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November 27, 2012

My New Craft Workshop (Woman Cave)

Let the men have their man caves!

I have been busy the past 3 weeks or so carving out my own little workshop space in our garage.  I have recently become absolutely overcome by the vast amount of beads and craft supplies - and they needed to start moving out of the house.  Or at least out of the main living area!  I also needed my dining room table for Thanksgiving (and Christmas is around the corner).  And dare I even mention that the garage has been accumulating stuff for the past 15 years!

It has been quite a task.  There was no lighting, it was disorganized, the black widow spiders had made nests in a few corners - I don't even like to think about it.

 I wish I had a better picture - but here is one of my freshly pained workbench.  It is still pretty disorganized - but I am continuing to work on it.  It is nice to have a place to call my own - finally!

I have also been busy with some home jewelry parties and donating items for various auctions.  I should have time to post some pictures of the jewelry I have been working on tomorrow.

November 08, 2012

Custom Wire Wrapped Earwires with Gemstones

Copper  custom made earwires with garnet gemstones

I make a lot of earrings lately.  It used to be my nemesis.  I could never seem to make them look the same - they weren't the same length or stones that I thought matched weren't really the same color, shape or size.  I have many pendants that resulted from this learning curve.

Now, earrings are one of my favorite things to make.  I consider them instant gratification jewelry making.  Of course, I had to overcome the hurdles I just described - but what they say is true - with the right tools you can conquer anything!!

OK - I meant "Practice makes perfect", but it's so cliche.  And the thing that really did help is having the right tools.  I wrote an article about the tools you need to make gemstone earrings that match every time on Rena Klingenberg's Jewelry Making Journal site.

Antique copper earwires with faceted moonstone.
One of the things that can really differentiate your earrings is the earwires you use.  The basic french hooks and leverbacks are great for most things - but I love when my earwires are part of the jewelry.  Recently, I have been making lots of earrings - and therefore lots of earwires.  In fact, I've made so many earwires and drops, I've probably gone a little off the deep end!

I particularly like the style in these pictures.  I can use almost any stone and then I add dangles (one or many) to the earwires.  It really lets people recognize that I make one of a kind handcrafted jewelry.    Right now, I've made so many of these earwires, that I've listed some in my etsy shop (including all of the ones pictures here).

My favorite!  Antique copper with citrine custom ear wires!
I also make them in silver with gemstones or wrap the gemstones to lever back ear wires.  I will post them another day.

November 01, 2012

Making Copper Ball Headpins

I make a lot of the findings I use to make jewelry.  That includes using my torch to make silver headpins with the round ball on the end.  If you've never made these, there are plenty of resources on the web, including videos, that show you how to make them.  I highly suggest you try it out.

Today, my quest was to see if I could use the same tools and process to make copper headpins.  If you've been reading my blog, you'll know that after shunning copper for most of my jewelry making career, I have recently decided it is one of the best materials on earth for wire wrapping.

I haven't seen anyone on the blogs or forums I read saying they make copper headpins, and searching the web gave me mixed information, so I decided to just give it a try.