My name is Amber Bryce-owner, designer, and soul creator of Blue Scarab Jewelry. Jewelry, to me, is an extension of oneself-your personality, your being, your soul.
From a very young age I had an intense interest for art of all kinds. I always enjoyed creating-anything I could get my hands into I would put my own spin on it. As I grew older I found myself dabbling in many different artistic medias, from drawing and writing to clays and mosaics. But creating Jewelry has always been what I come back to, because I feel such a strong connection with each piece I make. So much of myself is poured into each piece, because my creations are spawned from such a deep inspiration. I find inspiration in the moldings of old buildings, victorian dresses, fabrics, textiles, and most importantly Mother Nature herself. Moods, textures and even music spawn my creativity, constantly etching designs and images in my mind.
When I create jewelry, I don’t like to limit myself to any one technique. My repertoire of skills as an artist is ever growing-I love learning new techniques, all the while mastering old ones. Craftsmanship is very important to me-I want my customers to feel good knowing that I take great pride in providing them with an heirloom quality piece of jewelry that they can wear and pass down for many years.
Handknit Hugs: My name is Heather and I am a stay-at-home mom with three young, beautiful, busy and incredibly silly children. Though I have always enjoyed many different types of crafting, I discovered knitting after my second child was born (my very inspiring little girl) and I never stopped. I love knitting for babies and young children. It is so much fun to experiment with different graphics and colour combinations. I enjoy taking classic designs and updating them with today’s style.
And if you’d rather make them yourself, she does sell the pattern.
Niffer of 19 Moons spends her mornings eating eggs, potatoes and toast with (veggie) bacon or chocolate chip laced pumpkin pancakes. She says, ‘You see, I really like to mix it up- that way I get the most flavor per bite of life!’ Her first pet was a dog named Ulysses: a nice mutt often dubbed ‘Useless’, but currently she has a zillion wild critters to watch in her yard in Pittsburgh, where she moved a year ago, from San Francisco. She wanted to be with her boyfriend. Ah, sweet love. You can buy directly from her Etsy store or from many stores around the US and abroad.
How did you get interested in making jewelry?
I’ve always been crafty and making things since I could walk and talk. My first jewelry inspiration came in childhood from the Native American tribes of the Southwest. Feathers, bones and beads in brightly colored patterns! I began jewelry with beading and using recycled nuts and bolts, evolving to more styles and materials over time. After years of exploration, I’ve come full circle and lately am making some Indian inspired works.
Where do you find the supplies?
Anywhere and everywhere! All my designs incorporate vintage and recycled things which I re-purpose into jewelry. I find things at Fleas, Thrifting, Antiques, online etc. New items like gold and silver chain I buy at bead supply shops and online.
Where do you get your ideas?
From the ethers! Well actually just here on Earth- there is so much in the realms of nature and man to inspire. Largely it’s the materials themselves with all the history they bring to the table.
How long does it take to make a piece? Can you describe the process?
The time required varies widely depending on the piece. But really, sometimes I feel like they make themselves. It happens like magic- I put two or more totally different things together and if they click, it’s a marriage! Sometimes I let ideas sit for a while and come back to them, a sort of fermentation process. Assembly techniques vary- I do a little of everything.
Do you have another job or is this how you make your income?
No other job for me- making things is my living!
Where is your workroom? Can you describe it for me?
My studio is a dedicated workroom in my house just for jewelry and crafting. Nothing extraordinary about it- though I have some plans for a workbench and loft. The nicest thing is that the window faces our huge Spruce trees which are riddled with little inspiring animals.
What is the difference between your different lines: PLASTINIA, ARCADIA, X-MACHINA and DIONE?
The majority of work I do these days is in my X-Machina line, jewelry that incorporates outdated recycled technology (i.e. watch parts, payphone keys etc.) The aesthetic of this line runs from Industrial to Steampunk. There is some crossover with my other lines. Dione has a space-age theme with Art Nouveau influence (think F.W. Murnau’s Metropolis). Arcadia (Paradise) is nature Victorian style- birds, gardens and the like. Plastinia is my colorful retro 60’s-80’s line featuring recycled plastics from that era, like Lite-Brites and lucite buttons.
What does Steampunk mean?
Steampunk is a subculture that is quickly gaining steam in the fashion world. I believe it evolved as an offshoot from the Neo-Victorian movement with a more mechanical focus- sort of an older industrial version of Cyberpunk. Basically technology of the future through the lens of the 1800’s, as seen in the literature of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and others.
Do you sell your items in any stores or exclusively on Etsy?
I mainly sell on Etsy but I also do shows and stores. My work is carried in several stores around the country in CA, PA, AZ, WA states, plus two abroad in England and Australia. There’s more info on these and my upcoming shows at my other website, 19moons.com.
What does the future hold for you?
That I cannot say- as long as I am still growing and learning with the creative process then it should be bright!
I imagine the supermarket sales of white eggs soars this time of year. Soar may be a strong word, but I can’t imagine the increase is insignificant in any way. I’ve known even those with their own backyard chicken flocks to lament the need for supporting the corporate, commercial egg giants around Easter. I’ve overheard regular local shoppers, small farm subscribers even, who routinely add a dozen supermarket eggs to their shopping ritual just before the spring holiday, in fact.
Why? Because you can’t dye brown eggs.
Our Grandmothers would be rolling over that last statement. Absolutely rolling with laughter.
Of course you can dye brown eggs. Not only can you, you can do so with all natural dyes. And the result is stunning. Simply stunning. But somewhere, at some time, in the past fifty years or so that fact has been lost on America’s masses. Somewhere, at some time, in the past fifty years or so we’ve been conditioned to believe only the brightest, whitest, factory washed eggs are suitable for the spring-time ritual of dying eggs. And because of it, we’ve been missing out.
So gather your local farm fresh eggs, brown shells and all, boil them up, stack them in a bowl in the center of the table and summons the children — and children at heart. You’re about to make the most beautiful Easter eggs you’ve ever seen.
All you need is a couple of small stock pots, a little water, a splash of vinegar and whatever dying materials you can muster up. Beets make a striking red dye, while blueberries and their juice make the most vibrant blue I’ve ever seen and turmeric — such as the organic ground you can buy on Etsy, pictured above — makes an amazing deep, golden rod yellow.
Tip: Remember, keep it simple. From just the three primary colors your dying options are endless. No need to make countless dyes. Get creative and layer colors instead.
But you needn’t stop there. Onion skins, wine, coffee and tea grounds, and so much more can make excellent dyes. Use your imagination and what you have on hand.
Once you’ve chosen the items you’ll use to make dye. Add each to a small stock pot all its own, one at a time. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Maintain at a boil until dye reaches your desired depth and vibrancy. Strain into a coffee cup and add a splash of vinegar to help the dye adhere to the egg shell.
The dye will be, literally, boiling hot so if children are helping it’s best to let it cool slightly before using. Otherwise, you’re ready to begin.
Tip: Be patient. Natural dyes take a little longer than store-bought kits. The longer you leave the egg in the dye bath, the more intense the final color will be.
Love love love this sweet yet pointedly hilarious business card wallet. I have it in a slightly different style. It makes me laugh and is well made. By Jenn Maruska Design.