Saturday, October 27, 2012

The ring is the thing

Making metal jewelry I find that I have scraps that are too big to be tossed in the recycle pile, so I try to incorporate them into other pieces of jewelry.  Today's blog shows how I converted those left over pieces into great jewelry.

I made several bracelets using strips of silver with really pretty designs pressed into the metal. I had several pieces that were each 2 or 3 inches long and decided to make some rings.  The results are so good that I'm actually buying the silver just to make rings. 

One day I had on a ring that is similar to the one on the left. On my way to work a woman in the train commented on it, then in the doctor's office I got another complement from one of the nurses.  At work I got some great comments and a couple of orders too.  I call it the cascading crystal ring because the beads are free flowing and every time you put it on the beads fall into a different configuration.  It's a fun ring. 

The ring on the right is the first ring that I made and is a casual ring. Very simple in style with a stable swirly looking bead that reflects the swirl on the side of the ring.  The wire is simple, yet beautiful.

Inside both rings I've stamped a secret message.The purple ring at the top says "Laugh" and the blue ring says "Dream".

Making these rings was so much fun and I will have several on my website, if they aren't purchased before I can post them.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

A new technique

Trying something new is always exciting and challenging for me.  When Carolyn from church gave me some sea glass to work with, something that I’ve never done before, I was excited and nervous at the same time.  It took me a while to figure out the best way to wrap the glass to enhance the beauty of it.  Then getting the creativity to flow through my hands was another challenge. I was relieved to find that it’s a skill that I liked learning and using.

Since I started making jewelry I have felt like the more skills I have, the better jewelry designer I can be.  I’ve learned many techniques so far and feel like the more I learn the more I want to learn. I just wasn’t ready for this new technique. It was definitely more abstract than I have ever done.

Sea glass was kind of a foreign object to me as far as jewelry making goes and I was happy to have something different, however I didn’t have a clue what I should do with it.  I knew that I should wrap it with wire but how. I’m used to nice even shaped beads with a hole in the middle; this glass didn’t have a hole in the middle. So, it was time for me to learn a new technique.

The creative process always amazes me because everyone goes through a different process to create.  Some people just dive right in and do it, some draw out their design, and some make a prototype.  Instead of doing the above, I do research, find the techniques that others use, look at photos of similar type work, watch You Tube videos, read books and then let it all sink into my brain for a while.  Once it all coalesces in my brain I start to think about how I’m going to make my project.  Sometimes it takes a day and sometimes it takes months.  I think wire wrapping the sea glass took me about 2 weeks to actually decide how I was going to do this.

You can see the results in the pictures on this page.  Once I started wrapping sea glass I couldn’t stop.  I love to do it and I love the results.  My favorite is the long white piece shown with the orange background.  That piece of glass has a design pressed into it.  I would really like to know what kind of thing that glass started out as. 

Thanks to Carolyn for the inspiration to learn a new skill to put into my toolbox of jewelry techniques and all the beautiful pieces of sea glass.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Shopping for Beads

Last weekend I went to a bead show and had a great time.  I was only a few steps in the door and couldn't resist buying my first item.  It's shown in the picture, a beautiful vintage crystal that is emerald cut and a beautiful light blue. 

Then the next table that I went to was selling charms and settings and I found the perfect setting for the vintage crystal.  I had thought about making a setting, it was my intention when I bought the stone, then I came across the setting shown in the picture.

Isn't it beautiful?

I found lots of other beautiful pieces and could have spent a fortune but I gave myself a budget.  In the next few weeks I'll post more pieces for you to see, from the beads that I bought at the show.

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

52 Week Challenge Wrap Up

Since my 52 week challenge finished last week I decided to ask a favor of all of my readers.  I would love to hear your comments on the challenge and wondered if you help me out.  Would you browse through the posts for the challenge and let me know what your favorite piece of jewelry is?

Your feedback would help me to decide the direction to take for the upcoming holiday season. Should I made more of an item, drop an item?  I can’t decide on one item that is my favorite because I like them all.  What do you think? Let me know.

If you would rather not post to my blog, or have trouble posting, then send an email to me with your thoughts to

Thanks and have a great week.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Challenge Week 52!

Finally made it to week 52!  The challenge was well worth doing, I learned a lot and stretched my creative muscles and I’m thankful for all of you that stuck with me, made comments and kept me going.

For my last challenge I used beads that I bought about 2 years ago from another Etsy seller; they are the rectangular shaped beads.  When I saw the beads I fell in love with them because of the unique color combination.  I didn’t know what I was going to make with them and over the past 2 years have looked for other beads to compliment them and inspiration for what I would make. Then I went to a bead show and found the oblong beads in the same colors and had to buy them to go with my original purchase.  About a month ago I found the bicone beads online, again in the same colors as my original beads and when I received them put all the beads on one of my bead boards to see what shape they would take. The necklace and earrings shown here are the result of my two year journey and, I think, a fitting end to the journey that this challenge has been.

The bicone beads are Swarovski crystals, the oblong beads are crystals and the rectangular beads are glass that reminds me of sea glass.  I used a clasp that is elegant enough to dress up the necklace and used silver beads as spacers to make the colors in the beads stand out.  I used all of the beads that I bought in the burgundy and blue blend, so this is a unique set.

I hope you like these pieces and will make comments below.  This set was a long 2 years in the making but I think it was worth the wait.

Just  because the challenge is over doesn't mean I'm going to stop writing so don't forget to come back often.

Have a Happy Independence Day!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Challenge Week 51

Welcome to Week 51.

In week 49 I featured a double strand turquoise necklace with silver accents. This week I made earrings to compliment the necklace.  They are simple with three turquoise beads and seed beads in-between. I also made a pair for myself and wear them a lot. They can be worn with most things in my closet because I wear a lot of black; I also wear them with green, white, and beige.

For the final challenge I have a fabulous necklace planned, it’s on my bead board right now just waiting to be strung.  I hope it comes out as good as I have been imagining it.  Come back next week to see what I made.

Have a great week.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chellenge Week 50

Black and brown is being seen all over town lately.  Everywhere I go I see the combination in dresses, suits, blouses and more.  It’s a combination I never would have put together until I actually saw someone wearing it and I really like it.

Last week my friend Crystal and I went to the bead store on our lunch hour and she pointed out these black and brown beads and I had to buy them.  Crystal is a great inspiration, we have similar taste in jewelry and she gives me ideas that end up looking great. When I start hiring employees she is going to be my first hire as a designer. She is also one of my best customers…

Anyway, I decided to make a bracelet for myself to go with my new black top that has beige polka-dots and this week’s bracelet is the result.  Of course I’m going to make one for Crystal too, and one for the store.  These beads will look with black beads too and I may just make a pair of earrings with the black beads.  I used a magnet clasp on the bracelet, it’s the first time I’ve tried one, and I love it.  The bracelet is so easy to put on and take off.  Just be careful at the bank when you use the pen that is on the chain, you get stuck to the chain and it’s embarrassing. 

That’s all for now,  I hope you have a great week.