Monday, December 02, 2013

Going out of Business Sale!

Dear fans of Erthe Fae Designs,

Earlier this year I announced that I was cutting back on my business. Well, over the holiday weekend I decided it was time to stop selling jewelry altogether. Next year I will be treating dance like a full-time career, which will not leave me enough time to properly maintain my Etsy shop. Besides, after 15 years of selling jewelry on-line, I need to take a break and try doing something different with my life.

You can use coupon code BUYALLTHETHINGS at the Erthe Fae Designs Etsy shop for 30% off any purchase over $20. If there's something you like, act fast! I will not be renewing items as they expire.

Thank you to everyone who has supported my business over the past decade and a half. I hope you'll continue to wear and enjoy your jewelry for years to come!

Best wishes,
-AJ Reardon, Owner and Designer

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bellydance Costume

Sometimes I put my beading supplies and skills to work for my bellydance costuming needs -- although I would like to point out right here and now that I did NOT make all of that green seed bead fringe, because I hate doing fringe and that much would take forever and be really boring, since it's just one size and color of bead. No, I totally cheated and bought that stuff pre-made on eBay.

What I did, however, is add some extra fringe made with freshwater pearls, Czech glass beads and Swarovski crystals for extra visual interest. And I raided my chain supply for some nice looking copper chain. As for the pretty copper diamond medallions, those were sent to me by my beading and bellydancing friend SaraBeth. I'm glad I found the perfect project for them!

Someday I'd like to do a really intricate beaded belt and bra set, even though that's not really the fashion for my style of bellydance. I just think it would be awesome to make one. But for now I have a lot of easier dance costume projects in the queue ahead of that idea.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nancy Dale Style Wrap Bracelet

This neat wrap bracelet was made from a pattern by my friend Nancy Dale. Not only is she a sweet person and an amazing designer, but she's obviously a smart cookie to come up with such a clever and attractive way to use a variety of stray beads. This is the perfect project to use up things you only have 4 or less of, and also a lovely way to showcase a smaller lampwork bead, as I've done here.

In addition to the lampwork by MZGlass, my bracelet is made with Japanese seed beads, two-hole Czech beads, Swarovski pearls, assorted Czech glass, and some beads that are either tiger's eye or brown cat's eye. I love it because it's sparkly, but also kind of casual so it's easy to throw on with a pair of jeans or a sundress.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rick Rack Mountain

It is time to get caught up on posting my recent beadwork! This is a double rick-rack piece based on the design in Contemporary Geometric Beadwork. Kate McKinnon took the photo (my photos are never this clean and clear). It's woven from Delica beads and tipped with tiny Swarovski crystals, and has a gorgeous green silk ribbon running through it. The colors remind me of lush green mountains with a blue waterfall spilling down them.

I like that I was able to use some nice emerald green colors in this one, in fact I think this was the first piece I made when I decided to put emerald in everything this year. By the way, as you will see when I post more of what I've been working on, I have not been sticking to that plan.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Thanks Kate!

I woke up in a bad mood this morning, because I didn't get enough sleep and for some reason I immediately started thinking about things that annoyed me. Then I saw some annoying stuff on Facebook. Then there wasn't anything decent to eat for breakfast. But THEN, Kate McKinnon suggested that I come over to her place so she could photograph my "Crooked Muse" hornwing bracelet and we could take a dip in the pool because the weather was perfect. Things just went uphill from there!

Kate took some really lovely shots of my bracelet from all angles. I love how magical it looks against a clean white background! Plus she said lots of nice things about it, and then when she posted it on the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork page on Facebook, lots of other people had nice things to say. So my ego is good and stroked.

And it really was the perfect day for a swim. Not too hot, not too cold, sunny, gorgeous blue sky. I managed to stay in just long enough to cool off and relax, but got out in time to avoid a sunburn (of course I sunscreened, but I am oh-so-pale). I'm still tired, but I'm not at all cranky!

By the way, I mentioned earlier this year that I was going to try to work only in shades of emerald this year, and while this bracelet is definitely teal, there's emerald in it! The main color is DB1764 Aqua/Emerald Lined AB, and the size 11 accents are emerald iris. I've got two dresses in this exact shade of emerald-teal and I've seen a lot of things that color in the stores, so it's a hot one right now. I suggest you all bead something in this color.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Slowly closing up shop

So here's the thing: I love making jewelry, but not as much as I love dancing. And because there are only so many hours in the day, and even less hours in the day that I can spend with a needle and thread in my hands either making jewelry or making costumes, I am in the process of closing down Erthe Fae Designs. At almost 15 years in business, it's been a good long run, but it's time to move on. Here's what this means:

1. This blog will still be around, because I'm still beading for fun.

2. My Etsy shop will still be around because I have a lot of jewelry to sell still, and beads to destash. In fact, you can currently use code "BUYALLTHETHINGS" for 30% off any purchase over $20. This even includes the stuff I already discounted.

3. I will not be vending at any more shows.

4. I will probably not be filling any custom orders. If you have an idea and I really like it and I have the beads for it, I might do it. But if I have to order additional supplies or it doesn't inspire me, I'm not going to do it.

5. I still have a gajillion beads, so I will still be creating. If you've been accustomed to receiving jewelry from me as gifts, or as donations to your events, you'll probably still get jewelry and it might be even nicer than before because I'll have more time to make things for fun and friends.

6. I'll still be hitting the Tucson gem shows, because I still love beads and beaders. But now that I won't have to stock up on supplies for my business, I'll be able to really focus on buying awesome artist-made beads and cool vintage beads and unusual stones.

Of course, the funny thing is that since I made this decision, I've had to turn down some business opportunities that would have thrilled me at this time last year. But I'm still confident that I'm doing the right thing. Dance is my passion, and since I've started working on becoming a professional, I haven't had the time to dedicate to running Erthe Fae Designs properly.

I'd like to thank all of you who have supported my business over the years, and I hope you'll still keep an eye on my shop, as I have a backlog of things to list and I'll still occasionally list new things as I work on using up my bead stash.

Monday, April 29, 2013

My brother rocks!

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I come from a family of makers. Off the top of my head, here's a run down of what we do:

Mom -- Cooking, baking, sewing, cross stitch, polymer clay, painting, making teddy bears.
Dad -- Building, drawing, painting, polymer clay, once he put together a plastic model of a skull and reconstructed a human face over the top of it.
Me -- Beading, polymer clay, dance costuming.

(This is not even counting dance, music, and other arts that don't result in a physical object)

Until recently, all I would have said about my brother is that he was good at welding, in fact, he does it for a living. But then he decided to take up leatherwork, and wow! He's taken right to it. He made that belt I'm wearing! There's some more bottles around the front, and the pouch and absinthe bottle are both removable. It rests perfectly on my hips, or can be worn around the waist if the costume demands it. The leather edges are perfectly smooth, the dye is even, it's totally 100% professional looking. I'm so proud of my little brother!

This is the part where I shamelessly plug his shop, Zolgar's Forge on Etsy. He has a lot of steampunk and Gothic designs, and a little bondage gear among other things. He also does custom work. So, y'know, if you're looking for something made of leather, check him out. He's awesome!