Friday, May 23, 2014


Many of us in the jewelry design world struggle over what to do with pieces that don't really fall into the jewelry category. I myself have struggled with this for years. True, making many of these pieces require that same skill set, but the finished product isn't jewelry.

When I first opened my etsy shop I had everything in there - jewelry, badge lanyards, key chains, you name it. But part of the problem with a shop set up like this is that it no longer has a cohesive look. You don't want your shop to be all over the map. I recently read an article about various factors that affect sales, and this is definitely a no-no. According to the article, a cohesive shop not only speaks of a strong brand, but keeps the shopper from feeling overwhelmed with scattered product options. A little tailoring and trimming goes a long way towards presenting a more fluid storefront.

So to help with my lack of cohesiveness, identifying my target market, yada yada yada, I've opened up a second shop. My jewelry shop on etsy, beadifulworld, will slowly lose some of its products as I move them over to my new shop, trinquetts (pronounced liked trinkets, just not spelled the same).

So feel free to browse my jewelry shop at, or my accessories shop at

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The End of a Chapter

God works in mysterious ways. For months I've been praying for direction from God regarding my jewelry business. I wrote about feeling led to teach. I felt it was God leading me to inquire at Hobby Lobby if they offered classes. It seemed like a door opening when the manager told me they had all kinds of classes, but none in jewelry. So I began a journey of preparing classes to teach at Hobby Lobby. I scheduled classes, both evenings and weekends, to work around people's busy lives. They didn't call. They didn't email. Nothing. The flyers I prepared were disappearing from the store, but yet the phone was silent. One day this past week I was in the store and saw the store manager, Natalie. I told her things were not going well, people just weren't interested. Natalie told me she had a new Wilton Cake lady who came in on a Saturday, sat near the front of the store, and talked with people to tell them about the classes on cake decorating. Natalie suggested I do something similar. So this morning I packed up some samples of pieces, some materials to work on as a demonstration, plenty of business cards, flyers, the works. I told myself I would give it four hours, and today was make it or break it - either the door was going to open, or it would shut once and for all. I sat there for four hours, smiling, nodding, working. I talked to probably only half a dozen people. Nobody was gushing like they were wondering where I had been all their life. After my allotted time, I packed up my case and told the manager that was it, I was done. People just weren't interested in classes at Hobby Lobby. I hauled my case out to the car and got in. Then I remembered that I wanted to browse in the clearance aisle, so I went back into the store. I browsed through the racks, but my heart just wasn't in it. I was feeling defeated, anxious. Then I happened to catch a glimpse of a key ring. On the key ring was a charm that read "KEEP CALM & TRUST GOD". Thank you God for that gentle reminder. I may not know your plan or your timing, but I know it is perfect.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Beading for a Cause

A few weeks ago I wrote about going to a "Spring Bling Fling" event where women learned about jewelry trends and how to repair/re-purpose jewelry. Little did I know that, on that night, I would meet a new friend!

Julie was so sweet. She knew I was going to be attending the event as the "professional" and, not wanting to step on my toes, she called me in advance to see if it would be alright if she brought along some of her tools also. Little did she know how non-territorial I am. Of course, my thought was "the more, the merrier"! She ended up being a life saver. I didn't know what would be necessary to repair the broken pieces and I couldn't very well bring along my entire studio since I don't own a semi-truck. So when one of the women needed something repaired with glue, I was thinking to myself "it sure would be nice to have some hypo cement". Later I happened to be looking for some jump rings in Julie's stash of findings, when lo and behold --- HYPO CEMENT! I was practically giddy because I could fix that woman's broken piece after all and she could leave with it fixed that night.

That night Julie and I ended up swapping Facebook contact info. Shortly after, we met for lunch to brainstorm some jewelry ideas. As always when doing something you love, time flew by and about four hours later when the servers were non-chalantly trying to scoot us out so they could finish setting for the dinner service, we made plans to get together in a couple weeks to bead for a good cause.

Julie hasn't lived in town long, but she has become a big part of the community. She has a huge heart for the homeless and hungry, so she volunteers at ACTS (Area Churches Together Serving). She has a deep, in-depth knowledge of vintage jewelry in addition to merchandising, so she's been helping the ACTS Resale Store with their jewelry.

Today we went to the resale store, set up a card table, and started making some jewelry to sell in the resale store. It gave us a chance to do something we love (bead!!), while we were also ministering to others by giving of our time and talents. I'm sure we'll do it again soon!

Meet and Greet at Hobby Lobby

Without making my hair any thinner than it is (thank you menopause!), for the past couple of months I've been diligently trying to determine what kind of classes to teach at Hobby Lobby. I've scheduled several classes, but apparently I was under the Field of Dreams misconception that "if I schedule them, they will attend". Let's just say things could be going better. It's very difficult to know what people are looking for. Maybe it's a timing thing. I've tried various times to see what schedule works for people. I've offered nine different techniques in the past two months. Some have had moderate interest, others.....not so much. So on Saturday. April 26th, I'm going to be at the Aiken Hobby Lobby to kind of gloss over some of the techniques I'm teaching and show some of my samples, but also I just want to meet with people to find out what they are interested in. I'll be there from 10 am until 2 pm. Come by if you get a chance. I'd love to meet you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Do You Know Your Aesthetic Style?

Everyone knows that the economy is really, really bad, and one of the first things to go are non-essential items. So it's no big surprise that jewelry sales during this slump are, dare we say, in the toilet. However, I've been doing some soul searching as to whether MY sales are down because of the economy or maybe it's because I'm not sure who I am as a jewelry designer.

For several years I've explored many styles and techniques; some of which I love, and some......not so much. It's so much fun to explore. But I've come to the conclusion, though, that I don't have a cohesive look that defines me as a designer. Most well-known designers have a distinct look that you can spot from a mile away. Well, my aesthetic "style" has been looking a little bit like one of those road maps you see in a diner where visitors stick in a push pin to show where they're from.

A few weeks back I was chatting online with Laura Bracken, a jewelry designer friend. She had written an amazing article, "Artistic Confidence, Being Nice, and Finding Your Artistic Voice". That article is what gave me a kick in the tush and got me wondering where my feet were planted on that road map. It made me realize I have never truly identified a specific design aesthetic.

So I've been taking some time to reflect and study. It's been really interesting and eye-opening. I can now say that I definitely know what style speaks to me and what doesn't. Now I just have to draw from the different techniques I've learned to make my own aesthetic style. I'm thrilled to see where this leads me!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Bling Fling at First Baptist Church

A few days ago I received a message from a dear friend that used to own a wonderful bead shop here in town. She doesn't live here, and had received a request from someone in town that was looking for someone knowledgeable in the area of jewelry repair, re-purposing, etc. Shirley and I stay in touch through Facebook, so through the wonders of social media she knew that I am now teaching jewelry making classes. I called the number Shirley gave me to get some information, and a woman answered, Barbara. Barbara at first thought I was Shirley calling her, but I explained who I was and how I got her number. I told her I've been making jewelry for several years, teach classes, yada yada yada....... She was so excited to find out I'm right here in town and willing to help out in any way. She told me that her church was organizing a "Spring Bling Fling" event for their Women's Ministry.

At the event, they had someone from Origami Owl talk a little bit about their line and upcoming trends, followed by Premier doing the same with their product line. Then Barbara explained to the ladies how the idea for this event came about because of a bracelet she re-purposed into a necklace. She has found some beautiful pieces over the years to recycle.

For my part of the program, I didn't go into my style of jewelry design, trends, anything like that. I wasn't there to sell them anything, I was there to inspire them. I explained that, as a jewelry person, I try to always have on some kind of jewelry, even if I'm just going to the grocery store. Well you can imagine making every single piece of jewelry from scratch for every item in your closet can be daunting, so many times I re-invent jewelry that I have purchased from the clearance table at the department store. I have a box full of jewelry that I can take it apart, add some color, maybe some beads, and I then have a gorgeous item to match my wardrobe. I brought samples of some of these items, both before and after they were altered, to show them the possibilities.

These earrings show where I added some various colors of nail polish

Earrings with alcohol ink

Necklace with Vintaj patinas

Two necklaces that were combined, antiqued with Liver of Sulphur, and beads added

Earrings that were re-assembled, antiqued with Liver of Sulphur, and beads added

After I showed the pieces that I had re-invented, the ladies brought various pieces in that needed to be repaired or maybe just needed some new inspiration. All in all, we had a great time and I hope the ladies left there knowing that they can make something new out of something old. Thank you for having me!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Class Schedule

I've taken the big leap into the world of teaching. I've taught a few classes in my home. However, some people may not feel comfortable coming to a stranger's house. For that reason, plus the larger classroom size available, I'm now teaching Jewelry Making at the Hobby Lobby in Aiken, SC. I can't believe after all these years that Hobby Lobby has been in business that I didn't realize they even offered classes! I approached the Store Manager one day to inquire if they even offer classes, and she about laughed in my face! Of course they do! They have watercolor classes, oil painting classes, cake decorating classes, scrapbooking classes, wood carving classes, etc. I was flabbergasted. How could I NOT know this?? The only thing I can figure is I've been praying for direction to go with my jewelry, and I felt led to teach. Then she told me they did have classes, but did NOT have any jewelry making classes. That was an answer to prayer! Within a day I scheduled two very basic classes, and a week later I scheduled seven new classes.

Here are the classes currently scheduled:

Basic Earring

February 22nd, 12:30 pm
March 10th, 10:00 am

In this class students will learn to make a simple pair of earrings using a basic wrapped loop. This wrapped loop technique is used throughout all types of jewelry and will carry you through many future projects.

Tuition $15 (excludes materials)

Basic Bracelet

March 1st, 3:30 pm
March 22nd, 10:00 am

In this class students will learn to string a basic bracelet on beading wire.

Tuition $15 (excludes materials)

Basic Wire-Wrapped Bracelet

March 10th, 12:30 pm

Perfect your wrapped loop skills by making an elegant beaded wire-wrapped bracelet. Previous knowledge of making wrapped loops is helpful but not necessary.

Tuition $20 (excludes materials)

Fabric and Resin Pendant Necklace

March 11th, 12:30 pm

Learn to make a pretty pendant necklace using scraps of fabric and resin.

Tuition $30 (excludes materials)

Spiral Ring

March 11th, 3:00 pm

Learn to make a wire wrapped spiral ring.

Tuition $30 (excludes materials)

Wrap Bracelet

March 13th, 10:00 am

Learn to make a "Chan Luu" style wrap bracelet.

Tuition $25 (excludes materials)

Vintaj Class 1 - Patinated Metal Earrings

March 13th, 12:30 pm

Learn to make metal earrings using Vintaj products such as the BigKick, DecoEmboss dies, blanks, and patinas.

Tuition $30 (excludes materials)

Vintaj Class 2 - Etched Metal Earrings

March 17th, 10:00 am

Learn to make beaded metal earrings using Vintaj products such as the BigKick, DecoEtch dies, and blanks. Previous knowledge of making wrapped loops is helpful but not necessary.

Tuition $30 (excludes materials)

Vintaj Class 3 - Dangling Earrings

March 17th, 12:30 pm

Learn to combine beads and head pins, chains, wire, and bead caps to create stunning dangling earrings. Previous knowledge of making wrapped loops is helpful but not necessary.

Tuition $30 (excludes materials)

Contact me at for information or to register.