Friday, January 30, 2009

Magazines, Whiskers & Beads!

Happy Friday all! I am SO hyper today and am ansy to get the weekend started! There's nothing notable happening BUT I'm just ready to get out there! Another non-notable thing is that I really have nothing to blog about! But here I am, pulling something out of the air to share! :)

I thought I would share some pics of some of the stuff I've made so far from the 40 pound Christmas present of old jewelry to go through! I did these right at the beginning of the year so they're not exactly hot off the press but they are certainly close enough!

This one contains an old green flower pin and two old blue earrings which I think turned out beautifully! I must say, the way it lays is perfect! The picture doesn't do it complete justice ;)

Another one using some old earrings and lots of old and bold beads! Can you tell I like green? Sometimes I have to force myself to work on jewelry that is not some shade of green!

And this one, well, I think it is stunning. But of course I'm partial ;) The bird pin came out of the giant box and the other beads I had on hand. I LOVE how the bird is framed! Kinda like he's in his own little nest. Why I call it a he, I know not...maybe because I view blue as a masculine color? Who knows! It could be a she for you though!

I spent half of a day during the 'ice storm' going through about 100 design magazines a dear friend passed along to me. I love to go through magazines to find cool images to use on my switchplates! See, I think magazines are a terrible waste of paper BUT some of the images in them are so so so awesome! I've always been big into cutting up magazines and sticking them onto this and that and I've found that switchplate covers seem to be a great palate for the images! I need to get busy on putting some together now since I have SO many new images to work with! Here's a couple of older ones I did (the bottom lives in a fancy home now but the top one is still around!) so you can see what I'm talking about!

Finally, I wanted to let you know that I'll now be volunteering at StreetCats My Furry Valentine event NEXT SUNDAY. I'll be working the coat check :) It's the job that nobody wanted so I figured I would take it! Oh the pressure of making sure everyone's coats are taken care of! So if you do come, which you totally should, you should totally bring a coat even if the weather doesn't warrant one so I can totally feel important with my coat checking duties :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Socially Linkable

Just thought I would share that we can be found on Facebook and Myspace! Search us out!


Owls & Kitties

Oh these cold days leave me with enough motivation to only curl up on the couch under lots of blankets when I should be working on so many other things! Ahh! I have, however, managed to peel myself off of the warm couch for a bit and finished another custom order for a friend in Oklahoma City. They had attended a 70's themed bash and visited a local resale shop and found the larger owl on a large pimpin' gold chain for him to wear. The owl was just too good lookin' for only a costume so she asked me to make it into something she would wear. It is SUCH a cool owl! She's obviously got good taste and anyone who wants to reuse vintage pieces is a-ok in my book!

Since the centerpiece is so grand, I felt the rest of the necklace needed to be simple so the owl could do all of the talking!

My second challenge was working with another little owl, who was previously a lapel pin or hat pin. I removed the 'pin' portion and linked it up to be a drop centerpiece. All of the components for this piece were reused aside from the orange colored stones which were given to me from friends who had just returned from Morocco! Did I mention I LOVE using beads from all over the world too?!?

So thanks mystery friend for letting me make your owls into something new! And thanks for loving them!

A few other things of note....

Don't forget about StreetCats My Furry Valentine fundraiser which is just around the corner! Our third piece in the silent auction is this beaut...The other two are on a previous post!

Also, you've one more week to vote for us for the Okie Blog Awards! I'm not putting any money on us winning but still very cool to be a part of this!

I leave you with a parting shot of moi as seen by my husband from across my workspace :) He likes to harass me with the camera while I work sometimes :) Looks like I'm using my 'pinchers' as April likes to refer to my hands! Hope everyone is staying warm, well and happy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Perfect Business Partner

I thought I'd take a minute or two and write about a bit of mine and April's history together...and post a few embarrassing pictures from the vault :)

April and I met about 20 years ago when we were about 9 or 10 years old through church. That's right, church :) We grew up together with lots of amazing people in our youth group...although I must say, we weren't really your typical youth group. We donned the name the _________ _________ Brew Crew and enjoyed hanging out with each other in church and outside of church! I looked and looked for some true old school photos but I must not have gotten into the really dusty boxes to scan yet as the oldest one I can find is from 11 years ago when we were in Juarez, Mexico for some construction work.

Pardon my fashion sense (although I still own and wear the shirt around my waist and the blue track pants) but check out April's tan little legs! Woo hoo!

I should also mention that our parents, er, mainly our fathers, are quite intertwined in the antiquing community around the town. We've each grown up in antiquing families and share that love for what the past has given us. I believe growing up in these environments has had much influence on our drive to create pieces reusing items from our modern history. I'll elaborate more on antiquing in some later posts :)

April and I ended up attending college together in Oklahoma City and became roommates in the dorms with two other of our close friends. This is where our jewelry obsession began! We had one empty 'cubicle' in our room and this is where we set up my old school Nintendo, our TV, the VCR and all of the jewelry equipment we had thus far. We would watch movie after movie, with Dirty Dancing and Primal Fear being contants, and would bead and knot away. We posted signs in the elevators and our very small but very personable jewelry business was born. Some of best customers came from those dorms! I must say the sorority girls and the talented dancers at the school loved having special pieces made for their special events!

We ended up getting an apartment together on campus the following year and even began working together on campus! The following year we decided to live apart...and ended up being next door neighbors by chance!

College came and went and many a-necklaces were created. We both moved back to our hometown of Tulsa at separate times and moved the jewelry biz back home. We started dabbling in setting up at the Flea Market and some craft shows here and there and LOVED seeing people react to our stuff! It was such a joy to speak with people about our creations and to see people fall in love with pieces. After a few years and after gaining more confidence and knowledge in our craft, we decided to make the biz legal and have been at it ever since!

We feed off of each other creatively and have grown together as artists over the past 10 years while working on jewelry. We consider each other sisters of sorts; we love each other, we disagree, we can tell each other anything, we can call each other when in need and we're always there for each other. It's truly a joy to be able to work so closely and so well with such a good's a rarity in my book.

2008 Okie Blog Awards

Did you know that there are Oklahoma Blog Awards???? I had NO clue that these existed until the other day when I was informed that we were nominated in the Best Commercial Blog category!!! Can you believe that?!?! I sure can't! I mean I look around at other blogs and they are all so pretty, full of bells and whistles and are like shiny tricked out cars! Our blog is like the old volkswagon bug that may or may not get you to your destination but has a lot of heart, soul and history in it :) I think all you win is a little notice but still, what an honor to be recognized by fellow Okies for what we do! So thank you, our Oklahomies, for giving us a shout out :)

So if you're down for voting, you can go to this link and vote for us (or not) and peruse all of the other awesome blogs out there! We're near the bottom of the page ;) It's been fun going through them myself with what little time I have to do so!

So thanks again! Cheers!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Street Cats Fundraiser Donation

Street Cats is an organization very near and dear to our hearts. They are a non-profit, all volunteer, no-kill cat rescue foundation. I have volunteered for Street Cats for the past 6 years and am proud to say that my two little fuzzbuckets and April's big little fuzzbucket are all from the organization!

Every February, Street Cats hosts a wonderful Sunday afternoon event called My Furry Valentine which will be on February 8th this year. This is an event with wine, a silent auction, music, lots of deserts and is, above all, a wonderful opportunity to support a stellar organization. This will be our second year to have items in the silent auction and this year, I've made a couple of pieces with cats as the centerpieces found from the Christmas lot! April's still working on her portion ;)

I tried to lay them out in heart shapes :) If you can't make it to this awesome event, do check our their website or go by the shop to love on the kitties and to shop for the cat lovers in your life!

A little disclaimer...It seems we've only showcased our cats on the site but want it to be known that we love slobbery dogs as well! We each have one of the four-legged beasts and they are the greatest of friends, despite the massive size difference! Often when we work on jewelry together, the beasts get to play all day and thus, they probably love those jewelry days more than us ;)

Rockin' the Customs

Finally, some real blogging from our front!!!! For the first post this evening, I'll focus for a moment on a custom order I recently completed. What is always interesting about custom work, at least one of the things, is that you may be asked to work on pieces that you don't normally do or that are out of your comfort zone. We LOVE to do custom work for that reason and many more. It's such a wonderful feeling to take a special bead or pendant that belonged to someone's aunt, mother or grandmother and make it into a piece of jewelry that they will continue to cherish in a different way. It's always an honor to work on custom pieces.

For this order, I was provided a drop Tahitian pearl pendant and a very long strand of light pink stones that were gifts to the customer by her mother. She requested two fairly simple necklaces that could be worn with many different kinds of styles. Growing up, I was always taught to go above and beyond - when babysitting, leave the place cleaner that it was when you arrived; when at work, put extra effort into the project; etc. This mindset has boiled over into my custom jewelry I added a pair of earrings and a bracelet to finish up the order :)

I really tried to make simple, yet elegant pieces for her to have and used some of the same beads in each of the pieces to cut down on costs for the customer and so the earrings and bracelet could be interchangable!

So there you have it, an example of a custom order!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Blog Love

Man, we're getting blogalicious love from all over the place! A fellow Oklahoma blogger linked us up in a little linky love ;) Check out Mommadosey for her shout out to us!

Will be taking some photos of some fundraising pieces and a couple of custom orders we're working on soon so I'll have lots of new posts soon! Hasta pronto!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bloggin' in the OK

Just a short and sweet little post to thank a fellow blogger for posting about us! Oklahoma Women's Network Blog is a blog dedicated to showcasing women bloggers in Oklahoma! Do check it out! The link will take you to our post :)

Have a Krafty day!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wearing Our Work

One of the many reasons we started this blog is because we can only talk to our husbands so much about jewelry before they pop! Not to say they aren't ridiculously supportive and love that we love what we do but men can only take so much talk about beads, designs, color combinations and what length to make a piece. :) Having a public forum open to the world allows those that want to listen a place to listen to us babble! There are SOOOOO many topics that I already want to cover on here but have the most difficult time deciding on what should come first! There's something to be said about the order of things, including blog posts ;) Even as I write this, I'm not sure what to write about yet -> new photo taking procedures, Hungarian beads, pieces we choose to keep for ourselves, some of the pieces made from the 40 pound Christmas lot, first attempt at a Christmas ornament and so on! As you can see, there's a lot to write about.

I think I'll direct this post towards pieces we keep for ourselves. We often find ourselves in conversations with people where the statement 'I bet you have a huge personal jewelry collection at home!'..or something to that effect...arises. Speaking for myself (and partly April), really, we keep minimal pieces that we make for ourselves. Once a piece is made, we will often wear it for a day to make sure the necklace lays well, doesn't scratch one's neck and isn't in need of any alterations before putting it into our 'system'. That being said, we do wear a lot of different jewelry pieces that we make but don't really own hoards of them. In my personal collection I have pieces from travels and gifts from family and friends with a few of our own pieces mingled in there. Some of the pieces that I have made and kept for myself are:

(This second photo is an example of the new photo taking procedures...what do you think??? Looks like I've somewhat incorporated another topic in this post ;)

April and I will also trade pieces periodically as well. Here's one of her's I recently acquired through a trade and actually wore yesterday! :)

And here's one that I'm STRONGLY considering trading for unless it sells before I decide.

We are each others biggest fans :) So to answer that popular question, no, our jewelry boxes aren't overflowing but rather have just a few of our pieces here and there. I've always gauged whether or not to sell a piece depending on my gut reaction when someone looks to buy it. Once at a show a few years ago, a woman picked up a piece I was particulary fond of and my heart hoped that she wouldn't buy it even though I normally LOVE to see people fall in love with one of our pieces and take it home! After she moved on, I pulled it off the table and now it's a permanent fixture in my personal collection :)

So are we crazy or do you other crafters have those pieces that you just don't dare to part with? I believe that if you don't love what you create, then you don't believe in what you create and others won't believe in it either! So here's to personal creations and loving what you create!