Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Addition

I've made a new addition to the Soledad Collection. Named after my beautiful Filipina mother, whose name means solitude. The Soledad collection features a single gemstone necklace where the stone speaks for itself, big or small they all have beautiful attributes, as do each of us.

This necklace features an A Grade faceted Ametrine gemstone on an 18" sterling silver chain. The featured gemstone measures 10mm.
A friend of mine let me know that one of the Trinity necklaces made it into the Just Jewels Gift Guide on Etsy. I was surprised, I just listed it yesterday...and I was wondering why it was getting so many views. I'm honored that it's been included! (Second row from the top, second one in from the left)

I made another necklace to add to the Soledad Collection, the featured stone is a Rainbow Obsidian. I literally get lost in the depth of these stones! The only thing is, I'm having a heck of a time photographing the necklace to show the chatoyancy....aarrrggghhh! I'll go ahead and share one of the pics with you, but I won't list it until I can capture the beauty of the stone.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Trinity Collection

I just want to share with you some new necklaces that I've made. The Trinity Collection are necklaces that feature a union of three gems, brought together not only for their beauty but also for their complimenting colors.

This necklace features an A grade bi-colored Lemon Smoky Quartz, a smooth round Smoky Quartz and a faceted round clear Rock Quartz.

This necklace features an A Grade Ametrine briolette, Citrine teardrop, and an Amethyst marquis.

I've been having some fun fusing fine much easier than soldering...I just love it! I drew up some designs this week that I'm going to try to create using the fusing method. I've got my fingers crossed that they will turn out :)

My birthday was fabulous, my best friend took me for a pedicure and a manicure. Oooo...the lemon sea salt was marvelous...the massaging even better...and the hot towels on a cold crisp day....need I say more?? When I arrived back home, it was so dark and quiet...SURPRISE...yelled my kids! A waterfall of confetti covered me, balloons and birthday banners everywhere. My kids gave me a mini surprise party of their own and it brought tears to my eyes, they are so thoughtful. Then off to dinner we went to meet the rest of my family and friends. It was a lovely day!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Love Charm II

This one's a quickie because it's way past my bedtime...I'm looking at my clock it's 1:11...triple digits have been a constant occurrence in my life especially this past year.

111-the energetic gateway is opening for you, be quick to manifest your thoughts into reality and choose wisely when doing so. Don't put any energy into fears as you don't want to manifest those. Keep on this track, don't stop....think positive!

Anyways, here's another rendition of the Love Charm:

I won't be posting anything tomorrow (I guess tomorrow would be today..I seriously need some sleep) Okay so I won't be posting anything else because the 28th is my 38th birthday! My best friend is taking me for a day of pampering and then the evening will be spent enjoying a birthday feast with friends and family!

~Wishing that everyone has a wonderful day!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hoarder....Oh in a big way!

Look at what was waiting for me in the mailbox today. I am so bad....but I couldn't resist! Here I just posted a couple of days ago that I have too many beads now look at what I've done. But they were so sparkly and shiny and pretty and did I mention sparkly?? Oh I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to pretty little gems. Though some of these are 12mm and not so little but pretty nonetheless :)

Here's just a short run down of what I've got here:

The large almost black stones are Rainbow Obsidian
10mm Faceted Ametrine....oh so stunning!
7mm Rhodolite garnet
and a strand of mixed, Peridot, Amethyst, Rose Quartz bicones

Lemon Smoky Quartz faceted briolette's
Blue Chalcedony drops
Aquamarine faceted briolette's
Amethyst faceted twist briolette's
Iolite faceted twist briolette's
Ametrine faceted drops
Green Topaz faceted heart
Pink Topaz faceted briolette
London Blue Topaz faceted hearts
Peridot faceted onion
Then about 20 more mixed faceted little gems

I'm so excited I can't wait to start working with all of these!! Can we say happy, happy, joy, joy??

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Friendly Notice

I just received a convo from Kristen a wonderful artist on Etsy, that she had created a treasury with a necklace of mine in it. I love getting these notices because I generally don't spend a lot of time looking to see if one of my pieces are included (the treasury is normally 20 some odd pages long with over 300 individual treasuries), BUT I've seen where some people consider this spam. To me it's an honor when someone includes me, not only because these treasuries are pieces of art themselves but it's another way of unsolicited advertising. I just always feel so blessed :)

With the lovely tips from Debora of Beadinbythesea I actually went in and created a poster sketch of a treasury that I want to do, if I ever get a chance to :)


Shades of Love is made of wonderful pieces of jewelry that include Garnet (my birthstone), Rose Quartz and Ruby. I just wanted to share this with you and I hope to some day be able to turn this into an actual listed treasury!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


What can I say? I love them dearly....they are my world and I have been blessed to be their mom. They're fun to be around, and I can't believe they only have 4 months left until they graduate high school. Time has sure flown by this year.

Tonight is their Winter Ball Masquerade dance, not a formal dance at all. Actually they only have one dance a year that's formal and it's the Junior Prom. Brandon made prom court this time, and Chris was excited for him and helped with the "tapping" (it's how they let the kids know that they made it on court). Chris happily gathered all of the most embarrassing baby pictures of Brandon. Seeing as Chris has been on court twice both with embarrassing tappings by his brother, Chris felt it was payback time :)

I'm not sure if you've ever heard of the Jabbawockeez, well if you haven't their a dance group who won America's Best Dance Group Competition and the boys got the chance to see them perform live. Anyways, not only are they known for their dance moves but also for the masks they wear. Well being that this dance is a Masquerade the boys and their friends decided that they wanted to wear the Jabbawockeez masks. So I searched, found and purchased a bunch from a seller on Ebay and all the kids were ecstatic.

Here are the pictures of my boys before the dance. I love taking pictures of them before prom, it's all laughs and a ton of goofing off....and it just makes for nice memories to recall upon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hoarder? Who me?

Oh no, not I! Okay so fine, I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to beads. This is just a portion of what I will be selling on Etsy when I finally open up my destash store. I have entirely too many beads and they are quite literally overtaking my little work area.

I figure that I better start getting rid of them now before I move into my studio, because when I have all of that room available, I may not part with them.

I know what some of these stones are, but there are some that I'm not quite sure of. There are some that are dyed, and some that are not a high quality but are still pretty to look at. Ranging in shapes and sizes these gems could be made into something pretty to adorn yourself with.

I still have to figure out a name for my destash store. Once upon a time when I had one it was ShiSupplies, but I closed it because I didn't really want to part with some of the stones. Even though the store is closed I can't use the same name :( Hmm...what about GoddessGifts, the natural stones are gifts from the Earth...or EarthGifts...aye! I'll have to think about this one a bit. If any of you have any suggestions let me know!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Valentine's Gift

Okay, I'm such a romantic at heart....I love Valentine's Day, and always have. Though I don't believe that you should wait until this day to show your romantic side...nice touch...but even nicer would be to see it everyday :)

Anyways, here's a little necklace that I made that speaks softly of true love, at least my rendition of it. ~Enjoy

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Etsy Gift Guides

I don't often look at the Gift Guides, but thought tonight that I would browse them to see what's being offered and under "Personalized Gift Items" I found one of my necklaces, it's in the lower left hand corner :)

~Debora, thanks for the F11 tip, it works!

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Fine Silver Creations

This one is going to be a quickie because I'm off to have coffee with the girls! I just wanted to show you the latest pieces that I've made and listed on Etsy.

"Unity" necklace - Fine and Sterling Silver

"Coiled" ring - 12g Fine Silver

"Coiled" ring - 16g Fine Silver

As you can tell I've been having a bit of fun creating using this method! ~Enjoy


I was cruising the treasury's tonight before I went to bed and found that I was included in 2 of them. I love looking at these...I can't make them for the life of me (I can't figure out the whole screenshot thingy I always end up cutting a row off), but I sure like looking at them!

My "Linear" necklace is in the center of the bottom row.

My "Midnight" bracelet is in the center of the bottom row on this one too.
Thank you to the lovely Etsians for including my pieces!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fusing - Take Two

Okay so today was much more successful than yesterday. I'm still having troubles with fusing larger sized rings not gauge but actual size. I've posted some pictures here to show you the results.
I've got my rings laid out on my ceramic tile ready to be fused.

The results after fusing 4 different sized rings, the larger ring on the far left did not fuse.

After hammering them for texture, I put them in my tumbler and here's the result:

I just made a few more so when I'm done here I will actually hammer them flat to be used in necklaces and earrings. I really am pleased at how they turned out and I can't wait to see what fun things I can create using this technique!

Fusing pictures yet, but I did try my hand at fusing tonight with 16g fine silver. I wanted to make a couple of stackable rings for myself before I went for drinks with the girls. So one ring turned out ok and the other ring didn't fuse at all :(

I know, I can't expect perfection on my first try! BUT, if you know'll know that I most definitely do! I don't believe that it sets me up for failure, I see it as more of a challenge to achieve my expectations!

So I'm going to read the book again tonight to see if I missed something...I thought I had followed the steps. I made sure the cut was clean, though I don't own Tronex cutters (I think that's the brand the author uses), I did file to achieve the flush ends. I also wonder if it's my ceramic tile that I'm using. I don't have a fire brick as it calls for in the book, and I can't seem to find one anywhere. I bought the ceramic tile from Craft Warehouse for soldering and thought that it would work for this as well, but I wonder if it's drawing the heat away from the silver as I'm trying to fuse??? Food for thought anyways. Debora, what are you firing your silver on? If you'd rather email me you can reach me at or convo me on Etsy :)

So wish me luck tomorrow as I'm going to dedicate the majority of my day to fusing. I will take pictures for you this time, they'll either be of finished rings, or some horribly gone wrong projects!! I've got my fingers crossed that it's not the latter.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dreams, Festivals and Costumes last night was pretty rough, sleeping wise. I only got around 2 hours of sleep total...uugghh! BUT during an hour of it (the other hour was broken up between 2 and 5:30am) I dreamt of Ravens. It was beautiful...a whirlwind of events leading through a forest and ending near a golden stream. The Ravens gathered all around the stream, as if they were telling me to jump in, so I did. I landed in an open field with a vineyard to the south of me. I knew exactly where I was...I was at Secret House Winery, home of the FaerieWorlds Festival. I was dressed in all black, I had on fringed suede boots (so 80's but hey it's back in style), a lovely flowing black top, wings, and I had Raven feathers strung throughout my hair. I walked by a pool of water and I had the most beautiful tribal Raven painting on my face! I shot straightup out of bed, looked at the clock (it was 6:30am), then drew out the design. I'm by no means an artist, so I won't be sharing the drawing, but I was sure to write down all of the details of my outfit.

Just the other day I was asking myself what I was going to wear during this festival event. Well I definitely think I've found it! I'm so excited, I can still feel my wings and the way the clothing felt against my skin! I can't wait!!

This will be my 6th year attending this fest, so if you're going to be in Oregon, specifically Eugene during July 31st - Aug 2nd, stop on by, you won't be sorry! Be sure to bring your camera :)

Here's the link to Faerieworlds if you're interested:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Working with different metals

My favorite metal to work with is Sterling, but I have a lot of 14kt gold filled wire that I bought to make wire wrapped rings that I no longer carry in my store, and I've been wondering what I'm going to do with it. So for the heck of it I wanted to make a pair of hoops. The metal is a lot more pliable and softer than sterling but after some hammering to give it texture and strength, I have to say that I'm was pretty pleased with the way they turned out.

I listed this pair in my shop today and sent a pair to a return customer as a thank you gift. I'm hoping that I'll have time this week to make more in varying sizes like I carry in my Rustic Hoops line. I'm really excited at the prospect of incorporating this metal into some of my jewelry designs.

On a side note, I should be receiving my very large order of fine silver so I can try my hand at fusing. I'll be sure to post my creations...I can't wait!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Faithful Companions and Familiars

So sweet and peaceful while she sleeps in the chair next to me while I'm at the computer. If you've read any of my previous posts about my animals you'll know that this little cat is a firecracker! She dominates the home and often chases the other cats and 2 Danes out of a room. Though her name is Nanni we lovingly call her Psycho-kitty. She really is my cat...or probably more correctly I am her human. She's been with us for over 5 years and she is the most wild out of the 2 Bengals we own. I love that trait in her and at times it can be incredibly annoying and painful if you happen to be on the receiving end of her claws. She follows me everywhere, and she even lays outside of the bathroom door as I shower. When I've left a room and if she can't find me, she searches for me with the loudest most haunting and an almost desperate yowl, but as soon as I say her name her normal kitty meow returns as she happily follows my voice.

I should take a picture some time during ritual, she almost demands to be involved! She walks the circle with me, then either lays at my feet or at the altar. She even walks outside with me as I offer the libation and she hates going outside....but she kind of cheats...she hides under my dress...but she's there none the less.

My Great Dane, Raven, unlike Nanni could care less about the rituals, other than wanting to know what kind of incense is being burned. She is my bed hog, and my couch potato sidekick. She always has to be touching me in way or another. She doesn't follow me around, but she sure watches what I do. I often wonder what kind of thoughts go through their heads throughout the day. My other Great Dane, Kula, and two other cats, Nala and Luna are content with just hanging out. They don't take much interest in anything other than a good rub around the ears and back ....that seems to be enough for them.

I'm not sure what my life would be like without these furry creatures, probably a little less hectic at times, but I'm pretty sure it would be pretty lonely. It's a comfort to me knowing that I have these loving animals to come home to every day.

Mercury's Retrograde

I don't know about you, but this is always a time that I'm keenly aware and closely keep track of. My friend and I actually kind of keep track of things that go all haywire so we can laugh about it later, because it sure doesn't seem funny at the time!

Normally this is a time when communications, electronics and so much more go all fubar on you. I've noticed that it tends to start somewhere around 3 days prior to Mercury going retrograde. So far, so good for me, but my friend has been hit hard. First her son's laptop fried, then her brand new (and very expensive) espresso maker, which was a Christmas gift quit working, and her new car won't start anymore. We went out for coffee last night....and normally when we talk...we jump tracks (subjects) and are always able to keep up with what the other is saying, ohhh not last night. I can't tell you how many times we looked at eachother with dumbfounded looks on our faces then asked WTH are you talking about?? LOL We just couldn't talk to eachother and still couldn't today, frustrating but we definitely find humor in it....we just blame it on Mercury going retrograde :)

This is also a time when you don't want to sign any contracts or make any commitments or big purchases, they won't work out or bring you the satisfaction or pleasure that you thought it would. So as I was about to purchase a 4 in 1 printer today (which I don't necessarily need, I just really, really want it) I decided I will wait....just to be safe.

So I'm just going to take this time to refine some designs, review my plans for the year and really just wait for Mercury to go direct!

Even if you don't believe in this kind of stuff....just for the heck of it, try to pay closer attention or be more aware of what goes on, and you just may see for yourself the kind of wacky stuff that happens during this particular planetary movement.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sleeping in...what's that??

I was so looking forward to sleeping in today and like clockwork I was up after 6 hours of sleep...uuuggghhh! What happened to the days when I could sleep for 12 hours, oh how I wish I could do that again.

I don't have a lot planned for the day. My boys are clam digging with some friends and I'm still in my pajamas sipping on a much needed cup of coffee. Oh, I received the check today to get my roof done..woohoo! If you don't remember, the roof over the deck collapsed from the heavy snowfall. It ruined the BBQ, my deck furniture and the air conditioner, so I'll be replacing those items too. I loved my deck furniture and am hoping that I can replace it easily.

I've added more stock to my Shophandmade store at I've only listed my custom made items there...these are things that I constantly make so yes I have them in my Etsy store as well. I do really love Shophandmade but the traffic there is slow. I checked out but they are almost as over filled with jewelry as Etsy is, but it's still a venue that I may consider.

So here's a question to my readers...where do you sell your wares and what are your experiences with them?

Well I'm off to get ready for the day and to get out of the pajamas....have a good one!

Friday, January 9, 2009


For those of us who make and sell handcrafted items, we often sell in multiple venues at once. For me, everything is online as of right now, but there are often offers of consignment. I was recently approached again to sell my jewelry in someones B&M boutique. Though it was very tempting, I graciously declined. I wanted to share my reasons why and to share some tips that I've learned.

Read the contract very closely...and for goodness sakes read the fine print. I know you're very excited at the prospect of getting your products out there, but look before you leap!

Where is the B&M store located? It's better if you can keep tabs on your product, easier to restock and to keep in contact with the store in general. But, there have been successful consignment agreements where the store and designer are great distances apart.

What is the agreed consignment ratio? Is it 70/30, 60/40 or 50/50? The higher numbers should represent what you, the creator, should receive after your item has sold. Personally I would never sell at a 50/50 ratio, but that's just me.

Who is liable if your items are damaged or stolen? This is very important to me, and has been a deal breaker. I personally feel that if I take the time to insure my products for delivery, that while they are in the hands of the seller, store, or boutique, it then becomes their responsibility should something happen to my product. Many stores have insurance to cover just that, so be sure to check on it and ask if it's not in the contract.

Do you as the designer still retain your ownership rights? You will find that sometimes the seller does not want you to include your website or other personal information about you because it may draw business away from their store, understandable...BUT...I feel that you should at least be able to have your business name or logo on your product. After all, YOU are the designer.

What is the term of the contract? Sometimes there is a trial period, make sure you read this closely as well. At the end of this term what happens? Who's responsible for packing up your stock and returning them back to you? There are many times when it is your responsibility, and when you live across the country from the store, this is not a viable option.

How often will you receive payment? This is often done once a month on a particular day and is done by check. Find out if you have to include stamped envelopes for them to send your payments to you. This can sometimes be hidden in the contract somewhere too.

How do they want you to present your items? Do they want you to make certain labels, use certain price tags verses another type, boxes, display cases? This can be a lot of extra work if the store is requiring that you package/display your items differently than what you usually do.

A few other things are to make sure you take a copy of the signed contract, check out the store (look them up at the Better Business Bureau), ask for references. If your not happy with something in the contract, ask if it can be adjusted. If you see that something is missing, ask and most of all trust your gut feeling!! Even then, sometimes the best intentions with both parties can go south.

I'm not trying to be a "negative Nancy" here, but I think that we all have to protect what we have worked so hard to make. I will eventually do consignments, but it's a matter of finding the right fit, both with the B&M store and the contract. For now though, I'm content with where I'm at, I've found my happy place so to speak....I hope you can too!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Buzz, Buzz, Buzz

I have got a major creative bug right now! I'm buzzing back and forth from my jewelers bench, to my computer, outside to take the photos, back to my bench...just a buzz, buzz, buzzing around. I have so many more new things that I want to make and list. I figure I better take advantage of this now, I can't tell you how many times I have sat at my bench just blankly staring at all the metal and stones, trying to figure out what I was going to make next. I would assume it's quite similar to writer's block...I hate it when that happens.

So here's a new bracelet that I listed today, and hopefully I'll be able to get some meditation/prayer beads made by this weekend. Sales have been a bit slow on Etsy, but I'm definitely keeping busy. I'm off to make some earrings now!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mirror, Mirror

This is just a simply sweet necklace, that is dainty and absolutely feminine. I had a dream about it last night so I had to make it today when I got off of work. It's made using a 5mm mirrored sterling silver ball and an 18" sterling silver ball chain.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another Quickie

Just wanted to share a couple more items newly added to my store today! I've been busy creating, and hopefully will keep this rush of creativity alive for awhile :)


The necklace is made with fancy cut Garnets and faceted Labradorite. The reason that I made this is because while we were at the FaerieWorlds Festival this summer, my best friend saw a necklace similar to this, it was beautiful and she fell in love with it. She wanted it so badly, but refused to buy it out of guilt or something because I make jewelry. Though I told her over and over again to purchase it, that I would never make something like that (I didn't have the stones on hand, and the style isn't something that I do or make)...she still wouldn't budge. So out of my love for her, for her friendship and obvious loyalty I decided a couple of months ago that I would try to make something similar to the necklace that she fell in love with. I really struggled with my memory of's not what it used to be that's for sure, but I think it's close and I hope she likes it.

This will be one of her Yule/Christmas gifts along with a matching pair of earrings. We're meeting tonight to enjoy some coffee and other such goodies. With the holiday's being so hectic we didn't have time to get together. Her basket is going to be packed full...I can't wait :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Quick One

Just a quick post of a couple more new pieces that I've added today. I've got some more that I'll list tomorrow but I have a custom necklace to finish first!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Who Knew???

I've been on Etsy for a little over a year...and 2 coveted spots on Etsy are being in a treasury that makes it on the front page and being a featured seller. I always look at the front page and I've never seen any of my pieces on there :( That's okay though....until tonight!

While browsing through the forums on Etsy there's a link to Flikr that is strictly for front page treasury's and you can search to see if you were I decided what the heck...did a ready to close the tab when voila...there I was....OMG! Yes I screeched with joy...LOL I made it on 12/12/08 and I missed it...darnit, but I'm just so excited that I made it! Here's a picture of the necklace, it's titled "Snowflake" and it's on the left, second one down from the top.

~Happy Dance

New Additions

I just wanted to share some new creations that I added to my store today. I received some new stamps in the mail so I quickly made a pair of earrings in preparation for Valentine's Day. They're dainty and lightweight...I loved them so much I had to make myself a pair :)

I recently bought a string of the deepest blue Labradorite also known as Spectrolite. I'm not really sure what I'll do with all of them, but this necklace definitely wanted to be made. Just a simple design that allows the stone to speak for itself.

I have so many ideas rolling around in my head like all the stamped jewelry I can make, fusing fine silver, and working with PMC. I'm hoping to get everything purchased within this next week, so I can put my mind to rest. I think that's the worst part of creating....thinking of all these fabulous things you can make, then having to wait until you can buy everything you need to bring them to fruition....I better buy it soon, so I can start getting some sleep at night.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year Resolutions

As I sit here sipping on my much needed cup of coffee, a headache lurking just waiting to come out, trying to recoup after a night of way too many strawberry Margarita's....I'm thinking of any New Year Resolutions that I may have. To be honest though...I can't think of any. Oh sure I could say the whole weightloss, get fit because my 20th Class Reunion is around the corner thing, but why? Been there, done that!! Eh, I think as I get older....OMG did I say my 20th class reunion?? WTH? Where did the time go, didn't I just graduate? Okay...okay...breathe...I'm not that old...nope I'm young, my kids are graduating this year and I'm only going to be 38. Yes, I have more gray hair than I care to have, but I've earned every single one of them, besides it's nothing that a trip to the salon can't cure :)

Now that I'm no longer hyperventilating and my heart rate is back to normal, where was I? Oh yes, I think that as I get older the little stuff doesn't matter as much as it used to. The only thing I want to do is enjoy my life. To enjoy the rest of the year that my kids are home before leaving for college, to take in every smile, laugh, argument, hug, and everything else that comes with having kids....just to take it all in and file it away in the vault in my mind that's filled with various memories of the past.

My New Year Resolution....well it's going to be that I will enjoy life, make every moment count, and I'm not going to let those little bumps in the road get me down because I know that right around the corner there is something wonderful just waiting for me!

~Cheers to all for a prosperous, healthy and happy New Year!