Thursday, April 28, 2011


I normally try to do 3 blogs a week... Mondays is usually "whats on the desk" day, where I share what I'm working on, and the others are about whatever I think of at the time. I usually try to think of topics the day before... Today's blog should be a gushing report on getting my new table cloths delivered, or that I'm making mommie tag's for Mom's day or something cheery like that.

Instead I can hardly stand to be at the computer and type. My guts are all twisted up one minute, and the next I'm crying. I scream at my husband without cause, and the next I"m all weepy. My thinking gets warped.. and my emotional reactions are all out of proportion. And then I might be normal for an hour or two, until something sets me off again. I absolutely hate this. I feel like a total stupid head and mentally diseased. I feel out of control. Sometimes I'll start PMS-ing and not realize that's the problem. Then I really feel crazy!

I don't get PMS every time, or if I do, the level varies. I would estimate this month it's "high". My original plans for the evening were to quickly get my computer stuff done, wash some dishes, work on my slides, watch Buffy with the family, and then run up to the studio and make a few things and hopefully not stay up too late. Instead I am thinking a night of reading is a much much better idea- a safer one. I think me with hammers and tools with pointy thingies would not be a good idea at all today. That or I will rust my tools from the tears!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

What's on the Desk 04/25/2011

I love the color variations of Fancy Jasper! I envision Sterling silver artfully and Elegantly wrapped around the focal bead, and the necklace mostly being the chips with a few of the larger beads to give it some texture. Can't wait to get back to this! Probably tomorrow, because Mondays is List Artfire Day. I am trying to list 3 to 5 new pieces of jewelry every week, and I"m really proud of myself.. I've only missed 2 weeks since I started in November... OK, I admit I might have been late a few times! I've also updated my Show Schedule to include 2 more shows, The Art Store Art Show May 14th and Oskaloosa Art on the Square June 11th. I'll be posting more shows as I get notified!

I'm also working on updating my destash shop on Artfire. I still have a couple of lots of sterling silver charms, some great destash of glass beads, and Vintaj natural brass components. It's also "what's on the desk on my blog" and I try to catch up on facebook, twitter, and emails.

Tuesdays are suppose to be "studio day" where I get to go up to my room and spend most of the evening creating. Unlike listing each week, that's not been happening very regularly. Real life gets in the way. Still I always have to be the optimistic that this Tuesday will actually be as advertised and I'll get a decent chunk of time to make stuff. As a realist, I'm grateful for the 1/2 hour I typically get! LOL

Thank goodness for the weekends... Until shows start in 2 weeks ( ACK! 2 WEEKS!!) I can have time to play!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Recent commissions -- Amethyst

A friend of ours went to an amethyst mine/farm on a vacation, and in exchange for some of the crystals, I made them a series of pendants for their family. Here is a batch of them! Sterling sliver wraps the rocks and of course, each one is a different style, cause it wouldn't be fun any other way....

What a great way to share a family experience!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sneak Peek on new displays!

Last weekend I had a BLAST! working in my new displays with a sprinkling of old. Here is a couple of pics as a peek.. I was trying to work out groupings based on my jewelry "lines", so it may or may not end up quite like this, as I keep experimenting. I love the new mirror.... The stand up metal shelves in the back I bought at a thrift store for a buck each! I suspect they are gardening thingies, but they work great to give my booth set up more layers! I have a couple of displays I need to "build" which I"m hoping to get to this coming weekend or next..
I love the copper spinning racks from last year so they are staying. The back bust is on top of a can which I am planning on covering with fabric that matches my booth. ( one of those "displays" I need to make)

Anyway, just a glimpse, so make sure you make it out to one of my shows to see the whole new setup! Just check out my show Schedule for a good day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

what's on the desk 04/18/2011

CRYSTALS! really , do I need to say more?? OK, maybe a few words.. just want to make a few more bracelets for the summer shows, and what better to play with that sparkies!
I'm also finally sorting through years and years and years of sterling silver beads. I'm getting a few lots ready to sell at my cost.. totally a destash going on here. I just won't ever use some of these beauties, it's time to pass them along. Not all of course.. I don't dare let my stash get too low! I have a couple of charm lots up right now, you can check them out here.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gearing up for show season

I've really been working on inventory for my shows coming up starting in May.

I love the beads that Jodie Marshall makes, I buy them almost every time I see her. Here is a whole group of earrings made using her wonderful lampwork disks beads! All done in sterling silver and crystals of course.... the red earring (4th one over) is at a new gallery that is opening May 6th. It's owned by Monika Agic ( one of the movers and shakers behind the Iowa Coop Gallery) and she personally picked several pieces of my newest creations to feature in her gallery. If you are in town May 6th check it out. I would be there but of course we have a show that weekend.. first one of the season.
Here's a group of finger rings fresh from the tumbler.

A selection of pendants from my Earth Doodle line.

I'm in the studio today... my biggest plans are to "mock" up my booth. I bought several new displays and I'm eager to see how they will work together. And I plan to make more goodies to put on those displays, so it's gonna be a good good day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Recent doings in the studio

This is a mom's pendant made for a friend at work. Each crystal represents the birthstone of one of her family members. I used sterling wire to make the pendant, and I could do these in any color/ birthstone combo you could possibly want. The crystals are 6mm Austrian crystals.
Another commission. A customer bought a pendant in copper and pink pearls, and wanted to gift her friend with matching earrings. I really love how these turned out!
These copper leaves are handmade by me, with sterling silver wire as accents.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What's on the Desk 04/11/11

This weekend I've been working on a series of charm necklaces on chain. Of the dozen or so I made so far, this one is my favorite!! It has a real steampunk feel, and I love the movement on it.. the 2 gears can turn, and the way I have attached to the chain, the whole pendant shifts back and forth as you walk around. Now normally a pendant shifting around like that would be considered poor workmanship, but it's so kewl and part of the concept for this one.
Here is a shot of my very messy desk right now.. here are some of the necklaces I've made this weekend, and the back row you can see some of the chain I'm using and components waiting their turn to become a charm necklace. Hard to see but there are some painted brass pieces, a brass moon, and some larger crystals, among other little bits and pieces.

Here is a closer shot of a few of the necklaces. Coming to shows this summer, be sure to check out my schedule to see them in person.. or better yet, if you are in Des Moines, book a jewelry show.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sterling Disc Bracelets Part III

OK, I've got kewl sterling silver domed discs, now what? Since I had 2 bracelets I did different things to them. On one I used flower shaped rings, and on the other I made wrapped links. I think both turned out pretty good! My original intention was to add dangles between the discs, but I really like the simple lines of just sterling silver.

Here is a close up of one of the toggles I made. I"m really pleased how these turned out!

And matching earrings of course! this pair is for the flower ring version.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sterling disc bracelets Part II

OK once I'm all happy with the hammered texture on the sterling plates, I get out my wonderful disc cutter, and make discs. One disc per bracelet I make as a washer, which will be for the toggle clasp I'm making from scratch. After just a few swipes with files and sand paper, the edges are perfect! So I dome them, and then punch the holes in them. It's important to make the holes even with each other if possible, so I use this mandrel that has evenly spaced markers on it.

Next it's time to put it all together!

Monday, April 4, 2011

What's on the Desk 04/04/2011

OK it's hard to believe from these pictures, but eventually this 24 GA sterling sheet will be 2 different bracelets. Both pieces of metal are approximately 2-1/2th by 3-1/2 inches (8.75 inches square)
In this 2nd picture I've textured the metals using different hammers. Remember my thing with hammers?

I'm trying something different this time. Usually I cut out the metal and this texture it. Since my handy dandy disc cutter cuts so darn smooth, why not texture first, then cut? I might save some time in the clean up stages.

So I'm testing this theory.

I want to make bracelets using slightly domed discs. I'm making the discs 20mm, which is just around 3/4th inches wide. I'm not sure how many discs I'll need to make a bracelet, as I'm not sure how I'm attaching them to each other. That's one reason I'm making 2 bracelets, gives me more options for play! I'm also planning on making my own toggle clasps on both of these bracelets, and it will probably have some pearls and crystals involved somewhere.

If I'm careful with placement on the sheets I should get 10 + discs off each sheet, which should be plenty for the bracelet and a pair of matching earrings.

More to come!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Juries are a funny thing....

I've been doing art shows for some years now, and the part that always boggles the mind is the jury process. You can get into the same show year after year, and then suddenly you don't. It used to bother me, but it doesn't so much anymore. You can apply to a show 4 years in a row, and suddenly they like you.

I tried for a really big show in MN this year, and just got my reject on Friday. I was .... disgruntled .... for about 10 minutes. Then I dusted myself off, checked my list of back ups and applied to another show for that weekend.

I would have loved to to do that show, but it's just part of the business, some you win some you lose. Maybe next year I can do it.

Saturday I got 2 acceptances in the mail. It all balances out.

Friday I also applied to Market Day , which is one of my favorite shows last year. Market Day is the local Indie art show that's monthly between May and October, and then one last show on Black Friday in November. It's mostly filled with kewl, funky, younger artists, and has this great energy. Half the fun is just walking around talking to the vendors, and the crowd that shows up are fun, funky, and all ages, and are ready for the experience. That's a good way to put it, Market Day is as much a happening as a art show.

I applied this year to every slot but one. Fingers crossed, I really really really want to get in to all the dates I possibly can! Fun Fun Fun!

I have 4 slots this year at Farmer's Market. I always enjoy Des Moines Downtown Farmer's Market.

I'll be getting my website updated with dates shortly.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lady of the Lake is done!

I finally got this finished last weekend, I built this necklace around the brass lady sitting in the classic "thinker" pose. I bought this brass component from B'Sue ; the flowers, spacers, bead caps and some of the chain are Vintaj Natural Brass.

This necklace is part of my new line of jewelry: Era Echoes. I'll have more to say about this in an upcoming post, but I'm super excited about making jewelry with vintage feel and modern flair.

I made this necklace so it can be worn either more or less symmetrical or asymmetrical. By this I mean that the Lady can be worn facing the "lake" or sitting just on top of it. I prefer the more asymmetrical version, where she is glazing into the depths of the lake. I wonder what thoughts she ponders as she watches the shimmer and ripples crossing the lake!

Another feature is you can twist up the beaded strands as much or as little as you want.
Matching earrings! sorry the pic got dark!