Beads, Jewelry Wire, Tools & Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Newsletter 01/04/2011


Sign up here to receive this FREE WigJig Newsletter via e-mail!
To unsubscribe from our newsletter please visit the above web page, enter your e-mail and select Unsubscribe.

SpokesDog Boomer for Beads, Jewelry Tools and Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Web SiteWigJig News -- AKA Boomer Sez:

Our Spokesdog:  If an insurance company can have a gecko, we have decided that we can have a spokesdog.  Boomer, shown at right, is our spokesdog.  If you select Boomer's picture, you will be able to view Boomer at his work. 

How to Unsubscribe:  If you signed up for our newsletter and then decided you don't want to receive it any more, the proper way to unsubscribe is to select the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every newsletter e-mail or to follow our sign up link above.  On that sign up page we also provide a way for people to unsubscribe. 

WigJig Design Contest:   During the next three months, we are going to hold a design contest.  Anyone who would like to submit a design for consideration is welcome.  The project submitted must be made out of wire and/or beads using one of our WigJig tools.  It should be your original work.  Please select only projects that you are willing to allow us to publish in our newsletter.  We will select monthly winners and after three months we will select an Grand Prize Winner in April 2011.  All the winners designs will be published in our WigJig newsletter along with instructions on how to make the winning design.  Winning designs will be selected based upon originality, and artistic content.  We are seeking designs that are entirely new, or show a new way of employing components from our web site.  Preference will be given to designs that are suitable for advanced beginners to intermediate wire workers.  Designs that are so advanced that we could not describe how to make them in fewer than ten pages, will be considered, but designs that are easy to document will be given preference in the judging.  Designs that use materials that are readily available will be given preference.  The materials do not need to be purchased from our WigJig store, but need to be available for purchase at some Internet store. 

 Monthly winners will receive a $100 credit in our WigJig store.  The grand prize winner will be selected from the three monthly prize winners and will receive an additional $200 credit in our WigJig store. 

To submit a jewelry design for consideration in this contest, you will need to send us an e-mail including your name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, and one or more pictures of your jewelry design.  Please send your e-mails to  Please use "WigJig Design Contest" as the subject line in your e-mail. 

Man Made Garnet Jewelry Making Gemstone

Birthstone for January:  The modern birthstone for January is the Garnet.  The term garnet applies to many different chemical compounds generically called neosilicates.  While garnets normally come in the red color shown here, garnets can come in the greatest variety of colors of any gemstone.  The use of garnets as a gem can be traced to pre-historic times.  Beginning in the late 19th century garnets were used as an industrial abrasive in addition to being as a gemstone.  The varieties of garnet have a hardness between 6.5 and 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale (quartz has a hardness of 7).  Please select here to view more information on garnet gemstones.  We sell both mined and man-made garnets in our Internet store.  Select either picture above right to view our selection of garnet gemstones. 

Amethyst Jewelry Making GemstoneNatural Amethyst Jewelry Making Gemstone AAA GradeBirthstone for February:  The birthstone for February is the amethyst.  Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz (Silicon Dioxide) and as such has a hardness of 7.  Amethyst as an element in jewelry was known since antiquity and was very popular among the ancient Egyptians and Greeks.  The name amethyst comes from a Greek word meaning "not drunken".  This name was devised because the ancient Greeks believed that drinking from an amethyst cup could prevent intoxication.  (Boomer sez don't try this at home.  It doesn't work.)  While amethyst was traditionally included among the "cardinal", or most valuable gemstones (including diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald), amethyst has recently declined in value due to the discovery of extensive deposits of the gemstone. 

There is some diversity of opinion on the chemical source of the purple color in amethyst.  Interesting enough, upon exposure to heat, amethyst becomes yellow.  In fact, citrine, a yellow variety of quartz, is sometimes called "burnt amethyst".      Please select here to view more information on amethyst gemstones.  We sell mined amethyst, man-made amethyst and amethyst colored Cubic Zirconia.  Please select either picture above to view our selection of Amethyst gemstones. 

Copper Jewelry Making WireNew Products:  Since our last newsletter we have added several new items of copper wire.  You can view our entire selection of copper wire here: /Copper_Wire.html

Please notice that we now have square copper wire in both half-hard and soft, also we now have 1/2 round, half-hard copper wire.  Because of the extremely high price of gold, perhaps copper is a good choice for some of your jewelry.  It is also a very good choice as practice wire. 

On Sale:
We update the jewelry supplies that we have "On Sale" with every newsletter.  A small sample of the products we have for sale at discounted prices are shown below.  Please click on any of the links below the pictures to view our entire list of sale items.  Select the picture itself to view that specific item in our Internet Store.  This sale will be effective through February 1st, 2011 or until we run out of that item. 

Swarovski Bicone Rose Light 6mm Faceted Beads
Swarovski 6mm Bicone Rose Light Beads
$2.39 per package of 12 beads.

6mm Round Swarovski  Crystal Beads
6mm Round Swarovski Round Crystal Beads
Sale Priced $3.59 per Package of 12 beads

 Shepherd's Hook Style Jewelry Making Finding

WigJig Gold Filled Ear Wire Findings
$6.71 per package of 10 (5 pairs) Shepherd's Hook Style Ear Wires

WigJig Step Jaw Pliers Jewelry Making Tool

WigJig Step Jaw Pliers
Sale Priced $10.36 each

 Anti-tarnish Strips Jewelry Making Accessory
Anti-Tarnish Strips
Sale Priced $1.59 per package of 10. 

2x4 Bugle Beads Crystal S/L
1 Hank 2x4 Bugle Beads
Sale Priced $2.39

6mm Earring Post with Ball Jewelry Making Finding
6mm Earring Post with Ball Jewelry Finding
Sale Priced $3.83 per four (2 pair)

Gold Filled Curb Chain Medium
Gold-Filled Chain 24 Inches
Sale Priced $9.51 each (No Clasp!)

20 Gauge Non-Tarnish Silver Jewelry Wire

20G Non-Tarnish Silver, Silver-Plated Wire
$3.92 for a 18' Spool
(This wire resists tarnish.)


Free Jewelry Design:  Our new jewelry making project for this newsletter is a new bracelet design that we call the Double 8 Jewelry Wire Bracelet.   You can view this bracelet below.

Double 8 Jewelry Wire Bracelet Jewelry Making Project

As you can see, this bracelet is made without any beads.  In the above bracelet we used figure 8 connectors to connect the double 8 wire components together.  The bracelet design could be easily modified to replace the figure 8 connectors with wrapped bead links.  Had we done this, the bracelet would have been more colorful and would have needed fewer of the double 8 wire components because the wrapped bead links are longer than the figure 8 connector that they would replace.  Both styles of this bracelet would be very nice.

Because we made this bracelet in copper and did not have a clasp that we liked made of copper, we made the clasp used with this bracelet.  Our free jewelry making instructions document how we made the clasp shown. 

The bracelet shown above is made of 20 gauge soft copper wire.  The next time we make it, we will make the double 8 wire components out of 18 gauge soft wire.  Both gauges work well.  18 gauge makes a bracelet that is bolder looking.  20 gauge makes a bracelet that is lighter and more delicate.  Personal preference should dictate which size wire will work better for you. 

Please select here, or select our picture above, to view our free instructions for making the Double 8 Jewelry Wire Bracelet. 

Past Techniques:
We maintain a techniques web page that provides links to the discussion of techniques in our prior newsletters.  You can visit this web page here.  Follow the links on that page to the discussion of the technique in that newsletter. 

Jewelry Technique:
Copper Jewelry Making WireThis month's jewelry making technique is some discussion on selecting wire.  We frequently get asked what wire should I use for my project.  Our answer is usually the same and is similar to -- "I don't understand your project, but what I would do is experiment."  We don't have all the answers and there isn't any single wire that is perfect for every project.  In general, soft wire is best for projects that are rounded or use a spiral and half-hard wire is best for projects that are angular, or require wrapping wire around pegs.  In general, for relative newcomers, start with 20 gauge wire and based upon that experiment, then go larger or smaller as seems appropriate.  Our double 8 bracelet project, above, is a good example.  We started with 20 gauge soft wire.  Soft wire because the project was rounded.  20 gauge wire as a general choice and because it is less expensive to experiment with 20 gauge wire than with thicker wires.  After making the bracelet, we decided that 18 gauge would also work well for making the double 8 wire components.  18 gauge makes a heavier and bolder looking bracelet.  20 gauge makes a lighter and more delicate bracelet.  22 gauge would be too light and not strong enough.  16 gauge would be too thick and it would be difficult to bend the wire at the middle of the design to hide the beginning and the end of the wire.  Here are a few suggestions for choosing wire in any new jewelry project:

  1. You will have to experiment in selecting your wire.  Try a couple of different sizes of wire.
  2. Start your experimentation with 20 gauge wire.  It is less expensive and easier to work with.
  3. If your project has a spiral or is very rounded, bending wire around Super Pegs, use soft wire.
  4. If your project is very angular or involves wrapping wire around regular pegs, use half-hard wire. 
  5. Use 20 or 22 gauge wire whenever you need to thread beads on the wire.  Most beads will not fit on 18 gauge wire.
  6. In general, when making a wrapped bead link, use 22 gauge wire.
  7. Use square wire when your design calls for placing several pieces of wire side by side. 
  8. Use 1/2 round wire when you need to bind two or more pieces of wire together, especially when binding 2 or more square wires. 
  9. Finally, the one rule that is absolute.  Experiment!  Try different sizes.  Try both soft and half-hard wire.  Try square wire and 1/2 round wire if appropriate.  Remember, variety is the spice of life. 

Please select here for the beginning of our detailed instructions on choosing your jewelry wire  Please also visit the four following pages (pages 19, 20, 21, 21A and 21B).

Nostalgia Corner:

Delux Triplex Jewelry Wire and Beads Bracelet Jewelry Making ProjectOur Nostalgia Corner project for this newsletter is our Deluxe Triplex Bracelet.  The reason this project was selected was because the technique for connecting the wire components together into a bracelet is by using the wrapped bead link.  This same technique can be used with our new jewelry project for this newsletter, the Double 8 Jewelry Wire Bracelet.  Both bracelets are similar in that the long axis of the wire component is perpendicular to the axis of the bracelet.  This bracelet may be our favorite bracelet design.  It takes about 3 hours to make this bracelet, but it is worth it.  Please select here or select the picture above-right to view our instructions on how to make the Deluxe Triplex Bracelet.

Warning! Joke Follows.  
This is only a joke.  We tell jokes because we are in favor of smiling, laughing and being happy.  This does not mean that we are opposed to anyone or anything. 

If you have ever in your entire life been offended by any joke  -- please skip the below paragraphs.  It is not our intention to offend anyone!  We don't write these jokes, we only re-tell jokes that we have heard on the public radio, television or over the Internet. 

Boomer Humor: 

Four engineers are sitting in a hot tub, when the hot tub suddenly stops running.  They each discuss their impressions of the cause of the problem.

First, the mechanical engineer says --"I think it is a mechanical problem, one of the valves in the piping must have failed blocking the flow of the water.  It is a mechanical problem."

Second the chemical engineer says "I think it is a chemical problem.  The fuel air mixture in the propane heating element for the hot tub is not correct and the gas is not burning properly.  It is a chemical problem."

Third, the electrical engineer says "I think it is an electrical problem.  The electricity is not getting to the igniter for the propane heater to create the spark that lights the gas.  It is an electrical problem."

Finally, the Microsoft Software Engineer says "I don't know what is causing the problem, but why don't we try getting out of the hot tub and then get back in to see if that fixes the problem." 

(Editors note:  For those of our readers who don't have a Windows software based computer, getting out of a program and then reinitiating the program is the first step in troubleshooting a software problem.  Hence the joke.)

Boomer Philosophy: 

In our last e-mail we discussed why we elected to move to Texas.  As the results of the census are now becoming available, it turns out that we are not alone.  Texas is the fastest growing state in the union and will gain four representatives in the 2012 congress.  The reasons why we chose Texas appear to appeal to many people.  The census results show that states with no income tax grew faster than states with high taxes.  In fact, many states with high taxes lost population at a higher rate.  To us this seems logical.  People move to where the climate favors them.  This includes both the weather and the economic climate.  Some people don't appreciate the hot summers in South Central Texas where we live, but who is going to say no to a 6% pay raise for moving to a state with no income tax.  Obviously, many thousands of people won't and as a result the population of Texas is growing. 

We don't consider it a political statement for us to state why we chose to move and why we selected Texas.  We consider it a simple statement of facts.  Obviously, the census shows that our decision process was shared by many, many people with the result that Texas is the fastest growing state.  Unfortunately, as a result of our last newsletter we received the two rudest and nastiest e-mails that we have ever received.  These two individuals thought that stating facts was unacceptable political posturing.  One individual used the word greed and greedy at least ten times in one paragraph.  The other individual made some very rude comments about us and Texas.  We are sorry that these two individuals were so strongly upset by a simple statement of facts.  If the truth is considered hostile, then states like Maryland will continue to take actions that result in population loss and reductions in state revenues at the time when they really need to increase revenues.  If the governments in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and New York continue to refuse to listen to facts, then their citizens will continue to leave the state and the result will be a higher tax burden for those citizens who are left behind.  Can't the same thing happen on a national level? 

You can read some thoughts by Thomas Sowell on the impact of high taxes here. 

More Boomer Philosophy: 

If you think that the government is doing the right thing by increasing the price of electricity throughout the country by having the EPA tax carbon emissions, then please view this video by Professor Bjorn Lomborg:  

Professor Lomborg is an ultra liberal professor of economics in Denmark, and a former member of Green Peace.  His topic is how to address global warming.  He believes that global warming is happening.  He has also looked at the situation with an honest and open mind.  What he has to say shows us the errors in the thinking of many environmentalists.  Please view this video.  These are facts and not political spin. 

Sunset in Texas: 

During the winter, the sunsets in Texas are less exciting.  While not exactly boring, they are less spectacular than the sunsets in the summer when there are more clouds and more humidity.  We will close out 2010 with these two sunset pictures.  I don't anticipate anymore sunset pictures until next spring. 

Sunset in Texas
December 18, 2010

Sunset in Texas
December 26, 2010

Online Books.  If you are looking for new and interesting jewelry projects -- try one of our Online Books.  Our most detailed instructions are for sale online.  Please select here to view our selection of online books.  These books are delivered over the Internet and there are no shipping costs on an order with just online books. 

Shipping Policy.  We waive the shipping charge on orders over $60 shipped within the US (as long as these orders remain over $60).  For International orders we ship via Global Priority Mail and charge $5 over the US Mail charge for this shipping service.  Please select here to view our entire shipping policy.

WigJig University.  We provide over 3,000 web pages of free information, tips, techniques and free jewelry making designs in WigJig University.  We encourage everyone to view this information as a source for new ideas, projects, or a way to learn new techniques.  We now have a page in WigJig University that shows our designs sorted by the WigJig tool used to make them.  Please select here to view that information. 

International Vendors.  We do have vendors who sell our WigJig products outside the US.  We encourage customers to contact these vendors in their home country.  Please select here to view our list of overseas vendors.  We are also happy to sell our WigJig tools to stores.  Please send us an e-mail if you are interested in selling our WigJig tools. 

Classes.  We have a listing of various jewelry making classes using our WigJig tools that are offered by bead stores throughout the country.  If you are interested in classes, please select here.  If you know someone who has classes in using our WigJig tools, please ask them to send us an e-mail at so that we can include them in these pages. 

We are continuing to improve our newsletter, so please feel free to provide feedback at

SHIPPING WAIVED ON ORDERS OVER $60.00 SHIPPED TO USA - Customer Care   -   Contact Us
(800) 579-WIRE (phone), (240) 597-2262 (fax), (email).  Privacy Policy. 
All content on this web site including jewelry and wire designs are copyrighted
by WigJig.  WigJig is a registered trademark. 
Last modified: 01/04/2011

Return to WigJig Jewelry Making Tools, Beads and Jewelry Supplies Home

See our selection of beads, wire, jewelry supplies and jewelry making tools.

View Prior Newsletters 

2003    2004    2005     2006      2007     2008     2009

    02/02/2010     02/23/2010     03/16/2010     04/20/2010     06/03/2010     07/13/2010    08/24/2010     09/21/2010

10/26/2010     11/16/2010     01/04/2011

Beads, Jewelry Tools & Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Jewelry Making Newsletter