Rather than having New Year’s resolutions that are quickly broken, my friends & I choose one word as a way of setting intention for the whole year. It is a word that inspires and resonates….that calls you into being.

My friend, Mindful Mimi, mentioned she was inspired by both the words “Create” & “Soar”. I was particularly inspired by the word “Soar” myself (and took it for my 2010 word!)… it has such a lighthearted, happy ease to it.

When I was preparing to send her a package of hand-made goodies from across the ocean, I decided to pull out my silversmithing supplies to create a piece of jewelry she could wear. I wanted to make something that would remind her that dreams come true, if you only have the courage to leap and trust that the universe will provide all that you need.

I came up with the below design…

The quote reads, “Leap & you will sprout wings”.

Want to make one for yourself? Just follow the below simple instructions:

1. Use a jewelry saw to cut out a circle (approximately 1″ in diameter) from a piece of 24-gauge silver.

2. Hand-stamp the quote “Leap & you will sprout wings” using a metal alphabet set.
(I used these economical alphabet stamps from Harbor Freight Tools.)

3. Drill a small hole in the top for the bail.

4. Sand the whole piece.

5. Dip the stamped circle into a liver of sulfur solution to antique the lettering (alternatively use a black sharpie marker if you don’t have liver of sulfur available).

6. Polish the silver circle to a shine (removing any dark areas from the liver of sulfur).

7. Take some sterling silver thin-gauge wire (mine came from Hobby Lobby) & two small red freshwater pearls, winding the wire through the hole several times to create a custom bail

8. Attach a pre-made sterling butterfly charm with a few small jump rings and string onto a sterling chain.

Wishing you a wonderful day of creating and soaring,

Highlights from CHA…

So the whirlwind that is CHA is over & I’m back home to unwind. What a great few days. For those that have never been, CHA (the Crafting & Hobby Association) has a semi-annual tradeshow for the industry with over 3,000 booths to visit! There were make ‘n takes at most booths & a buzz in the air as buyers met sellers from all over the world! There were hundreds of talented designers scattered around the show floor as well.

Some of this year’s highlights for me… Meeting Carol (see previous blog entry) ;), classes with Tim Holtz & Lisa Pavelka, visiting with some of my favorite designers from the Hero Arts booth (hi Lisa & Shari!), talking to a few publishers, purchasing the new “it” tools from Zutter Innovative Products (will post more on these later when they arrive in the mail!), and seeing some friends from last year’s show.

Disneyland at nightI had the opportunity to catch up with one of my close friends, Caroline, and her fiance, Terry, on Sunday night as well. We spent the evening at Disneyland! It was a great way to see the park, in my opinion. Paid half the price because we were only there from 6-10, but we were able to visit most of the rides due to the short lines & see the Disney Fanstasmic night show on the river as well!

Meeting Carol…

Ok…so I’m a crafting geek. I totally admit it. And being the crafting geek I am, I can’t think of a cooler thing to experience at CHA this year than meeting the queen of crafting herself, Carol Duvall. 🙂

Click for larger image

So how did I run across Ms. Duvall? Carol has a new papercrafting book coming out in mid-2007 and just happened to be doing a meet & greet in the DRG publishing booth when I went strolling by. She was ever so gracious & sweet as I gushed compliments towards her & was kind enough to take the above picture. So her eyes are shut, but who’s really looking that close? 😉

Rotating Flower Ring

This is a rotating ring I recently fabricated from a sheet of 20-gauge sterling silver. It is based on a “poetry ring” design by Julia Converse Sober. See her wonderful pieces here.

I first sawed out the band & the ring base. The round ring bezel was soldered together, then 14-gauge wire was soldered to either side. I bent the ring piece into a U-shape & drilled holes for the wire to fit through. I then soldered small pieces of sterling tubing to either side for the wire to fit through. Finally, the wire was riveted to hold the ring in place. After sanding & buffing, I placed polymer clay inside the ring & a couple of beautiful cane slices on either side (blue cane by Denise Spillane & pink flower cane by Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg). After baking, I added a layer of Kato liquid polymer clay to the surface to give it shine.

Sterling Silver Flower Bead

I recently tried my hand at another sterling silver fabricated hollow bead. The flower design was drawn free-hand on a sheet of 20-gauge metal. The metal was then sawed out, filed, domed, soldered, sanded & polished to a high shine.  There are a few rough spots where my torch was a bit too hot for the metal…but it’s not too noticeable from a distance. 😉

Sterling Silver Flower Bead

Sterling Silver Chunky Chain

This was the latest project I made in my silversmithing class. The chain is made from 14 & 16-gauge sterling silver wire. All links are soldered closed with every other link made of twisted wire. The toggle was also hand-made by soldering jump rings to a piece of square wire (see picture below).

Quick instructions: To twist your own wire…simply cut a long piece of wire (approximately 4 times more than the end length you want) -fold in half & attach looped end to a hook connected to a hand drill or electric drill & the other two ends to a vice. Twist until you get the look you want.