Wednesday April 23, 2014
Beading with Gemstones
- Beautiful Jewelry, Simple Techniques by Valerie MacCarthy
If you are hoping to branch out from big box store beads and experiment with semi-precious or gemstones but you aren't quite sure where to start this book make be what you are looking for.
Beading with Gemstones starts out with learning what a gemstone is. The author explains that there is no exact definition and that some consider a gemstone as "ornamental stones". She goes on to discuss minerals, organic stones, and rocks, as well as Gemstone Qualities, Birthstones and Healing Stones. From the basic gemstone question Valerie goes on to cover Accent Beads, Precious Metals, Tools and Supplies, plus a section on basic jewelry making techniques.
If you don't know what your birthstone is there is a chart for you to figure it out. My birthstone is Turquoise and I have always felt very lucky because I LOVE TURQUOISE. Or maybe I love turquoise so much BECAUSE it is my birthstone?
I enjoyed this book and over all, would consider this a good book for a beginner jewelry maker and there is lots of inspiration to be found for jewelry makers with more experience as well. Definitely worth adding to your bookshelves.
What is YOUR birthstone?
Wednesday April 23, 2014
Do you have a pile of used up gift cards in your home? Do you find yourself wanting to keep them after they are "dead"? I do. I tend to like the colors, images or graphics on many gift cards and usually ask to have them back after I use them up so that I can re-purpose them and use them for another project.
Gift cards make great tools as applicators for lots of things you may not like to get your fingers in like glue, gel or paint. They are also good for scraping dried paint, food or glue off of lots of surfaces including counter tops and dishes. They are a quick and easy book mark and many gift cards can be re-loaded and used over and over again.
I have not been able to find a good jewelry project for my gift cards until I discovered that they cut fairly easily with a really good pair of shears. Then I discovered that they bend and warp in interesting ways once a little heat is added. Those two discoveries lead me to create Recycled Gift Card Necklace for Earth Day
. By cutting randomly sized circles, warping them and then adding more color I was able to create a fun and funky repurposed necklace. You can find all of the instructions by clicking on the link to make one of your very own.
How do you re-use your gift cards?
Tuesday April 22, 2014
One of the problems you may have if you have been making jewelry a while is how to store your finished pieces in a way that makes them organized as well as visible. It can be difficult to choose jewelry to wear if it's tossed into a drawer in an unorganized heap.
Many jewelry designers own far more jewelry than they could ever possibly wear but like to keep it on hand. Not only is it a reminder of their progress as a designer but many pieces may have been made in a favorite class, on a fun trip, or for a special occasion making them memorabilia as much as wearable art.
But how do you organize, display or store all of those pieces?
The problem is that many ready made storage solutions can be expensive and can also take up a lot of valuable space, especially in smaller rooms. I have rounded up 11 Clever and Easy DIY Jewelry Displays
so that you can create your own jewelry storage organization that fits your budget and your space. Many of these pieces can be configured in a way that allows you to store your handmade jewelry in a way that makes sense to you.
And the bonus is that they are not only useful but also pretty to look at adding a decorative element to your room.
How do you store, organize and display the jewelry you make?
Thursday April 17, 2014
If you have a young woman going to prom this season you might find that she is looking for a corsage or boutonniere that is a little different or unusual. Not only do young women seem to be looking for accessories that look nothing like the corsage that their mothers or grandmothers wore to dressy dances they also may not want to wear what everyone else is wearing. They are looking for ways to express their own personal style.
Creating your own bracelet corsage lets you dictate the styles, colors and textures in the accessory you wear. You can match your dress, shoes and other accessories creating a look that is unique and personalized. The best part of the FLOWER CORSAGE BRACELET
is that it is a fairly easy, though possibly time consuming, DIY jewelry making project. For a few dollars and a little time digging through the (vintage) jewelry, buttons and other notions you may already have at home you can have a unique and personal accessory to wear at prom, a wedding or other occasions.
After you have danced the night away you won't have to worry about your corsage wilting either. This is one corsage that you will be able to wear again and again or keep with your other memorabilia from your very special evening.