Claudia’s Wire Works

I’ve been spending a lot of time making bracelets. Lots and lots of bracelets. The same, stretchy bracelets. I’ve got so many of them. At first, creating these kinds of bracelets was extremely challenging for me. But then, I really got the hang of it and then it became fun. Now, it’s just too easy to whip these guys out.

It reminds me of when I played the game SKYRIM. When I first started encountering dragons in the game, it was very difficult. I had limited resources, very little skill and I was apprehensive to try anything spunky. After a while, it got easier and easier. It then got to the point where I could kill a dragon with three strikes of my enchanted two-handed sword. I even started taking on two dragons at the same time. That’s when it wasn’t fun anymore. The challenge was no longer the there. And that’s when I decided to end the game.

The beading game is absolutely not done. There is so much more for me to do. I’ve tried doing threading work with beads. What a chore! I’m sure after with some practice that I will be very good at it, just like I am with creating elastic bracelets. So I decided to take on a new medium: Wire Working.

The past month I have been doing a lot of wire work. At first, it seemed really difficult. But with some practice, I’ve really have gotten it down. And it shows – I have created some really beautiful pieces. I’m not going to lie – Wire Working is very tedious and you have to put your “perfections” aside. Like making beaded stretchy bracelets, you need to learn how to correct your mistakes. You figure out how to fix what you break. There is trial and error, and you always take away something from each project.

Wire working is something that I really enjoy very much. It’s always rewarding to finish a beautiful piece of jewelry…something that I made from hand with tools and materials that I chosen myself. Wire pieces you can really open up. You can be very creative with designs that you make, with the way you place your beads…the possibilities are endless.

I’ve picked up some new virtues in wire working. Patience is key, as well as always looking out for the bigger picture. Of course, my analogy to SKYRIM really hits home. Practice and a little guts is key.

I’ve started to develop a new type of product in my wire working. Sort of a “new line” of jewelry that I am offering. I am offering necklaces that can be worn in different ways. They will include expanders and accessories, and you can add on other pieces if you wish to. Everyone loves to make the most of what they got, so why should jewelry be any exception?

Here is some fun that I have been having with my Wire Working:

Hand wiring up some beads for I have no idea what!
Beads on some glass…
Try out new things…one bead at a time…and one wire wrap at a time.
My work friend Moreen really loved the necklace I made for her! <3
My work friend Moreen really loved the necklace I made for her! ❤

And here are some of my listings that I am offering on ETSY:

Pearl Shell Necklace and Earrings
Two in One Amethyst Necklace. Matching earrings and bracelet are available.
Two in One Onyx Necklace.

Enjoy and Happy Beading! 🙂

Easy DIY Layered Chain Necklace

I’ve been toying with the idea of making a layered chain necklace (or bracelet) myself. Check out the fabulous instructions here to get started!

Beauty by Caitlin

DIY layered chain necklace1

Hello Lovelies! Today I have a super fun and easy DIY project for you! I made this cute layered chain necklace over the weekend and it only took me about 15 minutes. I want to apologize right off the bat though. When I went to Michael’s to get the chains I wasn’t thinking about taking pictures. I figured I would make a silver one because I already have a gunmetal and gold one. Unfortunately silver wouldn’t photograph well at all no matter what color background I was working on. I used the pictures from the black background, because you couldn’t see anything on the white background, but not all of them turned out usable. I’m going to be as detailed as humanly possible to try and make up for the missing pictures, but this is really really easy. This was my first attempt and I’m pretty happy with the way…

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Colors for Fall: Orange is the new Black

Funny, I’ve been picking up a bunch of different orange beads over the last couple of weeks.  I don’t know why.  I think one of the reasons why I have been doing this is because I am so drawn to cooler colors (think purple, blue, green).  Orange seemed like a dramatic, yet safe shift for me with my bead smithing.

While I was on my most recent routine run at a local craft shop, I decided to picked up the latest copy of Bead Design Studio magazine.  And there it is, smack right on the cover: “Orange: The color of the season!”  I’m glad to see that I’m not losing my clairvoyant touch.

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While this bums me out just a little, I can understand that such a strong, warm color would be “in” for fall.  Here is the skinny on what colors are in for fall (from Bead Design Studio):

  • Warm Tones: Golden, canary, watermelon, cherry, red-orange, tangerine, crimson, and garnet
  • Cool Tones: Lemon-lime, lime, aqua-fresh, emerald, olive, navy, electric blue, and cerulean (also seen in the font of the cover of BDS)
  • Neutral Tones: Khaki, honey, cocoa, rust, dove gray, gray

Some of these colors sound a foreign to me, so I did some researching online so you can see them for yourselves.  These are some very beautiful colors!

Here are some of my recent creations in orange:

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Bottom Left: Orange Crackled Glass with Orange Pearls

Top Left: Fire Orange Agate with Orange Glass

Top Right: Fire Brown Agate with Peach Glass

Bottom Right: Orange Sodalite with Lapis Lazuli (not yet listed)

These are all really great designs and colors.  However, loud and crisp-looking jewelry is like a fresh bottle of nail polish.  It looks absolutely gorgeous in the bottle, but when you go to put it on, it’s a totally different story.  As much as I find all these colors lovely, I don’t think I could pull every single one of them off.  You’ll probably see me mostly in the neutral isle for the most part this fall.

Do you change your fashion colors season by season?  Do you try to follow the latest trends?  Or do you still do your own thing?

Extreme Bead Shopping and Makeovers

Date: 09/01/2014
Time: 09:00 HOURS EST
Location: Dining room and kitchen

Him: “We need to go to the pet store today”
Me: “I know. Do you know where else there is a Pet Smart besides our neighborhood?”
Him: “…where?”
Me: “Crossgates Commons”

A little pause goes by…

Him: “You mean to tell me that you want to go to three different craft shops in three days??”
I just look at him wide eyed and flutter my lashes.
Him: “That’s craziness. You can’t do it – it’s never been done before.”
I’m still looking at him wide eyed.

He walks away mumbling “hooo my gaaad…”

~*~*~*~

Labor day is a pretty sad time of the year for me. It marks the end of my favorite season: summer. No more water parks. No more hanging out at the lake. People’s pools start to close. Amusement parks close down for the season. Ice cream places close down. It’s also a reminder that the season of death is going to be approaching soon. Which means that I will have to drive in crappy weather, shovel and scrape ice off my truck. What a bummer.

However, there is a sunny side to Labor Day weekend: the sales. Everyone and anyone is having a sale of some sort, and the local craft stores are no exception. My extreme beading has taken a very aggressive turn. My shipmment from BRC came in on Friday. We went to Joanne’s on Saturday night (where I saved about half of what I bought). We hit AC Moore on Sunday (again saved half). And today we will just see what Micheal’s has.

From my previous article, you can imagine that I manage to save as much money as I possibly can when I shop local. I even have my boyfriend buy stuff with the “one coupon per customer” promotions. Even with all that, they can be pretty expensive compared to what you can buy online. I currently have two favorite online stores that I will continue to shop at:

BRC Beads
Fire Mountain Gems

BRC beads actually had my shipment to me within a week, and it was free. Very impressive. Fire Mountain Gems will give you more discounts with the more you buy (naturally). However, the search features on this site are incredible and it’s worth the visit.

With all my different shopping, I craft items with beads that I have gotten from multiple sources. The agate from BRC and the glass from Joanne’s, along with those cute little spacers from Amazon. The different turquiose I got from AC Moore with some charms from that shop that I picked up when I was at Cape Cod. It’s makes it interesting, because every piece has it’s own interesting story. My peices are not just “made out for the masses”. They are all made with careful consideration and have a story on where they came from.

We also hit up home depot and bought some shelves to add to my studio. Now it looks really nice and I have lots of space. Nothing like a makeover in your creative area.

My Crafting Studio

Happy Beading! ::C