Saturday, January 31, 2015

Unusual Bar and Chain Earrings Tutorial

By on Saturday, January 31, 2015 1 Comments

Just when I think I have seen all possible variations of earrings, something comes along to prove me wrong.  Check out Erin's unusual bar and chain earrings tutorial over on her blog, Thanks, I Made It. It is a clever adaptation of stud earrings.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Leatherman Thread is a Wearable Multi-Tool Bracelet

By on Friday, January 30, 2015 5 Comments

The world's oldest multitool gadget is probably this 3rd century C.E. Roman device which looks similar to a Swiss Army knife. Roll on nearly 2000 years, and we still like to have a handy and portable multi-tool around for when we don't have a full tool kit available. Leatherman, the multitool company are coming out soon with Thread, the world's first wearable multi-tool bracelet.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Secure Wire Loop Attachment for Beaded Ropes and Kumihimo Cords

By on Thursday, January 29, 2015 5 Comments

Most of us would probably just glue completed beaded ropes and kumihimo cords to the end caps.  However, we want more security, right?  Check out this awesome tip by Melinda, the Editor of Beadwork magazine over on the Beading Daily blog.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to Make an Adjustable Sautoir Inspired Necklace Tutorial

By on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 3 Comments

Sautoir* necklaces - really long chain affairs - are really easy to make. They team up well with winterwear like plain sweaters and turtlenecks. This tutorial shows you how to make them adjustable length so you can wear them in different ways and mix and match with other necklaces.

how to make an adjustable sautoir inspired necklace tutorial

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Japanese Faux Food Jewelry by Fake Food Hatanaka

By on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 4 Comments

I have featured polymer clay artisans who make small scale faux food jewelry before (see links below).  However, Japanese artisans take the craft to a whole new level!  There is an entire handcraft industry in Japan devoted to creating uber realistic, delicious looking and life size food dishes. These are used by restaurants and cafes to visually display their menu.  Artisan Norihito Hatanaka`s work on Fake Food Hatanaka takes it one step further. He added faux food jewelry and accessories to his repertoire! (and yes, they do sell!)

Fruit Necklace

Monday, January 26, 2015

Winner of Melody MacDuffee's Wire Jewelry Video Workshop Giveaway/ Discount code correction

By on Monday, January 26, 2015 1 Comments

Wasn't MelodyMacDuffee's twisted wire jewelry video tutorials in last week's giveaway wonderful? So many pretty and delicate designs! Learning through a video tutorial sure is handy if you cannot get to an instructor's class.

House of Gems' $75 Gift Certificate Giveaway for Jewelry Supplies

By on Monday, January 26, 2015 111 Comments

Remember House of Gems?  They are a long established California based jewelry supply company which caters for both hobbyists and artisans alike with volume discounts! Well, they are back with another great giveaway.

gold chain and pearl sautoir necklace

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Wire Work Heart Jewelry Tutorial Collection

By on Sunday, January 25, 2015 1 Comments

You know I collect heart jewelry tutorials, right?  So here is another crop of wonderful wire work howtos for Valentine's Day or any day you wish to gift someone you love with a, well, heartfelt handmade sentiment. First up is this lovely crochet with beads heart tutorial from Preciosa-Ornela. The foundation is a wire heart frame.  The beads are strung on beading elastic and then crocheted around the wire!  This design not only works for a pendant but you can make it any size - Christmas ornament, perhaps?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Beaded Tassel Earrings on Bead Caps Tutorial

By on Saturday, January 24, 2015 2 Comments

Beginners may only think of flat chandlier findings but bead caps sure work too.  I think this latter bead cap approach is nearer to real chandeliers! Here is another take on beaded tassel earrings using bead caps. The tutorial is by Amy Cousin.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Grinner Fishing Knot Tutorial for Jewelry Clasp Ends

By on Friday, January 23, 2015 5 Comments

My past post on how to use fishing knots for jewelry making was a hit. Many jewelry designs are based on cords so finding a good knot especially for jewelry clasp ends is a good thing.  We want the knots to look good and also to hold firmly.  Glue would not be necessary. Think about it - fishermen do not use glue on knots and yet they are firm enough to take the weight when a fish is caught.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review - Fiber & Cord Jewelry

By on Thursday, January 22, 2015 1 Comments

Bohemian or "Boho-chic"  is the particular style which reflects the carefree fashion approach to using less conventional materials.This imaginative style does indeed remind one of the original inspirations, the spirited nomads of Central Europe. Bohemian comes from the French word "Bohémien" for "gypsy". Boho chic jewelry makers typically love using leather, cords, lace and ribbon.

book review - fiber and cord jewelry

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Make Easy Stamped Gilded Earrings Tutorial

By on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 4 Comments

Metal stamping is a fun way to add texture to your metal blanks. It's not always about stamping words!  So I came up with this very easy stamped gilded earrings tutorial to show you what I mean.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Inspirational Beaded Accessories by Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild

By on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 8 Comments

Did you know Etsy has teams?  If you sell on Etsy, then you can "bond" with those of likemind and help support each other.  One such team is the Bead Embroidery Guild - a group with some 30 + accomplished international bead artisans. Carolyn Turner, their team captain, said typing EBEG in Etsy's search field will pull up the groups' photographs.  So I did.  Here are some of my favorites from this awesome group!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Winner of Endless Leather's $50 Giveaway for Leather Jewelry Supplies

By on Monday, January 19, 2015 2 Comments

I find it strange some people have never tried leather for jewelry making before.  At least until they saw the awesome leather supplies from Endless Leather which was spotlighted in last week's giveaway.  Leather is very versatile to design with and comfortable to wear.

Melody MacDuffee's Twisted Wire Jewelry Workshop Video Giveaway

By on Monday, January 19, 2015 40 Comments

Melody MacDuffee is a wire jewelry artist who does beautiful filigree like designs with twisted wire. I wrote about her designs and her work with Soul Somanya last week.  Her distinctive style of jewelry making was also the subject of her first book, Lacy Wire Jewelry, which I reviewed a few years ago.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Colored Coiled Wire Bangle Tutorial

By on Sunday, January 18, 2015 2 Comments

I now own both the Artistic Wire Worker and the  Deluxe Coiling Gizmo.  I like them both.  I bought the Artistic Wire Worker mainly because it is hand held and portable. It has several different types of mandrels - not just the round kinds.  The Coiling Gizmo has different sizes of round mandrels and has to be attached to a work bench.  I bought this one because it is easier for making a thick coiled wire bracelet form as shown in this past post.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Subscriber Poll : Do You Like Shortened Posts?

By on Saturday, January 17, 2015 17 Comments

It started as a glitch a few days ago when email subscribers were seeing shortened posts i.e. where there is a Read More link to take you to my blog itself.  This was not supposed to happen when I made some changes for RSS subscribers.  I am still working with my subscriber service to try and fix it.

Beautiful Necklace Displays Using Wallpaper

By on Saturday, January 17, 2015 6 Comments

Making your own jewelry displays not only saves money but the designs can be unique and attractive.  Laurel Steven on Etsy shared some photographs on her Flickr photostream on how she made her beautiful necklace displays using wall paper and scrapbook paper.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Quick Start Peyote Cards to Make Beading Easier

By on Friday, January 16, 2015 3 Comments

I am constantly amazed at the innovative products out there.  A relatively new one is the Quick Start Peyote Cards which was invented by Deb Moffet-Hall. Peyote is not that difficult to do but I concede the stitch is tricky to start especially with the smaller beads. You also have to add both the first and second rows of beads in the first pass through. So some care is needed with colored patterns. Any help especially for beginners is appreciated!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Book Review - Chain Mail and Wire Reimagined

By on Thursday, January 15, 2015 4 Comments

Don't get me wrong.  I do like chain mail.  But after a while, the weaves kind of blur with each other. When you've seen one Byzantine bracelet, you've seen them all in many ways.  But artisans who add colored rings, beads and other beautiful components do revitalize this jewelry making technique.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Measure and Make European Leather Bracelets With Any Clasp

By on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 6 Comments

European leather is thick and scrumptious for quick bracelet designs. These are easy to make - just cut and glue on the clasps, right?  But how to measure and make them so there is no wastage?  You could start out with a longer piece and slowly trim and fit on the clasp until you got the length just right. Not very efficient. Here is an alternative way to measure and make European leather bracelets with any clasp. Get it right with just one cut.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jewelry by Melody MacDuffee and Soul of Somanya

By on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 1 Comments

Some artisans embark on remarkable journeys.  Melody MacDuffee, who comes from Alabama, started with fibre crochet.  She then included fine wire in her work and grew from there.  Melody is the author of a wonderful book called Lacy Wire Jewelry which I reviewed a while ago.  There are also examples of her distinctive style of delicate wire work in her Etsy store, Melody Arts.  My favorites are shown here.

Melody MacDuffee's Amazonite Pin with 3 metals

Monday, January 12, 2015

Endless Leather $50 Gift Certicate Giveaway for Leather Supplies

By on Monday, January 12, 2015 136 Comments

Leather is a perennial favorite with many jewelry makers.  It is easy to understand why.  The natural material is warm to the touch and wonderful to work with.  One international supplier of fabulous leather cord is the German company, Endless Leather. They do both retail and discounted volume sales.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Superduo Beaded Snowflake Jewelry Tutorials

By on Sunday, January 11, 2015 4 Comments

It is absolutely true, at the molecular level, no two snowflakes are identical.  Snowflakes of the beaded varieties are no less boundless in their creative styles! Here are more snowflake tutorials featuring Superduo beads which have 2 holes.  The first tutorial uses both Superduo and Farfalle beads. It is by Ukranian beader Lena who writes the Otvettyt blog. She also includes some bicones and seed beads in her beautiful pendant design.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Bead Up a Bangle to add Color and Sparkle!

By on Saturday, January 10, 2015 0 Comments

This wonderful tutorial was sent to me by Debra Schwartz of DatzKatz Designs so she could share her easy way of adding color and perhaps sparkle.  Just bead up a bangle with some seed beads and you are on your way to customizing simple bangles - new or old.  The tutorial is on Slideshare where you can download and print it out.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Wire and Polymer Clay Leaf Brooch Tutorial

By on Friday, January 09, 2015 5 Comments

Polymer clay offers a lot of options for beautiful colors and textures.  But so few artisans combine wire with it.  The effect is simply wonderful!  Just check out this awesome tutorial for a wire and polymer clay leaf brooch tutorial.  It is by Karina Formanova over on

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Book Review - Bead Metamorphosis

By on Thursday, January 08, 2015 1 Comments

Wearing your beaded jewelry in different ways really extends the wearability of the pieces.  Why let these languish in your jewelry box?  Some tricks include as swapping out components for others or making the piece reversible are some of the ways.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

How to Make Watercolor Earrings Tutorials

By on Wednesday, January 07, 2015 1 Comments

I know many of you are artistically inclined so why not combine water colors with jewelry? Some of the loveliest watercolor designs I have seen are by Ross Barbera.  His Youtube video for a pair of watercolor earrings teaches the basics of how to make water color color earrings - you can come up with your own shapes and artwork.  The tutorial as well as the earrings themselves are meticulously done.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Masterpiece Beadwork Jewelry by Ann Braginsky

By on Tuesday, January 06, 2015 9 Comments

One jawdroppingly good master beader is Ann Braginsky or more accurately in Russian, Anna Braginskaya. She says beads are, "The language of art, which I chose (or it chose me)".  She is indeed an extraordinary bead artist. Her award winning designs include the downright gorgeous Petrel necklace a vision of beautifully rendered graduated feathers.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Winner of Little Window's $50 Gift Certiificate for Resin Jewelry Supplies

By on Monday, January 05, 2015 2 Comments

Many of you have not yet tried resin jewelry judging from the comments on last week's giveaway for a $50 gift certificate from Little Windows.  Believe me, it is a lot of fun!  And quite addictive as you can see from the various snowflake pieces I did for my resin snowflake jewelry tutorial. I didn't stop until I ran out of snowflake stickers!

Convertible Pip Bead Flower Bracelet Tutorial

By on Monday, January 05, 2015 0 Comments

I really like the idea of making your own slider beads on European leather bracelets. They make for unique focals.  See my wire work slider designs here and here.  I mentioned beaded ones will be awesome too.  So here is a great convertible Pip bead flower tutorial by Chloe Menage for Beads Direct UK.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Beading Gem Celebrates 8 Years of Blogging!

By on Sunday, January 04, 2015 23 Comments

It's hard to believe today marks my 8th blogging anniversary! When I first started writing back in early 2007, I never even dreamed it would grow to what it is now. I didn't even enjoy writing back then but I thought it would be a neat way to showcase the work of my beginner students! Who knew I would end up teaching and help inspire through it?  And reach out far beyond where I live in Canada.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Tool Review : Hand Drills for Resin and Polymer Clay Jewelry

By on Saturday, January 03, 2015 2 Comments

Electric drills make holes in a split second. But I generally prefer more manual methods for better control and precision - like hole punchers for metal and hand drills for resin and polymer clay jewelry pieces. In this tool review, I will compare between the use of a simple hand drill and a spiral rachet (spring) drill on polymers like resin and clay.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Alternative Wire Wrapped Briolette Pendant Tutorial

By on Friday, January 02, 2015 3 Comments

A very common way of wire wrapping side drilled beads is just to take the wire around the top of the bead several times. Bored with that?  Here is an alternative wire wrapped tear drop briolette pendant tutorial from the House of Gems.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Book Review - Copper Jewelry Collection

By on Thursday, January 01, 2015 3 Comments

We often think of copper as the metal to use when we are practicing. But it is a beautiful metal in its own right and deserves to be used in final jewelry pieces. Those who can wear this metal should count themselves lucky! While British scientists have shown wearing copper bracelets do not relieve pain from arthritis, there is something truly beneficial about copper. Copper and its alloys are natural anti-microbial substances (see my past post Copper is Not Just for Jewelry). It actually inhibits the growth of bacteria.  So it is not just a good looking metal for jewelry making!