Monday, July 19, 2010

Artscape 2010 - An AWEsome festival!

Artscape Festival in Baltimore was fantastic!

Even though it was a million degrees and as humid as a sauna!

I was part of the DIY section, which had heavy traffic, and means I got to "booth" with two other fantastic artisans! Illegible Ink and Metropolis Bath and Body. Kathy of Illegible Ink makes super unique linocut art prints that she individually hand colorizes and Megan of Metropolis Bath and Body makes the most amazing smelling soaps (that are wonderful to use, I bought 3!) Check out their sites!!

I didn't get a chance to walk around the whole fest myself, but what I did see was really great. Tons of great artisans and artists, food and music!

Here are a few pics that I snapped while I was searching out some dinner:

My booth... I'm back there, really :)

There I am, although it's a little dark...

My dinner! Yummy :)

Some unscheduled music!

A Hookah Lounge... how cool is that!

 Crowds... (shot just outside my booth)

...and more crowds!
 
The art cars were also fantastic, but I spaced out and didn't take any photos of them :(

I'll definitely be back next year (despite the heat :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Deciphering a Woman's Words...

I found this while surfing today and thought I'd share! :D

NINE WORDS WOMEN USE
(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.
(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don’t Do It!
(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)
(6) That’s Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That’s okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you’re welcome. (I want to add in a clause here – This is true, unless she says ‘Thanks a lot’ – that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say ‘you’re welcome’ . that will bring on a ‘whatever’).
(8) Whatever: Is a woman’s way of saying GO TO HELL
(9) Don’t worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking ‘What’s wrong?’ For the woman’s response refer to # 3.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

When Your Hardwork as a Parent Starts to Pay Off...

Being a parent is hard! Sometimes you're totally in love with your child and other times you want the ring their cute little necks!

My son is 9 and definitely has his share of 9 year old moments (like wearing his jeans and t-shirt under his martial arts uniform for practice yesterday!?), but lately he's been showing a side I'm loving. Responsibility!

The example that sparked this post is what he did this morning. --He woke up early (as usual, he's always been an early riser) and got himself dressed, made and ate his breakfast, made his lunch for school and packed his backpack, and then came to wake me and his Dad up!

After thanking him and telling him how mature and responsible that was, I went downstairs with him and literally walked in circles... I had nothing to do! Crazy. So I actually made coffee and sat down for a leisurely breakfast (unheard of :) before he went off to school.

This isn't the first time he's done something constructive when he's gotten up (while we're still sleeping). He's unloaded the dishwasher on a couple of occasions and he has made his own breakfast several times, but these occurances are becoming more frequent and functional and it's so cool it gives me goosebumps!

But, I'm seriously torn between being the proud Mom, who realizes she's done something right, and the terrified, no longer needed, empty nester... I've 9 more years to enjoy, I hope I remember that the next time he has a 9 year old (or worse, teenager) moment!

:D

Monday, May 17, 2010

New! Wire Gauge Calculator

I found an awesome widget that calculates wire gauge to inches and millimeters! How cool is that?

I actually put in in the right column of my blog (about mid-way down) so you can use that one at anytime, or you can get your very own widget from the one shown below, or by going here: wire-to-jewelry.com


Monday, May 10, 2010

Color Combos - I love Teal and Brown!

I thought it'd be fun to periodically feature some handmade items in particular color combos.

I'm starting with one of my favorites, teal and brown. I don't know what it is about these two colors, but they really call to me. Maybe the mix of warm and cool, or the natural, organic feel to them, like the sea and driftwood, I don't know, it's just gorgeous.

Another favorite is green and brown, but maybe I'll leave that for another Color Combo post.

What are your favorite color combos?


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Aren't they all just beautiful!

Monday, May 3, 2010

From Sheet Metal to Earrings, part 2

So, I'm finally getting to posting the second half of my production photos, life is just too busy sometimes! ;)

Here they are sanded, textured, smoothed and ready for details

After they've been oxidized in a liver of sulfur compound (to give the aged look and to highlight the texture) I've also soldered the bezel cup onto the one pair (to hold the stone)
 

Deciding on details like what kind of stones, how to attach them, type of earwires, etc. (the one pair in the bottom right corner have just been oxidized, I put them in to show what the pieces look like after oxidizing and before polishing - pretty black and ugly) 

Finished earrings. Stones set and in place, all earwires attached, final polishing done!

These are comparing the finished pieces to my original sketches, some just like the sketches, some have changed.

A finished, photographed pair!


See more of the individual photos of the finished earrings on my flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aweshop/sets/72157623840174573/

Yay! I just love the transformation that metal takes from just a flat sheet of raw copper or sterling into a highly textured, gracefully shaped, beautiful piece of jewelry!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How It's Made! Photos of my production process.

Gosh, I haven't blogged in so long, it's shameful. To make up for it a little I'm posting some images of some work I have in progress.

I always think it's fun to see behind the scenes, to see how people make what they make. That's why I thought it'd be fun to post some pictures of what I'm working on currently.

I'm in the process of making some new designs and trying to stock up for several big shows I have soon. These pics are of the "Ethnic Vibe" style earrings in many different variations.

Here are my sketches, the cutout paper patterns and some partially cutout metal pieces.

These are some of the pieces roughly cutout.

A close up of the rough cut pieces. See how uneven and sharp the edges are?

And here is the jeweler's saw and "bench pin" that I use for most of the cutting (and drilling holes, as you can see LoL)
I also use metal snips to cut out some of the initial, larger cuts and straight lines.


Believe me when I say my hands are quite achy after I've finished cutting out a few pieces. Normally I don't cut out this many at a time (I usually make one item at a time) but I'm trying to build up stock for the shows, so production line procedures are required! ;)

I'll post the next stages of production in a day or so. Probably the next time my hands need a break from polishing! :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring

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Hey everyone, I'm kind of excited to show my work in this market, it just sounds really fun.

I haven't been before, but it seems like it really focuses on the community with local crafters and businesses. Kinda like a farmer's market for crafts. It's right downtown Silver Spring so it's easy to come by early and then head over to have lunch afterward.

I'll be there on April 24th at least, and maybe more dates depending on my schedule. The market is every Saturday until October 31. I'll be sure and let you know if I'm going to be there more dates. Get more details on the show here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

DC Metropolitan Art Expo -- Please come!


This show is going to be fantastic! I'm very proud to be one of the few artists selected to show this year.

A huge Art Expo alongside an even huger Food, Libations & Luxury Home Show. There are going to be some awesome artists showing (including Moi ;) and unbelievable home show displays. So even if you're not looking to buy any home related items, it's worth coming just to look at all the amazing art and taste the great food. -- oh, and bring the kids, the show is kid friendly! :D

The ticket shown above is a buy one get one FREE All Access pass, good for the show and alcohol & food tastings! (some amazing artisan beer, spirits, and wine :) Download the All Access 2 for 1 pass by clicking on the image or here!

I also have postcards for FREE general admission, so if you don't care about the beer and wine tastings you won't have to spend a dime and you DO still get free food tastings.

If you'd like a postcard for the FREE general admission just email me --deb [at] aweshop.com-- with your name and address and I'll mail one right out to you. --I only have hard copies of these tickets, sorry :)

Stop by my booth and say Hi. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fire Painted beads...

Here's some of the beads and things that I made in class.

We did 50 beads, the first 20 were just butt ugly, the next 30 got progressively better. We also did some cutout blanks and some bead caps. These are my favorites.

Colors I did that I actually liked :D

Some cones in a bluish color and dipped in orient red :D

Some misc. things. I like how the blue flower turned out :D

I like doing the flat surfaces, can't wait to try some rings :D

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Painting with Fire!

I've been wanting to add a little color to my jewelry for some time, but just wasn't sure how I wanted to do it. I'm not really into super-shiny, colorful gemstones or beads, I do like some handblown glasswork, but it doesn't "fit" into my jewelry style that well.

I did occasionally see some wonderful, earthy colors incorporated into some jewelry. I loved it. It was perfect. It was enameling... Enameling is gorgeous, but a big production, kilns, and equipment, and lots of things I'd have to buy, hmmm... not something that I was ready for. Then, by chance, I came across a class called Painting with Fire! Isn't that an awesome name?!

Painting with fire is applying enamels to metal, but in a much simpler process for those of us who want to use enamel as accents and smaller applications and don't want to buy a ton of new equipment. Basically you need a very hot soldering torch (which I have) and some enamel powders. Easy. --Woo-Hooo, looks like I'm gettin' me some color! :D

I took an all day class this last weekend and it was awesome. It was taught by a lady named Barbara Lewis, who has beautiful enameled jewelry of her own, and I learned a lot! The room had about 15 people in it all working with torches at the same time, so it got Wicked hot, but nobody really cared (just an occasional complaint to your neighbor about being really hot :) because we were really cranking out some enameled beads. 50 of them, along with a few flat copper tabs for charms or pendants. Yay! They were beautiful! Well, the last half of the beads I made were beautiful... the first half was a bit of a mess, luckily my learning curve was pretty sharp.

Anyway, I'll post a pic of the beads and things I made at the class and then later some of the jewelry that I make including enameling. I really want to try some enameled rings and bangles.

I can't wait :D

Thursday, February 11, 2010

If you live in the Washington DC area, I have FREE tickets for you.

Hi all, the show I'm doing on Feb 20,21 is going to be awesome! and I have access to free tickets for those of my fans who want them (as long as you promise to stop by and say hi to me ;)

It's a Luxury Home Show and Art Expo and I'm very excited, and proud, to be one of the few artists to be showing there.

These tickets get you in the show and free food tastings. You can also get Libations tastings if you are so inclined for a little $, I think they have wines, artisan beer and spirits.

Here's the banner with the link, just click to download your complimentary tickets!

See you there!

Friday, February 5, 2010

FREE Upgrade to Priority Shipping -- You Still Have Time for V-Day

I'm offering a FREE upgrade to Priority shipping on any item $35 and up in my shop.

I have some really cute and unique heart designs up also, plus all my other sterling and copper jewelry!

--No code needed, just order between now and February 11 and I'll automatically send it Priority for 1st class price!

http://aweshop.etsy.com

Shot Through the Heart Lariat Necklace
(for Bon Jovi lovers and just lovers in general ;)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oh, and here's the info on my shows...

February 6, 2010 - McLean Jewelry Showcase

McLean, Virginia


February 20 & 21, 2010 - Howard Live Art Expo

Turf Valley Resort | 2700 Turf Valley Rd | Ellicott City, MD 21042


March 27 & 28, 2010 - DC Metropolitan Art Expo

Waterfront, Washington DC

It's been so long...

that I've posted that I'm actually embarassed!

So much has been going on! I have 3 shows I've been preparing for, one of them is this Saturday and is a jewelry showcase! One is a high-end juried show that I was personally invited to (how cool is that) called the DC Metropolitan Art Expo and the other is another high-end juried show, the Howard Live Art Expo.

The latter two are both 2 day shows and are only one month apart so I need to get plenty of jewelry made and I had to upgrade my displays a little, which is fun, but difficult without spending a fortune.

Anyway, I've also been chugging away on my website and my Etsy shop where I had a donation pledge running for Haiti in my shop, I'm donating 50% of my Etsy profits to Doctors without Borders (I'm sorry, I should have posted here about this before). It was awesome though, I had quite a few sales and am able to donate...

Drum Roll Please...

!!!!Donation total to Doctors with out Borders is $60! Hurray!!!!

Remember we can all help in small ways to give relief to all the Haitian people and everyone else in need!

You can donate directly here: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/

Well, I'm off to do some more work. I promise I'll try to check in and post a bit more often :D

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wow! Super Security!

With another "almost" airplane tragedy happening while I was in Portugal I was anticipating security to be more of a pain, but what we got was amazing (if that's the right word for it!)

The rigamarole that we had to go through was incredible!

First, we went through the normal, very intensive, security with long waits, searches, and such -- ok, expected. Super scrutiny of passports with more long waits -- well, ok, again expected.

But then it got rediculous. The Paris airport had sectioned all the US flights on one side of the international terminal and to get there, we had to again wait through long lines to show our passports again (where they literally look you straight in the eye, then look at your passport, then in the eye again to be double sure that you are indeed you). Continuing on through the long line, we had to wait for one of 4 security personnel to completely search everyone's bags, purses, backpacks, coats, etc before we were directed to the male/female specified security personnel where they pat searched us and scanned us with the wand detector (even my 9 year old son got this treatment! Wow!! Do suicide bombers really take their kids with them to be blown up too?)

So, after finally getting through that (and thankfully our flight had been delayed about 45 minutes, otherwise we would have missed it!) we were herded onto the ramp to what we thought was the plane. But, no... we were herded down a stairwell & onto a shuttle, we shuttled about 100 yards over to the next terminal (that was outside of the cordoned off US security side, I guess), where we filed off the shuttle, climbed up a stairwell and --finally-- onto the plain!

Wow!!!

Honestly, I was in Portugal during 9/11 and returned to the US about a week after (NY was still in turmoil, and quite empty) and I have to say that security was not half of what it was coming back from this trip after the attempted bombing on Christmas Day. Incredible.

It's just a good thing that the stay in Portugal was really nice, otherwise the hassle of the trip there and the trip back might scare me off of dealing with travel for quite a while! As it is, I'll think twice before scheduling my next trip!

And that's a bummer! I love traveling and it's just really a shame that the world has come to a point where you can't feel perfectly secure traveling to different countries and cultures around the world. Hate is isolating and isolation is never a good thing for humanity!

hmmm...