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!