Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What Jewelry Means

Ok I have not blogged in a week, I KNOW! I am disappointed in myself but It was a fabulously busy week and weekend. Personally I had my first Valentine's Day with Ryan and our 1 Year anniversary in just a couple days. It was wonderful. Which brings me to my post....

Jewelry can be so magical! For our six month anniversary Ryan gave me a necklace I had been staring at on Etsy for at least a year. A "I love you to the moon and back" charm covered in a little metal moon. Pictures in a another blog later.....I was so touched by it! I loved it becuase (listen up boys) he listened! I loved that he picked it out himself and knew I loved it and did. I loved what it said and the feeling behind it. But I also loved that it was jewelry. That is not supposed to sound materialistic, it is just that jewelry is very exciting for a woman to get jewelry from a man! I still wear this necklace basically every time I am not wearing something of my own. It goes with everything and I still love it as much as the day I got it!

I try to remember this feeling with each piece of jewelry I make. I know that someday it will give a woman that feeling. Whether she buys it for herself or gets it as a gift, jewelry makes women feel special. It makes us feel pretty, and loved, and beautiful. That is what I love about wearing and making it!

So want to know what Ryan got me for our 1 year? Tune in next time...

Monday, February 8, 2010


We find inspiration in all kinds of places but this weekend I found it on a stage. I LOVE the musical RENT, I am not some teeny-bopper who likes it because it is like a rock concert. I totally agree with those who love it for that: the music is amazing! I am inspired by the story, the message, and the creator: Jonathan Larson. He had a vision and carried it out, after years and years of struggling. (And THRIVING in his role as the starving artist, loving it according to his friends). I truly connect to most everything he seems to write becuase of some of my beliefs, experiences, friends, family members, and passions.
So, on Saturday night I saw the 2nd to last show in the final (for now hopefully) RENT tour. This was my 5th time seeing it: On Broadway, On Broadway again 2 years later, on tour in Redding, CA 2 years later, On tour (as a wonderful Birthday surprise from the greatest friends in the world) in San Francisco California starring Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal, and then this last time on tour in Sacramento with Anthony and Adam again. Seeing this show each time makes me just come alive, opening my eyes to parts which resonate even more each time. It also awakens my creative spirit. If you have never seen RENT it is a show filled with color and harmonies and dancing, while still being very minimalist and dark and deep at times. The set has only a few tables and chairs, a loft above the band, and a giant sculpture serving as a christmas tree. It is brought to life by the words and the notes, and those amazing people who interpret those music and lyrics.
Now this is a blog about Jewelry so I will get back on track....although ask anyone close to me I could write a book on RENT, my love for it, it's history and impact on me....anyways: JEWELRY!!! I sat in my seat all night wanting to create. Create music, create art, just create something beautiful with my talents. I think as artists we are inspired by many things but often by other artists, even if their medium is not the same as ours. I am excited to be back in my apartment armed with my beads, to create.

I love music and I love Broadway but I will make my creative mark on this world mark in beads.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Gives me that boost I need...

I just signed onto etsy and that wonderful little note, "you need to leave feedback for 2 items!" was waiting for me! I knew I had not spent any money which meant someone had spent money on something I made! It is always wonderful to think of someone browsing and falling in love with somehting I made with ym own two hands. What really made me smile however was that when I saw the name on the receipt I knew her! Not like my best friend buying my jewelry as she does...monthly...no this is a girl I have not seen for years. We went to high school together and are friends on facebook. As we all know however, being friends on facebook means nothing about how often people talk! I have been trying so hard recently to get my blog going, post new items on facebook, get a Skiperdee facebook page going, yatta yatta yatta! I am happy with it all so far but I had no idea if anyone aside from my boyfriend, roommate and best friend had seen any of these things, and really looked. It is great to get a sale from someone that I know found my shop through those efforts: it's working! We can do this people. Small businesses I have found are extremely challenging, but a little thing like this can totally give me the boost I need to try even harder!

(By the way....6 out of 7 days in a row posting blogs....I would say that's pretty good!)

Hope all of you have as great of a day as I am having and plan to continue having!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Coming Up Next....

So whats coming soon for Skiperdee?

New Styles! I have a few new styles prepared and also some in my head! It takes a long time, as I am sure any Etsian knows, to photograph, crop, and write up new items to be put online. As a shop where everything is one of a kind, it takes a long time for each and every item!

New, more pictures! I left my studio in Sacramento but am grabbing it this weekend! I know these blogs have been sparse. Upon moving back to school I could not transport everything in one shot and I want so much to write about my process, with pictures. So, once I get all my beads back up here and all my supplies I will hopefully be much more active in a positive and interesting way! But bear with me, as I am new, and a college student taking grad classes, it is a lot at once! I just love beads, and want to talk about it.

And if Skiperdee gets some fans in the mix.....fantastic!!!
A picture I love, finding it beautiful and inspirational....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Charm City!

Charm city: my favorite bakery and subject of a great reality show but ALSO what I feel like my supplies look like right now. I love charms! I go crazy for them! Two of my newest necklaces in my store have charms on them:
This is a pendant I got at Michael's, and beads from U-Bead It in Sacramento. It is just a silver pendant that is a rounded-square pendant with a swirl stamped into it. I have always loved simple shapes like this swirl so I had thoughts racing through my head when I found it in the store. I have another one on a totally separate necklace. In both cases, I loved the pendant because it has so many opportunities! I just chose a color scheme, chose beads and put it all together.
This pendant was also from Michael's! It is one my Mom found on sale I believe! I love this pendant and am the first to say I did not make it! I know many people on Etsy make their own wire-wrapped items but I have not gotten there yet. This is a great way to use the beauty of wire-wrapping while still being high quality (since it is not an early attempt by me!).

The thing about using pendants in this way is that at times I feel others will think I am lacking creativity. The thing is I just find them so fun and interesting. In my little box of tricks I have animals, bugs, quotes, items, so many charms that are waiting to be set free. Hopefully buyers and jewelry lovers love charms just as much as me. Hopefully they will understand that I am still being creative in all of the choices going into the necklace, and that each piece is still made with all my love and care!

Short blog tonight, sorry folks it is late and I am waiting to hear a raccoon to make its nightly visit in my ceiling so I can call my landlord! Oh the joys of life....Happy etsy-ing!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The beads

People often ask me where I get my beads. They are my favorite part of all of it, and yes at times I am addicted to buying them, but I do have to restrain myself! I have a few favorite places to buy. I hope this little guide will help you if you too are addicted:

I love to buy new beads but I also buy old pieces which...are not so stylish these days. With these pieces I cut them up and either use the beads in a variety of projects, or using them all together in a new more stylish fashion!

My favorite online retailer is Fire Mountain Gems! They are super affordable and have great stuff. It is definitely a shop where you need to take your time however. Personally I wait for my catalog, and take some time looking through it, marking items that look good. I then go online and check out any new specials or sales. My favorite things on this website are the "assortments." You can get great assortments of strands: multiple strands of gemstones for a very reasonable price. The best thing however is the assortment pricing, If you buy 1-14 items (anything on the site) you get the basic price. The Price drops if you buy 15-49 items, 50-199 items, and prices are lowest when you buy 200+ items. I have never gotten past the second level, but if i someday own a bead store (I wish!) I will make it all the way to level 4!!!

hey also have promo beads at Fire Mountain Gems! These are large lots of gemstones which are not of the highest quality but still are great! They are not all uniform in color or shape sometimes but for projects like mine they still look great, at a fraction of the price!

Another great place to shop is Rio Grande. When I started ordering from them I had to buy a catalog, with which I received a gift card equalling what I paid for the catalog. I shopped via catalog only, and still do. Apparently you can now order online though which is exciting. They have a truly helpful customer service department though and have always had my questions asked perfectly when calling, so I may continue to order that way. Mostly I just buy my wire from Rio Grande, but have ordered some beautiful beads as well.

So what about local bead shops? Personally, although I want to own one, find most of them extremely overpriced compared to websites and catalogs. The major plus though is getting to see and touch all the beads before paying for them. I mostly buy beads for earrings at local bead stores: specialty or kitschy beads which I only want a few of. I also buy beads in person for special orders when someone wants something promptly or wants to shop with me. This way they can show me what they like and we can talk through it before deciding.

My favorite places to get beads however are still unmentioned: garage sales, estate sales, and thrift stores! Be careful here though! It is easy to get ripped off and also easy to accidentally buy crappy beads!!! Be warned! Take your time! At thrift stores ask to see each item when it is behind glass. Check for mardi-gras style beads which are glued on a string, thus you cannot cut them up and re-do them in a stylish way. Another hint is to put beads which look like a gemstone up to your cheek, if they are cold they are really a gemstone! If they are room temperature, they are not. It is always good to look around before buying as well. If I totally fall in love with something and it is a type of bead I have never seen I go for it, because I know vintage pieces sell well. I do not like spending money at thrift stores though because they like to over-charge. The best bet is going on their sale days. One store near me has a different colored tag half off each day, if I love a necklace I will check its tag color and check in to see when that tag is half off and go back then. A similar idea goes for estate sales: ones that are run by companies charge good money for jewelry. The trick is to following the same company if you like their selection, go to each show, Most companies will clean out stock now and then. One time I stumbled upon a sale where they were selling all their jewelry left over from past sales for a dollar each, I got great gemstones and real pearls among other things, it was so exciting! Garage sales are almost opposite however: show up early! People who go early to garage sales know what they are doing and often look for items like costume jewelry! The earlier you show up the better chance you have of getting those items first, and garage sales are always cheap with is awesome!

Lastly, I love stores like Michael's and other craft stores. Some beads are priced well and some are too expensive. The trick here is coupons! A coupon is almost always available online for 30% or 50% off 1 regular priced item. Print out a couple and take friends, five them each an item and some cash and you have it made! The other trick here, at least for me, is restraint! I can go CRAZY in Michael's and definitely have to hold myself back! I walk down those items and see all the possibilities! I just have to remind myself that I also need the sales to fund those possibilities!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who is the person behind Skiperdee?

So who am I?
Well my name is Kathryn and I love being creative. I recently had a day where I just exploded crafts of all kinds all over my house becuase I needed that outlet. Without creativity I suffocate! I am 22 years old and I am a student at California State University Chico. I am studying Liberal Studies with minors in Special Education and Music. Everything I do is creative, there is no way a teacher can spend over 6 hours each day giving information in new ways and not be creative. I am graduating this spring and then starting a program to get both multiple subject, and special education teaching credentials.

I have a beautiful life all the way around. I have an amazing boyfriend, Ryan. He is a creative type as well, piano player and sings in the choir I am in as well. He is super supportive of Skiperdee which is very helpful! Especially when I need a sounding board or someone to help lug beads around :). I also have a wonderful family. The picture on the right is my brother-in-law, my sister, mom, dad, and me! My mom is actually the closest thing I have to a business partner. She has helped with every show I have done: including working all day long as well as setting up and tearing down the displays. She also scouts thrift stores and estate sales for vintage beads for me!

As I said before one of my hobbies is singing in choir (15 years and counting). I also love working with kids, make sense as I am training to teach. For now though I get out that crazy teacher energy working at summer day camps, currently at the Zoo! And yes, that does include getting to feed the giraffes now and then!

So how did I get started in jewelry? All Girls Catholic High School! In a 3-D art class we learned hewelry making. We learned the wire linking technique by making something repetetive: a rosary. A Catholic Rosary is the same pattern repeated over and over with a change at the end: a perfect way to learn repetitive linking and see how you did after. My first few definitely did not line up correctly but now I have it down. From there I continued on my own. I began to day-dream of different jewelry designs. I dug through my Mom's craft closet and found supplies. Over time as I came up with definite designs, I bought supplies and tools and it all just took off! Today I am making one of a kind, beautiful pieces of jewelry!