Thursday, December 25, 2008

Weekend Eye Candy - Christmas Edition

1. Topsy-Turvy, 2. holly trio, 3. cat in hat., 4. christmas tree, 5. Green Enamel Ring, 6. red, green , white and grey, 7. Blossom Brooch, 8. ok brother, on the count of 3...., 9. Reversible - take 1, 10. Artifact of Faith Pendant, 11. Brussels sprout stalk, 12. collier corail sombre et perles 06 08
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Merry Christmas to all my lovely readers. This blog has so enriched my life this year and it wouldn't exist without you! Have a lovely day wherever you are in the world.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You'll laugh so hard, your sides will ache...

Image via FourDogDay

Barbara Becker Simon created a post on the Yahoo MetalClay forum that had me rolling on the floor for 10 minutes and I just simply had to share with y'all. You may want to vacuum the carpet and put on some mittens first though. ;-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tid Bits

I taught my final class of the year this past Saturday. We made hollow beads using wood clay cores. Everyone did a wonderful job.  I have such creative students.

Erosion By Design

Then Sunday I finished up two of the projects I'll be offering at San Gabriel Bead Company in the spring.  Can you believe I'm scheduling myself for spring already?  No wonder the year seems to go so fast.

PPPod PPPendant

And it's almost time for my second Level 1 PMC Connection Certification class too. That'll be on the weekend of January 10 and 11. We had such a great time at my first cert class and now that I know what I'm doing, I'm sure this second one will be just as exciting and fun filled - if not more so!

Hope y'all had a good weekend and that some of you don't have tummy aches from all the Chanukah gelt you indulged in. ;-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Weekend Eye Candy - Chanukah Edition

1. Accidental Judaica?, 2. Sapphire ring with lovely little shiny star/asterism in it, 3. Dotted Wick Pendant (2008. IT) Pendant 56.5, 4. lis d'eau, 5. Menorah, 6. Protective Measures, 7. Blue on Blue Swingers, 8. swept away in a river of glass, 9. freeform crochet and felt necklace (no. 15), 10. candelabra-small-menorah, 11. blue ponds (2nd pair), 12. Precious Tears  Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

The eight day Festival of Lights begins this Saturday. Happy Chanukah Everyone! I wish you joy, peace, contentment, inspiration, friendship, love, warmth and endless creativity.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Flash From My Past!

I was doing a bit of cleaning and came across two pieces that were part of my very first "collection" of metal clay jewelry.

These were made of PMC Standard way back in 2000, before there was (or at least before I knew about) PMC+. I stamped many, many different charms with many different positive affirmations and strung them on Soft Flex with luscious gem beads.  Very simple, but popular. 

"Grace" hung from my key chain. Lovely, but not the best choice of metals for a fob. You can see how beat up she got.

I was rolling tiny snakes of clay even back then. No one showed me how, or gave me the idea. I remember being inspired by a favorite Victorian picture frame and wanted to create a decorative border for my words of wisdom.

Nice to see how far I've come. And comforting to know that my present style is firmly rooted in my nascent imagination.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gettin' Down to Business

There's something very satisfying about doing chores that you know *have* to be done, but that you resist.

This morning I listed a new pair of earrings in my Etsy shop. These lovely Lemon Drops are part of my Kaizen series. I soldered earring posts onto the back of some little metal clay beads I had made as a sample for a water etching class, and then riveted two very yummy lemon quarts beads to sterling wire as the hanging mechanism. I bought the lemon quartz a very long time ago because when I saw the strand lying on the vendor's table - I wanted to put them in my mouth! I'm not kidding when I say they were yummy. I love the way they turned out and I never would have thought to use the metal clay beads in this way if they hadn't been hanging around so long.

I also re shot some of the photos of work that had already been listed. I'm trying to update my shop, give it a more cohesive look and brighten it up a bit. What do you think of the way it looks so far?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Weekend Eye Candy - LB*s Edition

1. Dark Ages Ring, 2. Danielle Ayala 2, 3. Shawl pins from Peru, 4. paper wings, 5. collagebracelet, 6. faith, 7. Feelringsmulti, 8. damascus with agate, 9. New handmade jewelry, 10. Gradation Brooch- New Shot, 11. Silver shawl pin from Peru, 12. Artist Richard Hoff  Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Sometimes I love to wander through other people's Flickr photostream's. All of these images were in my cyber friend Laurie Brown's favorites folder. I hadn't been familiar with any of these artists, so they're a nice bit of eye candy for me too.

Have a great weekend. I'm off to a concert of Brahms at the Disney Concert Hall with my cousin tonight. Never been there before. Wheee!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Santa Baby...

I just had to share. I made this cute ornament out of Faux Bone for a swap with a cyber friend. I love drawing illuminated manuscript inspired tendrils (they're really the only thing I do well) and they look perfect climbing up the walls of this little cottage.  I used a Dremmel Engraver to scratch the design into the surface of the PVC and schmeared on some printer's ink and metal dye to add some much needed color.

I had so much fun, I may just have to make one for myself. I can have one on a Hanukah Bush can't I?  ;-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Surprise, Surprise!

Woke up to a sale this morning!  Lovely way to start the day.  Rena Klingenberg is the creator of the Home Jewelry Business Success Tips blog and the (hopefully) proud new owner of a Lora Hart Jewels original.  :-) 

My shop is off to a slow start, so every sale is precious and every collector is a treasure.  Hope you have a lovely surprise today too!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A New Discovery!

While perusing KnitSteel's blog this morning, my eyes fell upon an Etsy logo that I didn't recognize which looked like a mini, but credited "The Mini Blog" as the shop name.  "What was it" I mused to myself. My finger was itching to click and I allowed it to tap the mouse.

The link led me to a Blogger blog called "All Things Handmade" which turns out to be dedicated to promoting individual Etsy shops through the use of Mini's! There are categories and sub categories just like the "real" Etsy site.

In addition to being another great promotional tool for sellers, it's also a wonderful search engine for buyers and creators of Treasuries. The mini's show the artist's style as well as the goods available and clicking on it of course takes you right to their shop.

I've already made the request to be added to the list, which was really simple. Just go to "Jewelry" and the sub category that best fits, "Metal" in my case and enter your shop id and name. Easy peasy. Go take a look! It's a good thing.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Work and Wonders

Went to San Gabriel Bead Company yesterday to teach an Intro to PMC class and lo and behold there was a store wide sale going on!  Yay!!!  25% off everything. I picked up these lovely beads as a little treat.  

I would have liked the chunkier Roman Glass beads, but couldn't really justify spending the money.  These are so delicate and light, I think I may use them in earrings.

I forgot to ask about the origin of the brass ones.  I think they may be from Afghanistan or Turkey or somewhere in that broad general area. 

Just Yummy!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Weekend Eye Candy - Fiber Edition

Sorry I've been so absent this week. Stuff to do and all that. I'll be back with more posts next week for sure.

I'm really loving fiber and metal these days. The work of these artists is so inspiring.

Have a lovely weekend of imagination and exploration!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Days...

Last week I finished a pair of earrings I had been working on and loved them so much that I had to wear them!  Today I took pictures and listed them in my shop.  Mentioned them in a meeting in the Virtual Labs and DanielleXO snapped them right up!  Huzzah! Serendipity is so fun sometimes. What a lovely way to start the week.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Weekend Eye Candy - Artiste Edition

1. Final Draft 3, 2. VALERIA Y LA OTRA (detalle), 3. con el coraz√≥n en la mano (work in progress), 4. Anders Zorn, etching portrait, 5. Da Vinci -, 6. girl with shawl, 7. that thing that exploded still seems to be burning, 8. in the studio, 9. Girl and her Cat., 10. I found you by chance, 11. Julian Beever 3D Chalk Drawings, 12. redstitch&peepholes-detail        
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

I've always wanted to be a fine art kind of artist. One to whom sketching and drawing and dare I even think it... painting is not a complete struggle with many erasures and re-do's. I'm so glad to have discovered that I have a talent for working with my fingers and that it translated so easily from make-up to metal clay. But still there are moments when I wish I were what I am not.

Do you ever wish for something more? Ever long for a gift not given? For some reason during this past week, in which we are guided to look at the gifts we DO have, I can't help but glance the other way. Don't worry, it's only fleeting, but a wistful look none the less.

Instead I can find joy in the work of other artists. These are just a few of the talented hands that are my favorites.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Come One, Come All...

What could be better than finding unique studio jewelry under the tree or beside the Menorah? I'm working on refreshing my Etsy shop and wanna make room for some lovely new designs, so Lora Hart Jewels is having a sale! Take 10% off any single item and 20% off multiple orders. As a special treat for my loyal readers around the world, just type Et In Terra Pax in the comments to seller for free shipping.  That's Latin for Peace on Earth.  I won't mind if you if you can only remember the English. ;- )

Let the fun begin!!!! 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thoughts for a Happy Life

Felt Play Food Set by Sprtizysis

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. 

It turns what we have into enough, and more. 

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... 

It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events.  

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates vision for tomorrow."

~ Melodie Beattie ~

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tweet, Tweet - Tweedle Dee ....

Sweet Tweet Bird Soaps by LoveLee Soaps

Just call me Rockin' Robin now. I've fallen into the great big nest. I belong to Twitter

It baffled me for a while. I joined and then since I didn't have an e-mail account through one of their preferred partners, couldn't figure out how I was gonna find people to follow.  And since I don't use a cell phone and don't have text messaging capabilities, I couldn't figure out how I was gonna know if someone I was following tweeted. So I let it lay. Forgot about it. Ignored Twitters very existence.

But I just can't give up once I get something into my head. I was in the Virtual Labs at Etsy yesterday and before the meeting started I mentioned that I just didn't get it. Noadi, one of the other attendees sent me a great link to a Squidoo Lens that she wrote on the ins and outs of Twitter!!! Eureka!  

The Lens has so much great information on it and I really learned a lot. I finally understood how to get others to follow me - but still couldn't figure out the following thing. How do I know when I got a tweet without constantly having to go to Twitter myself. I e-mailed Noadi (whose real name is Sheryl) and she e-mailed me right back with a web site designed to work with Mac/Apple computers.

I downloaded the relatively easy (for me) to understand application from Twhirl and was on my way. So, do you Twitter? Has it helped your business? Helped you to find new friends? Has it been entertaining or annoying? Inquiring minds (mine) want to know all about your experience in the bird cage.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Joe's O's (Trader Joe's version of Cherrios) and pomegranate seeds with soy milk.  The breakfast of hedonists.

I'm Becoming A Techno Wizard!

Computer Code Baby Bib by Colby Lane Designs

Oh My gosh!  I just learned how to do the coolest thing.  If you scroll down past my blog roll, you'll see a new Drop Down menu for the Blog Carnival Archives! I wanted to make finding Etsy MetalClay team member interviews easier on our team blog and searched for a tutorial on Google. It was really easy to do after a couple of mistyped commands. I found the full tutorial here. Not sure if this is for Blogger blogs only, but it's worth a try on your own server.  I'm not gonna re type all the HTML here, but if you follow the directions - you'll master it in no time! Here's a little tip though - the word select in between the < / and > (can't type it in order - it'll be working code!) goes at the very end of your list. No where else. And be careful to note where the quote marks go. Getting those in the wrong place or forgetting them entirely changes everything.

I'm thinking of doing a drop down for my various link lists/blog rolls.  But even I have fun clicking through them every day.  I might not like the rhythm of the drop down. What do YOU think?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Another New Beginning

Happy Monday Everyone!  I had such the productive weekend. Not particularly fun, but very satisfying none the less.

BronzClay earrings by Paige Liftin. Dapped after firing to achieve an engraved/roller printed appearance.

Not only did I clean up my neverendingly messy desk, but I went through every paper, every loose bead, every scrap of used sandpaper, my unusable desk drawer (the one with pens, paperclips, tape and all kinds of things that shouldn't have been in there in the first place) and cleaned everything up, put things in their places, tossed stuff that should have gone into the circular file years ago. I feel totally unfettered and alive! Oh, and I also re-read a bit of Harry Potter. Perfect for the cozy overcast day we had on Saturday.

This morning while listening to David Russell's gorgeous classical guitar on iTunes I totted up and paid my sales taxes.  Two weeks late, but better now than tomorrow.  E-filing is soooo easy. And since it's only 9:30 am, I have the rest of the day to myself. Now I have to decide if I'll start on a couple of handmade xmas gifts, finish something for my friend Catherine's new zine or re-take some photos for Etsy.  

Brooch by Michelle Ross, Copper and Polymer Clay.  Pierced, forged, riveted, patinated.

And speaking of gifts, aren't these b-day prezzies from Paige and Michelle so wonderful?  I love them.  I have nice (and talented) friends for sure.

Have a lovely day!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

YouTube with Bling!!! is a jewelry website mostly developed for traditional metalsmiths, although many metal clay jewel-ers love it too. Including moi. Especially the Orchid Forums, their answer to our own Yahoo MetalClay forum.

Recently they've developed a terrific spinoff called BenchTube. It's a video tutorial sharing site much like YouTube, but for jewelers. There are lots of great instructional videos for metalsmithing - some that metal clayer's would find really interesting, but there are also four short clips from Tim McCreight's videos for beginners. Hopefully someday soon, there will be more!

This site is well worth a look and a bookmark. Take some time this weekend to peruse the knowledge.

I also discovered that Charles Lewton Brain has written a new Keum Boo book. I loooove Celie Fago's book, but you can never have too much knowledge and Charles just might have another take on the process.

Lot's of good learnin' in the works.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome to the Carnival!

The Queen of the Carnivale by A Fanciful Twist

Step right this way... Each month a group of jewelry artists use their blogs to get together online and answer the same question - each in their own way.  The topic this month is:

Gratitude - pure and simple

It's Thanksgiving in America and a time for reflection, taking a moment to turn inward and reach into your heart, to look beyond your own ego and reach out to your fellow man (no feminism here thank you), to eat mass quantities of delicious food with family and friends - to be grateful for our gifts.  

I've been thinking about how I've been doing every thing I can to focus on the half full glass for a while now.  I even wrote a post about Thanks Giving last month. And I don't have much to add to the inspiration behind that post.

I'm grateful for this blog and the window that it opened in my life.  Grateful for new friends, grateful for old ones grown closer. Grateful for inspiration. Grateful for exploration.  Grateful for new works and new paths to wander down.

I'm beginning to think that this is too narrow a reflection, after all this is a jewelry blog and should be a jewelry related post - but gratitude is all encompassing and comes full circle. 

As far as jewelry is concerned I am so grateful that I'm able to make my living doing something that I love. Teach.  Who'd a thunk it!  Ten years ago I never would have imagined myself doing what I do.  And now I can't imagine myself doing anything else.  I know she probably won't ever see this, but I have to thank Elaine Bastajian  for encouraging me to pursue teaching in the first place. This is the best job I've ever had. And I'm so grateful to have the opportunities that I do, to have the wonderful students that I do, to have the respect of my peers that I do, to have the support of my friends that I do.

Most of all I'm grateful to live in circumstances that allow the reflection, that encourage me to acknowledge the good things in my life.  And I'm grateful for your enjoyment of my blog, my silly thoughts, my smart aleck word play. 

Happy Thanksgiving - whether this is a national holiday for you, or an opportunistic nudge to indulge in some peaceful reflection.

Be sure to visit the other Carny's to read their thoughts about gratitude.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Morning After

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who commented and sent personal e-mails on my birthday.  I had a grand time. 

Went to see "The Changling" which was very good.  Angelina can actually act! (rude) and the art direction was phenomenal. L.A. has never looked that good in a period film.

Before I left to go the movies, I had to meet Danielle to get Moderator status for a team meeting today and told her it was my b-day and to look at the sale in my shop (which is still going on by the way - until 5 this afternoon Pacific time) and she liked my new bronze earrings so much that she put them in the Gift Guides!  They were one of the featured three of the Nostalgic Whimsy in the Hot List section all day yesterday and are on the first page now.  How fun is that!

And as I was walking to my car, I noticed a sale in a cute boutique and snapped up a great pair of burgundy heavy linen pants.  It doesn't get reaalllly cold until January or February here (I hate that - don't all you folks on the East coast complain) so I'll get lots of wear out of them.

Hope you all had a great day too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Put Another Candle on the Birthday Cake....

Image via TwiddeStix

To Me!!!  Let's play "52 Pick Up". ;- )  Anyone remember that awful game?  My brother Tom (who is 8 years older than I) used to love to tease me. I, of course, would always want to play with my much older brothers and they, of course, were mostly bothered by their little sister. So when Tom offered to play a game of cards - I almost always said yes.

We'd get the deck out of it's paper case and he'd start to shuffle. He played poker in the garage with his high school friends and was a master shuffler. Then he'd give me a special look and...... throw the whole deck into the air, laugh and walk out the door.  :- {  That's it. That's the game. Pick up all of the 52 cards in the deck. And I fell for it over and over. At least that's how I remember it. Although my memory is faulty. After all... it's 52 years old. Today! Huzzah!

And in honor of my day, I'm going to have a last minute sale in my shop. 15% off absolutely everything. Just put "52 Pick Up" in the notes to seller and wait for a revised invoice. The sale ends Thursday at 5:00 pm sharp. Pacific Time.

I'm going to take myself to the movies and take another walk on the beach and maybe have a fattening Starbucks coffee. Happy Birthday to you too. In advance. Unless today is your birthday too! Wouldn't that be fun?!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Beauty Begets Beauty

I like to make my own texture plates.  One of my favorite techniques is to etch a piece of copper with an original, hand drawn design.  Well Miss Paige recently came up with the best idea ever! Last week she, Michelle and I drew designs with Painter's Pens all over some thin copper tubing and threw 'em in the acid for a few hours.  After we were done oogling and ahhing we rolled each one over some polymer clay and baked them.

Now we not only have a copper rolling texture tool, but copies of each others designs as well! Paige sawed some of her copper tubes into pieces and made the cutest dang earrings.  I might follow suit. I'm a copier if you didn't know it before.  ;-)

Made from a polymer clay tile imprinted with one of Paige's designs

I'm really loving this idea and will teach it next summer at San Gabriel Bead Company.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekend Eye Candy - BronzClay Edition

1. bronze, 2. Bird, 3. Bronzclay :), 4. Bronze Fence Bracelet, 5. Celtic Cross, 6. Blue Bronze Pendant, 7. Long Bronze Fern Fossil Pendant, 8. Bronze Rings, 9. Bronzclay Leaf Earrings, 10. Patched Tablet Ring, 11. Bronz:turqDetailBeads3, 12. Koi- bronze

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Interesting how the bronze really lends itself to tribal or ancient designs. And just because you'll all be wondering, the blue was achieved by ammonia fuming. There's a description of the process in the comments of the photo on Flickr.

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Autumn Tree Mosaic by HerleyMosaics

Has fall finally hit the left coast?  I woke up this morning and had to reach over and close the window immediately.  Then put on socks, then added a bathrobe, then put a sweater under the robe and I even thought about turing on the wall furnace for the first time.  Did I say it was chilly when I woke up?  Of course it was 5:00 in the morning, but still.  

Cashmere Handwarmers by TrendyKnitting

I love cold weather.  I love sweaters and scarves.  I actually love coats and own about five, but that's just wishful thinking.  I only wore a coat about 3 nights last year.  And never during the day. I wish I could wear cute little knitted caps, but I get realllllly bad hat hair. Besides, my face is too pudgy.

Hug Me Sweater by DesignByNihan

It's a beautifully clear day in Los Angeles and I'm going to take a walk on the chilly beach!  Go out and have a great day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Did'ja See?

Over there on the right?  A new link to a great blog? Debbie Gootter not only has a super shop on Etsy, but she loves Etsy shop owners so much that she created a great blog to tell their stories.

She recently did a post on Jennifer Smith-Righter, a wonderful metal clay artist and a member of the Etsy MetalClay team.

Debbie's also featured other great crafter's such as: Lynette Andreasen, a Flickr contact of mine and a wonderful jewelry artist

Erika Kern of My Imaginary Boyfriend - I soooo love her faux log pillows

And the talented creators of Dali Decals - whimsical, removable tattoos for your walls.

It's really fun to be able to have a little peak into the lives of the artist's whose work we lust after.