Cheri-I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holiday Season so far.
These are two ornament that I made from paper clips.
Large paper clips
Round nose pliers
Small gauge wire
I first started by experimenting with different paperclip bends. I knew that I wanted to make a snowflake so I made sure that I would have a way to connect them to each other. After I had a pattern I liked, I began to work on the connection. The grommets worked great for the 2nd snowflake as I had a loop to affix it to. The top one I decided to wire, after I wired it I put a drop of E-6000 on each wire. This stabilized the connection.
Hope you are enjoying our Christmas countdown and again Happy Holildays.
I liked this challenge, but it seemed to me that I couldn’t get the idea of jewelry out of my head. It just seemed to speak to me and say, “I should be a piece of jewelry”. So, naturally, that is what I made.
I felt that the colors were a factor in what I made. To me they felt like Fall, and what else is more like fall than a leaf. I made a base and then I wired the resistors as veins of the leaf. I like how the colors filled in the base. I make a lot of pendants normally, so this time I decided it would be a bracelet. Kind of like a bangle bracelet. I curved the leaf around a glass to give it the right feel on a wrist. I took a piece of 16 gauge German Silver and made a loop in each end. I curved the wire to conform around my wrist.
For the ring, I formed a loop in the wire about 12″ from the end and then wrapped the wire around a mandrel 3 times. I curled the wire around the loop and cut off the excess. I cut off one end of the wire next to the base of the resistor and formed a loop. These small loops were attached to the larger loop to give a star- burst effect.
I am pretty thrilled with how they came out. I hope you like them too.
So some of our Crafty Sisters have been a little distracted lately and it took an extra week to get our projects posted this week. (I cannot complain as it has been me a couple of times who has been distracted.)
Our found item that must be used in our challenge was resistors. Out of the Crafty Sister storage came a canister full of old resistors. We divided them up and got to work.
Resistors just seem to lend themselves towards jewelry and I was inclined to follow. My foremost concern was an interesting pendant.
My entire necklace is made of resistors, even the hook and eye clasp. The wired ends make wire-wrapping a breeze.
This is a very simple necklace to make and only took me about 2 hours. Most of that time was spent messing with the style and shape of the pendant.
I am pleased with how this turned out and will probably wear it from time to time.
Mom (Craftysister Lynne) and I went camping in Georgia a few weeks ago. While there, we got lost driving and found this amazing little store. It was called Rocks, Relics and Beads. This place was packed with so much stuff that it was completely overwhelming. The owner was such a character. He seemed to delight in making up stuff on the fly (you know, in a true Grandfatherly way). Mom even posted some photos on Facebook of our visit to this wonderland. It only seemed fair as I posted pics of her version of wonderland (an art store) during our camping trip to the Indiana Dunes last year.
So, below are two of the finds I made at this amazing wonderland:
I just love tourmaline. It comes in such an amazing array of colors and I love all of them. This is a slice of a chrome tourmaline crystal and I just fell for it the minute I saw it. It took me awhile to decide how I wanted to display and mount this piece, but I am very satisfied with the finished pendant.
The front piece of the necklace where the pendant hangs, is strung on 18 gauge sterling silver wire. The rest of the necklace is strung on beading wire. I like to do necklaces like this as I think it brings more focus to the pendant.
I cannot say it enough that I just love this pendant and the necklace. I wrapped the tourmaline very gently with 21 gauge sterling silver wire that just comes around the sides of the stone and rises in back of the stone to form the wrapped bail.
And of course, I made earrings to go along with this piece. I had some fun this time around doing some sterling silver findings and various wigjig type forms for these earrings and for the next necklace below.
I cannot wait to wear this set. Below you can see the almond shaped clasp that I made for this necklace. It is made from 18 gauge sterling silver wire.
The next piece has an Italian art bead for the pendant. I just love the contrast of the orange and teal swirls.
It doesn’t show up as well in the photo, but the teal beads and the teal swirls in the pendant are actually the same color. I love the way the one teal bead above the pendant looks like it is smiling at you and showing his fangs. It made me laugh when I noticed it.
The orange beads are agate and the white beads are quartz crystal composite beads. I used seed beads for the back portion of the necklace as I wanted the entire focus to be on the front double strands. I again used 18 gauge sterling silver wire to make the bail for the pendant as well as the findings that connect the double strands of the front part to the single strand of the back portion of the necklace.
The earrings are made of more agate and the findings are made of 21 gauge sterling silver wire.
This is a very colorful piece and I am very happy with how it turned out. This is a great summer necklace and earrings set.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day and I look forward to posting some more of my recent projects!
Cheri: I find it really interesting that every project we do, I always think that it is the best one yet, but this project was one of the best. I like working with paper. It has endless possibilities and can be made into practically anything. I knew I wanted to make a tree with a nest and a bird, as this is a theme that I have been exploring lately.
To begin, I made a base for the tree with paper covered wire. To make the base, I cut about nine lengths of wire around 9 inches long. I took a longer piece of wire and wrapped it around the base and slowly coiled my way up the tree. I left some of the wire sticking out of the bottom to make the roots and some sticking out of the top to make the limbs.
I then took some pages from an old book, (Gone with the Wind), and ripped them into strips. I paper-mached the strips onto the tree, the bird and the branches.
For the nest, I cut very thin slices of paper and formed them with glue using the bottom of a small bowl as a form. I let it dry and when I took it out it looked amazingly like a real nest. At this point I was not really sure if I wanted to paint it or not, but after talking it over with my son, Justin, we felt that it would look nice if I did a light watercolor wash on it. This really made the text pop and was just the right touch.
I was very pleased with how it looked when it was completed and it really came out how I wanted it to look. And somehow it seems fitting to turn paper back into a tree.
I have so many unfinished projects. I was looking through the pile of them with my mother-in-law last weekend and I couldn’t believe how much material I had there. So much of it needed to be cut up completely. However, some of it just needed to be finished. I pulled a few pieces out and am really making an effort to get them finished and here is the first finished project!
The necklace is made with sterling silver for the wraps and clasp, dark blue/teal pearl beads for the front part of the necklace and clear blue cube beads for the back part of the necklace.
I just loved the clear blue cube beads and knew when I bought them that I wanted to wire wrap them in a strand. I started this necklace about 2 years ago and since then, I add another cube bead every now and then, but I was never quite happy with how simplistic the blue cube beads looked by themselves. I bought the blue/teal pearls last year and looked at them a lot with no real idea what to do with them. I started putting them together and just love how the finished necklace turned out! The contrast of the dark pearl with the light blue cubes just pleases me immensely.
Of course, I had to make earrings to go with the necklace. I like making matching sets of jewelry. I really like the trio of pearls below the cube bead. They swing and bounce quite happily when worn.
I also made the clasp. I decided I wanted something with a little more oomph than my standard clasp and made an almond-shaped clasp that had a blue cube bead wrapped in the eye half of the the clasp. I really liked how it turned out and will probably make more clasps like this one in the future.
So, one unfinished project down, an infinite more to go. Mom (Craftysister Lynne) suggested I make a list and cross off my newly finished project, but I said that would just remind me of how many unfinished projects I still have yet to complete.
After an additional week due to some time constraints, our Copper Crafty Challenge is complete. We had our final reveal among the Crafty Sisters this afternoon, and boy, we really seem to be at the top of our game for this challenge. I cannot wait for you to see all the projects. We are going to post one project a day, so keep coming back!
I waffled quite a bit on this challenge. I make a lot of jewelry and I wasn’t sure if that was where I wanted to go with this particular project. After a week and a half of indecision, I decided, why mess with a good thing, jewelry it would be.
Using a compass I played Spirograph on a copper disc and cut out the star burst pendant. Amazingly, the copper is thin and soft enough that you can cut the discs with heavy duty scissors. I hammered the star on both sides to give it some depth. I then curled the points of the star (I couldn’t see any other way to really blunt the points. Those suckers were sharp!) to keep from puncturing anyone wearing it or snagging your clothes. I attached the light green crystal bead in the middle with wire and did some wire-wrapped crystals (also light green in color) for the dangles at the bottom of the pendant.
The chain is made up of hammered copper ovals and more wire-wrapped crystals. I did make all the jump rings and the clasp out of wire as well. The wire is standard 18 gauge copper wire from the hardware store.
All the hammering was done on an anvil that my dad made me for Christmas several years ago and with a series of hammers that he made for me 2 years ago. I started all the holes with a punching awl then enlarged then with a Dremel tool and a diamond tipped drill bit. I filled all the edges with a mini file to be sure that you wouldn’t slice yourself open on the sharp edges caused by the scissors.
The star-burst was actually the second pendant I made for this necklace. I wasn’t all that happy with the first one I had made. I showed it around and the other Crafty Sisters and my M-I-L (who joined us from my house this week) thought it was great, which just goes to show how hyper-critical I can be about my own work.
I did make a pair of earrings to go along with the necklace (my usual M.O.) and I think they turned out rather well.
I really like how the hammered ovals came out looking like leaves. The hammering causes the copper to curl a little and I liked the affect so much that I left it and used the same affect in the star-burst pendant.
That is my completed project! It was a fairly easy process all in all and one that I found rather fun (until my arm got tired of all the hammering). I cannot wait for the next challenge. In the meantime, I have promised this necklace to my M-I-L and and am going to take the earrings apart to make a matching bracelet instead as she does not have pierced ears. So, back to my craft table to work on some more copper!
New and interesting shapes for ear wires are very popular lately. My favorites are the almond-shaped ear wires.These have been featured all over the web and television. The first time I really noticed them was on Emily Deschanel in the television series “Bones.” They are elegant and fun and are actually very easy to make.
For demonstration purposes and because it photographs a little easier, I made these ear wires out of heavier 18 gauge sterling silver half-hard wire. I usually use lighter 21 gauge sterling silver half-hard wire, but I wanted something that would be very visible in the photos.
Using flat nose pliers (although you can use the rosary pliers for the whole project if you prefer) I bent the wire at 3/4″ to a 90º angle.
Then I used rosary pliers (also called round-nose pliers) to make a loop by placing the pliers above the bend on the short wire and wrapping it around the nose of the pliers.
Holding onto the loop with the rosary pliers, I use the flat nose pliers to twist the short end of the wire around the stem (below the loop). By having only 3/4″ of wire for the loop, there is no wire to trim and you are good to continue on to the next step.
Here I used a mandrel that my father made me for Christmas a few years ago (Aren’t fathers wonderful?). The widest end of the mandrel is 1″ in diameter and the thinnest end is 1/2″ in diameter. For these ear wires, I wrapped around the widest point of my mandrel at 1″. I just made one wrap around the mandrel and as the wire is half-hard, it stretches back out to an incomplete circle when I let it go as shown in the photo below.
Next, I bend the circle at the half-way point to create the top of the almond and lightly stretch out the two halves to create the full almond shape. I also bend the wire-wrapped loop to hang correctly down from the almond. I then use a small file to smooth the cut made by the wire cutters so it won’t catch in your ear when you put it through.
To show the ear wires in action, I made the matching earrings to a necklace I made from pretty pink glass florets, red pearls and crackled white quartz beads. The pendant is a piece of dyed jasper that I wire wrapped to hang it from the necklace.
I hope this helps you to create your own almond ear wires, or inspires you to create your own new shape entirely!
Over the holidays, I visited Half Price Books with a specific project in mind. I wanted to make rolled paper beads. To do this, I needed a coffee table art book. (Yes, I, the bibliophile, was planning to desecrate a book.) My favorite artists are Picasso, Modigliani and Matisse and I was able to find a lovely Matisse art book. Flipping through it, I was able to find a couple of images that I liked. I ended up choosing Plum Blossoms, Green Background, 1948. It is a lovely painting and has these reds and greens that would show up really well in my beads.
I did manage to cut out the page that I had decided to use (it hurt only for a minute). I cut the strips and flags that I wanted and started rolling around a yarn needle and pin. I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue (that wonderful, all-purpose craft glue) to glue the ends of the strips down.
For the pendant, I folded the 1/2″ strips in half so that the color could be seen from the front. I also covered the back of it with Tacky Glue to give it better stability.
I really liked the rondelles, but did not want them to go all the way around the necklace, so I made straight cylinders to finish out the necklace. I wire-wrapped all the beads, made a clasp and I was good to go. For the wire, I used copper coated black wire.
This is just a study and is not meant to be worn regularly. I do like the pendant so much that I will probably make another one and coat it to make it more durable to regular wear. This process is so much like quilling, that I could probably use some of those techiques to improve my beads if I continue making them.
This is a huge step from the rolled paper beads we used to make as kids. You know the ones.
So we have arrived at Christmas! I hope everyone is having at wonderful holiday. For those of you who have been following along with our ornament countdown adventure, you know that Cheri and I have been showcasing our ornament creations this year. We have been alternating days which is about all we had time for with our preparations for Christmas as well. We have gathered them all together here in one post for easy viewing.
It has been a wonderful craft experience to work in so many mediums. Cheri and I had a great time creating all of these amazing ornaments and look forward to another showcase for next year (which will include all the Crafty Sisters, not just us two).