Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop

It's time for the Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop.  I'm so thankful that Lori Anderson has started another blog hop.  The ones in the past were always fun and I've met some other beaders that way.

My partner this time around is Annita Wilson.  (
I sent out her beads yesterday - here's the preview:

I hope she likes them and makes something awesome with them!   And I can't wait to see what she sends. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

jewelry Stringing, Fall 2016

Once again, I am very fortunate to have more items published in the jewelry Stringing  Fall 2016 edition.  And this time, there is a link to purchase these on my Etsy store at the end of the post. 
Jewelry Stringing has themes and both the bracelets were made with the Southwest Inspiration in mind. 

The first is a bracelet with thick turquoise leather cording and lots of charms.  The charms are ceramic and hand-painted metal, along with some vintage rhinestones.  I really like this leather, but find it is very difficult to cut to size.  I found that nursing (or medical) bandage scissors work really well for cutting thick leather. 

The second is a bracelet with lots of southwest inspired beads.  I love these colors and was just looking for a way to make them all go together.  The 3 strands of beads are these cool Picasso Czech glass beads, silver rondels and turquoise-colored howlite.   The strand his complete with a suede button loop and silver and turquoise leather tassel.  I imagine wearing this with jeans on a cool fall day. 
I think these earrings are some of my favorite!  I love the mixed metals look and the way they swing when I'm holding them up.  These are made with vintage brass tubes, jump rings and some special Japanese seed beads that are actually two colors - gold/bronze and navy blue.  There are not too much navy blue, so really they just read more gold/bronze.

And these have been posted on Etsy.  I'm also working on some of my older jewelry Stringing published jewelry. 
Check it out here: Bracelet #1
Bracelet #2

On a side note, does it bother anyone else that they don't list who contributed or designed the jewelry for bracelets and earrings?  This is the first time that Stringing magazine has not listed the contributors for these pages and they gave no prior information that it would come out like this. 
Its making me think whether I would like to have my jewelry published in here.  In the past, I was one of those people who be so fascinated with a good design that I would look up the other designers to see what other awesome jewelry they had made.  Now, its not possible. 

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!) .