Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Jewelry Studio

I realized I've never ever shared my current studio space! Frankly, that's because it is usually in such a disastrous state that I wouldn't wish to show anyone on a good day. Last weekend, I received a much needed reprieve when the grandparents took Nora for two whole days. What did I do with my rare freedom from motherly duties? I cleaned out my whole studio from top to bottom. Obviously, you can clearly see where my priorities lie. As soon as I get a moment to myself, I go straight to fixing up my studio! Oh, and deciding to take on that task was not that fun, mind you. There were huge boxes upon boxes of stuff piled up under the desk, items and paperwork that I had been avoiding dealing with for over a year and a mish-mash of beads and findings in every corner that had been thrown every which way. In my defense, I did have some help with the beads going everywhere part. There's a 2 year old around here that loves to play with Mama's beads. ;) Even with all that work, there is plenty more I would love to do with my space, but at least it is clean, the top of the desk is clear and I can work in there once again! It was well worth the effort.

This is the top of my main work surface where I keep some of my jewelry and favorite displays, a few bead storage units, my essential jewelry-making tools and some bead bowls and baskets. I love the art piece on my wall. I need to hang more pictures and art!

My materials wall. This wall is directly behind the desk and chair. The pegboard expands across almost the entire length of the wall. Over the years of making jewelry, I've learned I work most efficiently when I have my supplies out where I can see them all the time and can get to them quickly and easily. 
My pegboard wall holds materials and tools I use on a regular basis: metal gauge wire and beading wires, rulers and measuring tapes, scissors, hammer, metal and leather punches, bead stops and misc. tools, silk knotting cords, leather cords, suede lace, hemp, cotton and Irish waxed linen cord, silk cords, dupioni ribbon, sari ribbon and fibers, glass beads, gemstones and wood beads. 

Studios and organization is such an interesting topic for jewelry makers because anyone who works with beads knows the dilemma of bead storage and setting up a space that works. It is the bane of our existence! There seems to be no easy answer or solution for most of us. Ideally, I'd love to have absolutely every bead and finding visible at a glance. Just like when you walk into a bead shop, everything is out where you can see it!  

How about you? How do you like to organize your work space? Have you shared photos of your studio? It's always fun to get a glimpse inside any creative space! Please share with me by leaving me a link to your photos in the comments! Even if you don't have photos, I'd love to hear your thoughts on studios and organization.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Learn To Make Leather Links For Jewelry


Leather in accessories is hot, hot, hot! I think I've said this before, but it's worth repeating. If you want to make chic jewelry that's in demand now, consider incorporating some leather into your designs. Leather is a wonderful material to work with and it adds texture and interest to your jewelry. My stylish friend and book contributor, Tracy Statler is currently offering a video tutorial on how to make these fun leather infinity links. These components are a versatile way to add leather to your jewelry. Incorporate them into bracelets, necklaces and even earrings.

In this video tutorial, Tracy takes you step-by-step through the process of creating her innovative beaded leather infinity links. She also provides you with a handy supply list and helpful tips and tricks to make creating these cool components much easier.  Tracy is available for questions and support, if you need it. She does allow designers to sell jewelry that is created from her tutorial, which in my book is a huge plus and very generous! There's even an option to pin and share your designs on a Pinterest gallery board that Tracy has created specially for those that purchase her tutorial. That's a great way to connect, share and promote your jewelry!
You can purchase Tracy's video tutorial through her blog, Make Bracelets! I highly recommend that you check it out.

Oh, and as if you needed any more eye candy or convincing, below are more examples of Tracy's work showing the versatility of her leather technique. If there are any designers to keep your eye on, it's this girl. She's a phenomenal, high-quality fashion jewelry designer that enjoys sharing professional tips and tricks, knowledge and supply resources, teaching and writing jewelry-making tutorials and how-tos. What more could you possibly ask for? Do your- jewelry-making-self good and join her on her blog here.

I hope you enjoy her inspiration. I know I do!
Bracelet by Tracy Statler

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mixed Metal Chevron Necklace TUTORIAL

Lately, my jewelry designs are all about what's going on in the fashion world and the latest styles and trends. And of course, right? Jewelry and fashion inherently go together. They are one in the same. Jewelry and clothes both serve as vehicles for us to express ourselves and our personalities. More than ever I'm into clothes and expressing my own personal style. I get giddy to put my jewelry creations together with my outfits. I want my jewelry designs to be relevant with styles I love to wear myself and what other women want to wear, too. And with being a designer for the ever-so-hip Ornamentea, it's now officially my job to stay current and on-trend :) I wouldn't want it any other way. 
One motif that I've seen popping up that I'm just loving is the chevron! I think chevrons are here to stay, people. This long, swingy necklace will keep you looking chic and oh-so-stylish. Find the tutorial to make it here.


- 22 Silver-plated 12mm bugle beads
- 6 Copper-plated 12mm bugle beads
- 14 Antique silver 3" headpins
- 1 yard of antique copper 2x4mm cable chain


- Chain nose
- Round nose
- Cutters

1. Convert all the headpins into eyepins by trimming off the heads and creating a loop at one end as shown.
 2. Use one eyepin to string one copper bugle bead and one silver bugle Bead; form a simple loop. Repeat 5 times. Use one eyepin to string 2 silver bugle beads; form a simple loop. Repeat 7 times

 3. Cut a 2" piece of chain. Attach 1 loop of a silver beaded link to one end of the long chain and the other loop to one end of the short piece of chain. Skip the second link in the chain. Attach 1 loop of a silver beaded link to the third link in the long chain and the other loop to the third link
in the short chain. Continue attaching the beaded links to the chain in the same manner following the photo shown.