Monday, September 24, 2007


I'm a member of a crafting forum, in which most members are jewelry designers. This is the greatest group of women (and a couple men) that I've ever joined. I've been a member of several forums in my internet lifetime, and am currently active on two. I post on a couple others sporadically, but two I post on daily and one of them is the jewelry forum. I've also left forums in my internet lifetime, the most recent one being a painful separation. Well, actually, separating wasn't what was painful, but rather the things said that lead me to leave were what hurt.

But I digress. This post is not about that, it's about shiny stuff. On this jewelry forum, every so often they do an "Art Piece Swap" where people make jewelry components and send them to another designer in a secret sister type of way. I joined the group too late to participate in the last one, but I saw how much fun they had so when they announced the current one, I jumped at the opportunity. When I received the name of my swap person, I started to get nervous. It seemed like she did similar things to me. Not really in style, but in skill. So I had no idea what to make, but then I figured it out. I ended up doing lots of little things that are some of my favorite things to work on, plus something new for me. Here is a photo my swap person took of what I sent her:

Those little chain maille flowers are the new thing I learned. I love them! I had a hard time giving them away!

Saturday we were gone most of the day and got home late at night, after attending a farewell party for a friend who is moving out of state and was a fellow DJ at the radio station where my hubby volunteers. When we got in, I checked the mail and got all happy when I saw a brown bubble mailer in our box. Then I squealed with joy when I saw the name on the return address! The person who had me as her art swap person was none other than Jennifer Casady!

Jennifer is an extremely talented jewelry designer who specializes in chain maille. I've seen literally hundreds of chain maille pieces, and hers are among my favorites. She combines maille and gemstones like nobody's business! Her skill set is amazing, so I was thrilled beyond belief to see that *she* was sending *me* something!

I ran back to the house and opened up the package. Even the packaging was beautiful. I thought I packaged my jewelry nicely, but she puts me to shame! I slowly peeled back the dark green tissue paper, untied the shiny ribbon, and opened up the dark green box to see a lovely little satin bag! A SATIN BAG, people! I opened the bag and to my delight, I found two beautiful chain maille weaves, each having two lengths. One of them is called "jens pind" and I'll be honest and tell you that I was REALLY hoping (and almost praying, but I'm not quite that bold) there would be some jens pind in there! It seems as though jens pind is one of Jen's specialties, which makes sense, seeing as it was, like, named after her and all. Ok, so it wasn't really, but she has it mastered so it might as well have been. Here's a picture of the goodies... please feel free to drool all over your keyboard.

Isn't it beeeeaaauutiful?? The jens pind is the smaller one. It is one of the more difficult weaves to learn and I have not mastered it yet. I've tried it once, and gave up when I realized I had no idea what I was doing. *giggle* I plan to try again someday when I have some more free time and after I get my Koil Kutter and flex shaft (another day, another post). I cannot wait to play around with these chain maille lengths. Now before you go getting any wild ideas, these are MINE, ALL MINE. I plan to make myself a couple bracelets or a bracelet and some earrings, or who knows, maybe I'll even make a chain maille bra. Oooor I'll probably just stick with a couple of bracelets. ;o)

I encourage you to check out Jennifer's website, so you can see her spectacular work for yourself. She's a very sweet, talented, Christian mom. She's also on etsy. Hey! So are The Belles.

I've aquired a couple of new skills in the past week that I'm excited to show you, but alas, drooling over these gorgeous chains has exhausted me so I will leave you in suspense for now so I can go to bed and dream of little gemstones dancing in my head. Could life get more corny? G'night, bloggy world!


Heidi @ GGIP said...

That swap sounds like a lot of fun.

Jessica Morris said...

the swap does sound like a lot of fun!!

So I will be honest... I spent a long time looking at the chain stuff thinking "umm, how exactly do you make something wearable out of that??" looks complex. So you now owe it to the bloggy world, or, ok ME!! to post pictures of the masterpiece you create!

I LOVE your flowers - very cute :)

Jennifer said...

Crystal, thank you again for such awesome compliments!! The Art Swap is such fun and I can't wait to see what you make with the maille! *grin*

Jessica Morris said...

The tea came and it is SO good!! I am hooked on the chocolate one! I am going to have to see if they sell it online as we don't have a trader joe's nearby! Or maybe see if I can find a comparable chocolate tea... so good!!
Sadly I have tried nearly every flavor you sent... and I got them less than 24 hours ago. Am I not pathetic?? I love the grapefruit one too... they're all yummy tho!
Thanks so much!

Erin said...

I love your pretties. I'll have you know that it is because of you I have to force myself not to buy shiny beads and such at hobby lobby now. I never ever thought about crafting jewelry now every time I walk by the isle I have to force myself not to buy whatever I think it pretty. I may try it one day, but AFTER I have a plan, buying pretty beads without regard to what you will do with them is a bad idea..right? right?? :-)