Saturday, June 19, 2010

Piercing Update

A few posts ago, I told you all about a new tool I had recently purchased - my jeweler's saw. I showed the first attempt I made at sawing...pretty clumsy! Well, I'm glad to say that I really enjoy the challenge of piercing metal and while I'm far from perfect, practice does make "better"! Here are some of the pieces I have made with that technique:
Dreams Gone to Seed

New Growth

At the risk of sounding like I'm bragging, I think these turned out really well. Sometimes I can't believe how far I've come since I first started making jewelry!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dear John Letter

Dear Gemstones, Knotting, Stamping, and Piercing,
I have someone new. Don't get me wrong; I have loved every minute I have spent with each and every one of you. I have learned so much from all of you! Gemstones, nothing can compare to the thrill I feel when I open a package that you're in. Knotting, you have given me many priceless moments of relaxation. Stamping, you're a wonderful effect, but you're a little moody - getting beautiful results from you is hard to do sometimes. And piercing, what can I say? We had such a short time together....but there's a new technique on the block. It's...wire-wrapping....

So now do you see? Can you understand how I can leave you behind for this new beauty? Well, gemstones, I'll still need you from time to time. And knotting, yes, I might need you, too. Okay, okay - stamping and piercing, I can probably work you in, too. Oh, who am I kidding - I'll love you all ALWAYS and FOREVER and I can never leave you. Just try to get along and let's see if we can make this work....together.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Last month, I was so excited to get a new tool that I had been drooling over for quite a while...a jeweler's saw. I'm really glad I bought it. I've been enjoying it so much, it really opens up some new design ideas for me. Look and see:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tradin' again!

One of my favorite parts of having a shop on Etsy is the ability to trade items with other shop owners. I have traded many times, and it's gone well every time. Well, today I just finished up my most recent trade negotiation with PuraBella. She wrote a forum post asking for someone to make some labradorite earrings for her in exchange for something from her shop, and lucky me - she agreed to trade me these

in exchange for a couple pair of earrings. I am so excited about them! They are natural Cedar Tealight Candleholders - a set of 3. I love the rustic, natural quality of them. Her shop might be a bit empty, but give her some credit - she has a newborn baby. Please do go check her out!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Random Facts for a Rainy Saturday Night

  • I always eat my french fries with mayonnaise.
  • I have never been able to do cartwheels.
  • I like dogs, but I LOVE cats.
  • When I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with anything involving Egypt or Michael Jackson.
  • I bite my nails.
  • As a natural blonde, I REALLY don't like blonde jokes.
  • I still feel sad about Mitch Hedberg's death.
  • I've never seen "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" or "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (but I did read that book).
  • I'm skinny, but somehow, I still have fat ankles.
  • Right now, I have a headache.
  • My goal for the summer is to learn how to solder (for jewelry).
  • In high school, I hated math and science and loved English.
  • I don't like insult comedy. And Sarah Silverman is not funny, either.
  • If I could have any talent, it would be the ability to sing really well.
  • I wish I could play tennis better.
  • Someday I want to travel to New York City. Also Europe.
That's probably enough for now. Do you know me?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Great White Hunter Strikes Again

If you've been following my blog (as much as it's possible to follow something that doesn't move around very much), then you might remember that one of my earliest posts involved my senior-citizen cat, Cooties. About this time last year, he suddenly decided to start hunting and bringing in his catches. What's weird about that was that he is somewhere around 14 years old and had never, EVER done that before.

Well, it must be time for the bunnies to be born, because it's happened again. Last Friday night, around 3 AM or so, I woke up to the horrible, nightmarish sound of a rabbit screaming. I made it out to the living room in time to see my husband trying to catch the bunny. Thinking he had it under control, I went back to bed. The next morning, Brett told me that he actually had NOT been able to find the bunny after the cat spit him out. We looked around for a while, poking under furniture and behind things, but didn't see him. We weren't too worried about it, thinking that he must have gotten out, because certainly 3 cats and a dog would be going crazy if there were a bunny anywhere inside. Right??? :-)

Fast-forward to Monday evening. After supper, I decided that Hope (my 4-yr. old daughter) and I needed to go clean up her disaster of a room. Lo and behold, I pushed her door open, and what did I see sitting in the middle of her bedroom floor? That sweet little bunny! Hope and her brothers and I did a bit of chasing and digging through the closet where he tried to hide once we found him, but we finally caught him and set him free, hopefully far away from Master Hunter Cooties. Here's the one picture we managed to catch - isn't he the cutest thing???
He did seem to be all right - no blood or wounds that I know of, although I'm sure he was really hungry and thirsty. Hopefully, we won't have to see him this close again!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A New Technique

You know, ten years ago, if you had told me that I would one day be excited about buying tools (a saw in particular), I would have thought you were crazy. But at the ripe old age of almost-37, life has taken a lot of interesting twists and turns and my obsession with creating jewelry has made it necessary for me to learn to use different sorts of tools. Along the way, I've gotten pretty adept at using hammers (well, except for last week, but hopefully that was a lesson learned) and drills. And now my latest tool/toy is a jeweler's saw. Here it is:

You can adjust the frame to accomodate different blade lengths, and there are different sizes of blades. The ones I have are size 2/0, which is pretty tiny. They are about the size of a piece of floss:

I have a lot of practicing and experimenting to do! There are different blade sizes to try, as well as testing it out on different gauges of metal. Here's my first attempt:

It's not the worst thing I ever saw, but I can tell that I need a lot of work and fine-tuning. This copper is pretty thick, so next, I'm going to try using a thinner gauge. I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Today's Chuckle

I teach first grade, and now that the end of the year is so close, we are doing a lot of review, especially in math. I was working with a group on subtraction, and one of the kids really likes to be right all the time and get finished first. So, he was really proud of himself when he had the problem "20-10" and came up with 9 for an answer. I told him it wasn't the right answer and he scowled at me and said, "Well, it SHOULD be!!"

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Suffering For My Art

We've all heard the old cliche about someone "suffering for their art". I think I experienced that this weekend when I was working on these earrings, my "I Heart Silver" sterling silver earrings. It's been pretty recently that I started using a disc cutter, and I love it, because instead of paying for silver or copper blanks, I can buy sheet (and get more material for less money). It's so much more convenient, as well as being more economical. I've noticed, though, that I tend to get a little "lip" or a burred edge on most of the discs I'm cutting. Not a huge problem, since I can file it smooth, but I want to learn how to do it perfectly the first time! I had been making LOTS of medium-force taps, so I though maybe I would get a smoother edge if I hit the hammer LESS times, but HARDER. On my 3rd hard swing, I missed the steel die completely and hammered my thumb instead. Oh, did it hurt; it was the kind of pain that makes you feel nauseous for a while. I just sort of sat there and let the pain wash over me in waves. When I felt like I could breathe again, I looked at my poor little digit and discovered it was bleeding quite a bit. I got a Band-aid on it, and it was ok, although I still wonder if I should have gone for stitches. There's a cut on the side of my thumb in the perfect shape of an "L". It's swollen and tender, but I think I will survive. So much for LESS, HARDER hits. :-)

So if anyone out there reads this post and knows how to cut discs from silver or copper, and knows how to NOT get that little edge along the side, please comment. I'd love to hear your advice!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

If You Are Looking For a Great Read...

I haven't been by the library lately because, like most things in my life, some of my books were overdue and now I owe a fine. I can afford to pay it, but I'm a little bit embarassed about it, so I just haven't been going in. (I try to think of it as my own personal donation to the library system, but that's another story...) So anyway, the last time I went by Goodwill, I picked up a couple of books that looked like they might be ok, and BOY! am I glad I did. One of them is called "Those Who Save Us" (I KNOW book titles should be underlined, but I don't have the option here), by Jenna Blum. This is the story of how a young single German mother survived during WW II. The point of view alternates between Anna (the German) and Trudy, her grown daughter, who is trying to piece the her mother's story together. If you like realistic fiction, I highly recommend this book. It is wonderful!!

Reasons to buy an "f" monogrammed necklace:

What else can you think of?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Crispy Dogs!

Hi everyone!

Every once in a while I stumble on a new recipe that is really good and worthy of sharing. The latest noteworthy recipe I've found is "Crispy Dogs". Before I give you the recipe, here's the disclaimer: yes, they are probably not very good for you, and they might not sound very good, but my kids LOVE them. THAT is why I am sharing them with you - they are inexpensive, quick, easy, and very kid-friendly. I'd love to hear your reviews...


hot dogs
corn tortillas (1 per hot dog)
frying oil

Place the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for about 30 seconds to soften them. Place a hot dog inside each tortilla, roll up, and secure with toothpicks. Place in deep fryer and cook until they are golden brown.

**My sisters gave me a hard time about these when I told them I was making them, but it's worth it! My kids ask for these all the time now and they are guaranteed to get eaten up!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Suggestions, Please!

Hi everyone!

As I mentioned in my last post, I've really gotten into the stamped jewelry! It's easy to see why it's so popular now - to me, it's what handmade jewelry is all about: the ability to have highly personal, unique wearable art. Now I'm looking for suggestions for words or phrases that would make great jewelry. I'm trying to stay away from the typical things you see on jewelry, such as "love", "hope", "dream", etc. Those are fine, but they're not very unique. I am looking for unusual, quirky ideas. I posted the same request on my Facebook fan page, and here are some that I like:
passion, sparks, fire, forever, authentic, coffee, chocolate, together, growth, eternity, solace, soulmate, sassy, blaze, overcome, challenge......

But give me some more! I am especially interested in humorous words or phrases, even ones that might seem a little odd...

I can't wait to see what you can think of!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good Morning!!!

After a long "hiatus", I'm back to blogging again! Things just got so hectic with school starting up again, I didn't have time for it all. Now with all this snow we're getting, looks like I'll have at least one or two days with some free time in them. It hasn't snowed like this since I was kid! The week before Christmas, we had 15 inches of snow, and then yesterday's storm brought us another 13 inches. Usually, we get about 8 inches of snow ALL winter, so this is unusual for sure. My poor kids don't know what to think about all of it. I hope to post some pictures soon.

I have tried something new with my jewelry in the past months: stamping! I really wanted a way to be able to personalize my pieces a little more, and this seemed like the next logical step for me to take. I am really enjoying it! This was my first piece:

I used sheet copper, copper washers from the hardware store, and copper wire. The stamping was fun, but so was oxidizing it. (That's my other new thing - I bought some liver of sulfur gel and have bee going crazy with it!) This piece really came to life once it was finished. From that, I got a custom order for this:And THAT's why I make jewelry and sell it online. I LOVE being able to make one-of-a-kind
pieces that are special and meaningful!!!