Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy Holidays

Wishing you all the best this holiday season!

New Birch earrings now in the shop

My ankle is stiff and weak but it's definitely healing. I'll have it checked today. It hasn't kept me from any part of the Christmas celebration or from squeezing in a little studio time yesterday.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Here comes 2014

I tend not be one for New Year's resolutions. I figure, whatever is good to do, I should start right away.

Nonetheless I like the idea of the beginning of the year being a time to re-orient, re-fresh and plan. For me a lot of that begins with setting up the calendar.

I love the FREE downloadable calendar that Francesca Lancisi offers every year. I use a calendar I can write on at my desk but her's is the one I like to keep in my studio. I've clipped them together, and hung them from a nail, typical calendar style, but for 2014 I'm going to hang them all at once, in a line, like a mini-gallery.

 Check out her site - the link is at the bottom left.  Thanks Francesca!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


The Etsy shop is closed for Christmas Holiday and today is the last day the boys will have school so I'll move on to some other things that involve keeping my foot elevated like working on my website and my Big Cartel shop. The sitting still business is going to get old pretty quickly for me but I'm doing my best to follow doctors orders as I like ht healing to be as quick and thorough as possible.

Musing on some old work today. I might go back and mess about with this squared off bead shape a bit. Hopefully I can figure out a way to prop my foot up at my work table.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Get to know me on the inside

I had some fancy, unscheduled "Christmas photos" taken yesterday.  Thank God everything is intact - wasn't  expecting to get that good news after a very, nasty fall. I have a bad sprain that will slow me down a bit so its just as well that my Etsy shop closes on Thursday and my sister is hosting Christmas dinner. 

If you've placed an order lately, don't worry. Everything will ship as scheduled. I have "people" ;-) 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Low Tech ring sizing

Sorry this is late posting today. Apparently the postal service of another country, that shall remain nameless, has delivered a package of my jewelry to the wrong address. I've spent the morning sorting out the mess.

Onto more interesting things...I stumbled upon this low tech, minimal tool way to size polymer rings.

I've seen it suggested that you form a ring around some sort of tube like a piece copper pipe or some other bit of hardware. Problem is, this limits the size to whatever tubes are available.

Depending on your ring design, this is a method that might help you and will allow you to make any size ring you want and cost you little to nothing.

Basically, you draw a correctly sized circle onto a piece of card stock and then you stand a circle of clay directly over the circle and bake it that way.

First you'll need something to make circles the correct size. Ring sizes are only millimeters apart so measuring correctly is important. You can find ring size charts online at Jewelry Mall and a really detailed one with international sizing at Blue Nile.  I also have a ring template that lets me trace whole sizes but the detailed measurements provided by the charts would also allow you to made your own circle templates with whole and half sizes with a compass.

I got my ring template at a local PMC supplier. Its from Cool Tools.

Cut a rectangle of clay, slight longer than the measurement of the appropriate ring size onto a sheet of clay on your pasta machines thickest setting. So for instance, a size 7 ring, if laid out flat would be 54mm long and so I cut a rectangle about 70-80mm long.

Trace the corresponding size circle onto card stock and wrap the clay around it with the inside edge of the clay just outside the line. 

Gently coax the clay together at the seam. I prefer to just get the clay to stick (by holding it in place for about 30 seconds with minimal pushing) and back fill and clean up the seam after the first backing so that  I won't end up distorting the circle. When the clay sticks, gently re-from to match the circle and bake right on the card stock. This would make for a very simple ring OR serve as a properly sized inner core or base. 

Let me know if you try this out!  I'm really happy with how these are working out for me so far.

Monday, December 9, 2013

New Territory

I started expanding some of my cut out shapes into necklaces and hollow box beads at the end of the last week.

In the course of working through the bead idea, I stumbled on to a different, very low tech way to make perfectly sized rings. I'll show you how I do it on Thursday.

The quantity of snow took us off guard here in PA. We expected up to three but ended up with about 8 inches. So…we have a substitute teacher today! My husband will take care of school for the boys and I will spend the whole day in the studio!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


I completely and totally forgot to post about a Crafted Object interview I did with the Aussie blog Tractor Girl at the end of October. Answering questions about myself, although a little uncomfortable, was productive because it helped me think through ideas about why I am doing what I am doing and how I got here. So if you're interested in reading about the time I did a jig at the Baltimore Museum of Art, check out the interview.

The second uncomfortable bit was that the first comment was from someone who liked my work but had purchased another piece of polymer jewelry, from someone else, that ended up breaking. I felt a little defensive at first but then I thought  "ok this is a chance to educate people about a material with which most people have very little experience".  

And then I started to wonder how often people don't purchase polymer jewelry simply because they have no idea what to expect of it, how it wears, how it feels, how durable it is and so on?  And then I started to think that education about the material needs to be a bigger part of my marketing, descriptions in my shop and general information because polymer doesn't have the same "history" as metal jewelry and, rightfully so, most people are hesitant about buying something they don't know about.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Do you Pinterest?

I certainly do Pinterest! Although I was a "cut things out and tape them to the wall" fan from childhood, Pinterest is cleaner, quicker, more portable and easier to share.  You can check out my boards here.

My island beads…sitting and waiting to become…something.
I have boards for jewelry (divided by category), my work, travel, house/home, cooking, photography, abstract art, permaculture, DIY, homeschool and so on - 80 different boards in all.  Follow along if you're interested in seeing what interests me (SO much more than just polymer clay jewelry - really). 

Kobi Bosshard, New Zealand
Il Lee
Disclaimer: Pinterest can be a bit like a drug for us visual types. Please pin responsibly :-) 

Paul Massey…relaxing space.

Hazel Brown from Shopworthwhile.
William Turnball, 1979