Romancing the revamp

I can’t say that my shop on Etsy has been lucrative, but with the demands of my “grown up” job, it’s been the best option for selling my jewelry at this point.  After 2 1/2 years I’ve decided to start fresh and revamp my Stranded In The City shop.  This is going to include higher quality materials and craftmanship, better quality photographs, more descriptive product details, and best of all, new and improved jewelry.

I’ll still focus on upcycled vintage assemblage style jewelry, but I really want to get back to only making things that speak to me.  Meaning, not just making something because I think it might sell.  I want my shop to reflect my own personal style.

Have any of you ever set out on such an endeavor?  What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?  I’m looking for advice from anyone who’s been down this road before, so feel free to comment!

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Published Again :)

I’m so thrilled to be published again in the latest issue of Jewelry Affaire (on sale today)!  My “Love Letters” (originally named “Enveloped”) series as well as my “Miracle of Love” necklace were featured.  I hope you enjoy them.

Birthday Weekend at Canton

With my birthday coming up, my Bestie and I decided it was a good excuse to head to Canton for First Monday Trade Days yesterday.  It was REALLY cold in the morning, but as usual we had a blast.  We spent the entire time “under the trees” – that’s where the good “junk” is.  Needless to say we returned home with a ton of treasures that will someday find new life in our jewelry creations.  The best part of the day though had to be all the interesting people we talked to.

There was a delightful gentleman who seemed to talk non-stop about anything and everything.  He told us he’d once been a history teacher and he had stories and advice on everything from how to get a good deal in a pawn shop (go on a rainy Monday with cash in hand) to how Ulysses Grant paid his son-in-law’s debt to Cornelius Vanderbilt with guns and other historical artifacts.  I bought a delicate pink rosary, a tiny salt shaker, and a huge bag of miscellaneous trinkets (each piece carefully rescued from a table literally covered in piles of jewelry).

Then we met a lovely lady who took us on a trip down fashion memory lane recounting jewelry trends from the 20′s to the 80′s.  The best part was when I retrieved a rhinestone encrusted articulated gold panther from a glass asking “What is he?” as my BFF Nikki exclaimed “He’s fabulous!” and we learned he was in fact a brooch that was to be placed over the shoulder (in the 70′s and 80′s).  He really was fabulous but after discussing the trend for a while I decided I was not the one to “bring it back” and would leave that challenge to someone else.

I have to say the highlight of the day was meeting Patty Burns from “Dirty Pearls”.  I immediately fell in love with her creations and once I sat down to talk with her, I realized she was every bit as captivating as her jewelry.  I learned she too was recently published for the first time (Autumn 2012 issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry here).  I treated myself to a couple of birthday presents from her shop.  One, a long necklace featuring a beautiful crystal accented watch case with pearl dangles, and the other, a pair of gorgeous earrings made from pieces of a silver plated platter and accented with delicate pearls.  You can visit Patty at the Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival in Natchitoches, Louisiana April 13 – 14.

So, even though my birthday isn’t actually until tomorrow, I’ve already received some of the best gifts I could get – fun times with friends and chatting with a fellow artist, not to mention all that great jewelry-making loot!  Oh, and that’s not even including the Breaking Dawn Part 2 DVD and awesome stereo upgrade for my car that my hubby spent part of the day installing.  Now…I wonder if I can really get him to watch all 5 Twilight DVD’s back to back with me.  Stay tuned!

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Finally Published

JA Winter 2013I say “finally”, but it was only 8 months ago that I set the goal to become a published artist before the end of 2012.  I emailed Beth Livesay, then Managing Editor of Jewelry Affaire (my favorite jewelry magazine of all time) and included a few photos of pieces I thought might be worthy of publishing.

To my surprise, Beth replied quickly and asked me to send in the pieces.  One day after the deadline I’d set for myself, my unique jewelry creations were included in the Winter 2013 issue of Jewelry Affaire (it hit newsstands on January 1st).  I’ve since sent in several other pieces to the new Managing Editor, Christine Stephens, many of which have been selected to appear in future issues of Jewelry Affaire.

So if you’ve ever dreamed of being published, go for it!  And be sure to check out my shop on Etsy StrandedInTheCity because I’ll most likely sell a few of the published pieces soon.

Bonkers Over B’sue

I just wanted to share some of the jewelry I’ve made using swags, ornate plaques, and necklace bases from B’sue’s Boutiques.  Visit her shop here, like her on Facebook here, and you can even join her creative group on Facebook here!

Some of these pieces have already sold, some are in my personal collection, and some are still for sale in my etsy shop StrandedInTheCity.  Enjoy!

Toast Of The Town

So I didn’t see it in time to join Erin Prais-Hintz’s Toast of the Town variation blog hop, but I made my own version today anyway!  You can see all the other versions at Erin’s blog “Treasures Found“.  The necklace can be worn SEVERAL different ways: twisted, short, long, clasp on the side, clasp in the back, and more.  I’m selling mine in my etsy shop StrandedInTheCity.  Enjoy!

The Little Red Bead

I have a little, red bead in my possession that I’ve had for as long as I can remember.  I don’t recall how or when I got it and I don’t remember how old I was.  If I had to guess I’d say it was a loose bead that fell off some jewelry my mom had, and I must have been around 5 or 6 years old.

How this bead has stayed with me for 30 years and made it through at least 3 or 4 moves is beyond my comprehension.  Needless to say, although this bead’s monetary worth is probably only a few pennies, because of its persistence to remain with me, its significance to me personally has grown as the years go by.

So what can I do with a bead that means so much more than all the vintage gems and pricey jewels in my studio?  One idea is to encapsulate the bead in a glass bottle and create a necklace from it.  Thoughts?