Friday, April 17, 2015

A Cross

A Cross
I have always wanted to make a cross in Chain Maille. I've seen many different patterns and never found a good one. So, when I saw a kit from Scott David Plumlee for a nice one, I decided to try it.

I started with the center. Here is a picture of the start.
Now, what you don't see is how many times I started.
You, also, can't see the center rings. Two, one on top of the other. The instructions were not complete enough for me. The assembly order could go several ways and of course, I chose the wrong/probably hard way. Thus the restarts.


This picture shows the longer length addition.
The kit included small blue beads to be added at the crossing.

Here are the blue beads added
There is a reason for the blue beads being added. (See below)

While I liked the finished cross, I wasn't pleased with the look of the blue beads. The contrast was too much and seemed to overpower the cross. In addition to that, I really prefer silver. Plus, I would like it a bit bigger. Truth be told, I've made one just like this awhile ago, in a larger gauge, but it didn't look good. 
Here is what my version looked like.   Droopy!

The pattern is Byzantine and normally in a bracelet the looseness/droop is a plus but not in this case.

In the kit, by adding the blue beads, the cross arms are tightened up and the droop is eliminated. The larger gauge rings I chose makes a larger piece.

So, I thought I would add beads to mine but use beads with less color contrast. I settled on crystal bicones.


It is almost impossible to see the crystal bicones, even in person. So you could say that I accomplished my goal of making the cross prominent.

Here is the finished piece. The crystals are added, the bottom has been lengthened and strung on a black cord.

What do you think? Any suggestions?

Do you prefer the silver?
Send me an email. with any questions or suggestions. I love to hear from you.
Until next time,


PS, did  you notice it is late Tuesday? (I usually send this out at 5 AM on Tuesday). My computer got a pretty bad virus Monday and put a crimp in my schedule. Fortunately, it wasn't as bad as it seemed and I was able to have our great computer repair man fix it quickly. He even wiped off the finger prints on the cover.  :-)


also available at
Easton Shovel Town Cultural District Art/Gallery Co-op
50 Main Street Building 9
North Easton, MA

Saturday and Sunday 11 AM - 3 PM

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Bermuda Triangle and some snow


You may have heard that we had some snow here last week. And we are having more today.

That is New England. Nice to be retired and not really have to go anywhere. Schools closed so all of the house hold is home, too.

So, what do you do in a big snow storm? Make some jewelry. The rest of the family worked on removing the snow. :-)

You remember the Bling I featured recently? I found some gorgeous Swarovski triangle shaped beads. I made a pendant and some matching earrings. The color is Bermuda Blue, thus Bermuda Triangle for the name of the set. So, more Bling for spring. Sorry about the rhyme, it just came out.

The chain is silver filled, 18 inches long. But as you know I'm willing to change the chain to a length you might prefer.

Ear wires are silver.

I've added them to my website.

So, do you like the new bling?

Until next time,


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fiber Kumihimo Necklace with a Heart

Fiber Kumihimo Necklace
with a Heart
Last week, we were on Cape Cod for Thanksgiving week. We celebrated with about 15 family members with the usual Pinochle games, ping pong, Oh - Hell, Sequence, more Pinochle and of course eating.
I took along a bag full of jewelry projects and managed to make two - three wrap leather bracelets.
My main project, however, was to make a Fiber Kumihimo necklace to go with a heart shaped pendant I had in my stash. Before we left, I made a trip to our local yarn shop, Auntie Zaza's Fiber Works.
I noticed, when I had visited before, that she had some long samples of yarn in various textures and colors. Perfect for my current project. I picked out two bundles and brought them with me to the Cape.
Our family did not arrive until Tuesday so I had time to "play". And play I did. It took five different tries to get a color mixture I liked.
Finally, I loaded up my Kumihimo disk and the first inch (my test patch) looked good with the Heart Pendant. I now had a project to work on watching TV or just chatting with family. I finished the length needed but I needed to add the pendant (that took some fiddling) and the clasp.
And the results:

It is hard to see in the picture but it is a combination of several violets and purple with a hint of green in both the necklace and pendant. I added several strands that I had from previous projects.
I have two more similar pendants and may make more like this one.
Oh, yes the other combination. It may take longer to choose colors and find a pendant. I wonder what that one will look like?
It should be fun figuring it out though.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Kumihimo Gifts

Kumihimo Gifts
This week's "feature" is Kumihimo bracelets and necklaces. The discount will be 20%.

Click here or on the picture to see my Kumihimo video.
Here is a video of just the Kumihimo bracelets made with Magatama seed beads
I noticed that I used very different music in these videos. If you watch both, let me know which you prefer.
Kumihimo bracelets listed on my website can be seen here.


Remember the catch. Well, not really a catch but some direction. Because my web cart does not allow me to give discounts, you need to send me an email if you have questions or want to purchase at the discounted price.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Jewelry Classes

Jewelry Classes
from Ring by Ring Designs (me)
Most of you are aware that in addition to jewelry designing and producing different pieces, I love to teach, especially Chain Maille and lately Kumihimo.
Lots of people ask me "Why teach people how to do what you do?"
Well, that is rather simple, well, sort of simple. First many people are not willing to pay the price, particularly, for the Chain Maille that I make. Showing them how will either get one of two results.
They love it as much as I do and are very pleased with their results or else, they now realize how much time it takes and how it is not as easy as they thought.
That response usually brings them to the appreciation of the amount of work that goes into Chain Maille (plus and maybe most important, the cost of the silver used).
Now, they will understand the prices I have to charge for a piece of hand made Chain Maille. Some have even said I don't charge enough. :-)
I've been able to share Kumihimo lately with the local Easton Library Beaders.
A very great group to teach who have taken the craft in many directions. I also teach Kumihimo at Beadcache, a local bead store in Mansfield, MA.
Kumihimo can have completely different looks depending on the choice of materials used. The bracelet above is made with seed beads.
This necklace is made with strands of fibers and has a shell pendant attached.
This bracelet used long Magatama beads and seed beads.
I've also taught at my home. Makes it easier for me.
Awhile ago (you can tell by the quality)  I made a short video of some choices for a specific Chain Maille Bracelet. Click here or on the picture to see the video.
Anyone interested let me know.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gemstone Pendants

Gemstone Pendants
(new ones)
A few weeks ago I made a trip to my gemstone supplier, Two Guys Fossils.

This is the pendant I made for my friend who was looking for a gift for a friend (See this post awhile ago - Christmas already.)  This pendant is sold but I purchased many others and here they are
Some of my favorite stones, Picture Jasper and then of course Malachite and Lapis Lazuli.
They come with an 18 inch silver plate chain. If you want a different length just ask. Here is a picture of a Malachite pendant with a chain.

These gemstone pendants make great gifts. They go well with different outfits and are one of a kind gift as no two stones are exactly alike.
I will send a picture of the exact gemstone to make sure you will like what you order.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Spiro Pendant Revisited again

Spiro Pendant
Revisited again
Awhile ago I showed the new Spiro Pendant I had made. It was available in several colors and I showed a picture of the crystals but not made up.
Since then I was able to make up three more. Well, one is in the same color, one in green and one in Golden Shadow.
Here is the original color I showed, Bermuda Blue:

and here is Green
Bermuda Blue shown on a chain
OK, where is a picture of th Golden Shadow?
Well, I hate to admit it but my comfy chair ate it! I'm not kidding. We turned the chair upside down and looked in all the crevices, flash light in hand and it is no where to be found. Darn! I dropped it while sitting in the chair, on the left side and abracadabra it disappeared.
I did find several missing beads, a dime, and some legos but no Spiro. Go figure.
Well, I've added these two to the website. Hope you will enjoy having them available.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pop on Top Bracelets

Pop on Top Bracelets
(new ones)
When we lived in Hemlock, NY I used to teach several different sewing classes at a fabric store in Honeoye. One of the perks of the class was that I was always making shirts for my family to show how it was done.
I demonstrated how to cut, sew and finish, usually shirts with ribbed necks (above) or the more popular collar and placket 3 button openings. My husband still wears some. (He never throws out anything - but that is another story)
When I taught Kumihimo for the Beading group at the Ames Library recently, I found a similar perk. I now have 3 new bracelets.
It took me awhile to actually finish them with clasps since I really only showed finishes and did not do it in the class time. Now I've finished them!!!
I used the pattern from Sally Battis that she calls "Pop on Top".
I've made Kumihimo bracelets with the long Magatama beads before and I really like them but sometimes they seem a bit thick and bulky to wear.
This pattern uses seed beads for the bottom part
and the Magatama beads to "Pop on the Top" of the bracelet. You may notice that I used different beads in this example and not Magatamas. Good catch!
Now that these are finished, I've added them to my website. You can see/purchase them here.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Where's Waldo?

Where's Waldo?
or a pair of earrings?
Not sure about you but I have a habit of removing my jewelry after I sit down in my comfy chair and putting the pieces in a dish on the table next to me. It works well until I want to put on a pair the next day. That's when I'm reminded of "Where's Waldo?"
Really, can you see a pair of earrings in that dish? I keep picking an earring, one at a time, until I find a pair. (Most are silver but have different designs. So, they do look almost alike)

Which reminds me of the question "In the dark,if you have 6 different color pairs of socks in a drawer, how many pairs do you need to pull out to make sure you have a matching pair?"  (I'll post the answer at the end)
So, I decided to pull everything out of the dish and just see what's what.
It was easy to sort out the bracelet and two necklaces and yes the rings were easy too. The earrings, not so much. The pearls kept rolling for more fun.
Here is a picture after I matched things.

I know, looks about the same because it is hard to see in the picture. I will tell you that some did not make a pair. See the lonely copper earring on the top left?
To be fair, I must admit that in addition to the dish, there is a pile of jewelry next to the dish. Mostly heavier necklaces and bracelets but I found a few earrings hiding in the pile. Here is a picture, with the additions, sorted out.
I didn't find the missing copper earring but I did find another pair of copper earrings, plus several other pairs. The pearls kept rolling even though the surface was fairly flat. One pair ended up in the rings.
I would love to say I did something "smart" once they were sorted but I put them back in the dish, a little more organized. I know, they are still in the "Where's Waldo?" mess.
I discovered something else, they need to be cleaned. Next project.
I've been busy making other things and the cleaning will come soon. I usually have a fall cleaning of all my silver pieces. The humidity is gone and they'll stay clean longer.
Oh, to answer my question about the 6 different colored socks, you need to pull out 6 pairs of socks to make sure you have a matching pair. Did you "get" that?
So, am I the only one with "messy" jewelry storage like this?
Until next time,