Feb 272015
 

Friday Findings-S Clasp

With the right tools it really is very simple to make your own jewelry findings. This “S” clasp has an elegant look, but you can make one in just a few minutes.

The tools I used to make this clasp:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Quick “S” Clasp video tutorial over at YouTube.

Feb 262015
 

This week I’m going from one extreme to another. Since dragon #6, Rosalita, took SO long to make, I decided to go for a much smaller scale this time around.

To learn why I’m making a dragon every week check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details.

Meet Frodo and Sam.

dragon #7 & #8 Frodo & Sam (1)

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

Since Rosalita took over 2 weeks, I was one dragon behind. So I made a pair for you this week.

dragon #7 & #8 Frodo & Sam (2)

The “cabochons” are actually the two halves of a glass bead I  made when I was first learning to lampwork. I let it cool off too quickly and it cracked.

dragon #7 & #8 Frodo & Sam (3)

The original intent was to make a pair of earrings, but they ended up too big. They’re 1 1/4-inches tall and 1-inch across. (Rosalita’s head is bigger than that!) The little dragon’s head’s are only 6mm (1/4-inch) long.

dragon #7 & #8 Frodo & Sam (4)

A dusting of Perfect Pearls gives them their shimmer. I had thought to antique them to bring out the details, but kinda like that you have to look for a moment to realize that they’re dragons. :-)

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

Feb 242015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 02 25 woyww  copper S clasp (1)

Today I’m finishing a necklace using techniques from Abby Hook’s Wire Jewelry Masterclass. Last week I showed you the figure eight chain in progress, plus the pendant.

2015 02 25 woyww  copper S clasp (2)

This week I’m putting it all together by making hook clasps. The two in the upper left didn’t come out quite right, but the bottom ones will do.

2015 02 25 woyww  copper S clasp (3)

Now the necklace is all done except for a  Liver of Sulfur patina. If you’re interested in knowing what that is, I made a video explaining the process: Liver of Sulfur Patinas

If you’re wondering why I’m sharing photos of my desk, well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all get together at Julia’s and take a peek at each other’s creative goings on. It’s always fun and often inspiring. Join us if you have a the time.

Feb 232015
 

pink & purple chain bracelet (1)

Sometimes it’s fun to dig through the bead stash and pull out bits & pieces of chain, some orphan beads & put them all together in a pretty piece of jewelry.

pink & purple chain bracelet (2)

The gold chain and charms tie in all the differing components of this bracelet to make a varied and interesting whole.

What bits & pieces are in your bead collection that might work together?

Happy creating and enjoy the video!

You can watch the Pink & Purple Chain Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 10 8-10mm beads
  • 12 6mm beads
  • 5 charms & 5 jump rings
  • (or make your own charm dangles by adding assorted metal beads to headpins)
  • 3 different styles of chain 6-7 inches of each (or use a variety of small bits and pieces)
  • 20 gauge wire
  • 12 headpins
  • toggle clasp
  • 2 split rings

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

See the video for detailed instructions.

Feb 212015
 

Sorry folks that I’m over a week late with dragon #6.  But  now she’s done, finally!

To learn why I’m making a dragon every week check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details.

dragon #6 Rosalita 1

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

As you can see, Rosalita has climbed up on top of the castle to take a closer look at the first open rose of spring.

dragon #6 Rosalita 2

This project is one that’s been in the back of my mind for a long time. Ever since over a year ago a friend gave us a cylindrical tin of tea bags…

This one, to be exact.

 

…every time I looked at it I pictured a castle turret with a dragon climbing on top.

dragon #6 Rosalita 3

The tin is 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 6 inches tall, but I never imagined the project being SO HUGE.

Well, huge for what I’m used to. The finished sculpture is 14 inches from the base to the top of the flagpole.  (The flagpole is a toothpick, just to give you an idea of scale.)

dragon #6 Rosalita 4

The stone work, windows and turret top alone took a week.

dragon #6 Rosalita 5

Then it was time to start on the dragon.

dragon #6 Rosalita 6

Somewhere in the middle of the project it became “that danged dragon” (or slightly stronger words which I shall not repeat.) :-D

dragon #6 Rosalita 7

I got discouraged along the way, but decided not to give in to the temptation to rush just to get it done. If I did that I knew the outcome would certainly be disappointing.

dragon #6 Rosalita 8

Yesterday (Friday) I finally got to the final details: the base, the door, the wings and the flag.

Yes, I made a rose cane just for the flag. I used an excellent tutorial over at Polymer clay central by Leigh Ross for the rose and the leaves.

dragon #6 Rosalita 9

It was quite a trick figuring out how to make the cane into a flat flag with the cane showing on both sides, but it worked out.

Some things I’ve learned in the past two weeks:

  • Things always take longer in reality than you might think. (Well, I knew that one already, but this really drove it home.)
  • Creativity is sometimes just plain hard work!
  • My favorite parts of sculpting are adding texture and detail, so sticking to a smaller scale would be wise from now on.
  • Baked polymer clay can be heated with a heat tool (like scrapbookers use for heat embossing) for about 15 seconds to soften it. It will then be flexible enough to slightly reposition. This was how I got the dragon’s feet to cling to the tower. That and super glue.

Gosh, there were a lot of other tips and tricks I utilized or figured out, but that’ll do for now.

On to dragon #7, which I can promise you will be a lot smaller!

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

 

Feb 202015
 

Friday Findings-Molding Putty

Today’s video shows you how easy it is to use a molding putty such as Easymold Silicone Putty to make molds and texture sheets of just about anything you can think of. You can then turn these molded objects into your own custom pieces for jewelry making or other crafts.

A few things you can put into these silicone molds:

Of course, the bottom three can all be colored with paints, inks, chalk pastels, etc., plus have all sorts of inclusions like glitters, mica powders & such. You’re only limited by your imagination!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. :-)

You can watch the Friday Findings-Molding Putty video over at YouTube.

Feb 172015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

Yes, we are still quite snowed in here, but life goes on. Hopefully though, people will drive a little slower on the slippery stuff!

Yup, that’s about the size of it.

2015 02 18 woyw making copper chain (1)

Meanwhile on my desk I’ve continued to work through Abby Hook’s Wire Jewelry Masterclass. It’s a really wonderful book. If you have the slightest interest in wire work I highly recommend it as she walks you through each step with great attention to detail.

Today I’m making a necklace chain out of 18 gauge copper wire to go with the bead pendant I just finished.

2015 02 18 woyw making copper chain (2)

It’s tedious work, indeed. First you cut bunches of 3/4-inch pieces of wire. Then one end gets looped, then the other end to make the figure “8” links. Each  little end gets trimmed the tiniest amount so everything is flush and then these are all joined together to make a chain.

green serpentine & figure 8 chain

It came out nice, but took so much time I don’t think I’ll be making any more in the near future.

Wondering why I’m sharing photos of my desk? Well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all hang out at Julia’s and see each other’s creative goings on. Always fun and often inspiring, join us if you have time!

Feb 162015
 

mojave sunrise necklace

This necklace uses crystal bicone beads  in a different sort of way, making strung wire shapes as accents. You could easily get creative with this, making bows or butterflies or other such things. I stuck with a simple loopy flower.

The copper findings work perfectly with this Swarovski crystal color mix called “Mojave.” It does indeed put me in mind of sunrises in the Mojave desert.

The colors in the mix are Light Smoked Topaz, Light Amethyst, Sand Opal and Indian Sapphire.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Mojave Sunrise Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 3 packages 4 mm Swarovski crystal bicone bead mix in color “Mojave” (90 beads total)
  • chain in necklace length of your choice
  • additional 9-inch piece necklace chain
  • 5 jump rings
  • clasp
  • 2 crimps
  • 16 head pins
  • 15-inch piece bead stringing wire

Tools:

  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers

See video for complete instructions. 

Feb 132015
 

You may think the idea of crocheting wire is difficult, but it’s actually quite easy. We’re not making crocheted fabric here, but only doing a simple chain stitch.

The important thing to remember is to string your beads on first. The rest goes quickly after that.

Friday Findings-Crocheted Wire

To finish the wire ends, just thread them onto a wire loop and into a bead cone. If you crochet with bead stringing wire you’ll get a much looser look (try using a larger hook) and will need to finish the ends with crimps.

You could do a multi-strand necklace the same way I did this multi-strand bracelet, but it would also look great to incorporate a strand or two of crocheted beads with strung beads & chain.

Have fun exploring the possibilities!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. :-)

You can watch the Friday Findings – Crocheted Wire & Beads video tutorial over at YouTube.

 

Feb 112015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone! Today I’m coming to you from the land of ice and snow… that is, southeastern Massachusetts. We’re breaking snow total records here folks, 85.5 inches since the first of the year.

I’m just thankful our oldest son is here to help with the shoveling. So far I haven’t had to shovel yet.  (I started to suit up to go out once, but was sent back in. So, Fine. I’ll stay in and cook them warm things to take off the chill once they’re done.)

2015 02 11 woyww wire wrapped butterfly earrings

I’m also thankful that my work can be done at home, as long as we have electricity & internet.

In case you’re wondering about the beer bottles on my desk. Well, this cartoon says it all:  And quite accurately, at that. :-)

Today (whist drinking beer) I’m working through Abby Hook’s wonderful book, Wire Jewelry Masterclass.

2015 02 11 woyww  butterfly earrings

First of all I made my own wire coil ear wires. It’s super easy and she explains it really well. In the photo you can see I’ve completed one of the wire wrapped butterfly wing earrings. They’re coming out so pretty, I really like how the fuchsia Swarovski crystal goes with the copper.

Once the wire work is done I’ll be carrying on with sculpting this week’s Thursday’s Dragon. We’re up to #6 this week. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see how it came out.

If you’re wondering why I’m sharing photos of my desk, well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all get together at Julia’s and take a peek at each other’s creative goings on. It’s always fun and often inspiring. Join us if you have a few minutes!

Happy creating :-)