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"Golden Pond"


"Fertile Ground"



The Best of
Stringing 2009



Creative Jewelry 2010



Stringing Spring 2007
See Ruby's creations on pages 36, 47, and 56.


Stringing Magazine
Stringing Fall 2006

See Ruby's creations on pages 17, 32, 60, and 62.



Stringing Spring 2006
See Ruby's creations on pages 17, 26, 42, and 61.



Stringing Fall 2005
See Ruby's creations on pages 19, 24, 60, and 87.


~ Compliments ~
"Congratulations on having such gorgeous work published in Bead Stringing! I really like the cornucopia necklace. The jasper is beautiful! ... great job!" -- Tracy M., Alabama
~ ~ ~

"Just wanted to say how much I love your "smoke on the water" design. Very elegant and simple." -- Nancy L., Morristown, NJ


~ Random Thoughts ~
My brother calls this one "Gothic." I just designed a necklace around a silver heart pendant that I've had for the longest time.
Gothic Necklace
I added black seed beads, silver daisies, and deep red freshwater pearls. I was surprised at how a simple design could look very attractive.

The first day I wore it, I had to stop by a couple of stores for errands. The sales clerk at Barnes and Noble asked if I make my jewelry, adding that it looked "professional." The cashier at Michael's asked the same question and said it looks "very nice." With a broad smile, I nodded, handed out a business card, and said, "There's more at my website." Even if they don't come around at all, I sure had a blast receiving the compliments. Simple joys make my day.

Polymer Clay Beads and Cord Bracelets For Sale (Philippines)

My polymer clay handmade bead bracelets are for sale again.

I had to shutter my Etsy store where I sold these bracelets because our family had to relocate to Manila. Now that the dust has somewhat settled, I’m selling again. Although, for now, to customers in the Philippines only (I’ll soon figure out how to ship overseas). One of these days I will reopen my Etsy store.

This batch of bracelets is PhP280 each. With free gift packaging (see photos). Pick-up is preferred. Shipping (within the Philippines) is additional. Payment can be cash or through Paypal, bank deposit, and local money transfer.

All the beads are polymer clay — lightweight, tough, and inert. This batch has no metal parts. The sizes fit wrists measuring 6 to 7 inches. I can resize if necessary. And oh, there’s a lifetime warranty. My lifetime. If (or when) the cord breaks, I will happily restring, no charge, no questions asked.

As always, I’m open to suggestions, ideas, and insights. Depending on available materials and resources, I can accept commissioned pieces.

Please email me [ rubybayan@gmail.com ] so that we can talk about logistics.

Thanks!

Latest Update: All of these bracelets are SOLD. They remain in the gallery as inspiration for custom requests (subject to availability of materials). Click on the images for high-res versions.

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Heart Zipper Pulls

If you’re like me, you’re already thinking about what handmade items to give away as stocking stuffers for the Christmas holidays. I’ll share one of the projects I had many seasons ago – zipper pulls.

I posted photos of my gemstone hearts zipper pulls on my website. I mentioned that I would accept orders until I use up my stash. These were heart-shaped rose quartz, strawberry quartz, and cat’s eye paired with large red faceted Czech crystals hanging from a lobster claw clasp. The photos showed the pulls dangling from the front zipper of a backpack.

Heart Zipper Pulls on Backpack Pockets

When I received an inquiry about these zipper pulls, I showed the buyer her options.

Samples of Gemstone Zipper Pulls

She wanted six of each for a total of 24. I decided to throw in an extra one for her. She was a happy customer.

Here’s the zipper pull build sequence:

* Using a 2-inch head pin, string a small faceted bead, a heart, and another small bead.

* Form a closed loop and set aside.

* Pick up a two-inch wire and form a loop on one end attaching it to the end loop of the heart.

* String a small bead, a large faceted bead, and a small bead and form a loop attaching the clasp before closing.

Making Heart Zipper Pulls

Zipper pulls, bag tags, and keychains are fun and easy projects, which I’m sure you can quickly omplete in time for Christmas gift-giving.

Gemstone Heart Zipper Pulls

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“Almost Autumn” Necklace

This is another revival piece from 2006. It was the time I discovered seed beads. And multi-strands. I found luminescent “rosebud” glass beads and a pair of glass leaf pendants, all synchronized in color with the seed beads, and went for asymmetry with the toggle clasp along the side.

"Almost Autumn" Necklace

Now let me share the materials I used and the step-by-step tutorial for your reference.

Materials:

42” medium orange 11/0 seed beads
45” lime green transparent 11/0 seed beads
14 rosebud vitral light topaz 8mm fire-polished glass beads
2 yellow/green 25mm glass leaf pendants
6 sterling silver 4mm daisy spacers
2 Bali silver 10mm cones
1 Bali silver toggle clasp
2 sterling silver 2” eye pins
11’ of waxed nylon thread

Finished size: 19”

"Almost Autumn" Necklace Glass Leaves

Instructions:
Step 1: Cut the waxed thread into six 22-inch strands. Hold the 6 strands together and attach to one eye pin with a tight square knot. Dab a drop of glue on the knot to secure. Holding the strands together, thread them into the beading needle and string 1 rosebud and 1 daisy 5 times. String 1 more rosebud then remove the strands from the needle.

Step 2: Hold 3 strands together and string 1 rosebud, 1 glass leaf, 1 daisy, 1 glass leaf, and 1 rosebud; set aside.

Step 3: Pick up the 4th strand and string 3 lime green seed beads. Repeat with the 5th and 6th strand. Hold these 3 strands together and string 1 rosebud. Separate the strands again and string 3 lime green seed beads on each one.

Step 4: Gather all 6 strands again, thread through the needle, and string 1 rosebud. Remove strands from needle. String 2 inches of medium orange seed beads each on 3 strands and lime green seed beads on each of the other 3 strands. Repeat entire step three times by stringing 3 inches, 4 inches, and 5 inches of seed beads after each rosebud. Gather all 6 strands again, string 1 rosebud, and attach to an eye pin using a tight square knot. Dab glue to secure.

Step 5: Use one of the eye pins to string a cone and 1 lime green seed bead. Form a wrapped loop that attaches to one half of the toggle clasp. Repeat entire step for the other half of the clasp.

"Almost Autumn" Necklace Toggle Clasp

Tip: To secure the seed bead strands, tie a tight knot after each rosebud bead and slip the knot into the bead hole to hide.

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Yellow Jade Bib Necklace

Yellow Jade Bib Necklace

This project came up when I found myself buying bracelets of yellow jade at a novelty store at a nearby mall. They were on sale as lucky bracelets, which the sales lady even activated by resonating them in a metal bowl. I walked off with six bracelets, five of which I repurposed into this necklace project.

It started as a rough sketch on a yellow pad. I grabbed waxed cord matching the yellowish brown color of the beads.

Beads, cord, and design sketch.

Estimating six strands for a bib necklace, I measured about 18 inches each, accounting for the knots that will hold the beads in place. I knotted the beads in a seemingly random manner. Actually, I spaced the beads regularly but in different distances per string. All together, the beads will spread like a bib.

Beads knotted in waxed cord.

The challenge for every necklace design is how to bring the ends together. For this piece that has six “random” strands, I decided to use a separator bar with three holes. I slipped two strands into each hole and knotted off the strings of the end holes. The strings through the middle hole extended all the way to the clasp assembly.

Three-hole spacer bar.

Three-hole spacer bar.

Three-hole spacer bar.

The clasp I used is the screw-type barrel, common for necklaces. I used a cord end tip with a loop to secure each pair of middle strings. Then I attached the barrel clasp.

Screw-on Barrel Clasp

It wasn’t easy to adjust the lengths of the strings so that the bib effect looks clean. But I think my patience paid off.

Yellow Jade Bib Necklace

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Silver Hearts and Disks Bracelet

I love a project that takes me only minutes to complete. While complex and challenging ones give me a load of satisfaction, instant and quickie projects provide immediate joy. And with handmade jewelry items, I’m thrilled at how I am able to wear them after just minutes of crafting. This bracelet I will share with you now took less than half an hour to complete. And I was taking my time. Talk about quickie!

Silver Hearts and Disks Bracelet

Here are the steps:

Choose the materials. I chose some leftovers from my stash of silver-ish beads – hearts and etched disks. They look like they could work together.  To string them into a bracelet, I chose waxed cord – one of my favorite stringing materials because they are flexible yet durable. Black would go well with silver beads. To close the bracelet, I chose a blackened silver toggle clasp.

Silver beads and black waxed cord

Cut a length of waxed cord. For a 6-inch bracelet, measure about twice the length to account for the knotting between the beads.

Tie one end of the cord to the ring of the toggle clasp. I tend to use a clove hitch, but you can use whatever knot you feel won’t easily unravel. Dab a drop of glue to the knot to secure.

Knots between beads

String the beads one at a time, knotting the cord after each bead. I like knotting in between each bead not only as a design but also as a safety measure. If the cord breaks (which I anticipate will happen after I’ve worn the bracelet for many many times), the beads won’t all slide out.

Be mindful of how long the bracelet is. Because my choice of clasp is a toggle, I have to make sure that the bracelet is snug against my wrist. Otherwise, the toggle clasp will jiggle loose and come apart.

Tie the end of the cord to the bar of the toggle clasp and dab a drop of glue to the knot to secure. As soon as the glue dries, the bracelet is ready to wear. Quick and easy.

Silver Hearts and Disks Bracelet

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Hearts and Cords Bracelet

I’ve grown to love this type of project because it’s easy, but mostly because the bracelet is light, natural, and has no metal parts. I used non-toxic, inert polymer clay beads that I made myself and strung them together with waxed cord, which I love to work with because of its versatility and durability.

Hearts and Cords Bracelet

Let me share how I made this “Hearts and Cords” bracelet.

I scoured through my stash of handmade polymer clay beads (I’ll share how I did those in future posts) and waxed cord. I found enough pink hearts to complete a bracelet and paired them with pink and white cords.

Polymer Clay Beads by Ruby Bayan
Waxed Cord

Estimating that I wear a 6.5-inch bracelet, I cut about 15-inch lengths of the pink and white cords to account for the loop clasp and the knots in between the beads. I crocheted the clasp loop and knotted it closed into a size that will allow the last bead to go through.

Crocheted Waxed Cord

Then it was just a matter of stringing the heart-shaped beads and tying a knot in between each one. I spaced the knots a little loose so that the hearts can have some wiggle room. The last bead, which would serve as part of the clasp, would face the other way so that the loop catches into the valley of the heart bead. Then the last knot would hold the last heart in place. A drop of glue on the last knot secures the end of the bracelet.

Knotted Cord

Very easy. Very light. Environment-friendly.

Hearts and Cords Bracelet

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RubyBeads on Etsy

Announcing the opening of the RubyBeads store on Etsy.com!

RubyBeads on Etsy

I listed 11 items today to kickstart. And to celebrate the Grand Opening, I’m offering FREE SHIPPING!

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Twist Beads

I’m finally ready to showcase my original bead design: “Twist Beads” — polymer clay beads made by twisting colorful strands together. I chose natural twine and waxed cord to string the twist beads into light and frivolous bracelets for everyday free-for-all wear. I still can’t decide if I will sell them, give them away, or keep them all for myself! LOL! ;)

[Click on images for full resolution -- they're nice!]

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How to Hang a Crystal Heart

I received this email yesterday:

Hello,

Just wanted to drop a note to thank you for the easy instructions on how to hang a crystal heart. Turned out very nicely!!

Denise Polgar / www.vixtria.com

Denise’s words inspired me to post this old tutorial I have at my RubyBayan Jewelry mini-site:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My heart breaks every time I chip a crystal heart. I feel like I killed it. There are those fancy bails specifically used to hang crystals, but sometimes they don’t apply to the design I have in mind. There had to be some way to work with a crystal heart without killing it.

After a few “heartbreaking” attempts, I settled on a couple of very simple and super easy techniques that allowed me to hang several Swarovski AB hearts onto a chain bracelet with no breakage.

Let me share a simple how-to of the first technique (I made a pair of earrings so that I can take photos of the process). It’s followed by the second technique, and photos of the bracelet using both.

[I used 10mm Swarovski AB hearts and 24GA round half-hard 14K gold-filled wire.]

Bend wire.

Bend the wire (as shown) using your flatnose pliers.

Tip: To determine the distance between the two angles on the wire, check the depth of the heart’s hole, so that when you do the next steps, you have enough allowance to let the heart dangle freely. You don’t want to end up squeezing the crystal when you bring the vertical wire sections together.

Slip heart in.

Slip the heart in.
Tip: If the heart won’t slip in easily, don’t force it. Open the wire a little.

Make triangle.

Estimate where the wires will meet in a triangle above the crystal. Then bend the wires (one at a time) at that point.

Slip bead.

A bead holding the wires in place will minimize chipping that can be caused by the wrapping process. If you decide to do a wrap at this point, you will have to be very careful in holding the wires together without crushing the crystal.

Tip: Not all beads will let you thread two wires through, so you may want to take this into consideration before you finalize your design.

Position bead.

Slip the bead to secure the folded wire.
Tip: You may need to trim the short end of the wire so that it doesn’t stick out of the holding bead.

Make wire wrap.

Do the standard wrap.

Done!

And Voila!

My new, no-hearts-broken earrings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The regular bail technique using regular wire is also easy. Shape the wire into an open triangle, slip the heart in, and squeeze gently. Once the wire is in place, the heart won’t easily come off.
Tip: I can vouch only for gauges 24 and thicker for this technique. I haven’t tried it with a 26, which might be too fragile to hold up.

Triangle bail.

Heart on triangle bail.

Heart on triangle bail.

Below is a close-up of the bracelet I created using both techniques.  

Crystal Hearts Bracelet

Crystal Hearts Bracelet

And here’s the whole bracelet:

Crystal Heart Bracelet

Crystal Heart Bracelet

.

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And Now, Polymer Clay!

I’ve always been curious about polymer clay. In fact I bought a starter kit many years back — the one with glow-in-the-dark clay with projects for kids. I tried it, baked a batch, burned it, and since then stashed the clay, hopefully for future use.

Years passed and then I found myself in an estate sale. The owner was a craftswoman! She had a box of polymer clay and some used sculpting tools. I walked away with 14 unopened packs of “Studio by Sculpey” clay (for $5) and a bundle of tools (for $1). I had re-discovered polymer clay!

Polymer Clay "Studio by Sculpey"

After a quick Google about the hobby, I headed on down to the nearest Michael’s store and grabbed a pasta maker (essential tool for conditioning clay), a few cutters (for template shapes), and a couple of other loose tools.

And here I am, like a child again. Now I can make my own beads!

Clay, pencils, pasta machine, and other tools.

Clay balls.

Clay balls.

Colorful clay balls!

My first try with the millefiore cane method.

Glow-in-the-Dark hearts and beads.

A big batch of experimental beads and forms.

Polymer clay on sterling silver findings.

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