Jewelry

Agate Necklace Collection

AgateCollectionClick to shop the Agate Necklace Collection

 

The idea of creating “collections” has been on my mind lately. I usually work on one-of-a-kind items. My creativity comes in spurts and I create what I want in the moment. It’s fast, inspiring and most of the time fleeting. My agate necklace collection started in the same way. I created a necklace for my sister years ago. She has loved it all these years and when she visited me in March she asked that I make one for a friend. We picked a few stones, I made her friend one and her two more and thought about how other people may enjoy this style of necklace.

 

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My mom came out to visit a few months later and requested a necklace for herself so, I made her two and picked up a handful of more stones to work with. That’s how this collection got started! I have lovingly hand picked and wire wrapped a handful of sliced agates ranging from 3-4 inches. Then, I adorn them with a bead and hang on chain ranging in lengths from 18″-30″ for a a uniquely versatile statement necklace.

 

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Brazilian agate is one of the most beautiful minerals on earth. The rough contour of the outside of the rock is a contrast to the beauty within. It has taken about 80 million years to form and each slice is an original. The agate’s vivid color may be obtained through a dye process, but the markings in the stone are natural. Brazilian agate balances the four energies: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Worn for protection, centering, healing and strength as well as better concentration, more confidence and an overall feeling of composure. Protects you from stress and energy drains.

I find myself wearing one of these necklace almost daily. I like the long length and something about wearing natural stones grounds me. Agate being a protector from stress and energy drains sure helps too.  These natural agate necklaces will lend a natural raw edge to your everyday style. Click to shop the Agate Necklace Collection.

 

2014 Bead&Button Show Recap

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Here are Sara and I are ready to demonstrate using Soft Flex Beading Wire at The 2014 Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This marks my 5th or 6th year working the show with Soft Flex Company. I’m not entirely sure because, the years tend to blur together and I took a few years off after having my second child so, I haven’t worked them all in a row. For those in the beading industry this is one of the largest trade shows of the year. It is full of inspiration with hundreds of classes, free make it take it’s and demos, design challenges on display and large selection of beading vendors and art bead makers.

It is one of two trade shows a year I work in Soft Flex’s booth. It really nice to get out from behind my desk, spend time with my co-workers I rarely see and interact with our customers face to face. I did a lot of demoing on how to crimp as well as using Soft Flex wire to knit and macrame.

 

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I played around with knitting 28G Soft Flex Craft Wire during the show. I had a customer stop by having a tough time getting the final shape to look good so, I created a design that day and asked him to come back the next day and I would discuss how it went. We realized that he didn’t have a draw plate. This tool is necessary to work harden and even out the wire strand after knitting Craft Wire.

 

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Creating a macrame design with Soft Flex Wire. I loved this mini macrame board that Sara found on Amazon so much, I bought it from her to take home with me! It holds Soft Flex beading wire perfectly. So much easier then using tape – I find that the wire slips out of the tape too easily.

 

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My beading haul from the Bead&Button Show! Although I don’t NEED any more beading supplies I can’t help but shop a little when I’m at a show. It’s wonderful to see items in person, see design ideas and buy directly from artists and small businesses.

  1. Soft Flex Beading Wire  in Colors Peridot, Green Turquoise, Citrine, Red Jasper, Chrysoprase and Antique Brass Color.
  2. Wanderlust Pennants by Tesori Trovati Jewelry
  3. Crane Bead, If Love was a Bead and Tiger Bead from Beads of Courage
  4. Bokamo Bracelet Supplies
  5. Ceramic Beads by Golem Studio
  6. Shell Donut Pendants by Lillypilly Designs 
  7. Brass Bead Strand from Hands of the Hills

 

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Super random, I posted on Facebook that I was at the Milwaukee Public Market (cool place!) and my Phoenix friend Tosca saw it and and said she’ll be in Milwaukee that week too! She stopped by the show on Saturday night and we grabbed a bite to eat. It was great getting to know her better. We met during the Phoenix Art Mural Project in December and haven’t gotten together since. Social media at it’s finest when spontaneous meeting occur!

 

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We at Soft Flex Company had so much fun sharing our love of beading at the Bead&Button Show this year through demonstrations in our booth, free make-it-take-its, sponsoring Bead Dreams, sponsoring the ISGB exhibit and sponsoring the Beads of Courage Design Challenge. Looking forward to what’s in store for next year! Until then, I need to get my bead on.

If Inspire Were A Bead: Beads of Courage Jewelry Design Challenge

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Since I first shared about the Beads of Courage “Creativity in Full Circle” design challenge sponsored by Soft Flex Company in this post – I have a bit more information about the process to share. It’s really flippin’ cool!

The challenge begins with 10 Beads of Courage children, siblings and parents who create beads based on words like Love, Hope and Spirit and what those words mean to them. 10 glass bead artists were then challenged to create beads based on the top designs. 10 jewelry designers chosen by Soft Flex Company were challenged to incorporate the beads into a finished necklace design.

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The bead I received was based on if INSPIRE were a bead … designed by Kailey Maks (Age: 8) from Ann & Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, IL.

In her words: Meaning to breathe life – dolphin and water do both. It is said unicorn dolphins – finding a cure for illness and ocean waves – storm/sickness. Fitting that a unicorn dolphin symbolizes findings a cure!

The bead artist that brought Kailey’s design to life in glass is Nanette Charif from Tucson, AZ.

Nanette’s Bio: I have been a glass artist for 9 years. I began collecting beads and stringing them together over 30 years ago. My focus started with beads and what I can do with them and adding my hand crafted beads with store beads for my jewelry. I have since learned to make murini and multi-colored canes along with more sculptured type pieces like turtles, fish, and pumpkins. I get much of my inspiration from my wonderful lush backyard  and my beautiful Koi pond. Tucson also has the benefit of other cultures to enrich all of us.

Click to purchase if Inspire was a bead … as well as see all the other top bead designs!

 

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If INSPIRE were a bead was then sent to me and I incorporated it into this  necklace bringing “Creativity in Full Circle”! When I received my bead in the mail it was equal parts excitement and fear. I had just a few weeks to complete my design, the final necklace was to be  showcased with designers I respect and admire, but mostly I wanted to honor the bead designed by Kailey and created by Nanette and it’s a bead based on the word Inspire!

I needed to push myself to create something that hopefully would inspire others. I began working with the bead to create a hanging pendant. I’m inspired by jewelry designs that use interesting materials and force me look closer and examine how it was created. With that in mind, I knew I wanted the pendant to have some fun elements like the Dark Blue Lapis Soft Flex Wire and bead tassel. I also felt that knitting Dark Blue Lapis Soft Flex beading wire would add interest with texture. I knit with wire often but, had yet to add beads to my knitted designs so, of course I wanted to try that out and knitted with Swarovski crystal beads! Lastly, I added some fun blue glass beads from my stash and added those and crystal beads to complete the necklace. I was a little concerned I was putting too many idea in one piece but, I think by keeping the color scheme classic and simple in blue and white it helps it all work together.

I’m truly honored to be one of the 10 designers participating in this challenge  alongside jewelry designers I admire so very much and a wonderful cause I am happy to support! The finished necklace designs were featured at the 2014 Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee and sold to raise money for the Beads of Courage Program.

 

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The designers chosen by Soft Flex Company to make the final pieces include:
Jamie Hogsett
Diane Trepanier

Visit Beads of Courage to learn more and see how you can get involved with this amazing organization! Beads of Courage, provides arts-in-medicine for children coping with serious illnesses, their families and the health care providers who care for them. Truly an awesome organization.

Visit Soft Flex Company for more information about this project with Beads of Courage and the products used in the final jewelry designs.

Beads of Courage Jewelry Design Challenge

imageBeads of Courage and Soft Flex Company are teaming up for a special design challenge called “Creativity in Full Circle”.

For the “Creativity in Full Circle” design challenge, 10 glass beads were created based on drawings by 10 children in the Beads of Courage program. Those beads were sent to 10 jewelry designers who were asked to create a finished necklace design with each bead. The finished necklace designs will be featured at the next Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee and sold to raise money for the Beads of Courage Program.

My word is inspire and this is the imaginative bead I received this week, now I need to get to work on creating a necklace design. I’m super excited to be one of the 10 designers participating in this challenge  alongside jewelry designers I admire and a wonderful cause I am happy to support!

For those of you who are not familiar with Beads of Courage, they provide arts-in-medicine for children coping with serious illnesses, their families and the health care providers who care for them. Truly an awesome organization.

Visit Beads of Courage to see how you can get involved with this amazing organization!

Visit Soft Flex Company for more information about this project with Beads of Courage.

Knitted Wire Bangle Bracelets

New knitted bangle bracelets have been added to my online shop. I hand knit these bracelets high quality Soft Flex flexible beading wire and a knitting spool. The designs are finished with cones, wire wrapping, beads and charms. Some have toggle clasps and others stretch to fit over your hand without the need for a clasp. Comfortable to wear to everyday.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/creativestash

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21 Day Blog Love Affair: Day 6

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It’s been a bead-iful day. In an effort to chip away at some of my beading stash, I was inspired to create this Ametrine and Amethyst necklace design last night and finished it today. I love the subtle Citrine color that comes through on the large Ametrine gemstone beads. I strung the stones on Soft Flex Metallics .019 Medium Beading Wire in Antique Brass Color. It’s a soft flexible wire that feels nice on your neck. By leaving the wire exposed it lightens the design so the necklace doesn’t feel isn’t too heavy when wearing the large bold beads.

 

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I used my new Magical Crimper tool I purchased while at the bead show with 2mm copper crimp tubes to secure beads in place at the corners of the design and when attaching the clasp in the back. Love the tiny little 2mm bead it creates!

21 Day Blog Love Affair: Day 5

I’m back in action today, hooray! Nothing quite like a couple days with limited mobility to really appreciate feeling well and moving freely. Today was a full day of laundry and design work and walking kids home from school and cooking and finally more laundry. Why is there so much laundry?

 

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One of my crowning achievements is finally unpacking my suitcase from my trip to Tucson. I was in Tucson for 6 days earlier this month working with Soft Flex Company, beading wire manufacturer and jewelry-making supplier,  in their booth at the Best Bead Show. I had a great time getting out from behind my desk and in front of our customers answering questions, helping with jewelry making needs and demonstrating crimping and knitting techniques with Soft Flex Wire. Not to mention getting to spend time with my co-workers whom I have worked with for over 10 years yet, rarely get to see! The life of a telecommuter.

 

Before heading to the show I told myself I had enough supplies and wasn’t planning on buying much. But as the story goes, who ever has enough creative supplies?! Not this girl, ha! And being surrounded by such inspiration and beautiful products from our neighboring exhibitors makes it all the more difficult to keep my cash in my wallet. I am known to be pretty frugal and to think and rethink my purchases so, to ease the pain of spending I gave myself a small budget each day to play with. Here is what I ended up coming home with.

 

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Row 1
Soft Flex Crimp Tubes in Gold Filled, Silver Filled and Copper
Super Duos in Red and Turquoise
Samunnat Clay Beads (Handmade in Nepal to assist with domestic violence)
Soft Flex Beading Wire in Dark Blue, Turquoise, Coral Red, Bone and Peridot
Magical Crimper
Beaded Flying Pig and Horse for my little guys

 

Row 2
Copper Cones
Wubbers mini chain nose pliers
Small mix of dichroic cabochons
Aurora Borealis Crystal Drops
Lampwork beads by Prima Donna Beads

 

Can’t wait to create with my new supplies plus, all my current supplies – my beading stash is pretty huge right now! Goodnight xoxo

Knitted Sea Glass & Pearl Bangle Bracelet

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I am lover of texture so, knitted jewelry designs float my boat. After returning from a family vacation that included a day at the beach, I was inspired to combine Fluorite Soft Flex Beading Wire with glass pearls and sea glass for a design fit for a beach goddess.

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I shared a picture of this design online and had three people asking to purchase it and within a few hours it was sold! I couldn’t believe it. The combination of soft colors and knitting technique made it a desirable design. It’s so comfortable to wear too. If you are interested in seeing how I created it, I shared instructions on Soft Flex Company’s blog this week. Click to see the how-to post.

I hope you are enjoying the last days of summer. My kids go back to school next week already, I can’t believe how fast that went!

I’m in the April 2013 Issue of Bead Trends!

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Check out my first published jewelry design in Bead Trends magazine this month!
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Autumn Vines Knitted Bangle
by Kristen Fagan
Bead Trends – April Issue

Check out my first published jewelry design in Bead Trends magazine this month! I adore all the texture in this design. The knitted Soft Flex Beading Wire is stretchy and flexible, the red beads add a hint of sparkle, the hard copper hand wrapped cones give the hand forged feel I love so much and the centerpiece is an intricate bezel design I picked up at the 2012 Bead&Button show by Kerri Fuhr with my original art print “Autumn Vines” set in resin. Pick up your copy on newsstands or the Bead Trends website and get full instructions on how I created this bangle on pages 34-36.

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Wedding Bliss
by Sara Oehler
Bead Trends – April Issue

My wonderful friend and co-worker Sara Oehler is also featured in this issue with me! How cool is that?! I love the connector technique she created with Soft Flex Extreme Wire in her design. The silver and crystal combination is so elegant.  Be sure to check out Sara’s gorgeous design “Wedding Bliss” on pages 114-115.

Simple Truths Celebration

100_4931Tesori Trovati Simple Truths Pendant “follow your bliss”

Erin Paris-Hintz of Tesori Trovati is celebrating her Simple Truths line of art pendants today. I am delighted to be part of the celebration and share a necklace I made with Erin’s Simple Truths pendant.

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I was first introduced to Erin and her work in 2010 when I worked with her on her featured web page over at Soft Flex Company’s Spotlight On …. I instantly fell in love with Erin’s style and the jewelry she creates and was lucky enough to meet up with Erin at the Bead&Button show last month, she is so kind and easy to talk to. She generously gifted me a Simple Truths pendant of my choosing. She handcrafts so many beautiful pendants that it was hard to choose. Ultimately, the wise words “follow your bliss” choose me and are a beautiful reminder for me to create with passion and follow my bliss!

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In addition to designing jewelry, Erin creates this line of Simple Truths art pendants that combine wise phrases with sweet images on hand painted polymer clay. You can find Simple Truths and her jewelry in her etsy shop, Tesori Trovati. 

Be sure to visit Erin’s blog where she will be giving away a Simple Truths subscription to one lucky commenter who has never owned a Simple Truths pendant as well as a discount offer for her shop.

Please visit these designers and see their Simple Truths creations, you will be glad you did.

Erin Prais-Hintz http://treasures-found.blogspot.com

Sharon Misuraco http://goinoffthebeadinpath.blogspot.com/

Tanya Goodwin http://pixiloo.blogspot.com

Alice Peterson http://www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.com

Melissa Trudinger http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com

Lori Bowring Michaud http://artfullyornamental.blogspot.com

Rebecca Anderson http://songbeads.blogspot.com

Chris White http://dzeyenrstudio.blogspot.com

Cherrie Fick http://designsinthelight.com

Rosanne Garvison http://fabfibers@blogspot.com

Shelley Turner http://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com

Marlene Cupo http://amazingdesigns-marlene.blogspot.com/

Mary Harding http://www.maryhardingjewelrybeadblog.blogspot.com

Lola Surwillo http://www.beadlolabead.blogspot.com

Michelle Burnett http://reverieandrevival.blogspot.com

Kirsi Luostarinen http://kirsiluokorut.blogspot.com

Paige Maxim http://pmaximdesigns.blogspot.com

Cynthia Riggs http://cynthsblog.blogspot.com

Thank you, Erin for your generosity and the motivation to bring my Simple Truths pendant to life!