Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box

For the most part, I feel that my jewelry has been simple and clean, which is how I prefer it.  But I think it's also been a bit too boring and generic at times.  I don't think I have pushed myself to think outside the box nearly as much as I should have been.  So the last couple of weeks I've been trying to push myself a bit more.  I'm not 100% sure that my results are anything that people will take a second look at, but it feels good to try some things that I haven't done before.

On our family trip to Montana, I picked up a magazine that was very different from any others I've grabbed over the last few years.  It was also rather expensive, and is only published twice per year.  But I found a lot of inspiration in it.  I'm torn when it comes to looking at other peoples' work.  I love it and try to soak it all in, but at the same time it shines a light on my own lack of creativity.  But overall, it gives me goals to work towards, and ideas on how to get there. 

This three-strand pearl necklace is the most "outside" I've gotten so far.  The clasp is on the side, rather than in back.  The ribbon that goes around the back is a bit frilly and stretchy, and I think it works well with the pearls and charms I added on.

  What do you think?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Work and Play

Honestly, I love making jewelry, period.  But for me there's a difference between orders and things I create.  I don't mind orders.  But getting to come up with something totally different is really a fine thing for me.  I'm hoping in the next few months to add some new methods/mediums to what I already do.  But that'll have to wait just a bit longer. 

For Karissa's Wedding.  Love her to pieces!
I've finished the jewelry for two weddings.  One for an old friend and one for a new friend.  Now that those are finished, I'm getting to my other orders.  But I have to have SOME free time in there too, don't I?  So each night I work on one order.  And when it's finished I spend the rest of the night playing with new things.  It works well for me. 

Inter mixed with the orders, I've created two new pieces that I'm really happy with.  I think they're absolutely beautiful.  It's going to be really hard to part with them. 

Smokey Elegance

The first is a necklace and earring set.  I've called it Smokey Elegance.  This set is actually not for sale.  I've donated it to my mom group MyOmahaMommies for the national auction that TheMommiesNetwork is holding to support all of its' chapters.  I hope it brings in a little something.  It's a wonderful organization that I'm thrilled to be part of.  I'm still considering whether to make another.  It may happen.  It might not.  You'll have to let me know if you'd like to see one for sale.

Braided Beauty: Price TBD
The other is a braided bracelet.  It's really elegant, but could definitely be worn for a more casual shindig.  It's really great.  It's made for a larger wrist.  I could perhaps make another, and in other colors, though due to the effort/time to make it, it'll be one of my pricier pieces.  You all know I prefer to keep prices low.  I want my friends, and their friends, to be able to afford fun, beautiful jewelry without sending their budge to the devil.  But I'm finding that some things just have to cost more.  And I, personally, think this bracelet is worth a bit more.  But I'd like your opinion.  What would YOU pay for it?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Totally Wicked

I have subscribed to a number of jewelry newsletters.  Some even come via Facebook.  It's awesome.  A few weeks ago, one of the newsletters featured an artist.  I decided to take a look (I don't always) and OH MY WORD!  I was in love.  I loved everything about what this lady had created.  Except for one thing.  The price tag.  Holy Shizang, were her prices high.  We're talking more than $100 for a bracelet. 


You read that right.

I know.  I was surprised, too.

But still, they were some stellar bracelets.  I have some theories on why they were so expensive, but I still just can't get over it. 

Anyway, I decided to try to make them myself.  I was worried that it was going to be more complicated than I thought.  The pictures were pretty small, so I wasn't sure if I was missing something.  But I gave it a go, and I am so thrilled.  The possibilities with these bracelets are practically endless! 

Maybe it's wrong of me to take someone else's idea, and I try to avoid it, and make some changes, but this was just too hard to resist.  The picture kind of stinks, I know, but hopefully you get the idea.  I'll be making a lot more in this style, so keep an eye on Facebook!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

THE Order

Last Friday, I was at the airport helping out my sister-in-law.  We let the toddlers run for a bit to burn off energy, hoping to ensure a peaceful ride on the air-o-plane.  Of course Alex was the perfect example of how a two-year-old should act in just such a situation.  He climbed on the airport furniture (there may have been some jumping involved...).  He ran for the escalators a few times.  He apparently has aspirations to become a fireman since he was also rather obsessed with each and every fire extinguisher we came across.  So while the hour+ was fun, it was a bit on the stressful/frustrating side. 

When it was time to leave, I got him in the seat, pull out some cash to pay for the parking lot cashier's daughter's college tuition, and start to drive out of the parking lot.  My phone rings.  My cell phone NEVER rings.  So I pull over and answer it. (still being charged a fortune as I haven't actually LEFT the parking area yet)  The lady on the other end is someone whom I have never met. (I'm still totally frazzled)  But she's a friend of a friend.  And a year or so ago, this friend of mine had sent her some personalized bracelets for her girls.  So that's how she found me.  She liked the ones she got, but she wanted different ones, PLUS some to send to her neices for Easter.  Totally cool.  I knew it would be tight time-wise, but that's okay.  I totally under-quoted her on price, but that's my own fault, and really that was the only downfall to this whole shindig. 

So I bought my supplies (OUCH-sterling is expensive) and got them made.  The problem is... it's REALLY hard to gauge sizes for kids.  I used Alex and Isabel (while she was sleeping... it was pretty funny)  but I still have no idea whether the bracelets will fit or not.  *sigh*  I REALLY hope they do.  So say a little prayer for me, friends.  I need it.

And, of course, I forgot to take pictures in my frenzy to get them mailed in time for her to get them packaged up so SHE can mail them. 

But do you want to know my favorite part in all of this?  It's a STRANGER that placed the order.  I love when my friends order something, but, to me, someone I don't know is a better yardstick to measure by.  A friend might buy something they sort of like, just to be supportive.  A stranger will NOT do that.  They only buy things they KNOW they want.  It's a good feeling. 

Sorry for the lack of pictures.  I fail.  I know.  I'll work on it.

Stay tuned for a super fun necklace coming in the next week or two.  =D

Monday, April 4, 2011


I think you all should know that over the next week or two, there will be a SALE going on on Facebook.  You will definitely have to keep an eye out.  I haven't decided yet how I'm going to do the sale.  Thought about auctioning off a couple of pieces.  Or posting one each day and it goes to the 1st person to say they want it.  Or maybe they have to know the word of the day...  Hmm.  Or I could go with the "Name Your Price" sale.  I'm all for bartering.  What do you all think?  What kind of sale do you want to see?  Have a suggestion?  There just might be an idea that I didn't come up with (though that's doubtful, as I'm totally awesome)   Tell me what you think.  I'd love to hear it.

Peace out, friends. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Sooooo.... a while back, a friend of mine sent me a link to a necklace she wanted.  It was totally awesome.  It was also $80.  Yikes.  So she asked me to make an attempt at duplicating it.  I know the one I made wasn't quite as good, in some ways, but in others, it was BETTER.  Theirs was single strand around the back, and double in front.  It was silver chain with random groupings of purple, blue, and silver "pearls" interrupting the chain.  VERY pretty necklace.  I got pretty close with the colors.

I'm sure you're wondering how mine was better, though, right?  Well, I made mine as one LOOOONG necklace that can be wrapped to be a short one, or worn long.  MUCH more versatile, don't you think?  Darn tootin'  =D  And I even figured out the best way to wrap a necklace without it adjusting throughout the day all by itself and all that mumbo jumbo.  But if you want to know that little secret, you'll just have to come see me. =D

So there it is.  Thank you, Lia, for the inspiration.  Or was it Premier?  I don't remember. 

Oh, and the kicker?  I sell mine for $20.  Yes, that's right.  1/4 of the price.  So... if you ever see something you like, but don't want to pay the full cost, send me a link.  I can't promise I'll be able to duplicate it, but I can sure try.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I've been getting a lot of things made over the last couple of weeks.  I had a bit of a funk, when I was just staring at all of my supplies at a complete loss as to what to DO with them.  But that seems to have passed.  And here I am.  Thank goodness.

But first things first.  I had intended to post this blog about this topic a couple of weeks ago.  But thanks to my lovely computer issues, it didn't get done.  So I'm starting with that.  Seems to make sense, right?  Right. 

So here's the thing.  A year or two ago, I found this amazing seed bead mix.

I ordered it, and totally fell in love with these beads.  They were such a fantastically perfect mix of colors that I was practically gushing.  So I made a bunch of jewelry with this lovely mix.  Which lead to me needing to order more.  I ordered again.  Ran out again.  So I go onto the site, search for them, and strike out.  Okay.  So I dig up my invoice to find the exact name of the mix.  Search again.  No luck.

WHAT!?!?!  Yeah.  They stopped carrying them.  Lots of swear words were said.  LOTS.  So I've spent a lot of time searching the vast nothingness-that-is-somehow-something known as the internet.  As much as I love google, I didn't have any luck.  Great.  So I take a meager little sample into a couple local bead stores.  I figured they'd be able to tell me what TYPE of beads they are.  What size, make, etc.  One store told me one thing, and the other told me something totally different.

This is getting better and better, isn't it.  Yeah.  So I decided to make my own mix.  I couldn't find anything with the size and shape I was looking for, but I got as close as I could, and ordered every color they offered (well, all the ones with the right finish).  Not nearly as many colors as I would have preferred, but I decided to give it a go anyway.

I took a deep breath and opened the first package.  I dumped the beads into the bucket and grabbed the next package.  Let me tell ya, it's harder than you would think to take something you know is just fine and dandy on it's own and do something to it that you know you can never undo.  (cause there's no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks that I'm ever separating these beads)  This is how it came out...

Not too shabby, eh?  I still like the first mix better, but I'm pretty darn satisfied with my own personal mix.  So the Candy necklace lives on.  Sweet. (get it?)  I'm just trying to ignore the part about there being only 9 colors.  9 is most definitely NOT an even number.  Gah.

Peace out, dudes.  I less-than-three you all. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Don't Push My Buttons!

This week I decided to play with buttons.  I'm pretty darn happy with the result.  I really dig the colors.  It'll be a lot of fun to mess around with this style, and see what else I can do with it.  

What is your opinion?  Lame?  Cute? 

That's all I've got this week.  Isn't that sad?  I'll work on having more to say next week! 

And don't forget to spread the word about me on Facebook!  I'm really close to giving away a $30 gift certificate!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Oh goodness.  This week's attempt at something new was, umm, less than pretty.  I actually tried 2 new things, but I can only post about one, as the other will eventually be a gift.  Shhhhh! 

So.  The one I can talk about.  Here's the thing.  I've been wanting to give the whole metal stamping thing a try for a LONG time.  I have gradually been buying the tools and supplies, but I have put off actually giving it a go.  I'm a chicken.  What can I say?  Do you want the good news or the bad news first?  Let's go with bad.

I know.  Not pretty.  At all.  Pretty laughable, right?  Now, just for the fun of it, let's examine them one by one.  Let's start with my first one.
This was SUPPOSED to be for Isabel.  It was going to be her initials.  Started with the I.  It went rather well, I think.  Then came the R.  Again, not too bad.  THEN came the B.  The letter B did NOT cooperate with me.  I got the top half, but not the whole thing.  What the deuce?  So I figured, since it has already NOT turned out as it was supposed to, that I may as well keep trying on this piece instead of ruining another one.  So I tried another B.  And another.  And another.  It wasn't until Bs #6 (a little too light) and #7 that I got something that actually LOOKED like a real, honest to goodness letter B.  *sigh*

Valentine's Day is coming you know... so I HAD to try out an "I Love You"  I was almost going to do "I Love U" but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Other than being a little wonky, it's readable.  Not something I would sell by any means, but a good second try, I thought. 

But since it really wasn't something I was thrilled with, I decided to simplify on the third one.

Not particularly centered, but by far the best of the three, wouldn't you agree?  Still probably wouldn't sell it, but I like to witness my own progress. =)

I'm thinking I may have to shop around for different stamps. The letters are so thin, that I'm not sure I like them.  But they are what I have for now, so I will use them.  I DEFINITELY need more practice.  Any word suggestions?

I hope I gave you all a good chuckle with these first attempts.  I know I giggled a few times myself.  =D  The GOOD news with this whole experience is that it was actually really FUN to do.  I can see how people become addicted to this sort of thing. 

Thanks for reading!  Don't forget to pass my blog on to anyone you know!  I'm super fantastic you know, so I'm sure everyone you know will wonder how on earth they survived without reading my randomness. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

My First Paycheck

Honestly, I don't really know how long I have been making jewelry and everything else.  I THINK it's been between 4 and 5 years, which is totally absurd in my book.  I cannot believe it has been that long.  But here's the thing.  I have never paid myself.  I HAVE traded for things, like portraits and iron-ons (Hi Jessica!) but I have never given myself permission to spend something on myself.  So I decided it was time to change that. =D

I have been keeping my eye on a pair of boots (cowboy, not trendy fashionable ones... not sure I could pull that look off)  I set myself some guidelines for when I would let myself get them.  And, by golly, when everything was squared away as I wanted, with the proper balance in my checking account, I sure did go buy them.  They are my new pride and joy.  They're nothing special.  Very plain.  Just as I wanted.  

Now I just need some longer pants...

And remember that New Years resolution of mine?  The one about me trying something new each week (unless I have orders to fill... orders trump experimenting) and blogging about it, and posting pictures on FB and all that good stuff?  Well, what do you know?  I actually did it.  It's a good start to the year, I think.

I haven't come up with a name for it yet, but I really like it.  I've already figured out some ways to improve it for the next time.  I think it's a very satisfactory first try at something new.  What do you think?