Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Swarovski necklace and bracelet

While I really like to make silver Chain Maille, using beautiful Swarovski crystals is also fun. When I found the two hole Swarovski/marquisette components I had a challenge to use them together. Oh, the choices! This is my take on using two sizes of jet Swarovski crystals and the butterfly component.

The components are available in many different patterns but this is the one I like the best.

Next, of course, came a matching bracelet. Well, I did make an all jet bracelet, but I thought I'd show a jet and garnet. It is not easy to see the two colors in the picture.




Actually, the color combinations are many. I also like the blue sapphire color too. Emerald is good too.




Which color do you prefer?


B

Monday, March 30, 2009

Photofunia.com



I saw this web site, http://photofunia.com, on one of the blogs I follow. My friend's blog is: http://bettejosbeadcreations.blogspot.com/ She has a delightful sense of humor. Be sure to check out her blog.

Photofunia will take your photo and add the special effects shown here. There are lots of different effects you can choose from. Here are just two.







I also made some for my grandchildren. They were under impressed. Kids!!

I did get my laptop back. There was a loose connection. In addition, they added 2GB to my memory. Now (as they promised) my computer is much faster. I have Vista, which I like, but it does require lots of memory. However, 2GB? Not that I didn't what that but I from the era where computers had 16K.

It is amazing how attached we get to our computers. Similar to when the electricity goes out. We just don't know what to do.

B

Friday, March 27, 2009

Jokes (my Laptop is broken) ;-(

My laptop is still out of commission (3rd day) Yuck. So, I'm passing along a neat email I received this morning. Hope you enjoy the humor. B


HUMOR FOR LEXOPHILES (LOVERS OF WORDS):I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.
The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.
Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.
We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.
The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground
The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.
A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.
A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
A will is a dead giveaway.
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
A backward poet writes inverse.
In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
A grenade which fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.
You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.
He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
A calendar's days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
A plateau is a high form of flattery.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to dough basis.
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
Acupuncture: a jab well done.
A doctor fell into the well and broke his collar bone.This should teach the doctor to tend the sick And leave the well alone!

One of these reminded me of my Grandmother's favorite:
A lady offered to bring two pies to a social and said she would label them. Two pies arrived both marked "TM" When asked about it, the lady said "One was T'is Mince and one T'aint Mince.

Hopefully I'll have my computer by Monday. ;-)

B

Thursday, March 26, 2009

South Shore Beaders Field Trip


Yesterday the South Shore Beaders went on a Field Trip to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA. Wow! What a place.

We gathered at 5:00 PM and spent several hours looking at the various exhibits. Somehow, the name "Craft" doesn't give the pieces their due. Now, that may just be me but Uber Craft or extremely Artistic craft or Artisan Crafts might fit better.

We went from room to room oohing and awing at the pieces. We finally went to what seemed to be the end corridor only to find a new Gem! The Education class rooms and the workshop for those who just wanted to come and craft with others. We hit the right night, Wednesday. A group gathers around 6 - 7 PM and just does their own thing. We saw several making "Dream Catchers" each one very different from the others. Another lady was there because she wanted to learn how to knit. She pulled out several beautiful scarves she had made. Her choice of yarns, mixed together made some spectacular pieces.

We asked about the schedule of classes and since most of us are interested in jewelry were told that we should wait a while and Ann would be here. She makes lots of jewelry. While waiting, we had fun talking to the people already there. Our group almost filled a table but Ann shortly joined us and then the conversations really got started. What classes have you taken and the infamous passing our jewelry around. How did you do that? Where did you get those stones? Do you buy on line? What are your favorite sites? and on and on.

Then we all had a laugh when one of our group started laughing about a post she (and several others) had seen on The Beading Daily blog. It was called "The Beaders Handshake"


"That’s when you walk up to another bedecked beader (maybe someone you don’t even know), stare at her chest, freely pick up the focal piece on the necklace she’s wearing, get a goofy “wow” look on your face, look into their eyes, and then finally say 'Hello!' ”

We had just done that to Ann when she walked in.As the conversation rolled around to point out that we all had much in common, Ann mentioned that she is going to start teaching at a bead store in Mansfield. We, in a chorus said "The Beadcache?" Of course, many of us met there and all frequent the place often. That is where I teach Chain Maille classes.

We are all sure that we will be back to the Fuller Craft Museum. If you live close, you should check it out.

B

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lexie's Jewelry Press Release


When my last shop that carried my jewelry closed at the end of February, I started (well continued) focusing on my internet projects. That is a good idea even if, as she says, she promised to open up again.

Anyhow, one of those projects I've been working on is learning about Press Releases. I started in earnest at the suggestion of Kameron Kay. See my March 10th post. She gave me some places to start and a Google search gave me more. The one I settled on is www.prlog.org You can go to that site and submit a press release. They have some rules to follow, of course. Don't forget to check out "How to Write a Press Release" in Google. That will keep you busy for quite awhile.

I worked on a Press Release and this is the results.

http://www.prlog.org/10203179-jewelry-designer-raises-money-for-cancer-research.html

Now here is a favor I'm asking.

Please click and look at the press release. Just doing that will increase the rank in Google and I'll appreciate the exposure.

Thanks,

B

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting Started


When I was little, I remember my folks wanted a new kitchen floor. With money being tight (what else is new?) my Dad decided to install the tiles. My Mother thought that black would be a good color since it would not show the dirt. He did a nice job except for using too much glue. But that is a story for another day!

Very quickly, she found out that black shows more "dirt" than any other color.

I was reminded of that fact when I started to take a picture of a new Chain Maille piece. I pulled out a piece of black velvet for the background. One of my most successful pictures has a black background. (Wish I remembered what I used!)




Well, as you might have figured out, the piece of black velvet was full of white specks of dust/dirt/lint. As my Mother found out, white is the color of most dirt that finds it way to the black tiles in a kitchen or as I found out a black piece of velvet.

The clear packing tape dispenser is what I used to remove the little buggers. It used to be popular to use Scotch tape wrapped around your fingers to remove lint from your clothes but clearly, narrow Scotch tape would not cut it. So, I broke out the 3 inch wide packing tape.

Even with that, it took 3-5 wraps of tape to clear a large enough space to place the bracelet so I could take the picture.

All of this just to get started! Taking photos of jewelry is hard enough with out this. Yikes! (The results was the Orbital bracelet from yesterday's post)

B

Monday, March 23, 2009

"Orbital" Chain Maille Bracelet


When I teach a Chain Maille class, I always take my Chain Maille examples with me. It does two things.

1) I can show my students what Chain Maille is
2) Show them the various patterns they can make
3) Interest them in making a pattern other than the one they are making in the current class. Is that marketing?

Well, the latest favorite pattern to make is what I was told is called "Orbital". I say that since so many Chain Maille patterns have several names. It is relatively easy and really looks nice when finished. It has some airiness and width to it.





Would this pattern be on your "to do" list?

B

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jewelry Tips Part 3




Tips today have to do with fundraisers or production type of jewelry designing.

I've been asked 4 times to design a bracelet for fund raisers. The first one, I readily admit, I didn't know what I was doing. Well, making the bracelet, yes but the fund raiser part, no.

The first one didn't sell many pieces. In fact, I've never heard from them again. They purchased about 25 bracelets and I really don't know if they sold or not. To be fair to both sides, I did not have good contact with them. So,

Tip #1. Get to know the person you are working with fairly well. Know what they expect and talk a lot about what is involved in making a bracelet for a fund raiser. In my first experience, they wanted a bracelet that, now I realize, was too expensive. Which leads me to

Tip #2. Watch your supply expenses carefully. Don't go "cheap" but don't go overboard either. Determine, before you really get into the design, what price point you need. The $25 sell price seems to work well. As a designer you have room to get good supplies and still give a decent amount to the charity.

Tip #3. Make sure that the materials you choose are readily available. Preferably from more than one source. The lovely Millefiore oval beads in the above SMI bracelet are hard to find at reasonable prices. That also brings me to

Tip#4. Make sure the quality is consistent and good. The Millefiore beads are not consistent in quality. I have a whole string of "rejects" . I've also had a few returned with broken beads. That lesson was used in the Lexie bracelet when I chose the Swarovski beads. Available almost anywhere and excellent, consistent quality.

Tip #5. In order to fit more people, add an extender. I've made both smaller and larger sizes on request but for the majority the extender works.

Tip #6. Be prepared to make a lot of bracelets. (At least hopefully) That means getting efficient in making your bracelets. Make a production line. Have enough stock on hand. Have packaging ready. I put each bracelet in a 3 x 3 inch zip lock bag with a label giving information on the bracelet, website info and of course a Thank you for supporting XXX.

I'm sure there are other tips and experiences. I'd love to hear about them. Especially since I'm now preparing to start my fourth fundraiser.

B

Pictures above, Left Science with a Mission, Right Lexie bracelet for Cancer Research all available at http://www.bevsjewelry.com

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Forsythia


I have posted a picture before of our Bird of Paradise. It is outside in the summer months but this time of the year it and several other plants reside in our living room by the front windows. We have two recliner/rocking chairs in front of the plants. (Yes, in one, I make jewelry) The greenery is affectionately referred to as "The Forest".

One of the chores for my husband is to water "The Forest". It involves several large jugs of water and sometimes two trips to refill. Tonight was such a watering event. However, tonight when he came out of "The Forest" he brought a vase with beautiful yellow forsythia. What a great sight!

Forsythia all in bloom and it is not even spring yet. (That comes Saturday) Apparently, he had cut some branches and put them in "The Forest" to force the blooms. What a guy! Thanks, I needed that!

B

The rest of the story: We put the forsythia on the kitchen table. Then my daughter came home, and took them outside. It seems my son-in-law is extremely allergic to them. Well, it was nice while it lasted.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lead Law for Children's Protection revisited




In my 02/06/09 post I gave some information on the new Lead Law. Not much has changed since then but things have become clearer in regard to jewelry for children. I personally have decided not to make jewelry for children. The rules are hard to follow for a small business like I have.



I found the best information at the Rings and Things website. http://www.rings-things.com/jewelry-safety.html They explain the new law thus:



The shorthand version of the new law is this: Starting on February 10, 2009, manufacturers and sellers of children's jewelry (including crafters) will need to have an accredited laboratory test their jewelry and certify that it's within allowable lead limits. The first stage of the law allows an upper limit of 600PPM (parts per million) of lead. In August, 2009, the allowable amount of lead will drop to 300PPM, and in August 2011 it will drop again to 100PPM if the US government "determines this level to be feasible."


Fortunately, one of the changes provides a list some obvious items that need not be tested because they inherently do not contain lead. This was one of the problems before. These items are exempt.



* Precious gemstones: diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald

* Semi-precious gemstones, "provided that the mineral or material is not based on lead or lead compounds and is not associated in nature with any mineral that is based on lead or lead compounds" (unacceptable stones include aragonite, bayldonite, boleite, cerussite, crocoite, linarite, mimetite, phosgenite, vanadinite & wulfenite).

* Natural or cultured pearls

* Wood

* Natural fibers such as cotton, silk, wool, hemp, flax and linen

* Other natural materials including coral, amber, feathers, fur and untreated leather.


"The Commission also 'preliminarily determines that the following metals and alloys do not exceed the 600 ppm or 300 ppm lead content limits under section 101(a) of the CPSIA provided that no lead or lead-containing metal is intentionally added':

* Surgical steel

* Precious metals: gold (at least 10 karat), sterling silver (at least 925/1000), platinum, palladium, rhodium, osmium, iridium and ruthenium"


One item that is not mentioned is Swarovski Crystals, a common jewelry component. It is the lead in the crystals that give them the desired sparkle. While it would seem that unless the crystal was pulverized and swallowed the lead would not be a problem. While that seems reasonable it has not been proven and therefore not exempt.




You can read more on the CPSC web site. It is very readable. (for a government web site ;-)

http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/smbus/manufacturers.html

Thanks to Rings and Things for condensing the information to an understandable and concise form.

B

PS The picture doesn't have anything to do with the post. Just a nice bracelet and earring set. And I can't get those beads anymore. Darn.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jewelry Tips Part 2


I've been working on getting some inventory for my Lexie Jewelry. The difference between that and any other jewelry I make is that it is a "production" type of jewelry making.

Yesterday, I mentioned using the spool of wire for one end of the piece. It helps save wire.

While I was making a choker in a different location that usual, I noticed that my shoulders were aching a bit.

Thus my next tip:

Find a comfortable place to work.

For me that is my comfy rocking/recliner chair. I have a cushioned "portable desk" I put on my lap. The bottom is like those old ash trays that had sort of a bean bag bottom so they would "sit" and not dump over. I put a white Turkish towel on it to hold my beads from rolling. Any similar thing would do. I saw a bead board that had a similar cushion on the bottom in AC Moore recently.

The point is, be comfortable. While doing Chain Maille, I usually stop fairly often and wiggle my hands and just force myself to relax. It is very easy to tighten your muscles while beading or doing Chain Maille.

Relax! Have fun and enjoy your passion without developing physical problems.

B

Monday, March 16, 2009

Jewelry Tips Part 1

I received an order for a Lexie Bracelet. Great, I had one already made. The lady was coming to pick it up on Saturday morning. So, Friday night I decided I'd better get things together. Suddenly, I could not find the bracelet. Yuck. I looked all over. So, Saturday morning I got out my box of the supplies that go into a Lexie Bracelet.

It took about 10 minutes to get everything out, organized and ready to start putting the bracelet together. (Normally, when making Lexie's bracelets I usually make 5-10 at a time to save the "set up" time) While I was setting up I was thinking that a good amount of time is spent just getting ready to start. Most of the time I make single items but with the Lexie line of jewelry, I've made lots of the same item. You develop a routine, trying to be efficient. Some of the same efficient methods can (should) be applied to making other pieces. Efficient - consistent - good practice - well made pieces.

All of this lead me to start thinking about habits, if you will, that I've developed that maybe other people would like to know about. Now, I'm not saying that my methods are the best or surely not the only way of doing things. My intent is to open up some discussion and sharing of ideas and methods. Sound like a plan?

The first tip (idea) was to string my bracelet beads right on to the wire on the spool. I've seen many tutorials that start out: "Cut 12 inches of wire". There are times when that is necessary I suppose but the next instruction is usually: "Tape one end so the beads will not slip off" Hmmm...



I really love those little spring bead stoppers and would use them in this situation but the spool would suffice and you may even save some of the wire by not having to cut off too much at the start.


I'm working on some other such tips for posts later this week. If you have any you'd like to share, please do.

B

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chain Maille Video

I've been playing with making a video again. I'm disappointed in the quality of the pictures, however. They are good quality pictures but appear fuzzy.






video

I used Windows Movie Maker. It comes with my Vista system. Has anyone used Windows Movie Maker?

B

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Byzantine Rose chain maille bracelet




Tuesday, I taught a class in Chain Maille at the Beadcache in Mansfield, MA http://www.beadcache.com/


The bracelet was the Byzantine Rose pattern. (Names of Chain Maille patterns have lots of different names so you can see the pattern in the picture.)

The class was a success, I think, since the students said so. And even more so since they want to take more classes to learn different patterns.

It really is fun to see the results and as I always comment, when they really listen. I usually tell all my students that they will be able to make their chains faster and better if they learn to work with the tools as an extension of their hands. (In other words, don't keep laying the pliers down) Now, there are times when you should put them down and because they really do listen, they try to do everything with them in their hands. At that point, I suggest that they really can put them down on some occasions. That usually brings a laugh for them.

I usually get a response like "I thought we had to keep them in my hands". We have lots of fun. I love to see how they try to encourage each other - even help each other.

Jewelry people are great people to work with and I really enjoy working with them. I've decided that in my next class, I'll take my camera and capture some of the smiles and jewelry results.

B

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jewelry Selling Secrets


Since most of my readers are either Jewelry Designers or interested in Jewelry Design, I thought I’d share a web site (www.kameronkay.com) that shows how to make money with Jewelry Design.

The program is called “Jewelry Selling Secrets” by Kameron Kay. Kameron Kay is a jewelry designer from San Diego, CA. The stars wear her designs and she sells to many boutiques in her area.

Many people nowadays make their own jewelry. (Just visit a local craft fair and you’ll find that out) Many make jewelry just for themselves and their friends. But wouldn’t it be great to be able to earn income doing something you really enjoy?

That is the rub. How do you earn money from your passion of designing jewelry? Somehow, some artists feel it is a bad thing to talk about making money from their jewelry. Lets face it if you don't want to make money doing what you love, that's OK but really it would be better if you could.

I will admit that I’ve seen other programs like this before and while helpful, the information given there did not provide things I didn’t already know. I found Kameron's "Jewelry Selling Secrets" to provide extremely helpful information. The work is not done for you but the information is new and very good. The price of $47 is a bit steep but can be a good investment to jewelry designers trying to build their business in this economy or any other.

Kameron explains how she started earning money designing jewelry and then goes on to share these experiences in a practical step-by-step fashion that anyone can follow. She has many movie stars as her clients (She does live in southern California) In other words, she is speaking from experience.

Her program is divided into several parts. The main part is her e-course that is filled with ideas on building a jewelry business. Then, because we all learn in different ways, the same information is reinforced with an audio interview. In that she talks to Jay Flannigan (a friend and Internet marketer) and generally reinforces the information in her e-course.

Summary of information provided:
Starting a business legally, pricing, knowing your target clients, photographing your jewelry, how to sell to shops, presentation, packaging, tools, plus many other pieces of helpful information.


Further bonuses provided are Jay Flannigan’s one-hour website maker (a great bonus if you don’t have a website!) Also, a large suppliers list and several step by step jewelry project videos.



You can find her e-course and the bonuses at http://www.kameronkay.com/.

Please let me know what you think.



B

Monday, March 9, 2009

Weekend activities?


I just had a rather odd weekend. Maybe you have these all the time but I usually have a nice quiet weekends.

Saturday, we took a trip to Best Buy to get a microphone for my laptop. Apparently, all laptops come with microphones and web cams now. But not mine. My intent was to get a microphone so I could add narration to a new project I am working on for a video. (Still working on learning how to do that)

I was looking over all the choices of microphones when a helpful salesperson came up. With his help, I settled on a headset/microphone combo. Then my husband asked "What about a web cam? Doesn't that have a microphone on it?" Good question. So, we asked the helpful salesperson. His reply was that the microphone on the web cam did not have good sound and a separate one would be best for my use. Good salesperson! (He said he was not on commission.)

Anyhow, after we got home with microphone and new web cam, I had lots of fun opening the blister packed microphone. Thank heavens for utility knives. This one even had a scored place to cut to open the package. They say that many ER visits are the results of trying to open blister packs.

Installing the microphone and web cam followed. I never do anything in a straight forward manner. While installing the web cam, they offered to install Adobe Media Player. I said OK and discovered that you can see lots of TV programs with it. Most I'm not the least interested in but I found MacGyver. I loved MacGyver. So, I listened to the whole pilot episode. What fun.

Next, I had to set up a Skype account. My daughter in MD has Skype. So, with all of that and several invitations to join us on Skype accomplished, we went to bed Saturday night even remembering to set the clocks ahead.

Well, in the middle of the night, I woke up listening to my daughter saying, "Is anyone here?" I heard nothing after that and naturally, went back to sleep. Next, I heard my husband come back to our bedroom announcing that there was no hot water.

It was then that my daughter explained that in the middle of the night, the shower came on in our upstairs bathroom (next to their bedroom) That was when she was asking "Is anyone there?" Apparently, she and her husband scoured the house trying to figure out the mystery shower running. We slept through all of that!

So, we washed in cold water. Husband heated water on the stove to shave. Dishes were washed the same way. Plumber will be coming on Monday.

Sunday after church I decided to make up for the lost hour. I took a three hour nap. That should make up for it I think!

On a more pleasant note, I had a nice Skype video call with my daughter and family in MD. It was fun to see and talk to them all together. However, there is something to be said for picture less phone conversations. Think about it! (Of course as my son-in-law said, "You don't have to use the video part")

Isn't technology wonderful?

B

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lexie's Choker / Swarovski Pearls





This is the fourth in the series of Lexie's Jewelry line.



One of our customers asked if she could have a necklace with all 5 Swarovski Pearl colors. I decided it might be too expensive to make a whole necklace like the bracelet.

I had made several chokers before using Swarovski Crystals and so it was a short jump to make this choker to go in the Lexie "line"

Again, using the extender idea to make it adjustable.

All 5 Swarovski Pearl colors are represented in the choker.


The meaning of the colors as chosen by Lexie:


Light blue for a Cure; Rosaline (pink) for Love; White for Hope; Light gray for Courage; and Mauve (purple) for Lexie.


To complete your Lexie Jewelry collection you may order at:


Enjoy the jewelry and your contribution to Cancer Research. Win - Win!




B

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lexie's Necklace, Swarovski Pearls







This is the third in a series about Lexie's Jewelry line.





After the earrings it was an easy progression to make a pendant necklace. It easily matches the earrings and bracelet to make a nice set.



The pendant is strung on a delicate Sterling Silver 18 inch necklace (made in Italy).



Sold for a suggested donation of $20.00 with $10.00 going to Cancer Research.

The pendant necklace is available in all 5 Swarovski Pearl colors.

Gray is shown in this picture. It is one of the more popular colors. It looks almost silver and therefore a-go-with everything color. Next popular is white. Again a-go-with everything color.

Meaning of the colors as chosen by Lexie:

Light blue for a Cure; Rosaline (pink) for Love; White for Hope; Light gray for Courage; and Mauve (purple) for Lexie.


Would you purchase the color to go with your earrings?

All of Lexie's jewelry can be purchased at:

http://www.bevsjewelry.com/ or
http://www.bevsjewelry.1000markets.com/

B

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lexie's Earrings, Swarovski Pearls


Second in the series of Lexie's Jewelry line.


The next natural extension for a bracelet is earrings. A very simple design using just two sizes of the pearls with the matching Bali spacers.


The earrings are available in each of the 5 Swarovski pearl colors found in Lexie's bracelet.

Gray is shown in this picture. It is one of the more popular colors. It looks almost silver and therefore a-go-with everything color. Next popular is white. Again a-go-with everything color.


Meaning of the colors as chosen by Lexie:

Light blue for a Cure; Rosaline (pink) for Love; White for Hope; Light gray for Courage; and Mauve (purple) for Lexie.

However, many people have purchased more than one color. (Unable to decide ??)

What would your favorite color be?

All of Lexie's jewelry can be purchased at:


B

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lexie's Bracelet, Swarovski Pearls


This was the first piece in the Lexie Jewelry line.


Melanie, needing to raise money for her Boston Marathon run, asked if I could make a bracelet to raise money for the DFMC (Dana Farber Marathon Challenge).

We put our heads together and decided Swarovski pearls would be a good choice. They are beautiful and available in many places. (A good thing if you expect to produce many pieces. Supplies can dry up and you are sunk, so to speak)

The next decision was to choose the colors to make a unique bracelet. So, I went to my local bead store (www.beadcache.com) in Mansfield, MA. I chose about 6 or 7 different colors and we played with them, finally choosing pink, white, gray, blue and mauve. The mauve or purple turned out to be Lexie's favorite color. Then the "designer" (me) took over and added the daisy Bali spacers and organized the colors, added the lobster claw clasp and 2 inch extender.

One of the problems with making bracelets for everyone, is size. When you are making a bracelet for one person, you make it to fit them. However, that was not possible for our bracelet. We wanted to make it simple. Sort of a one size fits all. The extender helped solve that problem.


I'm still willing to make different sizes. Lexie, for example, needs a smaller bracelet. Done!

The finishing touch was to get Lexie's approval of our design. She loved it. Her other contribution was the meaning she gave to each color:


Light blue for a Cure; Rosaline (pink) for Love; White for Hope; Light gray for Courage; and Mauve (purple) for Lexie.

More of Lexie's Jewelry tomorrow.

B


Monday, March 2, 2009

Lexie's Jewelry / Boston Marathon


Another "snow" day today. The grandkids are home - cheering when they see the news on TV. It is hard to believe looking out the window that spring is coming soon. With spring comes the running of the Boston Marathon in April.

My friend, Melanie, who runs the Marathon for her patient partner, Lexie, is already in training. That means running miles everyday. For Melanie that is over and above her regular PE teaching and evening classes she teaches at the local "Y". Such energy.

Lexie, Melanie and I designed the "Lexie's Jewelry" line before last year's marathon. Those of you who have followed my blog for awhile are familiar with the line. We have been able to donate over $4,000 to the Dana Farber Institute for Cancer since we started selling.

I get lots of questions about how Lexie is doing so I thought an update here was in order. Lexie is now 11 years old and has recently passed several days worth of tests with the pronouncement of "STABLE" Such good words for Lexie and her family to hear. While that is good news for Lexie, she still is loosing many of her brain tumor friends. Lexie’s Mom writes a Journal at www.caringbridge.com/visit/lexiewilliams . She shares their good days and also some of their sad days. You can subscribe to the site and read her daily updates.

I'll be sharing each of the Lexie's Jewelry pieces in future posts. Stay tuned.


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