The ABC’S of Jewelry Making Every Jewelry Diva Needs To Know

The ABC'S of Jewelry Making

Jewelry making is one of THE most popular forms of self-expression.  It’s fun, therapeutic, bold, exciting and helps express who we are. I mean seriously…you get to show off your style here people.  Most beginners are excited yet intimidated at the same time when first starting out, so I compiled this list of ideas from A-Z that will help make it more fun. Let’s go!

Artistic Expression– Each one of us has a unique gift that only we can express.  It doesn’t matter if the seed of that gift starts with an idea someone else has expressed.  The expression is in the delivery, in other words…put your own funk on it and watch the artist in you blossom.

Bead Soup– What is bead soup?  Definitely not something you eat, lol.  Bead soup consists of those odds and end pieces that may be left over from a project or/and random beads that sit in a container getting to know each other but don’t know what to do with each other.  Your job is to think outside the box and get them working together to make something create. So how does one actually make bead soup? Simple. It makes itself. Example: Your organized box of beads suddenly tumbles to the floor, getting all mixed up.  Instead of organizing them again by color and size you throw them into a box…annnnnnndddd there’s your bead soup, lol. Make use of it and cook up something great!

Creative Links– Tired of making the same pieces over and over?  Yeah me too. A simple link changes the design immensely.  Try this easy to make S-Knot link, actually make a few and let your imagination soar!

Doodling– Honey you gotta get those ideas out of your head and onto the paper.  This is a great way to create without wasting materials. And it’s a great way to see your process over time as a designer.  I keep all my doodles in my Jewelry Artist’s Creative Planner.

Experiment– It’s no secret that we can sometimes get into a creative slump or artist’s block. Are you always creating in silver?  Try copper, gold, bronze or mix the metals. Getting out of your comfort zone unlocks more creative ideas that you didn’t know was there.  Need inspiration? Join the free 3 Day Jewelry Diva Challenge, you’ll be creating outside of your comfort zone in no time.

Flat Nosed Pliers– Of course you need this tool because it’s part of The Squad! I nicknamed it the Cleaner because it makes our messes into masterpieces AND it makes awesome bends in your wire, especially when making shapes.

Great Photos– Remember Madonna’s song Vogue?  She would always say, “strike a pose.”  Well give your jewelry a photo shoot. Set the background, photograph with great lighting and get a pic from all angles, closeups included. Your pieces are the star and you want to capture them in their essence.

Have Fun– Whether you’re creating for yourself or for your business, remember to have fun.  We all make mistakes or get frustrated when we don’t master a new technique easily BUT don’t let that suck the fun out of what you’re doing.  Let go of all thoughts of perfection, because perfection doesn’t exist. Stay in the flow of creativity and enjoy the moment.

Instagram– Show off your talents Diva!  Share your gifts with the world.  If you don’t have an Instagram account, create one.  This is a great place to network with other artists, get new ideas and simply connect with others. Expand your territory Chica, you never know where it may take you.

Jotting Down Ideas– Like doodling, it’s a great idea to jot down ideas.  When I don’t have my Jewelry Artist’s Creative Planner with me, I carry a notebook or Post It notes with me at all times.  You never know when a new idea may hit so always be ready to jot it down so you don’t forget it.

Knowing Your Stuff– There’s nothing more embarrassing than a customer asking you, “What material is this? Or “What is this made of” and you stand there looking like a deer in headlights. Be knowledgeable and confident about what you do.  After all, you ARE a Jewelry Diva.

Learning– As an artist the best thing you can do is continue learning.  Learn new techniques, explore new materials and how to use them, learn what drives you as an artist.  The more you learn, the more you grow and growth, my dear, is a good thing.

Marketing– Marketing can be fun or intimidating, it really depends on which side of the coin you decide to focus on.  I think we can all agree that either way it’s necessary. Getting your name out there in creative ways doesn’t have to be intimidating and we show you how to make it fun here. 

New Ideas– New ideas are EVERYWHERE!  I’m so not kidding. A simple walk in nature can spark inspiration for a new color scheme, a new piece, anything.  Did you know even a lyric to your favorite song can spark a new idea? Don’t believe me? Check out this post on how a quote from Lisa Nichols inspired a new piece that also turned into a tutorial in our leather jewelry class. 

Open Mindedness– If given a challenge don’t write it off with a shrug of the shoulders and say you can’t do it.  How do you know if you haven’t attempted it yet? Stay open minded and let your inner child play. It may be more rewarding than you thought. 

Patience– Training your wire to do exactly what you want is like training a new puppy. The puppy is new to you and wants to do things its way because it doesn’t know what you want it to do so it does what it wants.  I’m totally not joking, like seriously the wire has a mind. The last thing you want to do is choke the heck out of the wire or squeeze and tug at it so bad that you strip it. Be gentle. Be patient. It will do exactly what you want when you love on it.

Quiet Moments– Sometimes you just need a break from the noise.  Find a quiet spot that you can relax and create in.  You may find that your creativity level is higher and your imagination is free to run wild.  Creating in this environment, free from distraction, is a great stress reliever and helps you stay focused and in the moment.

Round Nosed Pliers– Another important member of The Squad.  His nickname is the Alligator because he helps us make incredible loops, emergency jump rings and badass projects.  You can see him in action here.

Start- The BEST advice I could give, and have been given, is to just start.  Start where you are. Want to take a jewelry class but your money is funny and you’re not laughing?  Check out some tutorials on YouTube, hey you can even visit our channel. Or you can sign up for the free Basic Jewelry mini course here.  Just start.

Tape Measure– Why do I need a tape measure?  Diva trust me you need one. If you’re making bracelets, you’ll want to measure your wrist AND your fist (or customer’s) to get accurate sizing especially if you’re making things like bangles. Here’s a quick tip:  The average size for a woman’s wrist is 7 ½ inches, a man’s is 8-9 inches. So yeah…you’ll need a tape measure for those of us who aren’t your average bear.

Uniqueness–  Do you Boo.  Rule of thumb:  Don’t copy of compare.  Hey I made a whole video about it so you can check it out here.

Vintage Pieces– OMG am I the only one in love with Downton Abbey? This show inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and create a few vintage pieces.  I loved the evolution of their fashion so much that I included it the 3 Day Jewelry Diva Challenge. My students LOVED creating and exploring this time period.

Wire Cutters– This is the last member of The Squad. No nickname for this one because his job is easy, he cuts the wire. Simple yet important.

X Out Negativity– Whoa whoa WHOA!  Hey…I heard you. Stop saying I can’t do it.  Honey you CAN! Take can’t out of your vocabulary, it’s the lamest excuse ever not to do something that gets you outside of your comfort zone.  Yes getting out of your comfort zone is well…uncomfortable BUT that’s where your breakthrough happens to get you to the next level. Be patient with yourself and embrace it.  You’ll thank yourself later.

Yes To New Opportunities– Has a friend loved your jewelry so much that they suggested you sell your pieces at a craft fair?  This is a new opportunity that just landed in your lap! Go for it and see where this opportunity takes you. If you need help or guidance in this new endeavor, you can start here.

Zip Your Lips– Stay positive about everything you do. Project didn’t turn out the way you wanted? Don’t speak negative about it.  Someone wasn’t feeling your jewelry for one reason or another? Let it go and don’t harbor a negative grudge. In fact, you may want to download this free ebook about how to handle buyer’s rejection, just in case.  The important thing is to speak only positive things about your work because you want to attract more positivity to you AND the more excited you are about your work, the more excited others are about your work too.

Handling Buyer’s Rejection

Handing Buyer's Rejection

Handling Buyer’s Rejection

Whoa!  This is a hard pill to swallow if you’re experiencing this for the first time.

You’ve awaken early excited to get to your very first craft fair, coffee in hand, looking over your table with pride, ready to conquer the world.

Your items are displayed nicely, prices are reasonable, your banner hangs nicely and your tablemate knows exactly what she/he needs to do in case you have to step away from your booth for a minute of two.

And then she arrives…

Her hands are behind her back, like a teacher looking over your shoulder during a test. You smile and greet her with a warm hello. She responds with a stern look over her glasses, cracks a half-ass smile, and goes back to scanning your table.

You then respond by stating that if she has any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. And what happens next almost floors you.

She says, “These look like everything I’ve seen already. I can go to Kohl’s and find these same pieces.”

You stand there like a deer in headlights, your heart dropped two notches and you force the mask of a smile on your face.  What…Just…Happened?!!! Of if you’re like me, your first thought was…WTF!!!!

Did this buyer just reject me?!

So now.  Let’s talk about what’s really going on here.  I mean before you snap because there are a few things we need to understand.

1. What just happened had NOTHING to do with you or your art.

2. We are NOT taking this personal.

3. Honestly, the opinions of others are just that. Opinions.  They’re not factual and everyone’s entitled to one.


As an artist we feel our art are like our babies, we nurture them, we take care of them, and we feel like they are the best in the world.  We love them and feel that everyone else should too. The reality is not everyone does or will and that’s okay.

One thing we MUST do as artists is to learn to separate ourselves from our pieces.  In other words, this customer wasn’t judging you, just your pieces.

She wasn’t saying that you were not talented or that your pieces hold no value.

As a matter of fact, she kind of just gave you a compliment wrapped in insult (if you took it that way) because what she sort of said was that your pieces were so good that she could find them in a department store.  

See how I just turned that negative into a positive?  Yep it’s a thing and you can do it too.


Now I have to share something with you. That was a true story of an incident that actually happened at my very first craft fair.


So my question to you is, how would you have handled that situation?


What were some of your first thoughts while reading that scenario? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Pssstt…..Grab the workbook for this article here.

Nothing To Defend Lisa Nichols

Nothing To Prove: The Quote That Inspired a Woman and Her Bracelet

Nothing to Prove Lisa Nichols

I’ll never forget the day I was introduced to Lisa Nichols.

My mother was actually the one who instructed me to watch her YouTube videos and I instantly became attracted to her words.  Later I learned of Lisa’s association with The Secret, and began digging through the vaults to learn more about this powerful woman with whom I now had a connection with, even though she didn’t know it.

One day while at work I ran across this quote:

Nothing To Defend Lisa Nichols

 

 

Nothing To Prove

It became my screensaver, my mantra, my affirmation of the day, my life.  Every time I was faced with a situation, I whispered to myself…..I have nothing to defend.

When approached by opposition, I would boldly say…..I have nothing to prove, and stand on those words.  It was more than liberating, it was freeing.  Finally I found the freedom in the strength of my voice that I had been searching for, the strength that during a time I thought I had lost.

It was THAT day that I realized the power of my words.  Lisa Nichols had shown me how to use my words to move the mountains that were confining me.

This ONE quote inspired me to create a piece that would remind me EVERY DAY how powerful I am.  How I can move through obstacles and liberate the voice that I had once quieted in order to make others around me feel comfortable, all the while, compromising my own comfort.

Never again.

Nothing to Prove Lisa Nichols quote

Diva With Nothing To Prove Bracelet

 

This bracelet was created for all Divas who need that subtle reminder that your voice is important.  It’s a reminder that it is your right to proceed with boldness, class, intent.

The Diva With Nothing To Prove Bracelet is a representation of me expressing my voice through my art.  I invite you to join me in this revolution!  You too can be bold and make your version of this bracelet here.

What quote has inspired you to become a better version of you?  Share and enlighten us.  I’d love to high five and celebrate you.  We ALL deserve that.

 

5 Skills You Need To Master Wire Wrapping

 

Wire wrapping has become one of the most popular jewelry making techniques in the industry. It looks extremely difficult but the truth is once you master the basic techniques, the sky’s the limit.

I was first drawn to this technique when I saw a beautiful amethyst gemstone which had been wire wrapped in silver at a bead show.  It not only accentuated the color and body of the stone but it added flair and elegance to the stone, like nothing I had ever seen before.  At that time I was taking a basic jewelry making course but  after seeing that stone, I became curious and bought my first roll of wire.

It was then that I learned something valuable about this technique and its process. There are five skills one needs to master in wire wrapping:

 

  1. The Wire.  When setting out to learn wire wrapping, it is imperative that you take time to learn about the various gauges of wire so that you know which gauge and type you’ll enjoy working with.  Something important to know is the higher the number, the thinner the wire. Play with the gauges and feel how different they are to work with and in no time you’ll become best friends with one of them.

2. It’s All In The Wrist.  I don’t care how many wire wrap artists you put in the same room, creating the same project, using the same exact design, the end result will differ from the person next to you, even if only slightly.  The reason for this is because it’s all in your wrist.  Writers use the same letters in the alphabet that everyone else has access to but the difference is in the way they construct words to formulate their voice and tone throughout their work. Wire wrapping is no different. All the creative energy you muster flows through your body and “your voice” is in your wrist.  Your wrist is what controls the way you bend and form your wire, it’s where you develop style.

 

3. Lose Control.  Guess what?  When you’re first starting out and learning how to wrap your very first bead, allow yourself room to lose control.  Relax and just experiment by playing with the wire so you can get used to handling it.  You don’t have to try getting it right the first time, that’s way too much pressure to put on yourself.  Have fun and flow with this new discovery. The look you are going for will come in time.  Trust me.

 

4. Patience. Training your wire to do exactly what you want is like training a new puppy. The puppy is new to you and wants to do things its way because it doesn’t know what you want it to do so it does what it wants.  I’m totally am not joking, like seriously the wire has a mind.  The last thing you want to do is choke the heck out of the wire or squeeze and tug at it so bad that you strip it.  Be gentle.  Be patient. It will do exactly what you want when you love on it.

 

5. Practice. Practice is key.  You probably thought I was going to start by saying that practice makes perfect.  Nope. Absolutely not. There’s no such thing as perfection.  I will say that practice makes you better. The key is to continue practice your technique until you’re satisfied with the outcome.  And then….practice some more until you move past satisfaction.  You’ll become a wire wrap diva in no time!

 

 

 

What’s the one thing you’ve learned while creating jewelry?  Share your thoughts, I’d love to hear them.