Category Archives: Beads and Wire

SNOW! Sitting at home looking at beads!

It’s snowing to beat the band! Not big pretty fluffy snow, just relentless little bitty snowflakes. My New York City street is covered. Just as well! I want to make something today.

Product DetailsI got Abby Hook’s book Wire Jewelry Master Class in the mail yesterday. Stayed up looking through it, reading the really clear instructions, thinking about what I’m willing to do, what I might do right away, and what I’ll probably never do, even though I wish I could bring myself to do it. Then, of course, thinking about how I could get away with not doing what she says to do and still get a similar look. Then thinking about what she shows, and what I probably will actually do. Woo! Tired myself out just looking! Then woke up this morning and started again.

I’m very happy with this book, excited to have it. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if the book included the two tutorials (KrissKross ring and Kriss Kross bracelet) I had bought from Abby back when jewelrylessons.com was in business and before my computer crashed and died, taking with it my precious hoard of tutorials. I bought several of Abby’s tutorials, but these are the ones I’d really like to have back. The book does have another tutorial that I had bought, which now looks like something I might like to do. Oh well. Never mind! There is so much information in this book! Then, there are all the pretty pictures. This may be the best jewelry-making book I’ve ever bought.

I actually saw my prehnite/amethyst/silver bracelet in bright sunlight yesterday. I hadn’t realized that the colors were actually so brilliant!  Now, I want to make a similar necklace with the prehnite and amethyst left over from the bracelet. I haven’t had a new necklace in quite some time. This will be simple. I think I’ll make some figure eight connectors, as I’m out of jump rings, and I’ll make a stab at making my own S-hook clasp, to jazz it up a little.

MY NEW BRACELETS: Yes, I have been making things!

MARBLE COPPER BANGLEOver the past few weeks, probably to work off stress, I have been making bracelets.  I have used “therapeutic stones” to make all of the bracelets I have made, but, still, I have given an eye to color, design, and style (your mileage may vary).  These are very simple bracelets, but they have turned out ROSE QUARTZ COPPER BANGLE 25to be eye-catching (as in: people comment on them, even when I have 4 stacked on one arm).

The bracelets I’m making are “bangles”, in that they aren’t “slinky”, like bracelets strung with jewelry wire.  I’ve made each one by first making a big loop BLACK AGATE COPPER BANGLE 25on the end of a piece of 18 gauge wire, then threading the beads onto the wire.  With my first two bracelets, at the end, I made another loop and added a purchased lobster clasp.  With the latest ones, LEPIDOLITE LAPIS BRASS BANGLE 2however, I have made hooks at the end, to form “self-clasps”  (ah! free from buying stuff until the wire runs out!)

Along the way, I have run into problems. For example: the first bracelet, which I made from big blue-dyed marble chips turned out to be to short. I connected a copper coil I had left over from when I was learning how to use the Coiling Gizmo, with a copper jump ring to loop at the end of the beads. Voila! Saved beautiful bracelet! 

When I made the agate bracelet, the third one shown, it turned out to be too big. I had made a loop at one end, and a self-hook at the other end. I cut off the loop, removed 4 beads, and made a new loop.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be too short then.  I pouted for a couple of days, then took a piece of copper wire, made a loop, connected it to the end loop of the bracelet, wrapped the wire twice, then made another loop big enough to accept the hook, and wrapped the end of the wire around the bottom of the hook.

What I am saying is: sometimes, you come up with a fabulous creation.  Then again, sometimes it seems you’ve crashed and burned, but you can find a way to make it better

These bracelets are so easy, and so pretty, that I am going to start a new line. I mean, I can make up a bracelet in 1/2 hour, so the only cost, really, is the cost of the components. Expensive beads and wire will of course cost more. At the same time,  On the other hand, if I choose cheaper wire, say, silver-plated wire, or “craft wire”, or  brass or copper, I can lower the price of my work (I will still charge for my design and labor!)

 

CORAL CRYSTAL KEEPER BRACELET from Domestic Diva

CORAL CRYSTAL CHAINMAIL BRACELET

This bracelet from Domestic Diva looks yummy. The very clear tutorial shows how to combine crystal beads and chainmail in a simple, lovely pattern.  I want this.

BEAUTIFUL “ORIENTAL”RING TUTORIAL at JewelryLessons.com

JLOriental Ring

I usually post about free tutorials I’ve discovered, but I am very much in love with the look of this ring.   The tutorial, which is available for purchase at JewelryLessons.com isn’t very cheap, but neither is it overly expensive .

While you are at JewelryLessons, take a look around. It is truly a one stop shop — you can spend hours just browsing through all of the ideas found there.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of tutorials  of all sorts, from many many creative jewelry artists, are gathered there, some free, most at jl eni coiled banglereasonable cost.   I love this site, which is the brainchild of my teacher, Eni Oken, whose own tutorials are truly fabulous. (here is the  tutorial for the first piece I ever made – complicated, but I did it)

Here are the first two bracelets I made from this

Chrysocolla bracelet

coral3

tutorial. The turquoise chrysocolla was the first one. Then I made the coral one.  Then I discovered that I was using much bigger stones and beads than the ones Eni suggested, but it was already too late, and I had these gorgeous bracelets.  While I was struggling through the lesson, Eni was very helpful, bless her heart.  She is up there with the best all-time teachers I have ever had (in any subject)  She is the only teacher I have ever had in jewelry-making, but that goes miles, since I have never needed to go to any other teacher.

WRAPPED & READY WIRE RING from Craft and Repeat blog

wire wrap ring craft and repeat dot comeThis is an easy-to-make cute ring idea that I can see doing up in all sorts of ways, perhaps even weaving the spiral bands together in some way, either partially or fully.  

BTW, when I was at the blog, someone was asking for what to do about having craft wire turn on you.  Here is my experience:  With silver-coated craft wire, as with silver-plate, the silver is going to wear off eventually.  I, personally, think the effect of the silver/copper effect is nice, so I await it, but, if you want to sell things, you might want to change to a wire that will not change (other than to, possibly, oxidize).

I like copper wire for its healing and magnifying properties – it is said to be good for arthritis and rheumatism, as well as for blood disorders. It is also supposed to magnify the effects of silver and gold, as well as any stone you use it with (that’s good enough for me – I’ve decided I like the color)

Brass wire is also nice – it is very close to gold, in color (I can wear it with 18K gold pieces, and most think I have another gold piece.)  Since brass contains copper, it also has the qualities of copper, and it is said to attract wealth, as well.  (I’m in!)

TWO MORE COOL BOOKS ABOUT STONES TO ADD TO MY COLLECTION

Yesterday, I received my copy of The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, by George Frederick Kunz.   This is an old book, originally published in 1913. My edition was re-published in 1971.  (I used to have this book in the 1970s, but it got away from me, so I am very happy to have it again). This is kind of a scholarly look into the lore of stones, i.e, what it is said they will do.  Still, it has a lot of information.

Today, I got this very beautiful coffee table-type book by Desmond Morris, called Bodyguards.  This was published in 1999, but I knew nothing about it when I began to name my line of protective stone jewelry pieces “bodyguards”. (Desmond Morris is, perhaps, most famous for his book ,The Naked Ape.) I picked up this book from my mailbox about 2 hours ago, and I am working my way through it. It is another “academic” type book, yet it has been laid out with lovely photos, making it more the sort of thing you would set out on your coffee table.  The information within it is definitely worthwhile if you are working with stones and their properties .  I got this hardcover edition on amazon.com for $4.00, including shipping.  It is used, but the person who used it didn’t use it much – it looked totally new when I received it.  I’m about halfway through, and I just can’t stop! The pictures are beautiful, and the information is so useful!

Spiked Chain Necklace from whydontyoumakeme.com

spiked chain necklace

I found this cute little piece on Why Don’t You Make Me.

I don’t necessarily know that this is me (it could be), but I can think of at least one person who would think this necklace looks great, who would look great in this necklace and would also think that she looked great in this necklace.  

Anyway, I think it is a cute idea for someone who would wear it on a other days that Halloween. It would look great with a daring neckline or even a turtleneck.