Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hila Rawet Karni's Masterful Paper Jewelry

By on Thursday, December 31, 2009 0 Comments

Paper Jewelry
Part 1 of 3
(There was a glitch earlier this week - this post published when it shouldn't have. Here it is again!)
You know when you think of it, paper is really just reformed shredded wood fiber. Not the sort of material you'd consider for jewelry. And yet, I keep coming across amazing artisans who love to work with this material.

Ann Martin, who's quilled paper pendant tutorials wowed me before, showcased on her paper blog the stunning paper jewelry creations of London based Hila Rawet Karni. I find it hard to believe they are really made out of just paper. She has definitely mastered the art of paper folding.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oval and round elements for earring designs

By on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 2 Comments

You can easily dress up plain earring dangles by incorporating oval or round findings. Kristie made some awesome earrings at a workshop because she really took advantage of these elements. Her first pair used laser cut filigree findings which remind me a little of the art nouveau style. The dangles were added as the front layer.

How to Make Zipper Jewelry Tutorials

By on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 2 Comments

The first zipper tutorial I mentioned was Outi Pyy's statement piece. Then came the lovely zipper flowers. There has been a ton of new zipper jewelry tutorials since then. So if you're game to try, check these out.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Zipper Bling - More Amazing Zipper Jewelry Artisans

By on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 12 Comments

Did Oprah talk about it or something? Because I've noticed a huge zipper jewelry craze on the internet in the past few days. More and more artisans are rising to the challenge of making jewelry from this haberdashery staple.

So for today, here's another selection of outstanding artisans I absolutely love! It's clear from their different styles how truly creative they all are. Check out the related posts at the end for more. Then onwards tomorrow for more awesome zipper jewelry tutorials you can try.

Monday, December 28, 2009

How to Make Wire Wrapped Pendant Frames Using Gadgets

By on Monday, December 28, 2009 11 Comments

I was totally charmed when I came across Leonardo Martinez's video on Youtube on how to make funky art bead and wire earrings. That's because he used a cell phone as a mandrel! The cell phone has a great shape that's perfect for making wire wrapped frames. Pendants would be better unless you love big earrings.

I was so inspired I went around the house looking for other gadgets to experiment with. A remote for a fan and an iPod nano (2nd generation) also became mandrels as you can see from my trial frames above using 20G colored copper wire. The iPod makes small enough frames for earrings.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Delicious Dessert Inspired Jewelry

By on Sunday, December 27, 2009 8 Comments

At this time of year, my biggest downfall are desserts - creamy, chocolate yummies I cannot resist. Perhaps my mistake is eating them! Wearing these wonderful delicious dessert inspired jewelry will certainly be calorie-free. I've restrained myself to just a wee selection of fabulous designers (and there are a number) otherwise I shall be dipping into my Christmas chocolate box again!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Luxury and DIY iPhone Bling

By on Saturday, December 26, 2009 2 Comments

 Maybe I have been naughty but Santa didn't bring me an iPhone. But somebody did get a luxury iPhone 3GS Supreme. It's the world's most expensive iPhone (until somebody betters this) at $3,164,000. 

Friday, December 25, 2009

Silver and gold? No, just gold earrings

By on Friday, December 25, 2009 4 Comments

Karen wanted a change. She had been making silver earrings for quite a while at several of our workshops. So she switched to gold instead. The two pairs are so pretty and festive, I hope Karen will wear them for the holidays. For the first pair, she used laser cut gold plated filigree findings to go with sparkly purple beads.

Secret Jewelry in a Lump of Coal Gift Box

By on Friday, December 25, 2009 4 Comments

Christmas morning! Tradition decreed naughty children only got lumps of coal in their stockings on Christmas morning. Can you be both naughty and nice? Sure you can if you received the clever lump of coal gift box with a secret jewelry gift inside.

I only found the tutorial a short while ago so I couldn't tell you earlier. But if you want to make boxes just like that for next Christmas then head on over to the Martha Stewart site for the tutorial.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Swarovski Christmas Trees Around the World

By on Thursday, December 24, 2009 5 Comments

I wish those of you who celebrate Christmas a Merry Christmas and everyone a joyous holiday season. Enjoy these Swarovski Christmas trees which were created in the past few years from around the world.

 Toronto, Canada

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hairball inspired brooch

By on Wednesday, December 23, 2009 6 Comments

Furry Inspirations
Part 2 of 2
I learned a new Japanese word recently. It's "hokori" which means hairball.  Another thing I've learned through writing this blog is anything can be your muse. Even hairballs.  This post is about the hairball pin or brooch as a fashion statement.  It's made from blended wool and comes from Japan. You can purchase it for $2 (sale price) from Molla Space.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jewelry inspired by the movie Where the Wild Things Are

By on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 3 Comments

Where the Wild Things AreFurry Inspirations
Part 1 of 2

There were some classic children's books I missed when I was growing up. Maurice Sendak's book Where the Wild Things Are was one. As many of you may already have noticed, there is a Spike Jonze film just out which brings to life this much loved book about the imaginary world of one small boy. But did you know it has also inspired a whole new faux fur fashion line and a jewelry collection by Pamela Love?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Elegant Crystal and Chain Necklace Tutorial

By on Monday, December 21, 2009 5 Comments

With New Year celebrations just round the corner, you might be needing some jewelry to go with that black dress. Here is a lovely crystal and chain tutorial by Beads Unlimited on Cut Out and Keep to consider. The tutorial uses just words which I think is fine as this is an easy design to do. Doesn't it deliver on class and elegance? Its delicate look will appeal to many people.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bra Strap Bling

By on Sunday, December 20, 2009 5 Comments

Maybe I'm too old to be cool, but I really don't like to see bra straps showing when women wear spaghetti strap outfits, racer back tank or dresses with capped sleeves. It looks sloppy and slovenly. But as gravity is an issue, you wouldn't want to do without bras either. So what is a fashionable gal supposed to do?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Luxury Gemstone Mosaic Portraits

By on Saturday, December 19, 2009 2 Comments

I'm not sure if I want a picture of Marilyn Monroe or even the Queen in my living room but you've got to give it to Gemstone Creative, they live up to their name. They can create any picture you want out of precious gemstones or if you're on a budget, Swarovski crystals.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Awesome Jewelry Inspired Fashion

By on Friday, December 18, 2009 2 Comments

Jewelry is usually classified as a fashion accessory. But lately, jewelry has been the inspiration for several fashion designers.

Jewelry designs on dresses
The talented young Greek-born, London-based fashion designer, Mary Katrantzou's 2008 collection featured bold digital trompe l’oeil prints of jewelry which wowed Vogue and won her an industry sponsorship to produce her next line.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gemstone Donut Keyring Charm Makeover

By on Thursday, December 17, 2009 1 Comments

When we visited our good friends Anne and Andy in England back in the summer, I brought them handmade gifts.They were both, fortunately for me, delighted with their gifts. Making a gemstone pendant necklace for Anne was easy but I must confess, I could only come up with a gemstone key chain charm for Andy. The donut is aventurine and the center bead is a carnelian. He was so intrigued with the short length of chain maille, he even had a go at learning the craft. Yes,  I travel with my chain maille kit!

Bling for Ties - How to Make a Tie Chain Tutorial

By on Thursday, December 17, 2009 8 Comments

I've written a post before about how to make cuff links for men. Alas, few men these days wear shirts which require the use of cuff links. But there is one formal attire men still wear - ties!! So if you have a man or men on your gift list, you got to try this tutorial to make a tie chain. It's not only decorative but functional as it keeps the tie in place especially at meal times!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Amazing Cathedral Rings by Metal Couture

By on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 7 Comments

Many of you were amazed at the architectural Houses on Rings post last week. Here is another outstanding artisan, William Llewellyn Griffith of Metal Couture who specializes in just gorgeous Cathedrals on Rings. His inspiration comes from medieval and gothic architecture. His miniature creations still manage to give the impression of soaring majesty and beauty just like the real medieval cathedrals.

Labradorite Cathedral Ring

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cross Pendant Tutorials- From Wire Work to Beaded Tatting

By on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 15 Comments

Ecclesiastical Inspirations
Part 1 of 2

Cross pendants make beautiful and meaningful accents to necklaces. I've usually bought them before but I'd like to make my own in the future. So I went looking for the best free tutorials to inspire. Bear in mind, I will add to this list as I find more, so always check my hub page, Jewelry Making Tips where I link back to tutorial posts.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Cloud Moments' $50 gift certificate giveaway Winner

By on Monday, December 14, 2009 4 Comments

Joyce's giveaway was a huge success. A record number of entries from fans who hope to win either her jewelry or something from her supplies. And who wouldn't given her generosity, unique collection of cute charms and supplies and her aesthetic jewelry style? Shown here are some of the jewelry and supplies people singled out as their favorites. Joyce- are you taking notes?

The New Faberge Jewelry Collection

By on Monday, December 14, 2009 5 Comments

When we think of Fabergé, we think of the fabled gemstone and precious metal eggs the legendary Russian master jeweler made for the doomed Imperial family, the Romanovs. But the House of Fabergé was renowned firstly for fine craftsmanship and intricate jewelry designs.

Peter Carl Fabergé (1846- 1920) was of French descent but was born in St. Petersburg. He took over his father's modest jewelry store and together with his brother Agathon, they grew the business grew and  attracted the attention and patronage of the Russian aristocracy and the Imperial family.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tom Binns' Get Real Jewelry That's Anything But Real

By on Sunday, December 13, 2009 5 Comments

Tom Binns, the Irish born jewelry designer who once collaborated with Vivian Westwood in the 1980's punk rock scene has an incredible body of work over 2 decades. He is one of the chosen jewelry designers for Disney's upcoming Alice in Wonderland movie promotional product line. Always innovative and eclectic in his design approach, his 2009 Get Real collection really caught my attention.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Beaded 3D Crystal Animal Tutorials by All Cool Crafts

By on Saturday, December 12, 2009 3 Comments

It's that time of year again where you might be scratching your head for ideas on what to make as gifts. If you have anyone on your list who likes cute 3D crystal animal charms, then meet Emy Stewart. She has several free video tutorials on Youtube and on her website All Cool Crafts (not yet available). She shows you how to weave together bicones to make familiar characters such as Hello Kitty and Pooh Bear to adorn backpacks, key chains and electronic gadgets.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The New Musical Nine showcases Swarovski crystals and Chopard diamonds

By on Friday, December 11, 2009 7 Comments

Bedazzling Dancers Part 2 of 2
Did you like the musical Chicago? Then quick mark your calendar! The new Rob Marshall directed musical Nine will open in theaters on December 25. The film brings to the big screen the award winning Broadway musical and promises to bedazzle with music, dance and our favorite Swarovski crystals - over 1 million of them! Luxury jewelry from Chopard, the Swiss jeweler are also easy on the eye.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Haute Ice's Double Jewelry Life

By on Thursday, December 10, 2009 10 Comments

Bedazzling Dancers Part 1 of 2
The vast majority of jewelry artisans I know don't depend on the craft for a living but work on their passion in their free time.  But  Marsha Wiest-Hines of Minnesota is lucky. She has a double jewelry life! By day she designs ballroom dancing gowns and jewelry. In her spare time, she makes stunning beadwork jewelry as the artisan behind Haute Ice Beadwork on Etsy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

An Experimental Chain Maille and Rubber Ring

By on Wednesday, December 09, 2009 6 Comments

Carol is really keen on chain maille ever since she was introduced to this branch of jewelry making. Like any craftswoman, she is improving on her craft all the time. I was delighted when she brought in her latest experiment to a workshop to show me.  My photography does not do it justice - the chain maille ring looks really good on her finger.

A Fabulously Easy Looped Illusion Necklace Tutorial

By on Wednesday, December 09, 2009 7 Comments

I don't know about you, but I am planning to spend this weekend making last minute jewelry gifts and finishing up some orders. Time is short so I am always on the look out for quick projects with plenty of pizazz. So when I came across the Ever Decreasing Circles Necklace Tutorial by Bead Unlimited on Cut Out and Keep, I was immediately wowed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Phillipe Tournaire's Dream Houses on Rings

By on Tuesday, December 08, 2009 9 Comments

You've got to be a hermit living on a desert island if you haven't heard about golfer Tiger Woods' SUV accident and the subsequent revelations about his numerous marital transgressions. He reportedly told his friend he would have to run to Zales and get a "Kobe Special" which he described as "A house on a finger". He was referring to the $4 million diamond ring Kobe Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, received after the star athlete was acquitted of rape.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Cloud Moments' $50 gift certificate giveaway

By on Monday, December 07, 2009 120 Comments

Want a special treat for yourself or someone dear? Here is a wonderful and generous giveaway from Happy Cloud Moments in time for Christmas. Joyce, who is Hong Kong born but now lives in Maryland, is offering a $50 gift certificate from either one of her Etsy stores! Now how cool is that? You can choose from her lovely finished jewelry designs from her Happy Cloud Moments : Sparkles for All Your Happy Moments store and/or unique items from her supply store.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New Winner of Jewelrygeek's Opal Gemstones

By on Sunday, December 06, 2009 7 Comments

It's been nearly two weeks but the winner of the opal gemstones giveaway has not contacted me. I've left a notice on my blog homepage and mentioned in another post. Nothing. So someone else is going to be the lucky winner of these beautiful  beads! picked #14 and as Kokopelli Design, is the 14th commenter, she wins! Dagmar, you lucky thing, you! You've got yourself an early Christmas present. Congratulations and please contact me asap.

How to Ream Pearls Without a Reamer

By on Sunday, December 06, 2009 6 Comments

Have you ever noticed how small the holes are in drilled pearls?  It must be because many people use needle and thread for knotting pearls. I recently wanted to wire some lovely pearls with embedded Swarovski crystals using 22G wire which I thought was fine enough for a pendant. I had great difficulty passing it through the pearls. I was about to call Debbie who I knew had a fine pearl reamer set when I had an idea.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Turning Mud into Gemstones

By on Saturday, December 05, 2009 7 Comments

Someone recently asked me if one could make ceramic beads. Not only is it possible, you'd be "turning mud into gemstones" like Jennie Lorette Keats of JLK Handcrafted Jewelry. Jennie is a passionate potter and silver smith who makes gorgeous jewelry using her hand formed cabochon "tiles". These are carefully layered with glazes and accented with gold, copper and semi-precious stones. The stunning results are truly one of a kind.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's okay to change your mind!

By on Friday, December 04, 2009 0 Comments

One thing I really like about jewelry making is we can all change our minds about a design and redo it. That happened to Brenda. She made a bold red necklace at a workshop quite a while ago. She returned to another with a black focal she had purchased. She decided she would much rather remove the original red pendant to a black cord and put the black focal in its place.

Online sales up on Black Friday - Heat mapping Sales Transactions

By on Friday, December 04, 2009 3 Comments

Many online jewelry artisans offered Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales last week. I hope they did well because the stats show more people than ever are shopping online. They prefer to avoid the long line ups and people jams at brick-and- mortar retail stores.  Cnet reported there was a 11% increase in global retail site surfing. How did that translate to sales? Comscore, the industry analysts, puts the total Black Friday sales at $595 million - an 11% increase over last year. It could be an optimistic sign of economic recovery but it also reflects heavy discounting by merchants to get sales.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Extreme Creativity : Unusual Brooch Designs

By on Thursday, December 03, 2009 4 Comments

Time and time again, I am amazed at the extreme creativity of some artisans. I would never have come up with any of these unusual designs! Have a look and tell us which is your favorite.

Moustache brooches
Knitted facial hair? Who would have thought these would make such fun brooches for your sweater, scarf or purse? The WifeofBrian on Etsy, that's who. This British based artisan makes all kinds of knitted beards too! Via

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Afghanistan : Hidden Treasures Exhibition

By on Wednesday, December 02, 2009 4 Comments

A remarkable exhibition of Afghanistan's Hidden Treasures from the National Museum in Kabul has been touring for the past few years. The exhibition is now at the Canadian Museum of Civilisation in Ottawa until March 28, 2010. The introductory National Geographic trailer here is well worth the view as it puts into context the significance of these archaeological finds. The cultural history of a people is indeed the very soul of a nation.

Opening Of Exhibition 'Hidden Aghanistan'

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

TotusMel - An Amazing Tatted Jewelry Designer

By on Tuesday, December 01, 2009 9 Comments

Yesterday's post on tatted jewelry tutorials garnered a number of comments. Two people reminded me about TotusMel, an amazing inspirational tatting artisan. Thanks Emi (For the Love of Beads) and Mikki (The Beaded Carpet)!(Update : I've just added her Queen's Feet free tutorial in yesterday's post)

California based Pamela Quevedo is the successful designer behind TotusMel Tats on Etsy. When you peek in her shop, you can see why. She is not only very good but highly creative, churning out original mask designs as well as some of the prettiest and sometimes sexiest jewelry I ever seen. If you weren't sure about tatting as a jewelry technique, her work will convince you otherwise.