Saturday, April 30, 2011


Lately I've really been trying to come up with some packaging that I think has some WOW factor but isn't too expensive or time consuming. I'm really liking what I'm working on right now and of course in the creative stages it's very time consuming but I think I've got it so as time goes by I will streamline the process and I think it looks fantastic!

First find some amazing heavy paper or card stock, there are so many choices out there thanks to Scrapbooking at Michaels and Paper Zone and Joanne's and all those other crafty stores. I in fact had a terrible time buying only a few, I bought more than I should but they are all so amazing!

Here's a couple of the ones I chose, in different sizes...

Whatever choices you make, you want to start with a square. Find or create a rectangle that fits in the center of the square similar to what you see below, cut notches at each corner. One thing I've discovered, if you cut the notches just a little bigger than 90% they lay much nicer and look finished. I've made templates out of heavier stock that I use to lay on top of the actual decorative paper and cut the notches out of 2-3 pieces at a time.

Once the notches are cut, from the inside, take a ruler or some rigid object across the notches and score the flaps so the corners over lap in the center. I've made some larger ones that I can put jewelry pieces in and much smaller ones for components.

Slip the items inside (wrap with tissue paper and/or foam wrap for protection first) and tie with yarn or raffia or you can use a sticker to close them. I'm contemplating adjusting the design a bit so I can put a hold at the closing flap and tie something all the way through to really secure it well.

 I think they turn out so beautiful considering how really simple they are and hopefully will surprise and impress whoever opens them on the other side. Just a little something extra, which can mean so much!


Bronze is in the Shop!!

6 Bronze items added to my Etsy Shop last night and this morning, lots more to come this weekend!!!


Friday, April 29, 2011

Bronze Shop Update Coming Soon

Still alot of work to do to get individual pieces ready for listing but I'm hoping to list a few items in my Etsy Shop tonight and through the weekend.

Fired last night taken out of the kiln first thing this morning, needing a little polish.

Out of the tumbler a little shinier but still lots of polishing and patination to come.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BTW April 27, 2011

This time I finally got to this early, I've missed the last couple of times when I wait for Wednesday. I have quite a load of bronze components ready to be cleaned up, shaped and holes put in them, then they'll get tossed in the kiln and fired. I'm hoping maybe some night this week so they are ready to start listing Friday and in to the weekend.

I got some new and different Sea Urchins so I've been having fun pulling textures off of them and figuring out how to make different shapes and patterns. I do love them, the texture is just wonderful!

I'm also learning to make multiples of what seems to be your favorites, I'd love to keep my shop stocked with them all the time if possible.

Ammonite Rounds, Sea Urchin Ovals, new Sea Urchin squares and long squigglies, 2 different Sea Urchin rounds and top right I tried to add touches of copper to the Mod Circles Round.

Here's a close up of one of the new larger Sea Urchin Rounds, and 3 pair of Paisly Squares.

Love the Sea Urchin Squares and long squigglies (need to think of a name for those) and the new Sputnik Sea Urchin rounds center bottom.

Yet one more view, I'm really pleased with this batch!

Look for them by Friday (I hope) and throughout the weekend in the DIY Section of my Etsy Shop.

And check out all the other artists participating in BTW on Flickr


Art Bead Scene April Challenge

This months Art Bead Scene Challenge has a beautiful, soft and natural piece as our inspiration. I think it has inspired some absolutely stunning and original pieces. 

Finches and Bamboo, Northern Song dynasty (960–1127)
Emperor Huizong (1082–1135, r. 1101–1125) Chinese
Handscroll; ink and color on silk; 11 x 18 in. (27.9 x 45.7 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
John M. Crawford, Jr. Collection, Purchase, Douglas Dillon Gift, 1981

When I saw this beautiful piece I knew I wanted to create a necklace dripping with Bronze or Copper leaves with rich beads in earthy neutrals with splashes of that orange/red and soft green. I created a batch of Bronze Leaves out of Precious Metal Clay, collected all the beads together I thought might work in the piece and set out to make my piece. It seemed to come together quite naturally, I strung the leaves with lots of layers patinated Copper wire wrapped to create substantial bails for each leaf. Added amazing Lampwork beads between each one from BluHealer a couple of beautiful Glass Head Pins from Raida of HavanaBeads, threw in some bright orange Faceted Carnelian Nuggets, some Speckled Agate, Copper Chain and a handmade Copper Clasp and this is the result.

Please take a look at all of the other beautiful entries in this months challenge on Flickr


Sunday, April 24, 2011

My New Employees

I've never had employees before but I think these new girls will work out just fine...and they like my jewelry!

They haven't got names though, I might have to have a little poll to name them. I've thought of Thelma and Louise, Lucy and Ethel and somebody on my FB Business page said Wilma and Betty. All good ones I think.

Here are the debut pictures of the girls modeling necklaces, they were born to model don't you think?

She is wearing my ABS April Challenge Necklace

She is wearing my Graduated White Turquoise Necklace listed on Artfire.

The shiny one will probably end up painted or decoupaged, but she looks better than I expected.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bugs Gone Wild

And Flowers and leaves and nature stuff!
The Pedigree of Honey
by: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

The pedigree of honey

Does not concern the bee;

A clover, any time, to him

Is aristocracy.
by Maria Fleming

Ladybugs all dressed in red

Strolling through the flowerbed.

If I were tiny just like you

I'd creep among the flowers too!

This flower will be listed later today!

Special order of Bee Components made for a friend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

And the Winner Is.....

Oh my that was so much fun. I had 4-5 people on my FB Business page as I was drawing the winner and I drew it out a bit. Thanks to Shannon, Lisa, Katie and Patricia for participating in the live drawing, hope I didn't miss anybody! I'd love to have more join in the fun next time too!!

The winner is da da da daaaa!!! Shannon of For My Sweet Daughter!!!

Shannon was one of the last to post just before I drew numbers, at the moment she's trying to decide between the earrings or components. I'm happy she likes them both and it's not an easy choice, that's a good thing.

Thank you to all who participated, for commenting, and blogging and FB'ing and Tweeting your little hearts out!! I appreciate it more than you know and I look forward to next time!!!


Last Chance to Enter

Today is drawing day, last chance to enter to win a pair of Earrings or Compnents made by me to celebrate my 100th Etsy Sale (now at 101!).

I've decided these earrings that I made for a recent Love My Art Jewelry chellenge are to be given away if the winner decides to choose them.

Lots of ways to enter, leave a comment (be sure to leave a way to contact you if you win), Blog, FB, Twitter about it or make a purchase in either my Etsy Shop or Artfire.

I'll choose a winner tonight when I get home from work about 5pm (pacific)


Monday, April 18, 2011

Giveaway to Celebrate my upcoming 100th Etsy sale

To begin I've created a coupon for "FREESHIPPING" for all sales in my Etsy Shop for the rest of April AND I'll give away the winner's choice of either a pair of earrings OR components.

Every item purchased up to and beyond my 100th sale gives you an entry to the drawing and every comment and every FaceBook, Blog or Twitter gives you another entry. Drawing held on Thursday April 21st.

I just had my 95th sale, not far to go!! I'll also consider sale in my Artfire shop as entries to this contest, everything on Artfire has free shipping!

That's alot of chances to win. Please be sure I am able to contact you, leave your email address in your post. I have had winner's in the past that I was unable to contact, don't let that be you!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Shutters for Table Display!!

It turned out to be a very busy day!! Started the day unloading my kiln of all the copper I fired last night. Got some of it photograghed and listed and even sold some of it, as well as some that's been in the shop for awhile as well as some finished jewelry....A very good day!

But today's blog is actually about these awesome new (old and crusty actually) shutters I found and purchased on Craigslist. Most of what I found was way too new for my purposes, then I found these nice well used ones. One especially is darn near rotted but it works for me, but it'll look great once it's cleaned up a bit more!!

The guy wanted way too much for them, way more than alot of the new shutters I had found for sale, but I ended up getting them for less than half what he wanted. Still too much considering the shape they were in but he's lucky that's what I was looking for lol!!

I'm working on earring cards at the moment, looking for somebody to design them for me. I could do it but I need to deligate something and this seems like a good choice. I didn't get in to the first show I was going for on May 7th so I have a little more time to work on it. I may create a few by hand to get a better idea exactly what I want.

These beauties sold...

And I listed more Components in my shop, and more to come.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hello Ceramic Goodbye Stainless

I've been working on a new batch of copper most of the afternoon and will probably fire tonight in my shiny new Ceramic Firing Container. Before I do that I wanted to take a nice portrait of it in pristine condition. I have no doubt it will hold up better than the stainless container (I'm including a picture of that one too) but surely it will have some wear and tear over time as it does it's job.

Here are the copper pieces I have done so far, will probably try to do a few more so I can have a full kiln load. Some of the favorites, sunburst, paisley and lace flower rounds, and some new sea urchin in round, adorable little bees, leaves and flowers and a funky mod pattern. The photo is distorted, I don't know why and I can't seem to fix'll get the idea :)

Hello Gorgeous...

Beautiful new Ceramic Firing container, my gorgeous new paper makes a pretty back drop don't ya think?

Bye bye old Stainless container, you did a good job for me but it's time for you to go!! I won't miss the black soot that gets all over everything each time I fire you.

R. I. P


Paper Zone Adventure

Just returned from my first trip to Paper Zone, but not my last. Let me tell ya, this place rivals a bead store. I could have spent quite a bit more time there but my husband was waiting in the car for me. Little did I know he was fast asleep lol. Oh well, next time I'll go all by myself.

My main goal was to find some unusual tissue paper to use in packaging my Jewelry and Components when they are being sent to new homes. They didn't have a huge selection but they had a few that I really liked so, expect to see this tissue when you receive my designs in the future.

I've also been wanting to fold really unusual and beautiful card stock paper in to handmade envelopes. They actually had some all cut and scored ready to be folded, I got a couple designs I really liked, but they will probably be used for templates. The one in the center is my favorite, I love the color and design!


The next photo was taken with my cell phone so it's not very good. But you see why I took it, rows and rows of big sheets of gorgeous handmade paper!!!!

This is the 1 sheet of handmade paper I chose, my plan is to use it as tissue paper but I'm not sure I want to cut it up...we'll see. It's gorgeous!!!

That's my Paper Zone adventure, lots of fun!!

Until next time!!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Skagit Tulip Festival 2011

We visited the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival on Saturday and spent a little bit of time in La Conner. It was a pretty nice day (no rain) and although the Tulips still have a way to go there were enough in bloom to satisfy us, by next weekend the fields should be bursting at the seems. I'll say the rest with some photos.

Purple Tulips just opening

This was the paths you walked on, interesting to look at yes,
 but even more so to walk on.
 Very spongy underneath, felt like the water might squish up between the cracks.

Tulip Town, they have lots of amazing Kites for sale being demo'd.