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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

My gift to you is hope and a wish for a world that is quiet and peaceful, yet full of laughter and joy.   An aware life where you are surrounded and full of happy and helping people; of excellent health; one where you are aware and experience the ability to always receive the favor and gifts of the larger, greater and more powerful creative life force that is always present.

Merry Christmas with Love, ~ Linda

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Butterfly Wing Earring Tutorial

I have added 'Wire Jewelry Masterclass' by Abby Hook to my library.  One of my favorite designs and tutorials is her butterfly wing earrings.  While I was recreating her design I cut my wire incorrectly and that caused the design to be changed.  But, I really like it, so I have decided to record the new tweaks here.  I plan on making addition pairs of these earrings and changing the beads or crystals to give them different personality.

18 gauge copper wire
24 gauge copper wire

Small Rap And Tap, stepper pliers - optional
Sharpie pen
Chain nose pliers
Bench block
Sand bag or folded towel

Since it was late when I wanted to shoot these pictures, I needed to be inside using over head lighting.  Not the best pictures, but clear.

Flush cut 3 1/2" of 18 guage copper wire
At 3 1/4" from the tip of the wire, make a mark with the Sharpie
Make a 90 degree bend at the 1 1/4" mark, using your chain nose pliers
Using the small mandrel of the small Rap and Tap pliers make a loop on both ends of the wire
Using the chain nose pliers to secure and hold the small loop on the 1 1/4" end, make a partial open spiral.  The space of the new portion of the open spiral should be about the same as the beginning loop.  The beginning loop will end up with the tip of thewire facing upward and near 11 o'clock.  This wire will also be touching the long staight wire.  The final form will look like half a heart.
Turn the form upside down (upside down 1/2 heart) and make an open spiral.  The space in the new section of this open spiral is about the same as the beginning loop.  You may need to use your fingers to adjust this open spiral so it touches the top open spiral wire.  This botton open spiral will not touch the straight wire on the left.  There will be some space between the straight wire and the open spiral.  This will make the bottom open spiral sit out more than the top open spiral.
Using the flat side of the hammer, flatten and work harden this frame. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy December

Here it is December, that overwhelming time of the year.  Yes, I know it's Christmas time and I absolutely adore this season, but you may agree with me that the to do list is longer than normal.  Last week I managed to get the outside decorations up on the house.  The weather today was so spring like that I ventured to the back yard shed and got all of those Christmas decoration bins hauled to my deck.  Since my house is for sale I am going to spend some extra time going through all of my decorations and doing some serious down sizing. The 10 large plastic storage bins and 5 plastic wreath containers have gotten out of hand.  I don't plan on moving more than 2 bins and 1 wreath container.   I plan on giving many of my decorations to my family and what they don't want will go to charity.

I have been plenty busy in the studio getting new designs ready to restock the shelves at the WV Highlands Gallery, so I thought I'd share some of the new pieces with you.  The pendant above is a lentil lamp work bead, about 25 or 30 mm.  I had a couple tree of life frames left over and this bead fit inside perfectly.  I used 20 gauge wire to embellish the frame.  Boy, what that a challenge.  Future pendants of this design will be made with 22 gauge wire to give my fingers a break.

Sometimes I will just sit and wrap stones, beads or crystals with no design in mind.  Then I'll just bag them up and store them away in the studio.  This is the case with this necklace.  I got so excited when I found these turquoise (dyed) stones all ready to go.  I used some 24 gauge wire to wrap the front bail of this necklace.

This pendant is similar to the first pendant in this post  This is the first time I've used Rainbow Rhyolite and I absolutely love it!  Each stone is different from the others.  I am certain I will be using it a lot in my jewelry.
It's getting late and there's a cup of herb tea calling my name.  Thank you for stopping by my blog.
Have a joy filled and creative day!  ~  Linda

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Little Works of Love

A very dear friend of mine is an icon of a loving, strong and determined women.  I am proud to be her friend.  She has recently recovered successfully from a double mastectomy and has had breast re-conconstructive surgery.  Mamma's got new boobs!  Her lovely daughter held a huge party in honor of her mothers success.  Over 70 people came to the party to celebrate.  I wasn't able to attend because the roads here in West Virginia were covered with downed trees, power lines and 2 to 4 feet of snow.  But, I wanted to do something special for my friend, so out came my wire, beads, crystals, stones and I put my tools and hands to work.  I wrapped up 50 pair of pink earrings for her and her guests and had our wonderful postal carriers deliver the little works of love.  Perhaps other jewelry makers have and will create some pink for those women we so love and admire and show them how much love is in this world - especially because of them!

Brenda and her daughter Ashlea were interviewed by NBC.  Here's the link if you would like to see the video.  Isn't she beautiful!


It is my hope that this will inspire someone to create something from the heart and offer it with no expectation, other than to express hope and love.
Thank you for visiting my blog. ~ Linda

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Lastest From My Work Table

A few words and a lot of pictures of the latest pieces from my work table.  All of these items are now at WV Highlands Art and Artisan Gallery, in Davis, WV.  Now that I've attached these pictures I have realized that I should update the gallery on my web-site.  I'll put that on my to list for tomorrow.

Necklace:  Silver with Crystals
Earrings:  To match the above necklace, because customers keep asking for the matching earrings
Necklace: Silver and Crystal
Earrings:  To match the above necklace
Pendant:  Tree of Life, copper and gemstone
Pendant:  Tree of Life, copper and gemstone
Pendant:  Copper, gemstone and crystal
Pendant:  Silver, glass, crystal and (actual) dipped leaf
Have a loving and prosperous day!  Thank you for stopping by my blog. ~ Linda

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tutorial: Hoop and Squiggle Earrings

In my quest for the ultimate pair of earrings I sometimes design them myself.  However, I'm not the only one making earrings.  There are many talented wire artists out there that are unbelievably talented.  When I discover their creations I set a goal to reproduce the items.  Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes I fail royally and sometimes the design takes on a life of it's own and turns out completely different from the original design.

I found this design on Pinterest, my latest favorite web place. There are a lot of potential variations for this design.  Here are a few ideas, 1) Use 2 different metals, i.e. antiqued copper and silver, 2) wrap a bead or crystal at the top and then add this unit, 3) add some seed beads to the top squiggle on the unhammered sections of wire, 4) use twisted wire on part or all of the components.  I bet there are other variations.   I hope that you will enjoy this tutorial and I hope that it's clear.

18 Ga wire
2 pieces at 3 ¼”
2 pieces at 4”
2 ear wires
2 ear chucks
Flush cutters
#20 = 20mm mandrel (about 3/4” in diameter)
Large Rap and Tap (LRAT)
Small Round Nose Pliers (SRNP)
Bench Block
Sand Bag or Towel
3 1/4” wire
Make hanging loop using middle of SRNP

Wrap wire around the 20mm mandrel with the hanging loop outward.
Your wire should wrap around the mandrel a tad bit more than the mandrel.

Hold with fingers to maintain shape.
Hammer lightly at first to work harden to maintain shape.

Hammer more to give the wire a flattened look.

Reshape on mandrel if necessary

4” wire

Start wire on the back of the SRNP.
Make a partial loop – about 80% - leave a gap.

Continue wire around to form a partial open spiral.
The beginning tip of the wire is now facing downward.
The remainder of the wire is horizontal.

Insert the back of the SRNP.  The bottom mandrel will be touching the beginning spiral.  Make a wrap around the top mandrel until the wire is going the opposite direction and is horizontal, yet touching the wire below.

Insert the small mandrel of the LRAT.  The LRAT is flush and touching the side of the beginning spiral.  Make a wrap around the small mandrel until the wire is going the opposite direction and is horizontal, yet touching the wire below.

Use the middle of the SRNP and make a loop going downward on the end of the wire.  This will be your hanging wire.

Use the middle of the SRNP and place it next to the end loop so it is flush or touching the end loop.  Bend the first or handing loop up and over this loop.

Use your hammer to work harden the entire squiggle.  Hammer the curves an extra bit to give it some shape.

Place the squiggle on top of the hoop and if necessary use your fingers to adjust the size to match the other earring.

Now its time to add the ear wire.

I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial and perhaps used one of the suggested variations.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  Have a joy filled and creative day!  Linda

Friday, October 26, 2012

Which Came First? The Chicken or the Egg?

Source:  Pinterest

I love a good mystery and history.  Throughout history there are great inventions that are created by different 2 people in 2 different locations. Sometimes they are in other countries.  So I believe that this same occurrence can and does happen when it comes to wire jewelry designs.  I think it's really magical when something original is created by 2 people that don't know each other.  It really makes me realize just how little I know about how our world really operates.  I figure one day I'll be looking down at our planet and say 'Oh!  Will you look at that!  So that's how that happens!'


The earrings on the left are from ArtistiKat on Etsy. The earrings on the right are from my worktable.  Mine have a bit more wire, the center is pushed out (I call it a bubble), mine have a simple loop and the beads are in 2 sizes.  I don't believe either of us were first.  I think this is so cool!  To see a coincidence like this is exciting!  I think the ancient philosophers called it synchronicity.

Recently I have noticed 2 of 'my' designs showing up by other wire artists.  I'm sure that she or he thinks the same as I do when we discovered the same design by someone else - 'Hey!  That's my design!"  I've had to apologize, in my own head, to the other wire artist for my accusation.  How selfish of me to think such a thought without evidence.  Besides, is anything truly ours?

Source:  Pinterest

I usually post my designs somewhere on the internet.  It is my personal style to put it out their and sometimes with a free tutorial.  If someone wants to recreate it, well then, I'm flattered. I think all of my designs are really from the ultimate Creator and I am gifted with the idea.  But it's also there to share.  But that's me and not everyone.

Here is another example of a similar design.  The one on the left is from Overstocked.com and the one on the right is from my worktable.  Mine have an open spiral and a charm hanging from the bottom and there is no bead on the top.  So I ask, Which came first?  The chicken or the egg?'
Source:  Pinterest

Please feel free to recreate any of my designs.  If you however make a purse full of money from selling it then please donate my share to a non-profit that helps mankind.

Now go make something out of wire and have fun!
Thank you for stopping by my blog today.  Linda