Saturday, November 19, 2011

Making Jewelry: The Tools I Use

I get a lot of questions from people about my jewelry -- how I make it, whether I bend the wire by hand, if I use tools. I do use tools, though there are times when I bend the wire by hand, if I'm able. But if you want to get started with making jewelry, here are some basic tools to have. You can order beginner jewelry kits online and most have just what you need.

1. Round nose pliers: These have a rounded tip and are great for making loops. They're a necessity for things like floral designs and spirals.

2. Flat nose pliers: These have a flat tip and are great for squeezing things tight. I also use them for making angles, like in my square and triangle pieces. Plus, they're useful for straightening wire.

3. Flush cutters: I use wire cutters that cut on the flush; this way, the wire isn't jagged at the end. You definitely need quality wire cutters because if you try to cut with a regular scissors, you won't get an even cut.

4. Heavy duty wire cutter: I have a much stronger cutter for snipping 14 gauge wire, which is tough! It's good to have different sizes for different sized wire.

5. File: Always file the ends of the wire so it's not sharp. You don't want to stick yourself or someone else. Trust me, it hurts!

6. Wire (duh): I like to use 20 gauge silver plated for most projects, but I'll sometimes use softer (22-28 gauge) or harder (18-14 gauge) if a piece calls for it. For instance, I'll use very hard 14 gauge to make a thick pendant, but will use 28 gauge to connect a stone. I like to use 18 gauge for bracelets because it's flexible, but holds well.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

Silver Abstract Earrings With Purple Stones

Often, when I'm making jewelry my pieces kind of "make themselves." Sometimes I have a very clear idea in mind for a piece, but other times, I'll just kind of bend the wire and the design will surprise me. This is the case with these silver earrings.

I had some leftover silver wire -- not enough to make a necklace or bracelet and I didn't want to waste it. So I began playing around with it and ended up with this weird, envelope-looking shape. When I showed it to my friend who was visiting, she liked it and suggested that I add a stone. She chose purple, her favorite.

The biggest challenge in this was getting the second earring to match the first. It's one thing to randomly bend wire and come up with something cool. But it becomes more challenging when you have to copy that randomness and make it look even! It took a few tries, but I finally got it and these earrings were born.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

Bridal Necklace: Swarovski Crystal Pearl Necklace With Silver Flowers

I was inspired to make this necklace by a friend who loves antique jewelry. She asked if I could make something that looked vintage, which is when I came up with this idea.

I originally set out to make a bib necklace comprised of wire flowers with Swarovski crystal pearls in the center. However, as I created it, I decided that the wire daisies would look better as a smaller pendant. With the way they're connected, they resemble a lace doily -- which to me, always reminds me of my Grandma's home.

The rest of the necklace is fairly simple; I strung some Swarovski crystal pearls and connected them with floral accents. I really like how it came out, though, and think that it does look like a piece that my Grandma would've worn or that you'd find in an antique shop. It's a pearl necklace plus.

What's great about this piece is that it works as a wedding necklace or with a casual outfit. It would work really well with a sweater set. Pearls are great because they're so versatile, both in wearing them and when it comes to incorporating them into jewelry.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Asymmetrical Silver Necklace With Swarovski Crystal Pearls

I'm not sure what the inspiration was behind this crazy-looking piece. I kind of wanted to do something off-kilter and a little wacky. I'd just gotten a shipment of Swarovski crystal pearls and wanted to use them in an unusual way, not just strung along a necklace.

I began making spirals, not sure where they would head and eventually came up with this funky-looking necklace. Instead of putting the pendant in the center, I attached a bunch of smaller spirals and then wove the little pearls through them. I think it looks like a solar system with a bunch of planets and moons in orbit. It's very space age.

At a recent craft fair, people weren't sure what to make of it, but I like it. I think it's cool. Maybe it's not the most functional piece, but it's my attempt of using jewelry to make some modern art.

What do you think it looks like?

To buy my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

Craft Fair Etiquette

This past weekend, I sold my goods at the Farmingdale Street Fair. There was a large crowd, but it was hot as hell and we stupidly didn't bring a tent. Still, I made a few sales and many complimented my work. That's always nice to hear, even if those people didn't buy anything.

Unfortunately, I encountered many rude and annoying people during this particular fair. There was the one woman who broke a bracelet after trying to put it on without unclasping it first. Don't do that! Ask the vendor for help if you're not sure how to wear a piece. I should've charged her, but decided ton not make a scene. Luckily, I had my tools on hand so I could fix it.

Another woman tried on a necklace that had an obvious pendant, then placed it back on the display upside-down. Again, ask for help or take the time to think. It's jewelry, not rocket science.

I'm sorry if I sound so crabby because I really do appreciate every sale I make. But you have to understand that it takes hours for me to construct these pieces. I don't just assemble ready-made parts; I try to make everything from the chain to the jumprings to the clasp.

Next time you attend a craft fair, be mindful of the vendor and think about how much work went into their merchandise. Please make sure that you treat them -- and their goods -- with respect.

To buy my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wire Wrapped Stone: Pink Marble With Swarovski Pearls

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was play with my dad's rock collection. He was a science teacher for a while and had a wonderful geology set with pieces of quartz, agate and other beautiful stones and rocks. I loved going through them and admiring the colors and textures.

These days, my 4-year-old niece is the one who is into rocks! She already has a geology set and loves the gems and minerals exhibit and the Museum of Natural History in New York City.

I don't have a geology set anymore, but I still appreciate the beauty of a stone. When I saw this pink marble, I fell for the color and slightly rough texture. I liked how when you look closely at it, you can see darker pinks, peaches and whites.

I decided to turn it into a pendant, but didn't want to hide the natural beauty so I did a very simple wire wrap on it. The two Swarovski crystal pearls dress it up enough so that it can be worn with a fancy or casual outfit.

To buy my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

Silver Bridal Teardrop Necklace With Swarovski Crystals

I love weddings and have been fortunate enough to have had several this year. It's funny because I'm 37 and most of our friends are married so I wasn't expecting to have so many at once. But it seems like all of our remaining single friends decided to wed at the same time. I'm all for parties and happy occasions so I've had fun celebrating with them.

A big part of weddings, of course, is the bride's jewelry. Attending so many nuptials inspired me to create a wedding series, which I based somewhat on my friends' gowns. The trick with wedding jewelry is that you want it to be gorgeous, but it shouldn't overshadow the dress. It should enhance the gown and fit the style.

I designed this teardop necklace to be worn with either a strapless gown or one with a sweetheart neckline. It hangs above the cleavage line so it's the perfect fit for that type of dress. The design is very simple, but ends up creating a complex line that looks almost like waves or feathers on a peacock.

To make this necklace, I sculpted each teardrop, beginning with the crystal. First, I wire wrapped the Swarovski crystal, then shaped the silver into the teardrop. I added a pendant with three crystals in the center and finished off the chain with larger Swarovski crystals.

The look is classic and elegant -- but a little funky, too! Plus, it's affordable. Perfect for any bride who wants to look her best, but not blow a fortune on wedding bling.

To buy my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mixed Metal Brass, Silver And Copper Mesh Bracelet

Sorry for the long break between posts, but I've been busy getting ready for my next craft show, which is on May 1. This weekend, I made seven new items: two bracelets, two pairs of earrings and three necklaces. I'm trying to add some more variety to my inventory so that I can appeal to more tastes. Hopefully, I'll have more success at this show than I did at the last one.

Many of the items I made this weeked contained mixed metals. I absolutely love the way that different metals look together -- silver and gold, brass and bronze, copper and silver ... there's just something elegant about metals and when you combine them, they really go well together.

For the bracelet pictured on this page, I went with a mesh design and attached each link so the lattice looks like a continuous piece. I alternated the brass, silver and gunmental (copper) links to create the pattern and what I love about it is that even though I only used three colors, it comes off looking like more. Also, in some lights the colors appear to change; when paired with the brass and silver, for example, the gunmetal almost looks red.

The really great thing about mixed metals is that they go well with everything. You can wear this bracelet with an evening gown or with jeans and a T-shirt -- and it'll look beautiful in both cases.

I'd eventually love to learn some soldering skills so that I can combine metals in other ways. But for now, I'm having a good time experimenting with different types of metal wire.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My First Craft Fair, a.k.a. Tales From The Dark Side

Today was a big day, my first craft fair. As you can guess from my blog entry title, it had its ups and downs.

Jon and I got up at the butt crack of dawn to get to this thing. I figured that it would take me a while to set up my jewelry, so we got to the lot about two hours before the event. Many other vendors were there already, so there was a festive spirit in the air. Unfortunately, there was also a lot of wind, so my stuff kept blowing over. We attempted to put up a tent, but the entire thing blew away, so we didn't bother. We then tried to hold down my displays with masking tape and rocks, but even then, the strong winds would knock down my things.

Still, I was determined to make the best of things even though I was freezing my ass off, tired and annoyed that my jewelry was getting tangled by the wind. But I tried to enjoy myself. I chatted with other vendors, I ate some yummy chocolate pretzels ... I people watched. There were a few other jewelry booths there, but I seemed to be the only person selling original, handmade stuff.

At 10 a.m., the fair officially opened, but there was very little traffic. Everyone said it was because of the chilly weather and the fact that it's the beginning of the craft fair season. Either way, it was frustrating. A few people glanced at my booth, but didn't say anything. I sat and shivered because I was so cold.

Around noon, things perked up. My parents stopped by to say hello, though they didn't buy anything. Then my friend's little sister came by. She's been meaning to purchase my jewelry online and decided to see my stuff in person instead. She liked a bracelet ... but didn't have money. I put it on hold for her.

Later, people finally began to stop by. I had many potential buyers compliment my pieces and my talent, and ask for a card, but I think my prices (which honestly weren't that high) scared them off. I lowered them a bit for the next interested parties and one woman came close to buying a necklace. But then her evil friend said that the Swarovski beads looked like plastic. There went my sale.

Many more people came by to look and take a card. See, I don't get this. I'm the type of person who either buys something or doesn't, so I don't see why they have to wander around until they make up their minds. Needless to say, no one came back. I have a feeling that my business cards will end up in the garbage, but I'm hopeful. One lady asked me to hold a necklace and earring set for her granddaughter and promised to return. She didn't. Another woman asked if she could buy just one earring. I was willing to bargain it, but she decided not to.

Finally, FINALLY, the crowd began to pick up around 3:30, and a woman bought two pairs of earrings from me. That was my only sale for the day. But I did learn some things. A) I need to lower my prices, especially for the second show I have coming up. B) I need to talk to the customers more; they seem to like that C) Some vendors told me that this particular company doesn't get good crowds, which I saw today. So I need to find a company that does better advertising.

The bad news is, I didn't make much money. But the good news is that people seemed to really like my work. They called it "unique" and "so pretty" and kept saying that I was talented. Many said that they liked that it's different from the average jewelry out there. So I think that with better advertising and lower prices, I'll have a better time at the next show. Glad I got this one out of the way!

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Abstract silver necklace with Swarovski crystals

Sometimes I feel as if I have a secret identity. While I haven't hidden the fact that I make jewelry from anyone at work, I don't really go around talking about it either. A few people know about my outside interest -- I did make my boss some earrings for her birthday -- but I don't bring it up that often. That said, a bunch of my colleagues were surprised today when I clued them into my Facebook page for Naomi's Designs.

I hadn't planned on mentioning it, but the woman next to me wanted me to "Like" her FB page. I replied that I would if she liked mine (which she did). She and the woman across were surprised to hear of my new venture and had a lot of questions about it.

It's kind of cool having a bunch of different "personalities." There's Work Naomi, who writes for a TV magazine, and Writer Naomi, who keeps several blogs. Then there's Musician Naomi and now Jewelry Maker Naomi. Sometimes they cross over -- as in this blog -- but mainly, I keep them pretty separate. Though when I play flute at my friend's wedding this summer I'll probably wear my own jewelry, so I guess those two aspects of myself will meet up.

I think that everyone needs some different personalities. If you do the same thing all the time or are only known for one thing, life can get pretty boring. So I encourage anyone reading this to try a new skill, whether it be a sport or gardening or making jewelry. You just never know if you'll like something until you try.

Now that you've met my mulitple personalities, here's a fitting necklace for the day: my abstract silver necklace with Swarovski crystals. To make this, I basically played around with wire, bending it into all different kinds of shapes. I then added multi-colored crystals. I was trying to make a Picasso-looking item, but well, it's hard to mimic Picasso. Still, I like it and have decided to call my art, "Naomism." Not sure what that says about my personalities, but I'm confident that it's positive!

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Silver and brass braided bangle bracelets

It's less than two weeks until my first craft fair and I can't wait! Slowly, everything is coming together. I ordered a professionally made sign, as well as some cool-looking display items. I think my jewelry is pretty; hopefully, others will, too, and will actually buy my items.

One of the items I'll be selling are these twin bangle bracelets. I'm always trying to learn new techniques and practiced braiding wire. I haven't braided anything in ages; in fact, I think the last braid I made was in my Barbie's hair back when I was a kid. Plus, wire isn't really soft like hair. Still, the braiding came back to me and I successfully made these silver and brass bracelets. Each is very thin and delicate on its own, so I think they work better as a pair. You can even wear two brass or two silver, or multiples of each, but I like the silver/brass combo.

Though the show is coming up soon, I haven't made a lot of new items. I have over 100 pieces, though, a nice inventory. I just wish it would be time for my grand opening already....

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gold square pendant on silk, black cord

Sometimes simple is best. That's the case with this gold square pendant. I was looking to make something fun, but elegant and a little abstract. So I let my wire do the talking and ended up with this cool square spiral shape.

People often ask where I get my ideas for my jewelry pieces. This blog is a long, drawn out answer to that question, but a lot of times, I'm inspired by a pattern or by nature. I like clean, geometric shapes, which is why so much of my work consists of spirals or loops or triangles or squares. And I like modern art, which is why a lot of my work is kind of abstract.

When it comes to handling tough 14 gauge wire -- as this pendant is -- usually I'll start to twist it and see where it ends up. It's kind of fun not having a plan and letting the wire take me on an "adventure." It's a little like sculpting; I still marvel at the fact that I can turn an ordinary piece of wire into this attractive finished product.

In other jewelry news, my booth umbrella arrived today. I thought that this thing was going to be light and compact and well, it's not. It's huge! I had it delivered to my office and our mail guy brought over this box that was literally as tall as me. He was like, "Uh, what do you want me to do with this?" and I was like, "Ummmmmmm....." I ended up removing it from its box and placing it on the side of my cubicle, but honestly, I don't think we're going to be able to carry this thing with us. Guess I'll have to function without shade. It shouldn't be too hot in April, anyway.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Silver wire dangling triangle earrings

This morning, I ordered supplies for my upcoming craft fairs. It's amazing what types of things you can get just to display jewelry. They sell necklace displays that look like disembodied heads and bracelet racks that resemble disembodied hands. I haven't made anklets for this show, but I suppose they have foot-shaped displays, as well. If you want, you can create a creepy Dali-esque set-up comprised of various body parts.

I settled for earring and bracelet trees, as well as some necklace displays (that don't look like heads). I also ordered a tent to provide some shade and make my booth look more like a store. I'm pretty excited about the whole set-up. I'm proud of the jewelry that I've made and am looking forward to showing it to the world.

One of the pairs of earrings I'll be displaying are these fun triangle earrings. I like them because they're elegant and modern, and look like they could be in the MoMA. They're long so they're a little out-there, but aren't completely over-the-top.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Silver wire earrings with yellow Swarovski crystals

One of the great things about jewelry is that it's not only beautiful, but often has a memory attached. I'm sure most of us can recall the first piece of jewelry we received or the first that we gave someone. That's what I hope my jewelry does for people. I want to know that my pieces are bringing a positive experience to the wearer and that they'll be able to associate my bracelets or necklaces with an event like say, a friend's wedding or a baby's Christening.

This has got me thinking of some of my favorite jewelry memories. I've never been gung ho about getting expensive jewelry, even when it came to my engagement ring. But I've still always had a liking for fun, creative pieces and do have a few items that are very important in my life.

1. My double heart necklace. This was the very first present I ever received from a boy. I was in the second grade and had a crush on a boy in my class, Chris. Well, I was shocked when he handed me a small package at our class Christmas party. It was wrapped in holiday paper, but since I'm Jewish, he wrote in "Chanukah" wherever it said Christmas. I then opened it and there was a necklace inside. It had a silver chain and a double heart charm that was made out of some kind of shell, I think. I loved it. He put it on for me and for a short time after that was my boyfriend. I've since lost touch with Chris, but I still have that necklace!

2. My Ling Ling necklace. When I was about 3 or 4, my parents took me to see the pandas in the Washington, D.C. soon. I loved them and they bought me a necklace made in the likeness of the panda, Ling Ling. I wore it everywhere. Then one day, I was playing on the monkey bars and lost it -- and I was devastated. I think my father found it -- I do remember him looking for it -- but while I can't recall every fact, I remember the panda charm, clear as day.

3. My Strawberry Shortcake ring. Around the time I was 8, I was obsessed with Strawberry Shortcake. One time, I was on a camping trip with my parents and we were taking a hike through the woods. I saw a shiny object on the ground -- and it was a little ring with Strawberry Shortcake on it! I couldn't believe my luck and pocketed it before anyone else could get their hands on this valuable merchandise.

4. My black "Cleopatra" necklace. When I was 10, my parents took me to Egypt (we traveled a lot because my parents were teachers who had summers off). While we were there, we took a cruise down the Nile and on the last night, the boat threw a costume party. I dressed up as Cleopatra in this blue, filmy genie costume and a crown, and my mom even let me wear my very long hair down (she usually made me keep it in braids). Each of us had to get up and show off our costumes. When it was my turn, I did the whole "Walk Like An Egyptian" dance (it was 1984!) and everyone was impressed. I ended up winning the costume contest and they gave me a choice of prizes; I chose this black beaded necklace that had multi-colored beads woven through it.

5. My engagement ring. Choosing a ring was probably difficult for my husband, Jon, because I'm not wild about diamonds. A lot of people believe that the bigger the diamond, the more he loves you, but at the time, I wanted us to save up money for a home. During out talks about the possibility of marriage, I'd hinted to Jon about what kind of ring I wanted - something with a colorful stone, like an emerald. On the day he proposed, February 14, 1999, he ended up giving me exactly what I wanted: a ring that had a circle of emeralds with a small diamond in the middle. A lot of people, even to this day, think it's a weird engagement ring, but it fits my personality to a T.

So there you have it, so of my own memories about jewelry. My piece for today are my silver earrings with yellow Swarovski crystals. I'd originally made a pair of these for a friend who loves pink and wove in pink crystals. I wanted to make a similar pair with something that looked a little like yellow diamonds.

I used to not be a huge fan of yellow, but I'm finding that I really like the color in jewelry. Yellow stands out and makes things pop. Plus, it looks good with many other colors.

So what are some of your favorite jewelry memories?

To purchase my jewelry (and create some memories for yourself or a loved one), head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Etsy Mini Shop

Etsy has a cool widget where sellers can preview their shops on a blog. So I'm trying it out. Here's a peek at my Etsy items:

Silver wire bracelet with square turquoise crystals

Any creative person, whether you're a writer, artist, musician or jewelry maker has to expect criticism at some point. I've gotten it in pretty much every venue I've been involved in. In college, I told a music professor to eff off because he didn't think I took playing the flute seriously enough (his argument was that I was a journalism major instead of a music major). And when I attempted to get a novel published a few years ago, I was forced to develop my thickest skin ever. Of course, there are people who don't like my jewelry, which is understandable; everyone's tastes varies.

However, my biggest critic so far is ... my cat, Maya. Maya is very lucky because we never dress her in sill costumes or make her wear a collar since she's strictly an indoor cat. But when I began making bracelets, I realized that they could double as cat tiaras. I put one on Maya's sweet little head and she looked absolutely adorable, just like the princess she is. This is our Maya:

Anyway, Maya looked up at me and narrowed her eyes. She then shook her head, tossing the bracelet onto the floor with a "Mraow!" of disgust. I grabbed another bracelet and put it on her head; same thing. I got it; she did not like my jewelry!

Later that day, I put my jewelry down so I could take some photos and as soon as I was about to snap the picture, she jumped into the frame. This happened two more times. She then knocked the jewelry onto the floor. Guess she didn't want me to be able to photograph it for Etsy.

Even though she doesn't like my work, I'm happy with how this bracelet with turquoise blue crystals came out. I love this color blue because it reminds me of tropical waters, like the blue we saw when we were in Hawaii or Puerto Rico. I also like the square crystals and the way that they pick up the light.

I know that I won't be able to please everyone, but hopefully, I'll be able to win my cat's approval sometime soon. Perhaps if I made her a blinged-out collar...?

To purchase my jewelry (which I'll bet your cat or mom or friend would love!), head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Silver Triangle Necklace With Pink Swarovski Crystals

How do I know that I've gotten way too immersed in making jewelry? I've been dreaming about designs. I'm not kidding. I'll often fall asleep thinking of new ideas for necklaces or bracelets, or of different types of beads and crystals. I think that if doctors were to examine my brain, it would be covered with bling.

I'll also see everyday objects and wonder how they could work as jewelry. For instance, I recently found myself staring at power lines and wondering what gauge wire they were, and if I could make a spiral out of them. Pathetic, huh?

Don't worry, though, I'm not about to make necklaces out of any telephone cords. Today's featured piece was made from regular 14 gauge sterling silver wire.

This is what I've nicknamed my Hershey's Kiss necklace. I'd attempted to bend the wire into a triangle, but the corners came out slightly rounded. I then had this idea to string a band of Swarovski crystals across is, but the only way they'd stay is if I did it at an angle. Because of the not-quite-a-triangle shape and the way the beads were strung, it turned out looking like a Hershey's Kiss with a wrapper.

I still think it's pretty cute, though. It would make a sweet gift for a girlfriend, for example; you could give her this along with real Hershey's Kisses (Mmmm..... chocolate). Or it could be a nice piece of jewelry for a fan of the color pink.

Well, it's almost time for bed over here .... let's see what designs I dream of tonight!

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Funky brass triangle earrings with Swarovski crystals

My grandmother is 94 years old, which means that we don't see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. While I admire her, especially as a talented knitter, one bit of advice she's always giving me is to "not kill yourself," "do the best you can," "whatever will be will be." She has very middle-of-the-road expectations for me; she wants me to do well and is proud of me, but doesn't care if I'm the best or the most successful.

It's great that she accepts me for who I am and for trying my best, and I love her for looking out for me. But the competitive go-getter in me just isn't like that. I LIKE to succeed. I LIKE pushing myself. I LIKE exceeding my expectations. I'v never been able to just sit back and accept things; whether it comes to music or writing and now jewelry making, I've always attempted to make it to the next level.

Take the craft fairs that I signed up for. It's not even about the money for me; it's about people liking my stuff enough that they'd dare to pay me and then wear it. I don't expect to get rich from making jewelry, but I do hope to get some acknowledgment of my efforts.

My grandmother was surprised when I shared that I've made over 100 pieces so far and was of course like, "Well, don't kill yourself." I found this to be pretty funny coming from the woman who never stops knitting! I'm definitely not killing myself; if anything, making jewelry is relaxing for me, which I why I've made so many pieces in a short time.

I agree with my grandmother in that I shouldn't push myself to a point where I'm no longer happy. But for now, stretching myself as an artist and salesperson is making me feel excited and revved up -- so what can be wrong with that?

Speaking of being creative, the jewelry that I'm going to share today are my brass triangle earrings. Honestly, I'd forgotten that I'd made these -- it was that long ago -- until I found them in the bottom of my jewelry box yesterday. I created these when I was teaching myself how to make basic wire shapes and was very excited when I successfully crafted triangles. I then added three Swaorvski crystals to each earring to give some color. They look a little like stoplights or Christmas trees, but well, I like them! I could see wearing these triangles to a club or a party -- some kind of fun event where eccentric jewelry is welcome.

As the craft fairs approach, I'll have to make more jewelry and try techniques that I haven't yet used. I will have to push myself and well, I can't wait!

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Silver square bracelet with multi-colored square crystals

I've been thinking a lot about where I get my jewelry making abilities from. Almost everyone in my family is musical, so it's easy to trace back that talent: my mom is a pianist, my dad plays guitar, my grandfather played violin and my great uncle was a jazz composer. However, as far as I know I'm the only jewelry maker.

My married last name -- my husband's -- is Edelstein, which actually means "precious stone." So someone on his side made or sold jewelry. We have no Edelsteins on my side, to my knowledge.

I suppose I get some of my artistry from my grandmother, who's a seriously talented knitter. I told her that it's a shame that sites like Etsy didn't exist in her youth because she would've made a fortune! She mainly knits for family members or friends, but has rarely sold anything commercially.

Meanwhile, my dad also has some artistic talents. For a while, he was making stained glass projects, but hurt his hand and was unable to continue. Still, he's very handy and you can see his work all over my parents' home. He designed a dining room table out of European tiles and put together the brick work in the living room.

I guess it doesn't matter where I got the talent from, just as along as I enjoy what I'm doing -- which I am! Today's featured item is my silver square wire bracelet with multi-colored square crystals. I'd originally made a version of this with blue squares for my friend's sister. I gave it to her for Christmas and she loved it; she put it on right away and then wore it the next day, as well. I wanted to try the same pattern, but with more color, so I chose crystals of blue, purple orange and green. I think it looks really cool -- fun and funky, but the colors aren't overwhelming.

I'd actually forgotten that I'd made this until I dug some stuff out to photograph yesterday. Now I'm debating whether I should sell this or keep it for myself...

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Silver bracelet with cloisonne beads

The first time I saw cloisonne was when I was in China with my parents. We visited an artist who made cloisonne pens, of all things, and I remember being intrigued as he painted these gorgeous floral designs onto a pen. I purchased one thinking it would be cool to use such a gorgeous writing instrument in school, but ultimately decided not to use it. To this day, I keep it safe in a velvet case.

The next cloisonne item I owned was a cloisonne Star of David necklace that my mom gave me for my birthday. The star was red and again had a floral-type design on it, and again, it was gorgeous.

That said, I have a pretty sentimental association with cloisonne and wanted to make a piece of jewelry that would showcase it. I'm not skilled to make cloisonne jewelry myself, but I did purchase some lovely cloisonne beads; it was just a matter of deciding what to do with them.

Ultimately, I kept things simple and designed this bracelet that alternates sterling silver wire squiggles with the cloisonne beads. I handmade the squiggles and tried to make each link about the same size of the beads; this way, they wouldn't overshadow the cloisonne. It turned out to be a very slender, but elegant piece of jewelry. Hopefully, whoever ends up buying this will appreciate it as much as I appreciated my cloisonne pieces.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My New Business Cards!

Below, I'll share a preview of the business cards I ordered. I feel so "official" now. Before jewelry making was just a hobby, but this makes it a business. It's a bit surreal.

When choosing the design for my card, I tried to go with something that reflects my designs: elegant, chic and fun. I liked the rich, earthy brown colors, which is why I picked them for the background, but there are some swrirly designs on there that remind me of the spirals I often make in my jewelry pieces.

Turning a hobby into a business isn't so easy, I'm discovering. There is a lot to learn. On one hand, the Internet and sites like Etsy make it easy for artists to show off and sell their items. On the other hand, the accessibility means that there's so much competition. I think my pieces are unique, but I still have a lot to improve on in terms of being a salesperson. I feel confident with my skills as a jewelry maker, but not so much as an online entrepreneur.

Still, I'm determined to get there and am sure that I will succeed. Meantime, here's my business card:

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Brass Mondrian Earrings With Swarovski Crystals

I have to admit, I'm getting a little impatient because I still haven't made a lot of sales on Etsy. I realize that it'll take time, but it's frustrating to get many views and "hearts" on items -- and then not make any money from it. I'm trying to do everything that I've been advised to do to get buyers' attention, but I guess I still need to do more work.

Hopefully, I'll do better with craft fairs. I'm excited because I ordered new business cards today with my shop name on it! They look really nice, at least on screen, and I can't wait to get them. I also ordered Naomi's Designs stickers and magnets. I considered getting T-shirts, but felt that that was going a little overboard. But I can give the stickers and magnets out to customers as a cute way for them to remember me. As soon as the cards arrive, I'll include a photo of one.

As for my item du jour, these are what I call my Mondrian earrings. I'm a big fan of modern art, especially artists like Picasso, Dali, Pollock and Mondrian. If you're not familiar with his work, he's known for painting squares with splashes of primary colors:

I love how his paintings look so simple at first, but as you look at them, you realize how complex they are. I'm no Mondrian, but I decided to make earrings based on his designs. I used brass wire to create a series of squares and rectangles and then wove in red, yellow and blue Swarovski crystal bicones. I don't know how many people will recognize that they were inspired by Mondrian, but they look really cool, anyway. They have a unique shape and would look great with a simple black top. I don't know if they'd go so well with a dressy outfit, but they work as statement earrings.

I'd love to do Picasso-inspired earrings, but I don't know how well I can represent Cubism with wire. Might be a fun challenge, though!

To purchase my jewelry (and you know you want to), head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Silver and gold mixed metal mesh bracelet

I've written many times about using the lattice pattern in my jewerly designs. This bracelet was the perfect way for me to feature it.

I'd ordered gunmetal wire online and wasn't sure what to do with it. Honestly, I just liked the name. I mean, "gunmetal" -- what's not cool about that? Turns out, gunmetal is a very pretty brownish color and looks great with gold and silver. When I saw all three together, I was inspired to do something that incorporated this trio of warm, metallic colors. It's a little like my own "Naomi Olympics," with gold, silver and bronze!

Anyway, I wove nine-loop lattice links with each color and then alternated them to create the bracelet. What's really cool is that when it was all put together, it ended up looking like one continuous band of lace. It reminded me a little of tiles or perhaps, squares in a quilt.

I have some other mixed metal designs in mind. When making jewelry, don't be afraid to play with colors because you never know what combination will work.

To see or purchase more of my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mixed metal gold and silver triangle bracelet

This mixed metal gold and silver triangle bracelet is an example of an experiment gone right. I've written about many failed attempts to make certain things, but in this case, this bracelet came out better than I anticipated.

I knew from the start that I liked triangle patterns and wanted to do something mixing gold and silver. However, I wanted to try an off-kilter design and decided to see what would happen if I made each triangle link progressively larger than the last. Know what? It ended up looking cool! It looks a little like a modern sculpture and well, that's what I want my jewelry to be: wearable art.

In other news, I now have a Facebook fan page, so if you like my work, please "like" Naomi's Designs on FB. Also, I'm starting to gear up for craft show season. My goal is to do four or five this year to see how well I do at them. So far, I have shows lined up for April 3 and May 1. The April show is going to be particularly sweet for me because last April 1 was the day I broke my leg and last April 3 was the day that the orthopedist popped my bone back into place. Owwwwwww!!! So it's kind of cool to know that a year after being in the worst pain I've ever been in, I'm going to be doing something new and fun and interesting. I know it seems odd to connect my jewelry making to my broken leg, but I had a chance to make a lot of jewelry while I was laid up! Plus, I have metal plates and pins in my leg, so I come with my own "hardware," LOL.

In all seriousness, I'm really excited about doing these shows. You just never know where life might take you. I definitely didn't expect to get injured last year, nor did I expect to be selling jewelry at craft fairs only a year later.

To see or purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gold bangle bracelet with green crystals

Whenever I make a new piece of jewelry, I like to experiment with interesting color combinations. One of my favorite ways to do this is to simply take colors from the same family and mix them. When I was a kid, I used to like to do this with paint cards when my parents were at the store choosing wallpaper. It amazed me to see just how many shades of purple or blue or even white even exist. We may only see seven colors in a rainbow, but there are probably millions of colors between each band.

For this bracelet, I went with a green theme. I'd gotten new gold wire that I'd never worked with before -- 16 gauge square -- and really liked the combination of the yellow with green. But I didn't just want to go with one sjade of green, so I went for several and chose crystals of forest green, kelly green, grass green, yellow green... you get the idea. I then made a simple bangle bracelet, alternating the green cubes, but in the end, they look like one unit.

Though I'm not Irish, I'll probably wear this for St. Patrick's day this year because this bracelet is the perfect accessory to wear when welcoming the spring. And remember, when looking at a color, note that there's more to it than meets the eye.

To see or purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wire wrapped pink coral earrings

I first saw coral in its natural state when I was in Australia. Up until then, I'd seen it in aquariums, but it was a whole different experience when I went swimming in the Great Barrier Reef. It was amazing! The coral came in so many colors that it looked as if there were a garden beneath the sea.

That said, I was very excited to get my shipment of coral nuggets and had visions of creating "Enchanment Under The Sea" necklaces and whatnot. Unfortunately, the nuggets turned out to be not the most attractive things. They were, well, nuggets ... that happened to be made out of coral.

First, I tried to make a bracelet out of them, but they were so bulky that my piece looked like something that Wilma Flinstone would wear. I then decided to experiment with some wire wrapping. I figued that brass would look good against the pink and you know what? After I did some work, the coral actually looked pretty cool. I twisted the wire into a spiral design because I wanted to make it look a little like a conch shell. I then finished them off with brass wire hooks.

In making jewelry, I've collected a lot of failed experiments. Sometimes, though, it's worth it to try a new technique!

To see or purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Silver necklace with red Swarovski crystal hearts

I wasn't kidding when I said I've been on a Swarovski hearts bender! Here's another one of my designs featuring these little beauties. I wanted to do something classic so I chose the red hearts -- that's about as traditional as you can get. I then attached them to a simple lattice design and finished off the necklace with a silver chain.

Much as I like hearts, though, let me clarify something: I'm not a sappy romantic. Not that there's anything wrong with being one, but I've never been a "hearts and flowers" girl. While I enjoy getting flowers and jewelry from my husband, I don't make a big deal out of it. Frankly, I like making my own jewelry better!

I do like beautiful things, though, and love the simple perfection of the heart shape. Hearts look good with everything. Plus, it DOES have a nice message attached, which is icing on the cake. So even though I may not be the most romantic person around, I'm still happy to spread some love.

To see or purchase more of my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Triple heart silver chandelier earrings with amethyst Swarovski crystal hearts

Purple is onw of my favorite colosr, especially since my birthday is in February and my birthstone is the amethyst. I still love this stone and think that an amethyst looks beautiful in any form.

I really like heart-shaped things, though, so it's no surprise that I adore these amethyst Swarovski crystal hearts. I wanted to do something special with them, something that would show off their beauty.

I finally decided to build a chandelier earring around them. I wanted to make an interestinf spiral design with the silver wire, but something different than what I've done before. I've used the lattice design many times and while it's beautiful, I felt that I needed to branch out. I eventually came up with this curly-cue pattern that's slightly askew, but has interesting angles. I then hung three crystal hearts -- two amethyst and one lavender -- on each earring. It ended up looking really cool, especially when I tried on the earrings. Though my hair was a mess and I wasn't wearing any makeup, I looked fancy. Let's just call them miracle earrings!

As you'll see from my upcoming posts, I went on a bit of a Swarovski crystl heart "bender" this weekend, but you have to love the materials that you're working with. Part of the reason why these pieces turned out so well was because I believed from the start that they'd look good. And they do!

To see or purchase more of my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Silver necklace with green Swarovski crystal hearts

I'm in love -- with Swarovski crystal hearts, that is. I got a bunch of these little guys on sale a while back and think they're so, so pretty. I love heart-shaped gems, anyway, but seeing them in all of these different, shiny colors just about sent me over the edge.

I've been waiting to get the right inspiration when it came to designing with these Swarovski hearts. I didn't want to just hang them on a wire and call it a day; I wanted to do something special with them. I'd already designed a multi-colored cuff bracelet with them, but looked forward to coming up with more great ideas.

This particular necklace came about due to me wishing it were spring. This winter has been terrible, because of the snow and multiple colds for me, so I'm longing for some warm days ahead. To me, spring is a happy season filled with sunshine, flowers and a lot of green. That said, this necklace with the light green hearts represents my love - heh -- of nature and of things coming back to life after a long winter.

To make the necklace, I used 18 gauge silver wire and twisted it into a simple vine shape. I originally wanted to make an entire necklace out of the vine pattern, but it kept getting tangled and looked more like poison ivy than a beautiful, winding leaf. I nixed that idea and went with a simpler version of the design; I then hung five green Swarovski crystal heart "leaves" onto the vine. The end result is that it looks like a tree is just starting to bloom.

This spring, I have a lot to look forward to -- my wedding anniversary, a trip to Greece, long days outdoors. This necklace celebrates that.

To see or purchase more of my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Silver and Swarovski crystal wire bangle bracelet

It's hard to go wrong when combining silver and clear Swarovski crystals, but there were some challenges involved in making this bangle bracelet.

For starters I decided to experiment and use a softer wire than what I normally use. Most of the time I work with 14-18 gauge wire and then use softer wires (22-28 gauge) for wrapping purposes. However, I envisioned a bracelet that was very thin and delicate and went with 22 gauge. It held up a lot better than I expected, but I then had to deal with the round Swarovski crystals. Most of my other bracelets contain square or faceted crystals, which are easy to work with; they stay in place and you just shape the wire around them. But the round crystals kept spinning and moving, and wouldn't stay in place. I finally gave up and secured them as much as I could, but still let them have some "spin."

Overall, I like how delicate this bracelet is. It's not too chunky and because it has the crystals woven into it, isn't too thin either. Since it's silver and the crystals are clear, it will match pretty much anything; this is the perfect type of bracelet to wear with a stack of other bangles.

To see or purchase more of my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Silver spiral earrings with green and yellow Swarovski crystals

The spiral is one of the basic shapes you should know if you're going to be a wire artist, but more than that, it's beautiful to look at. Think of how many things in nature are a spiral: the inside of a shell, a galaxy, a hurricane. I love the infinite nature of it, how you can keep going around and around, but the circle doesn't really end.

I wanted to do something simple with the spiral where this would be the primary shape in the piece of jewelry, so I decided to just go with single spiral earrings. However, I didn't want them to be plain silver, so I added a couple of Swarovski crystals to each. I really love blue, but I went with a variant on it, using green and yellow instead. I like the warm, bright colors and think they add just enough flash to the earrings.

To see or purchase more of my work, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sterling silver necklace pendant in a zig zag design

When it comes to actually wearing jewelry, I'm sort of a minimalist. I'm not a big fan of necklaces that have rows and rows of pearls and diamonds, or just too many things on them. I like my eye to go right to the focal point of the piece.

This is why so many of my handcrafted items are so simple. I'll use only one or two elements so that each element gets the chance to be front and center.

That said, I do like pieces that are unique and even when I'm making something simple, I like to do something interesting. Whenever I work with a metal, like silver or gold, I treat it like a sculpture and see what kind of cool shape I can come up with. Often the metal does the "talking" and the end result is a surprise to me!

This zig zag pendant is made with 14 gauge sterling silver wire and a black silk cord. That's it. But 14 gauge wire is so thick and tough that you're basically working with a sheet of metal. There is some labor involved in bending it into something presentable, then hammering and polishing it. I've never seen myself as the type of girl who'd work with hand tools, but hammering metal is very satisfying!

Some jewelry makers like to hammer wire until it's flat, but I just kind of gently bang it to give it some texture. There's really not a "correct" way to do it; it depends on what you want the end piece to look like. I'd wear this piece with pride, though, so I'm pleased with the result.

To see or purchase my work, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sterling silver necklace with yellow crystals

I've never been gung ho about diamonds; in fact, my engagement ring has an emerald in it. However, I really like the look of yellow diamonds, especially when they're paired with silver. Silver and yellow don't seem like two colors that would go well together, but they really do.

Obviously, yellow diamonds cost a fortune, so I went for the next best thing: yellow crystals. I then brainstormed some ways that I could highlight them in a piece of jewelry.

I ended up creating this necklace with 16 gauge silver wire and yellow crystals. I wanted to do something unusual so I created this abstract squarish design. Since the crystals are round, I like the way they look against the sharp angles of the wire. I then added a long centerpiece onto the necklace, which is simply a string of the yellow crystals. It gives the necklace some depth and balance.

To me, yellow is a "happy" color, representing sunshine, daisies, warmth. I hope that this necklace radiates all of these good feelings.

To buy my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Silver bracelet with crystals and spirals

First up, good news! I made my first sale online! Now I hope the purchaser likes my item and wears it well. While it's nice to make money from online ventures, honestly, I'm not planning to be a millionaire (though that would be nice). It's more about the idea of people willing to pay me for my art. It's flattering when people want to buy your work and then show it off.

And now on to today's featured item ... my silver geometric bracelet with crystals and spirals. I'm not sure where I got the idea for this, but I wanted to make something unique and funky. At the time, I was playing around with different shapes and wanted to see how they could be combined. I twisted wire into a spiral and triangle design and liked how it looked, so I made some more links, added some crystals and voila! This bracelet was born.

One of the things about jewelry that can be so overwhelming is that there are SO many possibilities. Whenever I see beads I like, I get a million ideas about what to do with them. This is why I'm always challenging myself to make unusual designs and use odd color combos. I want to push the envelope a bit with my jewelry and I think I succeeded with this bracelet.

To buy my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Silver wire bracelet with Swarovski crystal hearts

First up, some good news! I received my packet to sign up for what will be my first craft fair this May! I'm very excited about this and hope that it will be a beautiful day outside. While I'm, of course, looking forward to selling my jewelry in person, I'm also anxious to meet new people and see what the other artists are selling. I've always had a lot of respect for the artists who participated in fairs, so now it's kind of surreal knowing that I'm going to be one of them.

As for my jewelry du jour, this Swarovski heart bracelet came together as a result of another bracelet that turned out to be a disaster. I love heart-shaped things so I purchased these Swarovski crystal hearts on sale in bulk. Unfortunately, they're not drilled top-to-bottom or side-to-side as many beads are; instead, they're drilled front-to-back at the very top of the crystal, meaning that it's kind of difficult to string them.

My original plan was to make a silver bangle bracelet and then wire wrap the hearts around the outside of the frame. This didn't work. No matter how tightly I wrapped the wire, the hearts were sticking out at weird angles or slipping off the wire .... the project was completely messed up.

I realized that the best way to showcase the hearts was to just let them dangle from a piece. That said, I created one of my favorite patterns, the nine-loop lattice and strung the hearts along the bottom. The bracelet was looking a little bare, though, so I added some matching Swaorvski crystal bicones to give it more color. In the end, this turned into a really cool-looking, fun bracelet.

I still have dozens of these hearts, so I'm trying to decide what to do with them. A matching earring and necklace set might be next...

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Silver wire bracelet with turquoise beads

Okay, so I'm finally going to talk about the piece that's featured in the huge photo on my blog's home page. That's my very cool pentagon bracelet.

When I was teaching myself how to make spirals, squares and triangles, I wanted to see if I could try a more complicated shape. I successfully made a pentagon and just thought that it looks cool, kind of like a rose. That said, I decided to make an entire bracelet featuring them. I like the way that silver and blue look together, so I added the turquoise beads as an accent.

I used 20 gauge wire for this, but my next challenge is to see what kind of shapes I can make with a tougher gauge. That's what I love about making jewelry; there's always something new to experiment with!

To buy my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Silver wire bangle bracelet with square purple crystals

When I was in the second grade (this would've been in the '80s), purple was my very favorite color. I had purple headbands, purple pencils and entire outfits that were purple. They even had a store dedicated to all things purple at South Street Seaport; there, my parents bought me a purple mug and a purple set of erasers.

These days, my favorite color is actually blue, but I still like purple when it's used appropriately. I fell in love with these purple crystals; seeing all of the different shades like lilac, violet and lavender took me right back to my childhood.

I've been on a bangle bracelet kick for a while now, and let me tell you, that are not easy to make. You have to line up the pieces of wire and make sure that they don't get tangled. Then you have to make sure that the crystals are framed well. I love how this came out, though, and how all of the purples work together to create one unit. Looking at this bracelet makes me happy because it reminds me that spring is coming. Just like the purple crocuses would work their way out of the ground in March, this bracelet is a reminder that these long days of winter will soon be gone.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Giant silver hoop earrings

Sometimes less is more, as is the case with these giant silver hoop earrings. I got the inspiration to make these when I had only a little bit of 14 gauge wire left and I wasn't sure what to do with it. Part of the wire was already bent in a teardrop shape, so I continued with that and came up with this cool earring design. When I tried them on, I loved them. They look very funky and very '80s, and remind me of something I would've orn in my youth.

Though a lot of my pieces are embellished with crystals or pearls, I decided to leave these bare. They're already large and have an interesting shape, so nothing else is needed to dress them up. Trust me, they will get noticed when you wear them! I think hoops are a classic kind of earring that will always be in style. These are modern, but also reflect a past era, so in that way, they're timeless.

For more of my work, head to Naomi's Designs or Naomi's Studio.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Brass and lattice garnet wire earrings

I originally designed these brass and lattice garnet wire earrings for a princess. That's not a figurative princess, either; we know a young woman who is royalty is Nigeria. I made her a pair of these earrings for Christmas and chose these colors because she looks amazing in jewel tones, like deep red. She loved them and has actually asked me to design a matching necklace.

I don't usually design for royalty, but when making jewelry for friends, I do try to think about what colors look best of them. What surprised me about these earrings is that the garnet and gold combo looks great on almost anyone who has dark hair. I have brown hair and eyes and pale skin, but I liked how they looked on me.

It took me many hours of practicing to get the nine-loop lattice design down, but now that I know how it, I use it often in my jewelry. One of the things I love about the lattice is that it's perfect for hanging gemstones on the bottom loop. I just love the shape of these, as well as the colors.

I've unofficially named these my "princess earrings" in honor of my friend.

To buy my jewelry, check out Naomi's Designs. or

Friday, February 11, 2011

Funky spiral silver earrings

These earrings were fun to make and look really cool. There's just something very relaxing about bending wire into spirals and squiggles, and it feels really good when I've made a finished product.

The challenge with making earrings is to get them somewhat uniform, which can be difficult with wire work. But I did my best to keep the spirals the same size and to match the turns in each squiggle. Together, they look evenly matched, though, and when they're worn as a set, you can hardly notice the differences.

Even though these earrings are long and wide, they're very lightweight. When you wear them, you hardly feel as if anything is in your ear. I love dangling earrings, though, because they just make ears look so pretty. That'sprobably a strange thing to say, but I feel a lot more dressed up with longer earrings than I do with shorter ones.

By the way, I got some good news this week: I've been invited to participate in a local craft fair this spring! I'm very excited about getting out there and showing my jewelry to to world ( or at least the neighbothood). More information to follow...

To buy any of my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Silver wire bracelet with blue crystals

By now, I think it's pretty obvious that blue is my favorite color. I especially like when different shades of blue are combined.

When making this bracelet, I wanted the blues to be front and center. That's why I used three different shades of blue and put all of the blue beads in the middle of the design.

This was one of the first bracelets I made in this particular style. Let me tell you, making a bangle bracelet is hard! You have to get the strands of wire to be the same length and then make sure they don't get tangled. Then you have to wrap them to keep them together and form the bracelet -- only the wraps have to look artistic, too. It took a lot of trial and error, but I'm happy with how it came out. And I own a lot of blue tops, so this matches them all!

For more of my jewelry, check out Naomi's Designs.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wire wrapped lava stone

I first saw dried lava when I was in Hawaii about six years ago. I never knew that lava -- which is porous and black -- could be beautiful, but it really is, especially when there are large sheets of it.

When visiting Hawaii, however, you're not supposed to take pieces of lava home because it's bad luck. There are all sorts of stories about people getting cursed after bringing home lava. We didn't want to take a chance, so we left it alone!

Still, when I saw these round lava stones being sold, I was inspired to make something with them. Each one is like a blank canvas and I wanted to build pieces of jewelry that obviously looked like jewelry, but also brought out the beauty of the rock.

For this pendant, I went with a simple wire wrap design. I didn't want to completely cover the rock with wire, so I used it as a frame. I then added just two small crystals to finish it off. I feel like the black, silver and blue play well off of each other and work together in a finished product. I've been told that it looks like a Native American piece, which is a huge compliment.

I've been experimenting with other types of rocks, as well, but I still like lava the best. When "dressed up," it's especially eye-catching.

For more of my work, head to Naomi's Designs.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Silver geometric earrings with blue Swarovski crystals

I made these earrings while my friend Lani was visiting. I asked her what I should make and she suggested that I make something that had crystals in it. So after playing around with 16 gauge sterling silver wire, I came up with this random, but cool design. I then strung different color blue Swarovski crystals across it using 28 gauge silver wire.

I tend to use a lot of blue beads and crystals because that's my favorite color. I especially love when different shades of blue are combined. For me, blue is very relaxing; it reminds me of the sky or the ocean on a bright, sunny day. It's also a color that I look nice in so I own a lot of blue clothing. Not surprisingly my high school crush had piercing blue eyes!

Anyway, silver is a great color to contrast with blue as you can see with these earrings. The earrings are not exactly identical, but I think that this only adds to their uniqueness.

For more of my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gold and emerald green wire bracelet

I love the way that gold and green look together, so when I got these square, green glass stone, I knew that I had to combine them with gold-colored wire.

My original plan was to do a square bracelet with the stones in the center, but I didn't like how that looked. Instead, I decided to go with an abstract design centered around the green beads. Because the beads are so sturdy, I went with a tougher 16-gauge wire. I often work with 20 gauge, but the 16-gauge is thicker and better matches the stones.

When choosing a pattern for the wire, I went with the squiggles because I liked how they looked against the squares. The beads are so perfect in their shape and I liked playing against that with the not-so-perfect wire design. My friend says that it looks like a snake, but to me, the wire looks more like cresting waves. With the green stones, it gives the bracelet a very "natural" effect.

For more of my work, check out Naomi's Designs.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wire lattice earrings with blue crystals

One of my favorite patterns to make is the nine-loop lattice design. It's not only fun to twist the loops, but it's a very beautiful and useful pattern. You can link the squares together to form a larger pattern, turn the square sideways to make a diamond, hang gems from the lattice ... the possibilities are endless.

I've always liked the combination of brown and blue so when I got this antiqued-looking brown gunmetal wire, I immediately decided to combine it with ble crystals. I wanted to do something different from just dangling one gemstone so I decided to weave the crystals throughout. I love the way the blue sparkles against the brown. I haven't seen too many earrings like this so I'm proud of the work.

Eventually, I plan to make a matching gunmetal lattice necklace. That'll be way more work, though because I'll have to make the entire chain by hand. It'll be worth it, though, especially if these pieces are worn as a set.

For more of my work, head to Naomi's Designs.

Silver spiral pendant with Swarovski crystals

The idea for this pendant came when I decided to try a new technique: wire weaving. I'd seen some pictures of woven wire jewelry and liked the look of it, so I decided to incorporate some of those techniques into my latest design.

I'd made a series of geometric pendants in silver and gold, but wanted to try something a little different. Meanwhile, I had a box of tiny multi-colored Swarovski crystal bicones that I wasn't sure what to do with. The solution? Use both in my new piece. I ended up using 28 gauge silver wire to string dozens of the crystals into a colorful, abstract design.

I'll admit, when it came to this piece I was making up things as I went along, but I love the way it came out. It looks like modern art, maybe a bit like Kandinsky, with all of the random colors. Then again, maybe it just looks like a Christmas decoration. But it's pretty and definitely unique! It took a lot of work to create, but I'm glad I put the time in.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Silver Wire And Paua Shell Bracelet

When I was younger, I used to love collecting shells on the beach. Unfortunately, the shells in New York weren't the most interesting. One summer we went to Florida, though, and the shells there were amazing! They came in shapes and colors like I'd never seen; they almost didn't seem real.

These days, I still have a love of shells and the sea so when I saw these beautiful paua shell squares, I just had to get them. I wanted to create a piece of jewelry that showcased the shells, rather than blending them in with a bunch of other beads. I'd originally planned to make a cuff bracelet, but didn't like how it was coming out. Instead I opted for this simple design which alternates handmade silver wire squares with the paua shells. I feel like the silver and multi-colored shells look good together and the square design frames the beads. The spiral nature of the squares plays upon the natural spiral which forms within many shells.

I've been trying to experiment with different gauges of wire and I liked this gauge, 16, very much. It wasn't too hard, but was tough enough that the squares have depth. I have enough leftover shell beads to make a matching necklace, as well.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Welcome To Naomi's Designs!

Welcome to my online jewelry blog, Naomi's Designs. In each entry, I'll give the details on one of my handmade jewelry pieces. I mainly work with wire, though I also love beads and crystals.

I've always loved making arts and crafts, but have spent most of my adult years writing and making music. However, I broke my leg a while ago and needed something to do with my time. That's when I discovered jewelry making. I instantly fell in love and have been doing it ever since.

Though I enjoy stringing beads, I like working with wire because you can create the entire piece from scratch. Part of the fun of wire work is constructing the piece and figuring out how to align everything in order to make the strongest and most aesthestically pleasing design. I like that challenge and am always trying to learn new techniques. I've been on a bangle bracelet-making kick lately, but am eager to work with poly and metal clay. That'll open a whole new world of design for me.

Please check back with this blog often to see my latest creations! And check out my Etsy site