Tuesday, November 4, 2008

2008 Election

Here is a great link to keep up with tonight's election results.
Here is a helpful link on the election exit polls as well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Three easy patriotic pins to make just in time for election day or Veterans Day.

Helpful link for Election Day from Mahalo.com

Monday, October 27, 2008

Spoon Jewelry

Making spoon jewelry is easy and practical, not to mention a great way to recycle unwanted silverware. This tutorial from eHow gives easy instructions on how to create a spoon ring. Also included is a tutorial from lovetoknow on how to make spoon bracelets. Add a special touch to your spoon jewelry by buying vintage silverware which most often can be found at flea markets and antique shops.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Polymer Clay Beads

I've never tried to make polymer clay beads, but would like to. I found a great tutorial video that makes it look easy. Hope to get the time to try it soon! This is a great way to make personalized jewelry.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Types of Clasps

There are several different types of clasps to choose from when making jewelry. The four most common are the barrel, spring ring, lobster claw and the toggle. I personally like the lobster claw the best. There is really no wrong or right clasp to use, it just depends on the crafters own personal taste and what he or she has had the best results with. Like anything else, you have to be careful when deciding which brand of clasp to purchase. It has been my experience that when purchasing the cheaper brands, the percentage of defective pieces are higher. This isn't good, especially when making jewelry pieces to sell. It's important to give the customer good quality jewelry that he or she will be able to enjoy for years to come. Clasps come in assorted metals including plated metal, sterling silver, gold, pewter as well as others. Fire Mountain Gems carry a great assortment of clasps that can be ordered on their website, by phone or by fax.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Swarovski Crystals

Swarovski, the best of the best. It is my belief that no other crystal out there compares. For all the information you could ever want to know about Swarovski crystals, visit their website. The best part is that Swarovski crystals are available for use in jewelry making and can be found at the following stores: Fire Mountain Gems, Michaels, Fusion Beads, Jewelry Supply, and iBead as well as many others. Swarovski crystals are available in a large variety of colors, shapes and sizes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Well it's early October so why not make some birthstone jewelry if you are an October baby or know someone who is. The birthstone for October is the opal. The vast majority of opals come from South Australia. They are formed from silica and possess colorful opalescent qualities which set them apart from other stones. An opal may contain several of the following colors: red, pink, violet, orange, yellow, green and blue. The more colors present, the more valuable the opal is. There are a few different types of opals, including the black opal, white opal, boulder opal and crystal opal. The black opal is the most desired type of opal. There are also man made or synthetic opals that are produced in a laboratory. They often contain brighter colors and are larger than an authentic stone. I found this great site on opals with a lot of helpful information including the origin of opals and descriptions of the different kinds. I also found a great tutorial on diy for making New Mom Birthstone Bracelets which can easily be altered to just birthstone bracelets. Have fun crafting and happy birthday to all those October babies out there!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sea glass

Sea glass is an interesting material crafters sometimes use to make jewelry. I ran across a great site, North American Sea Glass Association, with a lot of great info on sea glass. This is something a little different from the normal gemstone that adds variety, color and flair to your jewelry collection.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

On a different note tonight, check out the vice-presidential debate at http://www.mahalo.com/Biden_Palin_Debate. Great coverage!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cell Phone Charms

I ran across this easy tutorial for making cell phone charms. You can be creative and exchange the beads that are shown in the tutorial for any kind of beads of your choice. You can also choose holiday theme beads, such as pumpkins, ghosts, etc. or seasonal beads like fall leaves or snowflakes. Just use your imagination and creativity to give your jewelry your own personal touch. Here's another page about cell phone accessories that may be of interest.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Halloween Jewelry

I ran across some really cute glass beads for making Halloween jewelry, including candy corn, pumpkins, spacer beads, etc. Check out this second supplier as well for a great selection of Halloween beads in various materials including clay, glass and ceramic. Mahalo.com has a great page on Halloween crafts for those who are looking to make something other than jewelry for the holiday.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Homemade Jewelry Tutorials

I ran across a series of great tutorial videos from expert village that may be helpful for crafters that want to start their own jewelry making business, or for those who just want to make jewelry for fun and gifts.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pearls, Pearls and More Pearls

Who doesn't like pearls? As you can guess, pearls are one of the most popular beads used in jewelry crafting today. They come in so many varieties, differing in size, color, luster etc. The larger and rounder the pearl, the more valuable it is. There is really no right or wrong pearl to use, just depends on the crafter's own personal taste. There are a variety of natural and cultured pearls to choose from, as well as imitation, for those who are on a tighter budget. If you choose to go with imitation, I would personally choose pearls that are made from shell material, such as mother-of-pearl, conch or coral. I tend to stay away from pearls made of glass and plastic as they are coated and often break and peel. Pearls are found in a variety of color choices, including white, silver, gold, cream, blue, green or even black. Some of my favorite pieces of jewelry are the ones that I made using a combination of cream or white pearls and green jade. However, you can create a truly elegant piece of jewelry as well. All it takes is a little imagination and creativity to come up with a magnificent piece of jewelry that you will truly be proud of. When it comes to gemstones, the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stringing Wire

With the vast variety of stringing wire available today, it's not always easy deciding which kind to buy. For making bracelets and necklaces, I prefer to use Beadalon. Beadalon offers you the strength of stainless steel, but yet it is soft and flexible and super easy to work with. Beadalon is available in three varieties: 7, 19, and 49 strand. For most of my jewelry projects, 7 strand works well. It's also nylon coated which saves on wear to your beads. Visit the company's website for an extensive list of retailers and wholesalers that carry Beadalon stringing wire.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Beauty of Natural Stones

I'm a sucker for natural things, from the simplicity of mineral makeup, the beautiful variations of shells found on a beach to the ribbons of natural grains found in wood. But my favorite thing in nature has to be the gemstone. In their most natural form, they don't look like much other than just dirty clumps of hardened earth, but after undergoing a process of tumbling, polishing and cutting, they come alive, conformed into the most colorful, most breathtaking natural element known to man. They can be quite extravagant and expensive, to just simple and elegant, but they all seem to have a purpose, to beautify. Out of all of the possible pieces of jewelry a crafter can make, my favorite is the necklace and bracelet. I love using a variation of natural beads such as jasper, amethyst, jade, topaz, onyx, along with a long list of others, and stringing them with crystal, pearl, shell, mother of pearl and various metal beads of different shapes and sizes. It is so rewarding to start with a handful of colorful natural beads, wire, a clasp, a metal ring along with a couple of jewelry making tools and end up with a beautiful piece of jewelry that can be worn for many years to come.