My tools and supplies

The jewellery making cupboard. In this little building live my ribbons, wire, beads, charms, packaging materials and a lot more.

Moving into my current flat made me have a complete re-think about BeeBiju, Bee’s creations and how I work. Granted, I’m having a bit of a delayed reaction but I think I’m in the right headspace for it now – i.e.: not functioning on blocks of 3-hours sleep. So getting a cupboard might not sound like a big thing but this means that there is a new home for my supplies – which looks quite pretty on the eye (thank you for the recommendation, sis!) – and most importantly, all the tiny, dangerous bits are stored away from the curious eyes of the resident little human.

So here is The Cupboard:

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Due to its size, it’s in the hallway, right next to the office (again, thanks for the recommendation, sis!). That means I’m surrounded by everything I need, but not in a I-cannot-move kind of way.

As for the contents, here is a snapshot:

I love playing with bright colours, which you can see translated into my beads, cords, ribbons, wires and charms. I also have a number of tools I look forward to use more, like a Kumihimo disk and a bead loom – I will let you know about my experience with them in later posts.

I really do have more than I remembered – more supplies and more ideas – so it’s time to put these into action and, hopefully, I can develop my BeeBiju in the process. I will make sure I document my successes as well as my failures and frustrations and I hope to give you a fun read.

What happens next:

September will be dedicated to structure – my brain needs it and I often wonder if I focus on structure so much that I end up neglecting the process… I suspect the answer is yes! But I will try to time it a little bit better so I can focus on content more than planning.

Let’s go for it! And in the meantime… enjoy the next few days 🙂

Monthly pick – June

Sometimes, the simpler, the better!

My favourite item this month is not a part of my new Travelling Collection nor a piece that took me 10 million hours to do!

n the Moon” earrings.

These earrings speak for themselves, with their simplicity and uniqueness! The adorable cat having some “thinking-time” in the Moon is a genius idea (thumbs up to the author)!! Anyone else identify themselves with this lovely pair of earrings? I know I do!

As per usual, here is my Promo Code – BEEBIJUBLOG6 – available until my next post is up.

 

Oui, Paris!

Hi, you! First of all, apologies for my absence. While I was busy travelling, working and with other bits and pieces, I didn’t realise that almost THREE MONTHS have passed (scary, no?!)!

Now, let’s put in practice something I’ve wanted to do for some time: a travelling collection.

During my honeymoon in Cuba, I was in a complete “offline” mode but I kicked myself a bit when I came back, very happy, extremely exhausted and… beads free – yes, I actually forgot! While in Havana, the hubby and I visited a lot of gorgeous places and had a very interesting cultural learning experience, to say the least. But despite the fact our living room has a little bit of Cuban art, my craft drawers don’t!

So, on a personal level, I’ve made a commitment to travel more and while it’s not easy – for many reasons (one of them being my irrational fear of flying) -, I’m trying as I love the idea of getting to know other cities, countries and cultures. At the same time, when possible, I want to get my crafty side, as much as my cultural side, on it. And where should we start? Lovely Paris, of course, a city full of elegance, culture and gorgeous sights! During a city break with the hubby and some friends, I paid a “little” visit to a beads shop – that is, while the friends caught up with their sleep in the car and the hubby kept asking “Are you done? Are you done?” 🙂 In the heart of Paris, lovely little Matière Première filled me with indecision. Eventually, I settled for these items:

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And I’m happy to say that they all have a purpose!

While I feel quite comfortable with the idea of making earrings (as you will see with most of the results!), I gave it a go with a few bracelets as well.

And I must confess, after days of consideration, I decided to keep a pair for myself:

 

As for the rest of the pieces, here is a little sneak peek of what they look like:

And I’m thrilled to share them on Etsy, as the first items in my “Around the World” collection! Feel free to take a look and let me know what you think. And as per usual, here is a discount code, in case you decide to buy: BEEBIJUBLOG5.

See you next time!

Easter jewellery

“Why buy Easter eggs when you can buy Easter jewellery?” (thank you, Charlotte!)

Easter is not all about chocolate (if I say this enough, I might actually believe it). It’s a lovely family occasion and, of course, there are very strong religious reasons behind it.

This year, I am also making it jewellery related… here are my Easter earrings. Currently on sale in my shop BeeBiju, the choice is between the super cute bronze bunnies or the cheeky silver chickens. As per usual, a promo code is available – BEEBIJUBLOG4 – for a 15% discount. This code will be live until my next blog post comes along.

 

HAPPY EASTER!

The Disneyland of Jewellery Makers

Christmas Party at the London Jewellery School? Super in!

LJS are renowned for the wide range of courses and qualifications.

I wanted to take a closer look and, just as well, received a notification for their December Annual Christmas Party… and was I impressed! Based near Liverpool Street/Aldgate (see details here), the school and staff are very  welcoming and, right away, I could tell that they’re everything I can see online and more!

The evening was filled with activities from beginning to end, all of them around, of course jewellery making. Many prizes were given with games and competitions. I met really interesting people, from staff to students and people who, just like me, were visiting the school for the first time. Some have online shops, some were trying to figure out whether they want to get into it and I even met someone who sells her pieces at a local shop in her area!

As for the school, I cannot wait to start doing some of the courses. They really do have lots to choose from and as soon as I saw all their class list, I started making plans in my head. Take a look at their 2016 prospectus here, it’s great and the feedback from the other students was really positive (I met a particular lady who, since retirement, has done a number of courses with them; the necklace she was wearing on the day was made by herself using Fused Glass).

And for you, WordPress fans… guess what they also have?! That’s right! Here is their blog, full of super interesting posts!

What about you? Are you thinking about paying them a little visit? 😉

Briana

I make cookies! – the Craft Swap

Table with 10,000 bits of wire? Check!
Kitchen looking like niece and nephew’s playroom before tidy up time? Check!

These are the results from our Craft Swap (Charlotte and I got together once again)!

For the first time EVER – in my very modest 27 years -, I made cookies! With the help of a pro, of course! And I’m very proud to say they’re all gone (blame the hubby)! Thanks to Charlotte, I managed this without baking stones or painting my kitchen walls with chocolate and icing sugar. She’s an awesome teacher and gave me all the “do this’ ” and the “becauses” so I can say I now understand the science behind sugar cookies.

 

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My poor kitchen after my little adventure

So while I baked cookies, Charlotte made jewellery (ah-ha! That I know a bit about!). She did great and ended up with a lovely pair of earrings she took home. For this, we used the super-fun Coiling Gizmo (I just had to show Charlotte how to use it and voilà!).

For this project, the following tools and materials were used:

Materials

  • 0.8 mm Silver Wire
  • 0.4 mm Artistic Wire (purple)
  • Earring hooks

Tools

  • Coiling Gizmo (to coil away)
  • Nylon jaw pliers (to straighten the wire before use)
  • 1 or 2 flat nose pliers (to bend the wire when/if needed)
  • Round nose pliers (to make the loops)

Charlotte double coiled wire to make the pieces. When doing this, it’s important to remember that you can use any wire gauge desired but the wire that you coil first cannot be thicker than the second wire (they can, however, have the same diameter). In this case, Charlotte used 0.4mm purple Artistic Wire to start. She coiled up to the desired length and, when she was finished, replaced the coil with the 0.8mm silver wire, inserting the purple coil in the silver wire (as shown in the photos below).

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From this point, it was a matter of coiling as much (or little) as she wanted.

Here is the gorgeous end result. Well done Charlotte!!

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Charlotte’s earrings

 

For a bit more detail on how to coil wire, take a look at my previous post: Coiling Gizmo, which contains tips, advice on what to watch out for and some links to a few interesting and informative videos on the Coiling Technique.

Going back to the cookies, once again, a huge thank you to Charlotte for the patience of taking me through every step of the recipe, bearing in mind I needed EVERY SINGLE BIT explained! Check her blog post here, for more details about the sugar cookies and a bit of the “other-side” perspective. This was great fun and I cannot wait for the next blog collaboration!! But I think maybe, just maybe, I’ll stick to what I know best and I’ll leave the expert baking to Lady Lotz! 🙂

3 jewellery pieces, 1 dress

Exciting times – our first collaboration!

It’s that time of year in which The House of Lotz tells everyone about 1 dress, 3 ways: with the sense of fashion of a pro, my dear friend and fellow blogger Charlotte recommends three different ways to wear the same dress. This time around, with her focusing on Christmas, her followers will spot some new additions to her gorgeous outfits (I may have something to do with it).

Casual Christmas at home:

Looking very much like Christmas, my Pearl earrings, complement Charlotte’s lovely complexion and short haircut… and how can we ignore her awesome Squirrel jumper – which, by the way, goes so well with her dress???

Dangle earrings (9)

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Work Christmas Party

How many times before have you had the work Christmas party… right after work?! And yes, you want to look different but you don’t have the time (or energy) to start the getting ready process all over again… Sometimes re-touching your make-up and putting some earrings and a necklace can do the trick! With my amethyst earrings and necklace, Charlotte pulls this off “like a boss”!

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A Formal New Year’s Eve:

You want to look like a million dollars but you also want to  be able to relax, enjoy and properly celebrate. I can assure you that your outfit is only a tiny part of it, you will be the sensation, not what you wear. So, simple and elegant is the way. Once again, Charlotte makes it happen beautifully, letting my ribbon bracelet complete the look, not take over it.

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Now off you go, it’s the weekend and not only you have your Christmas shopping to do, but now you also need a black dress 😉

Special thanks to lovely Charlotte, who acted as a model and put up with me going “A tenth of an inch to the left”;  “to the right”; “Bag in the picture, let’s do it again”! When you can, it’s worth checking her blog; with a mix of fashion, food, well-being and more, you’re in for a treat!

Briana **

 

 

Monthly Pick – October

October’s monthly pick is a necklace! At my friend’s request, I made it for her to offer as a present to someone else and we all loved the result!

Made of leather and using a lovely fairy charm (ever since I found them, I cannot live without them!) and a little pearl, they make a lovely gift.

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You know the drill 🙂 This necklace is available for sale on my Etsy shop (accessible through this link). For your chance to get it with a 10% discount, use code BEEBIJUBLOG2 when you check out. This code will be available when my next blog post is up!

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Beginner Jewellery Making projects

In this post, we will take a brief look at 4 nice and easy projects, great for you if you’re new in the jewellery making world. Each one uses a slightly different technique and in addition to being quite straightforward, they are a great basis for what can result in beautiful pieces.

Multi wrap necklace

For this project, you will need a string (I would recommend using elastic or fish cord) and lots of beads – colours and sizes can be mixed and matched, you decide! Start by tying a knot on one end of the string and bead away from the other end! Once you’re happy with the length, tie a couple of knots (using both ends of the string) to secure it. All done, this necklace can be wrapped around the neck as many times as desired!

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Charm Bracelet

The materials used for this project are chain – colour, size and length completely up to you – and charms of your choice – one to a lot! I love offering these as gifts with charms that relate to the person in question or to a specific occasion. All you need to do is measure the length desired and save a clasp on the side – I find it easier to attach it at the end to have a better idea of where the charms are going and take measurements, if needed. Now add all the charms as and where you wish to (please refer to my post Jewellery Making Tutorial – Beaded Bracelet for some tips on how to do this without damaging jump rings). Once you’re finished, attach the clasp to both ends of the chain to close the bracelet.

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Wire Ring

Very easy and quick to make, you will only need some wire (I usually prefer to use 0.8mm wire as it is not too thick but can be easily re-shaped). Cut the wire you will need – 20-30cms will do. For the ring to start taking shape, you will firstly need to wrap the wire around a cylindrical shaped object (I tend to use my ring sizer). Once both sides of the wire “meet in the middle”, start twisting the wire on itself until the front of the ring gains the desired shape and size. If there is some wire “sticking out”, cut it with a wire cutter and turn it inside (so it does not scratch). You can use different colour wires and create several different shapes.

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Single strand earrings

To create a nice, quick and simple pair of earrings, use two eye/head pins and a pair of earring hooks. Pick your beads and slide them down the wire, securing the eye/head pin by creating a loop at the end (please see this video for details on how to do it). Attach the beaded wire string to the earring hook (Please refer to my Beaded Bracelet Tutorial mentioned above). Repeat the process with the other eye/head pin. Why not try different earrings, if you’re feeling funky?

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Tried any of the above? Share your results in the comment section, I would love to hear about it!