April 25, 2015

A new Craftsy Post is up!

To me, there is no better source of inspiration than nature outside our front doors. You’ll find endless color combinations, shape inspiration, and flora and fauna that can be so easily translated into jewelry adornments. This genre especially appeals to me in my designs. Probably 90 percent of my creations have some sort of nature theme to them.

Here are a few different ways to approach creating nature-inspired jewelry............

  (read more - click link to redirect to the Craftsy Jewelry blog)

April 17, 2015

Another knitting post

Right now I'm struggling to figure out if I should continue to post now and then here at my jewelry blog on my knitting hobby adventures, or if I should just start a new knitting blog. My problem though with that is, I feel like I have too many blogs going now as it is, what with this one that I can't seem to post on more than a few times a week, plus the big Craftsy blog once a month.... so for now, I think an occasional post here will be okay. eh?

So I am trudging along working on 3 different projects, none of which are getting done.  The pink shawl/scarf, is halfway there. Not a great pic, but here is the pattern....Its from ChurchMouse Yarns  But I'll need to get another skein of yarn to finish. The South Beach Freia waves shawl is coming along nicely, at about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way done.  This is called Naiada, from Martina Behm.

Love love love this yarn, it's the Sport version, and it works up really nice on my needles. I am knitting this on circular Cubics needles (the needles are square)

The Marakeb shawl is my favorite of the three but it's been a long road, and many many starts and restarts. Ripping it out starting again. Trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing wrong. I have been in contact with  the designer and even she can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. 
I do hope to eventually figure out what the problem is so I can finish it because I really love that pattern. I am using a gorgeous Madeline Tosh Vintage yarn in Thoreau.  I will share pics when I finally get a large enough fabric knitted up to show you.

It's been getting supplies for this new hobby of mine. I decided it would be nice if I had a nice little Current project bag to keep my yarn and projects in while I wasn't working on them. So I enlisted the help of my friend Cristi Clothier Baxter of Twelve34Handmade to make me one! I had seen her making some similar bags on her Instagram page and when I asked her about them, she offered to take custom orders.  So she helped me pick out some fabrics, and put together the most gorgeous bag! It's fun, whimsical, and has cats on it. I mean, who wouldn't love that!?

I bought some circular knitting needles and they get all crazy when they are laying around so naturally I thought of Cristi yet again. She found a great tutorial and got right to work on this fantastic little accessory for me!

It's a tri-fold style pouch, that buttons closed. She included this little zippered pocket on the outside, perfect for stitch markers.

Here's a pic of the backside. Isn't this fabric outstanding? Its from Emmy Grace.

Opened up, you can see the separate pockets for needles, and I have some double pointed needles in here too. The top edge folds down, before it gets folded closed.

And my favorite thing about it, which I never really noticed until I glanced at it recently is, this sweet little leafy stitching!  Adorable. And fancy. Cristi is amazing so if you ever want her to make you something like this, she is really great to work with. 

April 14, 2015

SPOILER Alert: Mother's Day Gifties

Mom, if you are reading this....uh, we talked about this remember? I told you that you are not allowed to read this post. So run along now.... and come back to it after May 10!


Now here is a picture of something random to throw my Mother off....

Remember those fun days of Face Down Tuesday?  hee hee!

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.  
Please feel free to follow the product links - they will redirect you to items at the Uncommon Goods website!

My mother has recently picked up the new hobby of learning guitar.  She's taking lessons from a local guitar shop owner and has had a really great time learning different songs. She plays them for my sister and I over the phone. It's adorable!  

So I figured I would get my Mom some guitar related gifts for Mother's day! And I found just the place for such items. Uncommon Goods.  Based out of NYC, they strive to offer Entertainment, Convenience, and an uncommon experience.  I love that they feature handmade goods from around the world, and focus on a positive impact, on the environment by continually providing products that are created in a responsible manner. Their catalogues are printed on recycled paper, and all the products created without the harming of animals. 

They have a great selection of music inspired gifts. Here is what I picked out....

 A set of Chord Cubes:  Each side of each cube is printed with a different guitar chord. I figured Mom would have fun with these by practicing the chords, or creating her own little tune depending on the order?? Hey I don't know. I think they're cool. The are pretty large too, see them in my hand here?  The set includes 10 blocks. They could also be used as art or set on a shelf for decoration.

Also the blocks come in a really nice black box, inscribed on the top reads  CHORD CUBES. A nice classic way to keep the blocks in great shop when they are not on display, and great for gift giving as well!

My mother will not be surprised that I picked out some sort of jewelry related item for her. And I can also envision her saying these words after opening these cool Guitar String Bracelets.... "I need earrings to match these!" I really love the construction of these bracelets, they open very easily to get onto your wrist. And they wear a bit more like a bangle which seems more comfortable for my Mom, who doesn't wear a lot of jewelry on her wrists.  The only complaint I have about these is that the packaging was a little cheap- just a cellophane baggie with a cardboard backer, and the bracelets are attached to that with a little bit of wire.  But they sent along a nice kraft brown gift box to  give these in, so that made me really happy!  I think she's going to really dig these.

 Now this last item may look a little confusing. Like they forgot to add the guitar to the handle.  This is called Pocketstrings. A portable Guitar Practice tool. Yep! A way to practice chords and scales, that is completely portable and nice and quiet for those guitar unfriendly areas.  Ok, that's what the package says anyway. When I saw this online, I thought there would be some way to listen to whatever you were doing on it but when I strum the plastic chords down on that extension, I here nothing. So in all, I was a little disappointed with the actuality of it being more of a soundless practice tool.

It is really well made though. The strings are actual guitar strings and that black section, is actually the cover that slides down over the strings to protect them when you aren't using it. It is a nice size, small enough to fit into a larger style handbag for easy stowing.

Be sure to check out the other cool presents for Moms, on the website here: http://www.uncommongoods.com/occasions/mothers-day-gifts/mothers-day-gifts
here: www.uncommongoods.com/for-her/gifts-for-her/gifts-for-mom

and if you want to get your Mom something a bit more special, check out these gifts here:

 I received these gifts as compensation in exchange for writing this review.  [Although this post is sponsored, all opinions on these products are my own.] 

April 13, 2015

Spring Cleaning

It's time for some Spring cleaning and the first room up, is the office.   Today only, enjoy 30% all purchases made from my ETSY shop and WEBSTORE.

I need things to mooooove on out of here. As an EXTRA
incentive, if you spend over $150 I'll send you free earrings with your purchase. 

Happy Shopping!

Expires midnight tonight, Eastern Time Zone.

April 8, 2015

Knotted Necklaces

I caught a glimpse of some past necklaces I had created, on Pinterest and it got me inspired to make a few more of these Knotted necklaces, with linen cording and Ceramic beads. I played around with that concept and also created a more mixed media option with lamp work and ceramic beads, and then did one all in semi precious stone beads with a nice earthy brown and green color palette. 

This style is great for using up some orphan beads in your collection.  I had a great time putting together the colors- especially this orange and pink one above. It's my favorite of the five I made today.

These are all available in my webstore. 

April 6, 2015

Announcement of the GIVEAWAY WINNER

Thank you all for your comments and shares!! Congrats Emily! please email me as soon as possible to claim your $50 gift certificate prize!

April 3, 2015

A Sweet and Beady Giveaway

Happy Friday!!!

    I have a really nice little gift for my readers today! Heather Powers of Humblebeads has generously donated a $50 gift certificate  to her Indiemade website,  Humblebeads.indiemade.com to one lucky winner! If you have never used any of Heather's beads in your designs, now is your chance to win some! And you will definitely not be disappointed. Her beads are beautiful and inspired by her love of Nature. Here are some examples from her website.

To Enter to win $50 gift certificate to the Humblebeads website.

1 entry: Leave a comment on this blog post.
2nd entry: Share on social media and post the link on this blog post.
3rd entry: Blog the giveaway and post the link on this blog post.

That's right, you have THREE chances to win the gift certificate! 

I will pick 1 random winner on Monday evening! Good luck to all!
So be sure to check back here at the blog to find out who wins!

March 27, 2015

WEBINAR: How to Start Your Own Knitting Etsy Store: A Step by Step Guide

When the folks at Interweave asked me if I'd be interested in teaching my Etsy webinar for a different genre, Knitting, I was leery at first. I mean, being a jewelry designer just lightly dabbling in a new knitting hobby, what do I really know about that. But, as it turns out, the instructional steps to starting a shop really doesn't vary much between jewelry designers and knitters. 

So I merely revamped the webinar to accommodate knits instead of jewelry - and while doing so, realized that Etsy has made some changes. Most of the listing process now looks different than it did a few months ago.  So eventually I'll be doing an updated version of the jewelry shop webinar to reflect these changes in my presentation.

If you are a knitter who has dabbled with the idea of selling your knits online, and would like a beginners course - something step by step showing you all the ins and outs of taking payments and running an online store, this webinar is really going to be the ticket for you!!

I will be presenting LIVE on April 1, and 1pm est. Head on over to the Interweave store to sign up for the live event but if you can't make the live event, you'll end up getting the recorded version emailed a few days after. Along with the Q & A answers.

Looking forward to seeing you there!!

March 25, 2015

Pretty Palettes: March Reveal

I feel so honored to have been asked recently by Erin Prais-Hintz to be a participant in her Pretty Palettes Color Challenge ! When she sent me the little mailer of beads and this color palette, my mouth literally watered. Look how juicy those colors are!!

Seriously, a breath of fresh air in this never-ending winter. Oh yes, it's still winter here in upstate NY. We are starting to see edges of grass but for the most part the ground is still covered with brown dirty snow. ACK!   So this image really signifies Spring for me. Life. Waking UP from a long and hibernating winter.

I have to admit, I was not able to get a sneak peek up a few days ago like I should have, and I feel terrible. I am hoping that my finished pieces will make you forget all that. ;)

She sent along several Halcraft Bead Gallery beads from Michaels- beautiful beads in the color palette but some with texture, some with facets, and others with more of a matte finish. Really lovely combination of beads.

I created two pieces of jewelry- a bracelet and a necklace....

The bracelet incorporates a hand stamped copper washer "lucky" playing off the clover inspiration. I used the copper ovals, ceramic rounds, faceted glass broilers and rounds, and added some cute teal beaded chain that I strung onto the wire with the beads.  Off the large swivel clasp, is a  Claddagh ring where I dangled some wire wrapped Faceted glass dangles in the bright green color way.

The necklace turned out fantastic with an asymmetrical style of stringing the beads. I felt like it definitely needed a focal pendant so I used a patina Hammered Greek Mykonos Metal pendant from Stinky Dog Beads, with some linen cording and knotted glass beads. The clasp is a copper OM button, from Tierra Cast that fits into a seed beaded button loop.

Take a minute to head over to the Halcraft blog to see what Erin Prais-Hintz and Erin Strother created for this challenge!

March 23, 2015

Cats in Hats Book Review and Blog Hop

Cats in Hats
Sara Thomas
Running Press, 2015

I had to chuckle when I was asked if I wanted to give a book review of Sara Thomas' new book from Running Press. As a cat owner, of two little black beauties, my imagination went crazy when I started thinking of them wearing little knit and crocheted hats.

Just look at that kitty on the cover.  


The book showed up on my doorstep and I grabbed a coffee and sat down and was quite entertained throughout the 112 page book. As a new knitter, I mean, Brand New knitter, these projects were a little outside my current comfort zone.  Although there are beginner, intermediate and advanced hats included, I still didn't feel all that comfortable trying any of them out.

I can say though that the book is done very well. The photography is outstanding, first of all. Each shot really exemplifies each cat hat, and I can really see a more advanced knitter taking the knowledge that they learn in these pages, to the next level with their own designs.

My favorite project was this guy. This cat looks just like my dad's Smoky and just thought of him wearing this little dinosaur cap had me cracking up!

The projects are very clear to following with lots of alternative photographs of the hats, and great knitting patterns like this one..  the Fox cap, another great one!

I also liked that the back of the book included a nice comprehensive overview of knitting and crochet tools and techniques.

As a person that isn't really into dressing their cats up, I can't imagine I'll ever create any of these but will definitely keep this book out on the coffee table as it is a wonderfully fun conversation starter for sure!!

To play along though. I did create little crocheted discs that I made my kitties try on. :)
Funny enough, they've been pretty naughty ever since.

 As will the last book review I did for Running Press, there is a blog hop happening!  Here are the participants, feel free to hop around and see if anyone created hats for their cats!

AUTHOR KICKOFF: 3/16 Scooter Knits
                                                                    3/28 Pretty Things Blog

And then, to enter the giveaway for this exclusive  Easter Egg hat kit, click HERE.
 Please note, the giveaway is being given by the publisher, not me, so please click the link above to be redirected to their entry page.

The giveaway grand prize will be a prize pack with a copy of the book, and exclusive pattern from Sara Thomas, and enough Lion brand yarn to complete the pattern. Five runners up will receive copies of the book. (Please note that this giveaway is open to US residents only).  

This contest will run from 3/16 to 3/30 @ 12 AM EST.

Good Luck!!


March 21, 2015

The Craftsy Jewelry Blog has a new writer!

That's right! You are looking at one of the new monthly writers for the Craftsy jewelry blog! My very first post went live today!  I am sharing a very rare post with readers all all of my very most favorite jewelry business vendors, from gift boxes to beads. You won't want to miss it! Head on over there now!

Craftsy, The Jewelry Blog

I will be writing posts 1-2 times a month, but I'll definitely give you a heads up here. If you want to follow their blog, go ahead and add http://www.craftsy.com/blog/jewelry/?_ct=rbew&_ctp=cat-nav to your bloglovin account or other blog readers.

March 19, 2015

Workin' on my shhhhhhhh........

If you could see the amount of jewelry I have here, you would be shocked. I'm drowning in it. And it's because I powerhouse through each week and create more than I can move. So, in an attempt to clean out some older stock, I have marked down a large number of items in both of my Etsy and Webstore sites, to 40% off.  Check out the Sale/Clearance sections to see what is posted, and throughout the day I will be posting new things there - the floaters that never got listed.

So check back periodically!

Also - I was thinking that this funky yarn might be cool for jewelry making so I'll be listing some yardage of this over at Jewelry accord.

March 17, 2015

A beady Plea

Dear Richelle of Shipwreck Dandy.

It appears that I am already out of these gorgeous multi color faceted polymer nuggets from you. I have had such a good time using the few that I had, and it did not take long to use them up. I know you must get asked to make them time and time again.

Oh Please. Could you make more!?  Pretty please....

These are some other things listed in your ETSY shop that has my heart all a-flutter....



Sincerely yours, forever and ever,