Category Archives: Beads and Wire

WONDERFUL TUTORIAL SOURCE – Lan Anh

lan anh Prong ring with cabochon

If you like wire work, and you like enjoy finding new well-made, easy-enough-to- follow tutorials to learn different things, you may well enjoy the free YouTube videos of Lan Anh.  I came across her simple elegant work a while back, and I stay informed of her latest creations by being subscribed to her YouTube channel.

Lan Anh assortment

The pictures I’ve added here show but of a few of her wonderful ideas. She really has something for just about everyone.

 

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WHAT I’VE BEEN DOING

5/21/18
Since the move, I’ve been making pieces here and there, and, finally, I took some photos.
IMG_20180518_104836            IMG_20180518_104824
On the left is a black labradorite that I wired into a pendant when I felt that my new chunky magnesite and pyrite necklace (R) needed something more.

neck sterling beads remake         IMG_20180518_105123
Sterling necklace          Sterling necklace/
amethyst clasp

neck coral rondelles            neck coral rondelles and silver
Coral “slices” & silver      Coral rondelles & silver

neck turquoise pyr bl tourm                 neck lapis tubes and silver
turquoise/pyrite/                     lapis tubes & silver
black tourmaline
neck mag sm quartz silver                              neck mag sm quartz pyr silver
Mangesite/smokey quartz/             Magnesite/pyrite/smokey quartz necklace              sterling/necklace

INTERESTING CRYSTAL EXPERIENCE

cacoxonite ringThis is a cacoxenite/Super Seven/Melody stone ring I bought from Extreme Gems on ebay. Buying it was an accident: I placed a bid, and apparently no one else did, so I won it for dirt cheap unexpectedly.

When I received it, I was a bit disappointed. Although the amethyst showed a little, the rest of the ring was a muddy cloudy color, quite unlike the photo on ebay. I considered returning it.

When I tried it on, I got a most unpleasant feeling, which stopped as soon as I took it off. Now that was interesting. I decided to stick in a bag with a piece of kyanite, to see if I could clear it that effortlessly. I left it in the bag, along with a couple of other stones, for about a week.

When I took it out, the purple was very brilliant, the stone was very clear, and there were these lovely little golden “rays” which flashed as I moved the ring around. When I tried it on this time, it had a very comfortable feel. After I had worn it for a few days, I noticed that the stone seemed to be developing further. It became clearer, and other inclusions appeared.

This is the clearest example I’ve ever seen of how a stone can revive after a clearing.

Now, I’ve been reading up on cacoxenite. While there is quite a bit of information about it on the Internet, curiously, the only book in which I’ve seen it mentioned is Love is in the Earth. (I’ve seen some sites mention other books, but the copies of those books that I have do not mention it). Anyway…. I have this new ring.

I haven’t posted any new things lately because my jewelry-making was on hiatus while I was moving. Then, as I was bent on organizing my new place, I tried to keep away from the beads. It didn’t work so well, so there are 3 half-done projects, and I re-strung two bracelets and a pretty coral necklace which had been in my “Repair” box for 3 or 4 years.

I hope I’ll be able to get it together to post some photos soon.

Meanwhile, dumortierite is on my mind.

MOVING SURPRISES

I haven’t made much in the past month because I was in the process of moving. Always a delight. I’m moved in now (whew!), but not yet well-organized. The only two areas that are really well-organized as of yet are my closet and, wait for it….. my jewelry-making stuff (what? You’re not surprised?)

Until this morning, I’ve been very good… not dragging out beads, not playing with wire…. but, then…. I decided I needed a new turquoise magnesite necklace. I thought I knew how it was going to be. Ha! When I opened the turquoise color box, I noticed some chunky robin’s egg blue magnesite with black veins. Then I had to play with all the magnesite in that color range. Then I had to play with all the other magnesite. Then I had to put everything back. Then I couldn’t find the right silver beads, so I had to look in all the boxes of miscellaneous. I opened a box from storage that I’d labeled “bead repairs”, and, to my astonishment, found a boatload of the first wire jewelry pieces I’d made, as well as my first turquoise necklace, and some other exciting stuff.

Then, I started trying to figure out what to do with that nice chunky blue magnesite. I went through a magnesite acquisition phase last year, and I have so many pretty strands….. I began to think of doing something that could be layered with other strands of magnesite.  Now what I need to do is get into my silver bead stash and find some silver beads that I have enough of and that will complement the chunky beads.

So, anyway, I have to be careful now. I do need to make my place look more like a home rather than a box storage facility, so I shouldn’t set up a bona fide jewelry work area yet. Okay, maybe just one tray….

Now, though, I want to take some pictures of these boxes full of stuff, and then I’ll try to post them.

Meanwhile, some things  you can use. I’ve tried buying beads on Amazon. It wasn’t too scary. I still don’t feel as certain about buying on Amazon as I do about other on-line vendors. I’ve cut back on working with silver since Metalliferous closed, and I’m becoming a Parawire.com fan. (Happily, I’ve discovered that fusionbeads.com is selling round colored parawire, so, if I want to qualify for free shipping and there is something I want to buy at fusionbeads.com, I can round off the spending requirement with parawire. )

WHAT I MADE LAST WEEK

I do make things from time to time. Last week, I fooled around with some wire-weaving practice pieces (frustrating!) and a very shiny long necklace of aventurine and silver Czech crystals (I’ll post some pics of these “masterpieces soon).  

Then, I wired this little shamrock with brass and aventurine.  It’s not perfect by any means, but I just love it! (It doesn’t hurt that it does get a lot of compliments)

shamrock1

The leafy part is maybe about the size of a quarter. I think it might be the smallest thing I have ever made. 

(as you can see, I am no good at photography. Can I blame it on my phone camera? I don’t know why the picture I took with a white background in good light came out a dark, murky green).

I love this little shamrock so much that I want to  make a dogwood flower next. So far, I’ve just wasted some wire, but I feel certain I’ll figure it out soon-ish.

 

 

SEARCHING FOR TUTORIALS

Allfreejewelrymaking.com is a pretty massive site, with lots of tutorials of all different sorts. At last, I have learned that they do have some search facilitators to get through to what you might be looking for. Go to their search tutorial and learn how to find what you want.

CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN…you never know….

I’m always trying to figure out how to do whatever has popped into my mind, so I try to look at a lot of people’s work (hence, I get way too many emails, and have a lot of facebook and pinterest stuff to scroll through!).  

I do look at a lot of tutorials, but not necessarily because I want to make the item the tutorial is teaching about.  Sometimes, it’s just one little detail that I can’t figure out from the picture.  A case in point would be this free necklace tutorial from Facet Jewelry that showed up in my email today;
Jade twists
Not my style at all, but I was interested in the little loops that were strung somehow onto the necklace cord, so I read through the tutorial, and found the cutest, simplest little trick, that I will use somehow, some way, probably sometime soon.

I go through a lot of jewelry-making books that have step-by-step tutorials, too. My two latest favorites are Wirework Jewelry Workshop, by Sian Hamilton, and Wire Jewelry Master Class, by Abby Hook. I got both of these books mostly just to learn the techniques of several pieces they showed… I will probably not make anything that looks like anything in either book; I’ll just incorporate some ideas into a piece here and there. These are books I can go back to when I’m drawing blanks. 

I’m also revisiting old tutorials in my collection. Now that I’ve put them into labeled 3-ring binders, they are more organized, and easier to access. It’s like having more books to leaf through.