How To Sequin a Superfan Sign

In the Minneapolis metro area, Hopkins High School is known in part for their school spirit.  I’ve attended many events where the students’ coordinated outfits light up the bleachers, and their R-O-W-D-I-E cheers have been delivered so fervently that I’ve literally been bounced into the air.  Add all the little extras and you’ve got a group of Hopkins Royals superfans.  As back-to-school began, the idea for school sparkle in the stands hit, and thus began the story of the sequined sign.

Lion head close up

 

This project took me an estimated total of twelve hours to construct once I gathered all of my materials.  I used:

  • 1 Foam core project board, 20” x 30” with a half inch thickness
  • ½ Yard of tulleSequins palmful half ounce
  • ½ Yard of felt
  • 1 ½ Yards of strapping
  • E6000 adhesive in 10cc syringes
  • Pick-n-Stick tool
  • A handful of Royal Blue Metallic sequins 8mm (approx. 1 ounce or 2 heaping Tablespoons)
  • A palmful of Royal Blue Zodiac sequins 8mm (approx. ½ ounce or 1 heaping Tablespoon)
  • A smidge of Silver Zodiac sequins 8mm AND an 8”x 8” scrap of silver sequined fabric

—OR—

  • A small palmful of Silver Zodiac sequins 8mm (less than ½ ounce or 2 heaping teaspoons)
  1. Blow up logo. I opted for two copies in black and white- a fifth of the price of an oversized color copy at the copy center- and blew it up 200%.  Now 16” high by 22” wide, this filled most of four sheets of regular paper, and fit nicely in the center of my 20”x 30” foam core board.  Had I wanted to splurge, I would have glued the colored logo onto the foam core, wrapped tulle over it and applied the sequins onto the tulle; as it was, I altered my plan to use inexpensive blue felt as the sequin base.Royals_Lion_
  2. Pin logo to felt. Because this logo is symmetrical, I cut the first copy in half, reserving the second copy for backup.  Then, I pinned the cut edge to the fold of the felt, which will open up to be one full felt shape.  If your design is intricate, it may be helpful to cut out the logo completely from the paper before pinning it to the fabric.
  3. Cut out felt. You could also take this opportunity to press your fabrics.Felt on half pattern
  4. Hand baste felt to tulle.  
  5. Sew hand straps to ends of tulle. I just took some strapping (heavy ribbon would also work) and tacked it to the two edges of tulle which would be wrapping around the back.  I used a machine to secure the top, then stitched in loose hand-sized intervals along the length of the strapping before securing the bottom.  Don’t worry about measuring- different sized loops mean they can fit different sized hands.Handles, angled
  6. Practice gluing sequins to felt scrap.   Do not forget this step with any embellishing project.  Adhesives can behave differently on new materials, so always do a test run on a scrap of fabric or an unseen part of the project.  This way, you also nail down the spacing of the glue dots and work out the rhythm of the project.
  7. Start at the center and work out, along the perimeter of a small area. I chose to overlap the sequins slightly.  Using a syringe with dense E6000, I made about 20 small dots of glue along the edge, then used a wax-tipped Pick-n-Stick to pick up the sequins and center the sequin hole over the dot of glue.  You’ll find it’s an easy process, though it does take time to fill in a large area with small sequins.First application with tools
  8. Start at the center, mirror the other side of symmetrical area. Repeat this process throughout, working a small area on one side, then repeating it on the opposite side.  In this way, you keep symmetry.  If you start running out of sequins, you start running out of sequins evenly!
  9. Fill in tight areas and shadowed areas. For shadowed areas, I used Royal Blue Metallic sequins in 8mm.Shadow areas
  10. Outline perimeter of highlighted area. For highlighted areas, I used Royal Blue Zodiac sequins in 8mm.
  11. Fill in highlighted areas.Highlights with toolsHighlights and shadow detail #2
  12. Add detail. For me, this meant blending the shadowed and highlighted areas by interspersing Zodiac sequins in the areas that they met; bending a dozen or so Metallic sequins to fit in the tight whiskers and outlining the crown of the mane with Silver Zodiac sequins for a subtle highlight.
  13. Mark centers of board. On the unseen edge, mark the center of the top and bottom and of the two sides.
  14. Sequin the board. I had a scrap of silver sequined fabric lying around, so I cut out a rough shape to slip underneath the cutout face of the lion, and glued it to the board.  Where the eyes and mouth open up, I added Silver Zodiac sequins in 8mm.Silver underlayers
  15. Attach the fabric top layer to the board. After aligning my centers, I stapled the tulle to the unseen edges, starting in the center and working out.  Once I confirmed that the tulle was where I wanted it to be, then I glued down all fabric edges, finishing the ends with a white ribbon (to help cover up the craft mechanics and create a cleaner look).  For reinforcement, I also stapled the strapping to the board in the places that I had stitched it.Final no ribbon, angled
  16. Give a discreet “this side up” hint. No one wants to be on the Jumbotron holding their sign upside down.  How embarrassing.  I chose to add the words “Hopkins Royals” near the top of the back side.  If the holder can’t read the words, they know immediately to turn it right-side-up.

So, that’s that.  All’s well in the world of school sparkle, and the first time the sign made its way through the crowds, it overheard oohs and ahhs and compliments of its finery, even before it debuted to rouse the superfans into a sparkly frenzy.  Sequins can be under-appreciated, but let us not forget they are very forgiving and have the amazing skill to bring a lot of glitz into low budget projects.  They also blend seamlessly into mixed media sparkle projects- try them alongside rhinestones!

-xo- Jemm

Lion head at Homecoming

Back to School Sparkle: Celebrations and Superfans

The first month of back-to-school is underway, and homecoming celebrations are in the works!  Loud noises, costumed antics, confectionery frocks and a gym full of disco ball reflections- nothing says “party” like a glitzy spree.  And, nothing says “our team is going to run your team into the ground, suckers” like a ferocious display of school spirit.

Hopkins Warmup logo

A little investment here can go a long way…ready for this?  School sparkle.  It’s a thing!  Intimidate your opponents by making your presence impossible to ignore.  From grade school to ivy leagues: if you want to stand out in the crowds of people, then make your team colors come alive.  How?  You gotta add glitz.  Thanks to the extra dimension of light-play, blinged objects become as energized as an overenthusiastic pep squad.

Dance or step teams, cheer squads, color guards, synchronized swimmers, gymnasts, marching bands and avid football fans trying to flag down the mascot to catch a free t-shirt from the launcher…participants at any level look great with a little school sparkle.

First, start with contrast for high impact: a gray background can dramatize any shade, or use black against light colors and white against rich tones.  Then, choose your sparkle.  With over 250 shades between four rhinestone qualities and a line of sequins, we can match your school colors and your budget.Lion head close up

Some of the easiest and most efficient designs for concentrated sparkle is to outline the letters or fill in the shapes.  I made an animated sign for the spectators to wave around or the cheerleaders to play with, filling in the school’s lion logo with a mix of sequins.  We also see a lot of rhinestoned team jackets and warm-ups around here.  Print off our free rhinestone Estimating Guide (http://www.rhinestonesu.com/images/media/pdf/Rhinestone-Estimating-Guide.pdf), which can help you figure out how many stones you need to cover your design.  For lettering, remember: the smaller the script, the smaller the stone.  Getting into those tight curves and corners requires a size that will keep the text defined and legible from a distance.  Experiment with sizes 7ss through 16ss for small text, like mottos or performers’ names.  Corners or large lettering can often accommodate up to 34ss, with 16ss and 20ss being the most versatile.  Then, get creative!  You don’t have to stick to the script.  Create a 3-D effect with shadowing, scatter your stones or create your own border.  Create an individualized look, or get together with your teammates and come up with a unified design.

Iowa State dance team bag

You can fire up your team all year long- school spirit is easy when you’ve got sparkle on your side.  Go get ‘em, tiger!

-xo- Jemm

Wow, good hustle…

 

P.S.- Keep your eyes peeled for a behind-the-scenes peek at the sequin logo sign.  I’ll post it soon!

Back to School Sparkle: Your Style

As much as we hate to see summer end, time will move on either way, and we can lessen the blow by focusing on the season’s perk: shopping.  Yes, I’m serious.  Back to school, back to studio.  A new year is an excuse to revel in the euphoria of freshness- a new bag, an immaculate pair of shoes, a package of pencils just waiting to be honed into a lethal point.

Shopping for back to (fill in the blank with whatever excuse you need) is a ritual to start your next level, with palpable and visual results to remind you of your progress.  Let me tell you, dear reader, updating your look with a few new “necessities” for your locker, your dorm room, your office desk- it never stops being awesome!  I hate to admit to myself that I’m girly enough to believe this, but damn it, I am.

Even if you were so poor that growing up, back to school shopping meant a new bottle of Elmer’s and one notebook, the euphoria of freshness- carefully chosen from the immaculate rows of colorful displays-  still resonates.  If this was you, you likely learned to channel your creativity into personalizing something generic and calling it new, like decorating your sister’s hand-me-down jeans with puff paint.  Give in to your…huh?  What’s that?  Yes, I grew up in the 80’s…stop laughing.  Give in to your creativity- if there’s one thing Pinterest has made obvious, it’s if you can’t buy it, you can still update it.  I’ve got three ideas for you.

Let rhinestones freshen up your look this season, any way you see fit.

Let rhinestones freshen up your look this season, any way you see fit.

1.) If your flash drive and water bottle looks like everyone else’s, keep tabs on them by customizing.  School supplies can be easily misplaced, and it’s much easier to spot something that is winking back at you from the depths of the lost and found.  This is a great way to start crystalling, if you’re new to it.  Small objects take little expense in time or money, and won’t overwhelm you.  Just grab a gross of rhinestones, a metallic Sharpie if you’re feeling artsy, a small tube of E6000 glue and a beeswax Pick-N-Stick.

2.) When you can’t buy a new wardrobe every season, invest in a few key accessory pieces.  From the thrift store.  You can find a crazy variety of inexpensive belts, and with a few hotfix metals or Rose Gold flat backs, you can make yourself a voguish piece to pair with anything from jeans to a knit maxi dress.  Try it with a great found hat or bag, too.  Don’t skimp on the shoes, though- the walk across campus is longer than you think.

Or, if you just don’t have the energy after lounging under the summer sun, keep it simple with number 3.) Crystal jewelry, no creativity required.  May I suggest a bracelet or ring, so you can see them regularly, glittering animatedly on your hands as you wave to friends and text away under the desk during the lecture.  (Actually, that lends another idea…add mini crystals to your thumb nails!  See tips, tools and more Swarovski crystal options than you thought possible at RhinestonesU.com/Nails.)

Happy shopping, sparkle lovers…

-xo- Jemm

PS- The Crystal Market Jewelry Collection is full of the bold and the beautiful- as far as fashion-forward crystal jewelry goes, that is.  Keep checking back, as the selection changes with the trends: http://www.rhinestonesu.com/crystal-market-rhinestone-jewelry.aspx

You can find the adhesives, tools and flat back rhinestones at http://www.RhinestonesU.com.

 

Swarovski New Colors for Fall/Winter 2015-16 Trends

Swarovski has just announced their new colors!  We are taking pre-orders now for Smoky Mauve- a Standard Color- and Paradise Shine- a Coated Color.  We are expecting the first shipment of these flat backs, in the new Xirius cut, by mid to late September.

Swarovski-2015-16 FW new colors SMA PSH

Created to align with the trends forecasted for the Fall 2015/Winter 2016 season, these colors are being manufactured now, giving you time to plan and produce your designs.  Swarovski introduces a pair of new crystal colors twice a year, corresponding with spring and fall collections.

Get acquainted with Smoky Mauve and Paradise Shine through Swarovski’s words, below.  Check back in the next few weeks- once we receive the first shipment, I’ll tell you what I really think- with sensory phrases and color pairing suggestions!

Smoky Mauve (Standard Color)

“A marriage between sophisticated gray and tender lilac shades, Smoky Mauve is set to become a new design favorite.”

Crystal Paradise Shine (Crystal Coated Color)

“Bold shades such as purple, blue and green are combined to create an explosion of color that is as vibrant and energetic as it is artistic.  Crystal Paradise Shine lends exquisite depth and distinction to any design.

Shop by color for the new #2088 Xirius Rose flat back at www.RhinestonesU.com.

-xo- Jemm

Swarovski Smoky Mauve and Crystal Paradise Shine shown in #2088 Xirius Rose cut

Swarovski Smoky Mauve and Crystal Paradise Shine shown in #2088 Xirius Rose cut

Stage Sparkle Inspires Swarovski Nails

Street style and stage presence meet in nail art masterpieces!  Melia Barnes has chiseled a lifetime of dance energy into some haute couture spirit fingers with her spectacular manicures.  Now that she’s back on stage heading up one of the nation’s premiere dance competitions, you better believe she finishes the look with genuine Swarovski crystals.

Q: Tell us a little about your position as Talent Director with Showbiz: 

A: I am the Director of the West Coast region at Showbiz!  I coordinate the administrative and operational details, as well as market upcoming shows; I also host the shows live during the events, in additional to being a choreographer/teacher on our workshop Showbiz Xtreme, and choreographing the opening number at our nationals!  I wear many hats at Showbiz!

Melia full outfit

Q: What celebrity style can you most relate to?

A: I like a variety of styles and so I could not pick one person! I am influenced by the pin-up styles and couture from the 40’s and women like Bettie Page; I love Beyonce’s bold pieces and versatility; I adore the sleekness of Kim Kardashian’s style; I like Cher’s sense of sparkle; I even love the classiness of Diane Keaton!

Q: Why is nail art so beloved?

A: I feel nail art is just one more way for the individual to express their style and personality- another way to “polish” our edges and make a statement!  It gives us all another place to let out our creativity! :)

Q: As a professional in a very visual role, do you have to stay within any boundaries in your nail art?

A: I am very lucky, because my individuality and off-the-wall style is completely embraced in the environments in which I work! However, my sister-in-law works for a high end retail designer, and has to keep her nails much shorter and more conservative.  She still does nail art- just in a much more muted fashion than myself!

Melia sits

Q: You purchase the Swarovski rhinestones yourself and bring them to the nail techs, as you can’t always rely on salons stocking Swarovski while traveling for work.  Why not use the stones the salon has in stock?  What is it about Swarovski that you love?

A: I choose not to use the stones that my nail techs have in stock for a variety of reasons!  First, the plastic or “knock-off” crystals just CANNOT compare to the shine and the sparkle of the Swarovski.  I grew up around rhinestones, being a dancer, and I was able to point out the difference between a “fake” and a high-quality Swarovski rhinestone from an early age! It is just a better product and everything I purchase comes down to quality, my mother taught me that.  Swarovski is the Neiman-Marcus of the rhinestone!

Q: If you were a Swarovski stone, what color would you be?

A: OMG this is too hard!! LOL. Hmm… haha! (Sits frozen at computer for about 40 seconds.  Googles the Swarovski color chart just to be 100 percent sure.) I guess if I HAD to choose one… it would be Fireopal.  A close second would be Crystal AB.

Melia volcanic red nails

Q: Where do you get your nail art inspiration?

A: I often search Instagram for nail art inspiration. I use different hashtags like #swarovski or #nailart to find cool pictures to take ideas from!

Q: What are some of your favorite Swarovski stones to use on your nails?

A: I love Fireopal because my hair is ombre’d red to orange! I also love mixing the Jet Hematite with Black Diamond or I love to use different color schemes and add the AB versions!  I can often be found with one nail ALL Crystal AB’s as a “bling nail!”

Q: Any predictions for nail trends in the next three years?

A: I see the “Casket” shape nail coming in to style a lot lately, and color-blocking; but I think the Swarovski-inspired nail art is going to continue to take the lead of the fashion trends for nails over the next three years!

Melia Louboutin nails

Q: For those new to nail art, can you describe a wear-anywhere starter design?

A: Try picking a matte, no-sparkle, color for all of your nails, maybe offsetting one color on each finger! Then, I would suggest using one size 12 Swarovski on the center near the cuticle of each nail bed!  Perhaps offset the colors to coordinate!  That will give you a little edge, but you can choose muted and neutral colors if you don’t want to be too bold! :)

Q: You have expertise in the dance world.  What do you believe rhinestones can do for a performance?

A: I truly believe that rhinestones add a “finished” quality to a performance.  It gives the added “magic” of watching the expression of a person through movement and music- it adds that last visual element that creates the complete formula for WOW.  I have always been amazed and mesmerized by the costumes I see on stage with rhinestones, and have always been intrigued to find out more about them when off-stage!  They just add a very special touch.

Melia black white red booth

 

Q: If it were up to you, you’d love to see __________covered in crystals.

A: I want to say EVERYTHING but I think that might be cheating!? LOL. I would like to see a wall of my house covered in stones someday.  That would be sooo killer to have in my home! It would be my dream!

Q: Any tips for DIY crystallers?

A: Use good nail glue and glue every other rhinestone separately!  Don’t lay too much glue at once because it dries quickly and creates ridges!

Q: How has your personal style changed since experimenting with nail art?

A: I think my style has just gotten more finished and unique since I have started incorporating rhinestones and nail art into my wardrobe.  When I am onstage, people can see my hands sparkling and have commented on how great it looks to me afterward! I love that added detail of originality and pop. It makes getting ready to get my nails done every few weeks that much more exciting and fun! :)

Melia snow cone nails

 

Like high fashion on the runway, Melia’s bold style will not translate to everyone, but it can inspire your own show-stopping masterpiece.  Swarovski crystals can be set into gel topcoats or glued to the top of your cured lacquer.  Try using your favorite shades in a size 5ss.  Remember not to apply the topcoat over the face of the crystal, which will diminish the brilliance.  Instead, seal the edges in place by using a fine detail brush to apply topcoat around the perimeter of the rhinestone base.  Let your imagination run wild, and add a little sparkle into your everyday routine.

Melia oceanic blues nails

-xo- Jemm

P.S.  Want more?  Watch a video tutorial and more by visiting http://www.rhinestonesu.com/nails.  Then, go forth, and steal that spotlight!

Melia RU logo

Link

Rhinestones Unlimited is proud to be part of an arts-packed Minnesota community, one that has fostered scores of successful professional and competitive dancers, including four contestants on Fox’s talent show, So You Think You Can Dance!   Season 9 featured contemporary dancer Dare Kujawa of Larkin Dance Studio; season 4 saw Kourtni Lind of Dance Tech Studio, also a contemporary mover;  and Alan Bersten- with his family’s ballroom business Dance With Us, America- was featured in last year’s season 10.  If you’ve been tuning in to the show this season, you will have noticed Jourdan Epstein of Summit Dance Shoppe tiptoeing her way across the stage.  Behind the scenes for 20 years’ worth of stage costumes is Jourdan’s mom, Lisa, crystalling away on all things from tights and tutus to phones and fine art.  We asked both of these ladies via email during Jourdan’s last week on the show to spill their secrets of success, both on and off the stage.

See more Jourdan on So You Think You Can Dance by visiting http://www.fox.com/dance/

See more Jourdan on season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance by visiting http://www.fox.com/dance/

STATS:

Name: Jourdan Rose Epstein

Nickname: Jourdance, Joey Rose

Number of years living: 24

Favorite RU product: The rhinestones themselves are my favorite product. The lock-in compartments are also wonderful when you want to work with more than one color but need to keep them separated!  CraftMates Storage

 

Name: Alyssa J Epstein

Nicknames: Lisa

Number of years rhinestoning:  21

Favorite RU product: I love the rhinestone banding!!

 

Q: So, Lisa…you think you can dance, eh?   A: I know I can dance! It’s like the movie Ratatouille, “Anyone can dance!”

Q: The song that relentlessly plays in your head while you’re trying to drift off to sleep?  A: “Latch” by Sam Smith 

Q: You’ve trained in dance all over the country since you were young.  What differences do you notice in the Midwest dance culture compared to the east coast and west coast?  A: I think each region has their own special niche within each style of dance. The east coast is known for artistry, the west coast is known for entertainment value and the Midwest has some of the best training around!

 

Q: Lisa.  How many costumes do you think you’ve worked on since Jourdan started dancing?  A: 88+

Q: Once you start blinging, it’s hard to stop.  What’s the most unusual thing you’ve added rhinestones to?  A: A Barbie Rolls Royce and a mannequin (working on that)

Q: If you were a Swarovski crystal, which color would you be?   A: Chalk White AB

Q: What are your go-to adhesives for your different project types?  For costumes, Gem Tac.

 

Q: Jourdan.  Why did you decide to try out for SYTYCD?  A: I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and try something new. SYTYCD is an amazing outlet to bring dance to Americans and a fantastic platform for dancers. I wanted to do something I wasn’t sure I believed I could and hopefully inspire other dancers to believe in themselves too!

Q: On the show, the fans vote as well as the panel of judges.  This is different from the competition dance world or the dance art world where you have to please one or the other.  From your time on SYTYCD, how have you learned to relate to your audience in each unique performance situation? A: It’s hard to impress everyone while you’re dancing, you definitely want to relate to your viewers as well as impress the judges but the most important part is to be happy with your own performance and leave all of yourself on stage so you have no regrets.

Back to the important stuff: rhinestones.  Q: If you were a Swarovski rhinestone, which color would you be? A: I love the AB colors! If you have Amethyst AB definitely that one! If it doesn’t exist, I’m suggesting making it! :-) the Xilion Ceramic is also to die for Gorgeous. 

Q: What rhinestone trend would you like to see in the dance world?  A: I’m a big fan of rhinestoned shoes!!

 

Q: Lisa.  If it were up to you, you’d sure love to see ________ covered in crystals.  A: The HOLLYWOOD sign

Q: What is your rhinestone routine?  A: Sometimes it’s very planned out & sometimes I just go with the flow.

Q: Any words of wisdom for a first-time crystaller?  A: Take your time and don’t use too much glue.

Q: Off the top of your head, if you were mixing a cocktail and naming it after a Swarovski crystal, what would it be?  A: Pearlized Peridot- Stoli vanilla vodka, Midori, ice cream and blend

 

Q: Jourdan.  How do you know when you’ve just put on a great costume?  A: When I feel great in it and I know that I’ll sparkle just right when the light catches the stones!

Q: When it comes to the stage, the biggest fashion faux pas is_____:  A: Fabric in the wrong places! Too tight fabric or not enough of it can create a skimpy look and too much fabric can overwhelm or a dancer and hide their body. Know your lines and show them off!

Q: What big screen dance scene gives you the willies?  A: Willies in a bad way? I never like to knock down dance; of course it’s better when the dancing is actually good, but props to everyone trying!

 Q: But, some films must be legit.  Props to ______:  A: I LOVE Black Swan! It may be cliché, but the cinematography and choreography

 

Q: Lisa.  Have you ever opened a new package of stones and laughed maniacally with pleasure?  A: Hahahaha everytime!!  I kind of clap like a three year old.

Q: Have you ever been temporarily blinded by sparkle?  This does not have to be medically proven.  A: My husband calls it, “getting distracted by shiny things.”

Q: What is in your emergency Dance Mom kit?  A: Oye!  Hair pins, hairspray, safety pins, needle & thread, elastic, rhinestones & glue

Q: What performance trait can Jourdan say she got from you?  A:  I have learned from her.

 

Q: Jourdan.  How do you know when you’ve had a good day of dancing (even if you’re not being judged)?  A: When I come out of the studio feeling better than I did when I went in. I love this feeling!

Q: How do you reward yourself?   A: Usually with a bubble/Epsom salt bath, Pandora and a glass of red wine :-) or lemonade for the youngins :-)

Q: In the last 24 hours, what was the high moment of the day?   A: I came off stage from my performance of Dee Caspary’s “Dissapear” contemporary routine knowing that I gave my all! My partner Marquet Hill and I were proud!

 

Q: Lisa.  If SYTYCD had a mother-daughter dance, what song would you want to jam to?  A: Celine Dion’s ‘If I Could”

Q: Jourdan.  If you learn to ______, you can learn to do anything.  A: believe in yourself

Q: Lisa.  Be honest- do you try to emulate some of Jourdan’s moves in the mirror when you’re alone?  A: This should answer your question

Jourdan

Jourdan

Lisa

Lisa

Thanks, ladies- your talents are uniquely yours, and we’re looking forward to seeing more of your successes!

-xo- Jemm

P.S.  And readers, if you want more on Alan Bersten’s experiences on So You Think You Can Dance, check out the article featuring he and his brother, Gene, RU Presents: The Bersten Ballroom Boys of SYTYCD.

Here are just a few samples of Lisa’s work:

Lisa Epstein- Barbie Rolls Royce straight on Lisa Epstein- Field of Poppies purse Lisa Epstein- gold pearl burst camera Lisa Epstein- Queen Play 2 cases

Xirius Stone, Serious Sparkle

Well, they’ve done it again.  Always on the verge of something groundbreaking, Swarovski has created the most brilliant crystal flat back to date: Xirius 2088 flat back.

2088 Xirius introSounds like something from space, right?  A telescope, a landing probe, a character from Star Wars…  Well, you’re not too far off, my friend.  With its rich coloring, enhanced foiling and amazingly intricate cuts, it’s named after Sirus, the brightest star in our Milky Way galaxy.  The Xirius 2088 has more faceting than ever before, which means exponentially more ways to sparkle.

Swarovski is considered by most to be the gold standard in crystal.  (Or, should I say, the Aurum standard?  See what I did, there?)  Despite their worldwide reputation, they’re never content to just sit on their laurels and rake in the praise- the company is constantly developing products beyond the imagination of possibility.  Take Advanced Crystal, for instance.  For centuries, the key element in crystal has been the addition of lead to break up the light and create a prism.  Without the lead, you just have transparent glass.  Even the original stones on the Rhine River, rhinestones’ namesake, sparkled on the banks due to the high lead content in the quartz.  In worldwide standards today, your crystal is still valued higher the more lead it has, sometimes up to 30 percent.  But, the word lead freaks people out.  So, what did Swarovski do?  They created a whole new recipe for crystal, one 99.9% lead free, still exceeding standards of clarity and brilliance, still creating the reflective play of light within its facets.  What?  That’s crazy.   Oh, and did I mention they do it all while being certifiably green?  The company, in fact, belongs to a worldwide organization established to meet accountability standards for social and environmentally friendly practices.

So, next time you think about which rhinestone company to support, go ahead and weigh your socioeconomic options…or, just think about wearing the brightest star in our Milky Way galaxy around your neck.  Either way, you’ll land on the best.

-xo- Jemm

See them here: http://www.rhinestonesu.com/introducing-swarovski-xirius-rhinestones.aspx

2088 Xirius crystals