Product Review: Artisan’s Head Magnifier (TM)

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Since my last article I purchased “an aid” for jewelry making projects. I have to say, for the first purchase and at such a cheap price, I do believe this is all I will need. Your needs of course may be different.

I ordered this device from Amazon. Name of the device is Artisan’s Head Magnifier, (TM). Price was $13.99 plus a little tax. Delivery was extra fast. I think it was within 3 or 4 days maybe sooner.

It took awhile for me to figure out how to attach the magnification lens. I am a real dork when it comes to attaching things, yet, I knew this thing was worth tinkering with long enough to finally get a lens attached.

There is a little light run by a battery which is great. I could not believe how wonderful this device was for jewelry making. It enlarged “everything” very nicely. The holes in the tiniest of beads I could see through to the other end. I love this device. It absolutely has solved my “not being able to see well” during jewelry making projects.

The description on Amazon calls it a “Prime Grade ABS Eyeglasses/Headband LED lamp light with 5 magnifier acrylic optical lens for reading or micro works. I did not have to use the headband. They fit just like a pair of glasses.

You look down onto your object and there it all is. I also tried reading with them and they work better than the cheap glasses you can pick up at Wal mart or most any other place.

This pair of magnifier glasses are absolutely “outstanding” just as their description states. The entire package includes not only one magnifier lens, but 5 of them.

As I said before, it was a little tricky for me to get even the first lens in, yet, I am a pure dork at putting things together, so for someone else, this task may be much easier.

I chose the second lens in the box and it was a perfect choice for me. The lens sizes are: 1X, 1.5X, 2X, 2.5X, and 3X magnifications. Their description also noted how great they worked for reading, working on small circuits, jewelry evaluating and more, just about anything that requires a close up view. I tried them out for bead jewelry making and reading. Worked great on both projects.

The LED is super bright and adjustable at different angles horizontally and vertically. Artisan’s Head Magnifier (TM) light uses 3 LR1130 batteries. Now these may be a bit tricky trying to find and replace. I will cross that road when I come to it. The light does help a lot and is just as the description says, “bright.”

The fit is comfortable. A comfortable fit is important for working long periods of time while wearing them. I don’t think I will have a need for the adjustable elastic nylon strap that came with it. I really can’t give a review on how that feels as I did not try it on.

The premium grade ABS and Acrylic Optical Lens is made of a premium grade ABS frame and shatter resistant acrylic lens as stated on the box. The lens is extremely lightweight, which is important for long periods of use. It is a compact size and scratch resistant. Again, I cannot believe the clear view these little glasses provides. I suppose one could clean the lens with regular eyeglass cleaner.

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P1130628

Product Review: Macadamia Professional Paddle Cushion Brush

This brush combines the healthful benefits of 100% natural boar bristle with high-heat resistant nylon pins. Thanks to an infusion of negative ions this brush has frizz-negating anti static properties and will leave your hair feeling smoother, healthier and more manageable.

It is said to be perfect for longer thicker hair and excellent fro detangling, scalp manipulation and to create a naturally smooth straight finish.

I have mid length hair. I do find the brush to be very comforting to my scalp and the smooth straight finish is apparent. Cost for this brush was about $30. I purchased it from Amazon. Company name is Macadamia Beauty.

Jewelry Making Wire, Cord, Thread and Elastic Product Reviews

Creating handmade jewelry requires a unique list of supplies. There are many, many brands and styles of wire, cord and other beading supplies and not all are quality and not all are preferred by every jewelry artisan. Sometimes you just have to pick and choose what you think you will be the best and other times while learning from your own experiences. You can also read notes and articles from people who have used such and such and who recommend that particular brand. All the supplies I will discuss in this article are used by a professional jewelry making artisan.

Necklace and bracelet cord

Beading wire and cord are essential supplies for almost all types of bead work. Supplies like beading wire and cord like copper wire, bradied wire and elastic cord are some of which you will use most often for making bracelets and necklaces.

Buddy braids and flexible stainless steel wire is perfect necklace and/or bracelet wire. Buddy Braids brand is a stainless steel multi-strand braided wire permanently colored and then coated with nylon. It is very strong against kinks and easy to use. You can make knots with Buddy Braids wire or use crimp beads.

Memory wire comes in gold plated and silver plated finishes. The base metal is stainless steel. This is a superior jewelry making wire.
Buddy stretch clear elastic beading cord is the perfect elastic cord for making slip on or stretchy bracelets. It is a very strong elastic cord that knots easily. You won’t have to use glue and actually should not use glue with this elastic beading cord. Jewelry made using buddy stretch elastic beading cord will last a long time. You can pull the knot into the middle of a bead to hide it and create a great looking finished piece of handmade jewelry.

Buddy 18 gauge colored copper craft wire is a great product to use for wire-wrapping as well as with many other craft and jewelry projects.
The Nymo brand nylon beading thread comes in several sizes. Size OO is the thinnest and is perfect for projects requiring multiple passes through the same bead. Size O is slightly thicker than OO. Size B is thicker than O and Size D is the thickest and strongest. You would need to use size D when you want to pass thread through the same bead a couple times.

Make great bracelets and necklaces using “hemp cord.” Use it with clasps or just make a knot. Hemp cord is made to last and makes a wonderful stringing material.

Jewelry chain comes in a variety of sizes and finishes such as gold-plated, antique copper and antique bronze, silver-plated and silver filled chain. Silver-plated chains have a very thin layer of silver.

Leather cord comes in many sizes and colors and is also great beading material.

Fireline braided bead thread comes in several colors such as crystal clear and smoke and is usually found in 4 lb., 6 lb. and 8 lb. weights.
These are just a few of the brands of wire, cord, thread and elastic that yields excellent results every time.

Written by: Connie Limon
Carmilita’s Earrings: https://carmilitaearrings.etsy.com

Carmilita’s Three Piece Bead Sets Necklace, Earrings and Bracelet Handmade FREE shipping:

This is a 3-piece bead set I added to Carmilita’s Three Piece Bead Sets Collection. She consist of a necklace, bracelet and earrings.

Material used for necklace:
1 25 inch length of silver colored 0.35 mm buddy braids
1 silver plated 15x8mm Lobster clasp
1 silver plated 5 mm split ring
2 silver plated crimp tubes
2 silver plated 4mm crimp bead covers
24 pink AB 6×4 mm glass crystal rondelles
24 Pink AB 8 x 5 mm glass cr6stal rondelles
6 pink AB 12 x 9 mm glass crystal rondelles
14 light rose 6 mm swarovski crystal bicones
2 rose quartz 12 mm semiprecious rounds
1 rose quartz 20 mm semiprecious puff coin
4 rose quartz 13 x 18 mm semiprecious puff ovals
12 silver plated 6 mm rhinestone rondelles
62 silver plated 1.5×4 mm beaded rondelle metal beads

Materials used for bracelet:
1 10-inch length of silver colored 0.35mm buddy braids
1 silver plated 15 mm thick rope toggle clasp
2 silver plated crimp tubes
2 silver plated 4 mm crimp bead covers
8 silver plated 1.5×4 mm beaded rondelle metal beads
6 silver plated 6 mm rhinestone rondelles
3 pink AB 12 x 9 mm glass crystal rondelles
8 light rose 6mm Swarovski crystal bicones
4 rose quartz 13×18 mm semiprecious puff ovals

Materials used for earrings
2 silver plated 11 x 15 mm leverback earrings
2 silver plated 0.028 x 2 head pins
2 silver plated 1.5×4 mm beaded rondelle metal beads
2 silver plated 6 mm rhinestone rondelles
2 pink AB 4 x 6 mm glass crystal rondelles
2 light rose 8 mm swarovski crystal bicones
2 rose quartz 12 mm semiprecious rounds

Price: $60 (includes shipping)

3 piece bead set pink

Purchase here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Product Reviews: Ultimate Wire-Pliers Set and Tools for Wire Jewelry Artisans

The Ultimate Wire-Pliers set has five tools and a zippered carrying case. The set includes (1) stepped square nose pliers; (2) flat nose pliers; (3) chain nose pliers; (4) round nose pliers; (5) Xuron flush cutters.

Every pair of pliers in this set are slim-tipped which are perfect for tiny and precise work. Other features of this set of pliers include (1) durable box joints; (2) purple latex-free comfort rips; and (4) a lifetime replacement guarantee.

For the bead jewelry artisan add on the dual size round nose pliers. These pliers are tough loopers having a long, gentle taper for jump rings, bezels or curves.

Both the Ultimate Wire-Pliers set and the dual size round nose pliers can be found at wire-sculture.com

Tools and Material Organization Products

The Foredom magnetic arm is part of the Foredom Work Bench System. It is a moveable arm mounted onto the system’s flex-shaft stand very similar to the system’s trays, bars, arms and light strip.

The best feature of the Foredom Work Bench System is the easy access you will have to your tools and materials during production times. When you need something, all you have to do is pull a rack toward you. When you need space to work, just push the rack back. It is a system in which many jewelry artisans boast about being able to keep their work area neat and tidy as well as well lit. The magnetic arm part is perfect for jewelry artisans who have a lot of pliers or other steel hand tools they need to organize for better work production times.

The tool called “That’s a Jig,” is celebrated by many jewelry artisans as being one of the best tools they ever came across. It is well designed, made solid and highly adaptable as well as extremely useful. “That’s a Jig” can be seen and purchased at Now-That’sA-Jig.com

Skamolex Soldering Blocks

For wire jewelry makers who still solder wire, be sure to look at the Contenti Tools “Skamolex Soldering Blocks.” These blocks were originally designed for lining fireplaces and stoves. They are popular in Europe. The one best feature of these might be the fact that they are excellent and affordable alternatives to charcoal blocks. Light, but not rigid makes them extremely useful for wire because you can easily insert T-pins or the wire itself for setup.These blocks are from Contenti and can be seen and/or puchased on their website. They are available in two sizes.

Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Carmilita’s Earrings: https//carmilitaearrings.etsy.com

Meet Gypsy

P1100209

This is a 3 piece bead set I added to Carmilita’s Three Piece Bead Sets. There is a necklace, bracelet and earrings in this set.

Materials Used for Earrings:
2 Antique Bronze 11 x 15 Leverback earrings
8 Antique Bronze 5mm 20 Gauge Jump Rings
6 Antique Bronze Ballpins
6 Antique Bronz 8 x 9 mm Decorative Bead Caps
6 Antique Bronze 1.5×4 mm Beaded Rondelles
6 Pink 6 x 12 mm Flower Beads
6 Light Rose 5 x 9 mm Flower Beads

Materials Used for Bracelet
10 inches of Antique Bronze Colored Buddy Braids
1 Antique Bronze 15 mm Thick Rope toggle Clasp
2 Antique Bronze Crimp Beads
2 Antique Bronze 4 mm Crimp Covers
12 Antique Bronze Ballpins
12 Antique Bronze 3 x 9 mm Decorative Bead Caps
12 Antique Bronze 1.5 x 4 mm Beaded Rondelles
12 Pink 6 x 12 mm Flower Beads
12 Light Rose 5 x 9 mm Flower Beads
26 Peach 4 mm Glass Crystal Bicones
13 Pink AB 8 x 5 mm Glass Crystal Rondelles

Materials Used for Necklace
26 inches of Antique Bronze Colored Buddy Braids
1 Antique Bronze 14 x 8 mm Lobster Clasps
1 Antique Bronze Split Ring
2 Antique Bronze Crimp Beads
2 Antique Bronze 4 mm Crimp Bead covers
4 Antique Bronze 5 mm 20 Gauge Jump Rings
7 Antique Bronze Ball Pins
7 Antique Bronze 2 x 9 mm Decorative Bead Caps
48 Antique Bronze 1.5×4 mm Beaded Rondelles
10 Antique Bronze 4 x 5 mm Bicones
12 Antique Bronze 8 mm Bicones
72 Pink 4 mm Glass Crystal Bicones
18 Peach AB 8 x 5 mm Glass Crystal Rondelles
7 Pink 6 x 12 mm Flower Beads
7 Light Rose 5 x 9 mm Flower Beads

Gypsy’s Price: $60 (includes FREE shipping)

Purchase Gypsy here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Product Reviews: Oval Head Micro Shears and Cone Shaped Mandrel Pliers

Oval Head Micro Shears

The Xuron’s oval head micro shears is a flush cutter. It has a retaining clip that prevents flying cut-offs and holds small bits of wire as you work. The Xuron company supplied civilian, military electronics, and the aerospace industries for more than 40 years and so have advanced experience with tools.

It is said by some wire jewelry artisans that this pair of shears are best for “solder.” Solder is a PITA to snip and hold onto in the heat of the moment. The bypass blades of the shears cut metal by shearing it instead of compressing it that makes the difference. You also will get a nice clean cut and no V-shaped wire ends. The Oval Head Micro Shears are recommended to use with soft silver, gold, copper, craft and beading wires from 16 to 30 guage.

Find the oval head micro shears on the Xuron’s website online.

Cone Shaped Mandrel Pliers

This pair of pliers are some of the newer pliers produced by Wubbers. The Wubbers Company is well known to produce tough tools, constructing comfy grips and a useful range of mandrel and other shapes all throughout their line of tools. Use the Cone Shaped Mandrel Pliers to create wire or sheet cones quickly and efficiently.

Bead jewelry artisans can use the Cone Shaped Mandrel Pliers for bead caps, earrings, hollow forms, springs, and bazillions and just about anything else you can think of. Find this tool on the Wubber website online.

The Cone Shaped Mandrel Pliers of of the highest quality and built tough enough to hold up throughout many years of jewelry creations.

Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Carmilita’s Earrings: https://carmilitaearrings.etsy.com

Meet Sandy

dangle earrings sandy

Sandy is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Simplicity Collection of Dangle Earrings.She dangles about 1 1/2 inch from the hook. She is made from semiprecious nuggets and sunburst glass crystals. The nuggets look like different shapes of little gravel rocks. Some are round in shape, others are a bit off round, a bit off square, just like you would see a pebble rock. Beautiful pair of earrings for the fall time of year.

Materials Used:

2 Antique Copper Dangle Earrings
12 Antique Copper Ball Pins
12 Antique Copper 5 mm 22 Gauge Jump Rings
6 Sunburst AB 6 x 4 mm Glass Crystal Rondelles
6 Picture Jasper 7 x 10 mm Semiprecious Nuggets

Sandy’s Price: $15 (includes Free Shipping)

Purchase Sandy here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Product Review: Valor Ergo Pliers Set

It is no wonder I like the hobby of beading so much. It is one of the most effortless forms of physical therapy for the hands and “creative therapy” for the mind. Why is this you might say? Well, to me beading and jewelry making is just such a darn good way of having fun. It is “playtime therapy.”


Wire jewelry is another form of physical therapy for the hands and creative therapy for the mind. Wire is a line. Lines are design elements. You must have a great collection of good tools for turning those lines of wire and twisting and manipulating it in the directions you want it to go to turn out fabulous looking jewelry pieces. What are the tools for the trade of wire jewelry?


Pliers


You must have at the very least a good pair of pliers. Contenti Tools Valor Ergo Pliers Set in a zippered case boasts a great set of pliers, six pairs in all. They are colored-coded with rippled handles designed to comform to your hand for hand comfort while manipulating those design elements of “wire” into fabulous looking jewelry collections.


A wire jewelry artisan without the right tools is like a cake baked without flour and sugar. Tools are your main ingredients, and a good set is even better.


The Valor Ergo Pliers set is a good middle size, not too big and not to small. They are made of sturdy construction. The box joints on this set of pliers help to keep jaws aligned for longer periods of work life. They are a tough set of pliers. The ripples on the handles make it easy for finger placement even for those with smaller hands. They are made of stainless steel, double leaf springs and are easily grabbed quickly by using color codes on the handles.


Beaders can also use this fine set of pliers. The set may be actually a bit more than a beader would want to invest in, but they can be used in the art of beading as well.


Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Carmilita’s Earrings: https://carmilitaearrings.etsy.com


Meet Lorena


dangle earrings lorena


Lorena is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Fancy Handmade Dangle Earrings Collection. She dangles about 2 1/2 inches from the hook.

Materials Used:
2 Antique Silver Plated Leverback Earrings
2 Antique Silver Plated 19 x 21 mm Heart Connectors
4 Antique Silver Plated Eyepins
10 Antique Silver Plated Ball Pins
6 Antique Silver Plated 23 Gauge 5 mm Jump Rings
4 Antique Silver Plated 4 x 5 mm Bicone Metal Beads
2 Red AB 8 x 5 mm Glass Crystal Rondelles
2 Pink AB 6 mm Glass Crystal Bicones
4 Pink AB 4 mm Glass Crystal Bicones
6 Ruby AB 4 mm Glass Crystal Bicones

Lorena’s Price $15 (includes FREE shipping)


Purchase Lorena here: Carmilita’s Earrings