Monday, May 11, 2009

Confession #13: I almost kept this one...

A lot of times when I am done with a piece I am really hesitant to sell it because I like it so much. That was the story on this one.

I called it Roxanne because in some strange way it made me think of the song "Roxanne" by The Police.

It's made of faceted Onyx, round pyrite (some of my favorite beads these days) and silver hill tribe pendant from Thailand.

It's a simple straight forward piece that I see going great with a tee shirt and jeans. That's what I would have worn it with if I kept it....

Here is a close up of the pendant.

To buy Roxanne click here:

It was priced at $46, but has been marked down to $30, there is only one available.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Confession #12: I am again playing favorites, featured Necklace of the day

Today's featured necklace is called: Three Rivers
Its been marked down
from: $70 to:

Aquamarine (in two cuts) and Amazonite make up the elements of this necklace and is 19.5" in length.

Energy properties of stones:

Aquamarine: This is a stone of courage and mental acuity as well as enhancing spiritual awareness. Aquamarine shifts one’s victim energy and helps attain moderation. It is used in treating disorders of the eye.

Amazonite: Has a calming effect on the wearer, both body and mind. Amazonite also helps one to communicate in the matters of love. It is used in treating muscle spasms.

to connect to it click:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Confession #11: I love working from home, but not always...

I do like it most of the time. Most of the time I am in my pajamas well into the day (like right now). But there are times when I don't get done what I want to and I feel bad. I really loved reading Elena Adams' blog on working from home: If you go to the April 20, 27 and May 3rd archives she writes a really helpful three part piece on how to work from home without going crazy. Some excellent tips as well as some clarification as to what it is like to work at home.

In honor of Elena's blog, I like to make my list of the things I love about making jewelry from home and the things that are, lets say, less good about working from home.

1. Work whenever I want to, if I want to make it a 2 hour day or a 14 hour day, it's all up to me.

Less Good:
1. When it needs to be a 14 hour day and I feel like making it a 2 hour day it's really hard to motivate myself.

Bright Side:
1. When I'm on a roll I can work 14 hours and it doesn't feel like 14 hours at all. This is more the rule than the exception and because of that I know that I am doing the right work.

2. I have loved making jewelry since I was 18 an spend some days as "design days" where all I do all day is make one piece after the other and watch movies or listen to music. This is easily the very BEST part of what I do.

Less Great:
2. Once I have made all of these pieces I have to price them (time consuming), name them (running out of clever things to call them), create price tags for them (really time consuming) and if they are going on my website (as opposed to one of my stores) I have to scan them, format the pictures, and upload all of the information on the website. Some of this is fun, but it is all time consuming.

Bright side:
2. I can control my prices and what I call the pieces. I have a lot of personal jokes and homages in the names of my pieces. Some are named after relatives, some are based on the movie I was watching while I made it and some are just what the piece makes me think about. As for the prices, if I feel that one came out to high, I totally have the power to lower it. And I often do. I am told that I don't price my stuff high enough, that may be true, but I like it to be available to as many people as possible.

3. I am also a bookkeeper, so I do my own books and don't have to pay or wait for someone else to take care of it.

Less Good:
3. It is always easier to motivate yourself to get someone else's books done, harder when they are your own.

Bright Side:
3. Last minute entries before tax time are a snap.

4. I get to buy my own materials which is soooooooooooooooo much fun! I love shopping for beads, etc. Whether it's online or at a gem show I am IN LOVE with gemstones (is that the right word? It implies rubies and sapphires and although I love rubies and sapphires, I mean all natural stones like different kinds of jasper, agate, quartz, etc.)

Less Good:
4. I spend too much. It is so much easier to buy stones than it is to sell necklaces.

Bright Side:
4. I have plenty of materials to inspire me whenever I want to work.

5. All of the money I make is mine to allocate as I see fit.

Less Good:
5. I can't always live on how much money I allocate to me as payment for my work.

Bright Side:
5. I have other work that does so that I can keep making jewelry for as long as I want, and I will.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Confession #10: I like Silpada

I never thought I'd say this but I am considering representing someone else's jewelry.  I was recently introduced to Silpada by a friend who is a rep.  She was just giving me ideas on how to increase my business with home parties, but the moment I saw the jewelry I was in love.  Much of it is the same concept that I use, all natural stones and pearls with silver accents.  They use some other beads too, but they really make it work.  I really didn't expect to like it as much as I do.  A lot of the pieces are ones that I either wish I had made, could make or don't have the skills or resources to make.  

My friend's site is  Check it out, although it looks like I will have my own site soon!  I really didn't anticipate doing something like this, but I do feel that I have a unique background for going into this company.  I still intend to keep making my "Creations by Molly", we all know that I couldn't stop if I wanted to!  Please check out the Silpada site, let me know what you think.  And if you'd like to find out how to get some of that lovely Bling for free, drop me an e-mail.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Confession #9: Talking about jewelry is like dancing about architecture...

That was really a line from a movie called Playing by Heart. The line is talking about love is like dancing about architecture, but you get the idea. There is a certain point beyond which I just don't know what to say. I can talk about how I design and what I like all day, but if you are in aspiring jewelry designer, you gotta find your own way.

I did meet another jewelry designer, but she is what I would call a "jeweler". She makes fine rings that are truly stunning. She does mostly custom work and it is very different from everything I do, but we talk stones and it's nice. I really like her work, if you want to see her site it is: It's nice to check out designers that make something that is nothing like what I make because it causes my mind to bend and shape and come up with new ideas for my own work.

I don't know about you, but I find that I need inspiration. I can't always just sit and start to work. I did see a really great piece that I want to do my version of on an old episode of Ghost Whisperer. It will be very expensive, but I think it will come out nice. I think it's okay to be inspired by another designer's work, out and out copying is actually pretty hard to do, but it's definitely a no-no. Anyway, enough dancing about architecture...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Confession #8: I'm in it for the money

I know what I said before about not being in it for the money. This is my career, of course I'm in it for the money. That's not the only reason I do this, but to make a living with what brings you joy you have to also be in it to make money! To all aspiring jewelry designers I offer this advice, make things that you know will sell. Or at the very least know your market. I sell mostly to people like me, my friends and my family because that's the tastes I know. I make things that remind me of people in my life, not because I intend to give them to that person, although that has happened, but because they are what my clientele are like.

It's okay to want to make money from making art. Jewelry making is a business and it isn't just about what is pretty.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Confession #7: I am a bead snob

I am sitting here right now looking through a bead catalog with my mom and am finding that I am a bead snob. She keeps asking, "isn't this pretty?" and I find that if it doesn't fit into what I would buy, I can't help but think, "no, it isn't." I have carved out a niche for myself and I like it. I guess my advice to new jewelry designers would be is to know what you like. Having someone else pick things out for you rarely works because design is such an emotional experience. You have to be moved by what you are working with. I decided that I wanted to work with only natural stones many years ago because I needed to limit what I was buying. I have found now that, except for pendants, I can't work with anything else. It's okay if it's dyed, it just can't be glass or plastic.

I guess you have to be a snob in order to find your niche. I am also really picky about which clasps I use because if the jewelry buyer is in my life and I chose a hard to use clasp, I hear about it every time I see them. I have done much research into what I like and what fits all of the requirements of my frequent buyers' preferences.

When you are designing a piece there is a lot more to think about than just does it look good. You also have to think about what would someone wear with it? If you can't picture it on a neck or a pair of ears making an outfit better, maybe rethink your design. Just remember, you aren't just creating art, you are creating wearable art, it should be both.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Confession #6: I take my work apart

I have found that the willingness to take something apart that has proved to not sell well is crucial to taking chances with design. I suggest to all jewelry designers to know your style, but to take risks on occasion. Try a new method, use new materials, change up color schemes, etc. If nothing else you may learn what doesn't work. If you always make symmetrical pieces, try an a-symmetrical one for a change. If you never mix shades of green, try one that is nothing but different shades of green. If you only make chokers, try a longer piece. If you only work with pendants, that's right, try one without a pendant. If you make single strand pieces... you get the picture.

This is another good reason to check out other people's work. They can give you an idea of how to step outside your own box. Being inspired by other designers is not the same as copying. Most of us would be flattered.

And when or if this change up goes wrong, take it apart and put the pieces back in your stock. Or if you were the only one who liked it, keep it, maybe it was just ahead of it's time. Who knows, maybe you are wearing a year from now and someone asks you where you got that lovely piece of jewelry, "oh, I made it," you'll say.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Confession #5: I'm jealous...

I find that I get jealous of other designers' work when it's something that I wish that I made. I get really moved by a great piece or even a designer's unique style. I find looking at the work of other designers inspires me to try new things, new techniques, new color combinations and new materials. I like being challenged this way. So if I may offer a tip to aspiring designers out there it would be this, check out the work of other designers, it will inspire you, give you ideas and show what good finished product looks like. There are some really creative people out there, not to mention ones that have rare talents.

Today's blog is dedicated to 5 of my favorite jewelry designers work:

1. Sally Jean at
What style this lady has! She makes the most unique yet simple pendants. She works with glass, makes tiny collages, and uses copper foil tape and a soldering iron to achieve a vintage look. Please check her out and really look around her site. It's whimsical work and she has a sense of humor.

2. J-me by Jaime at
I have been following her jewelry for years. This gal's work inspires me often. She works in much the same materials as I do, natural stones, pearls and silver. She makes bracelets (I tend not to) and she's very creative with color. Her pricing is very good and I recommend checking out her gallery of sold items just for fun.

3. Dorana Desgin at Etsy. This gal does some neat work. She makes flowers out of beads, I know it sounds less than amazing, but the look she achieves is really stylish. It's playful and fun. I like her work and she has many excellent photos of each piece.

4. Blend Creations at This is a new one for me, but once I saw this work I was immediately intrigued. These metal pendants all have a similar thematic style, but are still very unique. The could be worn with jeans and a tee on a simple silver chain or with anything you would wear to a corporate office. I have no idea how they are made, but I wish I did.

5. Shy Siren at Another new favorite of mine. Really classy vintage look. All pieces are hand made and they have a truly unique and beautiful look. I also love the way they did the website. Both the website and the jewelry are designed by two women, former architects and very talented! I highly recommend and am very jealous of these two ladies' work.

Please check out any or all of these designers' work, you will be inspired.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Stones hold energy

I know, not really a confession. But did you know that all stones have certain energetic properties? What I mean is that wearing certain stones can affect how you feel on all kinds of levels. Some help you to feel more confident, some protect you from harmful energy, some help you to think clearer. It helps to be sensitive to energy, but anyone can harness these benefits. Granted it's not like they change you into the person you've always wanted to be, but if your willing to put in the work toward that they can be a great assisting tool in that endeavor.

The best book that I have found on the subject of the energy in stones is "Love is in the Earth" by Melody (no last name). You can get it at almost any new age book shop. If this subject interests you at all, you have to own this book. Some of the entries are a little overwhelming, but if you weed through you can learn some really valuable and interesting things. What I like to do is think about which stones I am drawn to and look them up. I wonder if these stones are resonating with the things that I find important in life or am I attracted to them because they could help me with whatever I am struggling with inside.

I actually started working with all natural stones before I got interested in energy and how to shift my own energy for growth. So if you find yourself naturally pulled toward working with natural stones, you may have an as of yet undiscovered interest in energy work too. I hope so, because both can be very rewarding.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Confession #4, I'm not in it for the money

I'm not saying that I don't make money making jewelry, I have to. If I didn't I wouldn't be able to keep making jewelry! I do it because I can't stop, and believe me I've tried. Over the many years that I've been doing this I've tried to give it up. I sold off all of my tools and beads and closed shop only to buy all new supplies a year or two later. I finally realized that making jewelry is part of who I am and that it's something that I really enjoy.

When I am at my parents house I love to take a stroll down memory lane by going through my mom's jewelry box. It is a gallery to my work. She has been my best customer as well as the largest recipient of gifts that I have made, and she has kept every one. She even wore one of my necklaces to my wedding and so did my sister. I love being able to give the work I do to friends and family members as gifts. The only reason I own any of my own work is because my mother in law likes to buy jewelry from me for me for Christmas! Otherwise I tend not to keep any of my own work because I think, what if someone else would love this piece more than I do?

I don't do it for the money, I make jewelry because if I didn't, who would I be?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Confession #3: I play favorites

Since I started using only natural stones (i.e. Amethyst, Aquamarine, Jade, etc.) I have found that I like some stones more than others. Maybe it's their color, maybe it's their versatility or maybe it's the energy they give off. I also prefer certain shapes/cuts of stones, and it changes from time to time what I like.

These days I like 4 & 6 mm rondels and round. They flow really well within a design. As for stones, well, I have many favorites. I tend to like blue stones like Kyanite (blue with striations of other shades of blue throughout) and Aquamarine. I especially like raw Aquamarine. I don't like it to consistent in color. Yellow is my favorite color in the world, but for stones I have rarely found a shade of yellow that tickles my fancy. I love green, but not all greens. There is a green Kyanite that I find to be really rich. I do like Jade and it comes in sooooo many different shades these days (a lot of which are probably dyed, but I don't really mind). Despite being a family of means, I was inducted into the pearl sisterhood at a young age. My mother is a big fan and made sure that I had my own pearl earrings at the age of 11. I felt so elegant, I had no idea that because they were freshwater and she'd gotten them at a jewelry show (my father was in the biz many years ago) that they probably cost her about $10. So I find whenever I make something with pearls in it, I think of mom. Or I give it mom.

Other favorites I have, in no particular order: Jasper (so earthy, and so many variations of color), Blue Lace Agate, Sunstone, Rhodochrosite (I'm not much for pink, except this one) and Gaspeite (although it's impossible to get anymore). All that being said, when a stone moves me to create, it doesn't matter if it's one of my favorites or not, it is at that moment. And really that's all that matters.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Confession #2, My name is Molly and I am a jewelry adict.

I have found that some jewelry designers make really elaborate work. And some of it is gorgeous. And some of it is overwhelming. I know that these pieces can fetch a large sum of money and will complete just the right outfit, however I also know that the outfit they tend to complete is something usually worn to a gala or awards show. My clientele tend to be real people who rarely attend galas or award shows. I am also one of the gala deprived and so I make what I like to wear. I could be making a piece to go with a tee shirt and jeans or a nice dress for an office Christmas party. Even though they are more simple they are still elegant and I remember almost every one of them like they were my children. I even keep some of them for myself!

I love making necklaces, once I finish one, I'm on to the next. If I am going to be making jewelry at that volume I need to make the most marketable pieces I can so that I can pay for, well, more beads. I have sold to my mom for years, to my in laws (mother, sisters and niece), friends, and strangers. I have sold through stores since the first pieces that I made 18 years ago in cities like Eugene Oregon, San Francisco California, Newport Oregon, Los Angeles California, Ashland Oregon and even some in Idaho. I guess my point is that I like to make many inexpensive pieces for many people because it's what I want and enjoy. I've spent years perfecting my style and choosing the things that make them a Creations by Molly design. This is my dream job and I will keep doing it until my creative well runs dry.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

First Confession

I always thought I'd be a famous actress. Turns out, I was an awful actress. Along the way I learned how to make jewelry. It all started on the Christmas that I was 18. My older sister gave me a necklace that she made for me as a present. I was mesmerized and immediately thought, "I could make this!" I proceeded to learn. She taught me everything she knew and I was off and running. The crap that I made back then was horrible!

I had a whole "rasta" line and I am a whites as they come, straight lace girl from Oregon. I didn't even like reggae music, but I liked the colors. That's what it all came down to in the early days, color. I worked with seed beads out of muffin tins (with the occasional cat-tastrophy). I used thread and a needle and superglue to fix my knots, it was a mess and my fingers were always covered in super glue! I made one necklace after another, I couldn't stop it was an addiction. I even visited the bead store more than once a day. When I think back to all of the things I did back then regarding jewelry, I have to laugh. But I'll save that for another day and another confession...