Friday, November 6, 2009

A new line of earrings!

Hello again!

Where oh where oh where have I been? Well, I've been starting a new job and settling into a new home. But now that I've gotten into a routine I have finally found time to practice jewelry design again!

In the last several months if I found some spare time I would work on jewelry making techniques expanding my knowledge of how to manipulate metal.

I recently learned how to make the perfect joining loop between beads to form a bracelet!

Book in background for comparison

Close up!

I used soft copper wire (cause its cheap and disposable) to learn how to make these loops and some old glass beads (probably from the 90's, haha) I had laying around.

Since learning this new technique I have been playing with different metals, beads and forms of jewelry. My latest favorite design are these earrings I made from the beads pictured below!

These melon shaped czech glass beads just drawl my eye in. I love their curvy shape and versatile color.

After perfecting my metal looping skills I had to try smooth silver wire with every color! I think I like the purple the most, but I've always had a secret bond with purple.

What do you think?

Now should I make a bracelet to match?!

If you would like to see more please visit my Etsy site!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


So, I have not blogged here in about....3+ months. Please do not judge me. I have excuses, there were elves and a grasshopper and a battle over a pearl castle and...and...and...ok, I lie, but I do have reasons;
I got pretty sick in March and was completely wiped out for an entire week. This was a complete bummer because I had just bought all these new supplies (pearls, rings, wire, metal files, jump ring wands, etc) and I was too weak to play with anything (tears falling, angels crying, its all very desperate).
Then I got better and played around with new techniques I learned from a book I bought!

I made some new earrings, a bracelet, learned more about wire molding, bending, and hardening even (see how I'm beginning to reach a super star level here?)! I took photos of some of my new items with full intentions to list them on my etsy website! But my 2004 Dell Inspiron kept burning up on my lap and I couldn't get anything loaded on etsy, flickr, or blogger without second degree burns. (excuses, excuses, wait it gets better).
Then we decided to move, dun, dun, dun (oh the chaos of it all!) !
Fast forward 3+ months from my last post and here we are. Ta-Da!!!!
Still no jewelry to show per-say but the photos are just waiting to be transferred to my new laptop (oh yes, I got the 2009 Dell Inspiron, thank you BF for the early birthday/ Xmas gift!)! Then I will sit in my new home and be ready to blog and etsy away with it all.
Thank you for coming back to read this (hopefully you are not lost forever, if you are I will find you; I'm very clever!) and until I post again head over and check out what my friend Abby has up on her new etsy shop!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I have officially sold my first piece of handmade jewelry thru my Etsy shop!!!!

I first started my Etsy shop about a month ago but didn't post any completed work for another week or so. One piece to receive most of the attention/ views is the Icy Lilac Cluster Ring. Two of my friends have remarked on it and one recently asked if I could make the ring using olive colored stones.

I set to finding just the right beads and completeled it last week, able to give it her this weekend at the American Craft Council Convention in Baltimore!

I also gifted to her a matching pair of earrings, since this was my first sale I wanted to add a little something special just for her as a thank you.

Abby is also quite the indie crafter herself, she makes great wristlets and handbags. I bought one just last October. Since I'm the constant crafter I use it to tote around my latest yarn project. But the bag and fabric choice is so beautiful I don't mind carrying my knitting in public! You should check out her handbag website!!!

Thanks Abby, hope you enjoy your ring!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bird Nesting

I'm completely obsessed with working with metal lately. I love reading about it and finding out the nitty gritty details. I've recently gone to the library and borrowed about 10 different books on metal jewelry making and metal and beads; I also got a instructional DVD! Haven't watched it yet and it might be over my head but I'm gonna give it shot.

Over the weekend I decided I wanted to try to make the ever popular wire wrapped bird nest ring. This ring basically involves beads and wire. I envisioned in my pretty little head a beautiful purple and silver bird's nest ring similar to some I had seen on Etsy.

So I figured the first thing I needed to do was go to my local bead store and pick up some silver wire, perhaps a mandrel (a ring sizing instrument used by jeweler, see how professional I'm becoming!), and perhaps a bead or two.

It turns out there is this great metalworking/ jeweler's store just 15 minutes from my house called Adornment! Jo-Ann Aiken, the owner, was very wise and helpful when I asked her numerous obnoxious newbie questions. I went into her store claiming that I wanted silver wire to make rings and she quickly asked me a series of questions:

"Have you ever worked with metal before?"
"Do you know how to make this ring?"
"How are you learning?"

I have to admit that I felt like I was back in 5th grade art class with Ms. Cook, so badly wanting to impress her with my juvenille skills and excitement!

Ms. Aiken suggested I use copper wire to practice before going to silver. She explained to me (and I know i've read this in books but I'm such a hands-on, visual learner. it's really better if you show me or make me do something if I'm going to retain anything) that copper was not only cheaper but also more maliable. Therefore I could bend it a lot before it would reach it's snapping point! Excellent for us full-of-flubs-beginners!

And so I left Adornment with one heavy-as-hell jeweler's mandrel, one key-sizing ring (to figure out what ring size my fingers are), and 3 different gauges of 5ft of copper wire to practice with!

I spent most of Saturday night practicing, ie: trying to drop my heavy-as-hell mandrel on my foot while pressing it against my stomache muscles and looping flimsy copper wire around it's cylintrical figure. And then again on Sunday, I played around some more, getting more inspirations from online etsy stores and different jewelry websites I enjoy perusing!

And now the grand presentation of my labor!

The White Pearl Nest
made with 26 gauge copper wire and a freshwater pearl

The Robin's Nest
made with 22 gauge copper wire and glass beads

The Plum Nest
made with 22 gauge copper wire and glass beads

The Fuchsia nest
made with 26 gauge copper wire and a freshwater pearl

Now, I realize these are not perfect and can well see the flaws in each piece, which...A. is why they are made from cheap copper!...B. I'm not selling them. and....C. Aren't flaws just a part of what makes indie art so great!

I'm really hoping to perfect something enough to justify a weekend silver purchase...practice, practice, practice!

The First of Many

Hello and welcome to my first of many post about my first and many attempts at jewelry making!

I wanted to create this site as a spin-off of my knitting blog. I originally started my knitting blog back in 2006 when my interest in knitting and crocheting became more like an obsession, haha! I quickly discovered that by blogging about my knitting not only could I finally display all by trials and successes but I could network with other knitters and meet people with a similar interest all around the world.

So here I am, with another blog, about another creative topic. My latest interest is jewelry making. I've always tinkered with jewelry making so it's not so much a new interest as a "rekindled" hobby, if you will. When I was younger I used to go crazy at craft stores with my mom insisting that she buy me some more (yes, i said "more") seed beads, or hemp, or string. I knew that if it was trendy and they were selling it in stores, I could probably figure out how to make it. I dubbed myself the MacGyver of friendship bracelets, I could make anything with enough supplies and time!

Now that I'm older my tastes are a little more unique and less trendy. My current interest is in metal, wire, glass beads, and natural materials like stone, wood, and clay.

So, here is the blog! I'm hoping to meet other MacGyver-like jewelers, share what I am learning as I go along, and as always get your feedback!