Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Jewels by Frances

For a year now, I have been designing jewelry. Jennifer Dempsey gave me my first lesson last summer and I was hooked. I love to make necklaces, earrings, and bracelets to match outfits that I own. Sometimes, I make a necklace and buy an outfit to match it. My "habit" has become quite costly so I am making plans to sell it. I made my first piece for sale Monday night. I plan to have some home parties to introduce my friends to my jewelry. There will be the option to buy the jewelry I design or design your own. I love teaching people how to make things. Imagine that! I like to go to The Mart in Atlanta and purchase pendants, beads, accessories and findings. I get so excited when I see the low prices. My sister Charlotte picks out beads that I may have overlooked and makes suggestions of how to put them together with other beads. I have another friend, Lynne Phelps, that has taught me some basic jewelry-making techniques. She taught me how to crimp my necklaces where they won't come apart. Having the right tools is very important in jewelry making. Lynne has helped me to realize that. Designing jewelry gives me so much satisfaction. I love laying out the beads and watching the piece come to life. Threading the beads is very relaxing to me. It's like eating potato chips, you just can't stop! When I first started making jewelry, my beads were kept in plastic boxes with small compartments. As I purchased new beads, the colors got all mixed up and I would have 3-4 boxes open when I was designing. I also had a problem getting the beads out of the small compartments. Now I have clear glass jars that hold my beads. They are beautiful and I can see what I have and what I need to buy. The glass jars are spice jars. Some of them came from Ikea, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Michaels, and Party City. I have them on elevated spice rack shelves in my craft room. Ocasionally I buy beads from Michael's or Hobby Lobby. I try to buy them when they are on sale. I have bought some things over the Internet, but I'm not good at looking at the pictures and knowing what I'm buying. Sometimes I am disappointed when it arrives. One of the first things I did when I learned how to make jewelry, I took old jewelry that I did not wear and took it apart, added new beads to spice it up, and then I have a new piece of jewelry. Some of my most favorite pieces have evolved this way.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Amelia's Wardrobe

One of my newest hobbies is to buy clothes for Amelia that will be born in October. I have had so much fun doing this. I won't buy anything unless it is on sale or very reasonable. I seem to have a fettish for baby shoes. They didn't have such cute shoes when my children were babies. I just can't figure out the sizes. I don't know if the shoes I've bought will match the outfit when she can wear it. Oh well, they are just so cute! Thomas and Allen say "cute" is the adjective we use to describe everything we buy Amelia. I have to agree with them.

Yesterday I went shopping for material with my friend Eunice. She is teaching me to smock. I have learned two stitches and we are designing Ameilia's coming home from the hospital outfit. It is hard to find smocking material. It's even harder to find newborn patterns to sew. I am going to make a bishop dress. I don't know what I'm going to smock, but Eunice has suggested a smocking pattern called Jennifer. The material I found is pink, light green, and a microcheck red and white gingham. These are 3 different pieces of material.
I'm still debating about whether or not to buy a monogramming machine. I am spending about $30 a week on monogramming. I found a Brother machine for $549 at the Singer store in Macon. They offer free lessons on the machines they sell. I'm thinking this could be a good money maker for me while I am keeping Amelia. My family jokes that I monogram everything. I would if I owned a machine!