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.


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.  🙂


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!


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!


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


  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.
Aug 052012

The August 2012 Tim Holtz tag is a fun one, with some great techniques.  It has a nice, classy look and a very vintage feel.


The first step is to stamp a Tag with a frame using Clear Embossing Ink and then heat emboss with Super Fine Detail Embossing Powder, black.  My frame is from Tim’s Urban Grunge stamp set.  Then you stamp an image inside the frame with Jet Black Archival Ink.  My bird is from the Inkadinkado Birds Galore Clear Stamp set.

Next is dry embossing with the Postcard Embossing Folder and a machine like Sizzix Big Shot.

To create a resist on the raised part of the embossing, on a Craft Sheet mix some Folk Art Acrylic Paint, Teal with Folk Art Acrylic Paint, Wicker White  and apply lightly with a piece of Cut-N-Dry Foam. (I didn’t apply paint to the area inside my frame.)


Cut the bottom of the tag with the On The Edge Brackets Die.  Tim left his tag shaped on the bottom, but I thought mine didn’t look right proportionally, so I added a piece of patterned paper.  Now you can ink the area inside the frame with Antique Linen Distress ink.  Add Vintage Photo outside of the frame and Walnut Stain around the outside edges of the tag.

Once the inking is done, lightly wipe over the tag with a damp towel.  This removes the ink from the painted area, very cool!

Follow Tim’s directions to make paper flowers with the Tattered Pine Cone die.  I love his tip about using the Sanding Grip to sand the edges while the paper is still flat.


Once they were done, I inked my flowers with Wild HoneyBroken China and Worn Lipstick Distress inks.  The leaves and branches were inked with Iced Spruce and Evergreen Bough Distress inks.

The pearl centers are from some old, broken jewelry and are glued in with Glossy Accents.

I made my own pearl mist with Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold mixed with water in a Mini Mister.  After I sprayed the tag and flowers, all the colors seemed way too muted, so I went back over the bird with a black Zig Marker to make it stand out.


To finish the top of the tag, color a piece of Lavish Trimmings with Spun Sugar Distress Stain.  Add some pearl dangles, (from yet more broken jewelry) Tim Holtz Idea-ology Trinket PinsTim Holtz Facets and/or whatever other charms and doo-dads you may have around.


Would you believe this tag was made with only supplies I had on hand?  That may be a testament to too much time shopping in my local craft store, lol.


Happy creating!



Aug 042012

I’m not actually a big fan of orange, but it’s growing on me.  Since Tangerine Tango IS this year’s color, it seemed a good idea to give it a try.


There something about the lush look of all these beads clusters that I love.


It’s full and rich and funky.  Yet, having the other two chain strands, empty, seems to balance it out and keep it elegant.

All the bead wire wrapping is time consuming, but other than that it’s not a complicate necklace to make. (Hooray for messy wraps!)


  • 18-inch length chain
  • 16-inch length chain
  • 13-inch length chain
  • two 4-inch lengths chain
  • two 8mm split rings or small soldered rings
  • two jump rings
  • lobster clasp
  • ~25 3-inch head pins
  • ~50 assorted beads
  • two pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • bead design board


  1. Use heads pins, beads, chain nose pliers, and round nose pliers to make approximately 30 bead dangles. Dangles can consist of one, two, three, or four beads. Attach dangles to center 5 inches of 13-inch piece of chain.
  2. Open end links of each of the 18-, 16- and 13-inch pieces of chain and attach to 8mm split rings.
  3. Attach one end of each 4-inch chain to a split ring. Attach a jump ring to one remaining end of chain. To last end of chain, attach a lobster clasp with a jump ring.

Happy creating!


Aug 022012

These turquoise nuggets were just begging to be made into a pair of earrings.


Often turquoise is combined with silver, but I’m loving the look of the coppery twisted wire beads at the top.  The metal beads at the bottom aren’t exactly copper, they’re not quite antique brass either, they just seem to work.

If you’ve never made your own jewelry before, you’ll love the satisfaction you get out of picking exactly the colors you want.  You’d be amazed at how quickly they go together, too.

To make these earrings you’ll need:

  • two turquoise nugget beads
  • two twisted wire beads
  • six round metal beads
  • six seed beads
  • six head pins
  • two eye pins
  • two ear wires
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

The video tutorial shows you how to do the wire work and assemble this fantastic pair. Printed directions are below.

Basic Instructions:

  1. Thread one turquoise nugget and one twisted wire bead onto an eye pin. Use chain nose and round nose pliers to make a loop above the wire bead. Repeat with remaining nugget, wire bead, and eye pin.
  2. Thread one seed bead and one round metal bead onto a head pin. Use chain nose and round nose pliers to make a loop above the metal bead. Repeat with remaining beads and head pins to make a total of six dangles.
  3. Attach three dangles to bottom of each turquoise nugget unit. To complete earrings, attach an ear wire to top of each turquoise nugget unit.

Happy creating!

Aug 012012

Happy August and Happy What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday!

Just a mish-mosh of stuff on my workdesk today.  Yes, I have been busy.  No, I have not had any particular focus. Can you tell?


The large blue thing on the right is a bed for my younger son’s new kittens.  About half a yard of fleece, some batting scraps and an hour or so were all that was needed.  (I didn’t use a pattern, just kind of winged it.  If you’d like rough dimension and directions, let me know.)


The little mice started their lives as heart shaped scraps.  Very easy.

I made some for my cats as well, and they seem to particularly like the suede tails. The homegrown catnip is a hit, too, judging by the crazed look in their eyes.


I’ve been wanting to get a yard or so of ruffle fabric for some time (to make this skirt.)  When I needed to order fabric for a friend’s project, it just seemed wrong not to order enough fabric to get free shipping.  (Am I right, or what?) So the ruffle fabric and the sweater knit just sorta leaped into my shopping cart.  🙂


The red sweater knit will be made into McCalls 6607, but not until the weather cools down a bit. It makes me hot just to look at it right now.


That pile of purple gorgeousness in the upper left is a batik skirt I made some time ago.  It survived my weight loss closet purge last year because I adore the colors.  However, it doesn’t get worn very often ever because every time I put it on it makes me look twice as wide as  really am. (Not really my preferred look, lol.)  I finally got around to taking it in this week.  Happy purple ruffles, here I come!

On the lower left is the print out of August’s Tim tag, which looks like a fun one, and on the right is my sketchbook, which is getting a lot more use than I thought it might.  (If you’re interested in making your own, here are directions for making a faux leather sketchbook.)

May the rest of your week be creative.


Jul 302012

A reader recently commented on this bracelet I was wearing in a previous video tutorial.


I made this some time ago and it’s a favorite.  It may look like a series of bangles, but it’s actually one 36-inch length of memory wire, strung with beads.  Super simple.


This bracelet in shades of blue and green uses the same basic bead pattern. You don’t have to string your beads in a pattern, they could be random, or you could use all the same beads. It just occurred to me that a random assortment of all different metallic beads would look really cool. Hmmmmm… the possibilities.

In the video below I give you some tips on using memory wire, plus some design ideas for your beads.

Happy creating!

Jul 272012

I sat down the other night, feeling crafty, and made a bunch of these…

And two of these…


And these… (plus a few more in different colors)


Clicking on the photos will take you to my Art Jewelry Etsy shop, where you can see the rest of what’s new.

Btw, in case you missed the announcement, you can now pay directly with a credit card on Etsy.  No need to go through PayPal anymore if you don’t want to.

Happy creating!

Jul 262012

My granddaughter’s birthday is coming up soon and I wanted to make her something special.  She’s a real girly-girl, so I knew these colorful flower charms would be a big hit. I decided to go with a charm bracelet and earrings set.


The main difference when making jewelry for children is size and scale.  Otherwise, all the techniques are the same.

Enjoy the video tutorial!

Jul 252012

Today’s What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday shows me in the middle of making another jewelry video, this time for a necklace.  I usually don’t use this desk for my video tutorials, but I needed the room for the bead design board.


Yes, that white thing on the left IS an embroidery hoop. I stuck a couple layers of white fabric in it and used my favorite two-binder-clip trick to stand it up.  Actually, I think I like it better than the purchased light filter on the right.  Go figure.

There isn’t much else interesting on the desk, unless you count the Trader Joe’s chocolate hiding towards the back.  Which *I* find quite interesting, but it’s mine, all mine, mwuah-haha.  >:)

Anyhow, speaking of jewelry tutorials – I’ll have another one up for you tomorrow, so be watching for it.

Hope you’re having a creative and happy summer!