Showing posts from 2017

You Don't Need no Stinkin' Beads!

I've been pushing my wire jewelry-making agenda for a few decades now. I remember taking over an established jewelry class and trying to convince the students to give up headpins and use wire instead. I'll admit, they thought I was a little crazy. 

I was never able to convince them to stop using headpins, so one day I simply locked up all the headpins before they arrived for class. That's what led to my first "Day Without Headpins" workshop. 

I loved making wire jewelry long before it was popular. So, of course, I got excited in recent years when I noticed that many of you were becoming wire people too. You're stepping away from bead-laden jewelry... and headpins. You're mastering wire-work. You're making wire diva creations with techniques so complicated it makes me dizzy. And it's beautiful.
I'm still on my wire missionI love that so many makers are focusing on the power of wire. You're showing off a single bead or a few beads, or no beads …

Mr. Wonderful and My Bead Addiction

There's nothing like having a handsome man to feed your bead addictionA few years back--and long before online bead shops--my tall, handsome boy friend (let's call him Mr. Wonderful) used to take me to traveling bead shows. Bead and findings vendors from across the country would fill a suburban convention center showroom with table after table of strung beads, silver chains, stones, cabochons, and more. You know, like a bead shop only much, much bigger.

My heart would begin racing as we exited the car and crossed the parking lot. We'd stroll into the showroom and Mr. Wonderful would smile and say, "Get whatever you want, baby." That smooth declaration always set my bead addiction on fast forward. 

Nothing feeds a bead habit like holding a shiny strand in your hot little hand. I'd fondle strands of hematite, amethyst, turquoise, and garnet. I'd go crazy over unique stones, sun-polished wooden beads, and freeform labradorite cabs. 
Mr. Wonderful's bead-buy…

5 Tips to Help You Claim Your Bad A*** Jewelry Making Style

When you market your handcrafted jewelry, your unique style is your best edge over the jewelry maker in the next booth.

Okay, lets back up here. In all likelihood, you're an online jewelry seller.  A virtual vendor. You've probably never done time in an arts and craft booth.

Also, I really shouldn't say unique when what I mean to say is Bad A***. 
You need an edge

Yes, you should take pride in your meticulous precision. And yes, you should brag about your quality materials. 

You should sell in the finest venues and list on highly-traveled websites.

You should try your best to do everything right, but doing everything right, doesn't guarantee sales.

Quality, precision, and venues are important, but they're meaningless if you make the same jewelry everyone else does. 

My goal is to help you develop the bad a*** diva jewelry-making attitude you need to rise above sameness. These five tips will help.

1. Find your own jewelry making thing

Don't just do what your friend does. …

Jewelry Classes & Clubs: 5 Ways to Get Jewelry-Makers Out of the House

Do you rarely leave home because you work in your home studio, so you don't have to?

As a jewelry artist, it's easy to settle into full-time loner status, eating, working, and sleeping at home. Repeating the cycle day after day. You order supplies online. You sell online. You have friends, but they are online, jewelry-making friends who do the same things you do.
It's important to take a break from creative loneliness by spending time with other creative people. It can motivate and inspire you and boost your creativity. It's easy to do with organized jewelry-making classes and clubs

Spouses and children don't count

When you make jewelry is there always a child (or a spouse) waiting for you to stop playing with your beads so you can play with them... or cook dinner?

When you are considering creative social options, husbands and children don’t count.
In fact, time spent with anyone who wants you to run an errand, pick up groceries, cook or any sort of chore doesn’t coun…

Create 3 Funky Bold Bracelets With Hardware Store 'Findings'

The idea of creating bracelets out of stuff from a hardware store really excites me.

I'm pretty sure it goes back to when I was growing up and my dad's home remodeling projects meant frequent hardware store runs. Back then that was a guy thing, but sometimes Daddy let me tag along. I've been nuts and bolts over nuts and bolts ever since.

That made it easy and fun to DIY 3 funky bold bracelets that say "I'm nuts over you."
Economical "Findings" I shopped for bracelet parts at my local ACE hardware store. It's big enough to have a good selection but small enough that I don't get lost. I found what I needed in a single aisle: little drawers and blister packs of nuts and washers on one side, wire on the other.

I spent way too much time sorting through nuts and bolts and washers, but you don't have to. I couldn't help myself. I kept getting the same tingly feeling I get when a traveling bead show comes to town.

Hardware store jewelry part…

What's Your Tagline, Lady?

Think fast!
The news guy just shoved a microphone in front of your face. "Okay, lady. Say something about your jewelry business," he says. "You have 10 seconds before the next commercial."

Your 10-second blurb  The big question: Can you think of a 10-second something that sums up what you do? 
Forget about the microphone. If you can think of a really great thing to say about you or your jewelry under any circumstances, you should make that your tagline. 

If you can't think of a concise, catchy phrase that sums up you, your jewelry, or your jewelry business, get busy. 

Think Coca-ColaA tagline is a phrase, a slogan, or a brief description of your product or business. It's a positive blurb that makes your target customer remember you. 

Coke marketers were using catchy taglines long before any of us were born. The Ad Age article "130 Year of Coke Taglines" has the complete list. The most recent tagline is, "Taste the feeling."

It's easy, except…

Don't Let Your Jewelry Ideas Escape

Your Jewelry Design DiaryCreativity is a quirky, self-centered vixen. When you need it most, it smiles and giggles and runs away like a naughty toddler.  Creative block is inevitable. You understand this if you've ever had to craft jewelry in quantities enough to stock an arts and craft show booth. It’s difficult to keep producing fresh designs, but what can you do?

You must grab those ideas before they escape forever!

Jewelry designs arrive on their own time You can’t force your jewelry-making muse to cooperate. She (or he) won't come just because you have a big event and need a well-stocked booth. Great design ideas don’t arrive when you need them. They pop into your head when you're driving down the street or talking on the phone. Or even deep in sleep.
It’s impossible to keep your creative juices flowing 24/7. They run sluggishly then kick into high gear when you are deeply into some other activity. It's up to you to recognize the urge, grab it, and hold onto it the mo…

Twinkle-Twinkle Funky Star

Stars are so twinkly... so magical... so funky. It's no wonder I'm drawn to starry themes when I get crafty. Stars are fascinating, especially when added to earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. You can make your stars simple or dress them up with beads. Wire stars lead a doubly creative life. They add funky little accents to your jewelry creations. You can also use them to spice up your home decor when you add them to photo frames, mobiles, and other crafty projects. Twinkle-Twinkle, simple star!You could go twinkle-twinkle wild, but start out simply, please. Try making an uncomplicated pair of wire star earrings. You or your teen can create them inexpensively with craft wire and a pair of earwires. You can add beads if you choose and your project still shouldn't take more than 30 minutes.

This wire star technique is so simple, you can easily create a few of your own. All you'll need is wire, jewelry making tools, and a sense of whimsy. Tools PliersWire CuttersRulerFileHam…