Tuesday, August 28, 2012

(almost gone)
It seems as if I've almost taken the summer off - in jewelry designing/making anyhow.
You've heard about our camping, weekend ballooning and our family reunion. New jewelry pieces - not so much.

(Do notice the moon in the picture)
This summer, I was able to find a new place to sell my wares in New Hampshire. And that even was put on the shelf for about a week. I need to get busy. Yesterday, I spent some time deciding what pieces to send. Decisions! Price points? Something "different"? Can I make another one if someone should order what I'm sending? Oh, the decisions!
I need to write some good descriptions to go with the pieces since the people selling them really need to know that. Not my favorite thing to do - that and accounting. Not that I don't know what materials I use or how it is made but it always sounds weird when I start writing. I, as Nike says, need to "Just Do It"
Segments of Chain Maille in the Byzantine pattern are made with 16 gauge Argentium Sterling Silver wire and separated by four Twisted Hematite beads. The bracelet is 7 1/2 inches long and closed with a Sterling Silver toggle clasp.
When you are shopping in a store and looking at jewelry, what kind of information do you want to know? Do you want to know the materials, the method used to make the piece? eg.hematite beads and Chain Maille or Kumihimo? Would you want to know something about the designer? Something else?
I also, think I'll send some of the Glass Dome Pendants. (Good price point) I would appreciate some suggestions of the choices that you think would sell well. Check out the available designs and let me know what you think I should send.
I really would like to know what you think. Thanks for any input you can provide.
Until  next week,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


(Chain Maille)
As you probably know, silver Chain Maille is my favorite jewelry technique. I haven't made many new pieces lately. The current price of silver has sky rocketed and makes it hard to make too many new pieces.
I have a Chain Maille class coming up this Friday. The class will be Half Persian. See the above picture of Half Persian. Remember the post awhile ago where I complained about not being able to find things? Specifically a clip. Since then I remembered they are called "Bulldog" clips. I still have not found the ones I have and even bought some from Staples. (They didn't have any the last time I was in the market for some) They do have them on line and now that I know the official name, they were easy to find. I figured that would make mine immediately occur. Wrong. Still MIA.
When I have a class, I need to practice before hand. Yes, I do. So after I refreshed my Half Persian skills, I saw some Byzantine segments in my ring stash. I also found some nice beads that would work up into a bracelet.
This is made with 5 Byzantine segements and 4 twisted Hematite beads. I really like the combination of black and silver.
One of the reasons I like the Byzantine weave so much is that it is very versatile. I have about 10 different Byzantine bracelets in my inventory and all very different.
I now have 12 Byzantine bracelets.
This is just plain Byzantine with 2 pink Lampworked hearts as an accent.
It is hard to tell in these pictures but one of the variations you can make with the Byzantine weave (well, actually any weave) is to change the size of the wire that makes the rings. The Hematite bracelet is made with 16 gauge wire and the bracelet with the hearts is made with 18 gauge or thinner wire. (An added piece of information for you is that the larger the number in gauge, the smaller the wire)
This simple change satisfies people who like dainty bracelets and those who prefer a more chunky or heavy version.
Until  next week,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


(Lots of Fun!)
This was the second weekend in a row of family gathering. (Last weekend was for the Balloon Rally) This time we had a gathering of 50 people for an extended family reunion.
How do you like the view we had? This is in Dutchess County, New York State.
We had my husband's four 1st cousins, their children and grandchildren, his two brothers and sister and their children and grandchildren and one of our children and grandchildren. Oh, yes, spouses; plus a second cousin and a 3rd cousin, once removed. We had never met the 3rd cousin in person before.
I have our family tree on Ancestry.com. I really love that site. Not only does it have lots of information but I've been able to contact several of my cousins - twice removed. And we made contact with a 3rd cousin of my husband there too. We have been sharing old family pictures and other family "branches"  and finally met this weekend.  Here are some of those pictures:
This is a picture of the brothers and sisters that are their common ancestors. Their spouses are behind them.
The third from left in front row is my husband's  and his second cousin's great grandfather. The first on the left is the great great grandfather of our newly met 3rd cousin.
I give up on the rest of the relationships. But you get the idea - relatives. Generations of them! I need my Roots Magic software program to keep them all straight. The habit of repeating family names occurs in all families, much to the confusion of following generations.
It was a great tradition in my husband's family to have large reunions. They traveled for hours to gather as we did this past weekend - in the same general area. However, there were no Interstate roads as we have and though the places they traveled from were really much closer it took just as long to get there. It only took us 3 1/2 to 4 hours to go about the about 200 miles from Massachusetts. (The extra 1/2 hour going was because of torrential rain and several accidents in the way.) We stayed overnight, too. The area is still as beautiful and much of it undeveloped. (See the first picture)
Here is a 50th anniversary picture taken 100 years ago. Fifty years married back then was a real feat. The couple in the middle are the same ones on the left in the picture above. See the white beard.
It does show how important family reunions were then as they are now.
I'm sure there will be many more such reunions. It is tradition!
I have a word of advice on family pictures for you. Before you go to a reunion, check the last picture of a family reunion to see what you wore. I had the same outfit on in the last two pictures though 3-5 years apart. I hope no one else noticed. Do I need to get some new clothes?
I hope you enjoyed accounts of my family gatherings. I should be more in jewelry mode by next week.
Until  next week,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Balloon Rally Part 2

Balloon Rally
Part 2
We just returned from our Balloon Weekend trip. (If you missed the slide show from last week's post you can still see it here.)
We had a great time. Only one of the 4 flights was canceled due to bad weather and that was not really "bad" - just too windy for flying,  plus there were a few thunder storms in the larger area. ;-)
Here is a picture from Friday evening. See the full moon right behind the smaller appearing balloon on the right?
On Sunday morning, most flew but our pilot was not too happy with the winds up high and we elected to stay on the ground for a change and just watch. That is a view we often don't get as we are busy setting up, "chasing" and folding up the balloon. I think our pilot really enjoyed watching others.
I was able to get some great pictures, especially of the balloons hovering over the Suncook River next to the field. A skill that pilots love to try is called "kissing" the water. You try to get as close or even touch the water without getting too close.
Here is a close up of the balloon over the river. You can see some of the ripples showing he "did it" just as he approached the bridge in time to rise over the bridge (plus the reflection of the balloon in both pictures).
This balloon is named "Unnamed" and the pilot is Paul DePew from Litchfield, ME. We never figured out if the balloon was really named "Unnamed" or if the balloon really did not have a name.
One other nice thing that happened. My sister-in-law took me to the Barnstead Community Market. They have only been open for 3 months but have a very nice collection of local crafters. Now, they have local vegetables, too. Long story short, even though I'm not local they liked my jewelry enough to give me an application to have some of my pieces in the store. (I had my handy-dandy Ring by Ring Designs bag in the car)
Yay! So, I'll need to get busy making some new things to send up to NH. They are located right off busy Rt 28, the road leading to Lake Winnipesaukee.
Until next week,

Monday, August 6, 2012

Balloon Rally

 Balloon Rally
This coming weekend is the annual Pittsfield, NH Hot Air Balloon Rally.
For those of you who have been receiving these posts for awhile you have heard about this before.
If you click on the picture you can see a slide show of the 29th Rally.
As always, we hope for good weather which means more than no rain. No storms in the larger area, not too much wind etc.
I hope you enjoy the video of the balloons.
I finally think I have gotten better at finishing the Survival bracelet that I showed last week. (I was going to say "Mastered" but that might be a mistake)
I made another one for my 7 year old grandson. It fits well (his purchased one was too small).
The color is very cool, he thinks.
Which brings me to a question I have for all of you. Do you know anyone who would like bracelets like this? The cord comes in lots of colors. Woodland camo, desert camo, blue, red, white, black and on and on.
I would appreciate any comments. Even if to say "no". Click below:
Let me know and thank you.
Until next week,