Mar 112016

ff studio tour bead storage

Everybody’s always looking for organizing tips so in today’s video I share with you how I keep my bead stash under control.

Most of my beads are sorted by color in ArtBin Slim Super Satchels . The four smaller organizers in the cabinet are Deluxe Bead Organizers by Darice.

A wonderful free source of trays and organizers for beads are the lids and bottoms of chocolate boxes.

beads in chocolate trays

Also, you can use the inserts that divide the candies to sort your more precious beads, like I do with my glass lampwork beads. What a shame that someone has to eat all that chocolate first. 😀

Enjoy the video and happy creating! (And organizing… and chocolate eating.)

You can watch the Friday Findings-Studio Tour Pt. 3-Bead Storage & Organizing video over at YouTube.

Mar 092016

dragon's blood bracelet

Since our bracelets always seem to twist themselves clasp side up, let’s turn that into a positive by creating our own gorgeous focal toggle clasp out of polymer clay and wire. Then it will be beautiful no matter which way it’s facing.

Although the list of tools and supplies is long, none of the processes is complicated. And all the tools are basic to a polymer clay/jewelry making tool kit.

I absolutely adore these Dragon’s Blood Jasper beads, although I have to admit I like them nearly as much for the name as for their appearance! 😀

Save yourself some aggravation and make sure all your chosen beads will fit onto the waxed linen twine before starting the project.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

For complete instructions watch the Dragon’s Blood Jasper Bracelet-Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial over at YouTube.

Mar 072016

spring sparkles earrings

These earrings are reminiscent of fuchsia flowers, with their purple & pink crystals and the loops hanging down.

As I’m writing this it’s still winter here in New England and a touch of spring is quite welcome!

This is such a simple design you could change the look and feel easily by choosing different styles of beads. Metallic beads in the loops and stone chips in the dangles would give you a more earthy pair of earrings. Clear crystals in the loops and pearly dangles would by fit for a bride.

Have fun making this design your own.



Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Spring Sparkles Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Mar 042016

ff studio tour bookcase

Oh, how much I love this bookcase! When I first took this room for my sewing space I covered this large wall with white flannel. It was an awesome design wall for quilting.

But as time went by I starting doing less and less quilting and gathered other kinds of supplies. After a while there were stacks and piles of boxes and tools heaped at the base of the wall. That was when it became apparent that it was time to let the design wall go and get some sort of bookcase.

I started shopping for bookcases, but hubby said he’d build me one. It took a while, but was well worth the wait. 🙂

In this video I’ll show you how I organize my supplies on this bookcase. It’s my goal that not only can I easily access all my tools, but that everything look beautiful as well!

Here are links to a few of the products I mention in the video:

Let me know if there is anything else you’d like to see more closely.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Studio Tour Part 2-Bookcase over at YouTube.

Mar 022016

emerald isles bracelet

Sure it’s fun to make your own jewelry, but how much better to make even the beads!  In this video I’ll how you a simple technique for adding sparkle and color to translucent polymer clay.

Although I’m quite pleased with how this project came out, it wasn’t my intent to make a green bracelet. The plan was to make beads in blues, purples and greens, but the blue turned more green and the purples were a weird muddy pink.

However, the greens are rather nice, so all’s well that ends well. 🙂

That’s one tricky thing about using translucent polymer clay: what you see before baking is not necessarily what you get afterwards. Since now I know the Premo Translucent clay has a bit of a yellowing effect, next time I’ll make it work for me and try using autumnal shades instead.

Also, I need to get some Pardo Transparent Clay to experiment with, as it’s clarity & transparency is highly regarded among other polymer clay artists.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy and happy creating!

You can watch the Emerald Isles Beads & Bracelet Video Polymer Clay Tutorial over at YouTube.

Feb 292016

fuchsia florals bracelet

This bracelet design started with the beads. I bought these overlapping lentils a while ago and have just never found the right design for them.

But then I pulled out all my “pending” strands of beads and saw them next to these floral metal slider components with similar colors and said, “Score!”

Sometimes inspiration comes by putting together things you never expected to combine. 🙂

Because the beads do all the work this bracelet goes together very quickly. Rather than fiddling with clasps and such I just strung everything onto two strands of jewelry elastic.

I apologize that I wasn’t able to find links to any of the elements I used except for the Stretch Magic elastic cord and the Super Glue Gel.

Instead of being frustrated, use it as an opportunity to make your own unique combinations!

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Fuchsia Florals Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Feb 262016

ff studio tour overview

Since we moved into this house nearly 18 years ago I’ve been working at making my studio the best work space possible. I chose this particular room because of the three rooms adjoining it: the bathroom, the kitchen and (at the time) the computer room. All very important to be close to! 🙂

First it was my “sewing room,” then the “craft room,” but now I think “studio” is most appropriate.

design wall in use

When we first moved in I was doing a lot of quilting and so covered the entire southern wall with white flannel. This was my quilt design wall, which you can see in action here.

Now it’s got this wonderful bookcase that my hubby built for me. In today’s video I’ll give you an overview tour of my whole room and next week I’ll show the bookcase in more detail.

Btw, these are  the bead storage containers I use: ArtBin Super Satchel Slim.

If there are any other areas you’d like to see more closely, please be sure to let me know.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Studio Tour Part 1 video over at YouTube.

Feb 252016

Lookee, lookee! That’s me! Can you tell I’m excited by having my work featured on a magazine cover for the first time? 🙂

March April 2016 Polymer Cafe magazine

Anyhow, just in case you missed it, I wanted to share. The tutorial for the little fairy garden birdbath is in this issue, and there are several other fairy garden tuts coming up.


*** This tutorial is now available as a downloadable PDF at my Etsy shop: Fairy Garden Birdbath

Happy creating!

Feb 242016

springtime nest

If you are new to polymer clay you may not realize that you don’t have to use the clay as it comes right out of the package. Not only can you mix the colors to get your own shades, but you can mix inclusions into the clay to add texture, interest and detail.

For our little spring eggs I added black embossing powder for the fine speckles and poppy seeds from my kitchen for the larger speckles.

The Sculpey Soufflé Robin’s Egg clay color was perfect, so I used that straight from the package.

For the nest made in the video I used 20 gauge bare copper wire.

paisley set 1200

Here’s a shot of how I used the nest in a necklace after giving a liver of sulfur patina.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Springtime Nest-Polymer Clay & Wire Work Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Feb 232016

Last November Michelle over at Firefly Design Studio started up a new jewelry design challenge.

paisley ceramics

She made these lovely ceramic paisley components in two different color ways: neutrals and brights. I chose the neutrals.

It was then our job to use all those pieces, along with a bonus lampwork bead from Shannon at BlueBlazes Lampwork (I LOVE that name!) to design a set of jewelry.

paisley necklace 1200

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

You can see Shannon’s bead below the bird’s nest in the necklace. I made several polymer clay components to go with the ceramics, as well as the wire nest, daisy, tangled ball and the clasp.

I also added the focal dangles to a short length of magatama beaded kumihimo braid.

paisley earrings 1200

I used the head pins and more polymer clay paisleys to make asymmetrical earrings.

paisley bracelet

For the bracelet I made a copper clasp and a round polymer clay component, then strung everything on waxed linen twine.

This bracelet is so comfortable to wear because the paisley piece is curved. And since the clasp is so pretty, it doesn’t matter if the bracelet turns upside down. 🙂

paisley set 1200

And here is my whole set. This is the image that your “like” will count as a vote on, the one with all three pieces together.

Go see all the designs and VOTE on your favorites at the Firefly Design Studio Challenge Group.

It’s so interesting to see the variety of ways these same pieces were used by different designers!