It occurred to me the other day that I hadn’t done any question and answers videos in quite some time. Sorry about that!
Even though I try to answer most questions in the comments sections of the videos, it’s always nice to answer them in a video for everyone to see because if one person has a question it’s likely more people have the same one.
In today’s Q & A I answer questions about where to find the supplies that I show in videos, how to finish up crimped bead stringing and why sometimes jewelry designers weave the end of the wire back through a few of their final beads.
Here are links to some of the supplies I like to use in bead stringing:
I have been admiring these tube bead bracelets for quite some time, in fact I made a Pinterest board just for them. You’ll notice the Pinterest board has a few pieces that may be necklaces instead of bracelets, they’re really just the same thing, only longer. And there are a few variations like the long tube on the very long strands, making an interesting and unusual necklace.
I also love the tubes that are sculpted with flared ends, and the ones that have holes pierced through them.
All the different textures shapes and the variation of color make this bracelet very rich and lush in appearance, hence the name, “baroque.” Dictionary.com defines baroque this way:
1. of or relating to a style of architecture and art originating in Italy in the early 17th century and variously prevalent in Europe and the New World for a century and a half, characterized by free and sculptural use of the classical orders and ornament, by forms in elevation and plan suggesting movement, and by dramatic effect in which architecture, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts often worked to combined effect.
2. of or relating to the musical period following the Renaissance, extending roughly from 1600 to 1750.
3. extravagantly ornate, florid, and convoluted in character or style: the baroque prose of the novel’s more lurid passages.
4. irregular in shape: baroque pearls.
There are so many variations you can do with this. I had a few ideas that I didn’t have time to get to, like adding Swarovski crystals or hot fix crystals all over, perhaps surrounded with coils and dots of clay. Also, you could make a long tube, decorate the whole thing, and then cut it into individual beads.
Once again, don’t be intimidated by the long list of tools and materials. If you’ve been working in polymer clay or jewelry for a while, you likely have most of them. And the ones that you don’t have you’ll certainly use in future projects. 🙂
There are many different findings out there with names that can be easily confused for one another. In today’s Friday Findings video I’ll explain and show you what end caps are and what they aren’t. I differentiate them from bead caps which are close, but not quite the same.
Yes, it can be confusing, but I look at it this way: If I end up ordering the wrong finding, now I’ve got a new jewelry supply to try out and and experiment with. 🙂
There are many different ways you can use these great little findings, from the most obvious as an end to finish a piece of cording, beading or something else, to not quite so traditional and possibly unexpected uses.
You’ll see several examples that will hopefully get your imagination fired for new and interesting ways to use end caps in your jewelry designs.
Here are links to some of the end caps I show in the video, as well as some others you might enjoy using:
Since Christmas is so close I figured we all could use a very simple, short and sweet project. These earrings may look complex but as I mention in the video I was able to put together one of them in 15 minutes. So a pair would only take you half an hour after assembling the materials.
Make sure to pick up some very fine bead weaving thread, like the Wildfire I show in the video, as each of the beads gets at least two passes and you need a fine thread to be able to do that through the small 15/0 beads.
In the interest of full disclosure I figured out how to make these earrings after first seeing this design from Linda’s Crafty inspirations on Pinterest. If you like bead weaving you’ll love her site! The original design is by Beth Clark and she has a free pdf of the design at her website. (Along with lots of other great designs!)
Suerduos are just the most fascinating little beads. At least I’m amazed by the endless variety of ways you can fit them together in jewelry designs. I got so fascinated, in fact, that I made in entire Pinterest board just for superduo designs.
In today’s video I’ll show you examples of just a few patterns you can make with superduo seed beads, and give some tips for working with them. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss upcoming jewelry designs using these clever beads!
There are LOTS of patterns available for working with superduos, many are free and some are paid. Here are a few free ones you may like:
These little gingerbread houses are so much fun to make! Just like making a real gingerbread house the first thing you do is gather, or in our case make and pre-bake, all of your candy decorations.
We’ll also pre-bake liquid bakeable Sculpey in the color Pearl to resemble icicles dripping off the roof of our house.
Then it’s time to make our gingerbread “cookies” that will form the body of the house. Just a couple simple techniques will make these truly resemble baked gingerbread cookies. The fun part comes after that, the decorating!
One thing I neglected to mention in the video is that after I glued my prebaked “icicles” to my roof I went back in with some more of the liquid bakeable clay and filled in all the gaps around the edges before baking one more time. This gave a much more smooth and finished appearance.
I first made this artsy jacket over 10 years ago, before I started blogging, which is why I don’t have a review of the pattern or any other pictures.
It was a really fun project using several different fabrics, lots of beading and embroidery techniques, shaped facings and hemlines and just general creativity all around. You can still find the pattern at Diane Ericson Design.
I’ve lost a bit of weight lately and rediscovered this jacket tucked way in the back of my closet and found that it was now too big! Not so big that I couldn’t wear it, but big enough that it was starting to look a little sloppy and I knew it would look terrible if I lost any more weight, which I definitely plan to do.
Since the jacket was so much work and so unique, I decided that it was worth it to take the time to take it apart, cut it down and then put it back together.
The fit is much more pleasing now as you can see, and I have incentive to not gain the weight back because if I do I won’t be able to wear it. 😀
The cutting down process was fairly straightforward. I took the jacket apart by removing the sleeves, opening the under arm seams and taking apart the side seams. Then I laid on the pattern pieces, having marked the new size that I wanted, and cut the armscye, side seams and sleeve seams to the new size. This way all the details were left alone and preserved as I had originally done them.
This approach might have been tricky if I had lost a LOT of weight and the back and neck were too wide, but with this style and size difference it worked out well.
Not all garments are worth this much time and effort but this one certainly was!
It’s been so much fun making these polymer clay Christmas ornaments for you all! I especially love these pink poinsettias. I was inspired by a Fire Mountain Gems advertisement that came out a few years ago with red poinsettias on clear glass balls, but I wanted to make mine a bit different.
I decided to make shaded canes for the leaves and flowers (bracts I think they are technically) to add the detail that I wanted.
Shaping the flowers is really just simple, basic sculpting. What’s fun about these is that once the polymer clay is baked it peels right off of the ornaments. You can then glue the pieces back on the ornaments in whatever configuration you want. This is much easier than having to place them precisely while trying to hold onto a round ornament.
Make sure that your balls are glass so that they can go in the oven and not melt. Also, if you’re not sure if the ring around the top of your ornament is metal or acrylic, remove that too, just in case.
Another really pretty combination would be to make white poinsettias with a bit of green in the centers, and perhaps put them on red glass balls. I can see those with a little bit of gold mica powder dusted on the edges. As usual, so many ideas and not enough time to do them all. 🙂
Some curling, twisting ribbons add a graceful touch, be sure to watch the video for a cool trick for cutting perfectly straight strips of clay for the ribbons.
Tools and Materials:
polymer clay in pinks, greens and white (or pearl)
Have you noticed all of the creative shape templates available out there? (This Pinterest search shows what I’m talking about.) If so, have you had a chance to try any of them out?
I have been noticing them, and I’ve been really intrigued by all the different things that people can do with them. Sometimes I find myself in a bit of a rut when it comes to shapes, so these can be very inspiring and helpful.
photo from MelanieMuir.com
Above is an example of how the nested shapes can be used to create a piece of polymer clay jewelry.
When I went to price out some of these wonderful templates (there were at least a dozen that I wanted!) I found they were a bit out of my budget. I am certain they are worth every penny, with their nice thick template plastic and smooth edges, there are many techniques you can do with them. But…
Since I mostly wanted to use them for design I came up with a way of making my own. In today’s video I’ll show you how to use a heat tool to cut out your own stencils and design templates in any shapes and sizes you want.
Below I also have a link to several pages of free shape templates available on the Internet. I’m sure you can find more, or you can design shapes yourself on the computer.