Video: Bargain Bead Un-Boxing Jan. 2016

Blogged under beading,Crafty Products,Crafty Videos,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Wednesday 13 January 2016 at 1:06 pm

I joined a monthly subscription to Bargain Bead Box and show off my first installment in this video.

Knotted Rainbow Gemstone Bead Bracelet

Blogged under Free Craft Projects,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Monday 19 October 2015 at 8:55 am

First, a BIG “thank you” to PandaHall for supplying these colorful jade beads. The beads are 8mm, faceted, and dyed a bunch of different colors to create a pretty rainbow affect. When I saw them temporarily strung up, I knew I wanted to use them all together to take advantage of the color combinations and turn the strand into a piece of jewelry that I could wear with lots of different outfits.

This is a good beginner project since you don’t need a large amount of tools or supplies to make this bracelet, but it may take a few practice sessions to get the knotting down. Along with the jade beads, you will need some 1mm bleached hemp cord (at least 3 feet), small ruler, and scissors. I also find using a pair of round-nosed pliers helps me if I goof up a knot and need to pull it out. They work like little fingers.

Measure 6 inches from one end of the cord and make an overhand knot. Now string on your beads in the order you want them on, so you may want to take a little time with this so that you get the color combination you want. For example, I did not want two of the same color beads next to each other.

Push the first bead strung up against your knot, and then tie another overhand knot, making sure to push your knot close up to the hole in the bead. You do not have to make this super snug, but you do not want tons of space between knots and beads either. Keep doing this – move a bead, knot, move a bead, knot – until you have six inches strung up.

Obviously, you could make this longer with adding more beads. I used up all but about 4 or so beads from the original bead strand. If you wanted a chunkier look, you could use two strands of beads, make the center part 12 inches instead of six, and then wrap the bracelet around your wrist twice before securing it.

Once you get all the beads strung on and knotted, measure another six inches of hemp and cut any remaining hemp so that you have two 6 inch strands of hemp on either side of the bracelet.

To secure it to your wrist (and you probably need someone to help you do this), just tie the tie the two six inch pieces of hemp together into a bow.

Making Rocks into Beads

Blogged under Crafty Videos,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Saturday 17 October 2015 at 4:47 pm

Arbeads is one of the many Youtube channels I subscribe to, and I especially enjoy the company’s Artbeads Cafe series. This video is amazing and shows the process of how stones are selected and then turned into gemstone beads.

Video: Glass Pearls Versus Real Pearls

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Saturday 12 September 2015 at 9:58 am

Some thoughts on why you might want to use glass pearls in your jewelry designs….

Arm Candy – Learn Bead Embroidery

Blogged under beading,Jewelry Designers/Artists,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Thursday 3 September 2015 at 5:38 am

Bead embroidery is a wonderful way for two forms of crafting to collide – beads and needlework! Cyndi Lavin is one of the pioneers of bead embroidery techniques, and in her collection of well-priced and even free e-books available on her Beading Arts blog, she breaks down the various methods for this art form. In fact, one of her latest books, Arm Candy, takes it a step further and shows how to incorporate old jewelry, often broken pieces no longer wearable, into stunning jewelry designs. I really like this idea of using old jewelry pieces because I know many of us have a few odds and ends like this that may have sentimental value, but we are not really able to enjoy them. So pull out those broken jewelry pieces from the past and reinvent them with help from Cyndi!

10 Finalists Recognized in 10th Annual Halstead Grant Competition

Blogged under Around the Web,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Tuesday 1 September 2015 at 5:20 am

Here’s a press release from Halstead about its grant competition!

PRESCOTT, AZ (August 18, 2015): The 10th annual Halstead Grant recognizes jewelry design excellence and business strategy acumen with a $6000 award in addition to industry recognition for 10 Halstead Grant Finalists. Finalists receive recognition on in addition to feedback from the judging committee to help build their businesses.

Hilary Halstead Scott, President of Halstead and founder of the Halstead Grant says, “After 10 years of judging grant competitions, we can say without a doubt that most of our past finalists have gone on to successful, long-term careers. This year’s applicants are a select group of amazing emerging artists.” Each group is listed in alphabetical order.


Samantha Skelton Jewelry Design based in Fairview, Pennsylvania.

Top 5

Bonde: Jewelry that graces the skin and honors the body

ENJI Jewelry Studio: A public statement on an intimate, ornamental scale

Letters to Sarah Metalsmithing: Adornments that celebrate passion and place

Seth Papac: Jewelry to make you feel gorgeous, confident, special, and FIERCE

Tenzabelle: Magical, hand-crafted amulets that tell your story

Top 10

Alexandra Lozier: Natural elements in dramatic jewelry settings

Lucia Pearl Jewelry: Smart, clean, wearable designs inspired by city life

Nicolette Absil: Delicately illustrated jewelry in enamel and metal

Olivia Shih: Gemstone and metal jewelry inspired by bold, organic elements

VIELA, Ltd: Cast metal jewelry imprinted by the forest and the sea

About the Halstead Grant

The Halstead Grant competition began in 2006 to inspire the pursuit of excellence in design and business practices in the jewelry arts community. Applicants must submit a design portfolio in addition to elements of a successful business plan including marketing strategy, production capacity and financial analysis.

Halstead’s mission is to support jewelry entrepreneurs with quality jewelry supplies and great service. The company was founded 40 years ago and is now managed by the second generation of the Halstead family.

Crystal, Pearls, and Chain Necklace Project

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Monday 31 August 2015 at 11:48 am

The folks at Pandahall sent me a little bag of jewelry supply goodies and asked that I whip up a project or two. I was immediately attracted to the rainbow of crystals in the package, and of course, most of my jewelry making friends know I love pearls, so why not combine them? For a larger look at the finished necklace, just click on the image below.

Here are the supplies I used to construct the necklace above:

Nickel Free Antique Bronze Iron Eyepins, Size: about 5.0cm long

Brass Magnetic Clasp, Nickel Free, Round, Antique Bronze, 19x12mm

Iron Cross Chains, Nickel Free, Oval, Antique Bronze, 4.7×3.3x1mm

Mixed Glass Bicone Beads Strands, Faceted, 6mm

Glass Pearl Beads Strands, Pearlized, Round, White, Size: about 4mm in diameter

The tools used were a pair of chain-nosed pliers, wire cutters, and round-nosed pliers.

1) I began by constructing a chain of alternating pearls and crystals using the eye pins. This included 12 crystal beads and 13 pearl beads.

2) Once I had that part of the necklace assembled, I used wire cutter to cut 83 links of the chain.

3) On one of the ends of the beaded chain section I made, I opened up the loop at the end and slipped on two links from either end of the chain section, thus doubling the chain.

4) Using another eye pin, I slipped a crystal bead onto it and made a loop on the end.

5) On one end of the eye pin, I attached the magnetic clasp (which comes with attached jump rings), and on the other loop of the eye pin, I slipped the center link of the chain section onto it.

6) I repeated steps 2 through 5 to put together the other side of the necklace.

Here are a few tips for success when putting together this necklace:

  • Use the narrower end of the round-nosed pliers to make the loops so that they are about the same size as the loops that are already on the eye pins.
  • After connecting all of the sections, make sure to check all of the connections to make sure they are secure. You may need to use chain-nose pliers here and there to close up loops more securely.
  • Watch out for that magnetic clasp, LOL! It’s great for easily putting the necklace on and off, but while you are working with metal tools and metal findings, you may find them sticking to the clasp.

Book Review: Paper Jewelry

Blogged under Good Books,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Saturday 29 August 2015 at 1:54 pm

Here is my latest video book review for Paper Jewelry: 55 Projects for Reusing Paper.

Video: About Wire for Jewelry Making

Blogged under Crafty Videos,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Wednesday 5 August 2015 at 12:42 pm

In this video, I talk a little about metal wire and how to use it in your jewelry designs.

Video: What Is Beading Wire?

Blogged under Crafty Videos,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Monday 22 June 2015 at 9:45 am

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