Almost the end of the year for KL Jewelry Design

With the end of the shopping season coming to an end this Saturday at Papillion LaVista South High School Fall Arts and Crafts Show, I have to admit it has been an up and down year, mostly down in sales.  I had a few really good shows and festivals but mostly I crossed them off the list to skip for a few years.  There are just so many crafters out there making jewelry.  I honestly think that people think it is a piece of cake and any monkey can do it.

I have to agree with some of the things I’ve seen.  If you can buy or take notes from a magazine on jewelry making you go to the hobby store and pick up the exact same items and put them together in the exact same way then you copied a piece of jewelry, but what most of us do is use the magazines as an inspiration for a new design. 

Here’s how I work: I browse the jewelry and art jewelry magazines and books looking mostly for the latest trends in jewelry in order to keep up with the fashion desires of my customers.  Then I look at the different ways things are put together but again I am mostly looking for a new technique to use in making jewelry.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw a design that I loved so much that I made it exactly the same way with the same type of materials.  All of my pieces that I offer for sale or that I keep for myself are my own original designs and combinations.

Retro Fun Set

Retro Fun Set

What I find the most rewarding is when I combine materials and colors that you just don’t think of putting together.  For instance, I have a piece named Retro Fun.  It is a necklace and bracelet set but what is unique about it is that I put lime green and AB (aurora borealis) finished teal colored seed beads with some lampwork beads that are simply blue and green with a little black detailing.  You probably wouldn’t think to put lime green and teal together but they work and look fantastic with the simple lampwork beads. This set is available for just $25.

Another way I work is when I’m out shopping at bead shops.  I normally don’t have a specific type of bead I’m looking for I’m just shopping for what catches my eye.  Sometimes when I see a strand of beads I know exactly what to make with them.  I say they are talking to me and yes I do spend time standing in front of the beads “petting” them waiting for them to tell me what they want to be.  That might sound strange but for those of us that create things this is pretty common that what we are using we say is speaking to us.  Maybe that’s why people think artists are crazy or insane, you decide. 
Anyway, when I was shopping in Kansas City a couple of months ago I found a strand of stick pearls.  I had never seen them before and had never seen any designs made with them but these were a beautiful peacock color and I picked them up right away, and they were the last strand.  My daughter was with me and said “What are you going to do with those?” and I just said these are a collar laying

Freshwater Stick Pearls

around your neck.  I have to find some little pearls that match to finish out the back of it.  I made that necklace and earrings set and the next day at a festival they were gone.  Since then I see hundreds of others making the same design selling them online but yesterday I just sold the 3rd set of stick pearls I have made.  This time it sold to a woman who when I started to explain to her they were real pearls she told me she knows.  She purchased a necklace exactly like the one I was selling for $300, mine sells for $55 and even though she already had that same design she bought it anyway.  I will be making my last set of stick pearls this week.  These are a beautiful cream color and the earrings will be slightly different but still dangling like the ones in the photo. 

But other times I purchase the beads with absolutely no idea what to make with them.  It could be I bought them because I love that stone, I liked the color, or maybe I had made something else with that material that was very popular like this rainforest jasper set.   These beads I purchased from a fellow artist that ran into trouble and was in the process of liquidating all of her supplies and they were such a good deal and I loved the colors in the stone I had to get them.  They sat in one of my drawers for a few months with me taking

Rainforest Jasper Set

them out and looking at them with no ideas coming to mind until I found the same stone in round beads.  Then inspiration hit and I made a necklace out of the larger Russian cross beads separated by the round beads but this left me with more of the Russian cross beads leftover to put back in a drawer.  When this set sold within a couple of shows, and the summer was ending I knew women would be looking for these colors so the next time I put this set together instead of  round rainforest jasper beads I chose a rather odd color of green freshwater pearls.  These freshwater pearls blend right in with the colors of the rainforest jasper beads and is for sale for just $35.

I have a story for everything I make.  I try to entertain my customers and educate them about the piece of jewelry they are purchasing with what the stone is, where is comes from, and sometimes I know what that stone is supposed to help you with like love or money or protection.  For the most part I find people are interested in knowing about the stones and appreciate learning about the jewelry.  Visit my shop at KL Jewelry Design at or  KL Jewelry Design at
Now it’s time to get to work.  Hope you have enjoyed learning how I work and shop to your heart’s content. 

KL Jewelry Design’s Jewel School Contest Entry

Please visit JTV  to vote on my entry in the Jewel School Contest.  This is a photo of the piece I entered.  Thanks.


Musings from Kris

Learn how to make this necklace for free!

 Fields of Green Necklace

 Click on this link if you need a pdf reader.

Check out my Facebook page to see photos of the latest designs. Soon the new pieces will be at so please do heart me in Etsy and friend me on Facebook

Women Supporting Women in Business

Welcome to Women Supporting Women in Business!

In an effort to encourage growth and participation in this group I’ve made a few changes that I’d like to update everyone on. Please read on:

1. We are changing our name to: Women Supporting Women In Business. We are no longer limiting membership to the Nebraska/Iowa area but opening it up to Women in Business throughout the US. I know we have a few ladies already on here – and we welcome you! Please feel free to participate and add events & activities that you participate in. We’d love to see you be successful and hopefully you will find some new clients too.

2. Tina Peterson said, “I have asked Kris Penney of KL Jewelry Design to join me in moderating this site. She and I have come up with a few guidelines that will be required of everyone. These guidelines are now in place to help with advertising our group, encouraging participation and hopefully improve our site.”

So, here we go:

A. Email/blog/facebook: Everyone is required to have something similar to:

A member of Women Supporting Women in Business, where women support and encourage each other in business. For networking and the opportunity to find events to showcase and demonstrate your business, go to:

To add your ‘signature’ to your email in gmail or yahoo – do the following:

Gmail: Go to Settings (top right corner), click, scroll down to signature and put your contact information in the text box. Here is what mine says:

Kris Penney
KL Jewelry Design
Order online: .
Blog: or
A member of Women Supporting Women in Business, where women support and encourage each other in business. For networking and the opportunity to find events to showcase and demonstrate your business, go to:
Yahoo: Open your email account, click on Options (a drop down menu opens), click on Email Options, click on ‘signature’ in left hand corner, add or change your signature. When finished click on ‘save changes’, and you’re done!

B: All members should post something about WSW on Twitter and Facebook a minimum of once a week. I will admit, I have not been real good about doing this. And I am starting now. Remember Twitter only allows 140 characters. Our goal is to help each grow and expand our businesses. I will be posting a group site and we can follow each other’s face book and/or twitter site. (Note: No example – I used the same signature for both accounts)

C. Please feel free to use the blog function, list your blog, website, face book and twitter addresses on your page. Ideally I’d like to see people using the blog function for sure. Please let Kris or I know if you need help with this.

D. Please create a photo album of your business. I’m planning on figuring out how to have those in a visible place for each business. Each person should have at least 1 photo album on the site. If you don’t know how to create a photo album or load a picture from your website or from your camera – let us know and I’m sure we can figure it out. Personally, I highlight the picture I want to download to my computer, right click on it and save picture as and go from there to save it. Then all you need to do is upload it to your album. Easy Peesy.

E. Member photo. Each member needs to upload a picture of themselves or their product (I don’t own a camera so I understand if you need to use your product in place of a picture of you). Please don’t leave a grayed out picture – it’s awfully hard to know who that is a picture of without something downloaded in place! No more gray people allowed! Need help? Just ask.

We would really like to see more growth and participation on this site. If you have any great ideas or would like to start up a group – please feel free to or send us a message and we can do some brainstorming.

Thanks! Tina & Kris

Tina’s email:
Kris’s email:

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