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Four a Month 1 – Elizabethan/Renaissance

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been trying to decide what my theme will be for the first month of the Flickr Four a Month challenge. My birthday is in January, so being the narcissist that I am, I knew whatever I made had to have garnets. I was going to continue on my art nouveau kick, but you can’t wear the same prom dress two proms in a row (I wouldn’t really know about that, actually. I never went to prom. Not for me.). So I searched ‘January’ online to get some ideas. I found out that January is National Soup Month in the U.S., but I’m not all that interested in soup. However, several interesting things have happened in January. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is in January. In fact, it’s the 15th, same as mine! Ellis Island was opened in 1892, and President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. All very inspiring events, but nothing was grabbing me. And then, I found it. In January 1559, Elizabeth Tudor was crowned Queen of England.

I have a fascination with British royalty from the days of old, and Elizabeth Tudor in particular. So I’ve decided this is the direction I’m going to take for the month. I have several ideas that should last me for four pieces. Because my predilection is toward industrial themes, I’ll throw a little bit of that in there too, so don’t expect anything too historically accurate. I’m going to try and blog a bit more this year, because I flat out sucked at it last year.

Here’s what I’m starting with.

One partially used sheet of sterling silver. Original dimensions, 2×6 inches. There should be enough here to last most of the month… I hope.

~Jane


And on to the Next Thing

Well, I did it! I finished RAW! Here’s number 52/52.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I call this one “Evolve” for a couple of reasons. First, it really took on a life of its own. In fact, the band and the top were supposed to be two different rings. Second, because it represents all of the personal evolution I’ve gone through this year. I started out as a hobbyist working in metal clay, and I ended as a self-employed artist working in traditional metalsmithing techniques (and a little metal clay too).

2012 is bringing a new challenge: The Four a Month challenge. I’m really excited about this one! It will be nice to experiment with techniques, materials, themes, and to make something other than rings (although I’ll admit they are my favorite things to make). Check out the Flickr page for this new challenge daily. Some amazing artists have joined up, and I’m sure there will be fabulous pieces! If you would like to join the challenge, feel free! The more the merrier 🙂

Happy New Year! Here’s to our continued evolution.

~Jane


I Never Finish Anythi

It’s so true! Nearly every corner of my house holds the remnant of some long abandoned project. One of the saddest examples are the two little wooden shelves I bought with the intention of painting them and hanging them. Nope, I took them out of my car after I bought them, set them down in the garage, and walked away. That must have been about 9 years ago. They’re still there.

Earlier this year, I started the RAW challenge on Flickr. The challenge is to make a ring, take pictures of it, and then post it to the group. One ring every week for the entire year. That’s 52 rings. A couple of weeks ago, I posted number 38. Eeesh… Is this just going to be another one of those things that I never finish?! For some reason, the thought of not finishing this challenge makes me feel really bad. I think that’s because I started this challenge at the same time that I was starting to get into metalworking. Up until the first of this year, I really only ever worked with metal clay. The thought of soldering made me cringe! I used this challenge as a way to push myself to expand my skill set, and you know what? It worked!

Now, the real challenge: to finish RAW! I have 14 rings left to go, and I’m going to do it in the next 2 weeks! AND I’m going to do it without cheating (i.e. I will not post a recreation of a ring I’ve already posted to RAW, and I will not post the same ring with different colored stones). These will be all new creations. Three such rings have already been posted.

Number 39

Puddle Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number 40

Ornate Relic Shield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and Number 41

Ornate Relic Band

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number 42 will go up tomorrow. I took pictures of it today, but they look awful, so I’ll have to retake them.

If you’re like me (poor thing) and you don’t finish things, make a goal for yourself to do so. It’s amazingly fulfilling to finish something you’ve started… I should probably post that up all over my house, over every pile of unfinished projects. Wish me luck.

Happy Holidays!

~Jane


Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to tell everyone Happy Thanksgiving! It’s easy to get wrapped up in our day to day lives and forget what we are thankful for. Here’s a few things from 2011 that I’m thankful for:

My old job. I started the year off with a job, a boss, and a team that I really liked. If I had to have a job, this was the one I wanted! I got to spend my whole day problem solving, playing with Excel, and looking for bigger and better ways to crunch numbers.

My husband’s job. And him too. Last year, my husband took a huge leap and quit his 9 to 5 job to put all of his time and effort into something he’s really good at: writing. Obviously we were a little scared when he quit his job. We really weren’t sure that he would be able to do enough work to keep the bills paid. However, nearly all day, nearly every day of the week, he’s writing writing writing, and a year and a half later, he’s still going strong. I’m so thankful for him, his talent, and his ambition.

My new job. As I mentioned before, I liked my old job, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do every day for the rest of my life. Because my husband is so amazing, I was able to quit my job in September so I can put all of my effort in to my jewelry and other artistic endeavors.

Friends, family, and fans. I have a pretty cool family. I’m thankful to have each and every one of you in my life. I lost my grandmother this year, but I’m so thankful for the time I got with her. So many people don’t get the opportunity to know their grandparents into their adult years. I’m so thankful she and I were close, and I’m very thankful my grandfather is able to spend Thanksgiving with us. Oh, I also got a new niece this year! She’s still not too sure about me, but I’m excited to get to know her as she grows up.

I have a fabulous network of friends! Friends in real life, friends that I only know online, you are all special to me, and I’m very thankful for you all. That goes for my four legged friends, Boris and Olaf, too.

Finally, I’m very thankful for my fans! I love interacting with you on my Facebook page, and it’s also because of you that I was able to quit my job to work on my jewelry full time. To say ‘thank you’ to you all I’ll be offering 15% off and free shipping in my Etsy shop starting on Small Business Saturday (11/26) and going through Cyber Monday (11/28).

So Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all have family and/or friends to spend the day with. I hope you have tons to eat and drink, and no dishes to do 🙂 Leave me a comment and tell me what you’re thankful for this year!

~Jane


A Brand New Addiction

Pin, as in pin board + interest = Pinterest.com!

If you’re on Pinterest, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not on Pinterest, you might want to hug your loved ones because you might not see them for awhile. You’ll be sucked into the Pinterest world, and there’s no telling when you’ll come back.

You know how you find websites and you think ‘I need to bookmark this and check it out later!’ If you’re like me, you never check it out later. It goes into the bookmark abyss, never to be seen again. I do that with recipes a lot. But not anymore! Now I have a pin board started with some yummy recipes on it! That and my dream vacations spots. Yes, that’s the planet Mars in there. I said dream vacation spots 🙂 Oh, I also have a pin board of things that make me giggle.

Here’s my Pinterest, if you’re interested. See what I did there? If you’re interested in signing up, you have to either request an invite from the website, or get one from someone who is already on there. If you want one, let me know. I’ll be happy to invite you to your newest addiction 😉

P.S. If you’re on there, follow me. I’ll follow you back!

~Jane


Happy Almost Halloween!

I just wanted to share this blog post: Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Attic…*

My husband and I wrote this story several years ago. Well, he wrote it, I just told him about this tiny old farmhouse that used to be on my grandparent’s property in Star Valley, Wyoming. It’s a good tale.

My husband is such a talented writer. Currently, he works as a freelance writer, writing web content, blogs, etc. He’ll probably chastise me and tell me there’s more to it than that, and I’m sure there is. He loves his job, and I suspect that his job loves him. However, what I really want him to do is work on his creative writing, get published, and make mamma a million dollars!!

After you read the story (because really, why wouldn’t you?!), maybe you could leave him a comment on his blog and tell him to get his butt in gear and publish something already!

Happy almost Halloween!

*Vince Font, LLC and myself hold no responsibility for any nightmares you may have or therapy you may seek after reading this story. 🙂

~Jane


My Etsy Shop Grand (re)Opening Giveaway!

Here it is! The long awaited (to me, anyway) giveaway for the grand re-opening of my Etsy shop! My shop was closed for a number of reasons. First, it needed a slight revamping. That’s done. Second, I was taking two classes at a time (an auditing class, and a government and non-profit accounting class — gag). Those are done! Finally, I had a full time job that was kind of in the way of putting all my energy into my work and my shop. Well, THAT’S done, too! I am self employed, and have nothing better to do but work on jewelry all day! Oh yeah… I have puppy potty training, and puppy “please stop biting me” training going on, too. Anyway, as I promised, like FOREVER ago, I’m doing a giveaway! Actually, a couple. I will do a giveaway every day (from Tuesday the 11th, through Saturday the 15th) at 7 PM MST. Here’s a run down of what prizes will be given away on what days:

Tuesday: 10% off anything in my shop!

Wednesday: A pair of copper Urban Beautification earrings, pictured below. (Winner will be announced early because I’m taking my husband to a concert for his birthday :))

 

 

 

 

Thursday: 15% off anything in my shop!

Friday: A ring! A delicate silver band with a copper bowl filled with blue and yellow enamel. Oooh… aaaah… Pictures to come (size 8).

 

 

 

 

Saturday: The grand prize! My Beauty in Decay III ring (size 7.25). This is a ring I would normally sell for around $125. Yours for FREE!

Beauty in Decay III

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘So just how do I win these crazy prizes?’ you might be asking. Well I’ll tell you.

Chances are you came to be reading this here blog by clicking a link on my Facebook page. If you didn’t, then you should. Anyway, on the Facebook link, there are three buttons: “Like,” “Comment,” and “Share.” Click share! (Although you’re certainly welcome to “Like” and “Comment,” too!) This will share my blog post link on your Facebook wall. Facebook is kindly enough to show me all of the shares my link is getting. Everyone who shares my link will get their name put into a hat (yes, literally, a hat) for the random drawing at 7 PM MST. If you win during the week, your name will go back into the hat on Saturday for a chance at the Grand Prize!

Want to get your name into the drawing twice?! I also have a link to my Etsy shop posted on Facebook. Everyone who shares that one will also be entered to win! If you share both, you’re entered for both!

Questions, comments, concerns, emotional outbursts? Feel free to comment on my blog or on Facebook, or email me at janefont@comcast.net.

Good luck! 😀

~Jane