Living on a remote island in the Pacific makes you really value the connections you make with people. It can be a bit tricky being a beader out here, since there are no bead stores or workshops to be had. While the Marshallese do make amazing handicrafts, it's not quite the same as being in a community of people who do what you do. That said, I'm always looking for ways to reach out that are sort of out of the box. So, about a month ago I posted on beading daily that I was looking for a beading buddy that would be kinda like a pen pal for beads. A lovely woman, who I'll refer to as M., took me up on my offer. We decided we would go with a fall theme for our first exchange. When I received her package in the mail, I was so excited.
I can't wait to get into the goodies that M. sent. Expect several posts of new stuff made with my new stuff :) I'm even more excited since many of the items she sent are things that I would never have bought for myself. Such a lovely challenge this will be. Thanks again M.!
How many of you out there have done a bead exchange before? What's your take?
This Saturday I attended my first crafting in public event. I was joined by a knitter and a pastel artist. We had chocolate cake, lots of laughs, and got down to the business of creating. We got a fair amount of attention from the waitstaff, who couldn't believe the creations that were coming together before their very eyes. I forgot my camera, so wasn't able to get any shots of the first day, but we'll be meeting up again next week for more public displays of craftiness. Here are two pieces I finished during the event.
These labradorite half mandalas were commisioned by a co-worker. I love the pop of blue.
Sodalite, labradorite, and pearl drops for a poet friend. It took me a while to figure out the colors, but I really like how they turned out.
Try as I might to sleep in this morning, it just wasn't happening. So, as I rose before the sun, I thought to myself, Let's make some jewelry.
Here's what came of the morning madness:
These beads have been staring at me from my craft table for a while now. It was nice to finally put them together, and I really like how the colors are working. This was also the first time I made my own wire clasp. I think it turned out pretty well.
These pretty painted beads have also been sitting on my table for a minute. The holes in these beads are really large, so the only way I could work them was from the side. I really like how they turned out. They remind me of cherry blossom trees.
What is a creative morning without a fail. I really wanted this ring to turn out funky and fun, but it just feels funky. Probably should have had my cup of breakfast tea before touching this little project. I'm not crazy about the colors or the composition. Any one have any ideas on this one?
So, I took a few days to feel sorry for myself after the auction flop, and in my internet skulkings I found the most amazing seed bead jewelry to date. I don't know if you know brokenfab already, but if not you must check it out. I never would have thought to combine the funk of disco with seed beads, but these designs make me want to grab some hot pink lipstick and rock out to Ziggy stardust. Love love love!
I've been talking about if for days, and now here it is: MY FIRST BLOG AUCTION PIECE
I call these Feather Headdress earrings.
They were inspired by this beautiful Mexican dancer.
I hope that you all love them as much as I do. The minimum bid for these earrings is $20. If you want to make them your own, just post your name, bid, and email address in the comment section. The person who places the highest bid by Tuesday morning will get to sport these lovelies all year.
Well, it looks like no one has taken me up on my offer to win some earrings pre-auction.
No matter, I will still be forging ahead with the auction piece on Monday. I hope you all "come out" and support.
When I first started making jewelry, I strictly worked with wire and gemstones. That was a good 10 years ago, but the itch has come back. As I sat at my craft table last night, looking at all the little bags of rainbow colored seed beads, all I could think of was how nice it would be to play with some wire. I love working with seed beads, but sometimes I need to have more freedom to play. So, I grabbed my collection of copper wire and gemstones and came up with this little free form gem.
It felt great working the wire into form. So great, in fact, that I made three more ring frames to pile up with pretty stones and swirls. Hopefully I'll be posting pics of these lovelies soon!
In other news, we are days away from the first auction piece being revealed. To kick off auction season, I'm giving away some earrings! Just post your name and email address at the bottom of this post if you plan on participating in Monday's auction. The winner of the "surprise earrings"will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, August 12th.
Last, but not least, here's the photo that inspired Monday's auction piece.
Jewelry making is a passion of mine that continues to grow and evolve. I strive to continually create unique pieces that are eye-catching yet wearable. With that idea in mind, I will be conducting monthly auctions through this blog with the hopes of allowing more people access to fun jewelry pieces. The first auction will start on the 15th of August. In order to view and bid on pieces just click on the link to the auction piece and post your bid and email address in the comments area. I will post a minimum bid on the blog before auction day, along with details and a photo of the auction piece. Auctions will last for 24 hours. The winning bid will be the last highest bid placed within the 24 hour time frame. The winner of the auction will be contacted by email with information on how to receive their jewelry item. Here's a sneak peek of the August auction item.
Today I had the great pleasure of meeting with one of the lovely ladies that run The Bag Lady store in Charlotte, North Carolina. The store features hand-made artisan items made by and with the purpose of uplifting women. I've carried prayer malas in their store before, and they also carry my poetry chapbook. Now, they have some of my new earring looks, many inspired by my trip to Mexico. Here is just a sample of what I'm displaying. If you're in the Charlotte are, check out the store. The address is 1710 Kenilworth Ave, Suite 200.
For the past 2 months I have been traveling and picking up all sorts of good inspiration for the year of jewelry making that I have ahead of me. With nothing more than a white hand towel and a bag of seed bead tricks, I set up my work stations in Cali, Mexico, New York, and North Carolina. I had fun checking out the jewelry scene in all of these places. I was able to pick up some cool new gemstones in Cali, which I’m super psyched to work with. The most inspirational place, however, was Mexico. I was there for almost a month, and had the chance to travel around and check out the seed bead scene. From Quintana Roo to Chiapas, the inspiration was flowing. Here are just a few pics of those journeys and what is coming forth.
I've been meaning to post these pics for a while. Over Spring break I had the pleasure of doing an upcycle workshop with some of the lovely ladies at Laura elementary school. Most schools in Majuro don't have a budget for arts education, so the kids are really eager to do arts projects. About 18 students, their teacher, and I crammed into the school's office to make upcycled earrings from soda cans and magazines. It was a lot of fun and girls came up with some beautiful designs.
Thanks to Katie for lettting me come to her class and for taking such great pics! Keep crafting ladies!
As I stated in a previous post, I've got a deadline for an art show approaching and am trying to find inspiration where I can. This post is about repurposing beads from other pieces of jewelry. I usually don't go for taking things apart, but lately I've been coming across some great bead necklaces at rummage sales that are ripe for the picking. I just finished a necklace from some funky glass beads that came off a fun little $1 number.
Are you a repurposer? If so, how do you re-rock your finds?
Despite my love for my little seed beads, I've found myself in a creative rut lately. With a deadline for an art show approaching, I've been scouring bead mags, blogs, and the jewelry section of local stores to find inspiration. There's always something new going on in Marshallese handicrafts, and my latest creation is a riff on my fave pair of Marshallese style earrings and my fave pair of seed bead earrings.
I have been meaning to post some of the recycled goodies that have been coming out of my studio lately, and just haven’t had the time. Well, here goes. I love the versatility of soda cans and bottle caps. I truly can’t wait to see what else comes of this new addition to my beading toolbox. Anyone out there who's into upcycling, I would love to hear how you do it, and what materials you use. Feel free to post any ideas here :)