Thursday, April 16, 2009

Earth Day Fest This Weekend

I've been so busy, but that's really no excuse for abandoning my blog. I have taken on a new endeavor, outside of my jewelry making, but I will save that for another time.

I am heading out to Sunrise, Florida tomorrow. I am taking part in their Arts and Crafts section of their First Annual Earth Day Celebration.
It's a one day event, but about a 3 1/2 hour drive for me, so I am heading up there tomorrow afternoon. Staying at a really nice Hyatt nearby so I can relax and have a mini-vacation before spending all day Saturday working hard. But I am looking forward to it. At left is a photo of one of my new pieces. It's a lariat style necklace with sterling silver, resin and glass lampwork beads. This is one of my favorite pieces and I have different variations of it that will be for sale this weekend. Hope they sell!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Finally! I am able to upload some photos! I tried shutting down my Firewall and now it seems to work. Although until now, I never needed to shut down the firewall for uploading photos.
Anyway, here is a picture of polymer clay pendant pieces I made. I got the idea from a photo in a book on decorative finishes for metal jewelry. I thought, "I could do something like that in polymer clay!" I want to try this again and fine tune it, they did not turn out exactly as I was imagining, and I know what I did wrong, but I think these are pretty cool anyway.

Also, I have been working more with metal lately. I purchased some decorative punches, a 'raw silk' texturizing hammer and a dapping block.

Here's my dapping/doming block:

And here's my fancy texture hammer:

I have also been working on metal jewelry, using my new tools. With my dapping block I have been able to take flat sterling silver discs and dome them. You place them in one of the round depressions on the doming block, choose a dapping tool-the metal tools with the round ends shown in the photo, and when you place that on the silver and tap with a hammer, you get a nice domed piece of silver. Also, with various hammers you can pound away on the silver and leave really cool textures and impressions. Here's pictures of some earrings I have made using my cool tools:

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Have 2 Craft Shows This Week!

Well, I really wanted to add photos to my post, but I have been unable to upload any to blogger lately and my requests for assistance have gone unanswered by "those in charge."

So my blog will be fairly short and pictureless today.
I have 2 craft shows this week and I am very excited and also very nervous and wonder what was I thinking trying to do 2 in only 4 days!

My first one is at the Terra Ceia Village Crafts Fair . It is this Wednesday, March 11th. It is in it's 23rd year so it should be well attended.

The other one is on Saturday, March 14th in Orlando. It is called Spring for Handmade and is held by Cottage Industry Co-Op.

I am grateful to the promoters of these shows to have the opportunity to show and hopefully sell lots of jewelry and to get my name out there to the public.

In the meantime I have made some really cool polymer clay pendant pieces and some hand forged sterling silver and copper earrings--but I can't show you! I am in the process of listing them to my Etsy and Artfire shops, so you can see them there, until I can find out what is wrong with Blogger.............

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Polymer Clay Beads and Other Stuff

Once again I have been so bad keeping this blog updated. I have been really busy though and every time I think to post something has come up, and to be honest, I forget a lot too!

I've been busy making new polymer clay beads. An example of one is on the left. I used translucent colors and parts of old canes and I think they turned out pretty good! I love the combination of pink and orange, so you will see a lot of that in these beads.

I sanded each of them with wet/dry sandpaper in 400,600,800 and 1000 grit sandpaper, then buffed them. I have been experimenting with that using my new Lortone tumbler. Instead of adding stainless steel shot, water and my metal jewelry, I run it dry with cut up pieces of cotton cloth. I am not sure if there is better material to use, or if I should have larger pieces of the cotton/flannel, but so far the results are pretty good. I run the tumbler though for at least 12 hours or more and because I get impatient, I then end up finishing with my dremel and a buffing wheel. Here's a few more:

I also took a basic chainmaille class last week at a local bead store. I love the look of chainmaille and really respect those who do it and produce beautiful chain work. I was sure that this was not something for me to try and tackle, it just seemed like the perfect thing to drive me crazy, trying to work with small jump rings. We were taught a basic Byzantine pattern for a bracelet and surprisingly, I was not climbing the walls when we finished! Actually, I had to finish it at home, and I did. My pictures turned out blurry, this is the only one that came out:

Kinda hard to make it out, but I really want to make a few more and maybe try some other, albeit simple, patterns as well. Thanks to Nina for being such a patient teacher!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Here is a post from a fellow Etsy Seller regarding the CPSIA laws, and has requested that as many bloggers as possible post on their blog. So, here it is:

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yipee!!Lemonade Award!!

Sharon at Magnolia Blossom Art
has nominated me for the Lemonade Award.

Thank you very much, Sharon. I really appreciate it. You are too kind. The Lemonade Award is awarded to sites that show a positive attitude and gratitude. And I am grateful to be considered a part of that group.

Here are the rules for the award:
1.Put the logo on your blog or post
2.Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude.
3.Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.
4.Let them know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.
5.Nominate your favorites and link to your post.
My Choices for the Award:


I chose these for their great attitudes and because many of them offer so much help and assistance to others like me who are trying to be successful with our internet businesses. They have been successful and are sharing their knowledge with us and that, friends, is Gratitude.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Shameless Plug For Us Little Guys In A Tough Economy

In this current time of economic uncertainty where so many people are losing their jobs due to layoffs and the closings of entire companies and the possibility of rising gas prices ,we are all cutting back on certain luxury items, only purchasing what we need, not what we want or would like to have.
We have seen so many corporate bailouts with probably more to come. It can be pretty frustrating and depressing that is for sure. However, it came to me this morning that, not inspite of the economy, but because of it, that we should still take the time to be good to ourselves and to others. Yes, we need to make sacrifices, and sacrifice is good, good for the character and good for the soul. Still, from time to time, we still need to do something good just to make us feel a little better. I am not talking hedonistic excess, no way! But every so often we need to treat ourselves to that little piece of chocolate or that dinner out. There is still the friend or neighbor who could use a little pick me up, whether you offer to run errands for them, bring over a dinner, or stop by for a visit.

So, here comes my shameless plug. In spite of tough times and probably tougher times ahead, we still need to occasionally treat ourselves to something special or buy that birthday or mother's day gift, or get that invite to the baby or bridal shower. When these things come up, can I make a suggestion? Why don't you check out your local craftsman or artisan? Their work is quality and made with love, not assembled in a sweat shop overseas or by a robot. You will also find that these items of good quality are priced a lot lower, though not always, than what you might find at the big box stores. Either way you will either save money or spend it on something that will last, not fall apart right after the warranty expires.

In this year ahead, help out the little guy, and I mean myself too! and check out some of your local art and craft shows, who knows what deals you may find, and spend your money on a quality gift item for yourself, family member or friend. Check out the online venues of handcrafted goodies like Etsy or Artfire. Do a Google search, there are plenty more out there too. Also, check out your local bead store. Besides supplies, they also sell beautiful, one of a kind pieces of jewelry.

Please forgive my shameless plug. I am not advocating unrestrained spending. I'm just saying that when those things come up in the coming year, when you know you need to get a little something for someone, don't forget us little guys.