Feb 032015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone and yay Patriots!

(In case you’re wondering who the Patriots are, they’re an American football team who just won the championship. I apologize for all of America that they call themselves world champs. I don’t understand it either.)

2015 02 04 woyww  jewelry repair

Anyhow, on to my desk this week. Today I’m working on a couple of copper bangle bracelets that will be in an upcoming video tutorial. I wore them both for a day after making the video and figured out several things that I want to change and redo.

And so out came the wire cutters. I’m much happier with them now.

In the top left is my recipe for seven-layer dip that we had for Super Bowl snacks. In the upper right is Jennifer Lee’s second book, Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way. I went through her first book, The Right-Brain Business Plan, a few years ago, and it really has helped me find focus and direction in my business. It was time to refine my business plan, so I’m working through book #2 now.

charm class 14 finished charms cropped

In other news, I’m now officially a teacher at CraftArtEdu.com!

My first class is FREE and teaches you how to turn any polymer clay piece, baked or unbaked, in a charm that you can use in jewelry or other crafts. It’s called, simply enough Making Polymer Clay Charms.

If you click on this link to CraftArtEdu’s newsletter, you’ll find a link for 25% off any of their other classes.

So, that’s all I’ve got today. If you want to see the desks of other creative people from all over the world, check out our weekly blog link party at Julia’s. You never know what you might learn!

Happy creating 🙂

Feb 022015
 

pearl party bracelet

Whenever you make a piece of jewelry with a multitude of elements, like this bracelet with its 63 pearl dangles, there needs to be some kind of unifying factor. In this case it’s shape and finish, as they are all round pearls, plus they all have gunmetal plated bead caps.

Color is another great way to pull a piece together. If all the beads were different sizes, shapes and finishes, but were shades of a single color, that would also work.

So have fun going through your stash (or shopping!) for a variety of beads that will come together as a unified whole, and make a party for your wrist. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Pearl Party Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 6.5 inches of 10mm link chain
  • 6.5 inches of 5mm link chain
  • 6.5 inches of 6mm link chain
  • lobster clasp
  • 23 6mm jump rings
  • 63 glass pearls beads, 6mm-12mm
  • 63 bead caps
  • 63 head pins

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • ruler
  1. Open a jump ring and slide on lobster clasp and end link of each piece of chain. Open another jump ring and slide on remaining end links of chain.
  2. Onto each head pin slide a glass pearl bead and a bead cap. Cut wire to 3/8-inch above bead cap. Grasp end of wire with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop so it just crosses over itself.  Grasp loop with pliers to center over bead, making sure loop is closed securely.
  3. Repeat step 2 with all glass pearl beads, bead caps & head pins to make a total of 63 bead dangles.
  4. Open a jump ring and slide onto one 10mm link of chain, add loops of three of your bead dangles. Close jump ring securely.
  5. Repeat step 4 to add 3 bead dangles to each 10mm link of chain, occasionally catching a link of 5mm or 6mm chain in jump ring.
Jan 302015
 

friday findings twisting wire

Today’s Friday Findings is a short one that shows a simple, but very effective technique: twisting wire. I show you three different ways to twist wire, including my favorite, with a power drill!

Some things you can do with twisted wire:

  • make wire frames, like in these Sweetly Twisted Earrings
  • use two fine gauge wires to make a heavier twisted wire
  • use two fine gauge wires to make twisted ear wires
  • make frames of any size & shape you want
  • make spiral, “S” or any other shape components
  • hammer it flat to make “eyes” to thread wire through

I’m sure you can think of many more!

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

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

Jan 292015
 

Meet Armida, dragon #4 in my year-long series. She’s tiny but tough, and to judge by the state of that cage, she’ll be busting out any time now.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #4-Armida the small armored one (1)

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

This week’s project was less about creativity and more an exercise in architecture. I really should have  built that cage over a form, but the idea in my head seemed like a pretty good one.

dragon #4-Armida the small armored one (2)

You know how that goes. It seems good until you try to make it work. :-\

dragon #4-Armida the small armored one (5)

The dragon was made by building a two-part cast of a dragon charm out of Easymold Silicone Putty. I learned that if you coat the first half of the mold with Vaseline, then the second half won’t stick to it, so you can separate the two parts. Pretty cool! (You can see what I mean and how to do it for yourself in this helpful video.)

Much of the cage is held together with super glue, which now coats my fingers. Thankfully, none of them are stuck together. 😀

dragon #4-Armida the small armored one (4)

So, all that to tell you that making Armida was quite an adventure, but I learned a lot.

I’d thought to make it as a necklace pendant, but it’s really too big and bulky, not to mention fragile, so she’ll just keep company with all the other dragons.

dragon #4-Armida the small armored one (3)

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.

Have any of you made yourself challenges for 2015, creative or otherwise? How’s it going?

Happy creating!

Jan 272015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, everyone. I’m writing this post today in the midst of a blizzard. It makes one very thankful to have a warm home. Electricity and internet are a bonus!

2015 01 28 woyww cat protected clay desk

My workdesk today is in its attempted cat-proof state while I’m off doing something else. One of our cats has been finding all kinds of unique places to nap: laptop keyboards, the printer, the uncomfortable uneven edge of a bookcase and the narrow railing at the top of the stairs. He even jumped on top of our flat screen TV! (Not a good spot for a nap, btw.)

After I found him sitting on my table in the midst of all the clay bits, needle tools and razor blades, I knew it was time to do something.

That’s an aluminum roasting pan over the works in progress, with another on top to keep it from looking inviting to kitties.

In spite of all that I did find him one day, napping upright in that little space beside the computer mouse. Silly guy.

Are you wondering why I posted a photo of my messy desk?  If so, they you need to get acquainted with What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  It’s this fun blog hop that happens every Wednesday (hence, the name.) You just might find yourself inspired!

Jan 262015
 

coiled pink perfection bracelet

I’ve been meaning to make a bracelet like this one for quite some time, with all the coils and coiled coil beads. The original plan was to use sterling silver filled wire and give it a Liver of Sulfur patina. However, this bracelet uses a LOT of wire (about 21 feet) and when the time came to make it, I didn’t have enough silver filled.  🙁

If you’d like to learn more about Liver of Sulfur patinas, check out this video: Friday Findings-Liver of Sulfur Patinas.

Although the Beadalon wire says “silver plated,” it’s a coating that won’t tarnish. If you prefer only bright, shiny silver, then this is a plus.

Anyhow, in spite of it not being exactly what I had in mind to make, I think it came out rather sweet.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Coiled Pink Perfection Bracelet Video Tutorial video over at YouTube.

Jan 232015
 

friday findings-wrapping undrilled

Have you ever come across an interesting object that you thought would be nice in a piece of jewelry but it didn’t have a stringing hole and you didn’t know how to make it work?

In today’s video I show you how to use wire to wrap any undrilled piece so it will have two loops, positioned wherever you want. That way it can be either a link component or a pendant with dangles beneath.

It’s simpler than you might think and a great look.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Wire Wrapping Undrilled Pieces video over at YouTube.

Jan 222015
 

Meet Bernadette, dragon #3 in my 2015 challenge to make a polymer clay dragon every week.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #3-Bernadette (1)

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

If you are familiar with other dragons I’ve made, you’re probably wondering why there’s such a stylistic departure this week.

dragon #3-Bernadette (3)

Cartoony is definitely not my usual approach. However, I’m participating in the Polymer Clay Adventure this year and want to put the classes to good use.

raccoon by katie oskin

Last week’s class was taught by Katie Oskin, and she did a great tutorial on an adorable raccoon in her usual cute and very cartoon-like style.  (Similar tutorials can be purchased at her website, KatersAcres.com. If you like this style, you should also check out Parker’s Tutorial Club.)

After studying her construction, I decided that if I changed just the tail, the head and added a few details, I could have a dragon.

dragon #3-Bernadette (2)

Doncha love Bernadette’s pretty pink manicure?

dragon #3-Bernadette (4)

And that gleam in her eye… what IS she up to?

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.

Happy creating!

Jan 202015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!

2015 01 21 woyww photography set up

My crafting desk this week has stuff on it I can’t show, so I thought I’d show you one of my other spaces. This desk is in the next room and has my video and photography set up.

When I first started making videos, I set up and broke down before and after every single video. Bleah. Then we completed homeschooling and my son no longer needed this desk, so I appropriated it.

It’s great to be able to keep all my props and lighting set up all the time. The only problem is that I need to always leave sort of a mess of stuff in the photo booth to discourage kitties from taking naps in it.

cheech w summer skies earrings (2)

Of course, that strategy doesn’t always work. 😀

He’s such a cute little helper, though, who could be mad at him? Time to get out the lint brush.

Check back tomorrow for dragon #3 in my year long series!

Wondering why I’m posting photos of my desk? Well it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all go visiting the creative spaces of creative people all over the world. The blog link party starts at Julia’s.

 

Jan 192015
 

Every time I look at these stick pearls all I can think is “Dragon’s Teeth.” Not sure why, but that’s where my mind goes, so there you have it.

dragon's teeth necklace

I suppose I could have named it “Spiky Stick Pearl Necklace” but that wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting. Amiright?

In this necklace I show you a technique for using  multiple strands of beading wire and having them twist and turn amongst each other.  You can use any beads you like to do this, from very simple and elegant, to the crazy and funky direction that I went.

Whatever you create, have fun and enjoy the process. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Dragon’s Teeth Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Supplies used in this necklace:

  • top drilled stick pearl beads
  • top drilled 3mm x 6mm pearls
  • 4mm Swarovski crystal clear bicone beads
  • 12 mm round lava beads
  • gold colored stringing wire
  • crimp beads
  • crimp covers
  • 2 round parts from toggle clasps
  • suede leather cord
  • lobster clasp with jump ring
  • 2 inch length of chain

Tools:

See video for directions.