Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Douriean of Eklektik Ekhos is Back From Paris!

Here's Douriean's Tumblr update:

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Bit Tribal: Hammering, Doming, & Beading

Boho tribal hammered copper beaded necklace
Lightweight--but substantially made
24 gauge copper sheet and 22 gauge copper wire (20 gauge for the clasp)
6/0 Czech Glass beads

Pumpkin Bread, New Earrings, & Some Music!

I'm one of those people who adores pumpkin year 'round--not just during Autumn.  I don't need cool weather to beckon me into the kitchen to bake pumpkin breads, pies, well...anything!  So, after enjoying a delicious lemony cake with berries over the last few days, I started craving something completely different.  This pumpkin bread is very moist and can be changed up in so many ways.  Sometimes I'll add the chocolate chips, other times just toasted walnuts, but I always make sure to add a teaspoon of cinnamon and use walnut oil.  The walnut oil gives it the most incredible aroma.  This batch features both toasted walnuts and chocolate chips.

easy pumpkin bread
 Easy Pumpkin Bread
With Toasted Walnuts & Chocolate Chips

So, what have you been baking lately?


I've been experimenting with different ideas lately and came up with these earrings:

beaded copper wire earrings
18 & 20 gauge Copper Wire with 6/0 Czech Glass Beads

I wanted to approximate the curves that a Wig Jig makes possible so that I could decide if I really want to order one.  The problem is deciding *which* Wig Jig.  Any suggestions on how to decide which one(s) is right for me?


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yeasted Lemon Cake With Strawberries

yeasted lemon cake
 Yeasted Lemon Cake

It's almost Summer but it has felt like it for a month already.  Hot temperatures make me crave lemon flavored desserts and this recipe from King Arthur Flour is perfect.  Yeast cake is somewhat bland on its own but with the addition of a deliciously sweet-tart lemon syrup, it has a divine flavor.  Pairing it with fresh berries makes it even better!  I wish that the strawberries were the deep red, fragrant Ponchatoula strawberries from Louisiana but I made do with some organic FL berries.

I didn't make any changes to the recipe other than substituting in a few organic ingredients.  It's one of those cakes that tastes wonderful but doesn't require slaving in a hot kitchen.  I'll save the slaving in the heat for my torch-work!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Headpin Special--Just For My Blog Readers

I know that we all make a lot of earrings and necklaces with little dingle dangles so, I'm offering a bulk buy on my ball-tipped copper headpins.
(100) 20 g 3 inch (7.6 cm) long copper headpins for $15.  That's more than 25% off my regular price.

handmade antiqued copper headpins
Antiqued With Liver of Sulphur

handmade copper headpins
Raw Copper

handmade rosy copper headpins
 Rosy Copper

Send me a convo on Etsy and I'll get your reserve listing set up! The early bird gets the worm; only five four three zero (all gone; thanks!) sets will be offered at this price. Be sure to tell me whether you want rosy, raw, or antiqued--no split sets, please.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

IPA Lover's Necklace

I still haven't purchased the beads to finish the other beer lover's necklace but I have finished the first necklace intended for women who love IPAs (India Pale Ale) in all their hoppy deliciousness!  The pendant is etched--etched electrolytically, of course--onto 18 gauge brass.  I gave it the marbled green patina by using Jax green, spray lacquered it, and finished it with some Renaissance Wax.

etched brass hop pendant
Hop Cone with Latin Name

The pendant hangs on a chain that I made from 18 gauge copper wire with Czech glass beads that I rosary wrapped with 20 gauge copper wire.  The tiny bead caps are also handmade from 24 gauge copper sheet.  So, this one is all handmade from wire and sheet metal excluding the Czech glass beads.  It's only fitting...think of all the craftsmanship that goes into making a seriously good craft brew!

handmade etched brass & copper necklace
Approximately 20.5 inches or 52.1 cm Long

Monday, June 11, 2012

We Have A Winner!

The winner was chosen the old fashioned way with names on slips of paper in a bowl.  Congratulations to Heidi Post!  I'll email you for your address.

handmade copper findings

I'd like to thank everyone for participating.  My number of blog followers has increased significantly and with that, it has gotten closer to the magic number I've been looking to reach this year.  I told myself that if I reached 50 followers in the first year, that I would start having bi-monthly earring giveaways and we're almost there!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Alice In Wonderland Design Challenge & Blog Hop!

Today's the big day to reveal our Alice In Wonderland-inspired creations.  Thank you Staci & Genea for thinking of such a fun design challenge.

My first piece of jewelry was an obvious choice as it is inspired by the Queen of Hearts.  Rather than using bright red, I chose to use a more subdued garnet red.  I  made a two-layered heart pendant from PMC and attached a chain that I made by rosary wrapping tiny translucent garnet colored Czech glass beads and Thai Hill Tribe beads with 20 gauge sterling silver wire.  The chain was finished with a simple clasp that I formed from 16 gauge wire.  The smaller heart may appear to have been enameled but is instead, painted with Pebeo porcelain paint in the color "Etruscan". That paint is cured by baking it in the oven rather than a kiln.

PMC fine silver heart
Ready to wear to a tea party, perhaps?

Simple Clasp

PMC fine silver heart
My second piece of jewelry was a bit more involved.  I'm a cat lover and was determined to make a Cheshire Cat necklace so, I looked for public domain art that I could use and found some 1916 images.  The cat illustration was cleaned up a bit and turned into a negative mirror image with Photoshop.  I then printed it onto PNP (press and peel) film and ironed it onto a sheet of 18 gauge brass.  I etched it electrolytically using D cell batteries and a saltwater bath.  That etched sheet of brass became my texture plate and I made a PMC pendant.

etched brass Cheshire cat
 Cheshire Cat Etched Onto 18 g Brass

PMC fine silver Cheshire cat necklace
Cheshire Cat Necklace

PMC fine silver Cheshire cat necklace

I decided to use cantaloupe and yellow beads to suggest the colors of a ginger tabby rather than the usual hot pink.  I've always had a soft spot for ginger kitties so, I'm sure that is part of my motivation in using those colors.  The necklace was finished with a handmade clasp and short lengths of chain that I made by soldering together various sizes of 16 gauge sterling silver jump rings.  I am not sure whether I'll list the Cheshire Cat necklace; I'm leaning toward keeping this one!

Handmade Copper Findings Giveaway!
I carry some handmade copper findings in I've been considering adding a few more items beyond my current offerings so, I've put together a small sampler that includes hammered copper circle links and hammered copper clasps.  You can win this sampler by following this blog and leaving a comment with your contact information so that I may email you if you win.  This giveaway is open to both domestic and international  participants.  Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Monday, June 11th.  Good luck to everyone!

handmade copper findings
Assortment of Copper Ear Wires, Headpins, Clasps, & Links

Please visit all the other participants:

Ginger Bishop

Staci Louise Originals

Genea Beads

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Heidi Post

Donna Bradley

Linda Hanes

Birgitta Lejonklou

Libellula Jewelry & Cicada Silver

Linda Florian

Dyanne Cantrell

Nicole Valentine Rimmel

Jo in Wonderland

Fresh Baked Designs

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Long And Winding Road

or at least the spiral copper path that seems like one has been showing up in my designs recently.  It has gotten me thinking about its origin.  I've been looking at a lot of older jewelry designs and I think that Alexander Calder's work has stuck with me--specifically his work that features spirals  Spirals are so simple and hypnotic and are found throughout nature

sundial seashell
in shells *

fractal Romanesco cauliflower
 and in vegetables *

Milky Way Galaxy
 and even in the shape of our Milky Way Galaxy.*

I think that is why spirals are symbols in so many cultures.  The spiral can represent the continuity of life, an arduous path to truth or peace, or even piety.  We can assign it any meaning that makes sense for us.  It is said that all ideas are derived from something that came before it and I think that is especially true with spirals.  We may not have realized it but our innate pull to mimic nature has tied us to tribal craftsmen around the world and through the ages.

copper spiral &  Burmese jade earrings
Copper Spirals With Burmese Jade
copper spiral earrings

Simple Copper Spiral Earrings

copper spiral, jasper, & cherry quartz earrings

Cherry Quartz & Jasper Spiral Earrings

*First three photos link to their original sources.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Etched Copper With Blue Patina

blue patina etched copper & Czech glass earrings
 Etched Copper With Blue Patina
I made some more etched copper earrings.  This time, I decided to forego giving them my usual liver of sulphur treatment in favor of turning them blue using vinegar, salt, and ammonia.

After etching, I cut my disks, sanded the edges, drilled them, and polished them with 3M polishing papers.  I didn't tumble polish them because I think patinas stick better when the metal has a bit more "tooth" to it.

I strung the links on monofilament (fishing line) and dipped them in my copper pickle vat.  (I use vinegar and pickling salt rather than Sparex, etc.)  I then suspended them over ammonia dampened paper towels in a lidded plastic takeout container.  It wasn't long before they turned a lovely shade of blue.  After rinsing and drying, I lightly sanded them to bring out the raw copper highlights and the etching detail.  I then sealed them with spray lacquer and Renaissance Wax.

I chose Czech glass beads with a Picasso finish that matches the raw copper highlights on the etched disks and the earrings were finished with my handmade ear wires.