Monday, May 31, 2010

Have you seen Post Secret?

I've been following the blog and I have one of the books, Post Secret. It started as a small project and grew into a huge one where people send their secrets anonymously to a man named Frank who runs the project. Every Sunday he posts a new batch of secrets to the blog. I liked this one that he posted on Sunday.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mmmmmm... I love the Viking Cooking School

Friday night Joe and I took the Date Night: Candlelight Dinner at the Viking School. Pictured is the Lamb Chop "Lollipops" on Baby Spinach Salad with Raspberry and Caramelized Shallot Vinaigrette.

Here is Joe's Plate. My favorite recipe was the Lobster and Wild Mushroom Risotto. I love a good risotto. The class was tons of fun and I got to cook lobster and lamb which I've never touched before. So it was a good confidence boost!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Can I have them all?

I would love to have all of these patterned stackable bands by Michele Berman. The textures with a dot in a holes look really fun to play with. Beautifully done!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Living in Beauty

Have you seen Paula Crevoshay's jewelry? She makes exquisite works of art that are also wearable pieces of jewelry. I've met Paula and she is a very charismatic woman and to see her jewelry in person is a gift.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Joe and I had fun on Monday, for our anniversary we went to the WestSide Market to get lunch, then on to Something Different Gallery where Joe bought me this cute purse! It is a Wendy Stevens Handbag made of stainless steel. I needed a small handbag for some of his work events and this is perfect, it's my style! The gallery was adorable, I definitely recommend checking it out. Then for dinner we went to Lola, Michael Simon's restaurant in Cleveland. It was a great day!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Goodbye New Approach

Friday was my last day at the New Approach School for Jewelers. I loved my three months there and all the friends I made! It was hard to leave on Friday knowing I wouldn't see everyone again on Monday. On the bright side now I have lots of friends to visit all over the country and the world. I wish you all the best and expect to hear from you! Thank you to Blaine and Barb for such a wonderful experience, I'll make you proud!
Despite it being hard to leave I'm so happy to go home to my 'home' and to my husband. I haven't been home in 3 months and tomorrow we are celebrating our 1 year anniversary. This next year will be so exciting, I can't wait to see what jewelry I make.

The platinum and gold ring above was made by my classmate Tammy. She set some beautiful amethysts in the ring. My ring is not finished, I do not have a center stone and have to wait for it, so you must wait as well.
Have a beautiful Sunday!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Flowers + Gemstones = Love

If I owned this piece it would stay on my arm constantly. I love flowers and this piece by Arun Bohra is spectacular so it's fitting that I found this image on the 2009 AGTA Spectrum Awards.

I recommend checking out the Spectrum Awards, they post a photograph of each piece and put it on their website. Great Advertising!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Platinum and Gold Ring

Here is my lovely platinum and gold ring. Now I just need to polish it and set the gemstones!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Platinum and 18k Gold Ring

This is how far I got on my platinum and 18k gold ring yesterday. I'm working to fit the head that I built to the shank. How exciting! I can't wait to wear it.

Beauty of the Ordinary

Displaying ordinary childhood treasures, The 3 Elements created by Ann Jenkins. In the brooches (left to right) poor man's mustard, coral and a guinea fowl feather.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Having Fun at New Approach School for Jewelers

One of the things we learned last week was plating. I 14k gold plated this Ohio quarter and then used finger nail polish as a resist on the outer area gold. Next I rhodium plated the shape of the state and the astronaut. Pretty cool!

I didn't make this ring but the ring above in platinum is what we are building from scratch this week. Yesterday I was soldering/fusing platinum and it's awesome! I'm learning all of this at the New Approach School for Jewelers.

Last night a good friend took us out for dinner and I finished dinner with this delicious chocolate cake. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

K.Mita Designs

I've seen this bangle in person, it's breathtaking. Check out K.Mita Designs.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Architecture Yumminess!

I found this gorgeous image of the Andel's Hotel in Poland on The Cool Hunter. I feel like this would be great inspiration for a piece of jewelry.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I need your Vote!

Should we get our Hahn's Macaw Bentley Roller Skates...

Or a Skateboard?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Good idea or not?

I was reading the newspaper the other day and saw an article that really caught my attention. It's about child-friendly teething jewelry. Basically jewelry you can wear that your kids can bite and roughhouse with. My first thought was that this is a terrible idea since you'll be wearing a piece of jewelry covered in slobber, snot and tooth marks. Sounds classy. Second do you really want to teach the kids that everything you wear is to be put in their mouths. What happens when you wear your nice jewelry? It's like those markers they make now that only color on a certain type of paper. The kids can use them on the walls and bedspread and they don't leave a mark until the kids pick up a totally different type of marker (a real one) and proceed to destroy your house. I think jewelry needs more respect than this.

There is a company called Smart Mom that creates teething jewelry from a food-safe, phthalate-free, federally approved silicone. They are for adults to wear but don't put them around your little tykes neck, they could be a chocking hazard. There is also another company Dr. Bloom's Chewable Jewels with some different style options. I still feel your kids shouldn't think that you (Mom) are one big chew toy. Besides when everyone wants to hold the little, is the kid going to start eating your mother in laws gold jewelry? Or rip the necklace off of her neck trying to get at it?

What do you think?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pouring Ingots

I love molten metal.

I had to share a few pictures from casting ingots yesterday. What fun!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Continental Congress of Jugglers

This past weekend I met my family at the annual Continental Congress of Jugglers in College Park MD. I've been to 16 of the 18 Congresses and this time the bicycle man was there! My sister and I are pictured above, going no where fast. : ) Here is a link to more of the bicycle man's bicycles. I'll share more great photos when I get them.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Valerie Hector

A couple of times my name has gotten confused with Valerie Hector's since our names are very close. Valerie Hector uses a form of Chinese bead work to weave her seed beads.

She also creates more modern work, I love this blue structured necklace.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wax Turning

This past week we learned how to turn wax on the lathe. We turned our bench mate and flex shaft into a mini wax lathe shown above.

Here are some of the crazy things I turned. There are stones that fit some of them and others I was just goofing around on.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Beauty in the Abandoned

A while back I found this website called Spirit of the Abandoned that has wonderful pictures of abandoned buildings. You could easily spend an afternoon pouring through the photos.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Susan Chin

These earrings have a little spunk along with bone, 18k, 22k gold and Australian boulder opals. Susan Chin also uses ebony in her jewelry inlaid with gold. Go explore more of her jewelry!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What's your worth?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. When I get home from New Approach School I plan on getting a job and I expect to enjoy my work and make money. I'm ready to work for a company that has a business plan. I listened to a book on tape 'The E Myth Revisited' recently and I know that 95% of businesses have no written business plan which is why they are all treading water on the verge of drowning at any moment. I'm ready to work for someone that really wants to have a successful business. I throw my heart and soul into where I work every time. I got thinking about this when I found this Daily Worth blog.
I wanted to look up the average pay for a bench jeweler. I tried using PayScale Salary Survey but they don't seem to have information on the jewelry world so I went to check out the Instore Magazine website and found their Big Survey of 2009. Instore is a magazine for jewelry stores and their survey covers a lot of great information, I recommend checking it out. The image above is from the Instore Salary Survey, click on it to enlarge.

In the big survey under the salary section it said for 2009 in the Midwest a bench jeweler can expect to be paid $43,632.00 a year and in a medium sized US city is paid $44,146. So I think I'll shoot for $43,000 to $45,000.

What do you think you should be getting paid? If you work for yourself do you know what you're getting paid? A while back I wrote a post on pricing your jewelry.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Sterling silver, green star moonstone and 'pebbles'. I'm entranced by this pendant made by Jen Townsend.

I'm finally starting to feel better. I missed two days of engraving class being sick. That was a bummer but all my classmates took good notes for me! : ) This week we are wax engraving with Kate Wolf. Yesterday was a lot of fun, I'll try to take some pictures and share what we're working on with you.