February 24, 2010

I love you Wednesdays: Doggie Jewelry

One of the first things people who knew me especially well asked after I adopted our new dog, Ping, was "Well, are you going to make her jewelry?!" Though I appreciate the question, I am pretty sure I won't be making jewelry for Ping for three reasons: 1.) I can't even think of what I would make for a dog who hates having her collar on her, let alone a piece of jewelry! 2.) I know my heart would break a little when Ping manages to get said piece of jewelry off of her body and into the toilet, trash, mud, etc (see #1). 3.) There are so many people on Etsy who can do it better! I did some investigative research on Etsy and found a few pieces that were especially inspiring, and others that were just plain interesting! Let's see how Etsy sellers are spicing up your otherwise typical dog products:
Why have a boring black rope-like collar when your pup can have this stylish, hand beaded creation!
Sunset by collars4chloe; $45
Actually, why have a typical collar at all when you can just sport a cute little doggie necklace?
Boys Wear Necklaces Too - Pet Jewelry by nikkimcl; $16
And no collar is complete without a tag, but why get a standard silver bone when your can tell the boys what's really on your mind?
Bite Me Valentine's Day Dog tag by BowWowzerZ; $10
Just like those "My Child Is An Honor Role Student" bumper stickers, pets deserve a little affirmation, too!
Obedience School Drop Out Pet Tag by UrbanPuppy; $18
Or you can just skip the fancy tag and sport your dog's gemstone?
Birthstones Bone charm by BirthBones; $10

And don't forget the icing on the cake!
Ocean Blue Summer Dot Bitty Bow by BOWWOWMeOverBows; $3
And last but not least...
Pugs N Pearls Girls Necklace from FromStewartsKitchen; $15
Yeeeeah, I'll keep to human jewelry for now!

February 22, 2010

Busy Bead Up

It seems appropriate that I post some of the jewelry I have been creating on Mondays since lately it seems like I can only get around to setting time aside to create in the first place over the weekend! Here's what I managed to pump out this weekend: Last Christmas I gifted one of my dearest customers, Nilsa, a thank-you necklace on the house. Nilsa said that she really liked the necklace I custom made for her friend for Christmas (read all about it here!) and that she would like something kind of similar that she could wear to her upcoming beach vacation. For some reason a long, brown toned dangly thing came to mind, something that could go with a dress and a swimsuit :) Nilsa looks great in browns and oranges and especially likes pieces with an unexpected color combination. I knew that I would want to eventually blog about the piece, since the piece itself would be unlike anything I have ever posted on Etsy before, so I asked my artistic brother (the one who is currently -- still -- living with us) to draw a dress form of a person on which I could sketch the necklace concept. After looking at a few pictures of Nilsa, he drew a, uh, rather artsy figure, on top of which I drew my idea of what the necklace could look like (made of shells, pearls, and crystals, knotted by the torso): When I showed Nilsa the sketch, she replied: "Those drawings are awesome. Thank you to your brother, for making me have a banging body. =) I love the idea of the necklace. I love the design. Gorg! Can I make a teensy request for a pop of color. A turquoise or aqua marine???? I think that would seal the deal for me. My oh my. Love" Turquoise it was! After a few hours of conceptualizing and creating, I came up with this: I am really happy with the result and know Nilsa will be, too! I have thought about putting the item on Etsy, but the piece itself pretty much depleted my fall-colored pearl supply and I don't know if I want to reinvest in more (it was kind of nice to feel like I really - and finally - got use out of them!). I can't wait to post pictures of Nilsa in the necklace and on the beach! I recently (and randomly?) got 4 orders for the wire wrapped birds nest necklace I created a few months ago. All of the orders were for mommies-to-be, except an order I got from a loyal client who has a friend who recently had her 4th bebe! At first I thought that making the necklace with 4 pearls would be harder than making it with 2 or 3, but it proved to actually be easier since the pearls formed a circle naturally (I usually have to heavily manipulate the wire to get a line or triangle of pearls into a circle shape). I have since updated my Etsy listing to include a picture of the nest with 4 pearls -- I heart it! I also met with a client who asked me to make her June-wedding jewelry for her bridesmaids. I had a blast with her and can't wait to blog about it after the pieces are finished! I'll keep you updated! :)

February 18, 2010

A blogger's Bead Up review - and another giveaway!

A few weeks ago fellow blogger Leslie contacted me regarding the possibility of a product review and giveaway. I am such a sucker for these. Leslie said she especially loved my wishbone necklace, which seems to be a hot little piece this month! I sent her the item in the mail for a review and here's what she had to say: "I recently was able to review a great necklace from Christyn at Bead Up she has a GREAT Etsy Shop where you can find the cutest pieces of jewelry. This Reach For The Stars necklace is one of my favorites....Along with this simple and fun Strawberry Necklace... Or this Butterfly Necklace as well, but.........The one I instantly fell in love with was the Wishbone Necklace!!!! It is so simple and I really love it!! I was able to review the Wishbone Necklace and I couldn't be happier. I wore it with a nice brown sweater and skirt to church on Sunday and it laid perfectly for all to see. I had a couple ladies ask where I got it--they had never seen one like it!! I would recommend it with a v-neck, lower-neck line blouse or dress, or a turtle neck higher neck line. The chain is shorter and I think it would look best with these types of clothes. Now for the fun part, Christyn is generously offering one of you the WISHBONE NECKLACE that I was able to review!!"
Click here to enter! (You can enter over 2-dozen times...woooooooooah)!
You heard it, chickas. I figured that you could use another way to enter to win this darling little necklace. Not that I am a new dog owner and am getting into the habit of feeding treats to those whom I love to make up for my absence. It's not like that at all...! Speaking of which, have you had the chance to enter my other 2 giveaways?
Enter here, here and here! Seriously - I'm literally giving this stuff away, dolls! (You can read up on all the rules and deadlines here and here).

February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Custom Heart Jewelry

This has been, by far, my most amazing Custom jewelry story to date. A few months ago I made what I called an "& LOVE" brass necklace. I loved them so much that I kept one for myself (a rarity, I usually like to share my jewelry as much as possible!) and put the other on Etsy. It quickly sold to a guy named Rob, who said he was buying it for his girlfriend because "she absolutely loves anything and everything, so I searched for 'ampersand jewelry' and this item came up. It's really a beautiful piece and I know my girlfriend will love it!" A few weeks later Rob wrote back saying: "My girlfriend absolutely loved her & Love necklace for her birthday. It was her favorite of the five thoughtful presents I got her so that says a lot :) On a separate note, I was wondering if you happen to take requests. I was wondering if you would be able to make some earrings using the same ampersand charm or something similar. Your work is so good that it left me wanting more!" Thankfully I had a few ampersand charms left, and was able to send him these matching earrings in time for Christmas.Rob wrote that his girlfriend "LOVED the earrings. They look absolutely amazing on her. She's been wearing them a lot during the holidays for big get togethers with her family!" He even included this sweet picture of himself and Hannah wearing the new earrings :) But wait, it gets better! Rob is quite the romantic. Right after the New Year he wrote the following: "Well, I'm already looking ahead to Valentine's Day, and I have another request. Here goes... When we're in public and want to tell each other we love one another without being all mushy and saying it all the time, we put our index fingers at the top of our heads and wiggle them. It's our cute little thing. Well, once, she drew a heart in the frost of my car window and added little antennas to it, matching our little "I love you" motion. Now, that's sort of our mark that we draw on letters, fogged mirrors, etc., so I was hoping to have a piece of jewelry that had our "love logo" on it... My thoughts were that I would love a necklace with this on it. Because you are the creative genius though, I would leave it up to you to decide what piece of jewelry would be best and what style would be best. The only thing I require is that our love logo is the focal part of the piece." Rob included the above picture of the heart with antenna ears that his girlfriend drew on a fogged up car window. Isn't that super cute? I told Rob he better start giving tips - he sure knows the way to a woman's heart! I was totally thrilled about the project, and immediately started thinking of ways to incorporate the "logo" in a necklace design. I went to Michael's and, to my amazement, the actually had what I was looking for! After a few more e-mails back and forth to Rob telling him what I planned to do, I got to work with some 26 gauge wire and and a solitary heart charm.My method was to wrap the heart from the bottom and sides up: And then make an antenna by poking some wire up, then up and down a few times in order to make a thick antenna, then I wire wrapped it like I wrapped the rest, and then continued down the rest of the heart clock-wise:Of course it took half a dozen tries and two episodes of 24 to finally get the thing to look similar to what I was going for: first I made them too long, then I tried to reuse some wire and failed miserably, then I tried to make the piece abstract on the right side and ended up with a half-@$$ed looking thing. Finally, I had this in my hands: The trickiest part was getting it on a chain as a necklace. I tried putting a jump ring in between the two antennas to hang from a chain, though the whole necklace just wobbled over to one side and looked thoughtless. Then I tried to look the chain in and out of the hole in the heart - the whole thing turned upside down when trying to wear it. Finally, I did a loop thing in the middle of the heart and got this! Though I was fairly happy with what I had created, I still needed to get the customer's thumb(s) up. I e-mailed Rob telling him that this is very preliminarily and that I can try other methods. He wrote the following: "I must admit that I had no idea how this was going to look when you told me your plan because I don't know much about jewelry. Let me simply say that I absolutely LOVE what you've done so far! It is so amazing. There's definitely no need to scrap the plans because it is exactly what I am looking for. I could keep going on and on about it." Whew! Mikey likes it! Rob also said that last time he gave his girlfriend a gift from Bead Up she immediately knew what it was based on the packaging, and therefore asked if I could wrap it differently this time. I sent him this little number: Rob wrote: "At the moment, she knows I am going to visit her in March for Spring Break but she has absolutely no idea that I'm going to fly out Valentine's Day weekend and surprise her :) Of course, I will be bringing this gift with me, so it just makes it that much more awesome that you're able to do this for her! I just know she's going to love it." I can't wait to hear how it went - I will of course post an update with Rob's story of Hannah's reaction as soon as I hear back from him!

February 12, 2010

Red Carpet Jewelry Awards!

Tis the season -- for Award ceremonies, that is! Which means only one thing:
JEWELRY TO CRITIQUE!! (click on each image for it's source)
The Golden Goddess Award: Julie Roberts at the Golden Globes I have said it before and I will say it again: I love when jewelry is incorporated into dresses themselves. This is a perfect example. By itself the dress would be totally boring, but add that beautiful necklace and POW! According to InStyle.com, "The necklace's exquisite pendant boasted 29 citrines and diamonds set in 18-carat yellow gold." Holy mother.
The Midnight Award: Courtney Cox at the Golden Globes Paired with her night black hair and perfect makeup, these blackened gold and black sapphire earrings from Ofira Schwartz are stunning. Reminds me of stars in a midnight sky. Not that often earrings make ya' go poetic! The Long & Luscious Award: Christina Applegate, 2009 SAG Awards I love how the necklace seems to pay homage to flapper dress jewelry, and how those earrings hang on her so well and really spice up the very simply and beautiful emerald dress. Imagine how horrible they would have looked with a dress of a print -- well done, Xtina!
The Sweet and Simply Coordinated Award: Toni Collette at the 2010 SAG Awards. I ADORE how she (or her stylist, whatever) used the simplicity of the turquoise accents to enhance the empire waste lining. Gah-jas.
The "Wow, I can't believe you pulled that off" Award: Heidi Klum at the Grammy's Love the ring (A 70 carat diamond butterfly ring from Lorraine Schwartz). Though, since I am of the less is more camp, the combination of the print and flash of the ring and with the sequin drag-queen-ish print of her dress (especially since it goes all the way to her hand) makes me a bit nervous, Heidi pulls it off. Probably, if for no other reason, because she's Heidi (though I do think the color tones of the ring match her hair pallet beautifully!).
Ya know how some talent get nominated two times in one award show? Like Meryl Streep this year for Doubt and Julie and Julia? Well, we got one of these here, too. Meet: Beyonce, who wore plenty to talk about at this year's Grammy's....
The "Cleopatra will stab you with her dagger earrings" Award And what's up with the silly string in her hair?
The "No worries, I brought enough bling to make up for possibly not getting a bling-y award" Award
Rumor has it that those are my beloved Swarovski crystals on her ears and dress. Looks more like a plastic vacuum liner and a hot mess of silver and gold shreddings gone wrong.
There you have it, lovies! With the Oscars soon approaching, you can bet there will be a Part Deux to these Red Carpet Jewelry Awards! Happy Weekend!

February 10, 2010


This has been a week of adoptions. On Friday afternoon I was watching The Bonnie Hunt Show while at work (as part of my work, actually!) and was hit by cupid's arrow when I saw a dog on the episode they were showing for adoption. The beagle terrier mix's name was Annie, and she was all I could think about for the rest of the day (give the video a few minutes before a stage assistant brought "Annie" out to Bonnie). I rushed home after work to tell my husband that I would do whatever it took to get that puppy - I needed her and wasn't going to sleep until she belonged to me (I am quite the stubborn type!). Long story short, my hubs agreed to skip his Super Bowl party and join me in adopting our little orphan Annie on Sunday afternoon in Santa Monica. Since then, we have also fostered her son, Bob, for the week to help Annie (whom we have re-named Ping, which means peace in Chinese) readjust to our home. Isn't she the CUTEST thing you have ever seen? Bob is handsome as ever and looks like a mini-German Shepherd (Bob is still up for adoption, so holler if you are in the LA area and interested in this VERY well behaved puppy!). This is not going to be our last adoption. In fact, the hubs and I have been talking about adopting a Chinese baby since before we were married. I have had a huge heart for Chinese adoption since before I ever even went to China or stepped foot in a Chinese class, and thankfully the hubs is on board with me. A few months back I somehow stumbled upon Desiree's blog about her journey to adopt her 3rd Chinese baby! What an inspiration! After some correspondence, Desiree asked if Bead Up could donate some items for her upcoming online raffle where she hopes to raise funds that will go toward the administrative costs of her newest Chinese addition! Of course! So... head on over to Desiree's blog to buy a few raffle tickets for yourself -- prizes include Bead Up items (like this Whooo's Pink necklace!), a blog-over, gift certificates, children's clothes, and an xBox with DJ HERO!! Raffle ends on the 21st!

February 4, 2010

MIA - but still keepin' busy!

Ok, so I know I have been rather MIA lately. But I swear, I have been busy doing Bead Up things (in addition to a million other things, including getting over a bad cold and starting a new job)! Here are a few of the latest projects I have completed... A loyal customer of mine, Karen, asked that I make her 3-year-old niece a little pink bracelet for Valentine's day. I used some beads I actually had left over from a previous project and came up with this little number: I love how the beads capture the light! When I gave it to Karen, she put it on her own wrist and laughed, saying "You will need to make another one - I like this one too much to give it away!" Coming right up! Back in December I blogged about how a co-worker of mine asked that I make her three brass necklaces that looked like exaggerated chains. She liked them so much that she asked if I can make her a double-linked bracelet to match. I mixed and matched some different sized chains and brass links to come up with a cute little bracelet that I thought she would like. When I presented it to her, she liked it so much she asked if I could make another one so she could stack them. I didn't get a chance to take a "formal" picture of the bracelets, but did manage to get a snap shot of them on her wrist as she just so happened to wear some rings that matched! I used the remaining chain and links from the project to come up with a matching necklace, complete with a cute little birdie charm! And finally, I splurged and managed to make something for myself, too! I have arrived at a point where I have become a loyal customer of two particular stores in LA's jewelry district (good products + great price + nice staff = I am there and devoted, baby). Every time I shop at The Bead Factory, I have been drawn to this certain string of peach, brown, and clear faceted round crystals. Finally, upon my last visit, my husband put them in my shopping basket without me knowing and I went home to find a surprise for my personal indulgence! I knew just from looking at these beads that I didn't want to yuck them up with any other beads or wire-wrapping -- I loved how they looked next to each other in their "raw" form and wanted to keep that integrity. And though there were enough beads to make a solid 13" choker kind of necklace, I wanted the beads to fall just north of my collar bone, yet also be adjustable in length. So I ordered some large linked gold chain and gold findings and simply strung the beads on some gold wire: And then added the gold chain and clasp, in addition to a cute little clear faceted bead at the end of the chain :) I LOVE how these crystals capture light: Now if I only knew what to wear the necklace with, I would be set! Meanwhile, I am meeting with a new client this weekend to start creating her wedding jewelry -- all I know is that she wants statement necklaces -- my kind of project! I am also working on a few more giveaways and some really cool, fresh, never-before-seen-kind-of blog-entries :) Keep posted!!