Jewelry with an Organic Style

Jewelry with an Organic Style

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival


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Sorry it has been a while since my last Etsy Metal Blog Carnival. I need more hours in the day like many people. This months topic is, "These are a few of my Favorite Things...." I think this will be fun.

The list is long and I could go on for days so I will try to pick out my top favorites.


Obviously my son is not a thing but he is on top of the list. I do love it when we can hang out together. Those margaritas were great too!!



Every since I moved to Cape Cod the sunsets are very beautiful, I just love the colors.




Chocolate Cake, yum yum!! My birthday and my sisters birthday are both in July so we celebrate together and my mother bakes the cake. This recipe was given to my grandmother when she was young from a friendly neighbor shortly after she moved into her new house. We have been baking this cake for many years!! It is the bomb!!

As for music I love all kinds. I am a big fan of the 70's and 80's because that is when I was a young whipper snapper growing up having the time of my life. My first album I ever purchased with my own money was Aerosmith "Toys in the Attic" I am still a big fan, "Pink" is one of my favorite songs of theirs.

I usually listen to the classic rock and roll in the studio, Led Zeppelin for me is the best for making jewelry. I am lucky there is a great radio station that plays a lot of my favorite rock and roll bands that I can listen to when I am working,

And when I am chillin' these are my some of my favorites, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the one and only BB King who just moved on to the next life.



Did you think I was going to forget her?? Never, she is the queen!! also know as KiKi. I love her little nose and mouth which I think are absolutely perfect. Growing up I was mostly a dog person, and I still am. My parents showed dogs when I was young so we always had many dogs. I also had dogs when I lived in Italy. At one point I felt the need to get a cat and I am so glad I did. I know there are NON pet people out there who find it hard to understand, but she was a constant friend when I was going through some difficult times.  Of course when I moved back to the US to start a new life she was on the plane with me. 



How could I not mention my love of cabochons which is becoming a drug for me!!



Just as important as all the others, I love my job, here is one of my latest pieces. A sterling silver necklace with a hollow form toggle and epidote cabochon.




Below are links to other etsy metal team members, feel free to check out what their favorite things are.










Hollow Form Obsession


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It has been a while since I have done a tutorial. Recently I have become obsessed with making hollow forms. I love how they give dimension to the jewelry piece. I have struggled with making them so I thought I would share what I have learned along the way. Please keep in mind that I am not an expert, and nothing is written in stone. The techniques I use or how I do things is just what works best for me. Also please take all safety measure while working in your studio.

For sometime I have wanted to make a bracelet with all hollow forms. I have put it on the back burner for a while because making one hollow form is one thing, several is something else. I also had to overcome my fear of making "hinges". The big question was how would these hollow forms be attached??? There are so many different kind of hinges, which one to use???? So here is the journey/tutorial of the hollow form bracelet. I hope you will enjoy it and maybe learn something new.

For starters the one thing you need the most is PATIENCE, especially with the hinges, but I will get to those. Lets start with the hollow forms.


For my hollow forms I did not want a square with perfect corners at 90 degree angles. I wanted a softer look. With a strip of 22 gauge sheet I use my pliers to make the corners. If you are looking for perfect corners, determine the measurements for your square and  make two "L" shape strips, score the corners and solder for a sharper edge corner. I took the easy route and after I got the square shape that I wanted I hard soldered it. I sanded  the edges and then soldered on one backing and pierced the holes. I was told that all hollow forms must have a hole or it could explode while soldering. Of course secretly I want to try soldering one with no hole to see if this is true but I am too afraid. I tried to turn the holes into a decorative part of the hollow form. If you don't like many holes, one little hole is sufficient on the bottom side. In the end I easy soldered on the other side of the hollow form.

In the past I would have a hard time getting the solder to flow and I would end up overheating the piece and then it would crack. Now I am using 22 gauge silver sheet for the sides and 20 gauge for the top and bottom of the hollow form. I think I was using a thicker gauge before. Also not only did the solder not flow, the previous solder joints would come apart because I was overheating.  Now I started coating the previous solder joints with white out so they will not flow. It works like magic!!!




Here is how I made the toggle. I think the photos explain the process nicely. I made the outer square and inner circle with 22 gauge sheet, hard soldered and sanded. Then I soldered on  the front side with medium and cut out the hole with my jewelers saw. Then solder on the back side with easy, cut out the hole with the saw and sanded. Remember to use the white out on the previous solder joints.

Once  all the hollow forms are made, I used my benchmate to hold them while sanding. I wanted a smooth roundish edge.  I used both hand files and my flex shaft for sanding.



Now lets move onto the hinges..........


First I solder on the tubes on all the hollow forms. I soldered all the tubes on the right side of the hollow form and the jump rings on the left side of the hollow forms. I used pencil lead to hold the tube in place. And of course I applied white out on the edges of the hollow form to prevent the previous solder joints to flow.


For the jump rings, first I hard soldered the jump rings and them sanded a flat edge. I used the pencil lead to hold everything together. This is where you need a big load a patience. I balled up the solder and place it on the jump rings.This is what worked best for me, solder chips would just fall off.  I will admit a few times I had to step away out of frustration, but when I came back everything came together. Remember to apply white out to the previous solder joints, especially the tube which is very close to the jump rings that are being soldered.

After all the tubes and jump rings were soldered, pickled and cleaned,  it was time for the wire rivet.

                                 

First I put the wire in my vise and used a rivet hammer to mushroom out one end of the wire.
You need a resist to mushroom out the other end so I used one of the punches from this
stone setting system. I put it in the vise and the wire rivet sat perfectly in it so I could mushroom out the other side. That pretty much sums up how I made the bracelet, hope you liked the tutorial and that it helped you in some way, Here are other ways I have used hollow forms in my jewelry,







Spring Sale!!


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Having a spring sale in my Etsy Shop. With a minimum purchase of $50.00 you can receive a 20% discount at checkout on any item availabe in my shop.

Use coupon code BYEBYESNOW

Thanks
LjBjewelry

The sale does not apply to special custom orders.

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival


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It is that time again and this month's topic is "My jewelry box?"

Well there is not much jewelry in my jewelry box. The box itself was a gift from my mother and I mostly keep jewelry that has sentimental value for me, or some of my favorite pieces that I have created. There are some wonderful secret Santa gifts from my etsymetal team members and my rejects. My rejects are pieces that I have made that have some minor defect and therefore I do not feel comfortable selling but I also love to much to take apart and melt down. I also keep them as a reminder of what I learned when making that piece.






One of my favorite pieces is this pendant made by my mother, Jane Cather. She gave me this pendant on our trip to Venice Italy. Fun times!!! She made her design and then transferred it to pnp paper, then the design was transferred to a sheet of brass and etched in ferric chloride. Last she passed the etched brass plate with piece of sterling silver through the rolling mill to create the design on the silver pendant. You can click on her name to see all her blog tutorials on metalwork.



One of the first rings I made was this beach stone ring in the front with the silver and copper granules. I kept this ring because the  beach stone wiggles slightly, one of my old favorites though.
Hope you enjoyed peeking into my jewelry box, you can check out what is in other team member's jewelry boxes on the links below


Laney Clark

Danielle Miller

Amuckdesign

Rebecca Bogan

Anne Walker

Fenton Design

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival


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It is that time again, the etsy metal blog carnival, this month's topic is quite obvious. What are your New Year Resolutions, how will you keep them? Did any work from last year?


I think the most obvious are diet, work hard, save money. The diet one always seems to be there every year, so it is easy to say I am still working on that one from last year. This years resolution of course has to do with making jewelry. My website has been going well and things have been moving along since I have moved back to the US. I can proudly say that making jewelry is my job and I love it!!!!! I am not a millionaire but I am happy!!

Now I want to take it up a notch. This past year I participated in 11 art shows, some were great, and there were a few that were ok. My goal is to create a portfolio of work in hopes of getting into the more higher end art shows. Of course, to participate in these art show the cost is higher but I also have to be accepted. I would be a very happy camper if I could get into just a couple of prestigious art shows. For now I have the fun of working on new pieces, creating and developing my style.

So to help me on my way I though it was a good idea to get a new workbench and some new tools to help speed up my production and make a few things easier.



 I purchased this bench at Harbor Freight. I was standing up a lot while I worked and getting very tired. Now I can sit and work at the same time.




Already covered with tools and I am just loving it!!



My favorite new tool is my new Grs benchmate stone setting kit. Hopefully it will speed up my stone setting skills.

I am still working out of my very generous sister's garage who helped set everything up.  She is also very good at organizing and always likes to add a decorative touch to my little corner studio.


This little house is just to cute!!



New work.



Feel free to check out the New Years resolutions of other etsy metal members, I am sure they will be great!!










Cyber Monday Sale!!


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I am having a cyber Monday sale!!!. December 01, 2014!! I don't have many sales so this is a great opportunity for your holiday shopping. With a minimum purchase of $50.00 you may receive a discount of 20% at checkout. Use coupon code ETSYMETALSALE.

The sale is only for Monday, don't miss out!!

Enjoy!!

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival


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It is that time again when etsy metal team members get together to talk about a common topic. This months question is:

How do you get ready for the Holidays?? Do you make special items, have sales, shows?? How do you celebrate the Holidays??

As for the holidays spent with the family I feel like I am a child again. I never made it home for the holidays when I lived in Italy. Now that I have moved back I am enjoying every minute making up for all the holidays I missed in the past. We don't do anything special, we just spend the day together and of course eat!!!

As for my jewelry business I always hope I will be busy working, creating new pieces and filling orders for the holiday shoppers.  I also do a little prepping and organizing before the holidays making sure everything is ready to help reduce the fabrication and shipping times.


In between orders I try to stock up and prepare all the components I will need for the fabrication of my made to order pieces. My bangles seem to be popular so I measure and cut all the wire or sheet I will need for each standard size.

                           

This way I have taken one step out of the process and reduces a little the time for fabrication. For my anticlastic bangles I try to keep a few bangles ready in each size. This is the most time consuming part of this bangle, so keeping them in stock and ready to go is a great help.





In the shipping department I also try to keep everything ready as possible. I use craft boxes for my jewelry and I had a logo stamp made so I could stamp my own boxes. If you are interested I purchased my custom stamp at Standard Stamp Co.  on etsy. They have many designs to choose from or you can send them your own design and they will reproduce it for you. They did a lovely job!!

I also keep large quantity of padded envelopes, ribbons, business cards and tape on hand so there are no last minute running to the store to get them which is a waste of time.





This is also when I start planning next years show schedule and sending in applications for the art shows for 2015. I made my own wall calendar using a bulletin board and I pinned each month of the calendar so I can see everything at once. The picture is not to great, sorry, but each square is a month of 2015. This way I can keep track of when the applications and payments are due, show dates and times. This past year I participated in 10 art shows so it can get a little confusing at times.




My last show of this year will be in Orleans Ma, with the Artisan's Guild of Cape Cod, on November 28-29 2014, 10:00-5:00 daily. The art show will be held at the Orleans Middle School in Orleans. If you are on the Cape for Thanksgiving weekend feel free to come by and say hello.


You can also check out what other etsy metal members are doing on the Holidays:

Hybrid Handmade Jewelry


Node Form


Beth Cyr

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