Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bling Soldered Setting

     This is another one of the beveled and fire polished faux gemstones from Monday's session at the studio. I made a wire setting and soldered it to the glass, with lots of loops so it can be hung various ways or have dangle attached. 
     I love being able to create my own faux gemstones. This one has a white glass backing, so the dichroic glass has a pink tinge to it, not luminous the way it is with black behind it.
     It's really hard to capture it in photographs, but when you tilt the dichroic a different direction and capture a reflective light hitting another part of the stone, it changes color. Here, it turns from the pink to a light blue-green color. So neat! I love dichroic glass!
     I wanted the wire wrapped setting to have an organic look, sort of like vines wrapping the glass. It's kind of hard to get it set just right, when the glass is hot, the soldering iron is hot, and all you want to do it grab it with your fingers and hold it, but you can't!
     Thank goodness for pliers and soldering aids! And my heat-resistant fingers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


      A while back, I took the kiln for a test run, to make sure it was working all right after the relocation to Louisiana. Moves are tough on kilns! I made these fused glass gems, and then didn't get around to shaping, beveling and fire polishing them.
      They have a black glass backing, to make the dichroic glass really shine when fused. Yesterday, I spent the morning at the studio, just playing around with different things I'd been wanting to do. One of those was to get the glass grinder set up and working again after unpacking it. I have a beveling blade on it, so I can put those nice 45 degree angles on the glass. But I hadn't used it since setting up the studio. The first time I tried yesterday, the water feed wasn't working. To keep the glass cool, a flow of water has to be going over it while you grind. Otherwise, the glass overheats from the friction, and it can crack. Not fun!
      I took the water feed line completely apart, flushed it, and got all the different parts working again. When I reassembled it, it was finally working like it should. I shaped and beveled these little faux gems, to make them more consistently rectangular, and to give the fronts a pretty little bevel, like a real gemstone.
     Once they were all shaped and beveled, I cleaned them carefully with 90% alcohol, to get rid of all the glass dust and "shavings" from the grinding. Then I put them in the kiln for a fire polish firing, to remove the grinder scratches, and give them a clear, nice finish on the top.
     I think they turned out well, after all of that. And now I know my equipment is still working okay. Now, I just need to make settings for them, so they can be used in jewelry!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

     Yesterday I created this piece that combines one of the new bezels with a casting from an antique button loaned to me by Deryn Mentock. I was looking at pictures of antique jewelry, and I saw a medallion that held a religious reliquary. I wanted to reproduce that look. I put a velvet background behind the pewter insert, to look like the locket I saw in the photograph. 
     I want to remember all the special people today, those currently serving, and those who have served in the past, and say thank you. This extended family has members who are in the service, and one who has joined and will be starting service soon. 
     Happy Memorial Day to you, your families and friends.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

La Belle Epoch Paris

     I found some old postcards, with images of Paris and the Eiffel Tower, and I just had to use them to make reproduction travel souvenir vocals. The sepia tones, the old-fashioned writing - I just love the ideas they bring to mind. I put all three of these in the Etsy shop - even though I was sorely tempted to make up necklaces with them for myself!
     Today I'm headed back over to the studio to finish up some orders. I have some ideas buzzing in my head, to create with cut glass and soldered reliquaries, and I have finally assembled all the components I needed to get started - so if I have time after the orders are completed, I plan to play with those ideas, bringing them to life.
     I hope you have a lovely, quiet Sunday afternoon, with family, food and fun!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

     For some reason, this week I'm really attracted to this robin's egg blue color. I keep reaching for the blue tones when I take a paint brush in hand. I like that the words "Soul Shines Forth" are visible across the front of the heart.
      Today, I am taking care of the grandson. He's still working on walking, it's not going to be long before he starts. Which means that I have to be ever vigilant while he crawls around the house super quickly!
      Once I get some of the photos off the camera from the trip, I'll put some here. I think my daughter got some great pictures, too.
     Happy Saturday! I'm back to chasing down a baby boy!

Friday, May 25, 2012

     I'm back from my travels, I had a great time visiting. It was a long time in the car for the kids. But they were real troopers! I took a few days off this week from the day job to get caught up at the studio. It's such a luxury to spend all day at the studio, getting covered in dust, paint and glue!
     I found a small medallion in the shape of a crown, and took a mold from it so I could make some earring charms. The original didn't have any holes in it, but I put a hole top and bottom. So I can hang a pretty pearl, and put in earwires.
      I also made this replica cameo, with an image that originally graced the front of an antique metal button. I put it into the reproduced optical lens bezel, to give it a very vintage look. I think it looks like a french court lady-in-waiting or something romantic like that.
     I'm headed back over to the studio to finish some more bezels. No, I didn't forget the giveaway - I promise to pay attention to that soon!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

     I'm hitting the road this week! On Thursday my daughter and two grandkids are headed up to Texas to see the great-grands. Three generations in a car, driving 6 hours. 
     Since I'll be out of pocket until next week, if you order something after Wednesday, I won't be able to ship until after the weekend. I also have some new pieces to photograph and put into Etsy. Maybe right after I pack!
     This medal is another of my faux-enamel experiments. I wanted the light to shine through the red coloring, making it bounce off the pewter underneath and gleam!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Giveaway!

      Happy Mother's Day! I wish all of you a great time with family, enjoying yourselves.
     To celebrate, I'm doing a giveaway today. I've got some glass cabochons, and I've been wanting to make them into something fun.
      The golden toned one, with the fleur-de-lys cross, is soldered with a jump ring at the top. The single flour-de-lys on a black background is mounted on some pressed-metal filigree I had in my components box.
     They are both very rustic-looking and ancient-feeling!
     Tell me which one you like by posting a comment here, and why you like that style better, and you will be entered into a chance to win one of them. Do you like the golden-toned fleur-de-lys cross? Or do you prefer the filigree single flour-de-lys?
    And thanks for the feedback! I need it, it helps a lot, knowing what you prefer.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bluebird of Happiness

     You know, it just goes to show you. When I created this little bird pendant in polymer clay, I thought it was really fun and happy-looking. And when I painted it, using bright colors, I really thought it would fly away to someone's home very quickly.
     But I've been surprised. It's still with me, waiting for someone to turn it into a necklace or bracelet. So, I decided to put it on sale. And until Monday, the free shipping coupon is still available in the Etsy shop. The MOMSHIPFREE code will save you shipping when you use it.
     Sometimes, when I create something new or different, I believe I know when it will be gone quickly. I thought this little bird would be one of those things. Maybe it just hasn't found its way home yet.
     But I believe I will make more, and paint them different colors, like robins or cardinals, or even blackbirds, and see if they fly away to new homes.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Still Lost on Facebook, But the Natives are Friendly

     I was going back through some of my old designs, and found this photo of a dogwood blossom with a pearl accent. I haven't made one like this for a long time. Truthfully, I just forgot about it. 
     I went digging in my molds, and found the flower, and poured one in pewter last night. It was late and getting dark, so I'll wait until this weekend to work on it some more. 
     Well, I'm still getting set up on Facebook, and I was trying to link the experimental Storenvy shop to the new Facebook page. I did "something" - don't know what exactly - and locked myself out of Facebook. Ummm ....
     Apparently, I did not look like a real person, whatever I did. I was halfway through attaching Storenvy, and had to email the Facebook HELP to convince them I was really, and truly, a human being. They did "something" and now I can log in again.
     I wanted to see how Storenvy and Facebook played and looked together. Not sure I'm convinced it's what I want to go with, long-term, but you never know unless you try, right?
     AND try ... etc.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Need Compass Lost on Facebook

     Okay, this is embarassing. I used to work in the IT department. I'm no stranger to computers, software, all that "techie" stuff. I'm not afraid to launch into programs without reading the manual.
     But right now, I'm lost on Facebook. Yes, that's right. I'm only now signing up for an account.
     For years, it was "frowned upon" to put it mildly, in my profession to have a presence on Facebook. I was in management, it was unseemly ... etc. You get the idea. So, I didn't set up a Facebook account.
     Now, I'm trying to get started. And I'm puzzled. Where do I put things? How do I add photos. Some of you have "posted to my Wall" - but where is that?
     Go ahead, laugh at me. I'm kind of laughing at myself.

     I have every confidence I'll figure it all out ... eventually! So if you see me headed into the woods without a compass on Facebook, give a shrill whistle. And if you get a "Friend Request" from me, and you don't know me ... just smile and nod. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Free Shipping This Week

     This pendant has a drawing from a german textbook of a large egg. Since I don't read german, I can't tell what kind of egg it might be. This pendant, along with some other fun things, is on sale in the Etsy shop. And this week, if you use the Coupon Code MOMSHIPSFREE, you'll get free shipping, too. So if you have had your eye on this naturalist's design, you can have it on sale and I'll pay to ship it to you!
    How's that for an early mother's day gift?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Free Shipping for Mother's Day

     Want to order from the shop, and get free shipping? Until Sunday, May 13, use the CouponCode in the Etsy shop "MOMSHIPSFREE" when you order and get free shipping!
     And I still have some great discounts going on, if you've been wanting to give - or receive - a special jewelry medallion or tintype portrait.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Faring Better

     Wonder where I've been? 
     I've been on the couch, with a blanket over me, making pitiful sounds and eating crackers. I've been "under the weather" as they say.
     I finally got well enough this weekend to go to the studio for a while and work on a few things. Thank you to all the patient people who've been waiting for orders, for not being upset with me. 
     I had forgotten about the little polymer clay tags I made for a while. I need to make some more of them. And I have some ideas to test out with soldered glass charms.
     For now, I will finish the resin pieces that have been sitting, waiting for their final treatments. I hope to have those to show you soon.
     Nothing makes you appreciate a good appetite and a healthy stomach like the lack of them!