How to make earrings – basics!

I thought, maybe once in a while we should show the absolute basics on how to make earrings. Like so many things, it’s easy once you know. But you might never have looked closely at the little connectors, etc, so it’s still a mystery. Well – now it won’t be. You can create some fabulous jewelry with this simple technique. (Or go as fancy and complicated as you want, that’s the beauty of it!)

DIY earrings how to tutorial picture

Add whatever extras and variations you like – you’ll love the customization – this is just the start 🙂

DIY earrings – save money – make gifts – or sell your jewelry!

How to open a ball chain

This is something I take for granted – I use (and wear) a lot of ball chains, the simple chains that are used in the military to hold dog tags – and out in the jewelry world, to also hold dog tag pendants. Plus a lot of other necklaces and pendants.

They’re easy to open and close – once you know how. But if you aren’t used to them, they’re probably maddening! They don’t have a typical clasp. Instead, they have a connector as shown in the sketch below.

sketch showing how to open a ball chain

I think that shows it pretty well – basically, you find the little connector, hold it securely with your thumb and forefinger – and with the other hand, snap the little round balls out of the connector. Or slip the little ball back into the slot, to re-connect the chain. it’s easy – once you get used to it. And if it’s still difficult, drop me a note – we’ll figure it out!

How to freeze green beans – without blanching!

Talk about a useful Tip of the Day ! I just got a lovely big supply of garden fresh green beans from a dear friend (somehow my garden didn’t happen this year). I was getting ready to blanch most of them, because much as we love green beans we can’t eat them all up in a few days.

Then I had an attack of brains and thought, I ought to doublecheck the best method – you know that’s one of the reasons we love the web. And I found this most wonderful article on how to freeze fresh green beans, without having to blanch them first.

how to freeze green beans without blanching first

I am trying this TODAY.

A huge thank you to Jami, of An Oregon Cottage, who kindly gave permission to share her idea with a link to her blog. She has some wonderful advice – and project articles there – you are going to have so much fun!

And I’ll share pronto, how the beans turned out 🙂

PS! Edited (days later) to add this: the beans turned out to be very tasty. I did need to spend a little longer cooking them (they were chewier than usual) – but they really were good. And easy to prepare: I tried two different ways. First time, I steamed them for several minutes. Second time, I microwaved them with just a smidge of butter, for about 2-3 minutes. Both methods worked. Save yourself time – freeze those wonderful fresh green beans!

How to add tiny stones to a two-jewel setting

This may sound like something you’ll hardly ever do – but if you end up buying stones and settings separately (rather than having the stones pre-set before you buy them) it’s handy to learn these little tips. Your crimpiing pliers are really helpful here.

In many settings, the tiny stone is 20ss (or “stone size”) – and 20ss is about 4.5mm. I did a little sketch to give a few helpful tips when setting them.

tips on setting tiny glass stones in settings ... part 1
tips for setting small glass stones in settings...part 2

One of the most important things to remember, after you squeeze (flatten) the little prongs, is to close them *slightly* over the stone. Don’t try to flatten them all the way down to the glass – you’ll chip something. With all the prongs gently leaning toward the “closed” position, your stone will be protected and secure.

And if this isn’t your cup of tea, you can always – you know – buy stones already in settings. Like in my Etsy shop 🙂