Here are some items I made prior to Christmas last year...notice my earrings are all simple, one headpin style beaded things (although still pretty beads!) and all my necklaces are just beaded. No hard wire, no filigree, no metal other than the clasp. While they are pretty beaded things, they are a little one note compared to what I do now. These are all things I made for my mom.
So here are photos of some of my favorite designs that I made this year...see the change and see how I've used my imagination to go beyond stringing beads...
January 2011 - First necklace I sold this year, went for $100 sold via facebook.
Vintage Jewelry Supplies, which my mother introduced me to as she had gone to school with Susan Street, an accomplished jewelry designer who owns the supply business. She also has a great techniques page that was a huge key in unlocking this change in me.
February 2011 - Starry Night Necklace for Vintaj Challenge (It was my first contest and I won, talk about a boost to my ego, lol)
May 2011 - Nautical Path Bracelet
I made this for my trip to the beach. I was especially fond of that hand painted compass, because it really had this look of having been sunken at sea or something, but my favorite part of this design is the little arched tube bead that I encased in bubbly shaped crimp covers, beads, and the nautical sand dollar charm. The bead combo was nice too, with gorgeous lapis lazuli, round window beads, and very cool glass beads that reminded me of sea glass. I used wire to make dangles out of little capri blue teardrop beads, which was a favorite of the lady who purchased it at the trunk show in November. I really loved this one, going to have to make myself another one to keep. : )
I made this one and immediately had to make 3 more that were similar but with different color schemes, beads, and embellishments. Then I sold two and left the other one at the Arts Council. It was a purple one.I kept the green one and wear it often, but it is on my etsy site and I may take it to a local gallery store here in town. It was just a fun design concept using a lot of crystal drops with brass and hand painted components, and it utilizes the vintaj leaf blank really well. This will definitely be a repeated design concept, although no two will ever really be the same.
Overall, I feel like this year has been very productive for me. I took what was a hobby and made new years goals to use every spare minute I had to work on designing and to be creative somehow every single day. I have worked hard to stick to those goals as much as possible. I have gone from beading on a strand to winning a contest, being editor's pick in another contest, being a featured designer on the Vintaj Blog, doing my first 3 local craft shows, including the trunk show at the arts council where I was top seller, approaching my first gallery and getting accepted, getting approached by owners of other galleries, and landing 2 magazine entries (the only 2 months I actually submitted, I was chosen, so cool. Look for my jewelry in Feb and April Bead Trends next year, and hopefully more after that, need to submit some more items.) WHEW!!! For a part time thing that I'm doing from my livingroom coffee table, not too bad, right? Sometimes when you work really hard, it really does pay off, and if you'd asked me this time last year what my goals would be in my jewelry, I wouldn't have been able to tell you any of those things, because this time last year I didn't even know it was possible. I have accomplished things I didn't know I should dream for myself, so here's hoping next year I can have more targeted dreams and actually make some money too, because at the end of the day, none of that successful and exciting stuff matters if you have no money! I haven't gone over figures yet, but I'm certain I did not have a profit this year. I had to invest a lot in my supplies and tools to even get started, and I haven't produced and sold enough to make all of that back yet. Now that I have a better sense of my design style and a better grasp of the techniques I enjoy implementing, I think my time will be better managed and my supply purchases more purposeful, instead of just buying a lot of everything with the hope of stumbling on something cool. Here's hoping I can find the time to do all of the things I need to do in order to reach my goals next year!