Tuesday, December 22, 2009

and these two sets, all done!

love knot variations and the holidays....

I know my blogging has been so sad and sporadic - but well, I guess thats what happens during the holidays! But I had to take the time to post these lovelies.

I find that I tend to work on the same themed pieces together. The past week or so I've been working on different love knot variations (all custom orders) Today I'll be posting some vine and leaf variations. I think mentally its easier for me to stay in one mind set and do a little grouping. And it makes for a fun photo!
The next few days are going to be busy as well - all that last minute holiday stuff that gets put off b/c I'm working on orders, now that I'm alllmooost finished w/ those, time to focus on my life :) I'll most likely take a few days off and then be back to work again gearing up for exciting new things in the new year! I love new years... So if I'm not back before then, happiest of holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New years, and happy time off :)

From left to right:
sterling and a light champagne 3.3mm diamond, sterling 18k and 4mm/.25ct vs diamond, 14k pal. w. gold and 3mm AAA sapphire

Friday, December 18, 2009

treebark, leaf, vine, diamond, cute!

For an etsymetal charm swap, I did pendants similar to this, though I am just now getting around to making some to sell! This is one of my particular favorites w/ the vine creating the bale of the pendant, the little leaf and sweet little diamond.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Shopping

Well, I think i am almost all finished as of today... just a couple more small things I need to get/do. This might be the earliest I've ever gotten things wrapped up, but still w/ that feeling of, "will it get there in time"

One of the things I am most excited about are these fabulous birdseed ornaments from Nature's Favors.

As a giver and receiver, I like things that aren't necessarily permanent or take up much space, especially when I'm not real sure what they person might want. These are particularly great for a nature lover, or especially a bird lover. You can hang them on your tree and then just put them outside for the birds to enjoy! How fabulous is that? Its the gift that keeps on giving :) I'm pretty sure that the people I am giving these to don't actually read my blog... but I'm not naming any names anyway!!

They should be arriving on my doorstep any day now and I can't wait to see them in person!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Release Thursday!

1. organic vine ring w/ copper and gold, 2. organic vine earrings w/ patina, 3. organic vine pendant, small w/ copper and patina, 4. vine ring - wide version, 5. small organic vine pendant w/ copper leaves, 6. 3mm tree bark ring, 7. organic vine earrings w/ copper, 8. organic vine pendant w/ copper and gold

So I know I am running a little bit late this year in listing a whole bunch of new work, but better late than never I guess! Some things I'll be listing the next couple of days aren't really new at at all. In fact, some pieces are quite old, but I just never photographed them! This is just a small sampling of the many many pieces that I'll be getting up on Etsy - all one of a kind and ready to ship! Make sure to keep an eye on my Etsy shop, you never know when something you want will pop up!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Palladium white gold tree bark w/ 4mm diamond and patina

This ring again made me realize why people like diamonds. I was never very particular about them before I started working with them. In fact, I would put myself in to the anti-diamond fan club. It seems so cliche and the idea of 'a big diamond' is off putting. I also enjoy metal so much and as a metalsmith, I think the focus should be on the metal! Not having the metal as just merely a means of displaying a giant sparkly rock. Traditional jewelry stores make me cringe.

This ring however, makes me really happy. It is the largest and nicest diamond I have set to date. I love the contrast of the dark patina and texture w/ the sparkle of the diamond, but that it is all very subtle. I also like that diamonds are easier to set b/c it is so difficult to damage them!

Friday, December 4, 2009

283 Holiday Arist Market

Busy busy busy! Come see me on Saturday at the 283 Bar in downtown Athens from 11am - 5pm. I'll have lots and lots of goodies for sale - a lot of which have never appeared online!

If you are on facebook - check out the event page!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thinking of opening a separate Wedding shop on Etsy

Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
Most of you that follow my blog even a little know that pretty much all I do are rings! Which is fun and I really enjoy working directly with customers to create something special.

In the direction this has taken my business, for the most part, my other jewelry life has suffered. The project runway challenges really helped to strengthen it again though after the holidays are over I'm not sure what will happen.

I'm thinking of opening a separate Etsy shop entirely for wedding rings. Single 'everyday' versions of most of the rings would be available, but they would be described as just that, a ring to wear any time. I would link both shops and make sure that anyone visiting my regular shop would know my wedding rings had moved. And also anyone visiting the ring shop would know that I have other jewelry available too.

Right now I have 40 listings in my wedding category and they are all just lumped together. If I created a new shop - I could have the different designs all in their own categories! (which would be really exciting)

I would most likely name it 'bcyrwedding' or maybe w/ an 's' at the end? bcyrweddings? so it would be visually recognizable as a related shop. Or maybe even just 'bcyr' in case I wanted to do something else w/ it??

If it didn't work out, I could always move everything back to the way it is now.

The negatives - it would mean keeping up two shops. This doesn't worry me much as the wedding rings kind of have a life of their own. I'd just have to relist and renew every once in awhile - but for the most part its not too often that I add a new design.

I would have to answer convos in both shops and keep them straight. This would be the most complicated aspect. Although I can have them both open at the same time - one in firefox and one in safari....

So what do you think? Any thoughts one way or the other?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

shadowed vine rings

shadowed vine rings
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
These are an offshoot of the midnight vine rings, but a little more subtle. These particular ones don't have any leaves, though leaves could be added and then have less patina so the contrast isn't as great.

A friend custom ordered these and I thought they turned out great, I love the slight highlight of the textures.

also - don't forget about the giveaway of one of my pendants! check it out on Christina's blog - today is the last day to enter to win!

Monday, November 30, 2009

emjc- pr collection mosaic

emjc- pr collection mosaic
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
This probably deserves a much longer post and description, but well, the holidays are upon us and there is much for me to do!

This is my final collection for the project runway challenges we've been having.

We had a brief mini challenge the week of the final episode airing in order to give us all more time for the final collection. I was so happy w/ the mini challenge piece I decided to run w/ it for my final collection.

Each piece has copper leaves and all but the hair stick has 14k gold balls. All is fused, which is a lot of fun and makes for some risky maneuvers!

I'm having a holiday sale this coming weekend here in town (if anyone is around I'll be at the 283 Holiday market on the 5th) - after that sale if they are are still available - these pieces will be up in my etsy shop. Right now they are just floating in limbo :)

Also - don't forget that you can enter to win my giveaway pendant - which is actually the mini challenge piece and the inspiration for the final collection!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

emerald and 14k

emerald and 14k
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
I am so excited about this ring, I had to blog about it really quickly. Its 14k gold and a 3mm emerald. Its the first emerald I've set and I am so happy w/ how this ring turned out. The green is so vibrant - at first when I saw it, it seemed too bright - but after getting it set - I think paired with the gold looks amazing, almost delicious! I hope she loves it too :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Giveaway on Down and Out Chic!

My dear friend Christina has an amazing blog and is doing a giveaway of one of my new items! You can check out all the info on her blog!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where have I been?!

I'm sorry I've been absent so much! I've been out of town a lot and just really busy in general. I'm hoping that now Thanksgiving is past, things will actually start to settle down just a little bit!

Look for a post later today - A friend is hosting a giveaway on her blog (a giveaway of one of MY items!! :)

so keep a look out for more regular posting, and a chance to win some free jewelry!

Friday, November 6, 2009

EMJC-PR6.11 - Create a Complimentary Look

EMJC-PR6.11 - Create a Complimentary Look
I missed last week's challenge, which makes me sad, though I will go back and 'make it up'. This weeks challenge was to create a complimentary look for one of our best pieces. I was torn between the wedding challenge and the create a character challenge, but had a good idea of some simple and pretty complimentary earrings for the wedding challenge, so that is what I picked!
They are fused argentium sterling silver and 14k gold. I like adding a patina to the silver to high light the gold even more.

Make sure to check out the Etsymetal blog for the rest of this week's entries!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

If you care about where diamonds come from...

Please sign this petition to ban Zimbabwe Blood Diamonds. It is really horrid and needs to be stopped.

A bit from the website:

Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe has sent his brutal army to seize control of his country's diamond fields. 200 civilians have been murdered and profits from our wedding rings are used to fuel violent political conflict.

Official diamond regulators meeting in Namibia this week will decide whether to suspend Zimbabwe and stop Mugabe selling his blood diamonds on the world market.

We have just 24 hours to persuade these countries to act - let's get a massive petition together and deliver it directly to the meeting in Namibia. Sign the petition below and then spread the word to anyone who doesn't want our gifts of love to finance hate.

Friday, October 23, 2009

EMJC-PR 6.9 - bling

Running just a little behind... again! And I kind of feel like I cheated this week... just kind of. These were a custom order for a friend that I've been needing to make for a long time. And I finally made them this week. But I felt that everything about the challenge fit w/ these earrings. They pushed me very much outside of my comfort zone. Though to glance at them you might not think so. They are made from fused 14k palladium white gold. With the cost of gold the way it is, risking on fusing these little puppies was quite stressful. In fact, the first pair I made didn't turn out, so I made them in to a different pair of earrings. In addition - these were her diamonds, and the largest diamonds I've set to date. So yeah, overall, a scary pair of earrings to make, scarier than if I had just made them for fun! So all of that put together makes me think they are A. definitely bling, and B. something out of my comfort zone, annnd C. they fit in w/ the theme of all my other project runway pieces!! Oh and these are the earrings I made from the pair that didn't turn out. They are 14k palladium white gold and 22k yellow gold, all fused.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ohhh the gold, the Gold!

(say it like you would "the horror, the horror!")
What are you doing to me!

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

Its kind of like jumping rope - but the kind when your friends are swinging the rope, and well, maybe they aren't really your friends. And you stand there, watching the rope swing around and around, not knowing quite when to jump in. Maybe you'll make it in safe, or maybe the rope will smack you on the head or whack you in the ankles. Oh and maybe instead of a rope its a big chain or something.... sigh. But I had to order, so maybe I won't watch to see what happens the next few days, just so I'll be blissfully ignorant.

Monday, October 19, 2009

more earrings, more photographs

still working on some new photos... not so sure about the gray anymore. I chatted w/ a friend about the gray paper and we were talking about how flat and hard it looked, which doesn't really go well w/ my work.

so i went searching for some gray fabric that might be nice. but i didn't really find any that i loved. this was the best of the okay.... i took a whole bunch of photos this morning b/c i wanted to get some new things listed in case anyone wants to buy a little something to win my gift certificate give away. but I have a feeling i will be rephotographing them all, at least for the thumbnail.

I'm not a fan of seeing the texture of threads/fibers in fabric. basically I want some sort of fabric where you don't see any texture, but that looks like a soft gray cloud. i like the white b/c it doesn't look like paper. Another gray fabric I found was a soft woven suede sort of stuff - but in a photograph it looked like fur! I think in some ways the macro lens works against me in that it really captures the texture of everything that is in focus. Good for the jewelry, bad for whatever backdrops I seem to be coming up with.

So I'll keep looking. If you know of something soft and gray without any texture, let me know! :) You can check out these earrings here.

$50 GC giveaway extended through today!

Just an added note that any item purchased before 5:00pm EST TODAY will be entered to win as well. I will pick the # at 5:00pm and will contact the winner!

you can see more details from the previous post...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Birthday Giveaway!!

(What I wish the sky looked like today)

Every year for my birthday I've had a sale. This year has been so busy, I haven't really had much time to put anything together, but still wanted to do something. So I decided to do a giveaway of a $50 gift certificate!

Here are the rules:

1. Buy any piece of jewelry or tshirt from my etsy shop on Sat Oct 17 or Sun Oct 18 and you will be entered to win.
2. Buy any piece of jewelry from my Artfire shop this weekend and be entered twice! (I haven't sold anything here yet!)

*custom orders will count - but timelines will obviously still apply

On Monday I will make a list of all the entrants, each will be assigned a number and using Random.org, a winner will be chosen!

I will contact the winner by email and post on my blog if the winner is okay with that.
The $50 gift certificate may be used at either my Etsy or Artfire shop.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask, though I may be a little delayed since it is my birthday :)

Hope you all have a wonderful and beautiful day!


Friday, October 16, 2009

EMJC-PR6.8 - Wedding Challenge

So this week was a little interesting for me since pretty much all I do is make wedding rings, and some other wedding jewelry every once in awhile - so in a way it wasn't as fun of a challenge for me - but I still wanted to try to push myself in a little bit different direction than usual. I called this my "Eclectic Bride". I was inspired by working w/ a recent client. Long story short - she sent me several links of items she liked. In my head - I mixed them all up and created this necklace! Every week I seem to find something new to add to the already existing motifs I'm trying to stick with. This is the first time I've added the gold balls to the organic vine pieces and I LOVE it. I also opted for the patina this week - it added to the 'eclectic' feel. Some sections I left the patina on full strength and others I cleaned most of it off. I think a little bit of patina helps the gold to stand out more.

Another thing that is fun about these challenges - I do hold myself to the deadline (I went a few minutes over today on my photographing due to a phone call that caught me right at the end!) so there are some finishing things that I think I'll tweak later, but I wanted to remain true to the deadline and get it photographed as is at 3:00.

And now for the blog post. whew - its been a busy day and I have lots more to do - so I'm out!

Custom order.... FINISHED!

Finally - this beautiful set is all done - and I am super happy with it. It was one of those that kind of loomed over me and I had to recast some of it. (never my favorite, twice the work for the same outcome! ha ha!)

But I absolutely love it - I love all the colors and leaves and textures together. So lovely!! The stones are tourmaline for the single leaf ring and peridot and aquamarine for the double leaf ring. all my favorite colors!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What I'm Listening to: podiobooks

I can't really put one single one in the title as I'm currently left hanging by several I've been listening to. I'm normally one of those people that doesn't like to be left hanging, so I usually subscribe to books that are finished already. But this lovely lists are one that are really great and I'm anxiously awaiting all their next installments:

The newest one I listened to yesterday and today - slightly futuristic scifi/noir style about zombies and vampires and other supernaturals -
FETIDUS: The Damned Heir by James Durham

And one of my favorites in the 30+ or so that I've listened to.... I spent several days listening and found out that there are still 2 more episodes! nooo!!! but it is really awesome. Again w/ supernatural elements, set in a private high school - a more realistic version of Harry Potter meets Twilight - minus cloaks, wands or vampires (uh, yeah, you can tell that was a great description, you'll just have to listen to it)
It was one of those stories where you wonder what the characters are up to when you aren't listening (reading?) about them.
House of Grey by Collin Earl

Mike Bennett's voice is almost too soothing and lovely sometimes I zone out when I'm listening (and every once in awhile I think he sounds like the geico gecko or the guy from Dead Like Me - I'm sure he'll love that! ha ha!) Some interesting, and some annoying, complex and mysterious characters - and the vampire just appeared!
Underwood and Flinch by Mike Bennett

and I'm following all of the authors on Twitter so I will be updated as soon as the new episodes/chapters are out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tool Review - Guardian II Kiln Controller

I did this review yesterday for the EtsyMetal blog - and wanted to post it here as well:

I can honestly say this is one of those tools that changed my life. It wasn't one of those 'necessities' to get started in doing my own casting, but it has made the entire process so much more efficient that it sure seems like a necessity now! There are 4 different settings for programs. I usually just need two. One program is for regular castings and another is for flasks that include stones - a 14 hour burnout that would painful if I had to adjust the dial on my own to achieve the correct temperatures. It also made it possible to have the burnout occur overnight. Since I only have a small window and fan - it means I'm not breathing any of those nasty toxins.

I haven't started experimenting with enamels yet, but I'm confident that this would help with enameling as well. The cost is quite a lot to shell out at once, but I know it has paid for itself many times over. There are several different kinds of controllers - you can check out more info on this one here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

front page!!

woohoo! its been ages! how exciting :)
Thanks to Amanda for letting me know!!

Brightest yellow spider ever

brightest yellow spider ever
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
Many of you that know me or have read my blog for awhile know that I really like spiders. Not like them as in have pets and carry them around in my pocket, but I'm just very fascinated by them and love that they eat other bugs that bite me.

I was completely surprised to see this extremely bright yellow one dead out in front of my studio the other day. The ants were having a feast, but I was so taken with the extreme color that I had to take a photo! Its a type of crab spider - a Goldenrod crab spider to be exact - which I think are some of the cutest spiders. Crab spiders come in different colors. In fact under the crab family (thomisidae) is a whole genus (misumena) that are 'flower spiders'. These particular ones are actually white and change to be yellow and then can change back to white again depending what color flower they are going hang out on! How fun is that?! Granted the color change takes awhile, longer from white to yellow, faster back to white again. It makes me wonder how this little guy ended up on the concrete in front of my studio... did the ants attack him on one of the yellow flowers next to the studio (makes me think those flowers must be goldenrod?) and were on the way carrying him(her?) somewhere? or was he on his way back to the flowers and got attacked? or just simple up and died right there?. I'm sure if I went and looked closely at the flowers I would see some more hanging around there, but they are camouflaged so well, I must miss them all the time!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blog Face Lift .... and more new photos

In case you didn't notice the drastic change - I gave my blog a face lift. I've been wanting to for awhile and just on a whim this morning decided to go ahead and get it all reorganized. A friend gave me a fabulous 3 column template and I love it. Thanks Chris!!

I'll be tweaking it more here and there, but so far I'm loving it.

and I've been working on changing up some photos. Some items simply do not work on white. And oh, the irony - I've decided to go w/ grey as a secondary color - it is what I started out with when I first joined etsy. I've (sort of) come full circle, but at the same time, they are much improved. I decided that the gray worked well because, well, silver with a patina IS grey - so besides white, grey is really a predominant color in my shop. So just a bit of news to start the week off with!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A little bit of Artfire newness

This info from Artfire:

Verified/Pro members now have a “quick edit” Pro Seller Options on the front end of their studio. These seller options only appear to the owner of a studio when they are logged in and viewing their studio’s products. These new pro seller quick edits include the ability to edit, inactivate, and delete a listing right from the item’s page. Now you can quickly find and edit items, fix typos, and change mistakes. Pro sellers can also quickly inactivate a listing, or delete the listings without having to find the product via the normal My ArtFire edit screen.

makes me very happy - I love that when I am looking at an item listing - if I see a problem, I can directly click edit from that screen. It makes it soooo much easier.

This feature is also on Zibbet and made me very happy. It was one of the few things that Zibbet had that Artfire didn't. I like that Artfire continues to add more and more improvements.

Now if I can just get some traffic and sales on either Artfire or Zibbet, I'll be a happy girl!

Friday, October 9, 2009

EMJC-PR6.7 - blue

EMJC-PR6.7 - blue
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
All done with this week's! It worked out great that a wholesale gem dealer came to the continuing ed jewelry class last night and I bought this huge piece of lapis for the challenge. I had other ideas of something I wanted to try, but it didn't work so well. So this is the piece! You can see a lot more photos on flickr.

check out the etsymetal blog later this afternoon for more blue entries - they are really fabulous this week!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

new texture - name?

new texture - name?
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
This ring sort of morphed from one idea to another. When I was making it, I was thinking about pine needles, the texture I was thinking about didn't turn out, so I completely changed it. So unfortunately, I wasn't thinking of something that this looks like! It reminds me of coral, or octopus tentacles, or sea urchins.... or bubbles. something aquatic. What does it remind you of??

14k subtetly bands

14k subtetly bands
Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
I love how these turned out. These bands are really some of my favorites, so simple and silky smooth. I was so happy to be able to make them in yellow gold.

Available on

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More about Zibbet

I'm still learning new and fun things!

They have a referral program - for every person that I send their way that signs up for a premium account - I get $1 off my monthly fee, for life. So if I refer 7 people that sign up for the premium accounts - I don't ever pay anything. Intereessting..... My referral link: http://www.zibbet.com/BethCyr/sell

They combine it with a coupon code for a free 7-day trial of the premium account.
code is FREETRIAL (there is a free basic account that you can use anyway, but the premium account has all the fun extras like the 'copy listing' feature that I love.)

So if you want to try it out, you can use my referral link - if you want to try out the premium membership, use the coupon code as well - and if you opt in after your free week, you'll save me a $1 a month for the rest of my zibbet selling days. and of course, if you sign up, you can get your friends to sign up and save you money too :)

Oh, and also, after you sign up - you'll get an email from the CEO of Zibbet, thanking you for signing up and offering his direct email if you have any questions. pretty fun. Lets hope they start getting lots of buyers!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Zibbet - what am I thinking opening another shop?

But that is exactly what I did this morning. First of all, Zibbet is really fun to say. Its kind of like when you were little and your mom would look at you chattin' on about something and say "Zip it!!" but with the voice a cartoon character with a cold.

Also, it is lovely and clean and simple. Though I love artfire, sometimes their front page makes me a little anxious w/ so much stuff going on.

I also went ahead w/ the 'premium' member status just to try everything out.

There are loads of neat little tools - it is extremely user friendly. I don't like to have to look up how to do anything, I like to just be able to do it and have it be so easy its self explanatory and intuitive. Kind of like how using a mac is :)

You can copy a listing - so now every time I list a new width of a ring, I can just copy the whole listing, change a couple words and photos and its done! They also have all kinds of shop performance stats. I do love statistics!! Annndd - their color is green. Their banner is a different size, but it allows for the option of using the etsy size banner, so I just did that for now - I do have actual work I need to get done today!!

And one more thing - it is SO new that there is hardly anything in the wedding category. I've only listed 3 ring sets and I have more wedding rings listed than the one other person that has a wedding ring available. Something I always wished was that I jumped in on Etsy sooner than I did. But hey, that was a long time ago, no need to look back.

Check out my shop here, and yes, I only have three things, but still, check it out anyway :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blog Carnival 10.05.09

If you aren't familiar w/ the blog carnival - Every month EtsyMetal picks a topic for us to blog about. This month's is: "What would you *love*, more than anything, to make right now, if you could?"
I sort of have two different things.

One of my dreams is to work with a clothing designer to create red carpet looks with an interesting dress/jewelry combo. Something where the jewelry is the most likely the focal point, not just an accessory. One of the few things I've ever worked on sketching are designs for jewelry(mostly necklaces) and then design the neck of the dress to fit the necklace.

We're supposed to include some sort of image so I found two red carpet images that I think are lovely. The actually pieces are not anything like I would make. But they definitely make an impact.

I particularly love this one b/c the back is included. I think a simple understated front w/ a powerful back is a nice lovely surprise (not that this is understated at all!) Course, 1400 carats is going to make an impact regardless (necklace by L’Wren Scott).

Love this one too. I think is actually part of the dress, just lovely. And the earrings, are super fantastic too.

The other dream is to do something similar, but more costumey for movies. I really love movies as a medium as its an outlet to be completely over the top. And I think I must like Cate Blanchett.... The jewelry in Lord of the Rings was truly amazing.

Make sure to check out the other participants!!

Andes Cruz Designs - andescruz.wordpress.com/
Colleen Baran - SeeSeeBe.blogspot.com

Friday, October 2, 2009

EMJC-PR6.6 - Create a Character

This week's challenge was a fun one and something that is closely related to ideas of what I've been wanting to do for awhile now. Create a story that includes special jewelry pieces and then create the pieces to go with the story. I wanted to do something a little over the top this week and I think I might have succeeded. Enjoy!

The Story:
Ara spread out her hands, stretching and contracting them. She’d been sitting at her computer too long and her hands were going numb. Out of the corner of her eye she saw it again, the web, but knew if she tried to look at it, it would be gone again. So instead she just looked past the screen out the window at the city lights. How something could be so dark and lit up at the same time she would never understand and didn’t want to. New York City. It was not her city and it never would be. She’d been here a year, living in the cubicle called an apartment (which thankfully had a nice view) and she still didn’t know her way around. She doubted she ever would.

The buildings made her sense of direction completely off, cut off more like it. Cut off from nature, the trees, the sky, the sun even.

But being in The City, that was the dream wasn’t it? Every 20-something wanting to make it big. She’d been writing free-lance for the past 6 months and as glamorous as she liked to make it sound, the $400 a month it earned her was barely a drop in the bucket.

This latest article was for the blog World Wide Weavers - Spiders of the Interwebs. Lynyphiidae - Sheetweb Weaver Spiders brought in a whopping $50. The sad thing was that she had spent the last 3 hours staring at the computer screen or out the window and hadn’t written more than four words. At this rate she calculated, she would probably be earning less than minimum wage by the time she finished it. She sat staring out the window so long that the screen went its hibernation blackness, maybe it was time for her to go to sleep as well. It was 2:00 am after all and she had to be up in three hours for her morning barista shift.

The wonderful comfy rolling chair made it easy to glide over to bed, fall sideways, and just ease right in to sleep, she was practically there anyway.

Almost as soon as her eyes closed they opened again. Staring up at the ceiling as the Spider twirled down from its web towards her face. She’d named it Charlotte for fun, it seemed more magical and less frightening, except there was no talking pig here.

Ara kept her eyes opened and watched as Charlotte climbed back up the thread and continued her construction. Or destruction as Ara knew it to be. Spiders were the first defenders of nature. A corner sat untouched for too long quickly becomes inhabited by a spider, especially a corner in her home. She tried vacuuming a couple times a week and it didn’t seem to do any good. The fact that she wasn’t sure which ones were ‘real’ and which ones ‘imaginary’ didn’t help matters either. They were simply drawn to her. She was their queen.

The sound of her alarm soothed her awake, it was ‘jungle noises’ this morning. A harsh contrast from the city noises. Even the early morning city noises of the “concrete jungle” were a far cry from soothing.

A quick shower and light make-up was all she needed. She left her clothes at work, Ara couldn’t stand the smell of coffee permeating her home as well. Her rumpled clothes she fell asleep in would do just fine for the quick subway ride to work. She figured she looked better than the average homeless person, so that was probably good enough. No need to look in the mirror. What she saw wasn’t what the rest of the world saw, so it seemed kind of pointless. Every once in awhile she still caught a glimpse. Her friends had thought it strange to not have a mirror in a bathroom, so she put up a small one. The hardened web that formed the crown on her head was the most striking and borderline silly aspect of her ‘otherness’. She was glad no one could see it. Finding a job was hard enough and she doubted it would earn any extra tips from the groggy caffeine deprived patrons.

And also glad that she couldn’t actually feel it. The last time she had was about 30 seconds after she had stepped through the Door. So much felt like a distant memory or a hallucination. She knew it was safer to just stay on this side.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Finishing up custom orders

I've been busily trying to get caught up, of course, I think that probably my usual state, so nothing new! Just wanted to post some photos of the most recently finished custom variations.

Rose Gold with patina and Diamonds (100% recycled metal + conflict free diamonds)

Sterling silver and Diamonds

Sterling silver with champagne and white diamonds

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Art Fire Updated, again!

Another new exciting development - I now have a load more items on Artfire. Why? Because they just came out with a new nifty tool to import items directly from Etsy to my Artfire shop. I cannot even imagine how their tech people managed that one. But it was pretty painless.

One thing that makes this oh so exciting is that I am working on redoing my website. I've been trying to decide if I wanted to attempt a shopping cart or just link to one of my shops. After weighing all my options, looking at how much I'm paying etc - I decided that linking directly to Artfire listings was my best bet and most economical. I was then looking to the fact that I would need to create all those new listings. And TA-DA! The Importer was made available. It was so much faster than having to create 50 new listings!! :)

So that is just a quick update. I'll be working on my Artfire page more in the next month or so. In addition - a new website change will be happening w/ in the next few months. It might be after the new year, but I've been putting it off for the past few years, so what's another couple of months??

And the photo... its just a moth - posts w/o any photos are a little boring...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On tap for today.... and a hint

Lots of new and fun things to photographs - this was a quick image I took yesterday - just on auto w/ flash - so it doesn't do them justice, but its just a hint of how fabulous they are. I'm thrilled w/ these and the batch of rings I'll be mailing out today! Hopefully I'll be finishing up several others and get them photographed as well.

Friday, September 25, 2009

EMJC-PR6.5 - Newspaper

I'm pretty happy with this week, although, I kind of wish I'd started on it earlier. This was my original idea and I kept procrastinating as I didn't feel it was very creative. I played around w/ some other things trying to get a different idea and when at the last minute, nothing - I went back to this one! My favorite part about it is the view from the back - how you can see the silhouetted tendrils through the paper.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The sun is shining.

Yup. Thats it. And it is beautiful.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Project Runway Challenge: This week's theme - NEWSPAPER!

From Vic on the Etsymetal blog: "OK designers! WOW, this weeks challenge is the most straight forward one yet! I am adding one element to this one, pre-printed book pages can be used as well for this one. So all we need to do is incorporate some newspaper in a piece of jewelry and voila! Can't wait to see all your crazy creative creations! Now, "Carry On!"

I'm actually way more excited about this one than I was last week. I don't really have any particular ideas yet, but its something I haven't done before, incorporate newspaper in to jewelry. Since we don't have to use ONLY newspaper for our challenge, I don't think it will be too difficult at all! We'll see though...

Friday, September 18, 2009

EMJC-PR6.4 - "The customater"

Originally uploaded by bcyrjewelry
If you saw the post from yesterday, you got a bit of a hint of what I was supposed to be working on for my challenge this week. I was given: Ring, Aluminum, Victorian/Byzantine.

Part of my goal has been to create pieces that all work together and still look like me. When doing a little research on victorian or byzantine jewelry, I thought that my organic vine collection might work fine as 'Victorian" with the lacy and tendril-y look.

For the aluminum - we had been talking about how to treat the metal underneath clear stones and one suggestion was aluminum foil. I thought the textured effect of tightly crinkled foil would give an extra dimension to the ring. I was really happy with the effect.

I did two different photos since the one on the right focuses more on the texture underneath the moonstone (which happened to be the only stone I had that was clear enough to see the aluminum foil through!) You can see more photos on flickr.

I kind of feel like it was a little clumsy on execution (if I have to critique myself) Its kind of like a good design coming down the runway, but the hem isn't finished. Overall though I'm pretty happy with it and can see opportunities for the techniques I used in this ring. And THAT makes me really happy.

Make sure to check out the etsymetal blog later today for all the other entries. You will be blown away.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Project Runway Challenge.... haven't started yet!

wait didn't i just have this title last week?

yet again though - this week is a tough one for me.

you can read about the challenge on the etsymetal blog - but my 3 parameters are RING, ALUMINUM, VICTORIAN/BYZANTINE. I have an idea that is brewing though and I think it will be okay. hopefully it will be fabulous!

we were able to have a 'redraw' of one of the elements. at first i though, no.... I'll just stick w/ it and figure something out. and then I decided, why not try for something else. I couldn't decide whether to redraw on material or 'era/style' and went w/ material. and got leather/faux fur. which to me, doing a victorian ring w/ faux fur or leather was even more of a disaster, so I went back to my original aluminum idea. I'm going to work on it today so look for the finished project tomorrow when you will either say "what was she thinking" or "wow, great job" isn't that usually how it is?

and again - feel free to play along too!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Snake on my foot

I had a snake fall on my foot yesterday, in my studio, in the middle of investing. It was a baby, and oddly felt soft and warm. Then again, I'm not sure how much feeling is actually in the top of your foot. It apparently slid off of the cardboard box of investment, not the kind I had used just a few minutes earlier.

I was quite proud of myself. I didn't even scream, but a quick reaction of shaking it off my foot and then watched it slither lazily off in the corner behind some boxes and other stuff - I was much more concerned with my investing and making sure it didn't get messed up.

There is something instinctual about knowing if a snake is venomous or not. At least for me and the few times I've had close encounters of the snake kind. I'm not necessarily a snake lover, but there was just something cute and gentle about this little guy. Apparently it must have been an eastern kingsnake, although I can't find a photo of that was exactly like mine. My attention was divided a bit though and maybe they weren't spots, but more like a stripe? Little, black with yellow spots on its back was what I saw, and its little pink tongue. Aww, baby snake on my foot. (ps, the photo is NOT the snake I saw, but it is an eastern kingsnake.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

EMJC-PR6.3 - "Surfwear" - Sea Goddess

This piece was so fun to make. Again, I had a general idea but wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do. I really love big fan coral - they are like the trees of the sea! I also had kelp in mind. I was making earrings at first and then realized it needed to be a little bigger and as a necklace. The coral bits can be taken off as well if you prefer just the metal look. I put a light liver of sulfur patina in yellow and orange hues, w/ some deeper colors towards the bottom. I didn't want the straight up black, but it also wasn't quite right without the patina.

The chain is segments of fused argentium sterling as well that look like little sticks of coral, (or just sticks!). Minus the coral and it looks rather like branches! Make sure to check later today for the entry on the EtsyMetal blog - our members have been really inspired and created some amazing pieces!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Project Runway Challenge.... haven't started yet!

This week's project runway challenge... I need to get to work!!

*Season 6 - Week 3:
"Surf Wear"
Official show channel
Due: Friday 12pm PST

"OK Designers" this weeks challenge is a bout Surf Wear. The actual challenge is:
"to create a fun and fashionable Surf Wear look".
Tim says, "it's critical to infuse your point of view and personal style into this challenge."
Also, if you are feeling super motivated, there was an extra added bit to their challenge,
it was to design a Avant Garde interpreted Surf Wear piece.
OR maybe you'd rather just make the Avant Garde piece,
make one OR perhaps both!?
It's all up to you designers!
So, here are some ideas that were thrown out to help design a piece around this weeks episode.
"sun, surf, beach, color, california surf icons, water, sand, bathing suits, surf culture,youth..."

"Carry on designers!"

Monday, September 7, 2009

My first metalsmithed... item

This month's installation of EtsyMetal's Blog Carnival is: My First Piece of Metalsmithed Jewelry. However, my first metalsmited item wasn't a piece of jewelry, but it really shaped how I work, and I still have it. So here it is!

It was a married metal container. My very first jewelry and metalsmithing class was an Intro to Jewelry and Metals and was open to all art majors.

This piece I can honestly say, scarred me in terms of what aspects of metalsmithing I enjoy. Since I'd never done any sawing, I didn't have a concept of what might be easy or difficult. Not to mention that doing married metal for your first piercing project is no easy task. After it was all said and done, piercing and sawing were now in my list of things I liked least. And seriously, to this day - they are my least favorite things! The dislike of soldering led me to fusing - which if you ready my blog, know that a huge majority of my work is fused, not soldered. I also found ways around sawing when possible, large cutters, metal shears, using the flexshaft, etc.

Often the best learning experiences are the ones that lead you away from something, not necessarily towards! I don't remember doing any kind of practice piece - if I had, I probably wouldn't have chosen this design!

At the time, I thought it turned out pretty well, looking at it now - oh my goodness. And I do look at it just about every day - I use it as a little scrap container! When sawing off little bits of sprues or little ends of wire snips or sheet scraps, I just throw them in there. When I cast, I sprinkle some of the bits out to be recycled. I don't actually use the lid, so I had to hunt for it this morning.

So that is it! My first piece. I think you could say it was a 'doozy'. Married metal - soldered brass and copper, formed in to a sealed container. it was supposed to be water tight - though recently I found where you can see light through one little missed hole. (from the front it looks like there are more than one, but thats just b/c I didn't know how to solder well - who does on their first piece?)

Make sure to check out my other EtsyMetal friends that are participating in this month's blog carnival:

1. Sara Westermark http://sarawestermark.blogspot.com/
2. Nina Gibson http://ninagibsondesigns.blogspot.com/
3. Danielle Miller-Gilliam http://daniellemillerjewelry.blogspot.com/
4. Beth Cyr http://bcyrjewelry.blogspot.com - thats me!
5. duckduckGoose http://duckduckgoosestuff.co.uk/duckduckBLOG
6. Caitlyn Davey http://discomedusa.typepad.com
7. Laura Crawford http://tangerinetreehouse.blogspot.com
8. Tamra Gentry http://gentrydesignco.typepad.com/
9. andes cruz - http://andescruz.wordpress.com/
10. Cynthia Del Giudice: http://cynthiadelgiudice.blogspot.com/
11. libby Rosas http://elizabethrosasjewelry.blogspot.com
12. Nina Dinoff http://ninadinoff.blogspot.com
13. Clare Stoker http://clarestoker.blogspot.com
14. kerin rose http://kerinrose.blogspot.com
15.Quercus SIlver http://quercussilver.blogspot.com
16. Delias Thompson http://deliasstudioinc.blogspot.com