Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wordless Blog Post #2

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Repurposed Vintage Crystal Earrings

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These lovely vintage crystal earrings have vintage aurora borealis coated crystals and screw back earwires.

Most people have pierced ears, so I wanted to convert them so they could be worn and get out of a jewelry box.

There is actually a small bead in the top of the screwback, so I opened it up and took out the bead.  Having done that, I ended up with three crystals in three sizes, and a glass spacer bead shown on the right.

Next, I took the three beads and paired them with a crystal post, to simply show off the beauty of the vintage crystals.  Here's how they turned out.

I've always loved the aurora borealis coating on the glass crystals, which can change colors depending on the way the light hits them.  As you can see from the photo below, the earring on the left is sparkling  yellows and oranges, while the one on the right is sparkling blues and purples.

These earrings are one of a kind and can be purchased in my CatjuHandmadeJewelry Etsy shop.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Can You Help A Fellow Jewelry Artist?

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I recently received an inquiry about donating a set of jewelry making tools that I had in my destash VRJewelrySupply Etsy shop to a non-profit organization.  The inquiry was from Lirio, who is going on a missionary trip to Colombia this summer to conduct jewelry making workshops for girls who have been afflicted by the injustices of sex trafficking.

I decided to donate the monies for Lirio to purchase two sets of jewelry making tools, and contacted her about her Etsy shop and asked for more information about her organization. 
Introducing Lirio
Lirio has been selling her jewelry on Etsy since 2010 in her shop called Simpliscity.  She got started when she was preparing for her first missionary trip to Cambodia and needed to raise money for the trip.  Fundraising was new to her, so she began to craft and make simple bracelets, which people were buying.  Next she asked a friend who owns a spa if she could display her jewelry to raise money. The owner said yes, and when she returned to the US after the trip, the owner asked if she would continue to provide items to sell in the spa. She also introduced Lirio to Etsy, and encouraged her to grow her jewelry making skills.

Making jewelry is now Lirio’s full-time job, along with being a mother and wife and as she tells me, “a servant of the LORD.” She enjoys the whole process of seeing a vision in her mind and then actually creating it out of metal.  She says Etsy has been a very interesting journey, allowing her to meet other talented people.
In 2012, Lirio went on her third missionary trip to South Africa.  By this time she had a good amount of knowledge on how to make jewelry and took her tools and supplies with her (but not really thinking about why). While there, she learned that the organization the missioners serving worked with Zulu women who are afflicted with the HIV virus and AIDS.  This organization helps women sustain themselves by selling their handmade jewelry so they can purchase the necessary medication to stay healthy. Lirio told the organization that she made jewelry and happened to bring some tools and supplies with her.   The next day she found herself sitting on the top of a mountain, surrounded by God's beauty, teaching the Zulu women new jewelry making techniques. She spent three days with them and donated all of her tools and supplies so that they could continue to make jewelry. As Lirio explains, “It was in this moment of teaching and filling them with the love of God, that I knew what I  was called to do -- and allowed God to slowly unfold HIS calling.” 

Lirio’s next trip is to Armenia, Colombia from July 19, 2013-August 2, 2013.  She will be working with women who are prostitutes and their children, conducting a three-day jewelry workshop to teach 2-hour classes to six girls in each class throughout the day. Her goal is “to shed God's radiant light onto HIS children who are in bondage to sex slavery. I will be pouring my heart into these girls . . . simply loving on them and feeding them life . . . HIS truth! I will show them through jewelry making how they are fearless and wonderfully made in Jesus, that just as they think about what they are going to make and what tools are needed to be used, and take their time and refine the metal . .  . God looks at each of us just the same and HE continues to refine us, He continues to snip off and buff our rough edges, He polishes us as shiny as the stars in the night sky, and that we are loved and are valuable!”

So I know you are all wondering, what can be done to assist Lirio in her ministry and in raising the monies needed for her trip to Columbia?  There are several ways you can help:
1. Lirio is in need of sponsors to support her and her ministry. If anyone has a heart for girls who are in bondage to sex slavery and want to support her in her work with these girls who are taken out of brothels, you can make a one-time donation or can commit to make an ongoing donation in the amount that suits you.  Send Lirio an email at for more information.
2. Make a donation for the missionary trip Colombia by going to Lirio’s fundraising page at, where you can make a donation through PayPal. 
3. Use your social media to spread the word.  Let your friends know about Lirio and her ministry.  She has a Facebook page at where she posts almost daily and shares her work, events and outreaches. Like her on Facebook, and tell your friends, family and anyone else about her work; tweets or any other social media exposure is appreciated too.
4. Selling her jewelry is Lirio’s only means of sustaining both herself and her family. When you purchase her jewelry, it allows her to focus on the ministry. You may purchase a piece she has already created or you can order a custom-made piece. Email her either through the Facebook page or through her personal email address  Her webpage is
5. If you are a jewelry maker, and want to donate supplies, Lirio is looking for wire, jump rings, toggles or ring clasps for finishing pieces, or any cool bead findings.  Contact her for additional information at for more information.

I’ll keep you updated on how things are going and will post another blog about her trip after she returns in August.