Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year SALE! 11% off your entire order!

Happy New Year! I'm welcoming 2011 with an 11% off SALE throughout my entire shop! The sale will last through Monday, January 3rd. Plus, I'll offer FREE SHIPPING to US DESTINATIONS during this sale period! When checking out, be sure to enter the Coupon Code: HAPPY2011 to receive your 11% discount.

I hope you have a wonderful, safe New Year's Eve and a peaceful and prosperous 2011!

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Etsy Shop is 2 Years Old = SALE!

My Etsy shop is 2 years old this weekend! It's been an honor and a pleasure to create my jewelry and to have customers visit my shop to purchase for themselves and friends. I've had a lot of support from friends, family and the online community in this little endeavor, so I'm saying a big "Thank You" to everyone by offering 15% off store wide this weekend (Sat, Dec 4th - Sun, Dec 5th).

Visit my shop this weekend and use coupon code: 2YRTHANKYOU when checking out to receive your 15% discount!

Thank you for your encouragement these past 2 years! I look forward to creating jewelry for many years to come.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Entire Etsy Shop is 15% Off Through Cyber Monday!

Avoid the crowds at the mall and shop online instead. I'm having a special holiday sale on every item in my shop now through Cyber Monday (Nov 29th)!! Use coupon code HOLIDAY15 when checking out to receive 15% off your entire order!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Feeling Blue?

With the NW winter grey sky approaching quickly, I've been craving the sight of blue lately. I've been busy creating some new items, most are blue - green - turquoise and make me yearn for a Caribbean. vacation. After making several rather complicated pieces lately, I decided to make a few items that have a more simple, classic design with small, luscious stones. They are all in my etsy shop now, so feel free to click on each link below for more photos and descriptions.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Opal in Ironstone - Beneath the Surface 2

Last fall I purchased 3 beautiful stones at a gem fair in Tacoma. They are Opal in Ironstone, mined in the Koroit mining district in Queensland, Australia. I love these stones, and judging by how quickly the pendants I've made from them sell, my clients love them, too.

These stones are a lush earthy brown/burgundy color (the ironstone portions) and have flecks and streams of opal shimmering running through them. The opal colors have ranged from greens, blues and purples. They are naturally intriguing. They instantly grab your attention and draw you in to take a closer look and find the shimmering beauty of the opal bits. Every time I examine them, they remind me to look beneath the surface in everything I encounter. In my relationships with people, in the news, media, etc... Sometimes we have to take a closer look to see the core issues.

This is my most recent creation with the last of these stones and is now listed here in my etsy shop. It has so much blue in it that I've paired it with a deep blue lapis accent stone:

This one was my second pendant, "Glimmer". It has a lot of little green opal flecks, so I paired it with a chalcedony green chrysocolla accent stone. It is already sold:

And my first of the series, the original "Beneath the Surface" is also sold:

I'm so glad the first two pendants have gone to clients who have told me how much they love these stones and appreciate their beauty. I hope to attend the same gem show this November and see if I can find more of these stones. Each one is so unique and and sparkles with its own special beauty.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sweet Autumn Days

My necklace, "Autumn Splendor" has been included in a treasury titled, Sweet Autumn Days.  It's filled with some really gorgeous Autumn related items!  It's an honored to be included with this group.  Thank you, trinitydj for including my necklace in this treasury!  Please click the link and show this treasury a little love!

I would post a photo of the treasury here, but I'm working from my daughter's computer right now and don't want to save photos to her computer.  Alas, I do feel lost without my own computer!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Love Stones!

Oh, I've grown to love and appreciate stones. I love everything about them. I love looking at them, touching them, and making pretty jewelry with them. They make me feel grounded and centered. A piece of the earth for me to honor, appreciate and take with me. With different colors for my every mood, they bring me joy in many ways! I have a deep respect (and a little envy) for lapidary artists. With a keen eye, they can cut, carve, shape and polish stones to bring out their individual beauty.
Recently, my sister-in-law was visiting me here in WA. I showed her some of my newer stones so she could pick out one for me to make a pendant with for her. It was so fun to watch her peruse them. She got a little giddy as she opened the packages, running the stones through her hands, holding them up to the light so she could see and appreciate the beauty of each one. She couldn't put them down!
I find that same delight whenever I'm shopping for stones. Today's photos show some of the stones I purchased recently from Out of Our Mines Lapidary and Beadworks. They were guest presenters at a local bead shop in Bellevue recently. I purchased some stones from them last year and I'm so happy they returned to WA again this year. You can click on each photo for an enlarged view.
While unfortunately you can't touch them through your computer screen, if any strike your fancy and you would like something made just for you with any of them, you can contact me through my etsy site or leave a comment on this blog and we can talk about a custom order item for you.

I still have many more stones that I purchased last fall but haven't used yet. You can see photos of some of them in 2 of my past blogs here and here. Again, if something strikes you as a must have, let me know and I'll reserve it for you!

Friday, September 3, 2010

My pendant is featured today!

My pendant, "Beneath the Surface" is featured today in the Mystic Wind's blog, "Family Friendly Musings from the Handmade World of Mystic Wind". She's gathered a beautiful collection of rust colored items and talks about what images the word 'rust' conjures up, sometimes undeservedly. Click on her link and enjoy all of the beautiful things she's found ! While you're at it, subscribe to her blog. She always has something interesting and insightful to say. Karen makes beautiful jewelry also, so visit her etsy shop, Mystic Wind, here.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A few new pieces

Fall is in the air and I've been enjoying time in my workshop this week! I finished and posted 3 new pieces to my etsy shop this week. I also spent a fun day creating "Autumn Splendor" (below) with my local etsy friend, HalinaB. We talked, worked, inspired each other and laughed alot. Check out her etsy shop and show her some love!

Here are my new jewelry pieces this week. Click on the titles to view each one in my etsy shop :

This first one is an Opal in Ironstone from Australia. It's an exceptional stone, with gorgeous flecks of opal underneath the surface. It has a tube bail underneath the sterling silver nugget at the top. Polished to a high shine, it sparkles with unique interest and depth.

This second piece is a Pisco Blue Gem Chrysocolla. The color is simply beautiful, so I've set it in a very simple setting. It's a sweet, calming necklace for those who prefer small, simple, yet interesting jewelry.

This last piece is a tribute to autumn. Here in WA, the leaves are already turning colors and the furnace comes on in the evening. Fall is in the air! I've hand cut and formed this copper leaf using chasing and repousse techniques. With a few freshwater and Swarovski pearls, plus some cute little twigs. The entire piece has been antiqued, tumble polished and sealed with a special wax to inhibit color change. This necklace makes a bold statement for anyone who loves autumn colors.
Wishing everyone a wonderfully creative week!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Busy, Busy

It's been a busy and happy couple of weeks since my last post. I've been working regularly at my jeweler's bench; I had forgotten how happy I am when working on jewelry. My daughter came for a visit and we enjoyed a few days in Victoria, B.C.. I've posted several new pendants and purchased some wonderful new stones for future jewelry. I'll post photos of the new stones later in the week, just in case you want to "dib" one of them!
This weekend, I finished a custom order for a special friend. It's a fiery labradorite, set in shining silver with 3 little silver balls on the bail. I wish I could keep it for myself, but I delight in knowing that my friend will enjoy wearing it.

Here are some of my newest etsy listings, just in case you missed them:

Wishing you all a happy, creative week!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stormy Weather - a pendant with thunder and lightning

The main focal stone in my latest pendant is a Purple Storm, mined in Utah. I love how you can practically see lightning and hear thunder crackling through this stone. There's nothing like a good thunderstorm to cleanse the spirit. The accent stone is a soothing lavender Holly Chalcedony and nicely picks up the purple in the foAdd Imagecal stone. I'm pleased with how it turned out and I think this is one piece I may keep for myself. While I don't wear jewelry often, I find it a little ironic when I have an occasion to wear jewelry and I don't have a piece to wear that I've made myself.

Actually, this pendant has been a thunderstorm of sorts for me to create. I started it last January, sketching several different versions of a setting for the focal stone. I finally settled on the one I liked the best, created about 75% of it and then ruined it by frying the sterling silver with too much heat on the final solder. Defeated, I used this as a wake-up to take a break from making jewelry for awhile. I needed the break to concentrate on other things.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've recently been struck with a burst of inspiration to get back to my workbench. The components for this pendant; stones, sketches and fried silver have been sitting on my bench since last January, collecting dust and haunting me like unfinished business that needed to be taken care of before I'm allowed to truly forge ahead with new work. So, I pushed myself through the storm, crafting a few design changes as I went (including 3 different bails) and finally finished this pendant today, warts and all.

In my long wait for the storm to pass, I've learned a few things, both technically and personally. I've learned that it's OK to sit back and ride out the storm. Wait till the thunder passes. Then forge ahead when the time is right and you can see clearly again.

One more interesting thing about this stone that I didn't notice until today - I see a cross amid the clouds and lightning. Do you see it? Oh yes, this pendant is mine and I'm keeping it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fire in the Grass!

Fire in the Grass! That's the name of my new pendant. I bet the title got your attention, didn't it? It's a wonderful, labradorite stone with deep greens and lots of internal fiery highlights.

Truth be told, I've been slacking off from my jewelry making endeavors this year. I've only made about a dozen pieces and most of them have been custom orders and special requests from past clients. But on Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the Bellevue Arts Festival and was reminded how much I enjoy being at my bench, creating and experimenting with metal and stones. Freshly inspired, I dug out my stone collection, dusted off my workbench and started working on 3 pendants this weekend. This labradorite pendant is the only one I have finished so far. The other 2 are works in progress, but I hope to have them done by the end of this week. One features a blue lapis and the other will have 2 stones in it; a purple storm plus a holly lavender chalcedony accent stone.

So stay tuned, I feel a flood of creativity coming on!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Inspiration Through the Eye of a Friend.

Today I had the pleasure of a jewelry making "play date" with my fellow Etsy friend, Halina B. Halina makes beautiful jewelry and sells her work both through her etsy site and many shows in the Seattle area. She wanted to learn to rivet, so I showed her a few basic things about riveting. I have made a lot of jewelry using rivets, but had very little in stock to show her. One of the things I did have though, was a failed rivet. I'd been meaning to remake it, but was a little stumped as to how to fix it because the bead frame holes were much too big for a wire rivet. I showed it to her because I wanted to explain what went wrong with it. While we were working, I started to show her how a tube can be used for riveting. Halina immediately said "Oh that tubing would work well for the bead frame you're having trouble with!" Why hadn't I thought of that before? I needed to see the problem through the eyes of someone else. I finished the necklace this evening and hung it on a 36" sterling silver chain. It's a breath of springtime!

While I had Halina at my house, I thought it would be a great time to test out a jump ring maker that I had never used before. I want to make a byzantine chain maille necklace and need loads of jump rings for it. After we read the assembly instructions several times, a few failed attempts including grinding noises and smoke, I finally managed to make some usable jump rings. However, on my last attempt of the night, my saw blade broke in half. I'm not sure about this contraption - it seems a little dangerous to me. Perhaps I still don't quite have everything set up correctly? If anyone has used a PePe jump ring cutter before and has some helpful tips, I would very much appreciate it!

After I had made enough jump rings to get a good start on my byzantine necklace, I realized that it has been a couple of years since I've made byzantine chain maille. In my search for a website with good instructions, I found the Davidchain Jewelry website is great! It has clear, easy to follow instructions for several chain maille patterns.

All in all, a productive day in the workshop with an inspiring friend. Thanks, Halina!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Back at my Bench - Finally!

I'm back at my bench and inspired after a long hiatus. Yesterday, I took a class and had a great day making these fused fine silver earrings. The class was taught by Janice Berkebile of Wired Arts. I always enjoy Janice's classes because she's a great teacher and she makes her classes fun with her relaxed style and sense of humor. It was a full class with really friendly women, too. Anyway, I left inspired to finish the earrings I had made and ready to create more new items. The earrings are posted on my etsy site and called "Hidden Treasures" because there are so many cute little things about these earrings; many textures, balls on the front and back, waves, curves, movement and of course a couple of surprise spirals. I'm eager to show you what else I've been working on, but not until it's done! Stay tuned...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood...

Spring has sprung here in the Seattle area! I took my phone (camera) with me on my walk today. Here's a little sample sample of things that delighted me along the way.

I've absent from my jeweler's bench for about 6 weeks, but I hope to make friends with it again sometime this week. I woke up twice last night with some new designs in my head - a sign it's time for me to come back. The world is waking up after a dark winter and my creative spark is waking, too!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"I Heart Handmade" Artisan Gift Show this Saturday!

I'm one of the vendors participating in the "I Heart Handmade" artisan gift show this Saturday, Feb 6th, (1:00-6:00) in Bellevue! Many of my local etsy artisans will be there with their wonderful items, including jewelry, pottery, note cards, paintings, quilts, baby items, soaps and more. A perfect combination of items to select a Valentines gift for your loved ones! If you live in the Seattle area, please join us for this fun event. Donations will be accepted for the Eastside Domestic Violence Program.
You can find more details (place, time...) here.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy January!

I've been neglecting my blog lately. Sorry! The holidays were busy around here. Lots of jewelry orders to fill the first few weeks of Dec plus a few special orders. Then I enjoyed spending Christmas week with my daughter visiting us from MN. I've been feeling really lonely this past week without her here.
I've also neglected my jeweler's bench for most of Dec, except for a few special orders and making daily trips to the post office. But I got re-acquainted with my bench and torch today and made this cute little necklace and earring set using garnet cabochons. Garnet is the birthstone for January. I love the deep red color of garnets. This set will be listed in my etsy shop in a few days. My shop still has a sale going on through Jan 3rd.
Now it's time to take a deep breath and get back into the routine of life. Instead of making a new year's resolution, I've found I really like this idea from Christine Kane's blog; to choose one word which inspires you and gives you focus and direction for the new year. My word is "healthy". Healthy action, healthy thought and healthy soul. Many thanks to my friend Kathleen Krucoff for introducing this idea to me and sharing it on her facebook and blog sites.
Wishing you all many blessings in 2010!