Friday, September 9, 2011

Hair Jewelry

My daughter is just getting ready to graduate from Paul Mitchell the School so I thought I would create some hair jewelry for her. She can either keep them for herself or sell them to her customers.

I had these plain bobby pins with pads in my stash so the first bobby pins I made were these cute little paper rose ones. I liked how these turned out so much that I started looking to see what else I can turn into hair jewelry.

I decided to glue some findings onto the pad. I used Judkins Diamond Glaze to adhere the finding and added a firepolished bead for some color.

Then I glued some buttons together and made those into cute little bobby pins too.

They were a quick and easy project and something a little bit different to wear in your hair.

Have fun experimenting!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ladder Shield Earrings

It's been a while since I had the time to make anything. My oldest just left the nest so I've been busy trying to make sure she has all the things she needs to live on her own. I wish someone bought everything for me when I moved out! I remember sitting on the floor and having one all purpose pot to cook with. When I finally got furniture, it was something a co-worker didn't want so it wasn't pretty. I furnished the whole apartment with everyone's cast offs and was grateful for them.

Once things settled down it was great to finally get a little time for myself so I could make something. As usual, these didn't turn out exactly as I had envisioned. As much planning as I do, you really can't be sure something is going to work out like you think they will until you sit down and make them. Originally, these were going to be hoops which they still are but just not the way I planned them. The rolled hoops at the top of the piece were going to be the fulcrum and the catch. Once I made the earrings, I discovered they were too close together and I didn't like proportions when I made a long hoop to accommodate the narrowness.  I had the circle hoops on my bench in smaller size and thread them through and like the way those looked better. So I decided to make them larger and in a heftier 18ga to go better with the earrings.

I also cheated a little bit on the glass bead. I riveted a small dome that perfectly fit the bead. I cut small rectangular pieces that I was going to criss cross underneath the dome that I could bring up and use as prongs to set the bead. Once I had them cut and pierced, I laid them out and thought they added too much bulk to that area so I cheated and epoxied the bead into the cup. These days I don't think there's that much stigma attached to glued pieces as there used to be.

I think I'm going to keep these for myself.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

One of my findings is featured at Art Bead Scene Blog where they have a monthly jewelry challenge!

One of my findings is featured at Art Bead Scene Blog where they have a monthly jewelry challenge!

This month's challenge will be to draw inspiration from an Art Nouveau poster entitled "American Crescent Cycles" illustrated by Frederick Winthrop Ramsdell.

Check out my featured finding here:
More information about this month's challenge can be found here:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tip: How To Clean Up Messy Epoxy From Your Pieces After It's Set

This next tip comes from a reader of my blog named Sally.

Sally writes, "I have been gluing jewelery components with 2 part epoxy glue ie cabochon gemstones onto metal and watch cogs etc, but could not get the things glued on without the glue oozing out from underneath.
I can't clean it up when it is wet as whatever I am glueing needs to be left alone to set in place,so I tried using acetone to clean it up when it was set.It didn't work.I got pissed off so I picked up my little electric engraving tool and had a go with that!
Brilliant...I don't have a very hard tip on it,we mainly use it to engrave ID numbers on the plastic of our electrical items for security.If you have good control with this tool it turns the excess glue into powder very easily and will not scratch the metal.It leaves a neat finish very quickly.
Thought this might be of use."

You can find her work on Ebay at

Thanks Sally, I appreciate the tip. I've had trouble with this myself and have had to discard a few pieces. Next time I'll have to try this.

If anybody else has a tip they'd like to share, just send it to me at along with a link and I'll post your tip along with a link to your shop.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Joining Filigree Without Glue - Use Wire Instead

For those of you that aren't crazy about the idea of using glue in your jewelry pieces, there is another way to combine pieces of filigree without glue. I'm one of those that worry about using glue. Will the pieces I create last beyond a couple of months or is it going to fall apart? I admit that I'm new to this type of jewelry making and don't have much experience with E6000 glue which is the preferred glue for working with filigree.

The great thing about filigree is that there are plenty of holes in them and you can use wire instead of glue to combine pieces. I used 30 gauge pre-oxidized brass wire that I have available in my shop. 
30ga Oxidized Brass Wire Dead Soft

To the naked eye, you can barely see it. The camera seems to pick it out much clearer but when you're looking at the piece, you have to know it's there to pick it out.

Here's an example of 3 pieces that I wired together. It feels very sturdy after I wired them together and I think it looks like an angel. I haven't added beads yet but I will get around to it eventually.

So if you're in love with filigree but want to find a way to combine pieces without glue, try wire instead.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mech Heart Earrings

I loved the sundial necklace so much that I wanted to create a pair of earrings using the same tabbed/prong settings. These didn't come out exactly as I wanted. I'm a lazy jewelry and hate measuring! After I cut the prongs and riveted them to the back, I discovered the prongs were too long and totally obscured the domed piece I wanted to highlight. I ended up having to roll each tab in half then turn them in. I also chickened out on the bead I set in the center. Originally I was going create a balled end headpin and add the bead, then on the reverse I was going to melt the wire to pin the bead to the dome. I ended up wrapping it instead so you can see the piece of wire that comes up from behind. Oh well...I guess I'll try it next time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Color Filigree in Stock

I just received a shipment in from a new plater and the brass ox color is different than what I've been carrying so far. It's a deeper richer color with more black in the color. It looks more like something that would have aged naturally. I am going to start listing the items but wanted to make a post showing the difference in colors. I've got 3 examples of the same item in the two different finishes. I will be calling this finish "Rich Brass Ox" in my listings in my shop.

I've also got a lot of oxidized sterling silver plated pieces that I will be listing in the next several days.