Aug 152017
 

Have you ever purchased beads or charms just because you liked them, but without any idea what you were going to use them for?

starfish charms earrings cover

Since I don’t have unlimited funds I try not to purchase things without at least an idea of what I’m going to do with them, but sometimes you just have to go for it and trust that the ideas will come later!

That’s what I did with these starfish beads. I purchase them at Michael’s, they come on a strand of 12 beads, four each in antique copper, antique gold and antique silver finish.

They would make a really cute dangly charm bracelet just by stringing them onto head pins with some other beads and hanging them all from a bracelet chain, but that seemed kind of obvious and I’ve made lots and lots of charm bracelets.

Sooooooo….

In today’s video I give you ideas for using many of your beads and charms in unique ways and I’ll also give you tips for making your earrings hang nicely and keep your charms facing the way you want them to.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Starfish Charm Earrings-Jewelry Design Tutorial video at YouTube.

Aug 082017
 

All the lovely strands of Czech fire polish beads that I’ve received in recent months from my Dollar Bead Bag subscription are what got me started on today’s bracelet.

I knew they would look really pretty together as a multi-strand bracelet.

summer gypsy bracelet cover

Using a slide/tube clasp keeps the design simple and the focus on the beads. I added in just a few copper spacer beads to fill out the strands and tie all five of them together. The colors were inspired by summer and by the Summer Gypsy Earrings I made recently.

This bracelet has five strands, but add more if you like!

I ended up using three of my strands of Czech fire polish beads: Opaque Red Vintage Bronze Luster, Light Erinite and Crystal Light Beige Luster. These were filled in with some small turquoise nuggets and a strand of frosted orange glass seed beads.

You may have noticed some larger beads on my work table that I didn’t end up using in the finished bracelet. I had thought when I began to throw a few cute beads onto headpins and make a couple dangles near the clasp, but ended up changing my mind on that.

Picture how elegant this bracelet would look with all the strands the exact same beads. Simple and sophisticated. It would also be pretty done in ombré shades.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Summer Gypsy Bracelet-Beaded Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Aug 042017
 

Have you heard of howlite? If you work at all with beads and jewelry you likely have seen a lot more of this gemstone than you realize.

ff howlite cover

If you’ve seen beads that are carved, shaped and then dyed bright colors, you’ve probably seen howlite!

howlite etsy

Howlite’s main claim to fame is that it is very soft and that means that it takes dye very well. In turn that means it is often used to imitate other stones such as turquoise, coral or even lapis lazuli.

howlite amazon

Although there are dishonest sellers will try to pass off dyed howlite as more expensive stones, you can tell an honest seller by the fact that their colorful stones are clearly labeled as dyed howlite.

howlite artbeads

If you think you might have some imitation gemstones you can check out the video by Gem Rock Auctions entitled “How to Tell the Difference Between Turquoise and Dyed Howlite.”

Although howlite is a fairly plain stone on its own, it definitely has its uses, whether to be dyed bright colors that cannot be found anywhere in nature or to be used as its own clean and simple white self.

You can find howlite:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Howlite, The Master of Disguise Gemstone-Friday Findings at YouTube.

Aug 012017
 

This lovely plover bead has been sitting on my studio table for way too long now. I’ve enjoyed looking at it but it was high time it got made into something wearable!

beach scene necklace cover

This bead was made by Shannon Vickers of Blue Blazes Lampwork.  You can also see what she’s up to on her Facebook page.

Many of you have told me that you enjoy the tutorials where I explain the design process. That’s why today’s video is longer than usual.

Let me know which you prefer:

  • shorter videos
  • or more of my rambling about design.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Beach Scene Necklace-Lampwork Focal Bead Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Jul 282017
 

Today I have for you a look at all the goodies in the July 2017 Dollar Bead Box and Bag. This is a monthly subscription service which brings Czech fire polish beads and/or an assortment of other beads and jewelry findings to your door. 

ff july 2017 bead box

It’s so much fun to get a box of beads in my mailbox every month!

Even if I usually have NO idea what I’m going to do with most of them, I love this kind of assortment because it challenges me. These boxes are great because they make you think creatively and open your mind to using new patterns, colors and materials.

What possibilities come to your mind when you see these beads? 

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Bead & Jewelry Supply Unboxing-July 2017 Dollar Bead Box Subscription-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Jul 252017
 

I had prepared a completely different project for you this week: something involving handmade lampwork beads, lots of dangling wire wrapped components and a variety of interesting features to accent a large glass focal.

However, when it came time to sit down and record the video I just didn’t feel like it!

rose blush necklace cover

Instead my mind turned to a photo I had just come across on Pinterest of a very simple, yet elegant necklace. I then went digging through my stash to see if I could find two connector pieces to hold the multiple strands together. The ones I had in mind ended up not working, but I came across these pieces left over from another project.

As I mentioned in the video I recently re-organized all of my beads and findings, sorting them not only by color as they have always been, but also by type.

It’s only been a week or so since I’ve finished and I’ve already found the system to be much more useful in finding what I need and also seeing all the different sizes and variations I have of any one type of bead, such as these rose quartz beads, I found to my surprise I had them in 8 mm, 6 mm and 4 mm faceted (which I ended up not using in this project.)

You can add as many strands as you like to this design, just be sure to test out the lengths before you finish up your connections so that everything drapes nicely inside each other.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Rose Blush Necklace-Rose Quartz Statement Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube,

Jul 212017
 

Songmics asked if I would like to review another of their products, and since the jewelry box I previously reviewed for you wasn’t quite your traditional one, I chose this box, which looks a bit more like what you’d expect from a jewelry box.

ff jewelry box review

I also chose it because of the intriguing configuration. I really like the way so much storage is tucked into this fairly small space. The miniature travel size jewelry box is really cute, too!

This is their Amazon description: Songmics Jewelry Box Girls Jewelry Organizer Mirrored Mini Travel Case Lockable Black. I guess that says it all!

Although I’m not quite sure why they stopped at “Girls,” as it could work very nicely for women or men as well.

This case is off to some special who is having a birthday soon. I hope she likes it!

Enjoy the video review and happy creating!

Watch the Jewelry Box-Organizer-Travel Case-Lockable-Friday Findings Product Review video at YouTube.

Jul 182017
 

I love how creative ideas multiply! It’s really true what somebody once said that as long as you are working with your creativity you can never run out of ideas. The more you work in the creative arts trying to express what it is you want to convey the more ideas will come to you.

altered feathered fringe cover

As I’ve mentioned before, this has helped me to recently understand why artists work in series. It’s because one idea truly does beget another. As creative people we are always asking, “What if?”

A  couple weeks ago I shared with you my Feathered Fringe  Earrings. I wasn’t totally in love with them when I finish making them, but I have found since that I do really enjoy wearing them, mostly because of the dangle factor. But as I mentioned in the video, I found myself questioning when I started writing the descriptions about boho and gypsy. With all that bright silver were they really?

Then I remembered a technique I learned some time ago from a card and paper crafts artist, Jennifer McGuire. She showed how to use embossing powders to alter metal charms which she mostly used for decorating cards and scrapbooks.

The key to using these embossing powders successfully in jewelry is to make sure that they are fully melted.

If you are using an embossing powder that doesn’t melt to a smooth shiny finish it can be tricky, so always test them by rubbing firmly with your fingers. If the embossing powders come off then you need to recoat with sticky ink and try embossing again, perhaps for a slightly longer time, but being careful not to scorch.

To continue the boho and gypsy style my funky altered feathered fringe pendant was hung with just a simple lark’s head knot on 1/8 inch suede strips . I suspect this one is going to get a lot of wear this summer!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Alter & Customize Jewelry Findings-Altered Feathered Fringe-Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Jul 142017
 

I hope you all are enjoying the jewelry box reviews that I have been doing lately. Since my channel focuses on making jewelry, I figured that we all need places to store our precious things.

ff girl's jewelry box review

 

Today’s video is for a jewelry box in sweet shades of lavender and aqua.

Honestly, I love it enough to use it myself! However it’s going to be a birthday gift for my granddaughter. Of course I will tuck in a few pieces of jewelry for her as well. Couldn’t give a jewelry box to somebody without adding a bracelet or a necklace, could I?

purple box c

One thing I noticed that was different about this jewelry box compared to the other two that I reviewed is that the drawers seem much sturdier. As I mentioned in the video the dividers don’t come out like they do in the other two boxes I reviewed. Instead the purple divided sections are each filled with an interior box that is wrapped in the aqua fabric. This reinforces the dividers and I think is an excellent idea for a piece intended for a child.

Note that the Amazon listing says that this jewelry box is lockable, but it is not. There were no keys included and there is no place on the latch to insert a key.

Here are links to the jewelry boxes I have reviewed so far.

Songmics has generously agreed to give away one of each of these two jewelry boxes!

One person will win this lavender and aqua one and one person will win the Stackable Jewelry Boxes. 

jewelry box giveaway

To enter to win, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The contest ends at midnight, July 20, 2017 and is only available to those in the continental United States.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Girl’s Purple & Aqua Jewelry Box Review-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Jul 112017
 

summer gypsy earrings cover

The bright, cheerful colors of these earrings put me in mind of steamy summer days playing in the dazzling sunshine. And those endless swingy dangles seem like they need to be paired with a long, swishy broomstick skirt in bright clashing shades.

Can you tell that summer is my favorite season?

As I mention in the video these earrings are were inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest. It was of a pair of earrings that are no longer in the Boho Style Me Etsy shop. You should check out her shop! I absolutely Love everything in it. There’s not a thing I saw that I would not personally wear.

In the video I show you some ways of looking at your supplies with new eyes so that you can use things in interesting and unusual ways, rather than always having to run out and purchase a specific thing you think you need. I found it very satisfying to find a way to use bead cones as chandelier earring findings!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Summer Gyspy Earrings-Dangle Boho Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.