With tomorrow being the big Ho, Ho, Ho, I know many of you are wiped out from the malls and wrapping gifts for tomorrow’s big hoopla and social activities. I have a big holiday party and need some new jewelry (need or want? It’s a relative term, and jewelry artists “need” to wear their genius creations every chance possible). I vowed to shop locally as much as I could this holiday season because I feel it’s important to support local merchants. But I took shopping local even further this past weekend. I shopped in my studio!
There are beads and baubles of every style, shape, and color in that place! Not quite as large as my local bead shop, but I got some great deals there, everything was FREE! (I don’t even want to think about how NOT free that inventory is). I actually pretended to walk into my studio like it was my first time there, with fresh eyes wide open for new designs to inspire me. I browsed through a few books and was taken with the happy colors in Kerry Bogert’s Totally Twisted. Her terrific book is filled to the brim with projects combining art glass beads and wire, and I had a lovely selection of both to shop from in my studio-store!
Here are some of my fave tips from Totally Twisted.
1. Kerry recommends finishing projects with a rotary tumbler because it work-hardens the wire and cleans it as well. If you don’t have a tumbler, she says to use your washing machine! Place your finished jewelry in a sock and run it through a regular wash cycle with a load of denim or towels. No need to put it in the dryer!
2. Many companies offer refunds or store credit for raw materials like sterling silver wire scraps.
3. A key to creating consistent loops when wire wrapping is to mark the area you use to wrap the loop on our pliers with a permanent marker. If you always wrap at that same spot, all you loops will be the same size.
4. You can oxidize your wire ahead of time. Follow the same instructions to oxidize a finished piece of jewelry, only do it with a few feet of unworked wire instead.
5. To get a good close on a simple loop or jump ring, shimmy the wire end past where you want it to be. It will spring back into the right spot.
My phone is turned off; snacks ready, egg nog poured, and my pups are tired, so I can start creating my own Totally Twisted Treasures. The best part is Totally Twisted is now available in a new eBook format so you can download it NOW and get started immediately! If any of you are short on patience or time (like me), downloading is the way to go. So go twist the night away!
Come bead with me!