Posts Tagged ‘art jewelry’


I totally made a thing today.

All stash or slush bowl. Pure inspiration. All mine*.

A triple strand of dreamy aquamarine, pink-hued freshwater pearls, rose quartz rounds, amazonite and Austrian crystals for a touch of bling. Accents of moonstone and labradorite, with one mauve stick pearl to balance the sterling floral toggle closure. And maybe a touch more bling.

This necklace is happy like a box of puffy white kittens. It is cotton ball fluffy clouds skidding across a sunrise pink sky, morning sunlight sparkling off of cool water, and it feels like sinking back into a downy morning dream.

Put this on and feel your heart chakra expand.

This necklace says, “Have a cookie.”

*By which I mean, it’s totally awesome and I kind of love it and I’m keeping it because I’m allowed to do that sometimes.


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I’ll be honest, financial challenges are for the birds. There is all sorts of stuff I need for the studio, we have a huge show coming up, and the extra money to prepare for it just isn’t there.

But here’s the thing.

It’s ok.


The situation is forcing me to work outside the box because I’ve had to work without the comfortable safety zone of certain supplies. In terms of creative growth, that’s not really such a bad thing at all. And sure, maybe a few weeks before a show isn’t when you want to be all “growth!” and “experiment!” because your brain is focused on “production!” and time can feel a little bit short, but… it is what is.

So I am finding that it’s quite simple, really. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.
If you haven’t got what you wanted, try to find something you can use to replace it. Make it yourself, or work around it.


Use your tools.

Use what you have.


Make do.

Make it work.

Make it up.

My grandfather was all about making stuff up with what he had. It isn’t like he wasn’t able to easily go out and buy the easy fix, but the store wasn’t where he mentally started.  He had a lot of fun figuring stuff out. If something was broken, he’d go down to the shop, putter for a bit, and come back with a little something he’d whipped up to do the job. Sometimes it was pretty – like when he carved Grandma a little wooden fish out of scrap wood, and put a hook on the end so she wouldn’t burn her hands on the toaster oven rack in the mornings. Sure, he could’ve gotten her something at the store. Or handed her a potholder. But the little wooden fish was way better. The wood was there, and he had two hands and the time so that’s what he did. My dad is the same way. He fixes stuff. He engineers clever solutions to life. Captain Sexypants is very much cast from the same mold.

Lucky me!


And then there’s me. If someone carves me a clever wooden fish, I’m thrilled to use it, but my first thought was probably to buy one. My most notable life hacks have been Spanx and refried beans. Imagine my chagrin when I remembered that both of those inventions were already available at Target. I keep trying, though.


I’ve been thinking to myself that this isn’t such a bad attitude to take towards life. Better late than never. Living in the mountains is making this whole transition to a new mindset a lot easier.  It can be a bit more challenging to develop those “make it work” chops when there is Thai takeaway just a phone call away. Living up here, I have to plan ahead and make my own damn curry.

So. In the studio. Making it work with what I’ve got.




So for the next few weeks, I’ll be in my studio. Making it work. Making do. Making it fantastic. If you need me, you can find me rooting through all the forgotten corners of my stash for things to play with while the cats shake their little pom poms and act encouragingly.




It’s a form of encouragement, anyway.

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With the holidays over, I’m back in the studio on a mostly predictable schedule. We wrapped up the Fall/Winter earring club in December, and suddenly it was a New Year which means, a new club! I wanted to do something a little different, so there has been some experimentation and fun going on.


Really, sometimes you just can’t resist your own work, and you keep what you should be selling. I mean, how am I supposed to let these go?



Here’s a little teaser of what club members will be unwrapping later this month…


Rumors that an extra pair of these made it from the bench onto my earring holder might be, um, true.

It’s good to be the king.

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So the blog “Love My Art Jewelry” is having a bootcamp/bloghop with some fun jewelry making skills. Every month they pick a different skillset and there are tutorials, fun posts, and then a blog hop where folks can show off their goodies.

This month it was balled headpins.

Balled Headpin Challenge

I’ve been balling my own headpins since my first jewelry making class with Deryn Mentock of Something Sublime, so this wasn’t really a totally new skillset for me… but I got to see some fun variations on the theme and learned some new twists. Like, if you want copper headpins with a great cherry colored ball? There’s a trick for that! I’d always been a little hit or miss about how to get that result. Now I know! Want to double ball a headpin with a bead on it? You totally can.

I’m a little behind in my studio, not feeling so hot, about to leave for two days in Scottsdale with Captain Sexypants and his family (I am meeting his sister/her family and his stepmom for the first time so am a bit nervous!) and brushing right up on a deadline for The Artisan Group, so the creative spark feels somewhat in short supply.

Balled Headpin challenge

Still, these were fun. I balled up some 16 gauge sterling, and hammered the headpin ball flat, then lightly flattened/textured the wire just above it and turned it into a little dangly charm. Paired them with some of the neat-o turquoise I got at the last gem show (this is the same stuff from one of the sets of Oscar swag) and some African copper heishi. The hoops are 20 gauge sterling, patinaed and textured a little bit. Simple, but really eye catching and they look FANTASTIC with my “I am working in the studio and don’t care” uniform of yoga pants and a hoodie. THey’re kind of tribal and fun looking, but not so big or heavy that you couldn’t comfortably wear them every day. Which I just might. And I’ll definitely be playing with this technique a LOT more.


The beauty of a challenge like this is really all about renewing the creative inspiration. When you are constantly producing product for sale, you can start to run a little dry in that area. None of the stuff I’m doing for any of the art jewelry challenges and blog hops I’m participating is being made for the purpose of making a sale, though certainly the results may wind up in the shop at some point. Or they may not. It’s the making that matters and that part is really just for me, for learning and for fun. It’s refreshing in so many ways!

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