Bead Woven Medallion Earrings

I have just finished writing my 5th jewelry making tutorial.  This one was a little tricky for me, as it was my first with bead weaving and since I have been self taught all of the techniques I use, I found that I didn’t know some of the technical names for certain things, other than the brick stitch.  The use of arrows in photos really helped in describing which way to weave your needle at certain points.

This tutorial definitely took me longer to write than any of my wire wrapping tutorials for sure!  It is now available for sale here in my Etsy shop.

Sippin’ on Summertime and a Meditation Challenge

Good morning!  It sure has been a toasty week here in West Michigan.  One of the habits I fall out of during the winter is drinking a green smoothie every day.  I guess the chill in the air doesn’t make me crave a cold smoothie like I do in the warmer months.  But now it’s time to put that blender to use and get back to sippin’ on summertime!  This morning’s smoothie was delicious!

It consisted of coconut milk, avocado, spinach, banana, frozen strawberries, pineapple, and chia seeds.  The avocado and banana made it extra creamy!

I am really excited to be taking on a new challenge in July through the Yoga Journal called The Meditation Revolution.  Meditaion is something that I try to incorporate into my life, but I don’t think I’ve ever really fully understood it and made a solid practice out of it.  The Mediation Revolution is 28 days of daily meditations with renown teacher, Sally Kemptom.

Throughout the program, you will do simple asana sequences to to warm up and prepare your body for meditation, learn techniques for sitting and breathing to stay alert and comfortable during your practice, and pick up tips to help navigate the wondrous journey inward. 

You will receive daily newsletters that will provide links to each day’s audio meditations and video demonstrations via e-mail.  I’m looking forward to this challenge and hope that this will begin to install a regular mediation practice in my life.

Are you up for the challenge?

Sign up here!  The challenge starts on July 9th.

Something for Him

Last week, I had a customer ask me if I could make a copper money clip for a 7th anniversary gift for her husband.  I told her I would give it  a try.  After playing around a bit with the shape and size, I finally came up with a design that I was happy with.

I took 18 gauge copper sheet that I had cut into 1″ strips and sawed it down to a 1″ X 4″ piece.  I smoothed the edges and gave them a rustic, hammered texture.  I added the custom initials and gave the piece an earthy, antiqued look with liver of sulfur.  My customer was very happy with the end result, and I now have the personalized copper money clip for sale here in my Etsy shop.

Have you ever had a custom request turn into an item that you decided to sell regularly?

So, I Ran My First Half Marathon…

Not only was it my first half marathon, it was also my first trail race.  Okay, it was my first race EVER!  I really had no idea what I was in for.  Running trails is probably ten times harder than running on the side of the road.  During my training I thought the only difference would be dirt instead of pavement.  Boy, was I wrong!  There were roots and rocks and sand.  I even had to hurdle over a fallen tree three times!  I must have rolled my ankle at least a half dozen times and came close to face planting twice.  By the time I crossed that finish line I was a sweaty mess, covered in dirt.  But you know what?  I loved every  minute of it!  I even took a wrong turn that took me about a 1/4 mile off the course, but I just turned around until I was back on the trail.  It was this race’s first year and they even admitted that their signage could have been better.  I was still one of the top finishers, coming in 3rd for my my age group.  I will definitely be back next year.  Crossing that finish line was such a great feeling!

Even the medal was rough and rugged.

This was such an amazing experience for me.  I did something that I never thought I could do.  An even though I felt like throwing in the towel halfway through my training, I think I caught the competitive running bug and am now looking for the next race…

First Celebrity Gifting with The Artisan Group

Earlier in May, I was accepted into The Artisan Group.  The Artisan group is a group of talented artisans who collectively provide a sampling of handcrafted products to celebrities and members of the press.  Not only do I get the chance to get my jewelry into the hands of celebrities, I have also found an amazing community of fellow artisans that support and promote each other.  I was selected to participate in a gifting to former ABC Bachelorette, Trista Rehn Sutter.

I am a huge Bachelor/Bachelorette fan, so I was quite excited about this!  I have watched the show from its very first season and have never missed a season.  Trista was on the very first season of The Bachelor in 2002.  Lucky for her Alex Michel didn’t give her the final rose and she went on to be the show’s first Bachelorette where she met Ryan Sutter. They were married in December of 2003 and still remain married today with two children.

Trista’s style is pretty classic, and she doesn’t wear a lot of big, bold jewelry.  I wanted to stay true to my earthy, rustic style, so I designed and created these sterling silver and copper artisan rosette earrings for Trista.

These are a more elaborate version of my Artisan Rosette earrings designed especially for Trista.

I look forward to other celebrity gifting opportunities with The Artisan Group, as well as the chance to have my jewelry or business cards included in the swag bags at red carpet gift lounge events.

If you could have any celebrity wear your designs, who would it be?

Future Tutorials?

Hello!  I’m looking for some ideas for a new tutorial!

Lately I have been feeling like writing a couple of new tutorials to sell in my Etsy shop.  I would love some feedback on what you would like to see a tutorial for in the future.  Wire work, bead weaving, or maybe even metal smithing?  Please leave a comment with your suggestion!  Thanks!

I’m also open to suggestions for free tutorials for here on the blog.