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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Meet Josephine!

This week I welcomed a new ‘staff’ member to my team. She is still a little green and needs to look at how she presents herself, I think she will be a valuable part of the Marcato group.
She jumped right into the modelling aspect as you can see from this shot of her with a lovely red daisy chain necklace.

Later in the week we will be welcoming another new member which we’re both quite excited about.  Luckily the other girls aren’t the jealous sort, and if they had arms would have opened them to her.

Once I have everyone gathered we will have a group photo.

Josephine
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Jennifer 🙂

Bumpy beads

A month ago nearly I started this funky necklace.Yes, I’ve been that busy/dis-organised that I have finally got my act together to finish it.
I love it. Colourful, and long enough to pop straight over your head it is perfect for the end of summer, or to brighten up those winter outfits.
I took it along to market today where it got lots of compliments, but was not loved quite enough to find a new home.
On the other hand I sold one of my chunky multi chain/beaded strand necklaces that looked fabulous on this lady and when she said what she was going to wear it with – I dare say she’ll get loads of compliments from it.
These moments make me happy.
(A strange market day, but profitable for me, you just can’t pick’em)
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Til next time.

Market, auction, somewhat unorganised.

I rarely do this. I want to have a little vent.
First up. I made a small mistake, which I have now learnt from.
Today at the market we also had an auction to helpline fun for the children’s ward at the hospital (this happens every June, Give me 5 for kids) which is run by one of the local radio stations.
A fortnight ago, the DJ’s were in the area at the bakery, talking to locals as well the market organiser. No problem, stall holders asked to donate an item if we could.
Fast forward to today.
I gave my necklace – on a bust – to the manager to display, with instructions that I would gift wrap it should it sell. All good.
Then came the time for the auction to start.
Items were picked up, and then some were bundled with others to make the deal more appealing. Ok, these things happen. And this is where I should have done something, like attach a business card, to my item. I thought they would have listed or named the items. Wrong again. Lesson learnt. The two items: A gift card from another jewellery seller + my necklace were produced, as one sale item. The other lady was not happy when they said it was hers. Correction made, my name spoken out, to some semi cheers, and bidding commenced.
Don’t get me wrong, I love competition, but the other seller didn’t look very happy.

I’m lucky that I saw the lady who won, hanging onto her necklace, as they didn’t tell her to come and see me. So I went and said I would gift wrap it for her. She was rapt, and very happy with her purchase. And so she should have been. For $35 she got a $20 voucher and my necklace. (For the record, another, simpler necklace set only went for $15 as well).

A lot of people had wandered through the market prior to the auction starting but many didn’t stay. I think they should have had items marked and if customers wanted to place a bid and leave their details it could have added more interest and maybe more money overall. Are they allowed to do this, I don’t know.
Also, one measly rep from the radio station turned up and barely talked to anyone and was gone within for minutes of the auction finishing. Put it this way. There were five of us in the foyer, and I only saw him speak to one. And there was next to no advising in the two weeks prior.

All that aside. I am happy that my item sold, and the recipient was happy with it.
On with the show for another fortnight, and we shall see what next fortnight brings us.

Jennifer 🙂

Item up for Auction

After a week of wanting to do things but not having the oomph to do it – you know the drill, when your get up and go just ran away. That was me. I had quite a few things I wanted to do, but I have found if I am not in the right space then to leave it. When I am ready to roll, I just go with it and let the beads flow. Yesterday I got that chance, with the afternoon and evening letting me get back into it. Several pieces are hanging on my biggest bust, I will leave them for a day or two and see how they look. Sometimes they don’t work.

The best thing that got me going was the chance to put a piece into an auction that is happening at the next market.
Around Australia, during June, we have a massive fundraising effort to help the children’s ward at the local hospitals and the radio station that does it in Hobart will be attending the market and having an auction.

All stallholders were invited to put something in, and I thought “why not?”
It will gets lots of people looking at and hearing about my jewellery. Just what I want. But then it gets scary. (Enter scared of succeeding thoughts). This much more than just having a table and showing my things. These people will be live on radio (or as live as possible I spose) and they have influence. If I was going to put anything in, it had to be good.
While I was thinking about any already made items, I caught a glimpse of a chain necklace that I had yet to finish. All it needed was the ribbon at the back.
Funny how it takes a deadline to actually get things done. Although the market is next weekend, and I can bring it on the day, I wanted it done so I knew it was ready.
I am calling it ‘my piece de resistance’ but will work on another name ready for next week. I just thought of maybe “life’s mottos” or “values of life”. Naming my pieces is always hard and this one needs to be special. Any help would be appreciated, and credited.

What it’s made from: black and silver chain, Peruzi hand made beads, Swarovski crystals in green and navy, green ribbon, silver toggle clasp.

Related links.
Peruzi hand made beads: http://www.peruzi.net/
Give me 5 for kids: http://www.giveme5forkids.com.au/

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Jennifer 🙂

Simple felt beads necklace

Two weeks ago at the last market I found some gorgeous felted balls which just screamed out for me to buy and make into something. They were sold incredibly cheaply, 10 for $5 I think it was. I had an immediate idea in mind and it has taken me this long to do anything about it.
Thankfully the idea worked.
Please excuse the crappy pictures, it is night here so only ‘fake’ light is available (as compared with natural light…) which means more shadows.

If the lady has returned I will definitely be buying some more.
Strung simply on cotton or linked with wrapped loops and then added to chain makes a very simple and effective necklace. The chains are currently quite long, I will be taking some clasps and jump rings so if anyone wants it shorter I can fix it on the spot.
Selling these for $15 and $20

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The next market is this Sunday, 2 days before Christmas!! so we’re hoping for a boomer – combining the hot weather predicted and the usual last minute rush for presents.

Jennifer 🙂

Some new ideas…

While wandering the halls of Deloraine, well, sheds actually. I noticed something. All the jewellery stalls I saw, were selling the same sorts of things. Same stuff different stall kind of thing. All in styles that are very on trend at the moment.
Chunky resin, ceramic/porcelain pendants, glass, polymer in balls (literally, little balls of polymer on chains) or wooden pendants painted and strung on chain. That type of thing. All very much the same. Not boring, but almost. I wanted to see something different. These things I think are the reason I have not been accepted to the new market coming up. My pieces are not ‘on trend’. (love the day my style becomes on trend!)

Now I’m not going to change who I am or what I make, these things will drift off and other things will be popular. But it gave me an epiphany which I am going to work on.
Sure, I’ll still do my glass pendants, and my Wraptures, but I’m going to work on asymmetrical necklaces. Off centre, not equal on each side… That sort of thing. I’ve noticed that while brilliant, they are not so popular and yet I still see people wearing them.

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I’ve googled and checked out what seems to be happening, they are everywhere – like a lot of jewellery styles – and can be made in many different ways.
I want to make more of my long feminine necklaces – like the one up there ^^ – with different flowers, and maybe even glass, or clay as the focal on the side. And also those that use fibre tie backs with a small amount of focal beads at the front.
I have lots of ideas already and have just under 3 days til the first summer market at Woodbridge starts, so I had better get a wriggle on.

I can still have fun making things that are different, but looking at the stalls in Deloraine, you could see a piece of the person in each piece. Know the artist by the look and style of each piece.
I don’t think you can do that with mine. There is too much difference. I’ll my mark my way.

And I would really really love to go to Deloraine next year.
There is something else major happening though that may get in the way, and which is prioritised first. (not telling, but you’ll know when the time is right, I promise)

Have a great day/night 🙂
Jennifer

It’s UFO day.

No, I’m not talking about aliens, UnFinished Objects. Or bead work in my case. Back the other week while I was cleaning I ended up with a basket of bits and bobs. Things to finish, pull apart, add to…
What I pull out of this basket may just need a little tweaking to finish it. It might be a focal bead in a bag that I’ve added beads to that might work together, or it might be something to fully pull apart and disperse the beads elsewhere, using the focal or beads elsewhere.

Last night I decided I had to get onto it, and pulled out 3 items. Different colours, different styles. And definitely, different when they are finished.
The before pictures..

A little tweaking here…

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Adding some dangles and a chain and/or ribbon here….

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And combining the two to make… I’m thinking maybe a focal point of a necklace…

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Time to get to work.

Several hours later…..
All done, I think I was in a chain mood today.
From the top we have:

I added a toggle near the pendant that can be used as needed, while blending with the design, and added ribbon for the back half where it sits on your neck.

 

Next came turquoise. I had so much trouble,  fun, no confusion with this one. I made it up several ways, then on photographing it decided it didn’t look right so I changed it again. Happy with this result.
And lastly, the red and blue beads with chains.  This was one chunky bracelet, then I made it two and finally gave up on it, as I didn’t like it anymore.
I added chunky silver foil-look chain for a simple summer necklace. It’s quite short,  that will sit round the collar of a tee shirt.

i took out 3 links from each side after the picture was taken, so it is a bit shorter than what this shows.

Happy UFO day 🙂 and til my next one, what UFO’s do you have to work on?
Jennifer

Funky fabric flowers and bags

The other day I received lots of goodies in the mail, and while I said I was going to play, I did, just with other stuff. All the beads are still on the table. I didn’t put them away either.
I played with my fabric flowers instead.

Earlier this year a friend sent me some flowers she had made herself. Just because. They are gorgeous, and pretty in pinks and reds, all floral. But they needed a little blinging up. They sat in my sewing drawer until I knew just what to do.
Then, it hit me. I had finished my first evening bag … Enter pictures please.

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(oops, they’re sideways, sorry) And I now knew exactly what to do with them.
So I blinged them up with a bit of ribbon and some beads and buttons.

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Now my only problem is, should I make a feminine necklace with chain and pearls, a bib necklace with 3 or more of them, a couple of evening bags, or one with a full flower garden on it…??

Below is a mini tutorial of how I finished the flowers.

First, gather supplies. Flowers, thread, ribbon…

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Then pin the ribbon in loops. As neatly as possible, but they move, and it doesn’t matter that it’s not perfect. They’re a fun thing.

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Next, making sure you knot the thread underneath, make small stitches to secure the loops. Only one or two per loop is needed, as the buttons and beads will be more than enough to secure it later.

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Decide on what will be the centre of your flower and sew it on. If needed add more beads so the centre is fully covered and you can’t see the ends of the loops. It should look something like this.

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Or this…

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When you are adding the centre piece make sure you knot the thread regularly underneath to keep it tight and secure.

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My last flower got the royal treatment as I had run out of ribbon so it as beads all the way. A flower button formed my centre and then I beaded extra petals around it.

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Any help in my decision is welcome, I do have all those other fabric flowers I bought, so plenty of flowers for plenty of ideas.

Keep smiling 🙂
Jennifer