A few skills goes a long way

Greetings from my workbench! The weather in Virginia is causing me whiplash…I was wearing flip-flops a week ago. Then it snows again today. Growing up here and I am not really surprised by this…but at this point in my life I find it annoying. I will say today’s snow day was very nice because the mini cave-girl, hubs and I got to just hang out. We needed a day like that. 

            I have been designing some new bracelets and necklaces for the shop. I love the way they are coming out. I am finding I am not much of a sketch it out then attempt to create the sketch kind of girl. No, I just sit down at my bench and start doing stuff and hope it works. Lately it has been working. 

            I started with some jump rings in a couple of different sized. Then I decided it didn’t a little something else so I grab my box of beads. I made, I am not sure the proper term, bead charms. I started laying them out in the pattern I thought I would like…different combinations of big jump ring, little jump ring, little jump ring, big jump ring, bead and some on. Once I found the pattern I liked best I connected them. After I had completed a few bracelets I thought, “Why won’t this work for a necklace?” So what did I do?! I made a necklace. Mind blown! Hahaha

          Once you get a skill or two under your belt the direction you can go in when creating becomes inexhaustible. At least for me I am finding a confidence at my bench that I do not think I had before taking a class and learning actual jewelry making skills. There is so much more I have to learn, but now I have good base to go from.  Ginny, the woman teaching the class is someone I hope to remain in contact with for years to come. The little things she suggests with a piece I am working. Or techniques it would take me years and years to learn…she throws them at me and I am just soaking them up.  I’m going to go practice some of them now. As always thank you for stopping by and for being on this journey with me.

Big Love,



Things I’ve Learned…

Hi Friends! Thank you once again for stopping by.

I have been learning a lot since beginning this blog. So I thought I would share a few of those lessons with you. Learning is such an important part of any journey. I have learned over the years that if you do not learn the lesson the first time, it will likely come back to visit you to ensure that you caught on. I am trying to catch on a little quicker these days. In learning all of these lessons lately I am reminded of something my paternal grandfather used to say quite often, “If you don’t learn something new today, the day is lost.” Friends, here is what I have been learning over the last several days.

  1. Thicker gauge wire is not a bad thing. Ha Ha I began taking a jewelry class two weeks ago and had never purchased anything smaller than a 24       gauge or larger than a 20 gauge wire. I realize now that the vision I have in my brain space and the outcome I am going to get with wire I have been buying is not going to match. 14 gauge it is folks!
  2. Pewter charms as far I can tell cannot be altered from the state in which you purchase them at the store. That really great mixed media bracelet I shared with you all in my last post (http://wp.me/4hctG) is broken. I attempted to ever so slightly bend the flower charm with a rawhide mallet against a wooden stomp. Hitting ever so lightly in order to achieve a slight bend because there simply was not even give in the charm for the leather to lay quite right against the arm. So now the charm is in two pieces. Still looking for a way to alter pewter charms purchased at a craft stores…that is the second one broken since the journey began.
  3.  Hard hard wire is not easily bent. I have a sore index finger, hand pad and thumb to prove this. Other than the low cost I cannot really tell you what made me purchase hard hard wire but alas I did and I have spent the last two days bending an entire spool into would be rings. Hard Hard Wire is hard my friends.
  4. I am completely in love with bending, hammering, forging and designing jewelry. I have many skills I look forward to learning but I am completely in a peaceful love with my round nose pilers and a spool of wire.

Friends I cannot tell you where this journey will lead us. All I can say that for this moment I am content, peaceful and in love with my moment. Each day is different. Bedtime is challenging with my favorite little mini cave-girl. And there is far too often more month left over at the end of the money. However, I would not trade any of the journey I have taken to get to this moment for anything in this world. Stay adventurous and don’t lose your days friends.

Big Love,


How and What…

Hi friends! I have been working on some mixed media leather cuffs. I thought you might want to hear about it.

I have been tying knots into friendship bracelets since the mid 1990s. That is when embroidery floss became my friend. Untangling skeins of floss always seems to settle my thoughts and emotions.

When I began the journey of MickyAnn I remembered something one of my aunts said when gifted with a friendship bracelet for her birthday. “I’ll wear it till it gets dirty and stinky.” That comment got my hamsters to racing. How many people would wear a friendship bracelet if they could take them off? (Incase you are not familiar with friendship bracelets;  “Originally, these colorful bands were invented by Indians in Central and South America. According to tradition, you tie a bracelet onto the wrist of a friend who may wish for something at that moment. The bracelet should be worn until it’s totally worn-out and falls off by itself, at which moment the wish is supposed to come true.” http://friendship-bracelets.net/learn.php) How can I make them with a grown-up twist?

So I started by using a button for the closure. (It does take the “make a wish” element out of the friendship bracelet…but then again it allows the love and gift to last much longer.) Then I began adding charms. But I did not want to stop there, so I began twisting wire and making rings. I was already using the wire to make bird’s nest charms for necklaces I knew there was other projects I could use the wire for.

As I think about what I want to make and how I want it to look, I realize I want to do everything. I want to make all kinds of beautiful rings, necklaces, charms, pendants and bracelets. This brings us back to the mixed media cuff. I bought some leather scraps a while back with the idea of making a cuff bracelet. Then has I looked at my stock of materials I decided, “What would be better than leather, embroidery floss, metal charms and buttons?” Well, you let me know what you think.

Big Love,