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Articles written by Polly Nobbs-LaRue
Articles written by
Polly Nobbs-LaRue

Pickup in Store

We listened! We got a lot of complaints about the quirks and extra clicks and taps in the "Store Locator" feature that came with our December 2021 website upgrade, so we're in the process of getting rid of it. Now when you want to pick up an order in our Showroom: Simply order the items you want (here at www.rings-things.com), and when you get to the shipping section, choose the Store Pickup "shipping" option.

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Have It Your Way | Earrings Tutorial

There are so many options with these components: Both colors of Bello (manmade) opals are beautiful and full of fire, or you can sub your favorite gemstone charm or beaded drop, or make bespoke birthstone jewelry. I went with mixed metals, but you could use all gold, or switch to all silver if using sterling charms. The cascading links are technically stacking rings (for your fingers).

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Chakra Colors for Making Jewelry

Whether you create jewelry as a business, or you're making something special for yourself or as a gift, here you'll find the perfect combination of shapes, sizes and stones to create the perfect DIY chakra pendants, bracelets and necklaces. Although each chakra is associated with a specific color and concept, the gemstones or crystals themselves can vary. Qualities to consider when choosing chakra stones or healing crystals are the color, any energetic qualities you want to focus on, and the personal or intuitive resonance you feel when you consider each type of stone. While gemstone beads are more traditional, you might also like the simplicity and vivid color of Swarovski or Preciosa crystal beads and pendants, which provide a perfect rainbow of consistent color and sizes.

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About African Trade Beads

We carry an eclectic (and diminishing) variety of African beads, both old trade beads, and newer beads made or strung in Africa for the world-wide bead trade. Trade beads are old and/or used beads, and will show varying amounts of wear. Newly-made African beads are generally handmade in small communities. Style and availability vary. Rings & Things founder, Russ Nobbs, loved trade beads and African Art. For many decades, he purchased trade beads from African traders -- for sale as well as for his personal collection. Since he passed away, we have slowed down on our trade bead purchasing, but we continue to research the beads he stashed away, and we periodically are able to add another batch of cool vintage beads from his personal collection to our website. Plus we can't resist an occasional purchase of Christmas beads, pretty colors of recycled glass beads, or other fun finds. Some of the glass trade beads you're likely to find on our website or in our Showroom:

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Tranquil Spangle Bracelet Tutorial

Determine desired bracelet length; add one inch. Cut a piece of cord 4 times this length. (7" bracelet + 1" = 8". 8" x 4 = 32").

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Goodnight Moon Pins Tutorial

Cut loops off the moon charms and file smooth. For one pin, antique the brass components and bar pin with Win-Ox™ before assembling.

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Happy Travelers Earrings Tutorial

As the Remover of Obstacles, and Lord of Beginnings, Ganesh is a popular charm or talisman for travelers. Combine this auspicious symbol with Maneki Neko, the beckoning kitty who welcomes good fortune and friends, and you have a winning combination to wear while planning future travel, even if you can't travel anywhere exciting right now.

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Pulse Earrings Tutorial

Determine placement of vinyl heishi beads, and mark each dot with an extra-fine point Sharpie. Punch holes in the brass blanks with the cutting end of the Crafted Findings tool.

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GO TEAM! Seahawks Colors Key Ring

Two of the best things about TierraCast's stepped charms with crystals, are their large bail loop (that can slide directly onto 2.4mm ball chain), and the awesome assortment of colors.

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Tschinkel's Circles Bracelet Tutorial

Leather is more flexible than the metal that these rivets are designed for, so it's important to add a final bead (any color) on the backside of the bracelet, so the tiny finished/set rivet does not pull through the leather.

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Metals

Learn more about elements, alloys, base metals, platings, allergies, and precious metals: Metals can be elements or alloys. Examples of elements: Oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, iron (Fe), copper (Cu) and niobium (Nb). Alloys are mixtures of various elements. Alloys can be a "base" (less costly) metal, like brass, or a "precious" (more costly) metal, like sterling silver or karat gold. Jewelers and engineers create alloys to change the color, melting temperature, and/or strength of elements. For example, solid gold is too soft for most applications. To make it stronger, it is alloyed (mixed) with other elements.

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Candara Bracelet Tutorial

Learn a great trick for soldering links with delicate beads on them -- this even works for pearls!! (But you'll need to hand clean the links, because pearls don't like pickle or tumbling.) 1.Unspool approximately 26" of copper wire. Pull it smooth with flat nylon-jaw pliers. 2.Trim the end neatly (flush) with flush cutters. 3.Use ring-bending pliers to make as many equal sized coils as you can easily fit on the pliers.

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Captured Aventurine Bracelet Tutorial

Created by: Polly Nobbs-LaRue 1.Unspool approximately 20" of copper wire. Pull it smooth with flat nylon-jaw pliers. 2.Trim the end neatly (flush) with flush cutters. 3.Coil the wire around a 14-20mm round mandrel, looping pliers, or bail-making pliers.

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Showroom Covid Guidelines

Your safety and well-being are of the utmost importance to us. Due to the unique circumstances COVID-19 has created nationwide: For the health and safety of you and others, please follow current CDC and/or Washington state guidelines. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, please save your trip to Rings & Things for another day (or place a pre-paid order for pickup). Our employees are committed to working routinely to keep the store sanitized for you.

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Fold-Formed Earrings Tutorial

Created by: Polly Nobbs-LaRue 1. Jewelry Lab: 52 Experiments, Investigations and Explorations in Metal has a great tutorial on fold forming. 2. To make a matching pair of earrings, cut 2 squares or rectangles of silver sheet, and fold each in half as precisely as possible. Use a nylon hammer to flatten the fold. Then cut a design (half an oval, half a teardrop, etc.) out of paper, and use the template to trace and cut out matching shapes on the folded edge of each piece of metal.

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Cognitive Resonance Pendant Tutorial

Wear safety glasses when cutting, drilling or punching. Lay out pattern; carefully set aside, away from your hammering surface. Decide the size rivets you'll need for each hole. This depends on two factors. The watch parts: Some have a large hole and will only work with larger gauge wire and/or in combination with other gears or beads used as spacers or fillers. Others have a small hole or are too hard to punch with the plier punch. The plier punch can...

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Wavy Gravy Necklace Tutorial

Created by: Polly Nobbs-LaRue 1. This simply strung repeating pattern necklace has a finished length of 18"". The wavy disk beads give the design extra dimension and texture.

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Red Light / Green Light Enamel Earrings

Your Choice: They're balloons, streetlights or lollipops! Punch a 1/16" hole in each blank, directly opposite the existing loop or hole. Clean the blanks with Penny Brite to remove all oils. Spray each blank lightly with Klyr Fire before sifting enamel evenly onto each blank: red on one, green on another, and foundation white on the strips.

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Extra Briolicious Necklace Tutorial

These sparkling, shimmering beads are beautiful and easy to use. This doesn't really count as a tutorial... really I just bought one of each color and strung them on a sleek black choker.

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Geared Ring Tutorial

Created by: Polly Nobbs-LaRue 1. Cut a strip of 20-gauge sheet 2.75" long. Smooth and straighten with a nylon hammer. 2. For a matte finish, scrub the surface with steel wool or a dish scrubbie. 3. File the corners and edges smooth using a needle file.

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