While shopping for something else online, I saw beads pop up in my search. I decided to purchase an assortment of beads and jewelry making supplies and check out the quality and variety.
I found all items on Amazon.com, but they shipped through two different companies: Beadaholique and *UnCommon Artistry*. While they weren't included in the regular Amazon free shipping offer at $25 of qualifying purchases, each company had an offer where if you purchased a certain amount of their products (one $25, the other $20), you would get free shipping. While the beads were fairly inexpensive, the shipping could add up when you purchased small quantities of many items, so I planned my purchases to exceed the minimum amount from each company to get free shipping and more beads for my money.
The first shipment arrived in just a couple of days. I was expecting some beads to be larger in size. (After 40 or so years, I still don't have a good intuitive sense about the metric system and I hadn't looked up the size with a ruler--my mistake--but I can use the smaller beads too. I think I have it down now and will know better in the future!) I ordered a couple of stones for pendants and they were of good size--even larger than expected. The color of the stones was very close to what was represented in the photographs.
I was able to get quite a large variety of beads, which I prefer over very large packets or strings of one kind. I ordered a number of sizes/colors of Czech Fire Polish Glass Beads, Yellow Honey Jade and Jade Serpentine round beads, Czech Glass Druk Round beads, Sterling silver chain, and copper earwires. Overall, I'm very happy with the items from first shipment.
The second shipment arrived just two days later, and I was also very pleased with these. The size seemed more in line with the photos I had seen. The minerals looked as good or better than they did in the photographs. The quartz, carnelian, red-orange Aventurine, agate fan bead sets, faceted jasper, copper crimp beads, and other items were all of high quality.
The new beads provide a wide variety of combinations, and with the copper crimp covers and wire, I can do clasps and covers for bracelets in either copper or silver.
Ordering from a new source has also given me new materials to work with and has sparked my creativity once again! My biggest regret is that I didn't buy a few more!
(To my friends at local bead stores, don't worry, I won't stay away for long! Shopping close to home and socializing while I'm viewing the beads is way too much fun!)
- Online royalty free clip-art: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/business-CM079001906.aspx?qu=mailing&ctt=1#ai:MC900200267|mt:1,2|
- Jewelry photos: Sharyl, Aug 2011