7/30/2012

Finds of the week

Quite a while ago I got a pair of earrings at an auction on Tophatter, dangly drops made from citrine and apatite. A month later I still didn't have them, so I contacted the seller.
I'm a patient person and items have been known to take longer from the USA, but I myself like to know about delays as a seller. Why hasn't the customer left feedback or send a note that the item arrived? Didn't she like it? So I told her I'd wait some longer, but wanted her to know that they just hadn't arrived yet.
More time went by ... no earrings. I remember once sending a parcel to Australia and it arrived after amazing three months when we had already given up on it.
I contacted her again and she was very nice about it and told me she'd ship out a new pair and alas, about ten days later I had something in my mailbox.
Just imagine my surprise when about three weeks later I had a note from customs in my mailbox about a parcel from the USA. I hadn't ordered anything and I didn't really expect any gifts (although that would have been nice ;-)). So I went down there, totally clueless.
When the clerk brought the parcel, he was surprised at my reaction, a heartfelt "What the ....!" Yes, the earrings I had received were the first shipment, and these ones were the second one which had taken four weeks by the way. I wasn't sure what to do, but the clerk told me to just refuse taking the parcel and get them shipped back.
I went home and wrote an e-mail explaining the parcel would be travelling back with the nice wrapping, the sweet note thanking me for my patience and of course the lovely earrings.

I'm a sucker for good customer service.
Welcome Clarice Foster and let's have a look at her shop.

My absolute favorite is this set of earrings and necklace - and what a necklace this is!!

Turquoise waters

If you like it a little simpler, how about this necklace then? Classic pearls with a twist.

Pearls, sterling and amethyst necklace


I love iolite and I love dangles. These earrings have both!

Iolite earrings

Of course that's not all that Clarice has in her shop, go to Wholehearttrinkets and look for yourself.
Clarice also sells on Tophatter, a still pretty new auction site that people find to be very addictive, so you should look out for her jewelry there as well ;-)

7/29/2012

Quote of the week

Have you been waiting for this? Have you missed my weekly quotes? Come on, humor me! ;-)

Today I brought a new friend with me. He doesn't know I want him to be my friend and actually he already left the planet, but I would have loved to go for a drink with him. Oh, it also might have been a problem that he's a CGI character.
Meet Paul.

Two English guys - Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as nerdy science fiction writer/illustrator team - fulfil one of their dreams. They go to Comic-Con and afterwards they want to go on the ultimate road trip to see the wonders of the USA, the infamous "Black Mailbox" (that I had never heard about before), the landscape around Area 51, you get the idea. They have no clue what is about to happen to them.
Again - meet Paul.

Paul has spent the last 60 years as guest on the military base after his spaceship crashed, at least that's what he thought. He gave Spielberg his idea for E.T., he invented Agent Mulder, he made friends. Then he finds out he has really been a prisoner and that now that the military has heard it all from him, they want more, so he escapes. That's how he meets Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost) and they are in for the ride of their lifetime.

One of the funniest scenes in my opinion is shortly after they picked up Paul who crashed yet another vehicle, this time a car.
Clive is not happy and Paul leaves him alone with Graeme, so they can talk.

Graeme: What's the matter, Clive?
Clive: There is an alien in the kitchenette, making bagels and coffee.
Graeme: Did you want tea?
Clive: No, I don't want tea!
Graeme: Right, because tea is weird in America. They, they leave the bag in.


Spot on, Graeme, I think you nailed the problem! ;-)

And a special bonus quote for my friend Iain: "Oooh, Marmite!"


One other thing. Jason Bateman is so hot in this movie *happy sigh*


P.S. "Who the hell is Adam Shadowchild?"

7/28/2012

Movement

Surpriiiiiiise! It's me! Alive ... kind of, the heat isn't helping. Kicking ... sure, mostly things that won't hurt my foot, but help me to let out some of the frustration. Determined ... as heck!
Moving? Hm.

Actually movement is this months's Jewelry Artisans Community blog carnival theme.
Things are moving eternally. Planets, stars, rivers, animals - not my cats at the moment, they are mostly passing out from the heat - cars and socks. Not sure what kind of movement socks prefer, but they must move or I wouldn't have ended up with one white and one black one after folding laundry.
I'm moving sometimes, if not the whole me, then at least my hands ;-) Typing, looming, crocheting, knitting.
I'm sure you noticed the very clever bridge I created for myself to get to the jewelry.

I have never really thought that much about movement in jewelry before. Spontaneously I think of spinner rings, then those gold clown/harlequin pendants with the movable arms and legs that were so popular, no idea if they still are, I'm not a big fan of clowns. Maybe you remember my teddy pendant, also with movable arms and legs.


For me it's mostly about dangles, I guess. I have always been fascinated by dangling earrings. I remember when I was about 12 or so. A shop had new clip-on earrings, but finally not the bulky ones that you could only wear with a costume and made you feel old, like at least 25. No, there was the clip-on part, a long chain hanging from it and charms. Ah, they were so expensive for a young girl, 15 DM back then, I'll never forget that, but one pair I had to have, with tiny four-leaf clovers.
Then when I got my ears pierced, there was no stopping me. When packing up things I found a few of my "treasures" from that early time and except for a few pair of hoops they were all the dangly kind.

And then there came the bead looming and the little dangles on the chain I used for the closures on my cuffs. Lampwork, Swarovski crystals, no way I could leave one without a dangle.
What really took the prize however was when I learned to make brick stitch extensions, so perfect to hang something from them. I'll let the following pictures speak for themselves and just tell you to be scared or excited - there are new designs shaping in my head already.

Bleeding Hearts

Bollywood Bells

I vill bite you
 Also take a look at the other JAC members' posts and their take on "movement"! I'll add more links as I get them.

7/12/2012

Wire knit and wire crochet

When I posted a picture of one of my wire knit rings, an online friend asked me if it shouldn't be called wire crochet because it's done with a crochet hook.
Thank you, Tina (Tina is a talented crocheter herself, check out her shop at Flia Design!), I think this is the perfect subject to catch up on blogging!

Let me say first that there are different takes on the subject. I know people who call it wire crochet for the tool used, there are people who think it's spool knitting which it actually does look like if it's a rope, but the explanation wouldn't work for flat pieces and I do not use a spool (although I have done so before), there are people who use knitting needles, for example Bethany from BooJay Knits (I haven't seen that for ropes yet because I imagine it would be pretty hard to do with a set of needles - reminds me of the tiny clothes in the movie "Coraline" for example) ... and lately I have learned that there is something called "knooking" which is explained on this blog dedicated to this technique for which a special crochet hook is used.

For me it's in the kind of stitches I do. Yes, I do use an ordinary worn down crochet hook and wire, but in the end it looks knitted, just as if I had used knitting needles.
I have started using the technique beginning of this year, and it's growing more and more as I'm trying out little variations for the setting of the beads in flat pieces for example, but also because it works better on some cab shapes than my wire crochet.

Let me show you the difference between one of my knit and one of my crochet ropes (it's not the same wire gauge and I didn't use the same hook size, but don't let that confuse you, just have a look at the stitches themselves). As you can tell the knit rope uses less wire and therefore works better for putting beads inside for example as you can see them better. The crochet rope is a lot sturdier however, concerning pressure from the outside. Try pressing both ropes between two fingers and you'll see which one will go flat first - hm, maybe don't try it, but just believe me, I know what I'm talking about.
As for speed I would say that I'm quite a bit faster crocheting, but it hurts my hands more.
As always both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, and it's always a personal thing which one you like better.
I love to use them both and as so often also to combine them. To me they are like siblings, one might say ... and they are both welcome in my studio! ;-)