Do What You Love: Escape with a Make-cation‎ and Let Jewelry Making Bring You Joy

I can’t bear to watch the news at all anymore, and I’m “hiding” more than I’m “liking” on Facebook these days. I find myself seeking out joy, peace, simplicity, love; and one of my favorite little everyday escapes is watching The Andy Griffith Show. I have it on in the room while I work almost every day, several episodes a day.

There’s rarely an episode I haven’t seen, but I don’t mind. I find joy in each one, especially when they try to teach Ernest T. Bass some manners. I love Sheriff Andy Taylor, who reminds me so much of a dear friend that I miss terribly. Plus I love sweet little Opie, Barney Fife, and Aunt Bea’s gentle domesticity. (I even love that word, domesticity.) I love seeing Helen and Thelma Lou’s hairstyles, dresses, and jewelry of course.

Here's Helen and Andy at the high school reunion. I love Helen's cute dress with those flared sleeves! And of course she's wearing pearls.

Here’s Helen and Andy at the high school reunion. I love Helen’s cute dress with those flared sleeves! And of course she’s wearing pearls.

Watching The Andy Griffith Show transports me to the innocence of Mayberry, to a time when playing outside and having picnics was more the norm than watching TV and dining from a to-go container, when you sat on your porch after church and after dinner to wave at neighbors as they passed by. The show is full of joy and love, and it gives me a little escape from this modern world in which I don’t really fit.

Take a Jewelry Make-cation

Another way I love to escape is to take a little make-cation into my jewelry studio. Sometimes I just feel like escaping to the fun, creative space in my studio to make jewelry. No news, no politics, just some good music and the tools and supplies for jewelry making that I love to play with. What better joy is there than doing what you love to do? So make your escape with me, with fun jewelry projects in any medium or technique you like. Here are some of my favorite projects from the store that I thought you might like, too.

Projects and Tutorials for Jewelry Making

If you love the written word, say your piece with metal stamped jewelry making and feature the words or phrases that bring you joy.

metal stamping jewelry making projects

L to R: Stamped and Riveted Swing Cuff Bracelet by Aisha Formanski, Adorned Cuff Charm Bracelet by Aisha Formanski, and Speak to Me Ring by Abigail Berta


If you love playing with fire, torch enameling and heat patina are two of the most fun ways I know to use a torch. I also love just watching metal melt, like when I recycle my scrap or ball up head pins. Joys can be silly little things!


L to R: Fold-Formed Copper Earrings by Jeff Fulkerson, Enameled Fold-Formed Earrings by Pauline Warg, and Splat Bracelet by Noël Yovovich

If you love the joy you get when your solder flows, you’ll appreciate a bit of a challenge in soldering complex metal jewelry making projects.‎ Oh, the accomplishment you’ll feel after you complete any of these projects!


L to R: Serpentine Chrysotile Pendant with Rhodochrosite by John Heusler, GG; Mokume Gane Stingray Pendant by Roger Halas, and Movable Ring with Soldered Components by Roger Halas


If you love recycling and upcycling anything vintage–old papers and ephemera, lace and ribbon, aluminum cans, found objects and other treasures, you’ll like these projects with a vintage feel.


L to R: Bezeled Resin Birds Necklace by Helen Driggs, Knitting in the Round Recycled Knitting Needle Bracelet by Sandra Miller, and Cybernetic Barrette by Roger Halas

If you love hammering (it’s a great stress reliever!), bang out some fun with these hammer-intensive projects.


L to R: Batman Necklace by Abigail Berta, Axis Earrings by Valorie Clifton, and Spinning Ring by Jeanette Ryan

If you love being outside and finding things like leaves, twigs, pebbles, bottle caps, shells and other beach finds, etc. to use in your jewelry making, glass containers and resin are two great ways to turn your treasures into jewelry. You can also fabricate bezels to show off just about any found object.


L to R: Itsy Bottle Boho Necklace by Becky Nunn, Resin Sea Flower Pin/Pendant by Barbara Briggs, and Cap Mounted Pendant with Solder Inlay by Roger Halas

If you love wire jewelry making, you’re probably always looking for new ways to use it, just like me. Fortunately, jewelry artists are always findings clever and inventive ways to use wire in their jewelry making, too! Here are some designs to inspire you.


L to R: Spiral Labyrinth Earrings by Olga Bulgakova, Ruffled Wire Woven Pendant by Sarah Thompson, and All Knotted Up Bracelet by Sarah Thompson

If you love being on trend and the comfortable, tactile feel of leather jewelry, cork jewelry, or fiber jewelry, treat the boho girl (or guy!) in you with these projects.


L to R: Popped Cork Bracelet by Melissa Cable, Scheherazade Bracelet by Elizabeth Girod, and Miro’s Cuff Bracelet by Melissa Cable

If you love color and always want the biggest box of crayons there is, you’ll love these projects that allow loads of joyful color to be the star.


L to R: Continuous Beaded Chain by Laurel Nathanson, Anodized Niobium Earrings by Michael Mara, and Mojave Earrings by Deryn Mentock

Do what you love! No matter what jewelry techniques or materials you love, you’ll find over 1,000 projects in the Jewelry Making Pattern and Project section of our shop. In addition to all of these categories, you’ll find mixed-media jewelry projects, stone-cutting and lapidary projects, metal clay projects, casting projects, oh-so-many bezel-making and stone-setting projects. You could make a new project from the store every day and it would take nearly three years to finish! That’s a lot of inspiration and instruction, friends. Have fun doing what you love!

Have fun staying home and making great projects like these!

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