My “What Have I Been Working On’s”

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Double Cross.

Doesn’t that sound delicious. Sinister. How about Double Daisy or Daisy Double? Or Double D’s. :D

What would you name this peyote cuff bracelet?

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For this necklace set, my first thought was Pretty In Pink (and Peach).

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Both are original designs by This Year’s Dozen. Thanks for not posting or copying without my permission!!

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. :D

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. :D

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. :D

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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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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!!

Feeling The Urge To Work With Sterling Silver

Friday, July 18

Is it time yet? I think it is. Time to move up to sterling silver.

I have a few jewelry pieces made from sterling silver but they were made in class. I have been practicing with inexpensive wire all month so I think I have enough confidence to try it on my own with some REAL wire.

I have been studying designs in my wireworking books and think I know what I want to make. There’s a cool pair of earrings that looks plain and easy. That is usually my criteria when attempting something new. Plain and easy.

And speaking of class… Yep. You knew I couldn’t go a month without showing up somewhere like a sponge ready to absorb whatever I can from talented instructors. I have a class this coming Sunday to make a wire wrapped ring.

That should be interesting. My first class making a ring.

Connecting Wire Squares, Making a Necklace

Thursday, July 17

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Ever try to make a PERFECT square out of wire?

Not possible, at least for me. My edges are rounded no matter how carefully I bend the wire. And try as I might, I could not get two squares to come out exactly the same. I kept making them until I ran out of wire. I have to admit, the last few were much better than the first ones. So practice does make perfect.

My early intentions were to make a bracelet. I got quite a chuckle when I connected four of them with jump rings and draped them around my wrist. OK. So… On to Plan B. Hubby said it before I did. “They would make a nice necklace.”

I selected the best of the bunch, only discarding one. The rest ended up around my dummy’s chest and shoulders.

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I added several links of chains and used lobster claw clasps on both sides to connect them. I love working with chain links. I bought a lot of it months ago but am just now starting to incorporate it into my designs.

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To make these squares, I used 12 gauge brown wire and followed a design found in one of my wire making craft books. I kind of improvised, making my squares slightly larger than the book.

Before making the larger squares, I first practiced with thinner 20 gauge wire.

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The first one is laughable. But instead of tossing it, I kept it as a reminder that the “next” one should be better than the last. As you can see from my line up that is so true. Not sure what I will do with these squares made from 20 gauge. They are too thin to hold up in a permanent design. Great for practicing though.

So… what do you think?

Bracelet To Go With Onyx & Gold Earrings

Wednesday, July 16

Finished this bracelet yesterday. I LOVE it!! Hubby loves it!! He has asked that I keep this set, including the earrings.

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I used the same supplies as I used to make the earrings with two exceptions. I added bead caps to a couple of the Onyx beads. Just to change the look a bit and not have all of them the same. And I added a few daisy spacers when wirewrapping the flat oval Jasper beads. Again, to add variety.

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Bracelet measures 8″ and has a gold plated lobster claw clasp.

A perfect match to the earrings.

Dangling Earrings in Onyx and Gold; Hearts & Crystals

Tuesday, July 15

Wirewrapping IS getting easier. I don’t even dread it anymore. Though it takes longer to make, you can go off in many directions as you can see from the earrings I made last night.

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Dangles with two tiers of gemstones plus crystal charms using links of chain and jump rings. 

I rarely make earrings so I surprised myself in making them FIRST. When I do make earrings it is usually because I have beads leftover, just enough to make a pair. But this time, I had an idea for a dramatic pair and kept changing, rearranging the pieces until it matched the image in my head.

Now, I have to work on the bracelet. The base is finished. Next I will wirewrap the beads and then decide if I want a full look or sparsely filled look. I would like for the bracelet to match the fullness of the earrings if I have enough pieces.

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Supplies used in this project:

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  • Chain link coils, gold plated
  • Black Onyx beads, oval shape
  • Jasper beads, flat oval shape and smaller round ones
  • Topaz Crystal Dual Channel Connector, gold plated
  • Jet Crystal Hearts, gold plated
  • Jet Crystal Round Channels, gold plated
  • 3mm gold filled round beads
  • Jump rings, gold plated, 6mm, 18 ga and 4mm, 21 ga
  • Fish hooks, gold plated
  • Headpins, 3″, 21 ga, gold plated