May 26, 2010

Mystery Invitation Element: REVEALED!

Last week I mentioned that although my jewelry making is slightly slurred now since we are packing up everything we own to move to Kansas City, I am still craftin' away. My husband is a pastor and will be getting ordained next month... which basically means a bunch of bishops will put their hands on his head and deem him a pastor. While that part doesn't necessarily thrill me, the task of making invitations to the event is what gets my blood pumpin! I am the kind of gal who likes to get elemental with my cards/invitations... our wedding invitations had brads, ribbons, and stamps! For this round of paper goods, I immediately knew what I wanted to use: can you guess what is it (hint: it smells)?

The answers I received from y'all were great and made me smile: braided hemp; lavender/dried flower; seaweed; and even old boot straps! I can see how this random item could be any of the above items... here is what it actually it:


I searched and searched online to find some sort of small/thin net that I could use on these fishy invitations (made in such a way because many parables and events of Jesus' time involved fish/fishing, etc). I was totally overwhelmed with the choices online (you try looking for fishnet online and see what you come up with!), but also the limited large quantities in which I would have to purchase it! I finally looked at Michael's on a whim and voila! They had it -- and even better, I got to use a 50% off coupon, so I bought over 5 yards of this stuff for less than $5!

Next was figuring how out to get the fishnet on the actual card stock. I tried sewing it. Too time consuming and messy. So I tried gluesticks. Yeah right, too soft. I bought a stitching bug little thing and didn't even open the packing and admitted defeat preemptively. Finally someone mentioned a glue gun, and thankfully I hadn't yet packed up my long lost gluing friend and she and I went to work! Cutting the net was the most time consuming, as I had to form it to fit each card and trim it over and over again. This stuff not only comes with an authentic smell (not sure if that's a good thing...?), but it is also very dirty and really browned up a new pair of rubber-gripped scissors I just bought. Oh, the things a girl will do for her husband. 

While the husband cut the fish (which I designed and printed using my Mac, 120lb cardstock, and a color printer), I cut the net and glued it on. But we weren't done there -- we needed corresponding envelopes and return address labels! I found the brilliant blue envelopes at Action Envelope and accidentally ordered a size too small for the invitations, but figured I would just fold the invites in half and not make it any more complicated than it needed to be. After searching Etsy over and over for some kind of cute fish stamps/stickers for the return address sticker, I finally came across this super cute little stamp. I asked the seller, Butterflystamps, if I could possibly order the stamp in a 1/2" size and also in a 3" size. She was super great in getting back to me and custom making the stamps for me and within my timeline. I highly recommend her! (I will be using the 3" for the Ordination programs, which I will of course blog about when the time comes!). I bought some small blank return address labels from Staples and printed our new Kansas City address up on our printer and added a little accent of the fishy stamp to each one:

After buying some silver Sharpies, I went to town and labeled over 200 of these things!
Even my dog Ping wanted to join in. At first I thought it was cute:
Then I realized that she gave me no use of my arms and I couldn't get any work done!
But I wouldn't have it any other way! 
So, there you have it! Mystery revealed! That said, I might be a little MIA over the next week -- we are moving in a few days and are driving to the midwest, so who knows when I will have internet access again! See you on the other side - ah!

May 21, 2010

Fashionably Friday: Sex and the City

The highly anticipated Sex and the City 2 comes out next week. Though I am not necessarily a huge fan of the show (explaining why would require a whole blog in and of itself), I am going to see the movie on opening night with my gal pals from when I worked at Warner Brothers. I helped work on the music for the movie and will give you a bit of a teaser: a Hollywood legendary singer/actress makes a guest appearance at a wedding in the movie (though I am not telling you whose wedding - but there will be a wedding or two)! 

Surely you haven't watched an episode of the show without thinking, "What the crap are they wearing?" Or, "Woah, where did they get that?" Though the clothing usually invokes such remarks, the jewelry always does it for me. Here are a few examples: 
(Images are from the super cool website, emitations!)

Carrie is known for her over-the-top fashion statements. To me, it's usually hit-or-miss. Though I love the bracelet at bottom - how on earth would you type/write/do anything with your arm with that thing on? :)

Samantha loves to flaunt her, well... goods. Her jewelry is often exotic, like the above earrings, or very large, like her infamous flower ring. 

Miranda is a little more modest when it comes to the extremist fashion of her gal pals, though I think the earring at bottom look a bit painful! Love both of the pieces at top, though!

Charlotte is my kind of girl when it comes to both wardrobe and jewelry. Look at Bead Up's similarities:

Pearl Balls, like the earrings at top. 
Dainty necklaces, like the gold heart example.
Cluster bracelets, like my own wedding bracelet!

So, which Sex and the City character's jewelry speaks most to you?

May 19, 2010

I love you, Wednesdays: Kansas City

So I can finally let the cat out of the bag as to why I have been SO MIA over the last few months. Long story short - I lost my job and my husband got a new job -- in Kansas City, Missouri. Which means that I can't argue that we stay in LA for my job since I don't currently have one... so I have to bite the bullet and move back to the midwest. Not going to lie, I am not too thrilled - not because it's the midwest (I grew up in Ohio/Kentucky), but because I really love living in Los Angeles. Especially because of all the amazing jewelry resources here in LA (which means I have several more trips to make to the jewelry district before we blow this popsicle stand in 2 weeks)! 

That said, the hubs and I visited Kansas City a few weeks ago met the people at his job, found a house, and had some of the local fare (BBQ, mostly, which doesn't really do it for this vegetarian but I appreciate the sentiment!). Overall I am happy with the neighborhood in which we are moving and the people we met. I left thinking that Bead Up could do well in the area, and actually have some great changes in mind of what Bead Up will become with the move. We have actually been packing for several weeks now, though I of course have left my craft table out and am still making custom orders. I have not had the time nor energy to make new orders, however, and kind of grieve the fact that I never got to reveal a Spring/Summer line, though promise that I have TONS of stuff for an upcoming early Fall Line :) 

So in honor of my upcoming, and random, move across the country, I dedicate this I Love You, Wednesday to the city of Kansas City!

Oh, and as a side, I have been doing more than packing and doing custom orders... my husband is a pastor and is getting ordained next month (which is the ceremony where people become pastors -- much like a wedding for one, if you will). I have of course taking the task of making the invitations very seriously... can you guess what random element I am using on the invites? One hint: IT SMELLS!

Comment with your guess :) 

May 13, 2010

Orphaned Earrings

Over dinner in Berkeley with one of my bridesmaids a few weeks ago I was caught off guard. "Christyn," my gal Quinn said. "I have a Bead Up project for you." Quinn pulled out an old school jewelry bag and placed on the table 4 earrings. Not 2 pairs of earrings, but 4 separate, orphaned earrings. "So each of these has their own story. Each of them needs a reincarnation!" I was thrilled to take on the challenge, and saw it as a great venue for a new blog entry!

So here is what Quinn gave me:

And here is what came up with:
For this first necklace, Quinn said that the brass heart charm meant a lot to her as she bought it while living in Mexico. She asked that I add a red charm of sorts. I figured, why add one when you can add two?! How I love red coral. 

Next was this super cute little gold squirrel and nut charm duo. I cut the nut part off of the bottom of the squirrel charm and filed it smooth, and came up with a cute little pairing. I didn't need to add anything else - it was already precious as-is!

Then was this rad brass octopus. What should go with an underwater creature? Well, a pearl of course!

Lastly was this precious little gold bird. This was actually from a pair of super cute earrings that Quinn had bought in Kansas... the little bird hung in between a gold ring as if it was in a cage or something. I have actually been playing with some of my own materials since I first saw these earrings to make something similar. Anyway, here is it's recreation!

Oh, and Quinn also gave me what was left of a plastic, yet totally realistic looking, amber necklace she bought abroad. Done and done!

So, do you have any orphaned earrings that need a second chance? Let me know and I would love to reincarnate them for you! Holla!

May 3, 2010

Made-to-Order Monday

I promise I still exist. I hate that I have only had time to blog once a week. The Hubs and I have been traveling... and traveling... and traveling! But I have had some time to fill some custom orders!

The first is a continuation of my last post of custom graduation gifts for my sorority big, Katie :) In addition to making a coordinating necklace and bracelet set which I blogged about last week, Katie also asked me to make a necklace and bracelet for another cousin of hers who is also graduating soon. Katie instructed that her other cousin has strawberry blonde hair and enjoys wearing earth tones with gold and does like chunky, though not necessarily funky (though not necessarily chunky - opposite of the other necklace set!). I told Katie that I had just purchased some new gemstones in Arizona that I thought would do the trick - some of which were definitely chunky - as they were the shape and near size of a Milano cookie! Here was my layout:

Which, after some wire wrapping, lead to this:

Along with a bracelet to coordinate (NOT match!):

Katie was thrilled: "Oh, Christyn!!  I LOVE THEM!!!  Wow, they turned out nothing like I envisioned, and everything like I wanted, LOL!" Katie is happy = I am happy :)

Next I was asked by a high school classmate to make another necklace as a gift. Lindsay said: "After scouring Etsy for some sort of Confirmation necklace I thought you might be able to help me! My niece is getting confirmed soon and I am her Confirmation sponsor. I want to get her some sort of necklace and was thinking about engraving, but not sure if she would wear that all the time. I was hoping for some sort of silver cross/charm with maybe like a pearl and an initial T charm for "Taylor" -- possibly a dove if it's not too cluttered? I am thinking the simpler the better... because I would like for her to wear it often, but still have some meaning."

Lindsay and I exchanged several e-mails and I ideas before we decided to order a "T" charm from Artbeads and experiment with the necklace. I first added a cross, dove, pearl, and the T-shaped charm and on sterling silver chain and came up with this:

Lindsay and I both agreed that it was a little too much (how I love the word EDIT!) and we narrowed it down to this:

She said Taylor loved it, and was nice enough to send a picture of Taylor wearing her new necklace:

So, that's the latest! I will (hopefully) be back soon with more items from my Summer Line and maybe even more custom orders! Craft on!