Aug 042014

Are you inspired by materials or by ideas? I’ve found I often have to have a material in hand, and then the ideas just start flowing for possibilities what to do with it.

This gunmetal slide clasp came in a goody bag from Fire Mountain Gems. I don’t usually work in grays, so put it aside a long time ago. But then I found I liked the colors in this photo, gray included, enough to add it to my “Color Inspirations” Pinterest board.

gunmetal & fuchsia color pin

Finding the right combination of colors, textures & shapes of beads was also a challenge. These matte finish glass gray ones in the middle contrast nicely with the shiny sparkle of the Swarovski cubes & bicones and the frosted greens. The little bits of black seed beads and the gunmetal chain pull it all together.

gunmetal & crystal bracelet

I challenge you to do a project based on a Pinterest pin. We’re collecting all these pics for a reason, right? 😉

Enjoy the video and happy creating!


  • slide clasp with seven holes
  • 7 10-inch pieces bead stringing wire
  • beads of your choice to string approximately 7 inches on each strand of wire
  • 2 7-inch lengths of chain
  • crimps
  • crimp covers
  • wire protectors
  • jump rings


  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • bead stoppers (optional, but useful if you want to string your beads in advance)

Keep in mind that you’ll need to make this bracelet longer than you normally would to account for the width. The clasp, crimps and wire protectors will take up about one inch of length, so plan accordingly.

To attach stringing wire to clasp loops slide on a crimp bead and slide wire into one end of a wire protector and out the other.

Hook the wire protector over a loop of your clasp and slide wire back through crimp. Gently squeeze ends to make wire protector more of a teardrop, rather than horseshoe, shape. Use chain nose pliers to flatten crimp close to wire protector.

Use crimping pliers to pick up a crimp cover and place over flattened crimp. Squeeze gently to close crimp cover and form into a round bead shape. String on your choice of beads and repeat crimping to attach other end to other piece of clasp.

Attach as many lengths of strung beads to your slide clasp as you’d like, making sure to not twist the strands. Check strands against each to make sure they are all the same length.

Use jump rings to attach lengths of chain to either end of clasp.

Jul 292014

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!  Today’s messy desk is brought to you courtesy of Tim Holtz’s July 2014 tag.

2014 07 30 woyww july tim holtz beach tag

I never did get around to the May or June tags, but Tim had an interesting “recipe” for faux sand to add to this month’s project. It involves mixing Glossy Accents, Pumice Stone Distress GlitterAntique Linen Distress Embossing PowderBlack Soot Distress Emboss Powder and UTEE Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel.

The look was very much like beach sand, if a little smooth for my taste, so I added some Mudd Puddles sand on top to give it a bit more texture.

2014 07 30 woyww july tim holtz beach tag 2


Here’s the nearly completed tag. I was particularly pleased with how the seashells came out. They were cut out using the Seashell # 1 Sizzix Die, then I coated the Grungeboard with Picket Fence Distress Stain and colored them in with Distress Markers.

The coral bits are actually the branches from the Autumn Gatherings Sizzix Sizzlits Die. Tricky, eh? 😉

It’s gonna take a while for all that sandy goop to dry, so I haven’t yet made it into a card, but that’s likely where it will end up.

That’s all I’ve got for today. If you’d like to see what other creative folk are up to, be sure to check out our blog link party over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!


Jul 282014

I just love any project with the “how did they do that” factor.  This necklace fits that bill perfectly, with the illusion that the crystal beads are suspended on the wire.


The secret is in the use of crimp covers, little doo-dads that disguise the flattened crimps and look like beads when closed.

Btw, yes, I did misspeak in the video, you only need two jump rings, not three. Also, I tried this on and think I’m going to add another 4-inch piece of chain to the other side. That’s the beauty of knowing how to make your own jewelry!

Enjoy the video and happy creating.


  • 3 pieces colored beading wire, 19 strand or higher, cut to 28-inches, 25 inches & 23.5 inches
  • 15 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads, Indian Pink
  • 30 crimp covers
  • 36 2mm crimp beads
  • 2 bead cones
  • 2 3-inch pieces 22 gauge craft wire
  • 4-inch piece chunky chain
  • 2 jump rings
  • lobster clasp


  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • bead design board
  1. Arrange the 15 Swarovski crystal bicone beads on the design board with six beads in the outer channel, five in the center and four in the inner. Space them out filling in between the 12-inch marks on either side of the board. (For 24-inches of beaded wire.)
  2. Slide a crimp onto the longest piece of wire and use chain nose pliers to flatten bead near the center of the wire.
  3. Hold a crimp cover with pliers and place the flattened crimp inside, squeeze the pliers gently to close to crimp cover.
  4. Slide a Swarovski crystal bicone bead onto the wire, then add another crimp and flatten the crimp on the other side of the crystal. Cover the crimp the same way as in step three.
  5. Slide on another crimp, place the first crystal down in its place on the design board, then slide the newest crimp up next to the nearest crystal. Flatten in place with chain nose pliers and repeat steps 3 & 4.
  6. Continue in the same manner to add all 15 Swarovski crystals to the wires, each with a flatten crimp covered by a crimp cover on either side.
  7. Hold the three strands up to yourself in a mirror and determine the desired length and position of each strand. Tape both sets of ends in place, leaving at least 1.5-inches of wire sticking out from the tape.
  8. Choose the shorter wire in one group of three and slide on a crimp. Slide the wire back through the crimp until there is a 1/8-inch loop of wire remaining. Flatten crimp with chain nose pliers.  Repeat with other two wires in the bundle, making each loop the same length. Repeat with other set of three wires & remove tape.
  9. Grasp a 3-inch piece of craft wire at its center with chain nose pliers and make a 90° bend.  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.  Slightly twist loop to open and slide on three of six loops made in step 8. Close loop, hold with chain nose pliers and use another pair of chain nose pliers to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. 
  10. Slide a bead cone onto wire to cover all crimps. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead cone.  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.   Slightly twist loop to open and slide on one end of a piece of chain. Close loop, hold with chain nose pliers and use another 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.
  11. Repeat step 10 to add a bead cone and a jump ring to the other end of necklace.
  12. Add lobster clasp with a jump ring to end without chain.
Jul 252014

Several folks have already started talking about (and maybe even doing) fall sewing. Personally I’m not ready, but then again, I’m usually not ready for fall until some time in November, lol.

Delta Hooded Vest free pattern

Anyhow, I came across this free pattern from Hot Patterns that I thought you might like. I’m not really into hoodies, but I do like the hem shaping on this one. It might be something nice to make for a gift.

made with the free topsy turvy doll pattern by Sandy Huntress @

Speaking of gifts, lot of people have been using my Topsy Turvy doll pattern to make gifts. Here are some pics that Barbara sent me of her version.

made with the free topsy turvy doll pattern by Sandy Huntress @

made with the free topsy turvy doll pattern by Sandy Huntress @

Love the curly hair!

made with the free topsy turvy doll pattern by Sandy Huntress @

And then there’s Anita, whose 10 year old daughter used my pattern to make a Frozen themed doll, with Anna on one side….

made with the free topsy turvy doll pattern by Sandy Huntress @

… and Olaf on the other!


As you can see, many have had great success with this pattern, so keep it in mind for gift giving.

In the meantime, I’m keeping my mind firmly planted in summer. 🙂

Happy creating!



Jul 222014

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday again! This is the time when we usually all share what’s on happening in our creative workspaces.

However, what’s been on my workdesk the past couple days is some of the best work I’ve done in a while. I’m so pleased with it, in fact, that I plan to submit it to a magazine for publication.

This means, alas, that I cannot show it to you now. I hope you’ll be satisfied with some recent things that have been on my workdesk.

coiled clay candle holders

These coiled clay votive holders are what I was working on a couple weeks ago as a gift for my mom’s birthday. The coils are made by stacking circles of different colors in a Clay Extruder. I think I need to stack thinner layers of color to get more frequent color changes.

zentangle polymer clay bracelet

This polymer clay bangle is what I ended up with after taking Nikolina Otrzan’s class, Doodle Me Do Canes and Bangles over at CraftArtEdu.

zentangle polymer clay bracelet 2

It was  a great learning experience and Nikolina explains things well. But I found myself aching to put some vines & leaves & other organic things on it, lol.

Linear is SO not my style.

chong on leslie's quilt

Finally, I’ve been working on finishing a quilt for a friend. As you can see, I’ve had some help.

cats on leslie's quilt

I think they approve. 🙂

So that’s what I’ve got this week. Show us yours! Join in the blog party fun over at Julia’s and have a very happy and creative Wednesday.

Jul 212014

Sparkling Hearts Messy Wrapped Earrings 2

Sometimes it takes just a few simple materials and a basic technique to make something quite special. Orange isn’t my favorite color, but I love the look of these sparkling Swarovski Crystal Wild Hearts with their flashes of pink.

Sparkling Hearts Messy Wrapped Earrings

Simple “messy wraps” wire wrapping enhance the crystal charms without overwhelming them.

Watch the video and see how easy it is to make a pair for yourself. I even explain how to quickly make your own ear wires!

Happy creating. 🙂


  • 2 17mm Swarovski Crystal Wild Hearts pendants in color Astral Pink
  • 2 2-inch pieces 20 gauge wire
  • 2 12-inch pieces 22 or 24 gauge wire


  • chasing hammer
  • bench block or anvil
  • wire cutters
  • bail making pliers with 7mm mandrel
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • file or cup burr
  1. Center a crystal heart on a 12-inch piece of wire. Wrap one wire end around top of bead and go back through bead hole. Pull snug but be careful not to crack your crystal. (If using finer gauge wire, you may be able to wrap through the heart a third time.)
  2. Cross wires above heart and bend each slightly with chain nose pliers so they are parallel.
  3. Treating the two wires as one, grasp with round nose pliers and make a loop. Hold the loop with chain nose pliers and messy wrap the remaining wires around the wire above the heart.
  4. Trim excess wires and tuck in ends, filing sharp ends if necessary. Repeat to make second wire wrapped heart crystal.
  5. To make ear wires grasp end of 2-inch wire with round nose pliers and make a small loop.  Repeat on other 2-inch wire.
  6. Holding both loops together and treating both wires as one, place them on the 7mm section of the bail making pliers, loops facing away from 7mm section. Close pliers to hold and wrap wires around until they almost touch the loops. Remove wires from pliers and adjust shape with your fingers as desired. Use chain nose pliers to make a small bend 1/4-inch from each end.
  7. Use a cup burr or file to smooth the wire ends of ear wires.
  8. Use chain nose pliers to open each ear wire loop and insert a wire wrapped crystal heart. Close loops securely and enjoy your new earrings!
Jul 152014

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, all!

2014 07 16 woyww reversible shorts

My workdesk this week shows an interesting fabric from Joanne’s. It’s a lovely lightweight cotton knit, sure to be comfy in the summer heat, but it has a different twist. It’s striped on one side and polka dotted on the reverse. (It’s comes in several other colors besides the black, btw.) I got it to make a pair of shorts and couldn’t decide which side to use, so I’m making them reversible. 🙂

gbc curtains fellowship hall before

Many of you asked to see the church curtains when they were done. Here is the fellowship hall before….

gbc curtains fellowship hall

….and here’s the after. It’s a much more pleasant room to be in, elegant yet homey and comfortable.

gbc curtains parlor before

I was especially pleased with the transformation of the parlor. Before….

gbc curtains parlor

… and after. It’s such a pretty room now, there’s a fireplace on the other side and there’s talking of making it into a real parlor, a cozy place to sit & visit perhaps. Anyhow, that’s all I’ve got to share this week. If you’d like to join in the fun and see what other creative people are up to this week, but sure to join us desk hopping over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!

Jul 132014

Green Peridot Wire Wrapped Earrings

These sweet little peridot beads are given center stage by being wire wrapped onto earring frames.  A simple central bead dangle in a darker green shade adds interest and contrast.

In the video, I’ll show you how to wire wrap the beads to a frame, and how to make your own simple headpin out of wire.

(To my blog readers who requested non voice over videos, I did just a few of these in advance. I promise to do future videos in real time!) 

Happy creating 🙂


  • 2 1.5-inch x 3/4-inch teardrop shaped earring frames
  • 2 ear wires
  • 22 4mm x 2mm peridot beads
  • 20 gauge sterling silver filled wire, dead soft or half hard
  • 24 gauge sterling silver filled wire, dead soft
  • 2 5mm round beads
  • 4 2mm round sterling silver spacer beads


  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers

See video for detailed instructions.

Jul 082014

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I haven’t participated in Woyww for a few weeks as I’ve been working on the church curtains. Thankfully those are all done, hanging and look great, so now I can get back to other projects.

(Photos of the curtains to follow soon, I promise!)

2014 07 09 woyww  clay canes (1)

This week I have TWO workdesks for you. The first shows I’ve gotten back to polymer clay. The pink, blue & white circles are for a project that will have to be revealed after next week, as it’s a gift for someone who occasionally reads this blog.

2014 07 09 woyww  clay canes (2)

Here’s a close up of some of the clay canes I’ve been working on from a class on CraftArtEdu, Doodle Me Do Canes and Bangles with Nikolina Otrzan.

2014 07 09 woyww  clay canes (3)

After working through all these very graphic, linear designs I have concluded that I much prefer more organic shapes. The designs are rather cool, but just not me, ya know?

That’s ok, I learned  a lot from the class, so that was the point.

My other “workdesk” is the photography area where I shoot jewelry tutorial videos and take still photos.  In case you’ve wondered why I can’t seem to keep the occasional cat hair out the the shots, well…..

cheech w summer skies earrings (1)

….this may explain it.

cheech w summer skies earrings (2)

Quite pleased with himself, eh? But he’s so cute I just can’t get mad at him. 🙂

If you’re wondering why I’m sharing pics of my workspaces, it’s because it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Check out the blog link party fun over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!

Jul 072014

Here’s a different twist on wire wrapping beads to a frame. Instead of center drilled beads today I used top drilled teardrops and wrapped the wire around the tips between each wrap. The wire adds interest & texture and the spiky look of the beads sticking out from the frame is kinda cool.

Summer Skies Crystal Earrings

You don’t have to use all the same beads, either. How about graduating them in size from larger in the center to smaller on the sides? Or, you can place the bead ends pointing inside the wire ring, rather than outside.

This is a great design to use your imagination and come up with your own variations.

By the way, I’m trying something different in my videos, speeding up the action and doing a voice over. It makes the videos shorter, but perhaps the steps are more difficult to follow?

Let me know in the comments which way you prefer.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!


  • 2 ear wires
  • 2 1 1/8-inch diameter wine glass charm hoops
  • 10 13mm x 6mm top drilled teardrop crystals
  • 2 20-inch pieces 24 gauge wire


  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Leaving a 1/2-inch tail, tightly wrap one piece of wire around a hoop four times, keeping the wraps close together.
  2. String on a crystal bead and hold the tip against the hoop. Wrap the wire one time around the hoop, then wrap four or five times around the hole area of the bead.
  3. Wrap wire four times around the hoop, again keeping the wraps close together.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 four more times. Trim excess wire at both ends.
  5. Center beads on hoop if necessary.
  6. Bend down straight end of hoop approximately 1/8-inch and tuck into loop.
  7. Open loop of an ear wire and attach to loop of hoop. Close securely.
  8. Repeat all steps for second earring.