Wednesday, April 27, 2011

BTW: Bead Table Wednesday 4/27/2011

 Andrea's Table

My bead table today features the new gorgeous Swarovski Crystal color: Chrysolite Opal.  I thought these Chalcedony-like beauties would look absolutely stunning when paired with other soft pastel Spring shades like antique rose and creamy pearl.  I'm topping it all off with the muted glow of matte gold metal elements for maximum "pretty!" factor.

Julie's Table

I attended a Renaissance fair over the weekend and was thoroughly inspired. With all the memories of the weekend fresh in my mind, I started Monday off by opening a pack of chain maille jump rings. I was also inspired by Esther, a member of the Beadaholique team, who created a very cool chain maille bracelet last week. What you see on my table is the Byzantine weave, European 4-in-1, and Inverted Round. Also on my work table is a very handy tool, the Vintaj Relief Block.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Inspiration Mondays: Art Nouveau

When you hear the term "Art Nouveau", what images come to mind?  A vintage poster portraying a languidly lounging woman draped in flowing Neoclassical garb?  A floral brooch comprised of impossible looping and curvilinear symmetry?  Perhaps a building facade in Prague that is downright preternatural in appearance?

Alphonse Mucha's Four Seasons

All of these subjects exemplify the vision and philosophy behind Art Nouveau, a very stylized movement in the world of art, architecture, furniture, jewelry, and advertisement.  Even though its heyday spanned from the early 1880's until roughly 1910, Art Nouveau's unique aesthetic continues to inspire generation after generation of creative individuals... especially creative individuals in the wonderful world of beading and jewelry making.

Rene Lalique Brooch

We Beadaholics are no exception to this rule.  Over the years, our designers have created many projects with Art Nouveau flavor.  Incorporating elements like Czech glass cathedral beads, Vintaj brass stampings, and our own silver plated stampings, we often channel our inner Alphonse Mucha and Rene Lalique.

Check out our free project instructions here.

 Are you as inspired by Art Nouveau as we are?  Show us your nouveau-esque designs!

Happy Beading,


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BTW: Bead Table Wednesday 4/20/2011

Andrea's Table
On my bead table today is a project that has been following me from work to home, and back to work again... for quite awhile now.  I'm making a project using a color-palette-specific beading kit that we sent to Beadwork Magazine to be used in their upcoming issue for their monthly "The Challenge" feature.  Although I am not part of "The Challenge" this time around (aside from choosing and providing the kit), I could not resist challenging myself to make something special out of those luscious purplish-blue, acid green, and gunmetal beads!  Results of my little experiment soon to come (hopefully)!

Julie's Table
I found myself happily distracted this week as you can see by the state of my work table. What I should have been focusing on is wedding jewelry, which are all those pearls and crystals you see in the front of the picture. BUT I became absolutely obsessed with Easy Mold's 2 part silicone mold putty, that's the purple stuff in the back. We molded plants we found outside the office, miniature toy airplanes, antique buttons, and even a good luck kitty. There are a couple other projects scattered in this picture as well, I seem to be happiest with 5 projects going all at once. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Exciting Changes To Swarovski Flat Back Rhinestones!

If you are like me, you love Swarovski's classic round flat back rhinestones.  With just a dab of E6000 glue you can add them anywhere on your jewelry that needs just that extra little pop.  Now Swarovski has outdone themselves again and redesigned the cut of the rhinestones for enhanced brilliance and increased luminosity.

So what has changed? The original round flat backs were introduced with 8 facets. In 2000 Swarovski redesigned the cut and increased the number of facets to 12, then in 2004 increased the facets again to 14. Now in 2011 Swarovski has launched the new "Xilion Enhanced Rose" cut with a higher profile and a smaller table (which is the top center facet). The new geometry of the cut means that the colors appear more intense and vibrant then before (which we of course love!), without the need for additional facets. It also means that they will stand up a little higher, and in doing so, add more depth and interest wherever you place them.

An easy way to identify the new cut is through the item number. The flat back rhinestones you have right now are most likely the #2028 Xilion Rose cut which were launched in 2004. The new ones are #2058 Xilion Enhanced Rose cut. On the Beadaholique website we clearly list the item number in both the listing and the description, making it easy to tell what you are getting.   You can mix and match the two styles of rhinestones on a project, except where you are creating a pave' effect by placing lots of the crystals flush up against each other (i.e. if you are blinging out a phone).  In this instance the height difference between the old and the new styles could show.

From a beader's perspective, I am thrilled with this new cut. Change is always scary when it happens to a tried and true staple, but these new rhinestones look amazing and really catch the surrounding light, drawing the eye right to them. They appear richer and more substantial then before and I personally can't wait to start adding them to my projects.
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