Quick and Easy Jewelry Gifts

Guest Post by Debbie Blair

It happens every fall. Around September, I vow to get a jump start on my handmade gifts for Christmas. But once December rolls around, I haven’t started on a single thing. Now here we are with only weeks to go until the big day and I find myself digging through my stash for materials to make the perfect necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings for my friends and loved ones.

If you are in the same boat, read on, my friend! I’ve rounded up a list of ten favorite jewelry projects that are quick and easy to make but aren’t short on style!

10 Quick-and-Easy Jewelry Gifts to Make This Season

Easy and Quick Holiday Projects-Gold Tube BraceletsGOLD TUBE BRACELETS

My friend Megan—easily the most stylish young woman I know—will love these gold tube bracelets, with their leather and colorful cords paired with curved gold tube beads. The gals over at Honestly WTF have put together a great photo tutorial that details how to form the knotted ends, making them completely adjustable.

Quick and Easy Holiday Gifts-Leather Tassel Earrings

LEATHER TASSEL EARRINGS

I love love love these painted leather tassels by my friend, Candie Cooper. Brush a bit of turquoise and gold patina paint onto pre-made leather tassels, then add druzy beads, wire hoops, and ear wires, and voila! Instant chic! Find the tutorial here.

Easy and Quick Holiday Gifts-Painted Wooden NecklaceCOLOR BLOCK NECKLACE

These super-sweet color block wood beads can be customized to suit any taste. Perhaps your niece loves pastels, while your BFF dons vivid patterns and hues. This project just requires a length of chain, some painter’s tape, and a handful of wood beads and acrylic paint from your local craft store. Head on over to Swallow’s Hart for the complete how-to.

Easy and Quick Holiday Gifts-DIY Leather Cuffs

UPCYCLED LEATHER CUFFS

While I wouldn’t exactly consider myself a repurposing junkie, I do love getting ideas of how to upcycle items commonly found around the house. These shabby chic leather cuffs by Make It, Love It are made by adding scraps of lace and cord to old belts that you can pick up at any Goodwill store. You can even dab on a bit of acrylic paint and buff off the raised areas to bring out the textured designs.

Quick and easy Holiday Gifts-Chain Collar Necklace

CHAIN COLLAR NECKLACE

What I love most about this piece is the fact that it looks way more intricate than it really is! By joining two lengths of curb chain together with embroidery floss, then adding a cup-chain trim, you get a chunky chain necklace with a dash of femininity. Get the full how-to here, including great step-by-step photos.

Quick and Easy Holiday Gifts-Fringe Earrings

FRINGE EARRINGS

I can’t believe I have yet to make these fabulous fringe earrings from Candie’s archives! Grab yourself some cup chain (plus connectors), ball chain, slide connectors, and arrow charms and get to work! Whip up a pair (or two!) for yourself while you’re at it!

Quick and Easy Holiday GIfts-Mod Podge Necklace

MOD PODGE NECKLACE

I’m not sure about you, but my decoupage projects have never looked half as sophisticated as this pretty floral necklace! You might already have all the supplies you need on hand (I know I do!). Find complete instructions here for using your favorite scrapbook paper (this is actually a seed packet from the Dollar Store!), a wood pendant, and Mod Podge.

Quick and Easy Holiday Gifts-Patina Paint Earrings

EASY PATINA EARRINGS

Traditional patina methods sometimes intimidate me. Luckily there are great products like patina paints and inks that are easier to use—and less smelly—than liver of sulfur. But if you don’t have those at your disposal, Rebecca at the Crafted Sparrow shows how you can get similar results using acrylic paints. Check out her blog for the how-to.

Quick and Easy Holiday Gifts-Ombre Tassel Necklace

OMBRE’ TASSEL NECKLACE

While this project may take a little more effort than the others on the list, it’s still super-doable, and really fun to boot! RIT fabric dye and embroidery thread are used to make a set of tassels in graduated shades (I’ve used the same method using untreated wood beads). Full instructions can be found over at Oh The Lovely Things.

Quick and Easy Holiday Gifts-Gold Animal Ring Dish

GOLD ANIMAL RING DISH

Your friends will never guess that these custom ring holders are actually made from plastic animals (get the toy animals and little white bowls at the Dollar Store). Simply spray them with gold spray paint, let dry, and glue the animals to the bottom of the bowl using E6000. Check out the Taylor Bradford blog for lots of fun photos!

Any of these projects will make a great gift, and your friends and family will have as much fun opening and wearing them as you’ll have making them!

Happy crafting, and happy holidays!

Cheers,
Debbie

Favorite Bohemian Christmas Décor Ideas

10 Favorite Bohemian Christmas Décor Ideas

Guest Post by Debbie Blair

It seems crazy to me that Christmas is right around the corner! Time to put up the tree and haul out the boxes of lights and ornaments and knick-knacky things from the crawl space.

While my own Christmas decor is considered more or less traditional, with the greenery and lights around the mantel, Santas and angels on the tree, and the nativity scene on prominent display, as an artist and graphic designer I’m drawn to the farmhouse-inspired trends and boho-chic style of decorating that are so popular right now.

Here I’ve rounded up an assortment of boho Christmas decorating ideas that embrace the carefree, relaxed, and unconventional style that defines the bohemian look, combining colorful or simple harmonious patterns in a mix-and-match style that are sure to awake your inner gypsy!

MERRY MANTELS:

Place of My Taste Holiday MantleCombine layers of textures, like a wooden wreath and greenery with beaded garland, and add unexpected details, like the skull that decorates this mantel from the design blog, Place of My Taste.

Hey Wanderer Blog Holiday MantleNot that I’m promoting a “skull” them per se, but I do love this eclectic mix of a skull with lanterns, ornaments, and stockings—even disco balls—on this mantel decorated by BFF bloggers over at Hey Wanderer. They even offer up a list of the items they used so you can get the look yourself!

ORNAMENTAL IDEAS:

Dream Big Live Inspired Dream CatcherThis beautiful dream catcher by Dream Big Live Inspired on Etsy will liven up any space, with its golden stars and sparkly red, green, silver, and gold ribbons.

Made in A Day Blog Painted Feather Ornaments

Kim from the Made in a Day blog provides instructions for making your own glitter feather ornaments using wooden feather cutouts and metallic paint pens. Head over to her blog for the how-to and to catch her boho Christmas tree reveal.

One Kind Designs Burlap Wrapped Ornaments

Create rustic-looking ornaments by wrapping old ornaments in burlap or frayed fabric, as shown at One Kind Design.

Bast + Bruin Dream Catcher Ornament

I love the deep jewel-tone colors and feather accents on these mini dreamcatcher ornaments from Bast + Bruin.

THE TREE:

Patchwork Tree SkirtThe mix of colorful patterned fabric on this patchwork tree skirt will definitely lend a true gypsy feel to any room.

Advice from a 20 Something Tree Decorations

From the tassels, faux cotton stems, and mini dream catchers, to the unique peace sign tree topper, this tree by Advice From a 20-Something has an eclectic look that feels well put-together. I would add a few more colorful items instead of sticking to such a monochromatic palette, but the elements themselves represent a boho feel. And who doesn’t love the jute rug and faux fur pillows in lieu of a tree skirt!

EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY:

Harpers Bazaar Table SettingHarpers Bazaar offers up rustic décor ideas for the ultimate Christmas soiree. My favorite is this table runner topped with live evergreen branches, wood slices, and candles. Easy peasy!

Gypsy Jule MugsAnd after you’ve decorated your perfect boho-style home, you’ll want to sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee by the fire in this cool gypsy mug from Gypsy Jule.

Whatever your style, I hope you enjoy a warm and wonderful holiday season with your loved ones!

Cheers!
Debbie

2018 Twin City Bead Bazaar

Hey Party People! Who is going to the Twin City Bead Bazaar?

If you’re looking for some of my favorite spots to check out while you’re in the Twin Cities area for the upcoming Twin Cities Bead Bazaar-here’s my list of low-key lake town go to’s: It will be here before we know it!

-CC

The King and His Jewelry

The King and His Jewelry
Guest Post by Debbie Blair

The King:

Arguably one of the most popular, charismatic and electrifying entertainers in American history, Elvis Presley was born in poverty, yet his international stardom at a young age allowed him to go on to live a lavish lifestyle, complete with a jewelry collection befitting of the King of Rock and Roll.

Elvis started to develop his own sense of style as a teenager, influenced by the gospel singers and other musicians in Memphis, where his parents moved when he was eight years old. In the 1960s, his slicked-back hair and sideburns—a very different look from other teenagers of that era—received much criticism. Yet that famous pompadour set a national trend in men’s hair styles. During this phase of his life, Elvis made a total of 31 movies and became the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

In 1968, Elvis decided to return to his roots as a rock-and-roll singer and performed his televised “Comeback Special.” His famous black leather suit from that performance is now on display at Graceland.

In the 1970s, Elvis regularly performed sold-out shows in Las Vegas in his iconic white jumpsuits. Through the years, each jumpsuit became more elaborate, adorned with gemstones and semi-precious jewels and often incorporating a cape. You can find photos of several of his most elaborate jumpsuits online without having to travel.

 

Elvis’ Jewelry:

Elvis loved collecting and gifting fine jewelry, and even had a hand in designing his own jewelry. Upon Elvis’s engagement to Priscilla, he purchased a pair of matching horseshoe-shaped diamond engagement rings. Elvis’s platinum wedding band contained a row of eight baguette-cut white diamonds between two rows of eight brilliant-cut diamonds. It has been said that eight was Elvis’s lucky number. For Priscilla, he chose a large diamond surrounded by a detachable halo of smaller stones.

Photographs and footage of Elvis’s concerts during the 70s reveal his lavish diamond cross pendants, large gold chains and bracelets, huge gemstone-encrusted rings on every finger and enormous belts covered in jewels. The look, like the performer, was larger than life, and set the precedent for today’s blinged-out hip-hop and rap artists. In a fascinating Billboard magazine article you can learn about Elvis’s personal jewelry designer.

The most famous jewelry pieces designed by Elvis were the TLC (Tender Loving Care) necklaces, which he handed out to nearly every woman he met, and the TCB (Taking Care of Business) necklaces and rings, which featured a zigzag lightning bolt and inlaid with diamonds, sapphires and emeralds. The TCB necklaces were designed from a sketch that Elvis and his wife, Priscilla, drew on a cocktail napkin and were given only to close members of his entourage, special friends and executives at RCA.

In Person Viewings of Elvis’ Collection:

Graceland has held a number of auctions in recent years as part of the annual festivities commemorating Elvis’ birthday and death, and jewelry that was either worn or gifted by Elvis is often a popular auction item. You can find out what was auctioned off this year. And, of course, replicas can be purchased at the Graceland store.

You can always see more of Elvis’s style through the years online or by taking a trip to Graceland yourself.

Coffee With Candie at Bead & Button 2018

Bead & Button is coming up soon and as always I will be hosting Coffee with Candie before the event. This year we will have CWC on Friday morning (June 8, 2018) at 8:30am in the upstairs lobby of the Hyatt hotel. Join me and other jewelry lovers for some coffee and conversation.

Coffee with Candie Milwaukee WI

[Read more…]

Making a Holiday SWAG

A Holiday SWAG is an easy way to dress up your home this holiday. Using only a few supplies and your creativity you can make something beautiful.

How to make a holiday SWAG

[Read more…]

How to add a clasp to your Jewelry Project

How to add a clasp to your jewelry project. There are many different ways to attache a clasp. The most common I find is to use crimp beads.

How to Add a Clasp to your Jewelry Project

[Read more…]