Posts Tagged ‘Swarovski Crystals’

When you work with glass to make beads, you have a variety of different ways you can accent your basic color of glass.  There are ways to put color beneath the main color, and ways to overlay other colors on top of your base color.  You can have a blue glass base, and add AB (aka Aurora Borealis) topcoat and it totally changes the whole look of the bead.  It typically also changes the price.

I’m a huge fan of the special finishes and most of my work will have some fancy colors throughout the piece so I compiled a list of what kind of special finishes you can find and use in your beadwork.

Some of these finishes are permanent, some will wear off with continued contact with the skin.  (Skin is very acidic!) You can treat some of the beads with outside finishes so they don’t wear off as quickly, so it’s good to know what finishes are on your bead so that you can create jewelry that will look good for as long as it can!

Swarovski Crystal has its own types of finishes as well, and there are companies out there who specialize in creating their own finish on the base Swarovski beads.  Swarovski also discontinues colors and finishes on a fairly regular basis so it can be hard to find some of the older finishes.  Honestly, it’s hard to keep track of all the colors and specialized finishes, so I can only list the ones I know of personally.  By the time you read this you might need to check with a store to see if any of the effects have been discontinued.  If you know of more, let me know!  I would love to see them!

At the end of the post you will find links to more information though two of my favorite stores.

Glass Beads:

AB or aurora borealis – a rainbow effect applied to the surface of a seed bead. Bronze-lined – a bronzy coating which reflects a brown light is applied to the inside of the seed bead. Ceylon – A pearl luster finish. Sometimes the color of this bead fades when exposed to strong sunlight. Color lined – a color coating is applied inside the beads; sometimes this is not very durable and the color of finished work may appear very different in a short time. Copper-lined – a coppery coating which reflects a reddish light is applied to the inside of the seed bead. Duracoat – “Duracoat®” is durable clear coating for outside dyed or galvanized beads. It is thicker and stronger coating than traditional one. Iris – An iridescent coating with multiple hues, usually on dark, opaque beads. Luster or lustre – a transparent “pearl” effect applied to the surface of the seed bead. Marea – Same process as AB but results in a primarily orange/yellow reflection. Matte – the bead is textured on a microscopic level to result in a matte finish. Metallic or Galvanized – A shiny, very reflective coating that gives the bead a look of metal. Metal – seed beads made of metal. These beads have sharper edges than most seed beads, so use of a stronger thread is recommended. Metal seed beads have larger holes and function well as an inexpensive alternative to spacer beads. Opaque – the solid color prevents light from passing through the bead. Picasso Coating – gives a speckled multi-colored effect over a solid color bead. Rainbow – An iridescent coating on the outside of either opaque or transparent beads. Silver-lined – a silvery coating which reflects light is applied to the inside of the seed bead. Satin – fiber-optic tubular seed bead with slight striations. Made from a different type of glass than other seed beads, satin seed beads have sharper edges, so use of a strong thread is recommended. Opal – semi-translucent finish that is often achieved with a dye on the surface. This finish is at risk of wearing away or fading. Dyed – seed beads are coated with a dye that is often impermanent. Dyed seed beads in bright pinks, purples and reds are less stable and more likely to wear and fade. Transparent – the glass is see-through.  You will need to use similar color thread with these beads if you do not want it seen. Translucent – one can see light through the bead, although the light is diffused. Vitrail – Same process as AB but results in a primarily pink/green reflection.

Swarovski Finishes:

AB Ab2x Satin Blue Shade Golden Shadow Silver Night Lilac Shadow Paradise Shine Antique Pink Luminous Green Moonlight Silver Shade Red Magma Copper Vitrail Medium Comet Argent Light Hematite 2x Metallic Light Gold 2x Crystal Rose Gold Crystal Rose Gold 2x Iridescent Green Metallic Sunshine Dorado 2x Hematite Metallic Blue 2x Bronze Shade Astral Pink Heliotrope Mahogany Purple Haze Chili Pepper Nut 2x Electra I Summer Blush Bronze Shade 2x Aurum 2x Sky Blue Crystal Iridescent Green 2x Metallic Sunshine 2x Star Shine Volcano Dorado Metallic Blue

These are two of my favorite stores.  They have some great information about seed beads and the durability of their finishes.  Between these two stores I can find pretty much anything I need.

Fire Mountain Gems

Fusion Beads Blog

 

I wanted to create a list of beads currently available for beaders who do stitchwork.  So I sat down and started making the list, adding definitions and pondering taking pictures to link to each type of bead when I realized that this was a monumental task.  There are SO many beads out there that stitchworkers can use it would take ages to put them all in one spot.

So I have decided to create a list of beads that I have worked with, or that I would like to work with in the future.  That is still a huge list, but it is much more manageable than trying to get all the beads available.  Feel free to list beads in the comments that you think I might enjoy working with that I have missed off the list and I will do my best to research them.  If you would like to see what the beads look like, I have linked the company’s website I gathered the information off of.  These are not necessarily the best websites to ~buy~ these beads at however, so if you would like to purchase the beads, there are other websites that work best for that.  These websites are the company’s websites and usually only deal with other realtors who can afford to buy in bulk.  I make no money advertising for these folks, they are simply the companies that make the beads we know and love.

With all that out of the way, we can start with the good stuff! → Read more

I have been working on a rather large project for the past few weeks and haven’t been able to give as much time to my beads as I would like to.  I really need to make sure to set aside time each week to work on creating and designing jewelry, it really relaxes me and boy, oh boy, can I use some relaxation now.  Jewelry creation has been a passion of mine for years, and it keeps getting interrupted by all the other things I need to do in life!  Luckily, I am blessed by a supportive husband who loves me and wants to see me succeed, so that helps.  He helps me overcome my anxiety and frustration and for that I can’t thank him enough.

Even with life exploding all over my creative time, I have been able to create a new piece for stock and wanted to share them with you lovely folks.  In the next few days I am hoping to have this bracelet and all the other new pieces in the store so folks can purchase them if they like them.

The first piece is a lovely bracelet that would be perfect for someone with slightly smaller wrists.  I can fit it on my wrists but it’s a wee bit tight.  Swarovski crystal makes this bracelet sparkle!  It was created by me, the pattern is by Ellad2.

 

I have a bracelet on the workbench now too!  I should have it finished in the next few days.  Here is a sneak peek.  I’m working it in purples as that is my second favorite color!

 

I have so many ideas for my own patterns, and I am thinking of uploading a few of my own patterns for download here on the blog, what do you think?  Would you like some simple patterns to download?  I have a few I made for several classes I taught last year.  Might be fun to see what you guys can make out of them!

Last but not least, something totally not bead related!

For years I have wanted to add a bit of color to my hair.  I used to dye it bright red.  But I’m already a bit red in the face so it wasn’t exactly flattering.  I wanted something that would take the rosy cheeks and tone them down a bit.  So I found a lovely hair stylist and she gave me a few streaks of blue!  It’s such a great color of blue too, I absolutely love it.  She also added a lighter patch in front, where all my grey is because I love the stripe of white!  If it wasn’t such a pain to grow out I would leave that part natural and wear it with pride!  Since I have no patience to let the color grow out, I figured this was the next best thing.

Take a look!

We moved into this lovely new condo several months ago, and as we get settled in I find myself trying out different work spaces for when I work on my beading.

I have found a set of bead organizers that I absolutely LOVE and I am slowly moving all my beads over to this new system.  Sadly, this system is a bit more expensive than I would like, which means I can’t move them all over all at once.  Still, while slow, this process has me rethinking how I organize my beads.

Mainly I work with seed beads, delicas and Swarovski crystals/pearls.  Smaller beads that fit perfectly into the organizer’s tiny boxes.  I haven’t even started on the larger beads I use for stringing.  Though I have to figure out a better way to store my chains.  They are one of the odd ball things I don’t have a really good way to store.  I’m pondering using old spools to wind them on, but don’t actually have any old spools to try it out.  So winding the chain on cardboard seems the next logical step.  Hm.

I digress.

The organizer that works wonderfully with these smaller beads would be the ones from Bead Storage Solutions.  I get mine from Fire Mountain Gems and have had no problems with them at all!  They have several options with regards to size, so you can definitely work with the larger beads, but for my purposes I stick with the smallest and have been quite happy with that choice.  They even come with their own little labels that you can affix to each container so you can keep track of color, size, price, whatever you need to keep track of.  These are my only complaint as the glue they use doesn’t stick well to… anything really, so you are going to have to make sure it stays put.  A minor inconvenience to be sure, but one you should be aware of.

They even have a larger tray that holds all your tools and spools of thread and one that is supposed to hold your work in progress.  I don’t use the last one because I have something else that works better for me, but as you can see, it’s a really great system.

I am currently working through each of the trays, putting like beads with like, and then sorting them by color.  This will take a while, but it will be really helpful when I am looking for that one specific bead that I need for a project.

Another thing I am planning on doing with the seed beads and the delicas is creating a color rope that I can take with me when I go shopping so I don’t purchase the same color twice. (or if I need more of the same color I can match it to the new beads because sometimes the dye lots just don’t match up.)  This will take some time, but will be totally worth it in the long run.  Buying duplicates is always frustrating and while I will ultimately use the beads, it is rather wasteful.

I am going to use Herringbone I think, it works up fast and makes a wonderfully flexible rope I can keep with me pretty much at all times.  Granted, I will have to see how long the sucker gets, but I’m certain I won’t mind keeping it on me even if it is a little longer than I expect.  It’s beads, not much can go wrong with that.  It’s a project I’m looking forward to for the mindless enjoyment as well as the organizing aspects.

How do you keep your beads organized?  I’d love to see it!

 

Finally finished EllaD2’s Morning Glory Pattern.  The petals were a little unstable when completed so I added a few crystals to keep it from wobbling when worn.  I love the extra sparkle!

This pattern was definitely easier the second time around but it still takes a whole lot of time to complete.  This piece can be made into a necklace or if you prefer, a brooch or hairpin!  I should have it up on the webpage soon!