Handmade Jewelry

Tag Archives: Hang Ups Jewelry


Now that we are all singing with David Bowie we have some changes that we’d like to share with you.

Last week we made our annual trip to beautiful Ventura, California for the Craftcation Conference.  This is a conference for creatives and makers like us.  You can focus on the business side by taking classes in branding, marketing, wholesaling, etc or explore your creative side by attending classes in anything from hand-lettering and sewing to wood-burning.  This is the time of year where we focus on the future of our business and create a plan to achieve our goals.

One of the decisions that we made last week was to streamline our newsletter and blog into one publication that will be published every two weeks.  This will be our final blog post but our new and improved newsletter will debut on May 23rd.  If you haven’t already subscribed to our newsletter you can sign up here.

Thanks for spending time with us over the past few years.  We look forward to keeping up via our newsletter for years to come.

Carolyn & Kristi

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Art That Blows?

How could Art That Blows possibly be a good thing?  Trust us, it is.  The only thing about it that blows is possibly a few of the brass instruments that have been made into fabulous art to benefit Band of Angels.  Art That Blows is the summer fundraiser for Band of Angels that takes place the second Friday in June every year.

As we’ve mentioned before, Band of Angels is an amazing Kansas City non-profit who collect neglected instruments from the public, clean them up and give them to kids in need who wish to participate in band and orchestra programs.  Some of the donated instruments are beyond repair.  It is these instruments that artists from all over Kansas City use to make stunning pieces to be auctioned off at Art That Blows.  Lamps, sculptures, fountains, jewelry, wall art and much much more is available.

This year we will be donating 30 pieces of jewelry that will be auctioned off.  We are already working on our pieces and thought we’d give you a sneak peek.

Any guesses as to what instruments were used in each piece?  We’d love to hear your guesses.  Just reply to this blog to join in the fun.  If you’d like to use our website as a cheat sheet click here and cruise our Band of Angels Collection.

If you are in the Kansas City area we’d love to see you at Art That Blows this year on Friday June 9th.  If you’d like to see some of the artwork from last years auction click here.  If you have an instrument that is gathering dust at your house you can donate it at any Meyer Music location.

Have a wonderful week!

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Musical Instrument Make-Over: Trombone

We are having fun showing you what we can do with retired instruments that can no longer be used to make music. Today we are featuring some photos of a trombone that was donated to Band of Angels.   Once it was inspected by the repair team from Meyer Music and determined unplayable it was given to us so that it could continue to give back through our jewelry and donations to Band of Angels.  Band of Angels is an amazing organization that gives kids in need, who wish to participate in orchestra and band programs, instruments. They also provide scholarships to music camps and are working on new ways to make a difference in kids lives in the Kansas City area.

Here are a few of the pieces of trombone jewelry that we currently have available on our website:

You can find these pieces of trombone jewelry on our website by clicking here.

We love following musicians on social media.  One of our favorite musicians is Troy Andrews, aka Trombone Shorty; musician, producer, actor and philanthropist from the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana.  You can find him on Instagram by clicking here.  He is incredibly talented and gives back to musicians and musically gifted kids in the New Orleans area.  He even has an autobiographical picture book for children that you can find on Amazon by clicking the image below.  He’s an inspiration.

Next up:  saxophone make-over, in two weeks.

We hope you have a great week!






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Caring For Your Jewelry

If you follow us regularly and see the condition of the instruments and antiques that we create with pre-clean up you know that we clean tarnished metal every day.  What is tarnish?  It is a dull/ dark discoloration on metal that causes it to lose it’s shine.  Tarnish is a natural thing that can happen any time.  Don’t take tarnish personally, it’s a natural process that happens when your jewelry is exposed to air or moisture.  The good news is that tarnish can be removed!  Here are our tips for polishing your jewelry:

  • You can use a polishing cloth for minor discoloration.  These clothes are inexpensive and can be found in local stores an online.
  • We use Wright’s Silver Cream to clean the instruments prior to making jewelry with them.




  • Here is an example of what some of our tuba keys looks before and after polishing with Wright’s Silver Cream:


Before polishing.

After polishing.








  • When polishing your jewelry be very gentle.  Our jewelry is sturdy but some pieces can be bent or broken if you are too rough with them.

Here are some tips for caring for your jewelry:

  • Do not wear your jewelry in the shower or swimming pool.
  • Avoid contact with lotion, perfume and hairspray.
  • When you take your jewelry off, store it in a safe, dry place.

We hope that our advice for caring for your jewelry has been helpful.  As we say at the end of every newsletter – Shine On!



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Planning for Giving Tuesday

As we all know, November is the best month of the year to shop.  The big box retail shops count on huge sales on Black Friday, which is on November 25th this year.  Small businesses like ours, who cannot afford to compete with the deep discounts that the big box stores offer, count on you to think of us on Small Business Saturday (November 26th).  Then we have Cyber Monday on November 29th, when retailers again count on us to spend big bucks on their online sales.  Then after the turkey is done and loads of money has been spent along comes Giving Tuesday.  It’s well promoted but after the crazy shopping weekend is over many people feel tapped out.  That is why we’re asking you to think about planning ahead for Giving Tuesday by putting some money aside to give to your favorite non-profit.  If you can’t afford to donate to a non-profit financially, please consider donating your time.  In the non-profit world the donation of time is as valuable as money.

We have two non-profit partners that truly give our small business purpose; Literacy KC and Band of Angels.

Most cities have an organization that focuses on literacy for adults.  When I lived in Barrie, Ontario (Canada) I donated by time as a tutor at the Barrie Literacy Council.  A similar organization in Kansas City is called Literacy KC. Literacy KC provides services that include private tutoring, digital literacy, math and family reading programs.  To find your local literacy connection just google your city name and the word literacy.  These organizations are always looking for tutors and other volunteer help.  Five years ago Kristi and I developed a rewarding relationship with Literacy KC. We created a collection of word jewelry that gives back to Literacy KC with every sale, year around.  These pieces make excellent gifts for teachers, readers, writers and graduates.  You can check out our Literacy KC Collection by clicking here.   It has been so fun to watch this amazing organization grow over the years.



Donating is easy!  To donate to Literacy Kansas City simply click on their logo (left) and then the blue “donate” button in the upper right hand corner of their main page.  If you would like to tutor or donate your time in another way give them a call!




Through Literacy Kansas City and ultimately the One Million Cups Program (entrepreneurs check this out) we met Mike Meyer from Meyer Music, founder of the Band of Angels Program.  Band of Angels collects, repairs and distributes donated instruments to kids in need who wish to participate in band and orchestra programs.   We use the instruments that cannot be repaired to make jewelry for our Band of Angels Collection.  A generous percentage of each sale goes directly back to Band of Angels year around.  Through fundraisers, our partnership, and a partnership with Roadhouse Fountains they also raise money to send kids in need to music camp in the summer.  Click on our Roadhouse Fountains link – Keith is wonderfully creative.  I love my saxophone/trumpet/ trombone fountain.


To donate to Band of Angels simply click on their logo (left) and then the yellow “donate” button on the top right hand corner of their main page.  If you have an instrument that you would like to donate, it can be dropped off at any Meyer Music location.




Even though we donate to both of these amazing non-profits year around we also put aside some money to donate to them on Giving Tuesday.  Both of these programs work so hard and impact so many lives in our community.  It seems like the right thing to do after a weekend of shopping.

Happy November friends!


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Season of Giving Featuring Ni-Chern Designs & Lucky 13 Rescue

We’d like to introduce you to our friend Nicole from Ni-Chern Designs.  Nicole is well known in the Kansas City area for her gorgeous handmade aprons, bags and dog collars (and much much more).   She has recently partnered with a very special non-profit that helps homeless pets get healthy and find forever homes.  Nicole has graciously agreed to guest blog for us this week to let us know what is going on with Lucky 13 Rescue.

Hi there! I am Nicole from Ni-Chern Designs!

I am so honored to be writing a blog post for Hang Ups for this season of giving.

There is a new non-profit animal rescue in town called Lucky 13 Rescue.


Lucky 13 Rescue takes in unwanted, stray, and lost pets in the Kansas City and surrounding areas.

I met one of the co-founders, Mandy, of Lucky 13 Rescue a while ago through some handmade connections.  When I heard she was creating Lucky 13 Rescue, I wanted to be able to help out with her new adventure! Ni-Chern Designs donates dog collars to Lucky 13 Rescue. All newly adopted dogs will receive a brand new Ni-Chern Designs dog collar!

Here you can see Blu Moon in her Ni-Chern Designs’ collar with her new family!


Want to know how you can help Lucky 13 Rescue?

Lucky 13 Rescue is hosting their first annual fundraiser on Saturday, Oct 29! More info below:


Check out all the raffle products here.

If you are able to attend to help support Lucky 13 Rescue, that would be amazing! If you are not able to attend, you are always welcome to donate on their website! Or even buy from their Amazon wishlist, and everything will be delivered directly to them!

If you are interested in a Ni-Chern Designs dog collar, check them out here! Use code “lucky13”, 10% of your purchase will be donated to Lucky 13 Rescue!

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What’s in Our Shopping Bags

It’s the beginning of October and the weather is gorgeous.  Having booths at Chick Events Handmade & Vintage Show and Strange Folk Festival in September has really gotten us in the shopping mood.  We love to buy handmade for our friends & family and what better place than the shows that we are also selling at?  We thought it would be fun to share with you what has made it into our shopping bags so far this year.  Just click on the photo to visit the websites of these amazing artists.  We wish you all a very happy fall!


This gorgeous bud vase and small dish were made by Art by Jen Fontanella.  Jen is a Kansas City based artist who creates beautiful handcrafted ceramics and jewelry.



Check out these unique note cards! They are just the tip of the iceberg of awesomeness from Kansas City based artist Cat Coquillette, of CatCoq.



We can’t even begin to express how much we love this super soft Highwaymen t-shirt by Philomena + Ruth.  Philomena + Ruth is a store, located in Waterloo IL, owned by accessory designer Elizabeth Hahn.


This t-shirt, also by Philomena + Ruth, is the perfect fit for two people we know. We know they will love them!

This t-shirt, also by Philomena + Ruth, is the perfect fit for two people we know. We know they will love them!


We love all of the ceramics created by Cloud Studios.  She was selling out fast so we had to make a decision.  It was so hard to choose from all the gorgeous ceramics created by Brandace cloud of e know that this dish will be a hit!

We love all of the ceramics created by Brandace Cloud of Cloud Studios.  She was selling out fast so we had to make a decision. We know that this dish will be a hit!


Joy Tote Bag by Fisher Fine Arts, Ashland, Ohio

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Season of Giving

The summer is almost over and we are moving towards the season of giving.  We’re going to spend the next few months focusing on ways to give such as supporting a non-profit, making handmade gifts for the holidays, gift guides full of stuff we love and introducing you to some of our creative friends.  In the meantime, it’s still September, one of our busiest months of the year. Chick Events Handmade & Vintage Show was a smashing success so we are in major re-stock mode for Strange Folk Festival in St. Louis this coming weekend.  Here’s a peek at what we’re up to these days.  We wish you a very happy and creative September!

Cutting cello wood with my scroll saw to make jewelry benefiting Band of Angels KC.

Cutting cello wood with my scroll saw to make jewelry benefiting Band of Angels KC.

Kristi using the drill press to make holes in cello tuning pegs that become necklaces for our Band of Angels Collection.

Kristi using the drill press to make holes in cello tuning pegs that become necklaces for our Band of Angels Collection.

Cutting typewriter keys to make them into rings, earrings and necklaces that will benefit Literacy Kansas City.

Cutting typewriter keys to make them into rings, earrings and necklaces that will benefit Literacy Kansas City.



Cutting a french horn key to make it into a pendant for our Band of Angels Collection.

Cutting a french horn key to make it into a pendant for our Band of Angels Collection.
























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What’s Up With Hang Ups?

We have a brand new name and look!  Hang Ups in KC has transformed into Hang Ups Jewelry Designs.  If you’d like to check out our new look you can find us at our new websiteInstagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

September through the end of February are the busiest months of the year for our small business.  We participate in some really cool art & craft shows and have several pop up shops.  We’d love to meet you in person if you are out and about on any of these dates:

Saturday September 10th and Sunday September 11th:  Chick Events Handmade & Vintage Show, Leawood, KS

Saturday September 24th and Sunday September 25th:  Strange Folk Festival, St. Louis, MO

Saturday November 19th:  Pop Up Shop at Meyer Music Blue Springs, MO

Saturday December 3rd:  Pop Up Shop at Meyer Music Overland Park, KS

Saturday December 17th:  Pop Up Shop at Meyer Music Kansas City North, MO

Wednesday January 25th through Saturday January 28th:  Missouri Music Educators Conference, Lake of the Ozarks, MO

Thursday February 22nd through Saturday February 25th:  Kansas Music Educators Conference, Wichita, KS

We wish you a wonderful September!

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