Monday, September 6, 2010

Favorite Beads: Swarovski Crystals

Rainbow Dragonfly Earrings by UxCritter

Today my guest, Paula of UxCritter, shares her love of beautiful, glittery CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements.

Inspirational Beading: What is your all-time favorite bead?

Paula: My ultimate and absolute favorite bead is Swarovski Crystals.

Swarovski Crystals will always be a part of my supplies; you will never find my supplies without at least one Swarovski bead in there somewhere, but I doubt I’d ever let my supplies get to only one. I’m serious! I just have to have the intense sparkle and shine of these uniquely cut crystals. I am certain that I was a crow in my last life as I share their obsession to covet shiny sparkly objects.

Crystals By The Piece photographs Swarovski crystals very well to show their intense sparkle and shine.

Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite technique or method to use them?

Paula: Absolutely any way a Swarovski is used is the best way to use it. If there is a Swarovski in the project it will be perfect. Honestly that is my opinion on Swarovski crystals. I’m seriously addicted.

Inspirational Beading: Of all the creations you’ve made with these beads, which one is your favorite?

Butterfly Threader Earrings by UxCritter

Paula: Recently I’ve acquired butterfly Swarovski beads and these have become a new favorite. I enjoy threader earrings, and I created these earrings with sterling silver threader chains and dainty delicate and very sparkly Swarovski butterfly crystals.

Toe rings, which I don’t think any gal is complete without, in the summer especially, are magnificent with Swarovski crystals. Even just one on a toe ring makes a major impact fashion statement with its sparkle and shine. And of course Swarovski Crystals for fingers are an ultimate treat as well.

Inspirational Beading: Do you have any tips for making the most of these beads?

Paula: I have found that many people enjoy their birthstone in handmade jewelry as it personalizes a fashion statement even more. I have added birthstone colors into my projects and find that adds another element of uniqueness & personalizing to a bracelet, ring, necklace and especially mother daughter sets. Even the grouping on a piece of jewelry that holds all the family birthstones as sparkly Swarovski crystals in their own family’s birthstone colors is a very special way to present crystals - like a bird nest ring with all the ‘eggs’ in the nest.

Birthstone Bird's Nest Ring by Rings Handmade

Bobbi's This 'n That from Ontario has a beautiful Swarovski Crystal Birthstone Heart Mix. There are so many diverse Swarovski crystal sizes, shapes and colors it’s just mind-boggling. Hearts, Butterflies, Bicones, Pearls, Rondelles, Donuts, Slider Beads, and the list just goes on and on. There are Swarovski rhinestones, plus some that are Hotfix that can be heat-transferred to T-shirts for fabulous designs with sparkle.

Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite bead or material to pair these with?

Paula: 14 kt Gold and Sterling Silver.

Inspirational Beading: If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could have only one kind of bead with you, would you choose these?

Paula: Oh absolutely! Without a doubt, the Swarovski crystal beads make me extremely happy. I’m not kidding. Their sparkle and shine make me smile and if I needed to wave down a passing plane while on that deserted island, I am sure the glint from the crystal would be like a mirror shining up into any pilots cockpit enough to lead them to my location. I have that much faith in the sparkle factor that Swarovskis have to offer.

Inspirational Beading: In your opinion, what is the best source for these beads?

Paula: They are a much sought after crystal bead that is incomparable in it’s cut of the glass bead to any other crystal in their price range. Swarovski crystals are easily found in a variety of places both in stores and online. Just be very careful to find a reliable source, as the untrained eye can sometimes mistake some crystals for Swarovski crystals, (I have done this myself when not looking closely at them). Like anything, if the price is too good, it’s probably not a deal.

Green Swarovski Crystal Ring by Rings Handmade

Czech crystal can work similarly, but it’s truly not the same if a Swarovski is nearby. It lacks the extreme sparkle, shine and luster that a Swarovski has if they are compared side by side. If you really know and understand Swarovski, Czech will not be comparable. Yet if Czech is all that is available and no Swarovski is nearby to compare and show off its extraordinary cut, the Czech crystal, (even I will agree) can work nicely in a project. But truly, I’d rather have the official CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements cut crystals.

An excellent source on Etsy is Breathtaking Beadzz, where I find large quantities. I have also purchased from Bobbi's This 'n That, and I will definitely shop there again.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading, UxCritter, and Rings Handmade


  1. Agree! There is no substitute for Swarovski. Simple, elegant work.

  2. What a great interview! And I completely agree about the wonderful-ness of Swarovski crystals :)


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