Blog for Beaders

A creative place to share jewelry making information, ideas, and inspiration! Hosted by Artbeads

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Jewelry and Craft Ideas



Both experienced and beginning jewelry makers need help sometimes coming up with creative and innovative ideas. Whether you need to entertain the kids on a rainy day or need to create a piece of jewelry for a special occasion, this section is sure to help!


Having Fun with the Spiral Stitch

April 11th, 2015 · 3 Comments

spiral stitch jewelry

If you’re new to bead weaving, a great place to start is with the spiral stitch. This simple stitch comes together quickly and looks great. You don’t have to be a beginner to enjoy it, either! Anyone can have fun making spiral stitch jewelry. Just ask Artbeads Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura. Cynthia is a pro when it comes to bead weaving and she has fallen in love with this stitch. Just look at some of the creations she’s made!

Berry Bunches

Cynthia used seed beads and Swarovski pearls in the spiral stitch to create these Berry Bunches bracelets. The larger pearls stand out among the colorful seed beads. Of course, Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends are a great option for this stitch. They give you the perfect color palettes to work with, so you can focus on the fun stitch.

Corsica

These Corsica bracelets feature the same spiral stitch with smaller seed beads. That’s the cool part about this stitch: changing up the beads completely transforms the look of your designs! No wonder Cynthia is having a blast with this technique. Here’s what the stitch looks like with crystal bicones in her Grape Trellis bracelet:

Grape Trellis

Cynthia used an Artbeads Designer Blend featuring Swarovski bicones in the perfect colors to match her seed beads. The beads and look may change, but the stitch stays the same and it couldn’t be easier. Check out our Artbeads Mini Tutorial video and Cynthia will teach you the technique:

Now that you’ve learned this fun and simple stitch, it’s time to check out the variation on this technique: the flat spiral stitch.

Marceline Bracelets

This stitch is quick to complete and looks stunning! As with the spiral stitch, switching up the beads really changes the look. These three Marceline bracelets are so distinct thanks to the different colors and beads used. You can create two rows of flat spiral stitch for an even more astounding look. Cynthia shows off this technique in her Cora bracelet:

Cora

The seed beads framing the pearls create a regal look we love. You can see the flat spiral stitch technique in action in the Mini Tutorial video below:

After Cynthia made all of these fantastic jewelry pieces, she was ready to teach a bunch of us here at Artbeads just how easy it is to make spiral stitch designs!

image5

We gathered in the craft room and Cynthia helped us out with our own spiral stitch creations. We all had fun choosing different combinations of beads. Check out how the double flat spiral stitch changes when you use Miyuki baroque pearl beads:

image2

You can also use fire-polished beads to great effect in this stitch, as well. These economical options are available in a variety of colors, so you’re sure to find something to suit your style. We used golden fire-polished beads with coppery seed beads for a modern look:

image1

We had fun learning this technique from Cynthia and with the Mini Tutorials above, you will too! Whether you are a beginner or an experienced beader, you’re sure to fall in love with this addicting stitch. We haven’t stopped making new designs. Make sure to share your spiral stitch creations with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

The Beauty of Spring

March 7th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Spring Jewelry at Artbeads.com

It seems like everyone is just about ready for spring to arrive! Whether you’re planning gardens, updating your fall wardrobe, getting ready for spring cleaning, starting new jewelry projects, or just wanting to shake the cold weather, spring is a season everyone looks forward to. This season, pastels and florals are making a modern comeback and we have some fabulous ideas for spring jewelry-making to get you inspired!

Pocket Full of Posies Bracelet

Pocket Full of Posies Bracelet

It’s always exciting to see flowers poke up out of the ground when spring arrives. This Pocket Full of Posies bracelet celebrates the excitement and colorful beauty of fresh spring flowers. Acrylic flowers paired with Swarovski crystal beads make a can’t-miss statement in this design. You could easily make matching earrings to go along with this bracelet.

First Bloom Bracelet

First Bloom Bracelet

A softer take on the celebration of fresh flowers, our First Bloom bracelet showcases a Grace Lampwork bead decorated with pink and blue flowers. It’s a perfect representation of the first spring flowers opening up on a crisp and sunny day. The spring look is so subtle, you could wear this design year round!

Spring Lotus Ring

Spring Lotus Ring

Our Spring Lotus ring is another subtle spring look. This simple design uses wire-wrapping to create the highly professional look. Because the ring is made from wrapped wire, you can easily adjust the design to fit your finger. Switch out the crystals for Pacific Opal and Rose Water Opal colors for a pastel version of this ring.

Sugar Bowl Bracelet

Sugar Bowl Bracelet

Let’s not forget that spring is a bright and colorful season, just like this bracelet! Furnace glass dangles create pops of juicy color in this playful Sugar Bowl design. It’s just like a fresh bouquet of picked flowers: thoughtful, vibrant and sweet!

Our customers have also created some fabulous spring jewelry! Check out Artbeader Linda’s bracelet design:

Linda's Spring Bracelet

Linda’s Spring Bracelet

Linda used some of our grass green TOHO seed beads in this sweet beaded bracelet. They make a beautiful accent of color to the pastel tones. Linda liked the fact that she was able to go through these beads several times with her beading thread.

You’ve seen some fabulous jewelry designs to get you inspired, and now it’s time to take a look at some beads you could use in your very own spring designs! Beautiful beads are the foundation for any design and these spring-themed treasures are sure to spark your imagination.

Pastel Beads!

Pastel Beads!

Spring is always a good time to incorporate pastels into your designs and Swarovski has created beautiful pearls and crystals featuring Crystal Powder effects in pastel colors. These delicious pastels are a more contemporary version of the classic take on pastel color. The trendy powder colors offer a softer, subtle elegance with a hint of nostalgia in a modern interpretation. To go along with new Swarovski pastel colors, our designers have created some pastel Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends. Use the seed beads and crystals together for unforgettable spring style!

Floral Lampwork Beads

Floral Lampwork Beads

Finally, these lampwork beads are a great way to kick off any spring design. You can use them together in a jewelry set or try them in different ideas for a pop of fresh color. We love the floral details on each one.

After all of these beads and jewelry designs, spring has definitely sprung on the Artbeads Blog for Beaders. Now the weather just needs to catch up! While we wait for the arrival of spring, let us know what you’re planning for the season. Share your jewelry ideas in the comments below, or post a picture on our Facebook page. Then, make sure to take a look at all of our spring jewelry ideas right here.

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Tags: Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Swarovski Rivolis

January 9th, 2015 · 3 Comments

rivolimagic

Swarovski rivoli crystals are beautiful stones that make a sparkling impact on any design. Their unique facets refract light in a dazzling display. These stones don’t have stringing holes, so they work best as embellishments in bead embroidery or even in beaded bezels. Artbeader Linda made some very cool bezels for her rivolis. Linda's Bezels for Rivolis

Linda made a black cat bezel and a peppermint candy bezel for her rivoli components. By modifying the same technique to suit different styles, she created two very different looks!

Rivoli Bezels

You can learn to make an open back bezel for your rivolis with this Handy Tip. Tubular peyote stitch helps seed beads fit snugly around these circular stones. The completed bezels are easy to incorporate into designs, too.

Blooming Stars

Artbeads.com’s chief jewelry designer Cynthia Kimura embellished her beaded bezels with bicones in her Blooming Stars necklace. Then, she attached them to each other using links she made with an Artbeads Designer Wire Blend in perfectly coordinated colors.

If you’re pressed for time when designing, there are quick ways to use rivolis, too!

Ring Around the Rivoli

These Ring Around the Rivoli rings come together in minutes! All you have to do is glue the rivoli into the ring setting and allow to dry. The result is a fabulous ring with professional style.

Luminous Gypsy

TierraCast also offers rivoli settings you can use to display some sparkle in your projects! Earring chandeliers, like the ones featured in this Luminous Gypsy design, charms and links are all available in a variety of finishes. Once again, just glue the rivoli in place and allow to dry.

As you can see, there are many ways to incorporate the magic of rivoli crystals into your designs. What are some ways you have used them in your projects? We would love to see your designs. Share with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Remember, you can also add pictures of your designs when leaving product reviews on our website, like Linda did. You just might be featured on a future blog post, Facebook or Pinterest!

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Customer Gallery of Designs · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Using Large-Hole Beads in New Ways

November 22nd, 2014 · 2 Comments

Large-Hole Bead Ideas

We love the way large-hole beads add character to designs. These fun components are easy to add to lots of designs and come in a variety of styles. The example above, our Royal Vanguard necklace, shows Swarovski BeCharmed beads and large-hole TierraCast spacers strung onto SilverSilk. This is just one of the many ways you can use large-hole beads in your designs. Their wide stringing holes allow you to explore options you may have never thought of before. The Artbeads Learning Center is filled with examples for using these goodies in unique ways.

Blue Note Necklace

Our At the Blue Note necklace is a simple idea to start with. This necklace features beautiful Grace Lampwork beads and large-hole bead caps strung onto silk ribbon. The ends of the necklace are knotted. Large-hole beads are always a great complement to silk ribbon and even simple stringing techniques like this look stunning.

Bailee

This next silk ribbon idea, one of our Bailee necklaces, incorporates large-hole beads in a completely different way. After stringing a donut pendant onto the center of the ribbon, Artbeads Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura strung Swarovski BeCharmed beads onto both ends of the ribbon. The BeCharmed beads act as a bail that keeps the donut pendant in place. A simple knot at the top of the beads makes sure everything stays put!

DIY Shamballa Bracelets

Large-hole beads are also a great option for shamballa style bracelets. These bracelets are fun and easy to make and look great! Use Chinese knotting cord or leather cord to complement the colors of the beads you choose.

Our Learning Center is full of ideas for large-hole beads, but that’s not the only place to find inspiration. Our customers also come up with great ideas! Take a look at what Artbeads user “corvettekat” made with our large-hole JBB dotted spacer bead:

Artbeads Customer Design

This Artbeader used these spacers in a multi-strand fiber necklace and says, “These were perfect for stabilizing and adding some balance to the yarn used in this necklace.” The sliders really do bring the piece together.

Have you used large-hole beads in your designs lately? What’s your favorite way to incorporate them into your designs? We would love to hear from you in the comments below, or share a picture of your projects on our Facebook page. Your designs and ideas might just inspire others to start creating with large-hole beads!

 

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Tags: Artbeads.com Customer Product Reviews · Customer Gallery of Designs · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Beautiful Bicones

November 15th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Ideas for Bicones

Swarovski Bicones can be used in so many ways. They’re excellent accents of sparkle for necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The unique rhombus shape can be paired with pearls, chain and lots of other beads.

Artbeader Lynn P. used her bicones to make a very special necklace:

Lynn P.'s Bicone Necklace

Lynn says, “I wanted to make some bling for a cancer survivor friend in Canada. Her favorite color is blue and I LOVE Swarovski, so this creation was born. Turned out pretty good if I say so myself.”

We have to agree, Lynn! We love the innovative way she wove the bicones together. They fit so nicely together.

Are you looking for more innovative ways to use your bicones?

Shimmering Winds RAW Bracelet

Shimmering Winds

Artbeads.com’s Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura used bicones to create a Right Angle Weave bracelet, Shimmering Winds. Once again, the unique shape of the bicone works perfectly in this technique. Cynthia used one of our Artbeads Swarovski Designer Blends to make this bracelet.

Artbeads Swarovski Designer Blends

These Blends feature Swarovski bicones in perfectly coordinated colors, so you don’t have to worry about choosing the right colors – they’re already picked out for you!

Fairy Lanterns

Bicones are also perfect for our Fairy Lantern idea. To make these cute little dangles, you string two bicones onto a head pin or eye pin and wrap bugle beads that have been stitched together around the two bicones. These dangles are great in earrings or as pendants and charms. Choose your favorite colors to customize this look to suit your tastes.

So what’s your favorite way to use bicones? Share with us in the comments below or leave a picture of your best bicone ideas on our Facebook page. We always love seeing what you’ve created with our products!

 

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Tags: Artbeads.com Customer Product Reviews · Customer Gallery of Designs · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

The Wonders of Kumihimo

November 8th, 2014 · 6 Comments

Kumihimo at Artbeads

At Artbeads, we love creating beautiful kumihimo braids for our jewelry. This ancient Japanese art form is a relaxing way to pass the time and the results are always fabulous. As the ideas above showcase, we’ve experimented with adding animal print patterns, beads and even SilverSilk to our kumihimo designs.

Our customers are just as adventurous as us when it comes to kumihimo. Take a look at the bracelet Artbeads user Holly made.

Holly's Kumihimo Bracelet

Holly used Miyuki Long Magatamas in her kumihimo bracelet. Magatamas add interesting dimension to kumihimo designs, thanks to their feathered or scale-like look. Holly loves the “beautiful, subtle finish” of these particular Magatamas and we have to agree!

You can learn how to make a similar bracelet with the free instructions for our Monterey Pop bracelet.

Monterey Pop

We used a colorful pattern of different Magatamas for our bracelet, but you can pick your favorite beads and start adding them to your kumihimo designs today! Have you already experimented with kumihimo in your jewelry? Share your favorite kumihimo designs with us in the comments below, post a picture to our Facebook page, or add a picture of your design to a product review on our website. Your design might just be featured in a blog post, on Facebook or even on our Customer Designs Pinterest Board!

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Tags: Artbeads.com Customer Product Reviews · Customer Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Dried Out Gilders Paste? No Problem!

October 17th, 2014 · No Comments

Gilders Paste is a great way to add new color to metal, wood, polymer clay, ceramic, wax and resin surfaces. It comes in lots colors and each container provides enough paste for many, many projects. We’ve used Gilders Paste in some of our Learning Center ideas and they all turned out fabulous!

A little Gilders Paste goes a long way in projects like these, so you’ll have your Gilders Paste on hand for a long time. After a while, you might notice it start to dry out. Don’t worry, you don’t have to throw it out! You can refresh dried out Gilders Paste so it is as good as new and ready to use on any project!

How to Refresh Dried Gilders Paste

Take a look at our How to Refresh Dried Out Gilders Paste Handy Tip to learn the techniques for rejuvenating this amazing paste. Or, if you’re new to using Gilders Paste, learn the basics with our How to Use Gilders Paste Handy Tip.

Now that you know all the tricks to using Gilders Paste, we want to know: What will you make? Leave us a comment below with your plans, or share a picture of your Gilders Paste creations on our Facebook Page!

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Hot Chocolate Fashion

May 14th, 2013 · 2 Comments

So many ooey, gooey, delicious things come in brown, and today we want to celebrate the tasty power of this color in fashion. The perfect shade of chocolate brown is a cool complement to other shades and even looks good on its own. Learn how you can add a taste of brown to your jewelry box as either the backbone of a design or in a supporting role.

A Neutral Foundation

Iris Necklace

Neutrals are appropriate for any occasion, although most people immediately opt for black, grey or white. Brown is a fun twist on the traditional neutral hue, and it enriches any other color it’s paired with. Let it guide the feel of your design, helping build the overall look. This could be in the form of antique brass findings or an awesome chocolate focal. Next, layer on your colors! Beads in robin egg blue or pale pink are just a couple of ideas. In our Iris necklace design, we used a combination of brown and purple for a sweet and simple look. Mint green is another refreshing accent. Try a silk ribbon in this shade to complement a choco-pendant. Gold always looks nice with deep browns, too.

A Sugary Accessory

Cosmopolitan Earrings

If your style is more colorful, use a soothing brown to help tie different elements together. Dangle some chocolate drops from your ears (like our chocolate glaze pavé beads) to complete a blue and white polka dot dress. Or, recreate the beauty in our Cosmopolitan Earrings for jewelry with just a lick of chocolate brown goodness. Wherever your imagination takes your fashion, add some tasteful brown tones for a truly sweet look!

Just for fun, we’ll leave you with some extreme chocolate fashion. These are from the NYC Chocolate Fashion Show, where models ruled the runway in chocolate couture…yes, it’s real chocolate. Enjoy!

Chocolate Mermaid Fairy

Double Chocolate Couture

Bon Bon Necklace

Galactic Chocolate Skirt

Photo Source: nydailynews.com.

What’s your favorite way to wear chocolate?

-Marissa

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

Smashing Summer Jewelry Fashion from Downton Abbey

May 7th, 2013 · 7 Comments

Downton Abbey Regal Colors

We’re excited that the American 1920s lavish fashion is sweeping the runways and fashion mags due to the release of the new Great Gatsby film, but this film isn’t creating the trend all on its own. We’re tickled that another on-screen powerhouse from across the pond has been making headway as well. The British television series Downton Abbey, set in the Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey during the Post-Edwardian era, is influencing fashion for 2013 too. This show follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants, and depicts how historical events affect their lives and the British hierarchy. In fact, the show begins after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, and the tragic loss of the family heir aboard the fateful ship impacts the rest of the members.

Rose MacClare

Just like the popular flapper flair of Gatsby, the luxurious wardrobe from this show is captivating fashion designers, and has been this whole year. The vintage colors, cuts and accessories have just the right amount of excessiveness to be appealing for modern looks. Bold colors like regal red and rich finishes like gold are a reflection of the popular Art Deco style, but can be a nostalgic nod if worn in clothing or a trendy twist when used in jewelry designs.

Headpiece

Floral and Beaded Accents

Headpieces, floral accents and beaded embellishments are just a few of the ways the costumes of Downton Abbey have helped sway the runway—and we absolutely love it! To recreate some of these luxurious necklaces, check out our Swarovski cuplink chain and our fire-polished linked chain. Long, dangling earrings are a breeze to make using Swarovski Column Pendants or Ellipse Pendants.

Downton Abbey Floral Lace and Pearls

If you want to replicate the richness of the era, simple touches like long pearls or feminine lace are a great way to get started. Filigree components in vintage finishes like antique brass would be perfect in jewelry designs as well. Here are some fun Learning Center ideas that showcase the decadence of Downton Abbey:

Syncopated Rhytm Necklace
Syncopated Rhythm

Chicago Loop Necklace
Chicago Loop

Vintage Romance Necklace
Vintage Romance

What are some of your ideas for bringing a little British charm to your designs?

-Marissa

Downton Abbey Photo Credits: IMDB.com, PBS.org and Booktalk and More Blog.

Fashion Photo Credits: style.com.

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Great Gatsby and the Real Flapper Girl

May 2nd, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Great Gtasby

This year’s hottest fashion craze is all about 1920s fashion, thanks in large part to the highly anticipated 2013 release of the film, The Great Gatsby. This variation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel has been getting a lot of buzz since the start of its filming, which in turn has influenced the fashion world to go Gatsby. Although we expect the movie to have a modern twist on the fashion from the era, we wondered just how accurate the film was. And, moreover, was the 1974 film version just as accurate? Who nailed the flapper look the best? We’ll break down the flapper fashion first, and then move through each film.

Real Flapper Style

1920s Flapper Fashion

This shocking new look for the times evolved from the rise of the jazz age, music that required dancers to move freely. This meant that women needed to hem their skits and dress in lightweight material. The term Flapper originally referred to the mindset of these women, or young girls rather, who were just learning to make their way into the world—in a sense, first starting to “flap” their wings after leaving the home nest. Later, the term would associate with their fringe-style clothing. Flappers celebrated decadence and indulgence with flashy jewelry and short hairstyles. CoCo Chanel instigated the boyish look of the flapper by dropping the waistline to the hips and ditching the figure-defining corsets. Long strands of pearls allowed the women to sway to the jazzy rhythm, and vibrant colors reflected its exotic melodies. This type of jewelry also worked to accent the straight, defined lines of their dresses.

1920s Flapper Fashion

The Great Gatsby, 1974

1974 Great Gatsby

It seems that the female characters in this movie wanted to live a lavish flapper lifestyle without leaving their femininity behind. Mia Farrow is delightful as Daisy Buchannan, with long layers of pearls, but that seemed to be where the 1920s nod stopped. The cut of her dresses didn’t angle sharply for the Art Deco feel, and their flowy fit didn’t reflect the curve-hugging, boyish trend of the time. Her large sun hat didn’t fit into the flapper look, either. Maybe if she had kept the haircut from Rosemary’s Baby, it would have helped. Overall, the 1974 rendition kept close to the book in terms of storyline (though critics feel this made it lose the spirit of the novel), but lacked in fully capturing the jazz-age feel in its wardrobe choices. It paid homage to the era, but chose to command with popular fashion of the current time.

1974 Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby, 2013

2013 Great Gatsby

From the cut of Carey Mulligan’s dress to her pixie bob hair, the 2013 version appears to pay more attention at getting the style from the time right. The “new” Daisy Buchannan dresses in clothing cut to fit her thin frame. Her hair accessories kept it vintage with sharp, angled lines with bursts of color and sparkle as well. Though she wears her pearls tightly around her wrist rather than loosely around her neck, Carey’s version of Daisy is still immersed in an over-the-top lifestyle in true flapper fashion. We’ll have to wait and see what more is revealed when the film is released May 10th, 2013. From what we’ve seen so far, though, it seems like the 1920s fashion was not forgotten.

2013 Great Gatsby

Flip through the pages of any fashion magazine for 2013 and you’ll spot some sort of 1920s influence. Whether it’s finger waves, drop waistlines or the addition of fringe, the Roaring Twenties era is one of the hottest trends. Things are heating up even more for summer, with the movie’s release sure to inspire more designers soon. You can get a head start on what to make by checking out our Platinum Flapper fashion trend here in the Learning Center or browsing through or Pinterest board by the same name. We’re crazy about this style!

-Marissa

Information Source: About.com.
Actual 1920s Photo Credit: TheFashionSpot.com.
1974 Film Photo Credit: imdb.com.
2013 Film Photo Credit: WarnerBrothers.

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

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