Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Home Page Launched!

Hello friends! I wanted to let you know that I will now be using my home page for all future blog posts! I am excited to {finally} make this change and hope you be along for the ride. Here you will find several pages, including 'home', 'about', 'shop' and 'shows'. I hope you will check them out.

For those of you who have a current e-mail subscription to my old blog, this means you will no longer find my Blogger posts in your e-mail. To subscribe to posts from my new web-page/blog, simply enter your e-mail and click the subscribe button in the upper right side-bar.  You should get a confirmation e-mail which will activate your subscription.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 2, 2011

If you follow my blog, you may recall a December post outlining my goals before turning 30. Well, my milestone birthday has come and gone and it's time to take a look at those goals! Please hop over here to read the full post!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Trunk Show!

Spring is here and Blue House is kicking things off with a trunk show featuring local artists!
Get to know some local artists and help support handmade. Show is Saturday, April 30th from 11:30-3:30. I hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Set Up (& more) at Craft Revival

Craft Revival was so much fun!

I got to meet some fellow Etsians in person and of course meet some new crafty peeps. I didn't have much time to wonder around, so my only regret was not meeting more vendors (and probably buying their stuff).

Here are a few shots of my table, there is a lot going on visually since I shared a table with another vendor;

Ok, so one more regret, wish I woulda shot more photos with my new awesome camera! But hey, being busy was not such a bad thing. All in all it was a great time and I got a lot of love and support from my friends and fam. Thank you to everyone who made this an amazing and memorable first show.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Red Horn Coral Necklace

This is the first of a few sneak peak posts of some of the work that will show up at Craft Revival. 

I absolutely love this necklace, and so does Brian. In fact, he was trying to convince me to keep it! Bad Brian- I'm already tempted, like I need encouragement! 

I was really happy with the effect of the Liver of Sulfur, this I what I use to oxidize the silver and give it that antiqued look. 

Initially, I said this was Dino Bone, but a good friend of mine informed me it is Red Horned Coral. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Make A Custom Journal

In preparation for my first show, I wanted to make a hand-made guest book. 

Check out the post over at A Blue House Blog for the full tut and pics along the way!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sharing some Goods

Recently, Brian and I went to 30x30 at the Ann Arbor Art Center. The idea was to give 30 artists 30 canvas and have them complete 30 works of art in 30 days. Pretty intense if you ask me!

Each artist donates their time and ability and each piece sells for $40. The best part is the profits help send kids to art camp. Yay! Everyone wins! I thought I would share my finds from this show. They are all quite different from each other.

I'm going to start off with Brian's pick's (we had to restrain ourselves to two picks each!) The first painted canvas we bought is by Ryan Wiess;
It's hard to see in this photo, but there are some really cool textures and details. Here is an up-close view of some of what I mean. To me his work to me is young, vibrant, and  playful.

Brian really liked the detail in the the painting and the layers of this next piece (I am sorry to say I don't know the artists name!).
Again, there is great detail and layers in this canvas painting, and up-close view...

I liked the abstract nature of this painting, it leaves the content to be decided by the viewer;
 In the foreground I see the remnants of burnt tree trunks. The green specs in the background the trees that escaped fire (or maybe are being engulfed- hence the yellow 'hill'?)
It reminds me of visiting Yellowstone as a kid and seeing the fire decimated forests. What do you see?

After buying 3 pieces thought I was done...but then I spotted another artists' work that stood out. I bought a fourth piece and had to restrain myself from perusing other works. This last piece was the only one we purchased that didn't use canvas.

It is a block print on wood and uses other media as well;
Here you can see some of the up close texture and mixed media;
Several wood cuts were used to create the layers in the hot air ballon. I love wood cut prints! So much so that I asked Anastassia Fulmer (the artist) if she'd be interested in hosting a tutorial. So stay tuned (though this wont post till my show is over and school settles down for Anastassia).

All in all it was a good time, and we plan to attend next year! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Delicate Druzy

This may look familiar if you read my previous post. I have finished all the sanding and filing on this one an without further adieu, the druzy agate pendant.
Side views...

In my original post I mentioned that this stone reminded me of something delicate. So I used this idea, this feeling, to make a bird cutout on the back.  

These pictures really do not do this stone justice. The colors are somehow off, this looks a bit too yellow...but for now they will do. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Preview of some Unique Pieces

It's been a little quieter than usual around my blog, I know. I have been busy in my studio (and not so much busy with my camera).

Although I've started (or even completed) construction on many one of a kind pieces, not one is complete yet. Not really surprising given the amount of finishing each one takes...but I thought I would share a preview of some of the stones I'm using.

You may recognize this fossilized coral from an earlier post.
I decided to make a pendant with the matching stone. I am using an interesting but uncomplicated bail and a simple cut out because this stone is just too cool to hide it's wonderful detail. I am also going to use patina (as I did with the ring) to give it character and interest. I'm thinking I will also oxidize the chain and clasp for congruity.

This is a druzy agate. 
A side view...
It has beautiful subtle greens and happy yellows with a few spots of orange. The abundance of tiny crystals has a wonderful sparkle. This stone makes me think 'light' 'airy' and 'delicate'. It is also translucent, so I wanted to do a cut out on the back. You will have to wait and see what I came up with!

A while back I bought a few jasper pieces from my local bead shop. You may recognize this one if you follow me on FB;
Another view...
This is also jasper...
...and it's shape also reminds me a little butterfly happily floating around. So it too is destined to have it's very own butterfly cut out.

You may recall this bracelet I made using a fossilized dinosaur bone;

This specimen of dino bone is quite different. It is a rich red with a really cool stripey pattern.
I've started construction and decided to make this into a necklace as well.

Stay tuned for the finished pieces, I will hopefully roll them out soon.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Greenhills Spring Fundraiser

Here is the piece I donated to Greenhills for their annual fundraiser. Look familiar? This Varscite stone is  the 'sister' stone to the Varscite ring as they were cut from the same piece of stone.
And, if you didn't notice, I'm using my new bail design again. I also couldnt resist doing a few circular cutouts on this one.
Stylistically it is very similar to my 'cosmic larimar' pendant, but holds it's own.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Heart Trees & Your Paper Craft Can Too!

As you may or may not know, I am a contributor to the newly rolled out abluehouseblog. Head on over to  to read my post about how to make some custom gift packaging- green style.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A productive weekend- part 2

Last Sunday was also productive. I made a pair of earrings (for my mom's b-day), another set of stacking rings w/curved discs and a new pair or earrings. The new pair is a copper and silver combo. I used my dapping block to give them a nice curve and finished them with a brushed texture.
I've also been making some necklaces for the show that don't require the use of my torch. They all have a bit of sparkle and femininity about them. These have cut-outs of silver sheet mimicking the shape of the stone.
Guess I have a thing for purple lately, the top stone is faceted amethyst and the second one is Iolite.

None of these pieces will appear in my Etsy shop. In fact, I am planning a 'boycott' of sorts for my Etsy shop for a few weeks; I won't re-list any items or post new ones. This means very little shop traffic. But for now, that's a good thing since I'm trying to build inventory.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A productive weekend- part 1

At the risk of alienating Brian and other friends and family, I will be spending a lot of time in my studio for the next few weeks. Last weekend was no different.
Most of Saturday I spent making this Lariamar pendant (please excuse the carpet background- I needed something light and I had only a few moments of sunlight left...so this had to do). I didn't sketch for this piece, which isn't terribly common for me. I felt inspired enough to just go for it. It was a studio session where ideas just came from the piece while I was working.

I thought I would do a neat cutout on the back to show a bit of both sides of the stone...
After I completed the cut outs, I soldered the bezel on and the idea of using a circular domed bail hit me. Its shape would mimic the cutouts and give uniform feel. The bail was a new style for me and there was a bit of trial and error that meant spending a lot of time on just this part.

Plus, it just seemed to be a bit of a stinker...move views...
Anyway, I am really happy with how it turned out. The studio session was also very satisfying because it was a raw creation in process- no plans, just go. I really love this bail setting and definitely plan to use it again.

Overall, this piece has a very modern clean feel to me...and with the circles it somehow has a 'cosmic' feeling. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Having Fun with my Dapping Block

My brother got me a great dapping block for christmas this year, and I have been playing with it quite a bit. For those of you who don't know, a dapping block is a usualy made of steel and/or wood. It allows you to form domes out of circular cut metal.

You may have seen this creation posted on FB;
I just love these new little stacking rings; simple but attractive. They are a good 'every day' accesory wether it be one or three together.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Couple Rings for RAW

Cute. Simple. Small.
A familiar design...Chocolate Coral

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Before and After - Better Photos for my Etsy

Recently my brother gave me a piece of advice about my photos. He said something along the lines of 'I'm not buying a rock' and that I have too much 'white space'. While the composition is good the subject material is not the main focus.

A successful Etsy seller once told me that customers will want to feel like they were holding my pieces. It was only after I spoke with my brother I knew what this Etsy seller really meant.

So...it was back to re-taking photos...AGAIN! Additionally, I should say that I only recently found a second macro setting my my camera. So this would also help me get even closer to my pieces. So I thought I would share some before (left) and afters (right) of photos...

Copper Disc Earrings
Mini Hoops in Copper
Orange Coral Ring
Rain Drop Earrings (I did keep the original for one of my views)
Spiney Oyster Hoops (have kept both photos)
Photo's are certainly a work in progress and I'm learning there is always room for improvement. I am happy about the progress, it means I'm working on #9 of my list of 11 goals for 2011, "Good, Consistant Photos"!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fossilized Coral Cocktail Ring

This weekend, when the snow descended upon us, I hunkered down in my studio for a few hours. I worked on the piece I plan to donate to the annual Greenhills fundraiser and a new ring.
Ever since joining the flicker group Ring a Week (RAW) I have been making a lot more rings- and loving it!


More Photos of this weekend's addition;
This ring features a patina finish and has a brushed texture. I absolutely LOVE this fossil. The colors, the shape, and it's history are just irresistible to me.

I bought the fossil as a pair, so my options are either to list this on Etsy and sell another ring (made to order) or to make a matching necklace (to keep for myself, naturally!). What do you think I should do?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Handmade Valentines - Part 2

Thanks to Olivia and Laura, we managed to make a super cute V-day gift for Brian and his design team. Inspired by this post, we set out to make pantone chip cookies. Olivia was gracious enough to host, and to make the cookies ahead of time.
Olivia had all sorts of colors...
and tools...
Pics along the way...mixing colors
frosting the chips...
All in all we mixed 24 different colors of pantone chips...
Since frosting takes about 8 hours to dry, I had to label the pantone chips on day 2. I got brian to help...
the first chip...
after all were labeled;
And of course it wouldn't be valentines day without a few hearts...mixing up more colors...
Some hearts inspired by pretty things (Olivia's, Laura's, Mine);
Or made for our boys;
 'Love is a Battlefield' inspired cookies;
All in all it was a lot of fun- we spent 5 hours decorating cookies! I am so grateful for the help I got- I wouldn't have been able to do it without you ladies! Thanks!

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