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Facing a Fear

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A big thing that I struggle with in the world of jewelry making is messing too much with my plated brass findings. Plain ol’ brass, no problem. Add the super amazing finishes to them, and I have a hard time committing to actually using them. Sure, I pick them up and fiddle with them, dream a little about what they could be. But taking that next step and actually starting… umm, no. I think it’s because they are #1  so pretty already, and #2  that they cost more, so I want to make sure I use them right, and don’t waste or ruin them.

I. am. a. chicken.

Let’s take my current project as an example.

I ordered what is called a muse package from B’SueBoutiques. This one was focused on the current 2-month challenge, which was using what is called chocolate brass,

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Gosh… look at all the pretty things!!! And doesn’t it seriously look like chocolate?!?!?

mixed with this color palate:

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So, I of course procrastinated a bit, but eventually I came up with an idea. It was a pretty decent idea, if I do say so myself. BUT it involved messing with the beautifully plated choxie, which, as I mentioned before, scares the living daylights out of me.

I decided I wanted to play with these flowers:

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the little ones for sure. I wanted to start with earrings, and see how it went.

Now, this is going to seem a little silly, but the scary thing I had to do was punch a hole. No joke. (No laughing! Well… maybe a small chuckle. I deserve it.)

It seems like a little thing, that’s not really a big deal, right? Well, here’s the thing… That one, single, itty bitty hole that I had to punch would tell me if these would hang well or not. So if it worked, great. No big deal. BUT WHAT IF IT DIDN’T WORK? Then what? What do I do with this flower that has a random hole on one of the petals?

Now do you see my dilemma?

Yes. I know. It’s still pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. But it stresses me out. I made myself punch the first hole, tossed a jump ring in, and it hung just fine and dandy. So we’re cool. The project can continue!

 

Well, once that stress was over, it came together fairly quickly. I had more holes to punch, then a dangly doodad to assemble for each. I actually took the time to google methods for creating the dangle, and I’m glad I did. I usually make them look okay, but this was way better, with far less time on trial and error. I don’t make them very often, so I think that’s why it usually takes me so much time. (And time-saving on my end = $ saving on yours!)

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And since the earrings went pretty well, I decided to go ahead and make a matching necklace. I don’t do actual sets very often, so this was another small stretch for me on this challenge, which, in my opinion, is part of the point of a challenge.

So. Mission accomplished.

Here’s the finished set:

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I’ve had some great feedback so far on this color combination, so let me know if you agree!

As always, thank you for stopping by, taking a look, and supporting me and my fellow artisans. We appreciate you so very much!

PS: I just created a separate Instagram just for B.Accessorized, so be sure to give me a follow!

PPS: My Etsy shop is in vacation mode. I’m hoping to get it back up and running very soon. Facebook is the best place to shop right now. Thanks!

 

Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Etsy.

Finding What Works

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See that? No mountains like Western Montana, but Eastern Montana is still gorgeous!

We were on vacation last week. We went to my hometown, where we haven’t been in 4 years. It was so much fun. But I was itching to get back to work today. It’s harder to carve out time when the kiddos are home during the summer. But it was Work Table Wednesday today, so it was a great excuse to take some time to work.

When I head to my closet workshop to work, sometimes I have a plan, and sometimes I don’t. When I don’t, it usually means a lot of fiddling, but not actually getting much done. Occasionally, though, it leads to something amazing, and usually more creative. I’m at the point, too, that when I do finally get an idea, I usually have a good idea of what tools and techniques I need to make the magic happen. And then I have a plan, and the thing gets made, and life is grand.

But (as my 10 year old currently says) NOT today, Son.

I had my plan, but part of it wasn’t working. Here’s my problem:

See this sunflower?

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Isn’t it pretty?

I am going to attach it to this spider webby thingy.

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Spider web thingy. =D Official terms only, of course. 

But the center of the sunflower is domed. The web thing is not. But I need them attached at the center.

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See the domed center?

Sooooo… I dapped the web a bit, which helped a smidge.

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Dapped… and not dapped (aka: flat)

But there was still a pretty large gap between the two pieces. So I dug around on my bench, and in my little drawer deals. After a few minutes, I came across package of brads that I had bought a few years ago, thinking I needed them, but never did use.

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And the little prong deals are long enough that there is enough to fold over.

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I don’t LOVE the way the top looks with the whole deal, so I am going to go look for some alternatives. But I think the idea just might work. I really hope so, because the piece this is for will be really cool when finished.

Well, in theory anyway.

Anyone have a suggestion for how to do it differently? I’m all ears eyes!!!

Thanks for stopping by! My Etsy shop is still in vacation mode, until I get some things squared away, but please give me a follow there, and on Facebook (where things are always for sale), Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Look What I Got!

 

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Is anyone else out there their own worst enemy? At least part of the time? I know I am.

Remember how I told you last time that we had company for two weeks recently? Well, being a total glutton for punishment, just before they were scheduled to arrive, I decided it would be a fine time to place an order from my favorite supplier. I had a purpose for part of my order, but the timing couldn’t have been much worse.

Do you have a website you love to shop at? One that once you start looking, you can’t stop? Yeah? Well, that’s B’Sue Boutiques for me. I made myself keep my order small, but I also needed to order from her back room at Etsy. (double torture…) I ordered the couple of things I actually had intended to buy, plus a few other small add-ons. Because shopping.

So on day 2 of my in-laws’ visit, my package showed up. Day 2 of 14. *sigh* I made myself wait until they left to open it, as the consequence of my stupidity. The timing of the order was terrible. If you read my last post, and some of my others, you know that it’s not the fact that I had visitors. They would have been totally fine with me taking time to work. But since my workshop is in the guest room closet, it was all packed up, and I had no access to it. Please feel free to roll your eyes at my decision on ordering when I did.

But, the day did come when I could open my package and admire my purchases. I was completely giddy, no joke. I have yet to receive something from B’Sue that I don’t absolutely love. Everything they sell is wonderful.

This is my order from the B’Sue Boutiques website.

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This is my order from the backroom at Etsy. The bracelet bar was intentional. The vintage hearts… couldn’t resist. I’m really excited to add some color to them, though they are gorgeous as they are.

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And these are my freebies from Etsy. Because B’Sue Boutiques rocks my world. They are so generous, all the time.

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So my orders were totally worth the wait. But man was it hard to stare at that package for nearly 2 full weeks.

Now, it’s time to play with my new pieces, and my old pieces, and do some makering. I’ll keep you posted.

Thank you for stopping by! And please give me a follow on Facebook, Etsy, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter!

Back in Action

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Hello hello! I’ve been gone for a while (again…) but I’m hoping to be back in action regularly for a while to come. The last 6 months or so have been a little on the crazy side. But I THINK most of the crazy is over.

I’m sure you are all on the edge of your seats, wondering what on earth has kept me away. Well, you can sit back and relax, and I’ll tell you. I’ll try to keep it short though.

After the holiday madness, including my best show to date, we had a couple of weeks off. Then, insanity began. We took a 9 day trip to Disney, which included getting snowed in on our way home. About a week after we got back, I had knee surgery. I had fully intended to keep up on blogging, etc., while I recovered. But I didn’t. I binge watched NCIS instead. And napped. There was a lot of napping. It was amazing.

For week 3 of my recovery, my better half had to go out of town for the week, so my Mom came to hang out with me. THAT was amazing. We had so much fun, even doing basically nothing. We played with polymer clay a bit, and might have had a few cups of hot chocolate… I don’t get to hang with my mom very often, so I really enjoyed having her here.

A few weeks later, we had company for Easter.

Then 2 weeks after that, we had more company.

I had a vendor event in there somewhere.

And my in-laws just came for two weeks.

I love having company. I really really do.

However… My workshop is in the guest room closet.

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This is what my workshop looks like when I have to pack everything into it. It’s a little scary.

So, as you can imagine, my things have spent a LOT of time packed away over the last several months. I did manage to make some newer pieces, and I also took some time to purge a LOT of stuff. When we moved from Ohio to Iowa, I did an initial purge, but it wasn’t enough. I went from a huge, for-real workshop to a closet. I really needed to scale back. I still have more I could probably get rid of, but for now, I’m just happy to have removed a significant amount of extra stuff I wasn’t using.

Now we just have baseball, the summer musical and all the rehearsals that go with it, swimming (at 6:45am. Super fun!!!), athletics camps, a mission trip for one of the kiddos, a family trip to Montana to see my folks (YAY!), and a trip to MSP to babysit my niece and nephews for a week. You know, a nice relaxing summer. There will be as many afternoons at the pool, friends staying over, and fire pit nights as we can manage. Most of the busy stuff is for the soon-to-be 13 year old. The boys have it pretty easy.

So, now I am hoping to get into a bit of a groove, and carve out some dedicated time for working.

I have an event coming up this fall that I have some ideas for. I will be making some fairly specialized pieces that I hope will really go over well. However, it’s my first outdoor event. I’m a bit nervous about it. If any of you out there in cyberspace have any tips for me, or recommendations for a canopy, I am all ears (or is it eyes?)

I’m really sorry I have been missing in action lately. I hope each and every one of you is doing well, and enjoying life. I know I am.

And feel free to nudge me if I’m not keeping up! And tell me what plans you have for the summer. =D

May God bless you all. Thanks for reading!

 

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Best Dad EVER!

It just so happens that I have the best dad ever. Well, the best dad for ME anyway. He’s a mechanic, so he knows all the ins and outs of tools. And considering my love and use of tools, this comes in handy.

This summer, my tumbler bit the dust. I use my tumbler a LOT, so I was really bummed. I hadn’t had it very long either, but it was past the warranty date, so I was out of luck. I had just started to hit my groove with a new style of jewelry, and, unfortunately, that style was much more easily made with the use of a tumbler. I make these discs that I have shown you before:

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For the Copper Dreams Collection

Well, I’m sure you can imagine how much fun it is to file the edges of each and every one of those suckers. Yup, that’s right. It’s not. fun. at. all. So I had a handy-dandy tumbler to do it for me (it saves me a lot of time, and therefore saves $ for the buyers!) Until it pooped out.

So of course I talked to my dad about it the next time I spoke with him. I just like to discuss tools with him. I was certainly not expecting anything from him when I mentioned it. But he just happens to casually mention that he has a spare tumbler that he doesn’t use anymore. Well, shoot. Of course he does. Who doesn’t have a spare tumbler, or anvil, or vise, or wire-twister, or… (a large portion of my tools have come to me courtesy of my father) At some point who knows how many years ago, he needed a bigger one. He tumbles rocks and such all the time. (Eastern Montana is an amazing place to find cool stuff. Moss Agates, petrified wood, etc) So, he said I could have his smaller one.

I had to wait until Thanksgiving to get it, but it was so very worth the wait! I have already tumbled a set of discs, and turned them into pretty things. I was practically giddy the first time I used it. And the creative juices were just flowing. What an amazing gift!

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BOOM!

It’s not pretty, but I’m of the opinion that if your tools look pretty, you haven’t used them enough. At least with some tools.

Also, I noticed something when I picked up one of the barrels. There was some stuff rolling around inside. So I open it up and what do I find but a bunch of chips, with a few larger bits of rock, all polished up. I’m thinking some of them are destined for a resin piece. But we’ll see.

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Look at those pretties! Most of them are Montana Moss Agates. My favorite!

I am one lucky girl!

Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to follow me on Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I looove new friends. 😉

Get the Party Started

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Is this song stuck in anyone else’s head now?

Yup. I’ve already been starting to push, push, push. Hopefully I won’t drive all my facebook friends crazy, but OH WELL if I do! Truthfully, I’m trying to ease into it, and I do try to minimize the postings to my personal FB. I had a few things to iron out before I could start posting more on Etsy (I switched banks (yay moving!), so I had to wait until all that mumbo-jumbo was 100% taken care of) but I’m going to try to list at least 1 each day, 5 days of the week. I know odds are that I won’t get it done the full 7, so I think 5 is a good starting place.

Also… I JUST figured out, about a month ago, how easy Etsy makes it to post to social media. *facepalm* I’m a little slow sometimes… But I have found the easy-share buttons (like Pinterest and Twitter… Give me a follow!) and have been making use of them. Annnnnd, I don’t know if you noticed or not, but this is the 3rd B.Accessorized blog post in as many weeks! BOOM.

I’ve managed to clear out quite a bit of old inventory via my clearance album on Facebook. Those pieces just weren’t selling, didn’t fit with the style I am focusing on now, and were just taking up space, so I’m glad to see them go. There are still some pieces over there, and the sale ends soon, so be sure to stop by!

Clearance $8
Clearance $8
Clearance $12
Clearance $12
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Clearance $15
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Clearance $8

Here’s hoping this motivation continues!

WTW and FUF

Say Whaaa?!? That would be Work Table Wednesday and Finished Up Friday. I’m sure other groups do things like these, but my experience comes from the Creative Group on FB, courtesy of B’Sue. WTW and FUF are wonderful.

Let me tell you why…

So, it’s been going around Facebook lately (and if you can’t trust what you read on FB, what can you trust?) that creative folks tend to live and/or work in chaos. They also have a tendency to only finish a portion of the projects they start.

Which can kind of be a problem.

A while ago, WTW was introduced at the Creative Group, and people posted pictures of their messy workshops, and some of the items they were potentially going to turn into pieces of jewelry. B’Sue pieces were featured, of course. Let me tell ya… pictures of other people’s messy workbenches makes a person feel so much better about their own messy work space. Knowing you are not the only one that never puts things away, and while searching for “just the right thing” for your current project, coming across something that is not at all what you were looking for, but would make a cool something else. And off you go, working on the new, freshly inspired thing, until you get distracted by yet another something… It’s a vicious cycle.

Here is MY new messy workshop. Stuff everywhere...
Here is MY new messy workshop. Stuff everywhere…

This is where Ms. Brenda, and her amazing creative team, came to the rescue.

Here is one of my WTW
Here is one of my WTW

They decided to add a second day for postings. Only it is for finished pieces. And not just any ol’ finished pieces. Nope. The pieces you were working on, and posted for the world creative group to see. So, in two days’ time, you go from the making/creating process, to a finished product. Crazy, right?

And the FUF. Only finished one of the WTW projects, but that is A-Okay
And the FUF. Only finished one of the WTW projects, but that is A-Okay

Not everyone participates, especially not every single week. But many do because it’s a way to stay accountable (kinda like a workout buddy) and a way to stay on task. There are few things that feel as good as finishing what you start, be it a piece of jewelry, or any other thing in life. It just feels good. It’s satisfying.

The Creative Group is a wonderful place for inspiration, feedback, advice, and support. Everyone is kind, always. And B’Sue herself is the reason for all of it. She provides not only an amazing place to buy supplies (and is very very generous with freebies) but a community, and on top of THAT she offers FREE instruction via YouTube. Seriously, generous doesn’t even begin to describe this amazing lady.

So, if you are a fellow artisan, I would encourage you to give WTW and FUF a shot. Even if you don’t join a group in which to post pictures or whatever, do it for yourself.

PS: If you stopped by, tell me what project YOU are working on. Or the last one you FINISHED!