Sunday, October 4, 2009

Woven Work in Progress...

Here is a piece I've been working on for a few weeks. Its something I got from Bead & Button, mind you, but I still think it looks beautiful.

The colors and the shapes remind me of Coral in the Ocean. Once the finished product is done, I'll post it here as well. Thanks for checking it out and let me know what you think about my progress. Have a great day!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Old Subscription Paying Off

Does anyone remember this design from Bead & Button 2006? I totally dug it up a little while ago when I was trying to figure out what to teach a fellow beginning beader. Looked simple enough on paper, so we gave it a whirl. An hour later, we were still a little confused, but we managed to figure it out. Here's the work in progress so far!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Its been a while...

Wow...when you get busy and step away from something for a while, its surprising how much you miss out on when you take that time away.

Here's what I've been working on:

But its not just designing stuff! I've had a number of craft shows that I've been going to, as well as creating more jewelry for the upcoming holiday season.

Its funny, because I've gotten so busy and yet, it seems like I don't get nearly as much done as I'd like. Ever feel that way?

Even my dog is done watching whirl around in circles:

Suffice to say, I will be posting here more often, with cool stuff I make. I've got a number of shows coming up, and I'm a little nervous about them, so any help you could provide would be so awesome!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Value or Savings?

In my search for other jewelry artists, I came across this post by casual gal about Free Shipping Versus A Dollar Discount.

I found more info here, from Havi, on the difference between value and price.

You can check them out, they are super neat folks and I love their writing.

I find that I have priced things a bit differently over the course of the time I have been making jewelry. Originally, I specifically based all of my pricing on the items I was using, what type of metal and stones, then I multiplied by 3. This went okay, I felt like I was getting ahead, but sales were slow and meager. I met up with a friend and she said I should charge based on my time, or my skill level, since not everyone is able to make what I make. {huh, imagine that} So, I sat on that thought for quite a while, and mulled it over.

Now, my pricing is a bit of both. I charge for time, at a rate of $20 an hour, and I charge for 2 times the cost of my materials. This has been working out much better, even though my prices are about 15-20% higher. I think it may be along the lines of what Havi says in her little story, the more money one spends, the more "value" they place on the item.

What do you guys charge, and How Come?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Don't you just love new tools? All the possible things that tool is going to do for you, all the amazing accomplishments. Now, how to decide the right tool for you? I don't know an easy answer to that question, at all!

I'm building a workshop right now, work bench, torch, and flex shaft! That's a lot of tools! I'm checking suppliers, and I'm researching temperatures, and of course, price! I figure that this is an investment to hold out for me for the next 50 years, so it had better be good, (no pressure)!

In a recent workshop, (short class) I took at North Bennett Street School, I got the opportunity to work with the tools made available by the school. It was a great experience to get comfortable with torches and really be aware of the safety involved around a workshop.

Some of the sources I have been checking out are: Rio Grande, Otto Frei, Gesswein, and Monster Slayer.

What are the different sources that you guys use?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rushing River Necklace

With the Bead Star deadline approaching, ( I was really scrambling to choose the best piece for the competition. I worked really hard at vetting my own work. Gosh that's hard!

So, I scrambled to get the items in under the deadline, but all of my seed bead items are actually woven. Thus, they would be disqualified. My wonderful husband recommended that I actually design a piece specifically for the competition. I'm not sure why I didn't think of that, but probably because there was such a limited amount of time involved.

Behold the necklace of choice!

Fortunately, these are colors that I have with me all the time, I only needed to purchase the crimp beads. I love that the movement of the necklace is reminiscent of water, so it seems appropo to me to have the drops finishing the lariat ends.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Heirloom Bracelet

Wearing this bracelet, each bead's story comes back to me. It is like picking the patches on one of my grandmother's quilts. Each piece a reminder to her of the dress it came from or the pillow's from long ago that match. Instead, I remember the necklace I made for my mother at Christmas, and my very first tradeshow, my husband in tow, carrying all my purchases! On this bracelet, every bead has a story, and I didn't even realize it!

You see, I heard about a beader that wire-wrapped one of every kind of crystal she had ever had. and this piece of jewelry now spanned a good 20 year career. The amazing discontinued colors of Swarovski crystal, sparkling all around. It is a tale in the beading community.

This sparked an interest, that wheedled in my brain. Then it became a splinter, bothering me until I had to make it! I started with a unique square chain. I really like that the links are nice and large for the wire-wrapping.

I thought about clumping the colors together, but I wanted each bead to stand out. Below you can see for yourself what the different layouts look like.

I ordered round sterling wire in 18g, 22g, and 26g. Then I cut them into headpin lengths. I started with the largest beads and worked my way down.

This project did take me a few days. Wire-wrapping takes longer than a regular eye-pin, but I love how it's so much more secure. Instead of every color, I just started off with my blue collection {my favorite colors} and I really love how it has developed.

If you are interested this bracelet is for sale for $110.00. If you are interested in a bracelet like this, I'd be happy to walk you through the ropes, or construct it for you. Just contact me at for details.

To View or purchase my Handcrafted Jewelry <--click here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Beader's Muse

My New Year's resolution was that in 2009 I would eat more vegetables and enter my first beading competition.

Thanks to Scarlett Lanson, I felt that I could enter a low stress beading competition on her site

It was really difficult for me to try and use one particular beading element and create something really fresh and new. Since the element was a brass filigree piece, it was going to be a fresh new piece anyway... since I usually stick to sterling.

Next was finishing up the necklace. Then photographing the thing on a nice clear sunny day. Of course, I needed to name the piece, and then we were given the opportunity to write up 100 words on our inspirations.

I was surprised by the aspects of the competition that actually didn't involve beading!

Let me know what your competition experiences are like!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Marketing, Scary?

"In these tough economic times" Ugh! If I hear those terms again, it will be way too soon! As with most, the times have struck my family, like all others. I am planning my largest garden, ever, and am composting to keep it humming along. I am faced with obstacles to get back to school this fall... as a direct result, I have decided to join Naomi at This is sort of an experiment. If anyone can help me get the bus rolling- She can!

And away we go!