Strega Jewellry's Blog

jewelry, beads, stone lore, music, kids and nature

Versatility


Holiday season……….rush , rush, rush!   Some days are so busy it seems like you are on the go from morning till night.   It’s also cold weather season, the switch to warm sweaters and light jackets.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE scarves!   The thing that exasperated me about scarves is that I had to stop wearing necklaces if I had on a scarf to accent my outfit.   I decided to do something about that one.   I have combined some of my favorite scarves with favorite jewelry pieces.

The beauty of these accessories is that I can start out at the grocery with jeans and a jacket and keep the same scarf till night time when I am meeting friends for a show.   Any of these pieces would go well with casual wear when you are shopping and maybe meeting friends for a quick lunch, or to work with a skirt and jacket or dress pants and top.   They go with sweaters, or with a simple dress to wear to a club.

I’m not going to do descriptions just photos.  You can find these and more in my Etsy shop, Studio L

scrfprn6

See how pretty that cameo looks with the scarf?

How about this butterfly focal with a teal scarf.   Showing 3 views, one closeup, one with a jacket and one with a sleeveless top which I did in place of a dress.  I did all photos with black so I did not have to keep changing my model’s clothes.  The “lovely Claudia” my model is quite helpless.

And this one has a gorgeous jasper focal.   The autumn colors are so beautiful.

jaspcoll

This one has a beautiful turquoise donut focal and bright seafoam scarf.

turcoll

Here is one just for you witchy women.

witchcoll

and one for cat lovers

scrfcat4

This one has a fairy and your initial.   The initial L is showing.   I also have J, D, and S.  Could not do the whole alphabet.

scrfblktur4

There are more.   Just check out my Etsy shop, Studio L.   

Do you have a favorite scarf of your own?   I can do a custom order:  design a special pendant just for you.   Message me if you are interested and we will talk.

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November 15, 2017 Posted by | fashion, holidays, Jewelry, wiccan | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Size Matters


Whenever you choose jewelry for yourself you need to consider your body size and shape and how the piece you are drawn to will look in proportion to these.  We talked about face shapes and how the earrings you wear can draw attention to features that you want people to notice and how they can help create an illusion, shortening a jaw or minimizing it.   Now, let’s talk about how what you wear can accentuate your best physical features.

Let’s start with some basics.

Petite ladies, we’re talking under 5’2″ and smaller sizes, need to be careful about the size necklace they wear.  This and petite gals do not want large pieces.  Something like this, for instance, would make you look like you were overburdened with too much jewelry.

cicada4

I’m not saying don’t go with original styles for gosh sake, you want to be unique, just don’t over do it.   Let’s take two sizes of the same basic design.   These are my new mermaid garden pieces, small mermaids perched on stones.

This style is NOT for a dainty petite woman.

merme

This one would look much better.   It’s still unusual, but it’s smaller scale and more suited to your body type.  I have this posted in my new shop.

meretsy2

If you are petite but on the heavier side, wear a piece that is more open, that has dangles that draw the eye up and down to give a slimming illusion.

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or this one……see how the dangles draw the eye up and down?

acorn1

Ladies of medium height, between 5’5″ and 5’7″ have more freedom of choice.  Just keep in mind where you want to draw attention to create those illusions.   If you have a long torso and shorter legs, you want to draw the eye up to the shoulders and face, giving the illusion of longer legs.

agatelavenecklce2

Longer legs with a short torso calls for a longer piece to draw the eye down from the face creating the illusion of longer torso length.  This Egyptian style is a great example of that longer length and of a bold piece.

harot3

Tall gals really want to wear bold statement pieces, one of a kind beads and other accessories with a lot of substance like loads of bangle bracelets.   Dainty chains and smaller pieces can get “lost” on tall gals.  So go bold and beautiful!

OKfocalibg

or this boho style

aelephant

No matter what you height, keep your SHAPE in the forefront of your mind.   Larger women, you want to emphasize your very  best features also.  Don’t think these choices are just for long lean ladies.  You plus size divas are at an advantage here.  You can not only wear bold pieces, you can get away with lots of layers!   Just be cautious HOW you layer those necklaces!

First, do not start with pieces that are too close to your face and that are chunky type stones.   Start with at least 24 inches.   Use oval stones or rectangles, not pieces that have a lot of width, drawing the eye from side to side.

Leave an open area around the face so it shines and your smile makes it a focal!  Then, use layers to take the eye up and down.   A lariat like this one would be great for a woman with large bust and defined waist, drawing attention to the waist.   Add some simple chains or a medium length necklace with an oval pendant then a chain on either side of it with the lariat at the last bottom piece.

crosslariat2L\

Women of all sizes and shapes have plenty of choices.  Each can be beautiful in her own way.

Any questions?  Just ask.   Next blog is a metaphysical blog about gemstones and their meanings.   Come back!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 1, 2016 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry | , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Face It: Oval Faces


This is the final part in my series which looks at face types to help choose jewelry and accessories.   Parts one and two looked at round, square, and heart shaped faces.  Being aware of your face type will help you choose the best accessories to emphasize your better features and the best to minimize attention to any “faults” you may find in your features.  This is also a great gift guide for guys who want to choose jewelry for their girlfriends, moms or sisters.  So, gentlemen, pay attention.

The oval face is probably the most desirable.  Any type of earrings or necklaces can be worn with this type of face.  There are, however, exceptions.  If your oval face also happens to be long, you will want to make it appear shorter and balance out.   I have some good suggestions here for doing just that.

faceoval

If your face appears long, you will want to wear necklines and earrings that draw the eye from side to side, giving the illusion of width.

Keep your hairstyle medium or shorter, bringing the eye up and away from the chin.

Wear necklines that emphasize a side to side glance rather than plunging necks that draw the eye downward.

topboatnek

boat neck

topround

round scoop neckline

topoffshoulder

Earrings should be shorter and not too slim.  Flowers are great for long face, their petals draw the eye sidewise as do stars.

springflwr

Just because your earrings are shorter, it does not mean they must be boring.  In fact, the more unique they are, the more the eye is drawn to them and the glance goes away from that up and down sweep that makes your face appear longer.

sarigreenearz

hootchie

YOU are the perfect girl to rock these “big ole hootchie mama” earrings!

Keep your necklaces shorter and close to your face, again, avoiding that up and down sweep and going for the side to side glance.

agatelavenecklce2

These  chunky agates with the scarab are perfect!

Something simple like this pyrite sun slab and a silver collar will give the illusion of width to take away from the reality of length.   The shape of your focal piece can bring  width to the view.

pyritesun2

If you really want to wear a longer necklace, choose an unusual piece that has width, one that has simpler beads which will bring the eye directly downward to the piece itself.

harot3

I hope this series has been helpful.  Remember, if you want to see more pieces for your type of face, check my Facebook page, Strega Jewellry.   I will have an album for each type of face where you can see more choices.

March 20, 2016 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Face It Part 2


I started this 3 part series as a gift giving aid and a help for women to suit their jewelry choices to their face shapes.   By making choices that suit the shape of your face, you lower the risk that you will buy something on impulse that does not look right once you get it home and try it on.   Let’s face it, we have all done this.   Also, for men, it’s a great way to help you decide what to buy the women in your life.  You all have sisters, moms and wives or girlfriends, and there are plenty of holidays that call for gifts.   Christmas, birthdays, Valentines Day and Sweetest Day, Mothers Day and oooops, I’m sorry days.   Be sure and check out Part 1 for round and square shaped faces.  In this post, I’m going to talk about heart or diamond shaped faces.

heart shaped face

heart shaped face

Let’s start with earrings.  You think they are an easy gift to choose until you start looking at all the different styles.   For heart shaped faces, you want to look for styles that draw the eye sideways, horizontally to add width to a small and often pointy chin.

earringshapeshrt

Pear shapes and triangles with the wide part at the bottom or fan shapes are the best.   Upside down hearts would also work.

hoopwidags

steampunk

When considering necklaces, think about the necklines that look best with heart shaped faces.  Boat necks are a great choice, drawing the eye from side to side.

boat neck

boat neck

For this neck line the necklace should echo the line of the garment and not crowd the face.  Chunky beads are perfect.   Assemblage pieces draw the eyes out and away from the chin.

sewwhatnecklce

Off the shoulder necklines have the same appeal at boat necks and often look similar.

topoffshoulder

Simple round one strand necklaces are best with this neckline or a simple collar like this one.

collar

If you love cowl necks, go for the higher cowls, not the deep cowl neckline.   You have interest at the neck but are not drawing the eye downward too much.

high cowl neck

high cowl neck

Remember, with any cowl neck, it’s earrings you want to feature, not necklaces.  A brooch is also great with a cowl neck like this.

sprflowrs

 

If you really love V-necks or lower cut round necks you can still wear them.   Just add a light jacket or sweater with wide lapels or other interest to draw the eye outward instead of down.   Again, a simple one strand piece keeps the eye at the neck and holds it there.   A brooch on the lapels is another piece that you can wear that does not draw the eye downward.

 

topvwide

swan1

 

Hopefully, this has been helpful to help you choose holiday gifts.   Remember, if you “like” my facebook page, you can find albums for each type of face with earrings and necklaces that go with each.    And if you subscribe to this blog, contact me and I’ll email you two downloadable pictures with earring and necklace styles for each face type.

January 19, 2016 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Face It Part I


Have you ever fell in love with a piece of jewelry, bought it, then did not like it when you wore it?   It seemed so right at the shop but when you actually put it on, it looked all wrong?

The type of jewelry you should wear will depend upon your face shape.   I’m going to do a 3 part series of posts about fashion and face shapes.  I’ll give you a face type, tell you what sort of jewelry goes best with that specific face type and show you some examples.

Guys!   this will be a HUGE help when you are trying to decide what to buy for the ladies in your life.  And for everyone else, it’s not just your own shape you should consider, but an aid when choosing gifts for moms, friends, daughters and that Secret Santa gift you need for the job.   I thought this time of year would be a great time to discuss gift giving help but actually, we need gifts all year long.

Let’s start with both round and square shape faces.  We have the same goal with both…..to make the face appear longer, not wider, to draw the eye up and down instead of horizontal.

round face

round face

square face

square face

To draw the glance vertically we want long dangly earrings.  chandelier earrings are great for this.   Triangle shaped earrings are good if the wide part of the triangle is at the top and the slim point is at the bottom.   If you have a curve, make sure it faces inward, not outward.  Long drops, tassels, and dangling chains are good.   Diamond shapes are fine as long as the diamonds are long and thin, not like inverted squares.   It also helps if there is a bead drop from the bottom of the diamond.

earringshapesrnd

acophrtearz3

these brushed copper and glass earl earrings are great for a round face, long and dangly and the heart shape just accents the vertical gaze

rndmnstn

These moonstone dangles are great for a square face, the length draws the eye vertically and the round silver bezels soften the line of the jaw.

Keep the neckline of your clothing in mind when you choose necklaces.   Don’t buy turtlenecks for ladies with short necks or round or square faced.   They crowd the chin and bring the eye right back up topside.  We want it going up and down remember?  You want a neckline that pulls the eye downward toward the bosoms so avoid boat necks which pull the eye side to side.

Scoop necklines are great for pulling the eyes down.   Ladies with square faces look best with a rounded scoop neck.  The curve of the neckline will soften the lines of the jaw.

round scoop neckline

round scoop neckline

square scoop neckline

square scoop neckline

Round faces  seem to have more definition with a square scoop neck.

When choosing necklaces, do not buy pieces that are very short, like chokers or collars.  they crowd the face.   Choose pieces that are over 20 inches long.   Long dangly pendants are best.  They bring the eye downward.   Avoid large chunky beads near the face or layers of chain.   Assemblages pieces are not ideal.  Large amounts of eye interest across the neck will take the eye horizontally again.   The best assemblage pieces will feature  a minimal assembly with dangling charms.

rndonyx

A great piece for either type face but especially square.  The oval shape of the pendant lengthens the face while the feminine ribbon and minimal amount of beads will soften the lines.

 

A half hang necklace with its symmetrical curves which features a beautiful focal is a great addition for both these necklines and these face types.   A round face would want a focal that is not round but oval or rectangular.  Ditto the square face type. Square faces want soft curves  Triangle shapes are also great.  Again, dangles from the focal do no harm.

Cowl necks are also great.   And they are wonderful for displaying long dangly earrings!

cowl neck

cowl neck

acornearz

 

 

Tube tops in summer and strapless dressy dresses are also fine.  Attention is taken from the face and downward.  Wear simple pendants on chain or cord or boho style pieces.

asunmon4

 

V-necks are perfect for both face types, again, focusing the eye downward.   For V-necks, you do not want elaborate pieces but simpler types of beautiful pendants that you want to show off.

V-neck sweater

V-neck sweater

acorn2

Here is one other thing to consider when selecting gifts.  Size matters!   Larger ladies will not look  best in tiny delicate pieces.   The piece will “get lost”, appear too small.   Fuller figured ladies can wear beautiful bold pieces with no problem at all and bold chains and dramatic beads.  Yaaaay

cicada4!

One last thing.   If you “like” my facebook page, you can check out more types of jewelry to get better ideas.   I’ve created special albums for face types with examples of pieces that look well with specific face types.   It will be easier than checking back with this blog when you go shopping.   If you subscribe to this blog and email me that you did, I’ll email you 2 downloadable charts that will help you choose pieces both for yourself and others.

 

 

 

 

 

December 8, 2015 Posted by | fashion, holidays, Jewelry | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop


swapnhopbadgeWhat a great bunch of ladies in my Facebook group, Bead Peeps!   Linda Anderson, organized a bead swap and blog hop for this month.   We each got a partner and swapped some beads then had to get busy and design some pieces with what we received.  This is what I sent my partner, Shaiha Williams.

partner

She sent me a bunch of really cool beads.  You can read about them here.

swap1

My muse took a break and left me after the Build a Line Challenge and I was worried I would never get done!  But, it’s finally time and here’s what I finished!

The first pieces I made were from the gorgeous goddess pieces she sent me.

swap3

I turned this into two necklaces.   I made a short choker type with just that little blue square.   The center hanger is sterling silver and I can reverse this piece and wear it plain.   That focal came from Clay Impressions.

gdsblesscollage

This longer piece can be worn with the above.    I used that awesome little goddess charm and painted her blue and purple sky colors with lumiere paints.  and put her on a charm holder with a tiny spellbook, a candle I made from bone and beadcaps and one of my own bronze charms that says Blessed Be.  The blue glass pony beads have silver bead caps and smokey amethyst faceted crystals.  Silver infinity chain links are handmade by me.   These pieces are mine!  

gddscharmcollage 

Shaiha sent me some little lampwork bows made by Mandrel 2.   Now, the first thing I thought of when I saw those bows was how many “bad hair days” I have.  The least bit of humidity and my head looks like a dandelion gone to seed.  No lie!   So, I made a little polymer lady with “bad hair” as my focal.   I wanted to keep the bead level simple and focus on the bows so only used a few beads, some hunmetal links and chain that Shaiha sent.   I”m not totally happy with the lady’s face.  .  It does not seem to be defined enough.  I got to figure this out.  But she is ready enough to show here.

badhairdaycoll

I had a totally different idea when I started this piece.   Shaiha sent me beautiful magnesite beads and some gorgeous blue butterflies that she painted herself.  I love the colors.  I also love butterflies flying around the flowers in the summer.   I wanted to make a resin piece.  So, using a picture frame bezel I got from B’Sue Boutiques and a picture I got from Graphic Stock, this is what emerged.  One butterfly lurking around the flowers and one emerging from his Hill Tribe Siilver cocoon.   The darker beads are Swarovski glass pearls and the wire and bead caps are copper.  I’m keeping this one too.   LOL

bpbfflycollage

Remember when I said this little elephant from Okawa  Beads was adorable but I do  not do adorable and he would be my biggest challenge?   I sure had a time coming up with an idea.   I researched the significance of the elephant in African lore and Indian lore and came up with dignity and integrity and some other stuffy and honorable traits.    Well, this little guy, with his flowers and happy face was ready to party.      He wanted to prance and parade through the town!  I wanted beads that would bring out his flower colors so I used some ceramic beads I had and some sari silk for a festive look.   I loved the beads Shaiha sent, but these worked better for what I wanted to do.   Don’t you think he looks like a happy little guy?

Short side note to Shaiha:    I have a toddler grandson who loves to work with me.  He was fascinated with this little elephant.  Somehow, the tip of that jaunty little hat was broken when I next took it out of the bag  That is why there is a bead cap on the tip of his hat.  (I expect he might have had a run in with “the Justice League or some Transformers or perhaps a giant anaconda).  With a touch of silver Gilder’s Paste on the trim, it almost looks like it belongs there.

bpelecollage

Because the beads I used for the elephant were so large, I could not incorporate  the little elephant clasp.  And he is so cute!   So I made some sari silk bangles and still thinking about  Africa, I used bright colors.   This is a set and he is perfect for a charm.   I’m going to  put some bells on these bracelets too.

elebraccollage

Anyhow, you can see I had a good time.   Please stop by Shairha’s blog and see what she made with what I sent to her.   Here is a list of the rest of the hoppers.   Check them out.

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop 2015 
Partner List  

 Our Hostess: Linda Anderson from http//:fromTheBeadBoard.blogspot.com

Linda Anderson http://fromTheBeadBoard.blogspot.com
Marica Zammit http://www.beadlovelies.com
Linda Anderson http://fromTheBeadBoard.blogspot.com
Jessica Hocutt https://faithfamilyandadventure.wordpress.com
Kristina Hahn Eleniak http://www.peacockandlime.wordpress.com
Debbie Jeffries http://wordpress/debrasdivinedesigns/blog.com
Rosantia Petkova http://bairozan.blogspot.com/
Shalini Austin http://jewellerybyshalini.co.uk/my-blog/
Catherine La Vite http://drygulchbeadsandjewelry.blogspot.com
Annica Larsson http://zestyfrog.wordpress.com/
Lori Schneider http://beadaddicted.blogspot.com/
Divya N http://www.jewelsofsayuri.com
Mowse Doyle http://mowsemadethis.blogspot.com
Fay Wolfenden http://torchfairy.blogspot.com
Kathy Lindemer http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com/
Claire Fabian http://saraccino.blogspot.de/
Janice Warden Bergeron http://thejewelryroom.blogspot.ca
Natalie Davidson http://www.northshoredays.com
Deb Fortin http://www.studiok24.blogspot.ca
Inge von Roos http://ingetraud.wordpress.com
Karen Mitchell http://overthemoon-design.com
Robin Reed http://willowdragon.blogspot.com
Marie Covert http://thistledown-and-swaddlings.blogspot.com/
Alicia Marinache http://www.allprettythings.ca
Nan Smith http://www.wirednan.blogspot.ca
Johana Nunez http://artincendi.com
Kelly Hosford Patterson http://travelingsideshow.blogspot.com/
Lori Blanchard http://alainnjewelry.WordPress.com
Sue Kennedy http://suebeads.blogspot.com
Shai Williams http://www.shaihasramblings.com
Niky Sayers http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk
Melissa Trudinger http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Candida Castleberry http://www.spunsugarbeadworks.blogspot.com
Erin Guest http://www.renlish.com
Nicole Rennell http://nicolerennell.com/blog
Ien Temaluru http://ienmaginationsjewelry.wordpress.com
Robin Showstack http://heartsdesiresjewelryforyou.blogspot.com/
Sam Waghorn http://palemooncreation.blogspot.co.uk
Marianne Baxter http://www.simplyseablimejewelry.blogspot.com
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca http://ladelizchica.blogspot.com
Shai Williams http://shaihasramblings.com
Lee Koopman https://stregajewellry.wordpress.com      X (you are here)
Jayne Capps http://mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com
Marti Conrad http://marticsclay.blogspot.com
Tina Bosh http://bookbug-somanybookssolittletime.blogspot.com/
Eleanor Thomas http://woolywireetc.blogspot.com
Jeanne Steck http://www.gemsbyjeannemarie.blogspot.com
Gloria Allen http://www.wingsandbeads.blogspot.com
Rachel Mallis http://www.mintmonarch.com/#!blog/c1jlz
Andrea Glick http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Stamper http://skwds.blogspot.com
Chris Haussler http://pixybugdesigns.blogspot.com
Betony Maiden http://www.beadwenches.blogspot.com/
Kari Asbury http://hippiechickjewelrydesign.com/blog/
Jenny Kyrlach http://anafiassa.blogspot.com/
Colleen Foley http://colleenfoleycreations.blogspot.com
Marybeth Rich http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com/
Marcy Lamberson http://www.StudioMarcy.blogspot.com
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell http://www.deelitefuljewelrycreations.blogspot.com
Ginny Lones http://www.Skippingintotheunknown.blogspot.com
Maria Rosa Sharrow http://willowstreetshops.blogspot.com
Loretta Carstensen http://designsbyloretta.blogspot.com
Dolores Raml http://craftydscreations.wordpress.com
Michelle McCarthy http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com
Louise McCormick-Glazier http://jewelrytreasuresbylouise.blogspot.com/
Heather Richter http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com
Tammy Adams http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog/
Shirley Moore http://beadsandbread.blogspot.com
Seed Beaders
Susanne Stelljes http://pearlify.blogspot.de
Sheila Prosterman http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Pallavi Asher http://kalaabhushan.blogspot.in/
Jami Shipp http://celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com
Peggy Kosier http://www.kosydesigns.blogspot.ca/
Andra Weber http://andrasjoyfuljourney.blogspot.com
Catherine King http://catherines-musings.blogspot.com
Krafty Max http://kraftymax.com
Sierra Barrett http://giraffecanhas.wordpress.com
Lois Sherwood http://thiznthat5454blog.wordpress.com
Katy Heider http://onthepondcreations.blogspot.com
Rebecca Robertson   (White) http://morganafeycreations.121hub.com/
Heather Richter http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com
Brandy Collier http://bhjewelry.wordpress.com
Stephanie Haussler http://www.pixybugdesigns.blogspot.com
Lori Blanchard http://alainnjewelry.WordPress.com
Kathleen Breeding http://99bobotw.blogspot.com
Becky Pancake http://beckypancakebeaddesigns.blogspot.com
Renetha Stanziano http://lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com/
Tami Norris https://jewelrybytami.wordpress.com/
Ginger Bishop http://lilmummylikes.blogspot.com/
Peggy Johnson http://charmbarn.blogspot.com

 

May 2, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Bodacious Bangles


If you checked out my posts about the B’Sue Boutiques class you probably noticed the long list of my classmates at the bottom.  Maybe you did not have time to hop around and see all the beautiful work and their designs.   I love bracelets and I saw some fantastic pieces while I blog hopped and I thought I would bring some of them here.  I’m not going to get wordy, I’m just going to post pictures and links to their blogs.  If you see something you like, stop by and check out the rest of their work and tell them Lee sent you.

Hold on…….how about a little music while you scroll through these beauties.   The name of the song is Bright Lights but the key phrase, the name I call this song is You Gonna Know my Name…..and you are gonna know their names after you see their work!

 

marcia5uzz

Marcia Tuzzolino   Aurora Designs

jantague

Jan Tague  of Clever Designs by Jan

maricazammit

Marica Zammit  of Bead Lovelies

elizabethhildreth

Elizabeth Hildreth   Mad Scientist Designs

cassaday

Monica Cassady of MJ Cassaday Copper Designs

susanbowerman

Susan Bowerman   Woodside Wireworks

reneehong

Renee Hong    Fine & Dandy

nike

Nike Bottalico     of Nike Bottallico

Leilawest

Leila West    Leila Nicole Designs

Loribeek

Lori Beekman    B. Accessorized

erinwhit

Erin Whitaker    Shattered Time

There were a couple more but apparently they were protected so I could not get them to post, Dana Hickey and Kristy Le, sorry.

Last, here is one I made just for fun, to take a break from the men’s stuff I was making.   Hope you saw something you liked and visited my friends.

alice

 

 

 

March 28, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry | , | 12 Comments

Build a Line Challenge: School’s Out!


 

Bsuebutton

Three months ago, I saw this badge while reading Brenda Lansdowne’s blog and determined to enter this challenge.  Little did I know just how much I would learn and how many cool ladies I would meet!  Over 50 of us entered this class, most with only a small idea of what we would accomplish.   There was much banging of heads, gnashing of teeth but lots of laughs and plenty of learning.

The class was free this time as it was the first time that Brenda Sue Lansdowne, of B’Sue Boutiques has offered such a challenge.  The only condition was that we use visible pieces from her shop, not an unreasonable condition at all.

The challenge was to complete 5 pieces of a cohesive line by the end of the 3 month period.   Sounded very simple, I mean, who could not do 5 pieces in 3 months?

Every time Brenda gave us  class notes, there were tons of questions and plenty of lively discussion.  We learned to research trends and styles even though we thought we were not fashion conscious ourselves, it was important to know what is trending.  We talked about color and its importance, about branding, about developing a cohesive “look” so that anyone who sees our work can tell that we made it.  We talked about pricing pyramids and everything under the sun.  To quote directly from Brenda herself  some of what we covered was

trends, color, using color to compliment customers, the selling pyramid, the diff between a hobby maker and a jewelry designer, the things that are necessary to become a jewelry designer, when lines become collections, pricing, quality components, how to manage manufacturing inventory so you don’t run out, how to pay attention to customer requests to learn how to design future lines….and how to concentrate on keeping looks together so that your style and brand remain cohesive

This was a very real challenge for me.  I had never made jewelry for men before.  I had never done assemblage before like most of the others.  I had never worked with lumiere paints (and they are so much fun I am now addicted).  I had only made OOAK pieces and had a great fear of being bored by reproducing the same pieces over and over.

While I had ordered from B’Sue before, almost none of what I ordered would fit into my line (or so I thought) and I had the challege of deciding what would work.  I ordered things I didn’t need and didn’t order things I could have used.  Most of all, I learned to FOCUS!  I think that was my hardest thing.  I am so easily distracted!  Now that I have focused, I can see many “series” in my lines and uses for so many more B’Sue items.

I learned about the difference between a collection, a line and a series.   What I have is Strega Jewellry’s Men’s Collection. It is called PHOPP and I felt it needed  its own shop and blog and “brand”

Here is my signage for shop, blog, FB page,  website (coming soon) and will be used on my business cards and tags.  Consistancy is important for a cohesive look that is uniquely mine. (I learned that in class)  I also needed a “catch phrase” that would tell something about my line.  I waivered between “gentlemen of esteam” and “esteamed gentlemen”, wanting to point out that this is not fashion/trendy jewelry but for cosplay.  I’m still not decided which is best and would like some thoughts on this.   I have chosen “gentlemanly” colors for “branding” of burgundy and jade green with creamy tans.  Their are reasons for those colors bit I won’t discuss them here.

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For lack of any better names at present, I am calling my lines the Brass Line, the Copper Line and the Silver Line.  Each will have a series. Most chains will be hand made and all chains will be convertable. This stamps the look as MINE.  The focals will be mixed metals, interchangeable within the metals “lines”.   Some focals will be OOAK.

Although I originally intended this to be men’s jewelry only, I believe that many of the pieces will be unisex.  I do know that the collection itself will cater to folks who love cosplay.  I know this is a limited subculture but I am happy doing it right now.

I know……you want pictures.   I have the most done for the Brass Line.  I have other pieces on my table but need minor details before they are finished.  Here is where what we learned about “lead time” came in handy.  My stickpins bases have not arrived nor my cufflink bases, SIGH.   Here is a collage of the Faux Pearls series which includes a chain, focal, cufflinks and cravat pin.  The chain converts to a bracelet and shorter chain.  Chains will be my base pieces and toward the higher end because they are hand made.  Focals will fall into higher end and mid levels on the tier.  Bracelets will be mid level.  The cravat pins and cufflinks will be my lower tier products.

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Also offered are a cravat pin (not shown) and a leather bracelet.

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This bracelet blank from B’Sue is great for a men’s piece.  I’m not sure if you can see the little beetle under the goggles and leaves but he is there.  Blank, clock face, bug, rhinestone chain and leaves all come from B’Sue.

This focal can also go in the Brass line, the series of Order of the Kraken.  (I’d been reading  the Kraken King right before this challenge)

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I fell in love with these Victorian button tops from B’Sue and used them for cufflinks in the Order of the Kraken series.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  So simple but so cool!  I could make dozens of these and not get tired of them!  I saw some other button tops on her site that will work well.

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These simple pieces are lower tier focals I will use with the brass line using these way cool dragonflies I  found at B’Sue.  I fell in love with these and wish I had a whole BOX of them!  I honed my lumiere skills painting these.

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One last focal from the Entomology Series, a mother of pearl blister with one of Brenda’s fab beetle bugs.

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That is more than five pieces for the Brass line, Men’s Collection but I want to add a couple more items.  I do have pieces with natural stones but I am only showing here the pieces that use the most from B’Sue.

Here is a focal that will go in the Silver Line, Aviator Series using one of B’Sue’s balloon charms.  They paint up really nice, I think.  Note:  I used one of her brass gears and keys and the brass shows through on the balloon so this can be also used with the brass line.

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The Copper Line, I began in the last blog but I’ll put a collage up here just to refresh your memory.

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This, again, is  my own chain but I used Brenda’s steampunk hats and gears on the focal and cufflinks and also have a cravat pin with the small hat.  These hats are the only thing I had in mind when I first planned to enter the challenge.  I found SO much more!  My whole line almost went out of control!

And last:  A huge copper focal that only used my own things I made myself with metal clay and dichroic glass.   I just HAD to have one OOAK piece.   This focal goes in the Order of the Kraken series.  It should have one of B’Sue’s little OK charms on it but I lost my last one somewhere on my worktable mess!  I’m going to need a lot of these.

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So there we have it.  My Men’s Collection which will cater to those who love cosplay.   Series within the lines will be

Faux Pearls series which I showed here

Order of the Kraken (OK guys)

Aviator Series (balloons and propellers)

Entomologist Series (bugs and spiders)

Hat’s Off Series

Privateer Series (wait till you see that big clipper ship focal)

SOBS series (Secret Order of Baleful Snipers)

Paladin Series (western and horses)

It’s About Time Series

Mourning Jewelry Series

and, I’ll be making some pieces for those who love popular series or books, like Outlander or Truebloods  (come on with the bats!)   No Twilight, it’s already overdone.   I have seven costumes to make for the family outing to Comic Con this year and will need pirate jewelry for the Dread Pirate Roberts and his crew (my son and his boys are  going to advertise while they have fun).

Brenda, I definitely want to say thanks for this opportunity!    I’ve muddled along for quite a while, trying this and trying that but I think I have found my muse now with much help from you, your pieces and my classmates. I am honored that I was chosen to participate.   I will still keep a small Strega shop but I believe that PHOPP is going to be my main focus.   I can use all my other skills along with the new ones I acquired.  I can satisfy my desire to do original stuff at the same time.  I can be different even when using components that hundreds of others also use. I feel more focused..  AND, I met some fantastic and interesting people

I hope that some will be curious enough to follow along as I develop my presence, you can follow Liam Mac Steamish’s new blog, PHOPP’s Emporium.   Or “friend” Liam on Facebook.   I’ll annouce the opening of my shop both  there and here.

Here is a list of my classmates blogs.  They are doing some amazing things so check them out for yourself.

 

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques: Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino Aurora Designs

Jann Tague: Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King: Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford: Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott: Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson: Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten: Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit: Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck: VRBrose

Michaele Collie: The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig: Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman: Strega Jewelry X You are here

Erin Whitacre: Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady: MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West: Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson: Howling Dog Jewelry

Leila Belcher: Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen: Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger: Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams: Paisley Lizard

Lynda O’Mara: LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth: MadScientistsDesigns

Dana Hickey: Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo: Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark: Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman: B. Accessorized

Jennifer Kroeger: Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen: Hoarder’s Corner

Robin Reed: Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson: Lilis Gems

Louise O’Shields: Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam: Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis: The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico: Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman: Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le: Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters: Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider: Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett: Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson: From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton: Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman: The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter: TreeZ’s Treasurs

Melissa Latimer: Smithed Up

Renee Hong: Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris: Moondance Jewelry

Lori Meyer: Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams: Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier: Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen: Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams: Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens: 1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller: Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard: Mama San’s Mojo

Coral Law: ab:coraldesign

 

 

March 20, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry, steampunk | , , , , , , | 64 Comments

Swapping Goodies


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Saturday was the deadline to send out our beads to our Swap and Hop partners and I barely made it.  Somehow, I lost my first partner but Shaiha Williams stepped up to be my angel and did I ever appreciate it!   Here is what I sent to her (and Shai, I had to use your pictures).   In my haste, I took pictures of what I was sending but when I went to use them they were unfocused and DARK (rainy, gloomy Ohio weather).   She did a great job on her blog so I just stole yours.

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On the left are all the beads I sent to match the components plus some little mother of pearl doo dads I picked up at Wonders of the Earth.   Bottom right are two ceramic focals, one from Bead Freaky and one from Glass Addictions.  That lampwork bead is from Covergirl Beads.    Top right is a clasp I made from copper clay and a Bronz Clay bracelet bar I made also.  I don’t have that many bronze pieces as I quit making them and I do not give them away frivolously but she stepped up so I could still be in the hop and took me on as a second partner and I much appreciated it, plus, I felt a kindred spirit after getting acquainted.

Shaila is a great gifter sending all my goodies in organza bags that I got to open one at a time!  Like Yule,  I was worse than a little kid!

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Here are the goodies she sent to me.   Love these Goddess focals and the beautiful blue beads!   They are going to me MINE!  MINE!   MINE!  My grand daughter will covet them but she can wait until the will is read (Ha ha Jessie!)

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These lampwork bows are really unusual.   I think I’ve got an idea what I am going to do with them but….you never know how my mind is going to work.  My idea is a little crazy…..ummm…you are not surprised?

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And look at these pretty butterflies she painted to match the gorgeous beads!  I have a plan for these guys!

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The real challenge is going to be this adorable little elephant.   Now, you know, I don’t do adorable.   I will say, aww, isn’t that so cute and go on and make something with spiders, snakes or bats, LOL, but look at him!   He’s so darn cute and look, he has a little elephant clasp to go with him.   Well, she has definitely got me working outside my dark and creepy comfort zone with this little guy.

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Thanks Shaiha!!!    Stop back for the Swap ‘n Hop and see how I make out. Make sure that cutie pie is safe from swooping condors and giant anacondas!

March 18, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry | , , , , , | 7 Comments

Bead Swap Partner


May 2nd is the First Annual Bead Peeps Swap n Hop!   I know there are over 50 of us.  We get assigned a partner, we send each other beads then we make great jewelry from what our partner sends.

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My partner for this fun Swap is Shaiha Williams.   I’m excited about having her as a partner.  We seem to have a lot in common.  She’s an avid reader and from her book reviews, it looks like she is a fan fantasy and sci fi (my own favs).  She has a crew of animals at her house and is very aware of environmental concerns.  We also seem to have the same spiritual beliefs.   I like her already.

She lives in Washington State with her husband and pets and is a book editor.  She has a lively blog.  If you visit, it will be just like sitting down in her kitchen and having a chat.  Everything there seems to come from her heart.  I noticed last week, a mention of Leonard Nimoy (who I was secretly in love with for many years).  I enjoyed her book reviews too.  I’ll be keeping an eye on her blog because I’m always looking for new things to read.   It’s a lively place for sure.  She posts often and always has in interesting blog hop or contest with some beautiful jewelry plus pictures of various critters to liven things up.

I’ve seen Shaiha’s work around the internet.   She is a member of Znet Shows design team and always has really pretty designs in Creative Spark quarterly ezine.

Shaiha has a shop, Shaiha’s Designs.   She has a knack for taking an interesting focal and showcasing it with quality beads in a deceptively simple style that is very classy.  If you stop by, you’ll see some really pretty things.   I’m going to show you my favorites here.

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I love this Goddess necklace, the colors, the focal and the earthy presentation.

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She has some really cool bracelets also.  This one, called Clotted Cream is my favorite.

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These lotus earrings are gorgeous!  See what I mean about interesting focals?

And these are my favorite earrings of all.

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Nevermore

I’m not sure what I’m sending her just yet.  I’ll keep you posted.    I’m excited to have her for a partner.

 

March 9, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry | | Leave a comment