Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Free Beads for Blogging: Status Report

Part 1

A Serious Challenge

Free Beads for Blogging. Contact:

So, to refresh your memory, here are the beads I received from Tanya:

I have been staring at them, playing with them, trying to wrap the tear drops (disaster) and trying desperately to use things together. Not working. So, I said, "What do I have that will compliment a fall spectrum bead like the Japa Mala beads?"

Turned out it was a glass pendant I picked up at the Flea Market a few weeks earlier.

So  far, I have only used one Japa Mala bead, and a head pin, along with the brass wire to create this pendant. I'm not sure if the chain you see is going to remain part of the design. But it's a start! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Coordinating Jewelry

Choosing what goes with what...

This week, I delivered to one of my best customers, a necklace and earrings made to match. Notice, I did not say "matching set" because when I made the necklace, I had no interest in making "matching" earrings. But...when one of your best customers asks you for matching earrings, you don't turn to her and say, "Why, you already have several pairs that would look splendid with this necklace."  No, you make the earrings. As a matter of fact, you make two pairs of earrings, so she can have a choice. 

So, the customer is (nearly) always right. Right? But I am not a "matchy matchy" type. I don't like to make sets, although I do, occasionally,  because people ask for them. I will suggest earrings that I think would look good with a necklace or bracelet but that's a whole different thing for me. 

Here's a combination I am wearing a lot these days:

The pendant is something I "bought" from myself, I liked it, and took it out of my items for sale. The earrings, are from MaryAnn Carroll, copper tubing with heat enameling. They certainly were not made to match. Yet they reflect color, shape, and I think a certain playfulness that make them look good together.   
Then, there is the issue of matching clothing to jewelry. I cringe when I hear someone say, "Oh, I'd love those earrings, but I don't have a shirt to match." Really? No white? No black? Okay, I especially cringe if the person is looking at MY earrings, but still....

 What about you? Do you make or buy sets? Do you meticulously match earrings, necklace, bracelet, and ring? How about metals? Gold always with gold, silver with silver? If you wear colorful jewelry, do the earrings have to match the top? If you make jewelry, do you make a lot of sets, or do you let nature take its course, and let the customer put it all together? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Free Beads for Blogging. Contact:
My free beads have arrived from Tanya at FusionMuse! What an assortment of interesting beads (and filigree, and head pins, and wire.....) I have received! This is going to be fun.

I kind of think of the mixture as a "soup." Here are the ingredients.

First, there are ten Japa Mala beads, finished with gold leaf. 

They are Buddhist prayer beads, so I am a bit intimidated by them. But o do see them used in jewelry, so now the challenge is to come up with a design worthy of them.

Also included are two faceted glass tear drops, and some gem stone chips. 

Helping things along are some brass round-head pins, and brass wire and filigree pieces. 

Stay tuned for further developments!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Check this one out!

This could be yours!

Dhea, at Java Bead is doing a give-away of her Bead Soup Blog Party bracelet! Hurry on over and sign up to win this fantastic piece.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bead Soup Redux

A second serving of delicious wonders!

Please join over a hundred participants for Lori Anderson's 6th Bead Soup Blog Party, Second Reveal! Click on "Second Reveal", then scroll down until you hit the list of Second Reveal participants, and dig in!  The fun starts at the stroke of midnight EDT tomorrow, August 11.  

I had such a good time playing with the bead soup I got from my partner, Carolyn Lawson last month, I am sure this collection of jewelry made from beads supplied by a partner will be equally fantastic!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thrift Store Blog Hop

The big reveal: Better late than never!

I was so excited to participate in Sarah Goode's challenge, Thrift Store Blog Hop. I immediately started looking for a new piece of jewelry from one of the local thrift stores to repurpose. I love to do this! and I do collect old jewelry and odds and ends to rework. But when I set out looking for something new, I found it hard to stay within the price limit of $1.50!

After some looking, I found these earrings for a dollar at a yard sale. 

They were "signed" by the jewelry maker Edwin Berebi, but the posts had been damaged, so I felt justified in turning them into a necklace. 

I started playing with a pleasing arrangement.

They went together fairly quickly, But I wasn't too sure what to do with that last piece. Eventually. I just overlapped things a bit and everything fell into place. 

Now, what to do to finish it? I made some big jump rings, and some wrapped bead sections. I linked them together, then put it aside. It was very pretty (you will have to believe me on that, forgot to take pictures of that step! ) But I had a sinking feeling that my hand made chain was too delicate to stand up to wear. Some sari silk ribbon would be nice, but I I did not have any , and it was now August 2, too late to order anything. I went to the craft store, but they had nothing that seemed suitable, ribbon was too stiff, and not the right color, and buying fabric just to cut a piece off for a ribbon seemed unnecessarily wasteful, and not at all in keeping with out recycling theme. 

Home I went, where I found this.

 Which became this.

Which fit nicely in here.

Somehow, tying off the ends does not seem quite right, but that is a problem to be solved another day!

Please visit the other participants, listed here: