Aug 082016
 

tulip blossom necklace

Every time I see bead caps in this blooming tulip design I want to Buy. Them. All.  Something about that graceful organic shape just gets me.

Dangling Swarovski crystals on short lengths of chain from the center of the flower continues that elegant flowing feel. I also decided to jazz up the chain with a few crystals as well.

Did you notice that I only had a short piece of that long/short chain? Since it wasn’t long enough for a full necklace I used it for the center portion only, adding similar chain around the sides and back. Another great trick for using up what you have on hand!

The end cap that I used is the 22x15mm Antique Silver Blooming Tulip from ArtBeads.com. In the supply list I give links to several other tulip end caps in differing colors. Just be sure to double check which size you are getting as they vary quite a bit.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Tulip Blossom Necklace Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Aug 052016
 

ff ribbon ends

Using fibers in jewelry is quite popular today, just take a look at these Pinterest searches for ribbon jewelry, fiber jewelry and silk jewelry if you don’t believe me.

My personal favorite is the silk ribbon jewelry as it had a very lush, exotic sort of feel.

When using ribbon in your work you can just tie the ends in bows or knots, but ribbon ends give you a much neater finish. In today’s video I’ll give you some tips and show how easy they are to use.

Here are a few ribbon ends similar to the ones in the video:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch  the Friday Findings-Ribbon Ends video at YouTube.

Aug 032016
 

floral cascade necklace

In last week’s video I showed how to make these cute little purple flowers and their accompanying leaves. By the way, I don’t think I mentioned that there are 14 of each in this necklace.

In this second video I’ll teach how to add paint details and beads to the flowers to turn them into dangles for a necklace. We’ll also enhance the texture of the leaves with Gilder’s paste.

Once all your polymer clay pieces are ready it’s a simple matter to use jump rings to attach them to your necklace chain in whatever configuration you like. In the tutorial I show some different options. It occurred to me after making the video that you could attach a clasp to the end of the chain and change the configuration every time you wear it!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Floral Cascade Necklace Part 2-Polymer Clay Tutorial at YouTube.

Aug 012016
 

summer berries bracelet

Here’s yet another way to use memory wire. I love how this design looks like a stack of bangles, but is so easy to wear and take on & off.

When I was first figuring out how to put this bracelet together I thought I had a very clever idea for using memory wire bead ends to make a neat finish (rather than just loops) on the wire that all the memory wire loops go through.

I glued a memory wire bead end onto each of the two pieces of 20 gauge wire, let the glue cure and them proceeded with adding the memory wire loops and spacers. Then I trimmed the wire, added a dab of epoxy and the other memory wire bead end…

… and wondered how on earth to hold that little tiny bead in place while the glue finished curing!

Short of sitting there for an hour holding it with my fingers, of course. :-/

And so, I went back to just making a loop on both ends of those pieces of wire. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them, as that really would be a much nicer finish.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Summer Berries Bracelet-Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Jul 292016
 

ff pinch bails (1)

The first time I saw a pinch bail I was rather unimpressed. It looked plain, flimsy and not at all like something I’d want to entrust my jewelry to.

But then when I used it, I said, “Ah ha!” It’s simplicity is deceptive. Just a gentle squeeze and the tension of the metal holds your piece in place. As I mention in the video it’s a nice quick way to make a pendant out of a crystal or glass drop without doing all that wire wrapping.

What made me even happier was to discover that pinch bails don’t have to be plain, but can be quite decorative. 🙂

If you’re unsure about security it’s perfectly fine to add a dab of E6000 or other strong glue.

Here are several pinch bails like the ones I show in the video.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Pinch Bails video at YouTube.

Jul 272016
 

floral cascade necklace

This design started with an idea to use chain to make a “Y” shaped necklace with lots of leaves and flowers dangling from it. I went searching for photos of flowers that naturally droop downward. One of my favorite resources for flower pics is my Burpee seed catalog, their gorgeous color close ups are wonderful.

When I had no luck with the seed catalog I wandered out to the kitchen for a snack and found a stem of comfrey flowers that my husband had brought in. Perfect!

comfrey

Hubby has been propagating comfrey because of its many healing properties. You can learn more by searching “medicinal herb comfrey.” This article on comfrey from A Modern Herbal is interesting and there are many others out there if you are interested.

For my purposes today though, I’ll just be using the flowers as inspiration and the leaves for texture.

Be sure to check back next week for how to add surface details to your clay pieces and then assemble them into this pretty necklace.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Floral Cascade Necklace Part 1-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Jul 252016
 

xoxo bracelet

Some folks love to create complex bead weaving designs, often using only little tiny seed beads. They build amazingly intricate patterns and scenes that leave me in awe of their skill and in fear for their eyesight.

bead weaving

from Ibolya’s Etsy shop Ibics

Like the stunning example above from this Pinterest board on Free Form Bead Weaving. (Click on the link to see more jaw dropping designs.)

This is NOT the type of bead weaving I do.

I got over making bigger things out of many, many tiny things back in my counted cross stitch days. 🙂

The bracelet I show you today is made with 6mm pearl beads. If you want to use larger beads, you can, but you may have to adjust the number of seed beads in between in order to get the spacing to look right.

I really wanted to do this using 6mm Swarovski bicones, as they nest together nicely in the clusters of four, but I didn’t have the colors I felt like using. Guess it’s time for some Swarovski shopping!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating

Watch the XOXO Bracelet-Bead Weaving Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Jul 222016
 

ff decorative ear wires

Here’s yet another way to customize your jewelry and make it uniquely your own: create custom decorative ear wires.

What’s great about using these for your earrings is that you can make the ear wires an integral part of the design, rather than just a functional afterthought.

The wire working is simple and satisfying, and in the video I show a trick for making perfectly matched pairs of ear wires.

By the way, 20 or 18 gauge wire is  best for ear wires. Any thicker and it may hurt to insert them, any thinner and they could potentially cut through the ear lobes.

If you’re looking for ideas for interesting things to do with ear wires, check out this Pinterest search for handmade ear wires. Lots of cool designs!

Some of the tools you may need:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Making Decorative Ear Wires video at YouTube.

Jul 202016
 

fantasy bezels

In last week’s video I showed how you can create your own textured polymer clay pendant bezels. Now it’s time to have some fun playing with filling them with the beautiful, but unpredictable, effects of Pebeo Prisme Fantasy paints.

Once the paints are completely cured you can top them with a dome of clear resin. This magnifies the paints and adds to the look of having an interesting cabochon inside your bezel.

If you’d like to see more ways of doing this technique, check out Ludmila Bakulina’s Pebeo playlist. Her techniques are similar to mine, but we each have our own take on it. Have fun coming up with your own unique version!

Tools & Materials:

  • Pebeo Fantasy Paints
  • Magic Glos
  • toothpicks or skewer sticks for stirring & applying paint
  • paper towel for clean up
  • odorless mineral spirits or paint thinner for clean up (if needed)
  • UV Light (optional, sunshine is free!)

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Fantasy Bezel Pendants Pt. 2-Polymer Clay Tutorial at YouTube.

Watch Part 1, Fantasy Bezel Pendants at YouTube.

Jul 182016
 

lime twist bracelet

It must be summertime, with beachy cocktails on the brain, if this is the best title I can come up with for this bracelet. 🙂

This beadweaving technique is one of the most basic, and often a starting point for more complicated designs. I love it because with a change of bead shapes & sizes you get a completely different look.

lime twist bracelet

My ladder weave bracelet is done exactly the same way. Can you see the pattern?

lime twist bracelet

Also, this Ladder & Chain bracelet is a variation, with a few added elements, but similar construction.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Lime Twist Bracelet Video Tutorial at YouTube.