Accent Yourself Handcrafted Jewelry

My name is Barb Macy and this is my blog for Accent Yourself Handcrafted Jewelry. I work with sterling silver wire & sheet and enjoy using beads and sea glass in my work and really been enjoy chain maille projects. I gladly accept custom orders. I have a website for my jewelry at

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Location: Mequon, Wisconsin, United States

Sunday, March 30, 2008

How to Make Your Own Ear Wires

I recently posted that I'd add pics of how I make my own ear wires. Well here is a simple tutorial. By the way, it took me less time to make these ear wires than it did to complete this blog entry!

Materials & Tools Needed: round nose & chain nose pliers, flush cutters, 20 gauge sterling silver round wire, a round pen or pencil, tumbler or burr cup (optional).

1. First, cut round sterling silver wire into 1 3/4 - 2 inch pieces. Make sure all of your pieces are the same length.

2. Next, with your round nose pliers, make a loop at one end of a piece of wire. I make the look going against the natural curve of the wire. You might want to mark your round nose pliers at the point you make the loop for more consistency.

3. Using the pencil or pen as a guide, wrap the wire around making a hook. At this point, I go "with" the natural curve of the wire.

4. Make a small bend in the end of the wire with your chain nose pliers.

* Practice on copper wire first. Don't waste your expensive sterling silver wire!

*After practicing on copper wire, decide what size you like and stick with it! It will help you become more consistent in making your own earwires.

* Use a file or burr cup to soften the ends and to get rid of sharp points.

* Tumble the batch for 20-30 minutes for added hardening & shine.

* I like using 20 gauge wire. I've found that the ear wires are more substantial and hold the little plastic ear wire keepers more securely.

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Working on My Sea Glass Pendant Tutorial

Well, I spent most of the day & evening working on a tutorial for making a bezel set sea/beach glass pendant. It is something I've been wanting to do for a very long time, so yesterday, I got out my camera and started taking pics of the entire process. I have almost 100 pics taken so far, and still need some more! Yikes!

So far, my document is 6 pages, with 24 color photos. The project is a bezel set piece of cobalt blue sea or beach glass, that will eventually be hung on a chain & taken to The Art Center (Art Shop) in Corvallis, Oregon.

I am going to need to test subjects to try this tutorial once I get it finished. If you are interested in proof-reading or testing it to make sure the tutorial is worthy to be posted or sold, please send me an email to let me know. Send me a note with your email address and I can send you a copy of my rough draft.
Thanks for browsing and have a nice day!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How to Make Your Own Earring Cards

I like the look of home made earring cards. It just seems to work better (for me) with my handmade jewelry. Plus, it helps me create specialized packaging for the different shops where I sell my things. I print all my earring cards at home on my laser printer. And, I use the perforated business cards that you can buy at places like Staples & Office Max. Here is an example. I buy packs of scrapbooking paper from Wal-mart, Target, and other craft stores.
  1. I start with my cutting mat that I used to use for quilting, a rotary cutter, a large ruler & scrapbooking paper. I usually work with the large books of coordinating colors & patterns. I also use different color schemes for different shops. For the salons, I use the bright, bold patterns shown. For the art galleries, I use a darker, more subdued color & pattern scheme. Line up the paper and cut a 4-inch wide strip.

  2. Next, after I have a stack of 4-inch strips cut, I cut those strips into cards that are 2 1/2 inches wide. Your finished card should be 4 x 2 1/2 inches.

  3. Tear or cut apart the printed business cards. Make sure you have them printed prior to attaching them or you won't be able to get them through your printer. Attach with any adhesive, like a spray or double-sided tape.

  4. Pierce two holes in the finished card. I like to use a safety pin or a lapel pin because it has a very sharp point and makes a small, tight hole that keeps the earring securely in place.

  5. Finally, add an earring card adapter to the back. I purchase mine through JS Ritter and they are not expensive.
I apologize for the poor picture quality, however, today is a dreary, rainy day in Oregon and there just isn't any good light coming through my windows! But, you can get the basic idea of how to make your own earring cards without spending a lot of money.
What I like the best about this type of card is that you can make endless designs and you aren't stuck with one style like you would if you used professionally printed cards. A couple of my shops don't allow me to put my website on my earring & jewelry cards, so I have the freedom to print different versions on the business cards. Right now, I think I have 4 different versions, plus several different color schemes in shops.
Have a nice day! And, thanks for stopping by my blog!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Briolette Flower Pendant Tutorial

I've written a guide on how to make Briolette Flower Pendants a couple of years ago. I saw something similar to these demonstrated on a couple other websites, but decided to change it up a bit for myself and "make it my own"! I'm sure I didn't invent this technique, but you are free to make as many of these cute little flowers as you want! When finished, I string them on a leather choker, finished with sterling silver ends & a clasp. They also look great on a sterling silver omega chain or a wire choker.

I use both semi-precious and glass briolette beads and a variety of smaller beads for the center of the flower. For the wire-wrapped portion, I use 22 ga. dead soft sterling silver wire. To sew the smaller beads into the center, I use .010 or .014 SoftFlex beading wire. When finished, I tumbler the entire pendant to harden & shine the wire. You could also tumble the pendant before you sew in the center beads.

Pictured above are some examples of finished pendants. I typically use flat faceted briolette/teardrop beads that are about 12mm x 18mm & side drilled -- sometimes smaller ones, which make really cute flowers. I've also made the smaller flowers into rings (see below). With the 12 x 18mm size beads, the finished flower is approximately 2 inches in diameter.

To view my tutorial, it is published on my website at Here is a direct link . . . Briolette Flower Tutorial. Feel free to use my techniques in your jewelry making activities. If you are going to sell these using this technique, all I ask is that you give me a little credit......thanks!

Here is a link to a wonderful tutorial on how to make wrapped wire ends for leather cord, by Cheryl Coccaro, of Gypsy Woman Designer Jewelry. It is an AWESOME technique & they hold up beautifully. I use this technique on all my leather cord necklaces now. I attach a jump ring and a lobster clasp to the ends. Previously, I used hook & eye crimp ends to finish the choker, however, I had too many of them break, fall off, and just not work properly. This is a MUCH more secure technique for finishing leather cord. Thanks, Cheryl!

Enjoy making these cute flowers. They are a great piece to wear in Spring & Summer and make a great gift for the gardener in your life!

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