I'm April Bell and I make jewelry. I have an Etsy site for my jewelry under the name Stella Magia Designs. I have created this blog as a space for me to showcase items that I am working on or have made whether they are for sale, for gifts or just for me.
A project I’ve worked on recently is a repair of a friend’s
mother’s necklace. I’m not going to say
a whole lot about it, except that I’m very happy with how it came out. I can’t
take too much credit for that of course because the necklace had great “bones”
to work with. I just added a little extra color and shine as you will see in
the after pictures.
In this before picture, we see that it had two stringing
materials, a silver chain and a gold beading cord where the gold tinsel on it
came loose and balled up between the beads.
I decided to use beading wire for strength. I added silver
beads as spacers in the upper position and a very light turquoise seed bead as a pop
of color in the lower position. I think it gives the necklace a little added
something without taking too much attention away from the main beads.
I also added chain to the end to make it the 18" length that was
requested, but then I decided to make it a little longer, no more than an inch
and a half. That way, she has an option to change the length if she’s ever
wearing a something with a collar/neckline that conflicts with it. I really
hope she loves it!
End with a Show-stopper. I think the red background really makes it pop!
So I’ve fallen back down the research hole. Which would be
fine but in this particular hole, all kinds of sources have been throwing in
conflicting advice. There is an elevator that will take me back to ground
level, but it’s awfully slow and I’m still not sure that it will take me to the
right place or not. There’s another elevator that I’m sure says that it goes up
but really will go further down.
Man, I love talking figuratively to get my point across.
Makes things interesting doesn’t it?
Anyway, I did have a brief vacation out of the hole when I
spent a week working on these bracelets. This is the original here: Oscar Bracelet, which I had
shown before, and while I usually like to make one or a couple of any
particular design (see, my bridal designs), I took a good look at it and
realized that I would LOVE to see how it would look in other color
The original pattern for this, titled "Lattice Lace Bracelet", was designed by Carolyn S.
DeGroff of CSD designs (look her up, she’s a great designer) but I tweaked it a
bit to fit my aesthetic.
Lucky for me, my husband is an artist who has a great sense
of color combination and he’s also very honest. If I do something that’s not
jiving with him, he will gently let me know that it’s not working. When he
raves about something, I know it must be really good!
He raved about this one. It was the first one that I tried.
I’m not usually a fan of gold, as I have probably mentioned before, but this
combination just spoke to me. Besides, it’s a pale gold.
This one was next. He liked it but didn’t really RAVE.
Still, I know it’s not bad. Also, for some reason I have come across many who
go balls-on-fire crazy for all things purple. I’m not worried about having any
takers on this one.
This one he REALLY liked because of how the clear grey beads
pick up on the colors of the skin or any other surface that it’s on. I really liked the blue and grey
This last one is using a color that I find myself using
quite a lot; teal. This is funny to me because I used to HATE teal and turquois
until I had seen it used in really beautiful ways, like being paired with brown
and white. This bracelet almost turned out completely different, but for some
reason, that bracelet didn’t want to be made. I swear it, I had to take it
apart several times because the thread wouldn’t cooperate and as soon as I
switched the beads to the ones I used, I no longer had any thread problem.
Figure that, huh? After I finished, I was glad that I listened to the thread.
I had such a hard time picking the pictures to use for this blog. Here's a link to a photo album with more pictures
All of the bracelets have a quartz bead, clear or smoky, as
a toggle clasp. I like that because then I don’t have to worry about gold or
silver prices. I also think that it adds something special. Funny thing about
that… I bought the two strands because when they were strung up I thought they
were so pretty, but whenever I used them in a design, I didn’t quite like the
look. Until one day, I was trying to figure out what bead to use as a toggle
for something else and BAM it hit me. Now they are my favorite go-to beads to
finish off a bracelet. I’m going to be
sad when I run out, especially if I have a hard time finding more. But I’m sure
I’ll be able to find a great substitute. I’m lucky that way. I might even have some
great substitutes now, but I’m not using them because it hasn’t occurred to me
yet. Yes, beads are wonderful and they
speak to me in a beautiful language.
Lastly, I feel sometimes that I work with blue far too often
and would like to jump into some more reds and greens maybe even orange. I feel
sometimes that most people don’t quite like orange as much as I do. If I’m
going to work with more reds and greens, it means I must go shopping, which I’m
ITCHING to do, but sometimes I feel bad about buying more things without having
specific plans for something. I could very well get out of hand. But that’s the
fun part isn’t it?
First off, I'd like to apologize for
taking so long to get back into blogging. My laptop took a crap and
died on me and so now I'm stuck with trying to do things on my
netbook. The netbook is rather impractical for all of the things that
I want to do. Still, I'm soldiering on, mainly because I have good
news as well. I am pleased to announce that I am no longer having
bank issues, I've got my account set up and attached to Etsy, PayPal,
etc. That also means that I've finally decided to stop the research
spiral and went to get my sellers permit, I filed and published my DBA and I am now an
official business. YAY!
I'm hoping to start adding things to my
Etsy shop this very week. I would've begun a lot sooner but the one
thing I'm trying to figure out is how to add tax to my listings. Who
do I tax and at what rate? I understand that California is a whole
mishmash of different tax rates for different counties and cities and
from what I gather, in some cases it goes from neighborhood to
neighborhood. So far, all the reading I have done hasn't clarified it
for me. Makes me wish I lived in one of those places with no sales
tax, or at least a straight tax throughout the state, if that even
exists. Do I use the tax-rate for the area I'm sending things to or
the rate for the area that I am shipping from. They really need to
make these things simpler to understand, unless I'm just missing
something. That could be the case. It's 106 degrees today (maybe
more), my brain works optimally at around 30 degrees cooler and I am
really fighting the urge to just nap all day. It wouldn't be a good
sleep anyway so I'm not going to bother.
So this sales tax issue has me back in
research mode. I don't want to under- or over-tax anyone and I want
to be sure that any filing I do is correct. But I've decided that
I'll balance it out with actual work. I've been trying to transform
the small space I have at my disposal into an office that works for
me. So far it's looking pretty good and I know once I have everything
in place, running the business should be peachy... I hope.