March 30, 2010

Spring Collection: Inspiration and Preview

A few weeks ago the Hubs and I were at Crate and Barrel and I literally GASPED when I saw the color combination of these chopping boards:I of course had to buy the green one and couldn't get the color combination out of my head. Apparently, I went a little nuts later that day at Target:And Nordstrom Rack: And when I got home I realized that my garden was on the same page: Heck, even Ping's Frisbee was in my new color scheme of dreams! I of course looked through my bead collection to see what I could find. I came up with this little number: And have been busy buying beads and components in those colors ever since! More to come as I continue to work on my Spring 2010 Collection - coming to a blog and Etsy site near you soon! Meanwhile, here are a few other teasers from the collection that are currently on the Etsy site:
So, what inspires YOU this spring?

March 19, 2010

Fashionably Friday: Man Jewelry

So most times I think of "Man Jewelry" I think of really crap-tastic piercings or over-sized tacky gold watches. Or ugly leader-corded pendants and silver rings. ::shiver:: Runways don't usually help the cause. Often accessories take place of clothing all together. Men walk around wearing next to nothing yet carrying around over-sized man-bags. Or wearing heels and a scarf. Only wearing heels and a scarf. I can't imagine it adds to the concept of masculinity. (see image on right for reference). The guys over a ProjectRungay come from a very specific viewpoint and I usually agree with their judgments of said runway trends (which usually end in "E-Gad!"). They recently featured an editorial from Vogue Hommes Japan that not only featured some interesting looking men, but some RAD jewelry. I LOVE the jewelry featured in this spread. And, though I am not usually prone to men in skin-tight beach outfit concoctions, somehow the jewelry takes all else away and all I can focus on is the use of beads and colors! So, if the fact that it's "Man Jewelry" bothers you, take T&L's advice: "Darlings, it's fashion, color and genetically gifted men. What could we possibly add to that? If a picture's worth a thousand words, this should keep you busy for a while." In other words, focus on the jewelry, and, well, ya know. The models ;) But especially the jewelry - LOVE IT! (all images from Project Rungay). My take? I could of course do without the bindi-jewel things on their foreheads. I could do without the stupidly colored hair (though I do enjoy the color composition of all the shots - very spring!). And, since of course most men wouldn't really wear jewelry with a wet suit or a see-through sweater thing (or whatever these "outfits" are), I could do without the weird clothing (though that's what makes it "high fashion," no?). I love the texture contrasts and the vibrant colors. And the beads are GORG. E. OUS. I tired to find the jewelry's source (Rungay only attributes the jewelry to "Passage to India," which of course lead to a thousand unrelated travel sites and what not) and wish I could figure out the story behind the collection. Though I usually find myself in the Less-Is-More camp, I love the layering and stacking of these pieces. If you look closely, several pieces are combined and added with other shots, showing the versatility of the collection (of course any collection that consists of over a few dozen pieces can lead to many options of use!). In other words, I wish that I could not only own these pieces, but that I could make them. Well, I am sure I could if I wanted to invest several thousand dollars in genuine gemstones and hours hunched over my crafty card table. Any takers? Now it's your turn! Time to duke it out! Spill your thoughts (and have a joyous weekend)!

March 17, 2010

WANTED: Pictures of your Jewelry Stash

Last year I blogged about several jewelry holders/trees that my hubs and I made for my Christmas jewelry shows and party. I have since been keeping my eye out for ways that people display/store their jewelry and have always wanted to blog about how I stash my jewelry (my method may surprise you)! So, I am calling for submission of what your jewelry stash looks like! Are you organized, or anything but? Do you hang your necklaces up or lay them down neatly in a antique jewelry box? Do you spend most of your time re-hanging your necklaces carefully or carefully untangling them? (This interesting little earring holder was found on Amazon - oh the places you can go on that website!!). I want to hear from you! Drop me a comment on this entry or e-mail me ( with your method and a picture or two if you want to really make me smile! Everyone who submits will get FREE SHIPPING on anything in the Bead Up shop! Here are some interesting jewelry holders I found on Etsy:
Wall Mounted Asymmetrical Jewelry Tree, $85 Frame your bling, upcycled re-purposed hand-painted aqua blue jewelry holder, $16.95 Pink Sparkle Flower Earring Holder/Wall Display, $16.50 Attic Treasure Trinket Box, $50 Kiwi Green and Red Jewelry Tree, $32
And last but not least... Barbie Jewelry Holder, $20 There are no words, ladies and gentlemen!

March 15, 2010

Mustaches are HIP to the STER.

Several months ago my high school buddy turned entrepreneur John admitted something. He was obsessed with mustaches. His own, his brothers', his dog's. It didn't matter. John asked when Bead Up would be making mustache jewelry. Bead Up thus looked EVERYWHERE for mustache-related jewelry components to help make John's mustache wish come true. Along the way I found some pretty rad mustache paraphernalia, including bags, headbands, coffee mugs, etc (not made of mustache hair, of course, but rather featuring mustache silhouettes)! After each find I would tease John by posting the items on his Facebook page, which only led him to ask, "Where is the Bead Up mustache necklace?" John has even gone as far as to send me postcards that simply say "Bead Up needs to make mustache jewelry." When John visited us in LA a few months ago, he came sporting this fine, um.... thing. Which I of course had to model for the camera... Well, John's day has finally come. After months of searching, I finally found a mustache charm that I thought was Bead Up worthy: Of course John bought a few already ;) Can you blame him? John already blogged about it: "ok, this is the coolest thing to happen to me in this lifetime. my friend christyn has an etsy store. she makes a bunch of great jewelry and even does custom orders. somehow, we started this game where we’d pass on links of mustache jewelry and other mustache related goodness. i’ve always told her that the day she makes a piece of mustache jewelry, i would be the first to buy it. today, the 15th of mustache march, i did just that (if there’s a bigger creep out there who bought it before me i’m a little scared). since i don’t have anyone to give this to, i guess it’s time to start wearing jewelry." Click here to see the Etsy listing - and note that they are available in both gunmetal/antique silver and bright silver! (While you are at, you should really take a look at John's online store of college-related clothing and accessories. The dude in your life will thank you for it!). John even has a doggie blog and did an entry about Ping, my new doggie, a few weeks back :) Do you have a concept/idea that you would like to see Bead Up carry? I really dig these kinds of requests -- though to be fair, it may take a few months for me to find the parts! If you have a request and I successfully am able to carry it on my Etsy site, you will get a copy for FREE (unless it's one-of-a-kind, then I will include free shipping instead)!! So... leave a comment on this post or e-mail me at ! The next featured item could be yours (and could even be free)!

March 12, 2010

Fashionably Friday: The Academy Awards

Not that I have been counting down for the past few months for Hollywood's biggest night. No, not me. Nor did I watch the show nearly two times AND watch all the pre and post-shows in order to get a full dosage. Why would I ever do such a thing? On with the awards! (all images from Project Rungay) THE GOOD:
This was the winning look of the night, in my opinion. That dress is like a walking Monet. Discussion has been made about the earrings possibly being a little too-much, though I think they work since they are not competing with any other jewelry or embellishments on the garment (and her hair and makeup are in full sync). You win, Ms. McAdams.
Penelope Cruz always bring a little bit of Spanish flair to the red carpet. This outfit is of course no exception. Since the garment is simple in terms of color and texture, most people would think it could use balance with over-the-top jewelry. Thankfully our Spanish princess knows better. The understated diamond bracelets, big-ole' ring, and nicely sized earrings are like a petite four. Love it.
Kate Winslet always looks good. Not just good, but great. She's inspiring because she's totally glamorous in an understated way and is NOT a size 2. Though I am not a fan of metallic fabric, I think she not only wears it well, but she also really rocked yellow-colored diamond earrings and coordinating silver necklace. The bracelet and purse somehow aren't overkill, either. Her hair color helps bring it all together, too.
I go back and forth on this outfit. The dress' print is more like a swimsuit wrap you wear at Sandals. The granny-looking bracelet is SO not my style. The rings seems boring. However, for whatever reason, I think it works for Ms. Maggie. I like how the bracelet matches her wedding and engagement rings. It works with the dress. Heck, it even matches Mr. Oscar in the background!
Helen Mirren, I bow down to you! This woman (or at least her stylist) KNOWS how to dress her. The diamond necklace and earrings work well with the crystal embellishments on the dress and arm things (heck, even her hair is coordinated)! And do you see that spider tattoo on her hand? Bad-ass, grandma! The purse, however, is EXACTLY like the purse I used to play with as a kid when I dressed up in my grandma's old clothes. Even then I knew it was a bit too busy for my taste! Not sure what that means to see it on the red carpet...!
Christyn's reaction when she saw this on the stage at the Oscars: "Gasp! That's amazing!" 90's movie star Molly Ringwald rocked a brass-looking broach/belt with an arm bracelet by the late American artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976). This is the kind of thing you see at the MOMA, people. And she's wearing it to the Oscars -- take that Gucci presumption! According to this site, "Every one of these pieces started out as a piece of wire and Calder hammered them into shapes. There is no mass production, no multiples." LOVE. IT.
Dear Miley: if I can afford to visit a chiropractor, so can you. Please stand up straight. Also, it seems that your dress is starting to eat your wrist.
Oh, Mariah. Even when you try to go classy you end up, well, looking like yourself. As Coco Chanel put it: “Take one thing off before you leave the house.” Repeat that to your self 3-4 times and I then we can talk. But don't take off your dress. That's not what a meant.
Excuse me, Carey? Hugh Hefner's landlord called. The would like their curtain tassles back.
Both Sarah Jessica Parker and Carrie Bradshaw are known for their daring fashion attempts. Some people turn them into law, others, like myself, laugh and thank the Lord I have better taste. This outfit - and jewelry - are no exception. Though attempt well-noted.

March 8, 2010

Trading Jewelry for Makeup

It's Monday, which means time to share more Bead Up projects with y'all! I have been so blessed with a great community at church that has really taken a liking to Bead Up. When I look around the women in my congregation, I smile because I have made jewelry for a good 50% of them! One of my favorite customers from church bought one of my favorite little sterling silver necklaces at my jewelry show last October: A few weeks ago she told me that she wears the necklace often, though would love a matching set of earrings to accompany the coral, pearl, and turquoise beads of the necklace. She also requested earring that were about 1.5" long and that I use ear hoops that clasp in the back so she doesn't lose them. Done and done! One of the unexpected joys of making jewelry is that I have been able to use what I have created as gifts, payment, or items to trade for others! A gal pal of mine from high school is a Bare Escentuals consultant and has been proving me with at-cost make up since I switched to the line last summer. This shipment around, she asked if I could pay her back in Bead Up goods! She was hoping that I could make her future mother-in-law a birthday gift of wine charms. My pal said that her F-M-I-L was super girlie, likes glitz and sparkle, and loves wine! I rushed to Michael's to buy some sterling silver "girlie" charms and came up with these: The charms include a stiletto heel, decorated heart, purse, and Eiffel tower ('cause what can get more feminine that that?!). I also added several different colors and sized of pink crystal beads on the little silver ear-hoops. Here is what my gal pal had to say about them: "Omg love the charms...... They are perfect. The Eiffel tower couldn't be more on target, there whole house is decorated 'country French' and has a couple rooms with Eiffel tower stuff in them!" Glad that worked out - I thought I was taking a gamble on the Eiffel tower charm! Finally, thanks to everyone who participated in Nilsa and my GIVEAWAY last week! We had 52 entries! The winner was actually a Bead Up client who originally found my Etsy shop through Nilsa's blog a few months ago! Now I must get to work - there were many outfits on the red carpet and I have much to discuss on this week's Fashionably Friday: Oscar Style post! Have a great week! In the meantime, if you are the Bible Devotional type, check out my contribution to my friend's blog as she aims to study the whole Bible through blog posts in a year!

March 5, 2010

100th post!

That's right - this is my 100th post! I started this wee-little blog last May with the intention to expand my Etsy shop through blog lovin' and interaction! Since then, Bead Up's blog has ranked in 227 Google followers, 33 Networked Blog readers and another 176 fans on Facebook, readers from every continent, and over 10,000 hits! Wahoo! Thanks for being one of those faithful followers :) This past February also marks the anniversary of my first Etsy sale (now which ranks over 150 on the website with 105 feedbacks of 100%, and over 300 custom and in-person sales)! It's been a great year - especially since I never thought that Bead Up would grow at such an encouraging rate! Though most people do big-ole' giveaways when they hit milestones such as these, I don't want to over-do it since I just had a series of giveaways and am still co-hosting one that ends on Sunday (click here to enter if you haven't already)! Instead, I am pleased to announce the winner of the Lovely Clusters giveaway. In case you forgot, Bead Up was in the running to be announces a user favorite Blog or Etsy shop. Thanks to all of you who voted, I came in 3rd for Favorite Jewelry Shop (only losing by 2 votes - dag nabbit)! After numbering your entries and using the Random Number Generator, I am pleased to announce that the winner is my buddy John (who actually blogged about our recent doggie adoption on his own doggie blog)! John asked that I either raffle or donate the necklace's price to Used Pets, the organization in which I found my new doggie. I love this idea, and am going to put alot of thought into how best to raise funds for them through Bead Up'in! Lastly, I finished a custom wedding set of jewelry for a friend of mine here in LA. Adrienne asked if I could make her some statement necklaces to match her brown and sage colored themed wedding, and if she could provide the beads herself? Not only do I LOVE making statement necklaces, but I really love when the client provides some of the materials - it makes the process that much more reflective of their own style! I recommended some of my favorite locations in LA's jewelry district to Adrienne, and a week later she presented to me some really cool looking wooden disc beads and some round sage gemstone beads. After showing her some ways that I could string and arrange the beads, we agreed on using brass colored findings for the 2 bridesmaids's necklaces, one junior bridesmaid's necklace, and a flower girl bracelet (which Adrienne requested be made with crystals).I even had enough beads remaining to make a necklace for Adrienne, too! I hope she likes them!

March 3, 2010

New Items and A FABULOUS Giveaway!

Sometimes you just need a little ::umph:: to get motivated to get a daunting task done. Take for example posting new items on Etsy. This used to be one of my favorite aspects of selling on Etsy. Well, let me rephrase that -- SEEING my product finished and listed on Etsy is one of my favorite parts, actually photographing, measuring, and describing the items can be a little tedious. That said, I have had quite the pile of "new" items that I made before my Christmas jewelry shows. At the time, I figured I would show them and then post on Etsy that which didn't sell. Needless to say, this task has been hanging over my head for 3 months! So yesterday when I found myself with a whole day with nothing on the calendar, as I was staying home sick from work so as not to infect my colleagues with a head cold that's building, I FINALLY got around to listing some of said new items! Click on each image to see it's Etsy listing! The other main ::umph:: reason to get back on the ball was because Bead Up got alot of online visits yesterday! My dear friend Nilsa wrote the most lovely blog entry on the necklace I made for her a few weeks ago. Not only did she say some flattering things about Bead Up, but she and I also collaborated for a GREAT GIVEAWAY, featuring the following products! Also - anyone who mentions Nilsa's blog during checkout when buying a product from Bead Up will get FREE SHIPPING! It doesn't get any better than that, lovelies! Click here to enter the giveaway now :)