Thursday, March 10, 2011

Where is Spring?

LOL I woke up this morning and, instead of rain, I had another coating of snow in my yard. This is getting tedious.

Today is going to be busy though. I have a dentist appointment (lost a filling and I think I swallowed it), I need to finish some jewelry for my craft show on Saturday, and I need to do some cleaning in this house. If I don't, I'll find myself on the show, "Hoarders", pretty soon.

I have been busy shopping too. LOL Mostly items for the craft show. I bought this lovely holster apron that I can keep my money and iphone in. I will be using my iphone to take credit cards this time. I am really excited and hope it helps sales.

I also invested in recycled paper gift bags and logo stickers so customers can leave my table feeling good about their purchase.

I've ordered new earring cards and a few more jewelry display pieces. Let's see, have I forgotten anything.....?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tried the New Clay...and Love It!

I've been primarily working in stoneware clay and I do like what I've come up with, however, this last batch of pendants was made with white stoneware, which isn't as dark or sandy as the previous clay. After it is fired, the color of the bisque is nice and white so you can use a clear glaze and get some beautiful results from the natural clay.

This first pendant is made using a rose glaze that comes out almost plummy. The second one is the same glaze, just sponged off the front and glazed in clear.

I think the lighter clay body makes the glazes I've been using much lighter in color and brighter too. I really love how the celadon and pea green mix well together.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February is Give-Away Month...and my birthday

I am having my very first give-away on facebook right now and I am really excited about it. If you are on facebook, go to my page and check it out...leave a comment and be eligible to win a copper chainmaille bracelet. If you aren't on facebook, don't worry. My next giveaway will be on the blog. So stick with me, it will be worth it.

Another wonderful artist, Yolanda, of Yolanda's Clay, is having a giveaway right now too. She has a set of clay beads (they are gorgeous too) for some lucky person who comments on her blog. She has been invaluable to me. You see, I just joined the Beads of Clay group on Etsy, and she welcomed me to the group and led me through all the requirements and has supported me on my facebook page and in the group. I have had a wonderful experience so far and it is due to her. Love ya, Yoli!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jewelry Lessons and Why Snow is Hypnotic

OK, I'm just sitting here looking out the window at the snow falling and getting sleepy. The snow is whispering to me, "Dana. It's time to go to sleep," and as it falls, I am headed more and more towards snoreville.

So, I thought I'd blog a bit and wake up my brain.

I've had a few people ask me how I started making jewelry. It sort of started by accident. I was a wine consultant at the time and wanted to make wine glass charms for my hostesses, but one day I really noticed the beads I was using and thought they'd look good on a bracelet. Now, mind you, I've never really been big into jewelry. Didn't even wear much of it. But as soon as I put that little bracelet together with wire (it looked horrible and I didn't do it right), I was hooked.

So, I was off to Hobby Lobby.

After buying a bunch of beads and stuff I didn't know how to use, I went home. My Hobster Lobster didn't offer any classes, so I turned to the internet. You wouldn't believe how many websites are dedicated to making handcrafted jewelry! Here are some great tips and websites that helped me along my jewelry journey.

First, for those of you who would like to learn to make your own jewelry, I'd suggest getting a subscription to Bead Style magazine. They always have great tutorials and differing levels of difficulty, so you can start and keep learning as you progress. They also have a great list of tools that are neccessary to making jewelry and describe what they are used for.

Second, look for a good bead store. Hobby Lobby is OK, but they have limited stock. A real bead store dedicated to jewelry components (also may offer classes) is where you will fall in love with all the gemstone beads strands, the silver bali beads, the lampwork beads, the swarovski crystals, and... well, at this point, you will decide to never leave.

Third, go to the internet. is a great place to start. They have beginning tutorials all the way through Very Advanced. Some cost a few dollars to purchase, but most of the basics are free. Each tutorial is written by a person who loves to make handcrafted jewelry and wants to share what they know with you. is another good website. They have online tutorials that show you exactly how to create beautiful jewelry. And they have wicked tools for sale. :)

You can purchase gorgeous beads at Firemountain Gems. I could browse there for hours. They have everything you would ever need to make beautiful jewelry.

Fourth, join an online group about jewelry-making. There are tons on Facebook and yahoo. Just surf the web and you'll find something. If you find a group near you, it is worth your while to join and go to meetings. Women sitting around talking about beads and jewelry is a wonderful thing. You can learn something and make friends. And if there aren't any groups near you, start one! is a great way to do that.

Finally, look for jewelry classes near you. Craft stores may offer them, community colleges, city recreation departments, etc... taking a class can be really fun! There are so many different ways to make jewelry and learning new techniques can so interesting and rewarding. Besides beading, there is wire-wrapping, metal clay, polymer clay, regular clay, glasswork, hemp braiding, silversmithing, etc.

There is always something new to learn.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year Y'all!

The new year brings a lot of things: the taking down of the Christmas tree, the packing away of the decorations, new year's resolutions, and the building of Pinewood Derby cars.

The latter being my husband's big ticket item.

It's the one thing every year he really enjoys doing. He and my son collaborate, purchase supplies, and get to building every January 1st so they can compete with the other Scouts and their dads come Pinewood Derby day. And I have to say, they are good at it. Most years, my sons have come in first in their dens and pack.

For me, the new year means making those resolutions that sometimes I never keep, such as weight loss. I always say, "this year I'm gonna lose those thirty pounds!" And it never happens. Instead of making my new year full of anxieties that I won't meet my goal of weight loss, this year I am starting with positive goals. Some fun things that, if I succeed, will contribute to weight loss, a new ability, and business growth.

I only have two resolutions: to become better at wheel-throwing pottery, and learn to bellydance.

That's it.

Doesn't it sound fun???

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I don't know about y'all, but I am ready for the kids to get back to school already. They are driving me nuts. Love 'em, but the house is much quieter without them.

Due to sick kids and the holidays, I have missed my last two pottery classes, so I am looking forward to my next workshop. My goal is to refine my wheel-throwing technique....well, actually I am just trying to get better at it. LOL About 50% of what I make on the wheel is good enough to fire.

My favorite piece though, so far, is my dogwood blossom bowl. The glaze on this one was supposed to be white, but as the glazes all look alike before firing anyway, somehow the cobalt got into the white and created this pretty baby blue. Talk about a surprise when it came out of the kiln. :)

My pendants are coming along quite nicely. I am very happy with how they look and am trying new ways to make them. Now I just need to buy some new glazes in different colors to mix it up a bit.

This is one of my favorites. It's glazed with a dark brown glaze, sponged off a bit to highlight the texture, and then glazed in clear before firing.

I also have been making ring holders. I am using the stoneware clay, so they are very earthy, hefty, and unique. No one is the same as the others. Some I am making by hand from pinch pots, some I am throwing on the wheel. The processes turn out different styles of ring holders and I want to see which works best for me. The one below was made from a pinch pot.

So, anyway, I will be back in the next few days with some new items being made. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I still love copper...

My son's football team is having their banquet this weekend and I am donating some jewelry for their raffle. I decided on this copper chainmaille necklace with a polymer clay pendant that was made by Stephanie Hanson. I love her work.

Plus, everytime I buy one of her pendants, she donates a percentage to Equine Advocates.

Lots to do...and too little time

I recently joined the Beads of Clay etsy team and was chatting with the representative, and she mentioned that she tweets/blogs/markets her a$$ off and that it is working for her. I definitely see how facebook has worked for me. My shop get hits just by mentioning them on facebook and twitter, when otherwise it might take time for people to find me.

Now, I used to love blogging. I still do. It's just that facebook and twitter takes less time. Or so I thought. When I really sat down and thought about it...I spend a ton of time of facebook when I shouldn't have to. All the games, people popping in and out to chat with, all the crafters and artists to visit and "like" their latest creations.... It can take a lot of time to navigate.

Time that I could be spending blogging.

And so, my resolve is fixed. I will be a better blogger.

Besides, my craft has gone in a whole other direction now. I am making my own stoneware pendants, charms, and ring holders.

Who knew that playing in the mud as a kid and making my sister eat mud pies could lead to this? ;)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Big Earring Giveaway!

All this week, I am featured on Cafe Handmade's Giveaway page.

What am I giving away? A gorgeous pair of sterling silver hoop earrings with Greek disc beads.

1) Visit Colors of the Wood Jewelry’s shop and tell us (Cafe Handmade) about another item you like and why by leaving a comment with a link below.

2) Visit the Virtual Craft Show and tell us which booth stands out to you and why. Be sure to leave a link so others can visit too!

3) Tweet about this giveaway, include @cafehandmade, and leave a comment below with your @profile.

Entries will be accepted until June 6th at 8pm EST. The winner will be drawn then.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

To Pickle or Not to Pickle...

...that is the question. LOL

Now that I am working with copper clay, I find the need to use a pickling solution for the first time. I went and bought my copper clay kit, complete with a cute little mini crockpot, and have it set up in my workroom. I have the pickle solution.

What I don't have is the nerve to use it.

What is a pickling solution? Everytime I think of it, I imagine pickles sitting in a jar. More experienced artists know it to be a caustic solution to take off firescale from certain metals.

Here is a link to tell you all about pickling.

Hence my trepidation.

So, to pickle or not to pickle? Well if I want to finish up that copper jewelry, I must pickle.