Aug 282008
 

This month’s Ornament Thursday theme celebrates the kick off of Back To School – Academia! I love to read, and fortunately my children have discovered this love as well. While I can just as easily use a scrap of paper or an old magazine subscription card for a bookmark, I prefer to do something a little more stylish! This month’s OT project is one that I’ve done over and over with great results – it’s quick, easy, and you can use up orphan beads for a design that reflects your personality!

This is also a great kid’s project, and they can use the bookmark that they make all year long!

Easy Wire Bookmark

Level: Easy/Beginner

Materials

12-16g wire (sterling, copper or craft wire)
Head pins
Beads, crystals, small bells, charms
Jump rings

Easy Wire BookmarkJust a note – sterling silver wire makes a sturdier bookmark, but because it will be continually exposed to air, it will tarnish. Copper wire can be hammered to strengthen, and oxidization will eventually color the wire to a warm brown. Craft wire tends to flop a bit, even after hammering. You can experiment with wire and find the type that you like to use best.

Cut a piece of wire 9″ long using a flush side cutter. File the ends smooth. Create a small closed loop at the end of the wire. Using a round object that’s about 1″ diameter, create a shepherd’s hook at one end of the wire. Slightly curve the loop outward.
Create a tight spiral at the opposite end of the wire: Make a tiny loop using a round nosed pliers and close the loop using a chain nose pliers. Create the spiral by holding the loop in the jaws of any pliers with flat inside surfaces – I recommend 2-3 revolutions around the original loop.

Hammer wire to strengthen.

To decorate your bookmark: Make wrapped loop dangles using head pins and beads, bells, or crystals. Attach dangles to the closed loop at the end of your hook using jump rings. Another option is to hang charms in a theme (gardening, wine-related, Red Hat) on the closed loop using jump rings.

That’s it from Beading Help Web this month! Check out the other OT gals projects…I know I am going to!!!

Michelle’s Edumacation
Michelle has yet another go at decorating Helen’s workstation, this month, less scary than last but oh, so funky

Aug 252008
 

The gang that hangs out at the Michael’s message boards holds monthly challenges, and the challenge this month was to make something primarily of metal.

Well, I love metal…so I couldn’t resist! I actually made two pieces using the same wire wrapping technique.

Challenge rules include that your piece must be made of at least 75% materials available from a Michael’s store…for these projects, I used 26g Wild Wire in fuchsia and teal, as well as 18g silver wire for the frame.

I’ve made two pendants for the August Michaels Challenge. The first is a version of my Fairy Ladder pendant, using the team Wild Wire. For this piece, I also used 18g Wild Wire in silver color for my frame, but I was not happy with the way the frame flopped around when I wrapped it. Michaels, please carry heavier gauges of wire for folks who don’t want to use sterling silver!!! Size on this little pendant is about 1″ long, about 1/4″ across.

Next up, I decided to use some (shhhh) sterling silver wire for the frame, again in 18g. Shape held up much better with this one. Teal and fuchsia wire are used to wrap…I can see a couple of small errors, but overall, I’m really pleased with the way this turned out!! Size on this one is also about 1″ long, 3/8″ across the widest point. Lots of wrapping in that tiny space!

These may end up being gifts for a couple of special little girls I know…not sure yet. I think they would like them, however. 🙂

Thanks for peeking…if you’d like to join in the fun on the Michaels board, please join us!!!

Aug 212008
 

I was excited to have been contacted by Colleen a few months ago about a new promotion to highlight women with small businesses. An interview published on her blog (MommieDaze), with a contest to give away an item of my choice.

To be honest, I forgot about the interview until this week when Colleen dropped me a note…but it was really fun to do! Read the interview on MommieDaze and follow the contest instructions for a chance to win my Floating Swirled Heart pendant on a sterling silver snake chain.

Aug 162008
 

My friend Cindy on the Michaels message board tipped me off to a great online offer! Michaels occasionally posts a coupon to be used in-store, and there’s one available now for 20% off your entire purchase! Some items ARE excluded, so read the fine print carefully.

Michaels 20% off coupon – good through August 23

And if you’d like to join in the Michaels August Challenge, we’d love to have you! This month is all about metal – my favorite medium.

Silver Spot

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Aug 152008
 
What’s up with the silver spot???

(silver spot courtesy of http://www.kitco.com/)

All the message boards were popping with comments last night about the price of silver dropping through the floor…it’s great news for anyone who needs to buy silver!
Even though I’ve just ordered wire recently, I think I’ll be ordering more today. Can’t beat the price with a stick!
Aug 152008
 
I’m thrilled to be the Featured Artist for Ornament Thursday this month….here’s just a little sneak peek of what you’ll be seeing more of in two weeks! A tiny teaser – it involves wire, orphan beads and is definitely a 30-minute project!!!
This month’s theme is Academia…I’m excited to see what all the talented gals come up with! Full projects will be posted on Thursday, (of course!) August 28.

 

Aug 082008
 

I had a nice surprise in my inbox the other day – a 10% off coupon for Crafts, Etc., the online version of Hobby Lobby stores. Since I’d signed up for their newsletter several months ago, they sent me this promotion to use during my birthday month (August). I decided to give Crafts, Etc., a try.

I went to the online store, browsed the (limited) selection of sterling silver products and found a couple of multi-strand clasps that I could use. I applied my birthday coupon, and clicked the button to check out.

Imagine my dismay when the shipping and handling fee showed up as nearly 50% of my total order! Two small, fairly lightweight clasps were going to cost $6.95 to ship…and the clasps were only $15.00 with my birthday discount!!!

No thanks, Crafts, Etc., I’ll shop at a store that offers free shipping (Artbeads.com) or $5 FedEx shipping (FireMountainGems.com) and has loads more to choose from.

Aug 072008
 

Believe it or not, we’re gearing up for school here. In fact, I heard on the news last night that one school in the Omaha area started up this week!

Today I take my son to register for high school. He is starting a new school this year, which is exciting and a little scary for all of us. On a more light-hearted note, I will have to make up some school spirit jewelry in green and yellow – colors for the new school. (Too close to Green Bay Packer’s colors for this girl…..LOL!)

For back-to-school projects, check out Beading Help Web’s Cell Phone Charms (which can double as backpack identifiers!) instructions or an original book mark project – Ribbon Book Mark , Wire Book Mark or super easy Book Buddies. Any of these projects are perfect for using up orphan beads and charms – and they make great back to school gifts! Plus, they are all 30-minute projects – fast to put together with supplies that are available at almost any hobby or craft store!