Friday, August 27, 2010

Back in the Country and Back in Action

Hello! Wow it's been almost a month since I last posted! Africa was super awesome and I totally loved seeing all of the fantastic wildlife in their natural environment. It also made me really appreciate what a cushy life we have here in the United States. I didn't realize how much I took basic sanitation and good paved roads for granted until I went to Kenya. Plus imagine having to walk 6 miles every day to gather firewood to cook your food, or 3 miles to the nearest watering hole to wash your clothes by hand. It certainly put my life into perspective and gave me a lot of respect for the resourcefulness and determination of the people who live there. Not to mention a much deeper appreciation of being surrounded by modern appliances.

Here are a few pictures I took from the trip.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

First Hammered Wire Jewelry Piece

In previous posts I mentioned that I've been working on hammering silver wire, but I haven't shared anything I've made up until this point. Today I finally put the first one up: a pair of earrings along the same lines as my other elf/nature items. I actually made them about a week ago, but didn't post the on Etsy until tonight because I was fussing with the photographs. But after making many more pairs of earrings (yet to be revealed but soon to come, I promise!), I thought I'd share how I went about making them and some lessons learned.

- Make sure you're hammer is parallel to your block when it hits the wire. Oh Em Geee..... That was really frustrating to learn.
- Hold the hammer at the end of the handle and raise your entire arm up and down. Do not swing your forearm, or else the hammer will hit at an angle and leave a mark on the wire.
- If you want to flatten the wire, use materials that are harder than it, such as steel. If you just want to harden, use softer materials such as wood.
- The wire will want to straighten when you flatten it, so if you're flattening out a spiral, provide counter pressure on the outside of the loop so it keeps its curved shape
- When making earrings, you can tape the wires together and form them at the same time to make sure each earring is identical. Then hammer them out.
- Photographing earrings is really, really hard. I'm still working on this
- Hammering late at night is not good for neighbor relations. Oops.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Elf Inspired Stuff

After the bazillionth photo reshoot, I finally got some nice photos of the nature and elven inspired jewelry pieces I made. It took finding some rocks to make it work in a way I was satisfied with (and by finding I mean stealing them out of the bottom of a fountain, lol!). Anyways, now I have some nice new listings on my Etsy shop, like this elf pendant and tree branch necklace. Here are some pictures of some other listings I've recently put up:

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Etsy Store Items

I've been working hard and been busting out all kinds of jewelry pieces to increase my inventory on Etsy, since lots of sellers on the forums say sales don't really start to take off until you get at least 50+ items in your store. So I've been literally hammering away at wire pieces and also been wrapping some more cabochon pendants. Here are my latest creations!

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Etsy Store

Now that school is out, I've been keeping myself busy by playing lots of video games, but after a while I started getting restless. After some self-reflection, I realized is all I do all day is sit on my butt in front of one screen or another. So I decided to take up jewelry making again, which is a hobby I've been doing off and on for the past five years but hadn't done for a while. I had all the tools and lots of extra beads, wire and chain so it seemed like something easy and fun to do on the side without having to spend too much.

But now I have all this jewelry lying around that I don't wear, Christmas is far off and there aren't too many birthdays coming up. So after filing a box full of jewelry and nothing to do with them, I decided to open up an Etsy store. Etsy is a lot more complicated than running my Zazzle store because there are more fees and I have to take tax into consideration and deal with inventory, shipping, packaging etc etc but I think it'll be a fun experience. I've only put up a few pieces so far and plan on slowly releasing them over time over the weekdays to maximize SEO, but for now I think this will be a great experiment.

Here's the link to my Etsy shop main page:

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Latest creations

School has been making life pretty hectic and overall not fun, but there was a brief period before I had to start studying for finals that I was able to do a little bit of design work for my galleries. I came upon the idea of doing a flower series after I walked by a florist on University Ave. So far I've only put up 2 different types of flowers in six different colors, but I'm planning on a total of about 10 different flowers total. I'll probably be releasing them slowly over the course of the next few weeks to keep my gallery high on Zazzle's internal search rankings.

(full product here)

(full product here)

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

New York Times Article

A couple photos of me ended up in an article about TechShop that came out in the New York Times on April 9, 2010. I was doing work on one of the mills trying to make one of the pieces of a test rig I've been designing and fabricating these past couple weeks. It really wasn't very interesting work (I was just counter-boring some holes), but I guess the NYT editors felt there needed a little female representation or something in the photo spread.

Full New York Times article is here: Inventors Wanted. Cool Toys Provided.

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