Memory Wire – Necklaces, Earrings, Rings

chicchakraWhen most people think of memory wire they think of bracelets, and over the past several weeks I have highlighted some of the free bracelet projects and videos available at Beadaholique. In this blog post I want to change direction a little and feature some of the other jewelry you can make with memory wire.

In Karlin’s Chic Chakra Necklace she used bracelet sized memory wire to create a perfect large scale loop. In the center of the loop she hung a Hamsa hand charm and along the outside of the loop she placed beads and bead caps. The resulting design is both elegant and bold.

Using a similar technique to what Karlin did in the project above, I created a pair of large hoop hearings using memory wire. In the Spiked Basketball Wives Style Earrings I was able to create a really large scale earring that was still quite light weight because of the memory wire and acrylic spike beads that I used.

basketballYou can also make memory wire rings as well as memory wire necklaces. Pay close attention when purchasing memory wire to see if you are buying bracelet size, necklace size, or ring size coils. Remember that the beauty of memory wire is that it holds its shape, but this also means that you will not be able to turn a bracelet size coil into a ring and vice versa.

Do you have a favorite memory wire project, tip, or idea? I would love to hear about it. Please comment below.

 

 

 

Beading Table Wednesday: January 28, 2015

BTW12715Kat

This week I have been learning a new Paracord knotting technique.  As
soon as I become a master of this I will be filming a video to show you how to achieve the look of this ladder knotting.  Paracord is nice and thick which makes it a great material to use when you are learning various knotting techniques.  While it may not work for everything, I find it is a wonderful place to start.

 

Karlinunnamed

My personal jewelry tastes always range between dramatic statement and super simplistic; and this week it’s all about the drama. I’m having fun opening links from our cool new raw brass hammered chain (as seen in my Bracelet of Thrones project) and using them as accents on some pretty, crystal sea glass teardrop beads. I think the outcome is unexpected and fun. Stay tuned for the project tutorial!

Quick Tip Tuesday….On Friday

Screen shot 2015-01-23 at 8.32.57 AMHere at Beadaholique we like to share little “quick tips” that are either time saving, money saving, or in some way enhance a design. This week Kat was working on a multi-strand Czech Glass pearl necklace and did something that we all loved – she paired the gorgeous but very affordable pearls with a really lovely deluxe and more expensive clasp. Usually we advise our customers to try and match material value, such as use silver-filled or sterling silver components with Swarovski crystal, but this is a prime example of how there is an exception to every rule. By using the crystal encrusted Elegant Elements clasp Kat was able to add a “wow” factor to her design and make the pearls look really, really expensive. She also used crimp bead covers which further enhanced the design.

Videos: How to Use Memory Wire

In one of last week’s blog posts we spotlighted the popular trend of memory wire bracelets. People are wearing them alone, stacking them together, and perhaps most popularly combining them with expandable charm bangles for a look right out of a fashion magazine.

One of the best things (in my opinion) about this style of bracelet is how easy it is to make. To demonstrate this, I thought I would share some of the videos we have created showing how to use memory wire. Enjoy!

Beading Table Wednesday: January 21, 2015

BTW-Kat

Kat

This week I am working on making a multi-strand pearl necklace using various sizes of our Czech Glass Pearls and a box clasp.  My favorite is the rose gold pearls.  They have such a beautiful color and sheen to them.  For a simple strung necklace trying pairing the Czech Glass Pearls with Czech Crystal Beads for a glamorous, yet affordable, look.

 

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Karlin

I love the trend of casual, simple necklaces used for layering. They look straight out of the boutique and have such a clean, classic look. This week I’ve been playing around with necklace trios; mixing and matching different charms with gemstones and crystals. Here are a few I have on my table and I am hoping to come up with a few more involving sleek bar charms!

Beading Table Wednesday: January 14, 2015

photoJulie

I am prepping a major video right now that has required us to pull over 300 skus. My beading table this week is actually our main conference table where I am trying to sort all these beads. While looking for skus to pull I discovered a few beads that I did not even know we had. My favorite finds include the Green Girl Studios Floating Castle bead and the Miyuki Baroque Pearls in Dark Olive.

photo-5Karlin

This week has been all about chain! I’ve been playing around with some of our new chain, including some really pretty gold plated bar chain that I love. I like mixing and matching finishes and also taking the chain apart and seeing how I can re-connect the bars to form cool geometric shapes. Delicate, sleek jewelry is really trendy right now so I look forward to using more bar chain in my pieces. Let’s see what I come up with!

 

katKat

So I was looking around our website for something  when I stumbled across these strand reducers.  It was in the section “Customers Also Bought” at the bottom of each listing.  My creativity quickly jumped
ship and I just had to grab these to work with.  Not to worry, my other project is not lost at sea.  I will go back to it soon.  It is
just too easy to get distracted by pretty things in this business. Happy Beading!

 

 

Trends We Love: Memory Wire Bracelets

Screen shot 2015-01-12 at 10.09.07 AMDo you remember memory wire from when you first started making jewelry? I sure do. I would make bracelets aplenty filled with Czech Glass beads of various sizes and colors. These bracelets were a great starting point for me because I did not have to worry about making sure they fit (they are flexible and one-size-fits-all) and I did not have to worry about how to attach a clasp (no clasp needed).

As my jewelry skill repertoire expanded, I must admit that I used memory wire less and less. It wasn’t that I stopped enjoying it, it’s just that I tended to forget about it when thinking about what project to start next. However, about a year ago, something started to shift in the fashion world and all of a sudden memory wire was everywhere I looked. Top designers started taking notice of this useful component. They were capitalizing on the fact that you could make all sorts of bracelet designs that looked on-trend but did not take a lot of time or effort to put together. It seems that once one design house used it, everyone else woke up to the fact at how cool it was and now today I see it in the cases of Bloomingdales, Nordstrom’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue – not to mention tons of little boutiques!

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Anchor Charm Memory Wire Bracelet Kit

With memory wire you can make single strand bracelets (one loop) all the way up to 12 strand bracelets that are wonderfully wide and mimic the stacked bracelet look. Bracelets are still the absolute hottest accessories out there right now, and with memory wire you can create an infinite number of bracelet designs.  To get you started we have created a Using Memory Wire in Jewelry Making page. This page pulls together all of Beadaholique’s free instructional videos, projects, and supplies that pertain to memory wire. From here you can find everything you need to start making memory wire bracelets.

To jump start your journey, here are some of the projects that Beadaholique designers have created based upon the trends we are seeing in the boutiques and fashion magazines.

Screen shot 2015-01-12 at 10.20.13 AM

 

The Dancing Lady Bug Bracelet. Memory wire has been inserted into braided round cork for a very on-trend look. Charms, also very popular right now, have been added to the ends.

 

Screen shot 2015-01-12 at 10.24.45 AM

 

The Gilded Rays Bracelet. This bracelet uses only a couple loops of memory wire but it packs a dramatic punch. Matte gold and daggers, what more could you ask for this season?

 

Screen shot 2015-01-12 at 10.46.39 AM

 

The Kavala Cuff in Night. Two hole beads are perfect to use with memory wire. They create nice even spaces between the loops and provide a more structured, solid appearance. With this additional structure, Kat was able to trim the loops in the back to create a cuff design.

 

The three bracelet examples above, all designed by Kat, pair an unexpected jewelry component with the memory wire. I personally think this is one of the main reasons why we are seeing a surge in memory wire bracelets. It is the unexpected added elements that are making memory wire feel fresh and new. I still love memory wire bracelets with traditional beads but try using shaped beads, two-hole beads, or even wire wrapping rhinestone cup chain onto it.

Whether memory wire is an old friend of yours or a new acquaintance, I hope this trend report has sparked your creativity and given you something new to think about.

Cheers, 
Julie

Beading Table Wednesday: January 7, 2015

Happy New Year Everyone!

With 2015 underway, we thought you might like to see what is already on our tables for the new year.

Julie

What a mess! My table is in need of some straightening up for the new year. What you see here is the left over project and video supplies from before Christmas as well as some other items that I still have on my to-do list. First off will be a video on how to use the Impress Art Metal Stamping Kit which you can see part of in the bottom right corner of the photo. After that, hopefully a new video on making a memory wire ring. Wish me luck.

Julie's Table

Kat

This week I have been working on some more peyote.  I just can’t get enough.  This time, doing a double wave pattern with various sizes of beads.  I love being able to do things that are really dimensional with beads.  If you are looking to stretch your peyote knowledge, this is a great place to start.

Kat's Table

Karlin

My desk is full of pinks and reds for upcoming Valentine’s Day projects! It’s a nice change of pace from all the darker colors usually covering my work desk. I’m having fun adding pink pearl cabochons to flat memory wire for a classic, feminine take on a rather trendy design. What kinds of projects are you making for Valentine’s Day?

Karlin's Table

 

What new projects do you have underway for 2015?  Tell us in the comments below!

Announcing the winners of Giveaways #7-12!

Beadaholique’s 12 Giveaways of Christmas has come to an end and we are excited to announce the last six winners! Thank you so much to everyone who participated.

The winners for the second half of the giveaways have been confirmed, and we’re very happy to announce them:

#7 – Kajol E., Australia – Wubbers Tools and Wire

#8 – Veronica T., Illinois – Vintaj Sizzix BIGkick and Accessories

#9 – Nereida V., New York – Deluxe Kumihimo Kit

#10 – France S., Florida – Czech Glass and Crystal Beads

#11 – Anne D., California – Gemstones and Pearls

#12 – Mary W., Florida – Swarovski Crystal Extravaganza

Congratulations to our last 6 winners! We hope you all enjoy your exciting prizes. Be sure to share your creativity with us and show us what you’ve made with your winnings. Happy New Year’s to you all!

New Year’s Resolutions

As we say goodbye to 2014, we’d like to welcome in the new year by thinking about all of the new, creative resolutions we have in mind for 2015.

Whether it’s learning a new technique or practicing an old favorite, it’s nice to ring in the New Year with fun, creative resolutions. The designers here at Beadaholique would like to take a moment and wish you all a wonderful holiday season and to share with you some of our own personal resolutions for 2015.

Karlin:

I love all things mixed media and my New Year’s resolution is to do more of it! I am especially inspired by all of the Becky Nunn videos on our site and can’t wait to learn more, experiment more and create a new collection of jewelry full of faux druzy, molding and casting, and even a little faux French enamel. My goal is to push the envelope, mix different kinds of mixed media in my designs and create new and unique pieces to share with you all. I can’t wait!

Kat:

For 2015, I am eager to challenge myself to learn new bead weaving techniques so I can share them with you.  With all the new two hole beads and shaped seed beads that have come out recently I am excited about experimenting more with them.  There is always so much to learn in the beading world and this year I want to focus on making some really “wow” pieces to show all of you!

 

Julie:

My New Year’s resolution is to learn and really try to excel at a new jewelry making skill. I think it is going to be metal stamping. For years I have fumbled with it, able to do it “just good enough.” In 2015, I would love to hone my skills, practice (a lot!) and really be able to make beautiful personalized jewelry with metal design punches.

Let us know what your New Year’s Resolutions are! Share with us in the comments section below. Have a wonderful new year full of creativity and as always, Happy Beading!