Fashion Color Report – Fall 2013

If you haven’t seen the Fashion Color Report from Pantone for Fall this year I recommend you take a look.  These colors really sing to me and I can easily image projects ahead!

I let my passion for crafting jewelry take a back seat to my business for far too long and this has really inspired me to stop letting time be an excuse and feed my soul with some  new design projects for the fall.

My favorite color is the color of the year, the majestic and elegant color of Emerald!!  I’m really going to have fun with that and it will be SO hard not to break my budget.

Pantone Fall 2013 Colors for Women

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has a few nice design ideas for Emerald if you’d like to take a look and see if anything inspires you. Pantone 2013 Color of the Year: Emerald.They have a huge selection of jewelry making beads at reasonable prices so you can even do your shopping while your there!

Happy Jewelry Making with this beautiful array of colors from Pantone’s Fashion Color Report.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you are influenced by Pantone’s color reports or what does influence you in your designs.

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Wire Wrapping and Beading: Two Great Partners in Jewelry Making!

Wire Wrapping and Beading

Wire jewelry making is a fun and increasingly popular way to design, craft, and sell beautiful jewelry designs! Wire is a versatile medium, and it’s great for any market. Copper and Brass wire are great to start wire wrapping with, as they are inexpensive and easy to buy in bulk–but they still sell well in finished pieces. The finest wire jewelry is made from gold filled wire–often 14-karat–and sterling silver wire, and wire jewelry made from these precious metals command prices in the hundreds of dollars!

Now, within the “wire jewelry world,” there are many flavors of wire wrapping. Creating wire-only designs is a great place to start, creating rings and cuffs solely from wire. Many people enjoy wrapping gemstone pendants and cabochons for necklaces and cuffs. Some people even create trees and floral art, hairpieces, earrings, and more with delicate wire designs. And some people love to create chain maille, which, as you may imagine, is composed of many little circles, called jump rings. Chain maille (which is commonly spelled chainmaille, chain maille, and chain mail–a matter of personal preference) can be extremely intricate to astonishingly simple. Here’s an easy way to get started.

You can buy premade jump rings, or you can make your own. To make your own, all you need is some round wire—I recommend 22-gauge half hard—a pair of round nose pliers, and a pair of wire cutters. Of course, chain maille isn’t limited to wire only—so feel free to bring any gemstone beads, CZs, or drilled gems that you’d like to incorporate in the design. Just be sure that the bead will fit on the wire!

To make a jump ring, the first thing you need to do is straighten your wire. Most wire comes curved in a coil, so take your forefinger and thumb and run them along about 6 inches of wire to combat the curve, until the wire lies straight.

Next, place the end of your straightened wire in the jaws of your round nose pliers. The closer you place the wire to the jaw pivot point, the bigger your jump rings will be; I usually make mine as big as possible, but you can play around with it. Then, we start turning the pliers. Close the jaws of the pliers firmly, and turn the pliers down and away from your body. Only turn your wrist as far as it’s comfortable, and then open the pliers, rotate the wire, and turn again. You can keep doing this until you have a whole spiral of jump rings! Turn as much as you like, and then cut the wire with your wire cutters when you’ve turned enough.

Then, to cut your jump rings, simply cut each ring along the side of the spiral. You can then open the jump ring with flat nose pliers to place a bead on the jump ring.

The easiest way to open a jump ring is with two sets of pliers. Take two pairs of flat nose pliers, one in each hand, and place the jump ring halfway in one jaw, with the closure facing away from you. If you’re right-handed, grasp the left side of the ring in your left hand’s pliers, and keep this stationary. Then, with your right-hand pair of pliers, bend the right half of the jump ring down, away from you. Simply add your bead (or beads) and reverse the steps to close the ring! This is much simpler that bending the jump ring’s “arms” out, and disfiguring the ring.

So, what’s a project you can make with jump rings?

Chain Drop Beaded EarringsHere are a pair of earrings, made from two different sizes of jump rings, beads, and headpins and ear wires. Now that you know how to make and use jump rings, you can make earrings like this, easy!

So to get started making wire jewelry, all you need is some wire, some pliers, and your own creativity! A great place to start is–we have the wire, tools, beads, gemstones, and educational DVDs that will turn you into a wire wrapping pro!

So have fun, find some wire and pliers, explore the world of wire jewelry making!


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Bead Jewelry Video Tutorials Review

Bead Stringing and Bead Weaving Tutorials

Bead stringing may appear to be a simple technique to some beginners and although it isn’t necessarily difficult once you’ve learned different techniques, it is more than just putting a few beads on a string. Your piece should be appealing, easy to wear, sturdy, and just as in all things design it needs to be balanced well.  This takes planning, practice of techniques and patience. Oh, and let’s not forget… really good vision or really good lighting and a magnifying glass!

Beginners and novices alike need quality resources and references to learn new techniques or get a fresh perspective. The most popular method on the Internet right now for learning tips and techniques in bead jewelry making is video tutorials. These can be found by searching your favorite search engine or YouTube.  In my experience these videos are often cut short, lack detail or are just plain bad quality. That’s not to say that good tutorial videos can’t be found for free, but I recently found a paid alternative to fill this need and I’d like to tell you about it.

Eri Attebery at has made learning the techniques of bead jewelry making a breeze with her video tutorials. I had the opportunity to preview her new on-demand monthly membership service, which features 24-hour access to a library of home-study video tips and tutorials at a low monthly subscription.

It consists of the beginner’s home-study course videos, over 30 more advanced project tutorials, and a section of short video tips. It’s easy to access and well organized. Eri promises ease of learning, convenience, excellent value, professional quality videos and variety of difficulty level and types of jewelry projects. It’s my opinion that she delivers on those promises.

The videos are of very high quality. Not a grainy or blurry one in the bunch! You can see every detail clearly and when necessary her cameraman discretely zooms in for close-ups at just the right moment. Her fingers and hands are never in the way and she explains every step even if she’s said it before. Eri speaks clearly and goes at a perfect pace that allows you to keep up but still not have to wait for her if finding that tiny hole is not a problem for you.

The bead stringing and bead weaving projects range from simple to advanced, fun holiday to seriously beautiful. As an added bonus she’s always throwing in tips and advice to make your jewelry making experiences easier. If she gets tripped up on something during the video she uses that opportunity to explain what to do if this happens to you and goes seamlessly back into the project.

The only part I didn’t get excited about were the videos compiled from YouTube added as an extra bonus. I felt they didn’t compliment the tutorials offered in the library and were just not as well made, so a little disappointing after watching the jewelry making professor. However, this wasn’t really a problem for me because they were a free bonus and the value of the offer wasn’t compromised.

To sum it up, I think it’s worth every penny and will be telling everyone I know who wants to learn bead stringing and weaving as well as those who want to add new project designs to their repertoire. I give Eri’s on-demand monthly membership service two thumbs up and can’t wait to see what new projects she adds to the library next!

The holidays are coming and there are some really nice projects in this library that are perfect for gifts, whether you are a gift giver or looking for some new pieces to sell at that upcoming show.

Follow this link and get subscribed today!

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Jewelry Making and Design – Finding Beauty in the Seemingly Ugly

I’m always impressed by the ability of some to take what at first glance may appear unappealing and bring out its beauty. I suppose that’s one of the things that sets apart a true artist.

Morgan Hamilton describes one such person in an article entitled The Beauty of Jewelry Making & Design.

This expert in the art of bead jewelry making discovered that the key to working with any element was in the harmony and blending of the colors.

With imagination and a lot of patience, you can take something you may want to discard initially and come up with an impressive masterpiece. Yes, YOU can do that!

So , the next time you feel like throwing in the towel on a project, take a break and then go back to the old imagination board with it. When you come up with a stunning work of art send me the before and after pictures and I’ll post them for everyone to see.

Here’s to your next work of art!

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