Aug 172015
 

rainbow hearts bracelet

Today’s bracelet goes together very quickly. The pearls are wire wrapped on, but the crystals are attached with jump rings. I got the idea when looking through my stash of Swarovski crystal hearts and realizing I had all the colors of the rainbow, and them some, so I made one!

I didn’t expect to love this bracelet as much as I do. Rainbows aren’t usually my thing but something about all those colors of crystal hearts just makes me happy. 🙂

And there’s the fact that it goes with anything you’re wearing.

The colors the Swarovski colors that I used from the lightest blue around counterclockwise are:

Aquamarine > Sapphire > Emerald > Fern Green > Topaz > Astral Pink > Rose > Siam > Amethyst > Cyclamen Opal

Of course, you can make this bracelet using any colors you like.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Rainbow Hearts Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 6-7 inch length chain
  • toggle clasp
  • 10 10mm Swarovski Crystal Hearts in colors of your choice
  • 11 6mm pearls
  • 11 head pins
  • 11 bead caps
  • 10 8mm jump rings

Tools:

Directions:

  1. First, count the links on your chain and determine the spacing of your beads. (See the video for how I figured out the spacing on my bracelet.)
  2. Onto each headpin slide a pearl and a bead cap. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead cap.  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 a link of your bracelet chain. 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.
  3. Use two pairs of chain nose pliers to open each jump ring wide enough to slide on a 10mm Swarovski crystal heart. Slide jump ring onto a link of your bracelet chain and close securely.
  4. Add clasp to end links of your bracelet chain.
May 252015
 

summer sparkles bracelet.JPG

This bracelet started, as many of them do, with the focal beads. I just love the colors and the summery images. This set was purchased at a bead show, sorry I can’t remember the name of the vendor. However, you will be able to find many beads like them for sale on Etsy and Ebay. Try searching for “summer beach lampwork beads.”

This is a fairly simple stringing project. The tedious bit was making 64 little bead dangles. The 1-Step Looper helped that process go more quickly, but it still took a while.

I’d love it if you shared photos of your projects based on this tutorial at my Facebook page in the “Your Creations” album.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Summer Sparkles Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 3 lampwork focal beads, 20-30mm
  • 6-8 blister pearl beads
  • 64 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • 64 silver plated ball end headpins
  • additional silver spacer beads as needed
  • silver plated toggle clasp
  • 2 silver plated crimps
  • 2 silver plated wire protectors
  • 2 silver plated crimp covers
  • 12-inches .48mm bead stringing wire

Tools:

  1. Slide each 4mm crystal bead onto a head pin. Use round nose pliers or the 1-Step Looper to make simple loops in each headpin, making 64 bead dangles.
  2. Separate dangles into eight piles of eight each.
  3. Add a Bead Stopper to one end of bead stringing wire. Onto wire string: two pearl beads > loops of eight bead dangles > lampwork focal bead > loops of eight bead dangles > pearl bead > loops of eight bead dangles > pearl bead > loops of eight bead dangles > lampwork focal bead > loops of eight bead dangles > pearl bead > loops of eight bead dangles > pearl bead > loops of eight bead dangles > lampwork focal bead > loops of eight bead dangles > two pearl beads.
  4. Add a Bead Stopper to other end of wire and check fit of bracelet. If needed string additional silver bead spacers between and/or after beginning and ending pairs of pearl beads.
  5. To finish ends remove one bead stopper and onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp, then slide wire into one end of wire protector and out the other. Add one end of your clasp to the wire protector. Slide the wire end back through the crimp and bring crimp to within 1/8-inch of wire protector. Flatten crimp or use One Step Crimper, then squeeze ends of wire protector together. Trim shorter piece of wire close to crimp. Cover crimp with a crimp cover by picking up with crimping pliers, sliding over flattened crimp and gently squeezing pliers. Use crimping pliers to shape cover into a round bead shape if necessary.
  6. Repeat step 5 to add other half of toggle clasp to other end of bracelet.
May 112015
 

swoosh dangle earrings

These earrings get their unique shape from an unexpected jewelry supply: Memory Wire.

I think just a couple sparkly Swarovski bicones on each “swoosh” is quite elegant, but as I mention in the video, you could fill them up with beads if you like, or use any type of bead you want. Keep in mind that if the beads are heavy they may pull the wire out of shape.

Be sure to use special memory wire pliers, or use old junky pliers like I do. Don’t use  your nice wire cutters on memory wire or they won’t be nice any more.

Feel free to share photos of earrings you’ve made with this tutorial on Keepsake Crafts’ Facebook page in the “Your Creations” album.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Swoosh Dangle Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

Tools:

  • memory wire specific wire cutters
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers

Use round nose pliers to make a loop on one end of each memory wire piece. Slide a 4mm and a 6mm crystal onto each wire. Use round nose pliers to make a loop on remaining end of each memory wire piece.

Open a jump ring and slide on one loop of a 3-inch, a 2.5-inch and a 2-inch memory wire piece, making sure curves are all facing in the same direction. Also slide on the loop of an ear wire. Close jump ring securely to complete earring and repeat to make second earring.

Apr 272015
 

Mojave Sparkles Necklace

The muted earth tones in this necklace make me think of the soft light at dawn or dusk in the desert. I love the contrast between the earthy jasper beads and the sparkly Swarovski bicone crystals. Even though they contrast, it’s the colors that make them work together.

This design concept of adding smaller beaded sections to a necklace fascinates me.

scalloped pearl necklace

Jude Wroblewski’s bib style necklace featured at FireMountainGems.com

My inspiration for this piece was Jude Wroblewski’s bib style necklace featured over at FireMountainGems. Her piece has over a dozen scalloped strands and those really are the focus of the necklace.

Since I wanted my picture jasper beads to be the focus, I kept the scallops more subdued.

Have fun designing your own necklace with as many or as few scalloped strands as you like. Make them full and lush like Jude’s, more restrained like mine or just all your very own. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Mojave Sparkles Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 8 15mm x 20mm oval jasper beads
  • 9 5mm antique gold plated corrugated beads
  • 60 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads (I used a combination of their color mix “Mojave” and crystal clear)
  • 8 inches 3mm brass spacer beads
  • 8 inches chain, cut into two 4-inch pieces
  • 1 or 2 jump rings
  • lobster clasp
  • bead stringing wire
  • 8 wire protectors
  • 8 crimp beads
  • 8 crimp covers (optional)

Tools:

Directions:

  1. Cut a 5-inch piece bead stringing wire. Onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp, then slide wire into one end of wire protector and out the other. Slide the wire end back through the crimp and bring crimp to within 1/8-inch of wire protector. Flatten crimp with One Step Crimper or crimping pliers and squeeze ends of wire protector together. Trim shorter piece of wire close to crimp.  If desired, cover crimp with a crimp cover by picking up with crimping pliers, sliding over flattened crimp and gently squeezing pliers. Use crimping pliers to shape cover into a round bead shape if necessary.
  2. String 20 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads onto bead stringing wire and repeat step 1 to finish end of wire. Repeat 2 more times to make 3 small strands of crystals.
  3.  Add a Bead Stopper to one end of a 20-inch piece of bead stringing wire. String on 5mm spacer>jasper bead>5mm spacer>jasper bead>5mm spacer>end of one crystal strand>jasper bead>5mm spacer>end of second crystal strand>jasper bead>end of first crystal strand>5mm spacer>end of third crystal strand>jasper bead>end of second crystal strand>5mm spacer>jasper bead>end of third crystal strand>5mm spacer>jasper bead>5mm spacer>jasper bead>5mm spacer.
  4. To each end of stringing wire add 4 inches of 3mm brass spacers. Finish the ends as in step one, adding end link of a 4-inch piece of chain before bringing wire back through crimp.
  5. Use a jump ring to add a lobster clasp to one end of chain. If needed, add a jump ring to other end of chain.
Apr 132015
 

With wedding season coming up, I thought these pearls and crystals were the perfect thing for some dangly, sparkly special earrings.

bridal-pearl-earrings-still-1

No wedding in your future?  Make them in any colors you like, how about all the colors of the rainbow? Or try a collection of various shades of a single color.

bridal-pearl-earrings-still-2

As I mention in the video, this design is quite simple to customize to any taste. Just add more or less chain dangles and make them longer or shorter to suit.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Bridal Pearls & Crystals Earrings video over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 1 package Swarovski Crystal Bicone Pearl Combo – white
  • 6-10 3mm silver plated round beads
  • 2 silver plated ear wires
  • 2 4mm silver plated jump rings
  • 10 silver plated head pins
  • 11-link-per-inch silver plated chain, approx 7 inches (18 cm)

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Arrange the 3mm silver beads, pearls and crystals into five pairs of groupings of 2-3 beads each. Each grouping will be one bead dangle.
  2. Slide a grouping of beads onto a head pin. 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 end link of the chain. 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.
  3. Trim chain to length desired for longest dangle. Count the chain links and make a matching dangle for the second earring.
  4. Repeats steps 2-3 to make five pairs of chain dangles.
  5. Open a 4mm jump ring and slide on end links of one set of five chain dangles and the loop of an ear wire. Close jump ring securely. Repeat to finish second earring.
Mar 112015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday once again!

A special note to J.M. if you’re reading this: Happy 49th Birthday! Yup, you’re still older than me. 🙂 I think of you and pray for you & yours often.

2015 03 11 woyww  eastern charm dangle earrings (1).JPG

I hope you all aren’t tired of seeing me working through Abby Hook’s Wire Jewelry Masterclass. Honestly, it’s the only thing I’ve been creating lately that I can show to the world.

chocolates class collage.jpg

However, now there’s one new thing I CAN show you. 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 a free class preview. There’s a 20% discount if you sign up by Saturday, March 14.

2015 03 11 woyww eastern charm dangle earrings 2.JPG

Today’s project from Wire Jewelry Masterclass is the Eastern Charm Dangle Earrings. They are a variation of the Mermaid’s Purse Earrings that I did last week. This time around I’m using sterling silver wire, rather than the copper. Aren’t those purple Swarovski briolettes gorgeous? Can’t wait to wear these sparkly, dangly pretties.

2015 03 11 woyww  eastern charm dangle earrings 3.JPG

This pile is a bunch of beads I just ordered from ArtBeads.com. Be looking for them in upcoming weeks. Those blue ones are going to be part of a ring and that fire opal cabochon will be wire wrapped.

The little dish on the right is holding the rest of the beads for the other earring, as well as all my wire snippets. The theory being once I’ve finished the earrings, all that will be left is my silver to recycle.

If you’re wondering why I’m sharing photos of my desk, well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all get together at Julia’s and take a peek at each other’s creative goings on. It’s always fun and often inspiring. Join us if you have a the time.

Dec 082014
 

Truly, nothing sparkles like a Swarovski, and I fell in love with these crystal snowflakes at a bead show I attended recently.

crystal snowflake earrings cover

Since they are clear, you could match them with just about any color beads you like. However, these light blue glass bicones in my stash immediately made me think, “Frozen!”

If they’re a little much for earrings for you, how about using them as ornaments or sun catchers? I had to take these outdoors to photograph and the glittering in the sunshine was just amazing.

In the video I give  you lots of ideas and options for how to hang and string these. I hope you’ll find some creative inspiration!

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Crystal Snowflake Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 21mm x 17mm Swarovski crystal snowflake pendants
  • 2 pinch bails or jump rings
  • 6 4mm blue glass bicone beads
  • 8 4mm Swarovski crystal clear bicone beads
  • 2 6mm Swarovski crystal clear bicone beads
  • 2 ear wires
  • 2 crimps
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • 2 8-inch pieces nylon monofilament, 8 lb. test

Tools:

  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • sharpie
  1. For ease of stringing, lay ends of monofilament on a scrap piece of paper and color the last inch or so of each end with a Sharpie.
  2. Attach a pinch bail to holes of a snowflake. Slide a piece of monofilament through bail.
  3. On each side of snowflake string a clear 4mm bicone, a blue 4mm bicone and a clear 4mm bicone.
  4. Slide both monofilament ends through a 6mm bicone, a 4mm blue bicone, a crimp, a wire protector and back through the crimp.
  5. Pull up monofilament snugly, then back off a little to leave room for crimp cover. Use chain nose pliers to flatten crimp. Trim monofilament ends.
  6. Use crimping pliers to pick up crimp cover and place over flattened crimp. Squeeze gently to close cover and shape into a round bead shape.
  7. Open the loop of an ear wire and attach to wire protector. If necessary, use chain nose pliers to twist loop of ear wire so snowflake pendant is facing front.
  8. Repeat to make second earring.
Dec 012014
 

There’s an interesting story behind how this necklace got started.  I have mentioned that I teach jewelry making at my local Joann’s store. We were having a demo day where we show samples of our work and the teachers are available to talk to prospective students.

It was a two hour event and it seemed like a good idea to be working on something jewelry-like while sitting there, so I threw together a kit of a a few tools plus these pink shell beads, some crystals and some head pins.

fuchsia finery statement necklace

When I came home from the event, I looked at my 12 hot pink & crystal bead dangles and said, “Huh.” So hence, the trip to the craft store that I mention in the video.

The rest of it came together pretty much the way I explain in the video: add some clear crystals to bring out the crystals in the nest, add mixed metals to compliment the nest, the bird, etc.

I think my favorite part of this necklace is the addition of the little pink Swarovskis to the nest. Dunno why, but they make me happy. 🙂

fuchsia finery statement necklace close up

This is my usual design process, btw, I rarely have a specific thing in mind when I begin but just pick a starting point and go from there.

How about you? Do you work from sketches or some kind of plan? Or do you use a different type of process?

However you work, happy creating!

Enjoy the video! And if you make a project based on this tutorial, please feel free to share photos in the “Your Creations” folder at my Facebook page.

You can watch the Fuchsia Finery Statement Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

This list is what I used, but I hope you’ll search your stash and your local stores and find items that perfectly suit YOU. 🙂

  • 13 dyed pearl beads, 10mm- 16mm
  • 4 6mm opal Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • 5 4mm clear Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • 13 head pins
  • 1 bird’s nest & bird mixed media pendant
  • 28 6mm faceted Czech clear crystal beads
  • 28 6mm antique gold bead caps
  • 14 6mm antique gold plated fluted beads
  • 4 15mm copper gears
  • 4 8mm oval jump rings
  • 4 crimps
  • 4 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • bead stringing wire
  • 2 12mm copper plated cage bead
  • 2 7-inch lengths copper chain
  • lobster clasp
  • 4 jump rings
  • 3 4mm pink Swarovski crystal bicone beads

Tools:

See the video for complete directions.

Sep 222014
 

When I saw these heart shaped jump rings, I knew they had the potential to become adorable earrings.

heart dangle earrings still

I love the way the hearts move around, changing angles as you move. The Swarovski crystals are a nice touch of bling, but you can use any beads that suit your fancy.

You can watch Heart Dangle & Crystal Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • six 9mmx11mm heart shaped jump rings
  • six 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • six head pins (or two head pins and four eye pins)
  • two ear wires
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. If using beads in different colors, arrange them in the order you would like, from top to bottom.
  2. Slide a bottom bead onto a head pin.
  3. Trim wire coming out of bead to 1/4-inch.
  4. Grasp end of wire with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop so it just crosses over itself.  Grasp loop with pliers to center over bead, making sure loop is closed securely. (It shouldn’t be crossing itself now.)
  5. Use wire cutters to trim head off a head pin and repeat step 4 to make a loop (or use an eye pin.)  Slide a middle bead onto the wire and repeat steps 3 and 4 to make another loop on opposite side of bead.
  6. Repeat step 5 using a top bead.
  7. Open a heart shaped jump ring and slide on loop of bottom bead and one loop of middle bead. Close jump ring securely.
  8. Open a heart shaped jump ring and slide on remaining loop of middle bead and a loop of top bead. Close jump ring securely.
  9. Open a heart shaped jump ring and slide on remaining loop of top bead and loop of ear wire. Close jump ring securely to complete one earring. Repeat to make second earring.
Jul 282014
 

I just love any project with the “how did they do that” factor.  This necklace fits that bill perfectly, with the illusion that the crystal beads are suspended on the wire.

floating-crystals-necklace-still

The secret is in the use of crimp covers, little doo-dads that disguise the flattened crimps and look like beads when closed.

Btw, yes, I did misspeak in the video, you only need two jump rings, not three. Also, I tried this on and think I’m going to add another 4-inch piece of chain to the other side. That’s the beauty of knowing how to make your own jewelry!

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

Materials:

  • 3 pieces colored beading wire, 19 strand or higher, cut to 28-inches, 25 inches & 23.5 inches
  • 15 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads, Indian Pink
  • 30 crimp covers
  • 36 2mm crimp beads
  • 2 bead cones
  • 2 3-inch pieces 22 gauge craft wire
  • 4-inch piece chunky chain
  • 2 jump rings
  • lobster clasp

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • bead design board
  1. Arrange the 15 Swarovski crystal bicone beads on the design board with six beads in the outer channel, five in the center and four in the inner. Space them out filling in between the 12-inch marks on either side of the board. (For 24-inches of beaded wire.)
  2. Slide a crimp onto the longest piece of wire and use chain nose pliers to flatten bead near the center of the wire.
  3. Hold a crimp cover with pliers and place the flattened crimp inside, squeeze the pliers gently to close to crimp cover.
  4. Slide a Swarovski crystal bicone bead onto the wire, then add another crimp and flatten the crimp on the other side of the crystal. Cover the crimp the same way as in step three.
  5. Slide on another crimp, place the first crystal down in its place on the design board, then slide the newest crimp up next to the nearest crystal. Flatten in place with chain nose pliers and repeat steps 3 & 4.
  6. Continue in the same manner to add all 15 Swarovski crystals to the wires, each with a flatten crimp covered by a crimp cover on either side.
  7. Hold the three strands up to yourself in a mirror and determine the desired length and position of each strand. Tape both sets of ends in place, leaving at least 1.5-inches of wire sticking out from the tape.
  8. Choose the shorter wire in one group of three and slide on a crimp. Slide the wire back through the crimp until there is a 1/8-inch loop of wire remaining. Flatten crimp with chain nose pliers.  Repeat with other two wires in the bundle, making each loop the same length. Repeat with other set of three wires & remove tape.
  9. Grasp a 3-inch piece of craft wire at its center with chain nose pliers and make a 90° bend.  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 to open and slide on three of six loops made in step 8. Close loop, hold with chain nose pliers and use another pair of chain nose pliers to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. 
  10. Slide a bead cone onto wire to cover all crimps. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead cone.  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 to open and slide on one end of a piece of chain. Close loop, hold with chain nose pliers and use another pair of chain nose pliers to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  11. Repeat step 10 to add a bead cone and a jump ring to the other end of necklace.
  12. Add lobster clasp with a jump ring to end without chain.