May 31, 2012

Free Beaded Spiral Post Wire Wrap Earring Tutorial

These post earrings are so simple and pretty, I can't wait to make a pair.  The Free Spiral Post Earring Tutorial is available for download from Gailavira Jewelry on her website.  She has several other tutorials on her website - some of which are free and others that she charges for.  Her work is fantastic, and judging by the quality of this tutorial - I imagine they are all well worth the money.

They use 4mm beads in the center, 2mm beads to frame the center bead and 20g base wire with 28g coiling.  They don't look like they will take too long to make either.  Instant gratification and free - how much better than that can you get?!

May 30, 2012

May 28, 2012

Herringbone Earrings That Don't Dangle (Pooks)

Normally, when I think of earrings that don't dangle, I think of post earrings.  But what I was trying to create are earrings that don't hang far off the ear like a normal french hook does.  The problem that I hear from some of my friends is that they say their earring holes look like they are stretched out when they wear earrings that dangle - even when the earrings are fairly light.  I guess just the motion puts pressure on the lobe and makes it look like the hole is stretched out a bit.  If you are younger than 40, just realize that this is a problem that comes with age. : )

I was also trying to make some subtle modifications to the herringbone drop that I posted a tutorial to earlier in the week.  Specifically, I wanted

YOJ Week 21: Silver Waterfall Earrings (Rio from The Earring Style Book)

I'm not sure this picture makes these earrings look quite as fabulous as they really are.  You may recognize them from the book cover of The Earring Style Book that I wrote about in my last post.  I meant to follow the instructions from the book precisely, but it didn't quite work out that way (that's another story that I'll post later).

These are 16g frames with 4mm coated labradorite beads wired to the frame using 26g wire.  I suspect if I were to make another pair of these, they would come out much better.  I can tell the left earring was

May 27, 2012

Book and Project Review: The Earring Style Book by Stephanie Wells

It's a long weekend (Memorial Day), so I plan to submerge myself in jewelry reading, jewelry making, baseball watching (my kids games - which gives me plenty of time for jewelry making) and of course, a traditional BBQ or two.  Please remember this long weekend is the time to remember and honor those who have died in our great nation's service.  Fly your american flag proudly to honor and remember them.

I am working on making projects from the book The Earring Style Book by Stephanie Wells.  If you are not familiar with Stephanie's work, you can see it at her retail website Double Happiness Jewelry.  The book is fabulous eye candy - but I wanted to go beyond that aspect and actually try the projects to see if the book also gives good instructions.  Stay tuned.  I'll be posting my projects and information on my blog starting Monday.  if you click the book cover, you will be taken to where you can get more information on the book.

May 23, 2012

More Free Herringbone Jewelry Link Tutorials

Yesterday, I published a 'new to me' tutorial to create a modified herringbone wire wrap that results in a dangle instead of the traditional link.  I figured you may just want to try making a herringbone link too - so here are some more free tutorials to try.

Herringbone Wrap Link

The first herringbone link tutorial I ever saw was from Eni Oken and she used to have a free tutorial for it.  But like all things on the internet, I think that has changed and it is no longer available or it is no longer free.  The good news is that I've made a new free herringbone link wire wrap tutorial to fill in the gap.

It is one of my favorite techniques.  The picture above is my first ever herringbone link.  The wrap wire is a little too thin (probably 26g) and it's a little too long in my opinion, but the technique never fails to give interesting results.  I also added several  interesting variations on my new tutorial.

I found another interesting herringbone wire wrap tutorial that uses a saucer shaped bead, which results in a really interesting wrap.  I think I may have to try this, since traditional herringbone wire wraps seem to work best on round beads.  It is also free.


May 22, 2012

Free Modified Herringbone Wire Wrap Tutorial

I came across this terrific FREE modified herringbone wire wrap tutorial this weekend.  If you are already familiar with a herringbone wire wrap, you will find it super easy.  If you've never done a herringbone wire wrap, you'll still find it super easy because the author took such great pictures and gave such simple directions! (Kudos to Heidi K for a great job!) I love these earrings.

I used a 5 mm round bead of unknown material (if you can identify it, let me know!) and 26g soft silver filled wire for the herringbone wrap.  I added a faceted carnelian bead to the 20g handmade ear wires just to give them a little extra POP!  They are antiqued using Liver of Sulphur and then polished to provide depth from the

May 20, 2012

YOJ Week 20: Leaf Shape Earrings

Another week and another pair of earrings.  The most interesting aspect of these earrings is probably the material they are made of.  The wire is sterling silver filled wire, which is fairly new to the market.  Introducing sterling silver filled wire is definitely a response by manufacturers to the consistent rise in the cost of precious metals.  I used gold filled wire regularly and my initial impression of silver-filled is very positive.
Making the earrings match (like always) was the hardest part.  First, I made both of the armatures (shapes) at the same time.  The basic shape was formed by

May 15, 2012

Pearl Earrings I Made in 5 Minutes

I finally got a chance to make some earrings using the new tools I got from the orthodontist.  The tool that I tried out is called a distal end cutter.  It is interesting that when I look up the tool, it mentions how it can cut the wire and hold the end piece, but it does not mention how it flattens the small end of the wire before the cut.  You can see in the first picture how it forms a 'paddle' on the end - very similar to one that you might achieve by hammering the wire end.  The difference is that by using the distal end cutter, it takes about two seconds (literally) and is as simple as cutting a wire with normal clippers.

May 13, 2012

YOJ Week 19: Chunky Turquoise Necklace

Making this necklace was very different for me for several reasons: 
  • I rarely do any type of stringing (I think it's a bit tedious)
  • I don't make 'big' things
All that aside, I love this necklace!!  I made it to brighten up a little black dress for a party because I wanted to make it more summery and it really did the trick.  It's more a collar than it is a necklace, but it feels and looked fabulous.  And it was very quick to go together.  From shopping to complete

May 12, 2012

Gem Trend Spring and Summer 2012

You need to buy beads frequently in order to keep up with the latest trends.  (At least that's what I tell my husband every time I go on a buying spree!).  But it really is true.  Most beads never go out of style, but there are definitely trends and you can tell by what you see in stores, runways and magazines.  Right now, opal seems to be hot.  The picture shows the strands of gems I just received on Friday.  These are all top quality gemstones and include (from the top): multi-opal smooth rondelles, smooth rainbow moonstone oval nuggets, faceted lapis lazuli rondelles, faceted ruby rondelles, smooth opal beads, pink opal faceted rounds, crystal faceted nuggets and last but not least, smooth rainbow moonstone briolettes.  Isn't it cool to see 3 different types of

May 11, 2012

Cool Jewelry Tools for FREE!

I'm going to post the moral to this story upfront.  Ask about things you are interested in and you never know what you'll get or find out.  I got the amazing jewelry tools you see posted above and found out that my children's orthodontist (a man) makes lamp-work beads!
Now, I guess I'll need to be a little more upfront about the price of these cool jewelry tools.  Maybe I should say "Spend $5,000 on braces, get cool tools for free", but that wouldn't be quite as eye catching - would it? But that is the story.  My son't braces went on about 2 months ago.  I watched the whole time thinking "Hey - I could do that..." with gems on them even!  But today, when my daughter's braces went on, I couldn't keep my eyes off the pliers and wire cutters!!
The one in the right center is the prize.  I don't remember the name, but it flush cuts the wire and keeps the

May 7, 2012

Being Committed to Developing Your Skills...

Developing your jewelry making skills is like anything else in life - it takes practice.  And the more you do it, the better you are at it.  I have been making jewelry for 20 years now - but it has been a hobby - something that I have bounced into time and time again.  I buy supplies, I play a little, make some jewelry for myself or some friends, and take a class every now and then.  I know I have the talent to make jewelry, but I have not fully applied myself to it... until now.
This year I decided to commit to making jewelry.  I made some goals, started some blogs, but most importantly,

May 5, 2012

YOJ Week 18: Ombre Amethyst Earrings

This weeks earrings are special.  They were made for a fellow jewelry maker in Rochester NY as part of a Spring Earring Swap.  I really love the way that they came out.  They are made with 26g GF wire with shaded amethyst faceted rondelles and a sweet little 2 mm pearl for the flower center.  They use the same twisting technique I have been practicing (mastering?!) the last month or so.  I tried to give an 'ombre' effect to the stones at the bottom and I think