Thursday, October 15, 2015

Manhattan Lions Club Pancake Feed

A week from Saturday on October 24, 2015 I'll be at the Manhattan Lions Club Pancake Feed in Pottorf Hall at Cico Park.  We always have fun at this event as it includes food. 

We had a good show at Barstow School sponsored by the Barstow Friends of the Arts.  They fed us and made sure we had coffee and water all day.  The grounds were beautiful and the students that helped were great. 

Now, to get ready for the next show.  The best part of this show is all the purple we see.  In that honor, I have made a new set in my Chaos line, I call this one Wildcat Chaos. 

I"m not sure it's finished, yet, but the feathers are from a rival school up river.  I went a little off the beaten path with the earrings, see below.  Same components as the necklace but with an entirely different look. 

I hope you have a chance to come out and enjoy pancakes and sausage and eggs and after you're finished eating, please stop by our booth and check out all of our purple jewelry, after all we bleed purple.

Also a shout to the Kansas City Royals. Congrats on your win of the American League Division Series.  Way to go!!!!!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Barstow Art Festival

In a couple of days, I'll be set up for the Barstow Art Festival in Kansas City.  It will be held at the Barstow School at 11511 State Line Rd, Kansas City, Missouri 64114.  Hours are 

Friday October 9 - 5 pm to 7 pm
Saturday October 10 - 10 am to 7 pm
Sunday 11 am to 5 pm

We hope to see you there.  Both Lisa and I will have lots of new items for sale.  See below for some of my new items.
 This is a copper pendant that I etched, painted and linked together.  Simple but fun.

 These beads are Mother of Pearl chips in colored resin hearts.  This is a fun and bright bracelet, maybe more suited for Valentines day, but it is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the pink seemed to be appropriate.

I just finished this one last night.  Amethyst beads with sterling silver wire and tubes. 

If you can make it to the Barstow School, this weekend, we'd love to have you. 


Monday, October 5, 2015


I'm so excited to tell you that I sold Chaos and the Kitchen Sink. I'm still in a bit of shock as I didn't think I'd ever sell it. 

A man and his wife came into our booth at the Aaron Douglas Art Fair and after a brief look around tried on two pieces and chose this one.  It was a fun piece to make and it did get a lot of attention.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Aaron Douglas Art Fair

Please join me on Saturday September 26, 2015 at the Aaron Douglas Art Park for the 10th annual Art Fair. the show runs from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  The Aaron Douglas Art Park is located at 12th and Lane in Topeka Ks. for more details visit the Aaron Douglas Art Fair website.  

I was inspired to create some bright, fun jewelry for the fair.  A friend tasked me with making something not using blue and purple.  Apparently, I have a penchant for those colors, so the bracelet below is a result of the task.   Yes it's a rainbow, and it includes blue and purple, but it does include several other colors as well.
 I really like this one.  It's fun to wear and goes with anything.  To complete the set, you can choose to compliment it with one of 5 pairs of earrings pictured below.  Or buy them all.

I have a bunch of other new stuff too, so stop by the Details booth and check it out.  I hope to see you all at the Fair on Saturday.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The ID Bracelet

A friend at work wanted to buy a birthday present for his daughter's 6th birthday, and asked to see my jewelry.  We settled on an ID bracelet for her using copper and Abalone shell beads.

She got it for her birthday last Sunday and liked it so much, she had to put it on immediately.  I'm so glad she liked it, it's fun to make something special for someone. A close up of the bracelet is below followed by a photo of her wearing the bracelet.  Isn't she adorable.

Happy Birthday Posy.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Something New

I was inspired by a design in one of the jewelry books I have.  While the design I came up with differs from the one in the book, it did inspire me to make it.  I haven't priced it yet, but don't think it will be too costly.

I used flat copper wire, bent into a half circle and looped the ends so I could attach more wire.  Then I wrapped the flat copper wire with round wire.  I attached the orange terra jasper teardrops and the clasp.  I wore it to work today to make sure it stayed hooked.  I really like it and will probably make some more in a similar design, but different.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Try Some Different Colors

Recently a friend commented that I made a lot of jewelry in purples, blues and turquoise.  Her challenge to me was to make something using the fall palate of colors.  So off I went to try my hand at fall colors. As I was checking out my beads, I discovered that I have lots of beads in those colors.  The necklace and earrings came together quite quickly once I got started.  See the result below.

So I'm striving for more "fall" jewelry, including some new Halloween pieces.

By the way, stop by the Lenexa Spinach Festival on Saturday September 12, 2015.  It runs from 9 am to 4 pm.  It's a fun day with all kinds of spinach related things including Popeye and Olive Oil and a Sweet Pea baby crawling contest.  So bring your family to Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park at 87th and Lackman and have a great day. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

The End of Summer

August brings with it the pain of school starting and all that goes with it.  Buying school supplies, new school clothes, the packing, the moving saying goodbye to the college freshman in your family.  

Since I live in a college town, when the college students are moving in and flooding the city, I'm avoiding the discount stores (Walmart and Target) and not driving anywhere near the campus (too bad it's in the center of town).  Instead I spent the weekend etching copper in preparation for making new jewelry. 

I worked on a turquoise and green copper bracelet shown below.  I have some new designs I'm trying out and hope to show those to you very soon.

On September 12, 2015  Lisa and I will have a booth at the Lenexa Spinach Festival.  I've got four weeks to build up my inventory.  Check out more about the Lenexa Spinach Festival.  It's a fun day with all kinds of spinach related things including Popeye and Olive Oil and a Sweet Pea baby crawling contest.  It's a lot of fun, so bring your family to
Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park at 87th and Lackman and have a great day. 

I also just got notified that we have been accepted to the Aaron Douglas Art Fair in Topeka on Saturday September 26.  It's a fun day of Music, Art and Food.  

See you at the Fair,


Monday, August 10, 2015

First Friday Art Walk

Thank you to everyone who came out to the First Friday Art Walk at NexLynx.  I had a wonderful time and was happy to see everyone.  Some of my jewelry will be on display through the end of August, so if you didn't get to come last Friday, please stop by during regular business hours.

I worked on a new piece while I was there, didn't quite get it finished, but might already have it sold as someone who saw it asked to see it when complete.

I really like including a photo in each post, so here is a bracelet that I made a few weeks ago.  It's Amethyst and sterling silver.  Purple and turquoise are my favorite colors and I tend make lots of jewelry in those colors.

Happy Monday.  Hope you all have a good week.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Penny Train

You know the machines and tourist places that for 50 cents you can smash a penny and have a new design placed on it.  I saw an article somewhere that showed making jewelry out of them.  (Admit it, you have always wondered what you were going to do with them.)  While I was at Union Station for the KC Fringe Festival, I noticed that they have two of those machines, one with three different train designs and the other had four different designs for Science City.  I took three pennies up to the machine for the trains and proceeded to smash my pennies.  I used new pennies as they were shinier.

I took the pennies home, added color using patina paint, curved them with my bracelet bending pliers and punched holes in them.  Then I proceeded to make a bracelet out of them.  I think it turned out great.  What do you think?


Friday, July 31, 2015

First Friday Art Walk in Topeka, Ks

I'll be showing and selling my jewelry at Nexlynx, Inc. on Friday August 7, 2015 in Topeka, Kansas as part of the First Friday Art Walk. The event is held from 5 pm to 8pm.  Nexlynx is located at 123 SW 6th Ave, Topeka, KS 66603 above Topeka Blueprint.  I'm excited to present my jewelry in a new show, and am hoping for a positive response.  Since the KC Fringe Festival was a success, this means I will have lots of new pieces to show at NexLynx.

Here is a sample of some of the new pieces. 
 Copper and Turquoise

Copper and Crazy Lace Agate and Pearls.

I'll have these lots more to show you.  

If you have some time, I'd love to see you on August 7th. 

KC Fringe Festival - After the show

We had a blast at the Fringe Festival.  Our best show ever.  It was fun to meet new people and share my passion of making jewelry and trying new techniques to those who visited the Boutique.  Union Station is such a great place, so much activity and energy.

My copper tube bracelets were a hit.  They all sold and one has been donated to the Volunteers party set for this weekend.

Alas, I didn't win the Fringe Prize, but my entry did get a lot of attention.

Hope to see you soon.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

KC Fringe Festival

Today is the last day of the 2015 KC Fringe Festival.  I've been there every day since a week ago last Friday.  It's been fun and I've made new friends.  I got a lot of work done on new pieces while manning our booth and the Fringe Boutique. Check these out.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


I saw this idea in a magazine and decided I have to try it.  It's copper tube, flatted and decorated.  My first try is below.  I have more ideas, but this is the first try.  It's kind of fun and I have ideas of incorporating nuts and washers and other hardware store finds into a design. I made some errors and have learned some things and will undoubtedly learn more as I work with the copper tubes.  I bought 5 feet of it, so I have plenty of material to work with.

I have visions of adding beads and colored wire to decorate it as well as stamping, etching and painting.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

KC Fringe Festival

It's time for the KC Fringe Festival.  The Fringe runs from July 16 through July 26.  To find out more about the event visit Click on "Find a Show" and select the program.  There are many films, plays dance, music and comedy presentations.  Most of the visual artists are on the main level of the grand hall of Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.  Those visual artists who have smaller art pieces, ie, jewelry, clothes, etc, are located in the 411 Boutique.  It is located on the ground floor (also known as the theater level) of Union Station.  We are located just inside the west doors from the parking garage and around the corner from the concession stand.  We'd love to see you.

The visual artists may chose to participate in the Fringe Prize event.  Here's how it works.  Each participating artist submits one piece of art for the contest.  Members of the public are allowed to vote on their favorite piece.  Most of the work submitted is 2-dimensional, however, there is one fabulous sculpture and both Lisa and I submitted work.  Here's mine. 

It's called Chaos and the Kitchen Sink.  It includes chain, charms, beads and other miscellaneous stuff.  There is a knife, fork and spoon, clock parts, a key, safety pins, flowers, a bee, a seahorse and a hand.  It was so much fun to put together.  And it's fringy.

If you have time, please come by Union Station, see us, vote for your favorite fringe prize and take in a show.  There are many locations throughout the Crossroads district and many shows to see.  Bring your friends and family and make a day out of it. 

I'll be spending a lot of time at the Boutique, so I hope to see you there. 


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Festival of the Arts

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to the Festival of the Arts in Bonner Springs yesterday.  The weather was beautiful for a late June day, a top of 80 degrees, got a bit of a sunburn even.  We had a good day and shared our art with lots of new people.  The Bonner Springs Arts Alliance is incredible.

Our next show is the KC Fringe Festival. Click on this link and click on About and select for the visual artists.  They listed our business under Lisa Coyan in the program, however the website we are listed as Details.

Come see us at the Fringe 411 Boutique on the lower level of Union Station, around the corner from City Stage and the Irish Center.  I'm submitting an entry for the Fringe Prize, so come by and vote for me.  


Friday, June 26, 2015

Ready for the show

Well, I think I'm ready for the Festival of the Arts in Bonner Springs tomorrow.  I've worked on some new pieces and am prepared for hot weather (ie sunscreen, battery operated fan, water, cool towel etc.)  Lisa bought a new tent that is white. 

This will be our first show at this event, actually it's only the second year for this show.  The Bonner Springs Arts Alliance is great, they run a great show, are organized and have been great to work with.  Stop by and see us.  It should be great.

This is the last piece I'll finish before the show.  I have some more pieces in mind, but have run out of time to make them. 
Have a good Day


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Organzied Chaos

Organized Chaos.

I've been working on building up inventory for our show at the Bonner Springs Festival of the Arts on June 27, 2015.  (Click here for more information and come visit our booth, we'd love to see you.)  I was looking through some magazines for some inspiration when I found an article called Chaos Theory where the artist made a pin using heavy gauge wire and miscellaneous beads.

I converted the basic technique into a pendant. I experimented with cheaper plated wire, in case it didn't turn out. I had some bright blue and green beads that spoke "spring" to me.  I didn't start with a plan, just experimented with different things. This was my first attempt.

I enjoyed the technique and the next time I used flat copper wire.  I went hunting in my pink, magenta beads and came up with a decent array of beads I thought would work together.  I used cultured pearls, glass pearls, Swarovski crystals, shells and miscellaneous wire   I found the second one more challenging as the flat wire didn't lend itself to overlapping like the one above.  I even worked on a matching pair of earrings. This is the result.

The Necklace

The Earrings

I really enjoy using unique and unusual elements in my pieces.  The flat "paddle" dangle with the flower wired to it is just a short piece of wire that I hammered the end flat. I don't see much flat copper wire used, so that is pretty unique as well.  I do have some Sterling Silver flat wire, will eventually make a pendant out of that as well.  Maybe it's time to bring out my torch and work on melting something. . . . .

I am working on another one of this type, it's a copper set with paua shells and other coordinating beads.  That necklace will have matching earrings and a bracelet.  But you'll have to come to the Bonner Springs show to see it all completed.
Have a good day.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Symetry vs Asymmetry

Symmetry is defined as the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis. In jewelry making symmetry would be a pair of earrings that are reflections (mirror images) of each other.  In a necklace symmetry would be both sides of the necklace are identical, with the pendant being an imaginary line or the axis.  

Asymmetry is the antithesis of this, earrings that don't match.  But asymmetry does not mean that something is out of balance.  It simply means that the two sides are different.  I am a big fan of the asymmetrical design.  I think it increases my creativity by allowing a modification of a design.  I've made many asymmetrical designs. 

This one on the left is one of my favorite pieces that is very asymmetrical.  One side is black pearls hand knotted on silk and the other side is gunmetal plated chain with tow different colors of wire mesh ribbon woven through the links of the chain.  the pendant is a window frame, a hummingbird and other charms dangling from an oval ring.  

When I made this necklace, it was way out of my comfort zone, which was probably why it took me so long to finish.  It sold at the first show I displayed it at, so that was very encouraging.

The one at the right is also gun metal plated chain, and in keeping with the bird motif of the one above, I added a bird cage a bird and I made a birds nest out of blackened sterling silver wire and purple pearls.  I lady named Barbara bought this at our last show of 2014.

The only issue I have found with the asymmetrical design is that the weight of one side may be more than the other, so if I have some question if it will hang correctly, I'll wear it to work and try it out.  It's fun to see if people really notice it.

I'll probably revisit this subject again as I really enjoy creating jewelry like this.  My last post also had an asymmetrical design.  Check it out.

Thanks for checking with me.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Results

May 9, 2015.  I'm finished.  As I mentioned in a previous post,  I've hit a creative block.  I made an appointment with myself and sat down to work on the piece I was struggling with.   And I just finished not only the necklace that was giving me fits, but the bracelet and earrings too.  I like it much better.  I haven't priced the pieces yet, but I really like them.  The necklace and bracelet are asymmetrical and the earrings almost match each other.  What do you think? 

By the Sea.  Includes stacked sequins in aqua with pewter starfish and sea horses and porcelain fish and resin accents (including the start pendant.)

Designer's Challenge Follow-up

May 9, 2015.  I spent my hour working on the piece that I was struggling with.  I think I've got it.  I'm moving forward and am almost finished with it.  Taking a break for lunch, then will add the clasp and a bit of chain.  I already have the bracelet made and will work on earrings.  I'll post photos of the completed set when I finish.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Designer's Challenge

May 7, 2015.  I've been in a slump for a few weeks, not working on any new designs and struggling with new ideas.   I'm using the blog to hopefully jump start my creativity.  

The design process can be both rewarding and frustrating.  Rewarding when your finished product turns out just like you thought it would and you really like it.  It's frustrating when it either doesn't turn out how you want it to or turns out like you want and you don't like it. The last piece I worked on was like the latter.  It turned out like I wanted but I really didn't like it.  Sometimes when I make a new piece, I'll wear it to see if it needs and adjustment.  (My friends laugh when I wear a piece of jewelry with a price tag on it.)  I wore this piece and while it performed okay, something seemed off.  Fortunately I work with designers and did a little brain storming with some of them to see what their thoughts were concerning the design.  The were very helpful, and I have a direction, but I have resisted making the changes that I know will work.  I'm concerned that if I set it aside and work on something else I will have even more trouble modifying the piece.

So here is what I'm going to do.  I'm setting myself an appointment with my design board on Saturday morning to work on the design.  I'm giving myself an hour to work on it and at the end of the hour, if I'm still struggling, I'll set it aside.  I'll do this once a week until i get it reworked.  

Wish me luck.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Etching Copper

May 4, 2015.  Last year I did a lot of research and found instruction on how to etch copper without a lot of special tools etc.  This is the first piece of jewelry i made from a piece of etched copper.

The 22 gauge copper is 1" wide by 2" tall.  I filed the edges and corners to remove any sharp areas and sanded the face with 0000 steel wool.  Next I took a stamp and using Stays-On black ink stamped the image onto the face of the copper.

I let the ink dry for 30 minutes and then laid the piece on a long piece of packing tape sticky side of the tape to the back side of the copper.  the tape is used to suspend the copper in the solution.

Into the etching solution for 20 to 30 minutes (it's been a year, so I don't remember exactly how long i left it in).  Once you can feel the etch with a toothpick or other wooden object, take the piece(s) out of the solution and neutralize it in a baking soda and water solution. 

Finally, I decided to use metal paint in three colors to help give the piece more definition and interest.  The three colors are turquoise, green and light turquoise.  I think it turned out great.  

The next decision was what to do with the pendant now that it was finished.  i wanted something dynamic and unusual, but fun.  I talked it over with my sister, who is and artist and designer.  After our talk, I was motivated to more forward with the rest of the design.

I made coils and swirls out of copper wire, created a loop at each end of the coils and the top of the swirls, attached the coils  to some chain and added some of the metal paint to the coils. 

Then, I made swirls out of copper wire, created a loop at the top of the swirl, added some of the metal paint to the swirls.

I happened to have some dyed turquoise beads in just the right colors and dangled them and the swirls from various points on the chain.

Here is the final product.  I really like it.  It's funky, has a bit of charm and is definitely unique.  I like the asymmetrical design and am really happy with the coils and swirls.  It turned out better than i expected. 

I look forward to sharing other designs with you in the future.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Beginning

May 3, 2015.  In my previous post, I told you that I share the company with my friend Lisa.

Lisa and I met when she moved into my apartment complex.  She was my upstairs, across the hall and one unit over neighbor.  That was more than 25 years ago and we still remain friends.  

  I started making jewelry when I broke a handmade necklace Lisa bought me for Christmas.  It was fun and relaxing (at least it was for me) to learn how to fix the necklace.  I was a very enthusiastic beginner.  I got Lisa hooked when she bought an outfit and couldn't find jewelry to go with it.  She had me take her to a bead store, so she, too, started making jewelry.  We quickly determined that we either needed a 12-step program for our "addiction", or we needed to start selling what we made.

When we were wrestling with a name for our company, we explored a lot of options.  As I have stated before, I'm an architect Lisa is an engineer, and as we both draw details as part of our professions and jewelry is a detail of what you wear each day. Details was born.

We started in 2004 showing our jewelry at the homes of our friends and family as well as our own homes.  Our customers gradually started telling us of craft shows and other events where we should show our jewelry.  In 2006 we started going to craft shows and art shows to much success.

We are both mostly self taught although we take classes now and again. There are a lot of videos and instructions on the Internet, so it's easy to learn new techniques and see how new tools work.  I enjoy creating pieces using new products or tools.  It's fun to experiment.

We also determined early on that we wanted to do something with the money we made and as we both had friends who were diagnosed with breast cancer, we give 10% of all sales to breast cancer research.

More later.  Thanks so much for checking out my blog.


Who am I?

May 3, 2015.  Hi.  I'm Barbara of "Details by Barbara".  I design and make beaded, metal and wire jewelry.  You can see some of my creations on Facebook, just search for Details Jewelry.  The company name is shared with a friend, Lisa, who I've known for over 25 years, so some of the photos on Facebook are of the jewelry she creates. 

I'm an architect by education and licensing and am a practicing architect. I can't imagine doing anything else in life.  As kids, my siblings and I were always encouraged to be creative.  I always loved graph paper, something about the precision and the equality of it all.  I've been fortunate to have worked in the field ever since I graduated from college.  But even though I'm working in my chosen field of work, I like other creative outlets. 

I scrapbook, I love all the tools (okay, I'm a gadget freak), the papers, the embellishments.  I have made many scrapbooks as gifts  and it's always so special when someone really likes a gift I put so much heart into.  I've made many cards for many occasions and usually custom for the person and occasion.  

Several years ago I took a class to make stained glass.  I really enjoyed it as it blended in with architecture.  The hardest part for me was the actual breaking of the glass and of course all the cuts associated with breaking glass.   I met some great people at that class and remain close to several of my classmates.  We still get together for lunch occasionally just to catch up.