Tuesday, April 24, 2018

We Are Back - Pretty Pieces to Share

We are back and we are currently prepping for our first show of the year. The show is in Plainfield, Indiana called The Arts Gala. Mom and I have never done this show, so we are super excited to see how it enfolds. This is actually a three day show - and I am so glad mom is retired now and has more time to devote to the business.

Besides getting ready for the show - I have been enameling like a fool. I have enameled bowls, earrings, double sided pendants, necklaces and plates.

So - here is a look of what we have been up to since mom has retired (though she is disappointed in herself that she hasn't got more done, but she had an infected tooth and that played havoc with all of her plans for retirement).

These are our ThumBOWLina bowls. They are little bowls that you can use for decorations or place your rings in.
We have had a person use our bowls in a wedding. They put their wedding rings in the bowl, and then passed it around the guests asking them to put their well wishes on the rings.

These pieces are displayed in our shadow boxes.

Double Sided Pendants:
I enamel different designs on each side of the pendant - so you get one pendant with two different designs.

Some of the earrings have been assembled and the rest are being put together before the show.

Assembled necklaces:
The polymer clay pendant is from Swoondimples.
Enameled copper pendant, our lampwork glass beads
and stones.

Enameled copper pendant, our lampwork
glass beads and howlite beads.

Enameled copper pendant, our
lampwork glass beads, gunmetal
beads and a pewter clasp.
I hope you enjoyed what we have created in the last few months. Mom and I hope to also start participating in challenges again. We have asked to join the April Theme - Horses on Art Elements. We also want to start participating in the monthly challenge on Art Beads again. So, more pieces will be sure to follow.

I will share pictures of this weekends show next week.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Special Order, Pendants and Beads - Oh My!

Red-Tailed Hawk Pendants

Mom and I had a special order request from a wonderful customer on Etsy. She had a drawing of a red-tailed hawk she made and wanted to know if mom and I could make the drawing into a pendant for her. Mom and I said sure. We asked if we could make slight modifications to the drawing - got her approval - and went to town. Above is what we came up with. The customer loved the pendants and actually bought both of them. We made two pendants, in different sizes, so she could select which one she wanted. Plus I wasn't sure how the colors would turn out on the pendants, so really wanted an extra one for her to choose from.

She received the pendants last Friday and was very happy with both of them. That is the fretting part, once you send them off will the customer actually like the pendants in person. Mom and I are so glad she did. Makes our day to hear back from the customer that it was everything they wanted.

So, since I had to enamel those pieces I also enameled a couple of other pendants and they are listed in Etsy now.

Little red elephant
Turtle pendant - mom and I love making these pendants!

Ginkgo pendant

And another turtle pendant

A few weekends ago I also got back on the torch in almost a year. It was so nice to be working on making beads again. So, mom also got these cleaned up for me and I took some photos, but I have gotten them listed on Etsy yet. Though I think mom is ready to swipe a set of beads for herself.

I want to go through the photos again, I might be re-taking pictures. Not sure I am really happy with the way they turned out - but hey - I am picky.

Here are the beads I got made.

The set mom wants to swipe - told her I would make her a set.

So, that is what we have been up to. Need to get out and make more beads and get more pendants filed and sanded so I can enamel.

Have a great week - hopefully I will have more goodies to share later.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Playing with Macro Lens

This past Christmas mom bought me a macro lens for my phone. I really didn't have a chance to play with the lens for a couple of weeks (sick, yucky weather, etc.).

Last weekend I had my chance to finally play with the macro lens - it had rained - so there were droplets on the bushes outside the house and on the trees. So, got the lens out and told mom I would be outside playing.

Here are a few of the shots I took:

A droplet on one of the ornamental grasses in front of the house.

A droplet on a limb on the tree beside the extension

If you look closely you can see mom in the droplet - this droplet was
on one of the ornamental bushes - I took the pic as mom was looking
at the flowers next to the house.

A droplet on a limb on the tree next to the extension. A friend of mine thinks
it looks like a dragon's eye.
 I also took some pictures of the metal sculptures we have in the plot between the house and the extension. I LOVE rusty images!!!

Now I need to play with the macro lens when taking pictures of some of our jewelry pieces to see how the pictures look. I can't wait to do that.

I can't wait for spring either - I am looking forward to taking some close up images of the flowers with that macro lens. Just a few more weeks to go.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New Creations - Stamped Key Chains

Stamped Copper Key Chains
This past Christmas mom and I created key chains for the wonderful Zumba/Piloxing/HiiT instructors at Studio b and HiiT.

This is something new we are trying - and the ladies were nice enough to give us feedback on the pieces - and from the feedback we have made some modifications.

But - I wanted to share on how mom and I created the key chains.

Mom and I agreed on the size of the pendants - so printed off the pattern, cut them out and then glued the pattern to 20g copper. We then use a jewelers saw to saw out all the pendants.

All the pendants have been sawed out - and then I actually did something new - I used our flex shaft to file and sand the pieces. OMG - that went so much faster than doing them by hand. So, guess what, I am using the flex shaft from now on!!!!!!

Mom was then nice enough to write out all the phrases on the copper. She is so much better at that than me - she actually measures things out (me no measure at all!!!).

Here is the pendants ready to be stamped. This time I actually taped down the metal so it wouldn't move around on me while stamping. I still am not perfectly straight - but hey - it is handmade. You can sort of see the lines mom used to measure out the words on the copper.

It was a little chilly, out in the garage, as I was stamping the words and then texturing the copper. So, the heaters were out and trying to keep me warm.

You can see I was using a ball peen hammer this time to texture the copper pendants. I usually use the garage floor to texture the copper - but I was watching YouTube videos on how to texture copper - and someone recommended using a ball peen hammer. So, gave it a try and I like how it turned out.

Hard to see - but I used liver of sulfur to color the copper. After taking out the copper from liver of sulfur we used sand paper to take off some of the dark color - especially around the phrases - so it was easier to read.

And, this is the assembly line mom created to assemble the key chains together.

Below are the actual key chains we created. We also added a tassel to the bottom of the pendant. We used suede for the tassel.

b happy and b fun - key chain

b you and b brave - key chain

b determined and be inspiring - key chain

b happy and "Wake Up, Kick Ass, Repeat" - key chain
I can't wait to make more of these - I already have an idea of what I want to create for myself.
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