Thursday, January 21, 2016

New year, New Displays.

Hello all,

Yes, the 21st still counts as being "new".  Right?  I'm hoping that you're all enjoying 2016 so far.  Surely its not my imagination that just yesterday was the first of the month.  Are any of you losing days, well ok,  weeks...months?  (decades? yeah, I'm still trying to figure out what happened to 1996?).  Proof that time flies whether you're having fun or not!
I'm not one to make new years resolutions.  I mean really, trying to lose weight?  Resistance is futile and besides, I've learned that trying to avoid it just makes cake all that much more delicious.  Exercise more? betcha!! You know I am.  I am.  Really.. I AM, I tell you!!  Ok, maybe I'm not.   But I think about exercising more.  Surely that counts for something.

One thing I do manage to accomplish every year is to revamp my jewelry displays.  You can pretty much count on it...

New year, New displays. 

Or new paint and new props as the case may be so far this year..

Possibly you've seen this handsome fella making his appearance in my Etsy shop...

A perfect display for these earrings with
deer focal pieces from Grubbi.

I think these shield earrings look equally nice
displayed on this stately stag.

Along this same theme....

Here is his older and more imposing buddy....

I like the display, still undecided about the realistic sky background.

This background is more pleasing to my eye.
Doesn't compete with the earrings.

I figured as much as I like working with ancient materials and ancient style jewelry,
I might as well throw an extinct Wooly Mammoth display into the mix.

Ok, you caught me.
 Possibly I was just spending a bit too much time in the toy section.

I have many many new displays in the planning stage but just a few that are completed
to share with you this post.

Because as I already mentioned, every time I blink, 
a week flies past!

My failed DIY faux velvet painted display from my last post,
is a fail no more...

ULTRA matte gel and chalk paint just might do the trick...

A selection of wood chip, disposable foam and stencil brushes.
I ended using all three for a variety of subtle textures.

Nope, I'm not showing you a new variety of natural nut butter.
Though I can see where that layer of oil an inch thick on the top, might be confusing.

Aww here we go,  runny cake frosting.
But you must admit the color bears a striking resemblance
to the grooms armadillo cake in that fantastic movie
Steel Magnolias.
Can't forget the scene where they cut into the 
red velvet armadillo cake, 
no matter how hard I might try.
Matte charcoal grey always makes me think of that.
It was a powerful scene.

I was still uncertain if this was actually improving things while the paint was wet
but once it dried...

I'm pretty happy with it.
Looks nothing like the antique inspiration display but it'll do.
I think I'm going to have to take some bleach and sandpaper to a black velvet display
to achieve the results I really want.
That's a project for another day.

Figured while I had the paint out...

Might as well age these displays....

Mr Wonderful wandered into the studio while the aging process was in full tilt.
He was horrified that my computer/order wrapping table
was also serving as my painting table.
um hello,..... 
it's not like I didn't have that handy dandy plastic trash bag protecting 
all the important stuff.

He also doesn't share my appreciation of grungy, aged patina.
Possibly that's what caused the look of horror.
But I digress...

I wish that I possess the extensive vocabulary needed to share with you,
 the range of emotions that crossed his face in the span of, oh about 30 seconds when he saw me happily painting away.
Let me just say that it was hilarious.
Now if he would just consent to making an actual appearance on my blog,
I could give you an idea.  
But he still adamantly refuses so his stand-in will have to do.
Sorry about that, ladies.
 Please imagine this face looking horrified,
if you can..

Yes, yes, it's fine.
I can wait while you
  take another moment or two
or twelve
to really contemplate the depth of horror.........

You're welcome.

ok, shall we continue....

I do like me a grungy looking necklace display.
But that is not actually grungy and dirty.
I don't much like touching truly nasty grungy displays,
much less putting my necklaces on them.
Can you imagine what it would take for displays to acquire
this much "patina" in actuality?
I shudder at the thought.
Visions of old abandoned animal barns comes into mind.
hmmm, well maybe that's the thought that brought the
comically horrified look to Mr. Wonderful's usually
charming face.

And finally, a cone for bracelets.

Why oh why is it so difficult to get a really good shot of a bracelet?
I've been hoping this would help...

but no,

It's ok, but I don't love it.
So far, I'm not having the hoped for success with this display.
Looks like I applied too much texture and shading.

Because I thought this initial treatment looked too austere...

Guess it's back to playing with paints to try and get this right.

Fear not-
There's still hope for good bracelet pictures because I also found this...

I applied a matte finish to the Octopus after taking this photo
so it photographs even better now.

I am having really wonderful photo results with this
fabulous earring display from HollyDeer.
I think it would be difficult to get a bad shot of
anything displayed on this beauty.
You'll see it in many of the following shots...

Notice the chrome paper on the right, intended to reflect light and
highlight all of the details in the work being photographed.
It works great at reflecting but sometimes adds a weird bluish cast to the photos.
This happens when there is nothing blue to be reflected.
(Things that make you go hmmmm)
That should remedy itself soon enough.
As winter progresses into spring,
 the sun will shift once again and my little picture taking spot 
will start getting a bit more sun and all will be right with my photos.

And now you can see the results for yourselves
 if you care to spend a few more minutes with me...

and I hope you will...


Are the rest of you loving Petra's new decal components as much as I am?
They're gorgeous!!

Since this is another already ridiculously long, epic post,
I'll let you read the details of each piece in my
 AnvilArtifacts shop
if you're wondering about anything specific.
All of the artisan made components are credited in the listings,
as are the inspirations, stories behind the names, materials, etc. for each piece.

Swirling Starry Nights

Discoveries of Ancient Pompeii

The Black Rose

I made a few more of the Turkoman Goes Modern series with some new variations...

The Touch Deux

The Touch

Distant Shores

The Return

Black Lace


The Amber Maiden

The shadow Garden

The Vanishing Iceberg

The Elegant Rocker

Venice Dreams (variation)
I've had numerous requests for these earrings.
I'll make variations and be listing them from time to time.

Treasures of Ancient Pompeii

Away To My Heart My Home

The beautiful vintage Lusterware cottage and vintage French
knife rest in the shape of a galloping horse
inspired this necklace.


Desert Path

Gifts From The Riverbed

Fossilized seashells that I collected from a dry riverbed,
then smoothed and paired with torch fired enamel headpins.

Aerial View-
Turkoman Goes Modern (variation)

The Treasures

The Ancients

The Desert Paintbrush 1

Flame painted patinas created with a torch.
The atmosphere was just right that day to produce these vibrant,
intense colors.

The Desert Paintbrush 2

The Desert Paintbrush 3


Ceramic and polymer focals.

Baroque Goes Modern

Art Deco Goes Modern

Art Deco Goes Modern

The Silent Sun

Alight the Bumblebee

Bumblebee Jasper and roller imprinted blooms.

The Blaze
Turkoman Goes Modern variation

The Frosted Rose

The Dance

Trees At The Waters Edge

Stone Mystery

These Sonora Dendritic Rhyolite stones are beautiful.
An intriguing mix of burgundy, aubergine and shades of grey.

Masquerade in Venice

Woodland Stroll

Dark Romance

Aqua Baroque

Currency of the Ancients

The Ruby Dove

Watermelon tourmaline, ruby briolettes, raku and
mother of pearl doves.

Assemblage Earrings
(This name is otherwise known as my testing out SEO theory)

Assemblage Earrings
(test 2)


Remnants Of Summers Past

Ancient Secrets

So named due to the Emeralds, fossil crinoids, agatized gastropod
 and ancient Roman glass components I used in this neckpiece.
I do wish these ancient materials could disclose their secrets to us.

Lost Words

A wee vessel necklace.

And another.....

Aqua Rose

Perfect for tucking away a sweet note or treasure
and watertight for wearing fresh blooms or greenery.

Party in Rio (variation)

You're not imagining things.
You've seen these before and will again.
I've also had a few requests for these earrings so there will be variations
popping up from time to time.

Venice Dreams (variation)

Asymmetrical earrings
(yup, another Title SEO test)

Raku Assemblage Earrings

Up-cycled Tin Jewelry

(I really haven't been able to tell if this improves SEO or not.
It's still a mystery to me)

Her Boho Dreams

Rustic Hoop Earrings

Rustic Hoop Earrings on the really pretty brass floral display.

Bird Song

Find Your Way

The Ancient Hoard Series-Remnants

The Elegant Twins

The Bloom

The Gift Of The Ocean Tide


 Upcycled Tin Earrings

Sweet Love

The Ancient Hoard Series-Shields

Leather Y Necklaces


Beneath the Stars

Assemblage carved coral

Golden Urn Necklaces

Wee vintage vase Urns.
I think these were originally intended for a single bloom.
I adore the subtle, worn patina in the golden luster.

Golden Urn 1

Golden Urn 2

another view

Secret Garden of My Ancestral Home

I have been sorely remiss about submitting articles for publication
since moving to Texas.
In fact this is the only technique article that I've submitted after the move,
 mostly because I have been so busy with other things.
Some of you (with exceptional memories)
may remember that I blogged about an article
that I would be submitting, featuring
this necklace, just a few months after moving here.
It was published right after my previous blog post, in the
Autumn 2015 edition of Jewelry Affaire.
All the directions are included in the article,
in case you'd like to make one of your own pillbox necklaces.

 Displayed here on another of my new displays.

Wine With Lime

Follow Your Direction


The Hanging Garden

Black Tourmaline

Earths Ancient Treasure

Ammonite in Matrix

Agatized Gastropod Pendant

Venice Dreams (yet another variation)

Modern Artifacts

Climbing Roses

Ancient Decay

The Love Token

Earth And Sky

Unearthed In Pompeii

Unnamed as of yet.
The "window" in the vintage brass component will figure into the name,
no doubt.

The Glance

There are also a couple new things listed in my
 AnvilArtifactsDeux Amazon store

Mixed Metal textured sterling silver and darkened brass earrings.

No creative names there.
I know enough about their SEO to stick with the basics.

Mixed metal, sterling and fine silver with titanium
and ceramic discs.

I told you that I would keep you informed about how it's going with the
Handmade at Amazon shop.

I've made a couple of sales with a minimum of views.
I have at most, only had 8 items listed at any given time.
The ratio of sales to views is extremely high at Amazon
compared to Etsy.
I haven't devoted a lot of attention or time to the Amazon shop though,
so I can't provide you with an accurate apples-apples comparison yet.

So far, it's been a pleasure to have a shop on Amazon.
I'll keep you posted.

That's it for the new jewelry.


I've listed some beautiful new antique links in my Attic shop.
I was able to acquire some unusual and rare links....

These are all currently listed.  
There are other links listed in addition to these if you would like to take a peek.

I have some new stones and vintage items to list in the next few weeks as well.

And finally for those of you who live in colder climates..
I thought you might enjoy seeing the life cycle of a rare Texas snowman...

He might seem disappointingly unimpressive compared to the 
mutantly large snowmen you're able to build.

But here, where snow seldom flies,
we appreciate the uniqueness of this wee Texas anomaly. 

Like a moth, that is here for a short time.....

and then is gone................

the cycle of life continues......

I hope you're all enjoying whatever adventures the winter of 2016 has brought your way.

Many thanks for stopping by!

Until next time-

(goodbye in Hungarian)