Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mini work bench

My "studio" is actually my living room, which I share with two other adults, 1 Irish Setter, 2 Shar-Peis and 3 cats, so an already small space can get rather crowded! I have a nice jeweler's workbench but it's not really big enough, especially when I need to do some concrete or finishing work that will contaminate my metal clay. I found this sturdy microwave cart at Target. It has a wooden top, one shelf and one flat drawer so with a few modifications it's a perfect mini work bench! I already had the metal drawers (also from Target) which fit almost perfectly, and we added strips of wood around the top to keep stuff from rolling off, screwed in a bench pin, and got a board to put in the flat drawer and now I've a got a compact new workspace! Any metal sawing will still get done on the real bench since it's much more solid, but I can now do my dirty work away from my metal clay area. Yay!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I know it's still July....

but here are some fall inspired pieces! It must be the Halloween front pages that Etsy is starting to run already, and the all the back to school stuff everywhere.

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's been 1 year since my first sale on Etsy

How time flies! I opened my Etsy shop as a way to hopefully earn a little money to support my hobby and be able to write off my related expenses. I had no idea when I made that first sale of the earrings in the photo that I would end up doing this full time. I'm so happy to no longer be working for "the evil little troll" (one of my nicer nicknames for my former boss). It's hard work, long hours every day of the week but I wouldn't trade it for my former job, that's for sure!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The magical world of Bataeff Salvage

Wonderful peeling green sheds and rusty metal

I always go to the scrap yard for tamale pots


For all your plastic bucket needs

Ammo boxes

We here in Santa Rosa are blessed with the always changing, never know what you might find Bataeff Salvage. My boyfriend Kelly is going to build a clothesline in the back yard and wanted some steel cable (he makes everything out of metal whenever possible!) so off we went to Bataeff today. I didn't really need anything so I just wandered around and was struck by all the amazing shapes, colors, textures and patterns that are found there. Imagine a scrap metal yard, Harbor Freight tools, an old fashioned hardware store, army surplus with a dash of flea market, and you've got Bataeff Salvage! They even have a web site now:
It was looking a little barren today though, I guess the price of scrap metal is down right now, but it's always worth a look.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Enamel workshop

I did a two day workshop this past weekend on enameling on silver. It was held by my local pmc guild and taught by Mary Ellin D’Agostino & Olivia Competente. We learned plique a jour, which is like stained glass in that you build a silver framwork with no backing, so light shows through the enamel. The leaf is my plique a jour piece (which is very difficult to photograph!) It was fussy and very time consuming, and I'm not really thrilled with the result, but I'm glad I know how to do it now in case I have an idea that is suited to this method.

I'm happier with the circle pieces, they are just enamel fired to the surface (I don't know which french term applies to this method). You add a layer of color and fire for 2 minutes, add more color, fire again, add more, fire etc. The hamster in my head is working overtime, spinning his wheel as I ponder how this method can apply to my work. In the meantime I will be ordering enamels and tools and experimenting with this new way of applying color to metal.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Happy birthday Lily Belle!

Our other Shar Pei, Lily, turned 10 today. She loves wearing her pearls and tutu. I know what you're thinking, but she loves it. Seriously.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My sister is on the front page!

I've been a bad sister and haven't introduced my sister's shop here yet, but seeing as she's had her first Etsy front page this morning, I thought now would be a good time! Her piece is the bottom right in the photo. She is a printmaker, graphic designer and photographer, and you can see her work here:
Please have a look at her work, it's really great!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I am officially TIRED. I got everything shipped that sold while I was featured, and now I'm about to tackle the pile of custom and reserved stuff, which should keep me busy through next week. Not that I'm complaining. Thank god for good coffee and power naps!