Saturday, April 21, 2018

Sorting Brass

OK I admit I seem to be in a creative slump right now.  Normally when I'm down making jewelry helps.  This time I can't seem to get the energy to make jewelry either. 

So I'm finally sorting the last bits of my giant brass buy, and sorting out all the bits of beady and jewelry making goodness that I haven't bothered to put away in the last few months.

And I it makes me feel calmer, better, more centered.  I am not going to put expectations on myself  this weekend, because that will just racket up the pressures I"m trying to get back under control.

But I do hope that once I get the rest of this put away, and clean up my space all the way - I'll feel like messing it up again making stuff.
I will note, these are pictures from this summer.... but my desk looks more or less like this right now, just different stuff getting sorted.

If I'm still not ready to make jewelry -- well maybe I match up watch part pairs.  I'm pretty low on them and I have a bunch of bags of stuff unsorted there as well.  Actually maybe I'll just play with watch parts.  I've been trying to focus on needed inventory holes, and I'm at the stuff that are necessary but maybe not as "sexy" as watch part jewelry.  hum...........

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

souvenir spoon Jewelry

Growing up as a truck driver's daughter means one thing: Dad would bring home little Souvenirs from his travels.  Mom loved spoons and snow globs, so she got tons of them.  Anytime we traveled as a family, she would add to her collection.

I've always been fascinated by them and now that I make jewelry with recycled bits, when I saw a bunch of them at a flea market this summer, I had to buy them.  ( I admit I'd eyed up mom's collection before this, but hey, they are Mom's toys.....)

A couple of months ago, I finally got around to making a few pieces of jewelry incorporating parts form the spoon.  Mainly on the older spoons they had little enameled shields on the end.  I have plans for making more jewelry using the whole spoon but I'm pretty happy with this first batch of jewelry.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

So I had a Dream....

I love the winged goddess greeting the sun on this brass stamping, so I didn't embellish much -- didn't want to loose the impact of the brass it's self.

Or maybe a nightmare.  Actually I call these type of dreams anxiety dreams. 

I've been having huge problems getting out of bed on time lately.  Side effect of one of my meds combined with not sleeping well lately.

So when I get up, it takes me forever to really get moving and feel awake.  It's not like I've ever been an early morning person anyway!!!   So Jerry wakes me up 15 minutes earlier than normal, and then I'm like give me 10-15 more minutes!!! and he does and and I more or less get out of bed on time.  More or less.  If I'm allowed, I will sleep until 11am.  That seems to be when my body wants to really wake up anymore. 

So in this dream Jerry tried to wake me up at 430am for Farmer's Market.   I'm a immovable object.   I'm like give me 15 more minutes!! and He's like OK.  And he wakes me up at 930am.

Farmer's Market starts at 7am.  I'm now 2-1/2 hours late for Farmer's Market.  I freak so bad in my dream I wake up in real life.

It was sooooo real it took me a few minutes to realize it really was just a dream.  It was around 8am in real life and let me tell you, I was fully awake for once.

A couple of days later, with time to reflect I realize it's just my normal pre-show season jitters. 

I am always tense and anxious before the season starts or even from a larger important show.  I want to do well yeah? I know I've been doing shows in general for almost 20 years now, and Farmer's Market for 15+, but I always worry.  It's in my DNA.  My jewelry is such a part of myself, so if I don't do well it feels like a personal rejection. 

And getting up at 430am on a Saturday is scary all by itself.

Actually made this pair a while ago and already long gone -- the stacked watch parts are always popular and boy I hope to get more made before Farmer's Market !

Tea Time... charms all about tea.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

it's been awhile .....

only thing on this that is vintage is the pearl... but I love how it looks!
yeah.  I've been fighting the moodies of late - so I haven't felt like putting words down.  I'm getting better and besides, I now have the "LOOMING" deadline of show season, so it's time to get my butt in gear regardless I'm up for it or not.  Honestly -- the best cure is getting off your butt and doing things anyway.  Fake it til you make it right?

So Look for another blog - a real entry! - no later than Sunday, and then I'll hopefully be back on my normal 3 blogs a week.  Take care all, hug everyone you love within reach and call those who aren't.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Time to get Animated ...... heheheh

I believe there is a significant cross over between Anime Fans and Steampunkers... I'm going to test this Theory in July, July 13th through 15th because we are vending at the Premiere Iowa Anime Convention ! Go figure, it's called - AnimeIowa  and for the first time it's being held in Des Moines.  (It started in Iowa City, then went to Cedar Rapids and now it comes to the Capital!)

It seems like a good time to give it a try out.  Worst case scenario, we make no money and have a great time.  Best case, we make a mint and have a blast.  Seems a win-win either way.

Jerry started a new job just in November, and getting vacation time for the first year is well, like any new job.  So doing any long distance shows is chancy at best.  This seems a perfect way to try a new venue for us-- it's at home and we won't have to get a hotel so all we are out is food and booth money if it goes sideways.  If he can't get much of the time off, I have a small pool of helpers who would be darn happy to get a ticket to the convention and food to help out in the booth, and my Daughter is already jumping up and down going Me! Me! Me!

So that's the story.  I'm going to add this to my schedule and think pretty hard on if we really need to add more to the schedule or not........

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Farmer's Market, the website and so on.....

First, Jerry is doing great from his medical emergency.  He feels better actually than he has for a while... It's possible his appendix has been inflamed/infected for awhile, and we caught it before it went BOOM.

I'm just glad we got it before it went BOOM, or his fast recovery wouldn't be so fast!!

Still, scary times for me.  I've told Jerry (actually all of my family ! ) NO MORE MEDICAL ISSUES THIS YEAR!!!!   I just don't have the energy for more.
A view of my booth from 2017.... 

I've been notified of what slots I have for Downtown Des Moines Farmer's Market -- I got a total of 11!!! wooooo hoooooo!!!!!!!

here is the dates, circle 'em on your calendars :

May 5th, May 26thJune 6th, June 23July 7th, July 28thAugust 11th, August 25thSeptember 1st, September 22thOctober 6th 

Just a few of the new one of a kind earrings for Farmer's Market 2018! 
I've updated my website with my schedule, as well as new pics in the gallery.   I've updated some of the pics sprinkled around the pages as well.  

Honestly it's probably time for a complete re-do of the website, but who has time?

Still it's out there in my head and on my vague list of stuff I should do when I get everything else done I need to do.. so look for a new website around 2057. 

Will I be at any other shows this year? Not sure yet.  I've applied to one other show, and I do have a couple I'm eyeing  -- as soon as I know I'll let you know!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

And then the shoe drops.....

Last blog I wrote about family and how important they are and how grateful I am for them.  Seriously when will I LEARN????   I write some sappy thing like that, and hubby has to have an emergency appendectomy Sunday Night.

He's fine now, he's not moving fast and he will be off work probably the rest of the week.  But seriously - it's like I dared the universe or something!!!

OK, this blog is going back to Jewelry for awhile... and I've told all my family no more medical issues this year period!   I've spend more time in hospital waiting rooms this year, and enough is enough.

So here is one of the January pile pieces ... Just a touch of vintage watch parts and pleasing brass stampings.

 I have started a new pile and I've been working on it between taking care of Jerry today.  I go back to work tomorrow, he will be OK without me, but of course I worry.  ( That happens when you get the Sh** scared out of you)

Saturday, March 3, 2018


For those who game, yes, these are personalize meeples.  My Brother Kirk, who is a fab artist made these for my hubby for Christmas.  He made a bunch of of them for gaming ( zombies, robots etc) but he made a special set of 3 featuring my family.  Top Left is my hubby Jerry.  It's hard to see in this pic but he's wearing a Hawaiian shirt surrounded by books.  I love that Kirk gave him Dimples just like he has in real life. 

Top Right is me, skinny ( I lovvvve my bro!) playing with gears.  ( I wonder what gave him that idea?? hehehe )

Bottom is our baby girl, who is now 21 ( arrrgh) surrounded by the cats of the household. 

That's my own, personal family.

I'm so blessed though, because I have 3 brothers, 1 sister, 3 nieces and 1 nephew, my mom, My mom's 5 sisters and brother and all their kids.... I have 1st, 2nd & 3rd cousins knee deep at this point On mom's side.  I have cousins on my Dad's side... and if you skip over to Jerry's family a whole passel of relatives including a couple of sis in laws,  a Dad in law, more nieces  and cousins and  aunts and uncles and even a Grandma in the mix.

Family is so important. 

I might get a chance later this evening to play with beady stuff, but my focus today is visiting with family and making sure they know they are loved and important to me.  It's important to tell them I love you everyday you can, but showing it is worth a million words.  So every week I try to bring my mom a few more paperbacks because she loves to read.  Each book I bring is me saying "I love you" .

My sister is recovering from surgery, and needs more pillows to get comfy.  So I'm dragging over every extra pillow I can find.   I'm going to remember to pop one of my sis in laws and tell her a joke or something.  I'll make sure I give each pet today a nice rub down.  I'll be sure to kiss my hubby when I pick him up from work today.  I'm gonna give my kid random hugs whenever she gets close enough to grab. 

So call your mom, hug your kid,  Send a random card to your Uncle.  And everyone have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The "same" three Bracelets

 Here are 3 bracelets, all based on using a leaf as the background, and then embellishing with vintage clock or watch parts and brass stampings. 
 Just by using different materials, the same basic idea turns out so very differently!

One of the endless reasons I love to make jewelry... so many options and possibilities and turns to channel my creativity with!
even with I use the same stampings ( for example, I've used the owl above before) it always turns out differently.

I hate to be bored, and I'm very rarely bored when I make my Mechanical Romance pieces.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

From the Pile " Picture your Dreams "

I think this is the "wow" piece from my pile experiment 

I'm calling it "Picture your Dreams"

The front piece is from a 8mm camera from the 1940's – early 50's.  Jerry is fascinated by cameras from this era -- the really old ones, besides being for the most part to valuable to rip up are mostly empty boxes and mirrors, but give him something from the late 30's through 50's and they have some real mechanical stuff going on.

Most of the cameras parts are neatly bagged and labeled and put away for when inspiration strikes me.  This aluminum detailing though called to me, something about the simple silver and white and strip design, there is a hint of Art Deco in the clean lines and color theme. 

The cutout parts of it are original, and played "peekaboo" with my imagination.   I knew looking at this I could make a great piece!

You take pictures and videos to capture memories, and I was thinking about that. The feelings you get when you look at old photos and remember those times. That got me to start wondering about what if you could take pictures of future moments? Of your dreams?

Because of the color scheme I wanted to stick with clear crystals.   The top "window" have larger rhinestone type vintage crystals layered in, the bottom window has a patch of new crystals.

It took several steps to put it all together, here is a pic of the piece in progress.

Since your dreams need to be bigger than life, I found this great butterfly that would be flying out of the camera.  You can't hold your dreams in, you got to let them fly!!

I decided the butterfly needed a touch of something, and added the clock hands... which then made me want to carry out a clock motif on the back -- which is cut out of a old cookie tin from my tin stash. 

I added hanging chains between the 2 pieces of metal and they have butterfly shaped crystals on them.  it sort of looks like the weights of a old fashion wind up clock. 

So there you have it, and if you want it, you can go to Five Monkeys Gallery !

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

More From the Pile

 I should have taken a pic of the back on this one, cause it's hard to see what this is...

What it is is I "imprisoned" or Captured vintage crystals in clock parts.  The back side has a spring cup, and I used a slightly larger gear to trap them in. (think round box and the gear is the lid)  I added a vintage gal on top, cause well, that's what I do.  I I know I say this every time, but I love how it turned out!  I'm so looking forward to show season and all the new stuff I will have ready for my customers. 

Course if you are interested now, just contact me, cause this one will not be in the collection long before someone snaps it up.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Sneak peek at new chainmaile earrings !

 I've been in a chainmaile mood all week, so striking while the iron is hot, I've been coming up with new chainmaile earrings designs, or at least something I haven't made for awhile.
I love this look!  This is new, and I like it so much I'm gonna make me a pair -- only with purple instead of the green I think.   Just the shape ( or for those following Project Runway every week, just like I do .."Silhouette!") pleases me and lots of kewl color choices possible.  I'm gonna make a few more pairs using different color combos, then I'll look at some other design. 

I'm gonna be well stocked on earring choices this year!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

New Earrings at the Gallery!!

I took a bunch of new stuff over to the gallery - Five Monkeys - last week, mostly new stuff that came from the Pile.  here is a closer look at 4 of them!! with links so you can go to the online store at the gallery if you want them

First up I have vintage clock gears paired with fairies   .

I love these! I'm sure you are all aware of a jewelry brand called 1928?  I scored a small stash of unused 80-90's 1928 watch faces.  I paired them with brass stampings, crystals and a dragonfly.  I love how these look - very elegant ! Buy them here, I'm sure they won't stay around long.

These earrings are named "fly away" .  Vintage brass stampings which I hand patina'd and awesome black propellers.  you can buy them here

Last pair for this blog - I've had these wooden cat on the moon charms for some time, I don't remember where I  got them.  I added copper and patina, and I think they look great... like vintage metal charms that got lost for 50 years.  Since they are actually wood, they are incredibly light in the ears.  I didn't originally name them but looking at the picture again, I keep thinking of what the cat is dreaming of... you can purchase them here.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Sax Collection..... (so far)

 So far I've made 3 pieces from the Sax Jerry bought last year, and I think they have turned out great!

I'm calling the first one Jazz Lady.  The sax was made in the 1920's and the little white "dot" you see at the bottom is real mother of pearl. 

Here is a picture showing all 3 pieces... 2 of the 3 are going to Five Monkeys later this week.

I have more sax keys and bits to play with, so more in the future!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

the Big picture......

For those playing along, you know I've been working on a huge pile of stuff since the start of the year.  Here is most of what I've made from that pile since 1-14-18.  (most of the stuff from the pile before that I've already shown you)

The next couple of weeks I"ll do blog entries on the more interesting pieces, and some of these are going straight to Five Monkeys Gallery, but I just wanted to show you I've been working on the pile, honest!

Actually with this picture, I'm taking a break and switching to chainmaile for at least a couple of days.. I've been feeling the inch to play with rings and I got some new washers and scales in aluminum so I want to try them out.  Then I might work on the pieces I've prepped with alcohol inks  -- they have to dry for a couple of days then seal them, and let them dry some more before I can play with them anyway.  So it seems a good time to think chainmaile!

The "pile" is now in it's own tray on the back table, to join the the really BIG pile of stuff to work on.  I'm sure I'll either get back to it eventually, or pull out the pieces that still talk to me.  I admit some of the stuff I look at and wonder what sparked when I picked it out.

No worries, I will never run out of things to work on.  And if I do, there are always dishes to wash ( NOOOOOOO!!!!! heh)

Monday, February 5, 2018

I need to stop Screwing around!

and get more pictures taken!! I've got a huge pile of stuff I've made over the last few weeks, but I've got to stop and get it pictured and priced and run some of the new stuff out to the gallery. 

This is a found screw... the color is the actual patina it had when i picked it off the ground.  I did put sealer on it, and just put it on a chain cause I think the color says it all.

Besides, I got to use a pun in my blog post title, so happy days to me!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I'm still working the pile!

You can see how dimensional this piece is 
 I just got this done today, and I love it! it uses a lovely 40-50's steel piece from a German adding machine, and really old no idea how old part of a knob, a vintage skeleton key and a great crystal. 

The knob can be turned - I added washers inside of it to allow movement.

Anyway, I've gotten lots done on the pile, and I'm still working several projects as time permits. 

So what do you think?

Monday, January 29, 2018

I had a FANTASTIC weekend!!!!

Showing off our new artwork... while my jewelry at the gallery is in the background.
 I had a fantastic weekend, all because my fab sister decided to stay an extra day!!

Gretchen originally planned to stay only a couple of days, and go back to IL on Saturday, but she changed her mind... so we planned a whole day together, something we haven't done in ages... I would guess like 20 years!! not that we don't want to spend time together, but 6-7 hours distance between us and we both have families, really getting to spend quality time just us as SISTERS again has been a challenge.

First we went and did a wonderful art class at Five Monkeys, playing with alcohol inks.  I've used Alcohol inks before on my metal jewelry, so it was fascinating to learn techniques for paper... I'm sure some of this will transfer to my jewelry!  I've got a whole list of things to try next time I sit down to color my metal!

Then we ate out at Olive Garden, one of my favorite restaurants.  Went to Nan's Nummies for a bakery hit ( I adore the oatmeal scotchies there, and the special k bar's and the salted nut rolls and the ...... )  and then went to Mom's house to hang out for a couple of hours.  Finally we headed to Gretchen's Friend's house for supper and Outlander final episode party.

Seriously had a good time! 

Got more family time in on Sunday. so actually I didn't make any jewelry really this weekend, but that's OK, I'm raring to go tonight!!

Elegant necklace with vintage crystals, gold-filled vintage watch case and gold-filled chain.  You can buy this at the gallery!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Predicting the Future..... with the magic elephant!

 I loved 8 balls as a kid... had one for awhile.  Can't honestly say it was the most accurate predictor of the future, but it's the possibility of the the thing right?   The questions we would ask it, trying to see if it really worked or not, the wacky fun of asking strange questions and giggling over the results.

A couple months ago, one of my facebook groups had a challenge to complete an elephant necklace in some fashion.

It's a 1928 piece that got reissued specifically for this group to play with.  The base is hollow and you also got a glass cab to seal it with, the idea you could put anything in it and decorate the elephant how you wanted.

I immediately flashed to the 8 ball, not sure why... maybe because elephants never forget, so following that logic, they ought to know everything as well.

So I found a mini 8 ball, and took it apart ( let me tell you, that wasn't easy.  took vice-grips, a hammer and a saw)

I carefully saved the fluid so the ball would work as well.  I glued it all together with fish tank glue from the hardware store, and added crystals for just a touch of bling.

 As you can see it actually works.... I didn't win the contest even thought the above picture was me asking if I would!   OK it worked for alittle while... cause it started to leak.

I did rip it apart.  I have another idea I want to try, but I 've kept the decision die and maybe I'll do something with it again in the future.

It feeds the soul to try new things, even when they don't work out. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Narrowing down the pile

So here I am spreading out most of the stuff from my giant pile I started the year with.  This is one of the way I create -- I spread stuff out, and start adding and subtracting stuff to each "group" until I like how it feels/looks/says. 

Some of what you see here, isn't going to go anywhere.. and some of it is most certainly on it's way to being someone's favorite piece of jewelry for years to come.  (At least I hope so)

So what do you see when you look at this ?

For what I see... I'll keep posting pile pics as I get stuff done...

here is another right now, using vintage necklace pieces.  2 of the segments of this necklace were broken and missing stones.  So I took it apart and make it into 2 bracelets.  I love the vintage glam necklaces from the 40-60's  (I am guessing this is late 50's early 60's)   So much sparkle and movement!!

Monday, January 15, 2018

And the Pile grows smaller, not that you can tell yet.....

 earrings earrings and more earrings!! I really like the lower right pair... it's the top of old keys, then embellished with rivets and I dangled little key charms for them.  More is coming!!