Friday, September 26, 2014

What's New from Purple Fish Studio: New Denim & Lace Designs

The designs I have been working on recently are a blend of upcycled and recycled, vintage and contemporary.  They have the look of lace but are beautifully detailed filigree painted in a soft cream with subtle hints of worn metal and layers of color and texture.  The pieces have an almost floral look to them  - they are artful and beautiful with just a touch of sparkle.

The three necklaces below are designed as bib style with layers of color, filigree, texture and metals.  I have riveted the layers to distressed recycled denim giving them a vintage/boho look.  I added a simple antiqued brass hook as a closure.  I chose not to add a ring, but to let the hook connect to the chain instead.     

This necklace is designed with layers of brass medallions, filigree, and embellishments.  There are two faceted metallic blue Czech beads wrapped in filigree that connect the piece to the chain.   I painted the brass medallions cream and then layered a natural state, warm coppery colored star piece.  I think the coppery look brings out the patina in the next layer vintage filigree piece.  I added a few rivetables accented with Swarovski crystals. 

I am not certain I am finished with this piece, as I think the flower embellishments need something and I have not quite determined what it is.   

This necklace is designed with layers of filigree and an unusual vintage Czech pearl focal.  There are two faceted vintage Swarovski crystal beads connecting the piece and the chain.  I painted the bottom filigree a cream color, then added filigree rounds with a rich patina.  Next, a raw brass petaled filigree piece and finished it off with the vintage pearl focal.  I added rivetables with Swarovski crystals accents.   

This necklace is designed with layers of filigree and Swarovski crystal focals.  I painted the first layer cream, then added gold painted filigree and petaled filigree with patina.  The Swarovski rivolis are nested in the filigree petals.  I added rivetables accented with Swarovski crystals.  This piece has a simple ring connection to the chain. 

I will be posting these at sometime next week, however, if you are interested in purchasing them or having me design something similar, just drop me a note.

I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful!

Talk to you soon,


PS - The flowers in the background are a birthday present from my daughter and I thought they added a beautiful simple splash of color to the pictures.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!   

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Two More Fun Pair of Earrings in Copper

I just finished with these two pair of earrings so I thought I would post them before I close up shop.

The feather pair have Swarovski Antique Pink AB ovals set in ornate floral copper settings with Nunn Design feather drops.  I think the mix of floral and feather give them a Victorian look. 

The Oval drop pair have Swarovski crystal pearls with hammered cone caps linked to hammered ovals, and then I added ornate TierraCast links for contrast.  I like the blue of the crystal against the copper.

What do you think of the old rusty bed frame as a prop/display?

I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful!

Talk to you soon,


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Earrings for the Mid-Week from Purple Fish Studio

These earrings are designed with Art Nouveau and Victorian floral, blended with Swarovski Antique Gold pearls, Swarovski flatbacks, and vintage West Germany glass cabochons.  

This pair of earrings are designed with beautifully detailed filigree and the new Swarovski Gold Patina rivolis, Swarovski Antique Gold pearls and Swarovski flatbacks.

This pair of earrings are designed around re-purposed vintage/antique Czech stampings.  I added Swarovski crystals and vintage Japan glass pearl drops.  The ear wires are Nunn Designs.

Last, but not least are a pair of beautiful drop earrings.  The rhinestone settings are vintage Swarovski that I riveted to beautifully detailed contemporary filigree.  The turquoise cabochons are vintage West Germany glass.  

I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful!

Talk to you soon,


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mixed Metals, Vintage and Contemporary Pieces

How does a designer decide when to use mixed metals or when to mix and match vintage pieces with contemporary?  I am not certain there is an easy answer for that.  I only know how to do it by looking at the piece and knowing that it goes together.  I think it helps if the added pieces are balanced with equal amounts of mixed metals and/or equal vintage and contemporary components.  I also think it is easier if the design patterns are similarly related.

The two pair of earrings below are mixed metals as well as a combination of vintage and contemporary. 

In the first pair, I used a vintage style silver drop (contemporary).  To the drops I riveted vintage goldtone Swarovski settings with vintage Swarovski Topaz rhinestones.  The drops have a triangular shape to them which are similarly related to the focal. 

The next pair are designed with vintage/antique Czech filigree with a blue rhinestone center.  I added tiny antiqued silver chain with a contemporary blue glass bead.  At the bottom I added a Nunn Design star drop.  The chain and the star have a similar pattern and the blue glass bead draws from the vintage/antique blue center of the filigree.

The next picture has four pair of earrings that I put together - something fun for summer!  They have a bit of all my favorites.  The bee charms are from Nunn Designs.  The daisy charms and beads are Vintaj blended with Swarovski crystal pearls.  The sparrow charms are Tierra Cast with Czech glass and the Garnet red glass is also Czech.  Each are designed with mixed metals and contemporary components.  

I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful!

Talk to you soon,


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dreamtime Creations and the Grand Swarovski Competition

I cannot wait any longer!  LOL 

I have been holding off posting my competition piece until the finalist or winners had been selected, but I am so excited for you to see this piece, I cannot wait any longer.  If any of you have not been to the Dreamtime Creations website, you must go.  Their selection of Swarovski crystals is amazing.  They also have settings that have long prongs on the backs of them so they can easily be attached to a leather bracelet, or a purse, etc.; I have not found them anyplace else but there.

In June 2014 they were hosting a Swarovski Crystal competition where you simply took a picture of your design and submit it to their Facebook page for a chance to win an awesome life-changing prize - and you could bring a friend!

I designed a vintage inspired bracelet for the competition - but now I am waiting on pins and needles to see if I won.  There were over 500 entries!  Can you imaging that?  You can go to their Facebook page to see all the entries - and if you happen to see mine, be sure to like it.... 

I designed the bracelet in the spirit of vintage Swarovski, inspired by a time of glitz and glamour, of elegance and sophistication.  I wanted my piece to have the look of "old-time" Swarovski.  Looking back on my piece, I think I would have changed the clasp on it - but it is too late now - and perhaps I will change it out at a later date.  I used vintage Swarovski cabs 2190/4 in Bermuda Blue, set in vintage brass ovals that I riveted to vintage brass filigree.  I then surrounded the cab in Swarovski crystal cup chain and wrapped the focal in a leaf spray and added a bee.  In between I used large vintage Swarovski crystals wrapped in filigree bead caps.  The chain is made by linking jump rings together, and I finished it off by adding a smaller version vintage Swarovski crystal. 

"Two Bees are Better Than One"
The pair of earrings below was my backup plan.  They are designed with Swarovski checkerboard cabs in vintage Swarovski settings which I then riveted to vintage filigree drops. 

AND now the anxious waiting.  I have nearly gone crazy checking my e-mail and Facebook to see if I have been notified of winning!  I hope I do not have a nervous breakdown before then...LOL....

......... I cannot imagine reviewing over 500 submissions; the judges have quite the task at hand. 

Be sure to stop by their Facebook page at

I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful!

Talk to you soon.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Designing with the new 2014 Spring Collection from Nunn Designs

Earlier in July I was fortunate enough to win the Nunn Design 2014 Spring Collection from Beadaholique's blog "Strung Out".  The collection is awesome and full of beautiful pieces.  Since that time, I have been busy putting together a few designs. 

In these designs I used mixed metals, as well as, vintage and contemporary elements, with the exception of the earrings.

The bracelet is designed with the owl and feather focals.  I added vintage West Germany Ruby and Gray glass pieces, vintage Swarovski crystals, along with contemporary rosary bead strands.  I then made the hook and clasp by hammering and painting recycled aluminum wire.

The necklace clasp is designed using the twig ring and shaping the oak leaf to make the hook.  I really like the look of the pieces together and the use of the mixed metals.  I added a mix of vintage glass beads and vintage Swarovski crystals to draw your eye to the focal.  I riveted the butterfly to the feather and added a Swarovski flatback to the top of the rivet, which complimented the beads and added just the right amount of sparkle.

I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful!

Talk to you soon.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

What's New at Purple Fish Studio

I cannot believe how fast this summer has gone.  Here it is August tomorrow, the local county fairs have come and gone, my garden is producing vegetables, and I do not feel like I have gotten anything accomplished - perhaps because I have had my head buried in my studio.....

I have been designing a lot more with mixed media lately; using leather, mixed metals and vintage and contemporary.   I have quite a few new pieces to show off with this posting, I hope you are inspired.  Looking through my design books and paging through the months on my Swarovski calender I have come across some really great inspirational pieces which motivated me to look back at some of my older work.  I decided I would incorporate some of those ideas, with a few changes, into my new pieces.  It's funny how easily I forget about my older work - always pushing forward.....

I have also been working on what I call catalog pages for my designs.  I think I am going to make them into postcards to hand out or, I might also design another online catalog like the ones to the right of my home page......or, maybe I will just do both....  :-)

Of Note:  In the pictures below, the bracelet to the right, with the upcycled vintage brooch, shows two colors of purple.   The true color of the purple glass is in the top picture.  I think a shadow makes the elongated bracelet look much darker than it is.    

I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful.

Talk to you soon!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Won A Great Stash from Beadaholique's "Strung Out"!

Last week Beadaholique had another one of their great giveaways on their blog Strungout at  There they were offering a chance to win a stash of Nunn Design's new 2014 Spring Collection.  Who wouldn't jump at a chance to win that?

After I commented, I immediately went into daydream mode sketching out designs using all the beautiful pieces in the collection.  I really had my fingers crossed........

Needless to say crossing my fingers - okay, so that really had nothing to do with winning, but at the time it made me feel like it would.

The Collection arrived in the mail today.  Wow! The pieces are absolutely beautiful!

When I commented for the giveaway, I thought perhaps the round rustic charms would be my favorite, and yes I would still choose them; however, seeing the collection and having the pieces to look at causes me to say I may have to reconcider!  Even as I look at them now, while writing this, I think it is difficult to pick a favorite.

Along with the beauty of the designs, in any of the Nunn Design Collections, the quality is top of the line and some of the best I have worked with.  The pieces can stand alone as a focal, you can mix and match them in a collage piece, or add them to one of your own designs.  Any way you decide to use them they add a bit of elegance.

I would also like to state that is one of my favorite places to buy supplies, their prices are great and they have a nice variety of quality brands to choose from.  Plus, their blog always has fresh new ideas and is a great resource.

Thank you Beadaholique Design Team!

I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful!

Talk to you soon,


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Design Reveal for "Pearls, Pearls, Pearls Blog Hop"

Pearls, the tiny treasures from the sea.  I love pearls, no one is exactly alike and there is something nostalgic about them - delicately strung on a silk strand, elegantly draped around your neck.   It is hard to believe that something so beautiful is made up of a crystalline form of calcium carbonate.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to participate in the "Pearls, Pearls, Pearls Blog Hop" hosted by the gracious and divinely talented Shel of  Our task for the event was to design something/anything using pearls.  You could use any kind of pearl, including but not limited to natural pearls.  The big reveal for those participating is June 29th (Sunday).

I find inspiration in vintage jewelry from the era of my grandmother.  The designs are elegant and sophisticated, possessing a sparkle that captivates even the least of admirers.

My design has a vintage look to it.  I incorporated both new and vintage materials, as well as, mixed metals of antiqued brass and silver.  I then added just a pop of color with a bright vintage Swarovski rhinestone.

The glass pearl cabochons have a baroque texture to the top.  They are set in a crown edge setting that has been riveted to a filigree panel.  I then riveted a leaf spray to the panel and added the rhinestone.  Each panel is linked together with a messy wrapped Swarovski crystal pearl.

I am excited to see what everyone else has designed.........Be sure to check out the other pearl designs at and there you will find the links to the other blogs/designers participating in this great event
I hope you are inspired to make something beautiful!

Talk to you soon,


Friday, May 9, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party May 10, 2014 Reveal! - Hurray It's Finally Here!

 The Bead Soup Blog Party is hosted by Lori Anderson of  It's an event where people from all over the world gather on her blog site, exchange beads with someone they have never met, and then create something beautiful with them.  This is my first year being a part of such an exciting event.  Being new, I was a little apprehensive and uncertain of what to expect.  I had waited a whole year to join, having discovered The Bead Soup Blog Party just a few days after it had begun last year.

Soon after joining, I realized that it was all about community, challenges, growth, and meeting new friends.  It was also about the experience of taking the unfamiliar beads you are sent, embracing the challenges that are ahead, and then designing something beautiful.   I also discovered that it was not so much about the bead soup mix that was sent to me, but about facing my own insecurities.   Do I have the talent to design something beautiful with unfamiliar beads and beads chosen for me by a complete stranger, blogging about it, and then letting the whole world see what I have designed? 

My journey through this event has been very rewarding.  The bead soup mix Jean sent to me was a beautiful blend of warm and cool colors in rich blues, purples, pinks, and greens - a mix that was full of artisan beads, beads that I would not normally buy for myself.  Each bead had been beautifully crafted and I felt the pressure of designing something worthy of the beads, which at times was a little overwhelming.  I sat and looked at the beads for a few days before the designs started coming.  Once I decided on something I was able to finish within a few weeks.  Thank you Jean for all of your support and for sending me a beautiful Bead Soup Mix!      

Meet my Bead Soup Blog Party Partner:

I was teamed up with Jean Baldridge-Yates.  She is the author of  - Links: Inspired Bead & Wire Jewelry Creations (which can be purchased on Amazon!) and she is also the designer and creator of the blog which is a wonderful array of heartfelt writings and an eclectic mix of photos and blended social interaction. Needless to say, her work and designs are beautiful!  She has been a wonderful friend and has helped me with the ins and outs of the Bead Soup Blog Party.  Over the last few months Jean and I have talked every week and I have discovered what a wonderful and courageous woman she is and I am glad to call her my friend. 

Jean sent me a beautiful soup mix of artisan beads, glass, semi-precious gemstones, crystals, and findings.  With these pieces, I added a few of my own and designed a bracelet, a necklace, and matching earrings.  I decided to split the focal and the clasp.  The blue glass and silver clasp went to the bracelet and the lampwork focal bead went to the necklace, and then I used a mix of the other beads and findings in both pieces. 

One of the things I enjoyed most was the anticipation and arrival of the Bead Soup mix.  I had no idea what to expect and was very excited when I opened the box.  Each package of beads were beautifully wrapped - it was like Christmas!  Some of the beads she sent I had worked with before, however, I was a little out of my comfort zone in knowing how to design something from a selection someone else had chosen for me; I felt my biggest challenge was going to be the beautiful floral lampwork bead focal by Kim Miles.  (As you can see, I have not added ear wires to the earrings yet, I hope you will forgive me :-)  I am not certain what style I want to use and I am undecided between a lever-back or a simple fish hook style - but then again, maybe a post??)

Both pieces remind me of a bright summer day in the garden with the rich mauve, purple, lapis, and green colors.  The oval/leaf connector on the bracelet reads “Love Life” and it could not be more fitting. 

The bracelet has been designed with beautifully crafted designer beads by the following artists:  The large silver ceramic leaf is from my own Purple Fish Studio; the three little pewter flowers and the tiny pewter bird is by D’Arsie Manzella of Mamacita Beadworks; the tiny silver leaf is by Nina Designs, the blue glass and silver clasp is by Emma Ralph; and the “Love Life” connector is by Green Girl Studio.  I used the simple classic bracelet design.  Your eye is drawn to the brilliant Sapphire blue of the claps, to the words on the leaf "Love Life", following down through the charms, picking up the Lapis blue towards the center and then up to the single leaf. 

The necklace is "opera length" and is designed with two different kinds/styles of leather, Lapis and Amethyst beads, a floral/dragonfly pewter ring & toggle clasp by Mamacita Beadworks, and the glass donut/disks and the beautiful floral plunged lampwork focal bead, both designed by Kim Miles.  I also went with a simple design for the necklace, using an opera length of about 36".  I then created a scalloped edge by wire wrapping leather cord down through the focal area of the necklace.  I also wire wrapped little crystal pearls to the leather cord giving it a bit of texture.  I strung the glass donut/disks loosely onto the leather cord and created a drop with the Lapis and Amethyst beads.  The colors leading up to the focal really enhance the beautiful floral detail of the focal.    

Please be sure to visit You can also read more blogs and follow this event by clicking on the link below.  I hope you are inspired by the great works and interesting Bead Soup Mixes.

8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party

If you are interested in more of my work, I have it listed at  

I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful!




Friday, April 25, 2014

Art Bead Scene April Challenge - Swaying Dancer by Edgar Degas

Swaying Dancers (Dancer in Green) 1877-79, by Edward Degas.  The colors in this painting have such a serious tone to them and the dancers are airy and graceful.  The Tulle of the skirting in the lower corner comes off the page, inviting you in as though you are one of the dancers.   

When I first saw this painting posted as the April Challenge on Art Bead Scene I thought of Tanya McGuire's Lampwork Poppies.  Both have elegant graceful movement to them.   I thought the skirts looked so much like her Poppies. 

I chose the Lampwork beads with amber color and the mint green spots, added silver swirls which added another layer of movement, as do the deep gray vintage drop pearls.  

Below is a picture of the beautiful Lampwork by Tanya McGuire and what they looked like before I designed the earrings.  (The picture will link you to her Etsy page.)
I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful.

Talk to you soon ~  Jen

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bead Soup Party Sneak Peak........just a tiny one

As many of you know I can become a bit overly focused when it comes to designing jewelry....and a tiny bit obsessed.   Over the weekend I have been working on my designs and have them nearly finished.  However it is both a good and bad thing that the BSBP reveal isn't until May 3rd (I think I read that someplace).  The good thing is that I have time to change my mind and redo my piece a hundred times before the reveal.  The bad thing is that I am like a child at Christmas wanting to open, in this case reveal, my design before it's time.  The other thing is that I am afraid I will forget what day it is and miss the blog party reveal...."panic!"

I am going to share with you snipits of my BSBP designs.  So far I have made four pieces out of the lovely mix Jean sent and a few of my own.  below are little windows of the beads I have put together.  I will not tell you which piece they came from..


I hope you sre inspired to design soething beautiful

Talk to you soon,


Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Beads Have Arrived and They are AWESOME!

Yesterday, I received my bead soup mix and I LOVE IT! - I can't stop looking at them.....  They are some of the most beautiful beads I have ever seen.  The beads Jean selected for me are elegant and sophisticated, especially the focal made by Kim Miles.  The layers and details of the purple flowers are stunning.  The beads are the kind you put on your wish list and daydream about.  They remind me of a beautiful summer day.    Thank you Jean, your eye for beauty is impeccable.   

I started working on sketches and layouts of what I want to create.  So far, I have put together one of the beads and I will show you the before and after.   This bead has beautiful ridges of plum and lavender wrapped around a translucent center of soft summer blue and green.  I have added two sterling silver bead spacers to each end.   

I will post more before and after of the beads as I begin working on them.  

Thanks again Jean!

I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful.

Talk to you soon,


Friday, March 7, 2014

8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party - My Partner!

Yesterday we received the names of our Bead Soup Blog Party partners.  I cannot believe how fortunate I am to be paired up with the fabulous famous Jean Yates.  She is so together, she e-mailed me before I even knew the partner list had been posted.  She is energetic and has a contageous online personality that makes me smile.  I hope I can keep up with her. :-). She has a great sense of design and I am really looking forward to working with her and developing a friendship.

Besides creating beautiful works of jewlry art, she is also an accomplished author having written for Bead Style AND written a book named Links which can be purchased on Amazon!  Amazon gives you a sneak peak inside the book and Jean's pieces are gorgeous.  Jean has an Etsy site called theoriginaljeanyates.  I have to admit I am a little intimidated by her experience, knowledge, and her beautiful jewelry.

I look forward to sharing our adventure with you.  I would also like to thank Lori Anderson of and all of her hard work and dedication to this event.  She is awesome.

 I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful.

Talk to you later,


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Designing with Hopes of Spring

This cold weather has really taken a toll on my cheery  So, I have been focusing on designing around thoughts of spring and warmer weather....happier days!

Recently I had the opportunity to go antiquing.  I love wandering through the antique shops looking at the old tintype pictures, oil paintings, and glassware.  Of course, the vintage/antique jewelry is always the best part!  This time I was in search of brooches or unusual pieces that I could use as a focal in a necklace.  I do not normally alter vintage as I am a purist in that sense.  However, I am making an attempt to light up a little on that ideology. 

While in one of the antique shops I noticed a small glass case and in it were some beautifully detailed ribbon slides from the late 1800s.  I bought a few of them - but I am not 100% sure what I am going to design with them.  I thought perhaps a bracelet, but I am a little concerned they are too delicate for a bracelet focal.  I am leaning towards an assemblage Opera length necklace.   Of all of my finds that day, these are my favorite.  


While venturing through the other antique shops I ran across a few more great finds.  One of several pieces I found was a brooch that had a sort of winged animal look to it (sounds kind of however, I thought it had potential and it came with a glass baroque pearl glued in the center, which drew me to the piece in the first place.

In the necklace I designed with the winged animal brooch, I turned the brooch up-side-down, now it resembles an owl, or at least I think it does, and worked from there.  The brooch was made of pot metal and was fading in color so I painted it and added some silver highlights.  I then made a pearl chain in different types and sizes relating to the center pearl of the focal, added a few faceted glass beads as well, and enough chain to make it Opera length.  The bottom drop is made up of a beautiful flower attached to a filigree drop.  The center of the flower is a vintage West German starburst crystal.  I think this piece is really fun. 

I have also been working with some recycled leather pieces I have.  I cut the leather scraps to the sizes I wanted for the bracelets and then added a mix of vintage and new embellishments and rivets.  I particularly love the double wrap stackable ones. 

All of the pieces are at

Talk to you soon,


Friday, February 21, 2014

Setting My Sights on Spring

Well, we have survived another wintery blast.  Who expects such a thing in winter?   Newscasters warned of a horrific snow and ice mix with expectations of 10-12" of snow.  Fortunately, we did not meet expectations. 

With subzero temperatures on the horizon once again, I have decided to focus on Spring and the emergence of my spring flowers.  Daydreaming of warm summer days, flowers in bloom, and butterflies. 

There are also many events coming up, such as Bead Soup, which I applied to participate in and heard back a few days ago that I was accepted.  I am very excited about it. wrote about some upcoming bead submissions too.  A lot to look forward to. 

I have made a couple new necklaces with a spring/summer theme.  I hope you are inspired to create something great!

Talk to you soon,


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Finding Confidence In Your Work

On occasion I run across people who are not fans of my jewelry designs.   I am never really certain how I should react to people who speak without care.  Some days it really bothers me, especially when sales are slow, most days I take it with a grain of salt.  I love designing jewelry and how I see the world of art and mixing the two to create a unique piece.

Last week I was helping a lady pick out a bracelet.  She commented to her friend how much she loved the bracelet she was looking at.  She tried it on and gazed at it longingly.  Her friend wrinkled up her nose and stated "ya, if you like that kind of fringe stuff - kind of out there jewelry".  She put the bracelet down and they left.  I was a little taken back.  In one of my many thoughts I wanted to tell her - "wait,  you don't understand it's not "fringe" jewelry's..". and then I stopped, not wanting to make a fool of myself or seem desperate for a sale, but mostly because I didn't know what to say.  How do I describe the kind of jewelry I design?

I have decided that over the next few days I'm going to think of several words, phrases, and feelings that describe my designs. I think conveying the idea behind my designs will help me in those situations - if for no other reason than to build confidence in what I am creating.  I think it is one thing to know for what  - and why you are designing your pieces and another thing to be able to express it in written form.  I have also decided to revisit my artist statement.

I think as a designer creator its important to focus on the positive and never take to heart those who say negative things about your designs.

I am enclosing a few new earring designs - I hope you are inspired to create something beautiful!

Talk to you soon,