Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'm in another Treasury! Thanks to Irina Photography!

I want to thank Irina of Irina Photography for including me in her most recent treasury! I spent some time learning about treasuries just yesterday, after another gracious Etsy member featured me in a Celtic themed treasury, which I believe resulted in the sale of a vintage pendant that I had in my shop.

Irina has some incredible photos for sale in her Etsy shop! Even though it is snowing like crazy outside and we probably already have 14" on the ground- glancing at the photo makes me think of the first spring tulips breaking through the snow!

Check out her shop to see the other interesting photos she has in stock right now!  Gosh I wish I could take photos like that!

If you get a chance leave a comment to let me know what you think about her picture above.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Get a Free SoopSee Account - Great for Etsy Shops!

Occasionally I come across something that will help Etsy, Artfire, 1000 Markets, etc. sellers to broaden their exposure or help them boost traffic to their shops.  We all know that both blogging and twitter accounts help us to get exposure for our online shops, but now there is something new!  I recently signed up for a SoopSee account - it is free (they do have a premium account as well) and basically turns your Etsy shop into a complete website!

Check out my SoopSee pages at: Divine3Designs , notice the orange bar across the top.  This site lets me add all the things that Etsy doesn't!  I can import my twitter and blog accounts and actually have links to those pages on the front page as well.
It is like having your Etsy shop converted into a complete website.  You can add the things that Etsy currently has no provision for.  Suggestion- sign up- you have nothing to lose.  Sign up soon so you can reserve your shop name- before someone else gets it!

The site is currently in Beta- that means you can expect more functionality and features soon! So check out SoopSee soon!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Adding "Gadgets" to your Blog

Several new Bloggers have recently asked me how to add "gadgets" to their blogs.  This is really fairly easy to do!  Get the "code" from whatever website has the gadget you want to ad.  Usually they will have it ready for you to click on and "copy" then:
1. Click on the "Layout " tab on your blogger dashboard
2. Next click on the "add a Gadget" link

3.Now Choose the type of gadget you want to add:

4.Now just give it a title (your choice) and paste (right click in the big box) the code in to the box

5. Save
6. Preview and then save on your layout page if you are happy with it.

Now you can go back and move it around by clicking and holding down your mouse button  then dragging your new gadget  to wherever you want it to be on your blogger page!

Hint- If you like a gadget you see on someones blog- usually it has a link to its makers website- allowing you to grab one for yourself!  Some sites let you customize it and then they generate the special code that has your chosen features in it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Featured: The Moss Garden

Think snow!  Many are predicting that this will be a snowy winter to remember so I wasn't really surprised when a sprinkling of rain turned to sleet and then some snow flakes just briefly fell from the gray sky on Thanksgiving morning.  It was brief, and then the sun came out and it was all but forgotten.  Then I saw these lovely earrings with the hollow glass balls, like swirling snow. With the unmatched snowflakes (no two are alike) they instantly brought back the snow! These are from an Etsy shop called "The Moss Garden".

The shop owner, Victoria,  (from Montreal, Canada) says: "  I'm currently majoring in wildlife biology at university, so I am very interested in making jewelry with a zoological or botanical theme. I also call the Pacific northwest my home, so a lot of what I love and make has something to do with the ocean or the forest - Ucluelet, British Columbia is my favourite place on the planet. I am applying to veterinary school this year and I would one day like to work in the field of conservation medicine with endangered wildlife."  Looking through her shop it is not surprising to see that many of her jewelry themes reflect the things she loves.

I also congratulate and encourage Victoria's industrious nature as a student, who probably has a very full schedule, and yet is making and taking the time to create and sell her lovely jewelry!  Her jewelry would make lovely gifts for anyone but would be especially appreciated by the people on your list that care about conservation and wildlife issues and know that they can help support someone working her way into a life of service as a vet.  If you are curious and want to know more about her (and see some really nice photography too)- read her blog!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I was very thankful for my family who helped make this holiday a time for memories and reflection.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Encouraging Small Businesses

I wish I could send a bouquet of lovely roses to each of the men and women who have started their own business in the past year or two!  Congratulations to you for taking the initiative to help the economy by becoming a small business.  Most people don't know that more than 70% of the working people in the USA work for or own small businesses! 
It is not easy and most of the time we start our small businesses while we are still working another job or have been laid off from a job we've held for years.
I would like to encourage each of you to hang in there - as it takes time for most small businesses to grow to where they can support you and your family.  I think on average it is two to five years of long hours, and hard work.  But the prize is that if you stick it out you can survive and even thrive.  When the times are hard- just remember that someday you will take pride in the hard times and how you worked through them.  It takes inspiration, perspiration and perseverance to do anything that is really worthwhile!  So keep it up and know that I am thankful for your efforts as I believe that the US economy hangs on what small businesses do in the next few years!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Featured: Terrabella Accents

Warm exotic breezes, that's what I'm thinking about when I look at this gorgeous picture of vanilla bangles! Actually, today was overcast, windy, cold and gray here in VA, thanks to tropical storm Ida. I think that's why I really enjoyed looking through Terrabella Accents Etsy shop today.  Her items brought back wonderful memories of turquoise water and sailing in the West Indies.

The selection of gifts in this shop is incredible. Browsing there, is like going on a mini vacation!

From the shops profile: ["terrabella" means "beautiful land" and perfectly describes the setting in which I live. Our country has different natural resources in the different regions. We have volcanoes, fresh water lakes and lagoons, beaches in the Pacific Ocean and Carribean, mountains, and rivers. Each small picturesque town has its own traditions and foklore.]

Go ahead- take a break - you deserve a little vacation!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We have a winner! $25.00 Shopping Spree!!!!

Congratulations Elizabeth, whose shop is called "ebogie" on Etsy!  I'll be sending you an email with your Gift Certificate for the $25.00 shopping spree in my Etsy Shop .  I hope you have fun picking out your favorite items.

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season I decided to do another "quick" giveaway - This one ends December 1st and is for the earrings pictured at the right and another pair just like them but with iridescent
gray pearls.  I call them my "go with everything" earrings because they really do work with just about everything you wear.  Plus they are incredibly comfortable - once they are on you really can't feel them - they are so incredibly light!  They are hand made of sterling silver and freshwater pearls.
These would make great gifts or wear and enjoy them yourself.

The rules for this contest are simple: Follow this blog and get

1 point for every comment you leave on this blog (max.3 per day)

5 points for becoming a fan of  Divine3Designs  facebook page

5 points for following me on Twitter

10 points for any purchase from my Etsy shop

 (if you already follow me or are a fan- you can count those points!)

You can help me keep count by letting me know if you follow me on twitter and are a fan of my facebook page in the "comments" for this post - below.  I have a gadget on the right that totals up my comments for me.  If you want one like it -  it's free, just follow the link below it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Giving the Best Gifts

The upcoming holidays give us the opportunity to give gifts that show our caring, giving and loving natures.  It is definitely true that giving can be much better than receiving, especially when the gift is something carefully thought out and meaningful.
There are some gifts that "keep on giving". We adopted a horse from a horse rescue organization. Not everyone can do that - we happen to have a farm and were able to give him a good new home. But that wasn't really the best gift - the best one is taking my daughter three days a week to help on the horse rescue farm that Mr. B came to us from.

She is not only learning about caring for animals, but also about responsibility and compassion, freely giving of your time and resources, sharing with those less fortunate, etc.

Being a volunteer and teaching your children to be volunteers, giving to organizations and causes you choose to support, teaching good stewardship - that's the gift that keeps on giving....

This year there will be many charitable organizations that will fall short in both funds and volunteers. Volunteerism in this county continues to steeply decline.  I encourage all of you to expand your giving list this year rather than downsizing it -and it doesn't have to cost alot of money either - sometimes it's just some of your time and that of those you encourage and guide to do likewise. Can you afford not to?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Featured : The Girly TuTu

With a slogan like "every girl can be a princess" it's easy to figure out that this shop is all about girls.  Many of the selections could be used for great photo props and then be repurposed as  dress-up play clothes.  These gifts would put a huge smile on any little girls face!

"EVERYTHING in my shop is interchangeable...meaning if you see a shirt that you like but would like a different tutu or you see a set that you love but not the headband, WHATEVER, a custom listing can be set up for YOU to get exactly what you're looking for!"

Customer satisfaction is a highlight at this Etsy Store. You will also find some lovely crocheted items for the bigger girls along with all the fabulous tutu's!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Featured : Isla New York

Ever think how nice it would be if you could order a custom made sweater - made by someone that not only designs but also makes , fresh, comfortable, timeless clothes out of ecologically friendly materials?  You're probably saying - dream on - that's not affordable - even if you could find it!

Well wake up and check out this Etsy Shop! Regina is a young woman with big plans. She notes that:  "Each piece is designed, fitted and sewn by just me. Because of this, please allow for up to 2 weeks ". 

And if that doesn't sway you:
"Isla New York has become eco friendly!!!! All my jersey is hand dyed and made from a SOY/ORGANIC COTTON/SPANDEX blend that is environmentally friendly and super comfortable!"

Her designs are lovely and available in all sizes - even custom.  For those that are really hard to please on your list - consider a gift certificate to a shop like this - how much more luxurious can you get! (And did I mention she is very affordable!)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Featured : Crafted by Design

Men are usually the hardest to shop for when it comes to gifts.  Getting him something hand crafted, practical and yet memorable,  and something he'll use often (remembering you in the process of course)- well that's almost impossible.  Crafted by Designs has these incredible hand made (turned on a lathe) wooden- European style pens.  Every time he picks it up and feels the elegant wood barrel he'll be thanking you! 

This shop also has a variety of other offerings :  
"sewn crafts, crocheted items, and wood-turning",  handmade cards, scrap booking supplies etc..
"Custom orders are available for all  (baby) slings, aprons, hair bows, and pens/fire pistons." They also have a really nice wooden business card holder.
I have my eye on the gorgeous pink pen and pencil set! But they can probably make more...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Featured: VH McKenzie

I used to paint quite a bit- mostly in acrylics, but oils, watercolors and pastels as well.  Being a painter myself , I can easily spot the work of other artists that have exceptional talent.
V.H. McKenzie, of NY,NY  is such an artist! Her works exhibit all the colors of the rainbow- a colorist with an incredible eye.  I love her Jamaican portraits and lush tropical landscapes.
One of her paintings hanging in a neutral colored room would spice it up temendously.

But don't just take my word for it:

Don't hesitate to check out her Etsy shop or facebook page where you can see more of her incredible works! You'll find me amongst her fans!
She offers, "Original art -- oil and watercolor paintings, drawings,collage AND archival quality prints of same." 
Do you have someone who has everything- or nothing (or anything in between for that matter)?  One of her paintings or prints would be the perfect holiday gift!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Want a Shorter Facebook Link? Easy to Do!

I found a blog that has great tutorials on facebook, blogging etc. and thought I would share it with all of you.

If you have wanted a shorter facebook link- for example - mine is now

go to this link and follow the easy instructions!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shop Handmade for the Holidays

Buy Handmade for this Holiday Season -

With the economy affecting most peoples' wallets, for the upcoming holidays, it really makes sense to consider not only how much you will spend and what you will buy, but also - who will you buy from.  So many are either supplementing their incomes or have been forced to replace their incomes (due to layoffs or reduced hours) by starting small home businesses.  Each of us has a choice.  We can continue to buy from the super stores, that are increasingly stocking their shelves with inferior and cheaply made imported goods, or we can choose to buy from people who are working from their homes and trying to make a difference in their local economies.

To help these entrepreneurs, artists and craftspeople, I've decided to feature at least one each week throughout the season, on this blog.  If you want to be considered for inclusion - please go to my FaceBook page (link on the right side of this blog) and leave me a link to your shop or website and a contact email.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Improving Your Photos for Increasing Sales

Showing your three dimensional products on the two dimensional internet can be difficult - especially when you are not a naturally gifted photographer, like me. I don't even like taking pictures!  Presentation is everything when a customer can't pick it up and examine it.  Your photos need to show your items with detail and accuracy.
I've read a great deal of advice on this topic- from get the best camera to buy a light box and special lights.  I've also seen some alternate setups to save money or at least get acceptable pictures until your business can afford the top of the line set-ups.  Here's a quick synopsis of what I did to get the picture above out of one that looked similar to the one below;

I use a translucent bin with two lights aimed at it. I've been using my daughters camera that has a Macro and Supper Macro setting- that's the one with the "flower" icon on your camera.  You need this to get the detail. It is not an expensive camera and about 3 years old.  The key is having enough light so that the camera doesn't flash. The flash creates glare and washes out detail. By putting the light through the translucent bin- it also prevents the glare on the metal surfaces that causes big problems when photographing jewelry.  Take several shots - its digital- you can erase the ones that aren't good!
Next use a program to edit your photos-I use Picassa (free download from Google) for most of my simple editing.  First I crop it to eliminate what I don't need in the photo. Next I will lighten the photo and add highlights- then shadows (second tab ) Finally I will sharpen the picture (third tab). That's what I did above in the "brighter"  and "clearer" shot.
I still have a long way to go when it comes to photography- but I wanted to give you a starting point- if you are as clueless to it as I am.  For those who know even more and don't mind sharing- post a comment and any links you have so we can all get even better with our pictures!  Remember- we can't sell something that isn't well presented so it is very much worth the effort to get better photos.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Colors in Jewelry Designs

The colors on the ranch are breathtaking - the grasses have turned a soft golden color and the trees are sporting golds, oranges, reds and even warm browns.

In the garden, there's pumpkins and peppers and the last of the very ripe tomatoes..... With so much color around it makes me want to get it embedded in my jewelry as well. I loved the feel of the brisk cooler breezes and the frost this morning was sparkly and beautiful as it blanketed the fields.

Unakite Jasper is a stone that isn't rare, or costly, but has gorgeous splashes of fall colors permanently embeded in it. These are not died but natural colors and won't fade or run. The stones are highly polished so that they gleem. Mix it with red agate (which is mostly a deep pumpkin orange) and you get the necklace in the picture. It is a "one of a kind" since I don't know if I'll ever find the exact same colors in the stones again. I made some earrings to match as well. If you like wearing beiges, tans, greens or corals - these stones will really enhance the look. They work well with browns and warm grays too and will perk up those colors. I also like to wear necklaces like these with a similar length gold silver or copper chain, sometimes twisting them together.

What are your favorite fall colors? Have you noticed that many of the newscasters on your local and national channels are wearing natural stone necklaces?
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Making Your Own Ear Wires

Making basic ear wires is really quite simple and making them yourself gives you so much more flexibility as far as sizes, shapes and thicknesses go.  The majority of ear wires are made with 18, 20 or 21 gage wire.  I use sterling silver because it holds its shape better than fine silver (pure silver) and is antibacterial and for most people non allergic.  18 gage makes a fairly thick strong ear wire and is great for heavier stones or hammered hoops.  I don't find it as popular as 20 or 21 gage - which I also find to be most comfortable in my ears.
For ear wires I use the half hard wire. Wire is sold hard, half hard or dead soft. If you have a lot of bending to do and the wire is thick (lower numbers) use dead soft. Hard wire is very spring like and harder to bend - it can also break if you bend it too much. 
For a very simple french style ear wire - first cut  two 1.5 to 2" pieces of wire and make a small loop around the tip of your round pliers on one end of each (see picture at right).  This is where you will later attach your "drop".  Now use a sharpie, dowel or pen to bend both pieces around - this forms the part that rests in your ear.  I do them together so they match.  Then take your flat pliers and bend the back end up slightly (apx. 1/8"). Now file the end that will go through the ear to make it smooth.

Once you are happy with the shape- you now need to "set it". That means hardening the wire so it will keep its shape.  I do this by tumbling in a rotating barrel with stainless steel shot for several hours.  It can also be done by hitting the rounded part of the earring with a hammer several times (flattening it).  "Working" the metal by hammering or tumbling alligns the molecules and makes it stiffer or harder.
If you look through the Fire Mountain Gems or Rio Grande catalogs you can see the huge variety of shapes that are possible - you just have to get creative and find objects to shape your wire around! Have fun designing your own special ear wires!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

How to Put a Slideshow on Your Blog

It is really easy to put a slide show of a series of photos on your blog. First download a free copy of Picasa from google. It will organize all the photos on your PC so you can find them easily.

Next, open Picasa and chose the photos you want in your slideshow by holing down ctrl and clicking on them with your mouse. Now choose upload to put hem on your free online Picasa album. After they upload click on "view online". On the right side choose the icon that looks like a link. Choose embed slideshow. Copy the HTML into your a "new post".
Save and add any comments to your post. Then "View Blog" and enjoy!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Slideshow of the Horses

Testing out adding slideshow to the Blog:  Here is one of the new horse, our old horse and my daughter and her friend- they took these pictures themselves and they haven't been edited in any way. See what you think!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Buckster & Beekins, Eq.

The lovely chestnut colored thoroughbred in the upper right is Mr. B, our newly adopted horse! With him in the other photos is Buck, our quarter horse gelding. He was the lone horse on the ranch for the past year. He never did really bond with the cattle, dogs or cats, so now he has a new buddy! It is so rewarding to adopt an animal - just knowing that you have given this animal a loving home brings tremendous joy! I hope that all of you seriously consider adopting a pet- most people will tell you that adopted animals make the very best of companions! We can really tell that Buckster is extremely happy now because you'll never find him more than 30 feet from his new best friend!
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Monday, September 28, 2009

New Crafting Site- MyCraftCorner

There's a wonderful new craft community just starting up over at MyCraftCorner well worth joining if you enjoy any type of crafting, art, sewing,  or jewelry making. It's free, by the way!
They let you create a page with all of your links- twitter, blogs, sites, shops etc.  There are also several interesting groups forming.
I started one for metal working, jewelry making and lapidary arts.  I'd be really happy to have all of you who read this post join my group!  It will allow us to have discussions (forum), leave comments and upload pictures, links etc to share with each other all in one spot!
There is even more good news because this site also does giveaways (check my Sept. 16th post for my giveaway and links to several others) and they will be giving away a cricut machine very soon- be sure to sign up for a chance to win!
Hope to see all of you there soon!

Monday, September 21, 2009

More Giveaways AddedToday! Don't Miss Out on These!

I added several more giveaways to the Sept 16th post below!  People offer these promotions to help advertise their shops and give customers an opportunity to sample the wares!   Many only require simple things - like following their blog or fan page, or leaving a comment on their blogs.  If you participate in a few - it could result in having to spend less over the upcoming holidays.  You certainly have a better chance of winning here than you would in a lottery - and these promotions are free to enter - no cost to you except a bit of your time!
Leave me a comment if you have a promotion you want me to add!  Also if you enter these contests- leave the sponsor a comment and let them know you got the info and link from me! Thank You!!!
The vintage sun/moon pin above will be in my Etsy shop soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Create a Collage Background for Twitter etc.

I created the collage above using Picassa - free to download from Google.  It is a great program for organizing your photos, doing some fixes and uploading them for web use and much more.
Picassa automatically finds all the photos on your hard drive and then you can click  (while holding down the control button) to add photos to the area in the lower left bottom of your screen (press the little thumb tack button after each picture- to keep it there).  When you have all the pictures you want in your collage - click the collage button (bottom of screen).  Play with the different types of collages till you get one you really like- so many variations possible! You can even add text - I added my web site name.  Then save them and upload to twitter (design tab- change background) or anyplace else that you want to customize.  If you need more info or something here is not clear- leave a comment.
You can see it at:  divine3designs on twitter

If you used this to make your background- leave a comment- I'd like to go see it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Giveaways Galore!

Yes, it is exciting!  Just in time to help with the Christmas or holiday shopping or to simply give yourself a reward for all your hard work - I'm doing a great promotion to help publicize my blog.  I'll be giving away a $25.00 gift certificate that you can use in my Etsy shop .
You can use it to buy anything you want and I will deduct the $25.00 from your PayPal invoice. (sorry this cert. can't be used to deduct the shipping - I only charge what the post office charges me).  You will have a 1 in 100 chance of winning because as soon as I reach 100 followers- one of them will be drawn! I will contact the winner and post the name here as well!

And, I couldn't call this "giveaways galore"- if I didn't have more giveaways to lead you to.  Several other Etsy shops are doing similar promotions- make sure you go to their links published below and check out how to qualify for their offers!  Thanks to all the Etsy shops who so kindly made them available!

More links will be here soon!
Midnight Creations
Friends and Family - 1.
      Friends and Family -  2
Designs by Vanessa (1)
      Designs by Vanessa (2)
Pottery 123
Annas Trunk
Shiny Adornments 
Cappy Sue Vintage
Steam Punk Rings
Designer Favors 
Listed 9/21/09 :
The Vintage Chain
Love Charles
Burning Moon Products
Old Bag Vintage
Awesome Artists Giveaway
Added 9/23/09
Blue Hour Design
Hap Tree

Some of these end Sept 30th- so hurry over there and follow their blogs while you are at it- I spied some good stuff!

Keep  following and reading this blog for many more exciting deals coming up before the holidays!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Designating Jewelry Size in Photos

I'm trying to come up with a way that someone shopping for jewelry on the internet can visualize the size of jewelry.  In the example above I made a cardboard - life size ear "manekin". I added the ruler so that both inches and cm are displayed.  This is a mockup and I wish I could find a really nice display manekin that would incorporate these elements.  Most of the ones I've found are great in a store but deceptive in photography.  The ideal of course is a live model - not always easily available.  Plus people come in all sizes and even showing jewelry on a model does not always truly represent how it would look on someone of a different size.   I welcome suggestions or ideas to help solve this problem.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Free Copyright Protection

Exciting news for artists and designers. Here are the links to two sites that basically explain a way to copyright protect your designs for free! The first one has a video that explains the process. The second one provides the service.
Documenting your designs before you release them in photos you display on the internet is becoming much more important these days. Too many fellow artists and designers have seen not only their designs stolen but even the original photos they placed on the net to display or sell their creations. Many don't realize how important copyright protection is until they find others selling it!
Even if your design needs to be patented to be protected - you will need proof of when the design originated - you can use this free service to create that proof.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Adopting Animals

With the economy in bad shape and many people having to tighten their belts (and wallets) there is a large increase in animals that are becoming homeless. If you are in the market for a new pet please seriously consider adoption from an adoption center as opposed to purchasing. Many of these pets are healthy and already have all their health records and shots up to date. So you'll save money while getting a pet that may already have much of the training you would otherwise have to do yourself.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Links to Free Tutorials


I am starting a list (many links from Etsy shop owners - thanks!) of online tutorials. I'll be adding more as I find them or get them!

Jewelry Making       
  (video tutorials)              Hint Jewelry
Aging Brass             
Enamel Work          
Metal working         
Wire wrapping         
Beading etc.            

Variety of Tutorials  

Free e-book on photography    

Other crafts/kids crafts  

Please let me know if any of the links no longer work so that I can fix or remove them.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Working with Metals- Safety Considerations

Ever since I started working with metals I've always wondered about the safety considerations.  I've handled and been exposed to metals of all kinds for years and haven't worried as much about them as I have of chemicals, insecticides and food additives.  It seems like there are more people with allergies than ever before. Many times they don't know what's causing the allergies.
Long ago a doctor told me that showing symptoms of allergies is sort of like a bucket filling with water - when it gets overfilled it finally runs out.  Same thing with allergies - when we are exposed to enough allergens for enough time- eventually our bucket runs over and we get the symptoms -runny nose , hives, itchy eyes, etc.
I believe in trying to avoid allergic reactions or lung and tissue damage by using whatever safety equipment we can use to limit our exposure.
Since I make metal dust when I saw, grind, sand or polish I try to either wear a mask or use a shield.  I have a nice plastic shield that has a hole in the back that a shop vac hose attaches to.  When I use my foredom tool to grind or polish I hold it in the shield to protect my lungs and my eyes.  I also wash my hands often and especially before eating after handling metals. 
MSDS sheets can be requested from whomever you buy your supplies from- they describe any and all hazards and issues that can happen from any materials they contain.   I work mostly with gold, silver and copper alloys but if you use base metals (like nickel silver, sometimes called german silver), or plated materials, these could contain lead (toxic), cadmium or nickel (an allergan) you should know what you are working with and what hazards it presents.  The new laws regarding items for children under twelve are there just for this reason.  That cheap unknown imported metal might be a hazard that you hadn't even considered.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Earrings...Steps 11-14

11. After thouroughly drying your earrings- now is the time to add any more hammering (do both sides) and polish by hand if desired.
12. Bend the earring wires over a mandrel or a pen, or whatever you want to use to get the shape you want.
13. If you hand polished you may not have to do this step, but I usually tumble polish as well using stainless steel media, in a solution of burnishing compound and water. Tumble polishing will also work harden the ear wires so they will keep their shape better. Tumble for 2-4 hours if desired.
14. Remove from polisher, rinse and dry the earrings well. I then use rubbing alchohol to clean the earwires. Air dry and then store in a small plastic zip seal bag to protect from tarnishing. That's it!

If anyone has any questions or something is not clear enough- leave me a comment and I'll try to help.
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Earrings- steps 7-10

7. Clean and flux both pieces of each wire type and then use solder (I used medium paste solder) to "stick" the two pieces together.
8. I used an Acetylene torch with a number one tip- to heat the larger wire first and then hold the flame over the solder area until the solder melts.

9. Immediately use copper tongs to drop earrings into hot pickle (I keep it in a crock pot). Let them stay in from 3-5 minutes or until they appear ashy in color. Then remove with copper tongs and ....
10. Drop into warm water to rinse.
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Earrings... steps 4-6

4. Choose what type of texture you want and pick the appropriate hammers. I used the flat side of my ball peen hammer to flaten the wire some down the center and then the rounded side to give the hammered motling that catches the light so nicely. Reminds me of hundreds of little flat mirrors.

Do both pieces side by side so they will match.

5. Cut 2 lengths of 20ga or 22ga (I prefer 22 ga) wire to use as the ear wires - I leave them bent. Go ahead and file both ends to smooth them now also.

6. Make a coil or loop and use your flat end on the hammer to flatten it- on one side of each wire.
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How To...Earrings -step by step 1-3

Click on the pictures to enlarge them for detail.

                 10 gage half round, dead soft wire- apx. 2"
                 20 or 22 gage round, half hard wire- apx. 3"

1.  For these earrings I started with 10 ga. dead soft, half round wire - Apx 2"
I usually use my flush cutting pliers to snip the length I need. These cutters leave a sort of flattened angle on the ends. This will be fine for these.

Mark your wire to divide it into two equal pieces.

2. Then use a jewelers saw and holding the wire over a bench pin, cut the wire in half (more accurate than pliers).

   3. Use a good quality file and smooth any sharp edges.
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