Friday, December 30, 2016

5 Sparkly Thoughts to Kick Off the New Year

This year, just like every other year in recent memory, has flown past. There's not too much time to look back and reflect on the year gone by or to look ahead to what the New Year might bring, so no New Year's resolutions for me. But I have put together some words to live by to help get the New Year off to a sparkly start.

Sparkle is the new black!

Never let your tiara slip.

Because it's what's on the inside that matters.

Bloom and be the very best you, you can be.

And remember, you can never have enough jewellery..... especially when it's handmade!

May your New Year be shiny and bright! See you in 2017.

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, December 20, 2016

Cascading Star Loop Earrings - Mixed Metal add an unexpected twist

If you're looking for some festive earrings that are a little out of the ordinary, then these Cascading Star Loop earrings might be just what you're looking for. Instead of adding red to gold and silver, add a sprinkling of copper beads for a less traditional look. It will add warmth and contrast to the design whilst retaining the glitz of gold and silver. The clusters of stars will add the Christmassey feel to the earrings.

Tip: This project uses memory wire to form the circular sections giving uniformity and stability to the design but if you find it difficult to turn small loops on pieces of memory wire, you can use wire instead. Choose the heaviest gauge wire that will fit through the Delicas.

Here’s what you’ll need:
Memory wire, seed beads and findings for Cascading Star Loop earrings
·           Two 11mm silver embossed stars
·           Four 6mm engraved gold stars
·           Six 5mm gold stars
·           Two silver 3 to 1 end connectors
·           Thirty-six #10Galvanized Pink Blush Delica beads
·           Sixty-four #11Galvanized Silver Delica beads
·           Silver ring size memory wire
·           Two ballend earring wires
·           Two silver ball end head pins
·           Twelve 4mm jump rings

Tools: memory wire shears, round nose pliers, flat nose pliers, flush cutters

Tip: Always use memory wire shears to cut the steel memory wire. Using your regular wire cutters will permanently damage them.

Cut three rings from the memory wire.
Use memory wire shears to cut off a ring
Three memory wire rings

Using the very tip of the round nose pliers, make a small inward facing loop on one end of each of the three coils of memory wire. The easiest way to do this is to rotate your wrist whilst using your thumb and forefinger to push the wire against the jaws of the pliers. You will need to repeat this two or three times to complete the loop. This will help you form a fully closed loop.
Turn a loop on the end of the wire ring with round nose pliers

Repeat on each of the three coils.
Three memory wire coils with loops on one end

String the Delicas and star beads onto the three coils using the photo as a guide for the stringing order.
Memory wire coils strung with copper and silver delica beads and a gold star bead

Trim each coil leaving just enough wire beyond the beads to form a small loop. To work out where to cut the wire, measure the distance between the loop you formed and the cut end. This is how much wire you need to form a matching loop. 
Trimmed coil

The three coils should now look like this.
Three different sized memory wire coils strung with gold stars and silver and copper seed beadsbeads

String a silver star onto a head pin. Bend the wire at a 90° angle and trim it to 10mm (3/8”).
Head pin strung with star bead bent at an angle and trimmed 10mm from the star

Turn a simple loop.
Turn a simple loop above the star bead

Open the loop and hook it onto the middle of the three loops on the connector.
Attach the star bead to the end connector

Connect the smallest and medium coils by hooking a jump ring to one end of the small coil and the beaded section of the medium coil. Connect on the other side in the same way.
Attach each coil together in a cascading fashion

Connect the medium coil to the largest coil in the same manner.
Three beaded coils looped together

Connect the large coil to the end connector with jump rings.
Attach top coil to end connector with a jump ring

Open the loop of the ball end earring wire and slip then top loop of the end connector onto the earring wire. Make sure that it is facing the front.
Slip the end connector onto the earring wire

Make a second earring with the remaining components.

It's not too late to start making Christmas earrings and if you need more inspiration, check out my Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings ebook series. You are sure to find something perfect to get you in the festive mood. 

'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

Thursday, December 8, 2016

White as Snow Christmas Earrings - With Video Tutorial

Snow white Christmas earrings with a faceted tear drop crystal dangling below and large white glass pearl in a wire cage, attached to a frosted white star.

December is racing along but it's not too late to make some fabulous Christmas earrings to dress up your festive outfits. Today I have another bonus Christmas Earrings project for you that is NOT in the Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings Vol 5. Watch me as I make these gorgeous White as Snow earrings and then follow the step-by-steps below.

Finished length: 5.6cm (2 ¼”)
Time to complete: 30 minutes
Degree of Difficulty: easy

Here's what you'll need:
·           Two 14mmfrosted white acrylic star beads
·           Two 14mm off white glass pearls
·           Two 15mm silver bead cages
·           Two 9x6mm AB or clear Swarovski tear drops
·           Two silver head pins
·           Two silver eye pins
White beads and silver findings for White as Snow earrings

String the tear drop onto the head pin. Grip the head pin with the chain nose pliers and bend it above the pliers at a 90° angle.
Bending the head pin above a clear crystal with the chain nose pliers

Position the round nose pliers in the neck of the wire and form a loop. Make sure that the wire crosses over the front of the loop.
Creating a simple loop with round nose pliers above the teardrop crystal

Wrap the tail of the head pin around the neck two or three times and then trim away the excess.
Creating a wire wrap around the neck of the loop

Open the coils of the bead cage using both hands.
Pulling the bead cage apart

Insert the bead into the cage. 
Slipping the glass pearl into the wire bead cage

If the bead holes don’t line up with the cage ends, work them around by inserting the tip of the eye pin in one end and manoeuvring it into position. String the caged bead and the star (from the bottom).
Insert the eye pin into the glass pearl inside the wire bead cage

Bend the wire above the point of the star at a 90° angle. 
Bending the eye pin at a right angle above the star bead

Turn a simple loop.
Form a simple loop above the star bead with the round nose pliers.

Open the bottom loop of the eye pin and hook it through the wrapped loop.

Attach the earring to the earring wire and close the loop. Make a second earring to match and you're done. Wow....Christmas earrings in under 10 minutes!

You'll find more great earring designs like these in the Twelve Days of Christmas Earrings ebook series. Vol 5 is available for purchase now and can be downloaded immediately after your purchase is complete.

'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