Monday, August 31, 2009

My First Give-a-way!!!! Last day to enter!

This is it folks! The last day to enter my first give-a-way. The winner will be announced tomorrow!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Creative Process

I love looking of photos that other bloggers post of different stages of their work. I like to get an idea of how they make things, and how long it takes to complete a piece.

These are photos of my latest project. Gold filled wire and orange chalcedony briolettes. One earring is completed, and the components to the 2nd earring are lying beside it. I am in the process of wire wrapping the large circle. I hope to get them completed tonight so I can start the necklace tomorrow.

The briolettes are so gorgeous. The gold and orange look great together and remind me of the upcoming Fall season. It's almost here. The color of the briolettes are amazing. The best way to describe them is to liken them to juicy nectarines. My first thought was that they were a vibrant peach color, but they are smooth and shiny more like the skin of a nectarine. I've never had a bead look juicy to me before, but these are plump, beautiful beads!

I stopped to add up how long it will take me to complete these. 4 hours. 4 hours???? That long, really? Hmmm... Maybe too many interruptions from the kids!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ruby Mountain Reviews- Mini Bath Cupcake Bomb Fizz Fizzy!

Click here for Etsy listing

While on Twitter on fine day, I began following a cute little cupcake with a cool name. MyOtherPrincess. It turns out that My Other Princess sells some delicious looking bath products. I immediately fell in love with the cupcake fizzies. Such an original idea! They look so much like the real thing, that when I showed them to my daughters, they thought they could eat them!

I ordered the custom set of 5 mini cupcakes. My princesses chose ice cream flavor with pink icing, pink cupcake, and pink cupcake liners! My package arrived today. Each mini cupcake was lovingly wrapped and tied with a piece of curling ribbon. If you didn't know, you would think that it was an actual cupcake. My 4 year old has been carrying hers around with her since she got it just waiting for bath time.

We also received a lovely sample of Peach Raspberry Goat's Milk soap that smells scrumptious, and of course my daughters love this as well. They are now speculating as to whether the seller has her own goat, and does she live on a farm? I haven't asked, but whether she owns a goat or not, MyOtherPrincess delivers the goods in the fizzy department! I am very pleased to have found these, and look forward to purchasing more. They would make great shower gifts, stocking stuffers, birthday gifts, the list goes on! When considering pampering yourself, or your little princess, consider MyOtherPrincess. You will be glad you did!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Weekend Deals!

As a part of Etsy's weekend deals, Ruby Mountain Beads is offering 10% off plus free shipping on all items in my shop!
Check it out! Be sure to mention you follow my blog in notes to seller to get this special deal! Refunds will be posted through Paypal the same day of purchase! Click Here to go to RubyMtnBeads on Etsy

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sera Earrings

Click Here for Etsy Listing

I just finished these up last night, took pictures and posted on Etsy today. I first listed them with a boring name. Red Coral Earrings. Blah! I have been trying lately to study my pieces and give them a fitting name.

After spending a couple of hours at the pool with my girls, and reading a new book, I was inspired to name these earring after one of the central characters in the book I am reading. The book is The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar.

A friend and I traded books a few days ago. I mainly read historical biographies, and historical fiction. I love the Tudor era, and read just about anything I can get my hands on about the time period. I don't stray too far off the historical path very often, but I am really enjoying this book so far. I wouldn't have picked it for myself, so I am thankful to have had it pointed out to me as a worthy read.

So here we have the Sera earrings. Wire wrapped with sterling silver wire, and oxidized. The beads are 3mm faceted, dyed red coral beads. They have a bit of an exotic feel to them and I think Sera suits them perfectly.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tiny Bubbles

Click Here for Etsy Listing

I had a bunch of extra jump rings laying around and decided to solder them together to form bubble clusters. These sterling silver earrings are light weight and fun! I hope you get a chance to check them out! I think they just might be the prize in my September give-a-way. What do you think?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My first give-a-way!!!!

Would you like a chance to win this pair of earrings? For free? It will only cost you a little of your time! From today through the end of August you can earn a chance to be entered in a drawing for these beautiful earrings! These earrings are your go-to accessory that will go with anything!

So what do you have to do to be entered in the drawing? Easy.

1) Follow this blog.

2) Join my Facebook fan page. (Look for Facebook Fanbox on this blog to become a fan)

3) Follow me on Twitter. (Look for the Follow Me buttons on this blog)

4) Post a message to me on this blog, Twitter, or Facebook to let me know you've joined! The more places you follow me, the more chances you get to win.

The winner will be announced on September 1st! Good Luck!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Charlotte Earrings

Don't forget to sign up for a chance to win a pair of sterling silver earrings! Click on My first give a way in the archive section of this blog for more details.

Click Here for Etsy Listing

I had this idea about a month ago that I would like to make at least one piece of jewelry featuring the birthstone of each month. The first pair of earrings I made for August was listed on Etsy on August 1st. They sold out in 3 hours! I was so pleased, but it left me wishing I had made more than one piece featuring Peridot.

Peridot is one of those gemstones that just shouts Summertime! These particular earrings were made with faceted rondelles. These are some of the prettiest gems I have seen in a long time. Just gorgeous!

They are typical of what I have been designing lately. Wire wrapped with sterling silver wire onto elongated tear drop shapes, on hand made ear wires. As I got further into the creative process, the silhouette of these earrings reminded me for some reason of Charlotte York. For those of you who are not Sex and the City fans, Charlotte is the prim and proper one. She is also my personal favorite. The reason these remind me of Charlotte, is because I have a vision in my head of a dress that she wore once. The dress was form fitting around her hips and ended in a little flair at the bottom. Just like these earrings.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hammered Sterling Silver Bracelet

My latest creation. I love this bracelet so much, I'm not sure I want to sell it! I have listed it on Etsy anyway though!
Click here for listing on Etsy

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ruby Mountain Reviews

Don't forget to enter my first give-a-way. Click on first give-a-way in the archive section of this blog for details!

Presenting a new feature on Ruby Mountain Beads blog! I will be reviewing hand made items that I purchase! The first product is Lemon Slice soap by DeShawn Marie.

I first found DeShawn Marie on Twitter. There are many wonderful artisans out there on Twitter, Facebook, Blogspot, etc. We are everywhere and have taken over every corner of the Blogosphere! DeShawn Marie's company became one that I quickly began to admire for her presentation of her product over the internet.

DeShawn Marie drew me in with her lovely images and descriptions of handmade soaps. There are almost as many soap artisans out there as there are jewelry artisans, but DeShawn Marie grabbed my attention right away. Once I had made the decision to purchase a bar, the difficulty came in deciding which scent I wanted. I decided to purchase Lemon Slice through DeShawn Marie's Etsy shop (Click Here to view listing)

The soap arrived in my mailbox quickly, and when I opened the package I was immediately impressed by the beautiful gold box with a custom DeShawn Marie sticker, and thank you letter (on letterhead!) that the soap came with. The soap itself was wrapped lovingly in tissue.

My little slice of lemon soap is as beautiful as the pictures. It smells wonderful, lathers well, and leaves my hands feeling oh so soft! I wouldn't hesitate to order from DeShawn Marie again, especially for gifts. I know that the gift the recipient will receive will be nothing but the best. Take a stroll through her shop! You will be happy that you did.

Spreading the handmade love has been a lot of fun and I am enjoying my purchase. Stay tuned for more reviews!

Monday, August 10, 2009

In search of better product shots....

Don't forget to sign up for a chance to win a free pair of earrings! Go to the Blog Archive section of this blog and click on My First Give-a-way for information on how to enter!

Click here for ebay listing by savingtosaving

I've struggled with product shots since I first started selling my jewelry on-line. I have been waging a constant up hill battle thinking that I could get good product shots as long as I just kept trying. Some of my photos turn out ok. Some, not so great.

I have read all the how-to articles about taking great product shots. Take your photos in natural sunlight. Don't use the flash on your camera. Use the Macro setting. Always use a tripod to eliminate hand shake and insure clear photos. Use a photo box. A photo box? Hmmm. The one thing I haven't tried yet!

So, the search began. I happened by chance to find a lovely and helpful soap maker on Twitter who has a shop at Etsy Suds By Sarah. She mentioned in a Tweet about getting a photo box from ebay and was excited to try it out. I have to say that she inspired me, and her photos look great! She also gave me a link to a DIY project listed on Etsy How to make a photo box.

I have to honestly say that while I consider myself to be quite crafty, and ordinarily would dive in and make one myself, I just don't have the strength to try to figure something else out. I have taken the easy way out and ordered the photo tent and light set you see in the picture. I can't wait to try it out. I really hope this will be the magic bullet for me and I will finally get photos that I am happy with.

When I decided to start selling my jewelry on-line, I really had no idea that there was going to be so much to learn! It has been an up and down process, but I feel like I am getting closer to what I would really like to present to the world with each project that I conquer! Stay tuned for photo updates once I get my photo tent!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What would you call this ear wire?

Click here to view listing on Etsy"

The shape of this ear wire is unusual in comparison to the typical fish hook or french ear wires you see on most jewelry. I'm having trouble deciding exactly what shape to call it. I settled on leaf shape.

There are only so many ways to bend a wire into a shape that can be called an ear wire. It is inevitable that there is going to be someone who already came up with a design that you thought was unique.

I have seen similar ear wires to this one on Etsy. One seller calls it "Elfin". Really cute name. I like it. They do resemble what we have come to think of as elf shaped ears. I also can see a leaf shape in them.

I am a bit of a Star Trek fan. Not a fanatic, but a fan. I have seen all of the television series, (except the original) and most of the movies. I have never been to a convention, nor do I plan on going to one. I haven't tried to learn how to speak Klingon, or dressed up like a Borg for Halloween. I did go see the latest Star Trek movie though, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially the young Spock played by Zachary Quinto. I have seen some of his other work, and photos, but he doesn't quite do anything for me unless he has those pointy ears!

Now can you see it? Shall I call them Vulcan ear wires? I think it is fun and a little nerdy, but I'm afraid most people wouldn't appreciate Vulcan ear wires, so I have settled on leaf shaped.

At any rate, they are a great ear wire. The shape is interesting and adds to the earring itself. The slight point at the top helps keep the ear wire right where it is supposed to stay. In the ear!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Can I call myself an artist?

The other day on Etsy I was reading some posts on one of the forums about metalworking. The contributors were mainly those who make jewelry from raw materials. They were a little upset that Etsy didn't offer better tags for describing the work of those who make items from scratch using only raw materials. There were also complaints about the misuse of tags by certain sellers.

Some of the remarks were a little denigrating. Referring to some sellers as "assembler's". It really got me to thinking. When I started out making jewelry, I would have called myself an assembler. I bought all commercially made beads, findings, etc. I put things together and called it jewelry.

Since I have started making jewelry again after a 6 year hiatus, I still do some "assembly" work. I have been working lately with more raw materials, mainly sterling wire. It is very satisfying to take a pile of wire and turn it into something beautiful. I have long wanted to try my hand at lampworking to make my own beads, and have been dreaming lately of working with sheets of silver, punches, and the like. Yesterday at the bookstore I started reading about Precious Metal Clay. The possibilities are endless. Too bad the funds to purchase the tools to work in these mediums isn't!

I did feel a twinge of resentment at the term "assembler". It made me feel like I couldn't be part of this elite group that considered themselves above those who "just put things together".
When writing my bio for either my blog, or Facebook page, or twitter, or Etsy, I find I have difficulty describing myself as an artist, or metal worker, or jewelry designer, or giving myself any kind of title really.

At what point will I be able to say I am an artist? I enjoy creating beautiful things. People have actually paid me for some of the things I create. When will I be able to say I'm an artist and feel like it is true? I'm not sure, but stay tuned!

Monday, August 3, 2009

On the Beach

A wee hermit crab that my husband found in the Gulf of Mexico. My daughter had a blast playing with it, but just for a little while! We soon returned him to his watery home!

This is the Pensacola Lighthouse in Pensacola, Florida. It was cloudy the day of our visit, but the view of the lighthouse from the beach was still awesome!

I have long had a thing for lighthouses. I dream of one day going on what I call "The Great American Lighthouse Tour". I would love to go all along the eastern seaboard from tip to top stopping at each lighthouse along the way. This of course also entails eating seafood at every stop!

It seems every beach we went to along the Alabama and Florida coast had these rickety little fences. You can see the lighthouse in the upper right hand corner of this picture. Look at that white sand!!! Yes! It is as soft as it looks! Super fine white sand, felt really great on the feet!

These are just a few pictures from our vacation to Orange Beach, Alabama. I highly recommend it! It was definitely the best beach experience I have had along the Gulf of Mexico. I also enjoyed eating the fresh seafood everyday. Especially the stuffed crab and crab cakes. Mmm, mmm, good!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Amala Earrings

These lovely earrings were the result of many hours of wrapping fine wire and Peridot beads. I had originally wanted to make a pair of earrings featuring Peridot since it is the birthstone for August.

I posted these to Etsy on Friday the 31st. They sold out within 3 hours! So much for having something for August! :)

I have been drawn lately to the tear drop shape as well as wire wrapping. As I began designing these, they began to take on an exotic feel, and reminded me of India. So, the Amala earrings were born. Amala means clean and pure in Hindi. A beautiful name for a beautiful pair of earrings.

I am tempted to make another pair. What do you think?

Also, notice my latest photo prop. A gorgeous starfish I purchased while on vacation at Orange Beach, AL. I am already getting the sense that summer is drawing to a close and Fall is just around the corner. I am hoping to use the starfish for a little bit longer!