Sunday, January 31, 2010

Catalog 1

I played around with the Smilebox program and I am definitely addicted to it. I plan on joining as soon as I can. I really love some of the designs. Today I started work on a catalog using Smilebox. I have a feeling it is going to cost me a small fortune though. One 8" x 8" page is $1.96 at Wal-Mart, I do like the size. I wish our printers could print these to the quality I desire. They just aren't that good though. Anyway here is Catalog 1! I figure I can add pages as I need to and they will all blend together as long as I use the same templates.

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook:
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter Lovelies

I spent a while this afternoon playing with a program I loaded the other day. I had a lot of fun with this. I do believe I'll have to play with it more in the future. For now I hope you enjoy this slideshow!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: WINTER BEAUTIES

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Be Mine, Pink Dichroic Glass Heart

My last offering for this week. "Be Mine", another of my hand drawn and etched dichroic designs overlaid onto pastel pink opal glass. I chose to do something a bit different on this one. I normally wrap only with sterling silver or gold filled, this time I used copper. I've forgotten how much I love the color of copper. The wire I used in this is Artistic Wire. It has a thin coating that protects the metal. This coating also make the piece hypo-allergenic as no metal touches the skin. I really love how these hand drawn designs turned out and look forward to making more. I've found it challenging to take pictures of them that truly do them justice. They are just so awesome in person!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ethereal Vines, White Dichroic Glass Earrings & Pendant

More goodies! I finished the pendant today and listed both the earrings and pendant in my Artfire studio today. These cabochons are out of white opal glass that has been overlaid with hand drawn and etched dichroic glass. A lovely shimmery silver-blue that in the right light also goes purple.

I was supposed to have a class last night, but was stood up again.....From now on these folks will be required to come in and physically sign up for my classes.

I edited all the titles in my Artfire studio today. Before the title had the name and then a short description of it. Now the short description comes first then the name. This way I seem to show up much better on the searches.

I have got to figure out a way to make a catalog of my pretties. I know that there are several places I could leave one at. I guess for me the main problem is my printer. I don't think it prints very good pictures. I think I will also do a bit of searching on-line. I may be able to put something together and then order it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Entwined Heart Pendant & Peach Leaves Earrings

So here is the first finished white heart. I named it "My Entwined Heart". I feel that I managed to get some decent pictures of the dichroic design. It took me over six months to finally figure out how to get some pictures that actually showed the white backed dichroic glass with all it colors. In the right light the silvery aqua dichroic on this turns to a rich ultra-violet purple!

The second offering is my "Peach Leaves" earrings. Peach opal glass overlaid with more of those lovely, shimmery silver leaves. I've wrapped these in 14K gold filled wire and hung them from 14K gold filled earwires.

I hope these pretties please!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Red Sweetheart Dichroic Glass Pendant

Despite all I have had to do today and yet to do, I managed to squeeze enough time to get this pendant finished. I tried yesterday, but my hands just weren't working well enough so I decided to wait and try again today. Here it is, my Red Sweetheart Pendant! Another one of those cabs that I was working on last week all finished in sterling silver. Hope you like!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Red Sweetheart Dichroic Glass Earrings

Here is my newest pretties, my Red Sweetheart Earrings, freshly listed today! A pair of my handmade dichroic fused glass cabochons created of
red glass overlaid with a hand drawn and etched design in silver dichroic glass. All wrapped up in sterling silver wire with sterling silver earwires. Next a matching pendant!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dichroic Fused Glass, Hearts & Flourishes-Valentine's Day Sale!

Here is the first finished pendant and earrings out of the finished cabs. Aren't they gorgeous? I love them! And just wait till you see the heart earrings and pendant coming up next. I just listed these in my Artfire studio, Hearts & Flourishes Earrings and Hearts & Flourishes Pendant.

I have a Valentine's Day Sale going on now through Friday, Febuary 5. Everything in my studio has been marked down 30% including the clearance items.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fire Polishing!

I cut out all the designs I did in Spectrum's 96 line. The others that I did in Bullseye 90 are cloudy/slightly divitrified. I will be etching the tops of them, applying a divitrification solution and then firing them. Then I will finish them. As for these I will be able to start wrapping them tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another Step Closer For The Dichroic Doodles

Still happy with these! I had very little distortion of the designs I've made and now I just have to get these cut out on the ringsaw, clean up the edges and channel them on the grinder. Bet you can't guess what I'm doing tomorrow! That's right, cutting these pretties out!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dichroic Doodles Etched & In The Kiln

The first picture shows the "doodle" results after I have used acid etching creme on the dichroic glass. I only put it on the images I wanted etched which is why there is so much dichroic left around the designs. I am very happy with these so far!

The second picture shows the etched designs on top of the glass I've chosen to fuse them onto. I am fusing these pieces onto red, pink, white, coral and pale peach. They are in the kiln cooking as I type this. I can hardly wait to see them in the morning!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Laying Stone & More Doodling!

With the help of my boys we laid some stone in the front yard to make a path from the gate to the grass. I've always thought it would look nice, but Mother Necessity made sure it happened. Miss Lacy's playmate, Suzie Q (my aunt's puppy) is quite the digger and has been digging this area up along with the rhodies on the other side of the yard. I'm fairly certain that Miss Lacy has been helping her. I hope to slow down the digging AND the mud puddles for them to roll in!

I have been working on some more dichroic doodles as I mentioned. I thought I would share what I have doodled so far. I have five pairs of earrings and seven pendants. I would like to do more but I think it is time to etch these so I can fuse them and see how they turn out. So tomorrow's project will be getting these ready and getting them into the kiln. I'm also very eager to see how they turn out after the first firing.

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Dichroic Doodles Ahead

Today I started working on more dichroic doodle pieces. I was really impressed with how well they turned out last summer and have been wanting to make some more. I managed to get two pairs of earrings, two pendants and a third pendant started. I just love the possibilites of this technique! Who else wants to see more of this style of dichroic jewelry?

I have changed back to they old blog style as the comments section didn't work for the last two templates. I really liked the castle one too....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Key Of Love Finished!

Here is the Key Of Love Necklace after I've darkened the silver. I think it really shows the dichroic glass off. This is one of those pieces that I've impressed myself with.

Next I will be focusing on some fusing. I have a custom order to make. I will also be fusing a few "doodles" in this batch.

I apologize to all of you that may have tried to leave a comment yesterday. I didn't realize the comments buttons didn't work. I had just changed my template and really liked that one too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Key Of Love, Dichroic Fused Glass Necklace

Here it is, or a least a sneak peek anyway. I am seriously considering darkening this piece to give an antiqued, romantic look. I haven't tried this before as I usually prefer the appearance of the silver to be bright and shining. What do you think? Please leave me a comment.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mike's Rainbow Trout

Here are the windows my ex, Mike has just finished. A lovely pair of Rainbow Trout done completely in clear and iridized glass. There is even a pair of small bugs that the trout are jumping to catch. These will be flanking a fireplace. I think he has done a wonderful job. Yes, he drew these up from scratch too!

For me today was a busy, but unproductive on the jewelry end. I did laundry, accompanied my aunt, filled holes dug by puppies and taught stained glass. I did manage to get my wire though. I live four or five blocks from my favorite bead store and have decided that I need to start walking there instead of combining going there with other errands. So while I was there I asked "If I walk there with my little dog, could he come in with me?". The answer was yes! So from now on if the weather isn't to horrid Brutus and I will be walking there. He is a shop dog and has good people manners so I don't have to worry about him being a brat either. I decided to give you a peek of the next cab I'm finishing into a pendant.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Accident Delays Pendant

I had such a lovely pendant in mind to make and share today. I didn't have enough wire. So I was going to go to the beadstore after running the Marketplace route. (Marketplace is the weekly store ads provided free of cost by the local paper) So first we stopped and I ran in and bought a take n' bake pizza for dinner. Then we stopped at Rite-Aid for some notecards for my son's homework. When I came out there had been a three plus car accident across the street that ended up with a car halfway into a local restraunt! Luckily they only serve breakfast and lunch so they were closed. Needless to say it did create a traffic mess that required so much time to get through I had to go straight home to cook the pizza instead.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Under the Weather

I just haven't felt real well the past couple of days and have been hibernating with a bunch of unread books. I hope to be back on track tomorrow. So I beg your forgiveness.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rose Clés De Mon Coeur, Dichroic Glass Wire Wrapped Earrings

Here is the next piece in my collection, Rose Cle's De Mon Coeur. These have earned rave reviews from the men in my life.
Although I didn't upcycle these I have had the cabs sitting in my hoard for a year and a half now. If I'm going to do anymore earrings I'm going to have to cut some cabs. I'm trying to keep to the colors of red, pink and white in keeping with Valentine's Day or at least a heart shape. I really don't have a lot of cabs I can upcycle for earrings.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Heart Of An Angel, Dichroic Glass Wire Wrapped Necklace

As you can see the new wire woven bail has done wonders for this little dichroic glass heart. I've strung it on this delicate ball gold filled ball chain. The addition of anything else would of detracted from it. I'm rather pleased with myself as even the bail was upcycled. Remember me complaining about the piece I was almost done with before the wire broke? Well I was able to salvage the woven part to make this bail
. This also helped me to understand how to go about making more bails like this. I know it isn't a key, but don't we have to have some hearts for those keys? I settled on "Heart Of An Angel" for the name and listed it in my Artfire studio.

I am sharing a picture of the cabs I will be using in my next project. I will be wrapping them in 14K gold filled wire and turning them into little keys. Now I am just debating on how fancy I'm going to make these.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Upcycled Work In Progress

I didn't get time to work on a new piece for the Romance collection today. Between my aunt visiting, another shower for Miss Lacy (and me) the morning was gone. The afternoon was spent stealing some time to go to Michael's with one of my best friends and the evening will be spent teaching beginning stained glass. Then it will be bedtime.

But first I thought I would show the next dichroic glass pendant that I'm going to upcycle.
This little heart has a lot of color and fire not to mention the "zebra" striping. I'm going to make a new bail, put it on a chain and am thinking of adding a small wire wrapped key charm or maybe I'll use a charm from my stash. I'm trying to decide between several names for it: Heart Of Ice, Heart Of The Mist or Heart Of An Angel. I'm leaning towards the latter myself, it's also Mike's idea.

Monday, January 4, 2010

First Earrings In Romance Collection

Here is the first pair of earrings designed and made for my Romance collection, based on the theme of "Key To My Heart". I think the hardest part of this theme will be coming up with names for the pieces! I'm thinking "Keys Of Amour" for this pair!

Once again I raided my older work and upcycled these cabs into these earrings. I even re-used the handmade sterling silver earwires I had made for the old pair!

I decided to call the piece from yesterday "Fiery Key Of Love" and listed it in my Artfire studio. I found a delicate gold filled rope chain to suspend it from and love how it looks!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Valentine's Day Design Theme 2010 "Key To My Heart"

I have accomplished one of my goals for the New Year! I came up with a design theme for my Romance/Valentine's Day collection. I have decided upon the theme, Key To My Heart.

The main reason I chose this theme is that I figured I could wire wrap my cabs into key-shaped pendants. And I was right. Here is the first pendant in the collection. I look forward to designing and making more of these with different shaped cabs and different shapes for the "teeth" of the keys. I already have a design in mind for a pair of earrings, but that is an idea for tomorrow!

Once inspiration struck I had to decide whether to use a cab already made and waiting to be wrapped or to fuse up some new cabs. I wanted to start wire wrapping right away. None of the cabs in my hoard excited me. Then I remembered this lovely cab that I've had wrapped into a pendant for several years. I decided to upcycle the cab into this pendant. I'm rather pleased with this piece. How about you?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Thoughts & Goals For 2010

First things first I wanted to share the lovely thing that happened to me yesterday. I went to my favorite local bead store and I took some pieces in with me to see if I could match any freshwater pearls with them for stringing. The owner saw this set and fell in love. She asked if I was interested in trading and of course I said "Yes"! Evidently she has wanted some of my work for a while now. I am honored and was able to re-stock my favorite gold filled earwires with this trade. (I get a better price from her than I can buy at this time from all my other suppliers.)

I have several goals for this coming year for my business. I plan to enter several bigger, juried shows, keep up with my blogging, start a new website (as it is almost impossible to update the old one). I will be taking on more responsibilities in the glass shop. I plan to keep my business records updated monthly and I have some great ideas for a new line of goodies. I think I will launch the line towards the end of summer just in time for the holidays. I will also be designing some new jewelry collections. Plus I need to work on promoting more and keep up with the guilds better!

In my personal life I have set goals for learning to schedule and manage my time more efficiently. I also need to re-learn how to live like a responsible human being. I know that I can be a much better person than I am. There are numerous tasks/good habits that most do without thinking daily and I want to re-train myself to them. I will continue to re-claim the yard, house and myself!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Recap Of 2009 & Clearance Sale

I moved a bunch of pieces over to the Sales/Clearance section of my shop. These pieces have been around for at least a year. There are many great prices to be had. I have taken anywhere from $8.00 to $20.00 off these pieces. Just like this beauty shown. My original asking price was $35.00. Now it is down to $20.00!

As I take a few moments to reflect on the past year I realize I have come a long way. The past year has been one of healing. 2009 was about recovery and rebuilding my life after having it shattered by the horrible, devastating loss of my daughter in July of 2008. I feel like I am finally crawling out of the shadows of sorrow and loss back into the sunshine of the living world.

In 2009 I reclaimed my room and finally discovered a good arrangement for it that really works. I made a good start on reclaiming the yard and flower borders. I learned a lot about selling on line. And tried to take the selling of my pretties waaay to seriously. I joined Plurk and made a lot of wonderful, new friends. I did some higher end shows. Two of my usual shows I did the best I have I have ever done. I found it to be quite disheartening to realize that for all the work and energy I put into a show that my profit margin is so small! Twenty or thirty dollars for 8-10 hours of work....but it is still more than I would of had sitting at home and it gets me out to be seen. On the other hand I don't think I did all that bad considering the state of the economy. I learned a lot of new wire working techniques to add to my repertoire of wire wrapping techniques. I've combined the method I use to wire wrap a cab with the technique for wire woven bails to give my pendants a much nicer appearance. I also designed a simple, adjustable wire wrapped ring for my cabs. I've taken up blogging and have become much better about it in the past two or three months. I joined the Create Art Every Day Month challenge in November and did fairly well if I do say so myself. Christmas was the best one we've had in years.