These are baubles and beads. I have a surplus of them, bags and bag of them, in fact.   I have been making jewelry and mosaics out of them and donating the proceeds to charity, but have now decided to turn things up a notch.  I have just registered for a class that will help my jewelry making skills considerably….and I’m excited!  I’ve always wanted to make the kind of jewelry that I’m getting ready to learn to make.

I’ve always been good at repurposing things.

 When I lived in the San Francisco Bay area, I had a company that specialized in repurposing old furniture. In fact, the name of this blog comes from the name of my former business, “Arte California”.    I would get wooden furniture from Freecycle and paint it and add mosaics to it and resell it to fancy schmancy home decor stores, or I would do things with tempered glass on big bowls.     Did well, and had fun doing it.        Image

Each piece was a one-of-a-kind item.

 Every time I created a new piece, someone would usually end up commissioning similar pieces, or even something new.  It was fun coming up with new ideas and finding ways in which to convert things.   For instance, I once sold one of these mirrors, then got an order to make 30 more!


This is a tabletop that I made with collage work and tempered glass.


And here is a coffee table that I did:



I find myself with this surplus of jewelry.  Some of it is vintage.  Some of it is valuable.  Some of it is contemporary, and some of it is cheap crap…..I’ve been pretty good about repurposing it and making new pieces from old, but I’ve decided to step things up a notch and enroll in Deryn Mentock’s  Build Zone class.

 I have long been a fan of Deryn’s work, basically because it is FABULOUS!  I have purchased her jewelry and have admired it on friends.  I pour over it on the Internet.  I just love it.  It is a rustic style, sort of like steampunk….but sort of not.

I think Deryn will be an excellent teacher, and according to her former students, she is.   I look forward to learning how to make fancy findings … clasps and rings and links…. to learning how to do her famous wrap method of jewelry making.  I look forward to learning new design work.  I look forward to selling what I make.  I look forward to the whole thing!


I know the experience will be fun and rewarding, and it will give me something to do with all of this jewelry that I have now.  Will post pictures of my progress.  Don’t expect miracles. I’ve never done this type of work before… 🙂