Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I don't have much to say about this set except that I like it. I'd had the blue glass beads in my stash for a while. I'd never thought of combining them with the turquoise before this experimentation, but I really like how it all turned out. I also like the packaging. The patterned card stock really makes it fun.

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Monday, December 22, 2008


Amy's got sort of a punky hippy style about her. She's also a high school teacher and a mom of four, so she doesn't have time to be all high-maintenance. My plan was to make her something teacherish, but every time I opened my bead box, this fish kept (figuratively) jumping out at me. I finally realized why; Amy is the quintessential fisher of men. She gathers souls for God.

I wanted the focal piece to look like a line of fish just pulled from the river, lures and bobbers and lines still attached. It's easily removable (for days when she doesn't feel like hefting a line full of dead fish), and the beaded necklace is substantial enough to stand on its own. I used a ribbon closure again, which I think works well here. (One trick I discovered with Kristie's necklace was knotting the ends of the ribbon and then closing crimp covers around the knots. That was much easier than threading beads onto the ribbon!)

The earrings are simple, but they really capture Amy's style. I think that's what I like most about them.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008


Grace cannot stand the idea of a picture being taken without her in it. So I only got in a few shots of this necklace before she jumped in to help. And I can't complain, cause with those big blue eyes, she makes everything look better.

This is actually one of my favorite custom pieces so far. I bought these stone disks from Fire Mountain Gems for next to nothing. (They were in the clearance section, and I needed just a few more items to get my order into the lower pricing category, so buying them actually saved me money.) From the time they arrived they seemed to whisper "Kristie." I was happy to discover she had a birthday coming up so I had a good excuse to listen to the beads. (Always listen to the beads!)

One of the things I like most about this is that I think I really captured Kristie's style. I often see her wearing this, and that makes me really glad.

This was the first time I tried a ribbon closure. I really like the look and the versatility, but after a few months of wear I've noticed the ribbon is looking a little tired. A sturdier cotton or grosgrain might work better. But on the other hand, this ribbon is just cheap by-the-spool stuff (50 cents for like a million feet), so I could replace the ribbon a bunch of times for less than the pricier by-the-yard stuff. Always that balancing act between durability and economy!

I can't take credit for this pink piece because Kristie made it at a jewelry party at my house a few months back. I love it though, and every time she wears it I'm jealous that I didn't think of making it myself. She used beads I'd had in my stash for ages but hadn't figured out how to use.


I did a couple new things with this set. The earrings are made from from 3 inch headpins. I slid the beads into place and then shaped it into an ear wire. I like the streamlined look a lot, but it was hard to get two matching ear wires, with just the same curves and angles. (A jig would solve that problem, but I'm cheap. Have I mentioned that?)

This clasp caught my eye several months ago, and I'd been looking for a way to use it for some time. I like the way the loop is beaded and incorporated into the rest of the bracelet. I haven't tried this before (or since), so I'm not sure how well it will hold up to wear. But Abby says so far so good.

These turquoise beads were another clearance deal from Fire Mountain Gems. I'd say materials probably cost me about $2.00 for the set. Everything went together pretty quickly, except for the clasp, which took some finagling. I probably spent 2 or 3 hours all together.

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Monday, September 15, 2008


I like the look of this set -- kind of a retro modern combination, with the bulky pink orbs spaced between clear glass. I'm pleased with how it turned out. I especially like the adjustable clasp, with the alternating sections of oval links and round split rings. It's really sturdy, but pretty and functional too.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Britta & Brielle

This was my first mommy-daughter bracelet set. I like how it turned out, but I don't think I'll make a lot like this in the future. I used mostly crystal beads and sterling silver components, both of which are kind of pricey. For a baby gift, I'm more willing to spend extra money for high quality components to make a piece that really lasts. Unfortunately, these didn't seem to wear well. I gave these to Britta spring-ish 2008, before Brielle was born. She loaned them back to me to photograph several months later (Feb 2009). By then, the sterling parts had tarnished and the crystals were somewhat scratched. I cleaned it up for the photo, but the luster on the non-sterling components (the chain on Britta's bracelet) still looks better.

Britta also mentioned that the sharp edges on the crystal had scratched Brielle when she was a newborn, so she didn't wear it much till she got a little older.

I couldn't find a suitably dainty chain for the closure on Brielle's bracelet, so I linked several jump rings together. I won't be doing that again. That process took way too much time, and the result is not as strong as a length of commercial chain. But, at least if it does break, Britta knows where to go to get it fixed.

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