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. 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!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Handmade Valentines- Part 1

This year Valentines has been a great excuse to get crafty, and boy have I been (see here and here)! I went to a workshop at Blue House instructed by the very friendly and talented Ashley from Again Goods. While there, I managed to make three great felted gifts.

One for Ava, her B-day is on Valentines after all! She could use this as a tag on her backpack or craft bag, or for whatever her imagination desires.
One for Brian- I resisted putting on hearts. I figure if I am to have a chance that he will use it, it better not have hearts! He could use this as a luggage tag, key chain, etc...
The last tag I admit I intend to keep for myself (hehe). This tag could be used on one of my crafty bags, luggage, or a key chain. I admit I was a bit rushed when making this one. It shows...I should really re-sew these on by hand instead of using the machine.

While at Blue House I spotted these absolutely adorable robots made by deets. Siobhan (from Blue House) told me that the creator is an engineer, but now makes art for a living. Awesome! 
When I saw them I just had to get one for Brian, it was quirky and the kind of thing he would appreciate. I figured Valentines is as good of an excuse as any to give him a small trinket. 

Over the summer I went to the Shadow Art Fair, where I scored some hand illustrated cards. One of them I have been holding on to for Valentines to give to Bri;
Did you make something for Valentines? Or maybe you were the recipient of a handmade gift? Please share in the comments below!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fabric Flowers for Ava

I decided I would use my nieces upcoming 4th birthday as an opportunity to try this tutorial on fabric flowers. My intention is to make headbands and/or hair clips out of them. 
It was a little harder than I anticipated to add 'dimension' by creasing the instead I got out my curling iron. Yup, that's right! I used it to curl the peddles up and down on different layers. It gives it a sightly different look than the original flowers, but still cute.
More flowers...
...and this one...
last but not least...
I ended up making 5 of which is a little sad looking (note to self- thin petals don't work so well), here is how that one turned out...
Plenty for both my nieces! Still need to get hair clips and/or head bands to attach them, but I'm thinking if nothing else works, a hot glue gun will!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

DIY Heart Tutorial

I was asked to give a bit more detail on how to make these hanging here I go! I only made 2 sizes of hearts, but if you wanted to make other sizes you'd just need to experiment. Also, I used what I had around, so I'm sure if you wanted to substitute something fancier than sewing thread that could be done too!

Supplies Needed:
Craft paper (12x12 sheet)
Mod Podge (or any craft glue, not sure if a glue stick would work)
binder clips
Sewing thread
Sewing needle
Hole punch

1. For the larger hearts, cut strips of 12" long craft paper 1" wide. Smaller hearts are 6" long by 1"wide. Fold each strip in half.
2. To thread 3 hearts in a row, cut a piece of sewing thread about 3 ft in length, tie a loop at one end (this will be the top of the raining hearts).

3. Originally I either tied a bunch of knots over each other or taped thread between punch hole remnants. I think it's best to sew through a punch hole remnant (see photo) as it is less likely to go through the paper when you pull the thread taught. You could easily substitue a decorative bead or something else in place of the punch hole.
4. At the fold of the heart insert the threaded needle and pull the thread through so the loop and threaded hole punch is on top of the heart.
5. Apply craft glue to the insides of the bottom of the heart (the point), pull the thread taught to form the heart and secure the string and glued ends with a binder clip.
At this point I usually start another strand to give the the glue time to dry.
6. Once the craft glue has dried, remove the binder clip.

7. Re-thread the needle using the string under the first heart and repeat from step 3 above.

Double Heart Instructions are the same as above except you insert the needle through two strips of paper (one strip is 12" the other is 6") at once.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Countdown to Valentines

It's not too late! You still have 1 week left until Valentines. Here is a list of great handmade gifts for your sweetheart this year. If your in the mood for some DIY, there is something here for you too!

Gifts For Him:
Why not a pair of quality hand made cufflinks?
He can even wear them out to the fancy Valentines dinner you will have!

Or maybe it's time for a new wallet
Brian treated himself to a wallet from this shop, and  I was really impressed with the quality workmanship. The detail from construction to packaging was top notch.

Want to support a local artist? Check out this shop, featuring this tee among many others.
You can find him on Etsy as well as Robot Shop and Vault Of Midnight.

For Her:
Ok, so I could just direct you to my shop, but you probably already know what I have to offer. Looking for something other than jewelry?
I have personally enjoyed these candles, they have a great fragrance and last a long time.

Brian bought me a pouch from one of my favorite Etsy shops for Christmas.
I just LOVE my pouch (it is blue with a jellyfish) and bonus- she makes her items with recycled materials!

I'm also a huge fan a loose teas (ok not EXACTLY hand made). I have had the pleasure of tasting few teas from Tea Haus in Ann Arbor. To my surprise I really loved Autumn Spice, which features fennel, anise, clove, and orange peel. This is a great option if you looking for something local and tasty that won't break the bank.

Feelin' Crafty:

From one of my favorite blogs, I found a number of DIY projects that could be used for Valentines. One is a fabric heart garland. If you didn't want to go all out and make a garland, a single heart would be great for a finishing touch on gift packaging, like this one that I made...
If your in the mood for some something sweet, these truffles are super easy and people always ask me for the recipe. I've topped them with crushed peppermint and coconut, both were great.
(photo from Real Simple)
Or maybe you don't have a valentine? In that case, why not treat yourself to some homemade infused vodka. Yum!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Copper Earrings a Bust

I started these long ago (construction in early June 2010 BEFORE my summer vaca- yikes!). You see, when I first soldered the silver pebble in place they were fine....but no, I had to be a perfectionist and try and adjust them ever so slightly.

Foolish me!

This caused silver solder to go everywhere. I spent a fair amount of time trying to sand them...but now they've been unfinished for far too long. The truth is I kind of gave up on them, at least this pair.

I still like the design, they remind me of abstract flowers or a symbol of fertility. Me thinks I will try again...from scratch.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's raining...hearts?

Over the weekend I managed to get my paper craft on AND take photos. These were inspired by some finds on Etsy and by these decorations I made around Christmas.
I sorta winged it and tried two different ways of making them. I learned two important things;
1. knots work better on top (pink heart, right) than double sided tape between two punch hole remnants (red heart w/blue & white interior, left).

2. use mod podge (and clips while they dry) instead of double sided tape to hold the bottom of the hearts together (or else risk the tension of the paper pulling on the sting, resulting in a malformed heart).

These are currently adorning our dining area, but I will be making a few more for my nieces 4th birthday (which happens to fall on Valentines day).

Find me...


I Took The Handmade Pledge!