Tag Archives: bracelets

MORE BRACELETS

I made these bracelets to test the strength of the Stretch Magic against the power of me. These beads are much larger and heavier than the 8 mm beads I’ve been mostly using.  So far, so good (they’ve been through the wash (!), slept with me, run with me, and more… still hanging in there.

The one on the left is made of lapis/malachite beads with sterling silver beads.

The one on the right is made of lapis and turquoise beads interspersed with silver-plated spacer beads.

bracelet lapis malachite           bracelet lapis turquoise
9/10/17: This one is deceased
now. The Stretch Magic seems
quite stretched out. You can
see it between the beads. It
lasted 3 months. Could be
the wear and tear I deliberately
put it through.
It’s a good time to re-design
it and then give it another
torture trial. I’m thinking copper
beads this time.

What “torture” am I talking about?  See, I figure that, if I make one of these to sell, it would be good to know how much wear and tear it can stand up to, and for how long.  I wore that bracelet straight through for 3 months (Okay, I took it off three times). I wore it in the shower. I wore it to bed. I let other people touch it (and you probably know how people start pulling on your bracelets if you let them touch them), so, yeah, it’s been pulled at quite a bit.  Through it all, the knot held. That’s good to know.  The next torture series will be to put it on every day and take it off every night. I will probably take it off at the gym and put it back on again before I leave.

Meanwhile, I can say that the other bracelets I’ve been wearing (most for about 4 months) are going strong. Some of these bracelets are made with 8mm beads, and some with 6mm beads. Most of them are made with 1mm Stretch Magic, but the ones with pearls are made with .7mm Stretch Magic. I’m rather certain that the weight of the beads has something to do with the longevity of the stretch. That makes sense to me.

So what can I do? Most of the stones I work with have holes too small to accommodate anything larger than a 1mm cord.

Hopefully, the smaller beads will turn out to last much longer, and, then, I’ll just have to figure out how I want to use larger beads.

On with the adventure!

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More Recent Work and a Tip

I’m posting a couple more photos of recent pieces.

bracelet black lab lapis Success bodyguard

On the left (or it may be on the top in your viewer), that’s a black labradorite/lapis/quartz/silver elastic bracelet The one on the right (or on the bottom) is a Success Bodyguard with aventurine, moss agate, crystal quartz, citrine, tourmalinated quartz, and pyrite and silver plated spacers.

My tip: to learn how to make a good strong knot, even with very thick elastic cord (I use 1mm), consider watching fishermen’s videos on how to make a “surgeon’s knot”.  Yes, that’s right. 1)Apparently fishermen use this kind of knot to secure a line that is going to have an angry fish on one end. 2)The fishermen who make the how-to videos make it seem much more clear than most of the beaders’ how-to videos. They are to the point, don’t hem and haw or tell charming anecdotes, and they show and explain what is going on very clearly.

 

So, I have figured out one way to upload photos. It’s not the best, but, if I am neat about it, I should be able to get away with it. Anyway, here is a photo of my long-in-the-process “Bodyguard Playing in the Dark”. (As you can see, I am clearly not an accomplished photographer. Never mind! It’s a picture. )

Playing in the Dark

Bodyguard Playing in the Dark started as an idea to combine as many protection stones as I could in a dark-colored piece. It combines amethyst, aqua aura, black agate, black labradorite, black obsidian, black onyx, black tourmaline,  purple fluorite, green jade, lapis, golden sheen obsidian, hematite, kyanite, moss agate, and pyrite. This piece finally came together when I started experimenting with elastic/stretch cord for bracelets. It seemed like the perfect place to start.

Moms braceletMom’s Bracelet finally came together when I decided to see if the elastic/stretch cord would work with larger/heavier stones than the 8mm ones I’d been working with. I unstrung it from its original jewelry wire and had it together one-two-three.  Mom’s Bracelet is “purpose-built” to address some physical needs that she has.  It contains lapis, golden calcite, green fluorite, amethyst, aventurine, moss agate, crystal quartz, pyrite, and copper. (I liked it so well that I have made a similar one for myself).

See! I have been doing! These two bracelets are the end products of  my experimentation on 16 different elastic bracelets (all of which I am wearing right now, actually)

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.

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!)

 

BIT OF BLING LEATHER BRACELET TUTORIAL

BIT OF BLING LEATHER BRACELET

I found this on AllFreeJewelryMaking.com.   You have to download their free 18 PROJECTS EVERY CRAFTER WANTS ebook to get the tutorial, but, hey! It’s free!