Saturday, May 30, 2009

My first treasury!

Thanks to the new treasury clock at Craftopolis, I was able to figure out when something was opening up! Also, the tips from Erica at WorthySoyCandles posted on the Team NorGa forum helped immensely. I kept refreshing the page until I saw her tip that the box would magically appear...and it did! I had the title of the treasury read to go and a vague theme in mind (you know it would be either all green or something with flowers...)

I look forward to making many more treasuries! Click here to view and please make comments and visit the artist shops! You will get hugaroons. Promise.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Keishi pearls, yummeh!

Katey knows, I was hankering for keishi pearls for awhile and made a point of looking at all of them at the intergalactic bead show (although depending on the quality and size, oh my are they expensive). I read a great primer on pearls recently and learned that keishi pearls are in fact freshwater pearls but they don't have any starter material so they are the purest pearls so to speak because they are whatever the oyster churns out.

I love working with materials that were created in a process like that similar (in my mind anyway) to amber or honey. It came out of something else that may or may not have known we were going to process it so like Tom on Top Chef says, 'you have to honor the protein.' That may not make any sense but what I'm trying to say is that I feel a connection to the material and want what I make from it to be the best I can make it for what I have on hand or my skill level.

I didn't use to like pearls but that's before I knew they came in such crazy colors and shapes. Now I'm pearl crazy! Oh wells. I posted these (Dark Blossom) in the Etsy shop so please to enjoy!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursdays are always good...

Today was a new Art from the Heart from Foxy G. Knits and she featured Seedlings! I feel extremely honored to be featured since previous (and future) features deal with much more serious issues and folks doing hands-on work with cancer survivors.

If you haven't visited Foxy G. Knits blog or Etsy shop, please do so. She has gorgeous creations and does many Pay It Forward items all the time!


I had made a list of things I wanted to accomplish today and I hit a few of them. I fixed the chainmaille necklace I made last week so that I can actually wear it. I'm going to road test it tomorrow at work.

I also made two new pairs of earrings that I will post in my Etsy shop early next week. Once the end of the month sale is over I'm reorganizing a bit (again, haha!) and they will be part of that rollout. Please do take advantage of the BUY ONE, GET ONE 50% OFF sale while it lasts through May 31. You won't hurt my feelings!

Coming in June:
Red Planet - earrings in argentium sterling silver and glass

Sustain - earrings in copper, glass, and shell

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Team NorGa member SewCute Shop giveway!

Welcoming Brandy from SewCute shop to Team NorGa who is running a fantastic giveaway for an Amy Butler Blue Sky hat. Click here for her blog and more info on the giveaway.

From Brandy about SewCute:

"I started sewing last year and fell in love. My grandmother taught me 'old school' so I take my time and do finishing by hand. All my items are hand made and sent out with a smile gurantee.

Earlier this year my sewing took on a new task. My best friend's son (Riley) was diagnosed with a brain disease adrenoleuokodystrophy (ALD) if you have ever seen the movie Lorenzo's Oil you are familiar with this disease.

In early March Teresa, Joel and Riley (teamgreene) were sent to Duke University Hospital for Riley to begin a healing process with the assistance of a bone marrow transplant. It has been 50+ days in the isolation from the outside for Riley.

All proceeds made by SewCute Shop while Riley is in the hospital are dontated to help teamgreene with medical and living expenses.

Thank you in advance for any purchase you make from SewCute Shop it is going to a SewGood Cause.

Visit for more information on Teresa, Joel and Riley."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Team NorGa Treasuries!

Currently there are two Etsy treasuries going featuring lovelies from Team NorGa folks who have also included earrings from my shop!

These will be up for the next three days so please show your support by visiting the treasuries and posting a comment:

All My Clothes Are in Georgia by FARStudios

Georgia Sweetgrass and Sunshine by HendricksHearth

Additionally, Foxy G. Knits has just posted an article on the Team NorGa blog where June is busting out all over (love that song...). Click here to bust it out!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chainmaille and watermelon...excellent combo!

Although I won't likely put it up in the shop, a new chainmaille necklace I've been working on the last couple of days was a definite learning experience. It is made up of anodized aluminum rings (7mm) in black and a 4-color blue/green blend. The weave is European 4-1 that is folded over on itself to make the tube. If I do it again, I want the contrasting color to be silver I think.


The new addition to the shop from the last three days though I really love. I saw these coral beads and had to have them. They are squares but top-drilled so have a really unique look. Stuck them on some lightly hammered argentium square earwires (handmade) and dubbed them Melon Bits. Going to wear them today to the in-laws and get some feedback!


A quick note to all the folks expecting a is coming this week. I just didn't want to do it on Memorial Day because that's not what the memorial is supposed to be about. Please take the opportunity to honor our country's fallen military.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A bit of a wee website scrubaroo.

Despite the fact that it is about to be all sorts of hot and that brown doesn't exactly come to mind for summer unless you are having a very dry one, I'm in love with a new shade of it and updated the Seedlings look last night with a bigger tagline in a font called Sketch Rockwell. I think the hand-sketched look of the font quickly conveys the handmade aspect but not in a messy way.

I went ahead and updated the Etsy banner (and avatar since I realized it was a bit hard to read), Twitter background, and I'm in the process of snazzing up ye olde blog as well (the header has been updated). It's hard for me to go nuts with the blog because I would rather be able to easily read entries than be distracted by lots of design, however the plain white background is driving me nuts.

I'm taking a small break this weekend from any actual jewelry projects and I'm going to take a bit of time to do some necessary bookkeeping that I've been putting off as well as getting the rest of everything organized from vacation week when I moved everything to the new work table. So far, great work table but because nothing is organized it's all just sitting on top of it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Across the Universe

The last few days I've been finishing up a bracelet for the Team NorGa May project; the theme is Sun, Moon & Star. I wanted to do something really over the top not only because I loved the theme but because I wanted a really good challenge for myself. I decided to make a massive charm bracelet where everything would be hand-crafted i.e. the bracelet links, the jump rings, the clasp, any headpins, except for the beads. I did end up using some ready made wire stars but other than that, anything metal is hand-crafted for this bracelet.

Originally I was going to do over 100 charms but after seeing the growing pile when I got to 88, I decided to go with that. I think it's loaded quite nicely so I'm glad I stopped at that nice round number.

Here is a photo of the base bracelet, sterling silver s-links connected by sterling jump rings:

Here is a shot of all the charms and bead dangles before I started connecting them to the bracelet base:

And here is a shot of the finished bracelet:

I have posted it to the Etsy shop but it's marked reserve for the Team NorGa May challenge. Once everyone's submissions are up, they will post them on the Team NorGa blog to vote on and you can win prizes for voting!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Time to eat your veggies!

Peas and Carrot earrings are currently featured in an Etsy Treasury all themed around peas and carrots! It will be viewable through Saturday.

Oddly enough, it was one month ago today the amber grapes were featured in a treasury. We'll see if our luck holds true on June 20...stay tuned!

Freebies, testaroos and lots of bead dangles.

Tonight I packed up two regular orders to ship out. One was for an Etsy shop seller that I first met through Twitter and bought some of her fantastic thank you if you order from me, you'll be getting a thank you note from LazyLightningArt's shop!

The second was for another Etsy shop seller who is also part of the North Georgia Etsy street team (Team NorGa) who found the Deep Ocean earrings and pendant in the new sale section of the shop. HendricksHearth has a variety of handcrafted and also donates 10% of her sales to Heifer International!

I like to include something fun with orders that go out so whipped up a test pair of classic "Grapes" but with a twist, putting them on blue niobium earwires.


Hubby said it made them look more like flowers that way but I think once you had them on that earwire as the stem illusion would disappear. I just really like how simple the earwires are, how comfortable they feel and how architectural they look.

I spent the rest of the evening working on my entry for the Team NorGa May theme which is space. I'm doing a bracelet that is 100% handmade except for the beads that are involved. The base of the bracelet is hammered sterling silver and I even made the jump rings! I had to stop for the night though because the 100 or so dangles and charms that are going on it started to wear me out. I will finish it up tomorrow night and get some photos posted.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Custom Order Craziness!

I've decided I love doing custom orders. I've done two necklaces this week for folks who basically said, 'just make it match my earrings.' To clarify, these folks are also dear friends or friends of dear friends which to me makes it that much better to create for them.

The first is for my Aunt Mary Ann who is one of the most energetic, upbeat people I've ever met. I would describe her as magical, plus she works at a toy company! How cool is that? This necklace is to match her Crazy Moon earrings.


The second is for a friend of my crafty friend Katey who just had a birthday. Katey knew her friend would love the new Peas and Carrot earrings and wanted a necklace to match.


So all that being said, if you have an idea for a handmade jewelry piece you would love see translated into reality, please let me know!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A little Etsy shop cleaning.

I decided during the organization of my office and work area and subsequent cleaning out of my jewelry case that I didn't want to carry around so much stuff and I also think it has been in there awhile! I created a sale section in the Etsy shop and deactivated quite a few listings that I think I put in there when getting the shop going but since sold those pieces offline so no use having them in there at this point if I'm not going to make another set, etc.

So get in there and take advantage of my compulsive nature to store things for awhile and then resulting need to have them gone right away!

Click here to view the new sale section in the Seedlings Etsy shop.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Haul from the bead show!

I think I have enough raw materials to keep me busy for months at this point but couldn't resist the Intergalactic Bead Show in Atlanta this weekend. Here's a sneak at some lovely beads you'll be seeing in my work:

My favorite of everything, some very funky amber that looks like tree trunks. I'm a sucker for amber but I love finding little bits of things in it too:

Carved jade:

Yellow glass chunky beads:

Click here to see the rest of the photos on Flickr!

Wedding Anniversary Weekend Sale in my shop!

Hubby and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary this weekend so to share the love on May 16-17 everything in the shop is BUY ONE, GET 50% OFF the price of the second item! (Discount is given on equal or lesser priced item, excludes custom orders).

To receive discount, you can complete payment through PayPal and I will refund the sale amount or I can revise the invoice. Sale counts for multiple items too (for example you want to buy four pairs of earrings; two would be at normal price and the other 2 of equal or lesser price would be discounted).

Please contact me with any questions!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Night off from jewelry? Sort of.

I spent some time tonight getting the house straightened and cleaned. I really neglected it during the week of vacation but I can't get too mad at myself right? It was a vacation.

I promised myself yesterday that I would take a break from any actual jewelry creation tonight and just write down any ideas that came to me or work on something completely different. I got online briefly and checked the Team NorGa forum and realized the deadline for entries for the current flier contest was tomorrow.

When thinking about what I wanted to include, I didn't really want to showcase my jewelry nor did I want to randomly grab stuff from other team members' shops. I went around my work room and picked up some items to photograph, hoping that would give me some inspiration. I started with some wire and hammers but had a difficult time getting a good set-up. When I started working with the yarn, that's when the idea hit me.

The materials we work with may be fantastic in their own state but what sets them apart are the people who take them and meld them into art. Click here to view the four variants I submitted. I hope at least one of them gets picked!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Staying busy is the best remedy.

My moods vary greatly, always have. I find that I enjoy when I'm feeling a bit more manic more than when I'm feeling down but according to the laws of Sharon's universe, it is a cycle and therefore I follow it. Having projects really helps, usually! I do have projects that continue to go undone because I replace them with other projects (finishing putting up photos on the wall comes to mind...)

I've been trying for the last two days to make my own bead caps out of wire that somewhat resembled a flower to no avail. I've given that a rest to let my mind mull over some solutions and decided to at least have a small taste of success with some simple, fun earrings. The amber beads were a gift from my friend Katey so I've made her a pair of Tree Candy (pictured) and I'm sending my sister a pair because I've owed her a necklace for almost two years now but she loves amber. (Hmm, unfinished projects keep popping up.)

Tomorrow I'm going to take a small break and focus on cleaning the house. It is amazing to me how dusty things get when you are focused on making jewelry!

This weekend I'm snagging aforementioned Katey to go to the Intergalactic Bead & Jewelry Show in Atlanta. We are going to set some spending limits before we step inside but I think it will be great to meet some vendors. Someone from Kazuri (fair trade beads from Kenya) will be there too; would love to see their beads up close.

Also, posted a secret Pay It Forward item to my Etsy shop. I mean, it's not really secret but with all the back and forth lately about whether PIF is for fun or for marketing, I just wanted to tuck it in there for some person who was surfing around and found it by accident. To me, its more like a scavenger hunt.

For anyone who knows me, if you compliment me on something I'm likely to just give it away...bad business practice I know, but the joy to me is creating and sharing. I'm thrilled to learn new things every day and love, be loved...all the good things. Hooray, my good mood is back!

Now, get out there, create and share.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Soul of Somanya, Ghanaian Beads and Artisans

I first found Soul of Somanya when searching for Ghanaian krobo beads, a recycled glass bead. I was thrilled to find out that their artisans are compensated at market rates for their work and that they are working to develop sustainable employment opportunities in Somanya-Krobo in Ghana.

You can read more about their artisans and products at their website.

I was inspired to make a necklace from the beads I purchased and tried to use as many color combinations as I could. I used brown hemp for the strands and held the bead charms in place with simple knots. The bead charms are made from 18-gauge sterling silver filled wire as is the handcrafted necklace closure.

Click here to read more details about this necklace.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Announcing addition of fine jewelry to Etsy shop!

Announcing addition of fine silver jewelry in our Etsy shop! Please be sure to check out the new earrings made almost entirely by hand (can't make my own pearls...) in argentium and fine silver. Will be rolling out new pieces all throughout May!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fair trade, ethically sourced, recycled, green, eco-friendly...the list goes on!

With all the growing buzz surrounding being green, and for some folks I realize it is a way of life and not just a trend, I thought that when I started looking into how I could make my jewelry better from an environmental (and ethical) standpoint that I would instantly find tons of resources and people willing to share their information. I started the process how I usually do, just asking questions.

I sent e-mail to the company where I buy many of my jewelry making supplies, including metal wire, asking if any was recycled or if not, where it was sourced from.

When I would find sellers on Etsy and other shops stating that their metals were from ethical refiners or that it was 100% recycled, I would send them e-mail or a convo asking if they would share their source.

When nobody responded, I started to feel like I had suddenly stumbled upon some sort of secret, that using these types of materials in my jewelry was taboo or that if I went this route, I would be doing it for marketing reasons.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I am not a 100% green person but I try within my circle of influence in ways that I can and how better than with what I create? So it was very frustrating for me to feel this way...

But then I started to find other folks through Etsy forums or through Twitter who were sharing their information and I now feel like having improved green goals for my jewelry is entirely possible.

What are your green goals?
  1. To use 100% recycled or ethically sourced metals. I discovered that the company I buy wire from (Rio Grande) is currently using 100% recycled sterling silver so that was a nice find. They also buy scrap so don't through your tiny bits away!
  2. To use fair trade or recycled beads when possible. When shopping online, if a company uses fair trade practices, they will have information on their site about their processes. If your sources don't have any information, I would ask them what their policies are. I've also found several companies that specialize in recycled beads (glass).
  3. To be mindful about toxic chemicals and replace them with less harmful ones where possible. I'm just starting to get into silversmithing and as I don't want to expose myself to toxic chemicals, I don't really want to pass that around either.

Ask and Tell!
While it may seem like folks are touting their jewelry as organic, eco-friendly, etc. what you can do as a consumer is just ask them for their sources of materials. If they can tell you or volunteer the information, then it's not just for marketing purposes (my opinion).

Just the same, it is good customer service to let your customers know what is special about your products. Ask them to tell their friends that your jewelry uses fair trade materials or was created with 100% recycled materials.

If everyone starts asking, then we'll all start doing and will have less to worry about perhaps in terms of whether our products will harm folks or contribute to environmental concerns or that beads we're using were created in a factory with workers in substandard conditions or wages.

Links and Resources (just the tip of the iceberg!) Trade/Consumer Resources --
Ethical Metalsmiths --
Society of American Silversmiths Safer Alternatives --
Happy Mango Beads --
Soul of Somanya --

I will continue to post updated links and twitter about what I find and would love to hear about your green goals and activities too.