Sunday, February 27, 2011

What's On My Bench

I have spent most of the week working on a number of "Just because you love me" pieces. These are the pieces you make for family. I started the week with four and am now down to one!

I also started a new skill set this week. I am teaching myself to do filigree.

My first attempt at filigree. I need to use less solder.
The filigree work hasn't been done in the true sense of the word since I didn't use twisted wire. While it presented a number of problems, I am quite pleased with the results and am learning a considerable amount.

My second attempt:
I will have to go back and work on the bezel of the faceted stone on this piece.
When I got to the third piece I decided to add a prong setting for the faceted stone. Since I am unwilling to do step soldering, I had to rethink this design. Each attempt I made at attaching the prong setting to the filigree presented a new problem. Ultimately I decided to go with a bezel setting.
I am very pleased with the final product here.
This items aren't available in my shop yet. I am in the process of making my shop over and will add them as positions becomes available. I am looking to achieve more of a gallery feel to my shop. I hope you will check in there to watch my progress.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And The Winner Is....

I have to tell you, I never knew that hosting a giveaway could be so exciting! I started out last week with a few followers who were mostly, friends and family. This week I have almost twice as many blog followers! I have new Facebook Fans, email subscribers, and Twitter followers! The traffic through my shop has been up as well! What a great week!

I have decided that this will not be my last giveaway. I think I will host one about every six months! I hope you will stick around as I grow this next year!

I know, who cares, right? Tell us who won already!!

The winner of the Sterling Silver and Copper Viking Knit Bracelet is:



Thursday, February 10, 2011


Here's your chance! Watch the video to earn 4 chances to win this bracelet!
Open to U.S. Residents only.

The prize:

NOTE: There is no sound on this video

Monday, February 7, 2011

Viking Knit Tutorial-Part 3

Hey folks! So sorry for this coming so late. This one was the hardest one to do yet, not to mention, I had a few personal setbacks. (Namely my youngest daughter took my camera one day without asking! :D )

This is the final installment but I will still be happy to answer any of your questions. Just post them here.

I hope you will come back later this week for a special surprise!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Viking Knit Tutorial-Step 2:Knitting your chain

This week I tried my hand at "Vlogging". Let me tell was NOT easy!

If you have a question you would like answered in an upcoming segment, please let me know! See ya next week!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

TUTORIAL-Viking Knit Chain-Part 1-Wooden Drawplate

Over the next few weeks I will be covering Viking Knit Chain. This week we will start with one of the last items you will use: the Wooden Drawplate. I use a wooden one for a number of reasons:
1)Inexpensive-These aren't as durable as the metal ones, but they can be remade in minutes.
2)Good for approximately 10 chains.
3)Made with easy to acquire supplies.
4)A very quick project!

Lets get started!

Remember, you will be working with power tools so safety glasses are a MUST!
Tie long hair back. Do not wear loose clothing. PAY ATTENTION to what you are doing!

Heavy duty Paint stir stick (available for free at the hardware store)
Sharpie pen
Drill Bit Conversion Chart

Drill motor and drill bits (I have used a mix of standard and metric but you can use whatever will get you the size holes you will need)

Step 1:
Lay your paint stick onto a surface that you can drill on. I use a scrap 2X4.
Insert a drill bit into the drill. (I have used a standard size E because this is the closest to the size of my finished Viking knit chain.)
Near the top left corner of your paint stick, slowly drill through.
Flip your paint stick over and carefully drill into the hole you have just made. (This helps with clean-up)

Step 2:
Using the Drill bit Conversion chart, look up the size of your drill bit. Millimeters works best. **When my bit isn't listed, I use my calipers to measure it.**
Use your sharpie and write this measurement above the hole. (In this case it was 6.350 mm)

Step 3:
Choose a slightly small bit and repeat step 1 above.
I chose Standard size 8.

Step 4:
Repeat step 2. (In this case 5.055 mm)

Step 5 through Step10:
5: Choose a slightly small bit and repeat step 1 above.
I chose Standard size 14.
6: Repeat step 2. (In this case 4.623 mm)
7: Choose a slightly small bit and repeat step 1 above.
I chose Metric size .172.
8: Repeat step 2. (In this case 4.33 mm)
9: Choose a slightly small bit and repeat step 1 above.
I chose Metric .156.
10: Repeat step 2. (In this case 3.91 mm)

Lightly sand front and back. Be sure to run sandpaper into each hole as well.

Now you have your first tool towards your Viking Knit Chain! You can expect to have to cut this portion off the paint stick and redo this about every 10 times you use it.

Be sure to come back next week, when we will be getting started with our chains!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Retooling and seeking my Muse

It happens to every creative soul you know. Their Muse goes on an extended vacation.

On December 23, 2010, my Muse packed her bags, flipped me off, screamed something at me that contained the "F" word and slammed the door on the way out!

Im not sure what I did to offend her. Maybe I over worked her over the holidays. It wasn't intentional, there was lots to be done! Maybe it was stress. We did have a lot of guests. Maybe it was just the holidays in general. There is a tremendous amount of activity involved. Or, maybe she was overwhelmed by all the new tools I bought and was given. I just cant put my finger on it.

This piece was ok, but certainly not "inspired".
Ive tried working without her. I thought she might see how much fun I was having without her, decide she'd been too hasty and come back. Alas, that didn't work. Ive posted her pictures on milk cartons, cereal boxes and hung signs around the neighborhood. Nothing. I suspect she may be hanging out at my friends house because they are redoing their interior. The work is moving along rather quickly, so I'm sure they wont let me know if that's where shes hiding.

Im posting this note, in hopes that if any of you see her or hear from her, you will pass it along:

Dear Musey Muse, (Thats what I call her)
I have missed you so much! If you will PLEASE just come back, I PROMISE!!, I'll do more of the work! I will sketch more, play more and take over as much as I can. I will work to learn new things, try not to worry about the price of the silver I'm ruining, or tell you to "get off your lazy ass and get busy" any more. Ive been a bad partner and I acknowledge that.
I love you, I need you, and I am NOTHING without you!
All My Love,
G-pers (Thats what she calls me)

PLEASE, pass my message on to her.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

'Ugly Boleyn???'

Even though I was born in England, Ive never had any interest in English History. (YAWN) Recently that changed when I watched 'The Tudors'. I LOVED the story (however improvised for this series) of Henry VIII and his six wives. BUT, more than the story....I LOVED the jewelry!!! Everyone wore it! Men in HUGE chains, women in multiple chains and pendants, rings, rings and more rings!! I was inspired!
The cast of 'The Tudors' season 2
 I created my own 'Tudors' piece. Or at least I "thought" it was a 'Tudors' inspired piece...

Now all of a sudden I am obsessed with all things 'Tudor'! I'm researching the British Monarchy, I'm watching documentaries and any movie I can think of to see more of this jewelry! Thats when it crushing realization.....
'The Other Boleyn Girl'-notice Natalie Portman's necklace
these are movie and television prop, not replicas of actual pieces!!! How do I know?

America Ferrera as Ugly Betty
WELL, unless this is the "other", other Boleyn girl.....

I haven't really suffered a huge loss. I was inspired to make my own inspired piece and I'm of the opinion that it came out quite nice. Now I have to ask...What inspires you?