Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another Treasury Honor!

I've been honored again in another etsy treasury for the next 2 days. This time by an inspiring glass artist, Kathleen Krukoff . Visit her wonderful shop at and her blog at . She shows incredible photos of how she makes her glass items on her blog. She's making some beautiful bowls right now -very, very interesting to see the process!
Be sure to visit her treasury with many other talented artists at
Thank you Kathleen!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Own Etsy Treasury!

Etsy's Treasury list is a place where seller's and buyer's can publicly post some of their favorite items (not of their own items). I've had the pleasure of being included in 2 treasuries in the past weeks. Tonight, I was determined to figure out how to compile a treasury of items in Etsy's treasury list. I read the instructions and waited and waited and waited... I had to stay up until 3:00am in order to grab a spot when they became available! Here is what I came up with! Enjoy these artists beautiful works!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Yesterday, I mentioned that I had listed a few items on a new website, Today, I sold 2 pairs of earring on that site! So, I posted a few more items there. Apparantly, the site gets some notice and since there aren't as many sellers on it, my items stay visible. So far, I like this site!
P.S. Thurs, Feb. 26th- As I work with this site, I find it's very, very slow to load pages. If I were a buyer on this site, I think I would get impatient. For now, Etsy will still be my main site. I'll post a few items on ShopHandMade, but problably won't post all of my items there.

Another Treasury Honor

I am pleased and honored today because one of my jewelry items is featured in a treasury on! You can see it and the entire treasury here for the next 3 days:

The artist featuring me has some wonderful jewelry on her site as well at:

Thank you lazydayz!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Competition and other web site options?

Today I spent some time researching options for other web stores to list my jewelry. I settled on one called and set up a 2nd store there (the link is to the right). I only listsed a few of my items on this site, just to see if it gets any exposure in the market. There are over 40,000 jewelry items listed on! It's a popular site with buyers, I have a hard time keeping my items at the front of the pile so they are seen by buyers. I think I've had a fair number of sales for the 2 months I've had items listed on etsy, but I think I'll try other options, too and see if I get any results that way. We shall see.... I've never been a very competitive person and I'd rather make jewelry than spend time maintaining my website on a daily basis.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Frustration solved!

My quest to find a better quality leather has been realized and I've finished the bracelet. It's a far cry from what I had originally planned, but I like this so much better than my orginal design. And, I had fun making it. That's important to me because I have learned that even if what I'm making is for someone else, if I don't enjoy making it, it just isn't worth my time. I enjoyed this, and I think it shows!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Experimentation = Frustration - Part 2

After many more attempts to design the perfect sterling and leather bracelet, I've now come to the conclusion that my leather is of inferior quality and I'll have to replace it before I'll be sucessful in my quest to get this bracelet done. The good news is that the problem was neither my cutting skills or wire wrapping skills (whew!) and I can blame this weeks trouble on a poor quality product. Now if I could only remember where I purchased this leather, so I can go elsewhere to buy a new roll tomorrow!
Unfortunately, this bracelet was supposed to be a gift and now it will be late in getting to the birthday girl. I'm sure she'll accept my apology, but I am dissapointed nonetheless.
Moral of this story: Always know exactly what you're buying.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Experimentation = Frustration!

Today, I spent the better part of the afternoon trying to make a bracelet out of leather and sterling wire. I had found a pattern in a wire jewelry magazine and tried it out (the top one in the photo - loopy weave). It was more tedious than I thought it would be and the photo shows how little I accopmlished in 1 hour; almost 1 inch - in short, it would have taken me about 8 hours to complete this project - if all went well. It didn't. After 1 hour, the leather broke off. I thought I had carelessly cut it myself while snipping the wire. I wasn't enjoying making this pattern anyway, so I decided it would be a good time to abandon it.

Frustrated, I started searching my stash of beading supplies to see if I had anything that would go well with leather. I found some wonderful bali sterling beads that I'd been waiting for inspiration to use. I thought of a great idea. 2 strands of leather with beads in the middle, with leather alternately going over or under each bead, separated by wire wrapping. I got about 2 inches into that and I cut that piece of leather, too! I decided that idea wasn't going to work out well anyway. The beads needed a middle base. Abandon plan 2.

So, on to my third idea (the bottom braided leather and sterling beads with wire wrapping). Third times the charm, right? I had about 3 inches of that bracelet done and was really liking the results when... I squeezed the wire wrapping to secure it to the leather, and, you guessed it, the leather broke. Examining it closer, I realized I had not been cutting the leather myself, but rather the wire wrapping was digging into the leather and splicing it. I was using 1/2 round wire, which grips its' base nicely, but it's a little sharp at the edges. My leather must be too narrow/weak to handle it. What a pity, since I really thought this was going to be a brilliant design!

I'll have to wait until tomorrow to come up with a new plan. I'm not sure twisted wire would be any less sharp on the leather, or if round wire will hold or just slide around. Maybe a thicker leather? More experiments tomorrow. The end result will be completely different than I had originally planned, but hopefully much better than I had planned!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An Honor to be Featured in an Etsy Treasury Collection!

I'm honored to be part of BarbaraCrochetStudio's treasury of "Pretty Things for EveryOne" today at
The Treasury section of etsy is a unique collection where people can list some of the favorite items they've found on etsy and feature them in a single page. Sometimes the page is then featured on the main page of etsy!
Thank you, Barbara, for including my Simply Spiral -2 necklace in your treasury collection! You can also see Barbara's own etsy site of her beautiful crochet work at:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Viking Knit - the finishing touches

Today, I finished the Viking knit bracelet for my client. First, I used sterling silver wire to secure end caps to the ends of the weave. Then I attached the clasp. At this point, I had a shiny sterling silver Viking knit bracelet.

To bring out the weave better, this bracelet is going to be oxidized, using a hot liver of sulfur solution. I dipped the bracelet in the solution, which gives it a black appearance. But clearly, my work isn't done yet.

I spend a good deal of time carefully rubbing off the oxidation from the outside of the bracelet, using steel wool and polishing cloths. This leaves the outside with a silver finish and the inside still oxidized. Doing this adds wonderful depth and definition to the weave and really makes it stand out. I love it! I hope my client loves it too.

The finished bracelet!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Viking Knit - the middle phase

Pulling Viking knit through the draw plate - this is the really fun, almost magical part of making Viking knit! Starting with the large, hollow tube of weaving that I've removed from the wodden dowel, I pull the entire cord of weave through the largest hole of my draw plate. Then through the second largest hole, 3rd, and so on until I have the Viking knit in the width that I want it to be! It compresses narrower with each smaller hole size that it's pulled through.
Pull, pull, pull..and Voila! Beautiful Viking Knit!
Later this week, I'll oxidize the weave and attach a clasp to turn it into a finished custom bracelet. I'll post those photos later!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Viking Knit - the process

Today I started on weaving some Viking knit to make a bracelet. I love making Viking knit. The constant flow of sterling wire through my hands feels so organic and the repetition of the weaving process is really soothing to me.
My client for this bracelet wants a fairly substantial weaving, to make a heavy, dense bracelet. So, I start by making a flower of sorts with sterling wire, making 6 petals, or loops. I tape the loops on a wooden dowel and start my weaving process through the ends of each loop.

Before I knew it, I had spent about 6 hours weaving!
I removed the weaving from the dowel, leaving me with a hollow tube of messy looking sterling wire. I think it looks similar to a peeled corn cob!
Then I finished off the ends and tucked them inside of the hollow weave. No sharp ends allowed in my Viking Knit. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to that.

Later this week, I will show you how I pull the hollow weave through a draw plate of holes, compressing the weave into finished Viking Knit!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What am I working on now?

In January, I took a class on learning to use resin materials to make pendants. I wasn't thrilled with my results, but I learned a few other tips that I'll be able to apply to things that are more suited to my style of jewelry making. I used copper sheeting in this class and have now made a variety of items with copper and sterling silver sheet metal. I'm really happy with the results! Let me know what you think of them.

Next week, I'll be making a custom Viking Knit bracelet for a client. I'll take pictures and explain the process of how Viking Knit is created.