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"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." by William E. Henley

Friday, July 31, 2009

July Mailing list winner / August Giveaway

Drum roll please!......

And the winner of the fab mushroom studs are Johanna Nordlof, from Sweden! She will be receiving a little package in the mail. Congratulations! Very excited to have a winner from my home country!

For August giveaway I will be giving away this awesome Brass Sphere Locket at a value of $22. All you have to do for a chance to win is to sign up for my mailing list at the top right corner of this blog. I only send out a newsletter once a month and you can unsubscribe any time by replying to the email with "unsubscribe" in the title. So what are you waiting for? Go and sign up, right now!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My little kittie Lisa is the laziest cat ever

When I am up late working on the computer, editing photos, listings etc this is what she does on our old armchair... She is such a relaxed little cat. We got her and Stella as rescue cats. Lisa almost didn't make it. They had her on a cart ready to be put asleep. Cause she was so tiny and couldn't feed herself. But a nice lady saved her and brought her home and bottle fed her until she was ready for a new home. And then I was so lucky to get her. She's my little baby!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How to get that really dark oxidization?

I've gotten a lot of questions about different techniques or advice on how you get that really dark patina on silver. So I figured this will be my first "secret sharing"!

What I have found to work the best is Liver of Sulfur. It seems to hold up better than Black max and those other things. What I do is to tumble my jewelry well to make sure it's clean or I use rubbing alcohol and then just wash it with hand soap or dish soap and rinse well. The key is to not touch the jewelry as it's clean. I always wear plastic gloves. Also cause I don't think yellow stinking fingers is very attractive. And neither does David :o)

I prepare my liver of sulfur using hot water and a couple of chunks of loS (make sure you store that stuff air tight so no moisture can get in and it will last forever! And store it somewhere dark). Don't make it too hot or too strong as the patina will flake off. It's better to keep it at a medium temperature and instead you can let your pieces sit in hot water before you put them in the solution. And here's really the trick! Don't let them sit in the solution too long. I put my things in for maybe 20-30 seconds. Then I take them out and rinse them with hot/medium water. I put them back in for another 20-30 and then out again and rinse. Keep repeating until you get it as dark as you want it! You will get a rainbow of colors before it get to that dark black stage. It's quite fun to watch!

After you have your really dark pieces, don't be afraid to throw them in the tumbler for about 15 minutes. Only use Dawn original soap and no burnisher and you'll get a really shiny dark finish.
To achieve that really black look I use some Renaissance Wax as a finish to protect the patina more (I obviously don't rub that on any ear wires as you don't want wax in your ears!). As with any patina wear and tear will eventually wear off the patina but if you follow these simple guidelines (especially the tumbling after finished oxidization) you will get the darkest and longest lasting patina!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back in the saddle!

I never have time to exercise and I can always come up with excuses or other things I just have to do instead. But the weather was beautiful yesterday and David and I decided to take the bikes out. Besides riding on my trainer I haven't done any biking for a long while (read last year..) so I am incredibly out of shape. Last year I rode my bike to work (12 mile one way) and I was in great shape :o) Yesterday we rode for a little bit over 7 miles and I thought I would die... But at least I did it. And it felt GOOD! Don't I look fab in my tight bike clothes? Funny how they seemed so much bigger last year...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

oh how I love the smell of new tools

I went to home depot with David the other day. He works as a carpenter and does other stuff on the side so he almost lives at that place. But I love that he always finds good deals for me and he knows a ton about tools. He spotted this awesome scroll saw for me as he knows I've been wanting to make nice shapes out of this tiger wood and birds eye maple I bought and then bezel set them. The saw was under $100 so I jumped on it. Now I just have to figure out where to fit it in the studio :o)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Utopia and Atlantis has arrived!

The Utopia The Perfect World ring! This one is already reserved so I am very excited about that.
I think they turned out really nice... if I may say so :o)The Atlantis The Lost City! This one is still up for grabs, but you better hurry!
So happy I got to finish these to babies. It's been hard trying to find time for new designs. With a full time job and fulfilling Etsy orders (not complaining though!) it doesn't leave much for just play... But today is my first official day of Vacation. One week baby!! Just for me. David is still working so I can do whatever I want. I don't know if I even remember what time off feels like...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Work in progress - New rings

Finally got some time to play! I bought these Borosilicate Glass cabs off Etsy and they've just been sitting around...

They haven't been tumbled yet so they're looking a little rough. This one is called Utopia (and I stamped that on the inside of the band). The cab reminded me of this mysterious new world in a bubble. And then being me I of course had to add something weird.. So I added a little snake that I made onto the band. Not sure if it works yet. I guess I'll find out when I finish it!

This one is called Atlantis (also stamped on the inside of the band). The cab almost looks like one of those awesome pools you just want to float around in (preferable with your shades on and a drink in one hand). I added a flattened balls around the band, like random bubbles in water. This bezel setting, one of a kind rings is getting very addictive! Hopefully I will have them all done by the end of the day so I can take photos tomorrow and post them on Etsy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Weekend Deals!

Get 25% back on orders over $50 starting now until July 12th! I hope to see you in my shop!
It's my Ocean Treasure necklace in the photo. It's a One of A kind necklace and I looorve it!

4th of July Party/David's birthday Party

So last Saturday I threw David a surprise Birthday party. His Birthday is on July 5th, but I figured it was a great opportunity to have a bbq to celebrate both Independence Day and David!

David was so surprised when people started showing up. We filled up the cooler with beer and other drinks! Love that corona on a hot summer day!

The kids played forever in out little pool (until they got all wrinkly). Don't pretend like you're not jealous of our awesome 8ft pool!
We also setup our badminton net which was a huge success. I suck at badminton... so instead I somehow got stuck holding the umbrella that wanted to fall down...

Kubb is an old swedish viking game. It's so much fun. You throw sticks trying to knock over little wooden blocks. I think party why I like it is cause you're not doing any running. You're perefctly find just standing there sipping on your drink...

David is such a kid.. so what's better than getting him a cookie monster to beat up? Of course we let the kids go crazy on him too!

The cookie monster slayer!!
I know, it's an obscene amount of fireworks.. I gave them to David as a part of his birthday present. We had quite a spectacular show at the end of the evening. It's too bad you can't do rockets in Philly though.. Mayeb next year we'll have to make a shopping trip out of state..

When all the fireworks were done, david made a fire and we sat around it toasting marshmallows, making smores and swatting at the mosqitoes. It was an awesome day!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Taadaa!! Pinwheel cuff links

I have been sitting on these cuff links backs not knowing what to do with them.. And then I realized... of course!! I should make a pair of Pinwheel cuff links. A pair that really spins. So I did :o)

oh photos from the party last Saturday is coming. I promise. David has them on his memory card though so I have to get my hands on it..

Monday, July 6, 2009

Two more rings finsihed!

After a busy weekend with 4th of july party combined with Davids Birthday I finally managed to steal some time for the studio! I'll post photos from our Party tomorrow!

Here's a pretty straightforward ring. I really didn't know what to name it so... It's a Glass Turquoise Swirl ring :o) I added the little balls (slightly offset) to the band cause I know I love to play with my jewelry.

The other ring I finished was my Water Flower ring which I really like! I think it turned out really nice and I hope it gets a good home soon! I really want to play more with water casting. It was a lot of fun!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Say hello to the Sea Urchin ring!

Yay, I finished The Sea Urchin ring! It's not perfect... I drive myself crazy sometimes :o) I am still learning and boy was those little balls between the bands driving me nuts. Well, I won and I got them to stay where they were supposed to be!! It looked so good on my finger and it was just my size (strange huh?) but I think it needed to come to a home where it will be worn often. My ugly fingers just won't do it justice... I am still struggling with pricing so I hope I am not asking for too much. I did put in a lot of work and that little urchin wasn't free... But then again, if it doesn't sell I guess I have no choice but to keep it. Wouldn't that be a bummer :o)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm such a procrastinator

I've had all of these fantastic cabs lurking around in my stash but I've never got around doing anything with them... Yesterday I finally took them out and started working on them. I am not much for sketching. I just like to see what happens. It becomes what it needs to become. All the glass cabs came from a trade I did with Daydreamglass. I traded a pair of pinwheels for a whole bag of cabs. I love her stuff. I already got a bunch of her rings!

I was thinking of attaching these little balls next to the ring band. I think it will go nicely with the other round features of the ring. I've just propped it up for the photo so hopefully it won't be all wonky when I go and actually solder it to the bezel.

Ok, isn't this one cool? It's pretty big too. I think it's almost an inch and a half. It reminded me of being close to the ocean and watching the sunset... It's going to be one chunky ring!

I was experimenting with water casting and I made these tiny ones. They had just been sitting on my work bench until now. The gladd cabs has little bubbles in it and it made me think of water so there you go. Perfect! I thought they looked like tiny flowers next to the bezel. This is also going to be a pretty big ring.

I adore the ceramic seaurchins I got. I have a coupe more that I need to play with. The one with the pebbles is going to be a necklace, I just haven't decided on how I want to hang it. I might attach a hidden bail on the back and keep it clean. I also want to cut around all the pebbles for a more organic shape. The other one with the fancy bail is definitely going to be a ring.. That one will be hard to part with. I just love it already even though it has a long way to go :o)

They are all very rough right now and need some serious TLC.... I just hope I can steal some more time out of my busy schedule and finish them! :o)