Posts Tagged ‘jewelry’

So life here is busy. Running three businesses tends to keep me on my toes.  Sadly that means I don’t get to update this blog as much as I like.  It’s in the back of my mind, but there is always something that must come first.

Well, enough of that.  I have so much to tell you about what I’ve been doing!

Firstly, I am crafting like mad.  Much of it isn’t jewelry but costuming for the live action role play I am a part of.  If there is interested I might post pictures of the sewing I’ve been doing.  Sewing takes more time than it should because I’m not really very good at it, so I spend much of my crafting time fixing the errors I’ve made.  Eventually I should be able to cut down on the mistakes, but I’m still waiting on that part!  I know all you lovely people come here to see sparklies so I’ll share what I’ve been doing on the jewelry side first.

I have multiple sets of earrings I have put together.  Earrings are quick and easy and always make me feel like I’m all dolled up.  On those days when I am feeling like a mess and a half I toss on some eyeliner and a pair of wild earrings and I actually feel pretty.  Feeling good about yourself is half of what makes the day go well!

From left to right: These gold chain earrings are made from a necklace I found at a goodwill.  I had enough of the necklace to refashion it into a matching necklace.  I made them for one of my characters that misses the sunshine of her home.  The gold was perfect for her.  The silver axes are for another of my characters.  Her name is Alice Cooper and she takes after her namesake fairly heavily.  These earrings are so metal they were perfect for her.  The third pair is a pair I made because I love the look of them.  The last pair was a beautiful find.  I found the drops at a local craft store and fell in love.  Gold and black with iridescent sparkles.  So yummie!

Secondly I’ve been working on a steampunk/dieselpunk themed section of jewelry.  I bought these cogs and gears in a bundle and have no supplier to replace them, so all of these are limited edition unless I can find a regular supplier.  They are put together with a strong adhesive so there shouldn’t be any issue of them falling apart in the heat like there would be if I had used hot glue, but seeing as how they are metal they WILL get hot if exposed to direct sunlight.  Talking from experience here.

I love the steampunk genre, even as it’s picking up in popularity.  I’ve had my eye on the scene for years now, watching the creativity that comes out of it.  I figured it was about time I dip my toes into the style and express my beauty.  These pieces were prototypes of pieces for a more military look but I think they would work for any engineer or tinker that wanted some flair to spice up their costume.  Of course, I am perfectly happy to wear these things on a daily basis.  They are just so much fun!

There will be more of these coming as I still have quite a few gears to play with. Bwahahaha!

I am planning on making these pins and necklaces, and I have a few ideas for bracelets too.  I found a pin back that can turn into a necklace so I might just grab a few of those to give folks options if they want to switch between pin and necklace.  I admit I loved the winged one so much I expanded on the idea to make something much more ornate that kept the wings.

How much fun is that?  The more I play with these gears the more ornate they get, which really shouldn’t be a surprise given how I love my little details.

As always, if you see something you like, I take commissions.  I’ve not been able to take decent pictures to get all of these up on the store, but rest assured, I have plans to get them there soon!  I have earrings and some new bracelets and necklaces that need to go up soon as well.  I will be setting aside time to do all of this later this week, so hopefully things will get updated very soon.  Thanks for your patience and I can’t wait to see what you think about all the new pieces!

Needless to say life has been keeping me busy and I love it!  I am at my most creative when my life is filled with things to do, I just have to makes sure I take the time to actually create and not let that aspect of my life fall to the wayside in favor of all the other things that I need to get done in all the other areas of my life.

Life is short, make stuff!

I hate to see people throw away their jewelry.  Even the costume kind.  Mardi gras beads are about the only type of jewelry that I will throw away or recycle.  Those are less beads and more plastic on a string.  Everything else can be remade into something fun and more fashionable.  Beads can be restrung, chain can be used in various different ways.  It can all be shifted about and made into something you find beautiful again.

Here are some tips for upcycling your old jewelry:

Chains can be cut and the pieces can be made into pendants, earrings or used between beads on bracelets and necklaces. Beads can be cut from their original cording and restrung with different beads and findings to create a totally different look. Look for quality components even if you don’t like the original design, you can always take apart something of quality, you can’t make something of quality out of shoddy materials. Be creative!  Even if you have something you don’t think would ever look good, think outside the box to make it something fun and funky!  Taking a few beads to make earrings is a great way to break up a stash. Try switching from one strand necklaces to multi-strand necklaces or vice versa!  Adding or subtracting beads can change the whole look of a piece. Don’t be afraid to combine gold and silver.  Done well it’s totally a thing.  Be brave! Browse the internet!  Get ideas!  Pintrest is super fun for feeding your imagination.  Just be sure not to copy a design, folks work hard on designing their pieces, be original and create one of your own! Beadweaving can be upcycled too, though it can be a bit more difficult with the smaller beads.  Making a bracelet a necklace is always a fun way to spice up a piece! Or if the piece is too plain you can always add more stuff! Check out rummage sales, garage sales, and flea markets for old jewelry.  You can find some great deals! Have fun!  Designing is all about tapping into what makes you feel pretty, what you decide is beautiful.  If you are not enjoying it, you are doing it wrong!

Here are some ideas to get you going!

Upcycling Old Jewelry with Enamel

Upcycled, Recycled and Repurposed Jewelry Tutorials

DIY Upcycle Improve Old Cheap Jewelry Accessories Tutorial

Here is an example of a piece I repurposed from two different necklaces.  It was fun and I can’t wait to wear it!

How has winter been for you?  We have had a massive amount of snow here and I for one will be glad when it gets warm enough that I can open up the windows and air out the house.  Not to mention seeing the grass again!  I am so used to spending at least one weekend a month out in nature, camping or hiking.  Something where we can get out and stretch our legs a bit.  Sadly we have been so sick the last two months that we have had to skip our nature weekends!  I miss it terribly!  I would love to get back out into the wilds and breathe deep.  It’s so relaxing.

Despite the wave of illness that has kept me from heading outside, I have been able to work on several crafty things lately. If I can’t get outside, I might as well make the most of the time I spend inside!  I figured I would share a few of the projects with you to let you know I am still alive and kicking.  Life has been super busy here at The Jeweled Heron and once the sun returns I will take pictures of my new creations and post them in the store!  As always if you see something you like, let me know.

Seeing as how I love lists, (Big shock coming from the girl who likes to organize her beads eh?) I am going to organize my thoughts into a nice list for you all.

I finished organizing my beads!  It was great!  Then I found another hidden stash of beads that has yet to be organized by the new organizational system I am using.  I’m not sad about this.  I’m actually looking forward to trying to fit them in.  Does that make me weird? I have finished another pendant.  When I was working on this one I was certain I wouldn’t like it.  However, now that it is done, I’m actually liking it quite a bit.  I am going to do it in another color to see if I _actually_ like it or if it was just a fluke.  Till then, here is a picture of it. I tried my hands at another pendant pattern and realized I actually DO hate it.  I won’t be posting a picture of that one.  Seriously, it’s terrible.  I’m trying to figure out how to save it.  The more I think about it, the more I want to tear it apart and use the beads for something else.  Ugh. I finished a necklace and matching earrings!  They were super fun, and made up for the last pendant’s disappointment.  Every failure deserves a win.  This duo is my win.  I found a fun blog post about jewelry inspired by books.  It was cute!  You should check it out too. This blog is just one aspect of the Jeweled Heron’s public face.  Don’t forget you can find me on Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook too!  They are a great way to keep up to date with what I am working on as I am working on them!  You don’t have to wait for me to write up a formal blog post like you do here.  Likes and comments remind me that I am not alone with my beady obsessions.  *laughs* Just in case you missed it on the Facebook page.  I love skulls.  My little jewelry loving heart loves gemstones.  You put the two together and I can’t help but want them all!  Check out these amazing gemstone skulls!  So realistic and so beautiful!  I need to start a collection.  *drools*

 

Welp!  That is everything for now!  I hope you folks have a great and crafty weekend!

One of the things I struggle with in my life is my need to help people.  I have seen people suffer, I have felt suffering myself, and knowing how destructive it is, I have always strived to help people move beyond that suffering.

 I had begun to work with beads very early in my life, my family is very artistic and my counselors encouraged me to seek emotional outlets in safe and healthy ways.  Beads allowed me to work through my depressions and sort out my frustrations.  The repetitive nature helped me to focus and calm down when things got too intense.   I had worked my way through drawing comics to crochet and painting, but when it all comes down to it, it is the precision and color of beads that drew me to bead work.  It allowed me to satisfy my need for ‘perfection’ by being perfect for me.  You can count on the shapes of the beads and plan your pattern around them.  All it takes is some thread and time and eventually you will have a thing of beauty.

The problem quickly became a question of how did creating jewelry help others?  Let’s be honest it’s an expensive hobby and not nearly as important as food or shelter when it comes down to basic human needs.  Many of the people I found myself surrounded by early in my life were struggling to make ends meet. They couldn’t buy jewelry and it was selfish to want something pretty when you had to save up just to pay rent.  Believing I could make a living by creating jewelry was a dream that I couldn’t afford to strive for. So believing beads held no value for anyone but myself I pursued a career in the medical field. It fulfilled my need to help people, but at the expense of my own sanity.  The hours were long, the work thankless and dirty.  While I enjoyed helping people, I burnt out quickly.

I make jewelry because I have walked through darkness.  I have felt despair like ice beneath my skin. Whether it be negative criticism about the quality of my work, or complaints about who I am ‘supposed’ to be or even the isolation of being in an abusive relationship.  I have felt the deep depression of one who has spent way to much time staring into the abyss. I believed the lies that because I enjoyed girlie things I was lesser in some ways. I believed that by wanting beauty in my life I was selfish and greedy.

The thing about the abyss is once you are in ensconced in the darkness, it’s easy to remain there.  It’s misery can be deceptively comfortable.  The idea of hope suddenly becomes foolish because the bullies tell you it is.  The darkness becomes your new accepted reality.

“Creating beauty isn’t helping people.”

I believed that for a very long time.

But for me making beautiful things allows me to drive away the sorrow and pain of daily life so that I can see that the world isn’t a horrible place.  There is beauty still out there, there is still a reason to hope for the best, even if it is just for today, even if it is for just one, more, day.

If my jewelry can do that for me, then perhaps it can do that for others.  If it gives even one other person the ability to hope for a better day, then surely that person sees it as helpful.  Surely it can be their talisman for hope in a better life.

Through all my careers, through a failed marriage, through the ups and downs in life, beads have helped carry me over the troubled waters.  They have become an armor I wear against the darkness, who’s hateful lies tell me that suffering is the only thing I can do in this life.  It drives away the thought that being called ‘girly’ means you are weaker, dumber, or of less value, that seeking out positive things means you aren’t focused on ‘the reality of the world’ when, in fact, reality includes those positive things too.  Creating jewelry, for me, drives away the thought that I am not good enough to be loved for who I am simply because I don’t meet some ephemeral set of societal ‘standards’.  I wear jewelry because it makes me feel pretty in a world that says I am not pretty enough.

For me, life has gotten so much better. I have beauty I can wear on the outside that reminds me that it is the light that we have on the inside that makes us truly beautiful.  I have someone who loves me to remind me that I had to love myself first.  I have compassion for those who suffer because I have suffered and seek to ease their pain in the best way I can.

To you who read this I want you to know: It is not foolish to hope.  No matter what society says, you don’t have to focus on the negativity in the world.  Bad things happen, but they aren’t the ONLY things happening.  Good works are going on all around you, they are just quieter and usually more humble.  I want you to know that you are beautiful and it is okay to think yourself as such.  Even if your hair isn’t the right color or your teeth don’t line up or your ‘too fat’ or you don’t make enough money.  If you are constantly working on who you are as a person, your light will shine through.

In this world, hope is not a luxury we can take for granted.

And that, my friends, is why I create jewelry.

 

We moved into this lovely new condo several months ago, and as we get settled in I find myself trying out different work spaces for when I work on my beading.

I have found a set of bead organizers that I absolutely LOVE and I am slowly moving all my beads over to this new system.  Sadly, this system is a bit more expensive than I would like, which means I can’t move them all over all at once.  Still, while slow, this process has me rethinking how I organize my beads.

Mainly I work with seed beads, delicas and Swarovski crystals/pearls.  Smaller beads that fit perfectly into the organizer’s tiny boxes.  I haven’t even started on the larger beads I use for stringing.  Though I have to figure out a better way to store my chains.  They are one of the odd ball things I don’t have a really good way to store.  I’m pondering using old spools to wind them on, but don’t actually have any old spools to try it out.  So winding the chain on cardboard seems the next logical step.  Hm.

I digress.

The organizer that works wonderfully with these smaller beads would be the ones from Bead Storage Solutions.  I get mine from Fire Mountain Gems and have had no problems with them at all!  They have several options with regards to size, so you can definitely work with the larger beads, but for my purposes I stick with the smallest and have been quite happy with that choice.  They even come with their own little labels that you can affix to each container so you can keep track of color, size, price, whatever you need to keep track of.  These are my only complaint as the glue they use doesn’t stick well to… anything really, so you are going to have to make sure it stays put.  A minor inconvenience to be sure, but one you should be aware of.

They even have a larger tray that holds all your tools and spools of thread and one that is supposed to hold your work in progress.  I don’t use the last one because I have something else that works better for me, but as you can see, it’s a really great system.

I am currently working through each of the trays, putting like beads with like, and then sorting them by color.  This will take a while, but it will be really helpful when I am looking for that one specific bead that I need for a project.

Another thing I am planning on doing with the seed beads and the delicas is creating a color rope that I can take with me when I go shopping so I don’t purchase the same color twice. (or if I need more of the same color I can match it to the new beads because sometimes the dye lots just don’t match up.)  This will take some time, but will be totally worth it in the long run.  Buying duplicates is always frustrating and while I will ultimately use the beads, it is rather wasteful.

I am going to use Herringbone I think, it works up fast and makes a wonderfully flexible rope I can keep with me pretty much at all times.  Granted, I will have to see how long the sucker gets, but I’m certain I won’t mind keeping it on me even if it is a little longer than I expect.  It’s beads, not much can go wrong with that.  It’s a project I’m looking forward to for the mindless enjoyment as well as the organizing aspects.

How do you keep your beads organized?  I’d love to see it!

Because I make everything by hand you can order any of the pendants in my store in any color combination you choose! If you have a particular outfit that needs that perfect embellishment I can make sure that the colors are perfect!  Feel free to drop me a line if you are interesting in discussing one to match your wardrobe!

 

Also, because I love you guys, here is a sneak peek at the new pendant style that is coming soon!

Life has been crazy here!  Between settling into a new job, getting ready for the wedding and getting ready to move life has been busy, busy, busy!  Still,  I am still finding time to make beautiful things! I need to take pictures of all my earrings for sale but the storms recently have kept the sun out of sight which makes for very dark and uninspired pictures.  Hopefully in the next few days I’ll be able to get some good photos and upload them to the webpage.

Until then, here is a teaser of what is coming!  I loved making these guys.  Fun, lightweight and super sparkly!

 

Finally finished EllaD2’s Morning Glory Pattern.  The petals were a little unstable when completed so I added a few crystals to keep it from wobbling when worn.  I love the extra sparkle!

This pattern was definitely easier the second time around but it still takes a whole lot of time to complete.  This piece can be made into a necklace or if you prefer, a brooch or hairpin!  I should have it up on the webpage soon!

As of today I’ve got all my current stock of bracelets and necklaces up but for four. I should be taking those photos soon.

Bracelets still to be posted:

Diamond Tila Bracelet in Black and White (yeah, hard to photograph a black and white bracelet…who knew?) Twinix Bracelet in Blues and Bronze Super Simple Bracelet in Turquoise Kyra Bracelet in Bronze and Blues

Apparently I’ve got a thing for bronze recently. *chuckles*

I also need to finish up the Zonnetje pendant and take photos of that one. But here is a sneak peek of the work in progress.

 

It’s a beautiful pattern by EllaD2, the colors remind me of the ocean.  I’ll be adding a chain and a few hand-stitched beads to finish it off.

I’m finishing up the Morning Glory pendant this afternoon if all goes well.

I still have to take photos of the earrings and post those, I need to find the best way to photograph them, but the sun isn’t out today so it will have to wait until she returns.

I have so many ideas to take to the workbench, this is just the start!  I’m looking at a line of phone covers as well, as I have found a lovely set of cross stitch phone covers that would work fantastically with beads!

I need to check to see if the local store got any of the Green Iris Superduos yet so I can finish the first Kyra Bracelet I started.  THAT one is a beauty!

So much to do!