Monday, December 28, 2009

Mid-Holiday ramblings.

I hope everyone is having a


holiday season.

It's Monday, and I'm starting to think that the job of a teacher is looking mighty nice right now. If teaching was my job, I wouldn't have to think about work for a whole 'nother week.

I suppose that even more appealing is the job title 'self-employed art kid'. "Artist" still sounds pretentious. Hmm. Maybe someday? Maybe please?

My custom orders are winding down. Two will be finished this evening. The rest can take a little longer. Exhale.

Rex comes to visit on Wednesday and aside from all of the STUFF I have to finish before then, I can't wait! A quiet New Years Eve is sounding more and more appealing....I think going on lockdown in the apartment with a bottle or 2 of champagne is probably the way to go this year. I hope it snows buckets (it's not supposed to snow at all).

So, with the holidays and the boyfriend visit and such, I'm going on a bit of a jewelry "holiday." I have plenty of designs in the works, I just need a small break to recharge. the end of January, I head south to the Sonoran Desert! The visit's main purpose is to visit my mom, but I've strategically planned it around the Tucson Gem Show...anyone else going?? Tips, tricks? I'm making a list of "must have" stones, which so far only has:

-raw diamonds (cubic, please!)

There are so many wonderful stone cutters on the internet that have a plethora of GREAT cabs, so the rest of my list is going to take a little more effort. I want to pick up things I haven't seen a lot of online/at the lapidary in town, and of course always be on the lookout for lovely patterns in any kind of stone.

I go through different phases with my stone buying. Right now I've got a thing for Owyhee. I've always got a thing for chalcedony, and I'd especially like to get my hands on some holly blue agate. Agua Nueva too. And I'd like to buy some "bulk" cabs to have on hand for made to order items...sigh. It's a good thing I'm not bringing my credit card.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some custom work

I was holding out on this one until it was received, and I just got word that he loves it so it's safe to post pictures!

This was a custom order requested by some friends for another friend. They fell in love with the stone, I sent them some sketches, and the winner ended up being the very last one I had done. I realized I hadn't drawn anything with the stone set horizontally and it's shape could lend very well to a design like that. So, I hashed something out as an after thought and it ended up being their favorite!

And next we have the Sisu Bracelet. It is such a treat when I get to create a piece for a fellow artist (or in this case, his mom). Other than the few guidelines (bracelet + stamping) I was able to just create...lovely!

sterling with garnet & a wee 3mm citrine

I looove it! I love making bracelets...they are by far my favorite item to create. I'm going to try and make more for the shop. Also, I'm completely enamored with my TINY TINY letter stamps. How did I live so long without them?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Is this a jewelry blog or what?

I've been chipping away at this necklace for sometime. Actually, it sat on my bench waiting to be polished for about 3 weeks. I had other orders to tend to!

This one will not be in the shop, as it was made with a special lady in mind (my mother) and it will be whisked down to Arizona as her birthday present. I wasn't sure if she'd like it or prefer something else, but like it she does!

Meet my desert necklace...or..."Arivaca" necklace, as the case may be.

Complete with hand-cut succulent on the back of the pendant and a slightly domed hand-stamped "concho."
Picture jasper blows my mind. The fact that there can be desert scenes found in stone is fascinating and beautiful and I can't get enough. When I found this one I fell even more in love - not only were the colors muted, almost faded like an old photograph, but the corners were softly rounded just like an old photograph!
I'm still digging away at the list of custom orders, but at list the bottom of the list is in sight! Stay tuned for a bracelet I just finished...rarely do I feel so proud when I finish something, but I was smitten with this piece.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The story of Sera'...

Being the crazy horse person that I am, I belong to various horse communities and forums online. Because, you know, going to the barn every day sometimes just isn't quite enough..

In one of these communities a girl about my age (we'll call her J) began posting the story of Sera', a beautiful white mare who was completely blind, slow to trust, and left to neglect. J saw past the mud and dreadlocks and blindness and took Sera' home.

I followed their story, touched to my very core. It was a fairytale to be sure. Slowly, with time and love and care, Sera' came out of her shell. The bond they had was something every little girl (and adult girl, for that matter) dreams to have with their horse. Sera' came to life in the care of J. She learned to trust, to see, to gallop.

Sadly, J lost Sera' very suddenly in 2008. The mare was galloping in her paddock, miscalculated the boundaries, and ran into the side of the barn, breaking her neck. Even now I tear up writing this, and I've only met her through pictures and words. Losing an animal is never easy, but when there is a relationship this strong you lose a piece of yourself.

When I began making jewelry, J asked if there was a way I could memorialize Sera' in a necklace. I came up with a few designs, but I wasn't completely happy with any of them. I finally made the horseshoe necklaces - which really only came about because J planted the worm in my brain several months ago! I still couldn't think of a proper way to include a halo to memorialize Sera', so I stamped her name on a separate piece of silver, cut it into an oval or a 'halo', and placed her name above the rest, as she is surely watching down on J and her equine crew as I write this.

So there you have the brief story of Sera', and how the horseshoe necklaces came about. I'm sending J's off to her today!!

(And thank you to J for letting me write about her and use some of her photos!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oh, so THIS is why...

etsy shop owners list dates for Christmas shipping and making.



I may be the busiest I've been in my little world of metal and stone. I've never had so many custom orders at once and it's making me go a little like this: o_O

The shop has also picked itself up and little things are slowly but surely finding new homes. Sadly, I cannot replenish the inventory for a few more weeks.

Stay tuned for some custom order photos & the one piece I've managed to finish for etsy!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oh Cholula, you're breakin' my heart...

I'll be chugging away at custom orders the rest of this week and possibly into next. I'm hoping that after next Sunday I'll be able to carry on with my massive 'NEXT' list. I'm slightly OCD about list making and I clump items together in groups of 7-10 depending on size. These lists change at least a couple of times a week, depending on how badly I want to use a new stone or if a new design strikes me.

Can we take a vote on 36 hour days, please?

Cholula says yes. And asks that someone would please brush her face since I'm apparently incapable.

Speaking of my 'lazy lump,' we had a WONDERFUL lesson tonight in which we canted for most of it. Or...worked on cantering for most of it. Peanuts to some, HUGE for us! Last week was the first time I've really cantered in several years and the first time on her (aside from a few strides here and there).

I'm going to feel it tomorrow (I feel it already) but it was just the push we needed. If my former digital video buff self can figure out how to transfer video onto a PC, you may even be able to watch it someday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Still breathing.

So, 2 Thanksgiving dinners and 2.5 rounds of leftovers later, I've made it to the other side. Sadly the other side involves terrible Christmas music playing over and over and over for the next 24 days. It's not that I completely hate Christmas music, but I do hate that they try playing it around the clock BEFORE Thanksgiving (one holiday at a time, please!) and I hate that it's all that's played all of the time and certain people insist on having it on all of the time I don't even feel ready for it after a year has passed.

But I'm not bitter, I promise.

I wish I had new things to show you, but my holiday was spent in Texas and I haven't made new things in awhile.

The rest of this week and likely all of next week will be spent tackling the pile of custom orders I have. Must stop buying stones as they are too much of a distraction! All I want to do is play with them and make new things!
I do have one project on my board that's 99% done, so when it hits that 100% mark I'll post pictures.

Oh, and just in case you think I hate Christmas, people who hate Christmas do not spend time doing this:

Sunday, November 22, 2009


There are worse predicaments to be in, for sure. I have so much new stuff I can't remember what has been posted where. (I know where everything has not been posted, and that is etsy).

I'm currently finishing things up, picking up old projects, etc. When I'm in the mood to do that I take advantage, as it doesn't happen very often.

These actually aren't old projects, but one of the rings WAS started before the open house in October. So I guess that is kind of old.

My mission this week is to get everything listed on etsy before I leave for my Thanksgiving holiday. The shop will remain open during this time, but orders will not be shipping out til the following Wednesday.

Pinke Lady Stack, Size 9 (peruvian pink opal and cultured freshwater pearl):

Purple People Eater Ring, Size 8 (sugilite and sterling):

And, my favorite, Peacock Ring featuring a wee cut of burro creek jasper, size 6ish:

Pomegranate earrings with 3mm garnet:

Off to edit the never ending photos!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


For someone whose first love is photography, I seem to have one hell of a time with the concept of photography + blog. Very, very rarely is my camera the first thing I grab. Never do I think "Oh! Photo for the blog!"

And for that, I apologize. I try. But I hate lugging around my SLR and the rechargeable battery is only good for a few hours. I need a new one but I'm cheap. Why spend $30 on a battery when I can buy cabochons?

Instead of bothering, I will just distract you with ponies.

I'm also a bit (just a touch) horrified at my lack of shop updates. Do you know what I have to list? Of course you don't, because I suck at taking pictures.

Off the top of my head --

1. All sterling horseshoe necklace
2. Sterling/copper horseshoe 'lucky' necklace
3. Personalized copper/sterling horseshoe halter tags
4. 2 pairs of bead dangly wire wrappage earrings (do you think they'll sell better if I call them this?)
5. 1 pair of lulas with onyx
6. pomegranate earrings
7. 2 lumplings rings
8. sugar cub earrings
9. lil lulas with jade
And I have 3 rings to finish up tonight with other things (always other things) on my soldering board.

I like not being frantic anymore. The pressure of a show lends to productivity, but I do enjoy having my freedom. I like that I can go back to what I do. I draw and then I start. And I figure it out along the way. Before I opened this shop I never made anything twice. Once I completed the challenge of figuring out how to make what's on paper work in metal I basically forgot about it...time for something new. Which may or may not also explain why I haven't been feeling any pressure to photograph and list.

I'm distracted by shiny things.

And ponies.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And the winner is...

In the interest of saving time, I decided to use a random number generator. It's fast! It's random! It doesn't involve bits of paper to end up on my floor for the cat to eat! And, I can be kind of lazy like that.

ANYWAY. The winner of the earrings is...

RACHEL! Please contact me with your address so I can get them sent off to you! (and congratulations!)

Thanks to everyone who participated - fear not - there will be more opportunities in the future.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

cholula goes gold.

A couple (ok, several...) months ago, I was commissioned by 3 ladies to make 3 lovely (18k gold) rings.

As much as I've been trying to slowly bow out of lost wax casting, I know I can't. There are just things you can do with wax that you can't with fabrication and I'm hooked.

So is everyone else.

These are the first 2, finished and polished and ready to go. I am mighty proud of them and hope that there is a market to make more.

The second I have a mold of and it can be made in silver as well. I have 2 to finish for the shop, actually...

The halter tags are a big hit at the barn...they will be in the shop as a made to order item!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This has been in the back of my mind for ages.
I'm not really sure what took me so long, but here is the first of (hopefully) many more to come:

These will be available for customized stamping as well. I'm gonna have one that says

Z & Cho

cos those are my ponies.

I am also making (and have made a bunch, now) copper with silver horseshoe halter tags. Yes, PONY JEWELRY. Zeus has the first and a bunch of other horses in the barn are soon to follow!


We also have a little Southwest number. Is every silversmith introduced into this world via turquoise and sterling?

It reminds me of the fancy conchos that adorn gaudy Western pleasure saddles. Except not so fancy. Or gaudy. It was just going to be plain silver but I couldn't resist throwing in the turquoise. Just couldn't do it.
(Actually, if we're going to be honest, thise was supposed to be part of a desert necklace that's been on my bench for a bit. I made it slightly too large, it ended up scrap. !)

And then we have some earrings. I've been meaning to teach myself how to wire wrap for awhile. I bought a bunch of vintage beads over a year ago with the intention of making a bunch of simple earrings...but they weren't cutting it for me. After spending a weekend in wire wrap central (aka open house) I decided I needed to do this asap. So here they be with squared ear wires which are quickly becoming my favorite -- I've tried out so many different things in the ear wire department and these have come the closest to sticking around for sure!

mit vintage beads --

und rose quartz --

(yeah. That's JUST what I need...a bead addiction on top of the cab addiction. Sigh.)

I won't get to photographing until this weekend, but they should be listed in the near future!
And don't forget to enter le give away!!

Monday, November 9, 2009


There are a few things to celebrate in order:

1. I reached 50 etsy sales! Sometimes I think about how slow this little business goes, but then I remind myself that I've been at this less than a year. 50 sales is a big deal.

2. My birthday! (I think birthdays should be special and celebrated and the best days ever).

In celebration, I present you with the Thursday Earrings, made of sterling and turquoise:

They are a little rough around the edges, a little worn, just the way I like my jewelry.


1. Comment here to enter!

Yes, that's it.

Here are some chances for extra entries:
2. Facebook about this post and contest!
3. Blog about this post and contest!
4. Give me a music suggestion. This could be a song or a band or a person - anything that you've been listening to and think more people should hear!
5. Visit my etsy shop and let me know what your favorite piece is - past or present.

And remember to let me know in the comments if you've done any extras, else I will not know!

Give away ends on Monday, November 16th. I will draw a winner on the 17th.

Please, DON'T BE SHY! Even if you've never commented before, I encourage anyone and everyone to enter :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

busy busy

I seem to be joining the ranks of the blog ignorers lately.

I promise it's been for a good cause. The past weekend was my BIRTHDAY WEEKEND (oh yes, it requires at least 4 days of merriment) and Rex flew up to spend it with me.

-went to a pumpkin patch in the freezing cold, wind, and rain only to find a whole lot of rotted pumpkins.
-carved pumpkins later purchased at the grocery store all hours of the night.
-saw where the wild things are.
-slept in! a lot!
-picked out not one but 2 mini birthday cakes because I am quite indecisive when it comes to everything.

Among other things.

I am officially now a quarter of a century old.

And the day after my birthday I came down with an awful cold that has left me useless to the world. I was feeling slightly better earlier today, but it seems to have gotten worse again. The congestion just might

kill me.

I have a trunk show tomorrow, though, so here's to hoping I get better and FAST!

On the jewelry front I've been making some halter tags for ponies, horseshoe necklaces and a smattering of various other pieces that I think these ladies will enjoy.

I have 5 customers patiently waiting for their custom orders to be finished.

I have no pictures of anything because I've been getting home after dark. Insert sad face here.

I do, however, have a picture that I just finished editing yesterday of my friend Angie and her fiance, Nate::::

Aren't they precious? We had fun taking their photos. Or I had fun. I guess I can't speak for them.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tidal Wave is now listed...

Size 9!

Mookaite is one of my favorite stones ever. As with any of my favorite stones though, I'm mighty picky about patterns. It took me forever to buy my first piece of ocean jasper because I was very specific about what I wanted in the pattern.

This ring also has me on the hunt for a gigantic cocktail ring of my own. I might buy one, I might make one...depends on whether or not I find THE stone. They are just fun to wear. When I test drove this one I found myself trying to subtly show my hand to everyone.


I made my first piece of jewelry for horses the other day. Zeus needed a new halter tag so I decided to make it! I used copper as the back plate and made a sterling horse shoe for the back, stamped his name on the front. There has been a fair amount of interest in them since, so I ordered a handful of pre-cut copper discs and some split rings to make it easy to put them on the halters/bridles/etc.

I don't have any pictures yet, but I'll get some soon!

Question for anyone at all who can answer:
I wanted to buy brass and nickel silver for these tags, since many of the halters at my barn spend a good bit of time outside in the rain/snow I don't think sterling is really the best choice of metal. Can I pickle brass and nickel silver? I think I remember pickling nickel silver back in the day, and I assume you can do both of these, but I don't want to ruin my pickle :P If it helps, I use the chemical pickle from Rio. I think I'll switch to the vinegar one eventually, but I have a whole bag of this stuff so I may as well use this up.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I made the front page today!
I only know this because people convo'd me about it!


Also, I made a sale today! AFTER my giganto successful open house weekend.


Now to gear up for a trunk show on the 7th!!!111

Exclamation point!

ETA: Oh my goodness, I'm also featured on a blog today!

Ms. Modern

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Stuff!

These are pieces I started on Sunday and finished last night. Only one pair of earrings had to go back to the soldering board (sometimes the 3mm bezels like to trick me) but other than that I was a machine!

I'm very happy with all of these - and remember, whatever doesn't sell will be in the shop :) (I could likely be persuaded to make another of whatever DOES sell, too!)

Berry Earrings - Carnelian & Sterling
Drop earrings with blue topaz -

Elphaba Earrings - Amethyst & sterling (I've been planning to make these for over 6 months...)

Over the Moon Necklace - turquoise & sterling (I love this and I want to keep it with my rustic poppy necklace to layer together ommgggg)

(I've been drawing those suckers on everything...those and funny shaped circles. Everything.)

Drop earrings with serpentine beads -

(I actually made a pair of these several months ago and decided to keep them. This pair sold quickly!)

Copper & sterling I don't have a name for these yet earrings -

Turquoise and Sterling I don't know what to call these yet earrings -