MALEFICENT NECKLACE

MALEFICENT NECKLACEI found this “knock-off”  Maleficent necklace  tutorial on allfreejewelrymaking.com.   If I were to make it, I’d probably put in some bigger stones/beads, but it does look worthy all on its own.

MY NEW RING AND MISCELLANEOUS NEWS

amethyst ringI saw this ring on “ana silver” on ebay, and I could not resist. It is a rough amethyst cabuchon (it seems to be coated with something to give it a silky surface), set in sterling silver.  I thought it looked big, but this thing is HUGE. It sits on my ring finger and covers half of my little finger.   I like big, but this is BIG even for me.  I mean, I like it, but it will take some getting used to.  Anyway, I can do with some amethyst on my body right about now.

Not too long ago, I read a comment by one of those famous elegant rich society ladies (can’t remember exactly who), where she said that, if your hands are no longer exactly as beautiful as you wish they might be, wear a stupendous ring, and no one will notice.  I think this is that kind of ring. It is definitely an eye-catcher, at about the size of the old silver dollars.

With the shipping, it cost only @$22.00, so it was a deal.

I will say this about Ana Silver: I have bought several pieces from them, and I have never been disappointed.  (all too often, you see something on ebay, you bid, and you wind up with a piece of garbage, but this company sends you what they say they are going to send you).  My skin is very sensitive, to the point that, if I put something on, I will know within the hour whether it is real silver or gold.  Additionally, I am sensitive to stones, so I generally know when something is real or not, just by holding it. Everything I have ever ordered from Ana Silver has turned out to be sterling and the real stone.  (no, they are not paying me to say this – I just read comments online about getting ripped off by ebay sellers, which I do, personally, know happens, especially if you try to do business with Chinese merchants on ebay, and, then, I received this ring in the mail today, and it is so real, so magnificent, so what they said they would send, that I had to speak out)

MAKING YOUR OWN JEWELRY YOUR OWN

MAKING YOUR OWN JEWELRY
When you start out making jewelry, it is always good to have a teacher. I was very lucky to have one of the best: Eni Oken! (I went to a 3 hour class on wire jewelry, learned how to make a loop, made a pair of earrings, and was hooked! I went home, went on-line, and found Eni Oken’s tutorials – this was before she went big-time and started hosting JewelryLessons.com, a most marvelous site full of tutorials by all sorts of different jewelry artists) I made maybe 10 of Eni’s designs, and then I found that my ideas were migrating – well, actually, they were migrating from the start – Eni said “small beads”, and I missed that, and made my first piece with very big beads, but she talked me through it.

Lately, I have been making the bracelets I showed I my last post. I have  purchased and read through and experimented with a number of tutorials from different artists, but, with these bracelets, I haven’t followed any tutorial any further than “take a piece of wire”. I think I saw a tutorial about how to make an all in one piece with a hook clasp a while back, but, when I started making these, it was more like, well, I have seen this picture, and it should work out like this (I mean, I did not sit with a tutorial and follow it to do this). Fortunately, my idea has turned out fairly well.

So, what am I talking about? I’m talking about you, the designer. After you have followed a teacher for a while (in person or through on-line tutorials ), and after you have seen more teachers’ work, then, one day you get an idea in your head, and it is not exactly anyone’s tutorial, but, sort of, something you know you can make.

I love Eni Oken’s tutorials: I started with her Coiled Bangle, which is listed as Very Advanced (can you believe it? That’s like asking a baby to do Olympic acrobatics – but I managed, because she writes very clear, very thorough tutorials), and I still do love the ornate-ness of her work, but I have found that I can break things easily, and, so, I am very happy right now with these bangles I am making because they are pretty strong, and I think I won’t be able to break them anytime soon.

The pieces I am making now are simple in design, so the complexity has to come from the stones I use.

After you work with the tutorials of different designers, or even one, you may well find you are making something that is all your own.

Even if you just continue making the same tutorial over and over, you will probably find that you make little modifications that make the work your own.

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!)

 

SO PLEASED RIGHT NOW, SO BLESSED I AM

Okay, interestingly, the day before I go to court because the landlord hasn’t fixed things in my apartment, so.. lots of things, the super showed up willing to work, but he wanted *me* to move the sofa. Okay, I can do what two big fat guys can’t do, so I moved the sofa myself, and…… lo and behold! There was my copy of Love is in the Earth!  I’ve been looking for it ever so long, and it had gone off and hidden behind the sofa!

If you don’t know Love is in the Earth, you should definitely check it out. When I saw it the first time, I knew I had to have it, but it was way pricey even 25 years ago! (yep! that’ s how old my copy is!)  Interestingly, you can still get a new copy of the 1995 edition, the one I have, for about what I paid for it way back when!  There is a newer version which costs upwards of $80, but this book still works for me, and I’m sure it will work for you – it covers just about every stone you can find, and some surprise ones, as well (I discovered hypersthene a couple of years ago – no one was talking about it, but it was in LIITE. Almost anything I come up with is in there. 

What I like is that it gives the metaphysical qualities of the stones, as well as horoscope correspondences, and other information. Even with all the information you can find on the internet these days, I will still go to this book first, because it probably has everything I need, and, anyway, most times, when I go to a website, most times it turns out that they are referencing this book.

Best crystal book I have ever purchased (and I have scads of them!)

Thus, you can imagine how disturbed I have been over the year or so that I have not been able to find it (it should have been on the shelf with the crystal books!  Did the old roommate take it when she moved out?)  No, no subterfuge, other than that somehow the book went to hide behind the couch.  Now it is back.

GAILAVIRA.COM TUTORIALS

gailavira beaded spiral post earringsI don’t know if I can get much more pleased at the  moment (well, okay, finding out that I had won the lottery might do it)! I was looking at cool jewelry ideas on jewelrylessons.com, and I noticed that all  the ones I liked were by  Donna Spadafore at gailavira.com, but I could not find any of her tutorials, so I decided to find out if she has a website.  Lo and behold! she does!  Not just any old website, but one that offers very reasonably priced very clearly written and detailed tutorials — and even some free ones that teach some of the things that I like about her pieces.  Well!  I just had to tell somebody, and so…..

gailavira carnival pendantI really love the little post earrings in the picture above, and I really love the technique in the picture to the left  — what I really love about these two is that they were in her free tutorials collection.

In the paid tutorials, she has some very nice earcuffs gailavira ornate earcuff– I’ve just read in some women’s magazine or other that earcuffs are all the rage right now – I don’t know – I just like them.

SPOILTROTTENBEADS.CO.UK – some cool tutorials

I am a bit frustrated here. I was led from allfreejewelrymaking.com to this tutorial for an interesting wire-wrapped ring at spoiltrottenbeads.co.uk , but the tutorial site would not let me grab a picture.  GRRRR!  You’ll have to trust me. This is an interesting wire ring with pearls – the tutorial is not as complete as I would like it, so I will have to play with it a bit, but it does have some good tips.   And, then, you can stay and look at the other tutorials.