Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bead an Adjustable Ring

Since I don't have a ring sizing stick, adjustable rings are a nice finding to use. I've picked up a couple of kinds - ones with different numbers of loops on top for attaching stones or beads, and ones with a flat metal surface on top for gluing on bezels, stones, etc.

This ring, which I call Funderella, is based on a looped adjustable ring with a silverplated finish. Its frou-frou look reminds me of cocktail rings my mother used to wear for dressy affairs.

It's easy, albeit not fast, to make. I took short silverplated headpins and wrapped Czech pressed-glass flowers, then attached them to the loops with simple wire wraps.

You can make these in a huge variety of color combinations. What about a Valentine's Day ring in an explosion of reds? Wedding party rings that coordinate with the wedding colors? A patriotic burst of red, white and blue?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Bag of Inspiration

A few weeks ago, my "tip of the day" was about assembling bead kits to supplement your jewelry sales. As I looked at the pictures of one kit I'd put together and listed on Etsy, I realized that selling kits is about more than making money.

It's about inspiring another beader - or even introducing someone to the art (and pleasure!) of beading.

Getting a kit with colors, shapes and sizes already chosen is a great way for someone who's new to beading to dig into the craft. Too many choices can be overwhelming, as one of my close friends says when we go to bead shops together. She likes to ask for suggestions in choosing her beads because - although she creates truly beautiful pieces - she doesn't trust her own instincts when it comes to picking out the materials. Kits are a nice option for someone like her.

Another benefit of putting together kits is that you get to exercise your own eye for color and form in a relaxed way. As you sort through your beads and find ones you're willing to part with to create a kit, you may find yourself feeling inspired all over again by your bead stash.

Then, too, it's surprising what you turn up as you dig through boxes and drawers, too! When I put together kits a couple of weeks ago, magnetic clasps I'd been looking for turned up in bags from shopping trips I'd made months ago and never sorted into my beading drawers!

Although I've got a huge supply of beads, the next time I'm feeling uninspired, I may purchase a kit from someone else. How fun to craft a piece from someone else's creative choices! :-)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Do You Feel Guilty When You Spend Time Beading?

This is a topic I find myself discussing often with friends.

If you find yourself feeling this way sometimes, please read my other blog today: It was inspired by an amazing book, titled, Your Money or Your Life.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Looking for Steampunk Ideas. . .

Howdy, my creative friends!

I'm looking for fresh inspiration for steampunk jewelry ideas. I've got supplies, but I've run out of. . . er. . . steam when it comes to creating steampunk pieces.

If you'll send me pictures of your creation and a brief explanation of how you came up with it or how you made it, plus a link to wherever you're selling or displaying it online, I'll post them here over the next few days.

Looking forward to seeing your work!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

California State Fair Deadline for Creative Arts Submission: April 20

Have you ever gone to your state fair, looked with awe, amazement and - admit it - a little jealousy at some of the winning entries in the arts category, and thought, "I could have won something if I'd entered. . ."? Have you told yourself that you'd enter next year's event, only to let the deadline slip by you?

As a college professor of mine used to say, the opportunities and awards aren't just out there for someone else. They're there for YOU, too.

Is this the year you're going to submit some of your work to your county and state fairs? YES??

If you're a Californian, please note: The deadline for submissions for the California Creative Arts category is April 20. That's for ages 18 and up.

For submissions for the Youth Art and Design Expo, the deadline is April 13.

For those outside California, what's the deadline for your state fair? Send me a note and I'll post it here!

Good luck! Get beading!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

One Idea for Blown-Glass Beads

Not long ago, Goody Beads had a sale on several types of blown glass beads. I love these delicate glass bubbles and ordered. . . a lot. :-)

Because they're so pretty, I wanted them to take front and center in a design. After playing around with them for a while, I hit on the idea of making individual dangles of one blown-glass bead and other smaller beads and spacers. What fun it is to sort through my beads and come up with mates for these gorgeous baubles.

Here's one of the dangles I made yesterday. I've strung it on a sterling silver-plated Figaro chain, 18" long, which makes a very dainty necklace. I hope this inspires you in your own beading!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Old Playing Cards: Check. . .

After several days off from jewelry-making, I've been rarin' to get going again. I'd put together some things, but nothing really grabbed me. So, yesterday, on a jaunt to Jo-Ann's, I picked up a copy of Belle Armoire magazine for ideas.

The current issue has some great pieces! One of them incorporates pieces of playing cards in bezels under a crackle resin. That got to me to thinking. . .

. . . and half a day later, I have a new bracelet that actually does grab me. I took some stray playing cards, a length of old wire-wrapped glass pearls (with the pearl finish worn off in places), a bezel bracelet I bought on sale last year, and some loose beads from my stash.

Pieces of the cards went into the bezels and under a layer of resin. Meanwhile, I wire-wrapped glass hearts and black beads. When I checked the resin, I was a bit dismayed to see that bubbles had remained stubbornly intact in one of the bezels, despite my efforts to pop them with a piece of wire. I found a bag of loose rhinestones, new and old, that I'd gotten in a big bag of jewelry odds and ends at a thrift shop; one flat-backed rhinestone became a beauty mark to disguise the air bubbles on the jack's cheek. I added the dangles I'd made, a magnetic clasp, and. . .

"Deal Me In!"

This bracelet measures just over 8". Thinking about listing it on etsy or else taking it to a local shop to see if the owner would like to display it for sale.