Tuesday, April 28, 2009

For Amanda and Carrie

Amanda - Here is a picture of your prom jewelry. Is this what you were looking for? If you see any issues with it please let me know and I can fix it. Otherwise I can bring it to you tomorrow night. The shortest strand is 17" to 18" and the longest is 20" to 21" long. There is a 2-1/2" extender so you can adjust it to fit your dress neckline. I thought the earrings turned out cute. The hoops sway independent from one another so there is lots of flash. I hope you like it! (but don't hesitate to let me know if you don't). It's $20 for the set, I'll let your mom know.

Carrie - here are pictures are some metal clay pieces I've made for myself. I think if you click on the picture you can see more detail. Let me know what you think!

Fine silver pendant with hand building. If you look close there is a tiny cubic zirconia nestled into the flower. The stones are faceted tanzanite.

I cast leaves and twigs with the clay. I cast these two sweeties to remember a camping trip with my entire family last summer. I wrote the date of our trip on the back of the leaves.

This is my version of an identity bracelet. The organic circles/ovals have my name, my favorite scripture, and other favorite things that describe me.

I learned how to make hollow form beads out of the clay as well. They're a pain to make but worth it. These beads are strung onto sterling box chain for to make a sturdy bracelet. I wear this one and my 'id' bracelet all the time.

These earrings were part of a series I did on a poem by Walt Whitman "Give Me the Silent Splendid Sun". I did parts of the poem on various pendants. These never sold...hmmm?

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Wonderful Day!

It has been absolutely beautiful out the past couple of days...highs in the 80's! Of course that is way above normal for this time of year; but it has been nice to be outside in short sleeves and feel the warm breeze on my skin. It is supposed to be a rainy/stormy weekend, but I love a few days of that every now-and-then. Plus we need the rain.

My sterling order finally arrived today!!!!! It was supposed to be here Wednesday so you can imagine my anticipation the past couple of days. I ordered some different types of bezel wire, regular round wire, and some fun textured wire. Plus 10 4mm turquoise cabochons. I just love to look at all of the perfectly wrapped coils of brand new wire! I know - I'm a dork! But I would bet that almost every metal jewelry artists can relate! For all of you non-metal-jewelry artists, here's a couple pics so you can see what I'm talking about:

Here it is in all of it's glory! I know it doesn't look like much right now, but just give me a few weeks. When I look at this pile of supplies I see rings, herring bone wrapped pearls, rustic bezels and all sorts of other stuff!

I laughed when I took this spool of 26 gauge wire out of the box; the spool they wound it on is GINORMOUS! I'm used to Rio's conveniently sized black spools (once again, metals artists will know what I'm talkin' about). I'm thinking this will have to be re-spooled onto one that will fit inside of my wire drawer...that can be a very scary task to undertake. Imagine 140 feet of fine sterling wire set loose all over the studio...it's a tangled and kinked up mess, but worth it in the end!

Well, I'm off to the studio soon. I might have some pictures of new work to post later today or tomorrow. Bye!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Good Day!

I've been having a wonderful day! I got to play around in the studio this morning, meet my husband for lunch, and I listed some new stuff in my Etsy shop. While working in the studio a couple of really nice ladies stopped in on their lunch break. It's always fun to show people around the studio a little bit. One of them found a couple of pairs of earrings to go home with! Here are a couple of projects I finished up in the past couple of days. Enjoy!

I put a spin on one of my classic designs. I have sold countless pairs of coin pearl drops at one of the galleries I am in. I put a spin on the design with a scalloped bezel, a large loop to dangle them from, and a handmade forged earwire. I LOVE them! I can't seem to take them out of my ears!

This is the first in a new collection called "Nature's Harvest". Everything in this collection will feature a beautiful gemstone cabochon in a unique rustic-feminine setting. This one was so fun to make. I'm trying not to get attached to it!

I had a 1-1/4" plain cuff bracelet that I never wore so I thought I'd do something with it. I sawed in into three pieces and this is what I did with the middle piece. I soldered two strips of fancy bezel wire together and then soldered them to the cuff. It sounds simple enough but I really challenged my soldering abilities making this bracelet. I learned so much and am in love with the result. For now I plan to keep it for myself. But I tend to get tired of things easily, so maybe it will end up on etsy for sale. I'm not sure if it's done yet. I like it the way it is because it will go with everything. But I'm thinking of ways I might further embelish it. We'll see!

Here's a detail of the wire.

This is what is left of my large cuff. I'm not sure yet what I'll do with these pieces. I'm thinking I'll do some kind of set with them.

This is what the wire looks like. Like I mentioned above, I soldered two strips together. It's fun to find new ways to use bezel wire.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New 'Simplify' Line

I am in awe at the way nature strikes a perfect balance of simplicity and complexity. The biological and scientific aspects of nature are incredibly complex and I admire those who understand them. However, in my quiet observations I find nature to be beautifully simple as well. Nothing needs to tell the a seed to grow into a mighty oak tree, nobody texts the birds to let them know it's warm enough to return home to the North. And it doesn't take an interior designer to decide for a tulip to bloom into a gorgeous orangey-red color. Everything in nature just knows what to do all on it's own and that is what I love about it so much. It is perfectly created!
Nature has inspired me to simplify my life. I do my best to avoid over-scheduling my life. I try to cut back on unnecessary spending. I continually limit my choices of clothes in my closet and jewelry in my box. I love a simple life! I love to be free from wordly and superficial cares.
All of this is what inspired my new jewelry line 'Simplify'. I wanted to create a line of jewelry that was very minimal and affordable with a rustic-feminine twist. This is the perfect never-take-off jewelry. Wear it everyday (it's made to last)! Enjoy simplifying your life with this new and exciting line of jewelry. All of the following are listed in my Etsy shop... new additions will be made as inspiration comes.

'Wishes' Earrings $22

'Three Wishes' Necklace $32

'Rustic Studs' Earrings $18

'Rustic Nugget' Necklace $30

Friday, April 10, 2009

Custom Bracelet Done

It's done...and I'm happy! Here are some detailed pictures. This bracelet if for my customer's niece for a wedding gift. The handles are from the bride's great grandmother's collection. I made the charms. The oval one has the wedding date engraved on the back. I really like all of the details on the handles. The handles are a lot thicker than the one I made with my own silverware (see pics in a recent post from the past), and it took a lot to get them to bend. I wanted to curve the ends in a little more but just couldn't make it happen. That's it...have a great Easter weekend!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nature's Harvest!

The gem show was amazing as always! This time around I focused more on finding cabachons and I feel like I struck gold. =) I am astonished that I didn't buy a single strand of freshwater pearls. I love, love, love pearls...and I have the stash to prove it! I browsed the heaping tables full of them on the look out for any colors that caught my eye. They were all lovely, of course, but I think I wanted to save my money for any lucky cab finds. I realized that I cannot leave the gem show feeling completely satisfied with out one really good 'guilty' purchase. Well, I found an incredible strand of teeny tiny turquoise beads I had to have; sorry, they're all mine!!! Here are some pictures and details of my trip:

turquoise nuggets, rainforest jasper, citrine, and aquamarine

nature's paintbrush, serpentine, moldovite, turquoise, rock butte, and labradorite


rock butte (jasper, I think) the landscape quality of this stone is amazing!

nature's paintbrush (jasper?) I see an adorable little flower

moldovite (a type of meteorite)

This is actually what the moldovite looks like, beautiful! I think it is going to have to have an open back setting to show the amazing detail. They are all like this.

This is a rare hand-cut jade from South Central Asia, I am kicking myself for not writing down where exactly is is from. It is gorgeous, matte, and varigated...luscious!

Another one of those rare hand-cut strands, but this one is turquoise. It was very expensive (my guilt purchase). They are incredibly tiny... I knew that if I didn't buy them I would really regret it. They are also from South Central Asia (once again, kicking myself for not writing down exactly where they are from. I'll find out!).

This is what I did with my new teeny tiny turquoise beads. I made a teeny tiny silver pendant to dangle from them. It is very sweet and very simple!

My mind is swarming with ideas for how to use my stones. I am just finishing up a custom order and then I can play with my ideas. I am in the beginning stages of developing two new jewelry lines to compliment my seasonal lines. I cannot wait to spend some time in my sketchbook! This is a pretty busy week for me, I am looking forward for it to be over so that I can spend all of the time I want in the studio. Later!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Just Some Pictures

It feels so good to be prepared for an upcoming busy week. I spent yesterday afternoon making this custom necklace which I am delivering on Tuesday and a practice piece for commission for which I have a meeting tomorrow night. The gem show is finally here (tomorrow); I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is one of my custom family necklaces, it is reversible!

This side is simple

This side has the family names

My customer also wanted her pets' names included. I made each of them a little tag and put it in the back.

I made a simple pair of earrings just in case she wants a pair to match.

I have never made jewelry out of antique silverware before, but I have been commissioned to do a bracelet for a new bride. I had been given a few pieces of antique silverware so I thought I'd do a practice piece. I am glad I did because i learned a lot making this one.

My favorite part is the little floral detail on the backside of the spoon handles. I think it is adorable how it quietly surprises on the inside of the bracelet.

In case you were wondering...we got two inches of snow last night...ISH!

Friday, April 3, 2009

An Afternoon with Sisters!

I had such a nice time with my sisters yesterday. One of them is visiting from the Chicago area and four of us got together (I have 6 sisters total and one brother...yikes!) and spent the afternoon walking around a local nature center. It was (finally) a beautiful day. We walked paths and chased around three of my rambunctious little nephews. I wish I had more pictures to post of our day, but I only took three. I've been pestering Meagan to send me all of hers...she has tons of them, including a really cute one of all four of us girls.

Me (left) & Samantha (right)

My sweet little baby niece, Isabella (Sam's daughter)

I have lots to do today. I have an appointment with a gallery this afternoon, I need to work on a custom order and work on my practice piece for an upcoming custom order. I have been commissioned to make a bracelet out of antique spoons for an acquaintance's co-worker. I have never made anything out of antique silverware so I wanted to practice a little before my meeting on Monday. I just happened to have been given a baggie full of antique silverware by a co-worker and found two matching pieces. It seems to be a simple project, but there is always a catch! I am just waiting to catch it =) I am glad to have an opportunity to practice one first. TTFN

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Too Cute Not to Post

So, as I mentioned earlier I have been resting in bed all morning. My kitties are, as always, right by my side. We often find these two all piled up on top of each other slumbering. This is Max (gray one) and Ruthie (black one). Maggie is sleeping somewhere by herself, as usual.

Some Kind of Sick Joke!

Happy April 1st!

Mother Nature seems to know this day as "April Fools". Well, she pulled a fast one on us today...this is a view from my front window! Lovely isn't it (catch the sarcasm)! The worst of it is that it has been unseasonably cold and absolutely gray for the past couple of weeks. I am not usually one to complain about winter not ending...but come on! It's April. We've had weather just like this since November. Where's the sun and Spring rain? Hopefully this will be the last of this kind of weather!

So, I've caught some kind of mild bug that just enough of a nuisance to keep me in bed half the day. I feel icky in the morning, but then anxious to get on with my day by the afternoon. Then icky before bed and then again in the morning. ??? I hope this doesn't drag on (like the weather...bitter? not me) =) And for all of those hoping...no, I am not pregnant! (people always seem to jump to that conclusion if I ever mention even a headache or slight fatigue).

I have every reason to hope that next week (at the latest) I will find myself on early morning walks, sunny-warm afternoons in the studio, and lazy evening strolls with my husband! Let's hope!