Thursday, July 23, 2015

Time Medusa

I've been playing with my Medusa idea for a month maybe, mostly in my head.   I finally sat down and seriously worked on it last week, and I love how it turned out.

I talked some about my ideas on Medusa last week in this blog entry .  This blog is more about the mechanics of making it.

I think I've shared my views on gluing before.  Once I wouldn't glue to save my life. I considered it cheap and not sturdy enough to use in my designs.  The last few years that's changed as I want to make designs that the best solution to attach things is, well gluing. I've experimented and I think I've come up with the best gluing methods when gluing is required.  Having said that glue is my last resource.  If I can rivet something, I'll go that route.  Or solder, or wire work, or...

you get the idea.  But some things are just too delicate for other methods, or the look is wrong wrong wrong without the invisible bonding of glue.

I do use glue to reinforce things sometimes.  My navigation rings are a great example of this principle.  I rivet a deep bezel to the ring, and then glue the compass into the bezel.  I tried gluing the compass straight to the ring and It didn't look right nor was I happy with the sturdy factor.  

With my watch movement rings I glue directly to the ring, but the watch has more texture so it glues pretty well without a bezel.  (and the odd shapes of the rings makes the bezels look, well, weird)  

One of the big secrets to gluing things that stay glued is PRESSURE.  These little clip guys are the best, they apply enough pressure for gluing but not enough to mare delicate surfaces. 

I pretty much to glue the bone face in the pendant piece on Medusa.  I did examine using a riveted bezel ( and then gluing to reinforce) but it made her face look wrong on the piece.  I really wanted the hair tentacles to come straight from the head, and that means gluing.

I used glue to attach the vintage pocket watch face as well, but that's also reinforced with prongs.  I also covered the face in resin to help protect the more fragile watch face.  Because of the mix of rivets, prongs and glue, the main piece is multi-layered and I love how it looks together!  

The rest is riveted and wired.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

This Weekend is Art Sail at Clear Lake!

part of a pocket watch, with flower and dragonfly.

I'm really excited about this weekend's show, it's in Clear Lake Iowa, and it's been running for 38 years... Art Sail!

I love the name first of all, it's just so evocative of a joyful artistic experience.

I love when art shows have great names.   My favorite art show name has to be Artapalooza in Cedar Falls! you got to admit that's a great name for a art show, and it lives up to it.

We have never been to Art Sail before, which is another reason I'm excited.. I've heard great things about it, so I'm very pleased we got in.  Hopefully this will be great new show for us.  If you are in the Clear Lake area on Saturday July 25th, consider stopping by.  Show hours are 9-4pm.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

hot hot hot hot show in Marshalltown!

WOW!  Linn Creek turned out to be an excellent show this year, despite the very hot and humid weather. 

The last couple of years my asthma makes doing shows in such hot and humid conditions a real challenge.  I'm so thankful for all the help my hubby gives me at shows like this.  Linn Creek takes place around the combined Community center, art gallery, and chamber of commerce building.  It is air-conditioned and Jerry did most of this show, and practically threw me into the building the second I even looked wheezy.  So he played front man even more than normal.

He really is a wonderful husband!

(not that I had doubts!! )

Seriously though, I think about weather like this and I realize I won't be able to do shows outside forever.   I don't think my health will let me.  It seems to get harder and harder each year.  I couldn't do shows without Jerry.  Maybe I could have at the start, 13-14 years ago, but not now.  It's hard work to carry, set up and sell, even with the weather is perfect. 

 Even if I had no issues what so ever, sitting around in 90 degree or more weather, with Iowa's famous sticky humidity.. it's no picnic even when your healthy!  Honestly we didn't think we would have a good show because it was so hot.  Usually when people are drenched in sweat they don't want to try on jewelry or even want to look at it much. 

It just proves again it's almost impossible to predict how a show is going to go.  The only kind-of constant we had was temperature, but this show blew that out of the water.  I feel like we had less of a crowd this year, but those who showed up wanted to buy art, and buy art they did!   Maybe if the weather had been milder, we would have sold more, but honestly we did about twice the business we expected at a hot and sticky show like this. 

So thank you to all the wonderful people who came out to see us and the other 50 + artists!! 
Our first sale of the day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sneak peek and Marshalltown this Saturday

This is what's on my desk this week... I'm working a larger themed necklace.  I'm not sure I can get it done because I only get the odd hour here or there during the week...  but I'll keep my fingers crossed and hopefully I can get it done for this weekend's show Linncreek in Marshalltown.   I've been wanting to play with Greek myths for awhile, and I've always thought Medusa had a bad rap in mythology.  Depending on which story you follow, she never caught a break and becomes more important / famous after her death.  
I want to capture that iconic feel to the myth but in a kinder, gentler way.  I'm going to incorporate watch and clock parts of course, so I'm thinking of naming this one Time Medusa. 
The "hair" is a octopus turned upside down.  To make the moon face fit, I had to bash the poor thing's head in. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Just some Photos

I love Egyptian motifs, and the scarab is my absolute favorite of those.  I love the Egyptian concepts of ever after life and rebirth.

Playing around with keys and keyholes, I like how elegant this turned out.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


 Just a quick post on earrings.  Top pair shows pocket watch bridge earrings.  I love these, they are all different and unique and they sell very well .... I need to sit down and make another batch soon as I'm down to one or 2 pairs again.  I finally broke down and made myself a pair!
These are made with new components -- the bottom part is a reproduction pen nib.  I would love to get my hands on vintage ones!!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Good news on my Destash Etsy site......

you can buy this on Etsy!
you can buy this on Etsy!
Finally got back to listing things new items on my destash  Etsy.. Well maybe not "new" exactly, as most of what I've put up this weekend are vintage pieces from recent buying trips. 

For example, this nice, fat (over 50 !) lot of keys for only $9.99, and this vintage padlock which have the best patina on it! but it's alittle heavy for jewelry, so it's going up to market.

Etsy has made several changes in the last few months, including updating categories and introducing calculated shipping charges.  I'm not so very happy with some of the category changes, but I think I'm going to like the calculated shipping.  I'm playing around with it so that my US customers get charged more or less what they were getting charged before with my flat rates, but I'm excited that I can more accurately charge international orders. 

to date I've had 3 or 4 price "ranges" for international, which meant that some countries got charged alittle more just because I didn't want to under charge -- and it was so difficult to juggle all the different rates.

But now I can put in the approximate weight of the package and Etsy does the math for me.  This is freakin' great!  I've always tried to refund anytime the postage went over more than a couple of bucks.. now I won't have to.  I've always been concern listing large & heavy items internationally just because of the postage mess, and now it will be a snap.

I occasionally  put up large, 1 pound or more lots of costume jewelry, and I've often limited to the US only in the past because of shipping... I won't have to anymore. 

so yeah! on this change.

Well back to making jewelry, I'm working on more watch movement rings this weekend. 

I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July!!
OK, this isn't my work table right now, but it shows you what my work table looks like when I'm making rings.. the picture I took was below even my low standards, so you get a repeat.. sorry!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Dance in MoonLight

I really wanted to pair this vintage watch face with this lady lazily hanging on the moon.  The watch face was pretty thin brass however... some of the vintage stock is fabulously thick and sturdy like a penny, and others are about the thin as as a candy wrapper.  So for a sturdy piece of jewelry, I decided I better add a backing.  

Well if I'm going to add a back, I might as well do something with that as well, don't you think?

After looking at my happy moon goddess, I came up with Dance in Moonlight.

Piece is riveted, and it's already sold, but I am thinking of making more, with other sayings on the back... any suggestions?

Monday, June 29, 2015

My Show Philosophy

Group shot of recent jewelry I've made!
Shows are so funny... everything can be perfect -- good venue, good booth location, bakery goods handy and lovely weather... and the show tanks for no reason you can phantom.

And yet other shows seem to be a disaster from the get go and yet you do famously !    Jerry and I have pretty much given up guessing anymore, because it just doesn't pay.

The only real factor you can compute,  (I wouldn't call it an absolute factor!) is that really cold weather or really hot humid weather will usually kill a good sales show.

If it's sooo cold they are wearing mittens... they won't try jewelry on and I won't sell much.

And if it's so hot and sticky that no one is comfy, again, they won't try it on, so I won't sell it.  There seems to be a range of 70ish to 90ish that works well.

Even rain won't adversely effect a show as much as too cold or too hot.  Well, OK, driving rain isn't good, but seriously Jerry and I have made a profit with crappy rain, where if it's 100 out we won't.

So if it's a good show, we enjoy it and worry about having enough inventory for the next show.. and if it's a "bad" show we try to enjoy that as well... it might mean visiting other artists at the show more than we can at a busy show, or maybe I pull out and play with parts ( I always have a stash with me just in case!! ) .  Or maybe one of us jumps in the car and visits local antique shops while the other mans the booth.

Whatever, if it's slow, we try to make it a positive experience in ways other than profit.  

So I guess what I'm saying is a bad show is really a show where Jerry and I are in bad moods... cause any other mood we can find something to be happy about! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Just after painting, sanding and sealing my butterflies
finished pendants... riveted to partial pocket watches

I love butterflies, who doesn't?   but I like to give them my special Mechanical Romance twist.... I have them settling on pocket watch parts like they would a flower.

These butterflies start out a brass stampings without holes... I paint, sand, and seal them, punch holes in them and rivet and wire wrap them to the pocket watches. 

Cuffs Part II -- sneaky cuffs

 A couple of weeks ago I got busy making cuffs.  I wanted to make something different this time... so I used vintage lockets as the centerpiece to the cuffs.  
 That way you can put pictures or secret treasures in you cuff and have them with you always....

Let me know what you think!!