Posts Tagged ‘steampunk’

Airship Isabella at the Houston bead show

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Some neat new friends, met at our Houston bead show
(we got the best photo we could with our camera)

Steampunk in person

The crew of the Airship Isabella paid us a visit!

We love meeting our Bead Fans at our bead shows, and seeing how creative you all are.

Come see us this spring, we’re on the road to your town right now!

For new ideas

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

This idea-ology™ just might change your thinking!

Whether you do mixed metals or mixed media, these new Tim Holtz® components blend in beautifully.

Fuse the charms of old ideas with new styles. This super-fun line of trinkets started out in the scrapbooking world, then successfully made the leap to jewelry-making!

Let us know what you create with Tim Holtz idea-ology trinkets…post a photo to our Facebook Bead Fans album, or tweet a TwitPic!

Featured bead: washers

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Washers may be a new term to some of you…but check out how useful these are!

Washer beads

Your basic washer bead

When you hear about washers in connection with jewelry making, it doesn’t usually mean those flat, round donuts of metal that the hardware store can sell you.

‘Washers’ usually means heishi beads. Rings & Things’ enjoyable Bead Shapes Glossary gives this definition:

heishi: a type of disk bead that is usually flat, but sometimes slightly puffed. Traditionally, this shape was achieved by drilling flat chips, stringing them and then grinding the strand against stone to gradually wear the edges into smooth, flat-edged circles. Pronounced hee-shee, this shape is also known as a wafer, wheel or spacer.

A couple of examples of washers…

Tim Holtz 'Idea-Ology' washer pack

Tim Holtz 'Idea-Ology' washer pack

Copper trade bead washers

Copper trade bead washers

So, now you’ll recognize a washer if you see one. (You could even use a Chinese coin, couldn’t you?)

Well now, what are these washers good for?

Cold connections! Riveted metal jewelry. Steampunk designs.

How do you use washers?

shhh…lower case metal stamps

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

BIG L, little l, what begins with L?

you may be pounding metal — but you don’t have to shout…

lower case, italics even

lower case, italics even

case-insensitivity was never so beautiful

case-insensitivity was never so beautiful

  • in other words, these new ‘little-letter’ metal stamps are a trend you can capitalize on.
typewriters are gone, but metal letters live on

typewriters are gone, but metal letters live on

the fine print is all good news: our price is really competitive (and you won’t find these with many suppliers). the stamps come in rather attractive wood boxes. made in the u.s.a. = quality tempered steel.

what other metal-stamping trends have you spotted? leave a comment (no caps please) :)

Stringing it, together

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

There’s quite a community of jewelry designers showing off Rings & Things beads and components. Here’s the latest 3 sightings, in Stringing magazine‘s Winter 2009 issue:

Stringing magazine

Stringing magazine

Michelle Mach’s “Jazz Baby” necklace appears on page 64, riffing on the gunmetal theme with eye pins,
jump rings, lobster clasp, and figaro and ’round/oval’ ring chains. Accenting these are size 6 seed beads and lampwork rondelle beads… ?

"Jazz Baby"

"Jazz Baby"

"Time's Toolbox"

"Time's Toolbox"

? …Melanie Brooks’ “Time’s Toolbox” necklace, also based on gunmetal, is on page 66 of the same issue. A ceramic focal from her Earthenwood Studio really clicks with the accompanying hammered oval chain and mesh-style links. Jump rings, both brass and an extra-heavy 13mm style, compliment a clasp in antiqued brass. (An added design suggestion: R&T’s sterling silver puzzle clasp would build on this design’s mixed-metals theme very nicely.)

With her “Amusing Grace” necklace on page 69, Melanie follows her productive steampunk muse farther. A gear link and keyhole focal, also from Earthenwood Studio, make this winning design tick. (Possible substitutes would be metal keyhole pendants, ceramic gear beads and eyepins.
Throw in skeleton-key charms and some added value in the form of a vintage center-holed coin!) There’s also jump rings (extra-heavy gunmetal ones in 13mm, and brass ones); bead caps; rollo chain (3.9mm, in brass), lobster clasps, eye pins and head pins (all in brass, the latter in 2-inch 21-gauge), and colored craft wire (in 20-gauge). ?

"Amusing Grace"

"Amusing Grace"

Featured bead: orchids (or propellers)

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

The featured bead this week is the CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements #6906 orchid pendant.  Here’s why:


The crystal orchid pendant is lovely to start with.  But you can get more for your money, and so can your customers, if you multi-purpose this bead into fashionable steampunk designs.


Given the steampunk affection for making things industrial look pretty, how about a crystal propeller?


This pendant comes in various colors, so blend it into an overall color “blueprint” in your designs.  For starters, we’ve thought of using these on leather cuffs from Tafuri Tough.  Here’s a similar idea recently made by Cindy Gimbrone using glass beads:

Steampunk watch/propellers jewelry by Cindy Gimbrone

Steampunk "Deconstructed watch" / propellers pendant by Cindy Gimbrone

This is a good illustration of how you can add in some cogs, maybe some wire, watch parts…the sky’s the limit for propeller beads!

Do you have a steampunk inspiration?  Lots of components can be re-purposed to use in this style.  Share your ideas in a comment!

May giveaway:
* You enter by leaving comments this month
* At the end of May, 2 winners will receive coveted Rings & Things goodie packs!
So read the blog regularly, to enter a lot & to see if you won!