Monday, April 27, 2009

Countdown to Craft Faire

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend. I spent the weekend sick and miserable, but at least K is the best husband ever and took wonderful care of me. And no, I do not have swine flu, thankfully. I have no fever, just a hideous cold. On to better topics!

Next weekend is a huge one for me. On Saturday I'll be selling live for the first time at the Craft Faire at the Eugene Waldorf School. It sounds like a great school that emphasizes art for K-8 kids, which is great. The "fee" for a booth is a percentage of sales given directly to the school. Definitely a good cause. I'm excited, but I have so much to do. I got a small table and now I'm playing with display ideas. I plan on hitting the second hand shops for fun and unique tabletop fixtures. If any craft fair mavens have advice for a newbie, I'm all ears!

On Sunday I'll be running the Half Marathon in Eugene. I've been training for two months, but of course, this past week I've been unable to run. I tried on Wednesday and made it only two wheezy miles before I had to stop. We'll see how I do. I did one last year in November in Philly, and I was surprised that I was able to run the whole thing, since I had spent the week before in Las Vegas. Enough said there, really. Hopefully I'll do even better this time. And by "better" I mean under 2 1/2 hours - I'm not a fast runner! I can sprint very fast, but over any distance, I'm quite slow.

Hope you're all well and have a great day!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Etsy Day!!

Etsy Day is a fun holiday to explore all the fun handmade goodies at Etsy. A lot of people have never heard of Etsy and the aim of Etsy Day is to remedy that. So, off you go; see the fun sweaters, handbags, jewelry, skirts, crockery, ACEO's, art, furniture, etc, etc!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mother's Day

Hi everyone! Just a quick note to let you all know I'm having a Mother's Day sale from now until May 1. Of course, I can't guarantee that your shipment will get to your mother by the big day if she lives in Timbuktu, but I'll get orders out pretty much the moment I get them. So check out a huge variety of one-of-a-kind jewelry for your one-of-a-kind mom!

Have a great day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Portuguese Tile Pendant in Silent Auction

A few days ago I wrote about The Center for Discovery in Harris, NY. I donated one of my Portuguese Tile Pendants to their silent auction. You can support this great Center, which provides a variety of support systems for those with disabilities by bidding on the tile pendant here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Class Part II

Last night was jewelry making class night. We did some awesome stuff: pressing patterns into metal (did not know this was possible) and riveting. I pressed some leaves into a piece of copper, but because I had cut my piece bigger than the rollers, the pieces of metal bound up and I wound up with a mangled mess. The leaves came out fairly well, but not great. Since the metal had been annealed (softened with a torch) I was able to bend it into a flower around a bead. It did not turn out quite the way I had hoped, mostly because I didn't take the folding into consideration when I cut out my shape. That's what I get for going by the seat of my pants. It's something I want to try again, and now I know how to go about it. The riveting was very cool, but involved very tiny pieces of wire that I knew would frustrate me to no end and I couldn't think of an immediate application, so I learned the technique, but didn't try it out. Instead I worked on this pendant that I made myself from silver. A big step up from my lopsided star, huh? Oh, and a side note: it is REALLY hard to photograph large pieces of metal. I had a hard time getting the texture I worked so hard on to show up, as you'll see from the photo, which shows no texture whatsoever. You'll just have to take my word on it - there's a fun, buttery texture from a lot of sanding and some baking soda paste applied with a toothbrush. The two white stones are moonstones, and the center purple stone is a lovely amethyst. I can't wait to attach it to something so I can wear it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Something for the Guys!

Woohoo! It's my first Bling for Boys and just in time for Father's Day. Okay, so I haven't listed any yet, but I've started making some cufflinks for the guys in your life. This is a pair I made for K from one of the Portuguese Tiles. Very manly, dontcha think? Check back soon and I'll let you know the moment I begin listing these beauties.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jewelry and Easter Eggs

Yesterday I took a posted an accidental photo of my wedding ring and promised to post about it, so here we are. When my husband and I were dating and fairly sure we were getting married, we were in college in Lancaster, PA. One day while we were off doing something in the farmlands of Lancaster County, we wandered in to store that had a ton of silver jewelry, as well as leather clothes and an assortment of other things. Amid the silver jewelry was a beautiful basket setting ring with a piece of glass set in it. Now we had been going around to jewelers in town, but hadn't found anything I liked very much. But this silver ring was just gorgeous and what I wanted. The woman who owned the store told us that the company had found old ring molds and recasted them in silver. We didn't end up buying the ring because it was huge and I had no need for more silver rings. Oh, and we were on a rather tight college student budget.

Fast forward about 9 months. Now we live in New Hampshire. We have just gotten our first apartment out of college after having lived with my parents for a month. I get home from my crappy job as a receptionist for a car dealer and am greeted by a set of tasks to complete to find my ring. I opened the box, and there it was: the ring from the little jewelry store in PA. Only it's now white gold and has three diamonds in it instead of one piece of glass. K had gone back, bought the silver ring, brought it to a jeweler and had them make a mold, recast it in gold, then fiddle with the design to make the two flowers on the sides of the stone into little diamonds. Gorgeous, and so thoughtful. Clearly, I said yes. The band on top is my wedding band which had to be soldered to the engagement ring so the thin metal of the design didn't get worn away from years of clanking.This ring is the reason I have a thing for vintage basket settings in the first place. There's no casting and recasting here. This ring has been handed down in my family for many years, and will continue to be. It's also white gold, and the stone is very tiny and hand cut, rather than precision laser cut, so it has fewer facets than a modern stone. But I adore the setting. That's the extent of my pretty ring collection!I got my Easter package from my parents in the mail today. Yes, I'm 31 and my mother sends me Easter packages, what of it? ;-) Easter eggs are always fun to get in my family, because my dad draws little pictures on them that are relevant to our lives. One year we got Vantom on an egg. When we bought our house we got eggs with pictures of us gardening. This year: A white motorhome and a green car! So cute! Thanks, Dad!Have a great day!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Last night I had my first class in Beginning Jewelry Fabrication at The Craft Center and it was a blast! There are only nine people in the class, which makes it super hands on. The Center is located in the Union building of the University of Oregon and it's chock full of crafty goodness, as you might have guessed from the name. We were all set up at benches with really low stools so our work would be close to our eyes and we wouldn't have to hunch over. If you've ever made jewelry, you know that this is a good thing. I have a tendency to slouch down and hold things in my hands rather than resting them on the table, but that isn't a very good idea when you're wielding a saw. We also each had a baggie full of supplies to use during class. There are three tiny sizes of saw blades that break on a whim, some solder, three grits of sand paper and a sheet each of brass and copper metal. You can see outline of what I cut from the copper piece.

For our first class our teacher, Kerri, demonstrated cutting shapes out of sheets of metal and then we returned to our benches to trace and cut our own pieces. I free drew a star on a piece of copper which has a sort of unintentional primitive look to it because I don't free hand draw very well. Cutting was much easier when the lone guy in the class suggested longer, slower strokes with the saw, rather than the jagged little sweeps most of us had been using. When he suggested that, the sound in the room changed dramatically. I wish I could give you the sound effects I gave K when I got home!

Then we got down to the finishing and clean up work of filing and sanding the edges and the faces of our pieces. I thought this would be my least favorite thing, since I have a tendency to get impatient with clean up, but I found it incredibly soothing. Then I remembered that I dislike clean up on a large scale, such as picking up clothes off the floor, but I like cleaning on a small scale and will happily clean dust from heat vents for an hour. Filing the metal edges is like cleaning heat vents. I took great pleasure in finding the little nicks and gouges in the metal and replacing them with the buttery smoothness of a well filed edge. Kerry told us that clean up work is what separates metalworkers from dabblers. I'm going to be optimistic and think that my love for clean up portends a successful run at metalworking. I ran out of time to finish the clean up work on the faces, but I'm going to go into the studio tomorrow and finish it, and perhaps cut out and file something else.

When I got home I felt like a little kid showing my work to my mommy, except I was showing it to my husband. This feeling was reinforced by the fact that my star was all lopsided, um, I mean primitive. My wedding ring was all twisted when I took this photo, so now those of you who don't know me in person can see the lovely ring K had made for me! Pretty, huh? Okay, it's not the best photo of the ring. Maybe tomorrow I'll use my new found photography skills and tell you the rather long story of my ring and my family ring as well. They're both lovely and will make you vintage jewelry folks go batty. ;-)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A little altruism

Good morning! I recently came across a request for donations for a silent auction for The Center for Discovery. The Center is in Harris, NY and here's what they do, in their own words: "The Center for Discovery offers individuals with a range of disabilities and medical frailties - and their families -innovative educational, clinical, residential and social and creative arts experiences designed to enrich their lives through personal accomplishment."

I donated this Portuguese Tile Pendant to the silent auction and it should be posted soon. I'll update this with a link when it gets posted so you can help this wonderful cause if you are so inclined.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Monday!

Okay, I realize that Monday is nobody's favorite day, but I'm just excited to be getting back on the blogging wagon. It's been awhile since I had a non-contest related post that I'm a little unsure of what to write about. The contest was a clever ruse on my part to cover up that I didn't have time to blog the past few weeks, since we were moving from our trailer into our new motorhome. The process has been longer and more messy than you might expect. I still can't figure out how we had so much stuff in a 24 foot trailer, even though we did use the van as one big storage unit on wheels. Not good for the gas mileage, that's for sure! So now that we're all moved in, I'll share some fun photos of the new home.

There's a lot more space inside to work and more storage space outside where I can stash all my smelly resin supplies, which is probably a much healthier air quality situation. Once I start my class on Wednesday, I'll probably add a whole host of other fun stuff to my arsenal - torches and solder and sheet metal, oh my!

I made some new pendants as well, and I'm loading them as we speak. At least trying to; the Etsy upload is really slooooooooow. here's a collage of the newbies:

Apparently my collaging skills need some work, bsince one of these showed up twice. Ah, well. Hope you enjoy looking at them!

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Winner!

Well, after a snafu or two of unreachable winners, we have a new winner - Janetfaye! Thanks, Janet! I will be in touch shortly! I will return tomorrow with your regularly scheduled blogoliciousness!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

And the winner is...

MICKEYFAN!!! Congratulations! Since you gave me no way to contact you, I sure hope you check back to see that you've won. If you do, leave a comment with your e-mail address! If I don't hear from Mickeyfan by Friday, April 3rd, I'll choose a back up winner.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered - I'm enthused and honored by all the attention these pendants have garnered. I hope to see you all again soon! I've cast a new set of tiles, including 6 designs that I will post for the first time in coming days.

Thanks again for playing and have a great day!