Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All Things Ethreal

Hi! I never did put a picture of all my lucky finds at the gem show Monday. Between the new puppy and being sick I haven't had a lot of spare time on my hands. I found these beautiful, GIANT freshwater coin pearls at the show and *drool* I fell in love immediately! I couldn't wait to get one set into something. So this is what I accomplished today between taking puppy out to go potty/play and resting because I'm a bit under the weather.

I have always been a HUGE fan of the night sky. I love love love the moon, especially when it's huge and full glowing in all of its silvery splendid glory. I have spent many a night absolutely mesmerized by the stars and entranced by the moon. I thought these pearls are the perfect tribute to 'her'. They measure about 5/8" in diameter give or take. I have been into large, chunky rings lately so this one is very exciting since pearls (my favorite) don't usually come this large. The beaded sterling bands twinkle around the 'moon' like stars. I LOVE this ring and hope it does well in my shop!

This bracelet is a tribute to the shallows of the Caribbean Sea. Like the moon, I am in love with the Caribbean. The colors are unreal (especially since I have lived in the Mid-West my entire life). The shallows of the Caribbean can be perfectly described as aquamarine. This bracelet is full of aquamarine, aqua beryl, aventurine and freshwater pearls. It's two strands and just the right touch of rustic.

I hope I feel better tomorrow so that I can spend more time out creating things. It sounds like I will have my studio (gardening shed turned studio) sooner than I expected. I've mentioned in past posts that we have been thinking of buying my parents house next summer. Well, unless something freak happens, we have decided that we are going to do it. I need more space to work and Amos needs a better location for his kennel. We'll move him to where my beading/finishing area is in our room. I cannot wait to have a building all to myself where I have all my tools, photo area, and everything else all in one place. Let's hope it's done SOON.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

New Addition!

I'd like to introduce you to the newest addition to our little Amos! We've been looking into getting a boxer for a while now but didn't think it would happen so soon. Mike found an add online yesterday afternoon that was a deal to good not to take advantage of. Amos is 12 weeks old and came with lots of benefits (kennel trained, sleeps through the night, socialized, etc). We picked him up this afternoon and have had a wonderful day together. Enjoy the pictures!

This is Amos and his mama Bella. She has she sweetest temperament and we are learning that he really takes after her. He is so social and such a little love bug! We haven't heard a peep as far as barking goes.

All tuckered out at cute is that!?!

Falling asleep in the car. He did such a good job for his first time in the car. He handled it like a pro!

He needed a drink of water before going to his first art fair. He buried his face as far as it would go into the cup to get every last drop, it was adorable! Today was his first time on a leash and he barely started to get the hang of it. He'd start walking with us but as soon as he caught a glimpse of the leash he'd sit right down and just stare at it. Boxers are famous for their intelligence so I'm sure he'll catch on soon. We are assembling his new kennel at the moment and then it's out to go potty and into bed for little Amos!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hot Off the Bench!

Hi everyone! Here are pictures of some new jewelry I've been making. Both items are spoken for. The first is a large, chunky turquoise ring. I LOVE IT!!! It is so comfortable, which is surprising since it's so large.

This is a very unique and quite expensive stone. It is called Rock Butte Jasper. I got it at the last gem show and intended to keep it for myself, but like always I fall out of love quickly with such things. My good friends mother saw it a few months ago and laid claim. I set it in a very simple pendant as to not compete with the stone itself. I am very pleased with the turn out!

I thought it was funny how you can see the reflection of the light in the stone! Whoops!

Well, I am soon off to spend the afternoon with a girlfriend of mine. Chipotle here we come! Our plan was to go bum around charming downtown Hudson, WI but it's pouring rain so we'll see. I love cool rainy days like this every now and then though. It's just too bad that they seem to come on the days I can't just curl up in some sweats and read or watch a movie. Oh well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Autumn!

Summer is over and it's time to welcome in my favorite season of the year! I had a fantastic Summer full of fun adventures with my husband. But I am always glad to see Summer go by this time of the year. I am ready for sweaters, hot apple cider and taking car rides just to look at the changing colors of the leaves. There are too many things I love about this short season. To name a few: the beautiful and inspiring colors in nature, mulled cider, fluffy down comforters, cozy thick socks, homemade soups/chili, the crisp breeze, and finally, shorter days which equals more time to cuddle up on the couch and be lazy with my husband at the end of the day. Of course there are many more things I love about Fall. One of the most important for my little business is that the gem show comes to town every Fall!!! I get so excited to go. It has become a tradition for my sister Emily to come with me. We spend the entire day there together walking around trying to find treasures. We always get lunch at the hotel restaurant and spread our finds out on the table to assess what we still need to shop for. It's such a good time! Yes I am fully aware of how much of a dork I must sound like to the non-jewelry-makers who read my blog...but that's okay, I embrace it ; )

Here is a picture of my stash! White pearls, colorful pearls, turquoise, name it and it's probably in here somewhere!

This picture is almost embarrassing... Like I said, I have a bit of an obsession with white freshwater pearls of many shapes and sizes. I don't know what my problem is? I suppose I could be obsessed with worse things! In my defense not that you are accusing this is about 6 years worth of finds!

Now that I am caught up on orders and other business responsibilities I am devoting the rest of my week to getting ready for the gem show. Today I am going to start going through my supplies and see what I'll need (and not need...I always always buy too many green and white freshwater pearls, it's a sickness I swear...we'll see if I can stop myself this time). Then I am going to do some browsing online to check out new trends and get inspired. I must say that this is one of my most favorite parts of owning a jewelry business! I love to see what other jewelry artists are doing and creative ways they are using classic materials. I always find some kind of new trick to add to my design process.

Well, it's time to move on with my day. I hope you're all well and enjoying this first day of Fall as much as I am. I'm thinking I'll make chicken/wild rice soup for dinner...mmmmmmm

Friday, September 18, 2009

A New Look

It always seems to take me a long time and several attempts to finally find a "look" I like. Like many of you I am very particular about aesthetics; especially when it comes to the presentation of my work. I've been playing around with different styling techniques since I opened up my etsy shop but I think I finally found one that I really like. There needs to be some tweaking in the photography but I like the general idea. Below are images of some of my new work that I will be posting in my shop this weekend. Enjoy the sneak peak!

These sweet little hoops will become a staple in my shop. I hope they sell well!
This turquoise stone used to be on the cuff bracelet at the end of this entry. It was way to big for the band so I sawed it off, drilled some holes and turned it into a pendant. I like it better now that it's a pendant but I wish I would have embellished the bezel differently.

I started making a new style of hoops and am loving the results. This particular pair is embellished with handmade fine silver leaves. I have a feeling they will start popping up in my work here and there.

Drum roll please....................

This might be one of my favorite things I have made to date!!! Okay, so it's tied with my moldovite wrap ring, but still!

This is the band that I sawed that turquoise stone/bezel off of and replaced with this sweet white oval freshwater pearl. I cannot believe how comfortable this cuff is! It has not left my wrist since I made it on Wednesday. Except for when sleeping and showering...but it's so comfy I could probably sleep with it on.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to in the studio lately. I am slowly but surely starting to absorb how busy I am going to be the Autumn/Holiday season. The panic hasn't hit yet and I am hoping I can stick to my list and avoid all the stress of last minute preparations. I hope I can start blogging more often. I really want to figure out how to personalize my blog more with cute back drops and fonts etc. How do you do that??? I see that many of you have made your blogs so cute, any helpful hints?
Take care!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Uh Oh!

Does this freak anyone out but me?!?!? I remember a couple summers ago silver prices soared over $19/oz...OUCH! When I started ordering silver in bulk over 5 years ago it was a $7 market. What happened?! This is definitely hard on business. It's hard to afford to buy the needed supplies and it's harder to sell the finished product because you've got raise prices to compensate. What's a jeweler to do? Thankfully I don't work in gold (yet)!
It's been a busy month. Unfortunately my BRAND NEW computer has been acting up. Have you ever heard of the "blue screen of death"? Well, it has become my arch enemy. After several troubleshooting tests, many many hours of my studio time, and some cuss words we found out that the problem was in the memory. So Dell sent us brand new memory cards and a prepaid box to send the computer out for repair incase the new memory didn't fix the problem. The new memory seemed to fix the problem. All the diagnostic tests passed and we were in the clear...until this morning. My husband went to start the computer and there was that damned blue screen again! GRRRR. So, now it's back to doing hardware diagnostic tests and crossing fingers that everything passes. So far so good, we'll see. We may have to use that prepaid box afterall. What a pain!
Other than that life has been pretty good. I struggled through the entire design/creation process for my early fall line but it's done and delivered. To be completely honest I haven't been that impressed with my past two lines. I always try to make things that I would love to have and that's not the case with late summer or early fall. So all weekend long I pondered the design rut I've been in. I was prompted to go back and look at all of my old inventory pictures. I figured I've had a lot of success with all of those designs and maybe it's time to try and stop reinventing the wheel with every new seasonal line. I'm so glad I did that because I realized that I've been trying to fix something that isn't broken. My old designs are still some of my personal favorites and they've all sold very well. With a little tweeking they are fresh and lively! This will sound very cheesy but I feel alive again! Working in the studio has been the pleasure it used to be. So, lesson learned: stick with what works and build off it as you go. Sooner or later those time-tested designs will naturally transform into something new and exciting. I just think I was trying too hard.
Anyway, I suppose it's time to go check the progress of diagnostic tests. This last one takes a couple of hours but it should be done soon. I am anxious to try to restart my little "green machine" my computer is a lovely green color and she if she's in working order again. Wish me luck!