Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rainbow Hoop Earrings to Match an Entire Summer Wardrobe!

By on Saturday, July 31, 2010 2 Comments

This is arguably the most versatile earrings I have ever seen. Judi is the beader who decided she really needed something easy to wear for the summer. Earrings which will go with anything in her wardrobe. She did it by choosing seed beads in all sorts of colors and threading them onto hoops. They were also easy to make! Fun, fun, fun!

Corset Choker or Collar Necklaces by Forge Fashion

By on Saturday, July 31, 2010 9 Comments

New Zealander Abbey Hardwick is the artisan behind Forge Fashion on Etsy. She is an awesome costume designer specializing in historical and fantasy themes as you can see from her main design website.

Friday, July 30, 2010

World's Most Expensive Sports Bra will cost you $1850

By on Friday, July 30, 2010 6 Comments

BodyRock Sport's new Trenta collection sports bra is the world's most expensive sports bra. There is no guarantee you will lose any pounds working out but you'll have to drop $1850 for this Swarovski and black spandex number.

The jewelry is actually detachable otherwise you'll be making a racket in the gym! If you look carefully, the decoration is a double strand necklace which can be worn as a single necklace or divided into a bracelet and necklace.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Swarovski's new diamond cut crystals - Pure Brilliance

By on Thursday, July 29, 2010 6 Comments

So many of us love Swarovski crystals. No wonder. The crystals they make are really sparkly thanks to their precision cutting of faceted leaded glass.  Earlier this year, Swarovski Elements unveiled their latest innovation,  applying diamond cutting standards to their new ENLIGHTENED™ Pure Brilliance crystals.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How to Make Square Spirals Tutorial

By on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 15 Comments

LaurelB over at the About jewelry making forum recently asked for help. She knew how to form round spirals or flat scrolls (see tutorial link below) but she wanted to know how to form square ones.

With square versions, you need just your broad nose or chain nose pliers to make 90 degree bends along a length of wire. If this is new to you, don't try any thicker than 20G wire to start with.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bottle Cap and Vinyl Record Jewelry by Laura Beamer

By on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 7 Comments

Play it again, Same
Part 2 of 2
I have a mantra on this blog. You can make jewelry from anything. But it takes a special artisan to make eco jewelry very, very good. Laura - Laura Robson and Benjamin Beamer are such artisans. They can really turn old bottle caps and vinyl records into outstanding pieces.

Monday, July 26, 2010

How to Make Vinyl Record Jewelry , Bag, and Display Tutorials

By on Monday, July 26, 2010 5 Comments

Play it again, Sam
Part 1 of 2
I count myself fortunate in that as an impoverished student, I never acquired much in the way of vinyl records. When I could afford to buy music, CDs had become the norm. But if you have stacks of them, especially the warped and scratched variety, you might wish to turn them into jewelry. Make sure you first check you are not using highly sought after records which will fetch you money!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mexico's Deadly Giant Crystal Cave

By on Sunday, July 25, 2010 5 Comments

Minerals and Crystals Part 2 of 2
Yesterday's post featured the Mohs scale. We, as jewelry making enthusiasts are mostly interested in the crystalline minerals at the top of the scale like quartz, rubies, diamonds. But near the bottom of the scale, at number 2, is gypsum, the stuff used for making drywall.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lapis lazuli and sodalite jewelry set

By on Saturday, July 24, 2010 0 Comments

You know how sometimes you just get into a design groove and stay there for a while? Well, that's what happened to Sue at a beading party. She got into a blue mood and made several pieces featuring lapis lazuli and sodalite.


You can easily tell these gemstones apart.  Lapis lazuli has "gold" (iron pyrite or fool's gold) flecks whereas sodalite does not. The former is more expensive than the latter. Check out my past post and find out why lapis lazuli was once The Twice Precious Gemstone.

Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness

By on Saturday, July 24, 2010 2 Comments

Minerals and Crystals Part 1 of 2
Those of us who incorporate gemstones in our jewelry designs are well aware of the Moh's scale of mineral hardness. It's a relative scale which rates how scratch resistant one mineral is against another. It is but one of several ways to define hardness and classify minerals in material science - the modern ones are much more precise.This old scale was named after the German mineralogist, Friedrich Mohs who created it in 1812 but the idea of comparing relative hardness dates back to the ancient world.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nervous System Inspired Jewelry

By on Friday, July 23, 2010 7 Comments

Nervous System is so well named. Their jewelry line looks like neural networks. This innovative design company uses a pattern generating algorithm in the computer to create their awesome nature inspired designs. The jewelry is made from a range of materials including gold, sterling silver, nylon, silicone rubber, stainless steel and wool.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Stunning Chain and Bib Necklace Tutorials

By on Thursday, July 22, 2010 7 Comments

Making a bib necklace takes time. So the easiest way to finish the rest of the necklace is to use chain. The resulting designs will look trendy and look like it cost a lot!  Check out these latest chain and bib tutorials from amazing DIY artisans on Cut Out and Keep who make and share.

This absolutely stunning pearl and chain bib necklace tutorial is by the UK based Beads Unlimited. I am inspired to make one for myself!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review - The Earring Style Book and Book Launch Contest Giveaway

By on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3 Comments

Double Happiness is a Chinese symbol used for weddings but in the case of Double Happiness Jewelry, it is a happy jewelry business marriage of two jewelry artisan sisters, Stephanie Wells and Alisa Rottenberg. Their line of jewelry started in Stephanie's California garage but 10 years later, has  grown a whole lot more.

The jewelry line is now sold in hundreds of stores (like Nordstrom and Fred Segal) and has been  featured in many magazines. Some of their clients are celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian, Rachael Ray, Jessica Simpson and Beyonce.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oddstitch - Hand Embroidered Jewelry without Jewels

By on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 3 Comments

Oddstitch on Etsy makes exquisite art jewelry. The jewels in her collection though are her own hand embroidered work. She says, "Each one takes me several hours of careful and finicky stitching, bouts of muttering, and being occasionally stabbed by needles." It's clearly a labor of love. The result is truly lovely and unique.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How to Make Teardrop Jewelry Tutorials

By on Monday, July 19, 2010 6 Comments

The teardrop is a beautiful shape to use in jewelry making. It's less boring than a circle and exudes class.  So here are several tutorials using different techniques to celebrate this favorite. Also check my past post on how to make and wire wrap briolette earrings. Briolettes are after all teardrop shaped!

Aussie Sooz of Divajools posted her awesome tear drop shaped Peruvian or string art woven earrings/ pendant tutorial (Update : link no longer available). This tutorial is a static one. If you prefer to see a video link, check out my past post on String Art Pendant tutorial.  My pendant version is finished differently at the top to hide the wire wrapping and string ties. I must say the coiled cones are neater.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How to Make and Solve a Puzzle Ring

By on Sunday, July 18, 2010 13 Comments

Puzzle rings are made up of several interconnected rings, rather like endless knots. The ring can be disassembled but it is tricky to put it together again.The most common are the 4 or 6 band ones. I dread to think how hard the solutions would be for even more bands.

No one really knows who invented puzzle rings.The rings are sometimes called Turkish wedding rings or harem rings. One fanciful tale claims a Turkish nobleman gave one as a wedding band to his wife without telling her the solution to ensure her faithfulness since she could not remove it. This does not "ring" true because the Turkish people do not use interlocking rings as marriage rings.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

How to Crimp Securely for Heavy Jewelry

By on Saturday, July 17, 2010 5 Comments

I've covered how to crimp, use the crimping tool, crimp covers and wire guardians before. I've also recommended using 2 crimp beads for each end if you are making a heavy necklace or bracelet like this past beader design. A single crimp might well fail so the second one is a backup. If you're a beginner or don't have a crimping tool, it's fine to do flat crimps.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bosom Buttons Preserve Your Modesty

By on Friday, July 16, 2010 1 Comments

Most of us have used safety pins to close loose and gaping tops. No one wants a wardrobe malfunction. Well, you can toss away those safety pins. There is something better and infinitely more glamorous - Bosom Buttons!

These are clever hand made Swarovski or gemstone decorated pins designed to keep your clothes together. Evidently many women they are the best thing since sliced bread. The product has been selling like hot cakes. They are a hit not only with women but also with men who are buying the buttons for their wives.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How Many Earrings Can a Beader Make in an Afternoon?

By on Thursday, July 15, 2010 2 Comments

Most of the women who make multiple earrings at our workshop do so over several workshops or limit themselves to 1-2 pairs per session. But Donna came on a mission one afternoon and blitzed her way through 6 pairs! She used a mix of metals and really pretty beads from Debbie's (Widget's Beads) collection.This is a record in all the years we have been doing workshops and parties.

Photovisi : Make Your Own Photo Collage

By on Thursday, July 15, 2010 4 Comments

I recently came across a very useful free site called Photovisi. It's a super easy online tool to make photo collages. All you have to do is upload your photos. There are different templates to choose from - the photo shapes range from hearts, squares, rectangles, framed circles and ovals. Shown here is the all square pictures of some of my designs on Etsy. Once uploaded, you can then download the image to your computer.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Paracord Watch Strap Tutorial

By on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 5 Comments

You can't get any more masculine than paracord jewelry. You could make bracelets. I really like the Paracord watch strap tutorial by Stormdrane on Instructables. The how to is easy. The technique he uses is called "weaving with three warps". If you omit the watch, you'll have a paracord bracelet for the man in your life!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fused Plastic Bag Eco Jewelry

By on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 8 Comments

Some eco jewelry artisans are just outstanding. They make lovely jewelry out of stuff we throw away. I've featured some in my past post Jewelry from Recycled Plastic Bags before. Here are a couple more artisans I much admire who make gorgeous jewelry from humble plastic grocery bags.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Friendly Plastic Jewelry Tutorials and Giveaway

By on Monday, July 12, 2010 11 Comments

Did you enjoy my past tutorial post on shrinkable plastic jewelry?  If you did, you'll probably like this one about Friendly Plastic.

Like shrinkable plastic or Shrinky Dink, Friendly Plastic has been around for years.What's significantly different is Friendly Plastic is colorful with lots of shimmery hues. The vibrant metallic colors offer tons of jewelry design possibilities.

It's also reusable so scraps can be recycled. Unlike shrinkable plastic, you can cut Friendly Plastic with either a craft or utility knife, scissors (Tim Holz scissors recommended) , punch holes or die cut it after fusing pieces together with heat.

As you can see by Lisa Pavelka's Autumn Cascades jewelry design tutorial above, the effect can be stunning.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jewelry My Pucci - Bejeweled Retractable Chopsticks

By on Sunday, July 11, 2010 7 Comments

The trend these days is to bling just about anything. You could even get your own luxury pair of chopsticks, called Jewelry My Pucci for that special Asian meal!  The tops of the chopsticks are adorned with precious gemstones. What's more, the chopsticks are retractable. Press on the gem to elongate them. They compact down for storage in a lipstick like case.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Fun - Pixie Dust Pendant Tutorial

By on Saturday, July 10, 2010 3 Comments

One of the most important assets children have is their imagination. Imagination should be encouraged as it plays an important role in the learning process. It helps children make sense of their world. Even as adults, this ability is still very useful as imagination - seeing with the mind's eye - helps us create things or solve problems.

Beading Daily's Free Beaded Bracelet eBook

By on Saturday, July 10, 2010 4 Comments

I must say the 5 free beaded bracelet projects from Beading Daily's recentl eBook are all lovely! The techniques actually range from wire work to bead work .  So head on over. You will have to join (free) to download it.

Shown on the right is the spool knit bracelet by Donna Ryan-Kocun.  If you want to learn more about spool knitting, check out my past post on how to spool knit wire jewelry.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Red Cloisonne and Rose Quartz Earrings

By on Friday, July 09, 2010 1 Comments

Erica had already made herself a cloisonne bracelet. So at a beading party earlier this year, she decided to make the earrings to match.  Her choice of beads include mixing the red cloisonne beads with round rose quartz beads. The latter are on the pale side and provided a wonderful contrast in her lovely design.

The 24K Gold Midas Touch in Bathrooms

By on Friday, July 09, 2010 2 Comments

You want glamor? Nothing beats luxury like gold, the choice of kings and the powerful through the ages. It's also a solid investment.

Just ask Hang Fung jewelers of Hong Kong. A couple of years ago, they installed a gold palace in their showroom which included a gilded bathroom complete with a golden toilet! The bathroom and toilet are in the Guinness Book of Records as the most expensive ever.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More Gorgeous Fabric Necklace Tutorials

By on Thursday, July 08, 2010 4 Comments

Fabric jewelry from either bought textiles or from recycled clothes are all the rage.  If you are still hesitating on bib fabric necklaces, here is yet another drop dead gorgeous one. The tutorial is by Larissa of Just Another Day in Paradise.  Part I shows us how she constructed the coiled fabric flowers. Part 2 and 3 shows how the large felt flowers are made.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blessings to the Gulf Waters EPE Challenge Win

By on Wednesday, July 07, 2010 6 Comments

As some of the jewelry I sell raises money for cancer research, I joined the Etsy Project Embrace team earlier this year. They have a blog which features a weekly challenge based on selected themes.  As I love writing blog posts according to themes,  I also enjoy seeing if any of my Etsy designs fit the challenges.

Bejeweled Blue Tooth Jewelry by Novero

By on Wednesday, July 07, 2010 5 Comments

We all know it's not safe to hold your cell phone and talk while driving. The current crop of Bluetooth ear pieces available though is underwhelming -  they look like hearing aids on steroids!

One alternative is the Swarovski Bluetooth I wrote about before which looked somewhat like an earring. But there is something far better now.

The new Novero's Victoria collection of lovely bejeweled Bluetooth ear pieces is truly innovative. They've managed to turn a high tech device into jewelry. Form AND function for both men and women.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sculptured Washi Paper Jewelry by Paper Demon

By on Tuesday, July 06, 2010 8 Comments

It's funny how things turned out. Karen Kelsky of Paper Demon Jewelry's passion for Japanese washi paper began with a trip to Japan 25 years ago as an anthropologist. There, she learned to make 3D paper dolls from Japanese friends, a traditional paper maker and his wife. That eventually led her to collect paper and making her wearable paper art.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Free jewelry projects from the Beautiful Beads eBook

By on Monday, July 05, 2010 3 Comments

Well, this is hardly a book review because every single one of you will be able to see the entire book for yourself! The Beautiful Beads eBook is free! There are 45 easy projects - not just jewelry but a few bead based home decor ones too. The designers worked with different companies like Rings & Things and Beadalon.

Shown here are some book highlights. The gorgeous Copper Web Adjustable Multi-strand Bracelet by Margot Potter for Beadalon involves weaving with satin copper colored Beadalon wire with crystals.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mini Terrarium Jewelry

By on Sunday, July 04, 2010 9 Comments

I've got an old aquarium that I wish to convert to a terrarium some time in the future. I like the concept of mini-ecosystems. But I never would have dreamed up the likes of the mini-terrarium jewelry of Woodland Belle on Etsy.

Mai McKemy's whimsical jewelry are inspired by nature as she lives near the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Her charming little sculptures are encased inside small glass globes and little vials.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

How to Step Down a Multistrand Illusion Necklace

By on Saturday, July 03, 2010 1 Comments

Multi-strand illusion necklaces can be made by placing crimp beads on either side of beads spaced along strands of beading wire. You could also glue the beads in place. Pearls are a good choice as you can see from Debbie`s (Widget`s Beads, my friend and co-instructor) design for a client. That`s because pearls are often finely drilled so they do string up a little more snugly than other beads.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Polaroid Ring

By on Friday, July 02, 2010 1 Comments

You'd think with digital cameras these days, Polaroid would be obsolete. Not so!  In an about face move last year, Polaroid brought back the classic instant Polaroid camera with a updated design, just 1 1/2 years after they decided to stop producing the film.

While you can see what you just took on your digital camera, it's not the same as having a real photo in your hand to show or to give away. Come to think of it, most of our photos now languish on our computers and are rarely printed out.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Batik Fabric Necklace and Jewelry Box Tutorials

By on Thursday, July 01, 2010 4 Comments

Do you love color? Then check out these tutorials featuring batik, a traditional Eastern fabric technique which uses wax-resist dyeing. Batik is now popular all over the world.

The above Batik Fiber necklace design is by Susan Jones for C&T Publishing. It makes use of batik ribbon yarn, eyelash yarn and beads and crochet. A large crochet hook is used which in turn means this project is quick to do!