Chain Link Necklace and Bracelet in Blue

Wednesday, October 15

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I tend to work with earthtones a lot and rarely work with blue. Wonder why is that? Not sure. It’s a pretty color. Warm. But given a choice, I reach for peach or brown everytime.

I didn’t make all of these in one sitting. My hands ache a bit when wirewrapping so I made the bracelet one day and then later decided I had enough leftover beads to make a necklace and earrings.

Beads used: Navy Swarovski pearls, which I already had, plus two strands of blue beads purchased at the Bead Show. Sky blue round glass and gemstone nuggets (don’t know what they are called).

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We Only Just Got To Know Ya

Thursday, July 31

Today is the last day of Wirework Month. It wasn’t so bad. I made some items which fell into the oh-so-beautiful category and a few that just plain FELL. Into the so-so-yawn category. ūüėÄ

Throughout the month, my wirewrapping skills improved 1000% so I think that is something I can gloat about. I will continue to make things throwing a bit of wire here and there since I have lots of wireworking supplies to use up.

My favorite? If I had to pick one project I really enjoyed making this month, it would have to be working with the black onyx and gold gemstones. It turned out to be quite versatile. A bracelet which doubles as a necklace. A necklace add-on which doubles as an ankle bracelet.

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All in all, I learned not to fear the unknown of working with wire. I hope you picked up a new trick or two along the way.

Charm Bracelet: Animal Planet On A Chain

Wednesday, July 30

Oh, my aching hands. Wirewrapping over 50 items will do that.

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I had been wanting to make something with these beads for months. A friend sent me craft supplies she thought I could use in the jewelry I make. Ladybugs, butterflies, birds (both metal and plastic) and cat faces. I added them with the fish, turtles and elephants I already had and started making a charm bracelet.

As far as making it colorful, that happened by accident. My original plan was to add just a hint of color and focus on the metal beads. The butterflies were light lavender and the plastic birds were light aqua. After I decided to jazz it up, I searched my bead stash and came up with enough lavender, purple, turquoise and aqua beads to soften the metal look.

The bracelet base is a double strand of dark gray chain links connected with a sterling silver toggle clasp.

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I decided not to wirewrap the pieces directly to the chain. Except for the black fish, each item is separately wirewrapped. Everything is attached to the chain links with jump rings. I am so glad I did because I changed and moved things around many times. Trying for balance of size, shape and color.

I knew I would get confused on where to place everything so I took a picture before beginning.

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A lot of good that photo did me, LOL, because once I got to the green glass cat, I started making changes. The cat got ditched. Too large and my wirewrapping was horrible. The holes went ear-to-ear and I haven’t perfected wirewrapping going side to side. I will stick with bottom to top. The Tigers Eye elephant also got shelved. The brown stuck out like a sore thumb. I almost removed the ivory turtle but left it in to balance that side of the bracelet.

After attaching all the animals and birds, I started filling in the empty spaces. That’s when the color explosion happened. I kept adding glass beads until I was satisfied.

I hate to admit it but I spent roughly 10 hours working on this bracelet. I was on a mission!! I took several breaks but kept at it until it was finished. I like to think, I kept going with the fear my newly mastered wirewrapping skills would regress. ūüėÄ

I also made earrings. I had set aside several pieces I wanted to use and made them after completing the bracelet.

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I took quite a few pictures trying to get different views to show you. So, what do you think?

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How To Make Earrings From Daisy Spacers and Crystals

30 minutes? Maybe 40 minutes. For sure these earrings are fast and easy to make, you will want to make several pairs.

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Think gifts. All those people on your To-Buy-For-The-Holidays List. You can make a few pairs of these earrings and get to crossing off some names.

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You only need tiny daisy spacers and a few crystals. Even regular beads as a substitute for the crystals would work. Experiment and change up the design to make it your own.

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Supplies Needed To Make One Pair Of Earrings

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  • (72) tiny 4mm silver plated daisy spacers
  • (2) 8mm round crystals
  • (10) 4mm bicone crystals
  • (4) 2mm round silver beads
  • (2) CLOSED 3mm jump rings
  • (2) crimps & crimp covers
  • pair of earring hooks
  • stringing wire, size 12¬†

 
Step 1

Cut a length of stringing wire about 15″. (Make sure the wire when doubled will fit back through the 2mm bead and the crimp.) Put a bead stopper on¬†one wire end or use an alligator clip like I used in the photo above.

Find the wire center and string in this order. Two 4mm bicone crystals, two tiny silver daisy spacers, one 8mm round crystal, two tiny silver daisy spacers and two 4mm bicone crystals. The larger crystal should be in the center.  The exposed wire on both sides should be even.    

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Step 2

String 16 tiny silver daisy spacers on one side of the 4mm bicones. Add a bead stopper or alligator clip to mark the center.

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Now add 16 tiny silver daisy spacers on the other end of the wire next to the other two 4mm bicones.

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Step 3

Take the right wire end and going left, string through crystals, spacers, large crystal, spacers, crystals and spacers. You should be completely around the left side and back to the middle where the clip is (bottom left) in the above photo.


Your wires should look like this.

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Gently pull each wire end, easing them close together.

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Step 4

Add one 2mm silver round bead to each wire end. Push down close to the daisy spacers. You want very little wire showing.

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Now string in this order to BOTH WIRES. One 4mm bicone crystal, one crimp, one 3mm jump ring.

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Loop both wires OVER the tiny jump ring and DOWN through the crimp and 4mm bicone.

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Step 5

Slowly ease everything down the wire so you end up close to the two 2mm silver round beads. Keep the wire ends even as you push everything down. Tighten each wire end. BOTH wires should exit the underside of the TOP 4mm bicone crystal.

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Look over your earring. If you are satisfied, go ahead and crimp the crimp bead. After crimping, give the jump ring a slight tug to make sure it is secure and the wire does not pull out.

Step 6

Open the loop on the fish hook and attach it to the jump ring.

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You are almost finished. A few more things to do. You need to add a crimp cover. Position it carefully around the crimped bead. Make sure it is on straight and covers the crimped bead completely. Close up the crimp cover and trim off the excess wire.

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Now you are ready to start on the second earring. ūüėÄ

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Here are pictures of a set I made with Siam crystals. Earrings and matching ring. The base of the ring was made with sterling silver. I wirewrapped the wire on the sides right above the daisy spacers.

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New Words For My Tool Vocabulary

Wednesday, July 23

How many of you have ever used a Pen Vice or Hemostat?

Looking around. Ok. One person. LOL!! Thought so.

If you are like me, clueless in the tool shed, not only have you never used them, you never even HEARD of them.

So… here’s the thing. (To coin a phrase from Adrian Monk.) I was sitting in class Sunday looking at the pile of tools covering the beading mat. And I mean covering it. There were several that looked the same, only difference being the tip. Round nose pliers, chain nose pliers, flat nose pliers, wire cutters. And a tape measure, polish cloth, file, scissors. Also included were tools used especially for ring making. A long metal ring mandrel, various plastic ring sizes on a chain, a rawhide mallet, a PEN VICE and a HEMOSTAT. Wow!! I had seen them all except the last two. No clue what they were or would be used for. After class, I decided to purchase these two and add them to my collection.

The Pen Vice is used to twist wire. It is pretty cool WHEN the wire is inserted into the right spot. The only thing moving on my first attempt was my wrist. LOL!! Did you know round wire will not twist?

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A hemostat is like a very long pair of scissors that clamps down tightly on an object. When making rings, it holds the shank in place so you do not have to worry about it shifting.

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I will probably use the hemostat a lot. It will come in handy to hold wire when wirewrapping. Not sure how much use I will get out of the pen vice but it was cute, all nice and shiny. ūüėÄ

My First Wirewrapped Rings

Monday, July 21

My class went well yesterday. I surprised myself by being able to follow along and not fall behind the other students like I normally do. I tend to want to SEE how something turns out before I pick up my tools. And in this case… I wanted to be safe and not sorry and not make a mess of sterling silver. BUT I have been practicing with wire all month so as the instructor said to do something, I did it!!

The supply packets were already made up but I got to pick out the crystal color for the ring center. I chose Jet Black. The other ladies selected pink, topaz and olive. There were 4 of us. Only 4 students allowed per class which is good. It allows for more personalized instruction and encourages a relaxed, slower paced, conversational atmosphere.

The only requirement for taking this class was a beginner’s wire working class. I took that last year but didn’t sign up for any others since that class was a hand killer!! I must be regaining some of the strength in my hands since I had no major issues yesterday handling the tools.

I used a pen vice and a hemostat for the first time. Felt like I could have replaced Pam Anderson on Tool Time. I’m the new Mrs. Tool Time. Just need a leather holster for all my new goodies. Which BTW are starting to accumulate. Pretty soon I will need a tool box like hubby.

Here is the ring I made in class from Swarovski crystals and sterling silver. The Black One. (The others I made last night and this morning.)

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It has 2 silver bead caps, one 8mm round crystal and two 4mm bicone crystals. Used 22 gauge square soft and 20 gauge 1/2 round 1/2 hard sterling silver wire. 22 gauge to build the ring, the shank. 20 gauge to wrap the bottom of the ring.

I made several more rings in Indicolite (aqua) and Siam (dark red) and have another one in Olivine (lime) started. The red one, made with silver spacers, has a sterling silver base and then I wrapped the ends on both sides above the spacers. The olive one will be made the same. I just need to transfer from pretend wire to SS.

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Afraid no longer of Sterling Silver. Yippee!! Break out the champagne!!

Blue and Orange Necklace Made From Wire Caged Beads

Sunday, July 20

Time sure flies when the creative juices are flowing.

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The six wire caged beads I made on Thursday were calling out to me.

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I wanted to make something with them while they were fresh on my mind. When I finally finished and looked at the clock, I had been at it for over three hours. I never stopped to sip from my ever present lemon flavored ice water or to take a health break.

At first I made a bracelet but could only fit five of the cages within 7″ without making it too long. One cage was leftover. What to do? What to do with the one left? I have two ears so earrings were out of the question. Keychain? That was my next option. What about a pendant? One wire cage on a necklace was just too skimpy.

So… I took apart my nicely made bracelet and started over.

I made a necklace instead.

Using different sized glass beads in orange and blue, I spaced the caged beads about 2 1/2 inches apart. Seed beads and silver plated spacers were used as fillers. I finished off the top with silver chain links.

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I wanted more color so I made a 2-strand necklace of seed beads. One orange and one blue to pick up the colors of the larger glass beads. 

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Looking it over I thought something was still missing. How about more chain links? So I added a separate length of chain.

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Now I was satisfied. My necklace had layers. Three separate necklaces which could be worn all together or worn as one or two.

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Supplies used for this project:

  • 6 wire cages made from 20 gauge wire
  • blue and orange glass beads;¬†different shapes and sizes
  • silver plated oval spacers
  • 8/0 seed beads in orange and blue
  • chain links, silver plated
  • lobster claw clasps, silver plated
  • 10mm jump rings, silver plated
  • heart charms, silver plated
  • 4mm sterling silver round beads
  • silver plated wire guards
  • silver plated crimps
  • Beadalon #18 stringing wire