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Monday, December 28, 2009

A Ring is Born...

Or rather, two rings. These are works currently in progress, and they were both created using materials purchased at The first ring is composed of silver wire, hammered for texture, a sterling bezel cup and this lovely moonstone.

The front view of the bezel cup and the ring shank

The view of the left side

The view of the right side

The lovely moonstone cabochon. If I place the cabocochon in the bezel cup before I solder it to the ring shank, I'll ruin the stone. If I simply place it in the cup, to show you all the effect, it can be difficult to remove! So for now, you'll just have to imagine it! The cabochon has a lovely high dome, so it will be nice and showy! I'll have to solder the cup to the shank, tumble the ring, set and rock the cabochon into place. It will probably be ready to list in my shop tomorrow.

Here's the second one: an oval bezel cup, ring shank made of sterling wire (hammered for texture) and a gorgeous oval iolite. I love iolite as a stone, and I don't know why more people don't use it. Maybe because it can be difficult to find in such nice quality? This cabochon is a beautiful clear deep indigo blue purple.

Side one: right or left, I guess, depending on which way you wear it! Let's call it right for now, shall we?

The other side: let's call it left. Of course, if you wear it upside down, it's the right. I've confused myself terribly through this realisation.

A view that shows the cabochon and a good clear shot of the oval. It looks rather like an eye when the iolite is in the cup: I'll admit, I've tried it, but then it's always a struggle to remove!

The iolite itself. Like the moonstone, it has a nice high dome so it should sit up nicely over the edge of the bezel cup with a minimum of filing.

I have a nice garnet too, and some other pretties on the way from another Etsy seller, so stay tuned to see the finished products here and in my shop!

As always, comments are welcomed!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Experiental Learning

That means learning by doing: via an experience, I learn. So, last night I was looking at all the stuff spread hither and yon across my desk and worktable and ...everywhere, and I thought to myself, "the one thing I still haven't played with making is rings. I wish I could make rings!"

Then I thought, "Honestly, what is stopping me from making rings? I have wire, I have dowels I can wrap wire around, I have tools for cutting wire...I can make rings!"  So I did. Here is the first ring experiment. I wrapped some 16 gauge wire around a wooden dowel. Then I took one of those funky fat potato pearls that I wire-wrapped for some earlier projects and suspended them on some 26 gauge wire. After I'd made 2 coils with the wire, I snipped the wire off and then wrapped the ends around the coil (you'll see what I mean when I post the picture!) I spread the two coils apart and wired the pearl between them, and voila! A ring!

Tomorrow I am buying a ring mandrel so I can make a variety of sizes!

Friday, December 11, 2009

By popular demand...

So, during my regular morning Etsy chat session, we got onto the subject of hair. Specifically, curly hair and the care and management thereof. Hair is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, and often on my mind.

I love my hair. I really do. I complain about it often, but I know that it is more a blessing than a curse. It is thick, coarse, curly, long and red. The first three of course are genetic gifts. (Hi Dad!) I tell people that my mother married for this hair. (Thanks Mom!) The fourth trait is just patience, and the fifth is thanks to a truly gifted (and national award winning!) hair stylist, Kristin. She is a treasure!

Last time I had a cut, I asked her if she could show me how to style it so that I could wear it curly. She happily agreed, and we were off. I have to say that I was STUNNED by her results. NO one has ever made my curls that curly with NO fuzz. I wear it curly all the time now. I will post a picture later (after my shower haha!) of the results I am able to get at home using her methods. And, dear readers, I am going to share those methods with you!

Step 1: After shampooing and conditioning, and towel drying, DO NOT comb your hair! For your bangs, we can make an exception, since you will probably want to do those with your round brush anyway.

Step 2: Grab a curl smoothing cream/balm/gloss/what-have-you. DO NOT start at the top front of your head! Put it where you need it most, and work it through well without combing. DO NOT comb your hair, except with your fingers, to distribute smoothing product.

Step 3. Wait. Shave your legs, paint your toenails, whatever. Give your hair a little time to air dry. This is key.

Step 4: Work some curling mousse into your hair, being careful not to pull curls apart. You really shouldn't have to use too much if you've faithfully followed the steps up until now.

Step 4: Get out your diffuser and attach it to your blowdryer. I have a salon quality one, and it makes a difference! Starting with the BACK of your head, use the diffuser to simply lift the curls straight up to your scalp. Blast the dryer on full speed ahead, full heat! Leave it there until you think your scalp is nicely toasted! Do NOT scrunch your curls up with your hands at any point. You'll wind up with fuzz. For maximum volume, bend forward from the waist while you do each section. Repeat until you have done your whole head.

Step 5: THIS IS IMPORTANT! Stop drying JUST before you feel like it's entirely dry, so that it can settle. Let the curls relax slightly on their own to get rid of the 'separated' look they probably have. Add a shine spray if you like: use a defining product to highlight a section around your face. Do your bangs with a round brush and/or flat iron.

That's it! Pictures later, I promise!

Edited to add...Here's a picture! Try to ignore how badly I need my roots done and look at my foomfy curls!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Get a Feature!

I have been featured in a wonderful blog written by a wonderful blogger! is the home of WhoaMama! Vintage Style. Andie makes amazing aprons that are retro styled and exquisitely crafted. I am very pleased to have been selected to appear there. I hope you'll check her out, and add her to your blog feed! I know I am adding her to mine!

Also...I tend to overuse exclamation points.