11.09.2010

What Joy, What Joy Another Baby Boy

It's taken a bit for me to post. Life certainly does not stop when a child is born!

We welcomed our 4th son Ronald Theodore into the world on October 20th, 2010. After 34hrs of laboring to bring him into our world, our 9lbs 5oz boy was a sight for tired eyes! I had a lot of time on my hands waiting for him to arrive and since I was delivering at home I had my work to distract me a bit.


I had taken on a custom order for two rings the day before and started working on them right away. Well rather than twiddle my thumbs in between contractions I soldered, pickled and set the stone in the last of the two rings I had left to complete. I was fun to give a 5 min tutorial on how to set a gemstone in a bezel to the midwives!

I am so thankful to have had the joy of creating those rings! It really made a difficult day have bright moments!


10.14.2010

....... Soon to be 6 .....

The clock is ticking away for me and my family as we are waiting for the arrival of our 6th member.This picture was taken a few months ago. Right now I'm busily attempting to build up some stock of rings, bangles and earrings to add during my "confinement". So far I'm still up and doing everything under the sun. But I will take a few days of "vacation" time after our son is born.

I am hoping that, if his health is tolerant, I will be attending some bridal shows in December and January. I was hoping to be able to make it to The Knot.com annual bash in Miami. But this year unless I have my son today is too close to his birth to travel.

I am still taking many custom orders for the Kenyan Fair Trade Gemstone rings. Thankfully this means that even with my few days off I'll still be busy. Here's a few of the rings I've done recently ....


9.24.2010

Some of my new Fair Trade eye candy


I've found myself rather busy making rings and things out of the small sample stones I have from Kenya.
Because of the nature of artisinal mines, they do not have the massive production that you see commercial mining operations. We have received the first half of our order and now we are waiting on the second it takes time to find enough stones to fill the order that would be worth faceting. They go through kilos of stones to find a few that are clear and of good color.


Patience is key!



While we wait I'm loving what I have so far.

8.25.2010

BIG NEWS!!!!

Wow! Ok so here's the deal ... I've been blessed with the opportunity to start purchasing gemstones from a mining family in Kenya! One of their family members, that lives and works in here in the US with my husband, was wonderful enough to introduce us when he learned of my jewelry making.


His family owns land all over Kenya. I am so Excited! The land is owned by the family we purchase from and worked by independent miners who come in with their own tools and start digging! There is not guerrilla war fare, corrupt government, or greedy corporate miners involved at all.

We are lucky to have found eachother. They have amazing quality stones. And as you will see in the coming months, even the raw unprocessed stones have a beauty that is rarely found in untreated stones!


The pictures in this post are the first of many pieces made with the rough gemstones from Kenya. These are just the initial samples of uncut stones from Kenya.

I have also been fortunate to meet a Master Gemstone Cutter right here in Florida. Lloyd Forrester, of Clear Cut Gems is a talented gemstone cutter originally from South Africa. He started as to be expected in the diamond cutting trade. But lucky for me he has switched to colored gemstones.

We both have a great sense of ethics and responsibility to our world, not only the Earth we live on, but the people on it as well! I couldn't have asked for a better situation!

I am unbelievably stoked about the future and everything this means to all of us.

6.21.2010

Etsy Craft Party @ Tempus


Wow what a fun time on Friday!

It was interesting coming all the way from the Four Corners area to Tampa. With rain threatening all day (and a down pour just before our arrival) I tucked my table in a far corner safely under a covered patio area of the printshop. I was so glad I remembered to bring lighting. Even though it was slightly dim I still had enough light to see my table from afar.

Well as I got set up I got to chat with the ladies at the tables around me and found some very loveable people! Alas once the people started to show up I had no time for photos, food or fun craftiness. I was kept going with a pitcher of chai tea. And for better or worse it helped me say alot in a little time to the people that were frequently in rows listening to the crazy pregnant woman with the sparkly things ;)

The cupcakes I hear were wonderful!!! I even had a client after buying one of my rings offer to bring me one, but sadly by the time I was able to get to the sunflower confection (11:30pm) it was .... melted and ant nibbled.

There were so many people and everyone was having a ton of fun! I so wish I could have taken a "spin" on the spinning wheel as one of my long lost dreams is to have a floor to ceiling loom and weave my own cloth... but that's another dream for later on ;)

Coryn and Adam did an amazing job putting together this event! It took a lot of time and energy but you could tell that they really put their heart into whatever they do! I had a wonderful time!

6.09.2010

DIY Jewelry Displays part 2

again here the materials list from the first post:
For the Neck Forms:
Bookboard (or 3ply Chipboard)
Thin Headliner Foam
Fabric
Trim
Adhesive (one that can be used for adhering foam as well as paper and fabric)

Boxcutters or Heavy Duty Shears
a Cylindrical Form (for molding)
Steel for weighting the Form

For the Stand:
Steel Tubing 3/8"
All Thread Pipe (called a nipple in the hardware world)1/4"
Washers 5/16'

Nuts 3/8"
Finials that fit a 1/4" nipple
Antique/Vintage Metal Lamp Bases
Spray Paint


#6
Trace the template onto the fabric side of the foam, allow 1/4" for the curve of the form. Cut out.

#7
Use a sparing amount of glue I used "Fabri-Tac" brand, it has intense fumes (smells like nail polish remover due to it's high acetone content) so be outside or in a really well ventilated area.
It dries fast so I only apply a small amount, working from the bottom/front to the top/back. That way if there are any areas that are cut short it'll be in the back. Also you can go back and use snippets to cover areas in the front that are exposed.

#8
Trace the Template twice on the backside of the fabric you are using. Make a 1/2" (allowance) larger outline around the templates. This allows you to fold the fabric over the edge to glue on the backside. Cut out the shapes. One of the pieces will be for the front and one for the back.

#9
If you have a curvy shape like mine you'll want to start gluing in the back so you can stretch or pull the fabric tight as you go. On the inside curves I cut small incisions (like tabs but not all the way to the inside line) so that I could wrap it w/o buckling the fabric. Start by applying the glue to the chipboard on the backside then drape the fabric (right-side facing you) over the foam covered form and press the edge of the fabric into the glue. Continue working your way down the form a little at a time tugging tight each time so you have a smooth surface.

As you work your way down be careful not to get excess glue from your fingers on the front of the fabric. (you can step away and wash the glue from your fingers frequently - this also allows the sections you're working on to dry a bit)

#10
Flip over your form, now covered in fabric on the front. This time you might want to start gluing from the bottom up, due to the inside curve at the top. Take the second piece of fabric you cut and start gluing it on covering the fabric folded over from the front. If you cut the fabric without an allowance match up the edges of the form and the fabric. If you have an allowance apply the glue near the edge of the form but not all the way so you don't have glue dripping over to the front. Then you take the fabric an apply it not gluing the edge down if you have and allowance - it'll have a floppy edge that you'll trim with scissors later to get a clean edge.

#11
Take your chosen trim and measure around the edge of the covered form before you start gluing. Or you can leave it uncut (like I do) and cut off the piece when you get back to the starting point.


Voila!

At this point you can use the forms for flat display
or you can continue on to build the stand.



Sorry about missing some of the photos. I forgot to take advantage of some picture opportunities. Maybe when I make my next batch I'll get some more.

DIY Jewelry Displays Part 1

Well thanks to the pioneering spirit of my maternal grandparents I knew I could make some pretty amazing jewelry displays from scratch. After all they are all hand assembled in Korea, Hong Kong or China anyway. No offense meant, I appreciate the value of craftmanship is still present in the world .... Anyway I stayed up nights thinking about how they construct the neckforms available to retailers here in the US. I decided that a form on a metal stand was by far the most versatile and impressive I'd seen. So I came up with a materials list:


For the Neck Forms:
Bookboard (or 3ply Chipboard)
Thin Headliner Foam
Fabric
Trim
Adhesive (one that can be used for adhering foam as well as paper and fabric)
Boxcutters or Heavy Duty Shears
a Cylindrical Form (for molding)
Steel for weighting the Form

For the Stand:
Steel Tubing 3/8"
All Thread Pipe (called a nipple in the hardware world)1/4"
Washers 5/16'
Nuts 3/8"
Finials that fit a 1/4" nipple
Antique/Vintage Metal Lamp Bases
Spray Paint


#1
I started with drawing a template on one of my boys old game boxes (it's essentially 1ply chipboard) and drew the ouline onto the 3ply chipboard I bought at the art supply store.

#2
I cut it with my jewelers saw. I cut like butter but ... broke a few blades. I have only 0/8 sz blades (very fine tooth). So the next ones I tried a boxcutter & shears. The boxcutter didn't work (dull). The shears worked but my fingers were sore the next day.

#3
I took the cutout's over to the sink and ran them very quickly under a small stream of water from the faucet. Just enough to dampen but not soak. This is the trial and error part. If the board gets too wet the layers start to separate. If this happens just tape the edge together with masking tape.

#4
I gently bent the board around the cylindrical form which I thought would be the perfect thickness with out being too big of a radius. I tried a few different cans and bottles but - as you can see the arisol container is what I stayed with. To keep the form from curling I used one of my huge old files to keep the angle I wanted.
* for future displays I'll probably have the rest
of the form curve outward, so that it projects
out a little rather than going straight down.

#5
After drying for 30 min I removed the chipboard form and set it out side to cure in the sun for a few minutes (that's all it takes in the FL summer sun). I did have minor layer separations on each of the pieces at this point so you can probably ommitt this step and let it dry at a slower rate - I'm just impatient ;)

next post Finishing the Neckforms ......

6.07.2010

wow it's been a while!

Hi!
sorry to have been distracted - I found out in March that baby #4 will be with us sometime in October, so life has finally calmed down a bit. Now that we're adjusting.

I've been realizing that part of my sales not going anywhere is because I really didn't have any "mainstream" pieces. Well I've made a few new pieces that I've put in my shop >

I hope they are as well received by the public as they are by my family and friends ;)

3.18.2010

Esty's Florida Easy Street Team (F.E.S.T.) interviewed me!

Wow I just found out my interview is upon the F.E.S.T. blog.!

This was really fun to do! FEST is a really wonderful group on Etsy and there are so many artists that are supportive and amazing that it's been a blessing to be in this group!

Go check it out and leave comments!

Mrs Dissapearing Act

sorry for my absence!

well let's just say I thought I had severe food poisoning ---- until it wouldn't go away ;)

I am happily expecting my 4th baby sometime in November. But unfortunately, blogging for right now isn't so fun. It would be if I had proper seating, but I'm afraid the stooped position make the "morning" sickness practically unbearable for longer than a few moments.

I'm still working - just in shorter bursts;)

1.31.2010

Fortuny Silk Lamps

I have to say this would be one of the most wonderful thins I could ever hope to purchase (aside from an original Fortuny Delphos Gown and Overdress ;)

http://www.venetiastudium.com/fortunylamps_silk_lamps.html

Someday I will have one of these!! The warmth of the light and the sensual movement of the frame ans=d the silk pulled tight over the frame ~~~~ ah pair that with simple frescoes on the wall and a wall of french doors which illuminate my elaborate yet masculine roman inspired bed ...... fragrant flowers and bowls of fresh apricots, pomegranates and figs .... hmmmmmmm my type of setting (or House & Garden circa Sept. 1998)

Seriously! That issue came out 7 months after my whirlwind marriage to the love of my life (5wks after our first date!) and let me tell you I will never be able to get that house out of my head! Ultimate luxury and at the same time not too feminine (important when you have a house full of boys ~ soon to be men)

Ok I just had to post about it promise I'll get back to jewelry, ecological responsibility later ;)

1.08.2010

Ahhhh a refreshing take on Storybook Dreams

I wanted to start offerning more to brides than the traditional white/cream/ivory color scheme. But I've realized that I've rulled out the majority of my potential client doing so.

So a Mea Culpa ~~~~~ To all of you that have the dream of being the Princess, Damsel, Fair Maid, if I have failed in offering you a key to the door to your dreams, let me extend my new collections ~~~~~

1.04.2010

New Yar!!!!!




cannons, made by artisan metalsmiths truly


the Castillo, St.Augustine one of my favorite places in FL




My family (I'm perpetually behind the camera)



Every year the holiday season creeps up on us as we saunter around in 80 degree sunny Florida days. Then we wake up one morning and the pirate in us awakes!

it's "Arrrr!" when you open the door to check on the mail

it's "Argg!" when when the water heater fails to kick in on time, and it's cold water

it's "young matey" when your children fail your heed a warning
or perhapse even "you'll walk the plank"

and not least of all,

when you wish your family and friends well it comes out "Happy New Yar!"
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