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Filigree Ring Tutorial

During the period following the Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal, I promised several people I would write a tutorial for the ring I made:
Bead Soup Blog Party #2
However, I didn't have any filigree left to do it. I made a trip to Hobby Lobby last week and luckily they have this exact filigree in stock. FYI~Hobby lobby frequently puts the Vintaj on sale, so don't pay full price. Also, there is almost always a 40% off one item coupon in the weekly flyer. So if you can't wait until it goes on sale, at least take the coupon with you.Please excuse the photos and my nasty jewelry making fingers. I don't have access to my photo editing software right now but wanted to get this finished.Step 1: Get a tool a couple sizes smaller than the finished ring size if you don't have a ring mandrel. For example, a marker or some other round object.
Ring Tutorial
Step 2: Gently but firmly start forming the filigree to the ring mandrel in the center. Remember, do this a couple sizes smaller than the finished desired size. The metal has "memory" and will bounce back a little. I started this at size 6, but ended up going to size 5 because I wanted it even smaller. If  making the ring too small makes you nervous, remember you can just slide the ring down the mandrel to make it bigger. Not a big deal at all.
Ring Tutorial
Step 3: Holding the center of the filagree onto the mandrel, start forming one side around the mandrel. Push the end down tight to the mandrel. This is not a race. Make sure you move somewhat slowly and deliberately so you don't get off center or bend it in a funky manner.
Ring Tutorial
Here's what one side formed to the ring mandrel looks like:
Ring Tutorial
Step 4: Once you get the one side formed to the mandrel, repeat the process on the other side. If you don't have fat fingers like me, the ends will overlap in the back of the ring.
Ring Tutorial
Here's the ring formed to the mandrel (notice it's at size 5)
Ring Tutorial
What the back of the filigree ring looks like at size 5:
Ring Tutorial
Step 5: Lightly tap all over the ring with a plastic mallet. This will do a couple things. First, it will work harden the ring and help shape it. Second, it will flatten out some areas of the filigree that want to stick out. You do not want to whack it. I hold the mandrel between my knees and twist the ring around to expose each area of the ring. If areas of the filigree still want to stick out, take your flatnose pliers and gently squeeze those areas into place.
Ring Tutorial
Notice I have shaped and hammered my ring at size 5. When I let go of the ring, it slides down to between sizes 6.5 and 7.
Ring Tutorial
Step 6: Cut a length of 20 g wire, about 10"-12" long. I used Vintaj wire to match the filigree. You can use whatever you want, but I would practice with less expensive wire (not sterling or gold filled) the first couple times you try this
Ring Tutorial
Step 7: Select the bead(s) you want to use for your ring and make sure you can fit the 20g wire doubled through the holes. Then you need to eyeball the bead and the filigree and decide the best area of the filigree to thread the wire through to attach your bead.
Ring Tutorial
Step 8: Place your flatnose pliers in the center of the wire. Make a right angle bend in the wire on both sides of the pliers.
IMG_7289
Here's what it will look like with pliers removed:
IMG_7290
Step 9: Thread the wires from through the top of the ring from the inside to the outside.
Ring Tutorial
Step 10: Make sure the wire sits flat against the filigree inside the ring. If it sticks out, it will poke into the wearer's finger. Ouch! You can do this by squeezing gently with flatnose pliers.
Ring Tutorial
Step 11: Cross the wire ends across the top of the ring and make sure they are flat against the filigree. Using a flatnose or needlenose pliers, make a right angle bend up so that the wires are stick straight up from the ring and meet in the center.
Ring Tutorial
Step 12: Thread your bead(s) onto the wires. Pull them out at right angles as close to the bead as possible in opposite directions
Ring Tutorial
Step 13: I wish I could have taken photos of myself doing this step, but it requires 2 hands so I will do my best to describe how to do it. Take the thumb of your dominate hand and place it in the center of your bead (over the hole where the wires are). Using your other hand, start to spiral one of the wires around the hole. When that wire meets the 2nd wire, let go of the 1st wire and start to spiral the 2nd wire. Think of it as a relay race going around a pole. Often when doing this, it takes a couple times around before the spiral really starts to take shape. Continue to spiral until you are happy with the size and shape. The wires should end up opposite each other when finished.
Ring Tutorial
Step 14: This requires some more decisions based on the size and shape of your bead. In the one I did for the Bead Soup Party, it was a roundish bead without a very flat base. In order to stabilize it, I took both wires and wrapped it around the base of the bead a few times.

Vintage Finds

My friend Jaclyn mentioned on her facebook page that she was headed to an antique/vintage show here in town. I never hear about these things until after the fact, so decided to head over there after my 12 year old son's soccer game this afternoon. Let me tell you, he was less than thrilled at the idea of watching me dig through other people's old junk. However, that child is about as good natured as an almost 13 year old can possibly be. Plus, I got him a piece of cherry pie while we were there. I was on the hunt for vintage things to use in my jewelry. I have been wanting to collect more stuff like that, but am too lazy to hunt for it. However, I did manage to find a few useful things, plus I had fun haggling over the price. Is it just me, or do people way overcharge for vintage jewelry? None of it seemed super special or anything. The one had my eyes popping out of my head because it was a gallon ziplock bag, half full of vintage jewelry. On the outside it said broken pieces and missing stones-$150. Really?!?!?! $150 for broken crap? HA! Ironically enough, later on I did buy a necklace with a couple broken flowers on it that they wanted $20. HA! I paid $5. I complained it was broken, but didn't mention I was going to take it apart to upcycle (recycle) the flowers anyway. I got a couple brooches from the same place that I am totally excited to clean up and put with some lampwork.
Vintage Finds
I also grabbed these really cool keyhole hardware bits. Again, to use in jewelry:
Vintage Finds
Last, I got these subway, bus, tax(?) tokens to use in jewelry. I love these "coins" with holes in them.
Vintage Finds
My son also managed to score a few treasures. He has a subway token collection that he added to, plus he got 4 road maps made before the interstate system was created. He loves to study maps and was fascinated at how different Indiana and Michigan's roads looked compared to how they look now. I guess the trip wasn't so bad for him after all.
Bonus tip: If you go digging at antique/vintage/garbage shows, take baby wipes. I have never really done this before and wish I had baby wipes with me for my hands. They felt so grimy and dirty when we were finished.

Bead Table Wednesday: How Funky is your Chicken?

The family and I took a little mini vacation over the weekend. They hurtled themselves down snow covered...mountains? Hills? I'm not sure if the elevation of Boyne Highlands in northern Michigan counts as a mountain or not. Whatever. They acted like darn fools. Here's what I did all. day. Saturday.
What I did over my Saturday break
taken with my cel phone, so not the best quality photo...
I did actually have to change out of pj's to go to lunch with my snow bunny family members, which was kind of a disappointment...?
I haven't done anything this fun since Saturday. Well...except to finish one of these Nurture necklaces for an order this morning.
However, the UPS man brought me this gorgeous thing that I've been waiting for over a month now:
How funky is your chicken?
Any guesses as to what it is? I'll give you a hint. It inspired today's blog title because I can't get that stupid cheer out of my head since I plucked it off the front porch. Yes, I was at one point a cheerleader until the time I got an In School Suspension for wearing a pair of jeans with a hole in the knee and refusing to call my parents to bring me a pair without the extra holes. Yes, I was a rebel. What can I say.
Give up?
How about now?
Did you guess a Chicken Feeder? Me neither. I got the idea from Mixed Metal Mania (which is currently in the pile o' books to be reviewed right next to the computer at which I am typing). Wanna know why I found it necessary to immediately order one as soon as I saw it in the book? It has to do with Bead Table Wednesday...
New Tool Organizer
By the way, if you feel you need one of these too, this link will take you to several size options. Be warned, it took them a month to ship this thing to me. I was beginning to lose hope it would ever get here. However, it arrived just in time for the new BTW installment.

Bead Soup Blog Party Wrap-Up, A Walk Down Memory Lane, and Why I Finally Believe Running Won't Kill Me

My butt has grown roots into the chair. Weird, I know. It's from visiting and commenting on the 209 other blogs participating the Bead Soup Blog Party. I am blown away by the talent out there in blog land. Many blogs I have never visited before. You haven't seen my bead soup piece yet? Click on over now and come back.If you haven't heard, there's already a date set for the next Bead Soup Blog Party. My recommendation if you want to play along? Read this page of information on Lori Anderson's blog. The next step is important...after reading it, follow the directions. Become a fan on facebook. Join the flickr group. Join the Yahoo group. By joining these groups, you will be less likely to miss out. Plus, the Yahoo group does bead swaps and other challenges sometimes.
I thought it might be kind of fun to revisit my bead soup piece from the 2nd Bead Soup Blog Party summer 2010. Lori Anderson was my partner. Here's what she sent:
Bead Soup Blog Party
Matching earrings:
Warning, complete change of topic...Remember how I posted an abridged list of my goals and resolutions? No? That last link will take you there if you're curious. However, one of the things on that list is training for a half marathon. The particular one we're running is in about 8 weeks. Eek!
January 23, 2011
Since the beginning of January, I have logged exactly 70.89 miles (that's 114 km for my non-American friends) on the treadmill. I have not run since I was on the cross country team my freshman year of high school about 22 years ago. On day 1, I started with running a 1/2 mile. My longest run so far is 7.5 miles. I'm beginning to actually believe I can do this thing and not die. 

Bead Table Wednesday the UFO edition

It's UFO week! No aliens seen around here, but lots of UnFinished Ornamentation. I supposed I could put a positive spin on it and say WIP for Works In Progress, but let's call it what it really is. Many of these have been WIP for over a year. Pathetic. I blame it on being neurotic. Why am I dealing with it this week? Because I did a mega clean-up of my bead table that took me forEVER (meaning about 3 weeks of working on it off and on). I came across a ridiculous number of projects and decided to tackle a few a week until they are finished. UFO #1: This necklace has an actual theme based on the Greek goddess Athena-the goddess of wisdom. See that gorgeous Lisa Peters Art Pendant?
03 02 11 Bead Table Wednesday UFO edition
I even handstamped a copper washer and did a cool patina using amonia and salt, and added a few pieces of my precious Roman glass stash. Here's a wider angle of what is completed so far:
03 02 11 Bead Table Wednesday UFO edition
Why isn't it finished? The main reason is due to a certain neurotic tendency I have about the fact my business name is GLASS Addictions and when I first started it my focus was on GLASS created by ME. While I would like to create pieces on occasion that aren't sporting my lampwork, it feels WRONG. This was confirmed at a show I did where I  had a display of stamped brass tags to use as charms, add-ons, whatever you want to call them. A woman came up, looked at them, saw my business name on the cards, and says "what do these have to do with glass?" Argh! Not helping! What do you think? Is my concern legititmate? Or am I truly neurotic? Or both? What if you had a business called Ann's Metal Cuffs and then you decided you wanted to make fiber necklaces? What would you do? I've gone so far as to consider changing my business name so it wouldn't be an issue any more. But what a HASSLE. UFO #2: this isn't finished because I tested some alchohol inks on a filigree, set it aside to see what would happen. Then I decided this bead would look cool with it.
03 02 11 Bead Table Wednesday UFO edition
UFO #3: knitted bracelet with peridot chips. It needs a clasp. Also, it doesn't contain any of my glass art beads. Again, no glass=big issue inside my brain.
03 02 11 Bead Table Wednesday UFO edition
UFO #4: I think I made these PMC charms about 2, maybe even 3 years ago. I love them. I'm pretty sure I know what I want to do with them. But there they sit.
03 02 11 Bead Table Wednesday UFO edition
View from my bead table tonight:
03 02 11
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Random Sunday

Wanting to see my Bead Soup Post? Scroll down one post or click here.I've had about 20 blog posts written inside my head and photos to share since late January, but have put them off because sometimes being at the computer for more than a few minutes at a time makes me insane. Plus I've got tons of stuff to do. Unfortunately, I feel guilty about it like I'm ignoring a friend on purpose because I can't face up to what I've done. Anyway, that ends today. Here are a few highlights from the last month pretty much newest to oldest:-spent all last week sick and trying to hack out a lung. Missed out on going to meet Jeff Foster (my favorite current Pacers player since Reggie Miller retired) and Fuzzy Zoeller at a small March of Dimes event. Bummer. -Fuzzy really liked my husband and kissed him twice on the cheek and gave him a bottle, signed by Fuzzy, of his vodka. -we will probably give that bottle to be auctioned off for the March of Dimes chef's event here in Ft Wayne in October. So if you've always wanted a signed bottle of Fuz's vodka....-last Friday we attended a Winter Wonderland Gala to raise money for my son's school. -I freaked out at the last minute about what to wear. -I bought this style dress:
In this color:
Color example
-I wore super cute silver mesh shoes with a beaded flower on the toe that I cannot find a picture of and am too lazy to take one. ?
-One hour before we had to be at the gala. I made this:
Winter Wonderland Gala
Here's what it looks like while wearing an old grubby t-shirt:
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Winter Wonderland Gala
-Here's what I donated to the silent auction:
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Winter Wonderland Gala Donation
-and this challenge piece I made and my neighbor won at the auction (YAY LISA!):
Challenge bracelet
?-and something similar to this:
-I listed a new bead on etsy (shocking!) Most everything I've made lately has a home or a plan, so listings are few and far between:
Beads for a Special Project
-They became this:
Mixed Media Home is Where Creativity Takes Flight
Mixed Media Home is Where Creativity Takes Flight
-And is now hanging at the Arts United Center as part of the Community Mosaic. Theme is "Home of the Arts".
-The theme for my mixed media painting (3'x3') is "Home is Where Creativity Takes Flight" It pretty much looks like a 3 year old made it.
Mixed Media Home is Where Creativity Takes Flight
-The brass tags (that you can barely see...) say "Focus" because that's my one word or special word or whatever it's supposed to be called, for 2011.
-I still  haven't figured out totally what to do with that special word. I guess I just felt left out that everyone had a special word for the year and I didn't.
-which reminds me...WHY do we do goals/resolutions January 1st? That's the worst time of the year to make goals because by February 1st when the gray and cold of  winter have seeped into my bones and grasped my soul with their icy claws, the last thing I want to do is be productive or follow through on goals.
-Unless that goal is crawling into toasty bed and hibernating.
-The first day of the year should be June 1st. Well...unless you live in the southern hemisphere...but still! I've decided from now on, June 1st is New Year's Day and will plan accordingly.
-ummm....got a little off topic there. Back on track now.
-My kids did paintings too. Daughter's is titled "There's no place like Home". The lighting at the Arts United Center at night is very bad. I could show a better picture of it at our house, but that's not as much fun as seeing it hanging with the other paintings:
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 There's No Place Like Home
-Some people ignored the theme of the mosaic. My kid and his neighbor friend were among those "rule breakers". Here I present..."Untitled":
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Untitled
-Here's a shot from the end which shows all 3 of our paintings at the same time and also looks kind of cool:
United Arts Center 2011 Community Mosaic
-I keep having dreams Lance Mackey likes to hang out with our family, have cookouts and go to the movies. Weird, right? Especially because it's not that easy to get to the middle of nowhere Alaska to middle of nowhere Indiana...Oh, WAIT! We have Ft. Wayne International airport. That changes things right there...
-There's other stuff too, but I don't have photos to go along with it. That isn't as much fun.
-Come back tomorrow for the promised book review from almost 2 weeks ago. ?I have good excuses as to why it didn't get done. Mostly it involves...oh, never mind.

Bead Soup's On!

 Welcome to the 3rd Bead Soup Blog Party!
What is a Bead Soup Blog Party?
 Each beader was paired up with another jewelry designer and tasked with sending the following:
~ A focal~ A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)~ Some coordinating spacers or beads
Using the focal and the clasp was mandatory, but we could use anything from our own stash to round out the rest, and choose to use the coordinating beads or not.
And now for the reveal!I made THREE pieces this time. That's right. Three. Once I got started, I just couldn't stop. Let me back up for a second. Before I started assembling, I made some lampwork beads in a random hand shaped "nugget" shape to coordinate with the gorgeous focal Jeanette sent me. Also, because brass was the metal she used for the focal, the clasp, and all metal findings, I decided to use goldstone powder in my beads to add a little sparkle that coordinates with brass.
Bead Soup Blog Party #1
Bead Soup Blog Party #1
To be honest, if I were making this necklace just for me, using this particular focal, I probably would have kept it to a simple chain with the pendant and an accent lampwork bead because that's how I prefer to wear jewelry. However, this is bead soup people!
Bead Soup Blog Party #1
I wore this around all yesterday afternoon and kept refining the design a bit because things wanted to flip around. It no longer does that and it's super comfortable to wear. I love it.
Bead Soup Blog Party #1
The brass wire Jeanette sent was shiny brass in all its brassy glory. I didn't want that. I put the entire coil in a bowl with ammonia and salt in the bottom of it to patina it. But it turned black way more quickly if I just dipped the entire coil in the ammonia solution :o) After making the bead components out of wire and hammering them, I used steel wool to highlight the spiral shapes.
Bead Soup Blog Party #1
Bead Soup Blog Party #1
Jeanette also sent me 2 filigree pieces. I used one of them to create a matching ring for the necklace. The profile is super high, but it is so much fun to wear! I will be wearing this to see how well it holds up to the everyday torture my hands endure. If it holds up well, I might just be buying more of these filigree and making more.
Bead Soup Blog Party #2
Bead Soup Blog Party #2
Bead Soup Blog Party #2
Bead Soup Blog Party #2
My daughter and I were watching Sleepless in Seattle while I was putting finishing touches on the first two pieces. There was still about 45 minutes left, so I decided to take the 2nd filigree and make it into a bale for a fun pendant.
Bead Soup Blog Party #3
Pendant ingredients: lampwork bead (again, a hand shaped nugget but not created for this project), Vintaj Arte Metal pendant (steel wooled to highlight the design), tiny brass bell, brass clock arm, 2 tiny hilltribe silver beads, headpin, a couple jumprings. I really love the new Arte Metal line! I got this particular pendant at Hobby Lobby(!) and I think it might be my absolute favorite design they make. It reminds me of the Japanese tsunami woodblock.
Bead Soup Blog Party #3
I added the pendant to a hand dyed silk ribbon (I think it's a Jamn Glass ribbon) to be tied to the length desired. Thanks for taking a peek at what I made. I really had so much fun with this. I would love to hear feedback on any or all of these pieces and will try to respond individually to each comment.
The Party is far from over. Come see what the rest of us made!  
1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2.

Bead Table Wednesday

While this photo was not actually taken on my bead table (which is not currently usable because I asked hubby to hang something on the wall for me, he didn't have the correct hardware and he dumped the tools on my newly cleaned bead table...), it is of beads as part of a work in progress for tomorrow's book review. And, it's on a table. Bead Table Wednesday 2.16.11

Bead Table Wednesday (Thursday) Bead Soup Blog Party Edition

Nope. Haven't fallen off the face of the Earth yet. I could make excuses for the lack of posts, but I won't. Really? The biggest reason I haven't blogged in spite of having a ton of topics to write about (lots going on!) is that I didn't feel like it. When I would go to blogger and see the login page, it just seemed like too much effort to login. If that's the case, it's probably better I not try to blog because it's hard telling what I might type. It could get very naughty.
Anyway, last week was the awesomest mail week. One of the packages that came was the bead soup from my partner Jeanette. I documented every step of opening the package (except the box it was shipped in). Enjoy!
2011 bead soup blog party
2011 bead soup blog party
2011 bead soup blog party
2011 bead soup blog party
2011 bead soup blog party
2011 bead soup blog party
2011 bead soup blog party
2011 bead soup blog party
2011 bead soup blog party
I will share the rest of the week's bounty tomorrow.

Lorelei's FusionBeads Challenge

Challenge bracelet
Lorelei puts on a great challenge and blog hop. This time she selected beads from Fusion Beads so international folks could play along. I had this almost completed last night, but bead wire and I do NOT get along and I couldn't figure out how to get the (bleeped out) clasp on the (bleeped out) bracelet so it would work with  my design. I figured it out while I was eating lunch and as soon as my nephew was down for this nap, I took it all apart and started over. It turned out almost exactly how I envisioned. Yay! I still hate beading wire. And crimps. They pretty much make my right eye twitch uncontrollably and I always get an overwhelming desire to pull all my hair out when working with them. I have yet to use an entire spool of beading wire since starting to make jewelry about 5 years ago. Back on topic...I've  never ordered from Fusion Beads before. The prices of the selected beads were very reasonable and they shipped it out quickly. Unfortunately from there to here took a while. When I got my order and there was a teeny problem with it, I called and they shipped out the missing piece the same day, apologized while I was speaking to someone at the company and again in an email after it shipped out. I will definitely order from them again.For my design I made a bracelet. I was rather stubborn about it-insisting on using my lampwork disc bead and the owl toggle so both were the focal. I used the droopy seed beads (not sure of the name) and the very blingy crystals and the small round wood beads from the challenge as well. Other than my lampwork bead, the only extra I added to the challenge beads are those silver toned rings from the Industrial Chic line at Michaels.
Challenge bracelet
Challenge bracelet
Challenge braceletTo see other challenge pieces:http://lorelei1141.blogspot.com/http://erinsiegeljewelry.blogspot.com/http://beadingbymalindekoning.blogspot.com/http://beadhappytoday.blogspot.com/http://thebeaddreamer.com/bloghttp://dreamsomedesigns.blogspot.com/http://fryestyle.blogspot.com/http://www.madmaggiedesigns.blogspot.com/http://reginaswritings.blogspot.com/http://www.mylifeunderthebus.typepad.com/http://jennibead.blogspot.com/http://maryhardingjewelrybeadblog.blogspot.com/http://silverrosedesigns.blogspot.com/http://lindalandig.wordpress.com/http://fireflymyst.blogspot.com/http://www.awishandacloud.blogspot.com/http://spiritrattles.blogspot.com/http://formysweetdaughter.blogspot.com/http://songbeads.blogspot.com/http://beautifullybrokenme.blogspot.comhttp://threeredbeads.blogspot.com/http://christinec3.blogspot.com/http://www.earthenwood-beads.blogspot.com/
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