March 25, 2010

I Love Craft Blogs Don't You? Award

I've only been blogging for a little while, but I really enjoy it already. It's great to be able to share my jewelry and my process with others. Since I'm so new to blogging, imagine my surprise when my friend Dawn from the Designs by Dawn Marie blog and the Designs by Dawn Marie Etsy store gave me the I love Craft Blogs Don't You? Award.

I've only met Dawn recently through Twitter, Facebook, and our blogs but I already feel as though we are old friends or kindred souls. Thanks Dawn! Love you girl! She's a really cool chick who makes awesome jewelry that you just have to see to believe. I can't say enough good things about her... but now it is time to tell you about some other great bloggers out there and pass on the award. So, here are some of my favorite blogs that you just HAVE to check out:

Tara, the Waterwaif: Not only does she display her beautiful art, but she also provides great tips about blogging, Etsy, and Twitter. Definitely check this lady out!
Bead Origami: If you're interested in jewelry that uses beads in new and unique ways, you have to check out this blog (and her Etsy store). She creates awesome beads using other beads. I wish I was able to do what she does with beads!
Lorelei's Blog: A great combination of personal and jewelry. Within reading just a few posts, you feel like you know her!
Jujubee Jewelry Designs: Shares jewelry designs and supports and introduces other jewelry artists. Check out this creative and cool blog!
Dawn at Dawno's Beaded Badge Lanyards and Jewelry: Not only does she have a great and informative blog, but she shares techniques and links regularly. I love her jewelry and her blog. Check it out!

If you love jewelry and crafts... and want to "meet" some really cool people, you've got to follow these blogs! Check them out!

March 24, 2010


There is something insanely rewarding about creating earrings. No, no, no... it's not just because I love earrings. I really think there is something great about making them. Maybe it's because they are quick. The immediate gratification is so satisfying. Here's a look at some of my recent earring creations:

My husband had to work on Saturday, so I packed up my beads and spent the day with him at work. I decided to try my hand at making earrings. I'd been thinking about the silver and red color combination for a little while. While playing with some 20 gauge wire I came up with this design. I really like the way they turned out, even though the design was unplanned.

I created these earrings at the same time I created the red ones above. These earrings were also unplanned. I was playing with wire and came up with the design. There seemed to be something missing, so I added the crystal colored fringe beads to the bottom. I'm really into drop earrings right now, but I still like simple designs.

I created these squiggle earrings over my lunch break on Monday. I was looking through my beads and found the glass beads on the bottom of the earrings. I've had them for a couple of years now and have been waiting for the perfect project to incorporate them. I finally got tired of waiting and decided to create a project around them. I think they turned out well and are fun. Both blue and green are favorite colors of mine!

March 17, 2010

Bead Cruise 2011

OK, so it's quite possible that I am the last person to learn about the Bead Cruise (I blame it on living in Guam), but I just found it at today. It looks awesome! 7 days and nights of beading classes and meeting other beaders is about as good as it can get... until you add the fact that it's on a cruise ship that stops at awesome tropical locations!!!

There are full and half-day classes that talk about everything from bead weaving to metal work... from pendants to collars to bracelets... Oh, how I yearn to go to this utopic place! Is anyone else out there planning on attending? What classes are you interested in? Have you gone on other bead cruises -- what was your experience like? This is very exciting to me!

When I Move to Florida

I have lived in Guam for the last three years and while it has been awesome (great diving, weather, vacation spots, etc...) I am very excited to be moving back to the United States in just a couple of months! My husband and I (and our beautiful "puppy" Bailey) will be moving to Miami in the May/June timeframe. Because we will be moving so soon, I am holding off on selling any of my jewelry until we are settled... needless to say, that is making me even more excited for our move.

We've been diligently searching the Miami housing market via the internet and are heading to Miami at the end of the month for a week of house hunting. I can't wait to find the perfect house with a great craft space, a big yard for the pup, and lots of ammenities close by (what, is that too much to ask?). My husband has a job lined up and I can take my job with me (I telecommute for a company in Charleston, SC). Now all we have to do is hold in our excitement until it's time to move.

On the beading front, I've started this blog that will track my foray into the world of selling my hand-made jewelry. I've also started using twitter to get to know other artists and talk about my work. I've set up my Etsy shop... it's just waiting for me to upload items for sale. And finally, I'm using all my extra time before the move to create jewelry so I will have enough to list when I start my store! I think I'm ready... now, if May would just hurry up and get here!

March 13, 2010

Creating a Jewelry Identity

I've been beading as a hobby for a few years now. It's been a great experience, and I've dabbled with a bunch of different jewelry techniques. Now that I'm trying to move from being a hobbyist to being a jewelry artist I'm thinking about what kind of identity I want to develop... or if I want to develop an identity at all.

Right now I like working with wire, stringing beads, and doing bead weaving... Sometimes I like to make simple and elegant jewelry. Other times, I'm driven to create funky and eclectic jewelry. I work with commercially made beads and create my own beads. I'm all over the place, and I'm not sure I want to change that. I like working on whatever I feel like. My only concern is trying to develop a following.

I have a feeling that customers will want to be able to return to my store and see more items similar to the items they liked before. Right now, I can't guarantee that. My inventory could be vastly different from day to day or from week to week depending on how I'm feeling. So, this is my struggle... do I stifle my work flow in order to create jewelry that conforms to an identity or do I go wherever inspiration takes me, but run the risk of disappointing return customers.

For those of you who have been in the business, what is your take on this? Do you notice return customers looking for similar items or do customers like seeing variety? Do you go wherever inspiration takes you or do you try to create and stick to an identity? Or, am I the only schizophrenic one who can't figure out who I am and what I do?

March 11, 2010

Cherry Blossom Scarf

I have started working on a major project. I'm creating a beaded scarf using a custom made cherry blossom design (see the image on the left). Each end will display the cherry blossom design, and the middle will be solid blue. So far, I've put about 10 hours of work into the project and I have about 2 inches of the scarf complete. I think this project will end up taking about 200 hours of work total.

If the scarf turns out well, it will be the first item I try to sell using my Etsy store. I haven't seen many fully beaded scarves, so I hope it is something for which there is a demand. Because of the time constraints associated with the creation of scarves, I won't be able to keep them in stock, but I will be able to custom design patterns for scarves when someone requests them. I'll keep everyone posted regarding my progress and I will definitely post pictures when I have enough to show!

March 10, 2010

Creating New Beads

I recently learned a new technique for creating beads, applying patterns, and creating bezels so I can combine them into jewelry pieces. Here are some images of the beads I have created so far:

The first two images are of silver and blue beads I created and added a pattern to. I used blue and purple seed beads to create the bezels. The third picture displays black beads without patterns, but with colored bezels. Now, I'm playing with different color combinations and bead shapes (such as flower petals and tear drops). Check back with the blog to see how I incorporate these custom-made beads with different components to make some funky jewelry!

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