Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pssst - The Cardinal Necklace Is Here!

I couldn't wait until tomorrow to post this! He turned out so well I had to share it today. Isn't he beautiful? Female's are pretty too, but they don't make for very interesting jewelry. This guy with all his red glory just takes the cake! Oh, oh, I just dated myself with that expression...

You can find all the details on this necklace here: Male Cardinal Necklace
I hope you take a minute to stop by and check it out.

A Peek At the Hummingbird

So many have asked about the Ruby Throated Hummingbird that I decided to give you a tease. This is a photo of the one that is sold. The next one is in line on my "To do" list. His cousin the Lucifer Hummer is pretty, but I am partial to this guy. He's what folks in my neck of the woods think of when you say Hummingbird.

I have one of Dragon's Cardinals on the bead board now. It should be done later today. I say should because I never know what I am going to find to distract myself with. Yesterday it was straightening out the garage so we can park the car inside. Frosty nights are just a blink away.

I found Rose Gold earring findings when I was out shopping this week. The last time I saw that color of Gold was on our trip home from California back in the 80's. I believe they called it "Black Hills Gold". I'm sure it has been around, but I've not seen it in jewelry items. With the craft being so popular at the moment, I'm sure manufacturers are scrambling to come up with new ideas. I will combine it with bright gold and some sparkling
Swarovski Crystals. Again... on my "to do" list. Maybe I should get off the computer and start "to doing".

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bead Sculpture Lucifer Hummingbird Necklace

I promised you pictures when the second Hummingbird was finished, so here it is. I based this little bird on the Lucifer Hummingbird. I have never seen one in our neck of the woods. Seems they like the dry heat of Texas better. I just love the colors on this little guy. He was fun to make. I did take some poetic license in creating his feather patterns, but I am quite pleased with how he turned out. Two full days of beading went into making him! I have a hard time when trying to change colors from the basic pattern. The next one I make will probably be the green and ruby one I see around here all the time. Not now of course. They've long ago headed South.

Yesterday I purchased a Cardinal pattern from Dragon. The red beads I have are bigger so it will come out larger than the Hummer, but Cardinals are bigger birds. I can't wait to dig into my stash and get going on this one! I am going to have to wait though. Today is market day at Cross Roads and I have several Halloween earrings I have to get finished. It will be a while before a Cardinal appears.

Well folks, I'm off to the market. Hope you all have a great day. Take a closer look at my little bird here:

Lucifer Hummingbird Necklace

Friday, September 25, 2009

Etsy Treasury - The Big Apples

I decided to have some more fun setting up a Treasury for Etsy. Normally I try to stick to jewelry so I can sneak one of my own creations in. I know they frown upon that, but sometimes it feels like that's the only way I'll ever make it into one.

Today's Treasury should help keep the doctor away if the old saying has any truth. Look at all those yummy apples. Some are edible, some are not, some look like they should be! It was amazing to find such wonderful things by a simple search of the word "apple".

Hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I did making it.

The Big Apples

I had planned on showing you my latest creation today. I made a beautiful bead sculpted Hummingbird over the past few days. I listed it yesterday thinking I could show you today. It wasn't on Etsy for 30 minutes and it was sold! I am working on a different colored bird right now. I should be able to get pictures of it on in a few days.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Leaves Are Falling

Time for Autumn leaves here in Western New York. Soon the hay wagons will be out pulling laughing children and snuggling lovers though the rolling hills covered with reds, yellows and oranges. The leaves that have changed so far are bright colors. Deep, deep reds and pumpkin bright oranges crown may of our trees here on the farm.

Deep in my bead stash I found these lovely leaf beads that I had tucked away. At the time I got them I though I'd never use them. I didn't even like them. Amazing what a few months and changing seasons can do for one's outlook.

I have only pictured a couple of the colors. There are quite a few more on my Etsy site. Have a look.

Autumn Earrings

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gold Filled vs. Gold Plated

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Gold plated jewelry and Gold filled? I've had several people ask me lately who thought they were the same thing. I figured if they are asking, some of you might have questions about it too.

Gold plated jewelry is the low end of Gold use. It will cost you the least, but it will also last a shorter length of time. It is perfectly fine for things you don't wear often but eventually the Gold will wear off. It is made by dipping the pieces into a special bath that contains a small amount of Gold. A current is run through the bath that makes the Gold adhere to the base metal. The base metal can be just about anything so if you have allergies, it's not a good idea to go with plated items.

Gold filled jewelry is a mid priced use of Gold. It costs more than plated and less than say, 18K or 24K pieces. MUCH less! I use it for my better pieces simply because it keeps them affordable. A single pair of comparable ear wires in 14K Gold will cost over $50, so obviously, I don't have those in my "stash"! Gold filled items are made by rolling a sheet of Gold around a center core of base metal. The weight of the Gold must be at least 1/20 of the total weight. This results in a thicker amount of Gold on a piece. It is worth more and will last much longer than plated. I have never had a filled piece wear through to the core metal yet.

Personally, I use a lot of plated findings, especially where the piece will not be in contact with the skin. It just keeps the cost down for both of us. There is always the option to upgrade to 14K Gold filled ear wires. I do use filled wires on many of my better earrings.

Hope this clears up the mystery for you if you were confused about it.

I'm off to create, or mow the lawn, or ugh - clean house!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Can Not Believe It!

I am absolutely amazed at the lack of interest in a 50% Off offer I have been posting on Twitter. For several days I posted that I would send a 50% discount coupon code to the first 5 people who asked. All they have to do is contact me and ask for it! Not one single response thus far. It makes me feel like I must be selling junk. I guess they figure it is a scam or too good to be true. Well folks, it IS true and their loss is your gain. I am opening up the offer to my blog followers. It is for my Artfire site because Etsy has yet to get with the program and make it so you can easily offer discounts. I will take it one step further for you. If there is something you have on your wish list that is on Etsy and not on Artfire, I will list it for you and the offer still stands. I will need your e-mail address to send the code to. You go to Artfire, do your shopping and plug in the code at checkout. That's all there is to it.

So - anyone here interested? All 5 coupons are still available.

Wealth of Information

Good day all. I thought I would share this Etsy Forum with you. It is one of the best threads I've seen for sellers. If you are on Etsy to sell take a few minutes to read through it. It might take more than a few minutes because it has grown quite a bit, but it is worth it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Snagged a New Treasury On Etsy

I've been trying for days to get a spot in an Etsy Treasury. I'd never had a problem with it until recently. Well, that is once I figured out how to do it in the first place! For some reason my Google Chrome just started refusing to enter a title. If anyone has any hints as to why, please let me know. I switched to Foxfire and it went right in.

This treasury is all about fun. I was trying to think of something "autumnish" that wouldn't already have been done to death. I came up with nuts. It is very hard to be serious when your theme is that so I had some fun with it. Hope you like it.

Here is a direct link to this treasury, but once you're there explore the others. Some of them are simply beautiful!

Awe Nuts

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cleaning Your Jewelry On the Cheap

Those of you who know me at all know I'm always broke. There's never an extra nickel to be found around here most days. Imagine my delight when I found I could make my own jewelry cleaner instead of doling out big bucks for it at the department store. Even chain stores are on the expensive side when you have tons of jewelry to clean! Here is how I now keep those little gems you ogle over on
Etsy sparkling.

First mix 2 cups of water with 1 tsp of household ammonia and 1 tsp of your favorite dish detergent. That's it. I found all the ingredients right under my kitchen sink! You can adjust the strength if you would like, but don't add too much ammonia. For one thing, it stinks! It will also damage your items if you get it too strong. Some recipes call for only 1/2 tsp. I find a full tsp works better. It is entirely up to you. Because I use so much jewelry cleaner I purchased a cheap bottle of dish detergent instead of using the good stuff. It all works just as well on the jewelry.

I put the mix in a pint jar with a lid and drop the jewelry in to soak for about 5 minutes. Sometimes it takes a bit longer. Using a SOFT toothbrush I scrub each piece to be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Then I rinse and dry. It's as easy as that.

This works on just about any jewelry. Don't use it on silver lined beads though. It eats the silver right out of the bead and you will end up with a mess. Ask me how I know... Also, don't use it on pearls, imitation pearls, opals or any of the softer stones. I've done it successfully before I knew I shouldn't do it. You can easily damage the softer stones. I wouldn't try it on cheaper dyes stones either. You will risk the chance of bleaching out the color.

I've used it on Sterling Silver and it will clean it as long as it isn't too tarnished to begin with. Copper comes out shining like new. Gold loves a bath in it too.

If you are making jewelry and want to shine it up and harden the metals at the same time, you can put the mixture into your tumbler instead of water. It works wonderfully as long as you remember what stones can and can not be put into the ammonia.

Wishing you happy cleaning and sparkling jewels!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Visit Forbesfarm's Studio
SAVE 25.00 % On
All Items
Use Coupon Code:
during checkout.

Hello to all of my followers.

The holidays are coming. Now is the time to start thinking about those on your gift list. To make it a little easier on your pocketbook I am having a sale on Artfire. They make it so easy to do. Just plug the coupon code in at checkout and you will receive your discount.

I am off to the dentist this morning. When I get home I will be putting more items on Artfire. Sure hope I don't have any more cavaties!

Friday, September 11, 2009

343 to go!

If you are not on Twitter this post will mean zilch to you. Just skip over it.

I have a give away running that is decided on the number of people who repeat my tweets. The Etsian who gave me the idea of a Twitter give away got over 400 re-tweets in 24 hours! I must be doing something wrong. I've had 34. Boo hiss.... The theory is that the RT's will generate more from their followers and more from their followers.... etc. I can't say it is working too well for me.

At any rate, if you want to enter, follow me on Twitter here Forbes Farm and retweet my contest tweets.

I'm off to create

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Win These Earrings

I am trying something new for the give away this time. Follow me on twitter and RT the message "Win these earrings. 377th RT wins". Please limit your RT's to one per hour. Any more than that will automatically disqualify you. It's simple. Be the 377th person to re-tweet my original tweet and you win!

Forbes Farm on Twitter

Buffalo - The Big City

Wednesday we went to the "Big City" as we call it. Buffalo, NY, with it's ever changing weather and skyline. Construction cranes are once again swinging from high towers downtown.

Now, I had no intention of going downtown. We were only headed for Blaisdell and Cheektowaga, both subburbs with craft stores I love. We hit Michael's, JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby. I managed to spend every cent I took with no problem. The problem came when I assumed DH had gotten on the NY Thruway enough times there to know which entrance ramp to use. DUMB MOVE!!! I know better, but I was thinking about what I was going to make with the beads I bought and before I knew it, he was headed East instead of West. I waited for quite a while to see if he even realized he was going the wrong way. I figured we'd just take the loops around the city and be headed in the right direction without getting off onto side streets with him all hot and bothered, if you know what I mean. So, just before the I190 around the city I asked him just where he was going. It wasn't until then that he figured it out. We added a few miles and minutes to our trip, but it was a nice day for a drive along the Niagara River , down through the city, over the skyway and along Lake Erie.

I've been making soap for a friend's shop, so the jewelry making came to a hault for the past few days. Today DH is back at work so I'm hoping to accomplish a lot, including some new earrings. I'd better get off this computer and get at it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

If you LOVE red wine - or just Burgundy

I had a lot of fun picking the items for this Treasury. Unfortunately, I had to reject a lot of great items because their pictures weren't up to Etsy standards. There's no way you are going to make it to the front page if you have a blurry, uninteresting picture featured in your list. I hope you like the variety I found this time. My absolute favorite is the Pomegranate! Oh, if I were rich as I'd like to be!!!

Here is the link if you'd like to get a closer look at the items. Every new click means it's that much closer to getting the attention of those front page editors, so please click away!

Burgundy Treasury

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I Have Found My Inspiration

Welcome Dance

Inter-Tribal Dance

Couple getting ready for the dacing - I love the man's design. The "jingle dress" is made from the tops and bottoms of snuff cans!

Fancy Dance Regalia

We are back from our day at the wild animal refuge. I have some pics of the animals themselves, but they are mostly through cage wire. The Indians, on the other hand, were beautiful to photograph as they danced freely.

Who would not be inspired by this beautiful regalia? The last three shots are of a woman's "Fancy Regalia" which included the beautiful fringed shawl. Oh, I forsee a choker in aqua and purple in the near future!

Oh - and then there was this little dancer who was just too cute to leave out!

We have a winner!

Must be a busy time of year because there weren't very many entries for my Candy Corn Earrings give away. Just 3 here on the blog and 4 from Twitter. The chances of winning were quite good. The winner is mraeknitter who entered on Twitter. I will be contacting her shortly.

Today I'm off to "visit the relatives" as my DH says. We are going to an Indian festival held to benifit a wild life preserve near Warren, PA. We missed the Pow Wow again this year, so I'm hoping for some inspiration today. I'll take the camera dispite the fact that taking it out of the house makes me very nervous. I paid a small fortune for it and it's my bread and butter so to speak. Without it I can't list my pretties on Etsy! I have to get some pictures to bring home to inspire me mid-Winter when I need a little push to get creating.

Have a good day.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Brand New Sparkling Design

The new Bead & Button magazine came not too long ago. It has a very lovely necklace featured on the cover. It was the inspiration for this new style of earrings. Sparkling beads woven over a pearl were the focal point of the necklace. I took the idea, made some basic changes to fit it to a smaller glass pearl and came up with these glittering earrings.

Find them on Etsy at
: Beaded Bead Sparkling Earrings

Don't forget to enter our Candy Corn earrings give away contest. There are just two more days to get your entries in. I will be picking the winner on Sunday.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Fun New Treasury - POP Culture

I was in a silly mood when I went looking for items for a new Treasury on Etsy. There are so many things to choose from there. You can find anything from elegant to down right disgusting. Today's choices fall somewhere in between those two extremes.

Who doesn't love bubbles? They can be beautiful, fleeting things, but they can also be fun! I can still hear the giggles from my kids when I made bubbles in the kitchen and let them chase them and slide in the soapy remains after they popped. I can also remember trying to get bubble gum out of long blonde hair! Fun days. Hope this Treasury brings back some happy memories for you too.

POP Culture

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tall Oaks - One of my favorite places

Today I am going to share one of my favorite places on this earth with you. It is called Tall Oaks and it is in Sheffield, PA. Tall Oaks is a magical place to shop in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest.

I worked there for several years, and I'd be working there now if I didn't live so far away. Anyone who has ever worked in a gift shop knows it's not just fun and games. There are endless hours of back breaking work that go into making your shopping experience enjoyable. I didn't mind it at all. I just loved being in the forest, working along side the Chipmunks, deer, bear, and whatever else wandered along the paths.

Tall Oaks was created back in the 80's by my friends Carl Schwing and Tom Beletic. It was a small cabin when they started. Gradually, through Tom's building efforts, it grew and grew. They put their heart and soul into making it a place that their customers would absolutely love, and they do. Carl has gone on ahead of us to Heaven now, but Tom continues to see that everything is perfect when you visit.

You can walk through the woods on well maintained paths from one shop to another. I see on their web page that they have consolidated into one store for the duration of the recession, but I am sure you can still roam the paths. Every Fall, in September and October the paths are lined with craftsmen's tents on the week ends. There are food vendors and sometimes there is live music going on in the bandstand. It is definitely worth a day trip if you live in the area.

Here is a link to their web page. If you can't visit in person, you can at least take a peek. Yes, I did swipe the pictures from their site. I'm sure they won't mind.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Happy Orange Orange Treasury!

I finally got another Treasury on Etsy. Between my procrastination and my bungling, I never seemed to get there at the right time. This morning it all fell together in the right order and I snagged one. Please have a look and click on all of the items to help bump us up in the ratings. I think I picked some wonderful items for the upcoming season.