Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Don't you love it when you discover how to transform an everyday something into a magnificent, wearable work of art?

I rehabbed and re-sold houses with my family for about 6 years and always LOVED going to the local Home Depot or Lowes to pick up a new faucet, sink, cabinet knob, or anything needed during an extensive remodel. During my frequent trips I would walk up and down the isles just ooing and awwing at all the shiny stuff on display. I didn't see just washers or copper pipes, I always saw a bit of art in them.

Last year when it became apparent that the real estate market was heading south and we were losing money, we quit rehabbing homes. As we were finishing our final rehab project, and I was trying to figure out what to do with my life :) I was picking up some things at Home Depot and just for fun grabbed some washers thinking I could figure out a way to make them into something cool. After many experiments, I discovered ways to incorporate not only washers, but woodruff keys, retaining rings and simple hole plugs into my jewelry designs.

These are some of the designs I have created using items purchased at a hardware store:

It's just amazing to see what simple things can become when you use your imagination! I can't wait to see what I discover next!

Monday, February 25, 2008


A lot of designers post photography tips, and I guess I'll have to join that group because I just have to share my success story! I have this new ring design that has been a pain in the you-know-what to photograph! It has a lot of reflective qualities, which give it tremendous beauty in person. However, when photographed, it of course picks up the shadows in the background. Here is the first series I took of it:

Besides being on the dark side, in the first photo you can see a pink shadow in what should be clear glass. It doesn't look horrible, but it doesn't do the piece justice. Same with the second photo. The glass is shadowed by the reflected background.

The solution I found was this: I placed it closer to the light source (my south-facing front door) and draped a sheer white curtain over my head and the piece to cut out some of the glare. Next, I held a 9x12 inch piece of white paper in front of the ring so that only the white of the paper reflected. Here's the result:

Much better, huh? I'm so happy with the adjustment! It now shows how beautiful this ring really is! By the way, all of the photos were taken using a Canon Powershot S3IS set on super macro. It is a great camera (my folks are probably going to want this one back one of these days :)
Now I'm off to list this beauty in my etsy shop!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I wanna be a rock star!

This is a sampling of my newest design I call "rock star". These are the rings, and I also made necklaces that have 2" stars hanging on ball chain necklaces. Currently these will be carried exclusively at my local retail location, Now and Then in downtown Overland Park, Kansas. I just love the way they turned out. Rock on!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Sunday Special

This week I am featuring three handbag sellers from etsy. While looking through the listings for handbags, I saw a lot of talented designers, but these three are my favorites:

Moxie and Oliver have some of the most detailed, to-die-for leather handbags I've ever seen. I can only imagine what they look like in person! It truly looks like craftsmanship from long ago, the kind of bags you might find hidden away in your grandmother's attic. The bag pictured is one of my favorites from their shop. See more of their designs at http://moxieandoliver.etsy.com/

The second seller, Pursecution, sells nicely detailed handbags that have an edge to them. I love this green and black beauty (this mossy green is one of my all time favorite colors). It reminds me of a somewhat recent design from Christian Dior. Very cool. See more of Pursecution's designs at http://pursecution.etsy.com/

The final seller I've chosen, Handbags by Daphne, uses distinctive and modern fabric to create a collection that is very stylish and versatile. I love the bag above from this shop because it would complement almost any outfit. It's modern and unique without being too over-the-top. There are many other cool patterns and styles in her shop at http://daphnenen.etsy.com

Well, now of course I really, really want a new handbag! :) Have a super Sunday everyone!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

High Society

I just finished this new necklace design. I am inventing some pieces with a little higher end look to feature on the other site I sell on, smashingdarling.com. I also love skulls and loved the idea of combining something edgy with something that had a classic, elegant look to it. I found this beautiful gold paint I had in my stash and started painted these giant wooden beads I recently purchased. I combined them with some extra cut glass beads I had and created this design I'm really excited about!

The best part about this piece is that the skull piece can be flipped over to a simple gold disk that matches the gold beads! I think I will have to make one in silver as well :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Sunday Special

I can't believe another Sunday is here already! This week I have picked three sellers who feature fine art or photography. The first one just joined etsy this last week and has already seen numerous sales. I can understand why. The prints offered are reasonable an soooo cute!

One of my favorites is this golden retriever with a tennis ball. It reminds me of my dogs. You can see more at http://dogartstudio.etsy.com/

This next artist creates digital collages and has been part of etsy a little over a year. One of my favorites is the above piece, titled "Train Color". You can see more fabulous digital work at http://divineimages.etsy.com/

Finally, the third seller I'm featuring also does digital collage work as well as fine art. Her pieces are mystical, magical, and often quite eerie. The above piece is titled "New Shoes". I just love the ghostliness of it! You can see more of her work at http://artandghosts.etsy.com/

Well, that's it for today. Have a super Sunday!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Repeat Customers

My shop has only been open for a few months and I have already had a repeat customer! This is such a good feeling! It is just great when someone likes your product to come back for more.

While I bask in that, my head is spinning with new ideas...too many new ideas. Some days it is so hard to get my thoughts organized! Spring is right around the corner and I am so excited to introduce new designs! I will post my new designs...once I narrow them down. :)