Monday, December 14, 2009

Made it on the Front Page!

Been....CRAZY busy....But had to pop in and say...
I made it on the Front Page of Etsy today...YEAH!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tools for the Etsy Community

I stumbled on this website that has some pretty cool feature to help with your Etsy store...if you happen to have one.
I like the scrolling side bar widget:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Latest Color Chart

I have been working for the past year to develop a color chart of my own speical blended colors. I took the time to Photoshop color swatches from pics of my enameled pieces. Here are my latest "standard" colors. Standard means I have been able to reproduce them kind of consistently. I sometimes do a color blend...then go back and try to reproduce it from my notes...only to find out make notes don't make a bit of sense! What can I say.....they seemed to make sense at the time.
On a side note. I am not really a political person. But this issue gets me and my family in the heart. My husband and I live the American dream. We are both self employed. We have created our own income. BUT this dream is being shattered by our Health Care system in America. My daughter was born with Beckwith-Weideman sydrome and is considered uninsurable. We have already gone thru probably 5 health insurance companies in the last 5 years. Our first was Nationwide. They were bought out by Healthnet. Heathnet really did not want to have clients in our state (they are a California company, we live in NV) so the raised our rates 400% so we were forced to find another. Our only other choice was to go with Group plan which has to accept all but you will pay. We found a great mildly reasonable plan thru Costco. The company was Summerlin. That only last 3 months when they informed us that they wanted to pull out of the state of NV all together too. But they were kind enough to get Anthem to take us all with out underwriting. Oh but your rates will go up 60%. I am currently in the underwriting process again. I will let you know how it goes. Good news is Natalie has Medicaid now thru the Katie Becket program. Hopefully that will last another year. But I am forced to pull her from our primary insurance as I just cannot afford to have 2 insurances on her. Apparently there is also a law in NV that states insurance companies can raise group plan rates 85% if one member is a "bad health apple". Sometimes the American dream is not such a good one.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I have stepped into the exciting-ness of making bangles. I have wanted to for a LONG time. But always afraid of the whole SIZE thing. What size to make? I then just decided no more thinking just DO IT!!
This is my first one and have many more to come:So to help myself and my customers I have done some research on fitting a bangle. The best and easiest way to measure for your enamel bangle is to measure a bangle that fits you and you love. You have the measure the inside diameter (distance from side to side). I have also found other info and instead or rewriting what I have learned I am just going to list what I have found and give credit.
I have found the best info on Ying Yu Jade website How to measure for a jade bangle. Since they are very close in type and delicacy I thought it was a perfect match for an enameled bangle.

Here are some methods for finding your correct size bangle when you cannot try it on first.
If you wear your bangle close to your wrist, it will not "clunk around" as much as a larger one will. This is important if you plan to wear it all the time. If you really like the feel of a big bangle that easily slips over your hand, then consider purchasing one that you will wear only for special occasions.
Also consider wearing your bangle on your non-dominant hand. For example, if you are right handed, wear it on your left hand because you don't use that hand as often and it will receive less abuse. I didn't like my bangle clunking against my watch, so I now wear my watch on my right wrist.
The easiest way to find your bangle size is to decide which wrist you will wear your bangle. Place your hand on a flat surface. Then measure between the highest points, which are the middle of of the knuckle, of your first and fourth knuckles. This is your bangle size. See illustration below. This shows the points on your knuckle you should measure between. When you measure. place your hand FLAT on a flat surface, then measure the distance between the points.
Another method is using a measuring tape to measure your hand . Squeeze your hand together TIGHT. Measure the widest part of the hand The average size is about 7" - 8.0"THEN, when you think you know your size, take a piece of cardboard or a plastic lid (for example a yogurt container, or coffee can lid) and with a ruler draw a line the diameter of the bangle you think will fit. Cut a round circle and put your hand through it. This will give you a better idea how it will fit.

Video on how to put on and remove a well fitted tight bangle.

Other Tips on How to Put on a well fitted Bangle.
  • Apply lotion to your hand. Use as much as needed! Your hands will become more flexible over time.
  • Loosen up your hand by giving yourself a quick hand massage (or better yet, have someone else give you a hand massage!). Apply more lotion if needed.
  • Hold your hand up VERTICAL from the floor and do not stiffen your hand. The key to putting on a bangle is keeping a loose flexible hand. If you keep your arm down in a horizontal position, the bangles will be more difficult to get on (the blood flows to your hand making it swell slightly).
  • Think of moving your hand through the bangles rather than moving the bangles over your hand.

    I think that might be everything you need to know. Please let me know if there is any confusion. Michelle Teka and Zoe

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    Etsy Treasury

    I was lucky enough this weekend to be included in 2 Etsy Treasuries. The first one from BigGirlStudio is White on White. The second is from slvilov is Sand and Sea. thank-you so much!!

    Saturday, October 3, 2009

    1 week of Earring Card Design..the Plight of the Obsessed!

    I have been working on revamping my store display for the 2 galleries I am in here locally. It is a co-op kind of thing so I can make my own display. I currently have my earrings hanging from a wire tree that I had made. (see previous post) I do no think that the tree is doing my work any favors. When you are looking at the earrings on each branch you can not see the forest for the trees. hehehe
    So after much back and forth and driving myself NUTSO I decided on carding my earrings. Plus I am going to have custom displays hand made out of steel to hold the cards. I have been working for around 24 hours over a 48 hour period on these stupid throw away pieces of card. That was after trying to decided for a week which way I was going to go with samples of all the ready made products from RIO and made mock-up's of my "handcrafted" versions. Put a range of jewelry on each type...studied them. Asked hubbies opinion....he did not care..or said how nice. I just did not like certain features of each of the store bought cards. So I decided to make my own. The clinker was going to be the 1/2 circle little flappy thing with the hole for hoop type earrings and my crescents. Could not get a punch custom made but DID find a punch that Basic Grey makes that is a 1/2 circle notching tool. THEN I had a coupon for Micheal's...Gotta have a coupon right?! They do not have any...So I ran home and found one on Ebay. THEN....I remembered that I have a cutting plotter (it is called a craft robo ) that can cut out any shape on paper using vector images. I used to use it for scrapbooking before I went digital. It is pretty cool. The HARD part, getting my idea and turning it into a vector image. I have spend 2 days drawing the image so I can print out my own cards with my logo and then use the plotter to cut them. Torture at time....yes. A BIG pain in the tookus...YES. Hubby was nice and was with the kids all day today. I had to order the paper from so I cannot even show you the finished version....but I will...Michelle with obsessed.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    More Circles....

    I have been wanting to make jewelry using fibers for a LONG time. It is natural to me becuase my life has really revolved around fabrics, fibers and textiles forever it seems. So after playing with my washers..and mushing thru my silk cords, and hand dyed fibers this is what I came up with:

    Saturday, September 26, 2009

    Here is some philosophy....buying Hand made

    Thru the Kilns Window
    I have been concentrating my efforts on enameling these days. After more than a year of making jewelry now I feel that I have finally found myself. I have learned in this time of growth that I LOVE to pound and melt things...Especially metal and glass. It is mesmerizing to watch fine silver fuse. I love the warmth of copper as it patina's. Finding nature with organic design. The simplicity of simple silver hoops! The depth of color in enameling.
    A little about enameling: Enameling is fusing teeny weeny glass particles to metal, usually fine silver or copper. It is fired in a kiln at around 1400 or more degrees. They say is takes an hour to learn and a lifetime to master enameling. Being each item I make are entirely handcrafted by my own hands and that enameling is inconsistent even when I take clear notes to develop a color blend. There WILL BE variances between the photographed item and the item you will receive. Plus to take a digital picture of a handcrafted item..and put it on a computer..ECK! There will be differences. I may make the ear wire a bit different. Or a certain bead my change, a shade may vary slightly. But the effect of the piece itself will not. If you are not the go with the flow nature of handcrafted kind of person let me know...I can always explain the current variance or if time permits if do a quick snap shot of what I have. Thank-you so much for your understanding!
    A quick note about digital photography....
    I personally have been trying to master photography for online buying for over 10 years. You would not believe the amount of equipment I have purchased over this time...thinking maybe if I got those lights...this backdrop..that camera....and all along it was the photographer that was the issue. Well I think I finally have it figured out. I have the set up that give me good results. But that said I still cannot believe how the color shifts from original piece, to computer screen. Plus my camera sees ALOT better than I do!....these pictures are way enlarged. That is why I like to always take a picture of the item in my hand. So you can see the true scale. The computer screen is like a huge magnifying glass...making a pair of earrings 8" wide and showing everything that the naked eye cannot see. I do try to correct the colors...but it is my computer screen not yours. It really is maddening at times as I want you to see what I see.
    Right out of the KilnCooled - Colors Develop

    p.s. I went on to ruin this peice by adding a color that did not work! :(

    Thursday, September 24, 2009


    Take advantage of free shipping...ANY jewelery item on any site...Etsy, 1000 markets, Art fire, or

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    Etsy Treasury

    I am honored to be included in another Etsy Treasury. This one is RED HOT FIRE! Thank-you for your fabulous choices and for including my Orange/Yellow ruffled disk earrings.

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Etsy Lounge

    Thank-you Etsy Lounge Blog for including me in your
    Blogosphere: Networking Etsy Artisans
    don't you love the Anemone Corsage in Green and Brown by

    Wednesday, September 2, 2009

    I'm seeing Circles....and I like it....

    Remember my post on 8/22...All those circles? Well I started to create some jewelry out of them. I originally thought I would do all colors in one. But after sorting I had to go with color groups. But still lots of circles more to come....
    Please leave a comment! Am I alone out here?

    Monday, August 31, 2009

    Etsy Treasury

    I was ever so lucky to be included in a new treasury on Etsy. I really really love these selections. The colors are fabulous. Thank-you so much Rio Branner of

    Monday, August 24, 2009

    1000 Markets

    I am thrilled to be a a staff pick on the community page of 1000 Markets. If you have not visited 1000 markets yet please do. It is full of stunning Artist's work. Or you can also shop by Market. Which are groupings or artist in like themes.
    From there website:
    We are a community of marketplaces...
    Our markets are more than just collections of products; they are full of people and stories. They have voices and personalities.

    Our merchants are small, independent, artisan businesses built by people who love their craft. They make and sell unique products, based on their own vision, personality and story. Working together, these artisans create marketplace communities - gathering places where merchants can exchange ideas, and customers can browse and talk. Our markets are large and small, broad and narrow. Some have themes, like food, crafts, or art. Others cultivate a sense of place around a region. And some exist simply because the people in them share friendship or common values. Each market fosters its own one-of-a-kind community, always unique and interesting. "

    It really is the best out there. Michelle Teka and Zoe on 1000 Markets

    Saturday, August 22, 2009

    I'm seeing Circles....

    I bought a box of copper washers that happen to be on sale at one of my new favorite on-line stores: By the way the owner, Jeanette Blix Ryan is SO NICE!!
    So here was my challenge. To loosen thinking..just mix colors and enamel. So I started with 30...then 50...then 70. By then I was exhausted but determined to complete all 110!! (it was 90 degrees and no air con in the kiln studio (the kiln-1450 degrees)) I must say after getting them all done and looking at them the next day...I see I have to add more colors. Thank-fully I bought 3 boxes. Now the fun begins. To create jewelry out of them. My original thought was to make a mixed color design. But then once I sorted them by color I thought maybe monochromatic or the later and throw in a jump out color. OR color my! You can see I am now in trouble as a new tangent begins!
    Michelle Teka and Zoe

    And here they are....What are your favs??

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Etsy, Treasuries and Blogging..

    S and O Productions was so kind to include a treasury I was a part of in their Treasury Tuesday Elite Eight. (Ok that was a mouth full). get the drift!
    Be sure to check out the article on the link below...but this was the treasury by calloohcallay.etsy.comAnd then a I was also delight to be included in this Treasury too. Thank you

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    I escaped

    I finally got to go OUT last night. My friend Teresa Wenzel ( always takes to a movie on my birthday. Well my birthday is in June...but no chick flix were out. So I told her rain check until Julie and Julia comes out. So I got to GET OUT of the house and go the movies. My hubby is so nice. Stayed at home with the kids( I have 3 yr old twins and a 4-1/2 yr old)
    It has been HOT so enameling is ot my fun as I kiln is the un-air-conditioned portion of he house. So it was good to escape. I loves to movie. Soooo inspiring. I must make Boeuf Bourguignon. It is now on my list of things to do. Not only cook inspiring but blog inspiring too. I recommend it if you like Julia and to cook.
    I have made a few new pieces. Playing with some new styles and colors. I love the new Pinky-rose with Lime. I also did a new single ruffled disk that is very wearable.

    Saturday, August 8, 2009

    1000 Markets

    Been very very busy creating and photographing. PLUS I got approved for 1000 Markets which I LOVE. I hope it takes off. It is such a nice place to shop for hand crafted artisan goods.
    Check it out:

    Monday, August 3, 2009

    Etsy Treasury! was kind enough to include me in this Treasury on Etsy. Thank-you Margaret!

    Friday, July 31, 2009

    Andria of Etsy Lounge has been kind enough to include my Fractured White Crescent Enamel Earrings in her article on Indie Weekend Fashions on Etsy. Check it out.
    Thank-you Andria!!

    Sunday, July 26, 2009

    Etsy Treasury!

    NEWS FLASH.........
    List made by curiousoddities featured on the front page at 2:00pm EST Sun July 26 2009 was nice enough to inlcude me in this sweet and charming treasury.
    Thank-you Kat

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    Made it on the Front Page of Etsy

    I made it on the front page of Etsy today. This wonderfully breezy and light Treasury was chosen by laslopezhome, She does wonderful hand kits. I was able to nab a picture of the front page from craft cult.
    I would not even known about it but another great website sent me an e-mail informing me of the front page feature:
    It you have an etsy shop be sure to check them can find out all kinds of info.


    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    Featured on B-line

    Amy over at The B-Line blog was kind enough to feature me today. Her blog is stunning. You should check it out. It is a feast for the eyes. See Teka and Zoe on b-Line.

    Saturday, July 11, 2009

    Project Finally Finished

    WAAYYYY back in Feb of '08 I did my first acid etching. You can see the results here:
    I have really wanted to do more with it but just never made the time. Well I finally MADE the time and did it. I LOVE the results! Why did I wait? I have them listed on Etsy here and Art Fire shortly. Acid Etch
    Michelle Teka and Zoe

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    Merry Christmas in JULY!

    I have recently joined Etsy Glass Artists Street Team. It is a handmade glass artist collective all on Etsy. Many of us have banned together to have a Christmas in July Sale. Great time to start your Christmas shopping early and SAVE.
    EGA is a glass artist collective comprised of glass fusers, lampworkers, glass blowers, and stained glass artisans dedicated to fostering an appreciation for the handmade glass arts.
    Please see our website at and our blog at

    Participating Members:

    MyCabinCreations - 20% off Everything

    Jewelry by Natsuko - 20% off everything

    RWillisglassartist - 20% off glass items only

    tekaandzoe - 20% off

    Paulasstressart - 20% off everything

    Susan Sheehan - 20% off all glass

    Glass Circus - 20% off everything

    Fire n Sand Glass 20% off all glass items

    Color Shoppe Studio - 10% off all Stained Glass Jewelry

    Glasscat - 20% off fused and dichroic jewelry; 15% off any stained glass items.

    41design - 20% off

    I am offering the same sale on my website which has some jewelry there that is not on Etsy. Use Xmas as your coupon code when checking out to receive your discount.

    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    Are you thinking about Fall yet?

    It seems impossible to think about fall colors yet....But here we are early July and the fall color fashion report is out for Fall of 2009. My local artisan gallery here in town is already talking about fall plans. It is funny I was just thinking the other day while enameling how was I going to get into the swing of the fall seasons..drab colors??? eecck! Then I saw the Pantone color report and was excited and inspired.
    See the full report here in pdf form: Pantone Fall 2009 Color Report.
    Fantastic colors...I must get enameling.
    Michelle Mahler Teka and Zoe and
    American Beauty
    Purple Heart
    Honey Yellow
    Burnt Sienna
    Rapture Rose
    Warm Olive
    Majolica Blue
    Crème Brûlee


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