DoubleWave Pearl Cuff

DoubleWave Pearl Cuff

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Today's blog is all about what it is that makes you step back, laugh, ponder or mentally wax poetic about life in general.  For some, a good mantra works wonders.  I don't have a mantra, but in class you've heard me say many times, "This is art....not science".  Everyone usually giggles when I say it, but it is really how I view the learning process when it comes to jewelry making.  It's really an axiom and is meant to serve as a way to remind you to be forgiving of yourself.  Everyone wants to be a pro, even if it's your first class.  Anyone who has ever moved wire knows that learning to control it is a very humbling experience.  But remember the first time you got it to do what you wanted?  Hallelujah!  You felt really good and probably thought for the first time, "I can do this"!  And you can.  I promise you.  "Practice makes perfect" is another axiom or adage that is so true when it comes to wire working.  One great way to learn how to work wire is to do a simple line drawing.  Put the point of your pencil or pen on a piece of paper, look away, make a simple doodle, and then lift your pen.  Look at what you've drawn and then with your tools, try to turn a piece of wire into that doodle.  Knowing what your tools will do is half the battle.  "Practice on copper, perfect on silver" is a prescient piece of advice, especially in times like these.  Some students try to start a design with silver thinking that they may want to do it only once, especially if it's a lot of work.  I say, bah hum bug!  "Any great design worth doing once, deserves a repeat performance"!  Hopefully I've given you some food for thought, and as always, let me know what you think.  Oh yeah, that's Jax and Lola at the top, pondering the meaning of life.  It's important to appear indifferent when you're a cat!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


In case you haven't noticed, hoops are hot!  The Wire Hoop Duo is class debuting on Thursday, February 2nd from 6 to 9 at Brea Bead Works.  These earrings are an exercise in basket weave and wrapping.  One design concept, yields two different earrings.  Of course I think Swarovski crystals are the perfect foil for these earrings, but they look really good with fresh water pearls too!  If you want to learn basket weave, this is the class for you.  You'll also learn how to make custom ear wires to match your earrings.  Go to to find the class listing under workshops.  A repeat of this class will be on March 14th.  I would love to see you at either class!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

'Twas The Night Before Pasadena...

Less than 12 hours and counting.  By this time tomorrow, Maria Bastanchury and I will be ensconced in our "booth" at the Pasadena Bead and Design Show in the Pasadena Hilton.  We will be teaching classes and selling our wares.  I have four different wire working classes on the roster as well as selling class samples.  The picture above is the Free Form Wire Pendant class.  All of my classes include all the materials plus the use of tools.  All you have to do is show up, pay the class fee and be ready to learn.  Maria will be teaching two classes and selling Washi paper, finished Washi beads, fiber & bead kits, plus some of her latest Prisma Copper finished jewelry.  This is a great show for classes, as well as beads, stones, pearls, textiles, etc.  We hope to see you there, and if you can, please take a class with us.  You won't be sorry!  Go to for all the details.  Ciao, bellas!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Torture or Wrapture?

Today's class, Filigree Heart Pendant Necklace proved to be quite challenging for my victims, er, I mean my students, but I think everyone developed some skills they will either continue to master or vow NEVER to do again!  Wrapping takes patience and a little skill, but also developing a rhythm and knowing when to give it a rest is really important.  Usually your hands and fingers will tell you when it's absolutely, positively the time to stop.  But by then, pulling your hair out or waterboarding would seem more attractive. All kidding aside, when my students perservered and finished their heart, I could tell they were really pleased and liked their pendants.  So what's my point?  Don't give up.  Just give it a rest and revisit your project later.  Oh...and take two advil and send me a pic when you're done!  Thanks Ladies, for taking the class.  You're real troopers!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Monochromatic Magnetism

Many of my students know me as a  "monochrome girl".  I just love the subtle nuances that can be produced using one hue.  When designing in a monochrome palette, utilizing a simple gradation of 3 or more tints or shades, with various textures and finishes will elevate a piece from boring to extraordinary.  And, using one color is easy on the eye, so you can look at the piece longer.  Take for example Susan's pearl cuff.  This was the first project that she made in one of my classes and I instantly fell in love with it because it appealed to my monochromatic sense.  She used a 4 scale gradation of gray (which really isn't a color at all) and threw in some clear Swarovski to add sparkle and catch light.  Her dark wire was the perfect contrast to highlight the nuances of the piece.  She then created texture with the matte finish of the pearls, the shiny facets of the crystal, and the pattern repeat of the wire wrapping.  All in all, a really successful piece of jewelry.  Moral of the story?  If you're worried about mixing colors or don't think you have a good sense of color, just pick one color and go for it.  You can't miss with a monochromatic color palette! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Bling!

Happy New Year's everyone!  Here's to a better year than the last.  I thought I'd give you a peek at one of the Christmas gifts I made for Andrea.  Since this past summer, I've made more DoubleWave Pearl Cuffs than I ever thought possible.  So when I held my last DWPC class on the 18th of December, I thought it was time to make one entirely out of Swarovski crystal.  I had toyed with the idea for months, and Christmas gave me the perfect excuse.  I also used square wire for the first time and some of my Grandma's vintage Swarovski crystal beads.  Andrea loves it and it's an heirloom piece of sorts.  All because long ago I took apart some of Grandma's costume jewelry and ended up with a great stash of vintage beads.  My challenge to you for this month is to break out some vintage beads or deconstruct something and turn it into a new piece.  Send me your shots.  I'll post them on my blog!