Self-Promotion Thursday: New Jewelry and an Early Sale Announcement!

It’s been a while since I’ve put up new jewelry pictures and links, so I’m going to work harder at getting that done on Thursdays.  I’m working on getting an actual art and jewelry blog up and running, but I’m not moving too fast on it.  Stick around, because I’m running a sale this weekend at my Etsy shop and you’ll find a coupon code that starts today at the bottom of this post. (I honor the discounted price on pieces placed on layaway during sales, by the way.)

New in the Etsy shop this week:

A black butterfly wing with blue and orange spots along its edge encased in a stain glass pendant.  It is attached to a rosary-style chain with peacock blue pearls and 5 larger brown smoky quartz beads.
Click picture to visit the listing.

I’m really excited to be teaching myself how to do stained glass, which eventually I hope to start building wardian case greenhouses and display cases for things like Ancestor relics.  I’m not there yet, but it’s the dream!

This is a Red-spotted Purple butterfly wing that was found naturally-expired in a relative’s garden.  I’ve encased it between 2 sheets of glass and used lead-free solder around the edges.  The pendant has been put on a rosary-style beaded chain that includes peacock blue pearls and 10mm brown smokey quartz beads.  The metal of the chain, including the hand-forged hook clasp, is copper.  And that hook clasp?  It’s been placed to the front of the necklace instead of the back, which is a style I’m moving towards for ease of use as well as aesthetic.  I know I’m not the only person out there that has issues clasping necklaces behind their heads.

The necklace is seconds quality, because a bit of flux slipped between the glass while I was making this.  It won’t structurally harm anything, but it does show up.  Therefore this piece has a 50% discount.

A sterling silver palmette-shaped filigree earring with a cluster of amethyst beads and jade green chrysoprase tear drop underneath.
Click picture to visit the listing.

These are actually older earrings that I am just getting around to listing.  They include my hand-made filigree pieces, variagated amethyst beads, and faceted chrysoprace briolettes.

A pair of long earrings consisting of an ivory and red handmade bead, 3 clear herkimer diamonds, 2 red garnets, hand-cut sterling silver hearts, and black sapphire teardrops
Click picture to visit the listing.

And some newer ones, featuring self-representing artisan-made lampwork beads, Herkimer diamonds, garnets, and black sapphire briolettes.  Oh, and hand-cut sterling silver hearts that I’ve texturized and put an oxidized patina on.  These lovelies measure almost 4-inches long.

Click picture to visit the listing.
Click picture to visit the listing.

Finally, there is this bracelet, which is another piece from my death-related line of mourning and memorial jewelry.  The beads are antique French jet, which are a wee bit chipped and definitely worn between the late 1800s and 1930.  I’ve made them into a brushed sterling silver chain and haphazardly stamped a Pablo Naruda quote onto them from his poem The Dead Woman.  Oh!  And lace.  Because lace.

But what about that sale announcement I promised?  Yes, from today until November 2nd, you can take 20% off in my Etsy shop with no minimum purchase.  Use code Samhain2015 at checkout.

I’ll be back in the next few days with photos from our Ancestor shrine.  But until then, have a great weekend with your Ancestors for those of you celebrating Them!

New Bobby Pins in My Etsy Shop!

Three bobby pins made with 2 round blue buttons and 1 button that is shaped like a daisy
Three blue bobby pins made from vintage buttons.  I love these for holding my veil in place when offering outside on windy days!  Click to see them in my Etsy shop!

I’ve been terrible about updating my Etsy shop lately, and partially it’s because I need to break down and get something to model necklaces on.  Yesterday I started putting together bobby pin sets made with vintage buttons while organizing my button stash.  My daughter and I are digging out the little buttons to string onto copper metal hearts, since much of my vintage button stash comes from my great-grandmothers’ stashes.  We’re going to decorate our Ancestor shrine in the upcoming days with the button hearts and skulls we’ve painted together.

Three bobby pins made with antique yellow buttons on an antique book background
Yellow and mustard bobby pin set – Click to see the Etsy listing!

The bobby pin sets have been something I’d pondered doing for a while, since I don’t have uses for single buttons that I’ve squirreled away over the years.  I’m trying to use supplies I already have before we move next summer.

Two red and one burgundy vintage buttons made into bobby pins sit on a tan antique book cover

When I was still able to cover my hair, I loved using decorative bobby pins for my scarves wrapped in tichel-style, and I imagine these would work nicely for other types of veiling.  Now I use them to hold my veil when outside and giving offerings without having to put a knot into anything (which is a no-no for the discerning Roman).

3 bobby pins made to 2 pink bobby pins with smaller white buttons and one larger darker pink button. 3 bobby pins made with 3 different gray buttons

Of course, I also just love them for a little extra in my hair when I wear it up, too.  Especially now that my hair is growing out again.

There is a little bit more hiding in my Etsy shop, since I promised some friends a shop update.  Stay tuned, because I’m considering a sale in the upcoming weeks!

Now Selling Jewelry (Again)

At some point in the last week I decided I could no longer handle not making jewelry.  Over the years I’ve changed my focus from specifically beaded work to some beaded work and metal.  I specialize in filigree, which when I started working in the discipline was a bit of a dying art in the United States.  I will also be using my Etsy shop to offer sculpture and 2D art, and I have a plan to offer printed goods through a Society6 store…  But one step at a time.

Plan on seeing prayer beads with hand-fabricated metal components, amulets, talismans, and a world of other pieces from me on Thursdays, highlighting what I’ve put up for the week for sale.  I’m currently listing older stock, and I’m also not currently taking custom work offers…  That will most likely change in the form of dedicated listings for specific objects.  Since I specialize in short-run and one-of-a-kind work, I’m not known to enjoy making the same ring over and over and over again.

I’m very, very excited about this!  I’m looking forward to getting back to my torch and pliers along with hopes to buy a kiln in the next 12 months to start enamel, precious metal clay, and glass work.

So allow me to show you what I’ve listed so far this week for sale…

A pair of long-back hook earrings with chain fringe, a lemon quartz briolette, garnets, and turquoise
        The Fringe Earrings – Lemon Quartz, Stabilized                Turquoise, and Garnet on oxidized sterling silver.

One of the things about my work that I’m proud of is that I’ve been able to source quality stones.  When I use turquoise, for instance, it’s not chalk turquoise that has been dyed, but it instead stabilized turquoise that has been otherwise untreated.  I try to find the very best faceting on stones as well, so in the earrings above they are gem-grade lemon quartz.  The faceting is flawless.  These earrings are available here.

Earrings with 2 black clay birds on top of tiny pearls and black tourmalinated quartz teardrops
Huginn & Muninn – Oaxacan black clay, seed pearls, and black tourmalinated quartz on oxidized sterling silver

So…  I’m a little bit obsessed with Oaxacan black clay beads.  They’re handmade by artisans in Mexico, and sooner than later I’m hoping to buy directly from those making these amazing beads the next time I buy a batch of them.  The beads I’m working with currently were bought by a friend who was traveling in Oaxaca a few years ago, and I’m going to be sad when they run out.  You’ll likely see these showing up in my prayer necklaces, because there’s a certain tactile quality that I can’t put into words that is simply magical.  And I really love using them in designs where I can highlight their details while balancing them against beautiful stones and pearls.  You can find these here.

A long ruby and quartz necklace sitting on books
The Queen of Hearts Necklace – Rubies, Lepedocrosite in Quartz, and Pearls with a filigree clasp
A blackened silver heart hook clasp surrounded by white pearls
Detail of the oxidized sterling silver clasp and pearls

My goal for upcoming jewelry is to move away from pre-bought components other than chain when working in silver.  I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do the same with gold-fill, but in the future I’m also planning on working in 14k gold in customs.  This is not to disparage those working with mass-produced findings, obviously; not everyone has the skill set that I do nor the time, ability, or interest.  But one of the largest influences in jewelry for me is looking at Art Nouveau and older pieces, really taking in the complete nature of design.  If I am making an item, I want complete control over the design…  That has been a driving force in my self-education in jewelry, because, yes, I am proudly self-taught.

This necklace is one of my pride and joys.  Not only did I get to use a boatload of rubies, but I also made a point to highlight the hand-fabricated clasp.  Curious about it?  You can find it here.

(And yes, I do accept payment plans; feel free to send me an email or Etsy message to discuss them.)

Silver filigree chandelier earrings with patina, smoky quartz, rhodolite garnet, and carnelian beads clustered at the bottom
Sterling silver chandelier earrings including filigree, carnelian, rhodolite garnet, and smoky quartz.

Another example of my filigree work available here.

I also make sure that I make more easily affordable pieces and simpler daily wear items.

For instance, this petite little necklace with a lemon quartz briolette that’s just a little over a quarter-inch in height…

A sterling silver necklace with pale yellow lemon quartz teardrop
The Little Lemon Quartz Necklace

Available here.

And affordable options for the budget bride or other savvy spender looking for high-quality jewelry that won’t break the bank.

Gold-fill, pearl, morganite, and rainbow moonstone earrings.
Gold-fill, pearl, morganite, and rainbow moonstone earrings.

Available here.

Over the next few days more and more will be going up.  And soon I’ll have other types of art in my shop as well.  I do barter for things I need, especially online classes and books that fall under my interest, but sometimes art or supplies as well.  This is on a case-by-case basis, though, because sometimes I simply can’t afford to let go of a certain amount of materials used or am really needing to pay a bill (like my last dental bill… Yikes!).

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