Monday, April 30, 2012

NOTE- I had to REDRAW a new winner!!! Graceful Leigh's Grand Opening and Celebratory Giveaway!

I am so excited to announce the grand opening of my Etsy store, Graceful Leigh Jewelry Designs!

First, I wanted to thank all of you who have been following my blog and my learning process. I also wanted to thank my sister-in-law Karen Serrie, (of Midwest Maude on Etsy) who has put up will many endless questions from me. My Etsy Team, Mary's Graces, (especially the friendship of Donna) who have waited very patiently for me to actually open a store. And also, Lori Anderson of Pretty Things, who has been so very kind and helpful!

And, of course, I also wanted to thank my husband, Karim, who kindly puts up with my jewelry supply addiction!

And now . . .  onto  the Giveaway!

I am offering a $25 gift card/store credit to my new Etsy store. To enter the giveaway:

Mandatory entry:

1. Check out my Graceful Leigh on Etsy  and comment below about which item is your favorite.

Extra entires:

2. "Like" Graceful Leigh on Facebook.

3. Follow me on Pintarest.  Follow Me on Pinterest

4. Follow my blog (if you already do, just tell me that in your comment).

Please make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you win.

Contest runs today 4/30/12 and closes 5/5/12 (Saturday).

I will draw the winner on Sunday, 5/6/12.

UPDATE!!!! This Giveaway is now closed!

I will use a random number generator to choose the winner and post it here tomorrow!



I used to choose a winner and . . .



Congratulations, Sarah!!! I am going to  contact you to give you the details on claiming your gift certificate.


I have tried unsuccessfully to contact Sarah, the original winner of my giveaway over the past five day. I am now going to redraw the winner!

So- the new winner of my store gift credit is:

Ashley Morrissey!!!!!

Congratulations!! I am going to email you instructions with how to redeem the gift card, Ashley!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Prayers of the People

I apologize for taking so long between my last post and this one. I have been feverishly using almost every spare minute I have to work on stock for my soon-to-open Etsy store.  I just completed another bracelet today.

This bracelet features Milagros charms. Milagros are very popular in Latin-American countries and are used as prayer offerings to various saints by attaching them to shrines or religious images. Sometimes they are carried for good luck as well. The various symbols are open to interpretation depending upon the person's prayer needs. For instance, a heart can refer to romance, to health, or any number of other needs. Because they are used for individual devotion, I have named this bracelet, "Prayers of the People."

Half of the design is a charm bracelet, and the other half is traditional stringing. The main beads are a swirl of green and blue, so I matched that with blue seed beads.  The charm bracelet side picks up on these colors with blue and green seed beads.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Our Lady of Lourdes Bracelet

For the past few days, I have been hard at work on a Lourdes-themed charm bracelet to sell when my Etsy Store opens. The bracelet features vintage chain and saint medals. I also added coordinating bead drops.

 The center charm is a vintage Lourdes image. The story of Lourdes is one of favorite Marian sightings. These sighting occurred in France in 1858 to Saint Bernadette Soubirous. Bernadette describes Mary as wearing a white robe with a blue ribbon belted at her waist.

This blue, as seen in the vintage Lourdes medal, is echoed by the vintage Holy Spirit dove medal, as well as the blue beads I chose.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lilies and Pearls

Swarovski Petrol blue pearls paired with smokey grey glass beads form the heart of this design. I wanted some chain to show on one side to contradict the romantic feel of the traditionally beaded side. I also tend to favor asymmetry, and the chain offers this as well. I do not usually create in silver, so this whole design was a bit different for me. 

This is a necklace rich with symbolism. The stamping used as the focal pendant is of Lilies. In art and folklore, Lilies are often used to symbolize the Virgin Mary. I paired this symbolic image with three vintage saint medals. Interestingly, my grandmother's name was Lily, so the flowers always remind me of her.

As I have in previous designs, I used a Rosary center as a two-to-one strand connector here near the lobster clasp.

This necklace will soon be for sale in my Etsy shop! Can you sense my excitement over having my shop open soon?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A peek at my bead board.
Here is a glimpse of my current project. Beautiful blue Swarovski petrol colored pearls purchased at Boca Beads, paired with gray glass beads. I am currently deciding on whether or not to use the black spacer beads. One thing that continues to surprise me is how I feel like I own more beads than is possible, yet whenever I am actually doing a project, I end up needing to run to the craft store for items I need. Int his case? More nickel/antique silver findings like spacers, and clasps.

I suppose this results from almost always working with gold tone metals!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Dream in Green

As I pondered the color dilemmas of yesterday, I began to think that maybe the Limoges pin would be better paired with a pale green. Then, my sister-in-law, Karen, commented in response to the color post about using pastels with white and gold. So, I decided to try that combination and am happy with the results.

I ended up using these wonderful green swirl beads I received ages ago in a blog giveaway. I paired them with tiny pearls on one strand and fancy gold spacer beads on the other strand.

I used a beautiful chain I purchased in Los Angles, and a toggle clasp. To this I added a small, coordinating bead dangle.

I am not selling this one since the antique pin is from my great aunt. However, I already have plans in my mind for my next piece to stock my Etsy store with!

Do you like the changes I made?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Color My World

My Great Aunt Mary's Limoges pin
I have a gorgeous antique/vintage (depending on one's definition of 50 years or 100!) Limoges pin from my great aunt's jewelry collection. I had the idea that it might look good paired with the green ruby zozite  beads that I recently purchased. While I do like the way the green in the grass in the pin's image works with the green of the beads, the rest of the design is driving me insane.

I consider myself good with color. Yet, I have been having so many problems figuring out what I like best as bead color combinations to use for this design. For some reason, anything I pair with the pin and beads doesn't exactly work. And, trust me, it feels like I have tried everything. I tried adding different purple tones because of the purple in the woman's dress, but that does not seem to work either.

I have been reading a wonderful book by Margie Deeb called The Beader's Color Palette. This book is amazing. Stunning photographs detail palette inspirations from around the world. There are some wonderful and creative color combinations I may never have considered on my own. Additionally, there  are wonderful little tidbits that go with each color palette so you learn the history and culture behind various color schemes. I am working my way through this and hoping I will find a color palette I like with the pin and beads.

Ultimately, I may need to take a break from this design and work on something else. Let me know if you have any suggestions!