May 182018
 

If you’re a creative person you probably have many projects going on at any given time.

But if you’re a beader how do you keep all of those different projects organized and keep your beads from spilling all over the place?

ff bead design boards, rhinestone picker

This set of three design boards is a great place to begin. In it you have one board for designing necklaces, one just for bracelets and another that you can use to corral most any project.

If you bead and like sparkly things you may have discovered flat back rhinestones. These little gems are wonderful for embellishing jewelry, polymer clay, garments, home dec and more.

But, they can be tricky to pick up and place exactly where you want them to be, so I was happy to receive this set of rhinestone picker pencils from the folks at BeeBeeCraft.

Watch today’s video for the details and my honest opinion on all these products.

As a special favor to my email newsletter readers BeeBeeCraft is offering $6 off your order of $15 or more to the first 25 people to use the coupon code: SANDY6

(This offer is good until July 15, 2018.)

Enjoy the video, the discount and happy creating!

Watch the Bead Design Boards for Jewelry & Beading AND Rhinestone Picker Tool Review-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

These products were provided to me for free for review purposes; however, BeeBeeCraft has no control over my content and I was not paid for the review.  The opinions shared are my own honest views.

May 152018
 

Leather is often the perfect choice when creating jewelry for guys.

But make just a few alternate design decisions and you can have a really lovely feminine piece.

pink & purple posy bracelet cover

Today’s bracelet combines metallic violet braided leather, rose gold findings and pressed glass flower beads for a boho-chunky yet soft and pretty piece of jewelry.

It goes together easily, but in order to insure a perfect fit do allow some time for the glue to dry in stages.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Purple & Pink Posy Bracelet-Flower Beads and Leather Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

The leather and findings were provided to me for free for promotional purposes; however, Endless Leather has no control over my content and I was not paid for making the project.  The opinions shared are my own honest views.

May 042018
 

I’ve been using Swarovski crystal bicone beads for years, but just recently took a closer look at another shape: rivolis.

They’re often used in bead weaving and bead embroidery projects, and wow, do they bring on the glitz!

ff rivolis

As I mention in the video, I’ve recently taken a few bead weaving and bead embroidery classes at Interweave.

My favorites so far are:

Btw, I didn’t pay the stated price for any of the classes. Interweave sent out an offer in April for a month of their courses for $1. I’ve definitely gotten way more than my money’s worth… although I probably spent the equivalent difference on beads & supplies, lol.

Since several of the projects used rivolis, I decided to buy some and learn more about them.

rivoli bead embroidery

I haven’t been disappointed in all their shimmery goodness!rivoli bead embroidery 2

Here are links to the products I show in the video:

You can also purchase Swarovski crystal rivolis and findings at Amazon. I found for the most part, the prices and selection are better at ArtBeads.com.

Watch the Rivolis, Chatons & Fancy Stones-What Are They and How to Use Them? Friday Findings video at YouTube.

May 012018
 

If you’re looking for a simple design for a necklace that’s easy to wear AND uses up some of those jewelry odds & ends you have lying around, I have just the project for you.

springtime leather lariat necklace

This lariat is basically just a length of leather with a nice silver cap glued on each end and dangles hung from the ends. It’s so simple that it’s endlessly customizable.

To wear it you simply fold the leather in half, wrap it around your neck, then slide the ends through the loop. 

You can find the flat leather and findings at Endless Leather:

springtime leather lariat long

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Springtime Leather Lariat Necklace-Quick & Easy Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

The leather and end caps were provided to me for free for promotional purposes; however, Endless Leather has no control over my content and I was not paid for making the project.  The opinions shared are my own honest views.

Apr 132018
 

Silk ribbon embroidery is one of those creative endeavors that gives even the absolute beginner amazing results. With just a one or two simple stitches, you can make all sorts of gorgeous things.

It’s also very forgiving, the ribbon does most of the work for you!

ff silk ribbon basics

I’ve been doing hand stitching since I was a little girl and always find it very soothing and relaxing. If you haven’t done it yet, I hope you’ll give a try. 

Maybe you’ll come to love it as much as I do.

Today’s video will show the basic tools and materials (which are few) for working with silk ribbon embroidery. While there are some incredibly detailed and complex pieces out there, my main focus is on creating simple little compositions that can be made into jewelry.

In the video we’ll cover: 

  • How to handle silk ribbon
  • What types of fabric to use
  • How to choose a hoop
  • The kinds of needles you’ll need
  • 3 of the most basics stitches and examples of how much you can do with them

Supplies shown in the video:

Enjoy the video. Happy creating!

Watch the Silk Ribbon Embroidery Basic Tools, Materials & How-To’s-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Apr 032018
 

This necklace design is different from your usual chain and pendant.

In fact, to be honest, when I finished with it, I wasn’t quite sure that I even liked it!

dragonfly fields necklace cover

But then I tried it on, and that made all the difference. Suddenly, in spite of the smallish pendant, it felt like a piece with lot of presence.

dragonfly fields necklace insta 2

It sort of makes me think of the bib style necklaces that are popular these days.

It’s also interesting that the shapes change as you change the length at which you wear it. Lots of interesting options to pursue!

If you make your own version of this necklace, please feel free to share your results.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Dragonfly Fields Necklace- Shaped Beaded Multi-Strand Jewelry Design Tutorial video at YouTube.

Mar 232018
 

An extruder is a fantastic tool to use for creating in polymer clay. With it you can make perfectly even ropes of clay with any cross section shape that you have a disc for.

ff clay core adapter

I love to use an extruder for making little tiny 1 mm snakes that I use for trim. So much faster than him trying to hand roll them all perfectly!

But what if any of your extruded shapes could have a hole running through the center?  What kinds of things could you create then?

Just a few of the uses I thought of:

  • Jewelry cord with stringing holes of any size you need
  • Tube beads
  • Bead cores
  • Washers
  • Flat beads of any disc shape, with a hole through the center

Don’t forget that you can cut your extrusions before OR after baking. Either way you’ll need to use a very sharp blade and be sure to extrude a little extra clay to account for the ends that need to be trimmed.

Tools & Materials:

The pendant pictured in the cover photo was created by polymer clay artist Seana Bettencourt

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the The Basics of Using a Clay Core Extruder Adapter with Polymer Clay-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Mar 202018
 

Here’s a fun way to use smaller beads as focal points in your jewelry.

Not only do you get make those not-so-large beads the center of attention, you get to fiddle and play with them, too!

spinning bead pendants cover

They’re kinda like fidget spinners, only prettier. 

The key to this design is getting the the stringing wire positioned so the bead is where you want it AND the necklace hangs straight. Be sure to watch the video for my simple trick for achieving that balance.

I finished my pendants with Vintaj Patinas, but you should feel free to use any surface technique you like. This would be a great time to use sheets of designs, slices of canes or any other bits you have hanging around your studio.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Make Your Beads SPIN! Glass Bead & Polymer Clay Kinetic Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Mar 092018
 

I have to admit when I first started seeing ribbons, sari silks and other fibers in jewelry I didn’t really care for the look. But, like with so many trends, these things tend to grow on you.

Now I’ve gone completely over the bend, using a tool intended for knitting yarn cords in my jewelry!

ff wonder knitter

One thing that’s interesting about this style is the contrast between the soft fibers and the hard metal findings. It’s also unusual and unexpected, and then there’s all that texture, which I love.

Of course, if you don’t care for the fibers you can still trying knitting with wire. 

That’s really fun, and the results are SO different.

By the way, in the video I mention that I had trouble with knitting strips of sari silk. While I was putting away the materials from this video I decided to give it one more try.

I turns out that the piece I was working with was more stiff and the fabric was thicker than most of the other strips, hence my problems. Knitting with soft, supple, lightweight sari strips isn’t hard at all! And the results are beautiful. Definitely worth a try.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Use Knitting to Make Jewelry-Wonder Knitter Tool Tutorial video at YouTube.

Mar 062018
 

Using fibers, especially silk, in jewelry making has been popular for quite some time. So when the folks at Thread Nanny asked me if I would like to try out their silk ribbons I jumped at the chance!

My first thought was to do silk ribbon embroidery, but after doing some research I realized there are lots of other things you can do is well.

knitted silk necklace cord cover

Today I am using a really cool tool to knit silk ribbons into cords for necklaces. Adding fibers with texture and weaving in beads makes them that much more unique and beautiful. Of course, you don’t have to stop at creating necklace cords! You can also make them into bracelets, handles, belts and more.

If you’d like to learn more about the Wonder Knitter and the things you can do with it be sure to watch my video this coming Friday. There are a lot more possibilities than you might expect!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Make Jewelry out of SILK! Knitted Necklace Cord-Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.