Jan 30, 2011

Get Your Bling On!

One of my earring wire clients over on Etsy has the coolest, most dazzling crystal earrings on the block!  They totally ROCK!

Perfect for Valentine's Day (did you get that subtle hint there all you guys!?!),  JillerysJems on Etsy has got the most colorful crystal earrings, necklaces and bracelets you could ever imagine.

Sparkling and stunning designs are what make JillerysJems stand out - her designs just pop!  She has a real knack for putting colors together that compliment each other and the way the crystals shine in her designs is amazing!

My fav's right now - being it's close to Valentine's Day - are these pink cluster earrings (featured here on our Shel's Jewelry Supplies Mini-Swirl Earring Wires). These are so beautiful and elegant - perfect way to catch that special someone's eyes on your Valentine's date - don't you think?

So, hop on over and check out JillerysJems shop on Etsy and put your shades on 'cause these gems out shine all the rest!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and all things that Sparkle!

Jan 28, 2011

Medusa's Earrings - Week 4 - Year of Jewelry 2011

Medusa called!  She wants her earrings back!!

Okay, so she really didn't call, and I didn't really swipe her earrings or anything. I just created earrings that she would probably have called me to special order,...ya think?!

The Theme for Week 4 of Year of Jewelry Project 2011 (One Project, Once a Week, For a Year!!) was "Wild and Wicked" - that should have been easy, right?  But, alas, just like every other week, so many things came to mind,...biker chic earrings, rock and roll earrings, spikey/hammered stoner earrings,.....yep, I had visions of all sorts of designs (especially earrings) dancing through my head as I slept last night,.....but this is what came out of my hands today as I created.

24g and 18g copper wire was formed, forged, hammered,....and hammered again and again, wire wrapped and then oxidized with LOS and polished up a bit before laying them out to photograph. 

You can take my word for it when I tell you that the photos look wwwwaaaaayyyyy better than the earrings look in person. I mean seriously peeps, the husband even uttered the dreaded words "kinda artsy-crafty" !!! (insert shudder motion here!) 

But yes, they are rather 'artsy' and I was very 'crafty' with how I 'chaos' wire wrapped portions and did some portions very neatly and how I used anti-tarnish copper and raw copper so when I dipped them in LOS only parts of them would turn colors....and the green little peridot gemstones?  Cute touch, don't you think?  Those, dear children, are the color of Medusa's Eyes!!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Wild and Wicked Earrings (or any jewelry for that matter!!)

Jan 21, 2011

Week 3- Year of Jewelry Project 2011 - Mixed Media

Last night I dreamt my family and I were on this huge sail boat in the middle of the ocean somewhere. I could feel the coolness of the water and feel the rush of riding the waves - it was pretty cool! 

While most of the country is under water, snow, ice and freezing temps, take a step back this weekend and envision yourself walking on the beach,...the water lapping at your toes, the sand beneath your feet and the warmth of the sun on your face.  Can you feel it? 
The theme for Week 3 of Year of Jewelry Project 2011 was "Mixed Media".  There were sooooo many things I wanted to do with this theme this week but time just didn't allow for that. So this morning, as I was ready to design and post to the website, I "mixed" some 20g. and 26g. copper wire with some little treasures found on the beach in California because they reminded me of my dream last night. I like how the bail on the larger pendant/charm looks like it could be another type of shell and the littler one with it's swirl dangle reminded me of the anchor on the sailboat in my dream last night.
And then it occurred to me,....I think the term "Mixed Media" can also pertain to our dreams. I mean, yes we do have various objects we design with that are actually tangible, but one of the main things we create with, prior to ever picking up our pliers, beads or wire, is our imagination - and this includes our dreams.   Maybe I'm alone in this, but I frequently dream of jewelry in my sleep - so much so that it's a funny little joke around our house.  Well, funny to me,...I'm sure the hubby and son probably think it's just weird!
So, until next time,
Peace, Love and Dreams (of pearls and sailboats!!)

Jan 19, 2011

The Cat's Outta The Bag!!

Okay - here's the scoop. I love pearls. I mean I REALLY love them! (As if you didn't know!) I love to touch them, see their fantastic lustrous finish, feel how cool and smooth they feel in my hands,...yep,...I'm obsessed, let me tell you!  I love them so much that I attended the Gemological Institute of America and got a Pearls Diploma in them saying "Shelly Knows - And Really Loves - Pearls!"

I like to hand knot them in non-traditional ways, put them in designs with silver, gold, leather - you name it. I like to wear them with everything from my jeans to my dress-up jeans (I don't really get 'dressed-up"!), and I think they're the most amazing gemstone ever!

My quote (aside from my very over used motto of  'Peace, Love and Pearls, Baby!') is "I don't think there's a pearl I've met that I haven't fallen in love with." That's true!  Each one is unique and special, stand alone beautiful, one-of-a-kind, like no other; dreamy!  It's okay to drool. I drool all the time just taking photos of these gorgeous little creatures!

Metaphysically, pearls represent purity, faith, charity, innocence, focus, spirituality and wisdom. Pearls are the preferred gemstone of Queens, (and princesses, too!), at weddings and as handed down heirloom jewelry. Pearls are believed to bring about wisdom, protect the wearer from harm while at sea, encourage open, heart to heart communications and connections and to allow you to see the 'good' parts of yourself,...enabling you to love yourself more!  Pearls are, quite simply, astonishing!
I guess this should really have been my blog post for June, since the Pearl is June's birthstone, but I just couldn't wait. I was reading this great article over on Etsy by Johnny B. Truant about how you have to tell stories with whatever it is you're selling and was inspired to write up this little bit to tell you how much pearls are loved - at least by me, anyway! To tell you that pearls are my story. Well, part of my story at least.
So, what's my purpose, focus, point of this whole ramble? One thing the article pointed out was that our entire lives are stories. Each individual moment is a tid-bit, a morsel, a speck and a pinch of our whole, complete and amazing story. Maybe each and every single second isn't worth being documented, written or blogged about, video taped or recorded, but some moments are. And, when we find things we're passionate about, these stories should come easily for us. (doesn't always happen that way,..but hey,...we can dream, right?!)
I'm writing this to encourage you all to challenge yourself a bit and write a part of your story. Now, the other article I read today on Etsy was about a 'challenge' (an assignment really) of how you had to tell your story in 6 words. They had to make sense, they had to make up a complete sentence and they had to be true to you and tell your story.  (You can tell that I have failed miserably at this second one - to say the absolute least!)  Okay - so now, here's your challenge from me,....go ahead and post 6 words (or a whole paragraph!) and tell me a bit about you - your story! I want you to think about your life and if you had to choose bits and pieces to write about,...what would your story be?  I bet it comes a lot easier than you think!  Give it a try!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Stories (about pearls!!)  LOL!!
  P.S. The pics in the blog post are: Pearls purchased at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show last year; Some of my designs using gorgeous pearls; The Tree House my hubby and son built at my sis and bro-in-laws cabin;  The historical library in my hometown where I'd go to read books as a little kiddo along with the Route 66 sign in the forefront (Route 66 was the 'main drag' in town!); and a pic of me,....before I was the "pearl girl" that I am today! 

So see, I bet you have a story,.......why not share a tiny slice of it?

Jan 14, 2011

Week 2 - Year of Jewelry Project 2011 - Eclipse

This is week 2 of  Year Of Jewelry Project 2011 and the theme was "Eclipse" (although you don't have to follow the theme - it's just to give you ideas if you want them!).

My jewelry project was a pin that I created with sterling silver wire and a Black Agate Drusy Quartz Faceted Oval Bead.  You can't see the facets very well, but boy are they there and do they ever make the bead look really cool!  I plan to wear this with my grey cashmere wrap  - providing it doesn't get too warm, too quickly here in AZ! (cross your fingers!!)

I'm sure after taking a look at the bead you can probably figure out why I chose to create with this particular one for week 2's theme of "Eclipse".  I fell in love with this jaw dropping bead last year and, of course, had to buy the whole strand (just because of this one bead!!) at The Whole Bead Show at the Windmill Inn (sorry, the exact vendor escapes me and isn't in my records correctly it seems - oops!) during the Tucson Bead, Gems and Mineral Shows last year.

Simple was definitely better with this specific stone since it basically screams "WOW", (and 'Eclipse') and deserves all the attention in any design it would have been put in to.

Please jump on over to the Year of Jewelry Project 2011 Website and check out the other participant's entries this week - they're all really gorgeous and very creative!  I'm completely humbled by the abundance of talent that is abound in this fabulous group of designers. I mean really,...besides some basic stringing, hand knotting of pearls, a little fine metal fusing and some basic to intermediate wire wrapping skills, I'm completely left in the dust with these folks and so hopefully this will light a spark under my bum and get me interested in trying some new things this year! (Although, I might not post those tries, mind you! LOL!!)

I hope that you've all had a great week and that your weekend is superb!!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Here's to a "Momentary Eclipse of the Mind"!

Jan 11, 2011

New Year - New Beginnings

I decided it was time to get off my bum and do something that required stepping out of my comfort zone this New Year.

It also requires commitment, something I'm a tad bit scared of. You know, cause there's always those dreaded "What if's". "What if I can't find the time,...What if my designs aren't as nice as the other's,....What if I can't stay on track,...What if,....What if,....What if,......" 

I'm really not a fan of "What if's",.....and my commitment is to take them out of my brain!!

So, I stepped up to a challenge that I heard about through Rena Klingenberg's Newsletter/Blog/Website's - Home Jewelry Business Success Tips, it's called The Year of Jewelry Project - 2011, and it's where designers create a piece of jewelry a week through out the entire year and post their finished project each week to the website - and the cool thing is they even have themes you can follow each week if you'd like to (or need inspiration and suggestions, such as I do!!).

I've committed (OMG - there's that scary word!) to myself to do this for a few different reasons. I felt the need to evaluate my creative motives, to expand my horizons a bit this year and also, like I said in the beginning of this post, to step ouf of my 'comfort zone'. But I mostly wanted to do this because I felt disconnected from my creative side due to all the "social networking" do-da (as I call it!).  

Don't get me wrong, I think the whole social media wave is great.  I mean, I connect with friends and clients through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, etc. and these venues provide an avenue that allows me to interact with people and reach far beyond what I could have several years ago. But I was feeling disconnected from myslef, my family and my own creativity.  That inner spark for creating things had strayed and was missing,...or at least hiding somewhere. She just up and left the room for a bit,....and I missed her. 

And even as I created things, designing different pieces of jewelry, I could only feel a small portion of my creative muse's light shining through to me and I felt this vacant spot.  The enthusiasm was running on empty too, and that wasn't good.  I decided to make a few minor changes and since the beginning of the year is when everyone talks about and does these types of things, well,....why not, right?

So, I signed up for the challenge and checked out the first week's challenge theme and it was "New Beginnings".  Wow - how appropriate!  But, my next reaction was "What on earth am I going to create?"
I thought for a moment and decided that New Beginnings for me meant going back to one of the first things I learned to do, which was basic stringing.  So, I designed a necklace using some gorgeouse Czech glass beads that look exactly like (Honest to goodness - no kidding!) red velvet cake, some wonderful lampwork glass beads by Mary over at Firebabies on Etsy and these cool, rough, faceted, chunky nuggets of green garnet (garnets are January's birthstone, so that worked out rather well, too!) and of course I added some silver and wire wrapped a couple of beads and a clasp on to the designs - seems I can't get away from bending metal! (I just feels great, let me tell ya!)

Here's a quick pic of the piece I designed, but you should really go check out all the participants and their entries for Week 1 of The Year of Jewelry Project 2011.  I mean, there's inspiration galore there and the work these folks are creating is absolutely amazing!  (as I drool on the keyboard while typing!)

So, what's in store for you this year?  Are you making any changes - small or large - any commitments (Oh! There it is again - hopefully it will get less scary as I keep holding my own feet to the fire!) or goals that you've set for yourself for 2011?  Please share them with me as I'm always interested to see and hear what wonderful things others are doing and going through!

Here's to my muse finding her way back into my heart and soul and to everyone creating beautiful things in their lives!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Commitments! (Oh, geeze!)

Jan 2, 2011

Miss Layla in Pearls!

Okay - I just couldn't resist. My cute little great niece, Layla, (who's Mommy is one of our MiShel Designs Models!) has joined the "Pearl Girl" ranks and is sporting her own set of Pearls! 

Layla is wearing Freshwater Cultured Pearls with Swarovski Crystals hand knotted on 100% silk,.....she's our newest Model (so to speak!) and we think she looks absolutely divine!   I mean, what girl wouldn't look perfect in pearls at only 4 months old!?   

I think I may have to spoil her a bit when it comes to the 'jewelry' side of things as she grows up,...what do you think?  

I'm wishing you all a very wonderful, happy, fun, healthy and prosperous 2011! 

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and literally,...."Pearls Baby" !!!