March 27, 2012

Promoting Your Jewelry Business

Getting your jewelry business 'out there' can be really difficult.  Your family and friends can only do so much!  If you haven't already done so, make sure you subscribe to Rena Klingenberg's Jewelry Business Success News.  It is a monthly blog with lots of tips on making jewelry, displaying it, selling it online or at shows and more!  Submitting ideas and your work to her blog is also a great way to get traffic to your site - or at least I am guessing it will be.  I'll let you know soon!

March 25, 2012

YOJ Week 12: Long Crochet Necklace

 Yay!  I posted my first project.  Technically, it is week 12 of the Year Of Jewelry (YOJ), but only week 1 for me.  I made a terrific crochet necklace.  It is 42" long and can be worn as a necklace or a bracelet.  It was relatively easy to make, although it did take a few tries to get it right.

The necklace has two different gemstones, small (4mm) rough apatite rondelles and larger smoky quartz flat faceted stones.

I wanted half of the necklace to have each stone so when it was doubled as a necklace, it would look like two separate necklaces.

In order to make a necklace like this - the first step is to string all of your gemstones in the order and amount you need to crochet them.  The only room for error is on the last set of gemstones - where if you have too many, you can stop the necklace before then and remove them. Otherwise, you have to know how many gemstones are needed for the necklace and how many stitches to make between each stone.

This necklace took some planning and measuring in advance.  I strung some of each stone, stitched and measured several times before I had it right.

March 24, 2012

Year of Jewelry: Week 1 Update

I joined the second quarter of the Year of Jewelry.  If you've never heard of it, basically it is a personal challenge to make one piece of jewelry per week over the course of a year.  There is a shared website for you to post your projects and there are a lot of terrific artists who participate.  Check out it from my list of links.

I decided to approach the challenge this year as if it were a class for school.  Not that I would get graded on the work - but more that it is an assignment that I must do every week - like homework.  And really, that is what it is for me.  A way to educate myself on new techniques and challenge myself to advance my jewelry making skills.

I started my weekly assignment early - planning what type of a project I would do and researching color choices and gemstones that would make sense.  In the end though, it was just like a school project.  I left my notes at home and had to wing it.  I failed to measure things correctly, didn't like my stone choices and ended up re-doing the whole project!  Boy, does that feel familiar.  You start early only to end up cramming and re-doing things at the end.  I hope I get a little better at this as the year progresses!

My challenge today is to get a good picture of my project (and oh yeah - I still need to add a clasp!).  It is a 30+ inch long necklace with gemstones woven onto a light cord (I think it really qualifies as thread).  It is not like anything I usually would make - since I typically work with wire.  It can be worn as a long necklace, doubled or wrapped about 6 times around to make a bracelet.  It was fairly easy to make, but I know there are a few things I could do better.  I'll post all that information when I actually have a picture of the project.  Now, I'm off to finish it!

March 22, 2012

Best Tip EVER for making Earwires

Wow!  Put this down as one of those moments where I wish I'd thought of that!!  A tutorial for making a pair of perfectly matched earwires came out today in Jewelry Making Daily and it is pure genius!  At first, it looks like she's making a standard clasp and you think you're reading the wrong tutorial, but then, viola! - a well placed snip and two earwires are yours.  I haven't actually tried it yet, but I don't see any reason it won't work.  Judge for yourself by reading the tutorial here.  You may need to create a logon for Jewelry Making Daily, but it's worth it!