Trend Alert – Are You Seeing Butterflies?

Left to right:
Leigh and Luca scarf, Brian Atwood Shoe, Sophia Webster boot
Alex Bittar brooch, Erickson Beamon necklace,
Erickson Beamon necklace, Tabitha Simmons shoe, Mattijs Necklace

I have been seeing butterflies everywhere I look right now.  Have you?

Entire butterflies, parts of butterflies and wings are constantly catching my eye.

They are being cut from so many different fibers and materials.

Naturally I am very interested in seeing anything that is jewelry related.

John Paul Gautier, Valentino, Valentino

The fashion imagery from Paris last week inspired me to take a closer look.

Jean Paul Gaultier

Isn’t this a showstopper?

Simple, elegant, collaged, photographed, beaded or metal.  No matter how butterflies are featured they are a wonderful addition to a design piece.

Butterflies also appear throughout the John Bead catalog.  A simple search request for butterfly gave me dozens of categories to choose from.  Here are just a few of my favorites.

Swarovski Beads, flat backs and pendants in dozens of colours and sizes.

Charms and pendants in various metallic colours.

There are butterfly trims.


You will find butterflies made from gem stones and pressed glass.

Metal blank butterflies are ideal to stamp words onto.

 There dozens of gorgeous sequinned and beaded motifs.  Costume designers love these.

You’ll even find butterflies in our craft area.  These are made from foam.

Metal Punch Pin!

Yesterday’s blog post introduced you to the new hand held metal punches in the Metal Complex family of tools.  This little pin shows you how easy it is to add square, oval and circle punches to a metal blank.

My studio is filled with the Metal Complex product line.  For this small project I used Brass Oval Blanks (24 ga), bench block, hammer for letter punches, the three new plier hole punches (square, oval and circle) and some findings.

The metal alphabet I used I discovered the last time I shopped in the warehouse.  It is a new one: Storybook 3mm Uppercase.  I marked my metal blank and then stamped the letters with my hammer.

I applied pinotage gilders paste to my blanks to make the lettering pop.

Isn’t this alphabet gorgeous?  I wanted you to see how great the lettering is!  And look at the square punch!

My final steps were to add the rhinestone beads to my finished blanks.  I attached them with jump rings  to my gold 3 loop kilt pin.

Metal Punches – Square, Oval and Circles!

The Metal Complex Tool Section has just expanded!  Let me introduce you to the new metal punches(one of four not shown) They are made of carbon steel and the ergonomically designed handle is crafted for durability and comfort.

There is a square punch – it makes these cool 1.5 mm shaped punches.

There is a 1.7 oval!  Isn’t this shape fantastic?

Finally, there are two circle punches 1.25 and 1.8 mm.

These tools easily punch through copper, silver and brass 24 gauge metal.  Each Metal Complex Punch Pro comes with and extra pin set, so it you do a lot of punching and wear out your shaped tips, you can replace them.  You can even buy the extra tips individually packed.  My samples were made using Metal Complex copper blanksHave you seen the dozens of shapes and sizes in the metal blank section?  The choices are endless.

To make my samples, I simply held my pliers horizontally and applied pressure to punch my hole.  It was very easy.  The back of the blank was virtually clean, but I will take a little sander to the back to make sure their are no metal burs.

Now that I have tested the punches I plan to make a sample using the punches and metal stamp alphabets!  Stay tuned!

Metal Complex Stamps featured in Handcrafted Jewelry Magazine

Very exciting news about Metal Complex Stamps being featured in the Special Issue of Handcrafted Jewelry from the Editors of Beadwork. The issue is full of mix media projects and exciting techniques. The letter punch set is featured on page 8 as part of the “Found Objects”

In honor of this exciting news I wanted to give our readers some inspirations to play with the Metal Complex metal stamps and metal blanks   .

Washer inspirations ;

By Natureofart – I love how the font almost goes over the edge.

Suggested blank and font .;



Design by Kimberly- Great idea of putting a small circle into the washer

Suggested blank and font ;

2472402101-00h  – 14mm Round

 2472406104-00 – Washer-Round 31mm w/ 19mm Hole

UOM: 1
PKG Zipper
Modern Print Uppercase
  Metal Stamp Modern Print 2mm
Uppercase (A-Z) (&) 27pcs
UOM: 1
PKG Zipper
Modern Print Lowercase

  Metal Stamp Modern Print 2mm
Lowercase (a-z) (&) 27pcs

This idea uses washers in a way that doens’t require making any holes. Use rattail, leather or cotton cording and voila finished necklace !

I’ll be showing some more inspirational ideas next week. Stay tuned !

Have You Seen Metal Complex?

There are some fabulous new tools and products in the John Bead catalog.  Metal Complex is the reason I have created these pretty leaf pendants.

The metal alphabet punches in the Metal Complex collection are the stars of this special blog post.

Alphabet punches are getting more and more popular.  They allow you to create your own names, sentiments or patterns on what would ordinarily be a blank piece of metal.  For this project I used a strip of metal to practice on and then three Metal Complex Leaf blanks.  The blanks are 24 gauge brass.  They are also available in copper and German silver.  The chasing hammer does all the work.  One strike with the hammer on the bench block and you get a very deep impression.

I used a charcoal pencil to write my sentiment on the blank.  It made it easier to see where I would be punching and I knew that the words would fit.

The metal hole punch made my holes for me.

Just a few twists with the tool and a perfect hole can be had!

Then the fun began.  I pulled out my Gilders Paste and choose a group of colours I wanted to work with.

I added dark colour into the letter impressions and then lighter colours around them.

I let these dry for 12 hours and then I applies a matte lacquer coating.  I hope you are inspired to start working with punches!

Stay tuned for many more posts about metal stamping!