Sunday, November 16, 2008

I belong to an Etsy Street Team!!!

I'm so excited!!

Etsy Street teams are somewhat hard to come by sometimes. There are usually waiting lists to join them, as they are hugely beneficial with promotions and sales. Well, the lovely peeps over at the Starving Jewelry Artists Forum - , have taken on the HUGE job of creating a new street team, just for us! As I said, it's a huge amount of work - I've been doing what I can and have taken on the big responsibilty of Team Admin. But I'm raring to go and will do whatever I can to make this a successful team!!

Check out our team blog here -

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Well, mini-backpack to be exact.

This is a custom order bag I just finished. She wanted a mini backpack and gave me ideas for things that would be convenient - like a place for her cell phone, a spot for keys and a pocket inside for things that she didn't want to fall to the bottom. She said she loved bling and that quilted was cool, and I happened upon the most perfect fabric.

I think I got in pretty much everthing she wanted and infused my style along with an attention to details and craftmenship (i.e. all seams being double stitched for extra durability.). I made the pattern for this one too.

My model is 9 yo DD, so it looks a little bigger than it is, but I wanted to share, cuz' I'm thrilled with how it turned out. So happens the new owner seems to like it too!! What do ya think?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Funny How Life Takes Over

I started this blog back when I wasn't working. I had much more time and every intention of keeping up on it - and I did sooooooooooo well for such a long time!! Then life took over. I got a full time job, then I had a nightmare situation with my business software crashing, and 3 weeks later, I'm still trying to dig myself out.

I've also been working on a really cute mini-backpack as a custom order for one of my friends on the jewery forum, and now I have to start doing research for a very exciting business venture that might be headed my way (I'll dish more in another post - I promise!!).

Now, I'm not saying I'll be able to post as much as I did before, but I will make a consious effort to get on here at least once a week. I miss being here, and hopefully you miss me as well? lolol!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Just For Fun

Sometimes after doing some pretty intensive pieces, it's nice to do fun and easy. Here he is my Polymer Clay Man On The Moon.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Celtic Cross and Chainmaille Necklace

This necklace seemed to take me forever, but I was sick while working on it, and I ran out of wire, and broke the last of my saw blades and had to order more - yada, yada, yada. lol!! I am really pleased with the result though!

The pendant is about 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches made from copper sheet (about 22 guage), which I cut out, filed and engraved with the celtic knotwork design. (I think I'm starting to get the hang of this engraving thing!)

The necklace is done in the half persian 4-1 weave. I've always heard that this is a difficult weave, so I've put off learning it for a long time, but I actually found it quite easy to do.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

SICK! Blech! And looking for a smile!

I've had a nasty headache and fever for 3 days now. I can't concentrate to work, my mind is a mush, I'm uncomfortable and cranky and I need a smile. So here it is:

My little Nero. I loooooooove this dog, and he adores us back. He helps me when I work by laying by my feet, whether I'm at my work bench or on the computer and by being goofy enough every so often to make me laugh. Okay, now I feel better!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Do you believe in ghosts?

I do, and I have started a new blog to share and understand my passion for the paranormal. You can view it here:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rainy Day Meanderings

We're having a nice, rainy day Saturday today. It's cold and yucky outside, but we're all warm and cozy indoors. We even had Italian tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and DD and I are planning to make brownies this afternoon.

I've been meaning to post an entry here for days, but I've been so busy with various projects. I have some sterling silver stacking rings that I finished and must take a photo of to list online, and I'm working on a fabulous celtic cross pendant and necklace. I am also drawing up a design for another purse, and I finally finished up a tutorial I've been working on for this bracelet here:

I will be selling the tutorial on Etsy and my website, but will be offering for free for my loyal readers and my friends over at the forum :
If you are interested, make sure to leave a comment or send me a PM over at the forum.

Well, that's about it for my comfy, rainy day. Hope your weekend finds you all well!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Finished the Polka Dot Purse

I finished it, I finished it!!!!! I think it's the cutest darn purse evAr!!! Of course, I'm biased!! For those of you who might not have been following up, here's the story:

I've been itching to sew lately and I had this adorable polka dot fabric that I knew would make a great purse, but I needed to save some of it for a dress that I promised my daughter. Well, last week I finally got around to measuring my daughter so I would know how much material I had to work with. Then I drew out my design. Then I made the pattern for it (yep, I made the pattern too!! lol!). Finally it's done!!!!!!

I will be listing this purse on Etsy, but I wanted show it here first, as I have a feeling it may move pretty fast once I list it. If anyone is interested in more details, please ask!!!!

The purse is 10 inches (25cm) by 8.5 inches (21.25cm) and the sides are 2.5 inches (6.25c) wide. The strap is 35 inches (87.5cm) long.

It is cotton fabric on the outside and has a black taffeta lining (which features a small back pocket with a snap closure). There is a poster board type lining between the two layers, so the purse stands up on it's own.

Sooooooo, without further ado!!!!! .............................................................

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Cunning Plan

One of the things that I do pretty darn well is sewing. My mother taught me how to sew at an early age and I've pretty much been doing it for as long as I can remember. I can pretty much make myself anything I want - from new dresses to curtains to purses and headbands.

I am a real enteprenuer at heart. I am always thinking about ways that I can make money off of my talents, so it really doesn't surprise me that I've come up with my newest little plot...

I've been surfing the etsy shops a lot lately. It seems that sewn items sell really well there, especially cute little purses. I have some cute black fabric with hot pink polka dots that I've been dying to make a purse out of...

I've already drawn out the design, and made a pattern. Now on to cutting out the material and assembling it. :-) On to yet another side venture!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Treasure of Atlantis

I love anything having to do with the ocean. I love the sound and the smell and the beauty of it. I love shells and sea glass and pearls, oh, it's all sooooo wonderful! So I was delighted when I dreamt of this necklace a few nights ago, especially since I've been wanting to play with my sea glass some more. I could clearly picture the drop part in my dream the first night, but had a hard time picturing the rest, so I forced myself to dream about it the next night too, and finally finished it in my mind.

I am really in love with this piece. Everything about it is so very me and it has some history to it too. The sea glass and the wampum (the purple and white shell) in the cluster drop were all collected when I lived on the island of Martha's Vineyard, 10 years ago. I was at the end of my marriage with my first husband at that time, and beach combing was the one time I found solice and peace. So these "trinkets" mean a lot to me. (Fun fact - Wampum comes from Quahog clam shells and was used as money back in 17th century New England.) The wampum was a bear to work with though, as I broke numerous pieces trying to drill it. :-(

This is a really sexy necklace and quite the cleavage dipper (if you KWIM), as the cluster drop alone is 5 inches!! The pearls are black freshwater pearls and everything hangs from a simple sterling silver chain. I'm going to keep trying to get better pictures, but figured these would do for now! lol!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Life of an Incurable Insomniac

Okay, it's 3:13 in the morning here and I am wide awake. Hubby will be on his way out to work in about an hour and a half and I'm sure I will still be up. Fortunately, the kids don't have to go to school tomorrow, so I can sleep in a bit.

I have been dealing with insomnia for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it really sucks, especially if I have to wake up really early for something. But it is what it is, and it is what I am. I accept it.

Unfortunately, it's hard for me to work on jewelry at this time of night (er, morning) as my motor skills aren't as awake as my mind. One thing that I've been doing a lot more of at this time though, is writing. I have been writing a lot more recently, which I'm really happy about! I used to write all the time, and I missed it. This time of the night is perfect for that, as my brain is usually working over time right about now.

Okay, I'm off to let my brain wander around a story or two!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Gothic Peach

Okay, I promise this is the last Valentine's Day worthy piece! lolol! Really, I swear!

This piece is kind a destashing piece in that I used some old extra beads and craft wire that I haven't used in like forever. I think it worked out so pretty together though!

For more information on this piece, take a look at the listing here -

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Heart Bound Bracelet

Here we have another piece just in time for Valentine's Day. I know, pretty funny for someone that doesn't do holiday "themed" jewelry. But I dreamt about this piece the same day I dreamt about the last one. I really like the way it flows and it can definately be worn any day of the year.

For more information on this bracelet, check out the listing here - or the listing here -

Friday, February 1, 2008

Wandering Hearts Necklace

I'm not usually one to do holiday themed jewelry, but a few mornings ago I woke up with the idea for these pieces in my head. I've found that some of my best pieces were ones that I dreamt about or woke up picturing. So I went along with it and these are pieces that could be worn any time of the year, really. (I will share one each day. *giggle*) Anyone that knows my style, knows that I love big, bold pieces, these are no exception!!

This pendant is 12 guage copper which has been soldered and then wrapped for neatness and extra durabilty. It has little diamond shaped garnets hanging from each heart. This pendant is VERY large. It is about 3 inches by 3 inches and hangs from a very simple oxidized sterling silver chain.
For more information about this piece, you can view the listings here - and another one here -

Thanks for letting me share!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Double Beez to Butterflies Chainmaille Bracelet

So, back in November, 14 year old DS pulled out some red colored copper wire that I've had for ages and decided he wanted a bracelet. So I sat him down with my chart of weaves and he picked out the beez to butterflies weave. But with the guage of the wire, the bracelet would be too skinny, so we decided that I could double it.

I had every intention of finishing the bracelet before his birthday in the first week of December, but I really underestimated how much work it would take. These are tiny rings, 2.75mm, 20 guage wire, and it took a gazillion of them. I could only work on it for a little at a time before I'd have to put it down.

Then my trunk show came up, and then the holidays, and other projects, and then, I ran out of wire!! It was a couple of weeks before I was able to find and purchase more. This last week I've been determined to finish it, because I am so over the darn thing!!!

Well, I finally finished it tonight!!!!! Yessssss!!!!! So without further ado, here it is!!! It's a good thing I love my son!!! lol!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Quick Chainmaille History Lesson

Maille was invented some time in the mid 1st millennium BC, but it is unknown where and by whom it was first used. It may have been invented independently in Japan and in Europe. The earliest finds altogether are from 5th Century BC Synthian graves. Etruscan or Celtic examples date to ca. the 3rd century BC.
The Roman Republic first came into contact with maille fighting the Gauls in northern Italy. It so impressed the Romans that the Roman army adopted the technology for their troops.

The use of maille was prominent throughout the High Middle Ages, and reached its apex in the 13th century, when full body suits of maille armour were developed.

In the 14th century, plate armour began to replace maille. It could still be seen after this point being worn by those who could not afford plate, however, and it was also common to wear a shirt of maille beneath plate armour to protect the joints and the groin.

Today, very few examples of ancient mail survive. The vast bulk of maille was broken up, and used as scouring pads through the late Middle Ages.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Chainmaille Series

Okay folks, here on our little journey, I am going to be taking you along sort of a side path, one that will help you understand one of my major jewelry loves - chainmaille. We will take the path in little bits and pieces, so as not to give you too much information at once. In fact, I'm sure I'll learn a ton along the way too!!

"Chainmaille?" you're probably asking, " you mean like knights in shining armour and stuff?" Well, yes, but I gotta tell you, chainmaille has come a very long way since those days of yore. True, some people do still make chainmaille armor, but it is only used for display or re-enactment (as in people that participate with the Renaissance Fairs), or in the case of swimming with sharks (but we won't go there today :-) ).

What it's making a strong showing in now is the jewelry world. It is possible to use the ancient chainmaille "weaving" techniques and patterns to make gorgeous, and yes, trendy jewelry. It's one of my favorite techniques, it's one of my favorite looks, and I look forward to sharing this little side trip with you!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Playing With PMC

I've been playing with PMC!!!!!!

Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking right now. You are probably saying "Huh? What the heck is PMC?"

Well, here's a brief description, from the Learning Center on our website:

"PMC (Precious Metal Clay), is a clay-like medium used to make jewelry, beads and small sculpture. It consists of very small particles of precious metals (such as silver, gold or platinum) mixed with an organic binder and water. You shape the clay just like any soft clay, using your hands or moulds, leave it to dry, and then fire it. Firing can be done in a kiln, with a handheld gas torch, or in the case of Art Clay, also on a gas stove. The binder burns away, leaving just metal. The resulting object is smaller because the binder has been removed and the piece has shrunk during the process of sintering. Shrinkage from 8 to 30% occurs (depending on the brand used), but this has been exploited by artisans as it allows very fine detail to be achieved.
The silver version of the clay is the most-used of all metal clays, resulting in .999 pure silver. "

Sooooo, clear as mud?? Here are a couple of pendants I made previously using PMC. As you can see, it's pure silver, almost exactly like working with silver sheet, only a bit easier in many ways.

The reason I'm so excited about playing with it? Well this stuff is not cheap, actually it's pretty expensive. It runs about $29 for a little 20 gram chunk. I used a full 20 grams to make the pendant above, and another 20 grams to make the one below. It's not stuff you normally just play with, unless you know exactly what you are going to do with it.

Which is why I had an unopened 20 gram package of it sitting in the drawer for over 10 months. I was almost afraid to open it and use it. Well, a few days ago I finally came up with the perfect idea, so I made myself be brave and I opened up the package. I shaped and formed it the first night, and allowed it to dry for 24 hours. Then I filed it and smoothed the edges and used my torch to burn off the clay bonding. And finally today, I polished it up and oxidized it to bring out the design.
The result? Well, I'm sooooooo happy I made myself do it!!! I will get pictures of the finished product and share it!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Copper Viking Knit Bracelet

Viking knitting, one of the oldest known forms of knitting, is a looping technique that preceded traditional knitting by centuries. Many of these chains were found buried in tombs of some of the most famous and powerful Vikings. It is so lightweight it feels like lace!

This bracelet was quite a challenge for me (yay! I love challenges!). I have seen several tutorials online, but not one of them showed you how to finish it off and attach a clasp.

The weave turned out to be quite easy and went together really quickly. I even made my own homemade drawplate for this project. A drawplate is a metal or wood plate with holes of varied sizes through which wire is drawn to get the desired thickness.

Finally after about 4 tries, I think I finally figured out how to finish it off. Here's one way, and I know how to do one other way too. I've even promised some of my fellow jewelry makers on the forum that I would try to come up with some sort of tutorial for it. Guess I better get working eh?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Finding Inspiration

As an artist there is one question that I get asked a lot. "Where do you get your inspiration?" One would think that would be such an easy question to answer, however, it's one I struggle with each and every time I'm asked.

My inspiration comes from all over the place, from nowhere, from nature, from architectural designs and curves, sometimes even just from something someone said.

Sometimes the inspiration is quick and instantaneous, like a light bulb getting turned on in my head. Other times it takes time to cultivate in my imagination. And sometimes I have to force the inspiration by getting online and pouring over hundreds of pictures of all kinds of things.

It's something that it always there, though. Even now, as I finish up a piece, my mind is already working itself around my latest inspiration - a contest on a jewelry community forum that I'm involved with (which, by the way, is a fantastic collaboration of like-minded individuals.). The contest is to make a piece with a butterfly incorporated into it, using one of the color palettes found here - These are all colors palettes of real butterflies! How fun!! So my mind is racing with inspiration at the moment.

So you see, a question that is seemingly such a simple one, is one of the most difficult for me to answer.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

First Stop In the New Year

The first stop of the year in my wonderful journey is really no surprise to me. It combines two of my loves - metalsmithing and victorian/romantic style jewelry.

I am in love with this set! The pendant (as well as the entire set) was very lovingly handcrafted. I even soldered it for extra sturdiness under all those little wraps.

The copper in the entire set has been hand formed, hammered and even given a heat patina to add to the antique look of the pieces.

I also used freshwater pearls in baby blue and peach and delicate Swarovski crystals to adorn them.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The beginning

Everything must have a beginning... There are so many people that ask me when I'm going to start a blog. "Oh, sometime." I've always responded. Well, with the new year came new goals for me. Not resolutions persay, just things I aspire to acheive in the coming year. This blog is one of them.

As any of you that know me well already know, making jewelry is a very important part of my life. Instead of just being a hobby or even just a job, I am discovering that my relationship with the art of jewelry making is a journey. It's a journey in which I hope will take me in a particular direction, but as every journey does, this one has many twists and turns along the way, many of which are dictated by my muse. As an artist, I follow her along willingly, and every time we turn the corner, I am more than delighted with what she has to show me. I do believe this will be a life long journey for me, as I never want to stop learning, and trying new things, and following my muse wherever she feels I need to be led.

I've decided that this year, I would like to invite you to enjoy a bit of my travels in this wonderful journey, if you would like...