Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

Taking Control of the Mess

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

“Creating art can sometimes be a messy job.”

-Eric Carl-

If you are a Type A sort of person, when you start a project you probably make a minimal mess and then compulsively clean it up as soon as you are done. For the rest of us, keeping a sense of order takes a more conscious effort (we are easily distracted). Often this means the “craft room” takes a hit–and ends up looking like the victim of a natural disaster. Take this photo we found online for example:

It definitely evokes that same overwhelmed feeling that takes over at the end of a project doesn’t it? That moment when you’re suddenly aware of the chaos you’ve created. But fear not! There are a lot of ways to wrangle in the mess and make your creative space a more inspiring environment. Here are a couple of articles that can help you get started:

TLC: How to Organize a Craft Room

DIY DISH: “Green” Craft Room Organization

Here at Wired Up Beads, we are familiar with the concept of “wrangling the mess”. With classes, new products, and staff projects in the works there is always something new going on and that means there is always something to organize! With the launch of our new website these organization tasks have become even more important, and we’ve gotten a whole new system going. Our most recent additions to the website and to our own organization routine are the Best Craft Organizer storage solutions. They are helping us manage our mess, and we are so excited about them that we decided to offer them to our customers as well.

(WUB Tip: Right now all our Storage products are 25% off!)


What do you think readers? Are you ready to get your creative space under control?


Gems of Inspiration

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

If any of you have ordered online from us recently, you’ve probably noticed the colorful index-sized cards placed in your package. If you haven’t yet, be on the lookout! These cards are little treasures designed to inspire and instruct about all kinds of topics related to jewelry-making. They are all a part of the Creative Gems – A Treasury of Ideas collection.

Designed to enhance your skills and inspire your imagination, this series will include topics such as:

• Work with wire to create free-form designs

• Use shape as a catalyst for design inspiration

• Create custom ear wires to enhance your earring designs

• Increase your color confidence

• Gain mastery of your tools

And many many more!

Whether you are a beginner or seasoned jewelry maker, this series will earn a place of value on your jeweler’s bench. We are also now introducing a special collectors file box (pictured above), designed to house all of your collector cards. At your workspace or on the go, keep your Creative Gems organized and on hand for creative inspiration.

Starting your collection of Creative Gems is easy! The cards are free with any order from Wired Up  Beads, and we will be sending out a new one every 3-4 weeks. To get your special collectors file box simply make an order of USD $30.00 or more, put the collector’s box in your shopping cart, and we will ship it with your order for free! (Limit one per customer!)

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Have you started your collection yet? Let us know what you think about the cards, and if you have any suggestions for what topics you would like us to cover.

Texturing it up!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Texturing is one of our favorite methods for adding dimension and character to our jewelry here at Wired Up Beads. If you ever happen to stop by the studio when we have a metal-working class or project in the works you might want to bring some earplugs, because we don’t hold back when it comes to using our favorite texturing tools! Last week’s staff development was a fun morning of creating earrings from copper and experimenting with various texturing techniques. Below you can see some of the fun designs the staff came up with!



There are many ways to take your jewelry to the next level with texturing. Whether you are using a simple chasing hammer technique or engaging in “guerilla” texturing, you are sure to add an element of authenticity to your work and have a blast doing it! Take the earring below for example. It was textured using the Crosshatch/Stars Texturing Hammer–you can see the raw quality the texture gives to the earring to complete the overall look.












Another hammer that provides a similar texture is the Euro Tool Texturing Hammer with 9 Faces. It has the cross-hatch design and 8 other fun texturing faces!










Below is a fun charm-style earring design. This look was created using a standard dome-faced chasing hammer. This texture can be re-created by using the small end of your hammer at an angle, hammering lightly until you achieve the desired level of texture. This is an excellent way to add clean and simple texture to a piece. We have two chasing hammers that we just love here at Wired Up Beads. One is our standard Dome-Face Chasing Hammer, which you will find in our classroom at all times, and the other is our Fretz Chasing Hammer, a top-of-the-line hammer that produces bench-jeweler level results.










This last earring design shows a different approach to texturing that provides a smooth, linear finish. This design was created using the striped side of one of Euro Tool’s two-sided texturing hammers. The hammers are the Dimpled/ Narrow Stripe and the Checkered/Wide Stripe. This style of texturing lends itself well to creating a unique, fluid dimensionality in your work.












When you are in the mood for an experiment, try your hand at “guerilla” texturing. This method doesn’t require a special hammer or stamp to complete, you find your texture in the world around you! One of our favorites is concrete–you just take your metal outside and use the concrete as your texturing surface. You would be surprised at what a unique and interesting texture you can get with this technique. You can check out our full line of texturing hammers by clicking this link: Wired Up Beads: Hammers.

What are your favorite ways to texture a piece? We want to hear your tips and tricks!

The Art of Gift Giving

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

” Something handmade is so much more meaningful”

–Beth Wert–

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, which means that children everywhere, from little kids to adults, are shopping for their moms.

You can make her something that is beautiful and more meaningful than picking up something generic at the store. Don’t forget to check out our wide range of products, they are sure to inspire something your mom will love!

(1) Vintaj Chain $6/ft. (2) English Meadow Glass Beads, $7. (3) Sterling Headpins, $8.90/pkg. (4) Turquoise Nouveau Button, $3. (5) 12  g Aluminum Wire, $7.50. (6) Vintage Silver Watch Face, $7.50. (7) Purple Hydrangea Micro Suede, .67/yd. (8) Sterling 24 mm Ear Wire, $1.32/pair. (9) Hill Tribe Shining Heart, $4. (10) Book-Mixed Metals, $22.95. (11) Wild Flowers Fastenables, $6. (12) Made with Love Charm, $9.45. (13) Wubbers Looping Pliers, $28.95.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our free tutorials, we have some really fun designs posted and the videos and step-by-step instructions will ensure you get a professional-looking final product. You can access that part of our website by clicking on the link below, or by clicking the “Tutorials” tab on our homepage.

Wired Up Beads Free Tutorials

Do you have any gift-giving suggestions to offer up? We would love to hear them, so feel free to leave a comment or shoot us an email so we can share your tips!