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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jewelry Hobby Intro

I started making jewelry as a little girl like so many others. I think it was back in 4th grade that we were making friendship bracelets and hair wraps out of colored thread. I got into beads in middle school while making hemp necklaces.

As a teenager or young adult, can't remember quite when, my mom got into stringing beads, but she always got me to help her. She could never figure out how to do the ends with the clasp.

For a brief interlude a few years ago I made perhaps three earrings. I used head pins and jimmied a wrapped eye without any real understanding, nor any tools. One of my earrings failed in that one of the beads I had picked out didn't have a hole that went all the way through. This discouraged me and I quit making any more.

After college, I started dating my fiance and I just got obsessed with him and our new relationship. At the beginning of this year (2012), I came to the realization that I was missing out on having hobbies of my own. He has a hobby that consumes his time (android development). So I came up with a list of ideas for my own hobby.

The first is blogging (ta da!). The second on my list is jewelry making. I decided the best way to do this is to take some classes from my local bead shop. I mentioned to my mom a day or two before my birthday in February that I wanted to take a wire jewelry class and she must have immediately went out and got me a $50 gift certificate and some tools for wire working. I wasn't fishing for her to buy me a gift, and I told her so, but she said it was just good timing because she was looking for something to buy me.

Gift for Mom - I made matching earrings and bracelet for
my mom for her birthday, which was conveniently the
Sunday following my first class.
My personal goal is to make jewelry to match every shirt and outfit I own. I also am going to make jewelry for presents! My mom's birthday is right after mine in March, so luckily the first class was a few days before her birthday. I quickly made a bracelet and matching earrings from some beads I've had for years. She loved it!

I plan on also sending jewelry out for Christmas presents this year. I could give a pair of earrings to each of the girls in our family: my mother, my mother-in-law, three sister-in-laws and my step son's mom.

It would be pretty neat to sell some of my jewelry for my work's annual fund-raising event for the local food bank. I would also like to someday sell jewelry via internet and possibly art/street fairs. When I told my fiance my plan to do jewelry for a hobby, he immediately suggested that I sell my jewelry at art/street fairs. "I'll sit in the booth with you!" He is so sweet and supportive.

I took the Wire 1 class back in March and am enrolled in Easiest Earhooks in the Universe in late April and Wire 2 in mid May. My goal for blogging is to share what I have learned in these classes and to document the progress of my hobby. My first class notes have been posted. I will post my other class notes shortly after taking the classes.

My other goal of hobby blogging will be to share some of my successful projects with supply lists, tools lists, directions and photo documentation. I will be posting my first project blog entry shortly.

I told my mom how I love making a product and having something to show for my work. She laughed and said that what I do for a living is a testament to that. I am a Civil Engineer and work on designing schools, libraries, art centers and other public/nonprofit buildings. My career is the ultimate create-a-product-to-show-for-myself job.


Here are a list of resources I use:
  • Beadworld - this is my local bead shop. I have been buying from them ever since I was a little girl. This is also where I take my classes.
  • Fusion Beads - I bought a Living Social deal from them.  I LOVE their website.  I love looking through all their inspirational projects.  Their projects always list out the materials, skills and tools required.  They often also provide pdf directions.
  • Pinterest - I LOVE Pinterest.  I have a board for projects I would like to do and projects I have done.  Love it.
  • Google images - I love looking through Google images for pieces to mimic.  You can also search for similar based on an image url.
  • Evernote - I use Evernote to keep pictures of projects I would like to do and I keep a collage of my projects.  I am also trying to keep track of costs for future reference if I decide to sell jewelry.


  1. I've been sewing since I was 12 and learned to crochet at age 20 but jewelry making is something completely different. I'm intrigued and I have a huge collection of beads and such that I'm hoarding, I mean saving for when I can learn how to do it.

  2. You should jump in! It is really fun. Isn't super time consuming. The tools are much less expensive then say a sewing machine. I've really been enjoying it. :)