Sunday, June 20, 2010

Japanese Tensha Bead Bracelet


I found the most gorgeous beads while perusing the bead sellers on etsy. These beads are made from acrylic (which I normally do not use in my designs however these are so gorgeous I decided to give them a try). I was not disappointed either. They make a gorgeous focal bead for any design. I only ordered a few of them but can't wait to order more:)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Working in Leather and Jewelry

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Bracelet Design



Stretch bracelets are simple to make with not too many tools or jewelry findings necessary. They are so easy to make we as jewelry designers should definitely add them to our collection. You can make them simple, chic, earthy, sparkly or anywhere in between. That's half the fun of making them. They 'speak' to me as I design each one...saying give me a blue bead, now give me a green bead, no no no not pink, fuschia LOL. But really, they are a great way to just sit down and mindlessly bead and relieve stress all at the same time. I have never made one stretch bracelet that I did not love to wear myself:)

Polymer Clay Pendants and Beads


I have been inspired by the vast group of talented clay and polymer clay artists on etsy. I have always liked to play around with polymer clay but after seeing some of the results of what has been created with it I'm hooked. Nothing is more gratifying than creating your own pendants and beads if you are a jewelry designer. It makes your pieces feel like a 'real' piece of wearable art. If you've never tried creating with polymer clay then you are missing a big creative outlet for your next jewelry project. My advice is just do it! Go buy yourself one block of white Sculpey (my favorite brand) and get to molding. It is so easy and the possibilities are endless. With a rubber stamp, some clay and acrylic paint you are the next Picasso in bead artist land. Here is a sample of some polymer clay earrings I just made.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Earring Designs




Here's a few photos of some of my latest earring designs. These are exquisitely simple wire wrapped designs but they are absolutely stunning and very versatile. I have decided to add some copper creations into my jewelry line for the summer. I will be posting some copper creations within the next week.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Video Tutorial Making Your Own Headpins

Working in Copper Wire





I'll admit it...I'm a sterling silver girl. I like it shiny, oxidized or a little in between. Sterling is my choice wire. However, I'm willing to bend. The other day I was reading one of my old magazines about wire wrapping (these never go out of date) when I ran across a design using copper wire. Guess I've never given credit to using copper wire but it's so versatile and quite lovely actually. You can mix it with silver, antique brass or gold and it looks great. Copper is much cheaper than sterling or gold wire too. The article suggested unthought of stores to find copper wire (and of all places the hardware store). Look in the wiring section or conduit section and there you will find it. Never thought of that either. I bought a role of it at the craft store a long time ago and never really used it. Now I've been so inspired by copper jewelry artists that I'm going to give that wire new life. Here is an example of a copper wire pendant combination. I've used copper wire for the hoop and attached a gemstone pendant wire wrapped in antique brass as a drop from the copper hoop. So why not think about using some copper in your next design project. You might just discover a whole new way with wire (and save some money ta' boot).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hand Forged Wire Wrapped Pendant Design



I feel lost as I am completely out of sterling wire. Without my wire my creativity comes to a screeching halt. Wow, I never realized just how important it was to have a wire 'stash'. The bad thing about being a wire jewelry artist is the price of your supplies if you work in precious metals. I have never worked with gold wire (way too expensive for me) but usually always in sterling. My last few wire purchases have come from sellers on Etsy and I've been very pleased. Guess it's time to go Etsy shopping again.

This is a wire wrapped pendant I created using sterling wire. I shaped the bottom hoop and bent it around to form a circle and finished wiring it at the top (I added the pendant before I wired the bezel). Very neat little piece. I need to make more of them....if only I had some wire:)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bead Studio



So I've been busy re-vamping one of my etsy shops and turning it into my bead shop( www.mermaidbeach.etsy.com). I wanted a place to display my creative work in polymer clay. Seemed like an easy enough decision. I also have a blog for Mermaid Beach which I have changed into my bead blog now. I'm having issues with distinquishing what should go on what blog (jewelry or bead making and a combination of the two). I'm really confusing myself LOL.
Trying to stay focused on the task at hand I've been composing a few new jewelry designs that I'm very excited about. Hoops, hoops, hoops. Classic design that goes with everything. However, recently I picked up a copy of Jewelry Affaire by Stampington & Company and was so inspired by the talented jewelry artists. I decided to add some beads and baubles to some of my hoops for some extra glam.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Featured Etsy Shop of the Week Wudls




1. How did you learn to do the craft of woodworking? My father, he built fishing boats, furniture, and cabinets, I took drafting and wood shop during school.
2. How do you come up with your design ideas? I start by looking at a craft to see if there is a need for a display, from there I design on how to best display it, but also factor in the ease of transporting it to and from a show for the vendor.
3. How long do you usually devote to each design? Most of the designs work from the start, some need tweaking, I get feed back and ideas from vendors seeking a display that will work for them, sometimes it takes a few e-mails and pictures from me till the buyer says yes that works.
4. What is your favorite type of wood to design with and why? I love Black Walnut for my scroll saw work, it just has the look after a fine finish. For my Craft displays Pine, it is light weight, easy to work, plus the cost keeps my display at a good price for the crafter, I want to keep their overhead low when buying.
5. What other types of artistic endeavors do you pursue? Having a working wood shop I do lathe turning, scroll saw, I build wooden computer cases out of Black Walnut with scroll work designs, love to decal the cases with Dragon designs, I can show you pictures if you like.
6. What is your best piece of advice for new crafters selling on Etsy? Do not expect to just jump in and make a living from the start, it takes hours of work, sometimes you may have to switch to a different product till you find the right group of buyers.
7. Please tell us something that you would like your customers to know about you? As I have said I have a working wood shop I will try to build anything a customer might ask for at a fair price, so if there is something made from wood you would like just ask.
Here's a few more of the scroll saw projects from Wudls.



To see more of this talented artist's work visit his Etsy shop at Wudls

Thursday, April 15, 2010

DIY For Packaging Your Jewelry Items

How to Sell Your Handmade Jewelry Tutorial

How to Make Stretch Bracelets Video

Friday, April 9, 2010

Etsy Jewelry Artist Interview Cassowary Jewelry


Each week I will be featuring a "Get To Know" section on my blog of jewelry artist that sell their work on Etsy. This week's feature designer is Cassowary Jewelry. She was kind enough to answer a few questions and let us know a little about her and how she creates her beautiful jewelry designs.

1. What led you to become a jewelry designer? I found a bead kit in a store and started noodling around with it. After that I was hooked.

2. How did you find your niche in jewelry design? I don't really have a niche. I just always work with what interests me. I'm trying to always find new materials, although my techniques tend to be the same. I am still growing since I'm self taught.

3. As jewelry artist’s we are always looking for new ways to create unique jewelry. What is your next creative jewelry endeavor with your craft or what jewelry making skill are you interested in learning next (metal fabrication, etc)? I think I'll start using more mixed media in my jewelry. I do that a little with my reused materials, but I've always wanted to incorporate cloth into my designs.

4. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry to design? Earrings. There's a lot of variety in what you can do with them.

5. What’s the best piece of advice you can give other etsy jewelry sellers?
List a lot, make a lot, promote a lot.

6. Where else do you sell your jewelry besides etsy? My website http://www.cassowaryjewelry.com

7. What’s one thing that you’d like your customers to know about you that’s not in your profile. I'll read anything that isn't nailed down.

To see more of Cassowary Jewelry visit her shop on etsy at http://www.cassowaryjewelry.etsy.com/.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Gemstone Earrings


Semi-Precious gemstones are my most favorite beads to combine with my wire wrapped designs. There are so many beautiful stones available to work with to create unique, one of a kind pieces of jewelry. Gemstones will always be in 'style' no matter what the fashion trends may be at the time. You can find great stones at your local rock shop (if you are fortunate enough to have one in your area). We have a great one located just down the road in Florida at the Rock and Crystal Shop http://www.therockandcrystalshop.com. She also has beautiful beads to choose from as well. I made these earrings from some gorgeous rainbow moonstone beads purchased from her shop. If you are lucky enough to have a bead shop in your area please try and buy from them. These little shops need our support to stay in business, especially during our tough economic times. Imagine if they weren't there any longer and all we had to pick from was local hobby shops where everybody can buy the exact same beads.....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Photographing Your Jewelry Tutorial

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Item Gift Baskets in Etsy Shop







I'm always trying to think of new ways to present my jewelry designs. Gift baskets seem like the perfect way to present some of my jewelry creations. Along with jewelry making I have a gillion other crafty hobbies. Soap making, bath salts, gels, lotions etc. all peek my creative interests. I decided to put together a neat little gift basket package great for gift giving on holidays and birthdays. Each basket is full of soaps, lotions, bath salts, sachets and of course a wonderful piece of jewelry.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Knitting Easy Cast On Method

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sculpting with Wire


Awhile back while attempting to manipulate wire I discovered how easy it is to make beautiful silver formed wire rings. I have several books on metalsmithing and wire work that I use as guides when working in metal. This is a simple wire sculpted ring from .925 sterling silver 14 gauge wire. With wire the lower the number the thicker the wire (I still forget that formula and occasionally have to look it back up in my books LOL). This ring is a simple scroll design formed using my ring mandrel, pliers and hammer.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lazy Girl No Hassle Head Pin Design








I call these my Lazy Girl headpins. After searching for new and innovative ways to make my own sterling silver headpins (without having to fire up a torch). I have invented my own innovative and easy headpin design. I cut off about two inches of 28 gauge wire. Then I used my needle nose pliers and bent the wire about 2mm up from the bottom. I lightly squeezed it closed for a secure bend. Then I placed my beads on it to finish the earring design. This headpin works great for a quick and easy, no hassle handmade headpin. Happy beading!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Design For My Etsy Shop



I've been working diligently trying to re do the design of my etsy shop to a more classic theme. Busy re taking photographs of my jewelry listings has just exhausted me. No matter how many times I look at the photos in my shop I see things that need to be re adjusted or changed. After awhile it all looks the same LOL. I've decided to step back and sleep on it for now and see how it looks to me tomorrow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Spring Earrings




I've been bead shopping for the past few days and have found some delicious little gems to create with. I was so excited to work with my new found treasures that I made seven pairs of earrings in one sitting. Now the hard part of photographing them for my shop. I'm always at the mercy of the sun as I take all my photos outside. I have only been successful with outdoor photography for my jewelry pictures. Nothing beats the natural light of the sunshine. I've included an update to some of my latest items posted in my shop.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Back to polymer clay...


One of my resolutions for this year is to perfect my polymer clay skills. I have dabbled with it for several years mainly when I was desperate for an original bead or pendant for one of my jewelry designs. Somehow, I never could figure out how to get mine to look as good as other p/c artists designs. I followed the directions for baking and glazing but I never felt confident enough to actually add it to one of my jewelry pieces. I know that beautiful results can be achieved using p/c and I hope to discover the secret to creating these beautiful pieces. I ran across a very helpful website by Cindy Lietz http://www.beadsandbeading.com/blog/. She has many tutorials and info on how to create with p/c. I am hoping this will be the year that I make some gorgeous beads and pendants out of polymer clay.