Monday, May 31, 2010

Headpin Inspirations and Tutorials

By on Monday, May 31, 2010 11 Comments

Head pins are indispensable in jewelry making - they stop your beads from falling off. Don't you hate it though when you run out?  Or perhaps want something different?  Then, here are some ideas to jazz things up.

Gailavira wrote this unique knotted head pin tutorial on which will look good for pendants as well as earrings. (Update - it is now in the free section on her website).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

An Unusual Proposal for an Engagement Ring

By on Sunday, May 30, 2010 3 Comments

The Marrying Kind
Part 2 of 2
Okay, listen up you romantics out there! I came across Kevin Flory's forum post telling members of his creative endeavor to win an Olympus Pen E-PL camera and $5000 in the imaging company's video competition, "Pen your story".

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fingerprint Wedding Rings

By on Saturday, May 29, 2010 6 Comments

The Marrying Kind
Part 1 of 2
I've written about fingerprint jewelry before. The idea is a fantastic one because it is so personal. Remember no two individuals share the same fingerprints, not even identical twins.  They also do not change with time so fingerprint wedding bands are the ultimate declaration of hope for a lifetime of love.

Marquise Star Season Pendants - Sterling Silver Wire Art

By on Saturday, May 29, 2010 4 Comments

Not long ago, I listed my marquise star pendants. These are Swarovski and sterling silver wired designs. I had great fun creating them. There are four to choose from, each one with colors representing the seasons. Winter is silver, clear and grey. The photo below shows from bottom up - spring, fall and summer.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bejeweled Manicures

By on Friday, May 28, 2010 4 Comments

Many young girls and women love bling. With the prom season nearly upon us, why not bejeweled nails which sparkle like jewelry? They should go well with the eyelash bling I wrote about before! Actress Kate Perry showed off her diamond manicure below at last November's MTV European Music Awards.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bling for Shoes and Accessories - Inspirations and Tutorials

By on Thursday, May 27, 2010 6 Comments

Do you find you need more ideas to use up your beads and findings? Then here are some designers who did. They added bling to shoes and accessories.

Fendi heiress, Delfina Delettrez who I featured before (her skeletal hand jewelry), came up with several footwear and accessory designs - Zanotti shoes (2010 Collection ), Causse leather gloves and Alain Mikli sunglasses.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How to Make Long Kidney Ear Wires Tutorial

By on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 13 Comments

I've noticed  many women prefer to wear lever back ear wires because they are more secure than the common shepherd's hook ear wires. As it is not possible to make the former, the alternative are French ear wires. These have little hooks which capture the tail end of the ear wires.

If you look at the picture , the silver plated one on the left was a bought finding. The copper one on the right is the ear wire I made following the general design. It's not that hard so here are some instructions to get you going.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Filigree Jewelry Mastery by Bongera Filigrana

By on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9 Comments

The lace like twisted wire work called filigree jewelry goes back thousands of years. The jewelry technique was first attempted by the Ancient Egyptians when they used metal braids in their designs. By the time of the Phoenicians (eg in Cyprus and Sardinia), Greeks and Etruscans from the 6th to the 3rd century BC, filigree work became a delicate art form. From there the craft spread to as far away as India. By the Middle Ages, filigree jewelry work could be found all over Europe.

Monday, May 24, 2010

How to Turn and Wrap Bangles

By on Monday, May 24, 2010 3 Comments

Bangles made out of wood or other materials are fun to make. Or if you'd rather not make them, fun to decorate. So here are some tutorials which show us how to do both types.

Simplicity's free project on weaving special metallic leather trims to plain bangles was inspired by Project Runway. If you cannot get the special leather, I dare say regular leather will work too.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Beaded Fullerenes : 3D Molecular Structures

By on Sunday, May 23, 2010 10 Comments

Virtually all the tutorials I have featured on this blog have come from other jewelry artisans or crafters. So for the first time (not counting myself), I am featuring how-tos from scientists, specifically the Chemistry Department of the National Taiwan University!

How did that happen? Well, they make beaded models of a type of carbon molecule called fullerenes. They are great teaching tools for students to learn about chemical bonding and molecular structures. Check out their post on a fullerene beading workshop at a high school.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Old and Broken Jewelry Makeovers

By on Saturday, May 22, 2010 6 Comments

Myrna brought some old earrings which belonged to her grandmother. As you can see in the photo, one of the gold tone earrings was broken. She was not keen on the old fashioned screw mechanism of the second pair. Still they were both sentimental pieces so we did a makeover job on both of them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Macabre jewelry by Danielle Nicole Hills

By on Friday, May 21, 2010 3 Comments

Brooklyn based metal smith Danielle Nicole Hills more than pushes the envelope with her art jewelry. As she says in her ModelMayhem portfolio, " I create unique art jewelry and metal body pieces that combine elegant forms, theatrical flair, and a touch of brutality." She's not kidding either.

Her jewelry thesis exhibition earlier this year showcased her Gilding Primal Instinct designs - think hunter, executioner and macabre surgeon and you get a sense of the inspiration behind the character models.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Review : The Absolute Beginner's Guide Stringing Beaded Jewelry

By on Thursday, May 20, 2010 3 Comments

I teach beginners so I recognise the challenges for those who are just starting out making jewelry. Two issues stand out for newbies - how to design and how to finish. It helps to be taught the "tricks of the trade" to save time and avoid being frustrated.

So if you are a rank beginner and can't come to our workshops, you may be interested in the book I just received from Kalmbach Publishing for review. It's The Absolute Beginners Guide: Stringing Beaded Jewelry by Karin Buckingham.  A good beginner book is an excellent resource to have handy when you are working on your own.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to Make 3D Rhinestone Flowers Tutorial

By on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 4 Comments

Shahana over at the Craftliciouss blog graciously let me link to a tutorial just for bling lovers!  Her rhinestone flowers tutorial shows you the simple wiring techniques for a really pretty decorative vaseful.

However, my other suggestions include making gorgeous brooches or necklace  focals.  If you have been reading my blog for a while, you might also remember the stunning wired Swarovski flower bracelet tutorial.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Metallic Gemstone Jewelry by Metalicious

By on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 12 Comments

Not long ago, a reader emailed to ask if I could direct her to the Etsy metal smith who made metal jewelry resembling gemstones. She thought I might have written about this designer but I hadn't. Fortunately, she remembered the name of the store. So thank you, Jessie for the tip on Metalicious!

Monday, May 17, 2010

How to Make a Silhouette Portrait Pendant

By on Monday, May 17, 2010 4 Comments

Centuries ago, before photography was invented, only very wealthy people could have their portraits or sculptures done. The less fortunate had to rely on black paper silhouette portraits for images of their loved ones.

Silhouette and Script pendant tutorial by Trey and Lucy

Silhouette portraits were named after the 18th century French finance minister, Étienne de Silhouette who liked making cut paper portraits when he wasn`t dealing with France`s terrible money problems of the time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Map Inspired Jewelry

By on Sunday, May 16, 2010 5 Comments

I have always adored maps. Not just for the information but for their visual appeal. Google maps notwithstanding, I still like to have paper based maps. But I would never have thought to make jewelry out of them.

Anne Holman on Etsy
Metal smith Anne Holman was one of a number of artisans who saw the potential. She makes exquisite map jewelry sometimes using vintage maps. Shown on the right is her Venice, Italy Vintage Map Pendant.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Make Your Own LED Illuminated Cuff Bracelet

By on Saturday, May 15, 2010 1 Comments

This tutorial from Sparklab (Links no longer available) is not for everyone. However, if you've ever wanted to make your own illuminated bracelet, this one is for you. It will require sewing on the LEDs and other components inside this leather and fabric cuff. Choosing the right pattern will be part of the fun!

Sparklab's instructions are very clear and fascinating to read as you will also learn how to add resistors which prevent the LED lights from burning out prematurely.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Green and Pink Silver Foil Awareness bracelet

By on Friday, May 14, 2010 4 Comments

Cathy came to a workshop with a gift in mind. She had decided to make a breast cancer awareness bracelet for a friend. She chose a green silver foil bead with a pretty pink flower design on it. With those two colors in mind, she then finished the bracelet with more pink silver foil beads and light green crystals. A little pink ribbon charm was also added.

Kawamura-Ganjavian Earshell Jewelry helps you hear better

By on Friday, May 14, 2010 6 Comments

These novel concept bat wing ear shells are dual purpose. They are not only an innovative style of earrings but they also enhance sound by gathering in the sound waves.

The designers wanted to “improve our listening of music or opera.” Who knows? With a bit of bling, it might catch on. Perhaps at Halloween?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Donni Charm's Scarf and T-shirt Bling

By on Thursday, May 13, 2010 2 Comments

Scarves have been popular in the last little while.  The long, soft ones are so versatile with many outfits. So I thought Alyssa of Donni Charm was really innovative in coming up with bling not just for scarves but t-shirts.

The charms certainly adds a delicate touch of class to otherwise casual outfits. Fun, too. Artisans like her who can spot a niche are to be admired! The designs shown here are from her Spring 2010 collection.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Statement Necklace Tutorials from Simplicity

By on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 4 Comments

I used to sew a lot but stopped. But lately, I am getting the urge to do more fabric style jewelry and maybe some custom jewelry bags (see my past post on how to make fabric jewelry and  how to make your own jewelry bags). Are you also of like mind?

Bling Bib Necklace

One source of jewelry making tutorials I recently discovered is Simplicity, the pattern company.  They have a range of free statement necklace projects you might like to check out. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Victor Allen's Awesome Steel Wire Wrapped Jewelry

By on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 6 Comments

Many people love wire wrapped jewelry designs and I am no exception. A couple of outstanding artisans I have featured before include Ines Schwotzer's 3D wire jewelry and Infinite Glam's gemstone laden wire jewelry. So it's a real treat to come across another inspiring and original artisan like Victor Allen who has a 1000 Markets store called BeautifullyWiredLynx . It's very well named, for sure!  Alas the store doesn't exist anymore there.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shrink Plastic Jewelry Tutorials

By on Monday, May 10, 2010 13 Comments

I used to only gravitate to precious metals and gemstones. However, since I started making shrinky dink photo art jewelry I've discovered a whole new world of shrink plastic jewelry out there.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Record breaking $8.7 million Chinese Imperial Pearl Necklace sold

By on Sunday, May 09, 2010 3 Comments

Just last month, a record-breaking $8.7 million was paid for an 18th century Chinese Imperial ceremonial court pearl necklace at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong.

It once belonged to the 4th Manchu Emperor Yongzheng (1678-1735). The court portrait shows the Emperor wearing the necklace. The portrait thus provides authenticated historical ownership (provenance) which probably explains the large sum paid for it.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

How to Ream Pearls

By on Saturday, May 08, 2010 0 Comments

I really need a fine reamer for pearls. One of my solutions so far for pearls with tiny holes is to do bead weaving with needle and Fireline as shown in my Princess Diana Swan Lake necklace inspiration. The thread will go through where wire (except for the finer gauges) will not. The other way was to use a scrap wire to bore out the hole myself. But that is so laborious.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Aluminum Chain Charm Bracelet

By on Friday, May 07, 2010 3 Comments

I think charm bracelets are well named because they are charming. This one was Yvonne's first ever charm bracelet and what a pretty one it is too. She worked hard all afternoon during a workshop making wire loops and opening and closing lots of jump rings to put all the charms she wanted onto an aluminum chain bracelet.

Bling Your Food with Esslack Food Spray!

By on Friday, May 07, 2010 5 Comments

I am not kidding when I say just about anything can be blinged out. Even food.  Thanks to the Esslack Food Spray, you can apply edible gold or silver paint on your food! Golden topped muffins. Silver pretzels. No need to shell out for large restaurant bills to get that luxury look.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Swarovski butterfly jewelry for ArtBeads's Summer Challenge

By on Thursday, May 06, 2010 8 Comments

It's always fun when ArtBeads sends out their new themes to their design bloggers like me. This time it's summer. The warmer weather brings back many happy memories of butterflies. So I immediately zoomed in on the Swarovski butterflies from their extensive pendant section and created the following designs for my Life Collection (100% of net proceeds go to cancer research).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How to Make a Textured Silver Bracelet in Under 3 Minutes

By on Wednesday, May 05, 2010 6 Comments

This video by 8mobeus8 really shows us how to make a simple textured silver bracelet in under 3 minutes ( video no longer available. Granted the metal smith had motorized tools for the polishing steps.  But the shaping, filing and hammering for the textured effect was still done by hand. He was so fast I couldn't get a screen capture without any blurs!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beaded Jewelry for Barbie Dolls

By on Tuesday, May 04, 2010 10 Comments

I always try to check out who my followers are and to have a peek at their work. I was delighted when I got fellow Canadian Casey's tweet (via @cassandrabeads) telling me she was my new follower. Casey's blog, Cassandra Elizabeth Beadwork  does show off her bead weaving talent. She also produces a few tutorials on sale on her Etsy store.

One outstanding post was the bead woven jewelry she made for Barbie dolls! What little (or big) girl wouldn't want bling for her dolls?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mesh and Nets in Jewelry Making - Tutorials and Inspiration

By on Monday, May 03, 2010 9 Comments

Have you considered using metallic or fabric mesh or nets in your jewelry designs? You should as they add yet another dimension to jewelry making.

This gorgeous tulle necklace tutorial by Kelly Hicks (shown on the right) is one way to get the netted effect. She used marbles (ie no holes!) but I think pearls will look lovely too.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Catherine the Great's Colombian Emerald and Diamond Brooch

By on Sunday, May 02, 2010 3 Comments

This spectacular historic jewel was recently auctioned. It once belonged to Catherine the Great (1729-1796) one of Russia's most colorful rulers. (You can read the bejeweled mini-biography I wrote about her for more juicy details.)  Her emerald and diamond brooch sold for $1.65 million, well above the pre-auction estimate of $1- 1.5 million. A worthy price for one of the most outstanding gemstones in the world.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Linked Bead and Chain Necklace Focal Inspiration

By on Saturday, May 01, 2010 0 Comments

Chandelier Necklace Inspirations
Part 2 of 2
My previous post on LoveMaegan's tutorial had a more draped look as the linking chains were much longer. Sabrina's necklace design however shows yet another alternative to the chandelier effect.

Sabrina likes to do chain maille so she used jump rings to connect the beaded links. The focal part of her necklace therefore was vertically long and reminiscent of chandeliers.

Prada Inspired Chandelier Necklace Tutorial

By on Saturday, May 01, 2010 0 Comments

Chandelier necklace inspirations
Part 1 of 2
You don't have to spend a lot of money to look fashionably good. My favorite fashionista recently unveiled her latest DIY project, a Prada inspired chandelier necklace tutorial. Maegan often looks through fashion magazines for inspiration.

Her can do approach and a great eye for design elements is so refreshing. The necklace itself is not difficult to do if you already have some jewelry making experience.