In the Studio :: Metalsmith 101 with dad

One year, ten months, and nineteen days--the amount of time it takes for a lot of stuff to happen.. and I have zero blog posts to show for it. What can I say, life happens much faster than my speed of blogging! But one of the highlights of recent months is finally getting metalsmith lessons from my dad. For many years during my childhood, my father worked as a goldsmith. He did not immigrate to the states with this trade, but somehow taught himself soon after settling here. And all the equipment that I'm now using to learn this trade are the same pieces of equipment that my father worked on decades before. Rusty, dusty, and so full of history.

There is something very meditative about playing with a torch and some metal. I'm not sure what it is about it that I'm drawn to, but I'm enjoying every minute of it. And it is much harder than it looks. Good thing practicing is fun...and I have so much to learn!

Here are just a few preliminary pieces I made while practicing my soldering techniques. I've been using a lot of copper to practice with because it's more affordable than sterling silver and I have to say, I really love the look of it! Not so much a fan of the shiny copper look, but when oxidized and textured, copper really adds a nice rustic quality and dimension to jewelry. I've worked with copper in the past, but haven't used it much until recently and I've already incorporated copper into a lot of new jewelry pieces. They're not listed online yet and I'll probably debut them at my upcoming show next month!  Details soon.

It feels great to be blogging again. I'd love to hear what you think of my new layout and look!


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In the Studio :: almost finished

Has it seriously been 2 months since I last posted???  Just thought I'd pop in with a quick update.  Here are a few bits and pieces laying around my work table.. just waiting for some finishing touches.

Tiny tourmaline leaves wire wrapped to a sterling silver oval.  I love tourmaline!  I don't work with it often because frankly, it is so expensive!!!  I purchased a strand of these tourmaline leaves last year at a gem show and have only made one completed necklace using these beauties.  It was purchased before I had the chance to list it online.  Now I've started this focal piece... and can't decide whether to wire-wrap the leaves all the way around, or do something asymmetrical.  What do you think? 

Some oxidized sterling and gemstone pendants (top to bottom: phrenite, lepidochrosite, amethyst)

Glass droplets in a new design.  I'll probably make this available in several different color combinations.  What color combos are you partial to??

Gold plated pavĂ© beads in crystal and sapphire blue.. and a beautiful vintage brass bead with Austrian opalite crystals.  These will probably be necklaces.

Simple and elegant gold plated twig earrings with stick pearls.  I think these would be perfect for a candlelit dinner.  :)

So what are you working on at the moment?

I know I mentioned a giveaway.  I actually had one on Sandy a la Mode a week or so ago, but didn't have a chance to blog about it.  But if you follow me on twitter or facebook, you knew.  ;)  If you missed out on that one, don't fret, I'm planning on another one, right here on my blog.  I'll make it special since you've been so patient with me. :)


Looking Up

Things have been looking up around here... at least I've been looking up.  How could I not, with skies like this??

I see a sky-diving bunny, what do you see?
 I don't know what weather patterns (besides insane heat) have contributed to such gorgeous clouds in the sky lately, but the skies have been incredible to look at every day!

The clouds have been massive, voluminous, fluffy, pure white entities you wish you could jump into.

...it's the stuff that daydreams are made of...

My kids call them Toy Story clouds (like the ones on the wall in Andy's room).  And speaking of kids, they are keeping me worn, I tell you!  If you are a work at home mom and juggling motherhood and keeping on target with running your own business, while maintaining sanity, please share your secrets.  I'd love to feel like I'm doing things right at least one day a week.  Xp (that is me looking pooped)

But I feel positive.  Being a mom is the toughest job, ever.  Ever ever.  But it's one I wouldn't trade for the world, and would probably do all over again if I could (don't ask me that on a bad day though).  And I can't help but think that..

...if parenting didn't feel like the toughest job in the world, then I must not be doing it right.

So I am celebrating today!  I'm celebrating the fact that my back is in knots, my hair is a mess, and I'm still in my pajamas on a Friday afternoon, still trying to enjoy my morning coffee (one sip at a time).  It is Friday, right?

And I'm celebrating my kids..and motherhood... stressful moments and all!  All the craziness just makes the calm moments that much sweeter. 

 I hope you'll find something to celebrate today too.  *cheers!*  :)  Here's to a lovely weekend!

PS.  These sky photos were taken with my phone camera and posted via Instagram. If you instagram, you can see more of my daily photos at "envedesigns"...please come and say hi! :)


She is the reason...

 ...why I've been missing the past few months.

Lexington was born April 20th (I know, I'm a smidge late on this post).  I can't believe she's nearly 3 months old now!  For those of you who follow me on facebook, twitter, or my new instagram addiction account (@eNVeDesigns), you've had many glimpses of this little lady already.  She, along with her big brother and big sister, are keeping me beyond busy.  My energy is zapped and with whatever free time I feel like I have, all I want to do is close my eyes for a micro nap.  But life has never been fuller and I hardly remember what it was like before Lexi came along.  It's like she's always been around.  Needless to say, I have to dust off this blog of mine... and update you on some things... like the fact that my Warm Hearts Necklace is gone!... I've been waiting for it to turn up in the mail somewhere, but it's been many months now and nothing.  Anyway, that will be another post.

So for now, I'll leave you with this smiling face.  In the meantime, follow me on instagram if you're there!  It's the quickest way for me to connect now.  I'll be posting jewelry works in progress (as soon as I get more than a minute to work on jewelry again), my "photo a day" pics, and random snapshots of my daily life.  And I'll be back here with more notable happenings.. like a giveaway.  I think it's time for one, don't you?  'Til then, my friends! 

P.S.  I'm having a huge summer sale in my Etsy shop right now.. 30% OFF everything!  See the coupon code in my shop announcement!