Saturday, June 30, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back to the 80s!

Similar to my black and white earrings from the 1980s! From Big Box Shaker on Etsy.
Anyone as old as I am can remember the jewelry we wore in the 1980s. One of my distinct memories is of owning a pair of giant, plastic hoop earrings that were black and white. I cannot now recall if they were striped or polka dotted like the ones above, but they were almost identical in style. I loved those earrings, especially because I wore them with a giant, black and white striped purse I had.

Now, neon is back in style.

1980s Neon Bangles From Claire on Etsy
Not as strongly as the use of neon in the 1980s, but, according to Kristen Tucker from, more of a hint of neon is favored.

I know that this summer, I have been consumed with bright, bold colors lately. So, I decided to play with the neon elements in the lampwork beads I found at the bead show I previously blogged about.   

Find this in the Graceful Leigh Etsy shop!
They pair up beautifully with this gold-plated Holy Ghost Medal. The medal is double sided, with the same image on the reverse. I also added a gold tone crucifix charm, and brown glass beads. 

A toggle clasp and hand wired praying hands rhinestone drop finish off this colorful and unique handmade jewelry design.

Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway, which ends Saturday.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Graceful Leigh Giveaway!!!

Giveaway Now Closed!!!!

The winner is . . . 

I counted each action as a separate entry, so there were 21 entries. For example, if you subscribed to my newsletter as well as followed me on Facebook- that would be two entries). 

And the winner is comment 16-  Kristin!!!! Congratulations, Kristin! I am emailing you about how to use your gift card. 

Thank you all for a wonderful giveaway! This was fun :)

In celebration of the launch of my new Graceful Leigh email Newsletter, I am holding a blog giveaway. This giveaway is to honor those who become newsletter subscribers.

Benefits to you as a subscriber:
  • Get a peek inside my studio at my designs in process. 
  • Get a head start on sales and promotions going on in my Etsy store. This includes being able to use promo/discount codes before the general public. 
  • Glimpse at what drives my creative process.
The newsletter will come out the first week of every month. An extra newsletter  may arrive depending upon new sales or promotions coming up.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents, and consists of a $15.00 Graceful Leigh store credit, including custom items!

The giveaway is open from Sunday, June 24 through Saturday, June 30 2012 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Upon close of the giveaway, I will choose a winner suing's number generator.
Please make sure I know how to contact you in your comments!
The winner will have 3 days after notification to claim her/his prize. If I still cannot reach the winner a new name will be drawn.

Entry Rules:
1. Subscribe to my email Newsletter below, or using the box provided on the left-hand side of my blog.

Extra entries:
2. Become a Graceful Leigh Facebook fan.
    Already a fan, let me know that when you comment.
3. Follow my blog.
   Already a follower? Let me know in your comment.
4. Add my Etsy shop to your favorites list!
   Already have my shop as a favorite? Let me know in your comment.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mixed Media Pet Tags Have Arrived

My line of mixed media, St. Francis Medal pet tags is inspired by my own two dogs, Daisy and Duncan. I wanted a tag that could incorporate a personalized name as well as a St. Francis Medal.

Graceful Leigh Personalized Mixed Media Pet Tag with St. Francis Medal
The bezel contains lines from an antique Bible story book about Noah's Ark.  The pet's name and phone number is then placed over The Noah's Ark text as well as either stone or crystal inclusions.

Graceful Leigh Personalized Mixed Media Pet Tag in gold tone
I currently have two main styles- one in gold tone and one in silver tone. They can each be personalized for male or female dogs and cats. The male version includes stone incluions; the female includes flatback crystals (or stones if that is preferred).

The actual pendants are not foggy in spots- that was light hitting the resin. Since each one is made to order, there will be slight variations in finished products.

I also used Daisy to model the tags, so her very blonde fur does appear in some of the pictures!

Daisy, my model!
How do you all like them? I am very excited by this new line. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Graceful Leigh is Featured on Many Little Blessings!

I am extremely excited to announce that an ad for Graceful Leigh is now running on Many Little Blessings. This is the very popular, well-designed web site of Catholic mom blogger, Angie. Angie will also be reviewing my Lourdes charm bracelet, pictured below. I am looking forward to reading her thoughts on the bracelet. Once the review is published, I will certainly link to it!

Graceful Leigh Lourdes Bracelet.
Earlier this week, I listed a new bracelet for sale in my Etsy store as well. The bracelet is very romantic, and paired with  stunning purple Czech glass beads and iced pink glass beads. I then added a second chain strain using repurposed chain. From this strand, I hung a vintage, pink St. Christopher medal from Italy. The medal has the image of a car one one side, and St. Christopher on the reverse. 

Vintage cupid and St. Christopher charms, Czech glass beads.
I also hung a vintage Cupid charm that also has a pink accent stone. A vintage cross connector and vintage box clasp closure complete this pretty piece.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Bead Show Finds

My head is still spinning from my day at The Down the Street Bead Show at the Cobb Galleria. I got there at 10 am when the doors opened and was walking from booth to booth for the next four hours. The show was equal parts fun and exhausting.

The only picture I was allowed to take was of the sign outside.
The bead show does not allow pictures inside the show, so I had to take some photos of my finds once I returned home. Everyone at the show- both vendors and attendees were extremely nice and outgoing. I managed to make a few friends while there.

One is Michelle McCarthy, who handcrafts beautiful ceramic beads and pendants in her Etsy shop, Firefly Design Studio. She lives in Florida, my old stomping ground! Since we are visiting there all the time, maybe I can get together with her on one of our trips. I purchased a few of her items, including these great faces:

Firefly Design Studio's ceramic pendants.
If you follow my blog, or are familiar with my jewelry, you know my love of box clasps! I am always on the lookout for them and in need of more. So, I discovered some very pretty ones from Bead a Bead. 

Clasps from Bead a Bead
I used to tell myself I was not really into lampworked beads. However, in recent weeks, I have been very drawn to them! This type of thing happens to me all the time, so I have learned I should probably avoid swearing off a particular bead style since then I end up being obsessed with it. I discovered a Georgia lampwork artist named Marci Rheinschild from Love to Spin.

Some of Marci Rheinschild's lampworked beads.
I also discovered some drool worthy vintage findings at the Bennett and Son table. This shop is from Boca Raton, FL- they probably live next door to my mother! I have a long-term, continuing love of anything vintage and Czech, which they have a lot of. I also found these wonderful red, orbit beads- which are believed to be vintage German. 

Vintage German Beads from Bennett and Son.
Finally, I was also excited to meet members of the Atlanta Bead Society. They are beaders who meet once a month very close to where I live. I will definitely be looking into joining once my budget recovers from my day of shopping!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pentecost and the Holy Spirit

Purchase this Necklace in my Graceful Leigh Etsy store!
My son, Liam, is attending just one camp this summer- the week of Vacation Bible School offered by our church, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, this week. Each day, they are discussing the story behind one of the images in the church's stained glass windows. But, they do not know which story they are doing ahead of time.

Today, while he was at camp in the morning, I felt strongly called to create a necklace using a vintage, Holy Spirit medal that comes from Italy. I was Baptized on Pentecost, so the Holy Spirit always has special meaning to me. I picked up on the blue in the Holy Spirit medal by repurposing a vintage, acrylic-beaded Rosary. The Rosary's original large metal Crucifix pendant is made into a dramatic drop that falls beneath the Holy Spirit medal.

A small, silver cross is hung from silver chain for the shorter of the double strands. The necklace is finished with a vintage, double-strand box clasp.

Upon picking up my son from camp, I discovered that they had discussed the Holy Spirit and Pentecost that day! Considering the way God works, I probably should not have been as surprised as I was.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Days of Rest

I had grand plans of crafting some pieces of jewelry this week. I also intended to get started on my new line of dog tags. However, life intervened.

This picture DOES reveal the color palette of my home LOL!
A bad cold and upper back problems has made it difficult for me to have the energy or ability to craft for long periods of time. I am a person who loves crossing things off my to-do list. However, I am trying to be accepting of the idea that sometimes we need Sabbath time.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

To The Dogs (and Cats!)

Public Domain Image
Over the past several weeks, I have been contemplating a new product line. My idea is to create pet tags with a Graceful Leigh twist. The idea came to me when I was thinking through a potential dog tag design for one of our dogs, Daisy.

Daisy and I snuggle.
In other news, I have been celebrating the first sales in my Etsy store! I cannot even fully explain how excited I am by my new customers. My hope s that they will become happy repeat customers!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

City of Angels

Beginning Top Left: Liam and Socks, Matilda, Olive, Jasper and Matilda, Toffee cookies,
Matilda and Papa, Olive.

My family and I had a wonderful, (MUCH too short) visit with our relatives in Los Angeles. Liam always looks forward to seeing his three cousins and my husband and I love getting to see our nieces and nephew. My mother and father-in-law were also there.

The adults got a chance to catch up while the children raced around playing Angry Birds and destroying blocks while the youngest, Matilda, did her best to keep up. We all really wish we lived closer to one another.

I also got to pick the brain of my sister-in-law, Karen, owner of Midwest Maude (I mention her all the time if you are a regular reader). She has an incredible mind for marketing and business. We talked a lot about sales, promotion, and other marketing of our handmade items. She also was kind enough to take me, once again, to the Fashion DIstrict in Lost Angeles- one of my favorite parts of L.A.! Beads, beads, and more beads as well as craft stores of all kinds line the streets. A slice of heaven!

The Fashion District :Public Domain Image

Friday, June 1, 2012

Drawing Jewelry Designs

I am in the middle of reading Drawing Jewels for Fashion, a fascinating book by Carol Woolton. Woolton is the jewelry editor for British Vogue. Her book reveals pages from the sketchbooks of some of the top jewelry designers in the fashion world. I have never come across anything quite like it in its focus on the role of sketches to the jewelry design process. 

From Article about Chopard
In the pages of this book, I discovered the amazing designs of Caroline Scheufele for Chopard. Her designs are completely mesmerizing! I have shown Scheufele's sketch above, followed by her finished necklace below. 

From Article about Chopard
All the sketches I have been reading about, coupled with stories about various creative processes have been very inspiring to me. 

How many of you sketch out designs and/or keep a design idea journal?