Having Fun With New Czech Glass Carrier Beads!

Our new Czech Glass 9x17mm Carrier beads are pillow-shaped glass beads that serve as a base to “carry” a Peyote woven strip on it. What makes this simple bead so fun and exciting is the endless design opportunities it affords. You can create a myriad of patterns using the even count peyote stitch. Then attach the completed strip onto the Carrier bead to create a beaded bead in no time. You can stay with one pattern or a monochromatic color scheme or you can mix and match patterns to make a piece with a rich and diverse patchwork of color and pattern.

For my first experiment I used the Size 11 Delica Bead Mini Palette By FusionBeads.Com in the Cozy colorway. This was a very convenient and time-saving way to start my project because it eliminated the need to coordinate my bead colors. The colors were already compiled and ready to go so I was free to spend more time developing my Peyote patterns.

The next step was to design 6 different Peyote patterns. To begin I downloaded the Size 11 Peyote Stitch Graph Paper from Fusionbeads.com and then plotted out a few designs with color pencils. The Carrier beads accommodate a Peyote strip measuring 6 beads across and 24 beads long. I had to experiment with my Peyote designs to discover which repeating pattern would work best within the confines this limited space.  My goal was to create a repeating pattern that dovetail together perfectly at the back of the bead without disrupting the flow of the design. I found that graphing the pattern beforehand saved a lot of time and frustration!

Once I completed my 12 Peyote strips (2 of each design) it was time for the next phase gluing the strips into the beads.There are many different types of glues that can be used to attach the strips to the Carrier beads. You can even use a glue dot from a craft store but I found my favorite glue, E6000, worked best for me.

Some beaders prefer to join the Peyote strip together first and then slide the looped piece over the Carrier bead. For me, I found a more incremental approach worked better. I used a toothpick to apply a thin layer of glue to one side of the Carrier bead.I then positioned the side with the glue faced down onto in the center of the Peyote strip.Next, I carefully applied glue on the up side. Lastly, I folded the Peyote strip towards the center of the bead and used the tail thread to zip up the Peyote strip.This method not only helped me control the spread of the glue but it allowed me to adjust the tension while finishing stitch. I adjusted the weave to make it tighter or looser as needed so the strip was perfectly wrapped around the bead. Once the strip was stitched up I turned the Carrier bead on its side and pushed edge of the bead down onto the surface of my desk. This allowed me to scoot the Peyote strip over a smidge so it became perfectly aligned on the bead.

Once all my beads were finished I strung them onto two parallel strands of clear .07 Stretch Magic Elastic Cord to make a stretchy bracelet.I used 8mm Dark Lapis Pearl Swarovski Crystal Round Pearl Beads in between the Carrier beads to provide a pop of color and to make the bracelet large enough to stretch over my hand. Prior to stringing the pearls on the elastic cord I used a needle to poke through the bead to clear away any blockages. This widened the holes by eliminating any residual color coating lurking in the center of the bead. To finish the bracelet I simply crimped the cord ends together using 2x2mm sterling silver crimp beads.

I was very pleased with the final project and I can’t wait to come up with more designs to use on the Carrier beads.

GIVEBIG 2018 is Today! Find a non profit and GIVE BIG!

Today is Give Big Day, a one-day online giving campaign to raise funds for local nonprofits!

GIVEBIG 2018 is presented by Seattle Foundation

Seattle Foundation ignites powerful, rewarding philanthropy to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all. Focused on creating equity and opportunity, their goal as a community foundation is to simplify giving and strengthen the impact of philanthropy for the more than 1,200 individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits they serve. Seattle Foundation annually presents GiveBIG, a 24-hour online giving event to raise funds for area nonprofit organizations.  You can learn more at www.seattlefoundation.org.

Since May is Foster Care Month, we are going to donate $500 to Treehouse, a nonprofit helping to give foster kids a childhood and a future. Thanks to the support of tens of thousands of generous donors, their talented staff and many caring and committed partners, today Treehouse helps more than 7,500 youth in foster care each year.

Treehouse Mission:
Giving Foster Kids a Childhood and a Future
We envision – and strive to create – a world where every child that has experienced foster care has the opportunities and support they need to pursue their dreams and become productive members of our community.

Five-Year Goal:
By 2022, youth in foster care across Washington state will graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers, with support and a plan to launch successfully into adulthood.

Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

What I love about the Swarovski Crystal Shiny LacquerPRO family is all of the different color combinations that work so well together. You can mix them all up in a bowl and they would still look amazing! There’s every color in the rainbow (and then some) to get your creative juices flowing.

You already see some combinations you’re drooling over with these Swarovski Crystal Pear Fancy Stones , don’t you?Recently, Katie made these Rainbow Connections necklaces in 3 different color-ways using the Swarovski Crystal Shiny LacquerPRO effects. This fun design is super quick-and-easy to make, you just place the fancy stones in their matching prong settings to create a finished look in seconds. You can take a look at our step-by-step YouTube tutorial to see just how easy it is to make this sparkling design! Since the colors are all organized for you in the above image, you can also use that to decide which color combination you’d love to use out of these yummy crystals. 

Rainbow Connections Necklace – Lime

Rainbow Connections Necklace – Lilac

Rainbow Connections Necklace – Buttercup

The Rainbow Connections necklace is the type of design you could make in a billion different color combinations from this family of crystals. Below, i put together some colors that i think could be really fun to work with. You can even play with the colors to create a piece to go with any season or holiday during the year! Red, white and blue for Independence Day, red, white and green for Christmas, different shades of green for St. Patrick’s Day, different shades of pink for Valentine’s Day; the list goes on and on. I could sit here and come up with endless color-ways for this necklace design without getting bored, i love them that much. Just look at all this eye candy! What color combinations would you choose? Share with us in the comments below.

Happy Tuesday! – Allie

Earth Day Charity Drive Results – 2018

The results of our annual Earth Day charity drive are in! 796 TierraCast Tree of Life and Earth charms, pendants, and buttons were purchased in our Earth Day charity drive, which means that we were able to make a $796 donation to the National Wildlife Federation!

With as many as one-third of species at increased risk of extinction, a new report highlights the urgent need for collaborative action to increase wildlife funding.

Their ability to meet the needs of wildlife is inextricably linked to the amazing individuals, groups, organizations and corporations they call their supporters. Together, they form a pack, leveraging their influence to safeguard America’s wildlife and wild places. Your generosity and thoughtfulness will truly help make a difference!

Follow this link to learn more about the National Wildlife Federation!

 

Thank you from all of us at FusionBeads.com!

Our 2018 Hearts For Heifer Charity Drive Results Are In!

We want to send out a huge THANK YOU to all of our kind and generous customers for their support in our yearly Hearts for Heifer Charity Drive! We sold 1539 select TierraCast and Nunn Design heart charms, which means that we were able to use that $1,539 to donate to the Heifer International  women’s empowerment program!

If women farmers had access to the same resources as men, more than 150 million additional people would have enough food to eat. Heifer International aims to make that a reality. Your gift will provide support for women’s groups, training in gender equality and the means to send girls to school. You are helping to empower women around the world to reach their full potential.

We greatly appreciate your support for this amazing program!

Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

The new Classic Cut Pendants, part of the Birthstone Collection from Swarovski, is perfect for making personalized DIY birthstone jewelry throughout the year! We have tons of inspiration projects on our website that you could replace with birthstone crystals! Take a look at the crystal colors below for more birthstone information and ideas on what crystal colors to use for your jewelry designs.

THE HISTORY AND SYMBOLISM OF BIRTHSTONES:

Birthstone colors were first studied in 1400BC by the Assyrians, followed by the Old and New Testaments, which explored their symbolism and how each was associated with a specific calendar month. Indeed, the Book of Exodus describes the high priest as wearing a breastplate studded with twelve gems representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Likewise, in the Book of Revelation John describes the twelve foundation stones of New Jerusalem. Historical sources from around the world have mentioned, time and again, how various gems possess characteristics that might be helpful to individuals born in a particular month. With such a rich and fascinating history it’s no wonder that astrologers began making connections to the twelve signs of the Zodiac. After studying
the characteristics specific to each colored stone, they ascribed values that may be useful to people born under the corresponding star sign. This gemstone symbolism was recorded for the first time a few hundred years ago by jewelers in Germany and Poland. By 1912, famous jewelry brands had begun publicizing birthstones, with the National Association of Jewelers confirming the definitive stones and colors together with their associated months, signs and symbolic qualities in 1952.

 

SIAM: Those born in January, or under the star sign of the goat, have Siam as their birthstone color. Its deep red color changes under different light sources, just as Capricorns modify their behavior to get ahead. Those who want to improve their status, boost their self-esteem, or even invite romance, will benefit from wearing rich Siam. It symbolizes faith, love and courage, and its properties are said to help build energy levels and prevent nightmares in children.

AMETHYST: Those born in February, or under the star sign of the water-bearer, have Amethyst as their birthstone color. This beautiful purple shade represents royalty. Indeed, there was a time when only those of royal blood were allowed to wear it. The name “amethyst” comes from “amethystos,” which means “avoiding drunkenness,” so the ancient Greeks thought that amethyst protected the wearer against intoxication. It is said to help maintain a level head, while the color’s legendary protective properties extend to warding off general ill-health

AQUAMARINE: Those born in March, under the star sign symbolized by Pisces the fish, have Aquamarine as their birthstone color. Ancient legend has it that the sky was once solid and the only pieces of it that still remain are exquisite pale blue gems. Early sailors, meanwhile, believed that aquamarine talismans etched with the likeness of Neptune would protect them from drowning at sea. Pisceans find Aquamarine soothing, something solid to hold onto. Symbolic of positive self-expression, it is said to increase youthfulness, health and happiness, making it the perfect color to enhance radiant good looks.
CRYSTAL: Those born in April, under the star sign of the ram, have pure crystal as their birthstone color, representing the diamond. Known as “vajra” (“lightning”) in Sanskrit, the unrivaled strength and clarity of this color boosts the hardheaded and determined Arian’s clearsightedness and conviction when pushing forward to achieve bigger and better objectives. Wearers can harness the ram’s dynamic qualities, as well as enjoy its enduring romantic powers.
EMERALD: Those born in May, or under the star sign of the bull, have Emerald as their birthstone color. Its lush green radiance was said by the ancients to be dewdrops left behind by the bare footsteps of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Today, it is thought that emerald signifies faithfulness and fertility in love and passion, along with wisdom and patience. Traditionally believed to have magical properties that kept illness at bay, this color will also enhance Taureans’ natural sensitivity.
LIGHT AMETHYST: Those born in June, or under the star sign of the twins, have Light Amethyst as their birthstone color. Representing purity and childish innocence, gentleness and curiosity, Geminis are expressive, creative, smart and sociable, although sometimes inclined towards nervous anxiety. This cool, silky, and airy color can be used to instill a sense of serenity, grounding them, and providing reassurance.LIGHT SIAM: Those born in July, or under the star sign of the crab, have this beautiful shade of red as their birthstone color. Cancerians are known for their loyalty, empathy, intuition and tenacity, but they can be sensitive and emotional; so it is fortunate that as well as symbolizing passion, Light Siam safeguards their most tender emotions, just like the strong shell of the crab. Significantly, ravishing Light Siam encourages Cancerians to enjoy being themselves, safe in the knowledge that it offers protection.
PERIDOT: Those born in August, or under the star sign of the lion, have Peridot as their birthstone color, like the gemstone that shares the same name. This stunning olive-green stone was treasured by the ancient Pharoahs, who believed it brought them closer to nature, fostered friendships, attracted love, and brought happiness. Among the benefits of the mesmerizing Peridot color is its ability to reduce stress and anger.SAPPHIRE: Those born in September, or under the star sign of the virgin, have Sapphire as their birthstone color. Once thought to guard against evil and poisoning, this intense blue color was a favorite of priests and kings. Representing purity, loyalty and serenity, it is thought to be resistant to corruption and help to ward off pain. Virgos are known for their attention to detail, highly developed communication skills, and deep sense of humanity, so the wearer will benefit from the color’s intense natural energy in both mind and body.
ROSE: Those born in October, or under the star sign of the weighing scales, have Rose as their birthstone color. Rose stands for emotional tenderness, empathy, and deep sensibility. These are key characteristics of Librans, whose innate tact and diplomacy allow them to build bridges, mend fences, restore trust, and get along even with people others might find difficult. They also love beauty and peace—qualities especially evoked by the harmonious Rose tone.
TOPAZ: Those born in November, or under the star sign of the scorpion, have orange-toned Topaz as their birthstone color. Topaz is known as the “stone of the mind,” the superstition surrounding this fiery orange gem led to a belief in its ability to cure mental illness. It embodies the many virtues of passionate, determined Scorpios, who are society’s natural leaders. Wearers of the color Topaz are said to find it easier to assert themselves, to be resourceful, and to navigate misunderstandings. This is why it is renowned as the symbol of true and lasting friendship, as well as offering strength in both head and heart.
MONTANA: Those born in December, or under the star sign of the archer, have smoky blue Montana as their birthstone color. Known for their energy and generosity, their curiosity and their need for freedom, Sagittarians are born adventurers. Montana is reminiscent of the calm, fathomless ocean and endless clear sky that show Sagittarian travelers the way and guide them to the shore, symbolizing reassurance and security in their journey through life.