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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.

Red White and Blue Braided Bracelet

It’s always tempting to create jewelry in the red-white-and-blue theme. Maybe because there’s a yearly 4th of July celebration when you can proudly wear it. So when a stash of braided imitation leather cords in assorted colors came my way, the first project that came to mind was a red-white-and-blue bracelet.

Double Braided Red White Blue Bracelet

Below is a quick tutorial on how I made this double braided 4th of July piece, which can be applied to any set of your favorite colors.

1. Gather the braided leather cords and the clasps and findings you will use. For this grouping of cords, you will need a pair of cord end caps to hold the strands together. I chose a set of toggle clasps to complete the bracelet. The jump rings connect the end caps to the toggle clasp.

Braided Imitation Leather and Findings

2. Glue the set of cords to one end cap. I used cyanoacryclate (Instant/Super Glue) for a fast and strong hold. Braid the cords together and trim to size. Remember to include the length of the clasp in measuring the bracelet size.

Braid the braided imitation leather

3. Attach the end caps to the jump rings and toggle clasp. And you’re done!

Attach findings and toggle clasp

Double Braided Red White Blue 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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The Hobbit Bracelet

My learning experience with resin casting happened at the time I was nursing a hangover from watching The Hobbit at the movies (twice). My first tries were what one would usually end up with — stuff encased in clear plastic.

Resin project samples

Because the resin kit instructions demonstrated how to insert a photo into a backing and sealing it with a resin cast, I figured, hey I could do that with photos of the Hobbit dwarves and I could string those into a bracelet! I could use polymer clay as the backing. So I went to work.

Hobbit Dwarves Photo

The resin cast came out really nice. It was tedious, though, having to wait two days for the resin to cure. To me, that was the hardest part.

I glued clay pieces to the backs of the circles to allow for stringing. And here’s what the backside looks like.

Hobbit Bracelet Backside

Here’s my Hobbit bracelet with Thorin and the 12 dwarves, made with polymer clay, resin, and natural cord.

The Hobbit Bracelet

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Mexican Flag Bead Necklace

A few months ago, I received an email from a lady who said, “I had been searching the entire web for a beaded Mexican flag necklace, when your site popped up.” She found a photo of my beaded amulet bag of a Mexican flag. It was a custom project back in 2005.

Mexican Flag Amulet Bag

Mexican Flag Amulet Bag

The lady asked me if I could make one for her. I admitted that I have a day job and I’ve had to decline requests for projects that would require a lot of time, like this beaded flag. She wouldn’t take no for an answer and said she would be happy to wait for as long as it takes. So, then I couldn’t turn her down. I agreed to work with her.

I beaded for a few minutes a day until I was done. Because she wanted a necklace, not an amulet bag, I had to device a way to keep the beads in place as a pendant. Enter my polymer clay skills, et voila! The polymer clay backing and a sterling silver bail completed the necklace.

Here are the photos that I sent her before I shipped the item.

Mexican Flag Beaded Necklace

Mexican Flag Beaded Necklace

Mexican Flag Beaded Necklace

Mexican Flag Beaded Necklace - 2.5 inches wide

2.5 inches wide

Mexican Flag Beaded Necklace - polymer clay backing.

Polymer clay backing.

She said, “I really love this necklace. Thank you so much for taking time to customize this for me.”

I’m happy.

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Black As Night

My copy of the Creative Jewelry Magazine 2011 finally arrived. I couldn’t wait to see how they presented my “Black As Night” necklace.

"Black As Night"

"Black As Night"

I’ve always liked this piece because of its simplicity — what the magazine editors asked for in this issue. The ring design is my original — I’ve used it with various color themes and in several special order pieces. In fact, my pair of earrings with this ring design was featured in a back issue of Stringing Magazine. I like this design because it’s so easy to make, yet it lends a hint of drama to the necklace and to the wearer.

Creative Jewelry Magazine 2011

Creative Jewelry Magazine 2011

Here’s a snapshot of a section of the table of contents:

Creative Jewelry Magazine 2011 Table of Contents

Creative Jewelry Magazine 2011 Table of Contents

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Tri-color Chips Bracelet

One of my favorite multi-strand bracelets was featured in the bracelet spread of Stringing Summer 2011.  I strung chips of carnelian, sodalite, and yellow opal, and closed them with a copper fold-over clasp. Simple, colorful, textured. It’s on page 43.

Tri-Color Chips Bracelet

Stringing Summer 2011

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Poly-Bangles

What’s nice about cured polymer clay is when it’s a thin layer, it remains slightly flexible. It doesn’t become hard or brittle like ceramic. So when you wrap a thin layer around a malleable band of metal, like aluminum, you get a bracelet that’s light, flexible, and ready for adventure!

These are my first tries. They’re a bit crude (mostly from my OCD handling of the raw clay) but that’s the beauty of every handmade, work-of-love, piece of art. 

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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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