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Swarovski and Sterling Silver Rainbow Chandelier Earrings

June 5, 2015

Swarovski never ceases to amaze me with the pretty products they put out! While lovely Swarovski Navette crystals aren’t new, they are new to me and I love them! These beautiful marquise-shaped crystals are set in a silver colored setting.  When I saw them, I knew I needed to create a project that used multiple colors in the same piece! They are just such vibrant colors. I decided to pair them with some lovely sterling silver chandelier findings! The result is beautiful! See how to make these lovely earrings below!

Make Margarita Christmas Tree Earrings to Make Merry

November 19, 2013

When you hear the word “margarita,” you probably don’t think of Christmas trees … unless you’re a fan of Swarovski crystal margarita beads! Christmas tree earrings made from these sparkling beauties are one of the most popular Christmas jewelry projects around. Plus, these crystal charm designs are super easy to make! So, grab a tasty beverage and a friend or two and have a good time making margarita trees all evening. Continue Reading…

Spring 2013 Pantone Color Trends Giveaway

April 29, 2013

Pantone Spring 2013 Giveaway

Enter to win our Resin Flower Gluing Kit. Just comment at the end of this post  — by May 6, 2013 — with your favorite Pantone Spring 2013 Color Trend to be entered into our drawing.

win a resin flower gluing kit

In celebration of Spring, here are the Spring 2013 Pantone Color Trends. Just click on any of the color swatches below and find the treasures available in our online store. Also visit our Design Gallery  for all the designs you see here and many more. All designs are FREE – no login required!

banner-spring13_emerald banner-spring13_grayedjade

banner-spring13_tendershoots  banner-spring13_lemonzest

banner-spring13_nectarine banner-spring13_poppyred

banner-spring13_linen banner-spring13_africanviolet

banner-spring13_duskblue banner-spring13_monacoblue

Comment now with your favorite Pantone Spring 2013 Color Trend to win. Contest ends May 6, 2013.

~Jan

The Bead Bandit: make masculine beaded men's jewelry!

July 18, 2012

Well, hello there, bloglandia. Do you ever feel like most jewelry findings are designed to look feminine? Even if they aren’t frilly or covered with hearts and flowers, there is often something innately delicate about most DIY jewelry findings. When you want to make beaded men’s jewelry, it can be a problem. Crimp beads and bullion just don’t look that tough! Luckily, jewelry designer Jeff Fulkerson invented a solution: the Bead Bandit.

bandit-bracelet

A strand of 8mm round beads make a simple, masculine bracelet when finished with a large clasp and Bead Bandits.

This patent-protected device is made of two pieces that screw together, hiding the crimp bead or knot on the end of your beading wire or cord under a burly piece of metal.

bead-bandits

Silver plated Bead Bandits

Bead Bandits are really easy to use: just unscrew the two pieces and string the small piece onto your beading wire. Knot or crimp the wire, trim, and then screw the cover into place.

bandit-with-crimp

bandit-on-beadalonI found it easier to crimp than to knot the Beadalon, and with either method, I’d recommend adding a dab of glue just to make sure the crimp or knot doesn’t work its way loose over time. Attach a clasp with jump rings and you’re all done!

For a complete list of parts for this bracelet, see our Design Gallery!

bandit-endsSimple solutions are often the most elegant… or in this case, most manly.

Congratulations on your invention, Jeff! ~ Cindy

 

 

New Beads on the Block – Gemcolor Crystal Pearls!

May 13, 2012

Hi bloglandia! Take a look around and what do you see, fashion wise? That’s right: color. Big bold blocks of vivid color.

swarovski-gemcolor-pearls

These beads absolutely pop with gemstone colors.

Incorporate this season’s love for pure color into your jewelry designs with Swarovski “gemcolor” crystal pearls.

gemtone-bead-bar-necklace

An easy to make bead bar necklace with red coral, pink coral, lapis, jade and turquoise crystal pearls.

I really love gemstones natural variations in color. However, even I am a fan of these not-so-natural crystal pearls. They are just plain fun, perfect for summer or anytime really. The color palette is really versatile, too. The gem colors make many great combinations. Here are a couple of my favorites:

redcoral-turquoise-crystal-pearls

Red coral and turquoise is a classic gemstone combination. The pearl in the middle is ivory color.

coral-jade-crystal-pearls

Coral, pink coral and jade crystal pearls.

lapis-turq-onyx-crystal-pearls

Dark lapis, turquoise and mystic black crystal pearls make a cool blue mix.

Notice how shiny the little buggers are too – I couldn’t avoid getting reflections in my snapshots, especially that last one (the rings are light bouncing off the clear bowl the pearls were in.) That is one of the perks of crystal pearls – unlike natural pearls, which will get destroyed by common things like perfume & hairspray – crystal pearls are very durable. The shiny, uniform coating is meant for fun in the sun. So go get some – of both! ~ Cindy

Pretty in pearls – freshwater keishi pearls for jewelry designers

February 24, 2012

Hi bloglandia! Pearls are a standard in jewelry, yet the shapes and colors available these days are anything but!

swirls-pearls-rings-things sondra barrington santa me teresa harkins

Sondra mixed freshwater keishi pearls with keishi-shaped sterling silver beads and Swarovski crystals. The clusters of pretties hang from Santa Me sterling silver swirls.

Keishi pearls are actually collapsed pearl sacs. To me they look like shimmery, shiny souffles that have drooped into ruffly, lacy waves. The picture below shows several shades of tip-drilled keishi pearls, including the rose ones Sondra used in the above earrings. Virtually all freshwater pearls are enhanced in one way or another, but I love how the colors still have such “natural” variation. Quite lovely.

tip-drilled-keishi-rings-things.com

Tip-drilled keishi pearls add great texture to strung designs too.

Pearls are very soft compared to other gem materials. Since earrings are generally safe from much wear and tear, they are a great way to feature pearls, like with this Rosie Posie design:

center-keishi-sparkle-rings-things

Wavy brass disks, 3mm sparkly glass rondelles and antiqued brass findings paired with center-drilled “cornflake” keishi pearls.

In addition to being soft, pearls are also sensitive to chemicals and solvents, so it is always best to put your pearl earrings on *after* you’ve applied your hairspray, perfume and such. They are pretty enough to warrant a little TLC!

I had a bit of sticker shock when I first saw the price for center-drilled keishi like the ones in the earrings above. Compared to our other freshwater pearls, they seemed pricey. But then I realized just how many of these guys you get on a strand: about 100!

keishi-rings-things.com

Each cornflake pearl is only 1-3mm thick – so 16″ strands hold a LOT of them!

If you’d like to learn more about how freshwater pearls are cultured and created – and more care recommendations! – visit our Gemstone Index. One last pointer on pearls: unless specifically noted, pearls almost always have small holes – even standard size head pins are usually too thick. Thin pins or 24-gauge wire works much better!