Oct 212016

ff tube clasps

Tube clasps (also known as slide clasps) are a nice way to finish multi-strand bracelets as they are not only secure, but keep the strands of beads separated rather than gather them down to a “V” shape at the ends. Also, you don’t have that one inch or so of space that a traditional clasp usually takes up, so you see more of your beaded design.

Although these clasps are used primarily for bracelets, you could use one for a necklace. You might have to make the outer strands longer in order to account for the curve of the piece going around the neck.

Here are links to several different tube clasps for you to choose from for your next jewelry project:

The bracelet I show in the video is my Gunmetal & Crystal bracelet, if you’d like to see how it was made. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Using Tube Clasps In Your Bracelets & Jewelry video at YouTube.

Oct 182016

cup chain crystal earrings cover

This idea has been kicking around in my mind for quite some time. I imagined it would be a simple and elegant way to use cup chain and it turned out to be so. I was quite pleased with how easily these went together.

Sometimes an idea that seems good as you’re thinking of it doesn’t turn out so great in reality.

chain sketch

Of course, it can be hard to tell with the terrible sketching that I do! As you can see, I’m not much of a drawer. Three dimensional work is definitely far more my forte.

I hope you give this project to try, I picture them as really gorgeous, glamorous, swinging earrings to wear around the holidays. But I’m wearing mine today, just because I can. 🙂

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Cup Chain Crystal Earrings-Jewelry Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Oct 142016

ff cup chain (1)

I have to admit that for many years I thought cup chain was rather tacky. I suppose that’s because overused cheaply made rhinestone cup chain can be tacky. 😀

However I started to see it being used in beautiful and tasteful ways in jewelry and found myself intrigued, like how Suhana Hart uses cup chain in these earrings.

So I picked some up for myself and used it for the first time in my Hammered Bangle Bracelet video tutorial. After that I was in love.

I still definitely prefer a nicer quality cup chain using crystal stones, but can see many, many possibilities for projects in the future.

All of the cup chain I show in the video I got at EurekaCrystalBeads.com, but you can also find cup chain on Amazon, although not in the same variety of finishes or colors.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-How To Use Cup Chain video at YouTube.

Oct 112016

This week I have for you part two in making this cute autumn themed candle holder.

autumn silhouette owl

It was really fun going through my selection of small cutters and finding ways to combine the shapes to make just what I needed. I spent quite a bit of time trying to cut out the triangle eyes and nose from the pumpkin with the craft knife before I realized that the heart cutter would work perfectly.

autumn silhouette pumpkin

My favorite section of this candleholder is the cat, but that shouldn’t come as any surprise to those of you who know me. I doubt that you have ever seen me put a dog on any of my projects, but I do love the kitty cats!

autumn silhouette cat

Don’t ever be afraid to try using things in new and unexpected ways. 🙂

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Autumn Silhouettes Candle Holder Part 2-Polymer Clay Tutorial at YouTube.

Oct 072016

ff ceramic beads

There are so many different types of jewelry supplies and beads out there available to use. That’s one of the things I find so fascinating about creating and designing jewelry.

In order to use any particular material to the best advantage it’s good to understand its own unique properties.

In today’s Friday Findings video I will give you some tips on using ceramic beads so that your jewelry will last longer and hang properly.

 Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Tips For Using Ceramic Beads video at YouTube.

Oct 042016

autumn silhouette cat

Here’s a fun fall project for you without anything ghoulish or gory, just cuteness!

I’ve always been fascinated by silhouette designs and thought it would be fun to create a candle holder with the silhouettes as the primary focus.

For the candle holder I used a stemless wine glass. You could also reuse one of those jar candles, or even make a small version on a votive holder.

autumn silhouette pumpkin

My favorite thing about this piece is how the cut-out eyes glow in the candlelight. Later I may add a dab of yellow or orange alcohol ink inside the eyes to make them really stand out.

In the video I show how to use basic Kemper cutter shapes to create more complex shapes. If your clay is being difficult to cut, you might want to flatten and shape your heads, then let the clay sit for a while. It will be easier to cut after a rest of an hour or so.

autumn silhouette owl

I also show how you can create texture using unexpected tools like those for leather, wax or dentistry.

Keep in mind that you can certainly use colored clay, the silhouettes will still be there when the candle is lit. I’m toying with the idea of accenting my textures with some Gilders paste. If I do, I’ll be sure to share a photo.

Don’t be afraid of the long list of tools, once you have them you’ll find many different uses!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Autumn Silhouettes Candle Holder-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 302016

ff managing soft clay (1)

One of my strongest held beliefs about craftsmanship is that whatever medium you choose to work in order to get really good at what you do you have to have an excellent understanding of the material.

Whether you work in fabric, wood, glass, ceramic, paper, metal, or even polymer clay, knowing what your material can and cannot do, knowing and understanding its abilities and limitations only aids you in doing your best possible work.

Today’s Friday Findings video is about controlling the consistency of your polymer clay. There are some clays that are just naturally much softer than others. There are some that are so soft and sticky that it can be very difficult to get them to hold any detail at all. It really depends on what it is you want to do. But there are times when you want your clay to be more firm than it is coming out of the package.

In today’s video I show you how to leach your clay so that it’s firmer and easier to work with. It’s a simple process and it’s good to understand just what is going on.


In fact, I recently came across this tutorial from Polyform which requires you to leach your clay in order to make it crumbly so that you get the desired effect of lichen on tree bark.

You’ll find that knowing how and when to control the consistency of your clay will be very helpful in making the kinds of pieces you envision.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-How to Deal With Soft Polymer Clay video tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 272016

copper dome earrings

It is so satisfying to take a simple blank piece of metal and with the application of a few tools turn it into something quite unique and beautiful. I suppose it  would’ve been more satisfying only if I had mined the ore and rolled the sheet metal myself. 🙂

Perhaps at first glance you might think that today’s earring design is far beyond your available skills or tools, but in the video I show you how you can make them with simple supplies that you can get at your local craft store. Of course, below I will provide online links to the things you need as well.

Also in the video you’ll see what I mean when I say, “make visual decisions visually.” I started out with an initial idea on how I wanted to use my glass beads, but after laying them out realized I needed to change things a bit to achieve a nice design.

Tools & Materials:

In the video I reference a few other videos I’ve made showing helpful techniques:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Copper Dome Earrings-Metal Jewelry Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 232016

ff conditioning clay

Conditioning polymer clay is one of those things you read about in any polymer clay basics section of a book or article. But what exactly is it, why exactly do we need to do it and, more importantly, how do we know we’ve done it right?

In today’s video I’ll answer all of those questions plus show you a few different ways you can condition your clay.

Sometimes you will come across a block of clay that is very hard and crumbly and just Won’t be conditioned no matter what you do. Personally, I am of the “life is too short” school of thought and don’t spend too much time trying to bring back difficult clay.

I figure that if I spend an hour attempting to revive a $3 block of clay, then I’ve made $3 an hour, which is definitely not worth my time. But, if you’d like more information on just how you can condition hard clay, Ginger Davis Allman over at the BlueBottleTree.com has a great blog post on the subject.

Tools used for conditioning:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-All About Condition Polymer Clay video at YouTube.

Sep 202016

jeweled bezels

When I first saw these bezels at my local craft store I knew immediately what I wanted to do with them. The first thing was to pop out the acrylic rhinestones. Then I stuck one bezel in the oven with a load of polymer clay to make sure that they truly were metal and not acrylic, as sometimes is the case.

It took a bit of experimenting to get the look I wanted, but I’m quite pleased with how these came out. If I had to do it over the only thing I would change would be to use less green and more blue.

Have you noticed that I’ve been on a blue/turquoise kick lately? I can’t seem to stop using it. Don’t worry, that will probably pass and then I’ll be on to a different color obsession. 🙂

Of course, this technique can be used to make any sort of jewelry or even home dec. As you saw in the video, I was able to pop my newly created cabochons out of the bezels after adding the resin-those that were not super glued in first.

So you could make cabochons to use to decorate other objects, but I wouldn’t recommend putting the resin back in the oven. Sometimes it turns amber even at low polymer clay temperatures.

Tools and Materials

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Jeweled Bezels-Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.