I'm Working On It....

February 26, 2010

I finally tackled a ribbon necklace.  Found a great printed tutorial on a newly-discovered website ~ www.ornamentea.com.  I LoVe this website because they sell truly original charms and the just-right findings for me.  Anyway, I'm following the tutorial they posted entitled "Frayed Ribbon Necklace" and it's in the baby stages until I can figure out exactly what charms and/or beads I want to use.  Right now it looks like this:

Sorry the photos are less than stellar, but don't get me started on THAT......

The necklace is made with silk dupioni ribbon which looks nicely frayed as it wears.  The tutorial used 12 beads, but I'm stumped after 2.  I think I'll add some vintage-inspired charms instead of beads.  I should have it finished by tomorrow and I'll post it for sure.   

The only problem I had with making it is that I found it really hard to close the end bars which hold the ribbon.  These are made of antique brass and I had a really hard time trying to get them totally closed around the ribbon. I used my chain nose pliers as they suggested but it didn't work so well for me....Any suggestions?

Time for a tivo'd "24" with the hubby.  Ciao.

 "Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity."
~ Ephesians 5:15, 16 NIV

Charm Bracelet Diva's Word of the Week : Bezel

February 25, 2010

Yes, I pick weird words.  And, well, yes, this post (technically) should be called Charm Bracelet Diva's Word of the MONTH ~ I know, I've not been keeping up with this weird jewelry jargon dictionary of sorts.  Better late than never I always say.

SOooooooo, the word "bevel":

Etymology: Probably from dial.  A form of French biseau bezel, from Middle French, date 1611. Merriam-Webster OnLine.
  • According to WiseGEEK.com, a bezel setting is a method of securing a stone into a piece of jewelry.  The bezel setting is probably the oldest setting for stones...it consists simply of a band of metal wrapped around the stone to hold it in place.  Go to WiseGEEK.com for a more detailed history of the word and its place in jewelry's history.  
When I think "bezel", I think of small metal pendants that are open and empty and waiting for either a stone, a photo, maybe a piece of glass (most commonly a watch face).  Just look at my Alice in Wonderland pendants, posted here over the past few weeks, and you'll see a form of bezel that is filled with an image, as opposed to a stone.  It is this form of bezel that I'm crazily drawn to.  You'll be seing more of my pendants in the future, I hope.  

Tonight I'm going to start a new type of necklace I've never done before and I'm thinking I might actually follow it in photos and do an actual....TUTORIAL!  We'll see how confident I feel once it's done.  Right now it's time to put the kiddos to bed.  Ciao.

It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, "Always do what you are afraid to do."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

J. Crew-inspired Pearl and Ribbon Necklace

February 23, 2010

OK, so I made a new necklace and want to post a photo of it.  Only thing is, my camera (which came back from the approved service center, by the way) has become a pure living hell for me ~~ can anyone tell me, in 500 words or less, how to take a good close-up photo for the internet?  Just tell me what f-stop, what aperture, what lens.  Is that too much to ask???????  The manual is very disjointed.  I've looked online but find only a mish-mash of info re: digital photography.  Can anybody help me????????  Share your secrets and I'll be indebted to you FOREVER!

Just so you believe me, I'm going to post the necklace ~ bad photo and all.  You be the judge.

   Sorry, but I just don't think that that's the best shot I can get of this.  I mean it's Okaaayy, but it took me like, 25 shots to get this one.  Any one who can save my sorry a** PLEASE feel free to leave a comment! 

I found a great tutorial for the necklace, by the way, at  a site I've recently started following.  It's called http://www.rufflesandstuff.com/.  Check it out!

It's been a long day, and I'm DONE with the blogosphere for tonight.  Take pity on the technologically challenged jewelry-maker-blogger and giver her some advice for taking good photos for her blog :)  

"Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed."
~ Thomas Jefferson

White Rabbit Patera Pendant Necklace

February 22, 2010

Well, I really did create another Alice in Wonderland patera pendant yesterday, but both our digital television and computer services were DOWN for a LONG TIME.........in a way a blessing, since it forced me to sit at the craft table instead of the computer:) (The book's original title was actually Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  The images are so old that the copyright has expired, so no worries if you copy and/or use them.) 

This image comes from Chapter VI: Who Stole the Tarts?  It's the white rabbit with his trumpet as a herald in the Queen of Heart's Court.

I found the two images (this one as well as Alice and Pig Baby) in my daughter's craft box ~~ she loves to decorate bottlecaps and she had these images already pre-sized for my pendants!  That got me started on a research mission, and voila' ~ I now know a LOT more about Alice in Wonderland than I ever did before! 

Here is the original image that I found on a website dedicated to the story of Alice in Wonderland:

Check out http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/ for more great pics and info.

I saved a bunch of other images from the site that I hope to use in some way in my jewelry in the future. Who knows, what with the recent Tim Burton movie adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, the jewelry might just be a hit.  Guess I'll have to put it onto Etsy and find out.

Time to run back to momma duties.  The kids will start trickling in in about 15 minutes.  Then it's chauffering, homework duty, snow play and dinner time.  I'm hoping I can find a little time for jewelry making tonight.  Yay!  I'll leave you with another quote from the book:

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where --" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if  you only walk long enough."
~ Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter VI      

Alice in Wonderland Pendant

February 19, 2010

Today I finally got around to making a finished patera pendant.  I LoVe these pendants, from Nunn Designs.  They come in gold, silver and brass, and in different sizes.  This one's a large gold.  Might work on a charm bracelet but probably better as a necklace?  I'll be trying them on both. 

I came across this image of Alice with "Pig Baby" from Lewis Carroll's classic "Alice in Wonderland." and thought it would be perfect for a pendant.  I trimmed the picture, placed it in the pendant and added Diamond Glaze as the finishing touch.  I was so excited watching it dry, waiting to see the finished product.

I have another image from the same book ~~ it's White Rabbit with his trumpet, as the Herald in the Queen's Court.  I think this is my favorite of all the images from this story.  It'll be my next pendant, hopefully to share with you tomorrow.

I'll leave you with a quote from the book: 

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, but you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
~ Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6. 

Divatude Charm Bracelet Revisited

February 18, 2010

I got my "Divatude" bracelet finished!  Yay!  It was nice to actually finish something today...I also got my camera back from the service center and it's fixed ~ another yay~ so I could take a picture of it tonight.  Here it is:

As usual, this charm bracelet is chock full of charms and beads.  It's a real eclectic mess, just the way I like it.  Crowns, hearts, keys, lockets, beads, pearls and more.  Really fun to wear. 

So glad tomorrow is Friday ~  family outing planned for Saturday.  Can't wait.  Time to slow down and stop my wheels from spinning.  For now.  Ciao ~

"We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate.  The world is all gates,  all opportunities."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Divatude Charm Bracelet

February 17, 2010

I'm hoping to finish another charm bracelet tonight and actually SHOW it in a post. I've been less than industrious these past few days and I really need to jump start the whole jewelry-making/creative-blogging processes. Maybe I just need to get physically organized so that I can get mentally organized ~ that's somewhat believable, no?  Maybe I'll just go with that...... if I finish tonight I'll really try to post it.  Wish me luck.

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can be great."
~ Mark Twain 

Thursday's Vintage Valentine

February 11, 2010

Hubby just got home from a business trip ~ SO nice to see him!  Love, this one's for you.

This Valentine has special meaning for two reasons.  One, I LOVE tea! (Earl Grey rocks!)  And two, I call my husband "T".  Get it?  Happy V-Day (early) honey.

And Happy V-Day to anyone else out there who loves to love.  I'm just a sucker for romance, I guess.........time to spend some quality time with my "T."  Ciao. 

"Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving."
~ Kahil Gibran

My Funny Valentine

February 10, 2010

I usually don't post my photos this big but I wanted you to be able to read this vintage Valentine's Day card.  Okay, so maybe you STILL can't read it.  "Love's Greeting.  Love climbs up and love falls down, Love can smile and love can frown, Let thy love now smile on mine, And be my own dear Valentine."  How cute is that?  I hope that my wonderful hubby reads this and knows that it's for him :)

I love finding images on www.photobucket.com.  This one's from Tammy_M.  Thanks, Tammy!  I'll be posting a few more V-Day clip art images between now and the 14th.  It gives me a few more chances to say Happy Valentine's Day to my man.

On another note, we had an earthquake here last night in the middle of the night. Yes, I said eArthqUaKe!  Right here in Illinois!  Who would have thought it possible?  Certainly not me!  3.8 on the richter scale.  Scared the crap (for lack of a better word) out of me at 4:00 a.m..  Even though we're half an hour away from the epicenter of the quake, our house shook.  One day a foot of snow, the next an earthquake.  What IS the world coming to?

I'll be posting less (read: none) photos on my blog until I get my fancy camera back from the manufacturer.  I feel oddly helpless without it.  Sad, I know.  Maybe it's God's way of actually allowing me time to make jewelry.  Can you imagine?  Keep your fingers crossed on this one. 

I still have a sick one, poor chickadee.  She has to miss her class V-Day party tomorrow.  Pretty big deal when you're in the third grade.  Ah, those were the days.  Time to take care of the kiddos.  Here's to uninterrupted sleep and a better tomorrow.  Ciao.  

"There is in the worst of fortune the best chances for a happy change."

Charm Bracelet Diva's Signature Style

February 9, 2010

I know when I fell in love with them.  It was a few years ago in a craft store.  I was browsing for scrapbooking supplies and happened to stumble upon two very cool spiral notebooks.  One hot pink and the other lime greeen.  Both adorned with a chandelier.  I was hooked and I didn't even know it.  (Goes without saying that I bought them!)

You might have noticed that my blog header sports a chandelier, as does my avatar for this and other web sites I belong to.  And here's a pendant I could NOT pass up and had to buy for myself:

I cut some pretty chain and added a silver toggle, then the pendant.  I love it.  I even designed business cards with a chandelier logo on it.  They were supposed to arrive quite some time ago but I'm still waiting for them.  (Don't get me started.) Anyway, when they finally do arrive I'm going to share them with you because I absolutely love them, too.

I also love these large gold patera pendants I finally found online with www.countrystitchesoline.com.  I filled one with a vintage typewriter key bauble I found at my local scrapbooking store just to see how it would look.


I like it.  I didn't pour in the glaze, though, like I usually would have done with one of these pendants, because the letter itself rises almost to the top of the pendant.  I was afraid that it would either overflow and/or look bad.  Any ideas? 

Now, onto another topic....I'm finding it really hard to find the time to blog here.....granted, it would help if I had some jewelry to blog about.....no time for that either.  What am I doing, then?  I'm being sucked in by the blogosphere! That's what I'm doing.  You'll notice in the near future some more changes to the blog page (sorry, but I just keep finding all this cool stuff I want you all to see!)  SOoooo, between surfing the internet for great blogs and jewelry ideas and working on the site, I just ain't gettin' no real bloggin' done.  Don't even get me started about my Etsy site.  But I am going to make a concerted effort to get my act together and make some jewelry ~ imagine that!

In the meantime, it's a beautiful 12-inches-of-snow-is-falling kind of storm outside.  Two had school but one little gal is home sick with a tummy bug. Need to go warm up the chicken soup.  And pick up the snow shovel.....Ciao. 

"Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values."
~Wilferd Peterson

February 2010 Magazines' Jewelry Picks

February 3, 2010

Three sites caught my eye in January's In Style Magazine:  http://www.kendascott.com/, http://www.ben-amur.com/ and http://www.martinewester.com/.

~ Kenda Scott. Not a lot of inventory here -- 4 necklaces, 11 pairs of earrings and 8 cuff bracelets.  I really liked: 

  • $$ The Otylia ring, a funky jumbo cocktail ring for $75.00.  The ring comes in various two-stone combinations.  I liked the Pebble on gold-tone combo.
 ~ Isaac Manevitz for Ben-Amun This jewelry gets featured in a LOT of magazines....the bracelet prices run the gamut from as low as $30.00 (not a lot of items in this range) to $745.00 and even higher.  Necklaces range from around $75.00 to $100.00 or more.  There were only a handful of earrings from around $45.00 to $75.00.  I liked:

  • $$$ Rustic Gold Brass Jewel Cuff  for $120.00

  • $$$ Semi-Precious Stone (charm) Bracelet for $130.00

  • $$$ Glass Pearls with Austrian Crystals Bracelet for $195.00 
 ~ Martine Wester, London.  Some very pretty stuff.  I LOVED:

  • $$$ Grace Glitter Ball Bracelet 59.00 pounds, and matching stud earrings 15.00 pounds

  • $$$  Enchanted Triple Row Pearl Bracelet 58.00 pounds

  • $$$  Enchanted Vintage Charm Bracelet 76.00 pounds
Sorry, but I'm not familiar with the exchange rate so you can do the math.

Lucky Magazine had a total of one site I fancied -- Shopbop.com.  The nice thing about Shopbop is that there are hundreds of items to choose from and they carry lots of different designers.  My faves are: 

  • $$ Juicy Couture Sparrow Branch Necklace $78.00
  • $$$ Fallon Jewelry Freedom Choker Mixed Chain Necklace $198.00
  • $$$ Rachel Leigh Neon Gumball Ring $68.00

Well, it's off to choir practice (for the kids).  Seems that chauffering duties are endless....maybe later tonight I can start a new jewelry-making project.  I'm thinking another mash-up bracelet.  You'll be the first to know when it's done.  I mean, who else? Ciao.

"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Will Phil be right? Say it ain't so!

February 2, 2010

Say it ain't so!  Six more weeks of winter?  Well, can't say that I'm surprised, living in the cold and wintry Chicago suburbs (and hailing from Pennsylvania, to boot).  We're used to it here.

Poor Girls' Pave

Poor Girls' Pave was just listed on Etsy tonight. It's a 17-inch-long necklace with four sparkling colored pave orbs,  a double-bead dangle with elegant bead caps and an antique brass chain with a pewter-like toggle clasp. Whew!  That's a mouthful ~ just go to my Etsy store to see it and you'll see what I'm talking about.  Time to put the kids to bed. Lost is on tonight! Ciao.

"Each one of us is great insofar as we perceive and act on the infinite possibilities which lie undiscovered and unrecognized about us."
~James Harvey Robinson

Irish Dancer Charm Bracelet ~ St. Stephen's Green

February 1, 2010

St. Stephen's Green

I finished this one tonight.  My third Irish Dance charm bracelet.  I'm I guess what you'd call a Feis Mom.  My daughters do Irish dancing and I facilitate in their participating in feisanna (sp?), hence the moniker Feis Mom.  Being Irish, it's nice to see my girls taking an interest in something relating to their heritage. And of course, gotta love the music.

You can find this on my Etsy site.  Just look in the right hand column of this blog and click on my "Etsy Mini" which is, essentially, thumbnails of  my stuff  for sale.  

Tomorrow is my baby's 6th birthday.  Can not believe it.  Yes, this is one of the times that I'd gladly pay for the clock to stop -- don't grow up! 

Time for a Tivo'd Brothers and Sisters.  Erin go bragh!  Ciao.

"In everything give thanks."
~ Thessalonians 5:18 King James Version 

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