About Me

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Juli grew up a shy, middle child and is a woman of few words whose jewelry speaks volumes about herself, her feelings and her perspective on the world.  A modern alchemist of design, she melds industrial imagery and organic aesthetics together to create new and unique designs.  Juli's love for asymmetrical design was immediately made apparent in her very first bead craft:  a pair of mismatched earrings created when she was sixteen.  She developed her eclectic style by reading about and experimenting with every style and technique she could get her hands on, from stitched bead jewelry to riveted metals and from wire wrapping to precious metal clays.  No matter what Juli creates, her sense of humor & fun, love of the craft and sense of style come through.  Juli would probably blog more often if her rather large tabby cat, Rocky, didn't insinuate himself between her hands and the keyboard.  However, she does regularly update her facebook fan page for Juli's Jewels.  Juli is always paying-it-forward, not only on a personal level, but through her company with "just because" giveaways.  Juli's Jewels ArtFire artisan shop is jam packed with earrings, pendants, necklaces, anklets and more that are ready to ship and she loves to make custom orders for people too!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

December Show Dates-Redux

The Jewelry Party date is changing from the 6th to the 20th of December.
Are you ready? Christmas is 29 days away! I will have 2 shopping opportunities for you. I am trying something new...a Jewelry Party. Please contact me if you are interested in attending. This will be a different kind of jewelry party. Yeah, yeah, I will have my jewelry available to purchase if you are so inclined, but my focus will be more fun and relaxation. Learn to make a simple pair of earrings or a bracelet (memory wire or stretchy). Have some snacks, dish a little, take a break from the hectic holiday stuff. Contact me if you are interested in attending.
Also, my final craft fair of the season will be at Central United Methodist Church on Saturday, December 13th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Double click on the image to the left for more information.
Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's that time again...Part 2

Ah bead shows. Rings and Things bead show was a resounding success. I had my hundred dollar limit and I spent $99.13. I spent two hours and I got a lot of beads for my money. This is a picture of the beads I purchased. I got red agate, blue Peruvian opal, crazy lace agate (dyed green), amazonite, Chinese charoite, natural impression stone, impression stone (dyed serpentine), owyhee jasper, mookaite, riolite and tourmaline.

Now for B.A.B.E., the Bay Area Bead Extravaganza. This is their tenth anniversary! It actually starts on Thursday, November 6th (just three days from now with so many classes about jewelry making and bead making and bead and jewelry business stuff...it's a lot. I am only going for one day though, Saturday the 8th. The two days of the weekend, the 8th and 9th, are shopping days as well as class days. There will be more than 250 vendors at the event. Some you will have heard of others, maybe not. http://www.beadextravaganza.com/exhibitor.html - link to exhibitors page. One of the things that is the biggest draw for me is the glass. There are glass bead artists there selling the beads they made themselves. It is so cool talking to these people about their art (and it is art). One of my favorites is Sharon Peters Silly Beads, she is a hoot. You can find her online at smartassglass.com.

Last year when I went for the first time, I was completely overwhelmed. This year, I am bringing a friend. It helps if I make a list of vendors or products that I am more interested in because if I don't I won't remember anything (seriously, nothing-poof-all gone). Some of the items/vendors I will be looking for are Green Girl Studios (Fab fine pewter and etc), Sharon Peters (lampworked beads), copper, Thai silver, Bullfrog and I-Ching Beads (lampwork beads), Lillypilly Designs (awesome etched shell pendants), Unicorne Beads (yes, more lampwork), Beaducation (TOOLS!), Bead Palace (I know, you thought lampwork, but no...GEMSTONES), and Arrow Springs (stuff to make lampwork beads).

I will let you know how I did. I am sure that with a good breakfast and comfortable shoes, I can handle this.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's that time again...

BEAD SHOWS! I love a good bead show. Who wouldn't? I mean really...(okay maybe my husband wouldn't, but that's kind of different.) what beader wouldn't?

This Saturday will be my fourth craft fair in five weeks, so technically I should be making jewelry on Sunday (actually I probably will end up making jewelry, but not for the whole day.), but I will be going to the Rings & Things trunk show in Sacramento for a big chunk of the day. Be aware - if you are planning on attending Rings & Things - it is a wholesale show. You need to have a resale license, or you get to pay full price.

I went to the Rings & Things bead show on April 9th (it was my first R & T show) with one hundred dollars and no idea what it would be like. I had been to BABE (see next post) by then, but knew this would be a different type of show. First big difference-only one vendor, Rings & Things. Second big difference-they wanted to give me a really big discount off the retail price of the beads (they like me! they really like me!). The R & T show takes up a good sized conference room at a local hotel at what used to be McClellan AFB in Sacramento. When I went in April, I actually took some time off from my day job so that I could get there at the early end of the show. Good thing too, because I ended up spending several hours there. (It was a little overwhelming actually) THERE WERE SO MANY BEADS...some I had never seen in person before, and the quality was great. I learned an important lesson that day, BRING A CALCULATOR! Luckily my cell phone has a calculator function or I would have been hopelessly confused. The discount is 50% off the retail price, then 15% off that. I impressed by husband with my fabulous shopping prowess, as I walked out the door with change in my pocket. Remember, my limit was $100.00. I spent $99.73, and I purchased A LOT of beads.
So...I am going to go again this Sunday. If you are going to go, get there early, and don't forget you license. If you see a strand you like and you aren't sure about it, take it! It won't be there later if you decide you did want it after all. You can always put it back later if you change your mind. Wear comfy shoes, take water and a powerbar, you're going to need it. Good luck and have a good time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How to survive an outdoor craft show-redux

Okay, I know we've all seen the great lists for being prepared for craft fairs/shows, what to take, etc. This is not that kind of list. This is more survival based...
  1. Know what the weather is supposed to be like, in advance. Check with the Weather Channel or AccuWeather the day before the show. Check it again in the morning, it might have changed whilke you were sleeping. Also, if you are near where the show will be held, look out the window. I cannot stress this enough.
  2. Prepare for the weather to change during the day while you are at the show. I have set up my booth in the rain in the morning and been roasting with the intense heat an humidity by closing time. Wear light layers and if you wore tennies, bring sandals (or vice versa).
  3. If it's going to be windy, forget the canopy. It's just not safe. Duct tape comes in clear! Get a roll. People don't really see it and your displays will be less likely to blow away. Also, keep your displays low or flat.
  4. Table cloth clips are cheap and you can purchase them ate your favorite big box store (i.e. Target, K-Mart, etc.)
  5. Those chairs you get for camping will save wear and tear on your good folding chairs, as long as they aren't too comfy. (Falling asleep is just not professional.)

I know this sounds a little tongue in cheek, but I'm serious. Also, if you live in the Sacramento Region, outdoor (especially parking lot) sales in October are crazy. It will be windy, it may be rainy, It might be hot or really chilly. Just be aware. Oh, and try to have some fun.

Monday, October 13, 2008

November Sale Dates

Hi all. Here are my sale dates for November 2008. Wow, is it really almost the middle of October already?
Click on the image to pop it up.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Upcoming Events for October, 2008

Here is my schedule for October. Click on the picture to enlarge. Hope to see you at one of them.
Remember - the holidays are fast approaching!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Art Clay Silver - Background Info & My First Project

Anyone who has been into or around beading or jewelry making in the last, oh decade, has at least heard of metal clay. It has two (2) trade names. The first, and original, is PMC (short for precious metal clay). The second is Art Clay. Basically, it is tiny particles of silver suspended in an organic binder that has been mixed with water.

I have been intrigued by the idea that there was a material that is as pliable as clay (seriously!) that you can pretty much do anything to that you would do with regular clay, but after you fire it you have a piece of 99.9% silver*. (The binder burns away upon firing.) There are also a bunch of different ways to fire it. You can use a kiln, the top of your stove, a butane micro-torch, or in the instance of PMC a thing called a hot pot (which is kind of scary, but cool none-the-less.). It also comes in several forms; clay, paste, in a syringe, and even a paper type. There is some that requires high heat firing, some that requires as low as 650 degrees celsius to fire.

Well, enough for the background...I finally jumped in and did something I have never done, I took a class! For all of the jewelry "stuff" I have done before, I pretty much taught myself (through books and magazines.). But, I was a little afraid. Okay, alot afraid. I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on something and then have it go really badly (silver is getting kind of pricey, but then what isn't.). I took the class at a local bead shop in my area, Piece of Mind. The class was taught by Patsy Silva. The class was on August 23rd and lasted from 10 am to 4 pm. I was completely sold on metal clay by 2:30 pm, when I was completing my last project, a star pendant that I drew freeform with the syringe type clay. We did three (3) projects that day; a flat piece, an overlay piece and the syringe piece.

First, my flat piece. This was my favorite...I made a small rectangular pendant covered in stars. Patsy warned us to have an idea in mind before we opened the clas as it starts to dry out as soon as it hits the air. The is the only major drawback that I could see and can be worked around if you keep some water nearby. (Oh yeah, and you have to use some olive oil or Badger Balm to keep it from sticking to stuff. Not really a big deal though.) So I had a star patterned texture plate, a star motif rubber stamp, and a star shaped cutter. I had a good idea and I was ready to go. I rolled out the clay and cut it into a rectangle with a plastic knife (you know, the picnic kind.), rolled up the excess clay into a ball and wrapped in Saran wrap. I pressed the texture plate onto my rectangle and it made raised stars on the top of the clay. On other parts of the clay, I stamped the star stamp the make some depressions. I put the piece aside and rolled out my remaining clay and punched out three (3) star shapes. After taking care of the excess clay again, i brushed a tiny bit of water on the star cutouts and genlty pressed them onto my rectangle. I took a bamboo skewer and made a cute little dot pattern on the raised stars. We put the flat pieces into a food dehydrator (The clay must be "bone dry" before firing. I don't know why, it just does.) After the pieces where dry, they were fired in the kiln for a little while (30 minutes, I think.). They were a wierd white color when they came out (It was like a coating of ash, kind of.) The coating brushed off with a metal brush and they were already starting to be shiny. After about a half an hour in a rock tumbler with some stainless steel shot, they were fabulously shiny.

Look for my next blog on metal clay, The Overlay Project, coming soon!

*Sterling silver is only 92.5% silver, the rest is other metal, usually copper.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hi, I'm Juli. Welcome to Juli's Jewels

Hi. I'm Juli, of Juli's Jewels. I am a tiny little jewelry making business.
I love making jewelry. There, I said it. I LOVE MAKING JEWELRY! It makes me very happy.
I made my first pair of earrings when I was fifteen years old (that was back in 1984, not too long ago.) I fiddled around with beads off and on while trying out other hobbies and crafts that I liked (needlework, painting, what have you). I kept coming back to the beads though.
A few years ago, I came across a little bead shop in Ashland, Oregon that I just loved and was really inspired by. It's the Bead Studio on Main Street. They had so many different kinds of beads and they were all so pretty.
At first, I started making a few simple strung necklaces here, a pair of earrings there. I would give them as gifts of keep and wear them for myself. Well, after a awhile I was making more jewelry that I could keep or give as gifts. I just had boxes of the stuff laying around. And, let me tell you, it was beyond simple now. I found I had a knack for wire work. I also found it was fun to make mixed media jewelry; Little collages in bottle caps, polymer clay, friendly plastic melted onto dominoes, etc.
One day (way back in July, 2007 at a barbeque at my house, when I was up in my craft room), my friend Jan said, "you should sell some of this stuff. You could go around to craft fairs and make some good money." I was shocked! Seriously. I couldn't believe it. "You really think people would want to buy my jewelry?" I asked. She said, "I want to buy this bracelet right now." We laughed a little and went back to our husbands, were she promptly announced to the rest of the group that I needed to start selling my jewelry at craft fairs. Everyone at the barbeque agreed. I sold at my first craft fair in October of 2007, I sold one necklace resulting in a net loss of $38 dollars for the day. I was not put off though. I got a lot of really good feed back. My next craft fair showed a decent profit. I have learned a lot in the last year; never go to a first time craft fair, always pack snacks, take a friend if you can because eventually you have to go to the bathroom.
I am going to keep at the craft fair circuit in the Sacramento Valley area. I have loftier goals though. I would like to have a webshop in the near future and in later future I hope to eventually have a little shop.
Well, I think that is enough for now. Oh, by the way, I guess I am a blogger now, too.


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