Category Archives: Basic Jewellery

Every Autumn, my Thoughts Turn to Snow

Summer is winding down here and the socks and extra blankets have been put to good use. The cats are spending more of their evenings inside and the sun is as reluctant to rise in the mornings as I am.

My daughter enjoying her first snow in 2011

My daughter enjoying her first snow in 2011

I enjoy the colder months. I love the feeling of being rugged up warm inside, while outside the wind howls or the rain pours and puddles freeze. Oh, I know, it’s cold and flu season, but that doesn’t bother me, I seem to get colds and flus year-round anyway. We’re lucky that we don’t get the extremes of the South Island. We get the odd snow fall, but not every year, so when it does happen it’s exciting and we want more. We’ve only had one really good snow fall in the last decade or so, and I have my fingers crossed for another this winter.But I’m getting ahead of myself. Winter is still two months away. Best that I enjoy the Autumn first.

In beady news, my Hollow Cube Beaded Bead tutorial is available in my Etsy store right now. I have Deb from Datz Katz to thank for proofing it for me and picking up my many typos. I have two more tutorials in the works, but they are a bit more complicated than a humble cube, so they may take some time.

Hollow Cube Beaded Bead

Hollow Cube Beaded Bead

This past weekend, Wanganui/Whanganui (which ever spelling makes you happy, please don’t set the “H” police onto me), artists had their annual Open Studio weekend, which is a wonderful thing. This year 72 private studios were open to the public, featuring every kind of artist imaginable. I was in town for other reasons, so I didn’t tour around, but I did find time to stop in to see Barbara Bullock’s glass studio (Beads with Flare) and picked up a few lamp-worked beads. Barbara mostly works free-form with her glass and torch, but she also makes larger fused glass art pieces. She was a wonderful, and informative host and gave us a demonstration of her process. Next year, I hope the dedicate the entire weekend to studio hopping.

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Healing Jewellery

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Recently, I had an enquiry from a mother asking if I could make a necklace for her son using healing gemstones. While I do occasionally use gemstones, both in my jewellery and in my personal life, they’re not a subject I can claim expertise on. I am, however, interested in the subject and felt honoured to be asked. Now I’m not sure just how useful gemstones are in regards to their metaphysical properties, perhaps they resonate with the body and soul acting as a catalyst for healing, perhaps they function entire because of a placebo effect. However they work, it is clear that many people find them to be very effective and as long as they’r e not being used in lieu of medical care, they certainly can’t hurt. 2013-12-14 19.52.37

After doing some very thorough research I found out which stones were the most appropriate for the issues that my client wanted to address and set about finding a source for the beads and planning a design.  I do feel that a certain amount of intuition comes in to play when selecting stones, I found myself rejecting stones that matched my criteria for no reason other than they didn’t ‘feel right’ for the purpose. I’m very pleased with the end result, and I hope my client and her son will be too.

A Christmas Sale

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On Thursday night I attended the Hawera Ladies Night market and what a roaring success. There were 37 stalls in total, all of which were small home-based businesses, and over the course of two and a half hours we had 467 people through the door. The entry fee was a gold coin donation, with all proceeds going to the South Taranaki Parents Centre, raffles were also held and in all, $913 was raised for the cause. I’d like to give a huge thanks to Rocky and her team for putting this night together and I look forward to seeing it all happen again at the Bell Block Ladies Night in February.

My next piece of news is the CHRISTMAS SALE! This was intended the begin the day after the Ladies Night, but was postponed due to my waking up with a horrific head cold. I could not even begin to think straight, in fact I suspect this particular virus may have permanently reduced my brain function; I seem to be doing a lot more stupid things than usual. But better late than never, right?

The New Zealand only sale applies to all of the jewellery listed in the Facebook Sale album. The photos have been updated with the sale prices. To purchase, email me at sales@jennysangster.co.nz or send me a private message on Facebook. Let me know which item you would like (include a link to the image if you can), include your mailing address and I will reply with banking details. Postage is a flat rate of $3 for as many items as you like. I will try to keep things updated as quickly as I can, but please keep in mind that some items may become unavailable due to the time it takes to clear my emails and update the listing, it’s first in first served. The sale will run until midnight Sunday 8 December.

Wet Socks and a Sale

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Seventeen. That is the most pairs of earrings that I have made in one sitting. I’m not sure how long it took me, I can’t remember how many continuous episodes of Breaking Bad I sat through that night. I can remember that at the end of it my feet were like ice blocks. This is because I had been so focused on what I was doing that I didn’t notice that the carpet in front of the couch was damp, and this dampness had been slowly wicking up my socks. Mr. Two thinks it’s great fun to empty his sippy cup on the floor.

I now have 77 pairs of earrings made in preparation for the Hawera Ladies Night market on 20 November (make that 76, because I just took a pair for myself) and I’ve been mulling over my pricing options. My woven earrings are usually priced by taking into account how much the materials cost and how much work goes into them. This means there is a fairly big variation between the price of each pair.  The most expensive pair of earrings I have in stock at the moment are the Blizzard earrings at $NZ29 and the least expensive are the Little Nova earrings at $NZ18. In a perfect world, I would have each pair of earrings displayed on it’s own fancy card with my name emblazoned across the top, with the price listed on the card. But in that world, I would be able to afford a lovely big card holder display, and I would know what I’m doing. I would also be spending my days on a private island with my lovers Johnny Depp and Norman Reedus, while looking like Jessica Biel.

057In accordance to my budget, I have acquired a cheap, wobbly copper stand, which is not suited to individual pricing. Tiny price-tags hanging off earrings is not a good look. I’ve decided just to have a sale instead, woohoo bargains!!

This is my price list for all of my jewellery on the night, except for bead woven necklaces and bracelets, which are still prices individually.
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A Time to Grow

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Pink Cadillac by Marsha Wiest-Hines. Image published with permission.

I often feel rushed when making jewellery. I’m never going fast enough for my liking and I feel that if I don’t churn out a finished piece every few days, that I’m somehow letting someone down. I seem to have developed this notion that I need to make a certain amount of things that people will want to wear every day, then I feel like a failure when I see how few people are actually buying my beadwork.  I look at the amazing project pieces by beaders such as Marsha Wiest-Hines or Eva Maria Keiser, and think to myself “if only I had time to experiment more so I could learn to make wondrous creations of my own”.

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T-Hex by Eva Maria Keiser.
Image published with permission.

Then a short while back the talented Patrick Duggan, posted something on Facebook that resonated with me. I won’t write it word for word, but to summarise: ‘don’t get hung up on sales, bead for the love of beading, sales mean nothing and thinking about sales will stifle your creativity’.  Of course, the way he said it was much more eloquent and inspiring. He also said that when he dies, his family will be left with a house full of beautiful jewellery, which I think is a lovely image too. What a legacy to leave!

In two weeks time I have the Hawera Ladies Night market to attend, so right now, I’m playing catch up on earrings and memory wire bracelets, but once it’s done and dusted I’m changing my focus. I’m going to create the jewellery I want to create, instead of feeling obliged to meet an imaginary expectation.  I’m going to work on becoming the artist I aspire to be. Creating should not be about catering to the market, it should be about inspiring wonder, the kind of wonder that I feel when I see the bead work of the masters.

I Hate To Bring This Up But…

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Wow, November 1st and I’ve already got all of my Christmas shopping done.  Despite my constant warnings of “Santa won’t bring you any toys if you don’t drop that attitude, Missy!”, my children will in fact be getting Christmas presents this year. I have to admit, this super-organisation wasn’t because of an undying enthusiasm for the holidays, but rather a desire to get it over and done with, so I don’t have to spend the next 7 weeks worrying about it. That’s right folks SEVEN WEEKS. Horrible isn’t it?

Custom made necklace, black with Heliotrope Swarovski Rivoli pendant

Custom made necklace, black with Heliotrope Swarovski Rivoli pendant

So now that you’re reeling from that bombshell, let me take the time to remind you to think about the women in your life. Your mothers, daughters, aunts, (yourself) and friends who deserve something extra special. There is still time to order custom made jewellery for Christmas; one of a kind gifts for one of a kind people. To enquire about custom jewellery, email me at sales@jennysangster.co.nz. Ready made bead woven jewellery is available in my online store and less elaborate jewellery, made from basic assembled components are listed on my Facebook Sale album.

 
In other news, the Halloween Giveaway has been drawn, congratulations to Andrea L.  I hope you love your new necklace, it was a joy to make.  There are more giveaways coming up soon so keep your eyes peeled. The Facebook page is close to 300 likers so I will be having a draw when that milestone has been reached and of course, a Christmas giveaway is also on the cards.

Giveaway

 

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I’ve got so many ideas spinning around in my head, it’s difficult to choose which one to do next. My brain is just a jumble of wire, rivoli, beads in a thousand different forms and thread-paths that may or may not work.

Inner turmoil aside, it’s sunny here, and warm. I’ve missed this kind of weather, every winter i forget about it’s existence and when it does show up, it always catches me by surprise. Despite the sudden urgency I feel to get into a less rounded shape, this weather has put me in a good mood. A giving mood. A giveaway mood. With the help of rafflecopter, I am running a giveaway in which the winner chooses ANY item from the Facebook Sale photo album. Isn’t that fabulous? From 12am Thursday 19 September (NZ time) you can enter using the “Giveaway” tab on the Jenny Sangster Jewellery Facebook page. This competition is open worldwide. Good Luck!