Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Invitation to My How to Photograph Jewelry Talk!

By on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 5 Comments

As you know, I love sharing all the new things I learn about taking jewelry pictures on this blog - always an ongoing learning experience.  Photography is a tough subject for the majority of online jewelry artisans. Good product photography is important but for many, still a stumbling block.  I've now completely revamped and improved the talk I gave last year at the Grand River Bead Society, where I am a member.

Amazing Leather Cuffs by Ethos Custom Brands

By on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 1 Comments

Ethos Custom Brands is a group of leather work artisans who specialize in what they call the "Midwest meets Manhattan" design philosophy.  Whatever you call it, their guitar straps, boots, belts, cuffs and other leather pieces are incredible examples of old world leather craftmanship.

handmade leather cuff

Monday, March 30, 2015

Winner of Ecuadorian Hands' $60 Tagua Beads Giveaway

By on Monday, March 30, 2015 1 Comments

Many thanks for all your kind comments about my designs for last week's Ecuadorian Hands' giveaway for $60 worth of tagua nut beads.  They are awesome to work with!  But they also serve to bring awareness to the terrible plight of the wild elephants and rhinos as these natural nuts look like ivory but are actually derived from a type of palm.

Wire Work Bangle Tutorial on a Thick Gauge Wire Form

By on Monday, March 30, 2015 6 Comments

Sharilyn Miller is one of my favorite wire jewelry designers and instructors.  I credit her with introducing me to bail forming pliers.  She has a wonderful idea with her Fisherman's Cuff wire work bangle tutorial over on her blog.  I love how she used a very, very thick gauge copper wire as the form underneath.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Beadiful Night's Wire Work Ring Base and Glue On Bail Tutorials

By on Sunday, March 29, 2015 2 Comments

Sure you can buy findings.  But making your own really helps make your designs really handmade and save some money at the same time. Aleshia of Beadiful Nights on Youtube is mostly known for her beadwork tutorials. But there were two wire work projects she shared which shows you how to make your own glue on bails and ring bases.

glass tile pendant tutorial

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Colorful Macrame Cross Earrings Tutorial

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015 2 Comments

Perhaps the way to get into micro macrame work is to pick smaller projects like earrings. Colorful ones also help as beginners will not get confused with the multiple cord strands being used.  One awesome tutorial which fits these criteria is the colorful macrame cross earrings project by the splendid instructor from the Macrame School.

Friday, March 27, 2015

How to Blur Your Jewelry Photo Backgrounds the Easy Way

By on Friday, March 27, 2015 3 Comments

Some artisans like to take jewelry photographs with a blurry background. It makes sense to focus on the main subject if there are busier backgrounds and in the process, deliver captivating pictures.  Here are some examples from a few awesome artisans who also know their way around dSLR cameras. First up is Shireen of The Blue Brick whose resin jewelry was featured here :

Pressed Flower Resin Jewelry by The Blue Brick

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book Review : Fabulous Jewelry from Findings

By on Thursday, March 26, 2015 5 Comments

Findings are essential for jewelry making.  The various connectors, tubes, bead caps, spacers, clasps and so on enable us to connect, to space, cover and finish pieces.  But that is not all they can do. With imagination and dollops of creativity, they too can have starring roles in our jewelry designs.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easy Wire Wrapped Crystal Bangle Tutorial

By on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 2 Comments

Sometimes transferring what is a common wire wrapped ring design and adapt it for a bangle is the way to go! This easy wire wrapped crystal bangle is made rather like the ring version except that there are a few crystals around the larger bangle. The tutorial is by Emily Kaniasty over on the Art and Soul Beads blog.

easy wire wrapped crystal bangle tutorial

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Contemporary Dainty Jewelry by Lunaticart

By on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 3 Comments

Simple yet distinctive designs are not so easy to come by.  They are harder to create because they do not have the innate richness of complex designs.  But one metal work artisan who does well with her contemporary dainty rings is Parisian, Berenice of Lunaticart.

stacking rings
stacking rings

Monday, March 23, 2015

Winner of Debora Mauser's $30 Creative Wire Jewelry Video Class Giveaway

By on Monday, March 23, 2015 0 Comments

The most commonly cited reason for entering last week's giveaway for Debora Mauser's $30 Creative Wire Jewelry Video Class was learning how to improve on wire work. Wire work needs practice and a teacher to guide you is a huge asset.

Ecuadorian Hands' $60 Tagua Beads Giveaway

By on Monday, March 23, 2015 69 Comments

One thing I love about tagua beads is how colorful they can be.  These beads come from the nuts of palm ivory plants which grow in Central and South America.  The natural color of tag nuts resemble that of the real ivory. The material can also be carved and dyed.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Missing Beaded Net Scarf Necklace Tutorial Found!

By on Sunday, March 22, 2015 2 Comments

I know many of you were very disappointed to see that the link to this morning's post for the beaded net scarf necklace tutorial wasn't working.  I did update the post with another tutorial and explained how it is done.  However, thanks to this amazing community, the missing beaded net scarf necklace tutorial has been found!!  (Update : but the link is now gone. Please click on the link above for other tutorials.

How to Make a Beaded Net Scarf Necklace and Inspirations

By on Sunday, March 22, 2015 12 Comments

I've always liked beaded designs which use the netting technique. The necklaces have a beautiful open look. But I came across this wonderful tutorial which creates a beaded net scarf necklace. The design softly drapes rather like a front facing shawl. The tutorial was posted by Elena Tsvetkova over on biser.if.ua.  She included a fantastic collection of inspirational variations. Must see! This one is my favorite :

how to make a beaded net scarf necklace

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Leather and Copper Chain Bracelet Tutorial

By on Saturday, March 21, 2015 7 Comments

Chains are popular items in the jewelry maker's arsenal.  But you can make them truly unique if you dress them up! The 3-Peat copper bracelet tutorial over on Domestic Diva Online is well named  and inspirational!  That's because leather and copper chain bracelet design features 2 different kinds of copper chain and a copper colored flat leather cord.

Friday, March 20, 2015

How to Make Silkscreen Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorials

By on Friday, March 20, 2015 2 Comments

I remember doing silkscreening in art class waaaaay back in secondary school.  It really didn't interest me that much. Large projects rarely do which is why jewelry making appeals to me. But it didn't occur to me one could do silkscreening (or stenciling) on a smaller scale!  Check out this super easy silkscreen polymer clay jewelry tutorial by Johnnie over on Saved by Love Creations.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spiral Wire Work Earrings Tutorial

By on Thursday, March 19, 2015 8 Comments

It's fun to make spiral or scrolls with round nose pliers.  But it is even more stunning if you could make more than one.  Anacely's wonderful spiral wire work earrings tutorial on her Fradany blog uses 3 in a row and in descending sizes too!  She uses 20 G wire.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Easy Wire Work Bangle Tutorial

By on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 7 Comments

Wire work doesn't have to be hard.  Here is another easy and forgiving design - a leaf and vine wire work bangle tutorial by Rena Klingenberg. The informal swirls and wraps are what makes this a forgiving one.  You don't have to be precise and you can come up with your own look.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Graphic Design Decoupage Jewelry by Tzaddishop

By on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 5 Comments

Vicki Butler (Miss Vicki to her friends) and her crafty and handy husband are the creative duo behind Tzaddishop on Etsy.  Based in Denver, Colorado, they are graphic designers so naturally gravitated to some pretty awesome decoupage jewelry.  Their unique work is detailed, colorful and looks richly textured.

graphic design decoupage jewelry

Monday, March 16, 2015

Winner of Nunn Design's $110+ Giveaway for the 2015 Winter Collection

By on Monday, March 16, 2015 3 Comments

Last week's giveaway for Nunn Design's $110+ Giveaway for the Winter 2015 Collection certainly wowed!  Some of you already know about her jewelry findings and are big fans.  Reader Aims said, "The quality of her components are by far the best. Using her designs automatically raise the value of one's work. Why? You can see that she has put her heart and soul into every single piece she offers."

Debora Mauser's $30 Creative Wire Jewelry Video Class Giveaway

By on Monday, March 16, 2015 50 Comments

Many people love the look of wire work jewelry. But they are often taken aback when they first start working with it. Wire has a will of its own so it takes practice to get it under your control.  We all learn differently.  So also helps to take classes if the self teaching is not working out. Debora Mauser is an experienced teacher who has a Creative Wire Jewelry Video Class on Craftsy for those who cannot get to a live class.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Superduo Beaded Cross Pendant Tutorial

By on Sunday, March 15, 2015 3 Comments

We tend to think of the cross symbol with a typically longer vertical compared to the shorter horizontal component.  But other cross designs show a more symmetric approach such as the Coptic, Canterbury, Occitan and even St George's cross.  Reader Ioana's video tutorial for a superduo beaded cross pendant is of the latter category.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Tutorial on How to Make a Stretchy Bracelet More Durable

By on Saturday, March 14, 2015 8 Comments

I am not really fond of stretchy bracelets. You know, the kind where you use beading elastic.  They do eventually break and have to be restrung. I inevitably change over to beading wire at first opportunity!  However, I changed my mind after seeing the tutorial by Jennifer VanBenschoten over on Beading Daily.  Her way of making a stretchy bracelet more durable as well as her tips all make sense.

Friday, March 13, 2015

How to Bead an Easter Egg Tutorial

By on Friday, March 13, 2015 4 Comments

Tired of coloring Easter eggs?  Here is an excellent alternative.  Bead an Easter egg. Better yet, bead a number and have a beautiful bowl full of them to decorate your home!  The tutorial is by Russian beader, Inna Rogachev over on Livemaster.  It is in Russian so please translate the page - easiest way is to right click on the page in Google Chrome and select Translate to English.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Book Review - Stylish Leather Jewelry

By on Thursday, March 12, 2015 5 Comments

Leather is a popular material for jewelry making.  But it has long been on the more sombre side as far as color is concerned. They are ideal for unisex styles.  Lately though, the leather products out there have a decided feminine look with more patterns and hues available.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How to Make a Watercolor Cuff Using Armature Wire

By on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 4 Comments

Some time ago, I found some excellent water color earrings tutorials.  Making a watercolor bracelet/cuff is definitely more ambitious!  Check out this excellent video tutorial by Ross Barbera who shows us how to do so using armature wire ie a wire frame.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Exquisite Needlelace Jewelry by Land of Dante

By on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 2 Comments

People in the past came up with so many ways to make lace for decorative trims and home decor. One method, which surely has to be the most arduous, is handcrafted from many tiny knots using just needle and thread.  This traditional Eastern Mediterranean craft is often known as Oya or Armenian needlelace but it is also practiced in other places besides Armenia.  Pinar Arat, a Turkish artisan, is one of these highly skilled practioners.  Her Etsy shop, Land of Dante showcases her exquisite needlelace jewelry.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Winner of the Resin Jewelry Book Giveaway

By on Monday, March 09, 2015 2 Comments

Last week's giveaway for Shireen Nadir's Resin Jewelry book saw a gamut of entries - from newbies to seasoned resin jewelry makers who wish to learn more. But all were in agreement that the book looked helpful as there were so many ideas to learn from.

Nunn Design's $110+ Giveaway for the Winter 2015 Collection

By on Monday, March 09, 2015 125 Comments

Most of you who read my blog regularly will no doubt be familiar with Nunn Design.  Becky Nunn is the extraordinary innovator and designer of these beautiful jewelry making findings.  She is a very inspiring woman who dared to dream and is living the dream of "a small company, producing findings of the highest quality, with generational artisans based in the United States. Our vibrant, extended family produces uniquely classic, handcrafted pieces, each individually inspected down to the detail."

nunn design jewelry findings giveaway

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Trendhunter and The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas : BETTER and FASTER

By on Sunday, March 08, 2015 2 Comments

As a jewelry designer and a blogger, what I do a lot of  the time is to hunt for ideas. Way back when my blog was new, I also actively wrote for Toronto-based Trendhunter, the world's largest trendspotting blog which was then starting to take off. The experience honed my hunting and blogging skills - see the Trendhunter report and interview about me . During my time with Trendhunter,  I got to write on a wide variety topics  which interested me - particularly art, design and eco trends - and some downright quirky ones.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

How to Make an Easy Clay Ring Holder Tutorial

By on Saturday, March 07, 2015 2 Comments

I've covered ring holders before.  These are very useful items to safely hold rings when you take them off to wash your hangs.  This clever polymer clay ring holder tutorial by For the Makers is just the ticket, not just for the bathroom but perhaps on your dressing table.

Friday, March 6, 2015

How to Make a Long Dreamcatcher Necklace Tutorial

By on Friday, March 06, 2015 3 Comments

I don't know why dreamcatchers appeal.  But if you like them, here is another great video tutorial on how to make a dreamcatcher necklace.  This particular design by Aira Tran is on the large size so it lends itself very well for being a long necklace too.  It looks great with round necklines.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Use Up Scraps and Broken Jewelry with this Rhinestone Cuff Tutorial Idea

By on Thursday, March 05, 2015 2 Comments

Crafter Mark Montano's rhinestone cuff video tutorial so reminds me of bead embroidery!  He uses both metal and rhinestone chains to surround cabochons for very eclectic, colorful and easy to make cuffs.  You just need a cuff base and E6000 glue (or use 2 part epoxy).  I also like his tip of using scotch tape to keep the cabochons in place while the glue is setting up otherwise they will just slide off!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Beaded Jewelry Tutorials using O Beads

By on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 2 Comments

The range of bead types for bead work is fantastic. Have you tried using o beads?  As the name implies, they are small donut shaped beads.  You can use them either sideways or with the hole in the top down position.  Dutch beader, Akke Jonkhof's wonderful o bead necklace tutorial is particularly striking!  She uses these beads sideways.  The link to the PDF is at the end of her post.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Amazing Recycled Nespresso Cup Jewelry by Kathleen Nowak Tucci

By on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 9 Comments

Kathleen Nowak Tucci is an extraordinarily talented Gulf Coast eco designer.  Her recycled Nespresso cup jewelry is stunning and highly memorable!  How did did she get started with these used aluminum coffee machine capsules? It wasn't a straightforward path.

recycled nespresso jewelry
Hummingbird Necklace

Monday, March 2, 2015

Winner of Kazuri West's $75 Giveaway

By on Monday, March 02, 2015 1 Comments

Both Paulette and I are pleased that so many of you loved the new Kazuri ceramic disc which was designed specifically with the tree of life motif in mind. So thank you all for leaving your comments on last week's Kazuri West giveaway for $75 worth of Kazuri necklaces or Samunnat Nepal polymer clay beads.

Book Review and Giveaway : Resin Jewelry

By on Monday, March 02, 2015 78 Comments

One of the best pressed flower resin jewelry artisans I have ever come across is Canadian, Shireen Nadir of The Blue Brick.  Do have a peak if you missed the feature on this multi-talented designer last week.  She has been making resin jewelry for a number of years. She said," In that time, I 've made some beautiful things but also had some tragic failures."  Eventually, she distilled all she had learned through the hard way and put in into her book, Resin Jewelry (eBook on Etsy; printed book on Book Blurb). I received a copy for review.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

100 Years of South East Asian Nonya Embroidery

By on Sunday, March 01, 2015 24 Comments

I haven't usually had the time to submit to magazines but last year, I was invited to do so.  My thanks to Brenda from the Grand River Bead Society who made the recommendation to A Needle Pulling Thread magazine, a beautiful publication which encompasses many fiber arts.  My article came out in the Fall 2014 issue but I was not able to reprint it until now.