Swarovski Crystal Bracelet Tutorial

I’m very proud to finally offer this tutorial – it’s been a long time coming, and alot of hard work. I’ve taught wire wrapping in person for many years, but writing instructions for someone I will not be teaching in person, has been to say the least challenging. My style of writing is not as ‘formal’ as some, but after much consideration and countless re-writes, I realised I needed to stay with what I know best. This tutorial is written as if I were teaching you in person, as much as possible – since I’ve taught this in person, I know the pitfalls you’re most likely to face, and do my best to head them off -The bracelet in this tutorial is my personal favorite. It was inspired partly by my birds, my Rainbow Lories ~ Murphy, Gabby, Pluck & Feather, in particular. Everyone that I’ve taught this to, and who has made one, interprets the colors in their own way ~ as it should be.

Other beads can be used for this, in an infinite number of combinations however, square beads are easier to manage in the beginning. The techniques I’ve developed, and teach in this tutorial, create a stable ‘tough’ little bangle; and unlike some other ‘versions’ of this style, the means to create a bangle at near perfect to perfect length. After we have completed the basic style, I will walk you through an additional (really cool) variation, plus some other design ideas.Materials to create a basic 7 -7 1/2″ bracelet: I prefer GF wire, but you’re welcome to use sterling or even copper – ½ hard or dead soft. Q=the best to use? A=Use what you have.• 48″ 20g square wire • 9″ 22g wire (square or round)• 32″ 16-20g ½ round wire (I prefer the heavier gauges in ½ round wire, and ½ hard for this project – it forms crisper wraps)• Minimum 12 6mm cube crystals• Optional : 2, 4mm Bali spacers per crystal, if you don’t use spacers, you will need to increase the number of crystals needed, by 2 or 3; 1 extra cube as a ‘little helper’.

Tools: wire cutters, ruler, flat-nose pliers, round nose pliers, large round dowel or something similar for forming – optional: tape, Sharpie marker, cleaning cloth.
This is a PDF file – To view this tutorial you will need a free copy of Adobe’s Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded here:http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, however most computers with basic programming are already capable of reading a pdf file.

This tutorial, and others can be purchased from My Shop at Etsy. Thank you for stopping by – please visit again………………………………….
~Bobbi

The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows. –Bhuddha

Makes Ya Wanna Go Hmmmmmmm…….

Not to long ago, on my favorite message board ‘Evolutions In Stone’ , Blarneystone (Dan), wrote a post called “Heart Breakers – Cabagons”, in which he shared numerous photos of some real heartbreaking cabbing mishaps……getting caught on the wheel and slung across the room – chipped at the last minute – dropped on the floor during final polishing – you get the idea – boo boos, that make you cry arrrgh….. One that really made him sniffle was a favorite that ‘came apart at the seams’ Forest Fire Jasper – For some reason the stone really attracted me even in such pitiful shape – So, as bold and brassy as I can be (sometimes), – keep in my I’ve only been on EIS since the end of January this year – posted that if he still had the stone – hadn’t chucked it in the garbage, or out a window – and could put a shine on it, to send it me and “let me try and wrap it so it looks like you meant to do that”. pretty gutsy huh? I kinda had an idea in my head, but not a fully formed one, and after Dan went to a lot of trouble to glue the stone together to polish it, then get it apart, and send it to me, I started to waver in my resolve a bit. …….It had been sitting in front of me for over 3 weeks, until today when I finally decided to jump in and take a bash…..It’s not exactly what I had in my head but it I think it turned out kinda cool anyway….. You’ll have to let me know what you think…..

The whole piece is wire wrapped in 14K GF wire, including the “seam” in the stone – not an easy trick, but it worked pretty well – I have been working on forming the “seam”wire on and off since I got the stone in the mail. I think the effect I was going for would have looked better, had the seam been zig-zagged, but the break wasn’t planned, sooooo….. I also did the gold bezel around the stone, so it would look more ‘finished’ when I set it.

It’s going in the mail tomorrow, back to Dan – I only wanted to wrap it, not keep it. He sent along a few other cabs he had cut – said he couldn’t send along one sad little broken stone – I hope he thinks my work makes us even. I will have to get a piece of this for my own ‘collection’, the stone really is pretty.

Thanks for stopping by – tell me what ya think 🙂 …………………~Bobbi

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become. – Bhuddha

A Little bit of Shameless Self Promotion, and……

I’ve been really busy lately ~ Through the urging and support of my really sweet friend Corra, I’ve started writing tutorials for some of my more popular pieces, and for some really vintage designs, that I dug up out of my ‘stash’ of old prototypes. I love teaching wire wrapping, and don’t get the opportunity to do so in person, as often as I’d like. Writing tutorials is the next best thing! You see my hands are badly damaged from both types of Arthritis, a car accident that sent my head through the windshield and my hands INTO the dash, and a ‘walking’ accident with my 155lb, African Mastiff, Suie (she accidentally fractured ALL the knuckles on my right hand). At some point my hands will stop working correctly; as it is gripping pliers is very painful ~ the Dr’s solution to this is to replace 5 knuckles in my left hand, and 9 knuckles in my right hand, but while that would end the pain, it would effectively end any wire work as well; I’d really like to share what I think are some great wire wrapping designs, and ideas before that happens.

My first tutorial listed is for a great pair of earrings, with a kind of ‘antique’, ‘vintage’ flair to them. I can’t wait to see what folks do with it –

In the tutorial I suggest using Sterling silver, and oxidizing them.

I made several other suggestions for variations, and am anxious to see the results.

Once I start getting some photos back, I will post them here

Please visit my Etsy Shop for this and upcoming tutorials – and there are always pretty goodies being added…

Now for a bit of the “and…….” part I mentioned in the title ~ My dear friend Corra, updated the photos for some of her tutorials,

and they are spectacular~

I tease her about sending all my pieces to her to photograph, but her being in Malaysia, and me being in US, kinda presents a problem :), although she did suggest I was welcome to visit :).

Thank you for visiting ~ please come back anytime.

~Bobbi

Persistence is the hard work that you do after you are tired of doing the hard work you already did .
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Imaginations and Ideas ~~ Where do they come from………

I’ve been thinking alot about imagination lately, and not just because it’s a big part of the name of my shop, and the jewellery adventure I’m on…… It just never ceases to amaze me, what wonderful things ideas and imaginations are. For me, jewellery ideas seem to (on occasion) come about without any real intervention on my part – I mean most times when I sit down at my workbench, there’s a stone, or string of beads I’ve recently gotten still laid out – (I’m not really good at putting stuff away) – and I grab some wire, my favorite pliers, and look at what I have, and try to figure out, ‘what it would be best suited as’.

Once the ideas start though, I can hardly keep up. I try to sketch little notes for later projects, (I can’t do everything at once), and I wind up with hundreds of little sticky notes everywhere….. I have these notes in my car, my purse, on the desk in the living room, and (what was supposed to be the ‘handy catchall), a little black book, filled with little sketches, and notes for projects. Sometimes, halfway through a note, it shoots off into a totally new and different idea…..I have enough of these to date, to keep me at my work bench 24/7 for quite some time. And if that was not enough, I’ve started to subject my friends to this…….sort of – one project leads to another, and another… – To show you what I mean – in an earlier post, I introduced you to a recently made friend – Spike – who suggested a collaboration between us, in what is a perfect marriage of arts ~ he cuts gorgeous cabs in natural stone, and I’m a skilled wire worker – simple! right? Wrong. – It took, I think, all of 2 days, before before I started bombarding him with ideas for specially cut stones I wanted for ‘experimental projects’ I had in mind, and to my amazement, he was all for it. And at no point has he ever said “no”, (which sooner or later, he’ll slap his head, and question that, but for now I’m safe.) This was the first of many pieces I’ve asked for (or am going too *insert sheepish grin here*). I wanted a heart shaped stone, cut in 2 – my plan was to wrap the 2 pieces so they would finish as a pendant set – his and hers – with an old prayer – “Lord, watch between me and thee, when we are absent one another” – It hasn’t quite worked out that way though – the mechanics of how it needs to hang, just isn’t co-operating – but someone already saw this on Spike’s Flickr, and she and I have talked, and I’m confident it will become what she needs it to be – but the point, I guess of this little tale is that, it’s fueled a whole host of ideas (imagination).
Now I realise I ramble a little, but you’re still reading so…… Another friend I’ve mentioned earlier, Corra ~ well her ideas, and imagination comes from an entirely different place. Her passion for wire, is a recent one, and we ‘met’, when I purchased one of her tutorials, and she thought my intentions were , shall we say, less than stellar. She had recently been ‘attacked’ and accused of using someone else’s ideas, and thought I was just another one to join the angry linchmob….. I am most happy to report that I was not. Those slinging accusations, were by the way VERY wrong in their assumptions, and although after some time, finally concluded they were wrong, never did apologize – but the point is, they backed her into a corner, and she turned around and used that to her advantage – and then some! One of the ‘statements’ made was that she didn’t know enough about what she was trying to teach – boy did they do her a FAVOR! ~
It’s funny (well it is now), I honestly believe their intention was to ‘run her off”, and all they succeeded in doing , was spur her on to greater things – She has since then,
incorporated something she KNOWS very well into her wire – Chinese Knots – which has produced some stunning work and designs. This piece here, is one of her newest, a pendant called ‘Skylark on Coins’. (the photo is a link to this listing on Etsy if you’re interested). Her ‘imagination and ideas’, while they didn’t have the happiest of beginnings, are fueling some wonderful pieces and ideas. She has a new tutorial coming soon for a bracelet!, that I got a sneak peek at. I’ve asked her for permission to use the photo she sent, but I’m in USA, she’s in Malaysia, the whole day ahead or day behind thing, anyway if she okays it, I’ll edit this post, and show everybody what to look forward to. Just got e-mail from Corra with a couple of pics of her upcoming bracelet tutorial –

Pretty Sharp!

I read alot of listings on Etsy, and blogs from different artists, and it really does amaze me where their ideas, and inspirations come from…………… Some, like Eni Oken have find their ideas and inspirations in nature – Eni has whole ‘series’ of pieces revolving around the ocean ~ one of my favorite pieces ~ ‘Marine Relic’ ~ is a perfect example.
I just love her work – would give body parts for half of her ‘mad skills’.
Well I’ve rambled on enough for now – my roommate, reading over my shoulder, asked – “why is your work , and what ‘triggers’ you not in this?” – hmmmm, guess there will be a part II 🙂 .
thanks for stopping by……………
~Bobbi
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. – Bhuddha

The Beginning………

If you’ve peeked at my profile, you’ve seen that I have been wire wrapping for many, many years. Until recently, I’ve worked in my own little world, in a small workshop in my house, in Gulfport, Florida, USA. In October 2007, I ventured out and opened a shop in Etsy – My Wired Imagination . That was the beginning of this wild and fantastic adventure, that I hope never ends……..

One of the most memorable aspects of this adventure, has been the wonderful people I’ve met along the way……and I would be remiss, if I did not share some of these wonderfully unique friends with you…………..

First, there’s Corra – owner of DeCor’s Handmades, a wonderful young lady from Malaysia, who has an incredible passion for wire work, which shows in her work and in her desire to create pieces that are totally unique to her. She has only been working with wire for a very short time, yet her skills in the pieces she’s created would suggest years. She’s created a wonderful tutorial (2 actually), that shares some of the really cool techniques she’s developed… Please check out her shop for more information, or her own blog at DeCor’s Handmades .
Thanks for visiting, I have many more new friends to introduce you to, but for now I have to say goodnite…….
Thanks for stopping by
~Bobbi
“I don’t pretend to understand the universe – it’s much bigger than I am. ” ~Albert Einstein