Sunday, July 31, 2011


Hi everyone!  I am trying to get all of my ducks in a row before we leave for the West coast.
The girls and I are busily packing our stuff, and getting the house ready.  We are lucky to have friends staying in our house while we are gone to hold down the fort and take care of our poor old blind dog.....

Shop wise, I have put my findings shop in vacation mode while I'm away. 
My jewelry shop is still open, but orders will ship on August the 10th.  During this time, to make up for the delayed shipping, take advantage of free shipping!
Just use the coupon code gratis at checkout.

And, I think that's it for now.  I am hoping to find a few moments to share some pics with you along the way.  

See you all soon!!!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


My husband just surprised me with this:

And my confession? I have no clue how to work at a real jewelers bench!

Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!



- Posted from a secret and remote location using my iPhone

Monday, July 25, 2011

Aspiring Metalsmiths on Etsy's July Blog roll....

What are you working on?

Why thank you for asking!  I have lots to share ;-)

I have a lot of projects going on right now, and a couple that I just finished up.  Let's start with my latest completed projects:

Every year before show time, I work on new hand stamped name designs.   
I rather like this one a lot!

This was a custom order for a little girl named River, from her God Parents on her Baptism Day.

This necklace is rich in symbolism.  The border on the pendant is one I hand stamped and call
"running water".   The focal is my interpretation of St. Hans' cross.  

St. Hans is a name associated with John the Baptist.  His cross is said to represent water.  It is also an Infinity symbol.  One continuous loop.

On the back, the running water border with a latin phrase "omnia vincit amor" 
Love Conquers All  (God Mother has a degree in the Classics!)
At the very center a heart with a teeny tiny Christian Cross.

I had a lot of fun making this necklace, and the cross was indeed a challenge!

I am currently working on two ongoing projects.
A special client has asked me to make her some pieces using her stones.
It is proving to be quite a challenge because the stones are so pretty on both sides, they really do need to be set in double sided settings.  

Which I've never done before. 
And have no idea really how to do it.

My first attempt failed:

The second attempt I decided to do in brass just to save myself on supplies in case I messed up again.

And the brass is left in all it's oxidized glory.  I didn't take the time to clean it.  I really just wanted to see if my newest idea might work.

And,  I think it just might work!  Of course it needs a little tweaking, but I think it will be more stable than the first route I was going.

If anyone has any tips, suggestions, comments, whatever, I'd love to hear!  I need all the help I can get on this project!

The final thing I am working on is building inventory for my upcoming show in October, and hopefully one in November.

I have this idea to offer several different charms separately and sell build your own charm necklaces.
I have barely scratched the surface as I have all sorts of big plans to make all kinds of charms out of different metals, use different stones....etc, etc...

But each one is a little work of art, and I am having loads of fun at this stage.  I just love stamping!

Well, that's what I am working on right now.  I hope you get a chance to visit my teamies and see what they are up to as well!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Week wrap up

A little group shot of my Ocean rings.  The first three are ready to swim off to new homes, but the last sea star ring in the group is a straggler from last week's update.

I am calling it The Tide Pool ring.  I've had this idea for a long time, and finally finished putting it together this week.

The sea star was the first I had made several months ago when I first started playing with PMC.  The sea star sits atop a dome, surrounded by a smattering of stones.  The scalloped bezel is representative of the water's waves, and the irregular granulation surrounding it is the border that holds the tide pool together. All set high on an adjustable ring band.  

I am really digging the adjustable ring bands these days.  It kinda takes away that decision of trying to decide what size to make a ring.  

Adjustable bands don't work for all rings, but I think it is perfect for this size!

I just love this ring.  I've been wearing it all morning.  I do love all silver jewelry, it just goes with everything!!  Ok, well, I'm off to list this in my Etsy shop.  Yes!  Just this one ring this week!  I swear I've been working, just not much to show for it as far as the shop is concerned.  I have a couple customs to share with you later.  

TGIF!!!!  Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Re: Test

Thought I would explain the last post.  I was testing a new app on my phone for blogging.  I didn't like the last one I had.  For some strange reason it would always post the pictures funny.

So, I'm giving this a whirl.  So far, so good.   The pic in the previous post was a not so good phone shot of a custom order I'm working on.  Hopefully I'll be able to share the finished piece some time tomorrow!  The translation from the latin is "love conquers all"  I rather like it.  I may have to use my client's idea again!

I haven't had much time to work this week.  Yesterday I spent three hours at the dentist.  Admittedly, two of those hours were spent just waiting, and only one hour of torture.  All of it was pure hell... But I'm so glad it's over (until next week) and I'm feeling pretty good.  I thought I'd have more pain than I do, so I'm not complaining.

The main reason I wanted a new blogging app is that we are going on vacation!!!!   Yay!  We're flying into San Francisco, staying there for a few days and then driving to Lake Tahoe.  My Mom, Sister, and Nieces are coming to meet us.  I'm super excited!  The high in San Fran is in the 60's and the temps in Tahoe are barely 80 degrees.  I can't wait to get out of this 109 degree heat wave we're experiencing now.  Vacations are always so inspiring.  I'll be armed with my camera and sketch book for when inspiration strikes!

Ok, off to get the girls new bathing suits.  Then to the pool with friends to try them out ;-)  Have a good day all.  Try to stay cool....I know I am!


- Posted from a secret and remote location using my iPhone

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I am swaying back and forth between emotions.
I've been trying to get all my listings updated in my Ruby Mountain Beads shop on Etsy.
It has been sorely neglected for most of this year.  Well, since last October really.
So I've been going through expired and inactive listings.  And then I remembered the reason why they were expired and inactive.  And that is because my pictures suck.  I hate them all.  
Except for the newer ones I've done on the gray background and the black rock. 
I guess I was thinking that I wanted to retake all those pics.
But in order to do that, I'd have to make new sample ear wires.  
And I guess I forgot that I was supposed to be doing that.

But, I renewed and relisted most all my ear wire styles anyway.  I'm going to have to work on the new samples and start taking new pics a little at a time.  
So every time I look at my shop and see those pics, I go "yuck!"
but the other side of the emotional sway is an itch to get it all done.

Sometimes it seems I wait forever for the driving force to come along and get me moving.  I've been moving at a snail's pace, and there is too much to be done to stay on that trail.
The lazy days of summer have been just that.  Lazy.
I best get a move on....

Friday, July 15, 2011

By the Sea...

The Journey~ Ring
Amazonite and Sterling Silver
**SOLD**  (thank you!!)

The Journey~ Earrings
Sterling Silver and Apatite

These are the final two pieces in my mini ocean inspired collection.

I have a love hate relationship with summer.  

I hate the heat.

But I love the fact that it is soooo the appropriate season to be thinking of seaside adventures.

I am drawn to all things ocean, again and again.

I love that I can bust out my sea star and use it as a prop in my pictures in the summertime.
(It just doesn't feel right to use it in the winter and fall!)

I really took my time with these pieces, and I am thrilled with the results.  Many hours were spent painstakingly making the little scallop shells, and a good amount of time getting all the wires in place to create the segments in the larger shells.  

It feels good to be proud of my work.

I follow a lot of blogs.  Most of them are metalsmiths as well.

There are two things I don't want my readers to think about my work.

1.  Boooooorrrriiiingggg.....Can't this chick make anything else?  Everything always looks the same!

2.  And the horror of horrors....OMG!  That looks JUST like so and so's work!

It is taking me awhile, and I am still on my Journey, but I am proud to be producing work that I feel inspired by.  That is 100% my own, and different than anything I've made before.

Two out of the three ocean pieces have already been sold, but The Journey earrings are available in my Etsy shop.  

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sea star...

With record breaking temperatures here in North East Texas, I find my mind constantly returning to coool thoughts.

We have taken several family trips to the Oregon Coast, but it has been a long time since I've been there.

One of the things I loved best was visiting the tide pools,

Reaching my hands into the icy cold water, 

and gently stroking the sea life living in that little ecosphere.

My favorites were the Sea Stars!

There is nowhere I would rather be right now than at the spot where the mountains meet the ocean on the coast of Oregon.  Bundled up in a hoodie and walking the beach.  Ahhhhh.......

This piece features a hand crafted sea star in fine silver, on a sterling platform with sterling stones scattered about.  Set in a fine silver scalloped bezel to represent the waves of the ocean.  All set high on a sterling silver adjustable band!

This beauty has already been claimed, but I'm seeing more sea stars in my future!  :-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Work in Progress...

I want to thank everyone for their input on my post about the charm necklaces.

After agonizing over it for awhile, I decided I must pick a direction and decided to go for it!

You guys are right about keeping an eye on all those little pieces.

I'm not too worried about the show I do at the church, but I applied to a much larger show in Ft. Worth that if I get in, I will have to worry about watching my pieces more closely.

My Mom wants to come in from Nevada to help at my church show, but I think I'll  have her come instead for the Funky Finds show.  Again....if I get in.

I told you guys how I wanted to tweak my display?

So, last night I bought this....

I think it will be perfect for the charmies...I have big plans to take out some of the spacers, and to paint it or something... I don't know.  I'll have to see when I get it.

Well...on to the work in progress!

I am continually drawn to all things oceanic, and am on bit of an ocean inspired kick.  Specifically sea shells.  

I have just about given up on the hope that I will be as productive as I'd like to be.  It's a double edged sword.  I'd love to have more time to create, but I must put my family first.  Soon the girls will be old enough to not even want to be around me, and then I'll have all the time in the world.  Until then it is a priority to spend time with them.  

These pieces are coming along slow but sure.  To give you an idea, I started the seashell and amazonite  piece over a week ago.  The large single shells about 5 days ago... That contraption in the middle is for a custom order.  This is what is really taking my time.  Thinking a lot.  Thinking too much.  

I am attempting to make a prong type setting that will allow the piece to be completely reversible.  About 11:00 last night I think I finally worked out in my mind exactly how it will look, and how I will go about achieving it.  It's kinda scary.  I haven't put myself outside of my comfort zone in a long time...

So, who knows when it will all be finished.  There are also lots of charmies in the works....I think I best set myself a deadline.  Let's say by next friday I hope to have a few sea shells to sell by (or away from!)  the sea shore...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

The older I get the more patriotic I become.  The more history of America I read, the more aware I become of what it means to be an American.  

I think of all those people who took a chance to bring their families to a land across the ocean.  Risking their very lives.  Not knowing if they would fail or thrive.  

Those times must have been extremely hard, but so liberating at the same time.  I can't imagine feeling so suppressed, so hopeless, that my only option for freedom was to pack up my family and risk crossing the ocean to foreign lands.  

It make me ashamed of my younger self, who took it for granted how lucky I was to have been born here.  Who wasn't grateful enough to my ancestors for the sacrifices they made that would one day allow me to be born amongst the freest people on this earth.  

I am not a person to hang my head in shame for any of the mistakes that America has made.  Here and around the world.  The United States is made up of human beings.  And wherever there are humans, there will be mistakes.  

I am instead a person who wades through our history, looking at the good and the bad.  Hoping to keep the good for us and for future generations, and hoping like hell that we learn from the bad.

Happy Birthday to the Republic that is the United States of America.  
My home....sweet...home....