The longer you work for yourself, the more you learn about yourself.

Just when I think I've settled into my next great adventure, another follows right on its heels. I used to be hard on myself and believe it was necessary to focus on a single thing so I'd become an "expert". But I've realized being an expert is not only unnecessary, it can be limiting. Sometimes knowing a little about many topics brings more opportunities and keeps you intrigued, especially if you're like me and need to change things up from time to time (read: every 6-9 months).

I've finally, fully embraced this truth about me.

If you can't seem to settle on just one thing either, just know that it's okay.

Adventure

In Recent Weeks

Dec 18, 2015

In:Business, Jewelry

Maybe a little-known fact about me: I like technology, but I don't like paying for it. That's ironic for someone with an IT background, isn't it? A prime example is my cell phone. A friend recently asked when seeing it: "Is that a flip phone?" → Continue Reading

I didn't know it was possible, but I've discovered that making graphics art actually rivals jewelry-making. I've reached a sweet balance that meets my passion for art and design and my love of metalsmithing.

When I opened my Etsy printable art shop in September I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought, at most, I'd add 1 or 2 new designs per week and hope that was enough for others to discover my work. Instead, I've averaged more than 1 per day since then. Clearly, I have a new obsession love.  I've already had a few sales since opening the shop (thank you!), so I'm confident there's a market for my digital artwork.

Here's a sample of the designs I've created since my last blog post:

Believe Sign - Chalkboard Printable Art

A "Believe" inspirational print on a chalkboard background with monarch butterflies.

→ Continue Reading

This a special blog post because it's an announcement of something new, something I've had on my heart for a long time and am watching it finally take shape. My years of creative sketching, drawing and computer work have combined into a new venture.

In our technology age instant downloads from the web have become commonplace, and this applies to the world of art. It's no longer necessary to wait for an artist to ship his/her artwork to you after purchasing online. If it's a print you're looking for, now you can literally click, pay and print. In other words, it's printable art. This is attractive for both artists and buyers: artists no longer have to hold inventory or oversee the printing/shipping processes, and the buyer receives his purchase immediately with complete control over how the artwork is printed.

I love this aspect of our digital world.

→ Continue Reading

I've been slowly building a small collection of jewelry pieces to add to my Etsy shop. Most of them I had professionally-photographed, so that took a little extra time. But I'm happy to say nine pieces were listed today!

Sept-Shop-Update-Pieces-sm

(FYI - all the ones shown, with the exception of the copper chain bracelet and necklace, were captured by Leah Judway Photography. There is a huge difference between her photos and mine. She makes my jewelry look beautiful; I try and make it look beautiful. ;))

It's fun to see my work progress. From etching silver to forging chain to trying a design in a different metal, each of these pieces evolved from an existing design. And in some cases, it improved on the previous one. More ideas have sprung from these, so I'm anxious to get started on the next batch of designs.

Fall is in full-swing and this is going to be an extraordinarily busy season for me, in addition to the usual increase in holiday orders. But, I'm trying to remember to take it one day at a time and just enjoy each day that I'm given. And above all, to be *grateful* for the life I have. I hope the same for you.

~ Christina

Mixed Metal Teardrops

Aug 20, 2015

In:Jewelry

It's easy to get frustrated when a design doesn't go as planned, but if you push through, it almost always works itself out. I began these mixed metal teardrops with a completely different vision for the teardrop shape (I didn't plan on a teardrop at all), but I think the end result turned out even better. They are after a stacking ring I introduced early on with a similar copper accent. I may need to bring that ring design back; the one I wear still catches attention!

Mixed Metal Teardrops

I haven't worked with hand-formed chain too much before now, but I really enjoy the rich texture of hammered wire. When a thick gauge is used, it has a nice weight to it.

These are a couple variations of the "Pebble" theme. Made from copper and sterling silver, I go back to mixed metal jewelry time after time.

Pebble Necklace Mixed Metal Jewelry

Pebble Post Earrings Mixed Metal Jewelry

Light for Your Path

Aug 10, 2015

In:Faith

It's funny how you can read or hear a specific Scripture verse dozens of times, and suddenly it sinks in more deeply. This morning it was Psalm 119:105 - "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." I love the imagery of light piercing the darkness, of a warm glow straight ahead of me, directing the way. But the phrase that resonates in my mind is "your word".

It's God's word that lights our paths. Not our calendars. Not our work-schedules. Not our to-do lists. Not our hopes and fears. Not our ambitions. Not what is trending on Facebook. All of those solutions require us to do something, or be something, to navigate this often-times messy life. But God says all we need is His word. That's freeing, isn't it?

One of the best ways to experience this for yourself is to spend a few minutes, in the quiet of the morning, reading Scripture. This discipline builds a firm foundation for the rest of the day. Looking at that Psalm again, if we are in God's word it will light our paths. We will have assurance we are going the right way and can tackle whatever may come.

If you need direction I suggest using a daily devotional to help focus your thoughts. Lately, I have been reading Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence. At the bottom of each entry are Scripture references that you can look up in your Bible, on an app such as YouVersion, or a website like BibleGateway. If you are choosing a Bible for the first time, I recommend a translation that you can easily understand; my favorite is the New International Version (NIV). If this sounds like a lot, don't worry! Daily devotionals are typically short and only take a few minutes of time. If you can work through the struggle of getting started and make it a habit, you'll be glad you did.

In Job 11 it says if we devote our hearts to God, "life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning." (v. 17).

Light.

It's what God promises.

It's just for you.

Light

 

GreenLion Saw Frame

Aug 6, 2015

In:Jewelry

My favorite tools are the ones that are both functional and works of art. In my 4 years of making jewelry, there are only two in my arsenal that fit that description: a Fretz chasing hammer and most recently, a GreenLion saw frame.

I have needed to replace my saw for a long time. It consistently popped its blade no matter how many times I readjusted the tension or tried to realign the saw. This was disappointing; the saw was more cutting-edge (see what I did there) than the traditional jeweler's saw and was more expensive. When it held the blade it worked beautifully, but I had to hold my breath just *hoping* it would stay in tact until I finished my piece. Finally, I'd had enough. It became too time consuming and frustrating.

I researched new saws, unsure which one to get. I couldn't go with the same manufacturer of my old saw (even though the saws have since been redesigned), and I had heard mixed reviews of traditional saws. I remembered a buzz about this stylish, black, steel-frame saw last year and looked into it further. The consensus across reviewers was that it cut like a dream. Too good to be true? Maybe. But after a lot of research and thought, I decided to give it a chance.

Cure for the common jeweler's saw, yes?

GreenLion Saw Frame

My first attempts at sawing were clunky, but I realized it was because I didn't have the tension on the blade set correctly. Because the blade on this design is loaded more like a traditional saw (my old one wasn't), I had to re-learn how to set the tension. But that didn't take long; YouTube to the rescue. Once I had the tension nice and tight...

...sweet relief.

It does cut like a dream. Or like butter. You pick. And knowing that blade is firmly clamped down almost makes me cry.

The last thing worth mentioning is the weight of the saw. It's heavier than my old one and will take some getting used to, but the balance feels nice. I think I'm going to enjoy sawing much more from now on.

Metalsmiths: if you're like me and give a lot of thought to your purchases, my recommendation is that this saw is worth buying.

~Christina

P.S. If this review was helpful and you'd like to support my website, please treat me to coffee. Every little bit helps! Thanks so much. 😊

While I think all of my pieces can be considered "art jewelry", polymer clay jewelry especially feels that way to me. It can take on any shape or form, and be any color desired. There are no artistic limitations with this medium.

When I began work on these earrings I had a specific idea in mind, but they turned into something entirely different. I experimented with various texturing tools (borrowed from my metalsmith collection no doubt) and then stumbled across the clay's desire to turn and bend and be more than just a flat piece of clay. So I went with it. The result was these organic pod-like, or even shell-like, forms. Made from white clay, they were given a cool gray-blue contrasting color.

I can see these in a larger size as well.

Polymer Clay Jewelry

Purchase these earrings right here in my online shop.

~ Christina