Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My New Tumbler

Santa brought me a nice rotary tumbler for Christmas, a Harbor Freight model with a 3 lb. barrel, and I am trying it out today on some of my copper pieces. Not just for polishing, but for work hardening and deburring. I don't need clothes snagging on my copper chain or scratches on skin.

I am using about 2 lbs of steel shot and some plastic pellets.

So, it has been going for about 1/2 an hour now. After an hour I am going to check it and see how it looks. I am not sure exactly how long I need to tumble the jewelry.

I have been reading up on tumbling instructions and all, but it is still a learning experience for me. And it's not nearly as loud as I thought it was going to be. Sounds like a little dish washer and is sort of soothing.

I'll post some pictures later of the finished products.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Frazzled

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but with Christmas coming up and the holiday fairs, I haven't had time to clean my own house, much less blog.

The last three fairs were a bust. There is just no money to spend in my area, I guess because no one is coming to shop. At one, there must have been 50 crafters/vendors, but a very slow trickle of customers. Half the crafters left hours before it was due to end. I made no sales that day either.

Right now I am working on three rosaries. Do you know how hard it is to find a St. George rosary center? Almost impossible. I am waiting on some rosary findings before I can finish them though. I am sooo behind.

Hope y'all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, or whatever you celebrate this time of year!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Last Week's Craft Fair

Our Lady of the Ridge school had a craft fair last weekend that I participated in.

Not much traffic = not that many sales.

In a country with such a bad economy right now, it's understandable that people don't do much shopping anymore, but it's not good for me and the other crafters as we can't sell our goods.

Anyway, I'll stop whining and get on with it.

I wanted to post some pictures from the fair. Enjoy.











Last Week

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Unique Women in Business

Today I wanted to bring to your attention a blog called Unique Women in Business. I found it on Myspace, actually, and found it interesting in that it highlights many women who work at home or have their own businesses. So, of course I joined.

The other day they featured by Etsy store, Colors of the Woods.

Hey! Word of Blog is advertising. I got two sales yesterday.

Y'all go check it out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today is the Day

Election 2008.

America is impatient to see who will become her next president...a World Leader. Will he be Obama or McCain?

I know who I am voting for, and the decision came after many, many weeks of soul searching.

Good luck, America! I hope whoever wins is the best for our country. We need someone to look out for us, the regular folk.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Items Up

I was in a creative mood today and thought I'd make some earrings.


Then, I felt like making a ring.


I just got in some 14-gauge copper and am having some fun with it. Luckily it is soft copper and can be manipulated relatively easily.

Now I am working on a copper and bead bracelet with some ceramic beads that I have in stock. I hope to finish it tonight and get it up on Etsy tomorrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Not Quite There Yet

I purchased a bracelet tutorial from gailavira on Etsy recently and thought I was up to the task...




It didn't quite go as I expected it to.

It was harder than I thought it would be. This weave is easy in itself, but I had a hard time keeping the frame wires straight. My end result came out messy and not uniform at all.

They say practice makes perfect...I guess I'll be practicing a bit longer on this particular weave.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ya' Can't Kill Me, Copper!

On one of my jewelry-making groups today, they were talking about copper and a study done in England regarding copper's healing properties. Here is a sample of the article...

"Making door handles, taps and light switches from copper could help the country beat superbugs, scientists say.

A study found that copper fittings rapidly killed bugs on hospital wards, succeeding where other infection control measures failed.

In the trial at Selly Oak hospital, in Birmingham, copper taps, toilet seats and push plates on doors all but eliminated common bugs.

It is thought the metal 'suffocates' germs, preventing them breathing. It may also stop them from feeding and destroy their DNA.

Lab tests show that the metal kills off the deadly MRSA and C difficile superbugs.

It also kills other dangerous germs, including the flu virus and the E coli food poisoning bug.

Although the number of cases of MRSA and C difficile is falling, the two bugs still claim thousands of lives a year.

During the ten-week trial on a medical ward, a set of taps, a lavatory seat and a push plate on an entrance door were replaced with copper versions. They were swabbed twice a day for bugs and the results compared with a traditional tap, lavatory seat and push plate elsewhere in the ward.
The copper items had up to 95 per cent fewer bugs on their surface whenever they were tested, a U.S. conference on antibiotics heard yesterday.

Professor Tom Elliott, the lead researcher and a consultant microbiologist at the hospital, said: 'The findings of 90 to 95 per cent killing of those organisms, even after a busy day on a medical ward with items being touched by numerous people, is remarkable..."

You can read the rest of the article here. It is very interesting and raises all sorts of questions and possibilities.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I started a Creative Writing Club at the school that I am the librarian at, and so far it is going good. The kids seem to enjoy it and that's what counts. I gave them a writing assignment for tomorrow's club day and I can't wait to see what they have written.

Things to do Before Craft Fairs:

Buy longer tablecloth
table lighting
Buy earring cards w/logo
tweak display

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Few New Pieces







Here are a couple of new items in my etsy shop...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Beading and Jewelry-Making Beginnings

When I started making jewelry, I was at a loss on how to start, so I did a lot of internet research to find my way.

First, what kind of jewelry did I want to make?

Well, I knew I wanted it to be linked with nature in some way, so I checked out all the different types of beads out there. I chose gemstones and glass beads over resin, shell and plastic.

Second, I researched tools. The more I learned, the more I realised there were more tools needed all the time. But the basics suited for a while. Basics being: flush cutter/nipper, round nose pliers, beading wire, crimps, and crimping pliers. Not to mention the findings (clasps, bails, spacer beads for accent, etc...)

Third, I subscribed to Bead Style magazine to get ideas on what I wanted my jewelry to look like. Bead Style has all of your basics to get you started as well as jewelry projects, reader's gallery of creations, how-to videos and more.

Another great magazine is Step by Step Wire jewelry magazine for those of us wanting to learn more about wire-wrapping. It has some awesome tutorials!

Fourth, I joined a few yahoo groups on beading and jewelry-making. The networking is invaluable. You meet people who are doing the same thing as you as well as people who have been there and can offer advice.

Here are some groups that I have joined:

Jewelry Making

Bead on a Wire

Wire Wrap Jewelry

Unique Wire Artists


The more I learn, the more I realise that there is much more to learn and more tools to purchase. Right now I am wanting a jewelry tumbler so I can get a nice polish on my pieces, but until then, hand-polishing is in order.



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On another note, I will be at a couple of craft fairs next month. Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, IL and Our Lady of the Ridge in Chicago Ridge, IL. I have a bit more tweaking of my display booth to do in the meantime, such as a bigger table and longer table cloth. I'd also love to have a banner made up with my logo...as soon as I get a logo made.








Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Made a Sale!

Well, today is starting off well.
I made a sale!
There it was as plain as day,
A sale to liven up my day.

That is always something nice to see first thing in the morning. Someone liked my Warrior River Cuff enough to buy it for themselves. I hope they enjoy it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Firefly Tribute

Mal's Song


I am a member of Etsy's Big Damn Crafters group and love anything Firefly. Today, I found this video on Myspace. I loved that show!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What I Thought I Could Be, Is Not Possible

OK. To start with, I am the school librarian at my kids' private school and this is my second year. Last year, I was a volunteer so the homeroom teachers sat in with them while they checked out books, read, and/or did homework. This year, I am officially on staff and I have the classes all by myself.

I had the reputation of being a nice, kindly librarian who gently interested the kids in reading and was a friendly type.

This year, I feel as if I am turning into Linda Blair, or the Wicked Witch of the West.

I was hoping they would respect me and the environment and whisper in the library.

Hmmmfff! Not so. The majority of them like to talk loud and run around the room. Last week was so bad and I was so frazzled, that I banned one class from coming back for a week.

They think they can get away with more since I am not an actual teacher, but they are learning the hard way that I won't take misbehavior. It's hard for me to be like that, but with their teachers' help, and some nice little detention slips, I am learning to be more in control of the classes.

I tell you what...as soon as I get home, I am locking myself into my studio/office and making some nice earrings to go with my wire ring. Jewelry-making is so therapeutic.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Here I am!

Well, I just love my new avatar so much that I forget that you don't know what I look like or that I am a real person, so here I am!


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Had enough? ;)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fall Craft Fairs

Well, I have been busy lately trying to find local craft fairs to sell my jewelry at. Craftlisters.com has a great selection of events to apply to and I have had success with what I have attended so far.

Fall is a good time for Holiday Craft fairs and I am excited to get started. Here are a couple of my latest pieces -





On another note: I joined my first etsy group, the Big Damn Crafters, who are big into the series Firefly, which was on SciFi and then cancelled.

Check out Ohm Shanti Handcrafts...I love her Footy Spray!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Name that Etsy Store Contest

Right now, I am using the name Colors of the Woods to sell my handcrafted jewelry, but I am just not content with the name. I have gone through many different names, but nothing is jumping out and screaming, "this is it!"

I would like to propose that anyone who wishes can suggest a name, and if I decide it is the one, I'll make you a one-of-a-kind bracelet.

Any takers?
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Well, I forgot to give you a bit of info about me...I love the forest, nature, southern pine trees, dogwood blossoms, magnolia blossoms, my favorite color is green, and I use a lot of semi-precious gemstones in my works.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Just What I Like

I was surfing through Etsyland today and came across a fabulous store. I mean, some girls like shoes, some girls can't get enough of jewelry, but I...

...love purses!

Plus, I am a country girl at heart, so these creations by hoganfe are right up my alley!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Amethyst


Amethyst has special meaning to me, as it is my birthstone. Not only do I love the color, varying from light to deep purple, but I love all of the myths and stories written about it.

Amethyst is actually a type of quartz and the most valued variety, according to a really interesting website I came across today called Gem by Gem. It has some interesting facts about gemstones, such as wearing amethyst in direct sunlight for too long can fade the color markedly, or that wearing amethyst can keep you from becoming drunk (don't know if I would want to put that to the test or not), and of course that it was the favored color gem for royalty for many centuries.

I found a nice strand of amethyst chip beads in northern Wisconsin this summer and made a chucky, but elegant necklace from it. You can find it on my Etsy page.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ugh!

Sorry, y'all. I meant to get involved in this blog immediately, but I have been sick all weekend with the flu.

Please visit again. I am going to discuss how joining certain jewelry Yahoo groups can help you in your jewelry making and buying.

But first, I am going to take some more DayQuil and chill in my bed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Communion Rosary

Now that I am Catholic, I have become familiar with rosaries. I made my younger son one for his First Communion, at his request and in his school colors.


Just Thinking...

The name of my jewelry business has been bugging me for awhile. Colors of the Woods is as close as I could get to what I was "feeling" it should be called, but there is still a tiny voice inside that isn't sure.

What I am going for is a feel for the forest, the colors you can see there, the smells of the pines, the flowers, the earth itself.

I am a very earthy person. I like to walk in silence in the woods. I like to find new bowers of trees to rest in and feel the cool earth and moss on my bare feet.

I want my jewelry to invoke those feelings and thoughts, so the wearer can journey with me into the woods and relax in the spirit of nature.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Learning Wire-Wrap Techniques

I am really intrigued by wire-wrapped jewelry.

A few months ago, I bought some copper wire, 18 gauge, and started making earring dangles. Then I bought 20 gauge copper and learned how to make ear wires for the dangles.

Now I am making necklaces, bracelets and earrings out of copper and I am having so much fun!

Next project??

Sterling silver!




These danged webring thingamajiggies!

It's been awhile since I joined a webring, and it seems much harder to add to my blog than before.

This is driving me nuts!

Getting Set Up Here

I don't know if I like this template or not yet. Looks nice, but will it work????

Hmmmm!