“That time of year…when yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang”

Vineyard in AutumnBefore autumn officially ends, we here at Legendary Beads wanted to take advantage of the beautiful palette provided by this season. Here are some great examples of autumn or fall jewelry for inspiration.

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Soldering a Jump Ring – Upside Down

A while back we were putting on a soldering demo and we came to the portion covering how to solder a jump ring closed.  If any of you’ve ever tried this you know how frustrating it can be keeping the tiny piece of solder on top of the jump ring while applying heat from your torch.   One of our customers asked us if it would be possible to put the solder down first and and lie the jump ring on top of it – and then apply the heat.  When we tried this it was like magic – the heat from the torch pulled the solder right up into the crack in jump ring and you never need to worry about loosing place of that tiny piece of solder!   This process works every time – try it you will be amazed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Different Kind of Clasp

have you ever made a piece of jewelry that was just calling out for a unique clasp but just didn’t have one on hand.  We have been doing some experimenting in the past few weeks with using pendants, charms, and links for clasps.  It just goes to show you that things aren’t always what they seem, and that thinking outside of the box can create extraordinary results!   The green bracelet is from our stone sale and we used a lobster claw to catch on a Tierracast charm for the clasp.  We had to bend the bottom of the charm a bit in order to make a closure for the lobster claw to catch on to.  For The labradorite bracelet we used a vermeil link (from the trunk show over the holidays) as a clasp with a small gold plated lobster claw.

attaching bails…Michelle’s secret

As you may have noticed, we love things old made new again.  One of the great things about jewelry making is that you can use almost anything.  But every now and again we find super cool found objects or maybe a pendant with a broken bail and find ourselves stumped as how to use them.  We found this post by Mich L. in L.A. about using foil duct tape to attach bails.  So clever!

Silver Patina

Tip: Silver Patina With Eggs

Have you ever wanted to antique a silver piece that you own but never knew how.  Or maybe you do know how but are not interested in using heat or chemicals to add patina to your silver.  If you are looking for an all natural way to add some color to your piece by giving it an antique look then consider using eggs. Yes that’s right we said eggs! The sulfur in the yolk of eggs reacts chemically with sterling silver and will make it look aged.  T achieve this simply take your silver piece and stick it completely into the yolk of a hard boiled egg.  Place the egg yolk in a zip lock back and leave in the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning you will have an antique patina on your silver!

Tips and Tricks…The perfect Loop

One of the most commonly used techniques in jewelry making is turning a loop at the end of a head pin.  For long time beaders this a skill which you have most likely mastered, but for newbees, this can lead to frustration.  We know that when we started it was often difficult to determine exactly how large the loop would turn out and often ended up with loops in various sizes.  Sue shares her tip on how to get the perfect size loop every time!

Turn a loop at the end of a headpin (we turned a large loop for this larger bead).   Insert  the end of your round nosed pliers into the loop to measure where on the pliers you will be turning your next one.   Using a sharpie, make a mark on the pliers.  Uncurl your loop and measure the length then mark your ruler.   Now you are all set to go, using the marks you made on the ruler and pliers you will be able to make the same sized loops time and again.  Simply put your bead on the head pin and using your marked ruler, cut of the excess.  Place the end of the cut head pin at the mark on your pliers and turn your loop!
Thanks Sue!

Tips…To Knot Or Not To Knot


If there is one thing that dives us crazy more than anything else it is any sentence that starts with the words “It has to be done this way..” or “you have to do it like this…”  Sure there are recommended techniques and styles in jewelry making; however, one of the greatest things about creating your own jewelry is that you can do it your own way.  You are in charge of what your piece will look like and sometimes a break with tradition can turn into something wonderful.   There is almost nothing more traditional than a strand of pearls;  they are elegant and beautifully simple.   Unfortunately, many people often shy away from these wonderful beads as some people will tell you that “pearls need to be knotted”… and yes…there still are some of us out there who either never learned to knot or don’t want to take the time to do it.  If this sounds like you then never fear, the solution is here.  We used hishi spacers in between these pearls to create a unique take on a traditional pearl necklace and finished it off with a decorative clasp.  Stringing a pearl necklace has never been easier!   For those who like the traditional look of a knotted pearl necklace, our Knotting For Beginners class is coming up on October 9th.

Tips and Tricks…twisted earwires quick fix

Have you ever gone to make a pair of earrings only to realize that the earring is hanging the wrong way off the earwire.   Rather than add a jump ring to the design, a quick way to fix the issue is to simply twist the loop on the earwire!   To do this:  use one pair of pliers to hold the earwire and use a second pair of pliers to twist the loop at the bottom.  Youe won’t believe how many times we have used this trick to correct how our earrings hang!
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