Monday, August 3, 2015

The Ever Revolving Propeller

Jewelry artists are busy people who wear many hats.  We are designers, blogger, accountants, shippers, secretaries, sales people, purchasing agents and event coordinators.  Its a wonder our studios end up in the shape they do.  There is never enough time in the day for it all.  

It trickles into our daily life to with all the hats we wear....sometimes its frozen pizza Friday 3 days a week when we are in crunch time with shows looming. As my husband reminded me that he had Pizza 3 times last week!  WHAT!!!!!  Did you forget the Turkey Burgers and The Roasted Vegetables  and I cooked for dinner the night before my biggest show of the year and that I put on a party with over 25 kids for my daughters 16th Birthday this week!!! Hmph!  I reminded him he could of heated up the leftovers instead of throwing in another pizza........pssst I think he likes Pizza!

There is nothing that motivates me more to clean my studio than a big jewelry & prayer bead show.  One of the big reasons is that after getting ready for a show my studio gets to a point there is no walking space available. I really hate tripping over things. Its very cleansing to finally have the time and to take a breathe.


That being said most creatives will tell you that they work best in a mess!!!!!  
THATS ME!!!!  
When all the candy is out it's like a running propeller in my mind......playing with ideas and it keeps going and going. Seeing all the colors, shapes and textures is really inspiring for me. It's amazing to me that my mind can work through the chaos of what is in front of me.

But it does become more stressful when you have a 2x2 inch work space on your table!!!!!  HAHAHAHA and darn it then it becomes necessary to take care of business.

Recently I just had the most successful show I have ever had!!!!!! 
All the more inspiring to me to clean it up and think about my future and what I may want to move into now that I have a little extra money to invest.

My all around work space!!!!

My business and shipping center.

In the works is my metal smithing area. Slow progress here but its coming around.

Storage and Display Area

Note all the empty busts....guess I will be filling those up!!!!!  Yipee!

One of the most exciting parts about cleaning my studio this time around was that I rearranged.  I always wanted a living space in my studio to veg....drink Netflix and visit with my customer, which I sometimes have over.  I remember Heather Powers posted "What Does Your Dream Studio Look Like"?  If I can remember I said.... 1) Space to work all around me 2) A couch to take a nap 3) A television.  This was quite a few years ago and I had number 1 at the time.  When I started I only had a small drafting table in the corner of my dining room.

The couch and chair were given to me by my parents many years ago and I always wanted to put them in my studio....but didn't know if I ever would have the living space. So when we moved it was so exciting to have some room but I never really took the time to play with arranging till now and it couldn't of worked out better!!!

We all need a liquid motivation center in our studios!!!!

I even have an inspiration board now!!!!!  Empty now but not for long.  Thanks Emily Greer for the idea!!!!

Of course Flint has his special spot still and even a toy box now!!!!!!!!!  

Hello Flint!!!!
Now I just have to teach him how to pick up!!!

Time for some tea, puppy snuggles and more jewelry making!!!!!

Feeling Blessed!!!!!

As a surprise enjoy this super secret code till August 10th.  
Not advertising so if you read this you get it!!!!!

For 15% off use code

Friday, June 26, 2015

You Lovely Little Yellow Opal You Need 2 Designs - Mission 2 Simple Yet Interesting

Mission 2 - Simple Yet Interesting

Blog on the versatility of using pendant groupings in your jewelry designs. This is a 2 part blog series.  Click Here for Mission 1 - Earthy Jewelry Design.

The majority of my stone comes from my wonderful friends at Dakota Stones.  I have truly found the most interesting and unique cuts, varieties and drills.  Plus they are 5 minutes from my house....okay I know I have said that before......BUT THEY ARE 5 MINUTES FROM MY HOUSE.  Jeff Elvin the owner is truly on the side of the designer....before he heads out on one of excursions to hunt for stone he often sends me a message asking for ideas and wants to know what designers maybe looking for.  Guess what.......everything that I have asked him for he's brought home.  Not only are they interested in what us artists are up to they are just fun!!!!!!! 

They had some really fun advertising at the last Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee.

Anyone with a sign like this is after my purse strings!!!!!!

It is so fun to go to their warehouse.  So if you can ever make it out to their warehouse sales that he has 2 times a year............IT IS WORTH THE TRIP.  Get on their mailing list so you can get the details.

So now on to the business at hand!!!!  I made this Earthy Design below for my first part of this mission.  The general consensus on my blog and on Facebook was to keep the dangles so that is what I am doing.

My next task was to come up with a simple yet interesting design for Mission 2.  Simple is a little more difficult for me to make as all the endless possibilities come to mind.  It has value and is a great way to have the stone take the lead rather than the design.  There is the saying less is more and I am a firm believer in that.  So I do design in both realms.   

(I remade a second necklace for sale...instead of a dragonfly it has a Hill Tribes Fine Silver Flower....same link)

Sunny Disposition Soft Tribal Necklace is simply strung on Beadalon wire with the lovely Yellow Opal, Pineapple Jade, Bone, Hill Tribes Fine Silver Dragonfly and Sterling Chain and hook.  Compare the 2 designs and ask yourself.....Which Design Appeals To You Most?  I bet in the realm of my readers we get a vast array of opinions based on their personalities and style preferences.  I would love to hear from you on which you like and I hope you will comment below as I truly love to hear from my customers and my jewelry associates in crime.

This design is simple yet elegant and the Yellow Opal takes the stage.  Note that I haven't lost my earthy bent in the process of making this.  I have different customers and as long as I can be true to myself I love to design in all realms.  This is why I AM NEVER BORED with jewelry design.

(I remade a second pair for sale...same link)

I even threw in a simple pair of yellow earrings.  I took the smaller stones at the back of the strand and simply wire wrapped them with the Pineapple Jade and set them on some simple handmade sterling silver earring wires.

Look all the Yellow Opal beads I have left!!!!!!!!  Amazing isn't it!  I have at least a necklace or two that I can make and even some earrings. Contemplating a bracelet not sure....hmmmmm it's an interesting location for drill hole for a bracelet.

My point is this ......... these pendant sets are truly versatile!!!!!!  Cost effective if you are a jewelry designer.  Yes you may look at the price and shy away but in the end look how many designs you are getting out of it.


At Dakota Stones last warehouse sale I nabbed a strand of Kunzite Pendant Bead Set in their CLEARANCE BIN.......yes you must dig through that!  Crap now I have some competition.

These are just some of them below as I already made the below design.

Kunzite is a lovely stone.  Not a stone that I would originally gravitate toward mostly because it has a pink sheen in it and I don't typically design in pink.....but it is really growing on me.  So it is very much like Kyanite in its iridescence.  It has some lovely pinks, light greens and creamy whites in its shimmer.

This strand was a little more unusual in that all the edges were rounded.  HINT HINT.....UNUSUAL. That is what I always go for when I buy.  

This does not meet the SIMPLE YET INTERESTING part of the BLOG.......ok maybe the interesting.  I threw this design together last night as nothing on the television was grabbing my attention but designing another necklace.

(This necklace recently sold but I have a different one in the works)

This is a new design for me and I am really liking the play of the texture over the smooth of the Kunzite.  I like the soft and hard mix, its interesting to me.  This piece is hand knotted with 4 ply waxed linen in Kunzite, African Turquoise, Carved Jade and I added a handmade copper clasp.

These pendant grouping are versatile and cost effective for designers....the above photo of the Kunzite is what I have left over from the strand after I made Polynesian Queen Necklace.

Want to see my is my store.

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Thanks for coming to read my blog..... I know its been sending out cricket noises for awhile......guess I'd rather design jewelry than blog.  I would love to have some new followers, as that is sending out cricket noises to.  You can follow on the right side of the blog.

Its all about creative play......till next time.

 kiss kiss ------- Kristin

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

You Lovely Little Yellow Opal You Need 2 Designs - Mission 1 Earthy Jewelry Design

Many of you know that I love love love Dakota Stones.  I am so fortunate to have them about 5 minutes from my house.  

So I was on my way to see how my girl Tia's vacation went and like in the movie Up I did a "SQUIRREL" when I saw the above Yellow Opal Pendant Strand.

Dakota Stones knows me well.....I usually go right from their warehouse to my jewelry studio and make quick work of their awesome stone.

So when I was contemplating what I would make, of course the typical design always comes to mind.  There always lies my dilemma.  What to do?  Do I treat it in the usual way by what you see here or do I try something unique.  I love earthy design first and foremost but I also see the value in the simplest of design to show off this lovely stone.  So I decided to make 2 designs out of this to show you that these pendant sets are so versatile.

This is Blog 1 Mission Earthy Design.  

I didn't have hole size on my side on these pendant sets so my original design idea wasn't going to work.  I was afraid to enlargen the hole with my Eurotool Electric Bead Reamer as Opal is typically a little more delicate.  So I played around with the design and how I was going to group some of the pendants in an interesting and earthy way.  After quite a few is my start.  

I did consult with Staci Smith on a few design points.....thank you Staci!  It is always helpful to have some kindred spirits in your corner and she is one of them. So I knew I was going to do the above so the next question was......What are the sides going to look like or am I really at the sides yet?  So I layed a strand of Citrine that I also purchased at Dakota Stones and I am like Hmmmmmmm.  Kind of liking that.

I have been playing with some bib style designs with my tying lately.  

I thought I wonder if I can do a modified bib style design with these pendants......the wheels are churning!!!!!

So here is what I came up with for my first design.

I am still debating on one point....the dangles at the bottom.  Have them or not.  Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.  I can easily cut off the bottom beads so one could see more of the Yellow Opal. Hmmmmmmm??????? What do you think?

 Island Sunset can be purchased here.

It has a lovely lay on the neckline.

So stay tuned for my next blog using these Yellow Opal in an interesting yet simple design.

You can find my designs here.

Okay thats enough social media already!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

What Do You Make With Ancient Beads Dated Before Christ?

I love interesting stories behind jewelry.  I always hope to have some of those myself.

Do you remember Happy Days?????

Now I am showing my age here.  I used to love that show, all the boys in my high school wanted to be the Fonz.  Well this story really isn't about the Fonz but the lovable goofy character Potsie played by Anson Williams.  I always love to laugh as a kid and this character always made me smile.

I got a Facebook message from an artist friend of mine, Lisa Peters who is a very successful component artist at Lisa Peters Art.  She told me her sister was gifted some ancient beads that Anson Williams bought in his travels.  They are Egyptian Beads that he bought at the Sadigh Gallery of Ancient Art on 5th Avenue in New York City --- the paper work reads that the mummy beads are dated late kingdom 600-300 BC and the Pendant Egyptian Faience Ankh 305-3- BC.BC (before Christ) and museum quality.  A lot of good these beads do sitting in a drawer at home so she wanted an interesting, artsy but wearable necklace made out of them.

My immediate response is Hell Yeh!  Then my nerves get the better of me when I realize their value and how old they are.  Funny she put a note in the package when they arrived that said 
"Don't Be Afraid"!!

I won't deny I didn't find much information on beads dated from that era or jewelry design.  My understanding though was that these came from a garment.  It was very spiritual working with beads this old.  I wished I could of met the person who made them and who wore them.

I  did an initial mock up design with some other beads as I was worried about the smaller ones and their fragility. The goal was to come up with a design that was interesting and artsy.  I was hoping to bring some of the Era to the piece.  I know that bib designs were popular from that era so I went with that and I think it turned out to be quite successful.

I even got to make a pair of earrings.

Those of you who know me....know that I make good use of my if you like this design I will be making more necklaces in this fashion.  Here is my first with Ocean Jasper, Horn, Czech Glass, Hill Tribes Copper and Jade.  You can get this necklace at 

Anson Williams has a new book out called Singing To The Bulldog that is a big hit about his journey to Happy Days and the mentors in his life.  

I can't wait to get my copy!!!!!