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Sat, Jul 27th - 9:55AM

New Kits Available

Part of being a Creative Circle Ambassador is getting the new products from Cousin's Prima Bead website and trying them out. This month, we received the newest styles of Class in a Box (CIAB), like the Casual Style. We Ambassadors were tasked with designing something original and not in the instruction book.

I gladly took up this challenge and from the Casual Style, this was a bracelet I designed:


Finished Necklace


One of the other new styles, Shimmer, was the one that I liked the best. With this CIAB, I decided to make a few things:

From the Shimmer Class in a Box


Pendant, Key Fob, Zipper Pull



I love earrings, and the Natural Class in a Box had some wood spacers I thought were interesting. The packaging for these new styles is really remarkable. The components and findings are each in their little bag, glued to the center of the box, and allows you to see everything included. Designing from these organized beauties becomes easy.




The fourth new style, Classic, was wonderful as well. I love the classic style and made a pair of earrings that I really like. Simple, yes, ... easy to make, yes ... beautiful, definitely!




The little dangles came from the end of the chains included, and add movement to the earrings. The same design could use the black or red beads included in the box.

Doing this assignment was great fun, and you should check out these new offerings from Prima Bead. Even if you have never beaded before, the instruction book included with the Class in a Box styles will teach you everything you need to be successful.

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Sat, Jul 27th - 9:44AM

Bead & Button Show Necklace

You saw the beginning idea for the necklace displayed by Cousin at Prima Bead's booth at the June 2013 Bead & Button Show. Now that the show is done, I can reveal the finished necklace, which took me 260 hours of stitching and beading to complete.

I had an April 1, 2013 deadline, but still had quite a bit of work to do. Cousin assured me that they would not be packing for the show for a few weeks, so I continued working. The picture below gives a good idea why things took so long!


Finished Necklace


Looking at this, you might think, "Looks awfully heavy!" and you would be correct. The way to make such a necklace comfortable to wear is to add a counterweight. By doing so, the necklace does not hang from your neck, but more rests on your shoulders. Here is a shot of the counterweight:


Yes, that looks heavy, too, but our shoulders are broad enough to bear the weight easily. I wore this to the Rotary Club of Concord's Changing of the Gavel, and it was very comfortable.

Finally, here's a shot of how it all came together in the back of the necklace:



Even though YOU can't see the back of a necklace, others can. I tried to make this as pretty as possible. I don't know how many occasions there will be for me to wear this, but it surely looks nice in the Need For Beads store. We had our Grand Opening in June.

The Cousin Creative Circle team members were at the Prima Booth at the Bead & Button Show, and we just had to take a group shot:

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Sat, Mar 16th - 4:51AM

PrimaBead Booth Entry

One of my pieces will be displayed by Cousin at PrimaBead's booth at the June 2013 Bead & Button Show. I decided to do an embroidered necklace and this picture shows the start after cutting out the shape of the bib. I have five white stones with one white and brown agate placed on the bib.

I then used different techniques to create bezels, including peyote stitch, backstitching, and couching.

Once I had the main accent stones done (except for the lower center one...there I am going to add some peyote stitching to the inside hole), I started embroidering the background.

Entry for PrimaBead

As you can see, progress is made, but this type of design takes a lot of work. This is how much I had done by March 15, 2013. There is an April 1, 2013 deadline for submission.

The fringe technique is called "corraling", and originated in Russia.

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Sun, Mar 3rd - 7:50AM

Cousin Corporation of America Hosts Creative Circle Ambassadors
On February 20, 2013, four of Cousin Corporation of America's (CCA) Creative Circle Ambassadors (CCCA) traveled to the Tampa Bay Area to visit CCA's headquarters and facility in Largo, Florida.

I was the first to land in Florida and spent hours with Chris White from the Sales Department. We traveled to Clearwater Beach, and spent lunchtime eating sandwiches outside at a local pub.

The rest of the day was spent picking up the other three CCCA's and giving them the tour. We all arrived at our beautiful Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Redington Beach around 4 PM and had a chance to unpack, enjoy the beautiful ocean view from our rooms and prepare for our photo shoot and reception.

Here's Chris heading towards the beach:

Chris White

After meeting the wonderful team at Cousin, formal photos were taken as the sun was setting.

CCA team on the beach at Redington

From the left, Jeff Cousin, Shelly Owen, Lisa Crone, Suzette Bentley, Gail Devoid, and Liz Heggy.

We enjoyed a wonderful reception and met several of the managers and staff from Cousin.

The next day, one of the fabulous things we did at the headquarters was browse the bead library to pick out whatever supplies we wanted to design whatever we could do in one hour. As we had just met the designers, I already had my head spinning with ideas, so I quickly picked out matching beads and findings and got to work.

I started with a bead board and the beads I chose in pink. Here's the necklace that sports a silver sand dollar, which was designed by Theresa Hyatt. In a conversation with Theresa, we learned that we both received inspiration from nature. It was no surprise to me that I loved her designs!

Here's a closeup of the silver sand dollar:

Silver Sand Dollar Pendant

The clasp that Theresa designed was a piece of enameled metal in the shape of coral connecting to a seahorse. Beautiful! Because of a twist designed into the coral side, the clasp is very secure.

Clasp-Coral and Seahorse

I found I had time left to make a pair of matching earrings with the leftovers from my supplies. I have noticed that Cousin gives enough materials in a strand for beaders to make these little extras.


A tour of the factory showed us how Cousin manages to ship so many orders a day, and we enjoyed meeting the oh-so-quick order pullers. All of the office walls at Cousin are decorated with pictures of past themes, jewelry, some of which have the actual jewelry on dress forms in front of the pictures. What an enjoyable visit!

That night I wore my latest design to the excellent dinner the group had at the Salt Rock Grill. The wine room was behind glass walls and doors and very impressive.

I cannot thank the team at Cousin Corporation of America for planning and preparing for our visit, and making it one of the highlights of 2013 for me.

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Thu, Aug 23rd - 6:33AM

Newest Work as a CCC Ambassador
Blog Entry 082312

Since I became one of five Cousin Corporation of America's Creative Circle Ambassadors, I have been busy making the month's assignment, which was to be a piece inspired by Florida. I visited Miami Beach several times and was always inspired by the colors in the water and in the sunsets. With that in mind, I designed the necklace below, which was in my last blog post. I am in the midst of writing and publishing the pattern for this.

This piece, which I called Florida Inspiration, had to be made of all Cousin components. The turquoise-colored beads are separated with crystal rondelles that twinkle with light the way the sun did on the water, and the orange beads in the multi-strand fade to light pink, just as the colors in the sunset did.

The clasp is also crystal to match the rondelles, and is silver-plated.

Clasp on Florida Inspiration

I then went on to design a matching pair of earrings.

I went on to make more jewelry with the supplies sent by Cousin Corporation of America (below). Using Cousin Trinkettes® beads, the first piece represents my first try at Viking Knit.

Viking Knit Earrings

I made another design with SilverSilk, still using the Cousin Trinkette beads:

SilverSilk Earrings

And, finally, using the leftover beads and the ribbon from the packaging used in Cousin Trinkettes®, I made a bookmark:


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July 2013
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