Jun 262015

friday findings-flat nose pliers

In this week’s Friday Findings video I tell you all about one of my favorite tools, flat nose pliers. Flat nose pliers aren’t strictly necessary in jewelry making but I’ve found them to be really useful. In the video I show you a couple of my favorite uses for this simple tool.

Here are a few links for different styles of flat nose pliers:

You’ll find the main variations in flat nose pliers are the length of the jaws and the width of the jaws.

If you’re just starting out in jewelry making I recommend instead of flat nose pliers that to start you get yourself a couple pairs of chain nose pliers.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Flat Nose Pliers video over YouTube.

Jun 252015

This week’s dragon is Lüsèlóng (pronounced loose-a-long.) He’s another one from the Tigers Voyage book, and the third dragon they encounter on their trip.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #24 Luselong 1

I think I have I’ve had the most fun with this dragon so far adding all of the details that the author describes in the book.

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

dragon #24 Luselong 2

Here are some of the descriptions from the novel.

  • long sinuous body
  • bearded
  • long tongue
  • four short limbs with taloned feet
  • earth dragon
  • green
  • golden eye
  • camoflagued in trees
  • head is brown and knobby like old driftwood
  • snout is long like a crocodile with pointed teeth
  • large antlers on back of the head
  • moss hanging off the horns in sections
  • golden taloned feet
  • scales resemble green leaves layered over each other
  • brown beard & mane look like rich cocoa waves of corn silk
  • silky hair in a thin patch down its back like a horse’s mane endings in a long bushy tail

The branch that he’s sitting on is a bit of an oak tree that was taken down in our yard a few weeks ago. I think it suits him perfectly.

dragon #24 Luselong 3

He’s described as being a hunter and when the characters in the book first see him they actually can’t find him because he’s camouflaged in the trees. So I tried to make him look like he’s sitting there waiting to pounce on them.

This was a fun project, but all all those scales took a while to do. I do love how they came out though.

dragon #24 Luselong 4

I had to pre-bake him several times. First I baked the body without scales so that the shape would be set, then I added about half the scales and baked it again. That way I could hold onto the set scaled section while I added the remaining scales. All in all rather complex but I’m quite pleased with how he came out.

To learn why I’ve challenged myself to make a dragon every week in 2015 check out this post on Errol, dragon #1.



Jun 232015

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 06 24 woyww rainbow hearts

On this week’s work desk you can see that I’m working on planning an upcoming jewelry making video for my YouTube channel. I was working on the next dragon, but that’s been shoved aside while the dragon is pre-baking in the oven.

That purple case on the left is my Swarovski crystal case, and I’ve pulled out a rainbow of heart crystals for my next jewelry tutorial.

You can see in the lower center front I’m also trying out different beads, crystals, pearls and even trying leather and silk to see which will work best with what for what I have in mind. Lately I’ve been about a month ahead with the jewelry videos, so if you want to see the final project, check back in four weeks. 🙂

In the upper left is yet another kumihimo project. After doing the Kumihimo video series on my YouTube channel, I suddenly can’t stop making them! So far I’m up four bracelets and a necklace with more planned. I’ll post pics on my Instagram when this one is done.

That’s what’s happening this week. Wondering why I’m sharing a photo of my desk? It’s a fun blog hop game we play over at Julia’s called What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Join in, all are welcome!

Jun 222015

Asymmetrical designs are always interesting to look at, more difficult to do than mirrored designs, but always rewarding.  I thought these art glass headpins by Carol Bugarin deserved a different approach than usual.

asymmetrical art glass earrings.jpg

The goal was to use slightly different elements in each earring, but still have them be balanced. The best compliment I got when wearing them was someone looking back and forth between the two, saying,  “Hey, your earrings don’t match!” Looking again, “But they do…., but they don’t. Huh.” 🙂

If you do work with art glass headpins, make sure to note the temper of the wire. These were quite hardened and brittle and the first one I tried to wrap snapped off quite short. (I edited out me going, “Nooooooooooo!”) It worked out ok in the end, though.

Like I mention in the video, these kinds of projects are just the reason beaders need to have lots of bead stash, so we have just the right elements to chose from for any project. Right? 😉

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Asymmetrical Art Glass Earring Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Jun 192015

ff-chain nose pliers (1)

Today’s video is the first part in a series on basic jewelry-making tools. If you’re going to make jewelry, you need chain nose pliers. I give you the details on what you want in your pliers and talk about the different shapes you’ll find.

Here are a few inexpensive options to get you started:

One thing I didn’t mention in the video is that I really like the bent chain nose pliers because they help me do things at a more comfortable angle than the straight pliers. I usually reach for those first. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Chain Nose Pliers video over at YouTube.

Jun 182015

Meet this week’s newest dragon, Sashi.  Like last week’s project, Jaide, she’s sitting on a container for treasures.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #23 Sashi (1)

She is atop what is called an inro box. I made this when I took a class over at CraftArtEdu by Donna Kato. Inro boxes have an interesting history as they were used as pockets in Japan because kimono don’t have pockets. If you look up inro boxes on Pinterest you’ll find many beautiful traditional ones as well as many made out of polymer clay.

To learn why I’m making a dragon every week check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details.

dragon #23 Sashi (2)

In the class Donna showed us how to make her wavy cane. I, of course, had to make it more complicated and do mine in two colors but I really like how the white pearl and green work together with the dark purple.

I didn’t intend for Sashi to be faux ivory but the translucent mixed with a little bit of pearl clay after being baked for a long time ended up looking like just that so I went with it. 🙂

dragon #23 Sashi (3)

And here is how the box opens. The bead above slides on the cord and will keep it closed.

This was a fun project, not only learning a new technique, but also learning all about a traditional Japanese handcraft.

Check back next week for dragon #24!

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

Jun 162015

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 06 17 woyww soldering set up

On my work desk this week you can see that I’m hoping to start trying out soldering very soon. As I mentioned last week my son got me the torch for a birthday present, and I’ve been busy spending money adding into the setup. 🙂

I’ve got fuel, I’ve got a metal pan to safely solder on the table, a cool quenching bowl, a charcoal brick (that’s what’s in the black box,) soldering pics, files and I have solder which I’m so thankful my other son saw and told me needs to be stored in the refrigerator so that it won’t separate from the flux that it’s mixed with.

I also have a stack of soldering books from the library that I’m looking forward to working through. Like I said last week, I promise not to burn down the house!

In the back left corner you’ll see leftover bits of clay from this week’s dragon which will be done tomorrow, come back and check it out. And towards the right you can see I have another kumihimo set up, this time with a really cool project. It’s called a dragon scales necklace and I will be sure to post a picture once it’s done.

That’s all I’ve got for this week. If you wonder why I’m sharing a photo of my desk, it’s this fun little blog hop game we play over at Julia’s called What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Join in, all are welcome!

Jun 152015

ammonite necklace.jpg

Last week I showed you how to wire wrap an ammonite so it could be used as a pendant.

This week we’re finishing up the necklace by adding tourmaline beads and Swarovski crystal dangles to the bottom of the ammonite, plus more tourmaline beads, brass beads and chain for hanging.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Ammonite Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.


  • wire wrapped ammonite
  • 19 7mm x 10 mm oval tourmaline beads
  • 22 3mm brass beads
  • 12 4mm Swaroski bicone beads, crystal clear
  • 2 8-inch pieces chain
  • lobster clasp
  • 1 or 2 jump rings
  • 8 crimp beads
  • up to 8 crimp covers
  • bead stringing wire


  • One Step Crimper (or your preferred crimping method)
  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers


  1. Arrange the 12 Swarovski crystals and five 3mm brass beads into three rows of different lengths and patterns.
  2. Slide a crimp bead onto bead stringing wire, then slide the wire through one of the wires going around the bottom of the ammonite. Slide the end of the wire back through the crimp, pull snug and crimp. Add a crimp cover if desired.
  3. Slide on one row of Swarovski crystals and brass beads, then add a tourmaline bead. Slide on a crimp and crimp, adding a crimp cover if desired. Trim excess wire.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to add two more dangles to the bottom of the ammonite.
  5. Slide a crimp onto bead stringing wire, slide wire through end link of one of your lengths of chain. Slide wire back through crimp and crimp, adding a crimp cover if desired.
  6. String remaining 17 brass beads and 16 tourmaline beads in an alternating pattern onto bead stringing wire.
  7. Repeat step 5 to add remaining length of chain.
  8. Slide ammonite pendant onto necklace.
  9. Use chain nose pliers to open a jump ring and add to end link of one chain and a jump ring. Close securely.
  10. Add a jump ring to other end of chain if needed.


Jun 122015

friday findings-finishing kumihimo

In two previous videos I showed you how to do a simple kumihimo braid, as well as how to add beads to your braid. I hope you’ve enjoyed the tutorials and maybe even given the technique a try!

blue & white kumihimo bracelet

In today’s video I show you how I finish this braid and make it into a bracelet. You would use the same techniques to finish most any of your kumihimo pieces.

This website, Lytha Studios, has an awesome tool called the KumiPlanner for helping you plan the colors and patterns of your braid. It’s so much fun to play with, be sure to check it out!

These two books were very helpful when I was first learning this ancient craft:


I’d love it if you shared photos of your projects based on this tutorial at my Facebook page in the “Your Creations” album.

You can watch the Friday Findings-Finishing Kumihimo video over at YouTube.

Jun 112015

Meet Jaide, Thursday’s Dragon #22.

To learn why I’m making a dragon every week check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details.

dragon #22 Jaide 1

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

This week’s Dragon project was fun and went rather quickly because many of the components that I used were things that were left over from other projects. The stones were left over from a fairy garden house. The branch was left over from practicing a technique from Christi Friesen’s book, Flourish.  The brown wooden part on the bottom was left over from the castle tiles on Rosalita, Thursday’s Dragon #6.

dragon #22 Jaide 2

Jade’s body is made with translucent clay colored with alcohol inks.

dragon #22 Jaide 3

I love the glass-like, almost semiprecious stone look that I got, hence the name Jaide.

dragon #22 Jaide 5

Jaide has a little secret, though. She is built on a mini Altoids tin. Kinda fun!

dragon #22 Jaide 6

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.