Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beaducation - New Order and Giveaway Winner

My latest order from Beaducation arrived the other day. It arrived just in time. A friend of mine asked me to alter a bracelet that she received for her birthday. Since she's so petite, she worried about how the bangle would fit. I'll be cutting down the bangle and creating a chainmail chain for the bracelet.

Yes, those are two fists bumping.

As such, I got the Power Punch Pliers so that I can punch through the sheet metal of the bracelet. I love how easy these pliers are to use. I tested them out with some anodized aluminum disks (spoiler alert: new designs will be appearing in my summer shows). They work great.

Punch through metal like paper with these awesome things.

As a final note, the winner of the Beaducation class giveaway is Cheryl H. Thanks to everyone for posting your comments. Hopefully I can do another giveaway in the future and offer another great prize.

Vanessa Walilko
Chainmail Jewelry
Aluminum chain mail jewelry

Friday, February 18, 2011

Living without Apology

Deisree Adaway wrote a great post about not apologizing for who you are. I recommend reading it if you ever find yourself apologizing for all the things that make you uniquely and sincerely you.


Aluminum chainmail jewelry
Handmade chain mail jewelry

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Beaducation Class Review and Giveaway!

When Kate Richbourg asked me to review a class for Beaducation, I was honored. I've known about Beaducation for a while, but I fell in love with them last year after winning a gift certificate for the Bead Dreams competition. They have everything that a new or experienced jewelry designer could want, from supplies (I currently have my eye on their anodized aluminum blanks) to tools to video classes that you can watch over and over again.

I recently took the "Lilies and Leaves" class by Janice Berkebile. Their free videos are an amazing resource for jewelry-making tips, and as I discovered, the classes are fantastic too. This particular class offers intermediate students a ton of valuable information. Berkebile shows you how to make spirals out of wire and how to form a lily and leaves out of copper sheet metal... even showing how to correct a common mistake which is an incredible bit of information to offer students.

This is a wonderful project. I've made a couple forays into metalsmithing, but I'm a chainmail woman. This video taught me how to use pliers to texture metal--how clever! I also learned a couple extra tips about keeping bits of metal in one place for easy clean-up and how to lengthen the life of paper templates. Also, can I just say that I love how delightfully tactile this project is? I want to do some experimenting with my anodized aluminum leaves for a brightly colored variation.

I strongly recommend the class for anyone looking to take on a new project. Best of all, "Lilies and Leaves" is on sale until February 18.

But that's not all... I'm offering my first ever giveaway! I will be selecting one lucky person to win the class of their choice on Beaducation. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog by the end of the day on February 20 with the answer to this question: what class would you take if you win? I'll pick a winner at random from all the comments. Make sure to leave your name and email address in the comment... if we can't get a hold of you, you can't win this fabulous prize!

Don't wait--enter the giveaway today!

Aluminum Chain Mail Jewelry
Handcrafted Chainmaille jewelry

Monday, February 7, 2011

Birthday resolutions

My new year starts on October 1. I have that time until January 1 to work out what I want to achieve. I test out those goals until February 5--my birthday--and then I get serious about things. The idea of a New Year's Resolution is a little daunting, but thankfully I can break that off into manageable monthly chunks and then really get cracking on plans for the new year when my new year comes around.

There are already many awesome things a-brewin'. I'm finally sitting down to work on tutorials for my designs. Instructions for how to make a a pair of beaded star earrings are already on my VanessaSellsSupplies Etsy shop. A chainmaille belt tutorial will soon follow.

Instructions for my Unfoldings of the Implicate Order beaded necklace are in issues 28 and 29 of Bead Magazine.

And, the trophies I won in the British Bead Awards arrived, along with some neat certificates. Best early birthday gift ever.

My shameless love of winning certificates and awards has been around since elementary school, when I craved the colorful certificates that meant I had mastered one of the Holey Cards. I guess I've always been a monomaniac.

Also, I made organic wild rice crackers with a recipe I tweaked myself. It's going to be a good year!

Vanessa Walilko

Aluminum chain mail jewelry
Handcrafted chainmail jewelry