Saturday, January 30, 2010

A taste of home

I got a belated Christmas gift in the mail this week from my Mom. Two fat pouches of pine nuts. Every year at Christmas time growing up, we always had pine nuts. I have vague memories of going out and tromping through the hills in the snow in search of pine cones, or maybe it was Christmas trees. I don't remember exactly which it was. I must have been very young.

When my mom came at Thanksgiving I started dropping hints that I sure would like to have some pine nuts for Christmas. I haven't been able to find them in the shells here in Texas. They sell pine nuts in the bulk section at Central Market, but they are already shelled. Where is the fun in that?

The weather is freezing today in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, but my kitchen is warm and bursting with the smell of pine sap from roasting the pine nuts. My girls and I are happily eating our little treasures. I took a picture to share with you, too bad you can't reach in and grab a warm handful!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Arsenic and Old Lace

Growing up, my Mom always loved to watch old movies. One of my favorites was always Arsenic and Old Lace with Cary Grant. When I finished this ring, the name Arsenic and Old Lace just popped into my head, and I've not been able to think of this ring by any other name since. So. There it is.

The filigree against the oxidized sterling just gives this ring a whole dark lace vibe. I love the contrast between the lacy beauty of the filigree and the darkness of silver and the garnet.

Making this ring was an absolute joy for me. Everything went perfectly. My solder flowed, my pieces stayed in place. I can honestly say this ring is my best workmanship metalsmithing wise to date.

Unfortunately the piece I made right after this one didn't work out quite as well. But we won't mention that now will we?

Arsenic and Old Lace is in the Etsy shop. She is a US size 8. I am already envisioning earrings, pendants and bracelets with this same pattern!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Finding my metalsmithing legs?

Ever hear the saying "find your sea legs" when becoming accustomed to being on a boat? Well, I am finding my metalsmithing legs. It took me almost a week after my beginning metalsmith class to pick up the torch again. I guess I still have a little bit of apprehension. I've decided that i just have to dive in and start making things if I ever want to find my metalsmithing legs.

So, here is the first of my offerings for the shop. I have named her Aiyana. It is a Native American name meaning forever flowering, eternal blossom.

It is a beautiful name, and fits this silver blossom perfectly. It will forever flower, preserved in sterling silver and Arizona turquoise.

I'm headed to the Etsy shop now to list it, and then on to other less exciting chores before picking up my torch again.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The custom order that very nearly killed me, and a quick preview

The custom order was for " silver earrings, about the size of a quarter, with a starburst pattern and a cubic zirconia in the middle". Sure, no problem. I can do that. NOT. Well almost not. I did get them made, and I am very happy with the results, but they really were almost the death of me. I won't tell you how many times I had to redo them. Let's just say the saying, "third time is the charm!" had real meaning for me! :)

Hammered sterling hearts with garnets. I love this length of earring. I just think it is so sexy. I'm not entirely thrilled with the pics I took, so I will probably take some more before they make it into the shop.

I made several of these little gemstone drop button earrings. They are perfect for daily wear, just change out the color to match whatever you're wearing. Simple and understated, but oh so pretty! Again, not thrilled with the pics. I'm in a rush this morning.

I've finally finished all custom and regular orders!!!! Yay, nothing that I HAVE to get done, but plenty I need to do, like clean my workspace. It looks like a tornado hit it. Now that I have a little breather, I would like to design a ring using this gorgeous turquoise I bought during my metalsmithing class. But, then again, taxes are calling me. That and my husband is getting mighty anxious for me to get it done!

Monday, January 18, 2010

My first fully metalsmithed ring..

I have a million and one things to do after being gone all weekend at my beginning metalsmithing class. I want to tell all about it, I just don't have the time right now. That, and I'm trying to absorb everything. All I can say is that our instructor turned everything I ever thought I knew about metalsmithing on it's ear.

So, very quickly, I took a couple of photos of my masterpiece.

The stone is.....Carnelian. Surprise, surprise. I am so drawn to carnelian these days, I just can't seem to get away from it, so I will enjoy it until the next stone obsession comes along.

This ring is big. And pretty heavy. I feel it weighing my hand down as I type. I suspect the weight will take some getting used to since I don't usually wear big rings. But I am so proud. I learned so much. I have even more to contemplate. More soon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Gemstone Rondelles!







My new beads just came in the mail today!!!! Faceted rondelles! My favorites. These stones are so gorgeous. I can't wait to work with them. I'm going to be keeping some for myself, and putting the surplus in my Ruby Mountain Bead shops on Etsy and ArtFire. Be looking for them soon!

Ruby Mountain Beads turns verified at ArtFire!

Boring post without pictures. For those of you unfamiliar with ArtFire, it is a online handmade marketplace similar to Etsy. There is a battle between which is the preferred place to set up shop. They each have their advantages, and I honestly haven't invested enough time at ArtFire to form an opinion of my own yet.

I set up a basic account for both of my shops at ArtFire months ago. I've not had any sales over there, but also haven't put any time into promoting it. ArtFire's biggest draw for sellers is the no listing and no selling fees. They charge a flat rate of $ 12 a month. Etsy charges 20 cents to list an item, and charges something like 3.9% for each sale.

The way the system works at Etsy, is to keep yourself current, and hopefully get noticed, you have to constantly renew your items. 20 cents a pop. It doesn't seem like much, but believe me, it adds up. Don't get me wrong, I still love Etsy, and wouldn't even consider leaving there. I'm just looking for other avenues for my business, and I really feel like ArtFire is up and coming in the on-line handmade marketplace. I have a feeling it is still a few years out, but I'm kicking myself for not having discovered Etsy sooner. I don't want to make the same mistake again.

I'm sure ArtFire has some little tricks and ins and outs I need to learn, so it will be an adventure for sure!

So, you can now find my artisan findings, commercial beads, and a few jewelry pieces at ArtFire as well as Etsy. I have added the ArtFire kiosk to my blog at the right ->->->->->->

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Thinking of to do's........

1. Add widget to my blog so customers can view and buy directly off of my blog.
2. Start working more with Flickr. Both for my business, and personal pictures.
3. Start a line of gold filled ear wires.
4. Start doing our taxes :( Bluck!
5. Take pictures of beads and list them at Ruby Mountain Beads.
6. Continue with my heart series for Valentines.

All things I need to do, however lack of time will probably force me to narrow this list down. Time is flying away from me!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sealed with a kiss....

Told you I've been thinking about Valentine's Day! :) I'll be posting it in the shop later tonight!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My how time flies....

Where in the world is time going? There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish what I want/need to. I've been trying to get back into a routine after having hubby and the girls home for the past two weeks. I got a little too used to sleeping in! It has been hard to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Luckily the girls are adjusting well, I guess it's just me that is having a hard time!

I finally finished my Pretty Purple Posies. I'm thrilled with how these turned out, and I am already picturing incarnations of this design in all different colored gems. They aren't heavy, they have elements of dark and light, yet still pretty and feminine. They hang perfectly from ear wires soldered directly to the posy. I love them.

I'm having a devil of a time getting clear shots of these. I don't know what the deal is. It's like my camera just can't focus. Anyway....this is as good as it's going to get folks.....

Yikes! I just looked at these, and they are worse than I thought! I'm going to have to keep working on these pics before I can list them in the shop. :( Oh well.

I'm also trying to do some Valentines related items. I love having a theme. My mind is abuzz with all the heart/love possibilities. I am trying not to get frustrated about not having the time to get them all done though. But, anyway, here is my first heart themed piece.

I'm still trying to come up with a good name. Something about a love token though. Kisses and Hugs, or I don't know. It will come to me. I have a project on the bench right now, that if it turns out the way I want, it will be SWEET! So, see you in a few days with that one (I hope!).
Well, off to pick up my oldest from school!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sneaky Peaky

I've been practicing my self portraits again. I am unhappy to report that I am only getting slightly better at it! I was dying to share my latest project. I only have one earring finished, so this is just a little sneaky peaky at my new pretty purple posy earrings. It's hard to tell in the photo, but the stone is a deep purple amethyst. Beautiful!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!! Here's to 2010!!!

My first new posting for 2010. Sterling initial pendant, 3/4" including the bail.

I woke up to a pleasant surprise this morning. My best customer helped me get one more sale out of 2009! I don't think I blogged about her purchase, but here it is:
Romance Stackers featuring sterling rosettes and 8mm Carnelian

I really love these rings, and I am even more in love with Carnelian. Such a beautiful stone! I am making more for sure. With Valentines Day just around the corner, I am taking full advantage of being able to make stuff that is romantic and full of hearts and other frilly things.

I raise my glass to all of you! Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!!!!!!!