American Music Awards Jewelry

A trend towards black and white diamonds was visible at the American Music Awards. Rihanna wore the combo on her fingers and Whitney Houston paired black and white chandeliers with a ruffled cuff bracelet. Paula Abdul wore a wide stack of platinum and garnet bracelets on one wrist, while Janet Jackson chose studded-leather bracelets for her AMA performance. Nicole Kidman’s pearl-draped diamond hoops were classic, and Alicia Keys looked stunning in diamond button earrings.

More Looks from the AMA Event

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

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Portable Jewelry Making

If you sell your jewelry at art shows or just like to go hang out with friends and bead on occasion, then you know what a hassle it can be to lug all your tools and jewelry supplies along with you. You can really drive yourself nuts trying to take every little thing, but often you just need a few hand tools and some beads.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has a handy product available that is great for beading on the go, or even wire jewelry making on the go, called “Need a Bead Now” travel cases. Available in two sizes, you can use the smaller 5-box tote (approximately 8” x 7” x 4-1/2”) for trips that you may want to do a little beading but may not have a ton of uninterrupted time. It has five boxes, three divided for beads, needles, etc, and two are not divided, and can fit rolls of beading wire, pliers, scissors, and rolls of silver and gold-filled wire.

The larger tote, the “deluxe” travel case, has 10 boxes (approximately 8” x 15” x 4-1/2″). You can also purchase additional boxes for both totes (solder 2 per pack for $2.30) if you want to alter the configuration. For example, you may want more divided boxes if you want to use yours for bead weaving, while someone who will use it for wire work may prefer to have more undivided, or 1-celled, boxes.

Both the 5-box and 10-box totes are designed so that the boxes fit inside the carrying case and are secured with a snap closure. The top of the cases have handles, so you can carry them like a small piece of luggage. Both sizes are available from Fire Mountain Gems and Bead and are available through their website and catalog. The 5-box retails for $7.53 each and the 10-box for $13.09 each, though price cuts are available for quantity purchase (great idea if you are part of a bead society or jewelry making class).

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Bead Gadget Review

It’s a basic enough problem: when stringing beads, sometimes they can fall off one or both ends of your stringing medium. Most jewelry makers will remedy this situation with a piece of tape attached to the end of the thread, or I’ve attached those binding clips used for paper. However, both of these methods have issues. The tape can make the end of your thread sticky. The binding clips don’t always hold or they can dent your wire if you’re using beading wire. Finally, it looks like someone has come up with a gadget just for this purpose, and I have to admit, when I saw it I sort of had a “duh,” moment. The design is so simple, yet so affective. I wish I’d thought of it first!

I’m talking about a new gadget called the Bead Stopper. Basically, it’s a stainless steel piece of heavy duty wire that is a spiral in the middle with two loops on either side. To open up the spiral part, you squeeze on the two loops, and then you can just slip the end of your beading medium (beading wire, nylon, etc.) into one of the separated sections. Release, and voila, the end of your piece is secure and you can string away.

Bead Stoppers come packaged 6 for $4.99 or 16 for $11.99 (plus shipping). You can order them on line, or I wouldn’t be surprised if your local bead store carries them. For retail and wholesale information about the Bead Stopper, go the company web site at

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Make It Merry 11/26/09

Happy Thanksgiving, folks. Welcome to another edition of Make it Merry, where talented crafters share their holiday how-to’s.

Snowman Ornament

Sherri Osborn will show you how to create a cute snowman face using a clear, glass ornament. It’s a great project for the whole family.

Recycled Pine Cone Gnome

Get a glimpse of this pine cone gnome at the Recycled Crafts blog. It’s a cute reason to collect a few pine cones around the yard.

CopprClay Pendants

Try your hand with pendant making this year with a little help from some winter foliage. The Beading Arts blog will show you how.

How to Make Paper

Handmade paper not only makes a great gift for the avid scrapbooker in your life, but you can also create tags and cards for every present on your list. Marion Boddy-Evans shows us how.

Little Town of Bethlehem Cross Stitch

Get down to the true meaning of Christmas with this simple cross stitch pattern from Connie G. Barwick.

Mitten Earrings

Tammy Powley shows us how to make these cute mitten earrings using lampwork beads.

Christmas Stocking

This cute two-color Christmas stocking is a breeze to knit, even if you’ve never knit a sock before. Worked with bulky yarn on big needles, it will be done and ready for you to embellish in no time.

Advent Garland

If you are looking for something a little different when it comes to counting down to the holidays this year then take a look at this pyramid box garland. Use the free template to make the boxes and decorate them with your favorite festive stamps.

Miniature Gift Boxes

Have a little gift to give? Check out these free printable miniature gift boxes for small gifts or advent calendars from Lesley Shepherd.

Manga Holiday Card

Instead of a traditional Christmas card, you could go with something a little more contemporary this year. Helen South has tips on how to create a manga style card.

Want to Join Make it Merry to show off your holiday crafts? We will showcase your crafts and recipes of all holiday traditions. Learn more.

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