Aug 222016
 

by the seaside earrings

One of the things that we all love about making our own jewelry is that we can customize it to make it exactly the way we like. But sometimes it’s nice to be able to make something quick and easy, so how can we still customize those pieces?

Today I’ll show you how to make a quick pair of beachy earrings with tips for how you can customize them every step of the way.

First of all, you can make your own ear wires. For more information on that check out my Friday Findings Making Decorative Ear Wires video.

Next, instead of using purchased bead caps you can do some quick messy wraps with wire to make completely unique accents for your beads.

And finally, you can customize purchased charms by applying Gilders paste in colors of your choice.

So have fun making quick and easy and yet perfectly personal earrings!

Tools and materials

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the By the Seaside Earrings video at YouTube.

Aug 192016
 

ff gilder's paste

Gilders paste is one of those things that I fell in love with the instant I first tried it. If any of you read Polymer Café magazine and have seen my Fairy Garden Accessories series in the past few issues you might have noticed that I use Gilders Paste in all of them.

It adds just a subtle touch of glitz and is so easy to apply. But you don’t only have to use metallics, Gilders Pastes come in a whole range of colors.

gilders paste chart

As I mentioned in the video there are several more colors that I want to acquire, and you might be surprised at which ones you end up reaching for again and again. The chart above shows the 28 colors currently available.

Tools and materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Gilders Paste video at YouTube

Aug 172016
 

royal asia bracelet

This stunning statement bracelet goes together far more easily than you might think. The key is to find a set of cling stamps that works for you. (The one I used is called “Asian Influences” by Inkadinkado.)

You can create any kind of scene you like, just be sure to lay it out on your template and practice it first. As I mentioned in the video, don’t be afraid to stop and redo it if you find you aren’t happy with it. After all, it’s only clay and can be rolled through the pasta machine as many times as needed.

Also, be sure to let the Gilders paste dry completely for 12 hours before doing any buffing. If a little of the paste comes off while you’re buffing that was just excess. But if you buff before the 12 hours a lot more will come off than you want to.

And if any of you know what the Asian characters on the sign on the left say I would be very interested in finding out. Google translate, although usually helpful, didn’t have anything coherent to say this time. 🙂

Tools and Materials

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Royal Asia Bracelet-Polymer Clay Tutorial at YouTube.

Aug 152016
 

dragonfly blue earrings

It’s always fun to find new and different ways to use supplies. And that’s especially true of using interestingly shaped beads.

I’ve had these Czech glass dagger beads in my stash for quite some time, and then the other day saw an idea for using them as dragonfly wings.

However, the design I saw used a single head pin running through the body and wings and I didn’t like the way this made the wings be uneven and offset from each other. So, as usual, I figured out my own way to do it. 🙂

As I mention in the video this project is one in which we get to break the rules of bead stringing, always fun!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Dragonfly Blue Earrings Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Aug 122016
 

ff ball chain

I have to admit that the first time I saw ball chain used in jewelry I wasn’t particularly impressed. I always associate ball chain with  utilitarian things like light switches.

However, since that first time I’ve seen ball chain used to great effect in jewelry making. It adds a simple finish with just a little bit of decoration without being overly complicated in your jewelry pieces. It also combines nicely with other types of jewelry chain.

As I mention in the video, when I purchased the ball chain connectors for my 1.5 and 1 mm ball chain I got ones that were really too big. Below in the links are the smaller versions that look better and are a lot more proportionate.

Here are the ball chains I show in the video as well as a few other options:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Ball Chain video at YouTube.

Aug 102016
 

bargello pattern polymer clay

There’s just something about creating a beautiful thing out of scraps that fascinates me. When I was quilting scrap quilts were always my favorite.

brett mcdanel sculpture

found object sculpture by brett mcdanel

I also adore these found object sculptures that people create. And making wonderful things with scraps of polymer clay is no exception. As always it’s all the possibilities that are enchanting.

In today’s video I show how to use scraps of clay to make a pattern that can be used as a veneer for anything you like. I like using patterns like this as the backgrounds and bases for projects.

Like I show in top photo and in the video you can use it to cover something like a box or an Altoid’s tin. You could make a piece of jewelry, like the ring I show. On both the tin and the ring I plan to go back and add sculptural elements, perhaps flowers or a dragon would be fun.

Just keep in mind that the more you handle and the more you stretch out this pattern the more fine and less apparent it becomes. Which can also be a nice look.

Tools and materials:

Btw, I’m not sure that “bargello” is the correct term for this pattern, but it does sort of have that look. Besides, it sounded better than “zig zag pattern.” 😀

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Bargello Pattern Polymer Clay video at YouTube.

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.