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Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer is in full swing

Summer already seems to be flying by as we're busy as ever shuttling kids to their various activities. Silly me, thought that the arrival of summer vacation would mean a less hectic schedule. This has not been the case. Every day of the week, including weekends, has something on the calendar. July looks as busy as June. I keep telling myself that keeping the kids, especially the teens, busy will keep them active and hopefully out of trouble.

We did manage a family day a couple of weeks ago. We took all the kids to Longwood Gardens for the day. Our family has been visiting Longwood since 1992 so we have lots of great memories there. Longwood Gardens has recently reconstructed their indoor children's garden which is a site to see. The kids, as well as the adults, didn't want to leave this indoor oasis that stimulated the imagination with architectural and fresco-like details. Their outdoor gardens are always beautiful and lush with flowers but this year they added 3 tree houses. Zoe was our little trail-blazer, leading the way to the next tree house. We couldn't wait to climb into the trees and take in the beautiful views.

As you can imagine, with 4 kids, the house can get very noisy. It's been very challenging to get work done between refereeing the fights and arguments. How do I have time to make jewelry? I have noticed that my pace has slowed since summer began. I'll start to work on a piece and stop to make lunch, return to the piece, stop to change a diaper, get a sippy cup, do a load of laundry, by the time I finish working on a piece of jewelry it might be day 2. Time management is my friend. I find that most of my marketing ideas come to me while in the shower!! No one is in there distracting me!! I'm sure any mom reading this can relate.

I did manage to make this necklace last week. The center piece is chalcedony, which is flanked by pink opal nuggets. Rhodonite climbs each strand, ending in a hand-tooled and sterling silver wrapped toggle clasp.

Last week was my first office trunk show. It was a great success! I can't wait to do another one! Much thanks to the hostess and all of her co-workers who shopped.

Well this busy mom still needs to get to work! Enjoy your summer!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Something About Copper

This rose colored metal has a mirror finish which plays with the sunlight that seems to highlight the stones it surrounds.

I have a new appreciation for copper. I generally keep copper wire on hand to test out new designs. Copper is less expensive compared to sterling silver wire and malleable which makes it a suitable material for prototypes. So I had this design idea floating around in my head for a while and finally had a chance to sit down last night and work with my wire and pliers. I created a frame for the ring and wrapped it in copper wire. The fresh water pearls are also hand wrapped in copper wire. The pearls actually dangle off the ring, creating movement that will undoubtedly attract lots of attention for the person wearing it.

Today was so peaceful since my older children had sports camps and hubby took the younger kiddies to run errands. I was so inspired by how well the copper ring had turned out that I took advantage of the quiet and created a pendant out of copper wire and gemstones, specifically Flower New Jade surrounded by Ocean Jasper. Three strands of thin brown leather cord and my hand-tooled copper hook and findings finish off the 15 1/2" choker.

I made this sterling silver link bracelet between customers this past Saturday at the Summer Shopping Days event. I hand turned each figure eight link then hammer them flat. For added interest, a fine silver Thai charm and rhodonite charm dangle off the end. The sterling silver hook is also hand-tooled by yours truly.

I have yet to price my lovely new additions but when I do I'll add them to the website--unless I decide to keep them for myself!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Flower Girl Bracelets

I'm half way through the day and functioning on 1 cup of coffee after sleeping 4ish hours last night. I need a nap. By now I have usually downed several cups of jo but I happily received a phone call this morning requesting a private showing. You may know by now that when I get a call for a showing I make a mad dash around the house picking up after 4 kids, a husband and a dog. This requires fierce time management skills and in addition to corralling the younger two, the ability to delegate tasks to my older kids, who are so thrilled to be home from school. You see, the bride is getting married in 4 days and she forgot flower girl bracelets. That's where I come in. Simple, yet elegant Swarovski Pearl stretch bracelets for 2 flower girls, ages 3 and 6. Fortunately I had enough pearls to accommodate the order and they look precious.

An update on the Chakra Earrings. This is another version with sterling silver. I think I'll make a pair using 1 kind of gemstone as opposed to the variety. The various gemstone beads are hematite, red aventurine, calcite, rose quartz, sodalite, amethyst and crystal quartz. The colors are representative of the Chakra energy centers in the body and when combined in this specific order,are believed to help balance the body's energy centers which in turn balances the person. I'm all for a little balance in life!!

On that note, I'm off to markdown some pieces that will be for sale this Sat. during the 1st ever Hillcrest Summer Shopping Days and price out a project for my girl who has a need for beads--you know who you are!! I'll be in touch soon.

Have a great day! ~Heather

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Day at Hershey Park

I actually stepped away from my desk for the day in order to enjoy a day with the family at Hershey Park. Zach and Caitlyn attended with their school chorus group. Hubby and I had the little ones with us. At 16 months of age, it was Aeryn's first trip to an amusement park and she loved it! What surprised me is that my Zoe, who is forever running and jumping off of anything that's standing still, was quite reserved with the amusement rides. It took her several rides with her dad and I before she got the nerve to ride independently. Although the day turned out to be hot and sticky and my old ankle injury got the best of me after several hours of walking up and down the hills, it ended up being a beautiful day with the girls. We never did run into Zach and Caitlyn but they probably preferred it that way!

As a side note, I am forever checking out what other people are sporting for bling. I had the opportunity to check out styles while walking from ride to ride. Surprisingly, there were oodles of park goers dawning a wide variety of jewelry styles, even in the sticky heat. Chunky necklaces seemed to stand out the most.

Have a great weekend and stay cool as we're suppose to have record high temps. ~Heather

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Last Day of School

For my older 2 children, summer will officially begin in a matter of minutes when they step off the bus. I'm bracing myself for a summer filled with bickering. Zach, 14 years old, and Caitlyn, 12 years old, are fiercly competetive with each other--about everything. I'll never forget when they were both riding the school bus with each other for the first time, Zach was in 3rd grade and Caitlyn was in 1st. She would push her way past him to be the first on the bus. Not much has changed since then.

As I await their arrival home, I'm enjoying the relative peace and quiet. My little ones are content at the moment, I'm sipping my 1st of many cups of coffee for the day, and contemplating the next piece of jewelry that will hopefully take shape by the day's end. I have so many designs floating around in my head and unfortunately I don't have enough silver wire at the moment to make all of them.

So I made these earrings on Monday. They are a spin off of the Chakra Balancing Bracelet that I made for the Yoga Collection. Each gemstone is representative of a Chakra Energy Center. I'm learning as I go (I'm no expert) as the Yoga Collection was born out of a custom order and the customer has been kind enough to share this very interesting information with me. More on that later. The point I'm trying to get to is that I'm thinking the earrings need a little something more. A little silver daisy spacer in between the beads just might do the trick. What do you think? If I get around to making the change, I'll post the picture for your viewing pleasure.

Guess what? They're home.....suddenly, the house got very loud. ~Heather