Spoiler alert! This is a rather long post…but please stay tuned for the surprise ending!
First up. A milestone reached… I’ve finally graduated from bezel setting stones in a classroom environment to my own home. This required the purchase of a couple of helpful tools…a bezel rocker( also known as a bezel pusher) and a burnisher. Both inexpensive, but necessary for this work. And both were available at a downtown jewelry supply store…San Diego has a historic eight story jewelry building with a couple of supply stores open to the public, watch repair, showrooms of diamond and pearls suppliers, wax casting services…so fun exploring each floor. Very sparkly.
This latest piece went together pretty easily. So excited for find an inexpensive strand of turquoise chunks at a local bead store that went perfectly with this pendant stone.
I was able to solder the three bails quickly with my new Sterno torch.
And here’s a little side story…I purchased a Sterno Candlelamp culinary torch about a year ago because I wanted something with a little more fire power for copper and larger pieces of metal. It worked great…loved its ease. Then one day it wouldn’t light. After searching the web for troubleshooting ideas, I contacted Sterno directly and was nicely referred to their company communications manager and executive chef Thad Smith. What a wonderful experience…not only did he offer to replace my torch, but when he found out I have a jewelry blog, Thad sent two additional torches for me to give away! Wow!
So, blogger friends, here’s the fun for you…I’m giving away two Sterno torches. A few things to consider before you throw your name into the hat…
And I am holding off until Monday, April 13, for the giveaway, so folks have time to do a little research and thinking about it. May or may not be what would fit your needs and desires in a torch. Sadly, due to unruly foreign postage, I am sorry to limit this to U.S. readers.
First this giveaway is just the torch. You will need to purchase a canister of Sterno butane that fits the torch. I’m not brave enough to send this through the mail. There happens to be a Costco in my city that caters to restaurants and cooking needs…amazing, I know…so I was able to purchase a 4 pack. Cheap. This will last me a loooong time. Also saw that it was available at my local Sam’s Club…4 pack for under six dollars.
You might also wish to watch this little video with Thad Smith demoing the torch.
Remember the giveaway of the torches will start with on a new post on Monday. I’ll leave it open for one week and then draw two names on Tuesday, April 21st, so be sure you leave an email contact with your comment. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to answer as best I can.
Thanks again to Thad Smith and the Sterno company
for this wonderful opportunity to share with you all!
Not doing much in the way of jewelry making these days, but definitely need to pick it up again…another crafty affair on March 28th. Since I live in a very large urban-suburban area, I am trying out a couple of different locations to see who’s buying. This one is about 20 miles away on the coast and will benefit a high school’s athletic program.
We shall see…
The one project I did follow through on was finally finished up today. I knew it would involve some leather. Pretty happy that I didn’t scrap the project, even though I came close a couple of times. It’s all about the learning. And sometimes things just don’t end up how you thought they would, but they are still fine and dandy.
Here’s a look…
I like the fact that the beading and leather slide strap compliment a rather large (for me) bezel setting. Enough details to keep it interesting, but not a distraction.
And that it is adjustable! Full length is 32 inches, but can be almost any length you wish.
So on to the next one… here’s a peek. It may involve copper or sterling leaves.
This piece has been in process for many weeks…and today, it is finished. Last step was three hours in the tumbler…after oxidizing and hand polishing. My nails are a total mess, but I’m happy-hearted.
This is by far my most challenging piece of jewelry.
And on to the next project…another pendant necklace. This time I wanted to use an etched copper back plate. The ocean jasper will first be soldered to a sterling silver back plate. Trimmed to leave a bit of silver edge showing around the stone. I’m going for a layered look. The small green agate will hang below the pendant.
In my mind at least, this is how it will look. We shall see…
I’m still getting components and finished jewelry ready for the February 7th event…
With over 60 crafters, really feeling like I really need to bring my A game.
Just finished up this butterfly necklace with some lovely pearls.
Next are just a few earrings…
I hope that what sets my jewelry apart is that most all the components,
ear wires and headpins are hand made with lots of love and care.
And finally, a little progress report on my bezel setting work with this lapis agate. I used a the sweat soldering technique to attach the ball details and bail. Which means melting tiny pieces of solder on the back of each piece first. Then hitting the setting from underneath with the flame to ‘remelt’ the solder to attach these pieces to the backing. Last steps were to set the stone and then a good polish and tumble. My plan is to make a wire wrapped beaded chain with these beautiful little lapis lazuli stones I purchased at Lost Cities.
Holidays are just ending and that means it’s time to ramp up for the next big jewelry crush. Valentine’s Day!
If you have a jewelry business, then it’s probably up there in the Big Three in terms of jewelry sales…Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day. And you are probably used to planning for these sales a couple of months in advance. Me, not so much. So here I find myself about 5 weeks out and just starting to get inventory ready. Also committed to a large craft fair on February 7th. Yikes!
So here’s a few things made yesterday. If you’ve been following me for a while, you might recognize these sweet brass keys. I used them a few years ago to create a dozen different necklaces as a challenge for myself. All with brass. And all sold quickly.
A dozen, because they come packaged in a dozen. Nine bucks at Michael’s. Or with a nifty coupon…$4.50. But don’t look in the jewelry section of the store. I discovered these by accident a few years ago in the Bridal/Wedding aisle. Great size…perfect for these necklaces.
Three down…nine to go.
And one butterfly !
Are you creating anything special for Valentine’s Day ?
Just a few things before I close up shop until the New Year.
A few pieces of jewelry news…Fresh Baked Designs has made a return to The Upper Hand Salon in the east county town of Jamul. The owner, Lisa, has not only increased the size of this salon, but added a lovely amount of space for a gift boutique. I am very please to offer not only jewelry, but the one-of-a-kind, up cycled dessert pedestals. The Salon also frequently posts about the great gifts that are offered on Facebook, as well.
I just committed to an Artisan Crafters event in the Tierrasanta neighborhood of San Diego on Saturday, February 7th. Very pleased to support Crafting for the Cure that in turn supports the American Cancer Society. Here’s a link to their event information.
And as per requested by a blogger friend, Cindi, here’s a look at the pearl and leather necklace worn. On me. Very comfortable and goes with so much in my closet. May never take it off. I feel so much more lady-like with it on.
And a few other necklaces I recently made and like.
Finally, my last Pinterest Challenge post for 2014. I did pretty well on the Foody pin job, but kind of fell off the Crafty pin wagon the last few months. Very glad I challenged myself to actually get up and make some of the stuff that I pin to my boards. Most of the recipes are keepers. Including this last one I’ll share with you…
Lemon Cool Whip Cookies
I chose it because it has only four ingredients and is great for those times you need a fast dessert to take somewhere.
A box of lemon cake mix, carton of Cool Whip, one egg, and one cup powdered sugar. You can use a chocolate cake mix instead of the lemon. That would be tasty, too. I will say that they took longer to bake than the recipe states. I wanted to make sure that the inside wasn’t like gooey cake batter. Oh, and I did add some lemon zest for extra flavor.
I’m going out on a limb with this post title of Leather Necks…living in a city with a substantial military presence, including a huge Marine airbase. As I was making these pieces, this title just kept popping into my head. Having nothing better to take its place, that’s what I’m going with…with all do respect to the Marines.
Love, love this wide suede neck strap on these pieces (close to 1/2 inch width). Love the color, soft texture, and feel of these. Couldn’t find a local source, so I had to go on line. Wishing I could get it in a continuous roll rather than pre-cut lengths. I have all these left over shorter pieces to play with…so I may have to get busy with some bracelets soon.
The first three necklaces have some cute brass pendants and are liberally sprinkled with an eclectic mix of left over beads. That bumble bee pendant is just too cute!
These are very l-o-n-g. And look great with t-shirts, sweaters, and tunics.
This last one is my attempt to ‘marry’ the leather
with some smooth, lustrous, creamy pearls.
I just may need to take this one out for a test drive !
Hi, My name is Lynda.
Exploring the wide world of jewelry making in my retirement from teaching. I'm grateful to be a part of this worldwide community of jewelry bloggers, where I receive encouragement, inspiration, and sometimes...a kick in the pants to take a risk!
Fresh Baked Designs jewelry is available locally in San Diego.
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