Tuesday, December 23, 2008


We're very happy so many of you decided to give a handmade piece of jewelry to your friends or family this year. I love making jewelry and if you do not know how, just let us guide you.
We are open on Tuesday until 6 pm and tomorrow Wednesday until 3 pm.
We will be closed on the 25 and 26 of December.
We will open at 11 am on Saturday December 27.

Remember that we have nice beginners kits, gift certificates, and also fabulous pieces of jewelry handmade by our Caravan Artists.

Caravan Bead Bucks are here!

From December 9 thru December 31
for every $50 you spend in the store receive
$5.00 in bead bucks!

Bead Bucks are redeemable from Jan. 2 thru Jan. 30, 2009

Merry Christmas
Feliz Navidad


Friday, December 5, 2008


Don't miss our super spectacular trunk show this weekend! Jon, Ana and I just finished setting up all the goodies. Boy, we are going to do some shopping tomorrow! The selection of glass is awesome! Tons of pearls and a huge variety of semi precious strands, too. You'll be in bead heaven when you see the selection. Don't miss it! Charlene

Monday, November 24, 2008

Good news.

Join Us this weekend for our kickoff to the holiday season!

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I would like to express my thanks to all of you, my dear customers, for supporting all of us at Caravan Beads over the past 14 years. We continually strive to make Caravan not only a fun place to be, but a refuge when you may need a little "crafty" pick-me-up or "me time". These days can be very stressful for many of us right now, and sometimes being creative can help relieve that stress. In this tough economic environment, we will try to help you make affordable gift choices this year. Handmade gifts are so greatly appreciated. Why not take a class with a friend, mom, sister or daughter this December? You can all share in the fun of being creative together. That alone is a gift in itself.

Once again, I would like to thank all of you for your continued business and support. All of us at Caravan Beads are committed to help you make your handmade holiday the best ever!


Thanksgiving Weekend Events!

Friday 9am to 10am: 30% off all Swarovski Crystal & Semi-Precious
Friday 10am to 11am: 30% off all Seed Beads
Friday 11am to 7pm: Get a ticket & a chance to win a door prize
Saturday 11am to 6pm: Sign up for 2 classes & the second one is free
Sunday 11am to 5pm: Buy a piece of finished jewelry & the rest of your purchase is 20% off

Free class this weekend
Right Angle Weave Swarovski Crystal Bracelet

Who doesn't need a striking bracelet to compliment that special outfit... especially with the holidays right around the corner? Pick from our huge selection of Swarovski crystals and learn the right angle weave to create this fantastic bracelet.
Approx. cost: $25.00
Saturday, Nov. 29: 11:00 - 12:00
Sunday, Nov. 30: 1:30 - 2:30

Caravan Beads of Chicago
3361 N Lincoln AveChicago, Illinois 60657

Friday, November 21, 2008

Good news!

Thanksgiving Weekend Festivities!

Have fun next weekend at Caravan Beads. We will have special sales and activities all weekend long.

Friday, Nov. 28: 11 - 7 Get a ticket and a chance to receive a door prize!
Saturday, Nov. 29: 11 - 6 Sign up for two classes and the second one is free!
Sunday, Nov. 30: 11 - 5 Buy a piece of finished jewelry and the rest of your purchase is 20% off!

"Mix It Up" Charm Bracelet

Try mixing it up! By using a variety of cords, beautiful beads, and an assortment of our VERY popular Vintaj charms, you will create an awesome piece that is a twist on the traditional charm bracelet. Materials approx. cost: $15.00
Sunday Nov. 23: 11 - 12
We will be closing at 4 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 26.
Closed Thursday, Nov. 27

Happy Thanksgiving!

Please call us at 773-248-9555 to reserve your spot. Space is limited! See you then!

Charlene Steele Caravan Beads 773-248-9555

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Free class

Our free classes are back once again! This weekend we're offering a unique earring designed with beads, chain and wire. Sign up early as they fill up fast!

Hammered Chain and Bead Retro Earrings

Give your chain a little bit of personality! Choose from our wide variety of chain, pick out a handful of beads...and Voila! A unique new pair of earrings. Materials approx. cost: $12.00 Saturday Nov. 15: 2 - 3 pm

Sunday Nov. 16: 2 - 3 pm

Please call us at 773-248-9555 to reserve your spot. Space is limited! See you then!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Resin is HOT!

Our resin supplies are flying out of the store! I added more classes this month because they are filling up quickly. Everyone is having fun with this great medium. Start thinking about your holiday gifts...you can make really cool, personal pieces at a very reasonable price.
Our new class schedule for November and December is online and in the store. We have some great gift ideas for you, too.

On order and expected in this week or next:

Vintaj charms and chain
Sterling silver and gold filled chain
Sterling and gold filled clasps...new styles

That's all for now!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Free class!

Free Class this Sunday at Caravan Beads!

Our free classes are making a comeback! We're starting with an earring class this Sunday, Oct. 26. Sign up early as they fill up fast!

Cascade Earrings

Tired of the same ol' earrings? Take the simple loop technique and give the same ol', same ol' a little flair! All you need is to narrow down your "must have" beads from our fantastic selection and come spend some time with the ladies of Caravan Beads! Materials approx. cost: $12.00 Sunday, Oct. 26, 12 - 1:00

Please call us at 773-248-9555 to reserve your spot. Space is limited! See you then!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Good News

Semi Precious & Glass Trunk Show
Wednesday Oct. 1 thru Sunday Oct. 5

We've just received a nice shipment of semi precious and glass strands for this weekend only. Come early for the best selection.

Customer Appreciation Days are Back!

Enjoy special savings thru October

Mondays: 20% off Czech Glass Strands
Tuesdays: 20% off Swarovski Crystal Strands
Wednesday: 20% off Semi Precious Strands
Thursday: 20% off all seed beads
Friday: Double Punch Day

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Event





Do not miss our Trunk show. It is here only until Sunday September 21.

There is a nice fall selection. There are different colors and shapes.

We just receive more vintaje brass pendants and findings.

Our free class this Saturday and Sunday is a great Coin Embellished pair of earrings.

From 1:30 -2:30
Materials approximate value $10.00
Call to reserve your spot!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Free class on Sep. 13 & 14


Wire wrap a pendant and wear a great necklace this weekend at Caravan!

We will teach you how to wire wrap a stone in this workshop. The pendant will be hung on a cord with adjustable knots to make it longer or shorther. Then you do not need a clasp.

Beginners welcome.

Sat. Sep. 13 & Sun. Sep 14

11:30 - 12:30

Materials approximate value: under $10.00

You need to buy the materials in the store the day of the class.

Please come early to get your supplies.

Instructor: Crissy and Ana

Call early to reserve your spot.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Good News!

It is a rainy day, but we are so happy at Caravan Beads because we just receive a big shipment of The POUR-ON. Yes the resin that you need to create nice pendants with your pictures, flowers, etc. The class on Saturday is almost full, but we will have more dates for this popular class.

By the way if you want to make any of these pendants, just come in and we will show you what you need to get. Be prepared to enter soon in our Resin Pendant Contest.

We are still working on all the details and we will let you know.

Thanks everybody and keep creating more master pieces!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Where is our Resin?!!!

Ok, we have this fun new product I've been telling you about and we don't have the resin. Here's the story...I ordered 20 boxes over a week ago. I expected it last Wednesday. The rep called us on Thursday to say it had been shipped on Wednesday so we should have it by Friday. Still no package on Friday so we called and found out it had been shipped to the wrong zipcode, returned to the company, and shipped out again Friday. So no resin until next week. Needless to say, I am a bit po'd. I tried, guys! Just hang in there. I'm so sorry for all of this mess. We are restocking the store again. Have some new semi precious, sterling findings, and delicas. I hope you have looked on the website at our new classes. There are some really nice ones this month.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Have a great Labor Day!

We are not running the free class this Saturday and Sunday, because of the holiday weekend.
We will be closed only on Monday September 1.
I am so happy about our new classes. Some of them are great beadweaving projects. If you feel like trying them, let me tell you that it is not that hard. There are also some new wire workshops which are very interesting. The polymer clay classes sound like a lot of fun. To tell you the truth my favorite class is making the resin pendants.
Crissy, Diana and I made some new pendants in the store. It was so much fun. Charleene explained us the process of making them.
I wish you can try them too.
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Fun Products!

We have just received our shipment of pendant blanks to make jewelry. I am totally hooked on making resin pendants. You just make a little collage, or just insert a photo into the blank, then pour in the resin and let it set. The possibilities are endless! I made a bunch of samples which are on display in the store. You can really add whatever you'd like to the blanks. Ana made some samples with polymer clay. You can make a mini mosaic with beads or glass. Make a photo charm bracelet. (I made one with pics of my cats). I think this is a great way to expand your beading skills. And each piece is unique, because you've designed it yourself! The casting blanks come in antique silver, ant. brass and ant. copper. Add chain to the charm and you have yourself a great necklace! I'm thinking this will be a fantastic Christmas gift. We will be offering a class on making them in September but if you want to get started now, we have all the materials in the store. It's really easy! Charlene

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good News

All the strands of Pearls and Shell are 30% off.

Come soon before they are gone.

There are new products in the store... It is a surprise...
I will let Charlene write about it.
All I can say is that they are fantastic and really easy to make.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thai Silver Trunk Show

Hello all! I am so excited about our Trunk show starting tomorrow, Thursday. I saw the merchandise for the first time yesterday at Briolette. Wow, there's lots of really nice pendants, beads and strands in both silver and brass! I had to buy a few things for myself before they disappeared. Be sure to come early for the best selection. The show will run through Sunday and then it goes back on the road.
We have received our leather cord order, and our Tierracast charms and findings. I ordered more chain and wire, that should arrive soon, I'll let you know. I'll be working on a new class schedule for the fall so if there's any class in particular you would like to see, let me know!
A bit of disturbing news...someone likes our bracelet samples for the Bead Culture patterns so much, that rather than making one themselves, they are swiping them from our counter display! That really hurts. Not only are they stealing product, but our time as well. I hope whoever it is will rethink what you are doing. Bad, bad karma!
We have gotten more patterns in the store and are working on samples (which will now be under glass) as quickly as possible. Lots of fun, new designs. Hope you are all enjoying the nice summer we've been having...it will be over soon!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Boy, there is so much going on, where do I start?? Ok, a reminder of our one day trunk show this Sunday from 12 to 5, featuring handpainted beads and pendants from the Phillipines. Don't miss it!
Our new storefront is up and it is so nice and fresh. Looks like a new store. In fact, we have had more new customers come in lately. It's amazing what a face lift will do. We are still working on window displays and signage. Have to get the neons back up, too. Unfortunately one of them broke in the construction process. So we have to get a new one made!

We have finally gotten our chain order in and restocked. Most of the manufacturers of findings and chain take 2 to 4 weeks off for vacation in July. They close the factories and everyone takes vacation at the same time. Sounds like a great idea to me, tho I'd like to close in February and go to the Carribbean!

Our new website is finally up and running! Yeah!!! I have been working on it for quite a few weeks (months?) and am very happy with the results. I think that it will be very nice for all of you who take classes with us. You can now sign up online and pay online. You will also receive an email confirmation of your registration including a supply list. We may experience a few glitches at first. If you run across any problems, please let us know so that we can correct them ASAP.

Have you seen the patterns that you can now download online? I am so excited about these! We have had several for sale in the store and have sold quite a few of them. You can see samples in the store. We are working on samples for the new patterns, but the photos are great. These are fun and most of them are quite easy. The instructions are very well written and illustrated. I hope you enjoy them as much as we all do!

And, the news you all have been waiting for... our Thai Hilltribe Silver Trunk Show is back! We will have a selection of silver and brass beads from Thailand from Thursday, August 7 thru Sunday August 10. Come early for the best selection.
Wow, that's alot of news! I will post some photos as soon as I can. In the meantime, stay cool and hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One Day Only Trunk Show!

This Sunday, August 3 from noon to 5:00 pm we will be featuring Rebecca Elias, of RED Designs. Rebecca will be presenting exotic pendants and components from the Philippines, as well as her jewelry designs. Gorgeous and unique hand-embellished and inlaid wood, shell, and coconut shell pendants will accent any wardrobe or occasion!
Don't miss it as this is one day only!

Monday, July 28, 2008



Beehive Earrings!
Make a funky pair of earrings with beads and colored wire. It's easier than you think!

Materials: Less than $3.00 Wednesday July 30 6:00 - 7:00
Instructor: Ana Pizarro
Call early to reserve your spot!
773 248-9555
To find out more about our free classes, make sure that you are on our e-mail list.


Our store looks great with the new windows. We've recently added more semi-precious, too. Come on in and get inspired by our new designs.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The store is a bit of a mess today. We are having our front windows and door replaced. It's going to look new and modern. We can't wait! But it's a mess right now. We have plastic up in the front to protect the store from dust and dirt. Please enter in the side door around the back. It should be all fixed by tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience!!! P.S. Our Wednesday free class is cancelled for today due to the construction. It will run again next week. Thanks! Charlene

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Columbian Beads Trunk Show this weekend!

We are happy to welcome the Colombian Craft Connection to our store this weekend! You'll find a great assortment of handmade clay and seed beads (real seeds, not glass). The Columbian Craft Connection is committed to providing customers with the finest handcrafted beads from Colombian artisans, as well and as the highest quality natural seeds, to be used in adornment production.
All our beads are made in the South of Bogota, the capital of Colombia. We are devoted to creating economic growth for women, indigenous peoples and youngsters.

The show will run from Thursday, July 17 through Sunday July 20. Come early for the best selection. The last time we offered some of these beads they sold out in the first week! These beads are great for summer jewelry and you'll be helping the artisans as well!

And don't forget our daily specials we're offering this summer. It makes your shopping even more fun!

P.S. Coming soon...Hill Tribe Silver Trunk Show

Stay cool! Charlene

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer Specials!!!


Mondays: Buy one strand and get one half off!
Choose from semi-precious, swarovski crystals, wood, Czech glass...pick your favorites!

Tuesdays: Sweet Treats!!!
Come in on Tuesdays and pick from a basket of yummy "candy coupons" that wins you a surprise with your purchase. Prizes range from a discount card to free beads...you never know which candy you might draw! Are you feeling lucky?

Wednesday: Free class day!
Each Wednesday we will feature a fun new project in a free class! This will be a great day for you to come if you are new to beading or a seasoned pro! Pre-registration is required as these classes fill up fast! Give us a call to let us know you're coming.

Thursday: Design Consultation Day!!
Whether is your big day or you need something knock-out for a special occasion, this is your opportunity to get individual help and advice! Take advantage of our skilled Bead Girls and HUGE variety of beads from around the globe! Reservations are necessary. Give us a call to book your FREE 30 minute consultation! Availability times from 12:00-5:00

Friday: Pick Your Discount Day!!!
What?!! That's right! You may get 10% off any type of item in your purchase (Czech glass or semi-precious for example) or get 20% off one item. Discounts do not apply to class registrations,gift certificates, or consignment items,sorry.

Hopefully one of these FANTASTIC deals appeals to you!
See you soon!!!

Crissy, Ana, & Diana

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy 4th of July! I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful holiday weekend. The weather has been so nice. If only it could always be like this! I just got back from the Upper Peninsula or the UP as we like to call it. Did some fishing, hiking, and general R & R. That's what summer's about! I had ordered some new products from Vintaj before I left, and they have been flying out of the store! Here's some samples:

Isn't this a cool pendant?

I love this one, too. You can wrap the wings around a large bead or donut. We have the matching antique brass chain in a bunch of styles along with wire and findings too. This is the hot trend of the summer. I'll just keep ordering more when we run out!

Have you tried one of our new Bead Culture patterns yet? I've made the Touch Me Bracelet (many times, it's so fun!), the Floating Orbs Bracelet and the Chardonnay Bracelet so far. I'm currently working on the Net of Jewels Bracelet. I love these patterns! They're really easy and the finished product is just beautiful.

This is the Net of Jewels. The fun part is that you can pick on of our gorgeous buttons and design the colors around it for your own unique version. Way cool.

If you haven't seen them in person, you have to come in to see the samples for Hannah Rosner's classes. She is coming in from Taos, New Mexico to teach several awesome classes. They are posted on the website, but here's some pictures:

This is the Champagne Dreams bead. It uses those cool new Rivolis that we just got in.

This isn't the best picture but it's the Micro-macrame Treasure Bracelet. A great way to use up extra beads you may have.

Another not so good photo, but this is the Cascade Pendant. You really need to see them in person, they're beautiful.

I hope you all are as excited as I am about bringing Hannah in to teach for us. She will be here from Friday July 25 through Sunday July 27. Sign up soon before they fill up. Space is limited.

I'll leave you with this funny picture of me fishing for trout in the UP. Keep smiling!


Thursday, June 26, 2008


For those of you who could not attend our free classes on the weekend; we will have them on select Wednesdays and Thursdays. What I love about these classes is that the instruction is free and you only pay for the materials!

Please call to register. These free workshops fill up fast!


Make a necklace that makes a statement!

By combining beads and different cords, you will make a unique addition to your summer wardrobe.

Approximate value $26.00

Wednesday July 2 5:30 - 6:30

(I will post a picture of this necklace soon.)

Kid's Beading Adventures!

So we have to decided to add some kid's classes to our summer class schedule. These classes are open to boys and girls! Check them out to find a great summer activity for your child.

Wonder Beads!

Create one of a kind polymer clay beads to jazz up your back pack or wear as jewelry. Make them, bake them, and string them up! Now you have a special piece of jewelry!

Ages 9-12
2 hours
Materials and snack included
Tues. July 15&29

Super Friends Paper Beads!

Bring a friend and make cool paper beads. When you are finished, trade your beads to seal your friendship! Then use your handmade beads with others to create a necklace.

Ages 8-10
2 hours
Materials and snack included
Wed. July16&30

Sparkletastic Bracelet!

Learn a weaving technique to make a gorgeous bracelet! It's SO easy! Choose from lots of different colors to make a bracelet you can wear all summer long.

Ages 9-12
2 hours
Materials and snack included
Tues. July 8&22

Elastic Kids!

Choose from a large variety of animal and fruit beads to make a stretchy bracelet! When you are finished, we will read a bead story.

Ages 5-7
2 hours
Materials and snack included
Wed. July9&30

Come in and check out the samples of the projects your child will create!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ah, summer...

Hey, seems like the last two weeks got away from us. Summer has finally hit, the weather is great and everyone is out planting their gardens. Well now it's time to get back to the bead store and make your summer jewelry! Our new class schedule is out. Yeah! You can view it on our website, http://www.caravanchicago.com/, or pick up a copy in the store. We have some great guest instructors joining us this session. Hannah Rosner is coming in all the way from Taos, New Mexico to teach several incredible classes. You can view pictures of her class samples on the web or view the actual pieces in the store. Here's a peek:

This is a picture of her embroidered cuff. So cool! Hannah is a great instructor. Be sure to sign up early as space is limited.

Karen Ovington is going to be teaching her famous crocheted rope in July, and Deb will be teaching Beginning PMC and Viking Knit this session, too. Lots of fun. That's all for now more later. Bye!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bead and Button Blast!

Well, I said I'd go to the Bead & Button show just to "look around." But of course, that didn't happen. After spending 9 hours on my feet, "just looking" turned into lot of beads! I found a great selection of wood beads, perfect for summer.
Then I ran into a bunch of beautiful semi precious beads that I had to have! Tourmaline, Ametrine, Peanut agate, Brazil Opalite, Rubies, Lepidocrocite in quartz, Shiva eye beads, to name just a few. I thought it was about time we spruced up the cases with special beads for the summer.

I also found some Thai Silver clasps and pendants, and some cute tool cases that look like purses! Come see all the new beads before they're gone!


Monday, June 9, 2008

Información en español...


A los amantes de las piedras, gemas, cuentas de cristal y vidrio, mostacillas, alambres, etc. Aquí encontrarán los materiales y accesorios para crear sus propias joyas.

Sabía usted que hablamos español?
Pregunte por Ana Pizarro y Diana Ortega.

Cualquier duda que tenga con sus proyectos solo llamenos al siguiente número de teléfono 773 248-9555 o al siguiente correo electrónico caravanchicago@gmail.com
Visítenos en nuestro local ubicado en 3361 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago Il, 60657

Friday, June 6, 2008

Summer is FINALLY HERE!!!!

As you may all well know, I am from the south...so I love summertime! A HUGE selection of new semi-precious beads arrived yesterday and I am SO excited. We have always done alot with chain here at Caravan Beads of Chicago and I am making it one of my summer's goals to show people the possibilities out there using different fibers and wire...so come in and check out some of my projects! Hopefully they will inspire your summer wardrobe!

Caravan Beads of Chicago

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My first blog....

Well, I never thought I'd be doing this. Blog, blog, blog, what the heck is that? As most of you know, it's a great way to communicate with your friends, and make new friends! And it's an easy way to keep you up to date on all the happenings at Caravan Beads. So, I'm taking the plunge...and I'm dragging Crissy and Ana with me! We'll try to send you posts whenever we get new merchandise, and whenever we have something fun to tell you. (I'm just winging it here...) I just got a new camera, so I'm hoping I can take some decent photos to post. That's the plan anyways.

First, a bit about myself. Some of my oldest customers know me, most of the newer ones don't. I started Caravan back in the old days...1994 to be exact, with my husband, Dan. Since then, we've added more space, moved once, added lots, and lots of beads, changed our haircolor several times, and added more cats (yes, cats) to our stash. A few of my babies are at the top of the page. I couldn't figure out how to move them! I do have a few more.....
I, too am a crazy crafter like alot of you. I love all things crafty...beads, yarn, paper, stamping, collage, glassworking, you name it, I've either tried it or want to try it. My "stash" continues to grow.
I spend my time at both Caravan and our sister store, Briolette Beads and More in Forest Park. You'll find a bit more of the crafty stuff there. I would have done yarn, too but there's a great little knit shop two doors down. So, enough about me for now.

Let's see, what's new???

We just received a shipment of chain, so most of our styles are back in stock. Delicas, seed beads and bugles have been arriving weekly to fill all the blank spots on the walls. If you haven't seen our cool natural pendants from the Phillipines, be sure to check them out. They're made of bamboo and shell and are very unusual. We now have a small selection of Rivolis for you crazy seed beaders. And we've just received another shipment of semi-precious strands and pendants.

So, I will end this post promising you pictures very, very soon (like tomorrow I hope). I am a bit of a rambler, so you are warned.