Thursday, December 11, 2014

Knife Top Bells

Here is another installment of Knife Top Bells shown on a 30 inch ball chain. $45.00.  Contact me at Tracy.bell at if you would like to purchase one or more. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Beads on a Wire Necklaces

I just finished a bunch more Beads on a Wire necklaces and the colors in these are just beautiful. $45.00. If your interested in any of these contact me at Tracy.Bell at

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Now That's a Jig Video Tutorial

This is my very first, but not last, video tutorial for the Now That's a Jig. It's a lesson on how to make a soldered crisscross bracelet. There was a whole lot to learn, I did all the recording and editing myself and I think it's pretty good.

Here is the link if your interested in looking,  

This bead was made by my friend Robin.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bell Necklaces

I had a great time making these knive handle bell necklaces and I think they would be even more fun to own if they were actually made out of grandmas silverware. Unfortunately I don't have any of my grandmas pieces so I will have to make due with these.   

Each necklace is on a 30 inch patinaed copper ball chain and has two handmade beads and two sparkly beads. One of the handmade beads is used inside the bell for the clacker or noise maker. $45.00

If you have silverware you would like turned into bells contact me at

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Leather Triple Wrap Penny Bracelet

Today I worked on turning the penny buttons into these easy wearing leather bracelets.  It's hard to tell but these come in purple, black and brown.  They are 22 inches long and can easily be made shorter upon request.  $35.00

Monday, November 17, 2014

Penny Buttons with a Shank

I decided to make a few penny buttons for a project I'm working on and thought maybe you might want to see how they are made.  These have a shanks made out of 16 gauge copper wire and then balled just like when you make head pins.

You will need:
Pennies before 1982
16 gauge copper wire
1/16" drill bits
Junk pliers
Round nose pliers
Dapping block
Torch, I used my bobcat because it's what I have.
Tumbler and shot

Decide where you want the holes and drill.  Clean burs off the back.  Dap the penny.  Cut  16 gauge wire 3cm long shape into the U with round nose pliers so that it matches the holes in your pennies.  Slip the wire into the holes letting it hang out the front of the penny about 6mm. Hold U side of the wire with some pliers you don't care about. Heat up the wire to ball up the ends,  the penny will be glowing but try to aim the torch flame at the wire. Quench in cold water. Tumble to harden and shine up.  Patina if you prefer.

These are my failures below,  to much heat is not your friend!  Have fun.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Stow It Necklace

I will be at Marshal Highschool tomorrow for the Santa Bag Show from 9-4, please come on by if you have time I will be outside the auditorium it's a new location for my booth at this show:)

These funky Stow It Necklaces are now available for $65.00.  The antique boxes are still fully functional.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Framed Glass Necklace

I was out with some friends and saw some frames that a single piece of fused glass could slide into.  Right away I thought of all the glass shorts I had in my studio left over from bead making and figured if cut right they would easily sit in a frame and could be slid in and out, changing the colors to match your outfit.

These are constructed out of roofing copper and come with a second set of colors. 

The frame hangs from a 30 inch chain and can easily be shortened if needed. $55.00

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Neckwire or Bracelet Display Tutorial

I love nothing more than a well organized booth display with everything having a place to be put back once a customer handles it.  I find if things have a true resting place that 80% of the time it will get placed back where it belongs.  This past weekend I realized right away that my new hinged neck wires really needed that kind of "home" because laying them on the table in an artistic pile wasn't going to cut it.  People were leaving them in a messy heap o wire that looked a bit like the pile in my basement.  My friend Emily had a new display for her bracelets that was working really well.  I kept looking at it trying to figure out how I could make it work for my setup.  It finally hit me my neck wires would work perfectly with a few tweeks.  Below is a quick overview of how I made it.
You will need an old soda bottle case or other sutable wood box.
One yard of fabric I used the wrong side of natural denim because that's what I have used for the rest of my display.
Two inch green foam 22x22
Sewing machine a glue gun might work
Electric carving knife
First I decided how big the foam needed to be and cut it up into the proper size. My box ended up needing 8 pieces 3x11".  You will need about an inch extra space with all the foam in the box for the fabric.
I didn't end up using that first piece of foam to the left.
Measure your foam to decide how big your pockets will need to be and take off an inch because you want the foam to fit tight.  My pockets were 9" long by 18" wide and the space between was 2 inches.
Mark your 9 inch length with a 2 inch span between each.
Bringing your 9 inch pocket lines together and stitch.
This is what the back looked like after stitching,  I did have to use more than one width of fabric so I stitched that together before I marked it.
Put your hand through the loop and pull the foam pieces into each pocket making sure they are laying the proper direction.  This is like putting a square peg into a round hole.
Put the fabric covered foam into the box and tuck the ends in.  The nice thing is I could wash the fabric cover if necessary by pulling the foam back out.  
I tucked these in kind of like square corner sheets. I then put some coffee in a spray bottle and died the fabric so it didn't look so new and so they would match my dress forms.
This display held 16 necklaces or 21 bracelets and that's a whole lot of product in such a small space.
I plan on making a pocket with handles that this will fit into and a piece of foam to sit over the top of the display so I won't need to remove the necklaces to for travel that is why the whole foam insert is recessed a bit into the box instead of coming out to the front edge.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I Love My Jig

I have been making these cute little fobs for years but I just figured how to use the Jig to help with the process.  Oh how I love my Now That's a Jig!


I finished some frames for all those glass shorts I have laying around.  The glass is interchangeable, simply remove the chain  to replace the glass rods with another color selection.  These are $55.00 and come with a second set of colors, your choice.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pancake Dies

I recently purchased some pancake dies from potter USA.  These need a  hydraulic press to punch them out.  I have access to one of these at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts where I teach.  I have used roofing copper here and it was a nice weight for what I plan to use the pieces for.

I purchased some simple shapes including a wing and cuff blank.

Bead Chat Magazine

I have been featured in Bead Chat Magazine, it's a free publication and you can take a look at it by clicking this link  I made this necklace over 5 years ago it was one of the very first finished pieces I ever sold.  The glass frog was made by me from a tutorial and I'm very sorry that I don't remember who offered it but maybe someone can chime in with a link.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Beaded Hinged Neck Wires

The hinged neck wires come in two sizes that will fit most neck sizes and are very comfortable to wear.  The beads were made by my friend, the amazing glass artist Sharon Pribble and are priced at $40.00.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Paint Slag Jewelry

I have been working on the Fordite,or should we call it Kiteite, and am quite happy with the finished pieces.  The photo above is of the raw paint slag and some finished cabs. As you can see there is a whole lot of work involved in creating beauty out of such a hunk of junk.  It's also very dirty work but the results are well worth it.

I have mounted them so that they are able to spin since both sides look so different and it would be a shame to waste one to a bezel setting. 

Even the edges of these are fun to look at.