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]

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, 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:

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 -
Colleen Baran -

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