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Once upon a time, Patty came across 5 gorgeous, organic beads at the Houston Quilt show. She held on to them wondering what to do with them. Then she met me. Patty gave me the beads. I held onto them waiting for just the right idea for them. Finally, two of the beads recently found a home:

I have to admit it took me *quite* a while to get this one made. The rings for the chains were teensy-tiny. Tiny. Very, very small. This is how it all started:

A lot of tiny rings turned into two tiny chains. I (or my eyes) needed a few more breaks when working on these tiny chains (though I do LOVE them when they’re finished!). I’m *so* thankful that Patty is a patient woman. First, I’m going to go fix a small problem I found when photographing the bracelet. Then, we’re meeting at Chuy’s so I can deliver the bracelet. Next, we work on a necklace for the remaining three beads. See y’all again soon…

First, thank you *so* much to those of you who took me up on my offer to let me practice making these bracelets with your future jewelry. Here’s your first update on where we are. I found some new vendors to try for purchasing beads and leather. So over the last week I got this (Yay! Mail! I *love* to get mail! I know, it’s very 20th century of me but I still love fun mail.):

Feast your eyes upon the beauty of potential. These beads and leather cord and Art Clay could become anything. But we all know this particular stash of supplies has a specific purpose.

Coming up next? The making of the buttons. Stay tuned.

Well. It’s been a long time since I’ve been here. And it is *so* difficult, I can see why I’ve been putting it off.  Let’s quickly move through the courtesies: I hope everyone has been well. I’m glad the weather’s warming up, I’m terrible at winter. Let’s now skate past the excuses: I went through yoga teacher training last fall and absolutely did NOT plan for how that would turn my schedule upside down. And now, what we’re here for…

Some of you may have seen my new leather/gemstone wrap bracelets on the Facebook page. I’ve been wearing mine now for a couple of weeks. So I’ve pinpointed a couple of design/fabrication things to tighten up. I only have one big problem with the bracelet: I keep leaving it all over the place. As you may know I wear a lot of bracelets. All the time. If I had a dime for every time some one asked me if I practice/teach yoga/shower/sleep/relax on Sundays in all those bracelets (yes!), there’s a house in Hawaii that’d have my name on it! But those are all sterling bracelets. This foundation of this one is leather. When leather gets wet it tends to stretch. So, I’ve been taking it off for to practice and to teach and to shower. Therefore, I find it in the car or the pocket of my jeans or on the counter or in the deep dark recesses of my yoga bag. Other than that I love it! You can see it mixes in lovely with silver.

Here’s where I need your help. I need to practice making more of these, the ‘sewing’ part is rather new to me. I could also use some practice getting the dimensions and other design details ironed out. The buttons are good, but I could be better, neater, cleaner with those. So rather than make another 10 for me, I’m giving you the opportunity to buy-in to my first 10 of these wrap bracelets. Once I get the making of the bracelets streamlined, they will sell for $85. For the first 10, I’ll be offering them at $65. Not only will you get a discount but you’ll be among the very first to own one of these lovelies. Trade-off: your button might be a tad off-center, there may be a bead that needs to be coaxed back into place every so often, or some other minor, minor imperfection.

Right now, I’m planning on making the ruby quartz/black version (as seen here), an onyx/black and a smoky quartz/brown. There *is* the possibility I could be talked into taking requests. The button I’ve worked on so far is the ‘Tree of Life’ (again, as seen here). I haven’t decided what or if there will be other options. When you sign on to help me out here, you’ll be in on this bracelet as the details get hammered out. We’ll definitely be in touch via email and the Facebook page. And I may ask you for your feedback after you’ve worn the bracelet out & about.

Interested? Email me at info@studio219designs.com (Over to the left there’s a ‘click here to drop me a line or two’ that works too; this is one of those it all ends up in the same place deals)

In other news, I still have a few bracelets (and earrings and necklaces) that I’ve made over the last few months to share with you, so be on the look out for that. And well, I’m going to have to address the skyrocketing silver market and how that may impact us all here. The charts on the rising price of silver are making me dizzy! But trust me, if that’s our biggest problem, we’ll survive. 🙂

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

I know, Mother’s Day was weeks ago. Here’s one justification on that: to me, Mother’s Day should be celebrated the day your children were born. That’s when you become a mother. Generalizing to the second Sunday in May makes everything neat & tidy but for me it feels forced. I tear up about being mother when the minute hand hits the time of birth on my kids’ birth days. For some people, it’s the day they found out they were pregnant or that the adoption was *finally* going through. True Mother’s Days are deeply personal and can’t be dictated by Hallmark. Plus…

Justification, Part 2. Not all of the things we mother are our children. We mother puppies and horses and our friends and our ideas. We mother other people’s children as teachers, nurses, coaches, doctors, friends, aunts, step-mothers, neighbors, et al.   Or maybe you’re grateful every day for the time you have/had with your mother. This mothering business is not always clearly defined or as black and white as a birth certificate. And…

Justification, Part 3. I love my kids. But I’m not such a fan of letter blocks and Swarovski crystals. Sorry. There are some beautiful Mother’s bracelets out there but they just don’t *speak* to me. I’d try them on and they might have fit my wrist but they didn’t fit me. So…

I was teaching myself the full Persian weave a few weeks ago. Lovely weave. Lots of potential. Thin & ropy for necklaces, chunky & weighty for bracelets. Or chunky & weighty for necklaces, thin & ropy for bracelets. Like I said: potential. Then my sister had her baby. So..

The charms are (from left to right): Emerald, Citrine, Citrine. Or May (new baby 2010), November (Baby Boy 2000), November (Baby Girl 1999).  A bracelet conceived from a traditional need to celebrate motherhood. But that can be worn and given in appreciation of any of the ways Mothers, in all their myriad of incarnations, touch our lives. And my take on the Mother’s Bracelet was born.

details: Mother’s Bracelet: Full Persian weave in Sterling Silver, all gemstone charms. $185.00

A few months ago I was presented with the opportunity to design a charm bracelet for a friend’s daughter. Karen’s grandfather had been a jewelry-maker and a family favorite was a charm bracelet he had made from some coins. The bracelet was a beauty: a heavy chain bracelet absolutely dripping in coins. It looked and sounded lovely.  Karen wanted to have a bracelet made for her third-grade daughter using coins she & her husband had saved from a trip to one of the Caribbean islands (I admit, I forgot which one. Mea culpa.)

So first I made this bracelet to be the framework, so to speak, for the coins:

Charm Bracelet

And then I added the coins:

Charm Bracelet with Coins

 

I loved it. Even better, they loved it. So, I re-worked one of my own bracelets (an old Tiffany bracelet with the ‘Return to Tiffany’ charm removed and a Plumeria charm in its place) so that I could have one of these charm bracelets for myself.  ‘Cause I just couldn’t let it go without having one just for me. 😉

Charm Bracelet with Plumeria

I know, I know, I know it’s been a month since I’ve been here. Apologies all around. Now, let’s get to the good stuff: a new bracelet & a new pair of earrings.

I just learned this weave a few weeks ago and after wearing & testing things out, I’ve decided they are ready to be introduced to you.  Just in case you’re wondering (if not, feel free to skip ahead to the photos), the things you see here & in the gallery have gone through what I refer to as the 4 Phases.

Phase 1: The Inception: this involves sketching, playing around, getting frustrated, giving up, starting over, re-visiting, playing around some more, sleeping on it, finally the stars align and a piece moves on to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Trial by Fire: The new piece goes out in public. I ask people about it; I don’t ask people about it. I wear it everywhere: to drop the kids at school, to yoga (that’s right, sweaty, hot Bikram Yoga), to read the newspaper, to sleep, out to dinner, you name it I put my jewelry through it before I put it here. Sometimes, of course, there is a quick trip back to Phase 1, then back to Phase 2, then back…I trust you see where I’m going with this. Then, naturally to Phase 3.

Phase 3: The Big Hold-Up: This is where the delays happen. Phase 3 involves pricing, photographing & blogging about the new-ready-for-it’s-big-debut-bracelet/earrings/necklace (FYI, necklaces are currently stalled out in Phase 1). I hate this part. I dread taking & editing the photos. Pricing makes me neurotic. The blogging is fine but I have to do the two other parts before I get to number 3 of Phase 3. But once I make/force/bribe myself to finish Phase 3, obviously Phase 4 happens.

Phase 4: The Release: This is the part we do together. I cannot do Phase 4 alone.  At this point, I’ve let the new bracelet/earrings/(sooner or later) necklace go out into the wild to make what it will of itself. I take a deep breath & wait. To hear what you will say, what your eyes will tell me.

So here we are at a Phase 4!

Barrel Weave Bracelet 

Barrel Weave Bracelet

A true shape shifter. Every angle is a different bracelet. Heavy weight Sterling Silver. $185.

Barrel Weave Earrings

Barrel Weave Earrings

 

A single element of the barrel weave, dressed up with a square of silver. And yes, the little square is cut, shaped, hammered & drilled by me. The earrings drop approximately 1.5″ from the earring wire. All Sterling Silver. $50.

Phase 4 won’t be complete without you. Let me know what you think. I’m waiting.

Granddaddy 2003 

Okay, here’s the thing: Apparently I’m not very good at naming my pieces. Clearly, I am uninspired in that department. I tend to call them what they are. If it’s called a Parallel Chain bracelet, that’s because it’s a bracelet and the weave I used is called Parallel Chain. I hesitate to give them fancy names, since I’m afraid I may be setting you up with preconceived notions. What if I named a bracelet Griselda, would you feel the same as if it were named Genevieve? But what if you know a Genevieve and she is the meanest priss you’ve ever come across…see my dilemma? So I just work in the generic. What are you here for a sweet name or a sweet bracelet? (But if you want help naming your baby, I maintain while Cara is lovely for a girl, I think it could work for a boy, too. Don’t be a sheeple, be a trailblazer!)

So what’s been hanging me up on introducing this bracelet is the name. I didn’t know what to call it. If I call it Granddaddy’s Ring Bracelet, not only is it a mouthful, it means nothing to you. (though it will shortly once we get through this) So I’m going to fallback on my tried & true (let’s ignore the fact that it’s boring, okay? Much appreciated.) Introducing the Wedding Ring Bracelet. At the very least you know what it is but here’s why I make it:

My maternal grandfather passed away in March of 2005. Like everyone else’s grandfather he was an original. He worked in the sulphur fields outside Beaumont, TX. He loved to play golf & fish. He was the man that told me it was ridiculous to assume men can’t sew or cook. He called me ‘Snake Hips’ growing up. And he wore a size 13 ring. People see the ring & ask if he was a big man. He was *maybe* 5 foot 3 inches in his boots. But he had his own way of filling a room. My Mom is his only daughter so, of course, she is now the owner of his wedding ring. She wanted to wear the ring, but clearly it would fit no finger & the ring on a chain idea was just kinda, well, meh. So I tried a few different versions of a bracelet (Mom’s the original bracelet stacker). None worked; due to design and execution flaws we’re actually quite lucky the ring wasn’t lost all together. Then in one of those, this-is-one-of-the-best-ideas-I’ve-ever-had-why-am-I-standing-in-this-shower-I-clearly-need-paper-and-a-writing-utensil-what-if-the-steam-clears-before-I-sketch-this-thing-I-just-drew-on-the-shower-door moments, this was born:

 

 Wedding Ring Bracelet

And I’ve been honoring grandfathers, husbands, great-grandparents and beautiful antique wedding rings found in a drawer or a flea market that just needed a home & a second chance to be admired ever since. So I could come up with a fancy name but chances are if you ask me about it I’ll blank & won’t know which bracelet you’re referring to. And then we’ll both have to live through an awkward conversation about is it the one that goes around your wrist with the little circles in a pattern, most of them are silver but it may have had a bit of gold. You’ll think I don’t know what I’m doing & I’ll be left thinking my work is so unmemorable that you can’t even remember what you want. So let’s try to avoid all that, okay? Plus if we wait on the fancy name, well, you wouldn’t have just finished reading about it now. 😉

 

 

 

    

Since all work on these bracelets is custom, please e-mail me to discuss details. info@studio219designs.com

Looking forward to hearing from you either by comment or e-mail!

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Well, let’s just call this the first go round on the pictures.  They need work (a lot of work), but I felt the need to get something here. Be kind.

Of course, there will be more to come, including some earrings & a special bracelet that may get its own post.

For now, I’ve put Flickr on the backburner. It was supposed to be in the sidebar, but I couldn’t get the code right (seriously…I can *not* believe I just typed that). And I tried & read forums & FAQs and I kept getting little red Xs and file names instead of pictures. Not in the mood for little red Xs to make it look as though I don’t know what I’m doing.  So instead I figured out this gallery feature and we’ll just do this for now.  So enjoy…but remember be kind