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I apologize that lately the only posts you’ve been seeing at Jewelry Making at Bloglander are ones for craft shows. This year, we’ve actually decided to discontinue our jewelry making business - we had a good long go at it, made a lot of great contacts and had a good deal of fun making and selling our own jewelry. But it’s gotten to the point where it’s too difficult to continue.

You can blame it on the economy or whatever you’d like. I know this is not a great excuse - but in any case, since we haven’t been making a lot of jewelry there hasn’t been as much opportunity to write up the popular how-to posts. I’m not yet sure how the focus of the blog will change - but I think that we’ll continue to talk about bead shows / resources, jewelry promotion and product reviews. We’ll also continue to try and feature great DIY jewelry makers we run across and perhaps run more interviews. I hope that the how-tos on the site will continue to be a good resource for beginning jewelry makers - but we probably won’t get to create too many more of them.

Glass Craft and Bead Expo - Jewelry Making at BloglanderOk, on a happier note, the Glass Craft & Bead Expo is coming up very soon on April 2-6 at the South Point Hotel / Casino in Vegas. We haven’t been to this one before, but it sounds pretty interesting. They have various classes and demos that focus on art glass techniques and tools. There is a “Bead Bazaar” area that looks similar to the other bead shows that we’ve been to.

The classes actually look pretty interesting, and I think some of the demos feature live torch work. They also have a charity auction and a “Gallery of Excellence” where they feature outstanding examples of art glass and other jewelry. The admission is $15 for 3 days, but if your register in any of the classes that admission is waived.

Visit: Glass Craft & Bead Expo website

2008 Bead Button Show - Bloglander Jewelry

Just a quick note that it’s time to think about the Bead & Button show again. Sure it seems like it’s 6 months away - it’s being held June 1-8, 2008 in Milwaukee. But registration opened yesterday, and the Bead Dreams Competition and Exhibit is now taking submissions from now until April 4. Never to early to get a head start in the new year on planning out jewelry pieces to submit and figuring out what bead supplies you need to pick up at the largest consumer bead show in the world. They also have a ton of different beading classes and workshops worth looking into.

So everyone knows about the dangers of lead in children’s toys and other items being talked about in the news lately. Well, if you make jewelry for a living or as a hobby you might not have thought about the possibility that your jewelry might also contain certain amounts of lead.

It’s used sometimes in base metals in order to make them more pliable and to give base metal a heavier feel. It’s also cheaper than other metals like zinc, and may also be used as a stabilizer in plastic.

I don’t think ethical jewelry makers (especially the ones making hand-made, one of a kind jewelry) are going to be using any of those materials on purpose. But in any case, it’s probably a good idea to keep tabs on what materials you’re using and where you’re buying them from. Also, if you live in California, there’s actually a newer law called the Lead-Containing Jewelry Law) that was enacted to limit lead in jewelry - especially children’s jewerly and body piercing jewelry.

Continue reading “Lead and Jewelry Making” …

Jewelry Making at Bloglaner - Happily Handmade

Just a quick note that if you want to get involved in the Happily Handmade Giveaway as a sponsor, you only have two more days to apply. And then after that you’ve got until Feb 7 to get your sponsor donations in.

What is HHG? It’s a promotional event for indie craft, jewelry, and clothes designers to help get the word out about their wares. The promos, which come from the indieshops in question, are boxed up into prize packages that go to the winners of the drawings. These drawings can only be entered through special pages created by each indie shop. This helps encourage traffic and awareness of the indie businesses.

So their Winter 2007 event is coming up pretty soon like I said. After the sponsor deadlines, people can enter the drawings from February 12 through March 31, and then the winners are announced on April 2.

I know there are several other giveaways like this, but if you’re looking for further exposure for the jewelry you make, then this might be a good and cost-effective way to get some eyes to your website.

Visit: Happily Handmade Giveaway for more info.

Felt Club gifBoy, I had meant to post this show much earlier but just forgot about it. The reason - we are actually participating in this for Bellaceti so nearly every waking hour has been devoted to increasing inventory for the show!

This is Felt Club (a play upon the popular “Fight Club” movie) and is a new monthly indie mini-craft fair of 20-25 revolving diy artisans making handmade goods, jewelry, paper products and clothing. It usually takes place at The Echo, but the upcoming one is going to be a larger show of 70 crafters and is taking place at the Ukranain Culture Center on Melrose Ave in L.A.

If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, stop by and say hi… we’ll be there from 12-7pm under our Bellaceti store name. More information at:

FELT CLUB: XL Holiday Edition
Saturday, DECEMBER 9, 12pm-7pm
4315 Melrose Ave. @ Heliotro

Whew! Can you say gem-mania??! We have been meaning to pay a visit to the International Gem and Jewelry Show and finally got a chance to last week. The show is a massive bazaar of gems, minerals and jewelry from all different stores and shops from around the area and abroad. It was developed 37 years ago (by Herbert A Duke, Sr.) and has grown to about 80 shows per year in 30 cities in the U.S.

OK, so attending this show was a long time coming and we thought we knew what to expect. However, the sheer amount of gems and beads available was staggering. We have previously attended the one-room Rings -n- Things special travelling gem shows before and thought there was a pretty decent selection. The IGJS was about 30 times bigger!

Walking into the show floor (our show was held at the Pasadena Convention Center in Southern Cal) is somewhat of a sensory overload, and we actually had to do a “first-pass” around the room before even picking anything up.

There are a ton of folks selling jewelry making items like gemstones, beads, findings, wire and chain. But interestingly, there are also quite a few stores selling items that are already assembled or ready-for-purchase jewelry. I guess that is because a lot of the people who come in aren’t looking for bargains on supplies but actually want to pick up jewelry for their own use. Even though we could safely ignore those particular booths, the number of vendors was still daunting.

The prices were pretty good all around, but we hadn’t really prepared lists of items we needed or done research on exactly how much things cost. So it was a bit difficult to do smart shopping. We overheard one vendor say to someone that a booth at the show costs over a thousand dollars for the 3 day show. Still, even at those show prices many vendors had nearly all their items marked down. You just had to know what to look for.

Continue reading “Intl Gem and Jewelry Show” …

6/27/06 | MJSA Trade Show

I was just clued into the MJSA Trade Show for Jewelry Making which is taking place this Fall in Rhode Island. Just what is the MJSA? It’s the Manufacturing Jewelrs and Suppliers of America organization which is dedicated to helping designers, jewelry manufacturers, suppliers, gem dealers and anyone connected to the business of making jewelry achieve greater profitability. Members have access to cost-saving biz plans, marketing / promotion opportunities, buyers guides, the MJSA jewelry academy and advertising opportunities.

They also put out a print publication, the MJSA journal, and you can get a free trial copy of on their site. It’s a pretty decent mag, though more serious than your standard beader magazine. It focuses more on the business and marketing side of jewelry making as opposed to “how-to” tutorials.

Continue reading “MJSA Trade Show” …

We’ve talked about the Renegade Craft Fair before so if anything this is just reminder that the New York show is taking place in Brooklyn, New York this coming weekend. Since it’s too late to signup to be a vendor the best you can do if you’re a jewelry maker is head down to the event to check it out in case you want to apply next year. However, if you happen to live in Chicago, they are now taking applications for the 4th annual one in that city which will take place September 16, 17 in Wicker Park from 11am-6pm. The deadline for that one is July 1.

Here’s the basic details for next week’s New York Renegade Craft Fair:

Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair
Saturday- Sunday June 17 - 18
11AM - 6PM
McCarren Park
N. 12th St and Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg

There are a TON of big name sponsors for the event, including Venus, ReadyMade and Bust Magazine. It has really blossomed since it first started up in 2003, with over 200 vendors.

Both fairs are “juried” craft shows and the application fee for the Chicago one now stands at $210.

You can visit their site at:

Hopefully you’re not like me and you actually write down on your calendar important TV shows that you want to catch. I kept on missing Diana Friedberg’s two-part “World On A String” presentation on public television which was a segment on the importance of beads and beadworking around the world historically and in present day usage. (I think they are coming out with 2 additional segments as well.) I know they keep showing it periodically but I keep forgetting to set the VCR.

And now I realized that I goofed and missed checking out Oh! Be Jewelled on the Oxygen network this past weekend. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll be showing other episodes, right?

A little blurb from their website:

Oh Be Jewelled gives you a insider’s look into the latest trends in jewellry and shows you step-by-step how to create your own pieces that are unique, personal and totally current. Some of the hottest looks are easy enough for a beginner and surprisingly affordable.

I did hear some people say that the jewelry design processes shown were a bit quick, though that’s probably to be expected in these rapid fire cable shows.

For those who can’t wait until the next one airs, they actually have several videos on their site including tutorials for making a charm bracelet, making a layered necklace, and making hammered earrings. There are also downloadable PDF files that explain the process, though I was a bit disappointed that there were no pictures to go along with the text…

Halstead Bead Grant

I found about this grant from Halstead through Tammy’s Jewelry Making site. I had to admit I was a bit skeptical at first. Can you really get a grant like this to make jewelry? It turns out you can, and the prize they’re offering for the winner of the contest is quite substantial: $5000 cash business grant, a $1000 gift cert for Halstead, and a profile in their upcoming 2007 Metals Catalog.

The deadline is actually coming up pretty soon: June 15, with winners to be announced some time in July. They have full information about how to submit your pieces and other information on their site.

The purpose of the contest is to highlight the growing difficulty of so called “Bridge Jewelry design” in the United States due to competition from both designers overseas and mass-produced stuff. (I had no idea what this term “Bridge Jewelry” meant, but apparently is the catch-all designation for jewelry that “bridges the gap” between precious metal jewelry and plain old costume jewelry. In other words, this is probably most of the stuff that any serious home jewelry designer is making!)

For full information and the mailing address to send submissions, please visit the Halstead Bead site.