Friday, June 29, 2012


I'm feeling a bit scattered.  I'm trying to make sure I have all my bases covered before vacay begins.  We are lucky to have friends staying in our house while we are gone, so there is one worry taken care of. 

I'm remembering to do things that need to be done as they float to the surface of my harried mind.  I just hope everything that needs to be done decides to pop into my head before we leave and not after!  This is when a list would come in real handy.  By this evening I'll have to break down and make one. 

I managed to get a few pieces  completed this week because no matter what I'm supposed to be doing, I just can't stop making.  It's gotten to where I get this feeling that I need to make something.  So much that I want to make, and not the time to do it.  

I already know I'm going to miss my house and shop so much while we are away.  My home is my haven and my security blanket.  I'm always a little anxious about traveling.  I'm already beginning to switch into survival mode.  I'll be needing the calm that only the Pacific Ocean can give me...

So here is what came out of the shop this week...


All focals cast in Sterling using Sterling metal clay.  I love that stuff!  I gotta admit, I tried the PMC3 with was ok, but I did have concerns about the strength of it.  This Sterling clay fires so well and so completely and is sturdy as can be.  You'd never guess that it was once clay. 

The two top pieces are from a new line I want to do called Strong Angels.  My daughter had Vacation Bible School a few weeks ago, and they named their group the Strong Angels.  I really liked the name, and it totally inspired me.  I'll go into all that later.

Right now I gotta go pick up my girl from pottery wheel class.  All these are listed in my Etsy shop, which will be closing down probably sometime tomorrow! 

Talk to you all soon!   :-)  TGIF

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Service announcement

In exactly one week I'll be in San Francisco and will spend the following 10 days enjoying the most beautiful state I've had the pleasure to visit!

My artisan findings shop Ruby Mountain Metal will close this Wednesday. That will give me time to get any orders out before we leave.

On Friday night I'll close down my Etsy shop and my Big Cartel shop. I'll be deactivating all made to order items on Wednesday.

The sale in my Etsy shop will end when I close my shop on Friday!

I always have mixed feelings about leaving home. We have plans to visit 4 different parts of California and I can't wait to do some nature bonding. I plan to do it all. Ocean. Trees. Mountains. Lakes!

I will be sharing photos along the way. If you Instagram you should follow me. My ID is Amy___Nicole (three underscores) I enjoy sharing photos on there, and often post process shots of my work as well!


The cool thing about getting older is that you begin to understand yourself better and better.  You see a pattern developing.  I noticed my thoughts on trends about a year ago.  Take the owl for instance.

My daughter is owl crazy.  She really loves them.  And sometimes I wonder.  Is this a natural inclination of hers?  Or is it because owls for a time were everywhere?  In jewelry,  art,  paintings, postcards, ceramics, clothing, accessories, stationary, home decor.  Did the fact that owls were trending so hard influence her love of the owl?  I don't know.  I'm sure it had a hand in it.

Me personally, I recognize the fact that these things are trends, and I avoid them as long as possible.  Until they beat me down and I have to admit that I kinda like such and such.  Not kinda like, really like.
That's how I felt about feathers.  There are some amazing artists out there doing their thing with feathers.  There are feathers everywhere.  My girls have shirts with feathers on them, they wear feather earrings.  My friends started showing up with feather earrings.  It's like I ignored the feather on purpose just because the world made me feel like it was stuffing them down my throat.

I notice that feathers are on the decline.  We were at Justice today and no more feathers on the clothes, although they did still have a few pairs of earrings.  I'm not surprised really, I've noticed that this is a pattern of mine.  I watch a trend closely, and then just as it is on it's way out the door, I decide to give it a go.

Roller printed with a feather.  The texture is very fine and beautiful.  This was my first feather.

 This one is roller printed as well.

I had a yearning to pair a feather with the oval conchos, and when I went to finish these feathers after they were sawed out, I couldn't find my bag of feathers to roller print with.

So I despaired for a bit then decided I needed to find another way to make my feathers....

 With a hammer and a chisel I laid down each barb one line at a time.  I held my breath through much of it not knowing how it would turn out!

I really love them.  A lot.  I added the pop of Turquoise at the last second.

It's impossible not to feel the American West in my very bones when working with such Native elements.

And they would be a fabulous companion piece to my Fiesta Del Sol bracelet!

Fiesta Del Sol

The earrings are listed in my Etsy shop.

Friday, June 22, 2012


I did some arranging in my studio and I couldn't find my bag of feathers. I usually use them to roll print onto my silver feathers, but a search high and low didn't reveal them!

So I got out my hammer and chisel and tried to make my own! I kinda like it! I do think that the patterning needs to angle down more.

Its more time consuming than just roll printing, but I do think there is more artistry involved in chiseling the pattern in one little itty bitty line at a time. :-)

One down one to go and I'll have a lovely pair to make earrings with!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


 Rutiliated Rose Quartz


  Double Band


can be found HERE


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My first rivets!

Soldering silver onto copper never goes quite right for me, so I decided to try riveting! It worked!

Both of the girls have a friend sleeping over. I'm in for a late night! Good night all!

Mixed reactions...

I once described myself to a friend as antisocial.   (This friend also happens to be into psychology, which is a topic I find interesting myself )  And she told me "you're not antisocial, you're just picky!".  I really hadn't thought of it that way before.  I always thought that it was because I just really enjoy being alone.  I am very introspective and introverted and I seem to get more so as I get older.  I'm just plain shy really.

This for me was the single biggest hurdle when I decided to put my jewelry out into the world hoping that someone would like it as much as I did.  Not so much the online interactions.  Online I think my shyness is still a factor, but I'm not really bothered by judgement from my "peers" unless I really respect them.

I live in the suburbs between two major cities in Texas.  Two towns over is the town named last year as America's most affluent neighborhood.  I would say the majority of the people living in my neighborhood are college graduates working in professional fields.  Lots of stay at home moms.  Some career women.

Now, I'm not trying to tell you I'm living high on the hog.  Because we aren't.  My husband is in the Auto industry and has two vehicles both of which are over 10 years old.  I drive a Honda.  The majority of our furniture has been handed down.  I'm not really into home decorating that much.  90% of my wardrobe is cotton tops and capris. We have a nice house, and that allows our kids to go to the best schools in the area.  We live within our means, and my husband is great with our finances.  Neither of us are college graduates.

All this background is so you'll understand my feeling on mixed reactions I receive from people who know me in the real world.  I find it fascinating, and wonder if others who try to turn their art into a business get the same reactions.  I'm sure they do....

Anyway.. We had a birthday party for both of our daughter's recently.  A mother of one of my little one's friends, who I know to be a career woman, is making small talk with me.  In a tone I perceive to be slightly condescending she says to me, " So, what do you do?  You make jewelry?"  Kinda like, seriously?  You make jewelry?  I'm not good at self promotion.  At all.  I just smile and tell her yes.  Later on I overhear a conversation she is having with another mom about the great day care her kids are in, and later again, how nice the ipad is because she could just plug her kid into it so she and her husband "could actually have an adult conversation" over dinner.

My husband and I believe strongly that my being at home with the kids is the most important  job I could have.  We've made sacrifices to do it.  But while I want to spend time with my children, and be involved in as much of their lives as possible, I would never judge a mother who chose to drive a BMW and live in a huge house.  At least not to their face ;-)

Now, don't go thinking I'm a working mother hater either.  Some of the best mothers I know are working women.  They manage to be very involved in their children's lives.  And we all do what we have to do to take care of our families.  

On the opposite end of the spectrum, a Dad was standing by me while the kids were eating their cake suddenly says, " so,  you make jewelry"  Again the smile and a yes from me.  "I've seen your jewelry, I think it's really cool."  This time he gets a genuine smile.  He proceeds to ask me about the process of making.

I thought that was cool.  It made me happy.

I've always had a fear of putting myself out there.  When you make jewelry, or any art I suppose, and you put it out into the world, it is an extension of yourself.  A little piece of your heart.  It never feels good to have someone trample on your heart, or to have someone seemingly act like your heart isn't important, or worth anything.  But all it takes to get the heart floating light as air is for someone to tell you that they think it's really cool....

Friday, June 15, 2012


This past week I did a little (very little ;-)) organizing in the studio and found all sorts of projects that I had started and then lost interest in.  The results are a bit of an eclectic grouping of pieces that I just listed in my Etsy Shop

In other exciting news, I've been contacted by a beading magazine that will be doing a feature on unique ear wires some time this winter.  They would like to see some samples of my work!  I'm so excited about this.  You all know how I feel about handmade with handmade, and I do love a pretty ear wire!

I've been making my husband a wallet for Father's day.  I've had this leather kit sitting around for almost a year.  It is turning out ok.  My perfectionism won't allow me to say it's good.  But it's ok.  I will tell you that lacing is tough!  Very time consuming.  He better use it after all the work I put into it! ;-) 

Have a great weekend all!  Oh, and I am having a little sale in the Etsy shop as well.  :-)

Thursday, June 14, 2012


This is the piece I entered in Cool Tools antique mold contest.  I received an email last week telling me that I had been chosen as one of the winners!  I gotta say I was really happy.  When I entered, I really didn't think I had a chance of winning.  I didn't even look at any of the other entries until after I had found out I'd placed, so I had no idea how my piece would compare to the other entries.

Here is a link to the post on their website

I tied for 3rd place!  I am feeling so honored, and proud.  I truly enjoyed making this piece, and I wouldn't have entered it if I hadn't felt that it was some of my best work.  This bracelet is really special.  Two gorgeous Kingman Mine Turquoise cabochons from my very favorite lapidary artist, Ed over at Stones in Motion on Etsy, oval conchos made from PMC Sterling which I just love.  I've worked with PMC3 in the past, and I gotta say that the PMC Sterling is amazing.  Especially perfect for what I want to use it for, which is combining it with traditional metalsmithing techniques.  

The design is perfect in that the links stay facing up and don't flip around when being worn.  It is adjustable from 7 1/2" to just short of 9".  It has been listed in my online store, and can be found here:

The making of this bracelet has been a positive experience for me in so many ways.  Most of all, it makes me want to make more bracelets!  :-)

Friday, June 8, 2012


I'm working on adding some new items to my Artisan Findings shop.  Along with several earwire designs, you'll find these new clasps as well!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Scary scrap pile

Where abandoned projects and scrap have been piling up for the past three years.

I'm attempting to organize and clean my shop. I've already found stuff I'd forgotten I had. It's kinda like getting new supplies! Ha!

After I pick out all the silver bits I'll probably have enough to melt down and process into sheet! Yippee!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

oh yeah...

I think CM gets sexier the older he gets...  :-)