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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Agate Coral Necklace Featured in an Etsy Treasury

My Agate Coral Necklace which I wire wrapped and fabricated with Chryscolla ( a beautiful blue/green mixture of gemstone) has just been featured in a beautiful gift guide treasury on Etsy.


So exciting to know the work and love and care you put into making a piece is liked.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tales Of De Stash

Y'all KNOW I have an enormous stash of beads that I adore but have yet to find exactly the right design  to use( better known as DE Stash). O.K. so it's the Holiday season and I've really gotten in the mood to create with Green and Red and Gold, Blue and White. So there is this bead that has been with me for 6 years( no joke!) and every time I have tried to make something with it.....hasn't worked out. Until this morning.....it came to me that I wanted so much to showcase the bead since it is a faceted, deep emerald green glass almost a trapezoidal shape and they way to do that was to use the bare minimum of design and embellishment. So, I got out the solid copper wire, copper delicate chain and copper lobster claw findings and set to work. Finally! 

As you can see, I have done a fairly simple, decorative wire wrap, attached it to the delicate copper chain and it's complete. Ready to be worn to any holiday gathering or to work or shopping.
 Hope you like it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Is Good Photography A Challenging Task?

One of the first things I learned when confronted with having to photograph my jewelry creations for my Etsy shop was that it wasn't going to be easy for a photo challenged person such as me. I'll be honest, most of my personal photos up to then were awful. I cut off everyone's head whether I liked them or not, everything was fuzzy and to far away to really see. Sigh!

I had to learn to do this! I went out and bought a Canon power Shot camera. One touted to be a miracle worker...it would correct shake, it would correct lighting, etc all automatically. O.K. I figured that I could probably learn to use. So I began and oh boy, the photos were still bad. Not as awful as before but hey baby not exactly good. Edges of necklaces were getting cut off when I put up the pictures on my shop on Etsy. Would I ever learn??

Then I started to really look at the pictures that made it to front page in treasuries and I started to put together treasuries too. LIGHTBULB!!  I realized that the pictures of items  that appealed to me were pictures that didn't necessarily show the entire item but enough of it to fill the frame and be sharp and obvious, then I'd be interested in seeing the actual listing for the item.

So, A few things I have found and that have helped me to take better photos.:
      1. Macro is number 1. Make sure that you really are taking a close up of the item so that as much detail as possible shows.
      2. Plain Background. Yup, don't use a confusing or conflicting background. White is best or a color that allows the details of the item to show. Don't use a print behind a print! 
      3. If Using A Model. Remember the ITEM is the focus of the picture not the person wearing it!  This is one area where it is permissible to "cut off their heads" or at least part of it.
     4. FOCUS. Yeah, well I still have difficulties in this area. Fuzzy pictures don't entice customers.
I'm finding that Jewelry is perhaps one of the most difficult subjects to photograph and I keep learning more techniques and redoing/updating photos. My shop still is not as photogenic as I would like it to be. And some colors could drive me totally over the edge. Amethyst is one of my favorite gems to work with and one that I have such a hard time getting to photo in it's realistic color. Purple always comes out too dark when I do it, no matter how I play with the lighting when taking the picture...sigh.


Anyway I could continue on  and on but this post is long enough!
However, let me say this...... if you have any advice for those of us who are photo challenged and MUST take pictures of their products, please please do let me know. 


Oh and since today is Thanksgiving ( better known as turkey day)....Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Love of Lampwork Glass Beads

I have a love of lampwork glass beads. It is astounding to me the detail and beauty and variety that artists come up with in making them. I have quite a few in my "stash" mainly because I am always looking to create the perfect jewelry to accent the beauty of the beads! Needless to say, my stash grows larger every day. But.......in sorting through the lampwork beads today I came across two beauties that are heart shaped, navy blue and clear glass and wow it hit me! Earrings would be gorgeous! So I set to work with silver findings and navy blue glass beads and this is the result......
I love them! What do you think??
I listed them in my Etsy shop for under $20.00 and No shipping charges!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Carnelian Christmas Angel Bracelet

Carnelian Christmas Angel Bracelet
DesigningParrotJewel on Etsy


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yellow Turquoise Necklace Featured In Etsy Treasury

The Yellow Turquoise necklace created and listed last week, has been featured (first row spot too!) in this beautiful Etsy treasury.

I'm so excited!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Carnelian,Coral and Copper The Fabulous 3 C's


The 3 C's to warm  your winter; Carnelian, Coral and Copper in a delightful necklace. Guaranteed to warm any look. 
These are possibly my three favorite materials to create jewelry.  They all project such a warm, cozy feeling and just feel right when the weather starts to turn chilly. This necklace has a crescent moon pendant of Carnelian that I have drilled and attached with copper chain to the body of the necklace. The beads "over the moon" are also Carnelian, faceted rounds and tubes. The body of this is red Coral pieces ,shell and copper etched ovals.See it in my Etsy shop:http://www.etsy.com/listing/80315667/carnelian-and-coral-gemstone-necklace


Friday, November 11, 2011

It's The Key Necklace

Gunmetal Chain Necklace


The Key Necklace is three strands of gunmetal chain in different types and textures with etched and engraved lead free metal disc charms, a center silver plate key pendant and an extension clasp to make the necklace adjustable.

I really like the simplicity and style of this piece and the neutral color  of the gunmetal. This would look great worn with a sweater top, layered top or simple round neckline blouse.

It's now listed on my Etsy shop (link above) and don't forget to look at the bracelet too!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Designing Parrot Jewel Is On Google+

Designing Parrot Jewel is on Google+ business pages now! Exciting news, that two days ago Google announced to all that they were releasing "business pages". These are similar to Facebook Fan Pages plus. 

We'll be sharing new jewelry creations plus new creations from handmade artists of every kind on our page. Come follow us!https://plus.google.com/110140780478531228862

Monday, November 7, 2011

Seed Bead and Silver Earrings

 Seed Bead and Silver Earrings.  Browsing in one of my favorite craft stores, I came across silver plated bezel frames on earring wires. This was interesting and I decided to get some of them.

At home when I sat down to figure out the classic "O.K. now what do I do with these?" , my first thought was to fill them with gemstone chips.  All well and good but these are small as in petite! It looked like I had mountain peaks in an earring frame and just didn't work for me. Small 2mm round beads didn't do it either...sigh. "Now what?" I put them on my work table and left them there.

The next day, I looked at them again and this time thought about seed beads. They are small, round and just maybe...well after trying many colors( I have  loads) I really liked the look of the silver lined clear beads. It looked like the inside of a mineral geode or ice,,,so sparkly. Great, I glued them in, sat back and still felt something was missing. So, again rummaging  through metal beads and gemstone beads until I came across the lovely genuine copper leaves. They are engraved and textured and just gorgeous.Ah Ha!  The earrings were born and are living in my Etsy shop:http://www.etsy.com/listing/85477526/silver-dangle-earrings

 
DesigningParrotJewel


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Yellow Turquoise Necklace Under 25.00

Just finished a Yellow Turquoise Necklace that is on Etsy for under 25.00! Here's a picture of it and a link to it:
This is a copper wirewrapped pendant of yellow turquoise on a copper chain with a copper and silver toggle clasp (18" long).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wall Street To Art Interview With Miriam Schulman

Miriam Schulman
Hi Miriam,
  You had a successful career on Wall Street in finance, what led you from that into becoming an artist?
   "I worked for a very successful hedge fund that imploded famously in 1998 and forced me to rethink my values.  When I was expecting my second child I decided to 'take time off'.  However, a year after he was born and I was contemplating a return to the corporate world the World Trade Center was attacked and I took that as a personal sign not to go back to that world.  I have always been creative and created artwork continuously as a child, through college and beyond so it was a natural transition.  There are many artists who followed this path such as Gauguin, who was first a stock broker.
   Where did you study art?
   I studied Art History at Dartmouth and took studio classes there as part of the major.  I also studied with masters in watercolor such as Charles Reid and Mel Stabin.
   How did you find your Voice (style)?
   My voice is continuing to evolve.  I am not afraid to experiment.  Free hand drawing is the best way to discover your artistic voice.
   What are your sources of inspiration?
   I am very fortunate to have some of the world's greatest art collections only a short train ride away and I take advantage of that often.  I find myself inspired most frequently by nature and its opposite the city.  The human figure and portrait as well as the materials themselves.
   What would you like to have people feel when they see your paintings? your collages?
   I want my art to make people happy.
   Do you follow a defined routine/schedule (i.e. paint only in the morning..etc.)?
   In order for me to have a productive day, I need to exercise as soon as my children are sent off to school.  After a vigorous exercise class, and a shower, I take care of my online marketing efforts.  I usually settle in to my studio around 1p.m. and paint for a few hours.  In the summer, I get to paint longer because the light is better and I have less responsibilities for my family.
   Do you have any advice for people who want to pursue art and have a successful career in it?
   Don't give up.  Tenacity is the key."

Sonatina Forest By Miriam Schulman


  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Green Adventurine Chain Maile Necklace Done!

The Green Adventurine Chain Maile necklace is done! After working with leather, braiding it, wrapping it, etc. I couldn't find any way to use it on the necklace that was appealing. The leather seemed to conflict with the silver chain maile and gemstones. So, no leather but instead I finished the necklace with a simple chain maile strand to match the rest of it.  And I like it! 
This could go with some many different types of clothes. It would make a nice gift for family members,friends or even bosses (female of course) and just in time for the holidays!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Whimsical Designs. Meet Milusha of MilushaDesign

Colorful Bears, Whimsical Designs. Meet Milusha of MilushaDesign


                                                      (2011 Copyright MilushaDesign. All Rights Reserved.   
                                                       Please do not copy or alter my work in any way or make 
                                                      derivative works without asking for permission) 





"Surrounded by artistic people within my family, I've always loved being creative.  I started drawing at a very young age and took part in many art competitions and won lots of awards for art at school. 
 I decided that I wanted to invest my future in the design industry (typography and graphic styles appealed to me). I went to school, graduated and have worked in the industry for over 9 years now.

I've always been influenced by colour and by graphic and interior design.  I love melding my love of home decor into my art.  I love the clean lines, simplicity and whimsy of mid-century modern design but also enjoy that vintage/retro look.  My style has evolved over the years from being rough and grunge influenced to being colourful and vivid.  I love geometric patterns and so that also shows in my art.  It is ever evolving as my life takes on new challenges and I mature as a designer.
 My inspiration comes from my love of my son, design and art, film, fashion, home decor, people, places and life.  I try to find inspiration every day.  Some days are harder than others.  You cannot force it of course!  It keeps my mind moving, trying to find new things to create.

I've worked for many advertising agencies, as a graphic designer, over the years and decided that I wanted to create graphic art, for adults and children, that I would love to have and of course that would appeal to others too!  And so was born MilushaDesign . And what better way to start than on Etsy. So here I am!
 I want my pieces to make people go 'wow, that is so cool' or ' I really, really love that'. The way I react to pieces of art I come across.  There is nothing like the feeling when someone loves the art that you love creating.  I would hope that people fall in love with my pieces and want to own them because of that."
  Milusha's beautiful work can be seen in her Etsy shop : http://www.etsy.com/shop/MilushaDesign?ref=ss_profile


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pearl Jewelry- Interview With Chaya Udinsky Pearls Plus LLC

Chaya Udinsky of Pearls Plus LLC is an accomplished handmade jewelry artist specializing in pearl jewelry. 



I had the pleasure of interviewing her and here's her journey in her own words:
 "I have always loved jewelry. In college, I took a part-time job with a fine jewelry chain and was hooked.  I worked in that field until my son was born in late 2010.  During that time, I acquired bead and pearl stringing knowledge and was able to perform repairs for the shop I worked at.
  I became a stay at home mom.  I continued to do repairs for the store where I had worked and also grew my repair business to include a few other local jewelry shops and individuals.  O also began to offer custom services.  Before I knew it I had acquired beads and began making gifts for family and friends.  They encouraged me to continue to make jewelry, and my handmade jewelry line was born.
  I'm mostly self-taught when it comes to jewelry making.  I watched a few videos, got the right tools, and off I went!  I taught myself how to string on wire and silk, wire wrap, and work with elastic.  I am currently working with a lady at the local bead store who is teaching me bead weaving.
  My favorite thing to make is hand knotted pearl necklaces on silk.  I find a lot of my inspiration from seeing unusual colors or shapes of pearls and beads.  I find my bridal line inspiration from my friend who is a wedding planner.  I'm always trying to make something that I feel is both beautiful and a little unusual.
  I decided to open an Etsy shop because I was making jewelry and was unable to find an affordable local outlet for getting all of it displayed.  Some of my work is at local boutiques, but Etsy allows me to display everything at a reasonable price.  I also get a bigger audience!
  My advice for people wanting to get into the handmade jewelry field is to make sure you know what you are in for.  There is a lot of initial investment in time and money before you finally start selling."
  Chaya's work can be purchased at her Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PearlsPlusLLC?ref=ss_profile




Wednesday, October 26, 2011

HOLIDAY CRAFTING INTERVIEW AMIE CAMPBELL

Amie Campbell does lots of crafting for the holidays, making gifts for everyone and offering them for sale in her Etsy shop CasaCampbell .  She tells us how she got started and gives some advice  for anyone wanting to try their hand at it.
Amie: "Like most people I started making things in elementary school such as little bracelets and homemade Christmas gifts.  I guess I just never stopped! I started crafting specifically for sale probably three years or so ago now.
  I first learned to knit from a co-worker, who was actually one of my bridesmaids.  She was knitting at work one day and I asked if she could teach me.  My first knitted item was a disaster. It was all misshapen and got wider in the middle then really skinny on top and had holes everywhere! It took practice, but now I can knit with my eyes closed.
  I taught myself how to make the soaps.  I saw the supplies at the craft store and decided to give it a try. I burnt my fingers a few times, but I got the hang of it quickly.
  If I'm looking for something to do, I might walk around the craft store. At times, I'll be at home decorating stores or what not and see something and think,'I bet I can make that'.  However, I would say a lot of inspiration comes from trying to make a home on a tight budget.  At least half of our decorations were made by me.
  I decided to start selling my crafts after one Christmas when I made a wreath for my cousins. I showed pictures to some friends and everyone encouraged me to start selling.   Soon after I saw that a friend had opened an Etsy shop to sell her T-shirt designs.  Well, I decided I would give it a try.
  Some advice for people who want to start crafting.  Find something you enjoy, or think you might enjoy, and just dive in.  If you have fun making it, that's all that matters.  Talk with your friends and see what they make and see if they'll teach you.  Have fun with it and laugh at the mistakes."
Amie's crafts can be seen and purchased at her Etsy shop:http://www.etsy.com/shop/casacampbell?ref=ss_profile

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Green Adventurine Chain Maile Stage 2

This green Adventurine Chain Mail necklace is now half finished! Here's a picture of what will be the "around the neckline/throat part of it.
This is a fun piece to make. Well, now it's on to the necklace strands and they will have leather.
Let me know what you think so far and if you have any ideas of what you'd like the rest of the necklace to look like, feel free to let me know.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/DesigningParrotJewel?ref=ss_profile
https://twitter.com/#!/search/depjewe

Monday, October 24, 2011

CREATING A BETTER BAG...ARTIST TERRY COVELL INTERVIEW


Artist Terry Covell of OriginalCopyDesigns was looking for a "better bag" while on a trip to France and so started her quest to "build a better bag" but let me have her tell her story in her own words.

"A trip to France with my sister in 2006 started a journey that continues today.  We did a lot of shopping, of course, but I couldn't seem to find a bag that suited my needs exactly.  I purchased one which just didn't work out as it was hard to find items in the 'abyss' (the dark bottom of the bag) and the handles weren't comfortable.  My own quest to 'build a better bag' began and almost six years later I haven't stopped.
  I immediately bought fabric and a pattern and made a quite suitable bag.  However, it wasn't MINE!  I decided that I needed to look at all types of patterns and bags to discover what was best and most appealing.  I purchased many books and magazines and made many of the bags and purses for myself and family for practice and to discover which techniques,methods,designs and materials worked best for me.  I cam to the realization that I needed to design my own bags with the best features that came up in my research.  By trial and error (and plenty of mistakes to learn from) I sketched, made patterns and stitched my own creations.  My husband often asks,'Well, how many bags do you have?', knowing full well the crates that are tucked away with samples, trials and finished products!
  For some time I had been encouraging my own creativity, and looking for sources of inspiration by following The Artist's Way by Julie Cameron.  The morning pages, or journaling process, and Artist Dates had set the stage for me to find inspiration on a continuing basis.  I continue to often do activities, by myself, although totally unrelated to bags or sewing, which inspire me to use certain color combinations, designs or features.
  Family and friends encouraged me to sell my bags.  After a lot of research I decided that an Etsy shop would be the best way for me to begin.  I had so much to learn about selling on the internet, decisions to make about a name, policies, writing descriptions and photography (and the editing process).  Finally I jumped in, opened my shop and here I am! "

Terry's wonderful bags, purses and more can be seen and purchased at:http://www.etsy.com/shop/OriginalCopyDesigns?ref=ss_profile


Sunday, October 23, 2011

STRANGE THINGS HAPPEN HALLOWEEN

Strange things happen Halloween. Monsters appear, skeletons drum in bands and Pigs fly!
Halloween is such a fun night! It's not just for children...right?  Yup, the candy is great.....I'm addicted to chocolate, but dressing up in imaginative costumes, wearing scary (eyeball ring and earrings) jewelry...such fun! 
 I put together a treasury of etsy items to show what I'm talking about:
Take a peek and tell me what you think, and while your at it, let me know your favorite things about Halloween.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Green Adventurine,and Silver Chain Maile Necklace

This idea for a green adventurine, silver and leather necklace came to mind this morning about 3:30 a.m.. So, after breakfast I sat down with my jewelry supplies and started work on it. O.K., that was at 7:30 a.m. and I am just now taking a break at 12:10 for lunch. The necklace isn't but a third done as you can see in the pictures below. Certainly not ready for anyone to wear, not even a very, very tiny person. But, I get so involved and focused and having fun doing it, that I really forget how labor intensive chain maile really is. Well, I'll get it finished within a day or so and then it will be ready for the completion photos and being listed on my Etsy shop:
But, here's the photos so far:


Friday, October 21, 2011

TODDLER MOM? An Interview With Fleece Bedding Artist Nadine Calcek

One of the many talented artists on Etsy is the owner/designer of Midnite Pine Creations.  Here's a sample of her beautiful and comfortable bedding for toddlers:
I interviewed Nadine about her work, motivation and more. 

Nadine how long have you been making fleece bedding? What got you started?
 " I stumbled into sewing fleece by accident. Four years ago when my son was born. He was the kind of baby that didn't tolerate a blanket over him. The cotton crib sheets we had were too cold to sleep on in winter. He was uncomfortable and not sleeping well. I ended up sewing fleece fitted sheets because I couldn't find anything of quality to buy. I chose fleece for its warmth and fuzzy,cuddly nature and modified the designs. I wanted the sheets to be deep enough that I couldn't SHRINK them and stretchy enough that I didn't have to fight to get them on.  'Lazy Bug' fleece sheets were born."
What inspires your designs?
 "My children are my inspiration. I wanted to give them something better than was available in the stores and since I couldn't find it.....I made it. Then, I wanted to share them with my friends and family...they loved them and from there it just snowballed."
How did you learn to do this?
 " I am a self taught seamstress. Trial and error. I basically tore apart one of the cotton sheets, changed the pattern to fit my needs and then tried it out. I continued to tweak the patterns as I perfected my skills and as I started to ask other moms about their pet peeves with their current bedding products. In  some cases I have come up with novel ideas that solve age old problems...such as kids kicking off covers at night...all night long..."
Any advice for beginners wanting to learn these techniques?
 "I have no specific advice for learning 'the technique'. I am the kind of person who starts a project saying,'Yes, I can do that...' So I guess my advice would be that if you want to do something/make something/build something....just do it and believe in yourself, and try not to let others talk you out of it."
Nadine's "Lazy Bug" bedding can be found at her Etsy shop:http://www.etsy.com/shop/MidnitePineCreations?ref=ss_profile


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Interview Series With Artists Of Handmade Items

So many times we see items we would love to be able to make if we had the time and technique.
In these interviews I will highlight the creative process each artist uses (regardless of item type) and what advice they have to give for those wanting to try their hand making things for themselves, their family or friends. 
And if you are instead inclined (as I am most times), to simply want to know the the human behind the item and want to see more of what they have to offer in their shops, a link directly to their shop will be given in the article. Hope you enjoy reading about them and their wonderful talents! Fist in the series was Interview with Melissa Broadwater(see article)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Interview: Melissa Broadwater BusyBeeBeadwork

INTERVIEW: Melissa Broadwater - BusyBeeBeadwork

Beadweaving artist, Melissa Broadwater, owner/designer of BusyBeeBeadwork creates beautiful, wearable art. I had the opportunity to interview her about her work and creative process. Here is Melissa's response to my many questions:
Melissa: " I have been an avid beadweaver for the past four years. I got introduced to the art of beadweaving by a dear friend. She would bring her jewelry in now and then,and I thought it was some of the most beautiful jewelry that I had ever seen. I couldn't believe how detailed it was, and how long it must have taken her to make. She encouraged me to start weaving my own jewelry. I went down to the local craft store and bought supplies, slowly learning the technique.
 Since then I have held jewelry parties and attended local art fairs. Customers asked whether I sold on Etsy. I've heard so much good about Etsy so I opened a store. I really love selling my creations on a site that is host to so many talented artists. I am constantly working on my latest creation, often til the wee hours of night,not knowing the end result and loving the surprise of it!
 Interested in beadweaving? purchase a book  on basic techniques or check for classes at local bead stores.
Melissa's work can be seen at her Etsy store:http://www.BusyBeeBeadwork.etsy.com