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Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Day at the Beach!

Recently I was out on the east coast and had to drive up to New Jersey to pick up my new-to-me      
display cases.  Although this is not about my cases, I am so excited about them, I have to show you a picture anyway!  After being stranded with car problems for two days I wasn't quite ready to use them, but I had to bring a small one to my show yesterday, so here it is on the left, totally last minute and unprepared.

At my next show I will probably have all of them, and the display will be looking better than just throwing some stuff in there!  Jewelry display is sure a lot of work!

Anyway, when I picked up the cases we were only about three miles from the ocean, so we thought we really ought to see it while we were there.

I have seen the ocean in Florida, California and Hawaii, and even some more exotic locations like the Philippines, Thailand and China.  But I had never seen the ocean in the northeastern United States.  I have never seen the TV show Jersey Shore, and really have no desire to.  So I really didn't know what to expect, although I can say I didn't have high expectations.  I
boy playing on the beach
guess I pictured a beach with a bunch of trash floating around.

So I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.  The Jersey Shore actually had a very beautiful beach, although it had entirely too many people for my taste.  We ate at a nice place called Charlies Ocean Grill in Longbranch out on a deck with a view of the ocean.  We went down to the beach there, then drove up to the next town to the north where there were a bunch of homes with private beaches.  I think that's where they film the show, but my husband was actually interested in seeing damage from hurricane Sandy.

So anyway, that was the inspiration for my new Day At The Beach collection, featuring handmade jewelry from the JCUIN guild.  Here are just a few of the pieces, click on the picture for more information:

Ocean Jasper Madagascar Stone Pendant Sterling Pink and Green
Ocean Jasper  Pendant by Diane's Dangles

This gorgeous stone is Ocean Jasper and it comes from Madagascar.  I'm guessing it gets it's name from it's looks, because it looks like ocean and sand.  You can imagine an ariel view of little tide pools on a sand beach.  Diane has added a sterling bezel and chain, which, as she says, is all it needed.

Larimar and Sterling Silver Ring Size 7 r7lark1936
Larimar and Sterling Silver Ring by Lunar Skies

I don't think I have ever actually seen Larimar in person, but I just love the color of it!  It looks like the turquoise water off a Caribbean beach.  This stone is only found in the Dominican Republic, so now I want to go there and find some of this gorgeous stone.  This larimar and sterlling silver ring is handmade by Quentin of Lunar Skies.  I was so happy when he joined the JCUIN guild, because it meant I got to put his awesome jewelry in my collections!  His studio is full of more like this one!

Oval Funky Fish Earrings Sterling Silver Wave Handmade Ear Wires
Funky Fish Earrings by Shanghai Tai

Now time for a little shameless self-promotion.  These are my funky fish earrings.  What day at the beach would be complete without a fish in some kind of condition?  I'm not sure what condition these fish are in, but they are unusual.  I made them by hand from sterling silver using metal clay and then gave them some unique hand forged sterling ear wires.

Beach Pelican Fused Glass Iridescent Pendant Necklace
Beach Pelican Fused Glass Pendant by M2BC

Here is a beautiful miniature work of art by M2BC, which stands for Meant To Be Cherished.  And someone will certainly cherish this pendant that features a pelican on a post in front of a pebble-y beach, white waves, blue sky and pink clouds!  Fused glass is always a little bit of a gamble, but this one turned out beautifully!

Stacked stone cairn from NW beaches Om Rock Pendant
Stacked Stone Cairn Pendant by Jan E O Jewelry

I like this pendant because it is so unusual.  It is stacked beach stones.  I did not know what a "cairn" was, so I looked it up.  Turns out it's Gaelic for a "stack of stones".  Who knew?  Well, maybe you did.  These stones come from the Pacific northwest where the artist picks them up on the beach.  Sounds like a good idea, since I never find any sea glass!  She has put copper discs in between that are made from recycled copper.

Mother of Pearl Shell Pendant Necklace Sterling Handmade OOAK Unique
Mother of Pearl Necklace by Shadow Dog Design

Last, but not least, what visit to the beach would be complete without some shells?  Here is a very pretty mother of pearl necklace by Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs.  I especially like the photography and how she staged the necklace in a heart shape.  With this necklace, even if you're not at the beach, you can take a little of the beach with you!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little virtual jewelry trip.  When was the last time you went to the beach?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hidden Treasures Redux

Websters defines "redux" as "brought back".  It originates from the Latin word "reducere", meaning "lead back".  So I think the name is appropriate here.  A while back it I did a Hidden Treasures collection and blog post.  The pieces chosen were a hit, so much so that you can no longer see the collection on Artfire because too many of the pieces sold.  So I hope that will be the case for this sequel.

So, without further ado, let me lead you back through the Jewelry Creators Unite In Numbers (JCUIN) guild to find some new Hidden Treasures:  (Click on the pictures for more info on each item.)

Sun Earrings, Silver Resin Disks, African Beads, Suede Cord, Handmade
Sun Earrings, by Pretty Gonzo

You know, I don't remember when it was, but I have loved these earrings since the day I first saw them.  I think because they remind me of New Mexico (and vacation).  It's obviously the sun motif  silver focal beads and the desert colors in the African sand-cast resin beads on either side of the suns.  The blue suede fringe is perfectly matched.  These earrings are made by Mary of Pretty Gonzo.  I really think earrings are her thing.  Sometimes I can just see a picture of earrings and I know that she made them.  That means she has found her style, something I certainly still aspire to do.

Labradorite Crescent Moon Copper Wire Wrap Pendant Citrine Briolette
Labradorite Crescent Moon Pendant by Jewelry Art by Dawn

This crescent moon shaped pendant is certainly a treasure that was hidden until I recently stumbled upon it.  A very creative design, with one copper wire circle inside another to create a moon in a circle.  Then the moon is filled in with tiny Labradorite beads delicately wire wrapped inside the crescent.  The finishing touch is a faceted Citrine briolette dangling from the bottom of the moon.  It's like a miniature work of art brought to you by Dawn, of Jewelry Art By Dawn.  By the way, she also paints!

IMJ Green Embossed Brass & Lampwork Leaf Pendant
Embossed Brass Leaf Pendant by Iron Mountain Jewelry

This pendant by Iron Mountain Jewelry is awesome.  I thought the shape of it was just random until I read the title and realized it is actually in the shape of a leaf.  I also thought at first that it was made from metal clay because of the texture on it.  Turns out its actually embossed.  I would sure like to know more about the process; I'm wondering if it's done with a rolling mill.  (Maybe that's not embossed, I don't know.)  Anyway, it's a treasure in my book!

Bronze fold form forged bracelet
Bronze Fold Form Forged Bracelet by Jan E O Jewelry

Here's a hidden gem!  This is a fold-formed bracelet in brass by Jan E O Jewelry.  I can appreciate this because I have taken a class in fold-forming and made some earrings.  I love the rustic look and the detailed texture that you see in some of the sections of the bracelet.  I also think it has a really great flame patina!

Sonoran Sunrise and Sterling Silver Earrings esstg1981
Sonoran Sunrise and Sterling Silver Earrings by Lunar Skies

These Sonoran Sunrise and sterling earrings by Lunar Skies are exquisite.  I think I picked these because of the gorgeous colors, because I just as easily could have picked anything in his studio.  They are all treasures!  I am not familiar with the stone called sonora sunrise, but apparently it is a combination of three different stones (from top to bottom): cuprite, tenorite, and chrysocolla.  Also I should tell you that the artist cuts his own stones.  (I know where I'm going to go shopping for cabs after I get better at soldering!)

Blue Dichroic Fine Silver Pendant Diamond Cut Sterling Chain Handmade
Cerulean Wave by Shanghai Tai

OK, last but not least, I get to do a bit of self promotion.  This is Cerulean Wave, the redux version.  It is made of metal clay and blue dichroic glass.  I make many pendants, and don't always make them into necklaces.  I had photographed and listed this pendant on a blue cord that, while matching the dark blue in the dichroic glass, didn't do the pendant justice.  So I have added this gorgeous sterling silver chain.  It's wave pattern goes perfectly with the wave pattern in the bezel of the pendant.  People say sequels aren't as good, but the redux is better.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual treasure hunt back through the JCUIN guild!  Oh, if you'd like to see the Artfire Collection, you can find it here:

Hidden Treasures Redux

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Winona Lake Show

I wanted to show everyone my booth at the Winona Lake Show last weekend.  There was a huge storm on Friday night and, being the procrastinator that I am, I was trying to get a lot of things done at the last minute. Then the power went out, so I thought, I'll go to bed and get up early.  When morning came we still didn't have power, or hot water, or not much water at all actually.  It did come on later though, so I did get to jump in the shower at the last minute so I didn't stink up my booth!

So, anyway, here it is.  As you can see we did some serious weights on it.  My husband set it up Friday night before the storm came in and as he left to go camping with the Boy Scouts he said "It's not going anywhere!"  He was right.  Unfortunately a couple of booths did get blown down in the storm, but mine was still standing.

The weather seemed to keep some of the crowds away.  It was supposed to be thunderstorms all day Saturday, but we never had a drop of rain.  Then Sunday was supposed to be nice, but in addition to a little bit of actual rain, it looked like it was going to rain all day.  The people who did show up were great though.

It was a fairly good show in spite of the weather, and I experienced a first for me.  When I checked in, they started telling me about sponsor awards.  I told them it didn't matter, because I sold jewelry so I was never going to get a sponsor award.  Corporations don't buy jewelry to hang on their corporate walls, I explained.  She said you never know, and not all of the sponsors were corporate sponsors.  Sure enough, she was right and I did get a sponsor award.  It wasn't a big one, but I'm not complaining, because I was very pleased just to get one!

So all in all, I'd say it was a pretty good show.