Monday, December 12, 2011

Playing with Rocks

So, I'm not really getting into the Christmas spirit this year. I see all the fabulous decorations in my neighborhood and in bloggy-land and am appreciating the Christmas cheer that surrounds me :) You probably won't be seeing any Christmas-related posts from me this year...soooooo...

Now that it's a little too chilly to really do a lot of outside work, I've been working away at some smaller projects inside. Some jewelry projects, some painting, some crafty organizing things. Which one to show you first? Oh, you want to see the jewelry? Well, anything for you :)

I've made a few necklaces for my sisters, nieces, and the neighborhood girls, and they went so well that I got a few requests to create some custom pieces! This is very flattering and I'm honored.

This is what I started with on the first set:

Two pretty rocks that were picked up on a vacation 'up north'...which if you live in Michigan means anywhere north of say Grand Rapids or Flint. For a visual, nothing beats pointing to those cities on my hand...which Wisconsin can't do...Michigan is the Mitten State and we own that one...Wisconsin has cheese heads all wrapped up, so you can't have Mitten State too. (No offense to any cheese heads out there, but c'mon, Wisconsin is not shaped like a mitten.)

Sorry for the blurry picture, but it's tough to take a photo while your two hands are occupied! Grand Rapids is located on the left, Flint on the right. Points are approximate ;)
Ok, geography lesson over; on to the jewelry! 

Since there were no handy dandy holes to thread wire or jump rings through, I had to learn (quickly) how to wire wrap found objects. Off to YouTube for a few pointers and here's the most helpful group of videos. If you want a clear how-to for basic wire wrapping, these are the videos to get you started!

The first stone was wrapped in a fine silver wire, and hung inside a square pendant thingee that I had on hand, and set off with a Swarovski crystal (also on hand):

yep, thats a layer of snow in my backyard - boo! And yes, that's the entire back!

The second stone was freckled and I wanted to try the actual wire wrapping techniques in the video to set it off without covering it. Thank goodness I tend to collect craft items and had 20-gauge silver wire, black necklace cording, and silver ball chain on hand (I know, I know, it's actually called hoarding, but humor me and let me think it's my special ability to know something will be needed for future projects...)

 This was fun to wrap up and add the little scroll 'ears' and really isn't all that hard or time consuming. I encourage you to try it!


Another lovely neighbor wanted me to create a necklace for her little girl out of the beach glass she's collected. Beach glass is so pretty to work with! I might have to get a few more pieces to play with...

She wanted a simple setting and this glass was notched a little, so it didn't need the full cage:

Pretty right? I couldn't resist making another dangle out of a little piece and came up with this:

These can be switched out according to Ella's mood for the day :) I'm so honored to be able to create for other people...and that they like what I come up with! HA!

Plus, now that I have the basics on this, just think of the possibilities for found objects that can be made into jewelry! What would you like to wear as a pendant? I need the practice...and come cheap have extremely reasonable rates :)

Here's a sneak peek of what else I'm working on:


  1. I'm glad I'm not the only blogger not feeling the Christmas decorating jive!

    Super cute jewelry!

  2. I'd rather be from the Mitten state than a Cheese head offense, Cheeseheads...

    You have just rocked my ever-luvin' jewelry makin' world... Those are crazy-beautiful!!!

    Oh, and it's not hoarding until you can't walk through the room and they have to call the fire department to get your butt out cuz it's stuck under a 10 foot pile of boxes... keep on collectin' if yur gonna make freaking awesome jewelry like that...

  3. Wow oh wow! Love your jewelry creations. They are so darn creative, talented and FUN! I love how each piece is unique. No wonder you are getting requests for custom orders :) Keep it up girl!

    I finally put some Christmas stuff up yesterday. When my my youngest daughter gets home from college Wednesday I am putting her to work! I don't like doing it by myself.

  4. wow, you are so very talented!!! I moved to MI about 10 years ago and it sure is nice to be able to use "the hand"! :)

  5. i knew i smelled something else we have in common...not much in the christmas crafty department for me this year.

    love your earthy jewelry... and that you keep surprising me with your secret skills!!

  6. Thank you! This is exactly what I needed. I have some crystals that we dug up from our vacation this summer. I was planning on making one into an ornament for each of my kids, but I've been to chicken to try. I'm going to watch those videos and get started on it. Your necklaces are so cool! You've inspired me.

  7. Hi Jill, congratulations on the beautiful jewelry. It's a great compliment when people ask you if you would make something for them to wear. Thanks for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  8. Wow, Jill, I think I need to follow your blog. I've just read a few posts and am inspired already :) I do wire art myself, but have not yet explored this area of wrapping... can't wait to check out those videos and try it out myself!


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