Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Art of Journaling

There are those who blog and those who journal. Expressing one's thoughts ,feelings and maybe knowledge can be very satisfying and rewarding. Sometimes it is easier to "talk" on paper and keeping a journal is the perfect way to do just that. I was fortunate enough to meet a lovely lady through my own search for the perfect journal and would like to share her beautiful handmade,hand bound books with you. If you would like to start a journal , need to give a special gift or want to keep a travel log take a look at the etsy shop of Red Otter. These are a few of the offerings in her shop right now. For additional information take a look at her blog too.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Differences Between Gold Plated Jewelry and Gold Filled Jewelry

"You get what you pay for," is certainly what comes to mind when shopping for jewelry in today's market. As many of you know gold and silver have reached astronomically high prices in recent months with the price dropping slightly in the last week or so. Today's current gold price is $925.17 and silver is $17.14 as of 12:30 EST. These prices fluctuate on a daily basis and determine what jewelry designers must pay for their supplies. I have not ventured into using
14 K gold due to the high prices, but I am determined to offer my customers quality jewelry for the best price. What do I do? I use only 1/20 gold filled wire, gold vermeil and sterling silver for my pieces. Many jewelers will use gold and silver plate for their wire and jewelry components. What is the difference you ask? For starters, the durability of the piece is determined by what kind of components the jeweler uses. Gold plate and silver plate will chip ,peel, and crack, sometimes after only a few wearings. However, gold filled jewelry will not. The reason for this is as follows:

Gold filled wire is produced by wrapping a tube of solid gold around a core of a base metal such as a brass alloy. They are bonded together by pressure and heat. It is about 100 times thicker than gold plate and will not chip or flake off. The part that touches your skin is 14k or 12k gold and is it very hard to tell the difference between solid gold and gold filled. It is durable and much more affordable than solid gold. Gold plate is made by dipping (electroplating) a microscopic film of gold particles on a variety of base metals. The particles eventually wear off and the piece of jewelry certainly does not look the same as it did when you purchased the piece. Gold plated and silver plated findings are much cheaper to buy than gold filled and good quality gold vermeil which is 24k or 18k gold layered over sterling silver. When you look at jewelry to purchased keep these facts in mind. My husband says "When you pay peanuts , you get monkeys. "

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Lady for my Display

I found this amazing Grecian bust for my jewelry display and have been experimenting with her new look. She is lacking shoulders so I have wrapped her in soft beige fabric and tried to hang one of my necklaces around her, but don't think the results are quite right. I would love to have your opinions/suggestions. I forgot to mention that I chose her because she looks just like the head I chose for my business card.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happily Handmade

I originally designed this necklace in the fall during a wire working class. It had lots of curves and zigzags and never lay right around my neck. I was convinced it was a lost cause until this past week when I decided to take it apart and start all over again. I used dead soft wire and was able to use my wire straightener to take the zigzags and kinks out of the sterling wire I was using. The gauge was fairly large so it was easy to straighten without damaging the wire. Then I decided to use wrapped eye pins to make the links , as well as some spirals and a handmade clasp. I am thrilled with the results and can't wait to do another one. See this and other one-of-a -kind pieces in my shop.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pretty Rocks

A girl just can't have enough pretty rocks and Yazmin Wickham's etsy shop provides a nice variety. Aprettyrock carries some beautiful hand wrapped earrings similar to the ones above, gorgeous hairpins , necklaces and rings. She sure has some beautiful "rocks" in her collection! Be sure to check her blog as well.

A Pretty Rock

Today I am featuring the wonderful shop of Yazmin Wickham. Here is what she has to say about herself:

"Oh Shiny!" should definitely be my mantra and says a lot about me. :) But if you are looking for something a little more concrete from me, here you go...Yazmin Wickham of A Pretty Rock creates one of a kind or limited edition pieces of jewelry. Brought to life with carefully selected gemstones, mineral stones and freshwater pearls, the collection is meant to lend affordable, quality elegance to all.There is no reason why every woman shouldn't have A Pretty Rock in their life!"

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Fun with Crayons

Crayons are the media of choice by artists both young and old. These beautiful hearts and colored discs are a few of the offerings in art2theextreme's etsy shop. Coloring with these crayons would certainly be an exciting experience for anyone. They are perfect for young children because they are large and easy to grip. Art2the extreme has many different shapes to choose from and she will be happy to do custom orders for you. These crayons are perfect party favors for birthdays. visit this interesting etsy shop for prints, children's clothing, ceramics and more. Take a look at this blog too.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Art 2 the Extreme

Today I am featuring the shop of Art2theextreme. Here's what she says about herself:

"I am an elementary art teacher from Indianapolis, Indiana. I graduated from college with a Visual Arts Education degree and a Ceramics concentration. Travel is a HUGE part of my inspiration to create art. I have been to England, Scotland, Mexico, and lived in Italy for a short period of time to study art.I love working with ceramics, printmaking, and fibers most of all! In my free time, I create art to share and sell, as well as scrapbook.Art is all around us. It is everywhere and in everything. My art is my world and I guarantee that my work is 100% original and of the highest quality. Buyer satisfaction is of extreme importance to me.Please enjoy and feel free to provide feedback or receive further information about myself or my products by contacting me at"