After years of listening to our customers, learning from ourselves and from you, and amassing data along the way, we’re bringing you an updated Frequently Asked Questions section. This is VERY exciting to us—we’ve wanted to update our FAQ page for years. With 80+ questions, our new FAQ should be invaluable to you. We anticipate it’ll expand your chainmaille knowledge, save you time, and help you navigate our site. Woo-hoo! Enjoy!

As always: if your question isn’t answered on the FAQ, please call or email us. We’re still adding to the FAQ and will give priority to the issues you guys ask us about.

Step by Step Wire Jewelry – June/July 2010 issue

We’re thrilled that Blue Buddha is all over this issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine!  Our weaver/instructor Vanessa Walilko has a fabulous chainmaille project based on Japanese 8-2 cubes.  The project is called Squares with Flair, and it also uses some of the new Crystal Squares on our Beads/Findings/Specialty page.  This bracelet is some serious bling, with more than 400 F18 sterling silver jump rings used.  Of course, we’ve got kits bagged and ready to go for this piece.

Step by Step’s Artist of the Year, Charlene Anderson, also uses Blue Buddha Boutique rings in many of her projects, including the fabulous beaded Isle of Capri necklace featured prominently on the Table of Contents.

Remember to check our Magazine Projects page for conversions for all jump ring sizes in as many magazine issues as we can get our hands on!  We’ll be updating that page soon.

Eight Year Anniversary of Making Maille!

Eight years ago today was the first time I picked up a pair of pliers and linked jump rings together.   More than a million rings opened and closed in 2,922 days of maille.

I knew as soon as I created my first piece that I wanted to make a living doing this.  I am happy that I was able to turn my dreams into reality, and grateful to all the customers, vendors, fellow maillers and competitors who helped me along the way.  Can’t wait to see where Blue Buddha Boutique will be in another eight years!

I dug around on my computer and found ten projects from my first two years as a weaver.  Some of these have appeared on forums over the years, and some have never been published.  Enjoy!

Half Persian 4-1 (Flat Persian) using 10 gauge sterling silver rings size KK (5/8″ or 15.9 mm)

Japanese necklace made as a wedding gift for a friend. Sterling silver and anodized niobium.

My first adventure with Half Persian 3-1 Sheet 6. I really love this weave, and regret that I haven’t made any in about 4 years. Stainless steel, 20 gauge.

Here I am playing around with the sheet form of Byzantine. Aluminum, 20 gauge.

One of my few Not Tao 4 bracelets. I was going to make an entire jewelry line based on this weave, but I wound up creating other lines and this one never saw the light of day.

Another Half Persian sheet, this one is HP3-1 Sheet 5, with additional accent rings woven into the top. Stainless steel and niobium, 3 different sizes in 20 gauge.

Yes, I totally made soda tab jewelry, too. :-)

I even made this posture collar out of rope and soda tabs. Intended to use it as a Halloween costume, but I never did.

Pride finger ring. I loved this ring, but soon realized that anodized aluminum is not suitable for finger rings, as the color is affected too quickly. Bummer. Stainless steel with anodized aluminum, 22 and 20 gauge

Vampire Bite choker. Every goth girl’s gotta have one, right? 😛 I used to sell these on eBay in the months leading up to Halloween, but I haven’t found the time during the past 4 or 5 years. **UPDATE** See link in next paragraph below for new chokers.  Aluminum, 18 gauge.

UPDATE: I’ve gotten enough requests, and I finally found more of those deep red drops – so I’ve added the vampire bite choker to my jewelry website. 

There you go—a look into the past.  If you too have been mailling for a few years, maybe you’ll be inspired to pull out some of your older pieces.  I hope you’ll marvel at what you were able to do even back then with your own two hands, and appreciate how you’ve grown as an artisan, and how the design and intricacy of your work has evolved.  Remember: never be afraid to push boundaries and try new things.  While this approach has a high failure rate, the successes are far more creative, glorious and fulfilling than if you’d never pushed yourself at all.

Doing our part to help the Earth

Happy Earth Day from all of us at B3!

Protecting our most valuable resource—the planet—has always been important to me. Ten years ago, before it was “popular,” I was using my backpack to carry groceries from the store, and most people thought I was nuts. I’m excited to see that nowadays, its not uncommon for people to use their own bags at a store. Yes!

I bring my green mentality to B3, and from the onset, the company has been very focused on green practices.

As part of our commitment to the environment, these are some of the things we do:

  • Turn lights off when we’re not in a room
  • Turn off jewelry scales when we’re not using them
  • Turn off and unplug computers/printers/fax when we’re finished for the day
  • Use actual dishware instead of disposable cups/plates/etc—including when we have meetings, holiday parties and other large gatherings of people.
  • Use biodegradable sheet protectors for instructions
  • Use actual hand towels instead of paper towels in kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Use compact fluorescent lightbulbs at workstations.
  • Recyle ink cartridges
  • Properly dispose of old electronics
  • Recycle paper, plastic and metal
  • Reuse packing paper sent to us by vendors
  • Reuse little plastic baggies
  • Use environmentally friendly bathroom cleaners
  • Purchase tissue from recycled paper content.
  • Instead of purchasing highly processed foods, buy fresh fruits, veggies and nuts for office snacks (purchasing from local farmer’s markets when in season).
  • Use both sides of paper for printing drafts and inner-office documents
  • Wear socks or house shoes in the warehouse to minimize cleaning
  • Reuse plastic trash liners at workstation garbage cans as long as possible
  • Make sure all computer monitors are set to go blank after 10 minutes of screensaver activity, instead of letting the screensaver run for hours
  • Buy cleaning products in bulk and fill into smaller containers.
  • Keep most of the employee manual in Wiki form to save on excessive paper printing.
  • Use whiteboards and email for written communication, rather than writing notes
  • Use printing paper with a high recycled content
  • These are things we don’t yet do, but are planning on implementing:

  • Create a compost
  • Recyle aluminum scraps (we’ve been gathering the scraps; we just don’t have enough yet to take to a facility!)
  • Start a customer recycling baggie program
  • Purchase carbon credits
  • Use refillable dry-erase markers
  • Purchase “carbon offset credits” for employee mileage going to and from PO, etc.
  • What about you? Does your company do something green that B3 might be able to implement? Has this list inspired you to be greener at home or at work? Do you have any ideas on a customer recycling baggie program? Let us know. Together we can work toward ensuring that our children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children will be born into a sustainable and healthy environment.  :-)