Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Earring Design Ideas Hub Page!

By on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 5 Comments

Swingin' Earrings
Part 2 of 3

I like to quote this saying every chance I get - " To teach is to learn twice"- Joseph Joubert, French author (1755-1824). We often experience that at beading workshops and parties as rank beginners astound us with different ideas and approaches.

As they are new to the craft,  they are also unaware of limits. This can be an asset when it comes to creating. It's like watching a young child easily solve a Rubik's cube. Their minds are unfettered with the what ifs and the uncertainties. They just do it.

Owlita's Amazing Feather Earrings

By on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 6 Comments

Swingin' Earrings
Part 1 of 3

Feather jewelry always has that element of drama. But you cannot be more dramatic than Owlita,the brainchild of Oregon designer, Ashley Doty.

The inspiration behind the colorful and flamboyant earring collection came from a real owl which lived in the backyard tree next to her bedroom window.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Duncroft Masterworks Warrior Pendant Giveaway Winners

By on Monday, November 29, 2010 0 Comments

Although most men apparently don't go for jewelry, a number of people were indeed interested in last week's Duncroft Masterworks Warrior Pendant giveaway. What surprised me though were the comments from women who liked the pendants for themselves.

One of them, Susan of Susanna Originals said, "Never mind the guys, Pearl! Marc's stuff is awesome and I'd wear it myself in a heartbeat! Nice designs and I like the tie-in with history."

Wire Wrapped Bangle Giveaway from Melisma Wirework

By on Monday, November 29, 2010 63 Comments

When we design and make jewelry or indeed create any art form, we put something of ourselves in the pieces. The reason I featured Toronto based Aparna Halpé before was because her wire work reflected both her Sri Lankan heritage and her music background.

Aparna has kindly offered this wonderful gold and bronze alloy wire bangle called Dreamtime for a giveaway. Perfect timing for Christmas! The bangle features a shell and freshwater pearl accents.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How To Make Jewelry from Coins

By on Sunday, November 28, 2010 7 Comments

Money makes money
Part 2 of 2
Coins have been used for jewelry for centuries. Precious metal coins like gold and silver ones have a significant monetary value so wearing them showed off wealth and status. It was also of keeping one's money about you rather than leaving it unguarded at home.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Origami Banknote Jewelry

By on Saturday, November 27, 2010 4 Comments

Money makes money
Part 1 of 2

Travelers once used links in gold chain jewelry to help them pay for their needs. There were no ATMs back in the old days! Our lightweight paper currency definitely made travel easier.

Tine De Ruysser, a Belgian artisan who makes origami jewelry from real banknotes says wearing paper money jewelry also does the same thing as gold jewelry - displays wealth and is an easy source of ready money. As her jewelry is merely folded, the component notes can be taken apart and used!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Beaded Eyelash Jewelry by Spirys

By on Friday, November 26, 2010 7 Comments

I really don't have the gumption to wear false eyelashes. But Spirys on Etsy's amazing beaded eyelash jewelry is awesome for those bolder than I.

She says her beaded eyelash jewelry is a whole lot more durable than the feathery fake stuff you buy at the drugstore. What a brilliant innovative concept from this Vermont based artisan.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

2 Easy Ways to Create a Facebook Landing Page

By on Thursday, November 25, 2010 11 Comments

I was rather late getting started with a Facebook Page. To be honest, I didn't really like the clunky and occasionally buggy software. But Facebook is huge -  it recently surpassed Google as the most visited site in the US. So if you are interested in promoting your jewelry store, it can't be ignored.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Making a Chain Necklace for an Awesome Turquoise Pendant

By on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 4 Comments

Johnette bought an awesome turquoise focal pendant in Dubai. This beautiful piece had charms dangling below it including a tear drop turquoise bead. She needed a necklace to go with the pendant.

So she and Debbie (Widgets' Beads) put their heads together and came up with a chain interspersed with turquoise chips and gorgeous mother of pearl disc beads.

How to Make Holiday Beaded Ornaments Tutorials

By on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 5 Comments

It's not because I have suddenly become politically correct. I have used the word "Holiday" in the title because I really meant all kinds of holidays, not just Christmas. If you made some of these ornaments in red and gold, then you have wonderful decorations for Chinese New Year too. All green? Then you will be ready for St Patrick's Day!

I also like these tutorials for another reason. The non-jewelry projects also help use up our bead stashes!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

China's $331 Million Giant Legendary Luminous "Pearl"

By on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 7 Comments

Just recently China put on display in Wenchang, Hainan, the world's largest luminous "pearl". These are not really pearls as we know them but a rare kind of glow in the dark (phosphorescent) fluorite.

This giant luminous pearl specimen, which weighs in at 6 tonnes and is 1.6 m (5 feet) high, took 3 years to grind into a sphere!

Gaurav Gupta's Tangled Chain Jewelry Designs

By on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 5 Comments

Chain is a basic component in jewelry making. Yet, many artisans go beyond the basics and make this humble component very much part of their overall designs.

This latest find is the Gaurav Gupta's Jewelry collection where oodles of chain are deliberately used in a tangled fashion. Wonderful asymmetrical statement necklaces for little black dresses!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Duncroft Masterworks Warrior Pendant Giveaways

By on Monday, November 22, 2010 48 Comments

You can blame Beau Brummel, the Regency era dandy, who decreed the minimalist style for men (see my past post) nearly 200 years ago. Many men today still don't wear jewelry and if they do, they often have difficulty finding what they like.

That's exactly how Duncroft Masterworks based here in Halifax, Nova Scotia got started with a very masculine collection of jewelry when Marc Murphy decided to design jewelry he liked. The pieces are "... for any man that wants to pay tribute to the warrior cultures of the past."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Genetics Inspired Jewelry and Tutorials

By on Sunday, November 21, 2010 4 Comments

The 19th century was the century when the study of matter shifted from hokey alchemy to modern chemistry. Then came the 20th century's physics based emphasis on combustion, electricity and nuclear power. Our 21st century has been labeled as the century of biology.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Futuristic Adornment : Tron Movie Inspired Jewelry

By on Saturday, November 20, 2010 0 Comments

Perhaps some of you are geeky like me. I am looking forward to Disney's movie Tron: Legacy which will be released next month. Like many movies these days, merchandising often includes jewelry.

The futuristic angular look and grid patterns as well as the black and neon colors are some the key design elements designers can use. Tom Tom Jewelry designed these striking creations for Walt Disney Signature.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bead and Wire Jar Holder Gift Idea

By on Friday, November 19, 2010 2 Comments

Are you already making gifts for Christmas? If you are, then I'll bet there are some on your list who won't be interested in any jewelry, lovely though it may be.

If you happen to like making special treats in jars, then this bead and wire jar holder tutorial might be an excellent way of showing off your jewelry making skills in a different way.

Face Distorting Jewelry by Burcu Buyukunal

By on Friday, November 19, 2010 12 Comments

Remember the old nursery rhyme with these lines, “What is your fortune, my pretty maid? My face is my fortune, Sir, she said.“? In many ways, that’s been true for women through the ages. Appearances do matter.

Symmetrical appearances have been scientifically shown to be considered more attractive - for humans and well as many animals. It's all about attracting mates.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Princess Diana's Engagement Ring Fuels Demands for Copies

By on Thursday, November 18, 2010 4 Comments

It really didn't take long. Just hours after the news broke about Prince William and Kate Middleton's long awaited engagement, jewelers started getting calls from well-heeled women for copies of THE sapphire and diamond ring.

REFILE - A pair of photographs show Kate Middleton (L), fiance of Britain's Prince William posing in London November 16, 2010 and William's mother Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing the same engagment ring in London in an August 28, 1996 file photo. Britain's Prince William is to marry his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton next year, after an on-off courtship lasting nearly a decade, bringing months of speculation about his intentions to an end.  REUTERS/Paul Hackett/Dan Chung (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ROYALS PROFILE)
Kate Middleton (left) and Princess Diana (right)

Book Review - Classic Chain Mail Jewelry

By on Thursday, November 18, 2010 4 Comments

There aren't very many chain maille or chain mail jewelry books. A mere handful compared to other titles for bead work, metal smith and especially wire work.

Perhaps it's still not that popular a technique but that might change with more books like Sue Ripsch's new Classic Chain Mail Jewelry: A treasury of weaves which Kalmbach Publishing just sent to me for review.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to Make Easy Stunning Swarovksi Bracelet Tutorials

By on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 3 Comments

Some of the most spectacular jewelry are those made from crystals - you can see some lovely examples from my past book review on Crystal Brilliance. Or you could up your wire skills for something like the awesome Swarovski Flower bracelet tutorial. The former needs time, the latter, wire work experience.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Glass Harp Jewelry at the TIFF Gifting Lounge

By on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 4 Comments

Susan with Kevin Sorbo (Hercules TVseries)
Susan Hood is a well known Nova Scotian lamp work glass artisan and instructor whom I've featured before. She had a wonderful experience earlier this fall when her Glass Harp Jewelry made an appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival's (TIFF) Gifting Lounge.

Now how does one get into such an event? What happens there? And is it worth the effort? Those were the questions I had when Susan and I began emailing each other back and forth.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bead and Save's Lamp Work Beads Giveaway Winner!

By on Monday, November 15, 2010 4 Comments

There were many lamp work fans who entered last week's Bead and Save giveaway.The gorgeous classic black and white beads as well as the old black and white picture of Bead and Save's Gail and Karen drew a number of comments.

Judy Lovell, a fellow Canadian beader said, "I too am not in the springtime of my life. I like to think somewhat early autumn, hard to say, maybe late autumn, some days feels like late winter!" We hear you! At least those of us of a certain vintage!

How to Make Super Sized Hoop Earrings

By on Monday, November 15, 2010 10 Comments

Some years ago, one beader at a beading party designed this enormous hoop earrings which was about 5-6 inches long (and kind of droopy because it was sterling silver wire)!  At the time, I thought it was the largest earrings I had ever seen. But these Solomon Chase  XXL earrings are like wearing hula hoops!

Did you notice she tucks them safely under her arms?  And manages to go about her day! This is street fashion for you.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Innovative Pearl Jewelry Designs by Melanie Georgacopoulos

By on Sunday, November 14, 2010 3 Comments

Queen of Gems
Part 2 of 2
One of the first pearl innovations was the ability to culture them in farms rather than relying on lucky oyster or mussel finds. It actually took centuries of attempts until the the Japanese developed it over a century ago (see my past post, The Man Who Loved Pearls).  Jewelry artisans today continue to innovate this queen of gems.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lace and Pearl Bracelet Tutorial

By on Saturday, November 13, 2010 5 Comments

Queen of Gems
Part 1 of 2
There is a well known saying  - "The pearl is the queen of gems and the gem of queens" (author unknown).  How true is it as pearls were once so rare only the very wealthy could afford them. Through the centuries, pearls were the epitome of class and elegance.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Valuable Diamond Ring Found 2 Years After Being Flushed Away in A Toilet

By on Friday, November 12, 2010 2 Comments

Toilet in german theater munichImage via WikipediaLast year I wrote about the extraordinary effort required to retrieve a $70,000 ring which was accidentally flushed down a US restaurant toilet. Apparently losing expensive rings that way happens more often than I thought. And the lengths people will go through to get them back...

Joan Spiers, a 67 year old English woman just recently got back her valuable certified diamond antique gold ring two years after she lost it down a hotel toilet. She was very distraught at the time. It was not just the cost but the sentimental value as the ring was given to her by her late husband.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Designing Earring Gifts

By on Thursday, November 11, 2010 3 Comments

Pat is one of our most remarkable beaders at our workshops. She is artistically inclined and loves to design earrings. Although she finds it challenging to see properly due to vision problems, she nonetheless forges ahead. This time she has gifts in mind.

Her daughter does not like necklaces but will wear earrings so Pat whipped up this black and silver number just for her.

What To Do If Your Tools Mark Your Jewelry Wire

By on Thursday, November 11, 2010 9 Comments

Two people have asked me what they could do about the tool marks on  jewelry wire. Well, I reassured them that with practice, there will be fewer marks.

Over manipulating the wire will result in the marks. It happens to most of us. That's why we practice with cheaper copper wire first before committing to the more expensive metals like silver or gold.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to Make Your Own Body Chain Tutorial

By on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 6 Comments

Chain Inspirations
Part 2 of 2

Making your own body chains not only saves you money but you can custom the lengths to fit you. So if you've got the urge to make these slinky accessories to go with outfits, then check out these tutorials.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Armor Collection - Avant Garde Body Chain Jewelry

By on Tuesday, November 09, 2010 6 Comments

Chain Inspirations
Part 1 of 2

Chain drapes well so it`s a super choice for body jewelry. New York based designer, Sandee Shin`s Armor Jewelry is a fabulous example of how just chain can be used in avant-garde designs.

The artisan`s background in performance art and design does indeed influence how she designs her outstanding handmade pieces.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bead and Save's Black and White Lamp Work Beads Giveaway

By on Monday, November 08, 2010 53 Comments

Bead and Save has returned with another lamp work bead giveaway for one lucky reader! This black and white beauty features 24 lamp work beads as well as 6 white glass bead caps and 2 black rhinestone spacers. The sharp contrast in the black and white beads will make classic and stylish jewelry designs pop!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gold Fever - Klondike Gold Rush

By on Sunday, November 07, 2010 3 Comments

Many years ago, an outdoor enthusiast colleague of mine hiked the Chilkoot trail which starts from Dyea in Alaska across the Coast mountains via the Chilkoot pass and down to Bennett in British Columbia, Canada and then onwards to Dawson City by rented canoe. Her photos were incredible.

I was fascinated with her trek along a truly historic route. She was on the same path as the fevered gold seekers of the Klondike Gold Rush (1897-98). The depression during that last decade of the 19th century had wearied many and some were willing to try anything to get rich quickly.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Rings and Things Wish List

By on Saturday, November 06, 2010 8 Comments

I am in Rings and Things' pool of design bloggers although I have yet to be picked to do a design post. But they did send out their latest Fall supplement catalogue of goodies and hoped we would write about it. We aren't paid for this but by golly, they sure can get sales from us as I've already started a wish list!

Friday, November 5, 2010

$8 million iPhone4 Diamond Rose

By on Friday, November 05, 2010 0 Comments

I have no trouble envisioning an $8 million mansion but to spend that much money on something that fits in the palm of your hand and will be outmoded anyway in a couple of years or so? The mind boggles.

Such is the cost of the world's most expensive iPhone4 courtesy of British jewelry, Stuart Hughes who likes embellishing popular gadgets. This one has a bezel filled some 500 flawless diamonds weighing more than 100 carats. Turn the device over, and there are 53 more forming the Apple logo. The navigation button is a platinum set 7.4 carat pink diamond.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Interchangeable Necklace Idea

By on Thursday, November 04, 2010 0 Comments

Beading Daily's recent interchangeable necklace tutorial is a great idea to get different looks from a single necklace. There are 3 clasps used which allows several permutations of the 3 beaded strands. It's easy to guess where those clasps have to be!

It's a similar idea to making a convertible necklace-bracelet design. For further inspirations, check out these past tips and tricks below :

Tutorial - How to Make Spiral Origami Earrings

By on Thursday, November 04, 2010 1 Comments

Like origami jewelry?  But oh so tired of the crane?  Well, I stumbled upon this neat origami spiral earrings tutorial by Laura on Cut Out and Keep. Laura only covers the earring construction in this how-to which will be easy for most if not all of you.

To make the spiral, you will need her spiral tutorial also from the same site. She illustrates it very well and uses larger pieces of paper. The different colored papers also added to the attractiveness of this folding technique.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stained Glass Inspired Wire and Resin Artistry

By on Wednesday, November 03, 2010 7 Comments

I first came across Spanish based Kukla Studio on Craftgawker and you can see why I was immediately taken with her wonderful wire and resin work. Her unique landscape and nature inspired earrings look rather like stained glass. Her attention to detail and love of color all add to the light enhancing special technique she uses.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Book Review - Colorful Aluminum Jewelry

By on Tuesday, November 02, 2010 7 Comments

Sure we can make jewelry from aluminum cans. But if you were thinking that such jewelry will not be the kind of bling you like, think again. Kalmbach Publishing just sent me one of their latest releases,  Create Colorful Aluminum Jewelry by Helen Harle. The designs Helen came up with are truly delightful and inspirational!

The book features 21 project designs ranging from simpler projects to statement pieces like my favorite, the wisteria necklace. I marvel at the author's creativity as she uses simple paper punches to cut out the metal shapes. An aluminum can, once cut open, is quite a large piece of sheet metal and thus will yield many pieces.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Creative Crochet Jewelry Book Winner

By on Monday, November 01, 2010 4 Comments

I didn't think many would be interested in crochet jewelry but I was wrong. A number of you were so keen, there were several multiple entries. My regards to all of you including Izzy from far away Croatia!

Enthusiasts included those who have done some wire crochet as well as those who also yarn crochet. Jillsie said she learned to crochet when she was just 7, almost 60 years ago! June has being doing fine crochet work for over 30 years! So there are some highly experienced crochet and jewelry making souls out there.

More Soda Can Jewelry Tutorials

By on Monday, November 01, 2010 6 Comments

Eco Jewelry
Part 1 of 2

Recycling aluminum soda cans for jewelry is a great idea. Don't think so? Then check out my past post on the Bombulu Workshop artisans from Kenya where the combination of wire and soda cans makes really unique jewelry. There is just one problem, you have to be very careful about sharp edges. They have to be filed down.