Monday, April 10, 2017

Good Bones

This blog is more about furniture these days than jewelry! LOL.
First, all the talk about the Printer's Cabinet. It took all year, but I think I'm done talking about that. It's happily ever after in my bead room.

Now, I've refurbished some dining room chairs!

I'll start by saying that I have never liked my current chairs. They came with the table (at an estate auction), but don't really match. I wouldn't care about them not matching but the worst thing about them is they are ladder-back chairs. I like the look of them all right, but they are so uncomfortable. So, for the past 18 years (how long we've been in our house), I've been on the look-out for chairs. I didn't have anything specific in mind, but I'd know it when I see them. I go to local thrift stores fairly regularly, and one day spotted these.
The wood was all but bare, the fabric seats atrocious, but good bones! They're circa 1950's I believe.
Here's the "BEFORE" pictures:

In the basement, rag bin in background! lol

The wood looks downright thirsty!

I removed the dirty 70's gold fabric to find dirtier 50's fabric underneath!
I found fabric that I liked at Joann's in the clearance section. Just lucky!
I stained the wood "Antique Walnut"and applied 2 coats of polyurethane. Went over the wood very lightly with #0000 steel wool, to make them nice and smooth.
I added foam to the seats, to make them more comfy.
Then, re-covered the seats with my pretty new fabric!
Et Voila!

They aren't perfect, but they turned out pretty well. My photos don't show the fabric. It's tan and grey threads that are woven in a faint stripe.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!
I promise I'll post about jewelry from here on out!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Filling of the Printer's Cabinet!

To re-cap, I got a printer's cabinet last spring from my neighbor. I cleaned it up then refinished the wood. In the process of cleaning, some of the drawers got splintery. So I lined those drawers with little pieces of paper. I'd say about 10 drawers needed the paper lining, so doing that probably took me a month to complete. And I've been working on filling it with beads since then (October).

If someone would have told me how many hours it was going to take to get my bead stash into the drawers, I would not have believed them. I already had much of my stash of beads loosely organized by color. The beads, either as a strand or in a small bag, or both, were in plastic bins labeled with the color family they belong to. So, the basic sorting of maybe 75% of my stash was already done! Easy, right?
Not so fast...
To put the beads into the drawers, you first have to get them out of the baggie or cut the strands. Some of the beads on the strands are next to impossible to get loose. They are knotted and run back through the end bead (sometimes twice)! I also had zip-lock baggies that were so thin (do they come in .25 mil? lol), it took all my eyesight and fingernails, and sometimes I resorted to scissors, to get them opened! Don't get me started about bags that are zipped AND stapled! It was challenging at times.

The compartments in some of the drawers are different sizes, so once you have the beads loose, you try to guess which compartment they'll best fit in. Of course, sometimes you don't guess correctly, and then you have to scoop the beads out of the compartment (with a spoon or your fingers), to put them in a more fitting sized compartment! ARGH!

Anyway, there are 25 drawers in the printer's cabinet, and I have filled all but 1-1/2 drawers. One of the drawers that I haven't filled had been painted inside with bright red paint by someone, so I thought it may be distracting to whatever I put in it. So, I'm thinking that one over a little before putting things in it.
I took a photo of every drawer, but 25 photos is too many, so I'll just show you a few!

These are Reds and Pinks!
Here we have Greens!
This drawer is Earthtones.
These are all Czech glass. Notice all the compartments are the same small size.

I have more photos, but it's just more of the same, only blues, purples, yellows, oranges, multi, etc.
You get the drift! If you comment you'd like more photos of the other drawers, I'll post them.

All in all, I'm very happy with it. It's been a labor of love!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Vintage parts

OK, so I have made a couple things with my loot from CJS in NYC. I've been busy since October filling my printer's cabinet. (here's the post about that) I will write a post about the filled cabinet later. But, it took A LOT of time to fill the drawers, and I really hardly made any jewelry for 4-5 months! It's nice to start creating jewelry again.
These earring components are from CJS, as are the cabochons. The little hearts dangle inside the circle, and this is how they came. I got a baggie full of them. I'd say the circle is about 18mm wide. I glued the cabochons on to the hearts, and added earwires. The patina you see on the circles is just how they came.
The heart focal is from CJS. It is plastic that's been metalized. And then it appears to have had a very hard life! lol. It is tarnished and worn, but I like it the way it is. I also found the little swirly heart connector (in the center, above the focal) as an odd little piece in a different bag of beads. It was just in there, so I thought I'd use it. Everything else is from my stash. The oval peacock dot beads would never had been used if not for my recent printer cabinet organization blitz!

These are quite similar, but different. At CJS, I bought a baggie (about a Quart size) of these green plastic charms. They are all the same shape, but different sizes and colors (both transparent and opaque). So I played around with layering the smaller ones on the larger ones, and came up with these two necklaces. Because they are plastic, they are feather light, which makes them so comfortable to wear. They make a fun clickty-clack sound when you move.

 The CJS beads in these two necklaces are the oval wooden beads. They vary in size and have slight variations in color too. I've had both these focals on my desk for a long time, just waiting for the right idea to come along. The round raven focal is from Humblebeads. The diamond Raku focal is from Oscar Crow (on Etsy). The wood beads are a grayish blue, and work with both focals, even though they are different colors.

This necklace has beads from various places. The beads from CJS are the long silver beads with the rose embossed into it. These are metalized plastic! The quality of the metalized plastic at CJS was really good. If they weren't so light weight, you'd think they were really metal! The glass heart was picked up at a small bead show. The 2 round red rose beads are from Jesse James. They are all metal and super detailed! Oh oops, I lied. The red fire-polished crystals were also from CJS!!
I don't work in silver tones much, but this was a gift for a friend that likes silver, so I forced myself to do it! LOL.

Well, believe it or not, that's all I've made with my suitcase full of beads, so far. But like I said, I've been in organizing mode lately! More to come!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bead Hoarder's Heaven: CJS

The minute I read a blog post (on Interweave's blog, in September I think) about CJS in NYC, a wholesale jewelry supplies warehouse, I dreamed of going there. It truly sounded like heaven to me. I'd really wanted to go, but I wasn't likely to go to NYC (from Philly area) by myself. Luckily for me, I have a friend that feels the same way about beads, and bargain hunting. Together, we hatched a plan to go.

We met up very early in the morning and caught a train into the city at Princeton Junction. One short hour later, we were in midtown Manhattan! We made the mistake of getting in the "quiet car", so we had to move down a car, so we could talk excitedly about our fun adventure. The people on the train probably thought we were absolute hicks - talking on the train, and asking questions, not knowing where to put our tickets, etc...we weren't as blasé about going to New York City as all the "regulars" were.

I had done my research before going, so I knew exactly where we needed to go. Coming up from underground onto the streets of  New York can be confusing, but once we figured out what block we'd emerged on, we took off on foot. CJS is only about 4 blocks from Penn Station - how convenient!
And it was a weird mild weather day for November, so we didn't even need to bundle up! In fact, we got too hot!

My friend brought her rolling carry-on suitcase, but I had convinced myself that I wouldn't buy too much, so I brought a collapsible wheeled tote, the kind you'd use to transport a knitting project. We didn't know what to expect, really.

We arrived at the building and took the elevator to the 2nd floor. The doors opened and it was unbelievable! There were beads and jewelry supplies everywhere! And I do mean everywhere!! They were stacked up in boxes in hallways, on the floor, even on the air conditioner in the window! (heaven!)

Carl, the owner, gave us the tour....the finished jewelry room, the pearl nook, the metal room, the plastic room, the shell and wood room, the chain room, etc. Every room was filled with boxes full of jewelry supplies, with the boxes stacked 4-5 deep, with just skinny paths through the rooms. The main room near the elevator had old Swarovski stuff, and fabulous vintage cabochons. The pricing was by the pound, for the most part. He handed us an empty box, and left us alone to explore.
So, we started in the metal room, rummaging through box after box after box, throwing bags of stuff in our boxes as we  worked our way through the rooms. Metal, then wood and shell stuff, then to the chain room, which had lots of glass beads and plastic beads as well. As our boxes filled up, we'd take them to the main room, to stack near the elevator, and to grab a new empty box!! (this is when I should have realized I was in trouble!)

We were there from about 9am until about 1pm. We kind of both looked at each other at the same time and said we were ready to call it quits. I was completely saturated in all things "jewelry". We were hot, tired, thirsty, hungry, and completely thrilled. Carl weighed our boxes and tallied the results.

The good news was that all my stuff fit into my tote. The bad news was my tote was not up to the task. I don't remember how many pounds of stuff I got, but it was more than I thought it would be. After leaving CJS, we ate lunch nearby and attempted to go to some of the actual bead stores in the neighborhood (in the garment district), but my bag, while it did roll, was too heavy for me to go too far. So, we headed back to catch the train. I was able to get my bag onto the train, but as I made the final shove, to get in my seat with my loot, I heard the sound of breaking plastic. Uh Oh! We rode the train back to NJ, and I dragged my bag off the train. The wheels were all but gone.

At this point, I should mention that I'd parked the car expertly, as close to where we boarded the train as possible. Of course in hind sight, it would have been advantageous to have parked on the other side of the tracks in the morning, so we'd be parked on the correct side when we returned. Lesson learned.

So, my bag needed to go down the steps, through the tunnel under the tracks, and then back up the other side....My friend offered to help, and we both grabbed the handle and started dragging it. We were doing ok, and I didn't really care if the bag got scraped up from the sidewalks. We got almost to the bottom of the stairs when a young woman walking behind me said "Excuse me, ma'am, I think your bracelet broke". I turned around and saw beads all over the steps. My bag had busted open, and beads were bouncing down the stairs! My Precious!!!! All the people on the stairs were nice enough to pick up beads and hand them to me. I got my bag down to the bottom of the stairs, shoving the loose beads back into the hole. At that point, I literally had no idea how I was going to get the bag the rest of the way to my car. It needed to go through the tunnel, and then up the stairs on the other side!! I was feeling hopeless, and panicked when a young man stopped and said "Do you need help with your bag?". Now, I consider myself an independent woman that has never needed a man's help, but in this moment, I think I saw a halo around his face and heard angels singing! I said "Oh my God, yes. Let me carry your soda.". So he handed me his Mountain Dew, and he picked up my bag and carried it up the stairs and to the curb on the other side. He even offered to take it all the way to the car, but I told him we could handle it from here, and thanked him profusely!! So, I brought the car over to the bag, and we loaded my pitiful bag, and my friend's rolling carry-on (which actually worked well, but one wheel suffered an injury under the weight of the beads) into the car.

Exhilarated! Exhausted!

Now, you deserve some photos!

The metal room

That's my foot - this is the floor of the plastic room!

My foot again! This is the floor of the chain room. The pile of chain was probably about 6 inches deep!

That's me in the chain room - like a pig in mud! OMG!
Sadly, CJS has lost their lease and will be forced to move, although I don't know how they'll possibly move everything. There is so. much. stuff.
Hope you enjoyed hearing about my "adventure"! Thanks for stopping by!

Next post I'll show you some jewelry I've made with My Precious from CJS!

Monday, October 03, 2016

Beady Play Date

I recently had a play date with a my friend Joan. She came over in the morning, and stayed til dinner time!! We took a lunch break, and then got right back to playing.

This is Joan sitting at the "guest table" in my bead room.
I sit in the black office chair, surrounded on 3 sides by beads. OMG. It is quite a mess. I will be doing some major reorganization when I start putting things in the Printer's Cabinet (see post from last week).
 Here are Joan's busy hands. She brought all those jars of beads from her house!!
There's nothing better than a day of beading with a good friend!! Good times!

Some New Jewelry, At Long Last.

It has been far too long since I've posted photos of jewelry. I have been making it. I just haven't been taking the time to snap photos for the blog! Sorry about that.

Here's some simple necklaces that I made from pendants I made a while ago, but never finished them up! I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. You buy a new component, and want to use it right away, so you don't stash it away, you keep it on the desk, so you can look at your new precious and shiny. Then weeks pass, and you still don't know what to do, so you do something little, like pick out a jump ring or bail and attach it, or in my case, wrap a filigree around it. Then more weeks (or months or years) go by, and that fabulous component is still staring back at you!! It will not be ignore any longer!!

This is a wood cab (from Skye Jewels, I think). I wrapped the filigree around it when I got it (a long time ago!) It was on the desk, when the greenish enameled bead was in view (from Gardanne, before I started enameling). I picked out some pink flower beads from my collection. Voila! (it only took years to make! lol)
 Another angle. The pendant is lightweight, as is the enamel bead.
 This Raku moon cab has been in my possession for a really, really long time. I loved it too much to make anything with it! It is from Oscar Crow on etsy. That shop has some cool and bizarre things.
The Raku bead is from Xaz beads (when they were at Beadfest one year!) The other beads are hard to see, but they are Vintaj. Still not sure I'll be able to part with this one...

Just a simple chain for this one. It's an ivory vintage plastic floral cab I picked up a long time ago (on etsy, maybe). I wrapped the filigree around it a year ago (probably) and it sat on my bead desk, waiting for the inspiration to come. I finally decided it just needed a chain!

My latest "jewelry crush" is making these bracelets. They are fun to make and fun to wear. The only challenging thing about them is finding beads with holes big enough to slide onto 18 gauge wire.
What components do you have on your desk, nagging you to finally do something with them already?? (they are looking at YOU!)

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Printer Cabinet Revealed!

If you have read this blog before, you may remember this post from this past April:

I am thrilled to have finally finished cleaning and refinishing my printer cabinet!!
It's in my bead room, ready to be filled with beads and findings!
 A close up of the drawers pulls!!

The actually loading of the beads into the drawers is turning out to be a bit daunting. I'm hesitant to begin, worried I won't have it organized correctly, then I'll have to get the beads out of their tiny compartments.
But, I guess I will just need to take a deep breathe and begin!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A "love note" from the birds!

My mom had a huge sunflower plant come up in her garden this year. They were planted by a neighbor last year, and they are popping up all over the neighborhood this year. This plant has produce lots of blooms, and lots of seeds. The goldfinches have been going to town on the seed heads. They are really active....eating and singing.
They left my mom a love note, of sorts.....
it's a heart!!
What little darlings!!

Here's  photo from 2 years ago, of goldfinches on our feeder - they sure like to eat!

Friday, July 01, 2016

Happy 4th of July (2016)

I don't usually make a big deal about the 4th of July. I mean, not as far as it concerns jewelry. We go to family picnics, enjoy fireworks, do all the traditional stuff. But I don't go to great lengths to make or wear patriotic jewelry.
But that all change a bit last week. I was looking through my etsy history, trying to locate a shop I'd purchased from before. I didn't find them, but stumbled into Porkshopshow again. He has the funnest, craziest stuff - I love it. They have images adhered to wood, and then laser cut. So, I couldn't help myself - I bought some. True confession here - I still have the stuff I purchased from them years ago!

Anyway, let's not dwell on the past.

I bought a couple different items, but I was drawn to the vintage patriotic collection of images. Here's what I made, in time for this weekend!!

First up - I went super simple. I wrapped the wooden "tile" in a piece of Vintaj filigree, and strung it on a piece of recycled silk ribbon.
 Next - same filigree wrapping, but I made some red & blue wire wrapped links with Chinese crystal (nothing's more patriotic than making red, white and blue jewelry with Chinese beads!! lol) and some vintage Lucite red beads, brass bead caps and spacers.
I plan to let my mother choose one of these 2 necklaces to wear to a picnic on Saturday, if she wants to.
 Lastly - I liked the blue and yellow color palette of this tile. Same filigree wrap as first 2, and a simple wire wrap link with yellow Czech glass flower as an accent. I plan to wear this one myself!
 In the meantime, I had also ordered some supplied from Craft Fantastic. The teardrop drop kit (bezel and glass) arrived this week too. So, I picked out the blue and yellow image, and made links, to match the necklace. These can be worn anytime, since there is nothing about them that's patriotic.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July celebration!!

Monday, May 02, 2016

Versatile Sea Glass - it's not just for jewelry!!

A while ago, the folks at Znetshows put out the call: show the versatility of our cultured sea glass!
While cultured sea glass beads are great for making jewelry (of course!), especially beachy, dreamy jewelry, they can do so much more. So the design team "brainstormed" ideas, and then we were given beads to put our money were our mouths are. As you will see, cultured sea glass can sure do a lot.
My ideas were to do a wreath, or table ware/ serve ware, or other household items.
For my wreath, I chose cultured sea glass beads in the Olive color. I wanted an earthy green that could have a Christmas feel, but that could also work at other times of the year.
My Woodland wreath on my red front door looks "holiday-ready", but it will just look like a natural woodsy wreath when I move it to my back door for the spring.
I started with a vine wreath, and wired the mesh ribbon to it, creating spaces for the "flowers". I created the "flowers" with the sea glass, and some wooden beads from my stash. Overall I'm happy with it. I am toying with the idea of adding a mesh bow, but haven't figured out how or where to do that.
Znetshows beads used for the wreath:


My next idea was to wire some cultured sea glass beads to some wood salad servers. I thought it would be easy to locate wooden spoons in the dollar store. But the only thing the dollar store had was unattractive plastic! (the dollar store ain't what it used to be) I finally located these bamboo utensils at Ross (also at Marshall's). I was relieved, because I had already requested the beads, and knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do.
I wired the beads to the ends of the utensils, to make a flower that looks like a poinsettia, one in red and one in olive green, to use at Christmas time. I used brown wooden beads in the center.
My new Salad Set looks great with my melamine bowl!
Here 's a closer look at the flowers. The utensils came in a set of 5, so I can make 3 more beaded utensils in the future!

Znetshows beads used for salad set:

While I was waiting for my olive green and red beads to arrive, I got started with some of the beads I received previously from Znetshows.
I found this little jar at the dollar store (while I was there looking for the salad set). It is the perfect size for Q-tips or cotton balls, or anything small. It also could be made into a candle!

These cultured sea glass beads are light aqua "coke bottle" and periwinkle that changes color. It looks more light blue in natural day light, and more lavender in warm incandescent light.
I think it will look nice in my pink tile bathroom, whatever the light source may be!

I wrapped annealed steel wire around the top of the jar, under the lip for the lid. Then, in a bird-nesty style, I made loops and twists, adding beads as I went around.
A different angle....
And another angle.....
Znetshows beads used for Vanity Jar:
P28-B88 - Cultured Sea Glass center-drilled bottle lip-style Pendants center drilled 25x13mm 88 - Light Aqua `Coke` bottle Seafoam 
S38-B39 - Cultured Sea Glass nugget Beads 10-15mm 39-Periwinkle Changes -periwinkle blue color (7-pc-str)      

Maybe you have other ideas to make non-jewelry items with beads - do tell!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Message On An Earring

I'm humming the song "Message in a bottle, yea"...

I got a request to make "message earrings". It's not really my thing. I make what the muse tells me to make. Most of the time. Sometimes, though, I set out to create something I have in mind. So, trying to create message earrings, the first pair I made was "Oui and Non". I love these charms, and have made earring with just the charms (I don't even need the muse's help to make those!). But I thought it might be cool to also incorporate red (for stop) and green (for go). So, I put some small vintage German glass beads in between some Vintaj bead caps at the top of the charms. Just a little of the bead colors peek out from under the bead caps.

The other pair of earrings are not even message earrings! That was a fail, as far as the mission goes, but I like the way they turned out anyway. I thought about of somehow adding words to the robin's egg colored wooden beads, but decided to stop. I like them as is.  The beads hanging from the birds are opalescent blue Czech glass. So, no message, but I've actually named them "Wing It!".

After not succeeding with making earrings with an actual message, I looked through my brass blanks, and decided to stamp something in these Arte Metal round discs (from Vintaj). One pair say "SOAR", the other pair says "FLY AWAY". I stamped the letters a bit crooked and imperfect on purpose.
Then, of course, I needed to use some Vintaj patina so the message could actually be seen. The patinas dry very quickly, and it left a mess all around the letters. So, I decided to smear the color all over, in a thin layer. Then I used a sanding block to remove a little, until I like how it looked.
I dangled little bees in front of "FLY AWAY", and little birds in front of "SOAR". The birds and bees are either Vintaj, or Trinity Brass (which has morphed into Creative Soul Supply).

Either of these could make a nice graduation gift - encouraging the grad to spread her wings and soar!
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring inspired necklaces

I was sorting through some focals recently, and a few of them made their way to the desk. This pendant is from beadfreaky on etsy. I hate to admit how long I've had these (a very long time). The Red Creek Jasper beads are perfect for this pendant. Vintaj bead caps and chain, of course.
 I bought a couple of these vintage glass hearts at The Mr Venus Oddity Shop on etsy. I sold the first necklace I made, so I thought it was time to make another one. The blue beads in the necklace are vintage German beads from Fire Mountain. More Vintaj bead caps, jump rings and chain. The piece of filigree attached to the heart is from Ornamentea.
Another cute pendant from beadfreaky. Etched agate beads (from Beadfest, years ago) and Vintaj bead caps and chain, and the little connector too. I have no idea where the off-white (stone/rock of some sort) beads are from, maybe some old Bead Soup ingredients?
Yet another beadfreaky pendant! Such a cute little bird, in a pretty shade of pale lavender. The purple beads are jade (maybe?) Honestly, most of my bead stash is so old, I can't remember much about them. Maybe I knew what they were when I bought them, but now I'm just not sure. Vintaj bead caps and chain, as usual.
This fabulous pendant is from Humblebeads. I love the way the color is varied, from peach to pinkish peach. I wanted to hang a charm in front, but didn't want to cover it up, so the little bee seemed like the right thing. The ceramic square beads are from Joann's (Blue Moon) and matched pretty well. The round bead is a beaded bead from Walmart! Vintaj butterfly, chain, bead caps, etc.
Last but not least, another beadfreaky pendant. Yummy blues and aquas on this butterfly. I looked through my stash of tiny Chinese crystals (from Beadfest, various vendors) and located these. Since they are all very small (3-4mm), I decided to make color blocked connectors. This necklace is ready for summer!
That's it for now. Thank you for stopping by to see my blog!

Friday, April 15, 2016

How lucky can one girl be.....

O.M.G. I am over the moon about this....

My neighbor casually mentioned he had printer's trays (dozens of them) and did I want any? I said probably not, but I have always wanted a printer's cabinet. To my surprise, he said he has TWO!! And did I want them?? I said *YES* but I only had room for one of them. I was sure I knew someone who'd take the other one (actually, I know 4 people that would like it!). I am so excited to get this over to my house, so I can clean it up and start using it. My beads will be soooo happy to have such a nice home!

This is currently in my neighbor's basement, but will be coming to my house this weekend!!!!!!! Pinch me!

Earrings, all with vintage appeal

Some recent earrings for your viewing pleasure!

I l.o.v.e. the faux opal connectors on the first pair! The green leaves are vintage supply and Czech flowers and Vintaj bead caps. The purple pair are Czech table cut flowers and vintage rhinestone dangles. I did not notice when I snapped the photo that they are laying on their sides. They have purple rhinestone navettes.
 More vintage yumminess! More vintage leaves in black. More rhinestone connectors. Some rhinestone rondelles with brass beads. And green druk beads with Vintaj beads caps.
 These 2 pair have the same Czech table cut flowers. The shorter pair also have vintage German glass beads from Fire Mountain. The longer pair have a vintage green rhinestone connector and some crystal beads.
I actually forced myself to put all these in the shop. Several have sold already, so, there's that. I know I'm supposed to be happy when I sell things, but I really liked all of these. I hope their new owners will love them too.

Thanks for stopping by!!