Oct 202017
 

Why did you first create something?

Was it because you wanted something you couldn’t afford to buy in a store?

Or was it because you had an idea you wanted to bring to fruition?

Or perhaps you needed something very specific that couldn’t be found anywhere else.

ff diy multi strand findings (1)

Although we all have our own different reasons for creating, rather than just buying, the end result is that that creative freedom over our designs is an enticing thing.

Even though I have bins full of multi-strand findings, today I decided to make my own with wire… mostly just because I had an idea in my head and I wanted to see if it would work out.

Using a wire jig is perfect for this type of project because you can easily make multiples, as many as you want. Be sure to watch the video for tips on how to get the most smooth and consistent results with a wire jig.

I think it’s becoming a trend in my videos lately that towards the end I have some interesting random thought which then becomes the seed for yet another video.

Seems to me like a good way to work.

They say you can’t use up creativity, and I’d say they’re absolutely right!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the DIY Multi-Strand Bracelet or Necklace Finding-Wire Jig Jewelry Tutorial-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Oct 172017
 

It’s always nice to wear pretty jewelry, and even sometimes interesting or unusual jewelry.

Then there is the jewelry that’s meaningful, perhaps because it came from a loved one or has special memories.

turn of phrase pendants pt 1 cover

Today’s project makes jewelry that is meaningful in a different way. By using words and images that resonate with you, you can make your piece completely unique and special.

These pendants would also make one-of-a-kind, meaningful gifts for friends and loved ones.

The materials list for this project is long, so I suggest while you have the supplies out you make several. This gives you an opportunity to experiment with different shapes, phraseology, colors and finishes. Along the way you’ll find some pieces that you like more than others and get practice with the techniques.

Tools and Materials:

  • Metal bezels
  • Polymer clay
  • Rubber stamps or cling stamps
  • Letter stamps such as this metal stamp set
  • Index card
  • Needle tool
  • Opaque pigment inks such as chalk inks
  • Clay blade
  • Detail paint brush
  • Paint thinner or mineral spirits
  • Inka Gold
  • Gilders paste

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Turn of Phrase Pendants Part 1 of 2-Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Be watching next Tuesday for part 2!

Oct 132017
 

The term “wheat chain” is not one I had ever heard until I started researching various types of jewelry chain.

ff wheat chain cover

Like some other types of chain, it goes by a couple different names. It can be called “spiga” or “espiga,” which is the Spanish word for “wheat.”

Either way, the word refers to the “v” shapes of its interlocking links, looking like a heads of wheat.

ff wheat chain etsy

The two wheat chains I was able to find locally look to be put together in a way similar to rope chain, with each link connecting to two of the previous links.

But I also found an article at Live about.com, with a sketch of what appears to be a very different way of putting it together. Let me know what you make of the description, as I found it confusing!

ff wheat chain artbeads

If you look closely at the photos I have from Art Beads and Etsy you’ll see a couple of the chains appear to be made that way. As with many of the other chains, I’m finding there’s lots of overlap in the names, configurations and definitions, there don’t appear to be many set standards.

However it’s made, wheat chain is truly beautiful and intricate, and nice enough to be worn by itself without a pendant.

Here are a few of my favorite places to find wheat chain:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the What is Wheat Chain? Friday Jewelry Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Oct 102017
 

Just because a piece of jewelry isn’t make of precious metals and gems doesn’t mean it’s not worth wearing. As far as I’m concerned, if it’s pretty or interesting to look at, I’ll wear it!

precious hearts necklace cover

That being said, there are times when it’s nice to have something closer to fine jewelry. Especially if you are thinking about gift giving.

The traditional definition of fine jewelry is that it’s about gold, platinum and diamonds. However, you might want to read this interesting article: Redefining Fine Jewelry.

costco pearl ombré necklace

Like I mentioned in the video, my idea was based on the above piece of jewelry available at Costco last Valentine’s day. I was curious to see how much it would cost to recreate this in all karat gold materials, thus making it truly “fine jewelry.”

What I found at Fire Mountain Gems and Rio Grande (choosing their best prices):

Grand total = $137.62

Of course, you still have to take into account shipping costs, that fact that you may left over quantities you don’t need, and your time and labor.

Looks like that Costco price was quite reasonable!

Here are the tools and materials for my rather nice, but slightly less posh version:

Personally, I’d be just as happy with a pretty, well-designed piece that is made of gold-filled materials, rather than all karat gold.

The only thing that would make a difference in my thinking would be knowing that solid gold jewelry doesn’t lose its value, and will be worth something in a financial crisis. 

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Precious Hearts Necklace-Swarovski Crystal and Gold Filled Findings Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Oct 062017
 

Not only do I have both the September and October dollar bead boxes unboxing video for you, I also show several ideas for ways you can use these wonderful beads and findings.

ff sept oct 2017 bead box

One of the items was missing in my September bead box, but the folks at Dollar Bead Box got it out to me right away, and even threw in an extra goody!

I liked it so much that I decided to use it in a project (it’s the sparkly clasp in the lower right of the cover photo.) With the time delay I decided to save September’s box and do two months in one video.

It was interesting doing both months at the same time as I noticed patterns and themes that I hadn’t before. Like the fact that they included vintage buttons in both boxes, and also the vintage embossed hearts in two different colors. I can be kind of unobservant so I might not have noticed that otherwise.

If you want to get beads in the mail, there are two different subscriptions available:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Jewelry Supplies Haul! September & October Dollar Bead Boxes-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Oct 032017
 

Today’s creative exploration video came about because of a chance thought that came to me at the end of recording my Altered Bezels video.

Sometimes I think that’s the nature of creativity: we explore, try new things, push the boundaries, but it’s only when we push a little bit more, when we think we’re at the end of our ideas- then the really good ideas come.

embellished bezels cover

I say that because at the end of today’s video I had another one of those moments. Just an offhand thought about a way to use the remaining extruded clay rope.

The result of that idea was the black and gold squiggly bezel with the red teardrop cabochon. You can see it in the cover photo. I was really thrilled with how it came out and plan to explore this idea even more. (Who knows what ideas will come at the end of THAT exploration?)

If you’d like to see a tutorial for how to make a bezel like the one with the red teardrop, the good news is that I’ve made one! It’s available for anyone who supports me on Patreon at the $10 level & up.

Btw, did you know that my $5+ patrons get an additional bonus video every month? And $10+ supporters get TWO bonus videos monthly! 

It kind of reminds me of the game or exercise where you are told to make 20 observations about a thing. And when you’ve finally gotten those done, thinking you’ve exhausted all the observations you could possibly make, you are told to make 20 more.

Isn’t it the same with creativity? It’s only when we’ve pushed past all the easy and obvious solutions that we start to dig deep and find things that are truly unique, interesting and perhaps even revelatory.

So don’t just use my ideas, (although of course you’re welcome to!) but use this as an exercise for stretching your own creative muscles and making your own unique discoveries.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How To Add Creative Embellishments To Molded Polymer Clay Bezels video at YouTube.

Sep 292017
 

It’s been a lot of fun working on this series on all the different types of jewelry chain. I hope you’ve been enjoying it as well!

ff figure 8 chain

What I discovered while researching figure 8 chain is that it can be many many different things. There is a traditional understanding of what it is, a single link that has been twisted into a figure eight shape alternating with oval links.

However, just as there are many ways of making the shape of an eight, so there are many ways of making figure eight chain.

ebay figure 8 chain

The fun thing about figure eight chain is that it adds a fancy, more decorative element to any chain, just by adding a twist.

fmg figure 8 chain

Here are a few of my favorite places to purchase jewelry chain:

beadaholique figure 8 chain

Looking more closely at all of these chains has gotten me excited for combining different elements together and creating my own unique styles of chain. That will be coming up in a future Friday findings video.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy the video and happy creating!

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Watch the What is Figure 8 Chain? Friday Jewelry Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 262017
 

Today’s project is just a little bit fall-ish. Autumn officially began last week, but it’s still feeling quite a bit like summer around here.

autumn glory earrings cover

I wasn’t quite ready to go all out fall colors, so just a few hints of fall with the gold, red, and dulled down greens. I really like the bright pop of those chartreuse beads for contrast.

Actually I’m NEVER truly ready for fall, not because fall in New England isn’t lovely, it’s always utterly gorgeous. But for me I’m always thinking that it means winter is on its way, definitely my least favorite season.

Of course, it’s always important to remind ourselves that for now we should enjoy where we are with the blessings we have at this moment. For we never really know what’s around the corner.

So yeah, trying to embrace fall…

The chandelier earring findings I used started out as a bright, somewhat antiqued silver. In the video I explain an easy way to change them to this antique patinaed brass look.

Because the paints that I used to change the look of the finding add thickness to all the holes, you may need to add a jump ring in between the chandelier finding and the earring findings, just so things move a little bit more freely.

And actually, the more I look at them, the more I think I may go back and add those leaf dangles I was showing you after all. That’s the awesome thing about making your own jewelry, you can take it apart and change it up anytime you want!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Autumn Glory Earrings-Czech Glass Fire Polish Beads Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 222017
 

Ordering products from PolyClayPlay.com has come up several times in conversations with other polymer clay artists. But, I will admit to being a little slow to catch on sometimes, lol.

I finally got around to placing an order with them, and wow, they have such an array of interesting products to choose from… it was hard to stop shopping.

poly clay play unboxing

In fact, I already know many of the things I’m going to get next time!

This order started because I needed some Pardo translucent clay and one of my YouTube viewers mentioned that it was at an excellent price at PolyClayPlay. Actually, it was less than half the price of Amazon.

Once I was on the site I looked at everything. There were so many intriguing products, I had a hard time keeping my order to a reasonable size. (At $122, dunno that I succeeded there. <bg>)

I hope this video will spark some ideas and fire up your creative imagination for ways to use supplies that you might not have thought of using with polymer clay.

Don’t forget to use the coupon code Keepsake for $3 off your order at PolyClayPlay.com.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the PolyClayPlay Polymer Clay Supplies & Tools Unboxing-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Sep 192017
 

I’ve seen it so many times before and yet it always amazes me that having to seek solutions to design problems always leads to a better finished design than if you didn’t have the problem in the first place.

tasseled affaire necklace cover

I’m not entirely sure that calling this beautiful hand-painted Chinese porcelain bead a “problem” is at all correct , but, in my mind it just seemed a bit small for a focal bead.

The solution, creating a tassel out of beaded chain, makes the bead so much more than it would’ve been otherwise. Not to mention that tassels are trendy and fun to wear.

I don’t know about you but whenever I wear a necklace with tassels I find there’s something irresistible about it and I can’t help but play and fiddle with it all day long.

So take another look in your bead stash and perhaps find a bead that you thought wasn’t quite large enough to be a focal. Give it a fun tassel and make yourself a great new necklace!

For only some of the beads was able to find links to the exact ones I used. Otherwise I gave you a link to a page of several supplies to choose from. Hope you find this list helpful!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

Watch the A Tasseled Affaire-Porcelain Bead & Beaded Tassel Necklace Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.