June 1 already – it’s almost Christmas!!

2 06 2011

I can’t believe how fast time flies. What’s with that, anyway?? In keeping with my push to spend more time making jewelry and less time contemplating it, here are a few more pieces to show you. I took these to Joye Designs Stone Art Gallery yesterday. Hopefully they find new homes quickly. I’m still working on new jewelry, starting the planning of the fall bead show (that never ends!!), and getting myself organized for teaching more classes. I’ve started the ball rolling to get my studio organized a bit more so I can accommodate students again. It’s gotten way too cluttered and disorganized to comfortably bring students in there (more like totally embarrassing! LOL!). And I haven’t given up on the live video feed thing yet – my son’s been working graveyard shifts and overtime for the past three weeks straight, so I know he’ll be more receptive to assisting me once I let him get a little sleep!! Anyway, here’s the new goodies – sorry for the less than fabulous pictures! I was in an incredible rush when I took them! πŸ™‚

CZ Stud Earrings 1

CZ Stud Earrings 2

CZ Pendant (matches first pair of earrings)

CZ Rings (Top View – Matches pendant & earrings!)

CZ Ring (Side View)

Okay, this next picture is NOT a good one, but the background was HIDEOUS, so I edited it out – but the picture of the ring itself is really clear. Note to self – remember to take pics WAY before you have to run out the door! LOL Sorry!!

Here’s a side view of that ring – the pearl is SO lustrous, it was nearly impossible to get any pictures of it without it totally overwhelming the pic. (and these pictures aren’t great! I know, I said that already! LOL)

And just because he’s so damn cute, here’s a pic of our latest family addition – Woody, the basset hound. He joined us last November. As you can see, he lives a very tough life! ROFL! Crazy mutt! πŸ™‚

That’s it for this week. As I said, more jewelry coming soon!! Have a great week! πŸ™‚


More new goodies!

3 05 2011

Me again!! Yup, I must be on a roll!! First the chit chat (before the eye candy!). I was sitting at my work bench yesterday, wanting to experiment and play, but all I could think of was how high the price of silver is, and what a waste of silver it would be if I messed it up or they didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to! I’ve been making silver jewelry for almost 19 years and I have NEVER thought like that!! Even when the boys (all four of them) were little and the money I made with my jewelry sales had to go a looooooong way to help pay the household bills. Well, I have decided to kick that crazy line of thinking to the curb! Realistically, unless I suddenly decide to make massive quantities of 2 inch wide, heavy gauge sterling cuff bracelets, my little experiments and play projects will NOT break the bank!! Bottom line, even if I sell the successful ones I will more than make back the money I waste messing stuff up. So there, Negativity, take that!! HAH! Now, on with the goodies!!
First is a laser cut mystic topaz set in a simple but pretty setting (my usual stuff! πŸ™‚ )

Okay, this next one is one of my latest favs!! It is SO pretty in person, and I hope it finds a good home fast. It’s WAY too small and WAY too wide for my fat fingers, so I couldn’t keep it for me. But hopefully, someone will love it as much as I do! πŸ™‚

And finally, a simple pair of amethyst earrings, lightweight, fun texture, and sure to catch an eye or two. Oh, and I didn’t keep these because I haven’t worn earrings in months, and it seemed silly to keep them – even though I really like them! LOL

That’s it for today!! Tomorrow is class night, so I won’t get a chance to work in the studio until hopefully Wednesday. I think my son is home that day too and maybe we’ll play with that camera! That would be fun. Anyway, have a great week!! I’m off to find some dinner – time to fire the household chef! Oh wait, that would by my hubby, and if I fire him, he’ll expect me to take over! NOT HAPPENING! lol Fine, I’ll just make my own dinner, just this once! πŸ™‚ Cheers!!

Busy Week’s Work

1 05 2011

Hello again!
I’m getting better at remember to blog these days! Yay! This week, I managed to finish a few pieces though you won’t get to see two of them, as they’ve already gone to their new homes (bling for Naaz!!). But I did get other pieces done, and thought I’d share here before taking them to the gallery. Without further ado, for your viewing pleasure…..
First is a square cubic zirconia ring with silver balls on either side of the stone.

Second is the same style of ring with an oval cubic zirconia.

Next, there’s a beautiful white pearl ring with a single 14k gold ball on either side of the stone.

Here’s another square cubic zirconia ring, but this is one of my ‘Rail Rings’ – dubbed by one of my students (Rail Rings have those wide rounded edges). This actually started out as a ring for Naaz, but somehow we got our signals mixed and she’s NOT a size 7.5 so this ring became stock for the gallery! πŸ™‚ Happy accidents! πŸ™‚

When I was at the last gem show, my friend and I bought a couple of strands of GORGEOUS aquamarine beads. Here’s one of the oval ones, set in a bezel. LOVE the blue in these!!

Now, this one is a beautiful blue chalcedony druzy cab – it’s a very high sided stone, so I had to get a little creative with the edge of the bezel (check out the second picture, shows it in much better detail).

And now for something completely different. I’ve had these two beads on my bench (and in my scrap bucket more often than not!), but an intervention by a couple of friends has saved them from the refinery! First is a huge (and I do mean HUGE) bead – I’m not sure what you’d call this shape (though if you were a lampwork artist, I think the closest bead press would be a Kalera?). It’s textured with my favorite leaf imprint.

(here’s a pic of it in my hand – remember, I have HUGE hands! LOL)

And finally the second bead – much smaller, but still quite substantial.

These beads are what we metal workers call ‘hollow forms’. They are completely fabricated, not cast, and a little tricky to pull off. They’re a challenge, but fun to make.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to the past week and a half (okay, almost two weeks). I have more on the go, but you’ll have to wait for those.
Oh, one more note! No, I have not forgotten about the video streaming. I have the camera, just have to figure out how it works!! Not long now, I don’t think. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when I’m ready to roll!!
Now, off to my studio with my granddaughter – she wants to help me make jewelry. I imagine I’ll spend most of the day practicing the fine art of PATIENCE! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend everyone!

Lights, camera, action!

5 04 2011

Recently one of my Facebook friends started showing herself live on Ustream while she works in her studio. Her thinking is that with people watching, she’ll be more inclined to actually work, rather than putter around. She also teaches classes (we’re talking lampwork), and I wonder what effect her live working will have on her class attendance. I guess time will tell. The reason I’m bringing this up here is because I was wondering if that might work for me in my studio. Would you sit at your computer and watch me make jewelry? You’d be able to hear me talking (oh, how I love to talk!), and would be able to ask me questions about what I’m doing via a chat form (typing, not talking) and I could answer you in real time. I’m finding the thought rather interesting, and as I’m seriously lacking human interaction in my studio these days, I’m thinking of figuring out a way to do the live streaming video at my bench. Hmmm, wait a minute, I’d actually have to clean my bench! That might be a good thing!! So what do you think? Silly idea? Shooting myself in the foot (class wise, I mean – who would take a class when they could watch me work)? Or should I just do it?? Any and all input appreciated! πŸ™‚

Post-show aftermath!

2 04 2011

Nah, it’s not nearly as bad as the post title sounds! The show was a resounding success! No dramas (okay, a few little ones but that’s normal!). No one tried to burn the building down, no one yelled at me, lots of people showed up to shop, classes were mostly a rousing success. Etc, etc, etc!! Little dramas, let’s see – I ‘forgot’ four vendors on the floor plan and had to juggle like a crazy person on Friday morning when we were setting up. But it worked out in the end, and everyone managed to squeeze in! One of our instructors was SO sick on Friday, but she managed to make it through her class, then muddled through Saturday’s classes, but we had Lise take over for Sunday’s classes. She’s taught for us before and announced her retirement after the last show (much to her student’s protests!), but I dragged her back into the classroom to save the Sunday classes! And she did a fantastic job! Who knows, I might even manage to convince her to teach a class or two in the fall – we shall see! Other than that, I don’t think we had much in the way of drama – a HUGE difference from the Fall 2010 show! The vendors were awesome, the customers were great!
I want to give a special thank you to my assistants and helpers!
Naaz, thank you SO much for all your hard work!! (she didn’t even bat an eyelash when I grumbled at her on Saturday morning!!) And thank you for letting me steal your truck on Friday night!!! LOL
Claire, you were awesome as always (my beautiful daughter in law!). She always runs the front desk, makes sure we have enough change, sends students to the right classes, etc. She did another fantastic job!
Cody & Jacob – the muscle guys! Thanks for all your hard work, boys!!
Randy – hubby, and voice of reason, and the electrical guy.
Sue & Pat – helping me organize the student lists!! You’re both a couple of life savers! πŸ™‚
Phyllis – extra special thanks for dropping everything and spending your day slaving away for us!! I so appreciate it!
Lise – Super awesome, fantastic life saver!! Or rather class saver!! I know how hard it was to take over the classes, and you did an awesome job!! Thank you SO much!!

I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch of people, please don’t take it personally!! I appreciate everyone’s help! It takes a small army to put this show on, I know I sure couldn’t do it alone!

And thank you to all our vendors and shoppers for making this another fantastic bead show. Now I can relax for a week or two before I get ready for the fall show! Mark your calendar’s – October 21, 22 & 23 in Langley – we do it all again! πŸ™‚

Now to go drag myself into the studio and finish all the custom work that’s been left waiting! πŸ™‚ Cheers!

Finally a productive day!

22 03 2011

Well, let the record show that I work SO much better when I have deadlines!! What you don’t see in the following pictures are the several pieces that I nearly finished, but ran out of time! I have to get them finished before the show – we shall see!! In the meantime, here’s some long awaited bling! πŸ™‚

First is a Turquoise and Sunstone sticks & stones ring – gold sticks, silver band. It’s a custom piece, not my typical color palette.

This is a terrible picture – blurry, wrong angle, etc. Bad me! I was in a hurry – again, not my color choice, custom order.

This is probably as close as I get to ‘production’ work. Four of the same rings – almost a record for me! LOL!

This is for the same customer as above – I’m going to solder a native carved pendant onto this – so I guess it’s a work in progress.

And finally, a black cubic zirconia ring – I don’t usually use black cz’s but had a custom order for a black cz heart and had to order enough to make the minimum from my supplier, so I figured I’l give some of these a try. They’re not too bad I don’t think. Well, we’ll see what the customers think anyway. I used the chisel end of my riveting hammer to get the cross hatch texture on the band.

That’s it for today! Well, yesterday, I guess. I did set the stones this morning, and everything went in without a hitch. I love when that happens!! Now, I have to finish a couple of pieces for Naaz (one of my awesome bead show assistants), they’re WAY past due, so I should be able to get them done for her by Friday – we shall see anyway!! LOL If you’re in Coquitlam, BC this weekend, drop by the Fraser Valley Bead Show and say hi!! Cheers!

Happy New Year!!

15 03 2011

Yeah, I know, I’m WAY behind on my blog!! BAD me!! Life seems to have gotten away with me! I apologize for neglecting my poor blog for so long – I’m hoping to get back to regular posting now. So what’s new with me? Well, the fall Fraser Valley Bead Show was incredibly successful for most. For me it was a serious challenge to my mental well being! Seriously!! One instructor nearly set the building on fire – she put her kiln on a wooden desk, fired her product with NOTHING between the wood and the firebrick of the kiln. Suffice it to say that we were VERY lucky that there was only a bit of minor smoke damage, and no one was hurt! I can’t even contemplate how horrible things could have gone if it had been any worse! I firmly believe in hiring highly qualified instructors. I hired someone who was certified by the company she represented to not only teach beginners, but she was also certified to certify instructors! But she obviously had a bad weekend as she ignored a very important basic safety step. The truly sad part is that to this day she refuses to accept responsibility for her actions and blames everyone else for her mistake. Whatever – she has to live with herself, and I certainly hope she doesn’t do the same thing at home with her kiln as I don’t think she’ll be quite so lucky a second time! And if that wasn’t enough, the same instructor bailed on her classes at the VERY last minute leaving us high and dry. Thank goodness for the wonderful people I’ve come to know at the show, and I had a VERY capable instructor step in and salvage the class. Now if this wasn’t enough drama for one show, I also had a VERY rude vendor come unhinged on me – she stood at my desk in the main foyer of the show in front of customers and vendors alike and proceeded to yell at me for what she perceived as my being rude to her. As I tried to explain that we’d had some major issues to deal with that morning (hello? did you not smell the burnt wood smell??), she put her fingers in her ears and informed me that she did NOT want to hear my ‘story’. Really?? I managed to maintain my cool, got her to go back to her booth, and took a very long, deep breath. If I ever write an article about how to get banned from a show, I think ‘scream at the organizer like a spoiled child’ will definitely be the first tip!! No, this particular vendor will not be returning to our show!!
So that was my fall show experience! I hope those that attended the show had more fun than I did! Heh heh! And now I find myself preparing for the spring show. On a plus note, there’s no full moon this time! Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that part?? The crazy day of wacky people was a full moon!! I always thought that was hokum. but after that I’m not taking any more chances! I have checked and re-checked the internet for the phases of the moon for the future dates of the show and thankfully – no full moons! Whew!!
So I imagine you’d like to see some jewelry but I’m afraid I have been totally slacking of late. I have done a bit of custom work, a few samples for classes, but other than that, not a heck of a lot of anything. I’m hoping to change that after the show as I really miss creating. Silver prices are through the roof, but that’s okay – I’ll find a way to make it work. So hopefully you’ll see some new and hopefully interesting pieces from my workbench in the near future. And if you’re looking for something fun to do on March 25-27 and live nearby, check out the Spring Fraser Valley Bead Show in Coquitlam – click here for full details and a complete list of all our exciting new classes.
I’ll be back soon to blog some more. Have a great week!