Halloween Jewelry Collection

Alexa's @swelldesigner's Halloween jewelry selection

Here’s a peek at some of my orange/black/Halloween jewelry photographed by my friend Heather Mann. I have quite a selection of fun rings, necklaces, and earrings! I always look forward to October so I can wear it. It is a bit odd to be wearing orange and black throughout the year or you get dubbed wearing “Halloween colors”. Sometimes I wish Halloween could be all year long, don’t you. The fun, whimsical mood makes me happy and I wish it could last.

Maybe one of these days, I’ll share my whole collection! I plan on having a tutorial of the ribbon rosette necklace. It turned out super cute!

What jewelry do you break out for the Halloween season?

Until next time Swellions!


Graffiti Glam Earrings

graffiti glam earrings

Here’s a quick and easy project I whipped up using gift cards! OK, ok…I admit it, I actually stole these gift cards. I figure it’s not the worst thing I could do; however, you could ask them if you could have them, which is what I’ve done on a couple of occasions. You could also use old membership cards or the like. It’s not that hard to find those plastic cards, ya know?

I wanted to create a fun, recycled project and I love the thickness and clean lines I can create with these cards. Word to the wise, though…cutting into them, I couldn’t get a clean shape (like a star or heart) with scissors. If I had used an exacto, I could have achieved better results. Anyway, here’s what I did to create them!

Graffiti Glam Earrings

– Plastic gift cards
Tulip Soft Paints in various colors
Tulip Glam it Up Crystals
Tulip Cordless Heat Setting Tool
– Spray paint in desired color
– newspaper
– Straight pin
– Corner rounder tool
– Scissors, exacto, or paper cutter
Collage Pauge Instant DecoPauge (sparkly)
– paintbrushes/toothbrush
– small jump ring
– ear wires
– round nose pliers


1. Lay plastic cards down on newspaper. Spray one side according to can instructions. Once dry, flip over and spray other side. Let dry.

2. Take sharp knife or scissors and scrape off (sparingly) lines into paint to reveal card design/colors below (kinda like scratch art).

3. Cut card into desired shape. Use corner rounder (if desired) to create contoured corners (this will also help it from poking you while wearing).

4. Load paint brush with paint and flick onto shapes in random design. I actually brushed some on in certain areas and wiped it off to add additional coloration. Let dry.

5. Apply Sparkly Collage Pauge on top to add gloss and sparkle. Smear over all areas with your finger or foam brush. Let dry.

6. Apply crystals in desired patterns using heat setting tool.

7. Poke hole using a straight pin at top of each earring. Loop jump ring through hole and close. Then attach ear wire.

8. Proudly wear your recycled creation!!

Hope you enjoyed this project. It was fast and fun and a great way to get the grungy/glam look that is so popular these days!

Until next time Swellions!!!


Some random stuff in my world

2008-12-11 23:27:41 -0500

Making bread cause I was craving it (it’s pumpkin and a mix, I don’t lie).

2008-12-11 23:28:51 -0500

2008-12-11 23:30:26 -0500

Bought some Christmas gifts tonight. I am getting my niece some beading tools, while I’m getting both my nephews some cool football ornaments for their new Christmas trees in their rooms! I still have a few more things to get for the little munchkins!

2008-12-11 23:31:09 -0500

Oh, I met a new guy named Brian at the WRFL station who picked up my little shopping cart I was giving away on my blog a week or so ago. He colored me a picture as a thank you. I thought that was pretty swell. My radio gig went well. I had fun chatting it up with Mick! I tried to play off of his little quips. I wasn’t nervous at all!

2008-12-11 23:35:54 -0500

I’ve been meaning to share this great find that I got at Street Scene a few months back. Check it out…it’s an interchangeable purse from the 80’s. Totally cool. I really need to start losing it. I love how the one has an owl with H.H.H. on it. It instantly reminded me of Homer Hillis at HHH Enterprises! It came with like 10 changeable color bag attachments.

2008-12-11 23:38:40 -0500

I’m still diligently beading away for the holidays and Tasha and Marty’s wedding. Finishing up on the bridesmaid jewelry that we are going to wear 🙂
I make such a mess! Beads and tools everywhere!

Hope everyone is having a great end to their work week! Until next time Swellions!


P.S. Why do I always spell niece wrong? You would think I would know by now how to spell it, but it’s always wrong! Some things I guess you never learn! Maybe now that I’ve done this “Very special P.S. message”, I will remember!

Jewelrymaking and other random stuff

mini ornament pinup jewelry

Tonight I worked on a LOT of projects for my friend Jessica. I was helping her out with some Christmas presents for her fam. I have a big box of earrings that I made a year and a half or so back that are made with lots of pretty beads, but the metal on the headpins and earring backs are tarnished. They had been in a local shop for a year or so and I guess people touching and time tarnished them away. Oh well… I whipped out my trusty pliers and wire cutters and went to work! I also restrung and fixed some of her broken jewelry. Somewhere along the way during this night I found the time (along with her help) to make a couple of illusion necklaces for my friend Tasha’s wedding along with some super cute earrings made with mini pinup ornaments dressed in Santa/candy cane attire (obviously shown above). Aren’t they cute? I need to touch them up a bit (too bad I don’t know a model car maker – these are so small and intricate!) They really aren’t that heavy!

Here’s the illusion necklace that I made:
just an illusion

So in other news, so very random things going on in my world:

1) I only just yesterday bought my first holiday gift. Like many, I’m going to try to downsize this year and do more sentimental stuff like jewelry, personal graphic design projects, and ornaments. I plan on sharing an idea this week that is an affordable/sentimental gift if you are looking to shoot two birds with one stone. Maybe tomorrow that will be my featured project…hmmmmm. Stay tuned!

2. OK, this is a very random thought, but I just saw part of the show, A Real Chance at Love on VH1. I really don’t understand what it takes to be famous these days. This show is a reality spinoff of a reality spinoff of a reality spinoff of a reality spinnoff. Sad.

3. Jennifer Perkin’s did a super cool post and made wall art out of jewelry. Check it out here. It was super clever and inspiring. I noticed in the comment links that Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Crafty Chica left a comment referring to artist Jason Mecier. His work is so inspiring as well and super kitschy. It truly makes me giddy! Oh, and I also love the Brady Bunch floorplan on his home page. I once saw a book that had a wide variety of floorplans from TV shows in it…Hmm…let me google that one…oh look…here it is: TV Sets Fantasy Blueprints book! Truly, what did we do before the internet? I saw this book about 7 years ago in the clearance bin and should have picked it up then and there at the Owensboro Waldenbooks store, but I decided against it! What was I thinking?

4. Obviously, if you haven’t noticed, I changed my banner to reflect the holidays. I’m a Swellette!

Until next time Swellions!


It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that bling!

ring and earring set

A fun and quickie post today! I am really going to focus in on making most of my gifts for my friends (my fam is a whole other story), but I made this little ring and earring set in 10 minutes tonight and for only around $5 in all!

It always cracks me up when scrapbook mags and décor mags say, “Make this for under $10”. Well, in order to make it you have to have the initial tools to do it and those cost a heck of a lot more than the actual supplies. So, it was about $5, but I already have the tools and supplies to make it.

I really do recommend this type of idea, though. The initial purchase of some basic pliers, wire, glue (my fave is E-6000) and ring blank to make this is an AWESOME investment. You can buy these things and make hundreds of gifts! I’m totally all about the buttons! This one cost around $3, but a lot of times you can get a giant plain and decorative button bin of them at the craft store for $5. Also peruse the clearance aisles for 25¢ button deals as well. They can be a big steal. Also, you can find these big prisms for the earrings at a lot of craft stores, but I actually found mine in the ornament section at Wal-mart. Keep your eyes peeled for things you can turn into jewelry! I’m always scouting out little doo dads that would make cool jewelry. Now, I will admit, these things are REALLY big, but my friend Molly (who I am making them for and who I know doesn’t read my blog) will love them. She doesn’t mind wearing heavy earrings in the name of style. I think she will love wearing this little, or should I say BIG? bling set.

Oh, and for all those looking for ring blanks, you can get a slew of them for cheap at
Art Chix Studio! You may want to stock up. What a CHEAP & EASY gift idea for all your friends, family, and co-workers. Everyone who I know smiles when they see my stash of colorful rings I make…from young to old!

OK, I promise not to use so many UPPERCASE fonts next time Swellions!

Until next time!


Ornament Thursday: Pencil Grip Jewelry

I thought and thought about ideas for this month’s Ornament Thursday. I had a lot of fun ideas up my sleeve for the theme “Academia”, but honestly I didn’t have time to execute them the way I wanted to. But I did pull through! I stopped by Wal-mart on my way home for coffee with my friend Retta and checked out the school supply section. I marveled at the thought of making some mini Sharpie earrings (you know the ones with the little hook for your keychain), a wrist bracelet out of a rubber ruler, and a really fun necklace connector out of a gigantic silver paper clip. But I ended up purchasing these, because they were just so colorful and fun…oh, and I love the jelly/plastic look (I always have…I had several pairs of jelly shoes as a 6 year old).

pencil grips

I decided to whip up a fun and colorful spring bracelet and pair of earrings to match. I love, love color and decided to use bold pops with wooden, glass, and faceted beads.

pencil grip earrings

pencil grip spring bracelet

Just simple and fun and a great project that you can make with your kids after school…I think spring bracelets are one of the easist jewelry projects to make with kids and they just love wearing them, especially when the beads are big and bold.

I will post more Ornament Thursday posts tomorrow.

Here they are:

Art Bead Scene & The Golden Rule
The Art Bead Scene editor shares a few words of wisdom for jewelry designers.

Back to School-Make your own Pencils
School is back in session, everyone needs new pencils. Why not glass?

BeadStyle goes back to school
Lindsay Haedt’s on her way to the classroom, but not before Linda shares one of her recent designs.

Beading Help Web Wires Up Academia
Lynn Kvigne to read! While you can easily use a scrap of paper or an old magazine subscription card for a bookmark, why not whip up a stylish book mark instead?

Check out the “homework” project from Joolz by Lisa
A collab effort works out great when you plan ahead

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy’s learned how to Mail!

First Day
Michelle’s School Book – it’s academic!

Michelle’s Edumacation
Michelle has yet another go at decorating Helen’s workstation, this month, less scary than last but oh, so funky.
http://www.http-design.com/2008/08/michelles-edumacation.html helenbrelaz

Until then, Swellions, have a great night!

5 Swell and random tidbits

I am giving myself 15 minutes to write this blog post today. Must.stay.focused. Sometimes I do it in a rush…other days, it takes 2 hours to post. Ugh, but I’m going out tonight to dinner with Jeremy (not quite sure, but I’ve been wanting to go to the Melting Pot, which just opened up here in Lex). Anyway onto my swell and random tidbits (I always liked the word tidbits, don’t you?)…

1. I just got one of my bracelet designs into a beading magazine and some of my ideas accepted into a CraftStylish publication for the holidays. Some projects I did for the magazine Jewelry Creations should be coming out any day now as well.

2. Picking up photos of the Dame tonight or tomorrow and going to get some mattes and a frame for it. I’m framing an 11×14 version for and then selling prints at Street Scene here in Lex. I inquired about selling something different than my jewelry and they took me up on my offer. The Dame actually was just demolished (it was an iconic nightspot for music here in Lex), so I’m hoping it’s demise will spark some interest in my photos.

3. I’m taking off tomorrow and going to the Kentucky State Fair tomorrow in Louisville with my friend Molly. I’ve lived in KY for close to 30 years and have never been to the fair. I plan on taking my camera and snapping some cool pics!

4. Why does it always weem you have to pay out the wazoo all at the same time/day?? Today I had to fill up my tank, change my oil + get new wiper blades, and pay for a prescription. Grr. I hate that!

5. I’m making some really cute cupcake photo toppers like these for my friend’s b-day this weekend with funny sayings that she says/has said. I think she will get a kick out of it. I don’t have to make the cupcakes, so one less thing I have to do. Seems like my days have been jampacked as of late. I’m a busy girl, just don’t ask me to do anything more!!! I hate that olden’ phrase!

I have one minute to spare. I did it! A successful blog post in 15 minutes. It really can be done!

Until next time Swellions!


An awesome site (and book) you have to check out

I’ve got some really cool projects up my sleeve, one of which involving the use of these:
our glass pendants

They are really cool Our Glass Frame Pendants from HHH Enterprises. These little pendants (or rather, I should say big pendants) were one of the few things that truly caught my eye at the CHA show last February. I had a great conversation with the owner, Homer, and we’ve remained e-mail buddies ever since. Homer is a first-class guy and really seeks out unique products…just check out the site for all kinds of cool stuff…everything from a wide variety of colorful turquoise (it makes me drool a little bit) to fancy belt buckle blanks to bright findings! It’s all there on this site.

One of the reasons that Homer’s stuff stood out to me is that it is large and in charge, unlike anything out in the marketplace, and it is so easy to customize. For example, the Our Glass Frame Pendants (one of their signature products) come both single paned and hinged, allowing all kinds of possibilities. I’ve been thinking up some myself for the Halloween that I will be presenting on my blog in the next few weeks. I can think of a lot of quick Photoshop effects do to my photos and then slide into these frames! Homer was kind enough to send me the new Our Glass Jewels Book and it opened me up to even more things to do with these pendants.

Our Glass Jewels Book

The designers, Ronda hillis and Rebecca Hull have come up with some super trendy and clever designs that are so inspiring. I love the idea that they mix their custom transparencies and rubons with Swarovski crystals for a very elegant, original look. I often struggle with coming up with involved altered images (I also don’t have the patience to figure out the process), but there are ideas in this book for getting that look easily using their products (and their products are all so reasonably priced, esp. since so many of us are watching our pennies!). Another of my favorite projects in this book utilizes magnets, so that you can easily switch out these awesome crystal buttons. They remind me of costume jewelry, don’t they you? So.much.fun.

Definitely, definitely head over to the HHH Enterprises site and check out all they have to offer! Oh, and there are always great shipping deals to be had, so you don’t have to worry about expensive shipping costs…it’s a super great perk.

Until next time Swellions. Happy crafting!


Ornament Thursday – Red Hot

red hot necklace

This month’s theme for Ornament Thursday is Red Hot. I racked my brain to figure out something that screamed “Red Hot” to me. I immediately thought of a heated burner and the cool spiral it creates when it’s hot. I thought I would use that as a visual statement for the pendant for a necklace. Here’s how I did it:


– necklace memory wire

– black 3mm ab faceted glass beads– orange 4mm ab faceted glass beads

– long red coil beads

– small jump ring

– pendant blank (Beadalicious by Horizon)

– cardstock

– inkjet printer

– xyron runner or bonding glue

– decopauge medium

– foam brush

– pliers

– pendant image

Visit my flickr page for thependant design (Thanks Chris for taking this photo for me).


1. Cut necklace wire with wire cutters to desired length. Use pliers to make loop at end of one end of necklace.

2. String beads according to photo. At end of necklace, make loop.

3. Open up image in Photoshop or related imaging program and print out pendant image onto cardstock. Use a xyron runner or bonding glue to adhere image to metal pendant. Using foam brush, apply decopauge medium. It you wanting a more substantial look, try using something like Diamond Glaze or Envirotex to make the image pop off.

4. Poke a hole with safety pin on back side of pendant through paper. Open up jump ring and poke jump ring through hole. Add jump ring to center of necklace image and close jump ring.

That’s it!

On a side note, I photographed this on a piece of dyed marble effect material that I made in college. It was the colors of fire so it worked out perfectly!

Check out these other OT links!

Art Bead Scene

ABS Editor Cindy Gimbrone Goes Red Hot Crazy!

Beading Help Web is RED HOT!

Lynn Kvigne takes up the torch and shows you how to make a toe ring using fine silver.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva

Trendy, Popular and Red Hot!

It’s a Red Hot July in Arizona!

Lisa finally finishes a project from over a year ago. Check out this “hot” take on a changeable necklace.

Katie’s Beading Blog

Check out Katie’s Red Hot faux coral necklace! It’s a punch of color with a summery feel.

Linda Augsburg at BeadStyle Magazine

Linda shares a red-hot card she created

Michelle is RED HOT!

Well, really, Margot is…

Strands of Beads

The heat is rising, and Melissa is making a Red hot Firecracker necklace!

Swelldesigner a.k.a. Alexa Westerfield

The Swelldesigner gets red hot with a Hunka Hunka Burner Necklace!

Too Red Hot

Our own Michelle Zimmerman has been hard at work this month sculpting a devil of a project for your enjoyment.

Until then, Swellions, have a great day!


All content/photos copyright, © Alexa L. Westerfield, 2008

Friday Faves

Ever since I got hooked on Google Reader, I’ve found so, so many inspiring links, sites, shops, and the like that have just blown me away. There are a lot of mega talented people out the crafting & designing their little hearts out and coming up with super innovative eye candy and concepts. Each Friday, I’d like to share 3 different sites/posts that have inspired me in some way and get my brain buzzing. I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me and get your creative juices flowin’ as well!

The Carrot Box
First off, I browsed upon this really cool web site…The Carrot Box. It’s a web site devoted to just rings, and super cool rings at that. I looked through their blog and was just blown away by the innovative ideas like these…


This rug ring by Atipika reminds me of my Grandmother’s old sofa (it was orange, red, and green faux flocking). I just love the 70’s influence and the abstract pattern and concept. Very unusual and very cool.

This orchid ring by April Aultman also caught my eye…


Of course, anything colorful always catches my eye, bu these little buds are just so fresh and fun, sweet and simple. Makes me want to have one for each finger!

This site is loaded with info, cool links, and the designer’s own design and shop and contains lots of quirky information and tidbits. So. much. fun.

Craft Critique’s review of Virtual Memory Boxes by Paint the Moon by Annie Manning
Craft Critique reviewed one of the new hot trends in digital scrapping–virtual shadow boxes. This concept is so fabulous and interesting and can be taken in so many different directions. Designer Annie Manning really outdid herself with these lovely Photoshop designed boxes. I just loved this doodly and happy piece, created by Annie’s design team member Holly…


And I love the realism in these vintage-esque boxes. They are so beautiful…


Word to the wise, though. Being a graphic designer, I know a lot of work went into making these photo illustrations. So, you need to be adept at your Photoshop before jumping in to tackling one of these. I think I could do a pretty good job of creating my own, but a beginner would really struggle. So, I recommend getting yourself a Photoshop book or digital scrapbook magazine to master more than just the basic techniques.

Silje’s visit to the Boneyard in Vegas
And finally, this post by Silje on the Red Velvet Girl’s blog made me really giddy and also mucho mundo desiring a trip to Las Vegas. She talks about a 3 acre sign boneyard that is the home to a collection of non-restored signs. If I could take photographs there, I would be a kid in a candy store! Check out this amazing set of photos taken at the Boneyard by Silje. Here’s a quick screen shot I took to show you of her cool photo set. Aren’t the colors amazing??? You can visit the actual Boneyard website by clicking here.


Hope you’ve found inspiration of some kind through these sites! I had fun sharing them with you.

Until tomorrow Swellions!!!