Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blue Buddha Boutique Blog Hop #giveaways #greatgifts

Chainmaille Kit Giveaways by 
Blue Buddha Boutique 

ChiIL Mama's super stoked to be participating in another blog hop with our fav local chainmaille artists--Rebeca Mojica and Blue Buddha Boutique, a Chicago based chain maille supplier.   We dig supporting small businesses and creatives in the community.   

This time of year we're also always on the lookout for cool holiday gift ideas, and this makes ChiIL Mamas Great Gifts List for sure.   Rebeca has just released easy starter kits and printable on line instructions (for either right or left handers).

She's crafty...she gets around:

Rebeca sent us several of the kits to try out, and we had a blast.   Sure, these are geared for adults, but my 9 & 11 year olds were able to make some amazing pieces without getting too frustrated.  We tag teamed it for some family fun and between all of us we found our strengths--some were good at opening, closing, weaving, or figuring out where we were in the pattern.   It was too much fun.

There's no special gear needed like soldering irons, chemical tanks or a big studio space.   You can weave chainmaille in any space you've got.

In fact, my 11 year old son is completely addicted and is now going for the rings and pliers every spare moment.  He finished a gorgeous Celtic Visions Star Pendant in silver, green, black and blue and now he's making another one, and adding his own unique triangle twist to it, too.   Now he's ambitiously plotting chainmaille costume pieces for himself for Renaissance Faire next summer!

These kits make unique gifts for the crafty on your list, and if you're the crafty one, they're an awesome DIY option for handmade gifts people will actually treasure and want to wear.   
Celtic Visions Star Pendant from Colorful Starter Pack

Now we're midway through this super cool Mesh & Rosettes starter kit which makes two bracelets or can be adapted to one wide cuff or necklace instead.   During the course of our giveaway, we'll be posting more photos, videos and updates as the project progresses.   In the mean time, enter below for your chance to win a Shaggy Loops Bracelet Kit from now till midnight on November 25th.
Mesh and Rosettes Bracelet from the Purist Starter Pack

Blue Buddha says:

Chainmaille Starter Packs” have finally come to Blue Buddha and just in time for the holidays!  These new packs (which we think will also make great gifts!) contain everything you need to get started creating beautiful chainmaille jewelry.  Absolutely no guesswork involved!  We provide you with the tools we love for beginners, projects we know people can succeed at and even color customization we know will look beautiful together.  All you have to do is click!

The "All-in-One, Easy Start to Chainmaille Pack" is the only one that comes with pliers.  For the others, we created the Tool Pack which comes with Euro Tool Ergo Pliers, Tool Magic and a bead mat.  This allows people to kindof mix and match - purchasing one Tool Pack and then their favorite Starter Pack: ColorfulPurist (which is all one solid metal for more classic tastes) or Scholar (which is based on Rebeca's book, CHAINED.)  There is also no cross-over of projects in these different packs, so because Tools are separate, people can purchase more than one without any overlap or the hassle of having to pay for pliers over and over when they really just need one set.

The Scholar pack (which is the biggest investment at $138.65) is built to take people from complete novice to advanced/intermediate weaver.  Plus, with kits available on our website for every project in the book, people can really grow just by starting with that pack.

Enter to win a kit for Blue Buddha's “Shaggy Loops” project (shown here) customized with any two colors you like.

Enter here for your chance to win!

We're so excited to offer one of ChiIL Mama's lucky readers a Shaggy Loops Kit.  The contest is international and will close at midnight central time on Sunday, November 25, 2012.

*Wait for Rafflecopter to load up right here (if you've gone through RSS feed or are scrolling down the blog and don't see it, click on the actual page title and it should pop right up).   Enter like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   Entries accepted through midnight on 11/25/12.   Winner will be announced on Monday 11/26/12.

Thanks to Blue Buddha for providing us with rockin' awesome chainmaille kits so we could check them out ourselves and also give one away!

NEW for 2012

We're so happy to be able to introduce our readers to Rebeca's new baby--starter packs.   She says

"From working at bead shows, I know there is a definite demand for quick-and-easy starter packs.  Chain maille can be very confusing to a newbie, and eyes start to glaze over real quick when one starts mentioning gauges and inner diameters and aspect ratio.  Sure, Blue Buddha has a ton of kits at all skill levels, but for someone brand new to the craft, even that can be confusing. "  

Each Starter Pack is completely different from the next, allowing you to mix and match without any overlap in projects.  Our convenient Tool Pack is also kept separate so you won’t end up needlessly paying for extra tools over and over again just to get more projects.  Each pack is designed to take the user from complete novice to at least an intermediate level.  The largest pack (the “Scholar” Pack) even takes people past intermediate and closer to advanced.  Each pack also comes with a handy “Get Started Guide” with tips for how to hold your pliers and open and close your jump rings properly.  Also included is a bag of practice rings so newbies can try their opening and closing skills without damaging the rings in their project kits.

Rhondo a la Byzantine bracelet from Scholar Pack

Not a newbie?  Feeling ambitious?  The Scholar Pack is based on the designs from Rebeca's book.  This kit features the most advanced project, Rhondo a la Byzantine bracelet.   How cool is that?!   Once you've mastered the beginner Byzantine and Helm weaves, it's doable!

But wait, there’s more!  Comment** on THIS POST though midnight CT on November 28th for your chance to win Blue Buddha's Grand Prize Giveaway: an “All-in-One, Easy Start to Chainmaillepack $49.95 value!  This pack comes with two pairs of pliers, a mini bead mat and kit and instructions for one of our most popular projects, “Celtic Visions” bracelet.  We’ll choose one lucky winner on the 29th – it could be you!

Sure there's a learning curve, but these kits were surprisingly simple to use and the directions were clear and colorful, and even came with a troubleshooting sheet.  Our only near disaster was long hair related and resulted in a hairy necklace and a tiny, minor hair cut.   

Sage has been so jazzed about her Celtic Visions Star Pendant and the fact she made it herself that she's worn it every day since she finished it a week ago.   She's gotten a ton of compliments on it!

I'd highly suggest checking out the great info at the other blog hop sites--especially Angelica Brigade's great how to on opening and closing jump rings.   (You can also enter their Blue Buddha giveaways to maxamize you shot at winning while you're over there visiting.  Most are open for another week.)

Also remember to enter here at ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   You can come back for additional entries daily if you share this on Twitter and social media. 

Wednesday, NOVEMBER 14TH
The Beading Gem’s Journal
Thursday, NOVEMBER 15TH
Beading Daily Blog
Angelica Brigade Blog
Handmade Artists Forum Blog
ChiIL Mama blog - Bonnie Kenaz-Mara
Tuesday, November 20th

Lovestruck Jewelry Blog - Sara Richardson
Wednesday, November 21st

Click here to enter to win the Blue Buddha Boutique blog GRAND PRIZE. This particular giveaway will run until November 28, 2012.

Check 'em out, link up, and good luck!


  1. Chain maille is fantastic. I can’t get enough of it. Thank you for the chance to get a Shaggy Loops bracelet kit from the Blue Buddha Boutique.
    Ana C.

  2. Hello! I have to say that this post of yours, especially the photos of your kids, and seeing how much fun you all had making the chain weaves really made my day (so thank you for that :) )!I have just recently became more interested in making my own jewelry and fallen head over heels in love with it. Although I’m a total newbie, I’m really fascinated by chain maille! It seems so catching and fun! Unfortunately, in my country (I come from Serbia), this technique is not very popular (to my knowledge) so the choice of ready-made jump-rings, etc is rather poor. These starter packs seem just perfect for us beginners, so it would make me more than thrilled if I was chosen to get one :)

  3. I would love to learn chain maille. I think the starter packs or kits will help me so thanks for the chance to win!

  4. How fun seeing pics of your kids learning to do Chainmaille! Love B3 and their kits - would love to win this one!

  5. Love the fun that B3 has added to chain maille with all the color.

  6. Thanks for participating in this fun giveaway - I hope I win!
    I love chainmaille and have done some with beads - ready to do more.
    You have a really cute site and your kids are great!

  7. I woulld love to win this and learn chain maille. Thank you so much for this chance !

  8. I think it's great. I'd love to learn chain maille. Makes really artistic and beautiful work :)

  9. That sounds great! i would love to enter this giveaway and get a chance to win this kit.
    P.S:Your kids look really cute.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Its awesome your kids got into the action... Lets others know chainmaille is something everyone can do... Thanks for particiating in the blog hop. Love the shaggy loop it looks so cool.

  11. These are gorgeous pieces of jewelry/art! I've never heard of chainmaille before. I hope I win!