Friday, June 30, 2017

Earrings, earrings earrings at Farmer's Market

I sell tons of earrings at Farmer's Market  which gives me the perfect excuse to make tons of earrings!   I love making them, and I love when I can make them absolutely unique, one of a kind!   Using vintage materials like I do.. even with I remake the same design it always turns out different because the materials are so different.  This top picture shows a variety of earrings, most made with vintage parts like keys, bobbins, and parts from old phones.
I love making these flower earrings, and people seem to love to wear them.  the colorful flowers are so fun to play with and some I hand paint.  I try to make each pair slightly different, by mixing up the colors and the findings I use on them.

My current favorite pair of earrings from the newest batch of them.  I just love anything with wings, they make me feel so free.  That is what I think of whenever I see something like this.. dreams flying free, freedom to dream, the key to your happiness, etc etc etc.

So come on down to Farmer's Market this weekend and buy your favorite pair!

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.