Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mother's Day Shopping Expo

Make plans to attend!  This will be a one-stop-shop for Mother's Day gifts!  You'll find items from jewelry to bath products to on-site photography and more!!!  Come join me for a wonderful day of fun and excitement, where you are sure to find the perfect gift for every Mom on your list.  Food will be provided by Wild Plum Cafe.

When:  April 16 from 9 AM to 4 PM
Where:  Lamar Memorial Hall, 1104 Broadway, Lamar, MO  64759

I will be accepting custom pre-orders since Lamar is an hour and a half away from where I live, and you never can tell just how busy I'll be!  Check out my website and follow me on Facebook to see some of the things I have created!  

Hope to see you there!

Other vendors/artists who will be in attendance:
  • The Gourmet Cupboard
  • Lily's Ribbon Extravaganza
  • Scentsy
  • Mary Kay
  • Kactus Flower
  • Usborne Books
  • Tastefully Simple
  • Lynda Killingsworth-crochet & stuffed animals
  • Miche Bags
  • Just Because-Lampwork Beads
  • Ann Bush
  • Premier Designs Jewelry
  • Creatively Designed Photography
  • Jewelry In The Rough
  • Shelly Keener-knit items & bows
  • Essential Bodywear
  • Button Man Company
  • Kris Silver-Fused Glass Pendants
  • The Shops at The Gallery
  • The Urbane Peach Boutique
  • The Pampered Chef

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cabochon? Cabachon?

According to Wikipedia, "A cabochon or cabachon, from the Middle French caboche (head), is a gemstone which has been shaped and polished as opposed to faceted. The resulting form is usually a convex top with a flat bottom. Cutting en cabochon is usually applied to opaque gems, while facetting is usually applied to transparent stones. Hardness is also taken into account as softer gemstones with a hardness lower than 7 on the Mohs hardness scale are easily scratched, mainly by silicon dioxide in dust and grit. This would quickly make translucent gems unattractive—instead they are polished as cabochons, making the scratches less evident.

In the case of asteriated stones such as star sapphires and chatoyant stones such as cat's eye chrysoberyl, a domed cabochon cut is used to show the star or eye, which would not be visible in a facetted cut.

The usual shape for cutting cabochons is an ellipse. This is because the eye is less sensitive to small asymmetries in an ellipse, as opposed to a uniformly round shape, such as a circle, and because the elliptical shape, combined with the dome, is attractive.  An exception is cabochons on some watches' crowns, which are round.

The procedure is to cut a slab of the rough rock, then to stencil a shape from a template. The slab is then trimmed to near the marked line using a diamond blade saw—called a trim saw—and sometimes followed by "nibbling" to the line. The purpose of nibbling is to speed the shaping of the material when using silicon carbide grinding wheels. Most lapidary workshops and production facilities have moved away from silicon carbide to diamond grinding wheels or flat lap disks.

Once the piece is trimmed and nibbled, it is usually mounted on a handle to assist manipulation. This procedure is called "dopping"; it is normally done by adhering the stone with hard wax onto a length of wooden dowel called a "dop stick". The piece is then ground to the template line, the back edges may be bevelled, and finally the top is sanded and polished to a uniform dome."

 I first discovered these wonderful creatures in a wire-wrapping class at a local bead store.  They are perfect for wire wrapping as they are flat on one side and have no holes drilled in them.  They come in a variety of materials, shapes and colors and are priced for many different budgets.  Below is an example of a wire-wrapped cabochon (much like the one I learned to make).

They can also be placed in settings to be used as earrings, bracelets, pendants and even rings!  

So, don't be scared of them because they don't have holes!  See what beautiful things you can create!

Monday, March 28, 2011


I discovered this wonderful organization last Fall at a home show.  Several colorful strands of handmade paper beads were draped on a table and immediately caught my attention.  As I read the Mission Statement, I immediately felt connected to this organization:

"BeadforLife creates sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of extreme poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone."

BeadforLife is guided by the following principals:
  1. Creating businesses and jobs through entrepreneurial development is a more sustainable approach to poverty eradication than providing aid. Rather than becoming dependent on handouts from abroad, members build their skills and long-term capacities through meaningful creative work.
  2. Concerned citizens in resource-abundant countries care about the issues of extreme poverty and are willing to get involved.
  3. Paying the members fair trade prices allows them to meet their daily economic needs.   Investing 100% of our net profits in community development projects for impoverished Ugandans allows for a long-term sustainable future.
  4. Working together enriches all of us.

    For more information on this wonderful organization, visit BeadforLife on the web.  You can also buy finished goods and loose beads from their online store.  I purchased a bag of mixed beads and am LOVING how they look and feel.  I'm excited to make things with them and share the story of how they were made.

    You can even host a bead party to support the organization.  In the upcoming weeks, I will post pictures on some items I have made with the beads I received.  Thanks for reading!  Hope everyone is having a great Monday!

      Sunday, March 27, 2011

      I Got Two New Sets of Pliers!

      I've been on the search for split ring pliers for weeks.  I purchased a pair at Hobby Lobby that are just too big for what I'm working on.  THEN, I purchased a pair from Bass Pro that are small enough but not made correctly.  A horrible design flaw.  I should have read the product reviews before purchasing.  Anyway, while out and about today, I stopped by JoAnn to take a look around.  I ACTUALLY went in to look for Pittsburgh Steelers fabric, but quickly got distracted when I walked by the jewelry supplies aisle.  AND, to my surprise, tools were 50% off!  I snagged the LAST pair of split ring pliers and bought an AWESOME 3-in-1 Combination tool.  This tool is a round nose plier (used for twisting coils and loops), has a groove for closing coils and bending wire at right angles, and a cutter for trimming wire and findings.  And it's got the most amazing SOFT comfort grip handles.  The handles are HUGE selling point because I use them SO much, they HAVE to be comfortable.  I made 15 pairs of earrings with them already, and LOVE them!  Here's what they look like:

      The split ring pliers I found WILL work, but the part that splits the ring needs sharpened a bit to work better.  Third time's a charm!  I'll have a review later in the week on how they turned out.

      Hope everyone had a good weekend!

      This Is A Big Year!

      I know it's been a while since I have posted.  I've been working hard to prepare for this year's craft shows!  I have had a couple of great shows so far this year, and have joined forces with Flame & Flair Candle, Fashion & Gift Boutique.  I've also been invited to the Show-Me Music and Arts Festival being held June 17-19 in Springfield, MO.  Check my website for more new items and shows/fairs I have coming up!  

      Below are some of the earrings I've added to my inventory this year!  I've also added bookmarks and cell phone charms (photos coming soon).

      Skull earrings available in a variety of colors! 

      Pretty flowers available in a variety of colors!

      Peace sign earrings available in a variety of colors!

      Fishing lure earrings available in a variety of colors!

      Contact me through my website or Facebook if you'd like to order these or any of my other designs!