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The Missing Link Blog Book Tour

Posted by on Oct 16, 2013 | 115 comments

Hi Friends.

Giveaway Alert

 

I’m excited to bring you day two of the virtual launch party and blog hop for Cindy Wimmer’s brand new wirework book The Missing Link.  I am happy to have contributed two designs to this book.   If you have not heard of The Missing Link yet or missed Cindy’s post yesterday, you can go here to catch-up on day one.

 

The Missing Link Cover

 

I was honored when Cindy asked me to contribute to her book.  If you know Cindy’s work, she creates amazing jewelry with wire and beads.  She has a beautiful design aestehtic tending toward a modern vintage style.   I was a bit worried my work would not be cohesive with the other designers in the book and it would stand out (not in a good way) because of the rustic nature of many of my designs.

After I got my contributor copy in the mail, I felt at peace and was encouraged by all the designer’s creations being so different.  I think the variety creates an atmosphere in the book where people with all different skill levels and many different aesthetics can be inspired and learn a lot.

 

  Warning!   You may find yourself  RUSH ordering some new wire when you get this book!

 

If you are new to wire working, you will definitely be challenged by this book, but the step-by-step instructions will get you through each link.  The step-by-step pictures also really bring it all together.  Cindy did a beautiful job showing all the tools and supplies you need to get started working with wire.

If you are fairly experienced  in wire working, you will not be disappointed and will find unique links that expand your wire work horizons.  The links are organized into Easy, Moderate and Advanced categories.    The advanced links are challenging but very doable if you follow the instructions.

 

Here is a picture of a necklace I made for the book called Create Your Dream, using the lightbulb link.

DreamNecklaceMissingLink

I snapped this photo when my advance copy arrived.   I flipped it open and saw my necklace featured on the full page adjacent to the title page.  That was a fun discovery!

 

Handmade Wire LinksI also have a bracelet design in the book featuring the wrapped infinity link, pictured in the center above.    I shouldn’t  give it all away so I’ll show you the link surrounded by some light bulbs.

 

You can order the book directly from Cindy.   She will send you a beautiful hand signed copy.  A great opportunity!

If you can’t wait another minute to see the book,  then by all means go here to get the ebook directly from the publisher.  Patience is definitely not my virtue!

 

If you are feeling lucky, you could win a copy!

Leave a comment by clicking on the comments below the title of the post above and let me know a little about yourself.  Do you use wire?  If so, how much do you use wire in your jewelry making?  Would you consider yourself an aspiring wire worker, a beginner, fairly experienced or an expert?!   Make sure your name and best email appears in your comment signature or in the comment you type on this post so we can contact the winner.

 

I will randomly draw a number at the end of the day on the the 20th from the comments below and pass the winner  along to Cindy.

The winner will be announced on October, 21st on her blog.  If you win, the book will be shipped directly to you from Interweave, the publisher.

 

I am joined by 4 other incredibly talented designers in this book and they each have a stop on the blog hop.  Heather Power’s will make a guest appearance as well.  Each day, you have a chance to win a copy of the book and other goodies as you travel around to each site.

 

October 15-Cindy Wimmer (Sweet Bead Studio)
October 16-Tracy Statler (Make Bracelets) – *You are Here!
October 17-Lori Anderson (Pretty Things)
October 18-Kerry Bogart (Kab’s Concepts)
October 19-Diane Cook (Rosa & Josie’s)  & Heather Powers (Art Bead Scene)
October 20-Christine Damm (Stories They Tell)
OCtober 21-Cindy’s blog, Sweet Bead Studio

Have Fun & Good Luck!

 

 

 

 

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Pearls, Pearls, Pearls!

Posted by on Sep 15, 2013 | 20 comments

Hello Again Friends!

Long time no post.  My brain fog regarding a big possible move around the world has cleared.  I have done what I can for now to prepare still not knowing for sure whether we are going to stay-or-go.   For now, life goes on here in Virginia and I am back to full steam ahead!

 

I am making my blogging re-entry with a post about pearls and a design challenge that inspired me from Mishel Designs.  Michelle Buettner loves pearls so much that she has a diploma in pearls from the Gemological Institute of America.  She is the perfect designer to issue a jewelry making challenge using pearls, pearls, pearls!

 

Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 6.49.20 AM

 

Pearls also happen to be one of my favorite gems to use when I am making jewelry and I have quite a collection of cultured freshwater pearls in different colors, shapes and sizes.  I like to use them in ways that makes them look modern and fresh. Not that pearls ever have or ever will go out of style!   I like to combine them with leather and use them in slightly unexpected ways.

 

double leather pearl link

I was playing around with a double leather link and wire wrapped it with pearls and a few tiny bead caps as an accent.  The double leather link makes an interesting bracelet focal.

I knotted smaller 6mm, large hole pearls on brown C-lon bead cord along with faceted, sterling silver nuggets and faceted clear quartz.  It could be a necklace or a wrap bracelet.  I have been wearing it as a bracelet that wraps around my wrist 4 times.

 

Asymmetric Pearl Earrings
Asymmetric Pearl Earrings2

For my second design, I created a pair of asymmetrical earrings strung on 26g sterling silver wire.  There are three different kinds of pearls in these earrings.  The smallest are teeny tiny, 1mm rice pearls.  It amazes me that a hole can be drilled in such a small pearl!  I also used peacock biwa pearls as the base of the triangular shape that have an amazing luster and color and a single large hole 6mm pearl that is the same pearl used in my wrap bracelet above.  I used a faceted iolite bead to play off the color of the peacock pearls.

 

 

Buying Advice For Pearls:

I tend to buy most of my pearls in person from a variety of vendors at bead shows I attend.  Many of the vendors at these shows don’t have good retail websites you can visit to see their inventory.

I like to see and touch the pearls because the luster, color and texture of the nacre, the outside coating of the pearl, can make a pearl amazing or just completely flat and so, so.   It is hard to completely judge those qualities online.

However, I have purchased pearls from many of the popular online bead stores and if you do, make sure they give the pearl a grade.   I like to spend a little more for an “A” or at the least an “AB”  grading if buying online becasue they should have better luster.  When I go below that, often I find I am disappointed.

I have had some luck with JBC Beads in the past buying large hole pearls online.  They show the pearl grading.  Lately it seems I am only buying large hole pearls to use on all sorts of cording and leather.  You can also search Etsy suppliers.  There are tons of shops these days selling large hole pearls and often you can purchase just a few pearls to test the quality.

 

 

Head over to Mishel’s blog for more buying resources and to learn about the history and the vast variety of pearls that exist.  Spend a few minutes to hop around and take a look at the other participants blogs to see many gorgeous pearls used in interesting ways!   There is some swoon worthy jewelry.  Thanks for hosting this wonderful, pearl filled blog hop Michelle!

 

Pearls! Pearls!! Pearls!!! Blog Hop Participant List:

 

MiShel Designs – Pearls! Pearls!! Pearls!!! Blog Host 

Sadafulee,…Always in Bloom 

Antiquity Travelers

Jewelry By Jasvanti

Bead Contagion

 Back Story Beads

Sharyl’s Jewelry and Reflections

Silver Niknats

Fresh Baked Designs

Lisa Yang Jewelry

Designed by Vera

Serena Trent

Amy Bright

Carefree Jewelry by Lisa

Agape Creations Jewelry

Klassy Joolz

Beautifully Broken Me

One Kiss Creations

Stories from the City of  Brass

** Make Bracelets! ** You are Here

Carolyn’s Creations

Raindrop Creations Jewelry

Freestyle Elements

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

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Silver Pricing Lowest in Years

Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 | 5 comments

Have you seen silver prices lately?!   They are down to the lowest prices in almost three years!

 

I haven’t purchased silver sheet or wire for quite awhile because I stocked up the last time prices were semi-reasonable and I use it sparingly because of the prices.   As you may know, silver has been on a three year run with prices ranging as high as $48+ (briefly) a troy ounce – mostly hanging out in the low to mid $30’s. When I first started making jewelry and started paying attention to silver prices it was about $12 an ounce.  Ah – the good old days!  The jewelry supply market has adjusted by providing cording, leather, alternative metals, silver plating and silver filled options widely available and attractive with so many stylish components to choose from.

For me, you still can’t beat sterling silver for certain things.  I was looking for some half round beaded silver wire the other day because I want make some cool silver links with it and it’s not manufactured in brass, copper or silver filled!   I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed the pricing.

I thought I would pass along this info to you if you have been wanting to invest in a little silver but have been scared by the high prices and have sort of given up on silver as an option.  Don’t get me wrong, silver is still a bit of a splurge – but it is in a much more reasonable price range right now.  Around $23 an ounce as I am writing this.

(UPDATE:  $15 an ounce as of October 2015).

 

Here are some geeky charts – if you like that sort of thing, like I do – to see just what I am talking about.

 

1 Year Silver

Last time prices were this low was October , 2010

5 year Silver

 

I was feeling a little sassy the other day after looking at the numbers and dove into my silver stash with less caution and went for some nice thick 16 gauge wire and whipped up a little sterling silver bangle for myself.  I oxidized and tumbled it and I kind of like how it turned out!

Sterling Bangles

 

Have you been holding off on buying sterling silver supplies?  If so, maybe it’s worth a little look in your stash to see if need to restock or it’s time to try something new.   It will set you back about $10 less a troy ounce then it did a few months ago!

P.S.  I get most of my silver by weight from Rio Grande, Monster Slayer or Thunderbird Supply.  There are many Etsy sellers supplying wire and sheet as well as beading stores but be aware that their prices may not reflect the lower pricing.  Shop smart and compare.  Many times,  what you pay in shipping fees makes it a good deal or not.  If you are only ordering a small amount – then bead stores, some Etsy sellers or Rio Grande may be your best bet.

 

 

 

 

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A Few Words About Passion

Posted by on Apr 13, 2013 | 5 comments

 Passion is above all a remedy against boredom.

  – Joseph Brodsky

 

 

Try new things.

Amaze yourself.

Discover your Passions & Pursue them.

Repeat.

 

Tracy Statler Jewelry Studio

 

 

 Have a great weekend!

 

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Upcycled Silk Ribbon Yarn Jewelry

Posted by on Mar 27, 2013 | 5 comments

Nicole from Darn Good Yarn just sent me some of her new and very awesome upcycled, reclaimed silk sari ribbon cards.  Her packaging has been reimagined and now comes in 5  yard sections that are perfect for jewelry designers and crafters who don’t require a full skein and want a  more consistent and wider range of color for their designs.

 

For those of you that don’t know Darn Good  Yarn, Nicole works with factories overseas and upcycles silk scrap from garment factories in India and Nepal that would otherwise be thrown away.  She gives women a means to make a living for their families by salvaging and dying the silk remnants and making them into beautiful yarns and ribbons to be used in any project you can imagine.

 

I have to give Nicole a public congratulations.  She is sort of famous now!  She recently won the grand prize in the Fed Ex Small Business Grant Contest.  No small feat.  There were tons of  applicants –  awesome accomplishment Nicole!

 

Just look at some of these delicious colors –  They are so perfect for spring and summer.

 

Upcycled Silk Ribbon for Jewelry DGY

These  ribbons make cool wrap bracelets!  You can tie just a little bit of silk to an earring for a interesting design accent.  They can be combined with chain, leather, wire wrapped  beads or you can just simply add a great focal and some beautiful beads for a necklace to create an easy pop of color.

 

Upcycled silk ribbon yarn necklaces

I can just picture these necklaces dressing up a simple t-shirt and jeans!

Go check out DGY and tell Nicole congratulations.  She’d like that!

That’s all for now.   My house is grand central station this week.  Tons of kids in and out for Spring Break.   Have a wonderful Easter!

 

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