Friday, February 6, 2009

Recent work: Rhodochrosite Earrings, Sweet Azurite pendant, and even MORE trees!

Well lets see.... since the last time I wrote here are SOME of the things i've made (been busy!)
I've also been taking some better photographs due to discovering a couple of things about my camera... like the close up button.
This is a piece I am very proud of... It's an all-Sterling Silver wire wrapped pendant including a piece of Azurite , a Black Tourmaline , and an Amethyst Crystal cluster. The wire weaving came out really well (I think)... The piece is about 2 inches long and comes with a French rope Sterling Silver plated chain.

I also made a few pairs of earrings. Here's a pair inspired by all the posts i've been seeing on etsy about how people are looking for items to cheer them up from these winter blues:
"Can't wait for Spring? Neither can I! Give yourself a little taste with these cheerful earrings.

Each earring is composed of 2 porcelain birds peeking out from the leaves (a number of Peridot gemstones , and one Czech glass le
af bead on each). The ear wires are Surgical steel to eliminate possibility of allergies. I could also make you a pair with Sterling Silver ear wires for $1 extra. These earrings are about 2 inches long. I'd be happy to make a custom similar pair with other stones, more or less birds, longer or shorter, etc"

And, I picked up some Rhodochrosite from the local rock shop...

I also made a bracelet with Gold fill wire Featuring a lovely Peruvian Blue Opal Wrapped in Sterling Silver and Gold wire
This bracelet is made with Gold fill chain * . Adorning the bracelet are a faceted Yellow Topaz , a faceted Smoky Topaz, and two faceted Chalcedony pieces . The bracelet is 9 inches long but the clasp is very adjustable.

About Gold fill wire:
the metal used in making this chain is 14/20 meaning that it is 14/20ths gold, 100 times more gold than gold plated. This process is used because gold on its on is very very soft and would break too easily in this sort of thickness.

(I actually just learned all this about gold fill!)

And, here's a photo of one of the Tree of Life pendants I did.... posting mainly because I am really happy with how the photo itself turned out, let alone the tree!

In other news, sort of dissappointed because I placed an ad for the back page of the local alternative newspaper for my website, and its NOT THERE! I was really hoping to get a little extra Valentine's Day business from the ad, especially because that would give me some extra cash to spend at the Tucson Gem and Mineral show coming up! They put it inside the newspaper which is a lot less likely to be seen. I haven't seen any business from it yet, anyway.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Excited to be making Stefana now .... Plus, a wire wrap w/ 2 kinds of Gold

Stefana are a Greek Orthodox wedding tradition symbol showing the connection and unity between a newly married couple. They consist of two crown / tiara-like hoops connected by a ribbon. I recently was commissioned through Etsy by a couple to create their Stefana. What an honor! They wanted a organic looking greenish color scheme. After photographing my different gemstones in shades of green, i ran a few color combinations by them, but my first choice (and the only one i really wanted to do, really) was Emerald, Watermelon Tourmaline, Labradorite, and Peridot. They liked this best too! So I created the Stefana for them out of these stones, Sterling Silver, and Organza ribbon. . I've sent her photos and they really like them! I put on the finishing touches tonight, packed them up, and they're ready to go out in tomorrow's mail. It felt very special to be contributing to their ceremony and I really hope I get the opportunity to make Stefana again!

And, something else i have wanted to do for a while:
i made a wrap making extensive use of gold
Actually, I made a 5 metal / 5 stone wrap:

" This unusual wrap includes 5 different stones held by 5 different metals.

a 9.5 Carat Herkimer Diamond
a 5 Carat Moldavite
10.5 Carat Peridot
13 Carat Black Tourmaline
24 Carat Labradorite

in Rose Gold, Yellow Gold, Sterling Silver, Copper, and Bronze
All in a one of a kind formation

I'd like to note that the photos aren't really showing quite how nice the Herkimer Diamond or the Labradorite really are! "

This wrap also makes use of wrapping into the wrap a prong set stone ( this piece i actually did in my metalsmithing class but i could definately do this at home too) , another thing i've wanted to incorporate for a while

And, i made a Custom Grandmother's necklace, Sterling Silver, and heart shaped, incorporating Jasper, Garnet, Amethyst, Citrine, and Topaz

Friday, January 23, 2009

Well, I was doing well with the daily posting for a WHILE there....

Let's see.... what have i been up to?

The baby has stopped gaining weight, now he's losing weight. Scary. Supplementing as much as possible, and i have an appointment with a Lactation Consultant on Thursday. His pediatrician doesn't seem too concerned though. He's still in normal range for his age, too.

I finished the 4th anniversary Tree of Life sculpture. She really liked it, which is always so nice to hear... I love how there are so many subtlely hidden allusions in there! Without getting into any presonal details, it seems like a perfect symbol for their relationship.

And, I made a couple of Chunky necklaces which is something I haven't made before. I have a lot of really nice beads that I have purchased over the years and many of them don't really fit into what I am doing these days, artwise, but some of them came together in this necklace:
This 17 1/2 inch necklace has big luscious beads on it in Blues, Greens , and Purples , and the Pendant is a Dichroic glass piece about 2 1/4 inches long that reminds me of a peacock feather. The other beads include glass beads, glass Lampwork beads, rectangular green Aventurine stone beads, round barrel shaped deep green Chrysocolla gemstone beads, and purple Fluorite and Green Fluorite crystal / stone beads.

And, while acquiring some Blue Topaz, I ran across some Peruvian Blue Opal that the same seller had, and it looked so beautiful, I just had to buy some, for no specific reason. I found just the right stones to go with it:

I really love this necklace. It was a pleasure to work with these lovely stones. It consists of spherical Turquoise beads from Tibet, about 3/8 inch in diameter (slightly smaller than a marble ) , lightly faceted Rondelle Peruvian Blue Opal beads, also about 3/8 inch in diameter but not spherical, more of a disk shape, and in the center, an Amazonite that is about 3/4 inch long and is rectangular overall but has some light faceting . Fastens with a clasp. The necklace is about 19 inches long and is very elegant and ethereal, and striking at the same time.

I decided to start putting it out there that I am willing to make custom Mother and Grandmother Tree of Life and/or Heart pendants for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, and I have had one sale. I really love how the piece came out - so vibrant and colorful! The familial relationships are hinted at because the necklace is for a grandmother, and the branches with birthstones for the grandchildren are coming off of the branch of their respective parents. The piece contains Jasper, Yellow Opal, Turquoise, Garnet, more Jasper, and Blue Topaz. This piece went to Spain, and I haven't had an International jewelry sale before that i can recall, so that was exciting!

I finished the Custom Elk teeth commissioned earrings, with hammered oval frames, Wire wrapped elk teeth, 2 types of faceted Amethysts hanging from chain. I met up with the person who ordered them, and he was so happy, he paid me more than my price, so that was nice of him. He said he wants me to make a necklace for him in the future.. Another satisfied customer...

And, another commissioned pair of earrings, a lady contacted me a while back wanting a pair of earrings with Gold Danburite and Seraphinite. I told her no problem. Then i started looking into the prices for these stones. Wow! I had to charge her $75 and i actually lost money, but i have some materials left, so it was worth it (i suppose). These are highly valued Angelic stones, used in connection to a higher power for those who use crystals and stones in meditation.

I also made a Tree of Life pendant for which I have the highest price tag of anything I have made so far. Still, I hope it sells because it is so beautiful that its a shame its just sitting on one of my boards. I have to charge what I am because it took me a week to make it, a whole bunch of Sterling Silver, and some very nice stones went into it. Maybe it will take a while for it to find a home with the price tag of $200 but then again, people pay thousands all the time for pieces that are a lot less original than this...

One of a kind piece - there will never be another like it because these stones were sculpted over time by Mother Nature and are from all over the world, and now I bring them together in this original design

All wire in this piece is Sterling Silver. It is woven to create the frame. At t
he top, a Tree is created out of Sterling Silver and Czech glass leaf beads. The rest of the piece seems to be the roots of this tree. This reminds us that often what lies beneath the surface is as important as what meets the eye and is a hidden source of strength.
Nestled in these roots, in various shades of green, are Collector's Quality naturally formed Crystals, gemstones, and Minerals including:

-- a 38 Carat Green Kunzite aka Hiddenite
This stone is valued by healers that study the metaphysical properties of stones for its ability to promote feelings of unconditional love for self and others, to aid in releasing feelings of inferiority, and facilitating dealing with the past in order to move forward.

-- an 11 Carat Moldavite
A stone treasure
d by Royalty, this stone is purported to have the ability to participate in bringing dramatic change to one's life and to open up access to other realms of existence

-- a 9 Carat Green Kyanite
Kyanite aids in aligning the Chakras of an individual as well as helping energy to flow properly between other stones.

--a 4.5 Carat Green Apatite
When placed near the throat, facilitates feelings of peace and harmony. Also helps people relinquish influences in their life that are causing them harm.

-- 1 Carat Peridot
Traditional birthstone of August, stone of new beginnings and growt

-- 1 Carat Amazonite
Considered a sacred stone in Egypt. Associated with luck , self confidence, understanding of others, and
reception of inspiration

-- 4.5 Carat raw Emerald
Traditional Birthstone for May, associated with Venus the Goddess of Love

-- 12 Carat Malachite
Removes blockages between ourself and a higher level of existence. Counteracts the tendency for self destructive behaviors in love, encouraging pure love instead. Cleansing of negative energies.

-- 2.5 Carat Green Tourmaline aka Indicolite
Green Tourmaline aids in Concentration and Stimultion of Creativity

I include this metaphysical information for the benefit of those who are interested ; Obviously this information is not necessary for an artistic appreciation of the piece :)

Overall, this piece is approximately 4 inches long. So it is subs
tantial although not enormous! I will include a Sterling Silver plated 18 inch Figaro Chain or other chain if you wish, or a black leather cord with clasp if you prefer.

A lot of work went into this piece, and I hope it goes to a good home!

And, since February is coming up, I made an Amethyst tree of life.

Made a simple
pearl necklace...

And I made a wire wrap that includes two of my favorite magical looking stones in one piece: Moonstone and Labradorite. Because of the shimmering unusual nature of these stones and my horrible photography skills, i never really did get a good picture but there are a couple at the link:
This necklace consists of a 20 carat luminous Labradorite with beautiful markings and brillliant blue flashing fire, and a 16 carat genuine Rainbow Moonstone glowing a lovely purple

They are elaborately and durably wrapped in all Sterling Silver
shown here on a Sterling Silver plated Figaro chain or we could work out some other chain or cord

I'm sure i've done a thing or two that i'm not recollecting right now..

Oh well.

Ordered a bunch of Silver and Gold wire from a couple of different sources, some new beads including Sapphire, Emerald, Ruby, Tanzanite, and more. Every time I make a dime, I spend it on new supplies! But i love doing this, so...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Keeping busy..

So i made the Shark Tooth custom necklace this morning... It's 3 shark teeth wire wrapped in Silver alloy, with glass beads and shells, on a Sterling Silver plated chain. Not bad for $15 including shipping and handling...

The Grandmother Birthstone heart necklace person still hasn't paid me or responded. She didn't have any feedback yet. I should have gotten payment up front... I have to be more patient though.

I finished the custom Tree sculpture yesterday and boy is it monumental!
Still have to write about it....
beyond the stones that are labeled, the leaves are Czech glass leaf beads, Peridot gemstone, Malachite, Serpentine Jade, Turquoise, Tiger's Eye, and more. She is getting a heck of a deal at $50 but I enjoyed making it... Lots of different stones...Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Peruvian Blue Opal, Topaz, Citrine, Garnet, Sapphire, and more. Yep, all genuine gemstones.

I also made a metalsmithing piece today:

"One of a kind copper necklace created by art student .. Square pendant

This one of a kind piece was started a couple years ago in a Metalsmithing class. . The Copper Square has been fired by a torch, creating a bubble and other lunar-landscape textures on one side. The other side has been painstakingly textured with a planishing hammer and other implements. Now I finally completed it, 2 years later. It has been attached on opposite c
orners to a vintage unused copper chain, 30 inches long, that hangs to about the bust, easily slipping over the head with no annoying clasps to mess about with. You choose which side of the square to wear outwards..they both look completely different!"

All I sold today was a bracelet - a multicolored, multi stone bracelet on a stretchy cord. Very colorful

New idea today, courtesy of Mystery from Tooboard : Custom made Mother's necklaces with the Birthstones of their kids , as a tree of life

Friday, January 9, 2009

Making Progress - and - i HAVE to get organized!

This morning I went to work. When I was done, I met up with a lady who wanted a shark tooth necklace for her son. This was an interesting transaction because it was a birthday present for her son, and he was going to be with her when she picked it up. We arranged it over the phone, and I thought it would work out if i secured the necklace inside a little mail order catalog from a department store, and met at a predetermined time and place. She handed me the $20 bill in a handshake, and I handed her the catalog with the necklace in it, showing the piece to her, first. Fun.

While I was working, I checked email from my phone and learned that someone on Etsy ALchemy had accepted my bid to make a gem tree sculpture for her husband's birthday. She was looking for something with "fruit and flowers" - the traditional gift for a 4th anniversary. There were other elements she wanted included too, and other little symbols and allusions contained in the piece... some of which i can't give away without revealing their personal details.... But i will be making a tree with their birthstones, and their kids, other Green gemstone and glass beads, a polymer clay apple and apple blossoms, and I will be making a 4 in the trunk, semi hidden, as well as other numerological allusions. She and I have been carrying on some pretty good discussion and I hope she is very satisfied with the results.

I also made the base for her tree, as well as the other tree I am making. I started the rest of the sculpting for that first tree, too. And I found most of the stones I will need for it. I also began working on the Grandmother necklace. And, the girl with the shark tooth necklace finally wrote back expressing her preferences, so now i can start on that.

And, I spent about 2 hours looking for some nice Amethyst briolette tear drop shaped beads that I need for several projects, and of course they were in a box that i searched 9 times. In the meantime i had ordered some back up replacements. I guess I will be able to do work with them. But I really need to organize my craft stuff. At one point, I had it somewhat sorted out in storage containers and drawers but it is now all scrambled together and can be so difficult to find things sometimes. Not really sure when i'll get around to it though!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I guess this blog will help me keep track too

Can't wait to type out what's going on, just to keep it all straight...

Well, this morning I took a bunch of photos of beads, shells, etc for the girl with the Shark tooth necklace to match the earrings to choose from... She hasn't written back yet.

The fellow with the Elk Tooth earrings wrote and asked if i could do ovals instead. After clarifying which orientation of oval (egg standing on end, or egg laying down), I said "sure". Now he wants the hoops hammered instead of out of twisted Sterling Silver. Glad he does, because it would be harder to hold an oval shape with that twisted Sterling Silver.

Cropped and adjusted the photos for the custom Gem Tree sculpture that I am making as the gift for the Grandmother with the 5 grandkids. Put them in Photo charms. Wrote to the mother commissioning it:
"Tomorrow, I will make the base for the sculpture.

I will also begin the stone selection process.

My idea for including your generation, the parents of these children, is that I will have a naturalistic division of the Tree trunk, with you and your husband on one side and your offspring, and your sister in law and her spouse and kids on the other side. Just like a family tree diagram except more organic! Since you aren't including your generation's photos, I can still include branches with the corresponding birthstones for you and your husband, and your sister in law and her husband, and branching off your branches would be your kids' branches.

If you'd like, you could send me names and birthdates of all nine of you and I can print them on a Parchment paper along with descriptions of the stones, to go with the sculpture"

She loves this idea and sent some info already.

Made a shark tooth necklace for a mother who wants to give it to her son.

Placed this bid for someone wanting a necklace for her mother incorporating her Grandkids' birthstones and won the contract
Description: I would make a heart out of hammered Sterling silver. Then would be another Sterling Silver heart inside that heart, hanging from which there would be two teardrop shaped faceted Amethyst gemstone beads, a spherical Garnet bead, a little cluster of Peridot beads, and a little cluster of Blue Topaz beads. It would be about 1 1/2 to 2 inches across. I would include a Sterling Silver snake chain. Any beads that I would use would be submitted for your approval first

Completion Date: 1/15/2009

Price: $25.00
Terms of payment: negotiable

Estimated cost of shipping: $6.00
Shipping method: Priority mail

Placed and lost a few other bids...

An interesting fellow saw my ad around Christmas time, for a Necklace incorporating a gorgeous Green Tourmaline and Two Topaz Points... (my husband and i refer to him as the guy who thought i was a sorceress -- long story) ...he said he was strapped for cash but to get back to him around January 6th.. he's no longer interested in that but asked me for recommendations for a Scorpio and also for a Taurus.... after getting a long email from me about that, he said he's leaning towards Tourmaline.. here's the lowdown I gave him on the Tourmalines I have around right now... (although I have a few more pieces too)

As far as Tourmaline goes, I could do a single Black Tourmaline about 2 inches long in a simple Sterling Silver wrap on a black leather cord or a Sterling Silver plated chain for $25. $20 for a slightly smaller one.

My website overall is at
Here are some links to items that are made with Tourmaline: (This one I'd be willing to reduce to $30) (Would reduce to $45) (would reduce to $50) (would also reduce to $50) (would take $50 for this one too)

These are SOME of the pieces I have already made up, containing Tourmaline. I do have various Watermelon Tourmalines, Green TOurmalines, Ruby (deep pink)Tourmalines, Black Tourmalines, and Champagne (maroon) Tourmalines just waiting for a home. I even have a gorgeous Green Tourmaline that has Purple Lepidolite Crystals growing all over it and also another Green Tourmaline that was broken in nature and rehealed itself, both that I will be making into jewelry eventually.

Also made these two pieces:

A Citrine Crystal wire wrapped in Sterling Silver and also a Black Tourmaline Crystal wire wrapped in Sterling

This piece consists of a Citrine Crystal hand wire wrapped in STerling Silver. The Crystal has little crystal points around the main point and chevron formations. You can have it on a 18 inch medium Curb chain Sterling Silver plated or a black leather cord with lobster clasp, or a black necklace cord that you can cut to the length that you want and tie, your choice.

Mystical Properties:
In ancient times, citrine was carried as a protection against snake venom and evil thoughts. Citrine is known as a "success" stone because it is told in folklore to promote success and abundance, especially in business and commerce.

Citrine is one of the only stones that dissipates negative energy and never requires cleansing or clearing. It emits a warm energy that promotes optimism. It attracts abundance and is known as "a merchant's stone" to be placed in a cash register or where one conducts business, to not only acquire positive wealth but to maintain it as well. It enhances the body's healing energy and opens the conscious mind to intuition. It helps one adjust and adapt to process changes, feeling confident and secure. Citrine's magnetic radiating energy can aid in voice projection, making this the perfect stone for actors and public speakers.

Assists in acquiring wealth and to maintain the state of wealth. Citrine is helpful for directing creative energy into the physical body. Some find it helpful in building self-esteem. This crystal is an invaluable aid to the digestion of all emotions, place it on the solar plexus in crystal healing layouts. I find that Citrine is useful in combating decisiveness allowing me to make important decisions on a regular basis.

Healing Properties:
Physically, citrine can aid digestion, increase visual ability, and to balance the thyroid. It is beneficial to the endocrine and digestive system - cleansing, purifying and eliminating poisons that have built up. Citrine has the power to calm and soothe distressed conditions. It reduces ulcer flare-ups and is good for detoxifying all the bodies.

Magical Properties:
Energy: Projective
Element: Fire
Powers: Anti-nightmare, protection, psychic power

Citrine is worn at night to eliminate fear, to prevent nightmares and to ensure a good night's sleep.

Citrine may eliminate self-destructive behaviors or tendencies, and raise self-esteem. This stone should be used to align with the higher self and to protect your aura.

A member of the quartz family, citrine can be used is most the same fashion as crystal/clear quartz. The benefit being that it's golden yellow color adds Sun energy to the work. When worn, it's vibrant shades help to lift the spirits if one is feeling down or perhaps dealing with mild depression.

Citrine is a good stone for scrying into matter pertaining to money and other forms of prosperity.

hakra Classification:
Citrine is generally to be called upon when there is a creativity block, an inability to solve problems, repressed anger, sleeplessness, nightmares, problems with the stomach and digestion, obesity and other physical problems regarding circulation and vision.

Citrine is used to heal and balance the 2nd, Sacral or Navel Chakra.


Black Tourmaline Crystal wire wrapped in Sterling Silver, on your choice of free size black necklace cord , 18 inch leather cord with clasp, or Sterling Silver plated chain.

I guess the second description is a big shorter!

Made a Thai Chicken Curry with Water Chestnuts and Baby Corn for dinner..
A Chocolate Pudding Pie for dessert..

Well, I felt like i got nothing done today, since the baby was having a bit of a rough day, crying a lot more than usual and whatnot, but I guess I did get a few things done!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Supplies: Shark Teeth, Spirit Amethyst, Azurite, and more

Yesterday I went to the Nederland Rock Gem and Mineral shop and bought some new pieces
Picked up a couple beautiful Spirit Amethysts, and I already made a pendant out of one of them, this evening. Wrapped it in Sterling Silver and put it on a Sterling Silver plated Curb Chain. I took a photo differently than I have before, with a Stilibite Cluster for the background, and I like how it came out. I may do this more in the future.

I still have another Purple Spirit Amethyst to work with, and I also picked up one that is a bright yellow color due to the presence of iron. It is really pretty and opalescent.

Also picked up a couple of Shark teeth from 15 million years ago. They are about an inch and a half long. Last night I made a pendant out of one, with twisted Sterling Silver wire, and it already sold to someone who seemed to really like it... his email address included the Ancient Mariner in it, and I remember reading that epic poem with my dad as a kid. He lives in Maine. I It sold about an hour ago, and I immediately packaged it up to go out tomorrow morning. I still have one other tooth to wrap.

Picked up 4 pieces I may try to use as Gem Tree / Tree of Life sculpture bases : a big piece of Green Calcite, a sliced purple Agate coaster, a piece of Lepidolite, and a large piece of gorgeous Labradorite (although i might have a hard time parting with that one!) I also finally received today, way late, a strand of Labradorite chip beads that I bought on ebay a long time ago. I might use those to make a Gem Tree on that Labradorite piece, in conjunction with some faceted tear drop shaped Labradorites I picked up at a Denver Gem and Jewelry show.

Also picked up a couple sparkly pieces of Azurite / Malachite to make into pendants. Found a couple of really nice pieces.

While I was there, I asked the lady working there for items out of the case twice. She seemed very nice. She was very conspicuous about finding a spot in a draw for a piece of Amazonite, mined in Colorado, and when i asked her for access to the Spirit Amethysts, she placed it on the counter in my view. I took the bait. It is a rich turquoise color and a very nice size and shape for wrapping, with even a termination on one end. I'm pretty sure she was trying to get me to buy it and she gave me a good deal on it.

Finally, I picked up a Citrine point with some Chevrons and other little points around the main point.

Today, I went to meet someone who came all the way from Parker, over an hour away, to meet with me about making some earrings out of Elk Teeth. I met up with him in Boulder, at a Mexican restaurant, which was easy to give directions to. I gave him the best directions ever! Anyhow, at the appointed time, he was there finishing up having lunch there, which he enjoyed. I used to live in that neighborhood and ate there occasionally. Good stuff. He was wearing a Harley Sturgis shirt though. I mentioned not having seen his bike outside -- He was supposed to have rode his motorcycle there but the high winds scared him off. I agreed - it was brutal out there. There is even right now a wildfire in Boulder that caused the evacuation of 1000 homes complicated by the wind. I sat and chatted with him about what he wanted. He has these small Elk Calf teeth that he grabbed off a roadkill while with a lady friend, and he wanted me to make them into earrings for her. I wasn't sure what he wanted at first, but after some discussion, we agreed that I would make medium sized hoop earrings out of twisted Sterling Silver wire, on Surgical Steel ear hooks, with the Elk Teeth and some faceted Amethyst Briolette beads hanging inside, a big assymmetrically. He had drawings and everything. He seemed shocked when I quoted him $18 (he was expecting at least $40) . I won't make much after cost, but then again, he wants to see what I come up with and maybe have me make a matching necklace. He had a little tooth collection - he used to hunt and also some that he found.

I also had someone contact me yesterday about making a necklace for his friend out of some faceted Moldavites. He wanted to meet up today but he has a cold and wasn't feeling up to it, so he may either mail them to me, or we might meet up next week. (Actually I just checked my email and he just wrote that he did send them in the mail today).

And, I hit up the craft store today, picked up a couple funky chains on clearance, some black hemp, ribbon, and some pin backings because i'd like to try making a couple of brooches. Made myself put back a bead organizer that even with 40% off woulda ran me $9. Oh well. Sometimes you just gotta draw the line. ;)

Monday, January 5, 2009

I must be nuts

..... because I took on an Alchemy custom request to make matching hemp bracelets for a girl from Belgium (its already taken up several hours, and i'm only going to make about $12 on it in the end):

"please, only post a bid when you have toroughly read my request, to avoid wasting both our times, thanks :)

Reposting this, as I am still looking for it, and I guess because of the christmas commotion, it got a bit lost.. :

a set of bracelets!
there would be one for me and one for my boyfriend.. something like friendship bracelets.

what I was thinking of is something with maybe black (perhaps hemp?) cord, and with black beads and such, may also be some silver in, we both like dark things, we like skulls, butterflies, spikes, question marks, and filigree things.. also, I would like both to have (preferably black) beads with our initials (in silver preferably, or vice versa: silver beads with black letters) and a heart in between (can be black or silver heart) and maybe a few other beads in black and/or silver.

I'd love to hear about possibilities and such :)

this would be for valentine, so you'd have quite the time to get them made ;)

(postage would be for belgium!) "

her ideal price was $5. Um, no. But i was bored so i quoted her $15, which i immediately changed to $18 plus $7 shipping and handling.
Immediately she was on me asking why I changed my bid (it was because i added a couple of exmpensive beads to the quote) and why so much for shipping (it will cost about $5.40, plus cost of mailer, plus for international shipping i have to go to the post office and fill out forms)
So after a few false starts , a bunch of suggestions, i finally realized I was going to have to make all her beads for her out of polymer clay, except some silver accent beads (plus i have to buy some black hemp - thought i had it but i don't)

I spent a big portion of the day making polymer clay beads... Well, a lot of it i spent making beads to make a different project, because i made her a rough draft black skull and while i was waiting for her to ok the concept, i started making these little white skulls, with black in the eye sockets and nose, very realistic although the photo doesn't really show it. I put little roses on the sides, and i am going to make them into earrings, maybe with some white lace tulle and/or ribbon, plus maybe some Garnets. Sort of a Lost love , corpse bride, rock and roll , gothic , theme... Not my usual thing but that is why i love the Alchemy section -- i come up with ideas and challenges i might not otherwise conceive of. It's sort of like being an art college student all over again. They were coming out great.... except i kept holding them too hard and finding that i had squeezed the skull out of shape by the end, and then ruining the detail work when i tried to fix it. The first one came out ok pretty quickly but then the second one, i must have remade at least a dozen times. Finally I took a break and a step back, came back to it later, and was finally able to break the cycle!

The black beads i made for her, also a crappy photo. I hope she likes them. I haven't baked them yet.

Today i sold my Abalone Quartz Kyanite Lepidolite pendant to a girl from Ebay who also recently won an auction for a really nice piece of Kyanite made into a pendant, too. These pieces were both ones I liked a lot, and she is very sweet and complimentary. I'm sending her a few little nice extras in the package, like a free Floating Pearl single strand necklace with a Bali Silver toggle clasp, a Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Chocolate, and a couple other litttle things, plus i gave her a really nice Figaro chain and combined her shipping. The Kyanite is cool because it is two blades together which i have never crossed paths with before. The other piece I really like because it started off as a square piece and then all of a sudden, i just sort of scrapped what i was doing and made it into what it is now, and it's unlike anything I've made before.

Someone found some of my pieces on boulder craigslist and wants to meet me about possibly making some earrings out of Elk Teeth. He's going to ride his motorcycle all the way from Parker in the cold to meet with me about it on Wednesday. This should be interesting... I think he may also be interested in my Green Amethyst / Praisolite piece, since he asked if i still had it... I'm waiting for a reply to a clarifying email...

Well, the baby is awake now and i have to feed him and get to bed. Gotta work tomorrow...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Tree of Life sculptures

Mostly just worked, hung out with the baby....
Someone on Etsy in the Alchemy (custom requests) section, looking for a custom item for their Mother In Law, took me up on my offer to make them a Family Tree / Tree of Life sculpture including photos of her kids and grandkids, incorporating their Birthstones. I must be nuts, I quoted her $50 and i am going to be including raw uncut Rubies, Emeralds, and Sapphires. No joke. But it is good to turn some of the stones i have collected into money for now. Plus I will actually have to full on wire wrap these stone and I have been wanted to do a Tree of LIfe sculpture with stones in addition to beads, for a while.

Here are a couple other Tree of Life sculptures I created, including the first one i made also as an Etsy custom piece ($35) which gave me the idea in the first place, and another I made that hasn't been sold yet, of Amethyst (I'd like to get $35 for this one too). The Amethyst one is pretty interesting because i went through all my jewelry supplies for Amethyst pieces, running across Amethyst from all different sources I've collected over the years, resulting in varying shades of color. I was really surprised that it didn't sell over the holidays. Amethyst is February's birthstone though; Maybe it will sell then.

Since I will need it for the custom tree, I ordered beautiful Blue Topaz gemstone beads from an Etsy seller and couldn't resist buying some Peruvian Blue Opal at the same time. Looking forward to working with the Peruvian Blue Opal! I am thinking that it will look really nice with this Seraphinite I special-ordered for someone recently.... I will have plenty left over after making her earrings. (Someone contacted me looking to have some Gold Danburite and Seraphinite earrings made. I was amazed how expensive and rare Gold Danburite is. To make her earrings, I am actually going to LOSE money, but I will have some of each stone left over to work with in future projects, so it was worth it to me and also she got a good deal.)

I have tomorrow off from work. I'd like to start on a complex wire wrap with a lot of Sterling Silver. Some kid contacted me before the holidays saying he wants something custom made but that he wanted me to call him to talk about it, and since cell phones don't work in the mountains where I live, I can only try to call when I'm in Boulder. Haven't been able to get ahold of him yet. I only have so many nice wire wrap stones to last me until the Tucson Gem and mineral show in February and I would like to get this kid's commission. But I guess I will just see what comes out of my endeavors. I would rather not take too many custom orders yet for the more elaborate wire wraps. I am still enjoying feeling the synergy of the stones and which ones want to be together. Sometimes artists when they achieve commercial success wind up having to cater to what will sell, and this particular artform is even more prone to that. But there is a way to find a happy medium. Personally, I want to learn how to do all sorts of cool techniques with the wire wrapping and metalsmithing and have these skills at my disposal. However, a lot of the high end wraps that I see, the stones are suffocating in all that metal. Not all. But many. I want to make jewelry where the stones play a starring role too. I can do it.

Didn't have time to write yesterday really - worked two jobs, and then, well.. i will just repost some things i rambled about in a thread on Tooboard, a Deadhead message board I used to haunt but now just visit...

(in light of the suicide of a member of Tooboard being announced that day, someone was commenting on synchronicities they'd encountered that day involving the Grateful Dead ...Their day had involved a trip to Eldora Ski Resort with their son, and encountering hearing the Grateful Dead playing in various locations throughout the day. i remembered that i personally had walked into a local organic grocery store that day and heard Shakedown Street playing... and also...

"i hang out on this site for handmade items, called Etsy... its like ebay except for stuff that people atcually make themselves. you can find anything in the world on there that anyone could imagine.... and if you CANT find it, you go to the Custom section called Alchemy, put your idea up, and people bid on making it for you. I've seen some amazing things be conceived of this way. This morning, someone posted this insane rambling monologue resulting in a request for a $750 bodysuit... it turns out to be Courtney Love Cobain. It is definately her because this person has bought 1094 items , expensive ones, on this site since August 28. Plus only she could be this nuts. For some reason, she is stuck in my mind all day. Then i went to take the bus home after work today, and it turned out the road home was closed due to a car wreck... so the bus was going to take the long route. I started thinking about it... and just as the bus left, Tree emails me on my phone asks me if i want a ride home. I think about it and when i realized that this huge bus was about to attempt a winding mountain road with hairpin turns in the snow, i decide to take him up on it. However, i thought we passed all the places we could chill and wait, but i look out the window and there's a gas station. So i get the bus driver to let me out. Turns out it is a hippie gas station with a little coffee shop inside, a hippie girl working there, even a dog that hangs out there, and vintage posters and pictures of Jerry in it. What comes on the radio while i'm in there but "heart shaped box" "

[ i had originally wondered if the horrible news they mentioned earlier in the thread was the war breaking out between Israel and Hamas that day, or the suicide.... surprised not to see a thread about the conflict...]

my thoughts about the war include"
what i don't understand is that most people in high offices are parents , and that through these conflicts, they are putting the lives and futures of their children at risk
as a new parent, i can't see how anyone in a position of power would want to make the world anything but a safer place for their children. i guess they must think that it is unavoidable, or the situation will get worse but it seems to me that only steps towards peace, not escalating conflict, will ever work in the long run. but what do i know? "

someone else in the thread : "i didn't read this yet, but i just saw the word posted some rambling Courtney blog I just read 20 min ago and it mentioned all about etsy. :conf2:

weird alignment stuff going on here...... "

I post the Courtney Love Cobain Etsy request :

jminkee wow gotta link? etsy is one of my homes online... curious what she had to say...
she is a Huge shoppaholic on there as far as i can tell

here is how she asks for someone to make a custom lace bodysuit for her, this morning:
handmade custom lace bodysuit2
posted 1/3/2009 , expires 1/24/2009
new approcah inthe frugal months ahead prepare to be copied like hell by the way this iis an origianl idea and its going to be in many mgas and many many shows but well deal with it! new idea for a handmade bodysuit based on learning that cutting ONTHE BIASa net suit to my exact propertions and then sewing a static lace soltis, fantstic and id o mean fantastic lace or better yet chantilly you or i find ( ill pay if its pendy as it generally st tho someof the stiffer is not) affixing with good sewing the ;ace to the bdysuit jmy assnt will give you all exact measurements and then tearing up a paino shawl illsend you you put one leg the ;eft one dense wth the larger florals and you can also dye in reds vermillions more crimsons the stretch piece in the botom leep thte top black for now unless your dying for some silver metallic crewel
youl lookat emma cook 30 and 31 for an idea but were going cooler that that were taking lace that isnt stretch qandmaking it so - the bias stretch fabric trick genius@ n emroidering lace for me jut sewng it on thenet !the most beuaitful lace you can find when you bid if youve found the lace send me there and ill grab it if i accept your bid, footless and with chantilly crochet on top of the round crests in chenille so it looks like velvet, put circles of silk tulle underneath and when you cut the chantilly leave some blank space so you can do some psycho embroidery in metallics even metallic blacks, what i know about depressions is black is OUT red is the new black i promise, and guady colours that clash noone needs to see blakc right no unless its rick, or ricardo, otherise pffft to black, its all very well to make fun of stifr atthe top of a recession but darlings ill be touring in the middle of a depression, so we need bidyuits that can go under sheer flapper dresses even be worn alone the scallops atthe bottom of any chantilly shawl use as legs and when you hit that scallop i need a ruffle can you pintuck s do shirring? iof so i have alot of business for you hutrry cos ive ordered alot of fabric from solstiss were you look for your lace or sophia hallette tho nothing beats long ago suff, its a very collabartice priocess but youll have to read mt midn edera has done a pyshco brilliant job and will share with you what shes done untol i get my other computr back and can pull up the almost strictyly dancingbut saved f machine that could fgo psyhco on us, but we dont however this was a food lesson i dont have to use patch bits like emma i can have one beautiful lace just one style, and thats what im going to use for the entire suits, with a circelt of embroidery on left leg and a series of appliques try m and j go for the crown golf boulions and they have many other cool ones fredfrabjle too and very very cheap, youll need cabochaon and teardrop matte crystals, are you up for this task if so youll be up for alot of others, it depends, if i could put up that dress afaon id go for 2000 dollars see who came out for the dress, that was worth 3k in this frugal time wehre i need to keep my eye onthis record and getting my kid into a safe owend home, these will be knocked off fast but fuck em youll get the credit andme tio for thinking of em and theyre way harder than they think, just pelase lord dont let ahemvommy knock me off! ha! now you see mt nasty side sorry, okay bids ladies???lets GOOOOO> remember modesty issues, a little thicker around the vageegee area,

Materials: chantilly lace sha, fishnet or floral, atop that my measu, cabochon and teard, e600 if must be, piano shawl i priv, appliques, for starp left and, cique feathers and, iridescent i think, velvet stretch for, scalooping for teh, pijk
Tags: bodysuit, handmade fantasy, emboridery on one, this one easier as, ruffles on the bot, chantilly lace wch, colours, wild wild colours, freedome to do wha, crewel in silver o, a bit of a doublin, circus, rocjk n roll

[interest insight into the workings of her mind, through a request for a body suit to be made, no less... like i said, after reading this, it stuck in my mind all day]

The lady who mentioned reading the Courtney Love Cobain blog posts what she read, and sure enough, it is the same writing style, and CLC is talking about her love of Etsy and how she has even taken on some creative endeavors of her own, such as embroidery, crocheting, dyeing, etc., through her involvement there (as far as I can decipher anyway!)

It just now occurred to me that not only were synchronicities involving the Grateful dead, as well as involving nirvana arose, but also, last week at Eldora, a lunatic with a gun freaked out and killed the manager at Eldora, then committed suicide by cop
Kurt Cobain committed suicide
And so did the fellow from Tooboard.
Not to mention, I just looked, and the reason why the canyon was closed was because someone driving a sewage truck was involved in a fatal accident

RIP Jerry Garcia, Kenny Rogers of Tooboard , Kurt Cobain , Randy Snyder the sewage truck driver, Bryan Mahon of Eldora Mountain Ski Resort, and even you, lunatic-with-a-gun

Friday, January 2, 2009

Garnet January Birthstone Tree of Life necklace

Well, here goes my first attempt to blog about the actual creation of a piece of jewelry... I guess this possibly may not be so much of a chore as I originally envisioned, as I found myself thinking about what I would write and looking forward to doing so while in the process!

The piece of jewelry I made was a Garnet Tree of Life pendant. I was originally thinking I would make an Amethyst one because Amethyst is popular and sells well, but then i considered the fact that it is January and maybe I should make a Tree of Life for the birthstone each month, and the birthstone for January is Garnet. At the Denver Gem and Mineral show a couple months back, I bought a really nice strand of Garnet nugget beads, so I decided to use that. My Tree of Life pendants are well-liked ... I sold a few of them over the holidays, online, and people commented on them quite a bit at a Holiday craft fair that I did recently, although only one sold there. The Tree of Life is a universal symbol across cultures, a central figure in sacred geometry holding truths about the inate organization of the universe, the interconnectedness of beings, and so on. Beyond its status as January''s birthstone, it is associated with Romance, and Valentines Day is coming up. Metaphysically, it is associated the Root Chakra, which means it is a good grounding stone, and it is said to be beneficial for self confidence, career success, Romantic love / Sensuality, and focusing to get things done. This seems to be pertinent to some things I am going through personally, goalwise.

This particular pendant came out nicely. Although I made a 3D Amethyst gem tree, the other Tree of Life pendants that I have made have been"realistic" colors. But I think this one looks pretty convincing. I guess come to think of it, though, there are definately trees with leaves this color. At least in the fall. ALthough i think maybe i have seen a tree with red leaves, not in the autumn, before ? I think i will make another Garnet Tree of Life pendant too, except a circle instead of a rectangle.

One thing I found myself thinking about while I worked on this is the fact that my 4 month old baby never really sees me working on making jewelry. Instead, I wait until he is napping to create. I think it would be good for him even at this age to watch the creative process. He is such an observant little fellow. I am started to be disturbed by the fact that, since he was born at the beginning of winter so we can't do much outside, his father and i are spending a lot of time on the computer. We are being careful that the baby doesn't get to watch tv , so at least that is not a problem. However, sometimes I am playing with him on the bed, and he almost seems to want to look at the laptop instead of me, like he has seen that his father and i spend more time looking at the computers than each other, and therefore this is his model for behavior. I think too much sometimes. He probably is just looking at the light , since he seems to want to stare at any light source. But i have this underlying feeling of guilt. I do need to spend time trying to sell things on the computer, because i am trying to make at least part of my living making jewelry (my other job is housecleaning, and then I have to spend time away from the baby.... plus, i seem to catch whatever sicknesses are going around, and as a result the baby has had a cold for 2 months, and i am terrified he'll get sick again... so i'm trying to cut down on that type of work). I spend most of the day paying attention to him, but when he is contentedly playing on his own, or when his dad (stay at home dad ) takes him for a while, i am in a rush to check my various accounts and emails to see if i have any sales or inquiries. I do pay undivided attention to the baby when i'm with him, but if i have a free hand, i do check periodically. I truly hope he isn't getting the wrong idea!

Lately I have been trying to balance him seeing me work on the computer with doing other things together. I've been wearing him in the Baby Bjorn carrier and letting him watch me run around the house straightening things out, watering the plants, feeding the Geckos and the Tarantula, putting away the laundary, making food etc. Today, he watched me make Veggie Burgers, reheated homemade chicken soup, and an Apple pie for dinner. But I think now, I will make a concerted effort to let him watch me work making jewelry. He has seen the finished products, which I refer to , to him, as "Sparklies". I even started making the Tree of Life pendants while in labor with him. (See how i brought that full circle? Nice!)

Sometimes I do overthink what the baby can comprehend. I do have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology so I realize that a lot of his patterns for relationships and whatnot are already being formed, and this is a very important time in his brain development. I appreciate the leeway that making and selling some of my jewelry over the holiday season bought me in my budget, allowing me to spend more time with him. I hope to keep this momentum going.

Interestingly i have found that I can try and try to make a sale through my various means, but it is when i am away from the computer - out working, making a piece of jewelry, or asleep, that something actually sells. I was thinking about this when I finished the tree pendant, got a drink of water, and went back to the computer to take photos. I figured since i was thinking about it, there was no way it was going to happen. But, sure enough, someone is interested in buying a piece I made on New Years Eve ... one I called "Transformations". It is a Crystal Gem and Mineral wire wrapped pendant with all Sterling Silver , containing Aquamarine, Moldavite, Kyanite, Black Tourmaline, and Green Indicolite Tourmaline. She says she wants to make payments (never heard that one before) but that I don't have to send the piece until she is done paying. Guess I don't have a problem with that, as long as it isn't going to take a year or anything. She said she does wire wrap too but that she really likes this piece and wants it for her collection. That's a pretty nice compliment, i think! I wrote back to her to see how she would want to work that, but she hasn't replied yet. We shall see, i suppose..

I don't WANT to have a blog...

I really don't want to do this. However, in trying to market my jewelry and artwork, purusing tips from those who have been successful making a living online, I have come to the conclusion that I might as well give it a shot. Since I've never done this before, or even read other people's blogs, I don't even know what exactly this all is going to entail. After confirming my account I just dived into typing this, without even looking around to see how this site is set up, or what my options are, or setting up a profile, or anything. So I'm in the dark here.

Some of my preconceived notions about blogging for the purposes of promoting my jewelry is that I am supposed to write about what I have been up to, kiss the butts of people who have popular blogs so that they might give me some sort of shoutout, or people reading their blogs might deign to check mine out, perhaps making a purchase in the process. Perhaps it will on some level be "good for me" as a chronicle of my growth, development, and challenges, meet some people who have similar interests to network with, improve my writing skills, etc.. But I have so little spare time as it is, working cleaning houses to support myself, my husband, our newborn baby, our wolf, the 4 geckos and the tarantula... . . taking care of the kid is a full time job. .. . trying to place ads on Craigslist, sell my stuff on ebay, and whatever other sites i can find.... haunting the Alchemy section on Etsy making ridiculously low bids to make custom items for people and getting shot down 99% of the time anyway... cooking.. .trying to keep this house clean.... that I have hardly any time to actually MAKE jewelry. And then, who is going to read it anyway? People trying to steal my ideas, or what? Oh well, if it seems like a waste of time, I can always quit doing this whenever.