Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

For those of you who celebrate it, Merry Christmas!  This is the Fallingwater gingerbread house by Melodie of Garden Melodies.  

And for everyone else, enjoy your day of peace, rest and Chinese food!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A quiet moment

I just finished a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Baking them, not eating them.  That will come later.  The boys are playing in their room (and they are making noise so I know they aren't dead).  So I have a minute or two to myself, which is a luxury when you're a work-at-home-mom.  Or a working mom.  Or a stay-at-home mom.  A minute of peace is luxurious. 

And in quiet times I start thinking about how lucky I am.  Looking at the tree (we have a tree!), baking cookies (without breaking the mixer) with my boys (I love my boys) and being able to write a blog (I have a wireless laptop-- whoo hoo!).  I am so lucky and thankful for all the things that make me so happy in my life.

Over the past year I've learned so much about my business. Who my customer is and why they buy from me.  What will make them come back.  Where I want my business to go/grow.  I've also developed some really strong wholesale accounts that are taking care of me during slow times with my Etsy shop and my website.  Again, it has been a lot of hard work and research and soul-searching but I'm at a place that makes me ecstatically happy.  Yes, I've got a long way to go but I'm on a path that I've chosen where I make my own choices and that makes me content.

I'm looking forward to continuing to recuperate from back surgery and childbirth and all the physical stuff I've gone through this past year and a half.  I'm also looking forward to re-designing my website to be super awesome and jam-packed with bejeweled goodness.  New designs need a new platform to show them off!  And continuing to develop my business in a way where I can be a metalsmith and a mom and a wife and a daughter and it all makes me, well, happy.

Happy holidays, thank you for a wonderful and fulfilling year!  And whatever you celebrate this year, and I wish you all the joy in the world.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hot off the bench!

I don't know if it's the fact that I'm getting sleep (now that my soon-to-be-1-yr-old is sleeping through the night- hallelujah!), or the energy of the holiday season...  but I have been cranking at my bench the past few weeks!

This piece is sooo luscious!  It's part of my wrought collection that is inspired by the wrought iron gates on some of the buildings here in the city.  I love metalwork-- here I combined that with my love of juicy colorful gemstones!  It's available to come live with you right now, for $138 in my Etsy shop.

I've also been putting together a kickass men's collection.  After thinking about what guys like and what they wear I created some tough looking nature-inspired pieces.  Check 'em out:

This ring reminds me of a coin edge or a bottle cap.  In any case, I hand-carved it in wax and had it cast into sterling silver, then I finished it up to look sa-weet!  It turned out really cool and I'm proud to present it to you, for $52 here in my Etsy shop.

And this one is probably my favorite.  It looks like a weapon, a spear or knife.  But cooler and not as obvious.  Solid sterling silver, $52 here in my shop.

There are lots of other rings and necklaces for guys in my men's section.  Check 'em out.  I'm so psyched about finally having a real men's jewelry collection!  

Let's see some more lovely items for ladies, because let's admit it, we love jewelry!!  It's totally an addiction, am I right?  

Okay, okay, this one is a one-of-a-kind piece I made last week.  It's recycled sterling silver that I melted and re-formed into a sweet pendant and I set 4 blueberry-colored sapphires into it.  I adore it and hope you do, too.  It's available for $58 right here.  

And another necklace, because a woman cannot have too many of them, a precious sterling silver hand-carved and textured circle necklace.  I love the eternity that a circle represents, and this one is organic and still modern all at the same time.  It's $68.  More pictures are available in my shop.

There's more coming, too!  Check out my shop for new stuff each week... and more... and more....

Here's a sneak peek so... keep your eyes peeled!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

You don't like my jewelry?

That's okay, you won't hurt my feelings.  It took me a while to 'get' it but someone explained it to me in a really nice way:  there's a reason that so many sodas (or pop if you will) exist on the market.  Some people like Coke.  Some like Pepsi.  Are you a Sunkist?  Fanta?  Or Sprite fan?  Maybe 7-up.  Club soda.  Ginger ale.  Root beer.  Grape Crush.  Dr. Pepper.  Orangina.  Coke Zero....

You get the picture, right?  There's something for everyone-- because we are all unique individuals therefore we have unique tastes.  And not everyone is going to love everything.  As a marketer, I have to find out who my customer REALLY is, what motivates them to buy from me and what keeps them coming back.  It's a marketing game but I think it's so psychological.  And it's really hard to figure out, I'm still working on it-- so Metalicious will always evolve to please my customers.

Now, if you're not a Metalicious modern jewelry lover I've got plenty of other jewelry-making friends with such diverse and high-quality styles that I know you'll find someone to love!  I'm a proud member of the JET (Jewelry on Etsy) team, you can find us here.  We are a group of fun-loving jewelers from all over the world!  I love every single person on the team, and their work is as diverse as each pocket of the world we come from.

We're having a trunk show on Etsy on Sunday, November 21st at 8pm EST.  We'll be featuring, virtually, the unique work of our members.  Ready to get some shopping done??  Now is the time!  On Sunday just click HERE to get to the lab-- you need to be a member of Etsy but it's really easy to sign up.  Click HERE to sign up for an Etsy account, you will not be spammed, I promise!

Here's a li'l preview of what kind of jewelry will be featured:

Customized baby handprint earrings are $39 from LittleBrownBird.  
Um, notice the names???!!!  Yes, I own a pair of these thanks to Barbara from CapitalCityCrafts.  
Love ya Barbara!

A sterling silver hand-carved acorn pendant-- so sweet!  Just $75 at CapitalCityCrafts.

Gorgeous handmade lampwork beads and sterling silver, this bracelet is $139 from CoolJewelryDesign.

Lovely earth-toned necklace torsade, $48 from AbacusBeadCreations.

Perfect for gifting!  Teal pearl double strand necklace is $60 from BeadzNBling.

Almost good enough to eat!  These rock candy dangle earrings are $18 from SatinDollCo.

Well I don't want to spoil everything!!  So join us for some fun and festive shopping, I know you'll find something you LOVE!  See you Sunday.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The perfect "I do"

I remember getting engaged (800 years ago).  I had 3 rules for my (poor) sweet boyfriend-soon-to-be-fiance in what he should NOT do for the proposal:

1)  Do NOT propose in public.  Contrary to popular belief I am very shy and don't like too much attention.  So no jumbotron proposals or announcements by maitre d's in front of entire restaurants for me thank you.

2)  Do NOT propose near a body of water.  I am extremely spastic and a giant dork.  I was sure that if he proposed near the water I would start waving my hands around, jumping around and would accidentally send the ring flying into the water never to be seen again.  Major bummer.  And did you ever read about this guy?

3)  Do NOT put the ring into food.  Especially dessert.  We all know how much I love my desserts and I imagined swallowing an entire ring without batting an eye in my haste to finish my chocolate mousse.  Dessert + Ring + Me = Stomach Pump.

Needless to say, he did a wonderfully sweet proposal (although he did put the ring on a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery.  And of course... I didn't see it because I was so intent on picking which one I wanted to EAT). 

Five years later I started making alternative engagement rings.  My Modern Rock rings are eco-friendly, conflict free and kinda cheeky.  And I love my customers, I am humbled that they choose my rings for such a momentous occasion.  There are so many great ideas for the newly engaged couple.  From some of my favorite shops on Etsy, here are some more sweet ways to say, "I do."

This ring holding dish is $10 at SayYourPiece.

A unique ring bearer pillow for $39.99 at BraggingBags.

Cool cufflinks for him are $45 at TheCufflinkMaker.

Adorable save-the-date magnet. 25 for $42 at TerrillsTiles.

Lovely wedding card is $3 at LemonTreeLaneAus.

His and hers sterling silver wedding rings.  $75 for the matching set, handmade by me.

What's your engagement story?

Friday, November 5, 2010

I still love you, I promise

It's not you, it's me.  There's just not enough time in the day to be a mom, a jeweler, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a cook, an organizer, a friend, a writer, an entrepreneur, an accountant, an errand gal, a saleswoman, a marketeer (yes, marketeer), a website designer, a photographer, a life giver, a cow (yes I said cow), a sick person, a well person with an 80-year-old back, and on, and on, and on.  *sigh*

We're all busy.  I get it.  But I don't have to like it.  And it's not like I'm deciding if I have time to get a pedicure, that's not what I'm talking about here.  You know that.

I love being busy and feeling necessary.  And I do lots of things to make sure I'm both of those things.  But some days I feel like this...

So on those days when I feel overwhelmed by all the leaves, I need to do this...
and just jump right in!

Happy weekend.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My workspace is a problem.

As all two of you know (hi Barbara, hi Lisa) my workbench is located in a corner of my bedroom.  Right next to it is a giant wooden wardrobe that is jam packed with my shipping, polishing, beading, etc supplies.  I live in an apartment with crazy high ceilings but only 1200 square feet to fit my 2 kids, 2 cats and sweet husband and all of our worldly belongings.  So you have to build up, not out in this space.  That's why in the other corner is a very tall, skinny shelf that has my packaging and craft fair materials on it.  It's VERY tall and VERY skinny but it does the trick nicely.  This is me standing in my Metalicious space.

Once you get past the fact that my hair is up-- again-- and I am not wearing any make-up-- again--- what you don't see is my bed.  Well you can kind of see it peeking up right in front of where I'm standing.  Because it's RIGHT THERE NEXT TO MY BENCH. 

I dream of having an office where I can have actual dedicated spaces for all the parts of my job that I NEVER HAVE TO PUT AWAY EVERY TIME I USE THEM.  But space in New York City though easy to come by... is very hard to afford.  Rent for a 475 sq ft dump is a mere $1750 A MONTH.  *faints*

So... I work out of my bedroom but it feels like I'm working in here most of the time.

Not to mention that working from home means I pass by the dishes in the sink and then put them into the dishwasher.  Then I notice a spill from breakfast on the table.  So I wipe it down.  As I'm doing that I see all the toys that the kids left in the living room so I put them away.  And THEN I feel like I can start working.  Until I see pajamas someone left on the floor so I fold them and put them back into his room.  And while I'm in there I see some toys that were left out...

You can see where this is going.  And this is my life. 

But I have dreams!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

How to make your own Leaf earrings

Yes, I love to use parentheses (I use them frequently).  But let's move along to my bench shall we?

{NewNew} Tutorial of the day:  How to make your own leaf earrings.

You will need:
22 gauge sterling (or copper or brass) sheet
sterling earwire (see my previous tutorial)
heavy duty cutting shears
400 and 600 grit sandpaper
drill with bit (I use my flex shaft)
fine-point sharpie marker
dapping block and large rounded dap
hammer for dapping punch
hand file cut 2

Step 1:
Sketch an outline of the leaf onto the sheet metal thusly (yes I said thusly):

Step 2: 
Using shears cut out your shapes.  You can clean up the edges in step 3 so don't worry about perfection.  In nature leaves are all different shapes and sizes:

Step 3:
Use your hand file and then sandpaper to smooth out the edges:

Step 4:
Using your punch and block, add a nice domed shape to your leaf.  Again perfection is not the goal here.  This is handmade work people, we are imperfect at best.

Step 5:
Add your satin finish using your sandpaper.  Start with 400 and finish with 600.  I like to move the paper around in tiny circles to make a uniform texture.  Wax on, wax off.

Here is what mine looks like when I'm finished.  Almost there:

Step 6:
Drill a hole.  There are many drills, even hand drills.  I used my flex shaft but you can use a dremel or anything that can hold a skinny drill bit in it's jaws (how big should the drill bit be?  Big enough so the hole it makes will fit your earwire through it).

Step 7:
Thread your earwire through the hole and voila!  You have an earring!  I make both halves at the same time so that they come out looking similar but you can do it any way you please!  And yes, your fingers will be this dirty after working at your bench for a few hours, too.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


So here's a sneak peak of a piece I just sent to be cast.  I'm so excited about it!!!  It's not as symmetrical as it looks in the picture and it will have a nice jumpring at the top to fit a chain through it!  WHOOO HOOOOO!

Do you like it?  *holds breath*

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I'm craving a new bag from Tiffany's

I want a bag from Tiffany's new handbag line.  Yes, I realize they are mostly about marketing.  Yes, I realize that $500 for a bag is ridiculous.  Yes, I realize that I don't go anyplace to warrant wearing a Tiffany bag on my arm.  But I WANT ONE.

Intellectually I get it.  But there is something magical about the simple, generic-ish designs that makes me WANT one. 

That magic, for me, is Tiffany blue.  I am in love with the Tiffany blue color.  I love it so much I want to eat it.  It's creamy and sweet on it's matte-finished smooth boxes and I want some of it on top of pure vanilla ice cream.  But my biggest problem with Tiffany's has been that I could never WEAR the color, I could never OWN the color.  Because all of their jewelry is either silver or gold.  Not Tiffany blue.

But that has all changed now.  The game is on.  And I want a Tiffany blue handbag to go with my Metalicious jewelry.

I would carry the Morgan clutch to all the fancy dinner parties I imagine myself going to.  Look at how the baguette 'gems' give it a modern feel:

And the TRT: Tiffany Reversible Tote would become my son's new diaper bag plus I could bring home that baguette loaf for dinner.  Who cares that it's only large enough to carry a big wallet?  I clearly have one to be able to afford it.  *sashays away*

Maybe if I carried both of the above bags PLUS this Avenue Shopper Tote I could fit a diaper.  Or the baguette.  Or a pair of Christian Laboutins.  Or maybe it would become a tiny beach bag.

*sigh*  Thank you for indulging my whimsical trip to if-I-was-a-gazillionaire land!  What are YOU craving?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New York Fashion Week 2010

From Sept 9-16 New York City will be abuzz when designers gather to show their latest collections for Fashion Week.  For the first time ever, Fashion week will be at Lincoln Center, the mecca of all things artsy-fartsy. 

In past years it was held in Bryant Park, just a few blocks from the Jewelry District (where you-know-who spends waaay too much time).

As I walked by I couldn't help but get excited to see the white tents going up in Bryant Park each year.  There would always be lanky models, sulky fashionistas and crazy designers flitting around the area being filmed by large numbers of camera crews and paparazzi.  Here is what it looked like:

And the energy was palpable, you couldn't help but feel the excitement of new clothing lines being 'born' inside of those tents.  Plus I'm not naming any names but someone I am very close to watches Project Runway, who is having their show on opening day at 10am.  MAKE IT WORK!

Just between us, I have never been to a fashion show.  But this is what I imagine it looks like:

So.  Now it's at Lincoln Center.  One of the most beautiful art/theater/music 'campuses' in the city in my opinion. 
I have seen many classical concerts, theater, performance art, super high-end craft fairs and of course, ballet, Jazz, swing dancing and opera here.  *sigh*  It's the home of The Julliard School, the Mostly Mozart festival, New York City Philharmonic/Ballet/Opera and now the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.  You might remember it from that scene in Moonstruck when Cher goes to see an opera and weeps.  There is so much culture in that one spot that I bet you can see it from outer space.

So alas I won't be seeing the tents this year.  Or the leggy models, pouty fashionistas or oodles of paparazzi.  The runway will have to go on without me.  Unless of course I can score a ticket to one of the shows...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer Lovin'

So I've been spending my summer trying not to get tangled up in myself and my everyday, exhausting routine of being a mom.  My 'baby' is now 8 months old which means he's getting wise to what makes mommy tick.  What I'm saying is that HE HAS BECOME VERY GOOD AT MANIPULATING ME. 

Those eyes...

That smile...

The incredible squishiness...

But that's not the point.  My point is that he is keeping me up at night and distracted during the day.  So I haven't had much time to make THE JEWELRY.  And it haunts me.  THE JEWELRY haunts me the way a really good date haunts me.  I dream about it.  I replay all the good parts.  I come up with new things we could do together on our next date.  *sigh*

I have made a few new pieces the few times when THE JEWELRY and I went on a date.  Like this uber modern sterling silver and blue sapphire bypass ring.  Unique and perfect for your best friend with the September birthday.

and these knuckle rings.  Contemporary, urban, chic, sophisticated and really cool.  The best part is I have made them available in either sterling silver or golden brass:

But you've seen what THE JEWELRY is competing with.  And he's getting smarter every day.  I am in big trouble, aren't I?