Friday, May 28, 2010

Gone Batty

It's official. I've gone "batty". For 4 years the same woman, known only to me as "The Bat Lady" has been asking me to make her a bat necklace. She didn't want a Halloween bat. There are multiple patterns available for that of course. She wanted something similar to a Fruit Bat. A WHAAATTT???

It took me this long to muster up the courage to try it. After making enough 3D birds that the idea of how they come together stuck in my head I struck out on my own without a pattern. It was two solid days of trial and error, but I think I have something close enough to a a bat to at least call it that.

Sorry folks,this one is taken and I highly doubt there will be a second one made. It really wasn't much fun to make. I did it. I proved I could. That's going to have to suffice. Now, IF "The Bat Lady" doesn't want it for some reason I will list it on Etsy or Art Fire. She should be coming around the shop again soon on her yearly trip through. I sure hope she still wants it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Something New For Your Pretty Feet

Why stop at your wrists when you choose your jewelry accessories?  Carry the bling on down to your feet with this perfect boot bracelet.

I have seen similar items online but none that were chainmaille.  I like the idea of putting a Jens Pind woven chain with a wire strung center piece.  It gives the anklet both class and stability.  There is still a slight chance it will come apart but it is much less likely to do so than a plain chain link connection. 

In this piece I used natural Turquoise beads as the focal point.  Bali like metal beads and reclaimed black beads complete the centerpiece.  The chain is constructed using 16 gauge aluminum jump rings.  Because the center is heavier than the chain, the pretty part of the anklet should stay where you want it. 

A huge thank you shout out to my friends, Lorna and Victoria, who went on a boot hunt for me.  At the time of year when most of the stores are featuring sandals  and flip flops,  I needed boots as a model for my pictures and a prop for my store.   They knew exactly where to look and found a pair on the first attempt.  I'm not exactly what you call fashion conscious.  The only boots I have are my 6 year old Winter slosh in the snow boots and my hunting boots that I use to get about in the muck on the farm.  I owe them both big time for coming to my rescue on this one!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sapphire Blue Earrings - Real Beauties!

 If Sapphire were the only blue there was, I would be quite content.   Blue is not my favorite color because it is so hard to match the many different hues it comes in but, I absolutely love the color of these earrings.  I searched and searched for beads this color.  They just were not to be found.  Once I discovered I could dye the acrylic beads to suit my fancy I immediately found my blue inks and got busy.  

You read it right, I can dye the beads.  If you have a particular color in mind I can make a pretty good match.  I'm not like the paint stores with their computerized color match, but I can get close.  There's a lucky bridesmaid out there somewhere wearing a pair of green earrings I created for the bride to give her.  Come on Ladies, give me an excuse to get out my dyes again.  It's fun!

Click on the pictures for more information.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New - Beaded Parrot and Chainmail Necklace

A couple of days ago I was over perusing Dragon's web page again. ( ) I can't seem to get away from her site without buying something.  This colorful Parrot caught my eye, so of course I just HAD to have it.  As usual, I did take a bit of poetic license with the colors.  I don't know about you, but I have to work with what I have on hand most of the time.  Instead of a beaded necklace like those I used on my other birds, I decided to try a chainmaille link necklace for this pretty bird.  The green and gold of the Parrot are carried up into the chain for a completed, matched look.

Just click on the pictures if you would like more information.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

My little adopted Mom is long gone from this earth.  She was a special lady with many hidden sides.  I wish I could say she encouraged my artistic side, but that would be one huge fib.  She did everything she could to discourage it.  She did, however, push and prod and threaten me into learning the academics.  Mom was an expert at using guilt to get what she wanted out of me.  Even though learning wasn't easy, I managed to pull it off and earn a BS degree in nursing.  It was an accomplishment that had I been left in my birth home, might not have been reached.  I am proud that I was able to squeak by and get that degree even though I didn't enjoy working as a nurse very much.  I think all the years of making myself reach farther than I thought I could   were influential in many ways in my work today. 

I have my Mom to thank for making me reach that far.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Free Form Peyote Bracelet in Peacock Colors

I just love the colors of Peacocks so I really enjoy using them in my jewelry.  The wonderful iris green seed beads that form the base of this bracelet seem to shimmer and change colors as you move.  I added accents of other colors found in the magnificent bird's feathers by using golds, purples and greens.  The free flowing pattern assures that this is truly a one of a kind piece.   

Click on the photos for more information.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chainmaille Progress

Copper Jens Pind Necklace
Click photo for more information

Copper Jens Pind Bracelet
Click photo for more info

I broke down and ordered some professionally cut links to make more chainmaille items.  It is definitely worth the extra cost.  It give a nice, clean edge finish.  Most of the cuts almost disappear when closed.  

The pictures above are of a necklace and bracelet done in the Jens Pind weave.  I've tried to find out exactly where the name came from, but no one seems to know for sure.  It makes a very nice chain when done correctly.  It has a continuous flow to it that is easy to wear.  

I made the design up in both copper and brass.  Yes, they will tarnish, but so does silver.  My hubby can't wear any metal with out tarnishing it but I found a quick (seconds) dip in Tarn-X brings the shine right back. 

I won't be doing anything else new in chainmail this week.  I forgot my tools at the market!  It's too far away just to run get them, so there they stay.  That's okay.  I have a million other projects that I could be doing instead.  Now let me see.....

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Back From the Market

Don manning the register

Jewelery Cases

Plush and A Peek at the Cookie Cutters

A Peek Down the Isle

We survived opening day at the market.  It's a lot like Christmas.  You spend weeks rushing around getting everything ready.  The day comes and you are wrapped up in the activities.  All of a sudden, it's over and you wonder where it went.  I have to admit I am glad the rush of getting things set up is over.  Now it is the week to week little stuff that keeps the market going.

I took a few pictures before the market opened yesterday.  Everything was sparkling and shining, ready for business.  The first three pictures are my booth.  The guy with the silly grin is my husband.  I thought I was getting a candid shot, but obviously, he knew the camera was there.  The last picture is down the opposite aisle in our building.  Everything is packed full of fun stuff.  

If you live within a day trip's distance of Westfield, NY, come on over to see us sometime.  It is a fun destination.  If you tell me you read about us on the blog I will see if I can get Don to smile for you.  I might even throw a surprise in your bag.

I'm off to recuperate!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Off to the Market - A New Year

I appologize for the picture quality.  It's a Google Earth shot.  Kind of cool though, this newfangled stuff.

It is that time of year again.  After what seemed like an eternal Winter the last few weeks have been a whirl wind of activity around here.  Well, at least a breeze.  Neither DH nor I "whirl" any more.  Just too darn old for whirling.  We did manage to muster up enough energy to help clean, paint and decorate our building at the market.  It's the one hiding behind the pole in the picture.  Doesn't look like much here, but those three buildings you see have enough space for 40 vendors.  On marked days the parking lot is full and there is a bustle of activity. Check us out on the Cross Roads web page.

So, this morning I face a new retail season, perhaps not as excited as I was when we first opened here 4 years ago, but still hopeful.  The economy seems a tad bit better.  When the Summer season gets into full swing maybe the Chautauqua folks will wander on up our way.  Maybe THIS year will see a profit.  A girl can dream, right?

We more than doubled our cookie cutter section over the Winter.  When we opened at Cross Roads we had never given any thought to selling cookie cutters.  A retiring vendor offered us their stock dirt cheap so we took what they had left.  To our surprise, they sold so well we found ourselves reordering within a few weeks.  It snowballed from one small rack to over 250 designs!  Some days I swear if it were not for the cutters we would not have a sale.

I added chainmaille jewelry to my repertoire over the long Winter months.  It's a far cry from my usual frilly things, but hopefully it will attract a few new customers.  I'll show you a few pieces I took "up the hill" for the market, then I have to get going.  Click on the pictures if you would like more information.

Rainbow Bracelet in Aluminum

Black & Pink Aluminum Necklace with Swarovski Drop
(Not listed online)

20" Brass Necklace

Copper Jens Pind Bracelet

Bye.... Wish me luck!!!