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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jewelry Basics with Marianne Arkins

Fellow dog lover and gardener, Marianne Arkins is a long time friend. I read her blog faithfully and I'm always amazed at how much she can get done in a day. Her pre-teen daughter is a chip off the old block and started her own jewelry business. How cool is that?

Today, Marianne and DD will take you step by step to create a simple set of earrings. But wait--there's more! One lucky commenter will win the earrings. That's for those of you whose hands hurt just thinking about twisting teeny-tiny wire. Take a look and comment!

Making a simple set of Holiday Earrings

Making this pair of earrings is pretty easy and they look so pretty!

1.  Start with your basic supplies.  We used Swarovski crystal beads in red and green, goldtone head pins, gold tone wires, and goldtone spacers.  The only tool we needed for this were round-nosed pliers (a must have in any jewelry making toolbox).

2.  Thread your beads and spacers onto the headpin in whatever order you desire.

3.  Using the round-nosed pliers, make your loop.  This is actually the hardest part of this creation – I still can’t manage a decent looking loop, while my daughter is a pro at making them!

4.  Slip them onto your earring wires – these wires are super simple to use because you don’t have to leave the loop on the headpin open to put them on.  They simply slide over the top of the “S” and you gently squeeze it shut using your fingers.  Be careful using tools on the findings, as they can scar the metal if you aren’t careful.

5.  Here’s the completed pair – ready for a night out at the company Christmas party, or just hanging out with you while you finish your shopping.

The finished product

*Any questions? Comments? Thoughts?  We’ll be giving this pair of earrings away to one commenter so let us know what you think.

And if you’re looking for great gifts, a little bling or more, check out our store.

Marianne is originally from California but currently living in much colder New Hampshire with her husband, daughter, dog and cat, as well as a few hundred wild birds, chipmunks and a backyard bear that keeps trying to grab the feeders. She can’t imagine a world without romance or not having stories rattling around in her brain, and she uses comedy to get her through the obscenely long winter.

To learn more about Marianne Arkins please visit or her blog

NOTE: For other DIY Christmas posts, go here All contests for the DIY posts end 12-22-11, so you can comment on any previous post.


Marianne Arkins said...

Thanks for having us today!

Mike Keyton said...

Thanks Marianne. You make it look easy. Even so I'm guessing I don't have the aptitude for this, so I'm passing it on to my daughter. 'Make your own Christmas I'll say,' and then duck

K.T. Hanna said...

Thank you for sharing this. Marianne and DD do a lovely job.

Love this blog, I'm just lazy at commenting :(

Merry Christmas!

Cathy in AK said...

How cool! I might even be able to do this : )

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i'm always amazed at how much more cleverl people are than i. (did that make sense? I'm not sure...)
Those earrings are super cute (though keep me out of the drawing since i have unfortunate metal allergies and wouldn't be able to wear them if i won)

Kaye Manro said...

I use to love making jewelry. Esp. for Christmas presents. This is a great post! Gets me in the Christmas spirit just thinking about how much fun I use to have creating lovely and inexpensive gifts for family and friends.

Thanks Maria.

Nadja Notariani said...

Great craft/project. I love homemade Christmas gifts! They're the best. One year, my Dad made me earrings ...can you believe it? He's usually a gruff man, but he can be so thoughtful with things like that.
This year, he made me a cutting board that Paula Dean and Rachel Ray would die to have! Ha!
He gave it to me already so I can 'use it' for holiday cooking.

Anonymous said...

Those are beautiful and look really easy to make! Thanks for sharing the steps!

Melanie M. said...

Very beautiful! One of the things I would love to make is jewelry. I've made a few bracelets, including a design using the tiny beads that I bought on a Cherokee reservation at their gift store. May have to try and make something similar. If the writing muse lets me step away from the keyboard long enough :)


Barbara Ann Wright said...

I used to make those (or similar ones) all the time in school!!! Ahhhh! Thanks for the blast from the past.

Dead Herring said...

It always looks so easy, but when I try it - Ack!!!

My finished products don't always look like the I'm trying to example I see.

That's why we have daughters!


Dead Herring said...

Sorry - my tongue sure twisted that comment.

I was trying to say "my finished products don't always look like the example I see.


Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, thanks for the cool post. Earrings like those are super popular in Mexico.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Gorgeous. I'm in awe of people who can create jewellery ... both the ideas they dream up and the fact they have the patience to deal with the fiddliness. I couldn't resist saying how much I like the post, but please don't enter me in the contest ... mail to Australia is expensive and (whispers it) I refuse to pierce my ears...such a coward :)

Jeanine said...

Love the earrings

Shelley Munro said...

They're really pretty. You make it look so easy too :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

I used to make my own earrings all the time. There was a store in Santa Barbara that sold beads and other stuff to make all kinds of jewelry. I loved going into there. You didn't have to buy a package, only the pieces you needed. I miss stores like that!

Maria Zannini said...

We have a 'rock' shop in Dallas. Whenever my mother comes to visit, I take her there. She loves to paw at all the pretty stones. She's bought several of the crystals, but I think she has my nieces make the actual jewelry for her.

LOL. Leave it to my mother to run her own personal sweatshop.

My hat is off to you and DD, Marianne. It's very tedious work. It hurts my hands just thinking of those intricate twists and bends.

Angela Brown said...

That was so cool. I'd probably suck at the whole "loop" thing too.

The end result is simply a beautiful pair of earrings that could go quite nicely with a combination of outfits because of the smart choice in colors.

Kaz Augustin said...

Lovely work Marianne. And can I just say that I've always had a soft spot for needle-nosed pliers.... Make of that what you will. :)

Marianne Arkins said...

Thanks again, Maria, for having us. And for all the comments. Jenny! It really doesn't hurt (much) to get your ears pierced. Promise...

Kaz, you cracked me up. I nearly snorted coffee onto my keyboard.


Anne-Kathrine said...

Hi Marianne *waves* Very cool!! Hmm might add this to projects to try out in the future :)

Dru said...

it looks so easy, but I love the color pairing.

LD Masterson said...

This one is definitely beyond me. I'm always a bit in awe of such creative people.

Cate Masters said...

So cute. And you make it look so easy! :)
Happy holidays, Marianne!