Dream Weaver Jewelry (and more!)

Just an artist making her way.

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Weddings … and their nightmares.

Years ago, my sister got married.

The bridal party was small; my other sister (yes there are three of us) as the Matron of Honor, my two nieces and myself as bridesmaids, and of course, our male counterparts/escorts.

My sister and I wore cinnamon, my nieces champaigne.

Our jewelry “requirement” was “simple, clear stones, silver” – matching if we could get it!

Ha ha ha… no.

What really happened? My nieces went shopping separately.  The MoH and I were in another state, and tried to find matching items, but she found something she liked and got it, and I wound up getting my jewelry the night before the wedding.

None of it matched.  None of it coordinated. Most of it looked AWFUL on us – when it looked lovely on the display.  My necklace was too short and almost choked me.  My earrings were too heavy.  My sister wound up with similar issues.  The bride’s necklace was a little too long and part of the pendant was hidden in her dress.  The earrings were tangled in her hair by the end of the night.

When I created the Spiral set, I started thinking to myself that wedding jewelry should match, be light, be to the bride’s specifications, coordinate if not match, and should be tiered.

The bride of course should shine, stand out – it’s her day after all!  The bridesmaids should have coordinating jewelry to each other and the bride, but much muted.  The MoH? In between.

It should also be affordable to not break the wedding party’s budget, and should not be a nightmare last minute for the party to find.

An old school friend contacted me after seeing my (unfinished) butterfly headdress/hair chain/net whatever thing, and asked if it could be done in a daisy motif.

My answer? “Of course!”

As I began work on the first proper bridal party set of headdresses, necklaces, earrings and bracelets, I started to wonder just how to do it all, and make it the tiered splendor it should be.  I have colors from the bride, the motif, and I’ve found it so much easier to do than I initially thought – apart from making several wire flowers (hand-tooled; I try not to use jigs much) that were size-uniform, but each unique in its own right.

Even as I worked on the first prototypes, I started to wish I could have done these things back when my sister got married.  Our jewelry would have coordinated, been what the bride wanted, and we wouldn’t have spent nearly as much as we did (which was almost the cost of the DRESSES – which I find a bit excessive), nor as much time scrambling to find something that worked.

My mission now?
To save other brides the nightmare we went through.  Prices of course are dependent on how complicated the design is, the materials, how large the bridal party is, etc., but still – how much would one spend at a name-brand designer for a matching/coordinating set – custom created for that bridal party?  Too much, I would think – possibly in the multiple thousands for some.
Especially since said name-brand designer wouldn’t want to fluctuate as far as materials or position of the bridal party member.  Make one, cast it, duplicate it.
… oh.. one of the bridesmaids is allergic to the metal the others are wearing? Too bad!  It’s extra to make it in something else.

The thought makes me ill.
Considering some companies DO care, I’m not going to say none of them do, but too many want extra money for having to make something in another material – even if the MATERIAL is the same price.
Too much mass-production for my tastes, especially if it’s something simple the party’s looking for – just.. matching or coordinating and custom design.

I just hope I can pull it off!  Not just for this old school friend who reconnected with me – but for other brides and their parties.
One less hassle, one less nightmare.
If I can take some of that pressure from them, it would bring me as much joy as I take in creating.

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A return to normalcy…

… is a deception!

Sassy is doing very well, though is not allowed out of her apartment enclosure just yet.

I do not, however, need to spend the entire night with her anymore!  I do need to be up late, but no longer need to spend the night awake to keep watch, then be up all day trying to get things Mom wants done out of the way when I really should be asleep.

I’ll tell you one thing: Sleep is Sweet.

Now that I am moving back to a more normal schedule, I can get back on target with things that had been thrown in the air.

My laundry’s a bit behind.  I haven’t cooked anything to tuck away for weekly meals.  I haven’t really CLEANED properly in almost a week.  Oh sure I’ve kept things from becoming disastrous, but I’ll feel better when I’ve scoured everything properly.  I’m fairly sure I’m an inch from losing a plant or two since I haven’t talked to or cared for them in a week.  My snails are out of control and my main aquarium is in need of…

I’m ahead of myself… I was supposed to explain The Army of Snails last post.
The aquarium got covered in algae.  Pinky, the Albino Corey Catfish we have in there, is unable to keep up… and the few snails we put in were little more than snacks for the Betta, Perry (Short for Perriwinkle, but we just call him whatever comes to mind – usually Fluffbutt or Hey Stupid).  So I got a few of the snails and put them in my spare 5-gallon, and let it get algae ridden… and they bred. A lot.  Thus, the Army was born.  Now I have enough snails for Perry to snack on AND to clean the aquarium!
And thus, The Army of Snails is explained.

… a water change and more snails added.

And the big one.. I have FOUR commissions, one of them past due to get done as quickly as I can.  Luckily one of them is just reproducing the final prototype, and I can get IT out the door.  One is in concept stage, and the other two are new.

With any luck, Mom will schedule these “emergencies” a little better so they don’t land on MY head and ONLY my head, while I have commissions due, when I’m already exhausted from the LAST chunk of emergencies…

In the meantime, I need to get back to work, since I mainly wanted to make sure this post got up on time (Thursday) at least day-wise, if not time-wise.

Here’s hoping my hands remember how to work the pliers as well as they did a month ago…

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Chaos to Calm

Some time ago, I stripped my craft cabinet for a complete reorganization.  I’ve managed to sort out much of the “random stuff” boxes into properly labeled ones, but there are still a few things left to sort – as well as some things from the latest order (which included the 12k gold wire waiting for the final approval of a pendant that is currently in progress) without a home.

The last week has been a hectic madness, as it always is before a visit from the family – detailing the house, making sure cushions are sticky-rolled to remove stubborn bits of fur where the cats sneaked onto the bare furniture instead of the pet-covers (the kitten, Sassy, is notorious for pulling the pet-cover aside to lay directly on the couch cushions), making sure the kitchen is in order, cleaning off the catch-all that is the dining room and kitchen tables, picking up cat toys from odd locations, etc., etc..

After the madness of the family visit for Mother’s Day (and the cleanup after), I took a look around my room, sadly neglected for a couple of weeks now, what with yard work (we finally did manage to get a couple of the stumps of the shrubs completely OUT of the ground, and had to stop when the others wouldn’t come up), and then the week of madness.

About fifteen minutes with the label-maker, and everything but a couple of things I’m currently using are all away, labeled and … compact.

The new boxes and organizing containers I’d picked up fit into the cabinet so much better than the old ones, and the labels on the front stand out so it’s far easier for me to grab the smaller box of what I need instead of going through a mishmoshed larger box of many supplies.

I turned after putting everything but what I’m working on away… and found my room much cleaner than I’d thought.  I’d thought there was much more strewn about – but laundry falling out of the basket, the clean laundry I haven’t folded, a soda can that the kitten knocked out of my trash can and chased across the room (I wish I had video of THAT one.. it was priceless)… A few moments work and my room is now tidier than it has been in weeks.

Without anything to worry about until Memorial Day, I have breathing space to work on just usual chores and the projects I’ve had to abandon in the madness and my lack of work lamp (which now has a new bulb).

If feels wonderful for the calm of normalcy to return at last…. Until the madness hits again.

I leave you with one of the projects still on my workspace: the first hair chain, which now has a photo.

WIP Butterfly Hair Chain

WIP Butterfly Hair Chain

A huge thank you to my sister for modeling it (amidst the madness over the weekend!) for me for the photo, since I can’t take photos of the back of my own head!
This is but one of the projects that the Chaos had uprooted, but is the only one ready for photography, though it’s not done.
I need to go back into the cabinet to get the rest of the supplies out for this one, as it will be a “Bridal” chain when I am through; hung with freshwater and Swarovski pearls as well as Swarovski Opals, and perhaps Moonstones as well as the clear crystal that is already on it.  We shall have to see what works in the end.

With luck, I will have two more (World of Warcraft related) projects ready for photography with the next post, and perhaps a completed hair chain!

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Now that’s out of the way…

I assume you’ve realized that this blog is about jewelry.

Not just any jewelry, mind you, but jewelry that is hand made, by me.

However, I would like to point out that this is also a move, for me, from blogger, where the format and such got to be a bit of a hassle.

Starting over fresh this Spring, I’m hoping to update with not only shiny things that I create, but I would also like to showcase others’ work, as I had done in the past – and this time, not just in a seasonal way, and as before, not just with jewelry.

My goal here is to bring the importance of hand-crated items and the quality they represent back to the foreground, as over the years, mass-produced and machine-made have become the norm in our disposable society.  There are some things that are better when made by machines, but other things that you can only find when they are created by one person, with their own two loving hands and the tools of their trade.

What you will find here:
My jewelry (of course! when I make something new, I like to show it off, of course!)
The work of others (Why just show off my work when there are lots of others out there who love what they create?)
Soapboxes (Not literally; I tend to wax eloquent when trying to educate others on the difference between hand-crafted and machine-made items.)
Random odds and ends (I am human, and I don’t just chill and make jewelry; I have other hobbies as well, as well as emotions and life events, etc.)