Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How Dumb? ...... Real Dumb!


This is how dumb I am. Previously I posted about opening shop on 1st April.

I have about 6 rings to list.

But I have no clue what size they are! I have a round mandrel, but as I am not making proper ring bands (I make mine like the picture below) I can't get an accurate ring size on a round mandrel can I???

See.....I know you are all slapping hand to forehead! I am quite dumb. This is something I should have sorted before I even learned to make a ring. I have gone and complicated things. I posted in Starving Artists
about getting an accurate ring size and someone suggested using a flat sided ring mandrel.

Can any one help me out and confirm this? Or suggest a way to get an accurate ring size for the rings I have made already. I can't get a flat sided ring mandrel in Australia. So I will have to order from RioGrande....

I am so annoyed with myself. But I am not going to let this deter me from opening on Thursday. I have 3 pendants awaiting oxidation and another little pair of earrings and I have another 6 or so pieces that aren't rings. So I am going to go ahead and list these things, or I will NEVER get to it!

In the meantime any help/advice about ring sizing would be MUCH appreciated. If I were to use 2mm beaded wire and it sat at the size 8 line on my round mandrel, does that make it a size 8??? or do I have to factor in the fact that it's 2mm??


Shaking head at myself.

Monday, March 29, 2010

To Open...or not to...

I have been here before. I am thinking of opening my shop on Etsy officially on the 1st of April, which is only a couple of days away now :S

I have more than 10 pieces to start off with. Is that a good enough number?

I have been struggling with the whole postage side of things though. I went to the Post Office this morning to get a rough idea of postage charges for international parcels and was pretty disgusted at how much they want. I told the lady it would be for smallish, very light parcels containing jewelry. I found it really hard to find any small boxes that I could use to post things in. I don't like the idea of posting my jewelry in satchels with a bit of bubble plastic. I did find some very small boxes at a craft store that I could use, but I would still probably have to put them into something else and therefore the price goes up and up and up......

Sigh...anywho...I am working on a few pieces at the moment, but I don't want to rush them as knowing my luck, I would bugger them right up and end up with nothing...

I am running out of supplies....

I am a bit nervous about opening a shop too....dunno why really....just am.

I will do a blog post to announce if/when I open my shop. Will have to do that on FB too.

A big THANK YOU to Kim for helping me get a whole bunch of fans to my FB fan page too!

And thanks to Amy and Kim for all of your positive & friendly support...much appreciated girls!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Making good out of bad.

First off, below is the present I have finished sewing for my husbands cousins, baby shower on the weekend.
I don't think I will be going. I am not into the big groups of people I don't know and who are also all about 10 years younger than me. I won't feel right and I will feel uncomfortable. So I will send this gift along with my MIL instead.

I am happy with how they turned out, considering I haven't sewn any before.

Wondering what they are?

They are Fancy Burp Cloths.

You put them over your shoulder to protect your clothing from baby sick/dribble. I used many of these with my daughter, but I never had any fancy ones...but I will make them if I have another baby. They have my 'Little Cherry Hill' label on them. I had those made by a lovely seller on Etsy early last year I think. They're great, they make handmade things look 'boutique'. Hubby was so sweet as to say, 'she's gonna think they're from a store, not handmade by you'. Awww...he's so nice to say that.

Below are a sweet little pair of studs. I am going to try and make a heap of little items that are affordable and easy to wear. Not everyone likes loud out there jewelry like I do!

And last but not least -the title of my post - this is the piece that I was struggling with in my last blog post. The solder would not flow. It was originally intended for the shop as a pendant.....but it just wasn't going to plan. So I turned it into a ring for myself. At least I didn't have to scrap it!!! And I still like it :)

I am still buying up many cabochons.....I am a bit OCD when it comes to stuff, spesh when it comes to supplies for a new hobby. I go way overboard and end up spending every last spare cent I have on my hobby and have nothing left for anything else. So that explains why I must and I repeat MUST make this hobby pay me back...even just a little bit, I have invested sooooo much already and I really need to be recouping some of that said cash.

Well that was a super dooper long post, which I didn't plan on. I have a nice little piece waiting for me to finish tomorrow and another piece that I'm not sure I will continue with, that is waiting in the pickle.

Em :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Big sigh

Typical....the ideas will flow...but the solder won't.

It's one of those days at the bench today.

Nothing is working out and everything is melting...blah blah blah.

So I am walking away.

I did however finish my sewing :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rest of my work.

Not too happy with the pendant, but I absolutely love the Green Jasper ring.....LOVE IT! :)

Finished Pieces.

Here are 2 finished pieces from 2 blogs ago. I finally made a brooch which is the picture to the right. I ended up making the pin out of sterling wire myself, instead of waiting to order a premade pinback. It is made with Orange (duh) Sea Sediment Jasper and a little Faceted CZ champagne gemstone in a claw setting. I need to file it down a bit more around the edge to even it out, but I wanted to take a photo of it as soon as I could.

Below is a ring with Brazillian Agate, the cool thing is, you can wear this with the flowers pointing up or like I have it on below. I have put a 2mm bead wire shank on this one.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Circle Of Friends

I have been given the 'Circle Of Friends' blog award by Kim

And with this award I have been asked to share 5 things that I love
then pass on this award to 5 other fellow bloggers.

Like Kim, I will leave out the obvious - Jewelry Making & my Family :)

Okay so here goes:

*1 - Sleep Ins - I am a total night owl. And once in bed, I generally love my sleep. I find it hard to get up early and be full of sunshine, most mornings I would give anything to just go back to bed for another hour.

*2 - Chocolate - This may be a given for many other bloggers but, ever since I was a little kid I have always had a thing for chocolate. It has gotten me into a lot of trouble, but I always end up giving in to it :( I wish there was no such thing as chocolate......but I am totally addicted to it.

*3 - Being A Stay At Home Mum - I feel so very fortunate to be able to raise my daughter at home. Thanks to my husband who goes to work and is able to support our little family on his own. Though I have some very hard days (more so lately) as our daughter hits 2 years of age, I am grateful that I get to see her grow up and reach all her milestones right in front of me! Which means I can record them :) I love her greatly.

*4 - Hobbies - Hobbies in general have kept me from many dark places. They give me new skills to learn and master, they help me with my confidence and self esteem and give me something to do with my hands & brain. I don't know where I would be without them....

*5 - Gloomy Weather - Yep, I am not a sunshine lover. Unless it's the Sun in the Winter. I love dark gloomy wet, stormy weather. I am living in the wrong place for that and have suffered many stinky hot days which I loathed. But it's Autumn now and I can look forward to cooler weather and it has been nice and overcast here lately :)

Well there are just 5 of the things I love.

Now you know a little more about me :)

And I hereby pass this award onto:



Erin Jane

Amy Nicole


Now I'd better go let them know :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

A great morning.

Today, I took my daughter to her Nanna's place for a few hours. And I had such a great morning!!

I got a heap done in just those few precious hours and it was so nice.

She had fun and I had fun. What more could one ask for on a Monday morning??

The picture is of what I accomplished this morning....not bad.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Ideas.

I am feeling a bit better.

I haven't been out to my bench all week, but this afternoon I went out for a bit of playtime finally.

I think I would like to try and make a brooch.

I don't know whether to make the pinback in sterling or to buy some premade findings in nickle/stainless steel.

Though I haven't played at my bench, I have in fact pulled out my sewing machine! I have a baby shower to go to on the weekend for my husbands cousin, so I thought I would make something for her. I have made half of it so far, might post a picture here when I am done, as she doesn't read this blog so there is no fear of her seeing her gift.

I have been through sooooo many hobbies in the last 5 years it's mad!

I have done painting, beaded jewelry, sewing, card making, photography, stamp making... and there is probably something else that I can't remember. And now I am playing with metal :)

The hobbies that have stuck are the sewing and photography. I love Macro photography. And I love being able to make something for someone that they can't go and buy. I guess that's why I like jewelry making too, cuz I can make whatever the hell I want! lol

Well I just felt like posting here for something to do....haven't really got much else to report :)

Ta ta

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Work.

My latest work. The first is a Pendant with Green Grass Turquoise and a little Yellow Jade stone and the second is a ring with Turquoise and a little Green Jade Stone. I haven't done any pieces like these before and I had lots of fun using all the findings and the small cabochons. The ring has 2mm Beaded silver wire for the shank and I need to purchase some new belcher chain for the pendant, which I will have to oxidize too.
I went to the doctors today and I have to go back to find out about my thyroid results from the hospital, so I have a long way to go before I know whats up with my old body.

Just for fun, here is a picture of my bird Tookie. He is a Lutino Indian Ringneck and we got him on our honeymoon 8 years ago :)

Sick and Tired.


Sunday, I ended up at the emergency room with heart issues and dehydration etc. Since then I have been feeling all round dodgy and like I have a bladder infection, so tomorrow I am off to the doctors.

I hate going to the doctors. Fortunately, my Mother In Law is home and can take my daughter whilst I am at my appointment. I am armed with all the information I need for tomorrow and hopefully we can get to the bottom of my problems.

I have been miserable since. But I did find that working out at my bench, helped take my mind off my health/bladder issues and I got a couple of pieces finished and I love them. I also got my parcel of druzy too. I went out to the bench this evening, but I just wasn't 'feeling it'. So I decided to leave and do something else...so here I am!

Sigh...I know I don't have it anywhere near as bad as others around the world do, but it's hard not to feel sorry for oneself sometimes :(

Friday, March 12, 2010

Something for me :)

A lovely long necklace all for me!!

I have been noticing these kinds of necklaces around lately. In mags and on t.v. And I thought they looked nice.

I made this last night. It is made with a nice 60cm 4mm belcher/rolo chain, so I can just slip it on over my head. I used nice 2mm thick wire to make the hoop and then I arranged all the jingly jangly bits (which took a while). I am really happy with how it turned out. And the best part is, I can keep adding to it. It makes such a nice tinkly sound when wearing it. Even my husband approved and said I should make one for my shop. (that is if I ever get round to opening it...sigh).

This afternoon, I finally got my silver supplies. A nice new bezel wire that I haven't tried yet and a big long piece of sheet etc, which will keep me going for a while. Oh and I have been buying up more cabochons... hee hee. But tonight I just don't feel like playing out at the bench. I haven't been feeling very good today. I think I know what is wrong, but I am a procrastinator when it comes to going to the docs....(absolutely hate going to the doctors)..but I will go soon.

It's been a nice cool windy day today...hopefully Summertime is moving on!

Ugh we got our biggest power bill today though...so that sucked :(

And that is all for now.....time to go and have a nice hot cup of tea :)

I want...

By VitalTemptation

I love it. I love the colour! Of course I do...it's my fave :)

If I come into any spare cash I may get me one.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fire Stain.

So it's not actually fire scale that I am having the problem with. It's called fire stain. Fire scale is the oxidation you can remove after firing by sitting in it pickle until the fine silver comes to the surface.

In the picture to the left is what fire stain is. Once you have done all your sanding and your polishing and you have a funny dull grey colour on your metal (even though it's shiny). The only way to remove the fire stain (not in all cases), is to redo all the final sanding and polishing. If it is removed then you know it was only surface fire stain. But if it's still there, you may be able to repeat the whole process again and have some success or you may never get it off. Then you can look at possibilities of either plating the item to cover up the fire stain or you can choose a different finish like oxidization or a brushed finish.

I am scrapping this ring. I am not happy with how the bezel turned out. So I might see if I can remove the fire stain for practice. My other ring that I finished had fire stain too. Lots on the back and some on the ring shank. I tried a couple of times to remove it and it's come away from the ring shank, but the back still had some, so I have chosen to put a brushed finish on the back only and the rest I polished up.

I emailed the company that advertised it had some Prips Flux, but they wrote back and said they don't actually stock it and they have Fire Scoff instead. So my only option is to make up my own Prips or a boric acid and denatured alcohol mix, which apparently works really well too. So anyways, I don't want to make anymore jewelry until I can come up with something to prevent fire stain. And I have an order of some nice silver coming in the next couple of days....so I hope to mix something up by then.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Again I don't have a title.

I am researching fire scale prevention products. I have decided not to go with Fire Scoff as all the reviews I have read on this product aren't positive. So I don't want to make things more expensive than they have to be.

So, the other products I have heard of are 'Prips' and 'Stop-Ox' and 'Cupronil'. I have found a recipe for homemade prips and I can buy prips from a jewelry supplies store here where I live, though I have no idea of the price yet.

I find it very frustrating being in a country that doesn't have 70% of the products people recommend. But that's what happens when you have a smaller country population, there is no supply & demand going on. So I guess I have to either make my own prips or see how much the jewelry supplies store sells it for. My guess will be that it will be very expensive! But I won't know till I ask.

I am having a tough time with fire scale now that I can bring my pieces up shinier. I thought I had removed it from one of my rings completely, until this morning I went out to the bench only to see it had returned and it looked kinda worse than before....dunno what is up with that. I am getting really irritated by it.

I need to just accept that it is part n parcel of working with sterling silver!

Now I know why many choose to oxidize their work .... :P

No longer down.

I am back on the up again and not so down and out about my jewelry adventures.


I have an addictive, but also fickle personality. When I find a new hobby, I generally tend to dive in head first and very full on. But because I am fickle, I can easily give up or get bored of a hobby too. So I was very worried over the weekend when I started to get downhearted about jewelry making. This is my most expensive hobby so far and I would feel really bad if I were to give it up now after all my hubby and I have invested in it. That is why I had to vent in my last post. Sometimes you just need to be brought back to reality. That things are going to go bad whether you like it or not, but you have to get over it to move on.

Well all that being said, I made a new friend over the weekend in the jewelry world.

Fire scale.

At first, I didn't have a clue what it was. (But I was very excited at the same time as I had gotten quite a good shine/polish on my silver!!) So I did the first thing I thought of, I posted my questions about it at starvingartists.com

And the next morning I had plenty of replies explaining what it was and the options I had to remove and in future prevent it from appearing. I was very relieved. Starving Artists has helped me several times and I would recommend it to others as they are a very friendly/helpful bunch!

So this week my shopping list is:

Bead Caps - thanks Amy
for pointing me in the right direction, I have found a supplier of those flower ones here in Australia! Yippee!!

Sterling Sheet.

Firescoff. Found 1 place I can get it here in Australia online!

And I really really would like to get myself a disc cutter too......but I will have to wait and see.

My mum has kindly offered to purchase me a rolling mill and all the crucibles etc and go halves with me. She has loads of silver I can smelt (antiques dealer so has loads of cutlery old jewelry etc). I don't know that I will take it up tho, as I would rather see some return from my hobby before I spend on more tools of that expense. Plus I would need to get help on how to do it all correctly too.

And last but not least, I am mulling over going to Gold/silver smithing school. So many choices to make. But that is what keeps me involved and interested!

Oh and my mum gave me a very very old (from the 70's) enameling kit, I torch fired a copper domed oval with green opaque enamel and I have a great idea for doing more, so I need the disc cutter in order to do circles. I will dome them so I don't have to counter enamel things.

Phew! That was another long post. I need a cup of tea :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sigh.......*warning* long post ahead.......

I am having a bad day.

The Gem Show was pretty lame. Don't get me wrong....there was lots of 'stuff'. But all the cabs were either small and blah/same old, or they were overpriced compared to where I get mine from.

Husband ended up coming with me and he pushed our daughter round in her pram whilst I browsed, though it was really hard to see much really. The aisles were slim and there were a lot of people there hovering for ages over the tables, so it was hard to get a decent look see.

Then we passed several stalls of 'handmade' jewelry. They were made with lovely stones. Very simple and basic settings, no chains with the pendants. They were selling them for very very cheap. Instantly that puts my husband in the 'you need to really drop your prices' & 'you need to make yours shiny and professional looking like theirs' mode.

It really pisses me off when I am compared to others, especially when you don't know whether they are making these pieces themselves (my opinion was they weren't), how long they have been making them, how much they source their materials for and so on....

All the jewelry was polished to a really high shine, which I struggle to do as I haven't got a clue what I am doing in that department yet. Cut a long story short, the gem show ruined my whole day. I am very easily defeated.

All the way home and then some, we discussed what I should do. When I got home I immediately looked up these 'handmade' jewelry sellers to see whether they truly were handmade by that seller. And just as I suspected, no one said they were making them by hand themselves. They stated that they 'designed' them. You can tell from the fact that all these sellers were selling very similar pieces, just with different stones. The settings and prices were the same and no one sold pendants with chains. And they had hundreds of pieces.

Basically I figure they are sourcing their pieces from countries like India or Thailand and then selling them on. So yes in a sense they are actually handmade, but not by the person selling them on. And hence the price being so cheap, because they got them on the cheap.

Tonight I decided that I have to learn how to get a high/er polish on my jewelry and tried it on a ring waiting to be set and I actually had some success, it turned out 100% better than my other stuff and looked a lot more finished.......so I started to feel positive about everything again.......but now when I have set the stone, it rattles :( I feel like screaming! (I am pms'ing as well). Hubby thinks I just have to push the bezel in more...so I might give it another go tomorrow....but now I am too down to bother.

If you got this far....wow! I feel better having written down my thoughts. I feel better knowing that I can get a much better finish now.

But I can't however, get the bezel setting to be smooth.....how long does it take to smooth the bezel down with a burnisher? Could I be going at it till I get serious cramp? Or should it not take too long?? Can anyone help?????

Can anyone offer any tips when it comes to polishing to a high shine??

I feel so lost sometimes and give up too easily.....

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Unexpected Expense....but good all the same.

To the left is the latest piece I have finished. Ocean Wave Jasper Ring. I love it. Such a beautiful colour. I got 'bout 2 hours at the bench this afternoon, so I have another 4 pieces half done, one being a custom piece for my mum.

To explain the title - I went to check the post this afternoon (after popping out to get a Mcafe Coffee) and found an Express Parcel inside the letter box. When I looked at the senders address, I was immediately bewildered. It was from a Metal supplies company that I usually order my stuff from. My bewilderment? Well I haven't ordered anything from them in a week or more.

So I open the parcel and see inside, Round bead wire and some bezel wire. I check out the invoice and see that my husbands credit card has been charged $102. It didn't take me long to realise that all the items in the package, were items that I had previously ordered but never received as they were out of stock. Then I realised that I must have missed some small print somewhere, 'cause no one called me to confirm whether I actually wanted these items anymore, or whether they could go ahead and charge my credit card!

Cut to the end - I read on their site that when they don't have something in stock, they back order it and then send it out without charging for freight (this is not stated on their homepage or anything obvious like that). So that's all fine and dandy. But I would think that normal etiquette would be to call the customer prior to charging their credit card to double check they still want the items and whether or not they can afford them before going ahead and sending it out!

Well lesson learned. Now I know this is how they operate, I will call before making orders from now on to ensure that I am not going to be getting anymore surprise credit card expenses! The good part? It's stuff I really can use and was on the look out for anyway. So it's not a waste of money.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Still Raining.

Yep, it's still raining today. Though this kinda gloomy grey wet weather is my fave kind, it doesn't help the bank balance when your husband is the only one bringing home the 'bacon' and he has to work outside for a living.
He hasn't worked all week yet. Not good for the bank balance and bill paying. Which also has a knock on effect on any hobby spending too. I have a little in the bank for the Gem Show on Saturday and fortunately my mum is buying one of my pieces and has commissioned another. So that will give me a little bit of cash to put back into buying some silver.

Before the weather turned this way, we were out at the shops on Saturday and I saw this Butchers Trolley for sale. I have been looking for one of these to use behind my bench in the garage for a while now. I have been checking Ebay frequently hoping to snatch up an old one. But nothing was doing. So when I saw this, I was excited. I paid for half with my meager savings and hubby paid for the rest. Tho I didn't really need anything quite so big. But I love it. I have drawers for my tools and a place to put my soldering stuff when I don't need it, which in turn gives me lots of work space on the bench.

Below is what I am working on at the moment. I wasn't having a very successful day with it all yesterday though. I ruined the labradorite setting and the green grass turquoise silver base for the bezel got ruined (and I had a gorgeous idea for that one). So I just left the bench at that point. Don't need to ruin them all! And all the silver you see in the picture is all I have left. I'm hoping one of the stall holders at the Gem Show will have some silver supplies with them and I can restock a little bit, I really want to get going with the idea for the Green Turq stone that I had.

Well I have blabbed on for long enough! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rain, Rain, Rain.

It's been raining all day so far. And it rained all day yesterday. And I'm loving it!! This is my ideal weather :)

Since it rained all day yesterday and was nice and cool, I got this necklace finished. I am starting to really like Labradorite. This one has particularly nice flashes of colour. I also have a really nice round Labradorite that has gorgeous blue flashes.

My Mum told me yesterday that a young woman tried on my Labradorite Lariat Necklace and really liked it. But she said she was going to have to think about it. But hey at least someone finally asked to see something!

I am going to sell my Coral Fossil ring I last posted about, to my Mum and she has commissioned a ring using a nice Blue Sea Sediment Jasper stone. It's quite a big one too. Oh and I got my other cabochons today! So now I have more than enough!......but I am still going to visit that Gem Show on Saturday :) I am really hoping that I get to come home with some nice things. I am a sucker for buying more than I need to, so I need to make sure I only buy things I know I can't get normally, but I know that it might not work out that way :P