February 2009


I love working with metal and just finished making the little copper piece shown here.  I made it by cutting out two copper squares, filing them, and then soldering them together.  I textured the smaller square using the ball end of my ball peen hammer (far left) which leaves nice little dents.  I then added lines to the larger square using the chasing tools (on the right) and chasing hammer.  The copper was bright in color but I darkened it to add a richness and make the marks more noticeable.

I think I will make a bracelet using this copper piece.  I am envisioning something kind of chunky with larger beads.  Purple perhaps…


lb1I love beads, but buttons are cool too.  And there are so many wonderful ones to choose from.  I keep most of my buttons in a glass jar.  I think most houses have a button jar, box, or metal tin stashed away somewhere.  And they are always fun to poke through.

Every so often, I’ll dump mine out and look through it for something to make into jewelry.  I came across this lavender button and decided to make a pendant out of it.  I set it in sterling silver and created a necklace to accent it using seed beads, purple chalcedony, crystal, and glass.

2530023This is the third pink bracelet I’ve posted.  The first was made for a friend and after her daughter borrowed it a time too many, she ordered a pink bracelet for her daughter.  I made this one because I was thinking about the colors of spring.  It is February and about 32F at the moment, but there are signs that spring is on the way.  Tiny buds have come out on some trees and little bits of greenery is showing from bulbs that will be in full bloom in a month or so.

I was inspired by the center acrylic bead.  I think it is just gorgeous and I only have one.  I surrounded it with pink resin, crystal, and glass beads.  I generally make jewelry using natural materials, crystal, and glass beads, but will use plastics and acrylics if the quality is high enough and they are just plain gorgeous like these.


These are called bead stops, they may have other names as well, and they are incredibly useful.  You pinch the ends, the coil opens up, you slide a piece of beading wire or thread into the coil and release the ends.  They are great at stopping beads from falling off beading wire while a piece is in progress.  So if you pick it up, bump it, the cat jumps on it, (you get the idea), the beads stay on.

I design most bracelets and necklaces by taking a piece of beading wire and the beads I’ve selected and work from the center and up the sides.  Some beaders design using bead boards or pieces of fleece or towels to keep the beads from rolling around.  I like to design on beading wire because I can pick the piece up and see how it looks when it is not flat.  Sometimes a design looks great on the table but needs modification when seen at the neckline or draped over the wrist. 

Below is a bracelet I am working on and the bead stops have allowed me to see the design on the wrist and at various angles.  The little bit of thread tied around the piece?  I realized I left a bead off that should go in that spot and that is how I remind myself to add it when I make the finished bracelet.




If you saw my previous post, I selected some materials inspired by the purple teardrop beads used in these earrings.  In my mind, I saw a sophisticated pair of dangle earrings that made the purple beads look elegant.  I chose to pair the teardrops with some bead work in shades of purple and gold.  I got them done and am really happy with the results.

In thinking through the design, I decided to wire wrap the purple teardrops.  These particular teardrops have holes drilled near the top that go from one side to the other.  You can also find teardrop shaped beads that have holes drilled from the top to the bottom.  Both are excellent choices, you just have to treat them a little differently when it comes to assembling a piece.  Wire wrapping is just one technique that works well with side drilled teardrop and pear shaped beads.  I think the various components come together very nicely and I am pleased.

purple-teardrop-beadsI just finished a piece of jewelry and was ready to start the next, so I went rummaging through my beads to see what struck my fancy and I noticed these lovely purple teardrop beads.  I thought they would be beautiful in a pair of dangle earrings and decided to pair them with some beadwork.  Here are the supplies and tools I am using and I’ve already started the beadwork.

I’m looking forward to completing the beadwork and then determining the best way to attach the beadwork and purple teardrop beads.  I hope to have it finished today or tomorrow and will post it when I’m done.

kate-1I was inspired to make this bracelet by the Yin Yang beads.  They are made of carved and painted wood and I think they are just beautiful.  I especially like that they have an ethnic look to them and enjoyed finding other beads that accented them and worked together to make a unified piece.

I strung the bracelet on memory wire, a very hard type of wire that stays coiled.  It is great for making multi-strand, adjustable bracelets.  I find I have to design for it differently than a bracelet that is strung in a more traditional manner and after a few experimental tries, I have found design techniques that work well with this type of wire.  I named this bracelet Kate.

Next Page »