Archive for June, 2012

Summer Road Trip part 3

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Hi bloglandia! Today is the deadline for entering the Vintaj Summer Road Trip design challenge. Mollie was a little late in getting her inspiration piece completed…seems her idea of a summer road trip is wandering in the woods. There are no clocks or calendars in the wilderness! Her “Day in the Woods” necklace is well worth waiting for, however. She combined a number of sweet little elements together to make this piece. We’ll have to look closely to see them all, as the sunlight can be a bit distracting!


The vial hangs with a cluster of wire-wrapped bicones in shades of smoky blue and gray from olive green velvet ribbon.


Mollie painted a wee brass feather charm with Vintaj Patina in a muted blue-green color before hanging it inside a glass vial. The vial top is adorned with a Vintaj bead cap, Swarovski rhinestone wheel and a crystal bicone from our new Idewild Blue Crystal Jam mix.


A DecoEmbossed Vintaj leaf and a metal stamped and dapped round Vintaj charm complete the grouping.


And here is a view of how Mollie finished the ends – ribbon clamps (simply flatten with pliers -the teeth inside grip the ribbon securely) and a Vintaj clasp.

With jewelry this pretty, who wouldn’t want to wander in the woods? Hope you all have a lovely weekend! ~ Cindy

Vintaj Summer Road Trip Jewelry Inspirations part 2

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Hi bloglandia! For me, a summer road trip means just one thing: camping. I’ve never met a national park I didn’t like, but I especially love Yellowstone. However, I never saw a bear the whole time I was there. Fortunately, the National Park Service has an amazing online archive of public domain images which includes vintage photos of bears in Yellowstone! I put the image in a bezel, covered it in resin and layered it over a stamped Vintaj natural brass disk to create my centerpiece.

Cindy's Bears bezel necklaceFor the tassel, I hung clusters and clusters of wire-wrapped crystals from our new Wild Flower Crystal Jam with a few imperial jasper rondelles. The way the dusky rose, green, tan and slate hues of this particular jasper coordinates with the crystal mix was what inspired this whole design! The cover for this craziness is a Vintaj bead cap.  I really like our drawn cable chain because the links open and close like jump rings – so the whole thing is connected by chain links!

tassel-closeupMulti-strand designs can become kind of high maintenance, so I like to layer coordinating pieces together instead. And since knotting is a jewelry technique that is super easy to do on a road trip (so long as you’re not the driver!) I made a long strand of jasper on 0.5mm natural hemp.

hempknottedjasperThere a few 6mm crystal metallic light gold rondelles randomly interspersed on the strand to add a bit of bling.

 You know what I am really terrible at?  Taking photos of myself. Hence the blurry headless photo above. But I wanted to show how the two pieces look together, and laying them on a table just wasn’t working. This probably isn’t much better, but I hope you get the idea…and that you are busy making your own Summer Road Trip jewelry ideas into reality! Only a few days left to enter… ~ Cindy

Vintaj Road Trip Design Challenge!

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

vintaj rings & things road trip design challengeHi bloglandia! We are really excited to be partnering with Vintaj for their Summer Road Trip design challenge this month. Visit their blog to see the great jewelry their designers created by pairing beads & components from Rings & Things with Vintaj products. The Vintaj blog also has all the details about how to enter the contest! Submissions are due by NOON (CST) Friday, June 29. But wait – don’t go yet!

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll share some of our own Summer Road Trip jewelry pieces, starting with Sondra’s “The Trail Less Traveled” bracelet:


This mixed metal bracelet contains all kinds of mementos!

She used so many fun techniques that I’m sure I’ll miss a few, but here are the highlights:


The Vintaj luggage tags were DecoEmbossed with the Sizzix BigKICK. Sondra punched holes to in the tags to link them with textured locking jump rings.


She curved the postcard charm and souvenir penny using bracelet bending pliers.


The Vintaj bee and several other charms have the tips of rhinestone crystal head pins soldered onto them for extra bling.


The memoir stamp bezel from Vintaj is filled with a scrap of map coated with SuperClear resin.


The rest of the sparklies are from our Karma Chameleon Crystal Jam. Check out our Crystal Jam color themed design boards on Pinterest!

Ok. Now you can go get started on your own Summer Road Trip design challenge piece! We can’t wait to see what you create! ~ Cindy

Jewelry Design Gallery Tricks

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Hi bloglandia! It has been awhile! I’ve been busy preparing our summer catalog (set to hit mailboxes early July). Once again it features lots of fun new beads, jewelry findings and mixed-media supplies. Our design team puts in a lot of work to create jewelry that fits with current trends and also helps illustrate how different products might be used. Sometimes it just isn’t so obvious how that little hook with crimp, or whatever it might be, could tie into a design!

Spring Skies

Spring Skies necklace featuring blue lace agate, Vintaj natural brass, feathery chain and the Bohemian Rhapsody mix of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystal bicones.

We integrated our design gallery with our online store to make it easier for you to purchase the supplies for designs you like. However, we soon discovered a drawback: while it is easy to browse the jewelry designs, it is somewhat difficult to find one in particular. If you search for the name of a jewelry piece, our website brings back zero results (so sad!).

But – there is an upside. If you search for a certain stock number, you can now find jewelry designs that use that product! This is really exciting, to me at least.

For example, say you are looking at different types of clasps. You find hook and eye clasps on p. 273 of our main catalog and wonder if they’d really look right on your jewelry. Here’s how to find a design that uses those clasps:

1. Go to

2. Enter the base stock number (39-293) in the search box and you’ll see all the colors of that clasp, AND:

RT Design Gallery 1
Several of the category results up top are the names of jewelry designs. Sweet!

3. Let’s click on Spring Skies.
Rings & Things Design Gallery 2

Wait, where is the necklace? Hold on a sec. We are looking at the exact clasp used on that necklace – but the necklace itself is nowhere to be seen.

4. Click into the product details.

Rings & Things Design Gallery 3 Same clasp, but now look above the product to see the category we’re in…Spring Skies!

5. Click the Spring Skies text link.
Rings & Things Design Gallery 4
And voila! At long last we’ve arrived in at the design gallery listing for the Spring Skies necklace. Here you’ll find tips on how to make this piece, links to popular (and free!) jewelry-making technique sheets as well as all the products you need to create this design.

Obviously, we’ve got thousands of products and not all of them are going to have designs (I said our design team works hard – but we do have to sleep sometime!). Searching for just the base stock number (with many exceptions, the rule is that the final -# designates the color or plating of a family of items) will increase your odds of finding example jewelry that shows exactly what you are looking to find! Also, just take a look at those top category search results from time to time to see if anything intriguing pops up – it might lead you to a whole new look!

Happy designing! Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about our design gallery or website in general. ~ Cindy