Some wire work I’m working on

August 15th, 2011

This is a piece I started the night before I went to Women of Faith. I took a tumble, which messed up my hands making it painful to continue to wire work, so I’m stalled out at this point. I intend to do more to the lower half, and I’m not yet sure what I’ll be doing above the line of turquoise block beads. So far I’m pleased.

I’ve also wire wrapped a little smoky quartz? bead to add to a bracelet made with vintage connectors. I’ve had this bracelet almost finished for weeks waiting on the perfect stone to finish it off. I got this bead in a strand of multi stone from Magpie Gemstones. the faceted turquoise block beads in the other piece also came from Magpie Gemstones. I love vintage beads and findings, and I’ve been making many of my recent pieces with vintage bits added in. Now I need to get pictures taken and everything uploaded to the store.

ORRTEC’s $50 Gift Certificate Giveaway

August 15th, 2011

I’m wanting to get more into metal work in my jewelry making. Melinda Orr does fabulous work with metal, patinating it into fabulous colors. She’s running a contest today for $50 worth of anything in her Etsy store. Go to the link below, write a comment before 6pm EST August 22 to be entered in the drawing.

As well as her own jewelry, she has a kit to make the earrings in the picture available. I also saw on her blog that she is running a sale through August 24th, so even if you don’t win the giveaway, you can still get great deals on some very unique and beautiful jewelry pieces.

Finding Booth Display Pieces

August 15th, 2011

One good thing from Borders going out of business (sad though it is) is the wonderful display piece I bought from the liquidation sale. It’s at least six feet tall with three panels formed into a triangle. It comes with some hooks and one tray shelf, but I will probably need more hooks. It will hold a slug of jewelry and add height to my display. Yeah! It was also only $75. There were other pieces that might have worked as well.

An Amazing Weekend

August 1st, 2011

Mike and I had an amazing weekend at the Offutt Base Exchange Arts and Crafts Show. We met some wonderful people who travel to exchanges in this area of Kansas/Nebraska. They were so wonderful to share their expertise with us. What a blessing.

We made enough sales to make us happy and learned so much to make us even happier. Now that Mike has seen the potential set ups, he’ll be helping me come up with ways to better display our products. We need to make the display higher since we maxed out our ability to take care of wider.

We did have one item stolen, which was frustrating as it was a bangle in a matched set of necklace bangle that was the sweetest little girl’s jewelry set. It would have made a perfect flower girl set. ::::sigh::::

I’ve also discovered that I need to somehow convey things like that (flower girl set) to the customers that I can’t actually talk to. I’m not sure how to go about doing that, but will be thinking.

My make do earring display really caught people’s attention. I will continue using it for earrings that are priced all the same price.I had three of these containers set up with earrings on front and back of the tins.


Giveaway – Modahaus Table Top Photo Studio Set-ups for Jewelry Photography

August 1st, 2011

The Beading Gem Blog is giving away a Modahaus today, August 1. You have until 6pm EDT to leave a comment on their blog to be signed up for the drawing.

I’ve spent time trying to find the best solution to taking photographs of my jewelry without needing good sunlight. The Modahaus seems like an excellent table top photo studio. And it’s priced well. You would still have to get lights and a tripod if you don’t already have those. But the ability to change the backgrounds quickly and easily is really wonderful. I found posts that showed how to string line to hang items and use plastic clamps to secure things. You can even make a light tunnel with the included backgrounds.

Our First Arts and Crafts Show – Earrings Off Line

July 29th, 2011

We (Mike and I) just finished our first day of our first craft show. We’ve learned a lot, especially about things we should be sure to bring. It’s been a terrific learning experience.

Getting ready for the show led me to search for my earring racks…I haven’t been able to find them since the move. We’ve looked through almost every box, and no earrings, earring racks or some of my other display pieces. That means I’ve pulled all the earrings out of the store. I don’t know where they are. ::::sigh::::

I made a bunch of new earrings for the show. One cool thing was the way I decided to display the earrings with no racks. I took small tin containers designed for plants, added some pretty glass pebbles, and hung the earrings around the front edge and the inside of the back edge. I priced all the earrings the same, and people loved them. Once the show is over, I’ll have a photography session or four to get the new earrings that are left added to the website along with all the many new pieces I’ve made but not find time to get into the store. Time to make time.

Today was a lot of fun talking jewelry with folks who truly love jewelry as much as I do. I came home with requests for a pair of matching earrings for a vintage necklace and a variation on a pair of earrings I had on display. I just finished them. I’m especially proud of the earrings to match the vintage necklace. It wasn’t an easy piece to match because of the shade of green, but they turned out perfect. I can’t wait to show the customer tomorrow.

Saturated with Color

February 10th, 2011

Maybe it’s my solution to that drab time of year, but I’ve been dabbling with saturated color lately. I’ve made two necklaces that fit that description.

Chocolate Cherries


It’s obvious why I call this chocolate cherries. You just want to pluck the rich dark brown smoky quartz nuggets off the strand and pop them in your mouth. The red beads perfectly simulate fresh, ripe, sweet Bing cherries. Yummy! It’s a double strand, so there’s plenty of chocolate cherries to go around.

This is a combination of smoky quartz nuggets,  delicious red glass rounds with just a hint of black swirled in, crystal disco balls, chocolaty tiny hearts, smoky crystal bicones, cinnamon red glass pearls, and antiqued gold spacers.

Blue Moon, Mars, and Saturn

blue-moon-mars-saturnA rather fanciful name for a rather fanciful necklace. I mixed vintage teal blue moon glow beads with cobalt round slices, thus the blue moon and the rings of Saturn.  Beautiful teal, red and blue, oval lampworked beads travel from moon to moon looping along pathways of Siam red and cobalt blue. This necklace is made entirely of glass beads except for the silver plated hook clasp and the crimp covers.

Back in Business

January 27th, 2011

How long does it take me to move, unpack and set my jewelry store back up….six months. Although I haven’t been selling since we set out for Nebraska, I have been busy buying vintage beads and findings and making more lovely things.

The store is now back online at

I’ve put several things on sale including the shells and aragonite bracelet I made with those yummy flat aragonite round and the turquoise gypsy bead necklace made with wonderful hand painted beads.

I will be working to get the new items I’ve made photographed, entered into my design manager, and uploaded to the store. I have at least a dozen necklaces and half a dozen bracelets to add.



Online Bead Stores

July 16th, 2010

I promised Tammy Cardwell that I would send her links to some of my favorite online bead shops. I decided to post the list here.

Beadaholique Certain findings are cheaper here and they have interesting vintage stuff and always check the clearance.

Art Beads Weekly specials and sales via email newsletter are usually good. They have some fabulous stuff and the ability to buy beads one at a time.

A Beadstore This is where I get Preciosa crystal, but only when they put it on sale.

AHBeads – Lots of lampwork here, and they’ve been running it at 50% off for a while now. Definitely buy sale beads only. Lots to choose from.

Bali Beads – source direct from Indonesia for sterling Bali beads.

EEBeads – Lots of different things. Always check to see if they have something different. Trunk shows are usually interesting stuff.

Fire Mountain Gems – Lots of stuff. Great for findings and lower grade gemstones. Discount increases as you buy more things. Terrific place for glass beads.

BeadsOnSale – I get some of my tastiest gemstones here. You’ll pay more here, but very high quality and low cost for the quality. What they have in stock changes as they sell stuff. No guarantees that something will ever be stocked again. I love their jasper and their pendants. Click on their link to their wholesale site, where you can get lower grade but less expensive gemstones.

I also buy from various shops at Etsy and eBay.

Avoid Tibetan silver. This is not really silver and it comes out of China. You can’t guarantee the lead content in it, even though it’s sold as within lead laws. I just don’t trust that. You’ll find it on Etsy and eBay. If you really like something in that metal, you can always lead test it yourself. They sell kits at Home Depot.

I get all my storage bins at WalMart. They have one that has 32 compartments and each compartment seals when the lid closes so beads don’t travel from one compartment to another if they get jostled in the container.

I buy my wire from FireMountain.

Just finished

July 8th, 2010

I finished this beautiful necklace, which is made from red and black agate tube beads from Magpie Gemstones. The beads are heated and treated and that gives them the unusual pattern on the bead that you can see in the picture below. I can’t decide if I’m going to keep this necklace or sell it. It’s that nice. I would love to get my hands on more of these tube beads.