Monday, April 14, 2014

Summer Jewelry Ideas

I know everyone is sick of talking about the weather, but I just can't help myself. It was suddenly almost 80 degrees here this weekend and we are all ready for summer! Cleaned off the grill, broke out the flip flops, started moving sweaters to the back of the closet...never mind that it might snow again tomorrow. Crazy weather.

In the midst of our blustery winter, Halcraft USA, Inc. sent me a batch of beads from their new spring line for Michaels. There's lots of good stuff and I loved seeing their take on the coming spring/summer jewelry trends. Here are a few of the things I made:

This necklace is a little bit Bohemian, a little bit Southwestern and a whole lotta stylish, if I do say so myself. I like the way the triangle pendants look with the chevrons and triangle beads. View the complete Free Spirit Necklace materials and instructions over at

You know I love bangle bracelets! This one is a double-strand made of memory wire. The secret is connecting the ends of the wire behind one of the sliders so the loops are hidden. My friend Fernando Dasilva is the first person who really showed me how well sparkles go with stones. Now, I can't get enough of mixing them together. 

My favorite thing about this necklace is the juxtaposition of the romantic-looking flower focal piece with the edgier-looking spikes. I like the idea that you don't have to be all one way or the other, you can have a bit of both. 

What will be your go-to jewelry this summer? Let's pin some ideas on our boards and get to work!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

I Heart Knotting

My adventures in professional jewelry design started with hemp jewelry and I still love it after all these years. The techniques are simple and result in pretty, wearable jewelry. My daughter is eight and I think she's ready to try her hand at it. 

I made these samples for my appearance on JTV's Jewel School 10am-noon EST.  I'll be showing my first book, Hemp Jewelry: It's Knot Hard, along with a variety of Beadalon tools, findings and stringing materials for your jewelry making stash. Tune in! It's going to be a fun morning. 

Knotting is a traditional technique that's back in the spotlight lately. The knots prevent the beads from rubbing against each other, which is why pearls are usually knotted. Knotting also prevents loss if the strand should happen to break. I used Beadalon's new tabletop Knot-a-Bead tool to make this knotted stone strand. It's easy to do and this color block style is a nice way to work with your favorite color palette or use up leftover beads. 

If you need more jewelry TV this week (and who doesn't?!), I'm showing how one simple stitch allows you to add beads to a leather cuff on Beads, Baubles & Jewels. The full episode airs all week until Friday at noon EST on the homepage. Jen Van Benschoten and Jean Campbell introduce us to block print embroidery and square stitch.

Have you already joined our Beads, Baubles & Jewels Facebook group? Viewers share photos of their projects, knotted, beaded, wired and more - It's exciting to see what everyone's making. See you there!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Crystallize Your Shoes!

This week on Beads, Baubles & Jewels, Crystal Ninja Kellie DeFries shows you all the secrets to gluing crystals to your shoes quickly and permanently using her Crystal Katana and Swarovski Crystal flat backs from Dreamtime Creations

Bead Pro Jean Campbell shows how to make simple beaded picot, brick stitch and whipstitch edgings to cover the exposed thread edges on your beadwork. 

Plus, learn how to make my favorite wire-wrapped earrings with a little bit of Twisted Artistic Wire and a handful of Bead Gallery round beads!

Episode #2011 is online until Friday at noon EST. Find Beads, Baubles & Jewels on your local public television station. On the next show, we're stitching beads onto fabric and leather for beautiful, textured designs. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bead & Button Workshops

It's getting closer...the Bead & Button Show will be here before we know it! There's still time to register for my classes! I'd love to see you in Milwaukee. This year, I'm doing two samplers and a bead-weaving class. 

Turquoise never goes out of style and we'll have lots of it in this class! As an added bonus, Beadalon is providing an Acrylic Tying Station for each participant. The new tool makes it easy to make shamballa style and other knotted bracelets using cording or Beadalon wire.

When's the last time you made an entire set of jewelry in under three hours? It's going to be fast, but we're going to do it! Each participant in this class will also receive a new Findings Forms ear wire tool from Beadalon so we can make our own ear wires. Yay!

This class will have some color choices - if you're registered, I'll email photos to you so you can choose in advance. Can't wait to see you in Milwaukee!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Recycled Cuffs, Loomwork and more

We're trying some new things this week on Beads, Baubles & Jewels! Laura Timmons shares one of her great ideas for upcycled (that's recycled with flair, sister) jewelry. Learn how to turn a men's tie into a bracelet and then add some sparkle with crystals and wire. 

Julianna Hudgins shows us how to use Czech glass tile beads on the Jewel Loom to make a pretty mosaic bracelet. If you haven't tried looming, it's easier than it looks! I'm starting on some cool summer bracelets now.

I also show the trick behind those colorful bib necklaces with all of the big dangles (hint: it involves chain). Join us! You can watch episode #1910 of Beads, Baubles & Jewels online this week until Friday at noon EST. 

Have you already seen our first-ever newsletter? Click the link to check it out and subscribe for an inside look at the show.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Yllätys! (That's surprise in Finnish)

I was so surprised when I opened a package this week and saw this book with my coiled memory wire bracelet on the front. And, name is on the front, too? It turns out my book Live Wire Jewelry has been translated into Finnish! So cool. 

It's fun to see a fresh take on the cover. This photo also appears inside the book - I remember loving the aqua background the photographer chose because it looks so pretty with the crystal copper and indicolite Swarovski Elements. I also like the way they used a purple title on the translation. It's a nice nod to the original cover but still feels new.

Here's the original cover. I remember the dilemma about which project to highlight. The publisher wanted something that would appeal to beginners and more advanced jewelry makers, too. I taught this project using Katiedids™ components at the Bead & Button Show and it was a hit. Like most of the projects in the book, it's not complicated to make, but you layer the elements together to make it look that way. 

Here's a peek at some of the other projects, just in case you haven't seen the book. If you want the English-language version of Live Wire Jewelry, drop me a line through my website at My online shop is under construction, but I have some signed copies available for $20 including shipping. 

Have a great, creative day!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bead Stringing & Metalwork this week on Beads, Baubles & Jewels

Beads, Baubles & Jewels Episode #1909 is available online this week until EST noon on Friday. I kick off the show with some ideas for linking components together to create easy, eye-catching statement necklaces. Then, Candie Cooper shows how to create beautiful, boutique-style multi strand bracelets. Next, Wubbers Inventor Patti Bullard shares tips for making your own wire links and using the same technique to create a hidden clasp. I'm back at the end of the show for a lesson on using pre-linked beads to make a scalloped necklace.