Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Take-a-Look Tuesday

I got some new buttons recently...a little bagful of goodies that I just cannot stop looking through over and over again!

I made some new rings with my new buttons as well. My favorite is this one:

And here are a couple more:

I'm also having a sale through January 1 if you want to get your hands on some of these little goodies. See my shop announcement for details! http://acrossthepond.etsy.com

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mailbox Monday

I got these a long time ago from The Little Love Bug on Etsy, but since they were a Christmas present for the baby, I haven't really had a chance to play with them until now.

LOOK. It's felt food. I got the whole set...it's got all sorts of fruits and veggies, breakfast food, snack food, sandwiches, pasta, and even a little pita pocket! OMG, is it cute! My favorite is the butter with the little wrapper that peels off. Evren opened the box on Christmas morning and the first thing he did was reach in, grab a cookie, and try to take a bite. The look on his face when he got a mouthful of felt instead of chocolate was priceless! I put a little plastic plate and some baby forks in the bag with the play food, thinking we'd pretend restaurant, but I think he's a little too young for that. When I put the food on the plate, he does the same thing he does with his real food. Flings it across the room. He'll get it eventually (I hope!).

Check out this shop for more cutie patootie kid's stuff: http://www.thelittlelovebug.etsy.com/ Jocelyn is super sweet too...you'll love her!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mailbox Monday

While I was out of town for Thanksgiving, the cutest little thing got popped into my mailbox!

This is an I-Spy bag that I got for Evren for Christmas. It's a cute little bag with a clear window that he can look into ans see all sorts of neat little things. When he gets older, he can use the list to search for things specifically. It's loads of fun, and I had to steal it away from Mehlynn (to look at it myself, of course). There is even a set of beads with the letters of his name!

Visit The Diaper Cake Factory here. http://diapercakefactory.etsy.com/ Not only does DeAndra have these adorable little I-Spy bags, she also makes beautiful diaper cakes which are awesome, useful, and unique gifts for baby showers. I've made several diaper cakes for showers I've gone to, and we'll just say that the *cough* effort was really appreciated. DeAndra's are beautiful though!

Also, I wanted to mention this awesome giveaway I found at Cinnamon Sticks Boutique... click on the button on my sidebar ("Twelve Days of Christmas" Giveaway) or go to http://cinnamonsticksboutique.blogspot.com for details. there is tons of pretty jewelry and other cute items to be won!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Whatever Wednesday

I'm featured and I'm doing a giveaway! Enter to win a 20 dollar gift certificate to my shop, just by leaving a comment.

See it all here: http://www.how-tostudio.com/2008/11/win-20-gift-certificate.html

Also, don't forget about my sale beginning on Friday! See yesterday's post or my shop announcement for details. :-)

I'm off to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with my family, and I'll be back to blogging on Monday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Take-a-Look Tuesday and a SALE!

This week, I got a delivery of about 200 antique clock hands. They are gorgeous, and some of them are so detailed it's amazing.

My first thought for these clockhands was to make them into earrings. So that's what I did!

The ones that aren't suitable for earrings are being used to embellish my paper items, and I'll probably think of more uses on down the road.

Now, for the sale...
Mark my shop now because my sale is awesome.

Beginning Black Friday (11-28) and lasting though Cyber Monday (Dec. 1), I'm having a FILL-A-BOX SALE...

Fill a Prioroity Mail box with five items, and receive a special discount, plus it ships to you for free!

Fill it with five items from my paper section for $40.
Fill it with five rings for $50.
Fill it with five pairs of earrings for $70.
Fill it with five lockets for $90.

No matter what you choose to fill your box with, you're getting huge savings! Use the discount as many times as you'd like and make your mailbox overflow with loads of beautiful handmade goodies. Just make your purchases and mention "Fill a Box" and I will send you a revised invoice.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mailbox Monday

My newest arrival was these lovely bookmarks from Hubgirl at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5161851

I got the initial one for my little bookworm, with the letter M of course. Although, she's into Goosebumps now (blah) and I totally think the bookmark would look better sticking out of a Little House on the Prarie book, don't you?

The elephant one is just way awesome and if I can manage to part with it, it will make a fantastic Christmas gift!
Be sure to visit Hubgirl's shop for more fantastic bookmarks, necklaces and more. :-)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Specials

On Etsy, there is a long-standing tradition of having a Saturday night sale. Sales are posted in this thread: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5922174 There are LOADS of fantastic specials.

And my sale tonight is...

Buy two, get one free! Buy any two items and receive one of equal or lesser value FREE!
Please choose your items, then wait for a revised invoice before paying.

See my shop announcement... http://acrossthepond.etsy.com

Friday, November 21, 2008

Family Friday

And here we see the elusive juvenile Feral Human hunting his prey.
And communicating with a related species...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three-Mini Thursday

Today we have...

Beautiful jewelry from PrettyInPeace:

Adorable dollies and other artwork from HoneyDew Studios:

Unique textile arts from littlebitofsunshine:

Stop by their shops and check them out! Be sure to let them know you saw them here. :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whatever Wednesday

I'm excited to say that I'm venturing out of the online sales realm a little and doing a show!

I'll be at the NC Triangle Etsy team's "Handmade for the Holidays" show on December 14.

Here is the team blog:

If you're in the area and would like the specifics, please leave me a comment!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Take-a-Look Tuesday

Burgaw, NC ain't good for much, but let me tell you it is an antique lovers paradise! My parents live there and whenever I go to visit them, my mom and I spend a lot of time looking around antique shops and flea markets. They even have an auction house there and you wouldn't believe the stuff they have available. Old, pretty stuff. *drool*

About a month ago, we were out having a look around a little antique mall and I found a Ball jar filled with old buttons that I just had to have. I didn't know what I was going to do with them...I just knew I NEEDED them in a bad way.

Then it hit me. Rings! The shanks are perfect for wire wrapping, and the result is a pretty little piece of vintage you can wear on your finger.

Here are some available in my shop, and there are lots more to come. (Ebay is awesome for finding huge lots of buttons, and I predict I will soon have a button storage problem that rivals my current paper storage problem).

If you purchase a ring from my shop, mention seeing my blog and I'll ship it to you for free! Just wait for a revised invoice, or I can refund your shipping.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mailbox Monday

Today's feature is something I got in my mailbox earlier in the summer...

I love all things British, including my dear husband, and London is my second home. So when I saw the lovely coin jewelry in La Petit Fleur's shop, I thought it would be a fantastic way to turn some of the coins I brought back from my trips to the UK into a beautiful wearable keepsake!

So, I sent my coins off to Cleveland, and what I got was a set of earrings and a pendant for both my daughter and I. They are GORGEOUS. I wear them all the time, and I have gotten bajillions of compliments on them!


Visit La Petit Fleur here:

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5043650 She's got so much beautiful, well-made jewelry...she's a definite favorite of mine!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Family Friday

Guess who's walking!!! Well, all of us are now, actually. Including Evren! Yay!

Taykin started standing him about three feet away from the couch and putting a toy in each hand so he wouldn't immediately get in crawling position. He'd take a few steps and flop into the couch, and we'd all cheer annoyingly and excessively, which made him so happy, all he wanted to do was walk. A week later and he's toddling all over the place. And he still has to have a toy in each hand, lol.

We have video, but it hasn't been uploaded yet, so I'm posting pics instead of random cuteness...a playground trip a few weeks ago.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Three-Mini Thursday

It's Thursday! That means it's time for me to feature some awesome Etsy shops. Have a look and their fantastic handmade items.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Whatever Wednesday

Today, I give you easy and delicious cookies that you will love. My mom used to make these all the time when I was a kid.

All you need is:
Ritz crackers
Peanut butter
Candi-Quick or similar chocolate candy coating, melted according to package directions

1. Take two crackers and make a peanut butter sandwich with them.

2. Dip in chocolate.

3. Lay on wax paper or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Once you've got a batch, stick them in the fridge for a few minutes to set.

4. Eat. With a giant glass of milk.

(Photo does not show typical serving size. Multiply by 10).

We used two rolls of crackers, a quarter jar of peanut butter, and a pound of cocolate and got about 35 or so cookies.

If you make these, let me know how you liked them!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Take-a-Look Tuesday

So, I'm definitely starting out on the right foot!

Take a look at these cute little nests I've been making! I'm in love with itsy bitsy little things that open up, and the little eggs in these nests do just that.

I've sold two of the blue ones and I have a blue one in my shop now. I have a brown one I still need to list, and I also sold the cream one that was on the front page of Etsy on 10/19 (yes, I'm still beaming!) What's that? You'd like to see that front page? Oh, ok.

I can't wait to make more of these! If you'd like one made a certain way, or if you'd like me to reserve you when the next time I list, just let me know!

This time, I mean it.

I WILL keep up with this blog.


No, really, I will. I love the idea of supporting independent artists and craftspeople, and I am sure that, aside from buying all their stuff, blogging is the best way to turn heads in Etsy's direction.

Here is my idea:

I want to make this an Etsy blog with a little bit of my own personal stuff thrown in, and I think I found a routine to balance it out and keep me on track. I'm having...

Mailbox Mondays - This is where I will post about Etsy orders I have received myself. Since I'm not made of money, some Mondays may be about things I *wish* were in my mailbox.

Take-a-Look Tuesdays - On Tuesdays, I'll be asking you to take a look at what I've been working on in my shop. There will be a little extra thrown in there too...maybe a giveaway or a discount code...you'll have to take a look and see!

Whatever Wednesdays - My freebie day where I get to post about whatever I wanna post about. It may be more Etsy stuff, a book review, a recipe, and rambling post about my day (bet you can't wait for that), or a huge, obnoxious rant (I'm sooooo good at those).

Three Minis on Thursday - I'll be posting three minis from various Etsy shops!

Family Fridays - I get to post about my favorite subject...my family. *hearts and twinkle stars*

So there we have it! If you're an Etsy shop owner, or an independent artist that sells wares off Etsy, I would love to include you in some of my postings. Keep an eye out on my blog, email me, or post comments letting me know you'd like to be considered for a feature.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Check out my FEATURE and enter my giveaway!

Long time no post, huh? No excuses for me except that I've been busy. :-)

This is just a quick post to tell you about my feature and giveaway! The lovely Angie from The Downtown Boutique has featured my shop on her blog and I am giving away one of my sterling silver Aralie Gardens rings! Go here to enter: http://thedowntownboutique.blogspot.com/2008/05/friday-feature-no-15-featuring-across.html

Good luck!

Monday, March 24, 2008

When Life Gives You Lemons...Make Turkish Food!!

You wouldn't be able to tell by looking at me, but I can eat. I love to eat. I LIVE for eating. People watch me eat and then comment on how much I ate, even strangers in restaurants. It's only fitting that I married a man whose cultural dishes are among the tastiest, most delectable food in the world...Turkish food!

(My husband's family is originally from North Cyprus, but now live in London).

Turkish food isn't among the most popular ethnic food. Not many people say, "Hey, let's order in some Turkish tonight." That's why I think people should expand their horizons. People are really missing out. I want to help people.

This recipe is from my mother-in-law, Hulya. Her cooking is soooooo good. Smack.yo.mama. I can make her recipes the exact same way as her, the way she has taught me and made me practice over and over, but it's never the same. Still good and definitely worth eating, but just not the same.

1 pkg wine leaves (also called grape leaves)
2 onions, finely chopped in food processor
1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped in food processor
1 tsp ground back pepper
1 lb. ground lamb
1.5 c rice (Uncle Ben's)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 lemons, juiced

Place all ingredients except the wine leaves together in a large bowl and mix them thoroughly by hand.
Lay out a wine leaf on a cutting board or large plate. (If the leaf is small or irregularly shaped, you may want to overlap it with another). Place a small amount, maybe 2 tsbp. worth, of the meat mixture in the center. Fold in the top and bottom of the leaf, then the two sides, kind of like a teeny tiny Mediterranean burrito. Roll tightly enough to make a secure little package, but not so tightly the meat won't cook. Layer the individual dolma in a large pot.
When you have finished rolling the dolma, fill the pot maybe 3/4 of the way with water. When the dolma is boiling, it has a tendancy to unroll and you are left with some pretty unappetizing leafy meat water for dinner. Preventing this is tricky. You have to weight the top. What I do is put a dinner plate in the pot, then put my sugar canister on top of that. Hey, it works.
Boil the dolma for approx. 20 minutes. Check to make sure the rice and meat is cooked and everything is nice and steamy in the middle. Serve with yogurt and more lemon for sprinking. Yum!

A note about the wine leaves: I get mine from a local Turkish shop. Look around where you live and see if you can find one (check under "mediterranean markets" too). I Googled and unfortunately I can't find an online seller that stocks plain wine leaves not already made into dolma. If you know of any, please tell me and I'll update this post!
Lentil soup is another yummy recipe that's also healthy and easy on your grocery budget!

Lentil Soup
1 tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 tbsp. tomato paste
8 c. vegetable stock
1 c. red lentils
1/4 c. short grain rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried mint
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Saute onion in oil or butter over medium heat until translucent. Stir in garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook 1-2 minutes.
Add tomato paste, stock, lentils and rice. Stir. Bring to a boil.
Cover pan and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 35-40 minutes.
When soup has thicked and the rice and lentils have cooked, add salt, pepper, and dried mint. Serve hot with lemon for garnish.
HUMMUS!! How could I forget hummus!?
1 16 oz. can chickpeas with a little of the liquid, maybe 1/4 c.
2 lemons, juiced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. tahini
1 tsp. coriander sprinkle of salt

Dump it all in a food processor and blend until smooth. Eat with pita or veggies...very healthy lunch or snack!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

And for the Tweenies...

Being a 4th grade teacher for seven years and having an eight year old daughter of my own, there's no doubt I know tween girls and what they like. They are such a great age, just little bags of giggles (with a sprinking of screeching and whining). My daughter's a little on the tomboy-ish side, but even so, she gets a little dazzled by all things pink and glittery...and make up? Forget it. Show her an eyeshadow case and she's looking like Cyndi Lauper in three seconds flat.

I checked out some great sellers and I've come up with a few things off Etsy that a tween girl would just die for (and maybe you would too!). Have a look!

Here is a sweet little bunny pendant from Buster and Boo (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5486148). She has tons of cute pendants that would be just right for a jewelry loving girl. These pendants come on a sterling silver bail and a cord necklace. Check out her shop for details on how to get free shipping!

These cute little caps are from LSK Crochet (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5482783). They come in baby and big girl sizes too! I have something from this shop and I just love it. Very cool stuff from a very nice lady!

I don't know what it is about these girls, but they either LOVE soap and perfume, or they don't. Mine is hating it. Either way, who wouldn't go for this adorable rubber duckie soap? It's from Kreated by Karina (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=79515). She has lots of really yummy soaps, lip balms, and other goodies in her shop!

And just a few more really neat goodies for the girlies:

From left to right:

A cute little pouch that would be perfect as a pencil case, from meanbean (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=14035) (she can't be that mean of a bean if she makes such cute stuff!)

Unique dolls from forensic (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5237167). I love their faces and the fabrics!

A pretty ribbon belt from The Accessory Lady (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5461621). She's got a bunch of other adorable accessories in her shop (she is the accessory lady, after all!)

Fun and funky hair flower from PamperingBeki (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5067587 ) ...who wouldn't feel like a goddess with this in her hair?

And last but not least, a rocking necklace from Tizzalicious (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5119701) !!

Now go shop!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cloth Diapers ROCK!

When I was pregnant with my daughter in 1999, I considered cloth diapering. I researched the matter and the only options I really came up involved plastic pants and expensive diaper services. When I got pregnant again last year, I checked into it again, and boy have things changed! You wouldn't believe the options out there! No more visions of gramma scrubbing bulky, rectangular poo-catchers on a washerboard...today's cloth is innovative, comfortable, and perfect for the environmentally concious and/or frugal parent.

I knew cloth diapering would save me money, but it wasn't until recently that I really sat down and totaled it up. If my diapers resell for what I think they will (what I'm SURE they will), I will have spent approximately $200 diapering Evren until he's potty trained. Compare that to an estimated $2,000 to diaper in disposables! My figures don't take into account the extra washing and laundry detergent, but even with that factored in, I'm still saving a bundle. And I like saving bundles.
Aside from the money issue, there are several more reasons why I love cloth:

- Diaper rash is just a memory. The only case we've had in six months was the result of using disposables on an out-of-town trip. I love the idea of soft fleece up against my baby's skin.
- The cloth has been virtually odor-free. Now, this may change once he begins eating solids, but for the moment, we're enjoying fresh air. I never liked the way that wet dispoables smelled kind of chemically.

- They're CUTE! Fluffy baby tushies are extra adorable. Plus, cloth diapers come in all sorts of beautiful prints.

- They're more absorbant. We've had very few poo-splosions.

- They're good for the environment. It's pretty self-explanatory. No diapers sitting in landfills for 500 meeellion years. Some may argue that the water and detergent use has just as much of a negative impact, but actually more water, chemicals, and resources are used in the manufacturing of disposables than in the washing of cloth.
- They're super easy to use. Most people think of pins and plastic pants when they think of cloth diapers, but those days are pretty much history. Today there are diapers that go on and fit almost exactly like disposables and are virtually fool-proof.

A small warning though: cloth diapers are so cute that many moms find themselves addicted. Never fear, I'm here to help...by fueling the addiction! *evil laugh*

Here are my favorite cloth diapers found on Etsy. I defy anyone to find any cuter. Seriously.
These little cuties are from GreenWayBabywear (http://greenwaybabywear.etsy.com/ OR http://www.green-way-baby-wear.com/). I've never seen the tie-on style before now! I bet they look just adorable on. Greenway also offers some lucious handknit organic wool soakers.

This flashy little number is from The Eli Monster(http://theelimonster.etsy.com/). This style is called and AIO (all-in-one) diaper. It's works just like disposable, only you throw it in the wash instead of the trash! This shop has
bunches of adorable prints...definitely check her out!

Next, here are some beautiful fitted diapers from Wee Ones By Jajoc (http://weeonesbyjajoc.etsy.com/). These are made from lovely soft sherpa. She also makes them in organic cotton and bamboo! These look so soft and lovely for baby.

OK, how adorable is this?! This little diaper is made from cotton thermal knit, and inside it's hemp/cotton fleece. As an added bonus, it also has a snap-in soaker for the super heavy wetter *coughMY.SONcough*. You can find this little cutie at New York Diaper Company (http://newyorkdiaperco.etsy.com/ OR http://newyorkdiaperco.com)

I wish I had these when my daughter was a baby! Maybe I'll try for another girl...ok, no I won't. But anyway, these little AIO's are super sweet. It's made from waterproof PUL outside with micro chamois and microfleece on the inside. Katnappies has more cutie-patootie AIO's in her shop! (http://katnappies.etsy.com/)

Thinking about cloth diapering, but not sure where to start? Georganne to the rescue! (http://georganne.etsy.com/). She offers a cute-yet-practical starter set that includes both fitteds and covers, plus a free doubler! She's also very accomodating for customs orders and has lots of other baby and mama-minded products in her shop.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Help Christine's Family

A fellow Etsy'er, Christene, is dealing with a family tragedy. Her husband has been missing since February 13. Read more here: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/351639_missing17__web.html

In response, many fellow Esty shop owners and buyers are banding together to help her family financially through this hard time.

One generous heart is sewphisticate. Her shop is here: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5318640 (Check out the Chinese Take Me Out Purse...Oh.mah.God. How gorgeous!). She has a section just for Christine and her family, whereby 100% of the sales will go directly to them: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5318640&section_id=5282129

Please consider purchasing someof these cute items and help this family in need!

Thanks for looking!

If anyone else is donating to Christine's family, contact me and I will include your information here!

Book Review - Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants
Sara Gruen
Algonquin Books
350 pages
April 2007

This'll be short and sweet because I really don't want to give anything away.

This story opens with a piece of masterful foreshadowing...the climax of the story is laid right out on the first three pages. However, just enough key details are left out so that you don't really know what happens until those three pages are repeated toward the end of the book. You think you do, but you don't. Bwahaha.

Having lost everything, young Jacob Jankowski leaves his studies at Cornell and mindlessly ends up on The Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. The author weaves the history of the Depression Era traveling circus with a sweet yet murderous love story, all told through the eyes of the 93 year old Jacob whose failing mind could never forget. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the "trainwreck" sex scenes...you know, the kind that will scar you for life if you keep looking, yet you can't tear yourself away. (This was a circus, remember.)

I admit that the book didn't get to "can't put it down" status until about 3/4 of the way in. It was good, but I could put it down and forget about it for a few days. Once I hit a certain point though, it could not be torn from my hands. I stayed up until 3 am that night just so I could finish it, and then I laid awake for another couple hours thinking about it.

This is a definite must-read...4 out of 5 stars from me!

Friday, February 8, 2008


So, whilst browsing the postings at SMs, I see one titled "Last Day to Sign Up!" Since I never want to miss signing up for stuff that I will probably not follow through with, I jumped on the thread and found a link to "Thing-A-Day". The basic concept is that you commit to doing one thing per day for the entire month of February...wether it's cooking, crafting, writing poetry, whatever. Then you post your creations for everyone to see.

Here are my postings so far...I have kept up with it pretty well, although I had to really be creative with some of my postings. :)

And here are the links to my SMs friends' pages...
Venus: http://www.thing-a-day.com/author/venus/
and Merlot: http://www.thing-a-day.com/author/merlot/

Let me know if you're doing Thing-A-Day so I can watch you too!!

Look at this baby!

I love him, I love him, I love him! He is seriously the sweetest, snugliest, most smiley baby you'll ever meet. I swear, he's already got flirting down to a science.

I want him to stop growing...he is perfect like this.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wire Wrapped Ring Tutorial

Whenever I show someone these rings, people thing I'm like a super-talented jewelry designer person or something. Which I'm not. I'm just good at making relatively simple things look really impressive...and now you can too! These rings are great for gifts!

I didn't remember to turn my macro on until I was almost finished. Sorry about the blurry photos!

Materials needed:

About 18 inches of 22 gauge wire (can be craft wire, sterling silver, gold-filled, whatever)
Bead or stone (8-12 mm is the best size)
Ring mandrel
wire cutters
chain nose pliers

Start by placing your bead onto the wire, about 2/3 of the way along.

Begin placing your wire on your mandrel. Start a full ring size bigger than what you intend your finished ring to be. I am starting at 8 because I want my finished ring to be a size 7.

Turn your mandrel over and position the bead in the channel. Now you're ready to start wrapping!

Holding the the bead in the channel, wrap each side of the wire aroubd the mandrel twice. Once you have done that, the front will look like this (3 loops of wire showing):

And the back will look like this (4 loops of wire showing):

Pinch your wires together and push them under your bead. Make sure the back wires don't get criss-crossed!

Check the short end of the wire. Is it coming up from the bottom or top? Either way is fine, but don't cross over when you start wrapping! Take the short end of the wire and wrap it around the bead once, crossing to the other side. Leave it there.

Take the long end of the wire and begin wrapping it. The first time around, just go slightly away from the bead. The second time around, go as close to the bead as possible. The third and subsequent times, wrap away from the bead. Keep going until you are satisfied with the look (or you run out of wire!)

Take the ring off the mandrel.

Take the loose ends of the wire on one side and wrap it around and around the band until you are satisfied with the look. (Some people go all the way arounf the band, but I'm not a fan of that look). Count the number of wraps. Now do the same amount of wraps on the other side.

Trim the ends of the wires as close to the band as possible.

Use the chain nose pliers to smoosh the end flat so that it won't stratch your finger...it can be sharp!

Check the size by placing the ring back on the mandrel, band across the numbers.

Straighten and smooth the band by beating it to death. You can use a tack hammer, but I like to use the soft-grip handle of my crimper because there's less of a chance of marring the wire.

Take it off the mandrel, check it, admire it, then put it on your finger and when people ask where you got it, you can say, "I made it!" and everyone will gasp in amazement!

Hints and tips:

Around 90% of people can wear a size 7 ring on at least one of their fingers, so when in doubt, make it size 7!

Craft wire and base metals are the easiest to work with. Fine metals, such as sterling and gold-filled, are more sproingy...if you loosen your grip at all before you wrap the sides, your ring will spring open and your beads will fly everywhere! Practice a bit with the craft wire before venturing on to fine metals.

Round beads are easiest to work with. Flat beads are the hardest because the wires won't stay under the bead when you pinch them together before wrapping.

You can use more than one bead! Experiment!

Don't get too frustrated. It does take practice!

If you find you're feeling like you don't have enough hands, feel free to place the mandrel between your knees. That's what I do! I like to think I'm working my thighs as I am squeezing the mandrel with my knees. :)

Feel free to comment or email with any questions.