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Dandelion Parachute Seed

secrets revealed
unit 4

designing & tools

Things are starting to get exciting we have some really cool components to play and designs with. We will also be going over some tools I like to use to manipulate components you may have in your stash. And finally we will start to make a pair of earrings.


Unit 4 Part one
Designing & layout

I can spend hours designing and laying out my pieces. I find it to be like assembling a puzzle, you keep trying different pieces till one fits just right. In this class I would like us to make one of each, a pair of earrings, object, bracelet, necklace, brooch, and a collar necklace. This way I can walk you through my process on how I make each of these.

Of course you are welcome to make whatever you wish, you have plenty of focal's to work with, bring in your personnel stash too. Don't just rely on what we have made in the previous units, which pieces want to dance together, what stones do you have that make and compliment each other.

I recommend laying out your collar first, using a large focal and smaller ones that compliment it. Use the PDF pattern supplied with the class to get started, your design may flow past the lines of the collar template and thats fine. This template or pattern is just a starting point, you may need to adjust the size around the neck, do so before laying out your design.

I highly recommend using grid lines to help with lay out and symmetry, even if your piece is asymmetrical the lines will help balance the piece.

I don't have photos for this process but the video below should inspire you to move forward. Remember this process can take many hours especially sense we are designing  six pieces. Start with the largest and work towards the smallest, use you stash, take a break from it. Often a short walk or break helps confirm a choice I made.

And most of all enjoy the designing and laying it all out. Put on some music you enjoy, get in the flow, open up to spirit, this can be a magical process if you allow it to be. Take photos of the designs you like so you have them for reference.

I have also found that sometimes I change the designs as I work through making the pieces.

So nothing is solid yet, this is just a starting point.

Assignment for Unit 4 Part One

Layout your 6 designs

unit 4 Part two
the Tools


Where would be be without our tools, they are as important as a beautiful cabochon. Sorry I don't have any inspiring photos for this unit, but the tools I use aren't that pretty. Sometimes I have made my own tools, maybe you have too. Something to poke a hole where needed or even a bead scoop.

I have found that I often need to manipulate a component to work for me, such as cutting bone or wood. Maybe I need a hole to help anchor something down, or a hammer to make something flat.

The video below takes you through my process of using these tools.

Assignment for Unit 4 Part Two

Manipulate a component using a tool.

unit 4 Part three
the earrings


Making earrings is pretty easy, I like make earrings when I am designing a necklace. Why not make a matching set, you have the beads and components that match. I think this comes from my earlier years when I was doing production work, it's efficient.

Earrings don't always have to match, I like making them kinda funky.

In the photos and and written materiel below I will show you how to do the simple edging. Enjoy the video on how I make these sweet little fishy earrings.

Assignment for Unit 4 Part Three

Make your earrings.


The simple edging is easy and elegant. Start by hiding your knot in between the backing and foundation. Bring your needle out the front of your foundation next to the edge. Add 4 beads, move your needle down about 3-4mm and back up through the backing and foundation and through the bottom of the 4th bead. Add 3 more beads and repeat all along your edge.

Glue your earrings components onto your foundation using E6000 or two part Epoxy glue. Use a fine tip marker or a gel pen to mark a vertical line to help keep things straight and lined up.


Simple edging at it's finest.

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