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: 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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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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Extra, Extra, Read All About Us in Jewelry Stringing Magazine

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Like many of you, we at Nature Beads love our beading and jewelry design magazines, drawing inspiration from the colorful beadwork and artistic designs within their glossy pages. So we are honored to have some of our unique products featured in the Summer 2013 issue of Jewelry Stringing Magazine!

Jewelry Stringing Magazine

Among the items featured are our distressed and hand tooled dyed flat leathers on page 43. We’ve also got our faux suede leather laces in blue, pink, and green, on page 53. All, our leather is 100% made in Central Florida, USA and we totally believe in the circle of business. Our leather is ECO Friendly, vegetable tanned and dyed with natural dyes is CHROME FREE. Additionally, our faux suede cord is very soft, flexible and the dye does not come off in your hands by touch. You can find each of these pieces on our website at www.naturebeads.com. Jewelry Stringing Magazine ‘s Summer 2013 edition is on stands through August 19, 2013.

 

Items on Page 43 “Get the Look” include our Distressed and Hand-tooled Dyed Flat Leather Straps.

Two Toned Blue Flat Leather Straps 10mm Hand Tooled 10mm FLAT LEATHER, Hand Cut & Hand Dyed

 

 

 

 

 

Items on page 53 “Get the Look” include our Faux Suede Leather Laces.

Green Suede Leather laces

Guava Suede leather lacesBlue Suede Leather Laces

 

 

 

 

 

So, make sure you pick up your copy of Jewelry Stringing Magazine to get in on all the latest beading and jewelry design news, and be sure to check us out on their “Get the Look” sections.


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Gaga for a Man in a Suit, Gucci does Men’s Wear Right

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We at Nature Beads know a thing or two about fashion and style. Both Men and Women deserve to look their best. We pull inspiration from the great designers including Lanvin, Gucci, Versace, etc. and we are obsessed with Gucci’s fall collection for men. Their use of color for men this fall includes muted shades of green and cranberry reds in fabulous coats and jackets that really make these men pop on the runway.

milan-fashion-week-gucci-fall-2013-mens-collection-17

beadsTell me this look isn’t smoking hot! We love the fur trim, the lush shades of red, and the slim fit of the grey pants. We’re so inspired by this look that we’ve already begun using these color palates in our beads

We’re also loving Gucci’s suits for Fall 2013. Mixing textures is big this fall, mixing wool with satin and suede with fur. We love the textures and slim cut of this suit, with its impeccable tailoring that really fits and flatters. We’re inspired by textures too, and are loving our fish leather products right now.

milan-fashion-week-gucci-fall-2013-mens-collection-37Blue grey fish leather

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk fashion. What designers get your motor running? Tell us what you think. Are you as gaga for a man in a suit as we are?


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Who is Lilian Weeks and Why Choose Nature Beads

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TAGUA NUTS SOFT-3There are many jewelry component companies in the US, who ship natural beads from around the world but none understand the products and ecology behind them quite like Nature Beads founder Lilian Weeks. Having studied biology and aquaculture in college, earning a degree and even teaching local fishermen responsible fishing methods, Lilian understands the need to protect and preserve natural ecosystems. A born explorer and lover of adventure Lilian grew up in the Amazon, and developed relationships with local artisans, while in college doing research. Her fascination with native artwork and jewelry grew as she encountered unique adornments made from natural substances such as wood, seeds, feathers, and even fish scales.

From Hobby to Career

Needing some extra money for books, college expenses, and of course SHOES while studying, Lilian ACAI BEADS-1began making and selling her own jewelry to friends. Through trial and error Lilian developed her own methods, creating pieces that came from the inspiration gained from her surroundings and the indigenous people she met in local villages. This ignited a passion that would lead to the creation of Nature Beads. But first, Lilian would meet her Prince Charming.

New Beginnings

In 2006 Lilian met David, fell in love, and moved to the United States, to begin her new life as a jewelry designer and business owner. Bringing native beads, tools, and jewelry, Lilian started her website in 2006 experiencing slow growth initially. However, designers soon discovered Lilian’s unique products, loving her South American influenced jewelry components including Tagua nuts, Tagua beads, Tagua slices, Acai beads, and sea glass pendants, among other unique product lines like fish leather.

fishleather banglesFrom Humble Beginnings to Nature Beads Owner

In March 2008, Lilian was featured in Bead Style Magazine, and has been in many other magazines since. Today Nature Beads inspires jewelry designers and artists to create the custom designs of their dreams, using naturally sourced products from artisans and craftsmen and women that Lilian maintains relationships with abroad. In fact, Lilian seeks out the finest Tagua and Acai from those artisans she knows and trusts to provide the highest quality beads and jewelry components on the market. Thus, Nature Beads continues to grow, serving our artists and friends with pride because we know our stuff, and we provide the best beads in the industry. We continue to grow and look forward to the chance to serve all your natural jewelry and beading needs.


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We LOVE Fashion Fall 2013

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At Nature Beads, we LOVE fashion! We are obsessed with what’s hot, and what you’re going to want to wear, so today we’re letting you in on the hot colors for fall 2013. Designers are loving shades of grey, ivory, nude, khaki, and chocolate for neutral bases this year. We’re loving the contrast of vibrant colored beads and pendants in shades like cranberry, peacock blue, and even orange against these neutrals for a pop of color.

IvoryGreyFashion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

chocolate brown

Designers are also using color this year in unexpected ways. Muted shades of green and pink are still hot, while vibrant colors such as yellow, fuchsia, tangerine, cobalt, and peacock are on trend for this fall. We like the idea of mixing contrasting colors using our accessories for visual interest like wearing  rust colored beads with our fuchsia outfits.

hmyellowblazerOrange-and-Purple-4

peacock blue


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Vegetable Ivory is the New Black

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                                                                        Vegetable Ivory is a fascinating product that comes from the Tagua nut. Tagua nuts come from the Tagua or Ivory Palm which grows in southern Panama along the Andes to Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru.

 

 

Tagua nuts grow in clusters and when fresh, are edible, due to their soft texture. In fact, many suggest that Tagua tastes similar to coconut.

Once the soft fruit is removed from the cluster, the seed are dried in the sun.

This hardens the seeds making them suitable for bead and pendant making. The buttons below demonstrate the creamy white color and texture of Tagua once prepared, illustrating why Tagua got it’s vegetable ivory name, since it resembles elephant ivory.

Colors can be added to seeds making these Tagua vibrant shades of blue, green, or any other color the artisan chooses, although not all dyes are created equal. For us at Nature Beads, we use dyes that won’t come off on skin, or when wet. This sets our vegetable ivory apart from many of our competitors whose dyes fade out quickly.

This amazing substance is not only good for your accessory wardrobe, but is also good for the environment. Vegetable ivory mimics elephant ivory in appearance but without the animal cruelty that accompanies killing elephants in the name of fashion. In fact, vegetable ivory can even be carved like elephant ivory. In addition, vegetable ivory or Tagua is environmentally friendly and ecologically sound since Tagua grows wild on Ivory Palms, and is completely renewable.

Thus, Tagua provides a completely natural jewelry component for the cutting edge fashionista without harming any animals in the process, making Tagua an excellent choice for natural jewelry aficionados who care deeply about environmental issues such as protection of endangered animals, and the use of renewable resources. Furthermore, Tagua harvesting is a source of industry for the many of the indigenous people of South America, providing a source of income for many families.

With all these reasons why Tagua or Vegetable Ivory is a smart ecological choice, not to mention a smart fashion choice, it’s easy to see why vegetable ivory is the new black.


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Join Us for a Once in a Lifetime Trip to Ecuador

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If you haven’t already signed up for a chance to win a FREE trip with us to Ecuador, make sure you sign up now! The drawing will be held on July 27, 2013, and travel dates are from September-October 2013. Just sign up for “Nature beads get away” on our website and LIKE US on Facebook and you’re IN. Don’t miss this chance to join us on an amazing Amazonian adventure of a lifetime! Experience Ecuadorian culture from the Andes mountains to the local shops. Go Native, courtesy of Nature Beads and experience South America with us. 


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