Tag Archives: earrings

Crazy Cool Stuff

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funky purple earrings

Funky Purple Earrings

You would be styling in these Funky Purple earrings! Heads would turn (eyes would roll, whispers would abound) and you would be the talk of the party (and maybe the butt of some jokes)! This is just one of the groovy items I got while out doing garage sales.

random brooches and pins

Random Brooches and Pins

Check out the brooches and pins that were in a stash I bought. I love the little bird pin. The gold thin one is also super awesome.

anime watch

Anime Watch

This watch WILL BE a pendent. I love the watch band. The wheels are turning now. I will have to incorporate this band into something. It’s too cool not to have a second chance.

random earrings

Random Earrings

Earrings were not just a source of beauty in the past, they were also a source of pain! I have to admit, I can’t EVER imagine wearing a pair of those earrings. They are all clip-ons and heavy. OUCH! I find they make better necklace clasps or pendents than earrings. The silver cuff bracelet is perfect as-is. I’m just going to wear it. The other bracelets with be disassembled. They will all be recycled and re-purposed and live again as something totally rockin! The past is full of Crazy, Cool, Stuff, someone just has to take the time to find it and appreciate it.

random bracelets

Copper Is The New Black

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Copper is my new black. Everything I’ve created recently involves using copper chain, wire, and findings. Usually I’m inspired by a theme or an object. Hearts, birds, watches and buttons have been a few of the items that have driven me to create. I can honestly say that a metal has never been at the center of my creative forces. This is part of growing and evolving as an artist.

leather rose necklace

Leather Rose Necklace

The rose necklace was a labor of love. I found the leather rose at a garage sale. It was stuck all by itself on a matching leather braided cord. It looked so sad and I knew I could give it new life. I struggled creating the pendent. I used leather cord to attach the rose to the wooden bead. The next hurdle was creating the leather bail and using the copper wire to hold it in place. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out. I have various types of copper chain but ultimately, the simple look of the beaded copper chain won. I think it places all the focus on the best part of the necklace, the leather rose.

The cluster ring came about because I wanted to use copper wire to make a ring. My “go tos” are usually silver and brass. I used neutral colored wooden beads (another first for me – I like high contrast). I love the sense of calm and balance the ring has and I also love that only two materials were used to make it, wood and copper.

wood and copper ring

Wood and Copper Ring

chandelier style earring

Chandelier Style Earring

The green beaded earrings were the first project I created with the copper earring wires. I had one copper chandelier earring that I was given at a garage sale because there was no match…I love it when that happens but that’s another blog…I simply cut the chandelier and freed the beautiful vintage green beads and attached them to the earring wire. I adore the simple look and the contrast of the copper with the emerald green beads.
vintage green beaded earrings

Vintage Green Beaded Earrings

celtic cross earrings

Celtic Cross Earrings

The Celtic cross earrings were a little more thought out. I found the Celtic metal charms at Bead It! and knew they would make a great pair. I continued to hunt for something else with copper and I found the awesome black beads with copper on them. At the time I didn’t plan to put the two together. I completed the earrings, the beads were on the table right next to me and I decided to add them.

I’ll be posting the pieces on etsy soon. If you have interest in any them or want more details, please send me a comment. Who knew copper could be so inspiring?

The Pinnacle Moment

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Black n Blue cluster ring

Sometimes as an artist you find yourself where and when you least expect it. You work and work and make a lot unique pieces. You explore different materials, styles and genres trying to figure out what you and your work are about. Then there’s a day when something you created provides you with divine insight and you understand who you to the core. It’s profound.

I began retailing my jewelry on Friday. The salon where I have my hair done also carries a variety of accessories. My stylist suggested that I bring some to her to sell. I had my hair done that day and took 10 pieces with me to sell.

I’ve learned that I’m not ready for retail, especially the display part of the business. I made my cards and tied and taped my jewelry on to them with hand-written descriptions. Hopefully the jewelry will speak for itself. Removing almost half of my pieces from my etsy shop left it quite empty. I also sold a piece on Thursday to a friend. YEA!!!

Leaf and Tiger Dangles, earrings

This created a situation in which I had to pump out the pieces. I completed 4 rings on Saturday with some new black coated copper wire that I bought from Sea of Beads. I really like the way they look and I especially love the back in black ring.

Back in Black ring

Sunday was earring day. I began by cleaning my desk and organizing tools, beads, buttons, keys and wire. I found two navy blue buttons in the back of my top desk drawer. The feel and color of the buttons caught my attention, so I made a mental note. I also organized my loose chain. This is like trying to pull apart live snakes, maybe not as dangerous, but just as frustrating. I separated this beautiful brass chain that I had bought because the chain was rustic and looked hand hammered. The horrid large blue pendent was obviously a later addition.

As the earring making frenzy started, I remembered the little blue beaded bracelet I found on Saturday at a sale. I bought it with several other pieces and added it to the pile. On closer investigation, I realized that the bracelet was a hodge podge of vintage blue glass beads on brass wire rigged together with the icky plastic sun charm. I love it when you uncover something really special.

Black and White Dangles, earrings

I created 5 pair of earrings before I was mentally exhausted. The silver pairs are nice, well thought-out designs, executed to the best of my ability. The brass earrings with the red crystal leaves and tiger crystals are another example. The beads were purchased at various bead stores because they appealed to me. The chain and jump rings were obtained in a similar fashion.

Hematite Dangles, earrings

I find myself drawn to the brass chain earrings with the buttons and the beaded chain earrings. It’s a gut reaction that words can’t describe. I used the items I most adored and that had a history to them. The thought process while creating them was completely different. I didn’t analyze or fuss with the design. What I discovered is that these two pair of earrings are true expressions of me. They encompass the materials I love to use, the way I love to work, my philosophy of re-purposing and a deep appreciation of things that have history.

Blue Button Dangles, earrings

It’s the pinnacle moment when you say to yourself DAMN! This is what I’m about.

I realize that this is just a moment. Ten years from now, I may be influenced and inspired by different materials and objects. As an artist you always want to be growing and progressing. I know that I will take this moment with me and it will make me a better artist, not just because I had it, but because I took the time to realize it. Keep working for your pinnacle moment. It’s humbling and exciting at the same time. I just wanted to share mine.Blue Bead Dangles, earrings

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

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In my garage sale and estate sale adventures, I’ve gained quite a bit of knowledge. I garage sale/estate sale to get about 80% -90% of the items I use in my jewelry making, painting, sculpture and crafting. I would like to share some of my finds and the lessons I’ve learned.

There is an art to getting good stuff at a good price…Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

This past weekend, I bought approximately, 30 tubes of acrylic paint, including some of the larger tubes for $5.00. The seller wanted 25 cents per tube. I took the time to count them all, let him know the total and asked for a bulk discount. I got 33% off and a nice rubbermate container to take them away. Someone’s craft gone bad turned into my painting booty. SCORE!

Acrylic Paints

Lesson: Buy in bulk or bundle. The more you buy, the less the seller has to carry back into their house. When buying 5 or more items, always ask for a price break. On more than one occasion, after I paid for my purchase, the seller would remember another 1 or 2 items that went with what I was buying, find it for me, and give it to me.

A couple of weekends ago, I came across a honeyhole of jewelry. Unfortunately, the seller had lost his Mother and he was selling off all of the items the family did not want. I gathered several sterling charms, chains and complete necklaces along with some quality costume jewelry pieces. I asked him how much for everything and just when I was about to say a price, he said $3. OKAY!!! I was going to offer $5 and go up a bit if I had to.

Broken copper necklace

Broken copper necklace


Lesson: Let the seller offer the first price. You can always negotiate to get the price lower or accept the offer. By speaking first, you put a price in the seller’s head and worse, let them know how much it’s worth to you.

At a flea market, I picked up several necklaces and asked the seller how much? She quoted me anywhere from $5 – $10. I passed on them because all I really wanted was the chain. I kept searching and I came across a gorgeous brass linked chain, no pendent or findings. When I inquired about it, the seller said $1. That was the one piece I bought. I found a beautiful cooper chain with and ugly purse charm at another booth. The chain was broke. I asked the seller how much and when he noticed it was broke, he offered to give it to me. I gave him a quarter for the piece. I was just happy to get it. SMILE!

Brass chain

Lesson: Look for quality items that are broke and or missing a piece. Sellers will always make a deal on them or even give them to you. They feel a little guilty about broken items or items missing parts and this is your advantage. I ALWAYS buy single earrings. Most of the time, they will give it to me because there’s no match. If happens to be sterling or gold, I get it for fifty cents or less.

Sterling single earrings

I bought a perfect, unused wine bottle opener for ten cents last weekend. It was a garage/estate sale and the family members who were running the sale, had everything priced to go. Various candles and glass vases were 5 or 10 cents each.

Lesson: Carry change with you including dimes and nickles. People use the garage sale stickers and those packages includes 5 and 10 cent stickers. If you only have quarters, you are asking the seller to break a quarter or keep the change. The bad is that you buy additional items to use the entire quarter. It’s also good go carry ones and fives so that you can give exact change. It’s just bad karma to give someone a ten to pay when you bargained them down to seven. Twenties suck because you take all of the sellers change, making later sales harder when they have no ones or fives. Again, it’s a karma thing. DO NOT give someone a twenty when your purchase is less than $5.

Rule of Thumb: When you walk up to a sale in which clothing is on hangers and hung from sleeveless to long sleeves, every item including pencil erasers have tags on them, and items are organized on tables according to type and kind…BEWARE. This will be the sale with the highest prices (99% of time). You are buying their beloved items that they have decided to part with and are allowing you to have. There is a surcharge for them being so anal and taking the time to sort and price each perfectly intact individual item. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a deal, but it won’t be easy, proceed with caution.

Estate Sales: Put yourself on their mailing list so you know when they are happening. You also get to preview the items before the sale opens to the public. Keep a mental note of the items you are interested in when you do the walk-thru and only buy the ones you think are super duper special. Go the last day of the sale when everything is 50% – 75% off. That’s the deal day.

Chained, new earrings with brass, garnet and crystals

I wish you much luck and lots of fun when you go out and find your treasures. It doesn’t hurt to have a shopping list so you don’t get distracted by all of the deals you could make. When the sales aren’t all that great, don’t force it and buy something you may regret. Go to your local art supply, jewelry supply or craft store and check out what’s on sale. Window shop and gain inspiration to fuel your next g-sale outing!

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon!

Spinning Out of Control

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The perfect spin.

Think of a spinning top. When it first starts, it spins very fast and stays in one place. As it continues to spin, it slows, wobbles, spins out of control, and falls over. I haven’t fallen over yet.

I stared with a ton of energy. I created a lot of pieces, set-up my etsy store and started a blog. I accomplished all of the back end work that needed to be done. I made logos and banners and posted pictures and wrote profiles. I was completely driven to make all of this happen. It’s all up and running now and at this point, I find myself slowing down and getting wobbly.

Ballchain, earrings with cloisonne and chain

I will find the mojo to spin fast again! There is so much that must be done. It’s almost the weekend and that always rejuvenates me. On Saturdays, I go to garage and estate sales and I visit my local bead shops for supplies and inspiration. This is my auger. (The metal shaft that you pump to make the top spin.) I wish I had more of these days per week as a way to wind myself up more often.

Dangles on the Dark Side, earrings with black rhinestones

I continue to design more pieces and I’m full of ideas. This is a definite plus. It’s natural to have a humongous amount of momentum at the beginning. As time ambles on, if we’re not consistently gathering our forces, momentum slows, we loose our balance and, topple over. I’m the type of person that recognizes whats happening, says it aloud and then holds myself accountable for taking care of business. I will spin out of control, but I will not topple!

Dangles 3.1 chain, garnet,glass crystals

An interesting fact is that the top is one of the oldest recognizable toys found in archeology. They developed independently all over the world. I find it interesting that a top is a perfect metaphor for our lives as artists and people all over the world and for a very long time have concurred. Keep spinning my friends.

The slow, wobble spin.

Change, nothing stays the same

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It’s time for a change. My etsy store has been up for approximately 3 weeks now and I’ve been working under the name Blue Lizard Designs for several months. I’ve realized that this name doesn’t completely fit my artistic view. What’s in a name anyway? As I continue to make more jewelry, I’ve discovered that I enjoy exploring many different sides of my aesthetic. Sure I can plant flowers and skip, but there’s also a part of me that likes to punch, kick and listen to punk rock. (If you read my bi-polar by design post, you know what I’m talking about.)

Knox, earrings with malachite

After much contemplation, I’ve decided to do a name change. I need something that feels right, describes my point of view and accurately represents the work I do. I love puns but I didn’t want to go too far in that direction. I didn’t want to name it after my own name, that just feels weird. Honestly, I always had a hard time signing my name on the front of a painting or drawing. I never felt that my signature belonged on the idea as a part of the design…I’d just sign the back with a date.

Dangles 1.1, earrings on gunmetal with garnet crystals

The dilemma, what’s a good fit and will continue to represent how I work now as well as in the future…I’ve already made that mistake once! It became more clear to me this week as I was making earrings. I stopped over thinking and just made them. Instead of worrying about how they would fit into a blue lizard design theme, I made them based on what I personally like in a earring.

Rollers, earrings on silver chain with onyx

It’s actually simple. I love dangles with high design and light weight. This is also important to guys if you buy the lady in your life earrings. Heavy earrings are uncomfortable and look unattractive when they are weighting your earlobe down.

In my (what seems to be now) regular fashion of designing happy and light, I also designed dark and edgy. The result is that I’m extremely pleased with everything I made and I believe it all fits my personal vision. Naming that personal vision is tricky. I’m inspired by music, punk, grunge, classic rock, alternative and metal. I’m inspired by Pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenburg and Joseph Cornell. I adore pop culture and fashion. I love a good Roller Derby bout, and I never miss Top Chef or Glee. I’ve taken all of this into consideration and it makes me dizzy.

Daisy Chain, earrings with red glass crystals

Dizzy – giddy, bewildered, sensation of whirling. This word completely describes me and it sounds better than crazy. I pondered how I could incorporate this word into a name. I talked it through with Phillip. I mentioned that I wish I would have come up with the name Alice in Chains. I love the band, the name harkens to Alice in Wonderland and it sounds great coming off the lips. He thought for a moment and suggested Dizzy in Chains. Hmm. I marinated over the idea for a while and decided that this was a name I could use. It has meaning now and it will carry me into the future. Dizzy in Chains perfectly characterizes my attitude and my working philosophy. I also get a little pun as a cherry on top.

Daisy Chain 1.1 earrings with pink rhodochrosite

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. ~ Alan Watts

Squares n Dangles, earrings on gunmetal chain

New Year, New Attitude

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Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to this new year opening up all types of new opportunities. Of course I have to make the jewelry, photograph it and market it, BUT I’m very excited about the ideas I have.

I created 3 pieces for Christmas gifts that were extremely well received! YEA!!! I’ve been garage selling and keeping my eyes open to a variety of objects that could be utilized in my jewelry.

The options are endless!!!

I also resolve to blog more and keep everyone/anyone who cares updated. This is the year of the Dragon and I plan to attack everyday as such. There is no denying that when you have a family and a job, things constantly get in the way of pursuing creative endeavors. This year, the fire is lit and I will be breathing it out for the next 353 days left. My Motto, like the Dragon’s, “I REIGN”!

My wish for you this year is to decide what you want and go get it. It’s a New Year, attack it with a New Attitude and don’t stop until you have surpassed your goals and expectations!!!