art

It Pays to Be a PackRat

DSC_4683I am a die-hard Pack Rat – It’s awful – I don’t let go of anything that has the remote possibility of being useful. Note I said ‘pack rat’ not ‘hoarder’ –  there’s a difference – garbage is garbage, but there is lots of useful “stuff” in my collection.  This is one such piece of “stuff”.

I have been playing around with a micro-torch lately, and needed a kiln imagesflame proof work surface – not good to set your bench on fire. I nearly fell off my chair with kiddyness when I remembered this old kiln in my garage. It was a ‘gift’ almost 30 years ago, and I’ve hung on to it all this time, despite not having any idea how to use it – it has no power cord, but looks like it should have one. I’ve never been able to find any useful info on it despite having the brand name “Nova” and the model and serial number. Kiln top and bottomThere are 4 pieces to it; 2 lined cylinders, and the top and bottom which I use to torch on.

My first soldered ringThe cylinders are still in the garage (I’ll find a use for them sooner or later ;)) and I have a great surface to torch on without setting my bench on fire.

Soooooo, what’s in your garage? 😀

See ya again soon,

Bobbi

 

 

Doing the Happy Dance

aka "Honey I Shrunk the Bracelets"
aka “Honey I Shrunk the Bracelets”

“Congratulations! Your design has been selected for the second round of judging in Fire Mountain Gem and Beads 2012 Swarovski Elements Jewelry-Making Contest.”

What an awesome way to end the year!!! Normally a trip out to the mail box is just a depressing assortment of bills and spam – not today….. I got a letter from Fire Mountain Gems!!!Crstal Cube Hoop Earrings

As soon as I saw the return address I started a little jig in the yard – of course, I quickly stopped, so as not to frighten the neighbors lol.

I am so totally tickled *insert big cheesy grin here*

Finalist 2011 Swarovski Elements Jewelry Making Contest
Finalist 2011 Swarovski Elements Jewelry Making Contest

Last Year was awesome winning a Finalist slot in their 2011 challenge – Here’s crossing my fingers in hopes to do it again ~~~ Wish me luck 😀

Happy New Year everybody!!!

Bobbi

“The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”  ― Chuck Palahniuk

 

 

 

Treasured Hearts Charm Holder Pendant Tutorial

Some of you may know my Mother passed away in 2005. August 1st was her birthday. 

I had been wearing some of her charms just strung on a chain, and thought it time for  something better. I played around making the charm holder pendant as a way to cheer myself up a bit. A friend suggested I should show people how to make it, since I wasn’t the only one (to wear charms strung on a chain). So here it is ~ I hope you like it.

Materials needed:

7 to 12 in. (17.8 to 30.5cm) 16ga ½ hard round wire. (depending on the size of the pendant you want to make.)   2 or 3 – 6mm(or larger) jump rings.

DSC_3086 Cut and clean a 7 inch (17.8cm) piece of half hard round wire.With your round nose pliers grasp the wire 2 in. (5.1cm) from the end of the wire.
DSC_3094 Cross the wires over the pliers, and spread them just far enough apart to create a loop.
DSC_3098 Use your thumb to shape the left lobe of the heart.
DSC_3102 Continue shaping the wire, until it looks something like this.
DSC_3103 Hold on to the completed side of the heart, and use your thumb to shape the other lobe of the heart.
DSC_3105 Slide 2 or 3 jump rings onto the shorter wire. These will act as the ‘bail’ for your pendant.
DSC_3110 Use chain nose pliers to wrap the short wire around the long wire.
DSC_3119 This is how your pendant should look at this point.
DSC_3122 With your thumb, shape the long tail of wire into a curve.
DSC_3125 With round nose pliers, grasp the wire roughly 1 inch below the wrapped wire, and bring it around the jaw of the pliers to create the bottom loop.
DSC_3132 Create a hook in the end of the wire. This will be the “latch” for your charm holder.
DSC_3146 Tada 🙂 Add some hammered texture and some charms and you’re good to go.
DSC_3149 This is mine, though I think I might need to make a bigger one.

Thank you for visiting! If you’d like the full version of the Treasured Hearts Charm Holder, please visit my Etsy Shop or My-WiredImagination.com.   Instant Download available at both locations.

Don’t forget to Wrap Happy,

Bobbi

Never Enough Hours in the Day

There never seems to be enough hours in the day – have been super busy over the summer. I need to get back into a regular routine – blog posts included – so how about a “get to know me’ post to start things back up? 🙂

HandmadeArtistsShop recently featured me on their website – Artists are send a thorough questionnaire, and Kimberly did an awesome job sorting out my blabberings – check it out if you get a chance, and I’m always happy to hear what you think. Featured Artist BobbiWired  

Thanks for stopping by~
Bobbi
“The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” ~Chuck Palahniuk

Perri Jackson in Florida – Actually Twice :)

Hi all – just wanted to let you know – Perri Jackson aka Shaktipaj Designs will be visiting me for just about a week, next week in fact, to get ready for our classes in Oct In Orlando. We plan to play at Buttons Bangles, and Beads on Corey Ave, St Pete Beach, Sat Sept 11th and Monday Sept 13th. Stop by, say hi, and get a sneak peak at some of the designs we are teaching in Orlando. We will not be teaching classes these 2 days, but just providing a little eye-candy to drool on. :)) Also, Perri and I would both love to get to meet some of our internet friends in person!!

Plus don’t forget, there is still time and room to sign up for the Orlando classes. Check put www.beadngemsinfl.com/wire-school.html for more information, and to download the registration information and form.
Hope to see ya soon!
Wrap happy,
Bobbi

 

 

 

Blast From The Past Series….. Part Two

Going back to the very beginning, bangle style bracelets were the very first thing I ever learned to wrap more than 20 years ago; what actually started my addiction to wire.

At the time, I was heavy into leather work and Native American style jewelry. I made leather and bone jewelry; custom saddlebags for motorcycles; and yes leather whips upon request. The tooling and sewing were taking an awful toll on my hands, and I needed a new creative outlet. A very dear friend, who owned the bead shop I haunted at the time, suggested wire wrapping. My hands were so bad, I told her, I didn’t think I could do it. I was seriously drawn to it, but it was several months after her initial suggestion, that I decided to give it a try.

She (Millie), sat down with me one night after the shop had closed, and showed me how to make the basic bangle. I still have the very first one here somewhere in my stash. The bracelets above were the next ones I made on my own (the Labradorite on the left was second – the Cloisonne’ on the right my third). The Scarab bracelet in the center was the first attempt at branching out beyond the basics. I was hooked!!! The wire was not near as hard on my hands as I thought it would be – I doubt I would have cared or stopped if it was – I was in love! The Cloisonne bracelet by the way, my Mother snagged as soon as she saw it – she was my biggest fan and snagged most all my “firsts” of any design :)).

Those first few months I couldn’t make enough of them, and after wearing one to work, everyone seemed to want one. I was averaging 10 to 15 bracelets a week, just for the people in the office where I worked.

The only drawback, was the way Millie had taught me to construct them was extremely difficult. Planning took soooo mmuch time, to get the right number of beads, and the wire just right to get the bracelet length right. Those of you who have my Swarovski Bracelet Tutorial, know I don’t construct them that way anymore. The modifications didn’t happen overnight – I experimented with many, many different construction techniques before I settled on the one I currently teach. Please don’t get the wrong idea – there is nothing wrong with the traditional way to make them, I just thought there had to be a better, prettier, and definitely easier way. Sadly Millie has long since passed away – I would have loved to show her how the basic bangle had evolved.

Though I’m definitely a “ring girl”, the bracelet is still one of my favorites to teach. The way I teach the construction now, it’s almost impossible to get the length wrong, and if you do, easy peazy to fix it.

I even experimented with tension setting a faceted stone in this style. Definitely one of the pieces I ran across that I’ll be revisiting…..

Well I’ve bent your ear enough for today, so I’m off to get some “chores” done LOL, and hopefully get some wrap time in!

Thanks for stopping by – Take care and…..
Wrap Happy,
Bobbi


Blast From The Past Series….. Part One

Some of you may know, I recently did a major revamp in my house, and moved my jewelry workspace into my “bird-room”. In the process of organizing and moving everything, I ran across a lot of wire work pieces I hadn’t seen in many years, and had forgotten all about.
That revamp lasted all of a month, and I had to rearrange it all again. You see my roommates’ folks want to move down with us, so I gave them my bedroom, and moved my things into the bird-room…… not all that bad, the room is huge. In the process, I found more “antiques” :))

Most of the pieces I swore would never see the light of day again. Then I got to thinking of a lot of the new wire workers I’ve met over the years, and the comments I’ve heard. “Your work is great, I wish mine were that good.” “I just make stuff for myself, it won’t ever be good enough to show or sell.” There have been oodles of other comments, but you get the idea.

I’ve decided that maybe showing some of my older pieces, wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. You see very few, if any, wire artists pop into existence fully skilled. I certainly didn’t. My passion for wire started over 20 years ago, and continues to grow and develop everyday. So…. from time to time, as time allows (I’m probably already in hot water that the Cuffs and Vines tutorial isn’t finished yet), I will photograph and post some pictures of my older work, in the hopes that maybe it will inspire a “newbie” wire artist with little self-confidence to keep working at their craft, and not get discouraged.
If wire is what you love, NEVER give up, no matter what. That’s advice I’m going to follow for myself as well.

These are some of the very first pieces I did – over 20 years old for some of them. I haven’t found the very first piece yet, but it’s here somewhere :)) hideous, but it’s here…… So far I’ve found more than 300 pieces – some of them I cringe when I look at them, but others not so much. There are even quite a few I plan on revisiting *grin*. Most of these I had no clue what I was doing. I’d sit at my bench many, many nights putting pliers to wire to see what I could come up with. I desperately wanted to learn wire wrapping, and since no one really taught it, I had to experiment on my own. The Labradorite pendant was what I felt was my first true “success”, though I look at it now and cringe at the tool marks.

The Amethyst Crystal on the right side is from the first wire wrapping book I bought, about 1995, “Moods in Wire” by Ed Sinclair. It’s an awesome book for beginners. Mr. Sinclair is a true Master in our field; is and always be my friend and idol :)).

I suppose I’d better get back to my tutorials – no rest the wicked……… :))

See ya soon………………..
♥wrap happy,
♥Bobbi
http://facebook.com/BobbiMaw
http://facebook.com/MyWiredImagination
“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” ~Albert Pine

Post One Promote One…..

Hey Fans Of My Wired Imagination – Join me in Post – Promote – Share
Just one little catch 😀
Promote fellow handmade artists/friends. Show off your work and the work of your friends and fellow artists.
You can post as many different items as you like, but you must be a fan, and for every item you post, you have to promote a different artist/item in return……
Promote HandMade – Post – Promote – Share
You can post to discussions or to the wall with the title “Post One – Promote One”
http://Facebook.com/MyWiredImagination

thank you for visiting…..

~Bobbi
http://facebook.com/BobbiMaw
http://facebook.com/MyWiredImagination

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Bhuddha

2 Hinged cages and a Locket – Tutorial

After 2 computer crashes, countless re-writes, and a heavy teaching schedule, I finally finished my newest tutorial – 2 Hinged Cages and a Locket. It grew much larger than I originally planned, with 3 FULLY ILLUSTRATED variations. I seriously considered separating out the Locket variation as a stand alone tutorial, but the “leave it in” part of my brain won the toss.

This tutorial teaches you step by step how to create a basic hinged cage, with or without beaded embellishments. This is a wonderfully versatile design to hold a favorite stone, maybe a love note, or a treasured trinket. Once it is on a chain, it is virtually impossible to come open by accident.
As a bonus this tutorial also includes 2 COMPLETE step by step variations including a crossed wire and locket style cage.
The owner of a local bead shop showed me the mechanics of the hinge close to 15 years ago. A very dear friend of mine, Master Wire Worker Ed Sinclair, created a published one in 1994. He has generously given me permission to share my versions of the basic cage and a crossed wire technique that he developed years ago.

This is an advanced level tutorial – it assumes you are familiar with basic wire techniques and improvising when needed. It is 28 pages with 67 steps and over 100 crisp, clear photographs. The file size is 2.3MB.

Don’t be intimidated by the length and number of steps – This tutorial covers 3 FULLY illustrated pieces. While this is an advanced level tutorial, intermediate wire workers with a solid foundation of basic wire wrapping skills can, with patience, complete this design.

Thank you for visiting……. Bobbi

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Bhuddha

Meet Artist Gordon Uyehara – Precious Metal Clay

Sunday September 20, 2009
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm PST

Where:http://www.livevideo.com/liveshow/The-Jewelry-Connection
Join The Jewelry connection for a live interview with guest independent jewelry artist Gordon Uyehara of Hawaii! Gordon is a well loved and highly revered teacher and designer in Precious Metal Clay.
From Mona Hair – Jewelry Connection “His interview will be incredibly informative and his review of work will no doubt be a marvelous experience. It’s an honor to welcome Gordon to the broadcast room and I’m looking forward with great anticipation to sharing this experience with you!”

Where:http://www.livevideo.com/liveshow/The-Jewelry-Connection
Time: 12pm PST 2pm CST or 3pm EST depending on where you are in the USA; if you’re in Europe show time is 9pm except in the UK where it is 8pm

If you create a user ID at this site you may real time text to the show and even join us with your own web cam if you so desire! Nothing at all is required to simply join the broadcast room and watch the show!

This is a wonderful opportunity to meet world renowned Precious Metal Clay Artist Gordon Uyehara. Don’t miss it! See ya there :))

For those of you who haven’t seen Mr. Uyehara’s work, pop on over here to his personal gallery site:
http://www.geocities.com/gtrsolo/index.html

~Bobbi
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Bhuddha

 

Getting Your Work Noticed On-Line – Be Seen, Be Seen, Be Seen

While a couple of articles have been written on this already – I thought they left out a lot – So here’s my ‘stash’ of useful goodies and thoughts…
Whether you have a shop (or two) on-line, a blog, or just pictures of great jewelry you make – none of it means anything if people don’t see it.
Here lately in my own efforts to get my work “out there”, I’ve ran across a lot of ideas, tips, and tricks for trying to ‘get seen’ – Some work, others, not so well.
The first is a collection of what’s called “social bookmarking”. Bookmarking services (free), keep track of your bookmarks on-line (useful in itself in the event of a computer crash), but in my opinion, under-utilized in promoting yourself.
The light went on for me when I got an Artfire shop. It comes with wonderful ‘shop stats’. Besides showing how many hits you’ve gotten – it also shows the referring URL – where and what someone was looking at, when they came to your shop/blog/whatever. There are great widgets you can put on your blog, and Flickr that will provide similar stats. Flagcounter, and Feedit’s LiveTraffic are 2 of my favorites.
Addthis.com provides free code to add the “Share Button” to blogs, Facebook, MySpace, and stand alone web sites to make it really easy for others to share your work too.
Back to the bookmarking – This is the ‘short list’ of what’s out there – Some work, others’ don’t, and some may not pertain to what you’re trying to accomplish, but you can try them out for yourselves. – I have an account (free) in about 90% of these, and I’ll go through and highlight some of my favorites. You can ‘Google’ any of these to get the actual URL, and a short description…..
Some of these you’ll notice aren’t exactly ‘social bookmarking, but they perform a similar function…The idea being to get SEEN… When you set up an account, make sure you put links in your profile of everywhere your work can be found and/or purchased.

Ask – Furl – Reddit –
Backflip – Google Bookmarks – Segnalo –
BallHype – Kaboodle – Simpy –
Bebo – Link-a-GogoSlashdot
BlinklistLinkedInSpurl
Blogmarks – Live – STUMBLEUPON
DeliciousMagnolia – Tailrank –
Digg – Mister WongTechnorati
Diigo – Mixx – Twitter
Multiply – Yahoo Bookmarks –
Fark – myAOL – Yahoo Buzz –
Faves (Bluedot) – MySpaceFlickr
Favorites – Netvouz – Yardbarker –
FeedMeLinks – Newsvine – Yahoo – MyWeb –
FriendFeed – PropellerYouTube
FlixyaBlogLog

Now you’re probably wondering how social bookmarking can help you – Here’s how most of them work – You bookmark a site, photo, item, whatever, and most offer the option for a short description and TAGS, so that your bookmarks are search-able by other users. Be as thorough on your tags as you possible can, and make sure when the option comes up, that you set your bookmarks “public”. (Don’t worry, most have an option to set each bookmark as public or private). One of your primary goals is then to bookmark YOURSELF. Now you don’t want to bookmark just yourself, you’ll turn some people off thinking that’s all you’re are doing is advertising.
Bookmark your friends sites and offerings, artists you admire, wonderful stuff you run across on the web – you surf, you know you do, use it. After a while (a very short time on some) other users will see your style, and tastes, and frequent your bookmarks more often.
My favorite, and according to my stats in Artfire, one of the most used – is STUMBLEUPON. It has free toolbars to add to your internet browsers, and a nicely laid out account format – You can even acquire fans :). Stumble yourself, your newest listing, latest post on your blog – they will get seen! Stumble is wonderful!
Delicious, Diigo, Mr Wong, Magnolia, BlogLog, MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube, rank close seconds. Delicious, Diigo, and Mr Wong, also have browser toolbars available.
Flickr is under-utilized too in my opinion. There are millions of photo fanatics on the web – use them. When you have an account, (and I posted more info on this at http://www.jewelrylessons.com/jewel/node/7967 ) don’t just include photos of your jewelry. Include pics of your animals, a great wedding you went to, beach photos, your kitchen remodeling project etc, and tag really, really well!! Someone searching for kitty cat pictures for example, finds your photos of your babies, and 9 times out of 10 will look at some of your other photos. They see your pics of your newest works, and while they weren’t intending to shop searching Flickr, your pieces peaked their interest, and they will look for links in your profile, to see where you sell. Before you think that’s all to Flickr, search out any and all groups, (there’s even one for JewelryLessons.com hint, hint) that you can contribute related pictures to..
Here’s an example of what I mean – I love and raise Parrots and Lories – I joined every group I could find related to them, from Pet Birds, to Lorie-ographers, and posted pics of some of my babies. I actually get people from jewelry un-related groups to come and look at my work. They came to look to see what other great bird pics I have, and end up seeing my jewelry. One woman from a Lorie group, made her way to my Etsy shop – Bingo!

Don’t be afraid to join jewelry groups either, even as a ‘newbie’, they can be a wonderful source of encouragement and ideas, and again, your work is making it’s way around the net. People mark their favorites, and someone else looks at their favorites, and marks some of their favorites, and so on, and so on.

One more before I go – (I know you’re thinking you’re reading a revised version of War and Peace) – Don’t forget TWITTER – Now again don’t just post sales or listings, people will tend to get annoyed, and stop following you. Make new friends, keep up with current ones, subtly keep them up to date on what you’re working on…

As I run across new outlets and ideas, I’ll come back and share them here – I couldn’t go through all of what I’ve tried in one article, you’all might fall asleep :))

Thank you for visiting………
~Bobbi
“Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live. “~Mark Twain

NEW Tutorial Release ~~~ Ornate Double-Terminated Focal-Clasp

Hi All – Just finished my newest tutorial, and am really excited about it! The primary project in this tutorial is a progression of my Swarovski Crystal Bracelet. It assumes you either have that tutorial, or are familiar with that style of bracelet. Only the modifications to the ends of the bracelets to fasten to the Cab Top Clasp are covered, not the entire Swarovski Crystal Bracelet tutorial.
When finished the Cab Top creates a nearly INVISIBLE clasp.

This tutorial teaches you step by step the techniques needed to create the Cab-Top Invisible Clasp, along with variations that include the Multi-Strand Bracelet, the Watch-Top Invisible Clasp, and the Ornate Focal Clasp for necklaces. This is an advanced tutorial, though if you’re comfortable in the basic skills set, the steps are detailed enough a patient intermediate level wire worker can accomplish these projects.
I hope you get a chance to check it out! Also available in my Shops – a Bracelet Tutorial Package for both the Swarovski Crystal Bracelet and the Ornate Double-Terminated Focal/Clasp. Purchasing them together saves you 25%!

Many, many thanks to Perri J ShaktipajDesigns for her continued support, friendship, and wisdom.

Background art in the cover photo, courtesy of Sabrina.


Thank you for stopping by…………………Bobbi
“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.” ~Tolstoy

Where’s The Mens Cab Ring Tutorial

I recently posted a new tutorial Mens Cab Ring. It has since been pulled from publication on all my sites. It was reported to me, that someone I have respected for a long time felt my design looked to close to theirs. While the text and images and construction is my own, in deference to this person I have removed the tutorial from sale. I felt I developed improved techniques for constructing a ring of this type. The text that I wrote and the pictures I took reflected these improvements in techniques.

While I realize this is a disappointment to some of you, I felt this was the correct thing to do. I may apply these same improved techniques to another project, and will certainly let everyone know when that happens. I appreciate your inquiries, and support.

thank you for visiting…………………
Bobbi

“Be humble, for the worst thing in the world is of the same stuff as you; be confident, for the stars are of the same stuff as you.” ~ Nicholai Velimirovic

Corra’s Rosabella Tutorial Pendants

These pendants were made from Corra’s wonderful Rosabella Pendant Tutorial. They were so much fun to do, and quite addicting. I coiled the wire first – 30g Fine Silver over a 26g core – and added had-set 4mm and 5mm faceted Alexandrite in the centers.

Alexandrite is my favorite faceted stone, though it is a real pain to photograph with the color changes.

Many many thanks for sharing your wonderful designs Corra!!

Thank you for visiting….
Bobbi

“Dreams come a size too big, so we can grow into them” ~Josie Bissett

 

 

Lesson in Patience Dressed Up for Dinner at Perri’s

Sometimes it pays to stay up til 4:30 in the morning .
This is the ring from my tutorial Lesson in Patience Prong Ring Tutorial – dressed up with a variation of Perri’s (Shaktipaj) Periwinkle Bead Cap Tutorial .
The design hit me after seeing an antique dinner ring in a nearby antique mall – (I will try to get a picture of it to post). I used 28 and 30g GF wire, and 2mm and 4mm Swarovski Crystals.

Still playing with the combination of Perri’s Periwinkle and my Lesson tutorials. ~~In this pendant – the center stone is an 8mm faceted Olive Peridot CZ with 2mm and 4mm Swarovski crystals set in 14K GF wire.

Thank you for visiting…..
~Bobbi

“If you found in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded”. ~ Maya Angelou