May 132016

ff straightening wire

It never hurts to get back to the basics, and straightening your wire before working with it is an important process to understand.

You can do it quite simply with just a rag, but there are also some cool tools out there to make it faster and easier.

I haven’t tried the tool at the bottom of the list, but it looks simple enough to use according to this demo video.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-How to Straighten Wire video over at YouTube.

May 112016

bird branch pendant

I’ve seen a lot of these pendants lately with some combination of a bird, branch, nest and heart and decided it was time to make one myself.

All of these pieces are fairly simple to sculpt so even if you’ve never used polymer clay before I hope you’ll give it a try! Put all the simple components together and I think they make a fun and unique pendant. Here’s the link if you would like to use my heart template.

In this week’s video I show you how to make the bird and the branch. Next week we’ll create the steampunk heart and put it all together.

Tools & Materials:

Make sure you put together your wire nest first, see my Springtime Nest video tutorial for how to.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Bird, Branch & Steampunk Heart Pendant Part 1-Polymer Clay Tutorial at YouTube.

May 092016

red gypsy earrings (1)

Here’s yet another design with a myriad of possibilities.  I love the idea of using a finer chain, like 2-3mm links, and long seed bead dangles. Do them in turquoise, red, yellow & copper for a southwestern vibe.

If you want more drama these go quite easily from just dangly to serious shoulder dusters. To further accentuate the gradated lengths you could slightly curve the eye pin that the dangles are hanging from.

Have fun making this design your own!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Red Gypsy Earrings Video Tutorial at YouTube.

May 062016

ff cable chain

How you ever seen descriptions of different types of chain and wondered what they meant? I have! Mostly they describe either how the links of chain are shaped or how they are put together.

In today’s video I’ll explain the most basic of chains, the cable chain.

Here are links to a few of my favorite cable chains:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-What Is Cable Chain video at YouTube.

May 042016

water lily hearts

This is a simple cane to make, but as is always the case with my favorites, there are lots of possible ways to interpret and use it.

If you keep the canes uniformly round while slicing, (which I didn’t) keep them all the same thickness (which I didn’t) AND lay them out on the backing sheet evenly (again, nope, not me) then you’ll end up with a hexagonal pattern after rolling them flat.

Personally I prefer the organic look. I’ve always been more a fan of impressionism then precise realism.

water lilies 2 water lilies

Like Monet. 🙂

If you’d like to use my heart templates, you can find the pdf here: Heart Templates.

Tools & Materials:

Watch the Water Lily Hearts-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

May 022016

ocean waves earrings

I’ve had these turquoise hollow oval glass beads for over a year. They’re absolutely gorgeous and I wanted to do something special with them, but also felt it needed to be simple. No complicated designs they might get lost in.

These asymmetrical earrings with gold filled stardust beads and Swarovski crystal accents fit the bill perfectly. And, bonus, they go together super quick!

The hollow glass beads I used are no longer available, but Goody Beads has lots of really pretty blown glass beads to choose from.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Ocean Waves Earrings Video Tutorial on YouTube.

Apr 292016

ff split ring loop

Here’s another very basic technique for holding together your jewelry. It’s quicker than wrapped loops and more secure than simple loops.

All you need to make these double, or split ring, loops is a pair of Round Nose Pliers and some Wire Cutters.

It’s not something I use very often because I prefer the less bulky look of a single loop, but I’m sure there are times when it could be handy. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Split Ring Double Loops video at YouTube.

Apr 272016

bead flourishes

This is a simple way to dress up any bead and make it into a focal piece. As long as your bead is stone, glass or anything able to withstand a 275° F. oven, you’re all set.

The amount of clay used is minimal and the techniques are easy. We’re just adding leaves, scrolls and dots. Of course, feel free to sculpt whatever you like!

I like to bake these beads on a bit of quilt batting (yup, it’s fine in the low oven) to keep from flattening out the textures on the back.

Some of the tools & materials used:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Polymer Clay Bead Flourishes Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Apr 252016

olive jade earrings

I just noticed that the shape of these earrings is sort of reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower. Totally unintentional, but I like the look.

The two-holed half tila beads give the structure and the olive jade teardrops add some interest at the end. If you aren’t familiar with tila beads, check out my Tila Beads video. They’re fun to create with.

This design goes together quickly, but crimping the two crimp beads at the top can be tricky. Next time I might string a few more seed beads above the last tila just to leave a bit more space.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Olive Jade Teardrop Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Apr 222016

ff choosing the right wire (1)

Wire comes in so many different sizes, materials and finishes, it can be tricky to choose just which one is right for your intended purpose. In today’s video I give some tips to help.

Also, this Jewelers Wire Gauge can quite useful for determining what size wire you have.

Here are a few of the wires I work with most often:

For more about wire:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-How To Choose the Right Wire video over at YouTube.