Feb 122016
 

ff tila beads

Tila beads are one of those simple little jewelry components with oh-so-much creative potential.

They are just 5x5mm square beads with two parallel holes, but wow, all the different ways they can be combined together….

tila bead pins

I’ve made a Tila Bead Idea Pinterest board with a few clever ideas that I’ve pinned. My favorites are the ones where the beads are turned on the diagonal.

In the video I’ll give a bit more detail about these beads. You definitely want to give them a try!

A few examples of the tilas out there:

If you’d like to learn more, here is an interesting interview of the designer of the Czechmates System. She shows many examples of her work and explains how all the beads work together.

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Friday Findings-Tila Beads video over at YouTube.

Feb 102016
 

custom button pendant

Believe it or not that floral pendant in the above photo is made from polymer clay, not metal!

Not only that, but it took very little time to make. In this video I’ll show you how easy it is to make a mold of  a button, or any found object, and then paint and color it to create your own personalized jewelry components.

I highly recommend that you find several items to make impressions of and paint, as it can be hard to know which ones will be your favorites when all done. :-)

Here are a few of the products used in this project:

If you’d like more info on how to get the great patinaed look with Swelligant paints, this video is very helpful: How to Use Swelligant with Christi Friesen.

Happy creating and enjoy the video!

You can watch the Custom Button Pendants-Polymer Clay Tutorial over at YouTube.

Feb 082016
 

azure & ice bracelet

With all its glass, crystal and pearls, this week’s bracelet is quite fancy and elegant. The bead caps also serve to make it more elaborate.

You could get a more earthy look by using rustic looking beads, perhaps even try bead chips instead of the pearls. I just love the idea of clustering together a whole bunch of a smaller element to make them into something very different.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Azure & Ice Bracelet video over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 6 10x13mm lampwork glass beads
  • 14 bead caps
  • 64 4x7mm potato pearls
  • 64 ball head pins
  • 2 10mm pearls
  • 1 10x13mm crystal roundel
  • 6 7x9mm crystal roundels
  • 2 crimps
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • clasp
  • 1 1/2-inch length chain
  • bead stringing wire

Tools:

Directions:

  1. Slide a pearl onto each ball head pin and use either round nose pliers or 1-Step Looper  to make simple loop dangles.
  2. Onto bead stringing wire add: 3 7x9mm crystal roundels > bead cap >lampwork bead >bead cap > loops of 16 pearl dangles > bead cap >lampwork bead >bead cap > loops of 16 pearl dangles > bead cap >lampwork bead >bead cap > 10mm pearl > bead cap > 10x13mm crystal roundel > bead cap > 10mm pearl >bead cap >lampwork bead >bead cap > loops of 16 pearl dangles > bead cap >lampwork bead >bead cap > loops of 16 pearl dangles > bead cap >lampwork bead >bead cap > 3 7x9mm crystal roundels.
  3. Check length of bracelet. It should be 1/2-inch longer than your usual preferred length of bracelet. Add or remove beads as needed to make it this length.
  4. To finish end: Onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp, a wire protector and the end link of length of chain. Slide wire back through crimp and flatten with One Step Crimper. Use crimping pliers to pick up a crimp cover and close over flattened crimp.
  5. Repeat on other end of bracelet adding clasp instead of length of chain.
Feb 052016
 

ff memory wire

Some might say that memory wire use is the gateway drug into full on jewelry making addiction. I say: bring it!

Memory wire is one of those cool findings that makes everything SO much easier, how could you not love it?

Yes, I like making complicated, intricate designs, but sometimes it’s nice just to put together a quick and easy memory wire bracelet… or two. :-)

In this video I tell you a bit about memory wire and give a few tips on how best to use it. But don’t be limited to just making bracelets. Consider these Swoosh Dangle Earrings that I made with memory wire a while back, and then let your imagination run wild.

Here are a few products to get you thinking:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Memory Wire video over at YouTube.

Feb 032016
 

sculpted leaves earrings

Today I bring to you the first in a new weekly series. From now on every Wednesday I’ll have another polymer clay tutorial for you, focusing primarily on using this wonderful medium in jewelry.

Sure it’s fun to buy beads and use them to make beautiful things, but I hope to challenge you to make your creations even more personal and unique by making many of your own components.

This project begins with several basic sculpting techniques, so simple that you could get the kids involved! Instead of a razor blade you can give them a plastic scraper and use toothpicks in place of needle tools. :-)

I hope you find this new series helpful. If you have ideas for videos, please let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Sculpted Leaves Earrings-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

Tools:

See the video for complete instructions.

By the way, the Garden Fairy House tutorial was published in the January/February 2015 issue of Polymer Café magazine. You can find back issues here. Just scroll down to that date and you’ll see “Garden Fairy House – By Sandy Huntress” at the bottom of the list.

Feb 012016
 

frosted glass necklace & earrings

I’ve been waiting for just the perfect project to use these frosted cracked beads. I love the way the broken insides look like little druzies with all their sparkles.

This design, which focuses on the beads and is quite simple, is perfect. As a bonus I show how quickly you can throw together a matching pair of earrings.

By the way, I went looking for a link for you for the beads I used, which I got at Michael’s and thought were glass. The link I found (below in the supply list) looks exactly like them but says they are agates. Either way, they’re quite striking and pretty. :-)

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Frosted Glass Necklace & Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

necklace:

earrings:

  • 2 head pins
  • 2 ear wires
  • 4 3 mm silver spacer beads
  • 2 bead caps
  • 2 8mm hematite saucer beads
  • 2 spacers
  • 2 12mm glass beads

Tools

  • scissors
  • glue
  • 1-Step Looper or round nose pliers & wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers

Directions

To make necklace:

  1. Make a knot 5 inches from one end of 1 mm cord. Slide on a spacer, a 12mm bead and a spacer. Make another knot right next to the second spacer.
  2. Make another knot in the cord 4 inches from first knot. Repeat pattern of adding a spacer, a 12mm bead and a spacer, finishing with another knot next to the second spacer.
  3. Continue this pattern, having 4 inches between beaded sections, until all beads & spacers are used.
  4. After adding final spacer do not make a knot. Instead knot the two cord ends together, leaving 4 inches between one of them and the nearest group of beads. Add a dab of glue to the knot and trim cords once glue is dry.

To make earrings:

  1. Onto a headpin slide a 3mm spacer, 12mm bead, bead cap, spacer bead, hematite saucer bead and a 3mm spacer bead.
  2. Make a loop with remaining wire and attach to ear wire.
  3. Repeat to make second earring.

 

Jan 292016
 

ff bead tips

As I’ve shown in other videos, there are many different ways to string beads and finish jewelry other than the typical chain or bead stringing wire.

In today’s video I show how to use bead tips, these little clam shell shaped findings. So the next time you want to use thread or fine cord you’ll know how to get neat & tidy endings to your pieces.

Here are a few examples of the different bead tips out there:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-How to Use Bead Tips video over at Youtube.

Jan 252016
 

leather tassel necklace

Today’s necklace incorporates two popular trends right now: leather and tassels. I kept the number of beads minimal and wire wrapped the leather cord for security and interest.

In the video I first bound the tassel with a bit of suede cord but as I show later I decided to wire wrap it in the same way as I did the rest of the suede cord.

It’s worth it to use the cord ends around the back of the neck so you don’t risk any scratchy bits of wire.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Leather Tassel Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

  • 24 mm round focal bead
  • 12 10-12 mm chunky black stone beads
  • 10 8 mm crystal roundels
  • 8 6 mm black beads
  • bead stringing wire
  • two crimps
  • two crimp covers
  • two wire protectors
  • 3 yards 1/8 inch suede cord
  • 26 gauge craft wire
  • two cord ends
  • clasp
  • 2-3 inch piece of chain
  • 8mm jump rings
  • 20 #6 seed beads
  • eye pin

Tools

Directions

  1. Wrap suede cord 9 to 10 times around an object approximately 4 inches across. Slide loops off the object and insert an 8 mm jump ring to hold all of the loops. Use 26 gauge wire to wrap several times 1/4 inch below the jump ring to bind the tassel. Bend the end of the wire about 1/4 inch and tuck in between loops to secure.
  2. Slide 24 mm bead onto an eye pin and make a loop at the other end of the eye pin with One Step Looper or round nose pliers.
  3. Onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp and a wire protector. Slide the wire back through the crimp and flatten with One Step Crimper or crimping pliers. Trim excess wire and cover with a crimp cover.
  4. Onto wire slide 3 6 mm black beads and then alternate five chunky black beads with five crystal roundels with a number six seed bead in between each. Add one more chunky black bead and a 6 mm bead. Slide on one loop of the 24 mm bead and then reverse the pattern of beads and crystal roundels . Add a crimp, wire protector and crimp cover as previously.
  5. Slide a 10 inch length of suede cord through 8 mm jump ring and fold back an inch of the cord. Bind with a 3-4 inch piece of 26 gauge craft wire. Trim excess suede cord. Attach loop to one of the wire protectors. Repeat to attach a 10 inch length of suede cord to the other side of necklace.
  6. Insert end of suede cord into a cord end and use flat nose pliers to flatten each side over the cord. Repeat to add a cord end to other end of necklace. Atach a lobster clasp to one side and piece of chain to the other.
  7. Add jump ring of tassel to bottom loop of 24 mm bead to finish necklace.
Jan 222016
 

ff stardust

If you’ve ever seen these sparkling, glittery metal beads and wondered about them, wonder no more!

In today’s video I explain to you all about stardust beads: what they are, how they are made and give some tips for care.

If you love sparkle and shine, you’ll love these beads. Here are a few nice ones I found:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!


You can watch the Friday Findings-Stardust Beads video over at YouTube.

Jan 182016
 

desert mesa bracelet

There are lots of different sources I use for my beads and jewelry findings, but the most convenient is my least favorite. The local craft stores such as Joann’s, Michael’s and A.C. Moore have plenty to choose from, but the quality isn’t always the best.

That’s why I was so happy to find the string of oval beads I used in this Desert Mesa bracelet. One of the beads was chipped and some on the string have funky inclusions, but I rather like them anyhow.

They were labeled “Assorted Stone Beads,” so I can’t tell you exactly what they are except that they are quite interesting and look great combined with warm colored agates and antique gold findings. :-)

The best way to shop for jewelry making is to support your local bead store. Sadly, the only ones near me are too far to stop by regularly.

Instead I do I lot of my shopping for jewelry supplies online, here are a few of my favorites:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Desert Mesa Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 3 20x15mm oval stone beads
  • 6 14mm links of chain
  • 24 assorted 6mm beads
  • 24 head pins
  • 3 4.5-inch pieces 24 gauge wire
  • 1-inch length of chain
  • clasp
  • jump rings

Tools:

Directions:

Note: Be sure your loops are large enough to fit around the 14mm links of chain you have chosen. This is why I recommend the One Step BIG Looper, as it makes 3mm loops.

  1. Use chain nose pliers to grasp a 4.5-inch piece of wire 1.5-inches from one end.  Bend wire at 90° angle.  Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  2. Slide a 20x15mm oval bead onto wire and repeat step 1 to make another wrapped loop, this time grasping wire just above bead before bending with chain nose pliers.
  3. To make bead dangles slide each of your 6mm beads onto a head pin and make a loop with either round nose pliers or the One Step Big Looper.
  4. Use chain nose pliers to open a 14mm link of chain and attach 3 bead dangles, your clasp, 3 bead dangles and the loop of one of your stone oval beads.
  5. Open another chain link and slide onto loop on other end of your stone oval. Add three bead dangles to each side, then add another chain link.
  6. Open the chain link just added and add 3 bead dangles to each side, plus the loop of another oval dangle.
  7. Repeat the pattern of two chain links between each of the three stone ovals. Each chain link should have 3 beads dangles on each side.
  8. Finish by adding the final chain link to the loop of the third oval bead, 3 dangles, your 1-inch length of chain and 3 dangles.