Friday, August 6, 2010


Hi, all!  Thank GOODNESS it's Friday! I worked over 60 hours this week at my day job and I'm worn out!

I wanted to pop in and say hi and thanks for commenting/reading/following my blog. You guys are awesome! I love you guys!

One of the real reasons I started this blog is to learn from the experts!  I have a lot of questions rolling around in my head that I need to put out there and get some help on.  I'm a Newbie Beader, after all!  So every Friday, I'm going to put up a post and ask for some advice/guidance.

This Friday's question is kind of two-part. I've decided that's not cheating. :)

Up until now, I've only worked with silver-plated findings. I haven't tried gold or sterling or any other metals, although I do have a few things in gunmetal that is astounding me, design-wise.  So my question is this - if I wanted to dip my toes into the pool, where's a good place to start? And copper and brass look the same to me - what's the difference? I really like the look of the Vintaj stuff. and I think their prices are pretty reasonable and I like designs I've seen with their components.  I'd also like to start trying sterling silver. I have a few things here and there, as I can afford them, but not a lot. It's a bit out of my price range at this point.

So, who is your favorite supplier for stuff that isn't silver-plated?  Who has the best prices and selection of Vintaj?  My local Hobby Lobby has a small selection, but mostly just charms.  I think Rings & Things has a pretty good selection, but do you need a wholesale license to shop there?  And I know to get the basics - jump rings, wire, pins, etc., but what else should I get?

And that brings me to part 2 of my question. I'm not selling my jewelry right now (see above re: cheap materials), but I might someday. Is getting a wholesale license something I should do now so that I can shop at these places (and for the Tucson Bead Show next year)?  Or should I wait until I'm ready to start selling?

Help me, please!

Thanks, guys - you're the best!


  1. In my humble opinion, don't get a resale license unless you are really going to make a go of it - filling out the tax forms for a hobby business is a pain.
    R&T - you can buy if you spend $50+ (not hard to do - check out their awesome chain deals)
    I don't know the technical difference b/w copper and brass, but brass is more yellow & copper is more brown.

  2. You got some great advice there from Copper Diem. I agree that that filling out the required monthly or quarterly forms for a resale license IS a pain...and when I forget to do it there is a penalty.
    Once you feel comfortable with your technique, I recommend moving away from silver plate if you're using silver. I started with some silver plated wire and the finish came off and ruined those pieces. I buy all of my sterling wire (unless I need just a little, then I'll buy from Etsy) from With silver, you get a price break once you buy 5 oz. I usually buy a large amt. at one time and mix it up to equal 5 a bit of 14, 16, 18, 20 and 22 gauge depending on what I need.
    I LOVE working with copper's more of an orange color and turns brown like a penny over time or if you oxidize it. I buy mine from a local hardware store. It is SO affordable and perfect to practice with AND make finished jewelry with... but I oxidize always oxidize it (and then polish in a tumbler). As you can see I can go on and on as this is one of my favorite subjects. :-)

  3. As for the wire question, it so much depends on what you want to do. I used a lot of Artistic wire when I first got started with wire working, and for the most part those pieces have endured the test of time with very little flaking or discoloration. However, the downside is that you can't really work harden it the way you can silver, and when I tried to use it for chain maille the results were beyond frustrating.

    When it comes to headpins though, I highly recommend fine silver because it is softer than sterling (and the price difference per ounce is only a few dollars). Plus, if you have a creme brulee torch handy and a fire brick you can make your own pretty easily (lots of how-to info on YouTube).

    Hope you'll continue to share the results with whatever metals you choose -- I love the fresh insights you share here on your blog.


Thanks for stopping by! I love your comments and will reply to you if you leave a way to reach you!