| Make It Personal!
As a jewelry designer, you always strive to create unique, wearable pieces of art. In the past year or two, there have been a lot of products on the market that let you truly create original, personal pieces for yourself and others. We call these products our Glue In and Glaze line. If you are looking for something new and fun to add to your design repertoire or just want to understand the product a little better, then you have come to the right spot!
We started our collection with pewter charms. I especially love the oval and round charms because their shape is just so versatile but we also carry them in squares, rectangles, and links. The best part about the pewter frames is the template so you don’t have to keep cutting your image down. Simply place your image under the template, trace, and cut.
After you have gotten your image down to a certain size, you will want to adhere it to the inside of the charm using Gem Tac and then give it a few hours to dry. If you are using shallow charms or pendants, you will want to use the Diamond Glaze which applies a thin, glossy clear coat on top of your images. In order to fill up the charm, you may have to use more than one coat; if so, let each layer dry thoroughly before applying the next. (I usually give mine at least 48 hours drying time.) A tip: always keep a paintbrush or toothpick—or some object with a small, fine point—handy so you can work out any bubbles that may try to arise within your work.
In addition to the pewter charms, we carry pendants that are perfect for customizing as well. Some are deeper than others, though so you have to be change gears a bit when working with these. Instead of using Diamond Glaze, you will want to use DG3 Gel. Both are clear drying products but Diamond Glaze tends to get a little cloudy when too many layers are applied. DG3 Gel will allow you to put multiple coats on without compromising the color or finish of your photo. Like the Diamond Glaze, DG3 Gel requires adequate time to dry between coats. Again, I would wait at least 48 hours between each coat. To take it even a step further, I usually wait a week before I will sell one of my finished pieces using the gel. Because it is water based, it requires a lot of time to fully cure. I have found that putting my pieces under a lamp helps expedite the drying process but I am still very cautious about handling my pieces until I know each layer is completely dry.
Let’s say you’ve got the whole process figured out but you make a mistake and accidentally stick your finger in the gel while it is drying. (Yes, this is written from a little bit of personal experience.) The best part about working with these gels is that, because they are water based, no mistake is permanent and clean-up is easy. All you have to do is soak your piece in water and you will be able to salvage your pendant or charm.
I honestly didn’t think this gluing and glazing thing would be something I would be into but it really is so much fun. From photographs to collage sheets, I have been able to create truly unique, personalized, wearable works of art with just a hint of glue, a smidge of glaze, and a dash of patience!
Shanna Steele, Auntie’s Beads Designer
Life Lessons Learned from a Bead Board
Those of us who are beadaholics know that part of the addiction to making jewelry comes from the fact that you never stop learning. Whether you are exploring a new technique, tool, medium, or material, it seems as though there is always something to discover. I have noticed in my years of designing that beading has taught me a lot about myself and a lot of valuable lessons that can be applied not just to my bead board but to life in general.
A few things I have learned along the way:
1. Frustration only breeds more frustration. Have you ever noticed that the more frustrated you get, the more negative you get, and the more this whole cycle of frustration and negativity hampers your creativity? The things we tell ourselves when we feel like we can’t do something are the very things that block us from being able to do that something. The solution: walk away from the bead board and return when you feel refreshed, relaxed, and more positive about yourself and your work.
2. Patience really is a virtue. Most people assume that designers—or creative types of any kind—are always “on” and just have those creative juices flowing all the time. This just simply isn’t true. I can’t tell you how many times I have had an idea in my head only to find that the piece isn’t working out quite the way I envisioned it or only to find that the pattern I am working on just isn’t going to measure out the way it should. All the creativity in the world won’t help solve the problem; patience is the only real solution. My favorite, most original pieces have come from a perfect fusion of creativity and patience.
3. Work from your strengths, not from your weaknesses. A few months ago, we went through a strengths training workshop to discover what really moved, motivated, and inspired us. This changed the way I thought about beading—and life. Admittedly, I am not a person who likes repetition so I don’t like creating the same finished piece over and over again nor do I like making long necklaces (especially if they are straight strung or wire wrapped). Knowing what I don’t enjoy frees me to concentrate on the things I do love so I can grow and further my knowledge in those areas. I learned that it is okay not to be a jack-of-all-trades and it is perfectly fine to spend more time doing what you love.
One of the biggest perks of my job (besides being amongst beautiful beads all day long!) is hearing from people whose lives have been touched by the amazing rewards beading can bring. What life lessons have you learned from your experience as a beader? When you walk away from your bead board, what emotions do you have when you have finished a piece that has that “wow” factor? Share your experiences with me—and your fellow beaders—by commenting below!
Shanna Steele, Auntie’s Beads Designer
My 5 Favorite Necklace Projects
Posted by Auntie's Beads on 9/22/2009
I wanted to share with you these 5 unique and beautiful projects posted by Auntie’s Beads designers. It was difficult to narrow it down to just five, but here they are. Feel free to comment, giving us your own list of favorite Auntie’s Beads projects or you can comment on one of these that I have chosen.
1. In My Bead Room Necklace
by Susie Henderson, www.AuntiesBeads.com Owner
I love the name of this piece. What can you do with all the extra beads sitting around in your bead room? Glue them into a pendant! I love how you can use art gel to let your imagination run wild and create one-of-a-kind pendants. All the different colors in the seed bead broom mix work perfectly with the large turquoise nuggets resulting in a necklace you can wear with just about anything. The natural, chunky shape of the turquoise and the overflow of seed beads in the pendant give this piece so much interesting depth and texture. Good job Susie Q!
2. Falling For Copper Necklace
by Shanna Steele, www.AuntiesBeads.com Designer
To me this piece just looks impressive, with all the intricate wire wrapping involved. I think copper and olivine give this necklace a very earth tone. The Swarovski Crystal, 4mm Bicone, Bag of 48, Autumn Mix would be beautiful on this necklace as well. The crystals look very natural flowing over the copper leaf and the addition of small sections of crystal between the copper chains surprises the eye in a very good way. Keep it up Shanna!
3. A Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On Necklace
by Karla Schafer, www.AuntiesBeads.com Designer
This necklace intrigues me because it’s just something I never would have thought of. The dangling chain creates a beautiful, almost chaotic look that keeps your attention. The best part about this design is you can change up the beads and the chain that you use and create many gorgeous pieces from this one pattern. Karla’s one talented lady!
4. Kokomo Neckace
by Kelly McCoy, www.AuntiesBeads.com Designer
I feel like I’m on vacation when I look at this necklace. I love the beach and the whites, beiges and browns in this piece feel like they were made to be by the sand. I like how long this necklace is and I think using two 2-strand separators adds some character and keeps the piece from being boring. To me there’s nothing like hanging a little charm from the back of your necklace to give it a polished look!
5. Cowgirl Up Necklace
by Karla Schafer, www.AuntiesBeads.com Designer
Admittedly, I’m no cowgirl. But this necklace is just too cool! All of the different colors and shapes and metals and crystals.. there is something to be said for hodge-podge beading. This is the perfect piece to spice up a solid colored tee. The best part is, it’s just straight beading, so anyone can make it!
Auntie’s Beads Designer
$5 OFF Beaders Advantage
For a limited time, we are offering $5.00 OFF an Auntie’s Beaders Advantage Membership. To see the Coupon Code, visit the Promotions section of the Auntie’s Beads Facebook Fan Page, where we will be listing other exclusive offers in the future, only listed on the fan page of facebook. But hurry, this offer will end on Tuesday, September 22.
What does that mean?
Well, if you are unfamiliar with Auntie’s Beaders Advantage then allow me to give you the skinny…
If you purchase a Beader’s Advantage Membership you will automatically receive 10% OFF all purchases for a year. And yes, you can still use other coupons and still get the 10% OFF. The 10% Discount begins even with your initial Beader’s Advantage purchase. You will also receive Free Shipping on all orders with no minimum order amount as well as Earn Rewards Points for every dollar spent. To see a list of redeemable goodies, visit our Rewards page.
Just Rosy Project Instructions
Posted by Auntie's Beads on 9/15/2009
We had a great response from everyone with the Bracelet Giveaway. Thanks to all those who participated. We have a few people out there who were wanting instructions for the Just Rosy bracelet so here they are. Enjoy!
Step 1. Use your nipper tool to cut 2, 24” pieces of beading wire.
Step 2. String a crimp bead onto one piece of wire, loop it around one of the loops on your 2 strand clasp, and then thread it (going in the opposite direction) back through your crimp bead. Crimp your crimp bead and leave just enough extra wire to string through your first onyx or sterling silver bead.
Step 3. Repeat this process with one end of your other piece of beading wire.
Step 4. On the right piece of beading wire, string 2 sterling silver beads. On the left piece, string 3 onyx beads.
Step 5. Take your right piece of beading wire (the one with 2 sterling silver beads) and string it through the third onyx bead on your left piece of wire. String your right wire in the bead where your left wire comes out of the bead (they will be going in opposite directions). Pull tightly.
Step 6. The side on which you string your onyx beads will switch each time. First you put 3 onyx beads on left, 2 sterling silver beads on the right, string the right through the left and pull as in Step 5. Next you will put 3 onyx beads on the right, 2 sterling silver beads on the left, string the left through the right and pull. Then you go back to how you did it in Step 5. Continue alternating until your bracelet reaches about half your desired length.
Step 7. Now it’s time to attach the rose centerpiece bead. To do this, string 1 onyx bead on each strand of wire. Then string your right piece of wire horizontally through the hole in your rose bead from right to left. String your left piece horizontally left to right. Pull gently.
Step 8. String 1 onyx bead on each piece of wire. Then string both pieces of wire through a third onyx bead, the right piece from right to left and the left piece from left to right. Pull gently, and begin weaving again as you did in step 4.
Step 9. When you’re finished weaving, attach each end of your wire to your 2 strand clasp as you did in step 2. Make sure it lies correctly (isn’t twisted) before you crimp.
Materials and Tools Needed:
(These links will take you directly to the product page where they can be ordered)
Onyx Round Strand, 3 mm
Sterling Silver Seamless Beads, 3mm, Bag of 25 (2 bags)
Silver Plated 2-Strand Slide Lock Clasp, 16 x 6mm
Pewter Rose Bead, Silver, 7mm
Crimp Beads, Bag of 50, 2 x 2 mm
Beadalon 49-strand Wire, 100 ft., .015
We would like to send a special invitation to all of those in our beading community who would like to share their beautiful jewelry designs
created using AuntiesBeads.com products.
Auntie’s Beads frequently publishes projects put together by our designers which include photos, supply lists and step-by-step instructions to make unique finished pieces. We would like to invite all of you to do the same here on Auntie’s Blog. The best part is, we will include a promotional link to your site from the blog post.
How to Participate…
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- Name of piece - The name can be anything- someone your piece reminds you of (i.e. “Anna’s Earrings” or “Bracelet for Shelly”), a feeling your piece gives you (i.e. “Warm and Fuzzy Necklace” or “Earrings with a Wink”), pay tribute to a color that inspired you to make the piece (i.e. “Tantalizing Turquoise Earrings” or “Beautiful Blue Bracelet”), etc. Sometimes it’s fun to make your name rhyme or use alliteration. Just think of something you find catchy!
- Instructions – Type detailed, step-by-step instructions to complete your piece. Be sure to include a list of all of the materials you used, including the number of each bead or jewelry component. Please be as detailed as possible; include what tools you used, lengths of beading wire, how to avoid possible problems while putting your piece together, etc. For questions or help completing your instructions, email email@example.com. You can also find how we like things set up by browsing our Beading Projects.
- Photograph - The photograph does not have to be the best quality since we will be taking our own picture of the piece once it gets shipped to us. We will just need something to go by when reviewing the instructions and name of the piece.
Once we have received your information, we will notify you with shipping details. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to accept only what we deem as a quality project. However, we are more than willing to work with you and help you modify the instructions to meet a certain standard. That’s what we’re here for.
- Auntie’s Beads is not responsible for the shipping cost, however, will pay to have it shipped back to the sender.
- Only projects exclusively using products from www.AuntiesBeads.com will be accepted.
- It is very possible that Auntie’s Beads will make some changes in the name and/or instructions of the piece, as well as add substitute materials to be used for project. Contributors will be informed via email if such changes are to be made prior to publishing.
Again, pleased send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
We are VERY excited to see what our Auntie’s Beaders come up with…
Thanks for reading and participating!
Congratulations to the Winner!
Posted by Auntie's Beads on 9/9/2009
Thanks.. And Congratulations!
We launched our first interactive blog and the response was overwhelming. Kelly’s beautiful “Just Rosy” bracelet inspired a lot of you to write some wonderful comments about our designs and designers, the Auntie’s Beads website, and the great promotions and products we carry.
Only one person could win this beautiful piece so we did a drawing this morning and the winner is… (drum roll, please)… DIANA KOESTER! Diana, please contact me at email@example.com so I can get your address and ship this beautiful bracelet out to you.
Don’t be disappointed if you didn’t win, though, because we have a prize for everyone: Kelly is working on the instructions for that bracelet right now so we can post and share them with everyone! They will soon be available in the Learning Center on our website and here on the blog. Stay tuned for more great blog interaction and surprises!!!
WIN This Bracelet!
Posted by Auntie's Beads on 9/3/2009
Here at Auntie’s Beads, we’re teaming up to give our blog a little make-over. We want to create a more exciting and frequently updated blog to allow us to communicate better with the members of our beading community. Remember- the most important part of a blog is its readers! That’s YOU! To get you guys excited about our new and improved blog plan, we decided to kick things off with a little GIVE AWAY!
All you have to do is comment on this blog post and you are entered to win the “Just Rosey” bracelet. You can say anything! Tell us about a recent jewelry making experience, share comments about this piece, ask questions about how to make it, or just say hello! Winner will be chosen Sept. 9th.
Be sure to check our blog often, because there are more reader participation promotions to come!
The “Just Rosey” bracelet is made with 4mm onyx and sterling silver beads. It is 6 ¾” long and features a silver plate slide lock clasp for closure.
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Is it defective or just part of it's natural beauty?
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