Monday, February 9, 2015

2015 Jewelry Purge

Tax season is coming up, and since I’m going to be spending a lot of time combing through my bead and jewelry stash, it’s the perfect opportunity to cull some old designs. It’s always hard to let go, or to admit that a piece that I was once proud of isn’t quite up to my current standards. I’ve found, however, that once I’m done I feel pretty good about the process. It’s very refreshing to skim off the bottom and see what’s left.

I wasn’t expecting to have a lot of pieces to pull this year, so I was a little surprised by how much beadwork I ended up with in the out pile. I had to really push myself to ditch a few of them, but it came down to how well they fit in with the designs I’ve been making, and the ones I intend to make going forward. What’s different this time around is how many pieces I like enough to keep for myself, rather than just stuffing them in a box to be forgotten.

Culled Bracelets 2015

I’m also determined to dismantle quite a few of these designs and salvage some of the more interesting accent beads. My plan is to catch all the seed beads and make soups for future abstract jewelry. I’ve already got a really great idea for next year’s Ugly Necklace Contest entry, and it’s going to require a lot of seed bead colors. These scraps should come in really handy.

Looking back on these older designs is really fun. There are some accents and stitches that I was once madly in love with, and I remember using them fondly. It’s also reassuring to think back to the last jewelry purge I did, which had me cringing quite a bit at what I was eliminating. This time I was actually still happy with a lot of the pieces, just not happy enough to keep them around. They’ll make welcome additions to my personal jewelry stash, though a few of them will need some alterations first so they will work with my wardrobe.

Culled Necklaces 2015

How often do you critically inventory your jewelry shops? What’s your favorite thing about the process?

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  1. To be honest, this is something I've been putting off. My skills have increased, but some old "prototypes" and "first runs" still haunt me. I have placed some of them on sale in either my online shop or my booth at a brick and mortar shop, but I think I may need to assemble them altogether (like you did here), smile at how far I've come in my skill level, and start disassembling, while dreaming of beading adventures to come!

    1. At first it seems really tough to do - all that work and inspiration and now you're looking backward. The trick is to think of the time you spent on them as learning time, and now you can look ahead to more time spent creating with what you know now. Good luck to you!

  2. Hello! I love the bangles in your "to cull" photo. Can you please point to a tutorial or post in which these were featured? I'm new and still finding my way around. Regards --l

    1. Thank you! The stack of four bangles are all made with variations on spiral peyote, which you can learn here:

      The pair of bangles on the left are made with right angle weave. I have a full project tutorial for them available here:

      Both styles are really fun to make, although they require a lot more time than your average beadwork bracelet.

    2. Thank you! It was the stack of four bangles to which I was referring. I did find the Cellini variation tutorial after posting. Sadly, no peyote experience, flat or otherwise, so this will be a challenge. Fingers crossed!

    3. Peyote variations can certainly be easier to tackle with some background, but there's no reason not to jump in and give it a try!

  3. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. primestyle complaints


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