Dec 022015
 

peppermint swirl

For the final charm in our 2015 Christmas charms series I’m going to teach you a very cool technique that’s been floating around the Internet for quite some time.

It’s called the swirly lentil technique and although it looks easy, and it is, it does take a bit of practice to get it right.

I’ll show you how to make a quick and easy peppermint cane which you could just use slices of, but it’s a lot of fun to make them swirly.

I would suggest pulling out some scrap clay in a few colors that you like. Be sure to add some white as it adds a nice contrast, and then do some practicing. If you really hate what you make you can always roll it up in a ball and start over again!

2015 christmas charm bracelet cover

Here is the finished bracelet. I think it’s really cute and kind of fun and I hope you I’ve taught you not only how to make these adorable charms, but that you’ve learned some techniques that you be able to use again in other projects.

A few of the supplies used in this bracelet:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Peppermint Swirl-Christmas Charms Week 5-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Here are links to the previous videos in the series:

Nov 302015
 

beaded leather wrap bracelet

As I mention in the video this bracelet design has been floating around the internet for quite some time. I’ve seen it made with leather cord, suede strips, silk cord, colored S-lon cord, hemp and even waxed linen twine.

Some of those finer materials might work out better for finding bead with holes large enough for them to pass through, but I like the look of the heavier cord.

Although this project uses quite a few beads, it really didn’t take all that long to put together.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Beaded Leather Wrap Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

Tools:

  • scissors
  • E6000 glue
  • toothpick

Directions:

  1. Slide the two ends of leather cord through either the button or one piece of the toggle clasp. Center the button or clasp on the lengths of cord bringing all four ends together. Tie an overhand knot with all four cords just below the button or clasp.
  2. Onto each cord slide beads knotting the cord in between the beads. Continue to add beads and knots onto the cord until it will wrap around your wrist twice.
  3.  Use all four cords to tie an overhand knot. Apply a dab of E6000 glue to the knot; once dry trim away two of the cords.
  4. If using the button for closure don’t trim away two of the cords, but make a loop with the cords just large enough to fit over the button and tie the four cords in an overhand knot just below the previous knot. Add glue and trim the cords.
  5. Slide a cord through other half of your toggle closure and tie both cords in a knot above closure. Apply glue to this knot as well and trim the cords at an angle.

 

Nov 282015
 

As a thank you to all my wonderful YouTube subscribers I’ve been giving away jewelry packages every month.

Since July eight lucky winners (two each month) have received packages of handcrafted jewelry worth over $100 each!

It’s my pleasure to share with all of you, I wish I could send 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.

Nov 272015
 

ff wire jig

Wire jigs are really fun little tool that can save you a lot of time, especially if you’re making multiples of repeated wire findings & components.

Check out this Pinterest search of wire jig patterns, and you’ll see what I mean about all the different shapes, designs and components that you can make. There’s really anything you can think of: butterflies, angels, Christmas trees, flowers, words, and lots of jewelry links & findings… so  many possibilities!

Here are a few wire jigs you might like to try:

There are fancier ones made of metal which are more heavy duty but I’ve been quite satisfied with my little plastic one. The only thing I may look for is some different size pegs like for making ear wires or bigger loops.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

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

Nov 252015
 

christmas tree charm

Welcome back to week four in our five week Christmas charm series. This week’s little Christmas tree is made in kind of a different way, but it’s fun technique that can be applied to many different things.

As I mention briefly in the video, it’s important not to fuss too much with the pieces. I found myself doing that as I was developing this and the shapes never came out better than just doing one pass with the tool for each step of the process.

The two balls tools used can be found in this set: Sculpey Style and Detail Tools

Here are some of the beads I used for these trees:

The types and sizes of beads you use make a big difference in the final size of your charm. You could make a few larger discs and use bigger beads and end up with a nice pendant for a necklace. Have fun experimenting and trying your own variations!

There are so many possibilities with these little components. I have lots of ideas for in the future: making them textured on both sides, graduate the sizes, make ombré colors, then string them in stacks to make necklaces or bracelets.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Christmas Trees-Christmas Charms Week 4-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Here are links to the previous videos in the series:

Nov 232015
 

faux lampwork

This week instead of making an entire jewelry project, I’m going to show you how to make your own beads. These are faux lampwork and made with polymer clay and liquid clay.

It’s a fun technique to experiment and practice with. I still have ideas for how to get even more of a glassy shine. Will get back to you when I’ve done some more playing!

Here are the supplies used to make these beads:

Happy creating!

You can watch the Faux Lampwork Polymer Clay Tutorial video over at YouTube.

A Giveaway!

The Knight’s Treasure very kindly sent me two of their Pandora style bracelets, complete with three lampwork glass and sterling silver charms each. One for me and one to give away to a lucky YouTube viewer. To enter to win just fill out the Rafflecopter area below.

The giveaway closes at midnight, Wednesday, November 25th. I’ll announce the winners sometime over the Thanksgiving weekend, so be sure to check back to see if you won!

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

Nov 202015
 

ff crimp beads

Crimp beads are one of those most basic of jewelry making supplies. They are used to hold together most strung pieces of jewelry, whether they be necklaces or bracelets, and can even be used to hold together earrings.

Crimps are key components in illusion or floating bead necklaces, and are also a great way to reduce multiple strands down to a single strand. You’ve seen me use them quite a lot and in many different ways in my jewelry making videos.

In this video I will show you three different ways to use crimps to secure your jewelry.

Here are the tools that I use:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

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

Nov 192015
 

This week’s dragon is based on yet another class over at Polymer Clay Adventure. This time it’s Barbara McGuire’s Ancient Awakenings class where she teaches us how to make something that looks like it could have been an ancient artifact with the bone piece in the center and stone surrounding it. You can see examples of what was taught at BarbaraMcGuire.com.

dragon #48 Duncan

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

Her pieces have faces in the center but, of course, I had to make a dragon. I made a stripey cane of translucent, white and ecru to give it the look of ivory or bone. The stone looking background is mostly translucent clay with just a little strip of a Skinner blend mixed in: a great trick Barbara showed us.

dragon #48 Duncan 2

The antiquing really brings out all the detail. I’m not totally thrilled with this piece, but I can think of lots of variations that would make it better.

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

swirly lentil beads

I did make some swirly lentil beads with leftover clay bits, and am quite happy with those!  Suddenly I’m in love with the combo of purple and copper. 🙂

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I am making a dragon every week in 2015.

dragon #48 Duncan 3

Don’t forget that there won’t be a Thursday’s Dragon next week, as it’s Thanksgiving here in the United States and I’ll be taking the day off.

Nov 182015
 

snowman charms

Welcome to week three of our Christmas Charms series. I hope you are enjoying getting to know these polymer clay techniques. This week we’re making a cute little snowman.

In the video I show you how to make life easier by building your charm in sections and prebaking the pieces. I also show a neat trick for making the hat band easily, rather than fiddling with tiny strips of clay. (I tried that, not fun!)

Each week I’ve been trying to show you different ways to add interest and texture to your projects. Feel free to switch them up: you could apply the flocking to a mitten, or add the knitted texture to the Christmas stocking. Of course, you can flock just about anything. 😀

If you’re thinking about doing more flocking, this might be a fun set, Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Flocking Powder, 12-Pack. There are also small packages such as Nail Art Velvet Flocking Powder on Amazon for nail art. (Are people flocking their nails these days? Apparently so.)

If you can’t find flocking, you could add Perfect Pearls or even try embossing powders.  (If you decide to add Perfect Pearls, you don’t need to add the TLS first, btw. Mica powders stick just fine to unbaked clay and then stay on after baking. )

Experiment and see what works. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Flocked Snowman-Christmas Charms Week 3-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Here are links to the previous videos in the series:

Nov 162015
 

agate dangle earrings

I love finding new and unexpected uses for jewelry findings and these earrings are a great example of that. Usually a multi-hole connector is used for multi-strand bracelets or necklaces, but today I’m using them to make multi-dangle earrings. Why not? 🙂

The warm shades of the agates next to the cool tones of the silver findings gives a subdued, sophisticated tone. They would be much brighter and flashier paired with gold or copper accents, which would be nice, too!

Agates come in lots of different shades and patterns. Here are a few you might like:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Agate Dangle Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 3-hole connectors
  • 14 6mm agate beads
  • 10 3mm silver spacer beads
  • 12 4mm x 6mm saucer shaped spacer beads
  • 2 6mm x 10 mm gemstone roundel beads
  • 6 head pins
  • 2 eye pins
  • 2 ear wires

Tools:

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

Directions:

  1. Onto all six head pins string a 3mm spacer, an agate bead, a saucer spacer, an agate bead and a saucer spacer. On two of the head pins add an additional agate bead. These two will be the longer, center dangles.
  2. Use the 1-Step Looper or round nose pliers and wire cutters to make a loop with remaining wire of of all six head pins.
  3. Open the loops and attach them to the 3-hole side of the connectors, with the longer dangles in the centers.
  4. Onto each eye pin slide a 3mm spacer, a 6mm x 10mm roundel and a 3mm spacer. Make a loop with remaining wire of eye pin.
  5. Attach one loop of each eye pin to the single loop side the the connector. Attach the other loop of each eye pin to an ear wire to complete the earrings.