Monday, March 30, 2015

Hook and Eye Bracelet Tutorial


As I was putting away some sewing supplies last week I came across an old card of hooks and eyes, I realized if I made them on a larger scale they would make great links for a necklace or bracelet so I sat down last night and made a fun but simple bracelet on the Now That's A Jig. I figured most of you could easily figure it out but to save you the trouble I have put together a little down and dirty photo tutorial. 









Monday, March 16, 2015

Mermaid Tears Necklace

It's been over 5 years since I've made some of these cute little beads and I'm not sure why I waited so long to make them again. They are created off mandrel and are about the size of the end of my pinky, think tiny. I went a little crazy and ended up with over 125 there are 114 on the necklace. 
Here's the whole necklace it's really hard to photograph, it's priced at $150. 
Here it is on, don't mind my freckled neck. 

Here is a close up of a few so you can see the loops, they are all created using frit, clear glass and a pair of tweezers that I made for this purpose.




A few days after the first necklace was made I ended up back at the torch and made another 105 beads and made these little necklaces. I had a naming contest on Facebook and my friend Deb came up with the name Mermaid Tears. 
$20.00 + shipping. 









Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Around The World Links

Last month I was in Tucson teaching for Brenda on the Now That's a Jig I picked up the new Now That's a Plier, available from Reo, all the jig pegs fit this unique plier so it takes the place of many I already have and has the possibility of doing so much more. For my first project I worked on these unusual links with a touch of extra wire wrapping. I'm calling them around the world links because my friend Jamey thought they had the look of world maps. 

                    The bracelet is $85
                       Necklace $125
                     Bracelet $85

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Where The Magic Happens

I got a new to the studio desk and decided it was time for a big clean out so 4 large garbage bags and 4 days later this is what it looks like. The walls are actually a very nice color yellow, not sure why the color is so off in these. 

The last few years I have realized that although I love tiny drawers they really don't work for me so I have gone to items in clear pencil boxes (second row from the top), divided craft storage boxes (third row from the top) and clear shoe boxes that are located on most every other shelf in the studio. You may wonder why I like all these little single storage solutions instead of drawers and the reason is if I'm working on a project I can pull just the storage tubs I need and they all have lids so they can be shuffled and stacked in what ever order makes sense to me for the moment. It's also easy to add in more to the collection. 

You can see my bucket of recycled copper waiting to be twisted into something fun. 

The gray piece in front of my chair there is a huge piece of marble my brother gave me when I started making jewelry, it makes the best work surface. This desk use to be able n our family room but it never really worked for my husbands huge road plans so he now has a huge drafting desk we got from my friend Bethany. 

This is my collection of glass rods, torch table and the ever important ventilation the vent goes out the basement window at the top of the photo and uses a big cast iron fan motor that my brother hooked me up with. 

This shows the whole work table with the double ventilation. The right side of the bench is often set up for soldering. 

I have a new feature on my phone called panorama and I used it to take a sweeping view of the whole room. I am in the basement but since it's a walkout it was easy to get all the furniture into the room. 

I had to keep telling myself it was really going to get better because this is what it looked like mid way through moving the new desk in and the old one out. 


New photos of some of my favorite pieces.

I had to take photos for the jury process and I hate the game of just what to say and show to try and get into a show but if your going to get chosen then play the game it is.  Everything here can be made with the help of the amazing Now That's a Jig!  

Below is my winged heart made of recycled copper and a nailed heart handmade by my very talented friend Mac.


This fun bracelet was also made with recycled copper and a ceramic bead made by my friend Diane Hawkey.


This fun skull is another piece from Mac along with recycled wire and tiny solid copper beads.


This bracelet was made from glass beads created by me, some recycled roofing copper with fused silver added for texture


Recycled wire combined with Cleo, my favorite silver glass to work with makes this one of my all time favorites. 


One of my silly skull beads on a hinged recycled copper bracelet. The pattern for this bracelet is available as a video tutorial in my etsy shop, tracybell.etsy.com












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 usa.com 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 usa.com




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,  https://www.etsy.com/listing/201883828/crisscross-bracelet-video-tutorial?  


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 Beadbug@usa.com.




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
Ruler
Drill
Dapping block
Torch, I used my bobcat because it's what I have.
Tumbler and shot
Patina


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.
Thread
Two inch green foam 22x22
Sharpie
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.