Friday, September 30, 2011

My Most Popular Ring

In the mood for a sweet little treat?  This little ring is the most popular style I sell.  It's probably because it's so inexpensive, but all the feedback I get says it's cute and fun and a favorite to wear.  I make them in any size you need, from 3 to 14, in gold or silver twist wire.  You can find them for sale in my Etsy shop, sale priced at only $4.00!  Plus only $2.00 for shipping.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beautiful Jewelry from Scrap Materials, Part 1

I've collected quite a bit of "stuff" over the years, as you can imagine.  One of these days I'll post a picture of my bead drawers...LOTS of beads!  And I've got stringing materials and bits of scrap wire and old vintage jewelry and all kinds of little bits and bobs that are waiting patiently to be made into something pretty.  This is the first in a planned series of posts about jewelry I've made using primarily scrap materials, with "scrap materials" being defined as anything I've had laying around for more than 2 years.

This necklace is made from fat faceted teardrop pink glass beads, which I got in a large collection of beads given to me by a friend who quit the business about 3 years ago.  They are strung on thin tigertail beading wire, which is so old it's lost its label so I can't be more specific, but I do know it drove with me from Albuquerque 25 years ago.  I handcrafted the chain links from bits of scrap wire in the bottom of my "scrap tray", which filled up over the past decade and which I've spent the last 2 or 3 years digging through to find just the right length of wire for the current project.  The only *new* things on this necklace are the jump rings and crimp beads that connect the bead part to the chain part, and the spring ring that closes it in the back, plus the earwires on the earrings.

FYI, it measures about 17" long and is for sale for $36.00 for the set!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Duct Tape!

Just when I thought I'd seen everything.  Seriously.  I was walking from the parking lot to my shop this morning and passed a city truck parked the wrong way on a one-way street.  A bucket truck, and there was a city worker up in the bucket, ripping duct tape off a roll.  He then proceeded to apply the duct tape to one of the globe-shaped street lights that line our quaint historic streets.  I literally stopped in my tracks.  This guy is duct-taping a street light!  Man, I knew the City of Cocoa was cheap, but...duct tape?  Really?

(The truck is on the left.  The white bucket with the worker guy in it is center-left, partially hidden behind the tree.  The globe light with the highly-visible duct tape on it is center-right.)


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pictures of Me

Next on the list of the "30 Day Challenge" is a recent photo of me and a photo from 10 years ago.  So...

Here's recent, taken in August with my son on his first day of school.

And here's about 10 years ago.  Also with my son.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Favorite Song

I recently ran across the list of "30 days worth of blog posts" I started doing a couple of months ago, and decided to try to get back on track with it.  Today's topic is My Favorite Song.

The problem with this is that I don't actually have a favorite song.  And by that I mean I don't have just one favorite song.  I like so many kinds of music that it's impossible to pick just one.  Plus the fact that there are new songs constantly being written and produced and flung out over the airwaves, or on YouTube, or the bottom track of an obscure CD...lots of places to discover great new music!

In my MP3 player, you'll find artists from KC and the Sunshine Band to Lady Gaga, from Shania Twain to Train, from the Village People to Mercy Me.  With some instrumentals by piano artist Yiruma, New Age from Enya, and jazz from Richard Elliot.  Over 3000 songs altogether!  My favorite female vocalist is Celine Dion, and my favorite male singer is Steve Perry from Journey.  I have all their albums (Celine AND Journey).  I inherited my brother's music collection when he died, and he turned me on to a group called Collective Soul--more "rock" than I usually get into, but great guitar stuff!  Which is, I'm sure, why he liked them.  The only music I absolutely cannot abide is opera.  My college roommate used to blast operas as loud as her stereo could go, all the time...ruined any interest that I might possibly have been able to cultivate.

So you can understand why it's impossible for me to pick a favorite.  Toad the Wet Sprocket?  Barbara Streisand?    Styx?  Enrique Iglesias?  I've never incorporated music or video into my blog.  I'm not sure I can figure out how.  If I hit "post" and the song stays embedded, then yay me!  If it doesn't work, you'll know I tried.  Here's Steve Perry with my choice for the day--"Lights".  Leave a comment--what's YOUR favorite song?


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ear Cuffs--An International Phenomenon

Ear cuffs have been around for more than 30 years.  They're just an accent accessory that "clips" on the side of your ear, wrapping around the middle part of the cartilage from front to back.  I've been making ear cuffs as long as I've been making jewelry, which is 27 years now.  I've got some that are just thin simple bands, and I've got some that are intricate, ornate sweeps of wire and beads that go all the way up and down your ear.  And I've got lots of designs in between.  You can see them all on my website.

Do you know where I sell the most ear cuffs?  The Sandinavian countries...Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark (boy, do they LOVE ear cuffs in Denmark!)  But they are truly an international phenomenon.  Just last Tuesday I mailed three international packages: one to Spain, one to Japan, and one to--wait for it!--Denmark!  All ear cuffs.  I just get the biggest kick out of that. 


Saturday, September 10, 2011

In Memoriam

I belong to a Facebook group that is alumni of my high school who graduated between 1976 and 1986.  There's one long thread going on where some of them are collecting names and circumstances of those alumni who have died.  A lot of the names I don't recognize, but many of them I do.  And I had to contribute to the list as brother Greg, who killed himself just this past April.  I think he would have been pleased, as am I, at the number of old friends who have offered their condolences and even shared a quick story or memory of their friendship with him.

Father James McGowan is the originator of the main list, and he offered a prayer of sorts not long ago.  It feels fitting to me to post it here, not only for my high school friends who have passed, but for those we lost ten years ago on 9/11, and for my brother, who I am gradually becoming less mad at and who I miss.

" Long ago we stood together. A generation in one place. At one time. We were young and restless.We thought we were fifty feet tall and bullet proof. We thought we would live forever. No one told us that that death might find us or that we would part company so soon. Loss is never easy. We need to be mindful that it is not about how all these people died or that they left the party early. It is the fact that they lived and we were privileged to have them touch our lives and; maybe we were privileged enough to touch theirs. Amen!"


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tiger Eye Multi-Stone Pendant

There's still a lot of interest in pendants made with more than one stone. This one is three graduating sizes of tiger eye, one of the most all-around-popular gemstones out there! A typical tiger eye stone will have lustrous alternating bands of yellow and brown, with a luminescent "eye" of chatoyancy. Roman soldiers wore tiger eye for protection in battle, and it was sometimes thought to help the wearer "see all", due to its appearance.

This pendant measures just about 3-1/4" long including the round bail that will fit a chain or cord up to about 6 millimeters. Each stone is outlined in continuous strands of 14kt gold filled wire. It's bold, it's eye-catching, and it's one-of-a-kind! can buy it in my Etsy shop right now!