Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Allow Me A Little Proud Mom Moment

Wind Dancer studios shares a Proud Mama Moment, #ProudMama
My Son at Last Nights Honors Reception

I post a lot about my younger daughter, she graduates college in less than two weeks ... wow time flies! I don't post about my son nearly as often,  I've shared some of his jewelry over the years but  these days he likes to play with bigger pieces of metal and much bigger torches.

Alex is the youngest of my three and has really come into his own in college. I'm very proud of him and the direction he's headed. Last night I had the honor of attending an Honors Reception where the kids were referred to as our family. Students who not only have the intelligence but the grit that is required to become our future leaders and business owners, the people who will shape our future. Does that make a heart swell or what?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in my Heart Swells!
See you next time!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Inspiration is Everywhere Or I Write a Guest Blog Post

Wind Dancer Studios Inspiration in Every Day Items

I see things a little differently than some people, I see design in everything. I see patterns, and colors, texture and movement. I see the potential to make something pretty, something mine. Like this wonderful photo of a Pariseienne door I found on Etsy. I love the carvings, the floral center, the diamond frame, and the little rosettes. That softly faded green of a natural aged patina. Just gorgeous. 

It immediately brought to mind this wonderful connector over on B'Sues website, with just a little touch of Swelligant or Gilder's Paste that patina could be given life on a really pretty piece of jewelry.  It would make for a truly gorgeous set.

It was the same when I saw the Dolce & Gabanna earrings I write about on B'Sues blog http://bsueboutiques.typepad.com/bsue_boutiques_jewelry_su/2015/04/finding-your-style-in-everyday-inspiration.htmlThe shapes immediately brought me to several of her brass filigrees. I knew how easily they would make up similar earrings.

As I created my inspiration earrings I could see how wonderfully the style would translate in an asymmetrical design.

Wind Dancer Studios, Asymmetrical Design

I loved Coral's earrings from the Build a Line Challenge, she created a beautiful asymmetrical design. Then I remembered this filigree pair from Mia Montgomery she mixes up both size and shapes but the design still balances beautifully.

If you'd like to see the earrings I made hop on over to Brenda's blog to take a peek and see the $800 earrings that inspired them.

Thanks for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Li'l Stevie Ray Vaughan For You Tax Day Prep

I had meant to have a post written up for today as tomorrow is tax day here in the US but I got side tracked. I hate to admit it but it does happen.

I am eyeball deep in numbers and forms and calculations today - the numbers aren't adding up the way I think they should be - and I really don't like it when that happens. My old software isn't supported by this computer and this software just won't tell me where it's all been spent at. I think I'm almost ready to go back to hand written journals!!! grrr

So, on that note.......

a little Stevie Ray Vaughn

Happy Tax Day! If you're taxed, smile, it means you have a job and most likely means you earn enough to put food on the table and a roof over your head. That's better than a large portion of the world. We like to complain, and sometimes it's nice to be reminded how good we really have it.

Til next time!
Thanks for stoppin by!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How to Make Ear Wires or How Lefties Make Them - Me Anyway

hand crafted hollow bead earrings by wind dancer studios on Etsy, ear wire tutorial
Hollow Bead Earrings by Wind Dancer Studios

There are lots of ways to make ear wires and I use several of those methods myself. This is my go to method - it’s very basic and assumes you have some knowledge of working with wire and don’t need me to tell you cutters cut people too, files ruin manicures, and hammers hurt when you smash a thumb or fingernail.

I made a pair of hollow beads for the Year of Jewelry project  and thought hey! why not share how I make the ear wires for these? If my fingers look a little dirty that would be why, that and the glitter nail polish lol So I just grabbed the camera and shot photos as I worked. 

DISCLAIMER!!! I AM A LEFTIE, I use both hands when making jewelry so I don’t always realize when things might look backwards to you - if it looks backwards just mirror it and it should work out just fine! If you’re a leftie HI! isn’t it nice to know there are more of us?!

OK Let’s get started!

Step 1) Cut two pieces of 20 ga wire two inches long.

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 1
I use Tronex Razor Flush Cutters I heart my Tronex!

Step 2)  Debur your ends on both ends. You can use a bur cup, fish hook sharpener or a nail file. Just file them smooth, nothing worse than sharp wires poking you in the ears. (ok maybe a few things..but…)

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 2
Deburring with a cup bur
got mine at Fire Mountain Gems

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 2
Demurring with a nail file 180 grit

Step 3) Straighten and work harden your wires. You can use nylon jaw pliers for this or use a bench block but I like rolling the wire between the anvil and an altoids tin or the ruler, whichever is closest at hand. There’s no curve to the wire once you’re done and it has a slight spring to it.

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 3
Don't you love my baby anvil! It's so tiny!
Hubs found this one at a yard sale, my other one is 15 lbs
cast and sits on my other desk.

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 3
Roll wire between anvil and ruler to straighten and work harden.

Step 4) On one end of each wire form simple loops, this will be where you add your dangle etc.

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 4
Form a simple loop on one end.

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 4
Simple loops, I didn't center the loops but you could.

Step 5) Take your bail making pliers and wrap both wires around the larger barrel leaving the tail longer.
You can use wood dowelling, a sharpie or a pencil, anything smooth and round.

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 5
Forming wires on bail making pliers - large barrel side.
These are Bead Smith pliers.

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 5
Form both wires at once so they match.

Step 6) Most people stop there but I like to go one more and slide my wires onto the smaller barrel and tuck the dangle side in for a tighter curl.

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 6
Slide both wires onto smaller barrel for a tighter curl on the backside.

Step 7) At this point you can slide a bead onto the wire if you want. I like to add a little matching detail to my wire so they match my earrings.

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 7
Adding a bead for color.

Step 8) Now grab the wire just behind the bead and give a little bend to help hold the bead in place. This also balances the wire a little bit so your dangles hang straight down.

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 8
Securing the bead in place.
I'm using Wubbers Chain Nose pliers.

Step 9) Place your ear wire on the anvil or bench block and give the backside of the curve a little tap. This hardens the curve and helps it keep its shape. Some people don’t like the flattened wire, especially with a heavy earring, to keep the wire round use a rubber mallet or a leather mallet instead. Both will harden your wire without distorting it’s shape.

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 9
Hardening the back edge. I'm using a finish hammer,
it has a slightly domed smooth face with no hard edges.
Sometimes I steal the hubs MAC chasing hammer
for auto body work, it has a much smaller head, great for
precision work!

Step 10)All that’s left is to add your dangle and voila you have just made your own ear wires.

wind dancer studios ear wire tutorial step 10
hand crafted hollow bead earrings by wind dancer studios on Etsy
Hollow Bead Earrings by Wind Dancer Studios

Please excuse the stacked trays in the background, I just realized they were there lol I was using those to keep my components together as I worked on my Muchas Musings Lines. They allowed me to keep components with the sketches so I wasn't constantly looking for where they went. Take out tubs are AWESOME for this, lids and see through.

I hope you enjoyed seeing me make these and if you did please leave a comment. 
Comments will encourage me to retake those photos for the rose tutorial......

Thanks for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!