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!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Trying New Things!

In an effort to do a better job of blogging, I’m going to try some new things. I am going to do book and DVD reviews and I think I’ll even try my hand at the occasional interview! My new goal is one blog post per week…wish me luck.

Okay, so this week I am going to review a DVD I just purchased recently – Exploring Resin Jewelry Making with Susan Lenart Kazmer which I purchased from Objects and Elements for $29.99.

As many of you already know, I have been using resin in my work for a couple of years now, but only in the most basic way (i.e. put a picture and/or a small item in some type of bezel or bottle cap and then pour in the resin…) occasionally being very brave and layering in a few watch bits or a dimensional, but not to much of that.

Recently, I have seen resin in open backed bezels and also doing resined paper over wire framework to make charms and pendants. I have really wanted to try some of these things but felt intimidated. Those of you who know me know that normally I would just jump in with both feet and sink or swim, but resin is very messy and can go really wrong if you aren’t a little bit careful.

So I’ve been pining away for months…until just this last month when I happened across the DVD while looking at open backed bezels (longingly) at the Objects and Elements shop. Definitely a woohoo moment! The description of the DVD from the website was, “Susan Lenart Kazmer has done it again! This great video explores ways to incorporate resin into your work. She shows it all from how to use the resin right through molding and casting. It's like taking her class with a rewind button.” I bought it right then and there (along with a texture hammer and some enameled rings and cones) and waited. Three days later it was on my doorstep. The fun part was it arrived on a day when I was heading up to hang out with my friend and fellow artist/crafter, Krissi (a.k.a. Skelekitty), so I took it along for a viewing (she has been thinking about playing with Ice Resin). There was a lot that I already knew covered in the DVD, which I expected, but there was a bunch of common sense stuff that just had me whacking myself in the forehead. Simple things like putting your domed bezel on a piece of duct tape to keep it steady (Insert forehead slap here!). I would have jerry-rigged some elaborate setup (and still probably would have tipped over my dome…), and measuring but not mixing your resin until you are ready to use it (brilliant!), double sided tape for your images (because if you glue them down you have to wait the extra time for the glue to dry & if you don’t use anything your image will float up), and using transparencies with resin.

All I can say is this DVD, Exploring Resin Jewelry Making with Susan Lenart Zazmer, is a must for anyone who wants to do resin really well. With her common sense approach, you will wonder why you didn’t think of these simple yet awesome techniques yourself.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Custom Work

Original Vintage Necklace
I admit it, I like to do custom work...alot! I like making jewelry very specifically for people per their requests because it is often a different kind of challenge. I have an album on my facebook fan page devoted to custom pieces (you can find it here). They are all varied in type and style. I love it when someone feels confident in my ability to create what they are looking for.

A few months back, my pal Krissi (check her out at Krissi's Art Sudio) asked me to recreate a vintage necklace that she loved with one in the same style but with different colors. The original is in a dark/antique brass with dark red beads, the recreation in sterling silver and black. THE HUNT WAS ON!

My custom piece
 First, black beads. The original red beads were smooth, round and transparent. You can't have true black and transparent. So how do you get them to be shiny? Get a faceted bead! I could also find nothing like the original "fringed" bead cap, so I went with the same shape, only with kind of filigree style instead. I stayed true to the style, but added a little flair with this choice of bead cap. Ironically, the hardest part was finding a chain I liked, that would fit the style without making it to heavy...I think I forgot to mention, this style of necklace can be a little hefty with so many glass beads.

I think I did a pretty fair job of staying within the style of the original while giving it a little bit of an updated flair.

What do you think?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hot Diggity Blog!

Just a quicky...I found out that Rings & Things (one of my most favorite jewelry findings suppliers) has changed their Blog Partners program. I won't go into the details of the change, but suffice it to say I get to be a blog partner know. WooHoo!

So, what happens now is I wait and cross my fingers. All of the blog partner names will go into a "hat" and ten will be drawn randomly to receive the Rings & Things goodie bags. If you are one of the lucky ones, you will get a bunch of jewelry making bits which you then take pictures of, make fabulous stuff with and then take more pictures of an ulitmately you BLOG about. According to the law I will have to fully disclose any and all compensation I receive from Rings & Things as a blog partner, but no problem there.

So anyway, I am very excited about the opportunity and I hope I get a goodie bag soon!


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