Jewel Loom Your Beads with Julianna

Julianna Avelar (Jewels) and I had a chance to visit during the Craft and Hobby Association show. Jewels is not only a friend, she is the inventor of the Jewel Loom, author of Jewel Loom Inspirations, and has filmed several videos with us, including the “Friendship Bracelet with Picot Stitch.” We had a great time catching up and it was fun to hear about all she’s up to. Here’s the inside scoop!

Jewel Loom Inspirations by Julianna Avelar
Jewel Loom Inspirations by Julianna Avelar

BD: Jewels – you’ve had quite a creative journey so far. Can you give us a little insight on all the areas of our wonderful crafting and jewelry world you’ve touched?

JA: Wow, well, I’m trying to think about what I haven’t touched, LOL! Seriously, I’ve been so blessed to do so many different things in this industry, from being an on-air talent for more than 20 years, to developing products on the shelf at Michaels, JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby, AC Moore and so many Independents all over the world, to creating jewelry, writing books, and even helping large and small companies brand their product lines. All things that I’m beyond grateful for.

Jewel's Jewel Loom in action, from Jewel Loom Inspirations
Jewel’s Jewel Loom in action, from Jewel Loom Inspirations

BD: What do you see yourself working on in 5 years?

JA: I’m very much about living in the now so I don’t look too far ahead. All we know is in this moment what will be. I will say that I cannot imagine a life without creativity and sharing. My purpose is to love, therefore, I imagine I‘ll be creating, speaking, teaching, giving and sharing my life journey.

Julianna Avelar happy by the water
Jewels on the dock

BD: Who from the craft and jewelry industry has inspired you and helped shape where you are today?

JA: Without any question, I wouldn’t be where I am without the guidance of Aleene Jackson, inventor of Tacky Glue, and her daughter Tiffany Windsor. Both great women who have helped shape me into the spiritual businesswoman I am today.

"Sunshine Sparkle" earrings, by Julianna Avelar from Jewel Loom Inspirations
“Sunshine Sparkle” earrings, by Julianna Avelar from Jewel Loom Inspirations

BD: Is there anything learned along the way you keep in the present and always moving forward with you?

JA: I’ve had many lessons in this lifetime, both personal and professional, which have at times, knocked me to my knees. But, it’s always been my strong desire, since I was a young girl, to be okay. This has kept me going. You have to live your truth, be honest about what really makes your soul sing, and embrace your fears like they’re your best friends.

Julianna Avelar as a baby, already with pearls in her hands.
Jewel’s as a baby, already with pearls in her hands!

People, companies, and clients will try to get whatever they can out of you and YOU need to be able to know if those opportunities/experiences are going to sustain you! Ask yourself – “Is this part of my truth,” then be okay walking away, even from the big paying jobs and gigs you think you cannot live without. If they don’t serve your purpose then let them go! I’ve made six figures a year and have been down to $200 in my bank account not knowing what tomorrow will bring, which is why I live in the now and continue to live my truth.

BD: I can tell from looking at the designs in your book, Jewel Loom Inspirations, you draw a lot of inspiration from nature. Can you share with the Beading Daily community how you translate your inspiration into a design? Sketches, colored pencils, pictures, whatever you might use to take an idea from concept to reality.

JA: I am completely inspired by nature. The natural beauty before us is priceless. You can sit at the beach and imagine all of the treasures that are beneath the water, the colorful fish, the boat wrecks with their multiple layers of rust in various shades, the reefs, the colors of the water depending on which way the wind is blowing. I love taking someone’s passion for nature and creating pieces for them based on that love. The bracelet I made in honor of my Portuguese grandma the night she passed away was created using all of the colors of the earth.

Julianna Avelar with her grandmother
Jewel’s with her grandmother

She raised everything by hand so I used natural colors for the ground, greens for the veggies, grey tones that represented her long beautiful grey hair and other beads that simply spoke to her soul. Everything I create is based on my own “Soul Experience” in this life.

Julianna Avelar's bracelet design inspired by her grandmother.
Jewel’s bracelet design inspired by her grandmother.

BD: You’re the inventor of the Jewel Loom and are so dynamic in your use of beads, influencing using beads in new ways – what do you have coming up you can share with us?

JA: Well…….lets just say its cuter than cute and so adorable I cannot wait for you to see it! I’m also always creating bead kits for use with the Jewel Loom along with other findings and items, not only for beadwork on a loom but for simple stringing.

Jewels – it’s always so wonderful to have time with you. Thank you for sharing so much of YOU with You inspire us and will continue to delight us through your designs and spirit.

Have a favorite Jewel Loom design you’ve made and would like to share? Please post it in the comments below.

Happy Jewel Looming!

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Tammy Honaman

About Tammy Honaman

Tammy has enjoyed being immersed in jewelry-making education and jewelry design for over 20 years. Tammy is a renowned writer, educator, and expert in media communication and content creation across print, digital, and video – spanning from her days with Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Magazine, to numerous classes and leadership at BeadFest, Bead & Button, and many more.