Friday, June 24, 2016

jewelry Stringing, Summer 2016

I've been so fortunate to have more pieces of jewelry published in the Summer, 2016 Jewelry Stringing magazine.  This time they accepted a bracelet and earrings for the magazine.
The bracelet was inspired by pure Summertime.  I was looking at my vast assortment of beads and thinking about what would look good for the beach.  A relaxed casual bracelet with lots of color.  All of the big beads are actually vintage acrylic or vintage brass beads. 

The earrings were inspired by the 'Vintage Summer' theme that the magazine offered.  The pink color is a Swavorski color - 'Cyclamen Opal' - that I'm not sure is even made anymore. I've had them for a few years.  It is such a hard color to capture by camera.  Pinkish purplish - kind of cloudy - almost looks like clouds at sunset.  They are accented with a creamy white Czech glass flower and brass flower bead caps.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Finally, some sunshine!

Have any of you tried to update your banner in Etsy?  Ever since the change of the homepage, I haven't touched the look of my shop.  So now, instead of an old banner, it just has NO banner.  Don't you think they could have incorporated the old banners somehow into these new designs?  

This is my rendition of a change to the banner.  Still needs some work....

Well, I think the shop needed a lift anyhow and the look of this blog.  So there will be some changes to the look of the blog to hopefully match the changes that will be made to my Etsy shop and to reflect my changing style.  

I've been reading the book marketing and selling your handmade jewelry by Viki Lareau.  It is very outdated - written in 2006 - but I like the questions that she poses regarding identifying your customer.  
I feel like I have been making a lot of fun jewelry and trying lots of techniques but not narrowing on anything. 
***Pattern from heliotrope earrings from an Interweave magazine.  I love this combo and still need to complete the 2nd for a pair of earrings or I may turn it into a necklace...

How can I become really great at anything if I don't pursue it wholeheartedly?  So my etsy shop will show some more cohesive looks but I hope that this blog will still maintain a bit of whimsy and eclectic choices in jewelry-making.  
***Also from the heliotrope pattern from an Interweave Beadwork magazine.  This is the back and the front of a pair.  

I've also been following and watching Renae Christine's free videos.  Honestly, she provides great information!  I just watched her SEO Infusion video - so helpful!  I learned about some websites and info that I hadn't known after being on etsy for 4 years (I will say that I have not done well, just keep chugging along) and reading some books about selling on etsy.  
***My friend had a birthday recently and I played with different color combos for the CRAW wheels.  The ones I ended up giving her had the same turquoise and greenish beads but a matte silver bead in the middle.   

In the meantime, I hope to still contribute to magazines.  I like the challenges and themes - in fact, I have some items in the Summer 2016 jewelry Stringing magazine.  As soon as I get them back in the mail, I'll post pics.  

As you can see, I love the beadweaving, just wish it didn't take quite so long to complete each piece!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Whistle Stop Bracelet

I feel like I have been working on this bracelet forever.  I gathered beads for this bracelet sometime last summer and put it in my drawer of projects to make and finally started it in March.  The main part of the bracelet worked up fast, but, man, the embellishment seemed to just take a lot of time.  Lots of weaving up through the base before starting the next group of embellishment. 

This bracelet design is called Whistle Stop Bracelet by Marcia L. Balonis from Beadwork magazine October/November 2014.

And at the very end I noticed that on the very first embellishment, for some reason, I had strung the top seed beads on the outside of the 2-hole lentil beads.  Ugh!  Well, this one is for me since it's a learning bracelet...  and the error is not too noticeable.

Here's the result:
What a difference great lighting makes.  The picture above was taken in the shade with lots of ambient light.  The ones below are  in direct sunlight!  In the ones below, you can really see the greenish/yellowish Picasso hues on the 2-hole squares.  Really, this is not as apparent when just looking at the bracelet.

Overall, I really like the way the bracelet came together.  It is built nice and solid with the extra reinforcements after the embellishment beads were added.  I felt it was very difficult to choose colors!  Maybe because of having to look at different sources for the different shaped beads and not being able to purchase all the beads from one source?  Or maybe because there is a limited variety of these beads?  Or maybe because I was as much as possible trying to work within the confines of what I already owned?

I ended up using mostly beads that have speckled or mottled or Picasso finishes.  The Czech glass beads are called 'mushroom' and are a matte muted lavender.  The seed beads used on top of the lentils are a crystal lined clear through seed bead with a slight amethyst hint to them.  The look of this bracelet could have really gone in a completely different direction with different colors!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Would you like to learn wire-wrapping?

I have a new Michael's class coming up next Tuesday, April 12th from 6:30-8:30. 
You can learn wire-wrapping and make an awesome very on-trend bracelet in the process.
And the class is FREE!!!  (You do have to purchase the materials, but that just means you can customize the jewelry to your liking.)

Click here to sign-up this class:

There is also an Open House on April 16th, from 11am-3pm at the Michael's store.  I will be there showcasing some different jewelry techniques.  I am still deciding on showing how to make either leather and bead wrap bracelets or a long tassel necklace with knotting.  It should be fun!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Stringing, Spring 2016

This post is a long time coming - its been sitting in the draft folder for awhile. 
I got published in Jewelry Stringing, Spring 2016 issue!  It is so fun to see my handmade items in a glossy magazine! 

A dainty, Spring inspired bracelet.  This bracelet was inspired by the magazine's 'Secret Garden' theme.  That flower focal is a real flower bud encased in resin in a sterling silver bezel. I actually obtained another one of these focals and can't wait to use it.  So pretty!  The clasp is also sterling silver with a small garnet in the center.  The sides of the bracelet are accented of different Czech glass beads - the silver ones with a matte AB finish and the crimson ones with a gold sheen to them.

The idea of wearing flowers is pretty awesome - a reminder of the Spring bounty of flowers (that will hopefully not shy away from this sudden cold weather in the Midwest!) .

Monday, March 7, 2016

Teaching at Michaels

Would you like to learn some jewelry techniques and are in the Cincinnati area?
I will be teaching at Michaels in Colerain. My first class is a FREE class to learn basic jewelry techniques and make a beautiful initial & birthstone necklace - Tuesday, March 8th from 6:30-8:30pm. (You can purchase supplies while you are at Michaels).
Click here to sign-up: &storeScheduleId=3714413&sessionId=3298702 &storeId=5053&categoryId=

In the future, there are some more classes from Michaels line-up that I can teach or if you are interested in other specific techniques - everything from wire-wrapping, stringing, beadweaving, kumihimo, stamping, riveting, knotting and more - let me know and I can add on classes.  I can teach how to make the latest styles - tassle long necklaces, chan luu style leather wrap beaded bracelets, chunky cuff bracelets and birthstone jewelry. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

CRAW - My New Favorite Pair of Earrings

I love learning new techniques!  I've done right angle weave several times but here's the next step - cubic right angle weave. 

Marcia DeCoster had a tutorial for circle earrings in the October/November 2015 Beadwork magazine as a precursor and advertisement for her cubic right angle weave videos. 

Even my color choices feel inspired by Marcia DeCoster - I really like the metallic and bright colors paired together.  Her jewelry is a style I definitely strive for (after I learn all these different bead weaving techniques!) 

Beyond the initial set-up stitches, I thought the tutorial in the magazine was a little vague but that may have been because it was an advertisement for her CRAW Shapes video.  Luckily, I also have the  Beadweaving Beyond the Basics book and it helped me figure out what I was doing.  After the second unit of CRAW, I feel like the beads just fall into place.  A very fun stitch and I can't wait to make more.  On Pinterest, I keep seeing heart pendants that look like they are made with CRAW and Swavorski Crystals.  I keep pinning them, so maybe that will be the next inspiration.