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In the Heat of Summer…

It’s getting hot (and strangely muggy) in this part of Washington…. So, just as I do every time summer comes around, I’m having serious cravings for white or iced wine. One of my favorite white wines comes from a winery with a tasting room up in Leavenworth, so my goal for the summer is to- at some point- take a day off for a road trip to buy a bottle of wine and bring it back for a wonderful candlelit dinner and some quiet time with my sketchbook….

But, meanwhile, I’ve got thoughts of white wine preoccupying my brain and it’s oh so distracting!

Sorting through a recent bead order, I discovered two Swarovski crystals which were immediately claimed for this new design…

These Tendrils of the Vine Link Earrings feature Swarovski crystals on Argentium silver wire. A perfect pairing for your next wine tasting! ;)
These Tendrils of the Vine Link Earrings feature Swarovski crystals on Argentium silver wire. A perfect pairing for your next wine tasting! 😉

 

They made me fall into a daydream of beautiful summer afternoons with a nice white (maybe an iced) wine! Since I only had enough crystals in this color for a single pair of earrings I had to make them count, so I paired them with one of my personal favorite designs from the Tendrils (of the Vine) Collection. With the Argentium Silver wire leaf swirls, handmade silver head pins and bright crystal colors- I’m having a wine craving just looking at them! These are being saved for next week’s delivery to Ellensburg Canyon Winery/Cox Canyon Vineyards, but you can find the Siam version on Etsy here.

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Four Directions to the Wind

This brand new Butterfly Sundries original design, part of the Sirens and Sailors Collection, was inspired by old nautical maps!
This brand new Butterfly Sundries original design, part of the Sirens and Sailors Collection, was inspired by old nautical maps!

 

With a brand new charity in Butterfly Sundries’ Featured Charity Spotlight, I’m also unveiling a new jewelry line: The Sirens and Sailors Collection! This cuff is one of my absolute favorites among the new designs and I’m so excited to share Continue reading Four Directions to the Wind

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Custom Hair Barrette

This beautiful 80mm etched copper hair clip was created as a custom order for one of my clients.
This beautiful 80mm etched copper hair clip was created as a custom order for one of my clients.

In general, I’m very particular about which custom orders I’m willing to add on to my schedule. After years of making jewelry and accessories, I’ve learned there are qualities that have to exist in the relationship between myself and a potential client before it’s worth the effort. Recently I accepted a custom order and remembered all the reasons I enjoy doing custom work (in the best-case scenarios).

This original Butterfly Sundries hair clip, currently available on Etsy, was the starting point for a client's custom order request.
This original Butterfly Sundries hair clip, currently available on Etsy, was the starting point for a client’s custom order request.

I received an inquiry from a client about a hair clip which is available in Butterfly Sundries’ shop on Etsy; she liked the design, but wanted a larger barrette and a different size copper plate. Reworking a design, which was made to fit a wider plate, to be attractive with smaller (width) and longer dimensions is a challenge.

 

Because the design was a modification of the existing design, and something I could translate to new designs, I waived my usual artist design fee. But, I still had to pick out the key design features of the original and modify them to be attractive on a smaller scale. I drew up three initial modified designs using the measurement guidelines given to me by my client. Once completed, I sent the sketches to my client so she could tell me which she liked best and give feedback.

I did three initial design sketches, using some of the primary design elements from the original hair clip design.
I did three initial design sketches, using some of the primary design elements from the original hair clip design.

 

When my client responded with her preferences (she liked designs 1 & 2). I combined those two designs and moved them to the copper plate for etching. Using tape to protect the edges and the back of the copper, and my favorite resist to protect the areas I didn’t want etched, I sent a picture to my client for any last minute feedback of changes she might want before etching.

 

This photo was sent to my client before etching for any last-minute feedback before etching.
This photo was sent to my client, before etching, for any last-minute feedback or changes.

 

Once etched, the remaining solution on the plate had to be neutralized and the plate needed to be cleaned. After applying a patina to provide an “antiqued” appearance, a wax was applied to protect the surface.

 

After neutralizing the etching solution, applying the patina, and some initial clean-up, it's finally possible to get a real idea of how the design will look as a hair clip!
After neutralizing the etching solution, applying the patina, and a little cleaning, it’s finally possible to get a real idea of how the design will look as a hair clip!

 

A little shaping, drilling and riveting… Voila! A brand new custom hair clip is done and on its way to a new owner!

 

It's done! This gorgeous etched copper barrette was a fun custom order... and thanks to the inspiration of my client, some new (different) hair clip designs will be coming to Butterfly Sundries soon!
It’s done! This gorgeous etched copper barrette was a fun custom order… and thanks to the inspiration of my client, some new (different) hair clip designs will be coming to Butterfly Sundries soon!
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Romance & Mischief by Design

Celebrating old romance and fantasy novels with imperfect printing, this new etched cuff is a great accessory for the mischievous!
Celebrating old romance and fantasy novels with imperfect printing, this new etched cuff is a great accessory for the mischievous!

 

I love romance and I really like creating mischief. Blending those two things together isn’t always easy, but I discovered early on that- occasionally- the turn of a phrase can satisfy my desire to have both.

 

As a youth, I read a lot of romance and fantasy novels. A pastor’s brat, there were lots of things I wasn’t supposed to do or say (most of which I didn’t miss, but I felt irritated at not being allowed to watch Dirty Dancing). With ultra-conservative family members (primarily grandparents), I often felt restricted by the rules of propriety which were imposed on me. I learned, however, that the use of a good double entendre could often satisfy my personal need to create mischief or rebel.

 

When I started developing the designs for Butterfly Sundries’ Bookworm Collection (inspired by and supporting my current Featured Charity, Sound Learning), some of the first designs I started sketching drew on those early experiences and memories. And, with Knights of Veritas having also been a recent Featured Charity, I had knights on my mind… which is how this design (which supports both non-profits with 10% of the sale profits, though it is only officially part of the Bookworm Collection) came to be developed.

 

Being a person with a healthy sense of self-preservation, I also learned to always ensure that- should the need arise- I could point to the completely innocent origins of my statement. To keep with my tradition of always having a way out, I included shelves of books on the ends of this design (an easy disclaimer the wearer may use, if needed, for those  with sensitive dispositions or concerns about propriety; I recommend also feigning dismay and shock that their mind would go so quickly to such- delightfully- naughty places).

 

Incorporating my loves for old romances, fantasy novels, imperfect book printing, literature, a passable double entendre and mischief all in one design? My work here is done, at least for now (Yes, it is available on Etsy).

 

I think I’ll go hook up my old VCR to watch my taped copy of Dirty Dancing (one of several “forbidden” movies I taped on VHS, during my youth, and left unlabeled for viewing when my parents left the house).