Feb 032016
 

sculpted leaves earrings

Today I bring to you the first in a new weekly series. From now on every Wednesday I’ll have another polymer clay tutorial for you, focusing primarily on using this wonderful medium in jewelry.

Sure it’s fun to buy beads and use them to make beautiful things, but I hope to challenge you to make your creations even more personal and unique¬†by making many of your own components.

This project begins with several basic sculpting techniques, so simple that you could get the kids involved! Instead of a razor blade you can give them a plastic scraper and use toothpicks in place of needle tools. ūüôā

I hope you find¬†this new series helpful. If you have ideas for videos, please let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Sculpted Leaves Earrings-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

Tools:

See the video for complete instructions.

By the way, the Garden Fairy House tutorial was published in the January/February 2015 issue of Polymer Caf√© magazine. You can find back issues here. Just scroll down to that date and you’ll see “Garden Fairy House – By Sandy Huntress” at the bottom of the list.

Feb 012016
 

frosted glass necklace & earrings

I’ve been waiting for just the perfect project to use these frosted cracked beads. I love the way the broken insides look like little druzies¬†with all their¬†sparkles.

This design, which focuses on the beads and is quite simple, is perfect. As a bonus I show how quickly you can throw together a matching pair of earrings.

By the way, I went looking for a link for you for the beads I used, which I got at Michael’s and thought were glass. The link I found (below in the supply list) looks exactly like them but says they are agates. Either way, they’re quite striking and pretty. ūüôā

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Frosted Glass Necklace & Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

necklace:

earrings:

  • 2¬†head pins
  • 2¬†ear wires
  • 4¬†3 mm silver spacer beads
  • 2 bead caps
  • 2¬†8mm hematite saucer beads
  • 2¬†spacers
  • 2¬†12mm glass beads

Tools

  • scissors
  • glue
  • 1-Step Looper¬†or round nose pliers &¬†wire cutters
  • chain nose¬†pliers

Directions

To make necklace:

  1. Make a knot 5 inches from one end of 1 mm cord. Slide on a spacer, a 12mm bead and a spacer. Make another knot right next to the second spacer.
  2. Make another knot in the cord 4 inches from first knot. Repeat pattern of adding a spacer, a 12mm bead and a spacer, finishing with another knot next to the second spacer.
  3. Continue this pattern, having 4 inches between beaded sections, until all beads & spacers are used.
  4. After adding final spacer do not make a knot. Instead knot the two cord ends together, leaving 4 inches between one of them and the nearest group of beads. Add a dab of glue to the knot and trim cords once glue is dry.

To make earrings:

  1. Onto a headpin slide a 3mm spacer, 12mm bead, bead cap, spacer bead, hematite saucer bead and a 3mm spacer bead.
  2. Make a loop with remaining wire and attach to ear wire.
  3. Repeat to make second earring.

 

Jan 292016
 

ff bead tips

As I’ve shown in other videos, there are many different ways to string beads and finish jewelry other than the typical chain or bead stringing wire.

In today’s video I show how to use bead tips, these little clam shell shaped findings. So the next time you want to use thread or fine cord you’ll know how to get neat & tidy endings to your pieces.

Here are a few examples of the different bead tips out there:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-How to Use Bead Tips video over at Youtube.

Jan 252016
 

leather tassel necklace

Today’s necklace incorporates two popular trends right now: leather and tassels. I kept the number of beads minimal and wire wrapped the leather cord for security and interest.

In the video I first bound the tassel with a bit of suede cord but as I show later I decided to wire wrap it in the same way as I did the rest of the suede cord.

It’s worth it to use the cord ends around the back of the neck so you don’t risk any scratchy bits of wire.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Leather Tassel Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

  • 24 mm round focal bead
  • 12¬†10-12 mm chunky black stone beads
  • 10 8 mm crystal roundels
  • 8 6 mm black beads
  • bead stringing wire
  • two crimps
  • two crimp covers
  • two wire protectors
  • 3 yards 1/8 inch suede cord
  • 26 gauge craft wire
  • two cord ends
  • clasp
  • 2-3 inch piece of chain
  • 8mm jump rings
  • 20 #6¬†seed beads
  • eye pin

Tools

Directions

  1. Wrap suede cord 9 to 10 times around an object approximately 4 inches across. Slide loops off the object and insert an 8 mm jump ring to hold all of the loops. Use 26 gauge wire to wrap several times 1/4 inch below the jump ring to bind the tassel. Bend the end of the wire about 1/4 inch and tuck in between loops to secure.
  2. Slide 24 mm bead onto an eye pin and make a loop at the other end of the eye pin with One Step Looper or round nose pliers.
  3. Onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp and a wire protector. Slide the wire back through the crimp and flatten with One Step Crimper or crimping pliers. Trim excess wire and cover with a crimp cover.
  4. Onto wire slide 3 6 mm black beads and then alternate five chunky black beads with five crystal roundels with a number six seed bead in between each. Add one more chunky black bead and a 6 mm bead. Slide on one loop of the 24 mm bead and then reverse the pattern of beads and crystal roundels . Add a crimp, wire protector and crimp cover as previously.
  5. Slide a 10 inch length of suede cord through 8 mm jump ring and fold back an inch of the cord. Bind with a 3-4 inch piece of 26 gauge craft wire. Trim excess suede cord. Attach loop to one of the wire protectors. Repeat to attach a 10 inch length of suede cord to the other side of necklace.
  6. Insert end of suede cord into a cord end and use flat nose pliers to flatten each side over the cord. Repeat to add a cord end to other end of necklace. Atach a lobster clasp to one side and piece of chain to the other.
  7. Add jump ring of tassel to bottom loop of 24 mm bead to finish necklace.
Jan 222016
 

ff stardust

If you’ve ever seen these sparkling, glittery metal beads and wondered about them, wonder no more!

In today’s video I explain to you all about stardust beads: what they are, how they are made and give some tips for care.

If you love sparkle and shine, you’ll love these beads. Here are a few nice ones I found:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!


You can watch the Friday Findings-Stardust Beads video over at YouTube.

Jan 182016
 

desert mesa bracelet

There are lots of different sources I use for my beads and jewelry findings, but the most convenient is my least favorite. The local craft stores such as Joann’s, Michael’s and A.C. Moore have plenty to choose from, but the quality isn’t always the best.

That’s why I was so happy to find the¬†string of oval beads I used in this Desert Mesa bracelet. One of the beads was chipped and some on the string have funky inclusions, but I rather like them anyhow.

They were labeled “Assorted Stone Beads,” so I can’t tell you exactly what they are except that they are quite interesting and look great combined with warm colored agates and antique gold findings. ūüôā

The best way to shop for jewelry making is to support your local bead store. Sadly, the only ones near me are too far to stop by regularly.

Instead I do I lot of my shopping for jewelry supplies online, here are a few of my favorites:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Desert Mesa Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 3 20x15mm oval stone beads
  • 6 14mm links of chain
  • 24 assorted 6mm beads
  • 24 head pins
  • 3 4.5-inch pieces 24 gauge wire
  • 1-inch length of chain
  • clasp
  • jump rings

Tools:

Directions:

Note: Be sure your loops are large enough to fit around the 14mm links of chain you have chosen. This is why I recommend the One Step BIG Looper, as it makes 3mm loops.

  1. Use chain nose pliers to grasp a 4.5-inch piece of wire 1.5-inches from one end. ¬†Bend wire at 90¬į angle. ¬†Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.¬† Reposition pliers to finish loop. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90¬į bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  2. Slide a 20x15mm oval bead onto wire and repeat step 1 to make another wrapped loop, this time grasping wire just above bead before bending with chain nose pliers.
  3. To make bead dangles slide each of your 6mm beads onto a head pin and make a loop with either round nose pliers or the One Step Big Looper.
  4. Use chain nose pliers to open a 14mm link of chain and attach 3 bead dangles, your clasp, 3 bead dangles and the loop of one of your stone oval beads.
  5. Open another chain link and slide onto loop on other end of your stone oval. Add three bead dangles to each side, then add another chain link.
  6. Open the chain link just added and add 3 bead dangles to each side, plus the loop of another oval dangle.
  7. Repeat the pattern of two chain links between each of the three stone ovals. Each chain link should have 3 beads dangles on each side.
  8. Finish by adding the final chain link to the loop of the third oval bead, 3 dangles, your 1-inch length of chain and 3 dangles.

 

 

 

 

Jan 162016
 

sweet treats jar

This cute candy jar is the perfect thing for any time you need a little something special for a gift. It goes together quickly with just a few supplies you’ll find in the scrapbook section of your local craft store.¬†If you’re a card maker or scrapbooker, you probably already have everything you need!

I added some special treats to this jar: Frosted Chocolate-Toffee Macadamia Nuts that¬†the Halńď Kai Lana company¬†sent me to try out. These nuts are absolutely delicious!

When you pop one into your mouth first there’s the hit of sweet from the coating, next¬†a wonderful deep, rich chocolate taste, then the crunchy toffee bits and¬†finally you get to the macadamia nut goodness in the center. So yummy. ūüôā

If you watch the video you’ll learn the story of their name, which means “Floating House in the Sea” in Hawaiian. I love how they’ve taken a tragedy and persevered to build their family business. They also have 100% Kona coffee, so be sure to check them out.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Sweet Treats Candy Jar video over at YouTube.

Materials:

Directions:

  1. Use a pencil to trace jar lid on back of patterned paper. Cut out with scissors and insert into jar ring.
  2. Fill jar with candy of choice and screw on lid with ring and paper center.
  3. Apply adhesive backed pearls or other trim to edge of jar.
  4. Thread tag onto twine or ribbon and tie in a bow around rim of jar.
  5. If you like, you can use inks (or even colored Sharpies!) to color paper flowers. Use glue dots to adhere layers of flowers, then adhere a pearl or rhinestone to each center. Adhere flowers to jar next to bow and tag.
Jan 152016
 

ff e6000

Most of the time when we make jewelry we use mechanical connections to hold things together. You know, things like jump rings, wire loops and such.

However, there are occasion where it’s not only perfectly acceptable, but desirable to use a bit of glue.

In this video I’ll tell you about one of the glues I use the most in my crafting and give you some tips for using it.

You can find E6000 in several forms:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!


You can watch the Friday Findings-E6000 Glue video over at YouTube.

Jan 122016
 

If you’ve been following my blog for any time at all you know that I just spent entirety of 2015 doing a creative challenge. Specifically, I challenged myself to make a polymer clay dragon every week of the year!

Here are a few of them:

Dragon Collage 1500x1500

Click on the photos for a closer look.

You can read about WHY I did the challenge here, in my post on Errol, dragon #1¬†and you can review all 52 dragons on my Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board.

tiger's voyage dragons

These are some of my favorites, dragons based on the book, Tiger’s Voyage.

Completing the challenge accomplished what I hoped it would, as I’m now much more disciplined about working on my art, rather than just looking at what other people have done and collecting ideas.

Oh, but I do have ideas! And now that I have time to work on my 2016 plans here are some of them:

  • Use what I learned in the Torch Fired Precious Metal Clay Class¬†I took on Craftsy. Jenny Vestal does¬†a great job breaking it all down for beginners. Now I just need to buy some PMC and get started. I¬†definitely want to make dragons out of silver clay!
  • Continue working on polymer clay sculpture with a focus on figures. I especially want to develop expression and personality in my pieces. Some of the books I ¬†plan to work through:
    • Christi Friesen‚Äôs¬†Flourish¬†– Nearly done with this one.
    • Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay
    • How to Make Clay Characters¬†– I made several pieces from this book years ago, when I didn’t know much about polymer clay. I didn’t get¬†the concept of conditioning the clay properly and they’ve all since crumbled. Let that be a lesson to ya!
    • Family and Friends in Polymer Clay¬†– This one is exciting to think about as I can’t tell you how many times I’ve studied someone’s face and thought, “I want to sculpt them.” Now to get some willing subjects…
  • Create weekly polymer clay tutorials for my YouTube channel. I’ve already started and these will be uploaded every Wednesday, beginning¬†in February.
  • Continue to write tutorials for Polymer Caf√© magazine. I have some exciting news regarding that publication, but it will have to wait until later, when I can share.
  • Perhaps turn some of the dragon projects into tutorials? I’m still considering how best to accomplish that.

So those of some of my plans for 2016. Have you made plans or set goals? I’d love to hear about them, feel free to share in the comments. Then we can all hold one another accountable. ūüėÄ

Happy creating!

 

**The links  provided are for products I own, have used and would recommend to a friend.  I do participate in affiliate programs with Amazon, Craftsy and a couple others, but I will never link to anything I cannot personally endorse.

Yes, Keepsake Crafts will make money if you choose to make a purchase through these links.  However, I can almost guarantee it will go right back into buying more crafty goodies!  ?

Jan 112016
 

tapered crystals bracelet

Today’s bracelet has LOTS¬†of sparkle. I just love the rhinestone spacer¬†bars and all of the Swarovski crystals. You could certainly make your bracelet have an entirely different feel by choosing different beads instead of all the bling if that’s not what you’re in the mood for.

Links to many of the supplies I used are in the supply list below the video.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Tapered Crystals Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

Tools

Directions:

  1. At the end of a six-inch piece of bead stringing wire slide a crimp. Flatten and cover with a crimp cover. Trim any excess wire. Slide the wire into the center hole of an 18 x 3 mm three hole spacer bar.
  2. Slide on a 4mm crystal, 3 6mm crystals, another 4mm crystal and the center hole of a 20 x 3 mm spacer bar.
  3. Add a 4mm crystal, 6 6mm crystals, a 4mm crystal and the center hole of a 20 x 3 mm spacer bar.
  4. And a 4mm crystal, 3 6mm crystals, another 4mm crystal and the center hole of a 18 x 3 mm spacer bar.
  5. Add a crimp and flatten, cover with a crimp cover cover and trim excess wire.
  6. On a 10 inch piece of bead stringing wire slide 3 4mm crystals the hole of a 12mm two hole spacer bar, 3 4mm crystals and an outside hole of one of the 18mm spacer bars.
  7. Repeat steps 2-4, then add 3 4mm crystals, a 12mm two hole spacer bar and 3 4mm crystals.
  8. Repeat steps 6 -7 to string another 10 inch piece of bead stringing wire through the remaining holes of the spacer bars. To finish the ends slide both wires through a crimp. Flatten, trim one wire and cover with a crimp cover.
  9. Slide the wire through a crimp wire protector and add your clasp. Slide the wire back through the crimp, flatten, trim the excess wire and cover with a crimp cover. Repeat to finish other end, adding a piece of chain.