Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Handmade for the Holidays

This month's Aspiring Metalsmiths Team blogroll topic is "Handmade Holidays."  There are so many ways to expound on the topic that I couldn't choose just one, so here is how I will be celebrating the Holidays with handmade gifts.

My favorite gifts to give every year are Thistle Farms products handmade by the women of Magdalene House here in Nashville, Tennessee.  Magdalene House is a residential program for women who have survived lives of violence, prostitution and addiction. Thistle Farms is their social enterprise.  By hand, the women create natural bath and body products that are as good for the earth as they are for the body. Purchases of Thistle Farms products directly benefit the women who make them.

These products make fabulous gifts for all ladies.  From candles to room spray, from body wash to body balm, lip smoothies to sachets and more, the products are available in delicious scents like Holiday, Tea Tree Mint, Lavendar, Tuscan Earth, and Citrus Vanilla.  My personal favorite is the Tea Tree Mint.  The body wash wakes me up in the shower and the candle oozes pepperminty Christmas.  I have sampled them all and use them daily.  The fragrances are true and delicate, not overpowering.

Also available on the Thistle Farms website are some amazing inspirational books written by the founder Becca Stevens, including a book of stories from the women of Magdalene House and some great devotionals.  Becca was recently honored at the White House by President Obama as one of 15 "Champions of Change" during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Her books are fantastic stand alone gifts or a great accompaniment to any of Thistle Farms other products.  Buy these handmade products this Holiday season and know that your gift serves more than one purpose.  I am buying for my mom, my mother-in-law, my niece, my daughter's teachers and myself!

The other aspect of handmade holidays I want to tackle is buying handmade for children.  This can be really tough thanks to cunning advertisers and big box stores, but I've managed to find a few handmade gifts for my daughter right on etsy this year.  I wasn't really surprised when she announced that she wanted a drum for Christmas.  She loves all things musical.  So I found this cute little drum on etsy.  It reminds me of one I had when I was little, and I know she will love it.

I also found this great handmade baby doll sling.  My daughter loves her baby dolls and is always asking me to tie a blanket or towel around her for a baby carrier.  She will be so surprised when she opens this one! 

So, Happy Handmade Holiday shopping from me to you!  And check out how some of my other teammates are celebrating "Handmade Holidays."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What's New

What am I working on?  Well, I think I'm working on attaining my official status as a stonelicker.  Just a few short months ago, I had only successfully completed two bezel set pieces and just the thought of another attempt practically gave me an anxiety attack.

Having recently joined the Aspiring Metalsmiths Team on Etsy, I was in awe of the beautiful stone and metalwork of my teammates.  Quite frankly, I became totally jealous of their creativity and abilities.  So, I finally decided to bite the bullet, order a few special stones, and gave myself permission to screw up.  And screw up, I did.  I turned an amethyst drusy into ametrine, dropped a gorgeous green turquoise and broke it and then charred it.  After seeking advice from my much superiorly skilled teammates and a little practice, I'm improving.

And now, I have become a stone addict.  How many loose stones does one have in her possession before she officially becomes a stonelicker?  I think I have approximately 50-60 stones laying around my studio just daring me to try to set them.  So that's what I'm working on, taking on the dares one stone at a time.  Here are the latest.


Matador Ole Necklace                              

   Check out the awesome artists below and see what they are working on.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Disciples Do Not Disappoint

I want to take a moment to attempt to express my deepest gratitude to my Disciples family.  I say attempt because thank you just doesn't seem like enough.  Because of the courageous compassion and generosity of those at General Assembly, $2300 has been donated to Week of Compassion from the sale of Resurrection Silver's Disciples Jewelry Collection.  I just keep dreaming about what fantastic goodness will be done with your gifts.  Thank you so much!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chalice Update

Official totals are 152 Chalice Pendants, 16 pairs Chalice Earrings, 15 pairs St. Andrew's Cross Earrings, and 20 St. Andrew's Cross Charms.  I'm pooped!  The next week will be spent polishing silver and pricing.  General Assembly begins July 9!  Can't wait!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chalice Update

I think the total now stands at 96 finished.  Time to order more silver!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chalice Countdown

As most of my Disciples friends know, I will have an exhibitor booth at the General Assembly here in Nashville in July.  For those of you who don't know, the chalice is the symbol for the Disciples of Christ denomination.  You can find more info at

I began making these handcut chalices last year for friends when they admired the one I had made for myself.  Then, after our Great Flood of May 2010 in Nashville, I offered them for sale with half the sale price going to fund flood recovery.  I took 50 of my chalices to Quadrennial Assembly in June 2010 and with a friend's help sold 43 and raised a total of $1000 for flood victims.

Half the sale price of all my chalices now goes directly to Week of Compassion.  Visit for more information on this amazing organization.  So, it is my goal to have 200 chalices available for sale at General Assembly.  Last week with only a handful ready to go, I began to feel the crunch, especially with VBS and a family vacation coming up before assembly. 

I've begun working feverishly to accomplish my goal.  Tuesday, I hammered out 24 of the copper design and am proud to say that I now have 83 finished!  I can't wait to write that check to WOC!  And with that, it's back to work I go...

If you want to beat the GA rush, here are the links to purchase now:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter

I must share this, but it's almost too cute for words.  The other night, I was on the phone with my mother and my three year old daughter grew suspiciously quiet.  I could hear her at the dining room table which is where all organized mothers keep their kids' craft supplies.  I hung up with my mom and crept into the dining room where my precious little girl was diligently coloring and cutting a strip of metallic silver cardboard.  "Whatcha doin'," I asked.  "I'm making a ring," she replied.

She had colored a piece of the cardboard purple and cut it into rough squares for decoration along with some lengths of gray thread.  I helped her tape it all together, but this is my baby's first attempt at jewelry design.  I am so proud and I can't wait until she's old enough to take her down to the studio!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tea Time

This may quite possibly be the world's smallest sterling silver tea service!  When a customer sent this to me, I just fell in love.  It's so cute and adorable!  The largest piece of the service is maybe 1" tall.  All in all, the set was in pretty good shape.  It just needed a good polishing, and it was missing one of the small turquoise stones set in the top of the pots.


So, custom request:  make the service into charms for a bracelet and turn the tray into a cuff bracelet.  First things first.  I special ordered the turquoise piece, a tiny 4mm round sleeping beauty turquoise.  When the stone came in, I carefully set it and went to work on the charms.  For two of the pieces, I had to drill holes to accept jump rings and for the others, I was able to slip the jump rings through the teensy weensy handles.  Then, with some elbow grease, I polished those itty bitty teapots by hand.

Now for the cuff.  The little tea tray was so thin, I knew I needed to work on it without using too much heat.  So, I hammered the tray completely flat and shaped it mostly by hand.  Then, I cut a length of sterling silver strip and hammered it for a bit of texture.  I looped one end of the strip around one of the tray handles and soldered it closed.  I shaped the strip into a curve, bent a loop into the other end and hooked it on the other tray handle to hold the bracelet closed.  I polished this one by hand as well.


These turned out really cute, I think.   I love custom requests like this.  I enjoy turning your cherished pieces or flea market finds into something you can wear and use everyday.  Plus, I get to see some really interesting silver.  If you are interested in custom work, please email me at

Monday, March 21, 2011

Do You Hear What I Hear?

What do I listen to in my studio while I work?  Well.......okay, my studio is in my basement, so there are lots of interesting sounds down there.  There's the clanking of the ancient furnace, the on/ off hum of the dehumidifier.  Then, there's the trickling sound of the french drains emptying into the cistern to be pumped out by the sump pump.  If you really use your imagination, it almost sounds like a fountain.  And most of the time, I hear the soft buzz of the baby monitor since I sneak in most of my bench time while my daughter naps.  Glamorous, huh?

While that's the literal lowdown, I'd like to speak to the more figurative.  I devote a lot of my attention to my inner creative voice, my Jiminy Cricket, if you will.  I listen to my gut about my designs.  I keep up with the trends, but it's really the original OOAK pieces I love.

With my Resurrected line, the pieces of silver speak to me, sometimes loud and clear as in this case.  The second I spied this gorgeous spoon, it screamed "I'm a pendant, a big, bold, beautiful pendant!"

This piece beginning its life a soup server, the bowl was very deep, so it took much annealing and hammering.  But with every fall of the hammer, I could hear this spoon coming closer to its new life as someone's fabulous pendant.

Sometimes the voice of the silverware is more subtle like this one.  This tiny little pine branch demitasse spoon said, "Buy me.  I'm different."  So I bought it, but it took six months of listening to its careful whispers before it finally revealed, "I'm a necklace."


And sometimes, as in the case of this ring, the pieces continue to speak to me throughout the creative process. I had already sawed off the bowl of this tiny Mexican souvenir spoon when I heard it say, "Use my handle for the band."

So even though I'm not sawing in rythm with Beethoven, I love my work and the melody it makes.  Do you hear what I hear?

 Here are some other blogs from my fellow Aspiring Metalsmith Teammates:
Kat -
Stacy -
Clarity of Scrollwork Designs -
Brandy -
Happy Tortoise Designs -
Claire -
Silver Pearl Jewelry and Metalworks -
Autumn -
hemlockhollow -
Beatriz Fortes -
Resurrection Silver -
RadianTrace -
nancycreations -
Jessica @ Abella Blue -

Saturday, March 19, 2011

2011 Spring Jewelry Trends

Finally, Spring!  It's time to start swapping out the winter duds in your closet for spring and summer and buy a few new trendy pieces for the season.  But don't forget to update your jewelry wardrobe, too!

According to fashion experts, the hottest jewelry trends for Spring 2011 are tassels and big, bold mixed metal pieces.  While I typically march to the beat of my own style drum, I also like to keep time with the current fads to offer my customers the latest and greatest.  Here are some of my new Spring offerings:

This great necklace combines a vintage green glass bead with sterling silver chain and a handmade lariat.

I also have some of those chunky mixed metal pieces in my shop like a coordinating set of Buckle Style Sterling Silver and Copper Bracelet and Ring.

Thank you for taking a moment to read my first blog.  I'd love it if you'd like to browse my little shop, too!