STRETCHING MY JEWELRY-MAKING SKILLS

Lately, I’ve been quite busy. I made the acquaintance of Pinterest, and started looking at jewelry other people are making After looking at a lot of wire-wrapped pieces, I suddenly realized that I did not really want to make wire-wrapped jewelry at this time. Stuck with all these semi-precious beads, I started to think about memory wire jewelry, so I looked at a lot of pins of memory wire jewelry. I even seriously thought about spray-painting memory wire in a copper color (That was a story unto itself: I contacted one of the spray paint brand manufacturers and asked if their copper metallic colored paint could be used on metal, specifying that I wanted to use it for jewelry purposes. They came back and said that they did not think their product could be used on metal jewelry, because it was designed to be used on metal furniture. I mean???? Isn’t metal metal?) Right now, I am sort of thinking about how I would be able to spray paint memory wire in a small outdoor space without getting paint where I don’t want it to go.

After I tired of the same old memory wire ideas, I got the idea to look at elastic stretch bracelets. I’ve read loads of tutorials, and looked at other people’s ideas. About a month ago, I started making elastic bracelets to see how it would go.

My first bracelet was the long-awaited “Bodyguard Playing in the Dark” – I say that because I had been talking about making it, but had never gotten to actually make it happen. It went together so well, so quickly, and so relatively easy that I figured I hadn’t made it before because it was supposed to be made this way.

After BPITD, I made another Bodyguard bracelet just for me, with stones that address specific issues.

Along the way, I realized that I had accumulate several strands of cylindrical black labradorite beads, and I set about to make an Elegant Bodyguard bracelet. It took a couple of tries, but I got it right at last.

Along the way, I had made some Lucky Bodyguard bracelets for with aventurine and citrine chips.

As I saw how much aventurine and citrine I had accumulated, and I realized that it was time for me to have my own Lucky Bodyguard, which I made with 6mm beads.

I’ve been stacking my bracelets on both arms, with greenish ones on the left and dark Bodyguards on the right. At some point, I suppose I will run out of arm-space, but wearing them like this sure seems to be a way to publicize. I’m currently working through several strands of turquoise nuggets, making Delicate Bodyguards to stack. I’ve also restrung an old silver and large lapis-malachite beads, to see how strong the 1mm elastic cord actually is.

There’s so much more to do! I want to design some simple Bodyguards, and, if this heavy lapis-malachite bracelet endures, I’ll restring the Bodyguard of the Heart bracelet that I made after I got out of the hospital, which broke about the same time I started getting well (curious coincidence).

I need to take pictures of these pieces and post them, I know. Stay tuned.

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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.

COMING BACK

I’m getting back into it. To date, I’ve made 7 bracelets!  It was slow going… I couldn’t figure out what was stopping me, and, then, one day, I looked at the necklace I was wearing, and knew!  I needed to wire!  In the space of 2 weeks,  I made 4 bracelets! (I made the other three with beading wire. Although I like the feel of that kind of bracelet, I think the work I was doing was too heavy for it: 1 fell off and was lost, 1 fell off and part of the clasp was lost, but I caught the bracelet, and the other fell off at home, so I still have it and all of the parts.)

Sadly, jewelrylessons.com closed its doors last year, and there went all of the tutorials I had bought through them (safe and re-accessible is only good as long as the company is safe and re-accessible). My bad! I was out of touch, and so missed the announcement. Oh well.

I’ve been looking at the sites of people whose tutorials I had bought before my computer crashed and died. I really like the work of Abby Hook (abbyhook.co.uk), Donna Spadafore (gailavira.com ), and Nicole Hanna (nicolehannajewelry.com). Each of these artists also writes wonderful tutorials, so we can learn to make something like what they have made (although my stuff only turns out to look as if I  had once seen something by them, and then set about to make it in my sleep a few years later).  I’ve actually sent off for Abby Hook’s book, hoping that it will have some of the tutorials which I’ve lost.

The most exciting thing is that I went to my storage and got out almost all of my bead stash (which has been in storage for about 3 years). Wow! That was like having an unlimited gift card to my favorite bead store!  So many beautiful stone/crystal beads… many of which have so risen in price that I could only dream about them now.  Oh! Lapis! Turquoise! Amethyst! Malachite! Aqua Aura crystal! Azurite! Sugilite! Pyrite! Chrysocolla! Amazonite! A whole box of tourmaline – most of it beautiful black tourmaline beads of various sorts! and more…..

As soon as I can figure out how to use the camera on my phone, I’ll post some pics of the things I’ve made.

TRIANGLE PAPER BEAD EARRINGS – Anthropologie knock-off

I haven’t been around much for a while, but now I think I am ready to come back. Meanwhile, I found this cute tutorial on madmim.com.

Anthropologie Knockoff Triangle Earrings

It’s for earrings, but I am thinking pendants, necklaces, and bracelets could be possible applications

 

EARRINGS FOR TORN EARLOBES

About 6 weeks ago, I tore one of my earlobes. The dermatologist suggested that the tear might heal in abbout a month, but I did not want to go a month without earrings, so I came up with  a solution for non-clip, non-pierced earrings that can be worn comfortably.

imageFor the  the first pair, the experiment, I just used 18 gauge copper wire from the hardware store.  I  cut 12 inches of copper wire.  Then I made the smallest loop I could on one end.  Then, I held the looped end against my head, near where the ear starts its curve, and bent the wire around the back of my ear, trying to follow the shape of the back of my ear.  I brought the wire up maybe 1/2  inch to the front where the earlobe attaches to my face.   I  decided where the middle of the coil should land on my ear, in order to make big coils which would look like earrings and also cover the tear.  Then I coiled the rest of the wire around, and made a small loop on the end, which I pressed into the coil. (I am no photographer, and don’t have anyone handy who can photograph the earrings on me, but you can google elf ear cuffs, and get an idea — the difference is that the only parts of the ear wrap are the little loop at the start, and the part where the wire comes up to the front, around the earlobe)

imageI made a second pair silver wire and  8mm beads, where I did the earlobe wrap part, then fed the bead on, and wrapped the wire around it, ending with a small  loop.

After I made the first earring, I bent the wire for the second earring using the first one as a guide. Surprise! I found that my ears were different.  No biggie! The 18 gauge wire is soft enough to bend, so I just altered it slightly to make it fit more comfortably.

When I put these on, I put the hook over my ear first (making sure not to catch any hair under it, then I bring the bottom part forward, and pull my earlobe to the side through the bottom bend, and position the “earring” part as I want it (My main goal is to cover the tear, so the “front part” is kind of big, i.e., these do not look like tiny studs).  

I’ve been thinking about ways to elaborate these, and make them fancier.  The easiest option would be to work in a small loop at the bottom of the coil, and then add a dangle. Then, too, I have the “daring” (for me) idea of adding a little dangle to the loop that rests against the front of of my ear near the top of my cheek bone.

LADDER NECKLACE TUTORIAL FROM FOR THE MAKERS

leather stone spacer necklaceI found this tutorial at For the Makers . (For the Makers is a subscription site that sends you a box with all the materials and instructions to make whatever they are offering. That’s pretty cool!)  Meanwhile, I was just looking at free tutorials, and this one is right there, and really easy to do.  Check it out.

BRASS, COPPER, AND SILVER AUTOMATICALLY DISINFECT THEMSELVES

I’m excited to learn this information.  On the one hand, I have been leaning toward working  with brass and copper, and this is one more reason.  Then, again, sometimes I just wonder , because I have very sensitive skin, what’s going on with the materials I use.

Brass, copper, and silver have been found to be self-disinfecting, and have the ability to inactivate such bacteria as E. Coli and staphylococcus.

Take brass, for example. Because brass has been found to automatically disinfect itself within 8 hours, and destroys 99% of fungi it comes into contact with within 6 hours, brass door handles/openers or doorknobs are popular options for healthcare facilities.

Copper will destroy mold completely within 6 hours of contact. Its disinfecting properties take effect within 15 minutes after contact

Silver is a common material for water storage tanks, and such, because it disinfects bacteria cells in water within as little as 12 hours.

.On the other hand, bacteria can survive on stainless steel, the most commonly-used material for hospital equipment, as well as equipment used in food processing, will survive for up to 30 days.

Adapted from http://www.wisegeek.com article