Jewelry, where have you been all my life?

Over the years I've tried my hand at making jewelry from the findings you can get at the local craft store, mostly for gifts. Then, while planning my daughter's wedding in 2008, we couldn't find exactly what she wanted for her bridesmaids' jewelry at an affordable price. Once again I headed to the craft store and bought a supply of Swarovski crystals in her chosen colors and sterling findings to make five sets of matching necklaces and earrings. They were certainly not perfect, especially since I had no idea what to do with that very frightening straight end of those head pins holding the crystals. How was I supposed to attach them to the ear wires and chains? Somehow, I made it work and I still get excited when I see one of the girls wearing her jewelry.

I spent almost another year toying with the idea of making jewelry, knowing that I needed something creative to do after years of working as a bookseller. Slowly, I began collecting glass beads and more sterling findings (and learning what to do with those head pins!) and created a few pieces, listing my very first items on Etsy on April Fool's Day, 2009. What better day is there to start a business you're not sure you belong in?

So, what you see in my shop today is the result of a very slow process, making sales here and there and graduating from the dining table to an actual studio created in one end of a fortunately large laundry room. I've taught myself to solder and make my own findings whenever possible, and expanded my bead collection to include natural stones and pearls as well as beautiful glass and ceramic beads. I buy sterling, gold-fill and copper wire and chain in bulk, and seldom step into a generic craft store anymore, preferring to haunt my local bead store or shop for great beads and stones from Etsy sellers.

Most of the time these days, I'm busy taking care of a very active granddaughter and grandson, but whenever I can, I steal away to my studio, anxious to grab my hammer and my torch to create the designs I've been dreaming in my head. I hope you love the results!