Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Fashion of Unexpected Findings - Part 1

Hi and welcome to the book blog tour for Unexpected Findings: 50+ Clever Jewelry Designs Featuring Everyday Components
iconby Michelle Mach. Yesterday, Michelle kicked off the blog tour with her post here. Today, the tour stops with me and my jewelry gal pal, Lorelei Eurto. I'm incredibly grateful to Michelle for inviting me to contribute projects to her first baby...I mean, book! :) I'm extremely passionate about jewelry books, myself. I own many in my personal library. I have a prized collection of author signed books that are particularly special to me and I have even written a few of my own jewelry-making books. I consider it the highest honor to be a part of a book in any way, shape or form.

Michelle's book focuses on non-traditional uses for regular, everyday jewelry findings. I thought this idea was so creative, playful and exciting when I first heard about it, but at the same time, I felt completely challenged by the whole concept! I was nervous and a little bit scared. It's not everyday that I'm using conventional jewelry components outside of their intended purpose. The idea is pretty revolutionary. It is such a different way of thinking and approaching jewelry design. Everything I had ever known about components had to be turned on it's head, sometimes literally.

The pressure was on. Was I creative enough to come up with compelling projects for this book? Would I be able to use the findings in a unique way and still deliver a piece of jewelry that was beautiful, stylish and wearable all within the coming deadline??? Yikes! Sounds like a tall order to me, but I was more than determined to be a part of Michelle's vision for her book any way that I could. There was no doubt about that. I was up for the challenge. I racked my brain for ideas. I dedicated much of my time and energy. I'll be honest, I worked my tushie off on the projects for this book and I could not be prouder of the results!

My Jewelry Projects:

It's a little tough to talk about Michelle's book without mentioning the clever use of jewelry findings and the innovative ideas. That is what the book is about, of course, but I want to focus on a different angel. I'm going to be highlighting the fashionable aspects of the finished jewelry projects as a whole. I'm lucky enough to have 5 designs published in Michelle's book. I'm sharing 4 out of those 5 with you here. The fifth one I'll leave as a surprise! I created stylish pieces that I absolutely love and would wear myself everyday. My jewelry is always fashion-driven. That's what I'm passionate about. That's what's exciting to me and that's what motivates me to create.

Making a jewelry piece that merely uses a finding in a clever way would never do. It has to be fashion-forward with wear-ability and quality in mind. So, with that fashion focus, I thought it would be a fun idea to present my designs from the book along with clothes and accessories to show you how I would style them and reinforce the look and inspiration I had in mind when I created each piece of jewelry. Each of the four looks represents a particular fashion season and/or a fashion style that I love to express and wear.

Vintage-Inspired Spring:
Inspired by a favorite vintage gift shop, I created "Sadie's Secret". A romantic and feminine necklace you can't help but feel pretty in. Plus, it holds a quick-change secret! Tear drop pearls, vintage rose waxed linen cord, seed beads and antiqued brass come together to create this elegant look. The outfit I pulled together to pair with the necklace evokes a soft feeling of the past with fresh, modern style. Light pink colored jeans and lace blouse from Anthropologie.com.

Playful Summer:
Inspired by the free-spirited and playful nature of Summertime, I created "Fiesta". A fun and colorful wrap necklace or bracelet. A versatile piece. It can be worn long, doubled up or wrapped around the wrist several times. Bright, beaded silk tassel dangles dance around a strap of leather lace. This relaxed, Summer outfit makes me feel good. It makes me smile and all I can think of is sunshine and fun! Tote bag and Maxi dress from LuckyBrand.com.

Bohemian Autumn:
Inspired by an October trip to Vermont, I created, "Leaves of Gold". An eclectic, bohemian statement necklace. This piece reminds me of giant green mountains dotted with gold and orange trees against a bright blue sky. With wooden beads, multiple strands of seed beads, sodalite and gold leaf dangles knotted on orange waxed linen cord, it's the perfect Fall statement. This outfit makes me long for leaf peeping and pumpkin lattes. Skirted sweater and suede booties from Anthropologie.com.

 Any Season, Southwest Style:
Inspired by the growing leather jewelry trend and my love for classic Southwest looks, I created, "Westward Bound". A pair of leather fringe statement earrings. Coral red, turquoise and leather lace bring together the timeless elements of the Southwest. This outfit satisfies my urge to channel my inner cowgirl. Riding boots and print top from Sundance.com.

I hope you have enjoyed this peek into Michelle's book. Please join me again later for PART 2 of this post where I hope to feature more fashion-forward jewelry designs by some of the other talented book contributors. So many fabulous projects in Unexpected Findings by my fellow designers. I have quite a few favorites. I can't wait to highlight them here on my blog and tell you why I love them and what makes them hot jewelry designs for today's fashion trends. Stay tuned for that!

Thank you for stopping by today as we celebrate the launch of Michelle Mach's book, Unexpected Findings: 50+ Clever Jewelry Designs Featuring Everyday Components
What would a party or celebration be without gifts? Leave a comment here on this post for a chance to win some fabulous giveaway prizes from the book's author, Michelle Mach!

Unexpected Findings Giveaway Prizes:
Grand Prize: $50 Etsy Gift Card to be used at any Etsy shop where gift cards are excepted!

First Prize: Fun with Findings Kit. Everything pictured above, plus more!
Second Prize: An "Unexpected" Mystery Pack of Findings from Michelle. (No photo. It's a surprise!)

The giveaway is open to all visitors except the book's contributors and author. Contributors and author are welcome (and encouraged!) to comment, but won't be entered in the drawing.

One comment per person per blog post for a maximum of eight chances to win if you visit and comment on all eight book-related posts during the September 15-19, 2014 period.

We'd love for you to help us spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. No extra entries, but lots of good karma!

Michelle will contact the winners by email this weekend (Sept. 20-21) and post the winners to her blog next week (Sept. 23). Remember to leave an email address in your comment for her to contact you, if you win.

Blog Tour Schedule - September 15-19, 2014

Monday, Sept. 15
Michelle Mach

Tuesday, Sept. 16
Lorelei Eurto
Erin Siegel - YOU ARE HERE.

Wednesday, Sept. 17
Cindy Wimmer
Erin Prais-Hintz

Thursday, Sept. 18
Andrew Thornton

Friday, Sept. 19
Denise Yezbak Moore
Molly Schaller

Thanks for checking out Unexpected Findings: 50+ Clever Jewelry Designs Featuring Everyday Components
iconHave fun hopping this week! Be sure to check in to Michelle's Blog next week to see who won the random drawing!

Disclosure: If you make a purchase of the book via the links I have provided in this post, I will receive a small amount of Interweave affiliate credit. Thank you!! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Leaves of Gold Necklace in Unexpected Findings

Hello, September! What a Summer it has been. I completely skipped the month of August around here on the blog. It was a busy month keeping the Summer fun going for my little Nora girl. She's back to school now and it's time to think about all things Fall. Autumn is my favorite season next to Summer. It will be here before I know it and it's just as busy as Summer, if not more. In October, we have our wedding anniversary, my birthday and my daughter's birthday all in the same month.

And speaking of fun things to look forward to this Fall, another is a new jewelry-making book I'm really excited about! Unexpected Findings: 50+ Clever Jewelry Designs Featuring Everyday Componentsiconby Michelle Mach. I'm proud to be a contributing designer to Michelle's first book. I have 5 jewelry projects among the pages and I could not be happier.

Today, I wanted to showcase one design in particular. My autumn-inspired, bohemian chic statement necklace called "Leaves of Gold". A trip to Vermont last October was the inspiration for this piece. It was so beautiful there. We had lunch in Brattleboro, VT. The downtown was picturesque. I remember giant green mountains dotted with GOLD, red and orange trees against a bright blue sky. The main street was filled with all these cute little artisan galleries and shops with an eclectic mix of art and handcrafted wares from furniture to jewelry. I could imagine a hip, stylish girl walking down that street wearing boots and a sweater, sporting this necklace!   

The colors and materials of this piece make me think of spending time outdoors in the Fall. That is something I absolutely love to do! A walk in the woods, a hike in a beautiful forest or a getaway to the countryside to take in some leaf peeping. I have a feeling I will be wearing this a lot come Fall or even right now! You can make one, too or a version like it with my step-by-step instructions in Unexpected Findings: 50+ Clever Jewelry Designs Featuring Everyday ComponentsiconJust by looking at this necklace, you might be wondering what the "unexpected" finding is? It's not exactly obvious. At least, I don't think so. Can you tell what it is? Well, if not, you'll have to wait til my next post about this book or better yet, get the book now and find out for yourself. 

Disclosure: If you make a purchase of the book via the links I have provided in this post, I will receive a small amount of Interweave affiliate credit. Thank you!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Scalloped Hoop Earrings DIY TUTORIAL

The scalloped edge has been popping up everywhere in clothing and accessories. I love the feminine, flirty and sweet feeling that this detail adds to anything. It's easy to incorporate the trend with a pair of easy beaded hoops!

54 size 8 seed beads
1 pair of silver-plated 25mm beading hoops
36" of gold-plated 24 gauge wire

Chain nose pliers
Wire cutters

1: Use 18" of 24 gauge wire to tightly wrap 1 hoop three times, beginning at the hole side.

2: Bring the wire to the top of the hoop and string 3 seed beads. Hold the beads at the top of the hoop and wrap the wire three times around the hoop as shown. Repeat 8 times.

3: Using chain nose pliers, make a 90 degree bend in the hoop about 1/8" from the end.

4: Repeat steps 1-3 to make the second earring.

Enjoy your new, pretty earrings!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Confetti Hoop Earrings DIY TUTORIAL

Make a statement with these playful earrings! You’ll be ready for the beach, a Summer BBQ or an outdoor concert in these fun, colorful hoops.
Confetti Hoop Earrings
Erin Siegel

36 magatama 4 opaque mix seed beads
2 gold plated 2” hoop earrings
72” of gold plated 24 gauge wire

Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers

1: Use 36” of wire to tightly wrap 1 hoop for 1”, beginning at the hole side as shown.

2: Grasp the hoop with round nose pliers and bend the wire over the pliers, creating a loop as shown.

3: Use the wire to string one bead and wrap the wire three times around the hoop as shown. Repeat 17 more times. Wrap the wire around the hoop for 1” as in step 1 and trim.

4: Use chain nose pliers to make a 90 degree bend in the hoop about 1/8” from the end as shown.

5: Repeat steps 1-4 to make the second earring.

 Enjoy your new earrings! The technique to make these is quite versatile. You can easily change up the look and feel of your earrings by switching out the beads used and the size of the hoop or earring findings. Make a bunch of these and have some fun this Summer!

Happy Creating,

Friday, July 11, 2014

Nautical Notions

I've always loved the ocean, the beach, seafaring towns, life and culture. I'm lucky enough to live near the ocean on the New England coastline.  So, naturally, I just adore nautical themes for jewelry, fashion and home decor. When Spring and Summer roll around, these themes are always in style and all year round as far as I'm concerned!


It's easy to add a little maritime touch to your Summer look. Try one of my DIY jewelry projects. These are fun, easy to make and stylish for the season. Click the pic or the link to go to the tutorials.



Looking for more nautical inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board below!

Happy Creating,

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Micro-Macrame Bracelet Class

Micro-Macrame Flower Bracelet Class - $45

Date: Sunday, July 13th 2014
Time: 1:00pm -4:00pm
Place: RiverWalk Gallery and Healing Arts 32 Elm Street in Amesbury, Ma.
Level: All
Kit Fee: $15 (includes all materials needed)

Class Description:
Learn classic macrame techniques to make this adorable flower motif bracelet perfect for everyday wear. Knotting techniques covered in class will include: Lark's head knot, square knot, overhand knot and slip knot. Using Irish waxed linen cord, you will learn how to tie colorful gemstone rounds and accent beads into a pretty flower pattern. You will also learn how to connect your cord to a metal clasp using a slip knot. Finish your bracelet off with an adjustable chain extender, wire-wrapped bead dangles and a sweet flower charm. Project kits will be available with an assortment of gemstones and cord color prepackaged for a fee of $15. Macrame boards will be available for sale as well.

Tool List: There are tools available for you to use at the shop, but if you have them, please bring:
macrame board and T-pin or office clipboard
round nose pliers
pair of chain nose pliers
wire cutters

Hope to see you there this Sunday! 
To learn more about the River Walk Gallery, you can read my post about it here or visit their website or visit them on Facebook.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Neon Pop Tassel Necklace DIY TUTORIAL

Get ready for Summer in the City! Pair this long swingy necklace with a white or grey T-shirt and jeans or cut-offs for an easy, urban downtown boho vibe.


Chain nose pliers
Knotting tweezers

1: Remove all the cord from the card and stretch. Tie a double overhand knot at the end of the cord opposite the needle as shown. String 1 knot cup and close. String 1 neon pearl and tie an overhand knot using the tweezers as shown. Trim cord to ½” from the knot and fray the ends as shown. Repeat 11 more times for a total of 12 tassel dangles.

2: Insert one end of the leather lace into one fold over end and close with chain nose pliers as shown. Repeat for the other end. Set aside.
3: Separate the chain into (1) 5” piece, (1) 5 ½” piece, (1) 6” piece, (1) 6 ½” piece, (1) 7” piece, (1) 7 ½” piece and (1) 8” piece.

4: Using the 5” length of chain, count 12 links from one side and attach 1 oval jump ring to the 12th link. Attach 1 oval jump ring 1” from the previous jump ring. Repeat once more. Set aside. Using the 6 ½” length of chain, attach 1 oval jump ring 1” from the end. Attach 1 oval jump ring 1 ½” from the previous jump ring. Repeat twice. Set aside. Using the 8” length of chain, attach 1 oval jump ring to the second link from the end. Attach 1 oval jump ring 2” from the previous jump ring. Repeat 3 times.

5: Use one 7mm round jump ring to string one end of all the chains from longest to shortest. Close jump ring. Repeat using the other end of the chains as shown.

6: Use 1 oval jump ring to attach one 7mm round jump ring to the loop of 1 fold over end as shown. Repeat for the other side of the necklace.

7: Attach the tassel dangles to the oval jump rings on the chains as shown.

 Enjoy wearing your new Summer necklace. Happy 4th of July weekend, everyone! 

Happy creating,