Friday, January 27, 2012

New Ring

I attempted a new ring today.  I picked up those gorgeous rose cut stones at the gem show and was trying to come up with something to showcase them.  They are all very clear and I thought it would be great to showcase them in an open setting.

It was a little more meticulous work than I thought it would be.  The stones are very irregular so the bezel has to fit just right.  I think it worked out beautifully.  I am keeping this one for myself but have listed the ring with other stone options in my store though just the white topaz for now. I am hoping to upgrade to gold for some of my more colorful stones. 

As usual I was in a hurry to photograph and hit it a little late, hence the blue in my photos.  Tomorrow promises to be sunny so I'll be doing another shoot then. 

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Tool

I bought a new tool this week.  It is a GRS Benchmate Stone Setters Kit. I have had this on my wish list, in my shopping cart, out of my shopping cart over and over for about two years. 

I asked myself the other day "are you serious about this or not?".  So, I bit the bullet and did it. 

Now it's sitting in about five different boxes on my kitchen table.  Next project, figure it out and set it up.

I've looked into local classes and am having a hard time finding good classes.  There are many beginning metal smithing classes; however, specialty classes such as stone setting which is really what I'm interested in are a little more difficult to find.  I did however, find a jewelers certification class that was a 12 week program..and a price of $10,000.  (Yes, there is no misplaced decimal point..I had to look twice, too! )  I'm not really interested in taking a class at a college.  I've done that before and there are so many superfluous things you have to do and the time doesn't work with my schedule.  I would prefer a concentrated class on a concentrated subject.  Ah well,  the search continues. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rethinking Everything (warning-long narrative)

Ever since I've started learning metalsmithing/silversmithing/whatever, I've been interested in lots of different aspects of the art.  I've tried lots of different styles, tried lots of different techniques and processes, and tried to develop and define where I was going.

Last year I thought I had gotten it all figured out with the turquoise and southwest styles.  I worked on those, purchased lots of turquoise and sold lots of turquoise jewelry pieces.  I have found, though, that I still come back to the simpler styles, the gemstones, and rings.  Why rings, I just don't know, but I really love making (and wearing) them.

I've made bracelets and necklaces and they have sold well, but I struggle with the aspect that those are things that I don't wear.  Since I don't hardly wear necklaces or bracelets it's hard for me to judge whether or not they are pretty, whether they are what someone would wear, or whether they are just junk.  The only true measure I have is when they sell or not.

Even if they sell, though, I just don't get the same sense of satisfaction or sense of accomplishment that I do when I make a ring.  I see other peoples work (Like another Amy I know here) and am so impressed with her work.  It's gorgeous and I think "I could wear that", but when it comes to what I design and make I'm stuck on rings.  I know what I like, what I would wear and that is how I design, I guess.

So, now I'm feeling that unsettled feeling again, the need to make a change, to re-vamp some stuff.

First, I'm thinking about changing my blog layout, colors, header, etc.  I hesitate because  1.  I paid for this layout and 2.  I have been told, read, advised, etc.  that branding is SO important with a business and consistency is key!  Is it that I am just tired of it or is it because it still isn't the right fit? 

Second, I'm still refining and re-thinking direction and designs.  You may remember that my dad is sharing a studio with me now.  He has made some amazing pieces with turquoise in modern as well as southwest styles.  (see his work here and be sure to check out his sold pieces).  He is and was a big influence on my roots of style being in the southwest designs.  I just can't quite get to where he is in his designs.  I don't know if that is discouraging or if I am just not into it anymore.  I know big chunky turquoise is coming back in style but it just isn't doing it for me.  I TOTALLY think he should continue because he is so good at it, but I just don't know if that is still my direction.

So, that is where I am at.  Still muddling through trying to figure some things out.  I am totally open to advice; if you've been here and how you worked through it; telling me I need to snap out of it, etc.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New stones

I went gem shopping this weekend.  I must say I am now spoiled.  The only stones I have ever purchased have been online purchases and though I try to buy the best quality I can afford I have honestly never held in my hand high end stones (other than my wedding ring).

I have worked with moonstones before and love the way they look.  The stones I have are usually white with amazing flash.  Today I saw a moonstone that was truly mesmerizing.  It was about the size of a peanut and was completely clear. BUT, when you moved it into the light it glowed with the glow of a moonstone.  Oh boy! Yum!  Then I turned the little case over and $450!  wow!  Now I know what a AAA excellent clarity and color moonstone look like (and what it costs).  That stone has stuck in my mind and I have the perfect setting for it in my mind....but it's a little out of my price range for now.

I did, however, splurge on these.  I have used opals before but have never seen anything like these.  You get what you pay for is so true!  The fire in these is amazing and the range of colors is so beautiful.

And look at these little ones:

They look like there is their own universe inside them.  Just stunning.  So, I splurged.  Spent Waaay  more than I wanted to spend but so worth it!  (I have also learned trying to photograph them to show their real beauty is going to be a real challenge!)

And last but not least these lovelies.

These are rose cut prehnite (light green), amethyst (purple), blue topaz and yellow topaz.  Aren't they yummy? I am working out in my head sets of stacking rings or a cluster pendant, or maybe both.

I hope your Saturday was full of yummy treasures, too! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lots of Treats!

 Look what was packed in my mail box today!  Lots of treats!

How exciting that they all came on the same day!  My little happy dance at the mailbox surely did not go unnoticed by the neighbors. Such a surprise!

First, don't you just love Cath Kidston's packages?  Even though it says "merry christmas", its still a treat.  (though I would love it better if it said "Happy Christmas"..afterall, isn't that what the British say?)  Anyway.  It's too hard to throw the package away! but these lovely treats were inside.

I was a little disappointed, however, because most of my order was not there.  It totally made up for it when I called their customer service to ask about it only to speak with a lovely woman with the most charming accent!  Oh boy!  It was a treat.  (Silly, maybe, but I love British things and people!)

The next package was full of these little lovelies.  Gorgeous garnets, prehnites to complete the orders of the ring that was so popular thanks to Pinterest, and some sweet rose quartz.  I'm a little behind on planning for Valentines day but hopefully I'll have something in the shop by Monday with these little sweeties.

 And, last but not least, fabric.   Oh, Oh, OH!

 Gorgeous fabrics.  I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with them yet, other than a blanket, but oh my!  They are just too stunning!  I'll have to think long about the perfect pattern or I'll be afraid to cut them.

Look at them!  Yum~

Those were my treats for the day and I still got some time in to finish piecing this little thing.    I'll post more pictures later because by the time I finished the light was gone.

I hope you had a treat filled day, too!  

Sunday, January 15, 2012



A nice person who I don't know pinned this ring on Pinterest about six weeks ago.  

For some reason it went viral this weekend.  I say "viral"..."viral" for me.  It received over 1500 views in one day, I've sold five rings and have had messages about it.  The actual listing that was pinned was one of my sold orders so, unfortunately, some that don't know how Etsy works would not have known it is still available.  But I sure don't look a gift horse in the mouth so-to-speak.  What a thrill. 

It is interesting that it was pinned initially six weeks ago.  I have no idea what happened or how it took off, but I feel blessed that it did. 

...and all the sewing I was going to do...well, that'll get done at night I guess. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Selling Stones

In the process of trying to get my mojo and inspiration back I began going through my stash of stones.  Some of these I have had for quite a while and just have not been able to come up with ideas.  Some I, honestly, just am tired of looking at, pulling them out trying to come up with designs, only to put them back into their case.

Don't get me wrong, they are reeeely nice stones.  Some I paid a lot of money for and they are all gorgeous, it just doesn't do me any good to be going over the same things.  The definition of insanity, right? 

So, in preparation for a fresh start they are going.  If you are a rock hound you can find some really nice stones to add to your collection if you want to.

They are here:
in my destash shop I open off and on.

Friday, January 13, 2012

off the grid

I have seriously been lacking inspiration lately.  Seriously lacking motivation and all the other things that get work done. 

I read recently an article about getting your inspiration back.  It suggested that you take a break from your regular work and try something new, something different, something out of the box. 

This week I found out my nephew is having a baby..well, his wife is, but anyway.  I have decided to sew them a few things.  Something to get my imagination going and out of the rut it seems to be stuck in. 

I've added to my fabric stash substantially this week.  Here are a few pictures.  I'll, hopefully, get some things done and share them with you. 

Aren't they pretty?  A few for burp pads, a few for a little blanket.

Even the threads are pretty! 

I've also ordered these...and can't wait to get them. 

Oh boy...I'm going to have some fun times ahead...I'm excited about this.  My imagination is working which is a start.  Maybe when the pink sapphires I ordered arrive I'll be ready to put them to good use!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Just popping in to say...


This is my little touch of spring in my kitchen.  It's drab and dreary here but we are blessed in the south that the roses love these milder temperatures. 

Don't you love my little mug?  I got it at Target today for $2.50 in the dollar section (yes, it was not a dollar but still there). 

After the holidays I need some spring in my house.