Swarovski Fall/Winter 2016/17 Innovations Sneak Peek!

Swarovski’s Fall/Winter 2016/17 Innovations are almost here! This upcoming launch features something for everyone: two new effects, one new pearl color, two new bead shapes, two new pendant shapes, and one new fancy stone! Take a peek at the inspiring new additions below and get excited for new crystal!

Crystal Light Chrome – New Effect

Cool and modern, this cold silver effect embodies fluidity, emotion, and mystery with its sophisticated shimmer. It is timeless yet cutting edge, and can easily be used in male, female, and unisex jewelry designs alike.

Crystal Scarabaeus Green – New Effect

Designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, this mystical hue evokes the metallic green, blue, and purple shimmer of the Egyptian scarab beetle. Powerful and inspiring, this effect shines in nature-inspired pieces, avant-garde designs, and nearly everything in between.

Scarabaeus Green – New Pearl

Designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, this mystical hue evokes the metallic green, blue, and purple shimmer of the Egyptian scarab beetle. Try this eye-catching color with Crystal Scarabaeus Green crystals, or Iridescent Green and Iridescent Purple Pearls.

Raindrop Fancy Stone (art. 4331) – New Article

The stunning, elongated silhouette and multilayer cut of the Raindrop Fancy Stone make this versatile shape the epitome of versatility. A reinterpretation of a classic shape, this stone is easily wearable in both spartan and opulent designs.

Rondelle Bead (art. 5045) – New Article

Subtly conic and brilliantly faceted, the Rondelle Bead merges round and angular elements in a unique new cut. Use this simple yet strong bead to soften sharp and hard-edged designs with an air of elegance.

Pendulum Bead (art. 5514) – New Article

Drilled with a top hole that creates a swinging effect, the radiant Pendulum Bead features a traditional gem cut that glitters in the sunlight. Both a bead and a pendant, this sleek shape adds instant movement and interest to any design.

Kaputt Oval Pendant (art. 6911) – New Article

Like its name, which means “broken” in German, the distinctive Kaputt Oval Pendant breaks with convention and celebrates its imperfect perfection. Designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, this breathtaking piece features irregular faceting and matte accents, and can be worn on both sides.

Kaputt Pendant (art. 6913) – New Article

Designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, the irregular silhouette of the Kaputt Pendant is inspired by its name, the German word for “broken”. Matte accents and asymmetrical faceting make this reversible pendant a must-have for beaders who find beauty in imperfection.

Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

tuesdaytipsandtricks-520x210An unexpected tool mark can ruin a project. I’ve shared tricks in the past for taking the edge off your pliers with Tool Magic and painters tape. You can use today’s trick to prevent marks when punching holes in metal!

Metal hole punch pliers and piercing systems can both leave an unwanted impression around the hole in your metal component. You can see the curved marks around the hole in this stamping component.Use a polish pad with your hole punchPrevent marks like these by creating a cushion between the punch and the metal you’re punching. Pro polish pads are perfect for this trick! (And this is just one of the tricks I save worn out polish pads for.)Cushion the hole punch with a polish padPunch a hole in the polish pad first to make a template. Mark where you want the hole in your metal component and line up the hole in the polish pad with your mark. Punch the hole in your component!Perfectly punched holeThe polish pad will help you get a cleanly punched hole, without any extra impressions or scratches.Marks from metal hole punchHappy Tuesday! – Gretchen




September’s Color of the Month: Biscay Bay!


Source: Pantone

We chose the beautiful deep color of Biscay Bay from the Pantone’s Fall 2015 Fashion Color Report for our September Color of the Month!

biscay bay

Source: Pantone

Leatrice Eiseman, the Executive Director at the Pantone Color Institute®, says Biscay Bay “splashes up against more heated tones with its cool touch. Combining the serene qualities of blue with the invigorating aspects of green, the cool and confident Biscay Bay inspires thoughts of soothing, tropical waters, taking us to a place that is pleasant and inviting.”


Source: Polyvore

Biscay Bay pairs well with Dried Herb and Marsala from Pantone’s Fall Color Report. In August, we paired Biscay Bay with bold Cadmium Orange and gold for our Color of the Month Bracelet. This month, we let Biscay Bay be the star in our fun fringe earrings!BiscayBay

Check out our Inspiration Gallery for great ideas on how to use this lush and rich teal color. Listed below are just few inspiration pieces featuring this brilliant hue to get your creative juices flowing!GA5044

Take Aim Necklace


Victory Bangle


Straight to the Point Earrings


Party on My Wrist Bracelet


Double Tile Bracelet

Be sure to check out our Biscay Bay Product Picks and our Biscay Bay Color Idea to find fabulous beads and components to use in your creations! How will you incorporate Biscay Bay into your jewelry designs? Be sure to share your images by using the hashtag #fusionbeadscolorchallenge on Instagram.

Happy Beading! – Cody


Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

tuesdaytipsandtricks-520x210I always wind up with a few inches of scrap cord every time I make a wrapped cord bracelet. As someone who hates waste, I was super-excited to come up with a project that uses just a few inches of cord! Give this tip a try next time you have leftover cord.Make scrap cord earrings

Trim your scraps so you have 2 pieces of cord that are the same length. Choose beads with holes large enough to fit easily on your cord. I used 1mm waxed cotton cord in my wrap bracelet, so I made sure my beads had at least a 1mm diameter hole.

String your beads on to the cord and bring the cord ends together to make a teardrop shape. You can use a little dab of E6000 to keep the ends together during the next steps.

Create a beaded teardrop

There’s more than one way to attach an ear wire to your teardrops. I used a variation of one of our wire wrapping techniques. Cut about 12 inches of wire for each earring. Start by making a wire wrapped loop at one end of each piece of wire. Line up your first teardrop just below the loop on one piece of wire.

Wire wrap a loopStart wrapping the wire around the top of your teardrop. If you’re having a hard time getting started, hold the wire against the cord with a pair of flat nose pliers as you make the first few wraps.

Make sure your wraps are extra tightMake sure your wraps are tight enough to really grip the cord. You can do a messy, organic wrap or a tidier wrap like I did.

Wrap all the way to the top of the dropOnce you’ve wrapped your wire all the way up to the loop, it’s time to add ear wires and complete your new scrappy earrings!Easy scrap cord earrings

Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen




Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

tuesdaytipsandtricks-520x210Long necklaces are definitely on trend right now, but they don’t work with every neckline. Remember today’s trick next time you want to shorten a necklace temporarily, creating a romantic look!Shorten a long necklaceAll you need for this trick is a long necklace and a ribbon. I used our Merlot Fairy and Silk Ribbons to make my shorteners.

Lay your necklace flat in a U-shape. If your necklace has a clasp, position it at the top of one leg of the U. This will let you hide it under your ribbon! Keep the necklace in this position as you add your ribbon to make sure the two strands don’t cross when you wear them.Lay necklace flat in U-shapeYou can use one longer piece of ribbon for a trailing effect. This silk ribbon is 42 inches long. String the ribbon through the loops at the top of the U, slip the necklace over your head, and tie the ribbon in a bow. If you’re having trouble with your bow, put the necklace on backwards to tie it and then rotate the ribbon around to the back.String a long ribbon through the necklaceTie in a long, trailing bowIf you prefer a shorter shortener, cut your ribbon in half like I did with my Fairy Ribbon. Tie one half of the ribbon in a lark’s head knot on each side of the U and then tie the ends together into a small bow.Use 2 ribbons to shorten a necklaceTie a cute little bowNow you can wear the same necklace two different ways in no time!

Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen




Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

tuesdaytipsandtricks-520x210Brick stitch techniques are a great way to create unique beaded shapes. I’m making a pair of fringe earrings with a decreasing brick stitch base and noticed that the beads along the edges of my pyramid weren’t very stable. This is a common problem in brick stitch, so try today’s trick next time you have wobbly edges in your work!

Beads along the edge of your brick stitch wobble because they’re not supported on both sides by another bead. Without that support, these edge beads tend to be loose and leaning. Fortunately you can stabilize them with just a few extra stitches. First, find the loose beads by running your fingertip along the edge of your beadwork. My loose beads are all angled away from the rest of the stitching.Brick stitch can have wobbly edgesAfter adding your last bead in a row, pass back down through it and the second to last bead in the row just below.Pass down through the edge of the piecePass up through the last bead in that previous row and then through the last bead you added.Pass up through the edge of the pieceThese extra stitches will pull your end beads into line and give your project a nice, stable edge.Stabilized brick stitchNow that my edges are stabilized, I’m ready to add fringe and finish this pair of earrings!Brick stitch fringe earringsCheck out more amazing brick stitch projects in our Inspiration Gallery!

Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen