New Necklaces!

New Necklaces!

Just posted to our online shop!

New Earrings!

New Earrings!

Just posted to our online shop!

artBLISS 2012 Registration & Giveaway!

Registration for artBLISS 2012
is now officially open!

Dates and Location:
Sept. 21-23, 2012
Sterling, VA

I’m so excited to be an instructor this year at artBLISS 2012! It’s going to be three days of great workshops that encompass jewelry design and mixed media. I’ll be teaching  how to make these riveted bangles with tin can photo charms and stamped metal charms.

To see all of the classes offered, and to register, visit the artBLISS website.

Plus, artBLISS is doing a giveaway! April 25th through May 2nd only!

They’ll be giving away 4 prizes. Each winner will receive a tote bag like this:

Filled with goodies like this:

For details and to enter, visit http://www.sweetbeadstudio.com/?p=8536.

 Hope you can join us this September!

 

Why Size Does Matter…

Yes, size does matter! In jewelry that is! Especially when buying online.

In my experience, when buying jewelry supplies online, the old saying “What you see is what you get” often does NOT hold true. Or at the very least should have an asterisked warning saying “Item is smaller (or larger) than it appears.”

Of course, logical people would scold “Tsk tsk, didn’t you pay attention to the dimensions listed?” And would I say “I did, I did, I really did!” And truly, I did, but I think I must be dimensionally challenged, and from the feedback I get from other people, I’m not the only one.

The most notorious offenders of the size issue are beads. I recently read a newsletter entry on this very issue from Magpie Gemstones and thankfully realized I’m not the only who has made this mistake. First-time or inexperienced bead buyers never realize how small a 2 mm or 3 mm bead is. Let me tell you, it is TINY. And you don’t often realize how tiny because images online are usually blown up to show detail and do not represent the true size.

But the size issue goes beyond beads. I’m always on the lookout for interesting found objects to use in my work. One of the items I’m constantly scouring flea markets, junk stores and the internet for are old padlocks. Now, if you ever looked for old padlocks, you know they can range from the absolutely gigantor to the miniature. For jewelry, I need smallish to miniature. I recently came across some wonderful old locks online and after reading the dimensions, I thought they would work. I bought  them, eagerly awaited them as they travelled from England to my front door in the U.S. And when I opened the package….my heart sank. They were fantastic, but way too big. The offending lock is the one in the middle below. On each side are locks I actually use in my jewelry:

At first glance, from this photo, I would say even though its larger than expected, I could probably still use it. What you don’t see, though, is the thickness of the lock. Which is the major dimension I chose to ignore when purchasing these. Take a look at the locks from the side.

See what I mean? The difference is HUGE! Colossal! Lucky for me that I collect old locks of all sizes, so this one, and the 3 others I purchased are now part of my collection. But, my lesson was learned. Not fully understanding the dimensions can royally screw you! BTW, another major offender of the size issue is chain. I’ve found that even true-to-size photos of chain can be misleading. You often can’t get a feel for the true thickness and weight of a chain from an image. Requesting samples is always preferable, but generally you have to be buying wholesale in large quantities for the vendor to provide you samples.

Unfortunately, I still make mistakes. Most often it’s when I don’t have a ruler in front of me and I approximate the sizes in my head. But my head ruler is notorious for going on the fritz so the results are unreliable at best! Therefore, my head ruler is no longer to be trusted!

My best advice is that when buying any jewelry component or supply, as well as finished jewelry, check, recheck and triple-check the measurement using an actual ruler before you buy to make sure you’re getting what you want!

ArtBLISS 2012 – SAVE THE DATE!

I’m SUPER EXCITED to be teaching at the wonderful ArtBLISS retreat this coming september. Details to follow!

ArtBLISS 2012 - Save the Date!

Back Like a BackStreet Boy

Yes, me and my blog are back!  What? No applause? No teenage girl-like squeals? No swoons of excitement? How can that be? 

Probably because the 5 followers of my previous blog happened to mostly be my overly-enthusiastic mother and some too-kind friends who felt obligated to indulge me. But not to be daunted by the cold-shouldered silence of the blog-o-sphere, I have returned! And my mother couldn’t be more excited.

Actually, I’m pretty excited too. I enjoy writing and I love making jewelry, so blogging about jewelry making is something I’m always itching to do. But somehow I could never find the time to do it the “right” way…you know, writing a certain number of posts every week, regardless of whether or not I have anything interesting to say and feeling guilty if I don’t.  Which is why I ended my previous blog a while ago. So I’ve decided that the only right thing to do this time around is to share my life behind (and sometimes away from) the jeweler’s bench, along with the joys and realities of being a small independent craftsperson, businesswoman and all-around general lover of life — whenever I can, however I can. No timetables! No publishing schedule! I’m committed to planning to be unplanned! Who is this carefree, schedule-free girl???

Hopefully some of you out there will be interested and will want to share back. The best conversations are, after all, two-way! (Well, for most people, anyway. One notable exception being a close family member who recently, and seriously, expressed how much she loved to talk to herself. Name withheld to prevent awkward silences at family dinners).

More to come!

Beth

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