Saturday, October 1, 2011

I've Been Published - My Very First Time

 Sky Blue

My very favorite jewelry magazine is Stampington's Belle Armoire Jewelry I am amazed at the wonderful pieces I see there every quarter.  So, on a whim, I submitted four of my own creations, and was surprised when I received an email, about a week later, saying my work would be featured in an upcoming issue.  That was March.  The pieces came out in the Fall issue.  I could hardly wait to see the results.  Wonderful!  They took my simple little watch works and made them look really special.  What fun!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Caged Skull and Dove of Peace

Although I generally create jewelry for the mainstream, I do love to dabble in pieces a bit more macabre.  There is just something I like about the itty bitty skull beads.  When I found this cage, I knew what I wanted to put into it - a skull. 

This silly little creation has lovely colors, lots of texture, and a sense of balance. The skull in caged in a pewter colored box with a yellow brass ox hinged lid. The bottom has a vinyl insert to hold the skull in, but the four sides are open. Above the cage three stylized flowers in shades of purple, and blue/green hang from a link in the chain on the left and a dove of peace and a tiny brass heart hangs from the right. The gunmetal chain is almost 20 inches long, including the unique steel hand hammered clasp.
I leave it to your imagination to create the scenerio surrounding this little piece.  Let me if you come up with a great story.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fleur de lis adorned World War II Medal

I love the old copper medals that were awarded in World War II to soldiers all over the world. This one is over 60 years old.  I've used the dial of a pocket watch, a brass ox filigree, and a tiny brass French Fleur de lis to accent the front.

Here is a little about the fleur de lis.  While  it has appeared on countless European coats of arms and flags over the centuries, it is particularly associated with the French monarchy in a historical context, and continues to appear in the arms of the King of Spain and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, members of the House of Bourbon. It remains an enduring symbol of France that appears on French postage stamps, although it has never been adopted officially by any of the French republics. According to French historian Georges Duby, the three leaves represent the medieval social classes: those who worked, those who fought and those who prayed. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wee Glastig from Ach-na-Creige Fairy Necklace

After I finished a series of books about Scotland, I wanted to create something Scottish, different, fantastical, and fun.  I found literature about this wonderful little creature and decided to go from there. 

This wee Glastig is seldom seen except at the bank of a stream, and is oft engaged in washing. She is a shape shifting creature also known as the green maiden. Usually this illusive creature is described as a beautiful woman with dusky or gray skin and long blonde hair. Her lower half is almost always covered by a long, flowing green robe.

I have restored this vintage key somewhat, leaving just enough rust to give it character. Over the base of the key I have wire wrapped a charming silver fairie crescent face with lovely leafy hair. To keep this little maiden feeling at home I have given her a greenish peacock freshwater pearl, a leaf of her favorite watercress and lovely green bubbles of glass. She is held in place by swirly silver wire. The 14 inch silk & cord necklace is complimentary. This little lady would also look lovely on a silver chain of your choosing.

For Sale on my Etsy site.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

World War II Vintage Medal Fighting Eagle - Symbol of Boldness and Courage- Steampunk Necklace

When I found these old copper WWII Medals online, I fell in love with them.  They have such great design, are hefty enough to last for centuries, and each represent the life of a soldier some mother loved.  None of them are from the U.S., but are from China, India, Korea, Japan, and other locations around the world.  Each piece must have a little story that we will never know.  And probably the recipient has passed away, hence they are for sale.  So, I'm giving each one a new life as a decorative piece of jewelry for someone here to cherish.  This one has the emblem of a fierce looking eagle in blue on it.  I have paired it with two oriental coin charms and a sturdy chain.  What do you think it's new story could be?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Looks Like Spring when the Chives bloom

One of my favorite herbs of the early spring is chives.  They are such a fresh taste of oniony goodness.  The new blossoms are especially pretty in salads and the blades of the plant give a baked potato just the right hint of spice.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sugar, Penny, and Frassy

Who would have believed a year ago that these three little bundles of fluff would still be part of our household?  We only meant to keep them a little while and then find a good farm somewhere for them to live.

Tanna (above) called her little ball of fluff "Penny".  She is a bantum New Hampshire Red.  She comes running when Poppy goes to the back yard.  She's always hungry.

Liberty named her chick  Sassafras, but we all call her "Frassy".  She is a Black Australorp, and the only full size hen in the coop.  She has a sweet disposition and is a great egg layer.

Here is Poppy holding Frassy.  He is such a pushover for any sweet little pet.

I called the last little chick Sugar, because she was just so sweet.  She is the shy one, and will come running for food, but will only come really close for "baloney worms" - a treat we give them once in a while - baloney cut is 2-3" strips like worms. 

Here she is, on the right, as she looks today, at one year old.  Her colors are so rich and warm I just want to pet her, but she keeps her distance most of the time.  I love to open the door to the hen house when she is on the nest.  She always gives me a loud "aaaawwwwkkk".  I think it means, "Can't a girl have a bit of privacy!!!"

Frassy is a lovely big hen at one year old, with very black feathers with an iridescent sheen.   

And here below is the payoff for keeping these wonderful, fun-to-watch, interesting, beings in our back yard.  They lay 4 to 5 eggs every day or so.  Wish you were near; I'd share.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Day in Spring

I just wanted share a picture or two of my back yard before the last storm swept through.  The old fashioned Irises are just lovely this year.  They are my favorite flowers of the spring.

This one was taken just before the storm erupted, hence the very dark background.  I expected every one of them to be prostrate on the ground after the wind, but most held up wonderfully.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Beginning the Annual Spring Cleanup

I guess I am really a fair weather gardener.  I love to spruce up the patio and surrounding flower beds in the Spring, I keep them nice in the Summer, begin to slack off in the Autumn, and go inside for the Winter.  So, I began the Annual Spring Cleanup last week.

We have a sweet little covered breezeway between our kitchen eating area and the back garage. It is what sold the house to me some 32 years ago. I still love it. These old lawn chairs were given to me by an elderly friend soon after that; they were old then. The little Bakers Rack, came when my daughter didn't need it any longer.
This shelf holds a little granite ware coffee percolator and cup that belonged to my Grandfather.  I found it at his old house over 40 years after he died. Found the flour shaker of Grandmothers at the same time.  After they died, my uncle stayed in the falling down home place, but never, NEVER, changed a thing except to get a new TV.  So after his death, going through the house was like touring a museum of the 40ies.  Grandmother's dress still hung behind the door, there were nylons in the bedroom dresser, and Granddad's hat and suit coat hung on a nail in the bedroom, There was only one tiny closet.  

I found the platter there, too, along with several others.  Actually, I found so many wonderful old pieces.  Even though I didn't have room, I carted them all home. 

The hand-thrown chicken waterer, in the last photo, is one of my most treasured items from the past. It belonged to my husband's great grandmother. In my imagination I see a a tiny, little, old, country woman with a  bun at the back of her head, calling the chickens. 
So, one small part of Spring Clean Up finished. Now, I need another warm day to start on the rest.  How is your Spring going?  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

And the walls were made of jasper

One of my favorite semi-precious gemstones is jasper.  I think because it always brings to mind this verse from the bible -  Revelation 21:18.  'And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass'.  Imagine that city - New Jerusalem.  Don't you know God has reserved the very best for that city; jasper so beautiful our poor earthly eyes could not stand the sight. 

I also love jasper because of all the wonderful variations and the pictures I imagine I can see in it.  Most of all, I love it because it cannot be re-created by man.  Just look at this wonderful piece I found a few weeks ago.  What do you see?

There are several more pictures at my Etsy Shop.  They also have the name I have chose for this wonderful piece of jasper.

There you go. It's what's going on in my world of late.  But enough about me...what's been keeping you busy?
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Peach Pit Beads

As if I didn't have enough beads, I saw these on eBay a week or so ago and thought they were wonderful.  Now I am convinced - they are wonderful.  Don't you love the deep convolutions, the lovely ruby color and the aurora borealis finish?  Yep. Me too.  I saw the heavy brass vintage bead caps on another pair of earrings on Etsy.  Then I spent probably 6-7 hours searching the Internet for some like them.  Were they worth that investment of time?  Probably not, but I love them too.  And the lady that sold them to me said they were the last she had.   I think they were found in an old warehouse in NYC. 

Time now to get into my work space and put together a few more.  My house needs attention, and I could cook a meal, but "Nah", this will be more fun. 

And, that's whats happening in my world.  What's happening in yours? 

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Something New with something Old

Since my Etsy Shop sales have been slow since Christmas, I decided to do some house cleaning, so to speak. A few days ago I looked at each listing to see if I still wanted to sell it. Sometimes, after a while, I don't like a piece of jewelry and I will take it apart and stash the components for later. I did that with 3 pieces - they looked tired and old to me.

Then I began with the fuzziest photographs and made new ones. As I worked my way through the 94 pieces I had listed, sales began to come it. I sold 9 pieces over the 4 days it took me to complete my task. Every piece that sold had a new picture.  Can you see the difference at the left?

Long story short, good pictures sell merchandise.

Now I will begin to go back again and fine tune my process. I've already noticed a few picts that are just not "up to snuff".

Now, when will I have time to make "new" jewelry???
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Once Upon A Time

I'm so excited to introduce my newest line of jewelry called "Once upon a Time". I'm delving deep into my stash of treasured watch/clock faces and turning loose of a few to make these elegant pendants. Each is embellished with a vintage rhinestone piece and accented with crystals or pearls. The bezel is created by shaping and hammering wire to hold the watch dial in place, and also to compliment the over-all design. I just love the lyrical way the wire holds everything together.

Since this is my first piece, I hope to improve my technique over the weeks to come.  There just isn't enough time in the day to bend wire!  As soon as the hubby leaves for his exercise class at the Senior Citizens, I race to my studio, back bedroom and begin the work fun.  How is it that some days, I can complete 3-4 pieces, and other days I spend all day and have nothing new by night time?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wired, Again.

After a bit of success with the Rainforest Jasper, I was wired ready to try another piece. Since my inventory didn't include anything else quite that wonderful, I chose an oval chunk of adventurine. It is beautiful to me, but without the wonderful variations of color and design like the jasper.  After wrapping and weaving and polishing the wire, it was still a bit plain. I added a few very tiny dragon veins agates at the bottom. They gave it just a pop of color.

If you are a jewelry maker, or would like to be, leave me a comment.  I'd love to hear from you.  We could learn together.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Woo Hoo, I'm Wired!

I spent a good part of yesterday wrestling with wire!  Oh, but what fun it was.  Here is my first  attempt to wrap a stone.
I've been learning to shape jumprings, links, and closures for several weeks.  Today I decided to see if I could weave and wrap some smaller wires around larger ones.  I admit most of the work on this pendant was bending rather than weaving, but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.  I wanted to enhance the beauty of this wonderful Rhyolite Rainforest Jasper stone rather than cover it up.  The little cubes at the bottom are new jade and the red bead is carnelian, one of my favorite gems.  I used some shiny gunmetal headpins to wire them. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

AND, several days later.....

Well, the one day project was greatly sidelined when the flu took over my life for a few days.  But I've finally finished and am ready to present the final version of "You Hold the Key to My Heart" Necklace.  Although it isn't traditional Valentine red, pink, and white, it still would be a nice way to celebrate the day. 
This lyrical link became my favorite piece of the necklace as soon as it was finished.  It serves as a neat way to connect the pendant to the main body of the necklace. 
Then the closure turned out pretty nice, too.
I love the combination of hand forged steel elements, the white agate beads, Czech glass fire polished rondelles, and Turquoise Jade Cylinder beads.  Lots of elements to catch the attention.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day Two on a One Day Process

The stones on the left are freeform Amazonite. I just love the color and think it will go well with the turquoise jade I used yesterday with the hand formed links.  Also in the foreground, wired and ready to go, are three lovely Czech glass crystals in a deeper shade of blue with a bit of green.  The small white beads on the right are white crystal gemstones.  Also today I finished the steel clasp.  It was formed around an old brass bullet casing my friend gave me, since I don't have a pair of bailing pliers. 

Here are three of the freeform Amazonite stones wired, the end of a string of white crystal beads, and a cross I may work into the design. 
So I have worked about 4 hours already on this necklace. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

A New Day a New Benchblock....

Who would have thought it could take 2-1/2 hours to pound out this tiny 6 inch length of necklace.  I thought I could do it in 30 minutes.  
For the S-links I started with a length of #22 dark annealed steel wire.  It is first unwound from the spool, then it is straightened, cleaned, polished, cut, the ends were hammered, bent, hammered again, polished again, and maneuvered into the final shape.  That is ten steps.  Looks simpler doesn't it? 
The wired beads are made much the same way.  Unwind, straighten, clean, polish, cut, bend end loop, hammer, thread on bead, bend other end, hammer, wrap each end, polish.  Whew!
Then each jump ring is made.  Wind wire around the old crochet needle, cut, polish rough ends, polish sides, join beads and s-links, bend together.  Done.
Love it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I fell in love with these stones when I found them on eBay.  They are called dragon veins agate.  Being a fan of Anne McCaffrey's dragon world Pern I couldn't wait to see them.  They look just like I think a dragon egg would have looked before hatching. 

And to celebrate the New Year (22 days into it) I'm putting a lot of my Etsy earrings on half price.  Check it out!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Looking Back over a wonderful year and Looking Forward to another.

Here's a great way to start off the new year.  Stop by these two great blogs.  Both of these ladies are so very creative and have been a great source of inspiraton for me.

Rebecca Sower:  Life. By hand.
Deryn Mentock:  Something Sublime

They each had a wonderful mosaic of their work over the past year.  So, to be in good company, I decided to try my hand at a mosaic of my work.  Here it is.

2010 Attempts at Creating Jewelry

I had so much fun in 2010 putting together jewelry.  This year I want to learn about creating pieces from just basic supplies, and move beyond being an assembler to a maker.  I know that's a big leap, but it's my goal for this year.