Best Jewelry-Making Blogs of 2010, Best Wishes for 2011and a Great Sale to Get You Started!

Tammy Jones editor Jewelry Making Daily  
Tammy Jones is the
editor of Jewelry Making Daily.

Hearing all the "year in review" news this time of year always reminds me—time flies when you're having fun, and I've had so much fun being with all of you these past months. Many great things have happened here since Jewelry Making Daily launched last May, and now I'm full of excitement about things to come in 2011. I've asked all of the Jewelry Making Daily contributors to share their most popular blog or tips from our short history so far, and they were eager to share what they are up to for 2011, too. . . .

Helen Driggs is managing editor of Lapidary Journal
Jewelry Artist

Bead Fest Santa Fe and Road-Trip Plans from Helen Driggs
The thing I am most looking forward to in early 2011 is team teaching and rooming with my best friend—Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist contributor Lexi Erickson—at Bead Fest Santa Fe in March. We are going to "road trip" from her place in Denver all the way down I-25 and probably eat doughnuts, laugh a lot, and talk our heads off the whole way. We have to pay attention, or we will miss the exit and end up in Tucson by accident! We are going to be hauling all kinds of tools and metal, and we'll be sharing a classroom. I'm going to assist her, and she's going to assist me, and it is sure to be so much fun for our students that it will feel illegal. They may not let us back to teach anymore. . . . – Helen

Helen's blog post about her 7 favorite ways to texture metal, especially copper, was Jewelry Making Daily's second most popular blog all year!

Lexi Erickson is a contributor to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.

What is metalsmith and jewelry designer Lexi Erickson planning for 2011?
I started to be really serious about this and share resolutions like "clean my bench daily" and "don't procrastinate." We all know that's not gonna happen! So . . . my plans for 2011 will be to introduce to as many people as possible how much fun soldering is and to help build their self-confidence and skills through my year-long series about soldering in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. (Follow along with Lexi's soldering lessons by subscribing to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.) I'm also looking forward to Bead Fest Santa Fe and teaching with my best buddy. (I LOOOOOOVE SANTA FE, especially in the snow. The buildings look like giant carrot cakes.) Hopefully, I will return to Texas for Bead Fest there, too.  

I'll be here for any of our readers who need help with any jewelry skills, and I'll continue to answer your e-mails promptly. I'm hoping 1) to build a "body" of work, not just random pieces; 2) to have more studio time, which means I may have to hire a housekeeper (oh darn!); and 3) to do more shows. And, of course, I want to teach workshops all over the United States and write more. Plus I plan to keep Gary B. Wilson and Mark Lasater in business by buying as many stones as possible for my collection . . . uh, I mean my "inventory." Happy holidays! – Lexi

Lexi shares the principles of design and how they apply to the architecture of jewelry in her most popular blog this year.

Sara Richardson is a
contributing editor for
Jewelry Making Daily.

A Jewelry-Making Tip and Resolution from Sara Richardson
Here's a good jewelry-making tip. I'm pretty impatient waiting for my resin stuff to dry, and if you are, too, try this: Make your resin projects at night, preferably after dinnertime. You can work on the pieces until bedtime and then get a good night's sleep. When you wake up, the resin will be dry, and you'll get a feeling of satisfaction first thing the next morning!

My jewelry-making goals for 2011 include learning a few new chain maille (chain mail) weaves. I know six weaves by heart (this year I expanded my skills by two weaves), but there are so many more I'd like to explore! Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year, from my studio to yours! – Sara

She's not just a master of chain-maille jewelrydid you see Sara's blog about metal stamping?

Merle White is editor-in-
chief of
Lapidary Journal
Jewelry Artist

Merle White Shares: How to Store Silver
My favorite tip from this year is a very simple one that came from Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Contributing Editors Tom and Kay Benham, who published a few dos and don'ts for storing silver in their Ask the Experts column in May. I knew the first three, but the last one was a real eye-opener for me.

● Do store silver in zippered plastic bags, which protect it from tarnishing air pollutants.
● Do add a small strip of anti-tarnish paper in your silver-storing plastic bag to provide additional protection against tarnish.
● Don't wrap silver in any type of tape, which can leave a sticky residue.
● Don't use rubber bands when storing silver, as they contain sulfur and that will react with the silver by leaving black marks that are extremely difficult to remove.

I had no idea there was sulfur in rubber bands—but I certainly know that sulfur will tarnish silver! Good to know! A bright and shining 2011 to everyone! – Merle

Merle knows gemstones, too. Here's a second chance to see her blog about finding hundreds of affordable gemstones for your jewelry designs.


Karla Rosenbusch is the
associate editor of
Lapidary Journal Jewelry

Karla's Jewelry-Making Resolution for 2011: Expand!
When I first started making jewelry, I stuck pretty much to stringing, and I'm still a devoted stringer. But I've moved from using basic glass, crystal, plastic, and acrylic beads to stone beads. For 2011, I'm going to expand my stone repertoire to include a wider range of special and unique stones. I love using unusual stones that make people exclaim, "Oooooh! What is that?" So I'm going to spend a lot of time in the next year hunting down even more amazing stones.

I'm also planning to try my hand at jewelry-making techniques that I've never attempted before. In the last year, I've become a wireworking and chain-maille fiend! And using those techniques has inspired me to try even more in 2011. Yes, I'm planning to pick up a torch for the first time and actually try some basic metalworking. Fortunately, I know a few experts . . . so I'll be spending part of the year bugging Helen Driggs and Lexi Erickson for some instruction and tips. Get ready, ladies! – Karla

Learn to make easy wire-spiral jewelry with Karla in her most popular blog of 2010.

Denise Peck is the editor-
in-chief of Step by Step Wire Jewelry and senior editor of
Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.

Denise Peck's Polymer Clay Plans for the New Year
I am having a blast working with polymer clay right now. After treating myself to a week's workshop with Ronna Sarvas Weltman this summer, I'm hooked. I can't wait to incorporate polymer into my wire and metal designs.

Challenge yourself to learn a new technique in the New Year. We offer so many DVDs now with skilled instructors who share their expertise. Ronna's DVD, Mixed-Media: How to Make Polymer Clay Beads is like your own private class with her. I highly recommend it. Have a wonderful holiday and a productive new year! – Denise

If you don't know how to solder already, soldering is a great choice for a new technique to learn in 2011. You'll be tempted by Denise's blog about simple silver soldering and fusing with a micro torch.

My Jewelry-Making Goals for 2011
Personally, I want to learn enameling, to make lampworked glass beads (at least once!), and to experiment more with silversmithing and mixed-media jewelry making—plus, of course, I want to spend more time with my favorite jewelry-making medium, metal clay. I also can't wait to go to Tucson in a few weeks; multicolored tourmaline beads, large opaque faceted rubies, a few jewelry tools, pretty red spinels, rough or faceted diamond beads, and pearls, pearls, pearls are on my Tucson shopping list . . . so far!

I'm so proud that our most popular blog this year was my post about sawing and soldering a silver flower ring. It seems you like to see original how-to projects—and I can take a hint! Watch Jewelry Making Daily for more new jewelry-making projects in 2011. (Tell us what kind you'd like to see in the comments below!)

Resolve to Be Inspired
Now that you know what all of us Jewelry Making Daily folks will be up to in 2011, join us in getting ready for the New Year with jewelry-making inspiration and instruction. Get prepared for all your jewelry-making resolutions and say goodbye to 2010 with $10 deals on special issues and $10 off most CDs and DVDs in the Interweave Store. Happy New Year!

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