Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Color Play: Statement Necklace

This month's Pretty Palettes Challenge from Halcraft inspired me to create a collar-style necklace. I've had this style on my to-do list for a while but wasn't sure where to start. I wanted it to look very earthy and artisanal but wearable, too.

The palette gave me a good place to begin. I pulled it up on my phone while standing in the bead aisle at Michaels. I chose beads that have a variety of textures and shapes in a blend of glass and stone. They're pretty close to the same size - about 6mm - but the gray beads on the lower row are a bit larger than the rest to give it some visual weight at the bottom. I used heavy 18-gauge Artistic Wire to create the beaded wires.

It was a little challenging to figure out how to hook everything together! Here's a close-up so you can see the head pin running down through the beads and loops at the end of each section. I made a loop at the bottom of the head pin and covered it with a crimp cover. (Sneaky, huh?!) 

Check out all of the other inspiring designs over on the Halcraft blog. Or, post your own blog link to reveal what you're making for the challenge!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DIY Bangle Bracelets and More

I'm heading back to JTV's Jewel School on Monday 10-noon EST with lots of jewelry making ideas for Fall using products from Beadalon. We're making DIY bangle bracelets, beading rosary-style necklaces and talking about wire! It's going to be fun and inspiring, so be sure to tune in. 

You can see that I'm still channeling the year of Radiant Orchid in the bracelets shown here. I promise there will be other colors on the show, too ;)

Looking for more ideas to kickstart your creativity? You can also check out a preview of Beads, Baubles & Jewels over on YouTube. The new season starts airing in some areas as early as October 30th. The new projects will also be online that week. 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Making Jewelry Displays

Using a picture frame is one of my favorite ways to display jewelry. I love the way it highlights the piece and makes it look like a little work of art. I remove the glass and cut a piece of cork board to fit inside the frame so I can pin the jewelry in place.

This necklace and earring set is called Fly Away Home. I made it for a silent auction that's raising money for Riley Hospital for Children. The list gives the title and the various components, which include a Katiedids™ pendant, Swarovski crystals and pearls, Indian leather from Leather Cord USA and findings from Beadalon. I also included cards with my bio and website.

I also like to use traditional necklace busts to display my jewelry. They show how well the piece will drape when it's worn. Using busts give you the option of layering pieces together to maximize your space and encourage multiple purchases. 

These necklaces use Leather Cord USA round cord and Dakota Stones large-hole beads from Artbeads. I made them for the upcoming season of Beads, Baubles & Jewels. Set your DVR - it starts at the end of this month!

For bracelets, I'm a big fan of rolled-up decorative paper. Choose paper that provides a nice, neutral background and doesn't compete with your jewelry. Tape the ends together so the paper doesn't get messed up when people want to try something on. A cardboard tube inside the paper adds some durability, too. 

I made all of these designs with the Jewel Loom using beads and findings from Michaels. You'll find the loomed bracelet instructions here at

Have you seen all of the beautiful jewelry displays on Pinterest? I could look at those all day!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Make it Tonight, Wear it Tomorrow

You know I'm all about the instant gratification jewelry! Here's a DIY beaded necklace that I made this evening at the dining room table while the kids were otherwise occupied. There are a couple of tricks, though: 

1. I chose these beads ahead of time using Erin's Pretty Palettes Challenge for this month. 2. I already had a design in mind. I wanted to try this idea of connecting beaded strands to thick chain. 3. I assembled all of the supplies that I "might" need and put them in a tray that I could move, just in case I got interrupted before I finished the necklace.

This palette was created by Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds. The multicolor Bead Gallery® beads inspired my other choices. I went with golden tones (again!) to bring out the subtle yellow color. You'll notice I didn't use any black. I kept it a little more summery. Black accents would definitely work between the beads, if you want to wear it with your LBD. I'm wearing it tonight with this T-shirt, jeans and gold flats:

I like the mix of metallic spikes and girly crystals. Works with a dress or a T! For more Pretty Palettes inspiration, visit the inspiration blog at and check out the links at the bottom of the big reveal. If you're a blogger, feel free to join us next month! The more the merrier :)

Beads provided by Bead Gallery®; wire and crimps from Beadalon®; dress image found on and shirt image found on 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

See You Saturday!

Beadalon's first-ever Factory Tent Sale is this Saturday, Sept. 20, in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. I'll be there with Design Team Members Wyatt White, Fernando Dasilva, Meredith Roddy, Sandra Lupo and Leslie Rogalski to demonstrate some of our favorite techniques and answer your beading questions. Of course, there will also be great deals on all kinds of merchandise. If you live in the greater Philadelphia area (or want to visit), come on over and see us!

I'm demonstrating the Knot-a-Bead tool with my Katiedids™ channel findings. The Knot-a-Bead is a tabletop knotter that allows you to work with both hands as you knot. You can use it with lots of different types of cords from silk to leather, hemp and more. Check it out: Candie Cooper has a great knotting tutorial on her blog and there's another pretty, knotted necklace over at Beads, Baubles & Jewels

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Fresh Fall Looks

I'm off to Knoxville, TN for the Jewel School Live Show (Wednesday 10-noon EST) and Customer Appreciation Event this week. I'm presenting a bunch of fresh ideas for Fall jewelry making using new kits from Leather Cord USA

This is one of my favorite collections. It's an example of some of the different things you can make with 1.5mm round leather cord. You'll have to tune in to see the rest! I'll demonstrate how to make the middle bracelet on the show. I used a Jewel Loom to make the bracelet on the left. The cuff on the right uses new distressed leather strap.

I even had to pack an extra carry-on bag for these girls! Hope to see you in class or online!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Labor Day Giveaway

Jewelry making is a labor of love and I'm sure there will be lots of jewelry making going on this Labor Day weekend! I've been doing some stamping on leather and I'm just loving it. I might even break out some metal blanks this weekend and get really busy.

Beaducation sent me some of their most popular stamps to give away to one lucky blog reader. Besides being fun and trendy, their  design stamps are also:
     - made in the USA from USA steel
     - precision engraved for sharp, clear designs
     - made from tempered steel for extreme durability
     - engraved so you know where to hold your thumb for proper positioning

This stash-building set includes these original design stamps: two 3mm love birds, "three flowers", spiral bracket and the (currently) sold-out sugar skull. The winner will also receive a DVD of six popular video classes for a total retail value of $64. Pretty awesome, right?

It's easy to enter! Please click on the Rafflecopter box below. US Residents only, please, and bonus points for following Beaducation and/or Beads, Baubles & Jewels on Facebook. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beaducation is a new sponsor of the show and we're super thrilled to have them on board! Here's stamping pro Lisa Niven Kelly and me outside the set of Beads, Baubles & Jewels with our Beaducation goodies in-hand.