Make a pretty key-chain…

Howdy all! here is a project that will stretch your options with your jewelry making supplies and make a great gift of craft fair item:

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All you need is a key ring, flexible beading wire (like Tigertail or Accuflex) a large focal bead (I used a bobbin bead-see yesterday’s post for a how to), a charm and a  coordinating bead and two #4 crimp tubes.

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How to build the key chain:

  1. Cut 12″ of wire. Slip a charm (or a bead) to the mid-point and fold the wire in half.
  2. Slide the wire ends through the hole in the large focal bead (the first bead with keep the beads secure.)
  3. Place on another bead then slip on 2 #4 crimp beads (both wires in both tubes.)
  4. Put the ends of the wires through the key ring and then back through both crimp tubes.
  5. Feed the ends of the wires back through the beads if there is room. Trim any wire sticking out past the focal bead.
  6. Squeeze the crimp tubes closed using crimp plies if you have them (they will give you a nicer look and a more secure hold) or needle-nosed plies if you don’t.
  7. Tie a scrap of ribbon around the crimp tubes. Done!

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A pretty key chain can be used to hold your keys (of course) but it can also be clipped to a purse, luggage or a backpack for decoration or identification. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Try something new! Bobbin Beads!

…I discovered something very dangerous to my wallet last week…shopping for craft supplies on ebay! 😀 I has seen some beautiful lampworked glass beads that were made on metal sewing machine bobbins so I went on the hunt for steel bobbins and I found a package of 100 on ebay for $13 with free shipping and they are the kind my machine takes so even if this bead making adventure turned out to be an epic fail I can still use the bobbins for sewing (what a concept.) Well the two glass beads I made on bobbins were yuck, I could not keep all of the glass hot enough to work it so then I grabbed my polymer clay and made a few really simple but nice ones:

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I made the glass beads on the necklace and earring too, Now that I have gotten used to it I am enjoying my Devardi glass, I really like the Pandora mandrels for making the large-hole beads. I can’t wait for my 1000 bead cores to arrive (yep, another $4 spent on ebay LOL!) so I can snazzy them up good and proper!

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The technique is really easy in clay, first condition brown, teal and light blue separately and roll them into ropes. Twist the ropes together. Fold them and twist them as many times as you like to get a nice marble effect then wrap the rope around the bobbin and press the clay in good to make sure it is all filled but you want the clay to stick out in all directions. Take a razor blade or clay blade and shear off any clay sticking out past the edge of the bobbin and through the holes. Slide the bobbin on a pencil or knitting needle and roll it along a fat marker or rolling pin to smooth the edges of the bead. The smaller round clay beads on the earrings were made in a tri-bead roller.

Making an adjustable knot:

You can do this with any satin cord, leather cord or ribbon. I used satin cord that came on a card. To take any wrinkles or kinks out of the cord or ribbon you and pass it a few times over a hot light bulb (on old-fashioned kind) untill the cord or ribbon is smooth. Tie an overhand knot at each end and seal the ends with fray check (if ribbon) or burn them if satin/nylon cord. Leather is fine as-is. Now keep one of the knot stationary and tie a surgeons knot with the other end around it. Repeat with the other side, it will look like this:

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Then you can pull the knots apart to make it smaller:

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easy peasy! Any questions? Just leave a comment and I will get back to you! thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

My First Crack at Pandora Style Beads…

I remember the first time I saw a Trollbead, it was at the Grasshopper shop and it was lovely…the price, however, was not. I have a new-found respect for these stunning beads since I started lampworking glass last month, by golly making an even round bead is hard! It is also hard to make 2 beads exactly the same size for earrings, here was my first attempt at both a Pandora type bead and identical earring beads:

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What do you think? I did not have proper bead cores so I used scrapbooking and sewing eyelets, looks pretty good I think:)

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I wore the necklace a couple of times but it is too symmetrical ..or something, it just ain’t right. I will be pulling it apart and trying again, maybe it’s the ribbon, I’m not sure…it just is not working for me, any ideas?

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Well, I best boogie, I volunteered to decorate for the Cub Scouts Blue and Gold banquet tonight and then I am taking one of my best friends out for lunch for her birthday and I still need to slap on some war paint before I leave 😛 Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Lindsay’s got a bead torch! {what could possibly go wrong?}

Happy Saturday folks! I waited for my kids to go back to school before I tried out the new toy I got for Christmas: A Fireworks Beginner Bead Making Kit! I’m glad I did because once I fired that puppy up I didn’t stop until I had made beads on all of my available mandrels (metal sticks.) Look at what I made!

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The only trouble I had with the process was removing the beads from the mandrels. They are sitting in the freezer right now in hopes that they might loosen up a bit otherwise I have a snazzy new set of plant stakes! 😀 Or I have to go after them with the hammer and I really don’t want to do that. After making 2 beads, it was easy you see, I decided to make a video about it, it is not sped up anywhere so you can see the full process and how long they take. I explain the materials  how to light the torch and the supplies, have a look:

After I shot the video I decided to do some experimenting because I thought it would be swell to be able to use the major amount of scrap glass I have accumulated for my bead kiln (boy, I really like to melt things!) so I grabbed so longer scraps and started melting. It worked! I soon figured out that I could not mix my stained glass and Italian rods but I suspected that was the case as it is with fusing glass in my kiln. I did not try dichro glass because that would be asking for trouble in my novice hands. I found a great you tube channel by Kate Drew Wilkinson on using scrap glass and I really recommend checking it out. She is a classy lady with a soothing British accent, she is like the Bob Ross of beadmaking LOL!

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The bumpy turquoise brown bead and the funny orange cylinder were done with stained glass scraps. After watching some of Kate’s videos I can’t wait to try again because her designs were classy and gorgeous! I wonder how long my tank of gas will last? I am surprised at how loud the torch is, I don’t think I would try and use it if my kids were home and I was the only adult around because I would not want to get distracted and it is hard to hear over. I wonder if the big refillable tank kits are as loud because in watching other videos it did not seem so noisy, hence the close-captioning during the flame work (I know how you love my witty comments LOL}

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So, there you have it! It is fun to make lampwork beads, now I just need to figure out how to get those suckers off the mandrels. I’m not sure if I used too much bead release (because it wanted to flake off) of if I just did not clean my mandrels well enough before I coated them. Oh well, if I have to break them I can use them for fused glass elements or smash them into frit, no biggie-hey, I even sound like I know what I am talking about, nice! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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