Nov 042016

ff crafty findings

Today I have for you a rather different type of video that I usually do. I was looking around my craft table and studio and realized I had a lot of bits and pieces that I’ve been gathering for future projects. In fact as I’m putting together this blog post I realize there are several more things that I didn’t include in this video. Lots going on!

I’ll leave it up to you to let me know in the comments if you like this type of video and would like more like it or if you prefer that I just stick to tutorials. 🙂

lamppost beauty 2

Here’s a better view of the fairy garden lamppost that’s featured in the latest Polymer Café magazine. This tutorial was a fun one to put together. I  made two variations, including one you can stick into the ground in your garden and it won’t topple over.

lamppost lights out

What I didn’t mention is that the flowers are made out of glow-in-the-dark clay. I just love turning off the lights and admiring them. 🙂

Here are links to the things I could find links for. Let me know which you found interesting and helpful.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Random Crafty Findings video at YouTube.

Dec 042015

bead stringing wire

Bead stringing wire is a basic staple in our jewelry making, our beads and jewelry literally hang from it! So it’s important to know just what it is you’re using to get the nicest looking and strongest piece of jewelry that you can.

In the video I’ll tell you about the different sizes and types of bead stringing wire. Below are a few options at Amazon, but you can often find bead stringing wire at your local craft store.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Bead Stringing Wire video over at YouTube.

Jun 092015

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 06 10 woyww jewelry supplies galore (1)

On my workdesk today is my annual HUGE Fire Mountain Gems order. They offer discount incentives to buy many, many items, so I did. 😀 (Who wouldn’t, right?)

I’ve got lots of beads, lots of findings, some tools, all kinds of goodies. It’s going to take a while to put everything away and I’ll have to keep myself from in the midst of it all starting a few new projects I’m especially excited about.

Fortunately, when I put together my order I wrote notes as to what each thing was for. Otherwise I’d be staring at various stuff from the order and wondering why the heck I’d bought it. :-p

2015 06 10 woyww jewelry supplies galore (2)

Also on the desk in the upper left is a birthday gift from my son, a new micro torch. I’ve been wanting to do some soldering & fusing of metals to add to the jewelry skills. No burning down the house, I promise!

So that’s what’s on my work desk today. If you’re wondering why I posted a picture of my work desk, well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. It’s just a fun little blog hop hosted by Julia.  Check out the link if you have some time, it’s kind of fun!

Happy creating.

Apr 102014

Who says jewelry has to be all one thing or another? This fun bracelet is half beaded and half dangly charm bracelet. It’s also a fun way to use your stash.

half n half bead & charm bracelet still

My furry little friend, Cheech, makes a cameo appearance helping me out with those cat & bird charms. 🙂

You can watch the Half Bead-Half Charm Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Happy creating!


  • 3-4 inches chunky chain
  • 3-8 charms
  • head pins and/or jump rings as needed to attach charms
  • 5-10 approximately 10mm beads
  • 6-11 spacer beads
  • toggle clasp
  • 2 crimp beads
  • 2 crimp bead covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • bead stringing wire


  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers
  • ruler


  1. Determine desired finished length of bracelet, subtract 1-inch for the clasp. Divide this number by two and string beads and spacers onto the beading wire to that length.
  2. On one end of the wire string a crimp bead and a wire protector. Slide an end link of chain into the wire protector and slide the wire back through the crimp bead. Use chain nose pliers to flatten the crimp and cover with a crimp bead cover. Use crimping pliers to gently close the crimp cover.
  3. Repeat step two on other end of beads, adding round end of toggle clasp instead of a link of chain.
  4. Check fit of bracelet on wrist and remove links of chain to make bracelet the  correct length. Use a jump ring to attach bar end of toggle clasp to last length of chain.
  5. Attach charms to chain with jump rings.
  6. If necessary, slide charms onto head pins. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits last bead.  Bend wire at 90° angle.  Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop.  Slightly twist loop open and insert link of chain that you want charm to dangle from. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
Sep 302013


A few weeks ago I mentioned yet another top I made from a pattern I copied from a purchased garment.  This is version number five of this top, there’s something about the way it hangs and fits; it’s just perfect.


Here’s the before pic. The yoke is made from linen, but seemed kinda plain, hence the beading.


I took my design cue from the print fabric and did circles.  It was simply a matter of finding round things to trace and then filling in with beads.

Doubled silk thread should be plenty strong.  I hope. My only concern is that the sharp edges of the bugle beads will eventually cut through the threads.  Maybe I’ll do the first few washes in a lingerie bag, just in case.  (Do you hear me saying I’ll wash it by hand?  No way, lol.)  Any suggestions?


This didn’t take very long, about an hour to do all five circles, and would be a great way to dress up any garment, handmade or purchased, that needs a little something extra. 🙂

Happy creating!

Oct 272012

Last weekend I had a little “just for me” time and spent the day at a bead show.  Yup, you read that right, a bead show.

Imagine a hall, filled with close to 100 tables… all about beads, bead making and jewelry making.

So. Much. Fun.

(Click on any of the photos for a larger view.)


Some of the tables were like these, piled high with strands. You had no choice but to run your fingers through all their smooth, shiny yumminess.


Some focused on individual lampworked beauties, like this one that came home with me. Can you say creamy vanilla goodness?


I wasted no time making these sea glass beads into a quick stretch bracelet.  (Video tutorial coming soon!)


Here’s a table of dichroic beads, arranged like a rainbow.  Sooooo pretty.  I wish you all could have been with me; they were so much more sparkly and lovely in real life.


There were tables of polymer clay bead artists.  (This is the work of Seana Bettencourt.  Her web site is here, and her Etsy shop here.  Sadly, both are rather empty at the moment, but I hope she’ll post some things soon so you can see more of her wonderful creations.)

These little flowers came home with me.  I haven’t a clue what I’m going to make with them, but some day just the right project will come up.  In the meantime they just sit on my desk and make me happy to look at them.


More strands of beads.  See those little white baskets in the middle right?  They give those out to shoppers so we can pile in whatever catches our eyes as we browse.

So imagine from across the room a huge CRASH — then – rattle, rattle, rattle…

There was a gasp – a beat – and then a collective, “Awwwww…….”

Everybody there empathized.  lol


Individual lampwork beads.  Loved her display with the little lights underneath.


I’m still kicking myself for not going back to this table. I wanted to get one of her little vases with air plants.  (Upper right)


I also planned to get one of her glass parrots, but then talked myself out of it later.  Silly me.  🙁

Tropical Birdz1 by Mystic Moon Beads SRA U5

The good news is, they’re both in her Etsy shop here. I’ll just have to pay shipping now.  Ah well, lesson learned.  (And the lesson is, don’t leave the bead show until you’ve spent ALL your money!)


Tables full of all kinds of wonderful chain, of which I bought a fair amount.  They will certainly show up in future jewelry videos.


More luscious yummies.

So, who’s going to come with me next year?  We can mutually talk each other back into the purchases we want.  🙂


Jun 092011

Have you ever bought or made a matching jewelry set only to find that everything matched all TOO well, and you’d never wear all the pieces together at one time?

Of course we want our look to be put together, and we want our accessories to go with and compliment each other. But what we don’t want is the matchy-matchiness we often find.

Here are a few rules that I generally follow when either purchasing or making sets of jewelry.

1. Don’t have any one major element in more than two of the pieces.

The set below works together nicely.  It would definitely look like way too much, however, if I’d used the blue ceramic beads in the earrings as well.

knotted necklace and bracelet set blue ceramic brass

2. Have something different from all the others in each piece.

In the above photo the brass lattice and wooden beads are only in the necklace, the green rounds and chips are only in the bracelet and the little turquoise beads are only in the earrings.  This helps each piece of jewelry stand on its own, yet they all are related.

3. If using the same shape as in another piece, make it a different color in another piece.

Red chunks are primary in the bracelet, so in the necklace they’re mostly blue.  Also, I didn’t use the rounds from the bracelet in the necklace, but chose to use turquoise chunks and barrels only.


bracelet set turquoise and red nugget chunks
4. If using the same color as in another piece, make it a different shape in another piece.

In the below photo you’ll find antiqued brass in all three pieces, but they are a very different shape in the earrings.

knotted necklace and bracelet set tiger eye beads

5. Don’t be afraid to use different tones and shades of your colors; it will only make the look richer.

Look again at the blue ceramic bead set and you’ll see many different shades of blue, from the very light to rather dark.  You’ll also notice many variations of browns, from the wooden beads to the brass lattice and elephant beads.

Keep these simple rules in mind whether making or buying jewelry and you’ll be more satisfied with the way your pieces blend together, rather than match perfectly.

Happy crafting!

Jun 072011

Today I have a video tutorial for you showing how to make necklaces to match the Knotty Bead Bracelets I shared  few weeks back.

These are so easy and fun, I can’t stop making them!

Here’s the necklace we make in the video:

knotted turquoise and red necklace

And here’s one I just finished today, love those chunky squares.

knotted necklace with square stone beads

As I mention in the video, this one is a favorite, I wear it all the time.  Love those blue ceramic beads.

knotted blue ceramic bead necklace

I finished this one over the weekend, just in time to wear to a picnic on Sunday.  Those tiger eye stones got HOT in the sun.  So hot, in fact, that I had to take it off.  Who woulda thunk it?

knotted tiger eye bead necklace

Love these colors! (I didn’t make this one, but purchased it.  After I got it home and took a more careful look I realized just how simple it would be to make similar styles.)

knotted twine necklace purple green blue necklace

And here’s your tutorial.  Have fun!


Jun 012011

The only changes in this workdesk for the past two weeks is that the pile of stuff has grown deeper.  I’ve been busy machine quilting a queen size quilt and haven’t done anything other than that except go shopping.  Hence, more stuff.

2011-06-01-whats-on-your-workdesk-wednesdayIn the top left corner is my jewelry making board, piled high with beads.  The beads  have to be reorganized before I can make anything else, which is why the new organizers are in the bottom left corner.

Next to the bead tray are two new patterns.  Did I NEED new patterns?  No. Do I NEED new tops? No. Were they really cute and only $1 at Joanns?  Yes.  Nuff said.

Other items on the desk includes a bracelet to be remade, it was a cool looking pattern but it’s irritating to wear, a package of supplies to make Roman shades for my living room, a list of projects to be completed, a new water erase marking pen, a plan for a scrapbook layout and my plan for quilting the queen size quilt.

I’m about halfway done with the quilt, I really hope to finish it in the next couple of days because (a) it’s going to get too stinkin’ hot around here to have a quilt draped over you, and (b) it’s keeping me from doing anything else.

Are you wondering why in the world I posted a photo of my workdesk?  Well, if you go over to Julia’s, you’ll find she’s done so as well.  In fact, you’ll find a long list of links to many other folks who have also shared in this What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Check it out, it’s kinda fun!

Happy crafting.  🙂

May 142011

Here’s a fun weekend project for you.


Doncha just love those funky red chunks?

knotty beaded bracelet with turquoise rounds and red nuggets

So grab your favorite something to drink, then sit back, relax and watch the how-tos.  Then make sure to grab some beads and make a few!



At the beginning of part three I show a diagram which I promised to post on the blog.  Here it is:

knotty beaded bracelet slider knot diagram

Also, here’s a close up of the slider:

knotty beaded bracelet slider closure close up

And, finally, our finished bracelet again.  Have fun!


If you just gotta have one, but don’t feel like making it yourself, there are a few available in my Etsy shop.