Back to Basics with Beadaholique!

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Fall is in the air, and you know what that means — back to school, back to cooler weather, back to rich autumn jewel-tones in our wardrobes and accessories. At Beadaholique, we’re celebrating by getting back into shape, beading-wise: It’s back-to-basics month!

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 11.56.55 AMWe believe it’s always fun to learn new things, and nothing beats the satisfying feeling of adding a new skill to your jewelry-making arsenal. But just as important as venturing into advanced techniques is making sure your foundation of basic beading knowledge is as strong as it can be. So all month, we’re going to be focusing on the many resources we have at Beadaholique to get your foundational skills in shipshape. With a solid set of basic skills, you may find the quality of your work will skyrocket!

For starters, check out our newest guide, Intro to Beading 101: Getting Started With Jewelry Making. Here you’ll find a helpful overview of the various introductory resources we have available, including instructional videos, step-by-step beginner beading projects and beading supply guides to help get you set up with everything you need. We’ll take a closer look at each of these in the coming weeks. Hope your pencils are sharpened — class is in session!

Announcing Swarovski Innovations Fall/Winter 2016-2017 Official Launch, Part 2: New Shapes and Styles!

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Welcome to part 2 of our Swarovski fall/winter collection reveal. Earlier today we told you about three gorgeous new crystal and pearl colors, and now we are continuing our preview with an overview of the brand new crystal styles and line extensions coming your way in just a few short days. Read on for a teaser of our exciting new offerings — we think you’ll love them!

Pendants:

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Big news first: For this launch, Swarovski teamed up with fashion design icon Jean Paul Gaultier, who lent his bold and rebellious style aesthetic to not only a new crystal color, Crystal Scarabaeus Green, but also a new product family — the Kaputt Collection. If the word “kaputt” sounds familiar to you, it means “broken” in German — but don’t fear, there is nothing broken about these crystals! Gaultier’s idea was merely to add a touch of asymmetrical imperfection to these stones, to create pieces that are memorable and unique, and “celebrate the appeal of being different and unpredictable,” according to Swarovski. “I always find beauty in things that are odd,” Gaultier said in unveiling this collection. “Imperfect, they are much more interesting.”

Swarovski and Gaultier created two striking pendants for this collection: the Kaputt Oval Pendant and the Kaputt Pendant. These pendants both feature irregular, partly-frosted surfaces for a look that reminds us of a meteorite. As you can see above, these come with the designer’s signature logo laser-engraved on them in two classic colors — perfect for fashionistas!

Kaputt oval non sigWe’ll also be carrying these great pendants without the logo. The Kaputt Oval Pendant comes in 26mm and 36mm sizes, and will be available in a variety of effects, including the new Crystal Scarabaeus Green and Crystal Light Chrome.

Kaputt no sigsThe edgy Kaputt Pendant is one of the new additions we’re looking forward to most. Look at all of those dynamic facets! The asymmetrical, angular shape mimics that of a natural crystal point. These pendants have so much visual appeal. We think they would look sharp dangling from a simple chain, or with some trendy, birds-nest wire wrapping around the bottle neck beneath the hole of the pendant. These come in 28mm or 40mm and are ideal for statement piece jewelry.

Beads:

Rondelles

Swarovski has also released two new crystal bead styles that manage to look both modern and classic at once. The Rondelle Bead, shown above, is a fresh twist on the rondelle shape, with broad, bold facets that radiate rocker chic. The rondelle bead comes in 4mm, 6mm and 8mm sizes, in a nice selection of new and timeless colors.

Pendulum beads

Reminiscent of the regal Emerald Cut Bead standing upright, the new Pendulum Bead features fine faceting with a top-drilled hole. The shape lends itself well to use as a standalone pendant or strung creatively with accent crystals or beads. Available in two sizes: 10x7mm or 8×5.5mm.

Becharmed pearlsBecharmed paves

Next, we’re excited to announce a new product collection: BeCharmed crystal charms. These petite charm beads come in four lovely styles, all mounted on a Swarovski-branded charm ring, and are a great addition to the BeCharmed line developed for European-style charm jewelry. First we have the BeCharmed Crystal Pearl Charm, which comes with a light grey or white pearl and is 8mm in size. Then there is the BeCharmed Pavé Ball Charm, a tiny, sparkling sphere that comes in Crystal or Jet Hematite, and is also 8mm.

Becharmed skullsBecharmed spikesAnother notch up the wow-scale is the BeCharmed Crystal Spike Charm, available in Crystal AB or Crystal Silver Night, which measures 18mm. The BeCharmed Crystal Skull Charm comes in three edgy colors and is 13mm. We love these adorable charm beads because the holes are large enough to be strung on cord or ribbon as well as chain. Also, these fit so well with the layered, delicate necklace trend — just string one of these on a chain and wear by itself or with other petite charm necklaces. As we approach the holiday season, we think one of these strung on a necklace would make a simple and stunning gift!

Extensions:

Pearl scarabs

Swarovski is expanding its iridescent pearl offerings with the brand new color Crystal Scarabaeus Green Pearl. We will be carrying this gorgeous, deep blue-green pearl hue in three shapes — round pearl (3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm), coin pearl (10mm, 12mm) and BeCharmed pearl bead (14mm).

Light Chrome bead shapes

Last but not least, the metallic silver Crystal Light Chrome effect, only available in flatback rhinestones since its introduction this spring, is now going to be offered on a variety of our favorite crystal shapes, including bicones, chatons, heart and pear-shaped pendants, cube beads and skull beads. Get your glam on!

All of these beauties will be available at beadaholique.com as soon as they arrive from the factory. Be sure to check back very soon!

Announcing Swarovski Innovations Fall/Winter 2016-2017 Official Launch, Part 1: New Colors and Effects!

New Swar Colors

Just in time for our autumn jewelry-making needs, Swarovski has announced its latest collection of brand new crystal goodies to tempt and inspire us — coming to Beadaholique super soon! With this launch, the crystal connoisseurs are expanding on several gorgeous lines of crystal beads and pendants, and introducing three on-trend new colors to add to their sumptuous collection of hues. Let’s take a closer look at these new colors and effects, and stay tuned for an overview of the exciting new shapes and styles later today!

5000 designed by Jean Paul GaultierCrystal Scarabaeus Green is the first new effect Swarovski is unveiling with this launch, and it boasts a designer imprint: this stunning multi-tone color was developed by fashion guru Jean Paul Gaultier for Swarovski. According to Swarovski, Gaultier was inspired by “the hypnotic, otherworldly shimmer of the scarab and the bright green of tarnished copper.” Both of these color inspirations are visible in the result, a flashy blend of green, blue and purple metallic tones. This finish is reminiscent of other effects including Crystal Paradise Shine and Vitrail Medium, but its combination of tones makes this color unique and lovely.

5810_001Crystal Scarabaeus Green Pearl is the pearl finish version of the Crystal Scarabaeus Green effect. This rich, blue-green iridescent effect is the third installment in Swarovski’s iridescent pearl color line, after Iridescent Purple and Iridescent Green. Like its crystal counterpart, this pearl effect has predominant blue and green tones; as Swarovski explains, “As a young man Jean Paul Gaultier frequently went past the opera house in Paris and was fascinated by the green coloring of the tarnished copper roof.” Well, we’re glad he remained inspired by that memory all this time, because this effect is beautiful!

5000_001_LTCH_UF_10_FV_MICrystal Light Chrome is the final new crystal effect in this launch, and we’ve already had a teaser of this great metallic color in Swarovski’s spring/summer release earlier this year. But while this color has only been available on flatback rhinestones so far, the company is now expanding its offerings into chatons, beads, pendants and fancy stones! We couldn’t be more excited, because this cool, reflective silver shade is awesome. Edgy and glamorous, Crystal Light Chrome continues the trendy metallics craze Swarovski also picked up on with its recent introduction of Crystal Metallic Sunshine, a gold-toned color, this past spring. This silver effect will go strikingly with any of Pantone’s fall 2015 color selections, making it a fabulous seasonal fashion addition.

Visit our blog again in just a bit for a sneak preview of all of the new crystal styles and shapes we’ll be getting in stock very soon!

Designer Published in Stringing Magazine!

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We are thrilled for Beadaholique designer and stylist Karlin Jones, who just had two beautiful pieces published in the Fall 2015 issue of Jewelry Stringing magazine! Way to go!

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Check out page 32 for her “Toward the Sky” necklace, which features edgy Nunn Design triangle and arrow components dressed up in a playful hue of Vintaj patina.

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On page 58, Karlin’s “Woodland” necklace spotlights natural wood and nut beads alongside chunky gemstone beads for a striking autumnal look.

The Fall edition of Jewelry Stringing magazine will be out soon — you can grab your copy here. Congratulations, Karlin!

Quick Tip Tuesday: How to Clear Out Wood Beads

Quick Tip- Different Ways to Clear Out Wood Beads.00_00_30_15.Still937

Have you ever sat down to string wood beads and found that some of the holes are partially blocked? Wood is a natural material, and the inside of wooden beads can sometimes contain extra shards or splinters that get in the way of easy stringing. In this video, our designer Kat demonstrates how to clear away the extra debris using some common jewelry-making items and tools. These are handy tips to keep in mind while working with our gorgeous new round, flat and twisted oval wood beads. Good luck!

Chain Maille with Mixed Metals

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Of all the ways to incorporate mixed metals into your jewelry box, chain maille is one of the most distinctive and enduring accessory styles that is perfectly suited to a mixed-metal look. Derived from ancient armor techniques and comprised of intricately woven jump rings, chain maille jewelry now offers a timeless way to make a statement — in many metallic hues at once. Check out our new selection of chain maille jump rings in 17 colors for some inspiration!

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 10.03.41 AMChain maille encompasses many different weaves, and our designers have created projects to showcase some of them. Among the more delicate, feminine styles are the Mobius Chain Maille Bracelet, featuring tiny spirals that look like elegant knots, and the Gregory Chain Maille Bracelet, a thin and simple bracelet that is easy for beginners. A little more intricate is the Japanese 12-in-2 Flower Chain Maille Bracelet, shown left, with its blossom-like links. You can even make the Japanese 12-in-2 Flower Ring to match!

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.05.03 AMYou can also explore bolder, meatier looks with more elaborate chain maille weaves. The Dragonscale Chain Maille Bracelet, shown right, is a thick and luxe weave that looks elegant in undulating brass and silver tones. Achieve a traditional, straightforward chain maille style with the Sir Landevale Bracelet, pictured above, which also lends itself well to a two-tone color palette. The Round Maille Bracelet appears poised for Halloween with its copper and black jump rings arrayed in a striking weave.

Find out about everything you need to get started making chain maille jewelry at our comprehensive Chain Maille 101 page. Happy weaving!

Mixed Metal Looks Without the Metal!

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All month long, we’ve talked about different ways to get the trendy mixed-metal look in your jewelry, from metal working techniques to layering with metal pieces. But you don’t have to use actual metal components to achieve the metal aesthetic. There are plenty of metal substitutes — including the new Fire Polished Czech Glass beads used in the bracelet shown above — that will bring metallic shine to your creations in their place.

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 2.54.43 PMThere are a few reasons you might consider a metal substitute in your jewelry rather than the real thing. Maybe you have a nickel allergy and can’t wear sterling silver, or maybe you’re working on a jewelry design that calls for many metallic elements and you’d rather use a more lightweight material. Whatever the reason, there are lots of alternative options. Many styles of Czech glass beads come in finishes that mimic a metallic look. Even more lightweight are metallized plastic beads, which are cost-effective for beginners or big projects.

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 4.12.08 PMIf you’re looking for inspiration when it comes to metal-look projects, check out our exclusive Beaded Kumihimo Bracelet Kit in Metallic Tones, which will give you all of the materials you need to make the bracelet pictured above. Another great metal-esque project is the Sparkly Bauble Ring, right, in which lustrous seed beads shine like little metal flecks. The glamorous Janine Earrings also use metallic glass seed beads to upscale effect. What are your favorite metal substitute beads? Let us know!

Beading Table Wednesday: August 19, 2015

Happy Wednesday! It has been a while since we’ve taken a design room tour, so let’s see what some of us have been up to for the past week.

unnamed-1 (1)Karlin:

I love these Swarovski double spike beads (especially in Jet and Crystal Silver Night), so I decided to go all out glam rock-style and make a simple strung necklace. I’ve paired lots of pretty dark crystals with a large Swarovski pear-shaped focal using one of our new crystal bezel settings. The look is glamorous and edgy and would look great with a little black dress!

 

20150818_145007Rachel:

These new Czech glass ripple beads have such a fun, fanciful shape and come in so many beautiful, lustrous colors — I really wanted to play with them! I’m working on a pair of bead woven earrings using herringbone stitch, and will then decide how to incorporate these highly textured beads. How would you use them?

Layering with Mixed Metals

Layering collage

A good piece of jewelry will make a statement on its own. But now that layering, stacking and mixing metals are all in vogue, that statement can be altered or lengthened with the addition of complementary accessories. Why stop at one beloved bangle or cuff when you can add visual interest and trendy pizzazz by pairing it with others?

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 1.31.36 PMLayering is a hip and easy way to incorporate a mixed metal look into your jewelry repertoire. This can be done with delicate necklaces of different metal finishes, like our simple and pretty Layered Initial Necklace Set, which features an alphabet charm for a personalized touch. The Hip To Be Square Necklace plays with not only a two-tone metal palette, but also a mix of textures as krinkle chain is paired with square links. The Mixed Metals Layering Necklace is another elegant, minimal example of simple components combining into a subtly memorable jewelry piece. Your second necklace layer can be longer and a bit chunkier, as in the Fleur De Lis Necklace, comprised of antiqued Nunn Design components, or the Frog Pond Necklace, which pairs copper and silver tones with a cute frog charm.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 1.31.53 PMThe wrist is another place where on-trend layering makes a big impact. Eye-catching, customized “arm parties” have been making a splash in fashion spreads and among the style-conscious, and everyone is invited! Simply start with a focal piece — a watch, or a bold cuff or bangle, such as the mixed-metal Metallic Rays Bangle, shown left — and stack smaller, complementary bracelets around it. The Beaded Buddha Charm Bangle makes a great secondary arm layer, as does the Golden Hour Bracelet, with its luxurious lengths of bright gold-plated box chain. The Abacus Bracelet Kit features gold spacer beads sliding freely on a multi-strand faux-leather bracelet finished with a silver closure — perfect for a boho-themed arm party where natural materials and mixed metals share center stage.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 1.32.14 PMIf layering on your hands is more your speed, we’ve got some great inspiration for mixed-metal ring ideas, too. The bead-embroidered Urban Hexagon Ring shines as a bold finger-focal around which you can stack thinner, more delicate rings in gold and silver. The Moonshadow Ring can be similarly accented by rings in gold, silver, or both.

Come back next week for our next mixed-metal installment on how to achieve a two-toned look with chain maille!

 

Artist Profile: Najat Husain

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Najat Husain’s winning entry, “Guardian Owl.”

_DSC0138 (2)We’re pleased to announce the Beadaholique Favorite winner of our Celebrate Summer with Nunn Design contest, Najat Husain. Her necklace, “Guardian Owl,” features a Nunn Design owl stamping given an antique look with Vintaj patina and set into a bead embroidered focal.

Tell us about yourself:

I am a retired economist professor from Kuwait. I recently moved to the U.S. with my husband and four kids. Now we are living in Boulder, Colorado.

_DSC0172How did you get interested in beading/jewelry making?

I enjoyed making things since I was a kid. Actually, I celebrate being alive each day by making and crafting; drawing, painting, sewing, gardening, baking, pottery, and beading.

I am a late-comer to the jewelry making world. I joined a basic beading class five years ago in support of a friend who was interested in developing a new hobby. I was hooked from that day. I added jewelry making to my life-celebrating activities.

_DSC0200What are your favorite materials to use in jewelry making?

I like to use any material that is suitable to the project that I am working with but love to use metal findings, seed beads, semi-precious stones, leather and prints from my art work.

Who or what inspires your creative process?

Since I am living in the mountains, I am inspired by nature. Also I am inspired by Native American bead work and I adore the work of Heidi Kummli, the bead embroidery master.

_DSC0063Is there somewhere people can see/purchase your work?

I used to sell some of my jewelry making through Yadawi Collective special events (IG: @yadawi) when I was in Kuwait. However, I have not established a sales venue since I moved to the U.S. late last year. But you can follow me on my Instagram: @beadsartasylum for now.

Thanks for sharing your work with us, Najat, and best of luck in future creative pursuits!