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Friday, November 12, 2010

Making Boxes

I have gotten myself some MDF (medium-density fiberboard for those not "in-the-know") and will be making myself some boxes. Yay. Note the utter lack of enthusiasm there. I hate sawing and gluing and nailing and all the basic skills it takes to make something out of wood. It is not my forte.

However, I will be making 2 boxes roughly 1 cubic foot each. They will have a mostly open front, and holes on both sides and the top. I will then paint the inside of one black and the other white. With some poster board or such I will make the back of the box seamless so it doesn't throw shadows, and the holes will be covered with white cloth to diffuse light.

That's right, I'm going to make myself some sturdy wooden light boxes. Mainly because I can't afford the fancy collapsible ones I really want. I'll have to get some mirror boards and a couple displays for picture taking, but I'm hoping my photos will be getting better with the addition of these large wooden boxes. The good thing is I have 2 linen closets near my work space with room in the bottom for these boxes. Eventually I will post progress pictures and maybe someone else who can't get the fancy ones will get some ideas.

The other reason they will be made of MDF instead of, say, PVC pipe frames wrapped in cloth is because I have a 2 year old daughter. She won't be able to arbitrarily grab the MDF boxes off the table and run off with them, or take them and loose them under the couch. I would love to have the collapsible ones, but I could just imagine her pulling the entire set up off the table and breaking some very expensive lamps. I will be on the hunt for the nice photography lamps with the reflectors and such, but when that hunt fails I will use some flood lights. I can always correct the yellowness.

Wish me luck, and when I can finally get the nice collapsible boxes these will most definitely be made into toy boxes or seating for my daughter. :) Multi-purpose at it's best.

Monday, November 1, 2010

ArtFire

I have opened an ArtFire account and am slowly bringing the items from my Etsy shop into it. Yes, I'm stopping my Etsy shop. I have no intention of deleting my whole account, I just won't be selling through them anymore. It is much more financially feasible for me to have a pro Artfire account than to pay out so much to keep my items at the tops of search results on Etsy.

For a little bit of celebrating this move, I have created a coupon to run from November 1 (today) to December 1 for $5 off the entire purchase price. This coupon is one use per customer, and is valid with other offers. If you have purchased from me before and I put a % off on the back of my business card, that is still valid. Just message me so I can adjust the price before you buy, or let me know when you purchase and I will refund the money off.

I have done one collection on ArtFire already, and if you would like to have your ArtFire shop featured on my blog, just contact me and I will be happy to blog about you. I can even put your shop in my ArtFire shop blog. My pieces on ArtFire are mostly chainmaille right now, but there will be other things soon enough.

My ArtFire Shop

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

100 Fans Giveaway!

My Facebook Fanpage...

Has now reached 100 fans! In appreciation for this milestone being reached I am holding a giveaway. I will draw two random fans from the group and one will win a custom OOAK bracelet and the other will win a custom OOAK pair of earrings. These winners will be announced Monday, when I will contact them for their addresses so I can send their gifts.

I will be doing the same thing with every 100 fans I get to the page. The gifts will be different each time, so stick with it and tell your friends to 'like' the page. The sooner I get to 200 fans, the sooner it will be for another chance to win free jewelry!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

All Moved... Even had a few Sales

We have moved completely into our house and are loving it. We signed the papers on the 15th, but were actually able to move in at the beginning of the month. No more apartment living! We have been lucky with furniture as well. Our apartment was not large enough for even a small dining table, so when we were presented with a house with an actual dining room and a large enough living room to add a kitchen table, we thought we would have a problem. But, family came through for us. My husband's grandmother gave us the dining table she had in her house, which she no longer had room for when she moved into the duplex. So we have heirloom family furniture in our dining room now, though the chairs need to be reupholstered. For our kitchen, my husband's dad and step mom gave us their kitchen table because they had gotten a new one. We need to get cushions for the seats, but that's where I've been doing most of my creating.

Since we've moved, I've also gotten into chainmaille. My projects have included full Persian bracelets in copper, a bronze turkish round bracelet, and aluminum half persian 4 in 1 bracelets. I also have a chunky copper keychain in the sandworm (B8FP) weave, which I absolutely love. I have also made my daughter a length of half persian 4 in 1 in large pink anodized aluminum rings to keep her occupied while I work on my latest project. My last order of rings from The Ring Lord came in with some exceptionally tiny rings in bright aluminum and turquoise anodized aluminum. They are 20g (AWG) 3/32" with an AR of 3. Yay for a teeny tiny Jens Pind. It's taking a while to finish this, but I really want it as a necklace chain for a gift for Christmas.

My next order of rings will be in a sufficient size to make a copper dragonscale bracelet. I've wanted to tackle dragonscale since the first time I saw it. It is literally the weave that gave me the chainmaille fever. I sincerely want to make a bracelet in sterling and gold-fill with the dragonscale weave, but I want to make one out of copper as practice.

Here is a picture of my Jens Pind project, with a penny for size reference:

I made it about twice the length it is in the picture and then held it up and discovered that I had messed up at about this point, and so had to take it apart back to this length. But that's the nature of learning. Make mistakes. I just bet I will hate this weave by the time this is necklace length, but I also bet it will be well worth all the headaches. :)


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vacation... With a Twist

My shop is on vacation mode until further notice. We are hoping to close on the house we just bought within the next week or so and with that and packing and moving and all the work we will have to do on the house, I have no time to maintain my shop right now. Don't worry, though. I will be back up and running in no time with new inventory.

The house was a foreclosure. It's in a small development on a golf course about half an hour from where we live now. The builders never finished it and then they went bankrupt so the bank now owns the houses and is trying like mad to get rid of them. It has never been lived in.

Now, by "unfinished" I mean it has no floors (they're bare concrete) and no appliances. The electrical is run, the plumbing is done, and it has light fixtures, faucets, and toilets already in it. So before we can move in, we have to put down floors and get the appliances. Not a big deal, we already have price quotes. Lowe's will be installing the floors and delivering the appliances for us to install. I'm cheap and am NOT paying $100/appliance for them to install. Nope. Not when I can damn well do it on my own.

Since this house was incomplete, we have that much more room to add our own personal touch to it. I have been sweating over paint chips for WEEKS now. I never thought picking out paint would be so difficult. I have three bedrooms, living room, kitchen, and dining room to paint. I mean, wow. The open, high traffic areas need to coordinate together so they're cohesive. But my husband's dad's house is all "sand and sea," so it's very high to tans and teals. I have been forbidden to use those colors on our house. This cut my options from wide open to half throttle and threw a monkey wrench into my vision. It doesn't help that the outside of the house is minty-freshness green and blinding white. I think I got a concession on the guest room, though, since it will double as an office for me. I can't sit in a neutral room all the time. I need color and inspiration. However, I do have a fairly neutral color for the kitchen and living room, and a slightly different neutral for the dining room, and a dark red for an accent wall to pop in both areas.

On top of all this, we will have to replace the studs in one of the garage walls. The garage on this house is roughly 12 feet tall because of the slope of the land. On one wall, the builder made a 4 foot high concrete wall and put 8 foot studs on top of that. perfectly to code. However, on the other wall they put 4 foot studs and then a 2x4 and then 8 foot studs on top of that. NOT to code and so not cool. So we have to take down the drywall and replace these mismatched studs one at a time with 12 foot studs. This is the part I am not looking forward to. But once it's done, the dear husband knows how to hang drywall. I think after that he'll just put peg board over it for all his bigger tools. No need to paint, which saves me one more headache in that department. Maybe I should tell him to paint it green...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Two New Creations

Today was a day when I wished I had a light box for my pictures. The pictures for these two new pieces are so bad that I haven't listed them on Etsy yet because the pictures don't do them justice at all. The next time I have money I will be buying a neck form and a T-bar display for picture purposes and I am going to get the materials to make a lightbox.

This first one is a necklace, obviously. The middle bit is 11 inches of sterling silver viking knit, capped off with sterling bead cones and 6mm malachite rounds. The pendant is a hand-carved malachite pendant, carved by Matheson Gem Works on Etsy. The bail is handmade from sterling silver wire with spirals for interest. The necklace is finished off with more malachite beads and a simple sterling silver chain and a large lobster clasp. It has a 1" extender with a malachite dangle. This will be priced at about $120, I haven't done all the math on the price yet, so that's a rough figure.




These next earrings are made with larimar and sterling silver. Larimar is a rare stone found only in the Dominican Republic that ranges in color from white, to light blue, green-blue, and dark blue. While the pectolite it is formed of is fairly common, the light blue coloration caused by the substitution of cobalt for calcium in the mineral makeup of the stone. These are on hand-wrapped sterling silver headpins and sterling silver French earwires. They will be priced at about $25-$28. Due to the rarity and price of larimar, any earrings made of the real thing will be more expensive.

These have not yet been listed on Etsy since I have yet to get good pictures of either piece.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Save the Coast

As most of you know, BP oil has been fiddling around with their thumbs up their asses over this major oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. This leak is effecting thousands of people along the coast and devastating the wildlife.

A great artist on Etsy, jojosart, is doing something to help the situation.

This print is only $18.00, of which $10 will be donated to the Audubon Society to help save the wildlife on the Gulf Coast that is being effected by this oil leak. Any help is very much welcome and will keep our coast lines full of thriving life for generations to come. For more information, visit jojosart's Etsy shop.