Thursday, June 30, 2016

Inspired by Reading: Drinking the Rain

This month for Inspired by Reading club we read Drinking the Rain: A Memoir by Alix Kates Shulman.  This is probably the last book I'll be reading for reading club for a little while because I am super duper broke and can't even buy my vitamins, let alone books.  I loved this book partially because it made me think of the game I've been playing lately, Stardew Valley.  In this book a woman learns how to be independent and live off of the land at age 50.  Among other things, she learns how to identify new plants and cook with them.  One of my favorite things in the Stardew Valley game is foraging for different plants and cooking different dishes with them, so that's what was in my mind while reading this book.  To be honest I wasn't feeling inspired at all while reading the book but as soon as I finished reading it this design popped into my head and it seemed fitting.  I originally had an ammonite in place of the wood beads but these worked better with the design.

I used pyrite, matte frosted onyx, an orange agate tusk, wood beads, and a hammered copper clasp.  This necklace had to be made of things I already had because of how the book talks about not adding to the glut and re-using things you have, so I salvaged these wood beads from a broken necklace and they seemed perfect here.  I made the clasp out of copper wire scraps from previous pieces.  I feel like this is the sort of necklace Alix would wear and possibly even make for herself.  It speaks to me of nature and of adventures and being tough, which I think relates well to the book.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Inspired by Reading: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

This is my first piece of jewelry that I designed after reading a book.  I joined the Inspired by Reading group this month and I really liked the book we read.  The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender is the story of a nine-year-old girl who discovers that she can taste people's feelings in the food they make.  She struggles with this throughout her life until she finally learns how to live with it.  I intended to make three pieces inspired by this book: one for the innocence of childhood before she discovers her ability, another for the chaotic years of trying to handle it, and a third for when she learns how to live it.  Because of the fact that I only finished this book two days ago and have had low energy I only ended up making the first necklace, the one that represents her innocent childhood before discovering her "gift".

The imagery that stood out to me the most in this book was the red and white at the beginning, especially the red strawberries in the bowl on the lace doily that her mother made.  That's what inspired this necklace.  I had this scrap of lacy ribbon with stitched plastic pearls in a drawer and I added wire wrapped glass beads in red.  I made it a choker-length because it is the length of a necklace for a small girl of almost nine.  This necklace also reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, which seems fitting because it's another tale about a girl whose life is changed forever by things that she can't possibly understand.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Etsy Love: Bohemian Jewelry Holders

If you've been here for a while you probably know that I'm a jewelry designer.  I am always making jewelry faster than I sell it so I keep needing more jewelry storage.  It can be fun to make jewelry holders like this wine bottle one or a driftwood one that I'll be sharing a tutorial for soon, but there are also some really cool ones you can buy.  You can even buy jewelry holders that other people made, which is what this post will be showcasing.

Whether you're a jewelry designer like me or you just have a lot of jewelry, here are my top choices for bohemian style jewelry holders for sale on Etsy.  Click the picture to go to the item listing on Etsy.
These feather ring holders are so cute and also very affordable at just $6 each.  You can get them in 12 different colors!
I really love the design of this necklace holder because the hooks on the back keep the necklaces from sliding.
This one is cool because you can store a variety of jewelry or even other items and it's a really great crystal shape.
I love earring bowls because you can store so many earrings of all kinds, and this one has a great shabby chic finish.
This one holds a ton of earrings and necklaces, and even has a spot for rings at the bottom!

Those are my top picks for jewelry holders on Etsy.  Feel free to share other awesome Etsy jewelry holders with me in the comments.  What kind of Etsy item do you want me to share next?

And if you like Etsy and/or want to add to your own jewelry collection you should check out my newly released Cosmos Collection.  It's 5 matching necklace, bracelet, and earring sets inspired by the wonder and beauty of space, which you can mix and match, starting from $10!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Watching, Playing, Reading #10

Since I was so sick from September through December I've watched even more things than usual!  I'll just share my favorite movies I watched, as well as the TV series I have finished.



TV series:

Jessica Jones: I honestly watched this because it's going to be my name once I'm married, but I loved it!  It's about a superhero who has quit the superhero life and is now a private investigator.  It's a dark and gritty show with a lot of emotional stuff going on, and the season finale is really great.

Grace and Frankie: Two older women's husbands tell them their wives they're leaving them...for one another.  Grace and Frankie start out hating each other but form an interesting friendship through the sudden loss of their husbands.  It's a really interesting show and I really liked it.

Bates Motel: I am forever in love with this show, and the latest season is no exception.  Norman Bates is slowly becoming more disturbed and his mother is finally starting to worry about it.  And more bodies are showing up all of the time.

The Following: The serial killer cult never fails to disappoint.  This show remains interesting and surprising.

X Files: I finally watched this show and I have no idea why I waited so long to watch it.  It's pretty much everything I love all wrapped up in one amazing show.  There are serial killers, paranormal events, monsters, aliens, and a huge government conspiracy.  Oh my goodness, I loved it!

Love: Netflix usually does a great job of every original series they make, but I found this one a little lacking.  It was kind of funny at times, but the main characters were both horrible people, which I guess was the point, but I didn't love it.

Animal House: Not to be confused with the movie of the same name, this is a documentary series about rescue dogs and super cute puppies being rescued and adopted by loving families.  I love it because all of the dogs are so cute forever and there is always a happy ending.


After: After a bus crash two strangers find themselves back in their small hometown.  But nobody else is there and there is a strange black cloud closing in all around.  This is a great thought-provoking surreal movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.  It felt like it could be an episode of X Files.

House of Wax: Psycho serial killers in what turns out to be an "abandoned" small town.  This movie is action-packed and will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole thing.


Steam (If you are already addicted to buying games on Steam swing by the Humble Bundle store to get great deals while doing good.  I'm not an affiliate.  I just love getting great deals on games while doing good.):

Divide by Sheep: This game was cool but ending up infuriating me after a while, because I am not good at math, and it is essentially a math game.

Cook, Serve, Delicious: I discovered this game when Felicia Day played it on Youtube.  It's really fun, but also super stressful.  I haven't played it in a  while because I don't need more stress.

Dreaming Sarah:  I loved this game so much!  It has great visuals and really satisfying gameplay.  It's cute and creepy.  It took me about 3 or 4 hours to finish the game and I enjoyed every second (except for the time I spent trying to fall just right on the clock level to move on).

Image via


Alphabear: This is a fun word game with super cute collectible bear characters that you can use to help you beat levels.

Monument Valley: This is a sweet little game that sort of reminded me of Fez.  You play a princess traveling through different rotatable 3D worlds that get progressively harder to traverse.  It's a puzzle game with very relaxing visuals and pleasant gameplay.

God of Light: This is an interesting game where you use different mechanisms to direct light through three stars and into a portal.  It gets harder the more you play and adds more mechanics to direct the light.  It's pretty fun but also sometimes frustrating.


River Town by Peter Hessler: I've been working on this book for 4 or 5 months.  I used to read every day on the bus to and from work, but I haven't worked since September so I haven't been doing as much reading.  It is a very interesting book about an American's time teaching abroad in China in a small river town.  There is social and political comparisons to American ideals and also some interesting Chinese history.

What have been watching, playing, and reading?  Do you have any recommendations for me?