Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Hangin' In There" Copper Heart

A copper heart pendant - more wire wrapping! I made a mistake in this one though, but I like this desing, so I'll just work on it and make a few more. My mom has already ordered one, so I better get started!

Black Wire Earrings With Golden Pearls

Bangles weren't the end of coiling. These are earrings I made using a black steel wire and golden coin pearls. I have actually made them before all the bangles, but forgot to share them.

Bangles, Bang, Bang!!!

I have discovered the pleasures of coiling and because I looove bangles and bracelets, I decided to make a few and think of possible designs.
This was the first one:

It's made of steel wire (the same one that didn't work for me when making the big chandelier earrings -, antiqued silver spacer beads and some Czech firepolished beads and seed beads.

I can't explain why I still like to work with this wire when I had so much trouble with it, but I guess I just got used to the hardness and learned to work with it. Which is great, as I personally see a development here - a material that didn't seem ideal at first became my friend and I enjoyed working with it the second (and third and fourth...... :-) time around.
I should probably try to make those earrings now again and see the difference!

Here is a set of bangles made of steel wire (THAT one, what else) and seed beads of different colours. I want to make a set of 4 or 5 with different colours of seed beads to stack them together, but they take a while to make (but I'm getting faster with each new one!!!) and I couldn't wait to put them here. So these will get sisters soon.

And this was the last idea with bangles - something little less usual. Square bangles! I want to make more of these as well and stack them together.

Monday, January 26, 2009

More Wire Earrings - Same Steel, Better Finish

These are earrings I have started working on after the first not-so-great-looking pair. These are made of the same wire (steel wire from a local hardware shop), but they turned out quite nice.
I have helped myself with wire jig to make sure the shape will be the same on both earrings (handy little thing for beginners!) and hammered the wire to give it more interesting finish.

I'm planning to put some beads at the bottom of the loop and they'll be even nicer!

Wire Earrings - Finished!

Do you still remember my first try on wire-wrapping?
Earrings that weren't finished... well, they are now!!!

It's not the best, because of the hardness of the steel wire I have mentioned in the original post. I have learned some technique on this though. This is the unfinished earring:

And this is the final look:

I can't wait to try more wireworking - I promise it will be better next time. Firsts are always hard... but memorable! I have already worn these and got some attention, so wait for the next pair, they'll be nicer, more regular, super-duper!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Something Really Easy - Stringing

My fingers were all twisted from the loops and I believe that if pliers had a head, it would be spinning around too...
I'm sure you all know this, be it from school or work: when you have too much on your plate, no matter how great whatever the thing you're doing is, you just need to run away for a second and do something quick, easy, fast-rewarding. A quick fix, a piece of cake...
I needed my quick fix, and easy task.
So I took a stringing wire, a few golden beads and a clasp and in minutes there was a shiny beaded necklace!
My mum will love it, I betcha!

Handmade Chain

As I pledged to try all different kinds of jewellery-making, I have now tried something very labourious - making a chain... link by link.

It is a great way to learn and practise all kinds of loops and work with jeweller's pliers, but I have to say that it takes a while to get all links the same size.

On the other hand, I can see the labour quite rewarding - although I still didn't produce any great chain that would be really worth parading around, I think that a handmade chain is definitely the best way to showcase a handmade ornament.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And Copper Wire Earrings with Pearls!

How could I forget! I also made earrings!
I saw this beautiful design on and it seemed easy enough. SIGH. It's not easy. Well it is easy, but I'm only a baby-jeweller and don't speak the language of wire yet. So the earrings are not exactly identical (what lullys me is the fact that my ears aren't exactly identical either) and I need to work on that.
This is the link for tutorial:

But note that I have played with wire in a different way than in the bracelet (just the previous post) and HAMMERED it.

A new day, a new technique. I'm proud of myself. So far so good.

Ok, ok, enough. Back to practice!

Copper Wire Bracelet

This is the first time I tried my hands on wirework. I choose copper wire over silver for obvious reasons - I didn't want to waste an expensive material. I first wanted to see how this technique works for me. I kinda like it, but I have a lot to work on.
Well, as they say, practise makes a master. I wonder how long it will take me to master the wire!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Working with Photo Transfers

Here is a new technique I wanted to try - jewellery with photo transfers. It seems to work quite well. Actually better than I've expected!
I love the results - you choose a picture and transfer it onto some smooth surface. My choice was mother of pearl. The transferred photo is translucent and takes on the colour and character of the surface underneath, so I wanted to see, how the pearlescent base would work.
It turned out pretty neat, considering this is the very first piece I made:

I like the almost antique look of this piece...

Now I just need to learn how to take good quality photos of my jewellery :-))
I need to try different chains/ threads/ ribbons and decide what this pretty lady would look the best with.

And then happened what happens when you try something new and it works out well - I became hooked! Totally! I'm transferring everything and testing colours of bases, testing different types of paper and comparing the results. Which means that you can expect more photos of the photo transfers.....

Not to make you wait for too long, here is one of the things that followed Leonardo's painting. This is a transfer from an Indian newspaper (by the way, I seems that Indians use a different type of paper for their daily media - it was more difficult to work with than anything else I have tested so far).

And since after making a few pieces I became a total pro (haha - a blessed wish!) and needed to prove myself on something more challenging than just NORMAL FLAT surface, so I used these pearl chips, that I didn't know what to do with so far, and tried to transfer the newspaper on them. Whohooo! It surprised me and although it cost me some time to finish, i like it - what do you think? I believe I have something original, finally!

Same as with the lady pendant, I just need to find what to "hang" it onto for the best effect!

Getting Wired - What's going to become of this?

I was getting some inspiration on (remember I have mentioned this site earlier on?) and I wanted to try some wirework.

But - I didn't have any dead-soft or half-hard wire, the only thing I could find very fast (ooh, did I mention, that I am very very verrrry impatient and I want everything NOW? Well, now you know) ~ I was sayin': the only thing I could find very fast was STEEL WIRE in our local hardware shop... and steel wire is extremely HARD to work with! Ouch!

This is what inspired me:

And this is how I embraced the challenge:

Let's see how the earrings look like when done...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pearl Bracelet with Crystal Beads

A friend gave me a string of grey pearls and asked if I could try to make something for her using the pearls.

This was my initial idea:

But I wasn't happy with the finish very much (mainly the clasp part) and thought I could do better. So I took pictures to see the difference and tried again. Here is the result - bracelet I gave to my friend:


Stringing was easy and pearls are really in right now - I was combining different freshwater pearls with glass chips.

Pearls with seed beads:

Pearls on striging wire and crimp beads:

Previous necklace - two of them layered:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Violet Cufflinks and a Matching Violet Bracelet

This was the very first thing I made with beads - I wanted something to train wrapped loops on... and I needed cufflinks for a certain violet shirt!

Here is a matching bracelet. Not that I would wear it all together, I just had lots of violet beads!

Monday, January 12, 2009

What a Day! Another reason to be happy!

Look what was waiting for me in front of the door! A big, big box full of possibilities!
Strings of beads and yards of wires! That calls for a celebration! Dress up and take some pictures!
Too many exclamation marks? ?!?!?!?! Suuuure! I'm crazy for this box!
Let's see... where to start... Ideas keep on pouring - I can't stop it now!

PS. If you take a picture of yourself while lying on the floor, you'll have a double chin on the photos!

I'm Stroke! First Followers!

Yay! I have first two followers! And I didn't post any pictures yet...
It actually does not mean that I have magic powers *sigh* and after a first few days the whole world knows about my brand new blog. This was actually a great idea of some great people and artists from Help one another!
What? You make jewellery but haven't heard about this site yet? Well go and check it out! You've been missing on something!
You can get answers for questions WikiPedia doesn't carry and you can buy tutorials to make things you thought are made only by Cartier! And, most importantly, you can find some friends who share the same passion...
Here is a link to tutorials page:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Where to Order?

Google is your friend if you don't have a beading supplies shop nearby.
Browse a few sellers and on-line shops (eBay has some great offers too!) and compare the prices. See what shop has exactly what you need, so you can combine prices or get cheaper shipping - just like with any other on-line shopping.
Beading and jewellery magazines have tons of advertisements for different sellers and some magazines with tutorials also give you a list of materials used, which is supercool.
Here is my favourite on-line shop so far:

I like them because your price gets better the more you shop! They have 4 different prices for each product and the moment you have 15 items in your cart, you're getting to the next price range and start savings. It's not 15 pieces of the same thing, it's 15 of anything from their catalogue!
You can also get their catalogue for free before you place any order at all:

And what is great about their catalogue is that everything is beautifully photographed and in real sizes, so it's easy to choose right if you're not a pro in sizes or colours or different stone textures etc. You will love this catalogue also because they have lots of design ideas just next to the different products - it's like your little teacher!

Hey, I'm not paid for this, believe me. It's my personal choice of the moment!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Materials - and My First Miserable Mistake

SOooooo… Beginnings are always hard. I bet you already know this. Not different with making jewellery. I have to admit, I was lying a bit in my first post. I have already received my first batch of supplies 3 weeks ago. I’m sorry. But I’m eager to share the journey and the tips, so bear with me – no more yapping anymore, just the real deal. Promise.
Beginnings are always hard. I said it already. But keep that in mind. There will be a lot of frustration before you taste the sweetness of the success – and I’m not there yet, so I definitely know what I’m talking about.

Where to start… Study some materials and MAKE UP YOUR MIND what kind of projects you would like to focus at the beginning. Buy a magazine or a book, or just use internet which has enormous resources and information totally for free. Now when you see what all possibilities there are, decide where you would like to explore your talents first – the choices are enormously endless.
You can start stringing, which is really easy and you can play with different beads and findings and create your first designs.
You can work with wire, seed beads or do chainmaille (chains with jump rings)...

Decided? So now you need materials and tools.
Don't make a mistake like me - I wanted to try a bit of everything and so I bought a bit of every material only to find, that I can hardly finish a project, because I keep missing some vital findings or don't have the right pair of pliers! My next order will be better!

Here are the main mistakes to avoid when getting your first order (and which I didn't avoid):
Get the right colours! If you're getting i.e. beads, you want to get colours that are coordinated, not just beads that looked pretty! Also get them in right sizes! Sometimes beads that are too small and beads that are really big don't look good together.
Pay attention to the metal finishes when buying wires and metal findings: i.e.silver and antiqued silver can look good together, but not always. If you're trying to make your order small or are on a budget, get one or the other first. So see if you want to coordinate things in silver/ antiqued silver, gold/ antiqued gold, copper or other metals... have a look on-line or in your local bead shop at the different metal finishes. I wanted to save money and bought some cheap gold-plated beads - they didn't look like gold at all, and worse, I couldn't combine them with copper either, it just looked too weird (not WIRED, seriously weird)!

But otherwise ordering materials and findings is FUN!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jewellery Making and a New Blog

Like many others, I have discovered a new hobby. And like many others, I have decided to chronicle my journey in a blog.
So there are many firsts - my first blog ever. My first post on my first blog. And... the first baby of my new-taken hobby.
Oh. I didn't mention what the hobby was.
I was browsing through the magazines in my local grocery shop (you do that too while waiting in the queue to the cashier, right?) and I saw this beading magazine. A quick glance through made me believe, that all these beautiful projects are REALLY EASY. I can do this! Well, the projects are not that easy, but you know what they say. If you take a journey, don't turn around.

With the magazine and a cup of chay at home, I created a vision in my head: a small store with hand-made jewellery, lots of smiley customers and everybody wearing my designs!
The vision as glossy as the magazine cover will need some working on!
I have a lot of hard work ahead! I'm not sure if I want to actually own a little shop with beads, but I am certainly looking for praise for my projects!
This blog will be my tiny space out there, a diary (maybe a week-ary) about the hardships of a beginning jewellery designer. Or shall I say "wanna-be-jewellery-designer"...

And who knows, one day a girl/ boy with a shiny magazine and shiny new ideas will have a look at these pages and find some bloody good advice and inspiration!

Well, excuse me, I have to run - my first order of supplies is on the way! Ooh - that's one more of the firsts!