Sunday, December 28, 2008

What is a Jewelry Geek?

A Jewelry Geek is someone aspiring to learn various jewelry making techniques.

Jewelry Geeks.Com is a site that promotes and supports the field of jewelry and metal arts. Artists can create and manage their own virtual studio, setup a photo gallery, add videos, subscribe to or create there own group(s), chat with other members, express creativity, find inspiration, learn new techniques, view and post classifieds, all this and SO much more!

Jewelry Geeks is a site for beginners to advanced artists with absolutely no membership fees or restrictions. A social portal created to give people who are interested in learning various techniques of jewelry making, a place to network with many artisans of all skill levels and backgrounds.

A great place to browse around, or sign up and start meeting others who share the same interests.

You'll find the latest in internet trends all rolled into one site! JewelryGeeks is the ONLY Social Network for Jewelry & Metal Artists in the world!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Meet Diva....

Diva is now 7 years old, Parti Color Cocker Spaniel, she came to live with us, December 24th 2005.

We had lost our wonderful dog Muchka, a 17 year old Norwegian Elk Hound to old age, the week after Thanksgiving. I consulted our families and everyone thought this would be a perfect Christmas gift for my husband, or so I thought.

When I brought her home Christmas Eve I never expected his reaction,” take her back”. It’s too soon! We didn’t speak for days…No, I didn’t return her, my husband needed Diva as much as I need her, and as much as Diva needed to find a forever home. Paul was quite ill and would be confined to the house for the next 4½ months, he needed company, he needed a companion, I was working full time.

Diva was a rescue, and had been returned to the cocker rescue group on more than one occasion, because she piddled. She stopped the piddling shortly after she arrived, she just needed the love, and a caring home. My husband spoils her horribly, but who cares, she has been the light of our life, and a true loving companion.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kreativ Blogger Award

My friend Jacqui Graham from the Artist of the Round Table (A.R.T.) has presented me the wonderful Kreativ Blogger Award!

Jacqui, I truly treasure our friendship and thank you for your thoughtfulness.

The rules for passing this award on are:

1. The winner may put this award on their blog

2. Put a link to the person who sent this award to you

3. Nominate 5 blogs

4. Put links to their blogs

5. Leave a message for your nominees

I’m honored to give The Kreativ Award to:
Anna Lee Husband
Hilde Van Barel
Janet Burditt
The eSMArts Team Blog
Yvonne Cornelius

Friday, December 19, 2008

Meet the Talker.......

The talker sometimes drives me crazy! Her name is Nika and she has been part of our family for over 22 years. African Grey parrots are known for there talking ability and she certainly keeps us well entertained. Much like a child, she finally starting talking when she was about a year old, and hasn’t stopped since.

Nika loves scolding Rico, our Orange-wing Amazon parrot, when SHE thinks he is too noisy or asking Diva our dog if she wants to go outside. She certainly rules the other animals, or at least tries. She doesn’t bother with Samantha our cat much, just now and then we hear a kitty cry. But, again if you hear Nika saying “bad, bad”, we known that Sam is up to no good, and Sam is almost always up to no good.

Nika is so good a mimicking voices, often the dog and my husband think I’m talking to them, not the parrot talking to them in my voice. Nika is currently into phone rings, thanks to all the political phone calls. She is so good, the only way you can tell if it is our phone ringing is to be in the same room as the phone, she especially loves ringing the phone when I’m outside.
Another of her favorites is the microwave oven and the stove timers. She only makes the noises when the appliance is being used, I wish I had a nickel for each time the beep has gone off, just to rush in, to discover it’s the talker, not the timer. Nika talks in my voice, my husbands voice, and other family members voices. She can whistle the “Charge of the Light Brigade", and still talks about other animals that have left this world.

I often hear my Daughter talking, my Grandson crying, my Mother-in-Laws voice, my Step-Mothers laughter, Uncle Pettie’s deep, deep voice, and so much more. Nika really is entertaining, except on occasion when I want peace and quite, and she wants to talk. Nika always says “bye” as I leave for work, and “see you later” when my husband leaves.

Nika loves to eat, and will ask for toast in the morning. A habit she acquired from my Mother-in-Law, and considering my Mother-in-Law wanted her to say ” thank you”, Nika always says “thank you, thank you” so she could have her toast. At night it’s “want a peanut”, so she gets her peanuts.

I’ll never forget one Sunday morning many years ago, when my husband and I could not decide who was going to make breakfast, next we hear “I can cook” from the kitchen. With a talker like Nika you need to be careful what you say, no off colored words, all it takes is one time, and you might be hearing that word for a very, very long time into the future. Years ago, one of the talk shows had a guest that used a word I will refer to as a gutter word, the next word out of Nika was this word. I couldn’t believe what she repeated, thank heaven it was the only time she repeated this discussing word.

I wouldn't trade her,I enjoy her company, as well as all the fond memories when I hear her use all the different voices and phrases of family members that are not around to share our laughter.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Do you know how to tell if you have a beading addiction?

Recently a friend asked me if I would like to go for lunch with her and another friend, and visit our local bead stores.

I replied sure, but let’s skip lunch and just go to the Local Bead Stores, that way I’ll have an extra $10.00 to spend on beads.

My friend has an amazing stash of beads. Wish I could convince her to let me shop at her home for my supplies. But so far, she hasn’t taken the hint or maybe she is just ignoring me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My New Etsy Look

It’s been a long time coming, but now my Etsy Shop Jewelry Elegance has a new look. Thanks to my friend ChezChani I have found a wonderful Etsy Shop Dusty Designs to create my new banner. The designer Nicole created exactly what I had envisioned she is a very talented designer. So if you are currently unhappy with your banner, or just need a new look, why not take a look at what Dusty Designs Etsy Shop has to offer.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Have a New Toy

I have a new toy, well maybe not so new, just never used this wonderful toy. Yes, I purchased a “Rotary Tumbler” sometime ago and never got around to learning to use the tumbler. Well, today I had some extra time, and decided I would finally open the box and see what tumbling jewelry was all about. A pound

of mixed stainless steel shot, a little water, and a squirt of dawn and I was off and running to see what tumbling would do for may copper jewelry.

I was amazed when I finished the first batch, just three copper bracelets, but what a difference the tumbling made. Everything is bright and shiny, with a special glow. So next I tumbled Naga Shell sterling silver earrings, again the tumbling made a beautiful shine.The next tumbling adventure was a Gold Parawire bracelet which included Lampwork beads, again a beautiful shine.I happened to have another similar bracelet,and could compare them side by side, amazing how beautifully the tumbled bracelet out shined it’s sister. My next experiment was my “Springs & Loops” Necklace, this necklace features both Gold Parawire and Silver Parawire, wanted to see how the tumbling would effect two different color wires.Now I’ll experiment with tumbling my favorite copper necklace and some earrings. The necklace has a number of mixed gemstones, and the earrings have copper coils and bead dangles. Really made everything sparkle…

I love my new toy….

Friday, October 17, 2008

It’s a Free World After All

A Local Legend
Free Home, Georgia

Down along one of Free Home's unpaved roads, you will find a girl selling corn. However, this innocent farm hand has been dead for 72 years yet has become a local legend to this sleepy town. Starting in 1942, many claimed to have seen this specter and have also claimed to have tasted 'the sweetest corn in the world'. But when it comes time to pay, the young girl turns and walks away saying "it’s on the house. It’s a free world after all".

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My family doesn’t read my blog…

October 13, 2007 to October 13, 2008

My blog is a year old today…

I first started blogging on October 13, 2007, a whole year has passed and my focus has totally changed. My original intent was for my blog to be read by my children and their families, so they could experience what Mom was creating…

My daughter and her family live over 3000 miles away, and I thought this would be a great way for her to see what Mom was creating. Now sons really don’t care about what Mama’s doing, or at least mine doesn’t.He was married in May of 2007, and has a very busy life with his new family, besides he has seen me create stuff, since he was just a baby.

Then there is my un-married daughter, who lives close by, she can’t miss what I’m up too, it’s always sitting around the house. But I gave them all my blogger address, hoping that maybe they would discover something they didn’t know about me.

Well, it didn’t take long before I decided that I would post to see if they had ever visited my blog. Yes, I was bad, I posted all three girls Christmas gifts on my blog, before Christmas. If they just logged into my blog they would have seen their gifts. I also told them all on Christmas day what I had done. Do you think anything has changed….No, they still haven’t made the first visit to my blog.

My focus, hasn’t really changed…I just now blog for myself, my customers and my friends. I love the ability to share what I’m creating and what I’ve learned.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I’ve Started My Holiday Shopping

I couldn’t think of a better way to start my holiday shopping than to participate in the Art Auction for Charity, this event was hosted and sponsored by a loving artist community!

I’m the lucky winning bidder on three beautiful artwork pieces from the auction which will benefit the Georgia Graham Kidney Transplant Fund. Georgia Graham is the Mother of my friend Jacqui from the Artist of the Round Table (A.R.T.), where she has graciously been moderating and teaching on-line workshops for many years.

"Caring Hands & Giving Hearts"

My first winning bid was for a fabric and fiber satchel that was published in Haute Handbags II. This is an awesome satchel/purse that is deep enough to hold all your essentials. Created using a variety of black & white fabrics & fibers. Hand stitched!

Artist: Cynthia Powell

My second winning bid was for a lovely vintage necklace. Triple black & gold cording with large lobster claw closure. This unique one of a kind piece was created using vintage brass findings, amber color glass beads, and charms.

Artist: Cynthia Powell

My third winning bid was for this beautiful painted collage, of techniques to indulge your senses. It is very calming and serene, not overworked, yet very visual.
The artist used several different techniques in a variety of layers, painting, stamping, paper and pastels.

Artist: Sabine Vater

I wish all my holiday shopping would be this easy…
Did I mention that I hate to shop…
Haven’t been in a mall in 13 years
And love shopping online…

And can’t wait for the next Art Auction for Charity which will take place in January 2009

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Trip to Columbus

Today we took a trip to Columbus, Georgia to attend a Airborne Military Graduation. . We stared off at 5:45 AM, a horrible early hour, but a long trip, and the Airborne Graduation starts at 9:00 AM. Our daughter Jennifer’s boyfriend is graduating today, time for family support.

On the agenda was a graduation from Fort Benning Airborne Jump School. Brandon is stationed in Seattle, Washington, but he seems to spend a lot of time training in the south. It’s been so many years since I’ve stepped on a military base, way back in 1967, for my Brother Chips graduation for the Marine Boot camp in Oceanside, California, a different time and a different place.

I’m old school, Viet Nam has memories that I still have a hard time dealing with. Both my brother and husband were greatly affected by this war, and both still carry the scars, both emotionally and physically every day. I can’t tell you the apprehension I have today stepping on a military base. Brings back memories that I’m not prepared to deal with, let alone how this will affect my husband. Will his nightmares become more frequent again? Hope not! Only time will tell.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Grandparents Day at Free Home Elementary School

Every year I look forward to Grandparents Day at my grandson Nathan’s elementary school, this year was no exception, this was my fifth year attending. I really don’t like having my picture taken, but I always look forward to having my picture taken on grandparent’s day. Nathan has now is in the 4th grade and in the AIM program, where has the time gone. Soon I’ll have another wonderful picture of us together on our special day.

Free Home Elementary is a very old school, one of the oldest in Cherokee County, Georgia, the first one room school house opened during the civil war era. Free Home Elementary is a Georgia School of Excellence, and currently has 272 students enrolled, Pre-K to 5th grade.

We had lunch together in the cafeteria, though Nathan brings his lunch, not eating the cafeteria food, we had a wonderful lunch sharing great pinwheel sandwiches, juice, and chips. One entire wall in the cafeteria has a great painting, not the first school building, but the school built on the property in 1919. So much history….

Nathan’s classroom is a modular unit, I guess I don’t dare call it a trailer, and his classroom has a state of the art teaching system with a electronic touch screen that almost covers the entire wall. This Friday Nathan will begin learning algebra, boy have things changed since I was in school. I didn’t learn algebra until the 9th grade.

I can’t wait until next year at Free Home Elementary to have my picture taken again with my grandson and see what improvements the school has made. Next year will be Nathan’s last year in elementary school, and probably the last of the Grandparents day at school, I will miss our special day.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bead Swap

Wire Wrappers Anonymous

“The Addictive Art of Wire Wrapped Jewelry”

Well another swap…This one is a bead swap….

Twelve of us signed up for this swap. Rules were simple, just send your swapping beads to the swap Mom, and after all the beads were received she forwards the “Bead Box” to the first lucky participant, and the box moves forward.

The day the Bead Box arrived at my house, I couldn’t wait to open it, what an amazing selection, almost better than a visit to the local bead store. I’ll take that back, it really was better than a visit to the local bead store. A great selection of beads; seed beads, coral, ceramic beads, many types of jasper, jade, camelian, amethyst, rhodynite, arrow head, cabs, many colors of agate, shell beads and pendants, and to many more to mention.

The Bead Box has been at my house for a week, I’ve really had a hard time deciding which beads to select. Did I mention, I had 4 ½ pounds of beads to go through, finally selected my beads tonight, so I can get this bead box back into the mail.

I’m sending the “Bead Box” to number ten on the list, and the bead box is almost back home to our swap Mom.

Hope we will do a Bead Swap again….

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My First Wire Wrapped Pendant

Wire Wrappers Anonymous

“There is no cure here, no twelve step program. Rather, we feed each others sickness and allow our Muses free rein! Wrappers of all levels are welcome. Whether your, a salty dog or a beginner just getting your footing come in and make yourself at home.” Wire Wrappers Anonymous is part of the Metal Chasers Forum, a fun creative group of Artisans.

I recently participated in the first “Wire Wrappers Anonymous” pendant swap. Thirty-one lovely ladies created thirty-one very different wire wrapped pendants, each a beautifully designed.

I created my first wire wrapped pendant with a Blue Quartz focal and Sterling Silver 21 gauge square and half round wire. The design proved to be somewhat if a challenge, not wrapping the cab, but the construction and finishing of the bezel detail. I was quite surprised that the square wire was much harder to work with than the half round sterling silver wire. Not sure why, but the square wire seemed much harder. Both sterling silver wires had been purchased over a year before, but can’t see why the age of the wire would create a harder surface to work.

Each participate was contacted with the swap partners address, not until pendants are received do we know who actually is our swap partner. My swap partner was Gini Briggs of Missouri Ocean Design. I mailed her the pendant yesterday, hopefully she will receive the design before the holiday, and she will know that I am her swap partner. I hope she enjoys my design!

My beautiful pendant that I received was from
Brenda Smith of “The Jewelry Box”.

The pendant is a chunk of genuine Tigereye wrapped with copper wire.

I was just thrilled with Brenda’s pendant, she used my favorites copper and earthtones in create her design. This was also Brenda’s first attempt at wire wrapping a pendant, just like mine. “Who knows…maybe one day, we’ll both become famous wire-wrappers.

If you would like to see the other Wire Wrappers Swap pendants they can be view in the WWA Pendant Swap Gallery.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Art Auctions for Charity

Art Auctions for Charity
"Caring Hands & Giving Hearts"
Together we can make a Difference!

Today is the first day....

Welcome to this exciting opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life! All proceeds from the sale of donated works of art will be sent to various charities.

Art Auctions for Charity is a site to conduct on-line auctions. It is a place where you can nominate a favorite charity, donate art, bid on an auction and participate in a fun high energy drive to raise funds for charities that are dear to our hearts.

The proceeds from the first auction will be donated to the account of: Georgia Graham , who is in need of a lifesaving kidney transplant

Georgia is the Mother of my friend Jacqui from the Artist of the RoundTable (A.R.T.)where she has graciously been moderating and teaching on-line workshops to many years. It is our turn to band together and show her how much she is appreciated, by helping to get her Mother on the kidney donor list! This is an exciting event, hosted & sponsored by a loving artist community! Please help spread the word about this endeavor by visiting Art Auctions for Charity

Beginning in January 2009 the auctions will take place every month, once a week, 7 items will be featured for 10 months.

Together we can make a Difference!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Photography props and backgrounds

My thoughts…

I’m practicing again with my photos…


Many pictures of jewelry are done with solid background. Typically, a clean slate really focuses the attention on the piece not the background. I personally love black backgrounds, though some designers feel they are visually stale.

If you have a flowery swirly jewelry design, with a paisley, checkerboard or overly textured background the photography is going to seriously distract the viewer. You’ll want to give some serious thought to what are you selling, the fabric or the jewelry. Does the fabric detract or enhance your jewelry design.

Now, if your jewelry designs are going to be in a catalog or a similar publication you will have to follow submission guidelines; most often requiring a solid background. When using stark white background against color; especially dark colors, the contrast is extremely high. When photographing with a white background you have to verify the white actually comes out WHITE and the design colors actually comes out the proper color! Many photographs can be ruined simply because the white background appears greyish, off color, and the piece will often have an unusual color cast.


Props can add character, tell a story; thereby ADDING TO THE VISUAL appeal of the design. The use of different colors and/or props can make a stunningly gorgeous statement. They should be simple and focus attention to the piece. The whole prop does not have to be in the photo to be effective, its shadow or texture can reflect the beauty of the jewelry design.

Some of my favorite props are things found in nature. While my designer friend Lola from Metal Chasers loves using antiques, especially glassware, bronze candlestick holder and similar objects. Lola was the inspiration for this blog and has greatly helped me improve my photography skills. Much of what I’ve learned about photography has been gleaned from Lola.

Recently I received a wonderful suggestion from eSMArts team member, Stacie of Creative Junque, suggesting that I use ceramic tiles as background props. Looking forward to trying this suggestion, I really believe this will add interest without distracting from my designs.

Practice, practice and more practice

I suggest, taking several photographs with several different props, backgrounds, camera angles, and lighting. This will give you a selection of photos, which gives you the ability to choose the photo that shows your design to its fullest potential. What works for one piece may not work for the next. The more photos you take, the more experience you will gain, you will find your style, and hopefully photography will become second hand…

I’m still practicing…

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Game of Internet Tag!

I’m It…
I’ve been tagged…
eSMArts team member Tina of Links and Loops has tagged me…

Here are the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you
2) Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading)
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below)
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six Random Things about Me…..

1) I breed Parrotlets, the smallest parrot kept in captivity for over 12 years

2) Jill is my middle name, and I’m not telling my first name. I was named after my Great-Grandmother. She didn’t like her first name either.

3) I married my best friends brother 20 years ago; his family said I’d never go out with him.

4) My son finally got married, and I have a wonderful Daughter-in-Law

5) I have a son, daughter, and step-daughter, and 4 grandsons. My family is the most important part of my life. I miss my daughter and her family horribly, they live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

6) My a 4th generation Californian, but have lived in Georgia 35 years.

Now I’m tagging….

Kateri of The Writing's of Presumed Royalty
at Simply Willow
Wilma at Wilma’s Whimseys

Izzy at Precious Creations by Izzy
Barbara at Magpie Dreamers
Michele Cook of Michelle Cook Designs

Friday, August 1, 2008

Egyptian Flower Princess

Behind the Mask - My Bead Embellishment Challenge

The Beadin' Path in Freeport, Maine issued a challenge to beadwork and fiber artists from all over the world: to accept, be inspired by and submit a mask for a show entitled Behind the Mask. Thirty Seven artists joined this challenge, creating beaded masks using varying techniques; such as bead weaving, stitching and embroidery, sculpture, mixed media, clay and more.

All of the artists started with the same basic white plastered paper mask, producing 37 totally different translations.

I begin my journey

I still have no idea why I decided to participate in the Behind the
Mask Challenge, though I thought this was an interesting concept, and might push my creativity into a new arena. I learned a lot from participating in my new challenge, what worked, what didn’t work, and what I would do differently in the future. The other artisans provided support, knowledge and ideas.

My basic background design is composed of 11/0 champagne seed beads, gluing each bead in place, using larger beads as accents, and design components. I started my mask by attaching the plum delicas on the lips, then encasing the face with the seed beads, using bugle beads as the base of my flower petals, and finishing with the 12 gauge coiled headpiece.

As the mask progressed, the basic original design concept continued as planned, but my design ideas also continued to flow, ideas that I hope to use in a future design concept. If I had the time, I would do things very differently. With many hours already committed to the mask, now was not the time to change my direction. I worked on my mask from October 2007 to April 2008, over 1000 hours spent gluing each and every beautiful bead in place.

An opening reception was held at The Beadin' Path in Freeport, Maine on Friday, June 27th.

It was open to the public and was a great opportunity

for attendees to meet with many of the artists and discuss their process and statement behind their mask. Unfortunately I was unable to attend…

The Beadin’ Path will have another challenge in the fall of this year, will I participate? Looking forward to what the next challenge might bring…

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Artists of the Round Table

I belong to a wonderful group "Artists of the Round Table... A.R.T. for short" a mixed media art group.

A.R.T. is a group of mixed media artists, who offer warmth, support, and outstanding artwork. Here are just a few of the workshops A.R.T. has offered in the past; Wire Wrapping, Polymer Clay, Texture Effects, Art Stamping, and many more…
I love their tutorials

Mission statement

We are a group of artists working in different media with experience from beginner to professional. We are cross-cultural in all nuances of the word. Our vision for Artists of the Round Table (A.R.T.) is to have an online community where race, creed, faith, gender and age is not an issue. Where unity is accomplished through our common gifts of creativity. It is our vision to have a rich treasury of information and tutorials available to anyone who inquires, to have many court activities where all may participate in the festivities, to have wonderful and tasty feasts for the imagination and an overflowing of friendship from your goblet! Please stop by the castle at Artists of the Round Table

Artists of the Round Table

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Making Wire Jewelry … My A.R.T. online workshop

Two Sizes of Wire - Lesson three

Lesson three combines different wire gauges to create different textures. “The necklace was designed especially for a plain round neckline.” I choose 14 gauge Gold Parawire and 18 gauge non-tarnish Silver Parawire to complete the project. Again the 14 gauge wire proved to be somewhat a challenge, I found that my wire coming off my spool was very wavy, and I was very concerned that I would never be able to form the design correctly. But once I filed and rounded the ends, and made the first loops, the design formed beautifully with no wavy wire. I did change the size of the mandrel after making a few silver coils, and if I had more time, I would even make them smaller. Maybe next time…

The Leaf – Lesson three

This leaf lesson is considered a simple design with the intent to teach you that the process of bending wire, while promoting your growth in bending wire for future lessons. The leaf dangle was not difficult to accomplish, and would make a lovely necklace or bracelet. In a future design I hope to incorporate beads to add some interest to the overall design concept.

In this lesson we were given the option of making a necklace or a pair of earrings.

I choose the leaf earrings as my project. Wish I hadn’t…. making a matching pair of earrings proved challenging, though I finally completed a matching pair.

The earrings are very practical and comfortable to wear. They are designed as a two sided earring, were the back is as pretty as the front. Especially nice for women with short hair or women who love wearing their hair up and off the back of their necks. I was slightly disappointed when I found that my ear lobes were too small to carry off the leaf design successfully. I liked the two sided design concept and will try creating another pair of two sided earrings in a future project, just not in a leaf design.

Moving on to lesson four…

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Second Wire Wrap Jewelry Charm Swap

Swaps n’ Challenges

Summer-Patriotic Theme

Kites flying in the summer skies, Angel Fish swimming in the ocean, 4th of July picnics, dancing feather floating in the summer breeze, ice cream cones on a warm summer afternoon, gone fishing...

My charm swap arrived today….

Wonderful designs, created by lovely ladies…

Kites/God’s Eye was the theme of Donna Clark’s wonderful charm. With a little imagination you can almost see Sue Schoch’s angel fish swimming in the sea; coral, shell, glass bead bubbles and green kelp just completed the picture. Valerie Jewell created a fantastic fishy; her design represented fond memories of the 4th of July, summer picnics and going fishing. While, Pam Takacs created a patriotic and beautifully designed Lampwork bead, in what else red, white & blue. Not one, but two delightful dangle charms were created by Jayne Jackson representing both themes; 4th of July and her wonderful patriotic hearts. Sherry ”Dancing Feather” created one of her signature copper feathers in a patriotic theme; a lovely design and a very useful cell phone charm. Our swap hostess, Karon Adams designed an amazing pair of Ice Cream Cone earrings.

This was a small swap, only 10 participants, lovely charms were made by all. I will treasure each and every charm.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My little devil....

Which little devil could that be?
Well her real name is “Samantha”, but fondly called “Sam”. It isn’t that we planned on calling her by her nickname, it’s just she’s always in trouble, who has the time to yell out Samantha when she’s getting into anything and everything.

Even as a very tiny kitten, she was well known at the veterinarians. It was time to take her back to have her surgery stitches checked, they were the new super-glue type, and guess what, Sam had decided on day nine to start licking them, so she had to have the real thing, more stitches, more recovery. That was the day the vet tech said, don’t worry, we’ll always remember Sam, she’s one of a kind…”She’ll always be a kitten”

Well, she loves my beads, wire, everything…She even helps me with my photograph, if I want her to or not, which usually is not. She seems to have the expertise of locating great finds, and of course borrowing them. Sam doesn’t really want that single bead, she wants the whole completed piece. She almost always waits until you either have your back turned or even better yet, late at night, she loves borrowing things. Often I’m awakened during the night, to hearing her taking what ever it is she wants, she has the habit of dropping them to the floor, which I hear, which is what woke me up, but off she goes, and sometimes it’s days before I finally find the missing item.

I have found it necessary to lock up the family jewels, well maybe not the family jewels, but all my under constructions projects. Nothing like getting up for a glass of tea, and returning to find something missing. I know I made 10 wire wrapped beads, but I only have 9, am I have another senior moment…know Sam’s been here, my little devil….Life is never dull…

I wouldn’t trade her for the world….

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Making Wire Jewelry....My A.R.T. online workshop

“Experimenting with heavier wire”
Lesson 2

The Lapel Pin

As I started my second lesson today, I found that my planned design just wasn’t feasible, the wire just wouldn’t cooperate. The heavier gauge wire had a mind of its own. All wire has a natural curve, and experimentation taught me to take advantage of this curve. I also came to the realization that I would never be able to duplicate this design form. I really wanted to flatten the wire on my lapel pin, but decided that I would leave it for another time.

What a surprise when I re-read our instructions and found that I needed to make to pins.

The first Lapel Pin is constructed of 14 gauge Copper wire, this is the design that we were to complete, minus the dangle. For the second Lapel Pin I used 14 gauge Gold Parawire, letting the wire free-form into the design shape, again adding a dangle. Not fond of Lapel Pins, the 14 gauge wire is hard to work, and I feel the pin would damage most fabrics.

A Simple Chain Bracelet

Simple concept, not so simple to construct.
Lot’s of filing, lot’s of burrs…
File, file, file …and file more burrs. Time to consider buying a selection of burr cups.
This simple bracelet is constructed from 16 gauge copper wire, and has a 14 gauge copper clasp.

I did enjoy making this design!

Monday, July 14, 2008

My First Wire Wrap Jewelry Charm Swap - WWJ

This is a collection of all the charms that were submitted by the talented jewelry artist that participated in my first charm swap. Karon Adams made this lovely window heart display showing the beauty of all the charms.

The theme for my first charm swap was Valentines Day/Saint Patrick’s Day. Each participant could choice either theme or both, using there creativity to create 6 charms, or more if they so choose. I wanted to make a charm for each participant, but found that I didn’t have enough supplies on hand, so I only submitted my six charms. The charms that I received are pictured in the photo on the right.

Today I’m waiting for the charms to arrive from my second charm swap…they should be here any day!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Photography…’s driving me crazy…

I even own a light cube!
I am so photo challenged, and more I try, the more confused I seem to get. I’m currently trying to improve my jewelry photos, with not much success. Much of the information that I have gleaned has come from my jewelry related online groups, where they suggest a solid background in the black, grey, white scale, not using props. I did get some decent photos with a white background, but they just seem to be missing something, not really to my liking. So today I decided it was time for me to try using a black background, and found that I liked them much better than the white background. I fiddled with natural lighting, and artificial lighting. The natural lighting was more successful, but even though it’s a cloudy day, the sun moving in and out of the clouds, proved to present problems.

It has been recommended by other artisans not to use props, but out can the props away, why not try to take a chance and see if I could take a photo that I actually liked. Much easier to photography earrings if your using props, and yes, I liked the photos using the props.

Now I need to decide to watermark the photos or not to watermark the photos. In some ways a watermarked photo looks more professional, but the question is, does the watermark distract the viewers eye, as they view the jewelry.

I did come to a conclusion; I personally think my photos listed in my Etsy Store look better when I’ve used props. Yes, I like the black background, and props. Still need a lot of practice, as practice makes perfect. Now if I could make a decision on watermarks. Check by my blog or Etsy Store, and see how my photography improves…

Friday, July 11, 2008

My First Swap Partner….

Just wanted to share my experience in my very first "Beadingaholics" swap, and a friendship that grew from participating.

The swap was earrings, theme was Sunrise, the rules were simple, I signed up to participate, our swap partners were chosen by the hostess, we contacted each other, and mailed off our creations by the due date. I received beautiful earrings from my first swap partner, Diane Battaglia.

Diane lives in Florida, and I live in Georgia, we have become fast friends. I feel like I have known her all my life, yet we have never meet face to face, nor talked on the telephone. We are about the same age, and have so much in common. She has been there for me during very difficult times, when I needed to have someone to talk to, as I have been there for her during her difficult times. Whoever thought a swap would be responsible for the two of us becoming friends.

If you ever have an opportunity to participate in a swap, why not give it a try, maybe you too will meet a new friend, and develop a long lasting friendship.

Diane’s "Frosty Morning" Earrings Design features a netted cabishon on a bone button base, gold delicas, and 15/0 clear seed beads. A single earring can also be used as a focal pendent.

My SunriseEarring design features Wire wrapping, Lampwork beads, Swarvoski crystals, gold filled and sterling silver Mobius Balls and findings.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Wire Thing-ie....

A useful tip...

A great little tool that I keep my purse and you can make it yourself. It’s with me when I go to the bead store and with me when I go to the hardware store.

Now when I visit my local bead store, shopping for beads for a design, there is no longer any guessing about what wire gauge will fit into a bead hole. When I go to the hardware store, it’s easy to check wire gauges, and makes my shopping much easier, saving me a lot of time. Better yet, I can get into my bead stash and check the size of the bead holes, knowing the beads will fit the wire gauge I’ve planned on using in my design.

All you need is a simple key ring, wire, tags, and some scotch tape to make this useful tool. Using different gauges of wire, make eye pins, and label each of them with the proper wire gauge. I used scotch tape on the front and the back of the tags for stability. Quick, easy and useful…

Try it, you might like it, and find it useful….

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Adventure Begins...

This is the beginning of my first week of my online workshop, Making Wire Jewelry, aka: MWJ…

I hope you enjoy this journey with me…

My first lesson begins…"An Ancient Design"

“Over four thousand years ago an Egyptian goldsmith produced a lovely and unusual necklace made entirely of wire. As far as we know, he was the first designer to use the coil principle and the first to fit coiled links together in this ingenious fashion.”

In this first lesson I had the choice of a bracelet, necklace or earrings or all three. As I tend to procrastinate, I finally decided that I would make the bracelet, with my wire choice being 20 gauge copper wire. I love copper wire! Love the look, love the feel, love the color.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Photography, My Dilemma...

The photo tells they story, and my dilemma how to improve my photography…

You might say I’m photography challenged. I really have a hard time taking good photos, but this last week I decided that now was the time to try and improve my photographs skills. I have taken photos outside, I really like the natural light, but this hasn’t been the solution. Weather, the time of the day, the right props, and bugs. Yes, BUGS! The lighting might not be right when I have the time to take photos, the weather may not be cooperating, and sometimes I get a great photo, and guess what, a tiny bug is in the photo.

So my next option was moving my photography setup to an empty bedroom. Quite, and I can leave my photo cube up and always have it available when I want to take my photographs. Now I have to practice, practice and improve my skills. The photos are getting better, things are getting easier to do. Oh, did I tell you about the feathers? Yes, feathers! My beloved pet Orange Winged Amazon, Rico, I’m using her room for my photography studio. New problem, but I’ll deal with the feathers.

Rico is a wild caught Orange Winged Amazon, that I rescued 22 years ago.