Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two new rings...

Hypnotic: Fine and sterling silver

Flora: Carnelian and sterling silver

I just had some fun today creating these two rings. The Hypnotic ring got its name due to the fact that it reminds me of the villan in old cartoons trying to hypnotize the hero with a rotating swirl...."Look into my ring, you must obey my every command"....think it will work? If it does, I'm trying it on my kids for sure. Maybe I can get them to clean their rooms without complaining! :)

This one sold pretty quickly after I listed it, so it is available as a made to order now....I really had fun with this design, I'm thinking earrings and pendant next!

It has been raining here almost everyday for the past 3 days. I really can't complain too much as it cools things down considerably. We were able to sneak off to the pool for a couple of hours when the sun decided to show it's face. The girls swim so much, and the chlorine is wreaking havoc on their hair. It feels so dry and straw like. I hate it. But they love to swim, so what am I to do?

I just got home from the gym. For those of you who have been following me for awhile, you know how much I love step aerobics. Tonight we did double step. We lined up two steps next to each other, and instead of doing the routine spanning one step, we had to get all the way over to the other one quite quickly. It kicked my butt, but I burned a ton of calories. Lucky thing, because I plan on hitting the ice cream after the girls are in bed! :)

Have a wonderful night!

Still plugging along...

I alternate between enjoying working at a slow pace, and anxiety at thinking I'm not working fast enough. I saw a blog post the other day whose title was "It's June. Time to get ready for Christmas" And I'll be darned if it isn't true.

The only show I did last year, and the only one I'll do this year is a little art festival they do at my church. I love it because it really is nothing like your typical church bazaar, and I did pretty well there last year. So, last year, I did it with a friend of mine, and we used all her props for our table. Mind you, our table looked good. I would like to start investing in some of my own stands and props and mirrors and things. Really make it my own.

I started checking out earring and necklace stands. Now I have to decide which sizes to get. The one earring rack I really like holds 72 pairs of earrings. Let me say that again. 72 pairs of earrings!!! And I know I should get it, because then maybe it will make me force myself to really build up a good inventory. I will need the inventory between the show and the holidays.

So I've been doing that research, and taking my time planning how I really want my table to look. I also need to get myself registered with the state, all official and stuff, and start collecting taxes and filing forms. You know. All the gross stuff. The no fun stuff. And then I need to look into being able to take credit cards. Ok, I'm stressing myself out just thinking about it all.... ;)

Anyway... I am still plugging along. Working slowly but surely.
Custom order: Dogwood branch with Turquoise ring
Green Moss agate in sterling silver necklace
This beautiful green moss agate cab is one that I bought from SassyGlassJewelry. Sandi's husband Jim is making cabochons! And they are lovely! I have already been lucky enough to snag several, and this is my first piece. A beautifully cut cab that set like a dream!

I had originally planned to continue my boxwood branch design with this green moss agate. But, alas, it wasn't in the cards, and remembering my plan to work with less constraint, I just picked it up and started working. I've been wanting to try piercing and sawing, and well, here you go! When I named it, the only thing I could think of were tadpoles! Swimming around a sea of green moss. I had a comment on my Flickr photo that they looked like paisleys. And they do! Probably sounds nicer than tadpoles....but I can't help it. I still see little bent fishy type bodies swimming around the green moss...

I hope to have a couple of rings to show you later. Have a fabulous day!! :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A few newies..

Something new for summer! I've been wanting to combine leather and metal, and here is my first offering. Another first for me in this bracelet is the PMC butterfly.

For those of you who don't know, PMC stands for Precious Metal Clay. When fired, it turns into solid .999 fine silver. I've been having a lot of fun playing with it and trying to get to know it better. It can be a little finicky, likes to be handled just right, but I think I am starting to get the hang of it.

I've made a couple more pieces using PMC....

I was able to combine the fine silver pieces with sterling in both of these pieces...I read somewhere that you either hate PMC, or love it, and I would have to say I LOVE it!!! So expensive though...but aren't all precious metals these days? So, as you can see, I am experimenting with textures, and am really loving it.

I am forcing myself to try something new....I am usually bothered greatly by lack of symmetry in my designs, I like everything to be just so....but there is beauty in imperfection...after all, nothing is perfect is it? It is a lesson for me in letting go, creating without constraint, so... Viva la Rustica! I'm hoping to create some additional rustic designs, as you can see, I'm starting out very simply....

The butterfly bracelet, and both of the little heart rings have my "rustic" elements in them...well, rustic for me anyway....:)

And because I can't step too far away from refined, I also made this beauty...

Featuring a vintage West German plastic cab that I coated in resin for durability and shine. I'm also loving the double band on the ring shank. I just love the pattern in this cab... I have several other vintage cabs that I have plans for if I can ever get around to it!

Lastly, a custom order. I had a lovely customer request my Sleeping Beauty's Rose Wreath ring with roses on the band. Truth be told, it scared me a little to attempt it, but was so glad I did! The band turned out beautifully, and I am thankful to my customer for suggesting it, I just may have to incorporate the idea into other designs!

Everything will be listed in the shop as time permits. Right now, I have housework that needs to be done.

The first official day of summer was just this week, but we have been enduring 100 + degree days here for a couple of weeks. I am having a hard time adjusting to the heat. I always do. I've been tired, lethargic, wanting to do nothing but sit in a dark cool room....It's hard to want to play with fire when it is already so hot.

I've been on a tv watching jag as a result, and have been catching up on episodes of Little People Big World that I recorded last November! I love that show. After the Jon & Kate debacle, I have had a hard time watching anything on TLC...but I love the Roloff's...I hope they stay the same great family they have always been.

I've also been watching The Big Bang Theory.. Have you guys seen this show? I love, funny, Star Trek references, what more could I ask for? ;)

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I plan on playing more with leather and PMC, spending endless hours with the girls at the pool, and trying to stay cool!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I won!

I won this fabulous book bag from the multitalented Amy at ThirtySixTen. She was having a give a way on her blog, and I won!!! I never win anything.

It is my new favorite bag, and it has made quite a few trips with me to the pool filled with a good book and a few other essentials.

In other news, my bathroom flooded yesterday. The little hose thingy broke off the toilet and water was shooting everywhere. Since half of my master bathroom is also my work shop, it flooded as well. Luckily we were home and caught it fairly quickly. None of the stuff in my shop was ruined except for a few magazines I had stored in a pile along with the Rio Catalogs. All in all, it could have been much worse, I am just thanking God that it didn't happen when we were on vacay last week. I've heard horror stories of it happening to someone once. Went on vacation and came home to see water gushing out the side of their house from the top floor. Completely flooded their house.

So now I feel like a real idiot. A friend of mine told me that she always turns off the water to the toilets and the washer before she leaves on vacation. I didn't even think of the washer! And I really should have because I have a friend who that happened to once. Except in her case she started a load of laundry and the washer never stopped filling. Flooded half her house. Spent the next 4 months living in a construction zone. Nightmarish....

So anyway, the moral of my story is....those hose thingy's are like $ 8 a piece at Lowe's. They screw on and off very easily. They take 2 minutes to change. It could save you an afternoon of mopping up water, and ripping up carpet, and watching helplessly as your beautiful wooden floors, that are only 2 years old, wrinkle up like raisins....oh, and shut your water off at the main when you go out of town!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

San Antonio Part 2

We also visited The Market while we were in San Antonio. It is an indoor marketplace made up of all kinds of little shops selling imports mainly from Mexico and South America. The girls had $ burning a whole in their pockets, so Adriana bought a little coin purse and a little wooden box full of worry dolls from Guatemala. Isabella bought a stuffed Armadillo with a little purple bow on it's head. I picked up a couple of hand painted soap dishes, and my dad and husband both bought these woven hats. Arturo looks like Poncho Villa in his, and my dad looks like Panama Jack! I'm kicking myself now for not getting a picture of them wearing them!

The above pictures were part of a killer display at one of the shops. Mexicans use a lot of skulls and skeletons in their art as a remembrance to their ancestors.

There was a building in down town that had all of these poor miserable looking people built into it. The faces are just eerie, and the people look absolutely miserable, like they are responsible for holding up the weight of the building, and have been doing it for an eternity. I wish I knew more about the history of the architecture of the building. It was really interesting...

Between shopping in San Antonio, and in Fredricksburg, I saw a lot of hand crafted jewelry. It is interesting to step outside of the Etsy bubble and see what the rest of the world is doing jewelry wise. I've only ever sold my jewelry on-line, and have only done one art show. I've not even contemplated taking my jewelry to boutiques, or other places locally that may take consignments.

There were a couple of things that struck me while checking out retail jewelry. One, the prices were so high!!! One boutique had quite a few silver cuffs with stones and detail work that on Etsy would have sold for around $ 200 listed for $ 450. The other thing I noticed, and it could be just because I am used to the jewelry artists on Etsy, Etsy has so much more to offer. I saw store after store filled with jewelry that all had the same look. A lot of American South West designs. I grew up seeing these designs, to me they are not fresh. They are not updated, they aren't modern.

When I discovered Etsy just over a year ago, it really opened up a whole new world for me. Joining such a large marketplace, with so much to offer showed me things being done that I had never thought possible. Selling on Etsy really makes a person step up their game, create beyond their limits, do things they never thought possible. The way we all influence each other can be both good and bad. Influenced to the point of copying? Clearly not acceptable... but being pushed to create to the utmost of your abilities because you want to be at the top of the heap? I've seen amazing things because of this.....

Anyway, this post took a turn somewhere ;) So back to the prices of retail jewelry...are they out of line, or are we??????

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

San Antonio Texas Y'all!!!!

The girls at the Alamo.

Really, I grew up in Nevada, and I don't say "y'all" at all...but, this post is so Texas that I really have to say y'all to keep with the whole theme. :)

On May 30th, my oldest daughter had her First Holy Communion. My parents came from Nevada especially for the occasion. They were staying for the next week, so we made plans to go for a mini vacation in the Texas Hill Country. We stayed at a really cool place, Roddy Tree Ranch. The best part about it was that it is situated in a spot where you can hit a lot of tourist attractions within an hour or so..

The first day we went to San Antonio. Oh, how I love San Antonio...there are a few places that you have to go see. We hit them all! We started at the Alamo.

I could tell that my Mom wasn't really impressed, but my Dad seemed to enjoy it. I mean, how can you go to San Antonio and not go to the Alamo?

Here is a picture of the stereotypical cactus that you would expect to find in Texas. Which is weird because I only see cactus every once in a while.

Here's a picture of the girls in front of a cool mosaic. I wish I had written down who made it, and what the history was behind it, but I didn't. Also, forgive any of my pics that are blurry. (I'm shaky)
A super cool glass sculpture.
Cool bust outside of the Aztec Theatre on the Riverwalk.

After the Alamo, we headed down to the river level and had lunch on the Riverwalk. San Antonio has this river that runs through the middle of down town. There are walkways on either side of the river, and all kinds of little restaurants and bars, hotels, a mall, shops, all kinds of things all up and down the "Riverwalk".
The view from on the river. There are these river tour boats that you buy a ticket for about $8 and you get a little tour down the river walk. The following pictures are ones I took while on our river boat tour.

Musicians from Lima, Peru performing on the steps outside the Riverwalk mall. I love their music, especially the pan flutes (I don't know if that's what they are really called. They look like they are made out of some kind of round reed pipes in all different sizes).
Some theatre and stage that is supposed to be in several movies, and where national morning shows have filmed from.

This post is getting monstrously long. I'll save the rest of it for the next post. I have a couple of ear wire orders to fill, yay! and, a couple of custom orders from my mom to fill. She's into peace signs for some reason. On a thumb ring of all things... she's getting wild in her old age! ;)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ready to go on ArtFire!

RubyMtnBeads on Artfire!
Shop has been updated and is open for business! It feels so good!!!

RubyMtnBeads on Etsy is back in business!

RubyMtnBeads on Etsy is back in business!

I'm so excited to get my shop up and running again after a brief hiatus of vacationing and just trying to get through the month of May with all the activities we had going on. I am so ready to settle into our summer routine.

I'm spending today getting caught up around the house, and getting my shops in order so tomorrow morning I can start anew...I can't wait!!!! I hope to have time to blog about our vacation a bit. It is so amazing how not being able to create gives you so many ideas, and how going out and about to see different sights and sounds can be so inspiring.....