Update: Finished Necklace with Hand crafted Links….Creating Your Own Chain Links

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I have created my own links for necklaces many times. Always looking for a new design or style. This week I am working on some round links. I have a beautiful round howlite stone that I am using for this design. s-l140 (1)Very excited about the finished piece. It will be days before it is all done. Between working in the garden and homeschooling, I’m staying busy, only have a few hours a day to do my creating. Not like it’s going anywhere. lol

I’ll share the steps here with you. This is the wire I am using. It is old wire that has been salvaged from a home during a remodel. I stripped all the black casing away and unwrapped a length of it to get these smaller size wires out of it. No idea what gauge it is. I just like the size of it.

DSCN9630Once I get some strands cut, I use my round pliers to wrap them in coils…like this…

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Next you use cutting pliers to snip them into your round links. This leaves one flat edge and one sharp edge. I take the time to trim them both flat, so that when you get ready to close them they have an almost smooth closure. If your really OCD you can take a file and smooth them to a perfect fit. Me, I’m not that stressed over it. I like the organic imperfections in it, shows that it’s handcrafted.

DSCN9632I do these same steps for the larger circle rings too…

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DSCN9634I am using two different size rings for this chain. Here is what it looks like put together.

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I will make this as long as I want, then toss it in the tumbler to clean it up. Usually let it run in the tumbler for about 30 mins, clean it out, put in fresh water and soap and let it run again. Sometimes you have to do this several times. The wire is coated in black, dirt, and old patina. I will run it in the tumbler till it is pretty and shiny again.

After that, I will dry it really good and add LOS to patina it. From there it will be hand polished to bring out the highlights. The pendant will be added – It will be wire wrapped. I will share the finished photos when I complete this piece so you can see it all together.

This is just an way to add more of that handcrafted appearance to your work. Making your own chains. There are several great books out there to learn new chain link designs. One of the new ones I recently aquired is The Missing Link by Cindy Wimmer. I have really enjoyed her designs very much. I plan on using them more in the future for my more personal designs.

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe it will inspire you to create some of your own links in your next project.

 

Thanks, Lora Lee

 

Update: Finished Necklace

Howlite Circle Stone

You can see the links are not uniform, I like that. I hammered each one to give it added texture. And yes you have to keep your fingers out of the way lol. I am better at it now than I was a few years ago. Use a smaller hammer and that helps too. I use a smal

l ball peen hammer.

DSCN9645 I used two different size links to create this piece. You could use as many as you wanted. I love the way it came together. DSCN9646

This is in my etsy shop…Only one like this. I will not repeat the same design with the stone, I will however use this chain design in later creations. You can see it here… Endless Journey Necklace

Saving Kayla’s Fingers….

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I want to share this with you. It’s been heavy on my heart for days now.

I see everyone doing this ALS challenge and it’s great that there is money being raised for this cause. I hope we also pay attention to the local families in need. People that we know personally, and can help right here in our own neighborhood and communities. We all know someone that could use a hand. Charity is not about just handing someone some money, it’s about letting them know they are thought of, loved, and cared for. Sometimes when we are struggling with loosing a job or a health scare we forget that there are people willing to help. We don’t want to ask for help. We don’t want to be vulnerable but sometimes asking for help doesn’t mean you can’t handle it, or are not strong. It means you have been strong enough for long enough, and now it’s time to let the people that love you, join you in your fight to get back on top.

I’ve been there. I’ve been overwhelmed in bills and house notes and not been able to put gas in my car. I eventually lost that house and had to live with friends until I could get on my feet. My family helped me out so much, not just finacially, but with encouragement and love. We all need it at some point in our lives.

Today I want to share my friend Kayla’s story. She is the leader in our local homeschool group. I met her almost 2 years ago. I have to admit, it thrilled me and surprised me to see her the first time in person. She has purple hair lol. I loved that! She was so quiet spoken that it will throw you off, how can someone with purple hair be so quiet. But then you have to watch, and listen, because under that soft spoken voice is a quirky sense of humor, an artist, a teacher and a mother. She inspires all of us mothers in the group to keep going and pushing to learn more about our children and to teach them the way we think is best. 1976588_1408424951.3142_multi

Kayla has been struggling with health issues for 8 years, the autoimmune diseases lupus, fybromyalgia, and connective tissue disease and now what they are calling Resistant Raynaud’s Disease. Last Oct we went to a bowling event for the kids, and she was there with her family. She was telling us about her finger and how it had been hurting so very bad. The tip of her index finger was actually turning blue/black colored. She had an appointment to have a doctor look at it. Next thing you know, they are removing it. It would be the first but not the last. She has since had two more removed. And now…now she is fighting to save 3 of them that have turned blue. She is in the hospital in Shreveport and doctors are racing to figure out what to do to save these fingers. If she looses them, she will only have a thumb on her left hand, and 2 fingers and a thumb on the right hand. And there are no guarantees that it will stop there.

This mother and artist, wife and teacher, needs all the help she can get. I hope you will take a minute to read over her story here…http://www.gofundme.com/saving-kaylas-fingers

Their car is over 20 years old and I know it is a worrysome thing to have to fear it breaking down while going back and forth to the hospital to visit Kayla, and her hubby trying to work his job too. Her oldest son just started nursing school. Her 14 yr old is waiting for mom to come home. Every little bit of money raised will go to gas for trips to doctors, food on the table, to pay bills to keep the water and elec going, and all her medical needs, medicine and such.

If you can’t help finacially, please just take a minute to share the story. There may be someone out there that is going through the same thing, or someone that knows how to help.

I appreciate the time you have taken to read this. This family will appreciate it too.

 

Peace and Love

Lora Lee

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Wandered out to the shop the other day with nothing in mind specificly to create. Dealing with some Mother/Daughter issues here at home. Ended up with this piece. I had etched the back piece a long time ago when I was learning the etching process. It’s been laying around till now. Quartz crystals wrapped gently around it. Offering a balance of healing and protection to the mother and child. The copper brings positivity and peace to the relationship. This is a very personal piece to me. Not for sale. Just wanted to share.DSCN9574 DSCN9575 DSCN9576 DSCN9577 DSCN9578I think there is more to be added to this piece. More wire wrapping and accents added. Kinda like most relationships. New things grow and add to it daily.

It’s a big job raising a daughter (or any child for that matter). She is my baby girl. 14 yrs old. Keeping her safe is my number one priority. And sometimes, like now, that means making her unhappy. Sucks, but that’s the way it goes.

She is too trusting of people, like me, and has yet to learn that you have to watch people’s actions, cause their words will lie to you. I’ve learned that over the years, the hard way. Trying to save her from having to learn it the hard way too.

If you have children, Love them. They will test you, push you, love you, and make you stronger and more determined to make the world a better place!

 

Peace, Lora Lee

 

Getting a Bigger Picture….

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Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed in my business. I keep thinking I need to make more more more. And I do need to at least make some new designs occasionally. But it’s really not necessary to add all that extra stress on myself thinking I MUST do it. I started this business because I loved what I was making and wanted to share it with the world. 

Sometimes I have to stop, step back, and take a hard look at what I’m doing. So this week I did that. I am cutting back on my shop time to spend more time concenrating on my daughter and her education. I think she needs a bit more attention than she’s been getting. She comes first. The metalsmithing will be there afterwards. :)

So I spent the past few days putting everything I have in stock on Etsy. Now, I have a lot of issues with Etsy, but there are still so many people that do not like to give you their paypal info on fb, even in private message. So I loose sales. And I have way too much stock to miss a sale. I need to move some of this before I create more. I still have a LOT of stock to list but I have almost 100 pieces – some repeatable designs – already in the Centsations store. There will be another hundred in there before I’m finished. 

So between spending more time working with my daughter and her school stuff, we are getting our fall garden ready. She’s been a great help to me in that area. I am excited to get everything planted and start seeing some green sprouts. But I know I need to let the compost mix in well and make sure the soil has everything it needs before I sprinkle the first seed. Have plans for spinach, greens, brussel sprouts, leeks, and idk what else. I’d fill the whole yard up if I thought I could get the ground broke up. But I don’t see that happening by hand lol. Everything I have done so far is by hand. Would love to build some more square foot gardening beds in the back yard too. Those could so easily be framed in with hay bales and turned into cold frame gardening over the winter. One step at a time. 

So I want to say Thank You to all my loyal fans and customers. I love creating. I love sharing it with you. So keep an eye on the Etsy shop and all the new stuff coming out of the shop. I’ll keep creating – but with more emphasis on my own designs and inspirations and more time put into each one, rather than large quantities of an individual design. 

I hope you have an amazing week. 

Peace, Lora Lee

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