Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dakota Stones Warehouse Sale

For a couple reasons really 

1:  They're our local wholesaler and I will do everything I possibly can to support them. 

2:  They really do have some unique and high quality stone beads.  You will find one type of stone in MANY cuts, drills and shapes.  They're a jewelry designers dream come true for making fabulously textural jewelry.

3:  I love their staff.  They have always been very warm and friendly to me and very supportive of my work. 

4:  They listen!!!!  I have asked for things and discussed trends in stone and jewelry with Jeff Elvin (Owner)  and he has always come through!

4:  They are 10 MINUTES from my home!

Do I work for them - The answer to that is no -  I am not on their payroll but I do help & support their efforts as they support mine.  A symbiotic relationship.  I believe in them and as a designer I will shout it from the mountain top because they deserve it!!!

Did you know that they are starting a Beading Ambassador program.  YES they are looking for talented jewelry designers who have a passion for stone like me!!!!

So I know some of you are wanting that CODE that Dakota Stones gave me just for my online friends.  

Here it is use 


at checkout for 4 hours only on April 27th from 10am - 2pm.  

This is a stand alone discount and not on top of other discounts.  Plus they are a wholesale only account so if you don't have an account set one up now before the sale.

Make sure to check out their new 5 piece pendant set and big hole beads!

So get busy and make some great jewelry with Dakota Stones!!!

You can find Kristin Oppold's work on Etsy under YaY! Jewelry.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine - Kristin Oppold's Designer Collection

I suppose if I was a new jewelry artist I would wonder how someone would get on the cover and secure the Designer Collection 

Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine

Diamond in the Sun Bracelet

What I can tell you is that it was a complete shock. I do believe my planning and processing went a long way in establishing myself here.  I will share that with you.  I will also share with you all of my suppliers at the end of this blog.

My dream magazine!  
Everything about it is beautiful from its photography, thick pages, creative inspiration and well written tutorials.  When I bought my very first magazine.  I remember saying WOW and thinking to myself I can really gain some inspiration from this magazine.

On the shelf at Barnes & Noble

I knew at some point that this magazine was going to be a lofty goal of mine.  I didn't delve right into it though.  I studied the magazine and I remember thinking that if I am going to send them anything it is going to have to be completely unique and innovative in todays jewelry design market.  Many of my really good jewelry designs have been formed out of my lack of technical skills and training.  My Between The Lines Collection was completely born out of that....simple frustration.  If you have read my interview you will know that the formulation of this idea came originally from my first Bead Soup Challenge, where I received a long lampwork bead from my Bead Soup Partner Julie Bowen.  I didn't know it at the time but this whole line of jewelry began to formulate in my mind from that challenge.

The idea popped in my head that I could do so much more designing BETWEEN 2 LINES.  It was exciting when I realized how much was really possible.  So I put this away in my mind for 6 months, playing with it there until I had time and the right opportunity to put my fingers to work.  I knew right away that this line would be for Belle Armoire Jewelry.  I also knew that I wanted it for either the Spring, Summer or possibly Fall issue.

If you are thinking of submitting don't go it alone, talk to people who have been in the magazine.  I received some invaluable advice from Erin Siegel one of my new jewelry artist friends from Facebook.  She told me they liked collections.  When she said that, I knew I was on the right path and that I was going to go as big as I could with it.  So I made a few pieces, photo'd them and sent them to Cynthia Leven the Editor.  She got back to me literally in 1 hour and said YES to please send them in.

Sprigs of Spring Necklace

This was the very first piece I made called Sprigs of Spring. It was made with some great Artisan Beads and stones.  The gorgeous etched lampwork beads were from Donna Millard Glass Beads.  I added some Peridot from Rings N Things and some Canadian Jade from Dakota Stones.

Sometimes you need to add a little wonky and whimsical to your jewelry.  So I came up with Spring Cleaning.  I knew I wanted to play with some asymmetry between the lines and did that with some large chunky chartreuse Czech Glass Beads. And added some of Outwests  and Tanya Mcguires Lampwork.  I played around with some rings and spacer bars for the clasp.  I made a matching bracelet with Tanya McGuires Lampwork.

Apache Moon Necklace 

Apache Moon Necklace and Earrings was my favorite of the collection.  I loved the kaki Outwest Circle that I paired with Donna Millard Glass beads and the Scorched Earth long Raku Pendant.  What was really fun was adding the extra texture to the front of the necklace.  I made this design asymmetrical with Peridot from Rings N Things and Carnelian from the G&LW Gem and Lapidary Show.  I made some fun waxed linen tied earrings to match.

Apache Moon Earrings

So I kept making pieces and she kept responding back with positive feedback.  After awhile I decided I better quit bugging her and send her some surprises to.  LOL

Diamond In The Sun Bracelet
On The Front Cover

When reviewing all of the pieces I was putting together I thought I better make  a bracelet.  So I played around with putting one of Dakota Stones Russian Amazonite Beads suspended Between The Lines and did some interesting tying with chain and waxed linen.  This was on the front cover of the magazine.  I didn't even know I was to be on the front cover until I saw the add on their website.  I remember I kept looking at it and said to myself.  Is that mine?  When I realized yes that it was mine I started jumping up and down on my bead screaming as my family was running in to see what was wrong.....
All I can say it is thrilling to see your work on the front cover.  My family soon realized I wasn't in distress and went about their merry way unimpressed.

Chillin Chic Layered Necklace

I was thinking about making a choker....not really sure how that would turn out.  I went for it anyhow.  I added some rough edged Agate.  After it was made I was wishing I was younger and didn't have a 50 year old neck somewhat hidden underneath.  I decided why not add some removable layers to it so you could wear it as a choker alone and or add some layers if you wish.  The key to making a choker is all in the does need to fit snug so it doesn't tip.

I went to my first Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee in 2013 with some dear friends of mine.  I bought a strand of rough cut Rubies.  It was the most expensive strand of stone I have ever purchased.  I really had no idea of how or where I was to use it.  I often use a color wheel to help me with color choices.  I knew I wanted to use the Rubies and I went online to see what style of jewelry people put rubies into.  I saw that the Egyptians used Rubies and often time used bold color choices .  So I decided to add some Kyanite to the mix of color.  This is an odd color choice for me mixing the 2 but as in all things experiment.  I made a pair of earrings with 2 spacer bars with the Rubies and Kyanite beads sandwiched in.

One of my love affairs in color over the last year has been peachy coral.  This necklace and earrings that I called Kahiko (Ancient Hula Dance) combinations came from some fun lampwork I bought from Bubby McGurk Beads.  I added Kyanite, Pink Agate and Fossil Coral from Dakota Stones to the mix.  I played with some texture at the bottom of the necklace and at the end of the strands before the  chain.

This was it.  This is what I sent. 


 I got the email asking if I was interested in a technical article.  Of course was the answer.  At this time in my life.......chaos was occurring.  We were selling our house.  We were buying a house and I was cleaning a very messy house that we purchased plus I was recovering from frozen shoulder syndrom.  I was packing up my studio for 2 months to get my house sold and I was waiting to hear from Cynthia Leven on what pieces she had chosen for me to do the tutorials on.  Thankfully I had done all the tutorials on all my pieces before sending them as I knew the chaos in my life was about to get worse.  I emailed her a couple times with the response.  
"I can't decide, I like them all".  
I am saying to myself....Thats a good thing, but the clock was ticking and the movers were scheduled and chaos was ever closer.  I knew I would have to edit many of my tutorials.
During my move in I got the email.  We have a proposition for you.  

Would you be interested in having the Designer Collection! 

I was floored!  You see this was the first time I had ever submitted to them.  I was in a daze.  The second questions was do you have anymore in this collection that you can send us.  
I said yes of course knowing that I would be able to squeak a few more designs out.

Koi In Abstract Necklace

So I sent them Koi in second favorite.  I hand drew and etched a Koi Fish and patina's with Vintaj  Metal Patinas.  Added more of Donna Millards Lampwork beads, Bamboo Coral, some Chrysoprase, Carnelian and Jade from Dakota Stones. The bone beads were from a old necklace and I added some wood twigs from my favorite local bead shop, Taylors Falls Bead Store. I had this piece in my wardrobe.

Beachside Baby Bracelet, Necklace & Earring

The last set of jewelry I made, once again thinking of my gaps in the collection, I added a mid length necklace and a little Minnesota.  My friend Jeff Plath at Taylors Falls Bead Store drills these great Basalt Beads from the shores of Lake Superior so I added one to a necklace.  Jeff  taught me how to drill stone and that opened a whole avenue for me in jewelry design.  So when I can I try to use my little Minnesota when I can.  I added some shell from a recycled necklace, Jade and Greek Mykonos.  The bracelet I added a Sand Dollar, Greek Mykonos, Basalt and Shell.

All of the jewelry in this collection were made with Spacer Bars from the Industrial Chic line by Susan Lennart Kasmer.  The majority of the chain used in these pieces were all from the Garland Chain Company and Rings n Things.   All of it was tied with waxed linen and my hand dandy Dumont Tweezers, my go to tool.  I can't leave out that as a person who ties most of my jewelry I could never live with out my Electric Bead Reaming tool by Eurotool.  I could never live without that.

My suppliers links are listed below for your shopping pleasure.

To get your copy or subscribe to Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine Click the Link Below

A special thanks to the following 

Erin Siegel - for the great advice, encouragement and friendship

Julie Bowen - for sparking this line with that long lampwork bead at 
Bead Soup 7 Block Party

Cynthia Leven - for getting my vision and seeing this lines potential and showing it to the world

Rice' Freeman Zachery - for making the interview fun and easy, 

Tom Oppold - my husband for supporting my crazy creative self

Kate Oppold - for her good eye when I questioned some of the designs even though she didn't like them all.  "Mom Thats Weird"

Artisan Whimsey Group Members - for your continued encouragement, education and making me feel relevant

Janet Holter - Mom thanks for being my cheerleader from heaven - I love you and miss you dearly

I can now die a happy woman!