Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two new things for me!

To celebrate the fact that I finished all my outstanding custom orders and birthday presents for friends, I decided to make myself a couple of presents! First, a cool necklace with a pendant that is either a tengu, Garuda, or some other bird-man. Second a bone hairstick adorned with glass and stone beads, a carved skull, and an Afghani coin. Big surprise, both items are brown and green!

The hairstick is actually a prototype for a new product line. What do you think? Would you like to see unique tribal hairsticks at Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs? Hairstick materials would include bone, horn, wood and metal, and accents would include beads of all sorts, coins, bells, pendants, keys, and whatever else would look cool. Pricing would probably range from $10-$20+ depending on how fancy they get and how much I have to pay for the base stick.

More pictures of both items will be posted next week, right now I have way too much to do before I head off to belly dance class!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Let's talk about Treasury Tuesday!

I have to say, I really like this treasury that I made yesterday! It was choose-your-own-theme again, and after vacillating for a bit, I saw a hair accessory that I liked in someone else's treasury and decided that I should do an entire collection of beautiful hair goodies. It seems rather fitting, because I've really been into taking care of my hair lately, trying new products to clean it and style it and keep it safe from harm.

Also, I was featured in two treasuries yesterday! Phoenix Feathers Beaded Choker continues its winning run by being featured in Busy as a Bee Creating Blissfully by Liza's Whimsical Art. Meanwhile, Miss July the Faerie Pin-Up Necklace is in All A-Glow by Mermaiden Creations, my favorite treasury curator!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tribal Lotus

 This is the first necklace I made as part of my ongoing Operation: Buried in Beads. Created as a gift for one of my belly dance teachers, it features a tribal-appropriate black and red color combination and a cool matte black carved stone lotus flower. I'm happy to say that she loves it. There's few things nicer than creating a gift that is well-received :)
For more handmade tribal jewelry, be sure to check out my shop, Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The return of Operation: Buried in Beads

Last year, I had too many beads and I decided to undertake Operation: Buried in Beads to try to use up some of my massive stash. Well, I still have too many beads, and I still can't figure out a way to get them all properly organized and put away, and I still don't have a dedicated workspace, so I'm doing it again. It is time to make some friggin' jewelry, and hopefully use up lots of stray beads and components in the process.

I already started, but I can't tell you what I made because it's a present for somebody! So I'll post it after it's been given. I've also got the start of a few other projects laid out, but first I have to make a couple more presents. Seriously, why is everyone having birthdays in April? And Mother's Day is right around the corner, too! Plus my birthday is just over a week away on the 1st, so I need to make myself a present because hey, I deserve it.

Anyway, back to slaving away in the bead-cave.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

MZ Beetle Pendant!

 You may remember that in February, MZ gave me one of her new beetle cabochons to work into a bead-embroidered pendant, so she could inspire prospective customers. Here's what I came up with, using Delicas, Japanese seed beads and some Czech three-cut seed beads. I really enjoyed working with the bright color palette in this cab, it's pretty far out of my usual muted olive and bronze palette :) For more beautiful lampwork, please visit MZ Glass. For more bead embroidery, visit my shop, Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's that time again....

It's Treasury Tuesday! Ok, well, yesterday was! I always wait and post my round-up on Wednesday or Thursday to make sure I don't miss out on any late-night treasury features. This week, I am beyond thrilled to be in the gorgeous treasury above. Mermie has such an eye for beautiful things that look even more beautiful when grouped together, and she chose my very best product photo ever to be part of what I think is a very front page worthy collection.

And my Phoenix Feathers Beadwoven Choker gets a second chance at treasury time this week, having been included in Orange you just in love with this?? Which is also beautifully curated despite the silly name. Great job, Midnight's Meadow! I've noticed that Phoenix Feathers has been getting a lot of hearts on Etsy, too. I think it really grabs peoples' attention.

Last but not least, we had a Mother's Day theme for the week, so I chose to draw inspiration from my own mother and create Unicorns and Dragons for my Mom!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Difficult Pendant

I received the components for this pendant as part of the Winter Enchantment promotion. That should give you an idea of just how long I've been struggling with it, since we're now well into Spring.

Honestly, I probably should have just sat this challenge out, but I can't resist the lure of free beads. It took me a bit to think of something to fit the Winter Enchantment theme. Let's face it -- I am not enchanted by winter. I hate it. Especially this winter, with its hard freeze and the need to replace my water heater and my furnace. But there is one thing I really love about winter... the February gem shows! My first thought was to get some stone beads, but I didn't see anything that caught my fancy. Then I figured, hey, why not get some nice crystals and make a fancy necklace inspired by the Swarovski party?

So I picked out some Rivolis and a Pendant from the Swarovski Elements section, and some super gorgeous purple iris 24k gold Delicas from the Seed Bead section, and figured I would make something pretty and fancy.

Once I caught up on my massive beady to-do list, I sat down to work on the necklace. Well, things kept going wrong. The first bezel I made for the large rivoli was too small, so I had to make a bigger one. I had two small rivolis, and the first one bezeled up fine, but the bezel was too large for the second one, even though I used the same number of beads! So I decided to just stack the two rivolis and hang the beautiful baroque teardrop from them, but I don't think I like the way it looks. Whatever, I just wanted to finish it and move on. So I decided to string a pretty necklace with faceted freshwater pearls, Swarovski pearls, Czech glass, and use the Delicas as spacers to tie the color scheme together. No, that didn't work either. I didn't have quite enough beads for any configuration I tried, and the SoftFlex didn't want to go through the Delicas at the top of the bezel. That is about when I gave up.

Last night I thought I'd give it one last try before photographing it. I figured maybe the super-fine bead stringing chain would fit through the Delicas. But no matter where I looked, I couldn't find the last bit of that chain that I have. So I give up, evil crystal pendant. You win. And by win, I mean I'm going to put you away someplace where I don't have to look at you for a while, and eventually I will cut you up and use your components to make something else.

All difficulties aside, the crystals and Delicas were all great. I love the color of the Delicas, they really embody Winter with their soft, muted metallic colors. And I've wanted to use one of those graphical Swarovski pendants since they came out. The design is printed on the back of the pendant and seems pretty permanent -- at the very least it didn't rub off when I was working with it, and I can't scratch it off with a fingernail, so it should stand up to daily wear. One of the rivolis did have a small chip on the edge, but I don't know if Artbeads sent it to me that way or if I dropped it and chipped it at some point.

Disclaimer: FTC guidelines require me to mention that the Swarovski Elements and Delicas used in this failed project were provided to me by at no cost in return for promotional consideration on my blog.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Preview for a new product line

This may look like one of the usual crystal bracelets that I make, but I assure you that it's something new! Instead of using standard Japanese seed beads between the crystals, I've used tiny metal seed beads. Yes, real metal! I made this one with silver, but I also have some beautiful brass that would be perfect for steampunk designs. Right now I'm giving the green and silver one a test-drive, and if it holds up well I'll be adding them to my selection of handmade bracelets at Erthe Fae Designs.

Friday, April 15, 2011

New jewlery next week, promise!

You may have noticed that it's been approximately forever since I posted any new jewelry. I've been up to my eyeballs in things, ranging from custom orders to learning algebra to working on a solo for belly dance class, and as such my jewelry productivity has really taken a nosedive. Well, no more! I've got a house full of beads and I want to create with them! Also, I want to sell some jewelry because I like having spending cash to buy other peoples' handmade creations.

So enjoy your weekend and come back on Monday to see what I've got up my sleeves!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An awesome Treasury Tuesday

 It's an exciting day here in Erthe Fae Land, because I have finally decided to try using this new-fangled Craft Cult wiki to directly insert a treasury into my blog post, instead of capturing a screen shot! If I did this correctly, you should be able to click on any of the above gorgeous items and be taken straight to their listing! Or, if you prefer the old fashioned way, you can visit Because green is my favorite color and view the treasury on Etsy. This week we were encouraged to pick our own theme, so I had a lot of fun making a treasury consisting solely of things that I liked in my favorite color, by my fellow FAE Team artists.

This was a good week for me in regards to treasuries, as I had three different items featured in three different collections! First, Medeine is included in An Easter celebration, a perfectly seasonal theme by Midnight's Meadow. Next, I was pleased to find my Enchantment Gothic Chandelier Earrings in Spring Fantasy, a darkly elegant creation by the lovely Mermaiden. Lastly, I was quite unexpectedly included in a RED! treasury by Lithia, who chose Phoenix Feathers to be part of her Robin Red Beast.. Er, I mean Breast collection. Except my necklace actually isn't in the treasury anymore because the listing apparently expired this morning! Whoops!

So yes, it has been a good week so far for Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs. The only way it could be made better would be some increased sales... hint hint! ;)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Go forth and bid!

The time has come, my friends! Salome's Dance is up for auction this week! This stunning crystal and seed bead necklace (with a few pearls) was lovingly woven by yours truly for Layne's Legacy -- Beading For A Cure. If I were to sell this necklace in my Etsy shop, I'd have to ask at least $200 for it. The starting bid is only $35, so I expect you to bid it up closer to what its worth ;) And remember, there are many more beautiful beaded objects up for auction this week, so have a look at all of the BFAC Auctions and bid on as many as you love and can afford! The proceeds go to the NCCRA, in memory of my late friend Layne, who was a wonderful friend to me during some tough times in my life. Even when she was battling her own cancer, she was also there for me. Making and auctioning off jewelry is the least I can do to honor her.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cute cat picture!

I haven't posted much about my pets lately, so here's a photo of my favorite fluff-monstah! My friends Helen and Bob left their two dogs with us for the week, and Helen brought over a nice big bed for Tess, who is a senior citizen and doesn't need to be lying around on cold tile all day. Well, Tess decided that she'd rather sleep on the carpet under Chris's desk (she really likes him!), so the other pets have been taking turns enjoying the big bed. Topher has clearly decided that he's finally find a cushion worthy of his regal body. I love how he sits pretty much in the middle of it, openly declaring that it is HIS bed and he will NOT be sharing it with any corgis.

Friday, April 01, 2011

90 days of dance practice!

Hmmm... I don't really have a lot of good, recent pictures of me dancing. I used to drag Chris to all of my performances, and he'd snap pictures and/or take video, but lately he's been busy or sick when I've danced, so I've had to rely on what other people post on Facebook. Oh well.

Yes, I'm taking a break from my usual promotion of my business Handmade Jewelry by Erthe Fae Designs (ok, shameless plug out of the way), to talk about my exciting life as a belly dancer! You may remember at the start of the year, I decided to set the goal of practicing for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, and then I started a separate blog to chronicle my progress and also to just chat about dance, which meant that there was a lot less belly talk on this blog. I did promise to post the occasional update, and I think that three months of dance is worth updating about!

That's right, for 90 days in a row (not counting one day when I was really sick), I have danced every single day. I've taken classes, I've been in workshops, I've danced at parties and concerts, and I even had two performances so far this year. I have been one busy dance girl. Daily practice has been great for me -- it's done wonders for my shimmies and my belly rolls, and really improved my knowledge of my tribal move vocabulary. If you want to read more about it, feel free to check out my other blog, Confessions of a Dance Pants Addict.