Feb 062015
 

friday findings-tassel focal

Here’s a quick and fun way to use bits of chain to create jewelry tassels that can be used as accents or focal points. You can make them as big or small as you like, use all the same chain or a mixture of chains. Adding beads, pearls, crystals or charms to the ends will only serve to add to the interest.

This Nancy Tobey focal bead has been in my stash for a while and I thought it could use something dangling below it as an accent. All it needs to be a necklace is a bit of cord to string it on.  Slightly smaller tassels would make great earrings.

We’d love to see your projects based on this tutorial at my Facebook page in the “Your Creations” album.

Enjoy the video. Happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Tassel Focals Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Feb 052015
 

Sorry folks for the late dragon post this week. My youngest son recently moved back home and we now are back to a full house. It’s not a bad thing, but it certainly has messed up my equilibrium. I really need to start on these dragons sometime before Wednesday night!

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

Dragon #5-Renatta the Red 1

Anyhow, meet Renatta. I’ve had in mind to make a red dragon with red and gold mica powders for some time now. I wanted to name her Renatta, which is a form of the name Renee, a character in a book series by one of my favorite authors, Robin Hardy.

Dragon #5-Renatta the Red 2

I love how the candlelight plays off her wings and her sparkles.  The Interference Red Perfect Pearls have a really pretty iridescent pink/red look in real life.

Dragon #5-Renatta the Red 3

I also like that she works with or without the candle holder.

At some point I want to make her a treasure chest, or something interesting to put in that space where she’s looking.

Dragon #5-Renatta the Red 4

Although they’re not perfect, I do like how the wings came out, especially the translucence.

Dragon #5-Renatta the Red 5

It was fun making a slightly larger sculpture than I usually do, as I got to spend more time on details like the toes and the horns.

Dragon #5-Renatta the Red 6

I also did some different details on the tip of the tail.

Now it’s time to start on #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.

Happy creating all. 🙂

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!