Iridescent Green Pearls and Maple Silk Necklace

I really adore designing with pearls. I have always loved using natural pearls, however I tend to reach for Swarovski pearls more often. Besides the luscious colors they are offered in, they lend the benefit of uniformity, plus they are offered in a variety of sizes all the while maintaining a soft and natural look. More and more they seem to be a go-to for me when I am creating.

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I’ve had my eye on these Large Iridescent Green Pearls for a while, and I’m so happy with how this necklace turned out. The green iridescent pearls are large hole pearls, which can be really handy in some designs depending on what you are wanting to do. I didn’t need them to have large holes for this project however, what I was drawn to is that they are 16mm and I love big beads! I think they look completely luxurious paired with the gold and brown in this design.

Materials:

Directions:

  1. Run your wire through a crimp bead, a wire protector and back through the crimp bead. Use your crimping pliers to crimp the bead.
  2. String your beads in the following order: princess crystal, beadcap, pearl, beadcap, princess crystal, beadcap, pearl, beadcap… and continue until you have used all the beads listed, the last bead strung being a princess crystal.
  3. Slide a crimp bead and a wire protector onto the end. Run the wire back through the crimp bead, and the end crystal. Pull this taught, then crimp the bead using your crimping pliers. Trim any excess wire.
  4. Open your jumprings and attach one to each wire protector at the ends of the strand you just completed.
  5. Cut two pieces of ribbon about 2&½’ long each (longer of you want a longer necklace). Run a ribbon through each of the jump-rings so that you essentially have two long ribbons on each side.
  6. To wear, simply tie the ribbons behind your neck in a bow… it looks beautiful from the back too! If you’ve got long hair, wear it up!

Do you use Swarovski pearls in your designs? Have you used the large hole pearls? If so, in what kind of designs do the large holes come in handy? Please leave us a comment and let us know!

Happy Creating!

Shelly

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Italian Leather Bracelet

Have you seen the new You Collection from TierraCast yet? Such great pieces to play with… I love all the positive messages. The rectangular links work great with the 10mm flat leather. I was really drawn to using the Italian leather… not only is it a beautiful, high quality leather, it’s also nice and soft.

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My wrist is 6.25 inches, so I cut the leather to 5.25 inches, which is pretty perfect. It is nice and fitted, if you like it looser adjust accordingly.

To make this bracelet, you will need a Leather Hole Punch tool, a Nylon Jaw Bracelet Bending Plier, a Leather Cord Straight Cutter and a pair of flat nose pliers.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Measure and trim your leather as necessary.
  2. Line up your centerpiece and press a dot with a pen in the holes to mark your two spots (or see our Handy Tip below*).
  3. Punch the holes using your leather hole punch.
  4. Put the two pieces of the rivet set through the hole with the centerpiece in place. Press firmly with the flat nose pliers to compress the rivets and hold everything in place.
  5. Repeat steps two through four with the rivets and the Link Strap Tips.
  6. Gently and carefully bend the rectangle link using the Nylon Jaw Bracelet Bending Plier so that it conforms to your wrist.
  7. Use your small jump-rings to attach the Mag-Lok clasp.
  8. Use the medium jump-rings to attach the drops.

*Handy Tip:

Use a White Opaque Pen on the leather for easier, and more accurate, hole punching!

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Variations:

As always, make it your own and use pieces that you feel drawn to using and that speak to you! Here are some other options to get your creative juices flowing:

Have fun and enjoy!

Robyn.

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Glass Leaves Necklace

I tend to be drawn to anything having to do with leaves or trees in jewelry and jewelry making supplies. I also always enjoy working with glass components. So naturally, the glass leaf drops have quickly become a favorite of mine. I absolutely love that the brass loop at the top is built in, it makes designing with them a snap!

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I tend to make a lot of asymmetrical designs. I like that it makes the piece just a little more visually intriguing, and adds a level of uniqueness to it.  I literally saw this necklace in my mind’s eye the moment I picked up these pretty glass leaves.

I’m quite happy with how it turned out… especially the asymmetry of it, as the leaves hang really nicely. Mixing brown with pink has always been a favorite of mine and since Marsala is the color of the year this necklace feels especially fitting (if you could combine these two colors, it would make Marsala!).

Do you ever pick up components, and instantly see the finished design in your mind’s eye? What has inspired you in this way recently? Leave a comment and let us know!

Materials:

Directions:

  1. Cut three lengths of chain. Two lengths at 10&½” and one length at 2&¾”.
  2. Open your large, 8mm round jump-ring and slide the end of each of your three chains onto the jump-ring and close it. The shortest length will drop down in the front of the necklace.
  3. Use your two small jump-rings to attach both parts of the clasp to both ends of the long lengths of chain.
  4. Open the loop at the top of a Smoked Topaz leaf just as you would a jumpring or simple loop and attach it to the very last link of your short length of chain in the front of the necklace. Above that link of chain, leave three links open, and on the fourth one, attach a rose leaf. Again leaving three links open, on the fourth add another smoked topaz leaf. Repeat this pattern until you have added three leaves of each color and you are to the top of the short length of chain and center of the necklace.
  5. Choose a side of the necklace to attach the rest of your leaves to. Attach a brown leaf to the next link of chain, after the one that is attached to the large center jump-ring. Continue with the same previous pattern of skipping three chain links, and attaching a leaf to the forth one, rotating colors until you’ve used all your leaves. And you are done!

Variations:

  1. The glass leaves come in a few shapes and multiple colors, you could mix and match as many as you would like!
  2. Not a fan of the asymmetrical look? run leaves up both sides of the necklace!
  3. Maybe mixing in some metal leaf charms would look nice?
  4. How about mixing in some lucite leaves?

Have fun and make it your own!

Happy Creating!

Shelly

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Leaf Shield Leather Wrap Bracelet

Every now and again something in the shop crosses my path and instantly I know I want to make something with it. That’s how I felt when I first saw the Deer Skin Lace Leather. It’s so incredibly soft, it was love at first sight.  Since it’s pretty thin, I figured a wrap bracelet was the way to go. Then I found these Leaf Shield Sliders and the idea was born.

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Of course, then I had to figure out how to finish it off and attach it all.

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I’m glad I ended up making one black and one brown for this tutorial. This leather is handmade, which means that there will naturally be slight variations. The black leather is thicker than the brown… so while I was able to get six strands of brown leather through the slider, I could only get four strands of the black. The brown leather is doubled up, so I used one rivet for two strands of leather.

This also meant that I needed to use a different end piece as the black was too thick for the Bamboo End Bar Link. I found that the Slotted D-Ring Link worked perfectly for four stands of black leather.

I used this awesome leather hole punch to easily make holes in the leather and simply pinched the rivet set together using a pair of flat nose pliers.

Since we got the TierraCast You Collection in this week I wanted some of these great, new pieces to be a part of the design. I finished it off with a Mag-Lok Magnetic Clasp because I like being able to put on, and take off, my jewelry quickly and easily.

I like that they feel modern and hip, but also kinda Lord of the Rings at the same time :)

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Check out these great new pieces from TierraCast…

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My wrist is pretty small at 6.25 inches, so adjust the instructions to fit your wrist!

Materials for Brown Leather Wrap Bracelet:

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More of the new TierraCast charms…

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Materials for Black Leather Wrap Bracelet:

Instructions:

  1. Cut the leather and slide it through the leaf slider. If you are making the brown leather bracelet, stack the six pieces of leather so that you have three strands, in two layers to put through the slider.
  2. Working with just one side of the bracelet, thread the leather through the bamboo end bar or the D-Ring, depending on which you are using.
  3. Carefully fold over the end of the leather, and punch through both layers (remember that the brown leather will be doubled, so you will do two pieces together, punching through four layers) with the leather hole punch. Insert both the top and bottom pieces of the rivet set and clamp down tightly with a flat nose plier.
  4. Repeat step three for all strands of leather on one side. Then repeat steps two and three for the other end of the bracelet.
  5. Attach your Mag-Lok magnetic clasp, drops and link (for the brown bracelet) with the jump-rings.

Variations:

Of course there are tons of other charms, drops and links to choose from: both TierraCast and Nunn Design have a great selection. Pick ones that you like and resonate with you!

Have Fun!

Robyn.

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Ribbon Channel Bracelet

Have you ever started a fresh project with a vision in mind, but weren’t really sure how to make it all happen how you wanted? I very often have other jewelry makers around me to bounce ideas off of, which is fantastic. However, my creative moods tend to hit me late at night when it’s just me at home, and for this project there was no one around to bounce my ideas off of.

I’ve been really attracted to making something with the  arrow feathers ribbon for a while now. The other day, I picked up a channel cuff bracelet, and it was like a light bulb turned on. I scurried over to the ribbon, and YES! It fit perfectly into the channel cuff!

RCB6So now I had to figure out the details of how to make my vision work. This really ended up being kind of an experimental project that I wasn’t sure I would share here, but I decided to anyway. I think the design isn’t perfect and there is room to make improvements and do things differently. I decided I would share with you what I came up with one evening, and perhaps this blog post can become more of a conversation. Perhaps you all can be inspired and give some feedback on how this could be done better, or different? Perhaps the comments you leave will allow the conversation to happen that I wish I’d had when I was making this!

We had a cold snap here recently, and there are a couple of drafty windows in my home. I had one of the 3M plastic window covering kits sitting out which comes with a strong double sided tape. I decided to use this to lay the ribbon down into the channel. I thought about using an adhesive, but I was nervous that it may soak through and affect how the ribbon looked… I was also a bit hesitant to just use the tape, wondering if this would stand the test of time, but for now, it’s functional. What would you use to lay the ribbon in the channel?  I wonder about laying something along the edges so they don’t fray with wear? Maybe gluing down some skinny leather cord? Maybe playing with resin?

RCB1After I had my ribbon layed down into the channel with the tape, I needed to figure out how I would finish the ends…obviously the ends of the cut ribbon would fray if I didn’t secure them somehow.

 

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I had some extra fish leather nearby from another project, and decided to cut a couple of rectangle pieces and rivet them over the ends. I trimmed the excess ribbon close to the cuff and sized the leather by laying it over the ends.

 

RCB3I picked out  4 Micro Washers, and 2 rivet sets. I used my hole punch to punch a hole in the end where I would place the rivets. Honestly, I think the metal was too thick for this hole punch and I was a little afraid of breaking it. Also I needed to expand the hole bigger than it was, so I placed the hole punch a couple more times to make the hole big enough to get the rivets through… as I said, this is experimental, or perhaps a first draft would be more appropriate. It was also kind of a pain to do this after I had applied the ribbon, next time I would punch the holes first.

If you have never used the rivet sets, they are a breeze to use. There are two parts that fit into each other, and depending on the project, I have literally just set them by pinching them together tightly with pliers.

I used a Micro Washer on the front and back side, and set the rivets. I did end up holding the end over my workbench and giving the rivets a tiny rap with a hammer for good measure.

RCB4Honestly, I wasn’t so sure about the leather ends idea, but now I really like the look of it. It also provides a level of comfort when wearing it, as the ends of the cuff are soft leather and kind of cushioned. Perhaps there is another way I could have ended it that would look more finished? Or maybe the rustic look of the leather is just right? How would have you dealt with the ends?

RCB5The third thing I did was inspired by the fact that I just used double sided tape to hold the ribbon down. I felt like I need to secure it more, so why not rivet an apple blossom right in the middle? Again, I was a little afraid of breaking the only hole punch I had available at the time… they are really meant for softer metal but I was gentle, and it did the intended job with just a little finessing. I again used a Micro Washer on the back side, and a  rivet set, with a rivetable apple blossom on the top.

In the end, I do really love the look and feel of this bracelet. I always like making jewelry that can take a little abuse, because I tend to be kinda rough on what I wear. I’m not sure how the ribbon will hold up with the tape underneath. I wonder if the edges will fray with time. I feel like my vision could have been completed in other ways, and I would LOVE to get your feedback on this! It was a fun project that I think would have been more fun with a group of jewelry makers around to give input, so now is your chance! Leave us some comments, and let us know how this project inspired you? What would you do different? Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Happy creating everyone!

Shelly

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Sea Leather Feather Earrings

I’ve been working on organizing and trying to use up some of the jewelry making and crafting supplies that I feel like have been hiding in my drawers for years, when I came across some leather scraps in my studio that I’ve literally had in my stash for about a decade. I remembered an idea I saw on pinterest a while ago, and started playing with it. I created a number of various earrings at home with these leather scraps, but my favorites ended up being the ones that were made to look like feathers (again – I stole this idea from Pinterest, not sure who did them originally). So, the other day I was in the shop at Bello Modo and spotted the Fish Leather, sometimes called Sea Leather!

This leather is so much prettier and more colorful than what I was using at home (plus it is ECO friendly), so I decided to re-create my earrings project with the fish leather and share it with you!

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I made a couple different pairs to show you how you can switch the look of them up easily, but the base is the same! 

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First, I took the cover of an old notebook and cut out just the right size and shape that I wanted for the earrings to use as a template for cutting the shapes out of the leather. I used this to trace the shape onto the fish leather, and then cut them out.

 

FLFE2Next I took a nice, sharp scissors and cut the leather at a sharp angle up so the pieces resemble a feather. In the multiple pairs I made, I found that the sharper the angle I cut them at, the more I liked the look (i.e. angle the cuts up). The more cuts you make, the more feather-like they look.

I used the 10mm basketweave crimps at the top. I’m not sure that it was necessary, but I did put just one drop of Super New Glue on the back side before crimping them down with my nylon jaw pliers.

From here, you can decorate them any way you wish! Below I have a listing of the materials I used for each pair I made here.

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Materials for Gold Pair: 

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Materials for Silver pair:

I love the look of both of these. I think they could even look nice without cutting them to look like feathers. Feel free to mix it up and try other shapes. Or you could try layering a couple of different shapes and/or colors. What would you do?

Have fun!

Shelly

Editors Note: I think it would look nice if you ran a line of stitching up the center of the feather, to help define it a bit more and add another textural element. And just in cast you were wondering… it does not smell at all, even though its made of fish hides. It’s also super malleable and soft!

 

Lace and Pearl Necklace

Including fiber in jewelry designs can be really fun, and provides an endless amount of choices in what you can incorporate into your work. Every now and then I pick up something that I haven’t worked into jewelry yet, and get excited to create something. This week I was really drawn to using this beautiful Lace Crochet Ribbon

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I’m really happy with how this necklace turned out… it has a nice vintage and feminine look to it.  Somewhere out there is the perfect dress for this one. I’m thinking it’s time for a shopping day :)

Materials:

Directions:

  1. Cut a one foot piece of wire, slide a crimp bead, and a wire protector on the end. Run the wire back through the crimp bead and crimp. String your pearls and heishi in the order pictured, with two heishi on either end rather than one. I do this so that there are the wire will fit back through a second time as the pearl holes are a little too small. At the end, string another crimp and wire protector, running the wire back through the crimp and heishi. Crimp it and trim the excess wire.
  2. Cut your eight inch length of chain. Open a jump-ring, and put the end of your beaded strand on it, the end of your chain on it, and a Bead Twisted Spacer 12mm . Close the jump-ring. Open another jumpring and do the same with the other ends, and with your other bead twisted spacer.
  3. Cut two lengths of Crochet Ribbon each ten inches long.  To fasten Basketweave Flat Crimps onto each end, put just a tiny dot of Super New Glue on the inside of the crimp, lay the ribbon down on the inside and crimp it shut with a pliers. I like using my nylon jaw pliers for jobs like this so that I don’t mark the metal, but a regular pliers will work just fine. Do this with all four basket weave crimps, and all four ends of ribbon.
  4. Now you will use a jump-ring to attach a strand of ribbon to the Twisted Spacer, and another jump-ring to attach the other strand of ribbon to the other Twisted Spacer.
  5. Now, all you have left to do is attach the clasp to the end with a jump-ring, and the last jump-ring on the other end for the clasp to hook onto.

Variations:

  • This necklace is nice and long measuring at about 29″ completed, following my directions. Maybe you want is longer? or shorter? Simply adjust the length of Lace Crochet Ribbon that you use for an easy length adjustment.
  • The Swarovski pearls come in a great variety of colors for you to choose from.
  • Perhaps another style of ribbon suits you more…..we have a lot to choose from!

Always remember to have fun and make it your own. Just like recipes, directions are nice guidelines, but when it comes to making dinner, adding your own special touch is really what makes it yours and to your liking! Remember to be flexible in your designs and use what YOU are drawn to using!

Happy Creating!

Shelly 

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