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.
Jan 082016
 

ff cord ends

Lots of perfectly lovely jewelry is made using chain, bead links with wire or beads on stringing wire. However, there are so many other possibilities!

Silk ribbon and cording is popular in jewelry making today, as are leather cords, suede strips, cotton cord and even waxed linen twine.

Most of those alternate items can just be knotted in the back, but what if you want a bracelet or a necklace that doesn’t fit over the head or just need a nicer finish?

That’s where cord ends come in. In today’s video I’ll show you a variety of cord ends and give tips for how to use them.

Here are just a few cord ends to get you started. Be sure to check the size against the cording you want to finish.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Cord Ends video over at YouTube and be sure to leave a thumbs up!

Jan 042016
 

crystal tassel earrings

Tassels are very popular now and they are being made out of everything: chain, leather, silk, cotton & other cords, so why not make them out of strands of crystal beads?

The colors of the beads and the style of the bead cones I used give these earrings an exotic feel, but your choices will make your earrings your own unique creation.

I used 4mm Blue Zircon Bicone Swarovski Crystal Beads for the stripe along the bottoms. For the rest of the beads I used a mix called Sonoran which includes the colors:

You could use all metal beads, gemstones or seed beads. You could make the tassels all one or just two colors, or make the strands longer or shorter.

Have fun coming up with your own designs!

Enjoy the video and happy creating.


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

Materials:

  • 122 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • 2 bead cones
  • 2 ear wires
  • 2 eye pins
  • 2 4mm round beads
  • 2 3mm round beads
  • 24 crimps
  • bead stringing wire

Tools:

  1. Slide a crimp onto bead stringing wire and crimp near the end of the wire with the One Step Crimper. Trim any excess wire. Slide on 10 beads and another crimp. Slide the wire back through the crimp to make a 1/8-inch loop. Flatten the crimp with the One Step Crimper and trim excess wire.
  2. Repeat step 1 to make 12 beaded units.
  3. Slide the top loops of 6 beaded units onto an eye pin and close securely. Use chain nose pliers to bend eye of the eye pin at a 90 degree angle to the wire. Slide eye pin into a bead cone and adde a 4mm round bead, a 4mm bicone crystal and a 3mm round bead. Use round nose pliers and wire cutters to make a loop with remaining eye pin wire.
  4. Open loop of ear wire and attach to this loop.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 to make second earring.

 

 

Jan 012016
 

ff briolettes

Even those of us who have been working with jewelry for quite some time can be confused by the various terms out there.

I have been working for some time through the book Wire Jewelry Masterclass and found several designs where she called for briolettes. Looking at the designs I had a pretty good idea of what she meant but wanted to know exactly what was called for, so I did a little research.

The result of that research is today’s video. I will explain to you exactly what a briolette bead is, and also show you what it isn’t.

If you’d like to try working with these elegant beads, here are a few to choose from:

ff briolettes

You can see an example of briolettes in the earrings on the right pictured above. The ones on the left called for briolettes, but I ended up using just teardrop beads.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

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

 

Dec 312015
 

Well, I did it!

I proudly present to you the 52nd and FINAL polymer clay dragon in my personal challenge to make a dragon sculpture for every week in 2015. Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I started.

I’ve made huge dragons on towers, teeny tiny dragon on cabochons, 2-dimensional dragons (so NOT my thing), necklaces, bracelets, treasure dragons, ocean dragons, forest dragons, steampunk dragons and even a cell phone holder dragon!

It’s been fun and I learned a lot, but phew! It’ll be nice to not have to pump one out every week. 🙂

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #52 Opal 1

Opal was inspired by Donna Greenberg’s Rhythm Ruffle technique which was published in The Polymer Arts magazine in Fall of 2012. As soon as I saw it I thought, “Dragon spines!” 🙂

dragon #52 Opal 2

For the base color I used Premo’s new Opal clay. The accent colors are Sculpey Souffle Lagoon, Peacock Pearl and Pearl Purple.

Opal’s body is Premo Opal mixed with just a tiny pinch of Peacock Pearl.

dragon #52 Opal 3

I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board so you can see them all in one place. Some time soon I’ll put together a collage of the favorites.

As for New Year’s resolutions? I don’t make ’em. I make goals and plans to reach those goals, and those can start any time of the year. After all what are resolutions for without a plan?

cats on treadmill

So what’s up for 2016? Oh I have plans, lots of plans, but I won’t hold myself to quite the same strict scheduling as last year. It’s my hope to spend some time working on figure sculpting and especially developing expression, personality and story telling in my work.

I also hope to get into metal clay sculpting. It’s similar work as polymer, but you end up with fine silver pieces in the end!

It’s also in the plans to start a weekly polymer clay tutorial on my YouTube channel. So be watching for announcements on that.

Many thanks to you, my readers and viewers for all your support and kind comments. It truly is what keeps me inspired to keeping working, creating and teaching.

May you all have a blessed New Year and happy creating!

Dec 292015
 

For the past six months I have been giving away packages of handcrafted jewelry worth over $100 each! I hope the 10 winners so far have enjoyed their jewelry prizes. 🙂

In 2016 I plan to donate my extra jewelry to a women’s ministry. Many of you suggested that when I started the giveaways over the summer and I think it’s a good idea.

It’s been my pleasure to share with all of you, I wish I could have sent everyone a piece of jewelry, but it’s not possible. Instead, I feel like I’m doing something even better: teaching you how to make your own custom jewelry pieces in exactly the colors & styles you like.

Watch the video below for details. Or watch the video on YouTube.

Please fill out the Rafflecopter area below for your chance to win.

Rafflecopter doesn’t show up on some mobile devices, btw. If you don’t see it below, try refreshing, check back later or visit on a different device.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m doing the giveaway at my blog rather than at YouTube to protect YOU from scammers. Your info is protected here.

Dec 282015
 

beads on a wire earrings

Finding new and different ways to use supplies is what keeps jewelry making interesting for me. I love how just some simple bead stringing wire gives these earrings their dangle. Crimps hold everything in place and crimp covers keep it all looking pretty.

It would be fun to make a whole bunch of these wire components and put them together into a very fluffy necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings.

Just make sure you pick up some pretty colored wire to use as it will be exposed in the design.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Bead on a Wire Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • wire cutters
  • One Step Crimper (optional, but useful!)

Directions:

  1. Slide a crimp onto a piece of bead stringing wire. Use crimping pliers or One Step Crimper to flatten one-half inch from one end of wire. Use crimping pliers to cover flattened crimp with a crimp cover.
  2. Slide on 6mm bead, 2mm x 4mm saucer spacer, 12mm pearl bead, 2mm x 4mm saucer spacer, 6mm bead and a crimp.
  3. Use crimping pliers or One Step Crimper to flatten crimp. Use crimping pliers to cover flattened crimp with a crimp cover.
  4. Make a bend in the wire one inch from crimp cover just added. Slide a crimp onto the wire and slide past the bend. Then slide the wire back through the crimp and slide crimp up so a 1/4-inch loop of wire remains. Repeat step 3.
  5. Slide another crimp on wire and position where you’d like the top of your second section of beads to be. Repeat step 3.
  6. Add a 6mm bead, 8mm bicone, 6mm bead and a crimp. Repeat step 3.
  7. Use wire cutters to either trim the wire to one-half inch below crimp cover or trim off both wires completely.
  8. Repeat to make second earring.
Dec 252015
 

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I’m taking the day off today to enjoy my family, but I know for some of you it’s just another day, so here’s a little video for you to enjoy.

ff crystal beads

Who doesn’t love crystals? They can add sparkle, color and just a touch of class to any piece of jewelry that you are making.

They come in all sizes, shapes, colors and styles that you can think of, but there is often some confusion. What is the difference between glass and crystal?

In this video I explain a bit about the differences between glass and crystal and give you some tips for figuring out if pieces you own are one or the other.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

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

Dec 212015
 

amethyst copper bracelet

This week’s bracelet design is a fairly basic one. Amethyst teardrop beads are strung onto eye pins to make bead connectors for the main part of the bracelet. They are then linked together by a single link of chain, or an oval jump ring, with several copper bead dangles hanging from each link of chain.

There are so many variations that you could do with this and totally change the look and feel by changing up the choice of beads and colors. I love the idea of making the dangles in freshwater pearls with perhaps peridot or a pretty pink crystal used for the main beads. It would be quite spring-like.

I hope you like this design in that you give it a try! Here are a few of the supplies are used in making this bracelet.

By the way when I first started this design I used some fairly inexpensive head pins and 75% of them broke in the making of the loops. Argh. This proves to me once again that cheap materials don’t save you much. Buy the best quality you can afford. You’ll be glad you did with the amount of time and aggravation it saves you.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Amethyst & Copper Dangles Bracelet  Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

  • 8-12 4mm-8mm beads for main part of bracelet, amount varies depending on the size of beads
  • one eye pin for each bead
  • beads for dangles (4x number used for main part of bracelet)
  • one head pin for each dangle
  • chain with 4-5 mm oval links or oval jump rings
  • clasp

Tools

  • chain nose pliers
  • 1-Step Looper or:
    • round nose pliers &
    • wire cutters

Directions

  1. Slide each of your main beads onto an eye pin. Use round nose pliers to make a loop or use the One Step Looper. Connect all of these bead links together with an oval link of chain or jump ring between each one until bracelet is long enough to go around wrist.
  2. Slide beads for dangles onto head pins. Use round nose pliers or One Step Looper to make loops. Attach four, or as many as you’d like, to each link of chain on bracelet.
  3. Use a jump ring or a link of chain to attach clasp to one and. Attach four additional links of chain or jump rings to other end.
  4. Make additional bead dangles by sliding beads onto head pins and making loops, Attach a few of these to the four links of chain at the other end of the bracelet.
Dec 182015
 

ff bicone beads

If you’ve been watching my jewelry videos for any time now, you’ve probably noticed that I love to use bicone beads. There’s just something about that different shape, especially the diamond shaped profile, that really draws me in.

When I first got into beading I was utterly amazed to discover that beads came in shapes other than round! The cubes especially entranced me.

The one subject I get the most questions on is that of bicone beads. So I put together this little video for you just explaining what they are and how they are used. I even found an interesting alternate name for them.Here are some of my favorite bicones:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

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