Thursday, December 9, 2010

You asked for it…Ring Engraving is Here!

I have been getting soooooo many requests for inside ring engraving that I decided to offer that service.  The following are the font dials I currently have.  After the holiday rush I will take some time and make ring samples with the fonts for you, but for now I can at least share the 6 font dials I have with you!

The Hebrew Font Dial:


The Fancy Script Font Dial:


The Greek Font Dial:


The Modern Block Font Dial:


The Modern Script Font Dial:


The Script Font Dial:

Script 1 Font

Friday, December 3, 2010

‘Tis' the Season!

Many of my friends have asked me what would be a good gift to give to co-workers, friends, holiday hostesses gifts, and for teachers.  I always find homemade ornaments to be great catch all gifts!  So I decided to make a nice set of holiday ornaments that look like Snowflakes…or stars…or flowers…whatever it is you see in it. 
They are made from reclaimed copper and aluminum and hung onto handmade copper hooks.  I made the hooks dark so that they would almost disappear in the greenery of the tree or garland that they are hung on and let the ornament take center stage.  Each ornament is about 2” in diameter.
You can buy the ornaments in person at Shared Space in Urbana, Illinois or via my Etsy website.  They come in packs f 6 ornaments and you can choose from either all copper, all aluminum or a 50/50 mix of copper and aluminum!  They all come in a gift box with a festive ribbon tied around the box, ready for gift giving! 


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Forcing Myself to STOP and Smell the Pine Trees!

It is that time of year again…I have come to both dread it and love it, but it was not always this way.  Five years ago, before kids and before running my own business, it was a fun time of year because I got to get out all of the lights and decorate my house to the hilt and had no worries.  Gift shopping was easy because I could just go out and get whatever for whoever and not have to think about it too much.  Then came kids… the first year we didn’t do much with a little person dominating our lives, the second year I think there was no tree at all for fear that the tiny terror would pull it over on himself, the 3rd year we had baby #2 and quite frankly I don’t much remember that one at all, the 4th year had a mostly naked tree that was securely tied to the stairs so tiny terror #2 would not topple it over, this is Christmas #5 with kids (now aged 4.5 and 1.5) and I am ready to go all out again!  Or so I think, because somewhere in all of that insanity, I decided to start my own business making handcrafted silver and copper jewelry.  Don’t get me started on holiday shopping,  it has been reduced to sitting at 3am in front of my computer and cruising

The jewelry making has been something I had dabbled in off an on, but with the advent of Etsy, it became feasible to make a little business out of a hobby.  And as a new mom I needed something that I could do for myself as a time out from the kids.  So my jewelry business was born.  It has been great don’t get me wrong, I am sure I would be insane if I didn’t have it.  But the only problem is this time of year puts quite a demand on any retail based business as one would expect.  And since I make all of my items as the orders come in, I feel like I an in a mad frenzy trying to get them finished rather than taking the time to enjoy the holiday and its preparations with my family.  I felt the frenzy fever kicking in just before Thanksgiving when I noticed that each time I went to check my emails I would have a new order there….great for business but stressful too.  It just happened at the same time one of my facebook friends posted that she was going to do an online photo workshop.  I decided to look into it and it sounded like it was what  I needed to force myself to take time out and focus on family. 

So the workshops have officially started and I will be posting the photo results from my “assignments” and sharing them with you….hoping that you can extract a little extra holiday joy in your life as a result!

large_holiday joy 250px banner

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Search Term Tuesday, Honoring the Book Lover!!!

It has been a while!  Well the little one is asleep and the older one is at pre-school, and I find myself in utter silence on a rainy Tuesday morning.  So what should I do?  Revive Search Term Tuesday of course!!!

Search term 1:  “she has read too many books and it has addled her brain”
I love that quote, it is one from Louisa May Alcott, but it really shocked me to sea that search term brought someone to my site for almost 30 mins!  I HAD to look it up.  What I found was the cutest little shop named “Bookity”.  What a great find this shop was.  I have some many friends and family who are bibliophiles and this shop is a PERFECT place to do a little holiday shopping for them.
Search Term 2:   “Sarah plain and tall”
This book is found on MANY of the required reading lists for schools and was made into a popular made for tv Hallmark Movie series and featured Glen Close and Christopher Waklen. 
First let me say this…I am a SLOPPY typer…my mind moves faster than my fingers.  When I first typed this into Google I typed “Sarah Palin and tall” and was stymied as to why all sorts of sites dedicated to Palin popped up instead of the book I thought I was searching for, DUH!  Okay so after correcting my typo, I found this site for Elizabeth Metz, who does some interesting illustrations, one of which is “Sarah Plain and Tall”.
Sarah Plain and Tall 
Search Term 3 “e.e. cummings gift “
EE Cummings is most often thought of as an American poet, but he also did a few plays as well.  There are so many wonderful quotes that you can pull from his body of works!   I enjoyed this print with the Quote “The Earth laughs in flowers”   in the Art by Erin Leigh shop:

Monday, September 13, 2010

It’s been a while!

I know I have been soo neglectful of this blog of mine.  I have been busy on vacation, picking tomatoes, making sauce, canning sauce, canning tomatoes, back to school for my pre-schooler, getting interviewed by the press, stocking up my items at galleries, and just plain living life.  Sometimes you just need to be living in the now a bit  and not focus so much on building an empire. 
I do have to say I am quite proud of the fact that i cleaned up my two work areas.  So in honor of that periodical “Where Women Create”, I figure I’d share with you where I create.  Because quite frankly I am pretty darn proud of the areas and I feel like bragging.
Out in our machine shed, it my main fabricating area.  It has all kinds of tools that can let me create.  I love it, and I love how organized it is.  that big thing with the drawers is an old rock storage cabinet from the Geology Dept at the University of Illinois….I LOVE it!!!!  Um and if you are wondering, no, I do not employ child labor.  My 4 year old is very serious and believes that he is  making jewelry with mommy.  I let him play with scraps of copper.  You just never know where it will take his creative little mind….
Inside I have converted part of our guest room into my assembly and finishing area as well as my photo studio.  I love how everything is so well organized but out in the open making it easy to work …and clean up!!!
 I know you are drooling….not to shabby.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New items Inspired by the Sunrises over the Ocean and Sunsets on the Bay…

I have been working on a new line of jewelry inspired by the the vacations I am so lucky to take at the Jersey Shore…and I don’t mean the area that has been made a household staple by the likes of Reality TV curtsy of MTV…I am talking Long Beach Island.  We are fortunate enough to be able to vacation there every summer at a family house that is located on a narrow part of the sand bar island where is is only a few houses to the ocean and a few house to the bay.  Behind the house is a wetland area that makes the surroundings quite tranquil.     

It is always so great to watch the sunrise over the ocean, especially at low tide so the jetties are exposed and the sun painted waves lap against the craggy rocks.  But my favorite is walking down to the bay after a long day of play and watching the sun set and silhouettes of sailboats go floating by.  Then tossing a rock or two into the flat water and watch the colorful ripples of  the distorted sunset expand out and away from me. 

So hopefully when you see this new line of necklaces, you will get to be part of my vacation as well.

Cascades and Drops:
 Fade-cas smblk-2 Fade-cas-lgblk-lg-2


waves-nat-2d ripples-nat-2 ripples-nat-2b


trip-nat-2 fade-lg-bk-2 fade-sm-bk-2

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Studio Sample Sale

Well I am doing a little summer clean up trying to free up some space on my wall where I hang all of the photo samples that I keep.  I have a TON of new items that I have been making and no place to put them…so I felt it was time for a STUDIO SAMPLE SALE!!!!

The items are ready to ship and are being offered at my special pricing reserved only for my Wholesale customers.  So grab the samples while they last…I have already sold several thru my “Sneak Peek” on my Face Book Page!!!

o2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 i2 j2 k2 m2n2 l2 

To be the first to find out about sample sales and new products, be sure to “LIKE” my fan page on Facebook!

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Line in the works: Brag Tags

I have had this idea for Brag Tags rattling around in my head for a while now.  Finally I had a few free moments to sit down and make some prototypes.  Low and behold, they came out pretty cute, or so I think. 

SO I have been working like a mad woman trying to get samples made and photographed and listed.  At first I had planned to just put them in my established Etsy shop:  Luster.  But then I realized that they were going to swamp that shop and I created my new Etsy shop:  Brag Tags.  Once I get them listed there, I can copy and paste the listing into my personal online shop Luster Metal Works!  And once that is done, I can put them into my line sheet on Trunkt and offer them to retail customers!

Whew…that is a lot of work!  I still have a ton of other ideas rattling around in my noggin.  I just need some kid free time.  So now I am searching for  a babysitter to come over 10 or so hours a week so I can dedicate some guilt free time to creating.  Only the search is harder than you would think, especially because of the remoteness of my house from civilization.  Oh well!

So here are some of the Brag Tags I have made in Copper….Sterling Silver ones are on their way!  I am also open to suggestions for designs as well!!

 Sea Horse Design:

Fancy Script B

Block Print B

Zodiac Libra Sign

Zodiac Aries sign

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Search Term Tuesday, an Ode to Lady Gaga

Yes, Yes, Yes…I know I know my posts have been soo sporadic lately.  But today I just had to do a search term Tuesday.  Last night I had received a custom bookmark order with the words “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich” (title of a Lady Gaga Song) stamped on it and I was a bit curious  as to what search terms people had been using to find my shop since I have not looked lately. 

Well to my surprise, I found a slew of Lady Gaga terms.  So, I decided that she would be my muse for this posting.  To further cement that idea, as I drove my son to preschool, the song Poker Face came on and my 1 year old started to groove in his car seat.

So here it goes:

Search Term 1:  Lady GAGA
I love to think that Lady Gaga, herself, has been perusing my items.  But I fear that my offering are not extreme enough for her fashion style.  I did come across this Felt Doll of her when looking up the search term for sample….maybe under that coat she has on one of my necklaces!


Search Term 2:  The Fame Monster
Once again I have to say I am in awe of what people can do with stickers and creative placement on items.


Search Term 3:  Poker Face
Can’t read my, Can’t read my, No he can’t read my Poker Face….


And here is a little something that will forever play in my minds eye whenever I hear the song Poker Face…I am sure these boys did Lady Gaga proud!  A little gem for any Poker Face fan: