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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Featured Artist (more torch-colored copper!) Verrel Martin of The Artists Torch

Featured Artist

Continuing with the “torched copper” theme, today’s featured artist is Verrel Martin. His Etsy store is The Artists Torch. I can’t tell you how much I love these guitar picks. Aren’t they awesome? Pretty cool what you can do with copper and heat.

New Laura Listings

(BTW, I didn’t realize the last photo on my previous blog post wasn’t working… it’s working now.)

So I decided to make my minimalist bezel set stone necklaces into one listing. I really adore these necklaces. They’re precisely the type I put on and leave for months at a time.

When I did my annual show (ha ha ha, yeah, I hate doing shows), I had the nicest neighbor. He was selling gemstones (I bought some) and a few other things, including this really neat fabric chain. At the time, I had no ideas how I would use it but I thought it would be a fun thing to try at some point. So here we have a VERY lightweight three-strand necklace featuring Garnets and Pearls.

Several years ago I made a necklace with rectangular Smoky Quartz and lots of sterling silver. I’ve often thought of revisiting the design with something similar. I attended a bead show a week or so ago and found these lovely stones (not quite rectangular, but that’s okay). A really simple design, but I think it has quite the elegant look.

And because I just ADORE Pyrite…

Then I made some stacker bracelets. One of my favorite ways to wear bracelets is to pile on three or four at a time… stacking them in various combinations of stones and metals.

The bracelet with Aquamarine and Lapis already sold, but the rest are still available.

Look how fab they look together!

Well, back to work now. TTYL!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Jewelry Listings

I’ve changed some of the settings on my camera and hope to come up with some photos today that don’t make me want to scream.

I’m getting way too much grain… not clear focus at all. Look!

I miss my Nikon CoolPix, but I refuse to go back. FORWARD!!!

Since I love “stacker bracelets” so much, I’ve decided to dedicate some time to making them for my customers.

I’m starting with faceted gemstones and lots of sterling silver.

Oh, I think I’m behind on showing you some of the things I put in my store over the last few weeks.

Let’s see…

I’ve gotta go now… it’s unbelievable how long it takes to photograph and list.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Featured Artist: Dawily (torch colored copper jewelry)

Featured Artist: Dawily

I’ve been kind of a slacker in showing you artists I’ve run across that I like. I’ll try to remedy that in the next couple of weeks.

The first I’ll mention is a fellow up in Canada who does the most amazing things with copper, fire and water.

His name is Dave… something that I can’t read because I ripped through the return address when opening the envelope and I don’t think his name is listed on his website.

But here is the website. Etsy: Dawily

Here’s a small blurb from his “read more” page on Etsy: “The colors are the natural, organically produced, oxides of copper created entirely by heat....absolutely no dyes or paints are used.......As the copper is heated it changes from raw copper color right through the range of colors you see below... “

Check these out…

I just think they’re really neat and unique. I like wearing jewelry that takes me into conversation with admirers. I love explaining how the designs are made.

BTW, absolutely top notch customer service. I highly recommend this seller.

Keeping Track of Things

Finally dealt with my latest batch of beads I purchased online. Each set is taped to half of an index card with the artist, their location, and the price written down.

Okay, going back to game 7… TTYL!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

How to Wire-Wrap Briolette Gemstones a Photo Tutorial

1) Start with about 3 inches of wire and a briolette. You only need three tools: needle nose pliers, chain nose pliers, and flush cutters. I use regular hardware store wire cutters (shown at top) for any metal other than sterling/fine silver or gold fill.

2) Put the wire through the briolette hole so that it’s fairly centered. Gently pull up on ends of the wire evenly.

3) Continue bringing the wires together until they cross. Slide your finger down between the crossed wires until the “x” is about 2-3mm above the tip of the gemstone.

4) Take your needle nose pliers and squeeze then at the “x” in the wires. This will bend then at the crossing point.

5) With your chain nose pliers, hold the triangle portion that is left just above the top of the gemstone.

6) While holding the chain nose pliers with one hand, use needle nose pliers in the other hand and grab the end of one of the wires.

7) Bend the wire to a 90-degree angle so that it’s perpendicular to the remaining wire, and begin wrapping it around the upright remaining wire 2-3 times.

8) Wrap from as close to the chain nose pliers as possible, upward away from the briolette.

9) Clip the wire off close and press the end in with your chain nose pliers.

10) Make a 90-degree angle in the remaining wire, about 2mm above where the wire-wrapping ends.

That space is where the rest of the wire-wrapping will go.

11) From that right angle, make a circle (loop) with your needle nose pliers.

12) At this point, you can grab the wire tail with your fingers and wrap it the rest of the way around that side of the pliers…

,,, until it looks like this.

13) Use your chain nose pliers to hold the loop.

14) Take the remaining wire tail with your needle nose pliers and wrap it from top to bottom (from as close to the chain nose pliers as possible downward toward the briolette).

15) Clip this wire and press it in as with the previous one.


If you want to wrap part of the gemstone, see below…

This time take a 9-inch piece of wire.

Make the “x” as before, but not in the center of the wire. You only need about one-inch of wire on the short side.

After pinching (step 4 from above), take the short end and wrap 2-3 times (continue steps 5-14 from above).

When you’ve wrapped the wire to about this point, you can release the pliers and begin holding the top with your fingers…

… as you continue wrapping the long wire tail down and down and down…

… when the wire ends, you press the tail as tightly as you can into the body of the bead.

Some people tuck the end of the wire under the wrapping, but I’ve never had great luck with that.

You can have a neat wrap like this….

… or a more chaotic wrap like this.

Have fun!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Banana Nut Coconut Bread with Lime Drizzle Topping

I've made one edit to the recipe I posted below... since walnuts didn't go with either the wet or the dry ingredients, I forgot about them. But don't... they're awesome!

Well, the overwhelming applications for the SRAJD this week demolished my Monday evening (and most of my Sunday). Ha ha ha! That’s right… I’m putting off a decent blog post… still!

I will, however, at least try to remember what I put into the Banana Nut Coconut Bread I was talking about on Facebook. This was a mish-mash of several different recipes I have for banana nut bread. Sometimes you have to improvise based on what you've got in your pantry. :-)

As with most baked products, you mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, mix the liquid ingredients in another bowl, then add the dry mix to the wet mix and stir.

Dry Stuff:
2 cups flour (I used whole wheat, but you can probably use whatever)
¾ t baking soda
½ t salt
1 C white sugar
3 T dark brown sugar

Wet Stuff:
5 very ripe mashed bananas
¼ C butter or oil
2 eggs
¼ C milk, sour cream, or yogurt
½ t vanilla

I mixed these things together then added 1¼ C shredded coconut (actually, it was probably sweetened coconut flakes).

Then a folded in about 3/4 C of chopped walnuts.

I put the mixture into two 9x9” cooking pans that I had sprayed with Pam.

I threw some more coconut on top, then put them into a 350-degree pre-heated oven for … oh wow… I don’t remember… I usually just bake stuff until it’s done. Um… I’m thinking it was probably about 40 minutes. You know, test it with a knife or toothpick… does it come out clean or still wet?

You can pretty much tell when their done also when they start to get brown on the edges and on top.

After being out of the oven for half an hour, I flipped them over onto a paper plate, then flipped them back onto a regular plate so they were then face up, outside of the cooking pan.

Then I take ½ C of powdered sugar and mix it with 1½ T of lime juice… whisk together and drizzle over the warm cake.

Slice and eat… this stuff is super yummy when still warm. Mmmmm…

Okay, TTYL!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Evening (yes, it's that boring at the moment)

First, I'd like to thank Amanda for letting me know one of my blog posts was featured on EBSQ Friday Five. Thanks!

This weekend, I was hoping to make a pair of earrings for a friend, but I think she knows me better than I know me... and thank goodness she'll be patient with me.

I didn't make anything new this weekend. I finished a necklace, took photos, and then finished listing some stuff (I'll show you tomorrow).

Within the span of two weeks, I went from making super chunky necklaces to making super dainty and minimalist necklaces.

Alright, that's about it... I have a lot to tell you about this week, but it will have to wait another day or two. We had a TON of SRAJD activity this week and although we normally do our updating on Monday, I knew I had to get a head start so I spent a good part of Saturday and Sunday getting the new pages ready for posting.


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