Friday, March 27, 2015

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - March Reveal... and Giveaway!!

Yes, a Giveaway! Keep reading (or scrolling) to find out more!


I have been quite the busy jewelry-making bee this month!

Let's see. I have 4 major projects that I'm been working on... 2 blog hops, 1 wedding that I hope to be-jewel, and a launch event for a blog dedicated to L.S. Baird's "Songbirds of Valnon" series (which I made loads of jewelry for in 2013--some of which is still available). That's not including the new items I'm making for my store. Or the emails that I need to catch up on. Or the gifts that I've been making.

...Or my March Monthly Challenge. But don't worry! I have not been neglecting my Challenge, and have quite a bit to show off for today's reveal. 

Because, apparently, I am an overachiever. Heh.

If you recall, my main goals for this Challenge were to: 1. not wire-wrap anything, and 2. learn a new technique. And I managed to do both of those things! 

So, what technique did I play around with?

Well, I took the materials pictured above, and turned them into this:

What is that, you ask?

That, my friends, is what 20 wrap bracelets look like. (Like I said: overachiever.)

Apparently wrap bracelets are rather popular right now... Although, that's not actually why I decided to try to make them. Instead, a dear friend has been showing an interest in learning how to make them, and she thought it would be fun to learn this skill together. So, we used this tutorial to get started... and then I took off running.

I had so much fun playing around with variations!

I made bracelets that wrap 1 time, 2 times, 3 times, 4 times, 5 times:

I made bracelets using vintage buttons as closures:

I made bracelets for other challenges I'm working on: 

New Songbird Tribute!
Check out the rest of these sets today at the aforementioned blog for the Songbirds of Valnon.

I made bracelets using 1 color, 3 colors, multiple colors:

 And, actually, not all of those are bracelets... I even made a necklace!

And, of course, I played around with shapes and sizes and color combinations and types of materials (leather or cotton cord, gemstone or glass):

...Now, I said that I've made 20 pieces--and I've only really showcased 17. The discerning reader might be able to pick out the other three pieces, which are in the picture above. Two of them are for another project I'm working on, and will be revealed later. The other? Is a gift for a friend. I have to try to make it at least a little bit of a surprise. :)

Of all the pieces I made, I think I'm most fond of is this one--a five wrap, multi-colored concoction using rose colored leather:

It was made using marble, brass, glass, magnesite, black/red agate, copper, and garnet. I already have some ideas for different multi-color ones... What can I say? I'm addicted to making these!

And, you've waited long enough... Now it's time for:

The Giveaway!

That's right!

I'm giving away both of these lovely bracelets! 

One is a two-wrap bracelet made with violet leather, turquoise glass, and a brand new purple button. The other is three-wrap bracelet made with black waxed cotton (i.e. vegan-friendly), red/black agate, and a vintage button. (Please note that both were sized according to my wrist (which is 7.25 inches), so they should fit a 7 to 7.5 inch wrist comfortably.)

How do you win?

Well, there will be two lucky winners... Just comment and tell me which bracelet one you'd like to win, and give me your email address so that I can contact you if you do. Then, on April 6th, I'll let a random number generator pick the winning comment! Oh, and international comments are welcome! :)

Good luck, everyone! 

Thanks so much for reading, and joining me for this reveal... May the last few days of March treat you well!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I'm a Winner! ... of the Artisan Component Marketplace Design Kit!

A few weeks ago, I became aware of a giveaway/challenge that was being held over on the Artisan Component Marketplace Blog

The giveaway: a handful of lucky winners would be sent a kit comprised of sari ribbon and handmade components. The challenge: those lucky winners would then use that kit to design some jewelry.

...And, would you believe it? 

I'm one of those lucky winners!

What's in the box?

My design kit has arrived in the mail, and I am thrilled. I love using handmade creations in my jewelry anyway--and, as you would expect from a group called the Artisan Component Marketplace, these pieces are beautiful.

What goodies!

A beautiful ceramic piece by Marla's Mud.

Wooden toggle by Asbury Avenue Designs.

Copper component by Kristi Bowman Design.

Just, wow. Aren't those pieces just delightful? My mind is already going a million miles a minute just thinking about all the possibilities... Will I make one piece using all the components, or different pieces for each one? So many options!

Everything together!
...I've never used sari ribbon before. This should be fun!

The reveal for this challenge is scheduled for April 11th... So, come by then to see what I make with these lovely pieces! 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop - What My Partner Sent Me

...And now, guess what time it is!

That's right--it's time to show you the beads that my partner sent me for the Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop! Hurray!

Oooo, what's in the bag?

This is what's in the bag!

What a wonderful, bright and beach-y collection!

It is complete with a pendant from Suburban Girl Studio and handmade lampwork beads... 

 ...vintage sea urchin spines that sound like windchimes when knocked against each other...

...a strand of pearls, 4 African trade beads, a large vintage brass bead, and a number of vintage moonglow lucite beads.


...I really like the colors and the feel of this whole set--anything that has pearls and vintage sea urchin spines is pretty cool in my book. It's nothing something I would have picked out for myself, I don't think, but I love it. What fun! 

And now it's time to start creating!

Thank you, Colleen, for such a beautiful collection to work with!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop - What I Sent My Partner


My partner has now received the beads that I sent to her, so now I get to show everyone else!

I'll start with the teaser picture... Keep scrolling to see what it becomes!


In that mix, there's garnet and two types of jasper, an etched metal focal by CC Design, polymer clay beads by Selena Anne Wells, copper, and an assortment of glass. 

I really had such a fun time putting this mix together... I definitely hope that Colleen has fun creating with it!

...And in the next few days, I'll be showing off the pieces that I received from her! Be sure to come back to see! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

I Choose to Be Thankful

I'm going to be honest. 

I actually started writing this blog entry to complain. I'm tired and cranky and just want a nap. (And to be able to breathe through my nose again). But, really, there is already too much negativity and vitriol on the internet. 

So, instead, I'm going to use this to gain some perspective.

Why, yes, that's a hole in my basement floor.
My Monday morning started with plumbers jack-hammering through concrete. How was yours?

I'm exhausted. It feels like my husband and I have been sick off and on since the beginning of winter. ...But I'm thankful that it's nothing more serious than colds and the flu.

I am still in the process of unpacking and setting up house, and I feel like I am perpetually unable to find things. ...But I'm thankful for a house to unpack into, and wonderful things waiting for me inside my boxes.

I am having continued technology problems. My phone is dying, and I'm still without my main computer--which has decided that it will only turn on every other week. ...But I'm thankful that I have an older laptop that I can use, and that my phone isn't dead yet... and that I have a technologically inclined husband who is helping me work out solutions.

We've been having serious plumbing issues since February, in a house that we've only owned for four months. Not only that, but it took four different plumber visits (and four different plumbers) to diagnose what was wrong, and the home warranty only covered 1/4 of the cost. ...But I'm thankful that on Monday, they were (finally) able to fix it--and we were able to get the financing to do so. 

The root of the problem!
...Seriously, this is part of the root that was in our main sewer line.
The plumbers estimated that it had been growing there for over 20 years.

And because of being sick and unpacking and uncooperative technology and plumbing issues, I'm super behind on everything that I'm trying to accomplish--from working on my store to cleaning to answering emails. 

...But I'm thankful that I have a store to work on, and that I have a house of my own, and that people care enough to email me. 

I'm thankful that it's now fixed and all patched up.

So, yes, I'm tired. I want a nap. I would love for my computer to work again. But I'm thankful.

I'm thankful that I have laundry to wash, and my very own washer and dryer to do so in. I'm thankful that my upstairs bathroom works now. I'm thankful for the opportunity to work with beads and shiny things and create beauty. I'm thankful for the people in my life--my patient husband, my friends who let me rant, my supportive family.

...And I'm thankful for my life, plumbing problems and all. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop - What I Sent My Partner... A Teaser

After some setbacks (snow! sickness! expensive plumbing issues!), I have finally been able to send my partner her beads for the Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop.

Want to see what I sent her?

Well, stop by in a few days!

Once she receives her beads, I'll show you how this picture can be changed to actually show what she received. After all, I can't show you before then--that would ruin the surprise.

I really enjoyed putting together a selection for her... I definitely hope she likes what I picked out! What fun!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - March Edition

This month's challenge: make something that doesn't involve wire-wrapped links!

...No, really. You might think I'm joking, but that's actually part of it. I've been in a bit of a wire-wrapped-link rut recently (which, granted, isn't a horrible thing), and I thought I'd shake it up a bit.

So! My Jenny Monthly Challenge for March is to teach myself a new technique that I've never tried before.

Ooooo, the possibilities!

What technique, you ask?

Well, I have one in mind... But I'm not going to share it here just yet--partially to keep you curious, and partially to give myself permission to pick something else in case I fail horribly. 

Above are the beads that I've picked out to play with. Granted, they won't all be going in the same final pieces... Instead, they'll just provide pretty options for my experimentations. 
From top to bottom, you have:
Red Agate
Pink Lepidolite
Blue Iris Czech Glass

My reveal will be on Friday, March 27th... If you stop by then, you'll get to see what technique I've taught myself--and whether or not I've successfully stayed away from wire-wrapped links!

Happy March, everyone!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Meet My Partner for the Bead Peep's Swap N' Hop!

It's time for me to introduce my partner for the Bead Peep's Swap N' Hop:

Colleen Foley!

Colleen makes lovely pieces, utilizing pearls and lampwork and semi-precious stones in an array of colors. She mainly uses stringing and simple wirework, but has also experimented with bead weaving and other stitches--and pushes herself to learn more.

Now, she says that she's an amateur, but I think her work is lovely! See for yourself...

All pictures courtesy of Colleen Foley...
They are found on her blog.

To learn more about her (and show her some blog-love!), be sure to check out her website, found here:!

I'm really excited to have Colleen for my partner, and can't wait to see what she picks out for me to use.

And, along those lines, I have finished putting together the items that I'm going to send to her--once the snow melts enough for me to get to the post office, that is. I plan to post pictures here shortly--first, a teaser picture, and then a reveal picture. I'll also be sure to post pictures of what she sends me.

So, be sure to come back soon! There's a lot of fun in store!