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.

Where’d You Get Those Shoes?

So I was thumbing through the latest issue of Bead Trends magazine and saw an advertisement featuring fashion designer turned scrapbooking queen, Amy Tan of Amy Tangerine.  The ad was for a new Signature Series book about scrapbooking projects.  Now while I’m no scrapbook queen myself, I know a cute pair of shoes when I see them.  In the ad, Amy has on the most adorable aqua mint flats with little black bows.

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I searched the web for said shoes with no luck, so I decided to contact Amy herself.  I found her blog Amy Tangerine and sent her a note asking “Where’d you get those shoes?”  To my delight, she replied right away, but not to my delight she said she got the shoes in Brazil 😦 She did let me know the shoes are from a brand called Melissa.  Again, I went to the internet and searched for the coveted Melissa flats.  I did find them on a few sites, but they either didn’t have my size, the right color, or they were several times what I was willing to pay.

Being the resourceful artist that I am, I decided to just make my own.  During my previous web searches I’d found some cute, affordable Mossimo flats at Target.com that seemed pretty close to the color I wanted.  When they arrived today, I went upstairs to my studio and after digging through my box of “fibers” I found a black silk ribbon intended for jewelry making.  With a little glue, I was able to make a reasonable facsimile for under $35.  I am planning to wear them tomorrow with boyfriend jeans, a blazer over a white tee, and top it off with some fab jewelry.

Melissa flats next to my version:

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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.

Canton First Monday Trade Days

Texas doesn’t know it’s December yet…which is a good thing.  What I mean is, we’ve had amazing weather in the high 70’s.  Breezy and warm, it doesn’t feel like Christmas could possibly be just a few weeks away, but it is.

At any rate, this warm weather made for the perfect day at Canton yesterday.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Canton, it is a world famous open air flea market which begins on the Friday before the first Monday of each month.  It consists of 450 acres of stores, booths, tents, and tables of everything you can imagine.

Due to timing and circumstance yesterday I didn’t visit the “junk” section near the Civic Center which is where I love to scour for mixed media jewelry supplies like keys, watch parts, broken jewelry, etc.  However, I did score some beautiful strands of beads for under $15 total.  If you’ve never been to Canton, Texas for First Monday Trade Days, I encourage you to go.  It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen!

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A Style Altering Moment

Have you ever experienced a moment that changed the way you design?  I had a moment like that in the Spring of 2011 when I discovered Jewelry Affaire magazine.  I hate to really even call it a magazine since it’s much more like a quarterly book.  The photographs overwhelmed me.  The techniques I saw were different from anything I’d ever imagined.  Because of the talented artists featured as well as the efforts of the magazine staff, my mind was opened to a whole new world of jewelry design.

Before picking up this issue (which I’ve probably read dozens of times since) I didn’t realize I was limiting myself by only using new jewelry components.  Once I realized that almost anything could be considered jewelry making media, the possibilities seemed endless.  A large portion of my designs now incorporate vintage jewelry or findings or found objects.  After discovering Jewelry Affaire, I bought both previous back issues (the magazine was new and only published twice a year at that point, but now it’s quarterly) and also bought up the past few years of its sister publication Belle Armoire Jewelry and I’ve bought every issue of both magazine since.

I’m very proud to announce that I will get to join the artists I admire when some of my designs are featured in the next few issues of Jewelry Affaire.  Even if you’ve never made jewelry before, I encourage you to check out the Winter issue on sale January 1st.  Not only will you get to see some of my work, you’re sure to be inspired in your own creative journey.  To see more of my work in the meantime, visit my etsy shop StrandedInTheCity.

My New Assistant

I signed up for Erin Prais-Hintz’s Challenge of Color and while I can’t reveal my results yet, I wanted to share this photo of my cat, Sprinkles, contemplating which beads should be used.  Since she has gotten brave enough to run past the CatScram upstairs in order to access my jewelry studio, Sprinkles has become quite the little helper.  She loves to trot upstairs to partake in some of her favorite activities:

  1. Stare and meow at me for no apparent reason
  2. Roll around like a wiggle worm
  3. Bat at any loose beads laying around
  4. Lay directly on jewelry projects in progress
  5. Take a bath
  6. Settle in for a nap
  7. Look up at the tiny dormer windows anytime a dog or other animal outside makes a noise
  8. Dart out of the room suddenly (again no apparent reason)
  9. Rub her scent on any and everything to ensure the studio is marked as her territory
  10. Continue to be absolutely adorable

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