Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Gem Junkie June 1, 2009

jadeI love beads and have ever since I wandered into a Santa Fe bead store run by a woman named Gloria of unknowable age with a glorious head of laquered white hair and a bad attitude. While I have collected them through my life (my favorites are from Prague), I’ve never gone so far as to string them. I just like to look at them, run my fingers through glassy piles. Although lately, with my haute couture embellishments class, I’m learning how to apply beads to garments, a task I took to with unforeseen and surprising love and tenderness.

skullWell, I’ve landed on a wonderful etsy beading store, Gem Junkie, which has “gemstones and jewelry supplies for all your beading needs.” Just think, I don’t have to put up with Gloria’s bad attitude or trek to Czechoslovakia. And with the supplies available as well, I may even string a few together. Discover Gem Junkie here.


Indie Jewelry: Simply Sarah’s November 3, 2008

Posted by Marjorie Cunningham, broken china jewelry designer at Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry.

Sarah Skeen is the owner of the delightful Etsy shop Simply Sarah’s.  You’ll find fabulous jewelry, bags, scarves and more, all lovingly handcrafted by Sarah in her Catskills Mountain home.

Sarah has a unique style and she is quite inventive in her designs.  She’s used antique glass buttons in these earrings, along with vintage frosted glass beads.  

Here she’s used Picasso finished Czech glass beads with an ozidized brass ring.

I asked Sarah what inspires her jewelry creations.  “Inspiration? Well, I browse Etsy as much as possible and I draw a lot of inspiration from some of the amazing designers there. Nature is also a huge inspiration for me. I like to incorporate nature as much as possible even if it’s just a little charm or something. It may not always work out to have an element of nature, but I try.”

Sarah is also a wonderful photographer, and her work can be found in Flickr.  I was curious to know which artistic endeavor she enjoyed more and whether she had any other artistic talents. “I have so many things that I love, and I love them all for different reasons, but I think that photography is my number one. I love my macro lens the most because I get to capture little things that most people would never notice and walk right by.  Jewelry design is my number two. It’s like therapy for me. I sit in the quiet and create, and I love that time of my day. I have also just recently taught myself to crochet and have fallen in love with it. And before I was a mommy I was a baker so that is another artistic outlet of mine.”

Sarah has recently added hand crocheted items to her Etsy shop.  When I asked if she had a dream project she’d like to accomplish someday, she said that she’d like to learn how to make an afghan … a really BIG one!

Sarah has a beautiful little girl named Lily.  I asked her how she structured her work time around caring for a small child.  “Well, I try to incorporate my daughter into whatever I am doing. If I decide to work on a piece of jewelry during the day, I give her string and beads and she loves it.  She loves to “help” mommy. Most of my crafting takes place at night though. That is my quiet, personal time that I treasure.”

And here’s Sarah’s advice for jewelry designers just starting out.  “My two pieces of advice are:

1.  Network! Get your shop’s name out there by joining myspace, facebook, flickr and any other forums that you know of.  Getting to know other Etsy sellers is a great way to get your name out there.

2.  Browse Etsy a lot!  I get tons of inspiration there and learn quite a bit from the Etsy forums.”

Sarah posts often in her blog which she has entitled Wake Up and Live—you’re sure to enjoy getting to know more about her life and her designs there. Click her to visit her Esty store.