Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bookmark - Fail! - Rethink, Redo, Redeemed!

Some more fun with filigree - use it as a focal on a bookmark. Bookmarks are a great expansion to any line. They are a unisex gift, that way you are not limiting your customer base. :)

This is a quick project, great for last minute ideas. It took about 30 minutes to finish - including failure, rethink and redo.....

Here's what I used -

Black cording (mebbe from JoAnn's, mebbe from Michales)
Copper wire 46-702-11 (Rings & Things)
Copper jump rings -37-136-7 (Rings & Things)
Filigree Lantern - 44-149-7 (Rings & Things)
Filigree spacer beads -24-104-6 (Rings & Things)
Carnelian, black banded agate, tiger eye, lampwork (Sedona Stones)
10/1 seed beads (Michaels)

Cut the cord to about 10 inches and 2 pieces of the copper wire at about 2 1/4"

Create a wire coil with the 2 pieces of copper wire. This is what you will use to connect the adornments to the cord.

here are your coils. These coils are very ver-sah-tile. They can be used in so many different jewelry projects. They are great for adding a clasp to a necklace or bracelet made from leather. Even if you are using sterling for your coil, you can't beat the price when making them yourself, as opposed to buying them.

Now you want to thread the coil onto the cord. Like putting nut onto a bolt - that same action. Ok, you need to thread the coil.....*fray* .....Hrm.......*think* *think* *snap*

Wet the end of the cord and thread the coil......*fray*....Hrm.......*think* *think* *snap*

Use a lighter (Thus the tweet for a lighter, it was a frantic search.....FRANTIC) and heat the ends to melt them to prevent a fray -

Ok, you need to th.......*fray* UGH!!!!!!! .....Hrm......*think* * think* *snap*

Place the cord along the tine of your chain nose pliers. Now wrap the wire around the tine and the cord to creat...............*fray* SERIOUSLY!!!! AREYOU KIDDING ME!!!!........Hrm.......*snap****


I have some waxed linen cord - approx 1.5mm. I have had it for years and use it for braided chokers and bracelets. I cut three 12 inch pieces because I am going to braid them to make it thicker and more stout. The braiding process will shorten the finished lenghts, and I want to keep it close to 10".

Now I have the braided cord for the body of the bookmark.


Thread the copper coil onto (SUCCESS!!!) the end of the braided cord and pinch the end onto the cord to hold it firm.

Pull the last loop out to a right angle. That last loop will be the connector for the copper coil - Neat!

Use a jump ring to connect the filigree to the book mark. The jump ring is not required, you can connect it directly to the coil, but using the jump ring will allow it to swing free, and gives it more movment.

Cut a 2 inch piece of copper wire and create a head pin. Bend the end of the wire back onto itself and crimp it with your pliers to create the base of the head pin to secure the bead to the pin.

Here I slid the bead onto the headpin and then the filigree, so the loop of the wrap would connect the bead and the filigree. This end of the book mark is done!

This same technique will be used to create the dangle for the other side of the book mark. I started from the bottom up. Created a head pin as before, and added the tiger eye and made a wrapped loop. I continued the wire wrapped chain adding different beads to each link for a total of 5 links.

Again, bend the last coil of the copper spiral used to on the other end to create a connector. Attach the wire wraped adornment via jump ring to the coil and you have......


Finished product.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Let's try it!

Was doing some mindless surfing today and ran across this -

Bead Star magazine submission guildlines

Come one, come all and enter our second annual Bead Star contest, Bead Star 2009! Winning entries will once again be published in Bead Star magazine, the first-ever publication comprised entirely of prize-winning designs selected by beaders worldwide. Besides fame, winners will also receive exciting prizes donated by our generous sponsors.

I say - let's go for it!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Safety Tip

Do not use your side nippers to cut your toe nails.

That is all.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

DIY - Lightbox - Epic Fail!

*sigh* I am at it again. I am trying to take better pictures of my pieces for the new site. I am not a photographer. i dont 'have an eye for the shot, the setting, the media - anything. BUT... i still have to take pictures. (it takes longer to take the shots than it does to create most of the pieces) I have a good little camera - a Rebel XT by cannon. got it for a song, because the listing price had a typo and they had to honor it. i have tried to learn to use it, honestly - but i fail.

i take my shots, trying to use some light background and some correct lighting ( the lamp over the kitchen table) and then i take the images and work the magic of the Gimp on them, and change the contrast and brightness and sometimes, i get a decent shot.

my camera has a little flip up auto flash. i need a external flash, that would honestly make all the difference in the world, but right now that it low on my list of needs. i will make due with what i have. i get a great deal of satisfaction on being able to produce greatness out of what i have. (i am in denial that i am cheap, ok - denial)

i have heard of light boxes, and have seen a couple, but never really paid much mind to them. i set out the other nite to build one. using 'my lojik' on how the light should work, and should bounce i did this -

I have a cardboard box, tissue paper, foil, and tape

take a box (minus the cat) and line it with white tissue paper

Line the top flaps of the box with the foil

i positioned my desk lamp over the back of the box so i could close the flaps over the top of it. that way the light would 'bounce' on the inside of the box, and reflect on the piece - right???

Wrong - FAIL - every single shot was yellow like this.

My husband the engineer he is steps up to the plate - "what are you doing dear?"
"Making a light box!!!!! can't you tell?!?!!?" I was a bit snippy cuz i was aggrivated at my febel attempts.

he thru out some suggestions - some brilliant ones. dont use floor-es-ant lights - they are too 'harsh'. don't put the light directly over the top of the item - cut the sides out of the box, then put up the paper, and put the light on the outside of the box facing the paper to illuminate it that way .
yes - brilliant.

so - tonite i am redoing the box and we shall see what comes of it.

in the mean time - i am puttin my pieces back out onto the kitchen table on a piece of light fabric and taking pictures.

it works....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Some fun

I finally got to sit down the other day and play with my new supplies. I know I know, it is spring - but i have always been drawn to the warmer earth tones. AND - what else to go better with the new filigree findings I got.

I have never been a fan of pearls and haven't worked much with them. (they scare me) These jumped out at me - right off the table they did - while i was standing in the check out line at the bead show. the vendors are sneaky, they do this on purpose. They keep you right there, in front of all the beads - taunting you, tempting you to buy more. They know your weaknesses!!! THEY PEY UPON YOUR LACK OF SELF CONTROL!!! ONE MORE STRAND, JUST ONE MORE STRAND YOU KNOW YOU NEED IT!!! YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT!!!

*blink* *blink*
*pushes up glasses nonchalantly*
*clears throat*

where was i.........

i wanted something fun and drapey with lots of random, so this is what happened.

The Fancy Spade Filigree, (love these!) and the 4mm Round Filigree bead, I picked up from Rings & Things
The Chain came from Firemountain Gems
The pearls came from O mega gems
The random stones faceted carnelian, faceted tiger eye, and red agate came from Sedona Stones.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Growing pains

Am working feverishly to get my site up and going. One step at a time.

It is kinda funny, as I am working on it, it is live. all my mistakes and blunders are there, hanging out for everyone to see. at the same time, it is fun to watch the progress.

leave it to me to break something. i am a natural at software QA. When I thought I was adding a category, I was actually editing the actual category...it no longer displays as category - it is now necklaces. so everything I put on the site is in the necklaces category (even tho it isn't)

my husband did some head scratching last nite wondering how in the heck i did it....

am telling ya - if you have something that the warranty is about to expire on, give it to me, I can break it :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Planning your accessories

Fashion Tribes site lists the colors for spring 2009

PANTONE 18-4043 Palace Blue
PANTONE 15-3817 Lavender
PANTONE 14-0754 Super Lemon
PANTONE 15-1626 Salmon Rose
PANTONE 18-2328 Fuchsia Red
PANTONE 14-1307 Rose Dust
PANTONE 16-5804 Slate Gray
PANTONE 16-6339 Vibrant Green
PANTONE 16-0435 Dark Citron
PANTONE 14-5714 Lucite Green

What thrills me bout these colors are the greens. It seems that most ppl will associate the brighter colors with spring, and save the greens for late summer or the muted greens for fall. As you can see, this spring has it all. I love to see the bold and muted colors used together. I was doing my wish list from my supplier list and found these great items - Maybe they will work for you too.

From Sedona Stones

South jade roundells would be a great addition to any supply set and it falls in so nicely with the Dark Citron category of springs colors. These and the brass or copper filigree - Glorious!

From Rings & Things

The Palace Blue color is captured so well in the BerryFizz web only mix - the ideas are endless with this mixed lot.

From Art Beads
In the red fuchsia category are these fuchsia head drilled keshi pearls. They make me squeal they are so hawt! Want! Want!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm an enabler

Ok, i'll admit it. I'm an enabler - I want everyone to bring their ideas and inspirations to life. I want to help build their confidence and encourage their creativity. So many people are afraid to work with their ideas. Maybe it is more the fear of failing that keeps ppl from trying. I hear it all the time - "Well if I were as creative as you." Let me tell you honey, you are. Just listen to yourself, it is there.

When I make jewelry I make it out of my ideas, dreams and inspirations. Ultimately, I hope that it will touch someone enuff they just have to have it. (what a compliment when someone hands you cash for your creation) But that is what I make, what about what you want when you are shopping. What if you don't see it. What if you find things simialar to what you are looking for, or you see a design but it is just not the right color. How can you make your visions come to life.

I love when ppl come up to me with sketches, or jewlery pieces they want a match for or they have a new blouse and want something to compliment it. I love to work with you, to see your ideas come to life. It is so fun to show someone my supplies, and say - "What exactly are you looking for" - and you see their eyes light up at all the potential scattered on the table. They begin to piece it together, these beads, these stones, those crystals, and this clasp.

It is so much fun to encourage people to design. They don't feel they have an artist bone in their body, but when the piece is finally complete, and they hug you for capturing exactly what they were wanting, throw a little reality back that them. They are the ones who created it, I just strung it. Then you see the gears turning in their head -"if I did this, what else can I do!?!??"

That is where these earrings came from. I was approached with a sketch and an idea, and they turned out fabulous!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mama went shoppin'!

The bead shows are starting to appear regularly again at the fair grounds. Their prices are good, and they sell to the public; meaning you don't have to have a resale license and you are getting a better deal than if you went to a retail chain.

They are a lot of fun to go browse and chat. You can always find a deal if you are willing to look, and make some polite chatter. One of my favorite vendors was there Megan - O'Mega Gems. She always has great show specials, and a beautiful selection of a more higher quality stone.

I did good, I went in with a list, and stuck to it. I bought only what I needed for the custom orders that I have. It was hard *eyes roll back into head* - *shudder* - sooo tempting.

If you find a bead show in your area - GO! It is therapeutic. Trust me - you will understand when you run your hands thru piles of pearls.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Weekend challenge

I was fussing about this morning doing my chores and stumbled across some old -'stashes' of mind. I have a soft spot for boxes. I love them - LOVE THEM! i have a tendency to tuck things away in them, thinking i will remember and use them on another day.

Today I found these:

Gonna see what fun I can make this weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Writers block

I have it - that is for sure. I am sitting here, watching the clock and slurping on my coffee, and nothing. NOTHING!

*think* *think*

Ok, I take that back. I have a lot rolling around in the vast expanse that is my mind but I just can't get a grasp on it. I make a swipe for it, and it slips thru my fingers. I see it, *reaches out* *snap* it is fleeting. It giggles running passed me in that taunting teasing way. Those thoughts dash passed me waving note cards with quips of - 'growing your business' 'what is an affiliate program' 'repurpose project' and the list keeps going. These are all things i want to research for myself and to share with others. I just can't come up with the words.

*think* *think*

I am now focused on the whole 'writers block' and nearly in a panic - what if I can't come up with any ideas for days - DAZE! Then it hit me - labradorite.

Did you know that labradorite is used to prevent or dispel writers block?!?!?! This is one of my favorite stones. I love the flash of fire when the stone catches the sun just right. The dark cobalt carries over to lighter blues and greens with a flash, as it seems to flirt with me when it does so.

I carry several pocket stones, fidget stones, or worry stones if you will. I choose them for my mood and also for what I will be facing in that particular day. Today I do not have a labradorite with me...dagnabit. Maybe the belief in the metaphysical properties of the stones is enuff - as I look up - I have in fact written a post for the day, and it seems my writers block may have been lifted!

Some examples of pieces I have made with labradorite -
This was a flat faceted briolete that had broken at the drill across the top. No need to throw it away - wrap it!

My daughters pocket stone I wrapped.

Cluster of laboradite in a drop style earring.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Glue-able Challenge 4 & 5 - FINALLY

Like a lot of my designs, they come to me when I sleep. I guess it is because I go to bed mulling over the events of the day, and starting my mental calendar for the next.

I woke up this morning and began to tear up the house looking for odds and ends to start this creation. There is nothing more frustrating than when I have an idea, and I can't find the parts. I hate waiting because I have to run out to the store. I want it now!

I have collected odds and ends to try and make this happen. All these things where to be displayed on the Brass Square Frame from Rings & Things - Stock #49-441-0
Old watch, confetti, filigree, tissue paper, and printed old photos found cruising Creative Commons. (if ya don't know what it is, check it out - too much fun)

I took the watch apart and used the gears - That was so much fun!!

Grabbed my trustie Mod Podge and started in. Put a thin layer of Mod Podge on the the Brass Square Frame. Cut a piece of tissue paper to fit inside the frame and applied it to the glue.

Cut out the picture, to look like a cameo of sorts, and glue it onto the tissue paper.

Decide what you want to go around the picture. I cut a piece of confetti in half to represent a broken heart. Then I placed the insides of the watch around the picture to represent time. I added some filigree for a fun touch. Did a thin layer of the glue on top

There you have it - Time Heals A Broken Heart.

And now for something completely different!!

OMG! I LOVE THIS! - I was bad, and I didn't glue, I konw it was a 'glue-able' theme, but I have had this idea bumping around for over a week, and I had to get it out. I took a bunch of bright fun fabric and cut it into strips - bout 2 1/2".

Now ball up the strips and roll them around in your palms like you are making a ball. This will stress the fabric and make it crumbled and frayed.

Tie the pieces onto the links of the bracelet. Two per side of the link.

And when it is finished you have a fuzzy, wild colored, soft, fun bracelet! I am thinking about sewing on some crystals to give it some shine.

I am wearing it today - dont' look at my hairy arms you will give me a complex.....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Glue-able challenge - 2 & 3

Here is a real serious attempt at the polymer clay and the glueable bracelet from Ring & Things.

I wanted to try and do something with a mill-ee-fee-your-ee style. I wanted to play with the idea and get a feel for how it is done.

I didn't document this one. This is my first attempt at the millefiori technique with polymer clay.
I created the pieces with the sculpty clay, baked them and finished them with a spray can of hi gloss.

I made a blue 'log' about 2" log and 1/2" in diameter. Then rolled out thinner 'logs' of brown and orange, and pressed them around the log. Then I flattened a piece of white and wrapped it around the 'log'. I compacted the log with my hand to make the design tight, and then rolled it lightly back and forth on the table to lengthen the log. Then I sliced it up, and pressed the pieces a little more with my fingertips to make them a bit more square. After baking them, I gave them a quick shot of hi gloss, and here ya go!

I used part number Stock#: 40-367-1

When I see gold I think of christmas and I think of those Brach's nougats...the peppermint ones. Dave from Rings & Things made a comment about making valentines type insult candy - So I went with a candy theme. I dug around and found a few more scraps of polymer clay. Using the same technique as before, I made an attempt at making a christmassy type candy style adornment to glue to the gold bracelet.

I used part number - Stock#: 40-349-2

This has been fun, and I am rolling with more ideas!

Thanks Dave!

Glue-ale challenge - attempt - FAIL

My brother and sister in law have been in town for several days so I am behind on my challenges - I apologize


I was going to be clever and document the process and share with you - in case it was brilliant. Now I will make myself vulnerable, and show you the documentation of the thought process, and the intent. Be gentle :)

Thinking on the side of brilliance, I was going to glue on little polymer clay pieces. Could be cute, could be colorful, and fun designs. I thought because I am working in a new area - with the glue-able, I would also try and work some with the polymer clay. I have been wanting to do some stuff with that anyways. First I wanted to try making just some patterned squares.


I didn't have much of a selection left over. The clay is always the hit when my g/f comes over with her kids. They play with it all nite. Here are a few scraps I had.

I made them into squares bout the size of the metal glue pad. I went about this all wrong, as an after thought, but I am secure enuff in myself to share :)

Made designs with spirals and straight pieces.

Here is where I thougth I was being clever - i was going to mash them flat, and the shape them to fit on the glue pad..

After I mashed them, I realized they were too big, and I was only going to have blue squares on the bracelet instead of the fun design.

*think* *think*

BUTTONS!!! I will make them into buttons!!! - This is my depressed Duck line.

This attempt altho failed, was a fun learning expierence, and I have some fun buttons.