Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sun Catchers and Sun Prisms - A Bit Of Winter Therapy!

My family and I made a wonderful trip to Key West over the Holidays, and we had a marvelous time. The temperatures were in the high 70's and 80's - balmy and absolutely perfect!  It was so awesome to get away in the middle of winter to a little bit of what I would call paradise. In fact, I'm ready to go back!

Here's a few shots of us living the good life in sunny Key West:

Hubby & me enjoying a Mimosa on the covered porch of our condo.
Here we are getting ready to enjoy lunch at the Southern Most Cafe.

I just had to take a shot of this charming shop decorated for Christmas.
It sure didn't feel like Christmas though!

We spent four great days there. And then we came back home to reality.  We got on the plane to come home from Florida wearing shorts and flip flops on a balmy 85 degree day. We exited the plane in Charlotte to 40 degree rainy and cold weather.

And then it got worse - the temperatures have dropped to the 20's and 30's. I know I shouldn't complain - here in South Carolina our winters are mild compared to the northern states. But nonetheless, I am ready for spring!

So now that we are firmly in the grasp of winter, I have been searching for a way to connect back to the sun again. And I did what I often do - retreat to my jewelry and beading room. And in my quest for the sun, I made sun catchers. And then I kept making sun catchers. I started out just planning to make one. But one just wasn't enough - I kept going.  After all, maybe sun catchers are therapeutic - watching the sun reflect and dance through them is actually uplifting. And so I thought I would share the results of my sun catching therapy here with you:


"Jewels in Flight" Sun Catcher
Large round disc crystal prism, crystal beaded chain with hummingbird

Celestial Moon & Stars SunCatcher
Large baroque prism with moon & stars etchings

Close-up view of Celestial Moon & Stars Sun Catcher

"Queen of the Sun" Large Crystal Sun Prism.
Large crystal disc and beaded chain


Multi-Color Deco Sun Catcher.
Large crystal ball suspended on multi-color jeweled chain

Full View of Multi-Color Deco Sun Catcher
And I made a few rear view mirror sun catcher charms too:

Swarovski Crystal Heart Rear View Mirror Sun Catcher Charm.
Interchangeable heart charms
I made the crystal heart charms a couple of weeks ago - you can find a tutorial on how to make these in my earlier post DIY Tutorial Wire-Wrapped Heart Pendant.

So now you know how I created a little bit of sunshine for myself!

To see all of my sun catchers be sure to visit me on Etsy at DJAjewels.etsy.com!  You can find all of these designs and more here in my Sun Catchers section.

Till next time!

Irene

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Most Versatile Lanyard Ever

Are you looking for a cool and pretty way to keep up with your eyeglasses and/or ID-Badge? Well, I know I have looked long and hard for just the right lanyard in the past. And that is why I started making eyeglass chains and lanyards. I sell these designs in one of my three Etsy shops: EyeglassChainsEtc.etsy.com.

Today I thought I would share one of my more popular designs. I make this lanyard in both silver and gold.




I use a pretty large link etched chain in bright rhodium plated silver and a soft matte gold. I place three matching large round links in the chain for visual interest and to function as eyeglass loops.

I added a detachable swivel clasp for use as an ID-Badge holder.  To use it as an eyeglass necklace, simply hang your glasses through one of the three large rings.  Of course, it also makes a very pretty long necklace if you don't need to use it for your glasses or ID-Badge.

Here are some examples of different ways to wear this pretty chain:



You can find this chain in my Etsy shop EyeglassChainsEtc.etsy.com.

I have listings there for both the Silver Lanyard and the Gold Lanyard.

Thanks for stopping by!  Till next time ...

Irene






Monday, December 29, 2014

DIY Tutorial Wire-Wrapped Heart Pendant

Have you ever wanted to use a unique way of attaching a focal drop or pendant to a jewelry or craft design?  Well I found some pretty Swarovski crystal hearts in my great stash of beads and jewelry supplies.  Amazingly I had never used them for anything and they were just sitting in a little plastic bin - all lonely and just waiting to be put into some pretty design.

Now usually, I just slip a large jump ring through the hole at the top of beads like these, but I really was yearning for a more interesting and unique way to showcase these beauties.  So here is what I came up with using a bit of wire and an extra round bead to accent the heart.  Here is a picture of a finished focal piece with an emerald green heart and round bead:


This technique should work fine for any drop pendant or focal piece that has a top drilled hole from front to back.  Ready to get started?  Here's what you'll need:

Supplies needed:
  • Focal pendant - I used a 14x14mm size Swarovski crystal heart.
  • Round bead - I used a 6mm round faceted Swarovski crystal bead.
  • Round jump ring - I used an 8mm size closed jump ring - but you could also use an open jump ring if you prefer.
  • 10 inch piece of 24 gauge wire.
Tools needed:
  • Wire cutters
  • Flat nose pliers and/or needle nose pliers - you can get by with either one of these, but I find I like to use both.
  • Round nose pliers


Now for a quick look at how to make this pendant, here is a photo collage tutorial.  For more detailed instructions, scroll down below the photo collage.


Instructions:

1.  Slide your heart or other focal piece onto the wire about mid way.  Then pinch the wire together just above the top of the piece to form a little triangle.




2.  Now slide your round bead through BOTH pieces of wire down to the top of the little triangle part of the wire.  This is why you need 24 gauge wire which is small enough to accommodate two strands of wire.



3.  Next you need to make a simple wire-wire wrapped loop above your bead.  This is a basic jewelry making technique that many of you might already know how to do, but I will review it here:

Grab the wire just above the bead with your round nose pliers.

Bend the wire away from you over the top piece of your pliers.


Reposition your pliers so that you can begin looping the wire over the BOTTOM of your pliers.

Begin forming your loop by wrapping the two pieces of wire around the bottom portion of your pliers.
Now if you don't want to add a jump ring - or if you plan to use an open jump ring instead of a closed one - you could finish the loop by just wrapping your wire down to the round bead.  But I like the stability of a closed jump ring so this is where I added one.

Slide your closed jump ring through the loop - you might have to open your loop a bit to accommodate it.  I find it helpful to use my needle nose pliers to pull the loop through - but you can just use your fingers.

Grab your loop of wire just below your jump ring using your flat nose or needle nose pliers.

Wrap the two pieces of wire around the "stem" of wire from below your jump ring down to your round bead.

Snip off the extra wire with your wire cutters.  After cutting the wire, remember to "flatten" the ends down using your flat nose or needle nose pliers - I did not take a picture of this but you should do it to make the piece more finished.

If your loop is crooked - which it often will be - use your flat nose or needle nose pliers to straighten it.

And here is what your finished piece should look like.


I liked this design so much I made two more in different colors:





You can use these as necklace charms, key charms - or in my case - I used mine for rear view mirror car charms.




I hope you found this tutorial helpful.  If you make something using this tutorial and want me to showcase it here, contact me and send me a picture!

Happy beading!

Irene












Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rose Gold Eyeglass Lanyard

I'm expanding my line of eyeglass chains to include rose gold. Up till now I have offered my chains in bright silver, antique silver, antique gold, antique brass and gunmetal.  I also have leather eyeglass leashes as well.

But the hottest trend of late in the world of jewelry has been rose gold, so I thought I must add this to my inventory. I used a mixed metal design with a bright silver loop and swivel clasp.  I like it because it is simple, functional, versatile and beautiful - all at the same time!

Rose Gold and Silver Eyeglass Lanyard/ID-Badge Holder

Round loop detaches easily from the swivel clasp



The chain is a medium weight rose gold box rollo style. I used a bright silver swivel clasp and a round hammered silver loop on the end.  The detachable loop can be used to hold your eyeglasses with.  If you need to use it as an ID-Badge holder, simply detach the loop and use the swivel clasp to hang your ID-Badge onto.

Find this lanyard and more eyeglass and ID-Badge holders in my Etsy shop: EyeglassChainsEtc.etsy.com!

As always, thanks for visiting!
Irene

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Stick Pins for Scrapbooking and More!

This week I made more of my beaded stick pins.  You can find them in my Etsy shop DJAjewels.etsy.com.

There are tons of uses for stick pins.  Use them in scrapbooking and other craft projects.  Attach them to greeting and Christmas cards.  Use them as lapel or scarf pins or corsage pins.  Or just place them in a pretty pin cushion and use them as a decoration!

In case you missed my past post on how to make your own beaded stick pins and want to know how to make them, click here.

The only thing I did differently from the original tutorial is that I used pre-made metal wire pins instead of making my own out of wire.  This saved a huge amount of time - just needed to pick out my beads and glue them on!  I got my wire pins from FireMountainGems.com - click here for the link to the specific listing.



Glass Heart Stick Pins

Jewel Tone Beaded Stick Pins

Cathedral Bead Stick Pins

Lampwork Heart Stick Pins

And of course, I had to go ahead and make some Christmas stick pins!

Christmas Themed Stick Pins

Set of Three Red and Green Multi-Color Stick Pins

Set of Three Holiday Red Stick Pins

Set of Three Holiday Green Stick Pins

Till next time!
Irene