[Editor's Note: Making Memories has recently followed the lead of scrapbook company EK Success into the bead and jewelry segment of the crafts market. Contributing Writer May Flaum gave the jewelry a try to see if it will appeal to Making Memories' existing scrapbook customers.]
When I discovered the “Vintage Groove by Jill Schwartz” line from Making Memories at CHA-Winter 2010, I was instantly smitten. What you are about to read is a gushing review of the most unexpected find of the winter show. A scrapbooking company getting into jewelry? What sounds crazy at first makes a lot of sense to me. There is a lot of crafting overlap already, and I believe they’ve done an excellent job with this.
What appealed to me were the detailed vintage inspired pieces, the colors, and most of all the usefulness of the line. Once I saw how easy it was to use, and that even I could find success with the line I was sold. I have been working with some pieces from this new offering, and I’m impressed with the quality, variety, and how beginner-friendly this line is. There are a lot of items available, from monograms to charms, flowers to rhinestones – everything you need to make simple and amazing jewelry.
You only need jump rings and pliers to attach things together, and you can simply piece things together. Making Memories has a variety of chains and pieces that are able to link together, and I was able to start making things in minutes. I used to string beads to make necklaces when I was a child, but I have never been into making my own jewelry. This line has me re-thinking that and ready to buy a whole lot more.
I didn’t need to figure out “how”, just simply what I wanted. Choose a chain, choose some decorative pieces, and attach with jump rings.
I learned quickly (with a very sore thumb) that two pairs of pliers to twist the jump rings open is imperative. Making Memories has a video on their website demonstrating a quick and easy monogram necklace that demonstrates the how-to nicely.
Playing with these products, I found myself both dreaming up pieces for myself and thinking about the gifts I could create for others as well. I was really encouraged by how easy they’ve made this so that I don’t need to be an expert to put something pretty together. Above is a necklace I made in under 10 minutes. I confess, the hardest part is choosing what to use! That takes considerably longer.
I really like that no matter what you choose from the line, it’s going to go with everything else. Depending on your color and style preferences, you can make any number of looks, and it can be as tricky or simple as you like. In the above necklace I pieced together some charms, pieces of chain, and even some pre-made lengths of beads to create this funky necklace. I didn’t worry about matching things, and I love how this looks on me. Funky and fun – and totally one of a kind.
I showed the pieces I have to a friend who is very into jewelry making, and she was excited by how the charms and decorative beads and pieces could be used in her more advanced work. Because the line is sold in small affordable bits and pieces, you can really get the things you love, and not be stuck with items you don’t wish to use. I went wild with a multi-strand necklace (above) using the silver bead chain that is a part of the line. Having chains and strands of beads ready to go is so nice. I just get to play with the fun stuff!
What I am most excited about is how quickly I could start having finished pieces in my hands, and that if I made a mistake I could simply open the jump ring back up and start over. I am also very excited by how some of these pieces would translate beautifully into scrapbook and paper craft projects.
I already shop the bead isles at my craft store for unique embellishments, and I love that some of these are flat enough to work for me.
In the layout above (Making Memories princess sticker, alpha stickers, paper, and Jenni Bowlin button) I strung several pieces together along the bottom of my photo and removed the metal backing for the large blue flower. Normally I think I would just choose one or two special pieces to accent my layout, but I couldn’t resist.
Playing with these products has been a treat, and I look forward to seeing all of the products in stores soon. I’m told that a handful of select Target stores have the line now, and that it should show up the first week of April in stores that have ordered it. If you like the vintage look as much as I do, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for it.
I’m already looking forward to making another necklace and bracelet, not to mention some canvas and scrapbook projects.
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