Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chain Maille Flower Tutorials

By on Thursday, September 30, 2010 10 Comments

Do you find chain maille to be a little too masculine?  Well, here are some flower tutorials which feminize chain maille jewelry. Use the floral motif alone for earrings, a pendant or even as key chain charms. Or you could link them with other flowers or components for larger scale jewelry.

Japanese Flower
This lovely pair of Japanese style chain maille flower is by Lauren Anderson, otherwise known as The Chain Maille Lady on Etsy. She calls this the Pink Passion Flower earring tutorial. She uses enamel coated copper rings and rubber rings to great effect.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to Efficiently Manage Your Blogging and Social Media Time

By on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 7 Comments

Do you make jewelry to sell?  If so, you probably know promotion is the key. It's no point having an online store and expect traffic to come without doing any promotion. The internet doesn't work like that.

Many artisans chose to write a blog and are active in a few social media communities. Indeed blogging,Twitter, Facebook and Flickr are cited by artisans as the key places to interact. But many people lack the time to participate, and are overwhelmed by it all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Eclectic Necklace in Greens, Yellows and Browns

By on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 4 Comments

We often tell beginner beaders there are usually no hard and fast rules when designing jewelry .

Odette at one of Debbie's (my friend and co-instructor) beading parties put together this eclectic necklace using a variety of beads with different finishes including silver foil and millefiore.

Odette clearly loves greens which she complimented with a touch of yellow and plenty of brown beads towards the clasp ends.

Mathematical Bead Work and Sculptures by Gwen Beads

By on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 7 Comments

What do you get when you cross a bead work artisan with a mathematician?  You get incredible mathematically inspired bead sculptures and jewelry!  Gwen Fisher of Gwen Beads makes beautiful beaded objects which function as decorative art pieces.

Shown on the right is her Tetrahedral Symmetry beaded art object. She based the design on the tetrahedron which is a pyramid with four triangular faces. It was displayed in the Exhibit of Mathematical Art at a past Joint Mathematics Meeting.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bezelform's Wire Wrap Mandrel Mini-Kit Giveaway

By on Monday, September 27, 2010 112 Comments

I first knew of's existence when Rick Swartzwelder, the creator of the bezel mandrels and prong guides started to advertise on my blog through Project Wonderful.  Intrigued by these wire-wrapping aids, I checked out the site. I finally bought the basic set when it recently went on sale.

The mandrels are designed to help wire artisans wrap cabochons because the sides of the mandrels are much wider than the cabochon itself. Machine made cabochons in particular don't have any girdles (sides) making wire wrapping such well polished and slippery gemstones tricky. The engraved markings (optional) help set the prong positions. Not only is the task easier for novices, experienced artisans will also benefit from the time savings.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lola Montez's Jewels

By on Sunday, September 26, 2010 6 Comments

The tabloid press didn't exist back in the 19th century, but newspaper readers still avidly followed the exploits of Lola Montez (1818 -1861) as she lied and blazed her way through 3 continents.

An exotic dancer, adventuress, courtesan, sometime mistress to King Ludwig I of Bavaria, Lola reinvented herself so thoroughly, she would put today's chameleon celebrities to shame. Along the way, she amassed and parted with many jewelry gifts.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fun Statement Ring Designs and Tutorials

By on Saturday, September 25, 2010 3 Comments

There are statement necklaces. So why not statement rings? Big, across-several- fingers rings are all the rage.

One of my favorite handmade designers of such quirky rings is Luckyduct on Etsy aka as Rachel Pfeffer. Just check out her shop and past sales and you will see what I mean.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Make Your Own Beaded Beads - Beading Daily's Free eBook

By on Friday, September 24, 2010 1 Comments

For those of us who cannot make lamp work beads, there is one other alternative - make your own beaded beads from humble seed beads. Beading Daily's latest free eBook (link no longer available) has five fabulous projects. This book is really worth the download.

Bejeweled Tattoos - A New Trend?

By on Friday, September 24, 2010 5 Comments

People of different cultures have worn tattoos for centuries. This type of body modification is still popular today. However bejeweled tattoos could well be a new trend.

Shown here is the world's most expensive tattoo. South African model, Minki van der Westhuizen is sporting 7.2 million South African rands or US$924,000 worth of diamonds.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to Tumble Polish and Harden Metal Jewelry

By on Thursday, September 23, 2010 10 Comments

You can hand polish jewelry but that's too tedious. Using a tumbler not only polishes jump rings for chain maille, precious metal clay pieces and finished jewelry, it also deburs and work hardens the metal.

Types of tumblers
There are actually two types of tumblers - rotary and vibrational. I've been asked before what the differences are and which to choose. Rotary tumblers like my old Lortone above are cheaper, quieter and don't need supervision. The vibrational ones tend to "walk" when in use but they give faster results - an advantage if you are into tumbling rocks which can take weeks. However, if you are a typical jewelry artisan and not a rock hound, I would recommend you get a rotary tumbler.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fabric Cuff Bracelet Tutorials

By on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 3 Comments

When we talk of cuff bracelets, we usually mean the beaded or wire wrapped ones But as yesterday's post on Cuffs Couture shows, there are also fabric ones, with or without sewn in pockets.

Chic Steals was inspired by a similar sort she saw in a magazine. So she designed and created this pleated DIY Edwardian cuffs tutorial. Adding your own beads, crystals, chains or brooches will really personalize the design.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cuffs Couture - Wrist Wallet Jewelry

By on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 5 Comments

Off the Cuff
Part 2 of 3
I've always hated having to lug around a bag or purse when attending a social function. It's trying enough to balance a plate full of goodies and a drink without having your shoulder bag slip off or your armpit going numb from keeping a clutch in place. Same with dancing or even going to an outdoor event.

Well, Jacqueline Dadon, fashion designer and the founder of Cuffs Couture solved the problem of how to carry life's little necessities with her bejeweled wrist wallet collection.

Monday, September 20, 2010

PhotoJewelryMaking's $25 Certificate Giveaway Winner

By on Monday, September 20, 2010 1 Comments

I'm glad many of you were impressed with easy photo jewelry making, even those like Becky who already do a lot of photo jewelry.

But I had to laugh when I came across Susanna Originals' entry comment on last week's Giveaway contest- " I always love it when you pass along something interesting that is going to cost me more money." Well, we are all in this money pit of a craft together!!

How to Make Wire Wrapped Cuff Bracelet Tutorials

By on Monday, September 20, 2010 1 Comments

Wire wrapped bracelets are always popular.  Check the links at the bottom for even more free tutorials if you missed them before. Now here are more to satisfy the demand!

Sherry is a fantastic wire work artisan who writes the blog Sherry's Jewels (Dancing Feathers). She has started a tutorial blog as well and generously made two of her awesome cuff bracelet tutorials free. She says the tutorial blog is slowly growing which is understandable given how busy she is!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bedazzled Eye Patches - For Fashion and For a Cause

By on Sunday, September 19, 2010 4 Comments

Ahoy, me hearties! Today be Talk Like A Pirate Day! Arrrrr! So I've a fierce fire in me belly t' talk like one - at least for the first paragraph! I want t' show the lasses some fine bedazzling eye patches sure t' turn the heads of any buccaneer!

Fashion photographer, Jorg Schieferecke's photo shoot of model Belinda Hirt shows his skill in making the bejeweled eye patch seem like a hot fashion accessory.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Free Metal Clay eBook from Jewelry Making Daily

By on Saturday, September 18, 2010 2 Comments

Starting to get interested in metal clay designs?Then here is a free metal clay eBook from Jewelry Making Daily (no longer available) which might actually launch you into this fascinating jewelry making technique. There are 3 projects in all with different skill levels.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Unusual Sideways Jewelry by Martin Margiela

By on Friday, September 17, 2010 5 Comments

If you work with instruments and machinery like me, you know jewelry is best avoided for safety reasons. I still wear my wedding band or plain band rings though as no stone then protrudes above. So when I came across Maison Martin Margiela's fine jewelry collection, there was the answer - sideways rings! Now that's what I call lateral thinking!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Art Fire's New Pro Shop Deal - $5.95 per month

By on Thursday, September 16, 2010 7 Comments

Have you a hankering to open up your own online store for hand made goods? There are a number of marketplaces. Art Fire is another alternative to Etsy - it`s smaller than Etsy but still growing. Art Fire is different from Etsy. Instead of charging a commission for every sale, it's a standard monthly fee currently at $15.95 for a Pro Shop. The Basic Shop is free but it lacks some useful features and tools a Pro Shop would have.

Well, Art Fire is finally coming out of beta next week and they are offering a really good deal for a Pro Shop - just $5.95 per month. It`s their mega promotion to grow their site.  There is a condition - this deal will not be activated even if you sign up for it unless a total of 20,000 people also do so. To find out more about why they are doing this group deal, check here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CatchAll Jewelry : A Truly Talented Young Wire Work Artisan

By on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 8 Comments

I recently came across an amazingly talented wire worker who loves tribal, Indian and South American jewelry. New Jersey based Sonia Kumar sells her work on Etsy as Catchall Jewelry.

What's also remarkable about Sonia is she is still a high school student. If she is this good now, you can bet she will be fantastic in years to come!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How to Transfer Images for Jewelry Tutorials

By on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4 Comments

Image Inspirations
Part 2 of 2
I've done some image transfer work before by printing photos onto shrinky dink - see my past post on how to make photo jewelry.

But it's not the only image transfer technique. Fellow Canuck (Canadian) Carmi Cimicata who writes the Carmi's Art Life World blog, is a whiz at transferring images.

Monday, September 13, 2010

PhotoJewelryMaking's $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway

By on Monday, September 13, 2010 26 Comments

Image Inspirations
Part 1 of 2

Photo jewelry is a wonderful custom jewelry niche because many people enjoy wearing mementos of those they love. I once fixed a photo glass bubble bracelet for someone who clearly adored Elvis Presley!

There are some photo jewelry tutorials on the internet which I gathered together in a past post How to Make Photo Jewelry Tutorials. Supplies though are a different matter. When contacted me about a giveaway, I was delighted to find that they supply just about anything you need for making fast and easy photo jewelry.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Smithsonian's New Jewelry Collection for the Shopping Channel

By on Sunday, September 12, 2010 4 Comments

One of the most extraordinary gem collections in the world is at the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian has recently unveiled their new jewelry line inspired by their gem collections produced in an exclusive partnership with QVC, the TV shopping channel. The lovely gemstone pieces are mounted in sterling silver and gold and range from $65- $950.

Blue topaz and diamond ring inspired by the Smithsonian's Blue Heart Diamond

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Full Persian Chain Maille Bracelet for Sarah

By on Saturday, September 11, 2010 5 Comments

Sarah who is still a teenager, is fascinated with chain maille. She had previously made a Byzantine bracelet for her mother. At another of her mother's beading parties, she was game to try another weave. So she learned how to do the Full Persian.

This particular weave is not difficult to do once you get past the start. If you wish to learn, then check out my past tutorial post which includes my first video tutorial.

Free Wire Jewelry eBook from Jewelry Making Daily

By on Saturday, September 11, 2010 10 Comments

Wire work is always popular although some struggle with it. It takes practice and perhaps some great jewelry projects to try or to be inspired by.  The editors of Jewelry Making Daily chose some really pretty designs for their latest free eBook - Learn to Make Wire Jewelry: Designs for Making Wire  Jewelry with 5 Wire Jewelry Making Techniques.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Flamingo Toes' Anthro Necklace Design Giveaways and Tutorials

By on Friday, September 10, 2010 2 Comments

I know there isn't much time. But Beverly over at the Flamingo Toes' blog has an amazing giveaway of 5 Anthropologie inspired necklaces. The contest ends later tonight.

But don't despair if you missed it. She also generously added the tutorials for each of them for you to make.

A Necklace Swing for the Living Room

By on Friday, September 10, 2010 5 Comments

Take a look at this enormous beaded necklace! It's a necklace swing for your living room! Perfect for the beadaholic for it declares you cannot live without beads. The swing is hand made in Germany from either felt balls or oiled beech wood. This custom length jewelry piece was designed by Johana Richter through SleekIDentity.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wire Wrapped Pendant Tutorial Using an Eye Glass Holder Mandrel

By on Thursday, September 09, 2010 5 Comments

If you are just starting out with wire work, rest assured making a wire and bead pendant is not that difficult. Just watch this video by Leonardo Martinez of Legendary Beads in Austin and you'll see what I mean. This instructor calls the project beaded sculpture or bead art. It's an apt description because every pendant can be one of a kind.

I've featured this instructor before in a past post about using different gadgets like a cell phone and an iPod for creating the frame. As an instructor myself, I believe it helps to see the same technique a few times.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Amazing Hand Crafted Glass Jewelry by Mystic Glass Creations

By on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 11 Comments

Canada is a vast country with six time zones. So I was amazed to learn that business partners, Kim Reid and Tyler Hayes are from this end of the country and yet both now make the most awesome glass pendants on Vancouver Island on the west coast.

I met Kim last year when she came all the way back to Halifax to showcase Mystic Glass Creations at a local craft show. I was so impressed with their work, I bought a star fish pendant (above) for myself. I just hung it on a silver chain. I refrained from doing anything else because I did not want to detract from this lovely focal.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How to Make Recycled Denim Jewelry Tutorials

By on Tuesday, September 07, 2010 1 Comments

I've seen plenty of wonderful tutorials recycling old jeans into bags and other accessories. What about jewelry? Sure we can and here are some tutorials for inspiration. Don't throw those old jeans away, hear?

The above denim and pearls junk jewelry bib tutorial recycles not just the jeans but broken necklace components. This nifty eco jewelry how-to is from the Spotted Canary on Craftster.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wire Work and Polymer Clay Pictorial and Inspirations

By on Monday, September 06, 2010 8 Comments

I've always believed in mixing techniques because the creativity and productivity factors then increase enormously! Take this amazing pictorial by Alkhymeia on Flickr. The full tutorial is in Italian which you will have to translate. Unfortunately as it is a pictorial, you will have to do it the hard way rather than with an online translator.

Alkhymeia is truly an inspirational designer as you can see from her outstanding combination technique work from her website and from her Flickr album. Her work is exquisite so do pop over to see more!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Quick Tests You Can Do to Test for Fake Gemstones

By on Sunday, September 05, 2010 15 Comments

A golden pearl necklace.Golden Pearls via WikipediaThere is nothing wrong with fake gemstones. They are affordable and fun so long as they are never sold as the real thing. That would be fraud.

But did you ever wonder if the jewelry you bought or acquired was real? Or if you have got some of your bead supplies horribly mixed up and need to tell them apart?

Here are quick tests for genuine gemstones that don't require special equipment.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Book Review - Creative Beading Vol. 5

By on Saturday, September 04, 2010 1 Comments

If you love Bead and Button magazine, then you will probably love the book I just received from Kalmbach Publishing. It's a compilation of the best projects from a whole year's worth. Creative Beading Vol. 5 is hardback too.

75 drop dead gorgeous designs - the kind of quality typical of this magazine. It's astonishing how many projects they do cover in a year because I found very few overlaps with the other books I recently reviewed from the same source. I wonder what the editorial conference room was like when they battled out which ones to include!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Piglets as Fashion Jewelry Models

By on Friday, September 03, 2010 9 Comments

Yep. You read right - piglets. This is not the first time I have written about pigs - check out my past post on The Pig Who Ate A Diamond Off a Ring!.

This time we have cute little piglets or just one Miss Piggie modeling jewelry. I've featured some really innovative jewelry photo shoots before (see links below) - babies, on men, even real human skeletons. But this one is a porker of an idea!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Turquoise Tree of Life Necklace in the Cherish Treasury

By on Thursday, September 02, 2010 4 Comments

I was really honored when Bria of HandmadeByBria chose my Turquoise Tree of Life pendant necklace for her Cherish Etsy Treasury. Thanks Bria! It's her very first one and it features all her favorite things.

How to Make a Convertible Charm Necklace/Bracelet Tutorials

By on Thursday, September 02, 2010 5 Comments

When I stumbled upon this video from Blue Moon Beads, I slapped my forehead and went, "Why didn't I think of this before ?" Their convertible charm jewelry tutorial shows us how to make a charm bracelet which can be worn separately or attached to a necklace portion. It's also the technique used by the designers of the World's Most Expensive Sports Bra.

It really is fast and easy as they said. They used only silver tone charms, but I am sure we each have all sorts of different ideas on charm jewelry designs!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How to Make Friendship Bracelets Tutorials

By on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 6 Comments

Did you know friendship bracelets began as a Central American tradition? There are two indigenous traditions accorded to wearing these bracelets. The first decrees the recipient must wear the bracelet until the cords fall apart because that's the way to honor the maker's effort. The second bestows the fulfillment of a wish once the bracelet disintegrates!

Many of us have fabric scraps, short bits of leather, embroidery floss, ribbons and other cords lying around. Why not make a bracelet base of leather and braid those scraps away?. I've hand picked the tutorials here because they are particularly lovely familiar and not so familiar friendship bracelets. Now that school is almost starting up, these are just the gifts the younger set might wish to give to their pals.