Dec 192014
 

friday findings - necklace clasp

Last Christmas my husband bought me a beautiful necklace on Etsy; it had a very unique clasp that I’ve been admiring all year.

It uses just basic jewelry making supplies: headpins, small beads and a spacer bead, but creates a very elegant closure for a necklace.

As I mention in the video, I wouldn’t recommend it for anything other than a necklace, as it depends on the weight of the necklace hanging down to keep it secure.

Anyhow, I hope you find it helpful. Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Dec 162014
 

Happy crazy busy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday that’s real close to Christmas!

2014 12 17 woyww christmas cards (1)

As you can see from my desk, today finds me listening to Christmas music on Pandora and filling out Christmas cards.

Now, I know that many of you are card makers and you work very hard to hand create all of your Christmas cards, so please don’t shoot me… but mine are store bought.

I did, however, add some stamping as I thought the printed sentiment was rather lacking.

2014 12 17 woyww christmas cards (2)

I love this sentiment! It’s the Stampendous Precious Gift Stamp, btw.

polymer cafe contents

In case you are wondering why there are THREE copies of the same issue of Polymer Cafe on my desk, well, one of them is my subscription issue and the other two are comp issues cuz I’ve got an article in there! 

Whoop, whooop!

Of course, one of the comp issues is going to my mom, who else? :-D

Anyhow, I’m nearly done with the hand-cramp-inducing part of signing the cards and now just need to seal & address them. So I’ll leave you all to your own preparations.

If you have a few minutes to take a break, be sure to check out the busyness on the desks of other creative folks from all around the world. We link up over at Julia’s every Wednesday to do just that.

Happy creating and Merry Christmas!

Dec 152014
 

Pearly Bubbles Earrings

Cluster designs like this are fun to put together. It can be time consuming to make all the bead dangles, but once done they make a very interesting piece of jewelry with a lot of movement.

These earrings would be great with a bunch of beads in several shades of one color, or how about gradating colors for an ombre effect? You could even try multiple colors: big, juicy brights for a Carmen Miranda look or soft pastels for a dainty, delicate look.

A bigger cluster could even serve as a necklace pendant.

Whichever you choose, have fun creating!

If you do make jewelry based on this video, I’d love for you to share photos in the “Your Creations” album on Keepsake Crafts’ Facebook page.

Enjoy the video. :-)

You can watch the Pearly Bubbles Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 30 6mm round beads
  • 30 seed beads
  • 32 head pins
  • 2 12mm glass lentil beads
  • 2 6mm spacer beads
  • 2 ear wires

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Onto a head pin slide a seed bead and a 6mm bead.
  2. Trim wire coming out of last bead to 3/8-inch. Grasp end of wire with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop so it just crosses over itself.  Grasp loop with pliers to center over bead, making sure loop is closed securely. Repeat to make 30 bead dangles.
  3. Onto a headpin slide a spacer bead and a lentil bead.  Add the loops of 15 bead dangles.
  4. Repeat step 2 to make a simple loop above least bead dangle.
  5. Open an ear wire and attach to loop made in step 4.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 to make second earring.
Dec 122014
 

friday findings Q&A #1

Happy Friday, all! Today I have for you what I hope will be the first of many question and answer videos for you.

I’m so glad that you all aren’t shy about asking specific questions in the comments on my videos, and I try to address them all.

The questions in this video are about more general issues, so I thought you all would find them helpful.

  • how to be sure your wire wrapped loops are secure
  • what to look for and what to do about sharp edges on beads
  • three different ways beads are drilled

Btw, if you do ask me a question in a message (not linked to a specific video) please be sure to mention by name which video your question is on. It wasn’t until after I completed this video that I realized Heather B’s question was on an entirely different topic!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. :-)

You can watch Friday Findings-Questions & Answers #1 over at YouTube.

Dec 092014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday once again! I hope today doesn’t find you too frantic as you prepare for Christmas. It should be a time of joy, not stress, right? :-)

2014 12 09 woyww polymer clay food charms

Today’s work desk shows me working on some fun miniature clay food charms. They are actually going to be used to demonstrate a few techniques in my upcoming CraftArtEdu.com class.

I’ve been wanting to make polymer clay pizza & chocolate chip cookies for some time, and this was a good excuse.  I suppose I could have used plain balls of clay, but what’s the fun in that?

No, I won’t be teaching how to make the pizza or cookies, but here are three great how to videos:

That bowl of stuff in the bottom left, the one that looks like chocolate, is actually Translucent Liquid Sculpey mixed with some solid Burnt Umber Premo clay (which is the perfect chocolate brown color.)

Not the least bit edible, but it sure looks yummy. :-)

Whatever you’re doing today, I hope you find some time to be creative.

Wondering why I’m posting photos of my desk? Well it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all go visiting the creative spaces of creative people all over the world. The blog link party starts at Julia’s.

Happy creating, all!

 

Dec 082014
 

Truly, nothing sparkles like a Swarovski, and I fell in love with these crystal snowflakes at a bead show I attended recently.

crystal snowflake earrings cover

Since they are clear, you could match them with just about any color beads you like. However, these light blue glass bicones in my stash immediately made me think, “Frozen!”

If they’re a little much for earrings for you, how about using them as ornaments or sun catchers? I had to take these outdoors to photograph and the glittering in the sunshine was just amazing.

In the video I give  you lots of ideas and options for how to hang and string these. I hope you’ll find some creative inspiration!

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Crystal Snowflake Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 21mm x 17mm Swarovski crystal snowflake pendants
  • 2 pinch bails or jump rings
  • 6 4mm blue glass bicone beads
  • 8 4mm Swarovski crystal clear bicone beads
  • 2 6mm Swarovski crystal clear bicone beads
  • 2 ear wires
  • 2 crimps
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • 2 8-inch pieces nylon monofilament, 8 lb. test

Tools:

  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • sharpie
  1. For ease of stringing, lay ends of monofilament on a scrap piece of paper and color the last inch or so of each end with a Sharpie.
  2. Attach a pinch bail to holes of a snowflake. Slide a piece of monofilament through bail.
  3. On each side of snowflake string a clear 4mm bicone, a blue 4mm bicone and a clear 4mm bicone.
  4. Slide both monofilament ends through a 6mm bicone, a 4mm blue bicone, a crimp, a wire protector and back through the crimp.
  5. Pull up monofilament snugly, then back off a little to leave room for crimp cover. Use chain nose pliers to flatten crimp. Trim monofilament ends.
  6. Use crimping pliers to pick up crimp cover and place over flattened crimp. Squeeze gently to close cover and shape into a round bead shape.
  7. Open the loop of an ear wire and attach to wire protector. If necessary, use chain nose pliers to twist loop of ear wire so snowflake pendant is facing front.
  8. Repeat to make second earring.
Dec 052014
 

This beaded snowflake is a fun project to make for ornaments, sun catchers, gift toppers or even the gift itself. It’s a great way to use up beads and practice your wire work skills.

friday findings beaded snowflakes

If you want to make a bunch of these, you can save a little time by leaving only  3/8 of an inch of wire after the last bead on each spoke and making simple loops, rather than the spirals.

Like I mention in the video, don’t be worried if they look like an utter mess until just about the very end, when it all suddenly comes together. :-)

I have these in several colors hanging in a sunny window and they’re so pretty and sparkly.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Beaded Snowflakes Tutorial over at YouTube.

Dec 022014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk WednesdayI hope those of you who celebrated it had a lovely Thanksgiving. (And for the rest of you, I hope you had a lovely just-another-Thursday.) :-)

We went to a friend’s house and the cake I brought was a huge hit. It’s the darkest, richest, chocolatiest cake I’ve ever made. In case you need a cake like that here’s the recipe for ya:  Cooks Country Chocolate Layer Cake

2014 12 03 woyww  tribal pendants

My work desk this week shows me making a couple more of Sylvie Peraud’s Tribal Pendants from CraftArtEdu.com.

You can see the one I finished next to the pasta machine, I wasn’t very happy with it. I spent too much time messing around with the colors and obliterated much of the texture.

So, I made two more and baked them before coloring. I did it her way first, but now I’m going to do the alcohol ink coloring quite differently than the way she said in the class. We’ll see how they come out.

In other news, I’ll be starting work on my own classes at CraftArtEdu.com very soon. I’m excited about that!

Some of you were waiting to see the completed sweaters I started in September. Here’s my blog post on two of them, plus a pattern review.

Wondering why I’m posting photos of my desk? Well it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all go visiting the creative spaces of creative people all over the world. The blog link party starts at Julia’s.

Happy creating, all!

Dec 012014
 

It was quite some time ago that I promised you photos of several sweaters I was making for the winter. They (mostly) came out great, I just haven’t gotten around to taking pics for you yet.

mccalls 6796 sweater

This one I managed to snap one Sunday before church. I really wasn’t grouchy, just rushing!

mccalls 6796 turtleneck

As you can see it’s view D from McCall’s 6796.

charcoal wool from mood fabrics

The fabric is a charcoal wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics. It has bits of silver fiber throughout, which are nice and not too sparkly. The wool is cozy and warm, and not nearly as scratchy as I expected.

mccalls 6796 sweater close up

Here’s a close up of the collar, which I overly lightened so you can see the details.

It’s such a simple sweater but I got lots of compliments at church the day I wore it.

I also made view B, the plain turtleneck out of some purple bamboo/cotton fabric, but it came out HUGE and looks terrible, so no pics of that one. :(

Here’s my review of the pattern, McCalls 6796:

Pattern Description: This pattern is for variations on a basic sweater, with a choice of turtleneck or asymmetrical collar with buttons.

Pattern Sizing: I chose the size based on my measurements. When I used a bulky sweater knit for view D it was perfect. However, when I used a thinner, bamboo/cotton knit for view B, it was HUGE.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow? What I saw seemed simple enough, but as this was a very easy pattern, I serged it up quickly and only checked the directions for adding the collar.

After reading them I changed how the collar went on, sewing it to the wrong side of the sweater so the seam would be hidden when the collar is folded down. I had to tack 1/2 inch of the collar sides together at one shoulder so the serged seam wouldn’t show.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the asymmetrical collar, that’s what made my buy it in the first place. The three buttons are a great touch.

Fabric Used: A charcoal wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics. It has bits of silver Lurex fibers throughout.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn’t like the 3/4 sleeves, so made my sleeves plenty long.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I did sew it again, in a thinner fabric and it came out much too big, but once I get the sizing issue settled, I’m sure I’ll make it again.

Conclusion: This sweater is a great, basic winter wardrobe staple. Just be sure to check the fit with the particular fabric you are using.

Dec 012014
 

There’s an interesting story behind how this necklace got started.  I have mentioned that I teach jewelry making at my local Joann’s store. We were having a demo day where we show samples of our work and the teachers are available to talk to prospective students.

It was a two hour event and it seemed like a good idea to be working on something jewelry-like while sitting there, so I threw together a kit of a a few tools plus these pink shell beads, some crystals and some head pins.

fuchsia finery statement necklace

When I came home from the event, I looked at my 12 hot pink & crystal bead dangles and said, “Huh.” So hence, the trip to the craft store that I mention in the video.

The rest of it came together pretty much the way I explain in the video: add some clear crystals to bring out the crystals in the nest, add mixed metals to compliment the nest, the bird, etc.

I think my favorite part of this necklace is the addition of the little pink Swarovskis to the nest. Dunno why, but they make me happy. :-)

fuchsia finery statement necklace close up

This is my usual design process, btw, I rarely have a specific thing in mind when I begin but just pick a starting point and go from there.

How about you? Do you work from sketches or some kind of plan? Or do you use a different type of process?

However you work, happy creating!

Enjoy the video! And if you make a project based on this tutorial, please feel free to share photos in the “Your Creations” folder at my Facebook page.

You can watch the Fuchsia Finery Statement Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

This list is what I used, but I hope you’ll search your stash and your local stores and find items that perfectly suit YOU. :-)

  • 13 dyed pearl beads, 10mm- 16mm
  • 4 6mm opal Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • 5 4mm clear Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • 13 head pins
  • 1 bird’s nest & bird mixed media pendant
  • 28 6mm faceted Czech clear crystal beads
  • 28 6mm antique gold bead caps
  • 14 6mm antique gold plated fluted beads
  • 4 15mm copper gears
  • 4 8mm oval jump rings
  • 4 crimps
  • 4 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • bead stringing wire
  • 2 12mm copper plated cage bead
  • 2 7-inch lengths copper chain
  • lobster clasp
  • 4 jump rings
  • 3 4mm pink Swarovski crystal bicone beads

Tools:

See the video for complete directions.