Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Finally…a tutorial for you March 4, 2017

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 12:24 pm

Yes, it’s a long time coming.  I promised you a tutorial or two for the sweet little post earrings I’ve been making.  So sorry for the delay…

I admit I am less than an amateur in making tutorials.  I think I’ve made two, maybe three.    So when I found this one already on line, I jumped out of my seat.  Thrilled that someone had beaten me to it.  It’s a good start for you if you want to add these to your jewelry making tool kit.  This one can be made into simple spirals or made into a stud earring component to attach other small beads and dangles.

God bless Craftsy!  And God bless Bobbi Maw! This tutorial saved me hours and hours of my own poor efforts. I do have a couple of variations to share with you however…

First, as I mentioned, you could certainly stop the spiral whenever you wish…more swirls, bigger spiral earring?  Great!  Just cut the wire and file or sand the end smooth.  No need to add the loop at the bottom.  Like these…



Second, after the ninety degree bend, you could add a small bead, then start your spiral.  A neat or messy spiral.  Your choice.  I like mine with a tighter wrap about three times around the bead, overlapping the wires a bit.   Like these…





Or,  go ahead and add the wire loop connector at the bottom, and add a pretty bead dangle. Here I chose a Czech glass leaf as a nod to the coming Spring…  Shown on one of my new earring cards.  Did I tell you that these cards are the same front and back?  So pretty for displaying earrings, don’t you think?





One of the best tips in this tutorial is about how to trim the wire posts on each earring to the exact same length by butting them up to the end edge of a ruler.  So cool.


Got some ideas??   Good!

Spiral away!






A break in the rain… January 27, 2017

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 3:39 pm

Today I’m celebrating a break in the rain to take some photos and share a jewelry making supplier for very cool earring cards.  California has been blessed with more rain than the ground can soak up in places…enough for the years-long drought to be called off.  Hopefully, people will have developed wise water-saving habits in the past few years that will help conserve the bounty that fell from the sky.

Still playing with wired-up studs.  I know I promised a tutorial on these, and I will keep that promise soon.  I promise.

I find that 22 gauge wire is working best for these tiny studs and especially when wire wrapping smaller beads.


                    First up…I HEART you to INFINITY.


Playing with wrapping. It took me a bit to figure out how to spiral the wire and include the post.


Saw this flower design in Pinterest.  Really peaked my interest to see if I could figure out how to make them.

The ones on the right are made with 20 gauge wire and a larger diameter mandrel.


Last are double spiral wrapped blue crystals.  Sweet!


And on to some new earring cards.  I really like the ones I made for these small studs, but ran out of tags to embellish.  In a web search, up pops a company called 8Seasons.  They not only have tons of beading supplies, but tons of tags for gifts and earring cards.  I really like these plain ones that I can fancy up, but I fell in love with these lovely bird cards.  There were pages and pages of cute designs and shapes. They are very inexpensive and come in packs of 50.  Search “paper label tags” on their web site.

It is a company in China, so you’ll need to be patient for your goodies to arrive.  Customer service was great…I had a question and received a quick and thorough answer by email.



Hope you are all cozy, warm, and dry!



Giveaway Winners! January 7, 2017

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 10:49 am

Yes, winners!  Plural…I decided to draw two names.  About half of the entrants wanted the purple ones and the other half was split between the red and turquoise pairs.  So I did two drawings…one just for the purple studs and one for the red/turquoise group.  So…

Beth Kurcab is the winner of the purple studs!

And Tina wins the red pair!

Congrats to you both!

Please send me an email at with your name and address and they will be on their way very soon. 

Thank you everyone for playing along…and I hope that a soon-to-be posted tutorial for you all will be wonderful way to ‘gift’ all readers of this blog.  Until I get it fully ready to publish…here’s a few more (well, a lot, frankly) studs I’ve been working on lately.  I’m actually ‘growing’ a pretty cute earring tree of these little treasures.  Also made up some new earring display cards from plain gift tags and twine.  A bit of stamping and scrap book paper circles. And a big hug and thank you to my grand, Jenna, for being an awesome and patient earring model yesterday.










I think these photos help show their actual size.



I love how this next pair of tube bead studs

can be worn two ways.







Going small has been a fun and challenging way to start the New Year!




Tiny Treasures January 2, 2017

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 12:32 pm

Happy New Year, everyone!

Thought I’d start the New Year off with a short post about some new earrings…what a wonderful way to energize myself by playing with beads and wire.  And a new style for me.

After retirement, my hair style kept getting shorter and shorter until it’s slightly longer than a buzz cut.  Just kidding, but not much…   I thoroughly enjoy making and wearing longer, swingier earrings with my shorty do.  Rarely wear studs, almost never.  That is until these sweet Herkimer diamond studs crossed my path.  I purchased them last fall and l-o-v-e wearing them.  Just a hint of sparkle, yet still rustic.


These little gems have peeked my interest in trying to make small studs.  

After trying a few with 20 gauge wire, I settled on 22 gauge…much easier to wrap and still perfect for the smaller beads and earring posts.  I can wrap up the stones right from the spool and don’t have any waste! Right now I’m using gold  and silver plated anti-tarnish craft wire.  May switch to sterling and gold-filled soon. 

Here’s three pair to share with you…this project is perfect with those left over beads and stones.


            These first two use faceted Czech glass beads.



This last pair is my favorite so far!  

Faceted amethyst glass drops.


And how about a little giveaway to start the New Year off!

Just post a comment and let me know which of these pair of Tiny Treasures you’d like if you win.  

Turquoise, Red, or Purple ?

Be sure to include your contact email in your post.

Giveaway closes on this Friday, the 6th at midnight.

Best wishes for a creative year!



Simplicity… December 14, 2016

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 4:36 pm

So I recently had the great, good fortune to visit a Gem and Mineral Show put on by a local club…not one of those big extravaganzas that travels around the country every year…really local. Put on at the Lakeside Rodeo event space.  A friend, Neda, and I went to check it out to look for stones suitable for wire wrapping and bezel setting for class.  Have to say it was a fun experience.  But a bit disappointing for what we were looking for.  Folks had mostly rock and mineral specimens, fossils, and slabs for sale. Had some interesting conversations with the vendors about identifying their finds and where they came from.

I did pick up a few things, but this one rough, translucent amethyst really caught my eye. Because of its organic shape, I decided to prong set it…in a very simple form of 18 gauge sterling silver round wire.



Here’s a peek at the back. You’ll see that the setting is made from three wires.  The long piece straight down the middle and two C shaped pieces on each side. I used two pieces of solder to hold it together.  The bail is formed by simply bending the long top wire over to the back of the setting and soldering it closed.  The ends of the prongs were trimmed and the ends of each rounded with a cup bur.  I love the setting’s modern simplicity and form, contrasting with the natural uneven form of the stone.




I’ll meet you back here in 2017…Wow, 2017!  

Wishing you all a peace-filled New Year!



Wired… November 30, 2016

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 10:55 am

This Adult School session has focused on wire work.  Something I love.  And while I have added wire wrapped beads as accents in pieces, I’ve never taken it to this extreme…




Before Thanksgiving, we worked on a few bead wrapping techniques…caged beads, croissant beads, and the coiled spiral beads.  To finish this bracelet, I decided to add three simply wrapped clear glass beads to the three wire beads.  I choose the clear color because I thought they would show off the wire to its best advantage.  But using brightly colored beads would also be awesome in a bracelet or necklace.  I keep a stash of inexpensive glass beads from India purchased at Michael’s to play with in designs.  Also known as ‘the tub-o-beads’.  There are a few duds in the mix…chipped or cracked or half formed or the occasional two that got fused together…but still plenty to have fun with.  This bracelet used 16, 18, and 20 gauge copper wire.  Adding the sturdy jump rings between the bead links gives it great movement and flexibility. Love.


After a dip in the hot tub of LOS and an hour in the tumbler, I am pleased with the patina on the darkened copper.










Ooh, I just saw that WordPress turned on the snowfall effect!   I’m so happy!

All wrapped up,





More of this… November 23, 2016

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 8:13 am

When creating jewelry, I am an easily distracted designer.  I’m attracted to the next new thing I see …whether technique, style, metal finish, shapes, and color combos, etc…

Here are a couple of my newest favorites.

Raw brass.  Why didn’t I know just how gorgeous it is when textured and polished?  Love, love the old gold color.


Left over bits turned into earring pendants with abalone chunks.



My first bangle made with 10 gauge wire.




Loved it so much, I made two more!




Then, I got happily sidetracked by admiring the silver work of Cindy Pack of Art and Soul Jewelry.   She’s a contributor over at Earrings Everyday…one of my favorite blogs for inspiration and encouragement.  They have such a wonderfully varied set of people who share their work over there. Mine are accented with a touch of honey chalcedony (again a new color for me) and turquoise.



So my goal is to focus my attention on more brass metal in my work and more of this textured, oxidized silver. And more soldering and hammering. Sweet!

At least for the next week.


What’s caught your attention lately??