Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Trying something new

When we were checking out the fantastic bead store in Branson, it was obvious that the shop owner was quite the fan of wire wrapping. I'd taken a break from wire for a while, since silver was pricing itself out of my studio, but she mentioned trying copper, and I was inspired by her many cuff bracelets that she had made. This one, is my first attempt:

I don't know exactly what those beads are, but aren't they fun? Some sort of composite, I think, but they were nice and chunky, and just what I needed!! This particular design was actually pretty easy, so after I make a couple more, I may write up a quick tutorial for it.

I remembered over the weekend that I'd gotten some metal plated cabochon settings in a grab bag (not a good grab bag like at Auntie's beads... this one was pretty much a bust). I'd been reading that gold and pink were a hot color combination for spring/summer, so I thought I'd give this a shot. There is gold leaf mixed in with the 2 pink tones, and I paired it with my favorite accent color, stringing it from silk ribbon. This really does scream summer to me! It's just gorgeous in person, and not too big - only about 1" long! I also made one in shades of olive green, with Navy, Denim, and Purple accents.

So what have YOU been working on this week?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The March of the Snowmen...

The snowmen are beginning to appear in my shop, and are marching their way back in to peoples' homes!

This is an ornament made for someone who loves Oklahoma State University, and her husband loves Nebraska, and they have two rambunctious beagles.
And this one is available RIGHT NOW in the shop! It would make a great wedding gift - "Our First Christmas."

I also cranked out a couple of flower pendants last night with gold-plated filigree metal backings - one with an olive green base, and another with a pink base. I'd already started on the green one when I read about how hot pink and gold are as a color combo right now, so I figured I'd do that one also. I'll have them listed soon, I hope!

With regards to my questions in the previous post, I decided to go ahead and order some sterling silver filled wire, along with some copper wire. It should be here tomorrow, and then I'm going to try my hand at making a cuff. I have some really neat composite beads that I picked up in Branson 2 weeks ago that I have in mind for that particular project already!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Silver, *sigh*

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but the cost of sterling silver is skyrocketing! When I started using sterling silver, it was around $14 per troy ounce (a measurement for precious metals), and now it is hovering around $40 a troy ounce, approximately 2 years later. I really love using sterling silver, but more than that, I really want to keep my prices affordable, while still making a little profit.

Recently, several jewelry supply companies have begun carrying a product called "sterling silver FILLED" wire. This has been expanded to small beads and clasps as well at some places. I'm including a link to one of the current suppliers, so you can see the difference between silver filled, and silver plated (which I don't use TOO frequently, due to it's tendency to rub off). You can read more about it HERE.

So, here's what I want to know - should I start integrating some of the sterling silver filled products into my jewelry (particularly the wire, but NOT ear wires or clasps) so that I can keep costs lower for my customers, or are you willing to pay more for true sterling silver? Please answer in the comments, and THANK YOU!!