November 8, 2015

Leather Bracelet with Micro Screws & Nuts Tutorial

Isn't it great to find a project that takes minutes to make but creates a big visual punch? Pair up my bracelet cuff with leather straps for a super simple project that is fun to wear and stack with other bracelet designs. Micro screws and nuts make this a no-fail project with very minimal tools and no riveting experience needed!
Bracelet cuff
8” 19 gauge steel wire
2 15mm brass jump rings
10” leather strap ½” wide
18mm x 20mm copper E hook clasp
4 micro 1” screw and nut sets

Metal punch
Wire cutters
Bench block
Ball peen hammer
Find leather, E hook clasp, jump rings, micro screw and nuts at Lima Beads
Bracelet cuffs from
Use 4" of steel wire to create a wrapped bail on the bracelet cuff. Repeat on the other side. 

1. Attach the 15mm jump ring to each end of the bracelet cuff.  Cut the leather strap in half. String one leather strap through the 15mm jump ring and fold the end of the leather strap over at 1/2” from the end. Punch a hole through the overlapped leather pieces ¼” from the jump ring. Make sure the punch goes through both pieces of leather. 

Tip: Always punch the hole from the top of the leather strap.

2. Thread the bolt through the leather straps with the finished end facing up on top of the leather straps.

3. Thread on the nut on the bolt on the back of the leather.

4. Use chain nose pliers to tighten the nut securely.

5. Trim off the end of the bolt wire cutters flush to the nut.  

6. Place the bracelet with the nut side up on top of the bench block, lightly tap the cut off end of the bolt with the ball peen hammer to flatten the end slightly.  

7. Measure the straps to fit your wrist with 1/2” extra leather on each side, trim leather to shorten if needed. Thread the closed end of the  E hook clasp through the end of one of the straps, fold the strap over and punch a hole a 1/4” from the clasp. Repeat step 4. & 5. to secure the leather loop.

8. Repeat step 7 on the other side of the leather strap, making a loop with the 1/2” of leather without inserting the clasp.

Order more leather, screws and clasps than you think you'll need because these bracelets are addictive and you'll want to whip up a pile of them!!!! 

November 7, 2015

Autumn Flowers Inspiration

The Art Bead Scene's challenge this month is a silk screen print by Marguerite Zorach.  With a background in printmaking this piece really called to me as labor of love from the artist. With the muted colors and modern design elements I knew right away that I would want to make beads inspired by the art. I printed this out and went to the studio to dig in and see what I could create. 

I pulled out some bead molds that reminded me the leaves, flowers and ferns in the painting and created them in autumn hues.

I mixed up some colors in polymer that matched the color palette I created for the ABS. (It will be on the blog tomorrow.) And pulled out some canes that fit the leafy theme for a very limited edition of these Autumn Floral disk beads. Love these! May have to keep a set for myself.

 Feathers in the navy blue and jade pulled from the print.

And I love the ferns stuck in the floral arrangement so I wanted to pull out these fern charms in the navy and copper hues.

I had this mold in the beadmaking stash from something I made years ago that never fit what I wanted for the project at the time. But when I was digging in those molds this week I instantly saw it updated in the new colors and knew it would be perfect. These are my favorite from this week's beadmaking adventures.  I love how they feel like a mid-century pattern. I'd love a skirt or scarf made with this design.

And looking at the inspiration print I couldn't help but think of my Bonbon beads. So I mixed up my favorite colors from the print and got to work on a new batch. Perfectly autumn, don't you think?

So that's what I created for this month's ABS challenge. I'm also a sponsor for this month's round and have donated a $50 gift certificate. I hope you'll play along this month!

New beads can be found in my Etsy shop.

October 31, 2015

New Online Workshop

If you subscribe to my newsletter you might have seen I have a new online workshop coming up in December.

The class is Feathers & Friends and covers polymer clay and copper feathers and the cutest owl beads ever! You know you'd love to create some fab holiday gifts with beads you made yourself. 

The projects are fun and easy, sprinkled in with a little polymer clay magic! Videos and photo-rich booklets will guide you through the projects.

A bonus booklet with 10 jewelry projects featuring the beads will be included with the class. You'll be able to check off your gift list with these drool-worthy projects!

The class begins December 1st but you can access the class 24/7 to work at your own schedule! 

Early bird registration ends November 5th. 

I had a drawing for a $50 gift certificate for those who signed up by Friday. The winner is Kathy Lindenmer! 

October 12, 2015

New Autumn Beads

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." - George Eliot


“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” - L.M. Montgomery

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” 
Humbert Wolfe

 How sweetly did they float upon the wings Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night At every fall smoothing the raven down Of darkness till it smil'd. 


“Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile." - William Cullen Bryant

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” 
Lauren DeStefano

“That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.”  Ray Bradbury

Hope you enjoyed a little autumn inspiration today - visit my Etsy shop if you'd like to grab a few of these limited edition beads.

August 19, 2015

Beadfest Preview

Visit me at Bead Fest this weekend at booth 559a! I can't wait to see what all the beadmakers in Artisan's Alley have created. That's the best place to start at the show. 

I'll have the new fall beads available online when I get back. Which is your favorite?