Year of the bead!

Well, that’s what I said back in January. And things were hopping along quite nicely. Until life kinda jumped in and without being very polite nudged the beads off to the side for a bit.
And in my creative mess I wasn’t in the mood to drag it back…until now. I’m making a new start and keeping things simple. I almost feel like I’m selling myself out with this, by deciding on selling multiples, and going mainstream with my stock. I, like many other beaders want to sell one of a kind (OOAK) items and not have many of the same thing. Well, sometimes it just doesn’t work like that. I’ve known this for a while and, yes, have been in denial about it. By doing the few things I will be I can still keep my creative difference even with making stacks of multiples.
It may be June and half way through the year already but The year of the Bead is back on track!
There’s something I want to test out, which are easy to make and can be whipped up in no time at all. Even at markets if I so desire. A simple, stylish something that pretty well all women would like to wear (I hope).
Cheers beady friends, Jen

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website, blog and other beady stuffs

I’m doing a little upgrading and sorting on my website.  Working out what I should be adding on and taking off.
Do I have more or less Collections (galleries), do I stock lots of bigger, more expensive items, or do I do keep it as is and add in the smaller add-ons, the accessories, like bookmarks and hair slides?

I’m working on a page fo rmy re-made items. I’ve done so many but taken so few pictures.
I am happy to re-make and re-fashion items, or if you have a bag of beads, make something completely new for you. Items that are sentimental or broken, can’t throw them away – I can help you.
Re purpose them into something new and funky, or add a few new items and fix it up.

I’m also thinking of changing the designs on this page, so it’s more like the website in design. Now to spend the time to find one.. eek, but such a fun waste of time.  (update: I’ve had a quick look through the themes thnking I’d find maybe 3 or 4 that would be suitable, but no.  I found 8. This may be harder than first anticipated. Or very easy when I get into the nitty gritty of each theme)

I love the website, it’s clean and neat. Nothing too flowery and over the top.  Nothing gets in the way of crisp (for the most part) photos and clean lines.  All in pink, black and white.

I bought some pearls at the Craft Fair on Saturday with a few ideas of what to make.  Something to go with the pearl necklace a friend gave to me to fix and then keep.
Plus some scarf bails which I’ll make assorted dangles for so they are interchangable for the multitude of scarves I have.

That is about it for today, I have to go for my run and then, although the sun is shining out there (winter, where are you?) get back into inside jobs.  Like sorting market boxes form yesterday and the tidy and making thigns on my desk.
More computer work can wait til the evening when it is too cold to use my hands properly.

A picture of something pretty to finish with, coz I like to add pictures to my posts.

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Have a great day or evening where ever you may be,
Jennifer 🙂

Monday makes

I finally got back to the craft room and got busy. Between running around after the kids and doing other jobs I made 11 bookmarks and the earrings are from last week -and ran out of time to photograph them. These simple earrings are always a winner at markets, and perfect for little girls or those adults who like small unobtrusive ear decorations.

Hoping I get back into later in the week, there are several unfinished items I want to play with – bracelets in particular.

Jen.

No excuses!

Things have been busy, and I’ve been lazy with my beads. There. No excuses, just the truth.
I do need to get into some sort of better beading and sewing routine. I wanted to post here somewhere along twice a week, and I can honestly say that hasn’t happened.

So what am I working on. I have a repai job to do. Actually 4 for the one person. So that keeps me busy for a bit. Two were simple re stringing jobs, with the other two using a handful of beads and making something out of them.  I sort the beads, make a few options up and send pictures and await further instruction.
This time around there are a dozen small pearly beads which are sentimental but barely enough to make a bracelet, let alone a necklace so I will give her a few ideas and see. The other beads should make a nice necklace with some of my own thrown in. I quoted $30-$40 and provided the time is not much then it should come in around budget.

My crafty routine? What’s to become of that?
Well, I have the bi-annual CRAG Art Trail at the end of September (2 days instead of 3 this year) so I want to have a new collection ready. I wont be saying much yet until I have made my final decision.
I have monthly markets til the end of the year at Woodbridge, I’ve applied for a niche market that does 4 a year (although I have missed making the first one), and am waiting the email for another one that happens twice a year (for 2 days).
The market just up the road, I haven’t heard from them either. But there is still time.

The two items I restrung this morning. Ready and waiting for the two others to be completed.

Before

Before

After

After

Jewellery storage at home – what I did for mine.

Do you have lots of jewellery?
Is it all jumbled up in cups, and trays?
Are you missing earrings and a can’t find that special piece to dress up an outfit?

More importantly, do you have very little room, and or dislike the fancy storage items you find elsewhere?
Well it’s time to think outside the box.

My main issue is lack of space, especially for tall storage items. This is my space and my jewellery looks like this….
What a mess!

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So I have to try and find something that will accommodate all my pieces, look good, be functional (ie, not be awkward or a pain to use) and keep things clean and generally free from those pesky dust bunnies. I do have a dressing table, but it is in my foyer/entry hall and is always covered in other stuff, and not used by me at all for my things. The bedroom is not big enough to house it, otherwise it would be there. And the ensuite vanity is barely big enough for the basics we have in it as it is.

Back to storage solutions. I saw this great idea on necklace storage the other day and thought about doing it, but when I found felt covered coat hangers for trousers at $2 I decided it would be much quicker to buy those and utilise them. As I type, I am contemplating using them for the scarves and doing other things with my jewellery. We shall see.
I also bought a few other things. Small plastic containers, at $2 each. Designed for the kitchen, but perfect for what we want it for. I bought 11 of them, and the leftovers I can easily use to tidy my kitchen drawers, so nothing wasted.
Playing around with layouts of all the different pieces I had took some time. I wanted to use the wooden box for the compartments, and the clear trays as they were designed for jewellery. Not possible with what I decided on. I’ll still keep them as you never what might be available in the next house we have.
My top drawer which housed scarves and jammies and the shelf with jewellery have essentially been swapped. The jewellery tucked (further) away from the dust. To keep the scarves neat and not snagging on the timber, they went into the containers (when winter comes I’ll have to re work this slightly for bulkier items), and my Jammie’s are just on the shelf.

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In the drawer I arranged the new containers, for bracelets, some necklaces, and some earrings, two of the small baskets hold my bangles and rings, and one of my bead containers was used as compartments for smaller earrings (the lid was removed so it would fit, but can be sat on the top for protection).

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The bulk of the necklaces. I used those felt coat hangers. It works a treat. I found a way to hang them so they don’t get tangled but are still easy to get on and off. They are hung from the top rung and then alternated between each side (with a piece of material hanging from the second rung) to keep them separate and visible. I think it works. They have been hung between clothes that will not snag them, and the red hangers in the the sea of wooden ones can be easily seen. What do you think? You can see in the first the picture my testing of the idea.

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On an aside. This is the other side of my wardrobe. Hanging space for long items and room for shoes. My shoes all fit, but there is no room for the handbags I want kept handy. Another tier on there shoe rack will work perfectly.

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I bought another shoe rack expecting to just add one tier. I should have known better. It was wider than the first one. Ok, replace it and then adjust the shoes to fit. Now I have a two tier shoe rack… maybe one of the boys might want to use it their rooms for something. And the finished product.

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While I was doing this and deciding which things I’ve made that I don’t want and might clean up and sell or re fashion I did find a couple of necklaces that I will refashion for me. Just slight tweaks. I still love the colours but the style needs a little change to match the me I am here, as he compared to the me I was in Mt Isa.
So what do you do with your jewellery storage, do you have this sort of room, more or less?

Before and After

Before and after my 3 day journey from mess to organised.
I am so happy, hubby is happy (with the picture at least, he is yet to see it in the flesh) and I feel so organised. There is a lot of work to do with all my beads and sorting out the bead bookcase, and those millions of misc beads and bits I want to repurpose.

But enough of that for now.
Check out what I did! (I walk into my room and can’t help but smile at how it makes me feel)

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Wire wrapping – a cage for amethyst

As you saw the other day I bought myself a book at the craft fair, and then two days later mum gave me some gorgeous semi precious stones. Lots of little amethyst stones. Seem are big enough to drill a hole in, others are on the small side. So I shall put my skills to the test and see if I can use this book and make a wire cage for the amethyst stones.

The book is called Elegant Wire Jewellery and has many good ideas and inspiration for me to add new and exciting elements into my jewellery. There are the lightweight and simple designs for an understated chain necklace or options to add elements together to make a chunkier detail for more intense necklaces.
And of course options for me to wire wrap or encase my stones or glass beads.

~ some time later ~

First up, I am happy with my attempt. It’s free range and organic. Just like I prefer. I like the idea of fun and quirky items.
Second. Wire wrapping like this is hard, and fiddly and I have immense respect for those who can do it and have neat, tidy and perfect results.
And both these point are attributed directly to our personality. Some people are definitely more perfectionist and anal than others. I know who and what I am, and I’m happy with that.

I’m thinking this means I should show you what I did. I was aiming for a a rectangular cage, what I got was a squarish ball cage that started of ok and then went downhill from there.
I’m not sure if I’ll keep it for myself or just write it off as a learning curve item and cut it up.

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20130705-121639.jpg I did tuck in that piece of wire. No sharp ends to snag anything now.
What do you think? Are you a free range organic sort of person, or do you prefer the perfect angles and curves.

Craft Fair, the full account.

I’m a dill sometimes. I took some pictures with my phone and sent them to a post, then forgot to ‘check’ the draft folder and off it went to publish. Doh!
I had not fully realised the craft fair was on, so was very happy when mum asked me to go along with her and while she did her thing I had a couple of hours to wander round and ‘shop’. I had very limited funds so was only able to purchase a few items.
I have dates for next year and will be saving up to make the most of it. A lot of the vendors have show specials and from those I saw, they are pretty good savings.

Amongst the vendors and sales there are also classes and demonstrations. Had I known before hand I may have taken some more classes.
I did one ‘class’, and made myself a gorgeous fluffy fibre necklace. So easy and it only took 5mins.
Yes, 5 mins. I would have liked to make the other 3 styles of necklace they had as well, but it was not to be. There was a mixed media class which would have been fun, but again, time and funds restricted me.

The necklace was incredibly simple, and while I cannot copy it outright, the technique is not new. Putting my spin on them is easy and it will instantly make them mine.Some other fibres given to me and my necklace. The grey one is a tube so beads can be inserted to make something different.

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And my necklace – subtle greys, black and white. I could have made the bright one, but I loved the look and texture of this one.

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Some of the other items I bought were
Felted balls

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Silver cutlery, a bird cage and some tree of life pendants,

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A great book on working with wire, and making my own pendants,

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And I’ll include the Peruzi focals I bought form FB the other day. Just gorgeous.

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Overall I had a fantastic couple of hours and for anyone remotely interested in craft or just wanting supplies for wet day activities, craft fairs are the way to go.
Melbourne is on in just under a month, if you are there, head on over.

Looking forward to next year and learning some new skills. And using the book to learn something new.
Jen 🙂

Off to market I go

After spending so many mornings not needing to get up before 7am, made a 6 o’clock get up this morning tough. And getting up late, 6.30, meant I didn’t have time to make my lunch like I normally do. Why spend money when I have already done it and have the small things in the pantry. I always buy myself a nice coffee but $4 is different to $10+. Oh, I know it’s not a huge amount, but I prefer not to if I don’t have to.
Anyhoo, I digress. The car was packed last night so all I had to do was my thermos and lunch and leave.
Arriving right on time, at 8, I started my set up. I had done a mock up a week ago, but when the time came this morning, I was all out of whack and I didn’t use half of what I wanted to originally. It was still a good set up, and being against the all, with lots of hooks means one thing. More props! Mum had some new half bodies that she hangs to display her scarves on, and at $15 each I might just get myself some. No I don’t have clothes, but a white tee shirt and one of my longer necklaces, and hanging on the wall, will look really good.

20130505-170139.jpg the picture is a little fuzzy, but you can see how stark the background is.

I had a busy start, selling a good amount and then it went really slow. Simply, after a cheap lunch and stall fee I still brought money home. That is a good thing.
As with most markets, and knowing that you can never tell from one week to the next, I will keep going along here for another two months to see how it goes. Hopefully it will still be good.

The few pictures I took show a nice display, but I have done better, and brighter. The wall is too white and bare behind it, so those new busts will be a fantastic addition. I might have to use my pink tablecloth as a highlight like I used to to add a little something back to the table.

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If there is anything you think I could add, please let me know. Also check out the page of “my market evolution” to see what other displays and props I’ve done/used.
Here’s hoping your weekend was fantastic 🙂
Jen

Rainy day makes and frustrations

My box of ufo’s isn’t getting any smaller, in fact, it’s almost multpliying. I’ve bought or been given some very cool funky beads and buttons that I want to make with these rather than starting on the other. Maybe sometime this week I will just sort the boxes, pull apart nad re distribute the beds and findings. I still have to sort and pack away the box of bits I received months ago. But seeing as I am just pottering through them, and using the contents, I don’t have a problem with it.

It was a nasty rainy day – perfect for being productive – and I got started this morning on buttons. And twine. Yeah, not so good. The twine kept fraying too much, I have to dip it in glue to stiffen it before I start again. I give that up to have a go at something else.

I bought two of these on purpose. I usually only make one of each item, but these were so cool, making two would not be so hard. I added, divided, cut and re-strung the wooden beads and then added the ribbon and chain. And what did I do. By the time I finished one I was bored, and frustrated. So, something simple but different was made.

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These two are different, but very pretty. Silver flowers overlaid on the wooden

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and I wanted some colour injected. Testing out the different ribbons to find a good match it was then hunt out the pretties and see what semi precious or other cool beads would work. I was thinking deep red, hot pink or bright blues. Or orange. I hate orange. But lots of people like orange.
After fiddling about I decided on a classic combination of coral and turquoise. Now to just find the fit pieces for charms…
The colours look much brighter in the flesh, the lighting is not very clear, even though I was directly under the light. I want to find something completely different for the other one. Wood, resin, clay, glass….?

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Have a great weekend, I’ll be back with news of the market either tomorrow night or Monday.
Jan 🙂