Monthly Archives: July 2015

Week Four Posted At Last

Last week I chose to do the Faery’s Tear Pendant Tutorial by Nicole Hanna.  It was a fun project to work on and I found that I wasn’t overwhelmed by it, even thought it contained some skills that I hadn’t tried before.  I was especially interested to see how the bail weave was done and how to work with a rivioli cabochon.

I worked through the piece step by step and took my time really enjoying the process.  When the time came to anchor a smaller weave that would be part of the pendant bail, I found some trouble.  I had been going step by step, not paying attention to the larger picture, but I realized that I needed to re-work some of the anchoring weave so the pattern would continue flawlessly.  I unwound the wire, but it was pretty kinked, so I tried to gently work through it to reweave the part I had messed up because I wasn’t looking at the end product…and the wire broke.  It was frustrating and at first I just stared at the piece wondering what to do, after all I was in the middle of anchoring something, not just weaving.  After a few minutes of thinking, I figured out how to incorporate a new piece of wire to weave and anchor the bail without concern that the bail wouldn’t be properly anchored.

It was a sweet victory to see the final piece and realize that I had conquered that unexpected hiccup by finishing the piece instead of giving up.  That is a skill I am trying to apply to my life.  There are always hiccups of one kind or another, some are harder to deal with than others, but they can all be conquered with thought, prayer, and help from God!

Since I am posting Week Four later than usual, I have had an opportunity to oxidize all of my raw copper pieces and my pictures will reflect that.  I am also posting pieces from previous weeks in their finished form.  Enjoy and have a great week!

Oxidized Faery’s Tear Pendant from Week Four
Oxidized Earring from Week Three
Oxidized Butterfly Pendant from Week Two
Oxidized Regal Loop Chain with Beads from Week One
Oxidized Regal Loop Chain from Week One
Oxidized Square Chain from Week One
Oxidized Double Wrapped Chain from Week One
Oxidized Figure Eight Chain from Week One

Week Four Will Be Posted Later

I am sad to say that my dear friend’s husband has passed away from a car accident this week.  I will not be posting today about my piece of jewelry like usual since the arrangements are today and tomorrow.  I have a lovely pendant that needs photographed and then can be posted, but this is the messy part of life that happens.  You never know what will happen next, and we are never guaranteed tomorrow, but I take that for granted and presume things will continue on.

Hold your loved ones tighter and don’t be afraid to tell them you love them.  Enjoy the normal and the mundane, things that you may grumble about in the moment, but when that moment is taken away becomes infinitely precious.

Week Three…Done and Done

This week I knew I was going to be away from home a lot more, so I chose an earring tutorial that I thought would be more simple and less time consuming, but still offer something new for me to learn.  I did the Woven Bezel Earrings Tutorial from Timeless Wire Weaving by Lisa Barth.

When I started this project, I was thinking I could do it quickly and simply because the only thing new is the crossover technique at the top part of the earrings.  So I cut the needed wire and then started to weave…with 24 gauge wire.  I hit a road block right away.  See when I first started wire wrapping a few years ago I used 26 gauge wire exclusively, but about a year ago I started using 28 gauge wire because it is so forgiving and pliable and also common in the tutorials I was working on.  So when I tried to weave with the 24 gauge, which I had used as a base wire at one point, I didn’t make it very far.  See the picture below.

Meager attempt to weave with 24 gauge wire


I immediately realized that I was in for a lot of frustration if I continued and I didn’t have a lot of patience at the time, so I opted to do the earrings with 26 gauge wire.  The weaving went pretty fast and turned out nice which made me happy.  I did notice a difference in how my earrings looked less “chunky” than the tutorial, but I had already completed the weaving part of the earrings.

Now it was time for the “new” skill part that I hadn’t done before.  At first the instructions didn’t make sense, but I figured it out.  The process was interesting because of all the wires sticking out at different angles.  I was trying to get the wires to cross over each other correctly while leaving the same amount of space in between as I worked up the earrings.  I completed the earrings step by step together so I could get a mirror image design with both, but it didn’t really work out that way…at least to my critical eye.

This is the first earring I made, but the crossover technique did not turn out like I wanted.  However, it is still pretty good for my first try.
This is the second earring and the crossover technique turned out very nice
Finished Pair of earrings

I know I am my own worst critic and a perfectionist to boot, so sometimes I feel like my creations don’t really have a chance at all, but I am trying change that.  I didn’t want to accept these earrings as something nice because they didn’t turn out to be a perfect match and they didn’t look like the tutorial picture because I changed from 24 gauge to 26 gauge, but this turned out to be a good opportunity for me…an opportunity to realize that something doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful and accepted.  So this week, I chose to accept my earrings as something that while they are not perfect, they are something I made and they are beautiful.  Now to apply that to myself and other areas of my life…that is a bigger challenge, but I am thankful to have that opportunity this week…to see beauty in something a little messy.

As a side note on the 24 gauge weaving. I didn’t think I would need to do that skill, so I didn’t bother with it when I made my earrings, but I later realized that if I wanted to make different bracelets in the same book in the coming months I would need that skill.  I wondered if I could get to the point of doing it or not, but I am pleased to show you that I can.  It just takes a different mindset to weave with it because the 24 gauge wire isn’t very forgiving, so I need to make each wrap nice as I go and not “fix it” later.  So time and patience won out with that skill…I also got reacquainted with my friend the ring clamp to hold my wires as I am weaving.

Practice weaving with 24 gauge wire…I can do it after all. 🙂

That is all for now, I am really looking forward to the tutorial that I will be working on next week!  It is one from Nicole Hanna and it looks like it will be involved, but I am up for the challenge!

Week Two (Actually) Completed

This week when choosing a tutorial to work on I wanted more of a challenge, so I thought I would do the Classic Butterfly Pendant by Nicole Hanna.  I was correct that it was a challenge, but not only in the ways I expected.

I knew it would feel a little awkward shaping the wire into something specific and weaving it with the intricacies involved in the challenge of the butterfly shape, but I was unprepared for the paralyzing fear that I had to battle to start it.  I was amazed at how the fear of failure kept me from jumping right in.  It made me not want to try it after all and to hang up the whole Half A Year of Jewelry Challenge.  It also allowed “life” to get in the way, which led to procrastination and then fear that I wouldn’t finish the pendant within the week.

I know that I can do these things because I have in the past, but the fear of the “new” concepts in the tutorials I am working on is making me doubt those abilities.  It sounds ridiculous when I say it aloud and when I read it here, but the feelings are very real in the moment.  Those are some of the feelings I am hoping to conquer with this challenge.  I know that I will get scared with different aspects of it, but I want to push through and grow in perseverance, jewelry skills, confidence, and strengthen my belief that my life doesn’t have to be controlled by fear.  I can take risks and try new things…even if things don’t turn out the way I had planned or hoped, there is victory in trying!  This week I thought I was going to be conquered, but with the Lord’s help, I became more than a conqueror.

Here is the final product of this weeks challenge…

Butterfly Pendant made following a tutorial by Nicole Hanna

I am so pleased with how it turned out.  I look forward to the weeks to come, just to see what will be made and learned in the process.

Week One Completed!

This is the first week of my Half a Year of Jewelry.  I wanted to expand my knowledge of making my own chains this week, so I chose five different tutorials from different jewelry books I have and made ten links of each tutorial.  I found the process to be challenging and rewarding.

The first chain I tried was a tutorial from Artisan Filigree by Jodi Bombardier using square wire.  It was the first time I had worked with square wire, and I found that I really enjoyed it.  I did need to be careful when using it to make sure it was straight when I made each loop, but I love how simple it is to twist and the affect that it gives to the wire.

Completed Square Wire Chain

The second chain I made was a Regal Loop tutorial from Artisan Filigree by Jodi Bombardier and  the most challenging of the week.  It was at this point that I had to push through the frustration and persevere.  The instructions were unclear for a while, but once I finally got those, I found the pattern challenging to work in 18 gauge wire.  I messed up many times.

Here are the ones I messed up on.  The nice links are made with 20 gauge wire and it was so much easier to work with, but I really wanted to so it with the 18 gauge just to see if I could.

I decided to wait until the next day to finish this chain and it worked out great.  I guess sometimes a fresh day is all that is needed.

This is the completed Regal Loop Chain.  It was probably the most rewarding because of the challenge.

The third chain I made is another version of the Regal Loop tutorial from Artisan Filigree by Jodi Bombardier.  It was made with 20 gauge and beads were added.  I breezed through this one pretty quickly compared to the second one because of the difference in wire gauge.  I think the beads make it elegant.

Completed Regal Loop Chain with Beads

The fourth chain is a Figure-of-Eight Chain tutorial from Wire Jewelry Masterclass by Abby Hook.  I had made something like this before, but wanted a brush up to make sure I remembered how to do it.  It went really quick.  The most challenging part of this tutorial is making sure you measure your wire correctly so the loops line up in the 8 shape.

Complete Figure-of-Eight Chain

The final chain I worked on Wire Wrapped Link or a Double Wrapped Link Chain.  I had a couple of tutorials that I was going to learn this link from, but it ended up I didn’t need any tutorial after all.  I used my Wubber Small Wire-Looping Pliers and it made it so easy.  I had tried this before, but found it to be awkward at best and really frustrating in general.  I was pretty nervous about making this chain and doubted whether I would be able to complete it because of my experiences with it in the past.  However, once I picked up the pliers and got going, it came pretty easily.  It amazes me the benefit of walking away from something for a time if you are frustrated with it and then coming back to complete it without much difficulty at all.  I really need to tuck that lesson away and pull it out when needed instead of needing to learn it over and over, hopefully it will stick one day…maybe today. 🙂

Completed Double Wrapped Chain

What a great way to begin this challenge!  Now I need to go pick next week’s tutorial, but first here is a picture recapping all the chains I learned or re-learned to make this week.

All the chains I made this week