Happiness comes in surprisingly small packages

8:49 AM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »

First I want to apologize for my lack of super de dooper fun and excited tutorials. I have been quite sick in the past few weeks, and with two jobs on the side and full time classes - well, finding time to blog has not exactly been easy. This morning, I checked my email, prepared for the usual things, ads from beading websites, some crafting newsletters, maybe some spam. And all these things were in fact there, but I was also pleasantly surprised by a gem of an email, informing me I had sold a necklace on ETSY - and another saying payment had been made! I swear to goodness the Hallelujia corus was blasting from my ears! I jumped, I ran, I thundered down the stairs, banged on the door and whooped.

So, this may sound like an overreaction - but with the way things have been going lately, it is so wonderful just to know I have any kind of the smallest success in this whole jewelry crafting thing. Just one sale - one sale is enough to remind me that I am good at what I do, that this is worth all the time and effort.

So, thank you, mystery shopper. You have no idea just how much your purchase gave me.

Two Birds of A Feather: Project Idea

11:26 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Lately I have been preoccupied with... you guess it Birds! This fascination started when I noticed the increase of swallow charms, particularly in brass and copper jewelry. They're everywhere! At first I was a jewelry snob, "If everyone is doing it, it simply isn't for me" But then... I have to be honest, I fell in love with the simple, understated beauty of these birds.
I wonder what it is about the symbol of a bird that we all love and cling to so much. Maybe it's the idea of being free. Maybe it's desiring the ability to fly (away from, or to, something or someone.) Maybe this stage in my life just needs some birds. I don't know.
Whatever it 'means' I do intend to play around with some metal birdie charms, however there are other ways to add some birds to your jewelry art.

What's The Plan, Stan?
  • I'm going to list a few non-traditional bird jewelry project suggestions. As I get to try them out myself, I will tell you about them in follow up blogs. Please, let me know what you think, or give suggestions for some cool bird jewelry.

Some Birdie Ideas:
  • Feather jewelry is all the rage. You don't get any more bird-like than with beautiful feathers. Peacock feathers are especially beautiful, but they are also all over the place. Stop in your local crafting store (like Michaels) and see what they have for feathers. You may be surprised by the huge variety of feathers available. Are you worried that your new-found treasures were delivered via less than Kosher means? There are some farms, which will sell/give away bird feathers, which have been found, not... em... plucked. Peacocks will actually molt their long plumage (in the fall I believe). Do some research - and remember, if you sell your feather creations, it's great to mention if your feathers were found vrs... em... plucked.
  • Paint it, baby! We all have artists inside us. Ok, well mine likes to jump up and down a lot and loudly proclaim it's existence, but the point is, you can create your own little painted charm, and cover it with Diamond Glaze, Glossy Accents, ICE resin or some other products. A couple weeks ago I made these cute bird charms with tiny water color paintings and scrabble tiles. I'm still learning how to use Diamond Glaze, but I think it's a great area to explore in creating jewelry.
  • Go for the gold! Or copper. Or silver. Whatever! If you are going to use bird charms, like the majority of jewelry and bead artists out there, try to make your unique. I know it is tempting to see a necklace using that traditional flying swallow (see above picture) because it's beautiful, has classic lines etc... but then what are you? Just one in a million. Use different metals! Use different kinds of birds! Use dancing birds! Be unique! Or don't. The choice, my reader, is yours.

C'est Fin!

Bead Artist Showcase
Your work could be right here! Submit your own bird jewelry ideas to Creativity In A Nutshell via email to cagarp@plymouth.edu. Feel free to include pictures, anything new you tried and suggestions you have for improvement.