Monday, 30 April 2012

Handmade Monday: Recent jewellery makes and bag charms, more bag charms!

Poor neglected blog.  Not sure why I haven't been posting, I have been busy making and listing, and have had a few sales on Etsy (and one on Folksy) which is always good for morale. I treated myself to a new gizmo - the 'deluxe' version with five different thicknesses of coiler, so had some fun with coiled wire jewellery. 

This bracelet has double coiled 'beads' with pink crackle agate and smoky quartz cubes.  It's a bit of a big statement piece, but I'm very pleased with it.

The earrings are a bit more manageable for everyday wear, and they've been nicknamed 'Around the Globe' because the mosaic turquoise stones look just like a map of the world!

Meanwhile, I've been having an ancient world inspired season.  This bag charm with the lovely yellow and green agate vase bead sold on Etsy for a mother's day present. 

And this charm bracelet has a similar feel about it, I think.  So many of my creations these days look like they could have been dug up - perhaps I should bury a few in the back garden!!

Finished off this love knot bracelet - the matching earrings sold so this is the last in the series.

And finally, a little flower wire woven with tiny pearls and pale blue sari silk necklace.

Hope you like the creations.  Let me know if you have a favourite.

Here's the link to see what other crafty folk have been making this week.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Handmade Monday: Simple stud earrings from wire

Bea, one of the lovely guest designer on Jewellery Maker, showed this method of using wire to make stud earrings a few days ago.  I always like to have a go, and a couple of folks who missed the programme asked for a tutorial, so here it is.  This would work best and was demonstrated with a flat backed bead or gemstone but does work with the rounds I've used here - Brazilian jade beads. Similarly, I've used 0.8mm wire (20 gauge) but the original demo used 0.6mm I think.  You just need to check whether the thickness of wire will go through the butterfly backs you're using.

You will need:
A length of wire about 6 inches or so
Wire cutters
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers (optional)
Cup burr or file
2 beads
2 butterfly backs

Step 1: Pop your bead on the wire and bend the wire around the bead.  One side will form the stud back and the other will circle the bead twice, so leave a short end for the stud and a longer one for the circling.

 Step 2: Work the longer end of the wire around the circumference of the bead, pushing the wire gently and keeping close to the edge, going in front of the shorter end of the wire.  You might want to push this shorter end out of the way as you go past it.

Step 3: Keep pushing the wire around until you have gone round the whole bead twice.  The wire will be just at the hole of the bead where you started winding.  At this point, you can choose to simply snip the wire and push it gently with the chain nose pliers so that it lies flat to the bead. 

Step 4: I've chosen to add a loop for a small bead dangle.  You need to snip the wire, leaving just enough for the loop....

Step 5: ... and gently form the loop with the round nose pliers.

Step 6: Go back to the other shorter tail of the wire now and bend it gently round the back of the bead to half way down the bead.  A bit fiddly now with a round bead, must easier if you are using a flat back bead.

Step 7: Use the chain nose pliers to make a right angle bend in the wire as shown and you've made the stud post.

Step 8: Tidy up the end of the stud post - you can use a nail file if you wish.  A cup burr like the one shown is a very useful little tool and will give you a nice rounded end and won't remove the plating on the wire either.

Add your butterfly backs and additional bead drop if required.

You need to be quite careful putting the backs on and off not to pull the stud post away from the bead.  You could try using a spot of glue on the post. 

The finished earrings, with a little faceted red jade bead added. The others are faceted peridot with pearl drops.

Enjoy making!  And don't forget to sign up to follow the blog for more tutorials, crafty stuff and photos of my dog!

Friday, 6 April 2012

The dog's blog: All four paws in the air

This may be my last jump now that I have been diagnosed with arthritis.  I'm trying to get used to a quieter life!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Handmade Monday: Dragonfly

Last week we were away visiting family, so I had limited access to my beading stuff - always difficult to decide what to take, knowing that you'll have some time but can't take the whole stash as we'd need two cars for that!  Anyway, I had some wire, some glass beads and some sunshine, and this dragonfly was the result! Hope you like him.

It was a bit of a strange holiday.  Normally we spend a lot of time with the dog charging round the beach, chasing balls in and out of the waves and playing football with my OH.  The week before we went away, Lucca had a limp and went to the vets, and to our horror was diagnosed as having arthritis.  At 3 and a half years old, that was not good news.  So restricted walks on the lead on the beach, and the poor boy looking at us so confused.  Despite the limp, he still wants to do everything he always did.  Today he's at the vets for x-rays, so more worry and a house that feels so quiet and empty.  But at least we should know more this evening.

Much better news - a jewellery magazine in the US is going to feature my wire flower necklace in September!  This will be the first time Blue Forest Jewellery has been in print.   How exciting is that!  It's a long time to wait, but they need it sent in the next couple of weeks, so that's something else to distract me today, which is what I need.

Here's the link to see what other crafty folk have been making this week.
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