Category Archives: Blah blah blah

Sterling Silver Necklace – See How I Make Them

I made a sterling silver necklace just for me. Recently I’ve been feeling the need for some ME time. Normally, when I feel that way my go-to solution is a massage but this week I decided to so something fully indulgent, and decadent. Probably the most indulgent thing an artist can do for themself is to create without the thought in the back of their mind of who will buy it? Will someone buy it? How soon can I sell it?

Handmade Sterling Silver Necklace

Usually, the only time I really wear my jewelry is if there is some flaw and I don’t see it as fit to put out into the world to a paying customer. Everything that is an A grade is usually filed away neatly in my inventory waiting for someone to buy. I decided to change that, maybe for the first time ever in my art career.

I’d previously used these silver bubble-looking links in bracelets, and a pair of earrings at the request of a customer. One of my long time patrons fell in love with the links as much as I have and requested a necklace. Now, they’re pretty time consuming to make but how could I say no? I knew it was going to be awesome, and she deserved it. So, I made it, then had to pry it from my fingers when it was time to deliver.

So, this week I decided that a massage was not going to fill the nurturing hole that I was feeling, and I decided to take a couple days to create one for myself, and I thought I’d give you a little peek at what it takes to make this sterling silver necklace.

Cutting out the Bubbles

The fist step is getting the bubbles made. Shown below is one size out of 3. I started out thinking I needed 18 links. Who needs the gym when you wield a hammer to punch out 180 silver circles?

sterling silver discs

Preparing the Back Plates

Those little dots don’t just float on their own. The needed a base so I measured, cut, and cleaned up little rectangles of silver sheet.

Soldering the Circles

Then I fluxed my silver, placed the dots, and soldered them.

This is where I start to get excited. I hand stamped (more hammering…see my muscles bulging?) tiny little circles on the disks and they start to look like bubbles.

stamping the dots for more depth of design

The next step is sawing away the extra silver around the bubbles with a jeweler’s hand saw. Some think that sawing is tedious, especially for little areas like around the curves of the bubbles but I find it relaxing. After I cut them out I file around the edges to get rid of any sharp edges, and then go over them with a grinding wheel to take off any sharp edges.

precise sawing with a jeweler's saw

I forgot to take images but the next step was making the round rings our of silver wire and hammering them flat. I don’t know why but hammering them flat feels like I’m giving it a nice little touch rather than using just round wire. Of course, it adds more time to the process because you have to solder them shut before you can hammer but oh well. It’s a special piece and it deserves special touches. After they were hammered I soldered them to the backs of the bubbles, making them into links, and ready to attach with more soldered links.

silver links ready to be joined into a necklace

Then, a lot more skipped steps because linking them all together, putting on a black patina, and polishing it through four polishing grits is kind of boring. But, there you have it. I’m wearing it now and I feel so fancy!

finished sterling silver necklace

Your Sensitivity Offends Me.

I’ve been thinking a lot the last couple days about people who have posted on facebook about others being offended by things, by being too sensitive. Of course, being one of those sensitive people, I read those comments directly. It is a hot-button topic for me. I have learned to keep my sensitivities to myself because of hearing comments like this my whole life. It’s no fun being judged for having feelings, for your nature, for who you are inside. It serves to negate ones existence.

I think of saying it to my kids, to any child. “Stop being so sensitive.” And it breaks my heart. But, oh, you may say, they are children, they will learn as they get older, to have thicker skin. They’ll grow out of their childish nature. That right there, is the problem. Squashing the vulnerability out of people pushes compassion underground and leads to more people who cannot handle more gentle temperaments. I could go into my own rant about the nature of our world right now, and how much better it would be if people were a little more aware of this, but that’s another post for another time.

There are so many layers to these kinds of comments. Here they are, saying that people shouldn’t take things so seriously. They are offended by people being offended, and voicing their opinion about it. What they are really saying is, “I want to be offensive (if even subtly), I don’t want have to think about everything I say, and I don’t want you to speak up about it if I’m callous because it makes me feel bad. It makes me look in the mirror.” As if they are somehow threatened by someone who points out, what they feel are, injustices. If not that, why is it so offensive to them? Why do they even care?

They are saying the same thing that the sensitive posters are saying, “I want to be able to speak my mind without someone jumping down my throat and judging me.” I defend a person’s right to say what they want to say, but I am also glad that there are consequences of rebuttal. In my opinion, labelling the consequences of a counter-argument as whining is lazy. It really is the old adage of, you can dish it out but you can’t take it when it comes back your way. It’s pretty much the definition of bullying. I’m stronger and harder, and you’re wimpy and soft, so I’m going to exert my callousness so you shut up.

I just can’t understand. People feel hurt, and you’re telling them not to have feelings. Toughen up. Stop being such a baby. Stop speaking up. The thing is … I think the world needs more sensitive people. For every sensitive person out there, it may be one less person that will judge you, because they experience deeply how that feels. Think about it. More people thinking about how their words and actions affect others. Sure, you may think, where is the fun in that? I won’t be able to say half of the things in my head. Welcome to adulthood. It’s called self-control. Compassion.

Say what you want, but don’t be offended when someone has a differing opinion and wants to voice it as well. Practice what you preach.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Pretty Birds, by Virginia Lindsay – and a contest

Pretty BirdsI’ve been spreading myself nice and thin lately. I guess it’s just that time in the cycle for me. The good news is, it’s all good stuff…not like I usually do, over-committing to other people. No, this includes lots of craft stuff. So, when asked if I was interested to review a copy of Virginia Lindsay’s Pretty Birds, of course I said, YES! Eighteen simple projects? Sign me up!

My first thoughts were that I could do these little projects with my crafty daughter. We’ve had fun in the past making felt plushies. Then I thought, oh no, we just made her get rid of a lot of her stuffed animals to make room in her clutter-crafty bedroom. We don’t need more stuff!

I was very excited when I started reading to see that every project has a page titled “Other Ideas to Try” that tells you how to make your little birdy functional! Bingo. Some of the suggestions are decorative, like a mobile or refrigerator magnet, but they also include something that can make your bird sing, er, work for you. Think, computer charger caddy, napkin ring, car air freshener, etc.

What cute gift ideas! Attach it to the outside of a present and voila! Personal touch that shows I care. Flipping through the pages I had a growing desire to give more gifts just because.

As for the actual mechanics of the book, the directions are simple to follow and you don’t need a sewing machine. I have a machine that I got a couple years ago but it’s still in the box. I like that I can bring out the hand-sewing supplies and get down to business. The font is easy to read and very welcoming. The way the cover folds back easily makes it easy to use while doing the project. In this day of digital books, this one, with it’s matte pages is easy on the eyes and just feels good in your hands.

These little bird projects have sparked so many ideas. When my grandmother passed away, my cousin had all of her pjs and favorite robes made into pillows and fabric bookmarks for all of us grandkids. I’ve heard of people having quilts made in the same manner. I think these birds would be perfect for that kind of project too since each piece only needs scrap pieces of fabric.

Thanks, Running Press, for sending this book my way. We are going to have lots of fun with these projects and I’ll be back to show y’all!


Win a bird fabric kit and a copy of this book at:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see other reviews of this book, please visit:

25 You Go Girl

2/26 Erica B. DIY Style

2/27 CraftSanity

2/28 Recycled Crafts

3/1 Sew Mama Sew

3/2 Lorelei’s Blog

3/3 FaveCrafts

3/4 S is for Sewing

3/5 Lori Greenberg

3/6 Killing It As A Grown Up

3/10 Sweet KM

3/11 Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

3/12 Buzzmills

3/13 Girl Like the Sea

3/15 Cut Out + Keep