Jewelry

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Etsy Finds: Skull Charms and Beads

Published March 10, 2015 by kurolace

Hi hi Sweet Strangelings!

Recently I’ve been trying to make new jewelry designs that are a bit darker in nature. You see, when I first started making jewelry I was just sort of indiscriminately buying supplies to try different styles and what not (BTW this is a terrible plan – I’m now stuck with a large sum of “cash” tied up in supplies that don’t match my intended brand style). So, what better place to start than skulls! 🙂 Yay!

So I’m a bit picky when it comes to skulls for my jewelry. I don’t like big obnoxious, ugly skulls, and I have an unexplainable aversion to anything Day of the Dead. I think it comes from being born and raised in NM… DOD stuff is just too common place around here.

So, here are some cool Etsy finds for skulls! I hope you’ll enjoy looking 🙂

 

Etsy seller: PrettyRoughDesign

Etsy seller: PrettyRoughDesign

So there are tons of carved skulls available in the loose bead market. But these are the best looking ones I’ve found. I’m not too keen on the bright bone/howlite/resin ones, which look sorta clumsy to me. But these ones from PrettyRoughDesign are made from buffalo bone, and have cranial cracklature, which is a delightful detail in my opinion. They ship from Indonesia and cost $13.50 ea + sh. So yeah, they are one the more expensive side of the spectrum. Then again, you get to choose the color (the picture shows the range from cream to dark grey).

 

beautyyourlifebirdskull

BeautyYourLife

Next up are these gold colored bird skulls. I love the look of bird skulls, which are more elegant than human ones, but I’m not keen on using real ones. Originally I was out to find natural bone colored ones (made from resin), but these gold ones are charming as well. They are 40mm long, so just a bit under 2 inches. They ship from Chinese seller BeautyYourLife and are made form zinc alloy, supposedly lead and nickle free. I would prefer gold plated brass, but oh well. 50 pieces for $12 + sh, this reflects the fact they are not gold plated.

 

 

goldmatteskulldesignyourheart

DesignInYourHeart

I found a Korean supplier who has quite a few cute charms available. Among them were two skull

DesignInYourHeart

DesignInYourHeart

designs that I really liked. Both are actually beads, as opposed to charms. By now you may realize that I currently favor gold colored/plated items. These beads are gold plated, but it doesn’t mention what the base metal is. The price for the gold ones, which have a horizontal hole, is $3.40 for 2 pieces, and the black epoxy ones, which have a wide vertical hole, are $5.00 for 2 pieces. Like I said, this seller also has lots of other cute designs, if skulls aren’t your thing.

 

 

beadingshazsmallskull

beadingshaz

Finally, some silver ones! This have cutesy look to them, in my opinion. They seem a bit cartoon-y (deformed), without being too cartoon-y. I tried to find them being offered by a US seller, or Chinese supplier, but no such luck. So, you can find them from UK based seller beadingshaz. They are “silver color” alloy, lead and nickle free. They are fairly small: 13mm in length, which is perfect for earrings or bracelet charms. 10 cost $1.86 USD, but shipping is another $6, making them about $0.80 each (which is why I was hoping to find a Chinese supplier – usually buying it directly from China is much cheaper in regards to shipping).

 

 

swarovskicrystalskull

FireMountainGems

Lastly, I’d like to feature the Swarovski crystal skulls, which are a relatively new addition to Swarovski’s product line (I think they came out about 1 year ago). You can find these on Etsy, or on a jewelry supply site like FireMountainGems. They are 14mm long, and have a vertical hole up through the skull. Yes, they are sorta borderline “clunky,” but the sparkle helps make up for that. Plus they make me think of Mayan crystal skulls and whatnot! They come in a variety of colors, and are about $5.60 each, depending on where you purchase them.

Okay, that’s it! Obviously there are lots of other skull charms and beads that you can find on Etsy and other sites… Like jewel-incrusted ones, day of the dead ones, kinda tribal looking ones, etc. But I prefer these more elegant ones, and hopefully in the near future I’ll be using them in some jewelry designs!

Until we meet again! 🙂

YouTube DIYer: Mark Montano – Galaxy Chair!

Published May 21, 2014 by kurolace

I found a new channel to subscribe to on YouTube. Mark Montano has a slew of cute DIY videos, but my favorite by far is this one on upcycling a vintage chair with homemade galaxy fabric. I wish I had an apartment of my own to do this! (No room here at my parent’s house).  The bit about making the fabric would have made a pretty good how-to video on its own!

Additionally he has videos on making safety-pin feather designs, an Alice-in-Wonderland-esque chair and dish set, and really cute mini-hat bobby pins. He has a series called “Guy DIY” too, for the fellas out there.

How-To: Make Satin Cord Necklaces for Pendants

Published April 27, 2013 by kurolace

Today I am going to show you why you don’t ever need to buy premade cord necklaces for you pendants! Seriously people, premade ones are a rip off, and if you are selling your item, they cut into your profit margin significantly! Making satin cord necklaces (or cotton cord or leather cord ones, for that matter), is really very easy and only takes a few ingredients!

From top to bottom: Rattail (nylon), Mousetail (Rayon), Bugtail (Rayon).

From top to bottom: Rattail (nylon), Mousetail (Rayon), Bugtail (Rayon).

Before getting into the tutorial, lets talk satin cord for a minute. This is my cord of choice. I typically prefer it over cotton and leather because it is much more flexible and therefore drapes better. Its even better than chain or ball chain in many cases, but of course this depends on the overall look you are going for.

There are two types of satin cord: Rayon and Nylon/Polyester. Rayon is a bit softer and the type that I prefer. You cannot heat seal rayon, because its mostly natural fiber, but you can use clear nail polish on the ends to keep it from fraying (Or glue, or that “no fray” stuff).  Nylon/Polyester cord has a slightly stiffer body, can be heat sealed, and is the type you’ll find at Hobby Lobby in the ribbon section.  Both Rayon and Nylon/Polyester Satin cord comes in a variety of colors, and in 3 sizes: Bugtail (1-1.4mm, also called “Petite #0”), Mousetail (1.5 -1.9mm, also called “Lightweight #1”), and Rattail (2mm also called “Heavyweight #2).

Check out The Satin Cord Store to buy either rayon or nylon satin cord by the yard, in 10 yard coils, or 70-yard rolls. You can also get it from Firemountain Gems – I believe theirs is nylon – in all three sized & many colors. Hobby Lobby only carries the heavyweight nylon satin cord, but its only $1.99 (or less if you go when its on sale), for 24ft (8 yards), and they have a decent variety of colors.

The rest of the supplies for this tutorial can be bought from your favorite jewelry supply store – In my case, Beadaholique, but Hobby Lobby or Michaels may also have what you need.

Okay… lets gather our materials, to make a satin cord necklace you will need:

I apologize... the lighting only gets worse from here.

I apologize… the lighting only gets worse from here.

 

  • Petite #0 / Bugtail Satin Cord (you can choose any length, of course – 18″ is usually the shortest length for this type of necklace)
  • Glue, nail polish or other sealing method
  • 2 Coil cord ends to fit cord (for Bugtail, you need 1.5mm)
  • 2 jump rings
  • 2″ Extender chain
  • Lobster clasp
  • Chain Nose Pliers
  • E6000 or similar permanent glue with some working time (not superglue)

To start, cut the Bugtail cord to the length you desire. Remember 18″ is usually the shortest length for these pendant necklaces. I actually prefer 21″… Obviously you can choose the length you prefer. We will be adding a 2″ extended chain, so remember to add that in when calculating the total possible length of the finished necklace.

When putting the glue on the cord, and inserting into coil, try to avoid the end of the coil on the left side of this picture.

When putting the glue on the cord, and inserting into coil, try to avoid the end of the coil on the left side of this picture.

Seal the ends of the cord. Use glue or nail polish or “no fray” if you are using Rayon cord. Use a lighter, candle, or heat tool if you are using nylon cord. A light touch is best for this step, especially with the glue or nail polish – too much and it’ll wick into the cord and discolor it.

Apply a small amount of E6000 to one of the ends of the cord. The slip the cord into the coil end. Push it all the way in. Clean up any excess glue on the cord.

Do the same with the other end of the cord. Allow the ends to complete dry… I usually leave them for about an hour or so just for good measure.

See where the coil wire end has been clamped down?

See where the coil wire end has been clamped down?

Take your pliers and clamp down the end of the coil onto the cord. I try to avoid splitting

the cord, and I try to keep the cord centered in the coil…. but it doesn’t always come out perfectly. Don’t worry too much about that. Its only crazy nit picky people like me who notice!

Add jump rings, then extender chain and lobster clasp

Add jump rings, then extender chain and lobster clasp

Put a jump ring on each end. The add a lobster clasp to one end, and the extender chain to the other end.

Voila! You have a nice satin cord necklace for your pendant!  Make a whole bunch at one time, in a few colors, so that you have them on hand to add finished pendants to later!

In case your wondering, this cord is actually "lavender" you just can see it due to the glare.

In case your wondering, this cord is actually “lavender” you just can’t see it due to the glare.

 

Kawaii Macaroon Charm Necklaces

Published April 26, 2013 by kurolace

Hi! Here are some macaroon charm necklaces I made using paper clay. Next time I think I’d use resin clay to try to give a little more weight to them (they are extreme light weight), and maybe try to make the macaroons a bit flatter…. I haven’t put these in my etsy shop yet, but I think I will… just cause I don’t know what I’d do with 6 necklaces like this, lol.  What do you think?

Handmade paper clay macaroons with little gem decorations...

Handmade paper clay macaroons with little gem decorations…

 

 

My Etsy Store: Crystal Bracelets and Kawaii Star Jewelry Set

Published April 9, 2013 by kurolace

Hi All… here’s one of those shameless plugs for my Etsy store, which I just added a few things to.

Mostly I added crystal memory wire wrap bracelets, but I also added one kawaii / pastel goth / gothic lolita necklace / bracelet set. Its made with purple stars and pink glass pearls.

The crystal and pearl bracelets are $5 + s&h, and the kawaii star bracelet/necklace set is $8 + s&h.

New additions to my store at www.etsy.com/shop/Kurolace

New additions to my store at http://www.etsy.com/shop/Kurolace

Cute Bow Earrings

Published March 2, 2013 by kurolace

Hi Darlings! Today I wanted to show you the great new earrings I got this week! I’ve been looking for a while to find some little black bow earrings, and finally came across a pair I wanted to try out.

$10.50 + $2.50 shipping, available on Amazon from Accessories Forever

$10.50 + $2.50 shipping, available on Amazon from Accessories Forever

I originally thought I’d prefer some that are just metal, but then I saw these rhinestone ones on Amazon. They are  sold by Accessories Forever and cost me $13. I was a little bit nervous to buy them, since the picture on amazon made it difficult to tell what the size and quality would be. I thought they could either be really cute, or really cheese-y!

Luckily they turned out to be really cute! I actually received a complement on them the very first day I wore them. They are about 0.5″ x 0.5″, and the crystals really are of good quality.  Also, they arrived extremely quickly! Only about 2 days after I ordered them! (They shipped from CA, so if you live on the East Coast, its probably going to take longer.)

The same design is available in black, purple, red, blue, pink, silver, gold… and I think even teal. I’m seriously considering getting a pair of the purple ones! 🙂

Etsy Finds: Black Hearts

Published December 18, 2012 by kurolace

Hi! I have another set of good Etsy finds for you. This time the search term was one of my favorite accessory/decorations: Black Heart / Hearts.  I love simple black hearts, and also sometimes not so simple (like filigree). It think they are the perfect mix of cute, elegant, and sophisticated.

So here we go….

Silver Trumpet Jewelry

Silver Trumpet Jewelry

To start off the list is a nice charm bracelet with large black hearts from Silver Trumpet Jewelry. There are a few other nice charm bracelets in that store as well. $32 isn’t exactly cheap, but keep in mind that making charm bracelets takes time and lots of materials. I would prefer if this bracelet had either bright silver metal parts, black, or bright gold. These days I just am not a big fan of the aged-bronze/brass look. (Although at one point that’s all I liked)

CBDahlia

CBDahlia

The next item is a bit of a twist on “Black Heart”… Typically I’m not into these anatomically correct hearts, but I thought it was clever in this case, and the fact that these are carved is impressive. So if you like that sort of “sarcastic” type of thing, these black heart necklaces are for you! The shop is CBDahlia and each necklace costs $38.

fikashop

fikashop

Of course, we can always make our own custom items, embellished with these cute black heart studs! They’re on clearance too! Just $4.52, from fikashop. I’ve never used studs before, but I’m under the impression that they are relatively easy to use.

The Washi Shop

The Washi Shop

If you aren’t familiar with Washi tape, its similar to masking tape because of its paper feel. I love it. Mostly I use it for mailing / packaging items in a pretty way. So you know I just love this black heart, lacey washi tape! Its from The Washi Shop and costs $2.50.

ecofriendly notebook from thisisit

ecofriendly notebook from thisisit

For anyone who likes to horde collect notebooks like I do, check out this “ecofriendly” notebook from thisisit. Its 8.5″x5.5″ and costs $18. You can choose between lined and unlined pages too, which is nice. I love cute school supplies and stationary – even though I’m no longer in school, hehe. Seeing this notebook actually made me think about trying to do something similar by using fabric… hmm I’ll have to try it out and maybe make a tutorial! 😛

nurdanceyiz

nurdanceyiz

Oh, I came across this great throw pillow during my search. Its a little bit pricey, but really cute. I wish my room was a little bit more “in-theme” and that my bed was big enough to have another throw pillow on it! I think I might prefer it with lace instead of that leaf stuff… but still, this is very cute. $42 from nurdanceyiz.

GlitznGlass

GlitznGlass

Lastly I found this mug with pained on hearts. The hearts kinda look like they have eyes! I’m sort of a sucker for mugs.. lol, I think it might have something to do with my tea obsession… The mug is hand painted and costs $18 from GlitznGlass.

Well, thats it! Hope you enjoyed looking at the pretties and maybe you have gained some inspirations! See you next time! 🙂

Etsy Finds: Pastel Goth

Published November 1, 2012 by kurolace

Hiya 🙂 I hope you had a happy day of Haunting yesterday. Mine was lame. I stayed at home and watched the end of Tegami Bachi, ate frozen yogurt, and dreamed of happier Halloweens. 😦 But anyways…

I’ve been busy lately… Flu, job searching, a torn up / non-functional kitchen, and getting ready for my very first craft fair (Nov 17th!)… So I haven’t had time to do much in the way of photography, crafts, or anything for this blog. How sad :(…

Recently I’ve been doing a LOT of browsing Etsy. For various reasons… price comparison for my items that I’ll be selling in a few weeks, as well as just having fun on Etsy. I’ve been pretty much broke lately, which I think only adds to my desire to browse more than usual. I’m particularly obsessed with dreaming about hair-color-that-cannot-be…. Since I’m job hunting I have to keep it natural. That’s probably what got me started today on my “Pastel Goth” Etsy quest…

It all started with these amazing clip in extensions… I can’t tell you how much I wish that I could have my hair like this (other than job hunting, there’s the fact that my current hair is henna/auburn, so I’d have to do a fair amount of bleaching before the colors would look right, I just don’t like bleaching)….. The price is pretty good for a full set of custom dyed, clip in extensions, but sadly out of my budget:

  NinasCreativeCouture

Of course, the hair would be perfect when topped with this head band (seller has other colors too):

LockshopWigs

When it comes to pastel goth stuff, I particularly love pastel Bats… They are sooo cute! I found a few great items I’d love to have…. Including these adorable polymer cell phone charms:

QuernusCrafts

These bats aren’t pastel, but the stars have that candy plastic look to them:

LittleMizzKitty

I found this belt, which I love for being so weird / cute. (The seller also has a bat wing scarf):

CuteCandyClouds

An important detail, IMO, are fingernails. I adore fake/temporary nails (temporary thanks to awesome, one-day glue from Japan). So of course I want some that would fit in with a pastel goth outfit… I’d prefer them in blue or purple, but these pink ones are still cute:

castlecouture1

Lastly, although not pastel, this is very cute. I’m always a sucker for lace:

BloodCross

Needless to say, Etsy has tons of other items too… You can just search “pastel goth” and find a lot of good stuff. 🙂

Gemstones – Uses and Meanings

Published April 25, 2012 by kurolace

Oh, hi there….. 😛 Sorry for being absent for almost 2 months. I’ve been kinda busy. In March, one of my cats had to be put to sleep 😦 Well, it wasn’t a surprise… he was 17 years old, diabetic, and also had cancer. He suddenly stopped eating, and after 2 days of no food, he could no longer move around on his own – not even to go the bathroom. So, my parents took him to the vet and did what had to be done…. 😦 RIP Maximilian.

Also I had to sort out my taxes. This is the first year I filed taxes by myself. To make it complicated, I have to do self-employment taxes since I’m technically an independent consultant when it comes to my job. On top of that, one of my former employers (from my time at the university) sent my W-2 to the wrong address, so I had to request another be sent.

Enough excuses… lets get down to business.

Today I want to write a little about gemstones. Attributing meaning to rocks and minerals is an age old practice. The most common place we see this in the modern era is birthstones. Birthstones are commonly used in jewelry. If you make jewelry, designing birthstone-themed pieces can be a good starting point when you are lacking design ideas, or if you’re making a gift for a friend. One thing about birthstones that I find interesting are the wide variety stones you can choose from for each month. Yep – that’s right – there are actually a lot more birth stones assigned to each month than just one….. But the one that you are likely familiar with comes from the English traditions – which was “standardized” in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers.

What’s Your Birthstone?

Wikipedia has a great chart which lists the birthstones according the month of birth, and there’s also a poem from the middle ages about birthstones. However, its missing some of the Eastern and Ancient birthstones.

Here’s a list combining both ancient and modern birthstones (US standard / popular listed first):

January — Garnet … and: Onyx, Quartz, Beryl, Jet, and Obsidian

February — Amethyst … and: Blue Sapphire, Hyacinth (yellow zircon), Lapis, Aquamarine,

March —  Aquamarine & Bloodstone …and: Diamond, Turquoise, Jade, Jasper, Tourmaline,

April — Diamond … and: Ruby, Red Jasper, Rock Crystal, Carnelian, Coral

May — Emerald … and: Chrysoprase, Golden Topaz, Lapis, Azurite, Agate

June — Pearl, Alexandrite, & Moonstone … and: Cat’s Eye, Crystal, Agate, Aquamarine, Beryl,  Turquoise

July — Ruby …and: Cornelian, Moonstone, Pearl, Green Turquoise, Sapphire

August — Peridot … and: Amber, Sardonyx, Ruby, Jacinth, Topaz, Moonstone

September — Sapphire …and: Pink Jasper, Rhodochrosite, Azurite, Star Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli, Zircon

October — Opal… and: Fire Agate, Agate, Tourmaline, Coral

November — Topaz … and: Cat’s Eye, Citrine, Coral, Garnet, Ruby, Zircon

December — Turquoise … and: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Malachite, Ruby, Tanzanite, Topaz

 

Gemstone Powers – Uses and Meanings

Remember those power bead bracelets? Different colors of stones / beads were attributed specific benefits that they were supposed to grant the wearer. You could often buy them up near the cash register in bookstores or novelty stores… I’m sure you can still find them in some shops (although, it seems to me that the height of their popularity was back in about 1998-2000). The only problem with such bracelets was that there wasn’t always a consistent pattern in regards to which stone bracelet represented what.  Sometimes the meaning was based more on the color of the stone than anything else.

I have an entire book on the subject of gemstones’ beneficial properties and effects. Its called Stone Power, by Dorothee L. Mella…. published back in the 1980s. In it she lists some 48 stones with their uses and meanings. Needless to say, that some of it overlaps and some contradict…. I’m generally of the opinion that things mean / represent whatever you want them to represent. But here are just a few of the more popular associations:

Lapis Lazuli – A spiritual stone, it was associated with power, love, and Universal Truth (Ancient Egypt)

Opal – Commonly believed to open one’s mind to visions, used for prophecy and divination (Greece)… also considered a stone of romance and love

Pearls – Associated with femininity and beauty.

Peridot – Believed to contain the power of the sun, and the ability to cure liver disease, as well as jealous thoughts (Ancient Egypt)

Obsidian – A stone of protection, often found in ancient South American amulets and lucky charms.

Malachite – Thought to ward off negative energies (additionally thought to be able to warn owner of impending danger by breaking in half)

Moonstone – Associated with moon magic… but also used to promote love. Romans associated the stone with Diana.

Emerald – Represents security in love… also thought to strengthen memory and increase intelligence.

Garnet – A protective stone thought to help heal emotional issues and also clear the body of toxins. Increases positivity.

Coral – Thought to destroy negative energy. It was used by the Romans to protect children. Also used to by newlyweds to protect against sterility.

 

Well, that’s all for now, since this post has gotten rather long! Hopefully this has been of some use to someone out there :)… Of course, you can find lots of additional information by looking up specific stones, or by looking into specific traditions (Modern vs. Ancient, Western vs. Eastern). I’m sure there are newer books out there than the one I have (which, btw, was kind of a random handout from my grandmother, lol).