Monday, January 30, 2012

Jet of the Day - OVGillies

Amber Inspirations

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ... a little girl sat with her far too stylish grandmother, held in her hands a necklace of Baltic Amber beads and was told a story about the Amber Room ...

From that day on I was hooked on Amber. I imagined being in a room full of Amber - to me it looked like the sun exploded. I imagined going to the Baltic coast and collecting pieces of Amber myself & lamented the fact that grandmother's sister & her family no longer lived there. I imagined having an Amber necklace of my own.

Maybe one day I'll get to visit the re-constructed Amber Room.

One day I'll get to the side of the Baltic coast that has Amber washing on its shores after a storm, and not be stuck in a storm on the Baltic Sea dreaming of finding Amber at the next mooring.

As to having an Amber necklace of my own - this wish did come true, several times over :D

Somewhere under all this Baltic Sea water is whole lot of Amber ...

Voyage of discovery ... haven't found any Amber though. Next time!

Amber found washed out on the beach in Latvia.

Variety of Baltic Amber - cleaned & polished - from mossy green to sunshine yellow, from orange to cherry.
One of my creations using beach found Baltic Amber:
Baltic Butterscotch Necklace - OV Gillies
One of my favourite pieces from a JET supply shop - Butterscotch Baltic Amber Cabochon from ForetTwo

One of my favourite pieces from a fellow JET shop - Baltic Amber Sterling Silver Necklace by TheSilverBear
Baltic Amber Sterling Necklace
 Thank you for reading,

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cameos, Such A Fascinating History. by Michele - Malves1009

The art of cameo making for jewelry purposes dates back to almost 3 centuries before the birth of Christ (in Alexandria, Egypt). It is a much-loved and well-practiced skill that has been passed on and cherished from ancient times right up until modern-day times.

Stone cameos of great artistry were made in Greece dating back as far as the 3rd century BC, The Farnese Tazza (a cup) is the largest and oldest major Hellenistic piece surviving.

Up until the 19th century, most cameos were carved from hard stones such as coral, agate, garnet, jet, amber, jade and other materials, but the most commonly used medium for true carved cameos today is shell.

While most of us think of a female portrait when the word cameo comes to mind, throughout history many mythical scenes, Gods & Goddesses, heroes, rulers and Biblical events were used as subject matter. It wasn't until the fifteenth or sixteenth century that the female portrait cameo became predominant, brought forth in popularity by Queen Victoria of England.

Cameos have not always been just for women. As a matter of fact, throughout history, cameos have been adorned by men just as frequently as women with depictions that symbolized their prestige & culture. Men have worn them on rings and other jewelry, as well as on helmets and military breastplates and sword handles. Pope Paul II was known to have a great love of cameos and wore them on his hands, and Napoleon wore one to his wedding and founded a school in Paris, teaching the art of cameo carving to young apprentices looking to learn the skill.

Cameos today are reproduced into resin plastic and come in all kinds of colors which still give them that Victorian, Vintage style to them.    I'm sure I didn't mention all the history of the Cameo but why not start a tradition in your family today? 

 Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Finding Inspiration

What inspires an artist? 
An object? 
 A memory? 
There are, in fact, an infinate number of answers to that question.

photo by Anthropologie

Inspiration can come from an ordinary group of objects around the house.  You could see a color or a shape that triggers something in you to create something wonderful.

by AbacusBeadCreations

“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”
~ Martha Graham

You may have walked outside past the same field a million times and not taken the time to notice how perfect Mother Nature gets it.  Taking the time to listen to nature can bring about endless ideas.

Photo by Mary Ryan

How many times have you been so inspired that you can't wait to get back to your workbench and bring that inspiration to life?

by ArtMadeByTammy

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”
 ~Vincent van Gogh

Inspiration does not need to be so literal.  It can be a feeling that fills you.  Let that energy guide you.

photo by Mary Ryan

by FuchsiaBloomStudio

You may be surprised at what you can create when you let your mind go and allow your heart to take over.

“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.”

~Karen Ravn

OX~ Mary (Little Brown Bird)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jet of the Day - Laura Stamper Designs

“There is no remedy for love, but to love more” 
Henry David Thoreau
Filigree Heart and Love-Tag Charm Necklace - Designs by Cher
The history of Valentine's Day and its patron saint  is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. There are at least three saints’ legends in the Catholic tradition that pay tribute to Valentine.
Love Struck Notecards - BlancheB - SB Photography
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome.  When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Sterling Heart - Sweetheart Ring - Metalicious
 While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death, others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to "Christianize" celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

"Loyal" Copper Heart Enameled Earrings - Endless Bounty
In European traditional art and folklore, the heart symbol is drawn in a stylized shape. This shape is typically colored red, suggesting both blood and, in many cultures, passion and strong emotion. The shape is particularly associated with romance and love.  Although it does not really resemble the actual human heart, it has been used as an illustration of the emotional heart for centuries. 

Minimalist Red Swarovski Heart Pendant - Your Daily Jewels
Whatever the origins of this day and its symbols are, the celebration of romance and love crosses all cultures and ages.  So what makes the perfect Valentine gift?  Whatever speaks to your heart!

Heart Earrings in Reclaimed Copper and Sterling Silver - Laura Stamper Designs

            “Passion makes the world go round.  Love just makes it a safer place.”     Ice T

 Thanks for reading,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Jet of the Day - JudesJujus

Well the Holidays are over and now we have Valentine’s Day coming!! 
      I love making jewelry for Valentine’s!! Here are a few things from my shop!!
Be Still My Heart Pendant - in Lampwork and Sterling 

Red Hot Mama Bracelet - Sterling, Pearls, and Sterling with Matching Earrings 
Pretty in Pink bracelet - Swarovski and Lampwork with Matching Earrings 
Thank you for looking!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The JET Team

 On July 24 2007, my partner Terry and I decided to give Etsy a try. We already had a lot of experience making and selling jewelry; we began selling jewelry together in the early 1980's. And we had been selling silver jewelry online since 1998. But this fresh new site seemed to have a unique way of doing things. So we opened a shop to sell only our handcrafted jewelry designs. And now, looking back ... it was one of the best decisions we ever made.

For a few months we did things our usual way. I take care of the daily business stuff, and was learning about Etsy while running our silver jewelry website. But I soon found that Etsy was more social than any other selling venue we had tried. And this made me want to reach out to other shop owners.

Later that year, I took a big step ... and joined the JET team.

Many of the original members are gone. They've moved on. But the great thing about this group is ... it continues. We have new members joining all the time, and each new member brings something different, personal and unique to the table. I learn from each and every one of these talented people; interacting with the artisans that give their time to participate and contribute on the daily JET board is not just fun, it gives me a fresh look at Etsy features, social media, jewelry making techniques, and so much more. The bonds we form are real, even if we never meet. I truly love the JET team!

We help each other promote our shops. We use Facebook, Twitter, Google + and other social media sites. We make Etsy Treasuries promoting member shops. We share information on our suppliers. If a member needs a tip all we have to do is ask. Yesterday I asked about using resin to make pendants; several members offered valuable information that only comes with experience. This will help eliminate trial and error, so I don't have to waste valuable material to figure it out myself.

Teams are an integral part of the Etsy experience. I think back to the few months I spent in the beginning - before we became a member shop, and it was like being in a drifting boat. No focus, no real direction ... and I wonder why anyone would have an Etsy shop without joining a team. The time I spend with JET members promoting our shops has been returned many times over. Every JET member is my friend, my partner and an inspiration to do more, create more and promote more!

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in artisan made silver jewelry and custom length rope chains. This article may be reproduced provided it contains this author's statement and all links remain intact. ©2012 Robert Edwards

Thursday, January 19, 2012


By Judy from JemsbyJB&Company

The start of a new year always brings thoughts of what could have been and anticipation of what lies ahead. It can be a time of thoughtful reflection or a time of disappointment. The holidays which, most likely were a time for fun and merriment, are over and those beautiful decorations are neatly packed away. All of those sales you experienced, during the last few months, seem to have gone into hibernation and you may be rethinking your ability to be a successful business owner. 
Now is the time to step back and revitalize! Running a successful business takes hard work and even those who have reached monumental success occasionally need to remember the most important tools which will sustain them.

These important reminders will hopefully help you regroup and celebrate your art.
1. Take Responsibility - Learn to take responsibility for anything that has your fingerprint on it. Learn to take responsibility for not just the good things, but even bad ones. Admit to your mistakes because it’s okay to be wrong. You cannot learn if you have not made any mistakes.
2. Believe In Winning - A rising tide lifts all boats – always think win-win. It exists. The power of positive influence you have on the people around you and the power to inspire people to greater heights is in front of you.
3. Do It! - If you have any ideas that are simmering in your mind, write it down. It doesn’t matter if it is not a plan yet, just write it down. Keep recording your thoughts and ideas. Some of them will turn into gorgeous jewelry creations!
4. See Opportunities Everywhere - The opportunities to lead are everywhere. You need to be mindful of these opportunities. Absorb the information that you read in the forums, internet and conversations with others. Jot down the names of the new sights that you hear about and spend some time perusing them. You might find something which will shed new light on your art. (Pinterest, Kaboodle, etc. etc. )
5. Be Open - Be open to criticism.(I really have an issue with this one!!)When you are open to feedback, you are being fed ideas from others that are free. Often times, these ideas come from people smarter than you. They will give you tips on how to improve and how to be better. That’s what a leader needs - constant feedback.
6. Give, Give, Give - That’s how you open up. Pour out all you got from inside you. Give all you have ideas, thoughts, plans. Feel the vulnerability and learn to like it. Design your jewelry with all the love and care you can muster.

 Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jet of the Day - Milleth of Fully Hooked

 Life Happens
At the beginning of the New Year, my daughter asked me “Mom, so what’s your New Year’s Resolution?” then she went on and on listing her promises of do’s and don’ts, and I lost track after number 10 because I was so preoccupied with actually creating MY own list!
And here’s what I came up with:

Don’t worry, I didn’t provide the wrong file, it’s the right one.  And yes, it’s blank.  Because this year, I decided I don’t need a list after all. Some of us set such high unrealistic resolutions that the moment we fail, even though we feel bad, we shrug it off and say “oh well, try again next year”, then we go through the rest of the year repeating that phrase to ourselves, justifying our shortcomings.  Sound familiar? Yeah. 
Swirl Capiz Earrings
I honestly don’t need a list to remind me I’ve wanted to lose a few pounds, or that that dream garden is only a shovel away, or that coveted wholesale account is simply a show away. And I admit, sometimes getting things down on paper is a way to add finality and authority to it, but so is looking at a mirror, or that dirt path at the side of the house or that slow trickling of Etsy sales. Basically, I’m aware of the issue, I’m aware of the solution; there shouldn’t be anything in my way, right?-- In theory, yes, perhaps.
Vintage Lucite Red Teardrop Earrings

Calla Lily Hairclips

But this year, I’m going to let myself BE, because the truth of it is, LIFE HAPPENS.            
Pewter Dove Earring with Yellow Flowers