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!



Jul 232012

Tim’s tag for July uses a fun technique involving alcohol ink and canned air.  (Check out the link for a video with the details.)

His tag was patriotic, but I decided to make a few birthday cards for guys instead.


After making ink splats with Gold Metallic MixativeSailboat BlueWatermelonSunset Orange and Stream alcohol inks I stamped Ranger Glossy Cardstock with Jet Black Archival Ink using Tim’s The Journey and Curious Possibility stamp sets.

The best way to do this is to stamp larger images first, then fill in the remaining areas with the smaller stamps, collage style. Notice that the Archival Ink doesn’t do as well over the metallic ink.  That may be because I didn’t let it dry long enough.  Since it’s a collage, I didn’t worry about it.

The 8.5″ x 11″ glossy paper was cut into 2.75″ x 4.25″ pieces, enough for eight cards. (They’re all pretty similar, so I’m only showing you two.)


The collage panel was mounted to some colored cardstock and then glued to a Kraft cardstock card base.

The “Happy Birthday” sentiment is from Inkadinkado All Occasions and the Mini Gears were attached with 3/16-Inch Mini Glue Dots.

There you have it, quick and easy birthday cards for guys.

Happy Creating!

Jul 212012

Yesterday being my 25th anniversary, here’s a pic of a tag I made a few weeks ago using a photo from our wedding.


Such kids we were!  Times and finances being what they are, we aren’t doing much anything by way of celebration, but I figured I could at least make him a nice card.


This card was inspired by a similar one by Lisa Somerville in Just Steampunk 2011 (p. 83.)  I loved her use of Jim Croce’s lyrics, but thought it would be an excellent excuse to buy opportunity to use some of the Tim Holtz Mini Bottles.


The computer font is called Beyond Wonderland and can be found for free at DaFont.  

After printing the words onto my cardstock panel, I embossed the left side with the Steampunk embossing folder.  Before embossing, I inked the top portion of the embossing folder with Shabby Shutters Distress Ink.  This got the ink down into the lower portions of the design and left the raised areas the color of the card stock.

I inked around the right side of the words with Shabby Shutters to try to blend it in and create a sort of halo around the verse.  All the edges were inked with Vintage Photo or Walnut Stain Distress Inks.

The gears were cut using the Gadget Gears Die and were then lightly rubbed with several different Metallic Rub-Ons.


The bottle was filled with glitter, seed beads and tiny watch parts.  The I filled the whole thing up with Glossy Accents and stuck on the cork.  (It just occurred to me that if I put the cork on, the glossy accents on the inside may never dry.  Hmmmmm…..)


The inside panel was decorated with the clock stamp from Tim Holtz’s clear stamp set The Journey. I used a variety of blue & green chalk inks.  The “Happy Anniversary” is from Hero Arts’ Everyday Sayings clear stamp set.

This was a fun card to make, although it was kind of a pain to put together because he was working from home the whole time.  Every time he came upstairs I had to throw it under something and start making like I was working on something else, lol.

May all your days be special and creative!


Jul 172012

This weeks’ mess desk finds me in the middle of making some birthday cards. The free Pink Paislee papers and chipboard accents in the May issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft were why I bought the magazine.

The papers are all very pretty and girly.  I probably will have to work on some masculine b-day cards soon, but for now I’m enjoying all the lace, flowers & birds.  🙂


I wish I could afford to subscribe to some of the UK papercrafting magazines, I really prefer them to the U.S. versions.  (And the freebies are nice, too!)  Sadly, the cost of shipping puts them out of my range.

Which magazines do you find worth subscribing to?


Here are the cards I’ve finished so far.

Anyhow, today it’s birthday cards, then I have a special anniversary card to make, and then it’s back to some polymer clay projects.  There’s also a wedding outfit to finish, and a quilt to repair… it’s good to be busy.

Hope you are having a creative week!

Oh, and are you wondering why I posted a photo of my messy desk?  That’s cuz it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Have fun checking out the creative desks/messes of folks from all over the globe.