MyWiredImagination

Story Teller Link Bracelet Tutorial

It’s been pretty hectic around my household lately, but I did manage time to finish my latest tutorial – the Story Teller Link Bracelet.

The “Story Teller” is a design idea I have been working on for a very long time, as a way to “tell a story” with a beautiful piece of jewelry. This tutorial provides step by step instructions to create an interlocking hinged link bracelet with a nearly invisible clasp. 21 design ideas and elements included.

Note: Some of the design ideas in this tutorial include Corra’s Snowflake Earrings Knot tutorial, Perri’s Winter Wreaths, and Periwinkle Bead Cap tutorials. The tutorials themselves are NOT included, just the suggestions on how to use these wonderful designs. This tutorial is available in both my Artfire and Etsy shops. It will also be the background idea for an upcoming “Link Swap” on Jewelry Lessons.com

Thank you for visiting…..
Bobbi
“Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.” ~ Mary Lou Retton

 

 

 

 

 

BabyDoll ~ My Small Goffin Cockatoo

BabyDoll is a Goffin’s Cockatoo, and one of my youngest. She is a semi-rescue. After ‘rescuing’ Fred (my Bare-eyed Cockatoo), I swore I would not get another ‘Too. Not that they’re not sweet birds, they are, UNLESS they have been badly re-homed, abused, neglected, even accidentally taught bad habits, they can be absolute monsters. OR in the case of BabyDoll – forced weaned. Force weaning is the morally reprehensible practice of unnaturally accelerating weaning to get a bird on the market faster. In general the larger the bird, the longer they take to wean. Macaws can take up to a year to properly wean, Greys and Toos anywhere from 4 to 6 months. There’s really no hard and fast rule, but there are general guidelines. But you can’t go from spoon feeding one day, and solid food the next, with no further spoon feedings. It amounts to the same thing as bottle feeding a human baby one day, and the next day handing the child a hamburger.
It wasn’t immediately apparent, BabyDoll was forced weaned. When I first saw her, she cried whenever you got close to her cage, not uncommon with young birds in new surroundings. I thought she was cute and cuddly, but outside of that, I had no real interest in buying her.
After several weeks (I visit this particular shop once or twice a week) the “baby crying” not only didn’t stop as it should have, but became incessant. I continually pressed my shop owner friend, and bit by bit learned BabyDoll’s childhood. The breeder had indeed been in a hurry to “get rid of BabyDoll”. She had made a grievous mistake with BabyDoll’s older sibling, and it had died. Actually it was killed by the breeder’s Husky, when she left it on the kitchen table to go get the mail. Aside from the loss of income for the bird, she was supposedly too upset to take anymore time with BabyDoll, but assured my friend BabyDoll was fully weaned and indeed ready to go into a shop – LIE!
One of the clues (aside from her admissions), that BabyDoll was force weaned was her beak. Young birds beaks are not putty, but can become misshapen, and “scissor beaked” if too much force is repeatedly applied to one side, such as with a syringe during feeding. Think of it like a toddler becoming buck-toothed from sucking their thumb.
BabyDoll’s incessant crying – one of the physical and psychological side effects of force weaning, was becoming apparent to doom her to live her life in the pet shop. My shop owner friend said that while everyone who considered buying her thought she was “cute as a bug”, they couldn’t stand the constant crying and begging, which didn’t stop even if you picked her up. She actually got her name because the crying sounded so much like a human baby crying.
Some may say I’m a sucker for the ‘underdog’, but no one else was going to “step up to the plate”, and I bought BabyDoll. Before we went home, we paid a visit to my Avian Specialist at the vet’s office. He very gently reshaped BabyDoll’s beak, to give her a better chance of it realigning normally. She received several different nutritional shots, since she was severely underweight, and undernourished. After much discussion with my vet, it was decided, that I go “back to the beginning” and hand feed her in an effort to wean her correctly. For those that think hand-rearing and weaning a bird is a cakewalk – think again. Its a serious commitment, that takes an extraordinary amount of time and care in the best of circumstances, let alone compounding it with psychological issues.
When I got home with BabyDoll, I started from scratch, feeding her every 3 to 4 hours as if she had just been taken from the parents. She had no problem accepting hand feeding, since that’s what she had wanted and needed all along. When her weight came back up to an acceptable weaning weight, I gradually added a seed, nut, pellet, fruit and veggie mix to her mealtimes. She “weaned out” of her own choosing (as it should be) in about 2 months. As she showed less interest in spoon feeding (I hate syringes), we played more with ‘big bird food’. The incessant crying stopped in about a week after getting home, since she was getting what she needed. There was the occasional begging around meal time, but not the heartbreaking squalling. She still has serious mental issues we are working on, but that’s a whole other novel.

Thanks for visiting…..
~Bobbi
“Nature is the art of God.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Something Old, Something New – Giving Credit Where Credit’s Due

This post has been edited for clarification, based on comments from some very wise friends. 1/12/2009

Knotting, macrame’, weaving is not new. Depending on what part of the world you live in determines at least in part what the knot or weave is called. What I know as a Girl Scout Lariat knot is also known as a Chinese cube knot. That same Girl Scout knot woven repeatedly in one direction, translates into a Chinese Zhu knot. What one person calls a Celtic knot I know also as a Josephine knot. What one person calls a Double Coin Knot, I call a Turk’s head knot. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Knots are not new. Knots in one form or another have been around for centuries. What’s being done with them in regards to jewelry is fairly new.
One of my favorites is the Turk’s head knot. Corra recently previewed one flat, with a pearl center as a five petal flower knot pendant – her variation of a Double Coin Knot (its soooo cute)…..
That same knot, pulled differently, forms a band, and pulled even tighter still, becomes a ball. (I’ve made key chains with the ball version). Now I made these as a band years and years ago in cotton cord, as a bracelet. I’d weave it, stretch it on, run it under hot water, and it would shrink and conform to my wrist. People were amused by it, since it had no clasp and no apparent way to get it on or off. The fact that it was made with one continuous piece added to the amusement.
Loren Damewood teaches this knot as a band and creates some exquisite sterling and gold rings. I saw a picture of his rings many years ago, and thought “I know that knot, I can do that – right?” Well sort of – I’ve done ONE, although I’m sure I did it the hard way, since I wasn’t all that anxious to do try it again.
Diane Karg Baron has a tutorial for beautiful Celtic Knot Earrings, similar knots I learned doing Macrame’. Perri (who drew inspiration from and credited Remy Heath), recently did an earring tutorial ‘Mobius’. Look closely, its a square knot from Macrame’. Now before you start running for your workbench to try it in wire, be warned, its not as easy as it sounds. Just because you know the knot in cord, doesn’t mean you can do it in wire. There’s a reason Perri’s earring “looks like” cord, but are made of wire. If you’d like to make these earrings or add this knot to your designs, Perri’s tutorial is worth 10 times its weight in gold – tips for creating perfect knots, and how to do it without tearing big gashes in your fingers in the process is priceless.
Since Corra’s and Perri’s tutorial and jewelry postings, several artists have “been reminded” of these and other knots, and incorporating them into their work.
Which brings me to the second half of my blog title. Giving credit where credit’s due. This is probably the single most important ideal out there; that some seem to forget or only “selectively” remember. This does not just apply to knotting and weaving or even just wire work, but all manner of jewelry creation.Many jewelry artists post a long speech in their tutorials about being given credit; or become quite huffy if they are not paid homage if their design is used and they don’t receive credit for it, yet when it comes to their own admissions as to what or who inspired them, well those admissions are conspicuously missing. The only reason I can think of for this is possibly a belief that it will somehow diminish their artistic credibility. This is so far from the truth, it couldn’t be more wrong.
What some people fail to realize is that the Internet has a LONG memory. Sooner or later fans of your work will find out where you got your inspiration from, or who reminded you of a knot you forget you knew. And since you have claimed from the beginning that the idea was yours, or simply even neglected to to credit your inspiration, you end up in a bad light. Even if it wasn’t your intention, you look like you stole some one’s idea and ran with it. Had you, from the beginning, said something like ” I was inspired by so-and-so’s beautiful piece, or reminded of this knot by so-and-so, to create this variation”, your fans would have not thought any less of you. Quite the contrary, they would have thought more you, because you were generous enough to admit to being inspired by another artist.
Please know, I do understand that SOME designs are timeless and knowing (or proving) who thought of it first is next to impossible. Also, true coincidences however rare, do occur. It is entirely possible for 2 artists, who have never come in contact with the others work to have similar designs. Its also possible to have ‘seen’ someone’s work, and have it influence your work, many months down the road. Do you remember who’s design that was? Probably not.“When artists frequent the same forums, and message boards , and collective blogs, coincidences, and accidental influences greatly diminishes – not that its impossible, but much less likely…Perri J. (one of my very wise friends I mentioned) said it better than I ever could – quote” In fact, some of us take part in forums where part of the appeal is the open sharing of our best, most recent work, our most exciting creations. There is an expectation in these places of peer review,and kinship in artistry. It becomes a bond. When that bond is violated by the failure to acknowledge the influence of your friends and peers, everyone loses. We all lose the opportunity to see fresh inventive ideas, because the sense of betrayal causes hesitation, at the very least.”
Do I sound like an “ex-fan”? Its because I am; a very disappointed and disillusioned one. Recently I found out that one of my favorite tutorials, from from an artist I had great admiration for, was not their own idea. Yes their design for the tutorial is different, but not so different; seeing the original design from the ORIGINAL artist there is no doubt where they found their inspiration. I do not say this lightly – nor was it even the original artist that pointed this out. And believe me, I did check for myself. The cover piece for the tutorial IS definitely different, the “prototypes” and variations in the tutorial however leave no doubt. Now had the writer used something similar to my earlier example say “I loved so-and-so’s piece and was inspired to create my variation of it”, I honestly would have had NO problem with it. It would not have taken anything away from their design. To learn that this same writer has done this numerous times – drawn inspiration from other artists, without giving the small courtesy of credit for it – actually hurt my feelings; I feel somehow betrayed. I still admire this person’s artistry and skills, I just feel that at their level of skill, the omission of acknowledgment to a fellow (equally talented) artist, amounts to a snub, and seriously unprofessional.

Now – before someone tries to accuse me of being a pot calling the kettle black – I’m not. I have no problem whatsoever telling anyone where an idea comes from, if I was inspired by another artist. Case in point – Snowflakes to Butterflies. Many of you have seen my posts “When Snowflakes Melt, You find Butterflies. Corra used her Cube knot version and created a wonderful Snowflake design. I used her knot version and came up with butterflies (shortly after that Corra posted Where there is Butterflies, You Find Flowers). I posted everywhere, what and who had inspired my design. I received tons of positive feedback, So did Corra – we both won! Do you think my Butterflies would have been so well received had I posted it, with no mention of Corra? NO, it wouldn’t have – As a matter of fact, I would have probably gotten negative feedback. I wouldn’t have even had to claim the design as my own, just leaving out what and who inspired me would have made me look like a thief and a copycat.
There is nothing whatsoever wrong with admitting where or from who, you found inspiration. I truly don’t understand why people think there is. Oh and don’t think for an instant, that because an artist has been around less time than you, that they somehow deserve less recognition; they don’t. A fellow artist that inspires you, deserves credit whether they’ve been around a few months, few years, or few decades.

Both Corra and Perri have new designs (tutorials) out. Corra’s “Friendshipband Bracelet” and Perri’s “Celtic Braid Pendant”, have already given me ideas for some rather spectacular (IMO) designs/variations. What do you want to bet, that when I get my variations done, and give credit where credit’s due, that we don’t all win?

Give credit where credit is due! I think – no, I know, you’ll be surprised how much more positively your work is received, and everyone will benefit from sharing.

Thank you for visiting –
This post is also at http://KarmaWired.blogspot.com and http://Jewelrylessons.com
~Bobbi……
“What is worse than no sight, is being able to see, but having no vision.” ~Helen Keller

When the Show Melts, You Find Butterflies

My very dear friend Corra gave me an advanced copy of her wonderful new holiday tutorial – SnowFlakes Wired Chinese Knot Earrings. I had ( along with many others), pestered her so much about it, she stayed up all night one night to do it. It is based on her Cubic Knot Earrings tutorial, which was great by itself, and these are even more fun.
I went to town when I got it, and by accident, created my own variation….. After the first butterfly was born, I was thoroughly addicted. I’ve tried not to get carried away, but they keep evolving, and I love playing with different color combination’s. The purple one is my favorite (so far), and the blue one is on it’s way to Germany as a gift to a customer. If you’re as fascinated by this design as I am, please visit Corra’s shop at Etsy, or her blog DecorsHandmades. She has 9 delicious Wired Knots Tutorials, and 5 mini-tutorials available. Fall in love with all of them and she has 3 different tutorial packages to satisfy your need for knots.

Thanks for stopping by – stop back again soon……………….
~Bobbi
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~Scott Adams

YIPPEE – Its Finally Finished – Tutorial – Prong Pendant – Slider Style

This one was a real struggle – My camera died part way through –

Sooooo I had to bite the bullet, and get a new camera OUCH 🙁 and then re-do the images (and the tutorial pendant) several times to complete the tutorial.

I’m very happy with the way it turned out.

 

This tutorial teaches the techniques to wire wrap a slider style pendant, with a prong setting. It can be altered to set either a cab, or faceted stone. Modifying the gauge of wire and number of prongs, it can be used to set almost any size and shape of stone.

You can find this and my other tutorials in my Etsy shop and on Craftsy.

Thanks for taking a peek….

~Bobbi

“It is better to fail at originality, than to succeed at imitation.” Herman Melville

 

 

 

Todays Featured Artist – Perri J. – Shaktipaj Designs

Perri is one of my favorite wire workers, her designs and creativity constantly challenge and inspire the imagination. Now I am a self taught wire wrapper – when I started more than 20 years ago, techniques were these closely guarded secrets, no one was willing to share. So I learned by studying finished pieces to work out the techniques for myself. Most of what I see today, I can figure out – not to copy – but for my own need to learn and understand. And not to say, that most designs are simple, and easily re-creatable – that’s not what I mean – I am just very good at visualizing it in my head, since that’s how I learned wire in the first place.
Perri’s designs however continue to elude and astound me. Another point – I live, breath, and dream about wire and designs – it is my passion. I can’t count the hours I’ve spent experimenting with what wire can and can not do. Perri designs have sent me back to the drawing board on those ideas too. I study her pieces, and can’t help think, “you shouldn’t be able to do that with wire”, but she does – time and again.
She shares some of her wonderful designs in her shop on Etsy ShaktipajDesigns, and if that doesn’t provide enough eye candy for you, many wonderful, wonderful pieces can be found on her blog.

Just make sure you don’t drool onto your keyboard……
Thanks for visiting – see ya soon…..
~Bobbi
“Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and the pupil are located in the same individual”. ~Arthur Koestler

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Featured Artist – MailleMystique

My first love has always been and will always be wire work, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate other forms of metalwork – I do. I have actually spent a great deal of time learning and working chainmaille. Despite being on the tedious side, it can be very relaxing – even calming. One dear friend on Etsy – who by the way swears she couldn’t do wire wrapping to save her soul – runs circles around me in chainmaille. Meet Deb of MailleMystique. Now I know a lot of folks regard chainmaille as a ‘Renaissance Fair’ craft with images of maille clothing and such coming to mind first, but Deb creates beautiful jewelry that goes far past that. One piece in particular.
The weave is called Jens Pind. I actually have done this weave, although it took me almost a month to work it out, and complete a bracelet. The problem with this weave is getting the ratio of wire guage to ring diameter just right. If the ring size or wire gauge is off even by as little as 1mm, the pattern won’t hold and falls apart. Now if that was not enough of a challenge, Deb does it in square wire jump rings. The thought of trying that makes my head hurt. I’ll think I’ll stick to my wire wrapping, and leave chainmaille to the pros – Deb of MailleMystique. Please visit her shop on Etsy for some truly beautiful jewelry……

Thanks for visiting – see ya soon……
~Bobbi
“The only place you find success before work is in the dictionary.” ~May V. Smith

 

 

Today’s Featured Artist – LiLithu aka Ewa

As you may have noticed by now, my favorite stomping ground is Etsy. Ewa whose shop is LiLithu, is another wonderful artist I ran across there. This bracelet is what originally caught my eye, the attention to detail, and skill resulted in an absolutely stunning piece. All of her pieces though, show that same attention to detail, and creativity.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stared aka drooled over her work. I suppose the biggest thing that impresses me is the perfection in her wrapping. Now I am a picky, picky wire wrapper myself so I notice when a wire is out of place, or wraps aren’t quite straight – but if you look really, really close at Ewa’s pieces, you won’t find ANY wires out of place, or wraps not straight. Sheer perfection!!! Please visit Ewa’s shop LiLithu for these and other wonderful goodies.

Thanks for visiting, see ya again soon….
~Bobbi
“The secret to success is to do the common things, uncommonly well”. ~John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

There Be Dragons Here

I don’t get near enough time to ‘just bead’ as I would like. I love making these 3-dimensional Beaded Dragons, but since I reduced the size of the beads from 6’s and 8’s to size 15 Delicas, and Japanese seed beads, they take up to 7 hours to complete one.

Not to mention, I deviated from the original pattern, which used only one shape of bead – I incorporated 11 different shapes and sizes.

And if that was not enough self-torture, I modified the pattern on these beaded fish too, and incorporated a total of 17 different sizes and shapes of beads – These babies take upwards of 7 hours each to complete. Talk about a glutton for punishment… :)) The one on the left is modeled after my favorite pet Koi….

Thank you for visiting…
~Bobbi
“Being a artist means, ceasing to take seriously that very serious person we are when we ar not an artist”. ~Jose Ortega Y Gasset

Today’s Featured Artist – Justin – DuPuis Designs

I ran across this artist a few days ago and was blown away…. His shop DuPoisDesigns is fairly new to Etsy- and he only has one piece in it – but what a piece!!!

Then on top of that, if you look in his profile, he’s only been wire wrapping since August 2007. –

OMG – Which by the way is what I named his pictures when I saved them to post here.

If this is what he does after only one year, I can’t wait to see what he does next………….

Thank you for visiting………………
~Bobbi
“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” ~Twyla Tharp

Todays Featured Artist – Earrings By Erin

I was introduced to Erin’s exquisite work through Corra. I drool over her pieces on a regular bases, they are just to die for.

Her designs are
contemporary, but with a definite old world feel to them. Each piece is meticulously hand crafted with enviable skill.

I love all of her pieces!! My only regret in seeing her work, is that my checkbook isn’t healthier.

You can find these and other wonderful goodies and tutorials in her shop on Etsy. – And tutorials for select pieces and designs at JewelryLessons.com

Thank you for visiting – Stop back again soon………..
~Bobbi
“I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars, makes me dream” ~Vincent Van Gogh

 

 

 

 

Today’s Featured Artist – Ryan Cullity

I spend A LOT of time roaming around the handmade community Etsy. My travels recently rewarded me with finding this wonderful wire wrapper Ryan Cullity. His style is what I would classify as ‘organic’ He’s created truly unique, one-of-a-kind pieces with equally unique names such as Bobbing for Poodles,
Teenage Lobotomy, and Carry the One, and the piece that caught my eye in the first place Tryclyde. Please visit Ryan’s Shop for these and other wonderful goodies….

Thank you for visiting – see ya soon…………
~Bobbi
“If at first you don’t succeed – Do it like your Mother told you to”. – Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

The Eyes Have it

I guess with Halloween coming, I shouldn’t be so surprised that these have regained some popularity. They’re one of the more unusual ‘stones’ I get requested to wrap. They’re fun and creepy at the same time. Recently I’ve been asked to do 4 pendants, 2 rings, and if I can find a matched set, a pair of earrings……Not all by the same person of course….



The first request was for this blue ‘taxidermist eye’ in Sterling Silver…..

Am I the only one who thinks buying ‘human styled’ eyes from a Taxidermist, just a little disturbing? Oh well no matter – I’m sure they’re meant strictly for crafts, and hobbies….yeah…moving on…..

Shortly after that came a request for a wire wrapped pendant in 14k GF using one the few remaining real “Prosthetic Eyes” I have left.

Now before you become totally grossed out, they have never been ‘used’ – they come to me as ‘rejects’ – wrong color – wrong size – that sort of thing. When I get them, they are still ’round’, and have to be carefully cut down to cab shape…… Sad to say, even after hours of scouring the internet for another supplier, the only ones I have seen, are a few outrageously priced ones on $bay….. The few I have left in my shop, I’m afraid are “it”.

The remaining custom requests (so far), are oddly enough, going to be Christmas gifts for a friends Daughter, in the dark ‘alligator’ taxidermist eyes. I would love to be a fly on the wall, when those gifts are opened…….

Thanks for taking a peek – ooops no pun intended…………

Please visit my Etsy Shop if you’re interested in a truly ‘unique’ gift of your own…………

~Bobbi



Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye. Helen Keller

Custom/Commissioned Opal Pendant

Several of my fellow artists dislike custom/commissioned work – I absolutely love it! It’s a chance to break away for the norm, and a challenge at the same time. The challenge being, to take someone else’s idea – one whom I never actually get to talk to in person – and turn it into a piece of jewelry that matches as close as possible to what they had in mind.
I recently had such an opportunity….. A very wonderful lady, Barbara, purchased my favorite opal from my Etsy shop and requested I turn it into a pendant as a birthday present for her daughter.

Her requests were simple – pendant in 14k GF wire – special birthday present – no pressure, no pressure. Her request left a lot open for interpretation, and while I was excited to do the work, I was a little sad to see such a beautiful stone go…(I was still trying to justify adding it to the ‘Me Collection’).

After several emails back and forth we settled on a design, and I got to work. The morning came to package and ship the pendant. There had been minor issues with one side and the bail, that had become increasingly annoying, and at the last minute – I cut the piece apart and started over. The stone was/is spectacular, it deserved no less of a setting. The finished piece shown her
e is the second attempt, and while several people saw the first attempt and saw nothing wrong, I am much happier with the outcome of the second attempt. I could not in good conscience send it, if I wasn’t willing to wear it myself. Barbara emailed me several days later, after she received it, and was totally thrilled with it – which made all the stress over getting it ‘just right’, more than worth it. Barbara said, “the hardest thing now is to hide it from my daughter, until her birthday in October”. – Good luck ‘Mom’ :D.

Thank you for visiting – stop back again soon…..
~Bobbi
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. Bhuddha