Tuesday, December 29, 2009

haiku earrings

haiku earrings
Originally uploaded by sarawestermark
The first monthly challenge for etsymetal is to make a piece in response to this haiku:

of a fallen leaf saddened
in springs warm embrace

At first I was going to work on a fold-formed leaf curling, but I overworked the metal and it split in two. I have learned that sometimes the "mistakes" become "happy accidents". I decided to go with this and make my leaf pendant into two earrings. I like the way it turned out better than what I planned! Here's my haiku:

Amid the chaos
A tender leaf split in half,
The tension released.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Finally Finished!!!!

Cufflinks for Leif
Originally uploaded by sarawestermark
I am wrapping the last gifts to my family and I'm thrilled that I will give them a piece of jewelry and a piece of pottery!!! I am pleased with how they came out and hope that they like them. So far I don't think any of them follow my blog so I'm safe!

I was especially pleased with how these cufflinks from Leif turned out. I'll have to make some more of these!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dagger II Pendant

Dagger II Pendant
Originally uploaded by sarawestermark
Last night Hans cut a beautiful stone for me and wanted me to use it right away, so I set it in this coral type setting. It has smoky topaz, brandy citrine, mandarin garnet, garnet, ruby and one big native cut zircon. I'll take it to the Rock and Shop Market tomorrow in Raleigh, NC. Check out this website if you want to come by to see over 50 vendors.

I love it when my work makes me so happy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

To my Etsy Metal Secret Santa

Dear Secret Santa,
I must tell you that it was very hard for me to keep this secret. When I have good news, its hard for me to keep quiet about it. Even now I find myself editing this post so that you don't figure out if it is you or not!

I have been thinking over and over about what kind of piece to do for you. I did some research and had Hans cut me a custom cabochon to use in this piece. I wanted something to remind you of the earth's natural beauty, but to keep the lines simple and modern.

Secret Santa--Most of all I want you to know that I wish you all the beauty, love and joy of this holiday season.

Merry Christmas,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I'm in full swing making custom orders, sending out packages and delivering inventory to local galleries. Its busy, busy, busy-- but I've made time to remember to spend time with my family. Yesterday I took my voice students out caroling at the Cotton Exchange in downtown Wilmington and my husband took some great pictures of my wild crew! It makes me happy to see my kids so joyful. We couldn't get a nice "posed" sit down picture, so we just picked one that showed off their personalities. Wild boy, silly girl and camera shy teenager! Last night we make toffee. I'm famous for making my coffee toffee! Today we will make my Grandma Delores's sugar cookies from a recipe that came from my Great Aunt Ida. They are the absolutely best sugar cookies in the world! Very hard to just eat one.

This is probably the first Christmas that I've really felt like celebrating since my father died 5 years ago. Christmas was his deal. He went all out--made cookies, Christmas dinner, bought too many gifts, and was so joyful. Now I can finally continue on the traditions with my own family. It feels real this year.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My favorite jewelry memory: December Etsymetal Blog Carnival

If I was forced to pick only one of my most favorite Jewelry memories, it would be participating in our Etsymetal Jewelry Challenges this past Fall. These challenges were directly inspired by Lifetime's Project Runway with our very own Vic Takahasi from Experimetal managing the project. These challenges really helped me pursue new directions. I had to work within different parameters and stick to deadlines. I also tried to do some new and exciting pieces since we were posting it on our blog. Its so much fun to see what my team members do with the exact same parameters. If you want to see all my pieces made in the season and read a more in depth interview see our Meet the Designers blog post.

If you want to know more about these projects, please visit our etsymetal team blog.

Other metalsmiths who are blogging on their favorite jewelry experience too!
Andes Cruz Designs - http://andescruz.wordpress.com/
Danielle Miller - http://daniellemillerjewelry.blogspot.com/
Bijougirl- http://amandaconley.blogspot.com

Friday, December 4, 2009

The BIg Crafty

This Sunday I'll participate as a vendor at the Big Crafty at the Asheville Art Museum from 12pm to 6pm. I'm really excited because this is my first time doing this show and I get to go and see Maggie too. As part of a fundraiser for the Big Crafty, I made a belt buckle and donated it. The "Organic Leaf Belt Buckle" will be auctioned at the show.

I'll also get to meet some of the folks from Lark Books! I'll be included in two Lark books for next fall and I'm absolutely thrilled.

I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December!

turquoise ring
Originally uploaded by sarawestermark
I decided to start off this month with a section in my etsy store for December birthstones. The traditional stone is blue topaz, but the alternate is Turquoise. I really love mottled turquoise with lots of green. I have a section on etsy where I have all my turquoise and blue topaz listed. If you need a birthday gift this month, then you know where to go!