Thursday, December 16, 2010


Thank you for picking the winner.
And she is...scrappin'soccermama
Thanks for entering and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A really cool project

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a pair of blue wire wrapped earrings HERE!

The other night I got out my torch, a sterling silver disc that I previously cut, and some scrap sterling silver wire. I cut a bunch of pieces all the same length and balled them (tutorial coming soon on balling wire). Then I soldered the balls onto my disc. I'm not really sure what I would do with this or how I would finish it. Make a pendant, add it to a bracelet, make another one for a pair of earrings, cut out the middle, dome it (although it would have been a good idea to do that first), hammer it, add a patina? The ideas are endless. What do you think I should do? What would you do with it?

(Oh, and I think I got a little too comfortable with my torch and stuck my arm right in the flame. And then left a bad smell because it decided to singe my arm hair. Yeah...DON'T DO THAT! I'm just glad I wasn't wearing long sleeves.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Giveaway! (Giveaway Closed)

I LOVE hoops, don't you? Wanna win some? They'll even arrive in time for Christmas. Made with Sterling silver and seed beads.I must admit that even though this picture makes me drool over the beads, they are actually more of a Christmas-y blue.

Here's the Rules:
*Follow my blog and leave a comment (if you already follow then leave a comment and let me know)
*Make sure you leave your email address in the comments in the format:
For Extra Entries:
*Get someone else to follow my blog
*Blog this giveaway
*Facebook this giveaway
*Go look at my Etsy shop and tell me which is your favorite, (Brand new to Etsy)and add my Etsy shop to your favorites (if you have an etsy account)
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry, that's A LOT of ways to win, and can you tell I like to be liked?)
This giveaway will Close at midnight Wednesday 12/15 EST.

Note: If you don't win these...don't fret. I'll be posting a tutorial for them soon!
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

More stitch markers

My dad is doing a craft show with his amazing wood products, and he is taking some of my stitch markers with him. So, here's another set I made. I wasn't going to make them, but I just couldn't resist.Um....perfect soldered connection! Yay.

And...who wants a giveaway? I'm thinking a pair of earrings!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stitch Markers

This was so fun. With my new tools and products that came in the mail, I learned a new technique. I've actually been researching soldering jump rings for a long time, and it's really simple if you have the right solder, the right wire, and the right products.

So, these are the stitch markers I made for my sister. And I used wire I balled up for a tutorial coming soon (I've already made the video for it!).

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Do you need coal in your stocking?

Have you been naughty this year?
Do you or someone you know need coal in their stocking?

I say if you are gonna put coal in someone's stocking, forget the candy, and put real coal in! Too much of a mess you say? That's just mean? Okay, okay. Here's a gift that says "You've been naughty; I love you anyway!"

Some coal earrings!

Made with sterling silver, and crystal beads.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Baby Bracelet in Zircon

My sister Alissa, that I actually mentioned in my last post, has a nine month old baby girl. And she is so precious. So, she needs a precious bracelet to match right? I made this to fit my 11 month old, so, it'll fit her in a couple months!

So, here's the tiny little bracelet I made her...Sterling Silver and Blue Zircon Swarovski crystal beads, strung on Soft Flex beading wire (really flexible and sturdy)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Click on the picture to make it bigger.
My sister, Alissa, is an awesome knitter. She even spins her own yarn. Upon her request, I've been working on some stitch markers for her knitting projects.

About a year ago, I really started getting into metal working, wireworking, stamping, beadweaving, glass beadmaking, metal clay, you name it. I couldn't get enough information into my brain to satisfy me. I wanted to do EVERYTHING! I couldn't sleep because I had too many ideas floating around in my head. And when I did sleep, I drempt about my ideas. And since then, I've gotten to try a lot of these things. I still NEED to do some metal clay! But, one of the first things I did was buy myself a soldering iron. Took it home, and realized after several attempts at soldering some copper wire, that I needed flux. Can you tell I am a novice? Then I realized that I needed a torch, I got to check that off my list. So, then I (meaning my husband) did our first soldering project. And it was fun.

But I knew that I couldn't use electrical solder on sterling silver wire and metal, so after I moved home, I went to the local bead store and bought some silver solder.

Okay, now this is where my sister comes in. She asked me to make her some stitch markers. And my first question (knowing nothing about knitting) was what the heck are stitch markers. I ventured online and found a whole array of them, did some research, and came back with tons of questions. And since I try to make sure the are perfect, I had to know...snagless or not, open or closed, hanging bead or strung right on the ring, large or small, how many, what color, any in a different color, what size bead, what size wire. You get the picture. I was nervous to try because I had no idea what I was doing. But today, I got my stuff out and took a swing at it.

And guess what? I did just fine.

Okay, so the picture isn't actually the stitch marker. There is no bead hanging from it. But I soldered this ring...all by myself. You may think that isn't really an accomplishment, but I just had to revel because to me it was.

Of course, I always feel like I can do better. So, I'll let you know what I did, and what I'll do differently when I actually make the real stitch markers.

1. I made my ring with sterling silver and cut a very small piece of silver solder.
2. I brushed the ring with flux and placed the solder right on top at the connection.
3. I lit my torch and fired the ring...and fired...and FIRED!
4. Then realized that maybe they accidently put wire in the bag instead of solder. (They cut them at the store and put them in individual ziploc bags. They aren't pre-packaged). But I also realized that maybe it requires a higher flowing temperature than my micro torch will allow.
5. @#$%@#$
6. Tried some electrical solder to make sure I wasn't stupid.
7. And whalah! We have a soldered ring!

Okay, so afterwards I went online and ordered some paste solder in a syringe. So, the real stitch markers will have to wait until it comes in the mail. But I was so darn excited. And I think with the paste solder, I won't show as much. You actually can't see it that well up close, but my camera is awesome and really brought out the bad spot. So, to bring an incredibly long post to an end...I'll post the finished product soon!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Some cool recent projects.

Actually they are more like past projects that I haven't posted and recent projects. But anyway, here they are. The Rings and bracelet are from a book and the earrings I've posted about before. But I made a black pair that I forgot to photograph and the orange ones. I love them!
Made with sterling silver. That's a lot of wire!

You can tell in this one that I didn't get the chevron at the top and bottom of the bracelet quite lined up. But I think it's pretty anyway, and A LOT of work!

Also made with sterling silver, and so are the black ones like these. I plan to do some in bronze wire with sterling silver earwires, and possibly oxidize a pair to add a nice effect.

I used some silver plated copper wire for this one. And if I made a mistake, that was it, it would break. So it was kinda hard to work with, but super shiny and pretty. It also felt a little more like working with half-hard sterling silver than the bronze wire did.

I made this one with bronze wire and clear crystal beads!
I've been playing around with this design from the book. I made a ring without the beads or wraps on top and didn't really like how it looked. I also made this one as per my husband's request. Don't ask me why he wanted it. But I like it with the wraps instead of without. Maybe I'll post the picture of the other one sometime. I also made my brother a pinky ring, using a different design.
So, what do you think?
P.S. I forgot, if you want to buy those earrings...they are for sale for $30.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wonky awesome beads!

Are you finally ready for a new post?

I waited waited and kept this in. I didn't want to spoil the surprise, but today I spent six awesome hours (having no kids hanging on me was a bonus) at a beginners lampworking class. What is that, you may ask? Let me show you.
Me playing fire glass and fire. What could be better?
My workstation.
My first set of cooled beads still on the mandrels.
All of the beads I made on a cord. They are totally wonky (an actual lampworking term-meaning disproportionate/asymmetrical), but I think they are totally awesome.
I had a fantastic time. The teacher, Paige was great as well.
P.S. Paige, I didn't write that you are great just because I gave you my web address!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday's Find

I meant to post this in the morning, but it still counts because it's still Friday. I love to get on Etsy on a regular basis and find beads, findings, and jewelry I like. I am able to compare prices, quality, etc. I look at other things on Etsy as well, not just in the jewelry section.

Since I visit Etsy pretty much all the time, I decided to let you see what I look at. So every Friday, I will put something up that I saw that day and really liked. Then I will tell you a little bit about why I like it and what it is.

Apparently Pandora beads are all the rage right now. I found these Pandora lampwork glass beads on Etsy. And aren't they just stunning? Well guess what? These beauties are handmade. That's right. You can make them, not just buy them from big companies. When you look down at the bottom of the listing on Etsy, there are Tags. When you list an item that is not handmade, like beading supplies such as tools, you must put a tag that says commercial. This means you did not make it. But if it's not there, it was handmade. A lot of people like to have a tag that actually says 'handmade' so there is no confusion. This seller on Etsy actually does have that on some other beads.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Organization Part 2

In this part, I will show you how I organize findings such as chain, clasps, etc.

I keep an expandable file folder to store all my findings in. I saw this on a video somewhere, but I can't remember where.
Inside, I label the tabs in alphabetical order what I have in each slot.

In each slot I have a gallon ziploc bag that hold everything in that category and I also label the bag. This makes it easy to find every time. You might be wondering why I use such big bags, because I can hold everything in a smaller bag. I use gallon size ziploc bags because it's just easier to grab.
And that's about it. Keeping everything this way makes it much easier to find things. I know it's probably not the best way to do things, but I use the resources I have on hand.

So, here's the tip for today: Label EVERYTHING. Right now I don't have everything labeled because when I first started beading I didn't label anything. I didn't keep receipts because it was just a hobby. Now I keep all my receipts and I label everything. If you are unsure how much information to put on your bag, then just put everything on. I'm not kidding. More information is better than not enough.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mom's Earrings

I meant to post this a while ago, but we all know how awesome I am at blogging. But, anyway I made these darling earrings for my mother. She picked the color, and I knew just what style of jewelry to make for her.
These earrings are made with 60 4mm light pink crystal beads.

Perfect little Cameron hands.
Now, she just needs to reopen the holes in her ears. Doh!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fiesta Earrings-Take 2

Well, I promised I would put these earrings up again once I remade them. I am, but since this has become a blog mostly where I talk about my experiences making jewelry, I'm sure you won't mind a short commentary.

So, instead of using more metal to make some more earrings that I still wasn't sure would come out right, and because the other ones didn't look all that great, I decided to just clean the other ones up and reuse them.

This is what I did.
1. First I used a trusty pro polish pad to take off all the colored pencil.

2. Then I used some Liver of Sulfur to antique the earrings, which was very exciting because it was the first time I've used it. Well except the part when my sister-in-law came in the house and was kinda freaked out because the she thought my son got into something when she smelled sulfur!

3. Then I used my pro polish pad again to clean off the high spots.

So, what did I do right, and what did I do wrong? Well, if I had done another pair from scratch, I would have textured the metal and then used the Liver of Sulfur to give it a better look. Now it just looks kinda tarnished and that's all. To be honest, I really miss the pretty colors. I am bound and determined to figure out a way to get those cute colors in there, but still have a high quality pair of earrings.

Oh well. Better luck next time. Now to get the sulfur smell out!

P.S. Remember the beads from yesterday? Come back soon to see what project I've got in store for those beauties!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bead Porn

My sister Alissa is really into knitting, and she has made some gorgeous stuff. When she was in town visiting a couple weeks ago we went to a yarn store. I'm not all that into yarn, but just seeing all the yarn on the shelves was amazing, and so pretty. It was addicting looking at all that yarn. That's when my sister told me it was yarn porn.
Yesterday I took a trip to the bead store and picked up some handmade lampwork beads. They were all absolutely stunning. My budget called for the cheapest handmade lampwork beads I could find. So at $3.25 a strand, I purchased two. Most of the strands of beads there were $25+. Crazy! So, after seeing my 'bead porn' I'm sure you can only imagine what the more expensive beads looked like!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Organization Part 1

I'd like to give you a peek into my beading space. In this first part you will see my two boards my dad made me. He loves me! My dad is an awesome woodworker and had some extra peg boards laying around that he wasn't using to hang his tools. So, I don't even think it was a week after my husband left for Africa that my dad put together a frame for these and hung them up in my room. He rocks! He made me some shelves, gave me some hooks, and I purchased some extra odds and ends at Home Depot. Now I've got a really nice space to hang things. It keeps me well organized, and gives me space to add more tools. Although at the rate I am purchasing tools, I might need another board in the near future.

These boards really help me stay organized in a small area, such as this one. I love it, and I am always able to find things very easily. However, I'm not sure if this is how I want everything organized on the boards, so I may keep switching things up until I have it the way I want.
I don't believe that I'm a professional by any means, but I really like the way I've got my tools set up, and I just wanted to pass on to you what works for me and maybe give you a good idea for setting up your work space.

So here's my tip for you: If you don't have a big space to work in, hang things on the wall. There's usually more wall space than any other space in the room! And if you've got little one's at home, hanging tools and supplies on the wall is almost always your best bet.

Don't miss next week's tip! (That's hoping I get my posting organized and up to date.)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fiesta Earrings

I had a lot of fun making these cute earrings. Of course these like all other projects have pros and cons. I obviously LOVE the corrugated feel of these earrings. This project actually came from a tutorial from Rio Grande. I liked them so much that I had to try them. A new technique always has the potential to do great things, and that's why I decided to make these. I can make different kinds of jewelry using this same technique!

These earrings are made out of copper and fine silver ear wires. And I love the beautiful color they give to this piece of jewelry. I love the red and blue colors on the copper and the fan-like appearance as well. The tutorial I used said to use colored pencils to create the stripes. I used some sandpaper to scratch up the surface of the copper and used some Crayola colored pencils. The picture makes them look great, but I didn't like how that part turned out. The color still didn't stay very well on the metal. I felt like if I rubbed it a little, the color would come off. Another part I didn't like so much was the corrugation. I know, I know- you just said you loved it right? Well I do, but I think it could be better. And next time it will...with a few little tweaks.

So, how can I make this piece not look my sister-in-law gently put it? I decided that using a patina to antique the earrings is a great idea. Using a patina is probably my best bet in this case because I can get almost a rainbow effect on the metal and get almost the same effect as before.

So, let me know what you think about these earrings. And stay tuned to see how my second pair turns out.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Totally Stoked

I follow Beaducation's blog. Lisa Niven Kelly, the founder of Beaducation, wrote the book Stamped Metal Jewelry. The book is supposed to come out July 12th. She's done a couple giveaways on her blog and I just happened to win one of them. My book came today in the mail. It also came with an instructional DVD and they threw in a tape measure too. Can't wait to check out my book and DVD!

I also recently purchased this Wirework book by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong at JoAnn's. She's an amazing jewelry artist. You can buy her books, DVD's, and I believe you can sign up for her classes on the Wire Sculpture website.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Don't Give Up!

I'm still here. I'm sure you might think I've fallen off the face of the earth, but I'm back and doing well.
About a 1 1/2 weeks ago we said farewell to my wonderful husband. He is now in Djibouti, Africa for six months. He's active duty Air Force, and will be deployed until December or January. So I'll be a single mom for a while. But I've got a lot of help. Before he left, my husband and I drove all the way out to Pennsylvania from Montana. My parents have been so much help to me so far, and I'm incredibly grateful.

I was hoping I could keep up with this blog and had great plans, but so far I haven't been doing so great. But, cards on the table, this is MY blog, and I make no promises. I will keep trying, and I've been doing a lot of beading and fun stuff. If I can get myself to just type it in, I post some more.

So, if you actually still read my blog, I've got something for you. These earrings. I love these cute, yet elegant dangles. These are beaded beads. I figured out the pattern myself. It's quite simple but it took me a while. But the real unique part about these earrings: they are completely handmade by me. That's right. I made the earwires too. The earwires are made of fine silver wire (.999). I fired them with my torch and balled up the ends, wrapped them around a pencil (although I wish I had a tool for it), turned up the ends, and rounded the ends of the wire so they aren't pokey. These are for sale for $15.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Move

I'm finally getting around to posting this update. So sad...because that's all it is. This isn't even a picture post.

We are in the middle of moving...across the country. We weren't supposed to be moving for another week, so this past week was CRAZY! We should be to our final destination (Beautiful Pennsylvania) somewhat close to the beginning of next week. Right now, we are making a quick visit in Utah, and then we'll be off to PA! So hopefully I'll see you then!

Whew! That wasn't so bad. That post took me all of THREE minutes to write. Don't know what took so long to get it up here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One many possibilities.

I just love all the things I can do making these wire laced hoops! It took me a while to figure out how to do it and make all the hoops look the same.

The things I changed from my last post:
1. For starters, there are no beads on this one. I like putting beads on, but I thought I'd try it without.
2. I hammered the big hoop flat.
3. I added more "lace" to go further up around the hoop.
4. Instead of completely wrapping the hoop, the did a couple wraps here and there. I like being able to see the actual hoop.
5. Because this is copper wire, not a metal very suitable for ears, I put a loop at the top of the earring to hold an earwire, rather than have the copper hoop go through your ear! I'd have to say that was good thinking on my part.

Anyway...I haven't done a pair in Sterling Silver yet, but when I do, you'll be the first to know!

More to come soon!!

One hoop

This is my project today. I've done one so far and it took me about an hour. I am practicing on copper for now. I'm not sure I like the way this one turned out. I think a few changes to the next one will make me much happier!

I'll keep you posted later in the day, hopefully with a cute pair of wire-wrapped hoops! In the meantime, I'll be getting boxes to pack up our stuff. We're getting ready for the move!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ooh...the colors!

This is probably my favorite one so far.

I think it needs no explanation. So here's some eye candy for you...

For Dad's Day-Giveway!

The Vintage Pearl has done it again. They are giving away an awesome gift for your significant other, dad, brother, etc. on their blog.

I'm blogging this to get an extra entry. But you don't have to go enter...seriously. I want to win this one!

FYI: It would be great to make this myself...but it's free!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My first try fusing metal

Eek! I was so excited to try this, and believe me, I've been waiting a while for the tools.

I finally got a Micro Torch and some Paste Flux. I already had some solder. It would have been nice to just use solder paste with flux in it, but in time. So as soon as I got home from the hardware store, I got working. I didn't have a soldering board (I have a vision it will be coming soon), so I used a piece of particle board, and was careful not to catch it on fire.

My husband actually did most of the work on this one, and he did a great job! I then put it on a sterling silver jump ring and put a wire-wrapped bead on the jump ring and strung it on an 18inch 1.5mm sterling silver plated ball chain.

A note about the wrapped bead: The wire I used it not sterling silver wire. I wish it was. In fact I do have sterling silver wire that I could have used. But it's expensive. And since I don't have any Fire Coat (a product to prevent Fire Scale, and needed in order to ball up the wire with a torch), or Fine Silver Wire (you don't need Fire Coat), I couldn't make a headpin. FYI-I have no problem accepting gifts. So, I made my own poor man's headpin (which is what I actually used in THIS necklace). I always need more tools! That's the way it goes with any hobby, craft, or project-right?

So without further adieu...

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

And this one is sure to shine with this hammered look.

I absolutely love this necklace. I haven't even tapped into the vast amount of things I can do with metal stamping yet. I've just barely started, and so I'm still practicing on copper. I love the look of copper, but thinking about Sterling Silver pendants like The Vintage Pearl has just makes me giddy. And when you layer copper AND sterling silver, my head just starts to spin!

So, the star is complete with a sterling silver jump ring and 18in. sterling silver 1.5mm(tiny) ball chain!

Things I like:

1. I put my initial on it. This may sound silly, but I don't think I have ever had a necklace with my initial on it in my entire life and I always wanted one. But names, dates, and other design stamps work too.
2. The hammered look.
3. I domed the star.
Things I don't like:

1. You see the R? Can you tell my stamp bounced? That is why it is important to have a good hard work surface. My steel block was on my card table that has kind of a padded top.
2. The hammered look. I know I said that I like this part, and I do. But when I started hammering it, I realized that the dimples were too small for what I wanted and liked. Next time I will use my bigger ball pein hammer.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Button, Button-Who's Got My Button?

Maybe You?
Just copy the code on my button below or on my sidebar, and easily add it to your blog!
Fashionable Finery
Or you can add my Tutorial Button,
or Both!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Let's Party!

So...I live in Montana!

But I'm not there this week.
Instead, I'm in UTAH!

And on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 6pm, my awesome sister, Rachel, is hosting a party for my jewelry at her apartment in Provo.

Are you in the area? Would you like to come? Click HERE to go to the Facebook group page to get the address.

Come! Food and Jewelry. What could be better?

P.S. If you need directions, just leave a comment on this post and I'll get back to you, or Map Quest the address.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Another Giveway?


Beth Anne or B.A. as she is known by over at The Thrifty BA is giving away one of my pieces of jewelry just because it's her birthday week. How sweet is that? She is such a cool gal with an awesome blog telling you how to save money and decorate in style. So PLEASE take a minute and hop right on over to enter the giveway on her blog HERE!

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