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. 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.