Rock Cairns Jewelry Saturday, March 30, 2013
I love Earth Day and was a participant in the first one years ago when I was in high school. My entire high school embraced the concept of taking care of the environment. At that time, the Willamette River in Portland was so polluted with sewage that it was down right nasty. Earth Day helped to raise the consciousness of people about taking care of the planet. We still have a long way to go, but at least individuals are moving in that direction.
As a member of The Artisan Group I was able to share my earth friendly creations to celebrate Earth Day. Various earth conscious celebrities will receive a gift bag with various earth friendly handmade items. This year the recipients include Jeremy Piven, Tom Hanks, Bill Maher, Adrian Grenier, Kate Bosworth, P!nk, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dave Matthews, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Daryl Hannah, Drew Barrymore, Ellen DeGeneres, Orlando Bloom, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Hartnett, Sting, Barbra Streisand, Alicia Silverstone, Courteney Cox, Cameron Diaz, KT Tunstall, Mark Ruffalo, and Edward Norton
I had a few options to chose from when deciding what to gift. I have my Trashy Tinsel line of recycled tin jewelry or there was the Om Rock Cairn pendants. I decided on the cairns even though it meant drilling almost a hundred rocks and making about 75 spacers out of recycled copper flashing. The wonderful thing about Om rocks is that no mining of the earth is involved to obtain the stones. They are gathered during contemplative walks on the beach. The various pebbles are gifts from the sea. Through the transformative properties of the water, rough stones have been made smooth. In my mind this is a great metaphor for life.
Rock Cairns have been built for ages to mark a path or help others find their way. For this reason, cairn pendants make great gifts for friends who are needing some direction in their life. Each cairn has been cleansed and charged with a crystal for the wearers greatest and highest good.
Both you and various celebs could be rocking out with Om and saving the planet at the same time. To see more Om Rock jewelry:
Tibetan Inspired Amulet gifted to Amanda Seyfried Sunday, August 5, 2012
I belong to a celebrity gifting team called The Artisan Group and as a part of that team I had the privelege of gifting the actress, Amanda Seyfried. After looking at numerous photos, I came to the conclusion that she did not wear a lot of jewelry which made deciding what to make her difficult. In the end I sent her an amulet with the word "Peace" inside. It seemed like wherever she went, people were following her and taking her photo. Yes, she is beautiful but I think she would probably enjoy having coffee with a friend without having every move photographed.
The pendants were inspired by the Tibetan prayer wheel I picked up in my travels to Nepal. Your breath or prana activates the word inside the amulet and sends it into your heart and out into the world. I like to use recycled materials whenever possible to make these Tibetan prayer pendants and many are adorned with vintage tins. Upon request, I can place the word of your choice inside an amulet..
This is a picture of the one I gifted to Amanda.
Making Beach Stone Jewelry Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Whenever I go to the beach, I come home with a pocketful of rocks. Not pretty agates, but flat pebbles in different colors to use in the making of beach rock jewelry. I love the black basalt rock because it is so smooth, but that one seems to be the hardest to find. So I decided to collect by shape rather than color. I started out with an Altoid tin, now I have three tins full of rocks.
Before the rocks become jewelry, I drill them with a lapidary drill press. I started off using my flex shaft and this works fine I just got tired of standing up and holding it. I When I am drilling rocks, I spend a couple of days at it. I have tried different diamond tips, and have found the 1.5mm lapidary bits they sell on Ebay to be the best. I tried the hollow core bits from Rio Grande, and they disintegrated after a couple of holes. I also didn't like that they filled with rock dust and were no longer hollow after a couple of rocks were drilled.
Keeping the drill bit wet is of utmost importance. Without water, the bit will twist apart due to friction. To keep the bit cool, I move it up and down if the stone is thick. With the drill press, I can actually put the stone in a pan of water. The downside of this is sometimes it is difficult to see where I am drilling. With my dremel, I used an eyedropper to keep the hole wet. If the placement of a hole is critical, I will still use the dremel to make a small pilot hole then finish it off with the drill press.
Drilling rocks is messy so be prepared for some clean up afterwards. Maybe others can keep the water in the container, but I find it all over my bench. Using the flex shaft really throws the water around. If I am struggling with a hole, I have found the bit is worn out. Depending upon the mohs hardness, a bit is good for maybe 10 to 25 holes. The top rock on this Om rock Cairn was really hard and it took me a while to figure out I was trying to drill an agate. After changing to a brand new bit, the agate was drilled in no time.
Preparing for Craft Festivals Sunday, May 20, 2012
The summer season means preparing for craft festivals. Outdoor fairs take a toll on jewelry so the preparation starts with cleaning and polishing jewelry from the year before. Earring cards and necklace tags need to be replaced so they look new. I take inventory of my stock, and adjust prices to reflect the rising cost of materials. Unless of course, I am tired of hauling around a piece of jewelry. Those pieces I put on sale at a discount.
The audience at each festival is different so it is important to display the products that will appeal to the crowd. If people are there to listen to music that is going to be a different crowd than people who are coming primarily to shop. I adjust what I display to fit the demographics of the audience. If there is not a lot of money in the community, I am not going to put out my 150 dollar necklace for instance. Last weekend, my Om Rocks line of natural stone jewelry was a hit. There we a number of vendors there so I think this was a unique item. I also sold a number of the Trashy Tinsel line for this same reason.
The competition in jewelry is high, so I put my most dazzling items within the first few feet of the booth. People will step into a booth if it interesting, but will walk by if it looks like "just more jewelry." I had a woman last week say she often walks by jewelry booths and says, "I can make that myself, but when she went by mine she thought now I can't do that." She came back with her sisters and they all bought something. Now that is the bold, extraordinary person I am looking for in my niche of the jewelry trade.