Saturday, November 22, 2008

I've been featured!!

Big-time thanks goes to Rose Works Jewelry for featuring my Tree of Life Pendant (and earrings) on her "Treasury blog." (link)
Her post included 5 different artists currently eaturing trees in their product line.

I'm awed when I think about the caliber of talent found at Etsy. Rose Works is no exception. In addition to creating great jewelry that I would be pleased to wear myself, she has a great blog and a great sense of humor. Check out her other posts while you're veiwing her treasury. I especially liked the "Star Wars" post. My husband and I are fans, too. I never admitted that before I met him...

Here's MY favorite piece from Rose Works' shop: (pictured)
She calls it Brave Heroine Necklace. Pretty, isn't it?
Thanks, Rose Works!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Tree of Life" Listings, up now!

tree of life pendant jewelry with fancy jasper (From Wikipedia:) A "tree of life" is a mystical concept, a metaphor for common descent or a motif in various world theologies, mythologies and philosophies. This concept has lent itself also to be used in science and other areas.

The Tree of Life is mentioned in the Book of Genesis, in which it has the potential to grant immortality to Adam and Eve, in Proverbs where it's a simile for a blessing. Etz Chaim, Hebrew for "Tree of Life", is a common term used in Judaism. The expression, found in the Book of Proverbs, is figuratively applied to the Torah itself.

Trees are prevalent in literature, and real life, as well. In J.R.R.Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, "The White Tree of Gondor stood as a symbol of Gondor in the Court of the Fountain in Minas Tirith. The White Tree also appears as a motif upon Gondor's flag." (from Wiki entertainment, here.) In Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series features "Avendesora, "a Tree of Life. In some parts of the Caribbean, coconut trees are given the title of "tree of tree of life pendant fancy jasper jewelrylife", as they can produce everything needed for short/medium term survival. The West African Moringa oleifera tree is regarded as a "tree of life" or "miracle tree" by some because it is arguably the most nutritious source of plant-derived food discovered on the planet. Modern scientists and some missionary groups have considered the plant as a possible solution for the treatment of severe malnutrition and aid for those with HIV/AIDS. (also from Wikipedia, here)

I'm not a tree-hugger. I do however, appreciate the beauty and value of trees. Since I was a little girl, I've loved to travel in the fall to see the changing leaves, and love to see the bare branches of trees covered with snow. For me, the seasons marked by the changes of the trees are a beautiful way to mark the passage of time, and life.
tree of life jewelry by
These were my thoughts as I pondered making jewelry that symbolized the Trees of Life, and celebrated their contribution to mankind. I hope you'll enjoy these creations as much as I've enjoyed creating them.
In these sets, I used fancy jasper chips and wired them to copper wire with anti-tarnish brass wire. Copper and 14kt GP beads are alternated by silver spacers, and paired with fancy jasper beads and blocks. The earrings for the necklace set feature tiny 3/4" trees of life created with the same materials, and matching bead segments.
The bracelet set features a smaller tree wired to strands of fancy jasper, copper, gold and silver, and has a hand-made wire toggle clasp. The earrings have "sprigs" of fancy jasper dangling from segments of fancy jasper beads and highlighted by copper, gold and silver.
From time to time I'll revisit the "tree of life" idea. The beauty I've found in nature, expressed by the variety of stones and metals available, would be hard to suppress.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Open, Sesame!

mint green kiwi or sesame jasper with onyx and silver by laurastaley.etsy.comThis piece was made from Sesame Jasper, black onyx, and silver. My oldest daughter loves this stone. The beads look like mint chocolate chip ice cream. Really! My younger daughter made a necklace, bracelet and earring set for her older sister for her 16th birthday. I borrow it all the time. It looks really nice with teal and black, or cool greens. The stone is truly stunning.

kiwi or sesame jasper with onyx by
One of the best things about making jewelry is being able to work with such beautiful materials. My favorite is semi-precious stone. I am constantly amazed at the variety of stones and their beauty. What a statement as to the glory and wonder of God's creation.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another custom order finished!!

millifiori beads with czech glass with AB handwired brass spacers three-strand I'm so happy about this particular bracelet. It's going to a lady for whom these beads have special meaning, and I enjoyed putting it together for her. It features millifiori glass, AB czech glass, faceted crystal saucers, and hand-made wire-wrapped spacers of anti-tarnish brass. It's always so satisfying to present something to someone, and know that it means more to them than just any piece of jewelry. Hat's off to you, Tina! Best Wishes, too. I hope you really enjoy it.

I've been a busy little critter around here. I finished a Sesame Jasper piece this morning, and will post it tomorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fossilized coral -- with tiger-eye and carnelian!

fossilized coral with carnelian tiger eye onyx and silver wire wrap by
The distributor had this labeled as "flower stone." How odd. It's really fossilized coral, and it's gorgeous, isn't it? The cabochon was free-form wire-wrapped in silver, and wired onto a beaded necklace, strung with carnelian, tiger eye and silver spacers. I'm very excited about this piece! I have another piece of coral, already wire-wrapped, ready to go, and will finish it in a few days. The earrings have the same square coral pillow beads, tiger eye, and carnelian. Eye-popping, and elegant.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's so nice to be noticed...

I just got back from the bank, Vystar Credit Union, where I had to get some forms notarized for the upcoming club volleyball season. My kids play with JJVA, Jacksonville Juniors Volleyball Assoc., and it's time to get the season tryouts up and going. I really like our bank. They have everything we need, and the people are very, very helpful. They must really screen their employees, because we've always had a great experience there. Anyway, I decided to show my latest necklace set, because I'd bought a new shirt this week that matched the blue foil-lined glass I used perfectly. It caused quite a stir! I was so pleased! The ladies there were so complimentary and so excited about it. I hope that's the feeling it creates wherever it is viewed. I'd like it to find a new home, and soon! The set is made with an adorable starfish, smaller than the one my daughter used in her necklace. It's accented with Topaz foil-lined glass and Ruby-colored beads with beautiful gold accents swirled all around. I paired them with Goldstone, it's become a trend in my shop recently, and faceted crystal globes with AB. Silver Spacers give it even more sparkle. I really like the way it's turned out! I figured I'd lost the pics of the set here, since I hadn't had the chance to list it yet. It's the weekend, prime time for listing, and I should be putting it up, but I'm going out to play "touchdowns" with my two year old instead. No regrets.

Here's another custom creation I just finished. It was an alchemy order (for those of you who have never bid on creating a custom order through Etsy, I highly recommend it) and I bid wayyyy to low for what I eventually made, but this idea just developed until the point that I'd spent wayyyy to much time on it. Oh Well, good blog fodder. At least I'll have a posting out of it. I hope the customer likes it as much as I do. This one is made with pressed glass lady bugs, scarlet-red coral, and black glass beads. The green leaves are also pressed glass, leaves and droplets, and "e" beads. The black bands are strung on elastic, so though the bracelet is a nice 7 1/2", it has no clasp and has a snug cuff-like fit. I have more beads like this, and could do another one, similar to it, if requested. The order did not include earrings, but I have some ideas on how to make a pair that would complement.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Build a bear giveaway!

AAAWWWwwwwww, Isn't this little guy CUTE? My friend Jacqueline, at Blessings Abound, is giving away a $10 gift card to Build-A-Bear on her blog.

My kids have enjoyed Build-A-Bear ever since they opened at the Avenues Mall here in Jacksonville. What a great program! We had a birthday party there, once. My daughter absolutely loved it.

One thing I like best about the snugglies at Build-A-Bear, besides their cuteness, is the softness of their plush. These animals are the highest quality I've seen anywhere, and the craftsmanship is excellent. When I used to work in retail gift shops, I became very familiar with the different brands of stuffed animals. Even the least expensive $10 bear at Build-A-Bear is one that will last a lifetime.

So head on over to Blessings Abound, and enter her contest. Imagine the delight of the loved one in your life who gets to take a trip to the Build-A-Bear workshop! I'm already planning to take my 2 year old, even if I don't win. It's just time to get him a lifetime little friend.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Listing! Love Sponge!!

New Listing! Just finished today, this bracelet set is made of hand-wired links, alternating, of denim-blue sponge coral, and marbled white/grey howlite; and ebony lava rocks are tiny pendants that swing from each ad joining link, providing playful swing and movement. The 8" (20cm) bracelet set includes a 14" (35cm) extender with matching toggle clasp that can make the bracelet into necklace, or be worn as an additional bracelet. The earrings have 1 1/2" (4cm) dangles that match the bracelet perfectly. They're surprisingly light! Blue Sponge Coral and lava are both very porous, so their size does not give you any clue to their weight.

The findings are a gun metal grey finish, matching the howlite perfectly. These materials just belong together, and the result is a stunning set that you'll reach for every day!

On my table now: fossilized coral, leopardskin jasper, carnelian, and some custom work that needs finishing. I finished a cute sea horse set with topaz and ruby-colored foil-lined glass and goldstone that will be up very soon. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 3, 2008

How about a Bloggy Giveaway?

We were having a discussion about Etsy on Etsy's forums this morning, and sharing our observations that out of everyone we talk to on a daily basis, not enough people know about Etsy. Now, I know this isn't the case as much in the blogosphere, because you can hardly go anywhere without running into an Etsy seller trying to promote their shop. We tossed around the idea that WE have to be responsible for marketing Etsy, since it is US (and the customers, too) who directly benefit from it.

So I've decided to run a contest. How'd you like to win this cute pair of earrings? The dangles are 1 1/2" for a total length of 2". The stones are white turquoise, carnelian and more white turquoise, and the ear wires and spacers are copper. Guys, you can win them too. They're perfect for gift-giving. It's the season to shop for the ladies in your life!!

Here are the rules: You must do three out of four to qualify for the giveaway: Contest runs until November 15.

1. Click this link to sign up for Etsy. if you are not already a member. (10 entries) (It is so quick and easy!)

2.) heart my shop (as a buyer, click "add to my favorites"). You'll need to have your favorites set to "public" in order to do this. (5 entries) I'll confirm your signup date (if and heart for your entries.

3.) comment this post and tell me your Etsy user name, and I'll heart you back! (5 entries)

4.) Tell me your favorite item in my shop (5 entries). (Awwww, thanks!)

For the duration of the contest I'll offer another free gift -- a free pair of earrings -- with any purchase, when you mention "bloggy contest" in the notes to seller.

Ready, set....join Etsy! It's super easy, and you won't regret it. While you're browsing, check out your local Etsy Artisans by clicking "Buy" in the header next to the orange "Etsy" on the front page and then clicking "shop local", or take a peek at the "Treasuries"...which are hot, hot, hot in the Etsy community! OR, click on guides and browse items handpicked by the Etsy staff.

Or you could just spend the whole time in my shop. That's just fine by me.

all of the normal disclaimer stuff applies. You get the pair of earrings advertised as being the prize. I'll change to sterling or gold-filled at an extra charge. I guarantee the workmanship, and will give you every measurement I know to make sure you'll like them. Everything else is subjective and I'll do my best to help you. please be patient!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Featured on WhimsicalStars!

A new Etsy friend, has featured me on her blog! In it is a little bit about how I got into jewelry, about art in general, and then I had to pick my 5 favorite Etsy shops. That was a hard one, because I have 287 favorites! If it had been a pop quiz like the ones in school, I would have failed the last one. I couldn't choose just 5.

I really enjoyed reading through Whimsical Stars' blog, because I was able to learn about the lives of fellow Etsians, and their motivation. Etsy has been an incredible experience for me, and I'm in awesomely talented company. So if you have time go on over to Whimsical Stars, and read up (and other Etsy artists)!