2015 Show Schedule

I don’t know about where you live, but where I live it was a long, cold winter. This provided for much time inside and much time to think about this jewelry business of mine.

I took a break from the jewelry last year for some personal reasons, but when the Lititz Artisans’ Porchwalk rolled around I realized how much I missed working on the jewelry. This winter I took time to reevaluate the jewelry business and figure out how I can do more with it. The first thing I decided to do was participate in more shows. Some of the shows I decided upon I have participated in before and some of them are totally new for me. One show is even a show I didn’t think I was good enough to get into in the past! (Guess what, I’m in it!)

I’m not going too show crazy this year because I also want to focus on redesigning my booth (more about that in the next post!). However, I think I have a good mix and I’m very exited about each of them.

The schedule is as follows:

May 2nd – Lancaster Made Art Market. Part of the Lancaster ArtWalk in downtown Lancaster, PA. I will be located in the Candy Factory Warehouse D along Queen St.

June 13th – Lititz Ambucs Craft Show in Lititz Springs Park, Lititz, PA.

June 27th – Columbia Antique, Art, & Craft Show in Columbia, PA.

September 26th – Harvest of the Arts in Carlisle, PA. (This is the show I didn’t think I would get into!)

October 2nd-3rd – Lititz Artisans’ Porchwalk in Lititz, PA. I just love this show and if you haven’t been to it, I highly suggest you mark your calendar now and plan to attend.

If you plan to attend, please let me know in advance! I love to meet new people and see old friends at shows.

Thanks for stopping by!

Developing A Design

When I first started this jewelry business I tried to focus on color…lots of color. I used a lot of large gemstone beads such as amazonite, amethyst, agate, quartz, and even wood. However, as time went on I found that this wasn’t me. To be honest, I have never loved large chunky jewelry for more than an accent piece here and there. I like simple lines and refined styling. With this in mind, I started to create metal jewelry. These pieces were and are primarily sterling silver and/or copper and are occasionally accented by gemstone beads.

The one difference between the metal jewelry and the beaded jewelry is that the metal jewelry can progress. When I made a beaded piece, I would lay out the beads, put them together and called it “done.” The metal pieces generally don’t work that way and I have grown to love that aspect of them. I often have an idea for a shape that would look good in a piece and I create it not knowing what the finished piece will actually look like. Sometimes I don’t even know whether it will be a necklace or a pair of earrings. After I create it, I start playing with it in different designs to figure out how I want to use it. More components are added and eventually I end up with the final piece of jewelry.

I did this recently and really surprised myself. I wanted to create a simple cuff bracelet, so I took some heavy gauged wire and formed it into the bracelet. After it was “complete,” it felt as though something was missing. I kept the bracelet on my desk for several days, looking at it every day trying to think of what it needed. After about a week, it hit me. I had one random large jasper bead I thought would look perfect on the bracelet. Because of the bracelet’s design, I was able to easily add components to it. I wrapped the jasper bead onto the bracelet and then it was complete. The bead added just a little “pop” to the bracelet while keeping it simple and elegant.

Here is the bracelet to start:

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Here it is with the addition of one bead:

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What do you think? I think the bead really changed the bracelet and added some life to it. This hasn’t been listed on my Etsy site yet, but if you are interested in it I can make that happen.

Do you create? Have you ever created something you thought was almost perfect only to add details to it later to make it truly perfect?

Thanks for stopping by!

Spring 2015 Colors

While we’re on the topic of color, I decided to explore which colors Pantone says are going to be fashionable this spring. When Pantone picks the fashionable colors for a season, they usually pick colors that will go well together in some way. They might not all work with each other, but you can mix and match them. One thing I found funny about this list is the fact that a few of the colors are colors I thought would work well with Marsala in my last post. I did not see this list before writing my last post.

Per Pantone the Spring 2015 colors are:

Aquamarine

Scuba Blue

Lucite Green

Classic Blue

Toasted Almond

Strawberry Ice

Tangerine

Custard

Marsala

Glacier Gray

Dusk Blue

Treetop

Woodbine

Sandstone

Titanium

Lavendar Herb

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(image from jld-studios.com)

I think these are very attractive colors and can be mixed up to create some nice pairings.What surprised me was how muted the colors are. As I noted before, I usually think of spring colors as bright colors. Pantone defines these colors as “understated brights, pale pastels, and nature-like neutrals.” I can agree with that.

They chose these colors because they are not too bold. These colors are a reflection of society’s desire to minimize and find ways to live a simpler life. After reading this, I completely understand and agree with the need for a simpler life and the need to make sure that all things in life help us find that simplicity. They say certain colors bring on certain emotions so if we want to feel calm, we need subdued colors.

The irony in this is that only three short years ago Tangerine Tango was chosen as the 2012 Color of the Year because it was sure “to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.” Perhaps we got too much energy and need to relax? You can read about Tangerine Tango here.

What are your thoughts on these colors? Do you find colors affect your emotions and you could use some relaxing colors this year?

Thanks for reading!

2015 Color of the Year…Marasala

One of the topics I like to touch on near the beginning of each year is the Pantone color of the year.

If you have not heard of Pantone before, they are considered the world’s authority on color. They create color systems, dictate color trends throughout the fashion industry and every year they designate a “color of the year.”

This year’s color is Marsala (18-1438). Pantone defines Marsala as “a naturally robust and earthy wine red, (it) enriches our minds, bodies, and souls.” (www.pantone.com)

marasala

I like this color, but when I look at it my first thought is “It’s a great fall color.” I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring colors, which I typically think of as light and bright. Luckily, I think Marsala would pair well with white, ivory, beige, and royal blue. Using Marsala as an accent to these colors, such as in a necklace or earrings, would make a simply classic looking outfit.

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This isn’t quite Marsala, but when it comes to gemstones I think garnet is about the closest color you will get.

What are your thoughts on Marsala? Do you wear it? Would you wear it?

If you are interested in the necklace posted above, please check it out on my Etsy site: Garnet Necklace

 

Thanks for stopping by!

A Long Awaited Return

For quite some time now I have been telling myself, and folks around me, that I would be getting back into my jewelry this year. I took a break last year due to a job change. I wasn’t sure how much time I would have and wanted to focus on getting some things back in order. The problem with taking a break from something is that it can be hard to get back into it. “I don’t have time right now” has been a phrase I have frequently used. I know I need to work on my jewelry, I want to work on my jewelry, but “I don’t have time.”

As I grow older, the one thing I have learned is the importance of eliminating the phrase “I don’t have time” from my vocabulary. It must be changed to “I will make time.” I know it sounds cliche, but if we don’t say “I will make time” (and actually follow through with it), we will have an entire list of “I wish I had…” when we finally get to the point where we are unable to do anything about it.

This weekend I was able to make time (being snowed in helped) to work on the jewelry. I was able to price some pieces that have been sitting on my desk for a month or two and also create and price some new pieces. Now the key will be to make time to photograph them and list them on Etsy!

Something else I need to work on is setting goals for this jewelry business. I have applied to several larger craft shows this year and if I get into them,  I’m going to need a lot of inventory. I think having goals will help me to focus on creating inventory piece by piece so I’m ready to go when the shows come. I have only been accepted into one of them, but I’d rather be prepared than regretful.

Below you will see the pieces that were created this weekend. The earrings shapes were created several weeks ago, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them. I sat and played with them for a bit this weekend, and these were the results. I’m very happy with them. I’m working on changing my style of jewelry and all of these pieces fall right in line with what I’m looking to do.

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I’m looking forward to getting back into this adventure. Thanks for stopping by!

Beginning the Soldering Adventure

My apologies for the long time between posts again. I really need to start putting it on my calendar.

 

As you might remember, about a year ago I wrote about a class I took in which I learned how to solder sterling silver. I had every intention of starting to do this in my own creations from the start of this year, but only now have I been able to get started. But…I have started and I’m excited!

 

When most people hear about soldering, they think it involves a soldering iron; however, soldering silver involves a small butane torch, which means an open flame. This was part of my hesitancy in getting started. I feared the flame. Even after I set my mind to it, I struggled to get the concept of the flame. I was using it outside and in the bright light, I couldn’t see it until it was huge. I’m honestly not sure how I didn’t burn down my house!

 

My husband came to my rescue and got the torch set up correctly for me and moved me to a shady area so I could see the flame better. Within a matter of minutes, I had accomplished what I had been trying to do for about four hours. The sad part is, it was only two little solder joints. Live and learn I suppose.

 

The outcome of my adventure was two small rings which I was so excited about I worked them into a pair of earrings right away. Here you can see what I did:

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The silver around the edge is what I soldered and the copper disks I cut and formed by hand. The earwires are also hand-forged. I am so thrilled to be moving into this next step in jewelry design. I have wanted to do this for so long.

 

Soldering opens up a lot of doors for me because it allows me to work with metal more and this gives me the opportunity to create truly one-of-a-kind pieces. I also want to create pieces that all work together so customers can mix and match items better and add to their collections. For example, I plan to make a sterling silver cuff bracelet that could go with these earrings, but it could work on its own or with a few other pieces I have created. I also plan on making a necklace which will match these earrings, but it will also match a few pairs of earrings I have created using only copper disks.

 

As soon as the UPS man arrives tomorrow with my shipment of new supplies, I’ll really get started. Oh, and I’m going to make a note to keep you up-to-date on my progress as well!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Since the beginning of this year, I have somewhat put my jewelry creations on hold due to a personal situation. However, I recently realized I really miss creating. So on a recent errand run, I stopped into a local bead shop and picked up a new sheet of copper.

I love working with sheet metal because I can create almost anything I can think of. It’s a blank slate to cut, hammer, patina, file and bend. The copper really adds an interesting color. It’s not something you often see, but it’s becoming more popular. I origninally bought a sheet of copper last summer/fall to practice with before I moved onto silver sheets, but I liked the way the pieces looked so much that I had to start working with it in addition to the silver.

While I was in the shop, I saw two different sizes of copper rings and I commented to my husband that they would make pretty earrings. I decided against getting them though because I figured I could come up with enough projects using the copper sheet. I was still thinking about these rings when I got home, so I decided to try to make some. The holes through the middle aren’t as centered as the ones in the store, but that’s okay by me. I enjoy being different. This is how they turned out:

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What do you think? They are 1” diameter with 1/2” diameter holes.

I am not one to throw things away, so the next step was to figure out what to do with the circles which resulted from punching the holes in the center of those earrings. I figured since I had two of them, the easiest thing to do would be to make another pair of earrings. The circles came out pretty smooth so I decided to work with that instead of hammering them. I sanded them lightly for a little texture and I domed them so they reflect the light beautifully. This is the result:

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What do you think?

It amazes me how two completely different pairs of earrings can come from the same base material. That’s what I love about what I do. I can create what I’m in the mood for and no two items are identical. I can be in a constant state of creativity.

This project inspired me to really start to think about making the most of things. In some cases, it would be easy to say the small circles are the waste product of the first pair of earrings and dispose of them. However, with a little creativity, trash can become treasure. I have a few pieces of jewelry which no longer really fit the style of the rest of my pieces so I’m thinking I might pull them apart and try to rework them instead of calling them a lost cause. Perhaps that will be a future blog post!

With the challenging economy many of us are facing, do you find yourself trying to find ways of reusing items or saving your scrap materials to use for a different project? It seems as though this concept is really becoming popular, even though it’s probably something we should have always been doing. If you have a creative reuse project, I would love to see it!

For now, thanks for stopping by!