Thursday, December 17, 2009

Carving

I have my first carved piece (earrings) finished and posted on my shop.

Part of the way through the process the design changed. The top photo shows my original plan for the drop (top left) and the bottom two show how the earrings eventually came out. This happens a lot with me. I sometimes think "it must look like I have no plan" but the truth is I always start with a plan...I am just very willing to change it if things head another direction.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

O Tannenbaum

Thought I would share the trimming of our Christmas tree. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to include a cup of hot chocolate and homemade ginger cookies for you.

My husband and I made the train garden two years ago. The whole thing is covered in glitter and its magical at night.

video

And these are my favorite ornaments. My husband made them for our first Christmas. This year they are adoring the front stairs.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Its a multi step process.

Somewhere along the way, someone noted that my work was simple but well designed. Hmm. However the comment was intended I chose to accept it as:
1. A fact. I do tend toward simple lines in my designs.
2. A challenge. Time to stretch a little further.

I started this particular necklace a couple weeks ago and posted part 1 on November 17 . This is the first time I have re-cured the same piece as I added different elements and the first time I used liquid polymer.

Now the box has a distressed grey back and a textured piece that will get inset.



Almost done. Not groundbreaking but a good exercise.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I have a thing for rings

I have a growing collection and a keen interest in more exotic varieties. I often match my clothing to my ring, not my ring to my clothing. Perhaps that gives you a better picture of my weakness.

You'll understand my excitement when visiting UnaOdd's studio over Thanksgiving weekend and finding one of these little, engraved, acrylic numbers on her work table! I gave the proto-type a test drive.


I was thrilled to see she had started posting them to her shop. At just $12 each they are a real deal! They are comfortable and sturdy but so amazingly light weight! Which one should I get?


If you share my weakness for rings also check out The Carrot Box!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

FREE shipping extended

No exciting reading here. Just a flat out commercial.

I decided to extend my free shipping through today. (FREE shipping for orders over $25)


Three pairs of $12 posts for $30 extends until Christmas. I will package those all together or in three separate boxes, if you wish.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One Ring

I am trying to split my time now between production work and new designs. I know, I know, at this point in the year with Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaching I should probably just be working toward that end but admittedly I get buggy making a bunch of one thing with no break.

So I continue working on ring designs. This is where things stand with the carved band.

They're a bit too wide although make no mistake, I am going for bold here. And the insides are too unfinished as pointed out by my daughter with a polite "mom...you can do better than this." (This is a household of artists - we taught the children to critique from birth.) Love the carving! Will be doing more of that for sure!

I am wearing one of the rings daily to test its limitations. The biggest issue here for me is strength and durability. Any material has its limitations and certainly there are varying degrees of sturdiness. Sterling wire can bend. A stone can be lost if prongs wear thin or are bent. So where does a polymer ring fall ? What is it reasonable to expect out of a polymer ring?

Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for reading my ramblings!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Feathers Finished

I had a very productive afternoon yesterday! Ah! Productivity! Maybe I am a workaholic.

In addition to starting some other projects (rings and a big necklace) I finished my feather ornaments. They started as icicles - they morphed in feathers. What can I tell you? These things happen.



They are white and silver polymer, textured, cut individually, cured, distress with acrylic and then heat set. I decided to carve the sides as an after thought and I'm happy with the results. I REALLY enjoyed the carving!



This is the first batch. I might change the hooks so that they can slip over branches and hang straight on with no additional tree hook necessary. And I might try some bright colors that would stand out against the green of a tree. My daughter wants one as a pendant so that might happen too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Get back to work!

I am finally getting back up to speed after the flu. (Thank you to everyone who wished us well and prayed for recovery!) I have been working a bit but there is always that lag time between finishing a piece and posting photos. I hope to be able to post new work all this week.


I've been working on the pendant portion of larger necklaces. Nothing is finished yet but this is where I am headed. With this series I am going to explore box-like construction. I've done it in metal...can I do it in polymer? I remember seeing Donna Kato do this (maybe on hgtv?) and thinking "gosh she makes that look SO easy"!



I made some new feather inspired Christmas ornaments that, upon my daughters instruction may also morph into pendants as well. If our great weather continues here on the east coast I'll be taking photos every day in the lovely, slanted, morning light.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

An Unwelcome Guest

Photos of what was happening here before the flu arrived.



We are on the mend but I would doubt I will have the energy to be back in the studio until the weekend. It hasn't been especially terrible but one of the worst things about being sick is that you have PLENTY of time to lay around and think about all things you wish you could do.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mind the Gap!

Never make the assumption that lack of posts on a blog (especially my blog) means that there is nothing going on worth posting about. More often than not it means the exact opposite.

The day after my last post, I was on the main page of Scoutie Girl and Polymer Clay Daily! My Etsy shop was busy, my in box was busy and my blog got more comments that normal (all this while I was away in Washington D.C.). Not only did I sell the large necklace that was posted on Polymer Clay Daily, the customer also ordered a matching bracelet. Then I got another custom order and was also hired to make the jewelry for all the bridesmaids in a wedding. I pondered how to relate exposure to sales. I pondered if I will ever make anything as good as what I see in my head. I pondered and I worked. I worked and I pondered.


A very big thanks to Tara at Scoutie Girl! She also manages Handmade in PA where we first "met". She chose my earrings for a gift guide one day and had them on the main page the next and I made several sales thanks directly to those post. Do not underestimate the power of a well followed blog.


My spot on Polymer Clay Daily is frankly a big deal to me (pardon, I am going to gush) . This is the place where I go everyday to see whats happening in the world of polymer so to BE there, in the company of all those amazing artists...well...that's something! Thank You Cynthia Tinapple! What a great encouragement your posts have been to me! I can almost hear your voice while I work, "keeping going, keep going...".

Monday, October 19, 2009

Scoutie Girl Gift Guide

I happened upon my own earrings on the Scoutie Girl Gift Guide tonight! Hurrah for gray! So thrilled to be in the company of other talented folks including my good friend Lynn (UnaOdd).

Now I am considering if, at 41, I could get away with those leggings. Aren't they lovely?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Relatively unrelated

Enjoying some shots I took for my Etsy supply shop, Box Lot. Simple shapes, nice light. Unrelated to anything else here but pleasing to my eye.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Learning a new language

I haven't been in the studio much these past two weeks. The rest of the things that I am responsible for in life seem quite pressing (homeschooling, peeling apples, buying new pants for boys who seem to grow over night). Then there have been days when its just so lovely...that I go here instead.


I think thats ok though. Seeds of inspiration often get planted on days such as the one pictured above.

I did start making lots and lots translucent "shell" beads, as my friend Natalie calls them.



They made an appearance in this necklace that took me months to complete. ("Why?" I ask myself because it isn't really a complicated piece in any way.)

Mentally for me though it was a departure in that being trained as a metal smith I often still design/think in metal. Then I translate to polymer, modify and moved on. This is the first piece that, in my head at least, I felt like I thought through the process in the new language (polymer). I designed it to lay asymmetrically against the neck by stringing, trying on, stringing, trying on. I'd like to be able to get a little more control over that process.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Make new friends, and keep the old.

When I signed up for Etsy in February of 2008 I did not expect to "find" a dear friend from college, Lynn of UnaOdd, but I did. (Check out her 6 Friends Cube.) Nor did I expect to find new friends. Again, I was wrong. I have "met" quite a few really nice folks, artists with whom I can talk shop and from whom I can LEARN (always learning, always learning).

Since I started selling a selection of "supplies" I sometimes also have the great honor of part of my work becoming a small part of another artist's work. Its humbling, really. I was honestly surprised when Michele, from Michele's Art Jewelry, purchased my Orange beads a couple weeks ago. Within a week or so she had incorporated them into her own earthy necklace titled Total Meltdown which is now listed in her Etsy shop. I like that she chose a decidedly asymmetrical focal point for this piece.


I'm a fan of chunky bracelets - check out her Mardi Gras Bracelet. Those big beads are great, aren't they?!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hello Autumn.

I know it actually, officially already started but today it really felt like it. As the sun set a wind started to blow, wind that was decidedly cooler. As if to try and fool me, the zinnias still look great, some blooms are 5 feet tall!




But I've been watching the squirrels crazily stashing nuts and thought I should follow suit. I made End of the Garden Vegetable soup. One pot won't last us through winter though. I still have much to learn from the squirrels, I guess.


Apart from the stark, otherworldly beauty of a heavy snow, I don't like winter. I don't like shorter days, I don't like cold temperatures.

Strangely though I do enjoy this, right now. The get cozy/take stock/prepare for what lies ahead/nesting kind of thing that naturally happens in the fall.

And what would autumn be without a Red Cabbage Ring.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Treasure!

I've currently found myself in two incredible autumn treasuries! I thought I'd share them here along with some of my favorites from the curator's Etsy shops.

First, the aptly titled "Autumn Cool Down" by UnaOdd, an excellently chosen grey and spice collection.


I love UnaOdd's new polymer pendants, especially the one below. I went to college with Lynn and am the proud owner of several of her pieces. Her sense of design is amazing and her work is always impeccable.


...And another Early Fall treasury by My Selvaged Life. (Those with a quirky sense of humor will really like the Poe Paper Dolls.)

Check out Heather's great Cicada Song necklace! I love it - very "Smithsonian Natural History".

Thanks Lynn and Heather!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The results are in.

Overall, I would have to say that New Freedom Fest was successful for me. My booth was located just 2 blocks from my house and so most everything was transported via Amish built wheel barrow. Charming, right? Yes. Low carbon footprint? Yes.


Although I did make money, sales were not what I expected. I thought, given the fact that the economy is not great and that people are unfamiliar with polymer as a medium, I would mostly sell low cost pieces such as $12 posts. Much to my surprise, most sales were over $25 and several people bought several pieces. Who would've guess?

Yes, thats me there. My daughter took all the photos and, bless her, she made me blurry!


The response from people, even from those who didn't buy, was really positive. Many people were very surprised ("This is polymer clay? I didn't know polymer clay was cool?"). It made me think back to an email I got from Ronna Weltman not long ago. She explained that polymer is still "an unknown quantity". People's unfamiliarity with polymer as a jewelry medium affects their willingness to purchase something made from it and especially so online. Lots of people really wanted to touch the jewelry, to "investigate", if you will. (Two pieces got dropped, surviving completely unscathed. Yes!)

I haven't done a craft show in about 10 years and admittedly I was exhausted by the end of day. But it was good to get the word out locally about my work.