Oct 032017
 

Today’s creative exploration video came about because of a chance thought that came to me at the end of recording my Altered Bezels video.

Sometimes I think that’s the nature of creativity: we explore, try new things, push the boundaries, but it’s only when we push a little bit more, when we think we’re at the end of our ideas- then the really good ideas come.

embellished bezels cover

I say that because at the end of today’s video I had another one of those moments. Just an offhand thought about a way to use the remaining extruded clay rope.

The result of that idea was the black and gold squiggly bezel with the red teardrop cabochon. You can see it in the cover photo. I was really thrilled with how it came out and plan to explore this idea even more. (Who knows what ideas will come at the end of THAT exploration?)

If you’d like to see a tutorial for how to make a bezel like the one with the red teardrop, the good news is that I’ve made one! It’s available for anyone who supports me on Patreon at the $10 level & up.

Btw, did you know that my $5+ patrons get an additional bonus video every month? And $10+ supporters get TWO bonus videos monthly! 

It kind of reminds me of the game or exercise where you are told to make 20 observations about a thing. And when you’ve finally gotten those done, thinking you’ve exhausted all the observations you could possibly make, you are told to make 20 more.

Isn’t it the same with creativity? It’s only when we’ve pushed past all the easy and obvious solutions that we start to dig deep and find things that are truly unique, interesting and perhaps even revelatory.

So don’t just use my ideas, (although of course you’re welcome to!) but use this as an exercise for stretching your own creative muscles and making your own unique discoveries.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How To Add Creative Embellishments To Molded Polymer Clay Bezels video at YouTube.

Sep 292017
 

It’s been a lot of fun working on this series on all the different types of jewelry chain. I hope you’ve been enjoying it as well!

ff figure 8 chain

What I discovered while researching figure 8 chain is that it can be many many different things. There is a traditional understanding of what it is, a single link that has been twisted into a figure eight shape alternating with oval links.

However, just as there are many ways of making the shape of an eight, so there are many ways of making figure eight chain.

ebay figure 8 chain

The fun thing about figure eight chain is that it adds a fancy, more decorative element to any chain, just by adding a twist.

fmg figure 8 chain

Here are a few of my favorite places to purchase jewelry chain:

beadaholique figure 8 chain

Looking more closely at all of these chains has gotten me excited for combining different elements together and creating my own unique styles of chain. That will be coming up in a future Friday findings video.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy the video and happy creating!

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Watch the What is Figure 8 Chain? Friday Jewelry Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 262017
 

Today’s project is just a little bit fall-ish. Autumn officially began last week, but it’s still feeling quite a bit like summer around here.

autumn glory earrings cover

I wasn’t quite ready to go all out fall colors, so just a few hints of fall with the gold, red, and dulled down greens. I really like the bright pop of those chartreuse beads for contrast.

Actually I’m NEVER truly ready for fall, not because fall in New England isn’t lovely, it’s always utterly gorgeous. But for me I’m always thinking that it means winter is on its way, definitely my least favorite season.

Of course, it’s always important to remind ourselves that for now we should enjoy where we are with the blessings we have at this moment. For we never really know what’s around the corner.

So yeah, trying to embrace fall…

The chandelier earring findings I used started out as a bright, somewhat antiqued silver. In the video I explain an easy way to change them to this antique patinaed brass look.

Because the paints that I used to change the look of the finding add thickness to all the holes, you may need to add a jump ring in between the chandelier finding and the earring findings, just so things move a little bit more freely.

And actually, the more I look at them, the more I think I may go back and add those leaf dangles I was showing you after all. That’s the awesome thing about making your own jewelry, you can take it apart and change it up anytime you want!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Autumn Glory Earrings-Czech Glass Fire Polish Beads Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 222017
 

Ordering products from PolyClayPlay.com has come up several times in conversations with other polymer clay artists. But, I will admit to being a little slow to catch on sometimes, lol.

I finally got around to placing an order with them, and wow, they have such an array of interesting products to choose from… it was hard to stop shopping.

poly clay play unboxing

In fact, I already know many of the things I’m going to get next time!

This order started because I needed some Pardo translucent clay and one of my YouTube viewers mentioned that it was at an excellent price at PolyClayPlay. Actually, it was less than half the price of Amazon.

Once I was on the site I looked at everything. There were so many intriguing products, I had a hard time keeping my order to a reasonable size. (At $122, dunno that I succeeded there. <bg>)

I hope this video will spark some ideas and fire up your creative imagination for ways to use supplies that you might not have thought of using with polymer clay.

Don’t forget to use the coupon code Keepsake for $3 off your order at PolyClayPlay.com.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the PolyClayPlay Polymer Clay Supplies & Tools Unboxing-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Sep 192017
 

I’ve seen it so many times before and yet it always amazes me that having to seek solutions to design problems always leads to a better finished design than if you didn’t have the problem in the first place.

tasseled affaire necklace cover

I’m not entirely sure that calling this beautiful hand-painted Chinese porcelain bead a “problem” is at all correct , but, in my mind it just seemed a bit small for a focal bead.

The solution, creating a tassel out of beaded chain, makes the bead so much more than it would’ve been otherwise. Not to mention that tassels are trendy and fun to wear.

I don’t know about you but whenever I wear a necklace with tassels I find there’s something irresistible about it and I can’t help but play and fiddle with it all day long.

So take another look in your bead stash and perhaps find a bead that you thought wasn’t quite large enough to be a focal. Give it a fun tassel and make yourself a great new necklace!

For only some of the beads was able to find links to the exact ones I used. Otherwise I gave you a link to a page of several supplies to choose from. Hope you find this list helpful!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

Watch the A Tasseled Affaire-Porcelain Bead & Beaded Tassel Necklace Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 152017
 

A fair amount of research goes into each of these Friday Findings videos and I always enjoy learning more about the materials we use in our creations.

ff long short chain

So often we take these things for granted, not really thinking about how much work goes into the design and construction of the supplies we use.

beadaholique long short

One thing that got me very excited while looking at long-short chain and all the variations I had just in my own small stash was the possibility of designing and creating my own chain with just the right details for every project.

fmg long short

As you look at all these different types of chains, I hope you start thinking about all the  components and bits and pieces you have that you could put together in new and exciting ways!

artbeads long short

Here are a few of my favorite sources for long-short chain:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the What is Long-Short Chain? Friday Findings Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 122017
 

Have you ever had too much of a jewelry supply you didn’t really care for? This project began because I found myself with a supply of far more copper split rings that I would ever want or need to use.

iris dagger earrings cover

The idea for using the split rings as spacers between beads started with seeing other designs that used wire coils as spacers in between beads. I really like the way the split rings slip and twist against each other, creating random movement.

crystal point earrings 1

If you are one of my $5 or above monthly Patreon supporters be sure to watch this video where I share a tutorial for these crystal point earrings. (If you are a patron, you can find the password here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/august-bonus-for-14044212)

The crystal point earrings are similar, but actually use spacer beads in between the dangles.

I love how the wire wrapping around the crystal shards has a kind of steampunk, industrial, sci-fi look. Or something like that… What would you call it?

Whatever you call it, I’m was really pleased with the final effect of this wrapping that leaves the interestingly jagged top edges of the beads exposed.

Tools and Materials:

For bonus patron project:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Blue Iris Dagger Bead Dangle Earrings-Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 082017
 

Did you know that I made a Friday Findings video on cable chain over a year ago? It made me wonder why I had put off making any more videos in a series on chains.

ff curb chain

The only conclusion I can come to is that I thought there wouldn’t be much of interest to say about it. Wow, was I wrong there!

curb chain fmg

Studying these chains, their uses and the history of word “curb” was fascinating! I’ll never look at curb chain as “just plain old chain” again. 

curb chain artbeads

You can also get good deals on Amazon.com, just be sure to double check the quality.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the What is Curb Chain And Why Is It Called That? Friday Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 052017
 

The simplicity and ease of using purchased molds is always enticing. But it wars with the rebel/creative person in me who wants her work to look completely unique and not like anybody else’s.

altered bezels cover

The wonderful thing about clay is that you can still shape it even after pressing it into a mold!

We can use this to our advantage while creating bezels that perfectly fit our molded cabochons, but then customizing them with various tools after removing them from the molds.

One thing I forgot to mention in the video is that I like to use my clay blade after adding the texture to straighten up the edges of the bezel.

Just hold your blade perpendicular to the work surface and gently press it along the edges to straighten them. (I did this at one point in the video, but didn’t really explain how to do it after adding your textures.)

Another way of customizing your bezels would be to bake them in the molds, keeping their perfect shape, and then add decoration such as the beaded border I showed, and bake again. I may explore these possibilities in another video.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Altered Bezels for Polymer Clay Cabochons Tutorial video at YouTube.

Sep 012017
 

Have you tried bead weaving? If you have or if you’ve done any work at all with seed beads then you are probably aware that there are a whole variety of needles out there called “beading needles.

ff beading needles cover

In today’s video I show several of the most popular different types of beading needles, explain their pluses and minuses, similarities and differences AND you’ll get to see the disgraceful state of my own beading needles!

Here are links to the needles I showed in the video:

Below are tutorials for all of the bracelets I showed at the beginning of the video, along with a few other beading project just for fun!

Some of the designs are free online and some of the designers are charging a few dollars for their patterns. I can assure you the paid patterns are well worth it, as these designers put a lot of time, expertise and trial and error into working out these projects for you.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Choose the Right Needle for Bead Weaving & Seed Beads-Friday Findings Tutorial video at YouTube.