May 17, 2017

Learn Chainmail - 4 Different Styles including a Bracelet and 4 Earrings!

CHALLENGING, SOOTHING & SATISFYING 
IT IS...CHAINMAIL


This is an Intermediate class. Beginner's may wish to start with Colin's Introduction to Chainmail class. See all of our chainmail classes here. 




Join Colin and make a stunning pair of earrings based on the byzantine chain style. This design will hone your chain making skills and brighten up your earring wardrobe! Colin breaks down this intricate chain pattern and makes it easy-to-follow. This class is geared for the Intermediate chain maker, so check out the Beaducation classes Intro to Chainmail and Byzantine Chain for a refresher. 

This class has a running time of 23 minutes, 48 seconds. Learn here.


Make a pair of Helm chain components and turn them into a pretty pair of earrings. Embellish with sparkly Swarovski flower beads and dangles. This design is a stunner! Perfect for the intermediate chain maker.

This class has a running time of 27 minutes. Learn here. 







In this class Colin thoroughly explains how to properly open and close jump rings and how to link them together. She discusses her ideal tools to use for chainmail, how to hold your tools properly to get the best results, and talks about the difference between inner and outer diameter measurements for jump rings. This class is a great introduction to chainmail.

This class has a running time of 43 minutes, 13 seconds. Learn here.



May 16, 2017

Meet Lora Curran in Customer Service at Beaducation

Lora Curran, Customer Service for Beaducation
Joined Beaducation: 2011
Meet Lora Curran, Customer Service
Lora heads up our customer service team. When you hear Lora’s helpful and sunny voice on the phone you would never know that she is a tough hockey player. We only know that because just last week she mistook a rubber block for a puck and made a goal by shooting it neatly through the door to the shipping department. Her favorite thing is to hear from our customers, so please drop her a line anytime. Her office is big and she gets kinda lonely.

From Lora
My first memory of meeting Lisa was at the Strawberry Music Festival. A mutual friend introduced us. ​Over the next few years our paths crossed here and there and in March of 2011, I joined her team…which means I have been here 5 years! Wow time files! What made me say Yes? Lisa’s core values, integrity and commitment to excellent and fair customer service, and of course her personality and the fun culture she inspires! …both within the company and with our customer. I love working with great people who sincerely have the customer in mind, and leadership which welcomes new ideas.

Speaking of new ideas, we’ve seen some big changes in the evolution of Beaducation thus far. Since I have been here, we have: moved offices, rebuilt the entire back end of the website, rebuilt the shopping side of the website, turned all of the classes free, consistently added more free classes and content, expanded the product offerings, and created new Beaducation Originals...which includes having had 5 babies born to staff.

We have a new informational content and beautiful website updates in the works. We’ll never stop building and learning, and laughing!

FUN FACTS ABOUT THE LORA WE KNOW & LOVE
Lora is a hockey fan who also used to actually play hockey. Among other things as she is super detail oriented, extremely reliable and the Queen of multi-tasking. She loves the band Cracker, takes uh-mazing care of people, has three chickens (one is special needs, yes really) and is our Beaducation supermodel. Lora loves books, rock music, dark beer, Aquamarine and hiking. She is a good listener and a problem solver which is why she is our Customer Service Superstar. She prefers savory over sweet and also works at one of the coolest breweries in California.

May 12, 2017

NEW Vintage Tattoo Metal Stamping Letter Set Inspires a Look Back at Retro / Pinup Style Metal Design Stamps

We were all excited to get our NEW Beaducation Vintage Tattoo Uppercase Letter Stamp Set 5/32" 4mm but some of us were counting down the days like it was a life changing event. This font really takes it back to those retro, pinup days and we can't wait to play with our new set.


In the spirit of all things vintage, let's reintroduce some oldies but goodies. Below we have our Skull and Crossbones metal stamp, our Ornate Key metal stamp, our first "Sparkling" Diamond design stamp and the first of our two Sugar Skull design stamps.

We don't know about you but that diamond is giving us some inspiration right now.


We introduced the Guitar metal stamp for musicians, those who love music and those who like to play on words. The Strawberry stamp and Baby Swallows speak for themselves, especially if you love retro and pinup.


Of course we need some Stars. Maybe you remember when we launched the lady Sugar Skull to match with our original fella (above). And the Radiant Lines just gave us all kinds of vintage feels.


Though "Mom" isn't carved inside these Sacred Hearts, they definitely bring us to those classic mom heart tattoos. And finally, our new Gemstones which we cannot wait to work with when using the new font.

 

But wait, there's more! Some of our other favorite vintage style stamps are on their way back in stock - you can see them all here.

Here is another selection of design stamps (not Beaducation Originals) that we are also inspired by.

Happy Stamping!

May 9, 2017

Hand Stamped Sterling Silver Tab Ring by Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama

Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama stamps on our new tab rings - see her step-by-step and final pieces below!

If you are a jewelry lover and have never tried metal stamping, you are missing out on something great. It’s the easiest way to create incredibly personalized pieces for yourself and for your friends and family. Once you invest in a few starter supplies, the projects cost very little {this ring blank is about $5}, and you’ll be amazed by the things you can make. Today I want to show you how to make your own personalized ring.

How to stamp on a sterling silver tab ring by Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama

In a previous post, I shared a similar tutorial for a wide band ring, but I’m loving this style just as much or more.

YOU’LL NEED:

  1. Metal Stamping Hammer
  2. Alphabet Stamps {I used the ImpressArt Juniper Lowercase alphabet}
  3. Steel Ring Mandrel
  4. Sandbag
  5. Stamp Enamel
  6. Sterling Silver Tab Ring Blank
  7. Soft Cloth or Paper Towel



How to stamp on a sterling silver tab ring by Amy Latta of One Artsy MamaSTAMPING YOUR RING

Step 1: Place your ring snugly on the mandrel.
Push it down as far as it will go so that it doesn’t move even when struck.

Step 2: Nestle the mandrel into your sandbag.
Another option is to secure the mandrel with a table vise.

How to stamp on a sterling silver tab ring by Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama

Step 3: Stamp your words, letters, or images as normal, turning the mandrel slightly as you go.

If you’re new to stamping, you may not want to make this your first project; try a few practice blanks on a flat surface first. Hold your stamp vertically with the image/letter touching the blank. Give a very firm tap on the top of the stamp with your hammer. One good solid tap should be enough to create a clean image. Tapping too many times may cause your mandrel to shift slightly and give you a messy or double impression. Not tapping hard enough won’t give a clean impression of the whole letter.

How to stamp on a sterling silver tab ring by Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama

As far as what you actually stamp, you can write a word, a name, a phrase, or anything else that’s meaningful to you. Or, you can decorate it with design stamps instead. Here I used two initials with a little ampersand in between. This would make a great personalized gift for a wedding or anniversary. You could also use your children’s initials.

To make sure my design is centered properly, I like to stamp the middle character first, then work my way outward.

Step 4: Apply stamp enamel.
Cover the stamped area completely, making sure to get enamel down in the crevices, then wait 10-30 seconds for it to dry.

How to stamp on a sterling silver tab ring by Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama

Then, use a soft cloth or a paper towel to wipe the surface and remove the excess. Everything on top should come off easily, while the enamel down in the grooves of the stamped areas will remain, giving the same darkened look as oxidized metal. This will make your design stand out and make it easy to read, even from a distance.

How to stamp on a sterling silver tab ring by Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama

There are a variety of ring shapes and sizes available at Beaducation, including these Tab Blanks as well as Wide Bands, Thin Sterling Silver Bands, and bands with heart, circle, and rectangle shapes.

How to stamp on a sterling silver tab ring by Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama

Personally, I want to try them all! I’m thinking the heart would be perfect for my next project. In the meantime, I’m so pleased with how this one turned out.

How to stamp on a ring by Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama

How to stamp on a ring by Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama

Thank you to Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama for the awesome step-by-step ring tutorial. 

3 Best Ways to Polish Metal Blanks Video Tutorial with Mel

Watch live as Mel shows us 3 of the easiest and best ways to polish metal blanks!







May 2, 2017

Step by Step Tutorial: Mother's Day Mandala-Style Heart Pendant - Hand Stamped Jewelry


Looking for some Mother's Day gift inspiration? How about a custom, handstamped Mother's Day heart necklace? Adrianne Surian at Happy Hour Projects show us step by step how to make this super cute Mother's Day gift - or really, a gift you can give to someone special for a birthday, anniversary or just because. Let's get started!

Hey friends! Who's making hand stamped jewelry to get ready for Mother's Day? (Or who would like to learn?) I've got a simple idea that goes beyond the classic mommy necklace to share with you today using small design stamps to create a mandala-style pattern. And using mandala shapes for your design doesn't have to mean you have to stick to traditional circular patterns. This mandala pendant features a heart at its off-center focal point. 




Concentric patterns are really popular right now, and mandalas are popping up in trend jewelry and decor. Setting the focal point off center and shaping it a little differently are ways to make your piece interesting and unique - you don't have to start in the middle! I'm using supplies from today's post sponsor, Beaducation, and I'll share links to where you can find the products I used in the list below. Just click if you would like any additional information!



Supplies:





Use a punch or a pair of scissors to cut a small heart from craft vinyl. You'll be keeping this space empty and allowing the negative space to become the heart of the design. In lines radiating outward from the center of the heart, use a small design stamp, like the tiny diamond design stamp.


Fill the space between the lines of diamonds with other design stamps. I added lines of miniature leaves between the diamonds, then filled in close to the heart with the alpha star stamp and the four dot stamp.

You may notice that my stamps got a bit crowded here - overlapping designs are not typical for mandalas. By nature, mandalas are made with patience and perfection. Guess what? That's just not me. I still like how the designs go from tight, near the heart, to spread out closer to the edges. The main thing to remember is to try to keep your stamps in rows according to that center shape (in this case, the heart). I also emphasized the outer edge of the heart by using the dot stamp (or period stamp) around the edges to help define it.


Next, I used stamp enamel to darken my impressions. It's the fastest way to get coverage over a series of impressions like this - you just squirt it on, rub it in, and then polish the disc clean.

You'll notice there is no heart stamp in the center of the example above. I went back and forth on this! Did I want an initial, did I want to leave the negative space to make its own statement. Finally, I decided that adding the 3.5mm heart from the tall heart trio was the way to go. Feel free to experiment here, though! For larger designs, you can fit initials or even names here.


For me, pendants need charms! You can use birthstones here, or use your favorite color. I used this soft purple color to create my own beaded charm - just slip the bead and a bead cap onto a jewelry head pin. Grip the pin with your round nose pliers just above the bead. Wrap the wire end of the pin around the pliers, forming a loop. Then, wrap the wire end around the pin in a spiral, filling the space between the loop and the top of the bead cap. Trim away any excess.


Finally, add jump rings to your pendant and charm, and string them onto a necklace chain! For this size pendant (just under 1 inch) I usually suggest a 18-20" necklace chain, but there's no rule here. If you enjoy a longer chain, then by all means, use anything up to 36"!


This subtle heart design is trendy and catches the eye, and it makes a great gift for someone you love (hint hint, Mother's Day gifts)!

Thank you Adrianne for another amazing step by step jewelry making tutorial!

Adrianne Surian, Happy Hour Projects

April 30, 2017

Featured Maker: Heather Eggleston at BlackByrd Jewelry

We enjoy a pop of color and lots of creativity so perhaps that is why we fell for BlackByrd Jewelry designs. Some of her pieces have some spunk and we really like her style with vintage spoons. So let's meet Heather.

Heather Eggleston, BlackByrd Jewelry
Ever had a hobby that just made sense to you? Well, that's exactly what I have. I can't play an instrument, I suck at math, and my exercise skills are lacking lol. But, I can make jewelry, and I feel like I do it very well. I started in 2005, when I was pregnant with my son. I made rinky-dink earrings and gave them to all the women I knew. Needless to say, I don't see them wearing my earlier pieces. But fast forward to the present, and I'm getting custom orders all around!



Around 2008, my mom had a friend who needed a bracelet fixed. I was dumbfounded. I had no idea how to fix it. But I put my big girl panties on and got to business. Eventually it just "clicked" in my head and it all snowballed. I think my husband is starting to shake his head over all of this. It really consumes everyday thoughts. Especially when I come up with something new.


So the headline, "Bird or Byrd?" Well my family name is Byrd and I am obsessed with silhouettes of black birds. So why not, right? I even have a black bird tattoo on my right wrist.



I love working with all different kinds of beads, metal stamping, vintage pieces, leather, silver, antique bronze, resin, you name it. I've dabbled in about everything. My all time favorite pieces have to be antique silverware. I love spoon bracelets! And it takes a lot of hard work to bend those little guys!



I'm obsessed with your feather and arrow Beaducation Originals metal design stamps! They work so well with my boho pieces.



I get my creativeness from my mom. She's been crafty since I can remember. She can draw, sew, make stained glass, pottery, gardens, you name it. I love working with her!



I hope that my creativity never fails me. I wouldn't know what I would do without it. It's one of the only ways I can step away from everyday worries. Well jewelry and my husband!

I hope you stop by and see my beautiful pieces. Thank you for spending some time reading my story. Peace and Love!

Heather Eggleston


Meet more of our Featured Makers here. If you would like to be considered for a feature, please email Angela@Beaducation.com.