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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

12 Days of Jewellery for Christmas - bit of 'bling'

Hi Everyone
Today, it's day ? of the '12 days of jewellery @ thepapersac'. This week it's the Rounds Bead series. My jewellery item for today is a pair of Dangle Rounds.

The beads are very simple thin (clay rolled to number 4 in the pasta machine). I've used 3 discs per earring but you could use more and with different colours/textures etc. I've punched round shapes in the clay and simply made a large hole in the centre. The holes do need to be quite large to allow them to move around the wires. The movement is a key element of the design. I'm going to try out some gold leaf to clay and use a similar design for a change.The discs are easily removed so you could add a few different disc beads to allow for a different look.
A good point to note - I've used a gold plated wire but any wire could be used. I don't usually use plated wires but I've tested this one and I do like it (I've had very sensitive ears in the past and avoided plated wires). Certainly for Christmas, these earrings provide a bit of 'bling'.

I hope you feel inspired to have a go at this design. It's quick and easy as a 'gift make'.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 24 November 2014

12 Days of Christmas Jewellery

Hi Everyone
We are in week 3 (the final week) of the '12 days of jewellery @ thepapersac'. This week it's the Rounds Bead series. My jewellery item of the day is a pair of Stud earrings using a basic round punched shape. I've embellished the shape with a star - this star is a very thin version of the stars used in week 1 (10/11/12 post).
To make the Rounds range of beads, I used my pasta machine (number 2 setting) to prepare the clay for punching out (same process again as week 1). I used the middle size of round punch for my Round Star Studs (1cm across). A very small quantity of clay is required for a single pair of earrings. I planned to produce my whole Rounds series ie 4 jewellery pieces and prepared the basic beads as a batch. This planning does help make production times efficient. For each single round red shape, I made a thin star shape in Old Gold and baked the beads. I've placed the stars just off centre, I like the look this gives the piece.

The posts are glued onto the round shape after the first bake (to secure while I move to the next process). I embed the posts with a tiny piece of clay and mold into the round shape. I bake the bead again, this gives the earrings a smooth and clean, secure post for the back of the earring. The earrings are sealed and polished before packaging.
I'm making a few of these designs for little presents, they are ideal for placing in a cracker and quick to make. The gold stars give the earrings a festive theme and look pretty. As usual I've made myself a pair !

Hope you are inspired.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 21 November 2014

12 Days of Christmas Jewellery

Hi Everyone
Today, it's the round up of all the Bicone bead pieces of jewellery featured this week. Go back to 17/11/14 for the initial technique used in this section of the 12 Days of Christmas Jewels @ thepapersac.

In my design suggestions this week, I gave an Old Gold pair of stud earrings, a Bicone drop earring on silver or gold wires, a stretch Old Gold bracelet (with a single red bead) and finally a stretch necklace on a chain.

My favourite this week has to be the Bicone Bead Necklace. I will be using this design again and am already planning some beads for the job.

Each piece has a place in own my planned Christmas outfits (sounds organised ? ) but Ive been trying out samples and can't quite wait for Christmas !

Hope you enjoyed the Bicone section. Next week we will have the last bead shape with 4 more items. I can't quite decide which pieces I will make for my presents. I think, I need to wait until next week.

Have a great weekend.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Stretch Bicone Chain Necklace

Hi Everyone
Today, it's day 8 of 12 Days of Jewellery @ thepapersac and the item of the day is a Bicone Stretch Necklace - yes, 'stretch' ! As usual, the technique for making the beads can be found at the beginning of the week (17/11/14) post.

Todays design has come from my attempts at finding a neat and easy clasp idea. My solution this time is to avoid the clasp altogether ! I'm not sure why this causes me so much grief but I do spend lots of time thinking about clasps. I wanted to use the stretch thread idea to allow for a shorter necklace which will go over the head (without the need for a clasp).The stretch characteristic is a great option for this particular design. My design is very easy and will adapt to lots of different beads. Here it is :

The coloured Bicone beads are slightly different shapes and sizes and I've made a simple Sterling Silver chain (will be available in my shop or email me if would like to buy). The stretch thread Ive used is a green colour (0.8) and attached via the chain links. I've used the same knot as I use for stretch bracelets ie surgeons knot. Although the thread is not particularly visible - I like the glimpse of green at the link connection. I've hidden the knot inside the first bead and added a tiny spot of glue to keep in place.

I like the final item and will wear it all day to check how it works for me. I hope you are inspired to make one for yourself or as a gift.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

12 Days of Christmas Jewels - Day 7

Hi Everyone
Today, it's day 7 of 12 Days of Jewellery @ thepapersac and the item of the day is a Bicone Stretch Bracelet.

You can find the technique for making these beads in the 17/11/14 post.

I have used 20 individual beads for my bracelet. I've added a single red/gold mix bead in there - to add interest. The red bead is a different shape so acts as a bit of a focal bead. Even though this 'focal' bead is relatively small - I like the focus it gives.

I've also decided to use different sizes and shapes of Bicone beads, some have points and some are quite flat lentil shaped beads. I used the same technique for making all the beads but I like the variety that can be achieved with this simple technique. I've also made the threading holes in different place - this gives another option for changing the look of the final bracelet.

If you choose to use larger size beads, less beads will be required. To decide on how many beads you need, simply measure your wrist and keep trying on the item for size. Sometimes, the way in which beads are arranged make a difference to how the bracelet 'sits' on the wrist and how it moves. Keep trying on - to check you are happy with the bead sequence.The bracelet is very simple in terms of design and construction - it's predominantly made from Old Gold coloured Sculpey clay. I do think the colour gives a 'richness' to the piece but you could,of course,use any colour.

This would be a very easy gift item to make for Christmas. Hope you are inspired.

Thanks for reading.