Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Channeling my Vintage

I'm seriously thinking of opening a Vintage Shop on Etsy. First of all I love love love to collect things. Colorful things, things that whirl and sparkle (think old toys and jewelry)My grandmother used to take me to what she called the Dime Store, and we'd go and look at what my grandfather called the JUNK store. I loved those times with her and have really calm and soothing and motherly memories of time spent with her perusing shops.

My problem is I move from one collection to the next. I'd like to turn the problem into a solution by moving the items I'm not so fond of anymore into the hands of an Etsy artist who can dissect and use the piece for art OR someone who happens to collect the things I would be selliing and no longer wish to stare at in my (fill-in-blank) room.

I'm not sure if this is a declultting thing, or something I'd like to add to my making and selling pretty pieces of metalsmithed jewelry. (can you tell I'm working this out right now as I write?) DH says I'm impulsive, I know I'm compulsive, but writing this out is slowing me down a bit...

Okay, who am I kidding? I NEED to declutter my collections. Maybe I'm at that point in my life where I realize I don't need 'things' so much as space and comfort, mostly from family and friends. (I do love my big TV - it allows me to escape into many many movies). I love a comfy couch and really eye-catching mood altering art on the walls.

I read books over and over, well, my favorite books. There are plenty of books on my shelves that I will never re-read. Those will go to the library in the form of donation.

Books help me feel 'safe' and I often sleep with the current book I'm reading tucked under my pillow at night. If I don't have a current read, I'll grab a favorite volume of poetry and read until I'm sleepy, then under my pillow it goes.

For a while I collected old teacher books, as in books for teachers to use as aids, from the 1800s-early 1900s. I don't ever sleep with these under my pillow. I would sneeze all night. And they were fun for a while, until I read them and got what I wanted to get from them (escape into another era and vivid use of my imagination). Now they are just very old books (old dictionaries and other publications, even colorful kid books) sitting on my bookshelves looking...pretty...I guess. Anyway ther might be someone out there who loves these types of things.

My Depression era glas stays here, I just love to use it...to put candy in, or some fresh cut flowers.

I have old toys that a toy collector might like. They are probably not even suitable or 'safe' for the kiddies by todays standards. But I do have them and it's time to say bye to them. I have no emotional hold on these things.

Can I just tell you how many kitchen beater type thingies I have? Not the motorized ones, the hand held ones. The handles used to be made of wood and are hand painted *sigh* those must have been good old days. (maybe not for the house fraus) Which is WHY I use my vintage aprons i find on Etsy for metalsmithing ONLY! Sort of an empowerment gesture to all those ladies who did not vote...Okay I digress as always...

I don't have the room/space or energy to box up various 'themes' of collections and put them out in rotation form. So...all that said...I'm going to look into this soon. It could be a fun pick-me-up and oh the photos could be so colorful and descriptions super fun to write.

Hoping to complete this spinner today

This is such a little pretty by the end of the day.

Is anyone else being affected by the pollen? It is wiping me out!!! (the tree buds and pretty bulbs popping are nice though...)

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Stones to Set...

Just showing their size in reference to my big green turquoise setting which has 14k Rose gold and yellow gold. The set (green turquoise) ring is about 28mm in length and 15mm in width at their largest points.

So, these are more 'bluesy' ones I have right now. (I do have more greens) But in case you're looking for something with a distinct blue hue, here's what's coming up next. Please convo me if you are interesting in any of these for a ring or pendant.

Infinity Spinny Necklace

Here she is, I'm so pleased with the way she turned out. The design was put together by my customer, (it's a fantastic design)! She chose to keep the figure 8 (hence the word Infinity in the title of the piece) shiny, no oxidation. The 14k Yellow gold is super shiny, as is the sterling silver spinner ring which spins like a gem.

The chain is 18" long and has a Shepherd's Hook clasp. All parts were made by me. I'm really digging these figure 8 chains...you can buy them pre-made and cranked out by a machine, but you will never get the thickness and continual round bends on the curves.

I also reshot some items which are ready to ship (but can be ordered in your size as a custom item)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Custom Item Spin Me Baby!

Hi guys, I'm enjoying my morning coffee and mixing the time with making a custom piece for a sweet customer. She actually came up with this design (yes another amazing design from a customer!!!) It involves 14k yellow gold, a hand made figure 8 chain NOT oxidized, (wahooo no stinky smells!) and some hammering.

It's very rainy and cloudy out, the ground is soaked...I don't see any hint of sunshine...and I just saw that Lisa posted on her blog she is having a layover at the DC Airport! *Waves to Lisa!*

I totally dig my 1950's era vintage aprons and my kitty ears, I'm odd that way...

I'm also trying to come up with a name for the piece because I will keep the item in my shop! (I love this design, you know who you are so thank you!)

The names I've thought of, so far, remind me of that old soap opera As The World Turns. It'll hit me (the name) when I get closer to completion.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Floating in a Dream

More views here

Here she is...the silver wing spans remind me of a plane - the turquoise the way the land is seen from above - it feels like flying in a dream...

I made the chain into figure eights, and heavily oxidized and tumbled...the only open (non soldered part of the chain are the 2 hand made split rings at each end of the chain, and of course, the Shepherd's Hook clasp)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another Compass/Flying in my Dream Piece

I've spent the morning completing a piece that reminds me of flying, looking down to earth from a birds eye view, in a vivid dream. (you know those dreams?)

I love maps, I love the feeling of taking off and landing in a plane. (I have developed a huge phobia of flying over the past 15 years). When i was a girl I flew frequently, and across the Atlantic to Europe and back several times. I had no fears. There was a time when flying so fascinated me I thought I might like to learn to fly a plane.

For now I'll convey my dreams of flying into these navigational/compass/dream related pieces. I'm not ready to take any photos yet, it's a dark day...maybe later. I've enjoyed making this piece so much because I did draw it out first, and it came together quite smoothly and fast.

I ask myself if I'm headed more toward steampunk pieces. With the mixture of riveting and kinetic pieces I just might be. Whatever this change is that's occurring, I am loving it.

It's been 3 days since an order has come in thru my Etsy shop. Instead of worrying I'm taking my time using my creativity and thought process instead of rushing pieces.

It feels so good.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I cannot tell a lie

but I've been trained to keep deep secrets...:P Okay enough of taking myself super seriously!

I wanted to show you a couple of things. First the green earrings on, I'd love to get a better pic, maybe tomorrow, all I know is I'll be making more of this style becuase they feel SO GOOD ON! Not heavy at all! :-)

This is my cat Scrappy from earlier today, she's shaped much like a pear, so am I
(she's not for sale, I just thought this was a very sweet pic of her)

And another NEW item for my shop which I'll list tomorrow unless someone convos me for it before then. A Spinner Necklace, a bit more petite than my others...22k yellow gold on blackened sterling silver tube (tube made by yours truly) What can I say, I love to make my jewelry move.

Another view

Couple of New Spring Items for my Etsy Shop

New Spring Green Earrings
I think these would make a perfect Mothers Day gift, or just an Anyday gift! As you can see I'm starting to explore more of the Art Nouveau period, but not go overboard. I want the green turquoise to be the centerpiece while the gentle lines around it compliment the design.

These can be found here

When is there ever a time we don't crave chocolate? This is my Ode to Chocolate in Turquoise! :P
Listing is here

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Shop has Reopened

Lisas Ring as promised, a pic of it, I love it, I have it on right now!!! It's very versatile, and I'm not picking my finger just fits so well in that huge honker!
and I wanted to give a shout-out to Lisa of LisasLovlies, she had that fire sale last week and I bought one of her rings, a wrap ring. Okay, I cannot stop staring down at it. It's just so friggin gorgeous!

I bought the ring partly out of love, as in - I have been eyeing this piece and oogling it and knew I'd love wearing it. It's also part research for my shop. Not her design. I wanted to know how a wrap ring would feel on, with the versatility of adjusting for the fat days, or the slim days, it is great. It's chunky, so you have to loooorve chunky, (I love chunky)

What amazes me even more is how different all of our designs truly are. As much as we think we cannot reinvent the wheel, we (okay I'm speaking collectively as artists, which I shouldn't, but I am :O) do try to express and roll out pieces that are simply beautiful. Because we all share mostly the same sources for our metals, tools, etc, it's so cool that we all have our own style! (and it is noticeable, and incredible!)

I just mailed my 3 orders which came in yesterday, and ate most the choccy Lisa sent with her order...and have 2 projects in the pickle and one ready for it's photo debut.

First, I must go see what happened on Big Love last night, it was the final episode!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Scrapping it all! Nyah! Metalheads, don't look if you have a weak tummy

Okay adding these pics Sunday around 10am, I am fini with the sorting. Now I need to sort cabs/beads and get my Etsy shop ready to go live again

This is the after pic of the drawer where I saw...pretty clean metal...

For Pam and Lisa, and anyone else who is interested, this is a really good glass of green goo! (no make up, yada yada, just focus on my happiness and the goo, not my flaws! :P)

Sorting metal, a years worth in a weekend, don't ever try this without the understanding that you are okay, the metal is okay, you're both okay goshdarnit!

Well not all of it...most of it...I'd like to show you before and after pics, so far I mostly have in the process of pics...

Anyone else gone thru a years worth of metal? No wonder I thought it daunting! I only have about a few handfuls left and hope to show you some after pics. (if I don't pass out from pure boredom) I wish I could say I'm the kind of person to find this sort of a meditating act, but it really isn't.

Culling through billions of little pebbles of sand for one bright colored sea glass for hours is truly meditative, this is tedious.
So many decisions...
Send back?
Why did I make that?

And then there are the pesky thoughts
So...I was too busy/lazy/busy to go after these jump rings/thinny rings/(insert another item here)and my reward is finding 50 of them?
I need to rethink buying 'shapes' of metal vs cutting them out
There has to be something I can do with that little corner of silver
OMG! Gold I just found friggin GOLD! (I hope DH doesn't ever see this line...)
Notice I buried the gold line deep into this entry...he doesn't ready my entries because...well...they aren't about golf?
Ugh I need to peel the little tape from the back of this jagged little piece before I throw it into the scrap heap...but do I really? They must allow for some slag when they melt these down...
How much of this silver have I been inhaling all these months - years?

And the resolution thoughts
I'm cleaning my bench at end of every day
Okay, maybe not every day, but every week - Maybe every project?
Keep little containers nearby marked, scrap, keep, yada yada
Never ever undress and believe that part of my wardrobe can go into my scrap drawer at my bench unnoticed! I will eventually find that belt, purse, (not telling you what else I found!)

I went thru this yesterday, the drawer pics above are completely separate, hoping for pics today. (These are just from another bench area where I...doodle around...

The muva lode! (so far)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Cleaning my Etsy Shop & Thank You Sweet Customers

Good Morning! I decided it was time to take a weekend off from selling and revamp my Etsy shop a bit. There are a few items which seldom sell, and some which repeadedly sell. I'd like to introduce some new items and recategorize my tired categories. (they are tired, so tired they are sleeping)

This year has been so productive and I wanted to say thank you to my customers, it means so much to me to know that you love and trust my skills. I've had some really fun challenges creating custom pieces. (as I did last year)

So...until Monday...my shop is taking a Spring Nap...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

AMAZING Ring Sale over at LisasLovlies!

I just bought the one I have had my eye on!

Her silver/stone-set rings are incredible. You have to see them to know what I mean. Each on has a bit of an artistic flair like nothing else.

LisasLovlies Ring Sale

C'mon girls and boys let's dance with Carlos and Rob!

there are so many great lines in this song, i think i'm melting ladies! :p

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wedding Heirloom Pendants for Bride and Groom




So here they are. As you can see I treated 'his' a bit differently. The size is wider and the rivet edges are sawn to give it a more rugged feel. The chain is different as well. Hers is longer, more slender and I added the half beaded wire between the spinners. Both have matching spring clasps which I found today and fell in love with. I must locate more of those!

Tomboy rings are ready to flare! :-)

Matchbox Twenty Vid See How Far We've Come

I have seen these guys so many times in concert, hope they come around soon, or make a new album, I miss dancing and singing...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Primavera Necklace New in my shop today

Good morning! I really think Spring is about here...so I became inspired to make a very super colorful spring-like piece for my shop. This is aptly named Primavera Necklace. (It might be interesting to put Autumn in the name, but I think not.)

This is made with a very chunky bright green turquoise piece, which I set into a sterling silver bezel. I've become enchanted by the early 1900s and the Art Nouveau scene. As you can see there are parts of this incorporated into the design. There is a fluid looking vine near the bezel wall reminiscent of all those lines we see in Art Nouveau period. I also wanted the rich balance of complimentary colors so I chose red to go with the bright green.

This piece is 22 inches long and is so versatile because of the shiny soldered silver loops mixed with the Czech red glass beads; it can be worn as a choker or necklace. The green piece can be worn on the side or in the front.

I need to get this listed in my shop before my daughter sees it. Art Nouveau is one of her favorite periods of art.

This is for WireSmith, crikey check out my SCHNOZ! Better pics later of wearing it, i must get these other pieces fini! :p

Monday, March 16, 2009

Birdies are Chirping I hope Spring is near!

Good morning! It looks like I'll be busy making many spinner pretties in the next couple of days. I've started on a project which came in Saturday...thanks so being featured in one of the Etsy Gift Guides someone found me and I will be making 2 of these for a lovely woman who will present them as gifts to bride and groom...by Friday, this Friday, in her hands, I can do it! The zone, I will find the zone and BE the Metal! :p I feel so grateful!

Also, an aside from creating art, I have a hair appt today. My roots are coming in fast...and if any of you have followed my blog I've gone from super duper short hair cut to a longer 'bob' and want to continue with growing it out. But it is driving me nuts. I keep pinning the bangs back and it's so hard to go through that awkward growing-hair out stage! I'm going to bravely post a pic of me I took last week, it's pretty bad so back away from the screen! (just to show you my roots)

I would love to get my hair back to this length...I need encouragement not to cut it all off again!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Weekend Deal from my Etsy Shop til Midnight tonight Sunday March 15

This listing is going to be offered at a significantly lower price than normal from now until Midnight Sunday March 15th

Tomboy Spinner Ring Can be found Here

All you need to do is purchase the ring and include the word 'Tomboy' in Message to Seller at Checkout and you will receive the ring for $30 vs. the usual price which is $55.

Thank you all who have purchased one of these Tomboy Spinner rings from my Etsy shop this weekend. I really truly appreciate your business and faith that I will deliver a solid product to you! You are so lovely! :-) There's still time to go for it if you are teetering on the edge of decision; it is a very good deal in this crazy economy!

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart/Cramer as Guest

Full episode, no advertisments, this is very very good..and long, 21 mins...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Care is OnTheCouch feeling ill

Stuck on couch...alone again...
home sick, ugh, just checking in guys *waves* I need oj tast ice water tylenol a soft pillow and someone make the house dark please...my left ear is ringing again (can someone pls get that?) tinnitus...this will pass and i'll get back to creating little pretties soon i hope i hope i hope

i cannot believe its already noon, seems i'm fighting a nasty little head cold...i wish i had a minime to take care of me...

its funny when hubby's home i'm here but hubby has to go out in the world to ooga ooga hunt and gather and work a real office job

i really want some juice

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


My next piece, whatever it turns out to be, (I have 3 in the works) will be named


tee hee hehehehehe heee

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oh Happy Day

Who am I kidding? It's been a really long day, long as in emotionally long, as in, well a 'trying' sort of day. I'm re-learning how to say goodbye to a couple of bad habits and hello to new beginnings. :-) (I love this photo of Marilyn)

On the Etsy front I'm pretty content. One of my new rings, My Chunky Unky found a new sweet home. The process of selling it was quite funny, only because it occurred during Etsy's hiccups. (yes even Etsy has hiccups) Anyway, all of that aside, I'm really looking forward to wrapping her up to be sent out tomorrow.
Reshooting many of my ring pics outside has been a huge help

My new Ring Sizers arrived YAY, but wait, hold on...the box was almost empty, save for 2 (yes I ordered many and recieved 2), I've sold 1 (waves to you-know-who) and have 1 remaining, which is listed. Am hoping my pleas via phone call to the place of purchase of said sizers will yield the remaining gazillion or so very fast! Sort of reminds me of the time I sent my sweet customer an empty box. Things happen. (I'm starting to really develop meaningful relationships with my mailman, UPS man, the Postal workers in my area, it's time to start adding them to my Christmas card list) :P

Yesterday during my "day off" I wrote two letters and will be getting one out tomorrow. (everything seems to be a long process for me...)I do love journaling in a book, with a pen. The process is calming and meditative, as I tend to slow my writing down, it's definitetly a good thing.

Bought a new book yesterday by one of my favorite authors, it's called The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold. She wrote an amazing memoir called Lucky, she's probably best known for The Lovely Bones. I used to read often and for long periods of time. It's time to reintroduce that lovely habit!

My exercise routine is up and kickin' (get it? :P) I'm really loving the feeling of letting go and getting my body working again. Such a healthy feeling.

I'm repairing a ring I sold a year ago. One of my Poppy Rings. It was a bummer to hear my soldering did not hold up to the standard I'd hoped for (the lil poppy ball part fell into itself). But I'm grateful my customer contacted me and said "can ya fix this for me?" That should be going out tomorrow as well. We just cannot be perfect...and that's really okay.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Original Art by Cristina Grueso

I wanted to share with you this piece which I received via mail today. Cristina Grueso lives and works in Spain. Her work is captivating. I found her on Etsy and was able to purchase this lovely painting. Looking at the painting in person is incredible. There are details within that are almost lost in the photo of piece.

Not until I went to write on my blog did I realize there is no title for this piece. I would love to know more about what the artist was thinking as she painted this beautiful image. There are obvious symbols - and as gathered-symbols what do they mean together?

Etsy is a really wonderful place to find original art. If you get the opportunity please check out her shop on Etsy.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Brandi's Family Heirloom Necklace in Sterling Silver

Notice anything ODD about this one?

Got it right for this one! :-)

Finally got it finished and photographed. The first time around (yes there were 2 attempts, 1 success! :p) the sterling silver tube I made for the bottom was not quite as nice as I wanted it...but the main factor was one of the beads was upside down...and with stamping, the beads need to be pretty aligned. Brandi had special dates one one side and initials on the other...they spin, so I guess this is a Spinner Necklace. She designed the whole piece, and sent me a graphic layout, one could not ask for more with instructions! (she is a smither and a graphic artist) but still...her design layout made it so much easier to visualize!

Here it is...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ring and Necklace are Fini :-)

I also have a new ring to list, I need to get a couple of more shots methinks. This is a size 7, not overly large oval turquoise ring set into a pretty bezel. I love the greens and teals in the stone.

Here's a peek at the 14k Rose Gold Spinner Ring I just completed. I'm so happy with it. This baby was annealed several times so I could get it just right. It will be going to its owner on Monday.

Brandi if you're looking at this post, I promise to have pics of your Family Heirloom Pendant up later, it's still tumbling!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend. It is soooo beautiful here near the Nations capital! :-)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ruby's Hill Purchase and Project Progression

Anji lives in Alaska. She has an outstanding blog. I love to sit back and read her writing and check out her photos and latest work. It was time to treat myself to something from Etsy and it was her shop that lured me with those deep blue sea glass mixed with sterling silver designs. I ordered a necklace and had mentioned how much I love her sea glass (esp. because it is Alaska sea glass) and she surprised me with this box full of sea glass and pottery/china which just about sent me crying. I know now how dear this sea glass is because she has to watch out for bears and other types of animals when culling the pretties from the sand. The sea is also difficult to reach. So, I feel so grateful to have this box of little treasures. I was thinking of making items for my cousins and Aunts. It would be a very sentimental gesture because Alaska is where our Shepard ancestor migrated. In this migration he married an Eyak woman and they had many children. We, (this part of the Shepard Clan), are from this lovely Eyak woman and restless traveler.
Then again, I really really just love to look at the open box of colors, it makes me smile, and I might not make anything with them!

I'm finishing up 2 projects today:
14k Rose Gold Spinner Ring
Brandi's Family Heirloom Necklace

Yesterday I formed several tubes, they were pretty easy, I surprised myself! I did indeed use my ruler, it's a handy little tool. All the stamping went well and ended up in the correct places.

The gold ring was formed and annealed, and hammered, and annealed (lots of pickling in between) and today I'm ready to flare the ring with 2 silver spinners.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What would my 7th Grade math teacher say?

I'm using math for a new design. (Okay the design props go to Brandi, it is her design, and once complete will be available in my shop - maybe modified to fit my math specs so she can use it in her shop as her design, if she so chooses :-)

This is a custom order for a family heirloom spinner necklace, I'm not sure what to call it when I'm done, maybe Family Heirloom Spinner Necklace?

Brandi is so thoughtful with her designs (being an artist) she sent me a graphic layout with sizes and everything. I know exactly what she wants. (she is the person who did my banner and some other graphic items for me, she's also a smither) Why did she ask me to make this? Well I'd tell you but I can't because it's her business, but it's very sweet I was asked and i'm so honored to do this.

This custom piece and the Rose Gold Spinner Ring will keep me busy for the next few days. I have the shank made for the Gold Spinner. I have the size for my customer.

Busy busy weekend ahead. :-) If other sales come in that will be the icing on my cake, for now I'm enjoying the whole meal!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I feel so grateful

Will be making another Oh She Spins 14k Rose Gold Spinner this week. (I'm grateful for every Etsy order!!!)

and it is very very cold out here in Reston, I will probably opt to solder with windows closed, and fan on full blast...hoping this weekend when the temps are higher to be able to do more solder work.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ring Sizers Available in my shop by end of week

Hi guys. I have been meaning to make sizing your fingers for my rings easier for some time. If you're like me you might not know your ring size for each finger. Now you can! Thanks to my friend Candace at CGailDesigns I was able stock my shop with these!

I usually advise customers to have their ring sized in person at a jewelry store. This will (hopefully) cut down on the wait and will be a nice little tool to have and share with friends who are also shopping for rings online.

It will be available this weekend at a very affordable price. The money you spend on the ring sizer will be refunded to you if you decide to purchase a ring from my shop, and you get to keep the sizer :-)