Project Accessory Bead Along, Week 2: Inspired by Swarovski

James, a professional shoe designer, offers assistance and advice to David.

For just a few minutes while watching the second episode of Project Accessory the other night, I really, really wanted to be one of those contestants and get ten minutes at the Swarovski crystal store in New York City to grab any piece of crystal jewelry I wanted to use as inspiration! I wasn't so sure that I would want to have to design a pair of shoes, but I could certainly make one knockout piece of Swarovski crystal jewelry.

I had been wondering when everyone was going to get a crack at that big ol' wall of Swarovski in the workroom, but I'm not sure I would have expected shoes to be the challenge project to incorporate the crystals. If I had been on that episode, I would have been out for sure – I don't think I could figure out how to design and create a pair of shoes in just two days. But the contestants really dove into this challenge and produced some absolutely stunning work!

I was really impressed by the way that James, who designs shoes, offered his skills and expertise to the other designers who had never made a pair of shoes before. James went on to create a stunning pair of shoes that reflected the bright colors and geometric shapes of the crystal necklace he chose at the Swarovski store, and his cuff bracelet was just as gorgeous.

Brian's amazing crystal wedge heels were my favorites. What a concept!

My favorite creations of the evening were, hands-down, those amazing crystal-inspired wedge heels designed and made by Brian. I thought it was a brilliant idea to make a mold of the crystals and then use it as the heel of a shoe! The handbag wasn't bad, either – it might just be my inner geologist that's attracted to the shapes of raw crystals.

Doesn't that hoard of crystals in front of Christina just make your mouth water?

For this week's Project Accessory Bead Along challenge, I'm not going to ask anyone to design a pair of shoes, unless you really, really want to. (Maybe some Swarovski flat backs and a hot glue gun on a pair of cute flats or plain pumps?) But let's see what we can do using Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED Elements in our designs this week! If you need some inspiration, make sure you watch Episode 2 of Project Runway, and if you can't make it to New York City to the Swarovski store, you can always head on over to the Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED website and find your inspiration there.

Other ideas for this week's challenge: you can always stitch up a beaded shoe using peyote stitch, herringbone stitch or right-angle weave and accent it with Swarovski crystal beads. How would you incorporate a beaded shoe into a piece of jewelry? Or have you seen a piece of absolutely fantastic Swarovski jewelry that you would love to re-create using off-loom beadweaving stitches?

Sparkles, crystals, and bling-we just can't get enough! If you found inspiration from all that shine last night then you better put your shades on, cause for 2 days only you can save 30% on (Swarovski ambassador) Kristal Wick's Beaded Bracelets with Fiber, Beads, Crystals, Resin and Wire DVD. Kick your designs up a notch (like Brian's blinged out heel, yes please!) with spectacular designs full of pizzazz! It's on sale for Project Accessory fans now through 11/5/11! Just enter coupon code PA2 when you're ready to check out.

So if you're up for the challenge, make a piece of jewelry (or a pair of shoes!) that's been inspired by another piece of Swarovski crystal jewelry, take a picture of your fabulous Inspired by Swarovski beaded creation and post it in the Reader Photo Gallery using the tag PABAL. (Note: If you want your picture to show up in the Project Accessory Gallery, you MUST use the tag PABAL!)

What do you think they'll dream up for next week's challenge? Make sure you check back here on the blog or on the new Beading Daily Bead Along page to keep up with the beading challenges!

Bead Happy,


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