Jewelry raffle - come play and win!  

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just before going for holidays, I played in a book giveaway raffle on one of the book blogs that I now and then visit, and today I've been told that I am the winner (yayy!) and I will receive a book from my wishlist. What's even more fun, I was chosen as the winner on my birthday, lol.
Winning this raffle really made my day, so I came up with the idea to continue with it, and make it a pay it forward one.

So here is the idea.
Anyone who has an active blog at Blogger, or Wordpress, or any other blog site (no matter where you are in the world and no matter what your blog is about) can play. All you need to do is simply answer the question below (and of course you need to like jewellery, lol).

The prize is the sterling silver wire wrapped pendant shown in the picture (only pendant, no chain).
I bought the stone at a market in Vienna and I have no idea what it is, it might be semiprecious or not, I don't know. The guy from whom I bought it had no idea either, but I can tell you it's a beautiful stone. I wrapped it this afternoon, specially for the raffle.
I sell similar style pendants in my shop for 25-28 Euros.

So here is the question:

What is your favourite adornment style: earrings, bracelet, pendant, necklace, ring, other (if other, write what it is).
That's all.

Simply write a comment to this post. The raffle is open until Sunday evening. I will use The Raffle King to shuffle the names and draw the winner. Please add in your comment some method of contacting you, whether an email address or blog link, etc.

Note on the stone: It looks like it could be a lace agate, as somebody indicated in a rock lapidary forum when I posted a picture of it there.

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Back from holidays  

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It was nice while it lasted, but it's over. We came back from Vienna this morning at 5 am.
Although I've passed several times through the city years ago when I was travelling between Germany and Hungary, I've only once before went to Vienna to stay, it was a 2 days trip for work, and I don't remember much of being there. So it was like Vienna, the first time for me.
We had a great time with hubby, walked a lot, had both pain in our legs, back, just like some two old people, we really put a lot of miles in our legs these days. But it was worth it, as we saw some of the city, which is really beautiful.
If I really have to choose one place that I liked most (although it is difficult), it's got to be Stephan's Dom. That cathedral is just amazing in its architecture.
On Saturday we met with my parents as well and we took them to the dom, and they were equally impressed.
I will post pictures of it as soon as the film is developed (yeah yeah I am still going around with the old style cameras *grins*).

Another worth mentioning occasion was meeting Amber, my online friend from long time ago with whom we share a strong love for books, particularly paranormal romances. We first met at bookcrossing, then at bookrelay, and now at bookobsessed and bookmooch. And now we finally met 'in real' too.
I will also post a picture that somebody took with my camera, but in the meantime, here is a picture that Amber also posted on her blog, and I dared steal it to show it here as well.
We're in an Irish pub called Flanagan's, and behind us are the bookcrossing books that are taken and left there by readers. Quite a cool place.
On Amber's neck there is a necklace that she purchased from me, but you can't see the pendant from the blouse :)

For our meeting, she gave me a bunch of paranormal books that were on my wishlisht (yay!!), and I brought her a pair of *what else * amber silver earrings. I only had 4 of these silver hexagons, so with two going in the earrings for Amber, this last pair available in my shop or here on my blog becomes truly unique.
One is in Vienna, and where will the other pair end up?

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Short break  

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm taking a short break as I'm going to Vienna for a few days with hubby. In Cyprus it's the Orthodox Easter, so we have a few day off from work. I'll be back next Tuesday, but luckily I'll only be back to work next Friday, so I'll have a few days to play with silver wire!

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Goldstone wrapped bracelet  

Monday, April 21, 2008

I made this wire wrapped bracelet last night from Jessie Donnan's first book. I always wanted to make this style of bracelet, but never quite knew how to pull it off. Of course, now that I saw it in the book, it's quite easy *grins*.
I messed up a bit the right side of the clasp, so this one stays with me as a prototype. It's quite comfy to wear, I had it on today at work and was great. It's more a bangle and you can shape it with hands on how much to bend. Which is good because it fits all sorts of wrists, from the thinner to the fuller.
Goes with pretty much anything, from jeans to anything blue, black white, yellow and even red. Maybe not green though, lol.

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Silver cross for hubby  

Sunday, April 20, 2008

In Cyprus people are pretty religious and almost everyone has in their car hanging from the mirror a cross, or a rosary.
When hubby sold his car a few months ago and bought a new one, he left his cross in the other car. So recently he asked me to make him a cross. Had no idea what to do, and didn't want to try Iza's tutorial as I still find it a bit intimidating, but today as I was flipping through some books I bought about a year ago from Jessy Donnan, I found a tute for this cross, so I got to work. Rather on the simple side, but I've never done anything like this before, so it was a new experience for me.
Was not sure what hubby would say about it, I was afraid he's say it's too girly, but when saw it, he loved it and got very excited about it. We quickly went down to his car with a longer silver chain and the flush cutter to cut the chain to size, and put the cross in his car right away :D
I've tumbled it a bit before and I must say it's really nice and shiny hanging from behind the mirror :)
I see a few tiny nicks I made with the pliers in the wire, but they are hardly visible with the naked eye.

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Eye of Horus - SOLD  

The Eye of Horus is a strong ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, an all seeing eye.
Upon researching a bit on Google, here is a picture of that beautiful symbol.

A beautiful purple cats-eye wrapped in herringbone weave surrounded by a sterling silver wrapped frame and little silver beads at the bottom. 6x3 cm including the bail. It comes on a sterling silver chain.

This item is sold, however I can make something similar if you are interested. Contact me to work out details.

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The new me  

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I went to the hairdresser today and this is the result. I had not only a trim, but a complete overhaul. I was almost 4 hours in the chair!
To be honest, this is the first time in years that I actually like what they did with my hair. Usually I got to a cheap place around the corner or just pop in somewhere, but this time I went to the most expensive around, Tony and Guy. Usually only the rich and mighty go there. But I guess it's true that in some cases the more expensive things do bring along quality as well. Not always, but sometimes yes.

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Dichro wrapped pendant  

Friday, April 18, 2008

Here is the pendant I made with the drawn square wire (see previous post).
It's a bit more difficult to wrap a square cab, it was definitely an interesting learning experience.

The pendant measurements : ~4x4 cm + ~1 cm for the wrapped bail.

You can buy this pendant on a silver chain right from the blog by paying easily through Paypal:

28 Euros

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How to use the draw plate - small tutorial  

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I bought the draw plate recently to change the shape of my wire from round to square and I have already used it once on making the wire for the pendant in my previous post.
I've looked all over the net for tutorials on how to use the draw plate with pictures (I'm a visual person and I prefer to see than just to read the text), but I couldn't find anywhere one. So I've decided that while I was making my second wire, I would take a few pictures and explain the process, in hope that somebody might find it interesting and useful enough to read it *grins*. If I helped only one person in the process, I am happy :)

The draw plate is used for two main actions with the wire.
- to get thinner gauges of wire (if you don't have that particular wire thickness at the moment, but have something thicker that you don't really need)
- to change the shape of the wire
You can get drawplates with all sorts of shapes. Square, half round (or half square, it's the same), oval, stars, etc
Because my main reason to buy a draw plate was to get myself some square wire for border wrapping, this is the shape I bought the draw plate in.

My method might not be the fastest, or the best, or even the second best *grins*, but this is what worked for me.

1. Because the wire needs to somehow fit through a whole smaller than itself, it needs at least to get even if just a tiny bit through, so it can be grabbed with a plier and pulled through from the other side.
I used my flush cutter to cut the end of my wire and at nice wide angle, to allow for some longer thinner wire so it can get to the other side.

2. Next you need to put the wire through various holes in the draw plate until you find the one that no matter what, it won't go through just by pushing it with your fingers.
As you can see from the picture, I found the size I needed at the hole below the number 13. See that little blob there poking through? That's the little piece of the wire I cut the half of it away in the previous step. It only comes through maybe 1-2 mm, not anymore because the cut ends and the wider part stops it.

3. Now put the draw plate in a wise (mine is an ancient one I bought used which I am also using for holding the coil when I'm cutting rings with my Koil Kutter) to stay secured and without to move. You need a bit of strength in your arm to pull the wire through, so you need resistance from the draw plate to hold it in place. (see the picture of the plate in the vise in step 5)

4. Before you start, you need some kind of lubricant for the wire, so it can glide through the hole easier. I've used a 3 in 1 multipurpose oil, but I've even heard somebody rubbing a candle against the wire. Whatever works to lube.

5. And now the fun part. Pulling the wire through the hole. I used my trusted chain nose plier, although I've heard others to use regular pliers, not the smaller ones for jewelry. I would have used them too except I didn't have any of those in my vicinity and I was lazy to go down to the storage room to bring up one of hubby's.
You grab the tiny end of the wire that is poking through and pull it a bit and again a bit, until more of it it's through so you can actually grab more of the wire, more securely. Once this bit is done and you've gotten hold of more wire in your pliers, with one hand hold onto the draw plate, or the vice (I had to stop to use one hand to take a shaky picture), and with the other, slowly but firmly start pulling the wire. During my first attempt I thought it won't go through. But do perserve as you will feel after 2-3 smaller pulls that the wire gives and it does come through. Once you've done this one time, you will know how strong to pull.
The most important is to try to pull it in one slow, constant and firm motion, so all the wire comes through. Reason is that if you stop in the middle (like I did, as I had to take the picture), you might create kinks in the wire.

Once you've pulled the wire to the other side, do it again, and then again.

After pulling it through 3 times, I stopped. Reason is because the wire started to work harden, and if I had pulled it one more time, I couldn't have used the wire for wrapping unless I've annealed it first, to make it softer again. And that's something I still need to learn how to do.
However, after 3 pulls through the plate, my wire became something between half square and square anyway, which is perfect for what I need. Actually some people even swear on using half square wire instead of full square for border wrapping. For me it definitely works what I've created after 3 pulls through.

If you want to continue, then here you can anneal the wire, and then pull it through again.
I've noticed on my wire, however, that already by the 3rd pull, it came much easier through the square hole. This is because the wire also becomes thinner (and longer) in the process.
Usually what you need to do here is to take the very next (smaller) hole and start pulling it through that hole, using the procedures described above, until you have the thinness and squareness that you are happy with.

I hope in this basic tutorial I gave you an idea of how to go about drawing wire. Once you got the hang of it, you can do much more with it, improve the techniques a lot, or even use various mills instead of the draw plate. But a mill costs a minimum of $200-300, while the draw plate cost me around $50. As it does the job the way I want it, I can use the rest of the money to buy more wire :)

Btw, thanks for the folks at the Starving Artist forum who gave me bunch of useful tips when I first asked about using a draw plate. If it weren't for them, I'm not sure I'd have attempted using it on my own or even purchased it in the first place.
A few months ago when I went to a basic metalworking class (that I left soon after), the teacher strongly discouraged me from using a draw plate without some machinery they had in the class to hold it in place, as he said, you just can't do it by hand. I've just proven that I can.

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Where the need takes you  

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I ran out of square wire and have ordered from the US, however it hasn't arrived yet. A bit before ordering the wire, I've also ordered a square holed draw plate, which is used to 'transform' regular, round wire into square.

I've received my draw plate yesterday so I was looking forward to play with my new toy.
Which I did this morning. For this type of cab wrapping, square wire, or half square is the best, as round wire will just not stay put when trying to bind them together with the thinner wire.
And here is the result, with my very first hand-made square wire. And I guess, with the silver prices skyrocketing these days, it won't be the last time I'm drawing the square wire myself.

The stone is a beautiful red agate, 3x2.5 cm. The actual pendant including the handwrapped bail is 5.5 cm in length. It comes on a sterling silver chain, making the pendant a necklace actually.

As usual, you can buy it directly from the blog by clicking on the Buy Now button, which will take you to Paypal, or you can go to my Dawanda shop, and purchase from there.

28 Euros

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Pink jade pipa pendant - Oriental pink  

Saturday, April 12, 2008

And made something with one of the stones I got today...
This is my second rendition of the pipa pendant, technique brought to wire by Corra from de Cor's handmades.
Lots and lost of sterling silver beads and a gorgeous pink jade faceted rondelle. The whole pendant is 4x3 cm without the bail. Comes on a sterling silver chain, as shown in some of the pictures.

38 Euros

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Got some goodies in the post today  

The postie made my day today! Not only got a bunch of great books to read, but also some supplies and semiprecious stones I bought on Etsy recently. Yay, I can't wait to make something with these!
Picture is not that clear as since I'm working with a tripod to capture my jewelry, when I simply hold the camera in my hands I just can't make it hold still anymore :-D

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Splitting the blog  

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I've decided to split the blog in two, as both my strong subjects of intereste, jewelry and spirituality, are strong enough that each deserve a blog of their own.

This blog will remain devoted to my exhibition of handcrafted jewelry, each piece with its own story of creation. You can also continue buying the jewelry directly from this blog.

All matters spiritual, metaphysical will find their own home at my new blog at devoted to this vast and very intriguing subject - or set of subjects. I will share my experiences, review books, add interesting comments, so please do come over at times and read my latest musings about my spiritual journey.

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4% discount when buying directly from my blog  

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

If you like something from the jewelry I present here, you can now buy it directly from my blog. What does this mean for you? Here are some of the benefits of buying directly:

  1. no longer need to register on a third party site before purchasing
  2. can purchase with a few clicks of a button: click on Buy Now, and you will be redirected to the Paypal site, where you can pay the exact amount immediately. It all takes no more than 2 minutes from the moment you saw that gorgeous piece of jewelry that caught your eyes!
  3. you will pay with Paypal, which is the fastest and safest payment option around
  4. last but not least, if you buy directly from my blog, you will receive from me a 4% discount, which will be returned to your paypal account once I received the payment. This offer is not time limited
  5. shipping for all items all over the world is free
I am working on adding Buy Now buttons to jewelry shown in my previous posts. However, once an item has been purchased (from here, or Dawanda or offline), I will remove the Buy Now button from my blog, unless it is an item (i.e. chainmail) that I can safely duplicate.
You are always welcome to enquire about a unique item, and I will work with you on trying to make something similar.

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Honey Amber earrings  

Sunday, April 6, 2008

And as I couldn't just sit on a Sunday afternoon doing nothing, I whipped together this beautiful pair of earrings with sterling silver wrapped hexagons and some amber chips I had from before and never knew how to use them. I was thinking of matching the pendant I made today. The pendant is a bit more translucent, however they do match quite nicely together.
Total length, including the leverback earwires is ~6cm.
Although rather long, they are very lightweigh and fun!

22 Euros

New! Now you can buy the items directly through my blog. When you click on the Buy now button, it will take you immediately to the Paypal page, where you can pay safely and securely - and fast!

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Baltic Amber pendant  

28 Euros

New! Now you can buy the items directly through my blog. When you click on the Buy now button, it will take you immediately to the Paypal page, where you can pay safely and securely - and fast!

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Two more border wrapped pendants  

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I am continuing my journey in the land of border wrapping.
First cab is a beautiful green agate, wrapped in sterling silver. The whole pendant is 4x2.5 cm and it comes on a 45 cm silver chain.

28 Euros

The second is a gorgeous fused glass piece that Laura sent me a while ago and I just didn't know how to wrap it. I think the glass is just gorgeous! The whole pendant with bail is 7x4 cm.
It comes on the black suede cord. If you are interested in a silver chain instead, please send me a message to work out the details.

28 Euros

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Hematite Border wrapped cab  

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I bought a while ago a few cabs from Szarka and didn't know how to wrap them. Then I bought just a bit of square silver from Monsterslayer in the US (shipping nearly killed me, boy I'm glad to be still alive, lol), so last night I made this cab based on an online tute. This is the result.
Hematite stone with sterling silver.

28 Euros

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Design first and do later  

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I had a long chat today with Corra (my friend from Malaysia who is famous for her Pipa style wrapping) and she keeps pushing in my head the idea of first designing, thinking, practicing and then actually doing.
With that in mind, even though I didn't follow all the steps that she advised (hey, one at a time! lol!), as I had a flash of an idea for a pendant, I sketched it briefly and gave it some thought.

And the result is this. Lots to improve, but I'm getting the hang of the vines and wrapping briolettes, which usually give me major headaches! And of course the result is not identical with the sketch, as some ideas kept coming while I was working on the piece which made me slightly alter the original.
I'll keep practicing Corra's way, and I think it's gonna work!

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Turkish delights  

I made this pendant last night (stayed up until after 12 am until I finished it) reminds me of Turkey, of Orient, of all the designs that come from that part of the world, full of rounds and curves.
Sterling silver with swarovski crystal.
3.5x3.5 in diameter.

45 Euros

Today we had a day off from work, something with a public holiday, so while waiting for lunch to be ready, I made this set, inspired by a bracelet I saw on Etsy while browsing last night. Stones are larvikite (always manage to forget the name!) with sterling silver. Clasp is a cute kitty I bought on Etsy not long ago :)

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