Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jewelry Display

jewelryorganizer by ShineTrue
jewelryorganizer, a photo by ShineTrue on Flickr.
When I saw my moms jewelry thrown about on top of her dresser I knew she needed something. But it needed to be on the wall (no horizontal space) and substantial (she has alot of jewelry). I had seen pictures of jewelry organizers using radiator cover sheets in frames but didnt have any frames big enough for her. Than I remembered I have a few memory box frames that I havent done anything with.  This one ended up being perfect. Hung vertically, it is long enough for most of my mom's necklaces (I know it won't hold them all, she needs a tie organizer too!), and it will hold a ton of earrings. I have some cream boxes that I am going to make with a goldtone radiator sheet.  The only downside is that the radiator covers are expensive (in my opinion) but I will be able to use the scrap for smaller frames.
And just so ya know, if I had done a little more research instead of just looking at other people's pictures I would have known how easy it is to cut the radiator sheet.  In the end (after trying every OTHER tool we had) I just used my kitchenaid scissors to cut it to size.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mother Bird Nest Necklace

birdnestedit by ShineTrue
birdnestedit, a photo by ShineTrue on Flickr.
My first attempt at making a bird nest. I am happy with how it turned out, however, again, it took me longer than I expected. Why? Because the thicker gauge wire was hard (you can choose between soft, half-hard, and hard) it did not want to wrap easily. But I beat it into submission and am happy now. My only question, leave the bird charm or lose it? It is one of my latest stamps, so I felt the need to use it, but wonder if it takes away from the nest pendant.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Practice, practice, practice

Looking at my stash the other day I realized that I have some buttons resembling snowflakes.  Figured this might be the time to do something with them.  So I decided I wanted to make them into pendants with a technique I learned a couple of years ago.  I took a class (one, very short class) on learning how to make "memory" frames with no-lead solder.  You may recognize those kiddos.  If you send me a picture Christmas card I keep it.  I hope to someday have a whole wreath filled with little pictures of family and friends on it.  Thank goodness they now make metal frames you can just drop the glass into, because I don't see ever getting that project done this way.
It's been awhile so I figured I would practice. There is some prep involved beforehand and as you can see the "winter wonderland" frame is the bare copper tape and does not have any solder on it.  You can also probably see the glass is cracked. Whoops! Glass is fragile! Who knew?

So not a very good job.

 But then I found out that buttons are ALOT easier than shapes with corners.  So a little better.  I also found out that the reason people blacken the solder in these projects is that it HIDES not so great spots, making the bumps look more "artistic" (are you buying that?).  I also found out that copper tape reflects back into my buttons and my very smart friend Jennifer recommended that I buy the copper tape that has black on the inside to avoid the reflection.  But being impatient, I just went ahead and finished with what I had.  I know this picture isnt the best, I am still learning how best to photograph clear glass.

And just for fun I practiced wire wrapping a marble:

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Pilot

Halloween20112editOk. So technically, this is not a craft done WITH my 2 sons or jewelry, but really, can ya blame me for blogging about it?  I do have to give credit where credit is due - I found a picture on Pinterest originally from Rook No. 17 about 2 months ago. So I thought, if my son didn't voice an opinion on his costume and I could find an appropriate basket than I would go for it.

Well both those things came together - found the basket at an estate sale for $1.25 and Zac couldn't seem to care less about getting dressed up.  There are many things that I LOVE about this costume.  First, of course, is just how cute it is! Second, you can dress your kiddo for the weather conditions (lucky for me it was cold enough for him to wear his aviator hat and coat which we already had).  Third, it makes your toddler MORE visible to traffic (not that it was a concern on the 2 dead end streets we were on!). And fourth, it was NO SEW!

I think it is pretty easy to figure out how I did this.  First, I cut out the bottom of the basket.  Next, I tied on some ribbon to go over his shoulders. Then I tied on some brown paper "weights".  What took the most time was blowing up the balloons and tying them on strings (had the balloons and helium left over from big brother's birthday). I tied the balloons together at the bottom and then tied them to both ribbons on the back (this was to help keep the shoulder straps from falling off - and it worked).  The original costume had one BIG balloon that did look great, I just never got to that step, since I wasn't quite sure the little guy would go for doing this.  At first he did protest, it took a few minutes, and you can see in the picture he is pretty seriously considering rebelling.  But he was a trooper and I think he enjoyed the attention and the balloons!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Craft Show lessons

 I survived my first craft show!  I didn't do as well as I hoped, there wasn't much traffic most likely due to the high winds outside.  The vendor next to me who was pretty experienced said she felt there was plenty of press but thought the weather and other events were keeping people away.  She gave ALOT of advice. I received alot of positive feedback on my display (the coordinator loved my setup and was surprised it was my first show) and another jewelry artist said she was going to steal my idea for the chalkboard plates for her displays.  I will say that the few women that I consider my "demographic" that stopped - bought, so I guess that is good! I have alot of good ideas for my next setup - next show is in November so obviously have to ditch the Halloween theme.

Feel free to leave a critique - I am trying to learn!

Chandelier drop pendant necklace

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just because I can...

doesn't mean that I will want too! I found this out with polymer clay. After seeing cute ornaments from Oodles of Ornaments at a street fair (where I bought a very reasonable priced "peas in a pod" ornament that she personalized with the boys names) and the cute items at AMerryMishap I decided that this may be a craft Nic and I could do together. Michael's happenned to have a sale that week so Nic and I picked out some colors.

Well, we did enjoy making our beads - for awhile. Then Nic got bored and wandered off while I was stuck there rolling little pieces of clay between my hands. The Ohio State bracelet is my handiwork! And Nic was really excited to string his beads for a necklace for grandma.  That is him in the pic showing off the necklace.  So I would say this was a successful craft with him - I think we will make something Halloween themed soon, but I don't see it becoming part of my jewelry line.

Well back to getting ready for the show on Saturday!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Getting ready....

You wouldn't know it by my Etsy store, but I have been in high gear with my jewelry making. Well, as much as I can do, with a hubby always working, 2 little kids and a couple of colds.

I have become much better at drawing and writing down ideas as they pop into my head.  Amazingly, this has been really helpful when I have the time to sit down and actually make something!  I am really trying to use up my current stash, I have some nice stones and they have been collecting dust.  The upcoming craft fair(s?) has been a good kick in the pants to produce.  Sometimes I get a bit indecisive (should I use an 8mm crystal or a 10? Is this the EXACT shade I want?) and nothing happens. 

I am having fun getting my craft fair table setup and logo done.  But sometimes I wonder about the sanity of doing all this so I can afford more supplies and tools to make more jewelry.  I love doing it but it does become a little obsessive.  Or maybe it is my ultimate way of procrastinating on housework?

Anyways, I did learn that next time I take a photo with a reflective surface in it I should remove whatever is red near it! :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Country Living Fair 2011

Today was my first trip to the Country Living Fair. I had a great time! It was beautiful weather and I went by myself. I knew it was a huge event and wanted to see what all the hype was about.
I didn't really expect to find any deals. I know this has to be an expensive show for the vendors and I could tell that many of them put alot of effort into their displays. But i found a place from Springfield that i got some decent prices on jewelry. I also bought soy candles, soap, a purse (that is what is under the jewelry in the pic), a wooden skeleton to hang on the wall (for Zac who is loving all the "Spooky Scary!" decorations in the stores) all from the people who made them.
That being said, for an entrance fee of $16 and a parking fee of $5 I expected more antiques! What i really enjoyed was watching what other people were buying and the marketing of the items. Alot of the re-done vintage jewelry seemed to be really popular. I have really enjoyed doing this sort of work, so to see it sell gives me hope that one day maybe i could at least break even with my hobby!
Here is a description of my "finds" today, starting top left:
Blue Weiss rhinestone brooch (missing one light blue stone), unmarked black earrings - soon to be rings, Sarah Coventry goldtone brooch, siver with black center flower pin - it has a marking but i havent made it out yet, Sarah Coventry earrings, an Avon owl pin (i dont usually collect avon but couldnt resist this cute owl! I wonder if he originally had the "googly" eyes he has now?), HUMONGOUS yellow plastic beads from Western Germany (no, i have no idea what i am going to do with them), enamelled flower pin and a German glass beaded necklace.
I am so happy with my stash! My Weiss broch is dusty, but none of the pieces show any wear or corrosion. I'm looking forward to making rings and necklaces with them.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

White Necklace Re-done

I was underwhelmed yesterday with the result of my necklace.  Sometimes what I envision doesn't translate 100%.  Not quite happy with the chain in the design.  I have a fix, probably get it done in a year or so.

So I still wanted a white necklace.  I bought a Monet necklace at a flea market a few months ago with white enamelled filigree beads. I took the necklace apart, cleaned the beads with a toothbrush and baking soda paste, and restrung some of them back on the original chain and spacer beads. I also had a (supposedly) vintage glass shankless West Germany flower button that I glued to a brass flower.  I am very happy with the result.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Not ready to let go...

Another post about mourning the end of summer.  It seems that Mother Nature isn't quite ready to let it go either. After a couple of weeks of cooler weather we have a heat advisory today.  While it is nice to get a few last trips to the pool, those cool nights have made the water chilly!
A goldtone necklace with these shell beads has been in my mind all summer.  Yes, I just made it, when it is time to put the white shorts away.  I saw the women of the Today Show bejeweled with semi-precious stones hung in a similar fashion on gold chain the other day - it motivated me.  Of course, mine is just base metal chain with shell but I can pretend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's Still Summer!

I am rebelling at the back to school items and loving green right now.  It is still time for summer jewelry, I don't even want to think about sweaters and jeans. 

In this picture on the left is a vintage glass green button from West Germany.  The middle is a glass vintage cabachon with little specks of white, blue and pink.  I glued it onto a chunky button.  It fit nicely and I thought the white made the green stand out.  The far right is a finished vintage silver earring made into a ring for myself!

The earrings are brass wire with vintage components.

With the high price of silver right now, I thought it would be a good idea to wait for it to drop before buying more supplies.  So I have ventured into making my own earwires from my current stash of wire. I know - it's not hard to make earwires - wrap the wire about a tube and cut - but I have never done it.  This was my first attempt - practicing with brass.  I hammered them a bit, and de-burred the ends with my new wire rounder.  I can't believe I picked the wire rounder up at Michael's.  They are carrying alot more tools.  Don't get me wrong - I like my quality tools (the few that I have!). But not every tool has to be expensive, and with the weekly 40 or 50% off coupon from the paper it makes it very economical to pick up some new stuff!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Vintage Earrings into Rings Day.

Soooo..... I should be studying. But I'm not.  I received my new ring blanks in the mail. Just really wanted to get these done. 

The one in the bottom left corner is a Weiss earring. I got it at the Sunbury flea market. I was thinking of keeping it for awhile and trying to find another orphaned earring but I really want it as a ring!

The one in the middle is not complete.  That is a vintage glass button. After it dries I will glue in the blue resin flowery former vintage earring that also came from the flea market.  It is part of a pair but the other will be put on a necklace with white filigree Monet beads (well that is the plan for now).  The blue earring fits perfectly in the glass button. 

The one on the right was missing it's inner white cabochon.  I was thinking a green agate would look awesome, but I am too impatient to wait on another jewelry order and I found I had a labradorite that was the perfect size.

The other 2 pieces you see don't have totally flat backs.  So I am looking for other backings (like a button or metal piece) that will be a help. Otherwise I think they may be knocked off the ring blanks to easily.

I will be listing the cream flower, the silver starry one, and probably the blue with vintage button (but I love that button!).  But definitely keeping the Weiss rhinestone for myself! I love making rings.

I had some problems with my new lens photographing these.  And some of my photos from the other day didn't seem very crisp.  Have to do some more research - maybe user error but never had this problem with my other lens before it broke.