Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wanna Get Lucky? Win a $25 Gift Certificate!

Click on over to Bee-Mused and leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a $25 gift certificate to Lucky Girl Trading on Etsy. If you're not familiar with Bee-Mused, it's a delightful place to find new, pretty, and interesting things!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Love My New Potholders!

I decided it's time to replace a few kitchen things, and our potholders were the first on the list. I found this gorgeous pair at The Blue Kraken, and when they arrived they were too pretty to hide away in a drawer. Now they hang from my cupboards, and I smile each time I walk into the kitchen. They're big, too--9 inches square--so no more burned fingers for me!

I'm in awe of some of the jewelry in that shop. Go take a look at the jewelry that used to be circuit boards and plasma screens. It's beautiful and amazing!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

How Do I Test Unique Items?

A few weeks ago I posted about a kumihimo necklace I made using mixed fibers. Toonatoons from Under the Sun asked whether it felt itchy to wear. Then Ollie McKay from Chic Boutique asked whether I had tried wearing it all day to see how it feels next to the skin for a long period. These are valid concerns, and ones I hadn't thought about while making the necklace.

From a customer's point of view, these are things I'd like to know before I plunk down my money. I think this necklace will be comfortable and non-irritating, but I don't know for certain. And I don't want the answer to come about because I'm wearing something that has been "field-tested" and isn't completely and easily cleanable. If the item was metal or fabric, I could wash and dry it, and specify that it's been thoroughly cleaned before shipping. I've seen other items sold this way--knit and crocheted hats and scarves come to mind--and as a buyer it makes me feel comfortable knowing that I could safely wash the item before wearing it.

A necklace like this one is a problem. It might wash and dry well, and then again it may develop an unpleasant texture, or the colors might run. There's not enough fiber left over to make even a very short braid, and I'm not at all sure I can get the exact same fiber mix again.

I'd love to get some opinions on this. As a buyer, is some sort of wear-testing important to you? And as artists and jewelers, how do you handle evaluating unique items?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A New Donut Style

The little darlings have gone back to their mom's, but not before someone shared a coughing-sneezing-aching-fever-and-chills crud with me. I meant to post this new pendant yesterday for Make Something Monday, but I felt too bad to even take a photo.

This is a new shape in my Circle of Real Life Donut Pendants. I fused a strip of translucent yellow glass over a base of opaque white glass, and added a thin stripe of white down the center. The strip was about 6 inches long, and when it came out of the kiln my plan was to cut it and re-fire it as earrings and a pendant, possibly mixing it with an aqua strip I made some time ago. Once I saw the final color it didn't work for anything I had in mind, so I just kept looking at it for a few days.

Out of nowhere came the idea to make a triangle with it, and I'm very happy with the result. I love the way the white has created a few swirls and curves. In fact I like this so much you can expect a number of new triangular donuts from me in the near future. Oh, and it's going in my Etsy shop this evening if I can stay awake a bit longer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

There's a Cow in My Mailbox

Actually, by the time you read this, the cow will have left my mailbox and be on her way to someone else's mailbox. I found this darling greeting card at The Hanging Flower Photography and just had to get one! Hanging Flower is a fairly new shop on Etsy, and I was thrilled to get my cards lightning-fast and in perfect condition. And they are just so darn cute!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Make Something Mondays: "Stained Glass" Pictures

I usually only get to wear my wicked stepmother hat on weekends. I'm in the midst of an unusual but lucky 2-1/2 week stint of wickedness, so we've been trying out a few new projects. These "stained glass" pictures have been a big hit!

Start by drawing a picture on a piece of construction paper. The drawing should be fairly simple, at least the first time you attempt this. Cut out the shapes in your drawing (we used scissors to stab a small hole in the center of each area we wanted to cut out. Cut pieces of colored tissue paper a little larger than the holes you cut, and tape or glue them on the back side of the picture. Hold it up to a window or lamp to let the light shine through.

To make your picture even more special, after cutting out the shapes place the construction paper over another piece of construction paper. Trace around the cut-outs and cut out the shapes on the new paper. After the tissue paper is in place on the first piece, glue the second piece of construction paper on the back and you'll have a 2-sided picture you can enjoy from both sides of your window. (Make sure the 2 pieces of construction paper have the cut-outs oriented the same way before gluing them, or you'll end up with a very interesting piece of art.)

This post was inspired by Jolly Mom and Go Graham Go!, the ingenious moms behind Make Something Monday. We'd love for you to join us next Monday!

Make Something Monday

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Workshop Update: I Have a Sink!

My garage-to-workshop renovation is moving slower than molasses in January. (My dad has used that phrase all my life, most often in reference to my speed, but it fits this situation.) But we did get the sink installed this week! It feels like real progress, and I'm excited!

Yes, the walls you see are white. I've been playing with all the color suggestions you've made, and in the meantime we discovered that the walls needed a coat of primer or sealant and it came in bright white. Now I'm debating whether it's worth adding another month to get the walls painted in pretty colors or if I should try to add decorative paint touches after we get the furniture and equipment in place. (Of course I know that painting shouldn't add a month, but I also know how slowly things move around here. A month might be too optimistic.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Want to Win A Gift Certificate?

I found my calendar! The other blog giving away my stuff this week is The Dirty Shirt--I just love that name! And the blog always has something interesting too, so click on over and enter. One lucky winner will receive $25 credit to spend in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mixed Fibers Kumihimo Necklace

I had hoped to get this posted yesterday in time for Make Something Mondays, but the adhesive wasn't set and I didn't want to disturb it to take photos. I had a lot of fun braiding this necklace! I've tried braids with a few unique fibers in them, but this is my first with every strand different. I saw the mixed fibers at BeckandCallGirl and knew I had to do something with them. The necklace is soft, a bit fuzzy, and very colorful, and I think it's perfect! It will be available in my Etsy shop today.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Want to Win A Fused Glass Pendant?

I am still trying to catch up from being away from home last week, another day or two and I should be in better shape. In the meantime, go check out the giveaway at Go Graham Go! One lucky winner will receive his or her choice of any fused glass pendant from my Etsy shop.

As soon as I can find my calendar (I can't figure out how it managed to walk away from my desk!) I'll let you know about another terrific giveaway featuring my jewelry. Check back tomorrow, and wish me luck with the search.