Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 2, Potlatch 18

Have had a great time, getting to know the other sellers in the dealer's room. Picked up a couple new books, too. If I hadn't sold one thing, I would have been sad about that, but still would feel the weekend was well spent.

Well, there I am in my little spot, taken by my neighbor, Michael Rightor of Re[a]d Ink Books.

The room closed at 6pm tonight - and I have a couple custom requests to work on tonight, so it's time to get to work on them.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Day One Potlatch SF Convention 2009

What a day! Dealer's room opened for set up at noon, but I didn't get there until after 3 - wasn't a problem as I had everything set up at home, wrapped it snug and just had to unwrap and put on the tables. Great neighbors, too. Will probably write more about them tomorrow, but thought I'd post some pics tonight before bed.

Kind of hard to see the necklaces on the mirrors - used shells and stones and glass vases to add interest to the display of my pearl based work, folk have been quite complimentary.

I hung some of my past con badges on lanyards to show how they work...

Necklace displays on acrylic risers - the little sign says "Dawno's" and has the tax notice.
Someone asked for a mirror, I left one of the mirror 'trivets' out without any necklaces on it for that use. Maybe I should bring a hand mirror instead?

I have a lot of lanyards - so to display as many as possible I multi-tasked the easel that holds the smaller pieces, using the crossbar to hold them and drape them over the side of the table. Seems to work ok.

Showing two of my new chokers, too.

Glad to be home, but I had a good time today. Selling at a SF con is fun for me because I'm a fan and get to see other fans I've met at prior cons, and some authors of my favorite books too.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spreader of Love

Dave Over at the Rings & Things blog, honored me by passing along the “Spreader of Love” award he & the Rings & Things blog received from Swati at the The Purple Flower blog.

As this is my first blog award for this blog (I also have kept another general purpose blog for years) I'm honored and thrilled to pass along the award. As Dave mentioned in his post, some of these folk have Twitter accounts and I discovered them via Twitter.

A condition of the award is that you go on to recognize 5 more people, who brighten your own blog, so here are my choices

  • Because of her supportive and informative comments: Tish from Just A Tish Designs
  • Because I just love the name "SmuTopia" and her breezy writing style: Jessica from SmuTopia
  • Another supportive person, with a fun sense of humor: Bev from Bev's Jewelry
  • For her joy and enthusiasm on every post: Lisa at A Bead A Day
  • Because it's a joy to see her beautiful work, beautifully photographed Thyme2Dream
I tried to follow links back to see where the award originated, but at about 8 links back I couldn't find a link to the previous award after going back through a few months of posts, and I have to get back to some display prep (really almost there - and quite relieved!). So I Googled "The Love Blog" and found the originator's request (you have to scroll down about half a page). This award is over a year old now, so it's been all over the web!

The Love Blog, by Vancouver Blogger Barbara Doduk, says about this award:

The Love Blog

I great way to spread love and happiness around the blog world and just maybe get a little link love in return.

So here is my Badge for my Award:
All I ask in return for presenting this award to anyone blogging out there, is that you include the following information in the blog post along with the image below:

Spreader of Love Award (200x240)

This blog has been awarded The Spreader of Love Award created by The Love Blog (, for an outstanding demonstration of blogging love.

Nominate as many or as few as you feel you need to !

And she provides some html code, too. Along the way, some 'rules' got appended - link to the blog that awarded it to you, nominate 5 blogs, link to them, and leave your nominees a message about the award. I'm happy to pass those along as well.

Now it's back to work - the toughest thing for me is deciding how to price my work. I haven't come up with a formula yet, but it's more than just cost of materials + labor + a markup = price, unless "labor" includes all the time spent shopping for the materials, deciding which to buy, & the time it takes to get through the whole designing process - and then, what's the value of inspiration, artistic touches, uniqueness? Ah well - I guess I'll give it my best shot and see what happens this weekend!

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Countdown - 2 days left!

OK, no pictures or long post tonight - I'm on my way into the dining room to work on finishing touches and organization for the convention this weekend.

If you see me on Twitter, tell me to get back to work!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Made Some Earrings While Watching Obama Speech - So, Is It Too Corny to Want to Name Them "Hope"?

I decided to make a pair of earrings that matched a lanyard using teal and aqua glass beads. Started out just putting the beads on a long sterling headpin in the same sequence as the lanyard. Decided it needed a little something more and since I'm on a curlicue kick, I took some wire and made two curls and hung little teal faceted glass beads off of them.

The thing I really like about how they turned out is that the curls move around and the earrings have a very dimensional look, which I try to show in the picture below.

And here's the pair with the matching lanyard.

I think I'm going to put some goals on myself for tomorrow and Thursday night that I won't make any new pieces until I've worked on the things I need to finish for the convention. Things I need to do - put labels and prices on the pieces, finish off the standing displays and get all the other stuff I need to take on Friday out and at least gathered up for packing.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Convention Countdown - 4 Days to Go

My easels and acrylic risers came today. I am *almost* there with the displays now. I thought I'd share a bit about how I constructed my displays, not that I'm any expert, as the last time I did this, all I had were a couple of spinning wire racks and a few necklace was enough for the small space I had in the 'artist's alley', though.

I have visited a number of great crafts fair stalls (during our annual Art and Wine Festival) where the sellers have obviously put a lot of time and effort and imagination into their displays. Eventually I hope to be able to justify doing (and have the time to find the stuff) something fabulous, but for now I'm trying to keep costs as low as I can without coming off too cheap.

First the stuff I bought. I mentioned above that I got 3 floor easels and risers to give my display more vertical interest, instead of everything flat on the table. I bought 4 clear acrylic risers, two low and long rectangular ones and two squares. The squares are pretty cool - "corner turn" is the descriptive name, and they look like this:

The easels are made of antiqued copper tubing and stand 76" high. I got them on closeout sale from displays2gofor what I think is a pretty decent price. I can't share a picture from the website, but I'll be taking a photo of my finished display when it's up at the convention and you can see it then. They're pretty!

I wanted to have some of my lanyards hanging on some kind of backing that I could put on those easels - so I bought foam display boards, covered them in fabric and then used U pins to pin the lanyards on. I have to figure out what to do for trim around the edge of the fabric covered board, it looks rather plain right now. I thought about some kind of light wood molding, but I don't have a way to miter cut the edges...still pondering what to do about that.

Then I bought some small wire easel frames from the floral aisle at Michael's and some ecru colored counted cross-stitch fabric. I put the fabric inside "poster frames" - each part of the frame is a separate piece that slides over the fabric and cardboard backing until all four sides are captured tightly against the backing by the frame pieces. I embellished the black plastic poster frame with some brass stampings on the corners. I use U pins again to pin lighter objects, like eyeglass lanyards and earrings through the nice, evenly spaced holes in the cross stitch fabric, and then hang the whole thing on the small wire easel frames.

I'd already invested last year in quite a few raw silk covered necklace displays in multiple colors (you can see the coral and beige ones in the picture above), so I am going to use those, too. But I also bought some clear glass vases and sea-shells that I'm going to use to display my pearl lanyards. These will sit on cork circles about 7" in diameter.

I'm a bit nervous about all this - but can't wait to get it all set up and take some pictures to share. I hope I can make some sales, but even if I don't it will be a good experience and fun to be part of the convention.

I did have a few moments tonight to work on some new stuff - earrings and necklace with onyx lentils, iridescent Czech glass bicones, and silver ox floral links and silver ox floral stamping from Accessories Susan. The chain is about 20" and the floral pendant is about an inch long. The earrings dangle just over 2 inches from the earwire.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Back to My Creative Comfort Zone - At Least for a Little While

What a day. Shopping for more display stuff at Michael's - more on that later in the post. Changing some earring wires for lever-backs because it looks better on the display. When I finish my displays, I may photo and post them - it would be great to hear what you think. Thank you for stopping by, to all the new visitors who've come from Twitter or maybe from a link you saw on another blog. I'll be finding as many of them as I can and linking to their blogs, too on my blog roll soon.

This morning I took some pictures of the stuff I've recently finished. I went back to my comfort zone and did some stringing. It was soothing to not be wondering how to "make this do that or the other thing" and just drop beads on the wires...

First, freshwater pearl, copper beads and tubes and malachite diagonally drilled cubes. It's about 20" long, has a copper leaf hook and loop clasp.

Next, a necklace with aquamarine chips and roundels with freshwater pearls and sterling silver beads. Lobster claw clasp, 20" long.

I really, really like how these turned out. Is it ok to be quite self-satisfied? Because I really feel great about those.

If they don't sell next weekend at Potlatch, they will go up on my Artfire store. Speaking of which, I haven't updated Etsy or Artfire because of the convention. I wonder if I should delist the current offerings until the con is over...

Here's another choker form idea - teal choker, teal Czech faceted, firepolished 4mm faceted glass and sterling spirals and swirls.

And lastly, here's yesterday's swirls and wraps and purple beaded choker again - but I've done a bit more wrapping (on the bottom left to balance the top right) and tweaking...I think it's getting close to done. I'll be ordering that sterling choker form for it!

So, about shopping at Michael's. As much as I'd like to only buy from trusted online sources and bead artists, sometimes I need so get something fast, locally. That means Michael's. I'm not crazy about the local store, it never seems to be well stocked, the beading section, particularly is getting smaller. But still, I go. Today it was raining fairly hard but I needed stuff for my displays for next weekend, so off I go to get the stuff. I get inside and they've put those long poles on the shopping carts so you can't take them beyond the door.

Well, if I hadn't been buying two foam display boards and about 20 lbs of decorative rock, two wire easels and three glass vases, I might not have minded. But that's what I got and I couldn't take them all out in one go without a cart. Especially if I wanted to stay dry and hold my umbrella in one hand. I have a bad shoulder, and carrying the bag strained it. What do they do for people with canes or walkers? I hope they help them out to the car.

Meanwhile people who won't return carts have ruined it for those of us who always take that couple of minutes to do so.

Well, it'll be as long as I can possibly make it before I go back there.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

This Is What Kept Me Up 'til 2 am Last Night

Sometimes my brain and my fingers just take over and I play around on autopilot. Take last night for instance. At about 9 pm I (thought I had) finished up the last blog post with a few words about the silver filigree and stampings I had bought from Accessories Susan. That got me wondering if there was a way to make my own filigree. I started Googling around.

I didn't really find anything immediately accessible, like web tutorials or even downloadable .pdfs, although there is a book I might be getting. Just looking at the cover, I knew that it would be a major equipment and supply investment to do filigree that way. (by the way, if you'd like to buy this book and you do it from clicking this link, I get a few pennies).

But I did get an idea of how I could use what I had on hand to attempt something filigree-ish. I didn't want to try and copy what was on the cover, but I thought to myself, I can make curlicues and wire them together, right? So I grabbed my 22 gauge wire (yeah, the expensive sterling stuff again - ouch) and started making spirals and wrapping them together, lather rinse repeat...and this is where I ended up at 2:30 am (you can click to enlarge):

The beads are from the Beads of the Month assortment I posted about on the 8th- I particularly was happy that there was a larger bead that is embossed with tiny swirls, and the little "honeybun" beads - all in lovely shades of lavender and purple.

It's still in 'draft' - I need to step away from it for a while, look at the picture, maybe even print a few copies out and draw on see what needs changing. I like the off-center look, but there's still balance to be considered, and the side on the left of the photo seems too light because of the larger bead on the right and the heavier wrapping that comes from the middle and curves to the right (an artifact of starting at what ended up as the center of the design and building from there.

And, as you can see, I used a Rings & Things choker form to hold the design. It's the clear coated, 16" steel, magnet clasp form. If I get this to a place where I like it, I will invest in a sterling silver choker form for it.

I also think, when I look at the picture above, that the backdrop I use in my photos may have subconsciously influenced the design...the backdrop is a pillow sham I put over a rectangle of styrofoam and prop up behind the necklace display bust. It comes from a heavy cotton, white on white Jacobean embroidery coverlet and sham set. Yep, lots of swirly curly there...

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"It was here that I decided to quit before I went embellishment mad"

Before I dive into this, thank you again to Margot Potter for the link to my "Mondrian" inspired choker, in her latest blog post, and to a whole bunch of new crafting/beading/jewelry artists I am following on Twitter and who so kindly have followed me back!

Speaking of Twitter, I tweeted this last night "I'm always wondering, while making vintage-style pieces, when I should stop adding stuff. It's like Granny Ogg and how to spell bananananana".

I really like baroque and complex work, but I also like symmetry, simple's like having some kind of multiple design personality complex. So when I use intricately textured or ornamental components, it's challenging for me not to just keep adding and adding more chains and dangles and detail, or alternatively, not to add any.

I think last night's work (which was the finishing touch on the pendant I'd started working on weeks ago and put aside unfinished to think about) turned out as a balance between my impulses.

I'll start with the pendant - I received a set of different colored cabochons (all called 'jade' but I think they're another stone that's been dyed, so I'm calling this one 'faux yellow jade') and thought I'd try using some of the brass stampings to wrap them into pendants. I chose a rather large stamping called Maltese Cross (Item S40, Accessories Susan) for the base, and another one called Filigree to Wrap Stones (Item S38, Accessories Susan).

I wrapped the filigree around the stone with the Maltese cross in-between to hold all three pieces together. Then I bent three arms of the cross up and then curled back over to get the setting seen above.

The next thing I did was start experimenting with the chain. At first, right above the pendant, I used some Japanese glass beads with pale yellow rose decals on them, and then put the filigree beads you see above, on the chain as well. I wasn't happy with the rose beads, so they went, but I liked the filigree beads. By the way, there are three tiny yellow faceted Czech glass rounds inside each of those filigree beads to give them a secret inner glint.

I still found the chain a bit dull, so I added the pale yellow faceted Czech glass bicones. Then I looked at it again and wanted to embellish the pendant just a teensy bit more and added the chain loop and then the two chain dangles with the same pale yellow bicones at the ends.

It was here that I decided to quit before I went embellishment mad.

My shipment of silver ox filigrees came the other day, so the next vintage style pieces I do will probably use those. As I mentioned in a previous post, I think the silver will be a better color for Spring and Summer, the brass just seems to say Fall and Winter to me.

Many hours have passed since I wrote that last paragraph...

I think I'll have one more choker frame idea to share soon - been working on another experimental piece, trying something new again, and the way it's deciding to design itself (yes, this piece is growing rather organically since I didn't know where I was going with it, I just started playing and off it went) is looking like it belongs on a choker form. I've been absolutely obsessed with this since about 9 PM and it's now after 2 AM. I think it's nearly done...

I'll leave it a mystery for now and you'll just have to come back and see what it is sometime this weekend.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Dragon on a Leash

Months and months ago, I started fiddling with two brass stampings from Accessories Susan - one is a dragon and one is an "Art Deco Style Framework Setting Piece" in brass ox and the other is a "Gothic Style Dragon". I finally figured out that I wanted to make a pendant with them and an aventurine cabochon.

(click pictures to enlarge)

First I folded the dragon around the stone. Then I folded the framework piece. This was the tricky part. I folded it up in half and then half of that half back down again and wedged it under the dragon folds in the back. It still wasn't completely stable, so I used E6000 glue (rather thickly) to hold all the pieces together and onto the cabochon.

Next I put a textured brass cable chain on it using jump rings. It was too plain. So I thought, why not make a toggle clasp out of another framework piece and another dragon (using one that faced the opposite direction) the dragon is attached to the chain with a jump ring - kind of like a collar and leash. Then I decided to use two chains at the bottom to attach this part to the pendant.

Better, but still missing something. So I took some filigree chain and some large aventurine beads with filigree bead caps and added them to the other side. I like it now!

The total length of the chain is about 30" around, and pendant hangs 1.5" so it drops about 16" from top to bottom.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lines and Squares, Inspired by Curves and Circles

Dave from Rings & Things tweeted about a choker that Margot Potter (The Impatient Crafter and star of wonderful crafting videos) made using one of the choker forms from Rings & Things (see my earlier post and review of those forms). I went to visit her site and take a look at the necklace - it's gorgeous. (And she has a contest going on as well, be sure to leave her a comment).

As I mentioned in her comments, her design got me thinking about using the red choker form from Rings & Things to make something that radiated out around the neck, too, but taking a different stylistic approach. So I got out some beads and sterling wire and got started. Here's the work so far - still need to add a few more bits if I want to get that radiating look. It's definitely an 'apprentice' piece, where I'm learning more what not to do as I go than what works (so maybe I shouldn't have used that sterling wire, but it was the right gauge and handy)...but I think I'll get to something I can be happy with eventually.

At first I was thinking Mondrian was the inspiration, because I was going for a simple primary palette and angular design, but I'm not so sure that's it. My background is woefully limited when it comes to modern art and artists.

Editing to add: I just realized (after reading some back posts on her blog) that the wire wrapping part of my choker, above, came from JustATish - she showed one of her choker form ideas in this post where she does a beautiful design with copper wire (or is it something else?), lampwork beads and turquoise dyed howlite. I truly regret the curse of CRS that caused me to forget where the inspiration to use wire wrapping on my piece came from!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It Was Longer and Curvy-er but I Twisted It Up

Been busy, busy with day job - had a business dinner last night, lots of meetings today. Did manage to finish a glass bead badge lanyard to match my outfit, and I wore it with a brass stamping and bauble necklace into the office today.

The beaded badge lanyard uses pinched sphere Czech glass beads in peridot and tiny (2 or 3mm) faceted jet black Czech glass rounds. It's about 29 - 30" (my tape measure has wandered off, maybe a cat stole it?)

The necklace features one dangle on a bit of chain made from two peridot Czech pressed glass flower beads with tiny pearlescent seed beads. I used a long headpin to stack the beads, and a tiny brass bead just above each yellow seed bead that is mostly hidden in the flower, so the yellow ones would show.

The other dangle is a freshwater cultured pearl. I then looped them both together through a jumpring with a glass teardrop in peridot, and that through another thicker jumpring attached to one of the swirls in the stamping.

The brass stamping (Accessories Susan "Poppies in the Wind") started out much longer and curvy-er but I wasn't satisfied with how it hung as a pendant, so I gave it a twist to shorten and center the piece at the top where I fasten the chain through another jumpring.

Did you notice that I got a cool new graphic to add to my sidebar from Rings & Things? I'm a blog partner - nifty! They're having a comment contest there through the end of the month (and each month) - leave comments on their posts and be in a drawing for a surprise goodie pack.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Nouveau and Other New Jewelry

Got a start on displays over the weekend, I think I've figured out how to do what I want, but I will have to go pick up a few more items this week. I hope to have it all finished next weekend. I got a note that the table will be 8' long and have a nice amount of room behind it. I may bring the mannequin.

Worked on some new stuff with gunmetal filigree, wire and chain. The first is a single purpose eyeglass leash with iridescent dark blue India glass beads:

The next one is a necklace using an oval filigree link and jet black Czech glass faceted crystals. It's a shorter necklace, hanging just under the collarbone.

Lastly, here's a piece inspired by the Fantasy Falls project in the Vintaj project gallery. The focal is an art nouveau-style brass stamping from Accessories Susan and miscellaneous bits and beads, including rough faceted marquise cut garnet beads and a cultured freshwater pearl. It has a double chain.

These will be going up on Art Fire after the Potlatch SF convention. Hope you'll visit my shop there!

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Product Review: Choker Forms from Rings & Things

I've been meaning to get a post up on the choker forms sent by Rings & Things for days! I'd like to say, right off, thank you to Dave at Rings & Things for including me, it's fun to see new products, experiment with them and then share my thoughts.

I received a package of 6 choker forms - two black, one with a sliver tone magnetic fastener, one with gold tone; one red and silver tone twist fastener, one turquoise blue with silver tone twist fastener, a steel 16" choker form with magnetic fastener and a open ended steel choker form.

As you may have noted on an earlier post, I almost immediately thought of a way to embellish one of the choker forms with some glass beads that had just a large enough hole to go over one of the clasp ends and a pendant I made with sardonyx, sterling silver and glass spacer beads. I like the way it turned out and have gotten compliments (which gave me a chance to talk about my jewelry design and hand out cards, always a good thing!)

So, what do I think about the choker forms?


Assorted Lengths - I have a long and thin neck so I prefer a length where the pendant hangs just at the collarbone. That means anything larger than 16" is too big and gives me a bit of a 'Saturn' look as the choker 'floats' in an orbit well away from my neck. The exception would be if I wanted something that would fit over a bulky turtleneck.

The choker form lengths available go from 15" to 20" on the magnetic clasp selection page, There is a silver plated 16" cable on the base metal choker selection page, the colored ones are 18". Sterling silver comes in 16" & 18" with a variety of fasteners and open ended choices. The unfinished end forms come in 16, 18 and 20 inches - and can be cut down to size with heavy duty flush cutters.

Assorted Colors - love that there is a good selection of colors. While the simple silver or gold tone works most of the time, it's fun to have more choice. Helps with the inspiration when it comes to designing something different or seasonal. Would love to see copper colored ones!

Clasps - also love that there are the screw-type or magnetic clasps. I think I like the magnetic ones best as my fingers are less flexible than they used to be. I also like that you can get unfinished ended ones and add beads with somewhat smaller holes.


I'm mostly a 'stringer' - I like to have a lot of detail in my work, using small gemstone or glass beads and metal spacers and bead caps. I don't do much in the way of making pendants and these forms, due to the pre-attached clasps limit the kinds of beads you can get on them, unless you get the unfinished ended ones. Since I've not had a lot of experience in attaching a closure to a jewelry cable, I'm hesitant (for now) to invest in the open ended type and find that I can't get a good tight clasp attached. But that's a very tiny quibble and completely a factor of what I do, and where I'm at, in my current stage of learning.

I'd like to see more colors with magnetic clasps and in more sizes.

I am working on an idea (first pass, shown above - subject to a lot more tweaking) using the open ended choker form I got, which came with a magnetic clasp included. I was able to assemble with small, faceted, AB crystal saucer spacers and cathedral cut glass beads, so the 1mm dimension of the cable wasn't a problem. I needed to glue the one part of (there are assembly instructions and gluing recommendations on the listing details) the magnetic closure (I used Aleene's Jewelry and Metal Glue, which is not recommended at the link previously, but seems to be holding fine).

I would like to do two others, one with a black with a gold tone magnetic clasp (available with a 'white' clasp) and one in gold tone wire (not listed online), since I have some cloisonne and oxidized brass wire ball beads I really want to use, but the cloisonne is primarily black and gold.

All in all, I can easily recommend these choker forms, they got me thinking about new ideas and were fun to use.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Earrings and a new Embellished Retractable Lanyard Badge Holder

Didn't do nearly as much as I wanted to today - but I did make these new earrings - The one unfinished pair (far left first set of pictures) I'm still debating on how I want to finish them. the pair on the far right has rutilated quartz nuggets, amber chips and tiny amber beads dangling from filigree circles and may be my favorite pair of the day. All earrings are on leverback, shell embellished brass ox earring findings from Accessories Susan, which also provided the filigree, chain, headpins, etc. for all of them. The only thing not from there are the beads and stones.

For this set, below, on the earrings at the far left, I'm considering adding something to the bar that holds the dangling smoky quartz bead behind the filigree.

And this is another filigree embellished badge holder - I thought I'd show the side detail, too, as I've put a bit of stamping on the sides as well as the front. The filigree stamping on the front is one of my favorite patterns, by the way. The side view also shows the button on the back used to release the ribbon lanyard from the inside reel to retract and extend it.

I've only got a few of these badge holders left and I'm thinking of holding back a few for later experiments. Whether they become a permanent part of my inventory will depend on the comments I get from folk I meet at the convention or here on my blog. I did get one positive comment on the steampunk style one, over on my Flickr page (Thanks, justalby!) The particular shot of the new prototypes has had 11 views in just one day...I think because I tweeted about it on Twitter.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Experiment with Steampunk and Vintage Style Embellishments on Retractable Ribbon Lanyard Badge Holders

I was trying to go to sleep last night and was thinking about the upcoming Potlatch SF Convention, and had a 'voila moment' about some badge holders ("C-line retractable adjustable neck lanyard" @ $3.54 retail each) I bought last year thinking I might be able to do something interesting with them, and never got around to it.

So, I'm experimenting with adding embellishments to those badge holders, which come with a retractable ribbon lanyard. I'm going to display these at Potlatch and get feedback, but I would only sell them if the buyer understood the caveats. These are prototypes, they need to be tested. Right now, I don't know how they'd hold up under different types of use - could be a bit delicate for anything but very occasional stress-free use - so, caveat emptor, no refunds, returns or guarantees.

The top one is the "steampunk" style idea using tiny watch parts and a tiny glass 'gem' from an old re-cycled costume jewelry brooch. I painted the retracting part with Classic Gold Liquid Leaf and glued on the parts using Aleen's Jewelry & Metal glue. I want to seal it with MagicGlos, but I still need either a sunny day (not having many right now) or get the right UV light bulb. I bought a flourescent black light blub, but it didn't seem to work on my test piece - might be the wrong wattage? Anyway, I will need to seal that one before it could be used.

The other two use brass filigree from Accessories Susan and some glass gems from the same re-cycled costume jewelry brooch. The one on the right has chain and a dangling Swarovski crystal and a bead cap on the ribbon retractor bead. The other one is just one filigree and two little glass gems. I used clear E6000 glue for those. I show an un-embellished badge holder with the ribbon (16" on a side) pulled out. There's a button on the back of the holder for releasing and retracting the ribbon.

I'll probably replace the silver jumpring that came on the holder with an antiqued gold one and maybe add a dangle...

I'd love to hear your impressions...

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another Good News Day!

First sale of the year! This is one of my favorites, but I'm thrilled it has a new home. I don't have any more of the beads I used in it and since they came from a local indie bead store, Global Beads. I'm not sure they'll have any more of them either, but I'm going to go look...eventually.

I'm busily working away at prepping for the 27th and Potlach SF convention, thinking about new business cards, table display, pricing, labeling. The day job has been quite demanding, recently, so I hope I still have energy at the end of the day to keep going as the 27th gets closer!

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Forgot to Get the Mail Yesterday...Big Mistake!

Well here it is, nearly 7:30 on Sunday, and the husband just brought in the mail that was delivered yesterday. In it was a package from a Beads of the Month club (BotMo on Live Journal, provided by Elise, whom I've mentioned elsewhere and in the sidebar). One of my favorite colors is purple and this month's theme was...Purple! I ordered "The Big Magpie" and got a wonderful selection of very cool purples and lavenders to play around with. Each bag of beads I looked at, I thought "ooh, those are my favorites" until I looked at the next bag. I have to say that the charoite beads are vying for 1st place, what a wonderful mineral! (I put little numbers on the bag to match the contents to the index that came with the package)

There was also a package from Dave at Rings & Things - some items to play with and some of their products for review here!

There were 6 cable chokers - various colors, fastener types, lengths and some nifty goodies (plus a Jolly Rancher). I immediately thought of some large hole glass beads I'd looked at the other day and put back, yet again, because I couldn't think of what to do with them. Turned out, only two of them would fit over the magnetic end of the fastener. So I put some large hole, silver tube beads and the two glass beads on it. Still seemed to be missing something. Then I went to the new beads I got from the Prolifique Etsy store and grabbed the large stone (?) rectangle and made a pendant for it. I'm thinking about maybe adding a turquoise dangle, but I'll leave it simple for now.

I won't post a review tonight - want to play a bit more with the chokers, get my thoughts together, etc. I'll probably have it ready later in the week.

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Next Saturday is Valentine's Day - So Why No Hearts?

Remember the copper and mother of pearl necklace I posted about a while back? I got some freshwater cultured coin pearls from Rings & Things, along with more copper tubes and made this last night:

It's choker length - just 15". I have gray-blue and gold coin pearls as well, so I'll eventually make one each but I think I'll use silver for the gray and gold with the gold. I'm also going to try not to buy new beading supplies everytime I think of something new, but wait and either do one purchase a month and only make additional purchases in between, if I've sold something.

As I mentioned in the title, next Saturday is Valentine's Day and I haven't made or posted anything especially for the holiday. I decided not to do holiday specific jewelry this year unless someone asks. I have a number of red, white and blue pieces from last year and some Christmas items, but so far no sales, so I don't see the point right now in investing. I believe the trick to selling those items is all about marketing at the right time to the right audience and I'm not there yet. Maybe someday.

What I am focusing on is things that will work with Spring and Summer in mind. Lighter colors for the most part, and vintage style things that will work year round. My daughter bought me some great little watch parts for Christmas, so I want to start doing some things using them as embellishments or maybe little clear beads using resin or MagicGlos with the tiniest parts embedded in them. I just need to practice using those new materials before I commit my precious stash to it, since once it's embedded, it better be done right or it's trash.

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Short Saturday Snippet

2 New listings up at my Art Fire shop today. Tinkered with a new vintage and vaguely oriental style copper and peridot Czech glass two strand necklace that ends with a tasseled pendant. I wanted to be rather lavish with the copper, so for part of it I used multiply stacked bead caps. I had new leaves, flowers, butterflies sort of spring idea in mind, so I used some flower beads and beadcaps that looked floral and butterfly beads .

But I also watched a lot of TiVoed shows with my husband today and didn't get much else done. I'm really enjoying the show "Life on Mars", undoubtedly because it's about the 70s when I was a teenager and they seem to be getting at least the feel of it right.

I want to get more photos done tomorrow, hope the day is fairly sunny. If not, I'll be a bit upset at myself for not taking advantage of the great light today.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Vintage Style Set Made with Clear Glass & Brass Filigree

Fast post, it's late and I need to get to bed, but I just finished up some new, as well as re-worked old, pieces tonight. The necklace was one of my first experimental pieces using filigrees. The earrings (the earrings are what are hanging off the necklace) and lanyard necklace are new. Filigree, chain and large lobster claw clasp, Accessories Susan; tiny brass spacer beads Ohio Beads; clear Czech glass beads from Blue Moon clear glass mixes, except for the long oblongs in the lanyard, which were from Bead Gallery, purchased at Michael's.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm In! Potlatch Convention, Sunnyvale CA, Feb 27 - Mar 1

Got the news early today. Now I'm going to have to figure out what pieces to bring, get them organized and tagged (what kind of tags??), think about display - what sort of room will I have at/around my table? Should I bring my mannequin? I will bring a mirror - it's nice to try stuff on and see how it looks.

Also thinking about making book mark type thingies since it's a convention about SF books. Maybe some St. Patrick's Day theme stuff? *GAH!!*

*mild panic* I really didn't think I'd get in!

And in other news, I've decided to join Art Fire as a place to sell my non-lanyard stuff. Only two things up so far. No idea when I'll be able to put up more, since now my free time is going to be used to get ready for Potlatch.

Now if you like the idea of selling on Art Fire, too, they're having a "verified" user sale right now for $7 a month (vs $20) but it's limited to 5k users and there are about 2400 left. If 10 people click this link and become a registered user on Art I get a nice bonus - my account becomes free. Then you can put the same link up at your site and do the same. I don't usually shill this kind of thing, but I figured, what the heck!

No beading to speak of done yesterday or today - much work to do at day job. The night isn't over yet, though. Maybe I'll have something to share tomorrow.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Wiry Monday

Loaded another necklace lanyard on Etsy today - tried one more idea for the main photo. The lanyard is made with baroque freshwater cultured pearls and various shapes of garnets. Would be interested in comments on the main photo idea.

I also am playing around with ideas using silver wire wrapped loops. I have a sunstone and aventurine bead necklace in progress, something with large jasper stones and this little ring I made as an experiment with some 18 gauge silver plated wire. After I finished it, I wished I'd had some sterling wire in 18 gauge - I like how it turned out, but I can't really polish out the few tool marks I left on it, because I'd probably end up polishing down to the metal under the plating.

For a funny little peek behind the scenes, it turns out that a pocket-sized Aleve tube container is exactly the right circumference for a size 7 ring...

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Etsy Listings and Photo Setups

Pretty much spent the day photographing jewelry. Cropping the pictures. Then writing the Etsy copy and uploading the pictures to the site. 14 new listings are up ( 3 on the 31st and the rest today), many of them you've seen here recently on the blog. My office is downstairs, my photography "studio" is upstairs where there's good natural light, so I've been up and down a lot today and I'm tired.

Hope you'll take a moment to look at the Etsy listings and give me your input - I still need to figure out how to do a good "teaser" photo as the ones I'm using now don't stand out amongst all the other thumbnails that well.

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