Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Winning at the recent Fall Business Women's Online Expo

By on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 3 Comments

Winning comments Part 1 of 2
Well, well, well. I had a lot of fun last Sunday visiting virtually all the shops participating in the online expo, sprinkling comments as I went along to show my support. I never expected to win anything but I did, not once but twice.

How to Make Word or Text Beads Tutorials

By on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 10 Comments

Wordcraft Part 3 of 3
Words are very powerful. They have the ability to make us think, let our imaginations soar, impart deep emotion and also make us laugh. String words together and you will get a message to share. So here are some neat tutorials to make word or text beads :

1. Word Tube Beads is a brilliant tutorial by Pat Winter who shows us how to make them out of acrylic tubing, beads, rondelles or bead caps and wire.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Library of Antique Miniature Books Necklace

By on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 8 Comments

Wordcraft Part 2 of 3
I have loved books ever since I could read although I now don't devour them as fast as I used to when I was younger. They are still my primary source of information - the internet notwithstanding - and pleasure with well crafted stories and articles. Although there are now plenty of electronic literature some even with clickable page turning, these can't truly replace the feel of paper, the physical act of turning a page and the smell of an old book.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I Forgot Necklace by BrassIsaac

By on Monday, September 28, 2009 3 Comments

Wordcraft Part 1 of 3
As many of you have gathered already, I enjoy crafting with words. Therefore I was predictably charmed when I came across Anna's work. Here is someone who also appreciates words. Anna is the artisan behind BrassIsaac on Etsy and specialises in personalized nameplates and monograms. The design that caught my eye first was her I forgot necklace featuring a shrinky dinks pendant and a vintage brass necklace.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Luxury Jewelry Pictures with Seashells and Coral

By on Sunday, September 27, 2009 4 Comments

I've noticed many artisans take wonderful pictures of their jewelry creations with seashells even starfishes, on sand and rocks. One example is a reader, Hawaiian Jamee who writes the Jonara Blu Maui blog. As a Canadian, I like gawking there particularly in the middle of winter!

8.74 carat emerald cut blue diamond (estimated US$3.7-4.5 million)

First Annual Fall Business Women Online Expo

By on Sunday, September 27, 2009 3 Comments

Don't you just love the internet? You don't have to get off your couch or your desk to attend seminars or expos any more. One exciting online show is the very First Annual Fall Business Women Online Expo which has just started.Hat tip to Michelle over at Evie's Tool Emporium who told me about it. She has booth #17.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Incredible Gold Ornaments of the Staffordshire Hoard

By on Saturday, September 26, 2009 4 Comments

The UK's Largest Collection Of Anglo Saxon Treasure Goes On Display
The story of the incredible Anglo-Saxon archaeological find in England called the Staffordshire Hoard is remarkable not only because it is a significant discovery but because it vindicated big time, the efforts of a metal detector enthusiast - 55 year old unemployed Terry Herbert who lives alone in assisted housing and on disability benefit. He said it was" more fun than winning the lottery."

Friday, September 25, 2009

How to Make Kumihimo-Style Braided Bracelets on DIY Discs

By on Friday, September 25, 2009 4 Comments

Braided Bracelets
Part 2 of 2
The exquisite Japanese art of braid making is called kumihimo (see my past post). Complex patterns are created using tools such as the discs or larger wooden looms. Many jewelry artisans have exploited this technique by adding beads into the interlaced cords to create beautiful bracelets. If you are new to this technique, here are a couple of tutorials using DIY tools to try before you commit to proper kumihimo discs.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How to Make Finger Loop Braided Bracelets

By on Thursday, September 24, 2009 14 Comments

Braided Bracelets
Part 1 of 2
Finger loop braids were once popular in medieval Europe. It involved braiding using just fingers and loops called "bowes" of thread or cord. The cords were extensively used as drawstrings, lacing and fasteners in the days before zips, buttons and velcro were invented.

Finger loop braiding has great potential for modern day jewelry making as they make excellent bracelets and chokers. It's also a highly portable craft as you can do this anywhere so long as you have something to anchor the work.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Etsy's handmade promotional video finalists

By on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 3 Comments

Audiences are moving in droves to the internet and it's no wonder the advertising industry is also making the jump from traditional print media to the web. Video advertising is now hot but ads can range wildly from the banal to slick productions. In a totally different and charming class of their own are the kind of ads only handmade artisans can produce.

Restring to revamp a necklace

By on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 4 Comments

If you've got a less than stylish necklace or one that you have simply grown tired off, take it apart and restring it! Many of the beaders who come to our workshops do so. Sharon brought in the orange coral beads on a necklace which so desperately needed a new touch.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jewels You Can Really Eat!

By on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 5 Comments

Faking gemstones
Part 2 of 2
Love jewelry AND chocolates? Here is a decadent gift to enjoy - Chocolatine's Chocouture Diamond Collection (link no longer available). They have a great line on their website -"If diamonds are a girl's best [friend], the CHOCOUTURE diamond collection is a girl's guilty pleasure."

Monday, September 21, 2009

How to Make Resin Gemstones I

By on Monday, September 21, 2009 5 Comments

Faking Gemstones
Part 1 of 2

People have been faking gemstones for centuries. Over two hundred years ago, a German jeweler called Georg Friedrich Strass came up with a diamond wannabee by making a type of glass which he initially backed with metal foil, then later with a mirror coating to make them more sparkly.

Today we call these diamond simulants rhinestones or Strass if you're from Europe. Did you know that the word rhinestones once applied to rock crystals (clear quartz) from the river Rhine in Germany?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Jewelry Made with Real Hair - Past and Present

By on Sunday, September 20, 2009 3 Comments

Hair today, jewelry tomorrow
Part 2 of 2
Jewelry made with hair is not new. The practice dates back centuries where woven hair bracelets were exchanged between men and women as tokens of affection. Occasionally they were also made in remembrance of a deceased loved one. The Victorians were particularly fond of this memento style of jewelry. Queen Victoria, a jewelry hound, made quite a number as gifts.

For The Love Of Beads Giveaway Winner

By on Sunday, September 20, 2009 4 Comments

Not as many readers entered for FOR THE LOVE OF BEADS' giveaway but those who did really loved the look of organic beads. Many of you said it was definitely your style! So now you know where to go when you get bead cravings. You got to like online shopping at any time of day or night!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Easy Tutorial for Kids - How to Make a Hair Elastic Bracelet

By on Saturday, September 19, 2009 4 Comments

If you sell jewelry at craft shows then you'll know from the kids hovering around that the love of bling starts early. But what if the little girls you know are too young or you don't really want them to delve into your bead collection?  Here is a solution - colorful bracelets made from inexpensive hair elastic. You can buy those in large packets at the dollar store.

Recycled Trash made into Jewelry

By on Saturday, September 19, 2009 2 Comments

Creativity is defined as the ability to make something new and original. In my mind, the best test of that kind of resourcefulness is the ability to create something lovely from the most unlikely of materials - trash. Yes, actual garbage that turns up at the recycling depot.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How to Use Crimp Covers, Wire Guardians and 3 Different Kinds of Crimping Pliers

By on Friday, September 18, 2009 14 Comments

How to use a crimp cover
I really loved this video I found on Youtube where the instructor from the Megabeadstore shows us how to use a crimp cover to hide the crimp.

However, what was neat was where she placed the crimp bead - not immediately next to the clasp as most of us do. She sandwiched the crimp bead between groups of metal beads. By the time she added the crimp cover, you'd be hard pressed to find where the crimp was!

Cinnamon Oil, Bacteria, Thieves' Oil and Jewelry

By on Friday, September 18, 2009 10 Comments

The overuse of antibiotics have raised several strains of bacteria resistant to them. Hospitals are constantly fighting a huge battle against these nasty bugs. Now researchers have discovered that cinnamon oil does kill bacteria. Its powerful property so impressed them that they are recommending a 10% cinnamon oil solution be used as an alternative to several different kinds of antiseptics used in hospitals.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How to Make Chains from Swarovski Jewelry Connectors

By on Thursday, September 17, 2009 5 Comments

Chain Inspirations Part 2 of 2
When I was checking out Artbeads' Swarovski Crystals Section and wondering what to choose, I came across some gorgeous filigree flower pendants and had to have one. They were so pretty they deserved full attention as focals and not be part of busy necklace designs. However, a simple chain seemed rather boring until I spotted the Swarovksi crystal cup link chain. Yep, there is no such thing as too much Swarovski!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How to Make Chain and Tassel Jewelry by LoveMaegan

By on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 3 Comments

Chain Inspirations Part 1 of 2
I recently stumbled upon the Love Maegan blog and loved this beautiful Los Angeles based fashionista's unique approach to style. She has come up with the most original and easiest  DIY jewelry ideas I have ever seen. I had already featured her before in the post on jewelry made from recycled t-shirts.

Cushion Solution : DIY Ring Size Reducer

By on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 7 Comments

I came across this nifty product recently on a blog. It is a silicone product called Cushion Solution which is designed to make wearing rings and clip-on earrings more comfortable. There is one added advantage - you can use it to reduce the ring size very easily.

Basically you apply it and let it sit for about 24 hours. If the ring is still too big, reapply another layer. The good thing is you can peel it off when you no longer need it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Autumn Arbor Beadwork Necklace Tutorial

By on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 4 Comments

Beading Boosts 
Part 2 of 2
One good way to boost your beading designs (or any jewelry design for that matter) is to combine stitches (or techniques).

Take a good look at Cyndi Lavin's drop dead gorgeous Autumn Arbor bead work necklace. Isn't it amazing that this piece is mostly made out of just seed beads?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bugle Bead Inspirations by Patti Ann

By on Monday, September 14, 2009 6 Comments

Beading Boosts 
Part 1 of 2
I reckon bugle beads are underused in bead work. Perhaps it's because their long shapes are not as flexible in designs compared to seed beads. But they are worth using to boost your beaded designs.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

For The Love of Beads' African Bone Beads Giveaway

By on Sunday, September 13, 2009 22 Comments

Time for another giveaway.  See those gorgeous earth tone beads up top?  Here's your chance to win them. These are African trade bone beads from For The Love Of Beads, a Canadian online store. They are perfect for people who prefer natural styles to glitzy bling.

Layered Vintage Copper and Brass Earrings of a different kind

By on Sunday, September 13, 2009 6 Comments

Jillian is a very busy graduate student but we're always pleased when she can make it to our workshop. She likes to make layered earrings but not in the way you think.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How to Make Your Own Necklace Display Tutorials

By on Saturday, September 12, 2009 6 Comments

Showcasing Jewelry
Part 5 of 5
It's the final day of this series of wonderful jewelry display tutorials from blogdom from artisans who not only channeled their creativity in another way but also shared the results with everyone. A big round of applause!!

So here is more for you to bookmark for future updates or check back in my resource hub - Jewelry Making Tips.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tom Binns' Alice in Wonderland jewelry line in flash mob promo

By on Friday, September 11, 2009 0 Comments

Showcasing Jewelry
Part 4 of 5
Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland movie next March is going to be big. Disney is making sure with a series planned launches of jewelry, fashion, toys, home decor - all inspired by the movie. The first promo was held recently to introduce the first jewelry designer for their new fashion line.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How to Make Your Own Earring Display Tutorials

By on Thursday, September 10, 2009 19 Comments

Showcasing Jewelry
Part 3 of 5
Here are my favorite earring display tutorials from the internet. Be sure to bookmark this page or look for it in my resource hub page - Jewelry Making Tips as I will update the post with future finds.

1.Kelly of Richmond Craft Mafia has a wonderful earring display tutorial using a vintage style suitcase or trunk (shown above). I'm sure the basic design can be adapted to other types of jewelry. What I like about this display is both its individuality and the fact it also stores jewelry safely during transportation.Via

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bare it all for jewelry photo shoots

By on Wednesday, September 09, 2009 5 Comments

Part 2 of 5
Showcasing jewelry
I'm pretty sure none of you are going to bookmark this post from the current series! If you've been following my blog for a while, you would have noticed a feature I do which is on unusual jewelry photo shoots - such as jewelry displayed on real human skeletons, on lingerie models and even on muscular young men (that one had some readers hyperventilating). Well, it was inevitable that jewelry would be photographed on beautiful women albeit with a twist - without any clothes on.

Padma Lakshmi, celebrity cook, former model and ex-wife of novelist Salman Rushdie, recently bared it all in latest ads (shown above left) to promote her jewelry collection. Then Eric Guillemain photographed Jessica Stam for a stunning black and white spread in Vs magazine's fall issue.

Without a doubt the photographers have a wonderful talent for capturing beauty. Such beautiful glowing skin and lovely bodies to admire and envy. But which did you notice first? The jewelry or the models?

Via and via

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How to Make Your Own Ring Display Tutorials

By on Tuesday, September 08, 2009 8 Comments

I bought one of those black foam ring displays. It didn't cost a whole lot of money but it was underwhelming to look at. The black doesn't really showcase my rings well but showed every speck of dust like the best of anti-dandruff shampoo commercials!

So I went hunting on the internet to find some super tutorials on how to make all kinds of jewelry displays and organisers. You don't have to be a jewelry artisan to appreciate some of them. I shall update 3 (out of 5) of these posts as I find good tutorials so please bookmark these posts or check my tutorial hub (jewelry making tips).

Not only would DIY jewelry displays be cheaper than the shop variety but you also get to custom the color and the look you want. First up are the ring displays from truly creative artisans. They do say necessity is the mother of invention.

1. Shop Popko has a really good idea. The tutorial involves a shallow box, foam cut to fit the box and a piece of fabric to cover the foam as shown above. You could coordinate the color of the fabric to suit your booth or bedroom if you only make rings for yourself. Via

2. Plaidcrafter on has a great tutorial made from a cigar box and an old sweater. Utterly brilliant and eco-minded! I particularly like the option of having a lid to protect the rings especially during transportation. If you don't have a cigar box, a plain wooden craft box can be decorated to suit.

If you don't sell jewelry, the box is handy to keep your jewelry organised. You could add an anti-tarnish strip or a silica bag to keep the silver shiny during storage.

3.This ring display from Thought Bubbles requires a ring mandrel which acts as the form to construct the tapering "horn". You can use this one for rings of differing sizes. Via

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

Monday, September 7, 2009

A marriage between chain maille and stringing

By on Monday, September 07, 2009 7 Comments

Carol is a regular at our workshops and has grown fond of chain maille ever since she was introduced to it. She shows a refreshing flair for her favorite technique.

She decided to marry chain maille with conventional stringing. She linked the simple 2-2 chains with the main bracelet using 3 hole connectors.

The bracelet actually required two goes because the bracelet was too long initially. It's better to make the main bracelet first as this sets the right length. The chain can then be made to fit exactly.

Carol used pretty blue millefiore beads with round mother of pearl beads and touches of black and clear seedbeads. They were a great choice to compliment the chain maille. I am sure she will enjoy wearing this bracelet often.

Beader design #: 552

For tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips
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Evie's Tool Emporium Giveaway Winner!

By on Monday, September 07, 2009 6 Comments

I must confess that when Michelle offered tools for a giveaway, I wasn't sure it would go over as well as pretty beads. Just in case I even took the trouble to write a tutorial on how to use a 3-step wire looping pliers as there wasn't anything helpful on the internet.

Was I ever wrong! Not everyone likes lamp work, polymer beads or what have you. But everyone needs tools! Many commentators reported broken tools, cheap tools or just plain tool lust especially after the tutorial. The Bead Gypsy is right - "one can never have too many tools"!

The tool lusters hailed from many places including Mexico and Brazil. I must say Google Translate does a reasonable job. Maria Bonita wrote in Portuguese from Brazil - "A big kiss to you and hope I win, but even if I do not win, your blog fills me with the eyes of so many good things ....Kisses Evie, she's beautiful." What do actors say about performing with children and animals?

Rhonda also made me laugh with her "Oh gee- thanks alot. Now I have ANOTHER addiction rearing it's ugly head. I thought I had gotten the beading bug out of my system but then I saw these tools and the tutorial and, well it's like setting a bottle of tequila and a lime in front of an alcoholic." (note to self: add blog disclaimer about non-responsibility for acquired addictions).

Larry Bubba Harmon said it well, "He who dies with the most tools wins!". The number picked was 68 and the 68th commenter and thus lucky winner of this giveaway is JaMean!  Congratulations! Please email me  (beadinggem [at] yahoo dot ca ) asap with your particulars.

Thank you all for taking the time to delurk and enter this giveaway. Stay tuned for the next one! I also thank all the readers who told me how much they enjoyed my blog. Karen said, "I love your blog and all the good info on beading, wire and so much more that I didn't know I needed to know!" So do subscribe and not miss a post! Check out the how to subscribe help if you need more info.

For tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

How to Make and Wire Wrap Briolette Earrings

By on Sunday, September 06, 2009 16 Comments

I recently received my Art Beads package - always a lot of fun as I am challenged either for designs or for crafting a blog post! It was an eclectic mix in the order so there will be more than one post. The beautiful and sparkly faceted red and purple teardrop briolettes from their Swarovski Crystal Beads section inspired this post.

Briolettes are either tear drop or pear-shaped beads which are side drilled so the design approaches are different. Another issue with briolettes is the fragile tip so here are 4 ways to take both factors into account.

The small Swarovski pendant briolettes were perfectly sized for earrings. Since the crystals are so beautifully faceted, a really simple way to showcase them is to use pinch bails. There isn't much to the technique - just gently squeeze the bail together so the prongs go through the hole. Attach a jump ring and then the ear wire and you're done. The result is elegant.

This is a simple design but I am sure you can come up with other unique ways with wire if you play! It would have been easier if I had used small jump rings to connect the U shaped wire going through the double holed bead and the double looped eye pin bearing the briolette.

I have broken a few briolettes before when I didn't paid attention to the force I was applying. It should have been on the wire work and not levering on the glass! You bet I was extra careful with these Swarovski crystals.  (You can see it in my Etsy shop).

Many people love this wire wrapped style. You can make it as informal or as neatly wrapped as you like. Start by feeding the wire through the briolette hole - how long will depend on whether you want to cover the top part of the briolette. If you do decide on the covered route one tip is to choose flat briolettes like these opalite ones. They're easier to do than the round tipped ones. One wire end will be shorter. Make the long wire end upright so you can wrap the short wire around it.

The above steps can be seen in this video.

Now hold the loop end steady with a broad nose pliers and start wrapping it around the wire frame. Do you see why flat briolettes are easier?

Either tuck in the end under the other coils or just press the end down against the bead.

If you don't care for much wire wrapping and just want a quick way of concealing the tip, use a bead cone! Use a thinner wire like 24G if the cone is a tight fit.

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips