What Makes a Piece of Jewelry a "Winter" Design?
• Is it jewelry type? I hardly ever create bracelets for winter because I know they'll just be buried under miles of sweaters and jackets.
• Is it color? I wear many of my necklaces year round, but there are a few like my Reveille necklace that have such dark colors (reds and copper) that I only wear them during fall or winter.
• Is it bead type? One of my favorite necklaces features paua shell beads and a pewter mermaid pendant. After summer's over, it goes back into the jewelry box until the following year.
Take a look at this silver and blue teardrop necklace I designed for Step by Step Beads. Which season do you think it's for? (See the answer at the bottom of the newsletter.)
New Winter Gallery: Designs by Beading Daily Readers
Here are just five gallery highlights of winter jewelry and gift ideas by readers:
Ring by Christina Amador
What I like: A bold and modern design in a neutral, classic color combination. Rings can be difficult to give as gifts. (Ask any man who's ever bought an engagement ring!) Not only do you need to consider personal style, but unlike some other types of jewelry, rings need to be sized to fit. That said, I think a custom-designed ring made for a specific person could make a wonderful gift!
Necklace by Marilyn Earhart
What I like: The off-center seed bead focal and the various shades of gray caught my attention. Looking at this necklace, I can imagine the gray skies of winter night and the way icicles cling to bare tree branches.
Horse Browband by K.C. Kyle
What I like: This beadwoven band was the most unusual submission I received. What a great gift for horse owners!
Necklace by Nancy Nielson
What I liked: Sometimes when trying to designing an original piece, I get caught up in making it unnecessarily complicated. This necklace proves that simple can still be very striking. I loved the red and silver combination and the sweet angel pendant. A great choice for a holiday party.
Cuff Links by Pansy Tan
What I liked: I loved that Pansy made a pair of these beaded cuff links for her husband as a gift. While this bright color combination may not work for every man, I could certainly see some women having fun dressing up a plain white shirt with these sparkling cuff links.
Be sure to check out the Contests page for the latest design opportunities.
New Free Project
Dancing Spiral Earrings
Use up your leftover wire with these silver earrings. Triple sterling silver spirals (one of each made in simple, twisted, and textured versions) seem to dance as they catch the wind and dangle from your ears. Dainty and eye-catching. This project is from Step by Step Wire Jewely. Download Dancing Spiral Earrings.
For more great wire projects, subscribe to Step by Step Wire Jewelry. In the winter issue on sale November 25, you'll find seasonal projects like "Winter Wire Snowlakes" by Karen Traeger Rakoski (an advanced wire bracelet with a cabochon focal) and "Frosty Teardrops" by Marie Cristine (a beginner/intermediate hoop earring project).
So, which season did I have in mind when I designed the necklace pictured at the top of the newsletter? The answer:
If you said "winter," you're right. My original name for this necklace was "Ice Princess." When I designed it, I was thinking about ice skaters–beaded, feminine costumes, upswept hairdos, dainty jewelry, and cold skating rinks. However, when it came time to submit it to a magazine, the editors were already looking at designs for spring/summer. So I renamed the necklace "Bluebells" after a spring/early summer flower and the design was published in the May/June issue of Step by Step Beads. So it you said "spring/summer," you're also right!
Did you guess right? Which name suits it better? Share your thoughts on the website.
Making Wire Jewelry: 6 Free Wire Designs from Beading Daily
Create 6 stunning wire jewelry projects (2 wire necklaces, a wire bracelet, 2 pairs of wire earrings, and a wire ring) with this free eBook that contains step by step wire jewelry instructions for each project. Jewelry designs range in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and use a variety of wire work techniques, including spirals, coiling, wirewrapping, hammering, and twisting wire. Download Making Wire Jewelry: 6 Free Wire Designs from Beading Daily
Making Jewelry with Beading Daily:
How to Make Earrings: Five Free Jewelry Projects
This free earrings ebook, Making Jewelry with Beading Daily: How to Make Earrings: Five Free Jewelry Projects, includes five earring patterns that use a range of techniques (simple stringing, wirework, simple metalwork, seed bead netting and fringe) and a variety of materials (silver, copper, seed beads, crystals, pearls, gemstones). Both beginners and more experienced jewelry makers will find at least one beaded earring design that will inspire them to catch the handmade earring craze!
Michelle Mach shares free projects every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.