Monday, September 17, 2012

Etsy Metal Charm Swap 10

This is my fourth charm swap since being a member of Etsy Metal. Etsy Metal is a juried group of metal artists from all around the world and every 6 months there is a sign up list for the charm swap. The way it works is the swap is limited to 20 members (there are approx 100-150 members of the team). We each make 22 charms. 20 to swap with the other 20 swappers, 1 to sell in the team shop as a individual charm, and the other is put on a bracelet  for a total of 20 charms each made by a different member to sell in the team shop. The money from the sale of the bracelet is donated to a children's art organization chosen by the member who is running the swap at the time. (Each swap is run by a different member, I ran charm swap 8 and when that bracelet sells the money will go to Fleicher's Art Memorial in Philadelphia). Below is the progress of my charms for the current charm swap. They aren't due until the end of this month so although mine have shipped out it will be a while before I get all my new charms all back and I can't wait to see them!

My charms this time around were inspired by my patchwork necklace. They started with a piece of 1x1" copper.
Kind of like a puzzle,  I had to cut and fit together 9 little pieces of copper, brass and sterling onto each piece of copper. The little pieces were roll printed with various textures and patterns and each charm had 9 different patterns.
Once they were all cut and laid out they are ready to solder.
 Here are a few after soldering them all together.

 Then comes some filing, drilling, oxidizing, polishing....and then....the finished charm!

 Here is a group shot of all 22 charms. Each one is different from the next.

To see the progress of other members who are involved in this swap you can check out the Etsy Metal blog. Eventually the charms  will be for sale in the Etsy Metal team shop along with a individual charm from each of the swappers. Keep an eye out for all the new charms to be listed soon! In the meantime check out the team shop to see charms and bracelets from past swaps that are currently for sale!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Magazine Cover Contest Results

If you have been reading my blog you know I entered into a magazine cover contest back in July. There were 249 entries and although I did not make it to the cover of the magazine I did make the final 4 which got me a half page write up inside the magazine which is out now (October issue). For those of you who do not have a subscription to "The Crafts Report Magazine" here's what the spread looks like:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Magazine Cover Contest

Back in June I entered a facebook photo competition to try to get my "patchwork necklace" onto the cover of The Crafts Report Magazine. There were 249 entries in the competition which were narrowed down to 64 by the magazine. The 64 finalists were grouped into groups of 4 and everyday for 24 hours on facebook people were able to vote for their favorite  photo from each group. My image was up for voting on July 1 and out of my group of 4 I won! Now I am in the final 4 which is pretty amazing in itself because There were some really beautiful pieces in the running! The final 4 have been grouped into 2 groups of 2 and will be up for voting again on July 9th and 10th. I am up again on the 10th. I would love to win, but even if I don't it has been an honor just to be in the final 4. Below is an image of what I have submitted to the contest. It is made from sterling silver, brass and copper that has been roll printed or hammered cut into small pieces and soldered togehter to form each "quilted" piece. I would love it if you would help me get to the final 2 by going onto The Crafts Report Magazine's facebook page and "liking" the photo of my necklace on July 10th.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tomi's Secret Sculpture Garden Project

Thomasin Durgin, a member of the Etsy Metal Team that I belong to, has purchased an abandoned and vacant lot in her hometown and decided to turn it into a Secret Sculpture Garden for the children in her area. To help her raise funds for her project members of the Etsy Metal Team have joined forces and are working on garden themed charms for a charm bracelet that will be sold in the team shop with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the Sculpture Garden. Below is the charm I made for the bracelet. It is 2 intertwined leaves made from sterling silver. For more info on this project and to donate click here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival

Etsy Metal is a talented group of metal smiths from all around the world. Every month we hold a blog carnival where we all blog about the same thing and attach links to each others blogs so everyone who reads one can read and find everyone elses too.This month's Etsy Metal Blog Carnival is

Topic: "Nobody's Perfect!"Care to share a piece of your work that did not turn out quite as beautiful as you had planned?
Perhaps you have an interesting experience that went awry...

I have quite a few items I can post about for this but I have picked to blog about my "happy accidents". Boy do I have plenty of things that went awry and have ended up as scrap but these 2 pieces were lucky! They were almost scrapped as well but things worked out for the best in the end.

Happy accident #1
First is a one of a kind ring that I designed. Yes, I said "ring". After all I am such a ring person! I had a great idea to make a large ring from the green conichalite stone in the photo below. But by the time I had finished building the cage around the stone it measured approx 2 1/2" long and 1" wide. A bit too large for a ring even for me and I LOVE big rings! Needless to say it has become quite a fabulous pendant instead and is for sale in my Etsy Shop!

Happy accident #2
The other piece that didn't turn out quite as planned was this heart pendant below. I was going to make a "puffed" sterling silver heart that was hollow inside. I haven't reticulated sterling silver in a while so I thought I would give it a try again and give the silver some texture and it came out great! I then put the silver in the hydraulic press to give it its heart shape but when I took it out the sterling had a tiny little crack in it. It added some interest and was still usable so I attempted to solder the to halves of the heart together. That's when things went wrong. The little crack had turned into a big hole when the sterling started to melt while soldering it! I hate to waste anything so instead of scrapping the piece and starting over I came up with the idea to add a piece of copper under the sterling to make the piece stronger and so it showed thru the hole to give the piece more depth. The piece actually came out better than I had planned and I ended up keeping this one of a kind necklace for myself! I wear it all the time. Happy accidents are the best!

To read about what some of the other Etsy Metal members have blogged on this topic:

9.  TK Metal Arts -

10. Evelyn Markasky -

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Etsy Metal Charm Swap 9

This is my third charm swap since being a member of Etsy Metal. Etsy Metal is a juried group of metal artists from all around the world and every 6 months there is a sign up list for the charm swap. Last time around I curated the swap with Victoria Takahashi. I did all the blogging on the Etsy Metal Blog and Victoria received the charms, repackaged them and sent them back out the other swappers once they were all complete. This time around I am doing the receiving and Laney Clark has been doing a great job of blogging the progress of everyone's charms. All the charms are due by March 30 and so far everyone has finished and shipped their charms. I am waiting for one more package to come in before I divide them all up and resend them out again. I can't wait to start opening the boxes! Here are the charms I made for the swap:

They are hollow formed and made from copper, sterling silver and set with a vintage blue glass cabochon.  Eventually the charms will become a charm bracelet and will be for sale in the Etsy Metal  team shop along with a individual charm from each of the swappers. Keep an eye out for all the new charms to be listed soon!. In the meantime check out the team shop to see charms and bracelets from past swaps that are currently for sale!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Etsy Metal in Philly

This past weekend the BMAC show was held in Philadelphia. It's a wholesale show at the convention center that is only open to the trade. The show brought some of the Etsy Metal members to Philly and some of us had a chance to meet up and actually have some real face time instead of just chatting with each other online. Below is a photo of a few of us that met up for dinner on Saturday night. We had a great time and it was so nice to meet everyone! Now I am able to put a few faces with the names I have come to know over the the past year or so being a member of Etsy Metal!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Students work

Last night 3 of my jewelry class students wore their finished pieces home. I am so proud of the wonderful work they are doing so I thought I would share them with you here!

Rachel finished her sterling silver ring that she set with a beautiful cameo.

Roxane wore 3 of her cute little copper and sterling cuffs. She stamped the copper then riveted the sterling silver flowers onto the cuffs. 

And Vicky is wearing her sterling and copper bracelet set with carnelian stones. I have a large class this time around (13 students)  and next week is the last class in this session so hopefully a few more students will have completed pieces that I can show off!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My studio - before and now (after)

I found these photos of my studio from back in January of 2011. This is the cleanest my studio has EVER been so I thought I would share these photos again. You can see the first post with these photos here when I did a tour of my studio. I have to confess that the only reason it was so clean was so I could teach a class that night :)

And this is what my studio looks like right now.

It usually looks like this when I work. Things tend to get strewn out all over the place but amazingly enough I can find everything I need no matter where it might be....usually :)  At least now it all stays in the studio. Before I was working out of tiny 9x10 room in my house and my jewelry stuff ended up all over the place. I would spread out stones on the dining table, have my paper work all over the computer desk in the den and have all kinds of things in the kitchen sink and on the counters as I was working.  Now I have a studio twice the size of the old room I worked out of and everything is located in my studio (computer, sink, table, etc) and it all stays in the same room.  I do happen to like my studio much better clean but making jewelry is not as glamorous of a job as it may seem!

Monday, January 23, 2012


Well it seems that Pinterest has worked its way into my life and now I can't get enough! There are such great things to find on that site such as recipes, images of beautiful architecture, craft ideas, clothing, shoes and of course some really amazing jewelry! I recommend poking around if you get the chance. Are you on Pinterest? If you are you can follow me by clicking the "follow me on Pinterest" button in the right side bar of my blog!

Friday, January 20, 2012

students work

I have taught quite a few people how to make jewelry over the past 13 years. Actually there has been more than I can even count! But only recently (since 2008) have I been taking photos of their finished pieces ...when I remember to bring the camera to class. Below are some of the pieces my students have finished in my jewelry classes.

La' Lanya's earrings - 2008

Mirabel's cuff - 2008

Kate's cuffs - 2008

cuff - 2009 ( I forgot who made this...sorry!)

Mindy's bracelet - 2009

Vicky's necklace - 2010

Jennifer's necklace and cuff - 2010

Monica's pendant - 2011

Rachel's cuff - 2011

Rachel's pendant - 2011

Roxane's ring - 2011

Roxane's necklace - 2011

Roxane's bracelet - 2011

Lisa's necklace - 2011

Michele's necklace - 2011

Sue's pendant's - 2011

Michele's necklace - 2012

And much more to come since I just started up a new session of classes last week! I will try to remember to take pictures and post them here as my students finish up their pieces.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New business workshop

I am teaming up with gallery owner Julie Basello-Holt and together we have come up with a new workshop that we will be teaching together called "Fine Crafts 101". This workshop is geared towards the creative person who would like to turn their creativity into a business of selling what they make, whether is it pottery, jewelry, photography, wood, etc. With my 13 years of experience selling my hand crafted sterling silver jewelry and Julie's 8 years of experience running her gallery plus owning her own photography business, we have a lot of info to share!  Our first workshop will be held on Feb 11, 2012 at Creative Genius Art Gallery and Studio from 10am-4pm and the cost is $99 per person. For more info on the workshop and to register you can check out our "Fine Crafts 101" Blog.

Monday, January 16, 2012

more buckles

I have been so inspired lately to make belt buckles that I finished up a few more today! It also doesn't hurt that when I listed my first batch of buckles in My Etsy Shop I sold one the next day! So here are today's buckles:

"Sugar Skull" Buckle - remember my first attempt at photo etching? I finally used the skull I spent so much time sketching!

"Scribbles" Buckle - etched copper and hammered brass

"Flowers" Buckle- etched nickel silver

These buckles are also part of a new challenge for 2012 called "four a month". The challenge is just make four of something each month. For January I chose to make buckles and although the challenge was to make only four I made six so far and the month is only half over! Keep an eye out for these in My Etsy Shop in the next few days!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Belt buckles

I have been wanting to make belt buckles for quite a few years now. I even went as far as to take a casting class many years ago where I carved a belt buckle in wax but then never sent it out to be cast. Since then I haven't had the time or the creative spark needed to design and create the buckles so needless to say the buckles had to wait....until today!

I also had purchased all the materials I needed for photo etching metal back when I started curating the last Etsy Metal Charm Swap thinking I would try it out something new and etch all my charms for the swap....well, that idea went out the window when I realized how long it was going to take me to etch 22 charms so I ended up making something totally different and never really got back to teaching myself the etching process...until today!

So today I had some free time and I decided to spend it playing around in my studio. I pulled out all my etching supplies and all the metal I had purchased for when I would one day make my belt buckles and started experimenting. The creative sparks were flying! Here are 3 of the 3 1/2 buckles (one is not finished yet) that I made today. I think they came out pretty well and am pretty proud of them! All three of these buckles will be for sale in my Etsy shop in the very near future so keep an eye out for them and a few more that will be on the way!

smaller etched copper and brass buckle

large etched copper and brass buckle

large etched nickel silver buckle (who knew you could etch nickel silver too!)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My necklace in a dust jacket photo

A few years ago I did a Christmas swap with artist Alana Bills. I traded her one of my rose necklaces for one of her hand painted scarves. I gave the scarf to my mother and Alana gave the necklace to her sister who is an author. Her sister loved it so much that she plans to incorporate it into a book for one of the characters to wear. I do not know if she has done so as of yet but I just heard today from Alana that her sister, author Rachel McClellan, had a photo shoot and she is wearing my necklace (if you click on the photo below you can see a larger version and get a better view of the necklace on Rachel). The photo will be used in the dust jacket for her books! I am looking forward to seeing (and reading) about my jewelry in the near future! Thank you Rachel and Alana!

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