Dec 262014
 

friday findings hammered wire dangles

Hammering is a fun and easy way to turn a simple piece of wire into something quite interesting. It was a lot of fun making this video and playing with store bought eye pins. I will definitely be revisiting this idea, especially the curvy wire dangles.

I hope you take this idea and run with it. As always, the possibilities are endless!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. 🙂

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

Dec 232014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday and Happy Christmas Eve!

I have no desk to show you today, as all that is on it are some scraps of wrapping paper, scissors and bits of tape.

garden fairy house 1200

But many of you asked to see the Garden Fairy House project of mine that was published in the January issue of Polymer Cafe. So here you go.

Click on any of the pics for a closer look.

garden fairy house ladybug

Here are several photos that didn’t make it into the magazine.

garden fairy house window

The base was built on a votive candle holder, so that gives you an idea of the size.

garden fairy house flowers

I used real leaves to give the texture on the roof.

garden fairy house

And I still haven’t gotten mine into the garden. Next spring, for sure. 🙂

polymer cafe contents

If you’d like to learn how to make this (and other things) be sure to check out the January/February 2015 issue of Polymer Cafe.

Happy creating and Merry Christmas!

P.S. If you’re not too crazy busy this Christmas Eve, take a little time to see what’s on the workdesks of creative folks from all over. Join our weekly blog link party over at Julia’s.

Dec 222014
 

Using curved tubes to separate our beads gives this bracelet graceful movement. They really do move around almost like dancing as you wear it.

Dancing Agates Bracelet

If you haven’t seen curved tubes before, check out the selection at Fire Mountain Gems. I love the “S” shaped ones, too. Can’t you just imagine the design possibilities?
3 wire reduction through a bead

Here is the stringing chart I promised you in the video.  It’s not rocket science, but I thought the visual helped. 🙂

Swarovski crystal bicones would be a natural in this bracelet, as would any sparkly bead. Have fun choosing your own.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Dancing Agates Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 18 21mm curved silver tube beads
  • 15 6mm round agate beads
  • toggle clasp
  • 2 wire protectors
  • 4 crimps
  • 4 crimp covers
  • 3 11-inch lengths bead stringing wire
  • 2 10mm brushed silver triangle beads

Tools:

  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers
  • chain nose pliers

 Directions:

  1. Hold all strands of wire together and slide a crimp onto all three. Use chain nose pliers to flatten crimp 2 inches from one end. Trim short end of one wire.
  2. Use crimping pliers to pick up and add a crimp cover over the crimp, squeezing gently to close.
  3. Slide remaining two wires through a 10mm triangle bead and through a crimp.
  4. Slide one wire in one end and out the other of a wire protector. Slide on a piece of your clasp.
  5. Slide wire end coming out of wire protector back through crimp. Use chain nose pliers to flatten crimp. Trim two remaining wires and cover with a crimp cover.
  6. Onto each wire slide an alternating pattern of curved tubes and agate beads until you have six tubes and five agates on each wire.
  7. Slide a crimp over all three wires, pull up all wires snug, then back off 1/4 inch to leave a little slack and flatten the crimp with chain nose pliers. Trim end of one wire.
  8. Repeat steps 2-5 to finish other ends of wires.
Dec 192014
 

friday findings - necklace clasp

Last Christmas my husband bought me a beautiful necklace on Etsy; it had a very unique clasp that I’ve been admiring all year.

It uses just basic jewelry making supplies: headpins, small beads and a spacer bead, but creates a very elegant closure for a necklace.

As I mention in the video, I wouldn’t recommend it for anything other than a necklace, as it depends on the weight of the necklace hanging down to keep it secure.

Anyhow, I hope you find it helpful. Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Dec 162014
 

Happy crazy busy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday that’s real close to Christmas!

2014 12 17 woyww christmas cards (1)

As you can see from my desk, today finds me listening to Christmas music on Pandora and filling out Christmas cards.

Now, I know that many of you are card makers and you work very hard to hand create all of your Christmas cards, so please don’t shoot me… but mine are store bought.

I did, however, add some stamping as I thought the printed sentiment was rather lacking.

2014 12 17 woyww christmas cards (2)

I love this sentiment! It’s the Stampendous Precious Gift Stamp, btw.

polymer cafe contents

In case you are wondering why there are THREE copies of the same issue of Polymer Cafe on my desk, well, one of them is my subscription issue and the other two are comp issues cuz I’ve got an article in there! 

Whoop, whooop!

Of course, one of the comp issues is going to my mom, who else? 😀

Anyhow, I’m nearly done with the hand-cramp-inducing part of signing the cards and now just need to seal & address them. So I’ll leave you all to your own preparations.

If you have a few minutes to take a break, be sure to check out the busyness on the desks of other creative folks from all around the world. We link up over at Julia’s every Wednesday to do just that.

Happy creating and Merry Christmas!

Dec 152014
 

Pearly Bubbles Earrings

Cluster designs like this are fun to put together. It can be time consuming to make all the bead dangles, but once done they make a very interesting piece of jewelry with a lot of movement.

These earrings would be great with a bunch of beads in several shades of one color, or how about gradating colors for an ombre effect? You could even try multiple colors: big, juicy brights for a Carmen Miranda look or soft pastels for a dainty, delicate look.

A bigger cluster could even serve as a necklace pendant.

Whichever you choose, have fun creating!

If you do make jewelry based on this video, I’d love for you to share photos in the “Your Creations” album on Keepsake Crafts’ Facebook page.

Enjoy the video. 🙂

You can watch the Pearly Bubbles Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 30 6mm round beads
  • 30 seed beads
  • 32 head pins
  • 2 12mm glass lentil beads
  • 2 6mm spacer beads
  • 2 ear wires

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Onto a head pin slide a seed bead and a 6mm bead.
  2. Trim wire coming out of last bead to 3/8-inch. 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. Repeat to make 30 bead dangles.
  3. Onto a headpin slide a spacer bead and a lentil bead.  Add the loops of 15 bead dangles.
  4. Repeat step 2 to make a simple loop above least bead dangle.
  5. Open an ear wire and attach to loop made in step 4.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 to make second earring.
Dec 122014
 

friday findings Q&A #1

Happy Friday, all! Today I have for you what I hope will be the first of many question and answer videos for you.

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 more general issues, so I thought you all would find them helpful.

  • how to be sure your wire wrapped loops are secure
  • what to look for and what to do about sharp edges on beads
  • three different ways beads are drilled

Btw, if you do ask me a question in a message (not linked to a specific video) please be sure to mention by name which video your question is on. It wasn’t until after I completed this video that I realized Heather B’s question was on an entirely different topic!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. 🙂

You can watch Friday Findings-Questions & Answers #1 over at YouTube.

Dec 092014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday once again! I hope today doesn’t find you too frantic as you prepare for Christmas. It should be a time of joy, not stress, right? 🙂

2014 12 09 woyww polymer clay food charms

Today’s work desk shows me working on some fun miniature clay food charms. They are actually going to be used to demonstrate a few techniques in my upcoming CraftArtEdu.com class.

I’ve been wanting to make polymer clay pizza & chocolate chip cookies for some time, and this was a good excuse.  I suppose I could have used plain balls of clay, but what’s the fun in that?

No, I won’t be teaching how to make the pizza or cookies, but here are three great how to videos:

That bowl of stuff in the bottom left, the one that looks like chocolate, is actually Translucent Liquid Sculpey mixed with some solid Burnt Umber Premo clay (which is the perfect chocolate brown color.)

Not the least bit edible, but it sure looks yummy. 🙂

Whatever you’re doing today, I hope you find some time to be creative.

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.

Happy creating, all!

 

Dec 082014
 

Truly, nothing sparkles like a Swarovski, and I fell in love with these crystal snowflakes at a bead show I attended recently.

crystal snowflake earrings cover

Since they are clear, you could match them with just about any color beads you like. However, these light blue glass bicones in my stash immediately made me think, “Frozen!”

If they’re a little much for earrings for you, how about using them as ornaments or sun catchers? I had to take these outdoors to photograph and the glittering in the sunshine was just amazing.

In the video I give  you lots of ideas and options for how to hang and string these. I hope you’ll find some creative inspiration!

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Crystal Snowflake Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 21mm x 17mm Swarovski crystal snowflake pendants
  • 2 pinch bails or jump rings
  • 6 4mm blue glass bicone beads
  • 8 4mm Swarovski crystal clear bicone beads
  • 2 6mm Swarovski crystal clear bicone beads
  • 2 ear wires
  • 2 crimps
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • 2 8-inch pieces nylon monofilament, 8 lb. test

Tools:

  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • sharpie
  1. For ease of stringing, lay ends of monofilament on a scrap piece of paper and color the last inch or so of each end with a Sharpie.
  2. Attach a pinch bail to holes of a snowflake. Slide a piece of monofilament through bail.
  3. On each side of snowflake string a clear 4mm bicone, a blue 4mm bicone and a clear 4mm bicone.
  4. Slide both monofilament ends through a 6mm bicone, a 4mm blue bicone, a crimp, a wire protector and back through the crimp.
  5. Pull up monofilament snugly, then back off a little to leave room for crimp cover. Use chain nose pliers to flatten crimp. Trim monofilament ends.
  6. Use crimping pliers to pick up crimp cover and place over flattened crimp. Squeeze gently to close cover and shape into a round bead shape.
  7. Open the loop of an ear wire and attach to wire protector. If necessary, use chain nose pliers to twist loop of ear wire so snowflake pendant is facing front.
  8. Repeat to make second earring.
Dec 052014
 

This beaded snowflake is a fun project to make for ornaments, sun catchers, gift toppers or even the gift itself. It’s a great way to use up beads and practice your wire work skills.

friday findings beaded snowflakes

If you want to make a bunch of these, you can save a little time by leaving only  3/8 of an inch of wire after the last bead on each spoke and making simple loops, rather than the spirals.

Like I mention in the video, don’t be worried if they look like an utter mess until just about the very end, when it all suddenly comes together. 🙂

I have these in several colors hanging in a sunny window and they’re so pretty and sparkly.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Beaded Snowflakes Tutorial over at YouTube.