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

Designer Spotlight – Meet Katie!

Hi Everyone! My name is Katie and I’ve been working here at Fusion Beads for almost 19 years. Wow! Time sure flies. I can’t believe it’s been that long.

I moved to Seattle from the Bay Area in 1998. When I first started working for Fusion Beads, we were just a local bead store in Ballard, a funky industrial neighborhood in Seattle. We offered all sorts of classes in everything from bead weaving to lampwork glass bead making. I had already been beading for a while, but I learned so much in those first few years, and I keep continuing to learn even now. I love the fact that beading has so many different styles and applications, so many ways to use all the beads I’ve collected over the years!

We went online in 2004 and since then I’ve had my hands in a lot of different projects around the company, but I mostly work on picking out new product for the site and working with our amazing Purchasing team to keep everything in stock in my role as the Chief Procurement Officer. I also get to spend some time designing and creating with our Creative Team in my role as Chief Creative Officer.

I call myself a super crafter – I always have projects going in crochet, quilting, sewing and of course, my favorite of all, BEADING. My craft room can be a bit chaotic, but I try to keep it under control and contained inside the room, but it always ends up spreading through the entire house!

I live in a cute neighborhood in Seattle called Columbia City with my rescue dog Scout. When I am not beading, I can be found riding my bike, kayaking, or hiking in and around Seattle. And I try to travel as much as I can. My happy places are Lake Tahoe, Rome and Orcas Island, but I want to go everywhere! The list is long and growing, next up is Iceland or Machu Picchu.I also stay busy by serving on the Young Professional Board for a local organization Treehouse, which helps support youth in foster care in Washington State. And I volunteer every month in their store where foster youth can shop called the Wearhouse.

My favorite product, projects and techniques are always changing. Right now, I’m on a bead crochet rope bracelet kick. I’m trying to make my way through all of the Delica colors. They are just so gorgeous that I want to have an entire collection of them! I’ve made about 60-70 so far. I love the texture that you get in these bracelets. Only 1100 or so more to go. Yikes!I also love working with lots of color. Our new seed bead palettes are calling my name! I had fun using one of the new mini palettes in our new Beachy Necklace and Beachy Bracelet.I also created the Deco and Coastal crochet rope bracelets using our original collection of seed bead palettes and had fun playing with different patterns and color blocking with these!

When I’m not obsessing over bead crochet, I also love to right angle weave, wire wrap and of course just string up beads. Below are some of my favorite projects that we’ve featured on the site over the years.

Cadmium Orange Bracelet

Sparkling Nights Earrings

Diamond Back Bangle Bracelets

Frolicking Fall Earrings

And to wrap this all up, THANK YOU! I love being inspired by everything that we see you, our customers, making and sharing with us. We have such a vibrant and creative community of beaders that support us. It’s so fun to see how everyone uses beads in their own unique way and to find inspiration from each other. Looking forward to many more years of sharing my love of beading with you.

– Katie

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Look out for my takeover on Instagram this week! I’ll be sharing more of my life and beading adventures with you there!

Tuesday Tips and Tricks – Adding a little Pizzazz ain’t so Bad! How to place a Swarovski Crystal into a Setting

For this week’s post I was reminded of my reaction when I was first exposed to Swarovski Crystals. I remember my eyes widened. I probably let out a little gasp. And I think I stuttered something along the lines of,  “Oh! The twinkle! The sparkle!” and quickly proceeded to buy them all. Just kidding! I did, however,  put a little dent in my bank account.

Swarovski fancy stones are a great way to add a little pizzazz and elegance to your pieces, and they are some of my favorite products to use in my jewelry. A fun way to incorporate fancy stones into your pieces is by using a Swarovski Crystal fancy stone setting. The settings have 4 holes located at the bottom, making the 2 holes on either side of the setting great for stringing!

Now, the trick to setting your crystal securely and evenly is to press down two prongs that are facing diagonally. By following this simple step, it can help prevent the stone from shifting from the pressure of the pliers clamping down.

On an additional note, it is a common misconception that the crystal’s edge will be flush to the top of the setting. The stone will actually sit on top of the setting. The stone will fit snugly with the setting only concealing a portion of the crystal. While it takes a little bit of force to get the prongs to press down flat on your crystal, it does not take too much pressure! Proceed with caution, you don’t want to break the setting or your crystal while you clamp down the prongs!

For my visual example of how your crystal should look while you are setting the stone I used a 18x13mm Swarovski Crystal Oval Fancy Stone with a 18×13.5mm Rhodium Setting.

Step One: Place your crystal face up into the setting of the stone. The stone will sit comfortably in the setting. Do not push the crystal down.

Step Two: Using Nylon Pliers, press two sets of prongs down that are facing diagonally from each other.

Step Three: Secure the stone in the setting by pressing down the remaining prongs. And tah-dah! You have an evenly set stone.

A gorgeous Inspiration Project, Crystal Night Bracelet, uses the 18mm Crystal Oval Fancy Stones with the rhodium settings strung together to make a bracelet.

Crystal Night Bracelet Inspiration Project

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

Happy Beading! – Zoe