Aug 14, 2014

Barcelona Earrings

I'ts time for some Chainmaille.

I never, EVER usually do anything associated with Chainmaille. Reason 1: I never have any jump rings. Reason 2: I never really knew how to do all that complicated hooking and threading and twisting and what have you. 
Well, there is a first time for everything.

This is an easy Chainmaille pattern I've created for beginners and advanced 'maillers to try. I've added the addition of faceted gemstone drop beads to give a more bohemian look to an otherwise very industrial look. To prevent tarnishing, I've only used Cousin brand Elegance Metals jump rings; these are either gold or sterling plated so that you won't worry about them losing their shine. I recommend these for use in any Chainmaille pattern.  

These are great everyday earrings that aren't super heavy, but are great quality because you've used great metals. These agate faceted drops and small garnet drop add pops of color. I've used mixed metals here because I'm going for a hippie-chic look. If that's not your thing, use just one metal color. I call these Barcelona earrings because of the eclectic mix of colors, and the fan pattern that forms when you link the jump rings!
Let's get going!

Step 1: Gather materials. Needed are:
4mm Faceted Gemstone rounds (mine from Happy Mango Beads)
Garnet 3mm Rounds from Happy Mango Beads (optional)
Cousin Elegance Metals 6mm Jumprings (Gold, Rose Gold and Sterling Plated)
Cousin Elegance Metals Gold Headpin (or other gold headpins)
Flatnose Pliers and Wire Trimmers

To start the chainmaille pattern, open each of your jump rings packages and separate into like colors. Then, halve those groups so that you will have separated piles for each earring. 

1. Starting with the silver, open and attach a rose and gold. Close silver ring.
2. Open another silver and thread through the rose and gold. Don't close.
3.  Add a silver, rose and gold ring to the open silver. Close.
4. Open a rose. Thread through the rose, gold and silver. Don't close.
5. Add 7 rings, in alternating pattern (rose, gold, silver) to the open rose ring. Close rose ring.
6. Open a silver ring. With the leftmost rose and gold ring, thread silver through these rings and close. There should be 5 empty rings still hanging.
7. Open a gold ring. Thread through the gold of last step and the silver to the right of it, making sure to thread over the last ring (so the new ring lays on top of last). Close ring.
8. Continue this pattern; with a rose ring, thread through the silver of last round and then the rose next to it. Keep repeating, threading through two jump rings only each time, one being the rightmost ring of the last step. You should use 6 rings to finish.

You should have a "fan" of sorts, each jumpring laying beneath the other. MAKE SURE TO ALWAYS ADD EACH JUMP RING IN FRONT OF THE LAST ONE YOU ADDED, to keep that clean fan pattern. 
Simply add gemstone wrapped-loop charms to each of the 6 empty jump rings at bottom. If feelin' groovy, add a small garnet charm to the top jumpring, and finish by adding a fishhook to this ring as well.

The gemstones lay next to each other, creating a cool fan-like pattern.

These would also look great in all silver metal, with turquoise rounds for a southwestern look. Or, try all gold metal with pearl drops for a totally traditional vibe.

Maybe I'll try Chainmaille again in the future. It has served me well up to this point. What do you think?

All images copyright Allison Beth Cooling. DO NOT post images/tutorial without crediting and linking back!

Jul 28, 2014

Birds of a Feather Manicure

Purples and golds and sparkles.

This nail tutorial is all about elegance; these gold feather decals just add that fine detailed look. Unexpected vitrail-finished crystal flat backs also add a modern vibe. I think I am obsessed with the vitrail look; that multicolored metallic-looking finish that's becoming more popular these days. It's an edgier version of a traditional crystal.

This manicure was made possible with supplies from nail art and beauty superstore Born Pretty. This store has everything and anything you need to update your entire look! From gems, decals and polishes to jewelry, clothing and more, be sure to check them out online.

If you are interested, I've got an exclusive coupon for y'all.
Use the code HXSQ10 on Born Pretty Store to get 10% off your order! With free shipping, you can't beat their selection. The prices are great as well. Most nail art supplies are around $2, which is my kind of price! You can get lost shopping on their site….seriously.
Let's get to the tutorial.

Step 1: Gather materials. I am using Born Pretty Peacock Gold Feather Decals Item Id 13673 and Born Pretty Rhinestone Wheel Id 14724. I also used gold shimmer polish, nail glue, black nail polish, purple nail polish and clear coat. I painted all my nails black except for the index and pinkie (yes, it shows black here, but paint the pinkie gold. I changed my mind!). Paint the pinkie gold and the index purple. 

On your black nails, use Born Pretty Sponges to get a gold gradient. Simply paint the edge of the sponge with a bit of gold and dab at the bottom of your nails to get a gold dusted look. On your index finger, take the large feather decal and apply. These are water decals; for more info on how to use these, view my Royal Teal manicure.
On the ring finger, apply the smaller feather decal.

On the Pinkie, simply use nail glue to apply three Born Pretty gems in a line down your nail. Press down and let dry. I also added one bigger gem to the index finger, placing it on the middle of the feather decal. When everything is dry, simply finish with top coat.

Purple and gold is a classic combination, standing for royalty. The addition of black is my touch, as you all know its my favorite color. If you don't like that gothic touch, you could do a darker purple with gold, omitting the black.

This works great with all nail sizes. As you can see, mine are way shorter than they have been. Sadly my long nails have broke, forcing me to start from scratch. I always think darker colors look better on short nails, hence the palette. You could switch up the colors to fit your style! The peacock feather decals also come in silver, and Born Pretty's rhinestones come in all colors. A baby blue/silver /white combination would be really pretty, or go girly with neutral polish, gold decals and Born Pretty Pearls.
The possibilities are endless!

Sophisticated yet stylish!

I find that these water decals are so easy to use, especially because they can be repositioned while still wet to get the perfect fit. If you were using a sticker, you'd be stuck with where it was placed first. I would recommend water decals to anyone!

All photos copyright Allison Beth Cooling. DO NOT use/post without linking to me and crediting me!

Jul 21, 2014

"Daintyfied" Project 2- Infinity Wrap Bracelet

To infinity and beyond! 

This wrap was made from products within Cousin Corporation's new line, "Daintyfied". The line includes charms, chains, and components that can be mixed and matched to create lightweight, delicate jewelry that can be worn everyday! This collection hits Michaels craft stores August 15th, so look out for it! Also, it will be available on Prima Bead.
I used the Infinity charm seen on the far right.

I also used Cousin Jewelry Basics round crystals, gold jump rings, Cousin beaded chain and a gemstone 4mm round bead.

You know my obsession with stacking bracelets. Pair this rosary-style wrap with a chunky bangle and other bright neon beads for a cohesive look!

To make this wrap, simply take Cousin's Beaded Link Chain in a length 3X the size of your wrist, adding 6mm crystals in even spots along your length of chain. You will have to cut the beaded links and add your own link with this chain, then reconnect. 
For help on creating linked beaded chains, view my Crystal Amulet Necklace tutorial.

With the unfinished ends of chain, simply attach a clasp to one side and the Infinity charm to the other. Add a couple of charms to the other end of the infinity (I used one 6mm crystal, one 4mm gemstone and a blue bead from my linked chain). To wear, simply wrap and clasp at the jumpring!

All photos copyright Allison Beth Cooling. Do not post tutorial or pics without linking and crediting me!

Jul 16, 2014

"Daintyfied" Project 1- Buddha Bangle

Breathe in, breath out. Om. 

This delicate Buddha and dainty Om give a sense of serenity to this simple bangle. This is truly a beginner tutorial, because it takes less than 10 minutes to make, and the materials list is concise. 

I've layered my bangle with some other bracelets for a cool, eclectic look. Get the tutorial on how to make my Sparkle Strands bracelets (green/pink) and Fiesta Bracelet (orange) to complete your own bracelet wardrobe!

This bangle was made from products within Cousin Corporation's new line, "Daintyfied". The line includes charms, chains, and components that can be mixed and matched to create lightweight, delicate jewelry that can be worn everyday! This collection hits Michaels stores August 15th, so look out for it! Also, it will be available on Prima Bead.

I am using the Buddhist charm set and the Bangle Bracelet for this tutorial. I also used 26 gauge Cousin wire and 4mm Cousin Jewelry Basics copper bicones. 

I simply cut a foot piece of wire, and wrapped it around the circular end of the bangle. After about 6 wraps (tight!) I added a bicone, and encased it in a wrap to hold in place. Then, I wrapped about two times with the wire, added another bead, and repeated. I used nine beads total. Wrap six more times with plain wire and cut flush to finish.

I added the Om and Buddha charms to the circle end of the bangle to finish. Voila! 

I decided to only wrap a little bit of crystals to keep the look dainty. Also, asymmetry in jewelry always  looks a little more modern and fresh!

You could easily do this look with any of the Daintyfied charms, and any colored crystals. Try pearls for a classy look, or even gemstone rounds for a bohemian vibe! Super lightweight and great for everyday wear.

You could of course wire wrap the whole bangle if you wanted, the possibilities!

Sparkly and makes a statement!

All photos copyright Allison Beth Cooling- do not use/post images without crediting and linking to me!