Apr 032018

This necklace design is different from your usual chain and pendant.

In fact, to be honest, when I finished with it, I wasn’t quite sure that I even liked it!

dragonfly fields necklace cover

But then I tried it on, and that made all the difference. Suddenly, in spite of the smallish pendant, it felt like a piece with lot of presence.

dragonfly fields necklace insta 2

It sort of makes me think of the bib style necklaces that are popular these days.

It’s also interesting that the shapes change as you change the length at which you wear it. Lots of interesting options to pursue!

If you make your own version of this necklace, please feel free to share your results.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Dragonfly Fields Necklace- Shaped Beaded Multi-Strand Jewelry Design Tutorial video at YouTube.

Feb 232016

Last November Michelle over at Firefly Design Studio started up a new jewelry design challenge.

paisley ceramics

She made these lovely ceramic paisley components in two different color ways: neutrals and brights. I chose the neutrals.

It was then our job to use all those pieces, along with a bonus lampwork bead from Shannon at BlueBlazes Lampwork (I LOVE that name!) to design a set of jewelry.

paisley necklace 1200

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

You can see Shannon’s bead below the bird’s nest in the necklace. I made several polymer clay components to go with the ceramics, as well as the wire nest, daisy, tangled ball and the clasp.

I also added the focal dangles to a short length of magatama beaded kumihimo braid.

paisley earrings 1200

I used the head pins and more polymer clay paisleys to make asymmetrical earrings.

paisley bracelet

For the bracelet I made a copper clasp and a round polymer clay component, then strung everything on waxed linen twine.

This bracelet is so comfortable to wear because the paisley piece is curved. And since the clasp is so pretty, it doesn’t matter if the bracelet turns upside down. 🙂

paisley set 1200

And here is my whole set. This is the image that your “like” will count as a vote on, the one with all three pieces together.

Go see all the designs and VOTE on your favorites at the Firefly Design Studio Challenge Group.

It’s so interesting to see the variety of ways these same pieces were used by different designers!

Mar 202015

friday findings-jewelry inspiration cover.JPG

In today’s video I share with you some of my favorite sources of jewelry making information and design inspiration.

In addition I do have a jewelry inspiration Pinterest board, but don’t think to check it very often.

Although I’m am always inspired by other people’s work, I try very hard not to make exact copies unless I’m copying to learn. (And then always give credit to the original designer.)

sketchbook page.JPG

One way to get from a copy to “inspired by” is to make rough drawings of the pieces you like in a sketchbook. It’s likely that when you go to make a piece based on a sketch you will add your own personal spin and it may not resemble the original at all.

I tend to lean towards wire wrapped designs, but there are so many other things you can do: chain mail, steampunk, mixed media, resin, gem cutting & setting, this list goes on.

peanuts library card.jpg

I highly recommend if you can that you use your local library to see all the different areas of jewelry making you can find and further research the ones that most interest you. If you are in an area that has inter-library loan, you can just sit at your computer and reserve stacks of books on any topic you want. (One of my very favorite activities.) 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Jewelry Books and Inspiration video over at YouTube.

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!