A lot has happened since my last post in April, 2015. I developed some serious chronic pain issues that have hopefully, finally been resolved by a recent surgery.
I am now trying to get back into the swing of things, but have been brainstorming on what those “things” should look like. A few years ago, I set up various blogs and online shops with the intention of trying to “piece myself out” for better presentation: For example my jewelry blog here, is somewhat disconnected from my photography blog, which is somewhat disconnected from my writing blog. I have been wondering if it isn’t time to “piece myself together” instead.
In the meantime, I have also been giving a lot of thought as to where I want my jewelry designs to go. Right now, I am contemplating branching out into metal stamping on upcycled scraps of metal including old spoons, tins, washers, pennies, etc. The writer in me is excited about the prospect of spreading my favorite quotes around via stamping.
Other areas of possibility include working with leather, more advanced wire wrapping, more extensive crystal pieces, and making embellishments. One thing I have decided to introduce is my photography. There are a LOT more pretty photos coming down the line!
I wrapped up last year with a new line of super-sparkly Swarovski crystal necklaces, new caged mini-dice gamer earrings, and expanded options for my full-sized dice pendants. Finally, I experimented with resin and put together my first wreath (woot!), and made some unique wooden decor items including trays, chalkboards, and clothespin clips.
I am really looking forward to 2016!
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by Loura Lawrence
Four years ago I was stuck in bed for several months. To give my hands and mind something to do during that time, I revisited my childhood passion of beading by making little window charms out of a broken mobile I loved.
Those little sun catchers really cheered me up! I enjoyed seeing them glow and sparkle, sometimes casting little rays of light everywhere. Ever since then I have made little mobiles and suncatcher/window charms from time to time.
I had always wanted to bring these to people stuck in bed to help cheer them up, and a lady I recently talked to online encouraged me to do just that, but in the form of craft kits.
Many years ago, this woman’s daughter had struggled with a long medical condition, and one of the things that helped pass the time was making crafts and decorating the hospital room. Soon after our conversation I
had another one with my local children’s hospital.
“We would love to have those for our patients!” said the cheerful Child Life Department representative. And that is how “Happy Kits 4 Kids” was born. These little craft kits are donated to hospitals, and the Child Life rep I spoke with said they would take as many as we could give! That is exciting news, but I’m gonna need some help.
3 Ways to Help!
1. Monetary Donations
These mobiles are pretty simple, but for this on-going project we’re gonna need a lot of supplies! Your contributions will go toward the purchase of supplies, helping to get the word out, and gas/shipping charges to get these little kits to young patients. You can make a donation via PayPal here.
2. Supplies Donations
We are looking for the following items to make our Happy Kits: Colorful wire, 22-18 gauge; pony beads, plastic beads, metal beads, wood beads, flat buttons, ziplock bags for packing, paper for printing instructions.
If you have any other suggestions or questions about these or other possible supplies, please contact us using the form below.
To make this a success, we can’t do it on our own! Would you like to join our team of awesome volunteers to help package and maybe even deliver these craft kits? Please send me an email, or fill out the form below.
We don’t have a website right now, but you can follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/HappyKits4Kids/
*All photos in this post were taken by me, and feature items that have sold, or are available for sale.
You will find a fair amount of gemstone jewelry in my shop. I love the textures, the patterns, the colors, even the weight of the stones. No two are exactly alike; they are all “handmade” by the earth. People are able to tumble and polish them, and perhaps even carve them into fun shapes, but they remain what they are: Beautiful gifts of Nature.
There is such a wide variety of precious and semi-precious gemstones, it would take a very long time to get to know them all. I have worked with different kinds of Jasper, purple Fluorite, Quartz, Turquoise and others, but my two favorite kinds of semi-precious gemstones to wear and play with are Tiger’s Eye and Hematite*.
Semi-precious gemstones can be bought online or in small, specialty shops. Just Googling “buy tumbled stones”, brings up any number of websites to purchase from, the most popular being Ebay and Amazon for bulk orders. On the other hand, science centers such as natural history museums, often have both polished and unpolished collections for sale in their gift stores.
Semi-precious gemstones can be bought rough/raw, tumbled, or polished and carved or shaped into rounds, rondelles, and other common bead shapes, drilled, and undrilled. As you can see from the photos in this post, semi-precious gemstones are great to use in jewelry, because of their natural beauty and sheen. I have used them in earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and wall art. I have strung them, glued them, wire-wrapped them, and simply collected them.
Gemstones easily lend themselves to many fashion styles including Boho, Hippie, Native American, spiritual, and more. So next time you have a craft project or are in the market for a wearable item, consider semi-precious gemstones as a colorful, economical, and stylish choice.
My Spotlight Series highlights some of my favorite materials and techniques. Stay tuned!
What better way to tell a story than with buttons? Buttons have a very long history which you can read more about here and here, and I love their colors, details, and the stories they must know. I have an older-lady friend who got me started using buttons in my jewelry, since I don’t sew (Sorry mom, I know you tried!). She gifted me with a large tin full of vintage buttons she didn’t want anymore, and what a treasure that turned out to be!
There were buttons made of wood, shell, even stone. There were military buttons from around the world, furniture buttons, and the more typical shirt buttons. There were colors, sizes, and patterns of all kinds.
I had a field day coming up with ways to use them. I’ve made large and small button mobiles, I’ve made button stretch bracelets, button earrings, button modesty pins, button key chains, and button necklaces, but my favorite way to use buttons are in button charm bracelets.
Just as I was running low and about to scour Ebay for more vintage buttons, my friend gifted me with a second, smaller tin to replenish my stock. I can’t wait for these new buttons to tell me what they want to become next! You can see my current selection of button jewelry here.
Do you upcycle buttons? Do you prefer vintage, antique, or modern ones? Tell me your button story below!