Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to Make Easy Lace Jewelry Tutorials

By on Saturday, April 30, 2011 3 Comments

Feminine Jewelry
Part 1 of 2

Lace is such a romantic and feminine thing to use even in jewelry. So if you have never yet considered the idea, here are some awesome tutorials to inspire. Don't forget to check the links below for more!

Trey and Lucy had so much fun making these easy lace trim earrings there are several versions on the blog post! I guess it got addictive!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Jewelry Inspired by Aging Skin

By on Friday, April 29, 2011 3 Comments

One of my favorite quotations (see my past post A Jewelry Box of Quotations), is that by Sonia Henie (1912-1969), the Norwegian figure skater and Olympic gold medalist.  She said, " Jewelry takes people's minds off your wrinkles." What she meant was jewelry detracts from our aging and no longer smooth skin.

Necklace : silver, pearls, cord
Christiaan Lebens though doesn't see the negatives of getting older. He was so inspired by the weathered texture of skin, he came up with his unusual collection, "Ode to Imperfection."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to Make Felt Ball and Beaded Coasters

By on Thursday, April 28, 2011 5 Comments

  I bought some felt balls a while ago and never got round to making any jewelry with them.  So if you're like me, consider using those balls and your beads in a whole new way!  Enter Ornamentea's awesome Feltie Coasters video tutorial. These beautiful craft coasters can be made to match any decor!

How to Make Cotton Ball Jewelry Tutorials

By on Thursday, April 28, 2011 1 Comments

Remember the Turk's Head knotted ball tutorial? As I mentioned back there, the knot balls can then be strung in different ways. Soft round balls from yarn and other materials are a fun alternative to round glass beads. Here are some tutorials to inspire!

Image from Infarrantly Creative

If you are not into knotting, then glue lengths of yarn around wooden balls. Just check out Infarrantly Creative`s super easy Cotton Ball Bracelet jewelry tutorial for bracelets or necklaces in any color you choose. Just don`t get glue everywhere!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ode to Mothers : You Heart Me! Needlepunch Pendant Tutorial

By on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 2 Comments

Mother's Day for North Americans is just around the corner. So if you're planning to make your mother something, it's time to get cracking!

While there is no limit to what you can make, this needle punch pendant tutorial by Maria Nerius is special because it does express love. As she says, a small project within a beading pendant frame like this is fast and so satisfying. Imagine getting out the day's frustrations as you stab away!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Garden Inspirations by Purple Lily Designs

By on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 2 Comments

I first came across Purple Lily Designs when Joanne Ortiz started following me on Twitter. She is one half of a jewelry design partnership with Angel, the love of her life, where together, they come up with quite an array of gorgeous designs. He is an accomplished wire artisan and she specializes in lamp work and polymer clay beads.

This dynamic duo's work have been featured in a number of jewelry magazines. I particularly loved their use of dragonflies with the wire work and beautiful lamp work beads - some of which have been photographed with flowers. Very inspiring on several levels!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Make a Rhinestone Embellished Tiara for Your Little Princess

By on Monday, April 25, 2011 0 Comments

Are you planning to watch the Royal Wedding with a little princess or perhaps even 2 or 3?  Then you have to whip up these sweet and easy rhinestone embellished tiaras.  The tutorial is by Lu Bird Baby.

A Look at My New Camera and Jewelry Photography Accessories

By on Monday, April 25, 2011 21 Comments

Experts say the average useful life of a point and shoot camera is about 3 years. My trusty old Sony Cybershot actually lasted longer than that despite heavy use. But it is now making the occasional shuddering noises as it struggles to focus in macro mode. Time for a new camera. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Crystals and Freshwater Pearls in Bracelet Designs

By on Sunday, April 24, 2011 1 Comments

Susan must really like bracelets as she made two of them in a workshop.  The first pretty and feminine design is with gorgeous pink crystals with numerous facets teamed with two types of silver balls.  She made it easy to wear by using memory wire. Dangles were added for additional interest.

Make Bead Head Flies for Fly Fishermen or Maybe Fishing Lure Jewelry?

By on Sunday, April 24, 2011 3 Comments

Several years ago, a friendly husband came along and watched a beading party in progress. He was fascinated with what we were making. He then explained he was a keen fly fisherman and suggested I make flies and perhaps have fly making parties!

I certainly could see why he said so as the art of making bead head flies does make use of metallic (bright gold, silver and copper) and glass beads we already have in our stashes. There can also be some wire work involved.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wire Woven Ring Tutorial

By on Saturday, April 23, 2011 6 Comments

Wire weaving is really fun to do. The results are awesome as the wire work looks distinctly hand made. Beadingonabudget has a great video tutorial on how to make a wire woven ring.

Wedding Inspired JewelryTutorials

By on Saturday, April 23, 2011 1 Comments

Next Friday, much of the world will be glued to their television sets as they watch the wedding of Prince William and his new Princess. So here are some wedding inspired tutorials to celebrate the event!

One outstanding tutorial is Fancy Pants Weddings' how to design a brooch bouquet. It's relatively easy to wire all sorts of brooches together.  The project needs a lot of brooches so it's a good "something old" idea to raid grandma's collection!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kinetic Jewelry - Guillotine Rings

By on Friday, April 22, 2011 7 Comments

Did you miss my Facebook post last week on the Guillotine Ring by Kest Schwartman of Vagabond Jewelry? Those of you who caught it were highly amused by this clever kinetic design. The other name for the piece is The Divorce Ring! Talk about severing a relationship!

His is not the only guillotine ring. Adnama Lavode on Deviantart has an amazing multi-ring affair which includes stocks for the two outer fingers and the guillotine part on the middle finger ring.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reader Question - Steampunk and Other Trends

By on Thursday, April 21, 2011 7 Comments

Steampunk Necklace by Urbandon on Etsy
The Reader Question thread is where I pick an emailed question from a reader to share with you. I don't claim to know all the answers but I do my best to help.

Celeste : Pearl, I enjoy your newsletter very much but I would like some feedback from you or clarification.

First of all, I hope that the Steampunk thing isn’t running out of steam yet, as I just purchased a couple thousand dollars worth of antiqued brass and copper findings, pewter base.  I have tons of antiqued plated silver too.  Gold color is boring and cheap looking to me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to Make Steampunk Jewelry Tutorials

By on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 7 Comments

Steampunk jewelry celebrates the vintage technology look. These pieces remind us of the literary worlds of Jules Verne. The fashion and accessories for this style is continually growing in popularity. So here are more steampunk jewelry tutorials to inspire.

Andrea Morici designed this wonderful Full Steam Ahead necklace tutorial using many gears, clock parts and vintage brass elements for Beadaholique.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Celebrate Spring with Asymmetric Flower Necklace Tutorials

By on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 2 Comments

My crocuses are finally out and blooming so spring has truly arrived. Time to celebrate its return with these flower necklace tutorials.

This lovely asymmetrical creation features such light colors - perfect for spring. The tutorial is by Sachiko of Tea Rose Home and was featured in Whatever Dee Dee Wants.

Recycled Paper Jewelry by Hippie Kingdom

By on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 9 Comments

Devi Chand comes from India - "the land of colors and festivals". Her love for crafts date back to her childhood. She grew up to make the most awesome paper jewelry in her Etsy store called Hippie Kingdom.

Her necklaces are outstanding for their bold structure.  She certainly has a strong sense of color.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Magpie Gemstones' $145 Tourmaline Gemstone Giveaway Winner

By on Monday, April 18, 2011 10 Comments

If there were such a thing as virtual bibs, I would have sent it to everyone as there was an awful lot of drooling going on the past week.  Judging from the record number of entries - over 500 - many of you were indeed tourmaline fans. That's why the price is so high because it's so sought after.

Szarka's amazing $145 tourmaline gemstone giveaway was indeed a tremendous success thanks to her generosity.  A big thank you for all the lovely comments posted about Szarka and me!

How to Package and Ship Jewelry

By on Monday, April 18, 2011 18 Comments

Someone left a note in my Shoutbox (rightmost sidebar) a while ago asking if I could do a post on how to package and ship jewelry. So here goes with some tips. Do you have more?  Please do comment!

If you are shipping a gift or a sold item, packaging is the first thing that will indicate it's been handled with care and thought on the part of the jewelry maker. So wrap it up prettily. Also think about branding when packaging - what are your shop colors? Logo?  Whatever you do, keep it consistent.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

South Sea Saltwater Pearl Farms Adventure

By on Sunday, April 17, 2011 4 Comments

Pearl Paradise : Golden South Sea Pearl Pendant
In my previous article, we "visited" China where most of the world's freshwater pearls come from. Now it's time to do another arm chair journey to see where saltwater pearls come from.

If you love pearls, especially the large, luscious natural colored and rarer kinds, then the saltwater pearls are for you.  The pictures here were kindly provided by Jeremy Shepherd, the CEO of Pearl Paradise from one of his trips to the South Seas - New Zealand, Australia and French Polynesia - to visit saltwater pearl farms there.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Unconventional Ways with Bead Caps

By on Saturday, April 16, 2011 1 Comments

One excellent way to increase the design possibilities is to find new uses for findings.

Take Ornamentea's Flared Bead Cap earrings video tutorial for example.  It uses large bead caps like chandelier findings. Chains hang from the ends of the bead caps forming a very unusual and clever earring design.

Book Review - Stitch Workshop : Peyote Stitch

By on Saturday, April 16, 2011 3 Comments

Peyote stitch is arguably the most popular one with beaders. No wonder as it is not only easy but versatile. The latter can be proved by the latest book I received from Kalmbach Publishing.

The Stitch Workshop: Peyote Stitch: Basic Techniques, Advanced Results is a collection of the best 27 peyote patterns from the Bead and Button magazine. The range is astonishing from a simple pair of beaded hoop earrings to spirals, wheels, waves, balls, bezels, collars and even sculptural beaded containers.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Luxury Swarovski Carpets Bedazzle

By on Friday, April 15, 2011 10 Comments

Swarvoski Inspirations
Part 2 of 2
Many of you were charmed with the Dishwasher Safe Swarovski Dinnerware I wrote about some time ago.Will you be equally charmed by Swarovski carpets? Apparently Swarovski thinks so. They sponsored Dutch designer, Jon van der Drift to produce this BIC Swarovkis carpet with several droolworthy 33,000 crystals.  B.I.C Carpets did the weaving from pure New Zealand wool.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How to Use Flat Back Rhinestone Crystals for Jewelry Designs

By on Thursday, April 14, 2011 7 Comments

Swarovski Inspirations
Part 1 of 2
A reader wanted to know more about using flat back rhinestone crystals for jewelry designs. They are certainly fun to use for that extra bling factor!  For example, I added Swarovski versions to these earrings in my store.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Use Friendship Bracelet Knotting to Make Earrings

By on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 1 Comments

I don't make friendship bracelets. However, after spotting Nury R's knotted earrings project (not tutorial) on Cut Out and Keep, I am wondering if I should go back to my past post (see link below) and check out the various tutorials!

It's a form of macrame. I particularly like the smaller scale work and the vivid colors. Don't you?

How to Make Riveted Recycled Soda Can Earrings

By on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 7 Comments

I was so impressed by Helen Harle's book, Create Colorful Aluminum Jewelry: Upcycle cans into vibrant necklaces, rings, earrings, pins, and bracelets (see my review) I was inspired to design and make my own recycled soda can earrings. It's fun to rivet metal components using eyelets or grommets (tube rivets) as it doesn't require soldering. Riveting is thus a "cold connection" technique.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Whimsical Vintage Tins Mini- Dress Jewelry

By on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 9 Comments

Eco jewelry not only saves money but also reuses material that might otherwise be tossed away. One artisan who does amazing eco jewelry is Shixie on Etsy.  She creates whimsical mini-dress jewelry!

This Michigan based artisan combines a good eye for design with an innovative creativeness. That's why her jewelry has been blogged about several times - it is clever and different.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Magpie Gemstones' Fabulous $145 Tourmaline Gemstone Giveaway

By on Monday, April 11, 2011 305 Comments

 I am definitely hyperventilating just looking at the picture. This fabulous tourmaline giveaway is from Szarka (Dianne) Carter of Magpie Gemstones. Tourmaline is a much sought after gemstone because it comes in a wonderful array of colors. The most prized colors are green and deep pink - watermelon tourmaline (see my past post below).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Using Up Your Beading Wire Scraps for Earrings

By on Sunday, April 10, 2011 5 Comments

I usually like to cut a generous piece of beading wire when working on the project. The leftover bits are saved for future designs. One way to reuse them is with this Cluster Earrings tutorial by Bead Studio.

What's different about this design is the knotting at the bottom of each dangle rather than crimping. The use of a short piece of straw to help with the knotting is also clever.

Ancient Egyptian Collar Necklace Inspirations and Tutorial

By on Sunday, April 10, 2011 9 Comments

Egyptian Necklace, close-upAncient Egyptian Faience Necklace by PittCalebAncient Egyptians used both gemstones and an early form of ceramic called faience for their jewelry making. They placed great significance on color, not just in jewelry but linked it to the very nature of anything - inanimate object, person or god.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Reader Question - Tips for New Jewelry Bloggers ?

By on Saturday, April 09, 2011 1 Comments

Blogging Tips
Part 2 of 2
The Reader Question thread is where I pick an emailed question from a reader to share with you. I don't claim to know all the answers but I do my best to help. 

Christie of Charis Designs : You're such a great resource for other things, so when I saw your contact email, jumped on that as well! I LOVED the last Bead Soup Blog Party- so much so, that I want to start blogging so I can participate in the August go round. 

Interactive and Pictorial Views of the Beading Gem's Journal

By on Saturday, April 09, 2011 8 Comments

Blogging Tips
Part 1 of 2

Do you use Google's Blogger program? If so, did you know they have recently enabled 5 different dynamic ways for readers to view blogs? Not only do they make reading blogs easier but also fun and interactive. Shown below is a screen capture of the flipcard view of The Beading Gem's Journal.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Alice in Wonderland Jewelry Display Tree Tutorial

By on Friday, April 08, 2011 1 Comments

It's called the Alice in Wonderland jewelry tree because Char C. the creator was doing an Alice in Wonderland themed sidewalk sale. It is really a clever jewelry tree made from just a large cardboard box.

Designer Drug Jewelry - Turning Leftover Medication into Adornment

By on Friday, April 08, 2011 14 Comments

Inspiring Beaders
Part 2 of 2
Susan Braig of Altadena, California, survived breast cancer in 2004.  Even though she is now cancer-free, her brush with the disease still haunts her today in unpaid medical bills from the lengthy treatment she needed. Alas, unlike other countries, health care is not universal for Americans. She went from being under-insured to being completely uninsured when her private insurance ceased.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Learning to Bead in 365 Days

By on Thursday, April 07, 2011 6 Comments

Inspiring Beaders
Part 1 of 2
Did you see the movie " Julie and Julia?" I did and thoroughly enjoyed the big screen version of Julie Powell's book, Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously. It's based on her blog which chronicles the 365 days she took to cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Well, I was equally delighted to come across a non-calorie version - a 365 day bead weaving journal by one of my blog readers, Mandy Duff. Mandy started her Beads for Brains :365 blog to mark her passage through "365 days of a beginning beader's self-taught lessons."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More Awesome Zipper Necklace Tutorials

By on Wednesday, April 06, 2011 10 Comments

Zipper jewelry continues to not only charm a lot of people, but some go on to come up with wonderful tutorials.  This clever fringed zipper necklace necklace tutorial  is by Elisa M on Cut Out and Keep.

The long unfastened zipper becomes the necklace with a sewn on fringe.  She added a long linked charm made out of wire worked components and some metal tags to add to the zipper pull. Where the charm is located depends on how much the zipper is fastened. Neat!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to Make Easter Earrings Tutorials

By on Tuesday, April 05, 2011 1 Comments

With Easter on the horizon, I thought some of you might appreciate some Easter inspired earring tutorials. The most colorful way must be via polymer clay.

 Sculpey has this bright and cheerful Easter egg tutorial which can be made smaller for earrings. It's a wonderful kid project alternative to boiling and decorating actual eggs. Remember to pierce the through hole for the head or eye pin before baking! Via

Quilled Necklace Designs by mlmxoxo2

By on Tuesday, April 05, 2011 9 Comments

Quilling is a type of paper filigree which requires cutting paper first into long thin strips before coiling and gluing them altogether.

The art form dates back to the Renaissance when quilling was used to decorate book covers and other religious objects. Nothing was wasted back then. The thin paper strips were often trimmed from the gilded edges of books.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Use Crimping Pliers to Tuck in Wire Tails!

By on Monday, April 04, 2011 7 Comments

I just saw this useful tip from one of Beading Daily's blogs. The editor Kristal Wick wrote about 6 Steps to Perfect Wrapped Loops. It's a good review for beginners.

But what caught my eye was the clever tip to use crimping pliers to tuck in the wire tail after you snip off most of the wire!  It's sometimes frustrating to do this job with the needle nose pliers!

7 Ways to Size a Ring

By on Monday, April 04, 2011 12 Comments

There are a number of ways to size a ring. Each method has its pros and cons. Accuracy varies too and this must be taken into account especially if you are making rings for someone else far away.

Methods which use existing rings are better because the rings are already known to be a good fit for the fingers. A ring must not only fit comfortably but be just big enough to ease over the second knuckle.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Pastel Colored Necklace Design to Celebrate Spring!

By on Sunday, April 03, 2011 2 Comments

I always associate pastel colors to spring with good reason as so many of the early flowers in my garden are of the subtler shades.  Lisa's necklace which she made at one of our workshops really does seem to celebrate spring. So winter be gone!

Lisa selected an eclectic group of beads in different colors and shapes - all from Debbie's (my friend and co-instructor) collection. Lisa opted to design her own focal by first creating 3 dangles which were then hung from a wire-wrapped and slightly larger bead.

The Beauty and History of Japanese Shakudō Jewelry

By on Sunday, April 03, 2011 2 Comments

This Guest Post is by Lisa Shoreland who was born and raised in Japan.

Black Shakudo Fan Motif Pendant by KAZism on Etsy
Japanese Shakudō
Shakudō is a Japanese term for a low gold content alloy used in certain types of jewelry and ornamentation. The somewhat esoteric technique has a long and colorful history, and knowing it is sure to raise our appreciation for the delicate process and its breathtakingly beautiful products.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How to make an easy extruded Sculpey bracelet tutorial

By on Saturday, April 02, 2011 4 Comments

This project sure looks like a lot of fun to make and wear.  Syndee Holt's extruded bracelet tutorial makes use of Sculpey clay which you hand color. The extruded or rolls of clay are then wrapped around a soda can before drying. The seam is hidden with the wire work.

What To do About Copper Jewelry Turning Skin Green

By on Saturday, April 02, 2011 27 Comments

I I sometimes get questions from readers who email me. I can't claim to know all the answers but I do my best to try and help. As some of these inquiries might be of interest to other readers, I will post selected questions and answers from now on.  Your name will not be used if you'd rather not.

Ode to Copper Coiled Wire Necklace by Pearl

Friday, April 1, 2011

Diamond Ring Mug - Supersize Your Bling

By on Friday, April 01, 2011 4 Comments

It's no coincidence with today's date. I think the Diamond Ring mug would make a wonderful April Fool's Day present! Or even a joke mug for yourself because it showcases a supersized bling ring as you drink your favorite cuppa!

In the world of diamonds, size does matter, so why not mega-carat your diamond albeit on a mug?