Awesome New Shop Opening in Virginia-Highlands ~ The Indie-pendent!

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As you can probably guess from the name of it, The Indie-pendent is going to be a boutique that fosters the best of indie culture.  It will be a destination for those savvy shoppers looking for high-quality, handcrafted goods.  My good friend, Beth Lord, is the store’s proprietor and folks, she will not disappoint!  I got a sneak peek at the space

 

Please come visit The Indie-pendent during the Grand Opening on December 13th at 1052 St Charles, Atlanta Georgia.  The shop is tucked away in an alley but there will be plenty of signs to point you in the right direction.  While you’re at it, like her on Facebook and keep up to speed on the goings-on at this neat little boutique!

Oh, and one more thing…. take a peek at my jewelry while you’re there!  ;o)

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Shop Small This Season

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I have taken a pledge this season to support local business and buy handmade whenever possible, and you should too! No made in China, big box junk. Period. Help support your local economy. Think grassroots, people.

To help you with your holiday shopping, I’m having a store wide Etsy sale. Shop this Friday through Monday and save 25% with coupon code SHOPSML11. Help support an indie artist!

New Website!

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I just wanted to invite you all to visit my brand spanking new website ! I decided that it was time to create a showcase for my work beyond etsy. Enjoy, and feel free to leave feedback!

Also, if you find any pieces that you would like for yourself or as a gift for a loved one, please let me know. I’m having a sale on my etsy site on Black Friday and Small Biz Saturday where you can save 25% at checkout with code SHOPSML11.

Atelier Gallery Charleston

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Today I’m spending the day with my kids, outside in the backyard with the warmth of autumn sunshine on my face. While they’re busy getting dirty and creating memories, I thought I’d share a bit of business news with all of you. Just yesterday I discovered that my work is now featured on the website for Atelier Gallery in Charleston! The lovely Gabrielle Egan, owner of Atelier in both Charleston and Asheville as well as a handmade jewelry boutique called Gabriella’s (also in Asheville), contacted me several weeks ago about featuring my work. It’s wonderful to finally see it on her gorgeous site. Come have a peek!

DIY Sterling French Earwires – A Tutorial

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One of the easiest ways to cut costs when you’re an independent jewelry designer is to make simple things yourself (think, earwires, discs, etc).  Establishing a process is another great time saver.  I’ve decided to share a photo tutorial on how to make your own sterling silver french earwires.   Once you’ve mastered the basic steps you can create variations by altering the earwire shape, or adding a small jump ring instead of the balled end.  Here goes!

Materials:  19 gauge sterling wire (dead soft), mandrel for shaping, flush cutters, air-acetylene torch, tripod with screen, pickle pot with pickle, self-locking tweezers, chain nose pliers

1.  Start by taking a length of your sterling wire and wrapping it around the end of a ring mandrel, or other 1/2-3/4″ round material.   Leave approximately 1/2″ over on one end to account for balling when heated.

2.  Set up wire on tripod using self-locking tweezers.  Allow the long end of the wire to hang vertically over the edge of your mesh screen so that you can access it with the torch in the next step.

3.  Using a #1 torch tip, heat the end of the wire from beneath, so that your flame is pointing up towards the ceiling.  Watch as the end begins to glow red, as this will immediately precede the balling.  Sometimes you have to tease the flame a bit to get the balling to begin.  The balling occurs because the end of the wire reaches its melting point.

4.  You can see from the image above that the length of the wire shortens considerably when balled.  Once you have balled your wire and turned off your torch, submerge the earwires in water and then place in pickle pot (with copper tongs or you will plate your sterling with steel! yikes!)

5.  Once the oxides have been removed by the pickling solution, remove the wires (again with copper tongs) and pat dry.

6. Polish the wires using your desired medium (I typically polish on my polishing wheel using tripoli only), taking care to be sure that the end of the wire has been filed/sanded smooth.

7.  Using chain nose pliers, grasp the balled end and wrap the wire up and forward to meet with the length of wire that will form the outward facing portion of the earring.  Take the pliers and gently bend the back end of the wire.  I typically flex the earwire back and forth a bit to create tension as dead soft wire will often bend if too much pressure is applied (think pushing through an earhole).

Voila!  You now have a lovely and considerably less expensive pair of sterling french earwires!

If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

A Visit From the ‘Rents

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So I just plopped down on my couch at the end of a long day, and for the first time in a week, I don’t feel guilty about doing so. Why?

My mom left today. Took a 5:30 flight out of Hartsfield Jackson and here I sit in the normal 9pm semi-vegetative state, trying to give my loyal readers a bit more than a quick blurb about my latest creation while half-paying attention to one of my favorite childhood movies, Labyrinth.

So anyways, back to the guilty bit. My mother has an uncanny ability to make me feel awful when I decide to sit on my arse and kick up my feet. Just to clarify, I’m not a lazy person. Quite the opposite actually. But there’s some thing very unnerving about trying to relax while your mother, who has been neatening and cleaning all day long, is still energizer bunnying it up…. On her vacation no less.

She sees it as helping, and I won’t disagree with her. But it borders on OCD, which runs in the family. Thankfully (I think) it skipped a generation for yours truly.

So here I sit, doing my best potato impression. And thoroughly enjoying it. Tomorrow’s a new day. I’ll be heading down to At The Collective to drop off a bunch of wearable art! At The Collective Nighty night. Bed bugs bite. 😉