Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday / Small Business Saturday / Cyber Monday

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving!!  I, for one, am in need of an all-day nap! :)

If you are out and about shopping the Black Friday/Small Saturday sales - please stay safe!  Last sale of the year is happening now in my shop.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Monday, November 9, 2015

And the winner is...

Thank you for all of the lovely comments on my last post!  I truly appreciate each and every one - so THANK YOU!

I had several people comment that they cannot believe I have been making jewelry for only 4 years...I feel the need clarify, as my writing was a bit misleading/unclear (self-editing one's work - whether writing a sentence or checking the length of ear wires on a pair of earrings- can be hard sometimes)! I have been creating jewelry since late 2008/ early 2009. I jumped on the bandwagon and started SELLING my jewelry in November 2011...I just felt the need to clarify!

Anyway.... to choose the the winner of my little package of loot....

I used the Random Number Generator, which selected...

Ms. Julie Burgard!  Julie is the artist behind Outwest Beads her (shop is here)- utterly beautiful lampwork beads that I have been using in my creations for years now!  They are earthy, rustic, colorful, - always symmetrical in size - and she makes the BEST DISCS! When I picked her name, I went through my archive of designs just to see what I have made with her beads, and came up with just a few....

Jewelry made with Outwest Beads
Again - many thanks to everyone!  Thanks for stopping by today!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Anniversary and my biggest Giveaway!

This November marks four (4) years since I have opened up an online shop.  Do you sell your jewelry online as well?  Was it as scary for you as it was for me?  Did you drag your I did?!

So much has happened in these past four years.  I have gone from simply stringing jewelry, to LOTS of wire wrapping, and I now incorporate metalsmithing into many of my designs.  My love of artbeads has only grown deeper, and I will never tire of gemstones! I still enjoy doing this gig - so I am going to "keep on keeping on".  The greatest pleasure I have is the ability to donate my proceeds to charity - Miracle Horse Rescue.  So, I am truly grateful for every single sale!

Just to show you all how grateful I am to continue on this path, I have come up with a few items to giveaway.

First up, I FINALLY use this mixed metal cone I made a while ago - AND - I paired it with an amazingly drop dead gorgeous lampwork bead by Sarah Moran of ZBeads.  I dug through my stash and found a beautiful, coordinating "sugared" lampwork bead by Susan Kennedy of SueBeads, added some fringe in the form of copper chain with sterling silver beads, and an 18" sterling silver rope chain...It was done!

I couldn't stop at the necklace, so I made a pair of mixed metal earrings - again, using pretty lampwork beads by Susan Kennedy.  The earrings hang on hand forged, sterling silver ear wires.

I thought...necklace, have to add I did!  Two bangles, forged, soldered from 10 gauge solid copper and solid sterling silver - textured, of course - and shaped into a slight oval.

I did not stop there either!  I have been making lots of tiny posts lately, so I paired these little gems with gorgeous lampwork by Maryse of GlassBeadArt.  These clear beads remind me of Winter Ice - - and, they are made from recycled glass!  In fact, almost the entire earring is recycled (except for the posts, which I purchased).  I melted down the silver, flattened the tiny little balls into discs, stamped, added a "bail" from sterling wire...and tada!

Absolutely terrible pictures - these look so awesome in person, as the bead shape is very unique!

While the earrings were in the tumbler for their final polish, I was perusing the latest issue of WireWork Magazine and came across a very simple tutorial to make a ring in 5 steps.  (Original design by Gabby Guest).  I changed the design up just a bit - I added some coiling to strengthen the shank, and multiple coils in the center of the bead.  This simple little ring, with a gorgeous lampwork flower disc by Susan Kennedy - is so comfortable - and so CUTE!

So there you have it - the goods for the Giveaway - all for one winner!

Some for the winner to keep for themselves, perhaps to give as a gift to a friend or loved one (I think there is a big holiday coming up next month...).

How to Enter

What do you need to do the win the whole thing?  (I will ship international - in case there is a question!)

1) Leave a comment on this blog post - PLEASE BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS SO I CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU! (Sorry for the yelling in All needed to be said!)

2)  For a second chance to win, Share my blogpost link on Facebook, then come back to this blog post and leave a second comment, advising me that you shared! 

That's it!  I will pick a winner in a week or so!

Many thanks for hanging in there until the end of this long post! I am grateful to every person who has ever stopped by, and left a comment...or not!  So, thank you for stopping by is to four more years?!


Monday, November 2, 2015

Post time!

I wrote a pretty lengthy blog post on the Love My Art Jewelry blog (link here) about how I recycle some of my sterling silver scraps - the leftover's from my projects. It seems, these days, that all of my blog posts are lengthy!  Perhaps because I spend so much time alone in my studio and blogging is my method of conversation?!

Silver scraps
Anyway - I don't want to bore you in repeating myself - in case you actually read that blog, too- so I just wanted to share what I made!

Post earrings!  It seems that my work - at least with components - is getting smaller, and smaller! :) I have two favorites here...and they are tied for first place!

First up are these turquoise posts.  These stones are just drop dead gorgeous with the blue and green veining (from Dakota Stones).  Plus, turquoise is my birth stone, so always special to me!

With my continuing fundraising efforts for Miracle Horse Rescue, I had to make these!

The little pony posts have sold!

Can you believe it?  This blog post is done!  I will make up for it in my next post, 'cause I am going to have a stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by today!!!  Have a great week!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

So I tried something new...totally out of my realm....

I recently purchased an online class from Leslie Kail Vallareal (link to her website here).  Leslie is an amazing silversmith.  I don't want to post pictures of her jewelry, without her permission, so if you are unfamiliar with her work, check out her website!  Anyway, the online class was to make a Boho Saddle Ring.

Okay - that is for a horse, but the concept is the same.  Take one piece of silver, cut it out to resemble the shape of a saddle, form it, solder it, etc.  If you had asked me a year ago (heck...six months ago) to even attempt this technique, I would have laughed right in your face.  But, what have I got to lose? If nothing else, what I have learned from watching online classes is that the tips these instructors offer are invaluable to me.  So, I was looking for tips!  Instead of filling up today's post with tons of words, I managed to remember to take a few "in process" photos.

Cut out the silver - this is 18 gauge sterling, which I simply textured with one of my hammers.  I learned I need to continue to practice sawing straight lines!  I got the curves's those nasty straight lines!
The silver was formed on a mandrel (OMG - that was hard) and the seam was soldered closed.

The next challenge - for me - was to shape that bezel to fit a curve.....that took a looooong time!
Another new-to-me step was creating a ring of balled wire to surround the bezel...again...shaped to fit a curve.  
This is the step I wish I had skipped.  My end product is so far from perfect - as that balled wire is not flush to the ring.  Instead, one side is soldered right to the bezel, about 1 mm from the bottom....So close...yet so far!  No matter...this ring is for me!

I added a simple flat decorative element to the bottom of the ring, which I formed and then stamped with one of my handmade stamps I seem to be collecting these days.  This picture show the ring darkened with Liver of Sulfur - before buffing.
I added only one more decorative element, since I knew I was not going to even attempt to sell this, but keep it for myself.  That is a tiny silver bead, made with my shot plate, soldered to the top edge.  Buffed and, I prayed that stone still fit! :)
Love the bottom of the ring!
Yeah - the turquoise cab still fit...perfectly!
I even managed to get rid of ALL the tool marks on the inside of this ring.
What amazes me most about this ring is that it is large - but, boy it's comfortable to wear!  I honestly did not think I would be able to bend my fingers...but, proof is in the pudding!
It's not perfect - not even close to perfect. I can see SO. MANY. ERRORS.  But I don't care because I really enjoyed this class and making this ring!  It was liberating, in a way.
My attempt was to make a size 9 1/2 ring...and it is spot on!  Wish it was a 9, though!  My hands must have been warm when I sized my finger in the first place!

Leslie is no longer offering this class.  I vacillated several times before making the purchase, because, I typically do not wear this type of jewelry.  BUT, I will now! 

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Have a wonderful rest of the week!