Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The hammer that brought me zen...

I have a drawer full of hammers I've collected over my almost 20 years of metalsmithing. Not one of them have brought me to the groove I get into when using my newest beauty. It's a Fretz. Beautiful to look at, well crafted, feels like "butta" in your hand. I have had several riveting/goldsmithing hammers over the years I tried to shape like this, but I never quite got the right length or edge to it. Now the problem is I want to put it on everything. (Check out panicmama.etsy.com if you want to see the results.)

I just love how it brings me to such a calm & peaceful place when I get a hammerin'. I named the texture zen. Now, now, I know I haven't found the all encompassing meaning of life through tapping a piece of metal with my favorite hammer, but, man, it feels good to use it. It appeals to me on so many sensory levels: the little "tink" it makes when I hit the metal, the chiseled line it makes with each tap, the feel of it in my hand, mmmmmm. See, what'd I tell ya. Zen. It my answer to a little bit of happiness in my teeny tiny world.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Turtle is a Panicmama!

In the many hours I spend wandering the halls of Etsy, I ran across a forum topic on researching your "googleness." I decided to Goggle Panicmama to discover where I land in the rank & what is actually attached to Panicmama as a name. Low & behold in the image version of the search, a fluffy little black dog I've grown to love shows her face! How'd Turtle get to the first page of images for Panicmama? I never actually did get a picture of myself... or my jewelry for that matter, which was the purpose of the whole research. It just goes to show you that you never know what is attached to you in the internet world. In other words, Kevin Bacon would probably show up as well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I've waited 17 years for you...

17 years wishing for a rolling mill. Much too long to wait for something you now can't live without! The stand came in a unbelievable beat up box & the rolling mill in a lightly battered box with "heavy" labels all over it. The UPS guy waited until I opened it to see if all was okay & to take a gander at what it was a was so giddy about!

Well, in a word, BEAUTIFUL! Just steel & some gears, but man, what a gorgeous sight! I am very excited to get it bolted to the floor & stand. I sent my dear hubby to the hardware store for a cement drill bit & bolts within 15 minutes of receiving the mill. It's his project for the next two days. (I hope that it will only take him a day to get me set up. I want to start rolling Fri!)

Here's the beauty herself...aren't you jealous? :) I know you are! I wonder what to name her...

Monday, June 16, 2008


I actually screamed when it happened. Needless to say, I was very excited that I made Etsy's front page! I was up a whopping 52 min! However, in that time the piece on the front page, my hand formed figurative cups, views almost quadrupled! I went from about 200+ to almost 750 in a matter of minutes!

I was just thinking about what goals to accomplish this morning with my Etsy shop & was going to try to promote some more & get my hearts (favorites) up to 200 by the end of the week. Thanks to the front page, I accomplished that & more today! Now to reach 25 sales in my shop by the end of the month...

I took a screen shot of the front page, but failed to get all of the page in my inept attempt.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Back to the beginning

I recently was presented with the challenge of creating a belt buckle for a client. I thought to myself, "I've never made a belt buckle..." But in fact, I had!

My very first "finished " piece of undergrad art jewelry was a metal belt with belt buckle! It was a tribute to the Berlin wall coming down. Boy, that dates me a little. I have no idea where that may have ended up. I am not sure I even have a picture of it. Very sad...I didn't realize at the time that the belt would start a life long career & love for all things metal.

As for the current project on hand, it came out pretty cool.

The client had purchased the Biggs Jasper cab at a gemstone event at my store & wanted a family piece for her husband. She let me "go at it with doing my thing" with two parameters:

1. The family symbol & the kids name had to be included.

2. Something copper as an accent.

A couple of roadblocks came up with drill bits breaking & logistics of setting a stone on a curved surface. Both were solved & the end result pleased the client & myself.

It took two acetylene torches from both sides & lots of patience in hammering to get to the finished result.

All in all, I really enjoyed making the piece. I may even make another belt buckle without a 17 year gap in between!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

First treasury!

I moment for me in my etsy history! I waited patiently for the little box to appear & it did! I finally got my first treasury on etsy. It's a west treasury, but I still think it's cool. Check these HOT picks from some talented & crazy (flaming balls of doom) artists from the world known as Etsy.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Life gives you lemons...really rotten ones!

It is amazing to one moment be happily crafting away & the next to be depressed as all get out! I've always embraced the idea of manic swings of being an artist, but sometimes it "gets" to you.

The dear hubby is on a "reorganization" binge & has been unearthing all those crafty things I never finished. How do I "forget" about these poor little ignored projects & move on to something else. I always start with good intentions, I just seem to loose interest or move on to the "new" idea. Maybe someday all these painting, sewing, card making, shrinky dinkying projects will get done. I am completing new jewelry at a pretty good rate lately. Maybe that's all the "time" my brain has to create & finish. It' s a wonder that I am getting anything done with all the other things I've been doing to help clean & straighten out the "reorganized" house/garage.

As the ups & downs of being creative come & go, I ponder "What's next?"

Monday, March 31, 2008

Blue Balls

I now have ventured into felt "beads" or "balls" as my husband calls them. I inadvertently chose an electric blue color for my first set. Needless to say, they are affectionately called "blue balls" by everyone who checks them out.

The main lot of them ended up in a necklace with faceted black spinel, apatite & labradorite beads. Couple of the pieces ended up in cute little dangle earrings. I have made several other ones that are yet to be finished into jewelry. Kinda experimented with the Dr Seuss crazy cool shapes & colors. They are fun & playful & have gotten a good response from most people. Some are just curious because they are little blue balls! Others are fascinated at the fact that they are wool.

I have several other ideas still brewing... It's still been hard to shut off my brain. Now to find the time.

I made my first couple of sales on Etsy! First one to a girl in Portugal of all places! Gotta love the Internet!

I keep sketching, dreaming, thinking of my desire to just create & forget about the need to make money to support my family. But reality is ever present & I must go make the dough, not the art. Maybe someday....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Adventures in felt

Okay, here it goes. My first official blog.

Ever since I posted my first items to Etsy on March 4, my mind has been on create mode. I can't stop thinking about making things. I am not just talking about jewelry, my usual medium of choice, I am talking sewing, felting, jewelry... I really need to be doing "work" stuff for tax time, but I can't seem to turn my brain off. I am having a hard time even sleeping. Which is very unusual for me. I'm a champ in the sleep department.

So the quest begins as to where to I put these ideas swirling in my head. I choose felt as my first adventure.

I have successfully created two pieces of flat handmade felt. My son helped a little. He couldn't resist the soap, water & wool business going on in the bathroom. They look okay. I was pleasantly surprised that they actually held together. Now what to do with the pieces...

I love the "manics" of being an artist. If I only had the time or another set of arms! Oh, the things I could create!