Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Featured Artist on Handmade Artists' Forum Blog

Swing on over to the Handmade Artists' Forum Blog for a quick read on Seedlings. The Handmade Artists' Forum is a great place to share ideas and get critiqued and they've just started an Etsy team of which I'm a member as well.

Thank you all HAF members for being so supportive!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Friday Front and Center: Foxy G. Knits

Do you ever meet someone regardless of the environment and know immediately that you were cut of the same skein, so to speak? Lois Stifel has been just such a person. I've been astounded by the number of folks I've met recently who are both insanely talented and outrageously giving, and I'm not talking about giveaways or promotions.

Lois is always thinking about what she can do for you which in my book is the epitome of everything I aspire to be. Not a day goes by that she hasn't pointed out a site of help for someone or forwarded a useful tip to the rest of us newbs. All this and she consistently updates her blog (Foxy G's Den of i-KNIT-quity) with witty, insightful articles about whatever strikes her fancy (from sherbet to the solstice to sock monkeys) along with in-depth features on other artisans who give back in various ways.

So I want to take a few moments and just bask in the glow of a few of my favorite items from her Etsy shop because behind everything is a deeply talented fiber artist, or Foxy G. Knits.

The first piece from her shop that really stunned me was her entry in the Team NorGa June challenge, the Goddess Shawl Wrap - Summer Solstice. Believe me, I'm saving my pennies for this one (and some cooler weather which Lois and I are both anxiously awaiting).

Goddess Shawl Wrap - Summer Solstice by foxygknits

Lois works with a variety of fibers and yarns but I was really smitten by this new listing of her Oooh La La Ribbon Scarf which is full of funky textures and colors and looks like my neck would be in lurve.

Oooh La La Ribbon Scarf by foxygknits

A huge proponent of Pay It Forward, or PIF, Lois maintains a large number of gorgeous items in her shop as recently featured (like today) on Etsy Item of the Day.

So scarves ready in a salute, to you, Lois aka Foxy G. Knits!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Packaging prototype!

It's been a few weeks now but I saw an article about a craft show booth that really caught my attention (and I should have bookmarked). They were a paper goods company and they had clothespinned their smaller items to wire strung from tree branches. It just looked amazing so of course I began to think about how would I display my jewelry for the inevitable craft show? And because I like to make life difficult for myself, I began to think of ways that I could adapt the display for my own purposes.

I like to store finished pieces in resealable plastic baggies because they keep air and dirt out but on their own they are plain-looking. I started thinking about small envelopes that had an open window so that the envelope could be clipped to something but still show what was inside.

On twitter one night, one of the vintage shops linked their 1920s era seed packets and immediately I connected the small envelopes I needed with that idea. I did some research and there are companies that will actually do custom seed packets, very fancy ones, complete with seeds. However, like all customized big volume printing projects, a bit beyond my price range for now.

I found a DIY wedding blog at that offered some tips on making custom seed packets complete with a pdf template to get started. I fiddled around with the template in photoshop and came up with a prototype:


So next step is to work on the design more, find some sweet paper, find some volunteers to help cut out the templates....ya know, another project!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Work in progress update (steampunk tiara) almost done!

So there isn't a whole lot left on this tiara that I'm going to do...clean up some ends, fill in some holes, tighten up some spots...that sort of thing. I have learned a lot from this project including some ways to make wire-wrapping go easier and that I also would love to buy one of those dealies that helps with making the wire wraps around a wire mandrel (the bits that look like tubing).

Top-down view:

Front detail:

You can view the rest of the photos on my Flickr photostream! I do plan on putting this doozy to bed by the end of the weekend and will post final photos then.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Front and Center: Purified Art

A couple weeks back I clicked on a random link in a twitter feed (click to recreate the moment) and lo the sky opened and down tumbled some Purified Art. It was a ring, described as future-primitive on the Flickr feed, but I knew it was unique and I liked it. Isn't that enough?

Orbical, by Bill Martin pa

The gent behind the purification is Bill Martin, who maintains a blog called "Here there be Monsters" and I highly recommend putting it on your reading list. One of the things I like about how Bill approaches blogging or twitter or facebook, is that he is himself, it's not constant, "I listed twenty things, go look, go now, buy buy buy." So when he does post a link to a new creation, I'm excited about it and want to go look (and buy, but more on that next).

Bill does a fantastic job of keeping his Facebook fans up to date and keeping the flow of comments going as well. If you aren't a fan, go be a fan by clicking here and doing your being a fan thing.

So on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, at precisely 6:55 pm, Bill posted a photo of his new creation which utilized omg-yummeh-fantastical-you know that was tree sap once-AMBER and my brain melted. I mean, I'm a sucker for a few things in this world (honey, sock monkeys, fresh paper mmm) and amber is right at the top of the list. The absolute ONLY thing that saved my pennies was the size and as soon as my pennies are equal to the amount that would behoove not saving them, I will contact Bill about making a precious for me.

amber earthling ring 2 by Bill Martin pa

Bill on twitter is @Billpurifiedart and his Flickr photostream has a lot of really great photos of his current work and past art. See more of his creations for sale in his Etsy shop as well. Take a moment to visit Purified Art and let Bill know what you think!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Work in progress update (steampunk tiara).

I've been feeling quite ill the last about 48 hours but the storm seemed to break around 5 probably because I had just been handed a large tub of watches. Once home I started to pry them open and found some very nice bits to work with. Tonight is also the last night that I can work on this project until next week and even then, I need to set aside some time for some custom orders.

I had finished the wire-wrapping around the front side and got it framed rather nicely, with the wire bits to help me measure where the mid-point is:

I started building out the "fireworks" as well, the larger ones because I need to get those in place on the base before I can put in all the tubes and rest of the support layer. So the three largest are in place now:

One of the watch parts really stood out and I've got it roughly in place for sizing:

Tune in next week when we get the smaller fireworks in place and the support structure to feed the machine!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A two-fer kind of day!

Thanks for everyone who voted in the Team NorGa Etsy street team June challenge (Sun, Moon, and Stars) especially if you voted for the Seedlings Jewelry entry Across the Universe...because we won! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (to the power of woo).

I really loved the challenge but more importantly, I really dig this street team. To be sure it's the only one I've been on but sometimes things just work out correctly eh? I'm excited to meet these folks at the end of June.

Later tonight, some updates of the July challenge!

Feature on is running a feature on Seedlings Jewelry! Please read more by going to their blog and feel free to pass out the link!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Work in progress, Royal Fireworks (a steampunk tiara).

When the next Team NorGa theme was announced (fireworks) for some reason my brain whispered, "tiara," and I've been noodling on what to do ever since. The logical part of my brain (yes, there is one) said, "just make some earrings," and the part of my brain that has been having wacky dreams lately said, "you make a lot of earrings, do something vastly and insanely different."

But a tiara? A steampunk tiara? Do I even know what steampunk is or have I made anything steampunk? Who knows to all those questions but ever since I saw the movie Steamboy like 3 years ago, I've been entranced by something I didn't know existed. I've been a secret steampunk fan apparently. All these other folks have had a huge leap on me but it doesn't bother me...I don't need to compete with that, I just want to make a crazy tiara.

I started with a sketch:

I'm tracking down the cogs or may just use washers, or washers and cogs. I also have some spools and bobbins I'm going to use in the base and I'm going to try to allow as much movement as possible on the spools to give the illusion that you actually have to crank the thing up to make the "fireworks" work.

The next step I'm working on is getting the proportions of the base set up and wire-wrapping the outer edges. I'm leaving the ends rough at the moment but will come back to them during clean up.


I'm working on the front frame next and will post the next round of photos in the early part of the week. I'm enjoying taking my time and putting some crazy detail into this one!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Front and Center: Halley Dawn

One of the things I've really enjoyed from reading other people's blogs are when they turn the spotlight away from their own creations for a bit to let you know what they like about somebody else. I've been a frantic bookmarker and shop hearter and for some of these folks have tried to track down whether they are on Facebook, Twitter etc.

I first came into contact with Halley Dawn's mosaic art either from pounce or a treasury on Etsy, I simply can't recall, but I was immediately drawn to the organic nature of an inorganic medium. Her piece "It's Still Me," pictured below is available in her Etsy shop.

It's Still Me - Original Mosaic Art by halleydawn, on Flickr

I wish my brain could remember how I connected with Halley but I somehow let her know her art was stunning! (At least I hope I did that out loud and it wasn't just my imagination...ya never know eh?)

It was a few weeks later when I saw her link on Twitter (@HalleyDawn) for this new mosaic planter, with a fantastic photo of a flowering dogwood. The flower really pulled me in and made me wish I had a patio covered with these pots, all stuffed with blooms of course! This one, Gray and Blue Planter, is also available in her Etsy Shop.

Gray and Blue Planter by halleydawn, on Flickr

When I went a' Googling (because my brain thought I had remembered a blog but I couldnae find it) I found her website at and discovered her paintings! Follow the link on this one but really was pulled in by Double Self Portrait, a contrast to the light of her mosaics.

So please to enjoy one of my new favorite artists and if you see her on Twitter, say hullo (or give her Etsy shop a heart or looksy).

Bzz, bzz, bought a beehive from May sales!

Thank you to everyone who purchased from Seedlings during the month of May, we were able to buy a beehive with a little bit leftover towards our goal of $500. If you want to keep track of our Team Heifer, just go to and click on the Team Heifer tab at the top!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Get out your fingers and toes!

I keep a big list of things I want to tackle and rings have been on that list for awhile. The interesting thing is of course is that I've never been a huge ring wearer. I have my wedding band and that's pretty much it. I believe it is this lack of knowledge that keeps my designs fresh (good one eh). However, it does force me to test my own designs because I need to know what works!

While I get the hang of things and while I focus my main energy on my parents visiting and the metalsmithing class coming up, still going to be rolling out new pieces during June but just going to be having fun. The first of these is Spelunk in turquoise and copper wire (black). It's a pinky ring and I'm bundling it with earrings and is available in the Etsy shop.


Another one that I worked on last night but didn't finish the earrings I'm going to call Tree Trunk, it's in argentium sterling silver and amber.


I'll also be sending out the June newsletter by this weekend so you still have time to sign up if you'd like to receive that directly to your e-mail inbox. I'll also post a link when it's up if you'd rather not have more e-mail.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Vote in the Sun, Moon and Stars Challenge!

The new Team NorGa Sun, Moon and Stars challenge is up and ready for you to vote (by commenting) for a chance to win some fabulous prize packs from our Etsy team artisans! I continue to be dazzled by the creations coming from my team members and it helps that they are supportive and helpful too! Click here to go to the Team NorGa blog to vote.

(Photo on the right is Lauren from HendricksHearth part of Team NorGa who has been spotted in her Seedlings!)

In other news, I think I've been on Twitter for just over a month now. At first I really had no idea if it would be fun or even worth my time. To my surprise I continue to meet interesting people who get the whole concept and are using it more than just an ad bot. One such person is Danita, or @La_Vida_Dulce on Twitter. Please visit her blog at and read the fantastic (and unexpected!) feature on Seedlings Jewelry.

Also please click here to visit her Etsy shop for some lovely handmade fiber arts pieces as well as some nifty Swiffer replacements!