Sep 082012
 

You’ve probably noticed that purchased headpins feature prominently in much of my jewelry making, but did you know that you can easily make your own out of wire?

spiral-bead-earrings-still

The wire spirals add a little something special to these earrings.  Keep in mind that you can make them any size you want to suit your particular beads and taste.

Like I mention in the video, after finishing these, I kinda wish I’d made the spirals out of a different color wire.  Who knows, I may take them apart and redo.  That’s the beauty of making it yourself.  🙂

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • two glass beads
  • two metal spacers
  • two #6 seed beads
  • two ear wires
  • two 3-inch pieces 22-gauge wire
  • jewelry hammer
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. To form head pin, use round nose pliers to begin a loop on one 3-inch piece of wire. Use chain nose pliers to tighten up loop; then continue to make spiral until it’s the desired size. Lightly tap with jewelry hammer to harden wire.
  2. Slide glass bead onto headpin; then add metal spacer and #6 seed bead. Use chain nose and round nose pliers to make a wrapped loop.
  3. Open ear wire and slide on loop. Repeat to make second earring.
Sep 062012
 

I’ve been eyeballing the Swarovski crystal hearts at my local craft store for quite some time now. After trying to figure out the most tasteful, subtle way of using them I finally decided to just go all out and go over the top.

crytal-heart-charm-bracelet

It turned out the be the perfect approach, as I’m so in love I haven’t worn another bracelet since this one was completed.

crystal-heart-charm-bracelet-18mm

Honestly, my favorite part is that honkin’ big 18mm crystal heart.  It just makes me happy to look at it.  I don’t know why.

crystal-heart-charm-bracelet-close

I’ve actually added five more charms since I finished the video.  More is, well, more, right?  So now there are five clear 10mm hearts, five clear 10mm aurora borealis hearts and five pink 10mm hearts, plus the clear 18mm heart.  Oh, and the incidental crystal beads and silver hearts.

I wonder if there’s room for more….

Materials:

  • 7 inches of chain for bracelet (or length needed to fit wrist)
  • toggle clasp
  • assortment of 10-15 10mm heart crystals
  • assortment of 5-10 metal charms
  • one 18mm crystal heart
  • 6mm jump rings
  • 3-inch piece of 22-gauge wire
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Optional:

  • crystal beads
  • head pins for each crystal bead

Instructions:

  1. Thread 3-inch piece of wire through hole in 18mm crystal heart. Leave one end 1 inch long and bend ends up at a 90-degree angle from hole. Press wires together above heart. Use round nose pliers to start a loop with longer piece of wire. Slip loop onto bracelet chain and complete loop, wrapping around both wires that came out of the heart. Trim wire if necessary and tuck in end.
  2. Attach charms and crystal hearts to bracelet chain using jump rings. If using crystal beads, thread onto head pins and wrap in the same way as for 18mm heart.
  3. Attach toggle clasp bar to one end of bracelet chain with jump ring. Use jump ring to attach other piece of toggle clasp to opposite end of bracelet.

Happy creating and sparkling!

 

Aug 272012
 

I kinda love the look of the chain tassels in these earrings.

chain-tassel-earrings

Don’t they dress up the beads wonderfully?

The key, as I mention in the video, is to make the wire loops large enough to accommodate all the chains.

I can totally see these in just about any color, but I’m liking the white and gold look.

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • two ear wires
  • two eye pins
  • two glass beads
  • two small spacer beads
  • ten 1-inch pieces of chain (12-13 links per inch)
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Slide spacer bead onto eye pin; then slide on glass bead. Use round nose and chain nose pliers to make the beginning of a loop. (Make loop slightly larger than normal, about 3/8-inch from tips of round nose pliers.)
  2. Slide end link of each of five 1-inch lengths of chain onto loop. Close loop and make one or two wraps. Cut off excess wire, tucking in end with pliers as necessary.
  3. Open eye of ear wire and slide on top loop of eye pin. Close ear wire. Repeat for second earring.

 

Aug 242012
 

These simple, yet classic earrings are a snap to make. They’re sure to be a wardrobe staple.

chain-bead-earrings-video

Like I mention in the video, I chose to use all metal components so these earring would go with just about any outfit.

Materials:

  • two metal beads
  • two 1-inch lengths of chain
  • two ear wires
  • two head pins
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Slide a bead onto a head pin. Use chain nose and round nose pliers to start a loop. Slide one end of 1-inch length of chain onto loop. Complete loop with one or two wraps, tucking in end as necessary.
  2. Open ear wire. Slide other end of chain into ear wire. Close ear wire. Repeat for second earring.
Happy creating!

 

To my regular readers, sorry I’ve been missing for the past week.  I’m working on climbing out of my own personal black hole at the moment, so keeping the projects quick and easy.  Hope you enjoy.  🙂
Aug 182012
 

Got a minute? Then you can make these earrings!

I fell in love with this strand of frosted glass beads and decided to let them be the stars in this design.

frosted-blue-teardrop-bead-earrings

Seriously, it will probably take you longer to assemble your materials that it will to put these together.  It doesn’t get much easier.

The teardrop shaped beads are what give these earrings interest.  I love that the three different colors of beads all came on one strand.

Materials:

  • two ear wires
  • two decorative head pins
  • 12 top-drilled teardrop-shaped beads
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Thread six teardrop beads onto a head pin. Push narrow ends of beads close together so they nest. Use chain nose and round nose pliers to make a loop at top of head pin. Cut off excess head pin with wire cutters.
  2. Open hanging loop of ear wires and attach beaded dangle. Repeat to make second earring.

Happy Beading!

Aug 162012
 

I purchased a dangly beaded pendant a while back, and liked it so much I decided to copy it in different colors.  I showed how I made it into a necklace in this video tutorial.

charm-dangle-necklace-still-1

Here’s the new one.

silk-ribbon-charm-dangle-necklace-still

And here’s the original. Now I can’t decide which I like best.

Bummer that I can only wear one at a time, lol.

Anyhow, enjoy the video and make one for YOU in your favorite colors.

Materials:

  • closed metal ring, approx. 1 inch to 1 ½ inches in diameter
  • five lengths of chain: 2 inches, 2 3/8 inches, 1 1/8 inches, 1 1/2 inches and 26 inches
  • seven beads for dangles
  • two charms
  • seven decorative head pins
  • five 10mm jump rings
  • three 8mm jump rings
  • lobster clasp
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. For bead dangles, thread a bead onto each head pin. Use chain nose and round nose pliers to make a loop at the top of each head pin. Cut off excess head pin with wire cutters.
  2. Attach lobster clasp to one end of 26-inch chain with an 8mm jump ring. Set aside.
  3. Attach bead dangles to four remaining pieces of chain in a pleasing arrangement. Use 8mm jump rings to attach charms to two of these pieces of chain.
  4. Use a 10mm jump ring to attach the top of each of these four pieces of chain to the closed metal ring.
  5. Attach final 10mm jump ring to metal ring and thread 26-inch chain through to complete necklace.

Happy Creating!

Aug 152012
 

Happy Wednesday, ya’ll!  (Check out the link to find out just why I’m posting a photo of my workdesk.  I’m not the only one doing it!)

Today’s desk shows I’m still working with polymer clay, but this week I’m trying to finish up fiddly details for a new concept I have.

If I get it right, these will be wearable scrapbooks.  The photos are index prints, the albums are about 1.5 inches square.  Cute, no?

2012-08-15-woyww-polymer-clay-mini-albums

The details I’m working on are how to get the clasp to look good, but also operate nicely, just how to fasten the clasp and how to make the hinges.  Lot of ideas are floating around, but each has to be tested out.  Sadly, most do not work out in reality as well as they do in my head.

Those little plastic baggies on the lower left are full of neodymium magnets that I got in several sizes to test out closures.  Some of them are only 1/32 of an inch thick.  You would not believe how powerful they are.  A. May. Zing. And fun.  I could play with them all day long, lol.

I’m also going to experiment with the metallic rub-ons, as Perfect Pearls don’t play the way I want them to with Sculpey Glaze.

So now ’tis time to get off the computer and head to the testing grounds.

Happy creating!

P.S.  Be watching tomorrow for another jewelry video.  This one is one of my favorites yet.  🙂

Aug 102012
 

I love that the combination of glass beads, silk ribbon, metal chain and charm dangles make this necklace a study in contrasts.

silk-ribbon-charm-dangle-necklace-still

I  purchased the pendant, but then added a cute bird’s nest charm and threaded in silk ribbon to soften the look.

silk-ribbon-charm-dangle-necklace-still-close

The supply list is below the video, and it’s shorter than you might think!

Materials:

  • purchased necklace pendant with chain dangles
  • purchased charm of choice
  • 25 inches chain
  • lobster clasp
  • 1-3 jump rings
  • 30 inches silk ribbon
  • scissors
  • two pair chain nose pliers

Instructions:

  1. Use a jump ring and chain nose pliers to attach additional charm to chain dangle of purchased pendant to customize.
  2. Attach a lobster clasp to one end of 25-inch chain, using jump ring if necessary.
  3. Weave silk ribbon through a link of the 25-inch chain every 2 to 3 inches. Tie off with knots at ends and trim at angles.  Be sure to leave some slack in ribbon for a graceful appearance.
  4. Use a jump ring to attach customized pendant to ribbon/chain length. Attach a jump ring to end of chain opposite lobster clasp if necessary.

 

Aug 082012
 

This week’s desk shows I’m back to polymer clay creating.

Click on the photo to see all the messy details close up.  I really do need a bigger table.

2012-08-08-polymer-clay-dhiren-the-white-tiger

In anticipation of the fourth book in the Tiger’s Curse series I’ve been making blue-eyed white tiger jewelry.  I’ve also been memorizing William Blake’s poem “The Tiger,” just cuz I like it.  🙂

2012-08-08-polymer-clay-dhiren-the-white-tiger-006

These are all prototypes; some may go in my Etsy shop soon, but right now I’m just trying to develop a good pendant design.  I think the rectangular one is my favorite, but it still needs something.  Any preferences?  Thoughts?  Ideas?

The flower was made just for kicks, I bought the mold weeks ago and have been wanting to try it.  Playing with Skinner blends is fun.

I’ve also been considering using photo transfers to make custom photo jewelry.  You could have pics of children, grandchildren, family pets or special places.  What do you think?

Of course, I still need to work up a nice base design.  Off to go create…

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!

P.S. Btw, the other books are Tiger’s Quest (Book 2), Tiger’s Voyage (Book 3) and Tiger’s Destiny (Book 4, out on September 4th.) You can also go for it, save a little money and get all four in a set – The Tiger’s Curse Saga. Happy reading!

Aug 072012
 

This super quick and easy bracelet of wooden beads has a great, earthy vibe.  Using leather cord to string the beads means you don’t even need any jewelry making tools!

knotted-cord-bracelet-still

I love the lightweight feel of these wooden beads; you hardly notice it on your wrist.  Sometimes in the summer, a bunch of heavy glass beads can be quite uncomfortable.

If you’ve never made your own jewelry before, this is a great project to start with.  Find just three focal beads and six accent beads that you love and have fun creating!

Materials:

  • three 1-inch wooden beads
  • six 3/8-inch wooden beads
  • 15 inches 1mm leather cord
  • one lobster clasp
  • 1½ inches chain
  • scissors

Instructions:

  1. Trim ends of leather cord at an angle. Slide on one 3/8-inch bead, one 1-inch bead, and another 3/8-inch bead. Make knots in cord at either side of 3/8-inch beads.
  2. Make another knot in cord ½ inch away from previous knot. Slide on one 3/8-inch bead, one 1-inch bead, and another 3/8-inch bead. Make another knot in cord after second 3/8-inch bead. Repeat to use final three beads.
  3. Tie lobster clasp to one side and chain to other side of remaining cord.  Make several knots along cord if desired. Trim ends at an angle.