Thursday, October 06, 2011

Goodwill Hunting

Ok, not Goodwill hunting - more like Goodwill shopping! I had a great sales day last weekend at the Littleton Friends of the Museum craft fair and almost sold out of my collage pendants. I use vintage images from books for the base of my collages and I needed some fresh material. Off to Goodwill to see if there were any treasures hiding in the book section. Here's what I found:
A great picture filled biography of John F Kennedy with a lot of beautiful pictures of Jackie. A 1950s parenting book filled with sweet line drawings of children and great text snippets. Another1950s book filled with terrific line art called "The Ape in Me" (?!) Huh? No idea what's up with that title.

Scanned a bunch of cool images, here's a few of my favorites:

Feel free to right click and use whatever you like. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Are You Too Old To Do What You Love?

If you're looking for my bead soup post, here's the link:

Have you heard of Marie Forleo yet? If not, listen up! She's a fantastic motivational speaker who's also sexy and hilarious. I get her email newsletter and had to share today's post and video. In it, Marie talks addresses the question, "am I too old to do what I love?". Great topic and one that many of us face, whether you're 24 or 54. My favorite part is a quote from Julia Cameron "Do you know how old I'll be by the time I learn to play the piano?" Answer: "The same age you'll be if you don't." Here's the link, enjoy!

Link to Marie's blog post.


Monday, September 26, 2011

What You Missed at the Creative Connection Marketplace

If you're looking for my bead soup post, here's the link:

I've been so busy since I returned from The Creative Connection in St Paul, that I haven't shared any pics of the event! Here's just a small sample of the wonderful vendors in the marketplace. You couldn't turn around without bumping into amazing creativity! It was a little intimidating. Although, I've done many shows, both indoor and outdoor, I'd never been in one quite like the Creative Connection Marketplace.

For starters, it was out of state - far out of state. As in, the distance between Denver and St Paul is over 900 miles! Driving 14 hours by myself didn't seem like a good use of time, so I flew. This meant figuring out how to get my show set-up to the event. Another blog post for another day . . . let's just say it was a learning experience. Secondly, this was a "pole and drape" show. This means the space is divided up by a series of metal poles with fabric hanging from them as dividers. This booth set-up is merchandised differently than the indoor shows I've done in the past. I'll switch some things around next time I'm in one of these to make better use of the drapery "walls" behind the displays. Here are a couple of pictures from my booth.  
Fabulous Silver Flowers

Earrings and Silver Collage Pendants
Pics of some of the other fabulous vendors at the show:

This organization redecorates the bedrooms of children in shelters - all through donations.
Enchanted Makeovers

Do you see the drapery swags in the background of this booth?
They drew all of it on kraft paper with sharpies!
Tinsel Trading

This is a very small part of Amy Barickman's triple wide booth. Gorgeous! I've been a fan of Amy's for several years and was so happy to find out that she's just as nice in person as she is in print.
Vintage Notions
Like I said, just a few of the many GORGEOUS booths at the show. There was also a Simplicity Sewing Lounge in the middle of everything - complete with cushy armchairs. Never could get a good shot of it because it was always filled with happy, crafty, gals. Nuff said - it was all fabulous!


Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Bead Soup Party Day!!!

 Today is the big day for the Bead Soup Blog Party! If you haven't read my previous posts and are scratching your head, "what the heck's this crazy lady talkin' 'bout?", here's a link to my Bead Soup Party post to catch you up. Lori Anderson, posted this map on her blog of all the participants locations:
This is a BIG party!!
I was lucky in the partner that I was given for the swap. Geneva Collins, of Torque Story, was very kind and sent lovely beads. Some of the colors and textures were different than what I usually work with, but that's a good thing and part of the reason to participate in the event. Even creative people get stuck in their ruts. Working with materials that you haven't chosen is a fantastic brain stretcher. It's reminds me of when a group of my friends went to get pedicures together and the nail tech suggested that the group choose everyone's individual polish color for them. We ended up with toes we might not have picked out ourselves but were mostly perfect for us. My friend Kathie has been wearing dark purple/black polish on her feet ever since!

Here's the beads that I received from Geneva:

For the first set that I made, I used the focal piece and clasp that she sent, some of the turquoise beads, and some of the silver spacers.

I created big fun silver loops for the turquoise beads in both pieces. My way to insert an MJane detail!
Geneva sent so many gorgeous beads that I had plenty left to make a second set. For these I used the light wooden beads she included and added my own silver heishi  spacers and toggle.
I'm really pleased with how this second pair turned out. They're very light and simple. I can see wearing them regularly as "go-to" pieces:

Great fun being part of the Bead Soup Party Blog. Can't wait to do it again!!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Look At These Gorgeous Beads

Remember a couple of weeks ago I told you about The Bead Soup Blog Party ? Here are the beautiful beads I got from my blog party partner Geneva Collins of Torque Story

First, can we talk about the GORGEOUS packaging?! Love!

Here are the beads. Love all the blues and greens. Reminds me of summer and the beach. Geneva was also so generous with the quantity, this is only a sample of what she sent. I can make a BUNCH of pretties with these! What would you make?
Have a great week!
M Jane Designs

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Make a hot handmade clasp!

I love to add hand made details to my jewelry pieces. Whether you're making, buying or giving jewelry, the special touch of a beautifully crafted clasp really stands out. Here's a quick tutorial if you'd like to try one yourself.

1. I like to use 16 gauge all soft wire to make my clasps. Start out with a 2" piece of wire. Straighten and clean with steel wool if necessary.

2. Make a loop at each end. One loop should be slightly smaller than the other. Use simple round nose pliers for this step.

3. Bend the wire over either bailing pliers or the large base of round nose pliers. (You can even use a sharpie marker as a mandrel here!) Make the bend slightly off center, closer to the smaller loop.

4. Use a bench block and dapping hammer to add detail and work harden the clasp. This is where you can really add some personality.

5. Voila! You're so awesome!!

Get yourself a coil of copper wire for practicing and give it a try. It's much easier than you might think. Happy jewelry making!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Creative Connection

Quick blog post here with some exciting news! I'm going to be a vendor at the Creative Connection event in St.Paul, Minnesota next month! Really looking forward to being a part of what will be an amazing conference. Also, double fun, one of my BFFs is flying in from PA to help me out! Lots and lots to make between now and then as well as many logistics to figure out. I'll share more I promise. In the meantime, here's a link to their website. Check out all the amazing women that will be speaking and teaching! : ) Jane

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bead Soup!

I'm really excited to be a participant in the very talented Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party. If you haven't heard of it, here's the scoop. Lori pairs jewelry makers from around the country and the world, they swap beads with their Bead Soup partner, and then make something with the beads they've received. On the day of the Blog Party everyone posts pictures of what they've created. The idea is to meet other jewelry designers and stretch your creativity using components you might not have chosen yourself. It's also an opportunity to discover new blogs and see what others have done with their Bead Soup components. (I'm sure I'll have many, "Hey! why didn't I think of that?" moments.) This Soup has 362 participants!!! That's a lot of pairing and organizing Lori! My partner is Geneva Collins and her blog is called Torque Story. Can't wait to see what she sends.

We're not allowed to show what WE sent yet, but here's a little tease of what I shipped to Geneva.

It's really nerve racking to figure out what to send. Sort of like dressing for a first date. What should I send? Fancy? Casual? How much? Will she like it? Is it enough? Too much? I guess that's part of the experience too. The exercise really forces you to look at your bead stash from a different point of view. As in, "Why do I have so many green beads? I'm kind of in a color rut..."

Look for pictures of my beads from my partner very soon! I know they'll be wonderful.

Monday, August 15, 2011

More Vacation Photos

Just downloaded more pics from my trip. It was so nice to be on vacation and be able to take the time to see the great images all around. These are from a trip to the mall with my girls & a night out on Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC. Love the fountains!

Leaflet Board

Fountain Boy Sitting

Fountain Boy Closeup

Fountain Boy Backside

Store Window Display
Molly skipping

Ice Cream on Franklin St

Stairway View

Pizza Place

Plane Back to Denver

More Vacation Jewelry Making - Shot on my Mom's cutting board!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Vacation Photos

This post is at least 2 weeks overdue, but since we got back from our east coast summer trip it's been nonstop at my house. So here's the "better late than never" vacation photo post!  I take plenty of family snapshots too of course and I treasure those memories, but these "artsy" photos are my little piece of zen. Enjoy!
Jack in my Dad's MG

Highway Redemption

Awesome old comic rack

Good to know...

Gator teeth & a storm coming

Marooned Mermaid

If only it were that easy


Vacation Jewelry Making