Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Very Crystal Clay Christmas...

I was going to do a whole bunch of Christmas jewellery updates, but I was so excited with my very first set that I just had to post it now!

Once in a while I really do get a brainwave while designing jewellery, and I think this is it. I managed to include a fair number of techniques here: epoxy clay, wire-work, and stamping.

I'm so proud of this set. Can you tell? *big grin*

Sigh.... I'll have to make another set for myself to keep! Either way, you can buy the set at my store here:


I think

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stamped Crystal Clay

I've been hopping up and down for most of the week, simply because I couldn't wait to photograph my new creations!

Apoxie Sculpt and Crystal Clay are the same thing, just different brand names, and this week I've discovered that they go extremely well with rubber stamps, ink, and pigment powder. Now I can make jewellery that is even more customizable than ever before.

As you can see, the pigment adds a metallic shimmer to the Crystal Clay.

I like to call this my WTF owl. He looks so cute. And confused.

I can now make personalized family jewellery!

I love, love LOVE my alphabet stamps!

Yep. I've been in a jewellery making FRENZY lately! Anyways, my December (aka Christmas!!!) commissions are quickly filling up, but there are a few spots left. So if you want a custom-made piece for Christmas, the deadline is the 12th in order to gaurantee delivery in time for Christmas.

Again, you can contact me on facebook at my page here: https://www.facebook.com/BeadedBohemian (if you haven't 'liked' it yet, please do!)

Or, on my official website here: http://www.bonanza.com/booths/Beaded_Bohemian#/?s=2

(As soon as I get a better lighting situation I'll post a tutorial on how to stamp and add pigment to expoxy clay, pronto!)

Note: Apologies on the delay with the Gift Guide... I have most of it written out and then I had an attack of "why-are-you-telling-people-what-to-buy-they-are-perfectly-capable-of-picking-their-own gifts". It'll be out soon. ish.

Monday, December 3, 2012

New Products (and just in time for Christmas too!)

Ahhh, I've been so impatient to update my blog with all my new creations!

The problem with winter is the lack of good lighting for jewellery photography. Luckily, today was quite sunny, so I immediately grabbed my camera and went right to work.

I can now make.....

Stud earrings!


Pocketwatch necklaces! (Batteries included).


And my favourite.... stamped Crystal Clay necklaces! (tutorial forthcoming)

Just in time for Christmas, folks! All of these make fabulous gifts (I highly recommend the pocketwatch necklaces. Vintage, unique, and very 'in' this year).
Well what are you waiting for! Run to my website and shop, shop, shop!
Note on shipping: Any orders placed by the 18th, WILL arrive on time for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Crystal Clay Bridesmaids' Jewellery

Ahhh, my wedding photos have arrived! I am so happy with them... and the photographer was kind enough to take photos of some of the bridesmaids' jewellery!
I have to give a special thank-you to The Beading Room, one of the main websites that I get my supplies from. They are awesome!!! I had spent months searching the internet for the perfect shade of epoxy clay to go with the dresses and flowers, and was about to give up. The owner, Hollie, ordered in a special shade of DeCore clay that I needed, AND found me the perfect purple crystals to go with it.

If you need beading supplies, this is the place to go! Check out the Beading Room here: http://www.thebeadingroom.com/
I hope you enjoy the photos!
If you need custom made jewellery for your own wedding (I've made jewellery for 8 weddings now), you are welcome to view my portfolio here:

Photos are by the wonderful Tamsen Donker of Creative Clicks photography, check her website out here: http://www.creativeclicksphotography.com/

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Going, going... gone

Well, it's been an interesting year so far for jewellery. No craft shows this year (my stag&doe doesn't really count), but hopefully there will be some in December and spring of 2013. It was a slow year for sales, but I got a new website, and business cards - not to mention most of my jewellery production this year was focused on making jewellery for my own wedding.

A lot of people like asking me: how busy are your sales?

My honest answer is: inconsistent! I either don't sell anything for a while, or there's a period where I'll sell five pieces in a week (or twenty at a craft show). Normally, sales pick up around Christmas, and summer (wedding season). I also do custom orders and jewellery repairs throughout the year.

The fact is, I'm a student in a very demanding MFA program! Jewellery is a hobby. Maintaining a website and an internet presence is a lot of work, and if I were serious about jewellery sales, I would be hitting up craft shows all over Canada, getting some small-business insurance, and making ten pieces a week instead of ten a month. I can't really do that at this point.

I guess an example would be my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BeadedBohemian
(please like if you haven't already!)

Recently, I posted a status about a Christmas Giveaway, to which nobody answered. If I were running my jewellery business full-time, my immediate thought would be: how do I reach more people so that 'fans' of my page will be more active, and more likely to purchase something?

Alas, I have several assignments on the go, an apartment to take care of, and a thesis novel to write, so instead of being sad I tend to shrug and giggle at myself before moving on to other tasks. Which is why, again, sales are slow. But that's okay, because I simply don't have time! I'm happy with less sales, as long as my pieces go to people who I know will love and appreciate them.

So hopefully that explains my sporadic jewellery productivity.

And with that, here are some well-loved pieces that I sold or gifted in the past few months. I only make a piece twice at the most, so these lovelies are gone for good - unless someone has a special request.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

the wedding and the mini-moon


Finally, I'm married!

For the record, married life is pretty well the same as normal life, only every day once in a while I grab C's hand and go "you have a SHINY", either in my head or out loud. Depends what mood he's in and how many people are around. Obviously we are excited to be married but really, at the end of the day... we're still the exact same two people we were before.

So we thought we'd have all this leisure time after the wedding! Um, no.

Schoolwork. Lots and lots of schoolwork. And midterms. And readings. Me and C were behind by about a month, so ever since we got back from the mini-moon (explanations later), we've been swamped by EVERYTHING. Hence my disappearance from the blogosphere.

I still have to write thank you cards. Helpppp meee.

Anyways. Wedding went awesomely. Me and C were just astounded by how on-time we were with everything. I expected to be rushed through photographs, dinner, getting ready, but everything went the way it should.

Except somehow we ended up with two cakes to bring home. You know, that top layer that you freeze and save for later? Hmmm. At least I can recognize my own cake, thanks to photos, but what about the other one? It belongs to someone else! What do I do with it? If I throw it away, will it create some cosmic ripple of events that ends someones marriage?

Obviously not. I've just always wanted to write something like that.

The mini-moon happened in New York City. I was so excited. I hadn't been there since I was tiny. Basically, my in-laws paid for a honeymoon in December, so me and C decided to have a 'mini-moon' right after our wedding, because trips are great.

And costly. We stayed at the London Hotel, where one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants is, and breakfast for two would have cost over NINETY DOLLARS before tax. (room service cereal is $12 before mandatory gratuities, whaaat, that's still not a good deal)

.... we had breakfast elsewhere. As much as me and C like to spoil ourselves, we draw the line at a forty dollar fried egg.

Photos? Sure.

Walking along Times Square. I like to describe it as an extreme mashup of Toronto and Niagara Falls' Clifton Hill

THE BALTO STATUE!!!!!! It was my favorite movie as a kid. I was so happy to see this.

Hey look, it's me.

My horrible photo of the Statue of Liberty. I blame it on a rocking sailboat and two glasses of champagne.

Me and C had a fun time picking out all the first dates rowing by.

Red Pandas at the Central Park Zoo! I love them. I want one. Pleeeease.

Monday, September 24, 2012

wedding wedding wedding wedding

... How many days until the wedding? What day is it today? Have I paid so-and-so yet? Where did I put those wedding programs.... What time did I book that hair appointment...

And before you know it, it's 3 in the morning and my to-do list has grown even longer.

Five days until I am married. (Whaaat? Helen with a husband? The word still makes me giggle.)

So if anyone is wondering why jewellery and blog updates are slow, that's why.

If anyone has noticed that this blog entry is disjointed and frantic, that's why.

And my cat is still sick. I still have to edit the wedding vows. I have stuff to print out. My bank account is crying.

On the bright side, I'm starting to think of some Christmas specials for my website and blog.

Maybe some jewellery giveaways? Some coupons? Maybe I'll think of some sort of contest?

Anyhow, contest details won't be out until November, and I have some cool ideas for a Halloween giveaway too!

Alas, all this must wait until I am back from my honeymoon (I'm going to New York!!!). In the meantime, you may scope out my store and see what shiny trinkets I have added: http://www.bonanza.com/booths/Beaded_Bohemian

So who knows? Maybe you can win your favorite piece in the next month or two!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tutorial - Crystal Clay and Charms

Just a quick tutorial for now (school's started for me!). I know I promised a review of the three different kinds of Epoxy Clay, but that has to wait until I have some new packages of the stuff. Because once it's out of the package, there's no visual difference. And I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to tutorials and photo quality. So here's something else I promised instead:

Dragon Charm Ring Tutorial

For this tutorial, I'll show you how I made this ring...

My sad attempt to make a yinyang with the Czech Preciosa crystals. OH WELL. It's still sparkly.

Step 1: Materials

You'll see in my previous Crystal Clay tutorial HERE that I already explained what you need for basic crystal clay work. So in this tutorial I'll assume you know that and merely present the most important components. Your ring base/bezel and the charm that you want to put in it.

Step 2: Preparing your charm

Now the charm will look silly pressed into the ring with the loop. So what you need to do is take a pair of wire cutters...

... and do this:

Very carefully, and I repeat, very carefully snip the loop off. Some charms will be tougher than others. Sometimes it's easier to break them off, sometimes it's a quick snip, and sometimes you have to press the cutters hard to make a groove and then break it off. Experiment. Make sure you have more than one of the charm.

Step 3: Adding Crystal Clay

This part is where measuring the Crystal Clay is important. You want the charm to lie flat with the edge of the bezel, so the clay itself has to be flat. Otherwise the clay will bulge out beside your charm and it will look unprofessional. And by measuring, I mean getting really good at eyeballing what you need! (kidding). Just make what you think is appropriate, then pinch the extra out and smooth it over with water. See my previous tutorial for those little tricks.

Carefully press the charm into the clay until the edges are covered. Make sure the area you snipped off is covered, so the sharp edge won't hurt anyone.

Tip: a little less clay than what you need is good. The big charm will displace some of the clay, as well as the crystals you add.

Tip#2: I find Crystal Clay has the best texture for this. DeCore Clay is too hard to be properly sticky, and ApoxieSculpt is too wet and your charm will just sink in unless you let the Apoxie sit for 20 minutes before adding your charm.

Step 4: BLING
If you've read my previous tutorial, you should already know how to add your crystal chatons. Add as many as you want until your ring is sparkly enough (when is it ever enough), let your clay cure for 12 hours and poof, you have yourself a Crystal Clay ring with a charm!

It looks very big on me, but trust me. I have child hands. It will look great on anybody else.

You can find the ring for sale here at my online store: GREEN DRAGON adjustable Crystal Clay ring

(Or since I've showed you, make your own!)

UPDATE: Add me on Pinterest for more tutorials and updates!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Before and After

Just a quick update for now, on all things jewellery-related.

Before and After:

Pretty cool! The cuff and the ring are done, they just need some polishing. The bracelet components I'll connect together and add to the store sometime this week.

I also created a facebook page that you can find (and 'like', please!) here: