Tuesday Tips and Tricks: Spreading Awareness Using the Craft You Love

With Breast Cancer Awareness month just around the corner, I wanted to take the time to highlight Fusion Beads Shop by Color filter tool to help you navigate all the Swarovski colors we have available on our website. While Fusion Beads has shared quite a few beautiful Breast Cancer Awareness jewelry designs on the site, we wanted you to know that you can use the same designs to create a meaningful gift for a variety of causes. We believe that it is important to show the people you love (or even for yourself) that you are thinking about them. I put together a few different examples below on how to incorporate specific colors into your jewelry to help raise awareness in your community. For more color examples please check out a blog we shared a few years ago,  “Share Awareness For All Cancers”.

April – Autism Awareness

Color: Primary Reds, Blues, and Yellows with Baby Blue

Swarovski Crystals: Light Siam, Capri Blue, Sunflower Yellow, and Crystal Blue Shade

May – Mental Health Awareness

Color: Lime Green

Swarovski Crystals and Charms: Peridot

October: Breast Cancer Awareness

Color: Pink

Swarovski Crystals and Charms: Rose 

February – Heart Disease Awareness

Color: Red

Swarovski Crystals and Charms: Light Siam

December – World’s Aids Day

Color: Red

Swarovski Crystal Colors: Scarlet

Charms and metal stamps are a great way to add a personal detail to your pieces. From puzzle pieces for Autism awareness to charm links with words of encouragement, these charms can make a thoughtful and loving gift for those in need of support.

Autism Awareness:

Heart Disease Awareness Beads and Charms:

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon:

Awareness Ribbons:

Link Charms:

Fusion Beads has quite a few design ideas for Awareness jewelry. We have recently designed a new necklace, called Rock The Pink Necklace. You can find this Inspiration Piece and more under the  Awareness Inspiration Projects.

These designs can range from elegant to fun and quirky and are sure to raise the spirits of someone close to you, all while using the craft you love! The examples below focus on Breast Cancer Awareness but can be re-designed to help spread awareness for a variety of causes.

Rock The Pink Necklace Inspiration Project

Tickled Pink Earrings Inspiration Project

I’m A Fighter Necklace Inspiration Project

Show Your Strength Bracelets Inspiration Project

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

Happy Beading!

-Zoe

Beads for Backpacks Charity Drive Results 2017

treehouse

The results of our Beads for Backpacks Charity Drive are in! 2980 select alphabet beads and charms were purchased during our charity drive, which means that we were able to make a $$975 donation to Treehouse, a charity that provides underprivileged foster children with much-needed school supplies!

Treehouse invests in the lives of young people who have faced the deep wounds from a crisis of parenting. In helping them to secure the essential education, basic material needs, and social experiences they equally deserve, they help kids in foster care discover their own resilience and strength. Treehouse is committed to leveling the playing field for youth in foster care, so that each is included, may prosper in, and contribute to society.

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Swarovski Crystal Fall/Winter 2018-19 Collection Trends

Influenced by our polarized views, we envision our lives accordingly. We either see the future as bright and cheerful, full of opportunity or as a challenge we would prefer to exchange with a more simple, bygone, time. This season we highlight these polarized viewpoints, reflecting upon the fact that where there is light, there is shadow. Full of joyful creativity and eccentric celebration, or striving for stillness with a somber survival ethos, we seize the notion that the future is twofold. Welcome to Fall/Winter 2018/19 — Light and Shadow.

FANTASIA
Signaling our need to usher in a sense of lightness and levity into lives that have become so disillusioned with the status quo, rampant bold colors wash over designs. Protesting our situation through our styling choices we will dress up in a joyful irreverent mash-up of pieces, creating our own fantastic fashion landscape.

NOSTALGIA
Visually overwhelmed, the need to slow down, to disconnect, to step back and stop the noise has never been so apparent. Stripping away the superfluous, we will take everything back to only the essentials – clean lines and scant embellishment will assist us in achieving a sense of sacred solitude.ELEGANTIA
Craving the return of joy, sensuality and decadence – the desire to celebrate with utter abandon will herald a glamorous, rebellious eccentricity in design. The pressures of the ordinary, of the everyday will pale into insignificance as we reach out to capture and seduce the future of our desires by dismissing the negativity of the past.

URBANIA
In the not-too-distant future, we will need to face up to the darker aspects of the world around us. Conscious of the fact that our sustainable materials are being depleted, we will continue to focus on the need to renew and regenerate as “make-do-andmend” becomes a staple lifestyle element. Our Utopian ideal has evaporated, and we will need to rely on, and trust our instincts in order to survive.

Swarovski Fall/Winter 2018-19 Innovations Sneak Peek!

We always look forward to Swarovski’s new product launches (don’t you?), and this season’s doesn’t disappoint! Rich, luxurious new colors lead off the Fall/Winter 2018 collection—check out the gorgeous new Scarlet red color for crystals and the lush Crystal Velvet Brown color for pearls. Swarovski also introduced a glamorous new shimmer effect that gives crystals maximum color vibrancy. Swarovski’s funky new Eye Fancy Stone is another must-see item (pun intended). But the crème de la crème of this new collection has to be the ultra modern Growing Crystal pendants, Swarovski’s posh, polished takes on a natural druzy stone!

New Color: Scarlet

An antidote to our increasingly uncertain future, Scarlet symbolizes passion and excitement, offering a decadent, elegant edge to sensuous designs, and reminding us that we should celebrate life in all its beauty. Combined with the subtle shine of Crystal Velvet Brown Pearl, designs are given elegance and a sophisticated allure.
New Pearl Color: Crystal Velvet Brown

With its vintage antique luxury feel, Crystal Velvet Brown Pearl creates a decadent, elegant edge, reminding us to celebrate the finer things in life. Combined with the passion and radiance of the new Scarlet, designs are given added elegance and a sophisticated allure.New Effect: Shimmer

The new Shimmer effect speaks to our increasing desire for heightened sensory experiences by merging futuristic shimmer with bold crystal colors in nature-tech, boundary-transgressing hues. Having launched the new Shimmer effect as part of the Spring/Summer 2018 Flat Back assortment, they are now making it available in further product groups.

New Fancy Stone: Eye Fancy Stone

The Eye Fancy Stone is a hugely popular lucky charm that uses digital print technology on a standard oval shape; this makes it easy to create all kinds of playful and unexpected designs and stunning statement jewelry. There are 2 glue-in settings to use with this Eye Fancy Stone. There is one with a ring at the top, and the other with a ring on each side, making it especially easy to create pendants for jewelry. Cho0se from 5 eye colors; Green, Blue, Red, Brown and Pink.New Pendant: Growing Crystal

Iris van Herpen’s boldly envisions the future of fashion. For Swarovski’s Designer Edition Series, van Herpen imagined two pendants inspired by the creative power of nature. The first, ‘Growing Crystal Rhombus,’ pays homage to the fractured and fissured elegance of crystals shaped by tectonic forces. The second, ‘Growing Crystal Rectangle,’ resembles the cross section of a druzy crystal in both brilliance and complexity. In each instance, van Herpen highlighted the metamorphosis of crystalline forms under the influence of time: “For beauty yet becoming.”

 

Tuesday Tips and Tricks: Needling the Thread

Choosing the best tools and products to use while working on a project is no laughing matter. With so many choices to choose from, knowing what will work best for you can be overwhelming!

Doing a little research can be a great place to start before buying materials. Checking out blogs (like ours *hint hint*) or asking your fellow beaders what products they might recommend can ease that anxiety over which products to use.

Most recently, I tried my hand at peyote stitch for the very first time. The tools and products I needed I had never used before! I had no idea where to start, but with helpful advice from my co-workers I ended up with my beading mat, a few grams of bright and charming size 11 Delica seed beads, a spool of clear Fireline (size D or 6lb) thread, strong and springy Tulip Needles , and a little pair of beading scissors. Once I had acquired all my materials I was ready to settle down and get started on my stitches!

A really awesome tip that a friend passed on to me was to needle my thread instead of thread my needle. Fireline or any small thread can be an irksome task to pass through a needle. By placing the tip of the thread in between my thumb and forefinger, I can then press the eye of the needle through the thread tip. Tulip Needles are really great for the trick of needling your thread because of its golden eye. The gold metal makes it a little easier to see when you are passing thread through the small opening.

On one last note, you may find it difficult to needle your thread because the thread is too round for your needle’s eye, an easy fix is to use chain nose pliers to flatten the end of your thread. This little trick works only for Fireline and Wildfire, but the flattening of the thread will make the otherwise round material flat and will then easily slide through the eye of your needle.

Before I sign off I would like to share a few Inspiration Projects that use peyote stitch, a technique I’m currently obsessed with!

Opal Stripes Bracelet Inspiration Project

Desert Oasis Bracelet Inspiration Project

Pond Ripple Bracelet Inspiration Project

 

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

Happy Beading!

-Zoe

Tuesday Tips and Tricks: Why 2 Inch Headpins are My Favorite for Wire Wrapping

Wire Wrapping can be a challenging technique to master when you are still a beginner. After taking my first class on wire wrapping, I left feeling quite close to tears with frustration. I was determined (and if I’m honest, still trying) to master the wire wrap loop. If I have learned anything from my fellow beaders and the beading community, it’s that wire wrapping is a skill that is essential to making beaded jewelry. So I proceeded to practice, and after that practice some more, because darn it, those loops were going to be the same size!

A great little tip that I learned early on, is that when making wire wrap loops for earrings, using 2 inch (or even 3 inch) headpins can make the process significantly easier. The extra length leaves room for your beads to sit comfortably on the pin and gives you enough room to make a few tightly wound coils. A common head pin size to use is 24 gauge. The head pin is soft enough to coil but still sturdy and substantial. The 24 gauge head pin has a thickness that makes a reliable finding for earrings!

Another little trick to make sure you have the same sized loops is to make a little mark on your Round Nose Pliers with a permanent marker. The line will act as a guide for when you wrap your wire around the tool, so that the loop comes out roughly the same size each time.

On a little side note, I personally prefer to use a wire wrap loop for my earrings for the extra security that I don’t particularly get from simple wire loops. If you are like me, and like to wear earrings ALL the time, (even when you are running to catch a bus or chasing after your escape artist dog) I am confident my wire wrap loops will hold!

A few Inspiration Project pieces I wanted to share that use the wire wrap loop in a variety of ways are the Bell Flower Earrings, that use the loops to make little dangling flowers, the Skull Queen Earrings that use the loop to attach the earring wire, and the Dance Til Dawn Earrings that create an awesome dangle shimmer of bicone beads from Lindsay’s book, Make It Sparkle!

Bell Flower Earrings

Skull Queen Earrings

Dance Til Dawn Earrings

 

 

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

Happy Beading! – Zoe