Apr 132015
 

With wedding season coming up, I thought these pearls and crystals were the perfect thing for some dangly, sparkly special earrings.

bridal-pearl-earrings-still-1

No wedding in your future?  Make them in any colors you like, how about all the colors of the rainbow? Or try a collection of various shades of a single color.

bridal-pearl-earrings-still-2

As I mention in the video, this design is quite simple to customize to any taste. Just add more or less chain dangles and make them longer or shorter to suit.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Bridal Pearls & Crystals Earrings video over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 1 package Swarovski Crystal Bicone Pearl Combo – white
  • 6-10 3mm silver plated round beads
  • 2 silver plated ear wires
  • 2 4mm silver plated jump rings
  • 10 silver plated head pins
  • 11-link-per-inch silver plated chain, approx 7 inches (18 cm)

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Arrange the 3mm silver beads, pearls and crystals into five pairs of groupings of 2-3 beads each. Each grouping will be one bead dangle.
  2. Slide a grouping of beads onto a head pin. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits last bead.  Bend wire at 90° angle.  Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop.  Slightly twist loop open and insert end link of the chain. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  3. Trim chain to length desired for longest dangle. Count the chain links and make a matching dangle for the second earring.
  4. Repeats steps 2-3 to make five pairs of chain dangles.
  5. Open a 4mm jump ring and slide on end links of one set of five chain dangles and the loop of an ear wire. Close jump ring securely. Repeat to finish second earring.
Apr 102015
 

friday findings Q&A #1

Happy Friday, all! Today I have for you the second of our question and answer videos.

I’m so glad that you all aren’t shy about asking specific questions in the comments on my videos, and I try to address them all.

The questions in this video are about how to choose various findings.

  • which necklace stringing material is best to use
  • how to use flat back beads (cabochons) or broken half beads
  • how to choose headpins that work best and aren’t difficult to use
  • which crimps to use
  • which jump rings are best

I hope you find the answers helpful!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. :-)

You can watch the Friday Findings-Questions & Answers #2 over at YouTube.

Apr 092015
 

This week’s dragon has an oriental flavor. Meet Wen, who is faithfully guarding this little pagoda.

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

dragon #14-Wen 1.JPG

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

No, I didn’t make the pagoda, but got it in the aquarium section  of the pet store!

dragon #14-Wen 2.JPG

I just love his silvery flowing mane, beard & mustache.

I made his eyes over a year ago (and shared a bit of the process here) and am thrilled with how they look. Don’t think I’m going to go back to plain black beads anytime soon.

dragon #14-Wen 3.JPG

He’s got Swarovski crystals along his back. These are flat back hot fix so they get glued on with the heat of the oven. (A nifty trick I learned from Christi Friesen.)

dragon #14-Wen 4.JPG

The Chinese name Wen means “cultured” or “ornamental” which totally suits him, but I mostly chose the name of a character in Tiger’s Quest.

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

Apr 072015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 04 08 woyww fern frond wire & pearl necklace (1).JPG

On today’s desk is another wire work project from Abby Hook’s wonderful book, Wire Jewelry Masterclass.

You can also see in the upper left the clay colors I’ve chosen for this week’s dragon. I’m usually further along by this time in the week, starting on the newest dragon over the weekend, but there’s been too much going on. Hopefully I get this one done in time! (Check back on Thursday to see.)

2015 04 08 woyww fern frond wire & pearl necklace (2).JPG

Here’s a close up of the wire work piece. Right now it looks like a tangled mess of wires and beads, but the plan is for it to be an necklace pendant when done. We’ll see!

If you’re wondering why I’m sharing photos of my desk, well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all get together at Julia’s and take a peek at each other’s creative goings on. It’s always fun and often inspiring. Join us if you have a few minutes!

Apr 062015
 

rings & crystals dangle earrings still (2)

These sweet earrings are SO easy to make. All you need to make are 12 wrapped loops and two ear wire inserts. Boom, done!

rings & crystals dangle earrings still (1)

It’s the size and type of rings you choose, plus the colors and finishes of the beads that will make your earrings your unique creation. Picture huge hoops with chunky bead dangles, and you have a completely different look than these dainty twisted wire hoops with delicate faceted crystals.

These would be a lovely gift for a special someone, Mother’s Day perhaps?

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Rings & Crystals Dangle Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 10mm metal rings, soldered closed
  • 2 8mm x 6mm facted crystals
  • 10 3mm frosted glass beads
  • 10 head pins
  • 2 decorative head pins
  • 2 ear wires

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers (optional)

Directions:

  1. Slide an 8mm x 6mm faceted crystal bead onto a decorative head pin.
  2. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead.  Bend wire at 90° angle.  Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop.  Slightly twist loop open and insert a 10mm metal ring. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers or crimping pliers to tuck in end.
  3. Slide a 3mm frosted glass bead onto a headpin. Repeat step 2 to wire wrap this unit onto same 10mm metal ring as 8mm x 6mm faceted crystal. Repeat to add a total of 5 3mm frosted glass beads to metal ring.
  4. Use chain nose pliers to open loop of an ear wire. Slide metal ring into ear wire, having 3 frosted glass beads on one side and two on the other side of faceted crystal.
  5. Close ear wire loop securely. Repeat all steps to make second earring.
Apr 032015
 

friday findings-polymer clay inspiration.JPG

In today’s video I share several of my favorite resources for learning polymer clay techniques. Whether you’d like to sculpt or cane, make jewelry or mixed media pieces, there’s something for you.

Here are links to the books I mention in the video, in no particular order:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Polymer Clay Inspiration video over at YouTube.

Apr 022015
 

It’s hard to believe it, but we are now one quarter of the way through 2015, and I am one quarter of the way through my 2015 weekly dragon challenge with 13 completed polymer clay dragons.

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

dragon #13 Lila 1.JPG

This week we meet Lila. She’s another bracelet dragon, but a rather unusual one this time.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #13 Lila 2.JPG

The bracelet base consists of teardrop shaped tiles. First the tiles were baked, then Lila then formed across them.

dragon #13 Lila 3.JPG

Then each tile had to be cut apart. Yes, this looks like major surgery, but I assure you Lila felt no pain. 😉

dragon #13 Lila 4.JPG

Here’s a look at the back so you can see how the tiles look all by themselves.  I think this type of bracelet would look great with some faux stone tiles or perhaps with some vines and flowers running across them. In fact, I’m thinking of making this a class some time in the future.

dragon #13 Lila 5.JPG

And here is how it looks being worn. It’s a bit bulky, but actually quite comfortable.

dragon #13 Lila 6.JPG

I love making my dragons with a mischievous gleam in their eyes. You have to wonder just what they’re up to. 😀

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

Mar 312015
 

I hope you all are having a happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

2015 04 01 woyww april fool (1).JPG

I’m kinda bummed because I left my laptop on the living floor and look what somebody did. I’m amazed that it’s still working at all.

2015 04 01 woyww april fool (2).JPG

Wait a minute, how did that exact same splat end up on my workdesk?

2015 04 01 woyww april fool (3).JPG

April Fool! This is what a devious mind can do with some craft glue & a bit of acrylic paint. 😀 Every laptop in the house is going to get this treatment at some point today. Mwuahahaha.

2015 04 01 woyww  dragons & audio books.JPG

Today’s real work desk shows me working on this week’s dragon, #13. It’s hard to believe we’re one quarter through the year already! Check back tomorrow to see the completed project.

Also on my desk are the audio cds for the sixth book in the Outlander series, all 48 of them! As I’m working on the clay, I’m ripping the cds to my computer so I can put them on my mp3 player. Then I listen to books while I do mundane things, like housework or cooking.

Between the cd cases you can see last week’s dragon, Virgil, clinging to his pen on his fancy, shmancy pen stand. 🙂

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.

Mar 302015
 

moonglow earrings silver

In these earrings, the wire wraps aren’t just holding it all together, they play a part in the design.

moonglow earrings patina

Wire spirals make bead caps for the crackled glass beads and funky messy wraps almost have the appearance of another bead above the grey oval stones.

moonglow earrings side by side

On the left you can see the earrings in their shiny metal state. On the right you see how a patina in Liver of Sulfur and then a polish of the high points really brings out the details.

Enjoy the video and happy creating. 🙂

You can watch the Moonglow Wire Wrapped Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 purchased or handmade ear wires
  • 2 18x8mm oval beads
  • 2 8mm crackle glass beads
  • 22 gauge sterling silver filled wire, 2 6.5-inch pieces + 2 4.5-inch pieces

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • file
  • bench block or anvil
  • chasing hammer

See video for complete instructions.

Mar 272015
 

Friday Findings-Reclaiming Copper Wire.JPG

Many of you have expressed interest in my use of copper wire that was reclaimed from discarded electronics.

green serpentine & figure 8 chain

The fine gauge wire in this pendant came from an old television set.

hammered bangles redone (2)

The heavy gauge wire in these bangle bracelets is from old romex electrical cable.

bead wrapped hammered wire earrings still

And these earrings (click here to watch the Bead Wrapped & Hammered Wire Earrings video) use both the heavy and the fine gauge wire.

In the Reclaiming Copper Wire video I’ll give you some tips on where to find copper wire, how to make it usable and help you decide if it’s an avenue the you personally would find worth pursuing.

How you use it is up to you! 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

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