For the Love of Making Jewelry

Kristal Wick
Kristal Wick
is the editor of
Beading Daily

Candy conversation hearts, flowers, chocolate, bubbly, and JEWELRY! Those are my faves for Valentine's Day (not necessarily in that order). I've long ago determined Valentine's Day to be celebrated, no matter that my only kisses come from my 4-legged loves on February 14th! I still insist on celebrating Valentine's Day with those goodies, even if I have to buy them for myself. (A paper route for Bling would solve that problem).


Yours truly at 3

How I Fell In Love With Jewelry

I've never considered myself a jewelry fashonista (point proven by frequently wearing crocs). But lately, sorting out some old photos, I came across this black and white picture of myself on Valentine's Day at three years old. My paten leather shoes were shiny red, bonnet and gingham dress bright pink, and I was given my first heart necklace from my parents. It was a gold textured heart (surely base metal, I was only three), with a sparkly shiny stone set in the middle of it (most likely glass). Pirate's booty from a sunken treasure chest in that three-year-old baby fashionista's noggin! I've had a love affair with jewelry ever since!

When I was six years old my dad brought home a little box filled with jewels. They were shiny ovals and squares of every color of the rainbow. I would run my fingers through them, amazed and memorized by their brilliance. So sure of the incredible value of these riches, I secretly hid them under the bed in an old cracker box in case we were robbed. Surely no criminal would think to look inside a cracker box for hidden treasure. It wasn't until many years later my dad told me those jewels were rejected class ring glass stones his jeweler buddy was going to toss out! It's the thought that counts…

From my childhood days of hand cut and pasted cardboard lacy valentines, (one for each classmate so no one felt left out) to today's popular choice of blingy baubles, nothing says Love like handcrafted jewelry for Valentine's Day.

Whether you're your own Valentine this year, or pondering a special something-something for that special someone, here are a few of my favorite projects from Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist to give to your BFF, sweetie, or make for yourself.

Three Projects I'm Head Over Heels In Love With

Three Stone Earrings 

Helen Driggs March 2010

I love the combination of faceted ovals, flat baked stones beads, and freeform cabochons Helen uses in this design. I might use reddish stones instead of purple, such as poppy jasper or garnets for a Valentine's Day celebration. Helen says one of the tricky parts to making these earrings is getting matching stones. This would be a great mission when Tucson shopping at the gem shows. Note to self: purchase stone sets when possible!

The Lovers: a Two Finger Ring 

Nanz Aalund Jan./Feb. 2011

Who could resist a project called "The Lovers" for Valentine's Day? Seriously! I love the multi-finger ring trend popular these days. They're eye catching; a real conversation piece. It takes a confident powerful person to carry off one of these rings, and what a compliment to make and give as a gift to your Valentine!

Wire Wrapped Metal Clay Bouquet

Paula Bastian-De Leon Dec. 2009

This project looks like a blast to make and a bit easier than the previous projects so I might take a stab at it sooner than later. What could be lovelier than a metal clay bouquet for Valentine's Day? Metal clay origami looks enticing and doable even for the beginning metal clay artist and I love the versatility in using silver, bronze or copper metal clay. I'd probably venture into all three and mix them together so the pin could go with any attire.

Fall in love over and over again with visits from Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist all year long. The detailed instructions and pretty pictures are better than those 3rd grade handmade Valentine cards (well, almost).

The best is yet to bead!




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