Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I love learning new skills and, of course, I always want to improve and expand my jewelry making. I've just started making bezels for holding stones. It's one of the things on the long list of new techniques that I want to learn. I'm mostly self-taught, so it's sometimes slow going to pick up new things, particularly if I don't have the tools (or the correct tool).

There's nothing wrong with self-taught. It's how I've learned a lot of things and there's nothing like making mistakes to figure out what works and what doesn't. Not that I haven't had some help along the way to put some context around the little bit of knowledge I did have. As a visual learner, I can often pick up some of info I need just from watching someone do the task if they don't mind me peering over their shoulder.... Shannon (Ruby Girl) gave me a great 3-minute tutoring on bezel making. It was the perfect amount of information to get me started. I have a long way to go before I'm good at it, but I've learned so much from the first few attempts. The picture shows my Carnelian Corner Necklace.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I really don't like having my picture taken (or taking it myself, for that matter), but sometimes you just have to document hypercurl. Need a haircut much?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Custom Order From Hell

"Would you consider doing a necklace like this..." the email asked. She wanted me to make a similar necklace to one I have listed, but using shells she had. I found some shells I had here and tried a couple of drill bits I had to see if I could make the necessary holes. Not a problem. I had a perfect piece of chain. I figured an hour, maybe less. She sent me the shells she wanted me to use and I sat down to drill the holes. These were not like the shells I had experimented on. They were much thicker and harder, like they were petrified, like they were stone. Drilling these holes was no picnic. I tried every different bit I had that I thought would work. This was taking a LONG time. Hours. Then the best bit broke. *much gnashing of teeth* The next day I run out to the hardware store where I spend $7 on a new drill bit. Back at home I finish drilling the holes and link the shell pieces together. Just as I'm about to finish and box up the necklace, one of the pieces breaks just where the hole had been drilled. I file down the shell piece and try to make it look natural, drill a new hole, attach the wire, and gingerly put it in a box before anything else happens. The necklace is now winging its way off to the customer and I think she'll be pleased. I do not blame the customer at all, but she gotz herself one heck of a deal. Between the time it took to finish this little project and having to spend on a new bit and all, I think I actually lost money on this one. Live and learn?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

World Malaria Day

Today, Friday April 25th, is the first World Malaria Day. The United Nations' statistics on malaria are grim: the disease kills about one million people a year. And it claims the life of a child every 30 seconds – 3,000 children under the age of five every day.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the hardest hit region and the disease seriously impacts the economies of severely afflicted countries.

Malaria is both preventable and treatable. Bed net are the most effective program against the disease and have proven to reduce malaria transmissions by 20 percent.

More information can be found on the Roll Back Malaria website.

Some of this information was taken from the Voice of America website.

Hardware Store/Supply Store

So I had to go to the hardware store for a couple of things and, being a sucker for hardware stuff, I spent some time wandering around. I found these thingees - I honestly don't know what they are "supposed" to be for - and thought I could make some jewelry out of them. Took them home and started to play with them. They are steel and lightweight and have all those wonderful holes in them. Lots of possibilities. Of course the first thing I did was blast one with the torch to see what would happen (me loves my fire!). I LOVE the rusty patina that came out of it. Pair them with some contrasting sterling earwires and BAMMO! groovy, slightly steampunky earrings. There are so many other things that will be made from these. I love when jewelry making is so fun and spontaneous. I call these new ones Riddle Earrings (Rust) and they are available in my Etsy shop.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's Just Wrong.

It's predicted that it's going to SNOW here in Portland tomorrow. April 19th. Mid-April. Snow. Wrong, I tell you. It's just wrong.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Custom Lana Hoops

I was asked to make a pair of my Lana Hoops a little different than I have them listed. This customer wanted them longer , oxidized and she wanted 14k gold earwires. On my suggestion, I tumbled the oxidized hoops to a wonderful gun-metal gray. I think it works really well with the gold. I love making custom orders and it's fun sometimes to see what ideas others come up with that (I hope) I can make real. It's also fun to see a "gee I love these earrings but would love them better if they did this..." idea. My customer was really pleased and that makes me happy too.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Trickle Earrings

On a whim, I bought this rolo chain when putting in a supply order. It's small gauge, but because it's rolo, it's got a really nice weight to it. I stared at it for a while, played with it in my hand, trying to decide what to do with it. I finally chose just to let it be, to let the tight sparkly links speak for themselves. So I made simple, long, dangly post earrings that I'm calling Trickle. The small links make them lightweight, but they have a little heft giving them a nice swing. Simple and elegant and fun and sparkly. Available in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

They were here... somewhere.

Portland collectively hunts for its sunglasses.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Primavera Posy Necklace

I find something really sweet about this new necklace I call Primavera Posy. It's kinda got that 60s mod thing going, I like the verigation in the "leaf" beads, it's simple and charming. I'm trying a new clasp system of two hooks instead of a hook and eye.
The wire I used is originally square and I flattened it out a bit. I like how the amethyst bead in the center adds a 3-D element to that flatness. Another ready-for-spring-now please-get-just-a-bit-warmer piece of jewelry available in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Curow Earrings

Curow Earrings are another example of jewelry designing on the fly (and one of the things I like about jewelry making). These started out as a very clear picture of what I wanted to do, but several of the elements didn't work out - the hinge, for example, needed to be modified to function and hang how I wanted. They originally began as hoops. For me they didn't have the right look and so I altered them to hang, changed up the earwire and oxidized them. I'm pleased with what did eventually result. I may attempt something similar, but this pair is a one-of-a-kind and now available in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Wishing for the Sun

De La Sol Earrings. A splash of sunshine of bright yellow fluted glass rounds and vintage Lucite cylinders. Hanging on rectangular oxidized sterling wires. Available in my Etsy shop.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Chicken Planting

Girl scouts? Nope. School project? Nope. Little kids to entertain? Nope. Just me. I got it in my head that I wanted to make plants in eggshells like we did when I was a kid. I started saving the eggshells from my breakfast. As you can see, I didn't make it to a whole dozen. I don't eat that many eggs and got impatient. Mixed herb seeds are what I planted. Maybe it's the warming weather that inspired me. Maybe I just spend too much time by myself. And even though I just planted them the other day, I still check them everyday for sprouts (like an idiot). I'm pretty excited about having something new to overwater!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wedding Presence

Since it's that time of year when couples all over are planning their weddings, I thought I'd share a couple of jewelry items of mine that have recently been ordered as bridesmaid's gifts. I don't normally think of my jewelry as "bridal", so I find it interesting how other's can see your work.

The first item is my Initially Necklace. The bride ordered an initial for each woman, so they got the same gift, but completely individualized. The other bride liked the old- fashioned style of the Art Nouveau Necklace and felt it went well with her wedding. She got one for each of her bride's maids. Both items are still available in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Comet Tail Necklace

The links in this chain necklace are based on the links in my Cipher Necklace. Cut short on one side, I solder on an open ring. The ring is fed through the drilled hole in the "tail" of the next link and then the ring is soldered shut.

Filed clean, then hand polished, the whole thing is then tumbled to a bright shine. I thought they looked like leeetle individual comets chasing each other's tails, that's why I call it Comet Tail Necklace. It's my new love and is available for sale in my Etsy shop.