BeadMam Handcrafted Jewelry

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I'm Baaaaaack!

I strayed off to metal clay for awhile.  But----I missed COLOR! Back to polymer clay and the infinite possibilities for is a lot faster than metal clay.  My first project is a tutorial by Donna Kato from her CraftArtEdu site.  I have never made rings in polymer and I decided I needed to investigate.  Donna has such great, detailed  tutorials that I knew that would be the place for me to start.  I am glad I did. The link is for a wonderful collection of tutorials.  
Posted by BeadMam at 11/30/2013 1:34 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
YOJ Week 8

Year of Jewelry 2013

Week 8

Whew!  Week 8 and already we have lost about 80% of the people who started in January.  I understand why. I find it tough to come up with a design from scratch and have it finished in a week.  It is especially difficult when I am designing and experimenting with new techniques and/or design possibilities from ideas I am carrying around in my head. Most of those are still in my head or in various stages on my work table.

This is my week 8 design and it is made from beads the were actually part of a failed design that I took apart and redesigned.  The original design was bracelets.  I am much happier with this necklace.  The large lentil shaped beads are graduated in size and are covered in metallic copper polymer, various cane slices and mokume gane.  All of the beads use the same metallic polymer color palette.

On to week 9.  Hopefully I can get some usable stuff out of the mess on my work table.
Posted by BeadMam at 2/23/2013 4:57 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
YOJ Week 7

Year of Jewelry 2013
Week 7

It is a good thing my challenge is to finish UFOs.  That means I am not making things from scratch. I don't think I could keep that up each week.  Experimenting means a lot of scrap is created before I get to the "keepers".  For this challenge I am finishing my "keepers".  

This pendant is one of several using this cane I designed and made ages ago.  I chose this one to go with the big, heavy looking black chain.  It is not heavy because it is aluminum.  That makes this piece comfortable to wear even though it is Big and Bold.  

The chain is 30 inches long with 1/4 inch links; the pendant is 2 in x 1 1/2 in.  Since it is made of polymer it is light weight and the whole piece weighs 2 ounces.  One of the many reasons I love polymer and aluminum!
Posted by BeadMam at 2/17/2013 10:30 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
YOJ Weeks 4,5,and 6

Catching Up with YOJ

Week 4

Week 5

Week  6

I competed all three pieces for the YOJ site but I failed to update this blog.  Here they are.  They are all polymer pieces that I made some time ago, aka UFOs.  They needed to be made into wearable jewelry and here they are.
Posted by BeadMam at 2/5/2013 2:50 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
YOJ Week 3

Faux Mokume Gane in Polymer Clay

These are UFO beads that have been sitting on my work table for some time.  It has been a busy week because I am working on bringing up a new computer system.  So I had to make finishing this necklace a top priority this morning.  Whew!  It is done.  When I made Year of Jewelry my 2013 project I didn't realize how often other things interfere.  Sigh!  On to Week 4.
Posted by BeadMam at 1/17/2013 11:32 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Year of Jewelry - Week 2
YOJ - Week 2

Pendant for Week 2

This pendant uses some of the same patterned polymer clay that I used to make last weeks beads.  Half of it is the black and ecru pattern and the other half is textured black. I added a plain black bezel and the whole thing sits on a textured black base.  I used buna cord to string it and made a button and loop closure with the same black and ecru pattern.  The piece is about 18 inches long; choker length or a little longer.
Posted by BeadMam at 1/11/2013 7:38 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Year of Jewelry - Week 1

I signed up for Year of Jewelry 2013.  Yes,a finished jewelry project each week!  What have I gotten myself into??? Fifty-two finished pieces of jewelry this year.  It is certainly incentive to finish more of my numerous UFO's. Here is the first one.

In previous posts I wrote about making these black and tan polymer clay beads.  I have added strings of wooden beads in the same color family to create this necklace and a pair of earrings. I continue to explore designing a more casual style of jewelry that I can wear with t-shirts and jeans so I call it T-Shirt Jewelry. 

I  like the way wooden beads complement the polymer clay beads and add to the casual style.  The beads are strung and knotted on twisted paper cord. It is surprisingly strong and stiff enough so that a beading needle is not necessary.  I used black aluminum wire for the earrings but I think it is too soft. Anodized dark iron wire would be better. The two ends of the necklace are knotted, trimmed and hidden in the large oval bead.  The necklace is 34 inches long and slips easily over my head.  It is comfortable to wear since the polymer clay and wooden beads are so light weight.

Wooden beads from 
style="text-align: left;">Cord by Darice Bella Corda paper jewelry cord, natural and black  style="text-align: left;">Premo polymer clay, black and ecru


Posted by BeadMam at 1/3/2013 12:20 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Yes, More New Projects

My Newest Project

I have had a Sony Cybershot camera for at least 10 years.  It is a great camera but..... I have wanted a DSLR for almost as long.  I have used a camera since I was in grade school.  When I shot film I loved using different lenses but the Cybershot is a single lens SLR camera.  The last film camera I used was a Minolta and I had two favorite lenses for it. I missed them.  

Aha!  Sony alpha DSLR cameras use Minolta lenses. (Sony bought Minolta.)  So I lusted for a Sony alpha.  At last I found my most wished for Alpha for a price I could afford.  It is a Sony Alpha 700 which is a top-of-the-line model.  I bought it used on eBay. It arrived this week. It is in even better condition than described on eBay.  It looks as if it has never been out of the box.  I am ecstatic.  I downloaded the manual, all 179 pages and am studying it like crazy.  So far it is much easier to use than the Cybershot and has many more features.  I LOVE it!

My First Pic with the Alpha 700

This shows another project I am playing around with.  It is an online class in mixed-media called Art Buffet, from .  We are playing with all sorts of art techniques including painting paper with various kinds of paints, making paste paper, simple handmade books and art journaling.  Quite a buffet.

Now I have got to practice!

Posted by BeadMam at 10/21/2012 6:44 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Starting a New Project


I made this necklace in a class with Gwen Gibson many years ago.  When I was thinking of the next T-Shirt necklace to make,  I remembered these beads but not how I made them.  Serendipity struck! I also remembered I had a DVD of Gwen making these beads.  Voila!  I found both the necklace and the DVD.

The Beads

I am making the new beads a littledifferently but the basic principles are from Gwen's DVD (Creations Du Jour from the South of France Two from Polymer Clay Express).

First, I made base beads from scrap clay using a bead roller from Poly-Tools ( Pro Bead Creation System- Set 4) and baked them on the pins and baking rack from Poly-Tools. (Gwen did not bake her base beads before covering them.)

Fresh out of the oven

Next came the veneer to cover the base beads.  I started with a UFO veneer sheet that was in my stash.  Then I found some scrap clay in the same color combination, black and ecru, and I was on my way.


The veneers are made in large sheets and rolled out on number 6 on my Atlas pasta machine.  


I added black bead caps to make a nicer finish to the ends. 

The first batch of sanded and buffed beads.

So far, so good.......I think!

To be continued.
Posted by BeadMam at 10/14/2012 11:05 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
More T-Shirt Jewelry

Exploring  New Material

Buna cord is available in colors!?  Where have I been??  Here it is in a luscious purple with matching O-rings. Woo Hoo! I had to use it for another T-Shirt necklace.  The cord came from Fire Mountain Gems (  and the O-rings came from
style="text-align: center;">
  Yes, there are more colors and I must have them ALL!

Adjustable Clasp Success!


The adjustable clasp works much better on buna cord because it does not slide by itself and stays where I put it.  Buna cord, as you probaly, is a rubber cord that was originally designed to make gaskets for interesting things like the shuttle. Yes, that is what failed on the Challenger.  Fortunatly we do not have to worry about that kind of disaster.

Another One FINISHED!

I like it!

Goes great with my purple sage t-shirt.

Yes, these are more of my UFO polymer clay beads.
Posted by BeadMam at 10/7/2012 4:01 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
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