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Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)
My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is CJ Armstrong!
CJ Armstrong (ceejay48, #665) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning the Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Levels of the Jewelry Making Merit Badge!
“BEGINNER: I’ve been making jewelry for about 10 years and have accumulated all manner of tools and supplies. I have quite a selection of beads, which include plastic, glass, wooden, metal, clay, ceramic, stone (semi-precious), etc. in every size and shape. I also have tiger tail, nylon, elastic, waxed cording, chains, memory wire and all kinds of pin backs, ear wires, jump rings, split rings, a variety of clasps, etc. Some of my favorite things to work with also include charms, ribbons, and even buttons.
I have already established that Celtic design jewelry is my favorite, but I also like simple designs using semi-precious stones. I used to have a lot of costume jewelry that I wore for work, but since retiring, I hardly wear any of that and gave most of it away. I had some pieces that were turquoise, made by Navajo silversmiths; most of that I gave to family members, except for a few favorite pieces. I do not try to replicate these pieces because I’m not native. But I still have all my Celtic-style jewelry, which I plan to keep and still wear and I’ve made some of my own Celtic-style pieces.
INTERMEDIATE: I am a self-taught jewelry maker, but learned quite a bit from my husband, who is a silversmith himself and has made a lot of jewelry as well. With what I learned from him, some printed material, and trial and error on my part, I became quite skilled at it and have made dozens of pieces in all kinds of styles and combinations of beads, wire, etc.
I like to buy a lot of my supplies from Fire Mountain Gems and have been able to learn a lot from the info they provide. I have made more than the required beaded and spiral-wired piece of jewelry
EXPERT: I have made bracelets, necklaces, earrings, cell-phone charms, keychains, zipper pulls, lanyards, pins/brooches, and stick pins, and have used beading/wire/charms to embellish papercraft projects such as cards, journals, and tags.
I have sold many pieces through the local farmers’ market and a variety of craft shows/bazaars. I have made custom orders for folks wanting a particular style or color and I have made many pieces for gifts, usually either a matching necklace and earrings or bracelet and earrings. The cards, journals, and tags were also sold through these venues. I have made matching sets for my daughter and we have matching breast-cancer awareness bracelets (more than one) and lanyards. The rings I have made were using elastic cording and beads.
The necklace and bracelet in the photo are a Celtic design set that I made for myself. The necklace uses waxed cord and a section of memory wire with the beads and charms. I have had a lot of fun making jewelry and it’s been nice to sell some pieces—that certainly is a compliment to me. Perhaps there is more of that in the future!!”
Congratulations CJ. I always enjoy your posts and comments on Raising Jane . Now you have shared some more of your interesting life and how artistic you are. I have done beaded jewelry all my life but I’m not that good at it , more like the hippy,dippy trippy stuff in my earlier days. I am very impressed with all that you have done and to sell your pieces shows you how good you really are!
Thank you Lisa! What a compliment! I’ve had to make a LOT of changes in my lifestyle due to health challenges and, just this week, had to make the decision to let go of jewelry making! Fortunately, I was able to pass all my supplies on to a farmgirl sister. Hope she has as much fun as I did.
I wish you well with your health challenges changing your lifestyle. I understand. I too am going through that and have had to cut way back on the physical work I will be doing for my seed business.
Glad you were able to “pass it forward” to another Farmgirl sister, so thoughtful.
Congratulations CJ! You made some beautiful jewelry and it sounds like you had a lot of fun too. It is always a plus to be able to sell some of your wares to share the wealth and recoup some of your investment. I am glad you have been having so much fun!
Lovely jewelry CJ.