The Cali Bead Spring Garden!


The flowers in this banner were created by Lena Gillespie.  Lena is one of the first designers to be given the Cali bead to experiment with.  Clearly, she was able to incorporate the bead into many new unique designs.  If you are feeling inspired by our spring garden, we are pleased to let you know we have attached a fantastic floral earring project PDF for you to try yourself.   It should send you down your own flower making garden path!



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Mala Style Necklace Featuring the Guru Bead

Mala Style by Carmi Cimicata

The Mala bead necklace style is based on traditional Buddhist prayer beads.  “Malas are used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra or the name or names of a deity.  Malas are typically made with 18, 27, 54 or 108 beads.  A decorative tassel is often attached to the beads, flanked by talismans or amulets depending on one’s local tradition.”  Via Wikipedia

Since Mala bead necklaces are considered a Buddhist rosary I wanted to acknowledge that I was aware that these necklaces have spiritual importance to many people.

The Mala style necklace I am presenting is influenced by the symmetry many of us love in the 108 bead necklace.   We can all appreciate how wonderful aromatic beads will smell and look paired with semi precious beads that also hold meaning and sentiment for the wearer.

I am also using the beloved guru bead.  To jewelers the bead might be considered a unique component.  The Mala Collective says “This bead is believed to represent the student-guru relationship.  “The tassel represents enlightenment. As the strands combine together into one, it represents our connection to the Divine and to each other. Oneness.”

There are so many wonderful ideals attached to a Mala necklace.  Making and then wearing one will give you a great deal of pleasure.


Let’s begin.  I used a bead board to lay out the beads and the guru bead component.  John Bead has just released a new wood bead collection.  The Aromatic beads are available in sandalwood and cedarwood in all the classic bead sizes; 6,8,10,12,15,20mm.  I choose to work with 8 and 10mm sandalwood.

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The sandalwood guru bead is a three holed bead used with a tower bead. There are a pair of them in each box.


My necklace was strung using just one strand of silk beading cord.  The needle is already attached making this even quicker to complete.


I strung blocks of ten beads.  Sixty on each side.


I selected Blue Agate beads from our new semi-precious bead collection.  The Crystal Bible says that “Agate is a soothing and calming stone.  It works slowly but brings great strength. Its multiple layers can bring hidden information to light.”  These are attributes I love. “Agate enhances mental function as they improve concentration, perception and analytical abilities leading to practical solutions.”


The guru bead is actually two components.  The round bead has three holes and you need to be sure you are running your cord through the right ones so that it will sit properly in the necklace.


In this picture you can see how my stringing went.  The needle bends like wire so I could send it through the curves in the bead.

Now here is where I went my own way.  After the tower bead component I added a soldered jump ring.  At this point many would add their tassel or pendant.  I’ll explain why shortly.



This picture shows you how I went back through both guru bead components.

  1.  Guru Bead
  2.  Tower Bead
  3.  Soldered Jump Ring




I added sity more bead (six sets of ten) to match the first side and then made a knot.


My necklace looked quite nice, but unfinished.


Now you will understand why I added the soldered jump ring.  I want to be able to change the pendant/talisman I will wear with this necklace.  I can now add and remove items as I like, using the soldered jump ring as my constant anchor.


We are pretty excited to have a new tassel collection. They are made of cotton thread and are available in 24 delightful colors.


Using a Swarovski Buddha pendant was a personal design choice.  I had several ideas and in the end settled on this item.


It made sense to make a matching bracelet.  I could not resist using more cotton tassels.


The bracelet I strung with elastic.  I also added a soldered jump ring allowing me to add or remove tassels when I want to.


I hope you enjoyed this step by step.  The Mala prayer bead necklace is one that I will continue to be inspired by and I am certain this will be the summer of Mala style necklaces.

Do let me know if you make a necklace!


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Aromatic Bead Collection

Aromatic Beads

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New Semi Precious Round Beads


Semi Precious round beads are on trend this year for mala style necklaces.  Our latest collection will have you creating memorable peices.

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New Head and Hand Jewelry


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New Semi Precious Beads

Semi precious strands (you could use Jade or Moss Agate) and our patina components.

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Carnelian semi precious beads and a red cotton tassel.


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Amazonite semi precious bracelet and metal patina components.

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Mahogany Jasper Semi Precious Bracelet with Light Brown Cotton Tassel.

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Semi-Precious Amethyst

Our new dog teeth amethyst natural beads are eye catching. They are also available in a dark amethyst as well.  A lavender tassel was added as a finishing touch.

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Soothing and styled bracelet featuring our new green aventurine semi precious beads with patina components.


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Filigree and Shimmer Flatbacks by Swarovski!


There are some truly lovely ideas here to add flat backs to filigree.


The addition of tassels makes these pieces even better!


We have attached a PDF featuring the instructions written to create these pretty designs.

Shimmer Mini Projects Instructions

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Pantone Color of The Year – Fathomless Palette


The Pantone Color of the Year is Greenery.
“A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.  Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.” Via Pantone


“Nature’s neutral, PANTONE Greenery is a versatile “trans-seasonal” shade that lends itself to many color combinations.” Here it is with one palette, Fathomless.

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1.  Bracelet by Jennifer Hunt featuring Ripple(TM) sage beads,  pastella green beads and silver leather cord.   Buttons as clasps from TierraCast.

2.  Marine color tassel from the John Bead Outlet.

3.  Miyuki 11.0 Beads.  Light Crystal Green, Frost Green Rainbow, Turquoise Green, Dark Mint Green.

4.  Chinese Knot bracelet with matching bracelet by Josephine Yeh featuring olive Lovely Knot cord.

5.  Semi Precious and glass bead bracelet and matching earrings by Jennifer Hunt.
New semi precious beads, Forget Me Not flower bead and Diamonduos.

6.  Miyuki 11.0 Delica beads.
Light Green Mint, Blue Peacock and Aqua Green

7.  Macrame Bracelet featuring green leather cording. (need designer name)  Bronze end cap with leaves make adding crystals a breeze.

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Swarovski Innovations and Inspiration – Spring/Summer 2018 Themes


Swarovski Innovations and Inspiration 

Spring/Summer 2018 Themes

Gang Star.  A street-style revolution is erupting. Gritty, sports-influenced uniforms inspired by 90s hip-hop and “gangsta” rap are a new uniform for expressive belonging.

No Normal.  A new value revolution has commenced as an era of individuality and acceptance is ushered in. This season we shift our focus to the pure expression of clothes instead of fashion. Question everything.

Hacked Nature.  Technology is as pervasive as the air we breathe. Blending and merging, nature and technology unite to form bold new impressions out of seemingly polar opposites.

Spellbound.  Rediscover the interplay of light and dark. With trust in a declining future, we look to the past to show the way forward. Embracing the ethereal and surreal, we explore innovation in forgotten ideas.


“This need to connect, to create, to make ourselves heard, to give ourselves a voice, to right the wrongs and repair the injustices is front and center. Increasingly we seek freedom – of expression and physical boundaries. Fearful of the future, but dedicated to making the world a better place, the desire to bring some light and color into our world and offer hope for a brighter, more diverse and accepting future is of more importance than ever before.”

PicMonkey Collage

“We dedicate our Spring/Summer 2018 seasons to this emerging sentiment -eradicating the boundaries between luxury and street, the natural and the digital, male and female, as well as exploring the transcendence between opposing belief systems.

Welcome to an age of “New Perspectives”.

Swarovski Professional Trend Intelligence, Global

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Miyuki Delica Chess Pieces PDF


These are extraordinary!  You can make a set too with the free PDF Miyuki has provided!


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