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Hand-painted porcelain & crystals


February has been a month for change, to switch gears, mix things up a bit, and add some variety to my work. I have amassed such a huge collection of beads of all sorts—mostly semiprecious gemstones of all different colors, shapes, and sizes, that my bead boxes were beginning to overflow, so knew it was time to turn out some earrings. 

These are on a mix of different types of earwires. I handcrafted the sterling silver wires (they are the upside-down U or C shape), hand-shaped them and gently hammered them to harden the silver. They really have that artisan, handcrafted look that I just love. 

For some others I used premade stainless steel earwires that are hypoallergenic and are in the more standard earwire shape. 

All of these are listed for sale in my Etsy shop under the "Earrings" category, which you can find here

Some of the beads I used are hand-painted porcelain or ceramic, crystal, jasper, moonstone, blue Peruvian opal, garnet, chalcedony, mother of pearl, malachite, prehnite...and more. 

Take a peek!

Blush Chalcedony & sterling silver


Mother of pearl, labradorate & shell soldered earrings


Rose quartz and sterling silver earrings


Red jasper and sterling silver earrings


Leopard jasper and sterling silver earrings


Honey jade and sterling silver earrings


Hand-painted porcelain & crystals


Hand-painted porcelain & crystals


Malachite and sterling silver earrings


Blue Peruvian opal, rainbow moonstone and crystal & bird earrings


Ocean jasper, garnet & sterling silver earrings


Prehnite, Tourmalated Quarts, Hill tribe sterling silver earrings


Red Tiger Eye and rose charm earrings with sterling silver earwires


Red jasper clip-on style earrings


Smoky quartz, mother of pearl shell and sterling silver earrings


Italian glass & turquoise earrings with sterling silver earwires


Carnelian & sterling silver earrings 


Turquoise & Hill Tribe silver earrings with sterling ear wires


Amazonite, aventurine, ceramic and silver soldered earrings


Turquoise, tigereye, crystal artisan soldered earrings



Artisan gemstone and soldered earrings
What do you think? 


I hope you have a great week! 

Laura


My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns



Article & images copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author
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Necessity is the mother of invention, and let me tell you, I have had growing stacks of teacups for years that were in great need of reinvention. To me, that was necessity. 

Chipped, cracked, orphaned, broken, often received in box-lots of old china accrued over the years—and like all of my other china pieces, kept and stacked and moved with me and moved again—they waited.   

A teacup is a difficult piece of china to work with when making jewelry—if you make your jewelry by hand as I do, cutting it with traditional hand tools along with a few more modern cutting tools—still all done by hand and without automation, it's up to me to get the job done, and just precisely right. 


For years I've made bracelets with broken teacups. I loved how the natural curve of a piece of china cut from a teacup fit nicely on the curve of a wrist—but being worn on a wrist can sometimes cause rough wear for a more delicate piece of china, since bracelets are exposed to much more movement than a necklace. After all, they were initially created for gentle tea drinking and not as a fashion accessory! So I always take into consideration the thickness and durability of the china piece before fashioning it into a bracelet. 

[Learn how to make your own broken teacup bracelet in my book, Boho Chic Jewelry, in project, You Crack Me Up Teacup Bracelet, page 46] 


A beautiful broken teacup transforms wonderfully into a statement necklace. These larger shards of china often display larger images of the china pattern, sometimes with more detail and always with a delicate slight curve. 


Because these are special, unique pieces, they deserve extra special treatment! I put a lot of time and love into transforming them into necklaces, scouring through box after box of gemstone beads to find the perfect compliment to the china pattern's colors. I thoughtfully choose each bead and carefully wrap each by hand in silver wire, linking them together one at a time, and then finishing the beaded chain off with a length of pretty sterling silver chain.   



I love the way this necklace turned out! The lovebirds pattern shows two sweet yellow and green birds (parakeets? Budgies?) sitting inside of an open blue heart with tiny white daises, with a pink ribbon bow and smaller pink flowers in the center of the heart. 


With a total  length of 30 inches (76.2 cm), this is a longer styled piece, and the hand-beaded chain includes pearls, Moonstone, Amazonite, Rose Quartz, Phrenite, Pink Rhodonite, Angelite, and Blue Aventurine.




What do you think? 





Pin this post!


Have a great week!
 Laura

Article and images copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2019 all rights reserved
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Here's a quick look at what's new in my shop this week. I have a few new broken china jewelry pieces, and also some new beaded gemstone earrings, so be sure to check them out below. I am once again accepting custom orders, so get those Valentine's Day requests in ASAP!  

Here's a quick look at what's new in my etsy shop this week. More information and photos of each of these pieces are available in my shop at 
www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns























Interested in a custom order? Email me at sales@dishfunctionaldesigns.com with a photo or two (front and back is best, along with approximate measurement) of your china and let me know approximately what you would like made and we can get the ball rolling! 


 https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns


Have a great week!
 Laura

My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns


article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 all rights reserved

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Happy New Year! I hope each of you had a great holiday and new year and here's to a happy and healthy 2019! I've already written 2018 by mistake on my to-do list this morning...

I'm glad to get back into my workshop and have lots of new ideas for 2019! Last night I managed to get a few brand new pieces of jewelry listed in my Etsy shop so here's a quick look at what's new in my shop this week. I am once again accepting custom orders, so get those Valentine's Day requests in soon!  

For 2019 expect to see lots of new broken china jewelry designs from me, as well as more gemstone beaded jewelry as well. I have some new beaded earrings and bracelets I am working on (and am pretty excited about!) so expect to see those popping up in my shop soon. In the meantime, here's a quick look at what's new in my etsy shop this week. More information and photos of each of these pieces are available by clicking on the photos, or just visit my shop at 
www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns
































Interested in a custom order? Email me at sales@dishfunctionaldesigns.com with a photo or two (front and back is best, along with approximate measurement) of your china and let me know approximately what you would like made and we can get the ball rolling! 


 https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns


Have a great week!
 Laura

My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns


article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 all rights reserved

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This is definitely another one of those recipes that you can add to your collection of easy and beyond delicious, but even better, its perfect to cook up in batches and give as gifts. My family has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember, and we often make a pan-full around the holidays to share with family and friends. 

If you think fudge is a difficult candy to make, then I am here to show you how simple and easy it actually is. The ingredients are few and the directions are simple. This recipe comes from my sister Lisa, and below in my haphazard handwriting of years ago is the recipe, but I will type it out for you here so that it is much clearer and easier to read and understand. 

Two notes before you start though, be sure to use a can of evaporated milk and not sweetened condensed milk, and the brand does not matter. I use store brand all the time and the results are the same. Second, though the written recipe calls for one quarter pound of margarine, I have only ever used butter and not margarine. In place of buttering the pan, I lightly spray it with nonstick cooking spray - a light spray is all you will need. This recipe makes about five pounds of fudge!

Fudge
Spray a sheet cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium-sized pot on the stove mix together:
4 & 1/2 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
Boil for ten minutes on medium, stirring constantly

In an electric mixer bowl put:
1 & 1/2 cups peanut butter
1/2 to 3/4 jar marshmallow creme (Fluff)
18 ounce chocolate chips
1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions: 
After the sugar & milk mixture has boiled for ten minutes, remove it from the stove and carefully and slowly pour it over the peanut butter, marshmallow creme, chocolate chips and vanilla. Carefully blend with the mixer on low - - make sure you do this first part slowly so that it does not splash out of the mixer, as it will be very hot! 

Once the mixture is well-combined, turn the mixer up to medium and mix quickly for another minute or so to completely blend the mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl if you need to. Mix until completely blended and smooth. Pour into pan. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to a week or freeze. 






Spray pan and set aside - I actually spray it and then wipe out the excess spray with a napkin


Chocolate chips, marshmallow, vanilla and peanut butter in mixer bowl ready and waiting for the hot mixture to be added 


In pot on stove top combine sugar and evaporated milk and mix


Mix constantly while it boils for ten minutes


Once hot mixture has boiled for ten minutes, carefully pour it over the ingredients in the mixer bowl. 


Stir very slowly at first to combine


Once all ingredients are combined, mix quickly until smooth


This fudge is ready to go into the pan


Pour into pan and cool


That's all there is to it! 


What do you think? 


I hope you have a great week! 

Laura


My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns



Article & images copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author
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"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over."
- Sea Fever   by John Masefield



"A vintage Bohemian Czech glass button is the centerpiece of this pendant. The button I used had an attached metal and wire shank on the reverse side. These shanks are removable with pliers, but they are embedded into the glass, so removing the shank risks breaking the button."   
- Laura Beth Love, Boho Chic Jewelry: 25 Timeless Designs Using Soldering, Beading, Wire Wrapping and More, 2014 FW Media, KP Craft






I love everything about this necklace, the color, the mermaid, the fact that it's a Bohemian Czech glass button, the beads... Rainbow Moonstone, Turquoise and Lapiz Lazuli are three of my favorite gems...  (learn how to make you own button pendant like this one in my book Boho Chic Jewelry, in project: Vintage Button Pendant, page 105, Boho Chic Jewelry Book


Yes, this is a project from my book Boho Chic Jewelry! As a matter of fact, this very pendant is one of the ones shown in the step by step instructions in the book. Did you know that when you write a DIY book like mine, that you need many copies of each project in different stages of completion? Yup, lots! This is so that the step by step photography moves along quickly and does not take forever! 

So when I come home from a book photo shoot, I have multiples of each item - and now I am finally getting around to finishing off those that I hadn't finished and listing them in my Etsy shop for sale! 






This is a large sized button, so it really is a statement piece. It's a pretty teal or blue-green shade and it has some gold color accenting the mermaid. 

I hand-chose each of the beads, and as I said above, they are Rainbow Moonstone, Turquoise, and Lapis Lazuli. I think they coordinate very nicely with this unique piece! The textured link chain is on the longer side and measures about 24" in length.



This piece is available in my shop



What do you think? 


Have a great week!
 Laura

Article and images copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018 all rights reserved

Poem Sea Fever From SALT-WATER POEMS AND BALLADS, by John Masefield
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"A remnant of cloth from a baby's first dress, a bit of lace from your wedding veil or vintage handkerchief, a piece of your grandmother's quilt, or perhaps a square from one of your father's ties—what better way to preserve a small snippet of a precious textile than to transform it into a beautiful, wearable piece you can enjoy every day?"   
- Laura Beth Love, Boho Chic Jewelry: 25 Timeless Designs Using Soldering, Beading, Wire Wrapping and More, 2014 FW Media, KP Craft




Since my last piece of vintage lace & glass jewelry (learn how in project Lace & Glass Necklace, page 97, Boho Chic Jewelry Book) sold quickly, I figured I probably should list the second one I made in case someone would like it for the holidays. As I've said before, I try to offer a nice selection of different items in my shop, and my vintage lace jewelry seems to always sell out quickly! 

This piece is made with white lace and so it's different from the last beaded one that I just sold. I think this one turned out beautifully too. I individually hand-beaded each gemstone link one at a time, and it took me an entire afternoon to put this one together! The chain and wires are all solid sterling silver and the gemstones are genuine pearls, rainbow moonstone beads, and quartz crystal beads.

This chain is long and measures about 32" in length and easily slips over your head, though there is a clasp attached as well. Lace jewelry is great for weddings as bridal jewelry and has a great Boho flair.













These pieces (above and below) are available in my shop too









What do you think? 


Have a great week!
 Laura

Article and images copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018 all rights reserved
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Amid the stacked boxes large and small, strewn throughout my workshop, are dishes from all around the world and from all different periods in time. I’ve carried these boxes with me when I’ve moved, finding, or making, space for them—stacking them, tripping over them, organizing and rearranging them, digging through them to find a certain particular plate I’m looking for, and occasionally I even go through them and wash the dishes! And I will never forget the first time, way back years and years ago, right when I started making jewelry out of old broken china, when one day I was browsing inside a large consignment shop and came upon a display of huge racks all stuffed with dishes.



Reverse side

I was soon to learn that the display was full of replacement dinnerware. I looked for pieces that were inexpensive and maybe chipped or had some damage, but most all of the pieces displayed looked to be in good condition. I found a small red English transferware saucer, picked it up and fell in love with it, and stood there looking at it wondering if I should buy it just for the sake of using it in my home somehow, because it wasn’t in poor enough condition to break to use for jewelry… and then I noticed a middle-age man on the other side of the display, straightening the dishes. He saw me and asked if I needed help finding anything, if there was any particular china pattern I was looking for. I explained to him that I made jewelry from old broken china, and that I was looking for imperfect pieces to use in my artwork.

“Oh,” he said, “Don’t buy that one. I have many others that are damaged...” I soon learned that the display belonged to him, and that his business was replacement dinnerware pieces. He collected and sold old china pieces for people who unfortunately broke pieces of their own china sets. We spoke for a few minutes and I soon learned that he had a large business outside of this "small" consignment shop display—a whole warehouse full of replacement china dinnerware—and he invited me there to go through all of his imperfect pieces of old china. What happenstance. The planets aligned for me that day, and soon this college girl with big ideas was driving her little Mazda down a country road looking for his address.



Prepping for soldering 

It was a cramped warehouse, and the man explained that they would soon be packing up and moving to a larger industrial warehouse nearby. I was shocked by all the dishes. Row upon row of ceiling-high shelves, all stacked with old china. The man led me to the rear of the warehouse, and directed me out and around back, where there were piles of large boxes, all filled with plates and dishes that had chips and cracks and imperfections. He told me to take a look and see if I wanted anything, and that he would be working in the warehouse, and when I was finished he would give me a price. 

Finishing up soldering 

I remember that day so well. I was young, a college student, scraping by to live in my own apartment, making and selling stained glass, mosaics, and jewelry to pay the rent and pay my own way through college. I didn’t have a lot of money. I think I had about $300 to my name that day, and that’s what I had in my pocket. To me, that was a large amount of money. But I knew this opportunity was larger. This was the opportunity that I needed, so I had to be prepared in case I needed to spend a little bit. So I brought everything that I had.


Finishing up soldering 

I started digging through the dishes. I was amazed. There was every type of china piece you could imagine, in what seemed like any and every pattern. There was antique German porcelain, vintage American dime store dinnerware, antique English transferware, vintage English chintz china, pottery, fine bone china, porcelain, in all shapes, sizes, colors, and motifs.


Selecting coordinating beads

There was just so much that I could use, that I didn’t know what to do! With each plate that I picked up I envisioned the shape and style of the piece of jewelry that I could possibly make from it. So I just started stuffing empty Xerox boxes with everything I wanted, figuring if his price was too high at the end, I could always put some back. By the time I was finished, I think I had 12 Xerox cardboard boxes stuffed to the brim with dishes. He soon came out to see what I had chosen, casually glanced over at my pile of boxes and said $75 would do it. !!! :o

Selecting coordinating beads

I remember that drive home from his warehouse as clear as if it were just yesterday. It was like I had won the lottery on Christmas day. I made 12 trips up and down my three flights of stairs to my apartment, emptying the extremely heavy boxes of dishes out of my car. When the boxes were lined up all the way across my living room floor, I just stood there and looked at them, amazed.


Little did I imagine that I would still be using a great deal of those very same plates to make jewelry almost 20 years later. The teacup in the photos on this page was one of those damaged pieces of china that I carried home from that warehouse on that day. It doesn’t look like a teacup now, and I didn’t think to get a photo of it before it completely fell apart and before I shaped it into the rectangular-ish shape you see on this page, but when I saw it I thought it was one of the prettiest china patterns that I have ever seen—and I only had one like it—so I stashed away in a small, shoe box-sized box where I kept special pieces, figuring that one day I would turn those special broken pieces into very special pieces of jewelry.


And then today happened. I chose this piece, and I decided it was time for her to have a new life. She traveled with me all those years, through a 15 year marriage! Two kids! Moving twice… no, three times! She sat in a box in the corner, or under a table, for years as time went by, as I taught myself, as I perfected techniques and learned new skills, as I sold on eBay, then on Etsy, as I got a book deal to write a jewelry project book, and then a second, then a contract and a plane ticket to film workshop DVDs, and through calls for interviews from Crafts Report, Country Living and Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Magazines. Wow.



So here she is now. Look her beauty. But not just that, think about her life, imagine what she did, where she was, for years and years and years before she met me. Maybe you will meet her next.



What do you think? 


Have a great week!
 Laura

Article and images copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018 all rights reserved
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What could be prettier than a cottage style Christmas? Read on and be inspired! 



Reindeer?



Vintage ornament wreath




A welcoming front porch


Beautiful hanging pine cones - so easy to make - beautiful rolled in glitter



Snowman by simple joys paperie



Rose hem tree skirt



Cozy Christmas cottage




Vintage silver tray wreath




Simple beauty



Angel wings on chair backs!




Simple greens and stars say so much




Beautiful




Create a box of candles for a holiday glow




Pillows from Pottery Barn




Sweet sign by thirtyhandmadedays.com









Christmas wreath made from vintage tree ornaments





Imagine a child's delight...




When decorating vintage decor maintain the same vintage style with your holiday decorations





A welcome glow...bottle brush trees





Paper wings made from old book pages by simple joys paperie




Create a simple wreath with greens and glittered stars




Natural greens + white lights + snow = you can't go wrong





String vintage ornaments from ribbon for a unique window display




Find your wings!




Crystal clear glitter adds a magical shimmer to miniature houses



I hope you have a great week! 

Laura



My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns






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Christmas ornament wreaths are the perfect way to use those old, chipped ornaments and turn them into something new and beautiful!


Here's how to do it:

~First, attach a wire to your wreath base.  This will serve as the wreath's hanger.

~You can use any type of wreath base. Straw works well. (The first wreath shown in the photos below was built upon an existing old wreath)


~Next, use a low temp glue gun or E600 adhesive (better for glass ornaments) to attach ornaments to the wreath base. 

~Attach the largest ornaments first, then use the smallest ornaments to fill in the gaps. 

That's it! Check out the collection of wreaths below for inspiration!



Pretty vintage ornament wreath by Everyday Beauty



What pretty colors! Get the directions to make this wreath from Canadian Living here!




Christmas wreath made from vintage tree ornaments by Suzy at Georgia Peachez Wreaths




To me, old ornaments are treasures...no matter paint chips or imperfections...




I like the ribbon hanger on this pretty ornament wreath




Christmas wreath loaded with vintage jewelry and ornaments by Sweetlenasretro via Etsy




Pink, purple, and blue Christmas wreath by FineTouch via Etsy




The color combinations are endless...this one is from Livingartfuly





Not just for doors - this wreath looks great displayed on the wall





Heart shaped red ornament wreath by WruffledWren via Etsy




I like how this wreath includes the elf and glitter house




What a pretty display! from BHG





Cottage chic feather-like vintage ornament wreath by MakeMoxie via Etsy




Cheery Christmas wreath by judyblank via Etsy




Technicolor ornament wreath by Brightbazar




I love the look of this thin, silvery wreath





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What do you think?





Enjoy your day!
Laura







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