Jan 092015
 

So the hubs got me a bunch of tools for Christmas. He did well, out of nine things, only one was something I already had. I’ve returned that and gotten the One Step Looper, so I’ll be doing a review of that next week. :-)

But for today, the One Step Crimper.

friday findings one step crimper

I’m not always a fan of specialty tools that do only one thing that you could learn to do yourself with a bit of know-how and practice.

They put me in mind of those As-Seen-On-TV promos that make it seem like separating an egg is a near impossible task. I always make fun of them, probably because I know of three different ways to easily separate an egg, all without any tools besides your hands.

But I digress.

Back to the One Step Crimper. If you’ve watched many of my videos, you’ve seen me admit that I don’t have good success with traditional crimping pliers and usually just end up squashing my crimps with pliers and covering them with crimp covers.

So this tool may end up being the new favorite I didn’t know I needed. :-) I found it very easy to use, right out of the box and made several perfect crimps with crimp beads.

In the video I give you more details of what to use and how to use it. I hope you find this review/tutorial helpful!

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Friday Findings-One Step Crimper Product Review video over at YouTube.

Jan 082015
 

For a while now I’ve been thinking about doing some sort of creative challenge. We all need to stretch ourselves in order to grow, and sometimes it’s too easy just to watch another YouTube video rather than go make something myself.

procrastionation-pinterest

Know what I mean?

Several things came together towards the end of December to convince me that I needed to take the jump and make a commitment

At the end of the year Wendy Jorre de St Jorre posted a collage of all 52 tree canes she had made in 2014. That had been her challenge to herself, to make a tree cane each week, and I was impressed that she completed it!

Tree cane #38 "Tiffany Style Tree" by Wendy Jorre de St Jorre.

You can see those canes and more on her Pinterest board. This one is my favorite. Wow.

In the Winter 2014 issue of The Polymer Arts, Anke Humpert is talking about creativity and limits. She points out that “the absence of time restrictions and boundaries or rules does not necessarily lead to many ideas flowing freely.”

She goes on to point out that it’s usually the opposite, “Having some sort of restriction does lead to a kind of kick in the butt and encourages ideas to sprout.”

TPA winter 2014

You can read that article in this issue, Boundaries.

 

That’s what I need: a kick in the butt.

Back in 2012 it was the Year of the Dragon, and I thought it would be fun to do something dragon themed. but I just wasn’t ready. Now, I think I am.

I hereby accept the challenge to make a dragon each week in 2015.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to Thursday’s dragon #1:

dragon #1 Errol the wanderer (1)

This is Errol. His name means ‘wanderer,’ which is why he’s hitched himself to a bangle bracelet, so he can wander with me wherever I go. :-)

dragon #1 Errol the wanderer (4)

The background of the bracelet was done with a technique I learned in Syndee Holt’s Bangle Bracelet class over at the Polymer Clay Adventure.

dragon #1 Errol the wanderer (3)

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

dragon #1 Errol the wanderer (2)

Btw, if you’re thinking that I started a week late with my first dragon, there are 53 Thursdays in 2015, so the 52nd will be due on the last day of the year. :-)

Happy creating all!

 

Jan 062015
 

Happy first What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday of 2015!

2015 01 06 woyw jungle baby quilt

Today’s desk shows a baby quilt I’m working on for an upcoming shower.

baby bow ties0002

The pattern is Baby Bow Ties from Sweet and Simple Baby Quilts. I love this book because all the patterns are indeed, sweet and simple. Plus, their cutting charts make cutting quick and foolproof.

Isn’t that jungle print the cutest? And the prairie point edge is a nice touch.

I hope you’re having a wonderful start to your new year! I don’t make resolutions, but I have issued myself a couple challenges. Check back tomorrow to see the results of one, I think you’ll like it. :-)

If you have a few minutes to take a break, be sure to check out the busyness on the desks of other creative folks from all around the world. We link up over at Julia’s every Wednesday to do just that.

Happy creating!

Jan 052015
 

Ombre Necklace

This necklace is all about the beads and the ombre shading from dark to light.  Once you’ve chosen all your beads the little silver spacers tie everything together and the stringing is simple.

As usual I chose to make mine adjustable. In the video I show you a trick for using fine chain, rather than the chunky I usually use, and still have a necklace that’s adjustable in length.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Ombre Blend Necklace Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 10-12 dark blue beads
  • 10-12 medium dark blue beads
  • 10-12 medium blue beads
  • 10-12 medium light blue beads
  • 10-12 light blue beads
  • 3mm silver spacer beads
  • bead stringing wire
  • 2 crimps
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • silver plated chain, fine gauge
  • 4mm jump rings
  • lobster clasp

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Cut the fine gauge chain into 1 inch pieces. Reconnect the pieces with 4mm jump rings to make chains the length you need.
  2. Onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp, then slide wire into one end of wire protector and out the other. Add one end of your piece of chain to the wire protector. Slide the wire end back through the crimp and bring crimp to within 1/8-inch of wire protector. Flatten crimp and squeeze ends of wire protector together. Trim shorter piece of wire close to crimp. Cover crimp with a crimp cover by picking up with crimping pliers, sliding over flattened crimp and gently squeezing pliers. Use crimping pliers to shape cover into a round bead shape if necessary.
  3. Slide a spacer bead onto your wire. Add all your lightest color beads, each separated by a spacer bead. Continue to add beads from lightest to darkest,  each separated by a spacer bead. End with a spacer bead.
  4. Repeat step 2 to finish end, adding a lobster clasp to end of one of piece of chain.
Jan 022015
 

fuchsia finery statement necklace close up

In a previous video I used a purchased wire bird’s nest for my pendant focal point. After studying it for a while I think I figured out the general idea of how it’s made.

friday findings wire nest

My design could definitely use some work. I’m thinking that it might work out better to wrap the wires more evenly, like from 12 to 6 o’clock, then from 3 to 9 o’clock, then in between and so on.

Let me know what you come up with and any improvements you figure out. We’ll all benefit!

You can share photos of what you’ve made with this tutorial on Keepsake Crafts’ Facebook page in the Your Creations album.

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Friday Findings-Making Wire Nests video over at YouTube.

 

Dec 302014
 

Happy final What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday of 2014!

2014 12 31 woyww  tribal pendants (1)

Now that Christmas is over, I’ve been trying to finish up a few projects, including these Tribal Pendants from Sylvie Peraud’s CraftArtEdu.com class.

tribal pendant 1

I wasn’t happy with this first one I made, so I did two more.

2014 12 31 woyww  tribal pendants (2)

I’m loving the bright colors of the one of the right. Those are so much more me than the earthy tones of the other two. Maybe I can get it done in time to wear for New Year’s Eve. :-)

I hope this day finds you looking forward to God’s blessings in 2015. No matter how bad things seem, there is always much to be thankful for.  (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Wondering why I’m posting photos of my desk? Well it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all go visiting the creative spaces of creative people all over the world. The blog link party starts at Julia’s.

Happy creating and Happy New Year, all!

Dec 292014
 

You might have noticed, but I’ve always been one of those “I can make it myself” kinda gals. :-)

I think that’s why I find jewelry wire work so fascinating,  you  can make just about everything yourself: ear wires, head pins, eye pins, jump rings and even wire frames, like I show in today’s video.

sweetly twisted earrings

And not just any wire frame, but one from twisted wire, which is far more interesting, doncha think?

Speaking of ear wires, I was feeling lazy and used purchased ones in these earrings, but I think I must go  make and make a pair of sterling silver ear wires, because it’s fairly obvious that the ones I used don’t at all match the other pretty silver components.

You can share any projects based on this video at my Facebook page in the “Your Creations” album.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Sweetly Twisted Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 10 inch pieces 20 gauge sterling silver filled wire
  • 2 10 inch pieces 24 gauge sterling silver filled wire
  • 2 6mm x 10mm top drilled teardrop beads
  • 2 ear wires
  • 2 6mm jump rings
  • 20 3mm pearls

Tools:

  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • vice grips
  • 2 1-inches pieces of popsicle stick
  • 29mm x 23mm oval mandrel

See video for complete directions.

Dec 262014
 

friday findings hammered wire dangles

Hammering is a fun and easy way to turn a simple piece of wire into something quite interesting. It was a lot of fun making this video and playing with store bought eye pins. I will definitely be revisiting this idea, especially the curvy wire dangles.

I hope you take this idea and run with it. As always, the possibilities are endless!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. :-)

You can watch the Friday Findings-Hammered Wire Dangles video over at YouTube.

Dec 232014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday and Happy Christmas Eve!

I have no desk to show you today, as all that is on it are some scraps of wrapping paper, scissors and bits of tape.

garden fairy house 1200

But many of you asked to see the Garden Fairy House project of mine that was published in the January issue of Polymer Cafe. So here you go.

Click on any of the pics for a closer look.

garden fairy house ladybug

Here are several photos that didn’t make it into the magazine.

garden fairy house window

The base was built on a votive candle holder, so that gives you an idea of the size.

garden fairy house flowers

I used real leaves to give the texture on the roof.

garden fairy house

And I still haven’t gotten mine into the garden. Next spring, for sure. :-)

polymer cafe contents

If you’d like to learn how to make this (and other things) be sure to check out the January/February 2015 issue of Polymer Cafe.

Happy creating and Merry Christmas!

P.S. If you’re not too crazy busy this Christmas Eve, take a little time to see what’s on the workdesks of creative folks from all over. Join our weekly blog link party over at Julia’s.

Dec 222014
 

Using curved tubes to separate our beads gives this bracelet graceful movement. They really do move around almost like dancing as you wear it.

Dancing Agates Bracelet

If you haven’t seen curved tubes before, check out the selection at Fire Mountain Gems. I love the “S” shaped ones, too. Can’t you just imagine the design possibilities?
3 wire reduction through a bead

Here is the stringing chart I promised you in the video.  It’s not rocket science, but I thought the visual helped. :-)

Swarovski crystal bicones would be a natural in this bracelet, as would any sparkly bead. Have fun choosing your own.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Dancing Agates Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 18 21mm curved silver tube beads
  • 15 6mm round agate beads
  • toggle clasp
  • 2 wire protectors
  • 4 crimps
  • 4 crimp covers
  • 3 11-inch lengths bead stringing wire
  • 2 10mm brushed silver triangle beads

Tools:

  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers
  • chain nose pliers

 Directions:

  1. Hold all strands of wire together and slide a crimp onto all three. Use chain nose pliers to flatten crimp 2 inches from one end. Trim short end of one wire.
  2. Use crimping pliers to pick up and add a crimp cover over the crimp, squeezing gently to close.
  3. Slide remaining two wires through a 10mm triangle bead and through a crimp.
  4. Slide one wire in one end and out the other of a wire protector. Slide on a piece of your clasp.
  5. Slide wire end coming out of wire protector back through crimp. Use chain nose pliers to flatten crimp. Trim two remaining wires and cover with a crimp cover.
  6. Onto each wire slide an alternating pattern of curved tubes and agate beads until you have six tubes and five agates on each wire.
  7. Slide a crimp over all three wires, pull up all wires snug, then back off 1/4 inch to leave a little slack and flatten the crimp with chain nose pliers. Trim end of one wire.
  8. Repeat steps 2-5 to finish other ends of wires.