Feb 102014
 

Just in time for Valentine’s day here’s a great sparkly, dangly pair of earrings. With hearts! ….and crystals… and gold. How much better can it get?  

gold-crystal-sparkle-still

Now that I’ve gotten used to Swarovski crystals, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to anything else.  You just can’t beat their quality, sparkle and shine.

gold-crystal-sparkle-still-close-up

These earring aren’t for those of you who like them small and simple.  These are long, with lotsa swingy dangles & jangles. I love ’em. 🙂

If you want a less complicated version, feel free to leave off any of the elements and simplify.

Whatever you create, make sure it’s something you love. Happy Creating!

You can watch Sparkle & Gold Crystal Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 10mm Swarovski crystal hearts, amethyst
  • 2 11mm x 7mm Swarovski crystal teardrops, amethyst
  • 2 6mm Swarovski crystal bicones, crystal clear
  • 2 4mm Swarovski crystal bicones, crystal clear
  • 2 20mm square fused links, gold plated
  • 2 10mm round fused rings, gold plated
  • 2 2-inch pieces 26 gauge gold filled wire
  • 2 7mm jump rings
  • 2 decorative head pins
  • 2 plain head pins
  • 2 ear wires

Tools:

  • two pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Slide an amethyst teardrop and a 6mm crystal onto a decorative headpin.
  2. Make a wrapped loop by using chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits last bead.  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.
  3. Twist slightly to the side to open loop and insert square link. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers.
  4.  Use second pair of chain nose pliers to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  5. Wire wrap heart crystal by sliding piece of 26 gauge gold filled wire into hole of bead, leaving 1/4 inch sticking out on one side. Bend both wire ends up at 90-degree angle to hole of bead. Bend wires over top of bead, making a triangle shape. Where wires cross bend remaining ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole.
  6. Grasp both wires with chain nose pliers and bend longer remaining wire at 90° angle. Use round nose pliers to make a loop with longer wire. Hold loop with chain nose pliers and use second pair of chain nose pliers to wrap remaining wire around wires below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  7. Open a jump ring and slide on: loop of wire wrapped crystal heart, square link and 10mm round ring. Close jump ring securely.
  8. Slide a 4mm crystal bicone onto a plain head pin and repeat steps 2 and 4 to make a wrapped loop dangle.
  9. Open the loop and an ear wire and insert 10mm ring and loop of 4mm bicone unit.
  10. Repeat to make second earring.
Feb 042014
 

Hi all!  Happy Wednesday again.  As I write this Tuesday night, we’re expecting yet another snowstorm here on the east coast.  Guess I’ll spend my Wednesday snowed in and doing crafts. 🙂

2014-02-05-woyww-making-jewelry

On my desk (click for a larger look) you can see I’ve been making samples for jewelry classes at Joann’s.  The one on the upper right is interesting.  It’s just seeds beads strung onto 28 gauge wire in such a way to make lots of little branches.  Joann’s design in the red is called “Coral Reef,” but I think mine in the green kinda looks like seaweed.

The one in the upper left and on the mat is called the “Brassy Beaded Bib Necklace.” It’s rather fussy and complicated for my taste, but hey.

In the bottom right are three pieces I’ve made for upcoming videos, so stay tuned!

I you’re wondering why I’m posting a photo of my work table, it’s because it’s What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Check it out and join in the fun!

Happy Creating 🙂

Feb 032014
 

Here are the earrings to match the necklace I posted last week.

wire-wrap-class-earrings

This is a super quick project.  What makes it special is you can use any beads that catch your fancy.  If you find a pair of larger ones that you love, use only two.  Got some smaller beads?  Use three.  Use spacers of any type: crystal, seed beads or metal.

wire-wrap-class-necklace-earrings

You’re only limited by your imagination. Oh, the possibilities…

Watch Wire Wrapping 101 – Simple Bead Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Happy creating! 🙂

Materials:

  • 2 matching pairs 10-15mm beads
  • 6 large glass seed beads, or other spacers of your choice
  • 2 fish hook ear wires
  • 2 – 2-inch head pins

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

To make earrings:

  1. On a head pin arrange two of the 10-15mm beads alternating with 3 large seed beads.
  2. Make a wire wrapped loop to make a bead dangle:
    • Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits last bead.
    • 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.
    • Wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend.
    • Use wire cutters to trim excess wire.
    • Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end of wire.
  1. Use chain nose pliers to open loop of an ear wire and insert wrapped loop just made.
  2. Repeat to make matching earring.
Jan 282014
 

How many different ways are there to say, “Wow, I can’t believe it’s Wednesday again already”?  (And how does one properly punctuate the end of that sentence? Hmmm….)

Why should it matter?  Well, that’s because it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  You can get all the details over at Julia’s, but basically a bunch of us “deskers” travel the world via computer every Wednesday to check out each other’s creative spaces. It’s kinda fun, and often inspiring. Join us if you have a few moments.

2014-01-29-woyww-floral-flounce-jacket-1

My desk today shows I’ve gotten back to sewing after not doing any for quite some time.  I bought this absolutely yummy velvet with stitched ribbon flowers months ago.

The sleeve pattern piece above looks all patched and mangled because I want the sleeve to be large enough to wear over layers.  I figured out the size by measuring the sleeve of my current favorite layering jacket.

That’s really the best way to tell if you’ll like the fit of something.  Don’t measure the body, measure what fits. 

simplicity-2148-flounce-jacket

The plan is to make the view B jacket, the pink one with all the flounces. I’m glad this fabric sat in my sewing room for a while before I cut into it, because it occurred to me that it might be a bit much to use this fancy fabric for every part of the jacket.

2014-01-29-woyww-floral-flounce-jacket-2

I’m afraid of looking like a walking, rather overly-decorated wedding cake. Know what I mean? lol

But which sections to use the fancy stuff in?  How much is too much?

floral-jacket-plan

Being a visual person, I came up with a visual solution.  I scanned the pattern sketch into my computer, put it in Photoshop, copied it multiple times and then painstakingly pasted floral squiggles into various sections. The solid sections will be just a plain black knit.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to go with the one on the top right.  I kinda like the one on the bottom right, but I spent too much on all that fancy fabric to only use it on the bodice. 🙂

Which one would you use?

Whatever you’re doing this day, I hope you find some time to be creative!

Jan 272014
 

I’ve been asked to teach jewelry making classes at my local Joanne’s and decided to start with the basics.

wire-wrap-class-necklace

Our first project is all about wire wrapping.  With 13 links (that’s 26 wraps) you’ll be a wrapped loop expert by the time you’re done. 🙂

wire-wrap-class-necklace-close-up

A well-formed wrapped loop is actually a nice design element. One thing I love about this style is that you can add any amount of chain around the back & make it exactly the length you want.

I’ll have a video for the matching earrings up in a few days.

Watch Wire Wrapping 101 – Bead Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Happy creating!

Materials:

For necklace:

  • 7” strand 10mm-15mm assorted beads of your choice (16-18 beads)
  • an assortment of large seed beads to coordinate with 7” strand
  • 20 or 22 gauge craft wire in color of your choice
  • chain to match craft wire
  • lobster clasp to match craft wire
  • 6mm or 7mm jump rings to match craft wire

 Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters (flush cut are best)
  • bead design board
  • tape measure 

To make necklace:

  1. Open assorted bead strand onto bead design board. If desired, choose 2 matching pairs of beads to use in earrings. Set aside. (Earring video to come later.)
  2. Open one strand of large seed bead into a compartment in bead design board.
  3. Use wire cutters to cut an approximately 8-inch piece of craft wire.
  4. Make a wrapped loop:
    • Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire 1 1/2 inches from one end.  
    • 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. 
    • Wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend.
    • Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary.
    • Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end. 
  1. Slide on an arrangement of one of your focal beads with one or two large seed beads on either side.
  2. Begin (but don’t complete) second wrapped loop to make a bead link:
    • Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits last bead.  
    • 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.  
  1. Repeat to make bead links with all remaining focal beads.
  2. Arrange bead links in an order you find pleasing.
  3. Connect all bead links together by:
    • Slightly open unwrapped loop and slip on wrapped loop of link next to it.
    • Wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend.
    • Use wire cutters to trim excess wire.
    • Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end of wire.
  1. Use a tape measure to measure your neckline and determine desired length of necklace.
  2. Measure length of completed bead links and subtract from desired necklace length.
  3. Cut a piece of chain this length and cut into two equal pieces.
  4. Use jump rings to attach a length of chain to each end of bead links.
  5. Attach a jump ring to one end of chain, and use a jump ring to attach a lobster clasp to other end of chain.
Jan 252014
 

I just finished up my project based on the January 2014 Tim Holtz tag. Honesty, I was so uninspired by his tag this month that I considered not bothering.  But, it’s always an interesting challenge, so I went for it.

january-2014-tim-holtz-tag-cuckoo-clock

The Spellbinders Cuckoo Clock Die is so cute, with all the little parts and pieces.  I put the extra birds and flower on the inside of the card.  To make them metallic I just covered cardstock with Nashua Foil Tape, the cut out and embossed. I embossed just the body of the clock with the Steampunk embossing folder, making sure to leave the chain and pine cone weights out of the folder so they’d keep their texture.

january-2014-tim-holtz-tag-cuckoo-clock-close-up

The roof trim and other bits were colored with StreamMeadowSailboat Blue and Lettuce alcohol inks. If I had to do it over I’d use a much more subtle background texture, like with a stencil.

A Game Spinner and a Dymo label add some interesting detail.

Hope you’re finding a little bit of time this weekend to be creative. 🙂

Jan 212014
 

Happy Wednesday all!  Today finds us snowed in.  The forecast is for 10″-15″ of the light and fluffy stuff.  If you don’t live in a climate that gets snow, you might not appreciate the difference, but believe me, one would much rather shovel a foot and a half of this stuff over 6 inches of the wet and heavy.  (Of course, some of us would rather simply move somewhere it doesn’t snow.) 🙂

2014-01-22-woyww-january-tim-holtz-tag

On my desk are the preparations for working on Tim’s January 2014 tag. I’m not particularly inspired by his tag this month, perhaps adding some jewel tone colors to the metallics will make it more to my liking. Anyhow, I hope to spend the snow day playing with Tim tools, paper & ink.

2014-01-11-cheech-in-sewing-room-2

In case you were wondering, my sons’ kitties are settling in nicely. Above is Cheech sitting under my sewing room table, he’s a sweetheart and has become my buddy.

2014-01-14-chong

Here’s his brother, Chong, also hanging out in the sewing room.  He’s a bit more wary, but is getting a little more comfortable with us every day. (Yes, those really are their names.    ===sigh===    A 21-year-old named them, what can I say?)

2014-01-17-oliver-cheech

Here are Cheech and Oliver hanging out together, looking out the window.  You might notice that there are no pics of Molly.  That’s because she’s been too busy being a mean, nasty little tyrant and ruling all the boys with an iron paw.  (We keep trying to tell the guys to gang up on her, but they’re too intimidated, lol.)

So, why in the world did I post a photo of my messy desk?  Well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  If you don’t know what that is you really should proceed immediately to Julia’s and check it out.  It’s a lot of fun and a fascinating concept to boot.

Happy creating!

Jan 182014
 

Hi all!  I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  I’ve been having fun trying out a technique I learned in a Craftsy class I bought a while back, Wire-Wrapped Stones Crystals and Clusters.

(Click on any of the photos for a closer look.)

craftsy-wire-pendant-before-liver-of-sulfur

I just finished this pendant. It’s not exactly anything that was taught in the class, but she showed us the concept of twisting two wires together with a power drill, hammering the twisted wires flat until spaces open and then using the resulting piece as a frame for other wire work.

It was my idea to wire wrap the scrolls, pearls and crystals inside the frame.  I used 20 gauge silver filled wire for the frame and 26 gauge silver filled for the wrapping.

earrings-from-craftsy-class

The class  instructor made two pairs of frames and wrapped beads in between to make a pair of earrings.

twisted-wire-frame-ring

This style of earring isn’t exactly “me,” but I went ahead and made one, just to try the technique. Don’t know what I’m going to do with this, it’s too small to be a ring for the finger. Maybe someday I’ll make it part of something else.

wire-wrapped-bangle-from-craftsy-class

You might remember that I made this bracelet a couple months ago. If you’re going to use copper wire for a bracelet I’d suggest a heavier gauge than the 20 that I used. Probably 16 gauge would be best, so it’s nice and firm. Mine’s kind of squishy and flops about.

craftsy-wire-pendant-after-liver-of-sulfur

Just before Christmas I picked up some liver of sulfur to add patinas to my wire work.  I finally got to play with it this week. (I had to wait for the weather to warm up so I could do it outside as the family strongly objected to the stench of rotten eggs in the house. Huh.)

Here’s the first pendant I showed you after 20 minutes in the Liver of Sulfur and then polished a bit with a Pro-Polish Pad. I need to shine it up a bit more so the darkened areas in the crevices will really contrast.  Kinda looks like an antique piece of jewelry, eh?

Btw, Craftsy is having a flash sale this weekend. Craftsy Flash Sale 1/18-1/19 For the next 48 hours, choose from over 50 classes in 14 categories that are up to 50% off.

So, if you want to learn this twisted wire frame technique, and many others check out the class, Wire-Wrapped Stones Crystals and Clusters, it’s one of the ones on sale this weekend.

wire-wrap-class-jpg

Of course, if you want to learn something else, they’ve got classes in cooking, photography, sewing, quilting, fine art, knitting and more.

Have fun and Happy creating!

Jan 142014
 

Hello Wednesday, again!  Sorry it’s been a week since I’ve posted.  Things are settling down and I’m trying to get back into the normal swing of things after the holidays and then moving my son twice in one week.

My son, Dan, moved twice, but his cats moved only once, and are here with us for the foreseeable future. His two kitties are finally starting to get comfortable in our house. So comfortable that overnight somebody knocked all the stuff off my ironing board, including a magnetic pincushion full of pins.  Good thing we wear slippers around here! Our two cats are 9 & 10, middle-aged and mellow; Dan’s are not quite two, and I’d forgotten how much energy young cats have. They are a lot of fun, and sweethearts to boot.

woyww jewelry design and dragon collections

Anyhow, my desk today shows I’m working on a couple jewelry pieces.  (I’m waiting for the cats to discover this table with the beads. Oh boy!)  I’ll be teaching basic stringing and basic wire wrapping in upcoming videos and also will be teaching these as classes at Joann’s.

In the upper left is a beret I just finished knitting.  It was  a free pattern from Ravelry and quite simple & quick to make.

P1000533_small2

This one in the lighter colors shows the pattern better than mine.  I LOVE how the yarn makes stripes.

Btw, have you ever heard of the Collectionary?  It was just brought to my attention and it’s an amazing site.  If there’s anything, I mean anything you collect, you can find it here.  Trains? Yes.  Sewing machines? Yup. Star Wars? Naturally.  Cats? Which one do you want, Garfield, Cheshire, Grumpy Cat or the Cat in the Hat?  I’ve yet to think of something to search for that they didn’t have a collection of.

dragons

If you like dragons (and you know I do!) you’ll love their Dragons Collectionary.  I’ve even added several of my own dragon creations to their collection. 

Are you in the January slump? Feeling in need of creative inspiration?  Check out the work spaces of lots of creative people from all over the world at Julia’s giant weekly blog hop. We like to call it What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Be warned, you might just get addicted.  🙂

Happy Creating!

Jan 072014
 

Welcome to the first post of 2014!  I took last week off to do some major home organizing; didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to, but made a good dent in it. (Life, as in two grown sons moving back home, kinda got in the way.)

2014-01-08-woyww-sewing-samples-lamp

Anyhow, today’s desk shows one of the bestest gifts I got for Christmas, this amazing magnifying lamp. It’s already been used to remove splinters, read teeny-tiny labels, repair jewelry and to fix some tricky knitting stitches. I love the way I can turn and swivel it to any height and angle.  Awesomeness.

2014-01-08-woyww-sewin-samples

Other than that there isn’t anything too exciting on the desk.  I teach classes at Joann’s and have a bunch of samples to make. Quilt blocks, baby bibs, bathrobes and the like. Once those are done I’m determined to get back into my claying and making of art jewelry for the Etsy shop.  All this with two more people (and two more cats) in the house. It should be exciting!

2014-01-08-woyww-sewin-samples-magnified

I hope your 2014 started off well.  If you’re wondering why I’ve posted a pic of my desktop, it’s because it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, a giant weekly blog hop where we check out the work spaces of creative people from all over.  Have a peek, it’s fun!

Happy creating 🙂