Archive for the 'photos' Category

Feb 04 2014

3xR & THAW weeks 2-4

Well! Here it is February! And I still need to post each weeks piece for 3xR & THAW2014 challenges!

So here we go– just going to bust these guys out.

This cute little guy was a sample piece I stamped when experimenting for a piece in silver. I liked it so much I kept it for a long while. I enameled the back, and then the front with a lovely transparent enamel that makes the copper surface shimmery and golden. I still love this cute little guy — I am not generally a “cute” type of person, but looking at this piece just makes me happy.

3xR week 2 & THAW2014-2

On to week 3! This guy also makes me happy. I am not happy with the execution — this is the first time I’ve tried to set a faceted stone in a flush setting — and as you can see, it leaves much to be desired. However, I still love this little guy. The rustic stamping goes with the “rustic” stone setting, and I look forward to perfecting this technique.

Week 3: 3xR & THAW2014

And finally, week 4! I have kind of a thing about poppies. In Virginia, there was one week in May where the exit from I-66 was awash with poppies. It was the highlight of my commute — every May I would start to wonder.. “where are the poppies? Did I miss them somehow? Did they get mown over last year and they’re not coming back?” and have a serious panic sad moment — and then a week later, there they would be, in glorious wild bloom. I miss the field of poppies – little dots of brilliant red against the green grass, right next to the roaring (or more likely, stop and go) traffic of folks traveling into DC from the burbs. Every May, right around Mother’s Day and my son’s birthday.. I think of the lovely field of wild poppies gently nodding right off of the Nutley street exit.

Ahem. Where was I? Right! The enamel tile I made late last year using a sgraffito method of enameling. First a fired base of black enamel. Then I mixed up some liquid white, painted it down on top of the black and then sifted the green on top. I used a pick to scratch through the wet enamel to reveal the black underneath. I also scratched through where the red flowers would be, and then fired. Finally, I added the red enamel for the poppies, and touched up the stems with some enamel crayon. It was a joy to do and I hope to do more.

The tile was sitting in my enamel sample box — so I fished it out and added some scrap chain, dotted with lovely lemon citrine nuggets.

Week 4:

And there we go — a full month of Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling — a Thing A Week! In February — we’ll see if I can’t blog weekly instead of a big post with everything in it!


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Jun 22 2013

Studio Rearrange Take 439! Height Adjustable BENCH!

Published by under amy's head,jewelry,photos

I wrote a lot of words… about rearranging my studio and my new height adjustable bench. If you don’t want to read it all, there are some cute kid pictures and a video – just scroll down!

Now for all the blather blather… It seems like as SOON as I get my studio set up in a functional manner that I’m happy with, something comes along to SCREW IT ALL UP!

My studio is a small room on the main level of our house, which was called a “bedroom” when we bought the house, but really is an office. The room has to serve several functions – our family computer sits on an Ikea desktop with 2 drawer units (which I LOVE, SO much space!), which the kids use daily for homework and playing. It’s my main computer as well for printing packing slips and shipping labels, as well as daily email, etc. A second Ikea desktop, solid wood, sanded and then lacquered by me is my main bench for cutting & bagging jump rings, and filing orders.

It works very well for 80% of what I do, but a traditional jeweler’s bench has a higher surface (as they say in Cougartown, about boob-high!) with a cutout for a bench pin, and a drawer underneath for catching filings, etc.

So when I wanted to do some metalwork — especially piercing, which requires sawing on the support of a bench pin, I was lowering my chair way down, and then hunching over my bench pin trying to saw things out — not extremely ergonomic or convenient. And any dust or filings just fell on the floor.
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Aug 28 2012

Peaches – from the backyard

Published by under amy's head,photos

When we put in an offer on our Colorado home, it was because of the beautiful floors, 5 bedrooms (well, 4 and a small office they called a bedroom), location, and.. well, I could go on. We really love this house.

But now, I love it even more.


These are fresh from the tree, barely molested by the birds. The real trick is waiting until they are ripe enough on the tree, but not all eaten by the birds. If you have any tips on that, I’d love to hear it.

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Mar 06 2012

Warm Fuzzies

Published by under amy's head,jewelry,photos

I feel like I’ve been running on empty the last 2 weeks. Two weeks ago, the kids had a Monday off of school, so we took the opportunity to go visit my parents and sister in Utah for the long weekend. Over the weekend, about a dozen supply orders trickled in and I got about 8 Etsy “convos” (message) asking questions about jump rings, asking for custom quotes, etc. I didn’t bring my laptop, and I try not to “work” on the weekend, so I left them go until we got back.

Tuesday morning I spent half the morning answering convos and trying to fill orders – Wednesday is a short school day for the kids (early release – blech!) which means it’s a short day for me, and I finally felt like I was catching up by yesterday.

I’ve had a few jewelry orders too, and one lovely lady saw my heart + key necklace and asked if I also did a star.

heart + key necklace

I fiddled around with some copper wire and my pliers, trying to make a star with just the wire — turns out, it’s HARD. You get one piece a teeny bit longer the the others, and BAM your star looks all wonky. I even took a board and nailed some nails into it for a little jig to use to wrap the wire around… I got some OK results, but overall, I wasn’t pleased with the outcome. Even if I had, I would have then had to solder the star closed, which presented more hassle than I felt it was worth.

So I contacted the woman and told her while I couldn’t do an open wire star, I could do a solid star — cut out of sheet with my saw. I sent a few pics in copper and she said she would like to see more.

Now — four months ago, the idea of sawing out a star would never have crossed my mind — I HATED piercing (the jeweler’s fancy way of saying sawing). My saw cuts wobbled all over the place, I invariably cut inside the lines… Rather than pierce out a shape, I would reach for a pair of metal cutting shears and use them, even though the filing and hammering it inevitably needed afterward that sort of manhandling made that much more work.

But I’ve been practicing my piercing skills in my silver class, and have been making little shapes to rivet down to silver discs to expand my Signal line of pendants, so I felt pretty confident. I cut two stars out of 20g sterling silver sheet without much trouble, drilled a hole, filed, sanded and tossed them in my tumbler to shine them up — and went about my business filling orders and answer email.

Monday morning, I fished my little stars out of the tumbler and finished the necklaces, adding a little key charm to each one, shot some photographs and sent them to my customer.

She told me that these necklaces were to be given as a gift to her daughters, on the anniversary of their father’s death, and that she has looked for something similar in the past but never been happy with with she found. Their last name has both “star” and “key” in it — the perfect necklace indeed!

My heart just melts that I was able to make these lovely, simple necklaces for such an occasion – it makes me so happy… I can slog through any amount of customer requests and email and filling of orders for moments like these.

star and key necklaces

I’m still running on emptyish.. Lots of orders to fill (always a good thing!) and not enough time to get it all done and the laundry to boot. But I am really loving what I’m doing 🙂


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Aug 31 2011


Published by under amy's head,daily,photos

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Aug 13 2011

New Signal Jewelry!

Published by under amy's head,jewelry,photos

The macro lens has not been found, which is why some of these images are … less than stellar. I couldn’t wait any longer to get them up! Right now they are only posted on my Etsy shop (where you can currently use the coupon code “20AUGUST” for 20% off your order!)

These are a few pieces of my new Signal collection:

I have more of these coming!

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Aug 12 2011


Published by under amy's head,house,kids,photos

Well, here we are! In Colorado! We’ve now been in our new house for just over a month. And wow, it feels much longer!

I really wish I had blogged during this whole process, because it has been totally surreal. The weeks before leaving Virginia was filled with “last times” doing this, and “last time” doing that. I do want to write a little bit about it, and plus I have photos. Always good to post photos!

Jocelyn had her ballet/jazz dance recital the week before our departure.

Since James’ company was relocating us, it was very nice to have packers come in and totally pack us up. What would have taken us weeks was done in 2 days. Amazing! We were packed up Thursday June 23 and part of Friday, and then everything was loaded onto the moving truck. We left that evening and headed for Indiana, to visit with my brother’s family. The kids had a blast.

cousins: ages 2-16, all playing legos. only missing 1 cousin who was out of town

trampolines – always fun

Last fall we drove to Utah and tried going w/out any sort of portable DVD player(s). We had the kind with 2 screens that strapped onto the back of the front seats’ headrests and there was always some todo about who got to pick what and Jocelyn would always get bored 15 minutes into her choice and Ethan would be stuck with it and so we just did away with it. We played movies over the car speakers (just from our phones/ipods) and it worked out fine, though this trip we didn’t even do that. There was a lot of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Nintendo DS playing, and the trip really did go well with minimal arguments.

We spent Sunday with my brother’s family, and then hit the road Monday and had dinner with James’ sister in St. Louis. Tuesday we were on the road when our VA house closed (didn’t have to be there, the relocation company handled it all, yay!) and we squealed with delight somewhere in Kansas when our realtor called and told us all went smoothly. Wednesday we arrived in Colorado and Thursday we closed on our new house. Then we had a long 4th of July holiday weekend of spending the days in our empty house or at the hotel pool, while we waited for our household goods to arrive. The moving truck arrived Tuesday, July 5th and there was much rejoicing at having all our stuff, albeit hidden away in boxes!

I have been adjusting to staying home with the kids, and I think we’ve settled into a nice groove — just in time for school to start! Only a week left, and then school begins. I will soon know the feeling of bliss every other stay at home mom feels when the little whiners darlings go off to school!

My Etsy shop and my own website are back up and taking orders — and lots of new things are cooking just waiting to get photographed and posted. Now if I could only find my macro lens…


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Apr 23 2011

Jocelyn Kid Art – mermaid + merboy

I just love this girl and her creations SO MUCH.


Mermaid + Merboy. Perhaps a prince! He does have a crown.
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Apr 14 2011

Fun with boxes

These pictures are pretty old now, but better late than never!

We had my brother and his family come visit us a few weeks ago. The weekend after they came, we were having the entire house interior painted, so the house was either scary “you’ve been robbed!” clean, or a mass of migraine inducing “a twister came through here!” messy (the basement).

We boxed up a lot of stuff, and had a lot of boxes around which the kids LOVED. Ethan, Jocelyn, cousin Kade & Eric built a massive box fort which sadly, I didn’t get a picture of. But I did get pictures of Elizabeth, the adorable almost 2 year old!
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Apr 13 2011

Pretzel boy

In case you haven’t heard, we’re moving to Colorado this summer.

Which means we need to sell this house. Which means we need to get it ready, just like the little piggy, for market.

So the last two weekends have been avoiding the house like crazy while workman paint it from head to toe, and then install carpet from head to toe.

Have I ever told you how awesome new carpet is? Ours was AWFUL. And so the new carpet is doubly sweet! It’s sooo beautiful!

Also? Big empty rooms with newly laid carpet is perfect for fiddling around on the floor.

Ethan likes to just settle into a certain position that makes me cock my head to the side and say, “Whaaa?? HOW?!”
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