Jewelry Design Inspiration: Strands

Jewerly Design Inspiration - Strands

The question I get most often is where do my design inspirations come from.  So often that I’ve started this Jewelry Design Inspiration feature to hopefully inspire you as well.

Today’s inspiration:  Strands.

Specifically bead strands.

I wrote about playing with materials previously and there are some inspiring ideas for you there about materials.

Today I want to talk about strands of beads.

When I started making jewelry even as a kid what I loved most about it was the beads.  If you’ve been following me awhile you’ve heard the story about how I had this pink unicorn bag (it was a cute little duffel bag shaped purse) where that was just full of beads.  They were all mixed up and in rainbow colors.

When I was moving many years later I found that bag again and started making jewelry again.  Then I started finding all the gorgeous beads there were and I was completely hooked.

How to make a double strand bracelet

Now you can find all shapes, sizes and colors of beads.  It’s almost overwhelming.  If you shop online you can find everything.  But for me there’s nothing like going to a store or bead festival and being able to see the beads up-close and being able to touch them.  (I have to say, I mostly shop online now.  And there is also nothing like getting that package in the mail!  LOL.)

How to Make a Stretch Bracelet

The very first thing I learned to do was to make a stretch bracelet as a child.  It’s the first thing I teach to new jewelry makers, too because you can make a gorgeous bracelet without any special jewelry making tools.

The very next thing?  Simple stringing, which is simply stringing beads on some beading wire and crimping the end to make a necklace or bracelet.  I made jewelry like this for many years before I discovered the wonderful world of wire wrapping.

How to Make a Multi-Strand Bracelet

The multi-strand bracelet above is still one of my most popular tutorials.  Once you have conquered crimp beads this bracelet is simple (that doesn’t mean easy necessarily and it’s certainly time consuming.)  It is also gorgeous.

Multi-Strand Bracelet with Button Accent Tutorial

My inspiration for that bracelet?  Those gorgeous strands of beads.  They are just seed beads.  When I purchased them they were in several strands (like you see above) and looked so beautiful.  I knew I actually wanted to keep the look of all the strands next to each other like how I purchased them.

There are many ways you can use strands in your jewelry designs.  You can simply make a single strand where the focus is the beads.

Simple Stringing Tutorial

Stringing can also free you up to make “intuitive jewelry” where you simply choose some beads and start stringing.

Intuitive Necklace

Double the strands in a Double Strand Bracelet.

How to make a double strand bracelet

Then you can start to get more creative and fun with strands.

These three projects are all from my eCourse Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry:

Loop Necklace Tutorial

Loop Necklace Tutorial

2 Strand Necklace with chains

2 Strand earrings

To learn simple stringing, click here for my free tutorial.

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Creativity and finding it again (it’s in there!)

CreativityCreativity is one of those words that gets thrown around and people have different definitions and ideas about what it means.

*  I have been told I’m creative even when I definitely didn’t feel it.

*  I have been told I’m not creative even when I definitely was.

Everyone is creative in some way.  It’s in the way you solve problems, manage your household, cook meals or maybe it’s in your paintings or photography.

All of us are creative as children and I think that’s because our fears aren’t blocking our creativity yet.  No one has told us that our work is not good enough and we haven’t faced the cold, harsh reality of others’ fears and criticisms getting in our way.

The great thing is we can find our way to creativity again.  You can shove those fears aside and get creative.

For example, I always thought I couldn’t cook or that it wasn’t for me.  I can’t exactly remember where I got that idea to be honest.  But this past year I have made all kinds of things I would have never attempted previously.  I no longer think that I can’t cook and I actually really like to cook.

Creativity QuoteThe same is true with anything.  I somewhere got into my head that painting was something I could not do.  It’s something my more creative friends did.  When I finally tried painting and loved it.  Now painting is something I regularly do and this year it’s something I want to do even more of!

Sometimes you just need to give something a little try.  Make mistakes.  Make gorgeous mistakes and learn what you love and how you can creativity make it your own.  There isn’t one right way to do anything.  That’s what creativity is!

What is something that you always wanted to do but never did because you ~ were told you couldn’t ~ felt like you weren’t talented enough ~ felt like you weren’t creative enough ~ felt like you weren’t good enough?

Think deep down:

  • Did you always want to write a novel?
  • Did you always want to take photography?
  • Did you always want to draw?
  • Did you always want to make jewelry?

Now try it!  Don’t use excuses like money or lack of knowledge.  You can find everything you need to know right here on the internet and you can find ways around expensive equipment (you can borrow or rent a lot of things!)

Once you get the basic techniques down, it’s time to get more creative!

What exactly do I mean by that?

Well, put your own flair to it.  Change it up.  Do it in a different way.  One of my biggest thrills in teaching people how to make jewelry is to see how different they make from my original idea.

How are you going to be creative?

Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry

If you’re looking to rediscover your creativity, I have just the thing for you!

My Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry eCourse takes you through creativity prompts, jewelry making skills lessons and then jewelry projects.

It’s a six week eCourse and it’s only available once or twice a year.  (Click here to find out when it’s happening next!)

This is my most popular eCourse.  It’s a lot of fun and you get lots of tips, jewelry making lessons, jewelry projects and creativity prompts.

To learn more, click here.

Allow Yourself to Make Mistakes

Creativity QuoteI spent a lot — a lot — of years afraid of making mistakes and allowing that to keep me from creating art.

When I was in high school and college, music was my life.  To me, it made sense.  You practice really hard and then you could play a piece perfectly.  Yes, I also did play the saxophone and yes, that did require some soul and some improvision, but to me, that was still just part of a formula.  If I was in a jazz band and had a improvisional solo, I still knew what key to play in, what speed and what the general melody I was riffing on.

Art never felt that way to me.

I tried to take an art class in high school, but I quickly dropped it when I couldn’t do it perfectly.  I didn’t know back then that it didn’t have to be perfect.  I never had just painted or done a drawing for the fun of it, although I always wanted to be “good at drawing.”

Since I wouldn’t allow myself to make mistakes, I never made art.

When I finally started painting and then discovered acrylic paints, I realized that I am a painter and that I actually am a creative person.  We all are, if we just allow ourselves to be.

Making jewelry is the same thing.  Yes, there are certain skills and tools.  You can follow patterns and instructions.  But you will make mistakes.  And mistakes will most certainly be the way that you discover a new technique or a new way of doing something.

Now, not all mistakes are going to be beautiful pieces of art.  Sometimes it just turns into a giant mess and you should move on.  (And take what you learned from that mess and make something amazing.)

But oftentimes, mistakes are exactly what you need to make your masterpiece.  Figuring out when you embrace your mistakes and when to let them go is really the key to becoming a jewelry artist!


Ready to get creative AND learn new jewelry techniques, and make some expressive creative jewelry?  Pop your email address in the box below and I’ll let you know when my new free mini eCourse about just that is ready!!

How to be Creative when you Feel Burned Out

Nature Walk


Sometimes I feel a little burned out.  I feel tired and stuck.  I have something that I know I want to create, but I just can’t quite figure it out.

I think we all get that way, whether we feel we are creative or not.

Yesterday I felt that way.  I couldn’t exactly find my focus and I was trying to push myself to find it.

Then I watched these Creativi – Tea videos about your inner artist by Jani Franck.  Then I took a nap and while falling asleep I sort of daydreamed about the solution to my problem.  (Honestly, I didn’t particularly come up with anything while I was daydreaming.)

Then I took a short walk to a little park nearby.  I took a bunch of photos and made a video about it:

After the walk I pulled out a sketchpad and some sharpies and brainstormed ideas.



I had so many ideas and the solution to my creative problem!

Here’s why I think it worked:

  • Jani is amazing and inspiring.  
  • I was exhausted.  So I took a nap.  While falling asleep I focused on the problem and maybe my subconscious started to work it out.
  • I got out of my normal environment (the walk.)
  • My normal medium, as you know, is jewelry.  I do often journal and I often take photos, too. However, this time (and I think Jani mentioned this) I was thinking about the actual feeling — the sense of touch.  How the camera shutter felt when I took the photos.  How the sharpies felt on the sketch paper.  Somehow that also opened my mind up.  Plus just doing something outside your norm can help shake you up creatively.

Are you struggling with something right now?  Feeling burned out?  Feel like you’re missing   something creatively.  Try one of the options I did.  Take a walk, take a nap, daydream, grab some markers or colored pencils and give it a try.

And that thing that I mentioned I’m creating?  It’s a gift for you!  I’ll be working on it.  Make sure you’re the first to know when it’s done!  Pop your email in the box below to join my exclusive mailing list:

Subscribe to our mailing list

Business Plan Scrapbook eWorkshop

Here’s me trying to tell you about my all new eWorkshop:

I’m so very excited to share this brand new eWorkshop with you:  Business Plan Scrapbook eWorkshop.

I have been in business for years, and for years I have written a business plan because that’s what they told me to do.  I had a template (a lot of which didn’t particularly make sense to me) and filled it out the best I could.

I printed it, put it in a file folder and filed it away, never to be seen again.

What’s the point of that, really?  I didn’t need a loan, I wasn’t going for government grants and I wasn’t looking for investors.  Why did I need a business plan?  Well, I obviously didn’t get it back then.

I would revise it maybe one or so a year, and then return it to its folder.

Until last year when I had a realization:  I wasn’t using the business plan because I didn’t create it for me to use.  I created it for someone else to use, except no one else really needed to use it.  I did.

I thought about what would make me want to look at it and use it more often.  It had to have sections that were helpful to me.  It had to be cute.  It had to be something I would actually want to look at – not a boring word doc on my computer or in a file folder.

Then I had a brilliant idea:  Paper bag scrapbook!  It would be fun to make and it has tons of pockets to stash stuff in.

Some parts I still printed on my computer, but I then glued it and embellished the heck out of it.

Guess what?  I used my business plan last year.  I checked in with who my target market was, I followed my promotions.  Etc.

Now I want to show you how to do this.

Business Plan Scrapbook eWorkshop 3

This is for you if:

  • You’re a creative type who doesn’t find it fun to plug a bunch of info into a document;
  • You don’t need to show your business plan to anyone for funding (they are particular about business plans.  This isn’t a plan that will help you with that!)
  • You want to make your vision for your business clearer.
  • You want to grow your business.
  • You love to craft!

This is a self-paced, work at your own speed workshop, which includes videos of how to actually make the scrapbook and PDF sheets to help you with the business plan part of it.

You’ll get:

  • PDF worksheets to work out your business plan.
  • Then you get video tutorials to learn how to make a paper bag scrapbook.
  • A PDF with everything and access to the eWorkshop site that also has everything that you can access anytime.

Business Plan Scrapbook eWorkshop

How it works:

When you purchase the eWorkshop, you’ll receive a PDF with everything you need to log in and gain access to the eWorkshop site!

If you have ANY questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me:

Click Here to learn more and purchase.