Jul 13

broken jewelry necklace

I spent one great afternoon last weekend playing with wire, beads, and broken jewelry. I made about eight necklaces and five or six pendants that haven’t been attached to chain yet. It was so much fun to craft with no agenda (other than the joy of creating).

They’re hard to photograph accurately, but even in photos you can tell how cool these necklaces are! I used a big pendant from a broken cheapster necklace I used to wear to work back when I had to go to work.

I used a charm I received in a Steampunk swap as the beginning for this necklace, and then added a couple large beads on either side, then just kept adding until I liked the look. I love this one! I can’t wait to wear it out in public to see if anyone else likes it as much as I do.

This one uses a steampunk “pocketwatch” charm I made (the circular part) and simply has wings and some pretty beads on each side. Simple, but really pretty, I think!

So what do you think, should I quit all my writing jobs and just make jewelry full time? (Crickets?)

If you want to know how I made these, check out how to remake old jewelry into a statement necklace over at Dollar Store Crafts.

Mar 17

I’m having a good brooch week! With recycled and upcycled materials, too!

Recycled leather pins by Maize Hutton:
(I was the happy recipient of one of these this week – thank you Maize!). If you aren’t familiar, Maize is the genius behind the totally adorable reclaimed silver jewelry at MommyTags.com. Check this out: you can preserve your child’s drawing on a silver tag! So awesome! And it also comes with a wood-mounted rubber stamp of the same doodle so you can stamp that cute image on greeting cards and more.

Doodle Tag at MommyTags

Grape Soda Badge by WhimsyLove

Yes! Just like the badges from the movie UP (LOVE that movie! This link takes you to Amazon, where you can buy the Blu-Ray with a free DVD copy – bargain!) – you can have your very own grape soda badge made by Nikki at WhimsyLove. My son is obsessed with badges thanks to the movie, and he was thrilled with this grape soda badge!

Feb 26

I made a few necklaces for a Craftster swap, and I just LOVE the way this one turned out! My swap partner also liked it. She said: “I love it!!  It is amazing and looks so cool on, I can’t even tell you!”

The shape of it is inspired by a necklace Enora wears in the movie “Serenity” (watched while working on this project – ha ha! love it when inspiration strikes like that!). The point of the swap was to make a necklace or bracelet with stuff you have laying around your house. I had a lot of vintage jewelry that I used for a project awhile back, plus some broken jewelry.

I got a lot of this stuff at Katherine’s house when I was doing a zine reading at the library with a make and take craft project. I made packets of random goodies to glue to magnets, thumbtacks, and pin backs. So the project is long over, and I still have a decent amount of random (mostly broken) jewelry.

What’s Katherine’s house? Katherine is a friend of mine who collects bins of jewelry from Goodwill and separates, cleans, and matches it all up. This is her hobby and she loves to do it. Her house is FULL of jewelry, and she sells earrings for $1 a pair, so I’ve gone over to her house a few times and purchased stuff, either for projects, or just to wear. A lot of the components of this necklace were gotten from trips to Katherine’s.

1. The star is from some 80s-looking star earrings. I used it for a link in the necklace, repeated two or three other spots on the necklace (near #10 and past #16). The bead cluster was found in my mom’s bead box. I had attached it to a stitch marker, but I removed it to use for this project.

2. The apple is from a necklace I got for my bday from Erika from Texas Haute Sauce. It broke, so I cannibalized it for this project.

3. The green bead cluster is from a necklace I got from Robotpop.etsy.com.

4. Wrapped pearl is from some earrings I got from Katherine’s. Net-covered pearl (on #11) is from same pair, and little pearls on #7 and #15 are also.

5. A rhinestone button I wired to a jumpring so it would face forward (not down)

6. Black charm from a pair of (vintage?) earrings from Katherine’s.

7. Pearl, from #4 earrings. Wooden glittery heart I wired to a link, also from Katherine’s. Gold diamondy-shaped thing from Katherine’s, too. I added the other one on the opposite side (#11) to keep the feel of the necklace symmetrical.

8. I love this one! Rhinestone cluster from a vintage clip-on earring. I wired it to an oval-shaped chain loop – I think it’s cool!

9. From a pair of earrings, also from Katherine’s. The red bead is from the necklace mentioned in #2. The button is combined with a small piece of these cool art deco earrings I got (yep, at Katherine’s… I’m telling you, her house is amazing!)

10. Another star link (#1) and a bead cluster from same necklace as #3

11. Other half of diamondy earrings in #7, pearl/net bead from #4 earrings. Random gold/pearl at the top is from Katherine’s.

12. Cool telephone from a pair of clip-ons from Katherine’s.

13. Green freshwater pearl from same necklace as #2.

14. Petit point from a pair of clip on earrings – I bent it when trying to remove the pokey part that was sticking out of the back of it! Oops! I still like it, so I used it.

15. A button + pearl combo. Simple, but I like the look!

16. The butterfly is from a barrette I got in the late 90s that never quite worked for me, ’cause it closed in the opposite direction I part my hair in = it would always be upside-down the way I would naturally use it!

Jan 22

Here’s the mug I filled (it’s a japanese-style teacup) for a recent Craftster swap. I made the cards in the background with card stock and origami paper.

I wrapped up one of the little parcels this way. I made some marble magnets, button-covered thumbtacks, and a little teapot necklace.

I already posted about how to make these fingerless gloves made from a felted sweater.

Jan 11

Red Robin Antiques has a huge page of very cool antique jewelry photos and descriptions, perfect for some jewelry or art inspiration. Since I can’t easily stumble the pieces I like or add them to my wists because of the sheer number of photos on the page, I’m posting some of them here. Enjoy if you want!

There are hundreds of photos on the one page, but here are some that I thought were interesting.

Victorian Applied Gold Japonaiserie Bird Locket
This is
a lovely example of a Victorian piece done in the Japanese style with
applied mixed-metals (yellow and rose gold) features two birds in a marsh
setting.   These pieces were very popular in the late 1870’s and
early 1880’s.

(I love the buckle motif!)

Victorian Buckle Sterling Locket and Chain This classic Victorian piece
features the very popular buckle motif.

(I love that this has the daisy in various stages of blooming)

Victorian Daisy Sterling Heart Locket This lovely Victorian locket features
a daisy in various stages of blooming. The back
has been engraved with the initials that are too faint to read.  The
first initial is definitely an R but the other two are too hard to make out.

(This necklace is awesome enlarged–click to see it! Plus it’s my birthstone.)

Victorian Garnet Gold Necklace Lovely circa 1870 Victorian necklace set with a
series of three garnet drops (a total of 17 drops) on a 14k gold foxtail
chain.   The garnets are a pinkish lavender color and the drops
measure 1/2 of an inch in diameter.

Victorian Etruscan Stone Cameo Gold Festoon This striking Victorian festoon
necklace features three carved stone cameos set in elaborate bloomed gold
Etruscan style frames.

I wouldn’t actually want to own this brooch, but I think it’s interesting to find out about popular motifs of the day, like Day and Night.

Victorian Day Night Shell Pearl 14k Brooch Pendant Beautiful example of a
very popular Victorian motif, Day and Night.
This elaborate shell cameo features “Day” with the suns rays
behind her head and an out stretched eagle while “Night” has
poppies in her hair (sleep), a quarter moon and an owl.  The
brooch/pendant has a very elaborate frame of leaves set with seed

Edwardian French Cut Steel Earrings Gorgeous all original large French cut steel
earrings with glass drops.

Jugendstil Plique Marcasite Pearl Silver Pendant This gorgeous Jugendstil
pendant features  plique-a- jour enamel in a beautiful shade of
turquoise set with with marcasites and garnet pastes and accented with a
Mabé pearl and a large freshwater pearl drop.  The pendant is most likely German in origin.
A nearly identical pendant is featured on a very well known English web site
and was made by the firm of Levinger and Bissinger.

Edwardian Citrine Sterling Necklace Striking
Edwardian citrine necklace set festoon style with silver chain.  I
have seen this style done with seed pearls but not done with sterling
chain which makes this piece much easier to wear and not as

There are LOTS more very cool pieces on the page, but these ones will get you started. Which ones caught your eye?

Aug 27
Attorney Sarah Feingold is the in-house lawyer at Etsy.com and has agreed to write a regular column for the print CROQ! We are super excited to bring you more info to help you run your indie business. In honor, we asked Sarah a few questions to get to know her better. You can read more of her writing at The Storque, Etsy‘s online magazine.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Sarah Feingold. I was born and raised in Rochester New York and I currently live and work in Brooklyn New York. My parents are both artists and they started a business while in college which they continue to run this very day! And so yes, I was raised in a very creative and entrepreneurial home. I currently enjoy eating chocolate, going to the theater, reading, and making art.

When I was 12 years old I took my first metalsmithing class at our local art gallary and was hooked ever since. But I knew that as much as I loved metalsmithing, it was not my career path. My love of art made me very interested in the legal issues concerning designs. I minored in studio art in college and even completed graduate level metals classes while in law school. My professional experience includes working as an in house intellectual property attorney for a publisher, interning for a barrister in London, clerking for a constitutional law attorney, working as a legal journalist, and serving as a corporate and business attorney before joining Etsy as their in house attorney.

You’re the in-house attorney for Etsy.com. What does your day look like?
The best part about my job is there is no average day. From looking over contracts, to research, to writing, I do it all. Most people would probably not enjoy all the research and writing, but I find it fascinating. I’m always learning!
You’re also a jeweler. What are your favorite materials to work with?
I love creating jewelry because of the inherent challenges with the medium and scale. I like keeping my pieces wearable, yet geometric and unique, which is a challenge in itself. I have a soft spot for silver, but lately I’ve been getting into copper enameling. I’m also addicted to buying beads and stones of all kinds.
What’s the number one most important legal issue crafters should be aware of?
As an attorney, I have found that many crafters simply do not understand copyright law as much as they think they do. There is a lot of incorrect information out there. It’s important to learn about what copyright law does and does not protect. Sometimes a little research can prevent many headaches.

You wrote a book about copyright called Copyright for Artists, specifically directed at the Etsy community of artists. What inspired you to write it?

I became an attorney because of my fascination with art and my desire to help artists. I wrote my book because I realized that although there are dozens of copyright books out there, most books were really long and written in crazy legalese. My book contains the necessary information concerning copyright law in an understandable format tailored to the artistic community (my book also contains many visuals, like cartoons). And so far so good. I received some amazing feedback. My book is primarily sold at www.attorneysarah.etsy.com as an ebook so I can keep improving the content, keep the price down, and save trees.

Jun 20

I’m loving these hand-etched, hand-painted pendants from PamelaMichelle. Check out this interview with the artist!

Shop name:


What are your main inspirations?
Right now I’m interested in the forms of nature, modern design, Scandinavian art and graffiti. I like mixing inspirations and finding new ways to interpret the things I like to create new ideas and art.

What is your favorite material?
I love wood! I love to cut it, paint it, drill it, form it, burn it, destroy it, etc.

What new technique or craft has caught your eye lately? Want to try anything new?
Screen printing has come back into my artistic picture lately. I took a class in college, and I loved it, but haven’t touched it since. Now I’m picking it back up and being more experimental with techniques and processes. I love it. It’s a fun hobby.

What new item in your shop are you excited about?
My newest items are always my favorites, but this one I’m super excited about!! My Coral Butterfly is part of the ongoing evolution of my work. I plan to make more like this one.

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?
Hmmm, I’d say always have fun doing what you’re doing and always strive to be better at what you’re doing.

Jun 17

A couple of interesting things happened to me today. One, I was accepted to the beta version of Spoonflower, a company that prints custom fabric on demand by the yard.  You can visit the website to get your name on the waiting list, or browse the Flickr group devoted to Spoonflower fabric patterns that people have designed and had printed. I’m trying to decide just what fabric I would loooove to get my hands on that hasn’t been designed yet. Oh, the possibilities are too numerous.

1000 Jewelry InspirationsTwo, I was notified that 1,000 Jewelry Inspirations is now available in bookstores and online. I was a contributor to this book, as were many other crafty friends and colleagues such as Jill Bliss, Andrea of Kicklet Creations, and Jennifer of Starving Artist Bazaar. I’m sure there are others, but the list of contributors is kind of hard to scan quickly because it is spam-bot proofed…

I’m looking forward to seeing the book!

Jun 14

sweet pea jewelry setI love this jewelry, and the price is definitely right. You can get some extremely tasteful jewelry for very low prices! This shop is definitely a find!

Shop name/URL:


Tell me a little about yourself.

I was born and grew up in Taiwan. I have always been artistic and crafty and love trying out different art media. I love everything handmade and if I had enough time to learn the skills I probably would try to make everything myself! When I was in high school and college, my handmade cards were a hit at school fairs, but I never thought about making a living with crafts. At age 21, I went to England for my gold ringbachelor’s degree in music. After that I came to the US and finished my Master’s degree in piano performance. During the course of my study I picked up jewelry making by browsing instruction books at the bookstore. Two years after jewelry making, I opened an Ebay store selling jewelry and some household collectibles. A year later, I started selling on Etsy, and closed my Ebay store one month after that.

What are your main inspirations?

I am inspired by everything beautiful. Even though I had been trained to be a professional writer/musician who only does “serious Art”; my goal has always been to produce art that can be enjoyed and understood by amateurs. I love browsing through Etsy just to see other artists’ works and I am often amazed by the great variety and imagination these artists have to offer.

I also learn a lot from my customers. They often come up with different color combinations and designs that never came across my mind.

What is your favorite material?

Silver, pearls, gemstones and lampwork beads.

What new technique or craft has caught your eye lately? Want to try anything new?

I am always ready to try something new. I tried to make lampwork beads but haven’t touched the torch since I burnt myself last year…But now I am again ready to try PMC (precious metal clay) and basic metal working skills, which also involve a torch. I am hoping to have better luck this time.

What new item in your shop are you excited about?

I like the adjustable gemstone ring in my store. It combines wire and metalwork and has the look of fine jewelry without the price tag. I have done some custom work based the same design.

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?

Understand the environment you are selling in. I never sold at craft shows in the U.S., but my jewelry has sold well on both Ebay and Etsy. I believe this is because I spend a lot of time studying the structure of the website, so I can come up with the most effective business strategy.

Jun 11

paper flower necklaceShop name/URL:
Pequenio Craft by Munieca

Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Andrea, but I prefer that people call me munieca (that means “doll” in Spanish) I live in Argentina, I am a twin, I have two kids, a husband and a dog. I have degrees in Cinema and Photography, I am a Professor of EGB (basic general education) but actually I work in a studio of design. I love to draw, paint, work with paper and make collages.

matroyshka earringsWhat are your main inspirations?

I always feel inspired by big artists, crafters that I find on Flickr, blogs and etsy. I love toys and any stuff for kids! I am always inspired by Asian culture, like anime, movies, and its folklore. So I think, my little dolls, the infantil faces, birds and flowers, the colors, the kawaii are present in my crafts because this reason.

What is your favorite material?

Love Paper!!

What new technique or craft has caught your eye lately? Want to try anything new?

I use the technique of lamination, collage and illustration, all this is about paper… I feel attracted to this kind of crafts and art. I try to update and develop upon my own techniques. I can’t leave my principal material, the paper, but I always try to create over the created, with that I feel comfortable.

black butterfly broochWhat new item in your shop are you excited about?

My brooches are my weakness! I put on them all that I like! Illustrations, the paper, accessories, beads and charms! I think they are very cute!

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?

Do what you love! Put effort, originality into your stuff, be unique.

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