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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.

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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String of Promises

When a single string of small beads turn out to be too slim for the necklace I have in mind, I employ multi-strands of these small beads to build volume.

On this project, I worked with freshwater rice pearls from 3 to 5mm in size strung through two and five strands of gold beading wire.

"String of Promises" Necklace

"String of Promises" Necklace

A couple of 8mm potato pearls served as connection stations. And another one as the ball in the ball-and-loop clasp. The focal point is a reddish-brown ceramic heart that I picked up at a quaint bead store at Saint Augustine, Florida.  

Here’s how I put it all together.

Materials:

1 red 29×26mm ceramic heart
3 peacock 8mm freshwater potato pearl
24 amber 6mm Czech cathedral rounds
30 copper 6/0 seed beads
60 assorted peacock/copper 4-6 mm freshwater potato pearls
12 amber 8/0 seed beads
1 metallic brown 11/0 seed bead
6 gold-filled 2mm crimp tubes
4″ of gold-filled 14k 24-gauge wire
71″ of gold .01 beading wire

Instructions:

  1. Cut the beading wire into 9 strands of 9-inch lengths.
  2. Using 2 inches of 24-gauge wire, form a wrapped loop. String 1 copper seed, 1 peacock 8mm pearl, and 1 copper seed. Close with a wrapped loop. Repeat to make two pearl stations.
  3. Pick up 2 beading wire strands and string 1 crimp tube, 2 bronze seeds, 1 peacock 8mm pearl, and 1 metallic brown 11/0 seed. Restring both strands back into the pearl, copper seeds and crimp tube. Crimp to create the ball of the ball-and-loop clasp. String (1 cathedral, 1 copper seed, 1 cathedral, 1 pearl on one strand and 2 pearls on the other strand), five times. String 1 copper seed, 1 cathedral, and 1 copper seed. Use a crimp tube to attach the wires to one end of a pearl station from Step 2.
  4. Pick up 5 beading wire strands. Use a crimp tube to attach the wires to the other end of the pearl station in Step 3.
  5. Using all 5 strands, string 1 copper seed, 1 cathedral, and 1 copper seed. Separate the strands and on each one string 1 peacock pearl.
  6. Repeat Step 5 twice. String 1 copper seed and the ceramic heart. Repeat Step 5 three times. Gather the 5 strands and string 1 copper seed, 1 cathedral, 1 copper seed. Use a crimp tube to attach the wires to one end of the other pearl station from Step 2.
  7. Pick up 2 beading wire strands and use a crimp tube to attach to the other end of the pearl station from Step 6. String (1 copper seed, 1 cathedral, 1 copper seed, 1 peacock pearl on one strand, 2 peacock pearls on the second strand, and 1 cathedral) five times. String 1 copper seed, 1 cathedral, 1 crimp tube, and 12 amber seeds. Loop back and insert the wires into the first amber seed and crimp tube to create the loop of the ball-and-loop clasp. Crimp to secure and trim off excess wires.
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Style and Shoot

I started making jewelry back in 2004. In 2005, using a point-and-shoot digital camera (Fuji Finepix A205), I taught myself how to style and shoot photos of my jewelry. All by trial and error.

My jewelry photography setup back then was very simple. I put a TV tray next to the window and propped up white poster boards as a backdrop and reflector. My main (and only!) light source was the natural light streaming through the window. I used the mini-blinds to control the brightness. Of course, I only shot photos in the daytime.

In styling the shots, I used whatever I could find around our house and garden. So my jewelry would be among ribbons, knick knacks, fresh flowers, potpourri, fruits, even coffee filters. I have a photo of a hematite bracelet on a saucer with peppercorns.

Here are some of the jewelry I styled and shot five years ago.

Blue and White

Blue and White

Colored Beads with Colored Pens

Colored Beads with Colored Pens

Hematite Hearts and Peppercorns

Hematite Hearts and Peppercorns

Millefiore Hearts and Anthurium Bud

Millefiore Hearts and Anthurium Bud

Rainbow Crystals with a Strawberry (bracelet featured in Stringing Mag)

Rainbow Crystals with a Strawberry (bracelet featured in Stringing Mag)

A Hint of Hearts

A Hint of Hearts

Earring on a Halfshell

Earrings on a Halfshell

Earrings on Coffee Filters

Earrings on Coffee Filters

Pink Leaves and Flowers

Pink Leaves and Flowers

Pearls Necklace with Ampalaya Leaves

Pearls Necklace with Ampalaya Leaves

Lately, I’ve been trying to shoot seamless white, or what they call “isolated.” I find it a little boring. I should go back to my style-and-shoot system — a lot more challenging and certainly more creative.

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Spiral Pendant

One fine morning, I was surprised to get a request from my son. He wanted to know how to make a spiral pendant. He said he’d seen it somewhere and is sure I could teach him how to do it. He wanted to encase a game dice in a wire spiral and hang it as a pendant on a leather cord.

It just so happened, I knew how to make a spiral to encase a game dice! Hah! Because my son lives in another hemisphere, the best way I could teach him how it’s done was to share step-by-step photos of the process. So, here are the shots I took of the 10 easy steps:

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Fertile Ground

I am so thrilled! Stringing Fall 2010 is out! And my Fertile Ground necklace is on page 34! I had submitted this set to Stringing back in November. The magazine included the bracelet and earrings in the Summer issue and featured the necklace for Fall.

Designing this necklace was kind of a no-brainer to me. With the flower ceramic barrels as the focal beads, it just made sense to use pressed glass leaves in amber-gold. Rich brown fire-polished glass and mookaite cubes added to the earthy feel. And to make it more natural, I used waxed linen cord for stringing. Unrefined. Autumn.

Fertile Ground Set

Fertile Ground Set

NEWSFLASH!  To coincide with the release of Stringing Fall, our fellow designer, Michelle Mach, organized a blog carnival. And she’s giving away prizes!

The rules for the drawing are on Michelle’s blog: www.michellemach.com/blog/.  She has three great prizes: a copy of the Fall issue of Stringing magazine, a handmade porcelain pendant and coordinating beads by Gaea, and a small goodie pack of filigree, gemstones & other findings from Rings & Things.

Basically, leave one comment on one or more of the blogs and you will be entered into the random drawing. Each comment on a different designer’s page is another chance to win.  (Multiple comments on a single designer’s page counts only as one chance to win.) Giveaway closes on the 23rd and winners will be announced the 24th.

So, don’t waste time… visit the blogs of these Stringing contributors now! And don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a prize!

Stringing Fall 2010

Stringing Fall 2010

Kristy Abner    Kelly Angeley   Marianne Baxter

 Carrie Beckwith              Melanie Brooks  

  Gaea Cannaday      Lorelei Eurto

Amy Haftkowycz     Beth Hemmila                   

     Tari Kahrs    Stephanie LaRosa 

Michelle Mach     Denise Yezbak Moore

     Kelly Morgan      Sharon Palac   Anne Perry     

Lisa Petrillo     Erin Prais-Hintz       Molly Schaller

            Erin Strother          Heather Trudeau 

 Jennifer Judd Velasquez   Jennifer Zeiger 

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Stringing Fall 2010 Table of Contents

Stringing Fall 2010 Table of Contents

Fertile Ground on Stringing Fall 2010

Fertile Ground on Stringing Fall 2010

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Bridal Jewelry Project

In January 2009, my son’s friends Rej and Oneal advised me of their plans for a Star Wars Wedding in Manila. Rej said she will wear a replica of Queen Amidala’s wedding dress from the movie series. And they wanted me to be one of their primary sponsors. I readily accepted, feeling honored to stand witness to their union. Then I said, “Let me make your bridal jewelry for you.” The following month, exactly one year from their wedding date, I drew the first drafts of my first bridal jewelry project. [Story and photo journal here.]

Bridal Jewelry for a Star Wars Wedding

Bridal Jewelry for a Star Wars Wedding

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