Friday, October 31, 2008

Vote and Read

Just got back from voting! It took me a little over two hours. Of which I got some good reading in from this book Your Marketing Sucks. Which obviously is about marketing, what is bad about most marketing and what is good. It is encouraging and inspiring. A good read for standing in line!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

EtsyMetal CharmSwap #2

EtsyMetal CharmSwap #2
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
EtsyMetal is at it again! We are having a second charm swap and these are my charms all finished up before they got in the mail! I love them and can't wait to get mine back! Its such a lovely idea to all swap little charms. The idea was first conceived by Victoria of Experimetal. There were 19 participants this time around - so I'll be receiving back 18 other charms! I'm so excited, they are really looking fantastic. Its also a good practice for me in making many of one thing. It is not my favorite, to feel like a production line. I much prefer, max, 3 or 4 if I have to. That makes me feel like a human, many more than that, I just feel like a little robot on a factory. BUT, it is well worth it for this charm swap!

I had though about making a couple molds of 2 or 3 different dandelion charms, but in the end, decided to just make them all individually, so all 19 are different dandelion patterns. I don't know that I would have truly saved any time in making a mold of them!

I do love how they turned out - Victoria called them little candies. And they are so sweet! I'd like to make them a staple in my shop, just a sweet little pendant, when I get around to it that is....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Newest Custom wedding bands

custom leaf and alexandrite
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
I love the little dash of color of the alexandrite. I got some new synthetic stones that can be cast in place for the look I want in these tree bark rings. I'd always felt a bit odd about synthetic or simulated stones, as I do like a 'real' and natural stones. But in an environmentally friendly aspect, I do like the idea of synthetic stones. These sweet beauties are made to be cast in place and take the high (over 1000 degree) temperatures the kiln gets up to. I am very pleased with the result and am excited about doing more! I got some sapphires and rubies and yellow topaz as well so look for some little dashes of color coming soon!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tennis #4 Sophie's brass monkeys

brass monkeys
Originally uploaded by duckduckgoosestuff
So I think my counting is a little off - the last one I posted said #2, but I think was indeed #3, sooo... this will be #4!

This is Sophie's volley from this piece. I'm very excited that she used some gold and I think I know what my next piece will be! Hopefully it won't take me a month like it did last time! Here is Sophie's blog about it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Asheville Gem Show/ EtsyMetal meet up

beads asheville show
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
I went to a fabulous gem show yesterday in Asheville and got to meet up with some fellow etsymetal members (Sara, Maggie and Danielle) for the first time!! We had a great time and it was just fabulous to meet them!

These are some of the beads I got and I am super excited about them. I have projects/ideas for all of them already. I also got some great cabs - you can see some on flickr - and of course, my main objective for going - Diamonds! I'm going to be expanding my natural and organic rings with more diamonds.

Not that I didn't have enough stones already, but I'm really excited about the things I got and hopefully will be using them ALL very soon!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New Workbench - coming soon!!

I am so excited - for my birthday my sweetheart is going to help me build a proper workbench. I had planned on buying one - but there are some strange, uh... floor requirements that have to be worked around - and buying one would require altering - so building one from scrap with a lot of material we already have seemed to make much more sense. Today we've been working on some drawings, doing some measurements and figuring out the structural components. I'm VERY excited and can't wait til it is all done!

Several months ago I got a GRS Benchmate - but haven't been able to set it up b/c of the table I work at now... I guess I should have done the workbench first and THEN got the benchmate! ah, well, this is just making me get the workbench done.

Thank you to everyone for the birthday well wishes and the support of my birthday sale!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Birthday Sale!!

Today is the day!!!

All ready to ship items have free shipping - custom orders are excluded.

I got my sale all finished up - loads over items are on sale - some up to $40 off the original price! The sale runs today only and tomorrow, everything will be back to normal again.

Check out my shop here and sale section here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Special Sale Tomorrow

What is it? Whats the sale? Why is it special?

Stay tuned for tomorrow and you will find out!

Victoria and Janos in the Corno Project

and Janos are two of my best EtsyMetal friends and a few flickr buddies were inspired by a piece Victoria made and had posted on flickr (how can you not be inspired by her??) This led to the Corno Project which was just featured in the Storque on Etsy! Congrats!!!! All the pieces are truly amazing - but I would expect nothing less.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pile of bangles

pile of bangles
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
I love making bangles, b/c they are my favorite kind of 'wrist decoration' to wear! I used to not like bangles b/c they were always too big for me. Once I started making my own and learned how to make them just the right size - I love wearing them! I like to know for sure that it won't fall off or get pulled off or anything. I've been meaning to make some sets of bangles that were readily available to buy, not just the custom sets - and these are one of the sets I finished yesterday. There are 7 of the skinny bangles, w/ 2 different types of hammer marks. They are great to wear all together or just a couple. I like wearing even just a single one. A nice little touch if you're not feeling too jingley, or adding all of them for a bigger impact.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wendy is a genius... and I can say she is my friend!

from wendy...
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
So yes, my friend Wendy is a genius. You can see a better shot of the pendant I got here. I love wearing it, not only because it is super cute, but because it makes me think of my dear friend allll the way across the big Atlantic. I've been so thankful to have 'met' and made such wonderful connections with metalsmith's around the world. I never used to wear anyone else's jewelry, but now I love buying and trading and wearing great fabulous pieces that I'd never think to make or couldn't make! And I love saying "A good friend of mine made this fabulous piece."

And this is her newest piece.

I am just in love w/ it. Our EtsyMetal challenge of the month is "moving parts" and/or "steel"

I am quite in love and it really doesn't need more than a photo for you to see why...

check out more lovely items in her shop and her blog.

Monday, October 13, 2008

tennis volley #2

tennis volley #2
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
Finally! I've finished my volley back to Sophie in our jewelry (or jewellery) tennis match we have going. It only took me something like a month!

It was in a way harder than I thought it would be - I wanted to do something that was inspired by - but still deviated enough that I felt like it was coming from my head, not hers! I have a feeling its only going to get harder!

here's the post from her last one

and the original.

Check out Sophie's shop for more amazing pieces and her blog too!

Friday, October 10, 2008

14k gold vine and leaf ring

14k gold vine and leaf ring
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
I love these sweet rings and they are just delicious in gold!!

This was a custom order, but I'm thinking of creating a listing and offering it as a custom item. In the sterling listing, it says that gold is available, but maybe I could more people to buy one if I had the listing in gold already... I want a whole bunch of these on all my fingers. they are so sweet and delicate...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Diamond and Leaves

Diamond and Leaves
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
Here it is!!! I am so excited about this piece. Its two of my vine and leaf rings, put together with a sweet champagne diamond. I love love love how it turned out. There is something about it that just makes my heart happy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tumbler Surpise

I've been really productive this week. Got waxes done Monday morning, invested and in the kiln, while working on more waxes, cast that night. Then invested Tues. morning, more in the kiln, more cast Tues. night - I've been working all day to finish up everything I cast and I am super super excited with what will be coming out of the tumbler this afternoon!! Most of them are custom pieces... well, actually, they are all custom pieces, one is a new design. Something similar to pieces I've done before, but am expanding on a little bit with some help from my lovely customer, Linnea. I think she is going to be super excited to see it all finished, as am I!

No photos yet, so I will just create some suspense!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Leaf and Diamond ring

This was another custom order - one of a pair I am working on for a sweet sweet couple. I love the simple elegance of the single tiny leaf imprint and slightly offset diamond. It was made in wax and the diamond was cast in place. I had initially finished it shinier and with the patina only in the leaf, but it was a little too 'blingy' (my word, not his!) for the groom, so I added some overall patina and kept a matte finish. Its simple, elegant and organic.

Check out flickr for more photos and the shiny previous version.

Monday, October 6, 2008

palladium white gold dandelion wishes

I recently finished these up for a couple in the Netherlands! I love working with white gold. I recently got an account with a new company and tried out their palladium white gold and like their variation of the alloy even better!

I also did some dandelion key chains for them as well! That was super fun as I haven't made key chains in a long time. I used to make great 'scrap' key chains that were super fun and always different, but that was about 5 or 6 years ago and I haven't made any since!! You can check out more photos of these rings and the key chains on flickr.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Animation-happy - Making an easy animated gif in Photoshop/ImageReady

my own animated ad
So I finally have the 'animation' process down. It is quite easy and loads of fun! I am by no means an expert, but its pretty simple. I should mention I am on a mac, so things might be different on a pc. Here's how I made mine:

1. Open up photoshop

2. Open images you want to use.

3. Crop all images the same size - add text if desired, then either flatten the image or 'merge visible' I like 'command E' (shortcuts are my friend)

4. I like to open a new blank canvas to paste them all in to, that way I can save it separate from all of the other images.

5. Copy and Paste each image to that one new canvas - You are creating a layer for each image, but since they are all the same size and opaque, you only see one image, basically just like stacking up pieces of paper, they're all there, but you can only see the top one. (Command A - select all, Command C - copy, click on new canvas, Command V - paste)

6. There is a nice little button in my version of photoshop that is at the bottom of the 'tools' bar "Edit in ImageReady" - it is also under 'File'

7. Image Ready opens up.

8. Make sure the animation window and layers window are both open. If not, go to 'window' and click to select them

9. This is where it started to get a little confusing for me, but once I did it a couple times, its really a cinch. One image, the top image, will appear in the animation window. Depending on how you layered the images and what image you want to have first will depend on the next step. It all has to do with the visibility (that little eye in the layers window). I usually layer mine so the first image ends up being #1 and at the bottom. So I deselect all of the visibility of the layers above it. Now I have the first image in the animation window.

10. To ad the second frame click the 'duplicate' icon in the animation window (should be right next to the trash can)

11. In the Layers window, click to make the second window visible. Now you should have two frames in your animation window with two different images. Continue to duplicate and adjust visibility based on what you want.

12. Once you have finished adding each frame, you need to adjust the time each frame will be visible. You will see a 0 sec under each frame, click the down arrow and change the time. For this animation I did 2 sec - you can experiment to what works best for you and by pressing the 'play' button can have a preview.

13. When you get the timing down, you're ready to save! Go to 'File' and 'Save Optimized As' and you are done!

There is obviously a lot more that you can do and honestly I don't know most of it! But that is the basic on how to make an animated ad! You can upload it to flickr or email simply as you would any other photo. When I first uploaded it to flickr, I thought it hadn't worked, but to view the animation you go to 'all sizes' and then the animation will work.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

fern love

fern love
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
I finally have gotten around to experimenting with ferns for my next wedding band set. They are a little tricky to work with, so we'll have to see if it is something I can duplicate when needed. I had initially planned on having the fern going all the way around the ring. But I was quite inspired by the amazing tiny spores on the backs for the leaves (which made them difficult to work with) that the bottom part of the ring has a dotted texture like the back of the leaf! I think the textures work nicely together and gives the fern even more attention.

I'll keep experimenting with them to see if I can get it down to a science. And I'll have to see if I can press some to store for winter! Not too long and my ferns won't be around again until spring! Maybe they will just have to be seasonal!