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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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.

Kicking off June with fun summer bracelets

June is here and that means cookouts and lots of weekends soaking up the sun poolside, or if you’re like me, balancing the jewelry-making madness inside with spending time outside.  While most of the jewelry work I do would be difficult to take outdoors, the following idea is a pretty easy one to work on anywhere.  Last night I made four wire-wrapped bracelets and covered them in tons of colorful glass beads.  These bracelets only require 2 materials (beads and wire), a pair of round-nose pliers, and a pair of wire cutters.  I love to take my bead soup bowl, sit on the couch, and make these while I watch tv.  They’d also be easy to make while sitting outside by the pool!

I learned this technique from Joanna Hanna, owner of Crescent Moon Beads in Eureka Springs, Arkansas (you MUST stop in and visit her if you’re in the area) http://www.crescentmoonbeads.net/.  I may add a tutorial in the future to share the technique with you, but for now enjoy the photos and visit my shop on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/strandedinthecity to purchase one 🙂