Monday, July 22, 2013

Best Beads' $50 Gift Certificate Giveaway

By on Monday, July 22, 2013 101 Comments

My favorite glass beads are Czech made mainly because of tremendous range of bead colors, types and finishes.  No wonder, as Czechoslovakia, in particular the provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, have a long history of bead making.

Piggy Beads
There is some evidence that Czech beads were made sporadically dating back to Roman times but the industry in that part of Europe began to really take shape from the 16th century onwards. They became masters of pressed beads which were mechanically formed using molds as opposed to mandrels. Small amounts of molten glass were pressed into molds and rods were used to make the holes. The technique was later streamlined with the use of multi-molds and machines. 

The bead makers were not only innovative in their bead designs but they even used  traveling "sample men" in the 19th century who asked for feedback as to what beaders wanted in different far flung markets.

Before the war, Czech bead making was largely a cottage industry.  Bead manufacture suffered a decline during the Communist era. However, the need for hard currency when the economy flagged in 1958 changed their anti-capitalistic stance.  The Communists then nationalized the bead industry and for some time actually used penal labor in their factories.  Communist control ceased in 1989.

Today, Czech beads remain popular among beaders.  Best Beads, an international supplier of Czech beads (both retail and wholesale) recently sent me new beads to review.  These are piggy beads - no prizes why they are called that! The ones I received are examples of the range of bead finishes Czech manufacturers are renowned for. The white ones on the far right had a gold like finish on them.


These two hole beads  feed right into the current fad for double holes.  But what is unusual is they are offset. One hole is in the middle, the other is to the side.  I was asked how they could be used.  So I came up with 2 earring designs - the gold swirl and wreath earrings. Both are now available in my store - 100% of the net proceeds from their sales will go to to cancer research.

Well, you could always ignore the side hole and use just the central one.  These piggy beads make excellent colored bead caps when you want something other than metal ones.  I picked the white ones sporting a touch of gold to go with the gold swirl lamp work beads - they bracketed not just the focal beads but the coiled wire stem too.


The closeup shows a good match of the piggy beads with the white inner core of the see-through lampwork beads.  Metal bead caps would have been so wrong for this design!


I also made used of the off set holes in my Swarovski montee wire wrapped wreath earrings design.  The montees were wired on using just the central hole. A single seedbead was added to connect the wreath to the ear studs!  I also wire wrapped seedbeads around the metal wreath.



There are all sorts of possibilities with these beads.   This promotional banner photograph shows what the piggy beads would look like if you strung them alternatively through a central then side hole using 2 stringing wires.  Neat, eh?


Giveaway
If you'd like to win the $50 worth of  Czech beads (not just piggy beads) from Best Beads to create your own awesome designs,  please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Subscribers need to click on the post title to come to my actual blog. Scroll down and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is international.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday,  July 29 , 2013. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!


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101 comments:

  1. I've not tried Best Beads before, but these Piggy Beads are so cute I think I may just have to try some out!

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  2. I've not tried Best Beads before, but these Piggy Beads are so cute, I may just have to try some out. Thanks for the introduction!

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  3. Wow! I can think of a lot of uses for piggy beads! Awesome giveaway :-)

    emusing at bigpond dot com

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  4. I would love the opportunity to win some beads!! Thanks!!

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  5. Ooh me me me please! I'd love to try out some new shapes. Thank you again for your lovely bloggage xxxx

    I'll share on FB
    I'm Mary Marshall on fb xxxx

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  6. O wow, haven't seen these before, would love to have a few and try to make some designs with them.

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  7. I love The Beading Gem Journal and Czech beads never fail to inspire me!

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  8. Sarouchka LobbensJuly 22, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    never seen those piggy beads before!
    Love czech, was one of the first beads I ever bought and never even tought about replacing them!

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  9. I love The Beading Gem Journal and Czech beads never fail to inspire me!

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  10. Wonderful site, I really appreciate the help and especially the history!

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  11. I have never used Czech glass beads, but I really like the look of the pressed twisted ovals and the pressed flowers.
    kaysuet at hotmail dot com

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  12. I am a blog subscriber.
    kaysuet at hotmail dot com

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  13. I can see a host of ways to use the piggy beads and I love Czech beads.

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  14. I love Czech beads for they uplift even a simple pattern to a great glam level and I would so love to win them

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  15. I actually need to get my hands on some more piggy beads. Been playing around with the first batch I bought from Beads of Bohemia for a while now (the idea was to create a piggy tutorial this summer as part of a series starting with the button ribbon bracelets to celebrate the blogoversary of my swedish blog, but right now I'm too busy -- fingers crossed I'll get more time and a good idea for the tute soon). The offset holes are both challenging and fun as they -- just as the concave shape -- gives you very different possibilities compared to most 2-hole beads. Really, you can just string them alternatingly in the centre and edge holes (with two threads/wires, does that explanation make sense?) and they look fab. But want to do something fancier takes a little trial and error to learn how they behave.

    Anyway, I'd love a chance to win some bead money. I'm a follower and have pinned the giveaway on Pinterest.

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  16. I follow you through GFC and facebook

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  17. Lovely beads, I would love to win some chez beads always my favorite when using glass beads. Thanks for the opportunity! I am also a subscriber to your great news letter, best way to start my beading day! Sue

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  18. I would like to try these beads out myself!

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  19. I love your history tidbits !

    I am a blog subscriber,
    voltzia@gmail.com

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  20. Can't wait to see what you make, Maneki with the piggy beads!

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  21. They have a good selection.

    melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

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  22. GFC Follower.

    melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. Feedly subscribe

    melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

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  24. What a great opportunity for enjoying more Czech beads! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  25. Hi, I want to enter the contest to win the $50 worth of Czech beads but I cant seem to find the place to enter so I thought may be this is it. :-) I have wanted to enter other of your contest but didn't know for sure if this is the right place. I love beading and I really enjoy the articles you post here on your site. Thank you and have a great day! Bonnie Turberville

    (via email)

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  26. I would like to try these,too. But have you ever posted a tutorial for those wreath earrings? They are beautiful.
    Pbuchannan@aol.com

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  27. Oh, I LOVE Czech beads!!
    ou812amp@yahoo.com

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  28. I think these are fascinating, particularly with the way the holes are placed. I would LOVE to play with them!

    papillon4919@gmail.com

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  29. Piggy Back Beads....oooh what fun I could have with these! Sign me up for this awesome giveaway!

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  30. My mind is abuzz with all the ideas for using these awesome Czech beads should I win them!

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  31. These piggy beads are adorable and I can't wait to see them in person and try them out! Thanks for such a great blog!

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  32. Best Beads really are best! I have some seed beads from Best beads and they are wonderful. I have never had piggy beads but have wanted some. I am an email subscriber to your blog.

    Thank you for a wonderful giveaway offer!

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  33. Love the name--Piggy Beads! And really love the gold & white earrings! Pick me!
    Nancy L mnludvik@earthlink.net

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  34. I've been a subscriber for a while.

    jmscrochet
    jeannesprague@hotmail.com

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  35. Great new bead. Would love to win this prize. Thanks for the chance to win. Michelle davbrillc@yahoo.com

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  36. Those wee beads look so fun and playful; so many design ideas popped into my head when I saw them.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win the Czech glass giveaway.

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  37. The Piggy Beads are gorgeous and so unique!! I'd love the chance to "play" with them and use them in my designs!!

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  38. It sure would be fun to have a stash of Czech beads!

    susan at sandeno dot com

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  39. Hi Pearl, love this give away...free beads is sooo me...LOL
    janet119@gmail.com
    blog suscriber and facebook follower.

    thanks Pearl!

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  40. I was a bit confused about what use this type of 2 hole bead could be put to. Then I saw the promotional banner photograph. I absolutely LOVE them!

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  41. Those beads are adorable, they've been on my list to try. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  42. Wow, what an awesome chance to own some amazingly unusual beads. Would love to experiment with them.
    Susan
    shw_samuel@sky.com

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  43. Great giveaway! Checked the site - a large variety of beads, some fancy ones, affordable prices and they have a discount right now. Would love to play with authentic Czech glass beads! Shared on Facebook, too :)

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  44. I would love to have these beautiful beads...
    I'm a blog subcriber...
    tnt.jewel@gmail.com

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  45. They are coming out with cooler beads everyday. I am so glad I subscribe to your blog- you always find the best giveaways.

    mahanlori@plateautel.net

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  46. Hey Pearl,

    I love the way the offset piggy beads form into a slinky necklace.

    Thanks for the chance to win some :0

    victoria_farrell at hotmail dot com

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  47. I am a new subscriber and would really like to win these beads

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  48. Wow. I'd be very interested in trying these!

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  49. Beautiful beads! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

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  50. Thanks for always bringing something new to the table! I follow you by email, FB and Pinterest. These piggy beads are intriguing
    Christie charisdesigns@hotmail.com

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  51. your ideas are great, and they also look fantastic when strung together!!
    I would LOVE to play with some!!

    deb_oro@yahoo.gr

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  52. I shared on PINTEREST:
    http://pinterest.com/pin/282600945340620161/

    deb_oro@yahoo.gr

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  53. Love the Piggy beads . And I would like to enter this giveaway and try my luck at winning some !

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  54. I agree - Czech beads are so beautiful. I love all the different colours and patterns you can get with just the round Druk beads! I'll be checking out Best Beads :)

    littlekoojewellery@gmail.com

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  55. Wow. I have never heard of best beads, but those little piggy beads look really fun. Gonna go check em out. Thanks

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  56. I love those piggy beads and the great earrings you made using them. Thanks for the great giveaway.

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  57. These look really interesting to work with. Would love to win them.

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  58. I'm a blog subscriber. KayzKreationz

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  59. Just tweeted about your post and giveaway.
    https://twitter.com/kayzkreationz/status/359660426881011715

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  60. Being a wirewrapper and not a beader, I really missed the boat on this totally wonderful product! I can see the great uses for these in my world and wish I'd found them sooner. I'd have to do the "happy dance" if I found out I'd won.... so not recording that lol. Going to do a tweet on this great contest soon as I quit running my mouth(fingers).
    Good luck to everyone (including me lol).

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  61. I love these beads. Thanks for the info and the chance to win some of these great beads.

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  62. thanks for your Blog, you make a difference in my Beady life..xx

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  63. What a great adventure in my bead making journey it would be to win these Great journal!
    Joann DeCosta

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  64. I would love to win $50.00 worth of Czech beads! I might even try some Piggies!

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  65. Awesome giveaway! Subscribed to your blog! Love the new 2 hole beads!

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  66. Awesome giveaway! I really like the look of those piggy beads!

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    jnturley@yahoo.com

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  67. Also, I am a follower of your blog (Bloglovin').


    jnturley@yahoo.com

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  68. those chains in the banner are adorable & im sure it would be even cuter with alternating regular beads!

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  69. I am always looking for new beads to create with and these piggy beads are awesome. I love all the beads out there and find it difficult to control my impulse to buy, buy, buy!!!
    Sandy Woerner
    popspet@comcast.net

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  70. I love Czech Glass Beads! I haven't had a chance to try the new Piggy Double Hole beads, but they are definitely on my shopping list! Pretty please count me for this amazing giveaway! Thanks!

    Angi Mullis dj2isme@aol.com

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  71. I'm a loyal blog follower!

    Angi Mullis dj2isme@aol.com

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  72. I shared on FB!

    Angi Mullis dj2isme@aol.com

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  73. I would love the opportunity to win some beads from Best Beads company in the Czech Republic. Thank you!

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  74. I'm a subscriber to your great blog
    acbeads(at)gmai(dot)com

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  75. I've shared on Facebook.
    https://www.facebook.com/acbeads0/posts/330593730408063

    acbeads(at)gmail(dot)com

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  76. I have a very old recipe called 'Piggy Cake' and it's called that because you can't eat enough of it! I bet that's very similar to those Piggy Beads - once you try them - you can't get enough of them!

    Yes - it's me again Pearl ~

    Aims @
    bigbluebarn@gmail.com

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  77. I've made a post at my blog.
    http://acbeads.blogspot.pt/2013/07/sorteio-no-blogue-beading-gem.html

    acbeads(at)gmail(dot)com

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  78. This is what I love about reviews, getting designer input. I've seen these beads, but didn't realize one of the holes is offset. This will make for some great designing!

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  79. I also follow on Facebook. Thank you Pearl, and Best Beads, for this wonderful giveaway!

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  80. Wonderful giveaway! Thank you so much!

    Hugs,
    Tatyana
    http://tatkis-mousehouse.blogspot.com.au/

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  81. Would love to win and I can think of a lot of jewelry to make with these cool shapes. kathyouthere@yahoo.com

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  82. Rosalyn of says that she is very proud of the Czech beads as she was born in the Czech Republic and knows the quality of the beads...she would love to win this.

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  83. Thanks for such a great giveaway! I really hope I win!!! I am very interested in trying those piggy beads!

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  84. I subscribe to your blog via email.

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  85. I subscribe by email. Best Buy Beads is very fast in shipping,

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  86. I'd love to win these lovely beads!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  87. I subscribe to your blog via email.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  88. Nifty beads. I subscribe with feedly.

    -Lindsey
    www.thebeadlab.com

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  89. Hi Pearl. I would love to win these beads. I have been a subscriber for some time now and am also a follower on facebook.

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  90. Living in europe and still unable to go to Czech and find beautiful beads. Stil on my desire list...

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  91. I'd love to win some Czech beads, I never worked with any, this could be the starting point of a new stash, who knows :)

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  92. Penny Hammack, penny.hammack@gmail.comNovember 17, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    I already have some piggy beads but haven't made anything because I wasn't sure how to use them. Would like some more and I really like the petal beads. I also make cuff links for my nephew and could use some of the Czech buttons.

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  93. I found some really nice beaded native American breastplate designs that i also took apart and made some really nice DIY beads bracelets from a range of colors.

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