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Don't Let Your Jewelry Ideas Escape

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Your Jewelry Design DiaryCreativity is a quirky, self-centered vixen. When you need it most, it smiles and giggles and runs away like a naughty toddler.  Creative block is inevitable. You understand this if you've ever had to craft jewelry in quantities enough to stock an arts and craft show booth. It’s difficult to keep producing fresh designs, but what can you do?




You must grab those ideas before they escape forever!



Jewelry designs arrive on their own time You can’t force your jewelry-making muse to cooperate. She (or he) won't come just because you have a big event and need a well-stocked booth. Great design ideas don’t arrive when you need them. They pop into your head when you're driving down the street or talking on the phone. Or even deep in sleep.
It’s impossible to keep your creative juices flowing 24/7. They run sluggishly then kick into high gear when you are deeply into some other activity. It's up to you to recognize the urge, grab it, and hold onto it the mo…

Twinkle-Twinkle Funky Star

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Stars are so twinkly... so magical... so funky. It's no wonder I'm drawn to starry themes when I get crafty. Stars are fascinating, especially when added to earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. You can make your stars simple or dress them up with beads. Wire stars lead a doubly creative life. They add funky little accents to your jewelry creations. You can also use them to spice up your home decor when you add them to photo frames, mobiles, and other crafty projects. Twinkle-Twinkle, simple star!You could go twinkle-twinkle wild, but start out simply, please. Try making an uncomplicated pair of wire star earrings. You or your teen can create them inexpensively with craft wire and a pair of earwires. You can add beads if you choose and your project still shouldn't take more than 30 minutes.

This wire star technique is so simple, you can easily create a few of your own. All you'll need is wire, jewelry making tools, and a sense of whimsy. Tools PliersWire CuttersRulerFileHam…

If I Were the Queen of Handmade Jewelry

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If I ever become the queen of handmade jewelry, on my very first day I will issue a proclamation:

"Hear ye, hear ye, loyal jewelry-making subjects. From this day forward, thou art no longer required to make earrings that match."Asymmetrical is funky Look at the earrings above. Aren't they fun and funky? Isn't it obvious that I had a joyful time creating them? It's easy if you follow a few simple non-rule rules:


If you use beads, (sometimes I don't) keep them in the same color family. When you work, go full-on creative, make each pair a dangly work of art. If you run short of ideas, inspire your creativity with a theme. (I like Wild Woman.)  When you're finished, name each pair, like the work of art it is. My customers love that. Remember: Just because you call them a "pair," it doesn't mean they have to match.
No, really! Your earrings don't have to match


I remember my first pair of non-matching earrings. Of course, I didn't think of my li…

Playing With Wire

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Do you get so caught up in precision jewelry techniques that you miss the joy of the creative process?


We jewelry crafters and artisans are truly fabulous. We transform simple wire, metal, stones, and glass into grand, elegant, funky, or even whimsical jewelry. It's a joyful craft indeed.
We really shouldn't take it so seriously.
Metalwork can be a bit tedious until you get the hang of it, but working with wire should feel like an exciting creative experience from day one.
It should feel like fun... like child's play.
Learn the basics
Of course, you do have to learn a few things first. Angles, measurements, and nearly perfect curves and loops are important to beautiful, well-made wire jewelry. You should learn at least a few rules before you get down to breaking them all.
But wire jewelry making rules are only half the story. Learn the rules, then make your wire jewelry even better by adding in your own originality, your own ideas, and above all your own sense of playful exc…

A Big Bold Beautiful Woman Wants Handcrafted Jewelry That's BIg Bold & Beautiful Like Her

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A plus-sized jewelry lover may wander from booth to booth at an arts and craft show before she finds a single piece of jewelry she wants to wear. You can be the one who gives her what she wants.

What does she want? A big beautiful woman wants jewelry that's big, bold and beautiful, just like her. Unfortunately, most handcrafted jewelry designers cater to the petite modelesque women portrayed in fashion magazines. I'm guilty too. I've been known to make standard 7-inch bracelets and 16-inch chokers, but these “norms” are far from normal.


Go Bigger and Bolder

You don't have to change your jewelry making style to create beaded jewelry for big and beautiful plus-sized customers. Just go bigger and bolder.

If big and bold jewelry is a new venture for you, test the waters. Experiment a few pieces at a time. Take one of your existing beaded designs and make it longer. Create a few plus-sized pieces to add to your inventory and see what your customers think.

You will need to m…

Build a Bracelet With Your Own Creative Style

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Some people like to have a bracelet or necklace planned every step of the way: this bead will go here, that shape will go there. That's the way most jewelry instructors teach. 

Everybody follows the same steps. Everybody uses the same beads. And everybody goes home with the exact same piece of jewelry.

Why not try it another way? 

First of all, stop doing what everyone else does! Build your bracelet using wire shapes and creativity. 

If you've created jewelry with wire before, either freehand or with a jig, you know how to make wire shapes. If you don't know how to make wire shapes, get some wire and practice.Once you figure out how to make a few simple wire shapes, you'll be on your way to building a fabulously bold bracelet.You can make your bracelet a delicate piece if you prefer. Simply use a smaller guage wire and create delicate shapes shapes.
Tools
Round Nosed PliersNeedle Nosed PliersWire CuttersIf you're at least a beginning jewelry maker, you no doubt have thes…

More Simple Metalwork Basics - Adding Textures, Letters & Cut-Outs

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If I were conducting an in-person metal class, by the end of lesson one I would have reminded you to purchase a jeweler's saw and lots of blades to practice cutting.  And if you returned to class the following week, (some students think working with metal is so difficult they don't return after the first class) I would welcome you back, congratulate you on getting over any beginner's frustration and ask you to pull out your first practice piece.
A Simple Beginning Hopefully you started out simply, creating a simple shape for a pendant or perhaps two pieces for a pair of earrings. By the second class you probably would have figured out that a round shape sounds simple enough, but it's one of the hardest shapes to cut; so maybe you created a triangle or perhaps an oval instead.
You've cut out your first piece, now you are ready to take the next step to turn that simple metal shape into something creative.
Smooth the Rough Edges No matter how gracefully you perform up-and-d…