Monday, March 30, 2009

A little info

Here's some information that I've gathered on torch firing gemstones or lab-grown gemstone in pmc. You'll see where some stones survived and some were damaged. I'm thankful that someone else has tested this before I went on to suffer more losses. Even some stones that have a Moh's hardness of 7 or higher still aren't safe to fire unless they're gem quality of A or better. One lab-created stone that I was shocked about was Moissanite...I definitely would've thought this stone could've withstood the heat.

Also, I was surprised to really find only one site that mentioned allowing the piece to cool rather than quenching it in water to keep from damaging the stone. This was definitely a rookie mistake on my part, which I hope to never happen again.....though I happily wore my pendant with the cracked cz's today to work and even received compliments on it :)

I've hyperlinked the pictures to the sources where I found the information. By clicking on the pictures it'll take you to the sites that offer kiln firing information as well.

Hope this info helps!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

One of the Pendants

Well here's one of the pendants, and I'm just not happy with the results of either one of them. At least not happy enough to sell them. I think I figured out what I did that ruined the stones, I quenched them, when I should've let them cool down slowly :( I haven't researched this to know for a fact, but it seems logical.

Though it was a loss as far as being able to list something totally new in my shop...I've got 2 new pendants that I will be happy to wear!

Working with Art Clay

So I set out to make some pendants today using Art Clay 650 low fire, slow dry. Let me just tell you, I have a new appreciation for those who work with this medium on a daily basis. It was no easy task for me, and apparently will need a lot more work on my part to perfect it in any way. I have also discovered that working with pmc will have to be my weekend project as I don't have a lot of time during the week.

So here is a picture of them after being fired. I meant to take a picture of them prior to firing but my batteries for my camera were dead and needed charging. The impatient person that I am couldn't wait for the batteries to be done charging before I fired the pieces.

I found that colored CZ's also tend to change color during firing. The daisy with the single stone was fired face up. The other pendant was fired face down...but the stones were still affected by the heat. Also as you may or may not be able to tell, I could've done a better job at sanding the pieces prior to firing them. The bezel settings definitely could've used more attention, but yet again the impatient part of me didn't want to wait....I really need to start listening to the more patient side of me :)

Right now as I type this, these pieces are being oxidized. I'll try to touch them up a bit more after their done, and I'm really hoping the flaws or imperfections are less noticeable when I'm finished. If not, then I guess I have a couple of new pendants for myself, or I guess I could list them in my shop as "Oops" pieces...we'll see!

I'll post more pictures of them after they're done oxidizing...see you soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Treasury Feature and New Additions

I was so excited to be included in this treasury on's made of my favorite shade of blue!

Here are a couple more additions to the Soledad Collection in my Etsy shop:

Ametrine Gemstone and Sterling Silver Necklace

Cushion Cut Citrine Gemstone and Sterling Silver Necklace

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A New Addition

I just wanted to share a new addition to the Soledad Collection that I carry in my store. In case I haven't shared it with you before this is the story behind the 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 a blue Chalcedony drop, wrapped in fine silver, then strung on a 16" sterling silver necklace.
When I showed my mom the collection that I named after her, she was thrilled...she glowed, which of course just thrilled me to death. It's nice that I can pay homage to her in some way. She is an extraordinary woman who would literally give you the shirt off of her back before you went without anything. She's stunningly beautiful with her raven black hair that has silvery moon kissed streaks . She's sacrificed a lot (though she wouldn't see it that way) to give her family what she lacked as a child. I'm so thankful that she's my mom, I love her more than words could ever say.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy Dance!!

Yay!! The verdict came in while I was at work and I should receive my settlement within a few weeks! I spent the day celebrating with my co-workers...lots of group hugs and then on the phone with all of my loved ones...all of us were crying tears of joy! I'm so ecstatic and so very thankful and I have so many more emotions running through me that I can't even explain! All I know is that it's over...and I finally...finally feel like I have closure!

*Happy Dance*

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Waiting Game

Well it was a long day yesterday and Arbitration seemed to last forever, but it's done. Now we're just waiting on to see how the 3 arbitrators decide. It could be another week because of spring break.

The whole arbitration process was very surreal, lasting 8 hours. The most difficult part was having people talk about me as if I didn't exist all the while I was sitting right there. Often the words spoken were harsh, but I didn't show any emotion. I couldn't for some reason...until today. Replaying it in my head today, I broke down. I'm exhausted. I thought I would feel closure with my part being done, but I don't. Maybe after they come back with their decision I'll feel it....I sure hope so.

I'm off to take a nap in hopes that I can regain some much needed energy. I'll be sure to post the results later.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Almost to 300

Wow...I can't believe that I'm just one sale away from reaching 300 *Happy Dance*

So now I'm thinking of a free gift to go with that sale....hmm...maybe a pair of the Itty Bitty Rustic Hoops?

Or...maybe a pair of stud earrings...I don't offer the stud earrings in my store, so that might be a little nice surprise. I guess I'll just wait for the sale and ask my customer then...hehe

I'm not sure what my 2nd year anniversary goal will be....I think I'll just be content with reaching each 100 sales milestone! A huge thank you to my customers, friends and to my dearest Etsy friends.....thanks for being with me every step of the way! almost sounds as if I'm receiving some sort of award...honestly this feels better than that and couldn't have come at a better time :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Better Today and Something New

I'm feeling better today...frazzled but a bit more pulled together. At least my emotions are in check for the time being. Thank you for your well wishes and especially for the Tiger's Eye idea...I have been racking my brain on what stone to carry with me, and I hadn't been able to decide.

I even gathered myself together enough to make a new pair of earrings. I have to admit that I don't really want to part with these, and while the war goes on within myself over them I will keep them listed in my store...but if I have my way I may end up pulling them before the weeks out :)

They're inspired by both the saga Twilight (I just read the whole series last week) and by the poem Into The Twilight by William Butler Yeats. I've used London Blue Topaz gemstones and naturally oxidized (using the egg method) Sterling Silver hoops to create these earrings.

~Enjoy...and again thank you!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


With my upcoming arbitration this Thursday, I find myself scattered. My emotions are everywhere, my stomach is in a constant knot and my nerves are completely frayed. I thought I was more prepared emotionally, but it would seem otherwise.

It's been exactly 4 1/2 years today. Who would've thought that a hit and run accident would impact my life so. I personally feel like I've come a long ways. Especially when it comes to my emotions, to my mind. I can live with the pain, it's just a fact of life that has come to be, but my emotions have wreaked havoc on my family and myself over these last years. It has been an emotional roller coaster that seemed to have evened out over this last year, as I put the tools that I've learned to work. But now....I feel like I'm at the beginning again....that I'm shattered and pieces of me are everywhere and I'm scrambling to put myself back together again. Reminding myself of the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.

How do you convince a complete stranger that you're in pain? How would they know if they don't live with you, if they haven't been there to see the before and after, or if they've never experienced this pain themselves?

Whatever the outcome...whatever happens on Thursday, this particular part of my life will be over. I will move on to the next chapter and I'm looking forward to what the future holds.

Sitting here deep in thought, I hear the powerful gusts of wind against the trees behind me....I think I'll go outside for a bit to allow the wind to sooth my raw help bring me back to center again.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Dear Little Shamrock

by Andrew Cherry

There's a dear little plant that grows in Ireland.
'Twas Saint Patrick himself sure that set it.
And the sun on his labor with pleasure did smile.
And a tear from his eyes oft-times wet it.
It grows thro' the bog, thro' the brake, and the mireland,
And it's called the dear little Shamrock of Ireland.

That dear little plant still grows in our land,
Fresh and fair as the daughters of Erin,
Whose smiles can bewitch, and whose eyes can command,
In each climate they ever appear in:
For they shine thro' the bog, thro' the brake, and the mireland,
Just like their own dear little Shamrock of Ireland.

That dear little plant that springs from our soil,
When its three little leaves are extended,
Denotes from the stalk we together should toil,
And ourselves by ourselves be befriended.
And still thro' the bog, thro' the brake, and the mireland,
From one root should branch, like the Shamrock of Ireland.

With this little poem in mind, I set out last night to make some shamrocks/clovers out of fine silver. At first I made one out of sterling silver with a wire wrapped stem, but it wasn't exactly what I was aiming I'll be keeping that one for myself :) That's just another perk of making jewelry! Below is what the final product looks like, and I've paired it with a faceted green Opal heart briolette.

Well I just received my PMC books in the I'm off to lose myself in the creativity found in those many pages :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ohh.....This So Made My Day!

My muscle spasms have ceased a little, at least I'm able to sit here for a bit to write another post.

~ Lisa, thank you so much for your lovely compliments and well wishes! Hugs to you my dear :) I go to check my mail and a package is there waiting for me....I know what it is and with excitement I tear open the package! In a beautiful box is a treasure that I couldn't wait to put on my finger :) It's the lovely ring below made by Debora of BeadinByTheSea , a dear Etsy friend who kindly made this with me in mind and gave me the opportunity to purchase it from her! I don't often get to splurge on myself but this was an absolute must have!! It couldn't have arrived at a better completely brightened my day! Thank you so much Debora for creating such a beautiful, earthy, and just an all around stunning ring....I'm so happy :)

Just A Quickie....

It's been a bad day for pain, so I'm going to lay back down again, but I wanted to post these earrings first. I made them last night and was able to grab a few quick photos of them. I'll be back later after some icing and heating....bleh!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Earrings....Gotta Love 'Em

I love jewelry, especially earrings. There's something so very feminine about them, whether they're short or long, simple or adorned with gemstones....they really are the perfect addition to finish off your look. While making a pair of earrings or any type of jewelry for that matter, I normally make myself a pair too. Mostly to test the style...see how they wear, but also because I can't help myself :)

Below are a couple of pieces that I made today to list and no need to ask...I made myself a pair of each of these..hehe

I made a Peridot set to sell and a Garnet set for's my birthstone and it had to be done!

For these earrings I made myself a very small pair and a 2" pair as I tend to like big earrings. The pair pictured are comparable in size to my Large Rustic Hoops also sold in my store.

I'll be ordering some PMC (Precious Metal Clay) soon, and can't wait to start working with this medium. I have so many ideas and sketches that I'm looking forward to making. I was going to order some this weekend, but I've decided to wait just a bit to allow myself to gain more knowledge about working with it. Oh, I so love the creative outlet that jewelry has given me!

New and Discontinued...the verdict is still out

Here's a couple of new earrings that I've added to my store today. With any luck and time allowing I'll be adding a couple more tomorrow as well. These are just really simple designs that can be worn everyday and with any outfit.

Now on to the discontinued subject. I love this pendant below and made the originals 4 years ago for my best friend and myself. I've sold quite a few of these, but I'm considering not selling these anymore or at least for the time being. It's one of the few pieces along with the meditation/prayer beads that I carry in which I put a lot of my healing thoughts and energy into. It really is about focusing on the metaphysical properties of the stones and while creating sending that intent into that particular piece. I really enjoy making these pieces but find with my time constraint that I can't dedicate the energy that I want to....or that I feel needs to be dedicated to them. I've just sold my last Chakra pendant today and I only have 1 Meditation/Prayer beads left, and more than likely will not relist either one of these until I've figured out a solution. Maybe it's as simple as better time management...I'm not sure, but I'll let you know when I've figured it out!