Thursday, September 20, 2018

End of First Semester

For the rest of the Jewelry Fabrication "semester", we mostly did things that I've done before.  Soldering, cleaning up your jewelry, making rings, forming metal into shapes.

I made a cool keychain with my initials on it.

I am using those initials to have a stamp made for myself so I can stamp my jewelry with my initials, a makers mark.

This week was my "final exam". They gave me this pile of silver:

And told me to make this out of it, with no help from the instructors:
So this is how mine came out:
I was pretty pleased with it, and I got an A on my final project.

Now I have a week off, then we start a semester of Metal Properties and Classification. That won't be as much fun as hands-on work, but I'm sure I will learn a lot.

If you want to see some of the jewelry that I've been making, visit me at


Friday, September 07, 2018

Melting Metal

I melted metal all by myself supervision. It was scary, but I did it and poured it into the mold, no problems. Yeah!

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Making Rings

Today I am going to learn how to make and resize rings. First I have to melt some silver to use for it, then shape the silver into a square sheet.

I made two beautiful rings, and then horror! I was told to resize them so I had to cut into my beauties. I made one bigger and one smaller. They both came out looking good, so it worked out well after all.

We’ll see what my next project is.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Catching Up

Last week, after I finished my coin, we used rectangular brass plates to practice sawing, filing, and sanding. Even after all that, I still can’t saw a straight line, but I’m getting better at it.

Finally, this week I started on a real project.

I melted silver into a blob, and turned the blob into a wire and a sheet. Then I used the wire to make oval jump rings and solder them into a chain. I used the sheet to make a toggle clasp and made my chain into a bracelet.

Pictures to come when I am at my computer.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

More Filing!

First thing I did today was finish off my coin by sanding it smooth. My fingers are really sore from all the filing and sanding. My shiny coin:

Then, Marc handed me four squares of brass and I got all excited because I thought it was time to drill! Alas, no. More filing. I had to file all the edges straight and make sure the corners were 90 degree angles. So here they are:

I'm pretty sure tomorrow is the day I get to practice drilling. It should go fast because I know how to drill, but I've never drilled brass before. It's a pretty hard metal so I hope it isn't more difficult to drill than silver. I'll let you know tomorrow!


Monday, August 20, 2018

First Day of School

today was the first day of jewelry school. We had orientation in the morning, then we got started on our first lesson.

We were given a brass coin with writing and a picture on it and told to file one side down flat. I think I have cramps in both hands after a full day of filing!

After one hour:

After three hours:

After four hours:

After five hours:

Yes, I filed that silly coin for five hours! But it looks nice, doesn't it?


After four hours:

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Working With Metals

For a while I've been wanting to expand my jewelry work from beading into working with metals. I got a kick in the rear when El Novio bought me a butane soldering torch for Christmas last year. The only problem was, I didn't know the first thing to do with it!

I played around, soldering little scraps of copper to each other, but nothing resembling jewelry. Then a kind friend of mine spent three days with me teaching me the basics of soldering and working with metal. Now I could really make jewelry!

Soon the butane torch wasn't enough and I bought myself a "big-girl" torch, the Orca EZ Torch, which uses a propane tank and draws in oxygen from the air. Then I took a few workshops at Jewelry Creations Workshop in Miami. I could tell I was getting hooked on this hobby and wanted to learn more than I could through project oriented workshops.

I found out that there is a jewelry school in Miami, Miami Jewelry School, that offers real classes and can teach me everything I want to know about creating metal jewelry. I signed up for classes and I start school on August 20th.

I'm so excited to be embarking on this new endeavor! I'll be updating my blog frequently as I gain knowledge and new skills. Follow my progress while I'm in school and see all the new jewelry that I'll be making.

See you on the 20th to let you know how my first day goes!


Monday, October 16, 2017

A Totally Beady Christmas

I know it's a bit early for thinking about Christmas, but those of us who handcraft our gifts have to think about it early. Lots of gifts to make and not much time if I wait until too late.

Someone I know is having a totally beady Christmas this year. I make her an Advent calendar every year, and this year I'm filling lots of the slots with jewelry. Here is what I've made so far for her.

I just love the little wreath earrings! They are from a bracelet pattern by Beads Gone Wild, I used just one of the motifs.

Are you handcrafting gifts for the holidays? Have you started on them yet?


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Beaded Badge Reels

I recently learned how to make beaded badge reels, and I've been having so much fun with them! They are quick and fun to make. I love playing around with all the different colors. And they are full of bling!

I gave one to my daughter hoping people would see it and want one. The first day she wore it to work, her boss ordered six of them to give all the employees in her department for Christmas. Yay!

I have three of them listed in my Etsy store. They've gotten some views, but no sales there yet. I seem to sell much better in person. If only there were an easy way (not a craft show) to get my jewelry viewed in person. Oh, well, I just enjoy making it. If it doesn't sell, I end up giving a lot of it away. It's fun to make people happy with my beading.


Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Still Raining

I just woke up, and it's STILL raining out! It has been raining since last Tuesday, and yesterday alone we got 6 inches of rain. I just want it to stop already. I have things to do, and driving in this is a bear!