Category Archives: Beads and Jewelry

Remembering an Old Friend

Mark Reed at Tower Grove Park in 1996
Mark Reed at Tower Grove Park in 1996

Mark Elliott Reed, 1969-2018

Unfortunately Mark was really too young to leave this world but he was an “old friend” because I knew him for a long time. We met when we were both in college and later on we shared an employer for a few years. We had many common interests such as art, hiking, animals and nature. I’m sure I pushed him out of his comfort zone at times because of some of my ideas of what is fun. I used to joke with him that you know who to call if you want to visit scary abandoned buildings, get heat stroke or stand for hours up to your ankels in cold mud! I hope he had as much fun on our more adventurous outings as I did.

Since I learned of Mark’s passing I’ve been looking through a lot of old photos. I have many photo albums of hikes we took together but he is not in many of the pictures. Mark was kind of shy about drawing attention to himself. When I was learning photography he did pose for me on occasion because it was in his nature to be a generous person.

Mark was sometimes insecure about his creative work but I was always amazed by his talent. He could create something interesting in any form of expression that he tried. Before Mark had formal art training, he was a bit insecure about his creative output and unfortunately he destroyed some of his earlier work. I do have some of it in my personal collection so there are some early pieces still around. Even when his artwork was still a bit naive in technique he had such creativity and exuberance that I was blown away. Over the years he worked with drawing, collage, clay, computer graphics, model painting and building, poetry and novel writing. I wrote a review of his first book “The God Hunters” on this old web page here: Book Reviews. I was not only impressed with the quality of his writing but that he had the fortitude to finish a large project like a book. He was on his sixth or seventh book in the series when he passed away.

Mark had a special sense of humor that I really appreciated – surreal and a bit twisted at times. For example here are a couple of lines from one of his poems that I really like:

Flies and grubs speak directly to us…
Geriatric means “no tacos”

I don’t know what that means – but at the same time I do!

Mark’s talent, knowledge and playful sense of curiosity made him a really interesting and fun person to be around. He was also very kind and generous with his resources, including his time. Mark was often available to share fun activities with me and he was also there for me at some really bad times in my life. I read through some old messages between Mark and I to try to date some of the old photos I was looking at. I noticed that although we did a lot together at times in our lives, there were also a lot of instances when I invited him to something and he was unavailable. In the vast majority of cases, this was because he was helping someone else or giving others the gift of his companionship.

It’s understandable that a lot of people wanted Mark’s company. Mark, you left the world wanting more.

Link to my Facebook tribute photo album to Mark:
Memories of Mark Reed

Ring Bearer Pillow Made from Upcycled Wedding Dresses

Ring Bearer Pillow
Ring Bearer Pillow

I inherited the wedding dresses of my Mother and Grandmother but neither was in a condition to wear for my upcoming wedding, nor did either dress fit me anyway. I decided to take them apart to use what decorations and fabric pieces that I could for the new dress I’m having made and for accessories. The first accessory to be completed is this ring bearer pillow.

The satin flower on top of the bow was one of two that were on my Grandmother’s dress. One had been sewn to each shoulder. The large satin bow had been on my Mom’s dress where the train was attached to the back. I dyed the bow and some of the fabric from my Mom’s dress a light lime green color with Procion MX dye. Lime green is my favorite color and will feature prominently in the festivities along with coral, navy and white.

I sewed a lacy section from Mom’s train to the front of the pillow and embellished it with glass and faux pearl beads. As I sewed on the bow assembly, I added some ribbon for tying the rings on. I spent $0.00 making this because I already had all the supplies I used on hand. I’m very pleased with the results!

Make letter charms from paper collages

Letter charms made by making a paper collage then adding letter stickers and jewelry parts.
Letter charms made by making a paper collage then adding letter stickers and jewelry parts.

I love to make mixed media charms and beads to use in jewelry making. Recently I participated in a charm swap and made some initial necklaces for friends at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts where I am a teacher. Learn how to make these charms by reading my tutorial on the Canvas Corp Products blog!

Read More:
Combine Collage and Letter Stickers to Make Initial Letter Charms

How many of those Pinterest projects have you made? #2

I love to add images I find online to Pinterest boards to function as virtual idea boards for inspiration when I’m stuck. Every once in awhile it’s fun to see if I’ve actually used the ideas. Sometimes I believe I have consciously tried out another person’s idea while trying to put my own twist on it and at other times I’ve made a version of a design that is widely used and tends to pop up a lot. To give credit where it is due, here is my second roundup of jewelry designs I’ve found online and my own versions of them.

Amulet pouches

I’ve been collecting materials and instructions for making amulet pouches since the early 1990s before I actually got around to making one last fall so I can’t really say I was influenced by one particular design. The simple pattern I made for this little bag is original with me. I was inspired by looking at a few other pouches though. Occasionally I keep something sentimental or spiritual in it like a religious medal or one of my Mom’s rings, but normally I use it to carry a FitBit (which still works but fell of the wristband) or a USB drive. I have made several more of these bags with and without fringe and with different fabrics and embellishments.

Original designer: Cynthia Whitehawk
Link to this pin on Pinterest

Using a button as a connector between necklace and pendant

I have a pretty large stash of buttons and am always looking for ways to use them in projects. Using buttons as connectors from a pendant to a necklace creates a nice transition.

Original designer: Unknown
Link to this pin on Pinterest

Necklaces with donuts of glass and stone

I sewed some lace to pieces of metallic wired ribbon to make the strap and added a dangle with a trade bead to my version of a necklace using a stone donut.

Original designer: Unknown
Link to this pin on Pinterest

Earrings with bar dangles

The two sets of earring dangles shown that lack their own earring findings were made to use as interchangeable dangles for hoop earrings. I make a lot of convertible jewelry items so I can mix up looks.  I have a LOT of jewelry because I’ve been making it since 1989, even so I still crave variety!

Original designer: Gorjana Reidel
Link to this pin on Pinterest

Necklace pendants made with chandelier prisms

I bought some smoky quartz colored chandelier dangles at an antique shop ages ago and finally used one of them for an in-your-face large pendant that is designed using half a toggle clasp closure at the top to function as a giant jump ring – I can put this pendant on various chains. It could also be a purse charm by adding a big clip to it.

Original designer: Unknown
Link to this pin on Pinterest

Earrings made with spacer bars

It appears as though someone has used bicycle chain links to form the sides of the popular bar dangle design. In my versions, I used gold-colored spacer bars and added a chain dangle underneath.

Original designer: Unknown
Link to this pin on Pinterest

Flat pendant with two dangles
I changed a lot of things in my version of this necklace – the way the pendant is connected, and the materials that the flat pendant and the attached embellishment are made of. My pendant is made of polymer clay impressed with a rubber stamp, and the embellishment is a glass blob backed with hand-stamped paper.

Original designer: Nimii Makwa
Link to this pin on Pinterest

To see more of these matchups, here is previous post of mine:
How many of those Pinterest projects have you made?

Do you have any matchups you want to show off? Feel free to share links to them in the comments section!

Crop Circle Necklaces

Convertible necklaces with polymer clay pendants
Convertible necklaces with polymer clay pendants

Back in the late 1990s I was really into crop circles as designs. I carved a lot of rubber stamps of crop circle designs and used them in all kinds of art work. I stamped some crop circles onto polymer clay to make pendants and painted them with wash and dry brush techniques.

I never could think of what to make with the crop circle pendants until this past weekend when I was practicing making convertible pendants as samples for a jewelry class I was getting ready to teach. The lesson plan called for adding a lobster clasp to a pendant so that you could fasten it to different necklaces and chains for a variety of looks. I combined my crop circles with some hematite beads and gunmetal colored rings and lobster clasps to finally get a look that I liked. I’ll have a lot of fun mixing and matching these with other jewelry pieces!

One of my jewelry pieces is in the current issue of the Ladue News

ladue_news_coverCheck out page 95 of the 2017 Platinum List Edition of the Ladue News where my jewelry piece “Necklace With Large Striped Image Transfer Beads” is featured in the Art and Soul column.

You can pick up a free copy of the Ladue News at many area stores including Schnarr’s Hardware in Ladue. Or if you don’t live in the area, you can read the article online here: Art & Soul: Carolyn Hasenfratz.

Upcoming class: Make an Antique Key Necklace

Make an Antique Key Necklace
Make an Antique Key Necklace

Make an Antique Key Necklace

Decorate an antique look key with faux pearls and crystals! I’ll show you how to select and assemble components and attach your key pendant to a chain or cord. Suitable for beginners. All materials are included and jewelry tools are available to borrow. Each class attendee will receive a printout with a written tutorial for that class so if you forget anything we learned you can refer back to it later.

NEW! At each class, there will be at least one door prize randomly awarded to an attendee – probably a craft supply item of some type that relates to the theme of the class. Past prizes have included a necklace kit, a polymer clay frame kit and a craft stencil. That’s my way of saying thank you for coming!

What to bring
It’s not necessary to bring anything, but if there are any special beads and charms you want to add to the necklace please bring them.

What will be provided
Antique look keys, faux pearls, crystal beads, chain, jewelry findings, jewelry pliers.

Make an Antique Key Necklace
Date: September 24, 2016
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Location: Strange Folk Festival
Lafayette Square, Space TBD
St. Louis, MO, 63104

Class Signup

Image Transfers on Wood Jewelry

Image Transfers on Wood Jewelry
Image Transfers on Wood Jewelry

Class Info
Make amazing lightweight pendants by transferring found images onto wood. You will be supplied with the materials to make four pendants and two necklaces (one chain and one cord) for wearing your interchangeable pendants. You will learn the basics of transferring images with gel medium and attaching a clasp to a cord necklace.

Each class attendee will receive a printout with a written tutorial for that class so if you forget anything we learned you can refer back to it later. Jewelry tools will be available to borrow during the class and some tools and supplies will be available to purchase if you want to continue working on your own.

The class time is kind of long but the pace won’t be hectic – there will be breaks while we wait for things to dry. You will have time for lunch and there are lots of good places to eat or pick up food in downtown Maplewood.

NEW! At each class, there will be at least one door prize randomly awarded to an attendee – probably a craft supply item of some type that relates to the theme of the class. Past prizes have included a necklace kit, a polymer clay frame kit and a craft stencil. That’s my way of saying thank you for coming!

What to bring
It’s not necessary to bring anything but it’s a good idea to wear old clothes in case there is a paint mishap. You can bring or buy snacks or lunch. We have a refrigerator for storing food.

What will be provided
I will provide wood pendant blanks, paint, gel medium, images, findings and parts for four pendants and two necklaces, tools to borrow during class.

Image Transfers on Wood Jewelry
Date: July 2, 2016
Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Studio:art, 7403 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO
More information and registration: Class Signup

Upcoming Class at Studio:art – Polymer Clay Pendant with Glass Embellishment

Polymer Clay Pendant with Glass Embellishment
Polymer Clay Pendant with Glass Embellishment

I hope you can join me for my next class at Studio:art! You will learn how to make a pendant out of polymer clay textured with a rubber stamp enhanced with a glass embellishment. You will have a choice of color schemes you can use. Then you will learn how to make a finished necklace so you can wear your pendant. All supplies are included in the class fee – clay, pigments, glass, images, stringing materials and jewelry findings. The beads provided may not be exactly the same as shown in my sample but they will be close enough to create a similar look.

Tools will be available for you to borrow and some tools will be available to purchase should you want to continue working on your own later. You will not need to purchase anything additional to make the class project during class. If you have deep-etched rubber stamps of a texture design, special beads you want to use or any special images you want to include on the pendant you can bring them but there will be sufficient supplies to use if you don’t bring any.

The class time of 11-5 might sound daunting but there will be a lunch break and possibly more shorter breaks if we need them. The pendants will need to be baked twice during the class and I built in some extra time for baking and breaks. There are a lot of good places to eat in Maplewood that are within walking distance of the studio plus there is a Shop ‘n Save right across the street if you want to pick up a deli sandwich or a salad or something. The last class I scheduled for this length of time finished up a little early but I can’t guarantee that this one will also finish early.

NEW! In each class there will be door prize of some kind of supply or tool that relates to the class subject. You might win some extra supplies!

If you have any questions about the class please feel free to contact me.

Class: Polymer Clay Pendant with Glass Embellishment
Date: April 16, 2016
Time: 11-5 pm
Location: Studio:art, 7403 Manchester Road, Maplewood MO, 63143
Cost: $32 if paid in advance, $40 day of class
Signup form: www.carolynsstampstore.com/catalog/class_signup.php

If you choose to pay ahead of time to get the discount for pre-paying, I will send you a PayPal invoice via email. Alternately if you prefer to pay by Square I can take your information over the phone. Credit card processing at the studio will be with Square. You can also pay by cash or check at the studio or mail a check to me – contact me for the mailing address or send it to the studio. Children under 18 must be enrolled with a parent as I think parents are best able to judge their child’s ability level and what tools they should be allowed to use. Beginners are welcome.