Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Further Adventures with Magazine Submissions

I've really been trying to up my game when it comes to submitting projects for possible magazine publication this year.  Part of that is keeping an eagle eye open for the new publication guidelines when they come out and making more of a concerted effort to design specifically for those guidelines.  In many ways it's just like designing for any other challenge except that I can't blog about what I've made (until I know they don't want something)!

The deadline for Jewelry Stringing magazine's Winter 2017 issue passed a couple of weeks ago and I've now heard back from them about which of my designs they would like to publish.  I'm so thrilled that they are interested in publishing several of the pieces I submitted!  I ended up sending them photos of seven necklaces, two bracelets, and three pairs of earrings... the most I've ever created for one issue... and it really paid off!  You'll have to wait until early next year to see the designs that they chose, but I wanted to share the other pieces that I sent in now that I know they aren't in the running.

If you aren't familiar with how Jewelry Stringing calls for submissions, they put out several categories for each issue and give a color palette or other prompts to get jewelry designers pointed in the right direction.  Here are my unsuccessful submissions grouped by category along with the submission guidelines for each.  Enjoy!

This first necklace is one of my favorites that I made for this issue.  I used a polymer clay pendant from Summer Wind Art that Eric bought me last Christmas with a varied mix of materials.  I combined green agate, jade, dragon's blood jasper, faceted garnet, Czech glass, coconut shell, and brass.  I finished the back with some leather cording.  I'm thrilled with the way this one turned out but I wonder if the addition of the dark red into the color palette was just a little too far out there. 

Next up, I made a variation of a necklace that I shared for the May Inspired by Reading Book Club.  You can see that original design HERE.  This time I used some green agate twisted barrels that I've probably had since 2008 with the wooden beads.  I added an extra pop of green by using dark green waxed linen to tie the deerskin leather lace closed at the ends.

I really wanted the gemstones to shine for this necklace.  At the last local bead show I attended, I had bought a premium strand of large Rocky Mountain Picture Jasper pendants from Dakota Stones.  They had a semi-matte finish and gorgeous colors.  I didn't have much in my stash that really worked with them but luckily I found some things when I went to the Dakota Stones showroom sale!  I picked up some matte Red Creek Jasper rounds and some Wild Horse Picture Jasper coins.  Since my only copper crimp covers are bright copper (and coated so they won't darken in liver of sulfur!), I attached a stack of small antiqued copper jump rings to cover my crimp beads and finished the back with copper plated chain.

Full disclosure:  this is the necklace that I am most proud of in this round of submissions and the one that I'm actually sad that they didn't choose.  This is another case where I actually shopped for the perfect stones to use for this necklace.  When I saw the gold and black druzy strands at the Dakota Stones showroom, I knew I wanted to use them for the Earth Form category even though those babies aren't cheap!  Finding the strand of Blue Golden Eye ovals was like a lightning bolt to my brain telling me that they needed to be mixed into a two strand necklace with the druzys.  It took a fair amount of playing with the strand lengths to get the wire wrapped druzys to play nice and I'm actually not sure it's totally there yet, but I'm so in love with the look!  I'll keep playing and wear testing until I get it perfect.

The last of the necklaces that I made for this issue was this lariat style necklace.  This isn't a style that I usually make but I wanted to see if I could stretch myself and pull it off at the final hour before submissions were due.  I picked up some beaded chain from Lima Beads (there was no way that I had the time or patience to make all those tiny links myself!) and used that for one side of the necklace and then strung a purple seed bead mix on the other.  I anchored the look with an amethyst pendant.

Most bracelets and earrings that the magazine editors accept end up in two page spreads that they call "galleries."  This time I sent them a couple of random bracelets that I had just made... they selected one and here is the other!  This is a slight variation on a design that I have done before but using a different size and shape Czech glass bead.  I painted and shaped the bracelet's focal and then added the wire-wrapped links.  This bracelet will be at the July shopping event at Perfectly Random 2 in Lakeville July 7-10.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out what I've been working on lately!


  1. These are quite nice; the druzy beads and the colors are exactly what they mentioned in their brief. I am surprised that it was not selected.Butif am not wrong with my calculation you must have 6 pieces in the issue - wow! I made around 5 pieces (remade some of them 2-3 times)and then selected 3 of that and sent. I am thankful though that they have picked one.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Divya! And congratulations to you on having a piece selected too! I did have 6 pieces chosen and I'm so excited about it! But I did send them 12 to look at. ;) This was the first time that I just set out to make as many pieces as possible for as many categories as I could and just sent it all.

  2. I understand your disappointment and frustration. I purchased specific components for my necklace submissions for the same issue and none were chosen. I've been submitting my work for more than 4 years and have had a few pieces selected, which does feel great. I wish they provided a bit of feedback as guidance. Take a look at the selections that are published as inspiration - asymmetrical is frequently there. Good luck & Bead On!!

    1. I'm not really disappointed or frustrated... I'm pretty thrilled that they wanted some of my pieces! I think I was just a bit surprised that they didn't pick my druzy piece. :) I always look at designing for magazines a win win situation. Best case, they choose something... worst case, I've made some new jewelry! Best of luck to you too!