Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pink Jello Salad

On Sunday we celebrated our daughter and grandsons birthday with a steak and rib cook out. It was one of our good weather days so cooking out was a wonderful option. To go along with that our daughter and family are on the Adkins diet so it was a high protein meal. Lots of veggies and meat, but the special treat was this pink jello salad. My family has made this salad/dessert for years and I remember it at family functions when I was small. If you are carb conscience this maybe a good dessert for you.

16 oz. Cottage Cheese
1 container Cool Whip thawed
1 can fruit cocktail
1 large package sugar free jello in you flavor choice, but I love the raspberry

Mix the fruit with the jello then add the cottage cheese. After this is mixed then fold in the cool whip. Chill for a couple of hours.

Enjoy and I'll be back tomorrow with a new featured artist.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Zipper Earring Tutorial

I you follow fashion and the jewelry fashion particularly then you have seen zipper necklaces, zipper bracelets and now zipper earrings. Chelsey over at Silverbug Studios has this great idea for making your own zipper earrings.

In other news, I haven't been making any jewelry for my shops lately as I have been concentrating on making gem trees and selling my book. I did have to take out my salon consignments as they were moving this past weekend to a new location. I need to go visit them in the next week to see if they have room for jewelry or a jewelry case. I have a couple of cases at the antique mall in our booth that I could take out and use if they have the floor space. I do have some jewelry repairs for a friend to finish up so I'll probably work on that tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a good Monday and I'll start posting more regularly, but if you really miss me you can check out one of my other blogs on gem trees or crafty news. See links at the side.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Decal Penny Pendant

Just found this tutorial via One Pretty Thing to Just Something I Made's blog. I've seen coins made into pendants before, but not quite like this one. I usually just wire wrap mine which protects the coin itself, but since this is just a penny, I could probably handle making these. I still have to find the glaze that Cathe used in the tutorial, but thought I would share anyway.
The decals she used are the old fashioned kind that you soak and slip off onto your project. I haven't seen them in awhile, but I also haven't been looking. Now I'll start looking as I'm sure they are out there in a lot of fun images. I can also see using nickles vs. pennies since you would have a larger surface for the decal and a lot of people like the silver tone vs. copper.
So many wonderful ideas out there and so little time to do them in. Enjoy and visit Cathe's blog HERE.

What's Got You Down?

Mine has been the cold from H&!!. I still have the cough but am feeling much better. If you follow me on twitter, then you probably know that I had a show last weekend. It actually turned out to be a very good show. Sold lots of gem trees and a few books. We always make lots of new friends and visit with old ones when attending these shows. This show was in Castle Rock, WA, which is a very small town very close to Mount St. Helens. We try to do this show every year and have been for the past 6 years so customers have come to expect us to be there. This year I didn't take my jewelry and concentrated on marketing the book and gem trees and I did have a few customers disappointed that I didn't have my jewelry with me. While the book is still fresh and new, it's best to focus my attention in that direction for awhile... or at least at some of the shows I'll be doing.

I'm most excited about a couple of new wholesale customers that I just landed the last couple of weeks. One is just ordering small gem trees for the Tucson gem show and the other is ordering books and kits for a local gem show he is doing. Yea... I like that one as I don't have to make anything, just put everything in a box and ship. Right now, with this economy, I'll take any kind of order I can get. Obviously I don't make as much money on wholesale customers as retail, but a customer is a customer and I like them all.

If you are reading this post and are wondering what book and what kits, I have them listed on my Etsy shop, so take a look around. If you prefer jewerly then I have that too on my 1000 Markets and ArtFire shops. Links to my shops are at the right.

I did get out last week for a day to visit the beach. It just happened to be one of the best days there all Summer. No wind and warm. The dogs loved being off leash, especially Buddy the spaniel. I swear that dog can run 40 miles per hour once he gets going.

I hope everyone is enjoying their week. I have a fun tutorial that I'll post here on how to make a penny pendant necklace, so stayed tuned and check back later. Cheers, Dana

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Compact and Multi Use Items

I was just reading an article on today's trends and one of them is collapse-ability. This is the ability to shrink something down that would normally be of a larger size, such as travel toiletries, tote bags, umbrellas even furniture such as drop leaf tables. HERE is the full article on Handmade News if you want to read it. My point is that we are all trying to find that one thing that can do more or be more than initially intended or is a space saver. I like the idea of both, having space saving items as well as items that can do more than one thing or have several looks. The picture shows a few of these items that are either multi use or shrinks down for storage.

In jewelry, you have convertible necklaces. Those necklaces that can be worn long or as a belt or wrapped a couple of times around the neck for a layered look. I've even seen them with large bail pendants strung into the middle. You also have bracelets with removable links, charms or beads such as Pandora. I make charm earrings, which is an earring that has multiple gemstone and pearl drops that are interchangeable. Lots of different looks with just one item.

Clothing has several items that can be considered multi use such as scarves. Buy one and wear it several different ways around the neck and then there is the sarong which can be a dress or a skirt. There is also a purse out on the market Miche that uses one basic black and has several options of changing the look with magnetic covers. This isn't too different from a purse back in the 70's called a Bermuda Bag which had a wooden handle and the covers were attached via buttons to the lining. I love the idea but are we limiting our style? I think for someone on a budget these are all great options that provide several looks for one price. FYI, you can still purchase a Bermuda bag at The Jesse B Collection HERE or you can buy the handles and pattern to make your own bag at Tall Poppy Craft products.

I never had a Bermuda bag, but I did purchase a Miche bag last year. I used it a few times and still have it, but I prefer a larger bag with more pockets. Great concept.

What other items can we find that are space savers or multi use? How about a kitchen item? The first thing that comes to my mind is a Kitchen Aid mixer. I never new it had so many attachments. In going through my mother in laws kitchen cleaning, she had an old Kitchen Aid on the counter, in drawers and in the closet were tons of attachments. Some for mixing bread dough, grinding meat and whipping. There were some attachments that I don't even know what they do. But think of it, one piece of kitchen equipment that has been around forever that can do almost anything.

Another great item is collapsible boxes. We have some of these in our closet and when not in use they fold down to 1 inch in height, but when made into the box they are the size of a shoe box. How about a collapsible bike, yes that's right a bike, pretty cool for those with little or no space to store one. Check out these folding bikes. In looking at other space saving items that we have around, I found our dog crate. Our dogs for the most part do not need to be crated, but when we travel we take along a crate for hotel rooms, etc. This crate is perfect and since we purchased the large size, but dogs fit in it fine. Here is one option if you want to check it out.

I don't think these are gimmicks or a trend that will go out of style. I really do believe that these items reflect a change in our society and our values.

Make a Ring Display

Found at The Beading Gem's Journal is part 1 of 5 on Showcasing jewelry. Part 1 features tutorials on how to make ring holders. I especially like the one in the cigar box, but check out Beading Gem's blog for the links to the tutorials. Great ideas.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Up in the Air

It's Tuesday and I missed my Monday tutorial day, so I'll find something today to post that's jewelry related that you can make. The weekend just flew by as it always does when you don't want it to end although the husband and my cold's are much better. The coughing and nose blowing is just so tiring.

I played around a little more with my twig/branch earring design only using labradorite and pearls on one and garnets and tourmaline on the other. I'm not sure I like the garnets...seems a little gaudy to me as I like more simplistic earrings, but who knows, it might just be the ticket for someone else, so I'll go ahead and make the other one to match so there is a pair. They are both made with 28 gauge sterling silver wire.

I won't be working on new jewelry designs today as I'm off to my MIL's house to clean and continue the organization to get ready for an Estate sale. I guess I just never realized how much work there was... or maybe I knew and was blocking it out until it really had to be done. Since we are also going to have some remodeling done over there, I'll take some before and after pics. The bathroom when finished should look amazing. In the kitchen we are still agonizing over a solid surface countertop or granite.
Thanks for reading and if you have some great jewerly ideas or remodeling ideas, I would love to hear both. Dana

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Activities

It is a holiday and usually we are at the beach. My husband and I both came down with a cold, it's been rainy and cool and didn't want to spend a cold rainy weekend miserable at the beach, so we stayed home. Today was lovey, turned on the fireplace and watched a movie this afternoon and then went to my mother's for dinner. No cooking, my kind of dinner. I did manage to make a couple of pair of earrings and a pendant yesterday.

I made two pair of earrings since I wasn't sure I liked the first pair. The bottom drop is a faceted black onyx with freshwater pearl and black sapphires and then a smooth round black onyx. The second pair I added small black tourmaline drops with the other stones. The pendant is a design I made up with just 14 gauge silver wire and then wrapped sterling silver wire around it with the gemstones. The bottom of the pendant also has a faceted black onyx.

I wore the set to my mother's tonight and as I thought, she wanted a set for herself. The design of the earrings is a take off one of my gem tree branches. Very simple to make a very flashy. The pendant and at least one pair of the earrings will be available in my ArtFire shop soon, but I need to take some better pictures, this one doesn't do it justice.

With the holidays coming up, I have been trying to decide on packing materials for items that are purchased at some of my upcoming craft shows. I finally decided to make origami boxes out of some of my old greeting cards. I'll just have them out in a basket and when a purchase is made they can pick out their own little gift box. It will be perfect for a pendant or earrings. I'll post pictures of the little boxes later and if you really want the instructions, I'll post those also.

Have a great Labor Day and don't work too hard...oh wait you aren't supposed to work at all on that day. Dana

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Featured Artist - Artwork by KD

I happened across this artist, Kathy DellaValle, while looking through some of the ArtFire shops in the Green Products area. I love her use of recycled products in her jewelry collection and her music has a folky, blues feel. Something that you can feel at home listening to just about anytime. You can listen to her music on her Myspace page HERE. I've included Kathy's bio below. Feel free to browse her ArtFire shop where she has her jewelry collection as well as a CD available.

My name is Kathy and I'm a full time artist from NE Pennsylvania. After being graduated from college for a year (painting major/art history minor) and some soul searching I decided the only way I would be happy was if I started my own full time art business. Luckily I have tons of support from my wonderful husband! Thus Artwork by KD!! I'm also a musician...

I took a couple jewelry metal classes in college and loved being able to create unique jewelry. However, the metals didn't quite feel like me or the message I want to convey in my work. One day as I was looking at an Aquafina bottle it literally dawned on me to use recycled materials! So I use what I learned in my jewelry metals classes (and painting classes) and carry it over to my media of recycled plastics and aluminum. These are materials that I come across everyday. I also get donations from friends and family (recycling is contagious). They include all kinds of plastic bottles and containers and aluminum cans. I also collect materials for my packaging and shipping materials. I reuse empty food boxes, magazines and brownpaper bags.

I've always been serious about recycling, reusing and cutting down on waste. I'm so happy to be able to join my art and love of recycling into lovely, funky jewelry! These pieces are an extension of me and my style. I hope you love them as much as I do!Check out my music at:

**No matter what I'm making I always try to create an Experience, because to me that is what Art is...Thank you for reading this.


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