Posts filed under ‘Handmade Jewelry’

Good at naming things?

Naming things is an underestimated skill. Naming products is a part of the brand, part of the story, which is also on the market. While I want to give as much information in the title as possible, “Cat’s eye brick stitch pear shapes with Swarovski Crystal Necklace” is a mouthful. A shorter title like, “Crystal Cat’s Eye Necklace,” could describe any number of other items. Both options are boring.

My bartender pals make it look so easy when they name cocktails. I feel like I had the hardest time naming my new favorite necklace. I had to crowd source. Kind of a fun social experiment to see how many did, didn’t, and in-between (meaning suggesting word association might help) make suggestions. Here’s what I got from the exercise:

Poire (French for pear)
Winter is Coming
Golden Leaves
Cersei’s Jewels
Endless Sunset
Galactic Disco (Haha! Thanks, Mrs. Partner)

Why did I settle on Alice? I made the majority of this necklace while watching Once Upon a Time, and while Alice in Wonderland does not figure prominently, there is activity in Wonderland with the Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts. Really, the use of cat’s eye cabochon made me zero in on the Cheshire Cat and Dinah. Alice likes cats, and so do I. So… yep.

So, are you good at naming things? What’s your process?

April 30, 2017 at 3:36 pm Leave a comment

The month of purple

Amethyst is the birthstone of February. I failed in my new years goals to make anything amethyst or purple, but I did donate platelets and get a purple pressure bandage. (Public Service Message: go donate blood! Make your appointment today at your local blood bank. Give blood three times a year!)

I took a break from a Mucha-style headdress to do some sewing. It’s been tough getting out from behind my sewing machine; I have been in the zone! Since January, I have made three vests, three reversible bow ties, two reversible berets, one reversible suspenders, altered one brazier (you know, a bra), and made my own appliqué (post coming shortly) while watching Star Wars Clone Wars on Netflix (in the correct order). I have plans next to alter two dresses, a pair of silk boxers, and make my first neck tie, but I thought I would give the machine a break.

Other exciting things have kept me from making new purple jewelry, such as Cider Con 2017 in Chicago, kicking the cold I developed after Cider Con, a baby shower, a singing gig with In the Groove, an Oscar’s viewing party (I don’t really care much about the Oscars, but it is a dress-up party), and an unpredictable work schedule to offset the time I missed. I did make a nail-enamel-flower comb/headdress that turned out awesome of the Oscar party… I’ll put it on the store soon.

Meanwhile, I do already have purply items on my Etsy and in my store. I should start on March with aquamarine before doing anything else.

February 28, 2017 at 12:34 am Leave a comment

Holiday Goal Achieved

 

Yup, I did it. Thirty products have been added to Etsy and MaggieMakesIt.com since Black Friday. Clearly, it’s good to have goals. It might even be good time to set goals for next year. A series of manageable goals may keep the creative energy flowing.

  1. One new item a week (that’s 4-5 a month, so we’ll round it to 50 products a year–there might be a few weeks when I travel). I think that seems like a reasonable number, which means I won’t feel the need to add so many products during the holidays as I did this year. I give myself permission to get ahead some weeks, and double up weeks should I fall behind. Why not start now before the end of the year? That means a bonus product before the gifting season is over!
  2. A birthstone item every month.
  3. One sewing project every month. I still have a bunch of vests to make.

Well, I think that’s probably enough. I still have to make time for my job and Two Broads, after all.

Now for this week’s new items: I have been working on an ambitious project most of the week, so as Saturday rolled around I panicked because I didn’t have anything new yet. I managed to revamp a few older items just in time. The following is a series of before and after shots.

This is where I ran out of large leaves to add to the clusters. I had to switch to tiny, tiny leaves on the pink and white necklace that follows.

I think those tiny, tiny leaves would be adorable on earrings like the ones below, too. Maybe for next time. Stay tuned.

 

 

December 13, 2016 at 5:40 am Leave a comment

Headstart on January and Prohibition Celebration

Garnet. The great thing about garnet is: 1, it’s red– I just love red; 2, red is a great color for this holiday season; and 3, it is January’s birthstone and January is right around the corner. Remember, I said I wanted to do more with birthstones in the future?

The creative bug bit me this weekend and I’ve been working with garnet I bought at the beginning of MaggieMakesIt. I pulled apart a few items that were too simple to be interesting, and the result has been a more Modern Art flavor.  The necklace below looks freeform without actually being freeform. It’s very ordered, in fact: 22 identical pieces are joined in a chain with a modified, longer 23rd piece joining the chains in the middle front. I think it’s my new favorite piece. I have also made several earring options to wear with it, or on their own. Stay tuned for more garnet items, as I still have some carved leaves and briolettes to add to this garnet collection.

Today is the anniversary to the end of Prohibition, so it’s time to dress up like it’s 1933 and let the bubbly flow. (Please drink responsibly, everybody.) The time period of Prohibition coincides with the Art Deco movement of the 1920s and 1930s, and this is one of my favorite time periods. The Fremont Theater, while it was opened in 1942, still rocks the Art Deco style Architect S. Charles Lee did so well. I modified the motif on the marquee into a headband below. While I’m really pleased with the way the piece turned out, I was disappointed with the way it looked pointing backwards, like a 1950s kerchief on a cleaning housewife. Even moving it down to the side didn’t look quite right. Last week, I had this epiphany to point forward instead, and now it totally works for me. I also want to add a few loops to the back so it can also be worn as a necklace.

You may have noticed I let a few things expire on Etsy, but everything is still available at MaggieMakesIt.com. As you can see, I am continuing to deliver on my promise to add new products before the holidays. Stay tuned for five new items next week, and if time allows, I may be able to add a bonus five more products the week of Christmas. We have 19 days to go for Xmas and Chanukah; keep that in mind while you are thinking about your orders.

Cheers!

December 6, 2016 at 12:11 am Leave a comment

Fulfilling those goals and holiday jams

I added five more products to Maggiemakesit.com and Etsy this morning. That’s 20 of the 30 promised by the week of Christmas. Of course, don’t forget with the volume of packages being sent over the holidays, you’ll have to be early to make sure your gift or holiday party accessory will arrive on time. Priority mail is fast, but still subject to holiday delays.

In other news, I’m making holiday gifts. I broadcast jams and fruit butters to my family and friends. It’s an item made with love and you can do so much with it; toast/waffles/biscuits, ice cream, meat glaze, brie-accompaniment, oatmeal-flavoring… Today, Apple Cider Butter with Orange, and next week I’ll make apricot and peach. I have loads in the freezer from this summer.

November 30, 2016 at 6:37 pm Leave a comment

Applying to be a featured Brand

As promised, five more products for Cyber Monday on MaggieMakesIt.com and Etsy. Fifteen more to go until Christmas. Between now and then, there is the End of Prohibition Party to prepare for. I’ve got some new hair adornments in development.

In other news, I’m applying to get on StorEnvy’s featured brands list. It feels a bit like the college essays, but with less existential crisis so I’m able to have fun with it. I’m turning it into a mock interview. They’ve also asked for some pictures of my brand (workspace, projects– you know, stuff that’s part of my “story”). Might change the pictures around, and find some more professional ones. Please enjoy my mock interview!

Maker Spotlight by Cat Edward of SLO Business Times

I got to sit down with one-woman-show Maggie Przybylski of MaggieMakesIt.com on a moody day in November to get to know her and her creative drive. We sat down in a coffee shop while the sky alternated between showers and sun. She has two vintage rings that belonged to her great grandmother on her left ring finger, a watch with rectangular face and kitty background on her left wrist, a hand beaded necklace and matching earrings and a simple string with Maori bone carving.

Me: How did you get involved making jewelry?

Maggie: I got a few kits before my teens, and I used to make macrame friendship bracelets in grade school. Really, seriously I got into jewelry while in college. I got a job as a gift shop clerk at the Mission in downtown San Luis Obispo. In addition to the normal retail, I was asked to dust/sweep/clean fingerprints off glass in the museum, respond to 4th grade mission project mail, and make rosaries. I’m not even Catholic, but I got really good at rosaries and what patron saint metal you should buy to sell your house or find your car keys.

Me: How long have you been making jewelry? When did you have the job at the Mission?

Maggie: Well, I wouldn’t count the mission days. I’d count when my then partner, now wife, wanted to build a website. She saw I was skilled making the rosary beads and encouraged me to take it further. That was 2005, after I graduated college. I’ve been developing my style ever since, collecting new techniques and practicing them. I made all the products, took and edited all the pictures while Mrs. MaggieMakesIt kept the website code up to date until the software developers abandoned that store platform. That is how she found StorEnvy and here I am.

Me: What was your first tool?

Maggie: Of course, rosary pliers. They have the needle nose and also a cutting tool. I love the two-in-one tool. I take them with me everywhere in case I, or anyone, has a jump ring stretch and their jewelry fall off. Then I can give it a fix right away.

Me: That is so handy. I fell like I should buy some pliers now. What other tools do you have?

Maggie: I have a metal punch, a mallet, a ball peen hammer, a tiny anvil, and a metal square to bang on. Uh, five sets of different types of pliers. Needles, soldering torch, rulers, glues, shears, clamps… Um… I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things.

Me: That is quite a list. Tell me what inspires you.

Maggie: Oh, how much time do we have?

Me: Uh…

Maggie: Well, I’ll try give you the summary. I love museums. Those pioneers of art continue to inspire shapes and colors. I especially love the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements, because one of my favorite childhood memories is of going to see the Oakland Ballet with my mum and dad at the Paramount Theater. The Egyptian motifs there got me obsessed with antiquity, and ancient Egyptian art in particular. [She reflexively pulls on her earrings, a scarab with hand beaded bird wings).

I have crafty friends that show me what their working on, too, and I like to riff off some of their ideas. For example, I have a friend that sews all his own bow ties and makes them reversible, more versatile, and now I absolutely want to bead a few bow ties. I should put bolo ties on my list as well.

Oh, and vintage! I love fashion especially from the 1910s to 1950s, so I make things that fit those time periods, as well. It’s also fun to see how later those motifs get incorporated back into current fashion.

Me: Do you have a favorite technique?

Maggie: I am in love with all the stitches you can do with seed beads. I have seen and aspire to make the most elaborate and beautiful things, like Jamie Cloud Eakin and Melanie Potter. Of course, those are things you can pretty much just wear a black dress with, and that’s all you need– your whole wardrobe could be one black dress–okay, two black dresses, so you have something to wear when the other is in the wash.

Me: Haha! Very practical.

Maggie: Yes. But I also sew dresses, and design costumes ( I love Halloween), so there is also a place for more reserved items, really simple one string beaded type things. I’ve tried Kumihimo, and can’t wait to get back to it. Wire wrapping is great for making filigree. I must have spent an entire week making nail enamel flowers. Soutache braid is next on my list to try.

Me: What is the biggest project you’ve ever done?

Maggie: Hmm. The biggest or one that took the longest?

Me: Why don’t you tell me both?

Maggie: Okay. I’d say my two biggest sewing projects were the canvas cover to complete our geodesic dome/Burning Man house, and my late-Victorian-era dress, complete with bustle. For jewelry, I have three biggies. I made a very elaborate mask for Mardi Gras one year. A beautiful appliqué or headband thing inspired by the motif of the Fremont Theater marquee. I also did an Egyptian style bead net dress like one I saw in a museum, I think LACMA, the King Tut exhibit when it passed through. I think that one took me the longest.

Me: Well, Maggie, I want to thank you for taking the time to chat with me today. I look forward to seeing your new creations.

Maggie: Thank you so much for this opportunity. It’s been my pleasure.

Disclaimer: Cat Edwards is a nom de plume, and SLO Business Times is a fictional publication.

November 28, 2016 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

New Collection on my StorEnvy

Great news, everyone! I have added a new collection to my StorEnvy marketplace highlighting fascinators, hair clips that feature jewels, flowers, netting, and feathers, usually with a vintage styling.

Also, with Mrs. Partner’s help, we took down the old website so now my StorEnvy Storefront will dominate the webs.

AND I added those five new products I promised, so check them out. M’k, well , I confess some of them are from the old site that hadn’t made the transition yet. But hey, they are new to Etsy and StorEnvy. And they are quite delightful, so please enjoy.

November 27, 2016 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment

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