Now available! - Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Volume 5 with 12 all-new designs.

Now available! - Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Volume 5 with 12 all-new designs.
Christmas Trees, snowflakes, ornaments and stars - these are just a few of the fabulous earrings in this Volume

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Volume 5..... PLUS - Modern Splendour - a Free Project!

By the time the end of November rolls around, you can feel the excitement and anticipation of Christmas building. With the countdown on 'til Christmas, there's no time to waste in getting your Christmas outfits organised. And that means planning your jewellery as well.

And that's where my latest collection of Christmas earrings can help - 12 fabulously festive earring designs presented in a downloadable ebook - Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Volume 5.
Glam up your Christmas wardrobe with this sparkly collection of 12 new earring designs for the festive season. There are designs featuring filigrees, wire wrapping and even leather, plus an extensive variety of techniques used to create the earrings.
As with past collections, these designs are truly unique and absolutely charming - the perfect way to dress up a holiday outfit or to put some Christmas spirit into your everyday clothes. This year's designs use filigrees, wire wrapping and even leather, along with a variety of construction methods to satisfy both the beginner and more advanced jewellery maker. There are Christmas trees, snow flakes, ornaments and stars. There is even a snowglobe-style design in this year's collection - something for every celebration that you're likely to attend. The ebook is available for $6.

Free Christmas Earrings Project

As a bonus for my readers, I have an extra design to kick off your Christmas crafting. It's a quick and simple project you can be wearing in around 20 minutes.

Here's what you'll need to make the Modern Splendour Christmas Tree Earrings:

String the beads on the head pin in the order shown.

Grip the head pin as close to the star bead as you can and turn a 90° angle above the pliers.

Wrap the wire around the top jaw of the round nose pliers as far as you can and then remove it and place it on the bottom jaw as show in the photo.

Continue bending the wire around the jaw until you have formed a complete loop. The tail end should cross over the front of the neck.

Grip the tail end with the chain nose pliers and wrap it neatly around the neck until all the slack has been taken up on the head pin.

Trim the wire as close to the neck as you can.

Slip the loop onto the earring wire.

To close it, press the ball against the earring wire, letting it go slightly off centre and past the wire.

Use pliers to pull it back into alignment with the earring wire and the gap will be fully closed.

Make a matching earring with the remaining components.

If you liked this charming design, then you'll love the 2016 Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings collection.
Take a look at the 12 designs included in the book here. For just $6AUD (that's around $4-50USD at the current exchange rate) you'll get a pdf with clear photos and instructions for the 12 new designs. It can be downloaded and saved to your device or printed as a hard copy. Get your copy now!

'Til next time.....


If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

How to Make Elfin Earring Wires Like a PRO

There are times when you want your handmade earrings to have a more sleek and modern look and using elfin earring wires (aka elven or almond earring wires) can do just that. It's easy to source shepherd hooks or french earring wires but finding elfin earring wires is a little more difficult so this tutorial will show you how to quickly and easily make your own. And the beauty is, you can make them in any colour or size to suit your design.

So, grab your jewellery making pliers and let's get started. Here's what you'll need:
  • Two 41mm eye pins
  • Flat nose pliers
  • A ring mandrel (or other round form to shape the earrings - a 3/4" diameter bottle works well)
  • Cup burr tool or a metal file
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler
  • Baby wipe or methylated spirits (denatured alcohol, rubbing alcohol or similar)
Place the eye pin around the outside of the ring mandrel with the loop sitting perpendicular to the mandrel. You will need to press it firmly around the form so that it is evenly curved. Repeat with the second eye pin.

Making both ear wires at the same time will help you make them the same shape.

Once you've curved both the eye pins, place them on the ruler and find the centre. Place a mark at this point.

Grip the eye pin on the tail side of the mark....

.....and use your thumb to bend the loop side of the eye pin downwards to form the hook of the earring wire. Repeat this step with the second eye pin.

If the tail end of the earring wire is rough, file it smooth with the cup burr tool or file. You don't want the end to be sharp.

Wipe away the marker with the baby wipe and you're done!

Experiment with longer and shorter eye pins and bend them at different points to make either a longer tail (photo 1) or a longer loop (photo 2). It totally changes the look of your earrings! 

For yet another look, use a head pin instead of an eye pin and thread the beads on before you bend the wire around the mandrel. This is a really clean and classy look.
Or try a combination of the two: thread a bead on an eye pin, curve it into an ear wire shape and then add a dangle to the bottom loop. 

You can even make them with 20 gauge wire instead of eye pins.  Just create your own eye pin by forming the loop at the end of the wire. Cut it to the desired length and create the almond earring wire in the same way as above. 

And for a really eye-catching look, try using fun, bright coloured wire – it’s guaranteed to get your earrings noticed!

So, for a really up-to-the-minute look for your earrings, why not have a go at making your own elfin or almond-shaped earring wires - they'll add an architectural look to your designs whilst eliminating that pesky earring wire from poking into your neck.

'Til next time......


If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Words to Live By for Jewellery Makers

Whether a jewellery maker likes to dabble on the fringes of fashion, is right up there with the latest trend or has a style that is uniquely their own, there's one surefire thing that identifies us as a tribe: it's our love of colourful and sparkly things.

In honour of that, I've gathered together a few thoughts and quotes that have resonated with me lately and teamed them with some pretty jewellery - I hope you enjoy the quotes and eye candy too!

Be classy and be fabulous... Coco says so!

Cake is just not the same without the icing on top!

Need I say more!

Live life to the full!

Be your sparkliest self!

'Til next time......

Monday, October 10, 2016

Marble-ous Resin - How to Create a Faux Marble Finish

My niece recently celebrated her 30th birthday and as the family crafter I scored all of the wooden numbers that decorated the tables that night. What a treasure for a compulsive crafter! As a thank you I promised to make one specially decorated "30" for the birthday girl to keep as a memento of the occasion. She left it in my hands to decorate it in any style I wanted but she did stipulate one thing.... that it be in her favourite colour - PINK! I knew immediately what I wanted to do - give the numbers a faux marble finish using resin. Marble is all the rage at the moment and achieving this look with resin is much easier than you might think!

This faux marble technique was developed by the clever folks at ETI more than 20 years ago and I promise you that it is super easy and gives marble-ous results!

Here's what you'll need:
Cover your work space with the painter's drop sheet.

Apply a coat of paint to the numbers to seal the wood. Choose a colour that will work with the colours you've chosen for the marbling. This base colour will give the marbling colours a little more oomph! Let the numbers dry for several hours and then elevate them on the Painter's Pyramids.

From here on in, you'll need to wear gloves. Measure out the two parts of resin in equal quantities. You'll need approximately 90ml (3oz) of mixed resin for numbers of this size. It might seem like a lot of resin for a small project but to achieve the marble finish, you need twice as much resin as you'd normally use.

The mixing instructions in the kit are really good and for best results, you should follow them to the letter. But basically, mix the two parts together for two full minutes, scraping any unmixed resin off the sides of the cup a couple of times.

Transfer the resin to a second cup.

And then mix for a further minute. This double mixing method gives reliable results so it's worth the extra effort.

Pour 7.5mls (1/4 oz) of mixed resin into a small cup and 15mls (1/2 oz) into each of the other two small cups. Add a small squirt (just a few drops) of colour into each one. Only use as much paint as it takes to make the resin opaque. If you over-do the paint, the resin will not cure properly.

Mix the paint into each cup of resin thoroughly.

You can see that the colour in these four pots is only just opaque. You don't want to add any more paint than is necessary. But if you're colours aren't quite opaque enough, just add a little more, one drop at a time.

Pour the base colour across the numbers. You want the resin to flow over the sides.

Drizzle the main feature colour across the numbers at an angle.

Use a wooden stir stick to drizzle thin strands of the two highlight colours across the numbers diagonally.

Very lightly draw the brush across the surface of the resin randomly. This will open up and soften the marble patterns in the next step.

Now comes the best part - creating the marbling. It's messy.... but fun!

Pick up the numbers and tip them sideways so the colours begin to run into each other and drip off the edge. Tilt the number in a different direction to give the marbled pattern more movement. You can continue tilting the number in any number of directions until you are happy with the look. I only tilted the numbers in two directions. If you don't like the look you've achieved, you can start again by adding more of each of the colours.

Use the paint brush to wipe away the drips underneath. Use the excess to paint resin onto the sides and underneath.

Spritz the surface lightly with rubbing alcohol to pop any bubbles that have surfaced. If using a gas torch, pass the flame briefly across the surface of the resin until the bubbles pop.

You will need to keep wiping the drips away for a couple of hours. If your numbers will also be seen from the back, whilst still wearing gloves, pick the numbers up carefully by the edges and spread the resin across the back to smooth it out. Place them back onto the Painter's Pyramids. Dispose the brush.

Then set the numbers aside in a dust free area to cure for a several hours. The manufacturer's directions tell you how long it will take according to the temperature in your work space.

I'm sure you'll agree, this is absolutely marble-ous!

'Til next time.....


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