I came across a pile of old faucets at the flea market last year, the kind that turn a garden hose on and off. I like to find things in quantity for jewelry making, and decided they would make some interesting pieces of spigot jewelry.
I took pictures of this necklace and a few other pieces back in December (hence, the Christmas décor in the background) and am just now getting it added to my website.
On another creative note, I would like to show you my new logo. I have a little problem sometimes being dis-satisfied with what I create, no matter how happy I am with it while working on it. I think this is due to a combination of being tired of looking at it, and being pretty self-critical. I have worked on my logo off and on for several months. You may remember me sharing some of my process in this post. I really wasn’t happy with it, so I put it on the shelf for a while. I wanted something cleaner, and came up with this simplified version.
I really am happy with it now, and it will work well for a watermark on my photos, as well as business cards, labels, etc.
Here it is in watermark form. The bowl of Spanish moss is a glimpse of what my next post will be about.
I almost titled this post Purple, Pearls and Pudge because that’s how I feel right now! I have been indulging in fattening foods while hibernating during this long cold February. As a result, my jeans are fitting more tightly and I don’t like it! It’s time to shake it off, eat less and move around more.
Just a quick outfit share, not particularly inspired. I purchased this sweater during a thrift shopping spree several months ago. It has a sweet look that is more fitting with how I dressed a few years ago. I was drawn by the pearls and the price and the desire for new things in my closet.
I paired it with a white button down blouse, giving it a slightly preppy feel. I added a simple pearl bracelet and a pair of my lace covered ball earrings.
I’m okay with the overall look for a casual day, but I’ll probably pass the sweater on after a couple more wears.
I’ve been doing the hula hoop for exercise. I’m bored with the treadmill and other “regular” exercise. I can’t wait to get out and bike ride when the weather gets nicer. What’s your favorite non-exercise exercise?
I just added a few pieces of jewelry to my shop and I wanted to give you a preview here. I have been embracing the colors of coral and turquoise a lot lately.
Here’s a cuff bracelet with a vintage metal hardware piece as the centerpiece. I added turquoise patina to bring out the amazing detail.
I was getting a sort of western vibe so I chose cowhide leather with brindle hair for the band.
As you probably know, I am very committed to reusing and reinventing pieces and parts, mostly vintage, to create new pieces that work in today’s design. Virtually all of my jewelry incorporates upcycled items, most of which had nothing to do with jewelry in their original state.
For this necklace I took belt loops from an old pair of blue jeans, overlaid them with vintage lace and formed them into a cross.
A vintage button and swirly coral glass beads add a pop of color.
I do love crosses!
Another material I love to use when designing is items found in nature. We have a lot of trees in our yard and have done a few projects using the wood from them. It’s not often you come across a branch that yields heart-shaped slices, so of course I was elated to find and use this one in my jewelry designs.
Mixing rustic with a bit of bling, I paired it with a glass crystal drop (also vintage)for a simple, natural necklace.
I’ll show you a more colorful version of the heart slice in my next studio share.
Everyone gets tired of their wardrobe from time to time. Clothing options can sometimes become boring for me even after it seems like I just shopped the mother lode. Right now I have other things I have to spend money on. Sigh. If I had Christmas money to spend right now, and I were going to do some clothes shopping, here are two outfits I would put right in my closet.
If you’re in the same boat ~ tired of your wardrobe, getting the itch to buy some new clothes but it’s not in the budget ~ allow me to share a tip I have used to reignite my enthusiasm for the clothing and accessories I have to work with. This is a great winter weekend project. You’ll need to allow about two hours (give or take) to do this exercise but it will be so worth it.
1. Pull out 4 or 5 of your favorite layering tops (underneath layer). Choose tops that have some kind of detail front and center like lace, shirring, cutouts, etc.
2. Pull out 4 or 5 top layer pieces > jackets, see-through tops, button-down shirts, low-cut tops, etc.
3. Decide if you want to put together dressy outfits or casual (or both) and choose 4 or 5 bottom pieces accordingly (pants, skirts, shorts, jeans).
4. Now comes the fun part. Take each top layer piece and pair it with any of the under layer pieces that coordinate in color or style, keeping them on the hangers or laying them down in sets.
5. Add a bottom layer piece to each paired combo.
6. This step is crucial and I urge you not to skip it: Try them on! Yes it will take time but think of it as a shopping trip. Combinations that look good on the hangers might not look great on you, and vice versa. Things like length of top, cling factor, fullness and structure dictate how they will fall and mesh together. This is where it takes patience but once you find a combo that works you’ll have an outfit that flatters and you will feel great in it.
7. In my experience, some pieces go with everything and some don’t work with anything. Those in the second category (I call them loners) are pieces that I either get rid of or, if it’s something I really love, make a note to find something to pair it with next time I go shopping.
8. This might be my favorite part of the whole process. Once you have decided what works together, lay out your winning outfits and go to your jewelry stash. Play around with different pieces, try out-of-the-box color combinations, layer up on necklaces and bracelets. Take a fresh look at your cache and use it to the fullest to bling up your outfit.
9. At this point in the process, it may be a good idea to take pictures of your outfits, because if you’re like me, once everything is back in the closet you’re likely to forget (or not see) the exact combinations you put together.
10. You will be amazed at the new outfits you discover if you think outside the box. Now you can look forward to the next event in your life, be it coffee with the girls, date night or Sunday church, knowing you will feel pulled together and polished.
Just because you don’t have any immediate plans to go on a shopping spree, that doesn’t mean you’ll never buy anything new again. With the eventual shopping splurge in mind, I created two shopping checklists ~ one for your clothing and one for your accessories ~ for you to print and keep handy to stay tuned in to your closet and accessory “inventory”.
Use this checklist to take inventory before you shop. Just write “Have” or “Need” in the spaces to help you decide what CLOTHING to buy.
Use this checklist to take inventory before you shop. Just write “Have” or “Need” in the spaces to help you decide what ACCESSORIES to buy.
Do you have any tips for overcoming boredom with your wardrobe? Do share!
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you’re getting everything checked off your list and that you’re taking time to reflect on the wonderful meaning of Christmas. I still have one more set of pictures from the market I sold at in November, Junk Jubilee Jingles.
Here I am, ready to make some sales.
And here I am with a sweet neighboring vendor I got to know during the show. Nicole of Angel Wings and CT is amazing! She has a shop in downtown Winterset, IA. I haven’t seen it but I’m sure it’s full of gobs of goodies, judging from her booth at the show.
Here is a look at a few of her creations
In her shop, she also carries boutique clothing, jewelry, home accents and antiques. It was a pleasure meeting her. You can check out her Facebook page here Angel Wings and CT.
I’m back with more pictures and stories from the show that consumed the last 3 months of my designing time. And not just my studio time, to be totally honest. Many things are put on hold when I am preparing for a big show. Thankfully, I have a husband that is understanding. He knows by now that I get so crazy consumed by getting ready for the big event that there will be big heaping piles of laundry, take-out meals more than twice a week, and requests to please get out his tools and “do a little job for me”.
These necklace stands are one of those requests that he so graciously fulfilled.
My husband has willingly gone along with me to many shows and helped with set up, tear down and anything else I have needed from him. But this time when my best friend offered to go in his place, he happily bowed out.
We stayed up late talking all three nights at the hotel, even though we needed our sleep. I was just too keyed up to sleep. Do you know that feeling when you are just so exhausted but your mind won’t shut off? Yeah. So we had wine and chocolate, laughed and cried, and fell asleep in time to get about 5 hours each night.
When the show closed the first night, we headed out for our 20 minute drive to the hotel. About ten minutes into the drive, I heard a still, small voice nudge my mind with a thought ~ a scary thought. I asked Bobbi to grab my purse from the back seat and see if I had put the money bag in there. As she frantically dug around in my purse, my gut told me that it wasn’t there. Me and my gut were right. I pulled over and we searched everywhere before heading back to the fairgrounds. The ten minutes back seemed like an eternity. I just kept saying, it will be there, nobody took it, it will be there. I ran from the car to the building and tried the door ~ locked! So I ran around the building trying doors until one opened. I tried to calmly (not insanely) walk past the people lingering by the door. I got to my booth, checked the place I kept it, and it was there! I can’t tell you how relieved I was! I’m usually not a particularly forgetful person, except when I’m sleep deprived.
The next day it snowed about 3 inches, and as we were getting ready to close, people were saying that there were several reports of cars sliding off into ditches. Oh yay! Nighttime highway driving in an unfamiliar city…with slick roads! Another drive to the hotel that should have taken 20 minutes turned into an hour. I wasn’t taking any chances so I drove really slowly and we arrived safely and ready for the hot tub. A good soak while watching it snow from the hotel window ~ does it get any better?
Having Bobbi there gave me a much needed dose of girl time, but she was also extremely helpful. From rolling up her sleeves and helping with the heavy lifting, to offering valuable advice. It was her suggestion to pair necklaces and bracelets that coordinated on the necklace stands, to assist customers in putting together sets. I think they displayed great this way.
And now, for a look at some of the other wildly talented vendors’ booths.
I still have a few more pictures to show you and a vendor to introduce you to, but I will save that for the next and final JJJ post. I hope you’ll come back and read part 3.