Archive for the ‘jewelry’ Category

Art Unraveled – Day 1

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

First day of classes. Mine was Copper Etched Journal with Josie C. and her able associate KAY!!! They made the etching process easier than I had been expecting – others had told me it was hard to do! Josie shared her stamps (great collection – some her design) with us and away we went.


Helpful info – did you know that tin snips can cut thru 24 ga copper? So much easier (and quicker) than using a saw. Josie says Tim Holtz’s new scissors also cut thru 24 ga.

It takes a while for the etchant to work so while that was going on I (and probably a few other students) learned that the word signature has a second meaning. Signature also means a folded section of pages in a book. The book we were making has three signatures. Josie made it all simple which I really appreciated.

What is it about a “technique” class where you get to do a project that is so rewarding? And Josie believes in student success so she had done so much prep work for us – we didn’t have to cut anything – copper, mat board, papers, linen thread. She pre drilled and punched all the holes in the covers. And she brought her able associate KAY. Thank you Josie and Kay.

The etching will be great to try with the jewelry process and making a book was fun so I might do that again!


The picture did not do the project justice. Its a tiny book – so cute! Plus I learned to etch! And here are a couple other examples and then some fellow students photos (mostly hands – I am recording hands at work this year).



oops – almost forgot Carol’s class project from Michael deMeng:


New Bead/Jewelry Project

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

I took a bead class yesterday – great teacher, great project and great instructions!  Here is a photo of it:


I love Jenni Bowlin!  I have that yellow rose leftover from her calendar project kit from january.  The pendant looked best photoed against that.  Now for a close up of the wonderful pendant with a Swarovski cut crystal (3omm!) in the middle (see how its multicut?  I chose the golden shadow I think so its got a nice vintage tone to it.  Now I just have to make it into a necklace.


And you see the little bit of glass behind that?  Carole told me where she got these great cupcake/dessert holders.  She puts her lovely pincushions in them.  I set them up for easter (and will now have to clean the one of glitter – but thats a whole other subject).


And what did I put in them for Easter?  I found the moss rock eggs that Teresa McFayden had shown – those are too funny!  Plus I can leave them up all through the rest of the spring, probably summer and into fall.  I so love green and moss so this is a great combination.  In the taller one I put the easter eggs I made following Amy’s instructions.  I sent off some of them to my sister with earrings inside for her and the girls.  I also sent one to my Bellitoria exchange partner.  (I haven’t heard from her – getting worried that the package has not arrived!).  I used a lot of that great vintage ribbon from Carole that is gradated from gold to pale yellow or purple to pale violet.  And for most of them I used a vintage piece of jewelry to decorate, but mine have flowers on them…still look good!  (Oh and that cupcake display stand is now COVERED in glitter!)


Don’t you just love those displays?  Carole is so creative – makes it always an experience to visit her ribbon shop!

Storing pieces of vintage jewelry for reuse

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

So I have been collecting interesting items in the way of jewelry and using them on different objects or in new jewelry.  Ok, I admit it – I seem to be addicted to rhinestones at the moment.  You can’t tell by what I wear of late but I seem to be drawn to shiny things!  Or is it because I live in Las Vegas?

So one of the blogs that motivates me is Seeking Everyday Beauty & Velvet Strawberries.  If you look at the blog entry titled Oh and one more you will see Andrea’s find for storing her pieces/parts.  (And a great collection of pieces/parts.)

I hunted high and low at two local Michaels but never saw this – probably was looking in the wrong area.  And I was in and out of several Tuesday Mornings looking for something like it and had no luck.  I did buy a substitute at Michaels but it was not deep enough.  So I just thought to put the idea in the back of my mind and hope someday to find a similar item.  Now while at Tuesdays I did buy what I thought was a drawer divider of sorts for the kitchen tool drawer.  Why I thought that was what it was is beyond me – I found it in the craft aisle.  (Isn’t it great they have a CRAFT aisle?  I have tassels collected from there that I am hoarding, lol.  They make great package tops for little kids – fun to play with!)

I unwraped/unsealed the drawer divider and was checking it for fit only to realize it has a COVER.  And said COVER slides off!  Well, by chance I bought the correct item to store those jewelry bits so I can see them but have them protected.  Here is a shot of it with the lid partially open that I took to show a friend how the cover worked (look at where the bubblewrap is NOT and you will see a shadow of the cover):


I think it will work!  And the wood color matches the wood in my workroom.  Sometimes you accidently discover what you are looking for all along.

Speaking of jewelry – Martha did pearl dying yesterday on her show.  Martha did it with Rit Dyes.  What I loved were the gradations of the pearls but Martha made me think that the powder dyes of Rits that I ignore should not be.  Her staff is so creative.  And then she stitched them on Silk ribbon and tyed it around her neck.  Look at the instructions or the video to the project – Pearls by Martha.  I bet this will work with real pearls too?   I have a lot of freshwater ones…


Storage ideas

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

I do occasionally come up with some good organizational techniques.  (I just need to get them all at the same time and with time to implement them.)

So – controlling beads and keeping the space down – here is one of my techniques:


These were coca cola trays that I spray painted a neutral silver.  Then I used the watchman’s storage cases to separate the crystals.  And how do they stay there?  Well I helped them – I glued a magnet on the back of each of the containers (oh – BEFORE putting in the crystals – those lids don’t always hold!).


I can stack the trays on top of each other.  Easy to carry and easy to see at a glance what I have.

So then controlling and separating my stones from my beads is another problem.  Here is how I store those.  Of note – I usually have the drawers closed but I wanted you to see they really are full of stones.


My sorting approach on these – by color.  I just could not come up with another method to sort by.  So drawers have sophisticated titles as – Pink, blue, green, black – oh I have two called pearls…so I do have different colors in those drawers.  The sign turned sideways?  Well its a mix of two colors, lol. 

This is a CD holder that looks like the old file card systems in libraries.  Fairly shallow drawers – maybe 4 inches?

I have one other way of storing beads but that will wait for another day…

Thing a Day – Project 21 – fruit bracelet

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Another kit from French General!   Not sure they provided everything I needed in this kit – I borrowed headpins from another kit.  But I got this kit so long ago that they might have been outside the kit (although I have never seen that before with a French General kit).

One thing I am learning WYSIWYG – not true here.  FG seems to cut back on the supplies in the kit – it does not quite look like/contain all the QUANTITIES that are in the photo and instructions in the book.

Here is mine and I used everything in the kit!


Total time for this: 2 to 3 hours

Lessons learned – LOVE how they make the simple loops for attaching!  I am going to use this technique again.  Just goes to prove to myself that I need to MAKE THINGS from the books I have to really LEARN.  Just reading doesn’t always get the message across.

Thing a Day – Project 20 – Drop Necklace

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Another kit from French General.  (What can I say – I love the jewelry and love kits!)

They don’t sell this one anymore – probably because the blue drops are vintage (and come with the loop already done – YEA!!!  Very FAST project.)  But if you look at the Blood Red Necklace on their website its similar and they just buy regular drilled drops now and make the necklace that way.

So anyway – on this one everything was in the kit – including TONS of the blue drops.  I am going to have to make some earrings out of some of the drops to match this necklace.

Here is the photo:


And here is a better photo with this great egg and related easterish stuff !


 Time it took: 30 to 50 minutes!  (Love this idea!)

I have managed to buy some crystals (not swarvorskis though) that come prewired – just need to find the chain so I can make some more of these.  Simple and very effective!

Thing A Day – Project 15 – Coral Charm Bracelet

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Coral Charm Bracelet – Another French General kit (oh their website is  This is also from their book French General Jewelry .  That book is good purchase.  By the way they are selling the storyboards used in the book on the website also.  Great story boards, its just I have so many of the “pieces” used on the boards (and they are expensive) so I can pass on those!

 First, French General does kit it very cute…it comes like this:


A photo of the kit contents:


Tools used for the project while in work (the glue is off to the side and not pictured – I usually use E6000 or something similar but here I used Weldbond – curious how it will hold up!):


The card you can barely see is from Urbanmaille – love that company and their kits.  Also that postcard with a picture of all the size rings is worth so much to me.  Makes my life so much easier.  Now in chainmaille the gauge of the wire makes a big deal so just knowing the ring size isn’t enough, but for this pattern and following the instructions in the French General book it worked.  And here it is virtually finished – I could not get a good photo in the evening so hopefully I will replace this soon!


Time it took:  I would say 2 to 3 hours – I expected it to go faster…