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.

Materials

  • 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

Tools

Directions

  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.

Materials

  • 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

Tools

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

Directions

  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.

Materials

  • 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

Tools

  • 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.

 

Sep 112015
 

ff texture hammer

In today’s video I’ll tell you a little bit about this Texturing Hammer. It’s a great tool to use when doing any kind of work with wire or sheet-metal, especially if you like a textural look.

What’s fun about this tool is that you get nine different faces, nine different textures and you can have any two of them on the hammer at once.

So if you want to give your hammered wire, sheet metalor jewelry pieces a different kind of look, give this tool a try.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Texture Hammer video over at YouTube.

Sep 102015
 

This weeks dragon was started when I watched Sandrartes’ wonderful polymer clay video on making a cat that is a cell phone holder. I thought it was utterly adorable and amazingly clever and immediately decided to make my own version: a dragon, of course. 🙂

dragon #37 Sadie (1)

Meet Sadie, who along with Siri, helps me out with my iPhone.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #37 Sadie (2)

The trick in this design is getting the form to follow the function. The tail actually plays a big part in keeping everything balanced.

dragon #37 Sadie (3)

While putting away my groceries this week I discovered my newest favorite texturing tools: the mesh bags used for produce. The fine mesh used on the spines was a sleeve holding my heads of garlic. The medium mesh held onions and the largest mesh held avocados.

I just loved being able to wrap this texture around the clay and hold onto it while adding details but not smearing my pattern.

dragon #37 Sadie (4)

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

Be sure to visit Sandrartes’ YouTube channel, she has lots of wonderful, creative designs.

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

Sep 072015
 

wild hearts crystal earrings

Top drilled beads often present a problem as to how to hang them. We can wire wrap which takes a bit of time and the skill and know-how. You could just simply use a jump ring which isn’t a particularly elegant or secure method.

Today I thought I would try something different and use bead stringing wire and seed beads. I like the way the little pearly white beads accent the crystal heart. Just a few other beads that play off the crystals, some crimping, ear wires and you’re done.

This design is so open to interpretation, any kind of top drilled beads will work and any kind of smaller beads that accent it would work, so have fun playing with your designs.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Wild Hearts Crystal Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

  • 2 12mm Swarovski Crystal Wild Heart pendants
  • 32 11/0 seed beads
  • 2 8mm beads
  • 4 4mm spacer beads
  • 2 6mm beads
  • 2 crimps
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • 2 ear wires
  • 2 4 1/2 inch pieces bead stringing wire

Tools

  1. Onto the bead stringing wire string eight seed beads, a crystal heart and another eight seed beads.
  2. Bring the ends of the wire together and string onto both wires an 8 mm bead, a 4 mm spacer, a 6 mm bead, a 4 mm spacer and a crimp.
  3. Onto one wire slide the wire guardian then slide this end of wire back through the crimp.
  4. Pull up both wires tight leaving space for a crimp cover. Use crimping pliers to flatten crimp then cover with the crimp cover.
  5. Open loop of an ear wire and attach wire guardian to complete the earring.