Teacher Jewelry Set

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Tuesday 2 September 2014 at 4:07 pm

School started a little over a week or so ago, and the fall semester is always super busy for some reason, much more than spring. There are also a lot of changes that happen in the fall where teachers and other staff at the school will move into different positions and have different tasks asked of them. This is what inspired my “teach” design pictured above. A friend of mine is moving from being part admin/part faculty to going back to being full-on faculty, which she is thrilled with. In fact, that’s the thing about most teachers. We want to teach. Going to meetings and other time-sucks very often get in the way of what our primary purpose is, so this was a gift from me to her in celebration of going back to what she loves to do.

The pendant is ceramic and came from Blu Mudd. The other supplies include copper wire (21-gauge) and findings; 4mm mother of pearl beads (natural, not bleached); size 11 green glass seed beads used as spacer beads; and 6mm rondelle-shaped Chinese crystal beads. I strung it on .015 Soft Flex beading wire and finished the necklace with copper 2×2mm copper crimp beads.

Beads and Bag for Mom

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Monday 12 May 2014 at 10:14 am

My mother dabbles in jewelry making, so for Mother’s Day, I gave her some beads, findings, and a ceramic pendant and put them all in a zipper pouch. The beads are Celestial Crystals from Fire Mountain, and I purchased the pendant from Blu Mudd.

I put them all, along with a card, in this Large Zipper Pouch in the Bold Bloom pattern from Thirty-One. So the pouch worked as a way to “wrap” the gift up without having to use a bunch of wrapping paper. I have a number of these zipper pouches and use them for all kinds of stuff, but mainly, I use them as project bags for my crafts. I’m going to have to remember that I did this when the holidays come around. I may go this route for wrapping gifts.

Ceramic and Crystal Owl Necklace

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Sunday 30 March 2014 at 12:52 pm

I have been plotting this necklace design for some time and finally managed to get a little time to play with my beads and “get er done!” Yeah, now I can wear and enjoy it.

The ceramic owl pendant is from Blu Mudd, and I already had the other supplies in my stash: rondelle shaped topaz colored crystals; green glass Japanese seed beads; and copper spacer beads. I strung this on .014 beading wire and finished it off with copper crimp beads. I added a few inches of chain on the end so that I can change length from 16 to 18 or so inches. If you are ever not sure how long you want your finished necklace to be, the addition of a few inches of chain to one end is a good option so that you can change the length depending on the top you are wearing. Plus, of course, I made some simple earrings to create a set.

Dazzle-It Blog Hoppers!

Blogged under Around the Web, Jewelry Designers/Artists, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Wednesday 19 March 2014 at 11:48 am

Woot! Look at this long list of bloggers who participated in The Newfangled Neo Chain Blog Hop! We made some amazing jewelry, so get a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy!

Tammy Powley - The Crafty Princess Diaries

Lisa M Pace – It’s In The Details

Ann Butler Designs - Creativity Stirs the Soul

Suze Weinberg - Leap…..and the net will appear!

Lisa Fulmer - Lisa Liza Lou

Roberta Birnbaum – DecorablesArt

Vicki O’Dell – The Creative Goddess

Charlotte Gordon – Atmosphere and Symphony

Amy Bowerman Stucki – Plucking Daisies

Suzann Sladcik Wilson - Beadphoria

Kristi Parker Van Doren - Kristi’s Creative Cafe’

June Beach – Beach Haus Designs

The Newfangled Neo Chain Blog Hop

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Tuesday 18 March 2014 at 5:22 am

Thanks to Carmi Cimicata, I was invited to participate in The Newfangled Neo Chain Blog Hop. She sent me a bag of chain and findings goodies that included loads of purple, which is one of my favorite colors. Here are my first two jewelry sets that I came up with using the supplies she sent.

First, I went with a tried and true necklace design - the Y-Necklace. Chain is perfect for making these. I dug around and found adorable purple heart beads made by DD Hess, and you can see that I ended up with all different shades of purple with just a little dash of clear crystal beads on each side of the lampwork beads. I used some purple wire to attach the beads, and to attach the chain sections I used the jump rings included in the supplies sent to me. All purple - ear hooks, clasp, chain, jump rings!

This chain is finer than the other chunkier chain she also included in the stash. I don’t think my photos really show how the chain sparkles on its own. In fact, for the next set since the chain was thicker, I use a lot more chain and just a few extras. The necklace is a 40 inch piece of chain (so you can wear it extra long or double it) and I added a pendant my husband made for our book The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making: More than 700 Large Format Color Photos.

Like the Y-Necklace, I finished both ends of chain with jump rings and a lobster claw clasp. The earrings are similar to the heart and chain earrings above, but I used the chunkier chain and square and round crystals on the end. Then, again, because the chain is just so neat all by itself, I cut a 21 inch piece of chain, added jump rings and a clasp, and now you can wear it wrapped around your wrist three times as a triple strand bracelet, or of course, you can wear it as a 21 inch necklace.

The Dazzle-It collection of products is available at the Dazzle-It web site, and the company also has a blog as well as Facebook page.

Wooden Flower Necklace and Earrings

Blogged under Free Craft Projects, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Thursday 6 March 2014 at 4:04 pm

When I received this wooden flower pendant from Prima Beads, the design for this necklace and earring set popped into my head. While the pendant is fairly good sized (40mm), it is not heavy at all since it is made of wood.

The other supplies I used were as follows:

2 - 19gauge 5/32 inch silver colored jump ring

1 - 9mm silver colored lobster claw clasp

22 inches of .015 beading wire

6 - 11 x 8mm clear twisted oval crystal beads

2 silver colored ear hooks

2 silver colored headpins

38 - 3mm aqua colored crystal beads

30 - 6mm aqua colored crystal beads

72 size 11 black seed beads

2 silver crimp beads

The tools you need are a pair of round-nose pliers, chain-nose pliers, wire cutters, and crimping pliers.

Start first by making the earrings. In fact, one little tip for totally newbie jewelry makers is to set aside a few beads before you make a necklace or bracelet so that you have enough to make matching earrings in case you want a pair later. Not everyone is into matching jewelry pieces, but if decide later and have already used up all your beads, then you may be out of luck if you change your mind later.

1. Slip on one 3mm aqua bead, one black seed bead, one oval bead, one black seed bead, and another 3mm aqua bead onto a headpin.

2. Using a pair of chain-nose pliers, about 1/4 inch past the last bead bend the headpin into a 90 degree angle.

3. Grasp the bent part of the headpin with round-nose pliers, grasp the end of the bent part, and wrap it around the nose of the round-nose pliers in order to form a loop.

4. Stick the nose of the round-nose pliers through the loop, and grasp the headpin with the chain-nose pliers as you wrap the excess headpin around itself to wrap the loop closed.

5. Slip on ear hooks. (I made the ones shown using some wire, but you can buy prefabricated ear hooks).

Now for the necklace….

1. Attach the jump ring to the center loop at the top of the flower pendant, and use chain-nose pliers to close up the jump ring.

2. Insert the beading wire through the jump ring, and start stringing on beads onto it in this order: one black seed bead, one 6mm crystal bead, one black seed bead, one 3mm crystal bead, one black bead, one oval bead, one black bead, one 3mm crystal bead, one 6mm crystal bead, one black bead, one 6mm crystal bead, one black bead, one 3mm crystal bead, one black bead, and one oval bead.

3. Then alternate beads in this pattern 6 times: one black bead, one 3mm crystal bead, one black bead, one 6mm crystal bead, one black bead, and one 6mm crystal bead.

4. Finish the end of one side of the necklace strap by alternating one black bead and one 3mm crystal bead 8 times.

5. Repeat the beading pattern described in steps 2 through 4 for the other side of the necklace. (Tip: When I am stringing a necklace like this, I like to use a bead stopper on each end of my beading wire so my beads don’t fall off. )

6. Finish off each end of the beading wire with crimp beads, and attach a lobster claw clasp to one end and a jump ring to the other. My clasp already had a smaller jump ring attached to it, but if yours doesn’t, you may want to add one yourself so that the clasp does not twist around a bunch.

The finished strap of this necklace is about 18 inches long. Black pants tend to be part of my “teacher uniform,” so this is a great combination. I love wearing it!

Ah Paris Ceramic and Pearl Necklace

Blogged under Free Craft Projects, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Sunday 2 March 2014 at 1:36 pm

When I ordered this ceramic Eiffel Tower pendant from Blu Mudd, I already had this design pictured in my head. Originally, I was going to string it on brown wax cord, but I could not find it. I still can’t find that thing! I dug around in my fiber and found some leftover Superlon Size 18 cord I had received in the Trade Route Necklace kit sent to me by Beadshop.com. That necklace turned out super cool, by the way, and I had some of this cord left over. I can’t remember what the color was that was in the kit, sorry! Beadshop has a ton of colors too, but I’m guessing it might be the dark teal color cord.

So other than the ceramic pendant and cord, you will also need the following if you’d like to make this necklace:

44 - 5mm Large hole pearls (I got mine at beading.com).

1 - 10mm Lampwork bead (I got mine from DD Hess and actually used 2 extra beads to make a pair of earrings too.)

2 - 3mm Silver colored Czech crystal beads

12mm Silver toned toggle clasp

Clear drying glue


Corsage pin (or awl)

1. Cut off about 4 feet of cord, fold it in half, and insert the folded end through the hole at the top of the pendant.

2. Insert the two ends of the cord through the folded part, and pull on the two strands so that you end up securing the cord to the pendant.

3. Make an additional overhand knot right past the anchor knot made in step 2.

4. Slip on a pearl bead, and push it up against the knot you just made.

5. Using a corsage pin or awl, make an overhand knot on the cord, insert the pin through it, and push the knot up against the pearl. Repeat this two more times so that you have 3 pearls knotted on the cord.

6. Add a crystal bead, the lampwork bead, and another crystal bead into the cord, push these down up against the last knot before making another knot on the cord just past the last crystal bead you added.

7. Continue to add pearls and knot between them until you have a total of 21 pearls on that side of the necklace.

8. Add pearls and knot between them on the other side of the necklace strap for a total of 23 pearls. (Note: Since natural pearls can vary in size a little, sometimes it is a good idea to knot a few on each side of the necklace strap as you go. This way, you can try to make sure both sides of the strap are as close the same length as possible.)

9. Insert the cord through the loops on each side of the toggle clasp, knot a few times, trim off excess cord, and add a dab of glue on the knot. Allow to dry before you wear your necklace.

The beaded strap on this necklace is about 18 inches long, and the pendant is 2 inches, for a total of 20 inches. I made some earrings to go with, so I will be showing those soon too. I have worn this a few times already and have gotten lots of compliments. I love how it turned out….can’t go wrong with pearls and Paris!

Freeing the Beaded Jewelry

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Tuesday 25 February 2014 at 2:56 pm

Recently, I have been organizing my home office and crafting work area, and with that comes lots of purging. As you can imagine, after many, many years of making jewelry, well, it adds up! I used to sell my work through small boutiques, online, and through art shows. So I had to make a lot of jewelry back then. Eventually, I started writing about making jewelry, which brought me to make more jewelry, and the more success I found with designing for publication purposes versus for selling purposes, the more finished jewelry I had around here. Plus, I often have vendors send me free components to use in designs, so even if I wanted to sell my jewelry, it would not be ethical for me to sell finished jewelry when I did not pay for the parts that made it up.

So what to do with all this jewelry? I found lots and lots and lots of it when I was reorganizing. Some of it is pretty nice. Some of it, well, it’s okay. Some of it is just ready to be taken apart. But before I ventured down that road, I decided to give away some of my jewelry first. Obviously, anything made with high end metals or super expensive stuff that I purchased or jewelry pieces that I rediscovered and want to claim for my own, I have kept. The rest, though, I put together in a zipper thermal pouch (it’s really a Thirty-One lunch box, LOL) and brought to work for my fellow faculty and other co-workers to take and share and enjoy.

I’m freeing the beads! I decided that seeing other people wear my jewelry will give me much more pleasure than having it sit untouched packed away somewhere. I hope each piece finds a good home.

Try It Again Sunday

Blogged under 31 Gifts Indep. Consultant, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Sunday 9 February 2014 at 2:28 pm

Sometimes I don’t get a project right the first time. This includes crafting but also other projects, for example, house organizing projects. Today I decided to fix two projects that just did not turn out right. One is for the house, and the other is a jewelry project gone wrong.

First, I tackled a small hall closet that was full of odds and ends, mostly items that are kitchen related but we don’t use that much. This included some China and Depression glassware, the kind of dishes I would put in a China cabinet if I had one. I put them in the closet with the notion that when we might want to use some of it, we could just take it out and use it. Well, no big surprise, we rarely if ever used any of it, and it just collected dust. Plus any time I pulled something like a sheet or whatever out of the closet, I would worry that I might knock over something breakable.

Last month Thirty-One had a special on its organizing products for small spaces, and I had gotten a Junior Cube with a spring add on kit (for consultants only) I had purchased. Of course, I loved all of the products in the kit, but the Junior Cube and Lid were just what I needed to organize all these dishes. I used the cube from my kit for some jewelry making supplies, and I purchased two more cubes for the closet. I washed and dried all the dishes, and I put our wedding China all in one cube, and the other cube is mainly glasses. I also pulled out some dishes for us to actually use now. They are not super expensive, so why not use them? And I purged some old dishes from our kitchen as well plus decided to pack up a set of China I’ve had since I was about 20 and donate it to Goodwill. It is not a complete set, I’ve used it maybe two times, and I think it originally was some kind of grocery store deal, something like spend $10 get a plate. Yup, time to go and find a home somewhere else.

The closet is not perfect, but between the cubes and some utility totes, it’s getting better.

My next “try it again” project was this necklace. I actually think this was a project I did when I was writing for About.com. It is a double strand, and while I like the look of double strand chain-style necklaces, admittedly, I have trouble wearing them. I just get them all tangled up no matter what I do. So I would try to wear this, it would get tangled, and I’d pull it off and throw it in a jewelry box. But, I love the beads in this, and the charm is so cute! So I pulled it out this weekend, and while looking it over trying to figure out what to change about it so I’d wear it, I noticed a massive boo-boo: one teardrop bead is orientated in the wrong freakin’ direction! How did I just now notice this?

So out came the pliers, and I took the two strands apart and repositioned the bead that was facing the wrong way. I was so glad I made this with unwrapped loops and not wrapped loops, so it was very easy to disassemble.

There were 5 bead stations in the center of the necklace originally, so I took one of the stations and moved it to hang from the center. Then I removed the charm from the chain strand and connected it to this center bead station.

Basically, I reworked the necklace and simplified it into one strand that I think will be much easier for me to wear. I also dug around because I wanted to make some matching earrings, and wowie, I found a pair I had made already. Now I love this set, and I think I will wear it more comfortably.

Space to Create! An End (for Now) to the Messy Madness!

Blogged under Crafty Products, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Thursday 23 January 2014 at 4:55 am

Recently, I confessed to the fact that my jewelry work area did not have a square to spare as far as work surface. While the room this space is in still needs to tweaking, I can now see the surface and actually make something!

Weee! See how you can now see the top of the desk? Actually, this desk is a sewing cabinet, but it works great for all kinds of crafting, including jewelry making. Now the boxes to the left, they are what I mean by tweaking. The clear shoe box size ones in the back, well, they are full of a lot of stuff that I still need to go through. However, the other boxes on the left have been sorted out with supplies I’ve received from various vendors that I plan to use for future jewelry projects.

On the left side hanging on the wall is a product I purchased during an outlet sale through Thirty-One, which I’m an independent consultant for. It is called the Hang-Up Home Organizer, and my original idea was to use this in my home office, but by the time I got it, I had already gotten that place whipped into shape. Instead, I have zip lock bags with various items like findings, chain, charms, etc. and I put those in the large pockets, which have labels you can use. Now these are not all the findings, chain, charms, etc. that I have, but they were the odds and ends spread all over creation at one time. Now they are at least organized again and handy for me to use. I have other items in the small clear pockets, and of course, you can see a bead board in there too.

Now the next cool thing, I can’t take credit for. If you look to the right on the first photo at the top of this post, you will see a few little caddies there. They are called the Littles Carry-All Caddy, and again, I got a few during the outlet sale. I first thought I would just toss my hand tools in there, but then some brilliant person on Facebook showed how you can fit up to 6 Crystal Light containers in one of these. This way I can keep my tools separate and organized. The other caddy has a box of tissue (for my ever running nose) as well as a pad of paper and post-its and pen for me to take notes as I make jewelry, necessary for later writing it up as a project.

Finally, I guess I should have taken a photo of the inside of this. It is also a Thirty-One product, which I got from the new spring catalog. It’s called the Flip-Top Organizing Bin, and I’m using it for seed bead supplies. I can fit a ceramic bead tray as well as one of those felted top boards in there and other beading supplies, and this way, it makes it a little bit portable. And, of course, my growing amigurumi menagerie can use it to hang out on too.

I am looking forward to getting some jewelry made this weekend. I have a resin kit that I’ve been really wanting to dig into, but resin takes space, and now I have it! Hopefully, it will stay like this for a little while.

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