Dream Weaver Jewelry (and more!)

Just an artist making her way.

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Weddings … and their nightmares.

Years ago, my sister got married.

The bridal party was small; my other sister (yes there are three of us) as the Matron of Honor, my two nieces and myself as bridesmaids, and of course, our male counterparts/escorts.

My sister and I wore cinnamon, my nieces champaigne.

Our jewelry “requirement” was “simple, clear stones, silver” – matching if we could get it!

Ha ha ha… no.

What really happened? My nieces went shopping separately.  The MoH and I were in another state, and tried to find matching items, but she found something she liked and got it, and I wound up getting my jewelry the night before the wedding.

None of it matched.  None of it coordinated. Most of it looked AWFUL on us – when it looked lovely on the display.  My necklace was too short and almost choked me.  My earrings were too heavy.  My sister wound up with similar issues.  The bride’s necklace was a little too long and part of the pendant was hidden in her dress.  The earrings were tangled in her hair by the end of the night.

When I created the Spiral set, I started thinking to myself that wedding jewelry should match, be light, be to the bride’s specifications, coordinate if not match, and should be tiered.

The bride of course should shine, stand out – it’s her day after all!  The bridesmaids should have coordinating jewelry to each other and the bride, but much muted.  The MoH? In between.

It should also be affordable to not break the wedding party’s budget, and should not be a nightmare last minute for the party to find.

An old school friend contacted me after seeing my (unfinished) butterfly headdress/hair chain/net whatever thing, and asked if it could be done in a daisy motif.

My answer? “Of course!”

As I began work on the first proper bridal party set of headdresses, necklaces, earrings and bracelets, I started to wonder just how to do it all, and make it the tiered splendor it should be.  I have colors from the bride, the motif, and I’ve found it so much easier to do than I initially thought – apart from making several wire flowers (hand-tooled; I try not to use jigs much) that were size-uniform, but each unique in its own right.

Even as I worked on the first prototypes, I started to wish I could have done these things back when my sister got married.  Our jewelry would have coordinated, been what the bride wanted, and we wouldn’t have spent nearly as much as we did (which was almost the cost of the DRESSES – which I find a bit excessive), nor as much time scrambling to find something that worked.

My mission now?
To save other brides the nightmare we went through.  Prices of course are dependent on how complicated the design is, the materials, how large the bridal party is, etc., but still – how much would one spend at a name-brand designer for a matching/coordinating set – custom created for that bridal party?  Too much, I would think – possibly in the multiple thousands for some.
Especially since said name-brand designer wouldn’t want to fluctuate as far as materials or position of the bridal party member.  Make one, cast it, duplicate it.
… oh.. one of the bridesmaids is allergic to the metal the others are wearing? Too bad!  It’s extra to make it in something else.

The thought makes me ill.
Considering some companies DO care, I’m not going to say none of them do, but too many want extra money for having to make something in another material – even if the MATERIAL is the same price.
Too much mass-production for my tastes, especially if it’s something simple the party’s looking for – just.. matching or coordinating and custom design.

I just hope I can pull it off!  Not just for this old school friend who reconnected with me – but for other brides and their parties.
One less hassle, one less nightmare.
If I can take some of that pressure from them, it would bring me as much joy as I take in creating.

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We go though our day-to-day lives with very little thought to those around us.  We look at others and assume we know what they’re thinking.

This also happens online (I would know. I play World of Warcraft.) – the assumption that “Oh they’re a <insert profession here>, so they must be <generalized stereotype here>!”
I found out today that an old friend from my high school days has left the world.  I’d seen hints, but could find no information until I asked another school friend about it, one who is in the area. The rumor mill whispers “Suicide”.  I have no concrete information; I can’t find any, and it seems few have what information there is.

All the time I knew this person, he smiled, joked, made light of life itself, determined to cheer others, lift spirits, help others.  He was a Firefighter and an EMT, and at one point, checked me over after I was hit by a car at school (too minor for any kind of statement; suffered bruising that’s still on my legs, nothing more).  He once told me “don’t let the turkeys keep you down” in my yearbook.

He was a wonderful artist, though he kept to himself the outflow from mind to paper much of the time I’d been around him.
He was one of the few I knew that could remix and splice music back in 1995.  He was good with computers (or at least arguing with the technology we had to work with in the high school’s theatre), at least as far as I could see.

The last time I saw him, however, was not a happy time.  It was at the funeral of another friend – his ex-girlfriend, in fact.  The circumstances revolving around that are more complicated below the surface.
She had an asthma attack.  He was one of the responders.
The clearest memory I have of seeing him was hugging him and telling him clearly, “this wasn’t your fault”.
We promised to keep in touch.
I gave him my information.

And now… I hear this, ten years later.


An EMT, a Firefighter, a cheerful face, a joker, making light of life and focused on making others smile.
The assumption one might make of the man I knew would have been “He’s always so happy!”

What was on the inside?
What was within?
What happened in those ten years?

I always knew there was more behind the mask.  It was always in his eyes, no matter how much he smiled (genuinely, those smiles reached his eyes, have no doubt), made fun of things, and came up with jokes out of the blue.
I’d had a crush on him, years and years ago, even.  I always seemed to go for the ones who had the depth, and I wanted to know what made them tick… Looks didn’t much matter, even then, so long as the heart was good.  Not that I’m saying I haven’t had some lookers… my current is… while not “handsome”, rather attractive, with eyes like a bottomless abyss.  I have the fortunate opportunity to get behind that particular mask and see what lies within.

Others might be able to say more than I can about what lay within.
It was most certainly more than “He’s always so happy!”
Especially if the rumor mill whispers the truth.

It happened only a day ago, after all.  Information will come.
The shock, however, will stay.
I wish I had been there, I wish I had still been in touch…
Now I will never know if there was something I may have been able to do.

I have said in several places the same thing, and I have meant it in every way.
When I knew him, he was one of the few who reached out a hand, figuratively or literally, to one of the most hated people at the school.  He made me smile in the face of constant bullying.  He gave me strength with a smile, a word, a gesture.  An EMT was fitting for him, a healer in heart and soul, aiding others and lighting their mood even through his own darkness.

The world has lost a heart of gold.

I promise… I will never let the turkeys keep me down.

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A return to normalcy…

… is a deception!

Sassy is doing very well, though is not allowed out of her apartment enclosure just yet.

I do not, however, need to spend the entire night with her anymore!  I do need to be up late, but no longer need to spend the night awake to keep watch, then be up all day trying to get things Mom wants done out of the way when I really should be asleep.

I’ll tell you one thing: Sleep is Sweet.

Now that I am moving back to a more normal schedule, I can get back on target with things that had been thrown in the air.

My laundry’s a bit behind.  I haven’t cooked anything to tuck away for weekly meals.  I haven’t really CLEANED properly in almost a week.  Oh sure I’ve kept things from becoming disastrous, but I’ll feel better when I’ve scoured everything properly.  I’m fairly sure I’m an inch from losing a plant or two since I haven’t talked to or cared for them in a week.  My snails are out of control and my main aquarium is in need of…

I’m ahead of myself… I was supposed to explain The Army of Snails last post.
The aquarium got covered in algae.  Pinky, the Albino Corey Catfish we have in there, is unable to keep up… and the few snails we put in were little more than snacks for the Betta, Perry (Short for Perriwinkle, but we just call him whatever comes to mind – usually Fluffbutt or Hey Stupid).  So I got a few of the snails and put them in my spare 5-gallon, and let it get algae ridden… and they bred. A lot.  Thus, the Army was born.  Now I have enough snails for Perry to snack on AND to clean the aquarium!
And thus, The Army of Snails is explained.

… a water change and more snails added.

And the big one.. I have FOUR commissions, one of them past due to get done as quickly as I can.  Luckily one of them is just reproducing the final prototype, and I can get IT out the door.  One is in concept stage, and the other two are new.

With any luck, Mom will schedule these “emergencies” a little better so they don’t land on MY head and ONLY my head, while I have commissions due, when I’m already exhausted from the LAST chunk of emergencies…

In the meantime, I need to get back to work, since I mainly wanted to make sure this post got up on time (Thursday) at least day-wise, if not time-wise.

Here’s hoping my hands remember how to work the pliers as well as they did a month ago…

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When the Body says… “Nope!”

Writing this post on Monday night…

… After sleeping all day.


For a few weeks, as some of you may have seen on my Facebook posts, I have been on a very odd schedule.  Keeping an eye on a kitten in-and-out of heat until we can get her to the vet (which is Wednesday, the day before this post goes live) has been very taxing, since my mother wants me up doing things during the day, but reminds me to keep an eye on the cats at night.

… Wat?
That’s right, I’m supposed to be up during the day, but watch the cats all night.

Catnaps helped… but any time I took a catnap, I had to be absolutely certain that I could HEAR if a cat fight started.

… Calli (mother to Sassy, the kitten in question) has attacked her little offspring often enough that I stopped letting her out of her room.

This whole business is driving me out of my mind.  I’m up all night, but my eyes are more strained at night when I’m trying to work (though I am not a stranger to staying up all night to finish/work on projects), and when my mother gets up, she requests that I do things… which of course I do.. then I catch a couple of hours nap and resume the long night vigil (or Kitten Watch), to do it all over again.

Today, though, my body said “Enough”.  I was up all night once again, listening to and trying to soothe the kitten out of wailing, keeping Calli away from Sassy until I finally gave up and put Calli back in her room.  Monday morning was cloudy, but by 11:00 was gorgeous.  I went to take my usual cat nap until 2:00 so I could get up, photograph the stones I haven’t gotten a chance to yet (Stupid rain!), and also to do a 25% water change of the large aquarium so I can add The Army Of Snails (I’m not sure I ever explained this.. if not, I will in a later post)… and also to clean the kitchen, get some laundry done… y’know.. normal stuff.

… I woke up, with UberAwesomeBoyfriend calling my name over Skype, at 9:00 PM.  My head was killing me. My hip hurt from laying the wrong way. My leg was numb from combination ingrown-hair-gone-out-of-control aftermath (Moment of TMI – ingrown hair on my thigh turned into Boil of Doom, but has drained and is now healing) and hip hurting from laying the wrong way.

By 11, my headache started going away after I ate something, and my throat is finally starting to feel better about an hour later after several glasses of juice/water/liquids.
I am now starting to work on a soda, to see if the caffeine will help the Advil to knock the rest of the headache out.

I’m hoping that 11 hours of sleep will keep me going until Thursday at least, when we figure out just how long it will take Sassy to recover, so I can finally go back to a NORMAL schedule.

I’m a night owl, and freely admit it, but… even a night owl cannot be up all night keeping watch on cats, then be up during the day doing normal chores, as well as keep up with her sleep.

I have gotten very little jewelry work done, and it bothers me, because in the amount of time I’ve been dealing with the cats, I should have finished at least one of the commissions I have, and started on at least another two prototypes of another, plus I should have been able to finish the two windchimes I’m working on.  Then again, the windchimes went out the window (ha, no pun intended) more due to the fact that Sassy thinks they’re awesome and gets up on my workspace to bat them around.  Maybe I can finish those up while she’s recovering and too groggy to steal windchime parts/bat at the chimes/chew the hanging base…

At least I am nearly done with one of the commissions, and with luck it will be on its way to its owner within the next two weeks.
Then it is time to start concept 2 of the next commission.
And then I can begin preliminary design of the one after that.

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Ah, Facebook…

Such a pain in the rear, sometimes.

Breaking my traditional Thursday post to post today instead.

Recently, I mentioned that Facebook only wants to “serve” my posts to about 4 of my followers.  I learned recently that I could “track” when my followers are online, and when to update.  *throws hands in the air* I give up!

It appears as though most people are looking at their feed at around 9pm, Eastern Time.  It’s not that it’s a pain, since that’s just when the majority of my followers are around, but it kind of throws off my intent to post my “meaty” content around 10:30am/2:30pm.

At this point I don’t know when to post what, since I’m not sure what posts go where, and to who.

As I’d said in my post about rocks, I’m still going to post them at 2:30pm (Eastern Time) once I have the new set fully photographed.  The weather is not cooperating with me, by being cloudy when I have time to photograph, but absolutely clear and sunny when I’m NOT able to photograph.  This seems to be a recurring theme with me, sadly, and while I could use a light-box, I feel that no light beats clear sunlight, especially for such things as natural stone or sparkly crystal.

They say good things come to those who wait, but I’m impatient!

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Gah. Kittens.

So most of you know that last August, we took in a stray calico, and said calico had three kittens.

Two of those kittens were spoken for before they were even born.

The third, we kept.

Calli (short for Calliope, and the stray Mama) is an absolutely sweet angel – provided Mom’s cat Gracie is not involved.  Gracie is a spitfire, and kind of has illusions of grandeur for a small breed.  She’s a grey tabby striped Singapura mix, so far as we can tell.  Her eyes are a giveaway, after all – that and her love of getting on the highest thing in a room in order to survey her domain, like a fluffy striped vulture. (For reference, and I might be dating myself here, but think of Snoopy doing the vulture-glare.)  Calli, having had to fend for herself, is ALSO a spitfire, and a fighter, while Gracie’s life began with back and leg problems.

If they both had claws, they’d probably kill each other; Gracie is fully declawed, Calli is front-declawed.  Midnight (also fully declawed) stays out of things and just glares at the “babies”.  She would have made a wonderful mother, if she could have had kittens.  Not that she doesn’t Mother Gracie…
Sassy, Calli’s kitten that we kept, has yet to go in for her Surgery Day – Spay/Declaw.

Now, before I get raged at for daring to declaw, Gracie and Midnight (another stray with health issues early in life) are my mother’s cats.  My mother is on Plavix.  Plavix + Claws = A LOT of blood.  We could of course have turned Midnight (a 5-week-old kitten rescued from a dumpster because her mother abandoned her for having lung problems) and Gracie (born with a bad spine, and without Mom exercising her back legs, would never have walked), and Chewy (my cat, has claws that I keep up with; I got him years before moving back with my mother, and who has a nasal condition that put him at a point of being put down if I didn’t take him… if I declawed him now, at ~10 years old, it would just be mean… so I’m careful to keep up, and even then, sometimes he still manages to catch Mom just the wrong way), and Calli (a pregnant cat who showed up on our front deck, starving and begging for food and love) away and let them die or be put down instead of living full and happy lives as spoiled feline gods.  We chose to take them in.
All of our cats are strictly indoor cats.  The most “Outside” they get is harnessed and leashed, and they occasionally come out on the front deck, with humans in immediate attendance. (Well, harnessed and leashed other than Chewy, who, though the DUMBEST cat I’ve ever known, never offers to stray from the deck, leashed, harnessed or not.)

Calli actually belongs to my niece and nephew-to-be; once they have their own place, they will take her, which will resolve the Gracie-Calli conflict.

Until then, we have to keep them separated.

For a while (during pregnancy), Calli lived her days in a cage in the living room.  Heh. Cage.  Ferret Cage rigged with a complex of boxes and hallways so she had an apartment.  In the evenings, when Gracie, Midnight and Chewy were shut away into their respective rooms, Calli got her roaming and play time before being put in the guest room overnight.  When the kittens were born, they all lived in the apartment, and Calli was brought to the guest room for play time and “OMG GET ME AWAY FROM THESE SQUEAKING HUNGRY THINGS” time, for a couple of hours interspersed through the day.  When the kittens got bigger, they were all moved to the guest room.

After the boys (the two spoken for kittens) had gone to their forever homes, Calli and Sassy continued to dominate the guest room.  When Sassy was big enough, we let her out.  Gracie didn’t think much of this.  Midnight didn’t think too much of it until she realized “Oh.. I don’t have to be Mom to this one? Okay, whatever.”  Chewy didn’t care, other than it was small, moved and whapped him on the head when it passed by him so fast he didn’t see it until it was across the room.

We thought, once the kittens were big, that Calli would be less aggressive, no longer pregnant or in “Menacing Mommy Mode”.

Hah.  Not.

There’s LESS of a head-to-head, but not by much.  Gracie is older “weak”, and Calli thinks she needs to be Alpha, being younger.  Midnight would roll her eyes if she could, and Chewy doesn’t care.

Most of the time, Calli spends in the guest room.  When Mom goes to bed around 4, she takes Gracie and Midnight with her, and Calli and Sassy get their time out.  Sassy is also often out during the day, and while Gracie still doesn’t think much of the new addition, she doesn’t attack. Midnight kind of sighs and rolls her eyes, and Chewy doesn’t care.


And then.. late last week, Sassy started giving us signs she was going into heat.  Usually, we spay/declaw at 6 months.  Things have been so hectic that we actually lost track of when 6 months was.

Calli began to attack Sassy.  And my sleep went out the window.

Sassy had to be kept separated from Calli, and both Mom’s cats.  Chewy, being neutered, didn’t care.. but Sassy started laying on the courtship, sending Chewy hiding.  So THEY had to be separated.

To keep “omg animal cruelty omg” to a minimum, cats were in constant shift.  Sassy stayed out overnight, Calli continued to sleep in the guest room, Gracie and Midnight continued to stay in Mom’s room over night, and … Chewy stayed in my room, but with my door open, so I could hear Sassy’s cries and make sure she had company and comfort.


Thus began the old “Kitten Watch” schedule.  When Calli was due, I stayed up over night to keep an eye on her, and Mom kept watch during the day.  I stayed up from the time Mom went to bed until she gets up in the morning, and slept when Mom was up.

Until we can get Sassy to the vet, we have to keep a close eye on her, and if she goes back into heat, my days and nights get reversed once again.


With luck, they will have an appointment open for her soon, and by that time, Mom will be used to new pain meds (but that is another story, and will be told another time).
Of course.. that means I’ll be on Kitten Watch (the name I have given my overnight vigil schedule) once more, to make sure miss Sassy-pants doesn’t pull stitches or do stupid things during her recovery.

The one ray of hope I have, is that hopefully, during her recovery, Sassy will not try to play with the glittery, shiny things I’m trying to work on.  She’s already taken apart a half-finished wind-chime, and I had to dig a wrapped stone pendant out from under the china cabinet.  From tiny-kittenhood, she has been one of those magpie types, prone to steal and walk off with things.  If she’s groggy and recovering from surgery, maybe it will calm her down so I can get something done during Kitten Watch hours!

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Junk to Jewelry

Rocks are common.

Jagged stones strewn about, hardly cared about in our day-to-day lives, though stone is actually something that is integral to our very lives.

Look at your kitchen.  Do you have a granite or stone-tile counter?  Perhaps you have a stone-tile floor?  What about Drywall in your walls?
All of them started as a rock, somewhere.

As of late, I’ve been taking some of the rocks of the world and turning them into shining stones to be made into pendants, now that I’ve learned to wire-wrap things (more or less – I can only get better through practice).

Most people see rocks and dismiss them.

I have been taking some of the rocks, and tumbling them.  So far, only a handful of them have been “bought” for the purpose.  They came with my tumbler (a child’s tumbler, purchased for me 25 years ago…that I’m only getting to use now)… but soon, now that I know a bit more about tumbling through trial and error, I will be hunting rocks – perhaps nice ones, perhaps common ones.  No matter what kind of stone, I will be turning as many as I can into works of wearable art.

Right now, I am posting pictures to my Facebook page, one a day, of some of the best ones from my last batches of tumbling so anyone who sees one and likes it can “claim” it, and I will turn it into a pendant.  Those that remain unclaimed will be turned into pendants anyway, but this way, anyone who takes a fancy to one of the stones can have first call at it!

Please keep in mind that Facebook only “serves” my feed to about 4 people a day (which I think is utter crap – Thanks, Facebook! Smash down the little businesses you claim to help so much, as long as we can afford $30 per post to send it to ALL of our followers, and not just 4 of them), so be sure to visit the page at least once a day.  I usually post at 10:30am and/or 2:30pm, sometimes random times – but no matter what, there will be a post at 10:30am/2:30pm every week day, Eastern Time.

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Chaos to Calm

Some time ago, I stripped my craft cabinet for a complete reorganization.  I’ve managed to sort out much of the “random stuff” boxes into properly labeled ones, but there are still a few things left to sort – as well as some things from the latest order (which included the 12k gold wire waiting for the final approval of a pendant that is currently in progress) without a home.

The last week has been a hectic madness, as it always is before a visit from the family – detailing the house, making sure cushions are sticky-rolled to remove stubborn bits of fur where the cats sneaked onto the bare furniture instead of the pet-covers (the kitten, Sassy, is notorious for pulling the pet-cover aside to lay directly on the couch cushions), making sure the kitchen is in order, cleaning off the catch-all that is the dining room and kitchen tables, picking up cat toys from odd locations, etc., etc..

After the madness of the family visit for Mother’s Day (and the cleanup after), I took a look around my room, sadly neglected for a couple of weeks now, what with yard work (we finally did manage to get a couple of the stumps of the shrubs completely OUT of the ground, and had to stop when the others wouldn’t come up), and then the week of madness.

About fifteen minutes with the label-maker, and everything but a couple of things I’m currently using are all away, labeled and … compact.

The new boxes and organizing containers I’d picked up fit into the cabinet so much better than the old ones, and the labels on the front stand out so it’s far easier for me to grab the smaller box of what I need instead of going through a mishmoshed larger box of many supplies.

I turned after putting everything but what I’m working on away… and found my room much cleaner than I’d thought.  I’d thought there was much more strewn about – but laundry falling out of the basket, the clean laundry I haven’t folded, a soda can that the kitten knocked out of my trash can and chased across the room (I wish I had video of THAT one.. it was priceless)… A few moments work and my room is now tidier than it has been in weeks.

Without anything to worry about until Memorial Day, I have breathing space to work on just usual chores and the projects I’ve had to abandon in the madness and my lack of work lamp (which now has a new bulb).

If feels wonderful for the calm of normalcy to return at last…. Until the madness hits again.

I leave you with one of the projects still on my workspace: the first hair chain, which now has a photo.

WIP Butterfly Hair Chain

WIP Butterfly Hair Chain

A huge thank you to my sister for modeling it (amidst the madness over the weekend!) for me for the photo, since I can’t take photos of the back of my own head!
This is but one of the projects that the Chaos had uprooted, but is the only one ready for photography, though it’s not done.
I need to go back into the cabinet to get the rest of the supplies out for this one, as it will be a “Bridal” chain when I am through; hung with freshwater and Swarovski pearls as well as Swarovski Opals, and perhaps Moonstones as well as the clear crystal that is already on it.  We shall have to see what works in the end.

With luck, I will have two more (World of Warcraft related) projects ready for photography with the next post, and perhaps a completed hair chain!

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Now that’s out of the way…

I assume you’ve realized that this blog is about jewelry.

Not just any jewelry, mind you, but jewelry that is hand made, by me.

However, I would like to point out that this is also a move, for me, from blogger, where the format and such got to be a bit of a hassle.

Starting over fresh this Spring, I’m hoping to update with not only shiny things that I create, but I would also like to showcase others’ work, as I had done in the past – and this time, not just in a seasonal way, and as before, not just with jewelry.

My goal here is to bring the importance of hand-crated items and the quality they represent back to the foreground, as over the years, mass-produced and machine-made have become the norm in our disposable society.  There are some things that are better when made by machines, but other things that you can only find when they are created by one person, with their own two loving hands and the tools of their trade.

What you will find here:
My jewelry (of course! when I make something new, I like to show it off, of course!)
The work of others (Why just show off my work when there are lots of others out there who love what they create?)
Soapboxes (Not literally; I tend to wax eloquent when trying to educate others on the difference between hand-crafted and machine-made items.)
Random odds and ends (I am human, and I don’t just chill and make jewelry; I have other hobbies as well, as well as emotions and life events, etc.)

A Starter Gallery, of Sorts

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I figured I may as well begin with a kind of “Starter” gallery of some of my work.  Many photos here are “quick” photos, but many of them may also be found on my other galleries and even my shops.

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As time goes on, I will probably go into each one in detail, and more will be posted as I get it done.


This gallery contains 21 photos