Apr 22, 2014

Liquid Crystal Headbands and Bracelets

Simply chic!
My newest tutorial features heat-set crystals which make it easy for embellishing satin and organza ribbons!

You can go gypsy-chic with a boho-inspired look…..

Wear them as stacking bracelets…..

Or, add some sparkle to any undo!

I will be using both Cousin Crystazzi heat-set crystals and Cousin M'Bellish silver studs.
Cousin's Crystazzi heat-set crystals are great to use for all types of projects. They are just like Swarovski Hotfix crystals, meaning you can just iron on to a variety of materials and fabrics.
Cousin's Crystazzi line includes crystal beads of various colors, shapes and sizes. They look like Swarovski but are much more affordable. These heat set crystals take the sparkle and shine of high-quality glass and put them in a very versatile form! Here I'm going to be using satin ribbon as my base, and adding the rhinestones on top.

You can follow Cousin brand on social media for updates with new products and more!

Are we ready? Let's get started!

Step 1: Gather materials. Needed are:

Satin ribbons in multiple colors/thicknesses 
Crystazzi Heat-set Crystals (the blue and red ones I have pictured here are NOT heat-set just the white are. I realized that when I tried to iron. I guess I cannot read packages!)

If you have non heat-set crystals you can always glue them to the ribbon. Use E-6000 glue if you do.

I laid out a long piece of ribbon and ironed it flat. About 6" from the end, I added my crystals in a row, about 6" or so and then covered them with a thin old white T-shirt. 

I pressed down the iron right on top of the crystals and held it for about 30 seconds. Lift up the T-shirt and see if they are all adhered. Then, flip the ribbon over, cover it and hold the iron on it again for about 30 seconds. 
You will be able to see the melted glue on the back when they are fully adhered.
Keep doing this, in 6" increments or so until the ribbon is as long as you need. Make sure you have 6" of free space on the other side of the crystals.

If making bracelets, wrap around your wrist and see where you need to cut and finish the ends. By leaving the free space, you won't be cutting into crystals if you need to make it shorter! Finish off with ribbon ends and a clasp.

If making a headband you can sew a strip of elastic to the ribbon ends so that it has some stretch. Make sure that about 6" or so of your headband is the elastic so that it's easy to get on and off.

Stack 'em up!

I went with neutral tones here, so I could wear them with everything. Go with neon colors for a rainbow-bright look!

All photos copyright Allison Beth Cooling. Do not use/post tutorial without crediting me!

Apr 16, 2014

Grinning Geisha Bracelet

What a doll!
For this tutorial, I took inspiration from this little Geisha bead from Beadmixer.
The clean whites but pops of contrasting red/pinks and greens.

I decided to mix materials by weaving cotton and a mix of glass and porcelain beads through flat silver cable chain from Cousin.
How perfect are these porcelain flower print beads, also by Beadmixer?
I am in love with Beadmixer's selection of porcelain beads. They are all a little different and in all different colors and shapes. I knew I wanted to feature them in this design!

I love the fun, "lightness" to the design, while still using a chunky chain and larger beads. Taking hues of pink and red directly from the geisha charm, as well as the floral element makes for a perfect combo.

Usually pinks and reds are not paired together. I say why not?? Last year, fashion runways showed color blocking in a new way, with similar hues like orange/red, pink/red and a mix of blues/purples paired with each other. I am still lovin' the trend a year later. 
If you make your own, find a color combination that works for you! 

Be sure to check out the Beadmixer site, ESPECIALLY if you love to use vintage rhinestones.
You can also connect with Beadmixer through their:

Are we ready? Let's get started!

Step 1: Gather materials. Needed are:

-6mm or 8mm glass beads (I used pink)
-Embroidery floss
-Large link flat chain- mine from Cousin-you can buy from the link or at AC Moore stores 
-Porcelain flower print beads. I used Beadmixer beads
-A large porcelain charm. Mine was a geisha charm from Beadmixer
You will also need a clasp and some jump rings, as well as pliers and headpins.

Step 2: Cut two 1.5 foot pieces of embroidery floss. 
Starting somewhere in the middle of the length of chain (you could also start at the end), thread the floss up through a link. Make sure there is about 4" of thread to the left of where you started threading, you will need to knot this later. Add on a porcelain bead, then thread down through the fourth link next to it. add on a bead, and thread up the fourth link from that chain. They should lay next to another.
Repeat this process unit you have enough porcelain beads threaded on to make your bracelet long enough for your wrist.
Take off the extra links on either side of your porcelain beads to secure the length of the bracelet. If you started at the end, only take off the long excess on the other side of your beads.

Step 3: Then, thread through the end link. Add a glass bead, and thread down two links over. Thread up through the next link. Thread on another bead, and thread down two links over. Thread up through the next link.

Keep repeating this process. It helps to lay the bracelet on your knee instead of a table because it will curve and be easier to weave with. I kept going until the pink beads reached the end of my chain.
Then, take both ends of the floss and tie in knots, incorporate the red floss from the porcelain beads. Make sure the are woven in opposite directions on the end link of chain so that the knot stays put.

Add your extender chain with jump rings to the end of the chain, and add your charms here with looped headpins. That's all there is to it!

Try out all different bead and color combos! Gold chain would look sweet with bright blue and white for a Grecian look, while copper chain would pair with turquoise and silver. 

As for the geisha charm, Beadmixer has all different colors and styles, and even has little russian doll charms and owls! They are totally unique and quirky which I love.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you make this bracelet, be sure to post on Instagram and tag @quietlioncreations!! I'll repost it!

All photos and text copyright Allison Beth Cooling. Do not post/use tutorial without linking back to me.

Apr 12, 2014

Royal Teal Manicure

Hello! It's been a long time since my last nail tutorial.

This time, I'm using water decals from BornPrettyStore.com for the first time!
Born Pretty has a TON of different beauty products, jewelry, clothing pieces and other great accessories. What I love most is their extensive collection of nail art products!
Their prices are great- you can get nail decal sheets for less than a dollar. That means a lot of bang for your buck!

You can get rhinestones and studs and other super-cool decorations like spikes, pearls, chain, bows and more! Seriously, if you love nail art, you will love their site! You can spend days looking at their huge amount of inventory.
Get connected with them!

Here is a 10% off coupon code that can be used on a purchase from Born Pretty!

I'll show you how to use these water decals over a base color for a simple manicure that looks like it took a lot of work!
Let's get started.

Step 1: Gather materials. Needed are a base nail polish (I used the Gel SensatioNail Island Oasis), top coat and BornPretty  Pattern water decals (#K210).

How to use the water decal:
Paint your nails your base coat. Get out a dish of water. Cut out the decal you need. Take off the plastic film, don't peel it off the white backing.
Submerge the decal in water for about 15 seconds.

Wet your nail. Gently, with your other hand (get it wet first), fish out the decal from the water (it will release from the backing) and place it on your wet nail. What's great about the water decals are that they are moveable while still wet, unlike stickers. Move it gently on the nail until it is in the right spot, then press gently and leave it alone.

Your nail and fingers must be wet while doing this otherwise it will stick and not move!

See how easy? Just be careful, while the nails are still wet the decal might move. Repeat for all the other nails.

I then, when they were fully dry, painted with a top coat and stuck a nail stud at the top of each decal. I placed one bigger one on my thumb as well. The BornPretty decal sheet came with 10 black decals and 10 white decals enough for 2 manicures. I accidentally dropped the one for my thumb while doing the tutorial and trying to photograph :(. So I added just a stud to the thumbs.

What's also great about these water decals is that the plastic is invisible! It looks like the design was painted straight onto your nails!
These decals were so easy to use, especially with your opposite hand. You don't have to worry about placing it in the exact spot at first. 

All photos copyright Allison Beth Cooling. Do not post tutorial or images without linking to me.

Apr 5, 2014

Imperial Palace Necklace

Things are gonna get colorful!
My newest tutorial is my Imperial Palace necklace. It was inspired by the colors and materials of China, including a lot of jade and carved coral beads. The red and green contrast each other, making the hues "pop". Blue was added for good measure, keeping the look very jewel-tone. Using the natural coral beads gave interesting texture and line variation within the necklace.
I went for an old-meets-new vibe with the traditional carved coral drops and jade against the modern clear glass beads. The mix of transparent, sparkly and opaque give the look more dimension.

For my Imperial Palace necklace, I am using entirely materials from Beadmixer. Beadmixer is a bead and supply company based out of the Netherlands. They have a huge selection of beads such as gemstone, glass, porcelain, acrylic, metal and pearls. Beadmixer has a lot of vintage-inspired materials that work well in both jewelry and mixed media.
 However, my favorite of theirs is definitely their vintage rhinestones and chatons. 

I never could find a good place to buy rhinestones and rhinestone settings: I had tried Etsy and such but they were very expensive. Also, the quality was not that great. However, when I received these, I was stunned. They were all perfectly cut, heavy glass, foil-backed and insanely sparkly. 
I also got cool coral dagger beads, green jade rounds, carved coral focal beads and howlite rounds.
I just love the large selection of gemstone and natural beads that Beadmixer has. These are materials I don't usually work with but love, so I chose to feature them in this design.
Also, they have beautiful porcelain beads that I am kind of obsessed with. I didn't feature them in this design, but check back soon for a tutorial using those.

Be sure to check out the Beadmixer site, ESPECIALLY if you love to use vintage rhinestones.
You can also connect with Beadmixer through their:

I also made a pair of matching drop earrings from the coral focal beads and jade. These are easy to make; simply do a wrapped loop on either side of the jade bead. Place the coral on a headpin and make a wrapped loop to finish, catching the loop from the jade piece into it. Then, string it onto large kidney ear wires.

But let's start the tutorial already!

8mm jade gemstone rounds
8mm blue glass rounds
Vintage rhinestones (explained below)
Waxed cotton cord, white
Toggle clasp
Coral carved drop beads (3 if making earrings)
Gold cable chain
4mm howlite red rounds
Small natural coral beads
Beading wire, crimps

Step 1: Get your rhinestones in order. Place your rhinestone gently in the frame, and bend the prongs down onto the stone to hold it in place. I used flat nose pliers wrapped in masking tape so that it wouldn't scratch the glass if I accidentally slipped. The prongs should be flush to the stone, as you see in the picture. If they are flapping up, it will catch onto clothing and more, :((

I bought different sizes: a focal stone at 25X18mm, 5 medium ones 18X13mm at and 6 little ones at 10X6mm. I chose all ruby red ones because I love red and gold. 
The round blue and white ones you see were glued into their settings. I chose not to use them in this tutorial, but will post an upcoming tutorial featuring them---stay tuned!!


Step 2: Start beading.

Strand 1: I beaded on alternating red howlite beads and blue coral beads on beading wire, and finished off with jump rings on the ends. Don't add a clasp to the ends yet. 
The strand was about 16.5" long. 

Strand 2: I knotted on 39 8mm blue glass beads to waxed cotton cord (white). I then placed my rhinestones evenly between every three beads (attach to a jumpring, then attach the jumpring to the string/knotted part between the bead). Make sure there is a gemstone right in the center of the strand. I left 4 beads empty at the end as you can see in the picture.
This strand was about 14" long.

Strand 3: I knotted 54 8mm green jade beads onto waxed cotton cord. I grouped the 10 center beads together by tying a small piece of cotton between them, right where you see the arrow. I placed my biggest rhinestone in the center, and it fit snugly so that the beads "framed" the rhinestone. I added a coral drop (make a wrapped loop on a headpin) in-between the fifth and sixth bead in the frame.
I attached the top loop of the rhinestone to the tied string with a jumpring to secure it in place. 

I added a bead of glue around the edge of the rhinestone frame and adhered the beads to it, so that the frame didn't pop out of place.

To finish, get a gold toggle clasp. Add jump rings between the last two beads of your knotted strands and attach them to the toggle with chain and more jump rings. I had to add some chain to play with the length of each strand, and make sure they laid nicely. As you can see, I added a little more chain to the coral/howlite strand so it ended up being a little longer, and laying nicer. You may have to play with these lengths yourself depending on how big you want your necklace, and your bead sizes.

Everything should lay nicely. Just play around with the lengths until find something that works!

Feel free to use other gemstones or colors for this design. 

I hope you like it! Any questions, or if you noticed I missed something, just leave in the comments section. Half the time I don't even know what I wrote by the time I'm done!! 
Also, be sure to like Beadmixer on Facebook!

All photos copyright Allison Beth Cooling. Do not post/use images without crediting me and linking to me!