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2007 Jan 02

Boomer the Beads & Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig SpokesdogWigJig Jewelry Tools Presents our Jewelry Making Newsletter -- AKA Boomer Sez:

Our Spokesdog:  If an insurance company can have a gecko, we have decided that we can have a spokesdog.  Boomer, shown working at right, is our spokesdog.  Boomer's job is to keep the deer from eating our bushes.  Our camera is good at taking pictures of jewelry, but not as good at taking White Deer by WigJig Jewelry Making Toolspictures of dogs and deer as shown here.  (Boomer has an electronic collar that limits how far he can chase the deer.  Here Boomer is near his boundary and the deer know it.   Some continue to graze and completely ignore Boomer.)

On the left is our best picture of the white deer that inhabits Boomer's neighborhood.  As you can see the deer has a grey head and some grey markings on a body that is mostly white.  Again, we are sorry, but we could not get a better picture. 

Garnet Jewelry Making GemstoneBirthstone for January:  The modern birthstone for January is the Garnet.  The term garnet applies to many different chemical compounds gererically called neosilicates.  While garnets normally come in the red color shown here, garnets can come in the greatest variety of colors of any gemstone.  The use of garnets as a gem can be traced to pre-historic times.  Beginning in the late 19th century garnets were used as an industrial abrasive in addition to as a gemstone.  The varieties of garnet have hardnesses between 6.5 and 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale (quartz has a hardness of 7).  More information on garnets can be found by selecting here.

Jana Harp's Land of Tears Necklace Jewelry Making ProjectGuest Jewelry Making Contributor:

This weeks guest contributor is Jana Harp.  Jana is affiliated with OneMaker, a non-profit organization born out of a desire to provide Afghan women with economic opportunities.  In the summer of 2003, OneMaker's founder visited Afghanistan and met a young Afghan woman who referred to Afghanistan as the "Land of Tears".  An American jewelry designer, moved with compassion for the Afghans designed the "Land of Tears" necklace shown at right.  In 2004, OneMaker's Project Manager in Afghanistan went in search of women who might be able to make the Land of Tears necklace.  She found a group of artisans ready to close up their jewelry shop because the market for jewelry in Afghanistan was drying up.  The goal of the OneMaker organization is to provide Afghan women with a sustainable business to give them more control over their lives.  Anyone who would like to assist OneMaker with their charity efforts can contact Jana Harp at jana.harp@cox.netOneMaker will be happy to accept donations of jewelry making materials and will accept assistance in making new jewelry designs.  Please contact Jana if you would like to assist in this effort. 

Shows:  This year Gary Helwig from WigJig will be attending shows at Tucson, Milwaukee and probably late in the year at Reading, PA.  The first show will be the Best Bead Show at Tucson, AZ from January 31 to February 4th.  Gary will be demonstrating our WigJig tools and displaying the jewelry shown on our web site in the Soft Flex Booth.  Don't look for a WigJig booth, we will be in the Soft Flex booth in the Kino Veterans Memorial Community Center, 2805 East Ajo Way; Tucson, AZ 85713.  

Jewelry Making Supplies On Sale:

We update the jewelry supplies that we have "On Sale" with every newsletter.  A small sample of the products we have for sale at discounted prices are shown below.  Please click on any of the text below the pictures to view our entire list of sale items.  Select the picture itself to view that specific item in our Internet store.  This sale will be effective through January 12th, 2007 or until we run out of that item. 

Free Jewelry Making Design:

Beaded Circles Jewelry Making Project with Swarovski BeadsBeaded Circles Earrings Jewelry Making Project with Crystal BeadsWith every newsletter we provide a new jewelry design from WigJig University to spur the creative juices.  The new design for this newsletter is the design for the Beaded Circles Earrings jewelry making project shown here.  This is a beginners jewelry making project and uses one of our WigJig tools and four Super Pegs, one each in the following sizes: 3/16", 5/16", 7/16" and 1/2".

For those of you who like long earrings that are unique, this is an excellent jewelry making project.  It can be made with any round 6mm beads and will look striking.  We chose Swarovski round Crystal AB beads because they reflect so much light that they really draw attention to the earrings. 

Once you have the technique down, these earrings take about 15-20 minutes to make a pair.  The key phrase here is "once you have the technique down".  We do recommend making about 3 of these earrings with practice wire before you begin to cut your good wire. 

To view our instructions for how to make these Beaded Circles Earrings select here, or select either picture.

Past Jewelry Making Techniques:

We maintain a techniques web page that provides links to the discussion of techniques in our prior newsletters.  You can visit this web page here.  Follow the links on that page to the discussion of the technique in that newsletter. 

Jewelry Making Technique:

Jewelry Wire Watchband Jewelry Making Finding This weeks jewelry making technique is a different technique for making a jewelry wire chain as a watchband.  This chain uses the larger two loop link described in our prior newsletter (with two different sizes of loops) along Jewelry Wire Watchband Jewelry Making Findingwith three of the larger links made the same size loop on either end.   This combination of four larger links on either side of the watch face are connected one to another by a small link that we call a wrapped figure 8 link.  You can see the small wrapped figure 8 connector above-left shown magnified.  For the watch shown above-right, we used a combination of sterling silver wrapped figure 8 connectors connecting gold-filled larger links to mirror the combination of silver-tone and gold-tone metal in the watch face.  This watch was also completed with a 3" guard chain to prevent loss.  

You can view our instructions for making the jewelry wire watchband by selecting either picture above or by selecting here. Triangle Beads Necklace Jewelry Making Project

Nostalgia Corner -- Some of our favorite jewelry making projects:

This weeks featured design in our Nostalgia Corner is the design for our Triangle Beads Necklace shown at right.    This necklace is made with a wire component as a yoke that is both decorative and strong.  One of the things that we like to concentrate on when we are making jewelry components is that they pass the baby test.  For us the baby test is -- if a 15 or 20 pound baby were to grab this piece of jewelry, would the baby be able to pull it apart.  This isn't the Herculese test.  We don't think that it is important that a piece of jewelry survive the worst imaginable torture, but we do believe that jewelry should stand up to the modest forces that a baby could apply.  For the centerpiece of this necklace, the beginning loop and the ending loop overlap at the center of the "V".  By placing a bead dangle connecting both beginning loop and ending loops, this wire component is rather strong and won't easily come apart.  It should easily survive a 20 pound tug. 

Please select here, or select the picture above-right to view our instructions for making the Triangle Beads Necklace Jewelry Making Project.

SpokesDog Boomer for Beads, Tools and Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Web Site

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