Oct 102017
 

Just because a piece of jewelry isn’t make of precious metals and gems doesn’t mean it’s not worth wearing. As far as I’m concerned, if it’s pretty or interesting to look at, I’ll wear it!

precious hearts necklace cover

That being said, there are times when it’s nice to have something closer to fine jewelry. Especially if you are thinking about gift giving.

The traditional definition of fine jewelry is that it’s about gold, platinum and diamonds. However, you might want to read this interesting article: Redefining Fine Jewelry.

costco pearl ombré necklace

Like I mentioned in the video, my idea was based on the above piece of jewelry available at Costco last Valentine’s day. I was curious to see how much it would cost to recreate this in all karat gold materials, thus making it truly “fine jewelry.”

What I found at Fire Mountain Gems and Rio Grande (choosing their best prices):

Grand total = $137.62

Of course, you still have to take into account shipping costs, that fact that you may left over quantities you don’t need, and your time and labor.

Looks like that Costco price was quite reasonable!

Here are the tools and materials for my rather nice, but slightly less posh version:

Personally, I’d be just as happy with a pretty, well-designed piece that is made of gold-filled materials, rather than all karat gold.

The only thing that would make a difference in my thinking would be knowing that solid gold jewelry doesn’t lose its value, and will be worth something in a financial crisis. 

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Precious Hearts Necklace-Swarovski Crystal and Gold Filled Findings Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Aug 082016
 

tulip blossom necklace

Every time I see bead caps in this blooming tulip design I want to Buy. Them. All.  Something about that graceful organic shape just gets me.

Dangling Swarovski crystals on short lengths of chain from the center of the flower continues that elegant flowing feel. I also decided to jazz up the chain with a few crystals as well.

Did you notice that I only had a short piece of that long/short chain? Since it wasn’t long enough for a full necklace I used it for the center portion only, adding similar chain around the sides and back. Another great trick for using up what you have on hand!

The end cap that I used is the 22x15mm Antique Silver Blooming Tulip from ArtBeads.com. In the supply list I give links to several other tulip end caps in differing colors. Just be sure to double check which size you are getting as they vary quite a bit.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Tulip Blossom Necklace Video Tutorial at YouTube.

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.
Feb 162015
 

mojave sunrise necklace

This necklace uses crystal bicone beads  in a different sort of way, making strung wire shapes as accents. You could easily get creative with this, making bows or butterflies or other such things. I stuck with a simple loopy flower.

The copper findings work perfectly with this Swarovski crystal color mix called “Mojave.” It does indeed put me in mind of sunrises in the Mojave desert.

The colors in the mix are Light Smoked Topaz, Light Amethyst, Sand Opal and Indian Sapphire.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

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

Materials:

  • 3 packages 4 mm Swarovski crystal bicone bead mix in color “Mojave” (90 beads total)
  • chain in necklace length of your choice
  • additional 9-inch piece necklace chain
  • 5 jump rings
  • clasp
  • 2 crimps
  • 16 head pins
  • 15-inch piece bead stringing wire

Tools:

  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers

See video for complete instructions. 

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.
Jun 232014
 

Sometimes all it takes for inspiration is a lovely grouping of colors.  As soon as I saw Swarovski’s “Sea Breeze” assortment of 6mm bicone crystals, I knew what I wanted to do.

sea-breeze-crystal-necklace-still-down

(Click on either photo for a closer look.)

I have no idea of the name of the pendant shape. It was a free goodie tucked in with an order from Art Beads and I wasn’t able to find it in any Swarovski catalog.  If you know, please let us know!

sea-breeze-crystal-necklace-still-hanging

The chain is actual antique brass… it’s cuckoo clock chain from my friends who repair clocks.

You can watch the Sea Breeze Crystal Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • desired length 4-links-per-inch necklace chain with clasp (mine is 30 inches long)
  • approx. 6-inches 7-link-per-inch chain, separated into links that are 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 links long
  • 1 package 15-6mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads in color assortment “Sea Breeze”
  • 15 daisy spacers for bicones (optional)
  • 18mm x 10mm Swarovski crystal pendant
  • 2 bead caps for pendant (optional)
  • 15 head pins
  • 1 3-inch piece 20 gauge wire

Tools:

  • two pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Slide onto a head pin: 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone bead and a daisy spacer.
  2. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits daisy spacer.  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 one of the short pieces of 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. Repeat steps 1 & 2 to add a 6mm crystal to one end of each of the smaller pieces of chain.
  4. Find center link of necklace chain. Repeat steps 1 & 2 to add a 6mm crystal to every other link on each side of center link.  (Five crystals on each side.)
  5. Grasp 3-inch piece of wire near the center with chain nose pliers; make a 90° bend. Grasp bend with round nose pliers about halfway up the round nose and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a larger loop than usual.  Reposition pliers to finish loop.  Slightly twist loop open and insert other end links of each of the five short pieces of 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.
  6. Slide on a bead cap, if using, 18mm x 10 mm Swarovski crystal pendant and another bead cap.
  7. Repeat step 2 to make a wrapped loop attached to center link of necklace.