Friday, December 6, 2013

Handmade Ornaments

 I have a love for ornaments.  I always have.  Every year I take my girls to buy a new ornament, and every year when we decorate our tree it is so wonderful to see all those memories.   I played around last year at the last minute with a couple of ornament designs in metal.  This year I started a little earlier and was able to offer these ornaments for sale in my shop!

The Dala Horse in copper was my first.  I was thrilled with the way it turned out and shared it on my Facebook page.  My Brother-in-Law asked if I could make an owl, and that's how this next one came to be:

 Each ornament begins as a piece of sheet metal.  I saw the shape, file the edges.  Stamp the entire design by hand.  Each impression you see is a single stamp.  Laid down one at a time.  I finish by sanding, oxidizing, polishing, soldering on a ring for hanging and sealing the metal to help maintain the color.  Last I put on a Sari Silk hanger.

A friend asked me to make two right away, and I honestly thought that would be the extent of my ornament making for this season.  Other than the ones I had planned to make for gifts.......  Fortunately Etsy shoppers have found my little ornaments and have been keeping me very busy for the last week.   :)

Now I wish I had started earlier in the season, and had taken the time to develop more design choices.  That's ok!  I'll get a jump on next year after the busy season is over.  :)

These ornaments can be found in my online shop and in my Etsy shop.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!  :)

This blog post is a part of  Art Bead Scene's Blog Hop featuring handmade ornaments!  Hop on over to view other handmade ornaments.

Also, my Dala Horse ornament has been featured in an article on which I was pretty excited about!

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Hello friends! I'm sorry I haven't been updating my blog lately. I am officially in the midst of the Holiday shopping season. It has been nice to be busy :)

Speaking of shopping, I am having a sale in my Etsy shop. 20% off all ready to ship items, and free shipping on all the made to order items.

I added several pairs of affordable earrings earlier in the week, and there are lots of other great goodies as well.

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. I enjoyed the holiday with my husband and girls. Lots of good food, and plenty of family time. :)

We went to the movies twice this past week to see Catching Fire and Frozen. Both good shows.

I leave you with a drawing by my oldest....

If you follow me on Instagram (amynicolejewelry) or on Facebook, you'll have seen my handstamped ornaments. I will do a blog post on them soon. Happily I've had some interest in them. I've been an ornament making machine! I hope to add new ornaments to choose from each year from now on. :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013


All these pieces just listed in my Etsy Shop.  I've been concentrating on making earrings this week with a bracelet and a necklace thrown in for good measure!  I want to get the shop stocked with plenty of earrings before the Holiday shopping season begins.  They make the perfect gifts! 

I'm going to continue concentrating on making earrings.  I'm even planning on giving myself the challenge of coming up with some earrings that are in the $ 25 price range.  I find it hard to limit myself.  ;)  Once I start making I keep adding this and adding that, and before I know it I've used more time and silver than I'd intended!  I want to try to offer some really affordable options that are still beautiful.

Have a great day my friends, I hope you get a chance to check out my new work!  :)

Saturday, November 2, 2013


I went on a bit of a mushroom kick recently. I have big plans to make some pieces with some mushroom shaped stones I have too, but not sure I will get around to it. Do you know how that goes? I do it all the time, have plans to make stuff that never gets made. I've actually been thinking of the mushroom pieces with stones off and on for years now! Maybe someday ;)

I also made a couple of new skinny cuffs in sterling. I love these, especially in a stack of 4-6 of them. But just one is nice too. ;) I'd like to add a couple of personalized designs before the Holiday shopping season but I am still mulling around design ideas.

Two new rings in the Celestial collection. Made to order in your size.

All these pieces are listed in my Etsy shop. Speaking of Etsy shop, did I tell you I changed my shop name to AmyNicoleJewelry? Well, I did. I like it better than the AmyNicoles I had to use when I first opened shop because AmyNicole was already taken.

Also, I want to offer a few hand stamped ornament designs.

This one is a prototype in Nickel. Also known as German Silver, Nickel Silver, Alpaca, and other names I can't think of off the top of my head. It has a bit of a southwestern vibe to it, and the hanger is repurposed sari silk.

Well, I think that is all in Amy Nicole news. Sorry I've not been posting here much. Life always gets busy at this time of year :)

I leave you with a photo of my girls dressed up for Halloween:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New work!

 I went on a bit of a bracelet bender.  I've been having fun wire wrapping beads and putting them together to form bracelets.  I read somewhere that this Fall and Winter that bracelets are the thing, no wrist will go unadorned!  Ha!  I don't really follow trends.  I've made all the toggles in these pieces, and wire wrapped all the beady goodness by hand.  Now my hands have calluses, my nails are a mess and the skin around my first finger and thumb don't look so hot. 

 My ode to Autumn, my favorite season.  I was going through my stones and pulled these three together.  Together they gave me a fiery appearance.  I knew just what I wanted to do with them.... the leaves are from a tree in our yard pressed into sterling clay then fired to 1500 degrees emerging as solid sterling silver.  I really love this piece  :)

More stars and moons!  I am continually adding new pieces with the stars and the moons.  It has become a collection really, and a collection needs a name!     Celestial.    Original right?  ;)
I'm still debating on giving them their own section.  I think they might deserve it.  Especially since I have several more pieces on the bench I hope to be able to list this week.

All these pieces are listed in my Etsy Shop    I already have a trio of new earrings to share with you this week and I hope to have a few other things too!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Coming soon...

I've had this picture as the wallpaper on my phone for awhile now. Every time I looked at it, it was a stabbing reminder to get back to my stars and moons.
I am in full production on 5 necklaces, 3 skinny cuffs, 2 rings, and 3 pairs of earrings. Whoa!
It's time to start getting my shop ready for Holiday shoppers.

I did have someone ask me if I ever did this design less oxidized or GASP not oxidized at all. Nope. Not really. ;)

Be back soon. Have a good week!

Friday, September 27, 2013

New work!

Star seed pod necklaces in Nacozari Turquoise, Agua Nueva Agate, Yellow Opal and Nacozari Turquoise.  All sterling silver.  

I am still continuing with the sugar skulls!  This time a bracelet in sterling and coral and turquoise.  This beauty has already been reserved.   I see more skulls in my future as I have had several custom requests.  :)  I do love hand stamping!

I have always been uncomfortable with self promotion, and rarely go on and on about something I've made, but I want to go on and on about these.  The sterling filigree hollow forms really make me happy.  Even though they look like that drawing by Leonardo da Vinci of his invention of a tank for warfare.  ;)  Really they kinda look like space ships. 

But seriously.  There is something about this time of year.  The second I feel Fall coming on I pull out the Garnets.  I love the deep rich red in these faceted garnet beads.  These earrings are so sexy and elegant.  When I put them on I feel like a million bucks.  I'd keep them if I had somewhere to wear them besides the car line to pick up the kiddos.   :)

Have a great weekend all!  Next week I return to stars and moons and more sugar skulls. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Star & Moon Dangles

The star and moon obsession continues. I just listed these three designs in my shop:

Also, I found this quote on Pinterest. I think I'm in love. :)

Friday, September 13, 2013


I grossly underestimated how long it would take me to get the star seed pods finished. That, and I lost a lot of time with this:

I had this piece finished and ready to be oxidized when I decided to see what it was going to look like with the stone. That's when I realized I built the whole setting backward.

Hoping to save the setting I dug through my cabs and found this yellow opal! What were the odds I'd have a free form stone that would work. It took some sanding to get that bezel in but I did it!

I'm back on track though, but I still won't have new work to share until prob Thursday. I hope! :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm a bad blogger...

I really can't say what's up with me and blogging.  I used to love to blog and to read others blogs as well.  It used to be one of the first things I did in the morning.  Now I do check out Feedly or Bloglovin once in awhile to see if anyone has anything of interest to share.  But it's more of an afterthought.  Or when I'm waiting for the kids at school.  Kinda like, I don't have anything else to do, I may as well read some blogs.

I think it all started around the time google reader went bye bye.  I don't know, it could be a lot of different things.  Truth be told I'm not feeling really pumped up about anything just now.  I think I'm going through a little bout of depression. 

I'm trying really hard not to just dump into the world all the negativity that I'm feeling.  I think it's just me, although I think most makers can relate.  There is one issue that  keeps constantly circling around in my thoughts, and that is the perceived value of my work.

Now, I know not everyone really realizes what it is I do and the amount of work it takes to do it.  I guess I'm a little frustrated at being seen as a hobbyist rather than as a professional.  The "hobbyist" feeling I get is from my acquaintances who ask me how much something I make is.  Some people are smoother than others about telling you what you are asking is too much for them.   Sometimes they don't respond at all.  Then they go tell mutual acquaintances that what you make is nice, "but it's soooo expensive!".  The worst is when they tell you that they've decided to just go ahead and get something at charming charlie's.  I'm certain they don't realized that telling a maker such as myself something like that is like taking a knife and driving it straight into my gut. 

My work is made with quality recycled silver and gemstones.  I use natural stones cut by lapidary artists in the US.  My work is not mass produced, plated crap made by workers being paid a low wage from overseas.  But, I get it.  Not everyone wants  a piece of jewelry that will last a lifetime.  They'd rather go with trends that might be worn for a season and that's it.  That's fine.  I get it.  Just please don't compare my work to crap.

The huge conundrum, and the real slap in the face, is that I am constantly struggling with pricing my work so that it will sell.  Charging enough not to piss off the other makers who know I should be asking more for it, yet still trying to cover my costs, labor and profit that will allow me to keep creating.  It is a constant struggle and I know I'm not the only one in that boat, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating.

I had someone contact me about doing a local show.  In my early days of doing this I would have jumped at the chance.  But, I have a little experience behind me now.  I asked how many other jewelry vendors there were going to be, and if any of them were franchises like Stella & Dot or Origami Owl.  Sure enough, Stella and the owl were going to be there.  I declined by politely stating I make it a personal policy not to vend at locales that don't offer a 100% handmade show.  I just can't compete with mass produced plated jewelry that is manufactured overseas.  When people see the prices and realize they could get one small necklace from me, or three from Origami Owl what do you think they'll get?  I just wasn't willing to pay a $ 150 booth fee to see people look at my work and then go buy from the mass producers.  ugh.

So, if you love one of a kind jewelry.  Stuff that not everyone and their mother is wearing, hand crafted with loving care using quality heirloom materials, then you are in the right place.  I love my customers, they make all this frustration worth while. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Star seed pods

I did a few of these pieces last year with the star seed pods. This one was a oval ish variscite.

The past couple of days I made bezels for sodalite, dendritic Montana agate, Two Nacozari Turquoise, and labradorite. And making stars. Lots and lots of stars.

I'm working on a set of star seed pods. Still trying to work on the whole idea that there is benefit in obsession. In this case, making the stars perfect every time. Learning how to correct my errors in order to make that happen. Making the stars is some pretty heavy hammering. I hope my elbow holds up ;)

Have a great week! I hope to be back soon to share the finished pieces. My goal is to have them ready by Thursday, but more likely Friday. :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sugar Skulls in Silver

I listed the two new Sugar Skull necklaces in my Etsy shop earlier today.

I did take the first all sterling necklace on a test run today. It wears beautifully, and I love playing with the beaded fringe.

I have 2 large skulls and 4 small skulls on my bench ready for their faces. 1 large and 2 small are already spoken for. The other large will undoubtedly be a necklace and I'm thinking bracelet and ring for the smalls. But I'm not certain. Anyway, I'm still having fun with skulls.

I have begun a pair of star seed pod necklaces with turquoise. I'd like to start stocking the shop with pieces that will make good Holiday gifts.

Have a great weekend all! :) If you'd like to see more photos of the skull necklaces, visit my Etsy shop to see the listings.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I'll have two silver skull necklaces ready for pictures and to be listed in my Etsy shop.

One is a solid sterling design. A medium size skull, handstamped floral details. Dimensional. With a fringe.

The second is a sterling hand stamped skull, another floral design. Dimensional. With a beaded Garnet and sterling fringe. These garnets are gorgeous! They're faceted and a perfect size. The color is insane.

As soon as I begin to feel Fall I turn to Garnets. Love them.

Surprisingly I don't have any progress pics! If you follow me on Instagram (I'm amynicolejewelry) you'll know I like to share progress shots. I was on a mission to get these finished today. I've been a day behind all week because of Labor Day. I'll be so happy to get back on track Monday.

But, here is a pic of the antique roses blooming in our front garden.

I recently saw a post on IG where several women commented that roses were their least favorite flower. My jaw fell to the floor I was so surprised. I guess it just has never come to me before. People who hate roses? I've loved these roses many a year blooming in our garden.

So, I guess that means they are people out there who love the marigold? ;) ha ha

Ok, I'll be back tomorrow. Good night friends.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Skulls & Stars

I got the copper sugar skulls listed in my Etsy shop last weekend, along with two pairs of shooting star earrings.

We came home from Disneyland obsessed with Pirates of the Caribbean. The skull and bones imagery really inspired me to finally make some skulls of my own.

This week I am working on more sugar skulls. This time in silver. They are coming along a little slower than I would like, but life gets in the way of art sometimes. :)