September 29, 2009

September Magazines' Jewelry Picks

Well, two magazines at least.  I have to confess that I read Lucky magazine.  I first ran across it at the salon where I get my hair cut.  It was a nice indulgence to sit and read without small children interrupting my every thought.  It is quite the fashion trends magazine -- and I don't believe there would be fashion trends without corresponding jewelry trends.  So, yeah, I'm a subscriber now.  Lucky's September issue highlights Etsy.com on its "thewebpages" page.  I aspire to have an Etsy site once I get my act together.  Anyway, the Etsy designer site they give kudos to is www.Makepienotwar.Etsy.com.  I checked it out and LOVED it.  She had five bracelets for sale, three of which I really liked: "My cocktail bracelet", "Two hearts mixed" and (especially) "Edward called and he wants his bracelet back."  I love them for their names alone.  Just kidding, but you have to admit that the names are great.

The designer uses chain bracelets that are "fatter" than most.  Some would say "chunky."  I would say cool.  And the prices are very reasonable.  Check it out.

Another mag jewelry trend referral comes from September's Family Circle magazine.  Linda Moran, in "Linda's Closet," writes about a jewelry store in Eastport, New York called Island Bead and Jewelry (www.islandbeadandjewelry.com ) where you can go to get your old and/or broken jewelry "restyled."  She had charms from an old broken bracelet restyled into earrings -- very cool (and very cheap).  Another aspiration of mine is to be able to restyle old jewelry as well.  Anyone know of a similar store in the midwest, i.e., the Chicago area?  Would love to hear about it.

The days are getting shorter and it's nice to be home and warm.  Chicago winters can be (and usually are) brutal.  I'm looking forward to hanging out inside and making charm bracelets, among other things.  And, of course, reading magazines!  I'll keep you posted.         

September 26, 2009

Vintage Jewelry Finds

I thought I'd talk today about incorporating vintage jewelry pieces into your creations.  I love vintage jewelry, always have.  Depending on the piece, sometimes, I can almost picture the person from days gone by who used to love it and wear it.  In my preliminary on line research I came across a jewelry blog called www.collectingvintagejewelry.blogspot.com.  It touts itself as a good resource for "Hot Trends, Designer Information and Jewelry Gossip" (whatever that is).  It also has a web store featuring many designers.  I looked at the vintage Sarah Coventry collection and it was really reasonably priced.  Problem is, my quest is to find out where to nab the stuff locally, not on line.  And I guess the type of pieces I'm looking for are the imperfect ones, the ones I won't feel so bad pulling apart and using for other creations.

A word to the wise about buying this stuff --check out every inch of it before buying it.  Case in point: Last weekend my family and I attended a local yearly "Barn Sale" run by three local churches.  It's a really big deal in the community.  Anyway, by the time we got to the jewelry section there wasn't much left.  My daughter found some cute clip-on earrings she ended up buying (3 pairs for $1.00!) and after much searching through the piles of zip-lock baggies I came up with two necklaces.  My other daughter found herself a necklace and we got, again, 3 necklaces for $1.00.  Not bad.

One was a pink pearl multi-strand necklace with a vintage clasp, adorned with pink pearls.  It reminded me of the clasps I used to see on my mother's necklaces.  The pearls looked more like plastic than glass (or God forbid real!) so I really wanted it for the clasp.  I pictured myself taking it off that necklace and using it on one of my original designs.  Unfortunately, when I got home and took the necklace out of the bag, it was clear that the clasp was broken!  I was really disappointed but I learned a good lesson --try before you buy.

In contrast, the other necklace was a nice surprise.  It was a silver plated chain with three silver hearts (charms!) that were very worn looking (can you say vintage?) along with three small freshwater pearls and two clear gems, all strategically placed.  It even had a tiny silver charm on the end of the chain with what looked like "AL" in script.  The other side of the charm was engraved with a bird in flight.  If this means anything to anyone, please comment and let me know.  I like it so much that I know I'll have a hard time taking it apart unless I can come up with a charm bracelet or necklace design that I feel it deserves.

So, where do you go for vintage jewelry finds?  Flea market, antique store, tag sale, church bazaar?  What kind of stuff are you finding there?  Please leave a comment and let me know.  And if you're in the suburban Chicago area I'd REALLY be interested in hearing where you go to find great vintage jewelry.

Well, I'm still sick so off to bed and more medication.  Tomorrow's Sunday and we know what that means....sunday school for all three kids.  And I'm a co-catechist in my son's kindergarten class.  Wish me luck. :)               

September 25, 2009

Okay, so it's been a few days....I've been thinking about blogging every day but my raging sinus infection had other things planned for me.  Like royal facial pain and a bad reaction to a really strong antibiotic that floored me for two days.  Tonight I start antibiotic number two.  Let's hope this one's a keeper.


In all my free time I did get to review a few jewelry making websites.  Tonight I looked at http://www.jewelrymakingallinfoabout.com/. As a charm bracelet afficianado I have to say that I really was not impressed.  There were many detailed jewelry making projects for necklaces, earrings and rings but NO CHARM BRACELETS!  And the type of jewelry it features is not my style of jewely at all.  If you find that you like what I like, then you're probably better off skipping that site.  Sorry to the people over there -- I'm sure that many others send props to them.  It's just that they're not right for my jewely making purposes.


Jack Johnson is playing on my http://www.pandora.com/ radio station right now.  I love him!  The "station" I created is called David Gray Radio.  You should really check it out and create your own station.


Lastly, become a Follower on Google Friends Connect!  Just click on the icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen.  Subscribe to this blog!  Just click on Subscribe at the bottom of the screen.  And comment, please comment so that I can figure out where this blog is going.


That's enough for tonight. Time for some medication and a dream.     

September 20, 2009

So, here it is. My first Halloween charm bracelet.  It's got cauldrons,evil eyes, spiders, owls, black cats, ghosts, pumpkins, "Trick or Treat" and a scary looking tree silhouette.  Oh, and black and orange crystal beads to fill it out.  I call it "Double, Double, Toil and Trouble."  So what do you think?  Is this a marketable item to the mommy set?  I know I like it, but that's just me.  Let me know what you think!

September 18, 2009

How Marketable is Holiday Jewelry?

I have to admit that one of my passions is making holiday-themed jewelry.  Halloween and Christmas are my favorite holidays.  So many decorations!  So much anticipation and so much fun!  Especially when you're viewing it all through your children's eyes.  I volunteer at my kids' schools and it's clear to me that kids love it when they see a mom wearing a Halloween charm bracelet or a light-up Christmas necklace or a bejeweled holiday t-shirt...I think you get my drift.  SO, my next question is, after putting in the time to create some cool holiday jewelry creations, will many (or any) moms actually shell out their hard-earned money for the chance to wear your fabulous creations for only a few months (tops) a year?  Personally I like knowing that I have a few special pieces of jewelry in my jewelry box that are there for me when I need them.  Like, say, on Halloween and Christmas!  Call me crazy.  (Not the last time you'll hear me say that.)  I made a Halloween charm bracelet that I love, and want to share with you.  But it's time to put the kids to bed.  So tune in tomorrow to see the bracelet and let me know what you think.       

September 15, 2009

To Bead or Not to Bead

Okay, so I know I told you I'm not really a "beader" per se, but more of a "charmer" if you will.  Still, a large percentage of the jewelry sites out there speak to beaders.  Some of them have charms as well, and some of them don't.  One site I checked out today is www.Vicalla.com.

Vicalla sells at least 18 categories of beads, one of which is (yay!) pearls.  They had no less than 66 different colors and varieties of pearls, although I have to admit that I'm a sucker for the traditional white round ones.They also sell tools and wire and findings. Even watchfaces.  But no tutorials.  And NO CHARMS! 

I did stumble upon a site with unique sterling silver and silver plated charms.  Go to www.charms4you.etsy.com.  I was psyched to find them and can't wait to shop for some really cool and different charms.  When you stop by the site let them know that I sent you!

Enough for now.  I've got some charm shopping to do. 
  
   

September 13, 2009

Well, this is it -- the techno-challenged me will be attempting to import a photo of the Bauble Jar bracelet I keep talking about.  Let's hope it works!  After that it's time for bed -- my girls had an Irish dance competition (or feis, pronounced "fesh") this weekend and we're ALL tired.  Tomorrow's Monday.  What better day to start making a new bracelet? Let me know what you think about Bauble Jar.  Thanks.

September 7, 2009

Here Comes the Bride

So I spent Labor Day weekend at a family wedding in Philadelphia -- the best wedding ever.  My wonderful niece got married to a great guy and a fantastic time was had by all!

Remember the charm bracelet "Bauble Jar" (mentioned in a previous post)?  Well, I gave it to the beautiful bride and it was an interesting experience for me.  As much as I wanted someone else to enjoy my creation, I was sad to see it go.  Hopefully, if I ever become successful at making and selling this stuff, I'll learn to deal with it.   

I did take a picture of it before I gave it away.  I've challenged myself to figure it out and post the photo -- I know, it sounds sad, but I'm still technologically challenged. 

So let me know how you feel when your creation is passed along to someone else.

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