Oct 022015

ff bead reamer

In today’s video I tell you about a tool that you may not use every day, but you’ll be glad to have it when you need it. Like I mention in the video, I mostly use my bead reamer for lampwork glass and ceramic beads, but have occasionally slightly enlarged stringing holes.

I’ve also cracked quite a number of beads by being in a rush and careless, so take your time!

Here are a couple bead reamers you’ll find helpful:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Bead Reamers video over at YouTube.

Oct 012015

dragon 41 & 42 Pinkie & Blue Boy 1

This week’s dragons have very different texture for the scales. Instead of having applied scales or some kind of tool mark for scales, I’ve used microbeads. These beads are super tiny, somewhere around 0.5 mm.

To get an idea of the scale, Pinkie is only just under 3 inches from the tip of her nose to the bend in her tail.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

micro beads inspiration

I was inspired by this photo I found on Pinterest of the work of Asya Kuzahmetova, a Ukrainian polymer clay artist. Here she uses little tiny balls of clay and applies them for a wonderful texture.

I had a bunch of microbeads left over from scrapbooking and thought it would be fun to try different combinations of the colors I had.

dragon 41 & 42 Pinkie & Blue Boy 2

Pinkie has fuchsia beads, black beads, and two different sizes of clear beads. Blue Boy has a combination of black, fuchsia and royal blue beads. I think I like his combination better.

I wasn’t so thrilled with the way the wings came out as some of the colored beads mixed in with the clear ones and some of the color bled out into the TLS I was using to stick them on.

dragon 41 & 42 Pinkie & Blue Boy 3

If you decide to try using microbeads keep in mind that it’s kind of like bringing a scoop of beach sand into your work area. They get everywhere. You can try, but there is no controlling them.

Everything on my work desk was acting like it had tiny ball bearings under  it! They were rolling about all over the place, and I’m sure I will be finding these little teeny beads in my workspace forever.

I do find the idea intriguing, though, for skin texture. Perhaps just on isolated areas next time. :-)

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I am making one dragon for every week in 2015.

dragon 41 & 42 Pinkie & Blue Boy 4

By the way, the names Pinkie and Blue Boy, of course fit perfectly because of their colorings, but I had to smile when I thought of them because they were two favorite motifs of my grandmother’s. She had nice reproductions of the Lawrence & Gainsborough paintings and she even made lamp bases in her ceramics class with the lady in pink in the boy in blue. I don’t know that she would have cared much for the dragon versions, though, lol.

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

Just to let you know, I only have 10 dragons left to go in this challenge, but there are 13 Thursdays left in the year. I will be taking off Thanksgiving & Christmas, because Holidays! I also will be taking next week off as I have a larger project in mind for the next dragon sculpture.

Sep 292015

It’s the end of the month, so time for another giveaway!

Every month TWO lucky winners will receive packages of handcrafted jewelry worth at least $100 each!

It’s my pleasure to share some of my jewelry creations with my YouTube subscribers. Just my little way of saying, “Thank you.”  :-)

Watch the video below for details. Or watch the video on YouTube.

Please fill out the Rafflecopter area below for your chance to win.

Rafflecopter doesn’t show up on some mobile devices, btw. If you don’t see it below, try refreshing, check back later or visit on a different device.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m doing the giveaway at my blog rather than at YouTube to protect YOU from scammers. Your info is protected here. :-)

Sep 282015

jungle dangle earrings

In last week’s video we made a bracelet using adorable ceramic animal charms from Fire Mountain Gems. Today we’re making a really cute pair of matching earrings.

Of course, you can choose to use any of the animals, or for that matter any focal you like. but I thought these blue birds were especially adorable.

Here’s the link to the matching Jungle Cuties Bracelet.

Here are the links to the charms at Fire Mountain Gems, I know they’re a little cutesy but I’ve kind of enjoyed the fun and smile they bring to my face when using them and wearing them.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Jungle Dangle Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.


  • 2 ceramic jungle animal beads
  • 2 glass leaves on wire
  • 4 6mm Swarovski crystal bicones in Peridot
  • 4 4mm Swarovski crystal bicones in Emerald
  • 4 4mm daisy spacers
  • 2 4mm spacer beads
  • 4 eye pins
  • 2 head pins
  • 2 ear wires



  1. Use the One Step Looper to make dangles from your glass leaves.
  2. Onto a headpin slide a 4mm bicone, daisy spacer and a 6mm bicone. Use One Step Loopers to make this into a dangle.
  3. Attach leaf and this dangle to an eye pin.
  4.  Slide eye pin through your ceramic charm, use One Step Loopers to make into a dangle. Attach another eye pin to this loop.
  5. Onto this eye pin slide a 4mm bicone, daisy spacer, a 6mm bicone and a 4 mm spacer. Use One Step Loopers to create a loop, open the loop and attach to ear wire to complete earrings.


Sep 252015

ff deadblow hammer

Today’s hammer is one I was fascinated to learn about. All the various properties of the different metals and how they interact with one another is just amazing to me.

Anyhow, this tool is one used for striking other tools, rather than for use directly on your pieces. In the video I’ll tell you more about the hammer and how to use it.

This 12 oz Dual-Head Dead Blow Mallet is the same as mine, just a different color. Plus, I learned that it’s filled with lead shot, not sand as I said in the video.

Here are a couple of different solid brass hammers:

You would choose the weight based on what you are doing. For most jewelry making I would think the one pound would be sufficient.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Deadblow Hammers video over at YouTube.

Sep 242015

dragon #40 Arabella (1)

This week’s dragon was inspired by a couple of photos of projects made with the Sutton slice technique.

sutton slice pics

(I don’t have any info on the artist of the above items. If it’s yours or you knows whose it is, please let me know so I can give proper credit.)

I knew I wouldn’t be able to do a Sutton slice and then sculpt the dragon, so I tried a variation. (f you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a great tutorial explanation of the Sutton slice.)

dragon #40 Arabella (2)

I rolled out the basic shape of the dragon and then let the white clay sit for a while to firm up before pressing all over with rubber stamps. This was tricky as I didn’t want to distort the shape but I wanted a fairly deep depression.

Then I refined it to the final shape and added the facial details. I baked it and after baking colored the whole thing with a few different alcohol inks.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #40 Arabella (3)

A light sanding brought out the white again, and instead of the look of the Sutton slice I think it looks sort of like batik fabric.

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I am making one dragon for every week in 2015.

dragon #40 Arabella (4)

The wings, ears, spines and tail tip were all sculpted and baked separately so that I could apply inks and sand them individually.

I’m really pleased with how Arabella came out and I love the shadows that are thrown by this waterlily candle holder when the candle is lit.

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

Sep 212015

jungle charm bracelet

This bracelet is one I have been wanting to make ever since I saw all these adorable ceramic animal beads in the Fire Mountain Gems catalog. I’m still waiting for the lion, who was backordered, but I’ll add him in when he arrives.

I thought the addition of some leaves made it look especially jungle-like. So, the leaves are acrylic, the animals are ceramic, and the metals are all base metal and I think this just goes to show that you don’t have to use a lot of expensive materials to make something really nice.

Here are the links for the ceramic animal beads in the Fire Mountain Gems catalog. (No they are not a sponsor of mine but I kind of wish they were. :-) )

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Jungle Cuties Charm Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.


  • 5 or 6 ceramic animal beads
  • 12 to 14 acrylic leaves
  • 5 headpins
  • jump rings and 20 gauge wire to hang your acrylic leaves
  • seed beads
  • a 6 to 7 inch length of chunky chain
  • lobster clasp
  • split ring


  • chain nose pliers
  • round the nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • split ring pliers


  1. Slide the head pins onto the ceramic charms and add seed beads as needed for filler.
  2. Arrange charms along length of chain and make wire wrapped loops attaching them to links evenly spaced along the chain.
  3. Use jump rings or 20 gauge wire to attach acrylic leaves to chain in alternate links of the chain, making wire wrapped loops as needed.
  4. Use split ring to attach lobster clasp to one end of the chain.
Sep 182015

ff nylon hammer

Nylon, rubber, rawhide and even wooden mallets are all used in similar ways when metal working. They are used to move and reshape the metal without stretching or marring it.

In the video I’ll give you some tips for using these helpful tools. It helps to understand why the metal behaves the way it does so you can control it and get the results you want.

You’ll find the nylon mallet I use on Amazon. They also have a larger 5″ nylon hammer for those who do heavier work.

Enjoy the video and happy hammering!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Nylon Hammers video over at YouTube.

Sep 172015

This week’s dragons are indeed polymer clay, although they’re done in a technique you may not have expected to ever see in polymer clay. They are made with origami folds.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #38 & 39 Kami & Oru (1)

I first got the idea when looking in my summer issue of The Polymer Arts magazine. It was an article by Izabela Nowak (izabelanowakdesign.wordpress.com) on origami folds and making jewelry with them. She made some very simple folds, but put them together in really fascinating ways. (You can an example of this in her blog header.)

I wondered if I could make a simple origami sculpture with polymer clay.

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

dragon #38 & 39 Kami & Oru (3)

A paper test dragon before trying it in clay

The first thing I did was look online for a relatively simple origami dragon. Then I made it twice in paper to make sure I understood it. Then I went to bed and woke up in the morning thinking I was insane to even try it. :-)

However the next day, after rolling out my clay very thin, cutting into a perfect 6 inch square and dusting it lightly with cornstarch, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was fairly easy to manipulate into origami folds.

dragon #38 & 39 Kami & Oru (4)

The really tricky part is where the folds stack up and get thick. Of course that’s going to create even more bulk in clay than it would in paper.

If you want to try origami and polymer clay I would highly recommend using the Sculpey Soufflé brand as it just seems to have the right feel. A light dusting of cornstarch or baby powder is all you need. The second dragon made with my leftover faux abalone clay mix needed a more heavy dusting of cornstarch which I think dried it out and made it crack. It was generally more difficult to manipulate.

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

dragon #38 & 39 Kami & Oru (2)

All in all it was a fun experiment and I’ll definitely consider trying it again with different origami forms. Maybe simpler ones this time. 😀

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I am making one dragon for every week in 2015.

Sep 142015

loopy dangles earrings

In my opinion it’s always fun to use our supplies in new and unexpected ways. Today’s earrings do just that. Seed beads are strung onto Nymo Nylon Beading thread and then several loops of these beads are dangled from bead cones.

I think it’s a fun and interesting look, especially if you like dangly earrings. Just add a few accents to the top and you’re done. If you haven’t seen my Bead Spinner video be sure to check that out, it can save you a lot of time.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Loopy Dangles Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.


  • 120 inches bead thread, such as Nymo Nylon Beading thread
  • seed beads, about 40 inches strung
  • 2 bead cones
  • 4 4mm accent beads
  • 2 8mm crystal cubes
  • 2 ear wires
  • 2 eye pins


  • Bead Spinner
  • strong adhesive glue such as superglue or E6000
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • 1-Step Looper (optional)
  1. Leaving the bead stringing thread on the spool, string 20 inches of beads.
  2. Separate out four inches of beads and cut thread so the four inches of beads are on a 12 to 14 inch length of thread.
  3. Repeat until you you have five lengths of thread with 4 inches of beads on each.
  4. Gather all the thread ends and tie into a knot around the loop of an eye pin. Tie again to secure and dab with strong glue. Allow glue to dry thoroughly before trimming the thread ends.
  5. String eye pin through a bead cone, a 4mm bead,  an 8mm cube and a 4mm bead.
  6. Using round nose pliers or One Step Loopers make a loop above last 4mm bead. Use chain nose pliers to open loop and attach ear wire.
  7. Repeat to make second earring.