We do our best to create products based on customer ideas and feedback as often as we can. Often, we’ll post questions or photos to the Blue Buddha Boutique page on Facebook to help us figure out what you would like us to create to keep you growing as a mailler. Below is a link to a survey all about B3 projects. Wish we had more beginning level projects? Want more necklaces? Think we should be tackling certain weaves? This is your time to let us know!
Click the button above to complete this quick 8-question survey. Should you have ideas or suggestions that don’t fit into the survey, you can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance for your feedback and stay tuned to see what we release next!
Submissions for April’s Featured Product of the Month Contest are closed and the B3 team has completed the difficult job of narrowing down the finalists, which means it’s time for YOU to cast your vote to determine the winner. Folks this month were challenged to create a piece that featured Swarovski® Crystal Beads. We loved seeing all your bling-y creations and had a tough time choosing out favorites – they were all so lovely. Voting will close April 30th. Voting is only allowed once per computer so choose wisely!
To share the survey, we recommend you copy the link to this blog post and use that in any emails, blog posts, or social media posts you’d like to make about it (we’ve noticed some weirdness in the past with sharing the link directly – it sometimes like to bump people out of voting that haven’t already.)
For May, it’s all about bringing out the big guns. Stainless Steel may not be for the timid but that doesn’t mean it can’t be tamed into something truly delicate and beautiful. We recently replaced our stainless steel stock with rings made from a much easier to manipulate wire, so if you’ve been intimidated in the past, now might be the time to give it another try. If you you’ve never worked with stainless steel before, we recommend playing around with the rings in our Try Before You Commit pack.
Note: If you liked the wire we were using before, check out our Stainless Steel sale – it will only be up another week or so, so don’t hesitate!
To see what this metal can really do, we recommend checking out this post featuring Melissa Banks – a well known steel wrangler – or visit Rebeca’s website for a few images of steel pieces she has created (like the one to the left.)
Our Featured Product coming up for April is Swarovski® Faceted Round Crystal Beads in 6mm or 8mm, available on our findings page. Integrating crystal beads into chainmaille is a trend that has been developing over the last several years; we love the combination of shiny rings and bling-y beads.
There are a variety of ways to include crystal beads in your work. For this post, we pulled together lots of inspirational images of projects created by a wide variety of chainmaille artists (more information for each can be found by clicking the image and many can be found on our magazine projects page.) You’ll notice that more often than not, the beads are added using looped wire. We recommend using Wubbers Round Nose Pliers to aid in this task.
We hope these projects will inspire you to experiment with adding crystals into your own work – who knows, it could just earn you a $25 Blue Buddha gift certificate! (Stay tuned to our blog for details.) For even more inspiration, check out our past blog post matching the crystals to our niobium colors. You may also find our post about caring for jewelry with fragile components helpful.
For April, you’ll be customizing our Celtic Visions Star Pendant. This project is a Blue Buddha classic and it continues to be one of our most popular kits year after year. It’s a great beginning level project so anyone can try it out, even if you’re brand new to chaimaille!
As promised, we have begun releasing the first of many new project instructions and kits for 2012. Last week, we released our first hair accessory kit, “Scale Barrette” by Omni Mee. Omni has long been an ambassador for B3 and we are so excited to be releasing his project. We’ve already gotten such great feedback about the design and we can’t wait for you guys to get your pliers on these kits. (Warning: These cute flowers are kindof addicting – you may end up making enough to wear a new one every day *wink*.)
In the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing two highly anticipated projects created by Rebeca. We’ve been sharing some sneak peeks of her Elfweave Braid project on our page on Facebook and people are excited to get their hands on this new weave. Following the release of Elfweave Braid, we will also release a supplementary variations tutorial with ideas and quick tips for adapting this weave into 4 more projects.
This month we will also introduce Rebeca’s Beaded Gridlock Byzantine tutorial and kit. We’ve been teasing this advanced-level project for a while and have been working hard to perfect the instructions – it’s a tricky one! We’ve got it just right now though and can’t wait to release it later this month.
With all these new kit releases comes a need to make some room in our inventory. We are discontinuing a handful of older kits (don’t worry, we’re still selling the instructions!) and instead offering complete supply lists for these projects. You can get a preview of what this looks like by visiting any of our FREE tutorial pages or by clicking the image to the left. You’ll notice a new image that indicates the project is instructions only (clicking the image will still take you to a larger image of the project itself so you can see what you’re getting.) Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you’ll see a list of all the B3 packs and findings you’ll need to complete the project.
As we create more and more projects and revamp the kits section of our website to be more project and class-oriented, you will begin to see more flexible shopping options like this one. We’ll still carry kits for many projects, but we’ll also include these shopping lists and even class listings for the project right there on the page. Eventually, we will allow you to add the packs listed in the supply list directly to your cart from the project page and are working on a tool that will add notes to your receipt about what project that pack is used for (we’ve all been in that position of receiving our rings and wondering, “What the heck was I gonna do with these?”) As we make this transition, we encourage you to share you ideas and feedback about the shopping experience. We are excited about improving this section of the website and hope you’ll love the final outcome as much as we think you will!