Thursday, March 8, 2012

Great Suppliers!

Usually you get to see my latest pieces here, or maybe a shot of my messy work place. But ,today I want to let you know about three excellent suppliers! Well, two of them I already know are excellent, and the third has already been prompt, honest and oh so helpful, so I'm claiming them as excellent suppliers as well.

1.    No, this is not a gaming site. I have no idea how they got their name. But, for excellent prices on metal stamping blanks, for great pieces, good chain and interesting beads at great prices you can't beat them. I sent in an order Tuesday afternoon and it arrived this morning. No joke! I've ordered sterling silver and copper blanks, sterling silver chain, anti-tarnish papers and a number of beads. I am VERY happy with their prices and service!

2. Zacoo on Etsy   This is actually a shop in China. I know, I know. Made in China? But yes, the beads and cabochons are AMAZING. The prices great. The shipping takes a bit long, but hey, it's coming from Beijing, China! If you order with enough time you'll be very happy with the quality of product!

3. Thunder Moon Supplies on Etsy  The owner answered my questions within a few hours, made a special listing just for me, and when I accidentally over ordered he let me know and credited my account. Also, he shipped within the first 12 hours of ordering. I've not seen what I ordered as yet, but so far I am duly impressed with the honesty, integrity and great service. His shop specializes in chains... bulk and individual, beading/jewelry tools and supplies and other misc. products.

If you work with jewelry I'd highly recommend these shops.

Happy Creating!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Who loves you? China Blue

While working on the plans for MMH's upcoming birthday gift I was inspired by my jar of owl beads. These beads are totally cute. I ordered them specially from China. Kind of funny... made in China. Anyway... I digress.

I always love a good pun, a play on words, words in general. So, I figured, why not mix words and beads in the same necklace. And, while I was at it I decided to make matching earrings. Who could resist sweet blue owl earrings? Hopefully someone can't resist them! HA

Here they are in all their glory... and they can be purchased on my etsy shop.

Who Loves You? China blue. earrings... $15.00

Who Loves You? China Blue. Necklace...$22.00

A close up of the metal stamping.

Happy Creating!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring is in the air...

Which means my basement is warming up and I'm enjoying my time down there creating. Thanks to Jessi Thornhill and Emily Foster I have almost all my metal findings sorted and labeled...
I had these great labels on hand and they match the jar/lid colors.

When possible I label the metal type, item name, size if needed, and where I purchaed it.

As you can see I have a few! Still not quite done.

These jars came from Emily... I'll store my less used/more unsual metal pieces in these as they don't match the others.

Then, thanks to my mom, and to my in-laws (birthday and Christmas checks) I've been able to purchase metal stamping tools and a wonderful new bead organization system.
Each tray pulls out from the plastic sleeve. Then in order to open the compartment you have to push a  button. It keeps everything organized, visible and "locked down." All but my "special/i.e. expensive' beads are in here.

Of course when I'm in the middle of creating you'll see my tools and supplies all over the desk. Here are supplies for Bethie's birthday necklace...

So, I have had the serious itch to create recently. Whether that's due to the possible Tri-Kappa show, a new plan for Art and Soul, or just for the fun of creating beautiful things I'm not sure. However, It's been so fun. Here are a few shots of things I've created. For more pictures, or for prices you may visit my Etsy site... simply click on the Etsy link on the top right side of my blog page.

Happy Creating! Check back soon... I have a craft day coming up and I expect I'll be doing some stamping on sterling silver.

Blessings, Kim

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oxidizing with Hardboiled Eggs

For those who know me you all know I hate hate hate to use chemicals. Ours is the lawn with crabgrass, the 10 foot tall poison ivy (I hate the chemicals and can't touch the plant) and the one who uses baking soda and vinegar to clean the kitchen sink.

Well, as I began the metal stamping process I kept seeing people refer to oxidizing their pieces. Because I started out with cheaper blanks I just used basic acrylic paint, painted on and then rubbed off. But, as I began to use sterling silver and copper I realized I wanted a more professional look that would last longer. Enter the fear of chemicals. I kept seeing reference to Liver of Sulfur and Silver Black. Both chemicals had all these hazard warnings, and as most of my work is done in the basement I didn't have a well ventilated area to use short of working outside... and it's cold outside in the winter.

So, a bit of research and voila'! Hard boiled eggs. Boil up an egg, old eggs are fine. After 15 minutes let them cool a bit, then drop it, shell and all into a baggie... mash away, but don't use your hands, remember, that egg is HOT! Then, drop your jewelry in, or suspend the jewerly over the warm mashed eggs. If you drop it in the baggie be sure to turn the baggie frequently so all pieces are oxidized.

I've had more fun watching this process than I would have imagined. I tried some cheaper silver-toned blanks as well, but as suspected they won't tarnish. I'll have to use permanent marker or paint, as I figured.

I'm so tickled to have found a natural way to oxidize the metal. Now on to the polishing!

Before the polish...

Using Pro-polish pads found at Hobby Lobby... very reasonably priced I might add.

after the first polishing...

and the second polishing....

and now ready for beads and a necklace...
Happy Creating!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Metal Work 101

Or maybe just "1"...?

Just starting out on this journey of learning to stamp metal and incorporate it into jewelry and other art. I've wanted to do this for OH so long. But didn't have the money to invest in supplies. Thanks to my mom and my in-laws I've been able to invest in several stamp sets, a stamping block and metal pieces. Enter the creations.

I've added metal stamping to a recent wedding shower card. (Sorry, forgot to take photos.) Additionally, I've made some necklaces.

This is my latest and is called "Who" Loves You?
You can find it on my etsy shop... see the sidebar.

I hammered the letters and distressed the metal.
I also wire wrapped a Czech glass pearl and dangled it on the pendant.

I love this darling owl. I have several...keep watching as I'm sure more will pop up.

I made this necklace yesterday.
I wanted to play with a tri-tone pendant. 

Someone suggested a Love, Hope, Faith necklace, but size of letters and sizes of blanks limited me.
So, I used a heart for the "Love"...

There's a gorgeous Czech glass bead that dangles over the heart... you catch glimpses of the heart as the bead sways. 

It's all hanging on a lovely copper ball chain. 

This is the one that started it all. A lovely sweet sixteen gift inspired by Miss Lydia.

I'll happily make necklaces to order. Initials, dates, thoughts, etc. You're limited by size and number of blanks, and size of letters. I have many many beads I can add... either as dangles or incorporated into the necklace itself. Chains range from ball chains to delicate chains. Just drop me a line and I'll do my best.

OH, and through Friday, February 14 there is 10% off at my Etsy shop... just use the coupon code

Hope you enjoy!

Blessings, Kim

Journal Swap... Journal Number Two

Or, "Better late than never."

So sorry Joyce. I can cite all the excuses in the book, but I'm not going to. I just hope you can forgive the late posting. Because I DiD tRuLy LoVe My PaCkAgE!!!

As I noted in a previous post Heather, of Speckled Egg fame, hosted an altered journal swap. It was a lot of fun for a newbie at this swapping business to meet new people via email, try to figure out their "Style" and then create for them. Joyce, from Scrapforjoy, was my second partner and she offered me a whole different approach. She asked me to create something I would like so that she could have a piece of my art to enjoy. That was a FUN assignment!

But, when it came time for her to create for me based on the things I had shared she not only took the things she learned about me, but she also read a bit on my blog/s and figured out a few things about me that helped to make her journal for me OH SO SPECIAL!
Note the lovely colors. Although these were not the colors I had mentioned, they are some of my favorite spring colors because they remind of me of hyacinths, lilacs and violets. My FAVORITE flowers!

Scripture... that was the icing on the cake. TRULY! She figured out what I believed and what was important and incorporated that into my journal design.

The most darling wee envelope just inside to tuck away mementos and notes.

The back inside cover appeared to be a pile of post cards. I LOVE post cards. I have a drawer full of them from which I pick and choose to create my Christmas cards. She really paid attention.

And the extras... At first I saw three scrabble letters and couldn't figure it out. Hmmm... doesn't take a rocket scientist does it? My name! And some cute vintage playing cards to add to art pieces.

Vintage cards... a birthday card received on my birthday week! and  CHOCOLATE. YUM! Already enjoying that treat!

All in all this was an amazing time of meeting, planning, making, sending, waiting, receiving and gratitude. So grateful for my sweet partners and for Heather who began this all. 

Oh... and here's a glimpse of my creations for Joyce:

A Faerie Queen for Joyce's journal... all done in dusty roses and pinks, with a bit of coral, gold and blue.

I really loved this paper flower... walnut ink, glitter and a gorgeous metal floral brad in the middle makes this one of my favorite flower creations. And I also had fun adding words on ribbons as place markers.
This paper made me think of Marie Antoinette... obviously "royal" to match the Faerie Queen.
Every faerie should grant a wish!
 Ah yes... the wish fulfilled... some extra goodies.
Vintage mailers, vintage trim and a personal note just for Joyce.
 How about some old photos, a flower pin I made, and some truffles.
And a domino necklace... one I made... another faerie of course! 

Joyce, I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Both you and Debra helped to make this a fabulous first swap! Thanks ever so much!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Journal Swap... Journal Number One

Well, WOW!!!!

I just completed my first ever online swap and so far? YAHOOOOOO!!! It was fun. I've met some very sweet ladies and had lots of fun creating.

BUT... the first journal made FOR me arrived this week and I had to share! This was from Debra. And, might I add, it was wrapped in red and white candy striped tissue? How CuTe is that?!

Debra was the creator. She asked a few questions about color and style. She visited my blogs and she created BEAUTY. Not only that but she included eXtRaS!Oh yes, she did.

Here is a photo sampling of the fun, and it arrived the day before my birthday so it was just like a big wonderful surprise birthday!
I told her I liked pink, vintage, birds, solder, beads, and she picked up on the Victorian influences on  my blogs I guess.

Isn't this a sweet dangle? Debra made it! 

Inside the covers were pockets... and goodies!

And the lining was vintage sheet music! (She must have caught on from my bottle pictures... I used old sheet music on those!) She is so observant and detailed.

Here's the whole package... journal, necklace, boxes to make and alter, slides in frames, bingo cards (How did she know?!), playing pieces, sheet music, tag frames. WOW! 

Here are the bingo cards... I have tons of Blue, had a few red and dark green, but I 've never had this  color or size before. VeRy FuN!

Isn't this sweet? I think I'll wear it to teaching tomorrow...

Thank you Debra! It was awesome!
And please stop by her blog sometime... she makes UBER cute stuff... she has these new bracelets... sooooo sweet!

 Here's a peek of what I made and packed for Debra...

This was fun. I learned this from "The Artistic Mother".... I painted  a background on paper. Then I scanned it into the computer and printed out a copy. I added stamps to it to fit the need. Then I scanned it again on the computer and altered the colors to match the theme and printed it out on card stock. Voila! I made my own paper for Debra's journal... it's made just for her!

What else would you put at the end?
Finis! Of course.

My dangle wasn't quite to the level of a soldered piece, but the colors were perfect and I'm happy.

This is trademark for me... a fairy with wings...

And every fairy should supply a wish. Of Course!

I had so much fun with the extras. Debra said she liked ephemera.

Cabinet photos, vintage printed envelopes, vintage trim, vintage buttons, a flower pin made from  a deconstructed vintage bridal hat and vintage leaf, a domino necklace and some chocolates.

I love making these and the colors matched the journal and the  flower  pin.

Peace Tree Mountain Truffles. Long story... but I was  part of the beginning of this business, although I don't work for them now. Just share the yummies. I hope Debra enjoyed her package as much as I enjoyed mine. This was so much fun!

Blessings, Kim