The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
I am now making these cute, chunky rose rings and selling them through my website. You can get one by going to my store and filling out the custom order form, including your ring size and Paypal email address so that I can bill you.
My Project drawer
Recently I have gotten a couple of custom orders, and some pieces people want me to fix. I am the kind of person who may start 10 projects, and finish 1. I have an entire drawer set aside for projects, plus two small containers and 1 container with several slots. I usually get tired of, or stuck on a piece I am working on and either start a new one or work some more on another. I am always coming up with new designs, ideas, or finding things i want to make something with, so it goes in the drawer. Right now I really am trying to finish my custom orders and a necklace i started recently that I am anxious to see how it turns out.
In case you might have doubts, yes, all of the pictures of my desk and of projects are set up. My desk is traditionally a wreck, and my projects are more often than not laying everywhere and everything is scattered. Now you know where the inspiration for my name came from... My work desk, and my life in general.
The heart charm came about from an accident, when I was trying to sweat solder this onto another heart. I had gotten a sheet of metal (I don't know what type, it was just silver) from Atwoods, really cheap, and was using it for sawing and stamping practice. I had recently ordered some solder from Rio Grande, but didn't order flux. I bought a little kit at Lowes that included a little thing of flux and some solder. It was called a jewelry repair kit, But I didn't want to use the solder, since it might have lead, and wasn't good quality at all. So, I had a couple of of pieces of metal that I cut out for practice I decided to practice with those. I put on the flux and did a couple slivers of solder, then started the process of getting my solder to flow. I sat there slowly heating up the metal, and sat, and sat. The solder would not flow! I didn't want to burn the solder, and so I was being careful, but the next thing I know, the metal is warped and there is a hole burned through the middle of it! I was really freaked out because it just happened, and I had no idea what happened, or why. I quenched the metal and put it into my pickle pot. I was really frustrated at this point, but I decided to try again on the other practice piece. Same thing happened, minus the hole in the middle. I sat around and moped for a bit, but then decided I would use a frustrating outcome to make a different design, and so I put ripples in the heart and it turned out beautifully. It will turn out more like the first car charm I ever made (one for my Mom) that has a cross, two round charms and a bead, all used for the pendant.
The necklace is going to be three rows of white seed beads and the little disk BR Gray beads. It will have Gunmetal findings and I am going to use the light blue and white pendant with leaves on it for a pop of color. I cant wait to see how it turns out!
Let me know what you think of these two pieces so far!
After a long absence, I am back and hopefully my schedule has gotten less hectic. I am taking a couple basic classes up at my local college to get them out of the way for my Studio Arts degree, in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design. I am not positive which College am I'm going to end up at, but I'm praying about it and God will provide.
If you haven't already seen, I recently set up a wholesale info page! You can find it at this link:
You can also get to that page my going to my welcome page were I have the link posted. Due to my fluctuation in stock, My Etsy store will serve as my catalog for the time being. I am really excited about this and the prospect of expanding this part of my business.
Today I wanted to share some organization and storage ideas with you. I have received a bunch of mint tins from family members and friends. I use these to hold beads, findings, or anything. I have ton of these lying around, even though I am only using a couple at the moment. I have some pictures for you!
I have most of my gold, black, copper, and gunmetal findings in tins, plus charms and some hemp cord a friend brought back from Brazil. I also keep business cards in a tin to store in my purse. You can use labels so that know whats inside. These are really handy and if you like mints, this is a great way to recycle your tins.
This week we are going to be featuring Gail Harris from Lilla rose. Gail is a consultant who sells their products. Lilla Rose sells Hair products and more, including the flexi clip, hair bands, hair sticks, jewelry, and more. I asked Gail some questions and here is what she said:
How did you get started selling for Lilla Rose?
I actually won a blog giveaway and receive my first Lilla Rose hairband! I fell in love with it and knew that if the hairband was that great, that the rest of their products had to be wonderful! Before ever trying my first Flexi, I signed up to be a consultant!
What is your favorite thing about selling for Lilla Rose?
My favorite thing would be that I get to sell from home. I am the mother of 5 young children (6 and under!) and we also homeschool. It is great to be able to introduce an amazing product to other women without having to leave home!
What is you favorite Lilla Rose product?
This is tough! I love everything I have! The Flexi (of course!), their Hairbands are great for days I want to leave my hair down, or I am wearing my glasses. I also love the Hair Sticks and You-Pins.
What is your favorite hairstyle using a Lilla Rose product?
I wear my hair in a sort of French Twist almost every day! Other days I might do a half up, or pony tail. I even wear my clips when I workout!
What advice would you give to someone who might want to start selling Lilla Rose?
Go for it! Lilla Rose is a great company to work with and I have an amazing support system of consultants that I work with! Try the flexi! If you love it, you will naturally tell others about it. I am NOT a sales person, and so, I'm also not looking to 'get rich quick'. I'm looking to introduce a quality product to help ladies simplify doing their hair, while still keeping it pretty and elegant. :)
Can you give some history on the Lilla Rose company?
We've been in the hair goods business since 1992. John Dorsey's (owner) wife wanted that first pair of beaded chopsticks. She bought the materials to make them but then decided to go get the expensive ones at Nordstrom instead. John took her materials, fascinated by what they were selling for and started making them himself by hand in the garage. Enthusiastic, admiring friends bought them up. Suppliers referred us to contacts with major retailers nationwide and, several million pairs later, everlasting success was assured... almost. They fell on hard times and with so much inventory she told John to go back out to the garage and make something! He had the most material for the Flexi-clip. He made some up and went to the local farmer's market! Although the rest is 'history' that was just the beginning of Lilla Rose!
For our product review, Gail sent me one Flexi of my choice. I decided on the Small Hawaiian Flower all silver Flexi clip. It arrived beautifully packaged and was even better in person. I have long, fine hair. I decided on the small to try as many hairstyles as I could. I use it for a half up (Pictured), loose ponytail (Pictured), and a tight french twist. I want to eventually order an extra small flexi for a tight ponytail and a medium for my up-dos. I am really pleased with the Lilla Rose products and will recommend it to anyone.
Now, for the moment you have all been waiting for! Gail is giving away a certificate for one $16 Flexi of your choice. Use the giveaway widget bellow to enter. The giveaway will be open until the 1st of September. Good luck!
Today I am doing a review for Jen from Jenstangledthreads. She sent me a pair of her Vikings team spirit Flip-Furs. They arrived wrapped in tissue. I didn't get a picture, but it was like getting a present.
They fit great and are very comfortable. They are really sturdy, and while I haven't tried to wash them yet, Jen says they are handwashable. This a ingenious creation that she has come up with. You could wear these when you get tired of wearing heels.
She originally made these for dancers to protect their feet. I tried to take pictures of the shoes I received several times, but for some reason the pictures turned out awful. I received grape purple and yellow pair and for some reason the camera turned them royal blue in every picture I took. So, I grabbed a picture of of Jen's Etsy page. The picture is of a blue and yellow pair but it still gives you a great idea of what mine look like.
As you can see she writes on the bottom to create a slip resistant design. I would recommend these as present to any age, or if you want to treat yourself to some comfy slippers, you need to get Flip-Furs from Jenstangledthreads.
Want some Flip-Furs? Jen has a Etsy store where she sells all of the crochet items she makes. The link is:
We are also giving away a customized pair this week. The giveaway ends August 4th so hurry and enter HERE! The winner will be announced on August 6th.
Turquoise Crocheted Slippers
Today's featured artisan is Jen from Jenstangledthreads. Jens sells crochet doilies, Flip-furs, and baby blankets. She started out making shawls and was inspired to make her Flip-furs so the girls her son dances with could wear something when walking around. They where able to slip their ballet shoes right into the slippers, walk around the studio, even walk into bathroom. They could also show their studio spirit with the customizable colors. I asked her a few questions and here is what she said!
What got you started with crochet?
I'm the type of person who can't just sit and watch tv. I have to be doing something with my hands. I like cross-stitching, but I'm not creative enough to make my own patterns. And I can't sew. Crocheting seemed easy to learn. I started off learning the stitches, and within a month, I was making lace shawls.
What do you enjoy most about crochet?
It can be a great stress reliever. I'm a perfectionist, so if I drop a stitch, I will rip out everything I've done up until that stitch, then continue. I can take it everywhere I go. Most of my projects will fit in my purse. Also, I can choose what colors I use.
What do you enjoy least about crochet?
When I'm working on a big project, like one of my shawls, where I change colors a lot, the "clean up", ie weaving in ends, is very tiresome. I can't crochet for long periods of time because of my hands, so I have to remember to take breaks.
What your favorite item you ever made?
Probably my Aes Sedai shawl. One of the reasons I started crocheting was so I could make a shawl based on my favorite book series, The Wheel of Time. After several years, I finally made one for me. I designed it myself. I have another that I have down on paper. I attached a picture of it. I also love my Flip-Furs.
What inspires you?
Books. The need for something. My son dances, and that's where the inspiration for my Flip-Furs came from. The girls would walk around competition venues in bare feet or nearly bare feet and would walk into bathooms like this. Flip-Furs are a way to promote team spirit and keep your feet clean!
How do you want to further your crochet business?
I would love to sell to boutiques and dance studios and schools around the country. Will I ever make enough from my crocheting to quit my day job - probably not unless I raised prices. There is just not enough time in the day or week to make as many as I would like.
What is the most essential tool you have for crochet?
Wine and something on TV. Wine relaxes the muscles in my hands so I don't pull the yarn so tight. And since I can't stand to be in a quiet room, I need something good on TV, whether a movie or tv show. I'm currently working my way through How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men. Can't watch dance shows while crocheting, though, even though I love them. I want to watch the routines and I forget to crochet!
What are your favorite and most common used materials?
Right now, Caron Simply Soft Yarn and ICE Eyelash yarn. I love the way the Caron crochets and slides through my fingers and around the crochet hook. And ICE because it is inexpensive.
Now for the moment you all have been waiting for! Jen has donated a customized pair of her Flip-furs. The winner of this giveaway will get to customize their own Flip-furs!
Use the giveaway widget below to enter. this giveaway will be open until the 4th Of August and I will announce the winner on the 6th.
***STAY TUNED THIS WEEK FOR MY REVIEW OF SOME FLIP-FURS THAT JEN SENT ME***
Pink Stone Pendant
Today I am going to host my next Featured Artisan! Today we have Chelsey Alyse from Chelsey's Designs. She is a graduate from the Metalsmithing and Jewelry program at the University of North Texas. Chelsey is a personal friend of mine and my mentor and teacher in the art of Metalworking. She spent the first part of 2011 in Thailand, teaching metalworking techniques with an organization that works to bring women out of difficult situations. I asked her a few questions and here is is what she said.
What got you started making jewelry?
When I was maybe 5, I made a huge scene at a garage sale over how much I wanted my mom to buy me a ziploc baggie full of plastic beads. She really had no choice but to give in. Once I started beading, I was hooked. I collected every bead and trinket I could scavenge off the floors when we went mall-shopping, and kept them safely in my craft box until I had enough to make a necklace from them. When I was maybe 12, my mom and I started Chelsey's Designs, and I began buying supplies wholesale and selling my jewelry in a few boutiques and craft fairs. As I grew steadily busier with high school classes and sports, I knew I would have to pursue jewelry-making in college or it would get crowded out of my every-day life. After touring the University of North Texas and speaking with the Metalsmithing and Jewelry Professor, and I just "knew" I had to be there.
What do you enjoy most about jewelry making?
I hardly know how to pick just ONE thing! But I'd have to say that I love the tactile quality of jewelry. You can touch it, wear it, feel it, see it, be connected to it. I love the immediacy of forming an object with my own hands, using intuitive skill to make something rather than feeling distanced from my work by a computer screen or telephone. As I create jewelry, I reflect on how God builds on my life, making me more and more beautiful and complete for Himself. Even when I have to completely un-do something, or start from scratch, there is still the hope of completion. And the journey is well worth all the work.
What do you enjoy least about jewelry making?
As with all things worth doing, there are just some times when no matter how hard I try, everything seems to fall apart on me. My solder seams come un-done, or I cut the metal juuuust to short to work. These times are frustrating, but I've learned so much patience by quietly and quickly getting over the tensions of those moments and working on something else entirely, or calling it a day if I have to.
How have you used jewelry making as a ministry?
I've had the pleasure of teaching metalsmithing in a ministry that brings women out of human-trafficking situations in Bangkok, Thailand. I was asked to teach from a Biblical perspective, so I made sure to let the women know that they were God's works of art, deeply loved and tended to personally by their Creator. Every week, I was able to love on them through prayer and friendship, invest in them by teaching things that they could enjoy and possibly make a career from, and of course I saturated every lesson with scripture. It was so humbling, being used by God as a teacher to women older, wiser, and far more needy than I. Aside from my teaching experiences, my hope is that the foundation of my faith in Jesus Christ will show through all my work, giving me a platform on which to proclaim the gospel in a natural and personal way.
What is your favorite item you ever made?
I made a pendant in college that I'm quite fond of. I was going through a rough time, and needed some hope. I had this gorgeous labradorite stone that sort of looked like a moon shape. It wasn't quite full, rather it was like a gibbous moon. In Psalm 89, God makes a promise to David and says that the moon was a reminder that God is faithful to keep His promises. He calls the moon His "faithful witness in the sky." This poetic idea really caught my attention. Even though we can't always see the full moon light-up, we know it's all there. And even the smallest amount of the moon that is visible, still proves that the sun is functioning perfectly well on the other side of the earth. I set the stone on a large disc of sterling silver and stamped the words "my faithful witness in the sky" on the back of the pendant, as a reminder that even though my circumstances may not appear hopeful, there was always the promise of the full love and faithfulness of God to hold on to.
What inspires you?
To be quite honest, most of my ideas come from other jewelry I see in stores or catalogs. I get inspired by something captivatingly beautiful, then I try to figure out exactly what it is that I love about that piece. When I figure it out, then I use that concept while still coming up with an original design. Also, some of my ideas come from the beauty in scripture and in nature. I love to sit down with my sketchbook and let my pen do the thinking - and sometimes I just need to draw or make ugly things in order to get all the junk out. Then I come up with something truly fantastic!
How do you want to further your jewelry making business?
At this point, I'm content to keep things as they are, so that I can continue working part-time and doing volunteer work. Growing a business takes a lot of time, energy, know-how, and money. Someday I'd like to pursue it more, and I especially hope to grow my Etsy business in the future so that I can work from home.
What is the most essential tool you have for making jewelry?
An orderly and pleasant work environment, made complete with just the right Pandora station and healthy snacks for when I need a quick break!
What are your favorite and most common used materials?
I love love love recycling old jewelry, buttons, antique glass crystals, and all sorts of "vintage" trinkets into current jewelry by combining them with my own elements of sterling silver and copper.
Now for our giveaway! Chelsey has donated one of her beautiful pearl rings.
The winner will receive one ring specified to their size.
Use The giveaway widget below to enter. The giveaway will end on July 28th and I will announce the giveaway on the 30th!
This timer is so cute!
I recently went to a ladies retreat and took a class called "Damsels in a Digital Age". I learned allot but one of the big things that really stood out is the tip on using a timer. I now use it to manage my time on the internet and help me get cleaning done at a fast pace. I love this idea and have been using it with great effect today. I don't have a fancy timer so I use my iPad timer app. I was really disappointed that Apple did not include a timer app on the iPad, so I had to download one. I am currently using Timer+ and am not a big a fan. You have to create a timer for every time span you need and you cannot have more that one timer going at a time, that I know off. It is very loud, which I like because I can never miss it, and I can hear it from most of the rooms in my house. Tomorrow I am going to try out Alarmed, which also has a alarm clock and reminders. I would suggest setting timers for tasks to everyone, for everything, with the exception of paying bills, researching illness, ect. Today I used this system to get some cleaning done, laundry put away, get some ironing done, and much more. If you start setting timers for you self, you more than likely will find that you will get stuff done faster and get more accomplished. I hope this system works for you as much as it has worked for me!
Today I have some Etsy finds for you. These are all items I have favorited so be sure and check out all the amazing products Etsy has to offer.
1)Rustic handmade notebook - Christmas in July
2)Starflower Pendant - Green
3)Fabric Wallet, Gift Card Holder, Business Card Case
4)Antique Skeleton Keys - Instant Collection
5)Travel Soap Sticks - Bulk Bundle of 50 - Lavender Travel Soap - DIY Wedding Favors - Handmade Soap
6)Cabochon, Dandelion Flower, Polymer Clay Cabochon, Elements of Nature Collection