Tag Archives: earrings

Etsy at last!

Well, it’s a lot easier to tell someone else to take an hour a day to keep up with their Etsy site than it is to do it myself. I took the photos a while ago, but didn’t get around to listing things until this evening. I have yet to make it a part of my routine.

I did learn something, though. That is to “pin” my newest listings to Pinterest. Then someone else might see it and re-pin it to their pinboard. I still don’t get how it all works, and how people find you to follow you, but I know it’s another way to put yourself or your work out there. Free advertising is never bad. I’m afraid to look too much at Pinterest because it could be yet another thing to keep me away from the studio. (“Could be?” who am I kidding. Of course it is!)

Here are the items I listed on Etsy tonight:

The last pair of earrings, with the purple patina, have already sold. Cool beans! Thanks Karen! If that isn’t a sign to get to work on all of the pieces I have ready to patina, I don’t know what is.


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An afternoon spent, taking photographs

I followed the sun from room to room, starting just before noon and ending around 3.  Setting up, taking down and resetting my little props and photo cube and tissue paper to try to get 5 decent images for 10 pieces I want to list on Etsy. Some of them came out well, and some need to be reshot. There are so many things to consider.

How do I show a shiny surface without reflecting myself and my camera in the pieces I shoot? What are the best ways to show scale? I don’t know. I just keep trying, and following the learning curve.

When I look at someone’s jewelry on Etsy, I want to see both sides of a piece. Show me the back, please!

Hey, don’t I have some little plastic doodad that would fit onto that knothole in the drift wood?

(I bet you thought it was going to be one of the angry kitties.)

Along with the mischievous angry kitties I also have a nice little set of creepy creeping babies. I never know if using them, as a prop, is pushing the limit; but they crack me up. (No wonder it takes me so long to take photos.)

Bruce dropped a candy wrapper onto my table, trying to distract me.

I just asked him to bring me a couple more of those Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups he was eating.

Really…the focus of taking images for my Etsy shop is to make my jewelry look like some kind of eye candy.

I had hoped to have at least some of the new pieces up on Etsy after this afternoon, but Bruce and I went out to a pot luck dinner, and I have been packing to go away tomorrow for our 8th annual girls’ weekend. I’m meeting up with 3 very dear friends in Portland. Etsy will have to wait until I get back, but at least I’ll have some photos to use.

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Tomorrow in Greenwich…



…and so much more!




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Patina procrastination no more!

I put off working with patinas all summer until yesterday. I started out with the cold application of verdigris to get the wonderful greenish turquoise on copper and brass. The I got out my little butane torch and worked with some of the heat actived patinas for the first time. All done with the handy non-toxic water-based patina solutions and excellent instructions from Shannon and Mike at Miss Ficklemedia. I love their work, and have enjoyed purchasing and using patina-ted components from their Etsy shop so much that I wanted to try the patina process myself.

I bought many of the copper and brass elements from The Beadin’ Path, and then altered them by hammering in texture, drilling holes, and filing.


The cold applied patinas are so simple. Just dip and wait for the color to develop.

The pieces on the left are the ones I did at the beginning of the day. On the right, are pieces dipped in verdigris at the end of the day. In a few hours the color developed quite nicely.

It was so different working with the heat applied patinas. I wasn’t sure how I liked it. It seemed that copper was much easier and prettier to work with, at first. The beads below were patinated with a mixture of Persian Indigo and Old Lace White.

One of the reasons I put off working with patinas for so long is that there is no instant gratification in working with them. Does that make sense? What I mean is that these photos represent just the first step. The patinas take about 24 hours to fully develop on the metal. Then I will sand back some of the color, in places, to reveal bits of the underlying copper or brass. After sanding, I will apply 2 coats of lacquer which will then need another 24 hours to cure. The last step is to apply a coat of preservation wax to seal the lacquer. Fussy handwork done piece by piece, rubbing the wax in, letting it set for an hour or two, and then buffing it to a soft shine with cheesecloth. But then, I will have some very unique pieces to combine with bits of silver for earrings and necklace parts.

When I tried the Russet Red patina on these brass leaves, I wasn’t sure I liked the color. So, I only patinated one set in that color. I forgot, the color develops over time on the metal. I am really happy with the results. Just in time for some fall fashion earrings!


These may not look so exciting right now, but after the next two steps, they will have a soft sheen.

With patination in my box of creative tricks, I look forward to combining it with my love of working with metal clay. These funky headpins are made from copper metal clay fired on bronze, then treated with a verdigris patina. I can’t wait to see how they evolve into a pair of earrings.





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Copper, brass, patina, enameled head pins, and a bit of silver

That’s what I was working on today.


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A good day for earrings, but photos…

…not so much. I had a great morning in the studio, finishing some earrings with rivets, and some with copper pieces I had patinated last week. I spent the afternoon taking 118 photographs of 5 pairs of earrings I was planning to list on Etsy. I thought I was getting some good shots until I began to crop and edit them. Some were okay, but there weren’t 5 decent images of any one pair. Etsy will have to wait until next week, because I have something really exciting to do this weekend.

Silver was $36.97 today. Yikes. The cost of silver clay has become prohibitive. I’ve started thinking about sheet metal and simple fabrication. After an experiment with patina on copper discs, I decided to rivet them to some earring shapes I had cut from sterling silver sheet. I hammered the silver and gave it a hand finish, rather than a high polish. Not sure if I like the concave discs on this particular pair. The shape is from a template I made for toggle clasps, but it works out pretty well for an earring too.

I love the colors in the copper so much, that I decided to learn more about it. I’m waiting for the arrival of some patina solutions from Shannon LeVart at Miss Ficklemedia. The pdf file for the Color Drenched Metal tutorial is well written and looks like it will be easy to follow when my supplies get here next week.

Oh yeah…rivets!!

More copper discs with patina, mounted on PMC discs, mounted on beautiful glass head pins made by Sue Kennedy at SueBeads.

Hey Sue, check us out!

I had some copper discs lying around…. and I’m waiting to learn more about patinas….but I just want to keep riveting! Check out Sue Kennedy’s off-white glass head pins below. The white disc inside the rivet is some kind of bone. (I think.)  Sterling silver and gold filled head pins are used as rivets.

The photos below are the best of my worst ones. (Faint praise.) I didn’t feel like taking the time to deal with everything they were reflecting. That’s the problem with shiny silver and photography. I was happy with the decorative rivets, though.

Finger reflection and finger print….eeeesh. Not recommended.

Whoa baby!


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What a winter

I’m not complaining about the snow…yet…What would be the point? It seems everyone is getting dumped on this year. We’re just trying to be flexible with travel plans. We were going to fly to Baltimore tomorrow night to stay with our son, Robin, and his fiancee Stephanie for a few days. As we watched the weather reports yesterday, we decided to go with plan B, and try to get out of Portland early tomorrow morning, before the storm started. That would have meant leaving the island at 11:30 today to drive the 3 hours to Portland, to stay in a hotel to catch a 6 a.m. flight. When snow and slick driving were predicted for this afternoon, and the big storm was moved up to arrive tomorrow morning, we found a plan C . We changed flight plans again and we’ll leave from Portland on Thursday at 5.

Plan C gave me time today to add some items to my Etsy page. Tomorrow I’ll add a few more before I pack. Not such a bad deal, though it looks like we might miss out on getting to the theater with Robin and Stephanie on Thursday night. Anyone looking for tickets to the Thursday night show of Jersey Boys at the Hippodrome in Baltimore?  Let me know and I’ll put you in  touch with my son.

Meanwhile, if you’re snowed in tomorrow, you can always go shopping on Etsy!

Tomorrow’s BIG snow has not even started yet.


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A good afternoon for taking photos

I took advantage of the sun streaming in through my dining room windows today to move forward on some photographs for my Etsy site. With the time it requires to take all the photos, crop and sort through them, and then resize them, I did not have time to write descriptions and add them to the shop today. When the sun left my dining room, I left the house to check out the frozen landscape left by the receding tide.  (More about that walk tomorrow.) If I can keep at the jewelry photos, adding a few more every day, I’ll have the kind of selection I was hoping to offer on Etsy,  fulfilling one of my resolutions for the new year.

The next photo is not one I will use, but I just had to put it in because when I tried to add the periwinkle shell in the background, all I could think of was “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,”  which gave me a chance to add the link to a YouTube video that always cracks me up. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use a shell in a photo without wanting to add an eye…or shoes. You know what they say….Lint is a shell’s best friend.

By the way, the cool patinated copper beads in this pair of earrings came from Miss Ficklemedia. One of my favorite Etsy shops for beads and components.

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A little extra time….

…is what I got from going to Plan B for our trip. It is snowing, and snowing hard. I was all packed and ready to leave on the 8:15 boat, but reports were that the roads were not good. So, my next choice, and the one I am taking is to leave on the 11:30 boat. Which is also the last boat off the island today. Because of the snow. And the wind. But ma belle-soeur and I will drive slowly, take it easy, and be glad we waited a little bit for the roads to be plowed and sanded before heading south.

I used the three extra hours to catch up on e-mail, waste time on FaceBook, and add three pairs of earrings to my Etsy shop. I don’t know what gets into me when I start writing those descriptions, but by the last one, my kooky alter-ego seems to have taken over for sure. I’ll check later and wonder, “Who wrote that?”

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