On Jewelry Design

After posting a few pics, some folks in my online circles wondered where I get my ideas from. After suffering from metal allergies, I started designing jewelry in college using regular stringing methods and some basic wire work. Then, when I found out there were classes and kits available at my local bead store, I’ve been focused on bead embroidery and bead weaving. Some magazines and books, too, provide patterns that allow me to create pieces like this:

A Twist in Grey

Since I’ve been making more pieces, I’ve also been able to take on my own designs or heavily modify existing patterns. This bracelet started out as something else, but I lost the pattern so the embellishment is my own. As you learn patterns, you’ll pick up what size of beads will work for which projects–and what cut as well.

Harlequin Bracelet

In addition to your local bead store, there are a ton of resources online you can visit to learn more about beadweaving and wirework. To get you started, here’s a list of five websites you can visit for more information.

The thing I like about making handmade jewelry, is that it’s uniquely satisfying to create something from scratch. Plus, there’s a mathematical component to jewelry design that lies underneath the surface of the artistry, similar to knitting, crocheting, or sewing. Add in levels of complexity, too, and over time you’ll notice your progress (and confidence) improve as you start with something simple and increase your skill set.

    Mood: Blargh
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Three-ish
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: A short walk
    In My Ears: RED 2
    Game Last Played: Dragon Age: Inquisition
    Book Last Read: Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show
    Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: RED 2
    Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
    Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Read my end-of-the-year list of releases for an overview of what I’ve put out for 2016.
    Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming this month!

7-Link Salad for This Week’s Squees

Black and Tan Cats

Good morning! Well, I suppose it might not be morning where you are, but the sentiment is there. As you may recall I started the 365 Days of Squee over a month ago, and I have to admit that some days are more challenging than others–especially when reading the news. News poisoning is especially problematic, in my mind, to writers like myself who take inspiration from words that come into our brains. If it’s all tonally negative? Yeah, it can get depressing super-quick.

Though it initially took a concerted amount of effort for me to focus on what’s positive, I feel that I’m starting to train myself to look for those things now. That doesn’t mean I prefer every topic or work to be sanitized; I do feel that we should need to address problematic issues. It’s just that there’s so many problems–humans are very good at bitching about everything, even the small stuff–that I want to focus and pick my battles more carefully. When I don’t “battle” persay, I would rather be on the ground and doing what I believe instead of simply saying it (if that makes any sense).

On to the squees!

1) Applewood Books recently made over their website. I was poking around a bit when I saw a book written by the Stowe sisters called American Woman’s Home Or, Principles Of Domestic Science: Being A Guide To the Formation and Maintenance Of Economical, Healthful, Beautiful, and Christian Homes. If you’re into history, being able to read books written by people from the time period is a great way to get a hands on feel for what went on. This is pretty cool!

2) Unbelievably talented, I love the figurines designed by Virginie Ropars. Her dolls are fantastic! Be sure to check out her website!

3) If you’re looking for women writers to read in science fiction, I found a monthly column by A.C. Wise called “Women to Read on SF Signal.” It’s a great way to build a list and find new writers you haven’t heard of before.

4) Mouthwatering recipe for apple crisp in the crockpot. Need I say more?

5) Cartoonist Roman Jones is offering a printable version of the insightful How to Live with Introverts comic. It’s spot on!

6) 30 Second Films with Bunnies is a site that basically sums up films with… erm… bunnies. In 30 seconds. Anyway, it makes me giggle and they’ve got a huge variety of movies on there, like The Cabin in the Woods (With Bunnies) and The Princess Bride (With Bunnies).

7) These pumpkin earrings from Beadaholique are really cute! The wirework at the top really nails it for me. They have a ton of other instructional videos on their website, too.

44/365 through 51/365

    Mood: I think I’m finding my zen.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Lower than normal.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Yesterday was my day off.
    In My Ears: Dance with Wolves by Inca
    Game Last Played: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
    Book Last Read: Work-related.
    Movie Last Viewed: Constantine
    Latest Artistic Project: An origami crane
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing.
    Latest Game Release: Things Don’t Go Smooth
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.

On Day 18, It’s a Squee for Spring!

Soundwave Avatar

I LOVE Fall, but I also enjoy the ability to get the most out of every season. This Spring butterfly I learned how to make in class and it’s part of a wedding present. So much fun to make this! And the wings flap! Totally going to experiment with a bat!

Spring Butterfly


    Mood: Swamped, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I maintained the balance of the Force.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Son of a biscuit…
    In My Ears: A meeting. (I’m cheating!)
    Game Last Played: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
    Book Last Read: The Crimson Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
    Movie Last Viewed: Machete Kills Again
    Latest Artistic Project: You’re looking at it!
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing. See also: need to write more flipping comics and exercise my art skillz again. Feh.
    Latest Game Release: Echoes of War: Thrillin’ Heroics
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.

The Weekend Squees! Days 13 & 14

Fire She-Ra Avatar

Workshops yesterday for jewelry and today I’m seeing the light at the end of the backlog! YAY! That said, I’m not quite done with the pieces I made yet, and will post those separately. I am COMMITTED to the squees, however, so wanted to get this up.

Here’s some links to examples of what I’ve created in the past. Fun!

13/14 of 365

    Mood: Creative as all get out.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Cup number two
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: E-mails a-way!
    In My Ears: “Listen”, Season 8 Doctor Who
    Game Last Played: Age of Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur
    Book Last Read: The Crimson Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
    Movie Last Viewed: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
    Latest Artistic Project: My cat ate my Halloween decorations
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing. See also: need to write more flipping comics and exercise my art skillz again. Feh.
    Latest Game Release: Hunter the Vigil: Mortal Remains
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.

National Craft Month! First Three Pieces

Yuna Final Fantasy X-2

March did its best to roar like a Lannister on Saturday. Here’s hoping it’ll whimper on its way out like a House that the Targaryens toasted a few hundred years ago. This weekend, I kicked off National Craft Month with a pledge to create a new art piece every day. My only stipulation was that I focus on something new that I haven’t done before. As I have trouble disciplining my cats, Rimmon kept a watchful eye waiting for the needle and thread to come out — so I opted for wirework instead and took inspiration from my writing.

I have a ton of these little dice beads so I picked out three colors that made me think of Firefly. This is what I came up with, an ear cuff modified off of this design.

Firefly RPG-themed Dice Cuff

Since I already had steampunk on the brain, I created a pendant. This one is a little more Alice in Wonderland than what I had written and submitted, but you know? For being a completely freeform piece, I like the way it turned out.

Steampunk Pendant

This pair of earrings is inspired by the story I submitted in the blind. Though the plot was set in modern day times, I wrote the piece in a Victorian style. Which, if you’ve read my work, means that’s also part of the plot. We shall see! I’ll keep you posted.

Steampunk Earrings

You can see how the earring hangs, here. I wish I could say I tried to make good use of negative space, but in all honesty this design was a total accident. I had a silver gear that was perfect to go with the other one, but I lost it as I was working on it. Yep, I’m that talented. It has gone into the abyss, where lost socks wander aimlessly, leaving behind a trail of yarn. Or tears. Whatever.

Steampunk Earring

    Mood: I refuse to be defeated. Winter will end!
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Managed!
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: I should have gone to the gym. Instead, I hang my head in shame.
    In My Ears: Monday morning shuffle.
    Game Last Played: Sonic All Star Racing Transformed
    Book Last Read: Lovecraft’s Monsters anthology
    Movie Last Viewed: THOR: A Dark World
    Latest Artistic Project: You’re looking at it.
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing
    Latest Game Release: Freedom Flyer
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work and novels.

Next Posts

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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