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. ūüôā

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. ūüôā

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. ūüôā

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‚Äôd love it if you shared photos of your¬†projects based on this tutorial¬†at my¬†Facebook page in the ‚ÄúYour Creations‚ÄĚ 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.

Jun 092015

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 06 10 woyww jewelry supplies galore (1)

On my workdesk¬†today is my annual HUGE¬†Fire Mountain Gems order. They offer discount incentives to buy many, many items, so I did. ūüėÄ (Who wouldn’t, right?)

I’ve got lots of beads, lots of findings, some tools, all kinds of goodies.¬†It’s going to take a while to put everything away and I’ll have to keep myself from in the midst of it all starting a few new¬†projects¬†I’m especially excited about.

Fortunately, when I put together my order I wrote¬†notes as to what each thing was for. Otherwise I’d be staring¬†at various stuff¬†from the order and wondering why¬†the heck I’d bought it. :-p

2015 06 10 woyww jewelry supplies galore (2)

Also on the desk in the upper left is a birthday gift from my son, a new micro torch. I’ve been wanting to do some soldering & fusing of metals to add to the jewelry skills. No burning down the house, I promise!

So that’s what’s on my work desk today. If you’re wondering why I posted a picture of my work desk, well, it’s What‚Äôs on Your Workdesk Wednesday. It’s just a fun little blog hop hosted by Julia. ¬†Check out the link if you have some time, it’s kind of fun!

Happy creating.

Jun 082015

wire wrapped ammonite

In this video I show you a¬†wire wrapping technique that¬†can turn just about anything into a pendant. Today I’m using a polished¬†ammonite that I picked up at a bead show a while back.

The wire wrapping is fairly straightforward as I wanted the focus to be on the fossil shell. You can find quite a few varieties of wrapped ammonites on this Pinterest board. Some of them have very elaborate wire work, and some don’t even use an ammonite at all!

Here’s¬†the video on how to finish this piece with beads and crystals.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

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

Jun 052015

friday findings-beaded kumihimo.jpg

In last week’s Friday Findings video I showed you the basics of kumihimo braiding. This week I show you how to add beads to your braided cords.

beaded kumihimo with lampwork heart

This necklace was made with seed beads of different sizes.

ombre kumihimo bracelet

This ombré kumihimo bracelet is an example of what you can do with larger beads.

kumihimo with flowers and leaves

And this piece was done with lucite flowers and leaves. It was tricky to keep the tension even in this one.

I definitely recommend you start with seed beads when you first try beaded kumihimo. Then work up to larger beads and different shapes.

To get started in kumihimo braiding you will need:

I’d love to see any kumihimo braiding/beading you try!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. ūüôā

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

Jun 042015

For this week’s dragon I decided to try something I’ve been avoiding for a while: ¬†applied scales.

dragon #21-Flora 1

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

I was avoiding it because it was hard to picture how to handle things like the arm & leg joints, how far to go onto the face, how to taper down to the tail, etc.

dragon #21-Flora 2

Once I decided to go for it, things were just figured out as aI went along (my usual modus operandi.)

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 #21-Flora 3

Instead of solid colored scales I used¬†use this extruder tutorial to make colorful scales. It was a good way to use some of a cane that I’ve never been thrilled with.

dragon #21-Flora 4

The wings were a fun experiment that I think came out well. I can totally picture these in white clay with colored mica powders for a magical look

dragon #21-Flora 5

What do you think? Which areas work and which do you think I could have done differently?

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