Friday, February 4, 2011

Class Schedule February 2011 - Pudgy News

Basic Beading Workshop 2 - Rosary Wrap - February 12 

You will learn everything there is to know about making and perfecting the rosary wrap. You will perfect this technique by connecting your rosary wraps into chain, making a necklace and a pair of earrings. Class Fee $25.00, Materials not included. (KIT PRICES FROM $15-$30.00). February 12, 1:00pm – 3:00pm.

Intro to Art Metal Clay/PMC - February 12

Create custom pure silver jewelry from moldable clay! Learn about this amazing material while cre­ating rolled bail and stamped pendants. You’ll learn everything from tools and techniques to firing, polishing and oxidizing. An exciting process to create custom pieces in pure silver.  Class Fee $65.00, Materials not included. (February 12, 12:00pm – 3:00pm. 

Silver Fusing - February 19    Class Filled

In this class you will learn to fuse pure silver wire to create a 3 dimensional chain bracelet. This class is a great class to take to be introduced to working with flame and if you are a little timid about tackling soldering. You will leave having mastered the fusing process. Class Fee $60.00, Materials not included. 1pm – 4:pm

Basic WireWrap - February 20

In this class you will learn basic wire wrapping skills. You will use wire to create a structural frame or saddle around a glass or stone cabochon. The frame will securely hold the piece and convert it into a pendant. This class is a must for enhancing your beading repertoire. Class Fee: $35.00, 1:00pm – 3pm Materials not included.

February Articles 

How to shop for Beads and Gems in Tucson or any Gem Show! 

It’s that time of year again…time for the pilgrimage…the annual Tucson Shows. If you have never attended…you should. It is truly a religious experience for any bead or jewelryaholic. For two weeks every year the world and I literally mean the world gathers in Tucson and it becomes a bustling marketplace for buyers and sellers. The gem shows are not a single event but rather a combination of over 75 different shows throughout the city. We participated in the shows there for over 10 years so we know all the in’s and outs. There are shows devoted entirely to gold, diamonds, opals beads and precious and semi-precious stones. One of my favorite shows is African Village, It’s where dealers from all over Africa come and sell their wares. I wrote this article several years ago and it was originally printed in the Gem & Lapidary Catalog. I received so many thanks you’s and it’s been reprinted several times in various journals. Hope this helps you shop in Tucson or at your local gem show.

Tucson can be truly overwhelming for first timers and veterans alike. With every venue (hotel or roadside tent) vying for your dollars. My goal is to perform magic and turn a ten-dollar bill into a hundred…well, at least you’ve come to the right place if you are in search of gems and beads. I’ve come up with a checklist for making your shopping experience a profitable and fun one.

First: MAKE A LIST, yep, that’s right do some homework and make a list…even check it twice for the must haves. If there are things you have to match up beads, gems etc. buy some stretch magic or any stretchy cord and string your samples. Wear this on your wrist as you shop so if you are trying to find coordinating beads you’re actually be wearing your sample, or you can carry them in a clear ziplock. If possible avoid digging and looking for samples inside of a handbag or shopping bag, this may appear suspicious to a seller who may question your motives.

Second: come up with a money amount for your budget. Its not like you have to stick with it to the letter but at least have some idea of what you can afford to spend.

Third: Know what venues have what you’re searching for. Some locations like the Holidome carry a mixed group of vendors (gems, beads, stones, finished jewelry). Some venues are for mainly glass beads. Make sure you check for dates and hours of shows and if there are any special requirements. For wholesale only shows, make sure you bring your license with you. I made miniature copies (credit card size) of mine at a copy place and laminated it so that it stays protected and I can carry it conviently in my wallet.

Fourth: Know what you are buying, compare apples with apples. Carry a small millimeter gauge with you so when you’re shopping for that special bead or stone you’re at least know the size is the same. Know your beads and stones…like is the coral you’re buying dyed or natural. Things like that determine the price. Are the pearls the same quality, are the gems you want faceted or machine cut?

Fifth: Know the difference in grams and ounces. Carry a chart with you if you need to. If one vendor is selling sterling for so much a gram and another is selling by the ounce know how to compute the difference to get the better deal. Buying sterling can be tricky; the only guarantee you have that you are getting what you’re paying for is the reputation of the person selling it to you. Some sterling plated over pewter items is so good that it’s hard for even a professional to tell the difference.

Sixth: Watch out for those 50% off tables and the buy so much get so much free. Remember if it seems too good to be true it probably is. A lot of vendors play the 50% off game, but again make sure you’re up on your prices. The vendor has already marked their prices up double to give you a 50% discount, which is really the original price they wanted to sell the item(s) for. No vendor is giving away inventory. Some vendors say “buy $500 get $500 free. The truth is, the vendor has calculated his or her desired profit margin no matter how much you buy. Don’t scramble to meet someone’s minimum and buy something you don’t really want. If you are a bead buyer, figure out your price per bead. I know for a fact that sometimes the vendor who’s not in the game of discounting can have just a good of a price and some times even better. If a string of beads has 20 beads at $10.00, then each bead costs 50 cents. The 50 per cent off or discount vendor may have the 20 beads at $20.00 and then tell the customer, 50 percent off.

Seventh: If you are purchasing items you know are in abundance at different venues, keep a list of prices, items and booth numbers to make sure you are getting the best prices. Collect cards with booth numbers on the back and keep them in a folder. I carry a miniature stapler to staple them to my notebook. Besides this gives you a permanent record of vendors you may want to contact later.

Eighth: Get a show guide and map out the places you intend on shopping at so that you can cover the most amount of territory with the least effort.
If possible bring a small travel bag with wheels to make carrying your purchases easier.
Above all make this a fun experience. Happy Shopping!!
© This article is copyrighted. Reprint with permission only.

Jewelry Forecast for 2011

Jewelry for 2011 will be stylish, bold and fun. You will see lots of opulent real or faux gemstones. You will see tons of resin and acrylic ones…for the I only wear real gemstone snobs, remember they are light in weight and price. You will see these either alone or in huge dramatic designs and layered too. Your jewelry should definitely make a statement. Don’t be afraid to make massive and drama filled pieces. You will also see antique vintage and retro combinations and Ethnic and Tribal Looks. Innatural stones you will see lots agates, turquoise, onyx and red coral. Pearls will be huge this year whether faux or real. You will see them in tons of shapes including teardrops, huge rounds like shell pearls and biwa.You will also see strong Motifs and textured jewelry so get ready to see things like Snakes, elephants, flowers, birds, bugs, leaves and coins in lots of jewelry.

Heres the breakdown:

Bracelets- Bangles are banging…yes bracelets will be hot this year. The more bracelets you have on your arm the more fashionable you will be. Mix them up thin and thick bangles look nice together and will give you the ultimate look. Big bold bracelets will be the way to go and you will also see cuffs in metals, leather and Lucite studded with crystals studs and charms.

Big Rings – Rings inspired with a vintage retro look will be one of the hottest trends for 2011. You will find them in a variety of colors and styles and made with crystals, pearls, charms and almost any beads. Remember big is better!

Earrings – Hoop earrings are still in. You will see them over the top in size and length. The more glitz the better. Don’t forget chandeliers are still here. The same applies, big and bold and blinging.

Layered Metal necklaces - will continue throughout this year. So gather up your chain, the more elaborate they are the more you’ll fit in. Add some coins or skeleton keys. What you won’t see is lots of precious metal jewelry because of the increased costs. You will see tons of massive lightweight large chain…including aluminum chain.

Color predictions - Colors in 2011 are muted tones like pale grey blues, taupe or faded creams, soft violets, washed out yellows. You will find them combined with more saturated colors such as yellow, violet, purple, red and cerulean blue. Be ready to see lots of Black, Grey and Neutrals.For more in-depth color analysis visit this link

Happy Valentines Day!
Here’s hoping yours is sweet and beautiful. What would Valentines Day be without hearts? No worries, just in time for the special day or any day we’ve just received some beautiful hand-faceted crystal hearts. I know you haven’t seen this shape before. Preciosa Crystal who is one of the leading crystal makers in Europe makes it. The quality is as good as Swarovski without the high cost. We have limited stock so get in early to get your sparkle on. We are selling these large 30mm brilliant crystals at the unbelievable price of $2.25. Don’t let these get away…exquisite!

We didn’t forget the symbolic red heart either…big bold and just as beautiful, they measure 40mm and we are selling it for $3.00.