Design Inspiration: Creations Directly Inspired from Architecture

Creative Inspiration from traveling - Lyndhurst Mansion

One of my most asked questions is where do I get the inspiration for my jewelry.

The easy answer is actually everywhere.  My experience, feelings, things I see, nature, materials themselves, etc., etc. is seen in my creations.

But that answer isn’t particularly helpful.

I started thinking about really how I am inspired and how that translates into my jewelry creations and I realized that I have a lot to say about this.  So I’ve decided to start a series on it.

The series will be on Thursdays from next week on, even though I know today isn’t, in fact, Thursday.

Today we’re starting with direct architecture inspiration.

Lyndhurst Mansion

A couple of years ago my family went to Sleepy Hollow, New York for a Halloween vacation.  Sleepy Hollow is a cute town with lots of history and tons of fun stuff to do around Halloween especially.  The above photo is the Lyndhurst Mansion, which is in a nearby town.  We visited it and it’s beautiful grounds while we were there.

If you’re interested in learning more about Lyndhurst, click here for my husband’s blog.  He actually has several posts about Sleepy Hollow if you want learn more.

Lyndhurst Rose Garden

Outside is this gorgeous rose garden with a pretty gazebo.

Lyndhurst Rose Garden Gazebo

It had this beautiful design.

As you probably know, I love working with wire and I got very inspired by the pattern on the gazebo.

Once I got home I was looking at my photos again and got inspired to make a pair of earrings.

Lyndhurst wire wrapped earrings

They’re not perfect and the perfectionist in my wants to remake these earrings.  (And I probably will soon because now I’m feeling inspired to do that!)

The earrings are very directly inspired by that design in the gazebo.

Lyndhurst Mansion Creative Inspiration

Of course, you can be inspired and influenced by architecture and not have such a direct visible inspiration, but that’s for another day.

How to be Inspired by Architecture & Create a Design Based on It:

  • The most important thing is that you have to be aware of what’s around you.  In my example here I was on vacation so I was probably more observant than I would normally be, but you can find interesting and inspiring shapes all around you.  Just pay attention.
  • Capture your inspiration in some way.  I took a photo of my inspiration to be reminded of it later.  You could also draw a sketch of it to use as inspiration later.
  • In my example, the design was simple and easy to translate into jewelry.  However, you may find something a little more complex.  Simplify it.  Draw a sketch and simplify it so that it’s still obviously inspired by your inspiration, but in a form that you can translate into wire or whatever you plan to do.

Your homework is to get out there and check out the world around you.  Go for a walk being observant and remember your camera and/or sketchpad!


Wire Wrapping For Beginners

Want to start working with wire, but you’re not sure where to start?  Start with Wire Wrapping for Beginners!  Click here to learn more about this eBook or print book.

Earrings Every Day Week 2 Wrap Up

Earrings Every Day Week 2 Wrap up

Week 2 is a wrap for Earrings Every Day Month.  Have you been joining in?  You still can join in here.

This week I’ve made more earrings, as you can see from my earring holder it’s getting fuller and fuller!

Sprial Earrings

And I’m wearing earrings more.  As a jewelry designer I do wear my jewelry every day, but sometimes I overlook earrings to be honest.  This month I’ve been so excited about earrings that I have been wearing them every day, too.

Click here for the Week 1 Wrap up.

We’re moving into our third week and I’m excited about the earring projects this week especially!

And don’t forget, it’s not too late to join in and make earrings for the remainder of the month!  Click here to learn more.

Craft Show Tips: Paperwork Organization

Craft Show Tip:  Paperwork Organization

Today I have another audio craft show tip for you.

I have been finding my need for audio for myself is pretty big:  I listen to audio while I’m doing dishes, cleaning, walking/exercising and when I’m making jewelry and doing other crafts.

So download to your favorite MP3 listening device and work away!  :)

Length:  10:41

Craft Show Paperwork Organization  (<<<<Right click, save as to download)

Craft Show Paperwork Organization (Click to open in a new window and play)

Craft Show Paperwork Organization Notes on the Audio:

In my eBook, Craft Show Tips, the big message is (spoiler alert!) to be prepared and that’s how you will succeed at craft shows.

This is another way to be prepared.

As you may know if you have the eBook or have been reading or listening, you’ve heard me talk about one year that I did a craft show every single weekend (sometimes 2 shows!)  I had to be super organized with paperwork.

Here’s what I did:

  • For each show as I applied I created a file folder and put them in chronological order.
  • I made sure each show was on my calendar.  When I would apply I’d put it on my calendar and then when I was accepted I would mark it that I was accepted so I knew the status.
  • I kept everything I received that was pertinent for the show, such as a copy of the application (you may need to remember important information on the application), a copy of my payment, any correspondence and the vendor packet.  (Sometimes it comes via email, sometimes via mail.  I would print it.  You don’t necessarily have to if you don’t think you’ll need it.)

When the next show was coming up, I created a folder with the three prongs and put sheet protectors in it.  (I actually just used the same one over and over and just put that week’s information in it.)

To be honest, in this day and age having smart phones and tablets with us all the time, this may not be quite as important in the past.  Most shows will email your vendor packet (but not all of them do!)

Customize this list to what you most want in printed form.  Also consider where you’re going – your service might cut out in the most inopportune time!

Here’s what I included in my packet of information:

  • Sheet protectors to keep the information in.
  • Copy of application and copy of payment or receipt for payment for fee.
  • Vendor packet (either printed from email or what they mailed to you)
  • Show coordinator or director’s phone number somewhere handy in case of emergencies.
  • Directions to the show.
  • Any special directions about parking, set up, etc. (which is probably in the vendor packet or on the application)
  • Photos of set up (especially if you’re new and nervous about setting up.  Practice your set up and take photos).
  • Whatever tax ID or business license you have or need to have with you depending on where you are in the world.

Good luck at your next craft show!

Let me know in the comments below if you have any shows coming up or have done any recently!  I’d love to hear how you did.

Want to get weekly craft show tips right in your inbox?  Sign up for my weekly email newsletter!  (Plus get a free packing list when you sign up!)

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ECT TV Episode 26: Bead Link Necklace + Nature Inspiration

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Emerging Creatively Tutorials Episode 26!

In this episode I talk about nature as an inspiration and show you how to make a bead link necklace.

By the way, there is a similar necklace in my Wire Wrapping for Beginners eBook.

Here’s the video:


As you may know if you’ve been following me, I love nature.  I love to be out in it.  This summer has been the summer of waterfalls for my family.

In my jewelry, I love reminders of my time outdoors.  Sometimes I like to make jewelry from things I find in nature or get a shape or color combination from nature.

Today I’m making a necklace with gemstones.  I used to be anti-gemstone for a variety of reasons, but now I really like how grounded they make me feel.  I like to be able to touch a gemstone and be reminded of nature and grounded when I feel it.

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

Tools and Materials:

  • Beads – I used Natural Magnesite Oval Tabular Beads 24mm
  • 20 gauge half-hard round wire (in any metal you like)
  • Chain
  • 3 – 4mm jump rings
  • 2 – 9mm jump rings
  • Lobster clasp
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Bent nose pliers

Step #1

Cut a piece of wire.  It should be a couple of inches longer on each side of the bead.  My wire was 5″ long.

Step #2


Make a mark on your round nose pliers with a sharpie.  You’ll make all of your loops lining up to that mark.  It doesn’t matter exactly where that mark is, but more than you use it for each loop to make them uniform.

See this wire wrapping tip for more help with this.

Step #3

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

Hold the wire in round nose pliers about 1/3 of the way down the wire.  Line up the wire with the mark you made on your round nose pliers.

Step #4

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

Wrap the wire around the round nose pliers forming a loop.

Step #5

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

Straighten the loop so it’s centered on the wire.  In the video I show you how I do this and you can get a better understanding there.

I hold the loop in chain nose pliers and straighten it as I wrap short end of the wire around the long end.

Alternatively, you can leave your round nose pliers in the loop and straighten it by rolling your wrist back a little.

Step #6

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

Hold the loop in chain nose pliers and continue making wraps.  Go around about 3 times and trim off the excess wire.

Step #7

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

Slide the bead on and then repeat to make a wrap on the other side.

Step #8

When making your next bead link, create one full wrap on one side, slide on a bead.  Then create a loop – but don’t close it.  Slide a loop from the previous bead link into the loop.  Then complete the loop.  Continue doing this until you have a strand of beads.  (I used 5 beads)

Step #9

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

Sorry about the lack of photos for finishing this project.  But it’s easy and you can see the steps on the video.  Just add the chain to each end using jump rings.  Then add a lobster clasp to one end and a couple of 9mm jump rings to the other end to complete the necklace.

Wire Wrapped Bead Link Necklace

You could do an entire necklace of just the beads and then add a clasp to the end.

As I mentioned above, a similar necklace (plus many more jewelry projects, techniques and more about jewelry designing!) is part of my Wire Wrapping for Beginners eBook, which you can get here.

If you want a fun Creativity Expedition to go out and be inspired by your surroundings and then learn to make a great bracelet, sign up for my FREE mini eCourse here.

Earrings Every Day Week 1 Wrap Up

Earrings Every Day Month Week 1 Wrap Up

Week #1 of Earrings Every Day Month is in the bag!

If you’ve been making earrings each day, you’ll have 7 new pairs of earrings.  If you’re an overachiever, you may have more.  And maybe you’re having difficulty getting started.

In any case, it’s okay!  You can start right now.

Earrings Every Day Month Week 1 Wrap Up

The photo above is from day one when I made dangle earrings.  I’m wearing these earrings today, by the way and love the beads I used so much I’m going to make some more jewelry to match.

Now I have more earrings:

Earrings Every Day Month Week 1 Wrap Up

I have 9 new pairs of earrings.  My favorites right now are these Turquoise Tier Earrings.

Turquoise Tier Earrings

Turquoise is my favorite and I love the feathers on the bottom as well.

Earrings Every Day Month

Want to play along?  You can sign up for the Earrings Every Day daily emails here.

And you can get the tutorial to make tier earrings plus ideas for customizing them here.