Born To Be Worn by S & T Creations

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Come find us!Our blog, that is!  The first step in putting together a revamped biz plan for our company is to get our own domain name and move our world wide web “footprint” to that location.  So, our new domain is http://sntjewelry.com

The blog was copied over to our website this past weekend.  Bear with me, I have several tweaks to complete in the look and setup but wanted to make the announcement, since I won’t be maintaing a full blog here, but only shorter posts with more links and connections. By owning our site, I have much more control and flexibility over our wordpress blog, and can customize it to fit our work.

Please follow us over to there. It should be the LAST move we make.  We have learned a great deal about our blog and how things “look.”  We chose S & T Creations as a biz name years before we thought about being on the internet.  Unfortunately, “sandtcreations.com” has been interpreted as some type of sand art, like layers in jars or painting with colored sands.

So, we created Born To Be Worn Jewelry for our blog name, as well as a marketing catch phrase for our designs.  We both like it, but when I went to get a domain name, I knew that did not “connect” to our biz in any way someone would remember. In addition, similar domain names were already taken and the confusion would only irritate potential visitors.  Over the years, I have also read recommendations to always include WHAT you do/make in your domain name. 

That is the brief history of where sntjewelry came from.  Eliminating the full “and” work removed any mistaken trace of sand and using jewelry instead of creations is much more descriptive of our work.

I have been reading and following some designers that work with polymer clay.  I thought I might play with some clay and see what I think.  I love to explore other mediums where I can be more creative and actually design components, whether those be beads or findings and components.  So I’ve dabbled with wire (my recent post on the copper wire cuff with the crystals) and chain maille using the same wire in jump rings.  I have taken some fantastic classes from Don Norris on silversmithing.  I learned a great deal and I enjoy that too.  Now compared to using wire and solder, polymer clay, friendly plastic and other such mediums usually fall under a listing of “alternative.” However, some things I’ve done have appeared “as is” in some test pieces, but even more importantly, I see a design in these that I then re-create with gemstones, wire and other components.  So, never underestimate the value of working with these things that seem more common, less expensive, and ones that other people may not consider “art.”

Now, before I go any further, let me first clarify that my turquoise links are not something I consider “art.”  But let me tell you what I learned while making these.  First, how to make a join and then make it disappear.  I wanted to see how thin the clay could be and still form a solid piece.  The thinner ones you see here aren’t hard, but a bit “rubbery” feeling. I can twist them slightly and pinch them just a bit.  But they would still hold as a link.  The thicker ones, though, show more color, especially those that are blended.  I compared twisting to rolling in terms of the design it made when I blended 2 clays together.  The blue and silver didn’t show as much as I thought it would, but I love the blends with the white.

My plan is to randomly combine these in an asymmetric combination of links, similiar to the asymmetric chain mail in the Creative Chain Mail Jewelry book I reviewed recently.  I think the color will add more drama.  It should be a very playful, fun design.

I took a piece of molding clay and made a fleur-de-lis mold.  I think it might be nice to make some light weight fleur-de-lis for next spring…..it is the symbol of Louisville and VERY popular around Derby time!  Hopefully I can find some other sizes for more molds, for larger pendants and hopefully for smaller earrings!

Saundra gave me some gorgeous coral beads that had a thin silver beadcap on both ends. The metal layer is very thin, but also stunning.  They have a design that has been patinated, then shines so teh black shows off the swirles.  I love the larger size of these attached caps.   I paired these with some great turquoise “melon” beads I had that are ceramic.  The ceramic version gives a very consistent shade, allowing the coral to stand out.  I like the elongated look of the ceramic turquoise, with the slightly paler lines than run the length of the bead.

The back has a large silver toggle clasp that has a marcasite-type look to it.  These larger beads really needed a corresponding clasp to set it off, keeping the design consistent.

The designs you are seeing now will be among the first added to our new store.  We are working on the website now and will be announcing it soon. Subscribers will be eligible for special sales and discounts.  Sign up here to be notified.

I saw the neatest “stuff” at an artist mercantile store in French Lick Indiana this weekend and would love to play with some in my own designs, but I have no idea what it is.  The store owner called it “clay” and said the artist gets it really hot, in hot water, and then forms it.  It is very metallic, lots of cool colors, and reminded me or ribbon or cord.

I was working with some copper wire this weekend, trying to work out a bracelet design I had in my head.  I thought the end result, especially with no pattern and no true measuring, came out really well!

I started with square wire from A Beaded Affair.  That’s the frame.  I didn’t want to solder, so I knew I had to wrap it to create the piece.  I measured the wire for 6 inches around, an inch wide, then left about 2 inches for the curves in the center that I could wrap together, adding beads in to finish the design.

I make the 90 degree square corners and then marked the open wire side where the 2 wires overlapped.  That’s where I began curving them inside.  I started with a pair of curving “pliers” I have and then continued, making curves larger until they just touched. Those open curves created the spaces I would eventually fill in with beads.

I grabbed 22 g copper wire and began wrapping, starting with the very center, where my 2 curved ends met.  Once those were solidly wound, I moved to where each curve touched the solid wire on the other side.  I wrapped those, always being sure to keep the coils tight, as straight as possible and close together.  With it wired together, I could begin fitting in crystals.

This was a lot of freeform too.  I didn’t have a pattern nor any end goal in mind.  I basically found the crystals that fit the spaces I wanted to fill and wired in 1 at a time.  I love the 2 oval ones in the center of the swirl. And I liked the way crossing over one wire with another let me fill in more of the negative space with glittery AB Swarovski crystals!

Great Book for your Collection Remake Classic and Collectible Jewelry

Heirloom, Kitsch, Traditional

Brenda Schweder

This is a new book in my collection; I gave the first copy to my business partner and best friend for Christmas.  She LOVES vintage jewelry and has a large collection already.  For pieces that may need a new life, Vintage Redux will give the reader many unique, fun, and wonderful ideas.  One of the surprising finds in this book is the range of projects, from those that are very trendy to some that maintain a very classic and timeless look.

This is a great way for anyone who has a collection of odds and ends pieces of vintage jewelry that
really do need some tender loving re-work in order to be worn again.  Women often end up with collections of kitsch-y costume jewelry from their relatives, or pins that are woefully out of style but still in great shape!  And, who hasn’t a small cache of earrings that have lost their mate!
Adorable, and still in vogue, they need to be re-purposed.

Brenda Schweder begins with an outline of what is suitable for redux.  Of course, the final decision is up to the owner, but she cautions us against dismantling true antique pieces.  Remember that sometimes even
repairing  true antique pieces can lessen their worth. She also describes ways to clean old pieces that won’t ruin a finish or damage stones.  She describes how to restring an old necklace, and how to incorporate those old Lucite beads into updated pieces.

I was amazed at some of her creative ways to repurpose a brooch, including a brooch cuff!

The first project my friend Saundra reworked into her own style was a ring collection!  Brenda Schweder inspires you to look at jewelry designs in a whole new way.  Instead of what it was originally designed to be, she totally takes it out of the mold and reformulates into an entirely different jewelry piece.  And the results are fantastic!  So many times, in jewelry “how-to” books, you see a design and that’s it; you may be able to use different colors, but basically it can’t be re-worked with other types and styles of gemstones.  Not this book!  It’s not limiting, it’s liberating!  The project is more like a suggestion; from there your creative wings will take off for your own flight of fancy!

For those of us open to special orders from customers, this can open a whole new niche area.
While we’d have to have some caveats about taking a piece apart, we can use Vintage Redux as a stepping off place for a conversation with a customer and help her update an heirloom into a fashion statement.

Vintage Redux is a valuable addition to my “how to” jewelry book collection.  It’s novel, inspiring,
and not like any other jewelry book I have so far!  Vintage jewelry is given a new life, one that is outside an old box or drawer and back out in the light of day!

Buy NowKalmbach Books produced
this book and I scored a copy to review!  This book includes an
introduction to basic seed bead information and stitches. It begins with a
concise overview of seed beads, as well as needles, thread conditioner, and
terms.  Everyone will appreciate this; if you aren’t sure of the different
sizes and types of beads then it will be useful and informative.  But you
won’t find that half of the book is consumed with descriptions and terminology,
instead of projects! Don’t assume this is a beginner book only!  There are
innovative examples of ways to expand your use of a particular stitch into new creations.

It is almost impossible to count the number of projects in this book.  A new stitch is introduced but then she immediately begins to show you several modifications you can do.  By including so many examples of how to vary a stitch, how different the pattern will be by using different
sizes and styles of beads, this book gives you tons of information.  Many other beading books tend to have a finite list of projects, with very few ways to vary the design.  Not here!  Beth is sharing her love of beads and stitch designs with all of us.  Even if you know some basic stitches, you
will still be inspired with new designs by exploring  all the examples included.  Beth also tells how she managed to turn some “mistakes” into designs.

There were 2 additions I was pleased to find.  First was how Beth included instructions on adding
drops to your designs, with top drilled beads and teardrop shapes.  Second was a section on incorporating your own toggle clasp in your design.  I think this really adds a cohesive finishing touch to a piece, since you aren’t adding an outside component at all.  In fact, in one example, the toggle looks almost like a pendant!  My favorite piece is called the “Nona Collar.”  It has 5 rows of beads in different colors and shapes.  The combinations of just this one pattern are absolutely endless in variations.

Don’t miss this one.

I was delighted at the quality and variety in this book.  It’s slim with slightly under 100 pages
but you will find lots of information and designs packed inside.  She is very free with her expertise and open with how to take any pattern in this book and alter it to fit your needs.  I found her suggestion to work with a new pattern to make earrings a great idea; you can practice a pattern but work on smaller projects.  While her initial stitch instructions begin with basic patterns all the extras included in this book take it far beyond the beginner stage.  Seed Bead Stitching provides something for everyone who does or wants to work with seed bead stitching.


Subscribe in Google Reader

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 15 other followers

Pin It!

Support Independent Creativity!

Support Independent Creativity!

ArtBeads Design Partner

Bead Soup Blog Party

I've joined the Blog Party

I'm a Bead Soup Partier!

AllTop

Alltop, all the top stories

Blog Directory

BlogHints

Blog Directory

Blog Catalog