Feb 282008
 

Lucky Irish Proverb Window Hanging

February’s Ornament Thursday theme was “Luck”. My contribution? A pretty ornament that you can hang on a window, a kitchen cabinet or anywhere else that you’d like a little inspiration from a meaningful (or fun!) phrase. I had so much fun making these as Christmas tree ornaments last year that I wanted to have some to hang around the house all year long!

My Luck of the Irish window hanging uses an Irish Proverb to inspire: “A Light Heart Lives Long” along with a pretty green glass heart bead that looks light when the sun shines through it.

So grab a copper disc, your stamping materials and a hammer…and bring some luck in through your window with this project!

For this window hanging, I first found an Irish Proverb that wasn’t too long and would fit on a 2″ disc. I planned out how I was going to place my proverb – sometimes lettering will be stamped more artistically, but because I wanted the prose to flow, I stuck to a linear, centered design.

When I stamp something, I first write out what I’m going to stamp on a piece of paper. This helps me to center it (or not!) and if nothing else, it helps me spell correctly!!! You can see my scrap in the first photo (upper right corner). I knew from writing it out that I wanted the word “HEART” in the center of the disc, and the letter “A” would be the center of that word. So my “A” went in the approximate center of the disc. (You can measure out and make it exactly in the center, but I decided not to.) After the “A”, I stamped the rest of the word “HEART”, and then moved down to the next word in the phrase. As you can see in the first photo, I again started with the middle letter in the word (LIVES) to get it lined up the way I wanted it.

Another hint when you are stamping letters is to lay out the stamps for the word you are stamping in order. Make sure you look at the stamp very carefully before actually stamping to ensure you don’t have your letters backwards or upside down!!

After all my letters were stamped, I added some design stampings for interest. You can also see that around the bottom border of the disc, I stamped “Irish Proverb” using tiny letter stamps. When using metal stamps, be sure you have absolutely no padding between your hammer and the lowest surface you are supporting your project on. I use a steel bench block on my kitchen counter which rests on a tiled floor. Believe it or not, using the same steel on a padded card table in a room with carpet was disastrous – my letter stamps looked good, but the design stamps barely imprinted on the metal. So have plenty of OOMPH beneath your block!!

A hole was punched in the top for hanging, and the disc was domed slightly, using a doming block. I also used a small file to even up the edges.

Next step (photo 3) was to highlight the stampings. Lisa Niven-Kelly (beaducation.com) suggests using a Sharpie marker, filling in all of the lettering and designs. I let the marker dry, then used a polishing square (also available from Beaducation.com) . I’ve tried using Sunshine and other brand polishing cloths for this, but they just don’t work as well. Lisa’s squares can be used for quite a few projects before disposing of them, and the small size (about 1″ x 1″) is really easy to use.

After polishing, I added a bail (using 16g wire threaded through the hole on the top) and a hook (use the instructions for an S hook clasp, but instead of a second hook, make an open swirl). Since I decided to add the green heart on the bottom, I punched another small hole, and added the bead dangle.

Make the dangle by threading the bead on wire, create a small swirl at the bottom of the bead and bend it up toward the bead. At the top of the bead, make a wrapped loop, and then hang the dangle from the disc using another wire bail or a jump ring.

As an option, pop the entire piece in a tumbler for 30 minutes to give a brilliant shine to the metal and further harden it. Hang in the window using a clear ornament hook.

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The other talented Ornament Thursday gals who are sharing projects today are:
Art Bead Scene
Lucky ABS! We’re part 2 of Lucky Knots!
Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Luck is knotted up in Part 1 of this tutorial
Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie is inspired by a lucky Leprechaun to make a fairy tale, treasure filled necklace
Jennifer Heynen of Jangles
Lucky Charms Bracelet…The name says it all. This bracelet has everything to bring you good luck.
Joolz by Lisa
As Luck Would Have It…Lucky Earrings
Katie’s Beading Blog
Make your own luck with these fun, swingy earrings!
Labyrinth O’ Luck
Hali has created a finger labyrinth journal designed after a 4-leaf clover.
Linda Augsburg at Make It Mine magazine
Lucky doesn’t begin to describe the adventure I had making this T-shirt…
Lucky

Lucky to be… based on a coin holder a friend made for me…
Melissa J. Lee – Strands of Beads
Good fortune is yours with this cookie-inspired necklace.
Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!
You’ll “make Jean’s day ” if you check out her lucky Pendant with a Clint Eastwood eighties twist Swelldesigner
Swelldesigner gets lucky this month with some super colorful, sparkly painted bangles
The Impatient Blogger Luck starts with a wish…Margot shares a project she created for Simply Beads last August.

GREAT projects…be sure you check back for the next Ornament Thursday, March 27!

Feb 272008
 

…will be posted right here tomorrow!

The theme this month is “Luck” and I counted myself lucky in getting my project completed early so I didn’t have to rush at the end. 😉

So grab some 24g copper sheet, metal stamping supplies, wire, beads and pliers, and be on stand by for the step-by-step instructions. Plus, I’ll have links to all the other talented Ornament Thursday gals’ blog entries…the sneak peeks I’ve seen today have been fantabulous!!!

Feb 212008
 

I found the basic idea for this project in Jean Campbell’s excellent book: Beadwork Creates Jewelry. A friend needed a stretchy ring because her knuckles were significantly larger than her fingers, and metal rings that fit over her knuckles were uncomfortable to wear! She loves this style, and we’ve worked up several in different colors that she can “stack” or wear alone.

This version uses pretty colored seed beads and a large hole Bali bead to hold together multiple strands. I’ve included a photo of the finished ring and instructions here, look for complete step by step photos on Beading Help Web’s project page this weekend.

Keeping in mind the concept behind Beading Help Web’s “30 Minute Projects”, all components for this project are available at most local or online craft, hobby or bead stores, and even a beginning beader can make it in 30 minutes or less!

Multi-Strand Stretchy Ring

Materials

Seed beads (size 11)

One large hole Bali silver bead

Stretch Magic .7mm size

I like to leave the Stretch Magic on the spool while I work with seed beads, mainly because I’m afraid of having beads slip off the end! If you’d like to cut a section instead, cut off about 5″ of Stretch Magic, and use a binder clip or tape on one end to keep the beads from skittling off. 😉

Step 1

Determine your ring size by wrapping the Stretch Magic loosely but firmly around your finger. You don’t want to have too much slack, but you don’t want it cutting off circulation either! Measure the length of Stretch Magic you need, and note it on a piece of paper.

Step 2

String seed beads on the Stretch Magic, a long enough section to fully cover the length you measured in Step 1.

Step 3

Thread the Stretch Magic through the Bali silver bead. Clip the Stretch Magic off the spool, leaving at least 2″ extra on both ends. Tie off the ends of the Stretch Magic (at least 3-4 knots) and clip excess close to the knot.

Step 4

Repeat Steps 1-3 with a second section of Stretch Magic, so that you have two “rings” going through the Bali silver bead.

Step 5

Gently pull the knots inside the Bali silver bead to hide them.

Etsy Treasuries

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Feb 182008
 

I’ve blogged about Etsy before – the Etsy folks have built their site on being “the place” to buy handcrafted items, and jewelry shops are huge on Etsy. Do you have an Etsy shop?

One of the unique things about Etsy is how they set up different ways to shop: click on a bubble in a color chart and you’ll find all kinds of suggestions of items that are that color. Search on a specific word, and you’ll find items that use that word in the description or accompanying text. Treasuries are lists created by artists of their “favorite” items, and there are only a limited number of Treasuries available at any given time.

So when I saw that a Treasury was available, I grabbed it quickly…and filled it with items from some of my favorite sellers. True to the marketing ploy of “title your Treasury with something that will grab people’s attention” I called it Chocolate Lovers, stating that while I’m not a big chocoholic, I know those artists are.

So while being noticed on Etsy is a little like being a tiny little guppy in the big ocean, everything you can do to promote your shop is good. If you’re a seller on Etsy, try getting a Treasury, and nab some PR for your own shop as well as for your friends. 🙂

Feb 162008
 

It’s been a while since we’ve held a contest, and it’s high time, don’t you think??

First of all…..did you guess what Amy’s Geek Chic bracelet charms were made of? Here’s what Amy figured out before I gave her a couple of clues:

The beads are thin, round metal. They appear to have been cut from something larger. They are aluminum color with black text. The phrase ‘geeks rule’ is on a bead, and I swear I saw AT&T on one.

Yes, and there are also charms with Imation, Memorex, 3M, and KAO printed on them in some form or another. As well as “2HD”

Got it?

Yes! I was cleaning out my desk one day, and found a bunch of old floppy discs that I’d backed up all my data onto on that fateful day: 12/31/1999.

Not wanting to have data (no matter how old) just floating around, I tore the metal “shield” off, and cut through the disc inside the plastic cover. After I’d done a couple, I looked again at the metal shield and thought “I can use those….” And sure enough, they worked GREAT. So I not only made some cool jewelry, but I reused something that might have just ended up in a landfill. It’s not only Geek-A-Licious, it’s GREEN!!! 😀

So, here’s the contest! I’m giving you plenty of time to come up with your own Green jewelry, using mainly recycled items. No “junk”…make something you’d actually give as a gift or wear. Send me a photo via email no later than Monday, April 21 12:00 midnight CT.

On Earth Day, April 22, 2008, I’ll draw from all the entries and send one lucky person a copy of the new Interweave Press book Simply Modern Jewelry, which uses a lot of re-purposed and unusual components. All entries will be posted in the Beading Help Web blog, to show just how creative you can get with materials.

Feb 142008
 

Wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day today...while candy, flowers and cards do it for some, there’s nothing like a little jewelry to make the day special!

As a gift to my beloved readers, here are some basic instructions for “My Broken Heart” – a pendant/clasp necklace that is totally unique!
Materials
16g dead soft, round wire
Bulk Chain, 16+ inches (pendant will be approximately 1″ across – cut chain to the length you want your overall necklace to be.)

Begin by cutting two sections of wire – one 3″ long, one 2 1/2″ long.

Use a round nosed pliers to create a loop on each end of the 2 1/2″ wire.

Bend the wire into half of a heart shape, with the loops facing UP. (If you set the finished shape on a table, the loops will be at a right angle to the table top.)

Using the 3″ section of wire, make a tiny loop at one end of the wire, and use the round nosed pliers to create a small “S” hook. (Steps & photos 1-3 in this tutorial.) Repeat on the other end, with the hook facing the other side of the wire.

Bend this section into a 1/2 heart shape. Clasp the heart together by inserting the hooks into the loops in the first section.

Add chain to the pendant/clasp using jump rings. That’s it!

Want to stay up to date on Beading Help Web’s Blog? Subscribe to our RSS Feed (link on the right side of the screen) and you’ll have the first notification of new projects, contests and other exciting beading news!!!
Feb 142008
 

I made this bracelet for a very good friend as part of an exchange of sorts that we have been holding the past couple of years. We all draw names, and then fill up a box with things we don’t want or need any longer. Included in the box are usually a couple of “good” gifts, and this bracelet was one of Amy’s “nice” things. (The exchange is affectionately known as the “Box of Crap” exchange, which is always interesting when one goes to the Post Office to send a 20 lb box, and then turn down insurance because “it’s just crap”.)

Anyway. 😉

No instructions for this one, but I want to play a game. No fair playing if you’ve already seen it on one of my favorite jewelry discussion forums!

What are the discs made from? 😀 Post your guesses here in the comments, and I’ll tell you if you are correct.

Feb 122008
 

Some times I’m reminded to talk about the basics in addition to new projects, techniques and exciting jewelry news…like today, when a friend on the Michael’s discussion forum talked about the importance of learning how to open jump rings! A few weeks ago, I’d created a step by step photo tutorial on the technique, and I hope it helps anyone who may be trying to figure out just what I mean by “twisting” the sides. 😉

Feb 092008
 

Wow, I’m so excited!

Beading Help Web’s next Big Deal is up and ready for you! If you LOVE our projects, but don’t have time to shop, you can now purchase everything you need in a single kit, complete with instructions.

We’re starting out with one of our most popular projects – Amanda Earrings! Sparkly, sexy, fun, and elegant…in trendy Colorado Topaz and Light Rose Swarovski crystals. Special intro pricing for the entire kit is just $9.99, with FREE shipping!!! Simply click on the button at the bottom of the project page, and you’ll be directed to place your order through Beading Help Web’s parent company: Consumer Help Web. Within a short time, you’ll have everything you need (tools not included) to make these gorgeous earrings for yourself!

Check back as we’ll be offering more kits soon…plans are in the works for more of our great projects to take the plunge!

Feb 072008
 

Wow! Now you can buy your favorite HobbyLobby beading supplies online at Crafts, Etc.,!

Items purchased online cannot be returned at the brick and mortar retail stores, but I’ve done some quick perusing, and there are lots of items to choose from! An intro sale through February 16 gives you 25% off most items…so there’s no better time to check out the site and shopping.

Plus, Crafts, Etc., has a brand new bulletin board for crafting discussions…a section just for jewelry making that’s sure to be lively! Sign up to participate by clicking on the “My Account” link at the top of the page, and you’ll be set for everything available on the site. Look for me on the boards as BeadingHelpWeb!