Sunday, July 31, 2011

Some Pretty Earrings to Wear!

By on Sunday, July 31, 2011 1 Comments

Many of the beaders who come to our workshop do so because they want to make earrings. The reason is, there is no such thing as too many earrings!  Brenda chose some pretty millefiore discs for hers.  She also carefully chose seed beads to coordinate with the bigger beads.  This pair should go with many outfits!

Wickedly Wild Recycled Wine Bottle Jewelry

By on Sunday, July 31, 2011 4 Comments

Recycling is a huge trend these days. So I was delighted to come across a talented lamp worker, Trudi Madison who also recycles glass. She has the most fun with making her line of Wickedly Wild Recycled Wine Bottle jewelry.

It's not only eco-friendly.  She gets to enjoy the wine first with her friends.  As Trudi says, "When life gets complicated, I wine. "  She goes on to enjoy making lovely beads from the bottles, doubling the pleasure!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Turn a Beaded Bracelet into a Necklace!

By on Saturday, July 30, 2011 5 Comments

Much as I like bead work jewelry, it does take up a lot of time. So for those of us with time only for quick beaded bracelets, this tip from Sneezerville is sure to please! Her idea is to turn a beaded bracelet into a necklace!

Tutorial picture by Sneezerville

Some Easy Earring Design Tutorials to Inspire

By on Saturday, July 30, 2011 5 Comments

Earrings are my most favorite jewelry to make. They are on the small side and quick to do. Yet there are so many ways of making them different. Check out this refreshing collection of easy tutorials and see what I mean.

Bead Studio's Simple Furnace Glass Earrings is a rather fun and funky way to position cylindrical beads. A touch of wire work and hammering and viola!

Friday, July 29, 2011

What Did You Say? The Hear Ring?

By on Friday, July 29, 2011 8 Comments

It's not the first time I've come across hearing inspired jewelry. But the plastic Hear Ring is a retro first!  It reminds me of ear trumpets which were invented in the 17th century.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bejeweled Cake or Display Stand Tutorial

By on Thursday, July 28, 2011 4 Comments

Sarah over at the Glamour and Grace blog has a lovely tutorial on how to make a bejeweled cake stand. The large crystals dangling from the lace trimmings are just as scrumptious as the cakes!

But other calorie-free ideas include using the decorated stands to display ornaments.  You could also use the stands to hold aloft necklace or other jewelry displays.

How to Make a Beaded Washer

By on Thursday, July 28, 2011 6 Comments

Tamara over at the Vanishing Pearl blog has a super tutorial for making beaded washers.  These hardware store discs not only form an anchor for the beads but they also add to the overall design. Notice how the threads cover the washer, giving it visual interest?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Unusual Butterfly Jewelry Tutorials

By on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 13 Comments

Most butterfly jewelry I've seen involve either butterfly charms or wire work designs (see link below).  But there are other ways to incorporate this pretty insect in jewelry designs.

This stamped butterfly on canvas pendant tutorial by Shona Cole in soft colors.  The fabric layers are stiffened by gluing onto a plastic backing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Awesome Upcycled Jewelry by Victoria Tane

By on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4 Comments

It's one thing to repurpose all sorts of materials for jewelry making. It's another to make said jewelry really, really good.  One outstanding and inspirational artisan is Victoria Tane who I discovered when she started following me on Twitter.

Garden of Eden Bracelet
die cut paint swatches and vintage metal stampings
This award-winning artist is an avid recycler and her pieces showcase her use of not only vintage elements but materials which do not normally make it into jewelry designs. She explains, "I've been making jewelry out of found objects for so long that I turned green!"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Winner of HAS' Free Shop for Life Giveaway

By on Monday, July 25, 2011 7 Comments

First of all, I want to thank Andrew and Kimberly for sponsoring the incredible HAS Free Shop for Life Giveaway.  It was a most generous move and one which many of you appreciated.

Indeed, as one reader said, it was something she was praying for.  As expected, the number of entries was large - over 300 by the time I counted in the extra ones.

Giveaway - Modahaus Table Top Photo Studio Set-ups for Jewelry Photography

By on Monday, July 25, 2011 221 Comments

Image by Modahaus
You don't have to own an iPhone to appreciate UK based Lex McColl's amazing post on how he used his new iPhone 4 and the Modahaus table top photo studio set up to take great jewelry pictures.

An iPhone camera is not what he typically uses as a professional product photographer but he was curious to see if the pictures it took could pass muster in the hardest test of all - jewelry pictures with white backgrounds!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wearable Planter and Terra Cotta House Jewelry

By on Sunday, July 24, 2011 7 Comments

Laurie Poast grew up in America but she has a life long fascination for Europe and all things European.

Now based in Amsterdam in The Netherlands, she creates delightful clay jewelry inspired by her surroundings and her love for Old World charm. Her Etsy store is called ARTISANIEeurope.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Use a Candle to Make a Burnt Glue Ring!

By on Saturday, July 23, 2011 4 Comments

Burnt Glue Rings by Tiffany Windsor
I have a love-hate relationship with glue. It's really useful at times but why does it have to get everywhere? On the plus side, I have discovered glue can also be fun.  Tiffany Windsor's burnt glue ring video tutorial shows us how one can create the fused glass look.

The technique uses Aleene’s® Original Tacky Glue® on resin rings. A candle is used to create the shimmery effects after the glue is applied to the resin tiles. It's really neat to see!

How to Use the Jewelry Saw to Cut Out Pendant Shapes

By on Saturday, July 23, 2011 6 Comments

Firefox Pendant
Ever want to make unique pendant or charm shapes from metal sheets?  Well, Becky Stern shows us how to use a jewelry saw with her excellent video tutorial on the making of a Firefox pendant.

She also includes instructions on how to attach the saw blade to the frame. She does the sawing on a wooden v-shaped bench pin. Becky has a static version of the tutorial on Craftzine if you're not fond of video tutorials.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Design Your Own Bone Structures Necklace

By on Friday, July 22, 2011 5 Comments

Remember the traditional spiritual song, Dem Dry Bones? The lyrics include "Toe bone connected to your foot bone, foot bone connected to your ankle bone, ankle connected to your leg bone"... and so forth.

Well, this clever jewelry design reminded me of that song. Bone Structures is a collection by the Campana Brothers. You get to connect up bone-shaped leather pieces  in any way you wish! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bead Oasis Bead Show in Halifax

By on Thursday, July 21, 2011 10 Comments

Laurie Anne Clinton of Flirt Beads
Halifax is really a small Canadian city. Even counting in the greater metropolitan area, residents number only in the 300,000+ range. So we are fortunate to have the Canadian Bead Oasis make it here last weekend at the Metro Center.

It's their second showing here and the first time I was able to cover it for my blog. I attended with my Debbie, my best friend, co-instructor and co-conspirator on buying expeditions.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Clever Coiled Headpin Idea for Bracelets

By on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 6 Comments

Many of us add little headpin dangles to chain bracelets.  Want to try something different?  Check out the Berrylicious Bracelet tutorial by Spoilt Rotten Beads.

The bracelet uses headpins alright but instead of cutting off the unused section of the stems, each head pin is completely coiled.  It saves throwing away the bits of metal!

Using Body Forms or Mannequins for Modelling Jewelry

By on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9 Comments

Anna over at Almost Precious on Etsy and Susanna of Susanna Originals are readers and regular commentators. Both wondered what I really used for the "modeled" shots of my necklaces in my store. Susanna actually asked in an earlier post, "I'd like to know where you got the tanned model in January in Nova Scotia!"

The answer is body form mannequins!  They work for free and any time I want, including weekends!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Really Pretty (and Easy) Twist Wire Bracelet Tutorial

By on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 2 Comments

Jenny over at the Little Red Robin blog just let me know via Facebook about her newest tutorial.  It's a wonderful how-to for a really pretty wire work bracelet.

It looks complicated but it's so easy beginners can have a go.  The bracelet looks like it might have been a wire crochet affair at first glance. But it is not so!

Gorgeous Micro Macrame Jewelry by Ifat Creations

By on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 9 Comments

Stunning. Amazingly intricate. This is micro macrame jewelry like you've never seen before!

The awesome designs are by Madrid based Ifat Nesher who has an Etsy store. You can also see more of her gorgeous creations on her website.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Winner of the Creative Beaded Jewelry Book Giveaway

By on Monday, July 18, 2011 2 Comments

Many of you also collect books judging from the response of last week's book giveaway. The simple but thoroughly modern designs appealed.

Books are not just inspirational, the instructions are always at hand whenever you need to refer to them.... even at 1 am in the morning if you can't sleep!

Giveaway - Free Shop for Life on Handmade Artists' Shop

By on Monday, July 18, 2011 171 Comments

Are you hankering to start your own online handmade craft store but are afraid of the additional costs?  Or are you an established artisan looking for more ways to sell your wares?

Here is a sweet giveaway for you. A free shop for life at the Handmade Artists' Shop (HAS) for one lucky winner!   No monthly fees, no listing fees, no commission charges, ever. Sounds great, doesn't it?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Architectural Rings by Sevan Bicakci

By on Sunday, July 17, 2011 6 Comments

Architectural rings simply blow me away!  These are rings exquisitely made from precious metals and gemstones which pay homage to much, much larger architectural inspirations.

One artisan who joins my growing list of architectural ring masters is Turkish born, Sevan Bicakci. (see links below for more)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

How to Make a Chalkboard Pendant Tutorial

By on Saturday, July 16, 2011 3 Comments

It's one thing to send messages with jewelry designs but it is another to actually be able to change it whenever you want!

This clever tutorial over at the Henry Happened blog uses chalkboard paint!  The ingenious designer is actually Cat who was guest blogging.

How to Use Rope for Jewelry Tutorials

By on Saturday, July 16, 2011 5 Comments

Think rope is too thick for necklaces?  Think again!  Rope can be used quite effectively to make designer inspired statement necklaces.

This tutorial by Samantha over at the Dollar Store Crafts demonstrates the principal.....with jump ropes and common plumbing connectors! Also brilliant is the use of hidden magnets at the tube cap ends.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Ceramic Focal Necklace Makeover

By on Friday, July 15, 2011 3 Comments

Finished necklace makeover
Sue bought a necklace with a handmade pink ceramic focal some time ago. Although she liked the focal, the original necklace portion was less appealing.

The all-fiber content did not compliment the ceramic piece.  There was clearly not enough bling for this beader!  So Sue added a triple stranded beaded necklace arrangement which fed through the hollow piece.

Cat Fur Jewelry for Feline Lovers

By on Friday, July 15, 2011 6 Comments

Images by Kate Benjamin
You may have come across products made from pet dog hair before but feline fur jewelry?  Why not?  A couple of highly creative artisans have been making good use of what would have been dust bunnies.

I first came across cat fur jewelry on Kate Benjamin's delightful blog called Modern Cat.

I never knew that there is such an occasion as National Hairball Awareness day!  Instead of yucky hairballs coughed up by felines,  she groomed her cats in order to hand roll tight fur ball beads.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to Make Pipe Cleaner Flower Rings

By on Thursday, July 14, 2011 2 Comments

Some of you like to collect jewelry projects for kids. Perhaps to entertain children on a rainy day or as a group activity for school or Girl Guides?

One reader told me about the straw flower bracelet or necklace tutorial they used for their church youth group. A Facebook page follower looks forward to making real seed necklaces with her granddaughters.

Here's a new one. The pipe cleaner flower ring is a blast as these are easy to make and will be appreciated by all ages.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How to Make Knit or Crochet Bangles Tutorials

By on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 4 Comments

Maya over at the Little Treasures blog  has just the tutorial to help you use up your yarn stash. In the process you get to make any number of bangles to coordinate with your outfits! The bangles can be of any width.

You do need some inexpensive plastic bangles or even wooden ones. Better yet, recycle old bangles you don't like anymore!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Eco Rings made from Felt and Upcycled Computer Parts

By on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 1 Comments

Kedmi Hanan's final project at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel was a challenge he rose to in an admirable fashion. He was looking for "experimental material combinations."

His Felt Follows Form collection of felted rings marries the ancient craft with modern high tech components. As he said in his blog, it's the "low tech fashion production of high tech jewelry'! This is eco jewelry at its finest!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Two Giveaway Winners Again!!

By on Monday, July 11, 2011 3 Comments

Infinity Onyx Pendant
Many of you were taken with Nano Style's Jewelry and their gift certificate giveaway.  If you didn't know, they also has a Facebook page.

Shaiha declared she was in love!  While Joanne ruefully added, "I just had to go look!" 

Book Review and Giveaway - Creative Beaded Jewelry

By on Monday, July 11, 2011 73 Comments

Do you like to collect jewelry making books? I do as they are a wonderful inspirational source.

One such new book from Sixth and Spring Books is Creative Beaded Jewelry by Israeli designer Sigal Buzaglo. It's not really a technique book if you are beyond the beginner stage but much more of an inspirational type for those who like the simple look.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Swarovski Crystal Museum and Gardens

By on Sunday, July 10, 2011 4 Comments

Giant Fountain by Heureux
Are you a Swarovski fan? Then you might like to know there is a bling theme park just for you! It's the Swarvoski Crystal Worlds or Swarvoski Kristallwelten in Wattens near Innsbruck, Austria. It opened in 1995 to mark the 100th anniversary of the company's founding.

The museum and gardens are beautifully set in the mountains.  It looks like a magical place from the outside. A hillside giant with crystal eyes spouts water marks the entrance to the museum.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Use a Retro Clothes Hanger for an Earrings Display

By on Saturday, July 09, 2011 5 Comments

I've written about how to make earring displays before, but this one deserves a special mention.

Australian crafter, Dom, designed and wrote the tutorial which not only saves money but recycles an old style clothes hanger as well!

Reader Question - How to Fix a Beaded Freshwater Pearl Earring

By on Saturday, July 09, 2011 3 Comments

The Reader Question thread is where I pick an email or comment question to answer.  I don't claim to know all the answers but I do my best to help.

Linda :This is an inexpensive fresh water pearl earring that my husband bought for me as a 'cheer up' gift during a bad time for me.  This has emotional value and limited other value.

The beading thread  broke on one earring.  I have all the pieces.  I have tried to figure out how to re-bead the earring with no success.  Could you point me in the direction to repair this? 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Vintage Copper and Turquoise Colored Beads Go Together

By on Friday, July 08, 2011 4 Comments

Earlier this year, beginner beader, Nancy came to our workshop to make some jewelry.  She said her skin was so acid that most jewelry did not survive for long!

We suggested she try vintage copper (or brass) because it's been patinated. Our theory being that the patina might provide a barrier.

Artistic Human Hair Necklace Creations by Kerry Howley

By on Friday, July 08, 2011 8 Comments

I've written about some amazing real hair jewelry artisans before, both past and present.  But not everyone was that taken with it.  Hair is a woman's crowning glory but yet some people appear to have an aversion to hair when it is no longer attached to someone's head.

Kerry Howley, a graduate of Middlesex University in the UK, rose to the challenge of exploring how materials can both attract and repulse.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How to Make Organic Seed Necklaces Tutorials

By on Thursday, July 07, 2011 2 Comments

I often like to say, "It's not what you use but HOW you use it that counts". Maya from The Little Treasures blog demonstrates that mantra very well.

Her melon seed necklace tutorial is simple to do because it is just stringing. But some deft coloring and coordinating wooden balls transforms the necklace into a charming organic creation.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Making of Princess Charlene of Monaco's Ocean Inspired Jewelry

By on Wednesday, July 06, 2011 5 Comments

The two royal brides this year both have impeccable taste but neither wore necklaces to their weddings.

But the newly minted Princess Charlene of Monaco  has a spectacular ocean inspired necklace and tiara commissioned for the occasion.

Both the Van Cleef and Arpels diamond and sapphire Ocean Spray necklace and the Lorenz Baumer Diamond Spray tiara designs were clearly influenced by Princess Charlene's love of the sea.  Not surprising as she is a former Olympic swimmer. Her preference for contemporary styles is also evident especially for the asymmetrical tiara.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cut Out Leather Jewelry by LaLaYeah

By on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 3 Comments

Leather jewelry is the perfect solution for those who don't like bling.

Trying to create something different though takes imagination and LaLaYeah on Etsy does have what it takes. This fellow Canadian makes bold geometric cut out leather jewelry.

Monday, July 4, 2011

TWO Giveaway Winners!

By on Monday, July 04, 2011 2 Comments

There were several readers who loved the jewelry style of last week's book giveaway. Some were also beginning their wire jewelry making jewelry.  So this book will be of help and inspiration.

Well, I numbered all the entries and pulled out Kathy's number!  Congratulations! As I don't have your email, be sure to contact me within the week to claim your prize or I will redraw.

Nano Style Jewelry's $100 Gift Certificate Giveaway

By on Monday, July 04, 2011 58 Comments

How goods like jewelry are produced is starting to change dramatically. Rapid prototyping and 3D printing technologies have already been used by some innovative jewelry designers (see links below). Custom designs and small production runs are thus possible at much lower costs than ever before.

Nanotechnology is another approach where things are made starting at the atomic and molecular level. The growth of this new technology is so fast that it has already made its way into the jewelry world.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier and the Hope Diamond

By on Sunday, July 03, 2011 3 Comments

From hereImage via Wikipedia
Jean Baptiste Tavernier (1605-1689) was an extraordinary French traveler and gemstone merchant who spent forty years away from home, trading in gemstones mostly in faraway India.

He goes down in history as the man who brought the precursor of the Hope Diamond called the Tavernier Blue back to Europe. He also left for posterity a remarkable record of his voyages and his diamond expertise which was later translated as Travels in India.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

How to make a Swarovski Woven Purse Tutorial

By on Saturday, July 02, 2011 2 Comments

I have a soft spot for purses and handbags. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you'll remember the post about the beautiful seed bead purse my mother made for me (see last link below).

You could embellish purses with all sorts of beads too. Here is a fantastic Swarovski Woven Purse tutorial . Click on the link there for the full pdf instructions.

Reader Question - What to Do With Broken Beads?

By on Saturday, July 02, 2011 7 Comments

The Reader Question thread is where I pick an emailed question or comment to share.  I don't claim to know all the answers but I do my best to help.

Shaylynn of Shealynn's Faerie Shoppe posted this comment, "Random question-- do you know of any good uses for broken/cracked/uncut-hole beads? I've amassed a little collection and feel bad throwing it out!"

Friday, July 1, 2011

How to Use Fusible Beads to Decorate Ear Buds

By on Friday, July 01, 2011 3 Comments

I've never really paid much attention to plastic fusible bead until now. These are picture construction toy kits made by companies such as Perler or Hama Beads.  

They are typically assembled on some sort of peg  system and fused together with an iron. You can also create pendants made from them.

How to Make Super Hero Jewelry for Little Guys

By on Friday, July 01, 2011 4 Comments

For the Younger Set
Part 1 of 2
Have you ever noticed how much small boys love their favorite super hero character? Well, perhaps you can make them jewelry they will like?

One of the easiest ways is to use Perler or Hama beads which are really picture construction toys. The iron-on fused bead pendants can then be attached to chains or leather cords.