Forays and Favorites

It is challenging to start a habit, positive habit of course, and once it is set it takes discipline to keep it going.

My hobby habit has experienced a collection of hurdles and hand grenades when it comes to getting it set – super frustrating, by the way – and so I wanted to share my work in progress.

Instead of simply working with stringing beads and wirework, I’ve begun experimenting with Resin!


Working with epoxy resin was daunting at first – took me a year to gather my courage to perform this first attempt! Why? Because the end result of epoxy resin is dependent on the accuracy and care of the mixture of part A and part B. If you don’t get it right, the result won’t be hard enough and will need additional work to cure, or it will have bubbles, etc..


The result of my first foray into this medium was a mixed bag, but these are my favorite 3 of the 7 I made.

I’m trying my hand at UV resin today, but the stench is awful, so I might stick with epoxy resin going forward, though the 15 minute curing time is preferable to the 24 hour curing time of epoxy ….

UV resin

And the UV resin is still sticky while the epoxy is firm and smooth. I wonder if it will work better with a permanent mold used as part of the piece rather than a removable one?

So I think I’ll need to do some research. But that’s fine. As a writer, I’m very familiar with research.

UPDATE: The longer I kept the UV resin pendants in the sunlight, the better the cure. So no more sticky!

Another Farewell

The current digital age is none too kind to physical magazines, and one by one they drop off the face of the planet. Even those that offer a less frequent physical version and a digital version. Case in point Bead & Button magazine. I received notice that they are closing down after twenty years! There are so few beading magazines already, and now we’re losing another one. I don’t know what I’m going to do for inspiration and challenge….

I lost Simply Beads. I lost Bead Style. *cry*

Now I’m losing Bead & Button. *sniff*

The only remaining magazine, that I know of, is Beadwork.

Other than that, if I need inspiration or information I will need to rely on the wonderful articles at Fire Mountain Gems & Beads, and I hope and pray that they will continue to be as awesome as ever. In fact, below are the links to the different sections on their website where you can find articles or design inspiration, etc.

In fact, you can also search their jewelry making articles by category / subject, and I know they have several about Sales and Marketing. This is definitely something I need to start reading on since I’m attempting to sell my pieces on Etsy….

Design Ideas

Today I received my Fire Mountain Gems and Beads catalog in the mail.

I love catalog day, and I’m always so excited when the hubs hands over each thick installment of this beading superstore based out of Oregon. This time the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads catalog focuses on “Crystal and Glass’ with an additional informative article about “Designing with Color”. Each installment is like a magazine… but with no ads! (of course, we all realize the reason they have no ads is because each page is filled to the brim with their gargantuan selection of beading supplies).

What I love most about the FMGB catalog (besides the lovelies listed inside) are the pages upon pages of design ideas. They are a wonderful font of inspiration that sets my mind working on what I would do to give the piece of jewelry my own little spark. In fact, I only had to turn to page 18 before the design idea there sent my brain into high gear, planning how I could take this bracelet idea one step further and heighten it’s customizability (is that a word?).

We never know when something we see, read, smell, taste, etc. is going to inspire us to something more — even if what is inspired is not even remotely similar to the inspiration. It’s a launching point to greater things, and sometimes that’s the most precious and priceless act, and it’s one of the reasons I like sharing anecdotes, images, phrases, and the like. One can never tell where inspiration will strike.