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


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!!


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

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival

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Well now that I am finally settling in my new apartment and the shows are slowing down I am glad to say the Etsy Metal Blog Carnival is back!!.  Hopefully I will be able to find more time for blogging. This blog carnival is where etsymetal team members come together and blog about a common topic.

This months topic is "What are your favorite pieces or creations and what was your inspiration?" All my pieces are my  favorites in one way or another. However the ones that are most challenging are usually my all time favorites. Those are also usually the pieces where I learn something new and take the longest to make. I can't say my inspirations come from nature or a certain design or color. What inspires me the most  is the challenge of creating something I have never made before. Yes I am somewhat competitive mostly with myself. When it comes to jewelry I like pushing myself into metalsmithing territories I would not normally venture.

This ring is one of my latest creations. The ring has a textured hollow form with a spinner band and some gold balls. I truly enjoy making hollow forms and challenging myself with how many different ways I can incorporate them in a jewelry piece.  I don't really sketch out my designs first, they somewhat evolve on the way.  I do however sketch out the fabrication of the piece I am making. What to solder first, how to texture, etc. Needless to say my drawings are not that pretty. This ring took a while, I first made the hollow form and then put it aside so I could think on what path it should take, ring, necklace, bracelet??? 

 On the ring band I also cut out a feather, added some texture and soldered it to the band. My mother tells me that I always want to make the most challenging pieces. I guess that is true, at least for me. I think the desire to challenge myself comes from the beginning when I started making jewelry.  I had so many design I wanted to make flowing around in my head. Unfortunately I could not make them because I did not have all the proper tools.  We all know how expensive the tools are, but now my tool supply has grown and I can take on more complex pieces. Maybe a ring like this isn't challenging for a more experience jewelry maker, but for me it was and I am very pleased with how it came out. I am so pleased that I decided to keep it for myself and not sell it.

My next challenge.......... 

Another hollow form is being fabricated but is still evolving. I want it to be part of a bracelet, but in the end who knows. I do know I want to add some hinges and that is another challenge because it will be my first time making hinges. Can't wait to find some time in between orders and shows to work on it!!

Hope you enjoyed reading my blog post, you can check out the other etsymetal team members and their favorite pieces on the below links:-))

Weekend Art Show

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Just thought I would give you a heads up. I will be selling my jewelry at By the Bay Art Show located in the very cute Lemon Tree Village located in Brewster Ma. on Oct. 4-5. Show times are 10:00-4:00 each day. If you are on Cape Cod for the weekend and would like to see my creations in person come by and say hello!!

Art Shows

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I apologize for not blogging more often. This past year has been a very busy year for me. Moving back to the US, starting my jewelry business here, website orders, art shows, and  moving into my own apartment has taken up every hour of my life. However, finally having a place of my own is just the best!!.

 Since so much has been going on in my life I really did not know what to blog about, or where to start. Then I thought I would share my art show experience this past summer. I signed up for 10 art shows in hopes of selling some of my art jewelry. I was not able to participate in any art or craft shows when I lived in Italy so this was all new for me. It can be very exciting and very exhausting at the same time, but I am loving it.

My booth set up is always evolving. Obviously I want it to be attractive but also very easy to transport and set up. This was my set up at my last show.

Most of the art shows are outside during the summer therefore I needed to get a tent obviously in case of rain or wind. If there is a lite rain the tent is ok, but if there is a big storm it will leak and have to pack up. I was lucky I only had one rain day where I had to close up shop. 

Another vendor recommended I put noodles in the corners of the tent roof so the rain will roll off and not build up. I would of never dreamed of this but it helped, so now when I leave for a outdoor show I always bring my noodles. There are so many things to take into consideration that did not even cross my mind, like weights for your tent in case of wind. I guess you can tell I am a real newbie in the art show world. I purchased sand bags and filled them with sand from the beach and they wrap around the tent leg. I also use two stakes per tent leg, the wind can be scary on the Cape. I definitely do not want my tent blowing away, I heard many scary stories from other vendors. 

Like I said before my booth set up is always changing. Of course I cannot afford my dream set up quite yet but I always try to make it appealing to the potential customer. However there are a few things I have learned over this summer. Unfortunately I know having the jewelry open on the table there is a possibility of theft. I hate having this fear and I wish I did not have it. Sometimes in today's world we have to be careful. When I started, I kept my more expensive pieces in glass cases, but rarely anyone ever asked to try them on or purchase them. I think customers felt some what inhibited. I decided to overcome my fear of theft and removed the cases, now I have just one which is more just a decorative touch. Once everything was accessible to the customer the higher end pieces sold. Coincidence??? Maybe?? Maybe not. 

I also try to keep it minimal and use neutral colors. I like the wood risers and natural busts which I think make  my jewelry stand out. I want people looking at my jewelry and not at an over whelming or crowded booth display. I also had two large banners made with photos of my jewelry in hopes of grabbing peoples attention when they are walking by. I had a third banner made of photos of me making my jewelry. Sometimes people find it hard to believe that I fabricate my creations so I thought adding a process photo might help. 

Also when I started doing shows I  kept the table close to the opening of the tent. This made it hard for more than two people to stand at my table and browse. I also think it made potential customers feel that they were not welcome to come all the way into the tent. Here I have to give credit to my sister, she recommended to bring the table further inside the tent and set it up at an angle. I have my chair and packaging supplies in the corner behind the table. This created a more welcoming and larger space for potential customers to come into the tent and browse and look at my jewelry. One more tip is also to raise the tables, you do not want your customers to have to hunch over your table while they look art your art work. Some people use bed raisers, I used PVC tubes and slid them on the table legs to make the table higher.

I still have two more shows this fall, and I am sure I will change my set up in some way each time. I guess you never stop tweaking the overall set up.  Every change I made so far has always been for the best and brought in more sales. I am aware that I am a total newbie to the art show world and do not have all the answers. However  I hope some of my pointers will help some one else out there who is new to the art show world like me. And remember, smile!!!

  You can find my show listings here  and these are some some of my new pieces you will find at my shows. However the silver ring on the left is a keeper, can't give that one up, sorry:-)

Last but not least my beloved kiki in our new home..........


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