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.
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