by gwen harlow

photo

April comes like an idiot…

Posted by on Apr 1, 2012 in design, photo | 0 comments

Channel font by Mawns

Read More

Necklace a Day 7-29

Posted by on Feb 29, 2012 in photo | 0 comments

Here it is, the end of February, and I totally failed at the Necklace a Day challenge. I even got an extra day. If you want to see a real winner, go check out Katherine’s results on per:cent blog — she kept up and made a month’s worth of fantastic pieces.

I’m not going to be too hard on myself because I did get quite a lot done — I actually have a whole nother week’s worth of necklaces that I photographed but never got around to editing/etsying/blogging — and have had a non-necklace productive month. I’ve been working for the first time in a year, and working full-time on-site for the first time since I started blogging (which was waaaaaay back when I still worked at dotcoms, if you kids remember those). It’s been a big adjustment but a great experience, the company is impressive, everyone is nice and super talented, my work is engaging.

I went to an amazing Wonderland-themed birthday party — decor by the birthday boy’s set-designer girlfriend and WOW. I wish I’d taken pictures before the sun set because it was a craftopia of bunting and garlands and flowers and teacups everywhere. I made my first apron for the party, here’s a very flattering photo where I am wearing it while shoving Hotwing Dip (which looks like vomit but is delicious) into my mouth:

me and Jill

Jill wanted to go thrifting to find tea cups for the party — you’ll notice she’s glued hers to the saucer in the photo, how ingenious is she? and I came home with these this lovely vintage Made in England pastoral:

Wonderland teacup

and a Dutch Garden bowl:

Dutch Garden bowl

Unfortunately, I forgot to bring them to the party.

I built the site for Lucky Ladies, the local small business owners group I’m part of, shopluckyladies.com, and we’re putting together a big launch party on Saturday, April 28, which you should definitely attend if you’re in the Bay Area. We have several etsy members who make fantastic things and the others offer all kinds of useful services, there’s going to be a dress-making-athon to send clothes to girls in Africa, yoga and health classes, free food, and a pop-up shop/craft fair. The Facebook event page has more info.

AND I was mere feet from Tony Bennett after his 50th-anniversary “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” event at San Francisco City Hall on Valentine’s Day. He’s been on my bucket list since I was a kid and we didn’t quite meet but close enough.

I’m going to try another challenge for March: Fusion Beads is having a 30-day because apparently it’s National Craft Month. Theirs is more structured, and maybe it will be easier for me to keep up, though I expect I will pop in and out and do the projects I want. Or start off gung-ho then peter out. But you never know.

March National Craft Month 30-Day Challenge

Read More

For if there is a sin against life…

Posted by on Feb 19, 2012 in design, photo | 1 comment

Nelly Script Flourish font by Tart Workshop

Read More

Only in the present…

Posted by on Feb 11, 2012 in design, photo | 0 comments

I’m super behind on the necklace a day. It’s been a long week is my only excuse. And then last night I felt like making some quote poster thingies instead. This is the first.

Wintermelon font by Denise Bentulan.

Photo of San Francisco Bay by me.

Read More

Day 4 Necklace : Pastel rosary on gunmetal

Posted by on Feb 4, 2012 in craft, photo, St. Valentine's Day | 0 comments

Day 4 Necklace

I am not the best about keeping records about my stock, so when I’m making something to sell, I sometimes have to spend some time hunting down what components are, try to estimate what I spent on it so I can figure that into the price. I can usually tell you the story of where I bought most of them.

For instance, the antique English cut pink milk glass beads on today’s rosary-style necklace? Got those at the Alameda Antiques Fair (Have you been? You really should. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find. The next one is tomorrow.) at the end of a long Sunday. I loved them but the guy wouldn’t haggle down enough and I couldn’t afford what he was charging, so I walked away. He literally chased me down five minutes later and here I am, the proud owner of a dwindling strand of these really fabulous milk glass beads. If you don’t know English cut, it’s like faceted but it’s all imperfect and kind of nubby since they’re so old and a bit rubbed down, making them soft around the edges.

For Day 4 of the Necklace a Day Challenge, I wanted to make something pastel and gunmetal because that is my favorite color combo — the grey frames the beads so they pop more. I was set on the pink and peach, and was looking for a pendant when I found this old teardrop the color of the inside of a lime. I knew where I’d bought it (the giant bead show they hold every fall in Oakland, another event you should check out) and that it was a gemstone but had to spend a little while hunting more info down for my etsy description. Here is what I learned:

Serpentine is also called New Jade even though it is not a jade. It’s found pretty much everywhere and is also used in brake lining and fireproof fabrics. If you’re a Scorpio or Gemini, or down with Saturn, this is the rock for you. It’s a protective gemstone associated with the heart and activates the kundalini while protecting you against snakes (!), diabetes, PMS, and anxiety.

I don’t know how much, if any, of that is true, but you cannot go wrong wearing a calming anti-snake talisman that you can use to fix your car in a pinch.

Plus it’s a really pretty piece for spring to go with all those soft antique-y neutrals you’re wearing.

Special shout-out to Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden, where I made the Day 4 necklace. Julie’s is the best place in the world to sit around with your #1 americano and pile of beads being super productive with no distractions at all in a gorgeous, cozy setting.

Use coupon code FEBRUARY12 for 15% off anything in my shop through the month.

I’m making a necklace a day through February. See all my daily necklaces here. Then stop by to visit per:cent blog, who’s doing it, too.

Read More

Day 3 Necklace : Red Heart

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in craft, photo, St. Valentine's Day | 0 comments

day 3 necklace

Buy this necklace on etsy.

Yesterday was Groundhog Day, which got me thinking about how this year is flying by and it’s almost Valentine’s Day already so I made this red-heart necklace for Day 3 of the Necklace a Day challenge.

The challenge is tougher than I thought it would be — not just finding the time to sit and make the necklace but trying to take a decent picture when the light is so bad this time of year. So today’s batch (which you can see on the etsy page) are not my finest. But that’s okay, I finished. Go, me!

Use coupon code FEBRUARY12 for 15% off anything in my shop through the month.

I’m making a necklace a day through February. See all my daily necklaces here. Then stop by to visit per:cent blog, who’s doing it, too.

Read More

Day 2 Necklace : Vintage green buttons

Posted by on Feb 2, 2012 in craft, photo | 0 comments

Necklace a Day 2 green buttons

Early last month I read a blog post talking about ways to reorganize your jewelry-making stash for the new year by dividing it into three categories: keep, discard, and repurpose. Which I thought was pretty genius — I have a zillion little half-finished or finished-but-I’m-so-over pieces in piles everywhere yet it never occurred to me to take them apart. Really.

This necklace comprises the cannibalized remains of several necklaces and bracelets I made a couple years back when I was super into the vintage buttons. I still am, but something about each piece just wasn’t quite right, so I put them aside and let them gather dust for a long time.

So when I read that blog post, the button pieces were the first things that popped into my head. I took them apart and collaged all the buttons and a couple accents beads together then added a fatter chain for a little more heft. Which I really like and am tempted to keep (that green focal button is one of my favorites, it has this really awesome fading along the edges) but I really don’t need more jewelry.*

You, however, DO need more jewelry and you can buy this necklace on etsy.

Use coupon code FEBRUARY12 for 15% off anything in my shop through the month.

I’m making a necklace a day through February. See all my daily necklaces here. Then stop by to visit per:cent blog, who’s doing it, too.

* I say that, but really? If you are looking for a Valentine’s present to buy me, I would wear this every single day.

Read More

Day 1 Necklace : Oversized Copper Birds Nest

Posted by on Feb 1, 2012 in craft, photo | 0 comments

Day 1 Birds Nest Pendant

It’s Day 1 of the Necklace a Day Challenge so I’m starting with something easy. I’ve made a bunch of these oversized birds nest pendants before, but don’t usually get around to selling them because my friends keep asking for them.

Buy it on etsy

Use coupon code FEBRUARY12 for 15% off anything in my shop through the month.

I’m making a necklace a day through February. See all my daily necklaces here. Then stop by to visit per:cent blog, who’s doing it, too.

Read More

February Challenge: Necklace a Day

Posted by on Feb 1, 2012 in craft, meme, photo | 0 comments

necklaces by gwen!

Fellow East Bay Arts Collective member Katherine of Percent is organizing a necklace-a-day challenge for February. I always see those 30-day prompts (your instagrams, blogging cues, drawings, etc.) and think they’d be fun but they’re not quite motivating enough for me.

This one is right up my alley, since jewelry-making is the one thing I do regularly — I have my tray next to my TV-watching chair and it’s a good excuse for watching guilty-pleasure shows (“But I’m making something! I just like the background noise!”). And I am really, really bad at getting around to photographing and posting my jewelry on my etsy store, so it’s great to have this commitment to get me to get off my butt and do something with my jewelry besides letting it gather dust.

I’m making one necklace each day (I started last night), then photographing, blogging, and etsy-posting the following day. I’m going to try very hard, anyway. And I might make the occasional bracelet or pair of earrings instead some days. You will have to check back to find out! (If you like me on Facebook, you can get updated when I post there.)

Anyone who’s interested in the challenge should join in, see Katherine’s original February Challenge: Necklace a Day post on her blog for details.

Read More

It’s my birthday!

Posted by on Dec 2, 2011 in gwen, love, photo, wishlist | 0 comments

Read More

Summer Colours Week 2011: Rainbow

Posted by on Jun 30, 2011 in garden, meme, photo | 0 comments

Roses

RPS Collective polish collection

All that glitters

At the beauty supply on Grand

It’s Rainbows Day

Read More

Summer Colours Week 2011: Blue

Posted by on Jun 29, 2011 in meme, photo | 0 comments

January 26: Chicle on the beach

Open road #2

October 15: House + palms

Almost Summer #1, Breather

At the pool

June 20: Summer solstice

Poppytalk Summer Colours Week: Blue

Read More