Saturday, December 5, 2009
My sale is actually store-wide through my etsy shop, so be sure to check out some of the great values I have in store for you! Shop for gifts for others, or gifts for yourself! In addition to sale prices on everything, I'm offering free shipping to US and Canada!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I found this on ammjewelry's blog and thought it would be fun to share with you! "Join me in playing this game...name "5 Things You Love about Making Jewelry, but Shouldn't!" I read this question some time ago on my daughters blogs in a basic form, and thought it would be fun to pose this question to my blogging buddies."
MY five things:
1) I love the feel of metal as I form it, cut it, bend it, twist it, saw it, heat it, etc... It's (usually) under my control. I tell it what to do - it cooperates, or I force it. The very first jewelry item I made was with teeny tiny seed beads. They didn't cooperate. Thread is not my friend. Metal is.
2) I love spending money on all kinds of supplies for jewelry making. Whether it be tools (yes - lots of tools!), metal, dust masks, safety glasses, storage containers, display items, classes, books, stones (the photo above is my haul from the Bellevue Bead Festival this afternoon), photo stuff and oh, did I mention... Tools?
3) It's challenging. I am constantly learning new things by taking classes and doing loads of experimentation with metal. I've never been a creative person before, so this is opening up a whole new world and I love every minute of it. I fail a lot as I learn. I re-do things, I melt my failures and reuse the leftovers. There's always something else I can do with a piece when it doesn't work out. The thrill of seeing someone like my jewelry enough to buy it is worth all the failures.
4) It's a fun way to pass a lot of time and to make new friends. My hubby works a lot of hours. If he knows I'm not bored, he feels better about working so much. I gladly do this for him! Right.
5) I like fire. I read somewhere today (I can't remember where or I would give credit) that 'Every jeweler is a pyromaniac with a purpose'. When I started this, I was afraid of fire. Imagine that. How silly!
Do I have to stop at 5? There are so many more reasons I love this art/hobby/life!
Then, Holly Wilcox's blog added 5 things you hate about jewelry making. Mine are:
1) I'm sadly in need of a good night's sleep. I make jewelry through the wee hours of the morning, and then I dream about making jewelry.
2) My hands are a mess. I'm in desperate need of a manicure, but why bother?
3) I rarely take time to read books anymore. I'd rather make jewelry instead.
4) I'm hooked on social media - blogs, facebook, and email take up far too much time, but I love them.
5) I hate it when I have a bad solder day. Fortunately, that happens less often than it did 6 months ago.
That's it for now. I'm off to get some sterling out of the pickle pot - I've got work to do!
Have a great week everyone and wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Here's the list of participants:
A Crafty Arab - Arabic and Persian greeting cards and more
Lavender Drops - Lavender Sachets
Pepo Park - Natural soaps, lip balms bath products and more
Sakurabloom - Women's fashion accessories
World Of Whimm - Creative children's dress up items to spark the imagination
Scary White Girl - Funky crocheted items
SCJ Jewelry Design - My unique jewelry items
Please join us for a fun afternoon and get a little holiday shopping done early!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I've made about 20 pairs of earrings that aren't listed on etsy and a few other holiday craft show exclusive items for the 14th. So, if you're in WA, your chance to shop in person is right around the corner!
And if you're in the midwest, my jewelry is now being offered in 2 shops! Look for my jewelry at "Seasons on St. Croix Gallery" in Hudson, WI and also at the University of MN Medical Center - Fairview gift shop in Minneapolis, MN.
My bench is calling for me. It's play time again!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
My other new etsy shop listings include:
Friday, October 2, 2009
Do you ever get a song in your head that stays with you for days? If you're about (ummm) my age, you probably heard that Mary Travers, of the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary, passed away recently. Ever since then, I've had the song "If I Had a Hammer" playing over and over again in my head. What a great song, back then and today!
Well, I decided to pick up my favorite hammer, a piece of heavy copper wire, and start to sing and hammer away. No saws, no files, just a hammer and an anvil. This necklace set is the result of all that hammering. (OK, I admit I used a hole punch to make the holes in the tops so I could connect the pieces to chain and earwires.)
You can watch a video here of Peter, Paul and Mary singing the song. Enjoy!
IF I HAD A HAMMER (The Hammer Song) words and music by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger
If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening
All over this land
I'd hammer out danger
I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land
If I had a bell
I'd ring it in the morning
I'd ring it in the evening
All over this land
I'd ring out danger
I'd ring out a warning
I'd ring out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land
If I had a song
I'd sing it in the morning
I'd sing it in the evening
All over this land
I'd sing out danger
I'd sing out a warning
I'd sing out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land
Well I've got a hammer
And I've got a bell
And I've got a song to sing
All over this land
It's the hammer of justice
It's the bell of freedom
It's the song about love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land
©1958, 1962 (renewed), 1986 (renewed)
TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
The purple/pink pendant stone, which I purchased while vacationing in Victoria, BC this summer, is a pink star ruby and a member of the labradorite family. I just fell in love with it because of its' unique color and depth. I had planned to set it with some ornamentation on the sides, but that didn't work out as I wanted, so I cut the ornamentation off and decided to just keep the setting simple and plain. That's always a good, last resort. After many hours of setting, pushing and burnishing the bezel, the stone was a still little loose in the setting. I had given up and decided it was good enough to just keep for myself and not worry about making it perfect. I'd chalk it up to a learning experience. But tonight as I shot the photo, the perfectionist crept up inside of me and forced me to pick up my pusher and burnisher tools. I've just spent the past hour trying to tighten it up. And I was successful at tightening the stone. Big mistake. You see, bezel wire is very thin fine silver and the more you push and stretch it to curve over the top of the stone, the thinner it gets. Well, I made it so thin that part of it chipped off where it meets the stone. Now the bezel is ragged and the stone is loose again. It's a lost cause. Tomorrow, I will probably just cut the setting apart, remove the stone and start all over again. I should have quit while I was ahead.
Meanwhile, I'm working on another pendant that I'm also having trouble with. While trying to solder a wire to the back of the pendant, I managed to solder the wire not only to the pendant back, but to my third hand as well. I had to cut the wire apart from the third hand and cut the wire off of the back of the pendant, too. Lot's of sanding later, I'm afraid it's going to end up being another pendant just for me.
My motto for this weekend is "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again." I have to keep reminding myself that I'm having fun. Even as I make mistakes, I am learning.
I hope you're having a wonderful, creative holiday this weekend!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
A quick post this morning as I get ready for the day with out of town guests. I set this blue impression jasper stone into a pendant yesterday. I started it in my soldering class and finished it at 3:00am today! It's going to be a tough day for me today as I face it on 3 hours of sleep. I'm getting just a little obsessed here. I need some balance.
While setting this stone, I put a number of surface scratches in it. I tried polishing it with some of my metal polishes and added a bit of wax. That hides the scratches pretty well, but I'm wondering if anyone has some advice for me about how to polish out the fine scratches that I see when looking from the side. I'll try tumbling it later on, but I really have no experience with this sort of thing yet. I know it was foolish of me to not cover the stone while setting it, but... I guess I was just too lazy...which is a shame.
I think I'll be keeping this one for my own wear, as it has a sloppy solder on the bezel wire. It looks like I almost fried the metal. I may dip the whole thing in liver of sulfur; that might hide the mark. This was an experiment and my first time soldering at home. For now I'm using a propane torch and the heat is a little different than the acetylene ones we use in class. It will take some getting used to. But overall, my soldering skills are improving nicely. I'm loving working with fire.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Before today's class, I made the components (links and spirals) for the pictured bracelet. Today, I soldered the sterling wire spirals to the sterling links during class. The bracelet has 8 links and 5 of 8 solders worked on my first try. The remaining 3 had to be soldered twice, but all worked fine on the second go round, so I feel really good about them. I also soldered spiral links shut for a necklace similar to one I've posted in the past, but now there will be no chance of the links sliding off their connecting rings.
As I expected, soldering will add another level of professionalism to my jewelry. Rivets, which I have done a lot of in the past, are nice for items that have an industrial quality to them, but soldering will allow me to add more delicate things and better finishing touches to my work.
I've spent the past week shopping for/hunting down items to prepare a soldering station at home. Boric acid, borax, TSP, Sparex, flux, various types of solder, torch tips, titanium picks... the list goes on... I'm almost ready! I'll be moving my workspace from the office to a spare bedroom (which will no longer be a bedroom) later next month. I need the room prior to that for visiting guests, but after that time, we will have 'only' one guest bedroom and a fold out couch in the bonus room when we have company. I'm getting so eager to move in! Right now I have my flex shaft set up in the garage and I'm planning a temporary soldering set up there as well. Oh, how I miss our MN basement and the wonderful workshop Rich had built (for himself) there. I could really use it now. Our WA home doesn't have a basement :( Who knew I would ever need or want a workshop of my own?
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Today's class involved learning to make fused chains. We used fine silver wire, cut precision rings out if it, fused each ring (I was really out of practice fusing and ruined the first half of the rings I tried), then we stretched out each ring, folded it over and linked each one together to make this bracelet. I like it and am planning to make more after I return to WA next week. I think I'll play around a little with the size of each link and try to make something a little more delicate looking than this one. Janice experimented and put beads inside each link for a very interesting look. A necklace out of these links with large, sterling beads, stone and crystal accents is also something I'm planning to make in the future. Janice had one and oh, it is gorgeous!
Tomorrow, I'll be taking off to visit family and friends in MN for a couple of days. Hubby will stay home and mind the pets. I'll be bringing lots and lots of jewelry with me - most of it has never been on etsy, so if you'd like to take a look, give me a call and we'll see if I can fit you into my already busy schedule!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
It may be a bit morbid, and probably more information about me than you care to know, but I mark time by who was/was not alive at the time of the event. Like most people, I’ve had many losses in my lifetime. Today marks the 21st anniversary of my most significant, life changing loss. My first husband, the love of my life, was killed tragically in a car accident 21 years ago today. In one split second, life as I knew it would never be again. Suddenly, I was a young widow and a single mother.
Even though now years later, I’ve managed to somehow create a different life, actually a very happy life, this date is always one of great reflection for me. I am grateful for so many things; for 10 years of marriage to him, for the beautiful child we had together, that we learned to build a life out of love, hard work, humor, true joy, caring and understanding. His positive attitude towards life was contagious and I am forever blessed by his influence and love in my life. So on this day, I’ll remember, reflect, honor and give thanks for my many blessings and for the people that I’ve loved and have loved me.
Today, while we have the opportunity, let's take a moment to say "I love you" to the people we love.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
My first bezel set ring is finished! It was another fun day in class. I finished setting the stone and polishing the ring. It's actually shinier than the photo appears. I also learned to make hollow metal beads that were soldered around a center seam; of course mine didn't fully solder around the entire seam though. I still need more practice with that technique. I also pierced and sawed a little more in preparation for a pendant. And I learned some different techniques for riveting!
My bench neighbor made a beautiful opal ring, but she ran into quite a few problems during the process. She spent the whole day patiently working on the ring, eventually with great success. But, at the end of the day she was so tired and discouraged that she wasn't sure she liked it any more. Sometimes we get so emotionally invested in our pieces that if a piece was a huge challenge, the finished product can either be resented or be loved all the more - as a labor of love. Her dad cut the opal stone himself, so I hope that when she sees the ring again tomorrow, she falls in love with it. After all, she and her dad put a lot of themselves into it.
More tomorrow. Four consecutive days of class is a lot of information to process!
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I just received an email from the Wickedly Chic website to tell me they have included my ring, "Good Day Sunshine" in the Daily Ditties section of their site today! You can see it here! This is such a surprise treat and honor for me!
So, even on a cloudy day in Seattle, it's a Good Day Sunshine. How many old songs does that line make you think of? I can't decide which one to sing first!
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I also want to give a shout out in praise of Team etsyrain's organizers. They really do a lot to help local etsy sellers. Thanks Kayce for putting this treasury together!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Although I missed being outside in today's nice weather, I had a great time in another jewelry class. Today's class involved making riveted amulets, taught by Janice Berkebile of Wired Arts. The two lampwork beads were purchased about a year ago in MN. The other sterling silver bead is something that I originally purchased to be a focal bead in a Viking knit bracelet, but it turned out to be too large and heavy for a bracelet. I think it worked out perfectly for today's project! It's my favorite of the 3 - I think I may have to keep that one for myself. I'll add a sterling ball chain to it to give it a little more of an industrial feel. I'm thinking about adding some form of embellishment to the tops of the bails, but I haven't yet decided on what they should be. When I finish them, I'll list them on etsy.
I wish I had taken a photo of every one's finished pieces. They were fantastic and each of us produced items that were very different from the others. I have ordered some river rock beads and I plan to use them in some riveted pieces.
I also now have 5 finished riveted rings and will be listing them gradually on etsy. I spent Thursday and Friday hammering and pounding away, making components for mixed metal bracelets. I have enough for 2 bracelets so far. All I need to do to finish them is do the riveting, which will I estimate will take me about 7 hours more. Fun, but very time consuming.
The rest of my holiday weekend will be spent enjoying the sunny Seattle weather! Yes, the sun really does shine here occasionally :) I hope you enjoy your long weekend, too!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
When I first started making jewelry, I dabbled in various materials; seed beads, wire, beads, stones, pearls, more wire, crystals, leather, even more wire, sheet metal... you name it, I think I've used it. My passion has lead me to almost exclusively work with some form of metal, either in wire or sheet metal form and sterling is my favorite. Beads are a mystery to me now and I find myself increasingly overwhelmed at the possibility of combining them into something wearable.
My Seattle area etsy team created another challenge to stretch and inspire us. The theme is "Seattle Summer - What do you think of when you think of summer in Seattle?" Well, I think of fresh fruit in abundance and I'm craving really juicy cantaloupe. The necklace in the photo is what I made, with a bit of creative and technical difficulty. Seems I've forgotten how to blend colors, how to string beads, use crimps and crimp covers. I can't even count how many feet of Softflex I wasted and the number of crimps & covers I messed up in the process. My desk (and floor) is an absolute mess with beads sprawled out everywhere. Making jewelry is usually a calming, relaxing time for me. This was a challenge and I find I can't wait to get back to working with metal again.
I spent this morning in what seemed like heaven, making sterling silver infinity shaped links while having coffee with a fellow etsyrain member, Beth Newfeld of heart felt. Beth makes beautiful, creative felted and crocheted items. Check out her etsy shop today!
Someday, I may come back to working with beads, but right now, my sterling sheet metal is calling my name! I will be making 4 special order mixed metal bracelets and pendant/earring sets in the coming weeks and I'm psyched about pounding and riveting like a crazy woman!
Isn't it interesting how we gravitate toward certain things at different times in our lives? What phase are you being pulled toward?