Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just have to show this off!

Kelly Baldwin of KellyBaldwinDesigns made this stunner, and wow is it pretty on my finger!  I adore the details she adds to her designs, such as ruffled edges, asymmetrical ring shanks, roughly buffed finishes....all things that make her work really stand out.  I just love how she stamped "BEAUTY" on the back of this sterling silver and amazonite is right!  Kelly, you are a true artist!  She made my son's day when he discovered the bubbles/wand she included in the packaging.  New favorite Etsian, indeed!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

At last! Bridesmaid order is finished!

I've wire wrapped and hand polished until I have blisters but wow, these pieces are gorgeous!  They are for an October wedding, paired with silvery gray/brown bridesmaid dresses - you might call it a gunmetal color.  The bride contacted me through Etsy after finding my "Arnold Palmer" necklace.  I was SO flattered that not only did she like the necklace, but wanted 6 of them for her big day.  How exciting!  I hope to do more orders like these very soon, hint hint......  

Ashley - thank you, thank you for giving me this opportunity.  Congrats!

Friday, August 6, 2010

New items today

Amidst the start of a custom order for 6 bridesmaids, I'm trying to finish this week's pieces...busy busy!  My 3yo has taken a HUGE interest to the "shiny rocks" on my dining room table aka workspace.  Oh, the joys of motherhood combined with jewelry design.  Here are today's new items...
  • Swarovski light amethyst baroque pendant necklace in oxidized sterling silver
  • Grade A carnelian orange 3D cubes with 14K gold filled handmade earwires
  • Blue Flash labradorite gemstone encircled in hammered sterling silver
  • Icy blue hemimorphite rondelles on 14K gold filled chain

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ooh, sparkly!

I tried as best I could to capture the amazing glow of these aqua chalcedony stones, and I think they turned out pretty good! 

I am one of those people who gets a new gadget and just starts using it straight out of the box, tossing the instruction manual aside as if it were simply extra padding for safe shipment.  I still have not opened my Nikon D80 camera manual, 2 years after purchase.  I think these photos are testimony to the saying, "practice makes perfect"...what do you think?  :)

This necklace, dubbed The Caribbean Necklace, is stunning.  Five gorgeous aqua chalcedony heart briolettes are formed into a flower shape using gold filled wire. These stones catch light in such amazing ways, they truly glow. I tried to capture them with my camera as best I could :) The pendant rests on fine 14K gold filled chain and closes with an S-shaped gold plated clasp. Total length is 17 inches and the pendant measures 1 and 1/4 inches.

I am happy to alter designs if I can, this particular necklace is a popular piece that I sell and would make perfect bridesmaid necklaces! 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thai Silver Series

These Thai pendants are made by the Karen Hill Tribe in northern Thailand using traditional tribal methods passed down from generation to generation. Purchasing these Hill Tribe silver beads helps sustain a traditional craft and provides the Karen people with a reliable source of income. The silver content in Hill Tribe silver beads and pendants is typically 95-99%, even higher than sterling (92.5%). This higher silver content is softer and therefore easier to shape into all the unique and wonderful styles. On close inspection you will notice that no two pieces are exactly alike, attesting to the handmade nature of these beautiful pieces.  I love how gently each pendant is oxidized, giving it a well-loved look, and the weight is solid - you know you are holding a fine piece of silver!  These four necklaces are new to my shop this week.  Love them!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Feeling a bit down and creatively challenged...

I don't know if it's the hot weather, the fact that my #2 is sick, or that the baby swallows have left the nest (so SAD), but I am really lacking in motivation to get off my a$$ and create.  I received some amazing beads and wire this week, not to mention some nifty hand patinaed brass charms, but I just spent the last 2 hours staring at them  not knowing what to do.  This is the normal time that we'd pack the kids up for a week at the beach, but no.  So hot and no ocean.  That's my problem.  Hopefully the sky will open up tomorrow and I can sit in the wet driveway and create my own little beach, ha!  Here's to tomorrow, another day, another chance to make something pretty.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Baby barn swallows

Sad that these will fly away tomorrow most likely, they've been a great source of entertainment this month!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Here's to wishing we could get a dog

Maggie's laugh is the same high-pitched squeal, and she just goes on and on with it when her brothers are around, much like this clip :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

New stuff for June!

I've stepped out of my comfort zone and am happy to say I love the results.  What started as a few custom orders turned into many new design ideas and techniques.  Check them out below, and at my Etsy shop

The second picture is the first piece of sterling silver jewelry that I oxidized myself using the hard-boiled egg method ~ which is SO neat!  Since I have tiny tots in the house, I didn't want to use liver of sulfur to oxidize, which I understand to be quite odorous.  Instead, I followed these steps and in an hour I had a beautifully organic charcoal sheen.  Amazing.  I quickly rediscovered however that some of my s.silver findings were tarnish resistant.  I was a little disappointed when peering into the oxidization chamber (aka ziplock bag!) and realized that some parts of the necklace where still shiny.  After I took the necklace out and washed it off, I changed my mind.  I like the mixed metals look of it all.  Very interesting.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's hard to find time these days!

Maggie is crawling.  Maggie is EVERYWHERE!  I find myself going to bed before 9 these days since chasing her and her brothers wears. me. out.  I have lots of interesting design ideas racing through my head during the day and by the time the kids are fed and tucked in I am ready for night night too!  I have a sketch book of my designs.  Hopefully soon they'll materialize...and I can put those incredible amythest briolettes to good use! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New stuff!

I found some great glass baubles over the weekend and had fun on Sunday's the outcome.  Photographing them was as much fun as creating them!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How to get your own grab button

I am new (VERY new) at blogging about my jewelry and craft interests, but I've quickly picked up a lot of great tips for HTML code via the wonderful peeps out there in Bloggerland. 

Grab buttons are splashed all over blogs, as a means to direct your readers to other great sites, or to your Etsy shop, or to return a favor for those that support other words, it's advertising.

"Grab a Button!" is often pictured like this (hint!!)

It's pretty easy to customize this for your blog, took me minutes following these steps.

1. You'll need to create your image for the button, making it around 150x150 pixels so it will fit well in sidebars and won't stand out too much (unless of course that's your goal!)  I used -- FREE graphic editing software found on the web and very easy to use for beginners like myself.  Pick an image that's easily identifiable to your site and text that's legible at such a small size.  Keep it simple.  Save the image file as .gif

2. Upload your snazzy button image to an image hosting site - I use Photobucket.

3. In another tab, log into your Blogger account and go to the Page Elements page. Click on "Add a Gadget" and select HTML/JavaScript.

4. Copy and paste the following code in the text area:

5. In Photobucket (or wherever you chose to store your button), copy the URL or direct link and paste it in both places where the code says YOUR BUTTON LOCATION.

6. Replace the words YOUR BLOG ADDRESS with the address for your blog.

7. I recommend grabbing your own button and adding it back to your site to test it out, but remember to remove it so readers won't think you're COMPLETELY obsessed with your blog.  :-)

6 Things: April, dazzling & blue

1) Blue Skies and a Flower Necklace from SweetMaggieJane, $26
2) Rainy Days Plate from aspeerstudio, $35
3) April Showers Melting Tarts from countryhomescent, $1.95
4) Repurposed Silk Earrings from kangas, $18
5) Luxe Solitaire Necklace from briguysgirls, $32
6) April Showers Necklace from jewellrybyvanya, $19

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pick of the Week: Octaviabloom

I am in love with Jenny's "Olivene's Lady Cap Charm" necklace at octaviabloom.  I stare at the photos of her work and think "how hard could that be?" but I've tried the wrapping, and let me tell you, this gal's got talent!  Her picks for color and technique are truly eye-catching and fabulous.  Octaviabloom pieces are often featured on my favorites list on Etsy.  She definitely deserves my Pick of the Week (aka Purchase of the Week!)  :-)

6 Things: Easter Lovelies

1. The Down Necklace from PoleStar Jewelry, $50
2. Bunny Softie Stuffed Animal from MadeOnFifthStreet, $15
3. Leaping Rabbit Necklace from FolkArtTreeFandangle, $33
4. Lavender Wreath from StylishStems, $60
5. Easter Egg Cookies from AndreasGoodies, $5
6. Ceramic Bird Necklace from SparklePeach, $24

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Re-org: A need for my own space

When we bought this house we didn't think we'd be here long or have 3 kids!  It was a mansion for the 2 of us, now we're buried in toys and baby gear, with no place to go for quiet creative time.  Little 2yo's "tiny things" curiosity has caused some major bead catastrophes in the deep carpet as you might imagine!  I've been creating on our dining room table, having to re-pack my supplies every few days for play dates and company mealtimes.  ANNOYING.  So I'm searching for a better option, at this point I might carve out a table area in our basement with no HVAC (sigh). I aim to get hubby to build a wall shelf with slots for tools and larger supplies, and am in search for a HUGE stacked drawer system for the beads and findings.   Having this new space away from little fingers is the most important thing, but of course I want it to be comfy, smart and a place I want to be in, not cursing at!

Here's my "space" and storage right now, crazy amounts of supplies crammed into the bottom box, tools in the Stride Rite box, chain and wire in the velvet roll.  Having to pack it up is insane.   I long for drawers, a rockin' lamp, rubber work mat, etc.

I'm up for any suggestions, i.e. better bead and wire storage, picks are welcome.  What are the favorite features of your creative space?  What do you not like?  More importantly what gets your creative juices flowing while you're there?

Friday, March 26, 2010

My most wanted supplies

I thought I'd share some of my favorite supply items that are on Etsy right now, images only as I'm sure they'll be gone tomorrow.  Beautiful stones and handmade findings, mouthwatering!

So you wanna be a metalsmith...

For years I've wanted to take metalsmithing classes, but I don't know anything about the craft, only that I just want to mold and shape silver and gold around stones and into my own unique designs...after all, wire wrapping can only accomplish so much.  It'll be interesting to follow this metalsmith label on my blog to see what transpires!  Stay tuned...

Examples of what I'd love to learn, from some of my favorite Etsy sellers:


Latest Necklaces

I had some down time the other night and came up with these.  I 'm experimenting with my camera more, trying to get the right amount of light, hard to do when juggling the kids - seems they're always awake when I want to photograph.  New lens is amazing though!