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.

Jun 022015

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 06 03 woyww many many projects (1)

Your view of today’s desk may explain why I’m feeling rather overwhelmed at the moment. There’s no order, no rhyme or reason, just a lot of unfinished projects. I could make a mile-long to do list merely from looking at the photo.

Of course, the culprit just might be that pretty little gadget in the lower right. Yup, that’s my new iPhone and learning to use it has been fun, exciting, frustrating and most of all, TIME-CONSUMING.

I think I spent 1 1/2 hours yesterday just sorting out my contacts. Sheesh. But they are now all nice and tidy, and that makes me happy, so there’s that. 😉

Let me know of your favorite apps, btw, crafty, houseworky, organizing, productivity, all suggestions are welcome!

2015 06 03 woyww finished cards

Lest you think I’ve done nothing but play on my phone, here’s proof that I actually DID finish those cards last week. It did not happen all in one day, but took until Friday. I actually ended up making a baker’s dozen, but one was mailed off before I took this photo.

The three in the lower left (and the one I mailed) were done with a partial die cutting technique. With the exception of the pink, glittery oval (I’ll have to think carefully about who will get this glitter bomb) the rest were done with embossing pastes through stencils. I colored the paste with distress inks and am especially happy with the top left three. The two brownish ones were gold embossing paste through a steampunk stencil. They didn’t come out quite as cool as I’d hoped but they’ll do.

If you have a few minutes to spare, you can go to What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday to check out the workdesks of other creative people from all over.  Why do we do this?  Cuz Julia says, and it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!

Jun 012015

art glass lentil necklace

I picked up this huge lampworked glass lentil bead at a bead show last October. It was made by glass artist Ann Conlin.  We’re often so impressed with these large focal beads, but then it can be a dilemma what to do with them.

In the video I give you several ideas and then show how to put together these multiple strands with bead caps.

So don’t be intimidated by the giant focals, they can make quite a statement!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. 🙂

You can watch the Art Glass Lentil Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.


  • 37mm diameter lentil shaped glass art bead
  • 15-inches each of seven strands of beads
  • 7 20-inch lengths of bead stringing wire
  • crimp beads
  • 2 bead caps
  • 2 eye pins
  • 2 4-inch lengths of chain
  • lobster clasp
  • jump ring


  1. String 7 1/2-inches of beads onto each piece of stringing wire.
  2. Finish one end of each wire with a crimp and a small loop of wire, trimming off excess wire. Open loop of an eye pin and place all wire loops into it. Close loop securely and slide on a bead cap to cover.
  3. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead cap.  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 one of the pieces of 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.
  4. Gather all wires together and slide through art glass bead.
  5. String remaining 7 1/2 inches of beads onto each wire and repeat steps 2 and 3 to finish other end.
  6. Add a lobster clasp to one chain and a jump ring to the other to complete your necklace.
May 292015

friday findings-kumihimo braiding.jpg

I today’s video I show you how to use a Kumihimo Braiding Disk to make unique cords for your beads and jewelry.  As I mention in the video, if you get the disk you should also get the Large Kumihimo Bobbins.

(This link will bring you to a page with many photo examples of what kumihimo braiding looks like.)

friday findings-kumihimo braiding.jpg

Kumihimo is a great bring-it-along-with-you kind of project, perfect for doing in the doctor’s office or while watching something you don’t need to pay strict attention to. It’s quite simple and nearly mindless.

friday findings-kumihimo braiding.jpg

Also, you are not only limited to making round cord. You can make flat braids, hollow braids and use up to 32 cords in your braids. Just do an internet search and you’ll see lots of possibilities!

Next week I’ll show you my favorite thing to do with Kumihimo, and that’s adding beads. It’s a bit more work, but well worth the effort!

In the meantime, enjoy the video and happy creating. 🙂

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

May 282015

Hello and welcome to the 20th in my year-long series of polymer clay dragons.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #20 Gwenda 4

This week’s dragon is Gwenda, which means “white wave.” She’s a pretty girl, with her pink, green & silver swirls, and she likes pretty things. As you can see she’s found this pink heart shaped stone.

dragon #20 Gwenda 2

If I were you, I would not try to take it from her. In fact, I’d suggest you not even look at it. Just in case. You wouldn’t want to lose a finger.

faux leopardskin jasper beads

Gwenda was made using the faux leopardskin jasper technique from Kim Schlinke and Ranee Ketzel’s book Polymer Clay Gemstones: The Art of Deception. These are some beads I made in the same way.

dragon #20 Gwenda 3

I think I like the swirly pattern better than the spotted. Also, I’d like this better in different colors. It was a fun technique to play with and I’m looking forward to experimenting with bolder shades and different shapes.

dragon #20 Gwenda 1

“Mine. All mine.”

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

May 262015

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 05 27 woyww making cards

On this week’s desk are some supplies of mine you haven’t seen in a while: card making stuff! I’ve been so busy with other things that it’s fallen by the wayside. Only so many hours in a day and all that.

In fact, a few months back I decided to give up trying to keep up with the Tim Holtz monthly tags. I felt a little sad, but it has been one less stress every month.

But, just for today I’m going to play with technique ideas I’ve been storing up and make a dozen or so cards.

Whatever you’re doing, may you have happy creating!

To see what’s happening on the desks of many other crafty and creative people, go to What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Cuz it’s Wednesday and that’s what we do.

May 252015

summer sparkles bracelet.JPG

This bracelet started, as many of them do, with the focal beads. I just love the colors and the summery images. This set was purchased at a bead show, sorry I can’t remember the name of the vendor. However, you will be able to find many beads like them for sale on Etsy and Ebay. Try searching for “summer beach lampwork beads.”

This is a fairly simple stringing project. The tedious bit was making 64 little bead dangles. The 1-Step Looper helped that process go more quickly, but it still took a while.

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

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Summer Sparkles Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.


  • 3 lampwork focal beads, 20-30mm
  • 6-8 blister pearl beads
  • 64 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • 64 silver plated ball end headpins
  • additional silver spacer beads as needed
  • silver plated toggle clasp
  • 2 silver plated crimps
  • 2 silver plated wire protectors
  • 2 silver plated crimp covers
  • 12-inches .48mm bead stringing wire


  1. Slide each 4mm crystal bead onto a head pin. Use round nose pliers or the 1-Step Looper to make simple loops in each headpin, making 64 bead dangles.
  2. Separate dangles into eight piles of eight each.
  3. Add a Bead Stopper to one end of bead stringing wire. Onto wire string: two pearl beads > loops of eight bead dangles > lampwork focal bead > loops of eight bead dangles > pearl bead > loops of eight bead dangles > pearl bead > loops of eight bead dangles > lampwork focal bead > loops of eight bead dangles > pearl bead > loops of eight bead dangles > pearl bead > loops of eight bead dangles > lampwork focal bead > loops of eight bead dangles > two pearl beads.
  4. Add a Bead Stopper to other end of wire and check fit of bracelet. If needed string additional silver bead spacers between and/or after beginning and ending pairs of pearl beads.
  5. To finish ends remove one bead stopper and onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp, then slide wire into one end of wire protector and out the other. Add one end of your clasp to the wire protector. Slide the wire end back through the crimp and bring crimp to within 1/8-inch of wire protector. Flatten crimp or use One Step Crimper, then squeeze ends of wire protector together. Trim shorter piece of wire close to crimp. Cover crimp with a crimp cover by picking up with crimping pliers, sliding over flattened crimp and gently squeezing pliers. Use crimping pliers to shape cover into a round bead shape if necessary.
  6. Repeat step 5 to add other half of toggle clasp to other end of bracelet.
May 222015

Friday Findings-Bead Caps.JPG

Bead caps are wonderful little jewelry findings that can really dress up a bead and make a piece much more fancy. They come in just about every finish and style that you can imagine, but did you know that you can do a lot more with them than just caps beads?

In the video I give you several ideas for using bead caps in alternate ways in your jewelry. I hope this gets your imagination firing, you’ll likely think of many more!

You can watch the Friday Findings-New Uses For Bead Caps video over at YouTube.

May 212015

Hello and welcome to the 19th in my year-long series of polymer clay dragons!

dragon #19 Qinglong 1

Meet Qīnglóng (pronounced “chíng-long”) the second dragon encountered in Tiger’s Voyage.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #19 Qinglong 2

He is an ocean dragon and has a rather unpleasant attitude, which I hope I conveyed by his expression. He is described as being perched atop a castle ruin on a rocky island jutting out of the ocean, so I had some fun creating that.

dragon #19 Qinglong 3

To keep him from being top heavy I buried a lead fishing weight in the front narrow part of the island. Tricky, eh?

dragon #19 Qinglong 4

The book gives quite a detailed picture:

  •  bearded, with a long sinuous body
  • water dragon
  • scaly skin is brilliant blue
  • yellow eyes, purple tongue
  • head is longer, narrowing more at the nose
  • fleshy, fat & lazy
  • grouchy, irritable
  • cheeks and brow covered with feathers that sweep away from its face and shimmer like fish scales in brilliant blues and purples
  • similar feathers flow down the spine of its back and fan out at its tail and limbs like the hair around a Clydesdale horse’s hooves
  • sharp golden talons
  • when annoyed feathers along the back & top of the head stand up like crested cockatoo

dragon #19 Qinglong 5

I’m starting to understand what movie-makers are talking about when they adapt a book and say they feel they need to change things and not do them exactly as described on the pages.  There were details that seemed important for the character, and other details that just didn’t translate well from page to visual.

dragon #19 Qinglong 6

Anyhow, I kinda like Qīnglóng and his grouchy attitude. 🙂

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

May 192015

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday once again.

2015 05 20 woyww kumihimo beading.JPG

Today I’m working on prep for an upcoming video tutorial on kumihimo braiding with beads. I first gave this technique a try over a year ago and decided it was time to add a couple tutorials to my YouTube channel.  Be watching for the series on kumihimo in a few weeks.

On my mp3 player this week are the podcasts by the producer of the Outlander series telling all the interesting behind-the-scenes bits about each episode. Fascinating! Are any of you watching? What did you think of the last episode?

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!