Friday, June 25, 2010

New designs this week

I've put some new pieces in the shop this week. I especially love the pair of earrings shown above - Radiant Sunflower in Delft Blue.

This is a different version of my signature dragonfly necklace. This time I made a chain from natural chunky turquoise and fire agate. The colors are so soft and Summery!

Cowboy Ovals in black and green.


The seahorse isn't new but he's back in the shop looking spiffy in emerald green.

This design has a real Arts and Crafts feel to it, don't you think? I call them Mission Flower.

And finally, here is Marie Antoinette before...

...and after. I'm having a hard time keeping these girls in stock so if you've been wanting one I highly recommend that you snatch it up. Who knows when I will get the next batch done...

Hope you all enjoyed my new things. Have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I made some new bracelets! I created the porcelain pieces a little while ago, not really having a true purpose in mind. Mostly I was just playing around with my fun little rubber tipped texture tool, making tiny stipple dots all over the place. Then I found myself with a pile of interesting focal pieces and the bracelet kind of fell into place from there.

They really couldn't be much simpler. I took some leather and riveted a loop on either end with these cool star rivets (love those!). And then I fashioned a hook style clasp from heavy copper wire. A little hammering, a little twisting, a little bending and ta-da! Bracelet!

And as you can see from my Sears and Roebuck catalog pose, it looks pretty darn cool. I wore one around all day just to make sure that it does its job as a bracelet and....it does! It's hired! I'll be listing a few of these in the shop momentarily.

On another topic... if you've ever had a burning desire to learn a little bit more about me and my jewelry business hop on over the Beads of Clay blog to read an interview with me. Don't worry, it's fairly short and painless. And then you can go back to eating that giant chocolate cherry muffin.
Oh wait.... that's me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bead Soup reveal!

Today is my day to reveal what I made with all those gorgeous beads that Mel Poxon of Kookie Designs sent me. Mel sent me so many beads to choose from that I had a very hard time pinning down a design concept that could use a bunch of them while still being able to add my own personal touch. Truth be told, I had planned on making several pieces to show but time got away from me. Alas.

Anyhoo, this is the necklace I came up with. I am currently obsessing over herringbone wire weaving and tried to do it in a slightly askew, asymmetrical kind of way with odd shaped beads. I quite like the effect so I think my obsession will continue.

Since the beads are all glass and super glossy and colorful I thought it would be a good idea to make some porcelain disks that wouldn't compete. So I simply drew on the disks with an underglaze pencil and fired them to give them a permanent graphite kind of look. They are wonderfully matte and smooth and show the clay body, which is something that I just love, and they provide an excellent contrast to the shiny glass beads.

I put some of the spacer beads in between the herringbone "pods" to add a little more color and punch. I like how they slide around in the space they are given.

I used a heavy gauge steel wire that looks nice and scribbly when twisted and looped around. Again, I was looking for a contrast to the glass beads - something a little interesting, maybe unexpected. I really like the satin finish to the steel wire. It looks a little dirty, like it might rub off on your skin, kind of like the pencil glaze on the porcelain disks... for some reason that type of similarity makes me happy.

Be sure to check out all of the Bead Soup participants. I have been away for several days so I have a lot of reading to do, but I am going to give it the old college try!

And thank you, thank you to Mel for sending me such a generous and beautiful collection of beads! Be sure to check out her blog to see what she made with the beads I sent her. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Big. Giant. SALE!!!




Everything in my jewelry shop has been marked down a whopping 25%!!!

The sale starts RIGHT NOW and ends on Wednesday. Spread the word (pretty please with sugar on top). :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sisu

The following definition is taken from Wikipedia

"Sisu is a Finnish term loosely translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. However, the word is widely considered to lack a proper translation into any language. The literal meaning is equivalent in English to "having guts", and the word derives from sisus, which means something inner or interior. However sisu is defined by a long-term element in it; it is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain an action against the odds. Deciding on a course of action and the sticking to that decision against repeated failures is sisu."

Just over two months ago a dear childhood friend of mine suffered an unthinkable accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Since that time his family and friends have watched in utter amazement as he has been able to regain use of the muscles in his legs through intense rehab at the Shepard Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael's determination and progress is nothing less than heroic. Every day I race to see his Facebook updates to find out what new, incredible feat he has accomplished. I know that one day soon he will be walking again (and most likely on water, since he seems to possess super human powers).

After seeing the word Sisu written on Michael's FB wall over and over by family and friends I had to look it up. And after learning the meaning I have decided that Sisu is quite possibly the best word ever and I'm hoping that I don't have to be an official Finn to possess it. (Michael is half Finnish and half Puerto Rican, so you know this boy's got moxie for days...) This weekend there is a golf tournament fund raiser for Michael and his family, which includes his stunningly beautiful, strong, amazing (I could go on and on..) wife, Melissa and their three adorable young children. Michael and Melissa's love and devotion to each other has made the rest of us stare sheepishly at the ground, wondering if we could ever step up to a challenge the way that these two have, united. I made this necklace for the raffle that will be held at the fundraiser in honor of both of them.
Sisu and wings to fly. The perfect combination.

If you feel like being inspired by what a strongly determined person can achieve check out this video of Michael powering a stationary bike all on his own. It will make your day. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Belle Armoire Jewelry - Summer 2010

The new issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry is out and once again it is full of gorgeous, GORGEOUS goodies! Many of my favorite people have articles in this issue - Lynn Davis, Barbara Lewis, Riki Schumacher, Maire (Mary Jane) Dodd.... and me (yep, I am one of my favorite people!).

It feels like I made these pieces a zillion years ago. Oh wait...that's because I did! The lag time between making the pieces and the time they finally get published can be a long one. But it's nice to see them again... I really need to make some more heart pieces.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ants in the pants

I'm feeling a bit antsy today. I was going to run up to Syracuse to set up my tent for the show this weekend, but I changed my mind. I'll set up early in the morning instead. Doing that will save me three hours of driving today, and that is always a good thing.

So, I made some bracelets instead. I pilfered the remaining etched washers, that I made last week, from my supply shop and used them. The above bracelet pairs them with a gorgeous crackled porcelain tag and some porcelain washers. I love making pieces that utilize all of my own handcrafted components. It's very satisfying to know that my own hands made it all. :)

This bracelet is a fun light-weight piece. I have a thing for circles and ovals. I can't help it, I am weak for round. I could probably devote all my work to circles. And then people might think I was crazy (Oh, big surprise, Circle Girl made more circles...she's nuts, ya know).

Anyhoo, time to pack the car and eat some donuts. It's National Donut Day!

Earrings for days...

I've got a show this weekend so the earring production has been kicked into high gear. My bed is covered with inventory (yes, I organize things on my bed...what can I say, I like to nap in between pricing).

I had a minor snafu this week when I discovered that the person who has been making my tags for me has suddenly decided not to do it any more. And of course I waited until the last minute to try to get an order in so I didn't know this until recently. Needless to say, I am now skilled in making grungy hang tags. A skill I didn't really want to learn since it is just one more thing that needs to be done...however, it's not that difficult AND it will save me a nice little pile of money doing it myself. Believe it or not, one of the most common questions I get at shows is "Do you make your own tags?" Now I can say, "yes, I make every damn one of them. Buy my jewelry."

OK, I won't say it quite like that. But I will want to. :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Girlies

Getting ready for a show.