Nov 282017
 

When you learn to make not only your own jewelry, but also to create your own beads and components it opens up whole new opportunities for personalizing and making your pieces special.

This is especially true during the Christmas season when we like to give meaningful gifts.

button box necklace cover

Since many of the pieces in my button collection are from my grandmother, my mother-in-law or other special people, I always enjoy poking through it, thinking of them and different ways I can use these meaningful objects.

Creating beads molded from these buttons is a nice way of making jewelry that is beautiful as well as sentimental.

Of course, you can also just make molds of purchased buttons you like so you can replicate them multiple times.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Tools and Materials:

Watch the Button Box Necklace-Sentimental Memory Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Oct 272017
 

In these days when so much of our business is transacted online it’s nice to sometimes be able to see and handle things before we purchase them.

This is especially true when it comes to the supplies we use for our creativity. Although we can look and see how lovely they are online it can be difficult to get an idea of the scale, it’s also fun to be able to touch and run our hands through them!

bead show haul cover

Last weekend I was thankful for the opportunity to attend the 39th annual Bead Affaire bead show in Watertown, MA.

While at the show I took video of several of the tables and exhibits for you. So today’s video is a tour of a small portion of the show and at the end I’ll show you what I purchased.

Here are links to the artists and businesses that I showed or mentioned in the video:

Have you ever gone to a bead show? What was your favorite part of being able to attend?

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the A Day at the Bead & Jewelry Show-A Bead Affaire in Watertown MA-Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Jun 202017
 

Today’s video is all about the best part of making creative things: experimentation and play.

Sometimes we get so caught up in following tutorials, or making things look like something else we’ve seen, that we don’t take the time to just be creative, explore new possibilities, and find our own voice.

textured beads cover

When you do sit down to this kind of creative play it’s good to just have your focus on a few simple things. This is what I show you in today’s video. I’m just making simple textured beads, but I’m playing with relatively new texture sheets. The only other thing I’m focusing on are surface effects. 

As you’ll see when you watch the video, the discoveries and revelations come from experimenting and having fun with the process.

For me, and I suspect for a lot of other artists, this is the best way to come up with techniques and processes that are uniquely my own, (or at least ones that I didn’t copy from someone else.)

By using just a quarter block, or 1/2 ounce of clay you be able to make 10 to 11 beads. Even though I made around 30 beads I found it still wasn’t enough to fully explore all the possibilities. So be sure to make plenty.

Don’t focus on making a finished product. But when you’re all done I’m sure you will be able to pull out enough pieces to make a bracelet or necklace. Don’t be surprised if they aren’t the ones you originally expected to use!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Textured Bead Tutorial and Surface Effect Experiments-Polymer Clay at video YouTube.

Feb 282017
 

I’ve seen lots of different versions of these rolled polymer clay beads around the Internet. They are basically a take off on the rolled paper beads that folks make.

I never was really impressed with the paper beads, but did see some that were very nicely done at a bead show a while back. They were coated with enough layers of varnish that you had to look twice to realize they were made of paper, which I suppose is why I liked them. 😉

simple rolled beads cover

These polymer clay rolled beads can be used in so many different ways. I’ve seen them used as simple strung beads, as focals and even as toggle bars. As I mentioned in the video, it’s a great way to make coordinating beads for pendants made out of polymer clay technique sheets, such as mokume gane.

My favorite way is to first add a lot of texture to the cut triangles, roll them up, bake them and then add some dark brown paint to antique and really bring out all the texture. I know I’ve only touched on a few of the possibilities in the video, there’s so much more that we could explore.

Hopefully you are inspired to give it a try and come up with your own versions.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Simple Rolled Beads-Polymer Clay Technique Tutorial video at YouTube.

Jun 222016
 

oil & water beads

In today’s video I show you not so much a project, but a technique. Combining translucent polymer clay with oil paints in shades of blue to give a gorgeous marbled, watery effect. Adding a touch of gold leaf lends a bit of nice sparkle.

Of course, you can use any colors you like for your beads. Just be sure to use a very small amount of paint to preserve the transparency.

oil & water beads 2

In real life these beads have a lovely depth to them which is hard to capture on camera. You can see down through many layers.

A more patient person that I would have sanded and buffed these to really bring out the shine. Instead, I glazed mine with a satin finish Varathane. Another option would be to put the clay into a bezel and cover with a crystal clear dome of gloss resin.

If I were still making weekly dragons this technique would make a great dragon veneer.

Whatever you decide to do with the idea, happy creating!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video. 🙂

Watch the Oil & Water Beads-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Apr 202016
 

tribal canes necklace

In today’s video I show you how to make three simple 2-color polymer clay canes. Making beads & jewelry from these is as easy as cutting slices and adding stringing holes.

You can also cut thin slices of the canes and use them as veneers on shaped beads. Don’t forget that you can use the scraps from cane-making as well. For the central piece in my necklace above I surrounded a slice of the squared swirl cane with some leftovers from the checkerboard cane.

tribal canes

Although I love the spiral cane, I wasn’t really thrilled with the way the basket weave came out. I think if I’d used five layers for the initial stack, with the darker color  on the outsides, the design would have been more clear. Also, wrapping it with a thin sheet of clay, like I did for the checkerboard, would have been good. Ah, well….

Have fun creating and experimenting! When you’re done simply string them together with some spacers and other beads and you have a fun, graphic necklace with a tribal vibe.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Tribal Canes & Necklace-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Mar 022016
 

emerald isles bracelet

Sure it’s fun to make your own jewelry, but how much better to make even the beads!  In this video I’ll how you a simple technique for adding sparkle and color to translucent polymer clay.

Although I’m quite pleased with how this project came out, it wasn’t my intent to make a green bracelet. The plan was to make beads in blues, purples and greens, but the blue turned more green and the purples were a weird muddy pink.

However, the greens are rather nice, so all’s well that ends well. 🙂

That’s one tricky thing about using translucent polymer clay: what you see before baking is not necessarily what you get afterwards. Since now I know the Premo Translucent clay has a bit of a yellowing effect, next time I’ll make it work for me and try using autumnal shades instead.

Also, I need to get some Pardo Transparent Clay to experiment with, as it’s clarity & transparency is highly regarded among other polymer clay artists.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy and happy creating!

You can watch the Emerald Isles Beads & Bracelet Video Polymer Clay Tutorial over at YouTube.

Feb 242016
 

springtime nest

If you are new to polymer clay you may not realize that you don’t have to use the clay as it comes right out of the package. Not only can you mix the colors to get your own shades, but you can mix inclusions into the clay to add texture, interest and detail.

For our little spring eggs I added black embossing powder for the fine speckles and poppy seeds from my kitchen for the larger speckles.

The Sculpey Soufflé Robin’s Egg clay color was perfect, so I used that straight from the package.

For the nest made in the video I used 20 gauge bare copper wire.

paisley set 1200

Here’s a shot of how I used the nest in a necklace after giving a liver of sulfur patina.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Springtime Nest-Polymer Clay & Wire Work Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Nov 232015
 

faux lampwork

This week instead of making an entire jewelry project, I’m going to show you how to make your own beads. These are faux lampwork and made with polymer clay and liquid clay.

It’s a fun technique to experiment and practice with. I still have ideas for how to get even more of a glassy shine. Will get back to you when I’ve done some more playing!

Here are the supplies used to make these beads:

Happy creating!

You can watch the Faux Lampwork Polymer Clay Tutorial video over at YouTube.

A Giveaway!

The Knight’s Treasure very kindly sent me two of their Pandora style bracelets, complete with three lampwork glass and sterling silver charms each. One for me and one to give away to a lucky YouTube viewer. To enter to win just fill out the Rafflecopter area below.

The giveaway closes at midnight, Wednesday, November 25th. I’ll announce the winners sometime over the Thanksgiving weekend, so be sure to check back to see if you won!

Rafflecopter doesn’t show up on some mobile devices, btw. If you don’t see it below, try refreshing, check back later or visit on a different device.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mar 112015
 

I thought you’d like to know…

chocolates class collage.jpg

…my Polymer Clay Chocolates class is live over at CraftArtEdu! You can learn how to make seven different miniature chocolates – in polymer clay.

Click on the photo for more info and a free class preview. There’s a 20% discount if you sign up by Saturday, March 14.

Happy creating!