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Jewelry Inspired: Funky Copper Disc Choker

I added a little somethin’-somethin’ to my Artfire Studio today. This copper choker has been sitting on the bench for some time begging to be finished. I bought these copper discs – no word of a lie – 10 years ago. I used to buy a fair bit of Estate sell-offs back when ebay wasn’t so saturated. I admit at the time, being new to the jewelry making game, I wasn’t aware of the size when I bought them. 15mm just didn’t compute in my brain as being on the large side. So when the lot arrived – almost 100 – I had no idea what to do with them. They seemed so big and flying saucer like…

So they sat in the supply pile for well, a decade. Then this summer I decided to pick up some copper headpins, and see if I could make one of my signature funky chunky bracelets.

(Oh and I decided to pair up the discs with a 3.3mm bicone copper bead to add some dimension…)

I wanted the piece to be really solid so I started putting the discs really close together on the links of dash dot sterling silver chain (I love this chain by the way – although it is expensive it is really heavy duty, perfect for projects like this). It definitely was solid…however by doing this it did not have much bend…kind of hard to make into a bracelet. Since I already started it, I didn’t want to dismantle and start again, and I knew I had a fair bit of beads, so I decided to turn it into a choker.

So I got the beads put on and then, there it sat for a very long time. About three months! I just couldn’t decide how to finish it. Although I had assembled the discs on a heavy gauge sterling silver chain, I did not like the way the sterling stood out against the copper for the extender chain portion of the necklace. I probably could have oxidized the chain, but I was lazy. Instead I found some really heavy duty vintage copper chain to finish off the piece.

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I put a fairly long extender chain on it so that it can be adjusted to wear in a variety of ways. I also like the dramatic effect it has: the large beads at the front, and the slender sleekness of the chain trailing down in the back…I really love how it feels like a puzzle in your hands.

This is a piece for someone who wants to make a bold statement, and own a truly one-of-a-kind. I know I could never get these beads again. They are assumed “vintage” although I cannot confirm this…

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The Gift of Re-Gifting: heavenlyflower.com’s Holiday Promotion

Re-gifting. You can’t tell me the thought has never popped into your head. You receive a gift that really, is perfectly fine but just not your personal taste or style.

So, I decided to give you my re-gifting blessing! Every purchase from my Etsy Shop or Artfire Studio will receive a gift from me.: A free pair of earrings. You can keep these handmade artisan earrings as a gift from me to you, or use as a gift for someone on your holiday shopping list.

The earrings will be made of good quality materials: either sterling silver or gold-filled ear hooks, hand-painted cloisonné beads or semi-precious gemstones.  ANY PURCHASE qualifies. Just my way to say thank you and to give back. I know there is always someone on that list you’d like to give a little something to that maybe the budget doesn’t allow.

As always, there is free shipping worldwide on all items! 🙂

The promo is currently on and will continue until January 11th, 2010. You will automatically receive a pair with your purchase.

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Jewelry Inspired: Halloween

Halloween will be upon us very soon so I wanted to try my hand at some pieces inspired by the holiday.  The first thing I thought of was All Souls Day: Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos and the artwork/tattoos that are based around this theme. The second thing that came to mind was a goth/vampire feel. So the challenge was to create pieces based on left over materials I had on hand (since my Etsy & Artfire studios are the places where I list jewelry made mostly from leftover materials from past projects).

I bought these pewter skull charms on closeout awhile back, so I knew they would be perfect. Paired with some red flower beads & hematite I created these Day of the Dead inspired earrings:

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The red flower beads reminded me of the red roses I’ve seen in tattoos inspired by El Dia de los Muertos.

After those were constructed, I decided to go into a whole different direction. The words “fallen angel” kept popping in my head, as well as “Angel of Death”. So I worked with this idea, again with the pewter skull pendants, adding pewter wings. I just needed the perfect “body”. So for this time, I decided to wade through my “premium” (read: not leftovers) supplies as the hematite beads I had on hand just weren’t cutting it. Fabulous labradorite faceted rondelles caught my eye quickly. They are a nice ghosty gray tone, plus the metaphysical properties seemed to fit. Here’s what I came up with:

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I used moonstone to create the neck of the “angel”.

This soon had my mind working in the direction of a pendant. I have a few of these black (dyed) quartz faceted teardrops that I knew would be perfect for  the body. A little wire twisting and voila:

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A 4mm hematite bead makes up the neck, & I used a 22 gauge sterling silver wire. I decided to hang it from a sterling silver chain so not to take away from the focus of the pendant itself.

What I really enjoy when making themed pieces – particularly when it comes to holidays- is to come up with a design that can encompass wear year round & not just for the certain event. I find if you are not careful, jewelry designed around a theme can appear costume-y (which of course is fine if you are designing costume jewelry!). I want to create something that could be enjoyed year round. I think with the right customer, these pieces can be enjoyed over & over again.

And you know what – I really don’t find these pieces morbid. Perhaps because for me death is a transcendence of the soul, where we are reborn…although the body may die and flesh rot away. To me, that is beautiful…

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Orange Crush: The Bead Wrist Corsage

I am enjoying my summer vacation, therefore I am on a hiatus from jewelry making. I did find time this evening to list this great piece I made several weeks ago. It is inspired by the orange dahlias in my garden. I have had these vintage orange beads for several years now. I bought them as they intrigued me so, but no design ever came to mind. Let’s face it, it’s a pretty funky colour! The 10mm oval glass beads have a gold AB (aurora borealis) finish on one side.

Since the piece is inspired by flowers, I was thinking wrist corsage when I made it. Therefore, I concentrated on getting a large cluster of beads to sit on the front of the wrist, rather than wrap all the way around. A magnetic clasp finishes the piece. I thought of adding a lobster clasp in order to make it adjustable but it was way too tricky to clasp. So a magnetic one means no fuss, no muss!

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Update on this Weekend’s Sale

So the Starving (Jewelry) Artists sale on Etsy starts this Friday (April 24th) at 4pm EST. The promo is free shipping from the participating shops. I am looking into giving away a free gift or additional discount for my customers as well since my shop always offers free shipping worldwide. Remember Canadians, I offer at par pricing to the US dollar amount. So if you see something you like for $20 USD I’ll sell it to you in Canada for $20 CAD. Plus free shipping. Good deal! Check out or team blog for participating members: SATEAM on ETSY

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 71

Today was a fairly easy design day as I simply finished up the last two pieces in the garnet & pearls series. I think I needed the break, anyway. I’m feeling a bit unmotivated as I deal with some emotions stemming from my mother’s death a few months ago. Strange how those things come up at different times. So today, I put the finishing touches on a pair of earrings to match the necklace & bracelet I made yesterday, as well as a pearl cuff bracelet accented in the 4mm faceted garnet:

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Even after all that – I still have some of these garnet beads left! The smaller sized beads are definitely deceiving. 🙂

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 70

When I started to think this morning about what would be my inspiration for today’s creations, I decided to take direction from my destash pile of beads. I have these 4mm faceted garnet beads to use up. One of those, I needed some for a creation awhile back & over bought…sooo…thinking about it, I didn’t want to make the same garnet pieces I made back in January for a birthstone theme, I really wanted to pair these up with something more light. Since we are heading into wedding & formal season,  I decided to pair them up with some freshwater pearls. This is two of four pieces that I started. These two, a bracelet and necklace, are finished & I’ll complete the other two tomorrow:

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Interesting info: garnet is the birthstone for the month of Janurary and also the planetary stone for those born under the sign of Scorpio. Pearls are the birthstone for the month of June & also the planetary stone for those born under the sign of Cancer.

Till tomorrow…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 69

Today was mookaite day. I felt the need to add a couple more affordable pieces to my Artfire Studio, and mookaite came to mind. This bead stands really well on its own therefore I thought it was the appropriate choice for these pieces. Mookaite (also spelled moukaite) is a form of jasper native to Australia. Stone variance from a reddish brown, tan and cream colored.

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You can see by comparing the first and second pair of earrings, there really is a neat variance to the colour of the stone. Truly one of my favourites to work with. As far as lore goes, mookaite is believed to aid in in embracing new circumstances, acts as an emotional protector, encourages the desire for variety & new experiences, enhances decision making & helps us when dealing with negative situations. Indeed, a fascinating stone.

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Shop Promo for Sales of $50 or more & background of Shop Philosophy

I have an on-going shop promo that I wanted to mention. First, background on my shop’s philosophy…

I call my Etsy Shop my “playground” since I wanted a venue to cheaply & easily list pieces while I get my “feet wet” into the jewelry business game again. This is where I can create pieces freely, without any pressure of sales or expectation. I take left over beads from past custom projects & think of ways to breathe new life into them by making these limited edition pieces. Sometimes I do dip into the “good” supply that I am hanging on to for future custom work, but for the most part, I enjoy pushing myself creatively to figure out what to do with the leftovers…how can I make these all look good together when originally they were not purchased to be together…

So because of this, I make little to no money on the work that goes into these. In fact, if you think of the time that goes into making the jewelry, photographing, cleaning up said photos, posting them on Etsy with descriptions, then offering free shipping…well, do the math quickly in your head…there is no money to be made…

My Etsy Shop is simply for the joy of creating; to share my talents to the world and get back into it again. It’s a way for me to have an on-line portfolio to showcase my work. It also leads to custom order requests which is where the money is to be made…Eventually, I will complete my website so that I can offer many different styles for customizing. For right now though, it’s too overwhelming of an endeavour with a toddler and another baby on the way…

OK, so that leads me to the promo. Since the pieces are final sale I wanted to make purchases of $50 or more worthwhile. It also helps me move inventory, so really, you are doing me a huge favour here…

Buy jewelry totalling $50; either by purchasing 1 piece or several, and you will get $10 off an additional item. For example…

You buy a bracelet for $29, a pair of earrings for $14, and a pair of earrings for $12. Since the sum of these equal more than $50, you decide to take advantage of the promo & get a pair of earrings that are $14…with the $10 off promo, you get the third pair of earrings for just $4.

Or, you buy a necklace for $53. You then decide to buy a bracelet for $29 because the promo entitles you to that bracelet for $19…

You get the idea? 🙂 Of course, there is always free shipping worldwide & Canadians will pay at par pricing. All this info is located in my Shop Policies section. Simply include a note in your purchase that you would like to take advantage of the promo & I will send out a revised Paypal or Alert Pay Invoice (or advise the new amountif you are paying by cheque, money order or email money transfer). Off-line sales as usual, contact me with which pieces you would like to purchase, I will unlist them & proceed as mentioned above for payment. Happy shopping!

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My Fellow Canadians…

I am honoured to be able to sell jewelry on Etsy & most of my sales have been to our American cousins south of the border. Canadian sales so far have come mostly from pre-existing customers who I have sold pieces off-line or through custom work.

It wasn’t too long ago, that we enjoyed for the first time in many, many years the Canadian Dollar & US Dollar being matched exchange wise almost dollar for dollar. Now we are back to that ever fluctuating market game of dollar up & down…now, shopping in the US is not so attractive for us Canadians, eh? 🙂

Since Etsy lists in US dollars, I want to give my fellow Canadians a break & offer at par pricing on my work. Therefore, if you buy a bracelet for $29 USD, and the item is going to a Canadian address, you may have the piece for $29 CAD. Simply include a message with your purchase & I will either send you a new PayPal or Alert Pay invoice to the current exchange rate that day, or advise you the amount to make your cheque, money order or email money transfer out for.

More details on my Shop Policies page. As always, shipping is always free world wide.