Apr 292016

ff split ring loop

Here’s another very basic technique for holding together your jewelry. It’s quicker than wrapped loops and more secure than simple loops.

All you need to make these double, or split ring, loops is a pair of Round Nose Pliers and some Wire Cutters.

It’s not something I use very often because I prefer the less bulky look of a single loop, but I’m sure there are times when it could be handy. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Split Ring Double Loops video at YouTube.

Apr 272016

bead flourishes

This is a simple way to dress up any bead and make it into a focal piece. As long as your bead is stone, glass or anything able to withstand a 275° F. oven, you’re all set.

The amount of clay used is minimal and the techniques are easy. We’re just adding leaves, scrolls and dots. Of course, feel free to sculpt whatever you like!

I like to bake these beads on a bit of quilt batting (yup, it’s fine in the low oven) to keep from flattening out the textures on the back.

Some of the tools & materials used:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Polymer Clay Bead Flourishes Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Apr 252016

olive jade earrings

I just noticed that the shape of these earrings is sort of reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower. Totally unintentional, but I like the look.

The two-holed half tila beads give the structure and the olive jade teardrops add some interest at the end. If you aren’t familiar with tila beads, check out my Tila Beads video. They’re fun to create with.

This design goes together quickly, but crimping the two crimp beads at the top can be tricky. Next time I might string a few more seed beads above the last tila just to leave a bit more space.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Olive Jade Teardrop Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Apr 222016

ff choosing the right wire (1)

Wire comes in so many different sizes, materials and finishes, it can be tricky to choose just which one is right for your intended purpose. In today’s video I give some tips to help.

Also, this Jewelers Wire Gauge can quite useful for determining what size wire you have.

Here are a few of the wires I work with most often:

For more about wire:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-How To Choose the Right Wire video over at YouTube.

Apr 202016

tribal canes necklace

In today’s video I show you how to make three simple 2-color polymer clay canes. Making beads & jewelry from these is as easy as cutting slices and adding stringing holes.

You can also cut thin slices of the canes and use them as veneers on shaped beads. Don’t forget that you can use the scraps from cane-making as well. For the central piece in my necklace above I surrounded a slice of the squared swirl cane with some leftovers from the checkerboard cane.

tribal canes

Although I love the spiral cane, I wasn’t really thrilled with the way the basket weave came out. I think if I’d used five layers for the initial stack, with the darker color  on the outsides, the design would have been more clear. Also, wrapping it with a thin sheet of clay, like I did for the checkerboard, would have been good. Ah, well….

Have fun creating and experimenting! When you’re done simply string them together with some spacers and other beads and you have a fun, graphic necklace with a tribal vibe.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Tribal Canes & Necklace-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Apr 182016

imperial jasper bracelet (1)

This bracelet design is similar to ones I’ve done before, combining single strands of larger beads with smaller ones on multiple strands. It’s easy to do, and an interesting look. It’s also a great trick for stretching a few special beads to make an entire piece of jewelry. 😀

The silver stardust beads bring out some of the silvery gray color in the jasper beads. I’d considered using black beads as an accent, but thought they were too stark.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Imperial Jasper Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Apr 152016

ff what is jasper

It’s really quite fascinating to delve into the origins of the beads we use in our jewelry. It makes me much more appreciative of these beautiful objects and thankful we have such easy access today!

Jasper is a semi-precious gemstone that is available in a wide variety of colors and designs. In today’s video I show you several different types and explain a bit about this natural material.

If you’re interested in learning more Barlow’s Gems website has many gorgeous and intriguing stone beads and cabochons and they do a great job explaining where each comes from. I especially like the story about Deschutes Jasper.

Here are a few more examples of jasper beads:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-What is Jasper video over at YouTube.

Apr 132016

Ombré disc beads

This necklace combines two of my favorite things you can do with polymer clay: an ombré blend and great texture.

The result does NOT look like a bunch of colorful potato chips, but instead is rather funky and elegant.  😀

As I show in the video, the look is a bit different without the seed beads between each disc. You decide which you prefer.

As promised, the first in the list below is the link to my video on making clay blends. The rest are some links to free classes at CraftArtEdu on how to make and manipulate polymer clay blends.

If you like the colors I used in my blend I list them in the supply list below. Two parts of each of the three main colors was mixed with one part Pearl clay to get my beginning shades.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Ombré Disc Beads-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Apr 112016

chipped swags earrings

I’m always a fan of designs that can be easily changed to get a completely different look.

Today’s earrings use tiger eye chips to make spiky swags hanging from short lengths of chain. But think how different they would feel if the beads were smooth rounds, or crystals, or even tiny seed beads.

Have fun creating and making this design your own.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Chipped Swag Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Apr 082016

ff sliding knots

Sometimes just stringing a focal piece onto a simple cord is the best design choice. There is such a thing as too much embellishment!

That, combined with the fact that I love my necklaces to be adjustable, is why I use this sliding knot closure so often.

It’s not complicated to make, but you will get the best results if you follow the steps in the video.

My favorite cords for sliding knots:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-How to Add a Sliding Knot Closure video over at YouTube.