Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Last of the "Lollies"

I have been way too busy - and have moved some of my craft things back into the house - the studio is just too hot to work in without AC. Hoping to find a window unit on sale after the 4th - I sure miss being out there with ALL my things around me!

But...I have been concentrating on a couple of new things. One...I am practicing my photography - and it is paying off. I am learning how to stage my jewelry, how to get a good picture, and interesting close-ups that show the detail. I am pleased with my progress - and hope to continue getting better.

I have also been working on 'thinking outside the box' - that is - my box. Trying to use materials and sizes I have not done before - and it has been fun! I have a small collection of pretty lucite beads - larger than I normally would think of using - and that was enough to decide I should use them! And, you know.....I liked my experiment! I love how they turned out, so wanted to share the last two in the series here before they go up on my shop at iCraft!

I called this collection "Lollies" because the colors and shapes of the beads reminded me instantly of lollipops that I used to get as a kid. The colors are fun and vibrant, and surprisingly lightweight for the size. They aren't huge - the beads average about 1" - but that is a departure for me, who uses more of the 4mm kind! I named the "Lollies" each after a fruit that the color suggested to me....so without further ado...

Here are the "Lemon-drop Lollies" earrings. They are framed by smaller crackle glass beads and are hanging on Sterling silver french earwires.

And now for the last of the series - since these weren't a 'color' at all, but were frosty white - they reminded me of ice! But I named them "Frosted Lolly Earrings" - and that seemed to be the completion of this series. It has been fun!

Here they are:

So....there you have it! A 'sneak peek' at the last of the series before they go to the shop! And if you'd like to own them before they go out there....just shoot me an email at

and I'll get right back to you with special 'one-time-only' pricing! The rest of the series can be viewed at my iCraft Shop - I would love it if you'd check them out and send me some feedback!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Little Off-Topic But Handy Hint!

I ran across this neat little thingy yesterday as I was writing the post on my Garden Lantern earrings. Since I occasionally sell my crafts right from my blog (even before they hit my iCraft store!), it is necessary for people to be able to contact me.

I have been doing the 'spell-out-the-words' of the email address, but then I found a very cool way to do this, and defeat (at least for a while) the spammers from getting it! I found this little gem of a website through one of the blogs I read, called "Gizmo's Daily Tech Treats. They sometimes have the coolest stuff! I learned that what I had been doing is called 'munging' your email. Interesting word!

This website I found thru Gizmo is called www.hidetext.net - and it not only takes your email address and makes it an image (which spammers HAVE learned to decipher) - but also mixes up the colors and fonts. You even get to pick the color for the first part of the image!
I went and used it - you can get your little image - and then delete it forever from thier servers (course I realize I am trusting that they do this - but makes sense or they would have a huge amount of images piling up!). Once you have it - then you can use it in your blog and feel just a bit safer!

Here it is again.....

Is that not the coolest thing ever??
More to come....stay tuned....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

All Sorts of Sparkle and Shine!

I got in some wonderful crafting time in my studio - thanks to a decision to 'just do it' and the cooperation of the weather being cool and breezy. The combination of the ceiling fan and the open window and door made the studio very comfortable. I put on my favorite Christian station, and pulled my chair up to the 'beading' section of my studio.

Right away I saw these neat tube beads, made from (I believe) buri nuts. The shape was really pleasing to me, as was the subtle lavender shade and translucent look. They looked like they were lit from within! I've had them for a while, but no ideas had come to mind for them....and I've learned to just let things be...until an idea simmers its way to the surface.

I had out a collection of silvery bead caps (just hadn't put them away yet...) and when I got them out and strung them with the buri beads...they looked to me just like tiny garden lanterns you might string outside to light a summer evening. Oh, yeah! I was liking this.

They were too small (even for me) on their own - so I looked around for just the right thing to finish them up.....and then I spied a small envelope...and inside were antiqued silvery connector links in the shape of flowers. Perfect! This fit so well with my idea of the little garden lanterns, I knew they would be just the thing for the earrings. So...on they went, and I just love the result!

I have a limited amount of both the nut beads and the flower connectors - so I thought I would show them off here, and let you in on a bargain too! They'll be here for just a few days....then they'll go to my shop, and the price will go up!

Here they are:

As always - any and all comments are welcome - let me know what you think!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Features and Discounts For You!

Since May, I have been participating in a "Sellers' Bootcamp" on the iCraft.ca site. That is where I have my shop, and the folks running the site are going the extra mile to help all the crafters (hand-made only) to showcase and sell their creations.

As part of this, IndieSmiles has given us a feature on their website - and you get all the benefits! Every 'bootcamper' participating in the IndieSmiles promotion is discounting all the items in their shops for the next two weeks! You have to check it out! There is such a diversity of great things to drool over....from neat pillows from PillowThrowDecor (who also is the genius behind the bootcamp!) to cool lotions and soaps from Naturliche.....and more jewelry - like the wonderful creations of GalleriaLinda.

I was astonished to be told I had won a feature 'showcase' on the IndieSmiles site as part of their promotion!! Wow - a whole little feature, just about little ole me! I was honored, and am so grateful to be chosen for this! You can see the feature - and find out more about me....right here!

What a week! And now...I am truly hoping to get into the studio - hot or not - and make some new things - I have really been feeling 'crafting-deprived!'

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More Wire-y Fun!

I was taking some time out in the studio - not so often now...there's no air out there, so I'm relegated to early morning, or evening (maybe). I did get some time in - and decided to just play and see what I came up with.

I was thinking of the Fruits of the Spirit - and thought they would be a nice basis for a pair of earrings....I took an oval wire shape (thanks Beadalon!), and began wrapping it with 24 gauge wire - then leaving a long-ish tail. I alternated directions of wrapping, so that every other one would naturally either go to the front or back. Once that was done, they looked very odd and spikey - but the wrapping I was pleased with.

Then I got out my precious box of Swarovski crystal bicone beads - all those sparkly colors! I began putting a different color on each spike, then making a spiral with the wire tail to give it interest, and keep the crystal on. I continued with each spike, turning them either to the front or back - and when I was done - I loved the oval shaped filled with swirls and bright bits of color - perfect!

The oval accomodated nine spikes - which just happens to be how many fruits of the spirit there are....and gave each color a corresponding fruit:
Joy..................clear/AB finish
Faithfulness ........amythest
Gentleness..........antique rose

Somehow the colors just seemed to go with the names....at least to me! I attached them with two tiny Argentium jump rings to sterling silver french earwires.....just a lovely sight!!

Here is how they turned out.....and you're seeing them before they hit my iCraft store!!

Thought it appropriate to photograph them on a leaf...

A closer view....

And the reverse side....just as pretty as the front....I like that!

As always.....any feedback is much appreciated!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Where There's A Will.....

I remarked the other day on twitter (twitter.com/tryshz) that now that I have a brand new computer - I am finding out which of my trusted and true programs are not compatible
with Vista. This time it was hardware - my beloved scanner, that I have been using since 1999 (!) is not compatible with Vista. According to the Epson website and Vista - they do not have a driver for it to make it compatible - and don't plan to. Bummer!

I disconnected it and put it in the other room.....until...I remembered my trusty old laptop (from 2004) - was out in my studio - and it has Windows XP on it! YAY! Took that scanner out to the studio, re-arranged the furniture a bit to find a horizontal space to set the scanner - and fired it up - viola! Back in business!!

On the same kind of note - as some of you may know, I have been trying for weeks (or is it months?) to make a new canopy top for our gazebo on our back deck. Last year a strong storm took out the old one (made of really awful fabric - ripped when you looked at it wrong). So, here I've been, with my 13 yards of lightweight fabric called ripstop - hopefully, it'll live up to that, trying to re-create that top. And Wednesday.....it was done!!! The moment of truth - for if it didn't fit - I was done. That fabric is wonderful, but so slick it keeps sliding off the table! Took it outside - put it on.....and all six section pockets FIT the ends of the six spines of the top - it's not the prettiest thing I've ever done....but it WORKS! Even better - ever since, we have had rainstorm after rainstorm - winds - just awful weather.....and that top survived it all!! Cost me about $100 to make it, but worth every penny - and now, we can enjoy our gazebo again!!

As long as we're off topic (can you tell I haven't had any time to make jewelry this week?) - I have been doing more web work - for which I do get paid....and for a new project, I was looking for a free flash slideshow program. I must have looked at twenty of them - and I truly dislike the ones that 'say' they are free, then tell you all your images will have a watermark, and banner ads all over the place. Guaranteed I would never buy that one!
I did find a cool one, though - it is called the Photo Flash Maker - Free Version, and it's pretty customizable - I fooled with it a little, more to be done - but I was pleased at what I came up with in just a few minutes - it's very easy to use! Check out the results on my site that I have yet to develop! trishStyle.com - would appreciate any feedback! And, it you'd like to snag it for yourself, here's their website: Photo Flash Maker-Free Version

Now....this weekend I AM taking some time to play in the studio - have some more wire ideas - can't wait to share them.....til then....