Nov 072017
 

With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s coming fast upon us, opportunities for gift giving and the need for quick and easy gifts abound.

Easy Tassel Pendants cover

These easy tassel pendant necklaces are the perfect thing to whip up as a thank you gift for a hostess, or a quick gift for an unexpected guest.

Change up the materials (perhaps a leather tassel?) and you could even have gifts for guys, such as key chains or rear view mirror dangles.

Easy Tassel Pendants insta

As I mentioned in the video, (twice in fact, lol) I had SO much fun going through my beads and trying to find ones that would work for this project.

I hope you have just as good a time creating yours!

Tools and Materials:

You can always just leave a long length of cord for typing in a bow around the back, but you have a few extra minutes, cord ends or ribbon ends are a much neater finish:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Easy Tassel Pendant Necklaces-DIY Jewelry Gifts Tutorial video at YouTube.

Nov 032017
 

For some time now I’ve been debating whether or not to invest in one of the Lucy Clay slicers for polymer clay.

I don’t do a lot of caning, so I haven’t gotten in all the practice that would make me a proficient slicer of beautifully thin, even slices.

ff mini slicer

Which is sort of annoying, because whenever I do take the time to make a cane I end up wasting a lot of it!

In today’s video I show you how to assemble the Mini Slicer and the other things I ordered from the Lucy Clay Store.

One thing I realized is that in these days of the Internet everywhere:

One should not rely solely on the printed instructions, but go check out the YouTube tutorial as well!

Here are links to other videos about the Lucy Clay Mini Slicer that you might find helpful:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How To Assemble the Mini Slicer by Lucy Clay Polymer Clay Tools-Friday Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Oct 312017
 

Inspiration comes from so many places: nature, the work of other artists, color palettes and the like.

I’m often inspired by materials, especially when somebody has put them together in a way I wouldn’t have thought of.

fall harvest bracelet cover

This wire wrapped bracelet, full of Czech glass beads, was inspired by a strand of beads in a recent Dollar Bead Box called “Fall Harvest Mix.” 

This bracelet is fun to wear, as several of the beads are drilled off center, making it easy to fidget and fiddle with them!

Something about the matte finish of the beads made me think of candy corn, so I had to run out yesterday to get some just for this photo shoot.

Do you love or hate candy corn? I love it until I’ve eaten too much, then I hate it… and myself, lol.

You may find these videos useful in making this bracelet:

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Fall Harvest Bracelet-Wrapped Loop Beaded Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Oct 272017
 

In these days when so much of our business is transacted online it’s nice to sometimes be able to see and handle things before we purchase them.

This is especially true when it comes to the supplies we use for our creativity. Although we can look and see how lovely they are online it can be difficult to get an idea of the scale, it’s also fun to be able to touch and run our hands through them!

bead show haul cover

Last weekend I was thankful for the opportunity to attend the 39th annual Bead Affaire bead show in Watertown, MA.

While at the show I took video of several of the tables and exhibits for you. So today’s video is a tour of a small portion of the show and at the end I’ll show you what I purchased.

Here are links to the artists and businesses that I showed or mentioned in the video:

Have you ever gone to a bead show? What was your favorite part of being able to attend?

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the A Day at the Bead & Jewelry Show-A Bead Affaire in Watertown MA-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Oct 242017
 

These polymer clay pendants with phrases are so much fun to make, and so very satisfying because they say exactly what you want them to say!

If you want to get even more words to fit onto your pendants, just use slightly smaller images and really squeeze all the letters in together, not worrying about where the line breaks are.

The results will be interesting to look at, as it won’t be as readily apparent what they say, but will require the viewers to look a little bit more closely.

turn of phrase pendants pt 2 cover

You’ll notice from the cover photo that I ended up using the nativity stamp after all, and was very pleased with the results.

Sometimes if you’re unsure you just have to go for it and see how it turns out!

If you find there are areas you aren’t thrilled with, such as the little flower in the upper left of my “give thanks” pendant, feel free to add sculptural elements to embellish and cover up.

The little flower I used (you can see it in the cover photo) is perhaps a bit big for the pendant. It was just something in my stash, but I think I need to sculpt one that’s a bit more in proportion.

To color the flower that the bird is holding I used a tiny detail brush dipped in water and then in a little bit of Inka Gold. It worked great for adding color and a bit of shimmer to small areas. (Gotta find more opportunities to play with those!)

Don’t forget that any projects decorated with Gilders paste should dry for at least 24 hours. Then you can buff them to a nice sheen. The product directions say to wait 12 hours but I have found that often that isn’t enough, perhaps because I put a lot of layers on mine.

Tools and Materials:

  • Metal bezels
  • Polymer clay
  • Rubber stamps or cling stamps
  • Letter stamps such as this metal stamp set
  • Index card
  • Needle tool
  • Opaque pigment inks such as chalk inks
  • Clay blade
  • Detail paint brush
  • Paint thinner or mineral spirits
  • Inka Gold
  • Gilders paste

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Turn of Phrase Pendants Part 2 of 2-Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Oct 202017
 

Why did you first create something?

Was it because you wanted something you couldn’t afford to buy in a store?

Or was it because you had an idea you wanted to bring to fruition?

Or perhaps you needed something very specific that couldn’t be found anywhere else.

ff diy multi strand findings (1)

Although we all have our own different reasons for creating, rather than just buying, the end result is that that creative freedom over our designs is an enticing thing.

Even though I have bins full of multi-strand findings, today I decided to make my own with wire… mostly just because I had an idea in my head and I wanted to see if it would work out.

Using a wire jig is perfect for this type of project because you can easily make multiples, as many as you want. Be sure to watch the video for tips on how to get the most smooth and consistent results with a wire jig.

I think it’s becoming a trend in my videos lately that towards the end I have some interesting random thought which then becomes the seed for yet another video.

Seems to me like a good way to work.

They say you can’t use up creativity, and I’d say they’re absolutely right!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the DIY Multi-Strand Bracelet or Necklace Finding-Wire Jig Jewelry Tutorial-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Oct 172017
 

It’s always nice to wear pretty jewelry, and even sometimes interesting or unusual jewelry.

Then there is the jewelry that’s meaningful, perhaps because it came from a loved one or has special memories.

turn of phrase pendants pt 1 cover

Today’s project makes jewelry that is meaningful in a different way. By using words and images that resonate with you, you can make your piece completely unique and special.

These pendants would also make one-of-a-kind, meaningful gifts for friends and loved ones.

The materials list for this project is long, so I suggest while you have the supplies out you make several. This gives you an opportunity to experiment with different shapes, phraseology, colors and finishes. Along the way you’ll find some pieces that you like more than others and get practice with the techniques.

Tools and Materials:

  • Metal bezels
  • Polymer clay
  • Rubber stamps or cling stamps
  • Letter stamps such as this metal stamp set
  • Index card
  • Needle tool
  • Opaque pigment inks such as chalk inks
  • Clay blade
  • Detail paint brush
  • Paint thinner or mineral spirits
  • Inka Gold
  • Gilders paste

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Turn of Phrase Pendants Part 1 of 2-Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Watch Part 2 of the Turn of Phrase Pendants.

Oct 132017
 

The term “wheat chain” is not one I had ever heard until I started researching various types of jewelry chain.

ff wheat chain cover

Like some other types of chain, it goes by a couple different names. It can be called “spiga” or “espiga,” which is the Spanish word for “wheat.”

Either way, the word refers to the “v” shapes of its interlocking links, looking like a heads of wheat.

ff wheat chain etsy

The two wheat chains I was able to find locally look to be put together in a way similar to rope chain, with each link connecting to two of the previous links.

But I also found an article at Live about.com, with a sketch of what appears to be a very different way of putting it together. Let me know what you make of the description, as I found it confusing!

ff wheat chain artbeads

If you look closely at the photos I have from Art Beads and Etsy you’ll see a couple of the chains appear to be made that way. As with many of the other chains, I’m finding there’s lots of overlap in the names, configurations and definitions, there don’t appear to be many set standards.

However it’s made, wheat chain is truly beautiful and intricate, and nice enough to be worn by itself without a pendant.

Here are a few of my favorite places to find wheat chain:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the What is Wheat Chain? Friday Jewelry Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Oct 102017
 

Just because a piece of jewelry isn’t make of precious metals and gems doesn’t mean it’s not worth wearing. As far as I’m concerned, if it’s pretty or interesting to look at, I’ll wear it!

precious hearts necklace cover

That being said, there are times when it’s nice to have something closer to fine jewelry. Especially if you are thinking about gift giving.

The traditional definition of fine jewelry is that it’s about gold, platinum and diamonds. However, you might want to read this interesting article: Redefining Fine Jewelry.

costco pearl ombré necklace

Like I mentioned in the video, my idea was based on the above piece of jewelry available at Costco last Valentine’s day. I was curious to see how much it would cost to recreate this in all karat gold materials, thus making it truly “fine jewelry.”

What I found at Fire Mountain Gems and Rio Grande (choosing their best prices):

Grand total = $137.62

Of course, you still have to take into account shipping costs, that fact that you may left over quantities you don’t need, and your time and labor.

Looks like that Costco price was quite reasonable!

Here are the tools and materials for my rather nice, but slightly less posh version:

Personally, I’d be just as happy with a pretty, well-designed piece that is made of gold-filled materials, rather than all karat gold.

The only thing that would make a difference in my thinking would be knowing that solid gold jewelry doesn’t lose its value, and will be worth something in a financial crisis. 

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Precious Hearts Necklace-Swarovski Crystal and Gold Filled Findings Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Oct 062017
 

Not only do I have both the September and October dollar bead boxes unboxing video for you, I also show several ideas for ways you can use these wonderful beads and findings.

ff sept oct 2017 bead box

One of the items was missing in my September bead box, but the folks at Dollar Bead Box got it out to me right away, and even threw in an extra goody!

I liked it so much that I decided to use it in a project (it’s the sparkly clasp in the lower right of the cover photo.) With the time delay I decided to save September’s box and do two months in one video.

It was interesting doing both months at the same time as I noticed patterns and themes that I hadn’t before. Like the fact that they included vintage buttons in both boxes, and also the vintage embossed hearts in two different colors. I can be kind of unobservant so I might not have noticed that otherwise.

If you want to get beads in the mail, there are two different subscriptions available:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Jewelry Supplies Haul! September & October Dollar Bead Boxes-Friday Findings video at YouTube.