Feb 212015

Sorry folks that I’m over a week late with dragon #6.  But  now she’s done, finally!

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

dragon #6 Rosalita 1

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

As you can see, Rosalita has climbed up on top of the castle to take a closer look at the first open rose of spring.

dragon #6 Rosalita 2

This project is one that’s been in the back of my mind for a long time. Ever since over a year ago a friend gave us a cylindrical tin of tea bags and every time I looked at it I pictured a castle turret with a dragon climbing on top. 🙂

dragon #6 Rosalita 3

The tin is 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 6 inches tall, but I never imagined the project being SO HUGE.

Well, huge for what I’m used to. The finished sculpture is 14 inches from the base to the top of the flagpole.  (The flagpole is a toothpick, just to give you an idea of scale.)

dragon #6 Rosalita 4

The stone work, windows and turret top alone took a week.

dragon #6 Rosalita 5

Then it was time to start on the dragon.

dragon #6 Rosalita 6

Somewhere in the middle of the project it became “that danged dragon” (or slightly stronger words which I shall not repeat.) 😀

dragon #6 Rosalita 7

I got discouraged along the way, but decided not to give in to the temptation to rush just to get it done. If I did that I knew the outcome would certainly be disappointing.

dragon #6 Rosalita 8

Yesterday (Friday) I finally got to the final details: the base, the door, the wings and the flag.

Yes, I made a rose cane just for the flag. I used an excellent tutorial over at Polymer clay central by Leigh Ross for the rose and the leaves.

dragon #6 Rosalita 9

It was quite a trick figuring out how to make the cane into a flat flag with the cane showing on both sides, but it worked out.

Some things I’ve learned in the past two weeks:

  • Things always take longer in reality than you might think. (Well, I knew that one already, but this really drove it home.)
  • Creativity is sometimes just plain hard work!
  • My favorite parts of sculpting are adding texture and detail, so sticking to a smaller scale would be wise from now on.
  • Baked polymer clay can be heated with a heat tool (like scrapbookers use for heat embossing) for about 15 seconds to soften it. It will then be flexible enough to slightly reposition. This was how I got the dragon’s feet to cling to the tower. That and super glue.

Gosh, there were a lot of other tips and tricks I utilized or figured out, but that’ll do for now.

On to dragon #7, which I can promise you will be a lot smaller!

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.


Feb 202015

Friday Findings-Molding Putty

Today’s video shows you how easy it is to use a molding putty such as Easymold Silicone Putty to make molds and texture sheets of just about anything you can think of. You can then turn these molded objects into your own custom pieces for jewelry making or other crafts.

A few things you can put into these silicone molds:

Of course, the bottom three can all be colored with paints, inks, chalk pastels, etc., plus have all sorts of inclusions like glitters, mica powders & such. You’re only limited by your imagination!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. 🙂

You can watch the Friday Findings-Molding Putty video over at YouTube.

Feb 172015

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

Yes, we are still quite snowed in here, but life goes on. Hopefully though, people will drive a little slower on the slippery stuff!


2015 02 18 woyw making copper chain (1)

Meanwhile on my desk I’ve continued to work through Abby Hook’s Wire Jewelry Masterclass. It’s a really wonderful book. If you have the slightest interest in wire work I highly recommend it as she walks you through each step with great attention to detail.

Today I’m making a necklace chain out of 18 gauge copper wire to go with the bead pendant I just finished.

2015 02 18 woyw making copper chain (2)

It’s tedious work, indeed. First you cut bunches of 3/4-inch pieces of wire. Then one end gets looped, then the other end to make the figure “8” links. Each  little end gets trimmed the tiniest amount so everything is flush and then these are all joined together to make a chain.

green serpentine & figure 8 chain

It came out nice, but took so much time I don’t think I’ll be making any more in the near future.

Wondering why I’m sharing photos of my desk? Well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all hang out at Julia’s and see each other’s creative goings on. Always fun and often inspiring, join us if you have time!

Feb 162015

mojave sunrise necklace

This necklace uses crystal bicone beads  in a different sort of way, making strung wire shapes as accents. You could easily get creative with this, making bows or butterflies or other such things. I stuck with a simple loopy flower.

The copper findings work perfectly with this Swarovski crystal color mix called “Mojave.” It does indeed put me in mind of sunrises in the Mojave desert.

The colors in the mix are Light Smoked Topaz, Light Amethyst, Sand Opal and Indian Sapphire.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Mojave Sunrise Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.


  • 3 packages 4 mm Swarovski crystal bicone bead mix in color “Mojave” (90 beads total)
  • chain in necklace length of your choice
  • additional 9-inch piece necklace chain
  • 5 jump rings
  • clasp
  • 2 crimps
  • 16 head pins
  • 15-inch piece bead stringing wire


  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers

See video for complete instructions. 

Feb 132015

You may think the idea of crocheting wire is difficult, but it’s actually quite easy. We’re not making crocheted fabric here, but only doing a simple chain stitch.

The important thing to remember is to string your beads on first. The rest goes quickly after that.

Friday Findings-Crocheted Wire

To finish the wire ends, just thread them onto a wire loop and into a bead cone. If you crochet with bead stringing wire you’ll get a much looser look (try using a larger hook) and will need to finish the ends with crimps.

You could do a multi-strand necklace the same way I did this multi-strand bracelet, but it would also look great to incorporate a strand or two of crocheted beads with strung beads & chain.

Have fun exploring the possibilities!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. 🙂

You can watch the Friday Findings – Crocheted Wire & Beads video tutorial over at YouTube.


Feb 112015

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone! Today I’m coming to you from the land of ice and snow… that is, southeastern Massachusetts. We’re breaking snow total records here folks, 85.5 inches since the first of the year.

I’m just thankful our oldest son is here to help with the shoveling. So far I haven’t had to shovel yet.  (I started to suit up to go out once, but was sent back in. So, Fine. I’ll stay in and cook them warm things to take off the chill once they’re done.)

2015 02 11 woyww wire wrapped butterfly earrings

I’m also thankful that my work can be done at home, as long as we have electricity & internet.

In case you’re wondering about the beer bottles on my desk. Well, this cartoon says it all:  And quite accurately, at that. 🙂

Today (whist drinking beer) I’m working through Abby Hook’s wonderful book, Wire Jewelry Masterclass.

2015 02 11 woyww  butterfly earrings

First of all I made my own wire coil ear wires. It’s super easy and she explains it really well. In the photo you can see I’ve completed one of the wire wrapped butterfly wing earrings. They’re coming out so pretty, I really like how the fuchsia Swarovski crystal goes with the copper.

Once the wire work is done I’ll be carrying on with sculpting this week’s Thursday’s Dragon. We’re up to #6 this week. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see how it came out.

If you’re wondering why I’m sharing photos of my desk, well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all get together at Julia’s and take a peek at each other’s creative goings on. It’s always fun and often inspiring. Join us if you have a few minutes!

Happy creating 🙂

Feb 092015

pretty purple scallops

These little 2-hole sliders make it easy to put together a double strand necklace. You could also use them to make multi-strand  bracelets.

What creates the scallops is that you use more beads on the lower strand than on the upper. You can design them to be as shallow or as deep as you’d like, just be sure to create proportions that are pleasing.

The little heart pendant is a whimsical touch that you can leave off if you want. Keep in mind that if you add a very heavy pendant, it will change the shape of your scallop.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Pretty Purple Scallops Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.


  • 4 Swarovski Elements Square Sliders in Tanzanite
  • 3mm purple glass seed beads, one hank
  • 4 crimps
  • 4 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • lobster clasp
  • 2 jump rings
  • 12mm crystal heart pendant and large jump ring or pinch bail (optional)
  • 2 30-inch pieces bead stringing wire


See video for complete instructions.

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 🙂