Archive

Posts Tagged ‘handmade jewelry’

For 2010 – Free Gift With Every Purchase

Due to the success and positive feedback of my “free earrings with every purchase” holiday promo, I have decided to give a free gift with every purchase for 2010. It maybe a pair of earrings, a gift certificate for $5 off your next purchase (or pass it along for a friend to use), a beaded bookmark or hair pin…the fun is that you never know what you are going to get, but because it is from heavenlyflower.com you know that it will be quality!

Happy 2010 everyone…I am embarking on a new journey I am calling my “jewelry sabbatical” ~ new equipment and supplies are on its way and I will be blogging about it so you can take the journey with me. Hopefully we will be inspired together!

Advertisements

Fundraising Inspired: Elly’s Pageant Fund

I’ve always enjoyed donating my jewelry for silent auctions and door prizes, but it has always been a goal of mine to host fundraisers on my site.

The basic idea is, a particular piece of jewelry will be designed and listed specifically for a grassroots or community cause. A percentage of the profits would then go to the individual or group.

So when I found out Abby was looking for donations or corporate sponsorship for her 12 year old daughter’s pageant in March, I suggested we do a jewelry fundraiser. I know Abby from back in my pen palling days, and we recently connected again on Facebook. Pageants are something Elly asked to do, and it’s not a cheap hobby for this mom of four.

So that kicked my butt into action. As usual I work on impulse: having a light bulb moment and just…going for it. My website is slowly coming together, but in pieces. I don’t even have the framework to sell jewelry set up on my website yet, which is why I use Etsy & Artfire.

The first order of business, was what type of jewelry to make for Elly’s fundraiser. I decided that earrings would be a good option as I could set them at an affordable price point. I found out from Abby that Elly likes pink, and she is a big Taylor Swift fan. I had some recently designed pieces for my new custom section on Etsy that I thought would be a good fit.  I was not surprised as to what her favourite pair was.

I decided to set her pair at a special wholesale price to encourage sales and give her $5 per each pair sold, donating my time to the project. I also did a pendant version of the earrings:

I decided to use Artfire to host the fundraiser. Basically because they do not have listing fees, justifying the lower price, and that you do not have to sign up to use the service like you do with Etsy. Also, Artfire now has integration with Amazon Wishlists!

You can check out more on Elly’s fundraiser here:

Would you like me to host a fundraiser? Check out my fundraising section of my website, and see if my philosophy would be a good fit for you.

Jewelry Inspired: Fun With Swarovski Filligree Flowers

The good people at Artbeads allowed me to pick out some Swarovski components to try out free of charge. I decided that one of the items I wanted to try were these Swarovski Filligree Flowers as I had not seen this type of component up close & personal before. When it arrived, it certainly lived up to the standards I have come to expect from Swarovski: solid design and the crystals sparkle beautifully.

At first I didn’t know what to do with it. The flower itself has a very vintage feel, so it is unlike my usual modern funky design. It has such an elegant yet bold factor on its own: paring it with stones and beads just made it feel very busy and over done. I realized that this component on it’s own would make a very nice piece: like a nice brooch or earrings…then it hit me. I immediately had to purchase more from Artbeads, because these would make the perfect hairpins!

I usually shy away from making this type of jewelry because there doesn’t seem to be any challenge design wise. Glue the component onto a hair pin. Okaaay…now what? Seems very uninspired for someone who wants to inspire & be inspired.

But when the order arrived from Artbeads with my extra Swarovski flowers I knew I made the right decision. I can totally see these as hair adornment: perfect for a bridal party, the prom or any formal event – or even just to jazz up your hair any day of the week.

And remember when I said this would be not very challenging? I was left scratching my head when trying to decide what glue to use. I have just about every kind of glue you could imagine for jewelry making or crafting. I decided the best glue for this would be Zap-A-Gap: it’s like Super Glue, but also waterproof & will adhere to any surface, even oily ones, and dries clear. Seemed pretty fool proof.

Only it was slightly tricky. I had to find just the right pressure to hold the component onto the hair pin and keep it really straight so that it would adhere evenly. I did not want to use a clamp or tool for this in case it damaged the Swarovski component. So it was a little tense & frustrating to start out trying to decide how much pressure and for how long to hold…and not glue my fingers to it! 😉

But once experimenting with one the other three worked up quite quickly.

I was excited with the results. The glue cured for 24 hours and this is one solid unit.

I decided an elegant pair of earrings to go with these were in order. I simply paired them with 8mm freshwater pearls, antique gold culinary grade lead free pewter bead caps and gold filled ear hooks….

Remember that original component Artbeads sent me that inspired this whole project? Well, I made a ring out of it, glued onto an adjustable filigree ring base:

I am really impressed with how this project turned out (and am now totally hooked on Swarovski flowers!!) and will definitely be offering this on a by request basis on my website. Stay tuned!

Jewelry Inspired: Funky Copper Disc Choker

I added a little somethin’-somethin’ to my Artfire Studio today. This copper choker has been sitting on the bench for some time begging to be finished. I bought these copper discs – no word of a lie – 10 years ago. I used to buy a fair bit of Estate sell-offs back when ebay wasn’t so saturated. I admit at the time, being new to the jewelry making game, I wasn’t aware of the size when I bought them. 15mm just didn’t compute in my brain as being on the large side. So when the lot arrived – almost 100 – I had no idea what to do with them. They seemed so big and flying saucer like…

So they sat in the supply pile for well, a decade. Then this summer I decided to pick up some copper headpins, and see if I could make one of my signature funky chunky bracelets.

(Oh and I decided to pair up the discs with a 3.3mm bicone copper bead to add some dimension…)

I wanted the piece to be really solid so I started putting the discs really close together on the links of dash dot sterling silver chain (I love this chain by the way – although it is expensive it is really heavy duty, perfect for projects like this). It definitely was solid…however by doing this it did not have much bend…kind of hard to make into a bracelet. Since I already started it, I didn’t want to dismantle and start again, and I knew I had a fair bit of beads, so I decided to turn it into a choker.

So I got the beads put on and then, there it sat for a very long time. About three months! I just couldn’t decide how to finish it. Although I had assembled the discs on a heavy gauge sterling silver chain, I did not like the way the sterling stood out against the copper for the extender chain portion of the necklace. I probably could have oxidized the chain, but I was lazy. Instead I found some really heavy duty vintage copper chain to finish off the piece.

NLE149 (1)

NLE149 (4)

I put a fairly long extender chain on it so that it can be adjusted to wear in a variety of ways. I also like the dramatic effect it has: the large beads at the front, and the slender sleekness of the chain trailing down in the back…I really love how it feels like a puzzle in your hands.

This is a piece for someone who wants to make a bold statement, and own a truly one-of-a-kind. I know I could never get these beads again. They are assumed “vintage” although I cannot confirm this…

Jewelry Inspired: Sparkly Reconstituted Smoky Quartz…

Expanding on yesterday’s post, that lately I have been working with colour themes, I now introduce you to one day’s project: fun with reconstituted smoky quartz. Essentially, these are glass beads that contain particles of smoky quartz. So yes, they are “just” glass but are they ever so pretty! I don’t purchase a lot of glass anymore but when I saw how these faceted beads danced under the lights I had to have them. They are a nice size too – 12mm, so they really make a statement.

Initially, I set out to make one of my signature chunky bracelets. However, as the piece evolved it became clear that it laid better across the neckline than on the wrist. And so, voilà – this piece was born:

NLE148 (1)

NLE148 (3)

Unfortunately, my photography skills do not do it justice. It looks and feels like a million bucks on. This is probably due to the heavy sterling silver dot dash chain, as well as the 22 gauge sterling silver wire each bead is affixed on the chain with. I also made sure to make it adjustable length wise so that it could be worn in different ways: choker style or longer. I love how it looks and feels on –

I was really, really tempted to keep it for my own personal collection!

If you can imagine, this was a fairly labour intensive project, so I finished up my adventures in sparkly amber coloured bead land with two elegant and tasteful pairs of earrings:

ELE098 (1)

ELE098 (5)

ELE099 (1)

ELE099 (5)

That was fun! I am really hoping to find time to do more projects like this!

Jewelry Inspired: Fire Agate in Sterling Silver ~ Finding Creativity Again…

I sold my “Day of the Dead” earrings,  so I wanted to make something in replacement. I was drawn toward these faceted fire agate beads that I picked up at a Gem & Mineral Show this summer. Not exactly falling into the category of, “leftovers” but  I have been jonesing for some true creativity & inspiration lately, so I’ll take it wherever it appears!! 🙂

This always happens when I go away. While on vacation, my mind is turned on. I get lots of ideas for marketing, photography backgrounds…what I would like to make and designs…however when I sit back down at the bench my head and hands just don’t seem to be communicating. What we got here is (a) failure…to communicate… 😉

So earlier this week I sat down with the beads and some sterling silver wire. I knew that I wanted them wire wrapped, that I wanted them to be somewhat free formed and more rugged/edgy than elegant, certainly not  “perfect” – but would have a universal appeal and style. I tried a heavy gauge square wire. Then a  heavy gauge round wire. Both attempts ended up in the scrap pile. I found myself digging out the bead caps and making a simple yet beautiful pair of fire agate earrings…

The only problem is, it nagged me all night and into the morning. It’s not what I wanted to do – at all! Although they looked great it wasn’t what I was going for. So out came the nippers and cut cut cut…I dismantled them. I could have gotten two more beads out of the stash but – these were the ones I wanted to work with. So with determination I sat down again. This time with a 20 gauge round sterling wire. I was amazed at how fast and easy these worked up:

ELE097_1

ELE097_2

These earrings were such a joy to make. They were truly meant to be. They also reminded me to never give up – and to never settle. The creativity will come back…it always does… 🙂

Artist Inspired: Amethyst/Citrine Rough Cut Necklace by mcstoneworks

Anyone who knows me, knows I love a great stone or mineral sample. My jaw dropped when I saw this necklace made with rough cut amethyst & citrine by Michele Carte of mcstoneworks. This piece combines my love of jewelry and stone specimens all in one! I absolutely love seeing these gemstones in all their natural beauty. A piece like this I would love to examine up close!

mcstoneworks_roughcut

When I inquired about the piece, Michele, a fellow SATeamer, replied,

“I found the amethyst/citrine rough cut beads at a gem and mineral show. I couldn’t put them down. They were just so beautiful in their natural rough state. I decided to use a simple design so the focus was on the rough cut stones. I didn’t want to detract from them. This design is quite different from most of my other pieces.”


mcstoneworks_roughcutworn


Michele has been designing jewelry for about 3 years, and I think I am drawn to her work because she too is inspired by nature (on a side note: Michele & I share the same birthday of April 22nd. So it’s no wonder to me why we are so drawn to nature ~ April 22nd after all, is Earth Day & makes us the very earthy sign of Taurus. :)).

“Most of the pieces I design are inspired by some aspect of nature. I use a lot of flowers, and leaves in my work. My husband and I own an interior plantscaping company so my designs are a natural extension of my love for plants and flowers. I also like flower gardening.”

See Michele’s other nature inspired pieces in her Etsy Shop. I also really like her resin flower jewelry!