Monday, 23 December 2013

Updated! Red jasper woven pendant

I have had a lot of interest in me writing a tutorial for the micro ladder weave that I do.. although I think if I were doing it as a tutorial, I would do it with a larger gauge.. it would work up faster, and possibly be easier for people to see the details of the movement of the wire :)

Here is a picture of the weave

that has 7 base wires in 22g sterling, and a long wrapping wire (I didn't measure it) in 28g.. cause I always a 6g (in whole gauge numbers) difference in my wrapped to wrapping wire.. like with 20g I always use at least 26g to wrap.. if I have 18g, I use at least 24g if not smaller, to wrap.

Here is the first stages of this pendant I am working on that started with that panel of weave. Both pictures are the same stage, but with the cabochon in for the second picture. The left side wrap is a 3 around figure 8 shaped to hold the bottom edge and side of the cab, and the left side is coiled wire with swirls

this is the most recent picture (front it the left picture, back is the right one), with some more work done on the right side

I will post updates as I work on it some more :)



I never managed to take more pictures, but here is what it looked like before I sent it to it's new home.

I aged and hand polished it after it sat for months without selling. I think the aging really makes the red pop!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Flat Kumihimo tutorial (10 warp)

I have long considered writing up tutorials.. but I have never actually done one.. so I thought, why not start with something simple, like a Kumihimo tutorial? Here is a tutorial step by step of the basic 10 warp flat kumihimo wrap bracelet pictured here. In this one I used 3 warps of coloured hemp, and 7 warps of thin ribbon.

If you have one of the foam disks, this should be fairly easy to follow, as I will use both pictorial instruction, and written instructions, with the number and lowercase/uppercase scheme from the disk. I also use a lead weight with a wire hook, and hook it on the loop hanging out of the hole (and why there is a loop is because I cut my strings in pairs, and then fold them over and tie) as a way to keep even tension on the braid.

First you load your flat disk like this.. 6 warps from #3 to #8, and 4 warps on #14 through #17

The next step is to take the warp from #5, and move it to e

Then you take the warp from #6, and move it to E. You will see that there is now 4 on the top, and 4 on the bottom.

If you look closely at the warps in the hole, you will see that they are crossing. This is important if you want one solid braid. If you do this backwards, you will end up with two smaller braids, not connected. (I do this to create a buttonhole in my work, for the clasp, crossing the warps again to end the buttonhole.) I find it easiest to think of it as left side and right side at this point, because you do your warp movements first on the left, and then on the right.

Left side! You take #15, and move it up to #5

Then you move #4 down to #15

Next is #14 moving up to #4

And #3 moves down to #14 (look, we have 4 across the bottom again!)

Now that we have done the left side, we start on the right side.

#16 moves up to #6

#7 moves down to #16

and #17 moves up to #7

Then #8 moves down to #17

There we go! back to 4 on the top, and 4 on the bottom! But wait, we started with 6 on the top, and 4 on the bottom...

So you take e and move it up to #8

And E and move it up to #3, and voila! We are back to 6 across the top, and 4 across the the bottom! To make the flat braid flat, you need even tension as you are weaving, and to repeat the steps. Each set of steps that you do will make one more level of the braid.

This is what the braid looks like after a few passes around the disk. Despite even tension, it is still a little wobbly, because of the fact that the hemp thread is thinner than the ribbon.

I love braiding, I hope that this was helpful to someone!


Monday, 16 September 2013

working.. working.. working

As much as I want to, I can't seem to keep up to the 1 post a day that I planned on making when I first started this blog. Ah well, at least I am still posting.

The last few days I have been taking a break from wire. Working with brass tends to do that to me. I LOVE brass and the effect I can get with it, especially once aged and polished, but having to anneal my wrapping wire every 15 minutes or so while working it to be able to shape.. that doesn't work so well when I do most of my wrapping during bouts of insomnia. Hammers and torches just don't seem to mix well with other people in the house sleeping. :D I try and get those things done during the day, when my daughter is at school, but so far my muse is loudest when I can't sleep.. and may actually be a contributing factor as to WHY I can't sleep LOL

So while I have been taking a break from wire, I have been playing with beads and leather. I got these really cool mood beads the other day, and I immediately used up most of them making a bracelet...
 But I made sure to not use them all up. So once I got the bracelet out of my system, I made this...

And at that point I was on a mission to find all of the beads I owned which would fit on the leather I had. I think it's 2mm round leather.. and the only colour I have at the moment is green. So I made this...

And I was having so much fun with the mood beads that I made this too (which has two little
mood beads)...

And this, because I had two of the large faceted beads...

Although I'm not quite sure what happened to the picture, but it shows off the beads just fine, so I've left it LOL

and then I remembered that I had a little bit of 1mm leather left, so with that, I made this...

Which has no mood beads at all, but it is sure pretty!

And then I discovered that one of the mood beads fit on my 3mm black leather, so I made this...

I continued to try and fit things on the green leather.. so I came up with this...

Which has two small mood beads on it, and is very BoHo. At that point I got sick of stringing.. the leather likes to come apart a little at the ends while you are stringing beads on it, and a girl can only take so much of fighting with little crumbly bits of leather.. so I made these...

So there is my creative journey for the past couple of days. I love getting new beads! I find so many cool things to make with them! I have a huge hoard of beads, so I really shouldn't get more, but getting new beads inspires me and makes me dig through everything to find things that go with. And that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Sunday, 8 September 2013

"never show the backs"

I appreciate all of those well meaning people who tell me not to show the back of my work. I appreciate that they took the time to tell me something that they find very important. I will not be taking this advice though, and here are some reasons why:

  • I was once a beginner, and spent hours drooling over some absolutely amazing art, but could not for the life of me, no matter how many times I tried, figure out how to secure things on the back.
  • I strive to make things reversible, so technically there is no "back"
  • I only make OOAK items, so it does not bother me if someone imitates or even copies what I make. (It does bother me if someone takes something I made and try and pass it off as their own)
For me this whole process is all about the creation and the beauty, not the product and the business. This of course makes me an odd one out in the jewelry community, because I market, some.. but I am not here to sell things to you. I am here to create beautiful things and let my muse out. If you buy something, great.. more money to buy more things to create more beauty, and I hope that you will love it as much as I do, but if not, please enjoy what I create anyways!

Speaking of beautiful things, this is what I made recently.

Isn't it cool? That's the biggest woven panel I have done to date, and I am very proud of it! I had fully intended to make this reversible, but I was not as successful as I would have liked.

I am off, fighting with some brass! I wish it was copper, but of course I decided to use brass LOL


Monday, 26 August 2013


For the last little while, I have been having a giveaway celebration, when my facebook page like count hit certain milestones. Recently I found out that I am not allowed to host giveaways like that on my facebook page, as it introduces liability for facebook. So.... I am hosting it here!

To celebrate my page hitting 300 likes, I am offering everyone the chance to win this Yukon River Rock pendant.

I wrapped in it gold plate, and raw brass.

So.. if you want to be entered, leave a comment, and I will be doing the draw with my beautiful little mini-me on the 6th of September! I am located in Canada, and I will ship this prize within North America for free. If you aren't in NA and want to enter, you pay the shipping.


PS: I wanted to add that Once the policies on facebook changed, I hosted it there again, although everyone who entered here was still entered.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Netted Yukon river rock necklace

It's interesting.. I don't always manage to get good pictures of stuff.. not because it is hard to photograph, but because I take too many quick pictures, and then I don't manage to take better ones before someone wants something. Also, it always seems to be the things I would think wouldn't sell. I made this Yukon River Rock brass wrapped pendant yesterday, and I thought it was interesting with it being a total experiment.. then I put it on one of my new neck wires to test it out. I hammered a frame and then wrapped it with a netting type weave. Then.. I sold it right off my neck! It was really strange! LOL

Here is a quick shot of it

It's a stone from the banks of the Yukon River, and I think maybe my mom brought it home. It was polished in a rotary tumbler... and I just HAD to wrap it.

I think I might make earrings tonight.

Good night

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

ooohhh I love purple

I have been working on this piece for a couple of days now, on and off.. using up the last of my square silver wire. I am a little sad that I can't do anything in square silver until I order more, but that's how the cookie crumbles in this part of the world :D So without further lamenting about wire, here it is!

I used a purple dragon's vein cab, silver plated wire, and two swarovski crystal accents, both in shades you will find within the cabochon. I find it really cool that the top half is translucent, so I had to show it with the light shining through (top right hand picture)! Within minutes of posting it on my page, it was spoken for. 

I have also discovered how much more willing I am to do another chaos coil piece, with the help of my dad's drill LOL

I need to take a set of light box pictures of this one, for posterity's sake, because this one is also spoken for. Silver filled wire, silver plated coloured wire, rhodenite, and swarovski crystal accents. It's reversible (cause I prefer to make things that way) but I didn't get a good picture of the other side yet.

I have been working on a special order for a while. I feel bad when I take a long time to complete an order, but then again, I would rather follow my muse and work on it when inspired (and have it end up really cool), than force something quickly (and have it end up looking like crap). This is mainly why I prefer open ended orders.. the kind that I finish when I finish them. Look for steampunk coming up!

Good night! B

Friday, 9 August 2013

Playing with kumihimo

I have been looking at my rolls of hemp for a while, and today I had an idea to do a ribbon and hemp 10 warp flat kumihimo braid. I can't wait to see how this turns out!!

and after a few passes..
Yep.. this is going to be cool!


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Another first

Well I spent almost 12 hours coiling by hand to make my first chaos coil wrap. I tried many ways of doing it that I normally use to speed up the coiling.. but none of them worked, so I wrapped it, around and around... and around.. and around.. and around..  *pant pant* until I got so sick of coiling that I may not do it again for a very long time!!

But, this is what became of it.

Mother of pearl shell bead, hematite, rose quartz, swarovski crystal, rhodenite, SS, glass beads and lemon quartz. I used silver filled, and plated silver, with some non tarnish plated silver. I used 32g on 24g for the loops, and the frame is hammered 22g. 4cm (1.5in) tall and just over 3cm (1.25in) wide. I am charging $80 for it. I wish I could charge less, but with the amount of time it took, I Can't.


Monday, 5 August 2013

brecciated jasper?

Man, I have SO many beads that I can't identify. With how many times over the last 20 years I have moved my stash around, I am not at ALL surprised that I have lost labels, and that my lovely photographic memory can't read the ones on the pictures in my head LOL

Last night during yet another bought of wakefulness, I wrapped up what I think is red brecciated jasper in raw copper. I really need to start working with silver again. Maybe I will do another of these in silver! front and back

 Here is a shot of one of my practice peices.. it's me learning a new way to mount! Those are tumbled river rocks.

And the bubbles background is my mouse pad.


Sunday, 4 August 2013

Labradorite, oh how I love you

I finally did it! I finally wrapped my first Lab cab! Labradorite is such a pretty stone!

I think I may actually overcome my fear of patina, just for this gorgeous thing. I already strung it on a patina'd chain, and that looks great. And at $75 I may end up keeping it for myself, too.

Good night! B

Friday, 2 August 2013

Barefoot Sandals

Yesterday I exposed the world to my venture into barefoot sandals. I really like them, but I am not sure if I want to make loads and loads of them.. I mean I am all about the OOAK pieces of art, and these are formulaic and predictable. So far I have been able to change it up by what colours I use and what I put on for embellishment, and I guess that has satisfied my artist heart.

Green and cream 
 Red, silver and black
 Silver and purple

After seeing the pictures I am sure that you will understand why I find them formulaic LOL

They sure are gorgeous though.


Wednesday, 31 July 2013

I didn't create much today

Today was a day of organizing. I bought 3 new flat containers and promptly emptied out all of my little baggies that have been floating around. Yay for containers! Of course, I didn't buy enough LOL

Earlier today, I did manage to mostly finish something though...
I made an embellished barefoot sandal. It's not 100% finished because I am going to put a ribbon closure on it.

I made it using RAW and I used stretch magic, 4mm, 6mm, and 8mm pearls, seafoam green acid dipped 11/0 seed beads and 3mm and 4mm seafom AB roundells. I have 4 more to make/finish.


Monday, 29 July 2013

Snakeskin jasper filigree

I finished my second filigree piece today. I also did this one in raw copper, with snakeskin jasper and lemon jade. Hopefully tomorrow I will find some gun blue in town, and I will be able to play with a few pieces that are dying for some highlighting.

Like this one..
I'm happy with it :) I plan on playing with patina with this one, and then it will be spectacular!

The other thing I'm working on, is this
I was digging for beads to shoot for a custom order and I found this cord. I had forgotten I had it! It's perfect for this canadian jade and swarovski crystal reversible pendant. Did you see that plug there? Smoooth.


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Working, working, working

Today I am working on a copper chain link necklace. I should be working on a custom that has been "in progress" for a while now, but I picked some chain for it that is VERY much a pain in the butt to work with, so I keep avoiding working on it. Actually, I made some hammered paddles today for that necklace, so I guess I can't say that I didn't work on it at all.

Here is the copper link necklace.

I haven't been able to get a good picture of the howlite skulls, but they are vibrant blue, and are going very well with everything else. I am actually going about this necklace backwards to what I normally do.. as in I am designing the necklace first, and pendant second. Usually I do a pendant, and then decide if I am going to make a necklace to match. That being said, I really have NO idea what I am going to do for a pendant for this.. but I am all for the learning process!

Okay, I got an idea. While it's not finished, this is what it looks like at the moment :D