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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earrings for WV Highlands Gallery

These earrings are the 3rd jewelry project being submitted to West Virginia Highlands Gallery.  I'm nearing the finish line for my goal of 6 items for their jury process.  I'm hopeful to be accepted, so my jewelry can be shown and sold in their gallery.

These earrings are copper and have been antiqued in liver of sulphur.  The color in the picture above is a bit orange.  The next picture is true to color.  The crystals have been wrapped with a herringbone weave cap.

The colors in this picture are on target.  My photograph style is - take enough pictures and one should turn out.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Using a Mirror to Photograph Jewelry

I love the way jewelry has a reflected image when photographed on black Plexiglas.  But I don't like all the lint that is attracted by the static.  No matter how much I clean, the final picture has more lint than jewelry.  So I asked my good buddy Don and he gave me a lot of great ideas.  My favorite is to lay the jewelry on a mirror.  So, I went and got my little hand held mirror and took these shots of my latest earrings.

Earrings:  Silver and Lampwork

Earrings:  Silver and Crysal

Earrings:  Silver and Lampwork

Earrings:  Bronze and Crystal

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Necklace for WV Highlands Gallery

Here's the second of six pieces of jewelry for West Virginia Highlands Gallery.  The goal is to have everything completed by the end of this week.

This necklace is made from copper and fresh water pearls.  My initial intention was to oxidize the metal, but after some research I discovered that the liver of sulphur and the tumbling would remove the luster from the pearls.  So I have left it natural.  The links without the pearls were tumbled to work harden the metal, prior to assembling.

After coiling the wire for the focal pendant, I used a plastic card to open all the spaces equally.  The pearls have been spaced with small coils.

It took a while and some patience to assemble all of the links.  It was a task getting all the links to be connected in a consistant direction.  Just when I thought the links were correct, I would find one that was backward or upside down.  After some time, what I thought was a simple design, finally came together.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Bracelet for the Jury at WV Highlands Gallery

I've been stressed.  I shouldn't be.  I can make wraps in my sleep.  But, still I'm stressed.  It must be the norm for getting ready to submit jewelry to the experts to jury into their gallery.  Yikes!  It doesn't make sense, since I've done this before and no one threw rocks at me.

Here's the first of six submissions that has been completed and photographed. This bracelet is made from bronze wire and those lovely Swarovski crystals.  I call the wraps in the center of the 8 link a fat wrap since the wire is wrapped a second time on top of the first.  Sometimes I go so far as to add a 3rd layer.

The picture above is an example of a happy accident and shows that I'm not a photographer.  The background is really white and the butterfly on the display is green.  Yet, there is a lovely lavender color.  the crystals are true to color which makes me scratch my head and wonder why they didn't change color since the background did.  Hmmmm.

I love taking pictures on top of the black plexiglass, but clean as much as I can there are always pieces of link in the photo.

Thank you for visiting.  Have a beautiful day.  Linda

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Two Awesome New Magazines

Yesterday, I finally found a Barnes and Nobel book store.  Of course I had to drive nearly 2 hours to get to it in Morgantown, WV.  There is something very satisfying about actually being in a book store.  Certainly I can order on line and allow the mail carrier to deliver my treasures to my home, but being surrounded by all of those wonderful volumes of books, not to mention the treasure hunt, is so much fun.

There in the magazine section I was spellbound and so happy with my discoveries.  Not one, but two wonderful jewelry magazines had to come home with me.  They are fabulous!  Both are equally wonderful, but I'll list them in the order in which they are on my desk.

Handcrafted Jewelry from the editors of Beadwork magazine.  As the picture tells a thousand stories or at least 25 project tutorials, you can see why I'm excited.  If you've been thinking of trying your hand at resin, there is a very clear and creative project by Deryn Menlock.  Plus, other projects with fiber, polymer, wire, and enameling.  This magazine is endless with possibilities.

And then there is Wirework published by Art Jewelry magazine. Drum roll please....More resin and more wire.  I can't wait to start to make the 'infinity love knot' by Kimberly Berlin. And then there's the beautiful wire cuff on the cover by Lisa Niven Kelly.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  Have a joy filled and creative day!  Linda

Sunday, March 13, 2011

West Virginia Highlands Gallery

My pliers and wire have been keeping my fingers entertained making these little goodies.  Can you guess what they are going to make?

Everything still needs to be antiqued and polished.  The wire links will be tumbled to work harden, before they will be assembled.  I'm not going to put the pearls in the tumbler, because I'm not sure if they will get damaged.  The pearls have double loops to add some style, but really it was to add strength.   Once this piece is completed I'll post some pictures.  I must say I was getting a tad bored with so many of the same link.  I think there are 70 wire links, not counting the pearl links.  But, it should be well worth the efforts.

This will be one of six jewelry pieces that are being submitted to the West Virginia Highlands Gallery for their jury process.  If accepted I'll be able to display and sell from their beautiful gallery.

Thank you for reading.  Have a joy filled and creative day.  Linda

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Another Display Idea for Art and Craft Fairs

For those of you who are looking for a display for selling your jewelry, this might work well for you. I love it!  It's light weight for carting around, yet very stable, it doesn't distract from your jewelry and the price is good.  Oh, and it's small enough to fit in the vehicle for transporting and a black sharpie will cover any scratches that might happen in transport.

This is a telephone stand that I found on the Walmart web-site for $39.00 with free shipping to my home.  This stand measures 35.5'' H x 16'' W x 12'' D.  I think this is a perfect size for placing on top of a table so your jewelry will be at eye level and it allows your table scape to have more height.  It is really quick and easy to assemble.

I'll set mine up with some jewelry and take a picture and post it here on the blog soon, so you can see it in action.

Have a joy filled and creative day.  Linda

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Displays for Art and Craft Fairs

'Energy follows thought.'  author unknown

I've been thinking about the displays that are needed for my art and craft fairs that are on my to do list.  There has been way to much over thinking on my part going on.  The displays need to be functional, but also unique, something that will catch the eye, but not distract from the jewelry, and not cost me an arm and a leg.  I found a few things and not in the typical display catalogs or web-sites.  This past weekend I ventured into Charlotte's thrift store.  There in the 2 large rooms were tons and tons of old stuff, used stuff, discarded and unwanted stuff.  I started to explore and found a couple of old table top shelves and a couple of stands.  There are hearts cut out.  Not at all my style, but the symbolism is nice and why not add some love.

Yes, that's snow on my deck in March...hmmm

After taking the above picture, these 2 plant stands remind me of the old school house desks.  You know, how they stacked and the student sat on the front of the desk that was behind them?  These plant stands will be perfect after I add a coat of paint.  Then a couple of necklace busts will display nicely.

More shelves needing some paint and imagination
I started chatting with Terry, Charlotte's husband about what I was looking for so he could keep me in mind if something came into the shop that I'd like.   He could tell Charlotte and Charlotte could tell my sister Sandy, who could tell me....ah, how we communicate in a small town.  The next thing I know, Charlotte is inviting me into the back room that's not open to the public.  There hidden under piles and piles of stuff is this beauty of a jewelry display rack.  It has lots of hooks for hanging cards with jewelry and it revolves!

Yes, it does need to be hosed down and scrubbed.  And, the labels need to come off and replaced with my blatant advertising.  But for $6.00 it's 'such a deal'.

Out in my shed is an old wooden bi-fold louver door.  Some paint and it will be ready for tent cards with earrings.   Now to make more jewelry.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Heritage House at the Depot

Everything in my jewelry world is happening at a quick pace.  I must say that I am very grateful.  My jewelry has found another home at the Heritage House, which is located in a restored train station.   It all started a few months ago when I was very nervous and drove to their shop to discuss the possibility of their selling my jewelry.  Nervous, nervous, nervous.  I drove the 2 mile trip that felt like a 100 miles filled with anxiety.  I parked, check the mirror to make sure my lipstick was on my mouth and not my teeth, combed my hair, did as much as possible to delay getting out of my vehicle.  Finally, I ran out of delays and went up to the door.  It wouldn't open!  I was embarrassed.  Perhaps I forgot how to actually turn the handle.  I attempted again and was now convinced that it wasn't my inability to open the door, because the sign clearly said 'closed on Wednesday's' Dah! Another blond moment!  Yes, I had a feeling of relief.  They are closed, I can't be rejected!  But, I knew I needed to get beyond this fear if I had any intentions of making a living from my jewelry.  So, after a few self imposed delays, after a few weeks I went back and was accepted.  There! I said to myself, see that wasn't hard.

I took this picture of Heritage House during a huge snow storm, brrrrr
After a few discussions in person and on the telephone I have delivered my jewelry and they are on display.  There is some paperwork that I needed to complete, an inventory sheet and each piece needed to have a tag completed with an item number assigned, that matches the inventory sheet.   These folks are very well organized and have a price sheet to work from that basically says how much the item will sell for, how much the artist will received and the rest goes to them for doing the selling.  Their rate sheet is not the typical percentage split, so I needed to put my thinking cap on, so this process took me a bit of time.  I only had time to put out about 12 of my pieces before the shop was getting ready to close.  I bought the paperwork home so I can finish tagging the rest of the pieces and will return tomorrow to finish filling up my space.  They are being very generous and allowing me to display on 2 shelves that are about 4 feet long each.  Again, I am grateful.

Earrings:  Copper and Crystal
The Heritage House gets a lot of tourist traffic, beginning in March.  So I need to load them up, so we all win.  Since I'm new to this region I really didn't know that the tourist start to visit so early, now I need to really get into gear because there are a few other galleries and gift shops that I have on my list.  I really need to get moving to be ready for those lovely visitors.  This is all part of my business plan, but now that it's happening I'm a bit shocked.  It's one thing to dream about something, but its a new level of excitement when it starts to happen.  So setting aside my stable accounting job and jumping into the deep end of the pool is scary, but it's actually happening.  Who da' thunk!?  Now of course the real truth will come to surface when I see an actual sale.  I'll let you know how the public responds to my jewelry.

Earrings:  Bronze and Crystal
Thank you for reading along with me as I explore a new career.  Linda