Monday, October 29, 2012


So, quite a while ago there was this idea for the makers of handmade products to make some thing with their own two hands and pay it forward to folks who also appreciate handmade objects.  In this case the products were handmade jewelry items.  I wanted to join in, but every time I saw the notice on someones blog, I was too late.  Then, I heard about someone who was waiting for people to comment on her invitation to join in this gathering of like-minded folks.  I commented, and became an official member of the Pay It Forward: Handmade clan.

Cassi, from Beads: Rolling Downhill, was good enough to allow me to play along, and I knew that at some point in the next 365 days, I would receive a surprise in the mail.  A few days ago I did go to my mailbox and found said surprise waiting for me.  How fun to receive something special out of the blue.  Cassi sent me two pair of lovely earrings that are so up my alley.  Please forgive the pictures, I just couldn't get the colors to come out right.

The bottom pair have the word Laugh stamped on them and are made of polymer clay, as are the little yellow hearts.  The top pair are Czech glass flowers in a beautiful red.  I love both pair. 

This was so much fun.  One of the things that I promised to do is to Pay It forward, myself.  I have yet to do my post asking for comments, because everyone seemed to already be on the bandwagon, so I figured I would give it a little time to calm down and then make the offer and see it I could get any takers.

Here is the jist of how this works:  For the first three commenter's that leave their email address, I will promise to make something handmade and mail it to you at some point in the next 365 days.  It will be totally random and a nice gift from me to you.  I will get your regular mailing address and ask a few questions to be used as guidelines.  You, as the recipient, will create a blog post inviting three people to play along, in essence Paying it forward.  How about it, any takers????

Cassi, thank you so much for the beautiful gift.  I will enjoy these earrings, and every time someone asks where I got them, I can say they are a handmade surprise gift from a nice person that I have never met.  But, she is someone with a kind and generous heart.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012


to fold form metal.  I love the ideal of manipulating sheets of metal into forms that create beautiful jewelry.  I've watched others who seem to effortlessly fold metal into three dimensional shapes and wished that I could do that.  It always seemed to me that it would take the skill and strength of a seasoned blacksmith to be able to heat and pound metal into shapes and forms that come alive with fluidity.  In one sense I was right, but in a  bigger sense I was so wrong.

A while ago I received my issue of STEP BY STEP WIRE JEWELRY, (Aug-Sept issue).  In it are instructions for a Battered Heart bracelet by Abbi Berta, using basic fold forming techniques.  I thought about it and read the article several times, and then I pulled out the torch and hammer and gave it a try.  It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  My product isn't going to win any awards, but we all have to start somewhere...

These are basic, first tries, BUT I DID IT.  I cut, heated, folded, pounded and shaped my way through my first metal fold forming attempt and I did okay.  Now, I want to run out and take a blacksmithing class.  It was so much fun turning a flat, shinny piece of copper into something with character and soul.  Jewelry is always satisfying to me because, no matter how a piece turns out, someone, somewhere will love it.  You, as the designer, just have to get the piece into the hands of the person that it calls to.  Fold formed jewelry has always called to me, and now, I can make it.  How great is that?

Onward and upward, who knows what I can create with lots more practice and inspiration.


Monday, October 15, 2012


and an apology.  I didn't realize how long it had been since I had posted, and I'm sorry for that.  Now, on to the swap.  The lovely Diana, from Suburban Girl Studio, has issued a fun challenge to create mismatched art bead earrings and then swap them with a partner.  I was paired with Kashmira.  I was really looking forward to this swap because it gave each of us an opportunity to create something really unique for each other.  When Kashmira's package arrived in the mail I was not disappointed.  Just look at what I received...

Aren't they lovely.  I'm a big fan of the green, so these earrings are right up my alley.  They are very light, and comfortable to wear, and I have received many compliments on them.  To the point that I had to stop my own mother from swiping them.  I'm so glad that I joined this swap, and that I was paired with such a thoughtful partner.  Go on and visit Kashmira, and all the other participants, you won't be disappointed. Here's a list of everyone playing:

Lisa Liddy

Charlene Jacka

PS... I know that I'm a little early, but if I wait to do this tomorrow it won't get done. And, I can't figure out why this post is so freaky looking, but I'm too tired to chase down the problem.

PPS...Kashmira left a comment telling everyone where she got those great enameled beads.  Be sure and check it out.