OK, I'm just sitting here looking out the window at the snow falling and getting sleepy. The snow is whispering to me, "Dana. It's time to go to sleep," and as it falls, I am headed more and more towards snoreville.
So, I thought I'd blog a bit and wake up my brain.
I've had a few people ask me how I started making jewelry. It sort of started by accident. I was a wine consultant at the time and wanted to make wine glass charms for my hostesses, but one day I really noticed the beads I was using and thought they'd look good on a bracelet. Now, mind you, I've never really been big into jewelry. Didn't even wear much of it. But as soon as I put that little bracelet together with wire (it looked horrible and I didn't do it right), I was hooked.
So, I was off to Hobby Lobby.
After buying a bunch of beads and stuff I didn't know how to use, I went home. My Hobster Lobster didn't offer any classes, so I turned to the internet. You wouldn't believe how many websites are dedicated to making handcrafted jewelry! Here are some great tips and websites that helped me along my jewelry journey.
First, for those of you who would like to learn to make your own jewelry, I'd suggest getting a subscription to Bead Style magazine. They always have great tutorials and differing levels of difficulty, so you can start and keep learning as you progress. They also have a great list of tools that are neccessary to making jewelry and describe what they are used for.
Second, look for a good bead store. Hobby Lobby is OK, but they have limited stock. A real bead store dedicated to jewelry components (also may offer classes) is where you will fall in love with all the gemstone beads strands, the silver bali beads, the lampwork beads, the swarovski crystals, and... well, at this point, you will decide to never leave.
Third, go to the internet. Jewelrylessons.com is a great place to start. They have beginning tutorials all the way through Very Advanced. Some cost a few dollars to purchase, but most of the basics are free. Each tutorial is written by a person who loves to make handcrafted jewelry and wants to share what they know with you.
Beaducation.com is another good website. They have online tutorials that show you exactly how to create beautiful jewelry. And they have wicked tools for sale. :)
You can purchase gorgeous beads at Firemountain Gems. I could browse there for hours. They have everything you would ever need to make beautiful jewelry.
Fourth, join an online group about jewelry-making. There are tons on Facebook and yahoo. Just surf the web and you'll find something. If you find a group near you, it is worth your while to join and go to meetings. Women sitting around talking about beads and jewelry is a wonderful thing. You can learn something and make friends. And if there aren't any groups near you, start one! Meetup.com is a great way to do that.
Finally, look for jewelry classes near you. Craft stores may offer them, community colleges, city recreation departments, etc... taking a class can be really fun! There are so many different ways to make jewelry and learning new techniques can so interesting and rewarding. Besides beading, there is wire-wrapping, metal clay, polymer clay, regular clay, glasswork, hemp braiding, silversmithing, etc.
There is always something new to learn.