Tuesday, 30 December 2014

A pair of ice earrings

With the frosty views from my windows at the moment, I just couldn't help myself, after a selection of new beads were delivered this morning, I had to make something along the theme of snow and ice and these new beads were perfect!
The earrings are made with clear glass oval drops and hang on silver plate ear hooks but as with all my silver plate earrings these can be changed to sterling silver if preferred at an increased price

on silver plate ear hooks £10
on sterling silver ear hooks £12
UK P&P £2.50 
If you would like to purchase these please visit my earring page or contact me or leave a comment on this post thank you

handmade jewellery by Angela Smith

Saturday, 20 December 2014

knitted Christmas bauble

This week I have been enjoying a bit a 'me time; which still involved me knitting with wire and beads but this is for me for Christmas.
Having seen a few knitted Christmas baubles all with wool this Christmas, I then watched Kirstie Allsopp's 'Handmade Christmas' last week and seeing them actually being knitted I decided I wanted the challenge of attempting my own version,
.....and it was a challenge  After three failed attempts to get it started thanks to the wire being too thin at first then the needles constantly slipped out of the stitches and then I started knitting too tightly to try and stop the needles slipping out!
I finally sorted through these problems and watched the bauble take shape
Oh yes did I mention I used 5 needles!!!

Happy Christmas xxx

Thursday, 11 December 2014

More crocheted two-toned earrings

These crocheted wire and bead earrings will be heading to Gallery at 12 this afternoon along with some other items of jewellery - If you would like me to crochet you a pair please let me know your colour preference  - they are crocheted with silver plate wire and coloured enamelled copper wire threaded with tiny glass beads - I have a large choice of coloured wires to use so these are only examples of what I could crochet for you. I have added a Swarovski crystal pearl to the centre of each earring. The earhooks are silver plate but as always I can attach them to sterling silver ear hooks if preferred - the cost of earrings on plated hooks are £20 or £22 on sterling silver.

handmade jewellery by Angela Smith

Friday, 5 December 2014

Knitted wire and glass bead Christmas tree earrings

Hot off my knitting needles - These fab Christmas Tree earrings - I am definitely going to have to knit myself a pair of these for Christmas  - the beads are threaded on randomly onto the wire so no two earrings will match - but I think that adds to the charm of them. These earrings hang from silver plate ear hooks, I can also make them on gold plate or even sterling silver hooks.

handmade jewellery by Angela Smith 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Beaded snowflake decoration making workshop

wow - what a morning  at Lily's Secret Vintage Tea Rooms - with some fabulous ladies making wonderful beaded snowflakes -
I wasn't sure how this morning would go as I had never provided a workshop to make these snowflakes before, My poster said 'make up to 5 snowflakes' I knew I could make 5 comfortably in the time but I wasn't sure if that would be the case with ladies who weren't used to working with wire, beads and pliers  - so I was very relieved when most made 4 - and one lady did actually manage to make 5 in the session!
I think the ladies were all very pleased with their makes - and what was fantastic was the amazing array of snowflakes created.
Some photos from today

and I have to say my lemon curd cake was spectacular - thank you Sarah!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Oh Christmas Tree sparkle

.... Not much sparkle today though, I couldn't have chosen a  more miserable, gloomy and grey day to photograph this tree, but as I only finished it last night and it is off to a Christmas tree festival this coming weekend it needed to be photographed today -
hopefully you get the idea
This is a one off ! - I have no plans to make any more as it took me 6 hours to make and very sore fingers and thumbs by the end of it

Monday, 24 November 2014

jewellery in shades of mauve

Today's new Mondays makes -
Just a couple more items to add to my stock for next weekends Christmas tree festival at Church Eaton

handmade beaded jewellery by Angela Smith

Monday, 17 November 2014

knitted metal wire rings

Yesterday I was asked if I had any of my knitted rings left - I do, they are in Gallery at 12 but most are too small or too large for the average finger and they are all knitted with plated wire - I have since decided that in future all my rings will be made with non plated metal so today I used a very fine sterling silver wire and a very fine bronze wire, both finished rings also have tiny glass beads and a Swarovski crystal pearl,

this weeks Mondays Makes - My new knitted rings  

some close up views of the knitted silver ring

and here is the knitted  bronze wire ring

handmade jewellery by Angela Smith 

Monday, 10 November 2014

Jewellery in Greens

Today's  Monday's makes are these items of green beaded jewellery -

The first is a made with green faceted and tiny glass beads, larger green acrylic beads and small silver plate beads and spacers - with a silver plate clasp

The second is a necklace with matching earrings made with glass faceted beads and tiny glass beads and small silver plate beads, the necklace has been made on nylon coated wire with a silver plate clasp, the earrings have silver plate ear hooks

handmade jewellery by Angela Smith

Thursday, 6 November 2014

beaded snowflake making workshop

Hi just a quick post to let you know that  I have two more workshops planned for this year - these will be a departure from jewellery as I will be offering you the opportunity to make your own beaded snowflakes in time for Christmas, please see the examples below. . these workshops will be held on Tuesday 2nd December 10.30am - 1pm and Saturday 13th December 1.30pm - 3.30pm - at Lily's secret Vintage Tea Rooms, Swan Pit just outside Gnosall, the cost will be £25 per person which includes all the materials, and tea or coffee with cake.You will be able to make up to 5 snowflakes and there will be a large selection of festive coloured beads to choose from. If you would like further information or to book your place on either of these workshops please contact me - I will be asking for a £5 deposit on booking

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Tuesdays Tutorial - How to make a full string of beads necklace

Many of you will be aware that I run basic jewellery making workshops throughout the year, which is great for those who want to learn how to make their own jewellery, if you live in Staffordshire or Shropshire, but for those of you who live further afield it's not so great - so I thought I would provide a series of simple basic photographic tutorials on this blog. Of course if you were to attend one of my workshops all the materials and tools are provided for you, whereas you are going to have to source your own, but there are a huge number of good bead suppliers out there so that shouldn't be too difficult for you!
I have been making jewellery now for twenty years and although I am totally self taught never having attended any workshops myself, the way I make my jewellery works for me, you may read about or be shown alternative techniques which will probably work just as well, but this is how I make my jewellery.

Today I am going to show you how to string beads to make a necklace.

You will need:-
A pair of sharp scissors
2 pairs of snipe nosed pliers
a board or mat to plan out your necklace
nail varnish - preferably clear
beading thread
thread conditioner
2 calotte crimps
2 jump rings
1 split ring
1 clasp
a selection of beads of your choice

Okay here we go!

Preparing your thread before stringing your necklace

firstly you need to select your beading thread and cut a generous length, more than double the length of your finished necklace. thread on your needle.
I use these twisted wire needles, but you may prefer to use a fine metal needle that holds its shape better - it is all down to personal preference!

once you have threaded your needle tie both ends together in a double knot and secure the knot by brushing some clear nail varnish over it -

Your thread will also benefit from being conditioned, place thread over conditioner and then hold it down with a finger whilst gently pulling the thread across the conditioner to the other end, then gently work the conditioner into the thread by pulling through your fingers two or three times.

place the thread to one side to allow the nail varnish to dry.

now it is time to
plan your necklace
When I first started making jewellery, my work board was a chopping board, it worked perfectly well especially as it had a small ditch near to the outside edge to catch the beads or even plan out designs.

Now I find that these soft mats work very well and I will use these most of the time for my designs

The main draw back though is it doesn't have measurements so if you are planning a necklace to a set length it is best to use a necklace planning board

so here we go...

Once the necklace has been planned it is almost time to start threading -

firstly though let's cover up that ugly knot, the nail varnish would have dried by now so you need a calotte crimp, these are similar to tiny clam shells, basically they are a round hollow bead with a loop at the top and have an opening along one side.
slip the knot inside the crimp with the loose ends coming out at the loop

then with a pair of snipe nosed pliers gently pinch the crimp closed so it looks like a round bead at the end of your thread

Threading you beads
Now you can thread your beads - it doesn't matter which end you start at but once you have committed yourself, keep going in order. Every so often hold your threading up to check that you haven't missed a bead or added an extra one, also check that you are happy with the design, it is never too late to remove your beads and adjust your design, the key is to keep checking!

Once all your beads are on and you have made a final check over them and you are happy with your design, hold your necklace so that the string hangs down and you have the needle end at the top - tie a double knot fairly close to the last bead - if knot is too close to the beads they won't hang properly and the necklace will look slightly rigid, if it is too loose you will see the thread at the end and the beads will move about. Secure the knot with nail varnish again and leave to dry - 

this is when I will then make a pair of earrings to match - if you want to do the same please take a look at my earring making tutorial

earrings made and the nail varnish on your second knot should now be dry so you can attach the calotte crimp in the same way as the first, then you need to cut off the thread sticking out from the crimps as close to the crimp as possible 

Time to attach the clasp

twist open one of your jump rings using both pairs of pliers, use one pair to hold the jump ring and twist open with the other, don't pull the ring open as this will weaken the metal. Once the jump ring is open slip in the split ring and then slip the jump ring through the calotte crimp twist back the ring  closed. 

repeat for the other end attaching the clasp 
then all is done your necklace should be complete