Thursday, August 26, 2010


Why is writing a challenge for some people (me) and not for others? I find it hard to get started and to come up with interesting things to say. Below are a few of the blogs I read and really enjoy. These writers/artists make it seems so effortless.

For instance: The writing and art of Andrew ThorntonI'd rather be blogging and Waterstone. I would love to have their skill of writing, style and being able to tell a serious or funny story that plays with your feelings and captures your attention. Before you make a decision on their sites, I suggest to read a few of their various posts. Now, because I read around 34 blogs, I only wanted to list just a few but I do enjoy them all.

Now to an update on new jewelry. I found most of the parts to these necklaces from various antique stores during my trip up the California coast. The round beads can be turned so there are 2 patterns for each one. They seem to be made from glass, ceramics or both on a few of them.

The one with the skeleton head came out of my imagination, partly due to my always running out of time. It is a talisman called "protector of time". The skull head is to scare away all who want to steal time from you. It happens every day. It is not fixed in place so the head can swivel on top of the sterling silver spiral. The clock face and gear behind it have been connected together with Sterling silver "infinity" hands (it looks close, just go with it).

I hope to put these on Etsy soon.

I have almost finished putting together the give away. I will let you know very soon.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Being organizationally challenged

The table - workshop is finished. Too bad it does not look like this now. It only takes a few projects to mess it up again. On this photo, it is a little messy but you need to have your STUFF Work Tools organized.

Next to my work area is my Mac laptop. I love my Mac and I have had a lot of PC's as well. Don't get me started on why I like them, it could turn into a LONG POST. But they are great.

This blog inspired me to change my setup and get more organized. It is Sacred Jewelry Yoga and Designs.  She has some nice jewelry as well.

One item in particular I have struggled with is keeping all my tools together. I found this metal stand at a goodwill store. I think it used to have a candle in it but it works perfectly.

Like I said earlier, I wish it looked like the pictures now but I am working on a few new rings based off my class I took a few weeks ago. The ring on the left is almost finished, needing a little more polishing. The ring on the right needs the silver pounded around the sides.

It makes it so much easier to work when things are somewhat organized.

Now my question to all of you, how organized is your workspace? Does it all work for you or have you thought of changing things around? ALSO, do you have any pictures you want to share or maybe post them to your blog. My email address is if you want share with me so I can post them here in a few days or your website you have put them on.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It is hot outside

Just wanting to let everyone know that I am still alive and kicking here. I have my new 9 1/2 foot table in place and have almost completed moving of my computer and jewelry making stuff on it. I figure on posting a picture in a few days or so. I think it looks good so far but....

I tried my hand at a demonstration video and I know I will have to do that again since the background music is too loud and not enough light. Hopefully I will not need to hire a crew from HBO or something.

There is also a plan in the works to come up with a contest for a free necklace. I do not have all the details yet but it may involve another blog. As soon as I get that worked out, I will let you know.

My question for this post is:
How is the summer treating you so far? Any good vacations or heat inspired art creations??

For me, summertime in Phoenix means you go out in the morning or late evening and stay indoors during the day. AC RULES (aaaaaaahhhhh). 

I have not completed very much except my past jewelry classes but I am almost finished with my remodeled workspace. I also need to take some more time and post more items to my Etsy account.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Big sad SIGHHHHH. 

Unfortunately both of my classes have been completed BUT I had a great time, made a few friends and learned a lot of great things and I ended up with 2 rings from each class. I was also able to include a little drama as well. Sometimes you have to pay extra for that.

My first class was after work this past Wednesday and it was the PMC3 (precious metal clay-silver). I did have fun learning how to work with the metal clay. It does dry quite fast but it can be slowed down.  My first ring was more of a rush job because I was trying to go to fast but I learned more of what to do for the next one. My second ring I thought about before I actually started working on it and THAT is the secret to this medium. Get everything laid out ahead of time and think of what kind of design you want to do, then pull the clay out and get to work. The instructor was Donna Lewis in Scottsdale AZ. She also created these Lil Bella clay pots which act as a little humidifier to keep the clay moist. If you do PMC, you could really use one of these.


After all these rings were completed, the whole class left all the rings (about 40 or so) on the kiln to dry so they could be fired. She even took pictures of all the finished rings and had everyone sign for their rings when they were picked up a few days later. The drama decided to get involved when one student had picked up one of my rings by mistake and it was gone. Now to be honest, all the rings were pretty close in shape and design so I could see the confusion happening. Donna was able to find out who signed for the ring, contact that person and I was able to pick it up today. She ROCKS. It is all to her organization, creativity of taking photos of the finished rings and keeping track of who received their rings. I would definitely take another class from her again.

Now, on Friday, I had an all day class that I loved even more because you work with metal. It was taught by Melissa Manley who is an artist, instructor at various art retreats and teaches at a community college in NC. I really enjoyed her approach to making jewelry and am so thankful with what I learned.  I have tried making rings before but with very little success but now, watch out. I was able to complete 2 rings in that class as well. We used fine silver to make the band and then a copper band with texture on top of that. My wife's ring was filled with X’s and O’s.

I had just tried some different patterns on mine with a sterling silver rivet in the middle. The MT stands for Me Too. A phrase that my wife and I keep saying to each other because of our common love of jewelry, crafts and hobbies we share.

I was going to name my ring/quote  Lord of the Rings “One Ring to rule them all”  but then the house would be filled with hobbits, or......

Have any of you readers taken any recent art, jewelry, writing, music, etc.... type of class and just had the greatest time doing it??   Leave a comment and let us know what you enjoyed and a link to it if you want.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Trying out for teachers pet

Well, not really but I am really excited about this week.  I get to go to class this week, actually 2 of them.

The classes are being held by Art Unraveled, which is a mixed media art retreat  that comes yearly to Phoenix. This is where my love to create and make jewelry all started from. Last year I attended a class on making engraved copper letter openers. What I learned from that was how to work with copper, etch, heat, pound (my favorite part), grind, file, darken and then polish the pieces. Once I completed that class, it gave me a better appreciation of all different types of art and the artists who create them.

This year I have enrolled in 2 different  but  same types of classes. The first class is PMC Freestyle Organic Rings , using PMC3 silver clay. I have never worked with this material before but have done some reading and it looks like fun. I started checking on the web and there are so many beautiful pieces out there. It is amazing on what you can do with it. I just hope it rubs off on me.

The 2nd class is also creating rings but I will be using copper, brass and silver. There are  a lot of texture put on these rings and I know that this will be a fun day. After competing both of these classes and a bit of homework, I hope to come up with a few new designs of my own to sell. I will post some pictures after the class, this weekend.

Next week I want to try my hand at coming up with some kind of demonstration of a process in making jewelry. Maybe a weekly or every other week type of posting.

I am now looking to to get your comments on, is there an easier way to...........?

A way to get more people to your blog and hopefully to you Etsy store. I know part of it can be going to other peoples blogs and leaving comments or tags on your site. My only issue is I will only post to a blog if what I read inspires me somehow and I have something to add to it.  A few of the different blogs I have read have hundreds or thousands of people watching them.

Now I know I just started the blog around a month ago and I am truly ecstatic that I have 11 people who follow me. I know this is a slow process but it is always interesting to learn how others have done it.
Please remember that I always enjoy any type of feedback or just a quick hello.