Friday, October 30, 2009

Ruby Mountain Reviews- Suds by Sarah

Click on the following link to visit Suds by Sarah at her Etsy shop!

When I joined Twitter several months back, I began following several soap sellers. They are as numerous as jewelers! Each with their own styles, use of ingredients, etc.

I will never forget Sarah of Suds by Sarah. I had tweeted one day asking for advice about taking product shots, and Sarah had told me that she had recently purchased a light box from Ebay, and also gave me some great pointers with how to use it. Sarah and I have both admitted that we have neglected to keep up with Twitter, but I haven't forgotten her or her great products!

I ordered the two soaps pictured above. On the left we have Cinnabun Soap Cake, and on the right Grannie's Pumpkin Cookies Soap Cake. Oh my gosh. They smell so good, and leaves my skin feeling silky smooth. I absolutely love the scents I chose. So reminiscent of my favorite Fall scents!

I love the way the soap came packaged. Wrapped in wax coated brown paper bag with individual labels listing the ingredients of each bar and tied with a piece of raffia. So rustic and natural. And the goodies didn't stop there. Sarah sent me a dozen little samples, and I have to say I can't find one that I don't love. My daughter's especially love the samples, they think the small size is wonderful. Everything was packaged and sent in the most wonderful protective mailer I've ever seen.

I am making a huge sacrifice and giving the bar of Grannie's Pumpkin Cookies Soap Cake to a friend as a small hostess gift. Which brings me to the point that hand made soap makes excellent gifts! Very affordable and unique. And who doesn't need soap?

Check out Suds by Sarah, you will be glad you did!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hand Stamped Dog Tag Necklace

My first attempt at a dog tag style necklace. I like this style, but my stamping needs a little work. I'd be happier if the letters were a little straighter.

I made this for my daughter's friend. She is a bit of a tomboy and thought she would like the dog tag style, I just had to girly it up a little with the hearts though.

The hearts are a new technique I haven't decided if I like or not yet. After stamping the heart I etched a pattern into the metal, then gave it an antique finish.

The style is a keeper, I just need to work on executing it better!

The coolest thing that has happened to me as a jeweler,,,

I woke up this morning to a sale, which is always a good thing. I discovered the coolest thing that has happened to me as a jeweler though when I checked my Etsy convo's.

The woman who purchased this necklace is expecting her first child. She and her husband are adopting. She has plans to have three of these necklaces made with birthstones representing the birth Mother, herself and the baby. The birth mother, her daughter and herself will all have a matching necklace.

I got chills reading about it. I feel so honored to be a part of something so special. And a little pressure to get it just right when I make these!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

We took the girls to the pumpkin patch last Friday night. They had a lot of fun. Face painting, hay ride, corn maze, kettle corn. This week is a whirlwind already leading up to Halloween. The girls each have functions at school that require them to wear some sort of costume.

Friday night we're going to a Halloween party where we are each supposed to dress up like someone famous who shares our name. So really, how many famous Amy's are there? I'm thinking of Amy Fisher the Long Island Lolita. I'm pretty sure I still remember how to do my hair 90's style. Lots of hairspray right? Anyone have any better ideas?

I had big plans to document the process of making hand stamped jewelry. I have gotten too caught up in getting my orders completed instead of taking pictures of the process. I'll try to get some more pictures of the creative process. I really do want you to see just how ugly and messy making jewelry can be. It is always amazing to me how beautiful a finished piece can be when you've seen your silver all black, covered in firescale, scratched, crooked, etc....during the actual making of the piece.

I am just aching to do something new. I just can't work on anything new when I know I have orders that come first. The guilt!!! I really am hoping to get caught up so I'll have time to play.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Making a Hand Stamped Disc Necklace-Part 1

For those of you who aren't jewelers, I thought I would document the process of making a hand stamped disc necklace. This will have to be done over several postings. In the photo above, you see my disc cutter and a sheet of sterling silver. I forgot to put my big ugly hammer in the picture, but it is a big heavy beast. It takes some muscle to get those discs cut!

This is what it looks like right before I go to hammering. I set the disc cutter on top of a wooden block on my bench and go to whacking!

And here we have the disc. If you look closely you can see the jagged edge on the disc (click on the photo and it will zoom in). The next step is removing the most jagged of the edges with a Dremel. One day I hope to be a big girl jeweler and have a flex shaft, but my Dremel does the trick for now.

I'm sure my customers wonder what takes so long to have their necklace made. I do it all assembly line style, except that I am the only one on the line! I cut all the discs first, sand them all, first with the Dremel and then by hand. My next post will cover sanding and the following stages.

So far, I am completely self taught. I'm taking a beginning metalsmithing class in January. I can't wait! So I will pass on to you the few tips I have learned concerning the disc cutter. Invest in a good one! This one was $50, and it is ok for now. The 5/8" disc cutter isn't quite machined straight, and I can't use it. I can already see a new disc cutter in my future. Hopefully this one will see me through for awhile.

Tip #2, always use it on a very stable surface. I started out using it on my kitchen counter because it is higher than my bench, and I could get better leverage with the hammer. There was too much bounce in the counter top though and I got my metal stuck in the disc cutter several times. I moved to the work bench, and it is so much better! Even if it hurts my back a little!

Coming up next, sanding and finishing the disc to prepare it for stamping!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My new haul!

Still trying to get all my orders filled from last weekend, and true to form, instead of working here I am at the computer!

I wanted to take a quick minute to show off my new haul. I am so excited, and my mind is churning with new projects.

The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight is a wealth of information, and I've barely cracked the surface of it. I know I am going to LOVE this book!

See my new ring mandrels and ring sizers? I've also bought plenty of wire to play at making some wire wrapped rings. The silver sheet is spoken for with hand stamped jewelry, and the copper is for practice.

Back to work! I really want to play with my new tools!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Custom Hand Stamped Jewelry with Birthstones ~ Even more New Designs!

I have introduced my new line of custom hand stamped jewelry before, but I have come up with some new designs that I am really excited about! The only example I have left to do in Sterling Silver is the disc that is still left in copper! I have plans to make myself one as soon as my silver order comes in.

These are 2 1/2" discs in sterling silver with gemstone birthstones. These little discs will only hold 4 characters each.

This pendant is made of two discs stacked together. The smaller disc is 6/8" and the larger 1".

This is a 1" disc with 2 longer names stamped on it, and a heart at the bottom. I would add the birthstone gemstones to this as well.

This is a 1" disc with 4 names stamped on it. I made this one for my sister as a family necklace. It is stamped with her husband's name, her name, and the names of her 2 daughters on it.

This disc is 7/8", and works well with longer names. This one has the birthstone gem, and a little sterling heart charm. So sweet!

I stamped this necklace with the initials of my Mom's grandchildren. Each disc measures 3/8". They are spaced by a bar and link chain, the links measure about an inch long.

I love this bracelet! It is the perfect size to accommodate the larger discs, and I can load this baby up with up to seven discs! The discs shown are 6/8".

This necklace is made up of 3 discs that measure 6/8". The sterling silver spacer beads space the discs perfectly to keep them from overlapping. (this necklace can only be made using the 1mm or 1.5mm cable chain)

The kids want in on the action too! I made this little id bracelet for my 7 year old daughter. Her favorite color is pink, so I used 4mm Rose colored Swarovski Crystals on a sterling silver chain. This could be made with the gemstones, or swarovski crystals. The gemstones are $ 4.00 a piece, and the crystals are $ 5.00 for all of them. The base price for the bracelet without the gems or crystals, including the silver name plate is $ 20.00

I made this one for my youngest daughter, it has her name, with 2 birthstones.

A small rectangle with a 6mm Swarovski Crystal. You can choose a gem if you prefer, or the sterling heart, or both.......

This is a sterling silver heart with birthstones. I can put children's birthstones, the whole family, the birthstones of your wedding party, grandchildren, whatever you desire!

This is a dog tag style necklace that I made for one of my daughter's friends. Hand stamped with name, and a small heart. Topped with two gems in favorite colors. Hangs from a 1mm sterling ball chain. The tag measures 6/8" long. $32

Another dog tag style for a friend of my daughter's. This one is 7/8" long. $ 35

This one was a custom order, the photos show the chain at 16" and 18". I love the chain on this one! $ 82

Here is a picture of the gemstone birthstones that I have in stock. They measure anywhere from 3.5mm to 4 mm. They are small, but are genuine gemstones. They are from left to right,

January- Garnet
February- Amethyst
March- Aquamarine
April- White Topaz
May- Emerald
June- Moonstone
July- Ruby
August- Peridot
September- Sapphire
October- Pink Tourmaline
November- Citrine
December- Apatite

Pricing List:

Sterling Silver Discs:

3/8" 1 initial $ 8.00
1/2" 4 characters $ 9.00
6/8" 7 characters $ 10.00
7/8" 10 characters $ 11.00
1" up to 23 characters $ 12.00

Sterling Heart Pendant (pendant only, no gems added, no chain added)

$ 20.00

Sterling Silver Chain with Lobster Claw Clasp:

16-18" 1.5mm Rolo Chain $ 18.00
16.18" 1.5mm Cable Chain $ 16.00

Gemstones, 6mm Crystals and Sterling Silver Heart Charm are $ 4.00 each.

Bar & Chain Bracelet with Lobster Claw Clasp $ 20.00

Bar $ Chain Link 16" or 18" $ 40.

Shipping and handling is $ 3.50 and includes a complimentary gift box tied with a fabric ribbon and placed inside an organza bag. It will all be sent in a bubble mailer. If it is a gift I will be happy to mail it for you with a gift card to the recipient.

I have listed the price of each component separately so you can build your own necklace or bracelet. Remember that this is your custom piece! if you have anything in mind that you don't see here, please contact me and let me see what I can come up with.

As far as payment, you can mail me a check, or I can send you an invoice through PayPal and you will be able to pay by credit card. As soon as I receive the payment I can get started creating your custom piece! I will let you know at time of purchase how long it will take me to get it in the mail to you.

These hand stamped necklaces make great gifts for mom's and grandma's, for anyone who loves personalized jewelry, and even for yourself! If you would like to place an order, contact me via e mail at and we can get started on your custom piece.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Clams and Queenie

I've been pretty busy. Between sick girls, and getting ready for the show, I haven't had much time for blogging.

My youngest daughter and I both love seafood. My husband and oldest daughter say that Clams and Linguine are their least favorite meal. So, since hubby is out of town, and my little one needed cheering up, I made her "Clams and Queenie".


Monday, October 5, 2009

Taste & See

I am so excited to be participating in my first ever showing of my jewelry. I'll be joined by my friend Thressa who makes amazing custom glass pendants and wickless candles. If you are in the area, come by and say Hi! There will be lots of fun things to see and do. Live music, great food, and wonderful artisans displaying their wares. It will be great family fun! I hope to see you there!