Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Updated info on the Etsy NASA Space Craft Contest

Well wonders never cease. LOL. Hi all I just found out that I am getting another chance at the NASA Etsy space craft contest. Apparently there were some technical issues with the previous judging and voting process. You can see what Etsy has to say about what happened at this link if you're interested


I would really appreciate it if you all could possibly take a minute to go vote for my rocket nite lite. It is very important that you be a registered member of Etsy.com in order to vote. You can get info on voting  and a link to register an account here

Once you have a registered etsy account, please visit this page to vote for my entry

Thanks for all your help. Also it is important that you only vote once otherwise Etsy reserves the right to disqualify an entry that they feel is trying to stack the deck with multiple votes from one person. Please help me pass this along and get as many votes as possible by sharing with your friends and families. Thanks in advance. You guys rock.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Adventures in Metal

Recently Etsy co-hosted a contest with NASA. The contest called for handmade art designed and produced to commemorate the end of the NASA space shuttle program which is scheduled to be terminated in 2011. Now it just so happens that my etsy team, The Aspiring Metalsmiths, also does a monthly design challenge and this months theme required that we step outside our comfort zone and make a non jewelry metals piece. I took this opportunity to design and build a mixed metals collage/sculpture which I submitted to the Etsy contest and will also submit to the AMT monthly challenge as well.
For my entry I designed a nite-lite that features a couple of set stones and an "orbiting" space shuttle and planet. I hand punched the back drop and set a red sea sediment jasper in the upper left hand corner representing a planet, perhaps THE red planet i.e Mars, and a white mother of pearl shell on the lower right to represent the moon. I then etched a small space shuttle and a ringed planet and attached them to opposite ends of a clock hand. By inserting the battery into the clock mechanism, the space shuttle and the planet "orbit" around the etched earth foreground piece.  As the shuttle descends behind the earth the planet is just rising and beginning its journey across the sky. Lastly, I attached a small light fixture to the back of the piece that takes a typical 7 watt nite lite bulb. When the light is turned on the light shines through the punched "stars" and casts a myriad of constellations onto the wall.
I had alot of fun making this piece and will probably try to make more non jewelry items in the future. Until then take a look at these pics and let me know what you think.

Take a look at a video of the rocket and planet in motion at this link

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Show and Tell - The Aspiring Metalsmiths Monthly Blogroll Project

As I mentioned the other day, I am a member of a wonderful team of jewelry and metals artists called The Aspiring Metalsmiths. This is a great group of metal artists of varying skill levels and years of experience in the craft of handmade jewelry and metals art. The group gets together daily on the Etsy forums to share ideas and inspiration with one another in all aspects of jewelry design and small business marketing. In addition to the daily doses of camaraderie in the Etsy forums, the team shares a blog and flickr pool on which we share pictures of our recent designs and hold monthly design challenges etc. Recently the team decided to begin a monthly blogging project. The way it works is, team members will blog on the 10th of every month on a predetermined topic. At the end of each post the author will include a list of links to team members who have chosen to participate in that months topic so readers can get a variety of unique points of view from a group of like minded individuals. This being the very first installment of the Blogroll Project, the chosen topic is sort of a meet and great with the challenge being to show our workspace. So ready or not, here we go.

I know some of the chatter in the forum the past couple of days has been about teamies cleaning their work-spaces in preparation for this blog challenge. Well be forewarned, I am totally keeping it real and to borrow a phrase from my teammate Clarity, you're getting to see my chaotic workspace in all of its "ghetto-fabulous" glory. LOL  But seriously, this is what the work room looks like currently because 1) I have been extremely busy trying to get ready for a show during the last few weeks and 2) I have been having a flare with my MCTD so every bit of energy that I have had over the last month has gone into actually making new items and working on preparing listings for my etsy shop. So without further ado....
I'm really quite lucky because I have an entire spare room that I have been able to dedicate to my work area. Within the room I have set up three basic stations/areas. The first station is my design layout and etching area

The second area is my beading table with all of my many beads and baubles, my hammers, pliers, and other miscellaneous items that always seem to land there.

The third station is where I play with Fire! If you look in the lower left corner you'll see my handy plumbers torch. If you look really close you'll see my two small butane micro torches setting on the table on the right. In the back corner is a bunch of long neglected glass rods for making glass beads.(Note to self: Make some beads already!!! LOL)

Well that's basically it. The only thing missing is the computer station with my desktop computer and my bookcase which is full of magazines and books on jewelry making. So now you've had a glimpse into my chaotic little corner of the universe. I know from the looks of it it's probably hard to believe I ever get anything done at all but I promise it's organized chaos honestly it is.

Now take a few minutes to take a look around the studio spaces of some of my esteemed teammates. Just don't rub it in if theirs is all nice and tidy. LOL

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Back to Blogging

    Well I've really neglected the old blog this year. I noticed my last post was way back in March. With the year almost at its end I have vowed to revisit the blog-o-sphere. I'm gonna try to get things back on track here and begin to post again on a regular basis.

    So why the long hiatus? Well, it's been a crazy year around here. I am very happy to say that my dad is still recovering very well. This month is the one year anniversary of his laryngectomy surgery. This time last year we were so busy with his nursing care and recovery my mom and I barely had time to breath much less do anything else. He was a very sick fellow but he is improving everyday and is cancer free as far as we know. He is eating now and hopefully the feeding tube will be removed next month. We have been very blessed.

    As for me, things are about the same. I have been trying to learn more advanced metal smith techniques to apply to my jewelry. I've been learning to make bezels and set cabochons which has been a lot of fun. I found this wonderful group of artists on Etsy called the Aspiring Metalsmiths. They are a wonderful group of exceptionally talented artisans and have been integral to my learning new jewelry and metal skills. They are so very friendly and forthcoming with wonderful advice and encouragement. Please take a few minutes to check out their beautiful work in there Etsy shops. You can find a list of members and links to each one's shop here:
    Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

    So bear with me and we'll see how this works out. I have some new pieces that I'll be sharing on occasion. I want to try to share some of the neat techniques that I'm learning as well so hopefully there will be some techniques posts coming. I'll try to keep things as interesting as I can and not bore you all to much. I would like to introduce you all to some of the great folks in the AMT and do some feature posts to showcase their amazing work. So hang in there and hopefully we will have a fun and informative blogging year.

    Till next time.........