Friday, December 26, 2014

3xR 50 and 51: Remnant Dangles

I had to keep these two under wraps for week or so since they were waiting under a tree! Surprise surprise... two more from the Remnant Collection! These dangles were inspired by a pair I made earlier in the project. To see the process for these pieces check out the week 34 post.

Copper and Sterling Silver

Only one week left! I can't believe this project is coming to an end. I have a feeling this wont be the last of the Remnant pieces and next week I think I'm going to have to go big!

For a look at what the other 3xR (reduce, recycle, reuse) artists are up to head over to the Flickr Group. To get your hands on one of my 3xR pieces head on over to the eco-friendly section of my Etsy shop and get free shipping through the end of the year with the coupon code: FreeShipping

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 15, 2014

3xR week 49: Remnant Cuff

Billowing clouds? The wing of a bat? What do you see in the layers of this mixed metal piece?

Some of this scrap was gifted to me by a fellow beginning jewelry (2005!) student last week over drinks and the best cranberry crusted goat cheese platter (OK there was some other cheese on the platter as well, but who knows what it was) in the entire world I'm sure.

Other pieces were scavenged from my scrap bin and transformed into something quite lovely that is already on its way to Tasmania (Oh alright, I could have just said Australia, but Tasmania is more fun)!

For a look at what the other artists from the 3xR (reduce, recycle, reuse) challenge are creating head over to the 3xR 2014 Flickr group. For a look at the complete collection of my 3xR pieces click here. To get your hands on one of them for yourself visit my Etsy shop!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 12, 2014

3xR week 48: Remnant Pendants

I was so happy with the pendant from week 47 that I just couldn't help myself.

After creating several new pieces from the Orbital and Eyelet Lace collections in the past two weeks I had a fantastic amount of scrap to choose from. 

Paired and sanded

I have to say, I enjoy the aesthetics of these pieces throughout every step of the process. 


As usual I couldn't help but play favorites. 

For a look at what the other artists from the 3xR (reduce, recycle, reuse) challenge are creating head over to the 3xR 2014 Flickr group. For a look at the complete collection of my 3xR pieces click here. To get your hands on one of them for yourself visit my Etsy shop!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 28, 2014

3xR week 47: Remnants

I can't get enough of these Remnant pieces! Since they've been pretty popular I didn't want to pull any from the Etsy shop during my annual holiday sale (more info on that at the end of the post), so I made  a few new pieces this week to take with me to the Holiday Art Market tomorrow (more on that later too). Luckily I had a lot of new scrap to work with since I made a few new Eyelet Lace necklaces to take a long as well.

Sterling Silver Studs and Necklace
With only a short time left of this challenge I'm finding myself returning to this line more and more often. I count 29 Remnant pieces thus far! I'm not sure if I should be really happy that these pieces emerged from the project and give in to the desire to make them and nothing else, or scold myself for settling into something comfortable and force myself to explore new ideas with the final pieces. I suppose as with most of my work it will all depend on my state of mind each time I sit down at the bench.

In the mean time these new pieces will be available tomorrow at the Holiday Art Market!

Not a local? Not to worry, many of the other pieces from the 3xR project are sill available in my Etsy shop and on sale now through Monday, December 1st! Just use the coupon code "Holidays" at check out to save 20% off the entire order.

For a look at what the other artists from the 3xR (reduce, recycle, reuse) challenge are creating head over to the 3xR 2014 Flickr group. For a look at the complete collection of my 3xR pieces click here.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Snow Day: Gift Guide #2

I grew up in a small mountain town. The kind of town where a trip to the grocery store took twice as long because of all the chit chat involved, where things moved a little slower, and where the absolute best thing that could ever happen to you was to wake up on a school day, peek out the window, and find a thick blanket of wonderful, beautiful snow. Forget breakfast, pull on 3 layers of clothing, grab the sled, and run out the door while your mother calls after you to "Take your jacket"! SNOW DAY!!!

With those memories in mind I created the annual Christmas ornament for my Etsy shop and then set out to find items from other Etsy sellers that would take me back....

Copper Snowflake Ornaments

If I had had one of these sleds as a child I don't think I would have ever come in. This large wooden sled from AlpineCraftworks has an iconic look to it and transforms from a pull sled with a guard rail for the little ones, to something sleek and fast as they grow up. That is if the "grown-ups" will let them have a turn. 
Large Tracker Wooden Pull Sled Package
Large Tracker Sled from AlpineCraftworks
As hard as I tried to stay out all day, my toes and fingers would begin to ache with cold, all those layers would start to wear me down, and it would be time for a break. Back inside with our boots dripping upside down next to the fire and our first set of snow clothes banging around in the dryer we would thaw from the inside out with something warm and sweet, preferably topped with marshmallows. These peppermint marshmallows from Calabasas Candy Co. would have been just the thing!

Peppermint Marshmallows
Peppermint Marshmallows from calabalascandyco

After a quick warm up and the not so quick donning of new dry layers it was back out for more fun. It seems our household had an endless supply of dry gloves and mittens at the ready. These adorable mittens from HappyLaika look perfect for the trek down the road to the neighbors house for a snowball fight.

White Mittens, Wool Mittens, Kids Mittens, White Wool Mittens, White Kids Mittens, Wool Kids Mittens, Winter Wedding Flower Girls
White wool Mittens from HappyLaika

After a long and tiring day of making the absolute most of our unexpected day off it would be off to bed with the hopes that a little more snow would mean waking up to another day of adventure. For a look at more wonderful snow inspired pieces from the talented creators over at Etsy visit this Snow Day collection.

Snow day 1992 

Thanks for reading and may a snow day be in your future!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cozying Up: Gift Guide #1

Winter weather is settling in here on California's north coast and we are all about the layers. Hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters... but leave those umbrellas at home lest you be branded an out-of-towner. With all the rain headed our way this time of year is the perfect time to get cozy, pull out the blankets and watch a movie, read a great book, write a letter (holiday cards anyone?), or just enjoy a moment next to a warm fire. If you are looking for the perfect cozy gift I've got you covered with these finds from Etsy. From knitters to newlyweds, there's something for everyone. 

If you are a lightning fast with needles or know someone who loves to create themselves this gorgeous knitting pattern from ErinBlacksDesigns will help you create just the thing for some extra warmth. 

DIY Knitting PATTERN - Throw Blanket / Rug Super Chunky Double Cable Approximately 49" x 64" (blanket001)
ErinBacksDesigns Throw Blanket Pattern

If do it yourself isn't your thing head over to WhiteNoiseMaker to pick up some oh so adorable his and hers slippers for the newly and not so newly wed couples on your list!

His and Hers Crochet Slippers
WhiteNoiseMaker his and her slippers

Steep a cup of warmth with organic loose leaf teas from ArtfulTea and snuggle up next to the fire. 

Organic Rooibos Chai Tea, Loose Leaf Herbal Chai Blend with Ginger Cardamom Cinnamon Cloves, Spicy Winter Drink
ArtfulTea Organic Roobios Chai 

No fireplace? Light up this incredible copper table top sculpture from AuraWaterfalls and imagine your sipping that Chai tea at a ski lodge in the Alps. 
Metal Candle Holder  - Tabletop Sculpture / Fireplace Insert For Tea Lights Or Candles With Copper Patina
Table Top Sculpture/Fireplace Insert from AuraWaterfalls

For more great gift ideas from Etsy and to see all of these pieces in one place take a peak at this Cozy Up collection

And for the jewelry lovers on your list head over to my Etsy shop for a collection of copper and silver necklaces perfect for layering! 

Layering Necklaces from ErinAustin

Happy Holidays and thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

3xR 43, 44, 45, and 46: Remnant Pendants

A couple of weeks ago I got a request to create a pendant version of some of my 3xR Remnant posts and while I've been slacking on posting, I've not been slacking on making!

3xR week 33: Remnant Posts 

I started with a free form geometric pendant. 

Sterling Silver Remnant Pendant

Then continued with a few rectangle pendants.

Sterling Silver Remnant Pendants

As usual I used scrap from my eyelet pieces for the top layers. The back of the free form pendant came from a piercing behind a cabochon, and two of the rectangle strips came from a ring that was started but never finished. The center rectangle was part of the hand me down metal from my Aunt (the rest of which was used during weeks 20 and 21). I thought the metal was sterling silver, but it definitely is not. I'm not sure what it is, but it made a lovely pendant.

Only 7 weeks of the 3xR (reduce, recycle, reuse) challenge left! That must mean the holidays are upon us. I'll be putting together several gift guides stuffed full of the incredible items I've discovered on Etsy this year. In the mean time head over to the 3xR 2014 Flickr group to see what everyone else has been up to!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 27, 2014

3xR 42: From The Deep

We get a little crazy over Halloween around here. With two creative types in the house there is nothing better than an entire day devoted to imagination run wild. This year we decided on our first couples costume. Here I am smirking about the latest man I lured to the icy depths while the ghost of the unfortunate pirate vows revenge behind me.

Every mermaid, evil or otherwise, needs to accessorize. So a few days before our Pumpkin Carving Party I created this sweet little brooch using scrap copper, silver bits melted into balls, and the silver band from a scrapped ring design for the pin. Really, this brooch played no part in the demise of the unlucky pirate.

Then I pulled out the creepy dolls, made some skeleton trophies, and invited some seriously creative folks over.

Check out that 1st place pumpkin inspired by Poe! Congrats Jill!

To check out what the other 3xR (reduce, recycle, reuse) artists are up to head over to the 3xR 2014 flickr group.  To get your hands on one of my 3xR pieces head over to my Etsy shop.

Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

3xR 39, 40, and 41: Paisley!

I'm catching up and jumping ahead this week with a few paisley pieces!

I started with a pile of copper scrap, some Eyelet Lace scrap, an old silver ring, and little bits of silver wire and bezel. First I cut out some copper paisleys, soldered down the Eyelet scrap, and cleaned up the edges.

After that I melted the bits of silver into balls and soldered them down. I used the old silver ring to make a pin for the large brooch and some recycled silver wire to create the pin and posts for the other pieces.  A little patina and some wax and I was finished!

What do you think? I think I see more paisleys in my future.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 29, 2014

3xR week 38: Reclaimed Brooch

As this project moves forward I continue to return to the Remnant pieces.

Remnant Collection
Bits of scrap left over from the making of the Eyelet Lace collection transformed into new works that hold an echo of the process that came before them. The shadows of the Eyelet pieces are always evident to me, but this week I wanted to make a more literal Remnant piece. The "Reclaimed Brooch" was made to hold the Eyelet Lace pendant that contributed to its composition.

Reclaimed Brooch

The Eyelet pendant can be removed and worn separately, leaving a negative space that acts as further reminder of its contributions.

Reclaimed Brooch Worn

Worn together with the chain of the pendant hanging in swags the brooch transforms into something more regal and complete.

Reclaimed Brooch Back

For a look at what the other participants of the 3xR (reduce, recycle, reuse) weekly challenge are creating head over to the 3xR 2014 Flickr group

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 19, 2014

3xR week 37: Remnant Statement Necklace

It's no secret I'm fond of the Remnant pieces that have developed from this project. This week I decided to push them further by creating a big and bold statement piece. This necklace sits high and actually looks quite delicate despite the geometric forms and oxidized contrast.

I began by pulling scrap from the eyelet lace collection and piercings from setting cabochons as usual. I wanted to add some open geometric links as well, so I gathered all the little bits of scrap wire I could find.

Next, I divided up the scrap, created the geometric links, and played around with the layout until I was happy.

After that there was a lot of filing, sanding and soldering. Sadly, I didn't have enough scrap wire for all of the connecting jump rings, so I resorted to using recycled sterling wire.  Not bad, but not scrap.

A final polish, patina, and wax and the piece was complete.

I think it might be time for a Remnant brooch next week...

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

3xR Week 36: Botanical Stacking Rings

This week my 3xR (reduce, recycle, reuse) piece(s) came together as I was organizing a cabinet and came across a box full of rings from the Ring A Day (RAD) challenge. So many of my rings were quickly thrown together and not really fit for sale. Since there is photographic evidence of each piece in multiple locations I decided it was time to let some of these pieces find new life.

Then I hit the scrap bin and pulled out a little of this and a little of that.

I melted the smaller pieces into balls and soldered them down to larger pieces.

After they were shaped, hammered, and stamped I added them to the reworked the RAD bands resulting in a really fun set of botanical stacking rings. Since I wasn't really sizing the bands as I made them I ended up with four different sets.

Fortunately, the sizes are close enough that they could potentially be worn together, and when they are it's like a garden on your finger!

You can check out what the other 3xR artists are making over at the 3xR 2014 Flicker group or get your hands on some of these eco-friendly stacking rings over at my Etsy Shop.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

3xR 35: Tangled

This week I returned to ocean debris. I cut a small length of the handfuls of fishing line I collected during a short walk on a Kauai beach, and gathered a thick sheet of old copper and few bits of copper tubing from my scrap bin.

Copper Sea Turtle Brooch

All sea turtles in US waters are on the endangered species list and entanglement in marine debris is one of the major threats to their populations. More than 50,000 yards of fishing line were collected during the 2013-2014 Ocean Conservancy clean up effort in the US.

Back of Seat Turtle Brooch
The fishing line on this piece can be pulled and tangled in different ways, but it will not come loose. A small reminder of the struggle these gorgeous animals face.

For more information on Sea Turtles and conservation efforts visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. For information on coastal cleanups visit the Ocean Conservancy.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fall is in the air

I love the changing seasons. Up here on California's north coast we have a very temperate climate. Occasionally we see temps in the low 70's or low 30's, but usually it's somewhere between 55 and 65 all year round. Without much temperature variation time has the tendency to run together. I mean how can it be winter without snow or summer without sweltering heat. It took this southern California transplant a while to figure out that up here the signs of the seasons come in the form of wind, rain, fog, daylight, and food. I'm always sure Fall is on it's way when I look outside and it's dusk at 8pm. Another sure sign is the abundance of blackberries, apples, and zucchini that start popping up everywhere. Suddenly everyone has a jar of jam or applesauce and a loaf of zucchini bread to gift. This year I had such a great time in the garden myself that I decided to increase our vegetable area and put in new raised bed for a fall garden.

Bare bones of the raised bed

This 9.5' x 3.5' x 11" bed was created using 24, 3.5 to 4' salvaged redwood fence boards (not treated) and took a couple of hours. I am by no means a woodworker, but with a little imagination and a few choice words mumbled under my breath I got the job done! I put down a layer of window screen followed by a layer of weed guard and finally a layer of cardboard boxes under the frame. This may have been overkill, but we have some seriously hungry gophers as well as a very tenacious "lawn" that somehow made it's way UP through our 2' high raised beds. So while some may call this overkill, I am going with determined.

Mixing soil

After doing the math on how much soil I would need to fill this monster I decided to start with a 4-6" layer of straw. Our local farm store had a lovely bale for just $8.99. I only used about a third of it and set the remainder on it's side to try my hand at strawbale gardening as well. Why not?

The beginning of a strawbale garden

I filled the rest of the bed with a 1:1:1 mixture of perlite, peat moss, and compost. It took about 4 cu feet of each to top off the bed.

Prepped raised bed

Now all that's left is to wait for the starts to mature. I've got a nice variety of cool weather veggies sprouting in our tiny pop up greenhouse including kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, leeks, and cucumber. I'm a little skeptical about the cucumber, but we will see. All of my seeds came from and they even sent me an extra Kale starter kit with my order!

Kale and spinach starts

Fingers crossed that this venture yields some yummy veggies!

Meanwhile, on the bench this week I'm working on big hoop earrings. The perfect fall accessory to pair with layers, sweaters, and jackets. I love sweater weather! You can get your hands on a pair of hoops in my Etsy shop and use the coupon code FALL20 so save 20% shop wide through the end of August 2014. 

Copper and Silver Hoop Earrings

Happy planting and thanks for reading!