Sunday, October 28, 2012

Crystal Blossom Necklace and Earrings TUTORIAL

 Designed for

I'm really enjoying my gig as an Ornamentea contributing designer. It is SO MUCH FUN coming up with jewelry designs to share with the beading community. I love making hip, stylish jewelry I would wear myself and working with the supplies from Ornamentea makes that easy. So, now it's time to share my jewelry tutorial for October. I created this Crystal Blossom Necklace and Earrings set using hammered brass rings, Irish waxed linen cord and Swarovski crystal briolettes. The necklace is long and makes a perfect accessory for flowy tops and sweaters. The earrings can be worn with the necklace or they can make a statement all on their own. The set I made is appropriate for Autumn with these colors, but you could easily play around with the colors of waxed linen cord and crystal drops to create a different look. I would make a set for every season! Find all the materials and FREE TUTORIAL here. I hope you enjoy my jewelry tutorials just as much as I enjoy making them.

Ingredients for the necklace:
- 14 faceted 6x10mm crystal drops
- 1 hammered 33mm naked brass ring
- 1 yard of antique brass cable chain
- 2 antique brass 3x4mm oval jump rings
- 24" of Irish waxed linen

Ingredients for earrings:
- 14 faceted 6x10mm crystal drops
- 2 hammered 33mm naked brass ring
- 2 antique brass jump rings
- 48" of Irish waxed linen
- 1 pair of posts with backs 
- Scissors
- Ruler
- Chain nose pliers
1. Use linen cord to form an overhand knot around the brass ring, leaving a 1/2" tail as shown.

2. Use the long end of the cord to form 2 half inch-hitch knots around the ring and the cord tail as 
shown. Trim short tail.

 3. Form 10 half-hitch knots around the ring. String 1 crystal drop and form 3 half knots around the ring as shown. Repeat 6 more times. 
 4. Form 10 half-hitch knots around the ring. Form an overhand knot after the last hitch knot. Trim close to the knot and press it down against the back of the ring as shown.

 5. Use 1 jump ring to attach the ring to one end of the chain. Repeat with the second jump ring and the free end of chain.

For the earrings:
1. Repeat steps 1-4 above for each earring.

2. Attach a jump ring to hammered ring. Connect the jump ring and ear post together as shown. Repeat step for the second earring.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fleur Jolie Shabby Chic Necklace

Months ago, Kashmira of Sadafulee...always in bloom, sent me a pretty crochet flower she had made herself. She said she'd be interested to see what I would create with it. Well, how could I refuse a challenge like that! And, so below is the crochet flower, as Kashmira sent it to me. Isn't it beautiful? I wish I could crochet something like that!
Initially, I had a few ideas about what I was going to do with it. My first necklace design idea didn't work out too well. I took that necklace apart and set the flower aside, thinking about what to do next. It certainly would look fantastic as the focal on a cuff bracelet, I thought. I was more than a little tempted to stitch it right onto this leather cuff bracelet I bought from Ornamentea and call it a day....

 That would have been all well and fine, but just a little too easy. I wanted to make something more challenging and create something with more interest and fun.  

Lately, I've been captivated by the idea of shabby chic jewelry. I'm feeling a bit surprised at my attraction to the esthetic of shabby chic style. The usual pastel color palette and frilly, girly style is a little out of my comfort zone, which I find intriguing.  I do absolutely love the contrast of elegant, refined elements mixed with earthy, rustic elements, which this style is known for and shabby chic is sort of another flavor of bohemian style. And of course, being drawn to that is no surprise at all. So, I wanted to design a piece of jewelry with a shabby chic look and feel to it. Below is my finished necklace. I call it Fleur Jolie, which means "pretty flower" in French.

 Fleur Jolie Shabby Chic Necklace 
Kashmira's flower really wanted to be a focal piece on a necklace, so the first thing I did was create a flower "stamen" in the center with some red Irish waxed linen cord. It adds additional interest and a pop of color. The flower is fairly large for a pendant, so I wanted to balance it by creating a statement, multiple strand necklace. Since there is so much texture going on with the crochet flower and the multiple strands, I kept the bead colors muted and neutral. Faceted Czech glass beads in grey and glass pearls in peach-grey keep the focus on the focal. For a pop of color, I knotted the beads on 2-ply red Irish waxed linen cord. Yes, I hand knotted in between every one of those 4mm beads! The small scale of the beads keeps the necklace feeling airy, feminine and light. For a touch of rustic, the crochet flower pendant is tied on with a soft piece of suede lace and the necklace is finished off with a leather button. 

Kashmira, thank you for your lovely crochet flower. With your flower, I was able to explore a new design style that I love. I hope you enjoy the necklace I created!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October Jewelry Designer Interview

I am truly humbled and honored to be this month's Jewelry Designer Interviewee over at Click here to read my Q&A and what author, Tammy Powley had to say about me. Come join us for a jewelry chat!
Also, you can read a book review Tammy wrote about our book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry on the website, here. Thanks for having a looksy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday!

 My Nora girl turns 2 years old! I planned an Ocean-themed kids birthday party for her this year. Fish, sea stars and penguins are some of her favorite things. We held the party at the New England Aquarium in Boston. I think I had just as much fun as the kids. After all, I did get to make cutesy, sea-life-themed cupcakes for all our guests! Here's a few pics from our day at the aquarium.

 Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweetie!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Nora at the Pumpkin Patch

Not a ton of jewelry being made around here lately. I've been concentrating more on Nora and finding fun things for her to do. She's fully mobile, super spunky and active. She's a little ball of energy that runs around here and I have to find more ways of keeping her busy and stimulated.  Since we're still fairly new in town (we moved in last year), I'm still getting acquainted with the area and what there is to do around here for a baby and also I don't know a lot of folks here either, let alone other moms with kids around Nora's age to play with. So, I recently joined a local moms group I found on So glad I did that! We've been to play dates around town, kids activities at the library and last week we went to a local farm to enjoy all that the Autumn season has to offer. We both had so much fun! Here are a few pics of Nora picking out her pumpkin in the pumpkin patch...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jewelry Accord Shop

The Jewelry Accord Shop is now OPEN!

My jewelry friend and co-author, Lorelei Eurto has recently opened up a new jewelry-making supply store based on our collaborative book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon and Cords. The Jewelry Accord shop is inspired by our book, but is also it's own separate entity as is our collaborative blog by the same name. I see the potential of her shop and our blog to go way above and beyond what we explored in our book. How exciting is that? Lorelei's online supply store will be a ONE-STOP-SHOP for all your jewelry fiber needs. You will find many quality materials we both love and use in our own jewelry as well as items we reference in our book such as Greek leather cord, Irish waxed linen cord, 100% silk ribbons, Sari Silk and much more. Plus, more materials, supplies and findings are coming soon!

I'm looking forward to possibly collaborating with Lori on this new venture in the future, but until then, I wish her all the best with her supply store. I think it's a fabulous idea to have all our favorite fibers available in one place! I think she's really onto something with the concept of the shop and I'm excited to see it go far. Check it out, if you haven't already. I'm sure Jewelry Accord will be your new favorite spot to shop. I know it is for me. Happy Shopping!