Saturday, January 31, 2009

Craving Color at Midnight

From BestBeads shop on Etsy

From GemCutter's shop on Etsy, Red lace agate, it is thick and huge, I plan to have a partially open back since it is polished on both sides and have it on a nice riser

Hi guys, I wanted to share my latest find, I bought this after midnight and cannot wait to make a big fat ring, or a very firey pendant.

It's called Mexican Fire Opal, never heard of it, if anyone knows anything about the stone please share! :-)

It's 10mm x 14mm so would make a lovely statement ring, or a great pendant.

Today I'll be working on another pendant from a stone I purchased from GemCutters shop on Etsy, I love his work!!! I love that I'm making something which was made from the hands of the person I bought the stone from. (as in lapidary work, uh, not the creation of the actual stone)

Friday, January 30, 2009

What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

Happy Friday from my lil Etsy Shop AutumnLeavesJewelry :-)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Valentine Ring

Do you like? I used the folding technique to get the line down the middle, then oxidized and set the stones. It was fun using sandpaper to get the patina to look just so...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

...and how did you solder flow today my dear?

For some instant color on this dark day, a blast from the past, bezel created and set for a customer who had this delicious piece of deep red sea glass.

It deserved thick bezel walls surrounding the inner bezel walls, and a lil silver heart to keep the piece playful

It was a long day in the studio with an open window, very cold outside and several projects going. I'm happy to say tomorrow I'll have several Valentine themed pieces in the shop. I'm so digging the Etsy shops filling with hearts and sweet sentiments!

The day remained dark, you know like those dark movies where you realize after 20 minutes there will be no light in any of the scenes. Shades of gray tones are set for the drama to play out. That sums up my day. I feel completely driven into the passion of my art and at the same time there is a pull from those unseen tugging dark tethers we all fight against.

A futon, yeah a futon. If I move the futon from hubby's office to my studio I can nap and work and nap and work and stay in the zone. Or...the futon could fill with tools, boxes and cats.
Then again, it's nice to dream about taking hubby's couch for my studio.

And a pic of my studio, today, January something, 2009, for Team MSIA, a little embarassing as it's so messy..:o

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Double Duty Tuesday

I just had to post the pic of the rose gold and 18k yellow and silver spinner I made...and say I'm all caught up with my orders! I need to make more pieces

Here she is...

This lil handful of goodies went out today (4 orders)

Here are my 2 elder cats. Um, Diamond, the fluffy white kitty is waiting in line for her share of Mr Pud's food. Thing is her food is across the kitchen took her a few minutes to realize...I think...

K, so she's waiting...

Now she's trying to stare his butt down...

Ahhh it hits her...go eat my OWN food across the kitchen floor!

Stick and Accumulate!

Carolyn giddy over the snow :p

Mini's First January 2009 Snow awwww...she's in the carport now, all ready to go

Bart mewing like Marilyn Monroe under the Adirondack (yes he sounds like Marilyn when he mews)

Stick and Accumulate!

Dear Boss-of-Snow,
Please give us a few inches, anything...give us enough to make and throw a decent snowball, (oh okay - I know, a snow fort is asking too much), how about a snow angel, a walk near the woods with a view to jump for!

My gosh it is so pretty out! (I did not park our lil Mini in the carport and hubby is saying "mmm'hmmmm" to me.) Looks like I'll get to scrape later when I head out, yippeeee! (I like to scrape snow!)

I'll be mailing out several orders and (hopefully) getting a few items listed today. Okay I'll be happy to list just a couple new items; okay even ONE new item would be great!

This was supposed to be a Day Off, but as it turned out yesterday was my day off.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Item for AutumnLeavesJewelry Etsy Shop

I hope you guys like this one. I left the bezel unadorned.

The reasons:
~The turquoise has so many pretty shades of blues and light browns (a busy piece!)
~The Bezel wall is scalloped (plenty of 'movement')
~The half-round thick flowy patterened ring shank (ah more patterns!)
(IOW there's so much going on, it didn't need extra balls and pretties added)
I added a bit of oxidation and gently sanded much of it off with very very fine sandpaper.

This is a size 9 (which is a wee big for my right pointer finger, which means I cannot keep it)

...and as always, please pardon my smithy hand!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Good Saturday Morning a Personal Project

Hi! I'm having warm milk, for some reason I've not been able to sleep for several hours. Giving in and getting up to start my day it seemed warmed milk might feel good. And it is good! MMM. We had temps in the 50s yesterday, it was lovely! Today is much different. So far its pretty cold. (Later we'll have some cold winds as well.)
I've got some Etsy orders to complete and mail. A couple of others to start.

When grandma passed she left behind many pieces of very old and "Native" inspired pieces. Okay, probably most WERE Native made (as in made by Natives of this country). They are lovely in all their imperfections. I have one which I cherish but never wear. This piece is an old watch band. It is huge. It is chunky, And it is funky, it is not from a mass produced company, nor was it cast. The patina is natural, I'm temped to shine it up. The watch face is long missing and I noticed the middle cuff area is constructed of thinner silver. I know why - so it could bend over the years, the problem now is it has been worn by my dear grandma for so long it is just weak. Instead of replacing it with a watch face I'm thinking of adding a resin piece I've made. The bezel is sterling silver made by me, with an old photo of her as a child in Nebraska. I'd like to add this using a cold-connection method (as the watch faces are added to pieces like these).
Of course this would not ever be for sale it will stay in the family like all her other pieces I own. Some day my sweet daughter will have it.
Hopefully in preserving this for the next few generations I can be inspired to produce something similar for my Etsy shop...

Later when the sun comes up, or I have some coffee, whichever arrives first I'll
take pics to show you :-)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss latest Vid/My Day Off

I'm taking 2 days a week to myself (Tuesday and Friday), for my family and my sanity. It feels like falling into a bowl of feathers. I love it. Hope you like this video, if you love Alison Krauss(American Bluegrass) or Robert Plant (British Invasion band Led Zeppelin), you'll love this, it's fantastic.

I'm waiting for a decent version of the duo doing Zeppelin's Black Dog, it is dreamy...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lil Robin's Nest Egg Ring Resized

This was a wee 4.5, is now a 6, I believe the size was the reason this sweetheart hasn't found a home.

The ring has been featured in Storque on Etsy and made the front page. It's also very affordable, I didn't realize I had priced it at 60$ I'll honor that price! :-)

Going Green Update

Eggistentially speaking, my egss are now speaking to me, sending me messages. This one wasn't so rude, at least it didn't use curse words. I now draw the line between silly and what will work!

Eggs will work to accelerate the oxidation process of sterling silver to a point. The point being, the silver abides by the eggs rule. The rule of the egg is
I'll darken you as much as- and where I want!

I found this little bugger in my lightbox this morning

So what have I learned with all my little eggsperiments?<---couldn't resist
For stamped items, or items where you want to choose where the oxidation will work use Liver of Sulfur.
For a fun, uneven, funky, cool, artsy and spontaneous look on a piece use the egg!

Looks like I'll be using both...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

10 Random Facts About Me

Jaime of bellabijoujewellery started this fun blog coup. Here are mine: I hope I still have customers after this :p

1. I fear potholes, especially ones newly patched. I will drive around them, or over them making sure my wheels do not touch any part (if I can).

2. If I happen to run a yellow light, I kiss my right hand and slap the ceiling of the car.

3. Almost every morning I have yummy oatmeal with cinnamon, 2%milk, and if fresh fruit is in the house I add it.

4. I will take my coat off for a homeless person who is trying to sleep in the cold

5. Most of my joints can, and are, daily, hourly, you name it, cracked

6. My hubby hates the sound of me cracking knuckles/joints

7. I can stand and bend my legs backwards so they are pointing the opposite direction

8. Reading at night soothes me, sometimes I sleep with my book near me or under my pillow

9. I moved constantly as a kid and am glad to be settled!

10. I have huge crushes on both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert because they are very funny, smart nerds!

New Lil Silver Hoops for my Shop

I know what you might be thinking, gosh everyone has these, or a variation of these. Well I have not added some small hoops of this nature to my shop (yes it's been over a year!) omgosh! Anyway, like my stacking rings I'm hoping these will turn out to be a resller aka 'staple' item. They are so sweet and tiny, but I left the back of the earwire long for drama.

Also I need to clean my house, I've vacuumed half of it, okay, maybe a third. Then I get to mop. As much as I complain it always feels good to have a clean home!

Later I hope to vlog about the next egg oxidation experiment thanks to new tips from Candace and others.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Feels Like Hope is Alive

What a day! I blogged about all the crying in an earlier was more of the same filled with hope and the idea of new beginnings. Ted Kennedy's illness cast a shadow over part of the celebration, but he did make it to the swearing in! Amazing! Just amazing!!!

Step One Toward a Green Studio for 2009

Hi, AutumnLeavesJewelry is Going Green! (as green as I can get). Thanks to tips from Candace's blog at cgaildesigns , she has a link on oxidizing by egg, I was able to successfully pull off oxidizing pairs of Obama earrings using 1 egg!

I can put my face near my accelerated oxidation process, how lovely!

Here's the smashed egg inside a plastic baggie with a zip lock, mostly shut, all 6 earring tags are separated and never touched the other...notice shell, egg white and yellow part all mushed up

This is me removing the pieces, they are wonderful!

I'll add pics later to show how well these turned out. And I plan to do a vlog tutorial on this process it seemed confusing I had questions before I started. Going for it and trying it out was pretty fun!

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Valentines Piece for my AutumnLeavesJewelry Etsy Shop

View from under/band side

I just had to, it started snowing again and it makes me giddy, here's a piece I made this morning.
14k hammered wide gold band (1/4") with sterling silver heart, atop are 3 lovely little nested eggs, or balls - Sterling Silver, 14k Rose Gold and 18k Yellow gold.
It fits my finger very well! I think I'll list it though even though it's a perfect fit. arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

It's Snowing!!! Stick snow Stick!

Not sure if it will amount to even a dusting, but is sure is pretty. I've been thinking about switching from the chemical pickle (which heated works great, if boiled sends out very toxic fumes, did you know that?) to a vinegar solution. I need to test it out and see if it's for me. If I can cut down a just a couple more chemicals I think this beautiful art form will be more worth it.
One of the worst culprits is Liver of Sulfur. It is so nasty-bad for humans (over time)!
Just some random thoughts about some of the chemicals we smithers deal with daily.
One thing most of us use is Dawn (or any brand) liquid soap for our tumblers. There is a standard chemical recommended for the tumblers, I bought some way back and it still sits. I guess I should have hubby take it to the dump where chemicals are received and dealt with accordingly.
Trying to make my space more Green this year ;-)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Little Pink Houses for Obama/ Do You Believe in Rock and Roll?

Is anyone else in the Etsy world watching the festivities on The DC Mall? I don't think I can shed another emotional tear. (is it possible to dehydrate oneseslf by over-crying?)

Hubby was showing me the live camera shots from the Washington Post site, there are tons of people walking across the bridges into DC.

Is anyone on the Mall? We did not dare brave the crowds/weather like all the brave ones who are there!

The roads and subways will be FUBAR later, I hope everyone pees before they try to leave!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I miss making Video Tutorials so here's a Blast from the Past

Last summer I upgraded a pretty green Fluorite Pendant I'd made by adding a few simple elements. I tracked my progress through these 3 videos. The piece sold and I was so happy it found a home. Another smither recently asked me how I remove cabachons safely from a bezel in order to resue that bezel.
My next tutorial in the upcoming weeks will show just that. I almost show you how I remove the bezel here, though not quite. These focus is on the added design elements and thought process i went through over the course of a week to upgrade this piece. I hope you enjoy them.

Upgrading an existing piece Part I

Upgrading an existing piece Part II

Upgrading an existing piece Part III (final)

More Obama Orders in the US Mail today

I'm so excited about these next few days and the upcoming four years it's hard to articulate. My shop has seen an increase in sales of Obama related items, it feels GOOD to make something which will remain a part of someone's memory of the 20th of January, 2009. The connections I feel with these customers is LOVELY!

It's going to be difficult not to cry for joy on the 20th, and why not allow myself to cry? I think I will, I think I'll keep some tissues near by and have a nice cry, then have some cookies and milk if I please, or a celebratory glass of wine, Shiraz thankyouverymuch!!!

(cancelled an appt I had on the 20th there is no way I'm driving anywhere except maybe the coffee shop) This area is supposed to be jammed with out-of-towners.


Friday, January 16, 2009

DC Weather has finally become COLD, New updated Ring Photos

The sun is up and I was able to take some pics of the upgrade of ColorsOfMyChildhood ring for my client and anyone else who would like to see. She requested the little silver balls to be replaced by Rose Gold, Yellow Gold (this is 18k) and one Sterling Silver, I also oxidized so the golds would really pop (gold doesn't worry itself over liver of sulfur!) I also took off the old skinny band and added this half round which is more suitable for the piece. (if you scroll down a few you will see the before piece, it was all silver, no black or excellerated ageing.) I love the black of the silver against the colored golds!

(pardon my dry smithy hand!!!)

Sunny to partly cloudy, brisk and bitterly cold
High: 18F / -8C

Clear and bitterly cold; extreme cold can be dangerous for outdoor activities
Low: 9F / -13C
Current Conditions
Condition: Partly Sunny
Temperature: 11F / -12C
RealFeel®: -3F / -19
Wind: 10 mph NW
Barometer: 30.63
Humidity: 42%
Sunrise: 7:25 AM
Sunset: 5:11 PM

4 Etsy orders arrived throughout yesterday, so I'll be fulfilling those today. I'm hoping not to need to open my studio window for ventilation. (They are all Obama related!)

There are enough coffee grounds too eke out maybe 2 more cups if I'm lucky so I better get going. As soon as the sun comes up fully I'd like to get pics of my clients ring. Have a beautiful day everyone and stay warm!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thinnest Layer of Snow

Does it even qualify as a layer? A dusting maybe...we awoke to a pretty white dusting of snow which will surely be gone by noon.

An Etsy order came in overnight which is always a sweet surprise. After making several wide spinners it's going to be fun to tap tap tap a few 'Chunky Stacking Rings'.

I plan to have my large Turquoise 'Colors of My Childhood' ring done today. And hopefully the blue opal.

I took some more photos of my cat Scrappy, affectionately known as FATTY. She is pear shaped, sort of like me :p Anyway, she insists on grabbing the smaller of the two little cardboard boxes I keep near one of my studio windows. Clearly she is too big and would be more comfortable in the larger one. Puddles, my elderly cat also vies for the smaller of the two boxes. Sometimes they stand near the empty boxes and stare at each other. In the old days Puddles would have simply jumped in and claimed his superior cat world position, these days his hind legs don't allow such grace. So they stare at each other, eventually one gets in, the other struts off. (not taking the other, larger more comfy, box.

So here they are this past week taking turns in the smallest box.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

...and the point of sleeping at night is...???

I'm up again with insomnia. After a couple of sleepless hours in the dark I decided to head to my studio. With family asleep and neighbors very close by this insomniac cannot make too much noise. (one of my cats has just decided to join me in the studio to go 'empty-box' jumping, let me tell you there is no grace in her movements or noises!!!)

Here are the next stones to be set from Gemcutter's shop on Etsy:
Apache Rhyolite for a pendant, the bezel will be much fun to design and make:

Opal, I want to make pretty, delicate, sweet ring for this:

This ring was purchased from my shop and is headed for an upgrade, so that's my main focus right now (though I also wish to finish setting stones)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Will be making some pretty pendant/necklaces today

using some pretty stones I acquired from Gemcutter on Etsy. These are large stones and I love to play with the pendant add-ons.

I also have that pretty opal I'd like to fashion into a ring.

Hope to get these things done today...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Etsy Orders and I Am My Own Maid

I have 3 Etsy orders to mail today; they are about ready to go, printed my shipping labels and shined them up. Will be listing some goodies later

The main part of my day will be taken up by cleaning my house. Vacuuming and dusting probably. I am my own maid, always have been, and most likely, always will be. (Oh and I'm already doing laundry) It seems once you start to clean, one thing leads to the next and before you know it you are immersed in the land of mopping and dusting tools.

If any new Etsy orders should come in (please come in!!!) I'll gladly putt off my cleaning duties to fulfill any and all artistic requirements.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Full Work Day ending with some good ol' Neil Young tunes

Neil Young Live From Canterbury House 1968

There was a lot of hammering going on in my studio most of the afternoon. Most of the metal was cut using a saw from very thick sheet it needed some babying. Actually my friend Cynde took me out to lunch ((thank you Cynde)), so I had a nice break. Just tumbling some spinner rings and getting ready to clean up the studio a bit for tomorrow. My poor family had to endure another day of lots of noise from me...they are sweet...

I'm listening to some old tunes from Neil Young as the day winds down. (the tumbler is doing its thing with some pieces making background humming noises) Have you checked out this CD yet? It is awesome. All those very old Neil Young tunes we sang as teens are all on this disc and it is amazing! Brings back some very sweet memories from time spent with a friend who now lives in Knoxville. (or as she says Knox) She was very into Led Zeppelin, and me too, but Neil Young has always felt more dear to me. My memories from this time period are fun, happy and hilarious because of my friend and our circumstances. Good times to remember. I miss Steven R. and always, Neil Young music rocks!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oh She Spins, same/new ring new pics

This pic or that pic?

Just curious what you guys think of the newer pics...I wanted a contrast so I chose the blue...instead of the yellow dried flowers I have been using.
This lil baby will be shipped today.

Friday, January 9, 2009

It is Freezing ccCold in my Studio, How's yours?

Just curious how everyone else deals with the extreme weather days when we have to use toxic chemicals. I have a window open, the fan will soon come on. Hoping to be able to finish the gold ring later today so I can shut window. Brrr...and we are having a bit of 'warmer' weather here!
I would love a really nice vent system, it would cost a fortune though...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thank You Becky- Thank you Becky's Hands

I need to send my sister-in-law some choccy!

Becky is a SIL of mine. She has amazing fingers/hands, everything about her is amazing(as they all are, they must be they are hubby's sisters!). . Anywho...she's the one who models for my rings and as a result of this she has helped to sell some spinners this year already, I wanted to do a shout out to my lovely sister in law who is owner of these digits! :-)

I truly believe she is a huge part in why I sell so many stacking rings!
Having all of her fingers officially 'sized' this past December I am now inclined to squeeze more rings in for her to model and me to sell.

Weird Weather, counting days to the 20th of January

The sun is shining (thank you sun!) the birdies are chirping, and my studio window is open for vent purposes. Wow, what a departure from the rains and dark days we've had here near DC.

Counting the days till the 20th. Though the Capital is very close there is no way we will go anywhere near it...lots of bridges will be closed, some of the local subway station parking lots are reserved for out-of-town buses. (Reminds me of what I missed during the 60s.) I just hope it's all peaceful, sunny and energetic!

We'll have the tele on, surround speakers blaring and food a cookin to help celebrate the 44th Inauguration festivities! Breaking out the ice cream for this one!!! Forget any diets, phhhhhhhhst! :-)


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Will be making this pretty Spinner Ring today

I was lucky to receive an order for another of these...I hope to get more pics this time so I can try some contrasting colors with the gold. Not sure what looks best next to yellow gold...? I was thinking of some blues...Would love to start and finish today...will see...I do love making these the most!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Anyone else growing their hair out?

Mine was soooo short for the last few years and it's actually past my ears, wahoo! Anyone else doing the same, or the opposite?

Mailing one order to Canada today, and organizing my studio...kind of quiet here in Northern Virginia.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I sent an empty box to a Customer?! Did I???? OH FUDGE

Totally random photo of me getting ready to Autocross...oh I miss it...behind me is hubby's shrine to the MINI and all other fast lil cars...and racing cars...that's my helmet, I miss my helmet...

...only I didn't say FUDGE <---(A Christmas story quote) Well it had to happen. I just got back from the post office where I sent out 4 orders. 3 were current, one was a spinner, yes SPINNER AAAAAAAAAAAA which I boxed so nicely and did not put in the person's envelope on the 3rd (Saturday). Goes to show even those of us with OCD make mistakes like this.

Has anyone else done this? Well, will anyone else admit it out front in this blog?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Something New and Shiny for the New Year

I seem to be on my own schedule this new year. I slept in till 8:30 which I hardly ever do. After 3 cups of coffee my eyes just could not stay open and the air was feeling heavy, all around there was a sense of heaviness. The bed had a magnetic pull, and I gave in. Hours later I awoke and fiendishly began laundry and getting Etsy orders done, of course, throwing in a new item idea is always a special treat...I'm hoping to have pics up later tonight or tomorrow morning of my new spin on something shiny :-) Pics Below

Not quite good enough for shop yet (pics I mean)

Here's the new Shiny Necklace, it has a pretty coin pearl, Labradorite and a piece of silver bead made by me from my scraps...I'm hoping to use more "scraps" in the future. I also was able to finally make good use of my chasin hammer, both sides, and keep this cold forged along with super shiny. I think it needs a deep orange shiny background, will get better pics tomorrow. I would love feedback. Thanks...

Yesterday was busy with chores. We dismantled the tree and I carefully packed all the ornaments, each ornament has its specific the sad slow movement of the tree getting hauled out to the back deck by hubby. Next came the cleaning of all those never-ending pine needles. The vacuum just sucked them into oblivion and I was happy to see it all get stored away. I'm not a Grinch, there's just something sweet about reclaiming space once taken up by the commercialism of a holiday. (Do I sound like Charlie Brown or what?)

The truth is there is a palpable tension in the air because our elderly cat Puddles is slowly deteriorating from renal kidney failure. It has been months since he was diagnosed and every other day I stick that long needle into his sweet back and watch the gift of extended liquid life go into him.

He loves his milk, special wet food, and warm bellies (as in he sits on us constantly). He purrs, saves energy to jump onto higher areas and loves to bask in the sun.

Sometimes he behaves like a sick cat, which is heartbreaking. He goes to a big chair and curls up and after what sounds like sad-song snoring, we check to see if he's breathing. He also has little seizures, or that's what I think they are. Mostly he shakes, jolts and then comes back sort of dazed. Needless to say he receives a lot of attention and is such a presence in our family. It's weird to know how your beloved cat will pass and watch it happen.

So...being the pessimist I am, I constantly have little talks with him about what a sweetheart he is and how wonderful he is. And if we nap or hang out together (which seems constant) when I wake up I lay there frozen, unable to move for fear if I turn to him he will be gone. Something I don't want to face.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Spinner Necklace with a Copper and Sterling Twist

Okay first off I've had wayyyy too much caffiene. You never know how it's going to hit you know? Usually I'm gulping it to get "up" because my brain feels so foggy. Well today, that cup of Charbucks set me on fire!

Okay, I just love this piece. It's copper, and fired, so some pretty colors come from it. It's flared with a thick shiny sterling silver ring around it and it spins!

It's a little over 1/4" in diameter with a pretty silver spinner. It hangs freely on a bright silver chain. They are now available in my shop.

*runs to add to shop*

Oh Sweet Family

Hubby has agreed to (yet again) take packages to the post office. I'm mailing to Japan for the first time, and I now see I need to up my Japan shipping on my Etsy site! :-)

Our daughter Angelica has convinced her dad to FINALLY take a load to our local dump. We can dispose of hazardous materials the correct way, and finally be rid of the dozens of empty paint cans which sit frozen on our back deck! Yay!

This means I can create into the late morning and early afternoon!

I started another Bella Luna Pendant, and then yesterday my rocks came in from the Gem Cutter's shop on Etsy. I'm sort of stuck in two creative planes. Oh and some orders have come in, but I can get those done today as well. I love my orders they support my creative habit.

Santa put this in my stocking; it's a fantastic story...for those of you non-fiction lovers.