Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My wabbit made it to the front page of Etsy today!

It's the first time this little wabbit made it to the front page! (And mine too!) Yayyyyyy! The front page is a showcase of different items from shops all over Etsy. Members hand pick the items and then make Treasuries. Treasuries help artists promote the handmade work that is available on etsy. You can't put your own work in a treasury and expect it to get to the front page. You have to be selected by someone else so, it really is an honor just to be nominated. :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Craft Show in Austin, Tx...April 4th

I am a proud member of Etsy Texas Crafters! While I won't be able to attend this weekend, Etsy Texas Crafters will be at the Home Grown Austin event on Saturday, April 4th from Noon to 6PM at the Grape Vine Market.

Along with some awesome handmade items available for purchase, there will be live music, wine, spirits and gourmet goodies for you!

I love books, and I love this

This Is Where We Live from 4th Estate on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

More than just a pretty face ...

All of my designs begin with a beautiful visual ... but the stones that I use to complete these visions are selected for more than just their aesthetic value. Each piece that I design has symbolic meaning as well. I'm not trying to design just a visual. My goal is to design a whole experience for the wearer. While I make no claims to the power of gemstones, I do tend to choose them based on the symbolic meanings as well as their physical beauty. Below is a list of some the gemstones that I use often in my jewelry and their symbolic meanings.

Amazonite is a semi-opaque stone that was used extensively by the Egyptians. It is called the stone of courage and is said to be named after the Amazon women warriors. It is considered a soothing stone that enhances creative expression, aligns astral bodies, and unity with life.

Bloodstone is a dark green variety of chalcedony that has nodules of red jasper throughout. Polished sections show red spots on a dark green background. From the resemblance of these to drops of blood is how it gets its name. Bloodstone is used to help one become more knowledgeable in the ways of the world. Bloodstone is also believed to be a very magical stone.

Chrysocolla is called the "peace crystal" because of it's calming and soothing powers. This semi precious stone is a stone of peace and tranquility. It is said to promote level headedness and clear thinking, decrease nervousness, and enhance intuition.

Citrine is a semi precious gem that symbolizes light-heartedness, joy and happiness. It is said to enhance creativity.

Coral is an organic substance and semiprecious stone from the ocean. It is one of the five sacred stones of the Tibetan Buddhists and symbolizes the energy of the life force. Coral is believed to bring success to the person who wears it.

Freshwater Pearls are said to promote sincerity, truth and loyalty.

Green Aventurine is an all-purpose healer, used to reduce stress, develop confidence, imagination and improve prosperity. Many believe that this semi precious stone has the capacity to calm a troubled spirit and bring about inner peace.

Jade is believed to produce serenity, wisdom, balance, moderation, prosperity and stability.

Turquoise has long been appreciated as a holy stone and a good-luck charm. It is believed to promote good fortune, happiness, and long life.

Quartz jewelry is said to bring about feelings of harmony, peace and bliss in the wearer.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring fever~!

Spring is definitely my favorite season, and we finally had some sustained sunshine here today. As promised, here are some new designs...inspired by warm weather and the great outdoors!
nature's song
brass leaf + tahitian blue crystal pearl + olivine jade chips + gold filled chain

love song of the mermaid
ocean blue quartz briolette + gold filled chain

branching out
coral branch + gold filled chain

all abuzzzzz
brass bumblebee + freshwater pearl + turquoise + gold filled chain

What's your color?

More fun with color. Colorstrology.com has a what's your color quiz. I'm a dark pinky red. There's more to me than meets the eye. The casual and superficial are not for me. Hmmm. Sometimes. Othertimes, the casual and superficial are exactly for me. Kind of like this quiz. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One of a kind designer items without breaking the bank!

I was talking to a friend the other night who had never heard of etsy.com. I took her to the website, and we spent about an hour just looking at all the cool stuff that people are making. She became an instant fan. I LOVE etsy! Not just because I have a store on etsy...but because you can find some of the most amazingly awesome one of a kind pieces there...at great prices! In a down economy, etsy sellers offer us affordable style. From jewelry to clothing to vintage items to just about everything you can imagine...handmade by indie designers. Unique pieces for unique individuals!

I even got turned on to a genre of jewelry that I have fallen head over heals for. I love sci fi. I love the idea of time travel. I love modern. And I had never heard of the Steampunk trend until I came across etsy seller
CatherinetteRings. These rings are spectacular!

Another one of my fave designers and etsy seller is
Texas Scum. These are one-of-a-kind, custom-made, silk-screened T-shirts, tank tops, hats and more by a true Texas Artist. I love all of their stuff, but I like the Texas Twister tshirt the best!

click here to see more from texas scum

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just for fun quiz

I wouldn't put a lot of stock in it, but here's a fun, time wasting quiz about your creative style! I turned out to be a Hands On creative.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New charms are in!

FINALLY!!! My new charms arrived, and I could not be happier with them. Sooo cute! I've barely started creating with them, but I have already made a few necklaces with my new brass crown charms. I'm also excited to have started building up my supplies so that I am now offering a crown charm necklace where you get to pick your own "crown jewel" in the form of a swarovski crystal! So pretty with three color choices in dark pink, blue, or peruvian opal!

brass crown charm + siam swarovski crystal + gold filled chain

brass crown charm + cobalt blue swarovski crystal + gold filled chain

brass crown charm + peruvian opal swarovski crystal + gold filled chain

More necklaces to come soon...with more new charms...and nature inspired themes!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Caring for your handmade jewelry

I was hoping to write about these awesome new charm necklaces that I wanted to work on this weekend...but my charms haven't come in yet! I'm kinda bummed because I'm soooo looking forward to working with them, and I got some new peruvian opals (gorgeous!) in that are going to look great with them! Hopefully, they'll get here soon. Until then...here are some tips on caring for your handmade jewelry so that you can enjoy it for a lifetime!

1-Jewelry should be the last thing you put on when you get ready in the morning. It should definitely come after hair spray, lotions, and/or perfume.

2-Store your jewelry individually to avoid scratches, reactions to other metals, etc. I use these storage bags that you can find at retail stores, and I love them. I can see everything. They have zippered closures. And my pieces are safe and secure from harm. Also, sterling silver, copper, and brass jewelry will actually tarnish slower if stored in sealed plastic bags.
3-Do not sleep, shower, swim, or clean with your jewelry on. Soaps, chlorine, perspiration, and cleaning products can all cause harm to your jewelry.

4-When caring for gold filled jewelry (which I use a lot), simply wipe it with a soft cloth. Never use a paper towel, tissue paper or kleenex though as they might scratch your jewelry.

5-Sterling silver will tarnish. You can slow down the process by storing it in sealed bags, but tarnish occurs when it is exposed to air so, at some point, it's going to happen. Use a commercial sterling cleaner when this happens, but be careful if your piece contains gemstones. I recommend researching the particular gemstone to be sure that what you do to one part of the piece, is okay for the entire piece. (Be especially careful not to put any of these in chemical cleaners: coral, jade, opal, pearls, or turquoise. There are other gemstones that won't tolerate chemicals...but these are ones that I use commonly and that I know for sure will be damaged by chemical cleaners.)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Guide to metals

I get asked a lot about what the difference is between gold filled and gold plated jewelry so, I thought I'd make up a cheat sheet to the different metals you'll come across. I use gold filled and sterling silver for my earrings. I mostly use gold filled and sterling chains for necklaces because the quality is soooo good. But sometimes, I just really like the look of base metals for these too!

Gold filled is a much higher quality than gold plated. Gold filled jewelry is the next best thing to solid gold. It is made by forming a tube of solid gold that is then filled with a base metal. The gold is bonded to the base metal with heat and pressure, making it about 100 times stronger than something that is gold plated. Everything you see and touch on a gold-filled piece is actually gold. That’s why this piece will never tarnish or turn your skin green or flake off. For most people, a gold filled piece will last a lifetime. Gold filled jewelry is economical and durable. You get the look and feel of gold for a fraction of the cost!

Gold plated has a microscopic film of gold particles that have been adhered to a base metal through a dipping process. While it may have the same look as gold filled pieces initially, gold plated pieces are of far lesser quality and has the tendency to flake off, turn your skin green, and wear off over time.

Sterling silver consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. Because pure silver is relatively soft and easily damaged, sterling silver is most often used for jewelry. It is both beautiful and durable. Because it is such a high quality silver, it will develop a lovely patina over time. It requires polishing if you like the high luster look of pure silver. With proper care, your sterling silver pieces will last a lifetime. Sterling silver jewelry is both beautiful and affordable.

Pewter is a tin alloy consisting of tin with copper, antimony, or bismuth. Pewter has a slightly dull look, and can never be polished to the fine luster of sterling silver.

Base metal is a catchall term to describe any of the non-precious metals which can include steel, zinc, brass, tin and copper. These can be used as the core of gold filled/gold plated jewelry. They can also be used on their own. I love to incorporate raw brass pieces into my own designs as they develop a lovely patina over time and will go from a shiny goldish finish to a warm honey colored finish. I love these pieces in all their various stages!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hot colors for Spring!!

We are getting closer and closer to Spring, and I can't wait! Spring is a time for new beginnings, warm weather, and fun! And the hot trends in color are super fun! Here are the Pantone Spring 2009 Colors.

As far as accessories go, I just posted up some super cute little hooty owl earrings that are right in line with spring trends. I also designed a charm necklace in this style/colors. I wear one of these myself and get complimented on it all the time!

raw brass owls + dark citron swarovski crystals + gold filled earwires

You can check out the earrings and necklace at my etsy store at http://www.tornadoallidesigns.etsy.com/.

I just ordered some new jewelry supplies, and I can't wait for them to come in...I have more cute charms coming and can't wait to incorporate more of these fun spring colors into my designs!