Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Tassel Time!

I love tassels of all kinds, from chain to beads and every kind in-between. This is an old necklace that I updated for my Tucson trip by adding a leather tassel to the bottom. Now, it's one of my favorites again!

The dream catcher-looking component is an Artistic Wire® Wrappers circle pendant from Beadalon. I wrapped it with 22-gauge wire and Swarovski crystals and pearls from Dreamtime Creations. The leather tassel is from Leather Cord USA and I used a thick gauge TierraCast jump ring to attach it to the pendant. The giant Swarovski crystal bead at the top gives the pendant some nice weight and prevents it from sliding around when you're wearing the necklace. 

It's an easy DIY for girls' night or makes a good, meditative project when you need to de-stress! Here's a video of an old favorite project with a similar theme from my friend Fernando Dasilva.

You'll find more ideas like this on my Pinterest boards and over at All of the products I used here are from our sponsors on the program. They love to hear from viewers, so please let them know you love watching BBJ by leaving a note on their Facebook pages! 

Dreamtime Creations
LeatherCord USA

Also sponsoring Beads, Baubles & Jewels: Bead Gallery by Halcraft; Bead Storage Solutions; Beaducation; Miyuki BeadsDakota Stones; Artbeads

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pretty Palettes: Jewelry Inspired by the Sky

This month's Pretty Palettes Inspiration is an amazing photo from the NASA website, where there's a different picture of the universe every day.

I love the description of this picture: "To some, it may look like a portal into the distant universe. To others, it may appear as the eye of a giant. Given poetic license, both are correct. Pictured above is a standard fisheye view of the sky — but with an unusual projection. The view is from a perch in New Zealand called Te Mata Peak, a name that translates from the Maori language as “Sleeping Giant”. The wondrous panorama shows the band of our Milky Way Galaxy right down the center of the sky, with the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds visible to the right. The red hue is atmospheric airglow that surprised the photographer as it was better captured by the camera than the eye..." (from  

My dragon-obsessed daughter would probably think it's the eye of a dragon. Whatever you want to call it, this unusual glimpse at the sky inspired me to create this necklace: 

I'm calling it my Sky Portal Necklace. I chose the pink and purple Bead Gallery® beads first and they kept winding themselves into a circle like the "eye" in the photo. The wire had to be antique brass to reflect the color palette, but it took me a little while to figure out how to make a circular component that would look somewhat ethereal but be substantial enough to hold its shape. 20-gauge German-Style wire from Beadalon turned out to be the ticket. I added a double-strand of beaded chain to work in a little more color.

Share your own designs and see what Erin Prais-Hintz, Molly Schaller, Andrew Thornton and other Pretty Palettes Challenge participants are making this month over on the Halcraft Inspiration Blog.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Create TV: Hooray!

Beads, Baubles & Jewels will air on Create® TV starting February 6th! 

Mondays and Fridays at 11:30am and 5:30pm EST

Create® TV is a nationwide channel delivered courtesy of your local public television station. Presenting the best of public television's lifestyle programs, Create TV is produced and distributed by American Public Television (APT), WNET and WGBH Boston in association with NETA and PBS.

Create® TV is currently brought to you by local public television stations in markets across the country, representing more than 76% of households in the United States. This means that Create TV may be seen in the majority of major US markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Detroit, Tampa, Seattle, Cleveland, Charlotte, Orlando, Miami, Denver, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh. Check your cable or satellite provider to find Create TV.

If you don’t have cable, don’t worry! Create TV is also offered as a free, digital television broadcast service by many local public television stations. To receive Create TV this way, you must have a recent model television set or a converter box that has a new DTV tuner built in. On local digital television broadcasts, Create TV is typically available as an additional 'multicast' service provided by your local public television station. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Learn, Shop & Share in Tucson

Photo from
It's almost time for the Tucson Gem Shows again - I'm getting excited! I've even starting packing my bags a little early. (Which is so very unlike me!) I think it's because Tucson is a great place to be in February: decent weather, my beady peeps are there and Beads, Baubles & Jewels is on TV four days a week on Arizona Public Media! Here are a few highlights:

I'll be demonstrating jewelry making techniques with some of my friends in the wholesale room at at To Bead True Blue all week from February 1-6. There are lots of new products to see this year! I'll be with Leather Cord USA 10-1 and Beadalon 3-6 each day. I'll also be stopping by to hang out with TierraCast and BeadMaster, so come and say hi if you're in town for the shows! 

Join me Wednesday night at the Beads of Courage HQ in the Metal Arts Village to learn how to make this bracelet trio. Leather Cord USA, Beadalon, Dakota Stones, TierraCast and ImpressArt are providing the supplies so the $30 fee goes to benefit this awesome program for kids who are dealing with long-term illnesses and their families  Relax, have fun, and let's make some jewelry together!

Ashley Bunting will be demonstrating jewelry making techniques for Xuron and is teaching four super cool classes at To Bead True Blue. This coiled parachute cord bracelet is one of her classes and it's from her new book, Fiber &; Cord Jewelry. I'm hoping she'll present her secret technique on Beads, Baubles &; Jewels next season!

Candie Cooper will be designing on the fly in the Jesse James Beads booth again this year. Don't you love their sparkly bead combos? Check out her book, Earringology, for fresh ideas on earrings, along with sketches so you can see her design process. I'm planning to stop by the booth just so I can see how Candie and Sarah accessorize their cute fashions with a new necklace/bracelet/earring combo each day!

Catherine Bickford is doing several Art Night Out classes this year, too. One workshop is the Talisman Necklace that she presented on Beads, Baubles & Jewels. Learn how to choose symbols with personal meaning, gemstone attributes, emboss/patina metal and do easy wire-wrapping. Fun!

Check out all of the To Bead True Blue workshops and demonstrations with the artists you've seen on Beads, Baubles & Jewels: Susan Lenart Kazmer, Christi Friesen, Lisa Pavelka, Julie Picarello, Jodie Bombardier, Linda Hartung, Stephanie Eddy, Lauren Andersen The Chainmaille Lady, Kieu Pham Gray. Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 16, 2015

DIY Leather Jewelry and More

It's a brand-new season of Beads, Baubles & Jewels! We're kicking it off with Melissa Cable, author of Beautiful Leather Jewelry. I especially love her easy technique for creating ripple-effect leather and bead bracelets! It's so simple but it makes a huge difference in making bracelets that lay nicely on the wrist. 

In my Beading Lesson, we'll focus on some instant gratification wire wrapping using Bead Gallery® beads from Halcraft USA with Artistic Wire®. I'm loving gemstone nuggets right now and they make great focal points for dramatic rings.

You can watch on your local PBS station or tune in online Friday, Jan.16th at noon EST where episode #2101 will run for a week. I hope you'll join us this season as we create Today's Heirlooms with new twists on traditional jewelry-making techniques!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

How do you feel about New Year's resolutions? I always say I'm over them, but then I end up making a few unofficial ones anyway. This year, I want to worry less and celebrate more! This month's Bead Gallery® Pretty Palettes challenge is perfect for tonight's celebrations...

I love the mixed metallics and wanted some pointy or triangular beads to mimic the geometric look. And, can you see the little disco balls peeking out from amongst the flowers? I wanted some beads that would recreate that effect, too.

I headed over to Michaels and grabbed a big, sparkly pendant, crystal beads on a chain, gold-plated spikes, black teardrop beads and the gold chain you see here. I started laying out the beads and then decided on a cascade effect for maximum sparkle. 

Check out everyone else's designs for the Pretty Palettes challenge over on the Halcraft inspiration blog. You'll also find tons of inspiration in my book, Necklaces 101 (Hot Off The Press). And, be sure to check out Erin Prais-Hintz's tips for choosing beads on Beads, Baubles & Jewels. Here's to a creative, fun 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

DIY Metal Bangles, Leather Cuff Bracelets & More

It's bracelet mania this week on Beads, Baubles & JewelsPatti Bullard stops by to make metal bangle bracelets and talk about different kinds of pliers. I show how to make a  leather cuff bracelet and embellish it in a variety of ways, including stamping. You can watch the whole episode by scrolling to the bottom of the homepage. Or, check your local PBS schedule for current listings. 

Earlier this month, we filmed the next series of the show, which will start airing on TV in May 2015. We have a great variety of guests and projects with lots of inspiration and ideas! There's something for everyone, whether you want to get started making jewelry or are looking for ways to take your projects to the next level.

Wyatt White introduces some exciting new tools, Ashley Bunting shares a fresh take on parachute cord, Erin Prais-Hintz and l talk about planning a jewelry making party, and lots more. Be sure to follow Beads, Baubles & Jewels on Facebook for weekly updates.

Did you know you can access all of the projects you see on Beads, Baubles & Jewels for free? No registration is necessary and there's an overview of each series so you can pick your favorites. There's also a special deal on DVDs - hurry while it lasts!