Win a $500 Jewelry Supply Shopping Spree

Win a $500 shopping spree!

I'm excited to announce two new free jewelry newsletters!  Jewelry Artist's Flashcard will cover jewelry-making techniques like cold joins, setting, soldering, polishing, or mixing metals, while Colored Stone's GemMail will focus on the gemstone industry.  Each newsletter will be published every other week.  When you sign up to receive the newsletters, you'll be automatically entered into a drawing to win a $500 gift certificate good for National Jewelers Supplies.  Tell your friends about this drawing–if you forward the announcement to them and they sign up, you'll get an extra chance to win!  (Please note that while the newsletters are available to everyone, the drawing is limited to U.S. and Canadian residents only.) 

Contest Details and Sign-up for Jewelry Artist's Flashcard
Contest Details and Sign-up for Colored Stone's GemMail

Quick Chain Maille?

A quick chain maille necklace is like a quickie meal at an exclusive 5-star restaurant.  It just isn't possible! 

Or is it?

I can't speak about the 5-star restaurant experience (not on my budget!), but I can tell you that it's possible to make a chain maille necklace that while not exactly speedy, can take less time than you might expect.

New Free Project:  Parallel Chain Neckdrape

With the Parallel Chain Neckdrape by Barbara Hance, you first create the rows of jump rings one at a time and then join them together at the end.  Working in sections makes this project manageable.  You can easily create a row in the evening while watching TV or on your lunch break and not feel overwhelmed.  Second, the completed chain maille piece functions as a pendant.  By hanging it on cord, rather than creating a full necklace chain, you can finish this goldtone and sterling silver necklace in about the same amount of time as you would a bracelet.  Download Parallel Chain Neckdrape.  This project will be free through September 26, 2008.

Barbara's necklace was inspired by Stephanie Everett’s tutorial of a two-toned parallel chain bracelet that appeared in an earlier issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry. (You can buy instructions for Stephanie's bracelet "Rings Redux" in the online store.)  A customer of Barbara's bought the bracelet, and asked for a necklace to match. 

Check out the fall issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry for more chain maille projects, including a chain maille bracelet with crystals, a stretchy Japanese 12-in-2 cuff, and a necklace with handmade purple jump rings.  There are lots of other intriguing projects too.  I'm oddly fascinated by the photo of the "Bling Bling Ring" by Donna P. Ryan-Kocun.  That ring is the complete opposite of my personal style, but it looks like fun! 

More Mixed-up Metal Ideas

I enjoy chain maille–opening and closing jump rings in a specific pattern is surprisingly meditative and relaxing.  I'll admit that I couldn't figure out its appeal until I tried it myself (see my earlier post "Creative Lightning").  If chain maille is not your thing, why not use the idea of mixing metals as your inspiration this week?  Mix brass, copper, silver, or goldtone chain for a necklace (maybe using short leftover pieces for a mixed metal version of Solstice by the Sea) or weave metal seed beads together like Cute Couple Cuffs.

 Last Day to Enter the Power of Beading Contest

Tell us how beading has helped you through a challenging time and you could win a beaded ribbon pin created and donated by designer Kerrie Slade.  Contest ends September 12–that's today!  Plus, you can also buy a copy of the pin instructions through the end of September and help raise money for charity.  Contest and fundraising details.

Thanks to everyone who has supported this project so far, whether it's helping us spread the word through your blogs, buying the project instructions, selling the pins for your own charity fundraiser, or entering the contest.  It's wonderful how much we can accomplish when we work together!  

Michelle Mach shares free projects every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.


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