Kits to make designer jewelry

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  • This is SOOOOO Not Working!

    I’ve been trying to do the second Kelp necklace in off loom weaving. I am having zero success. I’m looking for a swirling, organic design and the weaving is forcing it into a more geometric shape. Here is a picture of my latest attempt. It’s just got too many straight looking lines in it.

    However, all is not lost! I’ve been reading The Lone Beader’s blog, and have become inspired by the idea of doing this in bead embroidery. I think I’ll be able to get the more fluid lines to come out. Check out her wonderful embroideries!

    So keep it tuned here for more kelp fun!

  • I Finished the Kelp Necklace!!!

    I finally put together the wire wrapped kelp necklace. Here’re the pics!

    First the full view

    And now the close up

    Overall, I like this necklace. However there are a few things I’d do differently.

    1) I’d stagger the kelp leaves up their chains
    2) I’d put one starfish and one sea horse on each side
    3) I’d drop the sea horse a little lower so it could be seen thru the kelp.

    Other than that, not too bad for a first wire wrap necklace!

    I’m now working on kelp necklace #2, which is done in off loom weaving. As my challenge for this next one, I’m working in free form brick stitch. It’s interesting, because I’m such a fiend for regular structures like crystal lattice. I’m having to loosen up my style a lot. On the good side, I’m working with a color scheme I love (blues) so I only have one lesson to learn.


  • I HATE it when life gets in the way….

    It’s been weeks since I’ve updated this blog. I keep saying “when I finish the necklace, I’ll post.” However, life keeps getting in the way, and I haven’t gotten back to the necklace . So I thought I’d let you know that I’m still alive, I haven’t given up on the blog, and that the necklace will be posted soon.

    Hope you had a good Halloween, and are enjoying the Fall weather.

  • Kelp necklace progress

    I finished all the danglies today. I have to wait to go to the bead store to get some silver jump rings tho. I hope to get the final wire wrapped necklace posted in the next few days. I’m pretty excited since this is my third attempt at wire wrapping, and it turned out pretty well.

    I also decided to do the woven necklace also. I like the idea of the kelp being more “sway-y” with thread. I’m doing the base necklace is shades of turqouise blue, from light at the back of the neck, to dark in the front. I’ll then add some silver sea life charms, and the kelp after the base is done. I’m sure this one will take a bit longer since there is a fair amount of stitching to be done.

  • Hmmm, I’m rethinking that design

    After seeing how the kelp leaves hung on the chain, I’m not so sure that is the effect I want. However I really like the way the green beads and silver chain work together…..

    I’m thinking of doing something I’ve never done before. Up until now, I’ve always worked in small necklaces using stitches like double spiral chain and right angle weave. Very contained pieces. But this idea doesn’t like to be contained. It wants to wave around all over the place.

    So my current plan is to do a base necklace of freeform brick stitch in ocean blues. To mimic the waves that are near the kelp beds. Then string the kelp leaves randomly off this base. And add some more Hill Tribe silver and maybe some pearls.

    Maybe I’ll have to do the necklace two ways?

    For me, designs are sort of fluid. They can change radically as I’m working on them and see how the various parts are going together, or not LOL.

  • Where my design ideas come from

    Designs come to people in different ways. Some people get an complete design in their head, and then buy the beads. I generally get my designs from the beads themselves. Here’s an example of how a necklace design came about.

    I was at Shipwreck Beads with a friend of mine, and I saw this bead. It’s the exact color of kelp. I had to have it, so I bought a strand and took it home……

    A few weeks later, I found the matching leaf. I tried to figure out how to combine them… Thread would be too noticeable, so I decided to wire wrap them together. They looked like this

    Definitely on it’s way to kelp LOL

    Now I had to figure out how to make them sway like kelp…. I decided to hook them onto a dangling piece of chain, so they would move with the wearer. I also decided to finish off the end with some Hill Tribe Silver charms, so the kelp strand would look finished.

    I am in the process of making 5 of these strands to hang from a silver chain. I’ll post the necklace when it’s finished.

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  • Beeswax vs. Thread Heaven

    One question I see in the forum a lot is “what is the difference between beeswax and Thread Heaven?” I got the best answer for this in a class with Diane Fitzgerald.

    Beeswax is sticky, and is used when you want multiple threads to behave like one. So use it when you are using your thread doubled. It will save you from having to reposition your needle all the time at the end of the threads.

    Thread Heaven helps keep your thread from tangling. It puts a static charge on the thread so the thread acts like your hair on a very dry day — the pieces move away from each other. This keeps the thread from wrapping around itself.

  • My favorite gemstone supplier

    I’m going to share with you my “secret” gemstone seller. Her name is
    Szarka, and she sells at her ebay store “turquoise magpie”

    Szarka is immensely helpful, has absolutely wonderful prices, and ships quickly. She has the nicest gemstones I’ve seen. And she tells you what you are buying. She’s well versed in the different types of stones, and will check her beads(as in, test them with acid, heat, stress) to make sure that they are what the wholesale vendor claims they were. You can buy from her with complete confidence that you are getting what you are paying for.

    If you are looking for gemstones, definitely check out her store!

  • Don’t bother me! I’m reading my bead catalog!

    I went to the mailbox today and found my new copy of Fire Mountain Gems’ bead catalog!!!! I am always sucked into the pretty pictures and the designs that they have. It gives me a whole new set of inspiration!

    Have you ever looked at the artwork in the catalogs? There are many first class jewelry makers and artists whose work is showcased in both the Fire Mountain Gems and the Shipwreck Bead catalogs. If you are looking for good eye-candy or places for new ideas, try these out!

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