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...