Monday, June 26, 2017

B-52's Tiger Necklace now at Five Monkey's !

Every once in a while I gotcha make a big statement piece.  I started with the wings and I started to play around with other things to add to them... found this great giant tiger head with the hint of wings already... added a cog, then added more cogs and propellers and realized I was thinking of WWII planes and all the great art that got painted on them.. usually by the crew members themselves.  There was even a group called the fighting tigers (though all the planes seem to be tiger sharks, instead of tiger tigers.  Very kewl art! )   but I did find this picture : 

Below is my layout, before I  start to make holes and rivet stuff together.

Originally I was going to have the tiger head swing freely, but I was afraid it wasn't sturdy enough that way, so I ended up added another screw rivet right on top.
Just another view --- you can see this piece in person or buy it online at Five Monkeys!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

More Sewing Machine Jewelry

First is is a singer sewing machine tag bracelet.  This already sold this past weekend, I just can't seem to find old broken singers fast enough to make these tag bracelets.  This one had an interesting shape, most of them are rectangular, and this time I used a black filigree for the backing.  I thought It turned out pretty snazzy if I say so myself.

This second piece is affectionately known as a 'fish wrench" cause it looks like a fish shaped wrench or a wrench with a fish face, take your pick.  These show up in older model singers, the newer models the "wrench" shaped piece is much larger and it looses the fishy quality I adore.

Last up, my absolutely favorite of the bunch.. this is my "One eye, one horn, flying purple people eater"   I loved that song growing up as a kid.. my dad and I would sing it together ( along with Chantilly Lace, both by the Big Bopper)   This is a singer sewing machine hinge... you know in the older sewing machines were often mounted in on a table, and made to flip up when in use and fold down into the table when not.. usually the sewing machines have 2 hinges like this that did that.  The long part actually moves back and forth, so it can be the nose or the 1 horn, as you prefer.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cuff bracelets

This top one is the leather strap from a late 40's early 50's brownie camera.  The cuff below is part of a metal measuring tape.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Amazing Homemade Chicken Alfredo

I love Pinterest!   Not only is it a great tool for sharing my art, getting inspired and learning techniques, but it has amazing food on it!  I Love chicken Alfredo, and I pulled a great recipe for it off Pinterest a while back.  it's not hard to make, just takes some time to do it right.  I also gave great care on how I prepared the chicken for it... I made the crust using Parmesan cheese.   It was yummy!   If you are interested in the Alfredo sauce recipe it's right here    note: I didn't add any salt as requested and I think it turned out perfect.  Course I use salted butter,  

Tonight I'm just gonna have tuna and crackers, I don't have the time I would need to make Chicken Alfredo today.

To make the chicken, I use the Parmesan cheese you get in a jar  -- you know dried and grated finely.  I use zip lock bags to do the "shake and bake trick" .  I clean the chicken, pat dry, then dip in raw eggs with 1/4 teaspoon pepper mixed in.  Then I put them in a bag with flour, and shake til coated.  I dip them in eggs again, then put them in a bag with the Parmesan cheese and shake.  I cook them in half olive oil and half butter.  If you buy the tenders ( or cut down the breasts) they only take 5-6 minutes to cook.

Soooo yum!  Just cook your favorite noodles and then toss it all together, add a dash extra cheese on top, and there you go... a fantastic homemade tasty diner.  For the health nuts out there, just add a salad to make you feel better about eating pure sin in a bowl.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The last of my resin batch

I finally finished up the last piece from my resin batch.  I actually had this sketched out for over a year and then when I decided to get enough pieces pulled together for a pour I remembered this one.  This is the first time I've used resin on paper, and I like how it turned out, so I might have to do more.

The frame is 3 strips of brass that I etched and then riveted together to form the triangle.  I used tube rivets because I wanted to use all 3 corners to attach the chain and a dangle to.  Then I picked out paper to "fill" the frame, a old ceramic watch face.  I felt it needed just a dash of color, so I painted up a small dragonfly and added it to the mix.  Then I poured resin everywhere!  I wanted the resin to protect the brass as well as the paper, so it overflowed the frame.  This is where using professional jewelry grade resin is a huge boon ... once it's fully cured you can saw it!  you can even polish it up like a stone.  So I carefully cut around the border and then sanded it to a nice soft edge.

Still in the future I'll know better how to do this and not go over the edges as badly!

All I really needed to do at this point is add chain and the dangle, but for some reason it just never made it in the "pile" to get finished until a couple of weeks ago.

So what do you think?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

My starting pile this week 06-14-17

 I participate in a group on facebook that every week we show our what we are working on, and then during the weekend we share what we got done.   I can't do it every week, but I love when I can.  It helps me focus for one thing.  So I'm going to start sharing these "piles".   This pile is mostly earrings and 2 big pieces.

Since I have Farmer's Market this weekend  (everyone do a Kermie YEAHHHH!!!) I don't know if I'll get the big one on my table done, but here is the lay out I'm thinking about:
I have some of the earrings done already, and I'm working on the new owl piece as well.... and I have some fantastic pieces that got done last week... future post I'm sure.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


I made these last month, I'm trying to catch up on the photo pile.

Both of these are ladies... the cuff is leather with a vintage filigree topped with a vintage keyhole with a vintage picture.  I love the concept of people peeking out of keyholes, so I thought this picture was perfect for this keyhole -- you see one eye and part of her shy smile.  I covered the photo ( which if you are curious was a reproduction) with mica to protect it.

These ladies needed some glam.  I very carefully added some vintage rhinestones to the back plate.  I could have glued the ladies on, but I left them loose and swingie, so the earrings have great movement.

I've had a great  break from shows and I've made some really exciting new pieces, which I'll start doing "sneak peaks" over the next few days on my Facebook page.  You can see them in person this Saturday at Farmer's Market in Des Moines!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Random Thoughts

etched copper wings, vintage skeleton key and copper wire.

I've had a grand weekend, I finished up a large project, a couple of small ones, and I've got another large piece laid out -- I'm still complicating it but I'm feeling pretty good about it.  pictures coming soon!

We had a 90th birthday party for Jerry's Grandma -- that was pretty special.  She's a sweet sweet lady and so happy to see all her family and friends gathered together.   Social gigs like this are not Jerry's favorite, but even he couldn't complain that celebrating her 90th was special and necessary.

We got our foundation fixed this week --- it's already dryer in the basement.  I can only hope that it helps my health issues if my basement is no longer a giant petri dish of mold.  Now the stuff they put on the walls for extra water repellent -- wow! stinky!! I've basically had to live up in the studio this weekend to avoid allergy and asthma complications, but honestly, hanging out in my studio is one of my favorite things anyway.   Still I'll be very grateful if my asthma calms down.  The last couple of years my control is crappy.

Jesscera and Jerry got a great buy at 1/2 price books.. the first 3 seasons of Warehouse 13.  I'm currently doing a Bones marathon but I'll probably do Warehouse next.  Course I keep thinking about joining Hulu to watch Handmaiden.  Anyone been watching this?

Jerry cooked supper tonight... crock pot Lasagna.  Yum!

It's almost 9pm on a Sunday night.  Worst time of the week... I have to switch gears from the weekend to work.  Ugh.

Sunday, June 4, 2017


Let me tell you about this piece.  First the big pretty aqua and silver Dial is the thread tension wheel from a 1960's sewing machine.  Normally "newer" machines like that don't yield much as we get into the age of  plastic.  But this sewing machine had gorgeous sky blue / aqua color accents, and this part at least was metal.

I've been really stressed out this year, I won't go into the details cause it's private, and boring to anyone besides myself and my family,   Making jewelry is one of the ways I keep sane.  

So I've been thinking about stress and the pressures that modern life bring - and how tension and pressure are antonyms for each other.

Even good things can be stressful.  Like thread tension, it has to be in balance, too little and whatever you are sewing the stitches won't "stick" together and you are wasting your time.  But if you have the thread too tight, you could break the thread, or even the needle.

How often do you feel like the needle is gonna break on you ?

I put the propeller on the tension wheel because life has felt so out of control lately, all the pressure is flying wildly out of control.

She's holding on to her dreams with both hands, cause that helps you get through all the stress and tension (and thread and needle) breaking that happens in life.

The lady has flower earrings, which are washers for rivets holding her in place.  I thought that was a lovely decorative touch.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Rain baddddddd

Farmer's market was truly lovely - except for the last 30 minutes when it rained cats and dogs and got everything, and I mean everything! wet wet wet.

I've never seen Farmer's Market pack up so quickly!

So my studio right now has towels laid on the floor and jewelry carefully patted down with paper towels and allowed to dry some more on those towels.  I don't think anything got damaged so that's good, but I'll probably have to replace some of the tags.

Most of my displays will survive as well I believe. We did managed to pack away the vintage wood displays ( well except for my clock!) before the skies opened up and dumped on us.  Some Murphy's oil soap and the clock will be fine, probably looking better than before.

The the only real cost is the time involved making sure everything is OK - safe and dry.  I hate losing time.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

See you at Farmer's Market On Saturday!

I'm so looking forward to Farmer's Market again this weekend, but then we get a nice, 2 week break.  I wish I could say the break was for a long trip or something, but instead we are getting our foundation fixed, and a few minor home repairs done.

I will still get some studio time though, and I have some thoughts...... I got this great sewing machine with gorgeous almost Art Deco type tags on it, and I'm just dreaming up designs for it.  Maybe Jerry and I will hit the big fairgrounds flea market, and of course we have a couple of family events to attend.

There never seems to be a shortage of things I need to get done around here.

So I'll leave you with these heart earrings.  I love this design, it's all new materials but I get to do such fun techniques like wire wrapping and riveting on  one project!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Treasure Bracelets

So this is a new experiment for me, using the watch cases.  I put vintage crystals in these, but I could also put tiny pictures or mementos in them as well.  What do you think?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tinkerbell Steampunk

I had this out at my very first show last weekend, and it's already sold... but I am so pleased how it turned out!   This is another of my resin projects from a few weeks ago.

It's the reason I wanted to do a resin poor actually!

I got these great fairy charms on my trip last summer, but when I went to use them, I  found out why they were so affordable... it broke!! arrgh!!

but I love the design of the fairy, and it made me think of Tinkerbell.  Who doesn't love Tinkerbell?   I still wanted to use them, but how in good conscience could I if they break when you breathe on them?   That's when I decided I needed to play with Resin again.  I wanted to make a steampunk Version of Tink, so what better bezel than a old pocket watch case?

So I set up bit by bit, this design over the last several months, and worked on a few other resin projects, until I had enough to do a poor.

When I was finished with the design, the back was ugly.. I mean, beyond ugly!  So I prettied it up with this:
This piece attracted much attention - and Jerry is telling me I need to do more projects like this.

What do you think?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

and will the patient live?

This is actually a piece a friend was working on , but I've had pieces that looked like this at some point.  The trick to gluing is PRESSURE.  Clips are awesome and belong in every studio.

Course I only glue to reinforce other types of joining, or when what I'm working with is too fragile for rivets ( which involves hammering.. think about it)  Or too small.

Still it's a valid tool in the tool-box.

Jerry and I had a FANTASTIC!!  Farmer's Market.  Next up, Beaux Arts in Davenport.  Looking forward to it, we haven't done it for a couple of years, so if the weather holds it should be another awesome show.

Time to go to the studio and create!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

First Farmer's Market This Weekend!!!!!!

I'm soooo soooo soooo excited, this Saturday is my first show of the season, and it's a Downtown Des Moines Farmer's Market to boot!  Unless there is a last minute change, we will be right by the new Hy-Vee on 4th st, about 1/3 down the block.  Right now the forecast is Sunny and in the 50's which sounds pretty good to me... so I hope to see you downtown enjoying the first market of the year!
back of the pendant... pocket watch case 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Glamour Girls

I wanted to do a small series of old vintage glamour shots with crystals and gears, and resin seemed like the best way to do this.  Most of the photos are unnamed starlets probably from the early 30's, though I'm pretty sure the top left corner below is Jean Harlow.  It was a challenge to line up the cup chain crystals but I loved how this turned out.  Depending how well these sell, I will have to make up another batch.

I have a couple more pieces from my resin pour - hopefully next time!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Steampunk Cats

I don't do resin much.. mostly just a bit here and there.  The thing with resin is when you use the good stuff, you have all this resin product left over, which I hate to waste.  Heck I hate to waste anything!

So when I have those few projects that really need resin, I plan out simple bracelets or pendants that I can use up the remaining material on so not to waste it.

So here are my steampunk cats, my way to use up some of a resin pour.  I found these great bezel cups that have a pocket watch design on the back.  When I still had resin left over, I poured 2 more cups with Mona Lisa and the Eiffel Tower in yet another cute pocket watch bezel.  

So for just using up my left over product, these turned out great!   I'll show you why I wanted to to do a resin pour next time.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Newest Leaf Bracelets

My leaf bracelets have become a staple of my inventory.... I use these great flat leaves as a base to build on, which makes them sort of half cuffs.  I carefully curve them to fit the wrist, and decorate as the mood drives me.  I'm pleased to say that even though I've used some of the same design elements on them, each one is unique.

I lay out the main focus, usually a animal, and then I add cogs, gears, dangling bits until I like how it looks.  

 This pic shows one of the bracelets in progess... i rivet mostly to put these together.

I've never used a cat before, which makes this one extra special.

I've used dragonflies multiple times, but each one comes out with it's own flavor.

Owls have proved to be popular the last year, so I decided to make another one.

I love this brass fairy, she's so beautifully rendered.  I think this one came out the best, she's got such a 3D effect going on.

Monday, April 24, 2017

I'm going to let my Picture do the Talking.....

Yet another lovely new necklace just in time for Farmer's Market 

I'm tired so that's all I got today!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Earings, earrings, coming out of my .......

the first pair has delicate, detailed unicorns ! the end pair is vintage adding machine cog, with crystals, and the middle pair... I ADORE! vintage pocket watch regulators with little angels!
EARS! hehehehehehe

Sorry, I couldn't resist, I know I should try harder, but hey, you only live once, but you can pun a thousand times!   Anyway, more earrings to tempt you with... Downtown Farmer's Market is only 2 weeks away!!! wow!!  I so want to have plenty of temptation for you, so here are several pairs of earrings for suit all types!
Lightbulb earrings, all blinged and worded up!

Dangling vintage watch cogs, Paris and clock face, and another lightbulb earring

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Vintage Button Rings

My stash is large and varied, and boy I really need to use up some of it.

So here are 4 rings made using "vintage" buttons from the stash.  the all metal silver button with the flower on it is probably Victorian,   The MOP is pretty old as well.  It's hard to date buttons because most of the styles and types were used for YEARS,   And There are sooo many of them!

The navy button was sold to me as WWII.  I have my doubts on that, but it's all metal so that means it's at least much older than what would be on current uniforms.

The glass one it's extra hard to judge.  The dealer that sold it to me told me it's vintage, but I know that buttons like this had huge popularity in the early 90's and several Czech companies "copied" old designs, in some cases using the original molds that were 100 years old.  I'm guessing it's a "authentic" reproduction,  so it's definitely in the vintage style.  So vintage or not, these rings represent just a quick look at my 3 boxes of buttons.  Three boxes of buttons, and I've lost count of boxes of beads, stones, cabs, and now bunches of vintage parts.  Boxes I get to go through as time allows to fondle and dream and create with.  (And some just to hoard.. I admit it)

Some days I just have the Best Job in the 'verse!