Saturday, 15 September 2012


Jewellery making is a unique way to allow your creativity to come to light and design something that suits you and your style.  As a beginner, you make take a little longer to find the right colours for you piece of new jewellery, but make sure you choose colours that don’t clash.  Find colours that compliment you – and the only way to do that is to experiment with colours.

Colours can be difficult especially when you don’t know what colours suit you.  But it is entirely up to you.  You may like clashes of colour or you may like pastel colours.  Be free and explore the potential.
Designs are the hardest to come by.  When I began jewellery making, I was trying to think of a new way to design jewellery pieces – in a way that hasn’t been done before.  It is surely brain-aching.  But who knows, let you mind explore the possibilities of shapes and lengths when designing your pieces.

Also, jewellery making takes time.  Patience is key.  The more you practice the quicker you become.  So get started and in the beginning it may take 3hours to create a necklace but a year later it may take only half an hour.  Earrings in the beginning can take an hour, but more experience changes that into only 5mins.  You become more skilled in your jewellery making, and your knowledge of how to make something is working faster, therefore your hands are working faster. 

Out of all of this, jewellery making needs to be unique.  When I began I started trying to copy what was being sold in the shops and then selling it at the same price, but no one seemed interested.  So I began looking at other people’s jewellery pieces that were handmade and I was amazed.

I was amazed at how original their pieces were.  I thought to myself – I would buy something like that.  It got me thinking...make something that is unique to others and that you can’t find anywhere else and then that is when true unique styles start evolving.  It is good to get ideas from others, but avoid by all means in copy everything about theirs – give it a new twist, could be something the other designers hadn’t thought of and that you could add to your creations.  It’s what makes your work unique.

In the end, enjoy everything that you do: explore colours, come up with crazy designs, have patience, and most of all be UNIQUE.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Hi dear readers,

Well, I did manage to finish my next project.

Here is a little step by step guide on its process:

I began with two tiger tail strands; one green and one copper colour.  Working from the centre, my bright selection of glass beads form little circles; from small to large.

I wanted to go for a very summer touch and named this necklace 'Colour-Me'.

Here are some closer images of the final join before heading off the rest of the necklace design.

The finale:
The piece is complete with its beautiful array of summer colours.

I can create the same design with any other colour(s).  

If someone loves this design but prefers it in solid blue or gold or black or even white - it can be done.

The only challenge I found in making this piece was trying to put the two tiger tail wire through a size 11.0 seed bead.

Otherwise it took me only an hour to create this piece.

I decided to make this necklace into a set, and added another family member; some earrings.

Orange is a good strong colour in this selection, and these earrings will be ideal for any hair lengths or hair colours; as the earrings will be easily seen.

The beads are mostly cats-eyed beads which really reflect perfectly with any light and particularly sunlight.

Here is the final set all completed.

Please let me know what you think - all comments are welcome.

A couple of pictures showing my design, measurements and layout.
To be honest, I've never drawn designs before.  This is my first time ever and I have to say it is a good idea.

Happy Beading
xxx ValbiesJ xxx

Hi all dear readers,

It's now 15:50 in the UK and the sun is still out, which is always a good thing.

Despite it being late in the afternoon and I'll probably have to start cooking soon, I'm going to begin my next project with another necklace.

The design I drew yesterday.

I was going to complete it yesterday, but the 'tassel-me-softly' necklace got the better of me :)

So now, I'm going to give this one a go.

But the weirdest thing about today is, is that it feels like I've skipped about 5months ahead and landed in the UK June's summertime.

Yip, it's that warm here in the UK in February.  It's supposed to be freezing, not chilly.

Happy Beading
xxx ValbiesJ xxx
Smashing Red

I began this project yesterday.  I seem to be loving red this week or just in general, not sure yet.  But I wanted to make a necklace in red, but I didn't want to create the typical cliche colour necklace of white/red, which spells Valentines Day all over it, or black/red - boring, green/red - too Chrismassy, yellow/red - child's playground.

So I began by taking out all the red glass beads I had from breaking down a lot of my old jewellery yesterday, and just laid them out to see what I could come out with.

These are the beads I chose for this necklace, a nice variety.

As you can see, red is certainly in your face.  It's too overwhelming and somehow I need to soften its brazenness.

But first of all let me see if I can come up with a layout design.

Originally, I was going to attempt creating a layered necklace, but instead this is what I got.

 Tassel-me-softly necklace.

I thought it would be a more comfortable and casual design for ladies to wear for the early summer days to come.

But still you can see it is 'way' too red.
Here are all my beads still in the queue for their place in the new 'tassel-me-softly' necklace design.

 Here is a close up of some of the new coloured beads I've placed in the necklace, and some silver charms.

Purple and red are relatively close in the scheme of colours, and it helps to break the redness a bit.

Things seem to be lightening up now.

Last night I managed to get this far.  I began working on my jewellery since 8:30am and by 6pm (no break) I got a tad bit tired.  I tend to get a bit involved when I start creating something.
 By 11:30am today I managed to finish my piece, which began at 8:30 this morning.

How I have to figure out how much this cost me to make, but I want have a competition with all you lovely readers.
Carry on reading to find out more - a prize will be won.

The centre-piece

 A close-up image

Time for the competition.  All is required is for you to guess how much you think this necklace is worth. The person with the closest answer will win a free pair of hand-made red Swarovski crystal earrings worth £11.  The competition will begin today and will close Monday morning by 9am.  I will announce the winner on Facebook.    Just send a comment on this blog or on Valbies Jewellery Facebook page with the answer, along with the code 'tassel-me-softly competition'.  *A picture of the prize is further down the page- feel free to have a look, and have a  go.  It's all in the name of fun and you get a free pair of earrings if you win.

Here are my measurements of the necklace and layout design I had created.

*The competition prize - have a go :) x

Happy Beading
ValbiesJ xxx


Again yesterday I had to break-down some of my pieces simply because I wasn't happy with them.  Some pieces needed some sprucing up.  This is what happens when you improve in your jewellery making.  You will take a look at some of your older pieces and nearly die at how bad your skills were at that time.
In jewellery making there is always room for improvement.

Here is one example.  I made this bracelet about 1 1/2 years ago, and this was the end result.  Now you must understand, I thought this was a perfect piece at the time.

There were several things that I wanted to improve.  After trying it on I realised it was too big.  The clasp didn't seem to match the style I was going for; classic and elegant.  And lastly, there was just too much wire wrapping that needed to be condensed.

So I literally just cut the bracelet up and took it apart; back to it's bare basics.

I measured each wiring for about 6.5cm long, which gives enough wire to play with and not to waste too much.

As you can see in the background, some of the bracelet had been done already.  I begin by giving myself about an inch or so to wire wrap the one end.  

Here you can see how much less wire wrapping I decided to do; compared to my previous wire wrapping episodes.

Here my pale green rondelle crystal bead has been added, but I also added some shiny 2mm spacer beads to give a little more depth to the bracelet, instead of an empty "plain-Jane".

Then in the end you have the finished result.  It does look a lot better than the previous year old design.  Jewellery making always needs improvement.

Here's a close-up image.

The new length. A perfect 7in fit.

Doesn't it look lovely?

Please feel free to let me know what you think.

Happy Beading
ValbiesJ xxx

Yesterday I started taking the initiative in getting on with making jewellery and creating designs, colours and textures that are different to the normal kind of jewellery.

About a week ago I went off to Ikea and took what little money I had left to find myself a new table to work on.  I completely tranformed our bedroom (since I'm living with my parents) to create a space for my jewellery making.

I threw out an oldish Ikea draw set and replaced it with a table for only £15 from Ikea (thanx Ikea).  Finally I made a space for me.  Here take a look.

As you can see, if you look closely, I'm already laying out an idea to get myself started.  For the past week I really wanted to create a set of red earrings, and I just recently purchased some red glass seed beads size 11.  Then I stared at the little gold glass sitting near the lamp and begin thinking - loop earrings.  

My second earring project was going to involve using crystals, and I'm usually unsure about using crystals only because they are so beautiful and I feel you need to get the colours right or else it will look tacky and cheap.

Step One:  Preparation
Anyway, below is an image of the beads I want to use for my first earrings project.  Solid silver-plated leaves, and rose spacers.  Red glass seed beads size 11.0, 4mm glass pearl baby blue beads, and a red metallic rose.  Obviously, don't forget other findings like wiring, and earring loops.

Here is my crafting wire 26 gauge soft.  I would suggest using a slightly harder wire and thicker; maybe a 24 gauge wire instead.

Step Two: Shaping
The purpose of my golden glass we to create the loop I need to make the earring design I want.  All I did was simple wrap the wire around the bottom of the glass and measured to a size I felt comfortable working with.
You can adjust to the length of wire that makes you comfortable in using.  There is no right or wrong answer - unless, of course, you decide to measure a ridiculous amount of 20cm long and then I'm just going to shake my head.

Here is an example of my "wrap around the glass" measurement.  You can clearly see it isn't 20cm long.

Step Three: Design & Layout
All you need to do now is think.  Think carefully about how you would like to layout your new design.  Here is an example of my design.

Now that my design is done and I'm happy with it, it's time for me to bring the two ends together and finish the earring.  To be honest, this process can be frustrating and annoying.  At the start of it my methods of getting the two ends together got all a bit messy - but I can assure you that practice does make perfect.  Here is what I ended up with.

Step Four: The Finished Design
The outcome looks pretty good and I really love the colours and design.  The main reason I challenged myself this task was because I was shopping in BHS with my fiancĂ©e and found myself near the jewellery stand; where I found a pair of earrings in this shape but the design was simpler, using only small glass bicone beads and guess what BHS were charging? (Send a comment and tell me what you think BHS charged for a pair of earrings similar to these.  Then tell me the price you would be willing to pay for these earrings - be honest - me love honesty.)

Now for my 2nd project.  The steps are exactly the same - the only change you will be making is the bead type, design and layout.  I'm challenging myself to crystals.  Orange rondelle Czech crystals, pale green bicone Czech crystals, the lovely silver-plated leaves again, and 2mm silver spacer beads.

Here is my end result.  It ended up being a totally different design to what I thought.  When it comes to making jewellery, sometimes the jewellery itself chooses to make something instead.  If you do ever try fight it - it can be overwhelming (I speak from experience).  I always allow the jewellery to speak for itself.  That's what makes hand-made more unique.

I have to say, they do look very pretty - let me know what you think and again tell me how much you think these earrings are worth.

My adventures and challenges will continue - look forward to the next chapter.

Happy Beading
ValbiesJ xxx

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Hiya all dear Jewellery makers and readers,

I apologise for not updating my blog for a very long time, but so much has happened.

I've managed to get involved in holding jewellery making classes that will begin in March 2012.  So if you're interested I'll let you know more about it :)

But I'll do my best to keep you all posted.

Thanx so much for reading and if you want to keep posted then just click 'Join this site' icon :)