Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Morning Coffee and Etsy - 04/26/09

Another lovely spring morning is at hand, I'm on my second cup of coffee, and looking at my last tulip yielding the spotlight to Miss Nelly Moser. It's been a lovely spring for tulips here because of the unusually cold winter, and I've enjoyed every minute of their beauty.

I'll soon be heading down to the studio, and no, I'm not going to do my growing pile of dishes first. I've been catching up on twitter and facebook, and life in general after two months of being crazy busy. I'm still slightly behind, but not hopelessly so anymore. I have learned my lesson about keeping inventory on hand for wholesale orders rather than trying to fit them in and still keep up with regular and custom orders. Things have been slow in my Etsy shop for last week, so I should be able to work on several new designs I've got in progress soon. I've been having much fun with a custom ring shank design, which has now inspired a new pendant idea that I'm itching to do, too. I love when that happens!

Onward to the shopping for new Etsy treasures! I'm in the mood for an earring party today after finding these completely gorgeous earrings from Designs by Autumn. They were created with stunning multicolored sapphires, and I just love the design, it reminds me of bejeweled angel wings!

Another lovely I found in Autumn's shop is the gorgeous Paradise Reef necklace with yummy larimar and white coral. Just wow! And there's a bonus - the parts are interchangeable and can be worn in 4 different ways, from the single starfish to the full pendant shown here - great idea!

Then I found this great pair of pink and white lampwork saucer beads just perfect for a pair of earrings in my fellow Team Wetsy member's shop, Starlight Designs. I love the cranberry and white twisted stringer around the edge, they look good enough to eat!

I made a pair of golden grains earrings recently for a customer, and it reminded how much I love working with gold. I wish the price would go down so I can buy some gold wire and sheet. I'm starting to eye my gold jewelry and wonder how many things I could make if I melted it!

I found these gorgeous gold and emerald earrings in 2 Trick Pony's shop (gotta love that name!), who creates in a solar studio. I love the design on these and and warm glow of the gold that reminds me of a well loved heirloom.

Another pair of earrings that has the look of an heirloom is the lovely Yetkatarina Earrings from M. Augusta Woodland's shop. Such lovely colors and beauty with a slight touch of rustic. These so need to be hanging from my ears!! They also remind me that I need to get out my Russian filigree DVD and give it a whirl. I have wanted to do it for two years now, and it's time to get started.

I did actually buy a new pair of earrings recently, that I completely love - these beauties by Beth from her Mermaid's Den shop, one of my Team Wetsy and Wet Canvas friends. They are really beautiful, such a great design and workmanship!! Now I want more in different colors!

It's time for me to get the day started, so I'm going to go put on my new earrings and get going. 'See' you all later!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Night at 1000 Markets

Hi all! I sure hope everyone's Saturday has been as glorious as mine has. I am postively reveling in the first really warm weather of the year, and the garden is too!

I spent some time playing with my camera and taking photos of my lovely Nelly Moser clematis, just coming into her own this year. I planted her last June, and have been anticipating these spectacular pink blooms ever since. I suspect there are several pieces of jewelry-to-be that will be inspired by her!

Flowers always make me wish I could paint. In my imagination, I can create masterpieces like Mary Ellen Golden's gorgeous work in watercolor.

I fell in love with her painting style the instant I saw it. Her painting titled 'Spring Glories' makes me want to plant a white camelia to keep my pink one company. Camelias are such gorgeous plants that are the first hint of the coming spring. Another painting of Mary Ellen's that I love is her 'Monarch' piece with the beautiful purple of asters against the hot orange Monarch butterfly.

Mary Ellen lives on the North Carolina coast, and her oceanscapes are truly mesmerizing to me. She perfectly captures the liquid beauty of the waves in motion, and I particularly love the colors in her skies. I think my favorite is 'Sunrise Flight' - so peaceful and serene. I think it's time for me to visit the ocean and take a walk on a beach like this!

And speaking of the beach, one of the new members of the Wearable Art market, 360 Jewels, has the most spectacular spinning ring I've ever seen in the same gorgeous liquid blue that I love in Mary Ellen's beach paintings.

The name '360 Jewels' represents their philosophy that jewelry should be beautiful no matter from which direction it is viewed. Each piece is a lovely little sculpture adorned with the finest gems.
Another piece I love is the Amethyst Pyramid Treasure Ring. What a treasure indeed in the loveliest shade of purple! I just can't stop looking at either one of these beauties!

The second new member at the Wearable Art market is Laura Timmins, who creates stunning jewelry in polymer clay. Since I'm still in a 'beachy' mood, I'm especially attracted to her gorgeous 'Ocean' collection of pieces.

The detail she has created in color and pattern is nothing short of amazing in this pendant that captures the feel of a breaking wave perfectly. I can almost feel the spray on my face!

There is also a pair of matching earrings, which I just might have to have one of these days.....

On that note I am off to bed, dreaming of oceans and earrings and a full day in the studio tomorrow. Pictures soon!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday Night at 1000 Markets - 04/18/09

The new category shopping has been live for about a week now at 1000 Markets, and when combined with the ability to search within a category, finding just what your heart desires is now a piece of cake!

What my heart desired this week was color and enameled jewelry. I've always admired the technique of enameling, and as I progress further in my own metalwork, I can feel the need to embellish with color getting stronger and stronger. I purchased Linda Darty's book, The Art of Enameling: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration just to see if it is something I can add to my work without breaking the bank. I haven't had time to do much other than skim, but it looks like torch enameling is going to be what I try first.

I decided to see what enameled lovlies I could find (jewelry, of course) so I went to the jewelry category, then did a category search on the word enameled. What inspiration I found!!

Bullfinch & Barbury's shop caught my eye right away because of the name - I automatically love anything that even sounds English (I'd so love to live there!) The shop is filled with simply luscious cuffs in every color of the rainbow.

Her work is beautiful, yet with a touch of shabby chic. It's hard to pick a favorite, but at this moment, I think the lovely English Orchard enameled bracelet set is my choice. Delightful shades of orange, pink, cranberry, green and purple grace a stack of 5 fabulous bangles. Another piece I love is the spectacular green moth that I found in her post on "Beautiful Bugs". This pendant is just stunning, and in my favorite shade of green, to boot.

Another shop filled with 'to die for' enamel work is Kyle Anne Metals, where I found this elegant cherry blossom in a dreamy opalescent pink on pure sky blue. Heavenly, to say the least! Kyle Anne uses the cloisonne technique in her enameled pieces, creating intricate and beautiful detail in her designs.

Another piece I really love is her classy little Fantastically Deco pendant in black and white.

These pieces are but a small taste of the wonderful world of enameling. I'll be exploring further over my morning coffee as I think about adding color to my work. Here are a few more places to visit for inspiration and info....

Glass on Metal magazine
Ganoksin article - Enameling Copper Balls
Ganoksin article - Torch Fired enamel

Well, I'd better get busy down in the studio and stop playing around here on the computer. Much to do today!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm Back from my little "Blog Vacation"....

I thought it was time to wave a virtual 'hello' to everyone! I took a teeny little 'vacation' from my computer this past week to tend to gardening and working through my backlog of bench work deadlines. I've made lovely progress in the garden, chasing weeds, trimming last year's dead flower stalks and uncovering this year's new growth. It seems my two pink rugosa's did make it through the drought after all, and they are freshly trimmed and growing beautifully. My rosemary came through the cold winter, too. New green needles are peeking out out from the brown ones I feared were dead. And my viburnum bushes are in full fragrant bloom. This weekend I'm going to plant my broccoli, radishes, and maybe even my beans.

As for meeting all my jewelry deadlines, I'm almost there - here are a couple pictures of yesterday afternoon's work in progress, and a pile of pieces nearing completion. I think I will actually be fully caught up in a couple more days, even with my custom orders - yay!

While I've been working, I've had several new ideas that I just can't wait to start working on, and I've also been experimenting more with fusing copper, since I had a couple of little fused copper hoop earrings to make. Here's yesterday's little pile of fused copper circles - only two failures, probably because the joint wasn't flush enough. I wondered if using flux would make it fuse better, but I found that it actually seemed to make it worse, which is great because it saves a step.

Another thing I noticed is that if it looks like the joint is going to pull apart, if you pull away the heat it will often "swell" and fuse together just fine. Interesting.

I hope everyone who celebrates Easter had a wonderful holiday! Saturday Night at 1000 Markets and Sunday Morning Coffee and Etsy will be back with flying colors this weekend. I've found some wonderful goodies that I can't wait to show everyone. See you all soon!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday Night at 1000 Markets - 04/04/09

Things are still really hopping this week at 1000 Markets! The new ability to shop by Category is still being tweaked until is perfect. Much hard work has been put in by everyone involved and it shows! It is so much fun to be involved in the beginnings of what is sure to be a wildly successful site after the official launch.

There is also a lot going on at the great market where I am proud to be a member - the Wearable Art Market. The big event this week is our first Sunday Night at the Market event, and you are all invited - hope to see you there! Here is the official invitation and link to the forum:

One of the most special things about 1000 Markets is the way the format encourages everyone to get to know the people behind the art!

With that in mind, the artists of the Wearable Art Market will be getting together Sunday evening and we'd love to have you join us!

Art will be the subject of course-- inspiration, latest ambitions, recent successes-- or works in progress-- general levels of creativity, chocolate addictions-- Who knows what else and where it will lead? Join us and find out!

The thread will be in the Wearable Art Market public forum-- on Sunday April 5th, 7 EST, 6 central, 5 mountain and 4 pacific till whenever!

Just jump right in with your own comments and observations (or questions if you're a wearable art fan) and help us make this first Sunday Night at the Market a grand success!

I'd also like to introduce our two new members who joined the market this past week - Carol Dean Sharpe of Sand Fibers (I am the proud owner of two of her gorgeous peyote braclets, and 3rd on the way - yay!) and Rachele Dagley of Rachele's Originals. These two bead artists have simply gorgeous work.

My favorite piece in Rachele's shop is her Splendor Beadwoven Cabochon Necklace with an Ammonite as the focal point. The warm colors in this piece are truly splendid, indeed!

Another piece I particularly love is the Crystal & Bugle Beadwoven Bracelet. Those blue crystals are mesmerizing with the brown bugle beads!

Carole's work has long been a favorite of mine, and I love how she incorporates bold geometrics in her pieces. Check out the gorgeousness (is that a word?) of her Elegant Undulations cuff. I might have to add this one to my collection!

And then we have the stunning Youthful Fancy Necklace. The colors here are just delicious, and the mix of materials is a fascinating mix of raku, cotton batik and 'iris bronze' delica seed beads.

I'm about ready to turn in for the night - hope you all had a great Saturday, and hope to see you tomorrow at the Wearable Art Sunday Night at the Market. Again, the thread will be in the Wearable Art Market public forum-- on Sunday April 5th, 7 EST, 6 central, 5 mountain and 4 pacific till whenever!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

This week at the bench...

I decided that since my jewelry bench is not the prettiest sight in the world, I'd use my garden bench instead. It looks so different each week, I thought it would be a fun way to keep an ongoing diary of this year's garden. Those tulips went into my Sunday bouquet, and there is another batch almost ready to bloom. And my big bulb bed in front of my house is blooming its little heart out, too. Photos soon!

Inspired by all this spring beauty, I woke up yesterday morning with the solution to something I've been pondering for almost a year. (yes, my brain is a bit slow sometimes - I think I need some ginkgo or something!) I love lampwork, and I have a lot of great friends from Wet Canvas who make gorgeous beads, and I need a way to showcase them so I can buy more!

I bought these sherbet colored lovlies from Gwen of Valley Creek Studio last June(!!) and have been trying to figure out how to do them justice ever since. Impatient sort that I am, after waking up with the idea, I went straight downstairs still in my jammies and proceeded to make the pendant frame. Then I found that the wire was too thick for the Gwen's beads, so I put my beads from Shirley of Jumping Jack Glass on it. It still needs a bit if polishing and filing, plus a decision on the chain. I'd like to make a handmade loop-in-loop chain or perhaps beads. I'm thinking maybe amethyst and citrine beads would be stunning. Anyway, this one will be called Spring Celebration, and I can't wait to get it finished!

This has given me the idea now to build a custom frame based on the the inspiration I get from each set of beads that I use, so each piece will be one of a kind. The next one with slightly thinner wire for Gwen's sherbet beads is already forming in my head, and I can't wait to get to work on it while I'm working on customer orders. I'm finally getting efficient enough to work new pieces in between my ongoing orders, and not get too terribly behind - yay! Now if I can figure out how to work in bookkeeping, housework and gardening I'll be all set, ha ha.

That's it for now. Today is custom ring day after a quick batch of necklaces and earrings. Talk to you later!