Aug 302006
 


Swing them, baby!

Chandelier earrings are still hot, and I made up these super cute ones tonight using 20g sterling silver wire and tiny ruby jade faceted rounds. I’ll get some instructions written up for Beading Help Web, including how to make the ear wires. I love making my own ear wires because you can customize them to the earring stones, just like I’ve done here!

Aug 302006
 


I’m not sure what this is going to be.

It started life as a necklace centerpiece, but then sort of morphed into maybe a tiara. I’m still debating if it’s even done or not. I used about a 12″ length of 16g sterling wire and formed it into the modified V shape. I hammered it for strength (except where the loops crossed each other). Then using 26g sterling wire. I wound around the frame and added the Aquamarine and Clear Swarovski pendants and peridot chips. The “flowers” are twisted just once or twice to again give them a bit of structure.

I’ll toss it in a plastic bag to retard oxidization and decide what to do with it…add a chain for a nice necklace, or a heavy strand of silver for a tiara or maybe just wire it to some hair combs or barrettes….

It’s been an interesting piece to construct, really different from anything else I’ve done. Now if I could just decide what it’s going to be when it grows up!!!

Aug 292006
 

A few weeks ago, I posted about a contest being run by RockNRocks, a bead vendor that I had not heard of before. I decided after perusing their site that I’d order some product and do a full fledged review.

Quick first impressions are that the site is okay to navigate, not my favorite layout, and the photos of some of the beads are not the best. But it’s still easy enough to spend money. I placed a small order on August 24, and lo and behold, it was in my mailbox August 28. Pretty impressive!

Unfortunately, my order was invoiced as complete, but not shipped complete. One string of freeform pearls didn’t make it into the box, but has been charged to my credit card. I sent RockNRocks an email, and while I’ve not gotten an answer yet, it WAS sent after “normal” business hours.

So the jury is still out on RockNRocks. You can, however, read my impressions of several other online and brick&mortar bead suppliers on Beading Help Web’s Media page. If you’d ever like to review a store, just drop me a line at beadingpublisher@consumerhelpweb.com

Aug 272006
 

A perfect day today for working on beading projects…it’s just a steady downpour outside, so I don’t feel guilty about staying in!

My project today was to clean up my work bench enough so I could DO some work (doesn’t it seem like that’s a never-ending project?!) and then work on “kits” for the basic beading class I’m teaching September 9.

I’m making the kits as individual projects – I have a “junk” piece of wire that I crimped on one end, and then I’m designing a bracelet on it. Without crimping or finishing, I measure length to make sure there are enough beads. Then I scan the unfinished, but designed bead strand. The beads are then unstrung from the wire, placed in a plastic baggie, and my next step will be to print off the scanned photos, type up what the components are, and then enclose in the baggie with the beads so the student can see what the bracelet should look like when completed. Of course, if someone wants to deviate from “my” pattern, they are more than welcome to do so!

Even though I started this project with the idea in mind of making all different kits (to emphasize individuality in designing jewelry!), I’m rethinking if that is the best approach. Maybe for the next session I will make kits that are all the same…it would certainly take less time to put together! If you have experience in teaching beginning beading classes, I’d love to hear how YOU set up your class!

Aug 262006
 

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Yep, it’s my birthday, and I’m celebrating in a big way. I want to rework my copper weave bracelet (at left) so I can wear it to a party we’re having tonight, and I plan on going shopping (Victoria’s Secret sends their customers gift cards during their birthday month, and I have yet to spend mine!) this afternoon. My local bead shop sent out an email yesterday announcing some lovely new stones, so I may just need to stop by there as well!!

Everyone, have a bead-tastic day!

Aug 262006
 

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Yep, it’s my birthday, and I’m celebrating in a big way. I want to rework my copper weave bracelet (at left) so I can wear it to a party we’re having tonight, and I plan on going shopping (Victoria’s Secret sends their customers gift cards during their birthday month, and I have yet to spend mine!) this afternoon. My local bead shop sent out an email yesterday announcing some lovely new stones, so I may just need to stop by there as well!!

Everyone, have a bead-tastic day!

Aug 252006
 

Another contest!

Connie Fox’s Jatayu has a neat and fun contest…but the deadline is August 31, so you need to make your entries quickly!

Entries must have wire and one of several components:
– Found Objects (examples: keys, bolts, electronic parts, dice, etc.)
– Resin and Plastics (examples: amber, copal, bake-a-lite)
– Natural, Organic Elements (examples: pearls, shells, wood, metal)
– Fiber (examples: yarn, woven cloth, string)

I’m pretty excited about this contest, I’ve peeked at the entries already submitted, and while competition is pretty steep, I have a GREAT idea. Read the official rules and send your photo to christine@jatayu.com to enter. Winners will be announced mid-September, and prizes include $100 Gift Certificates!!

Aug 232006
 

One of the most popular on-the-spot earrings I’ve made at the past several shows I’ve been to were the Wafers on Edge tiny dangles. The project instructions in the link are for gold-filled wire and labradorite stones, but I’ve had a number of requests for black onyx and silver, lapis and silver, and orange garnet and gold. Whenever someone tells me they want something little and simple, I ask about these earrings, and they sell! They take only a few minutes to whip up, and cost just pennies.

Another favorite new style earring of mine are the Sleek Wire Ear Bars pictured at left. Again, super simple to make up, and almost any stone or crystal can be used. These earrings are so comfortable to wear, you’ll almost forget they are in your ears!!

Aug 212006
 

Been a while since I searched for new stuff from my favorite vendors, here are some fun things I found today…

As you probably know, I love my dog, and the new dog charms at ArtBeads have me all excited! Sterling silver 3-D charms in many, many different breeds…dobies, chows, labs, beagles…no dingoes to represent my Rex, but I can’t have everything, I guess. In addition to the cute dogs, there are hummingbirds, loons, parrots and flamingoes…check out the “new charms” page on Artbeads. (And save by using their weekly coupons!)

Chinese Faceted Crystal offers a nice, inexpensive alternative to Swarovski crystals…and HHH Enterprises now has a good selection,including rounds and bicones, at decent prices. Use for accents with semi-precious gemstones, or on their own in a piece.

Generatation Gems, who make the fabulous engraved hematite name beads for Mother’s bracelets, is now carrying a good variety of beads. From glass to hematite to semi-precious, there are 89 new products to take a look at. I can’t vouch for grade…the photos on the site are really close in, and some of the stones look like less than “A” grade, so if you purchase, drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Aug 202006
 

BEADING HELP WEB
Well, it worked! Sort of….

Two weeks ago, I had a disaster at an outdoor show. The wind was so strong that my earring displays would NOT stay put. I spent more time and energy picking them up, rearranging, and crying over spilt earrings than any woman should have to. I finally put them away, which is not a good deal. EARRINGS SELL. Earrings sell A LOT. And not having them on my table meant mucho lost sales.

So I spent the last two weeks devising ways to keep my earring displays upright. Enlisted hubby. Spent an afternoon brainstorming with myself and came up with an idea…using notebooks or photo albums with pocket card sheets. I picked up a package of baseball/Yu-Gi-Oh card sheets (had to ask my 12-year-old where they were in the store!) for 4.99. Put the carded earrings in the pockets, organized by color, and laid them out on my table this morning.

They weren’t perfect – when turning pages, earrings fell out and I had to put Scotch tape across the top of the pocket, and not all of the dangley earrings displayed well – but they worked. Outside of the pages being turned by the wind, I kept my earrings displayed ALL DAY (and it was windy again!). On top of that, I had dozens of comments on how great of a display it was (most of these from people who commented that I shouldn’t “lose” any earrings…not that I ever have to theft in 6 years!).

So I’ll count it as a winner of an idea. I’m still not satisfied however, and I’m still thinking about how I can better display my earrings and other wares. But for now, at least with outdoor shows, it will stay as a preferred method of display!