Saturday, December 29, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Here's a bracelet that I've listed this week. I used Charoite, Amethyst, purple Kiwi Jasper and sterling silver. I haven't had alot of time to make new pieces, I've been working on orders for my co-workers which has kept me away from my computer and my Etsy store *sigh*
Speaking of which, I've got to go make more snowman pendants for my co-workers, hopefully I'll have more time soon to pay attention to my blog, create and list some new pieces on Etsy, but until then I'll try to post something every other day.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Gorilla, in the photo to your right, is my favorite item among many in her store. She's a bona fide ape made from a new pair of white tube socks. Her nose, ears and the tips of her limbs are made from some scrap madras print fabric. She's stuffed with fiberfill fuzz. Such sweetness for an affordable price of $28.00.
1) What type of products do you offer?
I offer two broad type - handmade paper and primates. I make handmade paper out of junk mail, newspaper advertising inserts, and whatever else I have hanging around that might make an interesting texture. Lately I've been adding lavender. It makes the paper smell like it too; I get a lot of mileage out of that. Even though we humans are largely visual creatures, scent remains a vital sense.
2) You obviously have a great love for primates, when or how did your interest in primates start?
That is a great question that I am often asked, and depending on how revealing I'm feeling and who is asking, I give different answers. He he. To students and professional researchers I tell them about a great book I was given before I went to graduate school: Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language by Robin Dunbar. He's a psychologist and primatologist. The book inspired my dissertation research. But really, between you and me, it was this stuffed gorilla my husband-to-be had sitting on his shelf when we first met during college. The gorilla is still with us, and although he blogs, he prefers to remain unknown outside of his primate troop.
3) Your handmade paper products are wonderful what motivated you to start making them?
When I couldn't find a job after I graduated from college I spent time reading (about primates) and learning French so that I could study them one day in the wild in francophone Africa. While studying, I often kept the TV on for stimulation (I can't function if it's too quiet!) and saw a QVC advert for a paper making kit. I had no money, but the idea of making paper grabbed me, so with the help of my soon-to-be-husband I made my own kit. I still use it today.
4) How did you get started in this business and what brought you to Etsy?
My husband! He received a press release from the Etsy company where he works.
5) What inspires you?
I am continually inspired by other artists and scientists. Nothing I do was my original idea. Not even my "original" dissertation research was conceived in isolation. That's why I call myself Recycled Ideas. I get inspiration from others, incubate my ideas, and then hatch my own take on them.
6) What do you enjoy most about crafting?
I love that my small hands can create something beautiful and desirable out of what is essentially garbage. Even my new line of felt monkey ornaments (called OrnaMonkeys) were once plastic bottles.
Be passionate about what you make. Strive for quality craftsmanship. Photograph your items to show them in the best way possible. Write informative product descriptions. Set a price that is fair for you and your customer. Don't list all of your items at once. Participate in the forums. Market outside of etsy. And, stay positive and professional.
Another one of my favorites offered by Recycledideas. This is the Fall Foliage Sampler (2 Hearts and more), Embossed Organic Leaf Cards (set of 4) for $8.00
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
The second pair is named Flowing. The design reminds me of the ebb and flow of the oceans tide. I've hammered the design for a brushed finish. The earrwires on both earrings are also handforged by me.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Onto a brighter subject...It's been a busy week planning for the Thanksgiving get together. Two dinners this year because of everyones work schedule. I can feel a turkey burn-out coming on!
The pictures in this post are the newest items in my store. I've sold two more pieces and one of them was because a very nice fellow Etsian featured me in her blog. She is going to be my Decembers Featured Artist of the Month, so be sure and check back for that. Business has been good, and I'm definately looking forward to the upcoming holidays. Ohh and I've also been accepted into SRAJD (Self-Representing Artist Jewelry Designer), I can't wait until it's posted so I can start using the logo.
My mom is very excited about a gift she bought me...she wants to tell me, but I keep stopping her and that is sooo unlike me. I always want to know what my gifts are! I'm just excited to buy gifts for my niece, Abi. She'll be 6 months old and should be alittle more active....I love the baby stage!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
.....is the name of my newly listed earrings. I told you I wouldn't be able to make these without adding stones to them...sheesh I'm so predictable ;-) The stones are faceted Blue Quartz on wishbone earwires. I made the earwires by hammering them, so the stones stay in place and to harden the sterling silver wire.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Are the name of my new earrings. I just bought these faceted Smokey Quartz stones yesterday, and I couldn't wait to work with them. I also bought some new Labradorite stones so watch for new pieces!
If you're looking for Christmas presents or Yule gifts be sure to check out Etsy, you'll find a gift for everyone, even the person that's impossible to shop for...we all have one of those!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Shi: Hi Toni, thank you for doing this interview. Can you tell me and the other readers out there alittle bit about yourself and what led you to make jewelry?
Toni: My background is in theatre. Acting primarily. As an adult I briefly spent time writing spec scripts for television sitcoms. I tried my hand at Screenwriting and if I couldn't be designing jewelry that's what I'd like to be doing full time. In fact, I hope some day to be living near the Pacific Ocean which among other things, would make the logistics of pursuing a screenwriting career a whole lot easier. :-) Jewelry was a funny accident. I'd purchased a beaded ring while on vacation in a coastal town in Michigan. For years, everywhere I went, the glittering tiny, silver beads attracted admirers. It became my mission to find a way to make these rings for all of the nice women who'd admired mine. Like any artist, I came up with my own "improved" version of the ring and began selling them in boutiques around Chicago. But rings weren't enough, so I moved on to earrings, bracelets, necklaces, working with wire, metals, etc. I'm still experimenting and loving every moment.
Shi: Where do you get inspiration for your jewelry creations?
Toni: My inspiration comes from my absolute favorite things in the world: My two amazing sons, Gregory and Grant. The beautiful Pacific Ocean. My boyfriend, John. And of course, all of the beautiful women friends I have in my life. I love adorning them with my experiments. Every woman who purchases a piece from me, motivates me all over again.
Shi: Thank you again Toni for allowing me to feature you in my blog. You're jewelry is absolutely stunning and I wish you great success on Etsy!
Toni: My heartfelt thanks to Shi for featuring my work. Her creativity, her imagery and generous spirit are an inspiration to all. I look forward to each new piece she creates. I confess. I am... a Shi fan.
~It's the Holiday Season, say it with love and buy handmade. Buying handmade means your buying an item that was made from the heart, and you're supporting an artist who loves what they do.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
I'm now offering custom sized rings in my Etsy Store! I made this one using an oval Garnet and 18 gauge sterling silver wire. I used a diamond file to make sure the ends of the wire wouldn't catch on clothing or scratch the skin. I just made one for myself because I liked how it turned out...and it's my birthstone. I really like the look of the birds nest ring but there's already a few people selling them on Etsy so I thought I would do this instead. To me it has a real organic free form look, and I'm pleased at how comfortable it is on the finger.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
On another note...I did make a Goddess charm (talked about it in an earlier post). It was like I had a dream about them. I drew the design at my parents house, showed my dad, he tweeked it a little...it looked so familiar and I was worried that it was something that I've seen before. I've searched and searched through thousands of pages looking for this design...and nothing. I showed my friend Lori tonight and she said she's never seen anything like it either. So now I'm really psyched and I'm going to copyright it before I make anything using the design. It's been hard to create any new jewelry because I've been "obsessed" with this charm. It's calling to be made into earrings...necklace...accent on a bracelet, so many things. I worry so much about putting them out before copyrighting them because of all the "copying" that goes on at Etsy and other venues...*sigh* On one hand you're honored that someone likes your piece so much they're copying it, on the other hand it hurts because it's "you're baby".
Anywhoey...well that's my fabulous news for the day! Happy Solstice...have a safe one!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Deon, I just wanted to say thank you so much for all of your help, suggestions and for being such a wonderful friend. I look forward to working with you in the near future to create my own web page for my jewelry business.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Here are my newest pair of Labradorite earrings. They flash blue, green and gold...I just wish I could've caught those flashes of colors when taking the pictures. *sigh* I've also made a bracelet, that I'll post tomorrow on Etsy as a "made to order". I've specifically put certain Labradorite stones aside just for the bracelet orders. I'll have to post a picture of the bracelet later tonight.
Well I have a work meeting *fun...fun*...gotta run!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Well the pendants that I sent off were not what they were looking for...they wanted actual stones that they could add their vintage style to...unfortunately I don't do vintage and I only have finished pieces done in precious metals. I don't know why I don't work with copper or brass, and I'm not sure if I ever will. The finished pieces with those other metals look nice, just not my style. The wierd thing is about 5 years ago, I wouldn't wear sterling silver...let alone plated or any other metal, I would only wear gold and it had to be at least 14kt. It also needed to be a nice piece with diamonds or just the gold alone...nothing else....sheesh. Now I have all of this gold, and I don't wear a bit of it...other than some white gold hoops my mom bought for me a few years ago. Hey now that I'm thinking about it, I think those hoops were the last gifted jewelry that I've received since I've been making jewelry....hey...that just ain't right! I'm gonna have to do something about that...hehe....nah
There is a plus side to making your own jewelry....any outfit I get all I have to do is make something to go with it. If I see a celebrity on tv or someone around town wearing some earrings, necklace, or a bracelet...then I go home and try to make something similar. And here's the funny part...like if I buy a jewerly magazine, or bead magazine....I'll say,"Oh, I'm going to make that!", but when I actually sit down to do it...some other creation always comes out of it. I don't know if it's something within me that won't let me make an identical piece or if it's the stones themselves....oooooo....I like the thought of the stones deciding where they want to go.
Well I've blabbed enough for the night...I'm off to OD on some Nyquil and disappearing into dreamland!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
On a more positive note...I'm anxiously awaiting my approval to join the SRAJD (Self-Representing Artist Jewelry Designer) Organization. I think the next application processing is going to be at the end of the month. Though I'm not sure if my app got in before the cut off.
I've also submitted some of my pendants to another company for possible publishing. So maybe we'll hear something from that :)
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The pair on the left are Sterling Silver earrings with Lepidocrosite in Quartz. I can't even begin to tell you how awesome this stone is. The reflective colors in the Lepidocrosite is really like looking at a pool of confetti gathered at the points of the Quartz with some stray flashes of color throughout the stone.
The pair on the right are Sterling Silver earrings that are hand forged and textured by me. The faceted Amethyst briolettes dance in the center of the circle.