Thursday, January 31, 2008

Vintaj Brass

I luv working with Vintaj brass items. It is so warm. It seems like I get on a "I have to work with silver" kick..then the brass calls be back. I just have to work with it and make lots of stuff...then the silver calls again. Well while the Vintaj Brass was calling here are some earrings I created. They are all available on my website. I also have Vintaj brass findings for sale on Etsy (see link on the left). If you would like to create your own. As a Blog reader only for the the next 2 weeks, for Valentines day, you will received a 20% discount off any Handcrafted Jewelry order by using the coupon code "Heart" upon checking out. Expires 2-15-08.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Earring/Jewelry Tree

I purchased this earring tree to bring to trunk shows. It is great to watch everyone gathering around the tree looking at all the earrings. I could not get a good photo of the tree with my earrings displayed so I used the photo from the artist. You can buy your own tree from Claudines Closet: She has smaller versions for personal use too. I got the big one, although I could even use an even bigger one with all the earrings I have. She also has a wall mounted version that would look great on a bedroom wall.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Watermelon Tourmaline

When I was pregnant with my first child Zachary I took a trip to Auburn, CA with the girls, a last hooray before he was born. I was mushing thru a Rock, Jewelry kind of store...your typical tourist shop. They had the most wonderful watermelon tourmaline slices. I spoke the the man about making me a pair or earrings as I have always luuvved that stone. At the time I could not with a conscience commit to buying them with all the baby furniture and other baby luggage to buy. But it has always been the the back of my mind. At that time I was not making jewelry. Now 3 some odd years later I was at the Tacoma Bead Show, my first outing by myself w/o the kids or hubby since they all were born, and what do I see....I wonderful strand of Rainbow Tourmaline watermelon slices. I had to buy them. Ever week since I pick them up and admire them and put them down. Then it hit me one day to USE THEM! So far here are my creations. I really wanted to showcase the stone. The earrings on the right are unoxidized sterling the set on the left is oxidized. I am not sure which one I like better. I do think I want to reshoot the picture of the unoxidized version as I am not 100% pleased with the results. It is difficult to shoot as the stone is translucent. These and other handcrafted jewelry are available on my website

Friday, January 18, 2008

Greek Ceramic Washer Beads from Mykonos

One of my favorite new finds of this past year are the washer type beads made of high fired ceramic from Mykonos Island, Greece. These kiln-fired, dyed terra cotta beads often have the look of wood, metal, or stone. The best part are the large holes...great to fit that 12 gauge wire or leather cord. My first purchase was a little packet of 8mm and 13mm washers. I made a few items and fell in love. I bought a bunch and just had to share them with others. I have just added other colors, shapes and sizes to my Etsy page. You can buy nuggets, donuts, gears and washers. I have others in my stash that I have yet to photograph and put up on Etsy. If I ever have handcrafted jewelry making supply finds that I feel I have to share with others I will always put them up on my Etsy site not to confused my handcrafted jewelry customers with my jewelry site

Scholarships available for Jewelry and the Arts Education

Do you want to learn more about your craft but just need a little help financially? How about applying for any of these scholarships:

Women's Jewelry Association Scholarships
To empower both its female members and students in the jewelry, watch and related industries, the Women's Jewelry Association offers two types of educational financial aid, student scholarship and member grants.
Student scholarships in varying amounts are available to students (including WJA members) who are enrolled in fine jewelry and watch design courses in the United States.
In 2007, the WJA scholarship committee awarded $21,000 in scholarships to fifteen students. This year we had 69 applications from 45 different schools.

MJSA Education Foundation Jewelry Scholarship
The MJSA Education Foundation is a non-profit educational branch of the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America, Inc. and is supported by the jewelry industry. The MJSA Education Foundation Scholarship Fund Group consists of six endowment funds, which are managed by The Rhode Island Community Foundation. Scholarships are available for students enrolled in tool making, design, metals fabrication or other jewelry related courses of study at colleges, universities or non-profit technical schools on the post-secondary level in the United States. Awards are not made for home study courses.

SNAG Educational Endowment Scholarships
The SNAG Educational Endowment was founded in 1992. Its sole focus is awarding graduate and undergraduate educational scholarships each year. These are our most prestigious and highly competitive student scholarship awards. A Selection Committee of three independent jurors determines the awards.
The Endowment awards three scholarships each year, and each scholarship recipient receives: $1,000, a one-year complimentary SNAG membership and their work featured on a postcard sent out to hundreds of museums, galleries, and schools. The application deadline is March 15th each year. The current guidelines and application are available here.

Worldstudio Foundation
Imagine you had everything you needed to share your vision with the world: talent, skill, dedication, desire. Everything, that is, except money.
Each year, Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships receives hundreds of applications from young people in this very predicament – desperate to influence the world with their amazing talents but without the financial means to do so. Fortunately, with the support of generous individuals, organizations and corporations, Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships allow young people from minority and economically disadvantaged backgrounds not only to realize their artistic dreams, but also to give back to their communities.

MetalWerx Scholarship
Metalwerx Educational Scholarship Inc., (MESI) provides scholarships reaching those on fixed incomes, middle and high schools students, and those in transition from one career to another.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards offer early recognition of creative teenagers and scholarship opportunities for graduating high-school seniors. The Awards program is national in scope and administered by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit organization whose mission is provide guidance and support for the next generation of artists and writers, in partnership with 77 regional affiliate organizations.

During my research I have also learned that a lot of schools, Universities offer scholarships to their students.
Thank-you to Leah Jewelry for some of this info.
I myself hope to take advantage of a scholarship or two as I have plans to attend NMU when we relocate to Marquette, MI this year.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Updated Photo

After my last post I just did not feel like the picture of the last piece was good enough. I guess I have been struggling with my "style". My goal is to better my photography, of course for my customers so they can better see what they are buying, but also to better represent myself through my jewelry. To get into juried shows and galleries you have to have good photo's. Some on-line galleries or collective request white or light backgrounds so they have continuity in their website. I tried to go all white but it just rubbed me the wrong way. I guess I am not an all white kind of gal. So I got out the scrapbooking papers of which i have a zillion and tried the shot again. I really like it. It is clean yet not stark like the white...and some rocks because that is just more me.

I Finally Got Motivated.

I have been intrigued of late by the color combination of blue and bown. So I was digging thru my stash and found these wonderful chunks of Aquamarine. I felt like it needed the contrast of the caramel colored Vintaj brass. I really love the combination and plan a pair of earring also. On the photography side of it I think I will try to photograph it on a darker background.

Yes it Snowed

It Snowed and Snowed...I caught this picture of a hawk waiting for prey in my backyard.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Trying the get Motivated

The hussle and bustle of Christmas is over. We are all reflecting on the new year. I have started my millionth diet. It is really gloomy out and raining like crazy (thank-fully not snow yet). It is cold and one of those days that you just want to snuggle with a blanky and watch a sappy movie. My twin 19 month olds are in bed and I should be working. But instead I want to match movies like:
The Holiday
Jude Law..ppullease...


Under The Tuscan Sun........Marcello...Marcello!! There is always room for Hugh Grant on such a day.

Notting Hill .... Loved the "I'm just a Girl" line. And of course:

Bridget Jones's Diary
be still my heart...Collin Furth...
But I must get to hoo...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Photo Re-Shoot

Here are picture of a necklace I made. First the old photo, second the new version. I am still not thrilled with the new one either. The stone seems to have a glare on it. It is a hand cut and polished Rhodochrosite. Gorgeous color and polish!! I made a net bezel for out of sterling silver. I may have to tinker with the photo some more.

This second set is a 7-3/4" in length bracelet. Lightly dapped hand stamped sterling disks formed into cups that hold a delightful selection of pearls, Amethyst stones, Swarovski Crystal, misc bobbles and hand made sterling charms. It has a toggle closure. The first shot is the original picture...Boy it is not even in focus. The second I like much better. I added back a rock. I think it adds a bit of interest.


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