Monday, April 19, 2010

Display Your Jules

An eclectic collection of display ideas for your jewelry for personal and professional use in my 
"Is this display for sale?" This is the question I get at every show and the answer is always no. No is not a word I like to use! So,  I try to give my customers a list of ideas about how to look in unconventional places for items to use to organize their earrings and such. I love places like TJ Maxx for instance. Their home department is loaded with goodies that can be flipped over or painted to make a great display piece.  Pier 1, Target, Big Lots...the list goes on.

My favorite pieces are a series of wire towers in three heights that I found in the home department of Value City about ten years ago. They all had pineapples on top...oh boy! I got my saw out and voila...no more fruit!  Hit the spray paint aisle in Lowe's and suddenly they are fitting right in with my color scheme. These babies have been painted three times to match my ever changing booth and mall kiosk. Currently, they are a metallic bronze.

The possibilities are endless. If you can't find what you are looking for, you can always make your own.  A wood frame from a yard sale will do. Remove the glass and staple some screening from the local hardware store. Hang it on your wall and all your french wire earrings will slip through the holes. This way you won't have to rummage through the pile on your dresser to look for matching pairs...haha like I do!

Got an idea to share? Leave a comment!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

35th Marine Corps Marathon- Here I Come!

Today is the day...I am committed to checking a BIG one off my list. I have registered for the 35th Marine Corps Marathon on October 31.  My friend Suzette and I are going to do this together with lots of help and support from Nick who has done this one before.  Nick and I did the Red Baron Half Marathon in Corning, NY last fall and we had a blast. That was my first half and he did a great job getting me ready for it! 
This one is just a tad bit longer :)          Excited!! and nervous...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

$50 Bead Buck Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the $50 Bead Buck Giveaway in celebration of my facebook fans hitting 600 is...drum roll please!
Rosalind Gourvitz 
of Designs by Ros
Thanks to all of you for entering! Winner was chosen by a random number generator at http://www.random.org

Monday, March 22, 2010

Facebook Fan Celebration & Giveaway

This week the fan count on facebook hit 600! To celebrate & give thanks, I'm giving away $50 in Bead Bucks! All you need to do is post your comment here to enter. You have until Saturday, April 3rd to enter. The winner will be picked by a random number generator and announced on April 4th.
Thank you for your support!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Gypsy Hoop Not Earrings

It's Monday and I get to play. Started with some heavy gauge sterling silver wire that I hammered extra flat in places. Added some spiral stampings and a fine copper wire wrap for accent. Used some of the pale beads I made a couple of weeks ago for the Antique Garden series. This is one of many that resulted from this mess on my workbench...
The luxury of having a dedicated workspace...don't have to clean up until I'm ready for the next project!


Plaid Giveaway on The Nighbluey Herald

You've seen JDWolfe pottery featured here before on MUG Monday. This plaid beauty is the giveaway prize at The Nighbluey Herald! No time to waste as the deadline for entry is February 28th!
Head over the this really cool blog and comment away...


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Organized? I try...

If you bead, then you know. Organizing is a constant battle. I have tried all kinds of ways to keep the beads I need most often easily accessible so the work flows and the digging is at a minimum.  These wood nesting trays from Nile Corp have served well for my clay beads for quite a few years now. I use inserts to keep my current colors separated. This way I can see what I have and what I need to make color, size, shape, etc.
The BEST part about these trays is they are great for show and tell.  All the color gets the customer's attention. So often, the public doesn't understand what I mean when I say " I make my own beads out of clay" as if I were speaking another language. Once they see the beads in the trays they are instantly interested and tend to ask more questions.
Beads never ever ever go to waste. These are trays of "old" batches so the colors are jumbled together. Funny how, when they sit next to new neighbors, they come back to life with inspiration!
 
These trays are also great for storing under stock. I use the inserts for pendants and such. Some of them I have lined with cork so that I can pin finished jewelry to transport to shows. All I do is stack them in the zippered jewelry case and off to the show!



Friday, January 29, 2010

Three Generations Searching for an Ugly Old Car

Maybe it's not so ugly, but it is getting pretty old. This lovely addition to our driveway is a '96 Subaru Legacy Wagon with 164k miles on it. Yes, a wagon for a 17 year old seems a bit odd. But, if you knew my girl, it suits her...there is nothing ordinary about her. Her mission from the get go was to find something ugly, as if she was looking to adopt an orphan animal.

The three of us including my dad started this quest a few weeks ago. Searching local lots, calling car guys we knew, perusing the papers and searching online sites. All this looking and we found ourselves circling back around to a dealer only a few blocks away from home. Believe me, there isn't much to choose from in the "cheap" category. Taking cars out for test drives, we took turns driving.  Each of us with our own point of view. I went first to get the feel while she played with the knobs and gadgets. Pop Pop was there for his experience. He knows cars... We all agreed that this was the one, hoping our choice was right and luck will be with us.
Savannah has always been good about putting something away from all the years of helping me at People's Choice and at the mall.  Her part time job at Wendy's added enough to her savings account to make it work. So, we walked into the dealer and said we wanted to take the Subaru home. Filling out the paperwork and letting the transaction settle in was fun and exciting. This was a BIG deal and I was so happy to be able to do this with her and to watch her realize it was actually happening.

She is a good and careful driver, but of course there is no way to stop the worries. We won't forget this rainy day. Over 3 1/2" had fallen and the creek was flooding. The water was close to the bridge and started flowing up Broad Street before cresting. Later that evening we got word that two brothers, her high school class mates were in a terrible accident. These two boys continue to fight for their lives. A horrible reminder of the fragility of life. Please be careful on the road...



Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Antique Garden

Spent the last few hours creating a little romance. These soft pastels contrasted with the antiqued silver capture a sense of time passed.
Translucent clay has been my long time base. Just a smidgen of color will achieve that soapy feel. Baking at a slightly higher temperature gives the beads a  bit of a crackle. Sometimes it's tough to decide what style of ear wires to make. The supply of 20 gauge is low, so not too much fooling around. This was the second or third attempt to try and form a good marriage between the beads and the essence of the design. Although these were pretty in shiny sterling I decided to stick to the original mission for the Antique Garden.
I had to see the results from a dip in the liver of sulfur bath!
Maybe I will make another group and keep them shiny?
 
Oops, have to make another blue pair already. Gave them the daughter test. Having a 17 year old around equals honest feed back. Savannah reacted violently positive and asked for a personal treasure. She has been in a blue mood lately. Hair streaks I mean not the other kind of blue...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Adventures in Photography

It's best to take pictures outside, right? Nature has to cooperate though. The sun is out and it's not raining making today a qualifier of criteria to cart all that stuff to the back patio to take some new shots for the website and Etsy shop.
A list of supplies to get started. A table so the bending over won't kill the lower back, back grounds and props. Then you hall out the goods. If you are lucky like me, its jewelry so easy to carry a lot at at time.   By the time you get positioned to actually get the camera in hand much time has passed. Shoot a bunch and run back inside to upload and see if the results are good, passable or a true failure. Back and forth..how does this background look? What about this camera setting? Who needs exercise on a photo shooting day? And then there is the cleanup, of course my favorite part of the process.

I try to do it this way on occasion, but get frustrated with the timing and the hassle. I need a dependable photo studio on demand. Here is mine perched on top of my favorite storage cabinet. I can shoot in my jammies as I did today. Glorious! No clean up either...ah now that's sweet.
There is never enough light in my studio. I have four panels of awful fluorescent lighting  in the ceiling. Quite undependable with lights flickering on a whim. I also have a torchiere floor lamp with a powerful 300 watt halogen bulb. All this and I add these great shop lights mounted on a tripod to pour direct light on the sides of my photo cube. It gets hot in there with everything lit up in full force.  The studio is a renovated one car garage attached to the house, so it's not a gigantic room.


After many many years of trial and error. My trusty Fugi FinePix S602Z digital continues to serve me well. Although, adding a really compact point and shoot is on the list for taking to shows.
Here is one result of yesterday's efforts.
Although I am happy with a shot here and there, satisfaction never really comes. There is always room for improvement. Lots of articles to read on technical items from camera settings to what is best for websites and then the ever important slide shots for shows.
Truth is, this part of the job is just one more reason I love what I do.
Never a boring day.







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