Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Glimpse Into My Jewelry Studio - On a Clean Day

I love to see other peoples jewelry studios.  

This is really designed for a scrapbooker but I can invision much of what is here in my jewelry studio.

The above is organization from the 

My reality is below

A girls gotta dream though.
Personally I think my reality is pretty great!  I get to do what I love everyday!

 I like to see how other people work. This comes from the fact that I am learning and have so much more to learn. So in the spirit of Paying it Forward I thought I would share my space in hopes that you could take something of it for the growth of your own studios.

I also like to see how people organize themselves.  Just a couple things on how I organize myself.


-  I have to have quick access to my beads.  I want to be surrounded by them.


- I like them to be organized by color, type, art beads, metal color etc.  That way if I know I am working on a teal piece of jewelry made with silver I can simply grap all my teal & silver beads and components.

- I like to be able to see through the containers.  Those plastic shelving sections with the little drawers I bought at Walmart for around $10.00 each.  You can stack them or even hang them on the wall.  I keep all my metal colors in them.  I try to keep my metal colors organized so these have headpins, eyepins, bead caps, chips, beads, charms and such all in the same color.

- I do use Craftmate locking beading storage also. I have those full of Czech Glass, Swarovski, Pearls and organized by color if possible so all I have to do it grab them. I have to admit though I have more Czech Glass than just those.  I have some overflow boxes under my desk!  LOL

- I have those Craftmate locking bins on a wooden shelving unit I bought from Scrap n Cube company...from my scrabooking days.  I also have them on a stool and metal paper shelves that I picked up at a garage sale.  I don't like them all stacked on each other as they are harder to get then.  I really hate stacking and unstacking but in a perfect beading world things will be stacked.   I buy the Craftmates at Joannes Fabric online when they go on sale.  On a good sale day you can get them for around $3.50.

-  I like to buy matching plastic tubs.  I think they stack better.  Not all of mine match but I bought a bulk supply amount at Costco.  I think you can get 10 for around $17.00 or so.  I keep all my gemstones by color in those, all of my fair trade beads, Greek Mykonos and any overflow I may have.

- See that big tub under my desk.  That is full of my made jewelry all on Easels and ready to package up for a show or if it sells get ready to ship.  I buy black easels  online at Nile Corp, you can get them fairly inexpensive if you buy in bulk...I think their shipping is a bit high but if you buy in bulk it will be worth it.  I usually try to keep all my earrings and bracelets that are on Etsy in separate bags so I can find them quickly.  Not all my jewelry is on Etsy and staying organized is important.

You will note every surface is stacked and racked!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ikea has come in handy for that.

-  This shelving unit has a bottom file drawer. The drawer in the middle I use for my Recovery Rosary - 12 Step Prayer Bead Supplies.  The top drawer I use for printer ink, paper clips office supply miscellaneous.   The open shelve I usually like to display my latest jewelry but it has turned into more storage!  


-  The stacked plastic shelves I keep many of my organic beads like wood, ceramic, nuts, seeds, cotton cording, ribbon, packaging frills etc.  I also store my made Recovery Rosaries in these.

- Well not organized really well are all my incidentals like receipts!!!!  That white box is my yearly file cabinet!!!!!!!!!!  Metal work material, dremel parts, patina, sealants, magazines and chain all seem to find a way over to this shelf!


Note my superman husband on the top shelf!  He is a handsome one. If it weren't for him, I would still be working as a Critical Care RN.  I get to pursue my dreams because of him. Thanks honey!

- This is kind of my shipping center.  I keep all my cards, boxes, packaging tape, envelopes, washi tapes, scale, paper, Jewelry Mags,  etc here so it is organized and I have a little shelf area to weigh my packages and pretty them up.

-  I really like this idea a lot.  This shoe rack has all my recycled bubble wrap and any packaging material that I can use.  I bought one of these cheap shoe rack hangers that go over your door.  I think you could find some other applications for these in your studio also.  They are easy to find at thrift stores plus they are cheap.


Office Center

I really like to keep my office center separate from my jewelry making area.....and like most jewelry artists sometimes it spills over.  This is where I post, do social media networking, photo edit, sometimes package, print, talk with my jewelry friends across the world.  
Those wooden shelves on my desk are from Ikea....... I love them!


This is a room in my basement that has been ripped up.  My hubby isn't so keen on me expanding but I really would love to get into making more of my own components. This involves more metal work, possibly enamel, lampwork etc....So my dream is to move that portion of my business down here.


Dont mix!

So here is a little glimpse in to my studio.  I couldn't tell you everything so if you have a question about my studio please feel free to ask.

The goal is to continue to make what I love, expand my knowledge and skill as a jewelry artist with hopes of more publications.

Pearl Diver was Published in Bead Trends January 2013 and is one of my signature designs that you can find in my shop made with Czech Glass and or Faux Pearls.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Favorite Bead Store

My Favorite Bead Store

Non-Necessities of Life


Profile Picture

I have to be honest when I first started making jewelry and I saw Jeffs booth at the Twin Cities Bead Bazaar I didn't even stop. 

 Do you remember how you were in your early beading careers?  I was broke, overwhelmed and I wasn't really sure of who I was as a designer yet.  My choices in beads are certainly different than they are today.  My first big bead order was from MuddBeads online and it was all Swarovski and I still have some from that order.  You are lucky to find Swarovski in my jewelry desingns today.

I used to go to a wholesale store and one of my friends their named C (to keep her anonymous) would always talk about Jeff Plath.  It was all Jeff this and Jeff that!  I used to think she was secretly and madly in love with him.  So I followed her lead one day and I went to his booth at the next show he was at and just looked.  What I found was interesting. First he is the most personable person you will meet....people love him and I mean literally.  I met another gal that goes to the show just to see him!
He doesn't wear shoes (well in the winter he does) ...he reminds me of the survivorist who doesn't either.
Jeff is like the Bear Gryllus of the beading world.


Jeff Plath

The second interesting thing I found was just that ------ interesting.  His beads were interesting!  He has the largest assortment of Czech Glass I had ever seen in Minnesota and varying colors and shapes.

Seasonless Love was Published in Bead Trends November 2012

The Basalt Heart you see was from Jeffs Shop.

He also makes these lovely faux beach glass chips.

He is also an avid drool! He has invited me to come watch him work....I haven't taken him up on that yet but will!  See that lovely lampwork bead below, thats his!

I do believe Jeff started his business as a collector of Trade Beads as a young man.  He started to make lampwork beads so he could support his collecting hobby.  He is also quite the historian.

He has all assortment of stones and in my early beading days I used to just drool and not buy.  Until I learned something else about Jeff.  He gives all his designers 50% off retail with tax ID.  Lets just say that cinched the deal for me.

One thing I do have to credit him for was the vision of what I wanted to become as a jewelry artist.  His earthy & organic beads really formulated and molded me into the jewelry artist that I am today.  The visual package of what he offers pulled it all together for me.

Jeff is not located in the Twin Cities area...he is about a 1 hour 15 minute drive for me to go to his store.  He is in a beautiful area on the bluffs of the St. Croix in Taylors Falls MN right on the border of Wisconsin.

The area is beautiful and particularly in in the fall with the changing leaves.  A great trip for the family with town festivals, antique shops, art galleries, State Parks and biking.  But of course my main reason for going is THE BEADS! I love his shop and store.  His staff is fun and friendly and if you get to know him better guess what! You get to get on his Secret Friends List where he invites you to his presales to all of his newest purchases.

Jeff  is on facbook at

He is also on Etsy

He doesn't have a phone in his shop so if you want to contact him do so through his Etsy store or Facebook.

The last necklace you see I made with some of the Czech Glass I bought from his store.  
This necklace is now owned by actress Denise Richards.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Taking The Artsy Fartsy Path - Adding Beans To My Soup

I am working on my Bead Soup and it has been a challenge for me and the main reason is
that being said.  How can I do Julies lovely beads justice.

The lampwork beads that Julie Bowen sent are gorgeous.

So I am thinking if I don't do pastels how can I possibly have a vision.  
I can't think of wearing it myself......I have to think of it in terms of ART. I can wear ART.  I can do 

"OUt oF ThE bOX"

So I am taking the Artsy Fartsy Path and adding some beans to my SOUP!  One of the ways I have always gotten my creative juices flowing was by recycling.

So as a little tease I am showing you this cut up old leather coat that I purchased at a thrift store. 
You are now wondering what in the world??????  

Yes it is going in one of my pieces and I am loving it.!!!!!!!

You will have to check back on Bead Soup Reveal Number 2.


Monday, February 11, 2013

My Bead Soup Has Arrived!

I have already introduced you to my talented Bead Soup Partner

Julie Bowen

Now for the surprise.......this is what she sent me!  



A talented lamp worker!  I think everything she sent me but a few things were made by her with tender loving care!!!


I hope I can do her beautiful lampwork justice!!!!!!!  Pastels are a challenge for me but I am really going to find a way to add my earthy influence here.

In fact I went to a thrift store today and found an old necklace that I may incorporate into this or maybe I will completely all surprise you and totally go colorful and whimsical.

It's clicking!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Love Me Up Some Soup - Meet Julie Bowen my Talented Bead Soup Partner


My Partner is 

Julie Bowen - Autochthonous Evolved

I am so excited to be apart of the Bead Soup Block Party!!!!  
This is my first one.

I have to tell you it was great fun putting this bead soup together for Julie Bowen.  I was thinking about what I was going to put together even before I knew who she was.  Julie is a very talented Lampwork Artist and Educator.  She teaches eons of classes in her home studio in St. Paul Minnesota....I was so impressed with her credits and knowledge.  I was thinking to myself I could pick 10 classes that I would want to go to in her list.

She has a great website that hooks you up to all her blog, shop and classes.

When I first saw her business name I was like.....I don't even know how to say that.  

Main Entry: au·toch·tho·nous 
Pronunciation: \o?-'täk-th?-n?s\  click here to hear pronounciation
Function: adjective 
Date: 1805 
1 : indigenous, native [an autochthonous people] 
2 : formed or originating in the place where found [autochthonous rock] [an autochthonous infection] 
— au·toch·tho·nous·ly adverb 

"Julie Says"

She likes to take inspiration from everything, use natural materials and transform them into something beautiful. So they compliment a wearers natural beauty. Autochthonous means found in the place where formed. I think that its meaning is significant, not only because it stands for the things to make jewelry, but it also reminds us that we are beautiful in the way we were made, but that doesn't mean that we can't tweak our natural assets once in awhile.

I thought that was very poetic and I think I can see this depth of person in her jewelry.

It was great fun to send and to put together my soup for her.....I cant wait to see what Julie loves up!!!!!

Here are Julie's Websites below.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I Love Me A Vampire Necklace Contest

The Vampire Diaries Television Show will soon be airing my necklace and we will be looking for it!!!!!


 Here is what you do to win.

1 - Comment here with the below things you have done.
2 - Follow my blog.
3 - Like my Facebook.
4 - Watch the show and have your camera handy, take the best photo of the television when you see it.
5 - Post that to my Facebook page. by March 29th 12:00 noon central time.  I will be picking the winner shortly after that.
6 - For bonus points please share this contest and my Facebook page.

If you don't want to do the contest no fretting you can own an exact replica of it as they are now on Etsy.

This sexy necklace can be worn at different lengths!

Good Luck!!!!!

Get your photos of the necklace on Facebook on the 29th!!!!!  I am picking the winner on that day.

I just wanted you all to know that I will be MIA from March 30th - April 4th....note that the contest is on and I will get the winner their prize post hast when back in action.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

There is NO BOX - Beastly Ball Fundraiser

Minnesota Zoo - Beastly Ball Fundraiser

I was very excited when my friend Carol the auction chair for the Beastly Ball  asked me to contribute a necklace again this year to the 
Minnesota Zoo's Beastly Ball 2013 Event.

 I love jewelry design because not only does it give me the opportunity to give back to the community using my talents but I get to think out of the box.

I started with this piece of driftwood from the shores of Lake Superior here in Minnesota.

I knew that I wanted to do something very organic and talisman like.  This also gave me an excuse to use my brand new dremel drill press on driftwood. 

Then the playing begins....I pull out all my beads and this is just a small amount than what is actually on the table and a dirty table it is.....DONT LOOK!  TeeeHeee. I put this here and this there, you walk away, look and think again.  You might be surprised, but I spent a whole day just putting together the pendant you see in the top picture.

I have been teasing my Facebook friends with this project for a day showing them little bits and pieces of what I was making.  


Lots of goodies are in this necklace.....Driftwood from Lake Superior - Apatite - Greek Mykonos - Fossil Shell - Fair Trade Recycled Glass - Natural Bamboo - Swarovski ( yes a touch of bling ) - Lampwork by Jeff Plath from Taylors Falls Bead Store here in MN - Sari Silk Ribbon - Seeds - Basalt Stone from Lake Superior and Fire Agate.

I hope it is Beastly enough for the Minnesota Zoo!

I made a fun little wrapped clasp with sari silk and wire.  I drilled a hole in the long copper bead to use it as part of the clasp....

I hope this makes the zoo some beastly good money for the auction!!!!!  

Want to contribute to the Minnesota here.

Minnesota Zoo also has a lovely blog you can follow to to keep up with activities at the zoo!