Posted by: alenegeed | August 14, 2014
Posted by: alenegeed | June 29, 2014
The other day I decided to play around with a new process… using copper piping to create a jewelry design. I had seen some designs recently that started out as tubing/pipe and then were chased with a hammer to create some awesome results.
I had some 1/2″ pipe and 1/4″ flexible piping that I had purchased at a local Home Depot.
As I brought out my Jewelers Saw to make the necessary cuts, my husband asked me why I wasn’t using a pipe cutter.
A Pipe cutter?? Aren’t those something that plumbers use? The answer was Yes… but if you want to cut pipe then why not use it for jewelry? What a concept!
And of course since my husband is handy around the house… he already owned 3 different sizes of cutters. Yippee!
Once he showed my how to use this handy tool. I was in heaven! The one you see here is the smaller size for 1/4″ tubing. There is a blade on one side and a recessed area for the pipe on the other side. And talk about EASY to use.
1) Mark where you want the cut.. insert the tube into the cutter, turn the wheel to hold it snugly. (dont tighten too much)
2) Then spin the cutter slowly.
3) Once you see the marks (slight indentation around the tube), then tighten a little and spin again… repeat process until the piece is cut all the way through.
AND, there is no need to anneal the tube before cutting. Save that step for the design process.
Next time you want to accomplish a new jewelry process and are not sure about the right tools to use.. remember to think outside the box and look at tools that are made for other purposes. They may be the perfect solution for your creation.
Here’s the product I created in the rough stages. (copper cut, annealed, textured/hammered and sterling added)
And here is the finished Earring design.. the first of many designs now that I have this shortcut!
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Posted by: alenegeed | June 15, 2014
3 easy ways to get your inspirational juices flowing.
Whether we are an artist, author or entrepreneur.. the passion we feel sometimes takes a day (or a week) off. Those are the times that I feel most blocked. I don’t seem to find the flashes of inspiration I am so used to experiencing. I can sit down at my jeweler’s bench or at my computer as many times as I want and … NOTHING!
So I have learned over time to step away. No amount of TIME is going to fix my slump.
However, these 3 tricks have helped me to get back into the flow.
1) Take a Hike!
Or a walk, stroll, bike ride, swim, Zumba class … anything that makes your physical body move. I don’t know all the scientific reasons that this works. I just know it does. I get my mind off of my lack of motivation and my body thanks me for giving it exercise. Often times during the hike I will get my inspirational moment. At any rate I now feel great again and that is the first step to getting back into the swing of things.
2) Watch Shark Tank.
I absolutely LOVE this show. I love watching other entrepreneurs. The passion they exude for their creations is so inspiring. I can even overlook Mr Wonderful giving them all such a hard time. I am sure this is the ‘drama’ that is created to keep more people watching the show. I don’t care about that. All I know for sure is that I feel completely energized and inspired after seeing others at their most creative moments.
3) Play with your cat or dog.
Animals are interested and curious about everything. I can drop a twist-tie on the floor and my kitty “Button’ acts as if she has discovered gold! She can kick it around and flip it in the air for over an hour. And lets not even talk about empty boxes or bags. So much to explore. One day I even found her in my traveling tool kit.. on TOP of the large tool chest. She was having fun.
Just spend about 15 minutes observing. You will be amazed at how quickly it brings you back into creativity. Don’t have a pet? Try walking by a duck pond nearby. Or watch a bird feeder. Animals are a gift to every human being.
These are my 3 most tried and true methods of getting my MO-JO back. I know there are others that have worked for you, too.
I would love to hear your suggestions, too!
“Above all try something.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
If you enjoyed this blog, you make like. Remember to Look Back
Posted by: alenegeed | May 23, 2014
We are surrounded with hundreds of colors. The latest PANTONE color guide lists over 1750 different shades, combinations and nuances of the primary colors.
My favorite was the ‘large’ size with 84 different colors.. Did you have the same thrill over checking out all the colors? These days the boxes contain 120 colors. I envy the children that get to play with that many colors.
Since I grew up in the ‘olden days’ I remember black and white Television. One of my favorite shows was Star Trek. Black and white did not allow me to see the various uniform colors.
So one day when I went over to a friend’s house that had a color TV, I was astounded to realize that Kirk, Spock and the guy who always got killed when they went to the planet’s surface all had different colored uniforms.
Hence the warning: If you wear a red shirt. DON’T GO DOWN to the PLANET!!
Color has a psychological effect on us – influencing our mind and emotions. We all have color preferences, too. So color can help reveal our personalities. Cool!
My mother studied color extensively and in her later years she taught classes on several related subjects. Recently I was ecstatic to find her notes on these classes! In future posts I will pass along more of the information she made available to her students. Such fascinating stuff!
For now here is a quick overview of what each primary color represents. I have gone into depth in previous posts.. which you can find under the COLOR tab to the right. More details can also be found in the book: Color Magic for Beginners by Richard Webster.
RED: Stimulating, Innovative, Competitive
ORANGE: Sociable, Friendly, Persistent
YELLOW: Cheerful, Intellectual,Idealistic
GREEN: Balanced, Comfortable, Nurturing
BLUE: Calm, Serene, Introspective
INDIGO: Wise, Dignified, Emotionally balanced
VIOLET: Regal, Creative, Selfless
What is your favorite color? Do these criteria speak to your own personality?
Highlighted here are two of my favorite designs using color:
Stay tuned for future blogs on color
If you liked this post, then check out The Color BLUE
Posted by: alenegeed | April 26, 2014
I am a jewelry designer and yes I do my own photography.
As in the case of most artists who create limited Edition and one-of-a- kind pieces.. It is not cost effective to hire a professional to photograph each design!
So I decided early on to take my own photos. And I can tell you that this became a whole new learning curve for me. I read lots of comments and tutorials online, purchased proper equipment for photographing small objects (jewelry in my case), purchased editing software and then experimented a lot!
Each time I played around with the process I got just a tiny bit more competent.
Then earlier this year I took a workshop from a real photographer and had to unlearn and rethink it all. Doug Baldwin, the instructor and photographer for over 30 years, drummed one rule into our heads.. and it finally sunk in. “Don’t photograph on artsy backgrounds. Customers want to be able to see the product clearly.. they don’t CARE about the surroundings.” Of course there were lots more helpful hints and insights in the workshop…I improved the way I photographed the gems and learned how to use diffused lighting. I even ended up purchasing another photography system that I love.
I live in Arizona and Love the outdoors. So a dried piece of cholla cactus seemed like a great option for a background. As you can see by the two images above… the background, while so cool looking, does not allow you to see the earring design clearly. The image to the left gives you a focused, clean image… so you can decide if this design is a must-have for your own collection.
Here is another example.. Again using the cholla cactus.
See how much better the image to the right is?
It shows off the texture and beauty (OK so I am a little prejudiced on that) of this pendant!
The Cuff image below is yet another example. Malachite is highlighted and featured prominently in the photo to the left.
Yes, I am still a novice when it comes to photography.. and yes I will continue to learn and improve my photos.
over the next several months, I should have all the images on my site converted over to the newer, cleaner looking images.
Check out my jewelry (and the current photos online) and give me your feedback.
Every bit helps me to improve my craft!
If you liked this blog you may like The Secret Life of a Metal and Hammer Hoarder.
Posted by: alenegeed | March 16, 2014
Okay all you Aries babies. Your time is almost upon us.
Officially you were born between March 21 (that’s this Friday) and April 20th.
The RAM is your symbol. A Ram is powerful and will climb to the highest peaks to see what life has to offer. A Ram rarely turns down a challenge. An Aries has difficulty turning down challenges as the desire to go forward and conquer is very strong.
Aries goes through life with confidence and a enthusiastic outlook on everything. IF you are an Aries, you like to lead. After all what fun is following anyway??
And you are in good company too. The following famous people were born under the sign of the ram, too.
- Johann Sebastian Bach
- Charlie Chaplin
- Harry Houdini
- Thomas Jefferson
- Vincent Van Gogh
Just be careful to slow down and not be too aggressive. It can happen to anyone born under this sign.
It’s a good thing you have many friends and LOVE to have fun!! and FYI, your best partner for marriage is a LIBRA!
So what about gemstones are you attracted to? Well Aries babies tend to love malachite, rose quartz, carnelian and coral
My favorite of this bunch is malachite! It’s rich green and vibrant color is tailormade for your outgoing and take charge personality.
What do you think? I would love to hear from some Aries babies? What is your favorite gemstone?
If you liked this post you may like. The LIBRA personality
Posted by: alenegeed | February 2, 2014
Ever since I can remember, I have been in love with Amethyst.
Before I began my Jewelry Designer Career, I purchased Amethyst creations from other artisans. I still wear several of the pieces today.
The rich purple in this gem is intoxicating!
This Geode showcases the gem perfectly. ( I have at least 4 Geodes in varying sizes too!!!)
All February Babies share this love with me, right? after all you are the lucky ones to have amethyst as your birthstone. (I am a little jealous).
But the rest of us are allowed to own and savor ‘the purple’ too.
Did you know that amethyst is considered to be the Stone of St Valentine? He is said to have worn an amethyst ring engraved with the image of cupid.
Legend has it that Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, was so angry with mortals that he vowed to feed the next human he saw to the tigers. A maiden named Amethyst was that human. But before Bacchus could incur his wrath, Diana, the goddess of nature, changed Amethyst into a pillar of quartz to save her. Thus was created the first amethyst gemstone!
Guess What?? The Greeks believed that wearing amethyst prevented drunkeness! Hence the greek name amethustos, meaning ‘not drunk’ Dont try this yourself though. I am PRETTY SURE, this is just fable!!
Amethyst is said to have strong healing powers. Many wear this gem during meditation as it tends to enhance our spiritual connection.
Cold hard facts:
Amethyst is a member of the Quartz family
Amethyst has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs Scale. This means it is durable enough to use in almost any setting, including rings.
Amethyst is readily found. There are active mines in Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Uruguay.. to name a few
Cleaning is easy. Ultrasonic works as well as plain old soap and water!
Next time spot an artisan Amethyst design… jump at the chance to purchase it
I have several pieces available too. (OK just a tiny sales pitch). Click here to see.
More information on Amethyst can be found in the Illustrated Directory of Healing Crystals
If you enjoyed this post you may like Turquoise Legends and Facts
Posted by: alenegeed | January 20, 2014
Posted by: alenegeed | January 3, 2014
January is the best time for refocusing, reorganizing and regrouping!
New design ideas are spinning in my head… even as I write this blog!
That means I really HAVE to reduce my inventory (and get more dollars to purchase metal)
When originally announced, there were 60 designs reduced by 35% – 50%.
Now there are 40 left and they all want to go to a good home… how about Your Home???
Many of the closeouts are highlighted throughout this blog.
Or click here to see them all.
FYI: If you become a Newsletter subscriber you will receive SUBSCRIBER-ONLY specials every month… not to mention getting the scoop on closeouts and new products before anyone else!
Last month, my subscribers got the full closeout list (60+ pieces) AND and additional 20% OFF every order.
Interested in Subscribing ??
Just click here.
Here’s to a wonderful 2014 for each and every one of us!
Posted by: alenegeed | December 23, 2013
I had the pleasure to exhibit at two Art Festivals this month. Since this was only my second experience with this type of marketing I knew the learning curve would be immense.
Last year I did exhibit at the smaller of the two shows with limited success. With that experience under my belt I made the plunge this year and applied for a larger show (400+ booths) .. and was accepted!
Tempe Festival of the Arts is one of the largest and most respected shows in the country. They are diligent about accepting only artisans who create their own work. They also keep to a strict ratio of types of artisans.
This makes the show so much more fun for the people attending. They know that they will find a variety of crafted products instead of an overabundance of ceramic artists or jewelers. As an exhibitor this enhances my experience and my sales! (which is after all the ultimate goal, right?)
Mesa Arts Festival is a completely different animal. The number of booths and exhibitors is limited to 50. Since the event takes place at the arts center, there are many demos and tours also being offered.
Right next to me the Mesa Arts Studio was demonstrating torch fire enameling. In other areas of the venue, there were demos for cutting stones (lapidary) and texturing metal. The Glass and Blacksmithing studios were open for tours, too. This event draws a decent crowd and the energy level is high.
So what did I learn to improve my next show experience?
1) Be prepared for any kind of weather. Bring layers of clothes including hats and gloves. Arizona has a mild climate but the first day of the show it was 30 degrees in the morning!! Bring visors, sunscreen and lip balm
2) Bring a stash of water and energy bars (or other easy to eat foods). When it gets busy you may not have the opportunity to eat otherwise!
3) Open up the tent on at least 2 sides! Mine was closed on 3 sides and even the lighting we used did not help as much as the openness would have.