Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Here's what Kevin and I did after school on Thursday!

I took the guts out and Kevin did most of the punching and carving. I just went back and cleaned up the lines a little bit (and pitched in when his hand got tired).

He did a really great job!

Here's our finished Jack-O-Lantern!!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Adventures In Gold

OK, so I took the plunge. I bought some wire. Some 18k and 14k gold wire! Since I'd always wanted to have a pair for myself (and since sterling silver doesn't agree with the piercings in my ears), I decided to first make a pair of 18k gold hoops. I figure if they never sell, I'll just keep them!

At first I was almost afraid to work the wire and instead just admired its rich, buttery yellow color for a few days. But since I'd recently made quite a few pairs of sterling and goldfill hoops, I felt pretty comfortable making these hoops. I was still a bit nervous though, but I did it! I completed my first pair of totally hand forged and hammered solid 18k gold earrings! You gotta start somewhere and I was very happy with the outcome!

Working with this wire was a bit more difficult than I thought it would be. It was a bit stiffer than either sterling or goldfill which is all I'd ever worked with as far as wire goes. I'd set some gemstones into 14k and 18k gold settings with pre-notched prongs, but had never used wire before. I used to make jewelry from prefab settings years ago but have since turned to wire wrapped jewelry instead of the pre-notched prongs. I would still like to do more of that and might again if I ever get my own website (hint, hint to the IT man of the house). I'm proud that I finally took the plunge though and turned out a great pair of earrings that can be worn with anything, are very lightweight and easy wearing yet quite sturdy too. And they're oh, so shiny!

I must add that a lovely customer of mine from across the pond inspired and influenced me to try high karat gold instead of only sterling and goldfill. I'd always wanted to venture into it, but after discussing it with her I decided to give it a shot. Thank you to my customer for inspiring me to try it. (You know who you are!)

Not only did I make the 18k hoops, but I also made a pair of 14k gold Twirly Slide earrings!

They turned out just like my other 'twirlies' in sterling and goldfill!

If you are interested in purchasing either pair of these, they are available to the left hand side of my blog in my "Itty Bitty Store", but are also available in my Etsy shop. However, if you purchase them here from my "Itty Bitty Store", you get them for $5.00 less than my Etsy price. I do plan to add more things to my "Itty Bitty Store" so you will have more to choose from. Perhaps I will add some items that are only available here and not in my Etsy shop. We'll see.

That's it for now. I hope everyone has had a good week and has a fun Halloween on Friday! We have a Power Ranger that will be going trick-or-treating this year!

Until next time.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who Woulda Thunk It?

When both Stephanie Gibson and Brenda of Phydeaux emailed me today about my coin pearls being on the front page, of course I thought they were referring to the other day's treasury. So when I went to see who was on the front page, I wasn't really expecting to see them there again today!!! That makes three times in less than a week! That never ever happens to me! I was just floored!

I again thank reconstructionist for picking me as an alternate on her list. It was fun being up there for even the few minutes I appeared. And it was even more fun being up there with my good friend Brenda! Woohoo!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another Front Page!

Even though I missed it, apparently this beautiful treasury made it to the front page on Sunday afternoon! It was curated by JulieGarland, an Etsy seller and designer of beautiful jewelry herself. She put together an awesome Mahogany list that I'm extremely proud and privileged to have been included in. Thank you so much Julie!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Feature on "Mustard and Sage" Blog

I discovered tonight that I was featured on a beautiful blog called Mustard and Sage. It's even based right here in North Carolina--Durham to be exact (GO DUKE!!). The owner, Meghan, has a feature called "Friday Finds" of which I was this past Friday! How cool is that?!! I was very honored and thrilled to find this. Thank you so much Meghan! I really appreciate your choosing me to feature. It certainly made my week!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Etsy Front Page and Another Crazy Hair Day!!

Wow! I was on the front page of Etsy today (well, not me but my earrings)! I totally wasn't expecting it but was very happy nonetheless! The creator of the list turned out to be one of the 'Etsy gods' (as Cindy of Starry Designs likes to call them). heymichelle (aka reconstructionist) is an Etsy admin as well as an Etsy seller herself. I wasn't quite sure who to thank as there was no curator listed on the front page. I found out later via Flickr that she had curated the list.

During the few minutes my earrings were on the front page they acquired an additional 85 views and my shop received 35 new hearts!! So today was a really unexpectedly good day! Thank you very much Michelle!


And on the home front, this week is "Spirit Week" at Kevin's school. Many of you will recall "Crazy Hair Day" from the last school year. Well, we did it again this past Tuesday. Kevin wanted to do the same thing to his hair this year as we did the last so I happily obliged.

He had so much fun and wore his crazy hair proudly!!
(And this time he didn't end up with chickenpox!!!
He actually hasn't missed a day of school yet this year due to illness! Yay!!
Now watch me jinx him...)


And lastly, here are just a few new things which have yet to be listed in my shop. I'll get them in there eventually, I promise!

On the top row from left to right are: 1) fuschia/maroon freshwater potato pearl and goldfill earrings with vintage brass filigree that I recycled from a pair of earrings I've had since high school (1979 or thereabouts); 2) labradorite bicone linear earrings in sterling; 3) rhodolite garnet marquise briolettes in oxidized sterling. On the bottom row are: 1) lustrous light pink freshwater rice/oval pearls in sterling; 2) goldfill hammered hoops with pink amethyst faceted rectangles; 3) hammered hoops by themselves which I have decided to carry in my shop. They will also be available in shiny sterling as well as oxidized sterling (and possibly even solid 18k and 14k gold). All hoops are lightly hammered.

Christmas is coming and my shop is so very bare. The way my eyes have been behaving lately I don't know how full my shop will be approaching the season, but I'll do my best to have something for everyone. If anyone has suggestions regarding what they might like to see, please do let me know and I will try to accommodate.

That's it for now. I hope everyone is having a good fall or spring (depending on where you are of course)!

Until next time....

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pina Coladas and Other Stuff

I'm back! And yep, I've been a really bad girl. It's been almost two months since I've written anything here and I'm sure you've all given up on me by now. I've just been laying low, doing things around the house as well as making some jewelry. But I decided I could no longer sit and look at the computer for as long as I used to and it's been much better for my eyes. I was starting to get headaches and neck cramps from sitting here. It's actually been a nice change not to be at the computer for so long at a time. And my eyes just aren't what they used to be so I've been giving them a break. Well, I thought it was about time I let you all know I'm still alive and tell you what's been going on.

When I last wrote, Kevin and I were leaving the mountains and coming home to Charlotte, then going to Myrtle Beach for a week on vacation. Even though Myrtle Beach is a bit more touristy than I like, we did have a great time. (I'm not a real big fan of sand though either). Kevin had so much fun boogie-boarding in the surf. He swam in every pool possible, walked on the beach, played at the waterpark and went to the aquarium. But I think he had the most fun on his boogie board.

There was lots of yummy seafood and some really good sweet tea, but I must say my favorite part of the entire trip was Drunken Jack's 'Ultimate Pina Colada'. Drunken Jack's is a restaurant down in Murrell's Inlet where we went to eat one night. Their Pina Coladas are like milkshakes! They are sooooo good! The best I've ever had. The restaurant sits right on the inlet too and has a beautiful view. There's also a great legend attached to this place that you have to read about. I highly recommend Drunken Jack's. The food was great too but I'll never forget those Pina Coladas! Overall we had a really fun time on our trip.

Kevin has now been in first grade for a little over a month and he absolutely LOVES it! He's having a great time and is making new friends. He likes his teacher a lot which is always good. He's also getting pretty big now (it never ceases to amaze me just how big he's gotten). He's one of the tallest in his class (so he tells me). He's already been in love and has written notes back and forth with a little girl in his class. Friday he told me she broke up with him. I asked him if he was upset. He said "no, not really." I said that breaking up didn't mean they couldn't still be friends. Friends are forever. (I got married under the teacher's desk in first grade and got divorced in gym class in second grade, and that little boy and I are still good friends to this day.)

Kevin is also now a Tiger Cub. He joined Cub Scouts last month and is having a great time. He went on his first camping trip overnight and thoroughly enjoyed it. He's learned the salute, the pledge, and all kinds of other things. They'll be going camping again in a couple of weeks and he's really looking forward to that. Oh, and he's so very proud of his uniform.

We took our canoe out on Mountain Island Lake one weekend a few weeks ago. It was Kevin's first time ever in a canoe. I hadn't been in years (and boy did I get sore), but I really want to go more often though, I enjoy it so much.

Our canoe has three rows of seats and Kevin sat in the middle on top of the built-in cooler. It was a beautiful day. The sky was such a bright blue. We took a little picnic lunch and ate it in the boat in shade of some trees at the edge of the lake. Kevin really enjoyed being on the lake and seeing all the motorboats, canoers and kayakers. He said that when he grew up he was going to go canoeing every Sunday. It was definitely fun.

As for me, I'm tired. Tired all the time. Even when I do get as much sleep as I can possibly get, I'm still tired. I keep telling myself it's just the seasons changing and it's like my body is preparing to hibernate or something, but I suppose I'll have to go get checked out. One of my dear Etsy friends told me it could be my thyroid which is easily be treated with a pill. I guess there's no excuse for me not to go to the doctor. It's just that they can never find my veins when they try to get blood and I end up bruised and sore for at least a week afterwards. I don't look forward to them blowing my vein each time (and in each arm). I'll have to drink a gallon of water just so they can find my vein. I hate that. But I'm tired of being tired.

I say that I've been doing things around the house, but truth be told I just can't figure out what needs to be done. My concentration is off and it's like I'm going around in circles. It's not a bipolar feeling, of not being able to concentrate, having my head go in ten different directions at once. And it's not really a depressive state either, although it's more of a depressive state than bipolar. But having experienced both to their fullest extent, this doesn't really fit into either category. This is just tired. Plain and simple tired. Sometimes I ache all over, especially my neck. Sometimes I have a headache. Sometimes my vision is sort of blurry but then I attribute that to getting old and looking at the computer too much. My IBS has been acting up a lot recently and I haven't really changed my diet and don't feel that stressed which always triggers it. Perhaps it's just all the turmoil over the economy and the daily stress from hearing about the frigging $700,000,000,000 'bailout' over and over again (that's a lot of zeros). Or maybe it really is that I'm just getting old. We'll see.

I have mustered up enough energy to make some new jewelry for my shop even though I'm still tired (and working on the pictures takes its toll). Anyway, here are some new things you can find in my shop.

Lots of earrings as you can see. The following two necklaces are not in my shop yet but will be soon. Both are hand knotted freshwater pearls with brass filigree pendants. They're a little different from what I normally make, but I loved the look of the pearls with the brass and just had to make them. Keep an eye out for them in my shop as well as other new pieces still to come!

Well, that's about it for now. I hope everyone is well and coping all right with the state of the economy these days. We've had a hard time finding gas around here lately due to hurricane Ike. I refused to wait in line for gas and luckily I didn't have to. I don't really drive that much when I'm here in Charlotte (it's a good thing too), but I finally had to get some gas one day last week. I crossed my fingers and found a station nearby that had some gas. I got in without having to wait in a line. As I pulled up to the pump, my fuel level alarm went off. I'd gone about as far as I could on fumes.

Take care all. Until next time.....