Oct 282015
 

It’s the end of the month, so time for another giveaway!

Every month TWO lucky winners will receive packages of handcrafted jewelry worth at least $100 each!

It’s my pleasure to share some of my jewelry creations with my YouTube subscribers. Just my little way of saying, “Thank you.”  🙂

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. :-)

Oct 262015
 

tigers & pearls necklace

I have always loved tiger eye gemstones. Something about their sparkly, swirly depths is fascinating, and being a cat fan I’ve always kind of been intrigued by the name, too.

These tiger eye dagger beads are quite dramatic all by themselves and it didn’t seem like I needed to get very complicated when designing with them. Just a few sparkly crystals and some antique white pearls seem to set them off perfectly.

The drama is increased here simply by using three nearly identical strands. But like I said in the video, if you want to keep it simple, just make one.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Tigers & Pearls Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

  • 18 inches of tiger eye dagger beads
  • 39 inches of pearls
  • a few 4 mm crystal cube beads
  • six wire protectors
  • six crimps
  • six crimp covers
  • two bead cones
  • two eye pins
  • two 2 to 3 inch lengths of chain
  • lobster clasp
  • 3 26-inch lengths of bead stringing wire

Tools

Directions

  1. Onto each piece of bead stringing wire string 6 1/2 inches of pearls, 6 inches of tiger eye dagger beads and another 6 1/2 inches of pearls. Intersperse crystal beads with tiger eye beads as desired.
  2. Finish all six ends by siding on a crimp and a wire protector, sliding the wire back through the crimp. flattening with crimping pliers and covering with a crimp cover.
  3. Slide one end of each strand onto an eye pin, then slide eye pin through a bead cone.
  4. Create wrapped loop with remaining eye pin wire attaching loop to one end of a length of chain. Repeat to finish other end of necklace attaching lobster clasp to one end of chain.
Oct 232015
 

ff jewelry elastic

This week’s jewelry making product is a fairly  basic one, but oh-so-useful. Making stretch bracelets is quite quick and satisfying, all the work is in choosing the beads. You can also use elastic to make rings, I’ll show you some time. No messing around with getting the right fit!

I’m not 100% certain elastic will last for years to come, so I usually don’t make stretch jewelry with precious beads. It’s reserved for quick gifts and those projects you just want to throw together.

That being said, I think it’s important to buy the best quality you can and finish things well so they’ll last as long as possible. In the video I give a a couple tips for using and finishing your stretch jewelry.

This is the brand I like to use. It has good recovery and has never broken on me.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Jewelry Elastic video over at YouTube.

Oct 222015
 

This week’s dragon started because I was wearing the necklace with Wyatt, dragon number 16 from way back in April, and I remembered that I had made more of those lentil beads, and not yet put them to use.

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

dragon #44 Basil (1)

Making these little tiny dragons is a lot of fun, although it would not be possible for me without my magnifying lamp!

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #44 Basil (2)

Choosing all the beads and putting the necklace together took nearly as much time as it took to make the dragon. 🙂

dragon #44 Basil (3)

After deepening the details with some dark blue paint I then painted over him with some Iridescent Pearl paint and highlighted his dots, spines and tail tip with Iridescent Silver.

I think Basil is rather royal and kingly looking, which is what his name means.

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

Oct 192015
 

sunny days earrings

This week’s earrings are another one of those designs that I love, the type that you can change up each of the different elements and end up with something completely unique. You could change the briolette to any type of top drilled bead, you could change the number and size of crystals and you could change the link that they are attached to get a look all your own and completely different from these.

Enjoy the video and happy creating

You can watch the Sunny Days Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • two 10 mm x 15 mm top drilled briolettes
  • 20 3 to 4 mm crystal beads
  • two 10 mm oval links, or short sections of chain
  • 20 headpins
  • two ear wires
  • two 5 inch lengths of 22 gauge wire

Tools:

Directions:

  1. Onto each headpin slide a small crystal and use One Step Loopers to make a dangle.
  2. Slide 22 gauge wire into briolette leaving 1 inch sticking out. Bend both wires up, crisscrossing over bead and bending both wires above bead until they are parallel again.
  3. Slide 10 crystal dangles over both wires. Use chain nose and round nose pliers to make a wrapped loop attaching your link or one end of the length of chain. Attach ear wire to other length of chain to complete earring.
  4. Wire wrap other briolette, sliding on other 10 crystal dangles and attaching chain and ear wire to complete second earring.
Oct 162015
 

ff bail making pliers

In this week’s video I’m going to talk to you about bail making pliers. They’re also known as multi step ring looping pliers, multi size wire looping pliers and I’ve even heard them called wrap and taps which may be from a brand-name, I’m not sure.

Whatever you call them, they are very handy for making precise wire loops and curves in bigger sizes than you could manage with round nose pliers. As I mention in the video, Wubbers is a well-known brand that is highly regarded. If you look them up you’ll find they have not only round mandrel pliers in many sizes but they have triangles, squares and all kinds of interesting shapes.

I’ve yet to own any Wubbers but I hope to try some soon.  Sometimes with a pair of these pliers it’s fun to just pull out a piece of wire and start playing and see what you can create.

Whatever you do enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Bail Making Pliers video over at YouTube.

Oct 152015
 

dragon #43 Yinbailong 1

This week’s dragon is an ice and snow dragon named Yínbáilóng (yin-by-long). He’s another one from the Tiger’s Voyage book, and he’s the fifth and final dragon they encounter in their trip.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #43 Yinbailong 2

For the horns I was able to get out my torch and ball up a couple of pieces of fine silver wire. Then I added some clear glass chips for the look of icicle horns.

dragon #43 Yinbailong 3

I had many different thoughts of things to use for Yínbáilóng’s icy castle, but I think these frosted glass shards work really well to convey the idea.

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

dragon #43 Yinbailong 4

Here’s how he’s described in the book:

  • looks like a Chinese serpent, no wings
  • long sinuous body
  • bearded
  • four short limbs with taloned feet
  • ice & snow
  • white
  • ice blue eyes & claws
  • underbelly shimmers like aurora borealis
  • scales on its back look like white diamonds and sparkle
  • long face
  • blue forked tongue
  • two horns on back of its head look like long icicles
  • more icicles on end of its tail
  • white mane stretching from top of noble head all the way down its back

dragon #43 Yinbailong 5

The scales were done by making his body out of a blue clay and then putting a thin layer of pearl colored clay over that. I then used a tiny tear drop cutter to cut the “V” shapes.

Now I’m going to contact the author and see what she thinks of my representation of her characters. 🙂

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

Oct 122015
 

loop & button bracelet

I just love how quickly you can put together this bracelet. The only thing that takes any time at all is stringing on the seed beads that you need for the loop.

Choose any beads you like for this bracelet and you can have it done in under 10 minutes. A great idea for a quick gift!

I’m blessed as I inherited both my grandmother’s and my mother-in-law’s button hoards. 🙂 If you don’t have a button jar to rummage through here are a few assortments you can buy:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Loop & Button Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

  • 6 23 mm clay oval beads
  • 7 6 mm gemstone beads
  • 14 6 mm bead caps
  • button
  • seed beads
  • two crimps
  • two crimp covers
  • bead stringing wire

Tools

  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers

Directions

  1. Onto bead stringing wire string a pattern of: a bead cap, 6mm gemstone bead, bead cap and a clay oval bead.
  2. Repeat pattern using all beads, finishing with a bead cap, 6mm gemstone bead and a bead cap.
  3. On one end of the bead stringing wire slide a crimp and enough seed beads to make a loop that will go over the button. Slide wire back through the crimp and flatten. Cover with a crimp cover.
  4. On other end of bracelet slide a crimp, the loop of the button and slide the wire back through the crimp. Pull the wire up snug then back off to leave about 1/8 inch of slack. Flatten crimp and cover with a crimp cover to complete bracelet.

 

 

Oct 092015
 

ff ear threads

Ear threads are something relatively new to me, but once I tried them I was totally hooked. You may have noticed I love long and dangly earrings and these are just wonderful for the dangle factor.

What I also love about them is how fast it is to make a pair of earrings. Like I mention in the video, the trickiest thing is finding beads that will fit on the chain. Of course, you can just put a bead dangle on the jump ring and leave it at that.

Here are a few ear threads to get you started. I definitely need to get some of the longer ones! 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Ear Threads video over at YouTube.

Oct 052015
 

braided bead bracelet

Today’s bracelet is a fun and different way of using and wearing beaded strands. Simply braiding them all together gives an interesting look.

I show in the video that you can inadvertently unbraid the strands, but what I discovered later is that you can actually unbraid the entire thing and end up with just a bracelet of six strands side-by-side.

You may want to try this and have an alternate way of wearing it. To re-braid the strands simply twist the three hole connector through the leftmost pair and the center pair then through the center pair and the rightmost pair, and keep doing this until your bracelet is braided again as much as you like.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Braided Bead Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

  • 10 to 12 inches each of six strands of beads
  • 2 3-hole connectors
  • 2 jump rings
  • lobster clasp
  • 2 to 3 inch piece of chain
  • 12 wire protectors
  • 12 crimps
  • 12 crimp covers
  • 6 16-inch pieces bead stringing wire

Tools

  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • Bead Bugs Bead Stoppers

Directions

  1. Slide onto a 16 inch length of bead stringing wire a crimp and a wire protector. Slide the wire protector onto a loop of a three-hole connector and slide wire end back through the crimp. Use crimping pliers to flatten crimp and cover with a crimp cover.
  2. Repeat to add two wires to each hole of three-hole connector.
  3. On each wire string 12 inches of beads, making sure all beads are pushed down and that there are no wire gaps showing. Add a bead stopper to each end.
  4. Separate out the three pairs of strung beads and braid them together until bracelet is length you need it to be. Remove excess beads and attach pairs of beads to loops of other three-hole connector with crimps, wire protectors and crimp covers.
  5. Use jump rings to attach lobster clasp to one end of bracelet and a piece of chain to the other end.