Friday, February 10, 2012

TGIF & New Jewelry Designs for Etsy

Hey there Sweeties, TGIF!!!
After a long week of jewelry design & babysitting,
2 things that don't really go together all that well...
I'm sooooo excited that it's finally Friday!
I've already got a fab spinach & chicken flatbread pizza
cooking in the oven, frozen of COURSE!!!
Made up a tray of salami, pepperjack cheese & yummy crackers,
& I'm just about ready to crack open a bottle of White Zinfandel...
I tell ya, do I know how to live or what! lol

Since my hands are full & I can't type when my hands are full,
I'll just let you feast your eyes on all my etsy WONDER...
'The Saint'

And this ones for me...

'Madonna & Child'

made with my Grandmother's vintage rosary

& a tiny skeleton key that unlocks the treasure box where
I keep my most Secret Dreams.

Where do you keep your secret dreams?
Have an amazing weekend friends!!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Perfectly Imperfect

I've been trying my hand at soldering the last few weeks,
dwelling in a place where I've never felt quite comfortable.
As with most things in my life, I am my OWN teacher.
I wander the internet searching for clues, but in the end
I know it's just me & my soldering iron taking this journey.

With every brush of flux & every pass of my iron,
this foreign place begins to feel like home.
The fear subsides & is replaced with reluctant confidence.
I let go of the idea of perfection & embrace the joy of creation
& learn to do exactly what my dear friend told me...

to find the beauty in the Perfectly Imperfect.
I LOVE the smell of soldering...


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

KC Willis Taught Me This!

It's Hump Day all ready!
Sweet Hearts, where does the time go...I mean really.
I do have to admit, I know where a significant
portion of my time has been going lately...Pinterest, that's where.
But I also have to tell you, since I've started hangin out there...
I've been more INSPIRED, more CREATIVE
& more artistically PRODUCTIVE, then I have in years.
It just gets my creative juices FLOWING!
Regardless, I know too much of a Good Thing can be bad,
so I'm thinking about starting a monthly support group.
Would any of you be interested in joining?
Hi my name is Susie & I PIN!  ;)

Y'all may remember that I was lucky enough to take a KC Willis
Workshop last fall when KC was in So Cali & it was Fab U Lous!!!
She shared all her secrets with us on how to make her amazing, fabric
collages & I fell in love with all the textures & images &
the vintage feel of these pieces of art.

This past Christmas, I made five collages for some very special
loved one's in my life & I wanted to share them with you.
The one above was made for my brother & sister-in-law in Baltimore.
Fort McHenry, The Star Spangled Banner, the largest US flag ever made,
the East Coast & HISTORY, all the things that come to mind when
thinking of their home.
{I hand-tinted the black & white photo in Photoshop}

I made this one for my dear friend Susan...
we found each other on Facebook a few years back & I've
know her since we were in the fourth grade.
We went to school together, were in Girl Scouts together,
so many wonderful memories.

And this one I made for ME!
I LOVE KC's Annie Oakley Collages & I just HAD to have one
for myself. Some of my favorite elements are on this, vintage
horse riding ribbons, a Sandy Schor metal frame, an old's perfect.
KC Willis will be back in So Cal in March having a 2 day
Studio Retreat in Huntington Beach.

The first one is March 24, 2012 from 10~4pm

The second one is March 25, 2012 from 10~4pm

So gather up all your favorite heirloom treasures that you've been
saving & I hope to see you this spring in HB hangin with KC,
cuz I'll tell you what...
this girl INSPIRES!!!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Finished Soldered Necklace & More

Hey Sweeties, Happy Hump Day!!!
Today's the day of the big reveal...
the finished product of my 1st soldered necklace & even I must say,
It may actually be worth all the aggravation
of soldering! ;)

Don't you just love my little civil war girl's grumpy face?
She reminds me of Shirley Temple for some reason.
Something I DO enjoy doing, is hand-wiring together crystal beads.
When done with an annealed steel, they have the look
of a vintage rosary...Heavenly. 

Now, being that I am the Queen of SPOONIN,
I had to add a vintage spoon to the mix.
I chose one that is very close to my heart,
a souvenir spoon from
Long Beach, Ca where I was born.

I also added a small vintage brooch as a chain connector.
I love that this piece is just as beautiful on the back, as on the front.
My antique ledger paper I got from The French Larkspur
is perfect with it's 1855 date showing.

I have to tell you though, it was very hard for my to cut something
that was so old. I only know that I will cherish each little piece
& put it only in my art projects that will be loved & treasured.

And how cool is it that on the back of my favorite spoon
the date is marked 1917. This truly is an heirloom necklace.
So overall soldering is still a struggle for me, but I've found that
the end result can be worth every burnt finger &
swear word I had to go through to get here. 

Now in contrast to soldering,
making these cute little vintage coin purses into necklaces is easy
& so much fun. Since I adore tintypes, I just include them to
everything I make these days. They add that touch of the past
that really brings your piece to life!

I LOVE copper!
I love the patina it gets with time

I had a fabulous antique copper skeleton key that I used as a
chain connector for this necklace & I added a bit of
chain with an old Pepsi Cola coin dangling from it.
It worked perfectly as it is an old coin purse, right.

I even made a pair of matching earrings with a couple of metal
elements I got at Round Top from Sandy Schor. I swear,
his booth alone calls me back to Texas!

The set together...
too bad I didn't notice that the key was
backwards when I took the picture. :)

All in all, this past week has been full of creativity.
I've tried my hand at techniques that scare me,
I've learned about the concept of wabi sabi,
I've embraced the beauty of imperfection,

& I know as with all things,
I will only get better with practice.
Patience Grasshopper, patience.


Monday, January 23, 2012

I Can Solder, But it SUCKS!

 Hi Sweeties...
Well, here I am as promised, back to tell you about my
weekend of soldering. I was so inspired having seen all the absolutely
gorgeous pieces of handmade jewelry on Pinterest.
But let me tell you a little secret....
it's NOT as easy as it looks! LOL

I must say, this is not my first attempt at trying to conquer my fear
of soldering, it's my 2nd. My 1st try was a complete failure & you can
check that sad experience out HERE!
Let's just say, I BURNED shit!

So, the good news is...I love to copper wrap!
Instant gratification, just like wrapping a beautiful present...
it's easy & tidy & neat, me likey.  ;)

{don't ya just LOVE the face of my grumpy little girl}
But then comes the hard part, the SOLDERING...arggggggghhhh.
My problem is, I want it to be perfect & as far as I can glean,
there is no perfection in soldering, or at least not in MY soldering.

In the pictures above, I bought the glass soldered charm on the left
& my soldered charm is on the right. When comparing, I see that even the purchased
glass charm has solder dripping on the edges on both sides & I bought it & loved it.
But I need mine to be smooth, which comes from the anal, OCD part of me.
Another problem I have, is that the flux always gets under the glass
leaving a wet mark on my antique, 1855 French paper.

Like I said before....arghhhhhhhhh!
By Sunday evening, this is exactly what my face looked like. lol

But through it all, the trials & tribulations, I did manage
to create this one little perfect gem.

And look...the flux didn't even get under the glass this time.

To reward myself for suffering through a weekend of soldering,
I also worked on some yummy little vintage coin purses
that will be made into long necklaces. 

I still have a few, treasured metal jewelry pieces left from my
Round Top, Texas trip last spring & they make perfect little frames
for a Tintype photograph. 

I ADORE Tintypes...
you can see & feel the history they share with us.

Sooooo....short story long, I can solder, but it SUCKS!!!
I know I will get better in time & I know practice makes perfect,
but for right now...
I will try & find the beauty in imperfection.
And keep in mind,
I haven't even TALKED about jump rings...arrrrgggghhhhhh.  ;)