Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My cousin, Mary Ellen, holds a Holiday Open House and Sale at her house every year right before Thanksgiving. It's become a tradition over the past 10 years and her friends and associates visit to get a head-start on their holiday shopping!

I've been lucky enough to be part of this fun event for the past three years and her guests have grown to love my jewels. Man, I just love it when people love and appreciate my jewels!

This year was extra special because the day after our big event, Mary Ellen got out her stash of family jewelry. Her parents, my uncle and aunt, have recently passed away and to her delight, they kept many momentos that Mary Ellen didn't expect to find!

We played around with the items, thinking about all the ways we could incorporate these treasured items into new jewelry for Mary Ellen.

With my beloved Uncle Tom's Navy dog-tag and peacoat button and other special things, we made what Mary Ellen now calls her "Daddy Necklace".


Friday, November 12, 2010

My Vintage Button Obsession

So.... my vintage button obsession continues...

Some would call it an addiction. Some would call it a peculiarity. I just call it a recent obsession.

I'm obsessed with finding buttons.

Special vendors at the Springfield Antique Show, the Indianapolis Fairgrounds Flea Market, and an antique mall in Waynesville have had beauties. My friend, Heather, took me to the shop in Lebanon that used to be where Maddie Lisee lived and he had some beauties, too. My friend, Jana, found a huge lot of vintage buttons at a recent garage sale and she let me hand-pick some of my favorites from her batch (in exchange for jewelry, of course... I love our Handmade Dayton Etsy Team trades... another blog entry for another time.) Some of the buttons in her garage sale find are ones that I've never seen before!

I'm obsessed with sorting and displaying my buttons.

I sort by gender first. There are female and male buttons.... Yes, there are... Think about it... Then I sort by color and size. I'm using an old typesetters box to display them on a coffee table. Wow! Some may not think this is exciting, but it definitely quivers my liver!

I'm obsessed with, of course, making jewelry using buttons.

Bracelets are my favorite. But the little button earrings have been a hit with my customers.

Give me a buzz if you'd like to check out the whole collection sometime. Maybe you'll find a special holiday gift for you or for someone else.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Button Rings!

I love wire-wrapping buttons to make rings! Most of the ones I do are vintage buttons, but while I was in California recently, visiting my daughter, Steph, and her family, we also made four button rings using new buttons in a pretty design.

Gave one to my friend, Lori, one to her daughter, Erica, and Steph and I each have one, too. I think that makes us a girlfriend club!

Also made a couple for my dear two year old grand-daughter, Ella. She is tickled pink and loves her new rings :)

Enjoy some photos and if you have a special button you'd like me to make into a ring, give me a holler.

Hugs and love,

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Jewelry Birthday Party

Thank you, Kennedy, for including Aunt Julie in your 13th birthday celebration!

The girls had fun, I had fun, and they took home some handmade pendant necklaces :) I was amazed by their unique creativity!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Skeleton Key Necklaces

Skeleton keys... so intriguing.

I once bought some on ebay from a small town jail in Ohio who boasted that John Dillinger was once in their jail. They were filthy dirty when I bought them, but thanks to some good old soap and water... and a little rust remover on some of them... they are good as new and make great pendants on these necklaces.

Ok, so some high-profile jewelry companies have used keys as pendants, but theirs are not "original" vintage skeleton keys... and possibly even used by a sheriff to jail John Dillinger??? How's THAT for history?!

I think that's what I love about vintage items... it's the history of all of it. Who once used this key and how old is it and what was it used for? For me... that's what makes skeleton keys so intriguing.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Handmade Dayton
for lovers of vintage and handmade goods

At the Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market Extravaganza

4401 South Charleston Pike, Springfield, OH 45502, 937.325.0053

Friday, July 9, 10-5pm – Saturday, July 10, 10-5pm – Sunday, July 11, 11-4pm

Julie –
Altered Vintage Jewelry

Heidi -
Altered Vintage Lingerie & Accessories

Jana -
Addicting Tea Towels & Vintage Curiosities

Tracy -
Accomplished Seamstress

Wendy -
Stationery Products and Fine Art

Patty -
Classic to Neo-Victorian Hand-Crafted Jewelry

Chris -
Photography, Painting, Sculpture, & Quilty Things

Sherri -
Photography and Visually-Inspiring Art

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Organize Your Craft Supplies

Today's Facebook post by Everything Etsy was about Organizing Your Craft Supplies - Thank you Everything Etsy for your inspirational post! I was delighted to read about their suggestions because I just bought a great organizing cabinet from my friend and craftmaster, Zach.

Zach recently opened a space in Springboro, Ohio in the building that used to be the IGA at the corner of 73 and 741. It's like a fabulous neighborhood garage sale all under one roof. And Zach also features his uncanny talent for turning vintage items into furniture and home accessories! He even goes to old houses scheduled for demolition and gets the hardwood floors and makes tables from the wood. Would you ever think that a beautiful old window or door could be a funtional and unique cabinet door? Wow... you have to see his stuff to believe it...

Stop in to see Zach every week-end - Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 11-4. Let him know Julie sent you; maybe he'll offer me a discount for the referral :)

My latest purchase from him was this featured organizing unit he made from an old strawberry crate and cheese boxes. And the drawer knobs were spools for thread - fantastic idea!

I can already see my vintage buttons, crystals, keys and beads taking up new residence in these drawers and in vintage glass jars on the shelves.

When I've finished my organizing, would you like to see the finished product?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

For My Fellow Etsy Artists

I did it! I did the Etsy Virtual Lab on Thursday night for the very first time and it was a lot of fun! Here's my de-brief - some editorial, some not.

Here's the link to the Lab I attended!/event.php?eid=109669322390415&ref=mf which was an educational panel in their Speaker Series.

Panel guests were:

Kari Chapin, author of The Handmade Marketplace, and she brought four of the book's crafty contributors with her.

I, of course, ran out to Books & Co. to buy the book immediately, which I'm really enjoying!

  • 130 people were there in person
  • About 100 were there in the virtual meeting room - people from ALL over the WORLD, which was really cool.
  • I "chatted" with someone from Africa and Australia.
  • Also made new etsy friends from other states, plus one from Akron, Ohio. It was cool how people were searching for people from their own state.
  • The chat room was I think my favorite part of the experience. Got some great tips, new people hearted me and I hearted new shops, too. Also, I am now following a new blog - a jewelry artist with beautiful work that I found inspiring.
  • My main take-away from the panel discussion was about your Creative Collective, which Kari talks about in her book. Your Creative Collective can help you get through "creative blocks" which we all have, and also provide counsel and fellowship. Just kind of gave me a nod to all my creative friends that I depend on so much.
  • Another discussion that was a very hot and heavy one was "under-pricing". Etsy artists feel very strongly that when you under-price your hand-made items, you are cheapening our craft and all of our businesses' integrity. Please keep that in mind when you are pricing your items.
  • Throughout the hour that I was on-line with them, they posted three polls and then they posted the results, which was interesting. I didn't take very good notes on this, though, because my brain was swimming already with the chat room and the panel discussion. I do remember two of the questions they asked - 1. Do you have a Creative Collective? 2. Do you sell what you make?
  • Issues with technology - sound especially - made it hard to follow and was distracting. Plus the annoying guests who very rudely complained about the issues were even more distracting :)
  • While I may have not received much help from the panel, it was still an exciting experience.

I recommend checking out the Etsy information page for Virtual Labs before attending one. It shows a sample of when a visitor from People StyleWatch magazine was broadcast - way cool! It also shows samples of what the virtual room looks like and instructions for how you use all the buttons. :)

And that's my debrief!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vintage Button Necklaces

Like most artists, I find inspiration in everyday activities. My most recent inspiration came in the form of a magazine photo while catching up on Hollywood gossip in the waiting room of a doctor's office.

Kim Kardashian was sporting a fabulous vintage necklace made out of chain, chain and more chain. I liked it and gave it a moment's thought, but inpiration didn't hit until I was asleep that night... Do others realize inspiration while dreaming???

I woke up with my vision and went right to work. My lovely collection of vintage buttons are now adorning chain necklaces, one of which is modeled here by my lovely daughter, Stephanie.

While I haven't yet posted them on, I've made seven of these beauties and I'm sure they will find their way to etsy soon.