Friday, March 26, 2010

My most precious piece of jewelry

In 1995, a 12 year old boy made me this necklace at summer camp. He didn't even know me yet. In fact, he didn't meet me for another ten years. In 2005, that not so boy anymore became my husband. Is this my favorite necklace? You bet!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wire Wrapped Cuff

I can't quite remember, but to take the class from the exhibitor at a bead show, I think it costs around $150.

I did not take this class. In fact, I don't think the class has been held yet. Now, this is a pretty standard price for a class. It usually varies from $100-250, depending on materials needed and difficulty.

This was my first try at this cuff, and I think it was pretty successful. There were a couple things I would do differently if I were to do it again, but that comes when you are self-taught. Thus the reason I used copper and aluminum wires before trying this with sterling silver or gold filled wire.

When I think of doing projects with those types of wires, it's like my mouth is watering when I think of my favorite dessert. As a "starving artist" I guess I will just have to wait until the time when I can afford to use such high quality materials. For now, I think I do a pretty darn good job with my resources.

Should I be a little more humble about this?

P.S. Honestly, if I could remember the site where I found this cuff, I would totally send you there, but if it helps at all, it was named the Jetson Cuff. I guess I need to pay more attention.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My first pair of wire wrapped earrings!

I made my first pair of wire wrapped earrings, and though I do think they are super cute, I've got more ideas and designs just flooding my head. More to come!

I made these with silver plated copper wire and green bicone crystals.

Do you like these earrings? Would you like a tutorial?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patricks Day!

This girl isn't getting pinched today!

This can also be a pendant, pin, you name it.

Tuesday's Tutorial-A beaded bead?

I was told that it takes a good nine to ten months to feel like you've got your life back and things are back to "normal" after you have a baby. It's been almost three months since I have my second child, and I'm already wishing I was back into the swing of things. Maybe then I would actually have my tutorial up when I say it's going to be up! But, anyway, it's up there.

This is in fact a bead made from smaller beads. It's super cute, and incredibly versitile. You can use it like a regular bead.

So... let's get started. Material list:
1. 12- 4mm bicone crystals or glass beads (Mine are Crystazzi Sapphire crystals)
2. Approximately 1 foot of fishing line, either 4lb or 6lb will work just fine (pretty neat-something you might just have lying around the house)
3. Cutters( I am using my flush cutters)

Step 1: String three crystal beads onto your fishing line, making sure they are in the center of the line.

Step 2: Add a fourth bead to the line and string the other end onto the bead in the opposite direction as shown below. This is called the cross stitch.

Step 3: Pull tight.

Step 4: Add one bead to each side of the line.

Step 5: Add another bead onto the line and cross stitch it. Pull tight, and it should look like the picture below.

Keep doing this until you run out of beads.

Step 6: When you reach your last two beads, string them on either side of the line, then you will need to do the cross stitch your line on the very bottom bead/center bead. Then pull tight.

When you pull it tight, your bead should look like the picture below. What we did in the previous steps was basically made four sides of a box, and then pulled it all together to close the box.

Step 7: Almost done! You need to get both ends of the line together, so... take one end of your line and string it through the three beads on the top to get it to come out where the other line is.

Once you've strung the line through the three beads, it should look like this. (Click on the picture for more detail) Note: Each end of the line is coming out of a different bead, they are just beads that are right next to eachother.

Step 8: Tie a square knot-that's left over right, then right over left. With your extra line, take both ends and string them through the beads to hide the knot and reinforce the shape of your bead. Then just cut the extra line, and you're done! It's that easy.

Let me know if these instructions were clear enough. Someone please try this and let me know how it went. I NEED feedback! You don't even have to use bicone beads to do it, (although they seem to look best).

A request: I received a request for more memory wire tutorials. So this is what you'll get next week, along with my frustrations about making it. Good thing I'll make it easy for you!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beaded Ring

I just learned how to make these way cute rings, and I love them!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday's Tutorial-The Wrapped Loop

The wrapped loop really isn't all that different from a regular eye loop, except that you will need more wire.

So, why use a wrapped loop?
1. Style-It gives your jewelry a different look than just a plain loop.
2. Durability- You've got to make sure your eye loop is completely closed and won't come apart, but sometimes little baby hands help yank them apart anyway. There are times when I only use a regular loop, but other times when I NEED a wrapped loop.

Without further adieu...

Materials Needed:
1. Head or eye pin, or some 20 or 22 gauge wire.
2. Round nose pliers, chain nose pliers, cutters.
Step 1: This will be the same as making an eye loop, but instead when you make your 90 degree bend, you want to bend about an inch of wire.

Step 2: Make your loop with the round nose pliers.

If your loop looks like the picture below, don't fret, just use either your pliers or your fingers and push your loop up so the bend isn't so big. Just fool with it until it looks good; that's what I do.
Step 3: While holding onto the loop with your round nose pliers in one hand, with the other hand use your chain nose pliers to wrap the wire around the stem/neck a couple times. I wouldn't wrap it more than three times because you still want the bead to be close to the loop.
Note: If the wire I am wrapping is long enough, I will wrap it with my fingers, it's easier. A professional may tell you that's the wrong way, but I feel like I have more control that way. But if the wire is short, then I will use pliers because it hurts my fingers.
Your wrapped loop should look like this.
Step 4: After you have completed your wrapped loop and cut off the excess wire, take your chain nose pliers and squish down the raw edge so it doesn't poke you.
Step 5: The next steps just show you how to make your wrapped loop with a bead on it. So...put your bead on and make the 90 degree bend. You want to leave a small neck so there is room to wrap the wire. But you shouldn't worry too much about leaving room because it doesn't matter how close to try to bend the wire to the bead, there will always be a small neck. So just bend it like normal.Make your loop.
And follow the rest of the steps for the wrapped loop, and you're set!
Happy beading!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday's Tutorial

I am in love with this necklace...don't tell my husband!

This is actually the necklace I taught my sister Rachel to make. I recently took a trip to Utah, and let Rachel look through my pictures of jewelry I found that I wanted to make. This necklace I found at The Work Room. She decided she wanted to make this one- and so your tutorial for the week was born (or something like that).

Items you will need:
1. 20 or 22 gauge wire (I used 20)
2. Jump rings (I used 16, but that could change, depending on the length). I made my jump rings out of the wire
3. Some sort of clasp (I used a hook and eye clasp that I also made out of my wire)
4. Cutters, chain nose pliers, and round nose pliers.

Step 1: Cut your wire. I cut mine into almost two inch pieces. I cut 13 pieces of wire. You will also want to cut 2 pieces of wire about an inch longer than the others (so 3 inches). These pieces are for the ends that will attach to the clasp. You don't have to cut the wire at 2 inches. You can make them shorter if you want your beads to be closer together, or longer if you want them farther apart. But remember that if you make them closer together, you will want to use smaller beads, or your necklace will look cluttered. The pieces of the wire that Rachel used were shorter than two inches.

Rachel's necklace was longer than mine. Mine hits just below my collar bone, so she obviously used more pieces of wire. Adjust the number you cut accordingly.

Step 2: Using the two longer pieces of wire, you want to make a wrapped loop at one end of each. Then set them aside.

Step 3: With your 13 other pieces of wire, you need to take your round nose pliers and make half of a loop at one end of each piece.

Step 4: Next, you want to use your chain nose pliers to bend/squish the loop together.

Step 5: Using your cutters, you will need to cut most of the loop off so that you just have a small bend at the end instead of a big one.

Step 6: a. On one of your wrapped loop wires, put on a jump ring first, then a bead. Then you need to make the loop at the end of that wire as shown in steps three through five.

b. Next you need to take one of your other wires, stick a bead on it and stick the unfinished end through the jump ring, so it looks like the picture below.

You will continue to do steps a and b until you get to the end of your necklace and need to put on the other wrapped loop wire. To put this one on, you just put it in the opposite way through the jump ring, then put the bead on, and then make your loop.

Step 7: In the picture of the necklace, you can see that the wires are bent a little more than what you see in the other pictures. So, what you need to do is take the wire in both hands (my other hand was taking the picture), and with your thumb under the wire, make a small bend downward. Be careful not to bend it too much. If you do, you can just bend it back. But if you totally slaughter the wire, cut if off and make a new one, it's that easy!

Here is just a few pieces put together so you can see what it looks like.

Step 8: Attach a jump ring to each of the wrapped loops and the clasp. And then you're done! If you are using a clasp that opens, then you don't need a jump ring.

Okay...I really need your feedback. I want to know if this tutorial makes sense. It's one thing to show someone how to make something in person, but completely different to write it out and hope you get it. The most frustrating thing for me is not understand directions. Just ask my mom about that. So... Do you understand it? Do I need more pictures? Do I need better pictures? Do I need better instructions? Do you think that this tutorial would make it easy to make the necklace? PLEASE TELL ME!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lia sophia Knock-off

If you like jewelry as much as I do, then you probably like Lia Sophia.

I've been to a few Lia Sophia house parties, but DANG, their jewelry is just too expensive for me. That's when I decided to make my own Lia Sophia knock-off. I also made a pink and black one as well, but they both sold already.
I added my own little touches,
and here it is...

$20-sure beats an $80 pricetag.

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