists and designers and the exquisite work of Nataly Uhryn caught my eye. Nataly Uhryn is a bead embroidery artist from the Ukraine. From headbands and headpieces to necklaces ranging from intricate bibs to delicate strands, this designer’s work is divine! Needless to say we are inspired by her beautiful creations.

Nataly Uhrin 2headbandNataly Uhryn

If you’re in the mood to create after seeing these gorgeous designs we have a few ideas to help you get the look.

Get the Look

To get the look you’ll need some fabric backing to  sew or glue your beads to. We suggest using our fish leather, both for style and durability. You’ll also want  some unique gem stones. Turquoise is lovely in these designs and other gem stones and Cabochons really make these pieces unique.

Light Pink Fish LeatherDark Purple Fish Leather

Mushroom Jasper Lapidary

Mushroom Jasper Lapidary

Kingman Turquoise TriangleKingman Turquoise

And there you have it! Make your own beautiful pieces inspired by Nataly Uhryn’s designs with our supplies and your imagination. All you need is a little creativity, inspiration, and of course BEADS. From gemstones and cabochons to seed beads and leathers, the sky is the limit, so go out there and get inspired.


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Recycled Fashion 1980′s Edition: Splatter Paint

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Remember the days of puffy paint and bedazzlers? Remember when splatter painted jeans were all the rage and we crimped our hair? Well designers remember and they’re recycling fashion from the 1980′s with splatter paint prints that are sure to bring back memories of childhood arts and crafts. Designer J. Mendel’s collection prominently features the splatter paint print which he calls ”exploded-floral-print silk cady” and comes in five different designs including dresses and pantsuits. Stunners Abigail Spencer, Leslie Mann, and Nina Dobrev are showing us how to wear the trend right.

splatter paint designs

(L-R) Abigail Spencer, Leslie Mann, Nina Dobrev (Getty Images)

How to Wear the Trend 

If you’re not big on print, or maybe you’re afraid you’ll look like a Jackson Pollock painting, there are more subtle ways to rock this trend including the use of accessories. Two-toned leather cuffs for example provide the look of paint splatter without the head-to-toe print. Of course leather straps for cuff making are even cooler when they’re vegetable enzyme cured, chrome free, and eco-friendly.

Two toned denim blue eco-leather

 

 

 

Red two-toned leather strap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for more elegant accessory solutions, marbled Tagua slices can provide a similar look and feel that compliments the splatter paint trend.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAMarbled tagua slices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can make your own beautiful Tagua nut necklace using our kit. This design was featured in BeadStyle Magazine.

Beadstyle MagazineAnd there you have it! Recycled fashion 1980′s edition, splatter paint style that anyone can wear. From eco-friendly Finbay Leather straps to marbled Tagua slices, splatter print is in, and you can get the look.


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Need a Glamorous Clutch? DIY

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Are you looking for the perfect little clutch or handbag? Tired of combing the stores for something unique and glamorous that won’t break the bank? What if you could make the perfect bag yourself? All you need is the right tools, some imagination, and the ability to sew.clutch

Tools:

  • Fabric for the outside of the bag
  • Fabric for the lining
  • Metal Clasp and/or chain
  • A Rotary Cutter
  • Grid Ruler
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • metal clutch frame (etsy)
  • double sided fusible interfacing
  • Coordinating thread
  • Fabric Glue
  • Fusible Fleece

Suggested Fabric and Chains

If you like the look of the above clutch, you might like using our fish leather and chains.

chain 2chainblue fish leather

 

 

 

 

Directions

1: Start by cutting 13-by-13 1/2-inch pieces from outer fabric, lining fabric, and heavyweight fusible stabilizer. Cut a 10 1/2-by-13-inch piece of fusible fleece. Fuse heavyweight stabilizer to wrong side of outer fabric using your iron, then fuse fleece to center of stabilized side of fabric.

2: Fold right sides of outer and lining fabrics together, sew 1/2-inch seams along both 13 1/2-inch edges.

3: Turn sewn pieces so right sides are facing out, and press seams flat with your iron.

4: Fold in half, matching seams at top, with lining on inside. Sew a 1/4-inch seam on outside raw edges, then trim seam allowances to 1/8 inch and snip in at the corners. Turn again, so outside fabric is on the inside. Sew 1/4-inch seam along edges, creating a finished French seam, then turn right side out.

5: Fold the corners down; mark and sew a 2-inch gusset on each. Trim corner to 1/8 inch. Turn again so lining faces out; sew a 1/4-inch seam along gussets to finish seams. Turn the purse skin right side out.

6: Apply a bead of fabric glue to metal frame. Center over top seam, carefully insert fabric in metal frame, and secure in place with tape. Allow glue to set for several hours.

7: Remove tape, tuck outside corners behind frame, and snap closed.

8: To add a chain, you can either sew the chain directly into the lining at the corners, or you can sew in a jump ringlobster claw and use a lobster claw to adhere the chain to the ring, so that the chain is removable.

 Jump ringsFinished Product

The finished product is a cool new clutch similar to the one pictured above. With practice and patience you can create a whole new handbag wardrobe to accompany any outfit. You can customize your handbag with gems, beads, or any other embellishment you choose. The only limit is your own imagination.


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Discovery: Art Clay Silver

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Do you have gems and natural stones with no way to mount them?silverwater1 Are you tired of poking yourself with wire trying to wrap those gems and stones to wear them on necklaces and bracelets? Wish you could wrap those stones and gems in silver? Perhaps you should try Art Clay Silver.

What is Art Clay Silver

Art Clay Silver is a mold-able silver clay, made from silver particles, water, and organic binders. When pulled out of the package the clay is slightly wet. The clay can then be molded or pressed into a mold into any shape you choose, like polymer clay. After the clay is molded into its generic shape, the clay must be dried. Once dry the clay can be sanded and sculpted to add visual interest and detail like the design on this pendant. silver clay pendant Once sanded and sculpted, the clay must be fired, either by kiln, torch, or gas stove top. During the firing process, the binders burn away and the silver particles sinter (diffuse across particles fusing the particles together and creating one solid piece of silver). The sintering process makes the piece shrink about 10% due to the loss of binders, and the remaining piece is 99.9% pure silver. Best of all, art clay silver is non-toxic and comes from recycled metals from old circuit boards and photographic supplies, which are harvested to become art clay gold and silver.

What Kind of Gems and Stones Can I Use

Of course with this creative medium in your hands, you’ll want to set your gems and stones, but not all gems will survive the firing process without breaking or powdering. Experts suggest  that synthetic stones survive the firing process best, as do stones. Stones and Gems must have a Mohs hardness rating of 7 or greater to survive being set in the clay before firing. For more fragile substances such as glass, these items would require addition post firing. In those cases, imbedding a setting for the gem, stone, or glass before firing, will allow placement of the gem or glass piece after firing so that you can use any gems, stones, or glass pieces you want. Here are a few suggestions that would look fabulous set in silver.

 	Oval White/Turquoise Magnesite Stone beads - 19mm. Tiger Eye Puff Pilow beads, 1 holes 16mm.

Recycled Glass Irregular SMALL Triangles

For more information on art clay silver and metal clays check out their website artclayworld.com for tips and tricks, and don’t forget to stop by our website for all your bead, stone, glass, and pendant needs.

 


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Boho Headpieces: DIY

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Do you love the romantic draping look of a headpiece? Are you envious of Boho princesses HairChain1like Nicole Richie? Did you know that those ornate headpieces are easy to make yourself? That’s right, you can create your own custom headpieces, using chains, charms, and beads.

layered tassled chain-headpiece

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get the Look

Here are some sample items to help you get the look. First you’ll need chain for the diameter of your head and a piece of chain for the middle part, as well as any additional chain for layering.

These chains work well layered or by themselves as a head piece. gold rhinestonegun metal chaingold rolo chain

The first step is wrapping the chain around your head leaving one or two extra links for draping. Then measure from the front of the chain to the back of the chain vertically for the center piece. Draping chains requires leaving a few more links in the chain each time you add a layer. Use simple ring jumpers to adhere each layer.

jump rings

Beading

If you’re looking to make your headpiece beaded, you’ll need some long head and eye pieces for cascading beads. These will allow you to add cascading beads and a centerpiece for your head piece.

Antique brass head pingun metal eye pin

Next you’ll need some beautiful new beads. Any beads from Tagua to glass will be beautiful additions, and the only limitation is your own imagination. Here are some great bead suggestions to get you started.

tagua pendant turquoisemoon light rounds

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re feeling particularly edgy you might try our skull beads .

skull beads

Center Piece

Finally, you’ll want to work on your centerpiece. Not all headpieces have centerpieces, but if you want one, you’ll need a great pendant or large bead or coupler. Here are a few suggestions.

coconut blue web pendantCopper leaf charmNunn-design bird connector

 

 

 

 

Headpiece Heaven

With practice, and the right materials you can make your own fabulous Boho headpieces like the great headpieces worn by celebrities and made by jewelry design houses like House of  Harlow.

Vanessa Hudginsbeautiful headpiece

 


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The Stuff Dreams are Made Of: Aqua Majesty by Gail Be Designs

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AquaMajesty_White-018Fx-2At Nature Beads, we appreciate all bead work great and small, but this design from Gail Be Designs is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. The dress is called Aqua Majesty, and took over 250,000 beads and sequins to complete. The dress was assembled by three people and took over seven months to complete. The detail on this dress is amazing, from the drop beads down the back to the beaded jewelry on her feet.

AquaMajesty_White-006

 

 

beaded dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am in love! Are you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Artist: Fernando Dasilva

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If you don’t yet know about jewelry artist Fernando Dasilva, get ready to be blown away by the beauty of simplicity that is his design style. Using beads, wires, and even our fish leather, Dasilva knows how to combine textures to create one of a kind pieces that make any woman feel beautiful. We were fortunate enough to capture two pieces by Dasilva recently.

Dasilva necklacefishleather

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re as inspired as we are, then Get the Look using our chains, and fish leather.

copper textured cur chainEmerald green fish leatherHot Pink fish leather

 

 

 

 

Plum fish leatherTurquoise fish leather


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Fabulous or Fashion Fail

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Fashion is all about taking risks. Sometimes those risks set you apart as the fabulous fashion forward person you are. Other times, those risks are just plain freaky or worse a total fashion failure. Alyssa Milano, Justin Bieber, and Big Ang are this week’s fashion failures, but is it really so bad? You be the judge.

Charmed Life

In the what was she thinking category is Alyssa Milano of Who’s the Boss and Charmed fame. From her pompadour to her neon yellow pumps this look is better suited for a Star Trek character than a fashionable 40 something.

AlyssaMilano-jpg_014903

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot or Not

In other style snafu news, Justin Bieber was caught on camera again without a shirt.  If this were Lenny Kravitz perhaps the shirtless look would fly, but Bieber believes he looks like a tough guy with his new “I don’t need a shirt or pants that fit me” sense of style. Do you think Bieber looks hot or not?

1400-JustinBieber-072913-jpg_210710

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distressed Leather

Leather is huge for fall, and celebs are rocking the leather look in tops pants, skirts, and dresses. However, Big Ang of Mob Wives is officially committing crimes against fashion in a recent photo where she was caught squeezing herself into an ill-fitting top. Distressed leather anyone?

BigAng-jpg_210300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think? Are these people committing crimes against fashion, or are their risks paying off? Would you wear Alyssa’s jump suit or Big Ang’s boyfriend jeans?

 

 


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Acai the Wonder Fruit

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acai-berry-branched-paniclesAcai pronounced Ah-sī-ˈē, is known world wide for it’s antioxidant rich fruit, which grows on acai palms (Euterpe oleracea) in Central and South America. Acai got its name from the Portuguese adaptation of the Tupian word ïwaca’i, meaning fruit that cries or expels water. The fruit grows in panicles (hanging branched bunches) of 500-900 berries, making acai a plentiful, and renewable resource for indigenous people in the Amazon.

Not Just for Fruit

What many people don’t know is that acai berries have seeds andraw beads those seeds make excellent beads. The beads that come from acai average between 6-8mm in diameter. Once harvested, the seeds are drilled and polished. Because these beads are organic and natural, size and shape varies from seed to seed, making each acai bead slightly different, with beautiful variations that make each bead unique.

Good for Your Wardrobe, and the Economy

Acai beads are all hand made and hand drilled, by skilled artisans, creating many jobs due to the high demand of acai world wide. In fact, harvesting and preparing acai beads is a source of industry for the many of the indigenous people of South America, providing a source of income for many families, strengthening the economic prosperity of generations to come.

industry

Thus, it’s clear to see why acai beads are truly special.

bright acai beads


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