Category Archives: Jewelry

Peace, Love, Om

I signed up to do a show this fall and hadn’t really expected to be accepted but I was. Yay! Now, I have to get my tail in gear and get some goodies made. I have a small amount of pieces done but really want to get a lot more stuff finished and also stock the Etsy store. I’m thinking I need to start that now to maybe do a holiday push.

While I got 3 pieces done last night, note mostly assembly since this would be quite a feat given how like to mull over the details before I commit. I happened to glance around my desk and noticed my saints medals sitting next to my little Buddha. I  had drilled a hole in him over the weekend playing with my fancy drill. Hubby did a great job with that Christmas gift. But had just set him aside until I decided what I wanted to do with him. He looked pretty comfortable with my little Madonna charm. Then, over in the corner of my mat I saw my crystal. Hmmm, I lined the 3 up and loved them. Little good luck/positive karma going there. Who couldn’t use more of that? I dug around until I found an extra branch piece and wired them on. Love.

Next decision was the chain. I could’ve gone with actual chain but didn’t have any that felt hefty enough. They were all relatively delicate and I wanted something that would hold up with the larger charms. My eye caught this vintage rosary chain I had attached to soldered charm and tried it on this piece. It was an immediate hit. This is the kind of thing I need to be adding to my trays for store/shows but right now it’s resting comfortably around my neck. Maybe it’s a test drive, maybe a new personal favorite?

Aquamarines… maybe?

I have got to start labeling my beads and stones. I’m pretty sure these are aquamarines I had left over from an earlier project. Seriously, they were in a small white dish to the right of my desk. I’m trying to be a little more spontaneous in my art as well as work with what’s on hand. This was a little bit of both. Clearly I have to start taking all my pics outside during daylight! You can’t tell from this but these stones are blue, clear~ish and blue/green. Oy. I am too lazy to wait and go back out and retake then re-post. I only  have so many hours in the day and I had a Jeff Lewis Interior Therapy and while we were watching that why not make a night of it and watch Property Envy? I have a huge crush on Mary McDonald and loved her on Million Dollar Decorators. If we ever win the lottery I’m hiring Mary to design a studio with labeling, and good light, and a fancy book ladder thingy. Yeah, it’s always the opening paragraph where the wheels start to come of on these things.

And…back to the necklace! I liked the idea of stringing these as opposed to using chain as I did on another piece I made a long time ago. The hole drilled into the stones is pretty tiny and the wire is very fine if you wrap it. I may have to go back and redo my earlier piece. I wore it on Monday and was petrified it was going to break. This piece is really sturdy. My only problem was that  I didn’t like the stringing material showing so I  dug through my beads until I found these tiny moonstones and used those in between the larger stones. I wish they had a little more texture but I liked the matte finish so they don’t compete with aquamarines like a rhinestone or a bead with sparkle would have.

There’s a little bit of asymmetry in this one with the carved rose bone bead and the swarovski rondelles but I wanted just a little tiny bit of sparkle and some added interest around the vintage clasp. I added a little medal as pendant if someone wanted to wear the clasp in front. I really liked how it came out. It’s also a little shorter, probably 17 inches, than my normal pieces. My friend Suzanne always wants me to do shorter pieces so I’m working on providing a good mix for everyone.

50 Shades of Gold

I couldn’t resist the title although I hated the book. Hate isn’t a strong enough word. Ugh, I’m irritated it exists all over again. I don’t care about all the sex but it was badly written sex. It was the worst sort of fan fiction made popular. I have no problems with fan fiction since some of it is phenomenal as long as the authors don’t mind that is. But, that’s not really what this post is about. I finished this necklace last weekend and it’s quickly becoming a favorite piece. I haven’t worn it out into the world yet but I love it.

I am really digging all the shades of gold and silver. The image below makes the main beads seem more silver but they’re not. They’re a great mix of gold/silver with some black patina mixed in. The Rachel Zoe Project actually used the word “gilver” and I’m not sure it’s a real thing. But, that’s what these beads are. I got the them and the a string of the heart beads (and a few others) from one of my favorite vendors. That’s actually down playing it. I would probably sell all of my worldly goods to get some of his wares but then I’d have no where to keep them. Ugh!  He was at a monthly market a couple of months ago and a bead show before that so I could slowly build up my stock. The beads are apparently from the same manufacturer who made beads and whatnot for Chanel in the 70’s. Regardless, they’re the perfect.

The main focal is a heart connected with a vintage swarovski rhinestone bead connected to an old crucifix. I normally avoid wearing crucifixes and crosses (I don’t know why) but I loved this one. It just feels like it was well worn and loved. I like having that kind of energy around. The main focals are wire wrapped for more sturdiness but the main beading is simply a rosary style chain. I had a great old rhinestone clasp I wanted to use but it wasn’t sturdy enough. I used a simple modern magnetic clasp. It might be a little harder for Sophy to yank off. Yay!

Bombshell Beauty Charm Necklace

One of my favorite fashion bloggers, Sara at Bombshell Beauty, is pretty awesome. I’m envious of her cool weather up north and layering potential. She’s also awesome about promoting fashion for all sizes and has become a super star with her appearances on Twin Cities Live and lots of other media appearances. I wanted to do something for her since I’m a regular reader and love how she’s really put herself out there.

I made a few pieces for her and this one I found before and after pics while cleaning off the memory cards of the point and shoot AND the newly repaired and clean fancy DSLR so this one gets the publicity! Or you know this very exciting blog post. I really liked the finished piece and am addicted to all things charm related. My bracelet situation is getting a little uncontrollable but let’s just keep moving. Nothing to see hear. Move along… pretty sure Star Wars will be creeping into after school viewing soon. She’s nearly 18 months what’s the hold up?!

Anyway, the “before” and planning stage pic. I love my little pink cloth for wrangling beads and keeping my tools relatively close. It’s getting a little grungy now that I see what it used to look like. I wonder if it can be washed? For this piece I had been thinking of a more muted color palette but I love how Sara always works in some color so I went with the red coral/jade. I can’t remember which and am now reminded that I need to tag my stuff better. Ugh.

And after it’s all put together.

I like mixing the different metals so you don’t feel like you have to wear all gold, all silver, etc. I never worry about it but some people feel more put together with the matching and this takes care of that! The clasp was a leftover piece from a chain I used on another project. Kind of love the antique look and feel but I’m pretty sure it was a Michael’s clearance find.

This little red metal flower with turquoise center was a favorite in my vintage stash. I had to let it go and move away from the hoarding tendencies. Seriously, it’s a real problem. It’s why my desk only ever has about 8 inches of work space. The little bird cage and vintage saints metal give the necklace some pop. If folks are more wild than I am, this could be the focal point with an asymmetrical approach with chain on one side and beads on the other. I like that look on there people but for myself, the charms to one side are as wild as I get!

Happy Monday!

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was lovely with some tasty goodness. I forgot to take pics of lunch yesterday but Babe’s was awesome. Rolland had the fried chicken but I went with smoked. So good. I could’ve also eaten my weight in mashed potatoes. This was breakfast this am at Jonathan’s. Rolland’s fancy egg dish was yummy but my biscuits and gravy not so much.

Sophy was very happy to greet everyone

At the bead show she had plenty of friends. She wears the monkey backpack when she wants to roam. She got tired and apparently still needed to snuggle.

Friday night yoga was pretty tough and I ended up wonking up my back a little. Upside was I had trouble sleeping and finished some new pieces. This one is a vintage metal flower with a non-working rhinestone clasp stringing swarovski creamrose pearls. The actual clasp is a vintage eye. I kind of love it.

This piece was super easy. I trimmed all the pin backs off and sanded it down. Drilled two holes and attached vintage rosary chain with a clasp. Love that blue.

I had a hankering to make a fabric bead and use up my leftover oblong beads. This one has a great boho kind of feel with no clasp since it’s fairly long. I added extra length with the vintage rosary chain. The silver beads add just a touch of sparkle.

And finally, the loot from the show today. It was super small but I had a budget and stuck with only those things I had kind of in my mind for new projects. I was loving all the pyrite and got a few different sized beads, skull beads, and rose carved beads. Swoon. I can’t even begin to convey my love for the quartz stones. New favorite beads in the bead chest.

Five on Friday

I saw this over on Elefantitas Alegres and decided to be a big ol’ joiner and participate. The meet up is at A. Liz Adventures.
My Five 
1. Trader Joe’s yogurt squishers  and a super cute toddler. These, yogurt not toddler, are super cheap and as we found out last night, perfect when frozen (smart husband) for a teething toddler on a hot summer night. Also, it blends in nicely when dripped on her chair. Side note: I could put this adorable little toddler as an item in all 5 since she is the bestest. Real word. Anyway, these yogurt squishers are normally just a big squishy thing of yogurt that can be a giant mess. When frozen, healthier popsicle. Ideally, half that size is best but now that I know that I’ll just cut them in half (while frozen seems prudent) and put the other half back in the freezer. That’s how you do it in these fiscally conservative times. 
Trader Joe’s has a lot of family favorites that deserve their own post at some point.
2.  All things jewelry related. I’ve made a few new pieces this week (this one and this one and a couple with no photos yet) and have the creative juices flowing. I’ve got two pieces in progress and another 2 brewing on the back burner. I’ve been gathering a ton of inspiration and have noticed a turquoise trend going. Will have to add some more projects to brew list.
3. With all of this jewelry making, I’ve been obsessed with the West Wing again. I’m starting Season 4 and deep into re-election campaigning. Last episode of Season 3 was tough. I knew it was coming… sob. Anyway, sooo good. Major West Wing love and it’s amazing how many issues going on now are still relevant. The questions and issues they’re tacking via fiction, are pretty real and relevant now. Maybe this is why I have to watch while making something pretty. :0
4. Local food joints. We’re trying to eat at home more and save the food budget, now that we’ve gotten around to having a food budget, for a few super tasty treats out vs regular helpings of meh. This weekend I have a couple on my list. First up is Babe’s, that everyone has been talking about forever, but I have yet to try out. So after swimming lessons, we’re hitting the chicken and Costco. I know. So glamorous. Then Sunday, as bribery to drive my ass to Ft Worth and look at beads he couldn’t hate more with me while wrangling a toddler, I’m taking Rolland to Jonathan’s Oak Cliff in hopes it’s tasty enough to forget the imminent hell awaiting him. They have a build your own Bloody Mary Bar! What more could I offer? Also, it’s a tie-in with the jewelry making and more bead hoarding. On a budget.
5. Yoga. So, I had this hip thing going on for a long time and finally mentioned it to my new doctor. Love Dr. Bonny! Turns out, the muscles are too tight and have gone all wonky. She suggested I hightail it to a yoga class if I wanted to avoid physical therapy. Sophy’s school has a Wee Yogi’s program – and that name is adorable – which I was checking out at the same time since I’m kind of self conscious about attending a group class. So now I’m doing a weekly private class with Abby. Who is awesome. I’m loving it. The goal is to work on some specific areas then hit the group classes. Although my usual Sat morning got rescheduled for tonight and I may just fall asleep in the meditation.
And finally… it’s Friday! Woo hoo!

Saint Jude of the Puppies

Odd title, I’m aware. But, I’m having a failure of imagination. I finally finished a piece I’ve had on my desk for months. The image below was the first iteration. I really liked the oblong beads and tried it on at a few various stages with no issues. But once I had it all put together, wire wrapped for sturdiness, not so much.

It was a really odd fit with the beads laying oddly and just not comfortable. There was nothing to do but cut them off and start over. Ugh.

I still liked the closure, which I picked up in Omaha at Silver Bella … that tells you how old that clasp is! I used some rhinestone disco balls to add a little sparkle at the back since I often wear my hair up. To save myself a little step later, I cut the wire off of the bead end leaving the clasp wrappings in place so disc balls and clap pieces were all set! Whew, I mean to have to rewire those little beads… bitterness is showing isn’t it? I know.

And this is the newly finished piece with ebony round beads. I still liked the weighty-ness of the oblong beads so I kept them close to the focal piece (which is a fantastic rosary part I got at Beads of Splendor – my new very expensive favorite bead shop in town).  The dangle is a vintage rhinestone cabochon I’ve had for a while with clear dog cameo (?) that I picked up in Santa Fe a couple years ago. I’m pretty sure I glued the cameo into the cabochon before Sophy was born (yeah, at least 17 months ago) and it has just been sitting on my desk.

Finished piece hanging off of my new favorite photo spot. Statue hanging on the back patio.

I’m really happy with the finished piece and love it. This does not take the sting out of all of the wasted silver wire (that had been patinaed with liver of sulphur).  More wire has been ordered.

Before and After

These were the assembled pieces prior to actual assembly. I like to get all of the elements together. And, for a rosary, I divide the counting beads into 5 piles of 10 and actually put the bead on the wire cutting it into the correct length for each bead before I make loops. This assembly line style makes it super speed to loop and build the chain this piece uses opal, jade and vintage rosary findings with silver wire.
Final assembly.  

I actually posted the after way before but wanted to include the earlier pieces/parts for comparison. Loved the final outcome.

Jewelry Goodness

A friend asked me to make a rosary for a Father’s Day present. He picked out the opal and I added the vintage rosary pieces and the carved jade. With the sulfured wire, I love the antique vibe.

This one was a quick “use up the beads” project. I like the long flapper style and the pink against the black steel. Super cute.

Clasp via wire wrapping and s-hook.

Wedding Necklace

In November we ventured down to Austin for our dear friend’s, Suzanne and Jairy, wedding. It was at Springdale Farm and everything was gorgeous. It was perfect for them. You can read more about it on Suzanne’s blog. In fact, I had to snag her photo since I forgot to take any during creation. Bad Blogger. Bad. It was tough to contribute being fairly far away but I was incredibly honored when she asked me to make her necklace. She had a pearl necklace she wanted to incorporate and I found some awesome metal flowers and she picked the one below. I think it turned out really well and even more she seemed to love it.

I’ve got a similar piece mid-creation on my desk and am struggling with the connecting necklace pieces: chains, more pearls, stones, oh my! It’s a nice problem to have. 🙂 I’ve added a few items to my Etsy shop if you want to check out a few Valentine’s options. Happy Sunday!