Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sorbet Inspired Recycled Resin Jewelry

By on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 7 Comments

When we think of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we think of their famous 2 day Carnival (or carnaval in Portuguese). This huge pre-Easter festival is infused with music, dance and most of all color.

So it's not surprising that Brazilian designer, Carlos Sobral infuses so much color in his delicious sorbet inspired recycled resin jewelry.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cabbing Rough's Cabochon Giveaway Winner

By on Monday, August 30, 2010 4 Comments

Many readers were charmed by the family business with Cabbing Rough's Giveaway Cabochon post. It also brought home how much effort and skill it takes to make a hand cut cabochon.

Some of the commentators were already fans of this store. Ah, there were also those who confessed they were magpies of beautiful gemstones. One wanted it for her rock garden. Another ruefully regretted she couldn't get her husband interested in cabbing!

How to Make Bezel Settings - Free eBook and Tutorials

By on Monday, August 30, 2010 9 Comments

My friend Cindy really wants to learn how to bezel set cabochons. I promised I would let her (and all of you) know when I come across great tutorials.

Free eBook on Bezel Settings
Well, JewelryMakingDaily (Interweave) just released their awesome free eBook on 8 Ways to Set Stones (search in their free tutorial section).  It is superb starting with basic bezel setting. It then covers how to bezel unusual shapes and moves on to non-bezel settings.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rare Gemstone : Alexandrite and the Last of the Romanovs

By on Sunday, August 29, 2010 8 Comments

Alexandrite is a very rare and valuable form of chrysoberyl. It is a pleochroic gemstone i.e. one which can display color changes. It appears green in daylight but turns to red, mauve or brown under artificial light. It was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia and was named after Tsar Alexander II (1818-1881).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Promote Your Etsy Store as a Magazine and a Phone App

By on Saturday, August 28, 2010 13 Comments

Although I joined Etsy some years ago, I did not open up a shop until earlier this year. I wish I had sooner because I hadn't realized there are all sorts of cool tools available to help promote a fledgling store like mine. One such app from the developer community is Etsy Shop Tools. (links no longer work)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Triple Strand Purple Bead Necklace

By on Friday, August 27, 2010 3 Comments

It's a treat to see triple stranded necklaces as we don't often see them at our workshops.  But Gerry did have a go at creating this one of kind design using beads from Debbie's (Widget Bead's) collection. While she kept to a single color theme mixed with zinc and silver beads, there was plenty of visual interest as the purple beads were different. Some were matte or frosted, some were clear and she also included lamp work beads.

Ear Mug - Accessorize with Your Own Earrings or Studs!

By on Friday, August 27, 2010 4 Comments

Sometime ago, I wrote about the 2 Carat Cup which was coffee cup bling. It came packaged such the recipient might think they were receiving a ring. What a fun mug for your tea or coffee break.

But Molla Space's Ear Mug is even better. You get to accessorize the mug with your own earrings or studs!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How to Tumble Glass to Make Faux Sea Glass

By on Thursday, August 26, 2010 9 Comments

Many people loved the sea glass sculpture feature designer post I wrote earlier in the week. One reader then commented on one of my past sea glass post links that she is landlocked. The only way for her to get sea glass was to buy some. However, she planned to tumble glass herself to make some faux sea glass.

It's an excellent solution. Use colored bottle glass, scraps from stained glass work - heck, maybe the porcelain dish you broke last week. Or even real sea glass that's not weathered enough.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Bookmark Inspirations and Tutorials

By on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 3 Comments

I have a confession to make. I am always losing bookmarks. People give me bookmarks. I use scraps of paper, post-it notes, all to no avail. No wonder I am always on the look out for ideas to make my own. So here are a couple more great tutorial finds. Also check my past post, Beaded Bookmark Tutorials.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Woven Rope Wearable Art Jewelry

By on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 3 Comments

Hand dyed rope. Chain. Leather. That's all it takes to create the woven magic of the Fall/Winter 2010 Orly Genger Collection by Jaclyn Mayer.The "ingredients" may be few but the resulting designs are deliciously good. It's not so much what you use but how you use it that counts.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hand Cut Cabochon Giveaway from Cabbing Rough

By on Monday, August 23, 2010 70 Comments

Cabbing Rough on Etsy (UPDATE - shop is no longer active) is actually a family affair - Laura, Karl, her husband, their kids and Grandma Connie. Their story could be summed up as follows - a family that rocks together, stays together!

It's also a feel good turnaround story at a time when so many businesses are struggling. Cabbing Rough started after Karl had to close down his flooring business 2 years ago.  The stalled economy and Laura's health were but two reasons which forced him to do so. He got the idea for a hand cut cabochon business from rock collections and his desire to help Laura who was making jewelry to sell and bring in some income.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Amazing Sea Glass Sculptures

By on Sunday, August 22, 2010 5 Comments

Many of you collect sea glass for jewelry. Need tutorials? Then check out my past posts on how to wire wrap sea glass and how to drill sea glass.  But there is more you can do with sea glass if you have a collection like Debara Hafemann. She sculpts with sea glass and photographs her creations.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jackie Kennedy's Faux Pearl Necklace fetches $47K

By on Saturday, August 21, 2010 3 Comments

Pearls are classic. You can never go wrong wearing them. Even fake ones. But if the faux pearls once belonged to a style icon such as Jacqueline Kennedy (1929-1994), they are worth a lot.

Her triple strand fake pearl necklace recently sold for an astounding $47,000 at Bonhams' Pioneers of Popular Culture auction recently.  She wore them in the late 1950's and during her White House years.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A memory wire bracelet design for a young girl

By on Friday, August 20, 2010 2 Comments

Children may not be able to handle bracelet clasps so there are two options - make elasticated or memory wire bracelets.

I think Barb did well to use memory wire for her design which was to be a gift for a young girl. Memory wire will not break like elastic.

Dishwasher Safe Swarovski Dinnerware

By on Friday, August 20, 2010 8 Comments

You know the Swarovski company is on to a good thing when they sell loose crystals. They crop up everywhere. So for fans of the sparkly stuff, you can now get it in your dishware.  The luxury line, Prouna Jewel Collection  produces dishwasher safe fine bone china decorated with Swarovski crystals.

This is quite a feat because they had to first discover a way to bond the crystals to the china. So sure of their method, the company has a life time guarantee to replace any missing crystals.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

All in a Row Necklace Focal Inspirations and Tutorials

By on Thursday, August 19, 2010 4 Comments

People's tastes in jewelry are so varied.  But if there is one easy style that's sure to please a great many people is the all in a row focal necklace.  There is no dangling pendant but the eye is still drawn to the front of the necklace.

Rather than just stringing large round beads, here are inspirational designs showing different ways to dress up the all in a row concept.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fun Back to School Jewelry Inspiration and Tutorials

By on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 7 Comments

Well, it's that time of year children dread. Back to school shopping. It's a dreaded reminder that the school year is about to start. But school can be fun if you have the right school approved jewelry!

Shown here is the cool erasers designed by Ahead Creative. It's $39 for a set of 5 colors.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Artbeads Trivia Sweepstakes - Win $250 of beads and supplies

By on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 0 Comments

Who doesn't like to have free beads?  Well, Artbeads is having a fun and fabulous contest. It's a big prize too.  The $250 Bead Genius Package will include a $150 worth of beads and supplies and $100 gift card. All you have to do is answer some trivia questions.

Click here to get to the trivia test. You will have to login into your Facebook account to complete the questions.

Animal Silhouette Jewelry

By on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 6 Comments

Has anyone made any silhouette jewelry after reading my past tutorial post on that? I did mention then, animal silhouettes can be used. So here is one inspirational metal smith who does make brilliant use of animal silhouettes in her jewelry designs.

Celula of Blu Grn Design on Etsy is a transplanted Houstonian living in Washington DC. She is an architect and designer. Shown on the right is my favorite, her Whale of a Ring.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Awesome Beginner Metal Clay Earring Tutorials

By on Monday, August 16, 2010 0 Comments

Making precious metal clay jewelry is one really good way to avoid having to take metal smith classes! So if you agree with me and want to know how, then you have to check out these awesome beginner metal clay (silver) earring tutorials.

1. Textured Rope Earrings 
The instructor from  CoolToolsVideos has an excellent introductory section on the tools and techniques in these two video tutorials on the tools and techniques to get us started on this technique. It's worth the time watching these!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Reality Check Princesses

By on Sunday, August 15, 2010 2 Comments

I'm sure most of you have played or know of the best selling Nintendo series of video games based on Mario, the Italian plumber.  Well, meet Dan the Man in this video who is equally hardworking. He jumps and fights all sorts of enemies to rescue the princess in the tower. Only she wants much, much more than rescuing!  Like a  diamond ring.  Does she deserve this hero? Just watch and chuckle. I did.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Book Review - Making Mixed Media Art Charms and Jewelry

By on Saturday, August 14, 2010 7 Comments

When I received the latest jewelry book from Kalmbach Publishing, I groaned. Not because it was a bad book. On the contrary, it got the creative cogs in my brain going so fast, I had to set the book aside before my head hurt. It was a while before I could look at it objectively!

The book in question is Making Mixed Media Art Charms and Jewelry by Peggy Krzyzewski and Christine Hansen. The new book, at 96 pages, is slender but is packed with 36 projects. What I liked about the book was the sheer range of mixed media covered - paper, found objects, polymer clay, plastic, wood, fiber, resin, metal and glass.  These art charms are not complicated - they were designed to be completed in a single sitting. Impatient beaders, take note!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Self-Defense Bling - The Stunning Ring

By on Friday, August 13, 2010 3 Comments

A woman can`t be too careful right? But who wants to carry around a heavy can of pepper spray. Some handbags are already weighty enough. So the Stunning Ring from Self Defense Products offers a more discrete and lighter alternative.

You`re supposed to wear it on your dominant hand preferably on your index finger so one of your thumbs can easily release the safety catch to spray an assailant.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Heart is Full of Joy Treasury

By on Thursday, August 12, 2010 3 Comments

Perhaps you haven't yet come across it but Etsy treasuries are handpicked designs based on a common theme. They are a pleasure to view as you can see how different artisans come up with varied designs. My life Collection Swarovski Heart Strings pendant necklace appeared in this new treasury called My heart is full of JOY! It was curated by TrickyFox. Thanks TrickyFox! 

Jewelry Makeover Inspirations and Tutorials

By on Thursday, August 12, 2010 4 Comments

At our workshops and beading parties we've always encouraged beaders to redesign jewelry using components from older pieces. Sometimes broken pieces.  Why not? If you remake it, the jewelry will be updated and wearable. Brooches or even clip on earrings can be incorporated into necklaces. Read on for some wonderful tutorials and inspiration.

The Brooch Ribbon Necklace tutorial from the Martha Stewart site uses inexpensive costume brooches - all kinds - and made consistent with some copper spray paint which is rubbed off before it's quite dry. Some jump rings and a bit of ribbon - viola!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Going Green with Fabulous Recycled Rubber Jewelry

By on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 4 Comments

Kathleen Nowak Tucci is the artisan behind My Sister's Art. Her jewelry is just amazing and doubly so because the material she uses is recycled rubber! All her eco art jewelry is meticulously handmade. She has been an artist for 25 years but began designing her recycled rubber jewelry when her sister, Margaret Nowak Dobos asked her to design some avant garde jewelry to go with her similar styled clothing.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Red Panda Beads Shopping Spree Giveaway Winner

By on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4 Comments

Betsy sure is an inspiration. Many of you who left comments for the Red Panda Beads Giveaway were awed by her commitment to good customer service, her wonderful workspace and most of all, as an artisan who successfully quit her day job!

Jems of Joy summed it up well, "This kind of story behind a business is what makes a business special. I often wished I knew the story behind a business I felt was out of the ordinary, and Pearl, you have done an amazing job at presenting Red Panda Beads. I love all of it and particularly the photo of her office with all the thin drawers...my dream..."

Monday, August 9, 2010

How to Make Yarn Jewelry Tutorials

By on Monday, August 09, 2010 7 Comments

I must confess I have a yarn stash left over from my knitting days. So if you have one of those, here are some jewelry tutorials to get you going on whittling down that stash!

Even the yarn companies are getting into the act.  The Mademoiselle crochet necklace tutorial by Berroco uses embroidery accents, crochet chains and and a très jolie bow closure. It's just lovely. Thanks Willi for this tip!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Duchess of Windsor's Jewels to be Auctioned Again

By on Sunday, August 08, 2010 5 Comments

The Duchess of Windsor
Duchess of Windsor via Wikipedia
The jewels of Wallis, the Duchess of Windsor were first offered for sale back in 1987. All 306 pieces sold for $50 million which went to the Pasteur Institute. The proceeds from the spectacular sale remain a world record for an auction of a single owner jewelry collection. No wonder, as the collection celebrates the famous story of the king who gave up his throne for the woman he loved.

In November, 20 pieces will be available for auction again and no doubt will fetch millions. It's a fraction of the original auction but it does contain some memorable pieces which were commissioned to mark important events in the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's lives.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

How to Make a Dinosaur Skeleton Necklace

By on Saturday, August 07, 2010 0 Comments

It's mid-summer holidays. School is still a long way off. So if your kids are tired of playing outdoors and are getting underfoot, you've got to introduce them to this fabulous shrink plastic tutorial on how to make a dinosaur necklace! This necklace is so much fun, I don't think it should be exclusively for kids!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Black stone, picture jasper and pearl necklace

By on Friday, August 06, 2010 1 Comments

I had forgotten Debbie (my friend and co-instructor) had bought this picture jasper focal with a black stone frame the last time we were at a bead show. This particular specimen of picture jasper was green in color. The black stone frame made for a strong definition.

Black stone is a generic term for a variety of gemstones like jasper which has been dyed black.

Wedding Ring Coffins

By on Friday, August 06, 2010 5 Comments

Remember the reality check wedding ring I wrote about before? The multi band ring went from starry eyed engagement ring, to a caged representation of marriage and the symbolic freedom of divorce. Well, if the marriage is well and truly dead, then what is needed is the Wedding Ring Coffin.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tutorials : How to Make a Jewelry Box

By on Thursday, August 05, 2010 4 Comments

I keep my own jewelry in a hanging organizer (see my past post) which I hang in my closet. It's the only way I can manage to select jewelry in the mornings with one eye open. But I know some of you would prefer a more elegant display on the dressing table. So here are some tutorials to make yourself beautiful jewelry boxes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Use Your Fingers to Make This Macrame Necklace!

By on Wednesday, August 04, 2010 13 Comments

One fun how to from the designer of PS I Made This is this macrame necklace tutorial.The macrame forms the focal of the necklace and is done entirely by weaving on the fingers of your hand.  It's a very fast technique.

Also check my past tutorial post on how to make finger loop braided bracelets. It's a blast from the past!

I actually tried this technique but must confess I had some trouble at the beginning.  It took a while to look over her pictorial instructions to make sure I was weaving in the right order.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Statement Zipper Jewelry by Catrinel777

By on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 5 Comments

When I come to think of it, zippers are rather simple - 2 strips of metal edged fabrics. How many permutations of zipper jewelry can you make out of that? And yet, artisans always surprise me with what else they can do with plain zippers. 

The latest find is Catrinel777 from Tel Aviv, Israel. She is a clothing and accessories designer and as she says, "I flirt with various raw materials". Check out her store and you'll see more of her designs. It is clear from these designs she likes the unconventional. Her zipper jewelry are strikingly bold statement pieces for sure.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Red Panda Beads $25 Shopping Spree Giveaway

By on Monday, August 02, 2010 50 Comments

Betsy never intentionally set out to sell beads. She was and still is at heart, a bead work artisan. She got into beading after trying her hand with cross stitch embroidery years ago. Her epiphany came when she decided to make a beaded picture of Mickey and Minnie Mouse for her then boss who liked collecting such things.  She created it on her bead loom using 6 panels in all.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Goddess jewelry

By on Sunday, August 01, 2010 5 Comments

In many ancient cultures, goddesses sometimes represented Earth, motherhood, home, love and life. The goddess theme for jewelry is still popular today.

Yol Swan is the artisan behind Sacred Jewelry and Yoga Designs whose stunning art silver or precious metal clay work beautifully highlights the goddess theme.