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

Tuesday Tips and Tricks! Wire Wrapping Under Pressure

For this week’s Tips and Tricks I would like to share with you a way to make a pendant or a pair of earrings that need to be forward facing not swivel when worn! The trick is quite simple and only requires a little bit of finessing. And of course humming a few lines of Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure”!

Wire wrapping a loop for a pendant, a pair of earrings, or for creating a charm is one of the most secure and practical techniques for making a piece of jewelry. When making your wire wrapped loop with a little more pressure, it is ideal to have the wrapped coil make three full turns around the head pin instead of only two. With just the right amount of space between your loop and the top of the last bead, the third full turn of the coil will sit snug on top of the last bead in your design.

A little test you can do to feel if the tension is right is to hold out your piece and let it dangle. If your beads don’t move or shift, you can finish your wrap by trimming the excess wire with your cutters.

This little trick will ensure that your pieces will not swerve or shift, and that your design is front facing when they are dangling from your ears or from your neck. A great example of this finessing trick is used in one of our newest Inspiration Projects the Spider Sparkle Earrings Inspiration Project.

 

Spider Sparkle Earrings Inspiration Project

 

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

Happy Beading!

-Zoe

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.