Tuesday, March 18, 2014

CRAFTS: Making Jewellery - Beaded Earrings

Most people who know me are comfortable in describing me as "crafty". I don't mean in a sneaky, conniving way...... I mean in the traditional crafty (making stuff) kinda way. I remember making earrings in High School with horrible cheap tacky plastic beads which were shared between kids - but we were delighted with the outcomes anyway.

I have walked down the aisles of my local "spotlight" store (this is a chain store for homewares, fabrics, manchester and crafts supplies) and I have witnessed the explosion of the jewellery making supplies including beautiful crystal and glass beads, gemstones, and little gold and silver wire things in tiny packets which totally threw me and therefore resulting in me avoiding those aisles entirely. I had no idea about what those things were and no idea as to how to begin to use them.

THEN - my monthly subscription of "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine came to me with a free packet of "kit" earrings attached. They were pretty purple based cluster beads and instead of having nice earrings sent .... the magazine had the cheek to send them in a hundred little beads and bits!!! Hence, I put the little packet into my drawer in the office .... and there they stayed for about 3 years!

OK - so I bit the bullet and started looking at "making cluster beaded earrings on You Tube". Isn't it amazing that you can watch a video of strangers doing just about everything on the internet!!??

I was stuck because I needed small tools as a minimum to get those earrings together. I remembered that my sister has had a "go" at making jewellery so I decided rather than launch into spending a lot of money on setting up a kit ..... I'd use my sisters to see if I liked this whole business. She was more than happy as she had spent a small fortune on setting up her crate and due to some limitations in her wrist and grip strength .... does not make much anymore.

 My sister has a HUGE plastic storage crate filled with goodies - here is just a very small snapshot of what I got to play with.

I learned a few things while starting this beading stuff. 1) My eyesight is definitely worse than what I like to think it is!! 2) You need good lighting  3) You drop things about 500 times while trying to put together jump rings and clustery bits and pieces. Imagine holding a continental cucumber in each hand, and then having to pick up and manipulate a matchstick. Imagine! 

I take my hat off to all you Jewellery makers out there.... and to those of you who put your skills onto You Tube and make it look soooooo easy!!

Anyway - now to "Show and Tell" my efforts:

The infamous Purple Cluster Earrings from the Kit!!

Second pair - I wanted to make gold ones.

Then I wanted to make some using these very pretty glass beads.

Who could resist making earrings using these pretty glass beads. The bigger ones are so sparkly!

Finally had to finish up making some using my favourite colour ..... Green! They look wonky on this picture .... but that's what macro mode will do I guess!!

All in all I am very pleased with my efforts. My very good Blogging pal (Di) ( who makes Jewellery for a living) said that I should have a crack at this because she knows I am crafty. I'm not sure if I will continue much past making a few more earrings .... maybe a necklace or two .... but I have to learn about closures and clasps and stuff like that yet.

I've stopped myself from spending up too big on sparkly beads and pink tools .... I think I can share the crate belonging to my sister - and will donate the stuff I have bought so far into the crate.

I'll keep you posted if the beading bug bites me again!!