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.