Tag Archives: Metal

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. ūüėČ

The Wagon

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Oh the wagon. It is so easy to fall off. And I did. Though, if you look at it a certain way, I didn’t really fall off. Maybe. I don’t know. Here’s what happened:

I was all set to participate in a show at the end of Aug. It was an outdoor show, which I have never done before. The people putting the show on had actually approached me about participating, which I thought was cool (and a little strange since I’m still pretty new to the area, but I’ll take it!) So I was excited. They asked me to participate about 4 weeks before the event was scheduled for. I didn’t think it would be a problem on that amount of notice. So I set about trying to find a tent to borrow. We don’t have one, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to invest in one yet.

I also started looking online for tips on doing an outdoor event. I have a background thing that I used once, and liked, but it had some kinks that needed working out, especially on uneven ground. I found someone willing to lend me a tent, so that was awesome. Until my reading informed me that I needed sides and weights for the tent. *deep breath* Okay. More research. And money I didn’t really want to spend, especially on a tent that didn’t belong to us.

I should probably tell you that the event was scheduled for the weekend before school started, which meant meeting teachers, gathering supplies, and all the fun stuff that goes along with back-to-school the week before my event, which is prime time for running pre-event errands. (also, my oldest had a large amount of special circumstances to work out for the school year, AND she got braces the day before my event was supposed to be) *deeper breath*

Phone call. My inlaws are coming to visit! The week before school starts, and through the weekend. Hmm. Hey, they can help! Oh wait. I have to clean the house, which is something I tend to let go when a lot of other things are happening. Toilets become low-priority. But they CAN’T be low priority with my husband’s family coming in. Shoot. Okay. Well. Hmmmm.

(Oh, and let’s toss 3 birthdays in this time period… two of the kids and me, plus sports practices have begun)

Another phone call. This time it was my husband (who was scheduled to be out of town the week all this was going down). The poor guy just called to tell me he was on his way home, and gets me all stressed out, breaking down, primarily over the tent sides and the expense. And he calmly mentions that maybe I should back out of the event.

Wait… WHAAAAA?!? THIS from the most supportive, let’s-make-it-happen guy? And I knew he was right. I have NEVER backed out of something like this, and hope I never need to again. But as soon as I made the decision, I felt better, felt lighter. I was very disappointed, but mostly because it sounded like a fun event to be part of. And the final week and a half before the event was happening, while I was cleaning and running errands, I just kept thinking how glad I was that I wasn’t trying to get the vendor things in order too. So I know it was a good decision. But MAN was it a hard one to make.

So, now I’m scheduled to participate in an event at the beginning of Oct. I’m trying to stay really organized and on top of my to-do list so I’m not scrounging around at the last minute. I probably still will be, but hopefully it’ll be minimal. I’m also working on creating an inventory. And going through my eleventy-seven million pictures and sorting and cataloging them all. Yikes. But I’m getting there. And I’ve managed to work on orders (yay!) and get other random bits of things accomplished. So I’m feeling more ready for this show than I think I have for any others.

I’m sad I had to back out of an event, but I really think it was for the best. And now I’m feeling even more motivated to make things more organized and functional so I can STAY on top of things, and get my listings moving again. I haven’t listed anything in a while, though I have managed to get some photos taken. Etsy, unfortunately, had to take a temporary back seat through all of this chaos. But I think this week I should be able to start pushing that again, and all that jazz. Long story short, I’ve had some set-backs, but I think I am still moving in the right direction. And that’s what counts in the end.

Here’s a peek at some of the pieces I have managed to get made the last couple of weeks. I LOVE them! They make me happy.

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B’Sue Boutiques Build-a-Line Challenge Blog Hop, Part 3

It’s here! The big reveal!!! I’m excited to show you all what I have been working on. It’s been a busy three months since the BALC began. Between snow days, stomach bugs, viruses, and just general “life” stuff, it has been interesting trying to find blocks of time to get everything put together. Boy am I glad I kept it simple…

So… without further ado… Here is my “line” (or the beginnings of it, anyway) for the challenge:

PicMonkey Collage Cuff

PicMonkey Collage E1

PicMonkey Collage E2

PicMonkey Collage E3

PicMonkey Collage E4

PicMonkey Collage N1

PicMonkey Collage N2

PicMonkey Collage R2

PicMonkey Collage Ring 1

If you continue through the hop (and I really hope you will!) you will see a huge variety of styles. The amazing thing is that we all got the bulk of our components from one place. B’Sue Boutiques offers an amazing selection of Made-in-the-USA brass, as well as just about everything else you could want. I spend a LOT of time drooling over her site and her YouTube videos. Seriously.

Please note: Prices are not set in stone… ūüėČ

Thank you for stopping by.  Happy Hopping!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques

Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino

Aurora Designs

Jann Tague

Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King

Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford

Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott

Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson

Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten

Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit

Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck

VRBrose

Michaele Collie

The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig

Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman

Strega Jewelry

Erin Whitacre

Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady

MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West

Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson

Howling Dog Jewelry

Leila Belcher

Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen

Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger

Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams

Paisley Lizard

Lynda O’Mara

LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth

MadScientistsDesigns

Dana Hickey

Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo

Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark

Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman

B. Accessorized        <<<<<<<<<< You Are Here

Jennifer Kroeger

Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen

Hoarder’s Corner

Robin Reed

Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson

Lilis Gems

Louise O’Shields

Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam

Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis

The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico

Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman

Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le

Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters

Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider

Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett

Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson

From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton

Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman

The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter

TreeZ’s Treasurs

Melissa Latimer

Smithed Up

Renee Hong

Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris

Moondance Jewelry

Lori Prull Meyer

Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams

Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier

Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen

Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams

Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens

1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller

Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard

Mama San’s Mojo

Coral Law

ab:coraldesign

Branches and the B.a.L.C.

I have to be honest… I haven’t actually MADE anything for my B’Sue Boutiques Build-A-Line Challenge. I’ve been thinking about it, but mostly I have been making other things. I’m not hesitant about what I will be making. I’m feeling pretty good about the designs, though they are very simple. I know I won’t win the judged portion. And I’m okay with that. I am learning about building a line of jewelry that just might do that crazy thing… you know, where people buy it. Say Whhaaaaa’??? I know, I might be getting ahead of myself, but it can’t be helped.

In our “classroom” we have been talking about what a line really is and what it really means. Basically it boils down, for me at least, to one thing… will people know YOU made it? I don’t know how close I am to that but I really feel that I’m making progress in that direction. I’ve been having a lot of fun with stamps and metal. I want lots and lots of metal in my designs. Hence the stamping. Making pieces that are very gift-able is something else we have touched on. Stamped jewelry is very very easy to personalize. So I’m hoping to take (abundant) orders, while also offering a good variety of ready-made pieces that will range from spiritual to hilarious.

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Stamped Small Bars for Necklaces or Bracelets
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Stamped “FAITH” Small Bar Necklace
Stamped scroll necklaces
Stamped scroll necklaces

I also want to include leather in future pieces. I feel that it fits well with the “western boho” theme for my line. So, leather is a next step for me. I have worked with it some, and was successful, or totally unsuccessful, depending on how you look at it. I made a bracelet a while ago that I was SOOOO excited about. The techniques worked out pretty well, though my riveting needs some work. Really, the only problem was the size. It was way too small. So, it’s not a wearable bracelet, but otherwise it’s just fabulous.

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Western Themed Leather Bracelet

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I feel that, while it doesn’t actually “fit” the western boho theme, the stamped metal works WITH the theme. They could be worn together very easily, and it would be a simple thing to add a stamped component into one of the designs that does fit. So I am looking at it as a branch of the western boho tree. I think I am looking at the info coming from the challenge in a slightly different way than some of the other participants. I’m not feeling limited by having a line, and like everything I create now must fit into that category. I’m thinking of my line as the central concept that other things can branch off of. I have an idea for a second branch of my tree, but it’s going to have to wait a bit until I make a bit more progress with my current projects. But the idea is there, and it will stay, I have a feeling.

And really, there’s nothing wrong with growing a whole new tree… As long as people know it is YOUR tree.

B’Sue Boutiques Build-A-Line Challenge, Lori Beekman of B. Accessorized, Part One

Big Sky Country
Big Sky Country

Welcome to the B. Accessorized edition of the Build-A-Line Challenge Blog Hop, part 1. This amazing challenge is sponsored by B’Sue Boutiques.

I’m Lori Beekman (the B. of B. Accessorized) and I have been making jewelry, on and off, and among other things, for approximately 7 years (or is it 8?). I have experimented with a lot of styles, techniques, and mediums on my jewelry making journey, and this challenge is pushing me to focus more. Which is exactly what I need.

It's ME!
It’s ME!

While I am a current resident of Iowa (and previously of Ohio, Nebraska, and Tennessee) I will always consider Montana home. I was born and raised there, got married there, and my oldest was born there. And really… it’s just an amazing place. I only have a little Native American blood myself, but I was surrounded by Native American culture. Montana still has an Old West feel complete with wild horses, bison, cacti, cattle, and everything in between. Nature, basically… My line of jewelry for this challenge is inspired by nature, with some of the bold colors of Native American jewelry, all with a simplistic feel. And metals. I love metals. B’Sue is a great resource for my metal addiction…

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The beginning…

These are the main components I will be using in my jewelry pieces. I really love torch patina, so I have colored some of the B’Sue filigree with my torch.

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Brass filigree colored with a torch.

I manipulated some bead caps, too, before hitting them with the torch.

 Bead caps manipulated and torched. (before and after)

Bead caps manipulated and torched. (before and after)

I have a few other elements that might make an appearance, or might not. Once I begin assembling, I’ll have a better idea.

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The Maybes.

I’m really excited for this challenge. It has already been a lot of fun. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the rest of the hop.

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques

Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino

Aurora Designs

Jann Tague

Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King

Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford

Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott

Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson

Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten

Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit

Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck

VRBrose

Michaele Collie

The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig

Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman

Strega Jewelry

Erin Whitacre

Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady

MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West

Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson

Howling Dog Jewelry

Leila Belcher

Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen

Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger

Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams

Paisley Lizard

Lynda O’Mara

LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth

MadScientistsDesigns

Dana Hickey

Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo

Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark

Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman

B. Accessorized

Jennifer Kroeger

Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen

Hoarder’s Corner

Robin Reed

Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson

Lilis Gems

Louise O’Shields

Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam

Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis

The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico

Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman

Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le

Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters

Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider

Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett

Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson

From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton

Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman

The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter

TreeZ’s Treasurs

Melissa Latimer

Smithed Up

Renee Hong

Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris

Moondance Jewelry

Lori Meyer

Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams

Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier

Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen

Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams

Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens

1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller

Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard

Mama San’s Mojo

Coral Law

ab:coraldesign

A Moment of Inspiration

I had one! And the best part? I REMEMBERED what it was. Because, like all good ideas, it came when I was trying to sleep. And being the lazy sort, I wasn’t about to get up to go write it down. And keeping a notepad by your bed is all well and good for some people, but I don’t have any desire to turn on any kind of light once they are off. Anyway… back to my story.

In the morning, I’m not sure if I was more excited about my idea, or the fact that I remembered my idea. Either way, I was pretty pumped. When I was able to head down to the messy workshop, I was kind of nervous. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone down to work with an idea in my head, and I sit down, and it all just floats away… never to be thought of again. So, I did the logical thing… I texted my sister. Obvious, right? I had previously asked on Facebook for some suggestions for sayings, etc. for some metal stamping, and my idea involved metal stamping, and I didn’t want to pick. So I asked my sister for a saying. And she gave me one.

*deep breath*

And away I went.

I started with a strip of copper. Stamped the saying she wanted.

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Stamped copper

I needed to anneal it so I could shape it, so I hit it with the torch. (I cannot tell you how therapeutic using a torch can be…) I had planned on adding some patina after it was shaped, but I honestly really just loved the color the torch gave it. So I sent her a second picture to see what she thought. Thankfully, she agreed (she’s related to me, so she can’t help being awesome and easy to work with…) that the color was good.

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Look at that torch patina! Isn’t it pretty?

So, on to the next step. The step I was dreading. I didn’t want to mess up all the coolness that I had already accomplished. But it needed to be done. And let me tell you… this was no easy task. My fingers hurt so badly! But it went well, and came out pretty much how I had imagined. So… I was happy to have sacrificed my fingers for this little experiment.

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Look! It’s a mini scroll!

I put it aside for the rest of the day, primarily due to other obligations like children and such (lame, right?) but also to let it stew. I know I am not the only one that has created/written/done something that seemed amazing at the time, but upon later reflection realized it was a wretched idea. So I let it go for a bit.

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The next day I went a little crazy. Not TOO crazy. Just a little. I still liked the idea, and it’s one that is customizable, so I wanted to have a small selection showing how endless the possibilities are. These can be a favorite quote, saying, verse, proverb, or anything. A variety sampler, if you will. I even did one with my own kids’ names. I had stamped one more (May the Force be with you), but it was on a thicker gauge metal and it turned out that I couldn’t bend that sucker to save my life. I figured out how to be able to add dangles.¬†Some folks love a good dangle, so I thought it would be a good idea.

There are so many directions I can go with these, and it makes me very excited. I will eventually do some with color/patina, and maybe add some more interest to the chain, though I feel the simple chain fits the concept really well. I plan to change up the metals I use, too, to add more variety. So. Many. Options!

So, what do YOU think of my little scrolls?

Metal Fever

I think that’s a good name for what I have. Mmmmmmm… Yup. Sounds about right. Metal fever is my problem. And the prescription?

Oh, how I wish it was more cowbell…

More metal! (Though… when you think about it… Cowbells are MADE from metal. So maybe I DO need more cowbell.)

The problem is… metal scares me. As much as I love it, and love designs featuring metal, it intimidates me like none other. I have been wanting to get into metalsmithing for, oh, 4 years, give or take. And I have dabbled with it. But every time I hit a snag, my brain is all “Well, let’s move over here to the stuff you already know how to do” And off I go…

Well, NO MORE, I say!

Uh-uh

I am feeling more and more determined to focus and really push to go where I want to go. Early next year, Ms. Brenda of B’Sue Boutiques, is holding a challenge that has to do with creating a “line” of jewelry. Odds are slim that I will ever have my jewelry in boutiques across the country, but I’m going to¬†participate¬†anyway. It’s a great way to focus, learn more about becoming a for-real business, and really push myself. I’m a little on the terrified side, but I’m excited, too. And I’m planning on metals playing a part in the 5 pieces I will create for the challenge. And those pieces will kind of be a jumping off point for creating other pieces that will move me further into the world of metalsmithing.

I’ve already started playing a bit with some new techniques, though I haven’t spent a lot of time with either. I did some etching for my daughter’s project when we moved. That was kinda fun, and I’m anxious¬†to do more with it. And I have started experimenting with fold-forming.

Fold-Forming! Fire + Hammer = FUN!
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My first etching project.

I cannot wait to work more with each of these techniques, as well as soldering and more cold connections. Metal is really fun to work with. I refuse to be a chicken any longer! Wish me luck.