Monday, June 22, 2009

Seeing Green

I have thoroughly been enjoying this journey of jewelry design. There are so many creative possibilities that I have tried and hopefully will try in the future. This is my newest "fun with jewelry" piece that has been a design in progress to get it the way that I wanted it.

I hand cut a sheet of copper into a flower design, then added this beautiful green patina. When you give copper or brass a patina like this you have to let it sit and cure to get most out of the color. It takes about 24 hours to do this. Totally worth it!! And so much fun! Then I added a sterling silver chain which I oxidized and then lightly hand buffed to give it a rustic antique look. Hope you like it!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Fun Transition

This is where I usually find myself working. In front of my computer while answering emails...searching Etsy...and of course, Facebooking. I have noticed that I don't thrive in this area. There are too many distractions which cause me to NOT be creative.

This was about a year ago when I got a little table and chair to use in the unfinished side of the basement. I was so excited about having my own little area to design jewelry. But the clutter grew increasingly annoying so I decided to make due with what I had and just organize the space.

And it helped a lot! The space was clearer so I had more "breathing" space to create things.

Everything was in order. Not for long....I also had lots of jewelry items in the finished side of the basement, which drew me out there and that is where I got distracted with the computer and tv. So, after many months of not really using the space to it's full potential, I decided to go a step further and make it a place where I would not feel icky being in. I am realizing that I need a clean, organized and pretty space to inspire me.

So, here it is!!! I painted the walls...although it is hard to tell...a light/medium blue. It is actually quite peaceful looking. My friend was getting rid of her desk and I offered to take it and it is PERFECT for my space! There are multiple shelves for layering my things so it isn't on one flat surface. And a pull-out drawer, which you can see on the last picture, for my drill, heat gun, and soldering tray.

I re-organized my metal items, like copper and silver in the top three white drawers. And underneath that are my shipping items and ribbon for my packaging.

As you can see, I have all of my essentials for soldering, wire wrapping and beading on the desk but out of the main desktop. And there is the pull out "drawer" at the bottom. So, then I can just slide it back underneath when I am not using it. AND my wonderful purchase from IKEA are the items on the wall. I found them in the kitchen section. The majority are actually spice jars with screw on lids and a couple of shot glasses for the small amount of beads, stone, gems that I have. And the rack that you can buy hold four spice jars and one shot glass. I need to go back to IKEA and get three more shelves with jars to complete it and to put the rest of my beads. And last but not least are the curtain panels that I bought to section off the rest of the UGLY basement! It seems like I have my own little room for my jewelry designing.

This exciting! I can't wait to create!!!



Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Copper Cuff

This is one of my newest copper creations. I felt like I discovered a secret in the jewelry design industry and wondered if anyone else knew about this. I was supposed to make copper hoop earrings for a customer and give it a heated patina color, which turns the copper a rosey reddish color depending how long you do it. It is a complicated process to figure out and it takes time and patience and mistakes. All of which I think I accomplished and maybe got a couple of gray hairs.

Well, when I told my customer that I would give her earrings a red patina, I didn't realize that my torch stopped working. (It was broke and had to buy another hoo.) And it was Sunday and my supply shop would not reopen until Tuesday early afternoon. I really wanted to get these earrings done and shipped out to her on Monday morning. I try very hard to get my items out asap. Being a stay-at-home-mom I never know when I will be able to get back to it.

So....I searched my brain as what I could do to turn these copper hoops red. And then I thought.."Hey, I have a heat gun, used for embossing, let me try that". IT WORKED!! And is so hard to mess up the metal. I would love to know what you think about it and if you have had an experience like this before....discovering another way to get the creative results you were looking for.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


So, lately my passion has been gardening. I need to get things planted and transplanted before it gets too hot. I thought that would come quicker than I remember in the past but with all of the rain the temperatures have been pretty nice. With a low this week of 48 and a high of 72 or so. Here are some pictures of what my hands have been creating. I have come to terms that it is a work in process and over time my back garden will grow lushly.

This is before with my little girl helping me on the side.

This is after...I need an update picture since this was about a month ago. Not too impressive but I have high hopes!! :-)

My little girl was actually helping me and enjoying it!

Our Molly girl, that's a different story. She takes it easy. And we love her!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Piece That's Been on my Mind

Have you ever had that design that has been on your mind and it, thankfully, has not disappear? I have had many visions for jewelry designs that have come into my head and I never wrote it down and it disappeared almost as fast as I got it. Well, this one below did not leave my mind and I am so glad. I love it! I came out better than I had imagined, if I am allowed to boast.

It is made of sterling silver wire, which I hand formed and wire wrapped many shades of red Czech Crystal. Would love to know your thoughts...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Featured On Etsy

So exciting to have my first feature on!! (Which means that I made it to their front page on their site.) I am the top left pair of earrings:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Banner Work for Etsy

After Christmas, I decided that I wanted to "spruce" my Etsy banner up. I chose WildMagic Design Studio and I am so please with her work. She came up with something so quickly and beautiful that I knew that I did not make a mistake when choosing her shop. She listens so well and kept working on the banner until I was comletely happy. And being a wanna-be graphic designer (persued graphic design in college), I was picky and asked her to change my design a handful of times.

I love what she did with my banner and I wanted to show it off to you. And I hope that you go to her if you are in search of a new banner. You won't be disappointed!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Organizing my Studio

As I have been building up my jewelry business I am noticing the great need to have my studio which includes jewelry supplies (silver, copper, beads and findings) and shipping supplies (more than I thought I would need) all in order.

Since I also have a Professional Organizing business going for the last 5 years you would think that my studio would be in perfect order. Nope! And it drives me crazy! My birthday is the middle of February and all I ask for (from my husband) is that I can make it look so pleasing to the eye that I would want to be in there. creating I am not quite sure how that will look but I know once I start it will hopefully evolve into an inspiration area.

I started today by organizing the whole un-finished side of our basement by getting rid of things that I have not used in a very long time, if ever. I just want to say that the bigger the storage space that you have the more stuff you will accumulate. In which I have!

So, the first step was to sort out the stuff, Keep, Trash & Give away/sell. There were so many items that I need to get rid of. I have at least a 4ftx6ft space of give aways.

The next step was clearing of my jewelry desk and clean it off. I solder , pickle, buf and drill all of silver and copper on this side of the basement. Just doing that made the biggest difference in the world. Now when I go to work I will feel more inspired. Seeing bits and pieces of old string and wire and single beads bursts my creativity. I didn't have a light at my workspace (no outlet) so I ran an extension cord around and plugged in my light and my pickle. Just writing about it gets my in the mood to make jewelry. I can't wait for some free time to solder something special.

I included some picture of how my progress went today. I will have more pictures as I beautify this area..

Thanks for reading!





My end goal is to have this not only organized but pretty & fun by adding colored paint, and fabric hanging from the ceiling to the floor to section off the rest of the ugly basement. Until then, I am incredibly thankfully for having the space already have.

(Click on the pictures if you want to see it in more detail.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gift Box Template

I have been researching and trying out different templates to make a little gift box to send out with my jewelry. I found a couple and made them with my card stock paper to see what would look beautiful and hold up with shipping to my customers. And this is the one that I found and really love:
Flap Box

If you are looking for something different to try here are some more:
Other templates

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dabbling with Copper Sheet

I just figured out how to work with the copper sheet that I bought many months ago. I found out that the gauge of the sheet makes a big difference in the tools that you need. I should have known that but didn't realize what that really meant until I got the 20 gauge sheet home. I need some type of saw to cut it! Yikes! I am not ready for that! So, I went to my local bead store and got a larger gauge, 30 gauge. That is very easy to cut and only needed sheet "scissors". Side Note: I have access the best jewelry supply/bead store in Maryland. It is only 1 mile away. (Great or Dangerous, depends on who you ask in my house :-)). If you live in Maryland try to get there. It is called Terra Firma Enterprises. And their sister store is called Baltimore Beads.

Anyway, here is my latest creation:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My New Light Box

This was fun! And so helpful especially on cold or rainy days. I used to take my pictures outside in the natural light but once fall came and I had to wear a jacket and my pictures were coming out fuzzy because I was was time to make a light box that I could use in my house.

I used 3 large pieces of foam core board
(cut them to make this kind of shape.)
2-cut into three pieces to make sides (use super sharp-hide them from your kids sharp-box cutters)
3-on top-for some reason this helps by closing in the light so it does not spread away from the area.
2 lamps that are clip-able.
Bought two different ones . The one of the left is a really good one. It is an 8 inch reflector light that you find at Home Depot. It spreads the light evenly. The one on the right works but is not as good. I had to buy a light bulb that had reflector to direct the light where I wanted it. The
2 Light Bulbs
I really like the natural-white light bulbs. Look at the lamps that you buy to gauge the watts. There are a couple of brands. Check with a Home Depot associate. They are usually informative.
Don't use duct tape (it gets icky sticky with the lights on)
Use white masking tape for a clean look
I make jewelry so different kinds of props are good depending on the color and the style of your jewelry that you are photographing.

Side Notes:
Your pictures turn out so much better when you take them during the day near a window.


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