Thursday, July 18, 2013

Altered Dress Form and Necklace Busts

Anyone who designs and sells jewelry on line understands the importance of good and high quality photographs that display your creations.  One of the challenges is always positioning a jewelry item in a way that enhances the item without overwhelming it. I had several necklace busts and dress forms that I have used over the years but felt they needed to be a bit dressed up.  So here is what I came up with.

First,  here are some pics of what I started out with:
White Leatherette Necklace Bust - Medium

White Leatherette Necklace Bust - Tall

White Plastic Dress or T-shirt Form

The leatherette necklace busts are sold at a variety of places, but I think I bought the two above at - they can be purchased anywhere from about $8 to $20.  Fire Mountain Gems offers a quantity discount that they call "all assortable pricing" meaning the more items you buy, the less expensive - and you don't have to buy multiples of the same item - the discount is applied based on the total number of items purchased.  I usually wait till I have a need for a fairly large number of items to order.

The plastic dress/T-shirt form is from Barr Display and was $8.95, the stand sold separately is $12.00.  I have used this same dress form in the past for altering - see my past post on "How To Make an Altered Vintage Dress Form" from February 2013 where I used vintage style lace and material to cover her.

I decided to decoupage the medium sized leatherette bust with vintage style paper.  I cut up various size and shapes of the paper and then used Mod Podge to cover the front of the bust. I used a medium sized paint brush to mod podge the back and front of each piece of paper and then "painted" each piece onto the bust overlapping the pieces for complete coverage.  I used my fingers to smooth out any wrinkles - it gets a little messy so I find keeping a wet washcloth handy is helpful for wiping off your fingers from time to time.  I used the matte formula of Mod Podge because when taking photos of my jewelry I did not want any glare, but depending on the purpose for your project you can choose either matte or gloss.  I let it dry a couple of hours and sealed it with Krylon clear acrylic spray.  

If you have never decoupaged, you can check out my post on "DIY Decoupage Bracelet Tutorial" - even though that was a bracelet project, the technique is essentially the same.  I only decoupaged the front of the bust itself and not the base or the back.  But I thought it needed to have something besides "white" on these parts so I spray painted the back and base with Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin in "Champagne Nouveau" which I ordered from Amazon for about $8.00.  I absolutely love this color - it has a soft satin sheen with an antique or vintage look - I anticipate using this color on several other projects!  I found that setting up an old table in my garage and covering it with newspaper was the best place to spray paint.

Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin Paint - "Champagne Nouveau"

Here is a picture of the before and finished medium sized leatherette bust decoupaged and spray painted:
Medium Leatherette Bust - Before Pic

Decoupaged Front View

Spray Painted Back and Base - "Champagne Nouveau" 
The taller leatherette bust form I spray painted with Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin paint using a different color called "Caramel Latte."  I like this color, but not as well as the "Champagne Nouveau" color.  I also spray painted a smaller plastic bust I had with the same color pictured below:

Before View - Tall Leatherette Necklace Bust

Spray Painted Busts with "Caramel Latte"

The larger plastic dress or T-shirt form turned out spectacular with a coating of the Champagne Nouveau spray paint - she is absolutely perfect for displaying longer style necklaces.  I added a lacy beige tank top for photographing.

Before View - Plastic Dress Form

Finished Dress Form with "Champage Nouveau" Paint

And here are all my newly covered necklace busts and dress forms ready for modeling lots of jewelry!

Till next time!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Vote at Shopbevel for My Pearl Tassel Necklace

Very exciting news!  One of my designs is up for voting at!  Has anyone ever heard of Shopbevel?  I had not heard of them until recently, but it is a very interesting company.

Independent jewelry designers can submit their designs to Shopbevel for consideration and if accepted, the design is posted for voting by the community.  The winning designs are then produced and re-created by Shopbevel with royalties going to the jewelry designer.

Each competition is themed and voting takes place over about a two week period.  I recently submitted an entry for my Pearl Tassel Necklace and it was accepted for voting in their Gatsby Competition.  Votes will be accepted through June 21, 2013.

I am very excited about this and hope my design will be accepted for production by Shopbevel.  If you like this design, I hope you will go to their site and vote for it.  Here is the link:  Pearl Tassel Necklace at Shopbevel by DJAjewels.

In order to vote, you will be asked to create an account with a user name and password - but this is free.  You can also vote on as many of the other entries there as you want to.

Thanks so much!  Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Remembering and Honoring My Mother

I have not posted in a couple of weeks having been busy with my Mother's passing away earlier this week.  She was diagnosed with advanced renal cell cancer in April and dealt with it quite bravely and forthrightly.  I am fortunate enough to live within a two hour drive of where she  and my Father live near Linville, NC and have been traveling back and forth on days off and weekends to visit with her.  I am ever so grateful for being able to spend time with her before her passing.

As prepared as we all were for her final days and hours, it is never easy to say Good-bye.  Still, the rituals and ceremonies associated with death are both comforting and cleansing.  I shared time with my Father (fortunately still healthy and living) along with my brother, sister-in-law, sons and daughter-in-law.  My extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends were also a great comfort.

My Mother was a strong-willed and independent person who lived her life with great zest! Her many passions included music, gardening and cooking - all of which she acquired great skill at.

She played several instruments including the piano, cello, mandolin, fiddle, and autoharp - I might have left off one or two instruments because she was always looking for a new instrument to enjoy playing.  She also imparted her love for music to my youngest son giving him a keyboard for Christmas when he was about seven years old.  We acquired a piano a couple of years later and he grew up learning and loving to play it - and he and my Mother shared this musical bond for the rest of her life.

Her green thumb was amazing - I swear she could revive a plant that was absolutely near death!  And her culinary skills were equally amazing - she enjoyed nothing greater than to prepare a great feast at Holidays and special gatherings.

After her diagnosis in April, we were uncertain if she would be able to make the trip to Charlotte, NC for my oldest son's wedding in May.  She seemed to be weakening by the day, but she was on a mission at that point to be present.  And present she was!  In this photo below with my father, son and new daughter-in-law, I admire the look of quiet determination on her face.

Finally, I just want to take a moment to thank the special people with Medi Home Hospice in Newland, NC who helped my mother die with the same grace and dignity by which she lived.

Corine S. Waterman
November 21, 1930 - July 7, 2013