Sunday, February 23, 2020

Organic Style Copper Jewelry Bezels - Step By Step Video Tutorial




I'm so happy to be able to share a brand new step by step jewelry tutorial with you! 

I am just crazy about these beautiful organic style copper jewelry bezels and I was so excited to create a DIY tutorial for you so that you can make them too! 

There's something about the warm tones of copper and the imperfect, "organic" style of jewelry that is crafted completely by hand that I just love. 

These bezels can be filled with all types of goodies - think resin with embedded beads, bits of vintage fabric or glass, stones or gems or even paper. What would you fill them with? Well maybe I am getting ahead of myself because we have to create them first! But the great news is that even though they may look difficult to make, they really are quite easy.

All you will need are a few simple, basic tools and materials, and a small butane torch. If you have only ever made soldered jewelry with a soldering iron, this is the perfect project for you to learn how to solder with a small torch. If you've never used a torch before, never fear! It's easy and not scary at all, I promise! 

Below are a few photos from the tutorial, but you can watch the entire video for free on my YouTube channel!









Enjoy the tutorial and I'd love to know how your bezels turn out, so be sure to leave me a comment on the video on YouTube - or any questions you may have as well - and don't forget to subscribe!

Oh, and be sure to check back for my next video, where we will transform these bezels into completely unique, one of a kind pieces of jewelry!







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Laura

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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2020 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link corrections please leave correct info in comment area.

Monday, February 3, 2020

How To Make A Pair Of Ear Wires For Earrings



 How to make earwires for earrings



If  you are not already making your own ear wires for earrings then you need to watch this ear wire tutorial now! Making your own earwires is easier than you might think, and with a little bit of instruction and practice, you will be turning out your own handcrafted earrings in no time at all. 

This beginner technique is essential to jewelry making. If you're a complete beginner it may seem a bit daunting at first, but I promise, it's not at all as hard as it might seem. The tools and materials you need are minimal and are basic jewelry making tools that are essential to jewelry making, so once you invest in them you will use them for all sorts of jewelry making techniques and projects. 


For this tutorial you will need:

Round nose pliers (sometimes called rosary pliers)

Chain nose pliers

Wire cutters (aka wire cutting pliers)

*Wire straightening pliers

*A ball peen hammer (you can improvise with a different hammer you have at home if you do not yet own a ball peen hammer)

*A steel bench block (another thing you can improvise on if you do not yet own one)

A ruler

24 gauge wire 



*A note on the tools:

The round nose pliers and wire cutters are essential tools but you can easily improvise with a different hammer if you do not yet own a ball peen hammer. 

Same goes for the steel bench block; you can hammer on another hard surface until you acquire a bench block. 

The wire straightening pliers are a great tool to have and really are useful, so if you do not have a pair, put them on your list to get in the future, as they will make working with wire SO much easier and will make your work look much more professional, but you do not need them to learn how to make earwires. 

For this video tutorial, I used 24 gauge sterling silver wire but when you are just starting out and learning you should use inexpensive craft wire or copper wire (you can buy both at most craft stores and watch for those coupons!) Save the expensive precious metal wire for when you perfect your techniques and practice on the inexpensive stuff!

Did you know that you can also buy copper wire in many different gauges at your local hardware store? Check it out the next time you visit, and take note of the prices. When I first started out with jewelry making and wire work, I bought myself a wire stripper and a few spools of different gauge wire at my local Home Depot and paid only a fraction of the cost that jewelry catalogs charged for wire. 

The wire that I bought was plastic coated, so the wire strippers were essential to easily removing the plastic coating from the wire. Be careful though, those buggers are sharp! 

Check out the tutorial video below, or watch it directly from my YouTube channel.




Enjoy the tutorial and I'd love to know how your ear wires turn out, so be sure to leave me a comment below and on the video on YouTube and don't forget to subscribe!






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 How to make your own earwires



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Do you make your own earwires? 


Have a great weekend!

Laura

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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2020 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link corrections please leave correct info in comment area.

Friday, January 17, 2020

JalapeƱo Popper Stuffed Biscuits Recipe


Talk about an indulgent comfort food! These Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Biscuits have everything I love: the heat of fresh jalapeno peppers, creamy cream cheese, the hint of sharp cheddar cheese, and crispy bacon bits, all enveloped in a flaky golden biscuit. Yum!

Perfect for game day or movie night, these are quick to make, the recipe only calls for a few simple ingredients, and your family and friends will love them. I promise! If you're lucky to have any leftovers the next day, reheat them in the toaster oven for breakfast.

Instead of mixing the bacon into the filling, I like to use it as a topping before I pop them into the oven - this prevents the bacon from getting soft and gives you that crispy texture that just makes them perfect. 

Scroll down for recipe!



Mix up the filling


Cook and drain the bacon


Flatten the biscuits to create rounds


Place a dollop of filling in the center of each biscuit round


Fold up the edges of the biscuit and pinch to create a blossom


Place them on a cookie sheet


Top each one with the bacon pieces


Bake until golden brown


Ingredients
For this easy recipe you will need:
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh jalapeno peppers (more seeds = more heat)
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 package of refrigerator biscuits (8 biscuits)
1/2 pound bacon, crisped and broken into bits

Directions:

Fry the bacon until crispy and then drain on paper towels. Once the bacon cools, break into small pieces and set aside.

Next prepare the filling by mixing one package of cream cheese in an electric mixer until soft. Stir in 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of diced fresh jalapeno peppers. If you like it mild, use only 1/4 cup of diced peppers and remove most of the seeds. If you like it hot, leave in a bit more seeds and use 1/2 cup of diced peppers. Remember, the heat comes from the pepper's seeds, so you can adjust the heat of your mixture by removing some seeds or adding more seeds.

Use a rolling pin to flatten out each biscuit into a flat circle shape. 

Place a large dollop of filling (I used about 3 big Tablespoons of filling in each one) in the center of each biscuit round, and then bring up the sides of each biscuit, pinching to gather around the edges to create a bowl-shaped dumpling with an open top. 


Place each shaped and filled biscuit on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Top the opening of each biscuit with bacon pieces.

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven 14 to 18 minutes or until the edges of the biscuits are golden brown. 






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Try them and let me know what you think!


Laura

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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2020 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link corrections please leave correct info in comment area.

Friday, January 10, 2020

New Thrift Haul Video! My January 2020 Thrift Shop Treasures





Don't you just love a great thrift shop find? Who doesn't love treasure hunting on a dime? I do!

I've collected some of my best thrift shop finds from the past month or two and you can check them out in my new YouTube video, January 2020 Thrift Shop Haul! 

Take a look, leave a comment and let me know what you think, and I'd love to hear about what kinds of things you look for when you're thrift shopping and I'd also love to hear about any unusual treasures you've found, so be sure to leave a comment on the video and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel! 









Be sure to check out my other videos and subscribe to get my latest updates! I'll be posting a brand new jewelry soldering video very soon and you won't want to miss it!


What do you think?
What is your best thrifting find?




Have a great weekend!

Laura

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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2020 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link corrections please leave correct info in comment area.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

A Peek At A Custom Broken China Jewelry Order


I had a lot on my to-do list today...I have soldering to do for an entire new batch of jewelry, and I'm getting ready to shoot a new thrift shop haul video this morning for my YouTube channel...and then of course preparing for that got me in the mood to run to the thrift store hehe...

But before I do that, I realized I had to delete some old photos and videos from my phone to make some room for my new video...you know, lots of photos from Christmas and New Years that I had to quickly organize just to get out of the way, and while I was doing that I came across a few photos of a custom order I did right before the holiday, and I knew I had to share the photos with you before I filed them away! 

So you can see what kind of morning it's been - lots of small tasks to take care of here and there that keep leading me from one thing to the next! But who doesn't love looking at before and after photos, right?! So here they are, before I file them away! 

This was a custom order for a person who found this single shard of china buried in the ground at the old farmhouse where they live (I think I got that right - I don't remember the exact details!) Anyway, she had this one small piece that was about four and a half inches long or so by about two inches deep and she sent me the top "before" image which you'll see below. 

As soon as I saw the photo of the shard I knew right away that it would make a beautiful piece of jewelry! It was a very pretty soft pink color and had a beautiful textured dot pattern and as soon as I saw it I knew just what shape to transform it into! It was very thin porcelain so it was easy to work with, though the reverse side was badly stained with rusty iron stains from being in the earth for a very long time. I managed to scrub out the stains and the two pendants that later emerged from this single shard turned out to be one of the nicest custom orders I've done. 

BEFORE:

AFTER:




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Laura

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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2020 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link corrections please leave correct info in comment area.

Monday, January 6, 2020

DIY Pine Cone Bonsai - How To Make A Pine Cone Bonsai

Japanese Black Pine mini bonsai by Vertmoi



Once considered to be lucky, the pine was thought to be a talisman against evil, so displaying one in your home protected you from evil and gave you good luck! The symbol of perpetual youth and longevity, these pretty pine cone bonsai are the perfect way to begin your new year. Read on to learn how to make your very own pine cone bonsai!   



Mini pine bonsai from Cobonsai



Before: 

After:
Pine cone before and after images from Matome Naver



How to grow your own Pine Cone Bonsai

1. To grow your own pine cone bonsai, you will first need to find a pine cone that is young and fresh and that has not opened. This is because you need one that still has it's seeds. Once the pine cone opens up, the seeds will be gone and the pine cone will not sprout, so you want to make sure you find a closed pine cone that still has it's seeds. Also, pine cones from a Japanese Black Pine work great perfect for this project. 

2. Try to find a pine cone that is on the larger size; this will help to assure that the seeds inside are of better quality. It's also best to collect a few pine cones and not just one!

3. Some folks recommend giving your pine cones a quick bath in a solution of very diluted lime-sulfur solution before starting this project. That is just an extra step that will help get rid of any pests or fungus that is living in the pine cone. 

4. Next you will need to dry out your pine cones, so place them in a dry spot and watch as they begin to dry out and open up. You may see some of the seeds begin to come out. At this point, you can give the pine cones a few taps to help loosen seeds if you want to plant the seeds outside of the pine cone. The darker seeds will be of better quality. 

5. If you want to grow the seeds directly from inside the pine cone you will next place your pine cone in your prepared soil. Loosely bury bottom of pine cone only, do not bury the entire pine cone! From this point you will water it sparingly and wait for it to sprout - do not over-water or it will rot. That's all there is to it!

A sprouting pine cone from Gisela Zimmerman

6. If you want to plant your collected seeds at a later date follow these directions: Place the seeds in a cool dark place until you are ready to sow them. Once you are ready, you first want to soak them in warm water for a day to help them get started and to separate the duds (those will float to the surface, the good ones will sink.) After the 24 hours, place the seeds in a baggie with a damp paper towel or a bit of moss to get them ready to plant. At this point you can place them in the fridge for a week or two.

6. Once you are ready to plant the seeds, simply sprinkle them on your soil and then cover them with a thin layer of soil. They will take between one and three weeks to sprout. You can strategically position your pine cone in the soil close to your seedlings, but not directly on top of the seedlings or you will kill the seedlings.

7. Give them plenty of sunshine but water them sparingly.




Japanese Black Pine cones, from Bonsai Tonight



Bonsai from Mikuni image from Bronwen Macdonald



What do you think?




Have a great week!
Laura


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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2020 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link corrections please leave correct info in comment area.

Monday, December 30, 2019

New For The New Year! Join Our New Group: Creative Upcycle & Art!

 Join our Facebook group Creative Upcycle & Art!

I'm so excited to invite you to our new Facebook Group, Creative Upcycle & Art! This is a brand new group for a brand new year and you can be a founding member! It's free of course and is simply a fun and friendly place for creative inspiration and to share ideas.

Do you have a cool upcycle project that you want to show off? Share your photos and ideas in our new group! We'd love to see your before and after photos! 

Have a question or need advice about a project? Ask and expert and get some creative inspiration while sharing what you know! Make new friends and invite your old ones to grow our creative community! I hope to see you there.





Join Creative Upcycle & Art!


Hope to see you there! 



Happy New Year!
Laura



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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2020 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link corrections please leave correct info in comment area.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Have A Cozy Boho New Year

(via)

Wow, I can hardly believe it's almost 2020! This year seemed to slip by so quickly, but I am excited for the new year to unfold. All we have to do now is get through this cold winter!

There are so many ways that you can add gorgeous Bohemian style to your home decor for the winter season. Rich jewel tones and exotic textures add a vibrant lush mystique to plain winter whites. 


Why not brighten up your winter by adding a few elements of Bohemian flare and welcome the New Year in style. 


Check out some of my top picks for some cool winter Bohemian home decor inspiration. By the way, what's your New Year's resolution?




Dishfunctional Designs: You Could Make A Wish Or You Could Make It Happen
What's your resolution? 


Sew flower cushions like these from Marie Claire Idees


Above: Use nontraditional winter holiday colors such as plum, purple, and turquoise blue to add rich, bright color to your home. 

(via Pinterest)


Create these hanging crystals yourself


Above & below: Natural elements such as plants, stones and crystals, pine cones, acorns, and branches (painted or not) give your home an organic vibe.











Indigo chair from Anthropologie 


Above & below: Interesting shapes and exotic prints with influence from far away lands have a nomadic feel that is paramount in Bohemian style.




Above: Mixes of bold colors and brights, luxurious fabrics such as velvet paired with sheer cottons, and patterned tapestries and rugs.



(via)

Above & below: Decorate with the sparkle and shine of mirror and/or glass.









Above: Moody illumination of candlelight or garlands of small lights add a romantic twinkle to your surroundings.




Above & below: Folkloric charm in design and architecture hints of a fairy tale-like mood.









Above & below: Spots of rich, vibrant color, whether utilized as paint or as groupings of brightly colored candles or other colorful collections add bright splashes of life.




Emerald glass curtains


Happy New Year!
Laura



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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2020 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link corrections please leave correct info in comment area.
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