Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lets hear it for supplies!!!

Lets hear it for supplies!!!
Originally uploaded by dcdesigns
I'd been waiting and waiting until I saved enough to get the volume discount from Fire Mountain. After being out of sterling silver wire for a month I find that good things do indeed come to those who wait. When I added my 15th item to my cart my total went down by almost 15 bucks!!! Hopefully I can afford to do that again next time I need supplies. Click on the picture and it will take you to my flickr. I put notes on each thing if you are curious what they are for.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

One of Life's Little Important Moments

Tonight I did something I haven't done in over eight years. I ran. I know there are a lot of people who are like so what. You have to understand why this is so huge. I used to run 2 miles a day and 5 on Saturdays when I was in high school. In college I went down to 1 mile a day and then 1 mile a couple times a week and then to nothing. My internship took everything out of me. There was no time or energy for anything but crashing on the couch. When I started playing with clay it became a huge stress reliever and it felt so amazing to be allowing myself the luxury of time to be creative. That was over 4 years ago. This summer vacation I'm doing some work from home but I'm also allowing myself to just concentrate on my clay work. I was sitting at the clay table about a week or so ago. I had come up with a new way of doing something I've been doing with the clay for awhile and, it struck me how happier I am since I've started claying. I thought of all those years, about ten of them, when I didn't allow myself a creative outlet. I started thinking about what else I have given up in my life that use to make me really happy. I used to love to run. Now I'm in no where near the shape I was in back then. I'm probably about 4 pants sizes bigger now. (I was teeny tiny then.) So getting back into running is going to be hard. I went a mile and a half today. I couldn't run the whole thing but I ran as much as I could and walked a little, ran some more, walkeda little, ran a little more, walked, ran a little more, walked a lot, ran a teeny bit, and walked the rest of the way home. It felt great. Part of what I love is just being outside running along the undeveloped part of the neighborhood. I love feeling the wind and hearing the birds. its full of trees and I kinda feel like I've escaped somewhere. Of course my legs are going to be so sore tomorrow. I'm not letting that get me discouraged though. Just as it took time to get my creative work to a level I was happy with its going to take time to be able to run that mile straight through again. But the day that happens will be just as great as that day a few years ago when the first person asked me if they could buy something I made. Life is all about learning to take the baby steps necessary to do whatever it is you want to do. Are you ready to take a baby step?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sun Shiny Day!

Its a beautiful day outside for picture taking. So I'm busy outside with the camera but I'll share these really quick while I wait for the second batch of pictures to dump.

edit- wouldn't you know it started pouring about an hour after this post. so ya the other ones didn't get photo-ed. bummers

Sneaky Peeky

Ever since I got the new camera I've been really picky about the quality of my photos. But thanks to all the rain and the fact that I can't wait to give ya'll a sneak peek I'm gonna post some photos that are a little rough around the edges. This is the new line of DC Designs pendant necklaces that I've been working on for people like me who don't have a lot of money to spend but still want quality handmade artisan jewelry.

Here's the unbaked pendant ready and waiting for the ol' oven to heat up. It was stamped with ink for a change. Usually I stamp without and just get a texture imprint to antique later.

Here's two dragonfly pendants that have both been baked. The one on the left however has been sanded. I sand both sides and all round with 600, 800, 1200, 1500, and finally 2,000 grit sandpaper. Then I buff it to a glossy sheen with a Dremmel. Oh and yep, I decided they had to have a little bling bling.

Here is the dragonfly after its been antiqued and sealed. See the butterfly and the ladybug? They will be strung the same way. There is also a bumblebee that I haven't done yet because I need to figure out just the right yellow.

Stop rambling and show us the darn thing, eh? There it is! The cord slips over your head and will adjust from a choker to all the way down to about the breastbone. I'm going to make some of these to bead too but I thought it would be a cool idea to offer a DC Design pendant on a simple cord for those on a strict budget like me. ;) Weather allowing they should be appearing in the shop sometime tomorrow. One more thing- whats funny is that its taken me this long to finally figure out how to do the magical knot to make these necklaces. Suddenly the diagram finally made sense, seriously I tried to do this way back when i first started with jewelry and could never ever get it. :)

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Well it rained on Wednesday and it rained on Thursday and it looked like it was going to rain all day Friday. So I have lots of new stuff but no pictures of it. Very bummed. I'm working on a new line of pendants that are simply strung on a leather cord with magic slip knots (you know the ones that are adjustable). Since they will be strung with just a leather cord and there is no sterling silver, handmade clasps, beading wire, or Swarvoski Crystal bicones involved they are going to be considerably lower in price then my normal designs. Don't get me wrong though they are still custom colors that are inlaid into clay bezels, stamped, textured, baked, sanded ( through 6 grits of sand paper), buffed, antiqued, and sealed. Well I guess I could give you a sneak peak.......

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mistress Maggie's Metal Garden

Being a little tired of sanding and antiquing everything I decided to break out the mica powders. I use to use mica powders all the time but then I got into antiquing everything. This is actually black polymer clay. Being that I'm currently having a total love affair with copper I brushed the whole thing with copper mica powder. The copper mica powder was quite a bit coarser than the powders I typically work with and it didn't cover the black clay enough. I was about to smush it and just try something else when I remembered my friend Maggie's recent experiments with enamel and copper. This inspired me to get out a really fine silver mica powder and add it on top. The result is a bright silvery piece with lots of copper flecks going on. I applied two coats of glossy varnish to highlight the reflective properties of the mica powders. In this picture the pendant is a little greenish because its reflecting the grass by where I shoot my photos. This mix of metal colors inspired me to mix up the metals in the beads. Czech glass copper-colored seed beads, sterling silver beads, and coppery-colored wooden beads are an unexpected mix. A copper handmade hook and eye clasp finishes the necklace. I call this Mistress Maggie's Metal Garden because this texture always reminds me of stylized vines. Mistress Maggie loves to work with metal and often creates incredibly unique and inspired pieces. Hopefully this one will get me an A on the final exam. ;)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My poor weed infested garden

My poor weed infested garden
Originally uploaded by dcdesigns
So why is my garden still full of weeds? Because so far my summer has been spent in that room right there whit the window beading and claying up a storm. As one of my friends said, "The clay must be flyin'!"
This garden is now a year old. Some people say its a flowerbed. But I've always wanted a garden and since it is ten feet square I think that its big enough to be called a garden. The front garden, it just sounds better than the flowerbed.
Anyway it was a birthday present. The hubby had to remove all the grass and then he and my parents bought some of the plants from my wish list. since we live in San Antonio, TX I choose plants that were really low maintenance and drought resistant. I haven't water these at all. But were lucky with a lot of rain this spring.
I still need to purchase and plant the rose bushes that are supposed to go in front of the salvia. We are also supposed to have a curving path going through it but we haven't gotten to it yet.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Beading Outside My Box

The last week of May I went to a party at my friend the bead guru Heather's house (check out her site she's in magazines and everything). It was a Bead Soup Party. What's a Bead Soup Party you say (that's what I said)? Well everybody brings a strand of beads in a particular color scheme (turquoise, copper and bronze in this case) and we mix all those yummy beads up in a bowl. You bring your own focal bead, spacer beads, clasps, etc. So we pass around the bowl and get spoons of Bead Soup. It was a really fun and relaxing way to spend the evening. Everybody was super sweet and supportive and there was even chocolate. :) So we were all making bracelets and I've only made two bracelets my whole beading life so it was a bit of a challenge for me. As you can probably tell from my work I'm a pattern-y kinda girl. Well the Bead Soup was so pretty and sparkle-y that I wanted to use a bit of every bead so I had to think outside my beady box and NOT do a pattern. I had no idea how hard that was going to be for me. I kept looking down and realizing I had a pattern. I unstrung that bracelet at least twice. Everybody was convinced at the end of the night that I was going to go home and re-string it the first chance I got. Well I'm happy to say that the bracelet has sat on my nightstand and it has grown on me. It use to really bug me that the way it is strung reminded me of those plastic rubber bracelets that we used to wear in 5th grade. Now I think its kinda cool. I've even worn it out and about a couple a times. So last night I was going through my beady stash and I decided to use another of my little copper daisy beads to make a necklace that matched the Bead Soup Bracelet. The turquoise Swarovski's and the rectangle beads are from the Bead Soup. So technically most of them are from my own stash and I could list it in my Etsy shop, but I think I'll keep it. Gotta have something to wear with my new bracelet right?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Own, My precious

Locket 2
Originally uploaded by dcdesigns
Sometimes, mistakes are a good thing. Silly me working so late at night epoxy-ed this flower on the wrong side of the locket. I guess I'll be making a new necklace for myself with this one. Which is kinda cool because I haven't made anything for myself in a long while.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Polymer Clay Clasp

No Metal Necklace- Back
Originally uploaded by dcdesigns
I've never taken a picture of the back of my necklace before but I thought since I designed the polymer clay toggle clasp to match the back I'd go ahead and show it. This was done for a customer who has metal allergies. I strung it on hemp so I had to use 6mm beads instead of 4mm.

Clay Table

Clay Table
Originally uploaded by dcdesigns
My oh so fancy worktable! A half width folding table with a plastic crazy tablecloth and a plexi-glass sheet on top. The two towers are from Costco one I bought and one my big brother demanded out of his house (too tacky he said). I was glad to take it off their hands. :)

Computer Crash! June 8th

Computer Crash! June 8th
Originally uploaded by dcdesigns
eeekkkk!!!!! Whats the worst thing that can happen to a flickr/ etsy addict? A computer crash at midnight. Thank god for the nice guy at the DELL support center. Once it got to this point at 4am I went to bed and in the morning the computer God's were satisfied and my computer was restored. We only had to repair so nothing was lost thank the great computer gods (must back-up hard drive, must back-up hard drive). The hubby thinks I'm golden right now for fixing it, lets not tell him it was all thanks to the gnomes of Dell and the computer gods smiling down on our little slice of technology.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Oh Happy Blog!

Oh dear blog, you see I didn't lie to you. I'm back!
*hugs blog, kisses its forehead, and pats its head*
Lots going on in the DC world. I'm currently working on some new non-jewelry items to post next week. First up on the list are some ACEOs. ACEOS are Artist Trading cards that are available for purchase instead of trade. This allows people who don't participate in making and trading cards to still be able to get their hands on some. See the little brown rectangle with the leaves growing along it? That's one of my ATC's that's already been swapped. What else do I have planned for my little slice of cyberspace shopping? I've been working on some new mirror styles, ball point pens, trinket boxes to keep your jewels in, and even a purse! Super exciting things happening now that I'm on vacation for two months and am working on the shop full-time instead of part-time. And speaking of excitement, check this out. GerriJo is really sweet and also has a shop of her own with the cutest little shrinky dink art and Gocco prints too! So my dear blog you see I did come back just like I promised. :)