Thursday, December 9, 2010

Texas Treasures

A tribute to my "Home Sweet Home" in the form of a Texas-themed treasury by new Etsy shop owner, Megan of Salvaged Space.  Also a Texas girl, Megan has curated this fabulous collection of items from Etsy sellers across the Lone Star State entitled Texas Love.
I am seriously disappointed that someone snatched up the vintage Salvatore Ferragamo riding boots in Lone Mountain Phoenix's shop!  Yes...they were my size.  SIGH!  I'm also loving FifiDuvie's print "Oh Darling, Let's Be Adventurers."
Donna Walker's original oil painting Goats Do Roam seems to depict a landscape "home, home on the range," near the Dallas/Fort Worth area, from which she hails; and Material Recovery's lampshade is just about as unique as it can be.  I absolutely love the three-tiered design.
The vibrant colors of RanchVintage's tangerine orange Fire King Rainbow pitcher, HappyBDayToMe's fluorescent pink deer antlers and DeathMachine's mustard yellow foot stool seem to have been drawn from the Texas sunset.
We love our birds in Texas, so how appropriate that BeeThings' adorable, limited-edition goldfinches print and RachelleD's Penelope necklace be included....not to mention RozArt's colorful peacock print, reproduced from an original work of her own.  It reminds me of the feisty peacock that once chased me at the San Antonio Zoo!
It does get cold in parts of the state and WeChooseJoy's shop has the coziest looking hats to keep little Texans' heads warm.
I was born in San Antonio, lived most of my life in and around Houston and studied finance at the University of Texas (Hook 'Em!).  Austin is where I've wanted to be ever since, and I'm proud to now call it home.  I'm so pleased that my red coral hoops are sharing space with a couple of talented designers from this oh-so-cool city.  VieModerne's feather fascinator is so feminine and glamorous and I love the simplicity of carolinableu's sweet Love is a Battlefield necklace.
Finally, what tale of Texas would be complete without cowboys and Indians?  You've just gotta' have it.  DustyLorraine's antique Hubley cap gun and AlphabetMomma's 1936 book, Story of Indians by Bernadine Freeman Bailey are a perfect depiction of the wild west.

Don't forget to stop by and give a big Texas welcome to Megan's new shop Salvaged Space (even if you're not from Texas, y'all).  She has a great collection to satisfy anyone's quest for nostalgia, right down to a pair of vintage desert rose plates from the Franciscan Earthenware company.  Ahhh...childhood memories.  This just so happens to be the same pattern my grandparents once owned.

Thanks again, Megan, for spreading the Texas Love!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Updated Website!

I have been absolutely working my behind off here. One of my main goals to complete by Sunday afternoon was to finish my long-overdue website update. I have so many new pieces, but have struggled to find the time between trunk shows and wholesale orders to do take and edit photos, add new pages and code the shopping cart keys. I've been accused of being a bit of a control freak (guilty), so I really like being to manipulate my site my way...call me crazy.

Anyway, go have a look and let me know what you think! So many new items...
I'd love to read your feedback!

P.S.  If you find any errors or broken links, please let me know!  amy@amyholtondesigns.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wild Sand...Yummy Colors!

It's been SO BUSY here lately!  I swear, sometimes I don't know if I'm coming or going, but that's a good thing, right?

In the midst of whipping out new designs (photos to come!), taking photos (of course), updating my website, working on interviews and packing up for trunk shows, I received a lovely convo from BabyToGo from Etsy advising me that she'd used a pair of my earrings for her beautiful caramel-colored treasury entitled Wild Sand.  
With temperatures over 100 degrees in Austin this week, these colors make me long for autumn!!  I love the one-of-a-kind millefiori necklace of handmade beads by wandertaliBinduGlass' pressed lampwork beads look luscious and edible.  I love the sweet simplicity of WhimsyTreasure's Feathers In Her Hair necklace and ShoogiSpark's simple garnet earrings.  The warm textures and lovely neutral colors of DarlingTonia's velvet Sand Bow Belt, RedBracelet's floral headband and NzLbags' lovely knit handbag make me want to pull out my sweaters; while the feminine, airy florals of Onor's beautiful lace-trimmed mini dress and lonkoosh's vintage pearl necklace remind us that summer's not over just yet.  There's a treasure trove of other lovely items as well.  I could go on and on...
...and did I mention the incredible colors?

Thanks so much to BabyToGo for including me in yet another of her beautiful treasuries.  By the way, what great additions to her own shop!  So many lovely new items!!

Now...back to my photo editing and website updating.  Oh yeah...I desperately need to update my Etsy shop too!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Oh, Happy Day!!

Happy fifth anniversary to my wonderful husband, Steve!  You are everything to me and my life is richer for having you in it. 

Thanks, Sweetie...for everything you do and everything you are.  For better or worse, I'm yours forever.

Love,
Amy

Fun With New Things

I had such a great time at the June 14th trunk show at the luncheon held for the ladies of Barton Creek Country Club.  What a fun afternoon!  Ladies shopping with champagne in hand...can't beat it.  I met so many lovely people and really enjoyed myself.  Looks like I'll be back there for a trunk show on July 31st and tentatively on July 3rd.  There will also soon be several pairs of my earrings in their boutique, Eliza's.  Barton Creek is my new BFF.

I've been so busy working on new items for the shows and a few custom orders that I've barely stopped to post new photos for you all (much less eat, grocery shop, etc!). 



This is the spinel bracelet that came out of the lovely strands pictured in the previous post.  It really sparkles.  I've been wanting to do this piece for a long time and am so happy with the outcome.  It's 10 strands, finished with a black onyx clasp and looks fantastic on.






 
 


I think I might have mentioned before, I'm really into prasiolite right now.  I love it's silvery-green color.  This necklace was going to have some other elements added to it as well, but once I finished putting this much together, I loved its simplicity and left it as it is.



Carrying on with the theme of beautiful simplicity...
This one blue topaz briolette stood out both in color, shape and faceting from all of the others in my stock.  Striking enough to stand on it's own, I simply added a chain.  It's already found a new home.  
As always, Widget is by my side, ready to "help" in any way he can.  He's been sticking very close to the both of us since he lost his big brother in March.  He continued to insist that his services were best rendered by lying in the middle of the table.  As a compromise, he now has his own space so he can keep close watch over what I'm working on (note the cushion on the corner of my table...I'm such a sucker!).  It's been his new favorite place to spend the day.

Widget is the kind of cat who really needs a buddy.  I feel terrible leaving him alone when we go out of town.  He's been so lonely.  

So...speaking of new things... 
 




...meet the latest addition to our family.  Widget's new little sister, Molly! 






They're already the best of friends...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hard at Work Again...FINALLY!

We've had so much going on in the past couple of months, I've found it difficult to focus on Amy Holton Designs lately.  Shortly after putting my sister-in-law on her return flight to England, our last in a long line of events, I found myself sick in bed for two weeks.  Just what I needed!  UGH.  I'm sure it was my body's way of saying it's time to slow down and regroup.  Nonetheless, while in bed with my laptop and tissues I accepted an invitation to do a trunk show on the 14th of June at Barton Creek Resort and Spa, an absolutely beautiful resort and country club here in Austin.  I'm so flattered that they sought me out and extended the invitation.  Not a bad place to spend an afternoon and it's just the thing I needed to get me going again.  Of course this means new supplies were ordered and I have a head full of designs.  I'm absolutely in love with this black spinel that is about to become a very sparkly bracelet!!

One more thing...
It was so nice to come back after my blog-hiatus and find so many new followers!  Hello to you all.  I'm so pleased to have you join me and look forward to your comments!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring!!

Everything is in bloom or turning green.  Some photos from around the house.  So glad spring is finally here!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Unconditional Love

We find them, fall in love with them and bring them home.  Often they only just fit in our hands when we do and seem so fragile. They become such a part of our lives that we can't imagine not having them around.  They forgive us for our bad days, neglectful moments and times when we're just too busy, without expecting anything in return...they never hold a grudge. 

Yesterday morning, my stepdaughter woke and, being the first one up, went downstairs to feed our cats.  Wendell had his breakfast, laid down on his favorite doormat and went to sleep.  When I came downstairs, 30-45 minutes later, he was gone.  Just like that.  Peacefully in his sleep.  No warning, no suffering, no illness.  Completely unexpected.  He'd played with my stepson the night before and our other little cat, Widget (who follows him like a shadow) in the afternoon.  He made his usual rounds, in his usual routine, giving us all a snuggle, sleeping in his favorite spots and verbally letting me know when it was dinner time...like clockwork.  He was as regimented as I can be.  There was absolutely no indication that it was his time to go.  I'm glad to know he wasn't ill or suffering.  I'm grateful I didn't have to make the choice to put him down. He's been with me for almost 11 years...longer than I've known my husband.  People who don't like cats loved Wendell.  Thank God my stepchildren are with me right now.  They were 8 and 6 when they met him...now 17 and 15.  He's been a part of their life for nine years, since they were little kids.  They're shattered too, but have been so supportive.  My husband's away.  I would have been even more of a mess without them here.

So...go now and give your dog a treat and take him for a walk or a ride in the car (Wendell actually loved road trips, believe it or not).  Give your cat a stroke, a snuggle, and hug your family.  Say I love you before you go to bed at night or leave to run an errand.  You never know what tomorrow might bring.  As I write, it's now 1:30 in the morning.  Wendell won't be here when I wake.  He won't be sleeping outside our door on his pillow, waiting for me to rise (he greeted me every morning without fail).  He won't be sitting in the open doorway of my bedroom while I check my e-mail and have my tea in he morning.  He's not allowed in the bedroom, but dutifully would always sit or lie at the threshold, and was happy to do so, as long as he was able to see me.  He's always started purring the second I opened the door.

That's true unconditional love, offered in innocence and trust with no preconceived notions.  No expectations.  Just happy to be nearby, in each others' presence, nothing else needed....a true friend.

Thanks, Wendell, for teaching me every day how we should treat each other and how to be a better person.
I love you, buddy.  You're the best cat ever.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Free Day! - More Treasury Love

I don't know how the weather is with you guys, but hopefully it's improved as it has here in Austin.  The sun is shining and it's pleasantly warm!  I think spring has definitely arrived and the colors of the lovely items in Tooli's Jewelry's new treasury entitled Free Day! certainly goes hand in hand with the fantastic weather.

The Whales in love from JooJooLand are just the sweetest things ever!  You have to check out the entire shop too.  So very cheerful!   I'm completely amazed that AyaWedding's lily is felted and not only do I like GlasSmile's wrinkled lampwork disc bead, but I think the photograph is really cool too!  From butterfly clips to vibrant lucite and aluminum earrings to cool blue beaded necklace, not to mention a delicate scarf and poignant figurine, all topped off by cheerful bags by Cocon and AnnaLela and a fun kid's tee this treasury really says spring.  I know I always say it, but it really is a privilege to have your work shown alongside so many talented artists.  Thanks again to Meital of Tooli's Jewelry for including my turquoise and carnelian earrings.  When it was raining and cold in Austin at the weekend, you said you'd send me some sun from Israel and you certainly did...in more ways than one!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I Heart Indie Fixx


What a pleasure to be included today in Indie Fixx's Designer's Sketchbook series!  Go check it out!  You can see some of my sketchbook drawings and a little bit of the process that goes into creating many of my pieces at Amy Holton Designs.  It's a fairly new segment and I always think it's neat to peek into other artists' process.

I love Indie Fixx...read it all of the time.  It's a great blog loaded with beautiful photographs, great information, artist interviews and guest bloggers.  Not to mention, she throws in a pretty tasty recipe or too from time to time.

If you haven't been to Indie Fixx, you must check it out!



Sunday, March 7, 2010

Soft, Beautiful and Feminine

It's always so flattering to be chosen for a treasury on Etsy. Upon returning from lunch with friends today, I had a message in my inbox from Carmit of Baby To Go to say she had included my freshwater pearl and aqua chalcedony necklace in her amazing treasury, simply and aptly titled "Pretty." I'm in love with the cashmere and lace shawl from VantiDesign's shop and the understated elegance of ToolisJewelry's simple happiness gold band. Noa Brumberg's work always makes me smile and her iron-it patches are just way too adorable.

Of course I had to check out Baby To Go. What adorable items! Her shop is full of beautiful baby blankets, carriers, burp cloths, all way more stylish than many I've seen elsewhere. Thanks so much, Carmit, for including me. What a privilege to be displayed amongst such lovely company.  It made a rainy, dreary day in Austin, Texas a little bit sunnier!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sapphire Necklace Progress...With Serious Distraction!

multi-colored sapphire necklace
Well, I made definite progress on the sapphire necklace on Tuesday.  I must admit, I've been procrastinating a bit while trying to visualize how I want it.  As I've said before, it's one of those trial and error designs that will be added to the sketchbook with details after it's complete!  I'm really pleased with my progress and I think I'm finally ready for the last step...adding the little multi-colored sapphire briolettes.  Looking at it, I can't believe this is just shy of ten feet of chain!

Accomplishing anything on Tuesday was nearly impossible for me.  I was completely distracted by huge, fluffy, white snowflakes falling from the sky.  While so many of you are sick of the snow, it's a complete novelty here in Austin, Texas.  My husband said that people in the office went outside like kids, just to stand in it.  The flakes were huge...over 2" at times.  I took my camera with me when I walked across the street to our mailbox.  Here's a shot of my little winter wonderland.  Our snow-topped houses nestled in the side of a hill.  It was 75 degrees and sunny on Sunday, yet this was the scene on Tuesday!
snow Austin Texas

Monday, February 22, 2010

Serious Etsy Lust - Just the Sweetest Necklace Ever!!

OK, so I love my Etsy folks, but I have to say in recent weeks, I found myself absolutely obsessed with one particular item. Every day, as I checked my stats on CraftCult, one sidebar advert always distracted me.  I, ever so subtly, sent my husband an e-mail which read, "Your wife NEEDS this for Valentine's Day," with a link to the posting on Etsy. I also felt compelled to convo Ashley Nizolek, the seller/artist/designer extrordinare to confess my obsession and that I hoped she'd soon be receiving an order from Austin. Happy me, when my husband walked into the house and placed a turquoise-blue box on my laptop keyboard. What, you ask, was the object of my desire? Absolutely one of the sweetest necklaces ever...
 
I love hummingbirds and this Love Birds necklace just sang to me.  When I was a child, I always watched the hummingbirds swarm to the feeder outside my grandparents' kitchen window.  For my eight birthday, I requested from them a hummingbird feeder of my own (which hung outside my bedroom window).  When my husband and I purchased our first home together, my sister, brother-in-law and niece gifted me a lovely chartreuse green, hand-blown glass feeder for my birthday, which is still prominently placed near the kitchen window (rightfully so).  Every spring through summer, the little birds hoover around the feeders in our back yard.  They're like pets to me and they are very well fed!  When I saw this necklace, I had to have it.  I almost bought it for myself, then realized, my husband might appreciate a little gift-giving guidance.

Ashley, of AN Original Jewelry is just one of the most pleasant ladies to work with.  She's so communicative and her shop is just so original.  I also love the Love Bird Lariat and Flock of Lovebirds necklace.  Seriously...I'm detecting some OCD symptoms when visiting her shop.  Therapy needed, perhaps?!

Since my Love Birds necklace arrived, I've worn it every day.  I layer it with my diamond horseshoe, which was my wedding gift from my husband.  He's English, and an English bride always carries or wears an upturned horseshoe for luck in her marriage.  Mine was sewn inside my dress.  Four years later, my Love Birds have joined my horseshoe.  I now can't imagine walking out of the house without it, just the same.

What skill Ashley has to manage such intricate cut outs!  This necklace is adorable in photos, but I fell deeper in love upon opening the box!  It makes me smile every time I hang it around my neck.  It's just too sweet.  Wait until my mom sees it...she might need one too!

For more on Ashley's work, check out her website at:

Also don't miss her blog:

...and you KNOW I'm a fan!  You should be too!

Thanks so much, Ashley!  I love my little hummingbirds!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

...And the Sapphire Journey Continues!

sapphire necklace handmade jewelry
Well, I've made progress over the weekend on the sapphire necklace.  No sapphires yet, but we're getting there!  Sometimes it's such a challenge to take the vision in your head and make it work in reality.  This took a great deal of trial and error, but I'm very pleased with the way it looks so far.  Thankfully, two of my stepkids were with us this weekend.  If it weren't for my third-hand, that of my ultra-cool stepdaughter, Amani, I would not be this far into the process!  It's been a very fiddly job (more so than many of my pieces, but that's what I love).  Sometimes you just need that extra hand.  She's very artsy-craftsy too and sat upstairs with me at my table.  She worked on valentines for her girlfriends and I worked on my necklace.  I did get an, "Amy, that is SO COOL," from her when we finally finished placing all of the chains.  Never hurts to get a thumbs-up from a seventeen year old!  (**Disclaimer ~ We do have very similar taste...but I'll take the compliment!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Yum!!

Hope everyone had a great day with their loved ones yesterday.  Thought I'd share with you the top secret dinner that my husband and stepson prepared last night.  It's no small task planning meals in this house.  My stepdaughter is vegetarian and I'm gluten-intolerant, so there's a lot of thought that has to go in to it!  My sweetie did a great job planning and they both did a great job preparing.  Not to mention, the presentation was beautiful!

To start, we had heart shaped bruchetta on gluten free sun dried tomato bread.  I LOVE bruchetta.  Hooray for Whole Foods and their fabulous gluten free selections!  The guys cut slices of bread with heart shaped cookie cutters, toasted them beautifully and topped them with tomato, basil, garlic and olive oil.

The main course was gluten free fusilli tossed in an arugula pesto, topped with grilled shrimp (sans-shrimp for Amani).  A side of broccoli with balsamic finished it off.  It was beautiful!  However, I was so into my dish that I forgot to take a photo!

When desert was served, I learned why I had been banished from the freezer.  The guys had molded vanilla bean ice cream into heart shapes and topped them with strawberries dipped in dark chocolate.  I think they had a lot of fun playing with the cookie cutters!

It was fantastic.  Certainly a dinner made with love.  Can we have it again tonight?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day, Sweethearts!!

Wishing everyone a beautiful day today.  No matter what your relationship status is, make it special!!

My stepkids have a four day weekend and chose to spend it with us.  Since we missed out on having them nearby for four years while they were at school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, we're more than happy to celebrate together and have decided to do a family Valentine's Day in our house.  My husband is cooking dinner.  It's top-secret and there's been much planning involved.  I'm not allowed in the refrigerator or freezer, so he's in charge of cocktail hour this evening :).  I have no problem with that!

Whether you're flying solo, celebrating with friends, family or your sweetheart, I hope everyone has a lovely and special Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Back in December, I ordered about 52 carats worth of multi-colored sapphire briolettes.  I've had a specific design in mind, but (as with much of my items) there's a lot of detail involved.  I must admit, I've been procrastinating, being a bit intimidated by it.  It's just not one of those things you can draw out, so trial and error it is!


With my husband off braving -5˚ weather on a business trip to Gillette, Wyoming, the house has been empty and quiet, so I began working on the necklace.  Here's what I have so far.  Trust me, this isn't anything near the picture in my head.  I have a lot of work to do!! 

Fear not, my trusty apprentice is by my side.  This is Widget.  He wedges himself between me and the chair back.  Of course, he prefers sitting in the white chairs!! 

Wish me luck!  (Black cats are lucky...right?)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Front Page News!

As if being chosen for a treasury wasn't flattering enough, yesterday we made Etsy's front page!!  How exciting for all of us :).  Thanks again, Noa!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Little Love from Craftomania

I was so happy to hear from fellow Etsian, Noa yesterday advising me she had included my freshwater pearl and blue topaz earrings in another one of her amazing treasuries on Etsy.  She compiled the treasury from the shops of bloggers featured under the "blogs" button of the Craftomania Toolbar, which she created.
 
I am absolutely IN LOVE with NuritDesign's Promise Amazing Ring!  Seriously, this piece is fabulous.  Her designs are so unique and contemporary, which is right up my alley.  

In addition to being the Craftomania Queen, Noa also has an Etsy shop full of adorable plush and baby items in  NOICA (listed under noabrumburg if you search for her).  She loves reindeer, which speaks to me too as I feed the deer that visit behind our fence!  Speaking of deer, check out the way-cute banner she designed in the right column of my blog! 
Better yet...I'll include it here.  Click through and check out the Craftomania Blog!  It's full of lots of free tools and resources for us Etsy folks assembled by the lovely Craftomania team.  But don't get to distracted and forget to go click on the amazing treasury items Noa's searched out.  I'm so happy to have been included!

Thanks for the Craftomania love, Noa!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

How I Acquired my Superbowl Ring

I couldn't care less about professional football.  College football is an obsession.  I went to the University of Texas and I bleed orange, but the NFL?  No thanks...

However, on February 1, 2004, the Superbowl was held in Houston, where Steve and I lived before we moved to Austin.  As the big game was in our fair city, we decided that a party was in order.  After all, never mind the football game, it's a good excuse to get together with friends, eat junk food, drink and laugh at great commercials...not to mention the halftime show.  That was the year of Janet Jackson's highly controversial "wardrobe malfunction."  So, we invited all of our friends (who also couldn't care less about pro football), fired up the grill and set in for a long night of cocktails, grazing and socializing.

My now-husband seemed unusually anxious about people arriving on time.  He's English and punctuality is highly valued ...but seriously, when in Rome (or Texas, rather)...
Our friends know that we're not sticklers for start and finish times on our parties.  We like having a house full of friends, so I assumed he was just looking forward to having everyone over...but seriously, calm down!

Then halftime came...
Now, I'm a very observant person.  Little to nothing gets past me, but I was completely unaware that my then-boyfriend, now husband had disappeared.  I was also completely unaware that he had relinquished control of the grill (highly unusual!) and our friend Louis had taken over.  Not only that, I failed to notice the bottles of champagne that had been carried into the house.  ME, overlooking the presence of champagne in the house?!?

The bedroom door opened and my husband emerged...wearing his tuxedo!  I can't describe the feeling in my chest and the butterflies in my stomach.  Could this be it?  Why else would he be in a tux?  He'd faked me out once before...taking me to the restaurant where we met, saying things like, "Don't get lobster tonight.  You'll get your hands all mucky," then standing up, bending on one knee and saying after a pause, "You dropped your napkin!"  Seriously...I was so disappointed and almost angry!  But here he was, standing in our living room and wearing a tuxedo during the half time show of the Superbowl.  He approached me, kneeled and asked me if I'd be his wife for the rest of my life, presenting me with an engagement ring that he had designed with an independent jeweler.  A study in platinum and diamonds which I wear proudly on my left hand.  He did it entirely on his own.  The only input from me being, "Emerald cut, and no yellow gold."  I found out later that the ring had been in the house since late November.  It was February, and he decided that day to pop the question with all of our friends in attendance.

The champagne flowed...I called my parents and my sister.  It was then that I found out he'd asked my dad's permission two weeks earlier!  Mom cried...

We were all completely unaware of Janet Jackson exposing herself...until the end of the game.  I can't tell you what one advert was about, but it was the best Superbowl ever.

This year, we'll watch the game together on a much quieter scale.  Wings, fries and drinks, just him and me in our home in Austin.  I'll weigh ten pounds more tomorrow morning from grazing and drinking.  We normally eat quite healthy, but this is a special occasion.  After all, one MUST have football food on Superbowl Sunday!  I still couldn't care less about pro football, but the Superbowl will always be an event to be celebrated.

Steve and I were married on June 25, 2005, 4 1/2 years ago.  We've been together for 9, and it's been 6 years since he placed the ring on my finger.  If it's possible, I love him even more than I did then.  My girlfriends dubbed my engagement ring the "Super Ring"...and it is!  It's fantastic.

So...that's how I acquired my Superbowl Ring.  I didn't even get tackled...except by my girlfriends wanting to see it!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Perks! MIA Earrings and a Necklace Made to Order.

A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from my very first Etsy customer explaining that she had lost one of the freshwater pearl and blue topaz earrings she'd purchased from my shop and asked if I could possibly replace it for her.  Of course, I happily obliged and I thought to myself, "Now there's a benefit of buying handmade!"  To replace any mass produced item, she would have had to buy another pair.

As we went over logistics of matching her lone earring, she mentioned another item in my shop.  "If you ever make the freshwater pearl and chalcedony necklace in silver and blue topaz, let me know."  I love custom orders and told her I'd be very happy to do just that if she was interested, which she was.  So, just yesterday, after snapping a quick shot in bad light, I shipped out a recreation of one of my favorite designs to its new home. I have to say, I LOVE it in the blue topaz!

Now her earring has a new BFF and she has a new necklace!

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Design - Prasiolite and Aquamarine Raindrop Earrings

Yes!  They are finished.  It's been a busy couple of weeks, but I did complete my new earring design incorporating aquamarine and prasiolite faceted briolettes.  I'm really pleased with the way they turned out.  Once the sun comes out again and I have some decent light, I'll take better photos.  It's been raining or at least cloudy here for a while now!  Maybe it's a theme...

I love the rain, but I like these raindrops better!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Design in Progress at AHD - Aquamarine and Prasiolite Raindrop Earrings, Day 3

I spent a good portion of yesterday attaching the briolettes to the earrings.  It's time consuming, but I enjoy it.  I do get frustrated when I chip a stone with the wire or do something foolish like wrap the loop without attaching it to the chain (it happened...chalk it up to distraction).  Nonetheless, they are going well and I'm pleased with the way they're turning out.  I find it greatly streamlines my process to work in stages.  I cut several bits of wire at a time, then thread them through the stones forming the loops all at one time, then attach the wire to the chain and wrap the free end at one time.

Here's a shot of my progress so far...

I'm hoping to finish attaching the briolettes today.  Soon enough I should receive some new ear wires I purchased from JLeeBeads on Etsy.  I'm thinking I'll likely use them on this design.  For any of you who make jewelry, check out her shop.  She has a really good selection and her service is fabulous.  As an added bonus for me, we're both in Texas so my orders arrive in no time!  She also makes beautifully simple, classic jewelry which you can find at her other Etsy shop JLeeStudios.

Hopefully, tomorrow or Thursday will bring a post with the finished product, so check back soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Design in Progress at AHD - Prasiolite and Aquamarine Raindrop Earrings, Days 1 and 2

I'm so glad that things are back to normal after the holidays and I can start to apply my focus to new designs.  My Etsy shop is empty and it seems every item on my website is marked "Sold," not that I'm complaining!  I've had some beautiful new gemstones come in over the past month and have been dying to work with them.  I've missed having the time to sit down and produce new pieces.  I'm not one who can do a little here and there.  I have to sit for hours, working as close to completion as I can in one session.  One project I've been carrying around in my head is for a pair of prasiolite (also known as green amethyst) and aquamarine hoop/chandelier earrings.  They will be a teardrop shape with prasiolite and aquamarine briolettes dangling randomly from different lengths of chain.  The idea makes me think of falling raindrops (and I love the rain).  I've been obsessed with prasiolite for the past several months.  I think its pale silvery-green color is beautiful and coordinates with so many different stones.   I have another prasiolite design that will be in the works next...but that's a later post!

After aiming to begin work on this design from early last week, on Sunday afternoon I finally managed to start forming the hoops for these earrings.  My workspace is upstairs, but instead I collected a few tools, some wire, chain and my bench blocks to move downstairs in front of the fireplace.  The cats were very excited to sit with me by the fire until I finished forming the hoops and started hammering them on the steel block!  They were much happier with me when I started wrapping the hoops,  attaching the bits of chain with fine gauge wire, and they quickly moved back onto the hearth.  Just forming and wrapping the hoops took me the better part of Sunday afternoon and evening (read 6+ hours).  I had to tear myself away for a couple of hours to prepare dinner and feed my husband, but promptly went back to work until I had the hoops completed.

With the hoops formed, hammered and wrapped in wire, I've moved back upstairs to my table where the beautiful glistening gemstones shown above are laid out and waiting to become a part of these lovely little earrings.  I can't wait to sit down and start working on them again today.  It's so gratifying to see your ideas come to be after carrying them around in your mind.  I get a great deal of satisfaction from assembling my designs, bit by bit.  I'm looking forward to the outcome and sharing more as this latest composition transitions from concept to actuality!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ringing in 2010

Is it really already 2010?!  December was a complete blur and despite the fact I stretched myself way too thin with projects and responsibilities, it was a wonderful time spent with family and friends.  I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays as much as we did.

Once Christmas was over and the new year begun, I promptly began working through putting things back in order and reorganizing what I've let go over the past couple of months.  However, yesterday my plans were thwarted and I find myself in bed with a touch of the flu.  Today I'm very thankful for my beautiful little laptop my husband and stepchildren gave me for Christmas.  Hooray for wireless networking!  When I still held an office job, I was always mobile and quite spoiled by it.  I've now been given my freedom again with my little HP Envy, so at least I can get caught up on some online tasks and tax preparation from the comfort of my bedroom...propped up on a pile of pillows with a cup of tea by my bedside and stock for chicken soup simmering on the stove.  It's so hard for me to not continue putting the house back in order, but I know it's my body's way of telling me to slow down for a bit...I'm being a good girl and listening.

So, today I'll sit with spreadsheet open and enter business expenses and sales that were left for when things slowed down.  Along with Christmas shopping, I did a bit of shopping for Amy Holton Designs as well!  I have some beautiful faceted gemstones that arrived shortly before the new year that I'm dying to get my hands on, but I'll save that for a day when I'm feeling better and have more patience!  So...on with the not-as-fun-as-making-jewelry tasks that make the IRS happy.  It shouldn't take too long.  I do keep my records pretty well up to date so it should be fairly painless.

Looking forward to getting things organized, back into my routine, introducing new designs and drooling over all of my crafty friends' creations!  Wishing you all a happy, healthy, peaceful, and creatively inspired 2010.