The Newest Lampworkers

Last week, my two young friends came to spend the day. It is always their choice about what they will do when they are here, and this time they wanted to learn some lampworking.

I had them dip their own mandrels and they did it assembly line fashion. One dipped, one set the mandrel in the holder. Speedy. 

I gave them a few basics and all of the safety rules and after a few tries, I let them go for it. 

They had lots of ideas. Technique was not fabulous, but their interest and excitement was huge. It was fun to watch them plan out what they would make. They worked for hours and would have kept going but they ran out of mandrels.

The next day when I emptied the kiln, I found flora and fauna.

Fun day. They used their Vitamin C!

7000 Bracelets Blog Hop

A little bit about this project:
7000 Bracelets of Hope is run through the Global Genes Project, a rare disease group for children. The bracelets are donated to the mothers and caretakers of these children, as a way to give them a little support and lift their spirits. 

The rules:
  • use blue as the main color
  • bracelet should be casual
  • it should fit anyone from 7" to 9"

This is my finished bracelet. I purposely went simple with this bracelet. From my experience, most non-beaders prefer simplicity in jewelry, and simple is easier to wear.

 I made the glass beads using a medium blue, clear transparent, and blue/lavender glass.  The silver beads are bali silver.

 I really like this purse charm, and hope the woman who receives this likes it too. Since this is supposed to fit a wrist anywhere from 7" to 9" (that is a pretty big range), I used this three circle clasp. The bar can be hooked into any of the circles to fit it to the wrist. If the woman who gets it has a smaller wrist, she can remove the last one or two circles.

Now, I mail my bracelet in and they will give it to someone who needs a boost.

Several other jewelry makers have participated in this project. Check all of the blogs below to see more bracelets.

Use your Vitamin C to encourage someone else!


Why Should Christmas Have All the Fun?

 I have collected a bunch of Christmas ornaments that look great in Girl World. It might be weird, but I do not decorate for Christmas. I leave my ornaments out all year. You could look at it that I decorate for Christmas all year long, or my ornaments are not Christmas ornaments. Or. You could just like it for what it is, like I do.

 I am really liking the branch-in-the-house thing right now. I have one in the living room and now I am adding one to Girl World. Here is my nice branch from Dad's backyard.

 I wanted to spray it silver. Santa Claus gave me this really cool spray can thing. It goes on the top of the can and you squeeze the trigger to spray. I love it. I could spray all day. And it makes a very even coat of color. My fingers don't get tired or coated with paint. You need one.

 Sprayed silver. It is very pretty in person.

 Wired to the ceiling in Girl World.....It isn't heavy, so I used a couple pieces of craft wire.

Holding my sparkly ornaments. I need more to fill it up!

P.S. If you are tall, you are going to have to duck a bit. :)

Use your Vitamin C!

Free Project Instructions: Bird on a Branch Necklace

 I have been playing with these simple, yet funky little birds. It makes you smile, right? Combined with a branch and a single leaf, they make a nice pendant for a necklace. The only technique you need to know is wrapping a loop. The rest are kindergarden skills.

Supplies you need:

  • lampwork beads: bird, branch, leaf (find them in sets on Etsy)
  • 1 yard plus 6" silver wire, 16 or 18 gauge (I used silver plate wire)
  • 6" lime green embroidery floss
  • silk ribbon or cord for necklace (mine is on brown silk ribbon)
  • size 8 seed beads: transparent lime green
  • ruler
  • flush cutters
  • round nose pliers
  • scissors
  • pen or pencil

1. Wrap a loop at bottom of 6" length of wire. String on the branch and the bird beads. Wrap a loop at top of beads.

 2. Wrap 1 yard length of wire around pen or pencil,  forming a long spiral. String bird/branch section on spiral. Wind it on wire to center of spiral.

 3. Knot leaf to bottom loop of bird/branch section using floss. Trim floss ends.
4. String several seed beads on both sides of spiral. Wind beads on wire to get desired coverage. Tuck wire ends inside spiral.

5. String ribbon or cord through spiral. Tie around neck at desired length.

Happy spring! If you do something else cute with this set of beads, let me see!

Take your Vitamin C...
Skip To My LouTip Junkie handmade projectsHookingupwithHoH

Spring Button Bracelet

We have had the most disappointing winter this year. I have kept the hope alive for at least one awesome snowfall, but no such luck for me. So, Uncle! I am giving up and proceeding toward spring. My daffodils are up about 4", so spring must be here. Ridiculous.

So, I used some fun, flowery Blumenthal Lansing buttons to make a button bracelet. It was super quick and easy, using a technique that requires no tools. Go here to see video instructions to make one yourself.

Use your Vitamin C!
Tip Junkie handmade projects

New Colors

There has been a resurgence of beadmaking over here. And since it has been a dog's age since I bought glass, I treated myself to some new colors. Not new colors, but new colors for me. I got some nice grays since gray is an important neutral right now. And I am most excited about transparent brown and transparent hot pink. The turquoises are pretty too, right?

If you don't know about lampworking, these glass rods are the glass that is used most of the time to form beads. It gets melted in a flame, and a bead is formed while the glass is molten. The rods are about the diameter of a pencil.

To the torch!

Umbrella Day

Today is Umbrella Day. Not kidding. Every February 10th. I like umbrellas. They are sort of mini cozy places. And, wouldn't you know? It is a good day for an umbrella here. We have snain (half snow, half rain).

My gift to you today, probably the best use of an umbrella. Ever.  Enjoy!........

Or, maybe you like this tribute version better (with fake tap dancing, hahahaha):

Either way, I wish you the simple joy of a walk in the rain!
Take your Vitamin C!

Trendy Seed Beads

 Every couple months, I do some jewelry trending by going to Kohls and Macys. Both have enough national brands so that when I see the same thing across many brands, I know there is some trending!

As always, I see a handful of really obvious trends. On this trip, the trends included lots of pearls, tiny tiny chains, and sparkly crystals. But, for this post, I am focusing on seed beads.

 Earrings. We also see the tiny chains in two of these.

 Bracelets.  Seed beads glued on...

 Combined with lots of other things....

Stitched in a pattern...

 On elastic....

 On memory wire...


 Good news is that making seed bead jewelry is fairly inexpensive. And the color range is huge. 

Take a jewelry trending trip yourself and see what you find.

Take Your Vitamin C!

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