Oct 142014

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, everyone!

2014 10 15 woyww fall sweaters

Today’s desk shows that I’m still working on the sweaters I had started last week. But the piles are smaller. Two of them are complete, the purple turtleneck and the grey wool. The plan was to take photos modeling them today, but it ended up being nearly 80° and humid, so, no.

This being New England, I’m fairly certain it WILL get cold enough to wear them soon, so I promise to have pics when I won’t croak of heatstroke taking them. 🙂

The above photo shows me working on a third sweater. It’s got princess seams, all double top-stitched, so it’s a bit time consuming, as I just can’t zip it up on the serger. Instead I have to serge the edges, then sew the seams with the conventional  machine, press seam open and then do the top stitching. But the extra detail does look nice.

Those little green sticky notes on the back of the pattern are notes to self so I don’t have to figure things out all over again next time I make it. It’s the same concept as writing notes next to recipes in a cookbook once you’ve figured out a tweak that works.

This coming weekend I’m going to the Bead Affaire bead show in Watertown, MA. If anyone reading this is going, too, send me a note and we’ll meet up!

If you’d like to see what’s on the workdesk of other creative folks, be sure to join in the blog link fun over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!


Oct 132014

Braided Suede Charm Bracelet (2)

This is a quick fun project and a great one to do with kids. I chose bright, happy colors and sunflower charms, as this is a gift for my granddaughter, but as always with making your own jewelry, the possibilities are limitless!

Braided Suede Charm Bracelet (1)

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Braided Suede Charm Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.


  • three 9-inch lengths suede cord
  • 2 cord ends
  • lobster clasp
  • metal charms
  • jump rings


  • scissors
  • flat nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • small amount of white glue


  1. Place a tiny dab of glue on one end of each of the suede cords and place in cord end. Use flat nose or chain nose pliers to flatten side tabs around ends of cord.
  2. Braid together the three lengths of cord until bracelet is 1/2-inch shorter than desired finished size. Trim cords  and repeat step 1 to add a cord end.
  3. Use chain nose pliers to attach a jump ring to one cord end and lobster clasp with a jump ring to the other cord end.
  4. Use jump rings to attach charms to suede braid.
Oct 102014

It’s always exciting to discover new uses for common items, and jewelry makers have many alternate uses for their supplies.

friday findings-alternate uses

In today’s video I’ll show you how to use toggle clasps as decorative elements in earrings. But don’t stop there, think about all the other ways you can use these pretty pieces. You’re only limited by your imagination.

And if you’re wondering what to do with the leftover toggle bars, you can always make loops of seed beads and then use the toggles as intended.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch Friday Findings-Alternate Uses For Toggle Clasps over at YouTube.

Oct 072014

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, everyone!

Is it me, or do these Wednesdays keep coming around faster and faster?

2014 10 08 woyww sewing sweaters

Anyhow, just a quick peek at my desk today.  I’m sorting out pattern pieces for four different sweaters.

vogue 8691-knit-top-w-ruffles

You see, the pink fabric on the right is going to be the top right view of this sweater…


…which I first made last fall, and still love, btw.


But that pink fabric is also going to be the top contrast on this top…


…which I also made last fall.

That second to right fabric is actually an eggplant purple, which is going to be the middle contrast on the above top. It’s also going to be a turtleneck from the McCalls pattern.

The black on the far left is going to be the bottom part of the pieced top, and the grey beside it will be the cowl neck sweater in the McCalls pattern.

Didja follow all that? Ha!

So you can see why I had to take a little time to lay out which pattern pieces are going to be cut out of what.

Tomorrow I will boldly start cutting and hope I didn’t mess up. Otherwise there will be redesigning. 😀

I hope you’re having a wonderful week. If you want to see what’s on the desks of other crafty (in a good way) people, check out our weekly blog link party over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!



Oct 062014

Pave Sparkles Wire Wrapped Ring

This project is a great way to take one special bead and really showcase it in a bold ring.  The wire wrapping is easy and that’s ALL you need: a bead and some wire. 🙂

Like I mention in the video, it took me longer to choose the bead and get out my tools and supplies than it did to make the ring. So be sure to give it a try, it’s that simple.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch Pave Sparkle Wire Wrapped Ring Video Tutorial over at YouTube.


  • 4 feet 20 gauge dead soft wire
  • 1 focal bead 12-16mm


  • wire cutters
  • flat nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • ring mandrel
  1. Bend your length of wire in half and use flat nose pliers to make the bend have two square corners. Slide your bead onto the wire and center on this squared section.
  2. Hold the bead against the ring mandrel at the size you want your ring to be. Wrap each wire end around the mandrel twice, going in opposite directions. Hold these four coils together while you slide the ring off the mandrel.
  3. Wrap each wire through the inside of the ring, one to each side of the bead, tugging with pliers to tighten up the wire.
  4. Bend one wire out of the way and wrap the remaining wire around the base of the bead in a clockwise direction. I try to cover the bead holes, but otherwise don’t try to make the wraps too neat. Keep wrapping until you have about two inches of wire left. Bend this wire out of the way.
  5. Wrap the long wire around the base of the bead in a counter-clockwise direction until you have about two inches left. You should have a short piece of wire on either side of the bead.
  6. Wrap each piece of wire around its side of the ring beside the bead in four to five closely spaced wraps. Use your pliers to pull the wire tightly and also to compress the wraps if they’re too far apart.
  7. Trim the wire so the ends are on the outside of the ring  and tuck in, filing if necessary so they’re not sharp.
  8. Place the ring back on the mandrel and work down to the correct size. This will tighten up your wrapping and make the ring round.
Oct 032014

Happy Friday, everyone!

In today’s Friday Findings video I share with you a great organizing idea.  You can use this for your jewelry, but there are many other applications as well.  I first saw the idea on a scrapbooker’s website, where she had used the clips to hang up all her packages of stickers & embellishments.

friday findings jewelry organizing

These are the products from Ikea that I showed in the video: Dignitet curtain wire, Dignitet support/corner fixture, Riktig 24 curtain hooks with clips.

riktig hook w clip

While I was looking up the links for you, I came across a different style of curtain hooks.

riktig hook

These might be easier to use for jewelry than the clips that I have. What do you think? What would you organize with this system?

You can watch Friday Findings – Clever & Easy Jewelry Organizing over at YouTube.

Happy creating and organizing!

Sep 302014

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday once again, and Happy October, too. 🙂

2014 10 01 woyww  joann's samples

My desk today doesn’t show much more than the beginnings of several samples I’m working on for classes I’ll be teaching at Joann’s.

So, I thought I’d show you the promised pics of a couple finished projects.

2014 09 17 woyww  polymer clay flowers berries

First up are the Faux Sea Glass polymer clay beads that I burned a while back. Those black, blobby looking things are them.

patined beads

Here they are, painted with Swelligant metal paints, then patinated with the Tiffany green solution. After the patina was done, I lightly brushed on some of the metal paint, so the patinas are mostly in the recesses. Cool, eh?

purple flower necklace (1)

And here’s the polymer clay necklace I was working on two weeks ago.

purple flower necklace (2)

I like the way the Swarovski crystals and the pearls work with the polymer clay flowers.

purple flower necklace (3)

And, surprise, surprise, it hangs just the way I wanted it to.

It doesn’t always work that way on the first try, you know. 😀

So, that’s what I’ve got for ya this week.  If you’d like to see what other creative folks are up to this week, join our What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday blog link party over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!

Sep 292014

Aren’t macrame bracelets the quintessential summer jewelry?

square knot macrame bead bracelet

Not only are they lightweight and comfortable to wear in the heat, but they’re fun & easy to make. The materials are fairly basic and they work up quickly once you get the hang of the pattern.

If you’d like your own copy of the cheat sheet I mention in the video, here it is in pdf.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Square Knot Macrame Bead Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.


  • 4 yards cotton braiding cord
  • 14 assorted 4mm-8mm beads with holes large enough for braiding cord to pass through
  • 1 8mm-12mm bead for clasp, with hole large enough for braiding cord to pass through


  • scissors
  • tape (I found packing tape holds well)
  • third hand tool or place in your workspace to hook loop end of bracelet while knotting

See video for detailed directions.


Sep 262014

Happy Friday, everyone. I hope all is well with you and today finds you with some time to do even just a little something creative.

Speaking of a little something creative, today I’m starting a new video series. The videos will be short, like under 3 or 4 minutes and will focus on teaching one small concept.

friday findings necklace extenders

The plan is to have a new one every Friday. I thought the name “Friday Findings” was a fun play on words, because findings are all those necessary little bits and pieces we use to put our jewelry together.

Hope you find them useful. 🙂

Today’s video shows how to use and make jewelry extenders so your necklaces hang at the perfect length. It’s a simple trick that I’ve been using for years. It makes all your jewelry more versatile and wearable.

Happy creating!

You can watch Friday Findings – Necklace Extenders over at YouTube.

P.S. Let me know what you think of the new video intro.

Sep 232014

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday and the first full day of autumn! (Or happy spring to  my friends in the southern hemisphere.) 🙂

2014 09 24 woyww  september tim tag

Today’s workdesk shows quite the array of supplies needed for Tim Holtz’s September  tag.

I was happy to try my new Bird Feather  stamp set, as I didn’t have it when he used it on his tag back in March.

september tim tag

Not sure that I’m thrilled with that egg floating in mid air, although I do like the effect of the solid stamp plus the speckles stamp.

The technique of using Alcohol Blending Solution with the Burlap Stencil to create a ghosted image is cool, although mine didn’t work out the way he said. I had to go back in with the blending solution over the stencil after adding Butterscotch alcohol ink to the card.

The leaves were colored with all different alcohol inks, including a bit of Gold Mixative, and then cut from the Autumn Gatherings Sizzix Sizzlits Die.

The colors in this card are kind of schizophrenic, as it doesn’t know whether it wants to be spring or fall. Which is, I suppose, true to how I was feeling while I worked on it. 🙂

So now I’ve shown you mine, show us yours. We have lots of fun peeking at creative desks from all over the world at the blog link party at Julia’s

Happy creating!