Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chandelier Inspirations

Dangle me fabulous - I love a grand chandelier, swinging slightly, letting soft light bounce along the walls. The cascade of dangling metal and crystal translates well into jewelry. The three examples here all start with a photo pendant/charm with looped edges.

The loops allow for optimum dangling positions - there is a bit of science behind the chandelier look, such as shorter sides and a longer dropping center. These are so easy to make - you will want to have head and eye pins on hand - use the eye pins to create smaller links that connect into a single dangle, the more "joints" your dangles have the more they will sway.
No need to keep things symetrical - try dangling similar size items from both sides, even if they are different, like in this romantic necklace:These looped settings, brass baubles, gemstones and findings can be found in our shop - thank you for stopping by.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Shrunken Charms Technique

Please forgive the low quality lighting on my photos today -- These little tag charms are far cuter in person! And they are so easy to make! They make great additions to charm bracelets and earrings - they are light weight and you can put any picture on them.
1. Get great artwork - on etsy, or if you like items here check out Dover Publications and their dozens of CD's filled with artwork (cheap!!). Then size in a basic art program, keeping in mind shrinkage.

2. Print onto shrink paper made for inkjet printers - available at most craft shops. Go ahead and print on both sides - I like to put a picture on one side and a pattern on the other (makes it easier to align for cutting) Let the sheets dry well before running them back through the printer and be sure to follow the directions - lighter amounts of ink and No Black (use grey instead).

3. Punch with cardstock punches - I love the large ones - because the paper shrinks so much you want to start big - I like tag shapes and hearts! Be sure to punch a small hanging hole too.

4. Now shrink 'em and try to not to giggle too much as you watch them bubble and bend into tiny adorable charms. Tip - keep two glazed tiles on hand to pull them out of the heat and press between - this makes them perfectly flat.

5. Spray both sides with a coat of Krylon's triple thick clear glaze - finishes them like glass, but it also makes them water resistant - inkjet ink will smudge when wet. If you want you can also use a bit of acrylic paint (gold looks fabulous) to dab around the edges if you don't like them white.

6. String into your fabulous spring creations - artwork to go!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wine Festival Jewelry

All of you doing wine festivals this summer and fall will want to have plenty of wine and grape vine themed jewelry -- so we have all sorts of new items for you from large focal pieces to vines to wrap crystals in and charms in both Brass Ox finish and our Real Silver plating with antique finish. Stop by and check them out.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Garage Sale Finds

Tis the season for garage sales -- you can't resist them and you know it! The best inspiration comes from rummaging through other peoples "treasures". This bracelet is made from an old key and a broken earring (the cabochon in gold).

Take a brass bracelet blank from our shop , a few gemstones and some ribbon - check out our findings section for new colors of ribbon. Make a small chain of gemstones, about 7 and hook it to one end of the bracelet and then to a link at the center.

Skip a link or two and tie in your ribbon - twist around the remaining chain a few times and tie off at the end of the clasp. At the center you can go a bit wild, hook in some teardrop or flower beads, use a jump ring to add in larger items like the key or earring bits.

Tip - Use torn strips of vintage fabric or lace instead of ribbon.

These quick pieces are always OOAK because of the treasures you include. So as you set forth to the first of the spring rummage sales, look at all the little bits of junk as gems to be shared in your designs.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Travel Bug

OK, I have the travel bug...but can't seem to get away to the places I really want to go...London, Paris, Rome! So instead of pouting and eating ice cream, I decided to create a few designs that are inspired by summer fun and exotic locations.

These necklaces are quick to make and fun to wear. They are on nice long chains, perfect for wearing with casual summer T-shirts. The charms are hung securely with a heavy gauge twisted jump ring and the bead accents are lovely gemstones quickly twisted on with head pins.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Charmed I'm Sure

We all get to the point where time becomes a major factor in how many new designs we can put out in a week. Which often means that our shops get a bit thin during busy times. A quick remedy for this is to stock a dozen or so easy to make and easy to relist items. This saves time not having to take new photos and fill out new listings for those of you on Etsy

These earings are so simple you will be doing them in your sleep! Take a pair of ear wires and bend open the bottom loop, insert charm by it's little loop and close. Repeat on second ear wire and gaze fondly at your fabulous new product!

For these pieces to really stand out use high quality, detailed charms like those available in our shop. Also make sure your pictures are fabulous -- retouch them, brighten them and list multiple views -- when you relist them over and over you will want them to be your very best.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Marie with Pearls

This is a quick and easy bracelet that has a ton of wow factor. Ten minutes is all you need. Grab up a few pearls, a pair of triangular shaped brass filigrees and an 18x13mm lace edge cameo -- check out our Etsy supplies. Toss in a twisted jump ring, a lobster clasp, 4 - 4mm jump rings and a few steel eye pins.

Slightly curve the filigree pieces - use your fingers to avoid marking the metal with pliers. Then attach them to your cameo with the jump rings. Make a few links with the pearls and eye pins to add length to the back and finish with your twisted jump ring and lobster clasp.

If the pearls give you problems getting the eye pins through -- try using a pearl reamer to gently open the hole. I like to use natural pearls - they have more character. The pearls used in this design were dyed bronze.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rock On...

Gemstones + A Pile of Eye Pins = Quick, Easy, Beautiful Jewelry

I love to make bead chain with gemstones -- I think it is the colors and simplicity that draws me. Steel eye pins are best for these chains because of their strength (no need to wrap the ends of the eye) you can find these in our Etsy shop. I use these chains of gems in necklaces and bracelets. The samples here are bracelets - fun and fast to make.

Use a simple twisted jump ring and lobster clasp to close off these bracelets. You can even add in a bit of brass at the center for variety. If you are making up several items, create an assembly line for yourself -- cut all the eye pins at once, string on all the beads at once --- then you have a nice easy pile to draw from as you create the perfect length chain.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Twilight Inspiration

While most twilight jewelry is silver toned, here are a few ideas for gold/brass ox jewelry for all of us Twilight fans who look ghost-like in silver! The tags, necklace blanks, beads and Cullen Lion charms can all be found in our Etsy shop. The photo charm is a custom item we make up on request - currently our custom orders take about 2 weeks due to overwhelming demand. Convo me through Etsy if you need some.
And a few ideas for those who prefer silver toned Twilight -- A quick pair of earrings with our Cullen Lion charms, and two quick to assemble necklaces. These necklaces take about 2 minutes to make, just grab one of our necklace blanks, one of our twisted jump rings, an eye pin, a charm and a bead. Use the twisted jump ring to slide everything onto the chain and you have an instant hot seller.