Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sauteed Broccoli with Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes

This week we have a recipe shared by Gaetana of SatinDollCo on Etsy. It makes a quick and easy side dish for your dinner menu. Thanks Gaetana!

Broccoli can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits.

If you're a lover of broccoli, as I am, then you'll love this quick and easy recipe. It makes the perfect dish added to your dinner menu. It works great with just about anything.

You'll need these ingredients:
-2 heads or brushes of fresh broccoli 
-salt to taste
-2 tablespoons of oil
-dried red pepper flakes (put as little or as much as you may like)
-4 garlic cloves

You'll need to wash, chop and drain your broccoli first. Then peel and finely chop 4 garlic cloves. You can add or subtract how much garlic to add, depending on your love of garlic. Now heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan or skillet.

Let that heat up. Then add your broccoli. Be careful, because it might pop from any water left over in it. Then add the garlic, red pepper flakes and salt to taste.

Now saute until the broccoli reaches the tenderness that you like.
Wallah, your done!!!


Eat alone, add fish or a meet and you're good to go. Enjoy!!



Saturday, November 21, 2015

What's on My Bench??

This week's episode is from JET member Denise Woodhouse of LoveStoneArts. She is going to teach us how she transfers a pattern to silver sheet.

Because Craig (my husband) and I usually work independently, we come up with our own techniques to get from point “A,” a design concept, to point “B,” a finished piece of jewelry.  Craig has an image in his mind and makes it appear by magic with torch and hammer.  I make patterns.

Sometimes a piece begins as a freehand sketch in my journal but just as often I take inspiration from a line drawing or tattoo rendering of an animal or a flower.  These simplified images seem to translate well to jewelry design.  The pattern template can be reused to make the design in a variety of colors or I can easily make small variations.   

Here is a method I use to create and transfer a symmetrical pattern.  First, layout the stones and bezels  then trace around them.  Plastic drafting templates will help you to draw a neat curve or a square corner for your design outline.  When you’re happy with the rough sketch, double check the fit of the stones and then trace the design onto a piece of vellum.  By folding the vellum in half along the mid-line, you can clean up any sections that are out of balance. OK, right matches left so you’re ready to cut out the paper pattern and secure it with double faced tape to a piece of 28 gauge fine silver sheet.  

 Saw all around the lines and cut the pierced parts, then do it again with a second sheet of fine silver.  Here’s why; using a light gauge of silver for the base of the piece allows you to add lots of fine detail.  A heavier gauge requires so much flame to get it up to a good soldering temperature that each of the six or so steps repeats the risk of your work melting away.  It is distressing to see several days’ worth of work melt away!  To give the pendant a nice heft, fuse your second copy cut out of 24 gauge silver to form the back of the piece after you’ve completed all the bezel and embellishment work on the face. I stamp a hallmark and a design onto the reverse piece before the final fusing.

Some of the pieces made from patterns are pictured below:

Well done Denise! Remember, if you want to learn more about Denise, or want to get a closer look at some of these pieces, visit her shop, LoveStoneArts.

Until next week!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from the Jetteam

Thanksgiving in the United States is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November and commemorates the first Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and Native Americans at Plymouth. In early autumn of 1641, the 53 surviving Pilgrims celebrated their successful harvest, as was the English custom.  That celebration is remembered as the "First Thanksgiving in Plymouth". This is a day where families come together to share in a celebration of the fall harvest.

Thanksgiving is celebrated in different ways by different people everywhere.  Turkeys are the main dish in most households, although others serve ham or other main dish. Mashed potatoes with lots of gravy, dressing with various additions such as giblets, onions, mushrooms, etc. are added to the menu. Of course, cranberry sauce, in either the jellied or full berried style, is a spicy addition. The gamut of vegetables ranges from basics like corn to green beans almondine, butternut squash and other fruits of the earth.

What would Thanksgiving be without desert? Pumpkin and Mincemeat pies along with other pastries and sweet concoctions served with after dinner coffees and teas complete the dinner. Time to settle down and relax with family games and football on television.

The Jetteam is thankful for each and every one of our followers and customers. We send our heartfelt wishes for a blessed and fruitful Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

What's on My Bench??

Today's episode is from JET member Phylly of SendingLoveGallery. Let's see what Phylly does with turquoise:

Sometimes a complete jewelry design will come to you in a flash, but other times you start with part of an idea and wait for the rest of it to gel. In my case, what’s been on my bench for a few months are these gorgeous turquoise chunky beads.  They are a mix of New Mexico and Arizona turquoise all in similar sizes in the blue green color range. I kept them in my work area and would occasionally look at them and think about how I would like to use these lovely stones.  

I didn’t see them in a necklace so I began to think about making a bracelet. There were not enough stones to make a bracelet using only the turquoise nuggets, so I would need other beads and elements mixed in. Knowing turquoise looks great with silver led me on a hunt for the perfect silver focal bead. I finally found a wonderful handmade sterling silver star bead.  With this bead as part of the design, my first thought was to use all oxidized, darkened silver findings with it, but when I laid them out they looked too dark with the turquoise and the silver bead. Even though the star bead has an oxidized light and dark design, shiny silver was going to be the way to go. So, I laid out the turquoise and some of the sterling findings and spacer beads I would need in a pleasing design on the bead board. 

The star bead has large holes so I put bicone sterling beads with small holes on either side of it for stability. Then I tested the combination by threading a larger saucer bead, a small bicone, the focal bead, another bicone and saucer bead onto my jewelry wire to see how they looked –and that combination worked to support the center bead. 

After looking at my design I decided to add a small turquoise bead to each end of the bracelet, which would make  2 groups of 3 nuggets separated by a sterling saucer bead on each side.  Then I threaded the clasp, wire protector, crimp bead, crimp cover, sterling beads and turquoise to complete one side of the bracelet.  

I checked the length of the finished half of the bracelet and it was fine, so I completed the other half the same way. This side of the bracelet ends in chain, to make it adjustable. 

Here is what the finished bracelet looks like:


Beautiful bracelet Phylly!. Thank you for the glimpse into your creative process. Remember if you want to learn more about Phylly, please check out her Etsy shop, SendingLoveGallery!  

Stay tuned for next week's episode of What's on My Bench??

Thursday, November 12, 2015

In Praise of the Weird and Wonderful

This week's blog post was generously provided by Karla Rosenbusch of KarlaKraft on Etsy. Karla is one of our newer members on the Jetteam and we are happy to have her with us.

Like most jewelry artists, I love pretty stones! Diamonds, rubies, sapphires — they’re all lovely. But they’re also expensive and can be very hard to work with, especially if you’re an amateur like me. So lately, I’ve found that I love working with more unusual non-traditional materials.


Since I enjoy creating with rivets and cold connections, I came up with a design for mounting stones in an “envelope.” I cut a perfect circle out of a square of metal with my disk cutter, dome around the circle with a dapping block, place my stone in the hole, and rivet another piece of metal to the back. Fairly easy and lots of fun! But I’ve also discovered that I can use the same technique for materials other than stones.


I found some wonderful glass cabochons with images inside — the Man in the Moon, a Ouija board, and other cool things. They make the most delightful pendants! I even got some large glass eyes from a taxidermist, but I haven’t used those yet. I’m really looking forward to playing with them


I also found a source for “pool ball” cabochons. Yes, actual pool balls. I took one that was sliced to the right size, used the envelope technique, and made what became one of my all-time favorite pieces!


I also found some faces carved from buffalo bone from Bali and used those for my “Goddess” series of pendants — which have proved very popular! And I also discovered a source for “fossilized” tumbleweed. Yep, I did, in fact, say “tumbleweed.” It is dyed, pressed, and heated, turning it into a stone-like material. I’ve only made one pendant with the tumbleweed, but I really need to get more. I just love how it came out.



But I’ve found other uses for unusual materials, as well. Since I’m someone who loves recycling, upcycling, and “green” things, I’ve been doing a lot with recycled aluminum cans. I’ve made a whole series of pendants using recycled beer, selzer, and soda cans — the more unusual, the better! I just cut a disk out of the can, dome it, and attach it to a piece of metal — usually a nice copper or brass disk. That’s how I made my “moose crossing” pendant, “polar bear” pendant, and so many other strange and wonderful pieces.


So even if you can’t afford (or aren’t interested in) traditional and “normal” stones, there’s a whole world of unique materials out there. Just find what intrigues you and play!