Beads, Jewelry Wire, Tools & Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Newsletter 03/22/2011



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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. 

Kelly Tibbets Bronze Hearts NecklaceWigJig Design Contest:   During March, we are going to have our final design contest for 2011.  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. 

For February, we had six excellent designs submitted.  Please select here to view all six designs submitted.  Our winner of the WigJig Design Contest for February is Kelly Tibbets who submitted the Bronze Hearts Necklace design shown above.  We want to thank all six entrants for submitting their designs. 

Aquamarine Jewelry Making GemstoneBirthstone for March:  The birthstone for March is the aquamarine.  Aquamarine is a gemstone quality transparent variety of beryl and is closely related to the emerald.  Aquamarine has a hardness of between 7.5 and 8 making it harder than most sand and dust.  Aquamarine is known for its delicate blue or turquoise color suggestive of the color of sea water.  Much of the naturally occurring aquamarine gemstones mined today are heated to bring out a bluer color.  The deeper the blue color, the more valuable the gemstone is considered.  Aquamarine is mined in the US in Colorado and is the the official state gem of that state. 

People in the middle ages thought that aquamarine could overcome the effects of poison.  Prior to the middle ages, ancient sailors often traveled with aquamarine crystals believing that it would ensure a safe passage.  Please select here to view more information on aquamarine gemstones.  We sell man-made aquamarine and aquamarine colored Cubic Zirconia.  Please select either picture above to view our selection of aquamarine gemstones. 

New Products:  Since our last newsletter we have added several new Precosia glass crystal beads to our inventory.  Precosia is one of the leading bead manufacturers in the Czech Republic.  These beads are a high quality alternative to Swarovski, Austrian crystal beads at a slightly lower price.  Please see the table below to view our new selection of Precosia beads.  Please select any picture below to view our selection of Precosia beads or select the item number below the picture to view that item in our Internet store. 

Sapphire Precosia Beads Emerald Precosia Beads Precosia 10 mm Crystal AB Bicone Beads
Item 3520
Item 3521
Item 3522

Item 3516

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 April 1st, 2011 or until we run out of that item. 

Swarovski Round Amethyst 6mm Faceted Beads
Swarovski 6mm Round Amethyst Beads
$3.83 per package of 12 beads.

6mm Round Swarovski  Emerald Beads
46mm Round Swarovski Emerald Beads
Sale Priced $4.07 per Package of 12 beads

Swarovski Round Indicolite 4mm Faceted Beads
Swarovski 4mm Round Indicolite Beads
$2.63 per package of 12 beads.

4mm Bicone Swarovski  Amethyst Light Beads
4mm Bicone Swarovski Amethyst Light Beads
Sale Priced $2.31 per Package of 24 beads 

WigJig Fine Step Jaw Pliers Jewelry Making Tool

WigJig Fine Step Jaw Pliers
Sale Priced $10.36 each

Medium Gold Plated Bail Jewelry Making Finding
Gold Plated Bail 8mm x 3.5mm
Sale Priced $1.59 per package of four
Gemstone not included. 
Rounded 2-Tone Magnetic Clasp Jewelry Making Finding 7.5" Bracelet Chain Jewelry Making Finding
Rounded Silver-plated Magnetic Clasp
Sale Priced $1.35 per package of 2. 
7.5" Bracelet Chain Gold Plated
Sale Priced $1.51 per Bracelet

Copper 2" Head Pin Jewelry Making Finding
Copper 2" Head Pin
Sale Priced $0.71 per package of 10
Head pins are copper colored.  Picture does not capture actual color. 

20 Gauge Non-Tarnish Silver Jewelry Wire

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


V Chandelier Jewelry Wire Earrings Jewelry Making DesignFree Jewelry Design: 
Our new jewelry making project for this newsletter is an alternative to our chandelier earring Alternative V Chandelier Jewelry Wire Earrings Jewelry Making Projectdesign.  This alternative we call "V" Shaped Chandelier Earrings because we use a small and large "V" shaped wire component to make these earrings.  We have two versions of this design as shown left and right.  The difference between the two designs is the number of figure 8 connectors used to connect the "V" shaped wire components.  In the earrings shown at left, each large "V" shaped wire component is connected to the component below it with three figure 8 connectors, left, right and center.  In the earrings shown at right, the middle loop on each large "V" shaped wire component is connected to the next "V" shaped wire component, but the outside loops aren't connected.  This version will spin on the vertical axis as it is worn so that the large "V" shaped wire components won't always be in the orientation shown.  This is an interesting effect, but may not be right for everyone. 

Peg Pattern for "V" Chandelier Jewelry Wire Earrings Jewelry Making ProjectThis earring design can be made on any of our WigJig tools.  At right, you can view the peg pattern for the design using our WigJig Centaur. 

Please select here, or select either picture above, to view our free instructions for making the V Chandelier Jewelry Wire Earrings. 

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.  Strong and Weak Axes of Jewelry Wire Components

Jewelry Technique:
This month's jewelry making technique is a discussion on making permanent wire components by considering the orientation of the component.  We frequently get comments from new wire workers that their wire component did not stay in the shape that they wanted.  Sometimes the problem is that newcomers to working with wire use wire that is too small.  Sometimes newcomers forget to harden their wire components.  Sometimes newcomers to working with wire use the right wire and the right hardening technique but position their wire component in the wrong orientation so that normal wear and tear pull the wire component apart. 

Please view the picture at right.  In this picture we have clearly marked the strong and weak axes of this wire component.  If you connect this wire component in a necklace or bracelet using the strong axis, the component will be strong and permanent even if made from wire as thin as 22 gauge.  If you connect the wire component on the weak axis, the wire component may pull apart even when using wire as heavy as 18 gauge. 

Here are a couple of pictures that demonstrate the right and wrong (strong and weak) orientations for a wire component. 

Weak Axis Orientation for a Jewelry Wire Component Strong Axis Orientation for a Jewelry Wire Component
Weak Axis Strong Axis

Please select here, or select any picture above, to view our free instructions for using the proper orientations for your jewelry wire components.  V Chandelier Earrings Jewelry Making Project

Nostalgia Corner:

Our Nostalgia Corner project for this newsletter is our Chandelier Earrings shown at right.  We chose this earring design because they are a smaller version of our "V" Shaped Chandelier Earrings in this months new jewelry project.  This is an advanced beginner's projects and are relatively easy to make.    Please select here or select the picture at right to view our instructions on how to make these Chandelier Earrings.

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: 

A fifty-five year old woman has just spent two weeks inside her home recovering from a Life Style Facelift.  This new plastic surgery procedure leaves her looking many years younger.  After this period of recovery, she is anxious to get out and show off her new face. 

In the morning, she goes to Starbuck's and while in line for coffee, she says to the gentleman in front of her -- "How old do you think I am?"  The gentleman says, "to me, you appear to be thirty."  The lady responds "Thank you so much, I am actually 55." 

At lunch time the lady goes to McDonalds.  While standing in line at McDonalds she says to the couple in front of her in line "How old do you think I am?"  The couple confers with one another and finally, the man responds "To us you appear to be thirty."  The lady responds proudly "Thank you so much.  I am actually 55." 

Half and hour later, the lady goes to the bus stop where she sees an older gentleman.  While waiting for the bus, the lady says to the older gentleman "How old do you think I am?"  The old man says "My eyes are very old and I don't see too well.  But if you will let me touch you, I can tell you exactly how old you are."  The lady is very proud of her new face so she responds "Okay, go ahead."  With this the old man proceeds to place his hands under her blouse and feels the lady's breasts, touching her intimately.  After about 20 seconds of this, the old man finally says "You are 55 years old." 

The woman is flustered because of the fondling and because she had hoped the man would think she was younger.  She asks the man "How did you know my age?"  The old man responds "I was standing behind you, in line at McDonalds."   

Boomer Philosophy: 

With all the political dialog coming out of Wisconsin and Ohio, let's ask some questions about the impact of unions from the perspective of a business owner.  Before we get into this topic in detail, let's first state, that Boomer's father was a member of a union and he believes that unions play an important role in important issues like workplace safety and fairness.  Let's also state that if you are a small business owner with employees, the last thing you would want to hear would be "I'm from the union and I'm here to help you."  The next to last thing you want to hear would be "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."

First, if you owned a business and could choose to run that business from any state, would you prefer a state that had "right to work", or a state that had a "union shop" rule.  In a right to work state, you could hire employees in a union or not in a union and these employees could work side by side.  In a union shop state, if your employees unionized, you could only hire union employees.  In some communities and some trades, the membership of the union is limited and not open to everyone.  Would you as an employer and business owner prefer being told who to hire or would you rather have the freedom to hire anyone?  If you could move or expand your company would you choose to expand in a state with a union shop rule? 

Second, does there seem to be some confusion over whether the union's management really has the best interests of their members at heart?  Did the union management representing the Albertson's employees in South Texas have their members best interest at heart when they negotiated a contract that caused all Albertson's in South Texas to close?  All the members of that union lost their jobs.  Did the union management of the steel worker's union have their members interest in mind when they negotiated a contract that forced the closure of many of the major steel mills in the US in the 1970's?  Is it really in the best interests of the union members when the best teacher in Milwaukee is laid off, because she was the most recently hired, while another less competent teacher is retained?  As an outsider to that process, one could conclude that the union is institutionalizing mediocrity instead of competence.  Is that in the best interests of the union members?  Is it in the best interests of the citizens of Milwaukee? 

There are many situations where a logical person could reasonably conclude that union management hasn't always represented the best long term interests of their members.  Is it possible that what is good for Albertson's could also be good for their workers?  Is it possible that what's best for the citizens of Milwaukee is also good for the members of the union? 

Political reality is that when any single group has too much power, it is probably bad for the larger organization.  It was bad during the 1920's and 1930's when the owners of the steel mills and factories had too much power because jobs were scarce.  The end result was workplace safety issues and unreasonably low salaries.  Is it bad now when the union bosses are forcing decisions that may not be in the best interests of the union members?  Would it be fair to say that when union managers push for too many salary and benefits concessions during contract negotiations that it might not be in the best interests of the union's members? 

If you had a choice to either send your children to a private school where students were allowed to attend based upon good performance and non-union teachers were hired and retained based upon their competence OR to send your children to a public school where students were required to attend regardless of their performance or behavior and union teachers were retained based on tenure with no consideration of competence, which would you choose for your children?  President Obama chose the non-union private school for his daughters.  Should we learn a lesson from this? 

Please note that we are not anti-union, we are in favor of sanity.  Sanity is when things are in balance.  When business owners have too much power, things are out of balance.  Similarly, when union management has too much power, things can also be out of balance.  The world is a better place when things are in balance. 

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

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Last modified: 03/22/2011

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