Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Finally Back

Alright, I have finally returned to the internet! This has been a super busy few days along with the final trip north for the summer. We wanted to make sure that we could make it up to see the partner's family one last time before we started classes. I really hope that we get into the law school up there; I love his family and I know he misses them, as well as the fact that I need to spread my wings a little and leave my hometown finally.

Other than that, my crafting streak seems to be at an end. I got really inspired about a week ago and ended up making 6 items, enough to last me a week of listing items on Etsy. So now that I have finally exhausted that supply, I need to sit down and make some more. Hopefully I will have a chance to do that tonight, in between practicing for the LSAT, working on my honors thesis and taking care of the sick partner. Poor kid has been laid up for two days and this is a kid that never misses a day of work. But I should be able to get dinner going and craft at the same time. Or wait til he falls asleep for the night. All of this kinda makes me glad that I don't want kids. :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Selling an item

Does anyone else do that thing where as soon as someone buys an item you have to go look at it and make sure that it is completely perfect? Using that one bead which seemed so perfect at the time now looks off to you? That handmade clasp now seems cheap? You start to think that the person couldn't have possibly meant to buy this and you have to make sure that everything is perfect before you can even think about sending it out?

Well, that is what I always go through before I send out a purchase. I have to talk myself down and make sure that I realize that yes, this person likes this. They saw my pictures and wanted to buy this. I still need to gain a lot more confidence in my work.

At least I know that this obsession over details will help me when it comes to shipping. I always take great pains to make sure that the piece is securely wrapped and packaged before I send it off into the great unknown. I know what the post office has to sort through every day. And I know that that means that while my package is precious to me, it's just another one to them.

So while I do stress over purchases, I love them. There is nothing like the feeling of logging onto Etsy and seeing "You have 1 item to leave feedback for. Leave feedback now". Love it

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Getting inspired at the weirdest times.

So on Saturday night, I all of a sudden got really inspired and just HAD to make some jewelry. While this was what I had been waiting for, I was surprised by just how many pieces that I made! I try to at least make one piece a night so that I can put up one a day and stay near the top of my categories. I honestly think that trying to stay at the top of jewelry is a battle that would only serve to drive me insane, so I try to stay at the top of my search listings. It also helps that my stuff tends to be pretty unique (I like weird things) so it isn't as hard as you'd think.

So I was absolutely thrilled when I finally stopped creating and saw that I had made 6 pieces! I really wasn't paying attention to how many that I had made, only that each one was "complete". As odd as it sounds, there is a time for me when a piece feels done. If I stop before then, it will bother me until I go back and finish it.

But now I am really happy, because not only am I set for this week but I also found something to do with a few of the beads that had me stumped. Check out these links:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Halloween just around the corner

With Halloween just around the corner, I tried to find a design for a bracelet that I would wear. I'm not normally a person that wears a lot of holiday themed jewelry and so something more subtle is what I tried to create.

The bracelet that I came up with started when I made a tiny little beaded pumpkin our of seed beads and gold plated wire. I even added a little green at the top since the parnter didn't think that it looked enough like a pumpkin yet. I think that he was right, although I can't tell him that. :)

Then I decided that I didn't want to try and weave a special chain for this because I wanted it to be very light and very simple. So I had some gold plated jump rings that I wove into a simple wire. But then that looked far too simple so I added two spacers of seed beads strung on the gold plated wire. I decided to use green and orange beads so it would almost repeat the pumpkin.

All in all, I'm really happy with how it came out. It's really light when you are wearing with it and it has my signature spacers embedded within chain. This bracelet is definetly going to be a hard one to sell, although I do hope it finds a happy home!

Friday, July 31, 2009

New Listing

So I finally got creative again after a mini-slump. And I'm back to blogging after slacking. But I decided to sit down and do another Byzantine piece a few nights ago. As most crafters, I was watching TV while I was creating and didn't realize that I'd missed a step in my bracelet until I looked down and saw that the rings were overlapping each other like scales rather than making the signature byzantine link.

After being upset for about 5 seconds, I held the bracelet out to the partner and asked him what he thought about it. He was really impressed by the "new" weave and said that it looked like a great piece. That sealed it. i decided to continue the weave and see how it ended up.

The final piece ended up being a really sturdy weave that has barely and give to it since the links overlap a lot. But this means that it is also a very strongn bracelet. I also attached what is quickly becoming my signature; a wire wrapped bead. I like the look of a little dangle from the end of the bracelet as it gives it a little bit more "sparkle" or shine.

I called it the mermaid's tail because it looks like scales to me and the size of the rings also made it look very delicate and feminine. I always get attached to my pieces but this one really made my day better.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reattaching the Etsy umbilical cord...

So I am finally back online from the weekend and it is now time for me to try and get back into the swing of things. I hate getting interrupted because it takes me forever to get my creativity going again, but I do love going up to visit the other side of the family.

It's weird because they are all such crafty people that you would think it would be easy to gain creative juices from being up there, but since we only see them occasionally, visiting usually takes priority. It's nice to talk about crafting though. Mom does a lot of woodworking actually and is getting her own shop up on Etsy. (TheOakGrove). She doesn't have any inventory yet, but that's because she has two kids to take care of and needs to find some "me" time. Grandma does a lot of glasswork, mostly mosiacs, but also loves jewelry. She took me to the Gem and Jewelry show up there and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. It was so much fun to wander around and see all the gems and all the designs. It was also nice to be respected as a fellow artisan and see the live community.

Hopefully I will be able to get back into the swing of things easily and will have new things up soon!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Weekend Trips

So this weekend I am heading up to see the future in laws with the partner. We try to go up as often as we can since he never gets to see his family. I hope that it will be a lot easier once we are (hopefully) up there for law school. I really like his family a lot and I feel so happy to have been accepted by them.

Unfortunately that means that I am going to have to cut the Etsy umbilical cord for a little bit. I'm so used to spending a lot of my time on the forums that it is hard to remember that there is a large world out there. So this should be an interesting but also a much needed restful weekend.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thinking about the holidays

It's sort of weird to think that I am now among the retailers who push the holiday season months in advance in order to start the buyer spree that usually ensues. But here I am, in July, thinking about what Halloween items I could start making, what back to school themes I could employ and what Christmas items I might like to make.

It's messing with my head in an odd way. I usually never look more than a month ahead and now I am going to have to get ready to craft my little heart out to keep up with the Christmas rush (hopefully. Please, please let there be a

So what do you think? What sort of items would you like to see created? Comments are always welcome!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Weekend

The end of the weekend always slightly depresses me. It's mostly because I am a student and have to go back to a job that doesn't really challenge me mentally, so it's hard to look forward to another week. I did have a really nice weekend though.

The partner and I are definetly people that prefer to stay home and talk or watch movies rather than brave crowds. We both have slight anxiety around large crowds so it's just much easier and much more enjoyable for us to stay home. We love each other's company and love to create, so it works out nicely.

We did go to my parent's house for Sunday dinner since we were in town this weekend. (His parent's live 4 hours away and we try to spend as much time with them as possible so we end up going up there every other weekend or so.) But it was nice to be able to load up the car for the 10 minute drive and hang out with my family. We're both so grateful that we have been accepted into each other's families with such ease that hanging out with them isn't awkward or uncomfortable but can be a lot of fun.

I just wanted to take a minute and write about how happy I finally am with the direction of my life and how grateful I am.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Of being a full time student

So here I sit on my day off, still at the library. I decided for some reason that it wasn't hard enough for me to minor in Soc, major in Political Science and then add a major in Women's Studies without also taking on an honor's thesis so that I could gradutate with an honor's diploma.

I have really big dreams and unfortunately in our society you also have deep pockets, a trust fund or have to give up sleep in order to gain the credentials necessary for admission to a top ten law school. I really do love school though, as much as I complain about the work. I love the thrill of writing a paper, of trying to think outside the box so that my paper stands out. I do love chasing that A.

So now I am trying to start work on my honors thesis so that I can graduate with two degrees, a minor, a summer of service learning at a women's shelter and an undergraduate thesis. We'll see how it goes. A short update today since I should be researching.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Adventures in Japanese 6-in-1

So yesterday I spent about 3 or 4 hours creating a handflower/slave bracelet out of two different sizes of aluminum rings. The pattern that I used was a slightly altered Japanese 6-in-1. I have always been very hesistant to move outside of the European weaves but I was feeling a little froggy after I had not only made a Byzantine bracelet but it had actually been my first sale on Etsy!

So I decided to modify the pattern from one that spirals outward in a circle to one that I could create in a traingle shape. I thought that it would be easy to modify and it was; but it led to a few problems. I have always had a problem with completely closing my rings and this was no exception. With heftier or tighter weaves this isn't a problem because the rings are held in place and never have a chance to line up in that ever so perfect way that they do in order to fall apart. I should know, I test all my chainmaile by wearing to work for a day. (Not the earrings though..I usually make a sample pair and test the design on those). But since I am a library slave, I am constantly running around, carting around books, etc so the jewelry does get a work out. But this delicate weave means that I am going to have to go back to the drawing board when it comes to closing rings. It will probably just mean a lot of practice and time.

So I finally went to bed, a little disappointed but feeling ok. When I woke up however, I realized that I had committed a kitty owner's biggest sin: I left the handflower out where Kitten could play with it. I spent almost 20 minutes trying to find it before my partner reached over and said, "Is this it?" Sometimes I want to smack him and kiss him all at once!

So after a harrowing 20 minutes, I examined the handflower to see that it had come apart even more and now needed repairs, which is how I plan to spend my evening tonight.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Polymer Clay Pendant

So after years of just playing around with polymer clay, I decided to add it to my list of materials for jewelry. Last night I added a new necklace that showcases my first foray into polymer clay as a serious medium. I think that it turned out fairly well for being my first real try. It was born of a cane that I made when I was just fooling around stacking chocolate brown and metallic copper clay together. Then I started reducing and cutting it until I got one of my favorite patterns in clay....the checkerboard!

I wanted this pendant to have a very rough sort of look, so I cut out circles of the clay and smooshed them together to get a rectangular shape that looked very organic. It sort of reminds me of a rough gemstone that has been chiseled out of rock and is waiting to be polished. The metallic accents in the copper clay are barely picked up unless it is placed in the correct light. I like how understated this pendant is but how I could picture some artist or gallery owner wearing it to an opening of some new exhibit.

I can see the piece being nestled among the silk shawl carelessly thrown about the artist's shoulders as she circulates about the room, talking to fans, to other artists and to the gallery owner. I think that this piece would become the center of attention when she stands up under the spotlight to talk about her latest work, as it sparkles without being overwhelming.

I love this pendant and just had to talk about it to someone other than my partner. (He gets sort of sick of hearing me gush about my latest piece. I just get attached to each one and have to talk about them though, you crafters understand.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Hey everyone! I've finally taken the plunge and decided to start a blog. My ship is a mix of glass beaded jewelry, polymer clay and chainmaile. I love doing unique things and putting things together that may not seem to go together at first.

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