Tuesday, December 16, 2008

That Girl Has Stacks!!

I want to share some cool stuff from one of my new beading buds, Susi! We met during the Del Ray Artisan's bead exhibit and I fell in love with her work right away. She gives new life to old plastic. After lots of hard work digging through her apartment building's recycling areas to find any kind of plastic that would add to her palette, she cleans and goo-gones and scrubs and cuts each plastic piece out of its original shape and into small sheets. Then, she hammers away at them with dies to cut different sizes of discs. Her husband loves this part! haaaaaaaa I gave her an empty green deodorant container and it was like a little treasure for her!

She let me share her disc stash and make a few beads of my own. Little holes in the middle and a short stack on a wire makes for a very cool bead! I poked a few little holes in my hand, but not many...it was worth it for these. I love them!

What's also cool is that after I had worked with the plastic for a while, I reached into my glass bead stash--which is pretty significant because I love them--and started stacking. I used discs from HMB Studios and Linden Avenue Designs as well as some small beads from Lisa New to come up with these mixes. I love the color and texture and size of the finished pieces. I'm not sure how I'll use them, but for now I can at least admire them!

If you're interested in chatting with Susi, I can put you in touch--just drop me a line!

A Little More Wired Than Usual

Saturday night was my office Christmas party, so of course I had to come up with something fabulous to wear--jewelry drives the outfit in my house. I definitely had wire on the brain, so I worked up a fabulous big shape, about four inches wide. Then, looking around on my table, I saw a great big jasper stone that I thought would mix well--lo' and behold, I have this great work all tied together with leather!

I'm not sure where all this twisting and turning and wrapping and weaving and polishing and burnishing will lead me, but I'm happy to be on the trail...big pieces or small!

I'll keep mixing up my stones and glass and silver and follow where it leads. Oh, and one place it will be leading in the spring will be Step-by-Step Wire Magazine! One of my projects will be featured as the 5-minute project!! I'm so excited!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wrist Love

I have had a lovely morning with a cup of coconut-creamered coffee and a refreshing look at my stash of stuff. I'm getting ready for a big show this weekend at the Del Ray Artisans, so I'm on leave from my "real job" and working here at home. I've had some big bracelet ideas...

The silver oxidized swirl and leather has been in my brain and on my worktable for a couple of weeks. When I get an idea just before falling asleep I scribble it down on whatever paper's nearby. Usually, it's a little receipt or something, so I have lots of scribbly receipts. I thought of this design a while ago and had to work it in parts with the shaping and weaving and oxidizing and polishing and then finally finishing it this morning. I love it!!

So, then I felt like going all color and texture. I love this hodge podge of a bracelet that has some handmade glass, stone, polymer clay, felted wool, and some special Czech glass that came from a little shop in Hawaii. This piece combines a whole bunch of memories of great shopping adventures into a fun, colorful bit of wrist love.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thankful for Great Rocks...

...and my new tumbler!

As I sit here on the couch at the end of my post-Thanksgiving day off, I'm enjoying the sound of shot and silver tumbling in my kitchen. This tumbler is the newest addition to my arsenal of jewelry-making tools. We'll see what happens in a few hours when I open it up and check out the results.

In the meantime, I had a wonderful afternoon in my workshop trying out all sorts of bead combinations for some really fun results. My proudest accomplishment of the day, however, was to finally finish my special holiday piece--a necklace featuring opal, chalcedony, quartz, clay, and rock crystal along with some hand-swirled sterling silver and some hand-knotted leather. I have spent weeks on this! I had a vision, but it wasn't quite working itself out, so I had to take lots of breaks. I am thrilled with the finished product! So, I'm wearing it out tonight along with some dangly opal earrings I whipped up.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Go Westridge, Go!

I had a great day with the crafty people of my neighborhood at our fair here in Westridge. I have some sore feet from standing all day, but loved chatting with folks. I'm ready to get to work on some new goodies now!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Westridge Craft Show

Dearest Local Friends -

I'm going to be showing off my goodies locally this weekend at the Westridge Craft Show down in my neck of the woods. So, if you have a chance to stop by, I would love to see you and/or your significant others (who may be more interested in crafty stuff than you). There are over 20 vendors offering all sorts of items, even though I know it's my jewelry you really want to see!! There's no admission fee, either!

The location is:
The Westridge Swim & Racquet Club
12764 Quarterhorse Lane
Woodbridge, VA 22192

The hours are:
8:00 am to 2:00 pm

Hope you can make it by...but, if not, don't hesitate to contact me via email or through my etsy website: www.jenjuddrocks.etsy.com and we can work out something fantastic for your holiday gifting!!

Thanks for the support!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beading in Peace vs. Watching Election Coverage

I have to admit, the television's on right now, but I spent the last few hours in the basement getting some color on in peace and quiet.

I am totally hooked on the asymmetric bracelet deal--I feel like I can really bring out the joy that's in a great glass bead with a little mix of stone and some pattern. I love the texture and the colors and how it looks when it's on--every time you look at your wrist, it's a different view! I think it's funny, though, that when I show these designs to men, they usually "don't get it." The imbalance bothers them...interesting, that's what intrigues me.
These two bracelets feature lampwork glass by Lisa New that I scored on Ebay in the last few weeks. No matter how much I might think about color and theorize about what might work, I can always count on one of her beads to drive an amazing color scheme.

Wish me luck on a show tomorrow up at Bolling AFB--a day on leave to have fun with jewelry. Yeah!! Also, if you're around here in Virginia/DC with me, I'm going to have my goods on display at my local neighborhood association Winter Craft Show down here in Woodbridge on Saturday, 15 November. The link up on the right side of the page has a connection to directions, so check them out--I would love to see you!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Earrings 'R' Me

I guess I could say "Us" but the cats really don't do much to help.

I got some more great tips from wire artist Jeannette Blix Ryan at a class this weekend--we focused on creating basic ear wires. Of course, it takes lots of practice, but while I was trying to take a nap on Saturday, my brain waves went into overdrive as I imagined these earrings. So, I rolled out of bed and made them!

I'm still working on the whole camera, photo dealio, but was too excited about these not to post them. They're sort of an "industrial" take on a kidney-shaped ear wire. They have lots of swing when worn, plus, they're sparkly!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Learning...

So, in the spirit of improvement, I take lots of classes. Yesterday it was creative writing--hence, I'm not feeling very creative today! haaaa Putting good sentences together can take a lot out of you!

But, also for improvement, today I broke out the manual for my camera. I got some very helpful feedback from another artist out there in Etsy world and I realized that the pictures I take aren't very good. So, with her encouragement (many thank, Lisa) and a lot of memory on my computer, I practiced picture-taking today. As all other jewelry blogs and books advise, outdoor light really does work best. :) These are a couple of the pics from today and they pieces are for sale on my Jen Judd Rocks Etsy store site, of course! :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Adding Some 'Billy to the Rocks

I was given a design challenge by a friend: big colors for a friend who wears almost all black and expresses her funky, rockabilly style through her accessories. Hmmm...I got home from work on Friday, thinking of the big round glass turquoise beads that I had in my stash. I tried to take a nap, but couldn't stop thinking of these beads and the potential for some colored-wire wrapping to liven them up. So, sleepy me went downstairs and started in on the colored wire with much delight. That was Friday and while the adventure with wire was wonderful, I'm saving those pieces for later.

The color experimentation, though, brought out the turquoise glass again, but this time mixed it with red--coral and seed beads. I couldn't help but grab the black and white beans to add the 'billy to the rocks. Mind you, I'm not a fashion expert, no matter how much Style network I watch, but I love this end result. It might not meet the needs of the customer I had in mind, but it definitely meets the needs of my inner bean/bead artist!!

Setting Up Shop!!!

It was my goal today to get some pieces listed in my new Etsy shop and while it took me the whole day, they're there!!

Click here to see what I've got available: JenJuddRocks!

It has been a busy and creative time for me. My adventures in Bedford at Fall Foliage were so much fun! I learned just how much I love my stuff and how much others appreciate it, too. What a great feeling. It's nice to know that I don't sit in my basement entertaining myself for no reason! haaaaaaaa
A big thank you to all my family and friends who came out to help me with this adventure. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends and meet new ones!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Man-Sized Knotty Paperclip

I had one of those creative surges just before falling asleep the other day when considering how to incorporate another giant paperclip into a design suitable for a man who didn't believe that they existed in real life. So, in my imaginary paperclip world, I reached into the past and pulled back some macrame and came up with this great key chain.
I love how the object is incorporated into the knots. He liked it too!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Totally Falling for the New Look!

I want to make a quick post to thank my wonderful designer, Dionne, for her help with my new designs both here and over at my Etsy site. I love the community of creative people that I've found over there!! Her Studio Chic Design shop has lots of options for website help as well as other design pieces and parts that are a great resource for a little biz like my own!! Check her out!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name...

is probably the rose that hasn't been delivered to my house!!! haaaaaaaaaaaa

I achieved a peaceful balance today because while I got rid of plenty of potpourri that no longer added any value to the aromatherapy mix in my house, I created some gorgeous delicate necklaces with rose petal pendants. The trade of the dried flowers was probably not very good feng shui, but I love what I ended up with!!

I explored the Occoquan Fall Craft show yesterday and found some lovely work by Forest Flower Jewelry that I immediately knew would mix well with my squigglies of late. Look at the rich color of that petal! It's protected by lacquer and edged with sterling silver. I absolutely love it!!

The pink petal looks just as pretty...a feminine touch with a big wire swirl...

I have lots of other autumnal pieces from my favorite Occoquan vendor, so will have more to show off soon!

And...Frankie says "hello" to all of you...this is seriously the first time he hasn't freaked out when I pointed the camera at him in the year and a half I've had him...what a loony cat!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Stringing Cowgirl Ballerina!

If I had to describe my dreamworld, it's usually somewhere in my Grammy Snyder's house...I have a svelte dancer's body, the kickass attitude of a cowgirl, and I'm surrounded by pretty beads!!! How I was able to catch this dreamscape on film is just about amazing, but I did!! (Okay, so I don't have the dancer's body, but I do have the tutu and the kickass boots!! haaaaaaaa)

My big dreamy news for today is that my winning entry in the Channeling Cinderella challenge is pictured on the pages of the Fall 2008 issue of Stringing Magazine!! I wandered around the office yesterday holding the page in my hand like a security blanket with a big smile on my face. Thanks to all of you who voted and helped me meet this personal goal!

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's 8:30...where are your giant paperclips?

Yesterday I saw these giant clips on the sale rack and couldn't not pick them up. I immediately pictured them wrapped with colored copper wire and dangling from my neck. My fantasies continued throughout my workday today even to the point of doing sketches in my notebook during a discussion of how we manage human resources in the Department of Defense. Can you even imagine that my mind wandered? haaaaaaaa
Anyway, these monster clips are HILARIOUS!! And, they're even better adorned with the curled wire and some of Yvonne's MyElement bits of floral love! They may look like regular fancy paperclips, but they're at least four inches long...here's a pic so you can see the actual scale:
When it comes to office-products-turned-trellises, bigger is definitely better!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stooping Squigglies

This morning I was sitting out on my front stoop, in my froggie pajamas...I like to think I was specially outfitted to work my artisan magic. haaaaaaa I was outside because I'm trying something new with my little dremel tool and the polishing wheel and didn't want to make more of a mess in the house.

I made some sterling squigglies yesterday in random shapes and sizes to use as dangles or links or whathaveyou. I tried out some antique finishing with oxidizing (and forgot to take off the ring on my finger which is still black) and had to polish off the black to bring the finish out...what better place than the front steps!
I'm thrilled with the squiggles from the stoop! Check out these combinations with some gorgeous glass from Bronwen Heilman. I went simple with just some subdued grey wire and the beads speak for themselves.

The last one I have to post features a "Happy Bead" made by Ms. Dare Van Vree...she was quite a character when I met her at the Philly Bead Expo, so I happily wandered through her wonderful selection of handmade ceramic beads. You can see a pretty one here:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Voting Season - For A Black & White Design

Hello friends...it's another challenge with another opportunity for you to see more of the jewelry-making world and of my little bit of it!

The Stringing Magazine Winter Challenge is "Black & White." And there are 97 wonderful pieces on display in the on-line gallery. HOWEVER, #37 is by far the coolest as it came from the hands of yours truly.

This is a piece that I started on some wire techniques with. I used some of my Hawaiian bead stash along with a funky piece of quartz for this pretty imbalanced look.
I hope you enjoy checking out all the pieces in the gallery, but I also hope you'll take a second and put your vote in!! Thanks to all of you for help in my tie for first place during the Summer Challenge. My Cinderalla baubles were all the rage. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Venetian Love Affair

These are some of my absolute FAVORITE beads...found them on-line at Happy Mango Beads and had to have them immediately. They are antique Venetian glass trade beads in a fantastic blue millefiore pattern. They've been sitting on my table for months awaiting the perfect creative influence.
So, this morning the influence finally showed up with my coconut-creamered coffee. I wanted to mix it with something funky, say, some Coke-bottle glass and some pearls. Throw in an interesting-looking coil for the central piece and it's a winner! I am soooooo pleased!!

Old School Orangina!

I had the pleasure of working with a young artist last night...Ms. G.C. and I explored some of the more knotting ways of doing things that I haven't done in ages! She's a guru with weaving, so I shared some of my beads and we came out of it with some lovely bracelets. Mine features a fun toggle of an great Grammy Hine button! Besides thinking of my grandparents' old store, I was also reminded of the elementary school lessons on macrame that have stuck with me for so many years! Gotta love those plant hangers!!

My bracelet motivated me towards the orangina realm today for part of my working morning. I was drawn towards some lovely Lisa New beads and I wanted to include some leather (like Stella, from Project Runway! haaaaaaaaa.) So, my end result is this pretty three-strand quartz-centric piece. It includes a strand of quartz & colored furnace glass, a strand starring a pink coral centerpiece, and a leather strand knotted with some of Lisa's glass.
I wore this combo out tonight for a "solo mio" soiree and love it!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Feeling Semi-Precious...

A fabulously stormy nap-filled Saturday led to an evening of ice cream, beer, and gems!! I had a great time mixing stones and glass with some wire bits to come up with some fun pieces. Plus, I found out yesterday that I'm going to be in Bedford's Fall Foliage Festival on 11-12 October, so it's time for me to get busy!

First, I went for some citrus--lemony pineapple quartz. I used some of my new wire hammering skills to make some funky dingley dangle pieces that make the stones even prettier than when they're just in a pile on the table.
Then, I was thinking of my Bedford Bisons...blue and white sodalite. I think of it as a glammed up Wilma Flintstone. A rough unfinished nugget looks awesome with a grounded terracotta disk, and a shimmery pearl.

And, back to the hammering...a fun squiggle and a big chunk of sodalite make a simple, fun pendant for a steel wire choker.

And, finally, working with my greys, blacks, & quartz for a more elegant look...here's just one of the combinations I came up with. Simple, but unique. I have the craziest selection of beads on my table that it's a neverending adventure coming up with things that might go together. I love it!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Elementally Vintage

I just ran up from the basement wildly laughing because I LOVE these pieces!!!! The cats are now hiding, so I have plenty of time to share...

A couple of weeks ago, I finally finished a project for my lovely friend, Lauren; she picked out some vintage Swarovski crystals and silver chain so I could string up an absolutely gorgeous rhinestone pin that she had inherited from a relative. (I'm an idiot and didn't take a picture, so maybe she'll send one.) In the meantime, however, I'm can't stop thinking Vintage, with a capital V! I spent a long while in the basement antique mall of Founder's Crossing, back in my hometown of Bedford, Pennsylvania, while my mom followed me dutifully looking at every piece of jewelry. I was focused on picking up fun brooches to use as focal pieces. I struck some nice $3.99 gold! haaaaaaaaa

You can see this awesome pinkie flower just screamed out for some of my new flower bits. While at the Expo in Philly, my friend, Sarah, called these babies "groovy" and I have to agree. Yvonne's MyElements line was one of my absolute faves. One of Yvonne's designs was featured on the cover of the July/August issue of Step by Step Beads magazine and I coveted right away. So, when I finally met her and saw the mass of cool flowers and funky shapes, I didn't hold back and brought home a bunch. I was thinking of these all day and couldn't wait to get home to pull them together!

But, what goes even better with Yvonne's Elements? A big glittery bug, of course!! I couldn't resist this flyish-looking beetleybug. I was able to use some vintage chain, some sterling chain, and plenty of flower bits!!

How hilarious is this pin!?! I actually saw a dead cicada in the hallway at the Pentagon today. It must have been a forecast of my creative energy for the evening!!
I absolutely love it!!
Don't these glasses make me look smarter?? Or is it the workaday t-shirt with a Weight Watchers meal spilled on the front??? haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Monday, September 1, 2008

Neutral Schmeutral....

At the request of a customer, I went neutral. Well, as neutral as I could...black, white, tan...but sooooo not boring! My first dig through my stash took me into the black and white with some bone starry discs and some variegated agate. I love the asymmetry and the way the stones work together in the pattern.

Then, I couldn't resist these cool black and white "dalmation" beans that I picked up at the Philly BeadFest Expo from the Colombian Craft Connection. They had a huge selection of natural materials and terra cotta. I just love the black and white with the red glass beads. Plus, a fun round bit of lava rock brings it to a spiraling finish.

I was still feeling the Colombian mood with some brown terracotta spacers that I mixed up in a s'morish way with some smoky quartz, bleached bone, and some quartz chips. The coolest bit of work here, though, is a little practice in my new fun technique...hammered silver links. Up in Philly, I got a great opportunity to learn hammering metal from artist Noel Yovovich. I think you'll see plenty more hammered bits falling into places in my pieces.

And, finally, I was back in my bags from Philly and brought a little green into my neutral palette. These are gorgeous porcelain beads made by 3C Studios. I was following an ad that I was carrying around, torn out of the back of a magazine, to see their booth at the expo. I had flashbacks to when I was a little girl and couldn't pick just one flavor of tootsie roll at the candy store, so I ended up with handfuls...handfuls of beads in this case! I mixed up these soft green rounds with a few wonderful glass discs from HMB Studios.

To finish out my work day, I used a scrap of silver to create this big chunk of a hammered spiral and mixed it up with some stones and shell for a beautifully simple pendant on a steel wire choker.
What a great morning!!!
Thanks for the "neutral" inspiration!!!


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About Me

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Bedford, PA, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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