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Sunday, December 28, 2008

In Memory of Tootsie

For Christmas this year I decided to do a scratchboard portrait of our very first dog "Tootsie" for my husband. He didn't have any idea that I was working on this portrait. I would work on it while I was at my work or while he was at work. He was very surprised to receive his gift and got choked up. He and Tootsie were very close. He misses her terribly. She died suddenly when she was eight years old. She seemed to be in perfect health but one day she was running around the yard with our other dog and she suddenly collapsed and died. All we can figure is that it was her heart that gave out. We won't know for sure but at least it was fast and she didn't suffer with years of heart failure. That was eight years ago and after making a scratchboard portrait of our other dog "Petey" my husband mentioned that a scratchboard of "Tootsie" would go well with it. He got his wish!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Open House Season In Full Swing

The next few weeks are jam packed with open houses! Mom is having one today at her house. I'm having another one next Saturday night and so on! Very exciting! I will get to show off my new creations in fine silver fusing! Custom pieces are always welcome. I really enjoy doing them and I get to do creations that I would not typically think to do!
Here are some earrings that I custom made to go with this necklace that I did not make. The necklace was a great design and I had a lot of fun doing it! The necklace was made with freshwater pearls, amethyst beads and czech fired beads, and sterling silver components. I already had some matching fresh water pearls already in my stock but I had to go on a hunt for faceted amethyst beads and sterling silver components that would compliment the necklace. Here's what I came up with. I was very pleased! Along with the earrings I had a request for a fish bead bracelet so here's what I came up with. Really fun piece!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

First Open House of the Season

Tonight I'm looking forward to Sparkle n Stone's first open house of the season. I'm not sure how the turnout will be but I'm looking forward to it. I'm been trying new techniques lately including fusing silver wire so I'm anxious to show off my new creations including this necklace which includes my new homemade fused and hammered fine silver rings and clasp. This necklace also includes gemstone, fresh water pearl, and Swarovski crystal beads wire wrapped together.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Labradorite Pendant Triplets

Here are some new pendants I made. Though not a new design, the labradorites are really cool with lots of shimmer! Here are three different colors. Labradorite is one of my favorite gems. No two are the same. They are so cool I just want to keep them all!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Smokey Quartz Ring

I made this ring custom for someone who wanted a ring but wasn't interested in the rings that I had made already. I showed her my loose stones and she picked out this Smokey Quartz Briolette. She loved the color and cut of the stone. Even though it was a briolette it didn't have any holes so I didn't think it would be a problem setting it in a ring. She wanted gold so I used goldfilled wire. I really liked the way this one came out!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is here already and Christmas will be here in no time! I've been busy making some new pieces of jewelry for the our Holiday open houses. In between creating jewelry I carved a couple of pumpkins. Here is a clone trooper and Jack Skellington.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Silver Mobius Pendant

I was given a challenge recently to create a Mobius pendant. One thick enough to be engraved with a message. Mobius pendants that we've seen in catalogs are already engraved and a friend of mine was not interested in any of the messages that were offered so she asked me if I could make her a Mobius pendant so she could put her own message on it.

I didn't think it would be too bad so I made one practice pendant so far. I made this one out of 12 gauge fine silver wire. I hammered the wire and fused the ends together then shaped the twist so the pendant flows nicely. Then I polished it up really shiny. I think this first one turned out great!! I'm really pleased with it. I don't think it is thick enough to get engraved so I ordered some 10 & 8 gauge wire to play with. Here is my first Mobius pendant...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy National Veterinary Technicians Week!

Happy National Veterinary Technicians Week to all those hard working Vet Techs out there!

Woo Hoo!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jacked Up Wire Wrapped Pendant

This stone is huge!!! This is a 60 carat clear quartz and it is deep! I've had the stone for a while and I've been doing a lot of thinking about how I should wrap this puppy. I love to look at other people's blogs and websites and I came across Carol Ladine's Blog and I saw her pendant that she wrapped and it was jacked up since the stone was so deep. That's just what I needed to do for this stone! This design won't use as much wire as I thought it would and it gives it a cool look. Thank you Carol!

Wire Wrapped Heart Stone

This was a cute custom order. The story was a girl was given a heart shaped stone from her boyfriend with a little note asking her to the Homecoming dance. The girls mom knew of the stone and snuck it away under her daughter's nose and brought it to me to be wrapped in silver in time for the Homecoming dance. This was all done without the daughter even noticing that the stone was missing! She loved it and wore the pendant to the dance! I love this story! The pendant was fun to do to!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Wedding Photos!!

I've had the pleasure of creating some jewelry for a wedding this past August which I've posted the jewelry already but I wanted to post a picture from the wedding to show the girls wearing their jewelry. Here's a picture with Val (the bride) with Briana. I made Val her earrings to match her necklace that she had already and Briana's earrings and necklace. Here's a picture with Val, Briana and Stephanie. Then Val and Stephanie. Aren't they beautiful!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Photo Challenge #5

Here we are already at challenge #5. This challenge is about creativity. First we need to shoot a couple of subjects in macro. Second, we need to shoot 2-3 representations of "time". Third, we are shooting our creative spaces.

First is Macro:

I'm usually not particularly fond of spiders. Especially if they are in my house! Watching them outside in their own habitat is fascinating though. I love to watch them catch prey in their webs. Sometimes I will help them out by throwing some bugs in their web for them and watching what they do.

Anyways, this spider is a Argiope aurantia and was found in my parents garden. This spider was huge!!! She measured about 2"! When I showed the boys they ran off quickly!

Next is a cicada. These guys are insanely loud nowadays and are easily spotted!

Here is another spider that was spotted by my neighbor. This one was pretty good size with a yellow jacket caught in its web.

I thought I need to offset the icky spiders with a beautiful butterfly so here she is. All I had with me was my little Pentax p&s. It's difficult shooting moving insects with a p&s which brings up the subject of "time".

A split second doesn't seem very long until you are trying to shoot a butterfly!! Trying to time the lagtime with my P&S is very hard! I was lucky enough to get the first shot when this butterfly decided to land for a few seconds and take a rest. I was really wishing I had my DSLR before that!

I was really thinking about the subject of "Time" and I couldn't think of anything until yesterday when I suddenly had all this "time" on my hands! We planned on being at the baseball field all weekend because both of the boys had games on Saturday and Sunday. We woke up to rain Saturday morning and it has not let up. I thought this would be a good example of time and how our time was going to be used up at the ball park but we suddenly had all this time on our hands!

My first idea for time was this last picture of the kids' first day of school. Seeing them off to school makes me think of all the extra free time I'll have while they are in school! Even though I work the mornings on most days I get home earlier than they do and have a good 2 hours to get stuff done before they come home.

Last is my creative space. It's not very impressive. I've got a small corner in our sun room right off the kitchen to work. It's always a mess because I'm usually working on several projects at once. Right now I'm working on a pencil portrait of "Maggie" the dog and also working on jewelry. A lot of my scrapbooking supplies are stored in my secretaries desk but I haven't worked on my scrapbooks in a long time.

I've been working on the computer either at the kitchen table or in bed. I just took a picture at the kitchen table. I just got this laptop and I love it! I like being able to work on the computer from anywhere in the house!

I used to be stuck downstairs at this computer desk for doing computer work. It was hard in the winter because this corner is really drafty and I would have to bundle up and wear a glove on my right hand that was working the mouse because it would freeze up!!


that's it for now! I hope you enjoyed this challenge!!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Challenge #4-Portraits

We recently took a little vacation to Jellystone Park in Wisconsin and we were able to take a little hayride with Yogi bear.

Michael and Ryan were the first ones in line to sit next to Yogi.

Here's my dad blowing out his birthday candles in June.

Here's Ryan snuggling with his daddy.

Michael enjoying an ice pop at a pool party.

This is Maggie. She is a Great Dane and she belongs to one of the doctors that I work with. I was playing with photoshop to come up with this image.

Here's my little neighbor Frankie. He's a year old and his feet were in the first challenge! Here he is just starting to think about walking. Now he's practically running all over the place!

This is Auggee. I've been taking portraits of Auggee every few months since he was small. Here he is about 8 months old. His mom wanted some pictures to make a graduation announcement when he graduated obedience class :)

Here's my self portrait. My least favorite and most challenging photo to take. Thank god for photo shop!

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

First Wedding Commission!!

I was so honored to be asked to make necklaces and earrings for the girls in a wedding party! First the bride wanted me to make her a pair of cluster earrings to match a necklace that she had already gotten. Her necklace was two strands of white freshwater pearls so I made these earrings to match.

They were a hit so she commissioned me to do necklaces and earrings for her girls. I was so excited since this would be my first wedding!

The girls dresses were a light blue so I thought that making cluster earrings with Swarovski blue and white pearls would be perfect along with a strung swarovski blue and white pearl illusion type necklaces.

Since I work with one of her bridesmaids I've had to keep this little secret for months because the bride wanted to surprise them with the jewelry at the rehearsal dinner.

Well, her wedding was last Sunday and the jewelry looked beautiful. Now I can post pictures on my blog so here they are.....

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hammered Silver Earrings

Back from vacation and on to a good start! Here are my hammered silver earrings to match the bracelet below. These are also made of hand forged fine silver rings fused together by me :)
If anyone is interested in these come and visit my website!!!