Teacher Appreciation!

Image00004I’ve been a busy bee finishing up this collection of earrings for all of my daughters’ teachers. Their school is celebrating Teacher Appreciation week next week because this week is PASS testing. We are so lucky to have a great school and *amazing teachers* – I love making teacher gifts!

Image00002 It was really fun letting my muse take over and just put together a bunch of different styles. Sometimes I’d be in the middle of finishing one pair and I’d already know what I wanted to try next, and sometimes I’d just play and see what came to life in my hands. I wanted to have different options for the girls to choose from so that they could decide which earrings best “matched” each teacher. It was kind of funny that there wasn’t much hesitation, and no arguments. Each pair seemed to speak to them very distinctly to tell them who they needed to belong to. My girls are excited to give them out next week and I’m hoping their teachers enjoy them!

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Working in Batches

There are *so* many new jewelry techniques and project ideas I want to explore! I love to learn new things and experiment. Mostly that’s a good thing. However, sometimes it just contributes to my scatterbrained disposition. I can feel almost frozen when I sit down at my work table, wondering where to start – too many ideas swirling around at once. I’ve found that these are the times that I really benefit from working in “batches”.

IMG_0695Here is a pic of my latest batch of wire wrapped links. It’s really quite therapeutic to go into a bit of an assembly line mode. While working on a repetitive task, two wonderful things happen. First, I’ve moved past frozen to productive. Conquering that little speed bump protects me from falling victim of an artistic slump – not a fun place to visit. Second, in just getting my hands moving my muse becomes more focused. Instead of fifty things I want to do, I’m able to decide what I want to make *next*. For some reason I still haven’t figured out how to do a million things at once, so this is a big help!

By the time I finished making these links, most have already been assigned to a design in my head. The ones that are left will go with my other finished findings and be happy discoveries next time I want to play with impromptu designs. 😉

Get out comparison – you’re not stealing my joy!

Magpie_swooping_signThank goodness for the wonderful online community of jewelry artists! I stumbled upon an amazing video today in my email. (Yes, in my own inbox – don’t even get me started on how scary it is in there, yet another to-do item.) Anyway, I’m *so* glad that I had subscribed to Laura Hagan’s blog posts. She shared a moment of discouragement and self doubt that really struck home for me today – and even better, she spoke about getting past it.

She makes beautiful pieces, so it was amazing to me to hear her speak on self doubt – and it really gave me a boost to know I’m not alone in these types of feelings. It can be a bit scary when you decide to follow your dream, it’s a lot easier to just talk about it. I’m glad there are other regular down to earth people willing to share their journey. Thanks Laura!

Here’s a link to her post – very empowering! Art Show Psych Out

 

Blog: What is work, anyway?

IMG_0573Okay, I’ve lost too much time lately to my new “day job” – is that what I call it? I’m wary of calling it my “real job” because I’m trying to get going on this Magpie stuff – so I should see at my jewelry biz as my “real job” then – right? All so new and too confusing – I’m still adjusting to the realization that I’m finally making a go at doing what I love! Add to that my penchant for getting sidetracked in details and you’ve got a recipe for long-time-no-blog. What my family and friends so lovingly refer to as perfectionism (probably closer to OCD) can also be a bit of a problem: ie: today when my husband (Gosh he’s brave!-did I mention that I also harbor a bit of a rebellious/stubborn streak?) told me I was spending too much time messing about (sucked into the computer) perfecting logos and business cards and needed to get back to actually making some jewelry!

Well, he was right. So I printed out the earring cards and got those set. Maybe not perfect, but they sure looks better than my pile of finished pieces on a tray! Then I finally got my torch out to play with – it was a Christmas gift. I’ve been wanting to experiment with making some balled headpins. I tried several gauges of wire and had fun with it. I also learned a few things – always fun to experiment! I needed this reminder to let myself play – that’s when the creativity comes.

Here are my first balled headpins. I’ve already made a couple things with them and have some ideas of what I want to try next! So…back to playtime!

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“Mossy Glen” bracelet: antiqued copper squiggles & speckled ceramic beads

IMG_0488This charming bracelet features rich speckled green ceramic beads wrapped with warm antiqued copper, and my free flowing copper ‘squiggle’ links. My hand crafted copper clasp is accented by a small brown glass seed bead.

• Clasp and links have been hand shaped, hardened, and filed smooth for comfort.

• Bracelet been antiqued to bring out the textures of the wrapping and the warm copper tones, hand polished, and then tumbled for strength.

• Can be fastened to measure 18 cm or 21 cm (approx 7 in. or 8 in.)

 

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“Courage” earrings: antiqued copper & red jasper

IMG_0066Small wire-wrapped red jasper beads dangle from hammered copper rings that are suspended from my hand formed copper ear wires. Although I can’t guarantee the courage that red jasper is said to impart, you’ll certainly feel confident that you look marvelous when wearing these stylish earrings.

• Earwires have been shaped, hardened, and filed smooth for comfort.

• Earrings have been antiqued to bring out the textures of the wrapping and the warm copper tones, hand polished, and then tumbled for strength.

• Total length is 4.75 cm (almost 2 in) from the top of the ear wire.

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