Thursday, December 23, 2010

A sneak peek...

I thought I'd give a sneak peek at the components for my "Inspiration" necklace. I'm working out final details of the design in my head still, so it may be a few weeks before I get to work on it, but I thought you would all like to see what I had in mind!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stay tuned...

I have a LOT of new ideas for the spring floating around in my head, including my INSPIRATION necklace! I know I've already put some new stuff on Etsy, but I'm really excited by MORE new ideas!

I found this wonderful new supply website that sells free trade beads, which I think is pretty cool. I ordered some crocheted beads that were handcrafted by a small community of families living outside Java, Indonesia, so my purchase will actually BENEFIT those families! I also ordered some African Trade beads, which were beads used as currency in the mid-20th century in various African nations. I also ordered 4 strands of gemstone beads (citrine, peridot, and amethyst chips, and Moukaite). I like that the owners of this particular shop actually travel to a lot of the places where they buy these beads instead of purchasing through a wholesaler.

I'll post some pictures of my supplies when I get the rest of them...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Inspiration winner

Using the random integer generator from, the winner was number 1 - Steph! Congratulations, and enjoy shopping!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


One of my favorite online bead suppliers recently ran a contest where they asked the entrants to submit a photo of their inspiration, and then a photo of what piece of jewelry they created based on that. I didn't enter because it occurred to me that I'm not inspired like that. I'm inspired by more abstract things, or by materials themselves. I find inspiration in clothing, and in trying to think of a piece of jewelry that will look nice with a certain type of outfit. Or I often see a piece of jewelry in a store or ON someone, and try to think of how I could put my own spin on it.

Take, for example, this necklace:

I saw those long, painted wood beads, and thought they seemed African, or tribal. Then I had to think of what I had that would go with them, after I decided what I wanted the piece of jewelry to be.

This next necklace was inspired by the materials as well. I REALLY wanted to make something with those Kumbara Jasper nuggets, and they looked really nice with the Garnet. Nothing too exciting about my creative process with that one, I guess!

I'd really been wanting to make a set of stackable bracelets, and these materials just sort of fell into my lap! I picked up the red and green squares at my local bead shop, with no real purpose in mind for them - I just thought they were pretty! The larger glass pearls were leftover from another project, and I just happened to see them next to each other, and decided that it was the perfect combination for a set of 3!

This necklace was actually inspired by a clay technique. It was my first attempt at it, and as I was working, I thought that it would look really nice with navy blue, as a pendant!

Ok, so this bracelet wasn't completely inspired by the materials, but by a sweater. I was itching to make... SOMETHING, and as I was pawing through my beads, my mixed strand of agate looked just lovely against my gray sweater. I thought a "sweater" bracelet shouldn't be something TOO intricate, so this is what I came up with!

So, here's my problem:
Ok, it's not a problem, exactly. It is a gorgeous, HUGE, sterling silver toggle clasp. It is obviously too large to be for a bracelet, so it will be for a necklace. I really want to use it, but, my inspiration is COMPLETELY lacking. I just have NO idea what to do! I could really use your help with this one!

SO, here's where the contest comes in! I need help. Leave me a comment telling me how you think I should use this clasp. If you have more than one idea, leave more than one comment! I may or may not use an idea I see here, or one may inspire me towards my finished product. I will choose the winning comment via on Sunday night (11/12), and the winner will get a $7 credit in my shop, good on anything $10 or more!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Sale!!

My Biggest Sale EVER!!!! The more you buy, the more you will save, and the sale continues through Monday, November 29th!

If you buy one item, you'll receive 10% off your purchase. If you buy 2 items, you'll get 15% off. If you buy 3 items, you get 20% off. For 4 or more items, you'll get 25% off your ENTIRE purchase! What a deal! So stop by now, and shop from the comfort of your own home, without the crowds and the rush!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fun Gifts under $15!

With the Facebook Pre-Sale going on right now (so become a fan! Do it!!), I thought now would be a good time to show you all some of my favorite gift ideas for under $15. The Thanksgiving Sale opens to everyone on 11/22, so make your list now!

If you are headed to a holiday party this season, the nice thing is to have a hostess gift handy - and what would be better than a Christmas themed set of wine charms?

These earrings are great for the girl in your life - they would make awesome stocking stuffers!
And THESE earrings would be perfect for wearing to your New Year's Eve bash.

Hair accessories are always a great stocking stuffer!

These earrings are a great gift as well, and the matching bracelet is under $15 also!

This ring is also available for less than $15! There are multiple other rings in my shop for under $15, so check it out!All of these earrings are under $15, as well as many other pairs in my shop. These are great for friends and family members, or as gifts for yourself!

Christmas candy makes a great gift, as does a bracelet that LOOKS like Christmas candy!!
This lovely necklace would make a great gift for your favorite teacher or baby-sitter - simple and stylish.There are many other items available for reasonable prices at Patty's Pretty Things on Etsy! The Facebook Fan Pre-sale is going on right now! The first item purchased will be 10% off. If you buy 2 items, you will receive 15% off; 3 things, 20% off; 4 or more, 25% off! The sale opens to the public on 11/22/10, and runs through 11/29/10. Facebook fans will receive a free gift with purchase.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Faux Ceramic Stars tutorial

I've really been enjoying this faux ceramic technique, so I wanted to share my method. It's really easy! Actually, most polymer clay stuff is really simple - all of the tools and different methods can make it seem intimidating, but if it is something you want to try, just get a few blocks of clay and play with it a little bit.

What you'll need:

White Polymer clay (I prefer to use Premo! as it is a bit sturdier after baking)

Liquid Sculpey or Liquid Kato (I used Kato)

Alcohol Ink

Texture sheet

Brayer or acrylic rod

Parchment Paper

You will need to condition about half of a block of clay. After your clay is conditioned, run it through on the widest setting.

Then fold it in half.
Next, create your texture! A really thick texture will make the coloring more interesting.
Next, use your cutters in whatever shapes you want

Poke holes if necessary (I'm using mine for a necklace and earring set, so I needed holes).

Then, bake at whatever setting is recommended for your clay type. For this project, I ended up using a little bit of pearlized white mixed with regular white, and since the pearlized white tends to burn, I baked at a lower temperature. Also, if you are baking on a metal pan, the parchment paper will keep the bottoms from discoloring.

While your stars are baking, you can pour some liquid clay, and mix in a few drops of ink. Let the alcohol evaporate a little bit.

Once your starts are done baking, you can use a blade to scrape off any imperfections (if necessary), and then using a small paint brush or your finger (with a GLOVE), apply the clay-ink mixture to the top of your clay piece. I recommend leaving them on the same baking pan so that the liquid clay doesn't run while you are moving the pieces.
Then bake again for 5 minutes or so, and voila! You have faux ceramic!

A couple of things to note: I almost always wear latex gloves while working with polymer clay. This is for 2 reasons - I don't want to have to sand off finger prints, and I really don't like the way it makes my hands smell. It's just a personal preference, but I highly recommend them for when you are working with the alcohol inks - those can really stain!

I used this same technique for these ornaments:

Have fun!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ornaments for a cause

Eight and a half years ago, I married my husband, and won the Mother-In-Law jackpot. A little over 2 months ago, that same, amazing woman lost her hard-fought battle with cancer. It was her wish that her friends and loved ones make donations in her memory to causes that were near to her heart, and I am going to do the same. I will honor her memory, by donating portions of the proceeds from the sale of Christmas ornaments in my shop. For each ornament, or ornament set, I will donate $10 to a scholarship fund that has been set up in her honor - the AGEHR Deb Heine Young Ringers Scholarship Fund. The AGEHR is the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, of which Deb was a very active member. The scholarship fund will enable the next generation of ringers to attend national conferences and other meetings.

You may be wondering why I have chosen Ornaments for this particular project... well, if you knew Deb, you would know of her great love for decorating for Christmas, so I felt this was appropriate.

Below are the newest ornaments that have been listed in my shop. They will be sold in sets of 2, and you can choose your pattern and colors.

If you would like more information on the AGEHR or anything else relating to this project, send me an email at

Monday, November 1, 2010

And the winner is...

Using for a random number generator, the winner is comment number FOUR! Congratulations, Julie! I'll send you a message on facebook, and we can design your ornament!

Stay tuned, everyone, for some new ornaments, and a special announcement about them!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

100 Fan Giveaway!!

YAY!!! We made it to 100 (actually, 101 at last count)! Thank you all so much for becoming a fan of Patty's Pretty Things.

In honor of this occasion, I will be giving something away, as promised. I will be giving away a personalized holiday ornament, like this one:

I will make this ornament for you in whatever colors you like! If you win, and you aren't an ornament kind of person, then you will receive a $15 dollar credit to my shop.

So here's the deal - it's really easy! Leave me a comment (just one, though!) and tell me your favorite thing about winter, or your favorite holiday tradition. On Monday, November 1, I will choose a comment at random, and announce the winner here and on Facebook. Happy commenting!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A few of my favorite things...

Since I've been on an extended blogging hiatus, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things that I'd made lately. Of course, I really like EVERYTHING that I make, but these are some of my favorites, and I'll tell you why!

I just LOVE these faux ceramic earrings. This was actually my first attempt at this technique, using polymer clay and alcohol inks, but I have something in the works to utilize this technique again for holiday ornaments! What I like about these, in particular, is the terracotta color, and the depth of the design.
This moss agate bracelet is a more recent creation, but the dark green is just lovely. The variations in colors between the stones, and the translucency of some of them, just makes me happy. Combined with the sterling silver, it is simple enough for every day wear, but will dress up any outfit! I really like the nugget shapes of the stones - they are not uniform, and that makes it just a little edgy.
If you've been following my shop for any period of time, you may have noticed that I have a weakness for pearls. This particular bracelet uses large glass pearls, and the combination of the green and red beads is really fun. I like that these can be worn separately or as a set.
Yep, more pearls. These red pearls are just STUNNING!!! I've been thinking about making something for myself with them, in fact. These earrings have already sold, but I'm planning another pair that is similar. By the way, red is one of my very favorite colors, especially for jewelry.
Silver pearls! Have you ever seen these before?!? I hadn't, but when I saw them, I just HAD to have them! I love them with the tiny garnet beads, too. These are pearl nuggets, which makes them just a little more irregular in shape. They are just great!
My new favorite thing to do with clay... covered glass ornaments! This one was actually my second attempt at it, as the first had burnt in my clay oven (it was too close to the heating element - lesson learned!). It's impossible to see in the photograph, but there is a color change from silver at the top, down towards white at the bottom. This was a lot of fun to make, and actually not quite as hard as I thought it would be. It was time consuming to make, but not too difficult, all things considered. I've made 2 more since this one, but I don't have pictures yet. I'm really enjoying it!
So, there you have it - what I've been up to lately. I'll have a post up tomorrow with pictures of what I will be giving away in honor of reaching 100 fans on facebook. It will be a good one, I promise!!!

I've been a bad blogger!

I've been neglecting this blog in favor of creating things for my shop! My new favorite thing to make has without a doubt been the covered glass holiday ornaments. In fact, I'm working on getting a tutorial up soon.

So, now that I've apologized, I promise to TRY to keep up with this blog a little better, and share what all I've been making, and try to spotlight some other shops that I like. So stay tuned!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another contest!!

Since I said I'd do another contest this month, I'd better get on it! Sooooo... leave me a comment about what your favorite summer activities are (sans children), and I'll choose TWO (yes, 2!!) people at random to receive a $5 credit for Patty's Pretty Things. (previous winners are not eligible for this one - sorry, Shannon!)

I'll choose the winners on Friday afternoon, so get your entries in!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Twitter Experiment

Browsing the Etsy forums, I frequently see other sellers mentioning how Twitter has helped them to get views and sales. I've resisted Twitter for quite a while, as I generally think it's a time-sucker, but I've decided to give it a try. For the next 2 months, I'm going to promote items through Twitter (and also tweet other things, because JUST promoting my Etsy stuff could get tedious and annoying, I'm sure!), and see what happens. If my sales increase as a result, I'll keep it up. If not, I won't. Soooooo... if you happen to be a Twit (or a tweeter), you can follow me -

I'll keep you all posted as to how it goes!

We have a WINNER!!!

Congratulations to Shannon, who was randomly selected to win a $5 credit or 20% discount! I hope you find something you like!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Since I made it past 60 fans, as promised, I'll do a giveaway! Here's what you need to do:

First, register for a google account (easy, and it doesn't hurt, I promise) so that you can comment on this blog.

Next, head on over to my shop and do some browsing.

Leave a comment back here on THIS POST about what your favorite thing is in the shop.

In ONE WEEK (so next Saturday), I'll choose a comment at RANDOM to receive a credit to my shop. The credit will be for $5, UNLESS the winner wants to purchase something over $25, and then it will become a 20% discount.

Have fun, and good luck!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Information about Crystal beads...

If you happen to have visited my shop sometime this evening (and really, if you haven't, you should, LOL!), you may have noticed a few small tweaks that I made to the wording in many of my listings. It was brought to my attention recently that using the term "Swarovski Crystal" is a trademark infringement. The Swarovski Corporation does produce crystal elements for jewelry designers such as myself to use in their work, however the term "Swarovski Crystal" is reserved for finished products purchased in their retail stores. But never fear - if you see the following term: "Made with CRYSTALLIZED - Swarovski Elements" in my shop or someone else's, these ARE crystal beads produced by Swarovski. It's just a different term.

And for anyone wondering, no, I didn't get flagged on this by Etsy - this information is in the Etsy Forums. And while I could have been very happy just leaving my listings as they were, I decided that I didn't want to be the one to get nailed on it. Better safe than sorry!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bad Blogger!

I've been very busy these past few weeks! This is my first attempt at making stripes:

And this is a necklace that will be coming out in the shop next week. I have to finish up another prototype (the REAL hands will not be colored in, unless you like, and will feature your child's initial in fancy-schmancy font) and then get it listed. This will be a custom necklace - each customer can email me a scan of their child(ren)'s hand tracing, and I will shrink it down on plastic, and make a necklace. This will be a GREAT gift for Mother's Day!!!

This week, I've had the amazing honor of being the victim of the latest "Mom Attack" for the Cafemom Street Team on Etsy. It's a lot of fun to have someone else promoting my shop, and to be able to sell my jewelry to the people who have been such a support to me over the last year just feels good. I am so proud to be a member of the Cafemom Street Team, and I hope that I can be as helpful to other members as the veterans were to me when I was a newbie.

Friday, February 5, 2010

New beads!

Here are some pictures of all of the beautiful stuff my wonderful mom picked up for me at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show (otherwise known as jeweler's Mecca). Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine's Day!

Here are a few things that might peak your interest for Valentine's Day - either for yourself, or someone you love!

First, we have the "Singing the Blues" bracelet. I had a few freshwater pearls leftover from another project, and wanted to use them, and when I saw them with these crystals, the silver-plated beads were a natural fit!
Continuing the trend with Freshwater Pearls, is this continuous loop necklace in Dark Peacock. This necklace can be looped around your neck 2-3 times, depending on your size.

And to finish of the Freshwater Pearl trend, here is the latest - Black Cherry and Sterling Bracelet. The Black Cherry Dyed pearls are accented with Swarovski Crystal and Sterling silver, and finished with a toggle clasp.

I think these earrings speak for themselves. I handcrafted the hearts with polymer clay, and accented them with Swarovski Crystals. The posts are sterling silver as well.

Happy Valentine's Day, and Happy shopping!! In a few days, I'll spotlight some things in other shops that you might enjoy this holiday!