Jun 232015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 06 24 woyww rainbow hearts

On this week’s work desk you can see that I’m working on planning an upcoming jewelry making video for my YouTube channel. I was working on the next dragon, but that’s been shoved aside while the dragon is pre-baking in the oven.

That purple case on the left is my Swarovski crystal case, and I’ve pulled out a rainbow of heart crystals for my next jewelry tutorial.

You can see in the lower center front I’m also trying out different beads, crystals, pearls and even trying leather and silk to see which will work best with what for what I have in mind. Lately I’ve been about a month ahead with the jewelry videos, so if you want to see the final project, check back in four weeks. 🙂

In the upper left is yet another kumihimo project. After doing the Kumihimo video series on my YouTube channel, I suddenly can’t stop making them! So far I’m up four bracelets and a necklace with more planned. I’ll post pics on my Instagram when this one is done.

That’s what’s happening this week. Wondering why I’m sharing a photo of my desk? It’s a fun blog hop game we play over at Julia’s called What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Join in, all are welcome!

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 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.
May 092014
 

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have jewelry findings in any size shape, color and finish you want, and not be limited by what you can find at the store?

These earrings feature a very simple technique to make your own headpins. All you need is some wire and a hammer.

paddled headpin earrings still 1

Like I said, this is a very basic technique. Although I didn’t do it for these earrings, I could have made my own ear wires as well.  I learned how in the Craftsy class Make Your Own Wirework Findings.

We also learned how to make cool twisted jump rings, a wide variety of toggle clasps and lots of other fun stuff.

make-your-own-wirework-findings

Check it out, if you want to go beyond the basics.

paddled headpin earrings still 2

Or, just make a start by trying these paddled headpins. 🙂  If you like, continue on to the matching Crystal Dangles & Roses bracelet . Whatever you do, happy creating!

You can watch the Hammered Paddle Headpin Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 12mm ceramic beads
  • 4 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • 4 3mm silver plated round beads
  • 2 silver plated ear wires
  • 8 inches 20 gauge silver filled wire

 Tools:

  • bench block
  • chasing hammer (round faced)
  • file
  • flush cut wire cutters
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers

Instructions:

  1. Leaving wire on the spool,use flush cut wire cutters to make a straight cut across the end of the wire.
  2. Lay last 1/4-inch of wire over bench block and tap lightly with chasing hammer. Continue tapping until wire has spread out into a paddled shape of desired size. Use a file to refine the shape if necessary.
  3. Cut wire 4-inches from end of paddle. Repeat to make a matching paddle for other earring.
  4. Onto each headpin string a 3mm silver bead, 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone, 12mm ceramic bead, 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone and a 3mm silver bead.
  5. Make a wrapped loop with remaining wire of each headpin: 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. 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 excess wire and use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  6. Use chain nose pliers to open loops of ear wires and insert a wrapped loop into each. Close ear wire loops securely.
Feb 102014
 

Just in time for Valentine’s day here’s a great sparkly, dangly pair of earrings. With hearts! ….and crystals… and gold. How much better can it get?  

gold-crystal-sparkle-still

Now that I’ve gotten used to Swarovski crystals, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to anything else.  You just can’t beat their quality, sparkle and shine.

gold-crystal-sparkle-still-close-up

These earring aren’t for those of you who like them small and simple.  These are long, with lotsa swingy dangles & jangles. I love ’em. 🙂

If you want a less complicated version, feel free to leave off any of the elements and simplify.

Whatever you create, make sure it’s something you love. Happy Creating!

You can watch Sparkle & Gold Crystal Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 2 10mm Swarovski crystal hearts, amethyst
  • 2 11mm x 7mm Swarovski crystal teardrops, amethyst
  • 2 6mm Swarovski crystal bicones, crystal clear
  • 2 4mm Swarovski crystal bicones, crystal clear
  • 2 20mm square fused links, gold plated
  • 2 10mm round fused rings, gold plated
  • 2 2-inch pieces 26 gauge gold filled wire
  • 2 7mm jump rings
  • 2 decorative head pins
  • 2 plain head pins
  • 2 ear wires

Tools:

  • two pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Slide an amethyst teardrop and a 6mm crystal onto a decorative headpin.
  2. Make a wrapped loop by using 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.
  3. Twist slightly to the side to open loop and insert square link. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers.
  4.  Use second 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.
  5. Wire wrap heart crystal by sliding piece of 26 gauge gold filled wire into hole of bead, leaving 1/4 inch sticking out on one side. Bend both wire ends up at 90-degree angle to hole of bead. Bend wires over top of bead, making a triangle shape. Where wires cross bend remaining ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole.
  6. Grasp both wires with chain nose pliers and bend longer remaining wire at 90° angle. Use round nose pliers to make a loop with longer wire. Hold loop with chain nose pliers and use second pair of chain nose pliers to wrap remaining wire around wires below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  7. Open a jump ring and slide on: loop of wire wrapped crystal heart, square link and 10mm round ring. Close jump ring securely.
  8. Slide a 4mm crystal bicone onto a plain head pin and repeat steps 2 and 4 to make a wrapped loop dangle.
  9. Open the loop and an ear wire and insert 10mm ring and loop of 4mm bicone unit.
  10. Repeat to make second earring.
Nov 292013
 

Dear readers, yesterday was our Thanksgiving celebration here in the U.S. and I took the day off to spend with family and friends. But I want to be sure to let you know that I am so very thankful for YOU.

You, my dear readers, whether I hear from you or not, are the reason for this blog. I write to inspire and encourage you.  Thank you all for your kind encouragement, comments and participation in this blog. 🙂

Now, doesn’t it seem like time to make some dangly and sparkly pretties for the holidays?

swarovski-heart-earrings

Not to ornament the tree, but to decorate us!

swarovski-heart-earrings-2

I had these Swarovski crystal hearts in my stash and thought they would be lovely dangling from lengths of silver chain.

swarovski-heart-earrings-3

Learn all the details of how to make them in the video over at YouTube.

Swarovski Crystal Heart Earrings Video Tutorial

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • 2 silver plated or sterling silver ear wires
  • 3 1/2  -4 inches silver plated chain, approximately 15 links per inch
  • 2 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads, Siam red
  • 4 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads, crystal clear
  • 6 10mm Swarovski crystal hearts, 2 in Siam red, 4 in clear
  • 18 inches 24 gauge sterling silver or sterling silver filled wire
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • nylon jaw pliers, to straighten wire as necessary

Instructions:

1. Separate chain into two 1-inch lengths, two 1/2-inch lengths and two 1/4-inch lengths.

2. To wire wrap heart beads start with a 13 inch piece of wire.  This should be enough to do all six hearts.

Slide 24 gauge wire into hole of a Swarovski crystal heart, leaving ½ inch sticking out on one side. Bend both wire ends up at 90-degree angle to hole of bead. Bend wires over top of bead, making a triangle shape. Where wires cross bend ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole. Trim shorter wire to 1/8 inch from bend.

Bend longer remaining 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. Use pliers to slightly open loop and slide on end link of a piece of chain.

Hold loop in non-dominant hand with chain nose pliers and use dominant hand to wrap remaining wire around 1/8 inch of wire above heart bead.  Trim excess wire and use chain nose pliers to tuck in end, if necessary. Repeat for remaining Swarovski crystal hearts. Don’t forget to slide on chain before wrapping loops!

3. To wire wrap bicones cut a 5-inch piece of 24 gauge wire.

Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire 5/8-inch from end.  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.  Wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.

Slide on a 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone, a 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone and a 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone.

Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire right 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.  Position the wire farther up the pliers this time to make a slightly larger loop, this will be needed to accommodate all three chains. Reposition pliers to finish loop.

Slide on remaining ends of 1/2-inch length of chain, 1-inch length of chain and 1/4-inch length of chain. Hold loop with chain nose pliers and wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.

Repeat with remaining Swarovski crystal bicones and remaining lengths of chain.

4. Open out loop in each ear wire and slide on remaining loop with Swarovski crystal bicones.  Close loops to complete your earrings.

Oct 312013
 

Happy Halloween all!  I’ve got a HUGE bowl of candy on my kitchen table, wish I could share it with you. 🙂

Instead, here’s some eye candy for your enjoyment.  Plus a video.

These natural amethyst gemstones and the bead caps came in a mystery bag from Fire Mountain Gems several months ago.  I just had to add a few crystals and spacers, plus the finishing findings for a nice bracelet.

(BTW, if you like rooting around in a pile of beads for buried treasure, you might enjoy the Boss’ Bead Bag Bead Mix from FMG.  I paid $7 for mine and had a blast digging & sorting. Nope, they’re not paying me to tell you this, I just think it’s great fun.)

purple-gemstone-crystal-bracelet-1

As I mention in the video, in a design like this most of the work is about arranging your beads in a way you like and getting the correct length.  Putting it together is just a matter of stringing on the beads and finishing the ends.

purple-gemstone-crystal-bracelet-2

The fun thing about making your own jewelry is that you can use special items like crystals and gemstones, but pay far less than you would retail.

Watch Purple Crystal & Gemstone Bracelet Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Happy Creating!

Materials:

  • 15 inches bead stringing wire
  • 3 15mm x 20mm natural amethyst gemstone beads
  • 6 bead caps for gemstone beads
  • 6 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads (I used 4 in crystal clear and 2 in violet)
  • 4 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads (2 in violet and 2 in violet opal)
  • 8 4mm round silver spacer beads (2 of mine are in a star dust finish, the rest are silver plated)
  • 4 2mm round silver spacer beads
  • lobster clasp
  • jump ring
  • 2 crimp beads
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • 2 pair chain nose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • wire cutters
  • Bead Stoppers

Instructions:

1.  Attach a bead stopper to one end of bead stringing wire.  On other end string beads in the following order:

a.  4mm violet opal bicone – 4mm round silver spacer – 4 mm violet bicone –  4mm round silver spacer

b.  bead cap facing away from bead just strung – 15mm x 20 mm natural amethyst bead – bead cap facing toward bead just strung

c.  2 mm round silver spacer – 6mm crystal clear bicone –  4mm round silver spacer – 6mm violet bicone –  4mm round silver spacer – 6mm crystal clear bicone  – 2mm round silver spacer

Repeat b and c, then repeat b once more.

d. 4mm round silver spacer – 4mm violet bicone – 4mm round silver spacer – 4mm violet opal bicone

This will give you 6.5 inches of strung beads and a 7.5 inch finished bracelet.

2. Onto one end of wire slide a crimp bead.  Slide wire into one end of wire protector and out the other end.  Slide lobster clasp onto wire protector.

3. Slide end of wire back through crimp bead and flatten crimp using crimping pliers and/or chain nose pliers.  If your crimp cover is small, fold flattened crimp in half.  (See video for details on crimping and folding.)

4.  Holding crimp cover with chain nose pliers, slide cover over flattened crimp and squeeze gently to close cover.

5.  Use chain nose pliers to gently squeeze ends of wire protector together.  It should now be a teardrop shape rather than a horseshoe shape.

6. Repeat steps 2-5 on other end of wire, substituting a jump ring for the lobster clasp. When finishing this second end, make sure to allow for a little slack in the wire (1/8 inch is fine) to allow the bracelet to bend and drape gracefully.

Wear and enjoy!

May 272013
 

Here’s  a quick and easy necklace tutorial for you.  The texture of the hammered stainless steel links gives it quite a bit of sparkle.

hammered-steel-rings-necklace-3

It felt like it needed just a little bit of color, so I wired up a few Swarovski crystal bicones.

hammered-steel-rings-necklace-2

 You can choose to make your necklace symmetrical or arrange your links asymmetrically, like I did.  Whichever you like better.

hammered-steel-rings-necklace-1

The only thing that’s time consuming about this necklace is opening and closing all the jump rings and wire wrapping the crystals; otherwise it’s quite quick.

Here’s where you can watch the video over at my YouTube channel:

Hammered Links Necklace Video Tutorial

Happy Memorial Day and Happy Creating!

Hammered Links Necklace:

Tools & Supplies:

  • 4 30mm hammered metal rings
  • 4 30mm x 20mm hammered metal ovals
  • 12 16mm hammered metal rings
  • 12 14mm x 10 mm hammered metal ovals
  • approximately 30 7mm jump rings
  • 3-4 inch length chunky chain
  • lobster clasp
  • 7 6mm top drilled Swarovski crystals
  • 22 gauge craft wire
  • round nose pliers
  • 2 pair chain nose pliers
  • flush wire cutters

Directions:

To wire wrap crystals:

  1. Working from the spool of wire slide a piece end of wire into hole of bead, leaving ¼ inch sticking out on one side. Bend both wire ends up at 90-degree angle to hole of bead. Bend wires over top of bead, making a triangle shape. Bend remaining ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole. Trim shorter wire to 1/8 inch from bend. 
  1. Bend longer wire at 90° angle. Use round nose pliers to make a loop. Wrap wire around bends and down to cover bead hole. This can be done with neat, tight wraps, or in “messy wraps.” Use wire cutters to trim wire when wraps are complete.  Use chain nose pliers to tuck in wire end.

To make necklace:

  1. Arrange rings and crystals in desired order.
  2. Attach links and crystals together with jump rings.
  3. Use a jump ring to attach length of chain to one end of necklace.
  4. Attach lobster clasp to other end of necklace with a jump ring