Tuesday’s Tips and Tricks! – Getting to Know Czech Glass Beads

The gorgeous glass beads that are coming from the Czech Republic are really changing the way beaders are weaving and creating jewelry. Every year new geometric shapes are designed with bead weavers in mind, and although it is exciting, it can be slightly overwhelming to keep up with all the amazing shapes!

Below are diagrams and pictures of the latest glass beads that have been added to our website. We thought having a post that highlights just the shape of these beads would be helpful in envisioning and creating patterns and designs.  We hope you enjoy getting to know these beads and their unique shapes and possibilities!

The Nib-Bit

The Nib-Bit is a glass bead with two 0.6 mm parallel holes, a wedge shape that is a wide rectangle top or base that tapers into a smaller round curve at the bottom. It has flat sides which make it possible to place side by side. The configurations with this bead are endless, but can make great floral and round stitch pieces.

The Prong 

I like to think of this 1-hole glass bead as a shark fin or a claw. With one hole near the flat end of this bead and with its tapered tip the Prong can add texture and dimension to your pieces.

The Beam

The Beam is a slim rectangular shape with three 0.8 mm holes. It has rounded ends, flat sides, and a narrow form that wear comfortable on the skin. This bead works well when you want to create a strong visual linear design.

The Arcos Par Pucas

The Arcos Par Pucas can give any design curves with its striking arch. This bead is shaped like a macaroni elbow with square bottoms and has three holes. These pieces are made to pair with the Minos Par Pucas.

The Minos Par Pucas

Although the Minos Par Pucas are sold separately from the Arcos Par Pucas, they were made to be paired together in a design. This bead has 1-hole and is a squat, round, cylinder bead. Definitely a cute bead on its own, when paired with two Arcos Par Pucas these little beads can make a circle.

The Cali Bead

The Cali bead has a sleek pointed-oval shape and is very similar to the Beam, except that instead of more angular edges this bead has nice round tapered ends. This 3-hole bead is great for creating lines in your design with a soft shape.

The DiamonDuo

The DiamonDuo is a 2-hole bead with a flat bottom and a faceted domed top with four sides. This bead can add a lovely studded texture and a cool mosaic effect to your designs. DiamonDuos can be inter-changeable with GemDuos in most designs and patterns.

The Gekko Bead 

The long awaited Gekko bead has only 1-hole that runs vertically through the bottom of the bead. It has a thinner pinched top with three points that end in a curved thick bottom. This bead is similar to the Dragon Scale glass bead but has rounder and thicker edges. The Gekko bead can be used to create a scale-like appearance to your jewelry designs.

The GemDuo

The GemDuo is a gorgeous diamond-shaped glass bead that is very similar to the DiamonDuo. It has a flat bottom and a more gentle raised beveled top that resembles a two-sided faceted gemstone. The GemDuos come in exciting colors and have two generously sized holes that run parallel through the bead.

The ZoliDuo 

The unique paisley-shaped ZoliDuo has two holes, with one hole going through the widest part of the bead and one through the narrowest part of the bead. The tops are domed while the backs are flat, allowing them to lie flush against your skin. This glass bead comes in two directions to create even more diverse patterns. These ZoliDuos pictured above are left-oriented, meaning when you look at the bead with the widest part on top, the bead curves leftward. ZoliDuos Right versions are also available on the website.

A really useful tool to use when designing new bead weaving pieces is to check out our Inspiration Projects and CzechMates Patterns. The jewelry created by our jewelry designers and the company CzechMates can give you an idea of what kind of shapes can be made with these glass beads. Be sure to check out the latest in our inspiring projects below!

Gekko Bracelet Inspiration Project 

Rainbow Gold Bracelet Inspiration Project

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s Tips and Tricks!

Happy Beading!

-Zoe

Tuesday Tips and Tricks: How to Make a Tassel with Chain

Creating a chain tassel for the first time can seem like an intimidating task. Luckily, I’m here to tell you that the best part about making a tassel with chain is that it only involves using beginner’s beading skills! To make a chain tassel, you will need these three techniques: to cut chain efficiently, make wire wrap loops, and attach a bead cap or cord end to your chain tassels.

The real trick to cutting chain efficiently is to use a head pin to keep your individual lengths of chain even all the way across. For an example of how to do this check out the photos below:

Step 1: Cut your first cut of chain to the desired length with a pair of sharp cutters.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Slide on your first measured cut chain length onto a straight 22 gauge headpin. Slide on your continuous length of chain and then cut down your chain into smaller strands to match the first cut length of chain.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Keep sliding the continuous chain onto the headpin to create more strands. Continue doing this until you have enough strands to fill your bead cap. This may take some guesstimating to find the right amount of cut chain needed.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4: Once you have the desired amount of cut chain create a wire wrapped loop with 24 gauge wire and a pair of chain nose and round nose pliers. Before closing the loop thread all the cut strands of chain into the loop. This will leave you with a piece that looks like these Glamorous Earrings below (minus the pave beads and ear wires of course!):

Step 5: Once you have closed the first wire wrapped loop with all your strands of chain, leave enough wire to create a second wire wrapped loop. By using this Kumihimo technique of attaching a cord end, thread on a bead cap or cord end of your choice. For an example of this take a look at the pictures below:

Step 1: Slide on your bed cap or cord end onto the 24 gauge wire. ( If you find your bead cap does not fit over the strands of chain, simply cut off the excess chain until it fits snugly.)

Step 2: Begin your second wire wrap to secure your cap over your strands of chain.

By doing this you will also cover your first wire wrapped loop.

Step 3: Before closing your loop you can add on a finding now or you can add an ear wire or clasp later.

Once you have closed your second wire wrap loop, you will have completed one chain tassel! While the process needs a little finessing and definitely some trial and error, the overall process is quite simple! The look can be used in a variety of versatile ways to make beautiful one of kind pieces! For a few examples of how a chain tassel can be used check out these awesome Inspiration Projects below!

For Keeps Earrings Inspiration Project

Paris When It Sizzles Earrings Inspiration Project

 

Beachy Necklace Inspiration Project

Metallic Night Earrings Inspiration Project

If you are not a huge fan of the chain tassel look, check out our blog from a few years ago on how to put a bead cap or cord end on a thread tassel here.

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s Tips & Tricks!

Happy Beading!

-Zoe

Tuesday Tips & Tricks: Making a List, and Checking it Twice!

Something I love to do during the holiday season is to make Wishlists of what I would like to make for my family. The trouble is I usually end up losing my list!

Since I’ve started beading more often and acquiring more skills, I’ve found that a tool that I often use for myself can be used to make my holiday gift list, the WishList feature on the Fusion Beads website! By setting up individual lists for each of my family members and friends, I am able to keep track of all my ideas in one spot! The best part is that I don’t have to worry about losing it ever again!

Below I have a step by step tutorial on how to use our Wishlist feature to create “HolidayLists”. Now keeping track of all my gift ideas is one less thing I have to worry about! Phew!

Step 1: Located at the top of our Fusion Beads website you will find the Login option in the top right hand corner. After logging in, simply click on the words, “Welcome, (Insert Name here)”!

Step 2: Once you have logged in to your customer account and clicked on the words “Welcome”, a drop down menu will appear.

Located in the center of this menu, you will find the section for your Wishlists. Click on “All my lists” to continue on to the next step!

Step 3: Once you are on the Wishlist page, you can create a new list by clicking on the box located on the far right.

Step 4: To create a new list, all you have to do is enter the person’s name and any notes that you may need to quickly jog your memory of items that are in the list! Once all that information is correct, click on “Create List”!

Step 5: Adding items to a specific Wishlist is wonderfully easy! Once you find something for a specific person, simply click on “Add to Favorites” located next to the “Add to Cart” box on an item’s page. A drop down menu will appear with all your lists available. The next step is to check the box next to the list you would like to add the item to. Organizing holiday gifts has never been so easy! 

Step 6: To view all your Wishlists, click on the drop down menu located on the far right corner of our website next to the pink shopping cart. Once you are on the Wishlist main page you will be able to see all your lists!

I have a few great holiday gift ideas below, ranging from fun and adorable to classy and elegant! Please feel free to share your own holiday designs on our Facebook Page, we can’t get enough of the holiday season!

Charming Santa Earrings Inspiration Project

Poinsettia Row Bracelet Inspiration Project

Sparkling Holiday Earrings Inspiration Project

Merry Christmas Bracelets Inspiration Project

Fir Tree Drop Earrings Inspiration Project

Thank you for tuning in for this week’s Tips & Tricks!

Happy Beading!

-Zoe

 

Tuesday Tips & Tricks: Lava Beads and Essential Oils

It is with great excitement and long-awaited anticipation that we now offer lava beads! A recently popular phenomenon in the beading world, lava beads can be used to absorb essential oils making your jewelry part of your aromatherapy regime.

Lava beads are made from the cooled and hardened molten rock from a VOLCANO! These beads are light-weight, black or dark brown in color, form natural craters, and are incredibly porous. The craters and porous surface make lava beads ideal for absorbing oils.

The combination of using essential oils and lava beads as a bracelet or necklace are called “diffusers” which allow you to carry with you the benefits of aromatherapy wherever you go!

It is recommended to apply just a few drops to 2 or 3 beads in your piece. You can apply the oil with a dropper. Let the oil be absorb for a few minutes or lightly touch the beads to see if they are dry. Once the oil has been absorbed you can wear your piece and smell the wonderful scents of your essential oil! The scent should last a few days and you can reapply your oils once the scent fades.

Check out our beautiful new inspiration piece using these amazing lava beads, the Lava Diffuser Bracelet Inspiration Project!

I have listed a few popular oils below that can be used for a variety of health associated benefits. Please note that most essential oils should not be used when pregnant, and that all the benefits listed should not replace further research or advice from your doctor. Please apply essential oils with caution, and we recommend testing out a small amount of oil on your skin before applying it to your lava beads as some oils can cause allergic reactions. A small amount of oil can go a long way!

Lavender – Known to be calming, and can be used for stress relief.

Peppermint – A refreshing scent, this oil can be used for tension and indigestion.

Chamomile – You may have had chamomile in your tea before going to bed, this oil is known to be a mood lifter and calming.

Eucalyptus – This oil has a strong scent and can be used for respiratory issues, reduce inflammation, and congestion.

Rose – Great for circulation and anxiety.

Tea Tree – I personally love this oil as it has many uses. Known as an immune booster and anti-fungal please note that this is for topical uses ONLY.

Lemon – Great for digestion, a mood up lifter, and cleansing.

Ylang-Ylang – The scent of this oil is supposedly very soothing and can help with headaches and nausea.

Patchouli – Famous among the hippies back in the day this oil has a strong scent and is known to help battle fatigue.

Rosemary – An oil that is great for digestion and alertness.

We are excited to start making pieces with our lava beads that have such a unique and dynamic aesthetic! We hope you feel as inspired as we do!

Happy Beading!

-Zoe

 

 

Tuesday Tips and Tricks: Happy Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Although my days of Trick or Treating are long over, I still like to celebrate this spooky evening eating copious amounts of candy, watching scary movies, and of course, dressing up and having a few friends over! To help create a bit of atmosphere I like to light candles in pumpkin lanterns, hang up fake spider webs (or leave the real ones!), and I love making a few Halloween themed wine charms so people can keep track of their drinks!

For this week’s tip I put together six wine charms that are inexpensive, quick, and easy to make! With only a few charms, jump rings, hoop earrings, and Swarovski bicone beads I was able to create the perfect little accessory for a Halloween party! All you need to know is how to open and close a jump ring and have two pairs of chain nose pliers!You can make these wine charms in just a few easy steps! Grasp the jump ring on either side of the opening with two pairs of chain nose pliers. Open the jump ring by moving one side towards you and the other side away from you. Attach a charm onto your jump ring.

Wine Markers: Step 1 Wine Markers: Step 2 Wine Markers: Step 3

To close your jump ring, grasp the jump ring on either side of the opening with two pairs of chain nose pliers. Move the sides of the jump ring back and forth, moving the two sides closer together. Continue moving the pliers back and forth until the sides of the jump ring are touching and the jump ring is closed.

Wine Markers: Step 4 Wine Markers: Step 5 Wine Markers: Step 6

Slide several of the beads on the beading hoop. Slide your charm onto the beading hoop. Slide several more beads onto the beading hoop.

Wine Markers: Step 7 Wine Markers: Step 8 Wine Markers: Step 9

Using your chain nose pliers, grasp a small amount of the wire at the end of your beading hoop. Bend the wire up at a right angle. To hook the wine marker around the stem of your wine glass, insert the end of the wire into the loop of the beading hoop.

Wine Markers: Step 10 Wine Markers: Step 11 Wine Markers: Step 12

And just like that, you have the perfect little accessory for your party!

Have a safe and spooky Halloween, and thanks for tuning in to this week’s Tips & Tricks!

Happy Beading!

-Zoe

Tuesday Tips and Tricks: ZoliDuos!

This week Fusion Beads is very excited to introduce a new product line of Czech two hole glass beads! These crazy cool geometric beads are called ZoliDuos.

ZoliDuos are a fabulous way to add swishes, swooshes, and other fun flourishes to your beaded jewelry designs! These fun and dynamic beads have a paisley-shape with two holes and flat backs. They are available in a variety of colors, including ones with etched surfaces, adding just a little bit of texture to your designs!

The real trick to these two hole beads is that they come in TWO different directions! Both the left-oriented and right-oriented versions of the ZoliDuos are sold separately, but can be used together (recommended!) to create interesting designs and patterns in your stringing and bead stitching projects.  Like most geometric Czech glass beads, there are really endless shape possibilities, and we are impatient to see what awesome patterns and designs our fellow beaders come up with! To kick off the brainstorming session, I’ve included one of our newest Inspiration Projects that use both the left and the right ZoliDuos to make a gorgeous bracelet, the Paisley Peacock Bracelet!

LEFT ZOLIDUO

RIGHT ZOLIDUO

SIDE VIEW

Paisley Peacock Bracelet Inspiration Project

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s Tips & Tricks!

Happy Beading!

-Zoe