Rings & Things Behind The Scenes Video Tour

Rings & Things Russ BeadVideo #292: Roadtrip #1-05: Secret Identity of the mystery “Russ Bead” … Revealed!

If you have flipped through a bead or jewelry magazine recently… attended any of the large US bead shows… or even just surfed around the web… then you will have probably heard of Rings & Things. They have, after all, been in the bead findings and jewelry tools business for over 40 years now!

Rings & Things is my favorite place to buy Silver Core Grommets for Pandora Style Beads. And although I have been a customer for a few years, after meeting the staff and going behind the scenes of the showroom and warehouse, we discovered there is a lot more to this company than meets the eye.

In addition to having a diverse selection of items for sale in their Spokane based show room (and ecommerce store), this family run business supports and nurtures a work environment where creativity and individuality is celebrated… and being environmentally responsible is of highest priority.
Just ask any one of the 65 employees… several of which have been with the company for multiple decades. In today’s video, you will get to meet a few of them… Sondra Barrington, Sales Manager (5 yrs); Laurae Sather, Corporate Sales (25 years); Kim Crosby, General Manager (35 years) and Polly Nobbs-LaRue, System Manager (30 years)… daughter of Russ Nobbs, the owner (40 years).

Now you know a company must be special if the staff are willing to stay on board for so many years…

After the tour I couldn’t help but pick up some supplies for myself… got some Kato Polyclay (it’s about time I try out this brand); A few packs of Vintaj Patina Inks; Another Vintaj Deco Emboss Die; Some non-stick craft sheets; and several other things as well.

Plus… Laurae and Polly gave me a great little goody bag filled with Swarovski Crystals and Pearls; Some steampunk gears; A few Aanraku bails; A bead bar; A bead color chart; Tierra Cast Clasp; An awesome hinged glass locket… and of course some official Russ Beads.

Does anyone else want some Rings & Things goodies?

Polly offered to put together a prize package if there was enough interest. So here’s what I’m thinking…

… what you guys need to do is head on over to the www.rings-things.com web site and take a look at all the cool products they carry. Select some items that you would like to see me demo in a follow up video. Then come back here and post a comment with your demo suggestions / requests.

It’s been a long time since we’ve done a giveaway around here, so this should be fun! Here’s the Rings & Things link again.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Anna Sabina, 11 October, 2012

    What and experience. That was a great video. It is amazing that this started as a little store in a Mall. I have gone to a Rings and Things sale when they came to Des Moines. It was amazing at the inventory they brought. It is exciting to know this company is still family run. How cool is that? I did see Willow and Fisher in the Video, maybe they will be running a similar business in the future. Oh, and the Russ Bead….I am pretty sure he would make a great Gnome for the camper. You cold even make a little Polymer Clay Hat for him. I

  2. Cindi L, 11 October, 2012

    This is great! I never miss the Rings & Things Tour when it comes to town – I schedule those days as vacation days as soon as I know the dates!

  3. Sara W, 11 October, 2012

    Awesome! I have begged them to come by Lubbock, but they some how think Dallas or Austin are better stops (can’t say I blame them but still….).

  4. Patricia Rasmuson, 11 October, 2012

    Wow! To actually see a place that you buy a lot of your stuff from is really cool. Thanks for sharing with us!

  5. Freda K, 11 October, 2012

    How interesting. It was a great tour and loved meeting the people involved.

  6. Sandra J, 11 October, 2012

    What a neat place to be! It must have been awesome to be there. Thanks for showing us

  7. Chrissy W, 11 October, 2012

    I would love to see something done with the Luster Gel.

  8. Jocelyn C, 11 October, 2012

    Gnomes are important! Here’s why.

    Loved every second of this presentation.

    Linked to their site….oh, my word, fabu African trade bead section!

  9. Anna Sabina, 11 October, 2012

    I don’t know if you have done a Tut on French Barrettes. I have covered decorated these with PC and usually use a Jig/ Form to bake the clay on. I was also amazed with the many cool buttons in metal.
    The hinged picture-frame pendants also caught my eye.

  10. Cherie, 11 October, 2012

    What a fabulous array of beads and I love the bone buttons and the Swarovski elements trapezoid buttons; they’d look great on bracelets. Would love to see some metal stamping. Just love the Tim Holts ideaology line too.

  11. Dixie Ann, 12 October, 2012

    Wow, I could spend a lot of time and money there for sure.
    A great video where it’s nice to see what kind of a place you are actually ordering from. I would like to see how the Vintaj Patina inks work out. I just learned about this new line and am curious how they look since I also do a lot of wire jewelry.
    I loved all the art work on the walls and I thought the Fish was really neat. As for the Russ bead, well I knew it wasn’t Santa but it could be a close second. So if Santa the second wants to send a gift package to my house, I sure would be pleased as punch to receive it.

  12. Janine Gerade, 12 October, 2012

    I want to move across the country and work there! How awesome!
    They have been coming to Massachusetts for years and one of the greatest tools they use to get me to go every year is to have a human being CALL you and remind you that they are coming to town. Plus the postcard.
    Great company. Thanks so much for the tour!

  13. Kerri Crawford, 12 October, 2012

    I would like more info on how to use the molds like steampunk. Sometimes I look at the molds and think they look cool but can’t decide how to play with it.
    Any tut on jewelry with beads pre-made and polymer beads. Trying to always keep up with the trends of jewelry design and colors.

    I’m loving this new format of videos BTW.

  14. Sharon Williams, 12 October, 2012

    I’ve just put (visit Rings and Things) on my Bucket List.Looks like an awesome store to visit

  15. DawnB, 12 October, 2012

    Very cool place to visit! Thanks for taking us along Team Lietz. I love these Roadtrip videos!

  16. Elaine Faulks, 13 October, 2012

    Just loved this virtual visit to Rings & Things. Great to know they have been trading for more than four decades and still a family run company. (must be doing the right thing) The enthusiasim for their products shone through and lovely to hear of all the new items in the pipeline. great to see all the eco- friendly awards and innovative ideas they have come up with.Well done Rings & Things.

    Think you will have to explore the metal etching products CINDY they look so cool and will appeal to the mad scientists among us.

    Just a note on the Russ bead, I’m guessing this is a CERAMIC bead so can take the heat when covered with silver-clay and torched. DO NOT torch a polymer-clay bead covered in silver clay it will give off toxic fumes as the heat will burn the PC.
    You can use wood-clay or cork-clay as your core. Both of these burn off so will cause lots of smoke and fumes. (I always fire these outdoors). be careful experimenting with glazed beads, these can explode or crack. You can buy unglazed ceramic beads especially fired to be safe with silver-clay. If you want to add polymer clay to silver-clay. Fashion and fire your silver clay first. Sand, buff and clean, then add your polymer clay and bake as normal The PC will not stick to the silver item so should be taken out, sanded etc. then glued back using a good jewelry grade cement.

    Do not be afraid to experiment with new things BUT read everything on safety guidlines, wear safety goggles and masks, gloves etc. when recommended

    . Or wait for CINDY to do a tutorial. She really researches, experiments and comes up with the best method, including all the safety issues. Cindy and Doug together make a great team. So glad I found this site and you will be too, so don’t delay……Sign up today…………………………………cheers xx………………………

  17. Anna Sabina, 13 October, 2012

    Rings and things has shows all over the US. They have the schedule for the rest of 2012 AND 2013 listed at their site.

  18. Andrea Paradiso, 13 October, 2012

    May I live another 40 years and own a little treasure trove like this one…but all for MYSELF! …none of you can have any….

    Well, Mrs. Rainbow, you were right on the Russ bead. Congrats!

    I headed over and signed up. And thanks, Cindy. Because I’d been looking for Kato concentrates on the google and came up with nothing at all. I just got four packets this week of the regular and they look gorgeous. The concentrates are on my list and also the findings in semi-precious metals are a very good price and variety.

    Swarovski…Swarvoski?! I’m so glad I’m not the only one with this problem. I won’t have to be embarrassed anymore!

  19. Andrea Paradiso, 13 October, 2012

    Cindy and Doug—

    You’ll probably never make it to Ambridge, PA…


    There is a large parking lot to my apartment. And beautiful home made pizza and Baba Rum waiting for you all anytime you say!

    Thanks again for all the enjoyment!

  20. Cindy Lietz, 16 October, 2012

    We would love to come see you some time Andrea!! The pizza and rum sound awesome. We are hoping to take a long trip for most of the Summer next year which would help us to see much more of the country. Maybe even Pennsylvania? Make sure to go to our first PcT Roadtrip video post and leave a comment there with your location and if you haven’t done it yet, a list of the supplies you have purchased because of the PcT Tutorials. We are hoping to secure several sponsors for these trips since they are very expensive to do, but so valuable for connection with the community. Here is the link to the post if you need it:

  21. Debbie B, 14 October, 2012

    I have never bought from Rings & Things, but will definitely look more closely next time I need things.

    I would like some polymer clay and steampunk ideas incorporated together. I’ve done a few things and love taking watches and machines apart. I have a lot of electrical componenets I use in jewelry.

    I would also like to see some resin use w/clay incorporated somehow.

    Thanks for all your wonderful ideas!

  22. Michelle Adams, 17 October, 2012

    Maybe the folks in the store know this, but if their photographer uses Giclee that is supposed to be able to handle the sparkle. My friend and I are looking for someone in our area who can take photographs for Giclee prints. Our paintings are sparkly and glittery. Nice tour thank you.

  23. Peg Carter, 21 December, 2014

    I am fortunate to live in Spokane, Wa and have been to Rings n Things. Wow, just Wow! I remember when they were in their small store. My best friend and I would go there to buy the cool earrings they had. I guess I’ll just have to go back and look around. It seems to me that there is a minimum you have to buy or maybe that has changed.

  24. Peg Carter, 02 January, 2015

    Me, again. Just placed a small order @ Rings n Things and will pick it up tomorrow. Nothing too exciting, but to go to the showroom is exciting enough.

  25. Peg Carter, 05 January, 2015

    It was wonderful to go to RingsnThings. The last time I was there they had a minimum purchase and I wasn’t ordering that much. It was so exciting to se all the stuff they have. And the clearance tables are phenomenal! I only got a few things because they were about to close, but I made a haul. Going back this weekend and seeing what else I can’t live without.

  26. Chris Creeden, 08 January, 2016

    Great fun to see the behind the scenes of Rings & Things! Sure wish I lived nearby I would be visiting every day!! I Would love to see a tutorial on the African Beads done in polymer clay, especially liked the Don Sole Beads. Also interested in the Art Clay Silver, I love sterling silver jewelry & wondered how this clay is used.

  27. Cindy Lietz, 08 January, 2016

    Thanks for the suggestions Chris, I’ll add them to the list!

  28. Johanna Woehrle, 08 January, 2016

    Love your “on scene” reports! I would like to get in on the drawing, so I would like to request a product tutorial on metal etching. Keep all of the videos coming!

  29. Cindy Lietz, 08 January, 2016

    Thank you Johanna for your tutorial request, I’ll add yours to the list too!

  30. Denise Osborne, 08 January, 2016

    Covering round beads with resin.

    Denise (Peppermarie) Osborne

  31. Cindy Lietz, 08 January, 2016

    Thank for your suggestios as well Denise. Keep those ideas coming!

  32. Dominique D, 08 January, 2016

    Wow! Rings and things, what a super shop!

    Wish I lived in the USA, here in Europe you don’t find shops like this.
    It is a pitty that the shipping costs to Belgium are always so high.

    I am going to plan a trip to the USA with extra space in my suitcase ????????????

    Thanks a lot Cindy for all your wonderfull videos, as I am a new member I did not do a lot of cleaning and coocking the last week, because I had to look at all those videos ????

    Have a nice day


  33. Cindy Lietz, 09 January, 2016

    Hi Dominique, it’s so nice to meet you! Yes a larger suitcase on your trip might not be a bad idea. Just make sure that you can take your items on the plane, before you buy them though, so they don’t keep them at the airport. Thanks for commenting!

  34. Katy Alexis, 09 January, 2016

    Well my plan has been to use any saved money for the PCT videos released before I joined. I might be a bit slower on that now since I just spent $100 online at Rings & Things!! (ouch!!) Totally worth it though! What a great shop, and especially with the current sales and clearance deals! I’m so excited to try some of the Kato clay for caning. I’ve never seen it sold anywhere before and was surprised to find that on sale I could find it even cheaper than the 1lb blocks of Premo I get on Ebay. Plus I got all kinds of filigrees, clasps, bails and other goodies! Even some great tiny hinges I can’t wait to use. I’m thinking of making a little treasure box for my daughter, so that’ll be perfect!

    I’m not sure about tools because I’ve already seen you try out so many that I saw there, but I’m really hoping to see you do some cane work with the Kato Polyclay. I’m really interested in how it holds detailed shapes and reduces as well as how you find it to work with and any tips you might come up with for it. I’d also love to hear if you decide to mix any Premo with the Kato for color blending and then how you decide to bake that since the Kato is recommended to bake at 300F.

    Ok, I’m still addicted to your Torpedoes, so I’ll be buffing waxing and polishing those while watching the next tutorial! They’re all so great!

    Oh, I wanted to ask if there will be a way/place on the new website for your members to share photos of what they’re making? I thought I saw someone mention that it was already happening, but I’m not seeing that option anywhere… I’m still a N00B as my 15 year old would say ;)

  35. Cindy Lietz, 09 January, 2016

    Hi Katy, I am happy to hear that you found some great deals at Rings & Things! The owners are really great people and I am sure you would enjoy shopping there in person. I haven’ gotten around to working with Kato clay much… the smell is very hard on me and I get a headache just working with it. I wish it didn’t bother me because I know so many artists that swear by it. As far as mixing brands, I know a lot of people mix their brands but I don’t like to do it that much, usually because of the temperature curing difference. I prefer to keep things simple by sticking to one brand in a project, so that I can be certain that it is properly cured and won’t break down over time. I should do some more experimenting with that however, since a lot of people seem to ask me about that. Have with your new goodies when they arrive!

  36. KimJ, 31 January, 2016

    I would love to see wire wrapping techniques that take full advantage of polymer clay’s versatility. Perhaps specially sculpted clay cabochons or pendants that accentuate both wire and clay in one finished product, something that isn’t trying to imitate stone or gems.

Copyright © Polymer Clay Tutor Bead and Jewelry Making Tutorials