Monday, April 29, 2013

Featured Artist Tress of Rozies Pearls

Featured Artist Tress of Rozies Pearls

Rozies Pearls on Handmade Artistshandmade braceletTress and Randy are dreaming big! In fact, every time this husband and wife team sells one of their darling pieces, Randy asks if he can retire now! Love this! Maybe not now, but Tess knows that one day she will be able to turn to him and say “Yes, you can retire now.”
Tress has always been creative but also loves to spend time watching football, though she and Randy do not root for the same team, and wrestling.  The couple was never blessed with children so she takes time to baby her darling German Shepherd, Rozie, who even gets to go to PetSmart on her birthday to pick a new toy!
Click the link below, to read the rest of the story!

Featured Artist Tress of Rozies Pearls

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cubicle Day

Cubicle Day

How many creative types are designated to a cubicle during the week? Just because you have bills to pay doesn’t mean that you can’t brighten up your little space and make your work day a bit brighter! Check out these amazing treasures from the talented artists on HandmadeArtists to make your cubicle reflect your creative personality.
HAF Cubicle Day

Pencil Cup Fork Pencil Holder

fork pencil holder handmade
Pencils and pens are necessary in the home and office, but that doesn’t mean you can’t display them with style!  From ForkedUpArt comes this solution to run away pencils on your desk and does it with style.  Each piece in this imaginative shop will bring a smile to your face.

Click the link below for the full story....

Cubicle Day

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Featured Artist Pat of Chase Your Dreams

Featured Artist Pat of Chase Your Dreams

handmade dragonSome live their lives with absolute passion…living to fullest in everything that they do. This is the case of Pat..whose life is a whirlwind of activity; all creative and full of color.
Pat is a professional trainer of Miniature Horses and Shetland Ponies which she shows on both local and national levels. She has published 7 books and is currently looking for a publisher for her next line of books.  In addition, she raises Nigerian Dwarf Goats and breeds dogs.  Her sister lives with her, who lives with Downs Syndrome, on their acreage in Oklahoma.  With all this activity, Pat still finds time to create.
Click the link below to read the whole story...

Featured Artist Pat of Chase Your Dreams

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Primroses - Colour inspiration

Spring is here, really truly finally here, and the primroses are all out and bobbing their smiling heads in the breeze. This months colour inspiration post brings two very different springtime colourways taken from images of this bonny little flower. The first is this warm pink and golden toned collection teamed up with a lovely off white shade. Elegant and feminine.

 To read more, click the link below!

Primroses - Colour inspiration

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Who do you blame for slow sales?

Your Venue? Resellers? Large collectives? Bad economy?
Any and all of the above can and will have an impact on our sales. And since they are out of our personal control, what do you think is the best way to rise above all or any one of them?
handamde cuffLately, I’ve seen so many online discussions in venue forums about low views and lack of sales and blaming it on everything under the sun.  Or saying they have tried everything and work very hard.  And when I look at the OPs’ shops, I see that there is much they could do from the inside out to improve. Without fail, they all have something they could do better.
But, as is with human nature, it’s always easier to blame external forces when things aren’t going well somewhere in our lives.
I’m not sitting on a high horse or standing on a soap box here. I feel what everyone else does. But I’m choosing to deal with it differently.
In my Etsy shop, I had one sale in February. ONE SALE!!! My average months historically have been 8-12 sales. Very low volume, but this is fairly normal for me and I’m good with that.
Having a rough post-holiday season was very, very discouraging.
Click on the link below for the full story!
Who do you blame for slow sales?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A short history of knitting

Since I’ve been an enthusiastic knitter for years I was interested in learning something about the origins of this wonderful craft. I hope you enjoy reading what I found out.
Very little is known about when and where people began to knit because knitting is made of organic fibers like wool and silk that decay rapidly. So the oldest archeological finds of knitted clothes in the Middle East originate from early post-Christian times. From the Middle East knitting techniques spread to Spain. The earliest knitted items in Europe were probably made by Muslim knitters that were employed by noble Spanish families.
Hand KnitFrom Spain knitting spread to the whole of continental Europe during the Middle Ages and by the 12th century it was already an advanced craft. The first knitters‘ guild was founded in Paris in the 13th century, followed by similar organizations in other European countries. Knitting was mainly a male occupation at this time and only men were admitted to the guilds. The knitters‘ apprenticeship lasted at least seven years.Pink Knitting
It was not until the 15th century that knitting reached Britain. During the next hundred years an active knitting industry developed here. Queen Elizabeth I, who was queen of England from 1558 until 1603, passed a large number of laws and regulations to support and protect this trade. She ordered for example that on Sundays and Holy days every male over the age of six had to wear a woolen cap made in England.
Click link below for full article!

A short history of knitting

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Nickel, Silver, Gold and Pickle

Nickel, Silver, Gold and Pickle
Hello there, this post is all about Metals, Heavy, Precious, Rolled, Filled, Nickel and the chemical compound known as “Pickle”.
Nickel: One of my biggest pet peeves in the jewelry industry is Nickel. Nickel is not Silver, it is not “Nickel Silver”, there is NO Silver in Nickel what so ever. Not even the tiniest elemental trace. None, zero, zip, nada, Nickel in the Rawnil.  Nickel is a copper alloy usually containing 60% Copper, 20% Zinc, and 20% Nickel, it may also contain Tin, it is also known as “Indian Silver” or “German Silver”.  Nickel can be toxic, and many people are allergic to or can have a severe reaction to Nickel, and including the word “silver” is misleading and irresponsible. Nickel is a white metal, like aluminum or tin. Adding the word silver also allows sellers to up their price for a common and non-precious item. Don’t be fooled, Nickel is not and never will be silver of any kind, ever.
Silver and Sterling Silver – Silver depending on where you are in the world can be graded differently. Sterling Silver however is always 92.5% Silver and 7.5% Copper (or other metals). Silver in it’s pure state is too soft to make functional items from, and is usually alloyed with other metals to strengthen it without changing its properties or the beauty of metal. Three Nines Fine or Fine Silver is 99.9% silver and used mainly in the creation of jewelry.
Silver in the Raw
 Silver plated items are usually .15 to .25mm of Silver adhered to the surface of a base metal, usually copper or brass. Rolled Silver or Rolled Gold have a thicker outer sheath of precious metal adhered to the base metal. This type of plating lasts longer than the traditional plating methods.
Argentium – “Argent” is the Spanish word for Silver, Argentium is actually Sterling Silver that has had some of the copper content replaced with the metalloid germanium. Germanium (Ge) is a chemical element appearing silver-grey in color. The addition to or replacement of copper aids in stopping the oxidation process of the metal and makes it less susceptible to tarnish.
Gold:  Gold is weighed or measured in Karats. Carats are used to measure gemstones. I know a little confusing. Karats refer to amount of actual gold a coin or piece of jewelry contains. Pure gold is simply too soft to use in making or creating any kind of functional item and is usually alloyed with another metal to improve strength without marring the beauty of the natural metal.Gold in the Raw
24 kt – Pure Gold
22 kt to 10kt – are common for most jewelry
Rose gold contains 25% copper giving it is reddish or “rose” hue.
White Gold is usually alloyed with another white metal like palladium or silver to give it the white color.
The world’s consumption of available Gold today is counted as 50% used for jewelry, 40% investments and 10% industry (electronics, etc.)
 Copper:  Copper is one of the very first metals mined by man, and was principally mined on Cyprus in the Copper SymbolRoman Era. It has numerous uses, and makes beautiful jewelry. From trade and artworks in the Ancient World, to modern uses today such as Copper Bottom Cooking pots, building materials, conductors of heat and is a constituent of various metal alloys. When allowed to corrode, Copper will verdigris or turn green (patina), it is also found as a trace element in food and water and is important to all life, it is part of the respiratory enzyme complex, cytochrome c oxidase. It is also used to create mirrors, and connected with the goddesses Aphrodite and Venus.  The alchemical symbol for copper is also the modern symbol for women, or the planetary sign for Venus.

Pickle: Pickle is a liquid solution containing hydrochloric acid.  This is ACID, it can burn you, it is poisonous and considered hazardous waste by the EPA, it should always be handled carefully, with protective clothing and used in a well ventilated area.  Most pickle solutions are kept in a pot, this is called, you guessed it, a Pickle Pot.   Many people use covered Crock Pots or other ceramic lined cooking implements as Pickle Pots.  These Pickling Solutionshould never be re-used for cooking food.  But what does pickling do?  Pickling metal is the process of removing fire scale and other impurities from the surface of the metal after heating the piece.  Fire scale is a surface discoloration that can be removed by immersing the metal in the pickle solution in the pot to clean the metal.

Thank you for having a read.
~The Alchemists Vessel~

Thursday, April 4, 2013

National Tell a Lie Day

National Tell a Lie Day
From the time they are children we teach them not to lie, which is why I love the idea of this day so much! It is the one day per year that telling a lie is not only all right but encouraged! In honor of Tell a Lie Day I present to you some of the most wonderful handmade lies I have ever seen.
HAF Tell a lie

Magnet Humor Chocolate

Handmade chocotate magnet
Yes, it is a lie, but wouldn’t it be wonderful it it was true!  This darling magnet with a tongue in cheek sense of humor comes to you courtesy of KP Dreams.  This shop is loaded with darling signs and magnets that will surely brighten your mood on any day…even if chocolate doesn’t make your clothes shrink.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Earrings

Look lush enough to eat?  Absolutely, but I wouldn’t advise it because these little beauties are earrings, not food.  From the talented hands of WelshDragonDesigns comes these earrings that look so real it will cause you to take a second look.
(Are you noticing a theme here?  I think I may be a bit hungry!)

ice cream bath sundae in a plastic glass

Ice Cream Sundae
Finally an amazing ice cream sundae…um….NOT!  This amazing work of art is not yummy food, but amazing soap served up with style.  From the shop of NormasBathandBody, this shop is full of soapy treasures that look and smell good enough to eat.