Trends in jewelry fashion are heading back to the chunky styles. At first I had a problem with it as I have always been more of a lightweight if I wore jewelry at all. I still don't wear much although my daughters keep telling me I have to wear my designs. I have developed a passion in creating and designing, or perhaps I just like to play with all those gems! Either way I have been learning, developing and having a great time with it. When I first started a couple of years ago I just made jeweled dangles to attach to my hand knit and felted bags. You can see where it has taken me. In the beginning...I used only craft store type glass beads and from there I went onto the Czech beads. Someone told me about Swarovski crystals and when I received my first order I fell in love with all the sparkle. Then a shop owner suggested I incorporate genuine pearls in my work so I tried it out and that was great. With my second order of pearls I also ordered some gems. All that was well and good but I did not care for much for what I was getting on the Internet so I started shopping locally. I found a great shop about an hour away for beautiful pearls and some gems http://www.beadinpath.com/ and another for my wire and other gems http://www.jsritter.com/. They are significantly more expensive but the quality so much nicer. It did mean I had to raise my prices but I feel like the increase was worth the quality. I really enjoy the process of handpicking my pearls and gems so I don't mind paying the extra.
I had the same basic experience with lampwork beads. I am fascinated with that art. I was buying them from company in Canada and while they were nice, they were mass produced and not really unique. I bought some beads from Generations Lampwork http://wwwgenerationslampwork.etsy.com/ and Margo Lampwork http://www.margolampwork.etsy.com/ and fell in love. I have worked so much with Generations that all I have to do is shoot off an e-mail and tell her the colors and shapes I want and it is perfect, beyond expectation in fact, every time. The lobster and the shells are hers, the octopus is Margo's. Now I have ventured into the world of learning the stitches. For someone who loves realism and has a hard time with abstract the free form peyote I have been doing is a stretch. I never thought I would be so taken by it. Now I want to buy a loom. You can just imagine what my studio looks like with all the beads, gems, pearls, lampwork and yarn...I still make those bags. Stop on by my shops and take a look at what's new! http://www.divelladelights.etsy.com/ and http://www.divellasfibers.etsy.com . I will have my own website up and running in about a month so stay tuned. Any suggestions on the design?